Saturday, 28 June 2008

Ain't nothing but a hound dog...

Of all the headaches associated with trying to move ourselves out to Bosnia, by far the biggest (and I mean by a really really really long way) is the dog. I have spent hours of my life and been responsible for the destruction of half of Brazil's remaining rain forests in my quest to work out how to get Jess from the UK to Bosnia and eventually back again. I have talked to Embassies, Vets, Animal Export agencies, Animal Import Agencies, airlines, ferry companies, Bosnian Vets, Bosnian government agencies, UK Embassy in Sarajevo - you name it, I've listened to their Musak. We've spent a small fortune on various jabs, blood tests and general vet bills. I've emailed (in English and Bosnian/Croatian - no small feat here as my Bosnian is limited to ordering beer) people in the know in Bosnia and Croatia to confirm that when we turn up to their border with our EU pet passported pooch in the back of the car they will not turn us away.

To remind myself of why we are making this effort to get our dog out to Bosnia, I thought I would take advantage of the gorgeous afternoon and take her and the boys out for a walk. It was lovely, they played, fought dragons and hunted dinosaurs in the woods. She frolicked, gambolled and looked like a Pedigree Chum advert. As we neared the car to go home, I momentarily took my eye off her and lo and behold she disappeared. 10 minutes later she reappeared covered head to paw - I exaggerate not here, she was completely covered - in fox poo. She stank. By the time we got home the car stank and the boys had learnt a whole lot of new ways to say you smell really really nasty.

I hosed her down with particularly cold water and whilst taking particular pleasure in getting the stuff off her face realised that she had no idea that this was not the way to repay your owners for their efforts.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

But with these chocolates you are spoiling us...

Contrary to popular opinion, we are not totally unprepared for the move to Bosnia. We did go to Bosnia last year to scope out which of our ideas might be possible and which were clearly ridiculous. One of the things we did whilst we were there was to go for a coffee with some of the staff at the British Embassy in Sarajevo. They clearly registered our intent to move, no doubt concerned at the prospect of a few more clueless Brits landing in their jurisdicition, and have kept in contact with us through the occasional email informing us of upcoming events in Sarajevo. Even so, we were somewhat surprised when a beautiful embossed invitation inviting us to a reception at the Embassy landed on our (English)doorstep this week.

D was thrilled. He does appreciate the pomp and ceremony of the British Establishment doing its thing well. I would be lying if I said that I wouldn't have wanted to go if we were already installed in Bosnia. However, as I gaze around the chaos of a half packed house, already well over the limit for what we can physically fit in the car for the drive out, my primary thought was along the lines of 'oh bloody hell, have I got to pack black-tie outfits as well?'

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Introducing the actors

The whole family, including the dog, are packing up shop and moving to Bosnia in 4 weeks. We have rented out our house and are in the painful process of packing up, putting into storage and trying to work out how we will ever fit everything into the car. Obviously I'm in denial and have decided that the way forward is to start a blog, because that doesn't take up much time and I have so much time to spare. But hey ho, it is blog or start clearing out my desk so no contest really.

In the same way a script for a play starts with a list of characters so the salient points of each player in this comedy are listed below.

D - long suffering husband

A - generally an angelic little 3 year old boy, but with the ability to be atrocious at will...

L - a legend or a liability depending upon his mood. 16 months and we have been aware of every single one.

J - picnic stealing, cricket tea munching, fox poo rolling golden retriever dog.