Conscientious

citizen Oh the palaver here last night, Readers.  Really, it’s too much and nobody ever thinks of me in these things.  Is it that selfish to ask to have a perfectly normal walk down at the river on a Sunday afternoon?

Anyway, let’s go back a little.  As usual it has been a very un-relaxing weekend with too much going out and coming back in for my liking. The ‘lie-in’ on Saturday morning was laughable – Gingercat started yowling at 5am, to coincide with me needing a comfort break in the garden.  Then we had all just gone back to sleep when He got up to go to work.  I didn’t get much rest.

I tried to sleep for a while in the morning while She was out doing the Bldy Huge Food Shop, Young Lad was on the Xbox and Lad was sensibly still in bed.  It was peaceful for a little while, but then She came home with six bags of food shopping, Young Lad was ordered irritably to put it all away and Lad sauntered downstairs in search of food.  There ended the peace.   Lad was made to hoover upstairs and then Do Revision until his eyes bulged and even Young Lad was forced into some homework.  There was a lot of moaning about this.  Finally I went out for my Saturday afternoon walk, and actually that was quite nice.

Sunday, Readers, is a day of rest is it not?  In this house that penny does not seem to have dropped at all.  The ruddy alarm clock went off insanely early – in fact only a few minutes after I’d gone back to sleep after my early comfort break – and then there was loads of rushing around as Young Lad had an Early Football Match.  As usual nothing had been organised the night before so there was a lot of searching for the right shorts and matching football socks.  At the last minute they left, picking up Detention Friend and his Mum on the way, and then promptly got lost trying to find the football pitch.  This didn’t bode well for the rest of the day.

I stayed at home with Lad and we relaxed a little while all this went on.

Then they returned in an even worse mood, as there had been talk of “food” at the pub after the match, but due to a mix-up in communication the pub was shut and there definitely wasn’t any food.  Young Lad and Detention Friend were very upset about this and so was She, as She had to quickly knock up a meal for everyone.  It was scampi and chips, Friends, and this is not Sunday lunch in any way, shape or form and is shoddy.

I thought I might be taken for my walk at this point but no, as She jumped in the car to take Lovelydor down the road out on her birthday.  First of all they were going to a fuschia nursery which sounds very dull if you ask me, and not much of a birthday treat, but this was to be followed by tea and cake which I would have quite enjoyed, if anyone had bothered to invite me.

Finally, it was time for my walk.  There were lots of dogs down at the river yesterday afternoon, and it was a perfectly calm Sunday stroll.  For a while.  We went over the bridge and up into Top Field, although with a little caution as there was a strange white van parked near the bridge with Nobody In It.  This made our look around for dead bodies even more important than ever.  Once in Top Field we could see a figure on the horizon, right at the top of the field, calling and whistling.  On closer inspection I realised that he was looking for his dog.  This didn’t interest me as there were a lot of rabbit droppings to eat so I ignored the man and we walked round Top Field, along the lane and back over the bridge.

Further up the path, right up near the houses, I was nearly bowled over by a German Shepherd who appeared out of nowhere running like lightning.  She couldn’t see any Pack Leader with the German Shepherd, and it was obvious the German Shepherd was lost as it was running in that slightly panicky way, and being remarkably intelligent, She put two and two together and decided this was the dog being looked for by the man at the top of the hill in Top Field which was bldy miles away.  What happened next beggars belief.  I was put on the lead, and dragged at a brisk pace all the way back along the path, over the bridge (WE HAD ALREADY BEEN OVER THERE!!!) along the lane, and back into Top Field! (WE HAD ALREADY BEEN RIGHT UP THROUGH TOP FIELD!!)   We never go twice, ever ever ever!

But no, we had to clamber right the way up to the Top of Top Field for the second time, in order to tell the man that his lost dog was half a mile away back down at the river.  I fail to see how this was any of our business whatsoever, and I really don’t know why we had to get involved which meant I was dragged over the same route I had already been.  Selfish to the core.

I was feeling quite cross, once we had clambered back down through Top Field with the man, and I have to say Top Field is quite thistly at the moment and hurts my paws, and of course there was no sign of the German Shepherd back down at the river by then.  I was in a bit of a mood, Readers, by the time we finally reached home and wasn’t feeling very charitable towards the German Shepherd as it wasn’t my fault it had run off in the first place.

As the evening wore on, and there was still no sign of Rea (for such is her name) once darkness fell – how do I know?  Facebook of course – I have to say I did start feeling a little more sorry for her.  Rea had been lost for six hours at this point and I can imagine her owners were frantic with worry – I would like to think my family would have been if I had been lost for six hours, but I’m not completely sure.

Many local dogs and their owners went out walking and looking for Rea, being good citizens and kind neighbours.  We didn’t of course, as I was far too tired from all the doubling back earlier on and anyway, She felt She would be more use on social media.

Readers, Rea turned up on her doorstep very, very late; just as I’d gone to bed.  She was none the worse for her hours and hours of running across fields though I imagine she won’t need much of a walk today.

The lesson I have learned from this, Friends, is that while I personally would have preferred us to mind our own business and go home, sometimes it is important to be a Good Citizen and one must put one’s own needs behind those of others.

And here endeth the lecture for this evening.

See you soon,

Russell

 

No Chance

dog bin It has been suggested to my Pack Leader that this might be a good  idea for our house.  Allegedly it is a dog-proof bin contraption that stops one’s dog opening the bin and pulling rubbish out all over the shop.  And eating it.  Someone seems to think that a flimsy cage would prevent me from trashing the place.

Readers I have studied this carefully and I can confidently say that there is no chance whatsoever that this bin would be beyond my reach.  If you think that those rickety fastenings on the top of the cage would hold securely under my strong teeth, you have another think coming.  With a good shake and shove, I would have the silly cage over on the ground and then it would be very simple to pull/push/kick the fastening things out of the way.  Ergo, bin raiding as usual.

Talking of which I did raid the bathroom bin and the one in Young Lad’s bedroom one evening this week, when everyone was out. It was a farcically busy Wednesday evening – Regular Readers will know that Wednesdays aren’t good at the best of times – and this week it was even worse than usual.  Young Lad needed to be at outdoor cricket for 6.30pm, but there was also a meeting at Lad’s school starting at 6.30pm and the logistics of all this nearly drove someone to the brink.  Really, it isn’t hard!  So She resorted to what She always resorts to, which is dumping a child or animal with friends or neighbours. On this occasion Young Lad was dumped with very nice people who took him to cricket so that he didn’t have to miss out, just because Lad had a meeting at school.  I was left at home alone so I went through the bins that I could find, and made quite a glorious mess.

I was quite sad to miss outdoor cricket as I really do enjoy this on a Wednesday evening, but I’ve been promised I can go next week.

To be honest I was glad when they all went out. It was so stressy and shrieky here for the few minutes people were in – Young Lad had very responsibly got himself ready for cricket and was on the Xbox, and Lad was doing revision, when She came home from work and stomped around wailing that they only had half a bldy hour to eat, get the bldy washing in, find their cricket stuff,  blahblahblah.  Some very poor quality potato waffles were served up, heavily under-cooked to be frank, with baked beans and I’m not convinced that this constitutes a meal.

It was so nice when they left.

I’d had a lovely day at dear, dear Pippa’s house prior to this.  I hadn’t seen her for over a fortnight, and we leapt at each other in joy on the driveway, when they came to pick me up.  Oh it was wonderful to frolic with my friend. We walked and played, but mostly I slept all day.  It was marvellous.

Today it was the turn of dear Ebony to look after me, and I had a sleep upstairs at her house.  This vexed Ebony a little, as she is not allowed upstairs.  But then I am the guest, you see, and I feel that special dispensation should be made for guests. I really can’t see why this would annoy her.  Anyway, I wasn’t upstairs all the time and had a lovely Friday afternoon sleep on the sofa with her Pack Leader Male.  He had a lovely Friday afternoon sleep too.  We get on very well, Ebony’s Pack Leader Male and I.  

And so, Friends, to this evening and it is, of course, Slovenly Pizza night. Lad is missing out somewhat, as he has gone out with his friends in a town far away because he hasn’t done that much lately, and so there was one less person from whom I could beg pizza crusts.  Mind you, it is very likely that when Lad returns on the last train, he will come in and cook himself some food as he does like a midnight snack or two.  One has to wonder at Lad’s capacity for food – really it is on a par with my own.  Take last night for example.  Dinner was a generous portion of home-made macaroni cheese (with a little mustard for some bite), and vegetables.  Lad had two portions of this.  A little later, Lad cooked himself a plate of chicken goujons.  Then at bedtime, Lad decided to have a pot of pasta and tomato sauce.  Some firm words were had, along the lines of this is not entirely necessary or normal, so Lad had toast instead.  Poor Lad.

Oh really, this is too annoying.  There was a stale pain au chocolat in the kitchen, which has just been ripped up and put out on the bird table. At this time of evening, the bird table is visited by the Clueless Collared Doves who are even more brainless than the Stupid Starlings, and yes indeed, there is a large one of these village idiots out there right now, knocking the pain au chocolat all over the grass.  I want to go out there, but the kitchen door is shut.  I have whined, and whinged, and run backwards and forwards to the back door non-stop for twenty minutes now, and nobody is taking any notice!  For the love of God, just let me in the garden!  I need to hoover up the lawn under the bird table.  Quick!  Come on, let me out.

Nobody has let me out.

If I don’t get out there soon to eat the pain au chocolat, it will be too late.  The weather forecast said rain tonight, and if it rains all over my pain au chocolat it will be soggy.  Oh come on, let me out!

But no, they are too busy watching World’s Worst Air Crashes or some such drivel, and I’m being ignored as usual. Sigh.

At least it is the weekend at last, and so I will be allowed a lie-in tomorrow. I will make the most of this, as I’ve heard a whisper that Young Lad’s football match is a bit of an early one on Sunday.  I do wish they would be more considerate.

Dog-proof bin my foot.

Bye for now,

Russell

Absence

absent Readers, it is unforgivable that there has been no blog for FOUR nights.  This really is atrocious and is due to me being away from home too much.  I simply cannot keep on top of Easter Holiday visits to family as well as writing a blog.  I’m sorry.

Thankfully I am now back home and I jolly well hope I’ll be staying put for a while.  As you know, I had a few days at Nana aged 88’s house last week, which was rather fun as I trashed her kitchen with the rubbish bag.  After one, yes just ONE night back home in my own bed (well ok, technically it’s not my bed)  I was put in the car again with a whole load of bags and my box of food.  This meant I was Going Away yet again!  Really this was too much and I had no choice but to sleep heavily throughout the journey.

Luckily, Friends,  when the car stopped I woke up to find myself at Grandma’s house.  This cheered me up  no end, as I love it at Grandma’s house with her very good standard of food and snacks.  I raced straight in through her front door, ignoring her completely as I ran to the kitchen.

And so passed a very happy weekend at Grandma’s house, with lots of people popping in for meals and subsequently many nice snacks on low level tables. There was a rather aggressive game of football in the garden one afternoon, which didn’t end well.  Readers, I watched in astonishment as Grandma and Young Lad tackled each other viciously and both fell over into a fence.  Now, Grandma is in her eighties and it is worrying when someone of that age falls over into a fence, but Grandma was completely unscathed and carried on with the game. Young Lad, on the other hand, was cut all over his legs and arms and had a nosebleed.  Really it beggars belief.

Lad and She were back home at our house, attempting to ‘do the garden.’ Well, it doesn’t look a lot different if I’m honest and I imagine there was some sitting around with a cup of tea.  I know quite well that they went to Express Pizza with Lovelydor down the road one evening, as it (and I quote), “wasn’t worth cooking a meal for two.”  What nonsense.

So there I was yesterday, being shoved back in the car to drive home with He and Young Lad, when Young Lad decided to throw a spanner in the works .  Lord how this irked me.  We had barely got out of third gear when Young Lad said he didn’t feel well and went all peculiar.  Oh no, I thought to myself, this is yet another of Young Lad’s funny turns.  I don’t find them funny, Readers, I find them rather wearisome.

Sure enough, we turned the car round and went back to Grandma’s house where I was dragged back in, and Young Lad was tended to.  I had  a sniff round the kitchen to see if any food had dropped in the short time I’d been away, but it hadn’t.  Then what do you know – just as I’m about to wander back in the lounge with everyone, three big burly people in green uniforms turn up, brandishing kitbags and machines that beep.  Well, Friends, I was NOT having Grandma’s house attacked by these green-uniformed threats so I barked very ferociously at them.

They all ignored me so I went and sat down.

Anyway, I then had to endure more stress as Young Lad’s funny turn became a wearisome turn, and then a rather drawn-out turn and it did go on.  Good grief, I thought to myself, that will do.

Once it was decided that the scary people in green would take Young Lad away for “checks” (I could have checked him in ten seconds for them – he was fine) I was left alone in Grandma;s house.  This was unsettling and tedious.  I waited and waited and waited.

Finally He and Grandma came back and sat down with a cup of tea and a hot cross bun.  This was an improvement on the evening.

Readers, I didn’t get home to my own bed until after 10.30pm.  This was rather late and I was cross.  I had very little time in which to see if there was any cat food out, before going to bed.  I sincerely hope that Young Lad has learned his lesson from this and considers other people in future.

Today has been marvellous, though, in comparison.  Everyone has returned to school/work after the Easter break with the exception of Lad who starts back tomorrow.  This meant that Lad and I were home alone all day!  It was heaven!  Lad doesn’t get up till late, which suits me down to the ground, and then basically spends the entire day eating whilst doing schoolwork and watching telly at the same time.  Lad should not be under-rated.   I sat quite close to him on the sofa all day long so that I was in catching distance of any crumbs.  It was lovely.

Talking of catching, guess what starts tomorrow night?  Yes indeed, it is cricket season and Young Lad has outdoor training on a Wednesday night from now on.  I can barely contain my excitement at the prospect of walking round the boundary many times on a chilly Wednesday evening, eating pigeon droppings.  It is the small things in life that bring the most pleasure, don’t you agree?

Well I’m really quite tired after She dragged me down to the river this evening – I was more than happy to not have a walk today but oh no, out we went for a couple of miles.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be consulted occasionally?

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

 

House Guest

nana kitchen I’m sorry there hasn’t been a blog for a few nights, Readers, and I’m aware that I’ve let my standards slip.  The truth is that I’ve just been too busy to write and so I will do my best to sit down now, and put pen to paper for you.

I have been away visiting Nana aged 88 for a couple of days.  Regular Readers will remember that Nana aged 88 is not my biggest fan, and so it is important to always make lots of effort when I got to see her.  To that end, yesterday I waited until they had all gone out for lunch (obviously I wasn’t on my own at Nana aged 88’s, as She, Lad and Young Lad were with me) and once they were safely in a pub somewhere eating a nice meal I decided to make a lot of effort indeed. 

Oh yes, they had left me with a large roasted knuckle bone in a poor attempt at keeping me occupied, and I did spend the first few minutes gnawing that, but once I had heard the car pull away I dashed upstairs.  Unfortunately the bedroom doors had all been shut, which was unusually intelligent of them so there was nothing I could get up to there. Back down to the kitchen I went and pulled open the door under the sink.  Bingo!  Nobody had remembered to take out the plastic carrier bag that serves as a bin and hangs inside that cupboard door – what a result!  As you can see from the photo, I ripped it apart and soon the kitchen floor was covered in tea bags, egg shells, manky old bits of kitchen towel, cat food sachets and other stuff.  But what made even more mess than all of this, was the large quantity of pine needles that Young Lad had carefully swept up from the path and then put in the ‘bin’.  My word, what a complete shambles a floor looks when covered in dirty, wet pine needles.  

I knew full well that it would take MANY attempts to sweep all this up and that the pine needles will appear from strange places for days to come.

I ate whatever I fancied from the bin – some eggs shells and such like – and then wandered off to the lounge as there was no more mess to make in the kitchen.  My mouth didn’t taste that great after the egg shells and I suspect my breath wasn’t fresh, so I found a tube of Nana aged 88’s spearmint Polo mints and ate those.  It seemed rude to greet everyone when they came home from a pub lunch, with rank breath.

Well all I can say is that they had a VERY long pub lunch with old friends; really quite unnecessarily long.  I had chewed the large knuckle bone right down by the time they returned.  Lad was first through the door and found the mess in the kitchen – he told Young Lad, who turned round and told Nana aged 88.  It was like Chinese Whispers.  I was shouted at and told off, and made to sit in the garden.  I didn’t care.  She had to get down on her hands and knees and spend AGES trying to clean up the mess which made her very cross.

Now the thing is, apart from this spurt of energy, I’ve been feeling very off-colour for a few days.  It started with exceptionally bad flatulence – the smell! – but then I made it clear to everyone that I was in discomfort by walking in a peculiar way.  My back legs moved as though there was a large prickly object stuck in my rear end, which there wasn’t.  I scooted my bottom along the grass time after time, to try and relieve the discomfort but that didn’t work either.  Really I don’t know what I’ve eaten that didn’t agree with me, but my digestive system has been protesting.

Then, having eaten a lot of the knuckle bone, my comfort breaks took something of a more difficult turn as the calcium in the bone has a rather, er, solidifying effect.  She said this was a good thing and would help push out whatever needed pushing out, but Readers it hasn’t helped.  All I’ve done for the last twenty four hours is need lots of rock hard comfort breaks and it’s been quite painful.  I’m not myself at all and can only hope my system has pretty much cleared itself out by tomorrow.

Mind you I did manage to steal the cat food at Nana aged 88’s.  Twice.  Or was it three times?  Plus Nana aged 88’s cat was sick in the night last night, and I dashed in to help clear up as Nana aged 88 can’t bend down far.  So maybe I am feeling myself, after all.

Well, He and Young Lad have just gone up to the pub for a Good Friday evening drink and they were going to make me go too, but I’m pretending to be fast asleep and feeling unwell so that they leave me alone.  Lad is doing some school work (I know!) before going on the Xbox for the evening and She is watching 24 Hours in Police Custody as we do like a fly- on -the -wall documentary.

It’s been VERY hot today, Friends.  Much hotter than usual for this time of year. Young Lad was pinned to the ground and covered in suncream earlier today, as he is very fair-skinned and burns to a crisp at the slightest hint of sunshine. There are people wandering up the road tonight looking really rather red and over-cooked, and one can only assume that nobody pinned them to the ground and plastered suncream on them.  It was DREADFULLY hot travelling back home in the car this afternoon, and we had to have the air conditioning on full blast for me the whole way as I was feeling a trifle overcome by the heat.  She moaned a lot as this uses up more bldypetrol but there you go.  The forecast for the whole of Easter weekend is HOT so I am intending to stay inside in the cool as much as possible.  If anyone is going to drag me out for walks, they need to get up early to do it – then again, let’s just not bother.

Well I’m exhausted from all the visiting and journeys.  An early night for me, I feel, Readers.

Hope you’ve had a good Good Friday.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Spice Up Your Life

madras Readers, it’s been a bit of a day.  It started off well in all honesty, but it went downhill after lunch and I am in Big Trouble.   Naturally none of it is my fault but that doesn’t seem to count for anything.

In the words of the great Julie Andrews, let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start.  This morning was pleasant – Lad wasn’t here as he had stayed at a friend’s house to watch Throne of Games as you know, so once He had gone to work there was just Young Lad and She here.  Things were peaceful if industrious, with three loads of washing done by 10am.  I didn’t mind this as I slept through it all. Some finger-pointing was done in my direction as the third load of washing went in, Friends, as my anal glands had played up a little last night and the cushion covers all needed a hot wash, but I ignored all this.

Then Young Lad was left on the Xbox with instructions to hoover upstairs at 11am, while Lovelydor down the road and She caught up over a quick coffee.  Readers, Young Lad hoovered upstairs magnificently and got most of my white fur off the blue carpets.  Well done, Young Lad.  After a quick cheese sandwich, which I did my best to steal, Young Lad showered and dressed and was ready for the next stage of the day.

I’d been out for a good long walk, in between all this, although I wasn’t keen on the silly marching speed.  It was a beautiful spring day – the May blossom was fully out and I wanted to take my time sniffing it plus anything else I could find.  Really it was most vexing to keep being screeched at to hurryupsomeofushavealottodo.  It does annoy me.  Anyway, we strode along by the river at a brisk pace, and once home I was left on my own.  For hours.

This is because Lad, Young Lad and She were going to the Important Place in London yet again, and someone thought that I would be happy to be stuck here on my own for four hours.  FOUR HOURS!  Well I wasn’t.  It really doesn’t cut it, Readers, leaving me a Kong stuffed with cream cheese, a chewy dental stick thing, and  my silly puzzle with a few bits of ham in it.   This is no replacement for COMPANY and LOVE.  Oh yes, there was a guilt-stricken text message from someone on the train to dear Ebony’s Pack Leader, asking if they could let me out for a comfort break, but it’s a bit late in the day to  be considering my needs when you’re halfway to London!

Well Readers, the Kong lasted fifty five seconds.  The silly puzzle thing took thirty seconds to pull apart and find the ham.  The chewy dental stick took one minute.  This left me with an awful lot of time to find other things to do.

Look, I knew full well that up in London they would be eating and drinking snacks and nice things, as Lad and Young Lad require nourishment every fifteen minutes or so.  It seemed only right that I should pull open the door to the food cupboard in the kitchen and drag out the box containing all the spices and herbs. Nothing any more interesting than that was within my reach, so the spice box had to suffice.  I dropped it all on the floor and one of the lids came off, resulting in orange curry powder all over the floor.  There was a beautiful big cloud of it – it really was quite pretty.  Being medium strength curry powder, there was quite a strong smell which I imagine will linger for days.   There were several large clumps of curry powder where it had stuck together in balls – I would hazard a guess here that it is very out of date.

Anyway.  I was quite pleased with the mess I’d made – but then Ebony’s Pack Leader came in to let me out for my comfort break, and saw the mess. Ebony’s Pack Leader was very understanding and kind, and hoovered it all up; however this was after photographing all the evidence and Whatsapping it to She.  Life was so much easier before social media, Friends.

The hoover is going to smell of madras for months.  It’s a nice smell, really.

Thank the lord for kind, good people – Ebony’s Pack Leader decided I needed a little time out at Ebony’s house and took me back there.  I soon climbed into a chair and fell fast asleep.

sod  Look carefully, Readers.  Is this the face of a bad dog?

After letting me sleep for a goodly long while. Ebony’s Pack Leader took me back home and gave me my dinner.  Soon after this, He came in from work and gave me my dinner again.  This was excellent.

By the way, you know the problem I had in Top Field yesterday with the lack of rabbit droppings?  Well, it turns out that dear, dear Pippa had been up there for an early walk as well, and between Pippa and Ebony, all droppings had been hoovered up by the time I got there.  I didn’t stand a chance, Friends.  Really this is unacceptable and I feel more consideration should be given to the timing of my walks – surely the early supply of rabbit droppings is more important than tidying the kitchen up first thing in the morning?  If I find Pippa and Ebony have beaten me to it tomorrow as well, I will be very cross.

Of course when they all returned from the Important Place in London I was moaned at and chastised about the curry powder.  I couldn’t care less.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings, Friends.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Pellets

bunny poo This morning, Readers, was very disappointing.  I was excited as we headed over the bridge and into Top Field on our walk, and really looking forward to what lay ahead for me.  Well.  All I could think was that dear Ebony had been out for her walk in Top Field VERY early today as the supply of rabbit droppings was extremely meagre.  I hoovered up what there was but it was abundantly clear that either the entire rabbit population of Top Field had been constipated overnight or else someone had got there before me.  I searched all round the place but there were very few. 

Readers, I was so disappointed that I had no choice but to cheer myself up by rolling in some fox poo.  I had a large streak of it down my head and over one ear, and plenty along my back.  It did cheer me up a little.  I was called a bad name and put back on the lead for the rest of the walk.

Well what a busy weekend it’s been.  As if all the going out and coming in wasn’t exhausting enough on Friday, yesterday was just as bad.  I had just gone back into a heavy sleep after my 5.30am comfort break in the garden, when the ruddy alarm went off – I thought that thing wasn’t being used over the Easter break?  Admittedly it was later than normal but that’s not the point.  And what was the reason for this?  A nice early walk for me to catch all the fresh rabbit droppings in Top Field?  Early breakfast for me?  

No Readers.  Someone was going out FOR BREAKFAST yet again.  Yes indeed, this week She was meeting her dear friend Chelseagirl in a town a VERY long way away for breakfast.  I knew full well this would mean smoked salmon and scrambled eggs again and really I feel that twice in one week is just over-extravagant and showy.  I of course, had  my usual bowl of dry dog food, Young Lad had a piece of uninteresting toast, He had Shreddies and Lad had a strange mixture of many things, but NOBODY here had anything as nice as smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.   With chopped chives on! The selfishness!

So I didn’t get my morning walk yesterday, due to this selfishness, and had to make do with He walking me to the cricket club in the afternoon.  This was quite fun, in fairness, as Regular Readers will remember that I like to eat the bird poo off the grass at the cricket ground – well it’s important to help the groundsman out by keeping the boundary clean and hygienic – and so a happy afternoon was spent walking round several times seeking out pigeon droppings.  Then there is always an outside chance of some crisps on the ground under the picnic benches, so all was not lost.

This was substantially preferable, if you ask me, to what She and Young Lad spent the afternoon doing.  Young Lad’s football team were ‘mascots’ and ‘ball boys’ for a local men’s football team yesterday,  which involved three hours standing in a bitingly cold wind.  Yes, three.  They had to be there an hour before the match started, for warming up and the such like, and then during the match Young Lad and his team-mates had to throw the ball back on the pitch whenever it was kicked off.  This sometimes meant climbing over a large wooden fence to try and retrieve it, and Young Lad was battered and bruised by all the climbing.  Poor Young Lad.  He seemed to enjoy the experience though, unlike some of the adults who were close to being frozen solid.  This really isn’t the right attitude and I feel more in the way of encouragement is needed.

Lad had the right idea yesterday and spent the day indoors on the sofa, doing some schoolwork and watching some rubbish on the telly.  This is a far better use of time.

Today started well, with a proper lie-in for once and no alarm clock, and a fairly peaceful morning.  What I liked about this morning (apart from having a bath due to the fox poo incident) was that in a sudden spurt of energy, it was decided to do some baking.  She thought what a marvellous idea it would be to try  a new recipe for cookies and send them with Young Lad to football training this afternoon.

Of course in the usual disorganised way of things, nobody checked the ingredients before they started, and so a panicky Whatsapp message was sent to dear Ebony’s Pack Leader in the hunt for brown sugar.  There is no end to the advantage we take of our friends and neighbours, and I would like to point out that there is an Express Tesco at the top of the road.

The cookies were a triumph, I’m told, and one of Young Lad’s team-mates ate three.  Nobody gave me one, though I did pre-rinse the mixing bowl when it went in the dishwasher.  I would have preferred a whole cookie, had anyone bothered to let me try one.

After football training this afternoon – at which Detention Friend was injured which makes a refreshing change from it being Young Lad – there was some frantic hoovering and cleaning.  To be honest, it was well overdue.  I don’t feel it’s my place to say anything but really, the state of the carpets!   It would be so embarrassing if anyone popped in without prior warning.

Then a hearty shepherd’s pie was made; the thinking being that it was warming and nutritious after an hour and a half of football training.  Young Lad came in and said he thought he would prefer chips.  Young Lad was spoken to quite sternly about nutrition and proper food and told to eat his shepherd’s pie and vegetables without the whingeing.  I liked the shepherd’s pie – there was a dollop on the kitchen floor and I thought the mashed potato on the top had been seasoned just right.

I’m ready for bed, to be honest Friends, as all the walking, rolling and unsatisfactory hoovering of rabbit droppings has worn me out.  I know I won’t be allowed to go to bed for at least another couple of hours, however, as Line of Duty is on at 9pm and they are all very excited.  Gordon is popping round for She, and Young Lad will be on the blackcurrant squash.  Give me strength. 

Lad isn’t here tonight.  Lad has gone to his friend’s house in a town far away to watch the new series of Throne of Games which starts at silly o’clock in the night.  I would imagine Lad and his friends will be having some delicious snacks and drinks while they are watching Throne of Games.  Lucky them.

Well, I think I’ll get my head down in my armchair until it’s time for bed.

See you soon,

Russell

Coleslaw

coleslaw In case you don’t know, Readers, coleslaw is a mixture of shredded carrot and cabbage in a creamy mayonnaise. It is intended as a side salad to go with a jacket potato or pizza, and the such like.  It is not intended to coat one’s fur.  At the moment, my tail is plastered in coleslaw which I am desperately trying to lick off but this is proving tricky as it is in all sorts of awkward places.

And how did I get coleslaw all over my tail? I hear you ask.  It is simple.  Young Lad was sitting on the sofa eating his Slovenly Pizza, and had a large portion of creamy coleslaw on his plate too. I heard someone walking past our house in a threatening way so I jumped up on the sofa and started barking at them, but accidentally sat down rather awkwardly on Young Lad’s plate. Luckily my tail missed the houmous and pizza, but did settle in the coleslaw.  Young Lad was annoyed as he really likes coleslaw but he was not prepared to eat any that had recently had my tail in it.

It’s been a hectic couple of days with a lot of going out and coming back in.  School holidays are exhausting, Friends, I tell you.  Take today.  She ‘popped into town’ first thing, then came back and told Young Lad to get off the bldyXbox and get in the shower.  They then drove to a town far away to buy Young Lad some new bldyexpensive trainers.  They returned home for half an hour, then Detention Friend arrived and She drove them to a park/astroturf for an afternoon of football and chips in the cafe.  She came back and dragged me out for a 3 mile walk, then got back in the car and went to collect Young Lad and his friends from the astroturf.  I tell you it just wears me out trying to keep up with who is in and who is out.

Add into the mix Lad surfacing from his room mid-morning, doing some more forced labour in the garden for an hour or so, then going to meet his friends in a town far away via the gym, and you will see what I mean.  Why don’t they just stay in?

I’m quite irritated about all the school holiday nice food that Lad and Young Lad are having, too,  They are forever having chips or other tasty fast food, and nobody ever brings me any.  Today She said money is tight so Young Lad was not allowed to have any fast food on their shopping trip – instead he was made to go into John Lewis for his lunch.  This is because someone had their bi-annual voucher for a free coffee and cake, so in the spirit of generosity, Young Lad had the ‘cake’ element of this promotion whilst She had a latte.  Cheapskate or what?  In fairness, Young Lad had the most enormous fruit scone imaginable which was probably more nutritious than six chicken nuggets and fries would have been, but I’m still not sure this constitutes ‘lunch’.   Plus I know for a fact that She made Young Lad get some extra butter pats ‘for the  enormous scone’ – these extra butter pats were put into a handbag and brought home.  This is theft and is an appalling example to set.

Young Lad was then made to walk round John Lewis admiring all the lovely things that people with more income than us can afford.  Not that anyone is jealous or bitter.

I’ve been out in the garden for my comfort break, Friends, and I have to say that Lad has done a very impressive job out there.  Really, it looks like Capability Brown has popped in – I feel Lad could have a career in landscape gardening, and this would take all the ridiculous pressure off these silly A levels, whatever they are. I will suggest it to Lad, when he comes home on the last train from his night out with friends.  Again.

It was a lovely day down at the river again – that’s five lovely days in a row – and we went over the bridge, checking for dead bodies as we’ve promised the Lovely Hairdresser that we always do this, and up into Top Field.  I sauntered round slowly, eating rabbit droppings, and was moaned at several times, to hurry up.  What is the need for rushing everywhere?

On the way back we met a lovely golden retriever – for one moment I thought it was dear Pippa, but this one was smaller and younger.  In fact it was a very bouncy puppy.  However, this bouncy pup had one problem – he was too scared to go over the new bridge.  Now I remember this feeling very well, from when they rather aggravatingly replaced the old bridge with a shiny new one, and I too was a little disinclined to walk over it at first.  The poor young pup simply wouldn’t go across, so they had the idea of making me walk across it in the hope that he would follow.  He wouldn’t.  We tried this several times with lots of silly voices and cries of “good boy, Hugo, follow Russell,” but Hugo was having none of it.  You can’t say I didn’t try to do my bit for the community – I walked back and forwards over that damned bridge for ages. It was boring as.

Friends, I have just growled and snapped at He and Young Lad.  I had no choice.  I was perfectly comfortable on the sofa and has just gone into a heavy sleep, when Young Lad started fussing around trying to find the TV remote control.  As it happened, I was lying on it.  Once they worked this out, He and Young Lad tried to remove it from underneath me, but this meant fiddling around under my back and I was extremely annoyed.  So I let them know by wrinkling my nose at Young Lad and snapping gently at He.  They got the idea.

Well I am fair worn out by all these walks and people coming and going.  I have taken a large section of the sofa for myself tonight – rightly so, I feel – and everyone else is squashed down one end.  With Gingercat.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

Chicken Sandwich

garden The thing is, Readers, that Lad never learns.  You would have thought after his breakfast croissant fell into my mouth on Monday that Lad might take a little more care and attention, but it seems not.  Today Lad was doing forced labour in the garden again and inadvertently put down his plate containing a good chunky roast chicken and mayo sandwich.  I was out there like greased lightning and before you could say Oh Dear How Vexing, I had grabbed the entire sandwich and run off with it.  Lad tried to get hold of my collar but I made some strange choking/snarling noises that told him to back off, and so I ran under a bush and ate the sandwich.

It was nice.

Thus Lad didn’t have any lunch and had to continue his forced labour in the garden undernourished.

It’s been quite a successful day on the food front, as only an hour or so after the incident of the sandwich, I stood in the garden and barked a lot to indicate it was time for my dinner.  This is normally 4pm, but I thought I’d try my luck at 2pm and sure enough, everyone was so fed up with my barking that Young Lad was told to feed me.

Then at 5pm I pretended to forget that I’d been fed at 2pm and started all over again.  It was fun.

Young Lad and Detention Friend have been at football training tonight, so while there was nobody home I went through the bin in Lad’s bedroom.  There were several crisp packets and tissues so I had a good rip through all of them.  Then I dragged some rubbish out of the bin in the downstairs toilet, into the lounge and chucked it on the floor.  He found it when He came in from work, and told me off in a very chuckly Oh Russell kind of way.  

Young Lad, Detention Friend and He are all on the sofa now to watch a football match on the telly.  There is a large tray of snacks about to come in, with which to sustain them during this ordeal, and I will make sure I am sitting very centrally to all of this.  Some frantic hoovering was done earlier, and it would be a tragedy if the clean carpet became covered in Oreo crumbs and the such like, so I will do my best to clear up.

Yesterday I got into trouble for biting She.  I didn’t mean to, obviously and actually it was She’s fault for not paying attention; She took a small piece of out-of-date turkey slice from the fridge to give me (I had done as I was told for once), and without waiting for her to lower her hand to my mouth I thought I’d save her the trouble and jumped up to grab it.  Unfortunately She wasn’t watching and the first She knew of this was a searing pain where I had slightly misjudged the distance and caught her hand in my sharp front canine. Oh the fuss – you would have thought I’d broken the skin or something, but I hadn’t quite gone through the skin; it was just a sore red bit and didn’t require all the ooing and ahhing and running it under a cold tap.  Yes a dog bite is excruciatingly painful, but really – just look what you’re doing!

Re the out-of-date turkey slice – I don’t want you to think that such food is bought for human consumption.  No, Readers, this is only purchased as a “treat” (I use the word very loosely) for Gingercat and I.

Yesterday was another beautiful day which meant that Lad was conscripted into the garden for hard labour.  As was the case last year (in fact I think I mentioned it in my book) it was time for the Ruddy Buddleia tree to be cut down (or ‘pruned’ as She likes to euphemistically call it) and so Lad was out there with a hacksaw and some large clipper things for HOURS last night, cutting it down.  Then of course today the job had to be finished and all of the tree cuttings stuffed into the large green dustbin – and as usual they didn’t all fit in so Young Lad had to climb a ladder to get in the bin and jump up and down to squash it all down.  Regular Readers will remember this charade from last year – really, it’s ridiculous.  

Quite understandably Lad decided to go out with his friends in a town far away after all this, for some light relief.

I had a lovely walk this afternoon – even bumping into Colin The Australian Labradoodle, whom I haven’t seen for months.  We had a quick romp and then I moved on.  We went right up to the back of Far Field which had been freshly mowed, so there were a lot of wonderful smells in the grass bits.  It took me a long time to complete my circuit of this field and there was some irritable shouting at me.  Then I had to go on the lead for a while as a large tractor with the grass cutting attachment was still hovering around in a menacing way.

As we were heading back up the path, there in front of me was dear, dear Chuck.  Again, I haven’t seen Chuck for ages so we stopped for a long chat and then walked on slowly together.  This was much more civilised than the stupid marching pace at which we normally stomp around.  Chuck is looking wonderful and his coat is gleaming – such is the success of Greek Yogurt in his diet.

Well I daresay that if I finish writing now and dash into the lounge, I will find some breadstick crumbs and possibly a few crisps on the floor – I have heard Detention Friend becoming quite animated at the football so surely he must have spilled something.  I have no idea what is on the agenda for tomorrow – I would like to think as little as possible but I doubt that very much, and imagine Young Lad will be dragged out for some Fresh Air.  As will I.

I was really quite chuffed about the chicken sandwich, Friends.  That was quite a result.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Flaky

Croissant-Petr_KratochvilReaders, I  had a marvellous time this morning.  Lad was just about to have his breakfast ( mid-morning)  and he rather carelessly took his eye off the plate to study something important on his phone.  Now, in a clear example of over-parenting, She had heated up a freshly-baked croissant for Lad – it was steaming, just perfect.  The smell!  I don’t know if you’re aware of just how good a fresh, warmed croissant smells.  Oh it was divine, and I knew it would be exactly the right level of crisp flakiness on the outside, and soft melting clouds of dough on the inside. So while Lad looked at the important thing on his phone I jumped up and grabbed the whole croissant off his plate, running as fast as my legs would carry me to the garden with it.

Lad was very annoyed and they all shouted at me.  But there you go.

Friends, you may or may not know what the shape of a croissant symbolises.  If it is a crescent-shaped croissant, it has been made with margarine.  If it is straight, it has been made with real butter and is therefore superior in quality.  I am very glad to report that Lad’s croissant this morning was straight and therefore I did not have to eat an inferior product.

It was so worth all the unpleasant names I was called,

At lunchtime (which was only an hour  later in Lad’s case) I ran off with a tin that had contained spaghetti hoops.  There were still a few in the bottom so I cleaned it out ready for the recycling bags.  I like to do my bit.  In all honesty I preferred the croissant though.

Yesterday wasn’t quite as good as today.  He took me for a long walk in the morning, which wasn’t a problem in itself,  but while we were out the heavens opened and a very heavy, prolonged April shower hit us.  He and I were completely drenched, and as we were in Far Field when it started pouring, it was a long walk home in terrible conditions.  I was wringing wet, Friends, wringing wet and had to  be towelled down rather roughly. This was unpleasant and I was more than happy to spend the afternoon sleeping in my chair.  But no.  Having cooked a roast dinner at the rather strange time of 5pm, She decided She needed to get out of the bldykitchen and get some bldyfreshair and so my collar and lead were put on me again!  I was incensed!   Mainly because Lad was at this precise moment loading the dishwasher with all the roast plates and bowls, and there was LOADS of gravy meaty stuff for me to pre-rinse!  Did I want to go out for a walk at this moment?  NO OF COURSE I DIDN’T.  But some people are so selfish that I was dragged out of the dishwasher, along the hall and out of the front door.

I got my own back.  I refused to move more than one step at a time, and frequently stopped altogether.  As you can see, I made our walk as difficult and unpleasant as I possibly could.

reluctant  After twenty minutes She gave up and took me home.  Much to my annoyance this was much too late and the dishwasher had been switched on.

I took my revenge by snoring and breaking wind all through Line Of Duty last night.

Today there has been a sudden burst of activity in the house and garden.  The net curtains have been taken down and washed (they were black, Readers, black I tell you), paperwork and bills have been sorted out and paid, and the garden has had some basic tending to.  This was held up while a bad-tempered trip to Q&B was made, as the lawn mower had packed up and despite a noble attempt by She to turn it upside down and undo the blade to investigate, it was clearly well beyond her levels of technical ability to mend it.  So another ruddy £75 had to be shelled out to purchase a new one.

Anyway once home and cheered up by a cup of tea, She cut the grass while Young Lad was employed in weeding tubs and removing last year’s tomato twigs and manky carrots.  Young Lad found this exhausting and after ten minutes told us that his back was aching and could he sit down to do it?  Poor Young Lad.  I sat in the garden and watched as Young Lad spent an hour and a half weeding and tidying up – there was an awful lot of sweeping up to do and I have to say he did a very good job.  Well done, Young Lad.  He then took his payment very happily and spent the rest of the afternoon on the Xbox.

Lad was also supposed to be helping out in the garden when he came back from the gym, but Lad got a better offer from his friends in a town far away so that was that.  After some screeching it was decided he would not be leaving home to catch the train until he tidied his bedroom up, so it cannot be said that Lad hasn’t done his bit.  I do feel someone should tell She that this is the Easter HOLIDAY, a word which implies carefree fun and relaxation, rather than a schedule of hard labour.

I had a lovely walk today – it really was a cracking day – and we went all round Top Field and Far Field.  There was a mother and her toddler down by the river, and you know that any sort of pushchair means Emergency Snacks in that bit on the bottom, so I rushed over and checked it out.  I’m always a little disappointed when they turn out to be Organic Crisps or Sensible Breadsticks, but obviously I’ll take anything if I have thee chance.  Sadly there were no snacks on this pushchair but it’s important to check.  I didn’t see many of my friends but then I was a little late going out today.

It’s really rather nice, not being disturbed by the ruddy alarm clock each morning at the moment and I had a lovely lie-in on Young Lad’s bed this morning.  I intend to do the same tomorrow and the next day and the next day….

Bye for now,

Russell

Great choice!

blue peter  Readers, this is not me.  Well done for noticing.  This is, in fact, the new Blue Peter dog!  Yes!!!   They have chosen a Beagle to be the new canine on the esteemed, world-famous children’s TV show.  In the past they have used inferior breeds such as Collies and Labradors, but at last someone has seen sense and picked a more intelligent type of dog.  Oh this is wonderful, Friends, wonderful and will put the Beagle on the map at last.  If only the late, great John Noakes were still alive and presenting to witness this fantastic moment.

And what was my family’s reaction to this news?  “Are they insane?”followed by “they’ll regret it.”  I resent the implication that the Blue Peter Beagle will eat the set or chew through the camera and lighting leads, and it is totally untrue that for the press conference (and indeed this photo) someone was standing off -camera holding some food.  Of course he isn’t staring at a large piece of chicken. Don’t be ridiculous.

Anyway I am thrilled for Henry, for such is his name, and I know he has a very bright future ahead of him.  Do you think I should contact them, to let them know I’ve written a book?  I don’t want Henry to feel he is the only high-profile Beagle in the village.

At long last the Easter holidays are upon us, which means Lad and Young Lad have two weeks off school.  I am beyond delighted that the ruddy alarm clocks won’t be going off at 6am each morning as you know how much it annoys me.  I will still insist on my comfort break at 5.30am which will annoy some other people, but I’ll be able to go back to sleep properly afterwards.  It also means that we won’t be relying on everyone else to look after me during the day, and dear Pippa and Ebony can have a break from me.  I shall miss them but they deserve their beds to themselves for a fortnight.

Lad celebrated breaking up from school by staying out with his friends in a town far away, and not really sleeping .  Subsequently Lad is extremely tired and I feel it is very unfair that he was asked to do the hoovering this afternoon.  Mother’s Day was last week for heaven’s sake.  Lad is barely able to stay awake on the Xbox tonight and will need a lot of snacks to keep him going.  Poor Lad.

Young Lad celebrated breaking up from school by going over the Rec with Detention Friend to play football. This didn’t end well as there was some disagreement with some other youths playing football and they had to come home.  Today Young Lad and Detention Friend went into town for lunch at Burger King, but couldn’t really think of anything else to do.  Very sensibly, I felt, Young Lad phoned She for advice and said “we don’t know what to do,” to which the answer was unnecessarily curt and dismissive.  Admittedly She and I were in Top Field at the time Young Lad rang, but even so.  Later on Young Lad went round to Detention Friend’s house, which is at the top of our road, and when it was time to come home he phoned She and asked her to pick him up.  Again, there was no need for that tone of voice and actually it is quite a long walk down the road for poor Young Lad.

I feel She is over-tired and tetchy, and in need of some sleep.

We had a lovely walk this morning, right over the river and up into Top Field.  I waited till I was quite a long way behind, and then I found a big pile of fox poo to roll in.  I was plastered, and smelled like very very old fish for the rest of the walk.  Needless to say I was called some bad names and had to have a bath when we returned.  As we walked up the road, Lad phoned She to ask if She could pick him up from the station (can you see a theme here?) and She snapped “no because I’ve got to bath the bldydog and disinfect the bldybathroom.”

When I was at dear, dear Ebony’s house the other day I fell asleep on the sofa, next to her Pack Leader Male.  Alas her Pack Leader Male was trying to watch telly but my snoring was so loud that he struggled to hear anything from the TV. This is a problem we sometimes have at home, but at dear Ebony’s house there was a gentle chuckle of “Oh Russell!”  whereas at home it is more like “FOR GOD’S SAKE WE CAN’T HEAR LINE OF DUTY!!”  It is much, much nicer at Ebony’s house.  And Pippa’s.

This morning it was quite peaceful at home, as Lad was still in the town far away, and She went out to meet Pretty AD for breakfast.  So Young Lad, He and I stayed home and enjoyed the quiet.  I was a little put out to hear that going out for breakfast involves scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on sourdough toast, as this does not compare well to my breakfast of dry dog food.  How I would LOVE a plate of smoked salmon and scrambled egg, but I can’t see anyone ever taking me out for breakfast.  It is disappointing, to say the least. 

Well, Readers, I am fair worn out from rolling in cack and having to be bathed, plus with the light evenings these days I have to do a lot of barking at anyone walking up or down the road after 6pm.  I sit on the sofa and look out of the window to protect my home from families out for evening strolls or  people wandering past with small dogs.  You just never know what they might do.  Everyone shouts at me, of course.

You will be very glad to hear that no more electrical gadgets have been hidden in the tumble dryer, after the incident with the Xbox controllers.  I would like to think that a lesson has been learned about this.  Perhaps with some sleep and a little less Heavy Workload for a few days there will be a more happy-go-lucky atmosphere around the place and less need for iron-fisted confiscating of Headsets and Controllers.  

Sheesh.

See you soon,

Russell