Although she’s rather beautiful, we’re a bit worried that Peanut is taking herself too seriously in a kind of ‘I’m a model’ way. Since she arrived I’d say she’s probably eaten about half a dish of Whiskas and a tiny bit of the sardines I put down in desperation today. We’ve tried all the different flavours (duck…cod…chicken) and textures (meaty chunks with gravy anyone?) but to no avail, as well as ‘cat milk’ which she sniffed once and rejected (cost a bloody fortune too). She gets really excited and purry when you’re opening the pack, then takes one sniff and walks off with her tail in the air as if to say: ‘I’m not eating that muck’. I’m not overly concerned at the moment as she’s bouncy and full of fun, drinking lots and …well, you know…all her bodily functions are okay. We’re hoping it’s just shyness and being in a new environment, but if she doesn’t start eating a bit more soon it’s back to the vets (they’ll be reserving me a seat soon) as I’m sure it’s not healthy for such a little kitten to be off her grub. As I write, Princess Peanut has decided that she likes the very first flavour (duck) that I put down for her today, and is noisily chomping away in her bowl. Contrary.
#2 was in charge of dinner tonight (‘why do I have to be called #2? It makes me sound like a poo’) and made his famous spaghetti carbonara (only allowable because pasta phobic Hubby was working late). It was yummy but the kitchen now looks like it exploded and there are pieces of spaghetti all over the floor. Peanut was momentarily diverted by a bit of limp spaghetti, but only as a plaything and as soon as it stopped moving she lost interest again and went back to attacking #1’s trousers with her needle claws. Perversely she seems to purr loudest when inflicting pain. I like her already.
Honestly, I don’t know how it happened. These things just creep up on me before I’ve even noticed. Yesterday, this happened to me:
A little while ago (between foster greyhounds) I talked to a lovely lady called M about kittens. Yesterday, completely out of the blue, I received a text: ‘are you still looking for a kitten?’ Well, as soon as we’d chatted, and she said she’d got a little white kitten who had been rescued after her previous owner tried to drown her and who needed a loving home, a family conference ensued with the end result just about certain. A trip up to Cavan later, and we’re the proud owners of the newly-named ‘Peanut’. I’m not sure how she got to be Peanut either, but the boys like it.
Peanut has the loudest meow (how she manages this with such a small body foxes us), a rumbly purr and a penchant for sitting on the Sky box. She has little grey smudges on her head and a couple of what look like grubby grey fingerprints on her body but the rest of her is all silky white. B, looking down from her heavenly kennel, would not be impressed.
It’s all quiet on the western front this morning. This is for several reasons: my Mum flew home last night (having tidied my kitchen so it was unrecognisable and plying the children with early Easter eggs), #1 boarded at school after his second performance and is so tired and hoarse this morning that he can’t muster a word, and #2 is engrossed in his PS2 game. I’ve just battled my way through a large ironing pile and am just beginning to contemplate the horror of three weeks of school holidays. Lovely D from the cottage down the lane might well be my saviour in this department. He knocked on the door last night, initially to thank us for taking mad Holly for so many walks (I’m enjoying dog ownership by proxy: all the fun of walks, but no foot cleaning, feeding or vet’s bills – joy), but also mentioned that he’d just mown his bottom paddock and the boys are welcome to play in there whenever they want. The temptation of a huge flat piece of grass without massive ruts or cow poo prompted whoops of excitement, so I’m hoping the lovely weather will hold and they can run about and wear themselves out. I’ve dispensed the customary warnings about the stream along the bottom field; I walked near there yesterday and it seems to be quite fast flowing at the moment. That’s fine for the dog, who enjoys a bit of wading, but I don’t want any unsupervised paddling just in case (call me a killjoy but it gets quite deep in places).
The hares are fantastic at the moment. I didn’t realise that ‘mad as a March hare’ actually meant anything until we saw these nutters. They just run round and round the big field, playing tag, leaping over each other and generally behaving in a completely bonkers fashion. Hours of entertainment.
My lovely friend J sent me a picture of her new baby, M, this morning. He’s an absolute beauty and it made me sad to realise that he’s now about four months old and I haven’t even seen him. Maybe she could DHL him over so I could give him a quick cuddle?
Oh, and did I mention it’s my birthday? And right royally spoilt I have been too. Hubby got me the most gorgeous Matthew Williamson handbag (cream and beige leather, a hint of metallic, fantastic pink floral interior complete with a little ruched mobile phone pocket (!) and some blingtastic gold dangly bits – it’s a visual really though) and a lovely linen top, and the boys got me some yummy smelling ginger bath salts and some special candles for my bath (‘my present was bigger!’… ‘well mine cost more!’). My Mum bought me a lovely cuddly fleece that I’d had my eye on, plus some well chosen Clarins smellies, then a courier appeared (oh, the joy!) and a big bucketload of Clarins stuff turned up from my Dad too (great minds think alike) cleverly managing to avoid duplicating a single item – impressive. I also got a lovely jumper from my sister-in-law, C, and my brother (who said: ‘oh, is that what I got you?’ when I thanked him, so I’d guess the thought came mostly from C!) and some lovely Molton Brown goodies from my other brother and sister-in-law. I am a lucky, lucky bunny.
As is the tradition in our house (as you’ll remember from the Black Forest Gateaux debacle), the birthday person gets to choose his or her birthday cake, so I set to work on my own chocolate extravaganza. The result was a double layered chocolate sponge (made with Green and Black’s cocoa and extra melted chocolate in the mix), sandwiched with dark chocolate ganache and topped with yet more dark chocolate ganache and finally garnished with a dark chocolate star, frosted with glitter. Inside #2’s card he’d painstakingly written: ‘I know I’ve helped but you’ve done the most and all I’ve got to say is happy birthday to the best Mum in the world’. We’re finishing off with a Chinese takeaway tonight and then a nice bottle of bubbly. Beat that for a birthday!
Well, #1’s big moment was absolutely awesome. And I say that as a totally neutral member of the audience, not as his very proud Mum. I’m also ashamed to say that I missed him on stage the first time – I whispered ‘that’s funny, I can hear him but I can’t see him… he must be just off stage’ before realising that he was, in fact, right in front of me, but sans glasses and with his new haircut, suitably greased into a Bugsy-esque middle parting, I didn’t spot him. You couldn’t, however, miss his fantastically clear singing voice as he belted out the song. His much worried-about duet with Blousy was wonderful and had me reaching for the tissues. Here’s a cast pic (deliberately far away and a bit fuzzy..you have to protect their privacy these days) – he’s the one with the flash reflecting off his glasses and the very loud shirt on (he was ‘Razzmatazz’, played in the original by Michael Jackson, just in case you’re interested). Also note Tallulah in the red dress and feather to the right of centre, covered in ‘splurge’ (shaving foam, which also covered the first two rows of the audience).
They really were incredibly good – using the original script (vast amounts for the more major cast members to learn) and singing all the original songs, with full dance numbers and numerous set changes. They took it all very seriously and used some very impressive techniques, such as showing both sides of a telephone conversation by showing one (recorded earlier) on the large video screen at the back of the stage, with the other going on in real time. They also managed to show Bugsy and Blousy driving off in their old 1920s car at the end, through the lamplit streets of downtown Chicago – all done with clever videography and computer graphics. Highlights included the pink-satin clad dancing girls in Fat Sam’s Grand Slam speakeasy, and particularly funny detectives: O’Dreary and Smolsky: ‘c’mere and I’ll kick yer Irish butt all the way back to Tipperary’.
We arrived home with a very tired #2 and rather hoarse #1 at 11pm and it was a bit hard to drag them out of bed this morning too. Showbiz, eh? It’s no picnic.
Well, J and I have just spent ten minutes having a very excited screech on the phone as the first news of Louis has arrived. My wonderful friend, Joan (thank you, darling!), who lives in Italy, drove all the way to Modena to meet the greyhounds off the transport and also some of their new families.
Louis is pictured here in the Italian sunshine with Joan’s dog, Bets (aren’t they a gorgeous couple – can you imagine the beautiful babies? Too late, sadly).
Joan told us that all the greyhounds arrived in good health to find all their families were waiting for them. She thought Louis was gorgeous (I know – isn’t he?) and told us that he’s going to a family with two boys, one of whom was so happy to finally meet Louis he wouldn’t let him go!
This is a huge coup for J and hopefully the start of many happy new greyhound lives in Italy. What lovely news – yippee!
It’s my lovely niece’s birthday today. She’s the same age as #1 and they went to the same school too, so they’ve always been close and we’ve been lucky to see her almost every day, which means we really miss seeing her now.
She’s that lovely easy-going kind of person who is smart, kind, pretty and funny without even trying (and with the added handicap of having my mad brother as her Dad). I was looking for a photo, but all mine are from parties and fireworks nights from a while back and I don’t want to embarrass her by showing her with…shock horror…last season’s clothes on!
Anyway, we sent her a bucketload of chocolate (good old Cadbury’s online) and hopefully we’ll soon be getting the feedback from a no doubt spectacular birthday party courtesy of my lovely sister in law, C.
So, here’s wishing you a totally, like, FABulous birthday, Lou dahling – we all miss you lots and hope your birthday is as fabulous as you are. Mwah xx
Hmmm…what to say…? I feel strangely deflated today. Last night I gave two very sad boys the whole speech about how fostering benefits us all. It benefited Louis, I said, by giving him the experience of a loving home, preparing him for his forever family and teaching him ‘table manners’ as it were. And it benefited us by giving us the chance to experience having a dog in the house again with no pressure (thanks, J); an opportunity to learn more about these wonderful creatures and, of course, a temporary family member to love. The trouble is, I’m not sure I’m wholly at one with my philosophy, and it’s a bit of a downer, frankly.
Hubby, being a man (yes, I had noticed), barely acknowledges all this stuff: yesterday we had a dog, now we don’t. End of. But I’m not sure how I feel. I spent the morning washing floors, hoovering, laundering doggy bedding, finding squeaky toys all over the place and generally, it seems, removing all trace of his existence. Sad but true. I thought I’d feel more relieved, after all, poor Louis did have rather dodgy personal habits, bless him, and I’d become no stranger to the mop and bucket. But I miss his presence and I suppose it’ll take a while before I get used to coming in the door without being greeted by a shaking great hulk of a dog hurling himself at me, or that little whiney noise he’d make first thing in the morning when he could hear you coming towards the kitchen. And my Mum’s coming tomorrow and she never got to meet him, which is a shame because I know she would have loved him.
Still, on the bright side, there’s a new family waiting excitedly for him in Italy and they’ve been asked to send news and, if possible, photos, so I’ll get to see the fruit of my labour as it were. I bet he’ll drag his bed over to the sunny spot in their house too, and if they’ve got kids he’ll steal their trainers, take them to his bed then spend ages closing and opening the Velcro with his teeth (strange but true). Here’s wishing this retired athlete the long and happy retirement he deserves. Good luck, Louis.
Blimey, we had a mad day yesterday. Our big man is off to his new home tomorrow – in Italy! J has connections with greyhound rehoming organisations all over the place and it just so happens that some of her charges are off to live the dolce vita in sunny Italy, and Luigi (well named as it turned out) is off to get a nice suntan on that bald pink tummy of his.
The only trouble is, he didn’t have his pet passport ready, so yesterday was an endless round of last minute vet visits, faxes, then a rather farcical trip into Dublin to pick up said passport. Hubby and I are rubbish at Dublin driving, so I printed out a road map off the internet, and he took the wheel. The rest of it went something like this:
Me: ‘Take a left here’
Hubby: ‘but it says right to the city centre’
Me: ‘well my map says left’
Hubby: ‘sod that, I’m going right’
Me: ‘oh great, now we’ve fallen off the end of my map’
Hubby: ‘well why didn’t you print off the next bit?’
Me: ‘because I printed off a map of DUBLIN, and now we’re going to bloody Lucan!!…’ (repeat as necessary)
Still, we got there eventually whilst narrowly avoiding divorce proceedings and ended up asking a very nice lady from Northern Ireland (I was SO tempted to ask her to say ‘situation’ for me – I love the way they say that on the news) for directions and found, embarrassingly, that we were actually where we wanted to be already. We parked up and walked past Leinster House, the seat of the two Houses of the Oireachtas (National Parliament), comprising Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate). There, don’t say I never teach you anything. We kept our eyes peeled to see if we could see Bertie (J says he smells lovely), but no luck, sadly. The building is fab and houses the National Library and National Museum (stored for another day for somewhere interesting to bring the boys). Further up Kildare Street we finally found the Department of Agriculture, where (cutting a very long story rather short) we emerged victorious with a rather fetching blue pet passport for Louis and J’s other two fellas. Now there’s just the saying goodbye to be done, and I fear that the rest of yesterday is going to seem like a breeze compared to that.