Look at the beautiful Autumn colours I saw on my walk today, Readers – the stunning golds, reds and bronzes of the leaves on the dew-covered grass. And look at all the cack on my back where I rolled in something. Nobody shouted at me though, as I was out with dear, dear Ebony and her Pack Leader so they just laughed whimsically and told me I’m a little rascal. Obviously if I had been with my Pack Leader things would have been different and I would have been screamed at and dragged home with non-stop scolding all the way.
Today, Readers, it is something called “Children in Need” which is an annual national fundraising event that brings the country together in the spirit of goodwill and charity. Correction, most of the country. Regular Readers will know that in previous years She and her good friend Loadsakids always go out for a few drinks on Children In Need night as they feel that Mothers In Need is sadly overlooked and frankly just as important. Loadsakids and She discuss things like their bldy teenagers and bldy dogs over a glass or two of lemonade and then sit in a dark cinema for the rest of the evening, not having to be sociable or indeed charitable. I know, Friends. What an attitude.
However, due to coronavirus we are in another National Lockdown which means that She and Loadsakids cannot go out to celebrate Mothers In Need in their usual style. This has vexed them both greatly and they are having to come up with a plan B. I suspect this will involve drinking glasses of lemonade at home in their pyjamas and discussing their bldy teenagers and bldy dogs over Whatsapp. I ask you.
I’ve had scant attention at home this week, Friends, due to an Extended Working Schedule which has involved Extra Long Days and A Heavy Workload. Thankfully dear, dear Ebony and Pippa’s Pack Leaders have picked up the slack so I’ve had some company of a day, but really it’s not good enough. Then at night I sprawl across the bed hoping for a small crumb of comfort but no, I am shoved and moaned at and I have to fight back quite aggressively to stand my ground in the middle of the bed. I will NOT be moved on this, Readers, and refuse to surrender to the foot or side of the bed or even, God forbid, my own dog bed. One has to make a stance at times.
There has been the usual palaver of Year 10 schoolwork all week as Young Lad is still just a smidgeon behind with some tasks. The chicken madras that he made for Food Tech quite a while ago still hadn’t been given a written evaluation, plus he was now a week late in making vegetable samosas. And so it was that one evening there was an emergency trip to Tesco Express at the top of the road to buy garlic (if you remember, Young Lad was a little heavy-handed with this in the chicken madras) and vegetable oil – we never fry in this house, Readers, and so vegetable oil is never in our pantry – and Young Lad was told to get on with the bldy samosas. She acted as sous chef doing lots of chopping and prepping, to speed up the whole bldy process, while Young Lad did the more interesting aspects of the task such as making the pastry. This had to be rolled out very, very thinly and there followed a very amusing half hour Friends, as they tried to work out how to make triangles from a semi-circle. The recipe said “cut a 20cm circle of thinly-rolled pastry in half, and then roll it round your finger to make a cone, add the samosa filling, and close into a triangle shape.” Neither of them had the faintest idea what they were doing and I did think, Readers, that perhaps if She had been the sort of Mother to do lots of art and craft with Young Lad at home when he was little, they would know how to turn a cone into a triangle. Unfortunately the attitude used to be “that’s what I pay nursery fees for,” and so not much cutting and sticking ever happened here in the halcyon days of childhood.
By the end of Young Lad’s Food Tech practical, there was thinly rolled pastry hanging off the working surface and washing machine, and samosa filling everywhere. I have never seen so much mess from a simple task that a fourteen-year old was meant to be doing unaided.
The samosas were oblong.
They tasted nice, though, to be fair to Young Lad. Young Lad has watched Masterchef The Professionals AND the Great British Bake Off over the last couple of nights as he knows he needs to up his game.
I am missing Lad, Friends, as he is busy at university doing his laundry. The last we heard from Lad was that the university tumble dryers are still shxt and still don’t dry his brushed cotton duvet cover so he has damp bedding hanging everywhere. Obviously this causes me great concern about Lad’s health and I do hope he is eating properly. Steak and the such like. Lad is facing Lockdown at university just like the rest of us and is most upset that the gym is closed, so has to workout in his very small room. Poor Lad. These really are challenging times for everyone.
I saw on the news that universities will send students back home in the first week of December so I haven’t got long to wait now until Lad is back, and not taking me for walks as usual.
She was feeling quite chipper this morning, Friends, as it was the end of a long week and was laughing gaily with her colleagues at work, when the mood was changed quite dramatically by Young Lad phoning to say that Year 10 had another positive case and were being sent home immediately. Yes indeed, Young Lad now has another ten days off school but he must be due for a rest as has just managed seven whole days in school without much of a break.
And so, Friends, Gingercat and I face another week of Young Lad not doing his home schooling whilst home alone, choosing instead to look at more interesting websites, and the row that will ensue when She gets home from work. Every night. Sometimes Gingercat and I think about moving out.
It’s meant to be wet and windy this weekend – no doubt I will be dragged out for long walks through the sodden countryside but I hope the rest of you batten down the hatches and enjoy Lockdown once again.
Someone here is already enjoying Lockdown as I can hear that tell-tale clink of ice.
See you soon,