Trying to sleep

dav In this picture, Readers, you can see quite clearly that I am trying to sleep in the spring sunshine but I am being disturbed by Pippa.  This is not acceptable.  Pippa had the whole of the garden to go and lie in and there was no need at all to throw herself down right next to me.  And did she keep still?  No she didn’t.  So it was awfully difficult to have a satisfying doze and really Pippa  needs to think twice about this.

My sleep has been disturbed a lot lately and it’s getting on my nerves.  At bedtime I have been collapsing in an exhausted heap onto Young Lad’s bed with him, but within half an hour I am woken by sniggering and spluttering the other side of the wall.  This is all down to someone called Bill Bryson, who I wish would refrain from being in the bedroom late at night – She is reading a book called “Down Under” for about the thirtieth time and still snorting all the way through.  You would think the jokes would have worn thin by now, but apparently not.  Anyway, I’m looking forward to She finishing “Down Under” and going back to a less amusing Peter James crime novel instead.  These don’t wake me up.

Well it’s been a busy few days here.  Yesterday afternoon She and LovelyDor down the road went out to Costalotta where they toasted a special person over an Americano and half a Sicilian lemon tart each.  This wasn’t very rock n roll but it did the job.  Notice they didn’t take me.  There has been a theme to not taking me to nice meals lately.  Last Sunday Nana aged 87 became Nana aged 88 and there was a family lunch at a jolly nice carvery.  The meats on offer were pork, turkey and beef – I would have liked a piece of each.  But of course I had to stay at home and just had my usual dry biscuit stuff for dinner.

Today is Mothering Sunday which means, from what I can see, that every restaurant in the country puts up its prices for a special set menu, and are booked up for months in advance.  In their usual disorganised fashion, my family decided at the last minute to squeeze in at Express Pizza, but only after phoning to see if Tesco vouchers were valid today.  Push the boat out why don’t you.  Will Lad bring me back a piece of American Hot?  Will Young Lad hide a little wedge of Margherita in a napkin for me?  Of course not.

I will be left here alone again.  I did have my eye on the kitchen bin as it is very full, but some baking was undertaken this afternoon and it was noticed that the bin was over-flowing, so that has been emptied.  How disappointing.  Let’s hope the freshly-baked goods don’t get pushed right to the back of the working surface – you will be surprised how far I can reach with a good stretch of my paw. 

Mothering Sunday also appears to be an excuse to make Young Lad and Lad do loads of jobs round the house.  I feel this is unfair. There is no such thing as Childering Sunday, is there?  Or Doggering Sunday?  Though I feel this might be misinterpreted…  anyway, Young Lad had to  clean and hoover upstairs this morning, AND halfway down the stairs AND carry the heavy hoover downstairs and put it away.  This is far too much to expect of him.  Then, Readers, the abuse doesn’t stop there – Young Lad was FORCED out on my walk as She didn’t want to walk the bldy dog on her own on Mothering Sunday, and so Young Lad had no choice but to wander slowly for three miles, occasionally throwing a stick for me.  In the event, the nice Mother and Son time together turned out to be Young Lad talking about the Xbox for forty five minutes and She glazing over after five, but there you go.

And what of Lad, on Mothering Sunday?  Where was he – up the chimney? Scrubbing the bathroom?  No, Lad was given special dispensation from menial tasks as he was busy ‘revising’.  Oh that old chestnut.

Well I have to say it was nice at the river today.  The weather was beautiful and there were many families out with their dogs, all smiling and happy.  Well, most of them were smiling and happy.  I found some cack in Top Field and had a good roll, all under my neck, so of course was screamed at and had to have a bath when we got back.  What a load of fuss about nothing. 

On the way back from my very long walk, who did I see but dear, dear Pippa!  Now normally I run like the wind towards her and we romp around, but in truth I was quite tired from my walk AND I had paddled bravely up to my ankles in the river, so I wandered slowly to dear Pippa and just had a very small play.  This involved Pippa jumping over my back and knocking me flying, but it was terrific fun.

Well, there is some shouting up the stairs to Lad, telling him to hurry up and get ready for Express Pizza.  I have heard a whisper, Friends, that someone is working ALL WEEK this week and that I will be abandoned every single day.  As usual, a bevy of neighbours such as LovelyDor and Lovelyneighbourontheright have been drafted in to pick up the pieces of my welfare.

This really isn’t good enough and makes me feel that choking on a dough ball would serve them right.  But then, I do love them.  When they’re here.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Workload

hard work Readers, it has been brought to my attention that I have not written a blog for several nights.  There has been an unacceptably long gap between my musings this week, and I can only apologise.  There is no excuse for this – oh I’ve heard some muttering about a Heavy Workload – but really it is just a question of Time Management. I have tried saying that we must look after our Readers but to be honest I don’t think She’s listened to anyone.  Especially not me.

For example, Young Lad had a test in History today about the French Revolution.  Young Lad did not score well.  Is there any working-mother guilt about the need to have sat down and helped Young Lad to revise about Robespierre and old women knitting by the guillotines?  No, apparently not.  Young Lad has been moaned at and told he should have tried harder.   Perhaps with some proper parenting, as a change from shrieking “I’m busy” from behind the laptop, Young Lad might have achieved a little more. Poor Young Lad.

We’re all feeling rather neglected.  Gingercat’s fur has become matted again and needs a brush, and we know that won’t be happening any time soon. I made a big fuss when She tried to put the flea treatment on the back of my neck last week – I ran off and growled – and no further attempt has yet been made.  It really isn’t good enough, Friends.

So to make a point, I looked in one of the kitchen cupboards the other day and dragged out a box full of spices and jars.  It fell on the floor but didn’t break, so I pulled a few of them out and  had a look through.  By the time everyone came home there was curry powder all over the kitchen floor, and peppercorns over the lounge carpet.  The box of stock cubes was open but I only ate one this time, as I’ve eaten multiple stock cubes in the past but have found them rather salty.  Anyway, I’d made a glorious mess which was quite fun and filled a few minutes.

I’ve also been rather barky this week.  Down at the river there was a man and a lady walking along the path, and they had no dog with them.  They were clearly up to no good because there is no reason whatsoever to be down there without a dog. So I barked and howled aggressively at them to make it clear that I knew what they were up to.   They told me they were friendly but I wasn’t about to fall for that old chestnut, so barked a bit more.  

Then on the way back over the river, a German Shepherd’s Pack Leader was leaning over the railing in a rather alarming way, looking at the Bastard Swans.  I was afraid that she was about to fall in without realising, so I barked and barked at her to warn her that she was leaning over the railing in an alarming way.  This Pack Leader just said “oh hello Russell,” and carried on her dangerous leaning.  What can you do?  Nobody can say I don’t try.

This morning my stomach wasn’t feeling quite right, so at around 4am I needed a comfort break in the garden.  I stood at the top of the stairs and whined until Lad got up  – I know! Unusual! – to let me out.  However I was rather startled to see Lad doing something helpful at this hour of the morning, so I barked loudly at him to let him know that I knew he was behaving suspiciously.  This had the desired effect of waking up She, who then had to take me downstairs to the garden.

Anyway, I’ve had a nice day today at dear, dear Pippa’s house and whilst I didn’t steal anyone’s lunch I did sit very close to them while they were eating and stare hard at it.  I was rewarded with a titbit.  Yesterday I was at dear Ebony’s house and had a lovely time there, as well.  Notice how little time I spend at home these days, Friends.

To add insult to injury, my own family failed to collect me from Pippa’s house today.  Oh they all drifted home from school and work, and the last one home was She in the usual frantic Wednesday night hurryup it’sbldyfootball way of things, but nobody seemed to notice that I wasn’t at home.  Young Lad and Detention Friend were eating cake and playing Fifa 19 on  the Xbox, Lad was revising – yes, I know! – on the sofa, and He was making a cup of tea.  She came and screeched where’sthebldydog  has nobody noticed thebldydogisn’t here, and flounced back out the house to come and collect me.  The shocking truth, Friends, was that it was nearly 6PM by the time I was picked up!  And I had missed my dinner time by nearly 2 hours!  This is neglect, pure and simple.  So I’m sorry, but no I did not want to stop and chat to Colin the Labrador from next door as I jumped out the boot of the car , I could not care less about Colin from next door, as I was DESPERATE for my dinner and virtually in a coma from hunger.    And I’m sorry if this hurt Colin’s feelings as he hung round the boot of the car, wanting to say hello, but some things are more important.

How can you forget to collect your dog from daycare?  It does make you wonder if Lad and Young Lad were occasionally left at nursery overnight when they were little.   It wouldn’t surprise me.

Dinner tonight was poor all round.  Really I should have had a bigger portion of mine than usual, having had to wait an extra two hours. Young Lad and Detention Friend cooked themselves oven chips and Detention Friend said they were still cold in the middle when they ate them.  Luckily there was some home-made cake to make up for this.  Lad came in and cooked himself a bowl of pasta but failed to do any vegetables.   She had a bowl of soup and a small sandwich.  Really where is the nutritional responsibility towards one’s family?  And making Young Lad eat a plate of healthy malt loaf when he got home from football does not make up for the lack of proper dinner.

I can only hope the week improves, Friends, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

See you soon,

Russell

Sick Day

poorly Something marvellous happened this week, Readers.  On Wednesday She had to take a day off work due to hanging over the toilet most of Tuesday night.  This was a first for me, as  never in all the years that I’ve lived here has this happened before.  It was brilliant!  Once the ruddy alarm clock had gone off at 6am, and Young Lad and Lad’s packed lunches and various medications had been sorted out, Gingercat and I were joined back in bed by She!!  Yes!  Readers, I stayed in bed ALL MORNING and it was simply glorious.  I slept and slept, and snored and snored – oh what a treat.

And even after the three of us did make it downstairs, it was only as far as a comfort break in the garden and then straight to the sofa with a big blanket.  I love sick days!

It was TOTALLY unnecessary to drag me round the Rec that afternoon – I said over and over again, look you’re not well, stay on the sofa.  But oh no, the silly guilt thing about the dog must have a walk blah blah blah.  I couldn’t have cared less and was perfectly content to sleep all day uninterrupted.  I mean how often do I get the chance?  It really was the most peaceful, relaxing day I have had for a very long time and I am looking forward to the next sick day, tho She says it won’t be for another bldysixyears.

Tuesday night itself was quite vexing, though, with all the to-ing and fro-ing to the downstairs toilet to minimise any noise and disruption to anyone else.  Well I can tell you it disrupted me as I was spread right across the bed so was shoved out the way rather abruptly.  I do feel more consideration could have been taken.

Anyway.  Other than that it has been a busy week as usual with very little attention for me from my family.  Today I went to dear, dear Pippa’s house and behaved extremely well, not stealing anyone’s lunch or glaring at them when they tried to eat.  Yesterday it was the turn of dear Ebony to host me, and that too was a lovely day.  I was the model of good manners and decorum – the same can’t be said of Ebony who managed to open a kitchen cupboard that had been tied together, in order to pull out bags of cashew nuts and the like.   Clever Ebony – her intelligence is under-rated in my opinion.  

Today should have been Slovenly Pizza evening, obviously, but plans do go awry sometimes, Friends.  Lad and She were at the Important Place in London so didn’t get home till mid evening.  Now, as you know if you are a Regular Reader, trips to the Important Place in London often involve an irritable march round SparksmeansMarks on the way out of the station, to buy ready meals as someone is toobldylazy   tired to cook a meal.  I look forward to this so much, as Lad always has Four Cheese Ravioli and I always have the plastic tray to clean out.  Imagine my dismay, then, when I heard that SparksmeansMarks by the station had sold out of Four Cheese Ravioli!  And how about poor Lad – after a long day at school followed by the ruddy Central Line in rush hour!  Oh the disappointment.  Lad had to settle for a Lasagne instead, and decided this wouldn’t be sufficient so had a large portion of creamy mash to go alongside it.  This was all rather beige, if you ask me, and some attempt at garnish wouldn’t have gone amiss, but I had two trays to clean out which was some compensation for the lack of Four Cheese Ravioli.  Lad had also popped into the shopping basket at SparksmeansMarks a bag of prawn crackers and a large bottle of Peroni.  This might seem a slightly unbalanced meal with a nod to more than one culture’s cuisine, but I can see the attraction.

On the long drive back from the station, Lad was in a perky mood and started a philosophical debate about how it has been proven that there is no philosophical justification for killing animals to eat meat, and that philosophers have been unable to come up with an argument that trounces all others.  This of course was half an hour before Lad dived into his Beef Lasagne, but that’s not the point.  Poor Lad – the only other person in the car at the time was not even slightly inclined to enter a philosophical debate about anything and was yawning throughout.  This is rude and disrespectful to Lad’s vast intellect and ability to talk at length when nobody is really listening.

Young Lad has had a busy week at school, and in a touching show of camaraderie, Detention Friend hung around and waited for Young Lad while he was in detention on Wednesday night, then Young Lad returned the favour for Detention Friend when Detention Friend was in detention on Thursday night.  I know what you’re thinking, Friends and I agree  – they need to try to synchronise their detentions.  It would make life easier for them both.  But isn’t it heart-warming to see such loyalty in this day and age?

Well it’s the weekend again – it comes round so quickly.  There might be a very slight lie-in tomorrow, though not much, I’m told, and doubtless I’ll be dragged out for a very long walk.  Maybe it will rain.

Golly I’m tired just thinking about it.

See you soon,

Russell

 

Pretty

artyThis morning while She was on the school run, I made this very attractive collage on the lounge carpet.  I used the leaves and stem of a fresh pineapple that had been put in the back porch ready for the compost bin – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – just take those extra few seconds to put it outside IN the bin, rather than the porch.  Anyway, I dragged the large pineapple stalky stuff into the lounge and ripped it up all over the floor.  The leaves are rather spiky and it wasn’t my all-time favourite thing to do, but I was bored.  I added to it an empty crisp packet.

Then, Readers, I wandered upstairs and emptied the bathroom bin all over the landing and one of the bedroom bins all over the floor.  There was a heck of a mess upstairs by the time I’d finished.  It gave me something to do while I was on my own, so then I went down to have a sleep in my chair.

Of course She came in and started screeching at me, and taking photos.  This seems rather juvenile.  

I’ve had a cracking couple of days, to be fair.  Yesterday while Young Lad was at his football match and everyone was out with him, standing in the freezing cold hail and having a lovely time, I had a poke round in the cupboard under the stairs.  I could definitely smell something nice in there, and it took me a while to find it but bingo!  Hanging up high on a hook was a plastic carrier bag containing four or five Easter eggs, that were given to Lad and Young Lad last weekend.  It was remarkably intelligent of someone to hang them up high on a hook, because obviously I couldn’t reach the top of the carrier bag.

I could however reach the bottom of the carrier bag, if I stood on my hind legs.  Readers, all you have to do is chew through the plastic bag (which doesn’t take long to be honest) and the Easter eggs then simply fall out the bottom of the bag, onto the floor.  From there it is an easy task to carry them one by one into the lounge, and rip them open.  I ate three – initially I was accused of eating four but nobody had bothered looking under the table at that point, where I had kindly left two Easter eggs still in their boxes.  I am, if nothing else, considerate. 

So of course then there was lots of moaning about chocolate being poisonous for dogs (rubbish – remember the 10 inch triple-tier chocolate birthday cake I ate last year?)  and a very brief discussion about whether I needed to go to the Emergency Evil Vet again.  It was an alarmingly brief discussion actually, and does make me wonder whether anyone cares for my welfare.  I’m not sure that “haven’t got bldythreehundredpounds and he’s eaten bldyworse in the past” are the right attitude.

I did have quite a swollen stomach for the rest of the day if truth be told.  I didn’t even ask for any dinner last night as there was no room for it with the three Easter eggs.  Look, before any of you kind and concerned people start worrying about the amount of chocolate I ate, we all know those Easter eggs are 99% packaging and a complete rip-off anyway. After a couple of dodgy comfort breaks in the garden and an unsociable hour one at 4am, I’m absolutely fine.

Plus none of this was helped by what they had for dinner yesterday.  In an attempt to thaw out after a particularly cold football match, jacket potatoes with chilli, sour cream and chives, vegetables etc was prepared.  A spoonful of the chilli fell on the kitchen floor so I ate it – imagine my horror when I noticed the sell-by date on the chilli powder!  Now I know the food cupboard is more of a museum than a larder, but even I was shocked by February 2016.  This is three years out of date!  And quite happily being used to feed one’s offpsring! This is appalling neglect – I’ve no idea whether mild chilli powder can actually go off, but that’s not the point.  I suppose it is of some relief that She had enough shame to throw it in the bin and buy a new one today.

It really was quite a day yesterday.

Prior to that, on Saturday, we went for my lovely walk down at the river and I was very excited to see that they have re-opened the bridge.  This meant that we could go over the river into Top Field once more – how I have missed those rabbit droppings.  There was just a teeny tiny problem, Readers.  The new bridge looks different from the old bridge, and incredibly threatening.  I was too scared to walk across it.

scared

It really was absolutely terrifying as it looked completely different, so I had no choice but to stand at one end of the bridge fannying around for ages.  I simply could not bring myself to set foot on it in case it collapsed.  In the end She came stomping back over sighing and tutting, and I thought for one awful moment I was going to have to suffer the indignity of being PICKED UP and CARRIED over the damn bridge – luckily once She put my lead on, I felt much braver as if I fell into the water, at least She would be coming with me.  So once attached, I very courageously ran across the new bridge as fast as possible.

Once in Top Field I rolled in loads of fox poo and had to have a bath when we got home.

So if all these traumas haven’t been enough, this morning I became tangled in the goal net.  On returning from our walk, She decided to cut the grass as the garden looks absolutely dreadful – even less cared-for than Gingercat and I.  I don’t much like the lawn mower, Friends, and was busy round the back of the football goal looking for any food.  The lawn mower made me jump, and I tried to escape quickly by running through the goal – sadly I became rather tangled up in the net and had to be helped.  This was undignified.

I have just seen an elderly gentleman on a mobility scooter going very slowly past my house, so I  barked very viciously at him in case he was thinking of trying anything.  He was followed only moments later by a lady with a pushchair, so she got the same treatment I’m proud to say.  I simply do not like people loitering like this near my front garden.

Oh good.  It’s now school pick-up time again.  What shall I do?

Bye for now,

Russell

Trash

trash              shattered

Today, Readers, everyone had left home by 7.32am and by 7.43 am I had trashed the kitchen.  This was not my fault as She had forgotten to put the kitchen bin outside the back door in her rush to get to work.  I cannot be expected to sit nicely in my chair, if there is an over-flowing smelly bin in the kitchen.  Really it’s disgusting that nobody had emptied  it.  So I felt it was my duty to do this, and knocked it over, dragging the contents out all over the floor.  There was a massive pile of over-cooked tagliatelle left over from last night’s Jamie Oliver Pasta Bianco – it was a bit flaccid but I ate it.    There was also a good splodge of cold porridge from Lad’s breakfast this morning.  Porridge doesn’t really go with slimy tagliatelle, but I ate that too,

It really did  make a glorious mess.  I would have dragged it around the lounge and hall, but I was stopped in my tracks by the arrival of Ebony’s Pack Leader.  I ran back to my chair and sat in it nicely, so that it looked like someone else had trashed the kitchen instead of me.

Ebony’s Pack Leader knew it was me.

Ebony’s Pack Leader then cleaned up the filthy mess and put the bin outside, which is where my own family should have put it in the first place.  Honestly, it’s not difficult!  A little less running round in the morning shouting, “shower!” “deodrant!” and a little more focus on the task in hand would be a good idea. Poor Ebony’s Pack Leader should not have to clear up our mess.

Anyway, then I went off to dear, dear Ebony’s for the day and I had a marvellous time.  In all honesty I was pretty exhausted as emptying the bin was quite a labour-intensive start to the day, and I did sleep heavily at Ebony’s house as you can see from the picture.   Ebony ran fast on our walks, as usual, and I struggled to keep up; I will need the whole weekend to recover.

Yesterday I had spent the day with dear Pippa, and it was very late by the time I was collected due to THREE lots of bldyroadworks in our town.  The traffic was bldygridlocked and I had to stay at Pippa’s house for an hour and a half past my dinner time!  This is outrageous.  I was close to fainting from hunger by the time I finally arrived home – this is not good enough, Readers.    I could barely drag myself over the doorstep, through malnutrition.  Thank goodness Lad jumped into action and fed me straight away.

It was funny old evening, Friends, last night.  She arrived home late, to find Young Lad and Detention Friend here, asking if Young Lad could go and stay at Detention Friend’s house for the night.  The Fun Police said no, Readers, because it was a school night.  Then Detention Friend had a very good idea – one that I’ve used myself at times.  Detention Friend made his big brown eyes go bigger and browner than ever, and looked sad.  Then Detention Friend said his Mum would be upset as she had gone to a lot of trouble for Young Lad to stay over – thus adding a good sprinkle of guilt into the recipe.  More sad looks were needed and a little more of the big brown eye treatment, and eventually She snapped “oh go on then,” and Young Lad packed a bag with overnight things which included a pot of houmous and some breadsticks rather unconventionally.  Young Lad and Detention Friend then disappeared up the road, and I had Young Lad’s bed to myself all night. This meant I could sleep on the pillows for once, which was rather lovely.

Well, blow me down – Young Lad had so much fun at Detention Friend’s house that he’s gone back for a second night!  There was a short lull in proceedings while Detention Friend was at, er, detention but they soon met up.  So I have Young Lad’s bed to myself again.  Excellent.  And this is a result for Young Lad, although he doesn’t know this, as I have fairly awful wind tonight.  It is the over-cooked tagliatelle working its way through.

What a quiet evening –  Lad is also out, at the town far away with his friends, going to the gym as they are very health-conscious, followed by KFC.  She says this makes no sense whatsoever and they are filling their bodies with poison.  This is a typical middle-class overreaction to a bit of fat and sodium.  So tonight is very peaceful with some decent telly to catch up with, and a nice Gordon with ice and a slice to help things along.

Well, Readers, after my busy week of daycare and emptying bins I am rather hoping for a rest over the weekend.  I’m sure this is what weekends are for, but She says sincebldywhen? So I expect I will be dragged out for long walks that I don’t really want but will pretend that I’m enjoying them.

After that the weekend will be spent on ruddy football, homework and other work not to mention cleaning and three hundred loads of washing.  Gingercat and I will sleep through all this and the accompanying moaning.  We’re quite used to it..

Readers, I find it hard to imagine that your own kitchen bins ever look like that.  Really, the standards here are awful – Gingercat’s food ran out the other night and She kept forgetting to pick any up on the way home from work.  I mean who forgets to buy basics like food?  Gingercat has had to make do with some good quality ham and half a tin of tuna.  This is not a balanced diet for him. Poor Gingercat.

Well, I’m turning in for an early night Friends as I don’t often get Young Lad’s bed to myself, and intend making the most of it.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

 

Lunchtime

IMG_4001 At dear, dear Pippa’s house for daycare yesterday, Friends, you will be very pleased to know that I left Jim’s lunch alone.  You will remember that last week I helped myself to his cheese and biscuits while he answered the door to the postman – this week I was the model of self-restraint.  All I did, as you can see, was sit in front of Pippa’s Pack Leader while she had her lunch, and stared fixedly at the plate.  I did not jump up, snatch or run off with any food.  Do I get thanked for this?  Of course not.

What I did treat myself to last night was the paper case from a chocolate cupcake.  Young Lad was eating his second chocolate cake of the evening when he carelessly put the chocolatey paper thing on the windowsill – this is very untidy so I leapt up and cleared it away.  I’m not sure how well paper digests but we will soon find out.  

I thought I was in for another treat, actually, as later in the evening Lad cooked himself breaded chicken and chips in the oven.  This was unexpected as  only two hours beforehand Lad had eaten a large dinner with everyone else, but at 9pm was peckish and so needed another one.  Unfortunately Lad does not know about sell-by-dates and the keeping properties of breaded chicken and the like, and it turned out the chicken tasted funny.  Lad didn’t eat it and I thought it might be coming my way, but She said NO.  Lad has learned a lesson about food preservation and I have learned that She is horrid.

Do you remember the fiasco of all the cakes baked for the football match, only to find the football match was rained off?  Well, Readers, it turns out that the local publican did indeed save the day, and managed to flog the boxes of brownies and bread pudding (it was a bit chanky in truth) on his bar.  So in our kitchen we have a pot with £15 in loose change, which is the proceeds of the cake sale.  While everyone was out on Monday, I grabbed hold of this pot and took it into the lounge, to check whether any cake had got mixed up in it.  When She came in, She told me off for chucking the coins all over the floor.  Don’t worry, I didn’t eat any.

I had also ripped up Gingercat’s empty GoCat biscuit box and chucked that round the floor too, so it was quite a mess.  It had been an extra large box of GoCat so there was an extra large amount of cardboard all over the place.  Oh the moaning at me.  Then I was taken out for a long, long walk to tire me out and stop me misbehaving for the rest of the day.

There was a nice roast dinner for everyone on Monday night, as a civilised start to the week – this  only lasts as far as Tuesday and everything goes downhill pretty quickly from then on.  It did mean, of course, that the plates were plastered in gravy and bits, so I had a marvellous time in the dishwasher.  I had also grabbed a carrot and a large piece of broccoli during preparation of the meal, so you can imagine the aroma in the lounge later that evening. 

Of course it is now Wednesday, by which time standards have slipped a long way.  Tonight Young Lad and Detention Friend had to cook themselves oven chips as their ‘meal’ before football – they argued a little over who did the actual cooking, with Young Lad saying he did it, and Detention Friend pointing out that he said when it was ready.  I think this is teamwork and they should be congratulated.  Lad arrived home to find his text message to She at work that said “pls buy Dr Oetker pizza,”  had been ignored as the bldytraffic was a bldymare and there wasn’t time to buy a Dr Oetker AND get Young Lad to football on time.  Poor Lad, had he known this he would happily have popped up and bought one himself – this smacks of poor organisation.  Luckily Lovelyneighbourontheright popped round with a big plate of food and saved the day.  Again.

I am in the study with She and Gingercat tonight, Friends, as there is another dreary football match on the telly and everyone else is in there watching it.  I find the noise of the silly commentators quite irritating and it is much more peaceful in here, with just the humming of the tumble dryer from behind the door, and whatever gripping series on Netflix we’ve decided to try next.

Having had a day at dear Ebony’s today – we both rolled in some fox poo – tomorrow I am back at Pippa’s house.  On Tuesday, they had run out of cheese at Pippa’s house, so Jim had to have beans on toast for lunch which is partly why I let him have it this time.  I sincerely hope that Pippa’s Pack Leader has been shopping by the time I get there tomorrow, and stocked up the fridge.

Golly I’m tired – it must be bed time, surely.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

 

Wrong

Mistake_Pillar_Search_licensed_from_shutterstock_138833078Readers, I was wrong about this weekend not being exciting.  It turned out to be very exciting indeed and I am always one to put my paw up as soon as I have made an error.

Yesterday afternoon Young Lad’s mate Detention Friend came to our house so that they could do their homework together.  This seemed like an excellent idea to me, as it would inevitably involve eating something and leaving crumbs.  What I wasn’t quite so thrilled with was the content of this homework.  There I was, trying to sleep in my chair, when all I could hear was sighing and moaning from She about the task in hand.  Young Lad and Detention Friend had to create presentations about their chosen Shakespeare play, and as they had both been late coming to the table as it were, all the popular choices had been spoken for.  Thus they were both trying to work out the stories of totally obscure ones.  All I gathered, Readers, was that Young Lad’s gay love triangle was just as complicated as it was last week when he was doing this, and Detention Friend’s play was about someone trying to sleep with a nun.

Really, it does make you wonder.

The good thing was that once this homework had been finished, Detention Friend decided to stay here and watch the rugby with Young Lad, which called for more snacks and drinks.  I had a lovely time clearing up whatever little bits didn’t make it to their mouths.

Things got even better, Friends, when someone suggested that selling cakes at today’s football match would be a good fund-raiser, and so She took to the kitchen for an hour and a half of baking.  It was wonderful – there was icing sugar and cocoa powder everywhere, and I climbed into the dishwasher at one point to grab the beaters from the mixer and run off with them.  Thus amidst much moaning and huffing, three boxes of cakes were made ready for football early this morning.

Early this morning football was cancelled.  Oh you do have to laugh!!

There was a howling gale-force wind this morning and lashing rain, and I made it perfectly clear that I didn’t want to go for a walk by lying in my chair with my back to everyone.  She failed to understand this message and dragged me over the Rec for a “quick one.”  I neither needed nor wanted a quick one.   In something of a bad mood when we returned home, I climbed back into my chair and positioned my back to everyone again.  But what do you know?  He and Young Lad came at me with my lead, and I was put in the car.  This irked me, as it was a filthy day and I just wanted a kip.

But Readers, a lovely surprise was in store for me, as we went to lunch at Grandma’s house!  Yes!  One of my favourite things to do; Grandma’s house smells of lovely food the minute you walk in and there is always a tray of Tempura Prawns for hors d’oeuvres.   So I was very happy for a few hours, begging for food and lying under the table during a full Sunday roast, hoping for a wayward piece of chicken or two.  I was very well behaved and my anal glands didn’t leak onto Grandma’s sofa for once.  

In the meantime, She and Lovelydor down the road went out for a cream tea.  This is because Tiptree jam and clotted cream can make even the worst week look a bit better, apparently, and they tried out this theory very carefully.  Nobody ever takes me out for a cream tea when I’ve had a bad week – I feel I would like a cream tea quite a lot and wouldn’t it be nice if someone did this for me, one day?  I know for a fact that She and Lovelydor were saying things like “mmm”  and “oh God this is gorgeous” with their mouths full of warm scone, and I would so like to be given the chance to agree with them,

Anyway.  Yesterday I encountered a little problem, Friends, which could have ended up in a very nasty incident indeed.  Down by the river, someone rather irritating has closed off the bridge – yes, the very bridge over the river where we stand and look for dead bodies and from where we wander up to Top Field.  This bridge has been closed off for maintenance work according to the signs, but it hasn’t occurred to the irritating people in charge that dogs can’t read, and so I ignored the signs and squeezed under their nasty metal gate to walk across the bridge.  Imagine my surprise to find there was no bridge but just some metal poles sticking out of the water.  I could so easily have lost my footing and fallen in – and I would have been lost to you all.  Thankfully a man with a spaniel shouted “whose is that dog?” as She was texting at the time and not supervising me properly AGAIN, so suddenly She jumped into rescue mode.  How on earth was I going to be recovered from the wrong side of the nasty metal gate on the non-existent bridge?

She put a piece of ham on the ground and I squeezed back under to get it. It wasn’t rocket science.

I gather that the bridge is going to be closed for a good couple of weeks yet, and this annoys me.  It will totally disrupt my routine as I will no longer be able to access Top Field or Top Top Field, and there are loads of rabbit droppings up there as you know.   The selfishness of some people.

Well, Readers, here we are again facing a new week. Dear, dear Pippa is available this week, which is marvellous news, and means I will have a couple of days there and a couple of days with dear Ebony.  

Before you start worrying about the three boxes of cakes in the house, and what I might do to them, the landlord of the local pub heroically stepped in to save the day and said he would flog She’s Brownies and Bread Pudding on the bar.  I’m not convinced that either of these, or chocolate butterfly cakes, go down very well with a pint of Adnams but who am I to pick holes.  It’s possible that three full boxes of cake might come back here tomorrow – fingers crossed, Friends.

Bye for now,

Russell

Perfect

bedmess Now this, Readers, is what I call a perfect start to the day.  Gingercat and I like to sleep of a morning on a nice white duvet and this indeed used to be a nice white duvet.  At present it is plastered in muddy pawprints and bits of leaves that we’ve walked in, but to be honest I prefer it that way.  I also prefer it if the duvet is completely scrunched up and in a dreadful mess rather than smooth and pristine – smooth and pristine is dull.  Oh it was terrifically comfortable there at 7am today, Friends, and I had no intention of getting up.

Then at 7.30am dear, dear Ebony’s Pack Leader came to collect me so I had to get up.  

I  do feel that dear Ebony and her Pack Leader have been taken advantage of this week.  Pippa has been unavailable so I have been to Ebony’s house FOUR DAYS RUNNING.  I know they enjoy my company a lot and that’s understandable but my family should have a little more thought for their neighbours if  you ask me.  

As it happens I haven’t put a foot out of line during my four days at Ebony’s house.  I have behaved impeccably and only rolled in some cack once, but then so did Ebony and I was just being polite by keeping her company.  Today there was some spillage and stealing of food in the kitchen, but I wasn’t responsible for this, Readers!  No indeed – it was my dear friend Ebony who opened a cupboard and took out a packet of crackers and another one of nuts.  Like Delilah the Basset, Ebony has learned all she knows from me and I’m quite proud of my coaching ability.  

It’s been a very busy week in my house, with everyone late in from work and school.  Evening meals have been poor, if I’m frank, and ranged from an unpopular sausage casserole which at least required a little effort on She’s part, to potato waffles and beans.  This went down better with both Lad and Young Lad than the healthy sausage casserole.  Wednesday night of course was the stressy pushed-for-time Football Training evening, so Young Lad and Detention Friend were playing on the Xbox when they should in fact have been putting on their football boots and there was some shouting.    Thankfully off they went, leaving He, Lad and I here in peace to watch the telly or fall asleep.   When they came back, poor Young Lad looked like a drowned rat and dripped all over the hall floor, as during dribbling practice, a cloudburst came out of nowhere and torrential rain joined in with the dribbling.  Poor Young Lad and Detention Friend – they were soaked through and cold.  I don’t feel they should be made to take part in such dreadful conditions.

This week at work Colleague gave She a book that reminded him of me.  I was quite excited to hear about this, and was eager to find out what literary masterpiece it was.    “A Dog’s Tale” by Mark Twain?  “Whitebrow” by Anton Chekhov?    No, Friends.  It was a book about a cat that eats so  much his stomach blows up and up and up and eventually explodes with flatulence.  This was disappointing and I find the endless focus on my eating habits and gastro-intestinal system rather childish.

Having said that, I did have quite bad wind last night.

Lad is out tonight.  He has gone to the town far away to hang out with his friends and do whatever people of Lad’s age do.  It’s best not to dwell on it.  It is pouring with rain out there – I can hear it slashing down the windows – and I am concerned for Lad’s welfare in case they are hanging out in the rain.  Well,  I’m actually asleep and snoring at the moment but deep down I’m concerned for Lad.  Lad has not said what time he will be back, which means midnight, by which time Lad will be hungry and need to cook himself a full meal.  I rather enjoy these midnight feasts of freezer food, but last time Lad tried this he was moaned at for cooking hash browns under the grill at 1am and making too much noise.  I feel this is a little harsh and doesn’t recognise Lad’s independence and initiative.

Gosh it really is slashing down and if it keeps this up there is an outside chance the football pitches will be water logged at the weekend, fingersbldycrossed.

This weekend looks unexciting to me.  Lad and Young Lad have LOADS of homework to do and will have to do it tomorrow as they aren’t home on Sunday.  This will be difficult for Lad as he doesn’t get up until halfway through the day on a Saturday and takes another few hours to get going.  This will also be difficult for Young Lad as it means trying to fit in homework around the Xbox.  This is all rather unreasonable if you ask me, and it should be remembered that weekends are for relaxing.  That’s what I do.  All weekend.  Only then are you refreshed and ready for the week ahead.

Oh for the love of God.  I am trying to sleep after an exhausting week, and they are binge-watching Luther on Netflix.  Something scary has just happened, as Young Lad and She have just jumped a mile off the sofa at the same time and then started doing that silly nervous laughing that people do when they’ve been scared witless. The violent movement of them jumping has woken me up and I had no choice but to give them both a filthy look.

Well, Readers, it’s been a difficult week for lots of people we know and my heart goes out to them.  Life is very hard, Friends, at times and my top tip is to immerse yourself in eating as much as you possibly can, then sleeping.  In this way the days pass by quite happily and you don’t have to think too much.  I do hope my advice helps.

Enjoy your lie-ins tomorrow, Readers, for it is the weekend at last.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Young Lad’s Breakfast

potatoFollowing on from Jim’s Lunch which I ate the other day, yesterday it was the turn of Young Lad’s breakfast.  I sat so nicely waiting for Young Lad to finish his toast and banana, but he really was taking a ridiculously long time.  Young Lad does need to learn a thing or two about concentration, because he was too busy looking at a Youtube video on his phone and I saw yet another golden opportunity.  I leapt up and snatched the toast from his plate, running off to hide under the dining table with it.  This meant that a) Young Lad didn’t have much breakfast before school and b) I was happy.

You will  notice that tonight’s blog picture is not Young Lad’s breakfast, as it is not traditional to eat a raw peeled potato before school. I’m not sure when it is traditional to eat a raw peeled potato, but I decided to have one while dinner was being cooked last night.   A large pile of potatoes were being peeled for creamy mash, when one wobbled to the edge of the working surface and balanced there precariously.  I  helped it find its way to my mouth and ran off to my bed with it, even though I was being shrieked at in a fishwife-like way.  Now, in truth I’m not over-keen on the taste of raw potato but I’ll have a go at anything. It was a little bland but filled a corner.

Readers, I’ve had another bath with the expensive fox poo shampoo.  Yes that’s two baths in four days.  This is because I was rolling round and round waving my legs in the air in Far Field yesterday; She was busy talking to people and not supervising me properly which meant I could really enjoy myself.  It’s no good screaming and running across the field – if one was being properly responsible for one’s dog and not treating my walk as a social event, the problem wouldn’t have been as bad.  And so it was that I was dragged all the way home and made to jump in the bldybath again, and then the bldybathroom had to be bleached and scrubbed again on a day when time was bldyprecious to start with.  Are you picking up the sense of irritation?

Then after the Frantic Cleaning of the bathroom there was Frantic Hoovering of the house, which annoyed me as it was noisy and I was trying to sleep – mind you I couldn’t sleep for shaking, as I was quite cold after my bath and nobody snuggled me up lovingly in towels to help me dry.   So I lay in my bed shivering and shaking, wet and cold and nobody cared.  All because I caused a little more pressure on time for goodness sake.  Eventually She took a tiny bit of pity on me and chucked a dry towel over me as She walked past with the hoover – such compassion.

There was a heck of a lot of going in and out yesterday.  Really, it is too much to ask for a little quiet sometimes?  In the evening She went out again – this time down to Lovelydor down the road who had received some sad news, and of course in the absence of any better ideas, She took yet another  small cake.  I know for a fact, Readers, that Gordon popped in to visit Lovelydor and She during this hour, which is not very good on a school night, is it?  Needs must, apparently.

I heard today that my friend Delilah the Basset has been practising more of the skills that she has learned from me.  During a social event recently Delilah ate an impressive amount of pizza and chocolate cake, neither of which were technically for her. I have taught Delilah all she knows about taking golden opportunities when you see them and I am proud of how my protege is developing.  I will still snarl and snap at her next time I see her as regardless of how well she’s progressing in these skills, I still find her rather irritating, but I have to say Well Done Delilah.

Today, Friends, I have been to dear, dear Ebony’s house for daycare and had a lovely time.  I didn’t steal anyone’s lunch and was impeccably behaved.  In Ebony’s garden there are always lots of bird seed things out on the bird table for the Stupid Starlings, and I did eat quite a large amount of fallen bird seed. This means that my comfort breaks will be gritty and sparkly for a while.  Seeds don’t digest properly you see.  It’s not my fault.

Young Lad is still complaining about the terrible injury he sustained during a football match on Sunday. He is even remembering to limp when anyone is looking.  Poor Young Lad does not receive the sympathy he should, and I know how he feels.  It is simply not true that Young Lad has been kicking a rugby ball round the lounge on his injured leg.  Lies.   And it doesn’t mean your leg is okay if you are able to stand in the kitchen flipping pancakes – flipping pancakes doesn’t cause strain on an injured leg whereas PE at school does.

Yes, it’s that Shrove Tuesday time of year again and there was a hurried dash into Tesco on the way home from work tonight as nobody had thought to be prepared with lemons, brown sugar and the like.  Young Lad made a lovely bowl of batter and made a very good attempt at flipping the pancakes – actually far more skilful than the adult who was meant to be supervising (well we know what ‘supervision’ means don’t we) – and only one ended up on the floor.  I was in there quick as a flash, so there was no chance of the five second rule being applied.  It would have been nicer with some sugar on it, but like the raw potato, I gave it a go.  I am nothing if not willing.

Oh.  It seems I have to stop writing and hand the laptop over to Lad as he wants to buy some Festival tickets, and his phone is RUBBISH because the screen is CRACKED and he can’t see ANYTHING on it.  Poor Lad.

Bye for now,

Russell

In memory of Keith   1969-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim’s Lunch

Chesse-and-biscuits-for-menu-page-1 Yesterday, Friends, I ate Jim’s lunch.  I was at dear, dear Pippa’s house for the day and her Pack Leader Male had just made himself a lovely plate of cheese and biscuits for lunch when the doorbell went.  In a schoolboy error of judgement, Pippa’s Pack Leader Male put down his plate and went to answer the door – it was the postman, who needed a signature for something.  Now at the sound of the doorbell, Pippa and I rushed up to the window and started barking loudly as we are very good protectors of the house, but whilst Pippa carried on barking and protecting the house, I suddenly remembered the lunch and ran back to the plate.  I cleared it up in one fell swoop.  It was absolutely delicious, Readers, and I can tell you that Jim had made a very good choice for his lunch.  

Pippa’s Pack Leader Male was a little surprised when he said goodbye to the postman and returned to his plate to find it empty.  However as is often the way of things, he found it very funny and laughed and laughed.  Of course when I got home in the evening, I was told off and scolded for ages about the stolen lunch.  Look, you know quite well that it’s very poor parenting to admonish a child or dog for a misdemeanour carried out ages beforehand – what was the point of telling me off halfway through Friday evening for something that had happened at lunchtime?  None whatsoever.

Did I feel guilty about stealing Jim’s lunch, I hear you ask.  Well, let’s see.  No.

The thing is, when you see an opportunity in life, you just have to grab it. Seize the day and all that.  I had two choices – leave his lunch alone and miss out on some food, or steal his lunch and be happy.  I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t, to be honest.

Anyway, it had been a very pleasant day all round yesterday.  I hadn’t seen dear Pippa for ages and we had so much to catch up on, though I did find the two long walks rather excessive and needed a lot of sleep.  Then of course it was Friday evening which meant Slovenly Pizza night, always one of my favourite events.  Now, She didn’t know about the stolen lunch at this point and very generously gave me a few pieces of pizza crust, telling me what a good boy I was.  Once a certain text message had been received – dobbing me in – the pizza crust stopped coming and the moaning at me started.

Today hasn’t been bad either.  I had a lovely lie-in this morning as I was so exhausted from the week – after the early comfort break in the garden I went back to bed and got my head down for a few more hours.  Then She took me out for a long walk after She’d ‘popped into town’, and what a glorious walk it was, too.  We had only just reached the river when I found a large pile of fox poo and rolled in it.  To my delight I managed to get a huge streak of it down the middle of my white back.  This gave me a very distinguished look, I felt.  We went over the bridge into Top Field, but I had to be put on the lead as there was a dodgy-looking white van there, and a yellow tent in the middle of the field.  Quite why anyone would be camping there at this time of year, I don’t know.  There are no amenities, for one thing.

Anyway, She was concerned for her own safety what with the dodgy-looking white van to squeeze past, and felt that me being on the lead instead of half a mile behind eating rabbit droppings was some sort of protection.  I don’t know what I was expected to do.  I would bark and bark, of course, quite happily, but if anyone offered me some food I would stop barking straight away.  Luckily it turned out that there were several other dog-walkers in Top Field, all keeping their distance from the white van and yellow tent.

On the way back from our walk, we met a lady with a labrador and She shouted something like ‘sorry about my dog, he’s rolled in fox cack’ or the such-like.  This very nice lady then made a Big Mistake.  She made the error of saying that her sister has a Beagle ….and of course we all know what happened next.  More unashamed advertising of  my blog and book.  For the love of God, let people walk their dogs in peace!  

Once home, I had to be put in the bath as the nice greeny-black streak down my white fur was  quite rank.  I haven’t had a bath for a little while and actually quite enjoyed it.  As a result my fur is snowy white tonight and I smell a lot better than usual.  A little fun was had as I jumped out the bath – I do find it hilariously funny to shake very hard and spatter the entire bathroom with soggy dog water.  There is a bit of a race to see whether She can throw a towel over me fast enough to stop me doing this, but I usually win.  I won again today and the bathroom was soaked.  Then I walked downstairs with wet feet and left paw prints all over the carpet.  It was a laugh.

This afternoon there was some industrial-sized baking going on as several people we know have had a bit of a week, and the only thing to do in these circumstances is force-feed them chocolate cake. Of course it sorts everything – bereavement, injury, trauma…..  nonetheless, industrial quantities of chocolate cake were baked which was good news for me, as the kitchen was shocking afterwards and there was a large splodge of chocolate cake mixture on the floor, plus some buttercream dripping down the washing machine.  I had a great time clearing up.

Other than that it’s been a quiet afternoon, with Lad and Young Lad doing some homework much to everyone’s surprise.  Young Lad has to create a presentation about a Shakespeare play called The Two Noble Kinsmen – no I  hadn’t heard of it either – and the synopsis of the play seems to be a gay love triangle.  This is what Young Lad is making a presentation about, and I’m not sure how suitable it is for someone of his tender years.  Really, wouldn’t Macbeth have been better?

Tomorrow Young Lad has a football match, Readers, which means that Detention Friend will be down here inordinately early for a lift.  I do hope Detention Friend remembers NOT to approach me when I am in the dishwasher this time.  I will have a good sleep while they are out at football.

Cheese and biscuits, Friends  – why don’t you do yourself a plate right now?

See you soon,

Russell