Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Rant of the week......

It feels as though we've been having work done on our house since forever.  

We started with the drive/front garden back in April and it's been pretty much non-stop ever since.

Which means that we've had dealings with a number of different tradesmen over the past 5 months.  We go out of our way to avoid 'Barney Bodger the Bargain Builder' and rely on recommendations from friends and family, seeking out fully qualified people with the endorsement of a reputable trade association behind them.

So you'd think things would, by and large, go swimmingly, with any minor glitches dealt with quick smart.

You'd think......

So, in the unlikely event that any tradesmen (builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, window fitters, tilers, carpet fitters etc etc etc) are reading this blog, here are my Top Tips for keeping on the right side of your customers.

1.  Don't treat us like idiots.   We might not understand the intricacies of your craft but we do know when we're having the wool pulled over our eyes and we don't like it.

2.  Don't promise more than you KNOW you can deliver.  If you say you can fit a reciprocating flange socket to a transverse pinion bracket then make sure you can and that you do it properly. 

3.  Small point, but please, PLEASE turn up when you say you're going to.  8.00 am does not mean 10.30.  To be honest, 8.30 is pushing it!  If you know you're going to be late have the courtesy to ring and let us know.  We'll think more highly of you and you won't arrive to simmering resentment.

4.  Clean up like you mean it.  Taking a pile of brick/plaster dust, wood shavings etc and laboriously spreading it over a wide area, nano-millimetres thick does NOT constitute cleaning.  Mastering the correct use of a stiff brush must surely be covered right at the start of any trade training.

5.  Bum cleavage.  Please don't.

6.  Snagging.... it's inevitable.  Accept any criticism with good grace and sort out any problems promptly and courteously.  Don't mutter under your breath and stamp about slamming van doors.  We're paying good money for your services and we want the job done properly and to our satisfaction. End of.

7.  Don't advertise dubious or non-existent qualifications or trade affiliations.   It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to check them out online and see if you won them in a Lucky Bag.

8.  Be honest.  A portfolio of images of your work should be all your own work.  Similarly, if you say you've done X, Y and Z for Mrs Postlethwaite from Three Oaks, bear in mind that we can easily check it out.

9.  A happy customer is worth their weight in gold.  Your reputation should matter to you. Word of mouth, not to mention the power of the internet and social media means that a shoddy job will be 'out there' before you can say "Can you fix it, no you can't!"

10.  If you do a good job for a fair price, are pleasant and helpful, turn up on time and clean up properly, we're your friends for life and will sing your praises at every opportunity.  Money simply can't buy that kind of advertising.....


Spleen vented.  
Equilibrium restored. 

Sort of....... 



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Moved to tears.....

So, here we are at the start of a new working week.  Yes, I'm well aware that today is Tuesday, but yesterday was a Bank Holiday and therefore doesn't count as a normal Monday.

We had a lovely weekend away in our little caravan, marred only on our return home, when our caravan mover, which had worked perfectly every time we've used it, packed up on one side.

It took us some time to work this out, as we were both standing watching the side which was working properly.  The van lurched from side to side like a drunken hippopotamus as we repeatedly tried, and failed, to get it to go where we wanted.  I'm sure that as a spectator sport it was hilarious. However,we found it anything but funny, especially as we were blocking the whole road, causing a tailback of cars down the hill.

It doesn't help that we live at the top of a steep hill.  If we were on level ground, between the two of us we could probably have turned it round so it was facing the right way.  But as it is, even if we managed to get it turned, we still wouldn't be able to push it up onto the drive, as it slopes every which way.

Especially down.  

I have a recurring nightmare in which while we're manoeuvring the caravan, it breaks away and careers down the hill, bouncing off parked cars, while we chase after it in a silent movie slapstick styley.  It rolls out across the main road and crashes through the fence, ending up in the fishing lake, where it slowly sinks to the bottom,  air bubbles on the surface spelling out "The End".  That's when I wake and sit bolt upright, gasping for air, imagining I'm somehow trapped inside.

I have a fertile imagination......

Anyway, after spending some considerable time yesterday trying to sort it out, we eventually admitted defeat and left it out on the road (after tucking it as close to the kerb as we could manage).   This morning we've been in touch with the mover manufacturer, as well as the caravan workshop who fitted it, and we've tried each and every one of their many suggestions to get it working, including resetting the control box etc, to no avail.  So we have no alternative but to take it to the workshop tomorrow morning to see if they can sort it out.

These things are sent to try us..... and they most certainly do!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Tipping point.....

Today's blog post is brought to you from a building site in St. Leonards on Sea.

Literally..... a building site.

I had no idea that changing our fireplace and fire would cause quite so much disruption.  Despite swathing the room in dustsheets and covers, there is a thick layer of fine brick and plaster dust over EVERYTHING.  Quite how it has managed to penetrate layers of fabric and spread through the entire house like a miasma, I have no idea.

But it has.

Yesterday, the fireplace was removed and work ensued on 'enlarging the chamber'.  This is a fancy term for knocking seven bells out of the brickwork with a lump hammer and pneumatic drill.

Today we have two plasterers in, to screed, skim and make good the gaping hole in the wall.  Only one of them has actually done anything though.... his mate's job seems to be leaning on the wall outside while simultaneously smoking and drinking copious amounts of tea so strong you could stand a spoon up in it.

As well as the plasterers we have the stove fitter and his sidekick in too.  Our tea and biscuit budget is stretched to breaking point.

In the midst of all the chaos, we had a decorator chappie in earlier to give us a quote for redecorating the room.  I must admit to feeling a tad guilty about that.... after all we COULD do it ourselves. Two and a bit walls have to be repainted, and one wall wallpapered.  Almost all of one wall is taken up with big patio doors so not much to paint there. I've wallpapered before, and if I do say so myself, I made a good job of it.  But that was over 15 years ago when I was much younger and fitter.

However the tipping point is that the ceiling needs repainted too, and that is a task too far for either of us.

The whole room would probably take both of us almost a week to redecorate, and even if I had the time and energy, it's not a task I would enjoy.  We've been entrenched in various house works since before Easter this year, and at this point in proceedings I'm definitely flagging.... physically, mentally and emotionally.

Once the new fire is installed, I just want the whole room done and dusted (especially dusted) quick smart.  Our 'new' sofa and armchairs are coming in just over 2 weeks, by which time it would be lovely to have the room decorated, re-carpetted and ready to collapse into.  I don't want to see another dust sheet, paintbrush, sanding block or stepladder for a VERY LONG TIME!

In other news, Small Dog has been having trials and tribulations of her own.  She'd developed a limp, which rapidly became a 3-legged hobble and we feared that she'd done something to undo the luxating patella op she had a few years back.

But no.

Ever a medical anomaly, she had two different things going on, with the same leg, apparently completely coincidental.

Firstly, the pin which was implanted in her leg during the surgery had come adrift, and was poking up under her skin causing a painful inflammatory lump.  She had it removed under anaesthetic yesterday......

Big..... isn't it?

It looks like a common or garden panel pin to me, but it's probably medical grade titanium or similar.  The bent end with the vicious jagged cut edge is what was sticking out of the bone into her leg.... poor wee scrap.  No wonder she was in pain.

However, that isn't the half of it.

The X-ray also showed that her cruciate ligament is torn, so her leg joint is unstable.  According the vet this combination of two completely unrelated problems in the same leg is unusual to say the least.

So, pin removed = one problem solved.  The cruciate ligament is a whole different can of worms.  It won't self repair, and surgery is usually the recommended option, especially for larger, heavier dogs.  However Small Dog is......well, she's.... small.  And she's the perfect weight for her size.  So there is a slight possibility that with rest and medication, it just might improve, if the surrounding muscle can support the unstable joint.

For Small Dog this means....

  • No running
  • No jumping
  • No stairs
  • No 'off lead' adventures
  • No walking on rough or uneven ground
  • Short walks on level ground 
  • Full dose of Metacam every day for three weeks.
After three weeks we'll take her back to the vet to assess how she's doing.  

For any number of reasons it would be wonderful if she could avoid yet more surgery, which is never a happy option.  Fortunately she's the only one in the house with private healthcare, although her premiums are going through the roof and we have to pay an exorbitant excess for each claim.

How I long for the day in the hopefully not too distant future, when all the work in the house is finished, Small Dog is back to her usual perky, happy self, and we can all get back to what passes for normal.



Sunday, 18 August 2013

Mini Miniature Show..... Update!

Day 5 of the online Mini Miniature Show, and if you haven't already visited you only have two more days before it closes.

Each day we've been adding a new 'Special' which can be seen by scrolling down to the bottom of our dealer page HERE !

For the duration of the show we're also offering a 10% discount code which is valid for purchases over £20 on our website.  During checkout enter OnlineShowVoucher2013 (case sensitive) and the discount will automatically be applied.

Sofa, so serendipitous......

I wrote a blog post last week about our ongoing search for a sofa.  

Despite extensive online searching, we were beginning to despair of ever finding what we were looking for.  However, serendipity struck on Friday, when PP spotted an ad on Preloved, showing a rather lovely sofa complete with two comfy armchairs.... exactly the combination we had in mind.

Just a few hours later we arrived outside a gorgeous little 'chocolate box' country cottage, all weatherboarded with roses round the door, to be welcomed into a small beamed sitting room which contained our perfect sofa.... with the added bonus of two incredibly comfortable armchairs.

It was a done deal.

Even better (and this is where the serendipity fairy went the extra mile) the owners are moving house in a few weeks and want to hang on to them till then.  Perfect for us as we still have the sofas we've sold, which are also due to go in a few weeks.

So perfect timing all round.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together...?

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Mini Miniature Online Show is now open.....!

The 6th Mini Miniature Online Show is now open, and you can find our dealer page HERE!

This time you have a whole 7 days in which to browse the pages of international artisans. I'm looking forward to my first browsing session later today.... lots to see!

We will be adding a different Show Special each day, so do keep checking back to see what's new.  I'm also planning a live Q&A session on Saturday afternoon in our interactive online classroom, so if you'd like to see the new workroom 'in the flesh', see a close-up of any of our little toys, request information on any of our kits, ask a question or simply gaze at the star of the show, Small Dog, then simply follow this link between 16.30 and 17.30 BST.  Please note the link won't allow you into the classroom until the scheduled start time!

For non UK residents, here's a LINK to the international clock so you can check the session time where you are.

I'll post more information nearer the time but feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

In the meantime, I've been working on more new toys, and continuing with the recent circus theme, I came across some tiny, unpainted white porcelain marotte heads recently, which looked just perfect for clown marottes.  So here they are....

Full details are on the website HERE

Sofa, so not good.......

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to find a sofa to replace the ones we've sold?

Not us, obviously.

After all the internet is awash with sofas of every shape, size, colour and price.

The problem is, the ones we like we can't afford, and the ones we can afford we don't like.  There's probably a deep philosophical conundrum, or penetrating insight into the human condition in there somewhere but I'm fed up and can't be bothered to look for it.

We know what we want.

Something warm and squishy that all three of us can sprawl out on in complete comfort.  Colour is important (it's that perfect blue again!) as is shape, height of the seat backs and something called 'reach'.

We went to look at a secondhand sofa yesterday afternoon, which on paper looked perfect.  Originally it must have cost ££££s and the house it came from was big and posh.  However our initial jubilation was tempered as soon as we sat on it, and the twanging of springs declared that it would need to be resprung to stop us being swallowed into its innards.  It also smelt rather strongly of dog..... not a smell I would ordinarily object to, so long as it's our own dog. 

So, taking into account having to book a van with two men to transport it home, plus respringing, cleaning, plus new loose covers, the bargain wasn't quite such a bargain after all.

Talking on the way home in the car, we spontaneously decided to take a 30 mile detour to a large sofa showroom to look at some new ones.  

We sat, we lounged, we sprawled, we relaxed,  we bounced, we plumped cushions, we examined fabrics..... but mostly we struggled like beached whales to extricate ourselves from ENORMOUS sofas.

Why do they make them so big?  This 'reach' of which I spoke at the beginning of this post, refers to the distance between the seat back and the front.  I appreciate that I'm shorter than average, but most of these sofas must have been made for people well in excess of 6' tall.  On some, when I sat with my bum right against the seat back, only my feet and ankles extended beyond the edge of the cushion!  

I felt like Alice after she'd had the 'Drink Me' potion.  

Granted, there is comedy value in watching me trying to shimmy toward the front of the thing in order to leap off, but it's anything BUT relaxing.  I'd probably have to fall over onto my side and try to roll off it.

So we're having a rethink.

At this rate, we'll be sitting in our camping chairs in front of our new woodburner next week.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Soshal meejah.......

Despite writing a blog for over 7 years, I'm definitely a 'late adopter' when it comes to social media.  I freely admit I don't really understand what Twitter is for, and I'm still ambivalent about Facebook, although I'm using it more now than I used to.

The current media storm around trolling and cyber-bullying is also something of a mystery.  Personally, if I were receiving abusive messages via the internet I would take steps to stop it by whatever means possible.  If that meant blocking access, or closing a FB or Twitter account, or any other social media platform I wouldn't give it a second thought.  I can see that vulnerable young people (or adults) might be seriously affected by it, but allowing anonymous low-lifes to ruin your life only adds fuel to the fire.

I'm not sure when this cultural shift came about.  When did it become 'acceptable' to systematically target people online and harass and bully them, sometimes to death?  

It's also a mystery why the various platform providers, such as Twitter and FB don't take more responsibility for the abuse which happens on their sites.  I heard someone on the  radio the other day saying that prosecuting them would be akin to suing Basildon Bond for someone sending poison pen letters.  Fair point, but it can't be beyond the wit of man (or Twitter, et al) to be able to identify the people who are misbehaving, or alternatively provide users with the tools to deter them.

Mind you, I've been on the receiving end of some random cyber activity, which is why I now moderate all comments on this blog rather than just allowing assorted eejits to post whatever rubbish they want.  Similarly, poor, beleaguered Small Dog has had to disable comments on her FB page timeline, after people with way too much time on their hands and a complete lack of empathy, took it upon themselves to disparage her spelling, then have a go at me for allowing it in the first place.


What people should ALWAYS remember though, is that the internet, for all its good points, is a palace of deception, mostly made up of smoke and mirrors and people pretending to be something they're not.  
You all THINK I'm a diminutive, mild-mannered, Small Dog-loving, female toymaker living in St. Leonards on Sea.  While in reality I'm a 6' 2" hairy-arsed plumber from Widnes.

Smoke and mirrors my friends, smoke and mirrors.......

Friday, 9 August 2013

Displacement activity Friday......

I've worked really hard all this week, and have some lovely new toy dolls to show for it.

At this very minute I should be listing them for sale on the website, and while I'm at it, doing some tidying up in there.  This involves going into the site's 'back end', which is the equivalent of a bricks and mortar shop's store room.   

Like the real thing it gets littered with extraneous stuff.... old listings, random photographs, out of date categories and display materials.  

Like the real thing, every now and then it needs a really good stocktake, clearout and reorganisation.

And like the real thing, I'll find no end of excuses to put it off.

This is when the internet comes into its own as a glittering palace of displacement activity.  
For example, I've already been side-tracked by the Word of the Day, which pops into my email inbox each day.  Today's word is finagle, which I've always thought was a fine old Scottish word, probably coined during the Highland clearances, given the number of times I heard it during my childhood.

Not addressed directly at me I hasten to add.

However, apparently it's an English dialect term which came into popular use in the 1920's.  Naturally I had to spend some time checking that out and have discovered that just about every language has laid claim to it, from French, Dutch and German, through to American slang.  Interesting enough but hardly a productive use of my time.

Then, following a recent discussion on FB, I felt moved to look up animal onesies.

As you do.

It's in areas like this that the internet really comes into its own, and I was immediately presented with dozens of options for looking downright ridiculous.

So if I ever feel the need to look nothing like a blue unicorn I'll know where to go.  
That whole 'crutch down at your knees' thing doesn't even look good on babies so quite why it appeals to adults (unless they have a babygro/nappy fetish) is beyond me.

Then Small Dog insisted on updating her FB page, which initiated a discussion between her and her WFT friend.

Then I decided to check out a blog suggested to me by my daughter, who shares the same random sense of humour. 

I should know better.  I really should.

So now it's almost lunchtime, and apart from tidying the workroom and photographing the new dolls destined for the website I've done absolutely NOTHING.


Damn you internet.... with your time-wasting temptations!


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Fire away.......

I've really got the bit between my teeth with this makeover malarkey.  Not content with turning the house upside down during the workroom revamp, I'm now turning my attention to our sitting room or in modern parlance.... lounge.

In which we neither sit NOR lounge.

We can go for whole weeks at a time without sitting foot in there at all.  Quite why we disdain it so much is a mystery.  It's quite a pleasant room with a lovely panoramic outlook over the patio, garden and up to the trees in the woods beyond.  It's not overlooked, and is generally considered to be a calm and restful space.  So why do we really only use it when we have guests, at Christmas, or if one of us is ill and needs a 'little bed' on the sofa?

I have no idea.

OK so it's a bit bland. Apart from a dramatic splash of red in the rug and cushions it's relentlessly neutral.... cream carpet, walls and curtains.

Also we probably shouldn't have bought black leather sofas.  Very expensive Italian leather sofas.  They're supremely comfortable and stylish but are a completely lacking in warmth and character. 

Then there's the fireplace, which should be the focal point of the room.  We've done what we can with a big mirror, festooned with lights..... and we installed a gas coal fire in the hope that it would provide warmth in all senses of the word.

However, a gas coal fire is not, and never will be, a real fire.  Real fires dance and crackle, they smell of woodsmoke, and the flame pattern changes every second.

They are more real in every sense..

You can't keep a coffee pot warm on a gas coal fire, or cook baked potatoes in the embers, or make proper toast.

However the final nail in the gas coal fire's coffin is that Small Dog would rather sit anywhere else in the room except in front of it.  In my book, a real fire should ALWAYS have a dog sprawled out before it.  

Cats are entirely optional.

So, our next 'project' is to make yet another unloved room into one in which we actively want to spend time.

With this end in mind, we've taken the bold step of selling our sofas, and our complete fireplace/hearth and gas coal fire is also for sale as we've decided to have a little multi-fuel stove installed in a new fireplace.

We're also changing the colour scheme.  Or perhaps that should be HAVING a colour scheme.  As opposed to a no-colour scheme.  I'm thoroughly sick and tired of 'bleahnd'.

At least doing a makeover in the sitting room won't cause the same level of disruption as the workroom did.  In fact, given that we don't actually use it much, it shouldn't cause any at all *fingers crossed*

So, let battle commence........


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Short cut.......

In all the kerfuffle of the past few days I completely forgot to share some important information about a major event......
 Yes, Small Dog has had her bi-annual haircut.  

Gone are the Fu Manchu whiskers, along with the scrappy dreadlocks and feathery tail.  Needless to say she is not impressed with her new look, despite our assurances that it's knocked years off her, not to mention smelling like a summer flower.

The only real downside of taking her to a groomer is that we miss out on the traditional Yorkie post-bath strut.  If you've never seen one, this is an excellent example.....

Monday, 5 August 2013

Goodies & Giveaway.......

I'm properly getting into the swing of being back at work in our lovely new workroom. 

So to celebrate the reinstatement of our new and improved creative space we thought we'd start the month with a giveaway on the Tower House Dolls Facebook page.

We're offering a 'Micro Wigging Made Easy' kit, which contains ready made wigging sections and instructions for making a range of small scale wigs.

To enter, simply follow these easy steps....

1. Go to our FB page HERE 

2. 'Like' the page (if you haven't already!) The like button is near the top of the page under the photo of my nursery playroom.
3.  Look for the post headed ***August Giveaway* and SHARE it to your FB page (directly under the photo are 3 links - Like . Comment.  Share.  Just click Share to add the post to your page.)
4. Leave a comment on the post (this will enable us to put your name in the hat for Small Dog to draw the lucky winner)

We will draw the winner on the first day of the Mini Miniature online show on 14 August. 

If you don't 'do' Facebook (and it's worth signing up just to read Small Dog's FB page) here's something for everyone.

As we near the end of the Dog Days of summer, it seemed appropriate to call on Small Dog to step up to the mark and allow her to take responsibility for our August competition.

I don't know WHAT I was thinking.....

Small Dog’s Kompetishun

  1. What breed is Small Dog? (1 point)
  2. How old is she? (1 point)
  3. For which coveted award is Small Dog constantly striving. (1 point)
  4. What are Small Dog’s designated job titles (2 points)
  5. Name two of Small Dog’s favourite recreational activities (2 points) 
 Additional points may be awarded for creative spelling (in the style of Small Dog)
Completed entries should be marked For the Attention of Small Dog and sent to her,  care of
In the event of a tie, Small Dog will select the winner at random.
The judges’ decision is final.

Closing date for entries 11 August.

 There are no trick questions and the answers can all be found elsewhere on this blog or on Small Dog's FB page.

The winner will receive a framed print of Victorian children at play in the garden, handmade by me, and modelled by Small Dog.....

I may be mistaken, but I think I can detect the slightest hint of a smug smirk on Small Dog's face, as if she thinks that her promotion is already in the bag.  I've had to remind her that we're looking for sustained consistency of effort, and it's still early days.....

Good luck if you decide to enter!


Saturday, 3 August 2013

Mini Miniature Show Online Workshop - Booking Now!

Later this month we will again be participating in the Mini Miniature Show, which runs from 14-20 August.

We are also running an online workshop where you can learn how to dress a dainty little ballerina toy doll, available in all the colours of the rainbow!

The porcelain doll measures just 1 1/2" tall and has jointed arms and legs, with feet 'en pointe' and able to hold a balletic pose. 

She can be used either as a toy doll for a 1/12th scale child, or as a 1/24th scale child in ballet costume.  When completed she will have silk underwear, tights and silk ballet slippers with leather soles. Her tutu is comprised of layers of silk and organdie, with a silk bodice.

You can make a choice of wig styles which are finished off with a crystal headdress with feather plume.

The kit price of £20 / $32 / €23  includes:

Porcelain ballerina toy doll just over 1 1/2" tall with jointed arms and legs
All materials to create her costume and headdress
Prepared wigging materials to make wig style of your choice

Fully illustrated step-by-step instruction booklet

Colours available:
  • Snow White
  • Pink
  • Red
  • Pale Green
  • Pale Blue
  • Lilac/Lavender
  • Gold
As an added bonus, students will also have the opportunity to join me in my interactive online classroom which has an audio/video link, for a real-time demonstration and Q&A session.  In a transparent bid for Employee of the Month, Small Dog has graciously offered to appear during the session, in her role as Business Mascot.

Please contact me for the cost of international shipping to all destinations worldwide.
International students - payment by PayPal only.  UK students may also pay by cheque.

I will be shipping kits from Monday and places are already filling fast, so please let me know as soon as possible if you wish to participate.

As always, if you need any further information, please contact me and I'll do my best to help.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Things that go bump in the night......

I haven't been sleeping well.  

It's so hot and humid that even with all the windows open it's been like trying to breathe underwater, and the constant whirring of the electric fan isn't conducive to a restful sleep either.

So when I was wrested from a fitful sleep in the early hours of this morning I was less than impressed.  However, when I surfaced properly I was suddenly very, very awake, at the sound of what appeared to be a young child screaming.  Having checked the time (1.50am) I was fairly sure that it wasn't due to any of our neighbour's having a late night BBQ, and in any case, none of our neighbours have young children.

The caterwauling was coming from the woodland behind our house, or as Small Dog calls it, 'the forrist of deth and blud' and as I listened it soon became apparent that the noise was coming from an animal which was being attacked/molested/eaten alive (or possibly all three at once).  

This is a regular occurrence, though no less upsetting and disconcerting.  Nature red in tooth and claw, and all that.  Walking though the woods during daylight hours, evidence of the nocturnal carnage is everywhere..... feathers, fur, blood, bits of carcase leftovers..... it's not a pretty sight.   Sadly it is often the fate of small furry mammals to end in a damp, crunchy, long drawn-out squeal.

It took some time after the cries had eventually (and mercifully) faded away, for me to get back to sleep, and it was just getting light when the high-pitched drone of a mosquito right by my ear jerked me back into semi-wakefulness.  Loath to switch on my bedside light, and entice hordes of the buggers to join it, I reached for the mosquito repellant and with my eyes firmly shut, applied it to all exposed skin.  However, its persistent drone had by then awakened PP, who shot bolt upright and insisted upon hunting the intruder down.  We finally tracked it down near floor level, and spotted it landing on my bag, whereupon PP beat the living daylights out of it with a rolled up magazine.  It was one of the big tiger-stripey variety, and had it bitten me I'd have had to suffer at least a week of itching, pain and weeping blisters, so I'd like to say I didn't lose any sleep over its demise.

However, with the first light of dawn filtering through the windows, and the ghostly mosquito drone still echoing in my ears I struggled to get back to sleep, finally falling into a deep slumber only about an hour before it was time to get up.  *sigh*

Predictably, Small Dog has no such problem......