To and Fro

Readers it really has been a trying few weeks, with so much going on and half the time I don’t know if I’m Arthur or Martha. Having a waste paper bin on my head has been the least of my worries, to be honest and anyway I had enjoyed distributing the rubbish all over the garden. Nobody has had time to help me write the blog, and it is only due to pressure from my fans that She has bad- temperedly sat down with the laptop now. Honestly.

So settle down with a drink, as this is likely to be a long one.

I’ve been abandoned on more than one occasion in the last few weeks, and it has rather rankled with me. First of all, She and New Buddy went away for four days – selfish – and couldn’t take me with them, so I had to go and stay with Young Lad and Grandma. This was fairly relaxing in that I didn’t have to do much, but there was very little opportunity for behaving badly.

Then I was allowed to return home once She and New Buddy deigned to come back from wherever they went – suddenly realising, perhaps, that they had Responsibilities such as Teenagers and Me. However within a very short space of time, they were off again to visit Nana Aged 90 and Lots of Family – they took Young Lad with them, of course, but I was considered to be too difficult and so had to have sleepovers with dear, dear Ebony and Pippa. Nobody bothered to ask me what I wanted to do but thankfully I am treated like royalty at dear Ebony and Pippa’s houses, and so I should be. I had a lot of fun and it was far preferable to being in the back of a Range Rover on the M25 for hours.

When I’m not being dumped with other people, I am taken backwards and forwards between the two houses that I now seem to live in. There was a ridiculous incident a couple of weeks ago where She decided to go and surprise New Buddy by cooking dinner for him when he returned from a long day at work. So I was bundled in the car and driven over there, which was quite pleasing as I much prefer it at New Buddy’s house. Nobody moans at me, for a start. And I am brushed and given treats. Anyway, we cooked dinner and waited for New Buddy, who was very surprised but of course thrilled to see me. Then New Buddy was going out, so we offered to give him a lift. I was bundled back in the bldy car and was very upset, as I didn’t really want to go home. Nevertheless I am nothing if not stoic and I resigned myself to finishing the evening at home. Imagine my confusion, then, when I jumped out of the car at the end of the journey to find myself not at home, but back at New Buddy’s house for a Surprise Sleepover. Apparently She “cba” to drive home, whatever cba means. Couldn’t be something or other.

Friends I was SO confused. I really did go into quite a huff and had no choice but to go to bed early as I was exhausted. When New Buddy returned in the small hours to the house he was expecting to be empty, lo and behold there we were again. Really, I feel it’s unacceptable and rude to invite oneself over without asking. But standards have slipped so badly here that nothing surprises me any more.

Take yesterday as an example. She was baking brownies and talking on the phone to Nana Aged 90 at the same time – this in itself is rude and disrespectful – and in a lapse of concentration, dropped the phone into the brownie mixture. You couldn’t make it up. To make matters worse, She licked – yes licked – some of the brownie mixture off the phone, then gave it a cursory wipe, and put it back to her ear. This caused a large smear of brownie mixture to attach itself to her hair. It beggars belief.

I did add a little je ne sais quois to proceedings at this point, as once the bowl that had contained the brownie mixture was put into the dishwasher, I pushed past, grabbed the bowl and ran off with it. She screeched at me and tried to kick the bowl out of my mouth with her foot so I snarled and threatened to bite her foot off. A wise decision was made to retreat. I had brownie mixture all over my face and even now still have some on one ear, as I can’t reach it to lick.

But let’s go back to the appalling lack of care and intelligence that I have to put up with here. Last Sunday the clocks went back, whatever that means, and we all had an extra hour in bed. Then in the evening She – in a rare moment of levity – took Young Lad to the cinema. Young Lad purchased a huge bag of popcorn which was spilling everywhere as they always over-fill them, a large Coke and She had a coffee. Off they went to show their ticket – on an app, we are slowly moving forward with technology – to the nice man. The nice man looked at their ticket, looked at his watch and said “you’re an hour too early. You forgot to change your watch, didn’t you.”

Poor, poor Young Lad. How utterly humiliating for him. Fancy being parented by someone that incompetent. Young Lad wanted to sit in the cinema foyer for an hour but She snapped “no, we’re going home so I can run a hoover round,” which was rather sad for Young Lad. Back they came, for a whole 45 minutes, ran round with the hoover, then off they went again. The popcorn and large Coke had been left in the car so nobody was tempted to have them before the film started, and the coffee was put in the microwave to warm it up.

The level of ineptitude in my house is quite staggering.

Last week She decided to make leek and potato soup for Young Lad’s dinner, as it’s one of his favourite things. Now, She may have had a long day at work but that is no excuse for the lack of concentration on the job in hand. Readers, I could smell a very strange smell that didn’t smack of leek and potato soup one iota. She had managed to burn (or ‘caramelise’ as She liked to put it) the onions. Even though there was a brown slimy mess at the bottom of the pan, there was no thought of abandoning the idea – oh no. She was determined to finish the process, burned onions or not. Young Lad does love his leek and potato soup and even called out from the Xbox “what’s for dinner?” He was mighty pleased to find it was home- made leek and potato soup – it’s a Delia recipe, Friends, and very tasty.

Not on this occasion, alas. The usually pale green creamy leek and potato soup was the colour of dishwater once you’ve washed up all the pots and pans from a Sunday roast. There is only one word for it – sludge. The whole lot had to be thrown away and Young Lad was terribly disappointed as he had been looking forward to that. Poor Young Lad. This is shoddy parenting.

I try to liven things up here, as a change from the parenting chaos, by frequently emptying the bins and dragging the recycling round the garden. One of my favourite pastimes is to rip up the empty Alpen muesli box and chuck it on the flower beds. That’s about all Alpen muesli is good for – dear Lord, it’s like eating sawdust. Now there was a time that I would only tip the kitchen bin over and empty it once everyone had gone out, but I’ve grown in confidence lately and have to decided to knock the kitchen bin over even if they are in. Readers, it keeps them on their toes as the bin makes a distinctive “doonk” sound as it hits the kitchen floor, and She comes running from elsewhere in the house shouting, “don’t you bldy dare you stupid dog” and things like that.

I was moaned at a lot yesterday, as whilst we were at New Buddy’s house, they went into his new office in the garden (little does he know that now he’s put a nice sofa in, that’s going to be my garden room, not his Man Cave) and they spent twenty five minutes putting together some Ikea shelving. Yes, Friends, I too was impressed by the speed with which this was done, and I think we all know who had the most skill and talent out of the pair of them. Anyway, I wandered up to the bedroom, found She’s pack of silicon ear plugs in her toiletry bag, chewed through the plastic box and ate them. Then I found her little bottle of eye drops and took that out in the garden and chucked it in the long grass. This morning She was groping around for ages by the bed trying to find her eye drops, to no avail. I knew where they were. So yes, what with the brownie mixture bowl and the ear plugs, it was quite a fun day.

Feeling confident, having ‘helped’ put together a large Ikea shelving unit in the morning, She decided to put an identical very small one together for Young Lad’s Xbox and whatnot, in the afternoon. All I will say is that if you get impatient with the Allen key and the little dowling things, and wallop the shelving unit with a hammer, you are indeed likely to make a hole. See my earlier comment about who had the skill and talent.

How is Lad? I hear you ask. I know how concerned you all get. Lad is missing me dreadfully whilst he’s at university, in his “sxxxhole” of a student house with four other nice young men. Only one toilet, mind you. And if they have Overnight Guests – know what I mean – one toilet is rather a stretch for all those people. Poor Lad. She says Poor Lad needs to bldy shift up a gear or two and find a bldy job, but Lad is much too busy studying hard and going out. He is very, very busy what with all the domestic chores and doing the washing, and going to Aldi. It’s exhausting and he has no time for part-time work. Too much is expected of Lad, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. And while we’re on the subject, he is MUCH too busy to pay his rent on time, and She will just have to put up with the endless emails from the rental agency announcing that the rent hasn’t been paid. He Is Busy!

Today’s walk, Friends, was not down to the river and over the hills through Far, Far Field but a mere trot into town. Young Lad was refusing to set foot in the fresh air as usual – he’s tired for heaven’s sake! – and lots of threats were being made. In the end a grudging agreement was made that he would join us on my dog walk so long as we went to a cafe for a drink. This is the cafe that I often go to, and where TWICE I was given a bowl of roast beef bits. Imagine my disappointment today when there was no food on offer. I did whine and stamp my feet and She snapped “it’s just coffee you stupid animal,” but I felt I needed to make a point. I will NOT be taken to cafes without being given some sort of treat. It’s unacceptable.

Well, this evening I am in my armchair – which smells a bit doggy in all honesty – in my own house. Who knows whether we are staying here or jumping in the car and surprising anyone with an uninvited sleepover? Oh wait – I’ve just heard that clink clink and fizzing sound, which means She’s friend Gordon has appeared. That means we’re staying at home for once.

Young Lad has double Food Tech tomorrow and is making Jamie Oliver’s seared salmon with couscous. Yes, that’s what I think too. I would eat it, though, if push comes to shove.

So it’s Monday tomorrow which means work/school and I will be going to dear, dear Pippa’s for daycare. This makes me very happy as I completely take over the sofa and Pippa has to perch uncomfortably on one end.

Goodness I’m tired – there is only so much chaos a dog can put up with. Time for a sleep.
See you soon,

Russell

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