Well here we are in week 7 of Lockdown, Friends, and I’ve been sitting in the sun having a think this afternoon. It’s pretty exhausting, this Staying At Home, and I’m sure for many of you the novelty has worn off. Not for me, of course. I like Staying At Home. In fact, I wish She would stop taking me out for ludicrously long walks and let me Stay At Home a little more.
It’s been a funny old week in a funny old part of History, really – Lad and Young Lad keep being told they are Witnesses to a Historic Event and do they realise how important that is? but neither of them seem remotely impressed. To be fair, they are remarkably good-tempered considering they haven’t seen their friends for seven weeks and there has only been the occasional bout of physical fighting.
Needless to say I’ve been told off and moaned at a lot. Every since the coat pocket incident last week, I have been a little out of favour I feel – honestly, talk about holding a grudge. True, I did make a heck of a mess with some pizza boxes in the garden, the day the lawn had been cut and it all looked ‘lovely’ – but there was some oily cheesy stuff on the cardboard pizza boxes that I had to RIP into tiny pieces to eat. It’s hardly my fault. Then I was moaned at yesterday for digging a hole in the lawn right by the new garden sofa thing – look, I know for a fact that I buried a bone under there a year or so ago, and I was just trying to retrieve it. That’s what dogs do. If people are stupid enough to place a garden sofa over my burial sites, what do they expect?
What else has been on my list of misdemeanours – oh yes, walking muddy footprints all over the white (ish) John Lewis duvet cover yet again, snatching Young Lad’s sandwich crusts and trying to eat his bowl of Shreddies when he wasn’t looking, and emptying the bathroom bin. How else am I meant to fill the endless days?
I had a very upsetting experience down at the river this week. You may remember that my dear friend Pippa the HUGE golden retriever threw herself at me last week, and knocked me senseless. Well, Friends, on one of our walks I could see, in the distance, a large golden retriever – now normally my ears would prick up, and I would SPRINT across the field to see her. Do you know what happened this time, Readers? I put my head down and ate the long grass, pretending I hadn’t seen her. In actual fact I was really hoping that Pippa hadn’t seen me, but I was out of luck as she came bounding across the field towards me. Well, instead of reciprocating I just stood still and made sure I was well-balanced and stable, in case she crashed into me again. She did, but this time I didn’t fall over and lose consciousness. I thought that if I just smiled politely and carried on eating the grass, Pippa might get the message and leave me alone. She didn’t, Readers, at least not for a while. I was ashamed of myself for this unfriendly behaviour, but until the memory fades of lying on my back waving my paws around wondering if I had died, I will be very cautious around dear Pippa.
I do still really love her though.
There have been some strange things happening here today. Young Lad has been doing his ‘Home Schooling’ and this started with a conversation about whether watching Top Gear counts as Geography and Science. Young Lad feels strongly that it does, and that Top Gear is extremely educational when it is set in places such as Namibia. “The scenery is beautiful,” exclaimed Young Lad, but She was not convinced and made him turn it off.
There followed a couple of hours sighing and yawning in front of the laptop,with a few irritable “get ON with it” snarls from She. In fairness to Young Lad, just how interesting is it calculating the latent heat of this that and the other for a Science task? Then something very unusual happened. Young Lad decided it was time for his PE workout, and popped out to the kitchen. He came back in with a litre bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin. Now, in yet another example of appalling parenting, She was hunched over her laptop taking no notice of Young Lad as he used the Bombay Gin for weight training. Eventually there was a scream as in She’s peripheral vision She could see the Bombay Sapphire being used in lunge squats, and Young Lad was ordered to take it BACK to the kitchen AT ONCE. Young Lad did so, and returned with a bottle of orange squash which was much more acceptable.
Lad has been marginally busy doing odd jobs, and is expected to do at least one significant task to help at home during the day. On Saturday this was pull all the ivy off the fence in the back garden. On Sunday it was a large pile of ironing that has been there since before Lockdown began. (The standards in this house have dropped lower than ever.) Yesterday, Readers, and I could not quite believe this one, Lad was asked to clean all the gunk out of the washing machine rubber seal. The washing machine stinks, as usual – it’s not even very old – because all the detergent gets caught in the rubber seal and goes mouldy. Lad had to don industrial gloves and arm himself with brushes and other implements, to scrape out all the thick gloopy gunk from the rubber seal. It was disgusting. Nobody should be expected to do these things – poor Lad.
The washing machine still smells, despite several pots of baking powder, bottles of white vinegar and two 90 degree washes.
Now, I like to leave you on an uplifting, whimsical note Friends, in these difficult times and indeed today is no different. We all have to look for the good in our strange new world, and I have noticed something very surprising. Whereas in the past Lad and Young Lad have been quite difficult to please – dare I say high maintenance – things have changed. Normally Lad’s idea of a ‘good time’ would involve all sorts of things that people disapprove of, and possibly have legislated against, but nowadays ‘a good time’ for Lad is a trip to M&S Simply Food. She and Lad popped over there for a day out (well half an hour) and you would have thought Lad was in heaven. My word, did he enjoy wandering up and down the ready meal aisle, perusing the Chinese section, the Indian, and the Italian dishes….he simply could not choose, so much variety was there. She had decided to push the boat out and treat him for dinner, and Lad wanted three of everything. In the end Lad settled on M&S sausages and mash, but felt this wouldn’t be enough so added a large ‘feeds two’ side order of luxury mashed potato too. It seemed an odd choice but Lad had been given carte blanche. I have rarely seen Lad so happy and at peace with the world than when he returned from M&S clutching his booty.
And let’s not forget Young Lad! Regular Readers will know that Young Lad rarely moves from the sofa and lacks physical stamina/energy/effort – but guess what? He came out with me on one of my mammoth walks up through the bluebell woods to the pheasant field, round the lake and so on ………and Young Lad ENJOYED it!!! He didn’t once moan that his legs hurt or he needed to sit down – no, Friends, he actually ran up and down the hills made for the BMX bikes in the woods, and said what fun it was! I know! And to top it all he saw a baby rabbit scuttling into the woods, so even found some nature to enjoy. I have never seen Young Lad enjoy a dog walk so much, Readers, and it was nigh on 3 miles start to finish.
There has been more normality on the culinary front, however. She -and I fail to understand why – bought salmon and cod in the big food shop at the weekend, and thought She would make a fish pie. Now, I can only surmise that this was an impulse buy caused by the elation of going the right way up and down the one-way system in Tesco (what an odd place Covid19 world is) without being told off – in fact this is the first time that She has managed to do it correctly, without being reprimanded by security. The rush to the head must have caused the purchase of cod and salmon. Readers, nobody here liked fish pie. I know that, you know that, and She knows that. What was She thinking?
Actually there is someone here who likes fish pie.
Anyway, thank heavens for deja vu as while we were out on one of our walks, an image flashed into She’s head of Young Lad’s facial expression the last time fish pie was served up – complete with retching noises – so when we got home, cod goujons were made instead. These went down fractionally better.
As I say, Friends, it’s a strange old world at the moment. All we can do is tuck down into our armchairs, wash our hands a lot and keep safe.
See you soon,