Get a move on!

yogurt Look, I find it very irritating when people eat a yogurt on the sofa and take AGES over it.  It is well-known that I clean out yogurt pots when they’re finished with – and sometimes before then – so last night I had no choice but to sit very, very close to the yogurt-eater and virtually put my snout into their face.  Before long, dribble was falling from my mouth which is neither hygienic nor pleasant, but serves She right for taking so long over the Yeo Valley lemon curd yogurt.

Most people, if faced with my stern expression very close to their nose, would get a move on and let me have the yogurt pot.  Most people.

Eventually I snatched the Yeo Valley lemon curd yogurt pot and ran off with it. As well as licking out every last teeny weeny smidge of yogurt, I ripped the pot into a million pieces over the floor just to make a point.

Honestly.  Things were looking up after that last night, though, as Lad and She had been to the Important Place in London after school/work and didn’t get home until very bldylate.  It was a verybldy long day.  So what often happens on the way home from the Important Place in London is that a trip to SparksMeansMarks is made, in order to buy a ready-meal for Lad to have when he gets in.  Thus my evening improved massively as Lad chose the Four Cheese Ravioli as usual, and I had the ready meal plastic tray to clean out when Lad had finished.  I do like a Four Cheese Ravioli.  To be honest it would have been preferable to have that BEFORE the Yeo Valley yogurt, as would be the normal order of things, but in my house I have to just take what I can, when I can.

The week is rushing by, Readers; I don’t know where the time goes.  Today I emptied the bin in the downstairs toilet.  Luckily Lad had thrown some empty crisp packets in there so I chucked those on the floor after licking out every tiny grain of salt.  I’d been at dear, dear Ebony’s during the day but had a look through the bins when I arrived home.  It was something to do.

I went to dear, dear Ebony’s house yesterday too, but was feeling quite tired to be honest, after our long walk and mostly slept for the day.  It’s quite exhausting keeping up with Ebony on our walks as she is much younger and fitter than me.  Plus I can’t really be bothered.  In fact I was so sleepy that I didn’t want to get up this morning when the ruddy alarm clock went off at 6am and made a point of snuggling down firmly into the white John Lewis duvet.  It’s mostly white, anyway, with just the occasional muddy pawprint.

Young Lad and Detention Friend were here  briefly before football training tonight.  Everything was on a tighter bldy schedule than normal  and there was much rushing around looking for football boots.  Readers, I inadvertently snapped at Detention Friend and I am ashamed to admit this.  You see, I was in the dishwasher trying to clean the spaghetti hoops on toast plate (haute cuisine as ever), when Detention Friend came up and tried to stroke me.  Detention Friend needs to learn that there is a time and place for this, and I should not be disturbed when there is any food near me.  I had to growl and wrinkle my nose, so that he got the message and retreated.  I don’t think Detention Friend will make the same mistake again.

Readers, I had some bad news last night.  My friend Delilah the Basset – no really, I count her as a friend even though I bark and snap at her – had a VERY nasty injury to her ear after trying to climb through a prickly hedge/fence type thing.  Poor Delilah was rushed to the Emergency Evil Vet – I’ve been there! – as her soft brown flappy ear was ripped and bleeding.  Oh this must have hurt, Friends.  Delilah was terribly brave and let the Evil Vet stitch her back together.  I only hope the Evil Vet’s handiwork is neat so that Delilah’s good looks are not spoiled.  I do hope she feels better soon, and I will go to visit before long to snarl and bark at her again.

I forgot to mention – so busy has the week been – that down by the river the other day I OH SO NEARLY caught a rabbit!  There were several of them in Top Field during my early morning walk – I wasn’t sure whether these rabbits were up early or out late – but I distinctly saw several white flashes of tail in the bushes.  Then, right in front of me on the path, ran a whopper!  The rabbit and I were both quite startled by the presence of the other but I gathered my wits quickly and gave chase, making my silly hunting squealing noise.  Unfortunately Flopsy disappeared into a very thick clump of bush that I could not penetrate, but believe me that was about the closest I have ever come to catching something.

My day will come.

Well I think that will do me tonight for writing – Ebony really does tire me out, and I’m there again tomorrow!  I’m sure Ebony is pleased about this.  

Bye for now,

Russell

Baxters

tomato My beautifully white fur around my mouth has been stained bright orange, Friends.  This is due to putting my head in the dishwasher whilst dirty crockery was being loaded – unfortunately, Lad’s lunch had included a large bowl of Baxter’s cream of tomato soup and the upside-down bowl in the dishwasher dripped all over me.  This was very vexing as Baxter’s cream of tomato soup is delicious and high quality (and bldy expensive at £1.10 a tin) but I cannot clean it off my face as it is in such an awkward place.  This is wasteful.  Plus of course, tomato soup stains quite badly and one has to squirt a lot of Vanish on a white t-shirt and scrub it whilst swearing  if tomato soup is spilled on it – if anyone tries to squirt Vanish on me and rub it in, I won’t be happy.  It is very annoying being able to smell high-quality soup and not being able to lick it.  Such is life.

It’s been an interesting few days.  As nobody has been at school/work, I’ve had lots of very long walks and to make a change from the usual route, have been on the disused railway line several times.  This is partly to have a change of scene but more, I suspect, because there is a tea shop on the way.  I quite enjoy this tea shop as I can lunge under the tables to lick up any dropped food – the tables are very lightweight  metal and make a horrendous racket when I drag them with me.  Sometimes I have managed to wind myself round several chair legs AND the table legs in my quest for a small piece of scone or quiche.  So you see the tea shop on the disused railway line is very interesting, but the same can’t be said of the disused railway line itself.

flitch I mean, look at it.  It’s a straight path that goes on for miles. And miles.  It’s not too bad when the disused railway line is deserted, but once there are idiots on bikes riding up  and down it, and joggers, and parents with wide pushchairs, believe me the novelty wears off quite fast.

And so it was that I was rather glad to go back to the river today, and up to Top Field etc.  There are far more interesting smells and not as many aggressive men on bikes.  Though to be fair there were some teenagers in Top Top Field yesterday on those horrid BMX things that make such a noise, but I kept my distance and all was well.  There is also less chance, down by the river, for the unashamed advertising of my blog and book – everyone down there knows about them and are bored to tears by it all, but oh my, didn’t we take the opportunity to reach a new audience on the disused railway line.  It was embarrassing, Readers.  Two perfectly nice people stopped to stroke my velvet ears (this was prior to the Baxter’s cream of tomato soup spillage) and tell me how lovely I am, and just because they mentioned that their son in Australia has a beagle, that was it.  They had to be told all about the blog and the book, and be heartily assured that it’s available on Amazon au.  Honestly.

Young Lad has recovered from his football trip to Madrid – though I imagine the shame of his parents not packing any shinpads will be there for a while – and on Thursday, went over the Rec to play football with Detention Friend.  This didn’t go well, Readers, as despite coping with intensive football training and matches for five days in Madrid without a problem, a kickabout over the Rec proved a step too far and Young Lad sustained an injured foot.  Detention Friend helpfully offered to call an ambulance as Young Lad rolled around on the ground screeching, but luckily they phoned He instead, and He went over to the Rec and carried Young Lad back on his shoulders.  For goodness’ sake.  What a fuss!  Much ice, rest and elevation was needed for a couple of days, and the rest part of that suited Young Lad down to the ground.   This morning Young Lad had recovered enough to play football for his team (get on with it and man up were the words of encouragement from She) and much to his and Detention Friend’s delight, their team won for the first time ever.  There is a moral in that story somewhere, Readers.

I am helping Lad tonight, Friends.  Lad is writing an essay for A Level Philosophy called, “Idealism versus common sense” and I am adding to the excitement of this by trying to lie on his lap, sort of half on the laptop.  Lad feels this is not helping.  Neither did it seem to aid his concentration when I found my large knuckle bone from the basket earlier, and start scraping my teeth up and down it.  There is no sound quite like that of teeth scraping across bone.  Still, I feel it’s important that I accompany Lad on his academic journey and add to it where I can.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the lack of early alarm calls over the last week, and am not impressed that tomorrow we will be back to the shrill 6am beeping. Lad is not looking forward to this either, and he and I will both struggle to cope.

Today I had quite a treat, Readers.  Before football, She decided to make lunch for Young Lad, Detention Friend and another friend of theirs who was here.  Feeling smug and oh-such-a-wonderful host, She made a big plate of bacon sandwiches and took them in to the boys who were playing on the Xbox. This seemed a cracking idea, didn’t it?  Except that Young Lad doesn’t like bacon sandwiches and Detention Friend’s religion prohibits the consumption of bacon.  Whoops. Poor Detention Friend.  How utterly thoughtless and ignorant of She!  Back to the kitchen She went, and made a plate of cheese on toast instead.

Guess who got the bacon from the bacon sandwiches?  Well, ok,  Gingercat was given a morsel but I had the rest of it!!  Oh such a treat!  Never ever ever am I given things like bacon.  Hooray for Young Lad not liking bacon sandwiches, and for Detention Friend being Muslim.

Back to school/work for everyone this week, Friends.  Back to dear, dear Ebony and Pippa for me.  Happy days.

See you soon,

Russell

Droppings

droppings I had a marvellous time this afternoon, Readers, in the glorious sunshine in Top Field.  Someone had cut the grass up there and in the warm glow of the sun  it was easy to spot all the millions of rabbit droppings lying in the hillocks.  I spent ages meandering slowly from hillock to hillock, eating pile after pile of dry pellets.  It really was quite heavenly.

I had been moaned at non-stop at the beginning of our walk for dawdling – look, when the weather is this good, who wants to rush?  There was all the time in the world to run off up to the houses looking for food and check out the area where someone throws stuff out for the birds – quite what the rush was I do not know. Moan, moan, moan.  And yes, I was miles behind and yes, I kept running off but so what?  All that aggressive blowing of the whistle and waving biscuits at me was unwarranted.

I wouldn’t have minded but this was my SECOND walk of the day.  Yet again He took me out in the morning and then She wanted some fresh air and exercise this afternoon.  Far be it from me to point out I don’t have to go with her!  Another four miles I’ve had to do today – but I got my own back!!  I pretended, Friends, that I hadn’t had any dinner this afternoon when really I had, and so was given a second bowlful. Quite right too.

Now look, you know how worried I was about Young Lad on his football trip to Madrid.  There had been no contact or sightings in the Twatter photos, and I was not convinced, Friends, that Young Lad was actually there.  However, worry no longer!  In a later Twatter photo, there was Young Lad (well the back view of him) queuing up for lunch.  Oh the relief.  And then, of course, Young Lad came home last night and I was SO pleased to see him!  My room-mate was back.   I had missed him dreadfully and lay on his lap listening to his tales of Football tour.  Largely this seemed to be about a bat flying round someone’s hotel room, and Year 11 breaking the lift by squashing too many people in it – this meant that Sir enforced a curfew which annoyed the Year 8s.  Really it was fascinating listening to all this, and much talk of somewhere called the Bernabeu and someone called Gareth Bale.  I was just nodding off to sleep when the conversation turned to the number of takeaway eateries that Young Lad had tried over the five days – and even by my standards this was impressive.  Burger King, KFC, Subway…. a boy after my own heart, is Young Lad.  Well done.  Of course he has been moaned at and told he won’t be having any chips or Coke for the rest of his life.

Friends, there was an unexpectedly lovely evening here recently.  Lad’s friends came round for the day, and stayed all evening to watch the football.  This meant there were four large youths sprawled  in the lounge – and we all know what large youths need, don’t we?  Food.  Loads and loads and loads of food.  Oh there were snacks galore – Pringles, Dorritos, carrot sticks, grapes and dip (She making a pathetic attempt at making them eat something healthy), Dominoes pizza and chocolate. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the evening with Lad and his friends – Gingercat curled up on someone’s lap and I positioned myself fairly centrally to collect any crumbs or offerings.  What a super way to spend an evening, and I have made it clear that they are welcome any time.

Due to Young Lad’s exhaustion after five days of intensive physical movement in Madrid  everyone slept in late this morning.  What a pleasant change, I thought to myself as I returned to bed after the 6am comfort break. Gingercat and I then slept on for another good three hours.  This is how it should be every day, frankly.

I nearly forgot to mention my little moment of triumph last night!  Needless to say, a chocolate cake was baked to welcome Young Lad home – such is the pandering – and He rather ill-advisedly put His plate down whilst trying to switch BT telly on for the football.  Now, you all know that one should never put down a plate with a piece of chocolate cake and it really was foolish – in one swift movement, like a graceful heron swooping on a fish I like to think, I was across the room and out the door with that cake before anyone could say bldydog.    Dear Lord, I do love a wedge of chocolate cake.

Nobody bakes me a cake to say “welcome home”  after a hectic day at daycare, you notice.

You would think that the lovely weather that we are experiencing might encourage someone out in the garden to do some much-needed weeding, chopping and tidying.  Nobody has done any gardening, Friends, and so I took it on myself to improve the appearance of the outdoor area by ripping up an Alpen cereal box from the recycling sack and throwing it around.  Then I went back to the recycling bag and pulled out a breadsticks box and did the same to that.  The garden looks far more attractive now – really, it shouldn’t be left to me to do these things. 

Lad got up at 11am today, Friends, and I felt very sorry for him indeed – poor Lad asked if he could have the ready -meal macaroni cheese that was in the fridge (dreadful processed rubbish) and was shouted at.  Lad was told VERY firmly that 11am is NOT macaroni cheese time, it is late breakfast time and therefore toast or cereal should be consumed.  Poor Lad had to wait another hour and twenty minutes until 12.20pm to have the macaroni cheese, as this was then officially lunchtime.  What utter pedantic nonsense.

Well I wonder how many walks I will be forced on tomorrow, Readers. Honestly, I can barely move.

Bye for now,

Russell

The Lost Hour

clock2 Readers, this is what happens when you are made to watch too much medical drama.  One’s brain becomes completely addled and somehow in my last blog I managed to lose a whole hour from 24 Hours in A&E, referring to it as a mere 23 Hours in A&E.  If only.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I mis-typed “swans” as “swabs.”  Really, it’s ridiculous.

Yesterday was another beautiful day; so warm and mild it could have been April instead of February.  So what happened?  I was dragged out TWICE for lengthy walks.  In the morning He took out me down to the river for a lovely Sunday morning walk whilst She ‘popped into town’ and Lad was sound asleep in bed. He and I had a marvellous, relaxed wander with no shouting of hurry up every two minutes.

Then in the afternoon, She decided it was such a lovely day that another walk was in order, perhaps stopping for a cup of tea in the sunshine half way.  And so it was that I was shoved in the back of the car and driven down to the old disused railway track, where millions of other dogs and bldycyclists were trying to get past each other.  The bldycyclists are a pain in the backside, She says.  The ‘nice’ walk to the cafe on the disused railway track was a tadge longer that She remembered and it took 45 minutes to get there.  Imagine how we laughed when we arrived and found the queue halfway back down the platform.  Oh they were all out yesterday; dog-walkers, runners, cyclists, large groups of sturdy, earnest hikers….and they were all in front of me in the queue.  Readers, it took forever.  And then I had to walk another 45 minutes back to the car!  I ask you.  All in all I walked over 5 miles yesterday and I’m really feeling it today.

I could have done without all this on top of the worry about Young Lad.  Readers, Young Lad hasn’t been heard from since he left on the coach early Saturday morning for his football trip to Madrid – I am genuinely wondering whether he is still in Burger King at Heathrow.  The thing is, every few hours there are updates on something called Twatter, with photos and comments about what is going on.  Young Lad has not featured in any of these photos and there is no evidence to suggest that he is actually there.  I think the most likely explanation is that Young Lad cannot cope with the punishing physical schedule, and has opted to stay in bed in his four-star hotel.  Certainly the PE staff have over-estimated Young Lad’s ability to move around quite so much and I feel sure they have let him off the football aspect of the football trip.  Poor Young Lad.

Lad got up surprisingly early this morning and caught the 10am train to hang out with his friends.  He has just come home, and explained what they spent the day doing.  A large proportion of it seems to have been deciding where to eat at lunchtime – things started off well at KFC, but then one of Lad’s friends wanted Burger King instead so they all had to queue up there after KFC, and then another friend wanted his lunch from Subway, so there seems to have been a distinct lack of agreement about where they were going to get lunch.  Oh to have this much choice.

I was quite annoyed to find She answering a thread on a Beagle Facebook page, which asked whether Beagles always have bad flatulence.  She wrote simply, “yes.”  I feel this was far from helpful and rather blunt. 

The Stupid Starlings have been over-indulged today with a new stock of fat balls to fill up their feeder, some peanuts and a load of stale bread.  Just how much do a few scrawny birds need to eat?  Of course this meant I couldn’t relax when I got home from my morning walk today and had to run in and out for hours to eat whatever they dropped. Thankfully it all quietened down this afternoon while a whole load of paperwork and faffing on the laptop was done, so I curled up on the sofa and slept heavily.

Dinner last night was interesting.  Not mine, you understand, but what was produced for Lad and He.  As Young Lad is away, it was decided to try a new recipe that included King Prawns as Young Lad wouldn’t dream of eating something so exotic.  “Cheats King Prawn risotto” was made, using wholegrain rice and something called Quinoa.  It was shocking; some ended up in my bowl it was that bad.  You know what they say – cheats never prosper.  Ain’t that the truth.

One of the good things about Young Lad being away in a four-star hotel is that I have his whole bed to myself.  It is wonderful to be able to stretch out properly all night.   I miss him a bit, of course.  

Tomorrow I would like a quieter day with slightly less in the way of long walks. They can be overdone you know, and I had to run fast up hills in Top Field, Top Top Field AND Top, Top, Top Field today as She insisted on blowing the whistle and waving a piece of ham at me every time I was a little behind.  Plus with the new wellington boots we seem to be moving at Strong Striding Speed all the time and it’s much too fast for my liking.  We don’t all want calf muscles like Olympic shotputters.

Well, Friends, I will let you know if and when Young Lad is spotted anywhere or if he can fit into his busy schedule making contact with his family so they know  he is still in one piece.

Golly I’m just tired thinking about it all.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

 

 

Bottoms Up

swan 2bottom up

Down at the river this morning, the Bastard Swans were doing this silly thing where they stick their backsides up in the air whilst diving down under the water.  They look absolutely ridiculous.  I stood and watched for a little while, hoping that they might drown but sadly they managed to turn themselves up the right way after a while.  It was quite boring.

Readers it is unseasonably mild for mid-February.  Really it was quite spring-like and I felt compelled to walk slowly, stopping to sniff each blade of grass in turn.  As we were on a four mile walk, this made the going rather slow and I was shouted at a lot.  In fact, the  harsh screech of “HURRY UP RUSSELL!!” filled the air as I wandered slowly through Top Field, Top Top Field and Top Top Top Field.   One of these days we might have a walk without any nagging or irritated tone. She was partly cross as I chose to have my comfort break in lower Top Field and as there are no dog poo bins that side of the river, the little black bag had to be carried through three fields and back down again.  This seemed to be aggravating though Lord knows why.

I was thrilled, simply thrilled this morning to see my old friend Chuck down there.  I haven’t seen him for so long, and we ran to each other like long lost brothers.  But then I realised there might be some bread out on the grass for the birds down by the houses so I dumped Chuck and bolted off to look.

Last night was Slovenly Pizza night on the sofa – I know, doesn’t it come round quickly!  Although only He had pizza this time, as Lad was out, She made do with scrambled egg and Young Lad had been to MacDonalds after school. Then, Readers, something awful happened.

Instead of relaxing on the sofa, Young Lad and She went upstairs, and I heard the ladder being pulled down from the roof.  This means one of two things; 1) it is Christmas and the decorations are being looked for or 2) the suitcases are being brought down.  Now I know quite well that it’s February and therefore not Christmas, so it could only mean suitcases.  I don’t like it when the suitcases come down.

There followed an hour of huffing and puffing in Young Lad’s bedroom as he lay on the bed which was his idea of packing, and She stood around moaning at him.  Between them they eventually packed his suitcase with a range of nylon sports tops, shorts and track suit bottoms, not to mention enough clean underwear to last several days. I lay on the floor in Young Lad’s room while all this was going on, which was very vexing it seems, as it is a very small bedroom and I was blocking the  tiny space between the wardrobe and the suitcase.

My interest stirred a little when I saw the final stage of the packing, which was a huge array of sweets, chocolate biscuits and crisps for snacks in case Young Lad should get hungry.

I really do not like seeing suitcases, and when Young Lad’s was brought down to the hall and put by the front door, I slunk off to my chair and looked depressed.

Then this morning – bear in mind it was Saturday – the ruddy alarm clock went off early again which really, really annoyed Gingercat and I.  Off went Young Lad, She and He in the car, to drop Young Lad at school for his school football trip to Madrid.  It beggars belief that instead of making him go on an educational excursion to Pompeii and Rome, or a nice geographical journey to hot geysers in Iceland, Young Lad is allowed to go on a football jolly.  I’m staggered at this level of namby-pambying.  Instead of camping out under the stars or climbing up a volcano, Young Lad and thirty nine other testosterone-fuelled teenagers are flying British Airways to Madrid, staying in a four-star hotel and watching/playing/training lots of football.  For four days!  I mean how utterly meaningless. What on earth Young Lad is expected to learn from this I do not know – other than which fast food outlet at Heathrow he finally decided on for lunch.  I take his point, but I still feel this is poor parenting.

I had a couple of lovely days at the end of the week – Thursday was spent with dear, dear Ebony again, and yesterday with dear, dear Pippa.  I am so lucky to have these wonderful friends and I like to think that they are lucky to have my company, even though I spend most of the time asleep on the soft furnishings.

It’s a very peaceful Saturday evening here.  Lad is on the Xbox in the study, He is out and Young Lad as we know is in a four star hotel.  So it is just She, Gingercat and I on the sofa and it would be very pleasant if it wasn’t for the choice of TV programmes.  As is catching up with the documentary “Hospital” wasn’t bad enough, I’m now having to sit through 23 Hours in A & E as well.  It’s very difficult to sleep with all these sirens, helicopters and beeping machines every five minutes, not to mention the silly dramatic music.  Really it is most distracting.  Why can’t She just watch something soothing like Doc Marten or Masterchef?  It’s so selfish.

Tomorrow I am hoping for a PROPER lie-in as nobody needs to get up for work/school and Young Lad will be waking up in his four-star hotel as we know. It will be hard for him to adjust to lower standards all round when he returns.  Poor Young Lad.  I’m looking forward to another lovely long walk and I intend to take my time again – I will NOT be hurried along all the time like I was today.  I feel I need to make a stand tomorrow.

I do hope you are having a peaceful Saturday evening too, Readers, and watching something more uplifting than the endless medical dramas I have to endure.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

 

Life

tired You have no idea how tiring my life is.  It’s no wonder that I’m nodding off by 7pm tonight – I simply can’t keep my eyes open!  Why am I so exhausted? I hear you ask.  Well.  There is a ripped-up yogurt pot on the floor in here, an empty crisp packet and a cat food pouch under the dining room table, I’ve emptied the bathroom bin again and pre-rinsed everything in the dishwasher.  All this, on top of a day at dear Ebony’s house!   These activities take it out of a chap;  you shouldn’t underestimate the energy used in ripping up a yogurt pot.

Well, I had a lovely day at dear, dear Pippa’s house yesterday – I hadn’t seen her for ages and it was so lovely to catch up. I made myself thoroughly at home by sleeping on the furniture, and when She came to collect me after work, I was sitting on Pippa’s Pack Leader Male’s knee.  I’m not one to curl up discreetly in a corner.  She was extremely late, I have to say, as has been the case every day this week – do you know, I wasn’t collected until after 5.30pm?  This is an hour and a half AFTER my dinner time and I was absolutely starving, I can tell you.  I feel this is very neglectful and people really should leave work earlier to tend to their families and responsibilities.

Needless to say I raced through the front door, barking hysterically to make it perfectly clear that my dinner was extremely overdue.  Young Lad was here with Detention Friend, and I have to admit to being very rude to Detention Friend who wanted to make a fuss of me.  I ignored him completely in my sprint to the kitchen- I’m afraid a pat on the head from Detention Friend comes very much second place to eating.  Not one to be disheartened, Detention Friend came to the kitchen and fed  me, thus killing two birds with one stone.  I like Detention Friend.

Of course it was Wednesday so it was very shoddy on the parenting/healthy food front.  Lad had cooked chips for Young Lad and Detention Friend – they had them with a blob of Hellmann’s mayonnaise.  This hardly constitutes a proper meal.  I mean I would have eaten it quite happily, obviously, but I think it’s appalling that Lad and Young Lad’s dietary needs are neglected like this.

Anyway, by the time She brought me home there was a whole ten minutes to spare before leaving for football training, so there was a lot of stomping round the kitchen and moaning at Lad for not putting stuff in the dishwasher.  He had just done the cooking for heaven’s sake!  Too much is expected of him.  Peace was restored once She, Young Lad and Detention Friend left for football although it was a bit feisty at the last minute as Young Lad couldn’t find his shinpads.  Again.

I had a lovely sleep while they were all out.  It was just Lad and I here, and it was so peaceful.   These moments are rare.

Readers, I have some very upsetting news.  There I was, expecting something halfway decent from Young Lad’s Food Technology lesson to come home today, when I was sorely disappointed.  Food Tech is over for this year!!  It has been replaced by Sewing Tech.  What the actual heck?  Instead of macaroni cheese or rock cakes, Young Lad is making a pencil case.  I have never heard of anything so ridiculous – how often is he going to need to make a pencil case in life?  Who makes up this curriculum?!  Dear God.  Of course She breathed a sigh of relief at no more  late night panic buying of cornflour in Tesco Express.

I’ve heard rumours that Lad and Young Lad break up from school tomorrow for February half term.  I think this means that there will not be any hideous alarm clocks going off at silly o’clock for a week, and I for one am very glad of  this.  Gingercat and I are  by no means ready to get up for the day at 6am, so it will be heavenly to be able to sleep in.  Of course, I will need a comfort break at dawn and will need to wake She up to facilitate this, but then I can go back to sleep for as long as I want.  Marvellous.  This is how life should be, Friends.

I sincerely hope some effort is made in the garden over February half term.  Nothing has been done out there since early November, and it looks like nothing on earth.  It’s very poor that I’m expected to wander round such a hovel on my comfort breaks, and a little effort with cutting back some bushes and tidying up wouldn’t go amiss.  The two Christmas trees are still out there in their holders and there is LOADS of recycling ripped up under the bushes where I have taken it.  You would think somebody could clear up after me.

Well, I’m so tired out from my two walks with Ebony and having to move from chair to chair to sleep, that I haven’t the strength to write any more tonight, Readers.  I do apologise.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

Why, why, why?

delilah naughty Today I went to visit my very good friends Delilah and Charlie, and for once my behaviour wasn’t the worst of the pack.  I was extremely polite when I arrived and ran straight to the kitchen, sitting up very erect by the counter where I knew the Chedigree Plum snacks were kept.  Sicknote was impressed with my manners and gave me a snack.  Then I spent some time in the garden with Charlie and Delilah, all three of us barking hysterically at anyone that walked past in the lane.  The noise we made!   Of course at this point Sicknote and She were trying to have a chat over a cup of tea, but this proved very difficult over the cacophony of three braying/barking dogs.  They retreated to the lounge, so Charlie, Delilah and I followed them – I leaped onto the back of an armchair to keep guard at the window and continue the hideous barking.  After a while I got down and Delilah took over – this is called Teamwork, and I was very proud of myself.  Normally Delilah gets on my nerves, but today we bonded over our irritating barking.

Admitting defeat, She and Sicknote felt they had more chance of a conversation if they took us out for a lovely peaceful walk in the countryside.  They didn’t.  For a start Delilah has to be on a long lead otherwise she runs off after pheasants, so there was her long lead to negotiate with three sets of paws and two sets of wellington boots.  Then I caught a whiff of something dead way across the field and started to run, so She had to blow the whistle and tempt me back with some ham – this meant that I ended up on the lead as well.  Cue more tangling.

Then, Readers, we had to come back along a small road.  Delilah spotted a local dog with something of a reputation and decided to lunge at it – so assertively that She (who was holding Delilah’s lead) was dragged into the road.  I would like to point out that my lead was in her other hand so I was dragged into the road as well.  This is Poor Supervision and the lives of Delilah and myself were in peril.  Not content with this, Delilah then slipped her collar and She was left looking at a pink collar lying on the pavement and a large Basset heading into the road again after the local dog with the reputation.  Just in the nick of time Delilah was caught and brought under some semblance of control.  It really was a hairy few minutes and it was perfectly clear that Delilah was fully in control of the whole situation, unlike the Pack Leaders.  It was very worrying.

I was exhausted by all this stress, and when we got back to Sicknote’s house I needed to sleep in the very small patch of sun in the lounge.  Unfortunately Delilah decided to DELIBERATELY sit right in front of  me to block the small patch of sunlight.  This annoyed me intensely.

So you see, it is not just me who can be difficult.  Plus Delilah stole a large piece of steak from the kitchen counter the other day.  Really I’m an angel in comparison.

Before all this, the day had been perfectly pleasant.  She had to drive Lad all the way to school this morning as the trains were delayed, so I had some time in the house alone.  This meant bathroom bin time for me!  I went through it and shredded everything, eating pretty much all of it.  For decoration I draped some bits of cotton wool and tissue along the landing.  It looked pretty.  Plus it served as a timely reminder that some hoovering was needed upstairs.

You will remember, Readers, that at the end of my last blog She was looking at the weather forecast hoping for rain of the monsoon type, that would render Young Lad’s football match unplayable.  This was unsporting and mean-spirited.  Readers, there was just enough rain to render Young Lad’s football match unplayable so you can imagine the smugness.  It meant a whole day at home which makes quite a change on a Sunday – and it meant some decent home cooking for once.  A lovely Sunday roast was prepared, with stuffing, yorkshire puddings, the lot.  Delicious.  I had a wonderful time in the dishwasher afterwards.  And then it was Sunday tea!  This meant home-baked cakes and nice sandwiches – such delicacies.  Really, Lad and Young Lad must have been overwhelmed by the effort that went into their food preparation for once.  I can’t see it happening again for a while.

Despite the drizzle I was dragged out for a long walk over the fields – and then, quite unbelievably,  had to walk round the Rec in the afternoon!  Why? I asked myself.  There was no answer. Just as I had settled down for the evening after tea, He announced he was going up to the pub with Young Lad for a drink and a packet of peanuts – and I was made to walk up there with them!  Yes!  Three walks in one day!  Ludicrous.

Someone here has been to PetsRVetsRToysRUs or whatever it’s called, and bought a large bag of charcoal biscuits.  Charcoal biscuit have two purposes; to absorb some of the undesirable odours one produces as a by-product of digestion, and to turn one’s poo black.  Thus it is much easier to spot my comfort breaks on the lawn at the moment.  The charcoal biscuits haven’t absorbed much undesirable odour yet but it’s early days.

Lad has a Philosophy test tomorrow at school so is usefully spending his time watching “Power” on Netflix in the other room.  I can’t quite see the connection but I’m sure there must be one.  Young Lad has brought home his kit for the school football trip to Madrid that he is going on soon – unfortunately somebody has overestimated his waist size for the shorts which would fit around five Young Lads and still fall down.  Thus the sewing box will have to be bldydusted off again and some bldysewing done in the next few evenings.   We cannot have Young Lad’s shorts falling down at the Bernabue stadium, Friends.

What a day.  I do hope dear Delilah has recovered from her near-death experience on the country lane, and I can only apologise for my Pack Leader’s ineptitude.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

Homework

geography The other night  I helped Young Lad with his Geography homework by lying on his books.  Young Lad was supposed to be revising about the Hualapai tribe, but I found this very tedious and fell asleep.  I made sure my nose was pointing helpfully at the right section of notes, so that Young Lad could find where he’d got up to.  I am nothing if not helpful.

I’ve had a lovely couple of days at dear, dear Ebony’s house and sprinted fast down the road each morning when it was time to go.  Although I had enjoyed my two days of being left at home, and caused the house to look like a hurricane had blown through, it was time for some more sedate, relaxing time with my friend.  Ebony and I slept  the day away on comfortable sofas and armchairs, apart from when we were out on our walks and rolling in cack.  It was marvellous.

Yesterday was Friday and therefore Slovenly Pizza night on the sofa.  Well, Lad had gone to a town far away to hang out with his friends, but the rest of us were on the sofa with pizza.  I was extra hungry after the events of the week, and so I whined and begged for a piece of pizza crust even more annoyingly than usual.  I was given a couple of carrot sticks instead – what an insult.  As it turned out, I then had horrific flatulence for the rest of the evening, and as I was on She’s lap there was a lot of moaning at me. Nobody could work out why the smell was so vile until someone bothered to look under the table and find the empty compost bag which had previously been full to the brim with vegetable peelings and broccoli stalks.  Therein lay the reason for the earthy odour filling the lounge.  I thought it was quite nice actually.

Today I was taken out for a smashing walk down at the river.  It was blowing a gale, but bright and sunny so I didn’t mind.  She had insisted on bringing along the long pink ball flinger thing with my squeaky tennis ball; this turned out to be an error of judgement.  I simply was not in the mood for chasing a ball around, as I find it pointless at the best of times.  She would not be told, however, and kept chucking it miles ahead, then telling me to fetch it in a silly voice.  I really didn’t want to, but in order to please her I obliged a couple of times.  First of all I ran off into some thick undergrowth with my ball, and dropped it as I found something more interesting to look at.  She then had to clamber into the bushes to find it, and became trapped in the prickles of a tree – this tree also grabbed hold of her silly bobble hat and removed it from her head.  Oh the swearing. 

A little further on, I found a dead animal to roll in and so She had to run at full pelt in her new wellington boots, across rough hilly ground which nearly broke her bldyankle.  I was discouraged from rolling in the dead animal (I ate it instead) by the long pink ball flinger thing being waved aggressively at me.  So aggressively in fact that the ball flung out of it and landed on the edge of the river bank where it rolled down with a gentle plop.  Therefore She had to climb down the river bank in her new wellington boots – we’re really testing them out – and try to balance precariously on the slope to retrieve the squeaky tennis ball that I wasn’t remotely interested in.  Oh fall in, I thought, fall in….

You have to laugh.  On the way to Far Field we bumped into Barney the Oh So Adorable Beagle who was as white and appealing as ever.  Barney never smells as horrid as me and has a much softer coat.  It gets on my nerves.  Barney’s Pack Leader and She made a ridiculous comment about what happens to Beagles’ ears on a windy day and how we look like small planes; it really was infantile.  If you have never experienced your soft, velvet ear flaps standing out at ninety degrees, you will never know how uncomfortable it is.  I got my own back by finding another small dead animal – too decomposed to identify I’m afraid – and crunching through it.

Once in Far Field the mood became even more irritable as Lad phoned and asked if he could be picked up from the station in ten minutes.  Clearly not, as we were at the Far End of Far Field and there was no way we could get back that fast.  And why should we?  Lad was given a very clear and unnecessarily firm message that a little more warning would be ideal in future.  Poor Lad.

Thankfully I had a quiet day at home after this. Well, it would have been quiet if nobody had put stale bread out on the bird table – of  course this meant I had to run in and out all afternoon, every time a Stupid Starling knocked some off.  It was exhausting.  It was very peaceful in the house, however, as Young Lad was faffing around doing not very much, Lad was upstairs in the bath, He was at work and She had gone out for a while.  Lad eventually came back downstairs and told Young Lad to get on with some homework and it wasn’t quite so peaceful after that.  This annoyed me.

Now, Readers, do you remember me saying that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been voted the most popular dog?  Ahead of the Beagle?  (Quite a long way ahead.) Well, it turns out that She was chatting to someone She knows this afternoon, who has a Staffie called Gus.  They discussed the wonders of dog-ownership for ages and both agreed that we bring sheer JOY to their lives.  Gus has been known to rip up a few carrier bags here and there but is instantly forgiven as he is so lovely.  I, of course, have to put up with HOURS of moaning at me whenever I commit the very slightest misdeamour such as eating a huge chocolate birthday cake or chewing up Lad’s Art pastels (grinding them into the carpet for good measure.)   Life is so unfair.

Well I’m spending the evening curled up on a fluffy blanket on the sofa.  I have left a small amount of room for other people, as they have discovered the first four seasons of Line on Duty on Netflix.  I’m hoping that somebody will go to the kitchen to find some snacks soon as I’m quite peckish.

There’s another lovely football match to attend tomorrow, She said through gritted teeth, and is looking closely at the weather forecast to see how much rain there might be overnight.  I feel this is a poor attitude to Young Lad’s recreation.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Jolly Expensive

91G0J+K4BqL._SY450_ These are delicious if over-priced American sweets.  I know this because I have eaten several today and spat the wrappers on the floor. They are indeed VERY hard candy, just as it says on the packet, and I can tell you it took me a while to chew my way through them.

Lad is very annoyed that I have eaten some of his Jolly Ranchers.  They were bought as a bldyexpensive treat for Lad and were not intended for me. Lad should know better than leaving them lying around in his bedroom then, shouldn’t he.

I’ve had a smashing couple of days, Friends!  I have been left at home for two whole days, with hours and hours of entertainment to find.  Yesterday, Lovelyneighbourontheright came round to let me out for a comfort break, and she reported that I had been very well-behaved all day.  This is because when Lovelyneighbourontheright came round, I was sitting nicely in my armchair giving the impression I had been there all day.

I hadn’t.

I had in fact opened a couple of cupboards in the kitchen and dragged out the carrier bags all over the floor. Behind them I found an old collar, my hairbrush  (never used) and a comb.  I threw these on the floor on top of the carrier bags.  Bingo!  On the next shelf up I found a box of mini-breadsticks, unopened.  To be honest I was surprised to find these as normally Lad has emptied the cupboard of any snacks and there is NOTHING to eat in this house as you know – but breadsticks there were! Off I ran, into the lounge where I ripped the box open and ate the lot. It was disappointing that they were mini breadsticks and not full size, but there you go.  It gave me something to do, and meant there was plenty of mess round the floor for Young Lad to tidy up when he got home from school.

Today I was left home alone again.  I spent the morning moving from one bed to the next, thoroughly messing them up and making myself comfortable.  It was while having a look round Lad’s hideously messy bedroom that I found the bag of Jolly Ranchers, and also a half empty bowl of Crunchy Nut cornflakes.   Readers, have you ever tried Crunchy Nut cornflakes?!!  Oh my word they are divine.  No wonder we never have frivolous cereals like this in the house usually – muesli really is no fun – and again, Lad had been bought them as a treat.  I enjoyed this treat as much as the Jolly Rip-offs, and cleaned out the bowl.

Back downstairs I found the Kong that Young Lad had left for me when he went off to school this morning – it was rather unexcitingly filled with cold mashed potato that I know for a fact had been in the fridge for four days.  It was a little stale if I’m honest.  I ate it though.  Nobody has bothered to pick up the Kong from the lounge floor since they got home tonight, and the ripped-up breadstick packet is still under the table.  It looks charming in here as you can imagine.

I added to the air of squalor in our home, by dumping one of She’s walking boots on the sofa this afternoon.  I was bored, and needed something to do.  I was moaned at when She came home from work and found a walking boot on the upholstery but I don’t really care.

Lovelyneighbourontheright was called upon yet again today, to let  me out for a comfort break.  However, this time I was taken out for a lovely walk, which turned into a run.  I don’t really do running but I pride myself on my  manners so I didn’t complain and just trotted along very briefly.   It was a beautiful day and I was in a simply marvellous mood, which was partly due to the company of Lovelyneighbourontheright and partly due to a huge sugar rush.

Now, it was a right bldyrush tonight as usual as there is a very tight window between arriving home from work and getting Young Lad out to football training.  Things were even tighter than normal tonight, Friends, as Young Lad hadn’t arrived home from school by 5pm!!  I really was becoming most worried for him.  Finally, Young Lad and his friend Detention Friend turned up, and when asked why they were so late Young Lad said they had accidentally missed two buses, while Detention Friend said they had been over the park.  The jury is out Readers, on whose version was the most truthful.  Thankfully, by a whisker, Young Lad and Detention Friend made it to football training only two minutes late, though they did have to put a shift in running across the astroturf.

You’ll be relieved to know that Young Lad had managed to grab some food while ‘waiting for two buses’ as Detention Friend knows the man who works in the chip shop and managed to get extra big portions for them both.  Note that they didn’t bring me any – this is very disappointing selfishness.  In fact I completely snubbed Detention Friend tonight when he tried to make a fuss of me, and hopefully he’s got the message.  No chips indeed.

Tomorrow I’m going to dear, dear Ebony’s for daycare and am really looking forward to it.  Whilst it has been hilariously funny having the house to myself and going through cupboards, and rather lovely seeing Lovelyneighbourontheright, I have missed the company of Ebony and her Pack Leaders.  I have especially missed Ebony’s bed and I think it’s time for her to share it with me again.

Oh I’ve just remembered, I need to make another correction from my previous blog.  I insinuated that it was rather surprising to find the Staffordshire Bull Terrier voted number 1 most popular dog breed – this upset my good friend Mollie the Staffie down by the river, and I need to rephrase my thoughts.  On reflection, it is surprising that Beagles came (well) below the Staffie in popularity but no surprise whatosever that the beautiful Staffie was number one.  Hope that’s ok, Mollie.

My book sales are just shy of 200 copies, Friends.  I can’t thank you enough and will be sending another direct debit to The Important Place in London very soon.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Comfort

20190202_212631 It’s important on these cold winter evenings, Friends, to make oneself very comfortable.  Gingercat and I both managed to do this last evening on a nice fleecy blanket on the sofa, leaving just enough room for Young Lad by the side of the fleecy blanket.  Young Lad’s feet might have benefited from being under the warm blanket, as you can see, but there simply wasn’t room.  I was extremely content here for the evening, and slept like a log.

Before I go on, I need to talk to you about a TRAVESTY that appeared in the national press last week.  There has been some survey or other about the  one hundred most popular breeds of dog.  Beagles came in 31st place.  Yes, you heard me, 31st!!!  What utter and complete nonsense, and what an insult to my breed.  For the love of God, we were only one place above the HIDEOUS English Bull Terrier!  Have you seen one of those?

BullTerrierBeagle-On-White-08

I mean, really!  Position number 32 and position number 31?   I don’t think so! What on earth were these people thinking?   And we were THREE PLACES BELOW the absurd  Welsh Pembroke Corgi.   I’ve no idea who participated in this ridiculous survey, but they clearly have no taste whatsoever.  Do you know which breed was number 1?  Just to confirm what I’m saying?  Staffies.  I will not dignify this farcical piece of research with any more of my attention.

Golly that made me cross. 

I need to set the record straight about a couple of things from my last blog. Firstly, I referred to The Lovely Hairdresser’s colleague who washed out all the highlight tin foils.  This was in fact The Lovely Hairdresser’s boss, and thus I demoted her in one swift slip of the pen.

Equally, I have thought long and hard about Buddy the Replacement for Rocco the Inspirational Three-Legged Labrador.  Now, clearly nobody could ever replace Rocco, so this was not an appropriate name.  I will henceforth call Buddy;  Buddy The Bouncy Labrador.  Thus Rocco can rest in peace and not think he has been replaced by an exuberant sandy coloured Lab.

I feel better for those small corrections.  I like to be fastidious over details.

On my long walk yesterday, I bumped into Barney The Oh So Adorable Beagle who always leans against people’s legs in an endearing way.  Usually I find Barney a tad irritating in this respect, but yesterday he and I found some Cheerios that someone had thrown on the grass so we bonded in our hoovering up of small circular bits of cereal. Barney has been quite bad at home recently, I was pleased to hear, and made off with a packet of bread from the work surface. Well done, Barney, keep up the good work.

Today was even nicer up in the fields – cold, to be sure, but a beautiful  clear blue sky and bright sunshine.  I was in such a wonderful frame of mind as we stomped round Top Field, and suddenly disappeared into the overgrown scrubland in the middle.  There was some panicky shrieking and blowing of the whistle, as She couldn’t see me anywhere; really I seemed to be lost for good.  Then, with a high-pitched squeaking sound that is my Hunting Cry, I came charging out of the scrubland chasing a pheasant!!  Yes!  I was only centimeters away from my prey, and made an incredible racket as I squeaked and squawked after it.  Fancy little old me, flushing out a pheasant!!  This is what I’ve been bred for, I thought to myself, as the pheasant flew away laughing.  It was a most satisfying few minutes and could only have been improved by actually catching the damned thing.

There has been the usual nagging about homework here today, it being Sunday, but at least no adults have had the temerity to sit down and do Young Lad’s homework for him.  There was a dull conversation about ten gurus, or something like that, in which Young Lad had to decide which of ten gurus he thought was the most important and why.  How this will benefit him in the future I have no idea and I would have the thought the time could have been better spent writing a letter of complaint to whoever thought up that silly survey of the 100 most popular dogs.

After the nagging about homework it was time for Young Lad’s football match, which involved donning a lot of layers of clothes and making up a flask of tea.  Really, it’s an hour and half standing by an astroturf, not reaching the summit of Snowdon.  We do over-react in this house.  Once they came home after football, She was still so cold that She forced Lad to leave the house and join her in Costalotta for a hot chocolate, to warm up.  Imagine the disappointment when it transpired Costalotta’s machine was broken and they couldn’t serve any drinks that involved steam or milk.  The drawbacks of modern technology, Friends.  Had they simply had a saucepan and a stove, they could still have served hot chocolate.

And so we begin another week.  I won’t be having daycare at dear, dear Pippa’s house this week as they have a lot going on, and I will miss her dreadfully.  We will have so much to catch up on, the week afterwards.  I will be seeing dear Ebony later in the week, but for a couple of days we are having to rely on the mercy of the neighbours yet again, to let me out for a comfort break while everyone is at work/school.  I really feel too much is expected of Lovelyneighbourontheright at times, and it just isn’t on.

Mind you, there is some opportunity this week for playing up.  I will be here on my own for some of the time, and you all know how I find ways to amuse myself.  No cupboard/bin/ corner will be safe.  I will be sure to take photographic evidence and let you know how I get on.

Time for a sleep, I feel.

31st place indeed.

Bye for now,

Russell