Sunday, July 22, 2007

high up on the way downs

this week herself and i had a wonderful day out. herself is signed off work with stress, as i may have mentioned. because she is at home she can meet up with people and go for walks. so she and her friend the writer decided to go for a walk. we met the writer at the station and then drove to a place where we could leave the car.

the first bit of the walk i had to be on the lead because of the skylarks. these are some rather daft birds. in spite of the fact that they can fly and so could quite easily find a tree to nest in, they choose to nest on the ground. to make matters worse they nest in fields that are going to be mangled by combine harvesters. in the face of such carnage it is not clear why a humble lurcher could do them any harm but there are signs everywhere telling people to keep their dog on the lead. as though i would get out of bed for anything less than a rabbit!

things looked up a bit later. we sat down for a rest. herself and the writer had a cup of coffee. i was allowed some prickly water. it has little bubbles in that burn my nose but its better than nothing. no sooner had herself poured out the coffee than some huge vehicles arrived and nearly ran over us. they were harvesting the skylarks, and it has to be said they were making quite a racket about it. one of them stopped almost on top of us while the driver ate his lunch without turning off the engine. ah, the peace and quiet of the countryside!

we got on our way again and after interminable photo stops (at last herself has someone to walk with who doesn't complain at the endless stopping to take a picture) we got to the bench where we were going to have lunch. alas! some people had found it before us! how dare they! so we had to walk further on to the jumping gate. this is where, when i was a bit more sprightly, i used to practice my jumping. i get my jumping skills from my grandad who it would appear could not be kept in anywhere. when the peeps first had me they could not work out how i could get out of the dog jail and into the house. they soon realised i could not be kept away from my bed and was leaping over the 5 foot fence and in through the window. i fear they had not bargained for a flying lurcher.

anyway, after a picnic lunch we wended our way back to the house. by now herself was melting into a pool of lard so had to have a shower before the peeps drove the writer back to her train.

i think the next outing may be to a beach - i only hope there will not be 200 greyhounds there...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

joker the schmoozer!

dear readers, i have been honoured with an award! it seems i am a schmoozer! i did not know what this was so i had to look it up. i was given this award by the wonderful mrs deb whose blog herself reads avidly. i have never had any sort of award, nor been tagged to answer those wonderful quizzes full of questions you never knew you would need to know the answer to.

i have only one slight gripe: mrs deb seems to think that the editorial input in my blog comes from herself, whereas of course herself only provides the secretarial support due to my problem of typing with paws. the kernels of wisdom that i share with my readers emanate from beneath my own shaggy eyebrows. however, i would not wish to be a prima donna. herself is often generous enough to share her sandwiches with me, not always knowingly, of course, but that does not in any way detract from their tastiness. so i will share my fame and schmooziness with her.

one of the terms of the award is that i have to name another 5 blogs that deserve a similar award. two of the blogs i would name have already been nabbed by mrs deb so i will have to name some more. it is impossible to choose; herself reads so many blogs to me that my head is spinning trying to decide. but here goes: can we kick the bar here, , spectrum of possibilities, the eyes have it, free range living, and the lurchers.

so there you are people, go forth and schmooze!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


it would be fair to say that herself is a little put out. in fact there is smoke coming out of her ears. the source of her displeasure is himself.

as regular readers will know, himself has dodgy kidneys. they are so dodgy that at some point soon they will stop working altogether. when this happens himself will have to have a pipe put in his rather fine belly and will have to pour stuff in and pump stuff out. in preparation for this i have been instructed that i must no longer jump up for a cuddle in case i pull out the pipe.

because himself has dodgy kidneys, his blood is not getting cleaned up properly. this means there are loads of nasty chemicals floating around in his system. the effect of the chemicals is that he is, to put it mildy, difficult to live with. herself generally puts up with this. so does my boy, although my boy often gets the worst of himself's moodiness. my boy copes with this by doing what herself calls "acting out". this does not mean my boy gets involved in plays. it means he does things like borrowing a cigarette lighter from a kid at school and then trying to light a pile of paper with it. as the house is made of wood, and my boy saw fit to put the paper in a bin next to the wall, this was frowned upon.

anyway, the long and the short of it is that, what with her job and himself and my boy, herself has got a bit stressy. this week she burst into tears at court which is a bad move. the lawyer on the other side knows that you are on the back foot if you are crying. herself has been signed off work with stress. she has been thinking hard about how to manage life.

part of the problem is that herself is in charge of earning most of the money. this is not because of the dodgy kidneys. it has always been this way, even before the kidneys got dodgy. from where i sit it looks like a reasonable way to divvy up the stuff. herself is good at earning money, himself is good at cooking and shopping and stuff. the thought of herself being in charge of the cooking and shopping and stuff and himself being in charge of earning money fills me with dread. we would be living in a cowshed with the smoke alarm going off the whole time.

for years and years the arrangement worked well. however, it seems it is no longer working well for herself. she is shaking and crying and not in a good state. she came to the conclusion that she has to cut down her hours at work, given that she has quite a lot to do at home as well.

the only way to cut her hours is to cut how much the peeps spend. at the moment they spend more than they have coming in. they do this by way of little squares of plastic. about once a year herself rings up the money man and gets more money. she does this by way of a magic device called a re-mortgage. the downside of this, which herself has just realised, is that you have to pay the money back. this means that herself has to keep working to earn money.

herself announced that there was going to be a change of plan.

"if i don't stop working so hard i will drop dead!" (this struck me as overly dramatic but she did have a point) "we will have to look at our money!" i am not sure how you look at something that is in fact not there.

herself drew up some spreadsheets. for someone who cannot add up how many fingers she has she is pretty sharp when the chips are down. the spreadsheets made it clear that the peeps will have to a) spend less and b) pay off the mortgage, before herself can cut down how hard she works.

the spending less idea is a novel one. herself can spend money without getting out of bed. in fact when she can't sleep she often sits in bed with the laptop, shopping. but once she is on a mission there is no stopping her. the first thing to go was lavish food shopping. the peeps went to waitrose (which for the benefit of my overseas readers is a place that sells yummy stuff) after parents evening at my boy's school. parents evening is a bit gruelling for the peeps so himself was looking forward to buying a tasty treat.

"don't spend too much!" said herself, "remember our economy drive!"

himself chose a tin of baked beans.

"we've got baked beans in the cupboard," pointed out herself.

"i want these f***ing beans!" shouted himself. several people turned round to look. herself was a little unnerved but had the presence of mind to warn himself that his little outburst would find its way into my blog.

today herself put her energies into sorting out the household bills. she found a deal where you can get your internet, phone and telly all for £26 a month. this will save a lot of dosh. the downside is himself will no longer get his football matches. he decided this was sufficient reason for another tantrum.

"its all i have left!" he wailed, forgetting that he also has computer games and the internet and normal telly and his season ticket to go and watch football, which herself has just bought him at huge expense. and he could of course talk to herself and my boy, although that i fear would be a last resort.

"i can't believe you!" said herself, "you are seriously expecting me to carry on working full time so you can watch bloody football!"

"just because you are miserable there is no need to make the rest of us miserable!" himself retaliated.

at this point herself had, for once, the common sense to retreat before she said something she might regret. i will tell you about the plan to build a house in the front garden to pay off the mortgage another time....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


this is just a very quick post but i have persuaded herself to write it now before i forget this morning's gem. my boy was just chatting about school to put off the evil moment when he has to get in the shower.

"in geography i had to design a travel poster about an exciting holiday," he told the peeps, "my poster was of a static caravan."

"lovely!" said herself. not everyone would enjoy a caravan holiday, and certainly even fewer would consider it exciting but my boy has been desperate to go on one for ages.

"my poster didn't look all that exciting so i jazzed it up a bit."

"how?" asked herself, nervously, thinking about more messages in the home/school book.

"oh, i drew britney spears in the background, being electrocuted."

"britney spears?" asked himself.

"yeah, she only had one leg." said my boy, a trifle too nonchalantly, "she lost the other one to diabetes."

these beefburger people have unusual minds...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

new shoes

herself collected the new shoes yesterday. they are, as my boy said, well cool. they come with a dvd to show you how they work. this in itself is rather odd. shoes should, it seems to me, just go on your feet and then be forgotten about. but then i only have paws so what do i know.

everyone gathered round the laptop to watch the dvd. a canadian robot provided the soundtrack. the extreme programmer is staying and he rolled up laughing. he is very tall so there is a lot of him to roll up.

"i am going to set up a company that makes shoes that need a training manual and become a millionaire!" he cried. in reality the extreme programmer is already well on the way to becoming a millionaire. he is only 24 and already earns more than herself. he works for the best company on the planet who seem to own most of the internet. they have toys in their office and dogs are allowed to go to work there. they have a gym and restaurants and it is so cool that the employees never want to go home. so he is really not going to diversify into shoes.

anyway, i digress. after watching the dvd herself did a few laps of the kitchen. the shoes seem very wobbly. my boy, who now has feet the same size as herself, tried the shoes. he was impressed. he did a few laps and then gave them back to herself. by now herself was keen to try some of the exercises. it seems that even when you are standing still you can exercise by rocking backwards and forwards. in the dvd the people were doing this while waiting to check in at the airport.

"but you don't go to the airport every day!" protested my boy.

"well, you could rock in the queue at the supermarket." said herself, firmly.

"might as well go on the grape diet and sit on the bus rolling your eyes!" said himself. this was a reference to herself's birth mother who was of an eccentric disposition. she once read a book that said you could throw away your glasses if you did special eye exercises so she used to sit doing them in a spare moment, often to the entertainment of strangers. she also went on odd detox diets which gave her headaches.

in the evening my boy's sitter came so the peeps took the extreme programmer to the pub. herself wobbled in on the new shoes. after a pint of guinness the shoes were even more wobbly.

"i wouldn't like to wear these when i was drunk," she said, "they ought to warn you about that on the dvd." himself observed that the sort of people who were on the dvd wouldn't let anything other than distilled water past their lips.

"maybe that's why they make your stomach more toned," mused herself, "you can't drink too much guinness when you are wearing them." i feel she may need to watch the dvd again...