Monday, 16 May 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week

The Mental Health Foundation's Mental Health Awareness Week starts today, and this year's focus is on relationships.

Having good relationships is essential to maintaining good mental health – in fact, just as vital as eating well, exercising and not smoking. In our busy day-to-day lives, however, our relationships often end up suffering. The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging the public to make a relationship resolution – to prioritise our relationships with friends, family and colleagues, and make time to really listen and be present for those we care about.

We at Hubble & Hattie are firm advocates of the positive effect animals have on our lives, and that our relationships with our animal friends is just as important as those we have with our human ones. When you're out walking, why not turn off your music or get off your phone and really pay attention to what your dog is doing. If you're playing with your cat, get involved and interact with her. When we're present for our animal friends, our relationships flourish and our wellbeing improves.

H&H's new book, When man meets dog, takes a look at the special relationship we have with our pets – in particular man and dog, and explores the meaning of the human-animal bond from the male experience. Click here for a video featuring author Chris Blazina which explores the relationship between men and dogs.

Similarly, many of the stories in My Dog, my Friend focus on the relationship between humans and their dogs, and the positive effect this relationship has on our mental health and wellbeing.

There are many Mental Health Awareness Week events happening around the country. To see what's going on near you and get involved, visit the website. You can also help spread the word by using the #MHAW16 hashtag on Twitter.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Worzel Week – Day 5

All this week we've been posting extracts from our fabumazing book, The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface. In our final instalment, Worzel tries being a normal dog ...

May 29
I did pinch a carrot wot Mum did drop. I don’t be doing this very hoften, so when I did take the carrot off the floor, I did not actual get told off. In-very-fact, Mum was frilled to bits with this normal-dog-behaviour, and finks there is hope for me yet. Trouble is, I do not know wot to do with it now cos I don’t actual want to eat it, but it feels like a prize. Happarently, this isn’t normal-dog-behaviour, and very definitely not normal-Sighthound-dog-behaviour. Most Sighthounds would not be carrying it
around: it would have been eated in a flash, even if they didn’t like it cos they is food-stealing-munch-monsters.

I don’t fink I’m much good at this bit of Sighthounding. Mum says this actual isn’t a problem from her point of view: she’s met some Sighthound food thieves, she says, and they do defy very belief.

The most himpressive thieves she hever did meet were a pair of quite elderly Italian Greyhounds, or Iggies. Mum hinsists Iggies are pure Sighthound but I do fink, from wot she’s tolded me, that they have monkey buried somewhere in their jeans cos they can climb anywhere.

The Christmas before I did arrive here, Mum was hinvited to a Sighthound party, and got the chance to meet up with one of her foster dogs, Suzy. Suzy, a long, tall Lurcher lady, had an actual rubbish life before she was fostered and dopped, so she did do guardering everyfing – her toys, her bed, her food – every actual fing.

To make sure Suzy wasn’t wanting to guard the food at the party, lots of fings were put up very high so that she wouldn’t be actual worried and do guardering or food-pinching. Suzy did relax and everyboddedy else did very, too, finking that if the food was out of long, tall Suzy’s reach, then noboddedy else would very quite be able to get at it.

But they did forget about the Iggies. You should never, hever forget about Iggies, hespecially wise and ancient Iggies wot do know every actual trick in the very book, and who managed to get up on the top of a fridge-freezer without anyboddedy noticing.

Mum says seeing these two tiny Iggies staring down at her from above her head, covered in cake, was the actual funniest and weirdest fing she has ever seen!

Like lots of peoples who like Sighthounds, Mum secretly does want an Italian Greyhound, but she would only hever dop a dog and they don’t come into rescue very actual often. I find this very hard to hunderstand ...

View an interview with the author, Cath Pickles, on our YouTube channel!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Worzel Week – Day 4

All this week we'll be posting extracts from our fabumazing book, The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface. In this instalment, there's the pitter-patter of tiny kitten feet ...

May 20
Mum didn’t go to bed last night because Stray did do giving birth to her kittens, and Mum did hobserving and very Being There in case everyfing wented pear-shaped. It all started at one in the morning, and I was not allowed to join in. I did get to do sleeping with Dad on the bed, and also
I-don’t-care-what-he-does-you-just-make-sure-he-is-quiet-and-doesn’t-get-out. I was very actual exerlent at this, and did not know about the giving birth fing until this morning.

There are five kittens, and Mum says they is all alive and about the same size. Mum says that is good news because there isn’t one she has to worry and flap about. Dad says that just means she’ll worry and flap about all five of them. There are two tabby ones and three black ones. I did walk past the bedroom this morning and my appearance did not cause chaos or ninja-hissy-fits from Stray, so I are not going to be banned from upstairs for the next two months which I is very quite relieved about.

This evening Mum was supposed to go to the theatre to see her friend, Louise, In A Musical. A Musical is when people do manic jumping up and down and dancing and singing, so I is not actual surprised Louise was inned it: Louise’s life is a permanent musical but with more mud. Just before she was going to leave, Mum wented to check on the kittens and Stray, and she fort she could see and feel somefing hard and kitten shaped inside the mummy cat. Mum did have a big panic and phoned
Sally-the-Vet, who said Stray and the five kittens needed to come to the Hotel de Stoven Hall straight away.

Sally-the-Vet said there was no more kittens. Mum had to miss going to the theatre, of course, and I fink Sally-the-Vet did feel a bit sorry about this because, when Mum got out her purse to pay, Sally-the-Vet did tell her to go home and get some sleep, and not be worrying about the monies. Mum was feeling like a bit of a wally for panicking, and even more so an hour later, when Stray did the biggest poo you have ever seen come out of a cat!

So far Mum has been called a prat, a wally, a hidiot and a numpty. Mainly by herself.

View an interview with the author, Cath Pickles, on our YouTube channel!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Worzel Week – Day 3

All this week we'll be posting extracts from our fabumazing book, The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface. In this instalment, the stray cat gets a name – sort of!

May 15
The stray cat is getting ignormous at the triangle end, though is still skinny everywhere else. She has been living in Mum and Dad’s bedroom for the past week or so, and is eating for Ingerland. She was doing quite actual well, and was being allowed to wander about the bedroom, but today she did start looking for places to hide and make a nest.

Her first choice of where to hide was rubbish, as we did all find her. Mum says she’s going to need socks over the next two months so her underwear drawer is actual out. Then the cat did decide that a hard shelf five feet off the floor would be an exerlent place to have her babies, which would be okay if she was having seagulls instead of kittens. Mum finks a nest somewhere nearer the ground might be actual safer. So the cat is going into a crate in the previously ginger one’s bedroom – where it is
quiet – to have her kittens. Mum is sad about this. That room shouldn’t be actual empty ...

The cat hasn’t been named as very such, but has just growed the name ‘Stray,’ which doesn’t usually happen here. The previously ginger one would never, HEVER have allowed this, and would have actual insistered that the cat was given a proper name, but everyboddedy has got too much actual stuff on their minds at the moment, and they seem to have forgotted about naming the stray.

No-one is allowed to get excited about cute-ickle-kittens, either, because, according to Dad, it could all go horribly wrong, and there be no kittens at the end. The stray is too young to be actual having babies, and half-starved as well, so noboddedy can be getting their hopes up.

The fuge ginger boyman says he is ‘working his bum off’ at Grannie Annie’s for his Hay Levels. And getting fat. He’s getting a cooked breakfast every day, so he has actual decided to stay at Grannie Annie’s until after his hexams are over. Mum says she can’t compete with a cooked breakfast every morning, and anyway, Grannie Annie has the world’s worst broadband connection, so he can’t play confuser games, which is probababbly a good fing. Mum is ever so very actual proud of him for being so serious and growed up about his hexams, and she’s glad it’s one less fing she has to worry about.

View an interview with the author, Cath Pickles, on our YouTube channel!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Worzel Week – Day 2

All this week we'll be posting extracts from our fabumazing book, The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface. In this instalment, there's good news for Pandy ...

May 13
There is very actual hexcitement here today because a famberly is hinterested in dopping Pandy. Mum has readed their bits of paper and they sound hideel. They has already got three fuge dogs that Pandy won’t squash, and they seem a bit nutty about their pets, which Mum does fink is generally a good fing – and so do I. Anyone who takes on Pandy is going to need to be a bit nutty. And have strong walls in their house. Mum and the lady of the famberly did chattering on the phone tonight,
and Mum asked her lots and lots of very questions about her famberly and her other dogs, and her actual ‘lifestyle.’ Mum asked all very quite personal questions which made Dad cringe and whisper ‘you can’t ask her THAT!’ but Mum says she doesn’t care. If Pandy is going to live with these peoples then Mum will find out everyfing she can about them, even if the lady finks Mum is nosey. Or rude. Or mad. Or all of these.

Mum has arranged for the lady to come and visit on Saturday. The man in the famberly won’t be coming on the visit with the lady (which is a bit actual worrying for Mum because she do like to meet everyboddedy in the famberly), but she will be bringing her growed-up daughter instead.

The worst fing, Mum says, is that if they do like Pandy, they would actual like to take her that day because they do live a very long way away. This is giving Mum wobbles because she do usually like people to go away and fink about fings for a few days before making a final actual decision. If you ask me, anyone who goes away and finks about Pandy living in their house will quite actual need ferapy.

View an interview with the author, Cath Pickles, on our YouTube channel!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Worzel Week – Day 1

All this week we'll be posting extracts from our fabumazing book, The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface. In this instalment, Worzel's family have some cat trouble ...

May 9
When Mum came home from the Opital she did notice somefing that Dad has completely missed, and she is absolutely furious, she says. When the dopey woman came to collect her cats wot were living in our shed, she didn’t bother to tell Mum she had actual left one behind. Yesterday, Mum caught a glimpse of the cat wot got lefted behind, hiding behind the dinghy in the shed. The cat is a girl-cat, and quite very actual triangleshaped, which means she’s going to have babies very actual soon, Mum
finks. Mum has given the cat’s owner the new name of ‘stupid, selfish woman.’

May 11
It’s taken Mum two days to catch the left-behind cat. She finally managed to trap her in the shed, but then she didn’t do communercating actual Worzel Wooface proper-like, so that, when she wented into the house to get the cat basket, Dad let the cat escape. Things gotted quite loud then, and words
like ‘stoopid,’ ‘unfinking’ and ‘mind-reader’ began flying about. It was one of those conversations that was never going to end unless someboddedy did acting like a grown-up. ‘You let her out!’ ‘You didn’t say what you were doing’ ‘It should have been obvious’ ‘Why should it have been obvious?’ 
I wented and hid in my crate because it all got very quite noisy. All the harguing did suddenly stop when Dad caughted sight of the cat sneaking back into the shed. Mum and Dad did epic teamwork and managed to get her trapped and crated and fed and blanketed and all calmed down from being caught ... and then they forgived each other for being plonkers. Truth is, they is both quite very actual stressed about the previously ginger one, and missing her and worrying about her. It does make hoomans act very quite different when they is being stressed up to the eyeballs.

There has been no discussion about wot they plan to do with the cat now she has been caughted. Dad says he knows betterer than to do or say anyfink other than wot he is actual told. Mum is so upsetted bout the previously ginger one that anyfink being a distraction is a good fing. Mum can’t get to Southampton as often as she would like because it costs too much monies, and the previously ginger one is miserable and missing Mum and Dad. It’s all a total nightmare, according to Dad, and if that means he has to help look after a stray cat for a few weeks, then that’s wot is going to have to happen. That’s when Mum mentioned the triangle shape and kittens and ...

Sometimes, my Dad is an actual saint, you know? On the phone to the previously ginger one, he did even mention the preggerant stray cat, heven though he knew wot she would say. She’s got somefing to look forward to now, Mum says. Dad says he’s got weeks of emptying litter trays and managing two nutty Lurchers to look forward to, plus the very actual fact that We. Will. Be. Keeping. One. Of. The. Kittens. He is resigned to the fact, he says. Mum smiled tonight.

The quite very actual adventures of Worzel Wooface is available now over at the H&H website.

View an interview with the author, Cath Pickles, on our YouTube channel!