OK, I give in. No longer is this blog a Christmas-free zone.
Now it strikes me that the thing to do at this time of year is to write a Christmas newsletter. Gail never does, saying she "disapproves of the concept", but I have decided to take on the responsibility myself of telling folk what I've been up to in 2009.
First off, I have to admit that as I'm new to this game I consulted examples of newsletters which Gail has received in the past, to get a feel for what is expected. I learnt that a Christmas newsletter contains certain essential elements, and for this first attempt I have decided to conform to the standard format.
First off, one has to list all one's major achievements - exams, promotions, sporting trophies etc. etc.
Er.... Help! Gail! Did I actually achieve anything this year?
A long silence follows.
Well I was nominated for a few 'Dogs with Blogs' awards for this blog, but was not allowed to accept them on account of "already being big-headed enough". Does that count?
And I did gain a mention in the 'acknowledgments' section of a certain PhD thesis. Look...
Secondly, one is expected to create the impression of a busy, successful, purposeful and exciting life, dividing one's time between high powered employment and glamorous holidays to exotic locations.
Look, this is really difficult. Basically, my life consists of eating, sleeping on the sofa, being cuddled, and rousing myself twice daily for walks where more time is spent sniffing trees and lampposts than in forward motion. Usually all this takes place at home in Aberdeen, but sometimes I perform the same routine in our cottage on Loch Torridon and sometimes at Gail's parents in Nottingham. Purposeful enough?
Thirdly, details of medical problems on a 'more information than strictly necessary' basis are required.
Och this one's easy! Have I already told you about my itchy bottom? It gets really really itchy. So I lick it quite a lot, or sit down and scoot across the carpet to relieve the itchiness. Other areas itch too. Often it's my front paws, sometimes my groin area. Actually I rather enjoy having special anti-itch cream rubbed into my groin, what male dog wouldn't.....
There is usually a section on domestic disasters, related in a way that makes them more amusing than they seemed at the time.
Well let me think here.
Oh. It is being suggested that I am the domestic disaster. That is SO NOT FUNNY, Gail. Let's move on.
Finally, social highlights (invitations to garden parties at the Palace, trips to Glyndebourne, that sort of thing) must be noted.
Well to be honest, these days I really can't be bothered. And at the prospect of company I tend to retreat upstairs and jump up (with the help of a step) onto Gail's bed and remain there until the visitors have departed. That's just how it is when you're fourteen I'm afraid.
Well I think that's about it for my year. I hope you all had an equally successful and exciting one.....
To have reached the age of 14 and still look like a puppy seems achievement enough. A great advert for wholesome Aberdeen living.
We do have to agree with Angus!
We are afraid we haven't achieved too much this year either. But life is good.
Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java
Hey there, Hamish
There is another ommitted achievement...you have been awarded honorary South African status(!!!) by your good friend and tour-guide - MAXDOG! Friendship across the big-pond means so much and you have been an outstanding buddy!
As for your Christmas newsletter and supporting pictures - it is a masterpiece(!!!) and can go down in the "cuteness" history books.
We see you have achieved 'Angel' status too - wow, what an accomplishment!
And...we are so happy you haven't 'cancelled' Christmas like the movie "Christmas with the Kranks!" (being flighted here far too often!)
So, with all this achievement, we hope that you achieve the warmest, most restful and most happy Christmas.
Lotsalicks from your old buddy,
MAXDOG IN SOUTH AFRICA
Wooos Hamish! I think you had an exciting and eventful life compared to mine right now all I do is watch Mum work.. sigh...I like your newsletter, maybe all of us dogs need to write one before Christmas!
-Kira The BeaWootiful
Hamish, you are a most active and exciting chap. How is it possible that you only got one line in that alleged newsletter.
P.S. The trick to dealing with snow is to make momma shovel paths in the garden for you. Just ignore any HBO words during the process. It is so worth it.
Now now, Hamish, if memory serves, you played a pivotal role in Beagadoon the movie, went touring on the Royal Scotsman, shot under par on the Old Course at St. Andrews, were the Father of the Groom at my wedding, took us sampling Scotland's finest whiskies, got your own personalized caravan, and somehow became knighted along the way. No wonder you're tired!
I'd say you have enough adventures this year for TWO holiday newsletters!
What an impressive year you had! It is good that you have it all on record and we think a newsletter was a stroke of genious.
That top picture did make us smile cos we reckoned you were now just about ready to take over the Rev I M Jolly role!
We so miss Ricky Fulton and believe you to be the canine equivalent!
Have the very best Xmas Hamish, we are proud to be your friends and look forward to sharing 2010 with you.
Martha, Bailey & Family xxxxx
Merry Christmas, Hamish! Welcome to our side! Don't worry about your letter, as long as you tell us you had a good year we will be happy.
Sam and Cisco
Hamish, your main achievement is to be yourself; just think, what would Gail do without you ? And look at all the friends you have all around the world who follow your blog !
You enjoy your life every day, that's more than many humans seem to do these days.
Lots of love and best wishes for Christmas to you and Gail.
Hamish..achievements, achievements...maybe we could elect you Mayor of our city in Southern California. I wonder if they'll go for it?
Benny & Lily
I like your card. I'm 14 also, so I do understand.
Hamish appears to have an uncannily acute understanding of human rituals... must be all of those 'observation hours' he's logged...
Happy Christmas! (You'll get a real card, too, but it will be late, as is everything I do)
Ah Hamish. I see your terrier stubborness was futile in the strange wishes of the leggeds for you to wear that silly Santa hat.
Take my advice. Next time make sure the leggeds take their nightcap neat never with Higland Spring water.
Enjoyed sniffing out your news letter. Och aye, especially your medical problems. If only mine were that exciting.
Been wagging getting to know you this year.Hoots. Toots and all that. Happy Hogmany dear chap. I'll raise a glass of the finest single malt to your good health for 2010.
Wiry love Eric x
Hmmmn, Hamish, if Max Dog can make you an Honorary South African, I can certainly make you an Honorary Citizen of the United States Of America. You want that? You got it if you do. I can have my Mom do a certificate to hang in your room.
I like Angus's words and Petey's too. You've done lots this year. But those letters . . .they are always so boring or laugh inducing.
Kisses, Merry Christmas, Happy 2010
Stella, who values your friendship in the extreme!
Awww! My big sister, Lilac, is fourteen, but she's quite spry! Most people would never know that she's fourteen, except maybe at 4:30 in the morning when she starts barking at Mom and Dad. Don't worry about what you have and haven't done, just enjoy the moment!
Hamish - I detect that your comments about Christmas messages are sourced from our own letter to Gail (the mentions of Palace parties and Glyndebourne was a giveaway). No offence taken, but perhaps a new fprmat is required fo4 a new decade! Love to both of you. Steve and Kathryn
Dear Kathryn and Steve
Your newsletters, yres, but so may others too enabled a close critique of the genre....
Hamish. This is undoubtedly the most entertaining Christmas letter we have ever read. We'd like to forward it to some of our friends (who need serious feedback about the quality of their letters ... none of them, by the way, have ever written a PhD thesis or supported the writing of one). If all letters were like yours, we'd look forward to them for months. (One of the ones we received, we've not even read yet. We saw that it was pages and pages long and, well, you get the idea.)
Happy New Year, Hamish and Gail.
Jake and Fergs xxoo
I'm with you on the Christmas letters...
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