Dessert

banoffee Readers, is there anything in the world quite as delicious as a Banoffee Pie?  The buttery biscuit base, the thick gloopy toffee, the cream, bananas and coffee?

Well I wouldn’t know. Sadly I’ve never had Banoffee Pie.  However my dear friend Ebony has eaten quite a lot of it, on a day that I shall call Self-Service Sunday.  It all started over the Bank Holiday weekend – now I don’t know whether it was due to the unusually good Bank Holiday weather or some sort of misalignment in the stars, but Self-Service Sunday was something else. In common with thousands of other families, Ebony’s family had a big barbecue lunch in the garden with their nearest and dearest.  What a lovely occasion.  (My family did nothing so exciting).

As the occasion came to an end, and Ebony’s Pack Leader went to wave off the relatives, Ebony noticed that a Huge Error of Judgement had been made.  Within her reach was not only the remains of the Banoffee Pie, but also several pieces of chicken and some sausages.  Dear, dear Ebony grabbed the lot and ate it all in seconds – I have taught her well, and I was immensely proud of my friend. Just imagine the flavours in that snack!  Barbecued sausages, chicken and banoffee pie all in one course.  How I wish I had been there with her.

On the same Self-Service Sunday, only a few streets away, my dear friend Pippa was sitting nicely as Pippa always does.  Pippa is not naughty like Ebony and I.  In fact Pippa was sitting nicely while her Pack Leader Male ate a lovely jam doughnut.  Oh how the sugar was crusty, the dough golden and soft, and the jam oozing. Pippa could sit nicely no longer and reached across to take it from her Pack Leader Male’s hands.  This is very out of character for Pippa and again, I was so proud of her.

There were many happy families and dogs on Self-Service Sunday.

It has been very hot over the last few days.  I have found it very difficult to sleep at night and  have needed to spread right across the bed.  She has found this irritating and several times I have been pushed roughly in the small hours of the morning.  It’s rude.

We had LovelyneighbourontheRight’s Cockapoo round here the other day. It is no less bouncy with age, and does a lot of jumping and chasing. After I had a few words with him, the little imp quietened down and we had a nice time wandering round my garden ignoring each other.   Sometimes you just have to make it clear what the expectations are.

It’s very peaceful here tonight.  Lad is at the gym – he had a day off work today, thank goodness, as poor Lad and those long shifts – really, it’s too much.  Young Lad and He are still on their little holiday; it might have been nice if they’d taken me on holiday but there you are.  To be fair I’ve done an awful lot of travelling around and visiting over the last few weeks so it’s nice to stay at home. So there is just Gingercat lying on the windowsill, She faffing around on the laptop and the sound of stillness from the garden.  I love a quiet summer’s evening.  Oh dear.  The silence has been shattered by the television being switched on as the new series of The Great British Bake-Off is about to start.  More lovely puddings, desserts and cakes that I will never taste.  I would happily judge the technical challenge for them, but of course nobody asks me.

Due to the hot weather my walks have been early morning and then again in the evening recently.  Each evening I spot Sausage Sue in the distance and my ears prick up – I run up to her and sit nicely, as I know Sausage Sue always has sausages in her treat bag.  On Sunday night I was rewarded with a sausage. On Monday night Sausage Sue said I could just have a pat on the head. This was nice of her but rather pointless.  Tonight I was on the lead when I saw Sausage Sue in the distance and was pulled back sharply with “STOP BEGGING!” shouted at me.

There were so many people at the river tonight, having picnics.  I had to be kept on the lead for much of the time as I am unreliable when there are picnics around and have been known to run through them grabbing sandwiches and cherry tomatoes as I go.  However, as it was so hot I was allowed off the lead to go for a paddle in the river – to my utter delight someone had dropped their foil-wrapped sandwiches on the river bank so I snatched them and ran off.  I stood in the river to eat them and dropped the foil into the water – this is terrible littering and I do feel bad but there you are.

Lad has been made to cut the grass today which I feel is unkind in these temperatures. He has also done some schoolwork –  not much admittedly – and been told to tidy up the bathroom when he’s used it.  For goodness sake!  This is Lad’s day off!  Expectations are much too high if you ask me.

Well it’s time to lie upside down in my armchair and wave my paws around in an attempt to stay cool.

See you soon,

Russell

 

Windfallen

windfall I know, Readers, there has been no blog for ages.  You’ve all been wondering where I’ve been and why I’ve been too busy to write.  I can only apologise.  

Last week I popped down to see Grandma for a few days with He and Young Lad.  We had a very nice time, with lots of splendid walks to the pub, and I was completely well-behaved throughout.  Apart from farting a lot in the car on the journey to and from Grandma’s. 

I came home very briefly for one night, after which I was bundled into the car yet again and taken down to Nana Aged 88’s house.  This was a very long journey undertaken on a boiling hot bank holiday with three million other motorists and there was a lot of swearing from the driver’s seat, but I slept peacefully throughout and was very glad of the air conditioning in the car.  Today we have driven all the way back home again, and I am happy to be back in my armchair tonight.

Although I behaved very well at Grandma’s house, not putting a single paw wrong, as soon as I got home all that changed.  I ran straight to the kitchen, ignoring Pack Leader who was waiting to greet me in the hall,  as I wanted to grab any cat food that Gingercat might have left.  There wasn’t any, so I sprinted out to the garden to a) check under the bird table for any crumbs and b) eat up the rotten windfall apples and greengages from the lawn.  I enjoyed this and decided I would ignore She shouting “HELLO RUSSELL” from the kitchen.   The windfall apples were pretty rotten and fermenting, but this doesn’t bother me.

Eventually She stopped trying to get my attention and changed tack by putting my lead on me and taking me out for a walk.  I had a marvellous time, as I hadn’t been down at the river all week, and it was good to be back with familiar sights and smells.  Even better was the vision of dear, dear Pippa bounding towards me across the field – oh heaven!  My dear friend.  She lolloped up to me and crashed into my side, knocking me flying – oh how we laughed!  Then we chased each other around all over the shop, with Pippa jumping on me and over me, and occasionally into me.  I snapped and snarled and a few onlookers were a little concerned at the ferocity of our play but it was all quite friendly.  I was exhausted after continuing my walk with dear Pippa.

On the way home I spotted a dead bird under a bush and grabbed it.  Now, this dead bird had been there for at least a week so was in the beginning stages of decomposition in all probability but you can’t miss out on opportunities like this, so I ate it.  It was quite tricky crunching through the wing bones and they took a while to go down, but I managed eventually.  I was shouted at.

To be honest, I didn’t feel very well for the rest of the evening after that.  My eyes went a bit glazed looking and I had one heck of a stomach ache, so I curled up in my chair and looked sad.  Any caring Pack Leader would have rushed me out to the Emergency Evil Vet, but all mine did was google “dog eats dead bird” and found out that dead bird carcasses can carry a parasite of some sort.  Then She said, “ohforgod’ssakeRussell” and lots of sympathetic things like that and left me to get on with it.  As I didn’t have diarrhoea (She checked in the garden with a torch) there was no need to take me to the Emergency Evil Vet, it seems.

I felt a lot better by the next morning, Friends.  

So then came the next car journey down to see Nana Aged 88. It was a long journey in a lot of traffic and Lad and I both needed a comfort break, so we had to pull off at Thurrock services for a few minutes.  I was walked round the car park and onto a small patch of grass for my comfort break but you’ll be pleased to  know that Lad went into the services and used the facilities.

Once at Nana Aged 88’s I was very well-behaved yet again, and this time I did not trash her kitchen or anything.  In fact my only misdemeanour was to jump up to get the cat food and knock the ceramic cat bowl to the floor where it broke.  Nana Aged 88 remarked that those bowls are quite expensive but then she really shouldn’t leave it where I can reach it.  I had a nice evening lying on Nana Aged 88’s sofa and being very good.  

I slept solidly in the car on the way home this afternoon, but  a small leakage from my anal glands has made the car smell like Billingsgate Fish Market, or so I’m told.  People do exaggerate.

Tonight, home again, I’ve had a lovely walk down at the river just as the day was cooling down.  I found some fresh fox poo and had a roll, so had to walk home with black streaks all down my back and neck.  I wasn’t put in the bath, Readers, as I usually am, but scrubbed rather firmly with a flannel, water and “Fox Poo Shampoo.”  It was quite annoying.

Tomorrow should be a nice peaceful day at home with no long car journeys.  Lad now has a job and is working a “ridiculously long shift” from 10am to 5pm.  Lad has already completed two days of his stupid new job with its long hours and rubbish pay, and tomorrow will be his third.  He has to work the next day as well – watch this space as to whether he makes a fifth day in the world of high-end branded clothes retailing.  Lad gets no sympathy even though going to work makes your back ache a lot, but I do know how he feels and it’s why I have to sleep a lot in my chair.  Poor Lad.  I don’t think She snippily suggesting that going to bed before 1am might be a good idea is all that helpful.

Well you can certainly tell that someone has spent much of the last 24 hours driving on the motorway in bank holiday bldy traffic, as there is the unmistakable sound of clinking ice from the kitchen, and soon her friend Gordon will be appearing in a large glass.  Accompanied by a contented sigh and a German crime series on Netflix,  Gordon will improve the mood in here a little.

Personally I can’t wait until bed time as I’m exhausted from all my journeying around.  Luckily Gingercat is always allowed to stay here as LovelyDor down the road comes in to feed him.  Gingercat is never shoved into the car and dragged around like I am.

Bye for now,

Russell

Dogs Behaving Badly

laughing dogOh my word, what a cracking few days I have had. Seriously, I have upped my game enormously this week and it’s been such a laugh!  And it’s not just me!  All around me, fellow canines have been atrociously behaved and are in trouble at home.  You couldn’t make it up.

Let’s start with today.  This afternoon, She took Young Lad and Detention Friend out to play footgolf with some other friends – Lad chose this same time to head off to a town far away for another party, and sadly Lad forgot to close the kitchen door.  I ripped up some crisp packets that were in the back porch, and pulled the punnet of grapes off the worksurface.  These I threw onto the lounge carpet.  I only ate a couple, so please don’t start worrying about the toxicity of grapes – I know.  I’ve tried them before.  And chocolate.  And raisins.

The amusing thing is that She had hoovered the lounge just before they went out, so the nicely clean carpet now has bits of grape stalk and crisp packet over it.

Prior to this, I had been naughty this morning.  Young Lad was eating his breakfast when he suddenly heard a bang from the kitchen  – yes, you’ve guessed it.  I’d pulled the kitchen bin over again as I no longer wait for people to go out.  I am more blatant about my thieving these days.  She was in the shower and Lad was still asleep in bed, so Young Lad had to deal with me all on his own.  I ran under the dining room table with a large popcorn packet that still had some bits left in the bottom.  Not for long, mind.  They were salty and sweet, just how I like my popcorn.  Also in the bin was the tail end of some garlic bread, and this smelled divine.  I didn’t have a chance to find it though, as She stomped downstairs shouting at me and the bin was put away.

When we went for my walk this morning we bumped into a black labrador we know quite well.  This is normally a placid, calm fellow but for some reason this morning he had quite deliberately bowled over a small poodle.  I don’t blame him, as I find poodles quite annoying, but anyway this labrador was In Disgrace and was on the lead for the rest of his walk.  Add to this our encounter with Buddy the Bouncy Labrador yesterday – Buddy was in big trouble at home as he had snatched a loaf of bread from the kitchen working surface and run off with it.  

Now, Buddy and I stood for some time together pretending to eat the long grass yesterday, but in actual fact we were swapping Top Tips.  I like to think that I’ve taught Buddy everything I know, and so while our Pack Leaders moaned about our terrible behaviour, we set each other challenges for what to do next.  It’s something to do and passes the time.

Regular Readers will remember that I had been through the dustbins by the garages earlier in the week, and hit the jackpot with some left-over takeaways that dyed my face bright orange.  Due to my excellent long-term memory, She said that there was no way I was going off the lead in that area for the foreseeable future, as I would instantly recall where the takeaways were and run off again.  This was irritating.

I made my feelings clear about this by trashing the bathroom bin, and the kitchen bin, and for my final act ripping up a large cardboard box for no apparent reason.

I’ve had a firm talking to today, and been told that my behaviour is deteriorating and that it is  unacceptable.  I couldn’t give a monkey’s.

Oh and how could I forget this one.  While everyone was out the other afternoon, I opened the cupboard and pulled out Gingercat’s box of food sachets.  I ate all remaining  SIX of them, by ripping the foil sachets open with my strong teeth and devouring the contents.  This meant that a) there was a massive mess all over the lounge carpet yet again  b) I had quite bad wind and c) that poor Gingercat had no food for the evening.  Do you know what?  Someone was too lazy to pop to Tesco and buy Gingercat some replacement food, so asked a friend round the corner to lend us some!  The front of some people!

Unfortunately, a decision has now been made that Gingercat will no longer be having sachets of food as I keep stealing them, so now he has tins.  The thinking is that even I won’t be able to get into metal tins of cat food, but you and I both know differently, Reader.

It’s very peaceful here tonight.  Lad has gone off out again to see his friends, Young Lad is at Detention Friend’s house until dinner time and all I can hear is the wind gently blowing through the open French doors.  And the stupid starlings twittering around. I do like a summer’s evening with the doors open. Especially when there is stale bread on the bird table which the stupid starlings keep knocking off, so I can run in and out to grab some and make the newly-hoovered- yet- again carpet muddy.

I know the peace will be shattered soon, as it’s Saturday night which means Young Lad and She curling up on the sofa with something dramatic on Netflix.  I will do my best to sleep through it but really their TV viewing choices are very odd. It’ll be 24 Hours in A&E with dinner, as you don’t have to concentrate quite so much on that, and then Netflix drama once there are no distractions. There will be a pause mid-evening, off course, to run to the kitchen for Gordon with a slice of lemon and some sugar-free lemonade for Young Lad.  This is called Living The Dream.

Golly I’m tired from all the bin-raiding etc, and I would imagine Buddy the Bouncy Labrador is, too. 

See you soon,

Russell

Disgraceful

rubbish 2 This morning at the river I was badly-behaved, Friends.  As soon as She let me off the lead I picked up the most glorious scent and ran off at top speed towards the houses – She was busy looking at her phone which is always an error of judgement when walking one’s dog, and by the time She turned round to look for me I was long gone.  There was some panicky shrieking of my name and a lot of blowing on the whistle, but even the shouting of “sausage” wasn’t enough to send me back.  It probably amused passers-by though.

It took She AGES to find me and I think there was some genuine anxiety that I was lost forever.  I wasn’t.  I was round by the bins outside the garages, where somebody’s big dustbin had loads of stuff spilling out of it. By the time I was found I had bright orange oily streaks all over my face and head, as I believe the people at number 23 had some sort of take-away recently and I was very happily troughing through the leftovers.  It was absolutely lovely and I was thoroughly irritated at being shouted at and put back on the lead.

Of course for the rest of the walk I was kept on the lead and allowed no freedom whatsoever. It was drizzling heavily which didn’t help the ambience and someone’s mood.

In fact it has rained heavily ALL day today.  All over the country there are thousands of bored children on their summer holidays, and I suspect a lot of over-crowded indoor swimming pools.  Young Lad and Lad decided to stay at home all day which is very unusual.  Lad was even so desperate for something to do that he looked at his A Level Philosophy books for the first time in a very long time.  Young Lad was less inclined to do any school work and chose to move from the Xbox to the telly to the Xbox, with the odd break for kicking a soft rugby ball round the lounge.  I don’t blame him.

Yesterday was far more fun.  We were visited in the afternoon by some family known as The Derby Chicks, and I always enjoy these interludes as they involve nice food and a walk together by the river.  Yesterday’s visit was even more interesting as one of the Derby Chicks climbed under the ruddy buddleia bush (as it is known in this house due to the amount of cutting back it needs) and under the ruddy buddleia what was found but a little newt!  Now, we have seen the odd hedgehog and frog in my garden, and of course the Stupid Starlings and Clueless Collared Doves, but never have I seen a newt.  It was a dear little thing and I would liked to have eaten it but they put it out of my reach fairly quickly.

We took the newt with us down to the river so that we could release it humanely into the water.  One of the Derby Chicks carried it in a tupperware box containing water – I feel the newt was extremely relieved to be released onto the mud after lots of running around holding the tupperware box led to severe nausea for the poor reptile.  In actual fact it said something quite rude as it stood on the river bank and waited for the world to stop spinning.  I didn’t know newts knew that sort of language.

I bumped into my friend Jake on our walk yesterday, the very springy springer spaniel. Jake likes to try and mount me when he sees me and I can quite understand that in all honesty.  I am a bit of a catch.  Jake’s Pack Leader became very cross with him as Jake totally ignored all instructions and kept running back to see me again.  Jake was put on the lead and told off, much like I was today. What is their problem?!

Yesterday I had two walks – She took me in the morning for a nice long one, and all was going well as it was a lovely day and She was looking forward to seeing the Derby Chicks.  Then I rolled in a big patch of fox poo and the mood changed a little.  I was dragged home with the usual “don’t get near him” barked at everyone who passed me by, and bathed.  Then I was shoved out in the garden and made to sit in my bed in the sunshine so that the house didn’t smell of wet dog.  It still did.

I’ve been enjoying the lack of early alarm clocks ringing over the last few weeks and have made the most of the lie-ins.  So too have Lad (10.30am today ) and Young Lad (9.15).  I feel they have the right idea.  There was a serious stand-off in bed the other night, as She woke in the small hours feeling chilly and I refused to let her have any more duvet.  I was pushed and shoved and told to “MOVE OVER!!” but I would not budge and in fact threw my weight heavily against She so that the duvet stayed exactly where it was.  It became quite nasty for a few minutes as neither of us was prepared to give in.  The more She pulled, the more I leaned.  In the end I won.  I knew I would.

Tonight it is very pleasant here.  Lad is still doing some A Level Philosophy (yes I know!) whilst listening to strange music, and She and Young Lad are watching yet another odd drama on Netflix.  All is peaceful.  The only fly in the ointment is that a bag of frozen chips is balanced on someone’s ankle, as it is the size of a balloon due to being bitten by something at the river last night.  And before you ask, no it wasn’t an adder.  I don’t think.  Though the fuss that’s being made about it you would think it was.  Lad has been made to study carefully the area of swelling and redness, and will be tested on this in the morning to see if it has spread.  Good grief.

I’m trying to sleep but it’s quite distracting having the smell of frozen oven chips not far from my nose.  How inconsiderate.

I do hope the rain stops tomorrow, so the nation’s children can get back outside in the fresh air and those local leisure centres can be given a good clean.

Bye for now,

Russell

 

Pickle

pickle Today I have been Bad, Friends.  Very Bad.  This is due to my irritation that Pack Leader, Lad and Young Lad have been away for a few days on a short break – well, nobody ever gives me a short break do they! Gingercat and I have been left at home for FOUR days, while He is at work and the rest of my family have been eating tapas.  

Thank goodness for the kindness of dear Ebony and Pippa’s Pack Leaders, who have taken me to their houses of a day, and Lovelydor down the road who has popped in to check on Gingercat.  Otherwise who knows what state we would be in.

So anyway, my family returned from their short break late last evening and I was very excited to see them, racing up and down the wooden hall floor and falling over.  I put my arms round Pack Leader’s neck to give her a cuddle but to be honest She needed a shower.  I think it was quite warm wherever they had their short break.  I was far too polite to say anything, though.  It was lovely to have them all back and to feel that life could return to normal.

Today I decided to let life return to normal in my own unique way.  Whilst Lad was eating his breakfast and Young Lad was on the Xbox with his headphones on, I wandered out to the kitchen and knocked the bin over – the contents spread nicely across the kitchen floor so I grabbed a few things that looked interesting and ran into the lounge with them.  Young Lad, remember, had his earphones on so was barely aware of the dull thud from the kitchen, and it took a while for Lad to process the sound into his brain as he was busy on his phone.  Once Lad saw me sprinting past with loads of cat food wrappers and crisp packets in my mouth, he sprang into action and tidied everything up once I’d finished with it.  Well done, Lad.

This event marked another change in my behaviour as normally I only raid the bins once everyone has gone out.  Recently, Regular Readers will remember, I trashed the kitchen bin one morning whilst Lad was still asleep, but today’s adventure takes me to a new level of daring.   This is the first time that I have brazenly emptied the bin while there are people alive and awake in the very  next room!  I was very proud of myself.

Of course when She returned from “popping into town” I was told off for making a mess and being naughty.  I didn’t care.

Then, Friends, I surpassed myself.  Young Lad went out to see Detention Friend, and Lad had some very long, difficult forms to fill in which required quite a lot of help from She.  There was about an hour of huffing and puffing as they looked through a huge file of records trying to find relevant information.  Organisation is key to these things – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Once they had finished it was lunchtime, and She went to the kitchen to make a cheese and pickle baguette for Lad, as he must have been starving after all this effort.

Oh Readers.  The thing is, if you take your eyes off a large slab of cheddar and leave it on the worktop, I have no choice but to snatch it and run off.  And so I did.  She turned round and was rather puzzled to see the empty packet. It took a few seconds for the penny to drop and this enabled me to run to the bottom of the garden with the slab of cheese.  Lad heard lots of shrieking and shouting as the penny dropped with its loud clunk and ran out to the garden. I was hiding under a bush trying to eat the bldy great slab of hard dairy produce, but cheese can be very chanky you know.  Lad came at me with the washing line prop pole thing  and She came at me with a broken pole from the football goal and in a pincer movement they waved their poles and shouted at me. The damn cheese broke into two pieces and two-thirds of the slab fell to the grass – I held on tightly to the remaining third and ran under the apple tree.

Unfortunately I had to watch in dismay as the large chunk was picked up – it was no longer fit for human consumption as it had lots of my teeth marks in it and lots of dirt.  It was thrown in the bin and I have my eye on it, don’t you worry.

Oh the scolding.  She went on and on and on about how naughty I am.  As if I care! I just carried on chanking through the remaining third and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Cheese is a little on the salty side, so I have needed a lot of water this afternoon. 

I’ve also been eating the brown squashy apples that have fallen onto the grass, and the greengages that have dropped over from house at the back.  I had quite a bad stomach ache early this morning and my anal glands leaked a bit – goodness knows what extra effect the large amount of fat I ate today will have.  I’ll let you know.

On my walk at the river this afternoon we bumped into Buddy the bouncy labrador, who replaced (but didn’t replace as that sounds callous) Rocco the Oh So Inspirational Three-Legged Labrador.  Do you know, it’s nearly a year since Rocco passed away?  Dear, dear Rocco.  Well, I can tell you that Buddy is a very different kettle of fish and was badly-behaved today by pulling out of the river a HUGE plastic bottle that had obviously been in there for months and was full of green, stagnant water.  Buddy dragged it around in his mouth and shook the manky water over everyone.  Buddy’s Pack Leader says he has zero standards.  Zero.

I was impeccably behaved, but of course the story of the slab of cheese had to be told to anyone who would listen.  It was very dull. 

There is a thunderstorm forecast for this evening, Friends.  Thunderstorms themselves don’t bother me as I just sleep through them, but poor Lad has gone to visit his friends in a town far away and I am worried about him getting home.  We all know that the trains don’t run properly if there is a minor weather problem.   Poor Lad.  Nobody else seems bothered, mind you.  Such is the level of care here.

Well, I’m exhausted after my efforts today.

Bye for now,

Russell