The Shame of It

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Readers, it has been a while yet again and I can only apologise.  Standards in general round here have dropped even further in every aspect of life and you would not believe what I’ve had to put up with.

Let’s begin, however, by the rare hour that I was left on my own today during a very brief shopping trip.  It is very unusual these days that everyone is out of the house at the same time, as thanks to Covid and Lockdown, Lad and Young Lad are here most of the time.  However, today there was an hour – no more.  The bins had been put out, the upstairs doors all shut and I couldn’t find anything to eat – then I remembered the bag of mouldy bread that had been put on the shelf in the back porch ready for the birds.   This had been stuffed down behind the china plant pot that contains my poo bags.  Someone had obviously thought that I wouldn’t be able to reach the mouldy bread there.

Readers, I could.  All I had to do was knock the china pot off the shelf, so it smashed into hundreds of little bits, and hey presto, I could reach the mouldy Hovis.  I ate the lot and left the wrapper under the dining room table.

When everyone came home they said, “have you been a good, good boy or a naughty, naughty boy?” in the usual silly voice and then saw what I’d done so that answered that.

Anyway, it served them right for making me put up with things.  The other evening we went for a lovely long walk at the river as usual, and I was looking forward to going up in the woods to the stream and maybe spotting a deer.  However, as we were walking along the narrow, rather treacherous piece of boardwalk we saw a lady and a toddler coming towards us, so in the spirit of social distancing, She stepped off the boardwalk to give them room to pass.  Unfortunately the ground was rather uneven below the boardwalk and She was wearing flip-flops which are not suitable for dog walking, or uneven ground by boardwalks, and so She found that her foot turned right over and a very undignified fall into a large bush of nettles resulted.  It all happened in slow motion and I really could not believe my eyes – one minute my Pack Leader was holding my lead, the next She had face-planted into the greenery.  It took her a while to start getting back up as obviously there was no option other than to put one’s hands down on the ground, which meant in more nettles.  The lady and her toddler looked at my Pack Leader lying half under the boardwalk and asked if She was ok, and of course being very polite She said, “yes fine, don’t worry,” and gaily waved them on.  I think my Pack Leader was trying not to cry.

I was mortified, Friends, mortified.  I didn’t know where to look or what to do.  Eventually She managed to get to her feet and hobbled on, with a large egg swelling sticking out of one foot which added to my embarrassment.    We carried on walking for another mile or so, which wasn’t a bad effort to be fair, but then had to go home as the stinging from the nettles all over the arms and face was just too much.

It was SO embarrassing – other dogs manage to go out for walks with their Pack Leaders without this sort of carry on.

We have spent a lot of time out in the fresh air over the last few months, which is meant to be very good for you.  However, in addition to the falling over in the nettles, I’ve also had to listen to moaning about horsefly bites and bldy hay fever.  It seems it is not so healthy in the countryside after all.  I am perfectly happy in my armchair and wish they would leave me there.

Take this afternoon, for example.  I was quite happy having a sleep – we’d been for a long walk this morning – when Young Lad decided to walk down to the cricket ground for an hour to watch the match.  This was an unusual burst of energy from Young Lad, and he wanted to take me with him.  However, I had my sights on the garden sofa in the sun, so when Young Lad put my lead on me and tried to drag me off to the cricket club, I dug my claws into the grass and wouldn’t move.  Eventually Young Lad got the message and went by himself, and I spent a very happy hour sleeping in the sunshine instead.

Lad is supposed to be going away for a few days this week with his friends, for a little summer holiday.  He is being given even more lectures than normal about hand gel and social distancing, neither of which are top of Lad’s agenda I don’t think, but Lad has had a strange old few months with no exams and nothing much to do, so I feel he should have some fun.  I’m sure Lad will be very sensible and there is nothing at all to worry about.

Well, Readers, I’m really quite exhausted after my long walk this morning and then the trauma of nearly being forced out for another one.  I think I will have an early night and perhaps hope for rain tomorrow – as this will minimise the chances of insect bites, falling over and other ailments.  A day indoors might be a good thing.

Take care,

Russell

 

 

Lessons Learned

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During this very strange time of Coronavirus and Lockdown, Readers, we have all learned some invaluable lessons.  Many of you have learned the importance of taking life more slowly, appreciating nature and the world around you, and not rushing around so much.  Some of you will have learned the utter pleasure that is Home Learning when one’s offspring can’t go to school – I’ve heard this is such fun. And I am certain that lots of my Friends have by now mastered the one-way system in Tesco.

I have learned that if you stand under a basketball net while someone is playing, and you get hit by the ball, it hurts.

It took me a while to understand this, in all honesty, and I have continued to stand under the basketball net while Young Lad is shooting hoops or whatever it is they do, but I am beginning to realise that basketballs are heavy great things and if they doink you on the head, it smarts a little.  I might choose to stand somewhere else in future.  This does irk me, somewhat, though, as I feel the garden is my territory primarily and I should be able to stand or lie wherever I like.  If I choose to lie across the goal mouth whilst Young Lad and his friends are playing football they should see this as a sign that they need to do something else – possibly some Home Learning –  not carry on around me.  The same with the basketball, and even cricket on the odd occasion that I plant myself squarely in the way of the bowler.  A little consideration for me wouldn’t go amiss.

Anyway, it’s been a funny couple of weeks or so since I last wrote and I do apologise yet again for the infrequency of my thoughts. Someone has been ‘toobldybusy’ and by the time She is home from work, walks me for an hour, cooks dinner and sits down there is precious little energy left for writing my blog or giving me any attention whatsoever.  Young Lad and Lad don’t get much either.  Really and truly, She has no idea what we do all day at home (or don’t do) as we are all completely left to our own devices day after day.  It’s poor parenting at its worst, Readers.  Occasionally Young Lad is admonished for not having completed all his Home Learning, but then if the responsible adult is never here to keep him off  Youtube, it’s hardly his fault!

It’s been lovely down at the river of an evening – though there are still a lot of groups of teenagers hanging around, with their accompanying picnics and strange smells.  We tend to skirt round the groups of teenagers with our heads down, so that no eye contact is made.  The thought does occur to She, occasionally, that we ought to warn the teenagers about the grass snakes living in the long grass near the river, but on the other hand they could just find out the hard way.  That would be a lot more entertaining.  Of course I’m kept firmly on the lead so that I can’t eat any sweets/crisps/rubbish that the teenagers leave in a pretty array of colours every time they leave.

At the weekend, when I was up in Top Woods past Pheasant Field, the phone rang and Lad asked if we were near Tesco.  We stood still and looked around but all we could see were trees as we were in the middle of the BLDY WOODS and so NO we were NOT near Tesco.  Sometimes I wonder about Lad.

Several times lately people have stopped to ask if I’m a Beagle (doh!) and to chat about the nature of my breed.  Two people said they were thinking of getting a Beagle.  She said, “just don’t do it,” and snorted.  

This is harsh.  All I have done over the last couple of weeks is roll in fox cack twice, run off in Pheasant Field for so long that a nice man with a spaniel had to help search for me, rip up the recycling and empty the vegetable peelings bag over the kitchen floor as I helped myself.  “Just don’t do it” my arse.

It was Young Lad’s birthday at the weekend, and to celebrate this and the easing of Lockdown the decision was made to go out for lunch for the first time in four months.  Normally this would mean Express Pizza, but sadly Express Pizza hasn’t reopened yet so a local greasy spoon had to suffice.  Young Lad was thrilled with this as there on the menu was steak and chips!  I would have chosen this, too.  Young Lad ordered the steak, Lad had a New York Burger, and She had a halloumi wrap.  Can you see which of my family like to live dangerously?

Young Lad then brought a couple of his friends back here for an afternoon  of football and basketball in the garden, which was good news for me as they constantly ate snacks and dropped bits.  Then, before you know it, they were asking what was for dinner and could they have a McDonalds – how She laughed as She headed off to sit in the bldydrivethrough queue on a Sunday afternoon.

Two days later the car still ‘stinks of McDonalds’ as apparently the smell hangs around much like some of the ones I produce. 

There was a terrible disaster here on Sunday night, Readers.  I had to cover my ears and so did Gingercat, due to the amount of bad language and the hostile atmosphere.  On moving the Xbox (sorry, the bldyXbox) from one room to another, She managed to do something to one end of the lead adaptor thingy, and the Xbox would no longer turn on.  Readers, Young Lad had JUST THAT DAY been given a new martial arts game to play, and the RUBBISH STUPID POXY XBOX was broken. Then Lad joined in the hysterics, as he was due to play online with his friends later in the evening and WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO?!!!!

Root canal surgery without an anaesthetic would have caused less pain.

The following day, She worked out which pin in the adaptor cable thingy was broken and ordered a replacement from Amazon – thank God for Amazon – and by paying a ridiculous amount for super- duper- speedy -teenagers- on- the -brink delivery, the cable arrived today.  Peace has been restored, everyone is speaking to each other again and there has even been a slight show of gratitude from Lad!  Well done, Lad.

It’s dismal here this evening, Friends – grey and rainy, more like a winter’s day.  I can’t wait to go to bed – I think I’ll go early tonight.  She has been cross with me lately as I’ve developed a habit of needing a comfort break in the garden at 5.20 am and although I go straight back to bed and into a heavy sleep for hours, She moans about having 20 more measly minutes nap before the alarm goes off.  Seize the day, I would say; get up and do some yoga, clean the bathroom or just enjoy the quiet of the early morning.  Not me, obviously, as I’ll be sound asleep with Gingercat on the bed, but She might as well carpe diem.  Rather than carping on.

Readers I do hope you are keeping well and enjoying the extra freedom since Lockdown started easing. It’s made no difference to me whatsoever other than having everyone at home more, which has been rather nice.  

Keep washing your hands, and see you soon.

Russell