Evidence

IMG_20181230_170445_075 I tried to deny, Readers, that I had rolled in fox poo again today but unfortunately there was a large tell-tale smear across my head that I didn’t know about.  Some might say that this makes me look brave and warrior-like whilst others might just say I’ve rolled in fox poo.  Anyway, the evidence was there and indeed all over my back, under my neck and down my legs so I had to have yet another bath when I got home.  

I don’t quite know what was going on here today – I had a long walk with He this morning, the best part of two miles, and then this afternoon She said She needed a good walk and dragged me out for three more!  What the heck?!  I am wasting away tonight through over-exercising; do my food rations increase to compensate for all this activity?  Of course they don’t.  It’s interesting that I behaved impeccably when He took me out, and abysmally when She did.

To be fair though, Gingercat and I have been given the odd piece of cold turkey from the fridge in the last day or two, as it’s obviously been there since Christmas Day and may not be fit for human consumption any more.  No such concern for canine or feline consumption, you notice.  Still I won’t complain as it’s quite tasty. The fridge has emptied considerably since Christmas but could really do with a clean out as there is some spilt milk in amongst the sprouts in the drawer at the bottom.  Such sloppy standards here as usual.

It’s extremely noisy chez moi tonight, Friends.  Young Lad has two friends here for the night,  and whilst it had been envisaged that they would quietly play on the Xbox followed by civilised watching of films, it appears the lure of the Nerf Guns is too much and there is huge battle going on in the other room.  I think a few very close range shots have been fired and really feel one of the adults here ought to be supervising but nobody can be bothered.  I did pop my head round the door a while ago as they had pizzas and snacks in there, but was shouted at before I could grab anything.  

To make up  for this I snatched some pizza from He’s plate and He was very cross with me. I couldn’t care less.

Lad had a shock today, Readers.  It had blithely been assumed that Lad’s new school term starts next Monday like Young Lad’s – on closer inspection of the term dates, however, it is apparent that Lad starts  back on Thursday.  That is only three more lie-ins and seems very hard on Lad.  This is very short notice for him and also means Young Lad will be home alone for two days at the end of the week.  Young Lad is delighted about this.  He may change his mind when the penny drops that he has to take me for a walk.  Two days running.

I was quite annoyed this morning as I desperately needed a long lie-in and Gingercat started yowling in the kitchen at 5am.  I could have ignored him, but She stomped out of bed moaning and groaning about the bldycat and I was thoroughly disturbed.  I had left plenty of room on the very edge of the bed for her, and there was no need to disturb my comfortable position spread out across the middle of it.  Such selfishness.  Anyway once Gingercat had been let in and She got back into bed, I decided I might as well go out for a comfort break so She had to get up again.  Oh the whining.    

Down by the river today on my two walks I saw a few of my friends, but of course I was pulled away sharply on the second walk with “he stinks” snarled as we walked by.  For the first time since Christmas Eve, though, nobody had to be bored with the Mini Mince Pie story – they’ve all heard it several times by now – which was quite refreshing.  She has been laughing at some of the stories on Facebook about What Your Beagle Did at Christmas; these tales have included eating rich Christmas Fruit Cake, chocolate tree decorations, pulling the tree over (a particular favourite) and running off with a side of beef from the kitchen. You see?!  My behaviour is nothing like as bad as some of my compatriots, yet is this appreciated?  No of course not.  Does anyone thank me for the Christmas Tree only falling over once-all-by-itself this year?  No.

Do you know what I found her looking up on Youtube today?  How to drain your dog’s anal glands.  I know, it beggars belief.  There is a Youtube tutorial of a nice lady in full make-up holding a nice white poodly type dog on a table, and by some very minor rubbing with a bit of kitchen towel, she empties the dog’s troublesome anal glands.  This nice white dog does not shriek, try to attack her throat or bite her hand off.  It simply stands there compliantly while the kitchen towel rubbing scenario goes on.  What a load of crap.  This is not my experience of anal gland draining!  Why, it takes an experienced vet, a large muzzle and She sitting on me to get anywhere near them!  I’m telling you now that if anyone comes near my rear end with a piece of kitchen towel they will regret it.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, Friends.  Many of you will be out celebrating, or hosting lovely dinners or possibly having a Sparks Means Marks Dine-In-For-A-Tenner treat.  Not in this house.  Lad is going out with his friends in a town far away and She says it’s best not to think about it.  Other than that, nothing will be happening here beyond something on Netflix and a large Gordon’s.  This is much the same as a normal Saturday night and does not celebrate the end of one year or welcome in the next.   Really, how dreary and joyless.  It suits me just fine.

Well I’m exhausted from all that ridiculous walking today.  It really is too much.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

 

 

 

Post Christmas Chilling

IMG_20181228_165330_738 It’s that funny time of year, Readers, that is the few days after Christmas.  Like me, lots of you are probably just relaxing in your armchairs and trying to digest all the things you’ve eaten over the last few days.  Like eleven mini-mince pies.  Oh let’s not start going on about that again – honestly I’m sick of hearing about it.  Everywhere I’ve been over Christmas it’s been the same old thing – telling everyone the dull story about the late night visit to the Emergency Evil Vet on Christmas Eve.  For the love of God let’s move on.

As it happens I’m not the only one that has been a tadge cheeky on the food front.  My dear friend Sicknote’s dog Delilah acquainted herself with a tin of of Quality Street over Christmas and the result was interesting.  Delilah saved her family the huge vet bill that I ran up, by considerately vomiting  the Quality Street chocolates and wrappers all over the new carpet.  What was saved in vet bills has been lost in the cost of a ruined carpet but that’s not the point.  Now I don’t normally  much like Delilah due to her happy and easy-going nature, but my level of respect for her has increased massively due to her efforts in stealing Quality Street.  Normally eating huge quantities of poisonous goods is my department, but really this is a tremendous effort on her part.

I’ve spent a lot of the last twenty-four hours in the car, Readers, on the joy that is known as the M25.   It is known at the Poxy M25 in our family as She has moaned a lot about it recently.  I’ve slept solidly in the boot of the car on my new blanket so haven’t really noticed the miles of queues at the bldy Dartford Crossing, bldy Clacket Lane Services and the bldy speed restrictions on the M23 blah blah blah.  Honestly the whingeing.  This was all in order to take Nana aged 87 back home, via a family lunch with her brother Funnygit and the Cousins yesterday.  Unfortunately I wasn’t invited to this lunch, which annoyed me intensely.  Instead I had to be dumped at Nana aged 87’s house on my own, but I was quite happy with this as last time it happened, I trashed her house.  It was hilarious fun!

This time more precautions were taken and one of the bedroom doors were closed along with the kitchen door.  I had to content myself with trashing the sofa and armchair – scratching up the cushions and blankets and throwing them all over the place.  It looked much better when I’d finished.  Then I went upstairs and had a sleep on a couple of the beds, scuffing up the duvets and pillows for good measure. It was an enjoyable way to pass the afternoon.

Then this morning I went for a long walk in a park near Nana aged 87’s house.  It made a pleasant change to be somewhere different, with a completely different mix of smells everywhere.  Up one end of the park there are some sheep on a hillside, but I was put back on the lead before I got to them in case I chased one, or more likely rolled in sheep poo.  It was unexpected to see sheep grazing on a barren hillside at the top of a park, and had the whiff of a Biblical scene about it which was rather nice at Christmas.

Once away from the sheep and more importantly the sheep poo, I met a lively young dog called Howard.  Now I had never seen Howard before in my life, but somehow we just clicked and he chased me all over the shop.  I jumped on his back playfully a couple of times – yes me! – and put my tail between my legs, running in a demented fashion with him chasing me.  Howard was a rescue dog from Greece, and his Pack Leader told us that he had been found wandering the streets as a puppy, thin and starving.  Readers, how wonderful to know that there are people in the world that rescue dogs like Howard and bring them to loving families.  What with that and the Biblical sheep I felt terribly uplifted on the way home.

There is a kebab/fish and chip shop between the park and Nana aged 87’s house, which took my mind off the spiritual feel of the morning as I made a bee-line for the chip wrappers blowing around.

After the long drive home, I was exhausted and really didn’t need a second walk this afternoon, but She says we’ve all eaten too much and need the exercise – speak for yourself, I say. I’ve had the odd extra bit of turkey and a couple of pigs in blankets but really I wouldn’t call this eating to excess, and if they’re still referring to the eleven mini-mince pies, that was DAYS ago.  Regardless of my feelings I was dragged off to the Rec for another mile of walking fast to burn off some calories. How ridiculous.  It turned out to be worth the effort, however, as we bumped into dear Ebony on the way home and stopped for a chat.  Oh I was so pleased to see her, and her Pack Leader! Of course the dreary mince pie story was dredged up again and I had to hear how naughty Ebony had been at the meal table during Christmas lunch………really, do they have nothing else to talk about?  Brexit?  Religion?

I’ve had a good sleep in my chair on my new blanket this afternoon, with the cushion that bears my face resting on the back of the chair.  Some would say I’m rather spoiled but I feel that this treatment is justified.

Lad has had  relaxing afternoon watching Peaky Blinders and eating rubbishy snacks.  Young Lad has had a relaxing afternoon playing on the Xbox and eating rubbishy snacks.  He had to go into work briefly, and She has been trying to turn the pigsty bedrooms back into something with a semblance of order.  I’m hoping that some of the chocolates from the Christmas stockings that Lad and Young Lad had in bed are still lying around, and I will go up for a good look tomorrow. Yes I do know that chocolate is bad for me….

The dishwasher was good tonight as a hearty home-made curry had been produced in an attempt to counteract all the processed rubbish that has been eaten lately.  I fought my way in as the plates were loaded and had a good clear up of the spicy sauce – there was the odd grain of rice too, which was gratifying.  There is a feeling here that some healthy meals are needed for the next few days and NO processed rubbish is to be eaten at mealtimes.  Lad and Young Lad will be disappointed at this and may well go to KFC with their friends tomorrow.

Well I really am exhausted after the last few days of socialising.  I do hope you are all relaxing and reflecting on how Christmas was for you.

See you soon,

Russell

Midnight Mass(ive Bill)

34830876-stock-vector-pet-doctorHave you had a lovely Christmas, Friends?  I do hope so.  I hope that you are sitting relaxed and full-bellied, after a couple of days of fine food and company.  I am.  I’ve had a SPLENDID time!

Now, I know many of you have been worried about me after the unfortunate incident on Christmas Eve.  For anyone who needs to catch up, I raided the cupboard during the evening on the 24th, and found a box of mini-mince pies that had dropped down a shelf and were wedged at the back of one that was in my reach.  I ate loads of them.  After mentioning this on my blog, we were inundated with kind messages telling us that raisins are VERY poisonous to dogs and that my kidneys could fail after imbibing this much quality mincemeat.  Thank goodness for these messages, Friends, as my own family are clueless and have no idea.  As a result, She had to change out of her pyjamas and put down the Christmas Eve Gordons with ice, and get dressed. Then He and She drove me over to the emergency vet in a town nearby.  It was 10.15pm and I sensed some irritation. 

Well, Friends, if you’ve never been to the Emergency Vet late on Christmas Eve, you should go!  When we got there the nice lady on reception said “he’s the fifth mince pie dog tonight,”  and there were lots of owners sitting in the waiting room while their dogs were vomiting up their mince pies out the back.  So I was dragged out the back to join them and given a nasty injection.  What do you know, half an hour later I was retching into a large bowl and I felt AWFUL.  In the meantime He and She were busy chatting to the other owners in the waiting room and discussing their badly behaved dogs, or predicting what the out-of-hours bill would be.   They were joined by another owner whose Border Terrier had eaten a large Thorntons chocolate Christmas Tree, and he too was brought out the back for The Injection.

Honestly, it was so undignified.  Once I’d finished regurgitating everything, the bowl was taken to She for inspection and they had to count how many raisins they could see, then compare this to how many they thought there had been in the number of mince pies I ate.  He and She said they had never had to do this on Christmas Eve before, and it made a change from Midnight Mass.

The Emergency Evil Vet then said that as nobody could guarantee I had brought back ALL the raisins, I should really stay there for two days on a drip.  He and She said they would risk it and take me home – they based this judgement on my past history of eating poisonous things (the ten-inch 3 tier chocolate cake for one).  How caring of them.  But to be fair I didn’t really want to stay there for two days on a drip as I would have missed Christmas Day and all the begging for turkey.

So we arrived home at half past midnight and it didn’t need all the moaning as that’s the time they would have returned from Midnight Mass had they gone. I’m not falling for “Midnight Mass is uplifting” whilst the Emergency Evil Vet is just “stressful and expensive”.  What nonsense.  Yes the bill was huge, but it was worth it.  Nana aged 87 and Lad were still up, as they couldn’t go to bed until they were sure I was going to survive which is kind of them.  So we all had a chat and it was getting on for 1am before we headed to bed.  I was exhausted from the trauma of it all and still felt a bit icky.  We all wished each other a Happy Christmas as we went to bed as technically it was by now Christmas Day.

A few hours later She got up to start preparing food for Christmas Lunch with the family.  After a brief and unpleasant comfort break in the garden I went back to bed as I was still tired.  She gave me a filthy look as I walked past.

They’ve had to watch me carefully for a couple of days to ensure my condition doesn’t deteriorate.  If I become lethargic or limp, or start drinking huge amounts of water, I have to be rushed back to the Emergency Evil Vet.  You will be very relieved to know that I spent Christmas Day whining and begging for food, especially the turkey which smelled divine, and the Tempura Prawn tails that Grandma brought with her as Grandma has remembered how much I like them.  I have been drinking a fair bit of water but Tesco Finest all-butter pastry mini mince pies are quite rich, and eleven of them are bound to make you thirsty.  And Tempura Prawn tails are a tadge salty so have the same effect.

I haven’t drunk much this afternoon and I’ve coped with TWO long walks today, plus a houseful of visitors yesterday, plus a bath this afternoon as I rolled in fox poo again.  I think it would be unfair to accuse me of being lethargic after all this.  

Did you get any lovely presents for Christmas, Friends?  I did!!   My dear friend Pippa bought me some expensive Fox Poo shampoo, which I have tested this afternoon.  It seems excellent.  Then Lovelydor down the road gave me a fabulous fleecy dog blanket in which I’ve been cuddled up this afternoon.  AND my dear friend Ebony gave me a cushion on which there is a huge picture of ME!!  It’s amazing!  This sits on the back of my armchair and it makes people jump when they walk in the room as it looks like I am sitting on top of the armchair staring at them.  I love it.  Plus I have received various snacks and treats.  I do feel I deserve them, on the balance of things.

Christmas Day was great fun with lots of board games and discussions.  It all became quite loud and silly at times and I just tried to sleep through it.  Today has been a little quieter and I’m very glad to say that we were all allowed a lie-in this morning.  Good Lord I needed it.  Lad seemed tired and frustrated with the Christmas food again today – at lunchtime he was very vexed to find he had put coleslaw straight onto his jacket potato without adding butter first.  This caused Lad a lot of upset as he much prefers butter first, then coleslaw and he did go on about this for quite a while.  I do understand – it’s important to get the right order of flavours when eating.  Poor Lad.   Then He, Lad and Young Lad had to go and fix the roofbox on top of the car.  Lad is the only one of these three who has any previous experience of this whatsoever and it did take quite a time.  I don’t think Young Lad helped much by constantly wanting to get IN the roof box.  In fact Lad said that Young Lad had done “Jack XXXX” to help.

The roof box is on because we are taking Nana aged 87 back tomorrow, but going to Funnygit and The Cousins for the day en route.  We cannot fit five people, me and all the stuff in the car; hence the roofbox.  I think Lad, Young Lad and He enjoyed this hour of their time on Boxing Day afternoon.

It has been lovely having Nana aged 87 here.  I have tried to behave nicely and not get on her bed, and when we have Nana aged 87 here there seems an endless supply of cups of tea and food.  It’s wonderful and very unlike normal life around here. 

Readers, I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and I really am grateful to those of you who knew that raisins are poisonous to dogs.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

 

Eleven mince pies

mince pie T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house I looked in the cupboards for a festive snack.   At long last they had all gone out and left me alone for an hour – so whilst they were having a jolly time next door with Lovelyneighbourontheright, I had a jolly time at home.  The last person out of the house may have shut the bedroom doors and the lounge door. but alas!  THEY FORGOT THE KITCHEN DOOR!!   Oh wondrous moment.

Quick as a  young reindeer I opened the main big food cupboard , and pulled out all the carrier bags.  I also knocked a jar of mincemeat onto the kitchen floor – really it was a marvel that it didn’t smash.  Nestled at the back of this shelf, way behind the mincemeat, was a new box of Tesco Finest luxury mini mince pies.  I was pleased about this, especially as they were made with all-butter pastry and some French cognac.  Excellent, I thought to myself, so I climbed into my bed with the pack in my mouth and ate the lot.  There were only eleven of them, as She had scoffed one with a cup of tea this morning, but even so.  Eleven good quality mini mince pies is not to be sniffed at.

Sensing that there may be more possibilities on the same shelf, I had another look and found a packet of Knorr vegetable stock cubes.  I took these off to my bed as well, but decided I didn’t fancy them after all.  One doesn’t like to be greedy, Friends.

So where things have been poor this year on the Christmas Tree chocolate front,  there has been some compensation in the form of fruit-laden pastries.

Nana aged 87 is staying with us for Christmas and she is disappointed about the mince pies as she had intended having one this evening with a cup of tea.  Oh well.

So there you have it.  It’s been a very busy couple of days with Nana aged 87 coming to stay, which is rather lovely even though I’ve generally ignored her unless she’s been eating something.  I did try leaning against her on the sofa last night and lolling my head backwards to look appealing, but it didn’t seem to have much effect.  I was not allowed to sleep on her bed last night, which annoyed me.

Today there has been yet more supermarket food shopping, and a vow sworn never to set foot inside Tesco again.  This might last until the 28th.  The fridge is crammed to the point of explosion and I’m not convinced this is altogether healthy as I don’t feel the air can circulate.  I would happily help them out with clearing some room in the fridge but nobody has asked me.  The mix of smells is intriguing, with some splendid cheeses and meats.  

Actually, we nearly lost out on some of the splendid cheeses as Lad was spotted last night at the fridge, long after everyone else was in bed.  Now, Lad was binge-watching Peaky Blinders and enjoying a cold beer, when he felt a little peckish and decided to start on the Camembert.  Who can blame him, Readers?  But no – She came downstairs and started screeching on about “Christmas Day cheeseboard” blah blah blah with lots of “PUT IT BACK!!!”  Poor Lad.  Do you know what he was offered instead?  A bowl of cereal.  It seems this does not feature on the Christmas Day menu.

Lad is finding the whole Christmas food thing perplexing, and I quite agree with him.  Tonight he was ordered to HELP OUT in the kitchen and make some bread sauce ready for Christmas lunch tomorrow.  Lad was tasked with chopping an onion – this was a difficult task for Lad, and he made the mistake of wiping his hand across his face at one point.  Thus his eyes were badly affected by the onion and after much moaning and tears, Lad proclaimed that onions are the most stupid vegetable EVER and WHAT IS THE POINT OF  VEGETABLES THAT DO THAT TO YOU?!!!

Young Lad too, has been forced to do jobs today.  He has had to empty the airing cupboard, sweep up the mud in the front porch and take presents to my good friends Pippa and Ebony.  Young Lad is very tired tonight, and finding it hard to wrap the one present he needs to do.  Poor Young Lad.

Talking of my dear friend Ebony, she has been in trouble again.  Ebony fancied a snack the other day and helped herself to the Lindt chocolate Father Christmases that were intended for the place settings for Christmas Lunch.  Ebony was told off and sent to her bed, but I imagine she didn’t really care as the quality of Lindt chocolate is much like the quality of the all-butter mini mince pies with cognac.  Sometimes you just have to rise above the scoldings.

I had a lovely walk at the river this morning, and we power-walked for over three miles through extremely muddy fields.  Of course I wasn’t allowed off the lead in case I rolled in something, which I found quite vexing.    But even so, it was a pleasant enough walk with a quick hello to a few friends on the way.  I’m quite tired tonight, mind you, as three and a bit miles combined with eleven mini mince pies takes it out of a chap.

Do you know what we had to do while we were out walking?  Look for Dead Bodies or Anything Suspicious.  This is due to a ridiculous conversation She had with the Lovely Hairdresser recently about the fact that dog-walkers are notoriously helpful to the police, as they often find clues and Dead Bodies in the undergrowth.  She admitted – and I find this quite embarrassing – that She often keeps her eye out for such things when we are out walking.  Dear God.

Well, my dear Friends, it is Christmas Eve and very nearly time for the bowls of snacks to be put out on low lying tables.   I enjoy this yearly ritual as you can imagine.  Tomorrow we have lots of family coming for Christmas lunch and the house will be full of people, food, laughter and smells.  When they have gone it will just be full of smells, but even so I am really looking forward to it.

I hope you all have a very happy and peaceful Christmas – those of you in Australia have already started – and thank you so much for reading.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Exhausted

exhaustion Readers, you have no idea how tiring it is in the run-up to Christmas.  I really am absolutely shattered and can barely lift my head from the sofa.  All the coming and going, endless shopping trips, frantic hoovering and tidying up – honestly, it is so taxing.    Thank goodness that Christmas is only a couple of days away now, as I’m not sure how much more I could endure.

It simply comes down to a question of organisation, Friends.  I’ve said this many times before but my family does not learn.  I cannot imagine that anyone else has made THREE yes THREE trips to supermarkets in the space of one day today.  This is shoddy planning – the third trip was necessitated because the tree lights that had taken an hour to untangle this afternoon didn’t actually work.  Wouldn’t you have TRIED the lights before spending an hour untangling them?  Of course you would.  Then you wouldn’t have wasted a further half an hour finding those little white fuse bulbs that have been put in a ‘safe place’, and jamming them aggressively into the plastic casing in the hope that the ruddy lights will work.  They won’t.  And thus there is a third trip to Tesco, this time in a foul mood, to buy a replacement cheap and nasty set.  She just does not learn, year after year.

And have we finished yet?  No of course not.  The fridge is full of wonderful -smelling food such as a large turkey, lots of cold meats and some interesting cheeses but the smoked salmon is yet to be purchased, as is the large salmon for Boxing Day.   There will be yet another stressy dash to town on Christmas Eve.  It exhausts me just thinking about it.

However, Friends, I am very pleased to report that I have seen TWO boxes of Tempura Prawns being shoved into the freezer – Regular Readers will remember that last year I was particularly fond of a Tempura Prawn.  Excellent.  And the mozzarella bites don’t look bad either.  Grandma is coming to lunch on Christmas Day, amongst others, and she has promised to bring me a box of Tempura Prawns too!  I think they’re for me, anyway.

But really all this rushing around is too much.  It started yesterday – poor Young Lad was the only one still at school, so he was dropped off at normal time and the first of many trips into town was made on the way back.  Via Costalotta, it has to be said.  She ‘needed’ thirty minutes with the newspaper and an Americano before facing Christmas, apparently.  What utter nonsense.  Lad was still asleep in bed – despite his scolding for his inferior supervision of me the day before and the resulting chaos – so I was taken out for a lovely long walk.  She and I were feeling really positive and had a spring in our steps –  it was a lovely day down at the river, and all felt right with the world.  It felt even more right up in Top Field, when I found the biggest pile of fox poo the world has ever seen.  The first She knew of this was when She looked back from half a mile across the field, to see my paws waving in the air in total ecstasy.  Suddenly all was no longer right with the world – I cannot tell you what the language was like, but I was shocked – and She came running across the field at me, screaming bad things and waving the long pink ball-flinger thing.  It was far too late, of course.  I was covered from head to foot.

Such was the smell that I could hear gagging and retching all the way home, which was rather melodramatic if you ask me.

I was unceremoniously dumped in the bath and scrubbed to within an inch of  my  life and then the bldy bathroom had to be bldybleached from top to bottom.  Oh the moaning.  “I haven’t got time for this today,” blah blah blah.  It went on and on.

So that was my second pre-Christmas bath and amongst the swearing I could hear the words “not going off the lead until the New Year.”  This is totally unreasonable and simply a knee-jerk reaction to a minor misdemeanour.

Lad finally surfaced yesterday but seemed very stressed about the number of things he needed to do.  He complained that there was far too much to do in one day.  Lad had got out of bed at 11.30am, and so there was a discussion about Time Management and the importance of getting one’s backside out of bed a bit earlier. Poor Lad.  Anyway he moved up a gear or two, and went out for lunch with Lovelydor down the road, followed by a trip to the optician, followed by going to visit our dear friend Sicknote.  

Readers, normally I go to visit Sicknote, but yesterday I was left at home!  This was very hurtful.  She said She would take Lad as he smelled better than I did, plus he doesn’t try to attack the Basset puppy who gets on my nerves with her infernal playfulness and jollity.  So  due to my odour and bad social skills, I was left behind.  I was not best pleased about this.

It was quite a nice evening I suppose, last night with people cuddled up on the sofa watching Chicago Fire yet again and having nice drinks. If only life was always like this.

Then today it’s been rush, rush, rush.  Well.  She has done a lot of rushing, rushing, rushing and poor He and Lad did have to drive all the way to Stratford to watch Wet Sham lose again.  This was a very trying afternoon for them, and no less frustrating than the non-working tangled tree lights.  She does not have the monopoly on frustration in this house, though you  would think otherwise.  Even Young Lad had his fair share of it today – having made a late decision to go to the cinema with his friend, the only film that had spare seats was The Grinch.  Really they should  have thought this through better – why were there spare seats when every other film was sold out?  Yes indeed.  It was an inferior film, and Young Lad and his friend decided to leave once they had finished their jumbo popcorn and drink.  The bus ride home in the dark was more enjoyable than the film, they said.

To celebrate nailing a parking spot in the supermarket at 8.30am and completing the HUGE Christmas food shop by 10am, She met her good friend Loadsakids for coffee.  Loadsakids said she never lets her dog off the lead these days as the git rolls in cack at every opportunity and as it is a cocker spaniel type of git, it has very curly fur from which it is difficult to remove fox cack or dead rat.  Anyway, Loadsakids and She  discussed their teenagers and moaned/laughed/cried/rocked silently for forty-five minuets after which they both felt much better and wished each other a Merry Christmas.

Well, Readers, the house looks almost ready for Christmas but I know for a fact that no presents have been wrapped or delivered and Time Is Running Out, I’ve heard a few times in a woman-on-the-edge type of high-pitched voice.  Nevertheless, it is now time to sit down with Gordon and a chunk of ice, to think about Time Running Out.

Give me strength.

See you soon,

Russell

Carnage

rock saltToday has been exquisite, Readers.  I have been at home all day being ‘looked after’ by Lad – and I use the term very loosely.  Lad broke up from school yesterday for the Christmas holidays so whilst everyone else was out at school and work today, it was just Lad and I here.  I love it when Lad looks after me.  He interprets this as staying asleep in bed all morning, whilst I get up to God-knows-what downstairs.

I got up to God-knows-what downstairs all morning, Friends.  It was just too funny!  First off I opened the big kitchen cupboard and pulled out the carrier bags.  I was sure there might be a treat behind them but there wasn’t.  Next I reached up a shelf to where all the spices and sauces are, and knocked them on the floor.  A bottle of ketchup and some HP rolled around a bit; it’s a good job they were in plastic bottles.  There was a full box of Tidman’s rock salt so I  carried it into the lounge and ripped the package in several places.  This made a very pleasing mountain of large white crystals all over the lounge carpet.  I was quite impressed with my creation, so I went back to the kitchen and pulled out a box that contained spare collars and a dog lead, plus some flea treatment stuff.  I carried this into the lounge and chucked it on the floor.

Having exhausted this particular shelf in the kitchen, I had a look round the hall and found She’s dog-walking winter coat on the banisters.  Often this has a treat in the pocket, so I decided to investigate by ripping a large hole in the lining of the coat.  It looks very attractive. There wasn’t a treat though, which was disappointing.  In frustration I dragged the coat into the lounge and chucked it on the floor, close to the mountain of rock salt and collars/leads/flea stuff.   The lounge looked a complete tip by this point.

And where was Lad, I hear you asking, while all this was going on?  Well he had been sound asleep in bed, but the spices/herbs/sauces falling out of the cupboard made quite a crash and the noise did in fact wake him up.  When Lad found me, I was in the lounge standing on a stool with a Wagon Wheel in my mouth.  I had the grace to look very slightly ashamed at the complete carnage I had caused in the lounge, but only very slightly.  It had been a right laugh, after all.  Lad tried to get the Wagon Wheel out of my mouth by lying and telling me my dinner was ready.  Unfortunately I fell for this trick, and dropped the Wagon Wheel in my haste to run to the kitchen.  Lad had no intention of giving me my dinner, and I am disgusted by such underhand behaviour.  I will not be falling for this old chestnut again.

Needless to say I was told off when She got home from work tonight and moaned at.  Lad was also told off and moaned at for not supervising me properly.  Lad had been told he needed to take me for a LONG walk this afternoon – Readers, only Lad and I know the truth of if/how far we went for a walk.  This will stay between us.

To be honest, I was exhausted by the goings-on from last night and really didn’t need a long walk today.  I’ve never known such a ruddy disrupted night, and frankly it gets on my nerves.  Lad had been out all evening with his friends in a town far away.  Alas, Lad had failed to take a door key with him so could not enter the property when he returned by the last train at midnight.  Thus Lad had to phone She’s mobile to say could She go down and let him in.  This phone call woke me up a little after midnight.

Then what do you know, someone’s alarm clock started beeping at 4am.  Nobody appeared to notice this apart from myself and She, so yet again we were rudely awoken and there was a lot of ill-tempered stomping around to find out whose ruddy alarm clock it was.  It happened to be Young Lad’s, but you’ll be glad to know that Young Lad was sleeping peacefully despite the shrieking racket close to his ear.

I had JUST got back to sleep when Gingercat started yowling from the kitchen – Gingercat had heard the alarm clock from all the way downstairs and yet it is a complete mystery that He and Lad (both upstairs) failed to notice it.  Gingercat thought that it was getting-up time as an alarm clock was shrieking, not understanding that it was still hours before dawn.  So this was  now THREE times that my sleep had been disturbed in one night, Friends.  Unbelievably, Gingercat changed his mind just one hour later at 5am, and wanted to be let back out again.

Friends, I nearly lost the will to live.  What does a Beagle have to do, in order to get a decent night’s sleep?  And they wonder why I show some behavioural issues during the day!!

I’m really quite disappointed tonight, Readers, as it was Food Technology for Young Lad today.  He was due to make festive spice apple pie.  Young Lad announced this on the journey to football training last night, and so amidst a lot of whingeing She had to detour to Sainsbury’s for puff pastry and the like.  Anyway I was looking forward immensely to festive spice apple pie – I really did like the sound of it.  I couldn’t wait for Young Lad to get home from school tonight with his tupperware box.  Oh, alas and alack!  Young Lad THOUGHT he had put the oven on at the beginning of the lesson, but he hadn’t.  Thus the apple pie has not been cooked and is still at school completely raw.  Really this is a poor show – it’s a fundamental principle of cookery to switch the oven on.  Come on, Young Lad, concentrate.

I sense some tetchiness tonight.  Due to my bad behaviour today, and earlier in the week, there is some worry about what I am likely to get up to tomorrow when people are out shopping/having haircuts/stressing about Christmas.  Some people feel they cannot relax whilst I am in my present destructive mood.  

I couldn’t care less.

I have plans for the tree in the next day or two, Friends.

Golly I’m tired,

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

Beagle Takes America By Storm!

american flagWell ok, more of a light breeze but even so!  My blog has suddenly been discovered by friends across the pond in the US and Canada, and in the case of Australia across several ponds, some enormous continents and down a bit.  Yes!  There are now more than two readers Down Under – my relatives in Cobram and Scott’s Head are no longer isolated fans! And as for the USA – HUNDREDS of views in the last two days, and some jolly nice comments to boot.  I really am flabbergasted.  How did this come about, I hear you ask?  Well, through the magic of social media She has discovered lots of Facebook Beagle groups worldwide and joined me up.  Please don’t think this was down to any technological skill on her part – Facebook actually suggested these groups.  It wasn’t that hard.

But suddenly there are people reading my musings all over the place.  Already I have joined in a discussion about whether it is ok to let one’s Beagle lick out yogurt pots – I advised that this is absolutely fine – and I feel I have a lot more to offer.  In fact, I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I could actually see myself as the Gwyneth Paltrow of the Beagle world, and write a lifestyle column….rather than Gloop I’d call it ‘Gulp’.  You could send me your questions – mainly about food – and I could answer them for you.  The answer will be the same every time, but still valuable I feel.  Really this is too exciting.

Look, Regular Readers you could skip over this paragraph if you like as you’ve heard some of these bits before.  Several times.  To my new Readers – welcome! It’s so lovely to have you on board.  The thing is, I’ve been writing my blog for a year now – I know, I don’t know how I do it either.  It is going to take you newbies a terribly long time and a lot of eye strain to go back to the beginning to catch up, and half of it won’t make sense unless you do.  So guess what?  I’ve published the first six months as a book and you can buy it on Amazon (if you’re quick you’ll just get in for Christmas but don’t dilly dally) and so you can read the first half year of the blog at leisure.  Unfortunately it is only available as a paperback; we did try to do the ebook version but She is rubbish at anything technical and it failed miserably.  About four people bought it but it didn’t download.  Pathetic.  So in the interests of being right and proper we’ve taken it off sale until someone comes along to help.  But the paperback is excellent and raises funds for something important.  I know for a fact that it’s available on Amazon Australia as my two relatives in Cobram and Scott’s Head have purchased it.  There is the slight worry that you overseas people might not understand some of the references or my sense of humour, but really it can’t be that difficult.  Just try.  It’s called Bored Beagle; My Winter of Discontent.  Make the effort, go on.

So that’s that out the way.  I was still being moaned at this morning for my behaviour yesterday when I raided the cupboards and ate loads and loads of stuff that I shouldn’t have.  You will be relieved to know that my stomach is absolutely fine and other than needing a comfort break in the garden at 1.15am last night, I have been tickety boo.  Anyway, the moaning finally stopped and we went for a lovely long walk at the river in the winter sunshine this morning –  it really was glorious.  Up into Top Field we went, and the rabbits had been busy overnight with loads and loads of piles of droppings everywhere.  There were so many wondrous smells I didn’t know where to start – I suspect the deer had been roaming around too, and there was definitely evidence of foxes.  Yes indeed, there was some lovely evidence of foxes so I rolled over and over in it, rubbing it hard into my neck and beneath my ears where it’s bldyimpossible to get out, without a full bath and shower.  I was shouted and and She came running across the field in her wellies screeching at me, but alas it was too late.  I was plastered.

Thus I had to do the walk of shame all the way home, with She snapping “don’t get near him he STINKS” every time another dog came near me.  How rude.   Once home, I thought I’d got away with it as there was some frantic tidying up of the kitchen undertaken first, but no – before long I was dragged bodily up the stairs and shoved in the bath.

20181217_113737Does this look like mis-treatment to you?  I mean look at my face.  The strange dark thing in the bath water isn’t some sort of conga eel; it is my collar, as this had taken the brunt of the fox poo.

Well, it’s taken me all afternoon to dry off but I am now smelling fragrant and my coat is glossy.  I usually need a pre-Christmas bath anyway, so She is hoping that today was it, and that I won’t roll in anything else before the 25th as it’s a lot of bldyeffort cleaning the bath up afterwards.  

Lots of stale bread has been put out for the Stupid Starlings today, so I’ve had to run in and out all day clearing up the lawn.  It’s been exhausting.  

Young Lad had a nice day at school and didn’t get into any trouble, allegedly, but failed to go to after-school football training.  This is because Young Lad has football training for his team on Wednesday nights, and matches on Sundays and Young Lad feels that this is enough.  I quite see his point.  So instead he has been sitting by the Xbox playing Fifa since he got home.  Lad will be home a little late tonight, due to another  after-school detention for poor time-keeping.  Too much is expected of Lad – I’ve said it many times, but nobody listens.  Poor Lad.

There is a large chocolate cake in the kitchen, baked for He on His birthday yesterday, and so far I have not been offered a morsel.  I find this so uncaring.  Usually I can rely on someone to drop some crumbs, but after my behaviour yesterday I’m being denied everything.  I may have to take matters into my own hands if someone pulls the chocolate cake just a little closer to the edge of the work surface.

Well, Friends, due to the rest of the week being Busy At Work,  there won’t be a blog for a couple of nights.  I know how disappointing this is.  But tomorrow night there is a Carol Service to attend and then on Wednesday it’s Young Lad’s football training and one can’t do everything, I’m being told in a rather hysterical tone.  I’m off to dear, dear Ebony’s for daycare tomorrow which will be marvellous.  I’ll catch up with you all later in the week.

Thanks so much for reading!!

Bye for now,

Russell

Time Out

20181216_192759  Readers, I have had a marvellous couple of hours.  Honestly, it’s one of the best sessions I’ve had for ages – make yourselves a drink and settle down for the evening.

He had his birthday today and it was decided that the whole family would go out for dinner (once She had faffed around online to find a 30% off mains voucher tightwad.)  I was delighted at this news as it meant that I would be left alone for a bit.  Oh yes, they put the kitchen bin outside the back door and closed the bedroom doors, and put the bathroom bin into the bath (I still think this is odd – I mean, do you do that?)  They felt they had taken all necessary precautions, and I pretended to be very tired and heavily asleep in my chair as they left.  

Oh fools.  The car hadn’t even left the drive before I was out of my chair and into the kitchen.

Now, the big cupboard in the kitchen was tidied and cleaned last week, and I have to say somewhat re-organised.  Not for the better, it seems.  All the herbs/spices/sauces/jars and things you would think wouldn’t interest me have been moved down a shelf to within my reach.  They do interest me.  Here is what the kitchen looked like once I had checked out the re-organised cupboard.

20181216_191811The photo doesn’t do it justice, Reader.  There was a Time Out bar in the middle of the floor, and glass jars all over the shop.  That orange bag that you can see was pretty much full with lots of old crappy chocolates that nobody liked, such as the strawberry creams from years-old boxes of Roses.  I liked them.  

I had also dragged loads of stuff into the lounge.  Under the dining room table was a very artistic collage of wrappers – Wagon Wheels, Kit Kats, a bottle of barbecue sauce, and a LARGE box of Paxo stuffing mix.  I had ripped this open and shaken it around, which made a very pleasing mountain of dry stuffing mix over the carpet.  I ate as much as I possibly could and left some to come back to later.  I had found two packs of Cheddars, a bag of crisps and some chocolate finger biscuits – but I didn’t open any of these!  Will I get any credit for that?  Of course not. It was a terrific mess and I was really quite proud of myself.

The only problem is that the combination of what I’ve eaten isn’t great, potentially, for digestion.  We all know that chocolates are supposed to be poisonous for dogs, but we all know that I’ve eaten a 10 inch triple layer chocolate birthday cake and survived intact, so I’m not too worried about that.  No, it’s more the saltiness of the sage and onion stuffing mix with the fat of the chocolate that could be a bit uncomfortable.  I imagine I will need a lot of water and trips outside for a comfort break during the night.

The carpet needs vacuuming again and Paxo has had to be put back on the Christmas food shopping list.

God only knows how many chocolates I’ve eaten and the slightly puzzling thing is that nobody can find any wrappers from the old stale ones that should have been thrown out years ago.  Really, if my family wasn’t so slovenly these things wouldn’t happen.  What is the point of cleaning out a cupboard and simply putting the stale and out-of-date stuff back?  Ridiculous.  At least I’ve brought it to their attention.  I just hope I can keep it all down.

I’ve been shouted at of course, and chucked out in the garden. There was some swearing while She lay under the dining room table trying to scoop up various wrappers and large mountains of stuffing mix.  I don’t feel it’s very festive to be swearing at one’s Beagle this close to Christmas.

Do I get any thanks for NOT knocking the Christmas tree over?  Of course not.  

Apart from that it’s been a very ordinary day.  I had a long walk at the river this afternoon and jumped up at a lady who looked like she had treats in her hand.  It turned out to be her mobile phone, and this was disappointing.  Then there was a pushchair up ahead so I ran after it – I have learned, Friends, that if the pushchair/buggy contains a small baby it is useless, but if there is a toddler then these vehicles are a great source of snacks.  There are ALWAYS bread sticks, carrot sticks, Oreos, or a simple bag of crisps on or around the toddler.  It’s best to sniff, grab n go.  Unfortunately today’s buggy contained a small baby so I was disappointed for the second time.

In other news today, Young Lad’s football match wasn’t called off due to a waterlogged pitch much to She’s irritation.  This meant a half hour  drive through the back roads of the county following a sadistic Satnav’s directions, followed by standing on a soggy, cold and very damp field for two hours.  Really, what a fuss.  This is what Good Parenting is all about – quit the whingeing.

Lad finally made it out of bed at lunchtime and sat huddled up on the sofa with his tomato soup for half the afternoon.  Poor Lad has had a couple of late nights due to socialising with his friends or exciting games on the Xbox – really She needs to stop moaning at him and try to remember back to when She was young.  I realise that’s a long time ago.

Poor He has a  nasty cold.  Nobody gives Him any sympathy, of course, and I know how he feels.  Though I do wish He would stop sniffing.

Goodness, was that my stomach?  What a noise.  And a smell.  I think it’s a good job that I’m at home tomorrow and not going to dear Ebony or dear Pippa for daycare, as I imagine my comfort breaks won’t be very easy to pick up.  By God it was fun, though.  And on that note, I’m sending good wished to my dear friend Pippa who is having an operation at the Evil Vet’s tomorrow.  Something to do with women’s bits I think, I don’t really want to know.

Readers, I’m stuffed.  Quite literally.  It’s exhausting clearing out a cupboard like that.

See you soon,

Russell

 

Lycra

istockphoto-628317842-612x612This morning, Readers, I was very alarmed by the presence of an elderly gentleman in black lycra sportswear up in Top Field.  I was having a jolly nice walk – it was a tadge chilly but dry – when all of a sudden coming towards me I saw a man wearing black leggings, a fluorescent sports jacket and a bobble hat.  Now I have a particular dislike of bobble hats and I’m not keen on fluorescent jackets, but very thin legs clad in black lycra just tipped me over the edge.  I ran up to the man and barked fiercely, to show him that I was not intimidated by his leisure wear.  He seemed hurt and disappointed, and made a curt comment to She along the lines of “oh I thought your dog looked friendly,” so She had to mumble some sort of lame apology that “he doesn’t like bobble hats.”  

Friends, the point I’m making is that extremely senior people with extremely thin legs are not for whom lycra was intended.  It scared me.

Other than that it was a very pleasant walk, to the rhythm of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen in She’s head, so it was fairly brisk as you can imagine. The wind in Top Field was bitingly cold and made my ears flap backwards.  There were a few dogs around – I saw a large golden retriever by the river and raced over to it, thinking it was Pippa, but of course it wasn’t and I was crestfallen, but I bounced back when I ran off up to the houses at quite impressive speed and found someone had thrown bread out for the birds.  Or me.  Whoever got there first.

On the way back we bumped into Oscar the Border Terrier who, in a change from his normal routine, didn’t jump up at her jeans and plaster them in mud.  Instead Oscar ignored us and ran off, so I jumped up at his Pack Leader and plastered him in mud for a change.  It was fun.  She said to Oscar’s Pack Leader that he was walking into the very cold wind, and that coming back the other way the wind  isn’t so bad, and Oscar’s Pack Leader said he would look forward to that.  It was a very dull conversation.

Once home I settled straight down in my armchair and slept – the cold wind and three miles to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen had fair worn me out. There was football on the telly this afternoon so He kept me company in the cosy lounge.  It was nice.  Except that there are still no chocolates on the tree.

I’m glad I was safely indoors this afternoon as the rain has slashed down non-stop, and it is freezing.  How dreadful it would have been to be out walking this afternoon.  Or trying to do any Christmas shopping.  Or going to Tesco.  Or any of those things that other people were doing.

Even poor Young Lad was out in the atrocious weather – having arranged to go out with his friend to have some lunch and buy some presents, Young Lad got as far as his friend’s house up the road and realised he had left his money at home.  So there was a false start as Young Lad had to come back and start all over again.  He took pity on Young Lad and his friend and gave them a lift, but even so they had to walk home again later in the cold.  This seems very unfair.  As Young Lad told us several times.

What I find poor, Readers, is that there has been some crossing of fingers tonight that the awful weather may mean Young Lad’s football match tomorrow morning is called off.  “Waterlogged pitches” is the phrase I’ve heard several times,  muttered fervently and hopefully.  This is extremely selfish and shows bad parenting yet again.  A good parent would be highly excited about Young Lad’s football match regardless of the abysmal conditions and would ENJOY standing at a sodden pitch in the freezing cold for nearly two hours.  So long as they don’t even THINK of taking me along.

Yesterday was nice as I went to dear, dear Ebony’s for the day and had a wonderful time with wonderful people.  Sadly they don’t have any chocolates on their tree yet – at least I couldn’t see any – and I did check out Pippa’s tree when I was there the previous day.  They definitely didn’t have any.  I do wish everyone would hurry up and put the chocolates on.  What’s the matter with them?

Readers, I’ve had some Christmas cards sent to me!  This is very pleasing.  I don’t mean someone has just tagged me into the family Christmas cards – oh no, I’ve actually received my own!   This is what happens when you are a published author – did you know I’ve written a book?  I may have mentioned it a couple of times.  Don’t forget there are only a few postal days left before Christmas and you know how busy Amazon gets…

There has been a lot of frantic cleaning undertaken here today, and frankly it has got on my nerves. The incessant whine of the hoover, the spush spush of the Mr Sheen spray – good grief it’s annoying.  Thankfully all has quietened down this evening as She and Young Lad are under a blanket on the sofa watching Series 6 of Chicago Fire – Young Lad has a diet lemonade and Gordon has popped round as usual for She – Lad is upstairs hitting his punchbag and doing other strange fitness things, and He is sorting out paperwork.  The noise of the shuffling papers is quite annoying, actually, but I’m upside down in my chair trying to block it all out.

I haven’t stolen ANY food today.  Not one single thing.  This is not a good day in the life of a Beagle and I must try harder tomorrow.  Let’s hope the pitches aren’t waterlogged, then when they’re out at football I can have a good look through the cupboards.  Happy days.

Bye for now,

Russell

Share it!!

20181213_192109 I’ve been quite irritated this evening, Friends, by the lack of generosity in my house.  Young Lad had a nice piece of home-made flapjack on his plate for an evening snack, and I stood as close as possible to the plate to make it perfectly clear that I too fancied an evening snack.  Despite my most appealing expression and the slightly-cocked ears which make me look highly intelligent, no flapjack was shared with me.  This is rude in the extreme.

Much the same had happened earlier on, when Lad wandered in chomping on a piece of garlic bread.  I whined and grizzled as I sat by his feet, but he took no notice whatsoever.  I’m beginning to wonder what I need to do to be noticed around here.

I did, however, manage to snatch an apple core and run off with it, and don’t forget that the kitchen is in a state due to all the baking.  There is still some shortbread mixture on the floor under the fridge if you get right down and slide your tongue underneath.   You should try it.  You’ll be amazed what you can find under there.

On the subject of baking, Young Lad had Food Technology today.  Of course he failed to mention this last night, so there was a marginally hysterical dash round the kitchen this morning trying to find the ingredients.  Luckily it was only flapjack, so we had all the requisite items.  Readers, I’m sure Young Lad has already made flapjack in Food Tech, but I’m not one to complain and will happily eat the fruits of his labours.  I was very much looking forward to seeing him when he got back from school tonight.

Alas, Young Lad’s flapjack wasn’t a triumph today.  With the worrying words “it went a bit wrong,” he emptied it out of his Food Tech box.  Indeed it had gone wrong.  Flapjack should be chewy and flexible in texture, not rock hard – advice was given to Young Lad that the oven was clearly too hot and the flapjack had been left in for too long.  Poor Young Lad – I hardly feel such admonishment was necessary.  Even though Young Lad’s flapjack could do serious damage to my teeth, I will happily give it a go.  I’m sure it tastes lovely.  Don’t worry – Young Lad wasn’t forced to eat his own inferior flapjack this evening.  She had knocked up a batch last night that wasn’t rock hard.

What you can see in the picture below, Readers, is the very nice 200 thread count John Lewis white duvet cover, once I have climbed on it soon after popping out in the garden. I really can’t see what the problem is, can you?

20181213_181425  Of course, none of the mud could possibly have come from Gingercat’s feet, could it!

I’ve had a lovely day today at dear, dear Pippa’s house.  It was the usual wonderful blend of walks and sleeping.  Yesterday, at dear Ebony’s house, it was so sunny that I climbed into a chair in the sun and slept for ages.  Life is good at moments like this.  In many ways it’s a shame I have to come back home.

Anyway, the Christmas Tree hasn’t fallen over all by itself again since Monday, which is marvellous news.  I still can’t work out how that happened.  I do wish they would hurry up and put the Cadbury’s Tree decorations on though, as I know for a fact that they’re still on a high shelf in a kitchen cupboard.  Some would say the shelf isn’t quite high enough as I know for another fact that someone has broken into the packet of Cadbury’s Tree Decorations and eaten two, citing stress.  This happens every year and is very disappointing.  Stress!  Try my life.

Young Lad and his friend had a lovely time at football training last night, and they were given the name of someone else for whom to buy a present as a “Secret Santa” concept.  It seems the “secret” part of “Secret Santa” was quite challenging for them, and the boys all told each other whose name they had.  It’s still a lovely idea.  I wonder if I should do “Secret Santa” for Pippa and Ebony.

The week has gone very quickly, Friends, and it doesn’t seem five minutes since someone was balanced precariously  in their slippers on a ladder outside the front door, hanging up lights on the porch roof.  This is a slight improvement on last year’s nod to health and safety when the same activity was completed in high heels.  I’m glad to see they do learn from their mistakes, occasionally.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow night as it is Friday.  He is going out for his work Christmas ‘do’,and Lad is hoping to hang out with his friends in a town far away. This means that the sofa is reserved for Young Lad, She, Gingercat and I with the new cushions (which I will chuck on the floor) and a blanket.  How lovely.  I do like a good Friday night in.

I’d like to point out that at this precise moment I am behaving impeccably, whilst Gingercat is standing on his hind legs trying to hit the ornaments on the tree. There is,of course, an indulgent  chorus of”oh look at dear Gingercat,”  whereas I would be shouted at and sent to my bed if it was me.  I’d like to point out as well, not for the first time, that Gingercat is the equivalent of 75 in human years and therefore incredibly immature in his behaviour.  And irritating.

Well it is quite chilly tonight, Friends, so my comfort break in the garden before bed will be very short.  Lad is in the other room doing revision for a Biology test tomorrow – I know! – and He and Young Lad are watching “World’s Worst Flights.” This is very dull.

I can only hope that my family share more of their snacks with me tomorrow night as it really has been disappointing tonight.  They’re not the only ones that need to comfort eat.

Keep warm, Friends,

Russell