How was your Bank Holiday? Mine was pretty fab – which makes a change, because usually I spend so long basking in the knowledge I have one extra day off, that before I know it, it’s Monday night and I’ve been sat in my pyjamas for three days with a wistful look on my face. But I felt that I put this Bank Holiday to good use, and managed to actually achieve things. These things, in no particular order, included: meeting a very lovely one-week old baby called Henry, watching The Inbetweeners film, a trip to Weston-super-Mare with Mort and my sister (blog to follow soon), fish and chips and a bit of gardening. Very British, wasn’t it?
It turns out that the last one was a bit of a challenge with a sausage dog in tow. Imagine the most annoying gardening companion in the world, with characteristics such as the inability to take the hint and selective deafness, and you have Mort. He is the anti-gardening tool. Are you bored of gardening being a pleasant, stress-free activity? Quite like the sound of gardening with the smell of dog faeces in the air, and wrestling potentially poisonous berries out of clamped jaws? Then get yourself a Dachshund. Here are some of the highlights:
1. An addiction to compost: I don’t know what is in this stuff, but I have my suspicions it consists of ground-up doughnuts, some cheese and fillet steak the way Mort was attacking it. Every time I turned around he had a face full of the stuff.
2. A finders-keepers attitude to weeds: Imagine a cartoon sketch where a red faced woman pulls out massive weeds, flings them behind her without looking, to where a dastardly Dachshund is stood. He picks every single one up and drags it into the house. By the time I finished, my living room resembled an allotment. If by allotment you mean a heap of weeds and dirt that a Dachshund has danced in, and spread across the room.
3. Selective deafness: There was one particular hedge we trimmed that contained berries. They may have been perfectly safe, but we wanted to keep Mort away just in case. Obviously, this meant that they became the most interesting thing in the world to Mort, who proceeded to completely ignore us every time we shouted at him to leave them alone.
4. Water, water everywhere: I water the plants, only for him to lick the water off them. He has a bowl full of water, but this didn’t contain dirt, bugs and general garden grime, so obviously it was a poor second choice.
5. Plant murderer: When he isn’t licking water off my pansies, he is full-on murdering them in cold blood. I love finding pansy heads littered across the decking, it makes me feel all fluffy inside. It is worse when I have to witness the attack: Mort makes a habit of having a casual sniff of the pansies from time to time with that look on his face that dogs have mastered (you know it – the one where they pretend to be acting ‘completely normally’. If they could whistle as they do it, they would). You then, in turn, use the ‘warning voice’, usually reserved for moments where you know exactly what they are thinking. Again, you know this voice – the slow-motion one, that makes words go on forever – like that will stop the event from happening. It won’t – you both know that. The ‘warning voice’ is usually reserved for their name, the word ‘no’ and sentences starting with ‘Don’t you even think about it’. You know how this story ends – Mort ignores the warning voice, bites the head off a pansy, does a little dance of celebration while stomping the petals into the ground, and then races into the house.
6. Dirty dog: And finally, just when I think he has calmed down, and decided to have a nap, a familiar rancid smell makes its way over to my edge of the garden. Yep, Mort has kindly chosen that moment to leave a ‘bottom present’ smack bang in the middle of the lawn. Lovely.