To remind me of the full panoply of joy blanketing dog ownership, the day after the seal encounter at the end of a week of digestive indelicacy, we had fireworks. On the whatsit of February? WHY?? There aren’t even any particularly exciting saints in February, I don’t think, okay, Brigid, but she’s Irish & I don’t think a small town in northeast Scotland is likely to be blasting off fireworks for her? Unless we have an enclave of loyal Irish whom I’m not aware of, but I’m not aware of a lot, especially while trying to finish a book. I find myself walking into walls & forgetting my dog’s name* & thinking vaguely, why do I feel so odd? Oh . . . hunger. Food. Yeah. Little old ladies with ME & German Wire Haired Pointers really can’t afford to get careless about eating. PLEASE PASS THE CHOCOLATE.**
You may remember an earlier post about the abyssal dreadfulness that is New Year’s because Genghis is fireworks-phobic phobic PHOOOOOOOOOOBIC. If this were happening to someone else it might be interesting.*** The way he still looks like Genghis—except for the mad bulging eyes & the way there seem to be more teeth than usual around the gaping oral orifice—but he is not Genghis. & when this hairy demonically-possessed creature starts baying like some member of a pack of the unfriendly sort of hellhounds—kind of Ghost Riders in the Sky only with dogs; Herne the Hunter in a really bad mood—there’s not a lot to do except try to keep him from destroying the house & hope that the fireworks-letters-off either don’t have many†, or their next-door neighbour is a policeman & arrests them quickly. I was just telling you Genghis gets BIGGER when he goes nuts? Yes. Seals, seagulls, fireworks, what-have-you.
Unfortunately it’s not happening to someone else. I do not find it interesting.
I’ve said this before too. Little old ladies with ME should not have German Wire Haired Pointers. But it’s a funny thing about this getting old shtick. We were out again early, for us, this morning†† because we had an electrician coming††† at a time any normal person‡ should still be at home staring fuzzily at a computer screen & mainlining (green) tea.‡‡ So I was in my Morning Garments again, in this case including one of those shift dresses that is about six yards around at the hemline which is entertaining but dangerous on a day with wind so what a good thing I was wearing Peter’s old falling-apart winter coat over it, which holds it down to just above knee level so on a windy day there’s a kind of permanent frill but at least this shows off the flowered leggings nicely, & the plaid All Stars. & of course I hadn’t combed my hair or tied it back because it was still MORNING, okay?, & what thought processes I possess at such hours do not include the public presentational. But the point is that I looked like a well-fed bag lady. & coming toward us on the pavement, Genghis of course rampant out in front & me at the fullest extent of the long lead scampering to keep up with him, was a lady lady. She was beautifully turned out, with perfectly coifed, well cut silver-grey hair, a nice hat that matched her flattering, well-fitting coat & she was wearing perfectly judged & applied make up & carrying a neat clean tote bag full of what I assume was the day’s shopping. As we passed she gave me a big sympathetic-dog-person grin & I attempted to smile through my panting breaths, & as we charged away from her, I was thinking, that’s exactly the kind of lady who has always intimidated the doodah out of me, whom I’ve always looked up to, she’s not only focussed & in control she’s nice, & I’ve always thought, wouldn’t it be fabulous to grow up to be someone like—?
Except, now, looking at her, at someone like her . . . she’s my age. Oops.
Well, you use what you have, right? She probably has an immaculate house & gives fabulous dinner parties & is a retired ligation lawyer.‡‡‡ I write stories.
* * *
* Attila? Vlad? Cthulhu?^
^ Okay, yes, I mean no. But I do catch myself calling him by the name of the dog in the book I’m trying to finish. The interesting thing there is that fictional-dog’s+ personality was already set long before Genghis++ entered my life, but the two of them were clearly Separated at Birth despite lack of aligned reality. They’re not even the same breed.
+ & no of course I’m not going to tell you his name
++ Ashoka? Tamerlane? Conan the Barbarian?
** I think I’ve told you I’m Entirely Sugar Free? & that includes all the bulltiddly nonsense about organic coconut nectar & golden agave syrup & other advertising blah^? I’m still a chocolate fanatic. But when I yanked the sugar plug & was kind of limply casting around for fun food I glommed onto 100% (organic!!!) chocolate with barely a backward-looking quiver. The 100% chocolate HIT is intense.
Six or eight years ago when I was first putting myself through this, as I first feared, sugar-free purgatory, 100% organic chocolate was seriously hard to find. Now . . . it’s turned into the latest snob accessory with a lot of pompous blooie written about it—like wine tasting, you know? With notes of citrus, lilac & boot polish, & a heady after-aroma of rattlesnake poison, if rattlesnake poison smells, but I’m sure it would, to a wine-tasting swank. However, one can IGNORE the flapdoodle & wallow in the increasingly lavish variety of small artisan producers of 100% chocolate. They’re not wrong, by the way, about small happy powerful differentiation of flavours, just as they’re not wrong about the complexity of good wine. But calm down, you know?^^
^ There is a special circle in hell, speaking of saints, for food manufacturers & I mean manufacturers, who emblazon their products with banners declaring SUGAR FREE!!! & then you look at the ingredients & the second or third one on the list is corn syrup. There’s an organic soup maker who did this for a while. They’d been making a perfectly acceptable tinned vegetable soup that I bought occasionally to have on hand for emergencies+ & when the SUGAR FREE!!!! started I rechecked the ingredients & . . . I assume they were avalanched with protests from purist-heads like me. Yes I certainly unleashed my best brutal verbs on them. They removed the banner, dropped the corn syrup . . . & started putting sugar in their thrice-frelled soup. &, you know, WHY? So much for that back-up plan.
+ ARRRRRGH I’ve just tripped over a dog & spilled my last jar of stock . . . at least it was vegetable stock, the time that this happened. I don’t want to think about what clean up would have been like with bone broth, even with the enthusiastic assistance of said dog(s). The hellhounds, in their old age, got to the point that the only thing they would reliably eat/drink was home-made super-concentrated chicken stock. Which would at least fall to the floor with a squishy thud because it had JELLED but . . .
Also, this happened back at the cottage in Hampshire, with the nice leakproof lino in the kitchen, before I moved to this lovely old Scottish Victorian . . . with the gaping cracks between the original Victorian floorboards.
^^ I’M SO GOOD AT CALMING DOWN MYSELF.
*** I’m a bit deaf. My idea of hell, which seems to be today’s theme, includes call centres personned by people who don’t speak English, & while it’s true that the centres farmed out to Mars & Betelgeuse, when you can’t necessarily hear that the phone has been picked up at all, & you may be listening to further clicks & clacks from the robot system that wastes your time while a human or human-equivalent is not available???, are not as common as they used to be, the awful truth in my case is that a thick Irish^ or Geordie accent accompanied by loud large-common-call-centre-room background noise, are just as bad, & sometimes worse, because they understand me & I can’t understand their answer. BUT I CAN HEAR FIREWORKS.
^ speaking of Irish
† Hey! I have an idea! Let’s make fireworks REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY expensive, give it all to the government, & LOWER TAXES!!
†† Yes! MORNING!!!
††† Prepare yourselves for the Saga of the Doorbell. But not tonight.
‡ Normal here is to include crazy free lance people who work from home & may not get to bed till silly o’clock. Very silly o’clock. &, speaking of arrested, the English Usage Police are coming after me for the injurious misuse of the humble & law-abiding adjective normal.
‡‡ One of green tea’s few faults^ is that it’s very low on caffeine.
^ Green tea is GOOD for you. Yes, I’m obsessed. I’m a little old lady with ME. & a GWHP.
‡‡‡ I wonder if successful litigation lawyers ever wear All Stars. I could maybe learn to go to bed earlier. The All Stars are non-negotiable.