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Hello and welcome home. The kettle is boiling and I’ve stacked up some delicious pastries for our coffee morning. Why not go on through to the living room and take a look at the Christmas tree.
After another weekend of sickness bugs and the flu doing its round in our home, I’m really looking forward to the final week of school. Not only will my work be winding down but this is my last week of uni studies too before the Christmas break.
How has your term been? Have you found an increase in sickness in your home around this time of year?
Those who follow me on Facebook will know that our family suffered a great loss three weeks ago, which I feel now contributes to the low mood in our household and the slow healing process. It has been difficult and sometimes involves heart-breaking chats about death with my youngest sprog who is still spiralling from the loss of his best friend – the four-legged kind.
Filling that cavernous hole left by our beloved dog, Henry, we’ve decided to fill our Christmas with little events that will pick up our spirits. Planning a special family dinner and prepping for our traditional bake-off on Christmas Eve seems to have helped and the promise of a new plan for the new year has the family focused towards the future.
What has caught us all by surprise are the cats – they’ve taken over the house! From sleeping in our bedroom to vocalising their every need, they’ve decided that us hoomans need to serve them and enjoy their presence in a way cats can only force you to endure. When they think we aren’t looking, they congregate on the landing and sit there like Stonehenge monoliths, silently engaging in cat conversations that end abruptly when they notice a hooman walking by. This circle of secret silence unnerves me and I do feel the balance of power slipping away from the two-legged members of the family! So, if you see little paws reaching for your knee, run!
On that note, I’d best let you escape our mad house before the cats rope you into cleaning their cat box of feeding them every few hours. Enjoy the festive season and do keep in touch.
Thanks for stopping by.
Three weeks ago I sat here, in my living room, watching my companion – my shadow – suffer through dehydration and what I thought was just a severe gastrointestinal problem – curable and recoverable. Sprockets are notorious for eating crap when given the opportunity. Little did I know that in a few hours, I would lose him.
If typos appear, blame the blurred vision. To say that time heals all wounds is as comforting as punching me in the gut and expecting me to say thank you. Imagine, just for a second, that a sliver of light appears that changes your family from self-absorbed consumerists into loving, attentive people worrying about another creature’s well-being more than their own. Now picture Henry.
I loved Henry and the family loved Henry. He now sits on our fireplace in a wooden box and we pretend we have him close. The dust in the box and the empty spot next to me tells me otherwise.
Yes, I’m still grieving. Deal with it.
Eyes wide open with dark pupils glaring into my soul, his mouth remained clamped over his latest hostage. My pleas and persuasion had fallen on deaf ears and now my voice held an angry bite, ready to do battle.
“Put the doll down, Henry,” I growled.
His head cocked to one side, contemplation stealing across his chiselled facade. Pathetic dolly arms flumped as he swung his head to check for attackers from behind. He was safe for now. He only had to face me. But he and I both knew that back-up was on its way. The heavy footfalls of the Hubble were unmistakable.
“Drop it, now!” My hissing voice reminded me of a stand-off in a spaghetti western. I should have worn my poncho for this!
Big mistake. As my thoughts trailed away, he took the opportunity to run past my outstretched hands and scuttle out of the kitchen door into the garden, said hostage still trapped between his jaws. I screamed and pursued him, darting this way and that as he pranced before me. Slight head turns gave him an advantageous view to predicting my next move. Without much effort he ducked and ran just far enough for me to be within touching distance of his wagging bushy tail.
A deep voice made us both jump.
“Henry! What are you doing?” demanded the Hubble. His hands-on-hips stance used for the naughty sprogs did nothing to deter our little terrorist. With a spring in his paws he pranced past the kitchen door, parading his latest victim with delight.
“Down!” I shouted.
“Drop!” bellowed the Hubble.
A skip and a hop was the terror’s response. His victim slipped slightly and was flicked into the air only to be champed down on again. In my mind I was weighing up the collateral damage. Could we lose this one? Was she a favourite toy? I shook my head. She was one of too many stuffed toy victims that had seen an ugly end thanks to this four legged brute. He had to be stopped. Sally, the sweet patchwork doll had to be saved.
With a new directive in mind, I ran into the kitchen. Ah yes! Leftovers from the day before: sausages!
I quickly ran out again, my new negotiating tactic in hand.
“Henry, come!” My voice oozed sweetness and trust.
I edged closer to the perpetrator, his piercing gaze fixed on my outstretched hand. His wet nosed quivered. I could see his jaw slacking. This was it. We had a deal. Two tentative steps brought us closer. The air was heavy with suspense – and the smell of sausage.
Drop. The hostage was free. I threw the tasty morsel to the right as I made a dive to rescue Sally. Yuck! She was safe, albeit covered in slimy saliva. Her hands waved in victory as I shoved her up in the air above my head for all to see. The Hubble just shook his head and walked back into the house.
What? No victory parade? No pat on the back in appreciation for rescuing Sally from the little terror?
Loud chewing noises formed the background music to my victory walk indoors where I demanded an explanation from the Hubble.
He frowned. “Don’t you know you never negotiate with terrorists?”
“What do you mean? It was only as treat!”
“Yes, but now you’ve set a precedent.”
Urgh! No appreciation for my efforts. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort to argue my point, so I took Sally to the washing machine for a quick spruce up before returning her home to my female sprog’s bedroom.
A scream forced me to abandon my post and run to assist the aforementioned sprog.
“Henry just stole Miss Giggles and he won’t give her back!” Tears and burbles of how much she loved Miss Giggles ensued.
Oh dear. The Hubble gave his dark know-it-all smile. Grr! I hate it when he’s right.
Henry, my dog, insisted that we take our daily walk during the torrential downpour today in the south of England. As I thumped out my wellies (in case of spiders) and donned my weatherproof coat, I considered how lucky I was to have a dog like Henry.
Many walks have led me to this same conclusion. It’s not because I love the trickling wetness soaking through my layers or enjoy sweating into my socks and shoes on a blisteringly hot day – no! It’s because I often ponder on life itself and use my walkies time wisely.
Today’s epiphany came as I cleared the gorse bushes on the path next to the stream. I was ambling up the gentle ascent to the top of the hill when it occurred to me that humans search for company in many ways. Whether through friendships or forced acquaintances, we require some form of companionship to enable us to function.
Then came the question: do hermits require some form of stimulus to write decent dialogue for their books, or are the voices in their heads enough to produce decent discussions? Of course, Henry had his own opinions on the matter but refused to share them with me…
…which brought me back to my conclusion about companionship. We seek out relationships with people that stimulate us in various ways: some to enhance intelligence; others to broker a love interest or mild infatuation; friendships to re-affirm our self worth and enemies to blame for our shortcomings. Out of all those, can we honestly say we have found someone who truly understands us, body and soul? I wonder.
My mind made itself up and decided that there is no-one out there who truly understands the different perspectives of me; maybe that’s because I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Maybe, after all this searching, I should have looked in a mirror and seen the one true person that understands and accepts me for who I am – myself!
Do you feel the same way, of do you disagree?
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