A Thing Of Beauty

Just look at me, Readers. What an exquisite creature I am – really, it’s quite breath-taking. This stylised, arty photograph of me was taken by New Buddy The Younger and yes, a photo by someone not even in their teens is far superior to the standard of pictures She ever produces. It just takes a little thought and imagination of which my Pack Leader has very little. Well done New Buddy The Younger. I love my picture.

You would think this photo was taken somewhere exotic, or maybe Kew Gardens, but it was in fact outside Costalotta on a retail park. This particular branch of Costalotta is special in many ways, not least of which is the rainforest style vegetation around it. I had a lovely time there, whining and stamping my feet while people drank Americanos and ate Biscotti. I love a Biscotti, I do. Or anything, in fact. I seem to spend more and more of my life these days sitting outside cafes, where I have no choice but to whinge and grizzle until someone gives me a treat. It is a pleasant way to spend time, Readers, I can’t complain.

Going back to the quality of photography – just look at this one. Abysmal, isn’t it?

Seriously! It’s out of focus and looks like someone had been with their friend Gordon for a long time. This picture is evidence, allegedly, of my bad behaviour tonight. When She got home from work – yes, yes a long day at work , blah blah blah- the state of the back garden was vexing. The kitchen bin (which was rather full) had been hastily dumped on top of the table on the patio before leaving for work at silly o’clock this morning, in order that I couldn’t empty it and trash the place. Friends, I was bored when I came back from Doggy Daycare, so I knocked the bin off the table, tipped the entire contents out and dragged it all over the garden. I ate a huge amount of what was in there. Even the stuff that wasn’t edible. Some of it was disgusting, frankly, but I ate it anyway. I can’t really remember all of it, but I know there were several eggshells, tea bags (yes, they SHOULD have been in the food recycling bin, you are right, Readers!) a smoothie that Young Lad made for Food Tech that didn’t go very well as the mango wasn’t ripe, and about three hundred cat food sachets.

I was shouted at and there was a lot of moaning. This continued with a stomp round the garden to pick up my comfort breaks in the little black bags this evening – yes, there were a lot of them! It’s not my fault! Clear up more often, I say. It’s not a difficult concept.

It’s not like I’d had an easy day, Friends. There I was, happily trashing the bin and eating loads of crap, when I was dragged off to The Evil Vet. Regular Readers will know that I HATE going to the Evil Vet and do my best to stay in the car. I back myself into a corner of the boot and refuse to come out. She has to use a lot of force to remove me from the car and tells me I’m pathetic. So there we were, back at The Evil Vet’s yet again to have my anal glands emptied as I stink. This is an unpleasant procedure that involves The Evil Vet poking his or her fingers up my nether regions and squeezing hard. It hurts, Readers. And the smell I produce is like nothing else this world has ever known. So I stunk out The Evil Vet’s room, and also our car on the way home as there was still some leakage. Serves them right.

But it wasn’t just my anal glands that needed looking at tonight. I have sore toenails again, Friends, and have been licking at my front paws for some time which gets on everyone’s nerves – never mind the fact that my poor toenails hurt. So The Evil Vet had to cut my nails (helped by a very nice Veterinary Nurse) and I was incredibly good and made no fuss at all. Obviously I had a muzzle on, as She told them as soon as we got there that I Can’t Be Trusted and Have Been Known To Bite. So as fast as you could say ‘oily fish’ I was back in the waiting room with shorter toenails that don’t hurt, and a leaking backside.

Now , The Evil Vet was actually very kind and said that I need my toenails trimmed every month for a while. Yes!! I’m having a monthly pedicure. There was one heck of a lot of grumbling about this, with, “I can’t afford to get MY nails done every four weeks!” etc etc etc. Give me strength.

I had a splendid day out recently, Friends, as I went to my first ever gig. I know! Get me. We went to a bike show – it was my first ever bike show too, as it happens – and there was a rock band playing. I sat nicely and listened to the band – they can hold a tune quite well, I thought – though I did keep well back from the speakers as it was heavy rock and rather loud. It was pleasant enough, but I was far more interested in the German sausage stall nearby. Goodness me, the smell of bratwurst made my mouth water and I dived under the picnic tables to grab any bits on the floor. Then She went off to get a samosa from the samosa stall, and I barked and became a little agitated until I was given a crumb of filo pastry to shut me up. New Buddy wanted something from the pie stall, so She and I wandered off and bought him a venison pie – I employed my usual irritating barking and whining technique until I was given morsel of shortcrust pastry from the venison pie. I preferred this to the samosa filo pastry, for obvious reasons. Meat. It was a marvellous day out, with a vast range of food stalls to walk past, and on the way back to the car at the end of the day I put my nose down and hoovered up the entire showground.

I’ve been at dear, dear Ebony’s for daycare a lot recently, as dear, dear Pippa has been away in the Lake District. In a change to routine, though, I have also been going to New Buddy’s house for daycare sometimes and this has been marvellous too, as he expects nothing of me and I can lie on his sofa in the sun ALL day. I was told off last time I was there for daycare though – I decided to stand on the back of the sofa and bark loudly and repetitively for no apparent reason, just as New Buddy was on an important conference call or some such nonsense. New Buddy came in and went all alpha male on me, and made me get off the sofa. We had a little stand -off, which I feel I won. I don’t often fall out with New Buddy, but he was pushing his luck that day.

And what of Lad and Young Lad, I hear you cry? Lad is still at university – yes! He hasn’t been home to cook toasted cheese sandwiches in the middle of the night for ages! It was Lad’s birthday last week, so we sent him a Breville sandwich toaster and a smoothie maker. We do like a useful present in my family. Who needs glamour. Lad celebrated his birthday by going to another festival with his friends, as he hasn’t been to many recently. Oh wait, yes he has. But the good news is that the shower in the shxxxy student house has been fixed so Lad no longer has to go up to Nana aged 90’s house for a shower. Well done Lad.

Young Lad is busy – er – mostly watching Top Gear and Cobra Kai, but occasionally doing some school work too. His Food Tech practical last week was excellent, I have to say, with smoked salmon, king prawns, horseradish creme and green leaves as a starter. Really, it was marvellous. Well done, Young Lad. Let’s try some more meat cookery soon.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here, and it really does tire me out. Gingercat continues to drive us mad by yowling every five minutes as he forgets he’s been fed, and other than sniffing his backside when he walks past me, I do find Gingercat a trifle wearing. Especially when he gets into my bed.

Golly, Readers, I’ve made a fair old effort with my blog tonight and am ready for a sleep. It’s nearly October and I’m glad to say the heating was put on last night as I’ve been a little chilly in my armchair of an evening. Nobody ever thinks about my welfare in this house.

Take care, Friends.

See you soon,


Tempis Fugit

Here I am, Readers, sitting up nicely at the pub on a warm summer’s evening. This may be part of the reason that I haven’t written a blog entry for ages, as I seem to be terribly busy all the time. In fact, New Buddy pointed out to me rather curtly that it’s been ONE MONTH since my last blog – Friends, I just don’t know where the time has gone! They say it flies when you’re having fun, and whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m feeling frolicsome, my days and evenings have been unusually hectic. I can only apologise and try to assure you that I have plenty to tell you.

Lad has finally gone back to university and, after some early misunderstanding of the instructions “bldy well stay there” he appears to not be coming back home every five minutes. It was a tricky weekend when we took him back, as we had to get the roof box on the car first, which always involves a lot of bad language, and then just as we were pulling out of the services near a very busy main A road, our car appeared to break down. I kept my head down and stayed asleep while She panicked and swore a lot, and Lad patted She’s knee and said “it’s ok Mum,” and She swore a lot more. Then She decided it was too dangerous to wait for the AA with Lad, Young Lad and myself in the car so called one of The Cousins to come and pick us up. Thus we were made to get out of the car and walk back down the busy slip road to the services – quite how this was a less dangerous option I do not know, but I was fed up with all the swearing so was glad of a walk.

Anyway. We went to Nana Aged 90’s house for a nice cup of tea and wander round the garden while She stayed with the car and the police and waited for the AA.

It turned out that the clutch had stuck down. A nice policeman got in the driving seat and said “your clutch is stuck down” and flicked it back up with his large boot. Thus the car was instantly driveable and the other nice policeman sighed and said into his radio, “cancel the rolling roadblock.” Readers, I was very glad not to be there to witness this charade and She’s utter humiliation.

So eventually the car packed to the brim with Lad’s belongings for university (including his weights and gym equipment – I do wonder why the clutch stuck) arrived at its destination and we helped Lad move into the student house he will be sharing with some friends this year. It’s a xxxxhole, said Lad.

We stayed at Nana Aged 90’s house overnight as we were fairly exhausted by the day’s goings on, and waved farewell to Lad, saying “see you at Christmas, Lad.” Then we came home.

The following night, or in the early hours of the next morning, She and Young Lad were woken by noises downstairs. There was clearly someone walking around. I had bravely refused to bark or even wake up, but She crept to the top of the stairs to find out what was going on. Naturally the first thought one has is of burglars, but as there was a strong smell of toasted cheese sandwiches this seemed unlikely unless they had been distracted by the antique Breville .

Yes, Readers, you’ve guessed it. There in the lounge, watching Netflix and eating a really lovely looking cheese toastie, was Lad. I felt She’s words to Lad lacked a certain warmth and motherly love if I’m honest, and do you know the funny thing? I was moaned at for being a ‘rubbish guard dog’. Really, you couldn’t make it up – somehow the whole thing was my fault and why is it I bark hysterically at old ladies by the bus stop but don’t alert anyone when an intruder is preparing snacks at 1.30am?? I give up.

Friends, I am in disgrace tonight because I was at daycare with dear, dear Ebony today and while we were up in the fields on our walk, I rolled in something absolutely vile and plastered my sides in it. I was going to use the photo of this for my blog tonight, but actually it’s so disgusting as to be in poor taste and I have High Standards about these sorts of things so will leave you to imagine. Anyway, when we got back from our walk Ebony’s Pack Leader had to hose me down and shampoo me in the garden – Friends I wasn’t very happy about this, as I prefer a warm bath. Anyway, when She came home from a very long day at work She was cross with me and told me I’m rank, and then proceeded to make baked goods for Ebony’s Pack Leader and Pack Leader Male as way of an apology. Young Lad was made to walk down the road to deliver the baked goods, as is the way of things here. Honestly what a ridiculous fuss.

Several people at the river have told me lately how slim I’m looking, and the nice French lady with bichon frisse thing gestured with her hands to indicate I have a waistline and nice figure. This is very pleasing. I have raided bins, emptied recycling bags round the garden every couple of days and ran off with She’s Yeo Valley Lemon Curd yogurt the other night, but somehow I am managing to keep trim. Ish. It might be the stress of living with my family, of course, as I’m sure I burn off a lot of nervous energy.

I was moaned at about the Yeo Valley yogurt. She had opened it and left it on the side in the kitchen while a call of nature was answered, and I just stood up at the counter and took it. I have no regrets. It was nice.

New Buddy and New Buddy the Younger keep coming to see me of an evening as they enjoy my company, and appreciate my wit and bonhomie. They will insist on trying to train me though, and it does become a little tiresome. I can just about tolerate the muzzle training, and I do humour them a little on this one in order to have lots of treats, but once that silly grey ramp came out again I felt enough was enough. I had already made it clear that I was NOT going to walk up a ramp into the back of New Buddy’s Range Rover, and everyone has been perfectly happy lifting me in and out all summer. But no – we can’t leave any project unmanaged can we, and so this week the silly ramp was put leading into my armchair, and treats were placed along it in the hope I would walk up it. Give me strength. To keep them quiet and let them think they are winning, Friends, I walked up the ruddy thing ONCE in order to get the treats. If they think I will be making a habit of it, they are sorely mistaken.

A few weeks ago I went for a sleepover at dear, dear Ebony’s house while She and Young Lad went on a road trip with New Buddy and New Buddy The Younger. Naturally they wanted to take me with them but She snarled, “I am NOT taking the dog round HMS Victory or the D Day Museum,” so that was that. Anyway I had far more fun at dear Ebony’s house, and was the perfect overnight guest just like I was when I had a sleepover at dear, dear Pippa’s once. I have impeccable manners.

The greengage tree that overhangs our garden is in fruit at the moment, Friends, and I am very partial to a greengage or four. Unfortunately the stones within a greengage don’t digest and my comfort breaks are full of them. The greengages are keeping me very regular though, I have to say.

The other day She came in from work to find a brand new tupperware box chewed up and chucked on the lounge floor. There hadn’t been any food in it, Readers, it was unused. I was bored and needed something to do.

Young Lad started back at school this week, and in an unusual feat of resilience, Year 10 (who are now Year 11) have actually stayed in school for a WHOLE WEEK!! This is quite possibly the longest period of time this particular group of students have been in school since their primary education. Poor Young Lad is exhausted and has taken to screaming and shouting on the Xbox to let off steam. Young Lad has a Food Tech Practical Assessment coming up soon – I have no idea what this is and couldn’t care less but he says it involves making smoked salmon roulade and steak with red wine jus, so I’m in.

Well, who knows what the weekend will bring. I won’t be going to visit the cafe where I’m a much-loved regular on a Saturday morning now as I’m not going to New Buddy’s house this weekend, so will have to put up with the boredom here. She says She has bldy loads to do as the house and garden are a bldy shambles, so I’ll do my best to get in the way and not help. Young Lad will undoubtedly expect a trip to Costalotta at some point, and will moan if asked to unload the dishwasher. Poor Young Lad. It’s his weekend too. Hopefully there will be a couple of good long walks up over the fields, and I will endeavour to find the same stuff I rolled in today, as it smelled like Chanel to me.

Whatever you’re up to, Readers, take care and enjoy yourselves.

Golly I’m tired.

See you soon,


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