Safe Bet

tired This morning, while out on my walk, there was a squirrel that made a huge error of judgement.  It ran down from a tree just a little ahead of me and tried to dash across a huge open expanse of field – clearly this squirrel had not taken into account how fleet of foot I am, and I immediately gave chase.  Readers, I was the closest I have EVER been to catching something and I include the silly duck on the river in that!  However, She started blowing frantically on the whistle and I knew for a fact that there were some pieces of cold roast chicken in the treat bag, so I had a difficult decision to make.  Should I carry on sprinting fast (uphill) after the squirrel, or turn back for some chicken?  Hmm, tricky one.  In the end I decided that the chicken was a dead cert whereas there was a small chance the squirrel might be faster than me – unlikely I know – but on the balance of probability I chose to turn around and run back.

That was one lucky squirrel, if you ask me.

It was a nice walk today – the weather was beautiful and we stomped at a brisk pace up through Top Field (which is still in need of a cut).  The grass was so long that I couldn’t be seen for much of the time in Top Field so it came as a surprise to She when I emerged covered in fox poo and smelling rank.  I reeked all the way home.  A nice cockapoo bounced up to talk to me but I was pulled sharply away so that I didn’t contaminate it.  Ridiculous.  Then when we got home I was put in the bath and scrubbed to within an inch of my life, and of course then the bathroom had to be cleaned and the house now smells of bleach and Viakal.

I had to spend the rest of the morning in the garden to dry off in the sunshine.

While there was nobody in this morning, I looked round the back porch and found some stale bread in a packet, ready to go  out to the bird table.  It never made it to the bird table and the plastic packet is now under the dining room table, along with a ripped up crisp wrapper. It looks pretty.

Oh Readers, yesterday was marvellous!  I went to dear, dear Pippa’s for daycare for the first time in WEEKS.  I have missed her so much and Pippa has missed me too, so I spent the day asleep once we were back from our walk.  I do love it at Pippa’s house and nobody shouts at me there.  

There have been some disagreements here early in the morning this week.  Lad returned from Benigormless and was a little tired – hence Lad was a little reluctant to go to school on Wednesday. Poor Lad.  He had a headache and was very, very weary and really nobody should have to go to school in this situation.  Alas, She didn’t see it like that and there was a lot of sensible, calm discussion about how to proceed.  I’m sure Lad could see the sense in what was being said.

I’ve ripped a bit more laminate off the cupboard where Gingercat’s food used to be kept.  I’m really irritated that his food has now been moved to a high place, so thought I might as well pull some more laminate off.  Our kitchen looks like a hovel. Then I looked through the cupboard under the stairs but there was nothing interesting in it.  It can be very boring in my house.

Poor He is working very long hours as it is the busy season. It seems to  be the busy season all round – Young Lad had cricket practice last night for the first time in ages, as it finally wasn’t raining on a Wednesday evening.  There should have been a cricket match on Tuesday evening – I was looking forward to this immensely – but would you believe it, there was so much rain on Monday night that the ground was too wet.  It is simply AGES since I’ve been to the cricket ground and thought I would definitely be going along to training last night but no!  She decided She couldn’t be bothered to walk me round the boundary for an hour and a half which is downright selfish and thoughtless.

On Monday evening Young Lad played in a rounders match at school. He has walked  all the way home at least three of the days this week with his friend, and I really feel too much is expected of Young Lad. No wonder he is always lying on the sofa.  I know how he feels – at dear Ebony’s house this week I slept upside down on their soft furnishings for much of the day.  It’s no surprise that Young Lad and I get on so well and like to share a bed, as we both feel completely worn out most of the time.

Today there has been a lot of frantic cleaning and  bad-tempered housework, not to mention rushing round the garden with the lawn mower.  I can’t imagine what the electricity bill must be, with the number of appliances that  have been on half the day.  At one point I was trying to walk across the lawn, in the exact spot where the lawn mower was heading, and there was something of a stand-off.  I refused to move and the lawn mower had to stop, eventually going round me.  It gave me a sense of power and satisfaction.

Well tomorrow I’m off to dear Ebony’s house again, and I hope her Pack Leader has stocked up the bird table as there wasn’t much birdseed left by the time I’d finished with it the other day.    This was evident in my comfort breaks for the next 48 hours, and also the dreadful flatulence I’ve experienced.  I wonder whether the birds have the same problems digesting birdseed, that I do?

Well, I think it’s time for Young Lad and I to call it a night.

See you soon,

Russell

 

 

New Challenge

cat food Yesterday I breached a cupboard that I have never breached before.  Everyone was out and I was left alone for three hours – this is UNACCEPTABLE.  I was incredibly bored, despite being given my Kong filled with cold porridge as everyone disappeared through the front door, and needed something to do. I looked in all the usual kitchen cupboards but there was nothing of interest as anything edible has been moved to a higher shelf.  Then I noticed the cupboard where Gingercat’s food is kept.  I have never tried to get into this cupboard before and really I have to wonder why! It’s the obvious choice.  It took quite a lot of scratching, and I ripped some of the laminate off the door, but finally I had that door open and pulled out Gingercat’s box of food. 

Dragging it into the lounge, I pulled the carton apart and found six foil sachets inside. It didn’t take me long to rip those open with my sharp teeth and I ate the six meals.  Admittedly I had to spit bits of silver foil out all over the newly-clean carpet, but I was very good and didn’t leave a single morsel of brown cat meat on the cream carpet.  Was I thanked for this?  Of course not.

Six packets of cat food in one go!  It was lovely.  Why on earth haven’t I tried this before? I must be slipping up in my middle age.

Of course I was shouted at when She finally came home.  Serves her right for leaving me on my own for all that time.

I seem to have been in trouble a lot over the last couple of days.  I’ve rolled in things and stolen food, and generally behaved in an entirely natural way for a Beagle.  But still I am chastised.

It’s been very noisy here this afternoon.  Young Lad and one of his friends went to the cinema, and then had a tremendous idea on their return.  As it was a warm, sunny day Young Lad suggested getting the SlipnSlide out of the tarantula-ridden shed and setting it up for an afternoon of healthy fun.  Young Lad didn’t quite fancy clambering over the lawn mower, three bikes (never used) and some sunloungers in order to find the SlipnSlide, though, so She had to do this whilst Young Lad helpfully stood and watched.  Finally the large piece of blue plastic was stretched out onto the lawn, pegged down tightly and I lay down on the sunniest part of it.  Sadly this wasn’t the purpose of the SlipnSlide and I was pushed off.

Detention Friend then arrived, and so Young Lad and his two friends had a splendid hour or so pushing each other down a piece of blue plastic that had washing up liquid and the hose running on it.  There was much shouting and screeching.  I’m sure it was a lot of fun but frankly the noise got on my nerves after a while.  I believe the neighbours said much the same thing.

It would have been a very good opportunity to do something about the tarantulas in the shed at this point, but of course nobody did.  Lad will be paid at some point to jet wash the shed, which he will do in full combat gear with gloves and boots on as Lad is not the most courageous when it comes to arachnids. 

And where is Lad?  That’s a very good question, Readers.  After all his hard work for his exams, Lad and his friends decided they needed a little holiday so they have gone to somewhere called Benigormless for four days.  I believe Benigormless is a place to which young people flock to have a rest.  Lad was given a very lengthy and very dull lecture about Safe Behaviour whilst on his little holiday; I cannot see what could possibly go wrong.  

I miss Lad, and am looking forward to his return in a few days.  I’m sure he will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, raring to get back to school. She has just snorted.

This evening I had a nice swim in the river as it was very warm indeed.  Well ok, ‘swim’ is possibly stretching it a little, but I went in up to my stomach.  The silly duck was in there again, but I was too hot and bothered to swim after it tonight.  As we were walking along, a nice spaniel came to see me and his Pack Leader stopped to admire me.  I noticed that his Pack Leader had some beef jerky treats in his pocket, so I sat down nicely in front of him until he got the message.  Unfortunately he was a little slow in getting the beef jerky from the packet to my mouth and I had no choice but to hurry him along a little by snatching it.  I bit his finger and he said “ouch.”  She then made a tremendous fuss, shouting at me and telling me off, and this was quite unnecessary as the Pack Leader said, “oh I’ve had worse, a black labrador tried to take off four of my fingers once.”  There, a sensible reaction unlike the ridiculous apologies and curses coming from my own Pack Leader.

Young Lad is exhausted after an afternoon of cinema, SlipnSlide, Nerf Gun wars round the house and finally the Xbox.  Poor Young Lad.  Thankfully there is no cricket match tomorrow and Young Lad will be able to have a rest.  So will I. I’ve been told that next week everything is back to normal, and with Lad back at school I will be going to dear, dear Pippa and dear, dear Ebony for a few days.  I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!  I bumped into dear Pippa at the river last night – it has been WEEKS since I saw her.  We jumped at each other like long-lost friends.  

This has cheered me up immensely, the thought of going to Pippa and Ebony’s houses this week. I don’t like being out of routine and it was all very well Lad being here for a few days but he is no substitute for Pippa and Ebony.  I’m sorry to be blunt.

Anyway, Readers, it is a warm Saturday evening and the smell of barbecues from all round the neighbourhood is wafting in through the french windows.  What a delicious smell it is.  

See you soon,

Russell

 

There’s A Hole In Your Pocket

hole This afternoon I got hold of someone’s pink hoodie, which was rather carelessly slung on the banisters, and took it into the lounge where I proceeded to rip through the pockets, looking for food.  There wasn’t any in there but it was worth a try.  I’ve made a right mess of the pocket and there is now a large hole which means nothing will be safely stored there ever again.

I was shouted at when She came home from work and the usual silly “WHO did this?” ritual went on for ages.

The problem was that Lad decided to go out this afternoon to a town far away, to see his friends.  Alas, Lad forgot to leave me anything to do, and if not provided with entertainment I have to go looking for it myself.  Which I did.  Lad will be reminded of his shortcomings on this front, when he gets home tonight.

I’m very sorry that there has been a bit of a gap since the last blog – it appears there hasn’t been bldy time to sit down and write my thoughts for the last few nights.  Tonight was also looking tricky as Young Lad had a cricket match scheduled, but it has rained loads again plus Young Lad’s team were down to seven men so it has been postponed.   So I have made it clear that before sitting down to relax with Police Interceptors or the like, one’s audience must be catered for.

I had lots of lovely walks at the weekend, in between the rain, and saw another dog jump into the river and swim after a duck.  I’m not sure if it’s the same duck that I tried to catch the other week, or another equally slow one.  It certainly made a ridiculous amount of noise honking and quacking and I am fairly sure that at least one of the ducks down there at the moment is lacking in the speed department.  My turn may yet come.  I rolled in some fox poo and had to be dumped in the bath when I returned home, but all in all it had been very pleasant.

Last night I had an evening walk once She returned home, which proved to be quite a popular activity as there were loads of working Pack Leaders and their long-suffering dogs down there.  I had remembered where the fox poo was from my previous walk and tried to run off towards it, but was caught just in time and put on the lead.  They spoil all my fun.

Today Lad took me out for a walk as he was still home on “study leave.”  This seems to be going on a very long time, and the only thing Lad is studying at the moment is his bank account.  Still, it’s rather nice having company all day and we generally like doing the same things, such as eating, sitting around and not doing a lot.  You’d be surprised how tiring this can be.

There is something dull called the Cricket World Cup on at the moment,  which has involved He and Young Lad going to the pub to watch it.  Frankly I feel Young Lad should be out in the fresh air rather than sitting in a pub with his diet Coke and crisps, but there you are.   Young Lad enjoys these excursions.

What Young Lad is not so keen on is detention this Wednesday for Failure To Catch Up With Work when off sick for a day many weeks ago – (Young Lad’s school attendance has been 100% for the last four years until this term)  and goodness me, Young Lad also has a detention on Thursday for being  five minutes late to school twice in a week.  There are a lot of roadworks at the moment, but that isn’t the point is it?!  Quite right that such high standards should be set. 

I have to admit that since Carpet Cleaning Man’s visit, the carpets have indeed looked a lot less grey.  It does grate somewhat when “NO SHOES!!! is shrieked at everyone when they step near the lounge – really, this is a home not a showhouse. And as for draping my old towels all over the kitchen floor for Gingercat and I to wipe our feet on when we come in from the garden – good grief! I carefully step around the towels just for the hell of it.

The recycling was looking far too tidy in its bag outside the back door today, so I grabbed a few boxes and ran off.  There is now a Flora margarine tub under a rose bush, an icing sugar box ripped up on the lawn and a Crunchy Nut cornflake packet near the football goal.  It looks much better.

There is some tiredness and tetchiness here tonight, due to Young Lad having medical appointments two days running and an inordinate amount of time being spent sitting around in waiting rooms.  Young Lad has been extremely hungry on both these occasions and I feel it is very poor planning that he hasn’t been provided with snacks.  Rummaging through a handbag produced a squashed banana at tonight’s appointment, which clearly wasn’t very tempting.  I imagine there are parents out there who organise themselves before the event and so their offpsring don’t go hungry.  And as for belligerently not buying a car park ticket yesterday in the hope that “we’ll get away with it” and “we’ve spent a bldy fortune on this car park over the years” is really low.  What sort of an example is this to set?  It’s common theft, Readers.  I would never be guilty of such a thing.

Yes indeed, it’s been very tiring today sitting around doing nothing.

See you soon.

Russell

 

In The Pink

long grass I’ve had a cracking day today, Readers.  This morning I went for a long walk up into Top Field, which is extremely overgrown and full of very long pink frondy grass stuff.  At times I couldn’t be seen beneath the rosy swathes of plant life, and it was quite a job walking through dense grassland that was taller than me.  I really feel the council should cut the grass in Top Field so that I can walk through it in greater comfort.

We walked for an hour and it was very nice, I must say.  She finally had a day off work which doesn’t seem to have happened for a VERY long time, and the weather was lovely.  The walk had started well as on the very first path, who did I see but the nice older gentleman who always has a bag of dog biscuits!  I saw him giving these out to other dogs so I ran up to him and sat down very nicely.  The nice older gentleman gave me a biscuit as reward for my good  manners.  Then, seconds later, what do you know but Sausage Sue was coming up the path – I decided not to push my luck and did not run up to Sausage Sue, begging for treats.  This was unusual for me and Sausage Sue did remark on this, but I can’t abide greed and know when to stop.

Further on, nearer the river, I found a cracked bird’s egg on the ground.  I ate it, hoping there might be a baby bird inside as I quite enjoyed the one I crunched in the garden the other day, but alas it was empty.

This wasn’t bad really, considering it was only 10am at this point.  Prior to this I had stolen a suet fat ball while She was stocking up the bird table – the packet was opened rather clumsily and one escaped, so I snatched it and ran off under the fir tree.  They’re not the easiest things to eat as a suet fat ball is quite hard and chewy, but I managed. 

Despite being quite tired after my long walk, this afternoon I was put in the back of the car and driven off to visit our good friend Sicknote.  I know exactly where the dog biscuits are kept in her kitchen. Now I haven’t been to visit Sicknote for ages so it was rather a treat – unfortunately Sicknote lives with Delilah the basset hound, who is under the misapprehension that I am a relative of hers.  Delilah has grown enormously and is now nearly as big as me, which makes it tough-going when she decides to launch herself bodily at me.  Delilah is nothing if not persistent and I had no choice but to growl at her quite a lot. In the end I capitulated and let her chase me round the garden in a silly manner for a little while – it was all rather ridiculous but it made Sicknote and She laugh for some reason.  

Once we’d gone indoors I had hoped I could have a nap but no, Delilah kept up her barrage of assault.  We did quite a lot of jumping around at each other with our mouths open and teeth bared until She ruled that this was No Longer Friendly Play and pulled me away.   I went and sat near Charlie the older brown labrador who is infinitely more sensible than Delilah.

It’s been a funny old week.  Yesterday was the awful experience of Carpet Cleaning Man and what a palaver that was again.  I hate his machine with a vengeance – what a racket.  Yes the carpets look cleaner but who cares?  Lad was here to ‘supervise’, which  meant making Carpet Cleaning Man a cup of tea and filling in the amount on the cheque. Then, just as everything became peaceful again, Young Lad arrived home from school with Detention Friend who decided to stay overnight.  This was fun because Detention Friend bothers to give me some attention unlike my own family, so I was thrilled when he threw a tennis ball round the lounge for me, and I ran after it. Twice. It’s a little repetitive after that.

She came in from work to find an extra mouth to feed so made a big macaroni cheese – the plates and big bowl had a nice amount of cheese sauce left on them when they went in the dishwasher.  Then She told Young Lad that he needed to take me for a walk after tea, as I hadn’t been out all day (I didn’t care), and Young Lad started moaning, so the goalposts were moved to loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen instead.  At this point Detention Friend said he would much prefer to take me for a walk than clean up the kitchen so Young Lad had to reluctantly put my lead on me.  It was great fun going for a walk with Detention Friend and Young Lad, although I feel it was unfair of the latter to say that if I had a comfort break, Detention Friend would have to do the deed with the black bag.

Lad stayed behind and cleared up the kitchen so all was well.

At bedtime I had a marvellous choice of people to sleep with – normally my preferred room-mate is Young Lad but with two of them in the same room it was terrific fun moving from one bed to the other.  It was nearly 11pm before I had finally found a comfortable spot and we’d all stopped laughing.

Lad was made to mow the lawn today – I do feel that Lad should be allowed to relax a little now that his exams are over- and it was difficult for him to fit this in between his money-making schemes.  Lad has gone off to a town far away for the evening now, to see his friends and have fun which is much over-due.

It’s very quiet here this evening.  He and Young Lad have been playing cricket in the garden for a while but two things happened; 1) it was realised that there is no wine in the house and 2) Detention Friend rang to say he needed his phone charger/clothes/scooter that he left here this morning before school. Thus Young Lad and He have walked up the road to return these things and buy a bottle of wine, thus killing two  birds with one stone.  He was riding Detention Friend’s scooter up the road.  It is not intended for people of He’s age.

Friends, my home is actually relatively clean for once which is due to someone having a rare day off, and spending half the ruddy morning with the bottle of Viakal and scourers.  There has been scrubbing and hoovering and all sorts going on – it will be filthy again by Sunday.

As you can imagine I am totally exhausted by today with its hour’s walk through long pink grass and lengthy sparring session with Delilah.  I don’t intend moving out of my armchair until bedtime.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

 

Merdi, Il Pleut

dog in rain  Oh for goodness’ sake, it’s been raining ALL day.  It rained for half the day on Saturday,  a bit yesterday evening and now it’s been chucking down for the entire day.  Readers, I’ve just looked at the forecast and it’s meant to keep this up for most of the week!  It does get on my nerves.  It means that cricket training will be rained off for the third week running and I will not be able to clear up the pigeon poo around the ground – I would think there is quite a build-up by now.

Talking of cricket, the rain stopped long enough yesterday morning for Young Lad’s team to finally have a match.  It was  glorious morning – warm sunshine and blue skies, the quintessential English summer’s day.  Think how excited I was when I saw them getting ready for cricket, armed with  new spiked shoes, a large cricket bag and a box of cake.  At last, I thought to myself, a morning wandering around the pitch. Unbelievably, they got into the car and drove off without me.  Surely there’s a mistake here, I thought, and expected them to drive back quickly, laughing at how silly they were to have forgotten me.  But they didn’t.

Readers I was deliberately left at home yesterday morning, with nobody but Lad for company and he was no fun as he was revising.  Why didn’t they take me to cricket? I hear you ask.  Well that was also wondered by the lovely people at the cricket club who were fully expecting to see me, and were understandably disappointed.  She said that I won’t sit still and watch the cricket and need to be walked round all the time, and it’s irritating.  Really.

So Lad and I spent yet another few hours here on our own, revising for the last bastard Chemistry exam or sleeping.  You decide who was doing which.  Actually, Lad did tire of dull formulae at one point and went to the gym instead – alas, Lad forgot to put the kitchen bin out before he went!  I soon had that over and emptied.

I had a lovely walk in the afternoon yesterday, down to the river and up through Far Field – however due to a poor decision on my part to wander through the soaking wet mud on the river bank, I had to have a bath when I got home.  Thus the house smelled of wet dog for the rest of the day, which people don’t seem to like. I don’t like some of their odours, but I’m too polite to say so.

Now, I have to let you in to a little secret.  You will remember that recently I alarmed myself and everyone by swimming across the river to try and catch a duck.  I’ve only done it the once and I’d be surprised if I do it again.  But you see, the stimulus for my duck-catching activities came from my dear friend Ebony – on many of our walks, especially where we go up the lane to the massive fishing lake up the top, Ebony hurls herself into the river and chases after ducks.  I have stood on the river bank many a time, watching her.   At times I have been quite worried about how far she swims out and when dear, dear Ebony becomes a microscopic black dot in the distance, I turn round anxiously to look for reassurance from her Pack Leader.  Quite often her Pack Leader is laughing or filming her on her phone.  Thus I am reassured.

Well, what can I say – Lad had his last exam today.  Thank heavens for that.  But let’s just remember that despite the weeks nay months of stress and revision, these are only the ‘pretend’ exams.  I will have to endure this all again next summer.  It really is too much.  So Lad now has a few days off school and She is already writing a list of things for him to do, although I imagine Lad has different plans.   Lad has been told that he needs to take me for a walk each day – it wouldn’t surprise me if Lad ‘forgets’ to do this, especially if it rains as much as it’s  meant to.  I couldn’t care less and will be perfectly happy asleep on the sofa with him.  I don’t feel Lad should be made to do jobs in his free time, and should be allowed to relax.

Do you know who’s coming round here later this week?  The Carpet Cleaning Man.  Regular Readers and purchasers of my book will remember this annual event and the chaos it causes.  Everything has to be lifted off the floors – which turns up all sorts of unusual pieces of Lego and a dried-up contact lens, you name it, it’ll be there – and we have to move the sofa into the middle of the room for Carpet Cleaning Man to get underneath it with his noisy contraption.  It is always FILTHY under the sofa and it shames me that I have to live in such conditions.

Oh look! Who will get the job of clearing all the toot out of the lounge and study before Carpet Cleaning Man comes?  Why it’s Lad of course, as he has so much time now!  Poor, poor Lad going from tedious revision to heavy-duty furniture moving in a mere couple of days.  I know for a fact that Lad was ironing the school shirts at 11pm last night – admittedly he had said he would do them before tea, but seemed to keep getting distracted. Where is the fun in his life?

On an entirely different note, Young Lad recently had a careers advice lesson at school.  Young Lad has announced he wants to be a Field Sales Executive.  He announced this while he was lying horizontal on the sofa watching Family Guy.  Nobody really knew what to say.  I feel some words of encouragement might have been nice.

It was a marvellous day for my family’s sporting achievements on Sunday.  Young Lad took two wickets at his match, and HE scored 130 runs in his!  Golly!  I was very proud of them but still think it might have been nice to take me along.

It is like a winter’s evening, Friends – grey and dark outside, and everyone sitting here with the lights on under cuddly blankets.  Blazing June my foot.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

 

Burnt Toast

burnt toastI had quite a result early yesterday morning, Readers, as someone managed to burn Young Lad’s piece of toast and it was chucked out on the garden table.  When nobody was looking I ran out and grabbed it, swallowing it  down in a couple of quick gulps.  Burnt food isn’t my favourite in all honesty, but it will do.  I was even more pleased to notice that there was also a broccoli stalk on the garden table ready to go in the compost bin – once I’d finished the incinerated bread I went back and had the broccoli for my second course.  This would probably prove to be an interesting combination.

The house stunk once the toast had burned, and the ruddy smoke alarm went off making its hideous high-pitched shrieking sound.  As usual She had to run around waving a tea towel underneath the alarm to stop the racket – this was all rather stressful at 7 am.  It’s not a nice way to start the day.  Poor Young Lad then had to wait for a second piece of toast to be cooked and had no choice but to play on his phone for a while.

Readers, I have some bright orange streaks on the white fur on my back.  You may wonder where on earth these have come from.  Well, last night She was ridiculously late home from work and in a well-deserved attack of parental guilt, some ready meals from Sparks means Marks were purchased.  It was thought that a macaroni cheese and a four-cheese ravioli might pacify Lad and Young Lad, and make up for the lack of attention they had received.  Actually, Young Lad had cooked himself oven fish and chips when he came in from school, and Lad had also eaten plenty of snacks so they were hardly starving but that isn’t the point.  As it was, I was given the plastic trays from the macaroni cheese and the four cheese ravioli to clean out –  unfortunately the bright orange tomato sauce of the latter seemed to end up all over me, with a large splodge on my nose and also a couple of streaks on my back.  I don’t know how they managed to get there but it is very vexing.

She says it’s equally vexing that I managed to transfer some of the orange streaks onto the white John Lewis duvet cover last night, and no amount of Vanish will ever remove it.  That’s not my problem.

A couple of nights ago we were all sitting here, with the French window open.  I saw Gingercat run out to the garden and there was a whole load of kerfuffle under the fir tree – I too leaped to my feet and charged out, just in time to snatch a baby bird in my jaws.  I think it had fallen out of a nest, silly thing, I crunched through it quickly and all that was left was a small pair of feet.  You might be feeling sorry for the baby bird but to be honest this is nature.  It’s survival of the fittest out there, Friends, and that applies in a nice back garden with fuschias as much as it does in the wild.  I have no shame, I’ve been told.

I’ve had a few nice days going for walks with dear Ebony – I haven’t needed proper daycare this week as Lad is in the middle of exams and only going into school for a few hours.  It’s been lovely going out with Ebony but really quite exhausting and I have needed to sleep rather a lot.  Lad said that I barely moved out of my armchair for the ENTIRE day the other day.  Lad has no idea how tiring my life is. 

Wednesday evening was disappointing yet again, as it should have been cricket training evening, which I enjoy.  There was Young Lad, all ready in his new kit and new bldy expensive cricket spikes, but would  you believe it?  The rain started pelting down only thirty minutes before it was due to start.  So that was that.  Thankfully Young Lad has two cricket matches this weekend so I am really hoping that I am taken along to both.  I’m also hoping that He and Young Lad put a towel and pillow on the lawn for me to lie on again, if it’s nice and sunny.  I do feel He and Young Lad are very considerate towards me.

Lad is working very long hours as usual, and we will all be glad when these exams are finished.  I seem to remember writing exactly the same thing this time last year.  And these aren’t even the ‘official’ exams!  Just practice ones.  Give me strength.  

Some effort was made with dinner tonight, after last night’s reliance on ready meals.  Outdoor-bred pork sausages and lots of mash, with vegetables. Lad seemed to have an awful lot to say about today’s Philosophy exam and took ages to eat his, as it’s hard to eat and rant at the same time.  Personally I would just concentrate on eating. There was also some large-scale baking earlier in the week which pleased me no end, as the kitchen was filthy afterwards.  I have hoovered up pretty much every morsel of cake mixture or icing sugar, though I may be finding the odd hidden bit for days to come.   One of these days some baking will be undertaken and I will actually be given a proper piece of the result to try, rather than licking up tiny crumbs.  Young Lad stole two shortbreads and was shouted at – I mean really? We’re not allowed to quality control what’s  being produced?  

Somebody asked today, when am I going to write my second book? That’s a very valid point and I have tried to drop hints, but there is no bldytime to sit down at the laptop and convert the last year of blogs into bldy word format, then spend bldy  months editing them to find every mistake, and then formatting them all in the bldy publishing thingy.  I think you can see from this how the mood was.

Well, it’s time for another doze – you can’t get too much sleep, if you ask me.

See you soon,

Russell

 

Duck a l’orange

duck Readers, there is a saying that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks but it is a bare-faced lie.  I am seven.  I am not old but decidedly middle-aged and not known for my spontaneous development of new skills. Well, blow me down with a feather – you should have seen me last night at the river!

Regular Readers will know that the very most I do – on a swelteringly hot day – is to carefully side-step down the bank and put my paws in the water.  If I’m feeling particularly courageous I have been known to walk around up to my ankles, ignoring all the silly labradors who throw themselves into the deep parts. I have NEVER let the river come right up my sides.

Yesterday evening it was warm and a trifle muggy, and we had a long walk all the way up through Far Field and back again.  As we neared the river, I began my cautious side-stepping down the bank and went in up to my ankles.  She walked on ahead, assuming I would soon be back on dry land.  I wasn’t.  From a LONG way up ahead She turned round and realised I hadn’t emerged from the lethal river.  “RUSSELL!” She screeched in an unpleasant fishwife voice, and started blowing frantically on the whistle.  Still no sign of me.

Readers, She had no choice but to run in a panic-stricken manner back towards the river.  The thought of me being caught in some weeds and somehow drowning in very shallow water was too  much.  As She neared the wide part of the river where the silly labradors throw themselves in, a lot of splashing was heard.

I was in the middle of the river – yes you’re right, that’s the DEEP part – and I was swimming!  Proper, actual, swimming!  Oh my word, the sense of achievement.  Really I am so proud of myself.  Pardon?  Why was I swimming instead of paddling after all this time?  I was trying to catch a duck.  There was a dull brown mallard thing over the other side and it didn’t look like the sharpest tool in the workshop, and I thought to myself, “hmm, duck for dinner?”  So I started swimming towards it, but then the ruddy duck started swimming towards me but a bit to one side so we ended up going round in circles somewhat.  The long and short of it is that I tried to catch a duck and was DAMNED close!  If She hadn’t arrived on the river bank (puffing a lot) and blowing the whistle/shouting “biscuit”/screeching I am sure I would have caught the duck.

Anyway.  I climbed out not only soaking wet all over, but also utterly exhausted.

You would think after this – swimming is notoriously tiring – that when I got home I would be able to sleep for the rest of the time.  But no.  We looked after Lovelyneighbourontheright’s cockapoo puppy thing.  This dog hasn’t been round to ours for quite a while and I never give it much of a welcome at the best of times, but really this was too much.  One’s first ever swim on top of one’s first ever attempt to catch a duck called for quiet slumber, not an over-excited youth jumping on my back. Golly I was annoyed.  Luckily Detention Friend and Young Lad were playing cricket in the garden and so they kept the cockapoo thing happy.

Sadly my dinner last night was not the duck a l’orange as I intended but my normal dry stuff. This was disappointing but I ate it anyway.

The good thing was that there was some big football game on telly last night, and Young Lad had invited Detention Friend to come down and watch it, then stay overnight.  This means sleeping in the lounge with a lot of tasty snacks, which get tipped all over the carpet and there is lots for me to clear up.  I love it when friends come to stay.  Sure enough there was a nice mosaic pattern of Pringles, cheese puffs, breadsticks and the odd crumb of chocolate lying around.  It was glorious.  Then Lad arrived home on the last train, from seeing his friends in a town far, far away and he was in a very jolly mood, I must say.  In fact Lad decided to start cooking fish fingers and chips even though it was nearly 1am, and I was delighted to see him take the plate of food to his bedroom.  I waited till he had popped to the toilet and then ran in and grabbed as much as I could.

Lad has had a talking-to today, and been told he will no longer be cooking meals at ridiculous times and that if one is hungry after a night out, one has a bowl of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes like normal people.

We’ve all been out in the garden a lot today and what do you know, next door’s cockapoo thing came round again.  I’m surprised it wanted to in all honesty, as it came face to face with Gingercat yesterday and Gingercat was not impressed.  He hissed and spat and arched his back, and then tried to thump the cockapoo thing.  Gingercat quite scares me at times. 

This afternoon another feeble attempt was made at a barbecue – why they don’t just buy one of those big ones I really don’t know.  But no, this time a small bucket was piled with firelighters and charcoal briquettes, and yet they were surprised when they couldn’t get it going.  Good grief.  After an hour of moaning and three boxes of matches down, the charcoals smouldered enough to grill a few thin burgers and some slices of halloumi.  Honestly, all that effort.

After lunch, it was very pleasant.  Lad was on the sofa doing his revision (where he’d been since early morning), She was in the one comfy garden chair doing some work, and Young Lad and He appeared with towels and pillows to put on the grass. As soon as they had laid them down, I strolled over and sat on them. I have no idea why everyone shouted at me.  

Anyway, I’m tired out from all this activity – swimming and the like. How do those silly labradors do it?  They have more energy than me that’s for sure.  

See you soon,

Russell