Friday 27 April 2007

Jack and poo (reprise)

Asbo Jack and I have fallen out. Big time. It’s my own fault – I let down my guard and began to think that maybe he was growing out of his adolescent angst and was en route to becoming a nice dog. Of course he was merely lulling us into a false sense of security. Shit has always been an issue but vigilance and judicious use of a lead tied to the Aga at sensitive times has kept us out of trouble. But the last couple of days he’s been getting cheeky. I don’t know how he does it but he’s managed to balance a turd right on the very edge of the porch step – so carefully and precisely positioned that a small breeze would set it wobbling. It’s like that mountain in Snowdonia (ragrug, help me out) – the one with the two huge boulders (Adam and Eve or is that something else?) poised one atop the other.

The first day we spotted it as we were coming out the house and were able to dispose of it. The second day we were coming in, in the dark, and the three of us – in turn – trod in it and walked it through the hall and, variously, up the stairs, down the hallway and into the kitchen. I suppose it could have been worse – he could have timed it just before a viewing. But why? Why, when he is surrounded by hill, dale, moorland, woodland, open fields, bog and even close-cropped lawn, does he choose to do it right there? He’s sticking the doggy equivalent of two claws up at us, no doubt about it.
Then, last night, as we came out from watching Lewis, what greets us but three small poos, neatly presented on the mat like some superchef’s tower. All it needed was a puddle of pee couli spotted around it. Does he bark to say he needs to go out? Does he hell. No, the little blighter waits until we’re all settled, by the fire, watching TV or whatever, and then sneaks off. Grrrr.
He’s mightily proud of himself and fairly danced down to the stables alongside me this morning with the compost. The sun was shining and it felt divinely spring-like. At last, at last, we have the greening. It’s the name I use for that shimmer of green that settles over the trees and hedgerows as spring begins in earnest. Somewhere in my memory there is something about Hildegaard of Bingen and a tad of Gerald Manley Hopkins, but really that all gets too intellectual and I just enjoy the softness it brings, the hope that we’ve turned the corner and are heading into the light. We’re behind much of the country out here and still have our snowdrops on the banks below the house, but they’re joined by bright daffodils and the acid green shoots of lilies. The primroses are starting to shine through and so too the lungwort. The hellebores (some of my favourite plants) are still putting on a fine show and everything else seems in a race to get out its buds and party.
It was, all in all, a promising start to the day. I managed to get a lot of work done this morning and had a nice healthy salad for lunch. Then wrecked the whole thing by remembering that I had a packet of chocolate chips (cooking variety) tucked away in the baking drawer and snuck them upstairs and ate the whole lot in one sitting. So now I feel a bit queasy and decidedly cross with myself.
‘I’m going to the post office,’ Adrian just called up the stairs. ‘Do you want anything? A crunchie?’
‘No thank-you.’
‘Oh, well done. I’m impressed.’
Little does he know.

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