May (boring) Bank Holiday

‘Yay! We are on a bus!’

It is hard to tell which mode of transport, bus or tube, my girl Bella prefers. She appears to get a kick out of watching passersby from the window when she is on a bus, and she always has a long leisurely nap when she is on a tube.

Don’t get too excited, Bella!

Sadly, this bank holiday weekend was not a particularly exciting one. Poor Hubbie was snowed under with urgent projects and had to work through the whole three days except nipping out to a local pub for a Sunday roast lunch.

Hubbie’s only high point during the weekend. Tucking into a huge roast chicken at Eagle the Pub…

After a brief respite with half pint of cider, he had to go back to his PowerPoint presentation.

How about me? I’m not even invited to the feast!

Sorry, Bella. I will make sure that next weekend will be more fun and interesting for you. I promise.

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Scorchio!!!

‘We long for it but also complain about it as soon as it arrives!’ We mused about the sudden arrival of heatwave as we licked ice lorries. Our atelier didn’t have air-conditioning but an electric fan, and the device didn’t help much other than it stirred up the hot air.

Early on yesterday, I met up with my old teammate from ice hockey and had lunch together. We hadn’t seen each other for almost a year, therefore, we had tons to catch up with. While we were busy chatting and eating, Bella was sitting on my lap quietly, no figeting nor begging for attention but looking around what was going on. A model behaviour. Well done, Bella!

Bella on my friends lap, looking at her pasta…

Oh my, it sounded like so many things, some of them were pretty drastic, had happened to a few of my teammates while I was in the thick of my own domestic affairs. All very happy and positive changes, yet, life changing decisions nonetheless! We both agreed that a summer social gathering would have to be organised before some of them disappear to the other side of the earth.

Let’s play with the bubble! I brought a secret weapon for Bella to play with at the studio…

Doggie Incredibubblles!

The bubble was absolutely harmless and peach flavoured. I could hardly want to see how Bella would chase the bubbles with excitement. Well, my good intention disappeared into thin air literally like “bubbles”…

She just ran away! She just hated it. Those bubbles were rather sticky and kept the shape for much longer than normal soap bubbles. She seemed to be freaked out by the bubbles sticking to her all over, especially around her furry face. Therefore, she rolled around the floor, trying to rub the residue off from herself, rather than chasing the bubbles for fun. Oh well, never mind. I will find another entertainment for you, Bella…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Pet London @ Wigmore St

Behold her hairy tum!

The video was taken at Pet London on Wigmore Street. We were there to buy Bella a new harness and had loads of fun during trying on different designs.

Pet London is a godsend to dog owners in U.K., especially of miniature-size breeds, such as Chihuahua, Yorkie, Pomeranian, etc. The boutique stocks a wide variety of products to satisfy all tastes and occasions, super cute or super sporty.

I pondered for ages before deciding on a fluorescent orange harness…

You look great, Ben Ben!

Pet London is also one of a very few model agencies specialized in animals – from dogs to more exotic kinds, such as snakes and elephants! My lovely Mr.B was one of their models before we discovered his heart murmur. Through all the assignments, from NEXT catalogue to Britain’s Next Top Model, we had lots of fun, and I cherished the memories forever.

‘How about Bella? Do you think she has the potential?’ the staff and I mused as we looked on Bella running around with a treat. ‘Nah, she is too excitable and also too sociable.’ I shook my head.

Unlike a typically extravert Bella, Mr.B was mildly introvert who was only interested in pleasing me. Never getting too excited by new things nor people, he was perfect to work in photographic studios and also on locations. He tolerated being handled by others, but his attention was always on me unwaveringly which was in turn great because he always stared at the lens as long as I was standing behind the photographer. Most of commercial photographers hate working with children and animals because of their unpredictability. We encountered a few individuals which did made us feel belittled by throwing negative comments prior to the shoots. However, we always won them over by Mr.B’s impeccable work ethic – no time wasting, no marking and obeying my commands without fail. By the end of every sessions, they were charmed and impressed by us, and gave the agency positive feedbacks. It was funny because I would never have dreamt of registering him to the agency if Hubbie didn’t joke about making him earn his own keep.

Am I not pretty enough to be a fashion model?

Ben Ben, you can’t sit still for even 10 seconds. I don’t think you can be a working model…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Insomniac Yorkie?

For three consecutive nights, Bella disturbed my sleep. She scratched her pen incessantly and repeatedly during the early hours.

Bella, thank you for making me like a zombie…

I let her out of her pen and observed what she was up to. She drank some water and stood there in the dark, looking back at me quizzically. ‘What did you want, Ben Ben?’ I picked her up and put her back in her bed. While lying in my bed and trying to get back to sleep, I was rather concerned because it was two straight nights she woke me up with the same antics. I may give Sandra (Bella’s breeder) a call if it persists, I thought as I dozed off. Then, I was woken up again with the noise only two hours later! This time, she just wanted to play. Oh for God’s sake!! This has to stop.

Mr.B never did anything like this. Unless he was ill, he never woke us up deliberately, Hubbie and I shook our heads as we gazed at her ruefully.

You do push the envelope, don’t you, you little minx?

Last night, I and Bella moved out of the main bedroom so we wouldn’t disturb Hubbie’s sleep. He was still undergoing his treatment for migraine, and the last thing I wanted was Bella’s antics triggering another headache attack.

Guess how many times she woke me up with her scratching?

Eight bl**dy times!! I stuffed my ears with ear plugs but it just didn’t work. Each time, I pretended not to notice, burying myself deep under a duvet. Then, the morning came, and I opened her pen to check if anything was wrong with her. She was absolutely fine and very happy to see me.

This sleeping arrangement will have to continue until I rectify her behaviour. I hope the rehabilitation won’t take too long as I miss my main bedroom!

I do love you, Ben Ben. But you are such a pain in the a**…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Obagi blues

‘This afternoon, the temperature will rise up to 20°C!’ A BBC weather woman chirped. Finally, bloody finally, the summer is crawling forward, and I can finally stop reaching out for a thermostat on the wall! I performed a twirl of joy in front of Bella and Hubbie.

Must make the best out of the weather, I thought. As Hubbie was in Richmond for a photo-shoot, therefore, my presence was not required at work today, I headed to Knightsbridge with Bella in tow.

‘Too windyyyyyy!’, Bella complained.

‘Are we getting on now?’

The skin clinic I had been using for the past four years was on Old Brompton Road, about 5 minutes walk from Harrods.

I underwent an Obagi Nuderm programme in order to improve my skin at the clinic and had been buying their maintenance products from them ever since.

Obagi was an amazing programme, especially the skin with pigmentation. Apart from my freckles, I also had skin prone to blemish if the environment was too humid or dusty. However, my skin became robust, supple and clear once I completed two months’ of Obagi treatment.

‘Are you thinking about doing another course of Obagi Nuderm?’ A friendly staff at the clinic asked me as she handed over a new bottle of Obagi Clear. ‘Ohhh, I would like to but I’m not ready to go through that experience again yet!’ I sighed.

I wouldn’t mind doing the programme a few times a year if it didn’t disrupt my life so severely. During that two months’ period, I had to live like a hermit, avoiding people and sunlight. The skin on my face was permanently red and itchy, and it was shredding and peeling like crazy by the end of each day. The experience did traumatise me in a certain way, and I was not mentally beefed up to the hardship yet. The staff and I both agreed that undergoing a full-on Obagi treatment during the summer months would not be very practical anyway so I should consider it towards the winter.

Having a hairy face would solve all the problem, wouldn’t it, Bella? I need no Obagi…

This is one place Bella will never be welcomed, you bloody Harrods!

Bella’s predecessor, Mr.B was invited to the place once when he was one year old. The store was advertising a wedding service for dogs (!), and we were participating in the photo-shoot. In spite of us having a permission to enter the place, we had to be escorted in & out of the store with a burly security guard with a stony expression which made us feel very unwelcomed…

Eventually, our slow moving No.74 bus had arrived to our favourite department store, the Selfridges…

We like them because they allows dogs into the store. Even though dogs are not permitted to walk on their floors, therefore, they have to be carried, we can shop together.

Bella fitting in perfectly in my Vanessa Bruno tote…

She seemed to like being carried around in a bag like this as long as she could look around.

After checking over their denim department for Khloe Kardashian’s Good American, we descended to the beauty department on the ground floor. I needed by a tube of Touche Éclat by YSL ‘Aww, what a cute puppy!’ Makeup artists at YSL squealed as they ran their fingers through Bella’s mop. I explained to them that I wanted the concealer to compliment my MUFE stick foundation. Soon, they found a very good match and my missions of the day were complete.

After arriving back to Old Street, I enjoyed a cup of mocha at Shoreditch Grind…

Oh Bella, I have an itchy eye! I hate hay fever…

Do you think having a fringe like yours will help my eyes from a pollen attack?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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