Brunch

20180828_162854 I was extremely irritated the other day, Friends.  When they were all out I rummaged around in Lad’s school rucksack, and found a very old Cadbury’s Brunch Bar at the bottom.  It wasn’t in the best condition and Lad clearly doesn’t want it so I selflessly took it out of his bag for him.  I decided to bury it in my chair, underneath the annoying sheet.

What do you know?  She came in and started doing the bldycleaning, and found my Brunch Bar in my chair.  It was taken out and put on the shelf in the back porch. Oh fools!  I soon grabbed it and ran off down the garden.  It is simply unacceptable to dig things up that I have carefully buried, so I re-buried it behind the Philadelphus bush.   There was the usual yelling and moaning at me, but I have buried it deep and I know EXACTLY where it is, when I want it at a later date.

It’s been a funny couple of days as She has been at work, and Lad, Young Lad and I have been left on our own.  We actually really enjoyed this as there was nobody here to make us do things.  Oh there have been frequent text messages shouting DOG WALK!  or DISHWASHER B4 XBOX!  or GET THE WASHING IN!!  and other inane commands.  Generally we’ve ignored them, though,  and carried on binge watching Family Guy.  It’s been very chilled and I do like being with Lad and Young Lad.  Reluctantly I went for a walk with them yesterday, and decided to liven things up a bit by rolling in some cack.  Young Lad tried to catch me so I ran off in the opposite direction, and then Young Lad AND Lad  had to run after me.  It was very funny.

Today when they took me out, there was a MASSIVE pile of  fresh cack by the river and I was heading towards it with glee, but was beaten to it by another dog.  He was rolling over and over in brown gloop and his Pack Leader was going ballistic.  Unfortunately I had been slowed down by stopping to watch, and Lad put me back on the lead.  This annoyed me.  In the evening,  She took me for another walk and we were nearly beaten back by an awful stench in the air.  It pervaded everything! People had to close their windows as it was filling their houses, and we had to walk home fast with her nose buried in her t-shirt to avoid the reek.  Lucky She – I didn’t have a t-shirt in which to bury my nose.  Through discussion with other dog walkers, we concluded that the smell was either from the sewage works or some nice farmers out for an evening’s muck-spreading.  It was shocking.

Readers, I have to say I’m a little disappointed.  Look, in my last blog I set you the task of spotting two Shakespeare quotes, and not one of you  has risen to the challenge. For goodness’ sake!  I go to all this trouble to be academic for you. I can only surmise that you’ve all been busy.

There was a very strange smell in here last evening, and for once it wasn’t my fault.  After all the walking on their Amazing Trip, some people’s feet aren’t in the best of shape and because we are too tight-fisted to splash out on a trip to the podiatrist, “home remedies for hideous feet” was googled.  I kid you not, there was soon a bowl with Listerine mouthwash, white vinegar and water in here, and into this awful mixture feet were soaked.  Can you imagine the aroma of that lot?  I stared pointedly at the Yankee Candles, but nobody lit them and I feel this is a little unfair considering that they are reached for the minute I make a small emission.  Double standards, Friends.

Stress levels are building in this and, I suspect, many other households as the school summer holidays are nearly over and it is Back To School next week.  Despite the ridiculous amount of time there has been to accomplish things, there is some small panic as not all aspects of  the school uniforms  have been purchased/arrived/had relative badges sewn on.  There will be a mega stress-fest on Sunday evening when it is realised just how many things haven’t been done.  It’s all very well putting out a mug of new black biros, but there is a lot more to being organised than this.  You would think they would learn, year after year, but no.

Readers, there has been no sign of Homeless Guy outside Sainsbury’s for a long time now.  She has ‘popped into town’ several times this week, nice and early, and he has not been around.  The last time She saw Homeless Guy outside Sainsbury’s was several weeks ago, when he had moved nearer to Costalotta, and he didn’t look very well.  This is sad, and together with the lamentable loss of Rocco the Inspirational Three Legged Labrador recently, it makes one ponder about the frailty of life.  

Of course I’m not able to ponder on serious matters for long in this house, as we’re soon back to moaning at me.  Tonight it’s because the John Lewis white duvet cover needs washing again, which is entirely  my fault apparently.  I try to point out that Gingercat sleeps on it too, but by all accounts Gingercat doesn’t have leakages of the type that I do – quite how She knows whose leakage it is I don’t know, and I don’t care to think how these things are analysed.  So the evening’s peace is being ruined by the washing machine on a hot wash and full spin.

To be fair, it’s not that peaceful here.  He is trying to get his golf clubs out of the roof as He is playing his annual game of golf with a friend after work tomorrow.  There has been some banging and shouting from upstairs, and I’ve clearly heard the words “poxy thing” several times.  From what I can gather, Lad kindly put the suitcases back in the roof after the Amazing Trip (yawn), but has made a “pig’s ear” of putting the loft ladder back.  Lad has shoved it so far back that it can’t be reached.  Young Lad has helpfully taken a stepladder upstairs to see if this helps, and if so the swearing might calm down soon.

I’m not quite sure what the plan is tomorrow, Friends.  I’m hoping She goes out and leaves me with Lad and Young Lad again.  I also hope a trip to Tesco is made soon, as there is NOTHING TO EAT in this house again, and poor Lad has been resorting to tins of soup or jaffa cakes, neither of which fit a balanced diet.  Young Lad even had to make his own cheese sandwich today for lunch, such is the level of neglect.  I’m thinking I’d like a change of scene for my walk tomorrow, as we haven’t been anywhere different for a while now.  Oh silly me, I was dragged round the Rec tonight for a second walk but I played up and ignored any commands, so it wasn’t the best in terms of mood.

Dear God, they’ve put 24 Hours in A&E on again, so it’s time for a nap.

See you soon,

Russell

 

Blackberrying

download (1) Readers, is there anything more boring in the whole world than picking blackberries?  Really, I fail to see the point of this annual ritual.  I had forgotten how tedious it was from last year – there I was yesterday, bouncing down the road happily in anticipation of a wonderful walk, when we stopped within a few yards of the path.  I was expected to stand still patiently while She faffed around in the bushes for half an hour, picking small and barely -worth- it fruit to put in a tupperware box.  Then we had to do it all again today, as we found An Excellent Spot yesterday, but had run out of room in the box.

I have to say it turned out to be quite amusing yesterday, actually.  Whilst She was standing precariously on a hilly bit in ill-advised flipflops trying to reach some juicy berries up high, it started to chuck down with rain.  Picture this – trying to hold onto a very bored Beagle on the lead in one hand, hold up an umbrella, balance a pot of blackberries on an arm and pick some very  high up fruit!  Oh it was funny.  Of course, all it would have taken was for me to pull on the lead and run off, and the whole thing would have ended badly.  You will be pleased to know I behaved impeccably.  Instead, due to the pounding rain She said “sod this for a game of soldiers” or something similar and we went home.  I was drenched and fed up, to be honest.

I know for a fact that Tesco sells punnets of blackberries.  This is an infinitely quicker and less dull way of acquiring them, and doesn’t annoy one’s dog.

What a day yesterday.  He was meant to be playing cricket, and he packed up the car with his big cricket case and looked very excited about having a game.  No sooner had He set off in the car than the heavens opened and the match was abandoned.  Poor He.  Instead He stayed at home all day and an attempt was made at a proper lunch where we all sat together at the table and talked.  Well, Lad talked.  Yesterday’s Dinnertime Debate was all about whether a player for Wet Sham called Sanderson or something similar, is worth the £40 million paid for him.  Lad feels strongly that he is not performing at £40 million worth level, and there was some discussion.  Lad feels Wet Sham have made an error of judgement here, just as they have in bringing back Snotgrass.  I know, I am bored to tears by this too.    In fact the only Reader even still reading this will be Sicknote, who has been known to enjoy the odd discussion about Wet Sham.  

So despite the effort to which She had gone, making a hearty lasagne and apple and blackberry crumble, lunch was spoiled very slightly by the limited conversation.  I just slept under the table and waited to stand in the dishwasher when they loaded it.  She kept staring at the wall and fantasising about leaving home.

It then rained, and rained and rained.  All. Bldy. Day. Long.  Nonetheless, I was dragged out for a second walk (totally unnecessary as He and Young Lad had taken me out in the morning) so that She could fulfil this ridiculous notion that we are still in the era of blackberry picking.  It was pants.  There was nobody else out in the rain and it annoyed me intensely.  

When we returned home, Young Lad wondered whether they could play a family board game; everyone was suddenly very busy with things to do. Poor Young Lad.  Do you know what he had to do instead?  Maths.  I kid you not.  Instead of a nice game of Monopoly or Cluedo, Young Lad was forced to sit down and go over a whole load of Maths that he got wrong several weeks ago.  This was unbelievably unkind.  It was  a Sunday  in the school holidays, for the love of God, and Young Lad should have been shouting  “it was Professor Plum in the library with the lead piping,” not finding the area of parallelograms!  Thankfully Young Lad gave up fairly quickly, and Lad’s attempts at ‘helping’ him didn’t go too well, so that nonsense was well and truly over.  Honestly how ridiculous.

Young Lad then said could they have Sunday tea, which involves home-made egg sandwiches and cakes etc, so She was back in the bldy kitchen for another bldy hour bldy cooking.  Sunday tea looked very nice, but nobody offered me any.

Now Lad was a little weary yesterday, due to Exam Results party #2 the night before.  I don’t think Lad had slept very much, and I sensed some shortness of temper.  Poor Lad.  It is Exam Results party#3 tonight, but Lad has very sensibly decided to give it a miss, with minimal nagging  encouragement from his parents.  Anyway, there is an Exam Results party #4 later in the week.  On this note, a letter has arrived from Lad’s school, inviting him back for Year 12.  This is kind of them.  There is a booklet with some simple Rules and Regulations, but Lad has already said none of it applies to him, so that’s ok.

I have had three walks today Readers, and this really is too much of a good thing.  This morning was the second tedious attempt at blackberrying, and then the whole family drove off to visit Grandad who is in hospital feeling unwell.  I have no doubt whatsoever that an hour of Lad and Young Lad talking to him whilst in a hospital bed unable to escape, has made him feel much better.  Plus they’ve very generously given Grandad a copy of my book and I feel sure that this will speed his recovery too.

Anyway, due to the long time they were out, dear Ebony’s Pack Leader came to let me out for a comfort break, and in fact took me out for a FUN walk with Ebony.  Not picking blackberries, not standing still talking to people, just a FUN ball-chasing walk.  It was marvellous.

Then after dinner tonight, She decided She needed another walk as the Exercise Quotient has been increased lately, so off I was dragged again.  This be madness, of course, but I had no choice but to go along with it.  As a result I am absolutely exhausted tonight and fit for nothing.  Gingercat has just walked across my head (being too lazy to jump down from the windowsill to the floor) and I barely noticed.  Meghan Markle does not expect this level of physicality from her Beagle.  I do hope the book arrives tomorrow so that I can post it to her.

I have just farted quite loudly on the sofa, due to the amount of greengages I have eaten from the garden.  Young Lad is laughing; inappropriately, I feel.

Despite my extreme physical and mental tiredness, I have used two Shakespeare quotes in my writing tonight, which I personally think is superb.  Free dog biscuit to anyone who can spot them.  

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

 

 

Celebrating

IMG_20180821_212759_698 Last night, Friends, they all went out for a meal to celebrate Lad’s exam results.  I think they went to Express Pizza as that’s where they normally go, being creatures of habit plus Young Lad has a passion for the Chocolate Fudge Cake with cream.  I know for a fact that as this was a special occasion, they were allowed a dessert EACH rather than sharing a small wedge of New York cheesecake between three people, and Lad pushed the boat out by having Jalapenos on his American Hot.

Well.  As they didn’t take me with them, I decided to have a celebratory meal all of my own while they were out.  Oh, they had shut the bathroom door and the kitchen door all right, and thought they had covered all bases but no, Friends, they hadn’t.  In the front porch – where it had been for several days in the normal slovenly way – was my new box of food.  I ripped through the cardboard and yanked out the huge bag; this took very little tearing before I was well and truly in.

Friends, in order to celebrate Lad’s exam results properly, I ate five or six meals’ worth of food.  It was nice.

My stomach was rather swollen and I was extremely thirsty, and of course they all shouted at me when they got in because of the mess. Look I was simply too full to start tidying up the ripped up cardboard that was covering the hall floor.  She said the usual silly “WHO did this?” as if anyone else was going to own up.  For goodness’s sake.  I ran out in the garden and had the longest wee possible while they cleared up and carried on moaning. 

Readers, I didn’t have a very good night after that.  My stomach was so swollen that I needed to expel a LOT of air all night long, and it was quite pungent. Plus I needed a comfort break at 2am, and there was quite a lot of it, and a further comfort break at 6am, and there was a lot of it again.  I’m sorry to be blunt, but those six meals I’d eaten in one go had to be digested somehow.  Anyway, as I’d woken people up twice in the night, I was grumbled at even more.  There was a right tetchy mood in the house this morning.  Apart from Lad, bless his cotton socks, who stayed happily asleep until lunchtime having had a couple of late nights recently.

Now I know you’ve been wondering whether Lad had a good time at the Exam Result Party, and I’m happy to report that he did.  I don’t think anyone went to bed at a sensible time and I’m not sure they were drinking Fanta all evening, which is rather disappointing but there you go.  In fact as I write, Lad is at Exam Result Party #2  and I gather there is a #3 on Monday night.  To be honest I feel this is overdoing things and is rather excessive, but Lad knows best.   What does make me laugh, Readers, is that Lad managed to get a Top Grade in English Literature, and Regular Readers will remember that Lad didn’t actually read the books as they were all “rubbish.” That’s Mary Shelley, Shakespeare and  R.C Sherriff           dismissed in one fell swoop.  

Young Lad has been very happy recently, as he has been treated to toast at Costalotta for three days on the trot.  Today’s visit was out of necessity as there was no bread in the house for breakfast, and it didn’t seem to dawn on anyone to go up the road and buy a loaf.  This is a sad state of affairs.  Young Lad was extremely pleased with the solution to this problem and, combined with the chocolate fudge cake at Express Pizza last night, he has had a right result lately. Nobody takes me out for toast at Costalotta.

Today was fairly pleasant, after all the telling off about the disturbed night, and I had a lovely long walk at the river in beautiful sunshine.  We met dear Lexie who as usual had half a forest dangling from her mouth, and I laughed as she whacked people round the back of the legs with it.   I did need yet another comfort break right up in Top Field and again, the quantity and texture were quite unusual, so there was more carping on about my digestive system.

Lordy, did it rain this afternoon.  Out of nowhere there was a huge clap of thunder and down it poured.  I had no choice but to hunker down further in my chair and go to sleep.  Quite incredibly, though, once it stopped raining I was dragged out for a second walk round the rec, to make up for the excessive eating.  I objected strongly to this, as I really didn’t feel another walk was necessary. Nobody listens.

Readers, I have ordered a copy of my book to send to Meghan Markle.  I feel it’s important that she reads about me and knows the situation.  I’m not completely sure of her address but I’m sure Meghan Markle, Nottingham Cottage, South Ken, will suffice.  There can’t be many Meghan Markles in South Ken.  Once she reads about me, I am quite sure she will  be in touch to invite me over, to stay with Guy her rescue Beagle.  The only thing is, I gather she has recently taken on a rescue labrador as well.  This is a little vexing as I’m not sure how well I’ll get on with it.  Oh well.  My needs would take priority,  I feel.  I will let you know when I’ve sent the book, and when I receive my invitation, which  I know for a fact will be quite soon after My Winter Of Discontent plops onto HRH’s doormat.

I am absolutely starving tonight, Friends, as I have been denied any meals since last night.  We all know that those six celebratory meals have gone right through my system and there is no need to put me on reduced rations.  This is Neglect, Readers.  Pure and simple.

Golly I’m tired tonight.  It is still quite smelly in here, I’ll admit, but I’m not convinced the smells are all down to me.  They’re very quick to blame me for sulphuric emissions here.

Bye for now,

Russell

Resilience

black-lab-clipart-1Tonight’s blog is dedicated to Rocco the Inspirational Three-Legged Labrador.  Readers, Rocco is no longer with us, and never again will we see him lolloping along down by the river, laughing his big laugh and rolling on his back. 

Rocco was, and remains, a true inspiration to us all. Life is a complete bitch at times, whether you’re human or canine, and the choices are to curl yourself up into a ball and never get up to face another day, or to roll with it.  Having your back leg amputated has to be about as grim as it gets for a dog, so which path did Rocco choose?  Give up and go under?  No, Friends.  Rocco smiled and laughed, and lolloped his wonderful lollop on long walks at the river, making everyone smile with him.  Rocco lived for two fabulous years on his three legs, and only the discovery of another mass this week has meant it is time for him to lie on the big field in the sky, waving his three paws around for ever more. 

We can all learn something from Rocco.  However bad life is, however awful, find something that makes you smile and just enjoy the simplest of things.  Sleep well, dear Rocco, and thank you for all the times you warmed our day.

Readers, I feel that Lad has some things in common with Rocco.  Lad, too, had a bit of a time of it back in the day, and life was Very Hard.  Lad didn’t stay under life’s duvet and refuse to face it. Just like Rocco, he marched on with bits missing or not working properly, and as well as being a Royal Pain in the Bum at times, Lad worked very hard and has nailed those hideous GCSEs.  All that tedious revision and throwing pens across the floor in temper has paid off, and Lad is quite deservedly out at that party tonight to celebrate.  Of course he had to sit through a lecture before he went, about Sensible Behaviour and Drink/Drugs/Girls and such like, but finally Lad escaped and has gone to let his hair down. I’m very proud of Lad, and will sleep on his bed with him when he gets back tomorrow.

Results Day didn’t start well for Lad, as She went bouncing in with the laptop at 8.50am, taking him a cup of tea and pulling his curtains, so that Lad could wake up and look at his results.  Instead, Lad was cross and shouted “the results don’t go online until 10am,” turned over and went back to sleep.  I went and had a cuddle with him to comfort him from the stress of being woken up an hour early.  This sort of thing annoys me, too.

Anyway.  It was a busy sort of day after that, and Young Lad was made to hoover upstairs so that he was Pulling His Weight.  Young Lad did a good job of the hoovering and even remembered to carry it back downstairs and put it in the cupboard – this is unusual.  Well done, Young Lad.  As a treat he was taken to Costalotta for a plate of toast and a glass of tap water – this is known as splashing out.

I had a lovely walk at the river and bumped into a lot of friends, including Rocco’s Pack Leader who was down there with her family.  We stopped for a long chat, and although I was keen to move on, I have enough emotional intelligence to realise that this couldn’t be rushed.  I pride myself on my empathy.

In other news, the greengage tree that hangs over into our garden is in full fruit, and there are lots of greengages on the lawn.  I eat them for a snack, and then get moaned at because what I deposit in my comfort breaks is full of greengage stones.  Well how is it my fault that these things don’t break down?  And in actual fact it made life a whole lot easier for her today, because I had a comfort break up the hill while She was at the bottom, so She had to stomp all the way back up moaning, and couldn’t find the necessary deposit anywhere.  Eventually She spotted it due to the pile of greengage stones – but was I thanked?  Of course not.

Yesterday at the river we saw le petit chien Jade, whose Pack Leader comes from Paris.  There was a brief chat, and She thought about giving Jade’s Pack Leader a business card advertising my book (yes, we really do carry those around with us).  However, She decided that due to limited English-speaking, Jade’s Pack Leader wouldn’t understand my book.  How utterly condescending!  The rudeness. Well, that’s one sale less.

A slightly shorter blog tonight, Friends, due to driving Lad around to catch bldytrains to his party.  I do hope Lad has fun and remembers all the things he was told in the twenty minutes he was trapped in the car on the way to the station, and couldn’t escape.  I’m sure Lad was listening.

Goodnight, dear Rocco.

Russell

 

 

Clearing up

10796643287070 I have spent some considerable time this evening hoovering up the floor of the clubhouse at cricket.  It was in a disgusting state, to be frank, with a shocking number of crisps and crumbs all over the shop.  I found it very difficult to get right underneath the sofas and had to lie on my side, digging my paws as far under as possible.  This was uncomfortable and to be honest, it wouldn’t have hurt someone to pull the sofa out for me.  But no, they were all busy chatting over their chilled white wine and occasionally saying “well done” for cleaning up the carpet.  Without doubt the floor looked much cleaner after my efforts and nobody will have to get the hoover out now.

Sadly this is the last cricket training session of this summer, and I am quite upset about this.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself on a Wednesday evening now, and will miss the frantic screeching of “HURRY UP” and “HAVE YOU GOT YOUR PADS/BOX/HELMET?” every week.  It’s been a lovely summer of cricket, with warm evenings and plenty of bird poo on the boundary.  Here’s to next season.

It’s been a very industrious day at home.  She decided it was high time we had a doorbell that worked, as the last four that have been purchased and installed have been rubbish.  The current one gives out a half-hearted “bing” in a whisper as if apologising for the fact that someone is at the door, and nobody can ever hear it.  So armed with an electric drill and a £7 doorbell from Asda (why do my family never learn?) there was some furious DIY going on for while.  We now have a working doorbell with 24 possible tunes, but being very dull in this house we’ve selected Bing Bong.

Lad has also been working hard in order to earn more money. He has sorted out all of his clothes and those of Young Lad so that their drawers are no longer full of socks with holes in and pyjamas that are aged 6-7.  What a horrid job.  I feel Lad is being exploited and this is not acceptable.

Yesterday we had a long drive back from seeing Nana aged 87.  I slept throughout this journey, and was exceptionally well-behaved in the car. It was nice to get home and I’ve made it perfectly clear that I don’t want to go out visiting anyone else for a long time – I need some time in my own home, to settle.  I really shouldn’t have to point this out to them.  Young Lad and Lad had to unload all the bldybags from the car after visiting Nana aged 87, and there was some bad temper as everyone is a bit sick of packing and unpacking bags after their Amazing Trip.  Tough. Serves them right for going.

In the evening we went for a lovely long walk at the river, and I was jolly glad to be back on familiar territory.  I had hoped we might bump into dear, dear Pippa but she is “in season”, whatever this means, and is not allowed to see me.  This really is unfortunate and I hope Pippa sorts this out quickly. She must be missing me dreadfully.  We did see lots of other friends and I waded into the river, but slightly misjudged how deep it was, and went in much further than I normally do.  Rarely do I let my shoulders get wet in the river, but it happened last night.  This was rather scary so I clambered out quickly and tried to look brave.

It was rather nice to have everyone at home in the house last night.  He, Young Lad and She all watched telly in the lounge with me (24 hours in A & E on catch-up, I ask you) whilst Lad was shouting heartily on the Xbox in the other room.  I do like these sort of evenings.  Actually I was rather tired and took myself off to bed during some boring medical emergency at St George’s, Tooting  that was taking their attention.  I do like an early night.  And a long lie-in.

So today has been busy on the Home Improvement front ( a working doorbell). She and Lad also attempted to fix some lights to his bike, but this didn’t end well as She dropped the little nut on the lawn and couldn’t find it, so now the screw doesn’t actually screw into anything.  You would not believe the language I heard, Readers, and it wasn’t from Lad!  Really, what sort of a role model is this, to be swearing in front of one’s offspring when you lose a nut.  Lad will learn nothing about resilience and keeping one’s temper from this. I was appalled.  Plus, of course, the light is hanging on the wonk and looks ridiculous.

Then there was the painful annual trip to A Sensible Shoe Shop to have Young Lad’s feet  measured and new school shoes purchased.  This is akin to ripping out one’s own eyelashes slowly, apparently, and not a pleasant couple of hours.  But what a surprise!  There was no queue and the suspiciously young  assistant (possibly unable to tie their own laces let alone anyone else’s) who was measuring feet was quick and efficient.  Young Lad suggested celebrating this turn of events with some fruit toast in Barstucks.  Nobody brought any home for me, of course.

In a further attempt at Household Efficiency, a mug of brand new pencils and a separate mug of blue biros have been put on the table.  We all know they will have disappeared by the end of the week.  It does make me laugh.

Well, Readers, tomorrow is an Important Day.  Do you remember all the tortuous hard work Lad had to do for something called GCSEs?  It went on for ever, didn’t it? Tomorrow Lad and thousands of other Lads and Female Lads across the country will receive their results.  It is very exciting.  Lad says there is a big party tomorrow night – to be frank, this seems a little premature as nobody knows if they have anything to celebrate yet, but there you go.  

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

See you soon,

Russell

Fragrant

shampoo-clipart-6Well, wonders will never cease.  They have finally purchased a new bottle of dog shampoo for me, and it is not the Value range.  It smells lovely and was bldyexpensive.  I’ve had a bath today and my coat is glossy and perfumed. More of that later.

Yesterday I was pushed into the boot of the car, and driven a long way to visit Nana aged 87. Really this is too much on top of being abandoned for three weeks and then taken to visit Sicknote – am I never to relax in my own home? Young Lad and Lad were told we were leaving early in case the traffic was bad, and this pleased Lad greatly.  There was some grumpiness in the car, which Young Lad dealt with by going to sleep, and so did I.  In actual fact the traffic wasn’t bad apart from one “idiot” on the M25 who drove across two lanes for several miles so that nobody could get past on either side.  Luckily Young Lad woke up and put the 1970s CD on, to improve the mood.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the loud singing of Blame It On The Boogie and neither did Lad.

I was very excited to arrive at Nana aged 87’s, and raced up her front steps and through the front door, completely ignoring Nana aged 87 and running to the kitchen to see if the cat food bowl was down.  It wasn’t.  This was disappointing and I do wish Nana aged 87 wouldn’t pick it up before I get there.

There was then yet another Family Lunch, which was attended by Funnygit her brother, his very lovely wife and one of the Cousins.  Funnygit was hilarious as usual and called me Rothmans and I nearly split my sides laughing.  I tried to cadge some food from the lunch table but everyone was talking such a lot that they ignored me.  This was hurtful.  

Readers, I couldn’t believe what they did after lunch.  The dreariness of it!  She produced her laptop and they all sat huddled around looking at photos of the Amazing Trip.  Dear God.  It was interminable and I really couldn’t see the point.  Everyone was too polite to tell Pack Leader it was boring, and they all sat there nodding and saying “wow” every so often in the right place.  It was awful. I decided to show what I thought about all this by scooting my bottom along Nana aged 87’s carpet. Several times.

Later in the afternoon it was decided that we needed some fresh air and exercise, so Lad, Young Lad and I were dragged out for a long walk.  It was quite nice actually as we went through some woodland and there were loads of great smells.  There was also a takeway chip box with a small chip left in it. Not for long.

Lad and Young Lad had brought the football with them and were looking forward to shooting in goal once in the park.  Unfortunately, after the long walk through the woods it was discovered that the goalposts had been taken down which was obviously upsetting for Lad and Young Lad.  Making a goal from two hoodies is not the same, apparently, and Lad says it is PATHETIC that the local council take the goalposts down, and WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?  He said quite a lot more, too.  It was decided we were all quite weary, so began the long walk back.

I slept soundly on the sofa all evening, snoring loudly.  There wasn’t much room for Young Lad and She on here as well, but I was fine.

I was quite cross this morning to be woken up well before 8am, by the sound of heavy duty drilling in the garden.  A man had arrived to put up some new fence panels for Nana aged 87, and I know for a fact that it is against the law to use a heavy duty drill before 8am.  I made it 7:43 and he was bang out of order.  I barked a lot at him and made it clear that I wasn’t pleased.  He did a very good job of the fence and tried to make a fuss of me, but that isn’t the point.

Now, Lad was supposed to be spending the day doing jobs for Nana aged 87 to earn some money, so he was told to get up before lunchtime and bldy well get on with it.  She took me for a lovely long walk in the park early on, while Lad was still thinking about getting up, and I had such a good sniff around.  We decided to walk back through the cow field, which is a good, hearty walk that raises the heart rate, but all it did today was hurt my paws as it’s completely overgrown with bastard thistles.  I had to walk really slowly, trying to find a path through the ruddy things, and my feet were prickled like nobody’s business.  In a rare show of compassion, She noticed my discomfort and we abandoned the cow field in favour of the more normal parkland.  However, I felt I needed to show how I felt about being dragged through thistles, so I rolled in some fox poo just before we got back to the car.  Thus I had a bath with the new, more expensive shampoo when we got home.

To be fair, Lad has worked hard in the garden today and it looks like Capability Brown has popped round.  There has been some question about his work/speed ratio as there have been numerous breaks to look at his phone, but one can’t argue with the standard of his workmanship and I’m very proud of Lad.  I have sat in the garden to help him, at times.  Young Lad, too, has done a few jobs in the garden and this afternoon he brought two sofa cushions out, lay down and went to sleep.  I feel Young Lad had overdone things and I know how he feels.  I, too, have needed a lot of naps today.

Hopefully there will be no annyoing workmen with power drills waking me up early tomorrow, and I’ll be able to sleep in.  Nana aged 87 says I still seem out of sorts and she’s quite right.  I’m exhausted by all the changes to my routine.

Bye for now,

Russell

Manners

20180818_182759 Just look how nicely I am sitting, as I beg for food from Sausage Sue at the river this morning.  I am making eye contact with her – well, the bag containing the treats – and sitting up very straight.  What wonderful manners.  Unfortunately Sausage Sue didn’t seem to get the message, so I had to bark and stamp my feet, and finally jump up at her to make things clearer.  There will be more about Sausage Sue later; we’ve bumped into each other a lot over the last couple of days.

In my last blog I said that it was raining, so hopefully I wouldn’t be dragged out for a second walk that day.  It stopped raining, and I was.  However this turned out to be quite interesting as we went to deliver a) some flowers to a neighbour who’s had a tricky time,  b) some bread pudding to Ebony’s Pack Leader Male for helping us to fix our broken door lock and c) a well done card to a friend who has excelled in her exams.  Now, on the way down to the last of these I found a wide assortment of dead and decaying animal life.  There were two flattened rats decomposing on the entrance to a car park.  I was pulled swiftly away.  There were two, yes two, large birds decaying in the bushes near the car park.  I was told I’d had enough dead bird for the foreseeable future.  Finally there was something unidentifiable a little further on that I did my best to reach, but was yanked back.  Goodness knows what’s been going on down that road, but it clearly isn’t safe for wildlife.

Yesterday I had a lovely walk in the morning, and felt quite content with that for the day.  But no, I was dragged out of my chair after lunch and told we were going to visit Sicknote.  Now normally I rather enjoy this, as Sicknote has a tin with Chedigree Plum treats in it, and I know exactly where she keeps it, plus I like wandering around with her older dog, trying to ignore the irritating puppy. Today was different, however.  For a start, Lad came with us.  This is highly unusual and I wondered what on earth was going on. The young puppy has grown rather a lot but is still very irritating as she constantly demands that I play with her.  I have no idea how to play and don’t intend learning now.  Normally I can rise above these things, but I was so out of sorts what with being abandoned for three weeks, and then Lad making a change to normal routine, that I couldn’t cope and became clinically depressed for the hour and a half that we were there.  There was lots of moaning at me to “be nice to the puppy” and all that sort of nonsense, but to no avail.  I refused to speak to or interact with anyone, human or canine, and sat in a corner looking glum.

Lad, on the other hand, had a lovely time discussing with Sicknote all that is wrong with Wet Sham and what sort of mistakes the management of the club are making.  This was very tedious and went on for ages.  I’m glad Lad knows so much about these things.  On this point, Readers, I’m quite pleased to hear that while they were on their Amazing Trip, there was no escape from the Dinnertime Debates and the Trump administration, Wet Sham management and whether the moon landing was faked were all subjects of discussion.  

In case you’re worried about where poor Young Lad was during all this yesterday, in a rare burst of energy he was “hanging out” with a friend down the road for the afternoon, which even stretched to walking into town and catching a bus to somewhere else for lunch!  Then they had to walk back!  Young Lad was very tired in the evening.

During my morning walk yesterday, we had bumped into Sausage Sue who always carries a little pouch with meat-based snacks in it for her dogs.  Sausage Sue was very kind and gave me a snack, as I sat so beautifully.  Then in the evening, we saw her again!  Sausage Sue was far over the other side of the field, but my eyesight is excellent and I recognised her even in the dusk. I pulled and pulled on my lead, trying to get over to her for another snack, but was rather unkindly steered in the opposite direction.

This morning we did a very long walk and went over the bridge into Top Field.  Now, we haven’t been there for a long time because of the people who had some sort of caravanning holiday there, with their large shiny caravans, big white Transit vans and loads of dogs.  She decided by now that the Top Field should be ok for walking in, and anything these caravanners had left behind should have been washed away, so we risked it.  Blow me down, who was in Top Field?  Sausage Sue!  I followed her at her heels and sat very, very nicely but my Pack Leader said “no, you are NOT begging for food again, bad dog” and so Sausage Sue didn’t give me anything even when I threw myself at her.

On the way to the river we had met Oscar the Border Terrier, who always jumps up at her and plasters her legs in mud.  This is very funny.  But today it was rather trying for Oscar and I, as our Pack Leaders stood on the path discussing Amazing Trips and Long Haul this that and the other for what seemed like forever.  They appeared to have forgotten we were out for a walk.

Today has been lovely, Readers, as Lad has been home all day.  He was given a very long list of jobs on a piece of paper, and has been promised payment when they are done, and done to a high standard.  Lad has worked very hard in the garden and been ordered to do jobs that nobody else wants to do, such as tidy out the drawer with all the random phone leads/chargers/plugs/headphones/Nintendo Wii accessories/scart leads and anything else electrical that has been chucked in there over the last ten years.  Some of the items could go into a museum, they’re that old.  What a horrid job, poor Lad.

He has been home all day too, which has been nice.  Young Lad and He went to the cinema to watch a film about a pretend shark.  There’s no accounting for taste.

She had to do an enormous ruddy food shop, and met LovelyDor down the road for lunch, as LovelyDor had looked after Gingercat whilst they were away.  You see what I mean?  We are just abandoned on a whim, and other people are expected to step up and take responsibility.  It beggars belief.

Well, it’s Saturday night and I can hear the familiar chink and fizz of an ice cube combining with Gordon.  Young Lad and Lad will have some treats in the way of chocolate, no doubt, and He has a nice bottle of Claret open.  What have I got? You’re right.  Zilch.

I’m thinking of sending a copy of my book to Meghan Markle, so that she hears about my plight.  What do you think?

See you soon,

Russell

Back On Form

5842be715aebf5c9518d5ec81bc49174_the-dead-bird-test-can-any-business-pass-it-the-buyosphere-and-dead-bird-clipart_380-380Now the funny thing is,  as I told you, I was perfectly behaved at Grandma’s house for three weeks.  I did not raid bins, empty food cupboards, steal anything, roll in fox poo or dead animals.  I did not try to bite her.

I’ve been back home for two days and normal service has been well and truly resumed.

Yesterday I went for a nice walk down to the river with She and Young Lad. I had missed my walks down there very much.  As soon as we rounded the first bend, I saw a dead bird in the bushes and raced up to it – I was on the lead but Young Lad was holding me, and he didn’t stand a chance. I yanked his shoulder out of his socket and grabbed the dead blackbird – there was a screech and an attempt to stop me but to no avail. They had no choice but to stand there and listen to me crunching through skull and wings.  I was rather annoyed when some of the intestine fell out of my mouth and dropped to the path, as I was pulled away sharply so missed out on this part.  Anyway once there was nothing left but a few feathers protruding from my lips, we went on our merry way.

Further on, I ran off to see whether anyone had put bread out for the birds.  They hadn’t, but I had a good sniff around and totally ignored all the shouting at me to come back.  I went back in my own good time.  Several times yesterday I ran off and wouldn’t come back when told to.  It was fun.  She seemed rather cross at the end of our walk and said it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Now I know what you’re thinking, Readers – golly, Young Lad coming out for a dog walk and even holding the lead?  What with jet lag and all?  Poor Young Lad also had cricket training in the evening, and I really feel they expect too much of him.  I was pleased about cricket training, though, as I have missed the cricket club over the last three weeks, and was looking forward to walking round the ground over and over again eating bird poo.  Would you credit it – on one of our laps of the boundary, I spotted another dead bird in the bushes!  However this time I was swiftly intercepted and didn’t get to eat that one.  There was plenty of bird poo though.

Occasionally we sat in the clubhouse so that She could chat to people – I find this incredibly tedious and rather selfish, so have no choice but to look for food on the carpet.  Hurrah for a messy Pringles eater, as I sniffed out a couple of smashed golden discs under a bar stool, and made a dash for them.  I was on the lead and this time pulled her arm out of its socket, but never mind.  The Pringles were nice – sour cream and chive, I suspect.  I dived under a bench to see if there was anything else and wrapped my lead round a table, nearly dislodging someone’s glass of chilled white wine, but to be honest I was bored witless with them all asking about the Amazing Trip.  Who cares?

Readers, you might be thinking that was enough fun for one day.  Oh no.  We arrived home at 8.30pm, all a little tired, and I went out into the garden where I found a manky apple that had fallen from the tree.  I took a bite as it was quite slushy, but this was an error of judgement, as there happened to  be a wasp in the part I bit.  The bastard wasp stung me in my mouth and I screamed.  Now, it has been said before that I’m not a very brave dog, which I resent, and I did have quite a dramatic reaction to the wasp stinging me.  I went very peculiar, all floppy and unable to sit upright, and my eyes glazed over and closed in a strange way.  I looked as though I was not long for this world, and everyone fussed round me extremely worried.  Well, He was worried and sat with me, stroking my head, while She ranted on about don’tbldywellneedthis ohforgod’ssake and things like that.  She did attempt to look in my mouth, so I bit her hand really hard and drew blood.

In the end, after googling “wasp sting in dog’s mouth” and noticing that I did in fact look dead, She rang the emergency Evil Vet.  The Evil Vet said is he breathing, which I was, just, and then said well it’s £150 out of hours fee before we start, so do you want to monitor him for a bit before bringing him out?    This was agreed , and I was “monitored” for another ten minutes, until I noticed that Young Lad was eating a Muller Fruit Corner yogurt, so I sprang back to life miraculously and went to lick the pot.  After that I seemed fine.

All in all, quite a day.  And nothing like the peaceful days I spent at Grandma’s house.

Lad, during all of this, was still out with his friends.  This had begun on the Tuesday, and finally finished when he rolled home after everyone had gone to bed last night.  It is important for Lad to have fun, Readers, especially as he has been stuck with his family twenty-four hours a day for the last three weeks.

Today started in an unusual yet wonderful way.  There I was, sound asleep on the bed at 6.30am having had my comfort break and breakfast, when I was told I was going out for a walk.  What, this early?  We never go out at this time!  What the heck, I’m trying to sleep!  But it appears that jet lag means you wake up at silly hours and so it was deemed important to seize the day and take me out.  Well.  What a good decision that turned out to be!

Firslty, I found part of the wing that I hadn’t finished off from the bird yesterday.  Excellent.  Then I bumped into a cockapoo who lives down the road, and for some bizarre reason I felt as randy as anything and tried to mount it.  She kept shouting at me to stop because I don’t know what it’s all about, but it was a lot of fun.  I chased the cockapoo all over the shop and kept trying my luck.  Eventually I was put back on the lead.

Who did I bump into next?  Why, dear, dear Ebony!  Oh we were thrilled to see each other – it’s been so long!  Poor, poor Ebony has been dumped in kennels while her family went on holiday, and I of course had been dumped at Grandma’s, so we had a lot to tell each other.  

Further down the path was a lady who stood still, and she didn’t have a dog with her.  Clearly there was no reason for her to be by the river this morning, so I barked ferociously at her.  The lady said don’t be so silly, I used to have a Beagle, so of course then there was a long, dull discussion about how awful Beagles are plus unashamed advertising of my book. Dreary.

After ‘power walking’ round Far Field (I struggled to keep up), we headed back and just guess who was running towards me?  It was dear, dear Pippa!  Oh we chased each other and she jumped on me, over me, at me and had such a lovely time.  I’ve missed Pippa such a lot, just like Ebony.  What a wonderful morning.

So I was back home by 8am today, having walked two and a half miles, and by golly I’m pretty tired.  It’s now raining so hopefully I won’t be dragged out again today.

Young Lad has now gone out with a friend to the cinema, and Lad has just woken up, aided by the smell of warm croissant and a cup of tea under his nose.  I don’t get this treatment.  He has been given a list of jobs to do, including put the ruddysuitcases in the roof, but has said there is a party he wants to go to tonight.  The discussion continues.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

The Wanderers Return

20180814_185742 Well, how nice of them!  My family have finally deigned to come home from their Amazing Trip and I am back home.  You can see how excited I am about this.  Readers, I am so sorry that you have had no blog for three and a half weeks, and I can hear the sighs of relief and muted cheers from you all now, as you realise there is a blog this evening.   I will do my best to entertain you, as I know I’ve been missed.

My family actually got home last evening, after a bldynightmare fortybldythree hours of travelling blah blah blah,  but that’s the price you pay for choosing to go as far away from me as is geographically possible for three weeks.  Tough. Had they popped up to Suffolk they wouldn’t have had this problem and could have taken me with them, but there you go.  Did they come rushing down to Grandma’s house to collect me last night, Readers, desperate to see me?  They did not.  It was deemed too far to drive after fortybldythree hours of travelling, and so I stayed at Grandma’s for an extra evening.  This was lovely and I slept on her bed.

I am not going to bore you with details of their Amazing Trip, as I couldn’t give a monkey’s, to be honest.  The only part I’m interested in is that She and Young Lad were both bitten on the backside by my distant cousin called Majic.  It seems it stings a bit, when a bull mastiff takes the flesh of one’s rear end in its teeth.  Good. Serves them right.  Look, it’s a simple question of following instructions – they had all been told that everyone has to walk backwards out of a room as otherwise Majic bites bottoms.  Young Lad and She clearly didn’t listen properly or follow this basic advice.  Fair play to Majic – I wish I’d seen it!  I would have laughed so much.  

Really and truly I’d  been hoping for some interesting incidents with deadly monster spiders or snakes, to serve them right for leaving me.  This didn’t happen.  Apart from a mediocre cockroach and a couple of lizards, there was no scary wildlife to make them regret abandoning me.  Humph.

Anyway, enough of them. I’ve had a wonderful three weeks at Grandma’s house, where I have behaved impeccably and been tremendous company.  Grandma has LOVED having me there, and will miss me greatly.  I will miss her, too, as she is far less shouty than anyone here, and actually bothers to notice me.  I’ve spent my days dozing in a comfortable chair, having early morning and evening walks due to the extreme temperatures ( please notice how much Grandma considers my welfare), and my nights have been spent spread out on her bed.  I have allowed her a little room on the edge.  One day Grandma took me to visit one of her friends, and together they used a pincer movement to put some ear drops in my ear, but I didn’t try to bite their hands off as this would have been rude.

He drove down this morning to collect me.  I was quite excited to see  him as I had forgotten, after three weeks, that I actually have a family,  and I got out of my chair to give him a nice welcome.  This involved running around making whinnying noises and putting my paws round his neck.  I know, this was uncharacteristically demonstrative of  me!

So back home we drove, and I was very excited to get inside my home and see everyone after all this time.  Well, I was excited to run straight to the garden to see if the Stupid Starlings had dropped any food off the bird table.  Then I said hello to Lad and Young Lad, and we all made a fuss of each other.  Lad was supposed to be cutting the grass, but was terribly tired from doing the back lawn and needed a sit- down on the Xbox before attempting the front.  Young Lad was washing out the suitcases with a hose and had put a few things in the dishwasher.  Young Lad, too, needed a sit- down.  Jet lag is a terrible thing.

Now, would you think Pack Leader would have been here to welcome me home?  You would, wouldn’t you?  But no, Readers, in between six loads of washing, ruddy Tesco and sorting out ruddy prescriptions/medications for Lad and Young Lad, She found the time to pop out for lunch with a couple of friends.   This beggars belief.  Surely any self-respecting dog owner would be here, waiting by the door for their four-legged friend, rather than catching up over an egg and watercress sandwich. I was hurt by this – but was mightily cheered when I heard the problems She had finding her way home.  Some workmen thought it would be very amusing to shut a road while She was having lunch, so that She couldn’t get back the way She came, and this combined with jet lag resulted in half an hour of driving aimlessly and badly round country lanes, trying to find a way out. Ha.

Do you know what has annoyed me since being home?  I found out that when they returned from their fortybldythree hour journey last night, they walked in and found a home-cooked lasagne waiting for them in the fridge, plus a fish pie, plus a home-made coffee and walnut cake!  What the actual heck!  When I returned home today, what was waiting for me?  You’re right.  Diddly squat.  Oh, actually, that’s not strictly true as there was a tiny portion of reduced price roast turkey from Tesco in the fridge.  Gingercat and I have to share this.  Generous to the last.

I did cheer up when She said it was time for my walk, and we headed down to the river.  I  haven’t been there for so long!  The minute I was off the lead, I ran and ran in my slightly uncoordinated way to check out the food situation.  Before long, we met NiceTallLadyWithTheStaffie and she called across the field, to tell us that she has just bought a copy of my book!  Marvellous;  it’s nice when people appreciate great writing.  Her staffie, Molly, had been a little subdued recently when they had a house full of guests, and there was a long, dull discussion with Pack Leader about how we sensitive creatures don’t like our routines changed.  Molly and I were bored senseless by this, and wandered off.   Still, I’m very chuffed that a copy of my book is being enjoyed this very evening.

On the way back, I suddenly stopped and put my nose up in the air.  Somewhere, across the long, long grass, there was a smell so rank it was divine.  I bolted like a bullet from a gun towards the longest part of the grass, and sure enough, there was something Dead.  Ignoring the screams of “RUSSELL, NO!!” I grabbed the offending item and ate it.  Good Lord it stunk.  I’m not quite sure whether it was rat, mouse, shrew or fish, such was the state of it, but I enjoyed it.

Of course I was then put back on the lead.  Further on we bumped into Rocco the Inspirational Three-Legged Labrador, and naturally we had to stop to make a fuss of him and tell him how Inspirational he is.  Now, Rocco’s Pack Leader works in the Travel Industry, so of course there was then a lengthy and dreary discussion of the Amazing Trip and the bldynightmare fortybdlythreehours of travel to get home.  Rocco and I were so bored.

Well, I suppose it is nice to be home, really.  Things have gone back to normal very quickly – Lad, after having a rest on the Xbox, found enough energy to go and meet his friends in a town far away, and Young Lad, after having a rest on the sofa, found enough energy to go into town to buy a new game for the Xbox. I’ve had my head in the dishwasher to clear the plates after dinner, and it’s as if I’ve never been away.

Now look, judging by August’s disappointing sales figures, there are a lot of you that still haven’t bought my book.   Never mind the whole “we’re away on holiday” thing – Amazon is only a click away and can be accessed from the beach, sunlounger, bar, up a mountain, whatever.  And now that She has worked out the “expanded distribution” tab on her account, I’m even available on Amazon Australia!!  Yes!  So that is worldwide.  Those of you that have already bought it – thank you.  If you enjoyed it, tell someone else.  

Golly I’m exhausted. All this travelling is tiring.  I do hope Grandma will be ok without me tonight.

Bye for now,

Russell