My 'Essex Girl'

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A fun blog of 'soft' philosophy about the life and times of a Westiepoo called Chester. Written as a prelude to a more serious novel raising the question: Who is the most bankrupt: the banker who won't whistle-blow or the chef who loses her livelihood?

Of all the people in the world, the best is my foster Mum, Mrs. B. She was the one who took me in as a ten-week-old pup and showered me with love and affection. I learned my most valuable lessons in life through her patience and commitment: obedience; relative dominance; instinct; positive balance; pack leadership; exercise; discipline; affection ... wow, the list could go on and on! In fact, Mrs. B provides inspiration not only to me but to all the lovely (and sometimes the not so nice) people she engages.

When all's said and done, Mrs. B is many things to many people: wife, mother, daughter, lecturer, photographer. But to me, she is a heroine. She took me under her arms and guided me through the intricacies of family life in the WS household and the community of Market Harborough, where I live. No longer am I the immature jump-all-over everybody and everything pup. I am the settled, well-trained dog, content to take my pack position as leader of Henrietta, the hibernating tortoise! Yes, you heard it hear first I learned my leadership skills from Essex Girl, Mrs. B!

Mrs. B won't thank me for saying, 'Essex Girl.' You see I was born in Cheshire. Hence, I am proud to be called Chester. However, Essex Girl has a particular connotation, a British typology, referring to a tarty lady from London's eastern suburbs who speaks with an Estuary English accent. The pejorative image of a dumb blonde with a bimbo persona with white strappy sandals, peroxide hair, and over-indulgent orange suntan oil is NOT where Mrs. B fits. Although a native of the so-called oldest town in Britain: Colchester; Mrs. B hails from the 'Suffolk-side of Essex.'

Unlike the Estuary slang towns of Dagenham, Ilford and Romford, Colchester and the surrounding towns of North-East Essex vocalise in the rapidly disappearing Suffolk dialect. They choose to disassociate themselves from their Cockney neighbours with a very peculiar intonation, where words have a striking agricultural tone, featuring the rise and fall of their pitch as if they speak asking a question.

And so it happens, that Mrs. B is at heart a Suffolk-girl, significantly enhanced by her social and geographical mobility and the influence of the media. She is my pride and joy. My life is enriched by her presence, even though she now has to work extremely hard to make ends meet for us all, and I don't see her as much as I used to.

As Mrs. B's sympathetic friend, I love sharing all her joys and sorrows. For all the compassion she has shown me, I might ask myself if I could cry emotional tears in return. Unfortunately, emotional crying is an action that tends to be associated with you, humans. Still, we dogs do experience emotions and have been known to grieve, but not necessarily by shedding tears. I do miss her, but I still get to see her every evening and weekend. What a blessing!

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