Well, Readers, what a strange Christmas that was for so many of us. I do hope you managed to eat, drink and be merry even if you weren’t able to be with the people you wanted to see. I certainly managed to eat and drink, and made my own fun as you can see by trashing the Boxing Day game of Monopoly. Gingercat had already walked across the board and knocked the dog and car off their squares, and then he sat down by the Bank, while I lay on the board and waggled my ears and paws around to knock everything else off. It was hilarious in all honesty, and served them right for not sitting up at the table.
Young Lad won, in case you were wondering, by having houses on Park Lane and Mayfair. Lad had embarked on a strange strategy of staying in jail as long as possible so that he wasn’t landing on people’s property and thus paying rent. She was very cross and said this is against the rules but when they looked it up, it wasn’t. Well done, Lad.
But let’s go back a little. Christmas Eve is always one of my favourite days as people are busy rushing around and let down their guard on the hiding food front. Regular Readers will know that on previous Christmas Eves, I have eaten an entire large bag of McCain frozen chips, a whole pack of Tesco finest mini mince pies, and various chocolates. None of these have ever killed me. So I was looking forward to December 24th this year, to see what foodstuffs were left within my reach. Nothing was. This was very disappointing Friends, and is yet another dark legacy of coronavirus as we are in Tier 4 and nobody is allowed out, and therefore leaving- a- turkey- on -the- kitchen- worksurface -while- we- pop -to -the= neighbours- for- drinks scenarios are unlikely.
However all was not lost as I was given some wonderful dog snacks and I really did enjoy those. My dear friend Delilah the Basset Hound had also sent me some of her home-made dog biscuits which are divine. Later in the afternoon on Christmas Eve a cheeseboard and crackers was produced – again, no social niceties such as sitting at the table, but these were consumed on the sofa slumped in front of Netflix and so by making my brown eyes go extra large and appealing, I was able to successfully beg for bits of cracker. This Christmas Eve wasn’t quite up there in the food stakes with the McCain oven chips/mince pies ones, but I did get a lot of cuddles and love, so you just have to take what you can get these days.
Sadly there was a lack of Tempura prawns on Christmas Eve this year. This was because She had opened the Tempura prawns two days prior to Christmas Eve, which shows an appalling lack of self-discipline and blatant disregard for yuletide convention. By the time Christmas Eve came round, the Tempura prawns had been finished, there wasn’t much smoked salmon left and as for the tree chocolates…Readers I know this has been a year like no other, but I don’t feel such a cavalier ‘sod it’ attitude is a good example to others. Thus a late Christmas Eve afternoon dash to M&S food was needed to stock up on Tempura prawns and smoked salmon. I ask you.
Christmas Eve evening was unusual but rather lovely as we all sat together on the sofa under cuddly blankets and watched a film. Thankfully there were bowls of snacks to keep us going through this and I enjoyed myself very much. In many ways it was a wonderful evening, as due to the lack of visitors for Christmas lunch the following day, She did not need to spend the evening running round polishing cutlery, making bread sauce, wrapping presents, drinking and snapping at everyone. This was possibly the most peaceful Christmas Eve we’ve ever had. Every cloud and all that.
Oh the smells as Christmas lunch was cooked , Friends – I’m sure your homes were similarly fragrant. I’m never quite sure whether it’s the turkey, or stuffing, or roast potatoes that give off that wonderful smell – and I don’t really care. The kitchen smelled heavenly. I would happily have stayed there for the entire morning but no, of course, I was dragged out on a Long Christmas Day walk. There were hundreds of other dogs being dragged out too, – some of them had been made to wear ridiculous Santa coats – and all the Pack Leaders were very jolly and wished each other Happy Christmas. This isn’t everyone’s idea of fun and I have to agree – it bores me rigid stopping to say hello to everyone. She had every intention of taking me for a very long walk up across the fields beyond the river – however, due to some spectacular rainfall, the river had burst its banks again and we couldn’t get across the bridge. She did try, as knee-high wellington boots might just have been enough (please note, no thought whatsoever as to how I would stay above the water level), but the middle of the bridge was too deep even for this and She had to turn back. A man called out, “chicken!” at her in a jolly festive way and everyone laughed. Thankfully we then went home for Christmas Dinner – I had had quite enough of that.
Blow me down with an hors d’oeuvre – after Christmas lunch I was dragged out again! To be fair so were Lad and Young Lad, as they Needed Some Fresh Air, apparently, and so we walked to Lovelydor’s house down the road to say thank you for our presents. Lovelydor didn’t hear us knocking on the door, despite Young Lad giving it some welly, so Readers you can make your own mind up as to whether Lovelydor had started on the sherry a little early, or was having a nap.
Lad and Young Lad have been stuck at home for quite a while now, due to Tier 4, and it is very frustrating for everyone. They have been very good, Readers, and not moaned when forced into manual labour – Young Lad has to empty the airing cupboard and sort out the washing on a regular basis, and hoover, and do the dishwasher. I know, I feel this is unreasonable too. Poor Young Lad. Lad hasn’t done quite so much to help, but then Lad has been studying very hard and in fact only had Christmas Day and Boxing Day away from his studies. This shows great determination and work ethic. Well done, Lad. I’m sure it is not just because “there is xxxx all else to do,” as Lad muttered the other day. In fact Lad has been improving his mind by watching documentaries about the Vietnam War on Netflix, which whilst not terribly uplifting, have been informative. Young Lad has mostly stuck to Family Guy and Top Gear. She and her friends all whatsapp each other with suggestions of what to watch next on Netflix, and occasionally a subsequent message pings through saying, “not with the boys, lots of sex.” I have no idea what this is all about and just sleep soundly in my chair.
Readers, the reason I need so much sleep at the moment is the ludicrous amount of walking I am forced to do. For the past week or so there have been at least two walks a day – one into town to buy a takeaway coffee, and the other as my proper exercise in the fields. One would be ample. On the coffee walk, we usually stand and talk Loadsakids or some such friends, and they marvel at how exciting it is to go upstairs in Tesco – yes, it’s still open! – where the decidedly non-essentail items are. During these difficult days in Tier 4, it is apparently a wonderful experience to still be able to browse through highlighter pens, saucepans or scented candles.
Friends you won’t believe this, but on one of our coffee walks, we did not ‘bump into’ a friend. Thus we arrived at Costalotta and there was nowhere to tie me up outside – I could have been stolen, Readers! – and She became very agitated at not being able to go in to buy an Americano. She smiled through the glass door a lot in the hope that one of the baristas would come to the door and take our order – for goodness’ sake – but this didn’t happen. In the end I was left with a COMPLETE STRANGER while She went in to buy her coffee! Honestly, anything could have happened to me. This very Good Samaritan said they would hold my lead as they could see She was about to cry, but they could have been any Tom, Dick or Harry. I was furious!
Then yesterday, Friends, we agreed to meet our friend Madame for coffee in the Public Gardens (dogs aren’t allowed in there but She said who is going to care at the moment?) and the idea was a coffee and dog walk. TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER, Readers, I crawled back up our road to my home. We had trekked through knee-high mud for miles and miles and miles. I had seen parts of the county that I didn’t know existed and I was EXHAUSTED. The funny thing was that the conversation between Madame and She didn’t dry up once, throughout this epic walk – I really don’t know how they do it.
Would you believe it – this morning we have met another friend for a ‘dog walk’. At least this time there was another dog to keep me company, but again it was two hours of non-stop walking and talking….there will be nothing left of me by New Year.
Well, Friends, I hope you are safe and well and have survivied Christmas. I know that many of you will be googling Monopoly rules now to see if Lad was right about being able to earn rent on his properties whilst sitting in jail – well, there isn’t much else to do I suppose.
See you soon,