Can You Believe It!

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There’s been a bit of a lapse in my blog-writing, Readers – I do apologise but as usual the full-time working hours are to blame.  Of course, there are weekends which could be put to better use but these are taken up with cleaning, disinfecting, laundry and more cleaning; so scant time is left for blog-writing.  Oh and let’s not forget food shopping, as this is now something of an ordeal since Lockdown and takes a very long time.  

Young Lad went food shopping with She this morning.  In a remarkable and unusual bout of enthusiasm, Young Lad agreed to go into town instead of going on the Xbox, as he needed to buy He a card and present for Father’s Day.  I imagine it was nice for She to have some company in the long Saturday morning queue to get into Tesco, and someone to talk to as She followed the one-way system round the store – and yet there was an air of tetchiness when they returned.  It turns out that once they finally made it in through the doors of Tesco, and parked their trolley so they could go upstairs to the greeting card section, a little rest was needed as Young Lad had a stitch.  Now I don’t think we should underestimate how strenuous it can be, queuing round the corner for a shop, and a little more sympathy for him would have been nice instead of snapping “you’ve only just walked in the bldy door!”

Once Young Lad had rested for a few minutes, he found the strength to get on the escalator up to greetings cards.  Alas, Father’s Day is tomorrow and Young Lad and Lad have left it rather late.  All the Father’s Day cards had sold out.  Oh dear.  Back downstairs Young Lad and She went to do the proper food shopping which Young Lad found rather fun, though he did illegally cross the one-way system to get some hummus.  Once in the freezer section, She suddenly had an inspired idea and told Young Lad to go  back upstairs to greetings cards, and find a suitable blank card which could be turned into  a Father’s Day card.  This took a while as you can’t go back the way you came under Lockdown Measures in Tesco, so Young Lad had to find a way through the shop back to the escalator.  He returned proudly with a lovely card that said “Dear Dad.”  Unfortunately, inside it said “Happy Birthday” so Young Lad was shouted at and told to go and try again.

The queue for the tills goes through the alcohol aisle and quite a few people seemed to be slumped over their trolleys looking wistfully at the Jack Daniels today.

Once they arrived home with many large bags of shopping, there wasn’t quite the bonhomie they had started out with.  

Last night I had a lovely evening walk to the fields and woods above the river, and Young Lad came with us!  I know!  Twice in twenty four hours!  It was a beautiful evening and we hoped to see rabbits or wildlife but there were too many teenagers around, sitting in large groups and drinking.  No self-respecting rabbit would go anywhere near them.  We did start walking round Pheasant Field and Young Lad said, “this is SUCH a big field, do we have to walk ALL the way round it?” but She said, “We’ve started so we’ll finish,” and marched on.  It was very warm and I was panting heavily by the time we reached the lake, so I headed in for a paddle and a drink.  What a lovely evening.

I had another nice walk early this morning, too – it was cracking, as a fox had obviously taken a comfort break under the big willow tree overnight, and I picked up the scent from a way back and ran over to it.  My shoulder went down, and over and over I rolled….. She shrieked at me and other dog-walkers laughed. I had to stay on the lead for the rest of the walk up through the woods, and have a bath when we got home. The house stinks of wet dog now.

Lad has had a busy week, over-seeing Young Lad doing his Home Learning – this really amounts to saying stop watching South Park and do some work – plus going to a Town Far Away to see his friends.  Lad needs fresh air and exercise, and so the walk to the station and the afternoon spent in the park with friends is extremely healthy.  Everyone is now required to wear face masks on public transport, so Lad had to bite the bullet and take one with him.  Unfortunately he lost it in the park during the afternoon, so I’m not quite sure how he managed to get the train back home but clearly nobody official spotted him.  Other than that, Lad has mostly spent the week eating.  He has got through three tins of tuna and several tonnes of pasta, not to mention a huge quantity of freezer food.  Lad is nothing if not healthy, though, and has the odd Granny Smith to work towards his five a day.  He gives me the apple cores, which are very  bad for dogs but I couldn’t care less.

Lockdown is easing a little, Readers, and I’m sure you are very glad to be able to see friends and loved ones again.  What a marvellous day we had earlier in the week, when She returned from work to find that both Lad and Young Lad had friends here – just imagine the rubbishy snacks and drinks they had, and how many bits I cleared up!  Now, Young Lad had walked into town to meet his friend at a cafe that was open for take-aways, and they shared a huge portion of chips and both had a drink.  Then Young Lad’s friend wanted to come back to our house to play football in the garden.  In another example of slovenly housekeeping, She had not cleared up my comfort breaks from the garden at 7am before  going to work, and there were one or two comfort breaks on the grass, including one right in the middle of the goal.  Young Lad was incredibly resourceful and responsible.  He didn’t want his friend or himself to tread in one of my comfort breaks, and so he found tin cans from the recycling bags and placed them carefully over each one.  Not only did this protect their trainers from anything unpleasant, it also gave them cones to dribble the ball round.  When She got in and saw this, She said She couldn’t believe his laziness and why hadn’t he just used the poo bags and cleared up, for the love of God?  Young Lad said it’s disgusting picking it up in a poo bag, and far nicer to simply place a tin can over it.  Young Lad’s friend found this all very amusing and can’t wait to come back another day.

Well, Readers, there is  meant to be a very warm week ahead for us.  This causes difficulty in deciding when to take me for my walks, as our usual tea-time will still be too warm for me, and later evening when it’s cooler will be too late for She as She’ll be asleep.  Really and truly, the only suitable time is at about 5.30am before it gets too hot and before going to work, but I simply cannot see She managing to get up then.  I simply cannot see myself getting up then, either.  I really have no desire or inclination to be dragged through the woods when I could still be asleep on the John Lewis white duvet cover and I intend to make that very clear if anyone tries to take me.  Nobody needs long walks on hot days, least of all a slightly overweight dog in a fur coat.  It could be the end of me, Friends!  We cannot risk it.

Chin up, everyone – we’ve made it through thirteen weeks of Lockdown and are still happily rolling in fox poo. Dig out your factor 30 for the coming week.

See you soon,

Russell

Lockdown Birthday

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It was somebody’s birthday in my house this week, Readers, and this year was a little unusual as we are still in some sort of Lockdown.  Normally there would be a trip to Express Pizza in the evening, but this wasn’t possible as nowhere is open, so some thought had to go into how to celebrate at home.  Lad and Young Lad were here all day while She was at work, so they tidied up the house for her and arranged a pile of presents,flowers and cards in the front room, ready for She on her return. Lad made her a cup of tea and there was a dull interlude while presents and cards were opened – I knew there wouldn’t be any food – but then things became more interesting as a Takeaway was discussed.  This was narrowed down to Domino-so-expensive or Pappy John – Lad wanted Domino-so-expensive as he says they’re much better but She said it’s over-priced nonsense, so Pappy John it was.  In truth they were bldy LOVELY pizzas, Friends, and I sat by their feet whining and grizzling for the entire time it took to eat them.  I was given a crust.

Lad and Young Lad bought She a large bottle of grapefruit gin for her birthday.  This is what they had been asked to get.  I’m sure most mothers ask their offspring for perfume or jewellery.

The day had started rather, er, unusually.  She was cross because even though it was her birthday, I woke her up at 4am as I needed a comfort break in the garden.  I took my time and She stood in the garden in her pyjamas hissing at me to bldyhurryup.  Then we went back to bed and back to sleep, until the ruddy alarm clock went off at 6am.

Readers, while She was in the shower getting ready for work, I left a little present on her bed.  Look, my anal glands haven’t been great and some seepage is understandable –  Ebony’s Pack Leader, who is a very wise woman, said maybe I didn’t know what to get She for her birthday and how right she is!  The shops are shut for heaven’s sake – there’s a pandemic and we’re in Lockdown!  How was I meant to find a suitable present?  So I did the only thing I could think of and left a little something on the white John Lewis duvet cover.

Oh the moaning and shouting at me – you wouldn’t believe it.  Yes, the bed had to be stripped before work and everything sprayed with Vanish stain remover, but so what?

Honestly.  Anyway, I added to the birthday fun today by eating a large slice of extremely chocolatey birthday cake that Lovelydor down the road had bought for them – Young Lad was given a slice whilst on the Xbox this afternoon, but alas was concentrating harder on the Xbox than he was on the extremely chocolatey birthday cake and I whipped it out from under his nose.  It was superb.

Today has been quite a day, in fact, Readers!  As if the birthday cake wasn’t enough, I also had the Sunday roast dinner plates to pre-wash in the dishwasher and there were loads of chickeny bits and gravy.  I was disappointed on the roast potato front, mind you, as She had only made enough for Lad and Young Lad to have four roast potatoes each – this is obviously not going to be sufficient and Young Lad was heard to wail pitifully, “aren’t there any more roast potatoes?” to which the answer was a firm NO.  Really, the catering needs to be thought through more carefully.  Four roast potatoes and one Yorkshire pudding each is not enough for growing boys. And me.

Then, straight after lunch, we went for our long walk.  Firstly we dropped in at Lovelydor down the road’s, to deliver some shopping and for me to sit politely on the doorstep refusing to leave until she gave me a biscuit.  It was a Rich Tea this time, and I like those.   It turned out we were going to have a very long walk this afternoon, despite the black clouds in the sky, and we headed up over the river, Top Field and into the Bluebell Woods and round  Pheasant Field.  Because I was panting quite a bit, She said I could stop at the stream at the bottom of Pheasant Field and have a drink.  Readers, this is where it gets VERY exciting!  Now, only this morning She’s very good friend Loadsakids had seen a deer on her early morning walk, and She was a bit gutted as Loadsakids is always winning in the “who saw the best wildlife” competition.  But no more!  As I wandered into the stream, also wandering into the stream towards me was a deer!!!  I wasn’t sure at first whether it was just a very large brown dog but once I realised it was a deer and remembered that I am, in fact, A Hunting Dog, I started moving a little more quickly.  However, so did She and there was a loud blast on the whistle with a panic-stricken screech of ‘BISCUIT!’  The deer, obviously, started retreating at this racket and I made a quick calculation in my head about the probability of catching a large deer or getting a biscuit.  I decided the latter was a safer bet so ran out of the stream to She who grabbed my collar rather firmly.  The deer was nowhere to be seen by now.

But still!  The excitement!  Of course, we had to stand still on the path in the pouring rain so that we could text Loadsakids to let her know we had seen a deer.

Other than that, it’s  been very peaceful at home lately.  Lad and Young Lad are here all the time but generally they don’t try to kill each other and Lad is busy working on some ideas for a new project he’s thought of.  Young Lad is busy working on his Home Learning – well, busier than he was at the beginning of Lockdown, put it that way.   She is at work every day and Lad and Young Lad are still expected to do menial tasks such as empty the dishwasher and hang the washing out.  Sometimes Lad tries to be responsible and tells Young Lad to do as he’s told the first time She tells him to, but the phrase “bit rich” gets bandied about and Lad gets cross.  Rightly so, I feel.  There is no gratitude.

Well, Readers, it is time for Sunday Tea which means egg mayo sandwiches, crudite and dips and nice snacky bits.  I do like a Sunday Tea.  Normally there would be cake, too, but obviously I’ve eaten the last piece.

As we head into Week Twelve, I do hope  you are all keeping well and keeping those spirits up.  And I sincerely hope none of you were in the queue for Ikea when it re-opened this week as I would like to think my Readers have a different sort of mindset from that.

See you soon,

Russell