15 March 2009


...and cats and other beasts.

Again, Peter may remember more about this than I do. I get a bit blurry when it comes to my own past, but my mother, particularly, has had a steady stream of beasts through her life. I will have occasion to mention some later, but the one that prompts this post (which must be very short - rehearsals yesterday - 14 March, Eddie's birthday - and today; concerts next week-end) was a Scots Terrier whose name was, unimaginatively, 'Bonny.'

Terriers are supposed to be dogs that are sent into burrows of vermin - rabbits, rats, etc - to dig them out - hence the name - cf. French 'terre' - 'earth.' I don't recall much about Bonny but I doubt he - she? - did much digging out of vermin.

What Bonny did was to take baths (no doubt unwillingly). In very foamy soap suds. Actually I think the soap was just ordinary laundry detergent. My mother used to bathe the dog in the laundry basin, as I recall, in this stuff.

And sometimes we children - all three together, I think - were allowed to bathe in the bathtub with some sort of bubbly stuff - some kind of bubble bath stuff, I think. I doubt it was laundry detergent.

And I called it 'Bonny bath.' I can remember asking if we could take a 'Bonny bath.' And that is what it meant.

Under my house at present are - rotting away with mildew, I'm afraid - a lot of old colour slide photographs. My recollection is that one, at least, of them is of the three of us sitting in the tub surrounded by ... Bonny bath.

I shall never forget it.

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