Sunday, November 23, 2008

daily bread

on saturday himself was well enough to go to the footie. so herself decided to take young dave and me to the beach. she was hoping that the seagull had wended its way to the blue yonder.

all went well with this plan. the sun was shining. people were pottering around doing their shopping and errands. herself decided to pop into the bakers and buy a cappuccino to drink on the beach while we ran around. there were quite a few people in the bakers, buying rolls and croissants. due to the unreasonable prejudice against lurchers herself has a technique which allows her to be inside the bakers while young dave and i are on the outside, at the end of our leads. while this meets the requirements of environmental health, it does not allow much control on the part of the handler. young dave's lurcherhood skills are coming along very nicely and he was able to put part 2 of the theiving course into effect - with a deft forward half twist he relieved a rather surprised looking lady of one of the bread rolls that she had purchased. i was pleased to see that young dave had been paying attention to the packaging module, as these particular rolls were in a paper bag.

there was a bit of a kerfuffle while herself apologised and offered to buy the lady a fresh roll. personally i would have been quite happy if it had been dusted off on her jeans but people can be fussy. herself asked the lady in the shop for a new roll and for her coffee. the bakery lady is very nice and refused to take payment for the replacement roll.

"of course not, it was an accident," she said, "nobody's died, have they?" herself is of the same attitude to life, especially after recent events, but a surprising number of people are not. herself is often reduced to tears by petty unpleasantness from complete strangers. she felt compelled to tell the bakery lady about how himself had just taken delivery of superkidny and how she was touched by her kindness.

our walk on sunday was rather less successful. it was a little rainy and the peeps decided a walk in the woods was a good idea. the original wood was decided against as the rain got heavier and a wood nearer home was settled on. herself brought some bags to collect wood, for the 'knit your own firewood' project. himself is determined to get exercise as instructed by the hospital but he was totally worn out by the previous day's football. not that he was playing, you understand, but watching is tiring too when you have just had surgery.

we wandered round the wood, herself collecting wood like an old troll-woman. the rain eventually became too much so we beetled back to the car. usually young dave and i would be on the lead long before the car park but no-one was around and the wood and the rain were taking all of herself's attention. himself was looking decidedly ropey. as soon as the boot was open i leaped into the car but young dave was distracted by something that looked like a balloon. herself shrieked, which gave young dave the idea that this was something to be prized. before herself could catch him he had swallowed it. herself managed to bundle young dave into the car and we headed for home.

in the evening the snake-charmer and her folks came for a meal. herself has finally got the entertaining thing sussed. not only did they bring wine, but they brought the meal too! all we had to provide was a table and some plates and things. it transpired that this arrangement is temporary, until himself is less tired. although herself can cook, it is simply not possible for himself to sit and watch. so in order to keep him seated the food must be prepared out of sight. talk turned to lurcherly topics and young dave's balloon-eating was the cause of much mirth. except that it seems this was no ordinary balloon but a special balloon called a cardamom. i think they are sometimes used in curry, although having seen one you would need to grind them up first.

anyway, it appeared that the snake charmer did not know about cardamoms, in spite of having such gourmets for parents. so herself had to explain what one was. i have to say i got a bit lost in the technical stuff...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

teenage hormoans

dave enjoys the bubbles after neptune washes his hair

the sense of humour failure caused by the seagull wing was nothing compared to what happened the following day. herself decided that young dave should be kept away from the beach for a while in case he found the other bits of the gull. so we went to the river. this is a lovely walk, with grass where young dave and i can indulge in a bit of silly running. silly running is a sport known particularly to hounds and involves running in circles at high speed, sometimes with the tail tucked under in a silly fashion. if done inside this is known as the wall of death, as sometimes centrifugal force leads to the walls coming into the equation.

anyway, there we were doing a spot of silly running when young dave pulled up sharpish and sniffed the air. before you could say "dave are you sure you know what you are doing?" he was rolling about on his back for all he was worth. at first herself did not notice anything amiss. but then something about the technique alerted her to the fact he was not simply enjoying the clover. she leaped over to young dave just as he grabbed what he had been rolling in between his teeth and made to run off. herself was faster and grabbed his collar. he wagged his head from side to side in an effort to free himself. the object in his mouth wagged around too. it was very flat, very slimy, very smelly and had a pink foot at each corner. herself held her breath and tightened her hold on young dave until he reluctantly released his grip. the object fell to the ground, revealing itself as a very dead mole.

young dave was placed on the lead and we headed back to the car. it was not until we were inside the car that even i became aware that this was a fragrance that took male perfume to a new height. or more accurately a new depth. herself obviously felt the same way as we had to endure the journey to collect my boy from his taxi with all the windows wide open. as my boy got into the car he buried his face in his shirt and shrieked,

"what the hell is that smell?"

herself explained. we journeyed home in a freezing, smelly wind tunnel. as soon as we got back, young dave was unceremoniously dragged into the garden and bathed. as you can see from the picture, he usually likes bubbles. but the pathetic wails that emanated from the garden seemed to indicate that he does not like them as much as he thought. after herself had given young dave a swift towelling we sat down to endure the usual galloping round the house, barking and rolling around that accompanies a bath.

and now young dave looks like a very fluffy bear. and it has to be said, smells like one too...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a wing and a prayer

oh my! yesterday saw herself's sense of humour failure reach new heights. young dave and i were taken for a late afternoon walk on the beach. himself came along to get a bit of fresh air. things were going fine until we got out of the car. and indeed they were not going badly until we hit the shingle. from there it was downhill.

young dave found a seagull's wing, or in fact two wings joined together with a bit of seagull in the middle. a fox (wash out my mouth!) or some other creature had eaten the rest of the gull. young dave became very boastful about his catch and ran gloatingly in circles for quite some time. herself ran fruitlessly after him. she very quickly decided that i should take over and attempt to relieve young dave of his smelly prize. young dave had other ideas and let out a rather alarming growl before heading off at high speed. after a little while of this himself was sent to sit in the car to avoid getting a chill. herself and i circled after young dave. he managed to keep just ahead of us, pausing every now and again to pull more sinews and fat out of the former gull.

herself would probably not have minded this little diversion, but for the thought of the aftermath of regurgitated seagull sinews in the house (or as my boy calls it since the new cleanliness regime, the biosphere). but young dave was off in a gull-induced trance and spent a happy hour or so being chased round the beach by herself. she alternated between cajoling him with treats and throwing handfuls of shingle at him while shrieking that she hated him. how is the poor chap supposed to know where he stands? the peeps are always on about consistent parenting but young dave was being given a very mixed message.

it began to get dark. herself stood forlornly on the beach waiting. young dave, having been allowed to finish off his snack, pulled the last couple of sinews from the carcass, licked his less than wholesome chops, and wandered over to herself, before sitting down perkily and waiting for a treat. herself, with admirable composure, clipped on his lead and brought him back to the car, where himself and i were watching proceedings in a resigned fashion. young dave climbed in, smelling rather interesting.

the evening was spent with the whole family watching dave for signs of intestinal discomfort. no-one wanted the results of his binge spread around the floor. but young dave has the constitution of a lurcher. apart from the odd belch he appeared to suffer no ill effects. until this morning, when herself came down to find a very large cylindrical pellet, that looked as though it had been left by an oversized owl. it appears that even young dave cannot digest feathers...

Friday, November 14, 2008

not a good morning

dear readers, yet again i must apologise for the long gap in news from my neck of the woods. herself has been a little tied up. himself has been recovering nicely and superkidny is settling in well. but there is no doubt that a person with a wound in their tum that looks like someone went at them with a machete cannot hoover, or walk dogs, or carry anything or undertake many other daily tasks. so herself has been rushing around like a mad thing.

things are not helped by the early start necessitated by himself having to go and have his blood checked twice a week. he has to go to london and the hospital are kind enough to send a man in a car to pick him up. the man is called patrick and used to be a steward on cross channel ferries so he has many interesting stories to tell. but somehow years at sea have made him unable to either tell the time or find his way around. i suppose one bit of sea looks very like another, and in any event patrick was probably too busy feeding and watering people to look out of the window. or porthole.

the first time patrick came for himself there was a call the night before. himself was told to be ready at 5.30am. as this was 2 days after himself leaving hospital herself was aghast (be aghast - your country needs ghasts...) tired was an understatement. but being the good wifey that she became for a short period after himself's op she got up horribly early, made tea and sat and chatted while they waited. time ticked by. himself likes things to be on time. by 6.30am himself was off his head. i had given up all thought of trying to sleep. the phone rang. it was patrick. he said he was in our street. we do not live in a long street and there was no sign of a car. after some questioning it became clear that he might have been in a street of the same name but he was clearly in a different town.

it was agreed that himself would stand on the pavement so that when patrick found the right town he would have no trouble finding the house. herself offered to stand outside but himself by now was on a mission. the downside of this plan was that there was a frost and himself was not long out of a hot hospital. after 10 minutes herself lost her patience.

"you go inside and i will stand out here in the cold!" she whispered, loudly.

"i said i would stand on the pavement!" himself whispered back.

"but so long as someone is standing on the pavement it doesn't matter who!" hissed herself.

"no, i said i would stand here." said himself firmly.

"if you don't get in the house this minute i will thump you!" said herself, forgetting to whisper. by now the neighbours must have heard. young dave and i could certainly hear from in the house. himself knows when herself cannot be dissuaded and he came inside, muttering. herself stood cursing on the pavement in her pyjamas. eventually patrick arrived, smiling.

"i've been across many seas, but this is a long journey even by my standards," he joked.

himself did what is known in our house as "putting his other face on" and smiled politely at this witticism, while bidding herself goodbye.

many more mornings have had the same pattern, although himself has become resigned to it all. today was no exception, except that both peeps were exhausted and grumpy. once himself was collected, this time by an ambulance bus which seems designed to pop all the patient's stitches, herself got our leads out and took young dave and me for a walk. it was not one of our best walks. young dave has forgotten his name and kept running off to eat nasty things. then when we got home young dave ran round the garden, including through some of his little smelly piles, and then ran round the house, even faster, spreading smelliness in his wake. herself stood weeping. then she cleaned and washed the floor. luckily my boy is still off school with a lurgy so at least she didn't have to drive him to meet his taxi. but by the time she set off for work she was looking like she had been whacked with a wet towel for half an hour.

when she arrived at work, it appears that she was reminded that she had failed to attend a training course to be a fire warden the previous day. the health and safety man called her into his office as she went past and said:

"must be a woman thing!" at which herself, in her usual calm and measured way, said,

"no, its a 'wife of someone who has just had a kidney transplant, mother of an autistic boy, owner of an incontinent puppy' thing!" the poor health and safety man gulped.

"its just that the other person who forgot is a woman too. she has just found out she is pregnant."

herself had to admit that this trumped any of her excuses and that this other forgetee would have an excuse for years. i hope to goodness she doesn't get broody...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


young dave has had a little trouble with his waterworks. i had wondered if it was entirely normal for a chap of his age to still need to pop out to have a tinkle twice during the night, and herself has muttered repeatedly about the lack of sleep.

so yesterday young dave was carted off to the evil vet for a once over. in order for a proper diagnosis herself had to obtain a sample of wee. now given the amount of wee that young dave has been producing lately this should not have been a problem. but the sample of wee has to be free from contamination by gravel or soil or other substances so it has to be obtained straight from the dog, before it hits the ground.

i was a little puzzled when herself asked himself if she could steal one of his little pots from the hospital. i had visions of the hospital having the heebie jeebies about superkidny if the samples got muddled up. i was also a little puzzled as to how herself proposed to persuade young dave to aim into the tiny bottle. but true to form, she came up with a devilish plan. having researched the obtaining of samples from puppies on the internet, she collected the necessary tools from the kitchen - a funnel and a soup ladle.

young dave duly performed the deed and herself held the soup ladle in the correct general area. the resulting sample was then poured through the funnel into the tiny bottle. she is nothing if not resourceful.

when they saw the evil vet he dipped a stick into the wee and pronounced it very alkaline. as far as i knew young dave has not been having excessive baths or drinking shampoo so this was rather odd. the evil vet asked herself to provide a second sample, taken first thing in the morning, in order to check for crystals. in the meantime young dave was given some pink pills for pale pooches.

so 5am saw herself in the garden, in the dark, in her pyjamas chasing young dave around with a soup ladle. the resultant sample was packaged in a jiffy bag and posted through the letterbox at the evil vet's surgery, looking rather like a suspicious package. the evil vet telephoned later on, with the news that young dave does not appear to have much wrong other than a little infection. i knew the young whippersnapper was malingering.

so the soup ladle is back in its rightful place, having been thoroughly washed. the only trouble with this method of collecting samples is that no-one will want to chance eating soup round at ours for a while...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

ello john, gotta new motor...

well readers, it seems we have a new motor. i have yet to see it because it appears that young dave and i are too hairy and too badly behaved to travel in it until it has protection. the picture above is of a similar one but ours did not come with a free herd of horses. i suppose this is because it was second hand and in the 8 years of its life it has mislaid them.

why do we need a new car? because our car is a special disabled person car and now himself is an almost-not-disabled person we will have to give back the car. luckily herself had foreseen this likelihood and saved enough of her redundancy money to purchase a car. in fact she had saved quite a bit. herself has bought enough cars at auctions to know that the more you spend when you buy the car the less you spend on people under the bonnet with spanners later.

anyway, herself had planned to buy the new motor in january, when himself went back to work. however, this failed to take account of the joys of hospital transport. himself has to go to london 3 times a week to have blood removed from his arm so the pills he takes can be adjusted to make sure superkidny is having fun and that himself doesn't go green. or yellow. but to have the blood taken and the other stuff he has to get up at 5am to go up to london. and then they do all the medical stuff. and then he has to sit among a load of germ-ridden folks in the patient transport lounge until someone is willing to take him home. so herself decided he needed to drive himself as soon as he was allowed to drive. but she needs to take my boy to meet his taxi and to do this she needs a car. so until himself can go locally for his blood to be removed, which will be after christmas, the peeps need two cars.

so herself stepped up to the challenge of car purchasing. she researched all the possible vehicles that fitted the bill - big boot for yours truly and young dave, big engine for herself, not too rattly or tinny for my boy, fuel efficient. you get the idea. a suitable car was identified and herself got on the net to find one. suffice to say that the type of car that had been identified was like gold dust. but herself is not easily defeated. a car was found in a town some 60 miles away. last week herself went to test drive it. it went very fast and stuck to the road like glue. and it had leather seats. herself was in love.

"i suppose i ought to kick the tyres or something," she said to the car salesman, "but you know and i know that i am smitten, so there would be very little point." a deal was struck. herself would collect the car in a week's time.

the week went by. mrs snake-charmer kindly offered to drive herself to fetch the new car. herself made the necessary arrangements with her bank account, moving the money across from her savings account to her current account so she could pay for the car with her plastic card. everything went according to plan until the salesman put the card in his machine. the machine decided that such a large amount of money on the card was slightly unusual. the car salesman had to phone up the bank and herself was taken through a lot of security questions. as herself had been a victim of identity fraud not long ago this was comforting, if rather long-winded.

eventually the bank believed that herself was the person she thought she was and after more paperwork she was the proud owner of the car. by the time she got home it was dark and raining so the family outing in the new car was postponed until the following day. in the style that only my peeps can manage, the family outing involved a trip to lidl to stock up on food and other goodies. himself has not been shopping since being in hospital so he was quite excited. my boy was persuaded to join them to help with lifting heavy things. he did not need much persuading as he wanted to suss out the gadgets in the new car.

things went swimmingly. the new car was pronounced a huge success by everyone. a trolley full of shopping was collected, including tasty morsels to tempt himself's appetite, and lots of teenage food for my boy. then came the time to pay. herself's card was declined. a large queue built up while herself explained to the checkout lady that it was probably because of the new car. but lidl, being a no frills supermarket, did not have a telephone and could not call the bank. the lady behind the till suggested that herself go to the cashpoint and get some real money.

herself rang the bank on the way to the cashpoint to explain that lidl did not sell cars and that she was only buying food this time. after going through endless security the lady told herself that her card had been blocked because the transaction for the car had gone through twice. as the car cost £5,000 and herself runs to a pretty tight budget this meant that her account was now £5,000 overdrawn. the lady on the phone at the bank said that this mistake was the fault of the garage who had swiped herself's card twice. herself pointed out that she had been standing there when the car salesman had dealt with the card and that he had certainly not done this. herself also pointed out that even if he had, the bank ought to have security in place to prevent people helping themselves to large sums of money like that, and that the car salesman had been given an authorisation code that presumably only worked for one lot of £5,000.

the lady at the bank was having none of this and insisted that the bank was not to blame. given how banks are getting something of a bad press at the moment i can understand her defensiveness but herself was furious by this time. as the call had taken so long she was now back by the checkouts at lidl. there were large queues of people, all watching herself on the phone to the bank with interest. when herself finally admitted defeat and hung up, several customers and one checkout lady said to herself that the same thing had happened to them. but this did not help to pay for the shopping. himself by now was feeling decidedly ropey and he and my boy retired to the new car to wait. in the end herself was forced to admit defeat and join them. by now she was in tears.

"why us?" she wailed, "all we were trying to do was have a family outing and buy some shopping. its not a lot to ask!"

himself agreed that it was not a lot to ask but that this sort of thing was only to be expected. my boy raged and ranted about evil banks and hatched plans to blow up the bank. fortunately for the bank it is situated a long way away and the peeps would not have been able to get there without buying more diesel, which of course would be impossible.

when they arrived home, young dave and i did our best to cheer them up. but it swiftly transpired that among the shopping was a large bag of dog food and a small packet of dog treats. the latter are essential in the 'get young dave to pee in the garden' campaign. i foresee more puddles, and not just of tears...