Chocolate Fridge Cake

no-bake-chocolate-biscuit-cake-picture The other night, Readers, I ate six pieces of chocolate fridge cake.  For those of you that don’t know, chocolate fridge cake is made from butter, plain chocolate, cream, biscuits and raisins.  None of these ingredients are good for me.  All of these ingredients are delicious.  How on earth did this come about, I hear you ask, in a puzzled how-could-his-owners-be-so-irresponsible sort of way. Well. Young Lad and Detention Friend were playing on the Xbox before they went to their cricket match, and they were given a plate of chocolate fridge cake as some sort of highly calorific energy boost.

Alas, Young Lad and Detention Friend decided to go out in the garden and kick a football around, but forgot the plate of chocolate fridge cake which was on the table.  Within seconds it had gone.  It barely touched the sides and the jury is out as to whether I actually tasted it or not.  I was screamed at and made to sit in my chair.

Now, before you all become emotional that I wasn’t rushed out to the vet, they were very small pieces of chocolate fridge cake.  Bite-size, I would go so far as to say.  So the actual quantity of cream, butter, chocolate and raisins that I ingested was nowhere near as much as the triple-layer 10 inch chocolate birthday cake from two years ago, or even the eleven mini-mince pies on Christmas Eve.   Thus nobody cared enough to take me to the vet, and instead I was moaned at for the rest of the evening and not allowed to go to cricket in case I had an upset stomach on the boundary.

I didn’t have an upset stomach.  Just a bit of wind.  I have the constitution of an ox.

Anyway, it really was delicious and I was quite pleased with myself.  I haven’t stolen much lately, in all honesty, so it was about time I had a treat.

I haven’t added to my blog for several days, and I do apologise for this.  It is very poor and simply down to bad time-management.  I will do my best to write a bumper edition for you this evening.

There was an amusing moment in the garden yesterday, when She rooted around in the shed and dragged out a very old sun-lounger, circa 1970.  It is a cheap folded-up, flat thing that you have to open out carefully and then lie on a piece of canvas.  After battling with the metal frame for a while, She was smugly pleased that the sun-lounger was assembled and ready to go, and went back inside to make a cup of tea.  Lo and behold, on returning to the garden ten minutes later, imagine the reaction on finding both Gingercat and I stretched out on the sun-lounger.  It was very kind for someone to provide us with somewhere to sleep, as an alternative to lying on the grass.

The weather has been very pleasant the last few days, though of course there is a lot of complaining about the bldy pollen count and bldy hayfever, but you just can’t please some people.  I’ve tended to have my walks in the early evening, when it is a little cooler and very beautiful at the river. Tonight there were loads of dogs down there and I had a good play with a young collie, which is very unlike me. I also waded into the river right up to my tummy, which is also unlike me, but I was very hot and needed a cool down.  I was rather hoping to see my dear friend Pippa, as I haven’t seen her for AGES, but we didn’t time my walk to coincide with hers.  This was disappointing.

When I returned home after my walk yesterday evening, I had such a lovely surprise.  Who was in my house, but Grandma!  I haven’t see her for a while and it was simply marvellous to find her in my own lounge. I immediately asked her to stay for dinner, as I have excellent manners, and we all sat in the garden eating pasta bianco (Jamie Oliver yet again) and salad.  Really it was lovely and I felt quite content. I would have been a little more content if anyone had given me any pasta bianco but there you go.

Young Lad and Detention Friend enjoyed the cricket  match the other night, and their team scored over 100 runs which is much better than usual.  The other team scored quite a few more but that’s not the point.  Sadly Young Lad had to retire through injury as he was wicket-keeper, and even I know that you don’t try to stop a hard cricket ball travelling at speed with your foot – Young Lad has learned this the hard way.  There was a lot of limping and fussing, and some ice was required.  Lots of other parents attended to poor Young Lad’s injury as She was sitting on the furthest corner of the field where the last rays of sun were shining, and so was absolutely nowhere near the action.  Luckily He was a little nearer and a little quicker off the mark to carry injured Young Lad into the clubhouse.

I had a nice quiet day on Wednesday – it was just Lad and Young Lad here with me, and we had a peaceful time of either sleeping in our armchairs, playing on the Xbox or revising A Level Philosophy.  Regular Readers will be able to work out who was doing which activity.  She had gone to meet friends for lunch and then paid the price for such frivolity with a BLDY 3  HOUR journey on the  BLDY M25 to get home again.  Serves her right.  There are Thai restaurants far closer than this  if one wants King Prawn noodles with old friends, and it was a ridiculous decision. By rights there should have been a swift turnaround on She’s return to get Young Lad out to cricket practice, but it started raining and was cancelled.  This means I missed out on two evenings walking round a cricket pitch and it’s upsetting.

Lad has been working hard ALL week and it worries me to see him revising so much.  It is no fun being Lad’s age at all, unless you go to see your friends in a town far away, and he hasn’t even done that much lately!  Poor Lad.  I will be very glad when these silly exams are out the way and our house can be rediscovered under the piles of notes and index cards covering every flat surface. Occasionally I try to help him by climbing on top of the piles of notes next to him on the sofa, and he seems to appreciate this.  Another thing I do to help is find an old bone of mine, buried deep in my toy box, and then lie on the carpet near him grinding it in my teeth.  This creates a very relaxed atmosphere for him.

Readers, have you noticed any spiders in your house recently?  We’ve had two of the wretches in the last week – normally the annual spider assault doesn’t start until August/September so I have no idea what they think they are doing coming in so early.  The other night one sprinted over the cushion next to where She was sitting – that one was of the more brown house spider variety – whilst a jet black albeit smaller one wandered across the bedroom floor. Out comes a glass and a piece of card to “humanely” catch the spiders and chuck them over the fence at the back of the garden.  Particularly big ones have to be thrown in the drain over the road. Anyway,  spiders don’t bother me and in fact I find them quite boring, but therein lies the problem.  I end up being moaned at for my lack of cooperation in catching them.  Gingercat can’t be bothered either. To be honest if the house was cleaned a little more often – and I mean in the corners and under the furniture rather than a token shove of the hoover over the middle of the carpet – there would be less attraction here for pests.

Well, I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend for once with no sporting fixtures.  It should by rights by Slovenly Pizza night tonight, but as Young Lad and Detention Friend went to McDonalds for lunch (there was a heated argument over the merits of Burger King compared to McDonalds, but price was the deciding matter) it was decided that pizza was not appropriate for dinner tonight.  Young Lad had beans on toast instead, whilst She had grilled tuna steak and salad.  Personally I think pizza would have been a better option all round, and I think I’ve just heard Lad put an American Hot in the oven.  I don’t blame him.

Told you it would be a bumper edition!

Bye for now,

Russell

Penny Farthing

penny farthing Well Readers, that was an unexpected sight at the river this evening.  Just as I turned the corner onto the path, what came whizzing past me but a strange-looking contraption that was in the wrong century.  It made me jump I can tell you – what a ridiculous vehicle!  I don’t know what was worse – the nasty giant wheel or the man sitting up VERY high in a sinister manner.  This was clearly a deliberate attempt to intimidate me on my evening walk, just like the Elderly Rambling Group or the Bastard Swans.  Well I can tell you I barked at that man on top of the silly bike.  He won’t be trying that again.  In truth I was a little worried for him as he started down the hill towards the college, as it is fairly steep and he was going at quite a speed.  I should think it smarts a bit if you fall off from that height.  Serves him right.

Apart from that it was a fairly pleasant summer’s evening walk tonight – I found something grey and slimy to eat in the long grass but was pulled away after a couple of mouthfuls.  This annoyed me.  There were lots of other dogs down there (though none of my friends), and many families with young children.  There was a young man sitting on a bench under the willow tree feeding his tiny baby with a bottle – this was a very appealing sight and if we had taken a photo it could have become a world-famous poster.  But nobody thought of that in time.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

This was my second walk today – She dragged me out this morning for a two-miler as well in a feeble attempt at fitness and weight loss. I of course am losing weight and  wasting away, but it doesn’t have the same effect on everyone. It’s been nice having so much fresh air and exercise today but I really am quite exhausted now. I think it’s meant to rain tomorrow so there might be some respite.

The other day we detoured from my walk at the river, and called in to see Lovelydor down the road.  Lovelydor needed a little technical assistance with something called Up The Amazon Prime or something, and I was told to sit in the front porch and behave while She helped.  Thankfully Lovelydor is much kinder and let me into her house properly – after a swift look round the kitchen for something to eat, I lay down on the floor and behaved impeccably.  I didn’t even try to climb on any soft furnishings which is very unusual for me.  Lovelydor was the perfect host and gave me the odd biscuit.  I had a marvellous time and would happily go to Lovelydor’s house again.

Up The Amazon Without A Paddle Prime was soon sorted, though and we headed off for our walk.  Over the bridge we went, and up into Top Field for a good hoover up of the rabbit droppings.  It was nice. 

I had a lovely quiet evening on Saturday, as He and Young Lad were at somewhere called Lords watching something dreary involving a bat and  a ball.  For many hours.  This is not my idea of fun, but I would have enjoyed the HUGE picnic they took with them for the day.  She was out, and so it was just Lad and I home for the evening and I do love an evening like this.  Even better:  one of Lad’s friends from a town far away decided to join us , and together we all raided the food cupboards, fridge and freezer and had a marvellous evening.  It was quite an unusual mix: fish fingers and chips, jaffa cakes. crisps, and chocolates.  Oh and some beer.  Really it was lovely.  Lad’s friends can come round any time they like.

Today it is Bank Holiday Monday and a half-hearted attempt at a barbecue was made as this is traditional on a Bank Holiday, whether it’s warm enough or not.  Young Lad was allowed to put six outdoor-reared pork sausages on the disposable barbecue and that was it.  Still, it’s the thought that counts and I will enjoy licking the barbecue grid thing once it’s cooled down.  Then ‘high tea’ was prepared with a range of sandwiches (home-made egg mayo, cheese, cheese and pickle, and ham) and some chocolate fridge cake.  Loads of stuff was dropped on the kitchen floor during preparation as somebody wasn’t really taking much care, and I had a marvellous time clearing up.   After a day of some unusual culinary effort we will be back to pasta bake tomorrow.

Young Lad has a cricket match tomorrow night and I’m very hopeful that I might be taken along. The forecast is looking a little dodgy though, so fingers crossed it holds off until late evening. It does annoy me when cricket is rained off. 

Grrr, I’m trying to get comfortable on the beanbag at the moment, and finding it very tricky.  It simply will NOT move into the position I want and I’ve had to go round and round in a circle about sixteen times now to trample it down.  I’ve also had to kick several Nerf gun bullets out of the way too.  Leather beanbags are very slippery and annoying.  I should have just stuck to my armchair.  

I had a VERY disturbed night last night.  My stomach wasn’t quite right and rumbled and grumbled all night long – I was trying to sleep next to She on the bed but She kept tutting and moaning at me because of the noise.  Yes it sounded a little like our dodgy central heating system when it groans and creaks but I couldn’t help it!  At ten past four this morning I decided I needed a comfort break and stood out in the garden eating long grass, to help settle my digestive system.  It was a beautiful dawn and worth making the most of.  I’m very glad the neighbours weren’t looking out as they would have seen She in her pyjamas and bare feet hissing at me across the lawn to BLDYHURRYUP!

Then I needed some more long grass at 6am.

I hope I have a better night’s sleep tonight, Readers, and maybe the five miles of walking today will help in that department.

At last I’ve stamped the beanbag down to where I want it.  Goodness that was hard work.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Aroma

veg pizza Last night I went for a lovely walk with She over the Rec.  It was a beautiful summer’s evening with the sound of birds singing, footballs being kicked and children’s laughter. How wonderful life is, I thought to  myself, as I trotted along.  Further up the field I came to an abrupt halt.  Suddenly my senses were assaulted (in a nice way) by a very faint but unmistakeable scent wafting across the recreation ground.  No, Readers, it wasn’t the usual smell I associate with groups of teenagers sitting on the grass of a summer’s evening.  This one was MUCH nicer and I detected a hint of garlic and possibly the odd olive or two.

I stood very still with my tail erect and my nose pointing high in the air, sniffing. I looked incredibly handsome and full of pedigree.  Then I took off like a bullet from a gun, towards the car park gravel bit by the old pavilion.  I ran and ran, following my keen sense of smell, and She had to run and run behind me shouting my name as She could see what I was about to do.  Readers, I had the advantage because a) I’m a dog  b) I’m slimmer and more built for running than my Pack Leader and c) I wasn’t wearing silly flip-flops. 

There on the corner of the gravelly car park bit  was a young couple, probably in love, and enjoying a nice Domino’s pizza out of a cardboard box. I made a beeline for them and was only INCHES away from snatching the entire thing and escaping with it when She launched herself at me and grabbed hold of my collar, shouting “DON’T YOU DARE!” at the same time.

Good Lord it was frustrating.  Their pizza was dripping, DRIPPING I tell you in sweetcorn, green peppers, olives, and mozzarella.  You have no idea how good that would have tasted in my mouth.  I was FURIOUS.

Prior to that I’d had a run-in with a black Bichon Frise type dog, some silly fluffy thing with a pointed nose.  It had taken a dislike to me for no reason whatsoever and started having a go.  Luckily its Pack Leader pulled it away before I could do any serious damage to it.

So all in all that was quite a stressful walk over the Rec.

On Wednesday, dear dear Ebony’s Pack Leader came to get me (Pippa is still on holiday which I feel is a little excessive) and found herself very amused by our back porch.  On the floor lay not one, not two, but three door keys which all looked exactly like the one for the back door. Look, I had fancied some fresh air while I was here on my own, and had tried my hardest to be independent and open the back door.  The first key hadn’t worked so I chucked it on the floor.  The second key hadn’t worked so I chucked that one on the floor too. The third one didn’t work either which is mighty strange but the floor was the only place for it.  Oh I know you sceptics out there are thinking “hang on a minute, a dog can’t open a door with a key; Russell was probably looking for food on the shelf and knocked all the keys down.”  Well, you don’t know that for sure, do you?

Anyway. What else has been going on around here?  Both Lad and Young Lad have had tests and exams at school and there has been a lot of boring revision about the English Civil War and Atomic Structure.  They are not linked, obviously.   

Culinary standards have been poor with not enough effort.  It’s no wonder Lad and Young Lad spend half their lives looking through the fridge for food. I managed to steal another breakfast waffle from Lad’s plate and I also emptied the bathroom bin all over the floor, eating some of the more interesting contents. Yesterday evening there was some looking under all the bushes in the garden for a ball belonging to the children of Lovelyneighbourontheright.  Whilst rooting around under the ruddy Buddleia and the Poxy Philadelphus, my hiding place for rubbish was discovered.  There were piles and piles of bread wrappers, bags, ripped up boxes – you name it, it was there. I had hidden it well.  So of course there was a load of moaning at me while it all had to be cleared out.

My stomach has been hurting a bit over the last day or two.  In fact, Readers, last night I needed a comfort break at 4.30am – well, it wasn’t so much a comfort break as a need to walk round the garden very slowly, eating a lot of long grass.  This is a sure sign my digestive system needs a little assistance.    I can’t see what the problem is about needing some time out at 4.30 am, and didn’t appreciate being shouted at to hurry up, in a whispery don’t-wake-the-neighbours kind of shout.

It’s very peaceful here tonight.  Lad is out with his friends in a town Far Away, Young Lad is happily under the blanket watching something on Netflix and all is very quiet.  Tomorrow will be equally quiet as He and Young Lad are going out for the day somewhere exciting, and they are leaving on an early train.  I do hope they don’t wake me up as I need a lie-in.

Well, someone is just about to pop out to the kitchen for a glass with an ice cube or two, a slice of lemon and our friend Gordon.  So here endeth tonight’s blog.

Chin chin,

Russell

 

 

Stimulation

shreddies 2 Today I was a little bored mid-afternoon, having exhausted all the usual things to do.  I had slept for several hours in my armchair, wandered round the garden a few times, rolled around on my back on the lawn and cleared up the crumbs under the bird table.  My mind needed  more stimulation – I have an active brain you know – and so I had no choice but to pull the Shreddies box out of the recycling bag and rip it into small pieces.  This kept me amused for just over a  minute, and then I went to have another nap.

It’s been a lovely day and I spent a lot of it in the garden while She did industrial-sized loads of laundry and hung it out to dry.  I do think it would be wise to invest in some more expensive, higher-end pegs though as the ones we have keep pinging apart and causing a lot of swearing.  You get what you pay for in life, Readers, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Is there such a thing as high-end clothes pegs?  I might have to pop onto Amazon to have a look.

Indeed there are, Friends.  There are such things as hurricane-force clothes pegs.  I think these would be a better purchase than the economy set from Tesco that break after one use, flinging clothes to the lawn.

Anyway, where was I.  Yes, it has been a very nice day for me, as She was doing a lot of bldy housework all day and trying to bldy get on top of things for once.  Young Lad was here too – now there is a sad tale involved here, so I hope you are ready with the sympathy.  Young Lad had a very upset stomach yesterday – I don’t want to go into detail but he has needed a LOT of comfort breaks, and it hasn’t been pleasant in that department. Poor Young Lad.  Is it a vicious bacteria/virus/serious condition I hear you ask?  No.  Young Lad ate too many salted peanuts over the weekend and his digestive system failed to cope.  Poor, poor Young Lad.  I too have made this mistake occasionally, by eating too much of a good thing, and I know what it is to suffer for one’s desires.  It is no laughing matter and does not necessitate the shouting and sniping at us.

As a result Young Lad could not go to school, so had to do his Maths test at home plus a couple of hours of other schoolwork.  To add insult to injury Young Lad has not been allowed to eat anything today except dry toast and drink water.  This is appalling.  Young Lad has also been told he will not be buying himself large bags of salted peanuts ever again.

Well it’s another summer’s evening which means I can look out the window and see people walking past my house.  I have just had to bark hysterically at a family going down the road; this comprised a man, a little girl skipping and a dachsund.  I don’t know whether it was the little girl’s skipping  movements or the dachsund that was the most threatening thing for me, but I felt sure my family were about to be attacked.  I was shouted at of course.  That’s the thanks I get.

Lad didn’t seem to enjoy his day at school today and had no choice but to watch Throne of Games when he came home, to cheer up.  I fail to see how this would cheer anyone up but there you go.  He seems a little jollier since Throne of Games and a grilled salmon salad.

Yesterday was marvellous, Readers, as I was taken to cricket. Young Lad was playing his first game of the summer and there was an air of great excitement.  I was very happy to be there for several hours, walking around the boundary looking for pigeon poo, and then hoovering up the floor in the clubhouse when the cricketers had finished their snack.  I was pleased to find that the opposition were a particularly messy lot when it comes to crisps and there was a lot of potato snack debris on the carpet for me to tidy up.  It was pristine by the time we left, pristine I tell you.  The cricket wasn’t very interesting, in my opinion, and I did have to roll on my back waving my paws in the air a few times when I wasn’t getting any attention, but all in all a jolly time was had.

Then in the afternoon I went for a lovely long walk with She down at the river.  I had a lot of fresh air yesterday.

We went back down to the river this afternoon, and right along into Far Field. Instead of the usual route back through Far Field, we had to divert when She noticed two men Acting Suspiciously – ie, they didn’t have a dog with them and were standing talking in Far Field for a very long time.  Never one to show great courage, She left the nice flattened path through the field and made me clamber through waist high thistles and nettles to avoid these people.  Well, I can tell you it was very uncomfortable.  The only good thing was that She’s legs were stung to pieces by the fierce nettles which serves her right for not walking assertively past the two men without a dog. Honestly.

My dear friend Pippa is STILL on holiday – I know! – and I won’t be seeing her for ages.  For the rest of this working week I will be looked after by a range of neighbours, friends and probably anyone walking along the road. Such is the level of responsibility for me.  Talking of which, She did some shopping around today to find cheaper pet insurance as apparently I am extortionate.  This meant having to dig out the paperwork and find my date of birth, instead of a vague “he’s about 5.”  

It turns out I’m now seven.  

Never mind “that’s why the bldy premiums are so bldy high, you’re middle-aged”; surely most people actually KNOW how old their animals are?

Dear God.  I’m ready for a sleep.

See you soon,

Russell

 

Rush Hour

rush hour Just look at it!  You go for a pleasant evening’s stroll at the river and it’s like the Central Line on a Friday teatime.  There were SO many dogs all standing around in one small area and I found it quite irritating.  Is it too much to ask that I can just have a paddle and meander along, without a Cockapoo puppy (foreground) jumping all over me, a brindle-coloured Staffie climbing into the river at the EXACT spot I wanted to, and dear Pippa bouncing around?! Honestly.  It was just the same story in Far Field too, and there were hardly any rabbit droppings left for me.

Humph.  It’s been a funny old week with very little attention as usual from my own family.  You will remember that somebody was working ALL week so I was farmed out to poor Ebony for four days, and left to my own devices for the fifth.  Of course I wasn’t to be trusted here on my own all day, so Lovelydor down the road was drafted in to come and let me out for a comfort break.  It was lovely to see her as I had been STARVED of decent company.  I will have you know, Readers, that I was immaculately behaved all day and did nothing naughty whatsoever.  Have I been thanked for this or given a treat?  No.  To make up for this I intend to drag the recycling all over the lawn once She has cut the grass this weekend.

I have managed to steal a very thick, stale crust of wholemeal bread that was put out for the birds, and I ran off with a carrot tonight that fell off the working surface as dinner was being prepared.  I’ve also had a great time in the dishwasher this week as there has been a lot of baking, involving a lot of chocolate, which has resulted in chocolatey brownie mixture bowls and beaters.  This afternoon there has been more baking, ready for Young Lad’s cricket match tomorrow morning, but disappointingly chocolate fridge cake was chosen, instead of cakes or brownies as it’s less bldy work and much bldy quicker.  From my point of view, though, there are less bowls, beaters and spoons to pre-rinse in the dishwasher.  I do wish my feelings could be considered when choosing which baked goods should be used to nourish two cricket teams.

I had a fairly good lie-in this morning which was much needed after the chaos of yesterday. The ruddy alarm clock didn’t go off at 6am yesterday, like it usually does, and the first I knew of anything was Lad charging around shouting  “Get Up!!!”  at everyone. Thus there was much swearing and running around trying to fit things that normally take an hour into a window of forty minutes, and failing.  Lad did manage to catch the train, which was miraculous, but everything else was very stressful and fraught.  Thank goodness today was Saturday so there was no repetition of this farce.  I took my early comfort break at 5am, and then went back to bed for a good couple of hours or so.

Today has been quite relaxed and pleasant.  Young Lad started the morning with a session on the Xbox, Lad slept in, and She ‘popped into town’ for a coffee with her good friend Loadsakids.  As usual they despaired about their offspring and dogs, and felt much better for this half hour of therapy.  Then She took me for a lovely walk and we went up into Top Field – this was spoiled rather by some silly  youths on their BMX bike things – hideously noisy – and we headed back down to the river. There was a very nice family crossing over the bridge towards us -they had a large Old English Sheepdog and a Labrador with them.  The Pack Leaders said “Oh look how handsome that Beagle is,” and stopped to make a fuss of me.  Then She said “Beagles are a bldy nightmare” and ruined the moment.  

This afternoon Young Lad popped up to visit Detention Friend and they went to the shop to buy loads of rubbish.  Then they came back here and watched a film – She said this was a disgraceful waste of good weather – but I feel some relaxation is needed occasionally so told She to leave them alone.    Detention Friend and Young Lad had to promise to go out in the fresh air after watching Fast and Furious 8 or whatever nonsense it was, and they very dutifully  kicked a football round the garden for fifteen minutes before heading inside again.  Look, Young Lad has a cricket match early tomorrow morning and will be outside for most of the day, for goodness’ sake!  What does it matter!

Hopefully I will be taken to cricket tomorrow, as you know how much I enjoy wandering around there.  There’s no guarantee, though, as She is in charge of refreshments (hence the baking) and can’t cope with making cups of tea and supervising me.  Really!  It’s hardly difficult.  I may have to rely on He to take me along and walk me round the boundary.

The afternoon tomorrow will be spent on homework as Young Lad has done diddly squat today.  Lad has worked tirelessly, of course, but Young Lad still has some way to go in this department.  I expect there will be a lot of moaning and nagging, but Gingercat and I will ignore it.  One would like to think that a wholesome, nutritious meal might be cooked for everyone at some point rather than opening the freezer, and I saw some salmon steaks going in the fridge today so fingers crossed.

Right, the lawn has been mown and is looking pristine so  it’s time to rip the recycling up all over it. I do find this funny.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

Basking

patio Well at last we have some long sunny days, Readers, and I am able to sleep contentedly in the sunshine in Ebony’s bed on Ebony’s back patio at Ebony’s house.  I was absolutely worn out yesterday from our morning walk, and really wanted to be left undisturbed here for the rest of the day.  I don’t  know how dear, dear Ebony felt about me being in her bed again, but really that’s not my concern.

I did wake from my slumbers long enough, however, to eat lots of bird seed from underneath the bird feeders, and this is now evident in my comfort breaks in the garden.  It just won’t digest, the damned stuff, and Lord knows it gives me wind.  Yet still I hoover it up by the shed-load whenever I can.  I’m sure it is providing me with very good roughage or something similar, and people should stop moaning about the smell.

She is working ALL WEEK this week which is unbelievably selfish, and so I have been foisted out every day.  In another example of self-serving behaviour, dear Pippa’s family have gone on holiday for a week (with Pippa of course) and so they are not able to look after me.  There is just no regard to my thoughts or feelings when people make these decisions.  But I hope they have a nice time.

There is a strange air of hard work generally in the house this week.  Everyone seems to be up slightly earlier in the mornings, Lad is ready for his lift to the station before the train actually departs, and Young Lad is out of the house being dropped at his friend’s house MUCH earlier than he used to be!  Then in the evenings there is Quiet Time after tea in which everyone sits down with laptops and their homework and actually all get on with it; no nagging or screeching needed! What on earth is going on, I ask myself? It  worries me, this air of serenity.

In fact, so serene has it been tonight that a chocolate cake has been baked as a treat for Young Lad and Lad, a load of washing has been done AND hung out on the line ready to dry tomorrow, the dishwasher has been emptied and Young Lad has researched types of confectionery vending machines for his homework.  I have no idea what the purpose of this task is, and what he is meant to learn from comparing barrel design with your average triple canister type, is a mystery.  But Young Lad has completed the task and that’s all that matters.   I quite like the sound of vending machines and feel someone should design a dog treat version.  Perhaps Young Lad will patent one, and make a lot of money.

Readers, you will remember that Lad rescued a hedgehog from a road traffic accident the other evening and that despite his best efforts, the hedgehog died.  Well, in addition to all his homework and revision at the weekend, Lad then had to dig a big hole in the garden in which to  bury the hedgehog.  This wasn’t easy as there are lots of long tree roots and vine type things under the flower beds.  Always one to  persevere though, Lad finally created a large enough grave and the hedgehog was buried under the Poxy Philadelphus (next to the Ruddy Buddleia).  I watched carefully and know exactly which bit to dig up when I feel like it.

The garden had been looking quite nice until tonight when I pulled loads of stuff out of the recycling bags and ripped it up all over the lawn.  A garden doesn’t have character and is a little bland without a mosaic of food packaging strewn around.  Tonight’s artwork blends cereal boxes with a Flora margarine tub, an empty cat biscuit box and a Pringles tube. I really ought to exhibit in the Tate Modern.

Of course, if more meals were cooked from scratch here there would be less need for all this packaging.  Some effort was made last night, to be fair, with a smokeroni cheese, broccoli and carrots, but tonight we are back to freezer products.  It’s only two days into the working week for goodness’ sake!  How hard can it be to get home from work and cook something unprocessed and nutritious?  Yes Lad and Young Lad prefer freezer food but that is hardly the issue.  Normally this laziness doesn’t rear its head until Wednesday when it is blamed on bldy football or bldy cricket and a tight bldy schedule, but there was no such excuse tonight.  Poor.

And so to tomorrow, Friends, which is indeed Wednesday.  The forecast is good so I am hopeful that cricket training will be on, and I can spend the evening walking round the boundary.  I will not be impressed if anyone thinks they are going to sit in the clubhouse having a chat.  I’ve had enough selfishness for one week.

Golly I’m tired,

See you soon,

Russell

 

Prickly

back porchThis is the state of our back porch, Readers, once I had looked for a snack out there.  I knew quite well that there was a broccoli stalk on the shelf waiting to go outside to the food bin, and I jumped up to find it; inadvertently knocking everything else off.  The appalling mess of flipflops, sliders and slippers aren’t my fault though – they are always like this.  Really it was extremely dangerous having sharp garden shears on the porch floor, along with secateurs and a small hammer; Gingercat or I could have seriously injured ourselves!  What a good job that dear Pippa’s Pack Leader tidied up the mess when she came to collect me for daycare.

I’ve had a lovely day at Pippa’s house with two long walks and plenty of sleep on the soft furnishings.  I was very well-behaved and wouldn’t dream of trashing the back porch at Pippa’s house.

You know, Lad has some wonderful qualities, Friends, though admittedly they are quite deeply hidden. I was so proud of him last night.  Everyone else had gone to bed but Lad was still up watching TV when he heard a horrible screech from outside the house.  Lad thought a car might have run over a cat, so he went rushing out to check.  It wasn’t a cat, but a large hedgehog.  What would you have done, Readers?  With a large hedgehog that had been hit by a car and was bleeding from its nose?  (I need to clarify at this point that the hedgehog was not squashed but of fairly regular hedgehog shape.)  Well blow me down – for all his posturing and arguing and belligerence the other 364 days of the year, Lad picked up that injured hedgehog and brought it indoors.  Once out in the back garden, he lovingly tended to its wounds with cotton wool pads, and then wrapped it in one of my towels and put it in a box. I imagine he talked soothingly to it in the hope that the hedgehog would recover.

The hedgehog died but that’s not the point.

Well done, Lad, for showing such tenderness towards a prickly flea-ridden creature in its final hours.  The pearly gates will surely be open for Lad one day.

Thankfully I was allowed to go to daycare at dear Ebony’s house on my own yesterday, without having to share it with Young Lad.  Ebony and I had far more room to spread out on the furniture in the lounge, which is as it should be. Plus there was a huge bonus in that some family came to visit and they were rather taken with me. I insisted on sitting on the laps of these visitors so that they could make a fuss of me, and Ebony became a little jealous of the amount of attention I was getting; look, I am the guest there, and it is only right that I have the limelight.

It’s Friday evening which means Slovenly Pizza night on the sofa, and it really is rather lovely.  She tried to be a little creative with the Tesco thin-crust cheese feast that She always shares with Young Lad – that’s three tiny wedges each – and chopped some baby plum tomatoes on top, with a drizzle of pesto. This was an attempt to recreate Express Pizza’s Pomodoro Pesto that you can order in some of their restaurants.  It tasted nothing like Express Pizza’s Pomodoro Pesto and was a cheap imitation.  I ate a crust, obviously, but I prefer my pizzas  not messed around with.

Young Lad has developed a sudden love of salted peanuts and there is a bag for him this evening, as a Friday night treat.  I enjoy this too, as once he has finished eating them there will be loads of salt all over his hands and sweat-top, so I stand on his lap rinsing it all off for him.  It’s nice. 

Very disappointingly Young Lad’s first cricket match of the year, on Sunday, has been postponed as there are still too many football matches on and sporty lads of Young Lad’s age can’t be in two places at once.  I am upset about this, as I was looking forward to a sunny Sunday morning walking round the cricket ground for two hours and clearing up under the picnic tables.  If you ask me, football is a WINTER sport and cricket is a SUMMER sport; it is now May 10th which is far more summer than winter!  But of course nobody listens to me.

I’m hoping for a bit of a lie-in tomorrow as is She as apparently it’s been a bit of a week yet again.  They don’t know the half!  “A bit of a week” my foot.  Try my life.

Doubtless the morning will begin with popping into town to do the food shopping and a slight detour to check if Costalotta is open again after its re-fit. Young Lad will be on the Xbox for ages, and Lad will have to get up ‘early’ (11am) to do a lot of revision.  I will be asleep in my chair ready for a long walk in the afternoon.  I’ve heard rumours that Young Lad also has a lot of revision to do over the weekend for some Year 8 exams or something, and this has not filled Young Lad with glee.   I imagine there will be some coaxing, cajoling and finally shouting at Young Lad over the weekend.  I will ignore them.

Oh good, the snacks are coming out and I can hear the chink of an ice cube into a glass.  That can mean only one thing.

See you soon,

Russell

 

BOGOF

BOGOF Readers, it  beggars belief.  This morning as they were all dashing around getting ready for work and school, Young Lad announced that he was ‘too ill’ for school and had a bad headache, stomach ache and whatever other ailments he could quickly think of.  In truth he had gone to bed early last night instead of staying up to watch the football, so there may have been something in it.  Yet there remained an air of scepticism.  Anyway, Young Lad kept up the “too ill” act for a goodly while and in the end someone caved in and then there was a mass panic as to what to do with Young Lad all day, as he couldn’t be left on his own.

You will not believe the idea that She came up with.

Young Lad was sent to doggy daycare at Ebony’s house with me.

I kid you not.  As if it’s not taking enough advantage of one’s neighbours to dump one’s dog with them on a regular basis, we’ve now stooped so low as to dump the offspring there as well.  Poor, poor Ebony’s Pack Leader – she was thrust into the role of Florence Nightingale for the day. providing pillows and a duvet and nourishing food for Young Lad.  Plus a comfy sofa and the telly.

More to the point, poor poor Ebony and I.  With Young Lad on the sofa, there was far less room for us to sleep on the soft furnishings and we had no choice but to make do with the armchairs!  This was very disappointing.  I did try to get on the duvet with Young Lad for a while, but really I am used to the full length of the sofa and didn’t appreciate having to squash up.    Another thing that annoyed me is that Young Lad then ratted on me when we got home, telling everyone what I am like at Ebony’s house.  There is a well-known saying, Readers: what goes on tour, stays on tour.

But no, everyone had to be regaled with the tales of how I stood on the window-sill in the lounge (Ebony did it first!), and how I barked at the cats, and how I slept in the chair that Ebony wanted to be in.  Really, no moment of my day was left out in the recount.  Yawn.

Anyway.  I suppose the day had started quite well on reflection, as I remembered that Lad hadn’t eaten his breakfast yet again and there was a piece of toast and Nutella on his bedside table.  (Yes, I agree – sitting down at a table to eat breakfast is far more civilised than gulping it back while looking through the airing cupboard for socks.)  Well I was up those stairs like greased lightning and in one graceful leap across the room, had the toast down in one gulp.  It was nice.  Nutella is made from chocolate and hazelnuts, I believe, which are both very bad for dogs but it didn’t bother me.

Readers, tonight is Wednesday night yet there is an unusual air of calm about the place!  Dinner was eaten at the table, the washing was put in the tumble dryer and nobody has been running around screaming HURRYUP which usually happens on a Wednesday night.  This is because the weather is apocalyptic and cricket training was called off.  Honestly, the rain again today!  And hail.  This time a fortnight ago it was hotter here than in Spain – you’d never know it.  So I didn’t have my weekly walk round the cricket ground eating pigeon poo, but on the plus side there is a cricket match on Sunday morning so I might get my chance then.

Oh I had to laugh last night.  Young Lad decided to have an early night as he was feeling under the weather, and it was a bit chilly so She switched the heating on.  The radiator in Young Lad’s room always blocks with air and needs bleeding, so She got the little key thing and tried to bleed it.  Now Readers, you and I both know that patience is a virtue but patience is sadly lacking in this house, so when it was realised that the bleeding radiator was taking rather a long time to expel its air, She decided to ram the key round a bit further.  The result of this was that the key shot out of the valve on a tsunami of radiator water, which squirted violently along the wall and all over the carpet.  This went on for a very long time with a lot of muttering and some bad language – eventually Lad was drafted in to jam a tiny screwdriver in the valve to hold back the flood.  Whilst Lad held the tiny screwdriver in place and googled “how to stop a radiator spraying boiling hot water all round the room” with his free hand, and Young Lad sat on his bed moaning that he wanted an early night, and I generally sat in the way, She ran down the road in her socks to dear Ebony’s house (yes! them again!) to ask for advice.

Dear oh dear, you couldn’t make it up.  Finally Lad located the small screw thing that had exploded out of the valve, shoved it back in with full force against the tidal wave of water still coming out, and managed to turn the ruddy valve off.

All in all this debacle had taken nearly an hour of my evening.  And there was poor Young Lad, still trying to have his early night amongst an assortment of allen keys and screwdrivers.  

Well, I haven’t mentioned her lately but my very dear friend Meghan Markle has been in the news today.  Not with her beagle Guy, sadly, but because she has added to the royal family with a baby boy called Archie.  I am very pleased for her and know that she will make a wonderful mother as she is clearly a woman of taste, intellect and great kindness as only these kind of people would have a beagle.  My own family are the exception to this of course.

Goodness me look at the time.  Not long till bedtime I hope, as it has been quite an exhausting and emotionally challenging day today, having to share my daycare with Young Lad.  I really don’t like being out of routine like this.

Bye for now,

Russell

Oof

bad smell Readers, there is an awful smell in here this evening.  Really it’s too much, and squirting a bit of Vanish at the problem is not sufficient.  I do wish  more effort could be made to make my environment pleasant – I have been looking forward all day to a nice evening in the lounge and now it has  been ruined by the odour.

It’s not my fault my anal glands leaked a little.  I jumped straight off the sofa as soon as I realised and very sensibly curled up in my chair on the blanket, leaving the nasty wetness and smell  behind.  It is no good shouting at me and moaning; just clean it up more effectively and then we’ll all be happy.  I can’t help it if it’s the finale of Line of Duty tonight, and everyone wants to snuggle up on the sofa with treats – just avoid the wet patch.  Good grief, the fuss.

It’s been a funny old weekend.  Due to it being a bank holiday weekend the weather has been inclement, and yesterday we had to endure torrential downpours in addition to hailstones the size of golf balls.  Luckily I was asleep in my chair during this but even so!  When we did go out for my walk, later in the afternoon when it looked like the rain might hold off for half an hour, it was wet and muddy everywhere.  The rain didn’t hold off and it tipped down on the way back from Far Field.  I tried to stand under some bushes until the worst had passed but was dragged out with an irritable “let’s just get bldyhome.” Personally I think standing under some bushes was a far more sensible option.  I think there was an air of vexation due to the number of times the washing had been hung out on the line, been soaked, taken back in again and the whole process repeated.  I did wonder why She didn’t just use the tumble dryer like most people but there was some muttering about cost.

Anyway, I have been very good and not rolled in any fox poo for several days.  To be honest it did become a little wearing last week having to get in the bath day after day – even at dear Pippa’s house – so I decided to give it a rest for a few days.  I have, however, dragged everything out of the recycling bags several times and ripped up boxes and packets all over the garden.  This was amusing as the garden has been “done” recently (don’t be thinking Alan Titchmarsh) and was tidy for once, until I threw cereal packets and potato waffle boxes all over it.

The end of last week was absolutely lovely with another nice day at dear Pippa’s house, where I made myself very comfortable on the soft furnishings and slept for most of it – please note I did not leak anything onto their sofa.  And then Friday was with dear Ebony, so was another day of good company and rest.  Then it was the weekend which meant I had to stay home with my own family and be moaned at a lot.

It’s quiet here this evening which is a good thing, as it’s been a busy day.  I say again, Readers, Sunday = day of rest.  We did all have a nice lie-in this morning for a change, and then after putting on washing load number three bldy hundred of the weekend, She ‘popped into town’ as we were short of toilet rolls or some such excuse.  Readers, Costalotta in town is closed for ONE WEEK for a re-fit!  Oh dear Lord.  Someone feels that their right arm has been ripped out of its socket – what on earth are we going to do?  The trauma!  After much lamenting and wandering around town like a lost soul in distress, an alternative coffee shop was found but it just wasn’t the same.

Then there was some dashing around telling Young Lad to get in the shower, as his football team were meeting in the pub before the Men’s Cup Final.  I’m not sure how appropriate it is for someone of Young Lad’s tender years to be meeting in the pub, but they were putting on food this time so I could see the attraction.  Detention Friend arrived good and early, in anticipation of the pub food, and off they went.  The plan was an hour and a half in the pub followed by two hours at the Men’s Cup Final – there was some swapping over of supervisory roles halfway through this and He ended up going to the football match as She was ‘busy’.

‘Busy’ actually meant taking me for a very long walk, chatting to people and hoovering the lounge.

Whilst in the pub with Young Lad and the football team, a very nice lady said that she reads my blog every time I write one.  This is very heartening, Readers, and shows that there is still a place for my words.  Some people have excellent taste in their reading material.

Lad has worked very hard all weekend doing a lot of revision and schoolwork and occasionally shouting “Mr xxxxxx  is a complete ARSE” due to the amount of homework Mr xxxxxx has set.  Lad feels it is most unfair that so much work is expected of him and I have to agree – it does worry me how hard poor Lad is working.  Then again he has just caught the 5pm train to a town far away to hang out with his friends for the evening so it’s not all work and no play.

Well you would not believe the amount of preparation for Line of Duty’s concluding episode tonight.  Nobody has the faintest idea what’s going on but this doesn’t seem to deter them from turning it into something akin to Christmas.  There are crisps, popcorn, savoury biscuits, fizzy drinks and of course Gordon.  Dear God.  I will sleep throughout it, though I must admit that a lot of throat-slitting seems to go on in this programme with subsequent loud cries of “on NO!!” which wake me up.  It is irritating to say the least.

Let’s hope they spill some Pringles in their excitement.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

New Season

cricket And so, Readers, to the new cricket season.  Tonight I have spent a very pleasant couple of hours at the cricket pitch, walking round the boundary in an anti-clockwise direction and hoovering up the pigeon droppings.  There were, much to my delight, two and a half dead pigeons on the outfield – I’ve no idea who or what managed to catch and half eat them, but what a nice surprise for me.  Of course I was yanked away on the lead very harshly and shouted at, every time I attempted to eat them.

It really was lovely down there.  I saw lots of friends that I haven’t seen since last summer and they all made a great fuss of me.  This was wonderful.  One very kind person even offered to hold my lead while She faffed around for ages with the signing on and paying part of proceedings – I truly feel valued and wanted at the cricket club.  Which is more than I can say for my home.

Occasionally we did sit down for a few minutes in the clubhouse, as someone seemed a little tired and grumpy tonight, and I went along with this up to a point.  What I really wanted to do was go into the kitchen at the clubhouse and empty the bins for them, but I wasn’t allowed to.  And, Readers, there were no crisps under the tables and chairs for me to clear up – this was disappointing but I suppose it is early in the season.  I’m sure next week there will be some food on the floor.

This morning I found it very hard to get up.  Well,  I got up just fine at 5.30am for my comfort break, but unfortunately I then went back into a very heavy sleep and just did not want to rise from my bed.  What do you know, I was still sound asleep when Ebony’s Pack Leader came to collect me just as She was going to work!  This is unheard of – normally I am sitting on the bottom stair looking at the front door, waiting.  But no – today I was still in bed.

This theme pretty much continued throughout the day, and after my morning walk with Ebony I slept soundly all day.  The only time I woke was at lunchtime when I went into the kitchen at Ebony’s house to look for a snack. Then I went back to sleep for the afternoon.  Life is hard sometimes, Readers.

One possible cause of my exhaustion is the number of baths I’ve had to endure recently. On Monday I rolled in not one but TWO loads of fox poo and She had to bath me with a lot of moaning and whingeing.  Then yesterday – yes the very next day! – I was at dear, dear Pippa’s house for the day and managed to find exactly the same pile of fox poo when we were out for our walk, that I had rolled in the day before!   This meant that Pippa’s Pack Leader Male had to bath me again, and I have to say it was a much nicer experience with him.  There was less of the calling me names.  Anyway, Friends, I don’t know how you find having a bath but I find it rather tiring, and two on consecutive days has worn me out.

Lad did make me laugh last night, Readers.  He did something called ‘pushing his luck.’  She came home from work and made grilled salmon, creamy mashed potatoes and spring vegetables for dinner – well, I use the term ‘mashed’ potatoes loosely.  During the meal, Lad held up his fork and said “what on earth is this?”  It was a large beige/greyish clump of matter. Yes Friends, it was an enormous lump of unmashed potato and really looked most unappetising.  However it was quite brave of Lad to bring this to She’s attention in this way, and he was told what to do with it. Poor Lad.  Really, how much effort would it take just to check that you’ve mashed out ALL the lumps of potato?  Fancy serving this up to one’s offspring –  it’s like school dinners from the 1970s at our house sometimes.

On Monday I was left alone for a few hours in the morning, which is never a good idea.  The bins were all put out, the bedroom doors were shut and there was a good check round for any food that I might find.  As they all left in the morning I was thrown my Kong with a smear of Philadelphia cheese in it – this was supposed to keep me happy for four hours.  It didn’t.  First of all I found She’s coat on the banisters and pulled it into the lounge where I went through the pockets looking for treats.  Sometimes these are well hidden so I had no choice but to rip the lining into holes.  The pockets no longer work as pockets as they have big holes in them.

After a while I became bored with this so I  opened a kitchen cupboard and pulled out whatever I could reach, which was the carrier bags.  I took the biggest, strongest one of these into the lounge and ripped it up, taking care to spit bits over a wide area of carpet.   It was fun.

Dinner here tonight has been farcical.  I know it’s Wednesday night which is always a bldytightschedule (yawn), but even so.  Young Lad had been home alone for AGES since he returned from school and spent this time wisely on the Xbox.  She came in from work in a blaze of huffing and puffing, and Young Lad was immediately removed from the Xbox and told to get ready for bldycricket while a shockingly inadequate meal of potato waffles, scrambled egg and baked beans was prepared for him.  Luckily Young Lad had eaten two large pieces of lemon drizzle cake when he came in from school (I had some too) which shows remarkable foresight into how poor his evening meal would be.

Lad had to cook his own meal when he came home, as he was a little late, and thank goodness Lad had popped into Tesco and bought a pepperoni pizza, so that at least he had a healthy, nutritionally-balanced meal.

Once home from cricket training, Young Lad was hungry so was presented with a plate of something called malt loaf and butter.  I’m not a great fan of malt loaf – I’ll eat it, obviously,  but the ruddy stuff sticks to your teeth and you have to spend ages picking your teeth with your paw to try and remove it.  It’s very annoying. Anyway everyone seems quite content now, as there is a football match on the telly, I’m about to sleep soundly in my chair, and She is watching 999 What’s Your Emergency in the other room with Gingercat.

Golly I’m tired.

Bye for now,

Russell