Slow recovery

17 April 2016
Ben Pentreath

Some of you may have been wondering where I’d gone. The day before we were meant to go to Lisbon, I came down with a really horrible flu. I woke that morning hardly able to croak to Charlie “I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it”. And then spent the next 8 days in bed…. That sort of flu.

There was one bright thing on the horizon though…. and that’s our new puppy.  Meet Mavis!


Charlie’s been looking for a puppy for ages. Suddenly, a lady he’d been in touch with ages ago called him to say that someone had pulled out of taking a puppy – would we still like her? There was a mad dash to Cumbria to collect her, and a long drive home with a little bundle of black fur.

Mavis was an amazing good soulmate when I was feeling so under the weather (well, so too was Charlie). When I began to recover a bit, Charlie and Mavis headed down for a couple of days to Dorset to look after the garden. They drove back up yesterday and we’ve had a very quiet weekend surrounded by a lot of flowers.

This morning, for instance, we went to Columbia Road with Maggie.P1000009 P1000012

Mavis was very happy to meet Carl Grover, and Carl was VERY happy to meet Mavis…P1000014 P1000016‘Mavis’….!
P1000018 P1000023 P1000024

But we didn’t really need to buy any flowers. This is what Charlie brought up from the garden:P1000036 P1000037

The tulips ‘Salmon Impression’ are the size of giant magnolia flowers….P1000039

We went for a wander around Soho, in the sunshine…P1000040 P1000044 P1000045

And back home past the British Museum….P1000053

But we’ve mainly spent the afternoon in the sunshine on the terrace, which is bursting with tulips…P1000057 P1000058 P1000060 P1000064

…. and trying to persuade Mavis not to eat shoes/trainers/laptop cords/the carpet/the contents of the fireplace/you name it….

We’ve had a lovely weekend. We’ve re-booked our holiday to Lisbon in the autumn (thank you for all the tips), so I’m really looking forward to that then. But just for now, never has it as been as nice to just walk around London in the sunshine than after a week in bed. It’s quite a weird sensation looking at the world with new eyes, blinking, the outside feeling so unfamiliar.  But it’s that time of year where if you miss a week, you blink and you feel the world is rushing by.  I’m looking forward to getting back into things!

20 comments on this post

Or dear Maevis. We have a new puppy in the garden as well, and dealing with the same thing – yanked tulips, a hole that goes nearly through to China, and some gooseberries uprooted – but who cares!. Our pups sister is named Maevis as well, which honestly, caused my partner Joe to exclaim – “who could ever call their dog Maevis?”. Well, now we know. Surely we are upon a stylish trend. Greeting from New England – where it’s been raining for a week now, thankfully (but some sun, would be welcome!).

Enrico Tozzisays:

Where do you buy the tulips ?
I like your posts. Bye.

Deborah Wagnersays:

Dogs are the best people! Congratulations!

We live with an aged West Highland White Terrier named Iris, and she and her late sister Rhododendron (aka Rhoda) transformed our lives.

A tip, in the event that Mavis is your first dog: Routine is all important to dogdom. A dog whose life runs on a strong routine is a happy and secure dog.

Best dog movie ever: Dean Spanley

Licks all around.



Mavis has fans in Cape Town….BillyBob , Moose , Duncan and OtherKitty send love…

So sorry to hear about your illness, glad you are on the mend. (I hope Charlie doesn’t catch flu…) Mavis is charming, all country gentlemen need a dog! I am sure she will present you with many blogortunities. The London terrace is gorgeous–all those tulips, and no deer to devour them. Heavenly!




Now would also be the time to get a kitten. Preferably short-haired grey. Just saying. Best, Nicola


I don’t know who I love more; Mavis or Carl…….


Oh Mavis is the most delightful little pup!


Ben you make Monday bearable. I look forward to your email! Congrats and welcome to Mavis. She’s the cutest punkin’. Thank you for your dedication to posting–living vicariously!

So very glad you are feeling better—Mavis was the cure for the flu. The flowers look wonderful! Have a great week.
xo, lissy

Keep the puppy pictures coming, I wish she could stay so tiny! What adventures you are all going to have together. xx

suzy Fanningsays:

Ben, I think you can simply post pictures of Mavis as blog entries in the future and all will be happy. As the owner of a wonderful black lab called Charlie, it makes me smile to remember how small he was as a puppy. Over 100lbs now! Can’t wait to see Mavis romping around the garden in Dorset.


what a fantastic roof garden but not as lovely as the garden in Dorset; spectacular! We have lots of canine visitors and had to put a small sign next to their water bowl – ‘no digging in the garden please’ …..also, cute dog and cute name!!!!


Ben, make this the last year you fail to get a flu shot. Eight days of illness? Yikes! Congratulations on sweet little Mavis.

Diane H.says:

Ben, so glad you are feeling better! Please, Mavis needs an instagram page pronto! xoxo


So glad you are on the mend, what a nuisance. Lovely pictures as always, the roof terrace looks fantastic and as for Mavis, beautiful. Happy times ahead for your new little family 🙂

Pierre B.says:

Mavis is irresistable. May you three be as happy as possible as long as possible!


Love the dog ,glad better but. OH OH that sign of Hercules


Oh you are going to have such fun, but my goodness me, are you in for a shock. I have a one year old black Lab who, despite fabulous good manners and a quiet and gentle nature, charges through my flower beds with no respect for the existing or the emerging: Narcissus – crunch, aliums – snap. However, putting all this horticultural destruction aside (poor Charlie’s new beds,) you will be completely blinded by love for Mavis who looks a complete stunner. I won’t even mention the wee stains on the grass ….


Oh Ben
What a little gem,lovely Mavis she will bring you so much happiness

Jan and Rosie (cocker spaniel)

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