thewritersbarn

Writing because words are the essence of my life.


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P is for pegs, porridge, pants …and puppies

I can’t deny that having a puppy is a joyous, wondrous thing. Although my heart is heavy and my eyes prickle with tears often as I walk the fine line between grief and a new love in my life, I am blown away by The Writer’s Apprentice. I laugh aloud often. He is such a fabulous character. And a total liability!

He’s 9 weeks tomorrow, so I do expect the toileting mishaps and I don’t mind them at all. He’ll get there and I already think he’s pretty good. I am trying to teach him ‘sit’, but only every now and again. I’m not sure he even knows his name yet, so first things first.

Oh yes. We decided to call him Finley. We tried out Georgie (as his Dad was called ‘Best’ and Georgie Best seemed fun) but it didn’t fit him. We also tried Sydney, and Chilli, but again, no joy. Finley came to us because we sell a limited edition Suki Silver Tag Teddy Bear in the shop called Finley and they look alike. Like peas in a pod. Kind of. Except one is a teddy bear and one is a real dog… I know. Ha! So Finley it is and it’s perfect. Fin for short. Not that he’ll be short, far from it.

Puppies … how quickly we forget the trials and tribulations. The chasing around after them, tripping over them, the comical angle of the head, the sudden nerves and lack of confidence after blissful boisterousness! Not forgetting the tendency to go from 100 mph super zoomies to complete snoring exhaustive obliviousness in less time than it takes to check the spelling of boisterousness.

Tassels. What is it with puppies and tassels? I never knew I actually had quite so many clothes with tassels on them. At the moment I don’t have a wardrobe, because we live in a rented house that doesn’t have built in wardrobes, and as it’s only a temporary shelter, we haven’t bought any. My clothes are on a clothes rail. The puppy has selected several items that he thinks require pulling and chomping on. These have tassels. I have also just caught him chewing on the poncho thingie I wear when it’s cold and I’m writing. This has tassels. Of course it does. I channel my inner hippie well. I need to take a long hard look at my life.

Porridge. Porridge is to puppies, what heroin is to people. You apply porridge to a crazed four legged fluffy creature, sit back, and watch their docility increase exponentially. In Finley’s case this morning, he ate all his porridge, plus Betsy’s. The result? A happy napping puppy till midday. Betsy ate Satin’s porridge. Satin – ever hard done to – had to settle for some goat’s milk. Now the effects of porridge have worn off, Finley is awake, and chewing on … you’ve guessed it – tassels.

My laundry. I managed to get some washing done. This was a feat in itself. Finley kept running off with pants. Initially he wanted a bed sheet but this was too big for him, so he settled first for my pants and then for John’s. I had to keep going after him to fetch them back, only to return to the machine to find him scampering off with something new.

Once the washing was completed I went outside to hang it on the rotary spinner. Finley was introduced to the peg basket. Oh joy of joys – I remembered ‘the peg adventure’ with Herbie and Betsy. Plenty of my pegs are half gnawed. I shooed him away and started to hang the washing on the line. Herbie used to stand beside me while I did this and daydream about whatever it is dogs daydream about, always to my left, waiting for me to stroke his head, and ask “Alright, babe?” Finley didn’t have the inclination for daydreaming today though. He tugged at the sheet again which I was haplessly trying to attach to the line, and realising he wasn’t going to win, he skipped away. Once I’d finished what I was doing, I turned to see him lying contentedly in the grass with a purple peg between his paws, having a good old chew. I took it off him and he leapt away in delight, landing on a startled Satin, who was indolently sunbathing and minding her own business.

I had to giggle, but I did sympathise. Both Satin and I were a little hang dog when we went back into the house, worn out. Not Finley though. Oh no. He’s having a whale of a time.

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Elf Musings

Did you know that elves have big feet? No, I didn’t either until I started working in the Wish Kingdom with Father Christmas. I work with 8 other elves and the smallest of these has a size 7 foot. Mine are an 8. Five elves have feet bigger than mine. Interesting, eh?

Big feet are useful when you’re standing on them all day. I was thinking of running a sweepstake. You have to guess exactly when my feet will stop aching. I finish work at 6 pm on Christmas Eve and would hope that at some time on the 28th December I will have soothed feet. At the moment they feel like my hands and fingers felt before my carpal tunnel surgery in August – very numb!

A bit of an update on names. Among the Jayden, Kians, Finlays, Maisies and Rosie-Maes yesterday I had a Jarvery. Jarvery? What can that possibly mean? Is it meaningless? Should names actually mean anything? I pondered that for a good while yesterday afternoon. But I also had a Stanley! ‘Oh what a splendid name!’ I exclaimed to the Dad. ‘Strong and upright!’ In my head I was thinking ‘no daft or poncey names for you, eh Sir?’ I also had an Alice (lovely!) and a Grace. Grace is a lovely name but do you have to be sure your daughter will grow up slim, willowy and petite? I’m so glad I wasn’t called Grace, it just wouldn’t have fit. I had several Violets and a large number of Scarletts and one Sianne (Cyan) so that was lovely and colourful.

I also had an Ocean which was nice, and a couple of Summers. All I need now is a Breeze and I’ll have a full collection of Airwick room fresheners.

Today is a day off and I feel like I am staring into the abyss of the last three days before Christmas. I already know we are fully booked tomorrow and Christmas Eve so we are going to be inundated with parents who can’t understand why their precious child can’t see Santa right NOW! They will become annoyed, aggressive and rude. They are parents who haven’t managed their own time or their children’s’ expectations and they will accuse me of being the murderer of Christmas spirit like I was last weekend no doubt. I hope I’m not wished an unmerry Christmas this weekend though!

So if you are passing a grotto, give the elves a smile and a wave and spare a thought for their feet.