Dogs, destruction and dead seals


I now know why some holiday cottages don’t allow dogs. You see after years of dog ownership I just assumed these cottage owners were cat lovers (PA) or else just snobby and prejudiced. Yet we found out after Bailey, our gigantic Shepherd cross sent a jug through the downstairs window that they might have a point.

He’s one of these overgrown mongrel dogs with a head that’s too big for the body like a nodding dog you can put on your dashboard. We’d only been in the rent cottage for 2 days before he’d gone ferreting behind the sofa, knocked a standing lamp over into a jug which then flew into the living room window and shattered it like a wrecking ball. The glass went everywhere into the ominous silence. I looked at my sister, she looked at  mum who looked at my Dad who looked at the dog who grinned and wagged his tail at his destruction. The living room looked like something out of an explosion wreckage where the lamp stand lay at right angles to the sofa in a puddle of glass, jigsaw pieces  lay everywhere.The remains of the window overlooked the owner’s cottage at point blank range. Nobody said anything.

Eventually of course the inevitable happened, I locked myself in my room while the adults did the walk of shame to the owner’s house.

Bailey was heavily frowned upon that evening. Therefore it seemed obvious that he found revenge in rolling in a semi decomposed seal during a blustery day at the beach. We’d thought it was a rock until it was too late. The smell was like something that had been secreted by Hell itself- a mixture between rotting flesh, fish and public toilets. On the way back it took godlike strength to control the retching during the 45 minute car journey, especially from on the back seats where he took pleasure in resting his slime coated chin on our heads. That felt like one of the longest journeys of my life. The atmosphere was tense with the focus needed not to vomit out of the window.

Of course we then had the job of scrubbing the offender down with raspberry shampoo in the front garden. It took two to hold the squirming thing down while the picnic box was filled with water and thrown unceremoniously over his head and shoulders causing him to shake violently over the pristine lawn. It was unfortunate that at this moment the owner had chosen to show a guest round the property, wine glass in hand they looked down at the sodden mass of people and dog on the lawn.

It was at that moment I knew why some cottage owners said no dogs.

At least someone had a good holiday ;)

Why do computers like trolling the technophobes!?

They say your computer is only as intelligent as you make it. If that’s the case mine must think cheese is a fruit and have a lifetime goal of being on “Take me out”.

I think it’s regrettable being a technophobe. I’m not proud of it  because I’m female and can’t stand this sickening teenage girl image of “Oh Donald do take a look at my PC. There seems to be a problem with it though you probably won’t find it because I massacred the motherboard inside so I had an excuse to invite you round and look ditzy while I  bat my eyelashes.” JUST NO. These people…. The trouble is I don’t understand my computer. I tried hiding it but it’s become difficult since my mouse cursor had offspring who now laggily follow her around in a blurry line whenever she moves.

It’s like there’s a little arsehole living in my computer box that trolls me  specifically when my parents are in the room…

The computer troll comes every time I try and watch TV online like any other normal person. We’ve just got Netflix now (I know about 3 years after everyone else got it…) but before that it was the shady online viewing business. Which as it sounds was a complete train wreck for people like us fools who just do not have the patience or the skills to be able to cope with this. I attempted to watch Modern Family online. Never since, have I tried anything of the sort again. Noobs beware- it’s a scary place!

I’d found a website which looked pretty safe and you didn’t have to download anything. “Let’s conquer this fear of downloading random rubbish I thought”. So naively clicked “Watch now” and of course all hell broke loose.

In an eruption of tabs, pages and pages of advertising sprung up out of Pandora’s Box. The shock of the noise blaring out of the speakers threw me back in my chair. I’d like to think I handled it well.

but I’m pretty sure my reaction was along the lines of…

They all had audio YouTube clips attached which all starting talking at once like a debate for which product was the best. “Colgate ultra-fresh leaves your teeth feeling minty clean.” “My cat loves Iams and I love my ca- YOU’RE SO MONEY SUPERMARKET YOU DON’T EVEN-Game of Thrones DVD box set £11.99 to purchase click on thi-Do your genitals look different?”


In this audio disaster it didn’t occur to mute the sound to be embarrassingly honest. So I attacked back, closing down all of the pages to leave blissful silence. I sat shaking in the office chair. The computer troll can’t defeat me. So I had one last go of trying to watch the episode. To cut a long story shorter it resulted in (to my utter panic) an Asian dating website popping up, alongside what I could only describe as a page of naked women. It seemed ironically beautiful that at this moment a children’s game opened itself and to choose a character asked “Are you a boy or a girl?”

My mum chose this moment to walk in.

PS. sorry this is reblogged again ironically I accidentally deleted it when trying to edit… I know I know….

The social awkwardness of doorstep conversations

I started writing and then decided that using I all the time seemed oddly self-absorbed but I’m not quite phsyco enough to write in third person. Sod it let’s go with I. Thanks to the obsessive Neighbourhood watch system I now have trouble answering the door without looking like a Schizophrenic.

Every time I log onto the email it’s “LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS THERE’S BEEN ANOTHER BURGLARY.” Or “SUSPICIOUS BEINGS SPOTTED IN VAN” then there were the succession of shed robberies each time striking a house on our road until our next door neighbours’ shed. Things got a little out of hand then. My mother and I demanded the contents of the shed be put in the living room. I’m grateful to the crazy old neighbourhood watch but seriously this teen struggles to cope with Poirot let alone actual crime. People knocking on the door was the next thing to get paranoid about and I happened to walk in to see my father running up the stairs away from the front door.

“I’m not answering it!” He yelled at me, which as you can imagine didn’t sound too reassuring. I made a hasty scamper to the door and looked through the peephole to see a balding man with a huge head, though that was probably the peephole- it makes everyone look like a fish. He didn’t look too alarming.

“Why not?”

“JEHOVAH WITNESS-BE MY GUEST.” He shouted from way upstairs.

Now don’t get me wrong Jehovah Witnesses are lovely people and I can say that with honesty I know quite a few but when they knock on your door…….. Hell No. So I hid.

Turns out he was Barry the gas man who wanted to “Check the meter”(Insert stereotypically Dudley accent in) but that’s beside the point.

Anyway basically I have a history of being bad at getting the door. Yesterday I found out how ridiculous it was when the Battersea Dogs and Cats rescue volunteer knocked on the door and I froze up, staring like a panicked horse. The guy started asking a torrent of odd questions and tried to peer around me with these beetly eyes that looked like they might run away from his face. That threw me. “So you’ve got a dog eh? I bet he’s big I head him barking you see.” That was the scary part as I’ve never heard our dog bark. Even his whimper sounds like a mouse with asthma. It was about then that I started getting socially awkward.

“You do have a dog don’t you?” he was looking up and down the street and getting ready to write. I had one of those internal conversations that takes place in less than 5 seconds though it feels like minutes because the whole arsenal of answers is playing over.( “Yes I have a dog.” “Great we’ll come steal it tomorrow” “No I don’t have a dog” “I can see him in the bay window” “We’re looking after a dog” “But the guy over the road said you had one.” “My dog just died” “I can still see him”) By this time my head was going to implode and I probably looked like I’d just swallowed a lemon so being a creative and spontaneous person I went with “Yeah.”

“Ok” he replied and starting asking more questions I wasn’t listening to and I just heard myself blurt “Who are you?” right into the middle of his sentence. He looked a bit in shock for a minute and the mortification kicked in which was when he asked for my parents.

The blessed phrase.

I ran.

The Dog Guilt Trick


I was making a sausage pasta tonight and noticed that the dog was sat at my feet watching the sausages. He had a big gobbet of drool coming and it made me wonder whether he felt envy or frustration at the fact that the humans are eating sausages for their third meal of the day when he has had two bowls of dog biscuits.

He had that baby deer look in his eyes like one of the dogs on the RSPCA ads and logically I should know he puts it on to get the food but right then I didn’t. He looked sad . I mean he’s got to feel jealous….It must be the equivalent of walking past people eating fish and chips, you know when the smell is just heaven and you have to stop yourself from licking your lips? It’s that every day for him.

I think he felt my inner sympathy as right then he spread himself out like a crucifix victim on the kitchen floor, head tilted in mock despair- tail wagging furiously. Unfortunately I was too far gone to notice this dramatic performance so knelt beside him and fed him dog biscuits straight out of the tin. I let him slobber all over me. I felt like a hero gazing into his big brown happy eyes.

That was until he jumped up, pawed me in the face, trampled over my body and ran away to chew on a pine cone he’d found in the fireplace.

8 years of dog ownership and I still fall for that one.

The Journey From Hell

When I’m in the theatre enjoying a good play there’s always some irritating arsehole that’s half an hour late and makes the whole row stand up so they can clamber over them to get their seat. I’m always scathing of these people- I mean don’t they have watches? These tickets are like gold dust. Well today that person was me and my mother and it was 45 minutes late and yes a lot of people had to stand up. I’ll be honest, it was mortifying I never want to  be that person again.

It started off as a good morning. My mum and I are ,putting it nicely, the navigationally challenged half of the family. I’m gonna say that’s politically correct. Being a feminist I don’t like to admit this but we have a history of managing to create a monumental cock up wherever we travel. My darkest memory of this being the time we took a 3 hour detour to arrive in a place with the same name as the one we were anticipating yet the other side of the country. Today I thought we were covered. Mum had printed out a list of instructions as to the Theatre’s location and we were determined that despite the lack of our Satnav, we would prevail by setting off in good time.

We got to Birmingham central with 45 minutes before the curtain raise. Yeah the timing wasn’t so brilliant. We were stuck in an endless traffic jam with motivational male voice choir music blasting out of the speakers as my mum did what can only be described as the “I’m going to burst toilet dance”. A sort of limited bob up and down interspersed with seat belt strangulation. It wasn’t her finest moment as we became caught in a paradox of traffic lights that let in a maximum of three cars before changing. I could see the stress clouding her eyes as the bobbing grew to a frenzy. She reminded me of a frightened horse sort of nostrils blaring. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or hide but the former chose me and I had to choke it down as the motivational music bit the dust so she could “focus”. I wasn’t sure what this applied to though I can guess. She had both legs crossed at this point.

After 10 minutes we made it out of the city traffic jam, Mum gripping the wheel with ferocious determination. Things just went from bad to hysterical.

“Rachael I need you to concentrate. This turning is vital. It says here to take a right after McDonalds. Then there’s the Mailbox opposite our turn in.”

“Ok.” I’m quietly confident that it’ll be me that spots the turn. She’s just concentrating on controlling her bladder and keeping the car on the road.

Ma time to shine.

We  both scan the road.

“I can’t see it?” Anxiety and the toilet dance straining her voice.


“Can you see it? Where’s the Mcdonalds? Oh god where is it.”

“I can’t- what’s that place called?”

“The Mailbox?”



“You just passed it.”


There’s a silence as our lane of cars have to go under a subway while the rest could carry on and take a U turn back.

“Oh shit. Awhh shit. Oh god.” Mum goes into temporary Tourette’s as our car bobs along under 3 subways and a network of spaghetti junctions following the rest of the cars.

“Hey no worries all that stress took only 5 minutes we’ll just find a turn off and go back.”

She looks at me like I told her the sky was neon. The dashboard clock says 20 minutes to curtain. There’s panic in her eyes as we follow the cars in shame. There’s just no turn offs.

In silence we find ourselves on what seems to be a highly fast moving road with multiple lanes.
“Mum I think we’re on a motorway.”

There’s  a silence then “Yes.” A whisper from the driver’s seat. Then a verbal eruption.


“Um which motorway is it?”

“You know what I’ve got no idea!” She does that manic grin that makes me feel like she may not be able to hold the toilet situation much longer.

Unbeknownst to me it was ma time to shine. Fumbling around in her bag I find her internet connected phone which I use to type in the locations. I find us a google maps SatNav. Me! The girl who can’t find her way out of a paper bag. Yeah it was a pretty good moment which I couldn’t revel in because Mum was too busy with her verbal explosion.

We managed to find a turn off thanks to the SatNav with 5 minutes to curtain. Turns out we were heading away from Birmingham sort of Walsall direction. Great.

We took a highly tense 20 minute journey back to the road we started on and with the SatNav this time found the turn which led us round the corner to absolute gridlock traffic. The clock said  15 minutes past curtain. My Mum is a very kind, polite well-spoken woman but not today.

“YOU FUCKERS! RED I’ll GIVE YOU RED YOU-FUCK!” Laughing yet I felt genuinely sorry she seemed to be welling up as she’d planned this day with such care. She turned to me.

“I’m sorry. Let’s just go home.” She’d so wanted to see Swan Lake so I said No we’d make it for Act 2 so we waited in the traffic for what seemed like days, years. With Mum now qualifying as in an emergency for a toilet.

But we got there. Parking was a nightmare but we found one  after running up and down the street heckling like mad women after finding we had no change for the meter.

We paid and ran. That is where we arrive 45 minutes late, Mum sprints to the Ladies and I have to crawl over an old man’s lap to get to my seat.

Never again.

It has gotta be Sour Cream and Onion….

I think I’m addicted. Whenever I’m not having them, I sit and think about them. I Imagine the feel of one in my hand. There are moments of fantasy where I run down to the basement with them so nobody can find me.  I don’t often get hold of them- Mum says they’re overpriced…a friend says they contain a carcinogenic ingredient….I say they’re delicious. Nothing tastes better than

a Pringle.

That’s basically what takes place in my head when the shopping is unloaded and Pringle tubes emerge from the plastic bags. Wow. I know, it’s scarily Gollum like. You could call it obsession-I’m not obese it’s all good!

Well today was the tragic day that all the pringles ran out. The BBQ ones. Not quite sour cream and onion but what can I say. Due to my impromptu pringle raiding sessions throughout the week, the depressing scrabble around at the bottom of the empty tube ensued and there’s that pathetic moment when you pull your hand out and lick the salt off your fingers because that is all that is left. Sad times but  I found a way to beat pringle blues….

1.Let the dog lick out the tube and get it temporarily stuck on the nose.


I cannot advise strongly enough how awesome microwave crisps are. After a long and boring day working I come home and- bam- I’m chopping potatoes and shaking them in an oily bag and throwing them on a plate into the microwave. It actually works may I add!

Ok they’re not Pringle standard let’s not get too excited.

But hell yeah they taste pretty good.

Car. Sick. Dog.

Having a dog who’s car sick is like having a vegetarian co-worker at KFC- a pain in the neck. Our merry car journeys of classic FM blaring like a royal fanfare are no more, as this week we learnt that the horn section can drown out the crucial warning coughs before the beast on the back seat explodes with what seems like his entire life’s dog food consumption. We weren’t prepared that day…..

It was bleak and we were travelling to the Countryside, commenting on the harsh beauty of the moors like characters from a Jane Austen novel. I won’t deny it, I was having a nice time lounging in the passenger seat with Mum driving. The music was loud when the dog made a faint noise from the backseat. Perhaps a sniffle or a clearing of the throat, whatever it was I didn’t register because I was too busy internally laughing at my mother singing along to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. I was leaning towards the car window humming along. Then like the plague he struck out of nowhere……. unchewed biscuit missiles flying from all directions striking the face, the arms the hands. I spin round and there he is- arched in an angry cat stance and like a waterfall the stuff seems to be erupting from his every pore. It felt like a “Jesus Christ- Fenton moment” my face frozen in overwhelming disgust as in what seemed like slow motion I screamed at Mum to “PULL OVER!” diving for evacuation under the dashboard.

Like James Bond and his sidekick we dodged the biscuit bullets in pro style- mum on the wheel and me avoiding the blast while attempting to get the volcano to lie down. (The standing up whilst being sick and going round tight corners was not working for him….or us.) Mum pulled over pronto.

Getting out of the car we opened the side door cautiously to survey the damage. Two bewildered brown eyes stared back pitifully. Around him- a tsunami of biscuits slid down a make shift Congo in the foot well. We stood in silence on the side of the road. One of us said “Bloody hell” the other ,dazed, stood nodding. Twas then we realised that we had nothing but a scrap of receipt to clean it up with.

In this case, one sheet does not do plenty.

The wardobe broke my toe

I ran headlong into the corner of a wardrobe yesterday. I know it’s stupid. I’d say it’s a long story but it isn’t- the house was pitch black and I could hear the pounding of a very hyperactive dog at my heels ready to pounce from behind. It was all part of a game but by the time I’d thrown myself up to the top of the stairs I was running out of breath which was when I realised my own dog had outwitted me  (German Shepherd so at least they’re meant to be intelligent) and had cornered me in the landing. Entering into the spirit of the chase I ran into a bedroom where I promptly smacked headlong into a wardrobe. The dog was left nibbling my hands as I cradled the victim of this unjust attack-my smallest toe.  How pathetic.

When asked I say it’s broken on the basis that if I get the swollen, purple toe and the pain I should at least get the title “I’ve broken my toe” rather than I’ve minorly bruised my smallest toe which is why I’m not in school today. Even worse “I’ve sprained my toe” I could never have lived that one down…

As it is, today has been busy with Narnia related banter (God help me it had to be a wardrobe) and enough toe puns to fill a book, let alone my text history. “How are you TOEday..” “Awh that’s Toe bad”


The worst part- tomorrow I’ve got to go to school in granny sandals and walking socks.

How TOEtally awlful.