Saturday, 16 January 2016

I've heard of a Dog's Dinner but...a Dog's Diary!!

I am delighted to welcome Dougal Stephenson to the blog today following the launch on Thursday of his book, Dougal’s Diary.

I wouldn’t want to suggest that you are ever anything less than beautifully turned out, but some are saying this is the ultimate in shaggy stories. Are you offended by these comments?
I am quite delighted by the expression. It’s good to know someone gets my dress sense. Now, the perfect season for what I call ‘my dinner and dance’ or ‘booted and suited-look’; black mud stuck to face, neck, feet and legs.

What prompted you to write your diary? Don’t tell me you were bored because the boss wouldn’t take you for a walk!
Boredom no! Desperation, yes! No satin cushions to sleep on, no Xmas stocking filled with sugar mice. Thin as a whistle and not one single fry-up in a transport café. Writing my diary saved my sanity.

Speaking of the boss, can you tell us, discreetly of course, something about your relationship with her?
Oh you mean the forgotten meal times. The hours enduring London transport.  Even baths without aromatherapy oils or hair dryer, so the smell of wet fur lingers for days.  Despite all, we are one, each other’s constant companion. I can read her mind. I often wish I couldn’t. Have I become more human? Has she turned more dog?

Do you feel you landed on your paws when you moved from Margate to London?
On good day yes. On bad days, such as having the snip, or going to puppy classes. No with a capital N.

Truly, and you know you can be honest with me, how did you feel when you had another four-legged friend foisted upon you?
That green-eyed monster struck. I hit rock bottom, tried contacting the Queen to see if she had space on her bed for another. Never heard a dickie bird. Perhaps I got the post code wrong. Maybe the Corgis ate my letter.

And, finally, do you plan to continue with your diary or are you moving on to other things?
Dogs are creatures of habit, so I shall do it privately. I considered moving to poetry. But after
“To jump or not to jump.”
I wandered lonesome as a lemming
fearful dreams of clifftops stemming
I realised my talents lay in prose, not verse.
Right now I'm in communication with the One Show. Since Chris Evan's departure they've  been searching for a charismatic presenter. Paws crossed

It may be tactful if you could supply some information here about the boss – just so she doesn’t feel left out
Okay, if I have to…

Sarah Stephenson joined the Bristol School of Dancing aged seven. She spent much of her childhood performing in prisons, theatres, old people’s homes and the Grand Palais, in Paris. Later she trained as an actress, working with Mike Leigh and other distinguished directors. When the children arrived she trained as a Chef, and when they’d finally flown the nest, catered in Europe, Britain and the United States, giving private dinner parties. When she’s not writing, Sarah still works as a cook.

She looks perfectly normal to me. Guess you didn’t do so badly after all.


Twitter: @SvsStephenson

Twitter: @DougalDiary


  1. Thoroughly enjoyable read. Dougal is a real character, I think Sarah has her hands ful with his ambitions alone. I'm looking forward to reading his diary. Well done Dougal!

    1. He was such a joy to interview. He know's where he's going, does that one - and good luck to him, I say!

    2. Dougal is so exhausted after his launch day; the photo sessions, hours of meet and greet and interviews,he begs you to forgive him for not replying personally. He has asked me to pass on his deepest thanks.

    3. I totally understand, Sarah. I'm prone to the occasional cat nap offence intended

  2. Lovely interview. Hope he gets his reply from Her Maj soon!

    1. Hope so, Viv. Dougal, maybe you should check that postcode!

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  4. This is very very cute! Great Q&A & pictures of course.


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  6. Excellent and such fun to read. Unfortunately I think stardom has gone to Dougal's head

    1. I think you could be right, Sally. I hear he's volunteered to do a book signing - he's ready to put his best paw forward