Welcome to Cockerpoo Cottage

Roundabouts remind me of two people. Firstly, my father-in-law who infamously walked across to the Coxbridge Roundabout and then proceeded to walk around it. When asked why, he replied “Because it was there.

Secondly they remind me of Bill. Before he tragically died of an unexpected heart attack, Bill designed and implemented all sorts of street furniture. Once, on the way to a football game, along with Nicktor, we had an interesting conversation about possibly building roundabouts with claymore mines around the edges in order to slow down HGVs. I don’t think he actually managed to do it but what fun if he did.

So, today, when we drove back from picking up the girls, the new roundabout being built into a new estate on Folly Hill, turned my thoughts to Bill.

We once lived on Folly Hill though a bit further on from this new roundabout. The new estate is to the right, close to where the car is approaching. If there were deadly mines, I didn’t see them.

The dogs had been to Kate’s for their usual trim. I had walked them up in the morning and Mirinda kindly drove me up in the afternoon to retrieve them.

As usual, they were a bit fluffy. And, also as usual, they were not easy to photograph.

Oddly, they hate it when I first drop them off. I’ve mentioned before how they shiver and shake, as if being left outside a rather nasty headmistress’s office. Today was no different but, as I talked to Kate when I collected them, both of them showed how fond of her they actually are. Emma even made a fuss.

Of course, Kate said the shivers and shakes stop as soon as the gate is closed behind me so maybe I’m the problem.

On the walk back home, I sat for a short rest and had quite a few dogs come up and say hello. No doubt this was because I had an empty lead and collars next to me. Except for one. Little Luna always makes a beeline for me. Naturally, I made a huge fuss of her.

Back at home I christened our house with a new sign. Let me explain…

For as long as we’ve owned our own home, we’ve wanted a house with a name. Although we’ve owned a few over the years, only one had a name. Our log cabin in Katoomba was called Longbourn, courtesy of a wooden sign we had made.

At one stage, we had considered calling our Haslemere house Poodle Palace but that never happened.

Then, a few months ago, Mirinda said we should get a house sign with Cockerpoo Cottage on it for the front of the house. I searched and found someone who made them on a slab of slate. I ordered one and then waited.

Eventually the sign turned up and, today, I put it on the wall.

I reckon it looks good.

Today, this happened

On the evening of October 7, 1761, 17 year old James Fennings was out for a pleasant evening stroll in Whitechapel. Minding his own business but having been caught somewhat short, he relieved himself, discretely against a wall.

It seems that James wasn’t discrete enough. A couple of women, Mary Kitching and Elizabeth Alexander, decided he’d like to pay for the privilege of spending some time with them. He politely said he’d rather not and went to walk on the other side of the road.

They followed then grabbed his arms and forced him into an alley then up some stairs to their room. Once inside, one locked the door and the other asked if he had any money to pay for her. He said he didn’t have any money but if he did, he wouldn’t spend it on her.

Clearly upset with his comment, Mary, or Fat Moll as she was more accurately known, searched his pocket, coming up with the princely sum of 9 shillings and 3 pence halfpenny. She took the 9 shillings and gave him back the shrapnel. She told him that would do and threw him out of the room.

Naturally, all of this commotion woke quite a few people from their beds. One of them, John Buckley, was an off duty constable. He turned up and asked what was going on. Young James said he wanted a constable because he’d just been robbed. Buckley said that was handy and arrested Fat Moll and Elizabeth, taking them to the watch house.

According to Fat Moll, none of this happened. She claimed it was James who accosted her, wanting to pay for sex. When she said no, he became aggressive and forced himself upon her. She knew nothing about the 9 shillings which was mysteriously found on her person.

For her crime, of which she was found guilty, she was transported for seven years. Australia hadn’t been discovered (by Captain Cook) yet so she was probably sent to a penal colony in America. Either way, her life probably improved.

I do wonder whether she was actually guilty, though. Or did James proposition her, forced the 9 shillings into her hand only to have her reject his advances. We’ll never know.

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