Readers, we are all having to find ways to get through the long days of Staying At Home. For some of you this might be a trifle challenging but not for me. In the last couple of days I have:
1. Chewed up a large stick that I found by the river and spat it all over the newly-mowed lawn.
2. Snatched Young Lad’s toast.
3. Run off with the freezer ice block things when she was cleaning out the freezer.
4. Tried to escape through the back fence (twice).
5. Run off with a cereal bowl from the dishwasher.
Look, Friends, these are difficult times but we just have to be stoic and find ways of amusing ourselves. You may notice that my behaviour hasn’t really changed from the time before Coronavirus, but the point I’m making is that there is no need to sit around watching Netflix or worrying about your hair roots. We can all play our part and find things to do – it isn’t hard.
It has been – not through choice – a quiet weekend. There has been some concern that Lad and Young Lad don’t have enough to do or any sense of purpose, and so a list has been put up in the kitchen. This is divided into two sections – INSIDE and OUTSIDE so that inclement weather will not be accepted as an excuse for idleness. The list of jobs is quite long. Very little has been ticked off. We know that Lad had a go with the pressure washer the other day but mostly pressure washed Young Lad, and only half the patio, so progress is slow.
Still worried that Lad and Young Lad need things to do, some interesting purchases have been made. Firstly there was the Karcher basic cheapest model pressure washer. Impressed with that, She fought her way to the middle at Lidl and bought a Karcher window vacuum cleaner, thinking that Lad will enjoy using this gadget too. Thirdly – yes there is more – a new rattan sofa thing for the garden was ordered – partly because clearly nobody will be going on holiday this year or indeed leaving home, so we might as well have something comfortable to sit on, and partly as a project for Lad to assemble. And finally – oh this made me laugh so much – Men’s Hair Clippers. The intention is to have a Family Haircut Day with the new electric clippers, and this morning She googled how to cut men’s hair. Alas, both Lad and Young Lad refused point blank to have a fun family afternoon of cutting each other’s hair. That will be saved for another day.
Friends, I was in the garden when the rattan sofa thing arrived and Lad decided to put it together straight away. It started well, although Lad has never learned the golden Ikea rule of counting out how many screws there are and sorting them into piles by size, so the whole process was a little ad hoc. Nevertheless, I was impressed by Lad’s enthusiasm and work ethic in getting straight to it.
An hour later I was less impressed by Lad’s language. Readers, I really really hope the neighbours weren’t in their gardens or self-isolating with their windows open as Lad was swearing like a sailor. It seems the instructions for assembling the rattan sofa thing were, er, sub-standard (this wasn’t the word Lad used) and the POXY screws didn’t go into the STUPID holes, and nothing lined up, and some of the screw things couldn’t physically be reached. I’m sure you can think of the words that Lad might have been using. It was awful. In the end She told Lad to go and calm down which annoyed him even more.
But due to the resilience in my family, after another hour of swearing and throwing the screwdriver around, the sofa was assembled. The weather has now changed and it’s too cold to sit out there, but I will enjoy it as soon as it warms up. It’s very nice of them to have bought that for me.
A slight concern is that we’ve since found one screw and two nuts that weren’t used in the assembly and should have been. One can only hope they weren’t essential.
Just to add to the fun, there have been several short power cuts this afternoon. Now, someone has a warped sense of humour if they think it amusing to cut the electricity supply during an afternoon of national Staying At Home – what on earth is every teenager going to do if the router switches off? And we all know how long those bldyrouters take to re-set themselves when the power comes back on. Poor Young Lad was on the Xbox, Lad was doing his weights and listening to music on his phone – oh dear. And it wasn’t just once, Friends, no. The power went On/Off all through the afternoon which prompted a LOT of shouting and banging things.
In an attempt at Good Home Cooking with an element of choice, Lad and Young Lad were asked to choose what they wanted for lunch today from: lasagne, spag bol, roast chicken or bangers, mash and Jamie Oliver onion gravy. I said yes to each of these options, but Lad and Young Lad were less helpful. Lad wanted bangers and mash, Young Lad wanted roast chicken. In future they will not be given choices, and a hard lesson has been learned.
I’ve had some lovely walks this weekend, and I was glad to see less people at the river this afternoon, as they are taking heed of the advice to stay at home. As I went down the road, I saw my dear friend Ebony on her doorstep – oh how I wanted to go in and play! I barked and barked, pulling at my lead, but no – we hand to stand 2 metres away and just say hello. What is the world coming to?
The best thing about this Staying At Home situation is that Young Lad and Lad endlessly eat. They start from the moment they get up of a day and don’t really stop all day long. There are so many opportunities for me to whine, beg, grizzle and cadge and it’s not long before I snatch a crust or they cave in and give me something. It really is marvellous. Every cloud and all that.
I do hope you are keeping well, Friends. Stay indoors, stay safe and keep your chin up. If all else fails, run off with a bowl from the dishwasher – it’s great fun.
See you soon,