Broken Record

Here we go again, Friends – yet another picture of the bin tipped over on the kitchen floor. Really, it’s the same old thing over and over again, and I do wish She would find a more interesting picture for my blog. Even a picture of the Bastard Swans would make a nice change.

There was an unfortunate incident with the bin last Friday evening but it wasn’t my fault at all. Firstly She had forgotten to put the bin outside the back door before going to work early in the morning so it was her fault. Secondly, Young Lad came home from school and went out again without noticing that the bin was still in the kitchen, or shutting the kitchen door, so it was his fault. It totally wasn’t mine and I had no choice but to tip the very full bin over and drag the contents through the house. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Empty. The. Bin. More. Often.

The last time the house was trashed with kitchen rubbish, if you remember, I found a tomato passata carton and ripped it up over the beige lounge carpet. This time it was an empty packet that once contained frozen blueberries, so now there were large purple splodges to accompany the orange ones. It gave a retro 1970s feel to the carpet and made it far more attractive if you ask me.

She was incredibly tetchy on returning from a long day at work after a long week at work, and finding She had to get the Dr Beckmann’s stain remover out yet again before pyjamas and Gordon time. I don’t feel it required quite the amount of shouting and moaning that I had to endure.

In other news – and I know many of you have been eager to hear this – Lad made it to university and has stayed there. It didn’t go entirely smoothly (nothing ever does here) as early on the Saturday morning when She took Lad his final cup of tea at home for a long time, Lad was already sitting up in bed looking aghast. It turned out, Readers, that he had received an early email from the university saying that he had been moved to a different room and no longer had an ensuite bathroom. This was appalling. Lad simply could NOT share bathroom facilities with anyone – Friends, he COULD NOT and WOULD NOT sit on a toilet seat that someone else had sat on. Poor, poor Lad. There were some tense moments during which She wondered if he was actually going to refuse to go to university due to the lack of an ensuite and so they would have to unpack the roofbox, and it didn’t really help saying “for the love of God we had to share bedrooms back in my day never mind the bathroom…” This was of no comfort to poor Lad who felt strongly that he needed a bathroom in which he could take his time and have sole use.

Finally Lad was persuaded to stop being so bldy precious and get in the bldy car, and off they went.

Lad has had such a nice time ever since that he has completely forgotten about his early objection to sharing a bathroom and it doesn’t seem important any more. Lad has also found a nice flatmate who can cook; indeed he made Lad sea bass and asparagus with crushed new potatoes for his birthday lunch. I think Lad will be fine. I do miss him though, and occasionally go into his bedroom for a look round.

Young Lad doesn’t appear to be missing Lad much and has remarked on how peaceful it is here of an evening. Young Lad has been – very gradually – settling back into school after six months off and is being told every five minutes that he needs to up his game. I’m little disappointed on the Food Technology GCSE front, as due to coronavirus the pupils are not able to cook at school. This means they are doing a lot more theory and any practical work has to be done at home. So far there has just been the one dish – a Jamie Oliver pasta thing with rocket and tomatoes – and I wasn’t offered any of it. Not a sniff.

I have, however, managed to steal Young Lad’s toast a couple of times in the mornings, and also an entire bowl of Shreddies as I grabbed the bowl when he wasn’t looking and ran off with it. Young Lad and I have an understanding about these things.

Readers, I’ve had a wonderful couple of weeks because now that Lad is no longer here, I cannot be left on my own during the day when everyone is at work or school. This means that every day I go to doggy daycare at dear, dear Ebony’s house or – and this was the first time for SEVEN months – dear, dear Pippa’s house. Oh it was wonderful to be back amongst people who give a damn about me and allow, nay encourage, me to have the best armchair for the day. It’s such a wrench to come back here at the end of the day. Tomorrow I’m going to dear Pippa’s again, and I know for a fact that she will be very pleased to see me.

I’m slightly worried that should the coronavirus rate keep rising there will be some sort of lockdown again, which means I might have to stop going to doggy daycare – but She says no bldy chance as bldy keyworkers have to go to work regardless – really. This is hardly the spirit in these difficult times and I do feel a little less feeling sorry for oneself is in order.

Readers I’m exhausted after another tough day, and the highly exciting meal of jacket potatoes and baked beans is ready for Young Lad, so I must bring my blog to a close. I feel Lad should stay where he is for a long time, in terms of quality of cuisine.

Hope you are well Friends and staying safe.

See you soon.

Russell

Scapegoat

Readers, it has been a very long time since I last wrote. Much has happened and things have been as chaotic as usual here. Young Lad has started back at school after six months off due to coronavirus and Lockdown , Lad has been busy seeing his friends in a town far away and I’ve had scant attention from anyone as normal.

One day this week. Lad decided to go and see his friends in a town far away, just for a change. He had been instructed to take me for a walk first (it was a very brief one round the rec), and to close all doors as I would be Home Alone until She got back from work. Lad did follow most of these instructions, but forgot about the kitchen door as he has a lot on his mind, poor Lad. As you can see from the above photograph, Gingercat trashed the kitchen. This was shocking behaviour on Gingercat’s part and I was appalled. I told Gingercat how much trouble he would be in when She got home from a long day at work, but Gingercat didn’t care.

Gingercat also dragged the rubbish into the lounge and found a nearly-but-not-quite empty carton of tomato passata, that had been used to make the previous night’s lasagne. This made red smears all over the beige carpet and it looked like there had been a massacre of some sort. Strangely there were red smears all over my mouth and forehead too, but I feel Gingercat must have put them there.

Anyway, when She got home from work all hell was let loose and it took ages to clean everything up and try to remove tomato passata stains from the carpet. Unfortunately we had run out of Dr Beckmann’s Carpet Stain remover as it tends to get used quite a lot here, so some improvising with Vanish was needed. Of course, She told Ebony and Pippa’s Pack Leaders how bad I’d Gingercat had been, and there was much amazement expressed.

On Sunday night, Young Lad was told to get all his things ready for returning to school the next day, after six months off. New uniform was hanging in the cupboard, new shoes were cleaned and ready to go, but Young Lad needed to pack his school bag. “What school bag?” Young Lad asked, and it transpired that I had chewed his school bag up several months ago and it had been thrown away, but everyone had forgotten and nobody had bought a new one. Friends, it beggars belief that this was left until 8.30pm on the Sunday night. She said he would have to make do with a JD Sports carrier bag, but Young Lad said he would get into trouble on the FIRST DAY BACK for walking around with a carrier bag. Some bad-tempered rummaging around in Lad’s bedroom found two of his old school rucksacks – one of them had a broken zip and didn’t do up, and the other one had been chewed into holes. An emergency text message was sent to a friend round the corner to see if they were slightly more organised than my family and had a spare working rucksack that Young Lad could borrow until a new one arrived. Thankfully they did.

Poor Young Lad is quite exhausted from the first week back at school after six months off. Not only has he had to walk home most days, which is a very long walk, but he also had to do three laps of the school field in PE. That evening he was unable to move and had to lay on the sofa all evening groaning. Poor Young Lad.

I’m very pleased to say that Young Lad is taking Food and Nutrition GCSE which will involve lots of cooking. This is exciting. It will also be exciting when he mentions at 10.00pm the night before a practical activity that he needs Garam Masala or some such ingredient. This is always great fun and creates a frisson of excitement round here.

Now that She is back at work, I tend to have my walks at tea-time or early evening. These have been truly lovely and we have seen an abundance of wildlife. One evening there was a large slow worm wiggling across the path and a lady stopped to take a photograph of it and put it on Facebook. Another evening there were rabbits playing in the field, so I was put swiftly on the lead before I noticed them. And the best walk of all was the evening when a muntjac deer was wandering along the path by the river under the trees, just in front of us. I didn’t notice it as I had my nose on the ground looking for food, but She spotted it and cursed wearing her flipflops which make a silly noise and were bound to frighten the deer. Anyway, Nana aged 89 phoned She’s mobile at that point so the muntjac disappeared into the bushes as the combination of noisy flipflops and a mobile phone ringing were too much. Still, it was a beautiful sight and I suddenly picked up a scent of the muntjac and started straining at the lead as I am a killing machine when it comes to deer. That stag in Harty Farty Forest all those years ago only JUST got away with his life.

Readers, Lad will soon be going to university. In fact, this is the last week Lad will be at home for a while and we are wondering whether he might actually spend a day here at some point. Lad hasn’t got anything ready for going to university. She keeps telling him he has no idea how much he needs to organise, but Lad has been very busy looking for clothes online again. He will need clothes at university, and I think Friday will be the perfect day for packing and organising everything else ready for an early start on Saturday. That’s ample time. Too much is expected of Lad .I will miss Lad a lot when he goes to university.

You may remember from my last blog that both She and Young Lad had coronavirus a few weeks back. I’m glad to report that Young Lad is absolutely fine – as indeed he was when he ‘had’ coronavirus – but She still can’t smell or taste anything. This has been going on for seven weeks now and is becoming vexing. I don’t know what the problem is to be honest – I rarely taste my food as it doesn’t touch the sides when it goes down, and I don’t complain. Plus the lack of smell means less moaning at me when I have flatulence. We haven’t lit any scented candles here for months as there’s no point! Plus it would be dangerous as She wouldn’t be able to smell the smoke if the house caught fire.

Due to the incident with the kitchen bin and the tomato passata this week, there was an emergency text message to dear Ebony’s Pack Leader one day when it was realised I would be home alone again for a few hours. Ebony’s Pack Leader was very kind and came to get me ; even though nobody had bothered to put my collar on that day, Ebony’s Pack Leader was very resourceful and did something clever with a loop in my lead to take me down to their house. Oh Readers it was marvellous! I haven’t seen my friends for so long, and we romped and played – very briefly, then I curled up in the best armchair. I love it there.

Well, it is Saturday evening after a warm, sunny day and there is a mini-heatwave forecast for the next two days. Frankly I think heatwaves are over-rated and someone has selfishly put the large paddling pool thing away, which I feel was a little premature. I will have no cold water to stand in looking sad, and will have no choice but to lie in the full sun in its glorious 30 degrees (as is forecast for Tuesday) and pant heavily. Nobody thinks about my welfare, ever.

Hope you are staying well, Readers, and don’t forget: Hands Mask Space or whatever the current silly slogan is.

See you soon,

Russell