Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A friend for life

Project Dog

As many of you know 'Project Dog' has been gaining momentum in our house for a while now.

There was the school PR campaign that the 10 year old launched last year when her cohorts commenced on 'Campaign Cockerpoo' which essentially involved bucket loads of research and even the class teacher becoming involved in why we should buy a pooch. That girl has a career in spin ahead of her.

There has been the repeated requests. The promises that said dog will be looked after and the ultimate statement - the small things are prepared to pick up poo.

There have been many a friend who have told me what a ridiculous idea it is and many a friend who have frankly encouraged it so they can enjoy dog ownership from afar without the actually nonsense of owning a pet.

I've grown up with dogs. Two labs called Tess and Barney were a big part of my life. I know the joy of having a dog and how tying they can be. Then there is the fact that Tess - family dog of 13 years - bit my beautiful niece when I was looking after her and in one frozen moment turned from pet to animal. One moment that will forever be imprinted in my memory. (Luckily amazing niece is absolutely fine.)

So.... I know that as much as people put their dogs in their handbags and tell me that they are their babies - dogs will always be dogs in my book. A great addition to family life if you get one - but still under it all is the need to train and watch an animal. This is one of the reasons I haven't even considered it until the small things have got a bit older.

And then I found myself considering it, thinking about it, listening to the raging PR campaign fronted by the children. 

Could anything be more powerful - small things pushing cute puppies in front of my face with pleading faces and promises to be good forever.

So I decided a list was in order - the pros and cons of buying a pooch; much like that pros and cons list you write when you are deciding on finishing with your boyf when you are 15...

The pros:

- dog will be cute
- kids will love dog
- I will be best mum ever
- dog can run with me


The cons:

- dog will wreck my house
- dog could eat my shoe collection
- dog needs taking out 
- dog will poop, in my house, in my garden, on a walk
- I will have to pick up said poop
- dog will be tying
- dog requires commitment
- small things may get bored of dog
- dog will smell (even though there is a poodle parlour right on my high street = bonus)
- dog might get ill which will (a) cost and (b) upset small things
- dog will live a long time
- dog will cry when it arrives and possibly crack even my hardened heart
- a small, teensy weensy matter of possible allergies in the house
- much like those small things, I can't send a pup back

Anyway, the pup arrives on Friday.


Meet Bessie. Well, could you have resisted? 

Bring on the fun...(and mum of the year title).

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Calm, cooking and roast potatoes

The roast is in...


I am done with summer. I am welcoming autumn with open arms. I have no expectations for autumn. I have purchased my new hunter wellies to walk in the woods, kicking the autumn leaves.

I have bought a new throw for the couch so we can wrap ourselves up as the nights draw in. 

Summer be gone. You disappointed me more than Gary Barlow did when he allowed Robbie Williams back into Take That.

There are a few signs that summer is over in my house. 

The heating has been sneaked on. I have stared longingly at the fire. The chiminea in the garden is already so last season.

Xfactor is back on TV - which only heralds the countdown to Christmas. Of course I only watch it because the small things beg me. I would much rather be watching some intellectual drama with subtitles.

But the ultimate sign; the great big chiming clock of autumn that marks the end of any more (dashed) hopes of crazy days in the garden is the fact the Sunday Roast is back on the menu. Every Sunday.

It's a staple in my house, it ticks my good mum checklist (that along with pillow fights and reading with the kids) and the small things devour it like they have never eaten before. To be fair after last night's picnic tea they could be right.

It reminds me of the good old days when I was growing up, when summers really were summer, where we played out with our mates and when a penny chew was actually a penny. *stares wistfully down a rose-tinted memory lane*

It reminds me of mum mooching (when I say mooching I actually mean cleaning and doing proper mum things) around the house with the radio on and we were playing with our Sindy dolls (Barbie's just didn't cut it in our house - she was too perfect). Mum was usually ironing (something you will NEVER find me doing) and singing (badly) her own made up words to songs. My favourite still is 'The Lift is up when we are down' to this.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFYtpTot7hQ

The Sunday Roast is a powerful meal - it's the one meal in a week where I sit down with the small things and we chat. The rest of the week is usually a chaotic mess of rushed dinners, dinners without me and a couple of days with their dad.

Today, my sis in law is coming over with her (not so) small things and the roast will be the focal point of activity all afternoon. 

But for now I am mooching* around the kitchen, drinking coffee, roasting potatoes,  whipping up Yorkshire puds, listening to music, singing the wrong words badly while the small things play on the iPad. 



Times not changed too much then.

*mooching I do not mean cleaning or ironing - that would be ridiculous.