Prison Break

prison breakOh Readers, what a week I’ve had.  It all started with Storm Ciara that swept across the country the weekend before last – the warnings were all there, storm-force winds and torrential rain, but did anyone check the state of the fences round my garden?  Of course not.  So it was that on the Monday morning after a VERY stormy night, I was let out for my comfort break whilst it was still dark and She didn’t notice that the neighbour over the back’s fence had blown down.  Again.  Off She went to work, happy to leave me here for the day with Lad who was on study leave.

Oh Readers.  You have to laugh.  Halfway through the morning a sudden thought occurred and a frantic text message was sent to Lad, saying “don’t let the dog out in the garden on his own in case the fence has blown down.”  Alas, too late.  Lad had kindly let me out in the garden a good hour before this message pinged through, and by the time he remembered this, I was miles away.  Oh the freedom!  The sense of sheer joy and being able to go wherever I wanted, when I wanted!  I can’t tell you how wonderful my morning was.  The details will stay known only to me, but I can say that I went through several bins in back gardens (which was ace as it had been Sunday the day before, and therefore Roast day) and ran all round the estate.  Eventually I made my way down to the river, which is my favourite place other than my armchair (or Pippa/Ebony’s armchairs) and paddled along in the shallows very happily.

In the meantime Lad was running round the estate looking for me, Lovelyneighbourontheright had been alerted, as had Ebony’s Pack Leader, and the entire local community thanks to the power of Facebook.  Lovelyneighbourontheright came round and blocked up the gaping fence panel with a spare one and our garden furniture piled on top.  Ebony’s Pack Leader stood at the ready with Lad in my house, in case There Was Any News.  I’m told it was all very tense and fraught here, Friends, and also where She was at work, as nobody had a clue where I was and were all imagining I was under the wheels of a Tesco Home Delivery van on the estate somewhere.

How wrong they were.  I was in the river, trying to retrieve a stick, when a very nice lady spotted me and wondered why there was a beagle on his own, with no collar on, in the river.  She voiced this thought aloud on Facebook and what do you know?  Within minutes there were cries of, “oh it’s Russell” and “tell Ebony or Pippa’s Pack Leaders.”  There are benefits to fame, of course, and this was one of them – I was instantly recognised and the concerned parties alerted.  So the very nice lady stood with me (I had only come out of the water when she offered me treats) and we waited patiently until Ebony’s Pack Leader came charging along with a collar and lead for me.  I was SO excited to see her!  Don’t get me wrong, I’d had a cracking morning running round the estate and the fields, but I was tired and hungry and ready for a good sleep in Ebony’s armchair and hopefully a snack.

When we got back, I asked Ebony’s Pack Leader for a treat but she said no, and instead I was taken home where Lad was waiting for me.  Lad looked very cross indeed and said, “BAD dog,” and a lot of other things, so I slunk into my armchair and went to sleep.  Good Lord I was tired!

So all in all, quite a day.  Then the following weekend we had Storm Dennis and this caused lots of flooding, I have heard on the news that Storm Ellen might be heading this way soon.  I do like a good storm as it breaks the monotony of life.

I went for a lovely walk at the river yesterday afternoon with She, and on our way back from Top Field who did I spot in the distance but dear, dear Pippa.  I went bounding over to her, and she knocked me flying which was hilarious, so we chased each other round for a little while and then stopped to sniff something.  I haven’t seen much of Pippa lately due to Lad being on study leave (and supposedly looking after me – ha!) so it was wonderful to see her again.

Readers, I am not the only dog who gets into trouble.  The other day, Ebony’s Pack Leader made a delicious sponge cake as it was such a wet, windy, miserable day and a spot of baking is always good on these occasions.  It really was a splendid cake, and was on the cooling rack in the kitchen whilst Ebony’s Pack Leader went to answer the phone.


Look, it is completely understandable that Ebony wanted to try it – the cake looks delicious!  Who can blame her?  And at least she had the manners to only take a large chunk, whereas I would have pulled the whole thing on the floor and had the lot.  In fact I was a little disappointed in Ebony, in this respect. Some baking was done here too, at the weekend,and a nice chocolate sponge was made.  However, this was RUINED by trying a new recipe for chocolate fudge icing which was TERRIBLE as it had way too much cocoa in it, and was too rich.   It might have  been nice if someone asked me my opinion of the chocolate fudge icing, but obviously nobody did.


It’s half term week here, so Lad and Young Lad are not at school.  There has been no 6am ruddy alarm clock for a few days, which has been lovely, and Gingercat and I have enjoyed our lie-ins.  The house has had a Good Tidy Up – well, I wouldn’t go that far – and a carpet cleaning machine was hired to clean the DISGUSTING filthy carpets, for which I am blamed of course, as I walk over them in muddy feet. Readers, the water that was emptied out of that machine was BLACK.  What squalid conditions we are expected to live in here.  Lad has been quite helpful with some tidying up, and has collected up all his thousands of revision cards and notes and put them in a pile.  It looks much better.  Until they fall over.  Young Lad has been tasked with daily dishwasher duties, plus he had to wipe the leaves of the two peace lily plants with baby wipes to make them shine.  I’m not sure this is how he wanted to spend half term but there you are.

In fact Young Lad is out at the moment as he has gone bowling with two friends, and then they are walking to MacDonalds for a healthy lunch.  Young Lad will be very tired when he gets back later, and it’s a good job he was forced to do his homework early in the week as he will be far too exhausted now.

As part of all the tidying up, Lad and Young Lad sorted out all their Xbox games and made a big pile of the ones they don’t play any more.  This was then added to with some very out-dated Wii and Playstation games.  Whilst the two of them relaxed in their pyjamas this morning, She popped into town and took the whole lot to one of these Cash In places (I think back in the day they were called Pawn Shops.)  What do you know, the very nice man in the Cash In place bought more or less everything and gave She £53!!  So of course She went straight to Costalotta and called this her commission.

It is pouring with rain yet again, and She has to go and collect Young Lad from bowling/MacDonalds having only just come in from dropping Lad at the station, before which She dropped Young Lad at bowling/MacDonalds.  Honestly all this coming and going is very unsettling.  She says She’s quite happy to go out yet again as I am cracking some appalling smells – I’m not sure what I ate in Top Field this morning but it was rank.  The rain is lashing against the window, Gingercat and I are in the warm, all is well with the world.

I do hope She forgets to put the bin out!  Oh please, please….

See you soon,




20200129_201717 Readers, I know.  It is nearly two weeks since my last blog and this is unsatisfactory in the extreme.  Someone has been “toobldybusy” with meetings, appointments, working full time etc etc etc – I’m fed up with hearing about it.  The deal was, when She started working full-time, that we would write my blog once a week – it really isn’t a lot to ask, is it, to give me that little morsel of attention?  But oh no, things have gone very awry and I’m not happy about it.

Settle down with a glass of something and enjoy a bumper edition.

It really has been a busy two weeks and I’m pretty exhausted by it all.  To start with, Young Lad and He took me for a walk one day INTO TOWN and this was terrifically exciting.  I couldn’t wait to get to the precinct where Greggs is, and was pulling on the lead like mad.  Alas, the town hall clock chimed eleven as we went past and this put the fear of God into me; I stopped pulling on the lead and forgot all about Greggs.  Temporarily.  It was interesting to see which shops I was allowed to go in and which ones I had to stand outside with Young Lad – supermarkets were in the latter category but I had a marvellous time looking round the Card Factory!  I’m sure I could smell chocolate in there but didn’t find any.

So that was a fun day, which added a little variety in my life.

Other than that I’ve mostly been at home sleeping, or at dear Ebony’s house for the odd hour or two when Lad has had to go into school to take an exam.  Yes, Readers, Lad is yet again “on study leave” which means not getting up early, and only going in on certain days.  This has been a refreshing change for me as I haven’t had to be out the house at the crack of dawn, and have managed to sleep in a little.  Lad has been working very hard revising for his exams, although I’m not sure he’s enjoying the experience that much.  The past two Sundays, She has cooked a nice roast with chicken to ensure that Lad is getting lots of nourishing food – there was a slight problem last week, as Lad and Young Lad scraped their dinner plates into my food bowl, mistakenly thinking that I wouldn’t eat the chicken bones.  I did.  You’ll be glad to know that nothing perforated, Readers, but I did make horrifically chickeny smells all evening.

After today’s roast chicken lunch, nobody was allowed to scrape their plates into my food bowl.

Young Lad had an exciting week last week.  Wednesdays bring the fun that is Indoor Cricket Nets in the evening – and the tightbldyschedule that goes with this – but to add to the mix last week, Young Lad had Options Evening at his school first.  This is an Important Event wherein Year 9 pupils think carefully about which subjects to study and therefore pave their future pathway.  Young Lad spent the whole time asking if they could go to cricket now.

After some reprimanding and the Importance of it all being pointed out, Young Lad said, “I’ll do French, History, Food Technology and Media Studies.  Can we go to cricket now?”

I know, Friends!   GCSE Food Technology!!!  I can’t wait.

She had to purchase a new car recently, which has added to the stress and lack of time to write blogs.  Our old car needed an awful lot of money spent on it to pass its MOT, and it wasn’t a sensible use of money that we haven’t got in the first place.  And so began a weekend of trying to purchase a car that works, that has a big enough boot for me, and isn’t too small/big/a horrid colour/too old/too new/a seven seater…..  goodness me, that sales lady at the garage earned her commission, Friends.

Really, it’s too funny.  There wasn’t a lot of choice once all those options had been ruled out, so we have ended up with a grey  box on wheels that has a large boot, is six years old (no older would have been considered) and has the right number of seats and doors.  However, Friends, our new car is diesel.  Someone has never driven a diesel car before and is finding it takes a little while to get used to it.  There is a lot of stalling and swearing, but She did heed her good friend Loadsakids’ advice to not attempt going round corners in third gear.  Even so, stalling is frequent and it’s all rather  noisy – I haven’t been allowed in it yet, of course, as it is still beautifully clean but that will soon change.

Lad really ought to be having driving lessons but says he hasn’t got time because of all the studying.  Poor Lad.  Still, that holiday to Magaluf with his friends in the summer is something to look forward to.

Young Lad did something wonderful at school this week.  There was a collection for all the animals affected by the terrible bushfires in Australia, and pupils were going round the school with buckets collecting coins .  Young Lad put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a coin – now, he had intended spending this in the sweet shop after school, Friends, but that dear young man put it in the Australian animals’ collection instead.  What a wonderful thing to do.  It turns out it was only 20p but Young Lad is rightly very proud of himself for the sacrifice he made and did not deserve the telling off about what a ridiculously small contribution.

We’ve had something called Storm Ciara here today.  Good Lord, it’s blown a gale all day with winds of 60 miles and hour, and this afternoon the rain has LASHED down non stop.  Luckily She had the unusual foresight to take me out for my walk early, and we had a marvellous time walking in diagonal lines across the fields as the wind took us wherever it wanted.  There were quite a lot of other dogs out early with their Pack Leaders, who all said things like “we’re insane” as they blew past each other on the breeze.   I saw Sausage Sue over the other side of the grass with her greyhounds, labradors and pouch of chopped up sausages – as usual I made a run towards her but was on the lead and She shouted irritably, “NOT TODAY!”

I was extremely well behaved, unlike yesterday when I rolled in a large patch of fox poo on the way back, and She was cross as She was going out in fifteen minutes’ time, which didn’t leave much time for bathing me and putting on make up.  There was some stomping around, Friends, until Lad came to the rescue and said he would bathe me.  Thank you Lad, you were much nicer than She would have been.

Anyway, today really has been a shocker and I’m delighted to see that the fence at the back of the garden is hanging off in one place, which means I can squeeze through and go through their rubbish bags.  I’ve bookmarked my place for this.  But because the weather was so vile, everyone has stayed at home and it has been very peaceful, with Lad studying in the other room, She working on the sofa and Gingercat and myself squashed up hard against her to make it difficult to type.  I like Sundays like this.  Hopefully there will be an attempt to make Sunday tea in a few minutes, which should involve sandwiches of different descriptions, and some flapjack.  I do like a Sunday tea.

Readers, I really am sorry for the irregularity of my blog over the last fortnight – we can only hope that the next week is a little less taxing and someone can start getting their priorities right again.

We live in hope.

Bye for now,


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