Smiling

IMG_0035 This is a picture of me smiling.  One of her colleagues asked recently whether I ever smile,  which I thought was quite rude, but there you go.  As you can see, I am clearly smiling in this picture and this has nothing to do with gravitational pull exerting force on my face and pulling it into a smiley expression.  I frequently lie upside down like this of an evening, smiling.  To be honest, I don’t have a lot to smile about, which  you will know if  you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time.

Today has been a case in point.  Lovelyneighbourontheright had to go away for the day, so we have had their Cockapoo puppy here all day.  It has annoyed me. Admittedly it has stopped jumping on my head and trying to play with me, but still it follows me around like a lost soul, picking up things that don’t belong to it such as flip-flops and socks.  So I haven’t had much to smile about today.  I’ve had two walks and plenty of company so I suppose I shouldn’t moan, but I will.  Lad has worked incredibly hard today, from 10.30am until 6pm on revision.  This is a very good effort, and means he deserves to shout and scream for four hours on the Xbox tonight.  Poor Lad.  Much of this gargantuan effort is due to them  being Out All Day tomorrow, which means Lad will get no work done at all.  This is selfish of them.  There is some large family gathering for a nice lunch in a place far away, and I’m rather annoyed not to be going as the Australian Relatives are going to be there, and I got on very well with them last time.  The venue is “not dog friendly,” plus the inevitable two hours of heavy traffic on the M25 each way will be unpleasant.  I’m being farmed out to people yet again for the day.  Thankfully Ebony’s Pack Leader has said I can go there – really, I don’t know why I bother coming home between visits. 

It is very peaceful here at the moment.  Lad has gone to have a shower after his efforts, and Young Lad has fallen asleep on his bed.  This is due to a heavy workload today.  Young Lad not only put away three huge bags of food shopping, all in the right place for once, but he has also emptied the airing cupboard!!  Yes, he sorted everyone’s clothes into piles and placed them on everyone’s beds, even managing to fold up the towels and attempt to fold up the sheets.  This last bit didn’t work quite as well, but he has short arms.  But really, quite a supreme effort from Young Lad, and when you consider he has also completed three pieces of homework, you can see why he’s needed to take a nap.  One of these homework tasks was a Science spelling test.  Now, In Science Young Lad has been learning about reproduction, and the spelling test on was words to do with this.  A computerised American voice would say a word, such as FERTILISATION, and then Young Lad had to type the correct spelling into the laptop.  Readers, just stop for a moment and think which kinds of words are generally used in the Reproduction topic.  How I was meant to get any sleep this afternoon, with the laptop shouting out PENIS!  or VAGINA! I really don’t know.  There must  be better ways of doing this task.  TESTES!

But right now it is wonderfully quiet.  The patio doors are open and there is much birdsong from the trees.  A family of blue tits has been frequenting the bird table lately, which is all very well but they are rather small, and don’t knock the bread and stuff all over the shop, like the stupid collared doves do. I like it when it’s quiet like this, and God Knows it doesn’t happen often.  Poor He has been at work since silly o’clock this morning, and won’t be home till late.  He will be very tired, especially as He had a late night last night.  In fact, Readers, we all did.  This was due to yet more shoddy parenting and selfishness.  He had a party to attend in a town far away, so He wasn’t here. Then She went out with some friends, to socialise, so She wasn’t here.  Poor Young Lad was left on his own ALL EVENING in the lounge, to lie on the sofa and watch TV.  Yes he enjoys this, but that’s not the point.  I did my best to look after him, but was unable to stay awake.  Lad was theoretically in charge, but as Lad was in the other room screaming at the Xbox for four hours, this is debatable.  To be fair, Lad did  wander into the lounge on an hourly  basis (roughly)  to check that we were all still alive, but this is hardly good parenting.  And to leave a huge bag of Wispa bites, a tube of Pringles and some sugar-free cloudy lemonade is no recompense for proper adult supervision.  It’s very poor.

I had a nice time at dear Pippa’s house yesterday, while everyone was at work/school.  Pippa was extremely pleased to see me, and I showed a lot of interest in her Pack Leader’s cheese sandwich at lunchtime.  Now you might think I’d had enough cheese the other day to last me a lifetime, but I barely remember that a day or two later.  Readers, I pushed my luck a little today, and started barking for my dinner at 1.15pm.  As you know, my dinner time is 4pm, but I thought I’d give it a go today and see how quickly they caved in.  It took twenty minutes of whining and silly barks, for them to cave in.  I had half my dinner just after 1.30pm.  Then I repeated the whining and barking at 3pm and had the other half.  Then we went for a long walk, and I asked for my dinner at 4.30pm and had the other half.  I think I did quite well this afternoon and they are rubbish at maths.

Well, it’s time for their dinner which tonight is yet another frozen processed affair of fish fingers and chips.  They did have lots of salad for lunch, so it is deemed appropriate to eat rubbish for dinner.  I’m looking forward to this evening as it’s a cuddle on the sofa type night, with She and Young Lad, as they watch the new season of Chicago PD (yep, another one).  That’s if Young Lad ever wakes up from his nap – I feel he has overdone things today.  I have, too.

Time for a kip.

See you soon,

Russell

Cheese on toast

115481011_0_640x640I was bad yesterday.  In the evening, pity was taken on Young Lad when he returned from  a hard day at school and cricket practice, and cheese on toast was made for him as a late evening snack.  Now, it isn’t prudent to leave a large slab of mild cheddar on the working surface and turn your back – clearly nothing has been learned from previous mistakes.  So while She turned round to get the bread out of the bread bin, I jumped up and snatched the slab of cheese, running as fast as I could down the garden with it.  Oh the screaming.  I hid under a bush and tried to chank my way through it – just imagine how physically hard it is to eat a whole slab of cheddar – but She came at me under the bushes with the broom, so I had to run out and hide in the goal mouth.  Obviously there was now no point in pursuing me, as the cheddar had virtually gone and no way would I have let anyone take the rest out of my mouth.  Such was the shouting and screeching of, “you NAUGHTY NAUGHTY boy!!!” that the nice neighbours on the right looked over the fence to see what was going on.  They found it very funny that I had run off with the cheese, and that cheese on toast was now not possible and Young Lad would be having just toast.  The nice neighbours on the right and She stood there chatting, and laughing about the Nature of Beagles in a whimsical way, whilst I finished eating, but of course as soon as we went back inside I was sent to my bed.  By God that cheese was nice.  I needed a lot of water in the evening, though.

Then this morning, I was moaned at for needing a comfort break at 5am – well, I’d had loads to drink, hadn’t I! – and taking too long over it.  That time of the morning is really lovely, and the garden has a quiet freshness to it that deserves to be savoured.  I like to stand under the apple tree for a long, long time looking around and thinking.  However this doesn’t please everyone, as they want to get back to bldy bed as the bldy alarm will be going off in forty minutes will you HURRY UP!!  For goodness’ sake.   A bit later on, Young Lad was again too busy looking at his phone when he should have been eating his breakfast, and I helped myself to his toast.  I’m sorry that Young Lad has been targeted twice like this, but if a better standard of parenting was shown, neither of these events would have happened.  This is because:

1.  Good parents would enforce the no phones during meals rule.  Abysmal.

2.  Good parents would not be making cheese on toast for their offspring at 9pm as cheese is high in fat and salt, and not good for aiding restful sleep. Good parents would have provided a mug of Ovaltine and some banana tea loaf.

Ergo, I was well within my rights to intervene in both of these cases of neglect.

Anyway, I’ve  had a marvellous day today.  We had a nice walk this morning by the river – I still limped when She looked – and the silly fast pace was kept down by a severe problem with hayfever.  Apparently the pollen count this week is one of the highest it’s ever been, and this was not helped by the cricket bat willow trees sending off clouds of white puffy  stuff into the air.  There are a lot of cricket bat willow trees by the river, and therefore a lot of white puffy stuff.  After two miles of sneezing, gasping and trying to rip one’s eyes out, we called it a day and headed home.  Perfect.  Once home, I had a lovely sleep upside down in my chair, while She watched a Belgian noir drama thing (a refreshing change from the more northerly Scandi ones) whilst holding a cold compress to her eyes and trying to breathe.  It was very peaceful apart from the sneezing and gasping.  Then, Friends, things took a more exciting turn.  I was told we were going visiting!!  I LOVE doing this!  It’s so much more interesting at other people’s houses than mine.  First of all we popped in to her place of work – initially I was told to wait in the car, but as it was quite hot in what is essentially a tin box, I was allowed in the building for a few minutes!! Oh the fun I had, dropping my white hairs all over the nice blue carpet in the office.  I was stroked and talked to and made a fuss of by a beautiful and gentle lady in the office and I loved it.  The first thing I did was look in the bin, of course, but after that I responded to the adoration.  The carpet wouldn’t have had quite so much white hair on it, if I hadn’t been stroked so much – it wasn’t my fault.  Anyway, it’s overdue for a good hoovering in there.

Then we drove on, to visit Sicknote.  Normally this is a very relaxed affair, and I like it at Sicknote’s house as there is a tin of Chedigree Plum treats and I know where she keeps it.   Charlie lives there too, and I like him because he and I wander round the garden slowly, cocking our leg on various things and barking ferociously at anyone that walks past up the lane.  But not today.  Today was very different, Readers, as Sicknote has only gone and acquired a puppy!  Yes, a youngster of my close relative the Bassett Hound.  Now this annoyed me, and I feel it is a mistake.  The little ankle-biter followed me round and round the garden, trying to make me play with her, and you all know that I just don’t do that.  It irked me quite a bit, and detracted from my chilled afternoon with the much more mature Charlie.  It was rather like being followed around by a large lop-eared rabbit – yes, divine velvety ears, yes, wonderful loose wrinkly coat, yes brown eyes to die for – but really.  Eventually I took pity on the little chit of a thing, and did run round the garden in a silly tail-between-the-legs way for her to chase me.  I did this twice.  That was more than enough.  So for the rest of the afternoon, while She and Sicknote drank cups of tea and tried to chat, I barked and brayed at all the annoying dog walkers walking past Sicknote’s property.  Charlie joined in and we made a heck of  a racket.  This was to show how protective we are of the new Bassett Hound puppy, but of course it wasn’t appreciated.  I was moaned at and sent inside.

Lad has had more exams and has also had more money-making ideas, that don’t involve leaving the house.  This is very clever, and Lad should be respected far more than he is, if you ask me.  Lad has been doing well with his money-making schemes, though a technical hitch today means that he has had to stop, and start again in the name of someone who is legally an adult and therefore able to do these things. Poor Lad.  He is not deterred by a mere legal technicality, though, and this speaks volumes of his determination.  Young Lad, on the other hand, is having a bit of a mare this week.  Yesterday he forgot to put any clothes in his cricket bag, which was needed for the evening.  This meant a lunchtime dash across town so that She could grab his cricket clothes and put them in the right place.  Then today, Young Lad knew full well that he had after-school cricket.  This time he packed his PE kit, but forgot his trainers, so this meant another lunchtime dash across town to grab his trainers and take them to his school.  Imagine how amusing She found it when, after school, Young Lad phoned her to say he couldn’t find his PE kit and maybe he hadn’t packed it after all……….. Stern words were had, about organisation.

I’ve been to Ebony’s house twice this week, and it was wonderful each time.  Tomorrow I’m going to dear, dear Pippa’s and I’m looking forward to this.  I’m rather hoping the cheese has gone through my system by then, as there might be a bit of clearing up needed and that’s not fair on their Pack Leaders.  To be honest I’ll be glad to get away from all the bldy hay fever, sneezing, moaning and rasping breaths that are spoiling my evening here.

Golly, I’m tired from those two short sprints round Sicknote’s garden.

Bye for now,

Russell

Vanished

IMG_0011 Readers, here are Gingercat and I in the garden looking for things. Gingercat is looking for any birds that might have fallen off the bird table, and I’m trying to find my bone.  You would not believe how many things have gone missing in this house lately.  It beggars belief.

1. One pair of Young Lad’s school trousers.  This represents 50% of his total collection of school trousers.

2.  Three, yes, three pairs of reading glasses.

3.  The connection lead to the portable hard drive, on which a Lot Of Important Stuff is Stored.

4. Lad’s retainers.  These are plastic mouthguard things to keep in check all the orthodontic work that has gone on.  Without them, the orthodontic work may be rendered useless.

5.  The garlic press.  (?)

6.  The decent nail scissors.

It worries me how poor the level of organisation is in my home, and I don’t feel completely safe, at times.  How can so many things go missing? I’m quite sure your own houses aren’t in this state of chaos all the time.  And is if to emphasise the point, Lad has just announced that he doesn’t have a day off tomorrow, after all, and in fact has an Economics exam in the afternoon.  It would appear that She didn’t read the exam timetable very carefully when writing it out and pinning it on the wall.  Thank goodness one of Lad’s friends reminded him about the Economics exam.  Of course, there is now mild panic because it was assumed that I would be at home with Lad all day, and I’m now on my own.  So there is hasty whatsapping and texting going on.  Really.

I’ve been shouted at tonight, Readers, which I feel is unfair.  We were all having dinner in the garden, in an attempt to make Lad and Young Lad experience fresh air, and a  nice meal of crispy jacket potatoes, omelette and salad was being eaten.  I just happened to find a tasty snack for myself at the edge of the lawn and sat down to eat it.  Quite unnecessarily there was screeching at me.  I had, in fact, found a dead baby blue tit that had clearly failed on its first attempt to fly.  Yes, it was pretty; blue and yellow nature at its finest.  Yes, it was an innocent little life that had only just begun.  But it tasted bldy good, Friends, and I don’t see why me crunching it next to them was such a problem.   It was dead, for the love of God!  I’m a hunting dog!  Oh the scolding and moaning that went on – honestly.  The main concern, apart from the dear little bird being crunched, was what it will do my flatulence.

Well, I’m glad to say that other friends of mine have been in trouble recently, and it isn’t just me.  I told you about the dog who ate the two home-made quiches.  Today I saw Lexie down at the river, and it appears she helped herself to the hairdresser’s bottle of bleach-based colourant when it was left on the side.  Lexie appears to be fine, but the carpets have fared less well.  It is in our nature to be inquisitive, and this should be celebrated, not scorned.  I’ve been very inquisitive with the recycling bags today.  There was a mildly special occasion here yesterday, and a take-away pizza was just the ticket for dinner to celebrate.  They NEVER have take-away pizza, as they only cost £3.49 in Tesco and really how much bldy effort is it to stick them in the bldy oven?  So this was a momentous evening. Lad and Young Lad were really hoping for a Dominohsopricey takeaway pizza, but this was poo pooed in favour of Fr Jim’s pizzas, who are a fraction of the bldy price of bldy Dominohsopricey.  So at 6.20pm precisely, the very rare sight of a pizza delivery man was spotted outside our house.  Readers, it smelled fantastic. I whined and barked, and did the usual look-at-my-big-brown-eyes thing until someone gave me a crust.  Anyway, the empty pizza boxes were put outside the back door in recycling bags, where they didn’t stay for long as I have distributed them all round the garden.  It looks pretty.

I’ve just had my evening walk around the Rec.  I didn’t really need another one, having managed two miles at the river this morning (I still limp a bit if I see her looking at me), but someone has been given a Fitbit.  This is a disaster.  The pace per mile/how many miles/how many calories have we managed to burn off was bad enough before, but now it will be obsessional.  That is, if She can work out how to use the Fitbit, which doesn’t appear straightforward.  There are no instructions, and there has been some mild swearing whilst trying to download the app and work out how the bldy hell it works.  Something must have gone right, because an email has been received to say that your Fitbit’s battery is low.  Oh dear.  Add to this the frustration of the laptop losing half of its systems during some sort of update, and you can sense the technological unease there is here.  Something called Google Chrome has disappeared completely and an hour has been spent today trying to get it back.  Unsuccessfully.

Yesterday everyone was at work and at school, so I went to dear, dear Ebony’s house for daycare.  We had a super time together, and I enjoyed our walk on which I didn’t limp at all, and made a cracking job of keeping up with Ebony’s running!  I also, Friends, took on a large Rottweiler.  I felt sure he was about to attack my dear Ebony, so I launched a counter attack, forgetting that I am a small rotund beagle, and he is a Fighting Machine.  It wasn’t my best decision ever, I will admit, and thankfully our Pack Leaders managed to intervene before the Rottweiler ripped my ears off.  But Ebony was very, very proud of me for defending her, I’m sure.  If she noticed.

Young Lad had a hospital appointment this morning, Readers, during which he slouched down in the chair, with his legs spread out and yawned a lot.  When asked how things were going, he gave very helpful answers such as yeah, fine, fine, yeah and yawned a bit more.  This enabled them to make a clear diagnosis and there is no concern about his stress levels.  This isn’t a surprise, but good all the same.

This evening it is fairly peaceful as Lad is in the bath revising Economics for tomorrow (you think?), and Young Lad and He are watching Cricket Highlights on the telly.  She of course is sulking in the other room, trying to catch up with 24 Hours in Police Custody, which was very exciting last week.  Cricket has been a bit of a theme here over the weekend, as He played in a match and got over 100 runs!  This is no mean feat and we were very proud of He.  I’m not sure how long it took to get 100 runs, as He doesn’t run very fast, and might explain why he wasn’t home until 10pm, but very well done, He.

Well, thank the Lord for that.  Ebony’s Pack Leader has come to the rescue yet again and said I can go there tomorrow, when Lad goes off for his exam.  It is meant to be a nice day, so I think I’ll lie in their garden on the cushion, and eat any bird seed that drops.  This, combined with the baby blue tit, could make for some interesting digestion.

Golly I’m tired.  A Fitbit, for goodness’ sake!

See you soon,

Russell

Help yourself!

0005421_knuckle-bone-for-dogsTonight, Readers, they’ve been out for dinner. Again.  This is the second time in a week, and is unacceptable.  I really was cross about this, so while they were out, I had a good look around. The bins had been emptied, the bedroom doors shut, and the recycling went with the dustmen this morning.  In the absence of anything else to do, I opened the food cupboard (which Regular Readers know is now the plastic bags and irritating Tupperware cupboard as I raided it once too often.)  But what a result!  The HUGE bone that had been bought for me last week to keep me quiet at Nana aged 87’s house and not used, had been put on the shelf in this cupboard!!!  What a reckless error!! Oh my word, I couldn’t believe my luck.  Without further ado, I dragged the HUGE knuckle bone into the lounge and ripped off the plastic covering.  I will spend the rest of the evening gnawing and chewing, making a bldy annoying grating sound, and building up lots of wind. This serves them right for going out to eat twice in one week, which is downright immoral.

Anyway, Readers, it amused me to hear the saga of this meal out.  He had booked a table at a nice restaurant to which He hadn’t ever been, and miscalculated in which town the restaurant was situated.  Instead of going south they went north.  Anyway, it was a lovely evening to be driving round the back roads of the county, and Lad and Young Lad weren’t sick in the back of the car, which makes a change.  Once He realised that the restaurant was not where he thought it was, they turned abruptly and headed south.  For quite a long way.  This was funny and made everyone in the car laugh a lot. Once at the restaurant, the maitre d’ mistook them for part of a large party and took them to the wrong table.  Then they had to move. The menus came and the food was Posh and Lovely.  Unfortunately neither Lad nor Young Lad are posh or lovely, and asked where the cod and chips were.  To be fair to Lad, he felt he could try Skate Wing, but  Young Lad showed no such resolve.  Thankfully there was a children’s menu that had chicken breast and chunky chips, so the day was saved.  Then Lad decided he wasn’t refined as he thought he was, and asked for an adult size portion of the children’s menu chicken breast and chips.  But they had a jolly nice meal, and didn’t bring me anything, which was selfish.

This morning, He was in charge at home, refereeing fights between Young Lad and Lad.  Then they went into town to do some shopping.  Not having been for a long time, She sat in John Lewis in a nearby town, having a think and letting the clean tidiness calm her.  There was some wandering amongst the clothes for a few minutes, and a mental debate was held as to whether £69 is quite a lot for a vest top.  The decision was made that it was rather a lot, and a trip to H&M across the road was in order, where they are £6.99.  This seems prudent.  One should know one’s place in life, if you ask me. Once home, lunch was made (baguettes from Lidl, 29p each so I think the message about one’s place had sunk in) and then I was taken out for a lovely walk.  Now, I am still limping a little, which has the excellent result of only being dragged for two miles instead of four.  There was some food out on the grass near the houses, and because She thought I couldn’t run far, had let me off the lead.  Readers, I could run far and quite fast, as it happens. The food was an interesting mixture of diced potato and onions.  I couldn’t tell if a resident had thrown out their stew for the birds, or been sick.  Either way, it was nice. 

Oh here we go, I’m being shouted at for the horrid grating noises I’m making with the bone.  Tough.

Readers, it’s been very noisy here this afternoon and frankly it has got on my nerves.  Somebody over the road had a party.  They had FAR too many guests at this party, and there were cars parked all over the place, plus banging doors every two minutes. There was a lot of laughing and shouting, and some SINGING!  This really was too much.  Do you know, half of them are still there now?  What’s wrong with people?  I wish they would shut up and go home; it makes me very nervous. 

Yesterday, Young Lad actually left the house and went to the cinema with a couple of friends to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story.  This sounds very dreary, and indeed one of his friends thought it was.  They had a nice time putting popcorn in each others’ drinks, though, and trying to squeeze into those little coin-operated rides aimed at toddlers.  What a jolly time of it they had.  There was a worrying moment when the cinema staff nearly didn’t let Young Lad into the film, as he is four weeks too young for the certificate it held.  Thankfully pity was taken on Young Lad and he was allowed to go in.  She said, it’s Star Wars for the love of God, how inappropriate can it bldy be, and things like that.

I heard a story recently about a dog who lives in the same town as me, who stole not one, but TWO large home-made quiches that were on the side cooling.  I think this sounds like a right result, and I think the name that her Pack Leader called her is needless and insensitive.  Granted, there is a lot of work in a quiche, what with the pastry base and eggy filling, but so what?  If one’s dog has the skill and ability to reach them, who can blame her?  The word that rhymes with witch is simply not acceptable when referring to the poor animal. Anyway, her Pack Leader had to go out and buy two large artisan-looking quiches, which she should have done in the first place.

Golly, I’m exhausted, what with the party over the road and my HUGE bone.  Time for a comfort break, and then a sleep.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

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