The problem with writing blog posts in parts is that you forget a) where you finished last time b) what you called yesterday’s post. When I have to start checking these kinds of details it kind of makes me not want to write at all. Plus which I am not so enamoured of the humour of the situation I am writing about now as I was yesterday. Friday is a long day and there is a lot of work to be done. It’s emotionally demanding work and I am tired now, but that’s ok.
Anyway, back to mine and Rudi’s non-finest moment which I started yesterday. To recap, I had spent a morning talking to the dog and we finished up with me asking him to pick a dog biscuit selection which he did. We then made the best of our way home and I felt like a good owner with treats for the animal. The point of the treats was this. When I let the dog out last thing at night I can’t always remember when I get to bed whether I did let him back in. It’s one of those repetitive things that you do every day so can’t quite recall the detail e.g. I know there was out involved, but did we do in? I then get up and check and he is always there, on the sofa, looking cross with me for turning on the light. So I mark the letting in with a treat and then I find I remember giving him that more easily than I remember the door being opened to admit one dog into the house. It’s a memory marker. A trail of breadcrumbs through the dark woods of domestic memory. The problem is that I don’t buy dog biscuits, so if I give him the same treat every night, a slice of bread is the absolute favourite with him for some reason, I find myself back downstairs after I’ve gone to bed, turning on the lights and generally disgruntling the dog.
Bag of different biscuits means different memory markers means no more nocturnal memory lapses. I hung the biscuits in the bag on the key rack by the front door, out of the dog’s way. At some point later that day, my daughter took the bag down and gave Rudi a biscuit from the bag. I forgot by the evening I had bought the biscuits, so he got a slice of bread.
The following day the dog found the bag of biscuits which my daughter had conveniently left on the hearth. Dogs being what they are, he ate the lot. I was dismayed when I realised. The things were full of additives and colouring for goodness sake. I mildly remonstrated with the daughter (remonstrating with the dog is a pointless exercise).
‘It will be me later, clearing up the runny poo,’ I said.
She pulled a face at me. The dog declined his actual dinner for that day, so full was his belly of giant bone-shaped and heart-shaped biscuits. The whole thing spelled trouble.
The following day I took the dog for his walk. Quite often, in the winter months, I rock up at where the beach should be, only to find that the tide is out. An estuary tide covers quite a distance, so out is out by a few miles and in is nearly in to the pavement. No beach to walk on on this occasion, so we walked on the opposite side of the road until we reached a manicured piece of grass, slightly raised up and set back from the road. Benches line the edge overlooking the estuary and, in the summer, older people sit and sun themselves and enjoy the view. It is right next door to an art deco ice-cream parlour. Southend has its unclassy spots for sure, but this part of Westcliff-on-Sea is a little more genteel in a distressed 1930s fashion. Rudi designated the grassy knoll as his poo platform for the day and evacuated an alarming orange variety of runny poo (as predicted) in copious amounts.
I was pretty pissed off. All this hassle because of pick and mix biscuits and a faulty memory. The quantity involved meant it was a two-handed job, so I dropped my gloves and bag on the floor to tackle it. Sadly, some of it went where it shouldn’t have and left my right index finger daubed in orange. There are no words to describe the disgust of this experience and it’s worse when cars are driving past and elderly ladies are enjoying banana splits, ice-creams sundaes and retro milky coffees only ten feet to your left. I had to double bag the shit and beat a hasty retreat before someone came out and saw the enormous orange skid mark we’d left on the lawn.
I wanted to get straight home and wash my hands, but we had a way to walk yet, so I put the gloves back on in a delayed and after the horse has bolted protective measure. As I pulled on my right hand glove to cover the offending finger I noticed something. The index finger of the right hand glove was covered in bird shit…
My perfect life (not).
There’s a final insult which happened when I came home from work this afternoon. It involves the bag that the biscuits were thieved out of. I can’t bring myself to write about it now though. And I may never. God knows there are no illusions left to destroy round here, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.