Tag Archives: escaping dogs

One sugar or two?

We are having some building work done at our house. This work has taken the form of an orangery, which is being attached to the kitchen and is to be followed by the fitting of an entirely new kitchen. Exciting stuff if you can stand it.
The work has of course, been a tad disruptive. An exterior wall being knocked down, a patio dug up, nothing has been quiet nor without its share of rubble and dust. My kitchen has been dismantled, My routine shattered. My tactic is to remain calm and carry on.

a calming walk around Bishops Waltham Palace Ruins

A calming walk around Bishops Waltham Palace Ruins


We have taken to visiting local places of interest.
Porchester Castle in the summer rain.

Porchester Castle in the summer rain.


At this juncture, I should say that I was not wholly in favour of this project at the start but have grown to appreciate it, if a little reluctantly.
It is my late sister’s fault of course. She and her husband once bought a ridiculously large, antique table that saw them through many a dinner party over the years. The table is just short of 5’ wide and at its shortest is 8’ long. At its longest, with an additional three leaves inserted, it stretches to more than 15 feet. A beast of a table indeed.
Needless to say, we inherited the table on her untimely death, along with the entire contents of her house and not forgetting, her lovely son, he who has Asperger’s, and who has opened our eyes to another world in more ways than one. (That is an entirely different story of course and one that deserves to be told when I have the strength).
For the past few years, the table has languished in storage. I knew Dave would love to have it in the house but our house was just not large enough.
Ever since the other Christmas, when we brought it back and put it in our living room so that we could seat 20 guests, he has insisted we need it, with our ever growing family.
In the end, we decided to keep it in the kitchen at its shortest length and extend the kitchen by adding an orangery so that we can extend the table when necessary.
Is this the first time anyone has extended their house to accommodate a table? It would have been easier and cheaper to get a smaller table, it is true but now that it is nearing completion, I have to say, it was a good idea.

With such a large project on the go, there have been a succession of workmen arriving since late July. Each arrives with their own peculiar beverage requirements. Hence, I have become accustomed to brewing tea with, tea without, tea with two sugars, tea with one, tea with none, coffee with one and coffee with none…etc. etc. The permutations are now ingrained on my brain along with their names.
Not being particularly keen on providing refreshments for all and sundry, as a rule, I have found myself duty bound to do just that in this case. My kitchen is unrecognisable of course with the old fixtures having been dismantled. The table is covered in protective cloths and the dust hangs heavy in the air.
It is 11.30am. The dogs have been fed. They have had to be kept away from the kitchen area today, while the orangery floor is being screeded. A playpen/room divider, bought for use with the grandchildren, provides an excellent barrier as you can see.

Keep out

Keep out


The dogs have been kept in the house all morning, I will have to let them out in a minute. I check what is happening beyond the kitchen. The screeders have finished and are loading up their large lorry with wheelbarrow and boards. The rear doors are flung wide. Seeing the screeders are leaving, I go outside via the living room patio doors and push the orangery doors to. That’ll keep the dogs off the wet floor.
I then do something most uncharacteristic of me, I do not check the position of the side gate, I open the side door and let the dogs out. Realising my error immediately, I call Flossie back but she has spotted her chance. Charlie hovers uncertainly by my ankles, Flossie tears through the open side gate and heads for the front drive where the lorry has begun a slow roll towards the open gate. Flossie sees the open gate.
“Flossie, No! Stop!” I shriek and with a sprint worthy of a 100 metre professional, I race across the garden in time to see her nip round the corner, heedless of the lorry’s wheels which grind to a halt, and out of sight. One of the young men jumps out of the lorry and asks if he can help.
I tell him I can manage but am amazed to see that Flossie has stopped in the lane to sniff the opposite ditch and most uncharacteristically, allows me to walk right up and grab her collar. I grab said collar and ignoring Charlie who has followed me and is relieving himself on the grassy bank, I march her back into the garden. Thanking the young man who offered to help and pleased that it ended so well, I shut both dogs in the house.
I cannot believe that I did not check that gate. After all these weeks in which we have had builders and electricians, coming and going, I have never once lost a dog. Well, I suppose I didn’t lose one today really but it could have ended in tears that’s for sure.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, is that one sugar or two?

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Flying irons

It started as one of those days.

Two of my little grandchildren stayed at our house last night. I would not have been aware of their presence this morning, had I not opened my eyes just as they were leaving our room having, I guessed, been standing by the bed, staring at my sleeping figure for some time.
I should have continued to sleep or to pretend sleep for a few minutes more, at least. However, being Grandma, I did what any grandma might do, I said,
“Hello, you two,”
Now, every grandchild knows that if Grandma says hello, that means she is awake, ready to play/read/cuddle whatever you like.
My fate was sealed. I had an early start.
Some little time later, we were downstairs eating cereal poured from those little individual packets, because it tastes so much better than cereal out of the big boxes, when you are small. Luckily, Grandma always seems to have some in the cupboard.
Separating dogs from children, at feeding time, is always a bit difficult and Flossie managed to lie undetected beneath the table for some time, waiting for any dropped morsels of food. Charlie, a little hesitant, circled the perimeter, sniffing the floor.
‘Ignore them,” I instructed.
“Good boy Charlie,” said William. Charlie wagged his tail and moved closer sensing the promise of something tasty.
I decided to send Charlie and Flossie into the garden.
A little while later, boys having eaten their breakfast, I let Flossie in. There was no sign of Charlie but I decided he could stay out for a while.
The boys were whisked away, at 8.30am, by their nanny while their mum, now very pregnant, went off to work.

grandchildren

William and Elliott ready for pre-school and school


It was then that I noticed Charlie was missing. I could hear him barking but he didn’t come when I whistled.
A quick trip down the garden revealed him to be on the other side of the wire fence. He’d got through the hedge and then through another, now entirely invisible, gap. He could not get back.
So, off I went to call on my neighbour to see if I might go into his garden and rescue Charlie. He, of course, was very obliging and led me through the garden, even though it had started to rain and he was in his shirt sleeves. I did have the presence of mind to say I wouldn’t go through the house, as I was already a bit wed and muddy, (very thoughtful of me).
Making my way down the garden, a very long garden, I spotted Charlie still trying to get through the hedge and home. Seeing me, he went into a frenzy of delight and came galloping up the garden. By now it was beginning to rain quite heavily so I thanked my kind neighbour and hurried back home.
Stepping over the lines of neatly lined up cars that 2-year-old Elliott had left in one room, and clearing away the breakfast things, I decided to do a spot of ironing while I was in the kitchen.
This was probably a mistake as Charlie was sniffing round. However, heedless of danger, I grabbed the iron from the utility room, dislodging a chew bone from the work surface, as I did so. The chew bone rolled down the step and onto the kitchen floor. Naturally, Charlie thought his luck was in and made to get it.
“No, leave, Charlie,” I cried and iron in hand, turned to pick up the treat. Confused, Charlie backtracked, becoming entangled with my feet. In an inelegant, slow motion, cartoon fall, I tripped over Charlie, lunging forward, down the step, realising I had no option but to fall to the ground, since both my feet were now in mid-air. With the iron still in my hand, I was conscious that I must not smash it on the stone tiles.
Somehow, in that split second, as I flew through the air, wielding the iron on high, I managed to avoid landing on the dog and if not gently, then safely brought the iron to the floor, where I crumpled beside it.
I briefly wondered whether this would result in any injury to my person but thankfully, it did not. My pride was bruised it was true, but little else. I had even managed to grab the dog treat on my way through.

All this before 9am.

What will the rest of the day bring?

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