Cruelty

IMG_0155 Readers, I have never encountered anything like it in my life.  Do you know what happened yesterday? Pippa’s Pack Leader came round and said I was to sign a copy of my book for her.  She has painted dog paw-prints before, it seems, and the plan was to simply brush some paint onto my paw and press my foot onto the page.

Well. I was having none of it.  I am a famous author now, and it is entirely beneath me to do such things. Plus I make a dreadful fuss whenever anyone tries to look at my ears/paws/any part of me at all, and you all know full well that I have to be muzzled for these things.  It was AWFUL, Readers, simply AWFUL.  Pippa’s Pack Leader tried to brush my paw with this hideous paintbrush so I wrinkled my nose and snapped to make it clear this wasn’t on.  They had to think of a Plan B.

Plan B was for She to hold me down with one hand and grab my paw with the other.  Then Pippa’s Pack Leader tried to force my paw into a plastic tub  of black paint.  I ask you.  I whinged and moaned and wriggled around so that all they got on the page of the book was a black splodge, though they did manage to cover their own hands in black paint, which then transferred onto everything they touched.  Including my chest, back and armpits.

This ridiculous idea had been ill thought-through, Readers. For a start the calm, whimsical paw painting that had been anticipated took place in the lounge, where there is a beige carpet.  Once they realised that their hands, my paws and half of my body were covered in black paint, there was a dilemma.  How to get me out of the lounge without walking black paint all over the carpet?  What shoddy planning.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have undertaken this assignment in the garden – but then anyone with an ounce of common sense wouldn’t have done anything so demeaning to  me in the first place.

Well, it served them right.  That was my first and last book-signing session, so the six people whose books were splodged are very, very lucky.  These will be worth a lot of money in the future.

So how to get me out of the lounge without marking the carpet?  Are you ready for this?  The two of them wrapped me in the sheet on which I was lying, swaddled me in it, picked me up between them and carried me out into the garden where they threw me in the paddling pool.  This is gross negligence of the highest order and I simply will not put up with this.

In other news, Young Lad has now broken up from school for the summer, and seems extremely pleased about this. He had to walk all the way home today and is very tired, poor Young Lad.  He is looking forward to six weeks of no 6am alarms, and plenty of time on the sofa.  Lad, on the other hand, has been quite helpful today and took me out for a lovely walk this morning.  We saw my friend Jake by the river – Jake is a highly intelligent springer spaniel who is sometimes used as a gun dog,  due to his intellect.  Jake and I have much in common.

So He, Lad and Young Lad were all home by 5pm and patiently sat and waited for She to return from work so that they could eat.  In the end Lad very cleverly started cooking fish fingers, which shows a pleasing level of initiative, and then the day was saved by her decision to bring in fish and chips with her, as She was too bldytired after a longbldyweek to cook anything.  The timing was unfortunate as Lad had just sat down with a plate of fish fingers and oven chips, but being stoic he managed that and his portion of fish and chips.  Well done, Lad.  It all smelled divine and I did a lot of loud whining and stamped my feet a bit.  It got me nowhere.

Friends, I have something to tell you.  I hope you are sitting down with a glass of something strong – if not, quickly go and get something.

This is going to come as a Great Shock.  It did to me, too.  There won’t be any blog for – gulp- over three weeks.  You heard right, three weeks.  In an unprecendented act of selfishness they are going away; a very, very long way away.  In fact, they couldn’t get further away from me geographically if they tried.  This sends a clear message and I am stunned.  Two large suitcases have been bought in preparation as for the first time ever, they’re “not going bldyRyanair and takingbldy handluggageonly.”  No, Readers, they are going way beyond the reach of the blue and yellow airline, and so Big Suitcases were needed.  The only thing that is cheering me up tonight is that it’s now quarter past nine in the evening, and nobody has put a single thing into a suitcase yet.

I can already envisage the stressy scrambling around tomorrow morning trying to bldy pack and the ensuing carnage.  It serves them right.  Unbelievable.

You will be wondering what on earth is going to happen to me.  Well, He is looking after me for a few days as He isn’t flying out until a week later, and when He leaves I will be going to stay with Grandma.  This is my annual holiday and the only good thing about the whole sorry mess.  Grandma does love me and spends loads of time with me, plus she cooks very lovely food, so I will be ok.  Traumatised, but ok.  

What about Gingercat, I hear you ask?  Well the level of selfishness just gets worse.  In order to go and enjoy themselves elsewhere, Lovelydor down the road has been forced to come and feed Gingercat every afternoon,  while Lovelyneighbourontheright has no choice but to do the same every morning.  It beggars belief how many people are ‘used’ in this way just so that they can bugger off.

If I hear one more word about “been a hard few years/need a break/new adventure/bit of a treat” I will scream.  They should try my life to see what a hard life is!  Being held down and your paw forcibly dipped into black paint!  I need a break, never mind them.

What will you do without my blog for the next few weeks, Friends?  Talk to people? Go out? Have a normal social life instead of racing home every evening to read my ramblings?  Oh Readers, I am so, so sorry to be letting you down and can only apologise.  I will be back with you as soon as they can be bothered to come home.

In the meantime, why don’t you buy my book?!    That way you can still hear me whispering to you of an evening and it will be like I’ve never been away.

Meghan Markle NEVER goes off for three weeks and dumps her Beagle with relatives.  Or staff.

Oh Readers.  I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Russell

Smokin’

download You are truly blessed, Readers, to be having another blog straight after last night’s.  I don’t usually do consecutive nights these days as you know, as I am simply far too busy being a famous author.  However, as the schedule for the next few nights is so bldy tight and this week at work is ‘nuts’, it was decided to crack on while the going is good.  I hope you appreciate this.

Well I must say that life as an author has been very exciting.  Down at the river this morning, people actually shouted across the field at me and gave me the thumbs up, which I took to mean that they had been busy ordering.  I know for a fact that Chuck’s Pack Leader has been on the case, as he even took the time to write a review on Amazon – though I may be taking issue with him over the three stars.  Hopefully by reading  my blog tonight he will see the error of his ways and go back to edit his review, giving me at least five.  I imagine his finger slipped on the keyboard – it’s easily done.

The day started slightly stressfully as someone went back to sleep after the 6.00am alarm. This was blamed on Gingercat who had woken her up at 5.10am, but anyway the result was a lot of running around and shouting “get in the shower, oh for God’s sake I haven’t ironed any school shirts, what do you MEAN you need food tech ingredients?” and things like that.  Poor Young Lad’s Food Technology- which was meant to be making shortbread- was cancelled last week due to Sports Day, so it was anticipated rather late in the day, or early in the morning to be precise, that he might indeed need the ingredients today.  As usual there was no unsalted butter in the fridge.  Really, I’m sure in most organised working parents’ homes, there is always unsalted butter in the fridge.  How difficult can it be?

This meant a bad-tempered detour to Tesco on the way to school.  Thank goodness they open at 7am.  Once Young Lad had been dropped off, it was necessary to ‘pop into town’ to calm down in Costalotta – but tragedy had struck!   Readers, Costalotta was shut due to technical difficulties!!  The bad temper didn’t improve at this point, and She had to stomp along to a rival coffee shop.  It was 5p dearer, which She begrudged.

Thankfully our morning walk was simply marvellous and very therapeutic.  We saw lots of friends who all congratulated me on my succcess, and I was particularly interested in what one gentleman had in his hand.  I thought it might be a treat for being such a successful author, and I jumped up at him boisterously.  Sadly it was a cigar.  Readers you know that I made this mistake once before, mistaking a Marlborough Lite for a dog biscuit.  It was most upsetting, and did not require the guffawing about Beagles, the tobacco industry and is he called Benson?  Funnygit her brother calls me Rothmans, and I resent this allusion to our bleak history.

So I had no choice, Friends, but to roll over and over in a pile of intestines.  Something had died near the river and there was a browny/red/glutinous mess on the grass.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and made sure I rubbed it all over my stomach, under my ears and round my neck.  I felt this would serve her right for laughing at me.  Indeed I was plastered in blood and entrails,  so was shouted at and put on the lead for the rest of the walk.  Further on I did see lovely Chuck with his gleaming coat, but I was yanked away sharply because I was “disgusting.”  I had already been shouted at and chased earlier on, for cocking my leg on the Man Under The Willow Tree’s tent – but to be fair, this has been disassembled and he clearly isn’t using it, so I don’t see what the fuss was about.

Once home, the blue paddling pool was taken down from where it has been propping up the back fence for a year (classy), and filled with warm water. Rubber gloves were donned and I was forced to stand in the paddling pool while bowls of water were chucked over me, and shampoo rubbed in firmly.  There were some silly retching noises while this went on, which was totally unnecessary.  Then I was made to lie in my bed in the sun to dry.

Thankfully, it was soon time to go and collect Lad from the airport after his holiday with his friends in the sun.  I curled up in my chair and had a good sleep to recover from the stress of the morning.  She had the ridiculous idea of getting to the airport early, to wander round in a relaxed way and do a little shopping.  What She didn’t know was that the car park was £5.50 for half an hour, £10 for 60 minutes, £16.50 if you went over 60 minutes and then £26.50 if you got carried away in the small WHSmiths and were there for 2 hours.  This was yet another classic schoolboy error, and there was a panicked attempt to reverse out of the car park when the prices were seen, but there were several cars behind, so once you’re in, you’re in!

Oh dear.  No amount of relaxed wandering around an airport was going to make up for that.  Thankfully there was a branch of Costalotta that wasn’t having technical difficulties, other than the price, so that was something.

Anyway, it’s marvellous to have Lad home safely and to hear all his tales of six days away with fellow Lads.  I think he has learned much about the world and travelling.  It was also wonderful to have Dinnertime Debates going again – despite not having been to bed last night, Lad was still able to wax lyrical about the World Cup and why England had lost, and what Gareth Southgate should/shouldn’t have done, and why Dele Alli should NOT being playing centre-mid.  Lad is very clever and you can only admire his stamina at still being able to express opinions after two hours’ sleep on Ryanair.

Readers, I cannot believe my ears.  I have just heard whispered the words “annual booster jabs”, “Vets” and “7.40pm.”  Unbelievable.  You know quite well that this time of evening is when I sleep upside down in my chair and snore loudly.  This is a travesty.  How DARE She!  Who the heck takes their animals to the Evil Vet at this time of night for JABS!!!!?

They will have to muzzle me, I’m afraid, as I will have their hand off.  And if it’s the Evil Vet who told me I’m not very brave last time, I will be doubly hysterical.  Gingercat is about to be shoved into his horrid smelly basket – quite how She thinks She can hold both of us I do not know.

Well I hope you are having a lovely quiet evening, Friends, not having muzzles forced on you and needles stuck in you.

Meghan Markle quite definitely does NOT treat her Beagle like this.

Bye for now,

Russell

Announcement!

IMG_20180715_182824_669 I HAVE GREAT NEWS!!!   Yes, the secret is no longer.  My book is now available to buy on Amazon!  This is absolutely incredible, as I just don’t know where I find the time to do these things, but there you go.  Any of you Readers who haven’t been with me since the start of my blog, you need to buy the book and then a lot of things might make sense.  They might not, but you never know.

Well, who would have thought it?  I amaze myself at times. And you would not believe the number of messages I’ve had tonight, requesting a personally signed copy.  I’m thinking how best to do this, and wonder if a splodge of fox poo will do the trick.  What do you think?  I would suggest you buy the book first (it’s free delivery over £10, so buy two) and we’ll worry about the signing later.  I can see a personal signing session at the local library might be in order.  Now, before any of you cynics think this is a money-making exercise, She wants to point out that most of the pitiful profit after printing costs is going to The Important Place in London, where Lad and Young Lad seem to be such regular visitors. 

I’m actually rather annoyed about this, Readers, as if I’d been consulted on this, I would have preferred a more relevant charity such as Beagle Rescue, Misunderstood Dogs, or the such like.   However I wasn’t consulted and She said “I’ve sweated bldy blood and tears over this, I’ll decide where the bldy money goes” and lots of positive things like that.  

So this is what has been going on with all those visits to our friend Batch.  Luckily Batch has technical skills that far surpass hers (it’s not difficult) and has managed to do Important Things like Formatting etc.  It sounds very, very dull.  I do feel that Colleagues 1 & 2 are owed an apology, as if She’s taken her eye off her work in the same way that the house and family have been neglected, they must be quite irritated.  Anyway,  hoo bldy ray, the book is finished.

Let’s move on to other things.  Yesterday was ridiculously hot yet again and I wasn’t allowed to go to Young Lad’s early morning cricket match, as it meant travelling in the car.  This suited me just fine and I slept quite happily in my chair all morning.  Then they came back and had lunch, so I whinged a lot until someone gave me a few titbits, and then I thought I’d escalate this somewhat by barking for my 4pm dinner at 1.30pm.  They caved in at 2pm.  Excellent.  After that, quite unbelievably, it was cricket match no.2 so I was dragged for a walk to the cricket ground where He was playing.  For goodness’ sake, it was 30 degrees and neither Young Lad  nor I wanted to go but nobody listens.

To be fair, once at the cricket ground I did have quite a nice time cleaning up their barbecue – quite a lot of meat juice/oil had dripped down to the bottom of the legs, and I felt this was sloppy of them so I cleaned it up.  Unfortunately I misjudged where the grease was and got quite a lot on my ear, as you can see in the diagram above.  This annoyed me, as I could smell meaty grease but couldn’t get at it. You’ve no idea how frustrating this was.

Then I spent a pleasant half hour crawling under the picnic benches and chairs, to hoover up whatever little nuggets of food had been dropped the previous day. I did quite well; crisps, bread and some biscuits.  Then, on the walk home I was thrilled to find that some careless child had dropped a few pink chewy sweets near the Rec; I belted towards them and grabbed two, before being yanked back on the lead.  They stuck to my teeth but were most agreeable.  This is what I love about the summer – there is always so much food everywhere.  I wasn’t taken down to the river last night due to this very fact, as it was decided there would have been a lot of bldy barbecues and picnics, and I would spend the whole evening running off and stuffing myself.  What a nice attitude.

Luckily, Friends,  dear, dear Pippa came to collect me really early this morning for a marvellous day of daycare at her house.  It was nice and cool that early, so we had a lovely walk down at the river, although Pippa’s Pack Leader had to let us off the lead as soon as possible, as Pippa was quite bouncy and holding two of us was tricky.  I, of course, was impeccably behaved.

Do you know, people are funny things.  Whilst my own family do lack many elements of kindness and appreciation when it comes to me, I can’t believe how much public spirit there has been regarding the Man in the Tent Under the Willow Tree.  As you know, Readers, I haven’t seen him for a while, and I simply won’t accept that this is because I try to cock my leg on his ropes.  We have been very concerned about his welfare, and it seems we’re not alone.  His tent is now flat on the ground, and several people are keeping an eye on the situation.   Some people are very caring.  Just not my family.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow, Friends, as Lad is coming home from his trip away to a hot country with his friends.  I haven’t seen Lad for nearly a week and have missed him very much.  Lad understands me much better than anyone else.  I expect Lad will spend a lot of time with me as soon as he comes in, before he heads straight to the Xbox.  Possibly a couple of minutes!

Golly it’s hot again tonight.  Young Lad has fallen asleep on the sofa, exhausted from walking all the way to a friend’s house after school for a haircut.  He has just finished watching a documentary about Hitler, and is now watching Eastenders.  He has interesting taste in TV programmes.  I’m heading out to the bird table, to see if the Stupid Starlings have knocked off any of the stale lemon drizzle cake.

Buy the book.  Go on.  It’s for a good cause, and you know you’ll enjoy it. Oh yes, I suppose it might help if you know what it’s called.  Boredbeagle: My Winter of Discontent.  Look it up on Amazon.

It’s exhausting, being published.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

What’s In A Name?

20180714_193808 This evening I played very light-heartedly with a stick by the river.  This is extremely unlike me, and my friend Lexie would have been incredibly jealous of the huge stick that I found.  Just look at it!  If you look carefully you will also see my sharp incisors and a slightly wild gleam in my eyes, but this really is my playful expression.  So unusual was this, that She insisted on taking photos of me which I found incredibly annoying.  I had no choice, Readers, but to whack her round the back of the legs with my stick – not once, but three times, as I ran past.  This has caused red marks on the back of her legs but it did stop her taking photos.

Something cropped up in conversation at the river, which is troubling me a little.  We met a long-legged Staffie called Lucifer, and the little devil chased me all over the field, through the storm tunnel and back round the field again.  In truth this was playful chasing and I was still feeling light-hearted so joined in; however, Lucifer didn’t realise that I was in charge of the game and so when I was ready to stop I had to clout him round the ear to get the message across.  But I digress.  Lucifer’s Pack Leader was talking about what people call their dogs, and explained that Lucifer has a friend at dog training called Jeremy.  It is a Beagle.  No, I didn’t understand what was so funny about this either, but She was snorting away. Jeremy Beagle.  Only the other day we met a Beagle called ‘Mischief’ at the river.  Her Pack Leader named her this so that she could say “Mischief by name, Mischief by nature,” at regular intervals.

This reminded me, Readers, of my friend Sicknote who has recently acquired a puppy which they named Delilah; purely so that when the poor mite has an accident they can all sing “why, why, why Delilah?”

It seems to me that people don’t take the naming of their dogs very seriously, and these flippant ideas may cause real psychological damage.  Dogs are sensitive creatures and we’re not as stupid as we look.

Thankfully yesterday I spent time with sensible people, as I was packed off to Ebony’s for the second day running.  Most of the day I was asleep in her bed, and as it was warm again I tended to lie upside down letting it all hang out, so that the nether regions could have a good airing.  This was most comfortable.  We did have some jolly good walks, but other than that and eating a lot of birdseed it was a peaceful day. I like it at Ebony’s house.  He and Young Lad came home from school at a reasonable time so I had a little company for a while, but then they went out again to a barbecue at the cricket club, and failed to invite me along.  This was hurtful.  I’ve no idea why they didn’t take me.

Lad of course is still away with his friends somewhere hot, and having a marvellous time.  They’ve had a little trouble getting into a nightclub/casino but are nothing if not determined, and are going to try and convince people they’re older than they are again tonight.

She was extremely late home from work last night as it’s the ‘mental’ time of year.  I feel this was selfish, and I have received very little attention from her lately.  I made a huge fuss of her as She came in from work, jumping up and putting my paws round her neck, but of course the priority was shower, pyjamas and the sofa.  To be fair, I did lie on her lap on the sofa and we had a nice cuddle until Gingercat tried to join us.

Today there was an early visit to Tesco as there was NOTHING to eat in this house last night, and for once Young Lad had a fair point.  The fridge was empty bar some out-of-date soured cream and chive dip, a sliver of cheese and an open bottle of Pinot Blush.  None of these appealed to Young Lad, and yet again this shows neglect.  So Tesco was breached good and early, though just by chance there is one that has a branch of Costalotta in it, so the actual shopping didn’t start straight away.  We all fell on the shopping bags hungrily when She returned, especially Gingercat whose food actually ran out last night.  Poor Gingercat.

Then, Readers, poor Young Lad was made to sit nicely at the table yet again and write thank-you letters for all the birthday money he was sent.  This archaic and rather dull tradition still goes on in this household.  I feel for Young Lad, I really do.  At least this time He was in charge of this activity and so there will have been far less quality control and less need for Young Lad to bldy well start again and bldy well put  more effort in.

While all this was going on She went to visit our good friend Batch.  Now, I’m not allowed to say too much about this, but it involved staring at a laptop for two hours and saying “is that two spaces or one?” quite a lot.  It sounds dull beyond belief.  Thankfully, Batch was released from this torture when Baby Batch woke up from his nap and demanded a banana.  This signalled the end of the dreary staring- at- the- laptop session. 

She spent the afternoon at home bdly well tidying up this bldy house, which in reality means moving a pile of paperwork from the kitchen to the study and having a look through Facebook for half an hour.

Tonight, Friends, I have been given an extra long walk as there is a need for More Exercise (the bathroom scales have been out again.)  We managed nearly four miles even though it was still quite warm when we set off, but Fitbit is as Fitbit does, so we marched on regardless of the temperature.  After running around with my tail between my legs being chased by Lucifer (now I never thought I’d be saying that), I needed to cool off in the river.

20180714_193848

You can see how happy this made me.

Bye for now,

Russell

Please move

Copy of 20180710_204854 (1)  Last evening, I was VERY annoyed to find that my chair was not available.  He, Young Lad and Gingercat were on the sofa watching TV, and She was in MY chair working on the laptop.  Readers, this left nowhere for me.  I had no choice but to stand in front of my chair glaring at her, and hoping that my filthy look gave her the message.  It did, eventually, and when She moved from my chair to fetch something, I jumped in and threw myself down firmly to put an end to the matter.  This is unacceptable selfishness. 

It hadn’t been the best of days, to be honest, as yesterday Lad had to get up early and pack the overnight bag that was in his room.  As you know, Lad was going on a mini-break to a hot country with his friends and I was upset about this.  I love Lad very much as he is gentle with me, and likes sleeping almost as much as I do.  The thought of not seeing him for several days is awful.  I sat on the landing with my extra sad face on while he packed, and before long it was time for a tearful farewell.

While She and Lad were in town sorting out a haircut and some Euros – yes, dreadful last-minute organisation as usual – I looked round to see what I could find.  There was a bag with some manky lettuce and salad produce in it, ready to give to next door’s rabbit, so in the absence of anything better I pulled that into the lounge and ate it.  Slimy lettuce isn’t really my thing, but I was desperate.  I think I’ve done the rabbit a favour, really.  

Eventually She returned after dropping Lad off at the airport.  I suspect Lad was locked in the car with no means of escape, and had to listen to yet another lecture about gangs, yobs, drink and the general terrible danger of a seaside holiday.  Readers, Lad would have been better off travelling by public transport to the airport – it would have taken four times as long, but been less dreary for him.  Poor Lad.  

Thankfully it was then time for me to have some attention, and after cleaning out my ears (there is a risk that this is becoming an obsession) we went for a walk.  It was a pleasant day, not too hot or cold, and we stomped along at a good pace for three miles.  There was quite an unpleasant smell down where the river narrows, and I imagine there is an issue with raw sewage somewhere, but this didn’t stop me going in the water for a paddle.  Once in Far Field, I was put on the lead as I kept finding things to roll in and someone was lacking in tolerance of this.  We took the long route round Far Field, even though it is very overgrown, and our mistake was realised when we couldn’t actually see over the grass at one point.  Yes, Readers, the field was taller than me or Pack Leader and we disappeared from view.  I didn’t mind this, but She started feeling a bit panicky and looking over her shoulder to see if anyone Unsavoury was following us in the long grass.  It was all rather melodramatic and there was no need for screeching “Come on Russell, RUN” in that silly way.  There was nobody following us and She looked paranoid and ridiculous.

Last evening was sad in two ways, Friends.  Actually, three.  Firstly, I couldn’t get into my chair.  Secondly, I was missing Lad dreadfully.  And thirdly, England were knocked out of the World Cup semi-final.  Oh hang on, I couldn’t care less about that one. 

There was excitement in the air for me this morning, though, as my collar was put on at 7.25am and this usually signals that I’m going somewhere.  Indeed, Young Lad was shouted at to put my lead on me and walk me down the road – Yay! I thought to myself.  I’m going to dear Ebony’s house.  Readers, I couldn’t wait to get through the door and positively leapt on Ebony’s Pack Leader in my joy.  To be honest, the greeting of “Hello smelly” wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but this is due to some disloyal text messaging last night in which She warned Ebony’s Pack Leader that my anal glands were bad.  Is this the sort of information you share with people?  It’s personal, and more discretion is called for.  But Ebony doesn’t mind how badly I smell and we had a marvellous day together.  In fact I slept for a lot of  it, but we did have two walks and they are still trying hard to encourage my ball skills.

By rights this evening should have been spent sound asleep in my chair.  Quite unbelievably, though, He decided it would be nice to walk me down to the cricket club to watch Young Lad’s match!  I looked at him as if He was insane, but this didn’t work and my lead was put on me yet again.  We spent quite a nice evening at the cricket, I suppose, though I didn’t want to lie on the rock hard ground so jumped on her lap.  I was moaned at because She still had Work Clothes on, and I am moulting badly so now her Work Clothes are covered in white fur.  Somehow this is my fault and the washing machine has now been put on, despite the lateness of the hour, because “I” have made such a mess of everything.  Seriously.

Readers, I’m concerned about the quality of nutrition for Young Lad here this week.  There has been a distinct lack of effort on the catering front.  Tonight – are you ready for this? – a plate of hash browns, three fish fingers and a couple of nubs of broccoli.  Processed rubbish. Last night: chocolates,  sweets and sugar-free lemonade to accompany the World Cup excitement.  This is very poor parenting.  Other than a couple of overdone jacket potatoes, there has been virtually no effort at healthy eating for poor Lad and Young Lad this week.  True, there is a large honeydew melon in the fruit bowl but it is way past its best, and if they don’t crack that open tomorrow it will end up in the compost bin.  I might get it out.

Well, I’m exhausted after three walks today, and don’t know what they’re trying to do to me.

Bye for now.

Russell

Breadwinner

87464145A marvellous day on the food -heist front yesterday, Readers.  I was most pleased with myself.  Someone had cleaned out the bread bin at the weekend, which is unusual in itself, and found three large burger baps at the bottom which were dry and mouldy.  There was also some rock-hard baguette and crusts of  artisan arty-farty seeded bread which nobody had liked.  All of this was shoved into a carrier bag, and placed in the back porch ready to go out to the bird table in stages.  How ridiculous.  

I had no choice but to help myself to this once She took Young Lad to school, and He had gone to work.  Lad was in bed sound asleep, of course, and irritatingly someone had remembered to put the kitchen bin outside the back door, but it didn’t occur to them that the bread was still in the porch.  I dragged the carrier bag into the lounge, pulled out all the rolls and bread and ate the lot.  It barely touched the sides, if I’m honest.  I ripped up the carrier bag and spat it over the lounge floor, just to make sure I hadn’t left any crumbs.

I was tired after this, and needed a kip.  When She came home and saw the shredded carrier bag, She put two and two together and started shouting at me.  This was uncouth and unnecessary.  It’s hardly my fault if they’re sloppy enough to leave bags of stale bread lying around.  True, my stomach was quite distended for the rest of the day, and down at the river nobody said “isn’t he looking slim?” like they often do, but there you go.  I also ate a piece of dead something in the long grass, for good measure, and was moaned at again.  There was an attempt at fast marching (it was to the Lightning Seeds “Three Lions”, due to England’s success to date in the World Cup – it was nice being jolly and jingoistic for once, rather than stuck in 1976), and the pace was increased to try and burn off some of the bread I’d eaten.  However, Friends, it was still very hot yesterday morning so this pace didn’t last long.

The man camping under the willow tree is still there – at least his tent is, and he has obviously been very hot poor man, as he has thrown out a tarpaulin sheet and sleeping bag.  There was no sign of life from the tent, even when I went really, really close to cock my leg against it.  Don’t worry, I was screeched at just in the nick of time.  I hope the man in the tent was just asleep and hasn’t actually roasted beneath the willow tree.

The river was calling my name, so I stepped in very carefully, ignoring once again the yobbish brown labradors who were throwing themselves in over my head.  They really are rather common.  Gently, I paddled up and down, looking at my reflection dancing in the water and wondering who it was.  There were some fish swimming around, so I made a half-hearted attempt at thumping them with my paw but then I heard someone laughing at me, so stopped.  I could easily have stayed there half the day, wandering slowly and enjoying the countryside, but oh no, we were on a tight bldy schedule just for a change.  Lad and She had to hurtle off to the station for one of his  never-ending appointments at the Important Place in London, so I was left on my own.  Again.

Poor Young Lad had to walk all the way home from school, due to the lack of availability from his parents to pick him up.  This is a long walk in the heat, and he had his cricket  bag to carry.  (Young Lad had decided against going to cricket practice, as he was “hot” and “tired.”)  Oh, my mistake, Readers.  Young Lad was given a lift all the way home by someone’s Grandma yet again.  This worked in my favour, as Young Lad fed me and let me in the garden.  He didn’t know I’d eaten all that bread earlier in the day and wasn’t meant to be having any dinner.  Excellent.  

By the time She and Lad returned from London, they were bldy hot and bldy irritable, and I was disappointed with their attitude.  After a very cursory “Have you been a good, good boy or a naughty, naughty boy?” I was ignored in favour of showers and a light salad. It is not good parenting to hold a grudge about stolen bread for this long.  Let it go.

There was some stressy shouting in the evening last night, as it was realised that Young Lad has Food Tech today and needed unsalted butter again.  Just as She was about to stomp out to Tesco for the third time in two days (organisation is a key part of parenting, surely?) Young Lad suddenly realised that it was Sports Day today, and so Food Tech might not be happening.  There was lots of arguing about can you make a bldy decision, do you need the bldyingredients or not? and finally some Whatsapping of other parents was undertaken to find out whether Young Lad would, in fact, be making shortbread or not.  The answer was not; he will be doing long jump.  Long jump does not require unsalted butter or a trip to Tesco, so peace was finally restored.  I was relieved about this and could go back to sleep.

Today I’ve had a lovely time as Lad has been here all day – but not in bed!!  No, Lad desperately needed to earn some money so was given a HUGE list of jobs – some of them quite heavy-duty such as weed the front garden and pull up the jungle in between the paving stones on the drive – so Lad was up at a respectable time to do all this.  Lad also took me for a jolly nice walk, where  I impressed him with my ability to chase sticks in the river, and go in as far as my waist.  I love days like these with Lad.

Sadly, there won’t be many of them for a while.  Readers, I am very upset to find that the Overnight Case has been put into Lad’s bedroom.  This is because Lad is going away for a few days tomorrow, with his friends, to a hot sunny country, which isn’t this one.  Thankfully one Adult is going with them, to make sure there are no schoolboy errors with any of the things that could go wrong with three people of Lad’s age going on holiday together.  Lad is rather fed up with the lectures he has had to sit through at home, and I must admit, the points have been laboured somewhat.  Lad knows lots about everything, as you know, and it’s dreary for him to sit through these sermons.

Golly, I’m just about ready for a sleep now, Friends.

See you soon,

Russell

Barbecue Summer

bbqReaders, the sizzling summer continues and the temperature has been hot, hot, hot again today.  This has left everyone with no choice whatsoever but to hold endless barbecues. To be honest, things were a little over the top in my area today, though, as THREE consecutive houses all had barbecues at slightly different times.  We were first and therefore took precedence, closely followed by Lovelyneighbourontheright and then blow me down, Niceneighboursontheleft started one at tea-time.  This was very vexing for me as the smell of cooking meat lingered from 1pm until 8pm.  Nobody thought of me in all this, and how difficult it would be for me to put up with it.

In all fairness, though, I did scrounge absolutely loads of food today.  We had GUESTS which made a pleasant change, and I was very excited to see these included Grandma and pretty AD.  Readers, you will remember from long ago that AD is very, very pretty and I always get a little over-excited when I see her, in the physical sense.  Anyway, as soon as I realised it was her at the door, I stopped my vicious barking and skidded along the wooden hall floor, whimpering with sheer joy.  I jumped up at her and made silly noises.  Once I had calmed down, we went to the garden with cold drinks, and it was a good job She had stocked up with a lot of drink as by golly it seemed to disappear by the gallon on this hot afternoon.

Now when my own family have a barbecue – a half-hearted affair as you know – I am given nothing.  Not one piece of burger, not one sliver of sausage, due to my weight issues. Today, Readers, it was all so different.  For a start there was FAR more food on the table than usual, and it was groaning with an array of salads, French bread, cold salmon and prawns….  this was a ridiculous attempt to impress people, and I want it made clear right now that this only happens when they come round.  Then we all sat in the sunshine laughing and chatting – and that never happens usually, either – so I thought I’d try my luck and beg for some food.  I chose the person who looked the most gullible, and sat by him, making my eyes go extra brown and large, and pushing my ears up into the cute, inquisitive position.  This worked a treat and he gave me a piece of burger.  Then another.  And some sausage.  The other people soon cottoned on to this, and I scrounged all sorts of bits from them.  Obviously my own family didn’t give me a thing, but the visitors all said how slim I was looking and kept giving me snacks.

Buoyed on by this success, I started asking for my lunch at 2pm.  I stood in the middle of the lawn and barked in an annoying, silly tone.  As people were still trying to chat and laugh – yes, still some cheery laughter – they soon found this very irritating and gave in.  I was given my dinner at 2.15pm.  Readers, you know quite well that my dinner time is 4pm.  When 4pm came round, I stood in the middle of the lawn and did the silly barking again, pretending to have forgotten I had been fed.  This also worked, as they were trying to play football which I rendered difficult by standing in front of the goal and whining for my dinner.  So I was fed again.  All round this was rather excellent.  I like barbecues.

I wasn’t over-impressed by all the lounging around in the garden. endlessly talking and laughing though.  It was extremely dreary and did seem to go on a long time.  Young Lad was equally bored and organised a football match which livened things up a little, especially when all the balls were kicked over the neighbours’ fences and had to be retrieved with a lot of apologising.  Then kicked over again.  

Eventually I made it clear that enough was enough, and I was ready for my evening walk.  It was cooling down a little at the river which was pleasant, and for some reason a huge number of large brown labradors were all down there at the same time.  Labradors like to throw themselves headlong into deep water, ludicrous animals, whereas I am more refined and just paddle in gently from the edge – today I went as far as my elbows, which is really quite adventurous for me.  It was nice.

On exiting the river, I was screeched at in a horrid tone and told to “come here NOW!”  I could sense from the urgency in her voice that there was some terrible danger about to befall me.  In actual fact, there was a large hedgehog ambling slowly across the grass, and She was worried that I would eat it.  To be frank I did have a go at catching the darned thing, but was on the lead by then so was pulled swiftly away at the last moment.  Thus the hedgehog continued wandering across the grass towards a family on their bikes.  She screeched “look out!” just in time, and there was  some superb braking to avoid hitting the hedgehog.  The family all stopped to look at it and the mother did then say “do they bite?” as she realised she was wearing flipflops whilst standing next to it.  Of course not.  I think.

Yesterday was a funny old day, what with watching England play in the World Cup, and being so jolly hot. Everyone was at home and nobody had much energy.  This suited me just fine.

This week coming looks like another ridiculously busy one, and I really feel that someone needs to sit down and think about our lifestyle.  Tomorrow, She and Lad are at the Important Place in London yet again, Young Lad has cricket practice after school, and He is doing silly hours at work.  Where do I fit into all this, I hear you ask?  A very good question. 

Then there is a possibility that Young Lad will have a cricket match on Tuesday evening AND Thursday evening, to which I sincerely hope I am taken.  I do like a good walk or ten round the boundary, and I feel that the other people at  the cricket club miss me if I’m not there.  Anyway, I expect the next half hour tonight will be spent texting or Whatsapping or whatever it is She does, to find somewhere to dump myself and Young Lad when we don’t fit into everyone else’s schedule.  It’s nice to be so wanted.

See you soon,

Russell

 

I’m back

s-l300Did you miss me, Readers?  You have been without my musings for four whole nights, which by my reckoning is the longest ever gap.  This includes the selfish long weekend at ParkyCenters earlier in the year, and the many trips to see Nana aged 87.  Four nights without my blog.  Dreadful.  I don’t know what you’ve found to fill the time with, and I can only apologise.

As it happens, I’m a bit irritated at this precise moment.  It is very, very hot again and I need a kip in the leather bean bag, as it is  cool and comfortable.  However, somebody has thoughtlessly chucked a roll of sellotape, a pair of scissors and some wrapping paper in it, all of which are rather uncomfortable to lie upon.  I do wish they would tidy up after themselves, and think about others.  Me, namely.  I have scratched  and pushed the scissors and sellotape to try to get them out of the bean bag, but had to give up with the wrapping paper and just lie on it.  You would expect better treatment than this, considering some people haven’t been here all week.

Yes indeed, She has been away for four days for “work.”  Oh it’s all very well telling me it was exhausting and full-on, but Young Lad and I have been neglected and we really don’t want to hear how tired She is.  Do you know, Readers, that poor Young Lad even had his birthday yesterday and She wasn’t here for it? Appalling.   To be fair, Young Lad didn’t seem bothered as there was a staff v pupil cricket match at his school and he was on the pupil team, which actually was far more fun than having Pack Leader here anyway.  But it’s the principle.  Some parents would move heaven and earth to be at home on their offpsring’s birthdays, but not in this household.  When Pack Leader did finally wander home late last evening, I pretended that I was very pleased to see her as I knew She would be expecting this, so I ran along the wooden floor in the hall doing silly slidey movements, and jumped up to wrap my paws round her neck.  This is always followed by excited whimpering and juvenile noises, which make her feel She was missed.  I also stood up at the windowsill and farted loudly.

Young Lad greeted her in similar fashion, thought without the last bit, and we all had a cuddle on the sofa.  Having been travelling for a long time on a hot day, this wasn’t the freshest of experiences and it might have been considerate to have a quick shower first, but there you go.  Young Lad and I were too polite to say anything.

I felt it was necessary to show my displeasure at having been neglected all week, though, and opted to sleep with Young Lad rather than Pack Leader.  I hope She got the message.  I’m sure Young Lad was pleased about this, as it was a very hot night and having a large furry Beagle lying on top of you all night long is bound to be welcome.

Where was Lad while all this was going on, I hear you ask?  Well, Readers, Lad had held the fort remarkably well while She was away, as He was working long hours again, and so it befell Lad to cook dinners for Young Lad and organise the laundry.  Lad did this with aplomb, and nobody starved or ran out of  school shirts.  Plus, and I know you’ll be surprised at this, I was walked on a regular basis or dropped off at dear, dear Ebony’s house if Lad felt the need to go off socialising.  Last night Lad wasn’t here at all, as he had something called a ‘prom’ which seems to be a posh party for people Lad’s age, for which they dress up in suits or beautiful dresses, to celebrate the end of the bldy GCSEs.  I would have liked to go this prom, as there were chicken kebabs on the buffet, but of course nobody asked me.  I saw some photos of Lad and his friends all dressed up in their suits, and I was really rather proud of him.  I didn’t care that he spoiled the look by wearing bldy black trainers/what did you do that for/everyone else had smart shoes/nobody wears bldy trainers with a bdly suit… but then some people round here are a little over-tired and tetchy today.  Poor Lad.  And to make matters worse, Readers, poor Lad had NO sleep at all last night, as not content with the prom itself, there was then an after-party at someone’s house many, many miles away, and after this Lad and his friends had to sleep in a tent in the field next door.  Only they didn’t go to sleep.  I don’t know what they did, Readers, and She has rather snippily said She’d rather not know, but they were awake all night and poor Lad’s new very expensive white designer t shirt was covered in chocolate by the time he got home.  This was upsetting for him and Lad says Vanish is crap as it didn’t get all the stains out, even on a sixty degree wash.

This evening, He, Lad and Young Lad are all watching the World Cup from the sofa and having a lovely time.  They have all been out to celebrate Young Lad’s birthday – better late then never, I suppose – at Pizza Express, which was Young Lad’s usual choice due to the chocolate fudge cake with cream.  I would like to have tried this, but was left at home.  Apparently Lad was on cracking form over dinner, despite a night without sleep, and yet another lengthy discussion about  the politics of immigration was held.  I would have found this dull, as would most people, and as did poor Young Lad whose birthday dinner it was.  After a while Pack Leader’s tone became quite shrill and short-tempered, so the subject was hastily changed to something less controversial.  He enjoyed a nice glass of house red and a Margherita,  Lad had an American Hot, Young Lad had a Margherita  and She had a Pomodoro Pesto as it has less bldy calories, just in case you were wondering.  I would have liked any of these options, possibly with the exception of the Lite Pomodoro Pesto.  Really, what’s the point?

I feel it is important to stress here, that my behaviour has been exemplary this week.  There have only been very minor incidents, such as eating and rolling in a dead rat when Lad took me down to the river, and you’ll be relieved to know that this passed through me without incident.  Other than that I have enjoyed having Lad’s company for much of the time, as Lad and I enjoy the same things, i.e. sleeping in. Gingercat has been sleeping a lot, too, due to the extreme heat, but is showing signs of neglect as his fur is quite matted again, and needs a lot of brushing.  This is on the list of jobs for tomorrow, at number 437, I believe.

This morning it was rather lovely, I’ll admit, to being out for a walk with Pack Leader again, after all this time.  However, She decided it was too bldy hot even at 9.30am to do the usual ridiculous four mile power walk, and we only went as far as the river and back.  This smacks of laziness and a lack of resilience, but worked in my favour as the stupid starlings had knocked loads of bread off the bird table by the time we returned.

Well, Readers, He finally has a couple of days off work and so tomorrow I am hopeful that we will all have a lie-in. It’s too hot to move, and I will be perfectly happy if nobody bothers to take me out for a walk/

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Overnight bag

TB023-830-BLKSomething is rotten in the state of Denmark, Friends.  Or at least, round my house.  The overnight bag is once again on the bed, being packed.  This is not a good sign, and I am absolutely horrified to learn that the overnight bag has turned into a four-day away bag.  It has been rammed full to the brim, and frankly I can’t see the zip closing tomorrow once the make-up and heated rollers have gone in at the last minute.  It transpires that She is going away on a work trip tomorrow morning, and won’t be back for four whole days.  Apart from being utterly selfish, this also means that there will be no blog, Readers, until Friday at the earliest!  I know! You have NEVER had to go this long without my words of an evening, since I started this nonsense last November!  But such is the self-centred attitude around here.  I can only apologise.

It’s been a funny old day.  He played cricket this afternoon, but I wasn’t taken down to watch as it was ridiculously hot.  She and Young Lad went down to watch but didn’t stay long due to the heat and loads of bldy things to do.  These seemed to involve writing a lot of lists for Lad, Young Lad and He while they are home alone this week, and the kitchen has been plastered with timetables and instructions.  I mean, how hard can it be?    There is even a typed note on Young Lad’s wardrobe door that says simply “DEODORANT!!”.  It’s a bit late in the day to try being an organised and efficient household.

Lovelyneighbourontheright’s cockapoo puppy came round this morning, but didn’t jump on my head as much as it was just too darned hot.  I was scolded for lying on the blue plastic Slip n Slide in the middle of the day, as the temperature of this piece of plastic was about forty degrees, so I was told to stop being so silly and sent indoors. I did venture back out when a half-hearted attempt at a barbecue was made, as this consisted of four juicy beef burgers and a piece of salmon, to replace the rather dry sawdust-like Linda MaCartney veggie sausages from last week.  In all honesty the salmon didn’t fare a lot better as it stuck to the grill quite badly, so there is lots of charred flesh hanging around.

We did all manage a bit of a lie-in for once, and even I managed to postpone my comfort break until 7am.  It being Sunday, He buried himself in the Torygraph, Young Lad was attached to the Xbox and Lad stayed in bed.  She ‘popped into town’ as the air conditioning is marvellous in Costalotta, and it’s a good place to reflect on a Sunday.  Or any other day, actually. (Yesterday  She and Lovelydor down the road went to sit in a different Costalotta to take advantage of their air conditioning). 

Readers, we had to leave our walk quite late this evening as it just hasn’t cooled down much.  The man camping under the willow tree annoyed me, actually, because I’m darned sure he was sitting in his camping chair while I was still quite a way off, but had disappeared by the time I reached his tent.  I suspect this was deliberate as he knew I’d be looking for food.  I had no choice but to bounce up to a very small little girl, who had something in her hand, in case it was a snack.  It wasn’t.  I did find a couple of revolting things to eat, down by the river bank, and even I’m not entirely sure what they were.  Being so hot, I went in for a deep paddle a couple of times, and the stagnancy of the water hasn’t improved since yesterday, so I reek again.  I don’t care.

I’ve been ever so peckish today, and asked for meals about fifteen times.  One breakfast just wasn’t enough so I barked and whinged until I was given another one.  Then I asked for lunch by mid-morning and kept this up until 2pm when She said oh for god’s sake! and gave me some more food.  Then it was dinner time at 4pm.  You should try this, Readers, it’s fun.

Well, words fail me.  There will be no blog until Friday at the absolute earliest and I am left here to fend for myself, as is Young Lad and Lad.  Thank goodness there’s a big stock of fish fingers in the freezer, and some ready meals.  

I hope this time passes quickly for you, Friends, and I will be back soon.

 

Russell