Friday, 28 May 2010

“I must get a drink of water”, she muttered.

“How long have you been in the Art business?” Mr Greig asked.

“Far too long,” said Mistress.

“Would you mind giving me a proper answer, Miss Taylor,” Mr Greig snapped.

He had interrogation skills. He reminded me of the trainer on Hampstead Heath whose verbal commands were so fierce, half his dogs ran away.

“Twelve years,” said Mistress.

“I see,” Mr Greig replied.

“No you don’t!” cried Mistress. “The Nude has been depicted since the beginning of time. What about the Greeks and the Kama Sutra? What about Picasso?”

At this point, I wanted to help her. After all, she had brought me up to be the pug I am.

I barked and I barked again.

“I am not talking about the celebrated Nude or Picasso,” said Mr Greig. “Our enquiries lead us to believe that there are indecent images connected with your working practice. I am in charge of the investigation.”

Mr Grieg pulled at the collar of his big, black coat.

Mistress began to cry. I was going to have to prop her up later.

At this point, I heard the key turn in the door. It was Marek. As usual, he was whistling in his good humoured way and he came up the stairs two at a time. Never have I been so pleased to see a human in my life.

“What is this?” he asked, spreading his hands wide. He took in Mistress’s sobs and the man who stood with his arms folded. Mr Grieg made her office seem very small. The Gestapo in the office.

“What is going on, Julia?” “Why are you crying?” Marek asked.

“I’ve been accused of parading pornography on the internet. Can you believe it?” Mistress’s voice had fallen to a whisper.

Marek took a step back. “I see,” he said slowly. “May be I explain.”

I sat down on my bottom and felt my curly tail tremble. Something was in the offing.

“I have been working with pornographic photographs taken direct from the Internet. I am helping a friend from Warsaw, a Professor, whose subject is Surrealism. He has this project, a very important project.”

Marek gave a shrug. “Everyone does it, you know,” he said.

“I see,” replied Mr Greig.

He took one of his large hands out of his pocket and with it, a notebook and a pen.

Mistress had her mouth open. She couldn’t utter a word.

“And your name is?” Mr Greig asked.

I swear Marek’s eyes turned the colour of coal.

“My name is Marek Czcibor,” he said.

Most dogs know the look that can kill. Marek had it now. I gave what I thought was a fierce growl, but nobody paid me any attention.

Mr Greig wrote something down on his note pad.

“And how long have you been in this country, Mr Czcibor?”

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


“I do receive dozens of images every day,” said Mistress. “You have no idea what comes through. Looking at nudes is quite normal in this business, to be honest.”

She gave a hollow laugh. We were upstairs in the office. I was still tingling from the way Mistress had towelled the two of us down in just a few seconds.

“Hmmm …” replied Mr Greig.

He stood taking up all our work space. His arms were akimbo and I noted the mop of dark hair. Wild and shaggy, like the wrong type of canine.

It was hard to know whether Mistress was putting it on, but she was certainly acting the part of a helpless Pre-Raphaelite damsel. As a puppy, I had lain across her huge volume of Victorian Art and got to know a thing or two. I had always been partial to Arthur Hughes, as a matter of fact.

What the hell was he going to say next, I wondered? I didn’t even have a bone with me to create a diversion. Somehow I knew that Mr Grieg was not a dog lover and that might just be more of a problem.

Stay with me, folks, and find out how we deal with this alien species.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

We walked on to the Cemetery, which is close to our house and I had a good scamper between the graves. Mistress is always peering at the marble slabs and composing the sort of eulogy that she would like to read in remembrance of herself.

Having just bent down to look at some lines dedicated to the short life of Florence Madden, disaster struck. My right leg went through a patch of ice and for a few moments, I was paralysed .

“Oh my God!” shouted Mistress. “Hello! Is anybody there?”

A hard pelting rain had begun to fall. I was turning into an ice pack.

“Hello,” Mistress called again. She was now on her hands and knees for the second time this afternoon and trying to poke the ice around my leg. There was a snap. Her left arm went straight into the water beneath.

“Yikes!” she cried.

Well there wasn’t anybody there. After a long tussle, Mistress managed to retrieve me and I had to go into my pirouette routine to feel the blood flowing. It was a very close shave, I can tell you.

“Stop it, you foul dog!” Mistress yelled. “You’re making me even wetter.”

I was.

We made our miserable way out of the Cemetery and across the road. The rain was giving me pins and needles. I sniffed my way down the parade of shops as I usually do, but my heart wasn’t in it.

When we got to the front door, with both of us in the most pathetic state, there was a tall man standing in the porch, about to ring the bill. He wore a full length black coat and long black boots. I thought he smelt of musty interiors and light industry. The computer kind.

“Miss Taylor?” the man enquired.

“Yes,” said Mistress.

She pointed to her dripping clothes and at me, her dripping dog.

“Sorry about this, but we had a bit of trouble in the Cemetery and …”

She stopped.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

The man wiped his mouth with a handkerchief. He took a card from his top pocket.

My name is Mr Grieg.” he said. “Are you Julia Taylor?”

“Yes,” said Mistress.

The man had very large hands.

“Miss Taylor” he said, “I am here to talk to you about some inappropriate computer files that you are known to have been using.”