YOU CAN GET MY SIX BIN SALUTE, PLUS A REALLY GOOD BARK!

My New Years resolution is to sit proudly in my yard and give a military style paw salute to my General's Mum, Dad and Joolsy every time they bring rubbish to the bin or come out to peg some washing on the line. I would make it not to bark at everything and everyone who passes my house (Elsie and I feel we own our whole road) but fear this would be broken by 9.00am on New Years Day when folk are passing with their dogs for their morning stroll. Happy New Year.


DOWNTON'S DUMBO FILLED MINCE PIE!


Joolsy is all, as the song goes, “Joyful and triumphant” now Christmas 2015 is over with. Don’t worry she isn’t one of Ebenezer Scrooge’s distant relatives. Although she was thinking of the double pay she was getting when she was working Boxing Day, in a very Scrooge like manner. There was apparently a stampede on doors opening for the sales to begin! Joolsy works in retail and the common turkey is not her friend from 1 December until 27 December! I do believe Joolsy suffers some sort of post Christmas trauma from turkey orders gone by as sometimes I bring out my Terence the Turkey toy throughout the year and Joolsy visibly shakes on sight of poor Terence. He’s quite cute really and I’m trying to help Joolsy (honest) by giving her turkey exposure throughout the year thus making the mere Christmas turkey seem more palpable. That's my story and I'm stick to it. Elsie and I enjoyed Christmas so much. It started for me on Christmas Eve when my family were having the Scrabble contest to end all Scrabble contests. Joolsy who is normally so meek and mild (she told me to type that) transforms into her aggressive competitive alter ego. She’s like The Incredible Hulk only her face is more Phil Mitchell off Eastenders (bright post box red) once she’s in her game playing zone. Joolsy has been known to throw almighty strops on losing board games. On playing Chav (the council estate version of Monopoly. Not very politically correct I know but a highly entertaining board game) Joolsy gets irate at having to give her Giro payments, her sovereign ring or her alloy wheels to another player. Anyway after losing the first round at Scrabble, Joolsy threw her letters across the room in anger. Dad decided it was time for Joolsy to cool down (she nearly got sent to the naughty step I can tell you and 35 years old this does seem a bit extreme) and went off to make a brew and to crack open the mince pies that Elsie and I had sniffed out from the kitchen side earlier in the day. I followed Dad and as he opened the package one mince pie went astray and somehow ended up in my mouth, yum yum! To Dad it must have all gone in slow motion but to me the pie went down far to quickly for my liking. Dad had to forgo his mince pie (it was making its way nicely down my food pipe to my belly by this point) and had a Mars Bar instead, as I circled around the living room as they all ate in the hope that more offerings were floor bound. However this mince pie came back to haunt us all in the most unsavoury of fashions at 2.30am on Christmas morning! Yes, I had to dash to the back door and scratch, LOUDLY! No, I hadn’t spotted Santa’s sleigh or Major Tim Peake on the International Space Station (although I’m going to keep looking and waving my paw as the stars at night flash overhead in the hope of a wave back from space) this was a dash of the bowel kind and what a mess my bowels made all over the yard. I won’t go into the finer details of my every bowel movement as I know some of you maybe multitasking and eating a meal whilst reading this. I do hope it isn’t a curry! Anyway poor Mum had the task of swilling and sweeping the yard clean after I’d finished decorating it in fifty glorious shades of brown. After my poo escapades we all went back to bed until 7.00am when Santa made a quick delivery while Elsie and I had our breakfast, mine was a bowel settling bowl of rice. Santa used to deliver on Christmas Eve and leave our presents while morning, however I made a such a protest at having to leave the side of my presents that I think we are now last on his postal chimney rounds. He was very generous to Elsie and I though with the help of Mum, Dad, Joolsy and Nana of course. We got two toys each off Joolsy. One was a festive inspired toy. I got a robin and Elsie got a very loud squeaky Santa, that she has just made my ears ring with now as she’s just been running round the room with whilst I’m trying to concentrate on being funny. Our other toy was either inspired by David Attenborough’s The Hunt programme or the WWF (World Wild Fund not the buff wrestlers) had sent Joolsy another update on her monthly charitable donation. I got a penguin and Elsie got a seal. A white seal which Mum was having a near melt down on seeing as to just how white this seal actually was once it arrived and how grey it may become over the coming weeks. Well, that is what happens in the wild I guess so it will be extremely apt. Mum and Dad got us a Nyla Bone each plus a new collar. Mine I’m proudly wearing and Elsie’s is still somewhere between here and China. Paws crossed it will arrive eventually. She was too busy playing with her new wears to notice Mum putting my new collar around my neck. Nan got us some of our favourite treats for the good times when our behaviour is exemplary. Anyway we have enjoyed playing with our new toys so much and I got to fill my belly again with naughties last night when I spotted Joolsy’s Malted Milk biscuit on the low table sat next to her cup of tea. The temptation got to great and I had to have a nibble, of the whole biscuit! I’m getting quite splendid at this now. Whats more Joolsy got the blame off Dad as she was chilling and having a look at Facebook instead of chomping the biscuit, if you pardon the pun there!
It was the end of an era on Christmas Day as Downton Abbey closed its doors for the final time and fans of the show including my family were all so pleased with the ending. Gone were the car crashes, death in child birth and blood curdling scenes that Quentin Tarantino would have being proud to have in one of his blockbusters and in came happiness in its purest unadulterated form. It was bliss. Julian Fellowes obviously took note of the fact that Elsie and I would be camped outside his house (well must be mansion now for sure due to Downton’s massive success) and would’ve been ready to pounce, me teeth bearing and Elsie minus eight teeth, snarling away were he to give Lady Edith a less than satisfactory ending. This happily was not the case and although it was touch and go due to Bertie’s Mother (played by Miranda star Patricia Hodge. I kept expecting her to coo, “Such fun!” as Bertie announced his engagement) wanting her son to live an untainted life, Lady Edith married her Prince. Even Mr Barrow the sometimes pantomime baddy of the show got his happy ending to as he took over from Carson who retired to live the rest of his life on the Downton estate with the lovely Mrs (Hughes) Carson. I must let you in on a little secret here, Joolsy who is now a massive Downton convert (after not initially watching then playing catch up for the start of series three) and sniffled through the final trying to keep her eye make up at bay when she watched it on BOXING DAY as she had to go to work. Yes, folks Joolsy was more intrigued by who was going to die on Eastenders. In fact that was all she talked about throughout her turkey (she managed not to have a melt down over eating it as she did selling it) lunch. She was bitterly disappointed at having to wait until Boxing Day night to find out that it was Fat Boy who died in the car crusher. I feel a showing of The Krays coming again soon as Joolsy seems to enjoy a little gangster style drama a bit too much. I preferred the Disney style outing of Downton Abbey at Christmas, Walt would’ve been proud of the happy ever afters displayed here.

However Mr Walt Disney would not have been proud at all with Joolsy’s Disney film knowledge. On Boxing Day night ITV showed a programme entitled The Nations Favourite Disney Song. It got going and it turns out Joolsy hadn’t seen hardly any of these family films as a child. Then the recriminations at Mum and Dad started as Dumbo’s song was played, “What sort of a childhood did I have when I haven’t even seen Dumbo?” It got worse as Peter Pan’s song played out followed by Frozen. Okay so Mum and Dad can definitely stop feeling guilty about Joolsy never seeing Frozen as she was 33 years old at the time of its release. However Joolsy made them feel guilty like their Disney-less actions were tantamount to child abuse which is not the case at all. As the count down continued Dad guessed the favourite would be Let It Go from Frozen. That was number 4 and was murdered so much by Joolsy that a six year olds enjoyment maybe forever tainted and their ears would forever bleed. I know my Spaniel ears have only just stopped ringing and Elsie’s only just stopped whining, “Will she let it go!” Joolsy guessed the Circle Of Life from Lion King which again she belted out and damaged our ears with in her horrible dulcet tones. There’s no wonder she wasn’t allowed to learn the violin at school as she couldn’t do her musical scales properly. I’d like to tell her music teacher she still can’t do her musical scales properly to this day! Mum won the guessing game with the Jungle Books Bare Necessitates, which was a fabulous number one choice as it is a groovy and happy song when not sang by Joolsy of course. Now you may wonder what films Joolsy did actually watch as a child if she wasn’t watching these Disney classics. She watched Dirty Dancing every day for a whole summer. Laughing every time at the scene where Patrick Swayze touches Jennifer Grey’s bum (the simple things in life and yes she still laughs at it now) in his cabin along with her excitable neighbour. This was followed the next summer by Grease and Grease 2. Joolsy’s excitement was palpable when Maxwell Caulfield joined the cast of Emmerdale some years ago now as the ill-fated Mark Wylde (I say this as he ended up getting shot and buried by his wife Natasha after she discovered his affair). Joolsy’s childhood memories of pretending to be Michelle Pfeiffer’s character Stephanie Zinone and singing along to Cool Rider whilst perched on the end of the Chesterfield sofa acting like it was a Harley Davison all resurfaced on his arrival to the Yorkshire based soap. Other film favourites of Joolsy's growing up were The Terminator. Arnie said he’d be back and after a stint in political life as the Governor of California he kept reprising his role as now a goodie. Joolsy also watched The Poltergeist and Nightmare On Elm Street. It's no wonder she enjoyed the latest series of crime caper Luther so much. Although she now hides her eyes when the scary bits come on with her owl encased iPhone. Lastly as a child Joolsy enjoyed 9 1/2 Weeks and Sharon Stone’s naughty back catalogue of Basic Instinct and Sliver. It’s any wonder this blog isn’t dusted with smut with Joolsy at the editorial helm.
Right I better go as Elsie has already enforced a move up to Joolsy’s bedroom to type this post as she pounced excitably onto the keyboard causing me to have a Cocker Spaniel near seizure as I hadn’t saved it.






SANTA BABY, PLEASE HURRY DOWN MY CHIMNEY!

Dear Santa
I have been an exceptionally good boy this year (I know you have been keeping you beady eye on me) so for Christmas please may I have the following:-
More Tim Henman style toys. Yes named after the former British tennis star. I didn't have the heart to rename him Andy Murray when Tim retired to his Wimbledon commentary box.
Another rope to play tug of war with Mum, Joolsy or when I'm feeling highly competitive Dad.
More luscious drinks. Okay so better make mine and Elsie's a water, staggering around drunk is not a good look for a dog. By the way that's Mum and Dad's stash that I keep nudging as I pass.
A better pair of glasses, this pair are not designer enough for a pooch of my calibre!
A toy that doesn't resemble Elsie as much. I get confused as I try to play!

Thank you Santa, love, licks and paws Marble. xxx


MINI ROCKET PUDDLING THROUGH POTHOLES!

So it seems we can get a British man up to the International Space Station but two women and a Mini have an epic fail trying to get out of a pothole! Major Tim Peake made it all the way up to space with the whole of the humble British public cheering him on and even some star turns aiding him in his space voyage too. The Queen sent him a telegram that fortunately he actually got. I didn’t know Royal Mail delivered up in space but I guess if it’s order of the British Empire and if the Queen sent it by recorded delivery every special attempt will have had to be made. Then there was pop royalty getting in on the act too with Sir Elton “Rocket Man” John and Sir Paul McCartney sending messages. The launch was so very exciting in our house. Joolsy got her special brew (tea not the alcoholic version popular with park bench sitters in the 1990s) and a Malted Milk biscuit out and her and Elsie sat on the sofa counting down the rocket until it blasted off. I think Joolsy’s still excited about the whole Mr Spoon and Button Moon gazing escapades from the other week, that this Professor Brian Cox fest has just got her all a quiver. I on the other paw just laid looking through the skylight from my very own landing pad to see whether I had a better vantage point of the rocket should it whizz passed our house. The rocket made it safely to the International Space Station and the Astronaut’s families were able to have a Skype/Face Time chat with them. Joolsy remarked that they can get a marvellous signal from all that way but sometimes she can’t get a network signal or Wifi to work here on Planet Earth. It’s only a six hour flight Joolsy if you are that desperate to talk. Mind you BT did once say it was good to talk, they must have worked with some leading doctors to come up with that advertising golden nugget. We all look at each other, Elsie and I included every time the phone rings like it’s an insult to our silent tranquility! Mum and Joolsy found themselves lost up a driveway last night, they obviously don’t have Major Tim Peake’s directional abilities at all! Joolsy had driven her car all of a hundred yards (the governments metric incentive hasn’t reached me as a Cocker Spaniel yet) down to our friends house for a Christmas come birthday drinks party. An event Mum was pleased had occurred as she had already kicked her shoes off when Joolsy arrived and didn’t fancy the walk back up the road home. On leaving Dad decided (wisely it would evidently seem) to walk back and all Joolsy had to do was reverse down the curvy driveway. Easier said than obviously done. They started moving backwards (in the pitch black darkness Joolsy insists I type here) with Mum directing, “You need to get your right hand down to avoid the tree!” There are trees either side of the drive both with conservation/protection orders on them so Joolsy was acutely aware that it would be on pain of death that she drove into one in her Primrose Mini. They got to the bottom of the drive a little on the grass but hey no one was watching then could go no further. Joolsy tried reversing and then going forward with a wine filled Mum instructing her but to no avail, they were stuck in a pothole! Mum started giggling like a school girl and then Joolsy started the instructions of, “Go get Russell and Chris they will have to push us out!” After telling Mum a few times as the orders didn’t seem to filter through properly with her Prosecco brain in full overload mode Mum went back and got the heroes of the hour to come bump them out of the hole. Dad, Elsie and I have been for our usual morning stroll today with our CSI hats firmly on our heads to see if Joolsy, Mummy and most importantly Primrose had done any lasting damage to the grass. Horatio Caine from CSI Miami will be filing a full and thorough report for us but I’m pleased to announce that our primary investigations show that Joolsy did just get stuck down a pothole. We have been singing the Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em theme tune all morning though as I swear Joolsy is related to Frank Spencer in some way. Although Joolsy may have to go something to get her car stuck on the edge of a cliff just like Mr Spencer did. However I better stop typing this section of my blog now as I don’t want to give her any ideas. I will say this though, I don’t think Sir Michael Caine would have be too proud of Joolsy’s Mini driving skills as they are hardly the Italian Job finesse. Mind you I don’t think on this occasion it would’ve been necessary to blow the bloody doors off! 
This wasn’t the only disaster to befall Joolsy this weekend. Indeed it was Joolsy who took a fall on Saturday evening rushing to get home for her (and mine and Elsie’s) fortnightly treat of Mama’s Lasagne (I’m drooling as I’m typing this now) followed by the Strictly Come Dancing final. Joolsy went down like a rugby playing supremo who was scoring a game winning try. The only thing she forgot apart from her rugby ball was to protect her left knee. It was a good attempt though without any rugby skills training. So in the house she limped and onto the Calpol she went to relieve her sore and aching knee. There was no jiving from Joolsy on Saturday evening (she was on oh ahhh sofa rest) and disappointingly no jiving from eventual Strictly winner Jay and Aliona either. They decided to perform another of their favourite dances ahead of the fans favourite jive with a Pulp Fiction quirky twist. We all thought this would prove to be their downfall as the other contestants pulled out all the stops but dancing talent prevailed and Jay was crowned Strictly Come Dancing champion 2015. So I’ll be hanging up my dancing shoes until next years competition kicks off, when Dad and I get to do a Waltz around the living room once more.

Now Postman Pat may have had Jess his black and white cat (singalong if you know the theme tune here please) but Mum and Dad had a Cocker Spaniel and a noisy ever barking Yorkshire Terrier whilst they were making their Christmas card deliveries around the village this past week. It turned out to be a weight training session for Mum and Dad too. No, although they are popular within village life and have made lots of lovely friends mainly bumping into folk whilst walking Elsie and I. They knew lots of the dogs names firstly and then moved onto their owners names sometime after. It was us they ended up carrying in the end not a sack full of cards due to areas of the village being so waterlogged through all the rainfall we’ve had. Don’t Elsie and I know it, we get dragged out first thing on a morning and then again mid-afternoon (whether we want to be or definitely not) when it’s all wet and bleak. We often retreat to hide in Joolsy’s room but like well trained members of a search and rescue team they always seem to find us! This particular day we had to make a delivery down a road we’ve been avoiding for weeks due to its boggy conditions. We started going down it and were getting further and further into this puddle. I looked at Dad to offer him my best pick me up now plea and Elsie looked at Mum as the water was lapping the top of her imaginary wadders. This for Elsie was one paw print away from going to the top of the Health and Safety Executives (HSE) list. For me it was a matter of sheer vanity and hatred of all things wet, well apart from the lovely warm showers at the grooming salon. However for Elsie it was a matter of life or death. She could have been swept away, well in a puddle like a little Yorkie drowned rat. Anyway in a nick of time we were both safe and sound in Mum and Dad’s arms and carried to a drier patch of the lane. We’d never make to SAS would we? Once home Elsie was put in the sink for her second bathing of the day and the 50th bath of the winter season so far. These little dogs with their little legs being so low to the ground, mucky or what? Also the towels had to have a little bath of their own in the washing machine. Fortunately Carson and Mrs Patmore (Mum and Dad) sorted that domestic duty out as Elsie and I dried out by the radiator.

Lastly for today I wish you all a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays from Elsie and I. We are both looking forward to sitting and smelling the turkey cooking in the oven on Christmas morning then having a nibble of it after our families lunch is over, scrumptious!


A ROWNTREES MAKE UP RANDOM NOW IN HD!

So this week my family moved into the twenty-first century. Just like the now twenty-first century Fox film studios we had to change our televisual branding. I grant you some nearly sixteen years later than they did but hey whose counting? Now Fox is not the one using Leo The Lion by the way as that is in fact MGM. What a mastermind of film factual information I am today. Yes, Leo please feel free to roar as loudly as you like, I know Mum and Joolsy sure did as we are now officially a high definition family and what a revelation in the world of make up artistry it has turned out to be. One of the first things Joolsy watched was a make up segment on This Morning by legendary Make Up Artist to all the Hollywood A listers, Bobbi Brown. Brilliant as this lady knows a thing or two about enhancing a ladies features to bring out the best of them in make up terms. Oh I sound like this is going to be another skill to add to my Spaniel repertoire. Move over Bobbi, Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury there’s a new kid or should that be pooch in town. I will have to learn how to hold a brush and define my sweep technique with the bronzer. Maybe once I’ve trained using You Tube videos as I can’t afford to go to make up classes, I could upgrade Joolsy’s make up as she still uses same eye make up techniques she learnt from a book she got when she was at high school. Having said that her favoured liquid liner on the top lid is still extremely popular today especially with the Duchess Of Cambridge, who is clearly a fan of the feline flick. See I’ve got all my lingo down now! Joolsy’s viewing moved on an hour to Loose Women whose Make Up Artist quite frankly needs firing for crimes against blusher and bronzer. Even for my untrained Cocker Spaniel tear drop eyes there was a little too much sweep technique going on I think! This “Artist” obviously never went to The School of Bobbi Brown and I believe went to the circus for their work experience. I’ll spare the two presenters on the panel with the most enhanced blusher technique from blushing anymore, as they’d look like Ross when he had his now infamous spray tan on Friends. Simon Cowell’s stage make up on The X Factor final looked okay (if it’s ever okay for a man not involved in Strictly Come Dancing to wear spray tan) until he went up to congratulate winner Louisa Johnson and turned around to reveal some of his white bits. No, it wasn’t even down there you mucky lot! The back of his neck, you know the part where a Mother would wash on a school child ready for their inspection in class (oh that went out with the ark did it? How old fashioned do I sound with my high standards in grooming and cleanliness?) was as white as the driven snow and the front part was a decided shade of St Tropez darling!  

Speaking of The X Factor final, I don’t mean to be scathing here as I’m just a mere Cocker Spaniel dog and I’m probably best leaving that up to paid TV Critics in newspapers such as The Mail On Sunday... Oh blow it here I go sharpening my critical eye! I do feel after last nights show and this series as a whole that this programme needs to go on a gap break. Like a student who flies the nest goes to Thailand and then Australia with their backpack in tow and comes back re-energised and full of hope (we are all full of hope for a better series next time around!) It was a bit like car crash telly I’m afraid. There have been technical issues on a show once so slick. Such as Olly Murs telling a contestant they were going home even though they hadn’t gone to “deadlock” yet. Then on Saturday nights first part of the final a glitch where a clip to Simon Cowell’s obvious dismay wasn’t played properly. To Joolsy and Mum’s shock Simon Cowell was clearly trying to ramp up his flagging show by announcing then contestant and soon to be winner Louisa the best thing he’d ever seen grace The X Factor stage. Hello Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis and their pitch perfect voices not to mention now Coronation Street actor Shayne Ward who could sing any song given to him. Speaking of Hello, I better type this quietly if that can be done as Adele gave a very polished performance. However it was marred in our house by the bitter twosome sat on the sofa with Elsie and I ranting again about not being able to get tickets to see her show next year. We also said, “Goodbye” (there’s all the greetings and pleasantries in todays blog) to One Direction. The highlight of their performance was Harry Styles’s floral tribute to Mary Berry. Looking at his glorious red suit with floral pattern he’s obviously a fan of the Queen of Bakes too. Joolsy was well impressed and named him Mary’s honouree grandson. I better make it clear about the honouree part as there really would be a rumour that would get the papers gossip sections talking! Sadly though I fear The X Factor will return next summer just like all the cycling events in Yorkshire. Our area seems to be flogging cycling tournaments to death. After hosting Le Tour De France’s Grand Depart (okay this one we will let off as it is a global event) we now have The Tour Of Yorkshire to contend with next summer after an event this summer too. Joolsy is going mental already yelling, “Room 101!” No, that’s not the hotel room number where Joolsy has Chris Froome and his avid fans tied up to keep spectator numbers down. It is the popular programme hosted by Frank Skinner (singer of the second most popular football song after the English national anthem, Three Lions. The third most popular England football song being footballing legend John Barnes’s rap World In Motion for the 1990 World Cup) where a celebrity can select things they don’t like and send them to Room 101. So along with middle aged men in lycra, Joolsy would send slow tractor drivers that don’t pull over when they have a long queue forming behind them. Oh the power they yield! Oh I’m fuelled by Joolsy’s rage and I am sounding like a modern dog version of Basil Fawlty. Find me a tree branch and I’m off the bash a cyclist/or a tractor for Joolsy.

I had a minor medical emergency last week that was treated like an episode of Casualty. I was taken to the dog equivalent of Holby City Hospital, the Vets as Dad found a pea sized lump on the lower part of my back. I was rushed down not in a blue lighted ambulance but in Dad's Freelander to see the new Vet who Dad thinks looks like one of the actors from Games Of Thrones. Before Mum and Joolsy start applying their lip gloss and making up medical ailments for Elsie and I on a daily basis, I can confirm this Vet looked nothing like Jon Snow actor Kit Harrington, sorry it must have being another GOT star. Although when Dad and Joolsy took Elsie for her post tooth surgery check up they thought he looked like Peter Kay too as Dad made a joke in the reception area that he was, “Coming in their ears!” just like Peter Kay’s reference to Chorley FM. Joolsy just kept her cool and smiled otherwise the whole appointment would’ve descended into utter chaos. Anyway the Vet was extremely thorough with me and took a sample of the lump which on testing came back clear, phew! However my usually perfectly quaffed fur has a patch out of it, so I’ll stick with my usual grooming salon in future thank you very much. It reminds me of the time Joolsy tried to shave Dad’s head and the razor was bouncing off it like a balloon. Mum’s been in charge of Dad’s hair ever since the Barber’s started charging him a fiver (I wish my fur costs £40 to be styled) but when Joolsy was a child (and Dad had hair) she used to go too as they dolled out Polo Mints at the end of the hair cut and Joolsy smiled so sweetly they gave her a Polo too. Also while I was at the Vets Dad mentioned my “strange” behaviour. Such as the vacant looks I was giving them. Well, perhaps it’s the scintillating conversations you have folks. I’m sorry but I’m a high brow chap with a blog don’t you know? Then they moved onto the way I turn round again and again when deciding where to pee. Like I said I’m (a) doing a comedy turn and (b) very discerning about where in the yard or on the street I leave my scent as I only want the best lady dogs to find me! Dad suggested that I may have dementia so I’m now on medication to increase blood flow to my brain. Joolsy keeps saying I’m a Rowntrees Random. Well, Joolsy I’m not the one staring into cutlery and wanting to follow Mr Spoon off to Button Moon am I?
Lastly for today, with the new chest of drawers that my family found in a local auction house now in situ. Dad being utterly astounded to find a piece he loved so much and Joolsy being utterly astounded that Dad was so utterly astounded, she had to sit down to draw breath. It was time for the old cabinet to depart. Dad took it to the charity Essential Needs who told him they couldn’t do anything with it as mahogany was too old school for their charities needs. Oh dear Mum and Joolsy did tell him it wasn’t fashionable anymore, not even for charity it would seem! So it’s ended up in TV cabinet heaven called the local tip. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu!



HELLO IS IT THIS SHINY SPOON YOU ARE LOOKING FOR?

There should have been another knock at the door this week other than the delivery drivers giving us goods that Mum and Joolsy had ordered online. These goods included a new collar for me. About time as I’ve had mine since I was a young growing boy and I turn eight next month so this is long over due. Elsie not to be out done on the collar or indeed on any front, well her new collar is we are informed is still on its way. This other knock at the door should’ve been two men in white coats coming to assess Joolsy’s mental state. As is it “normal” to gaze into the inside of a spoon and then giggle at the upside down reflexion starring back at you? Mum and Dad had got some new cutlery last week to replace items that have gone walkabout over the years. Okay in the bin or in pack up boxes, never to see the light of day again. The new cutlery is ever so shiny and Joolsy being a total Magpie with sparkles loved how the spoon she was about to take her medication with was glistening. I better explain Joolsy can’t take her medication without a spoonful of jam (not sugar as in Mary Poppins case, that helped the medicine go down in the most delightful way) followed up by two Maltesers. Mars will never go out of business now Joolsy’s medical needs are aiding their profits. “Why am I upside down?” Joolsy enquired to an astounded Dad, who couldn’t believe Joolsy hadn’t been taught this in her Science lessons in school. Oh dear just what has Mum put in Joolsy’s NutriBullet made smoothie this morning? Now for Professor Brian Cox or should that be Professor Dad to give his sermon. “It’s like a hall of mirrors and because it’s concave.” Gosh this is technical stuff! Then Joolsy flipped the spoon over and said, “Now I’m Chubby Jools. Why is that?” Dad shaking his head again in disbelief answered, “It’s now con-vexing you! Making you bigger. Concave and convex you see? What did you learn in your Science classes if you didn’t learn this stuff?” Joolsy racking her brains back almost twenty years now said, “Flirting! So a bit of Chemistry and Biology.” Dad then commented back at Joolsy’s Facebook status of “Single”, “Well it didn’t do you a lot of good did it?” Maybe if Joolsy listened to Professor Brian Cox when he was on the telly instead of laughing at his dreamy (or should that be D:Ream expression, his nineties pop band) face she would have known more than her school failings gave her credit for.

The spoon incident wasn’t the only worrying behaviour from Joolsy this past week. I walked into the living room for my afternoon lie down in my favourite Chesterfield chair to find Joolsy singing REM’s Strange Currencies to her iPhone. The disturbing part was that she was singing to a photo of a Smart TV. This went along the lines of, “… I want to turn you on, turn you up, figure you out. I want to take you on.” She was grabbing the remote control as she sang the line, “Turn you on” and pointing it at the image on her phone. Please don’t let her loose in John Lewis’s audio visual department with a remote control! She may get everyone singing though which maybe extremely entertaining. Then she got to verse two which went, “These words, “You will be mine.” These words, “You will be mine.” All the time.” All along or should that be all the time? Joolsy was miming like Charlie Chaplin in his heyday, putting expression into the words of the song.  Now I’m sure when Michael Stipe and his talented band members wrote Strange Currencies they never intended it to be used as a “The Secret” style visualisation technique but I hope being creative chaps themselves they’d appreciate Joolsy’s creativity with their lyrics. All this was because Joolsy and Mum had sent Dad a cheeky pair of emails whilst he was at work each with the following picture.
Above the photo Joolsy’s message said, “Want one.” and Mum typed, “A TV is for life not just for Christmas.” Well, we found getting Elsie last Christmas that indeed a doggie is definitely for life not just for Christmas so we are moving the situation and saying onto inanimate objects now too in our family. This had the desired effect on Dad though as he’s agreed to get an HD television if can we have it on top of a new converted for the Freeview box and DVD player walnut (not mahogany as Mum was doing a Google search for) chest of drawers. Result! So the search for the chest of drawers not Lord Sugar’s next Apprentice continues. Joolsy could get herself a job with the United Nations. However her blend of sarcasm and wit may have to be curbed slightly on the diplomacy scale that or the UN may have to rewrite their training manual to accommodate Joolsy’s extra humorous skills.

Elsie and I have been dragged quickly down the road twice this week by Mum who’s hair was looking slightly less groomed than usual. Thankfully for Mum we never ran into George Clooney wandering up the road looking for a cup of his favourite Nespresso coffee. In Joolsy’s imagination George’s wife who is beautiful, highly intelligent and we were told by Comedian Kathy Lette, extremely funny, can’t make a decent caffeine fix for her husband. If that is her only imaginary flaw then Amal Clooney really does have it all. Now these early morning sprints were for a very special reason. This being Mum getting her hands on three Adele tickets. Firstly she signed up to be a member of Adele’s online fan club. Wonder if you get a signed picture and some stickers like in the old days? This gave you priority over everyone else once the first lot of tickets were released last Tuesday morning at 9.00am. Mum dutifully turned on the iPad for the Mail Chimp website to crash. That will be my Mail Chimp subscription service for this blog crashing with eager readers wanting their Marble induced Cocker Spaniel style Comedy Turn. Okay I’m getting overzealous here and totally untruthful but hey one day my friends who knows. The website stayed down for around six minutes and then Mum was able to put in her special code and join the queue. The website refreshed itself every twenty-four seconds. I can be so precise as I watched it along with Mummy, Joolsy and Elsie, circulating round and round time and time again. Once Joolsy was ready to sit and watch her morning television programmes Mum left her in charge of iPad duties whilst she went to wash her hair and put her make up on. Phew now George can come a calling for a cuppa! Joolsy kept the iPad on the page but to no avail, we were still in the queue. After three hours of making the iPad stay on the Adele booking page our moment finally arrived and we were asked how many tickets we wanted for our nearest venue. Mum eagerly put in three and the computer as David Walliams exclaimed said, “No!” There were no tickets left. Not even one or even a dicky bird. Then the ranting began, “What? How can this be? I got on the website at 9.06am and was in a queue from then until now. How can they have all gone?” How can one lovely, funny and talented singer cause so much ranting and so many profanities in my household? There was another shot at getting tickets on Friday morning when tickets for the same gig went on general sale. So Mum and this time Dad were on stand-by with the iPad. This time they got straight onto the Ticketmaster site where the tickets were supposed to be on sale and to their sheer horror there was none left at 9.01am! The profanities began again! Elsie and I covered our delicate ears with our paws to give us a swearing-free environment. Mum then went to Ticketmaster’s sister site and found tickets for sale on there for an over inflated price of thousands of pounds. Indeed for the three tickets my family were looking for it would have cost them £7000 that included a £900 booking fee. What sort of paper are these tickets printed on, gold and diamond encrusted? As Joolsy wanted to see "Hello" sang live she came up with a unique and novel way of getting her wish as on Friday morning Lionel Richie (the singer not Dr Savage’s eccentric ex-wife Mariam’s cat in Hollyoaks) tickets also went on sale. I know Lionel has a very different tone to his vocal range to Adele's but he did sing the words, “Hello.” first and he was totally amazing at this years Glastonbury, making him exactly what Joolsy was looking for! As Mum was still ranting an hour later Joolsy managed to complete the registration form and be ready to secure three tickets by 10am. As everyone else was still trying to get their “Hello” Adele fix Joolsy obtained tickets for Lionel right near the front of the arena. They’ll be enjoying his show and Dancing On The Ceiling next summer! As Adele announced extra dates Mum tried another two times to get concert tickets but sadly to there were none left. Adele if you read this and want to play a gig in a quintessential English village just getting in touch with me. I’m sure it will be cheaper to hire you for a private show than it is to go to one of your concerts thanks to the ticket touting companies! My rant is over now I promise but Mum’s still simmering upstairs somewhere!


CLASSICAL FIRE ENGINES BRINGING US DIVERSITY!

Joolsy’s been on holiday from work last week but now she faces her final curtain and yes she did it her way! Ah there’s nothing like a bit of old blue eyes himself Mr Frank Sinatra to set your day off with a bang. My jazz paws are in full swing now. Don’t worry folks the Grim Repear isn’t coming a knocking on our front door. What I meant was she’s facing going back to work tomorrow. I was playing for dramatic effect there, being all creative with my words and trying out my pantomime/Eastenders “duff duff” moment. Joolsy’s done her Christmas shopping and while her and Mum were out Elsie doesn’t know just how much of a near miss with a fire engine she really & nearly had. They were wandering around the departments of TK Maxx and spotted a fire engine costume. No not for a child to wear at their parents fancy dress party, for a dog! Yes, Elsie Bear that dog as they say on The National Lottery Live programme every Saturday night straight after Casualty (I do hope the BBC are paying me for this primetime programme plug. Perhaps I could release the balls (not that type you smutty lot) on the show one evening. I’ll speak to my Agent to get the negotiation ball rolling. Another pun there, I’m on a ball roll here today folks.) “It could be you!” Luck as it would have it for my fashion enduring Yorkshire Terrier pal was on Elsie’s side last Wednesday lunchtime. Sadly for all concerned TK Maxx’s buying team had not being doing their jobs properly and had failed to have a M for medium in stock. The size they did have in would’ve fitted a Saint Bernard or a Shetland pony so Elsie’s dignity at least for this week is in tact and Elsie I’m sure will have her way by banning Joolsy from typing “FIRE ENGINE DOGS COSTUME” into Google. The things we dogs have to do to spare our blushes. Who put this image on here?
Dad asked Joolsy to get him some CD’s for Christmas. Yes, those round discs with music etched into their souls do still exist in Dad’s old school world. Mind you he thinks that having a shut up TV cabinet is the height of fashion. To everyone else they were circa 1989. He likes to, “Close the TV away when we’re done watching it!” Mum and Joolsy are trying with all their might to get Dad to get a new Smart TV for Christmas. Whatever happened to good will to all men and peace on earth for a Christmas wish? It’s all Black Friday this and Cyber Monday that and my family are disgracefully falling into the trappings of it all. As long as I get some turkey in my belly, I’m a happy Cocker Spaniel. Joolsy in her HD telly anguish even came up with the line, “Lord Grantham got a wireless radio and Mrs Patmore got a fridge in Downton. They had to move with the times!” Now as I mentioned Dad had asked for CD’s and I believe in revenge for Joolsy’s mocking of his traditional values about the fact that we can only have a new TV if it fits into our 27 inch cabinet (it’s classed as a monitor folks, Matthew in John Lewis told an upset Mum and Joolsy so). He’s asked for these CD’s to be all John Barrie ones. Now that’s the worst retaliation ever to Joolsy’s eardrums. From Zulu to the Dance With Wolves soundtrack in one fell swoop. Oh dear car journey’s with Dad for Joolsy are not going to be pleasant. Dad likes in Police terms to “make progress!” I heard it on Police Camera Action and is just a laymen terms way to explain driving fast. Twenty la la years ago Dad used to drive a Peugeot 205 GTI. The wannabe Jeremy Clarkson’s amongst you will know that these were motors for the speed demons of the road. Dad used to pick Joolsy up from school in his chariot and everyone used to ask if he was Joolsy’s boyfriend. Great for Dad’s ego but not so for Joolsy’s ever embarrassed and deflating one. Anyway Dad still thinks he owns his GTI even though nowadays he drives a Freelander 2. Not the same street credibility there sorry Dad but I being a joyriding pooch do to quote Top Gun, “Feel the need, the need for speed!” I’ll always get excited about a car ride with you, John Barrie music ringing in my ears or not, especially to the beach for fish n chips, yummy!

The family went to watch the street dance troop Diversity last night. Now you know I’m partial to a little ballroom dancing with Dad whilst Strictly Come Dancing is on the monitor sorry television and I’m fantastic in hold and my head positioning is coming on a treat as the series is moving on. However I draw the line at being thrown around the living room like a rag doll and nearly cracking my head on the light fitting as I fly. I’ll leave believing I can fly up to R. Kelly thank you very much. Now Elsie on the other paw throws herself around like an aspiring dance star. She’s on the sofa, off the sofa and skipping and gliding around the kitchen when the mere mention of food is announced. Joolsy would’ve tried smuggling her in and allowed her to flash a paw in Ashley Banjo’s direction had it not been announced that bag checks were going to take place at the venue. Oh well Else’s street dancing career’s over before it began. We sadly missed the results of Strictly Come Dancing too as we have the radio and our beds in the kitchen for company as we can’t go in the living room thanks to our weeing misdemeanours earlier this year. Diversity I’m told were excellent, their dance moves would get a “10” from any of the Strictly judging panel. However it was the pre-show entertainment that was a highlight of the night for my odd family. Everyone was sat ready for the show to begin when staff at the venue asked everyone in Block A to move from their seats into the nearby aisles. At first Joolsy thought Diversity were going to spring from a trap door from under the seats. A little far fetched but certainly a way to make a show starting entrance (Joolsy will be wanting copyright if ever Ashley Banjo crafts that move into any upcoming productions). Then BBC spy drama Spooks sprang to Joolsy’s mind as the seats were now being looked at by staff. Someone call Harry Pearce as Joolsy didn’t feel they were searching the seats properly. In fact they seemed to be just moving the rows of seats forward and backwards in inch by inch movements. Then as if by magic the revellers were allowed to return to their newly positioned seats. Forget Harry Pearce I think someone needs to call The Speakman’s to look at the Manager’s seating OCD issues as I bet Diversity were waiting in the wings wondering what on earth was going on.


Elsie was a little unsettled last night as her usual evening routine of having her dinner and then laying on Joolsy’s lap until Mum came in with wine (for Mum not Elsie) and then moving to her favoured cushion until Joolsy was tucked up in bed had been ruined. So Elsie was in full on disturb the whole house mode and eventually ended up in Mum and Dad’s room to give us all a little peace. As well as this Elsie tried in stealth like vain to steal Joolsy’s Malted Milk biscuit from her hand whilst she was putting a recorded episode of The Graham Norton Show onto the monitor. Now this isn’t the first time our Elsie has been opportunistic in her quest for food. One time a piece of left over cheesecake slipped from the plate and Elsie was in like a pride of lions feeding on their captured prey. Mind you the families dogs gone by have had form for feeding as Wesley the Weimaraner nicked a load of garlic bread from a plate in our Grandparents then back yard. Now I’m sure someone funnier than me could come up with a comedy sketch regarding cheesecake and garlic bread!

IN FASHION... APART FROM RUSSELL CROWE WHO'S COME SECOND TO A POWER SHOWER!

It’s arrived! Elsie, I and indeed the whole Chelton clan are now immortalised forever in polymer clay thanks to the brilliant work of artist Erica Sturla. Joolsy popped it on her social media sites (she had to steal my thunder) and her friends on Facebook in particular loved it. A lot of them were asking for Erica’s contact details for possible commission ideas they had in mind. Erica asked Joolsy if she could put the image on her website and Facebook page and Joolsy was delighted and said we’d all love to be famous especially Elsie and I. We are already social media starlets due to this blog and our growing Instagram fanbase so why not is our attitude? So people please form an orderly queue for our paw prints when we are out on our walks. We will be taking over the world next!

There was a fashion feature on This Morning the other day that had Elsie running for the hills, well okay behind the sofa into my usual place for contemplative thought (I’m a very deep dog). Gok was promoting dog clothing and after Elsie’s last foray into the fashion world with her hated red jumper (“A jumper that only a Mother could love!” Elsie claimed) she was not going to be anywhere in sight just incase Gok gave Joolsy any additional ideas. Joolsy coaxed Elsie out from behind the sofa promising her that she wouldn’t have to wear any fashion items again. Well, apart from her coats as they were for purely practical purposes, as without them Elsie shakes with the nippy cold that’s now in the winter air. Speaking of fashion Joolsy has finally got some new trousers for work. Her old ones really did show that grey is the new black in the fashion stakes, even though costumery work wear should definitely be more black in shade where Joolsy works. Firstly Joolsy ordered a size 8 from BHS that were size 8 if you were wearing stilts. Joolsy didn’t fancy this as she’s bad enough on her own two feet never mind adding to the equation by wobbling around on bits of unsteady metal, an A&E trip would be dawning. They were returned and Matalan was entered into the hunt for two pairs of trousers with belt hooks on them. They did some reasonably priced ones in the ladies wear section however reasonably priced and non shiny polyester tack with belt hooks didn’t seem to come together. Then Mum had an Oprah style “ah ha” light bulb moment and suggested they go upstairs (surely not menswear?) to the children’s section. Joolsy was regressing! She loves this fact as Joolsy’s favourite and happiest age of all time was ten as she says you have no responsibility at this stage of and life’s such great fun and full of hope and expectation. I’m looking forward to it in a few years time, that’s human years not dog years as I’ve been there already when I was a year and a half old! Now I’m Back To The Future confused here, think I need a lie down! Anyway sure enough they found two fantastic pairs of black not grey trousers aged fourteen. Joolsy's a slim bean and has been parading around her workplace in her new wears all weekend, she loves them and knows where to go next time she needs work based clothing. So to balance this story and to make Joolsy feel like the Grandma we all know she is in her clothing choices I must tell you about this. Another feature on This Morning with gorgeous Gok the other week was a feature on lace. This material gives Joolsy palpitations and it’s all down to Grattan catalogues Together range which every season for the last twenty plus years has featured he same lacy items. Different models are featured but the exact same clothing. Joolsy and her friend used to get excited when Mum’s catalogue was seasonally delivered and turned straight to the Together range for a good old belly laugh.They say it’s the simple things in life that give folk pleasure and in this case they aren’t far wrong. Anyway Joolsy fancied an old time giggle the other day but now has the luxury of her iPhone to give her a quick Together fix. However instead of being trendily appalled as Joolsy previously was, she actually found herself delighted by what she was seeing. For Joolsy nowadays these items were stylish and were on her must have hit list. Oh dear! There was one problem though as the items on this brand only started in a size 10 rather than Joolsy’s slender size 8. Joolsy is drafting an email as I’m typing this blog. However I think the Together range may have spared this 35 year olds blushes so I’ll be restraining her at all costs from sending any emails as I don’t want her embarrassing herself fully and going into full on Grandma mode just yet.

Joolsy’s been watching Ruth and her presenter favourite Eamonn’s television programme all about the super rich and has been taking tips from these people on the essence of hard graft. This means hard graft for yours truly with my blog/social media promotion and Mrs Patmore (Mum) and Carson (Dad) on domestic duties though, as apart from Joolsy’s twenty hour per week job she doesn’t really like to get her hands too dirty. According to Joolsy I just need to work even harder at being funny and the readership will grow! I’m not Peter Kay and sometimes I need a little inspirational intervention. I told Joolsy this and she made me watch Oprah online for a bit of inspiration and then Robin Hood. Okay I understand Oprah as she has the global brand of “O” which makes McDonald’s golden arches look a pale shade of yellow but Robin Hood? She didn’t mean the Disney version or sorry ladies the version where Kevin Costner bares his bottom in the waterfall. That scene is etched into Joolsy’s and I’m sure many women’s memories now forever more. No Joolsy meant Russell Crowe’s version of Robin Hood starring the wonderful Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett and a gentleman who Joolsy has met on two occasions now (hob knowing or what?) Mark Addy. Joolsy met him firstly when she volunteered in a local charity shop and Mark and his lovely wife came in and purchased a number of children’s books. It was really funny as Joolsy had been to see Robin Hood the day before so didn’t want to appear too star struck by the starlet she was serving. The second time Joolsy met Mark, (no she wasn’t stalking him) was at her riding lesson as Mark was taking tutorials for his role in the now cult television show Game Of Thrones as he was going to be playing the King and needed to be able to canter through the woods. Joolsy’s fabulous Riding Instructor was his teacher and Joolsy’s claim to fame is that she sat on the same saddle as actor Mark Addy. Joolsy kept asking to her Instructor to ask him to bring Russell Crowe down as he’s one of her favourites and her Instructor thought of asking him if she could be on the set as she liked Sean Bean who was in the opening season of Game Of Thrones too. This was long before Kit Harrington’s demise/non demise. Back to Robin Hood and there is a sword in it which has the quote, “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions” etched on to it. This means never give up, so Joolsy says that is what I must do to make our millions. My stress levels are rising here never mind my lion qualities. I think it’s just an excuse for Joolsy to watch Russell Crowe again. She liked him so much that Mum and Dad one year got Joolsy a cardboard cut out of Russell for her birthday, which they erected and prepared her Weetabix in the kitchen for when she came downstairs for breakfast. Russell is suited and booted in this life sized cut out so Joolsy got all dressed up in her beautiful red dress and did a photo shoot. I blackmail her with putting this on social media and sending it to the Gladiator star himself if Joolsy doesn’t give me biscuits. So far it’s done the trick as Joolsy doesn’t want Russell to run the other way should she ever get the opportunity to meet him. Russell lived in Joolsy’s bedroom and stood in front of her wardrobe until Joolsy had an ensuite fitted then Russell ended up coming second to Joolsy’s power shower (well sorry Russ you maybe an Oscar winner but she does love her long rainbow lit showers) so he’s now folded up in the loft somewhere. Right that’s it from me for today.   








ELSIE'S WILD WILD PARTIES AND HAIR!

Well, Elsie’s had quite a week from when I last wrote. Joolsy got into her head last Thursday that Elsie’s hair was looking a little more Shirley Carter from Eastenders than she liked. When we got Elsie the family did have a Mrs Merton style heated debate on whether to call her Shirley as the resemblance with the BBC soap stars hair is uncanny but they decided against the idea as Elsie had already had one name change through her move here and they didn’t want her to wonder not only where she was but who she was, a dog with an identity crisis is never a good idea! Now when Joolsy gets an idea in her mind she’s like a bear with a sore head until the problem is solved. The bear being Elsie Bear this time round and her wild wild hair in particular. Joolsy was going to call the groomers where I have my hair styled however Mum was not too pleased with this bright or should that be crazy idea as Elsie has bad manners around other dogs. She’s had therapy for this condition (oh dear) which has improved things mildly. (I just keep my distance in a nearby field when she gets the urge to carry on… barking! What a film that would have made in the Carry On saga, Elsie would’ve been the star of that film showing for sure!) Now being in a confined space with other dogs next to her waiting for their cut & blow dries maybe taking things a paw step too far. Mum deemed this to be the case so instead her and Joolsy searched the Internet for, “How to cut a Yorkshire Terriers hair,” and came up with a few You tube videos for their entertainment and for dog grooming skills. Steve McDonald recently tried the You Tube technique when trying to tile the toilet wall in Coronation Street's famous Rovers Return’s toilets. Were we in for a similar humorous disaster here? One of the tricks of the trade was thinning scissors (oh we are getting technical now!) which of course they decided they must hunt down like a lion hunts down its prey and Boots The Chemist was to be their African plain! Mum and Joolsy had been out for a few hours that morning in search of another type of prey, a black and white checked skirt that mine and Joolsy’s Nana and Elsie’s Great Granny Barbara had seen (or maybe imagined) in Marks and Spencer's whilst shopping with her friend earlier in the week. They hunted high and low for said skirt to no avail but instead came back to Joolsy’s great delight with a chicken pie for tea. This was more of a higher standard with Joolsy than Dad’s now infamous pie purchase from the children’s ready meal section in a different store a few weeks prior. Back to the scissor search now. They hot footed it over to Boots and firstly found male beard trimming scissors mixed in with the tweezers and artificial nails. Oh no they thought Elsie’s not going to be getting Joolsy’s (not Elsie’s) dream hair cut after all. Then Joolsy had a thought that thinning scissors might be with the hair accessories such as bobbles and grips and sure enough there were as if to be sparkling (in Joolsy’s mind anyway) in gold dust, thinning scissors. Mum and Joolsy hot footed back from Boots in record time and after our walk the hair cutting entertainment began! Towels were put on the table and Elsie was lifted on and held by Dad like a show dog at Crufts while Mum began shaving Elsie with the clippers as suggested in the third video she and Joolsy had found, these two were now experts don’t you know? Various attachments were swapped around to get the correct gradient for Elsie’s back hair but even with the blade totally exposed they weren’t making any head way whatsoever on Elsie’s flighty fur. I imagined them trying to cut my thick hair, it would be like cutting Sherwood Forest with paper scissors. Was it a case of back to Boots for some more clippers? Was it heck! No Mum just started hacking into poor Elsie’s fur like a Lumber Jack chopping his wooden wares. She started with her newly acquired thinning scissors but when they were only taking slivers off Elsie’s hair she reverted to type, or should that be ordinary hairdressing scissors to finish the job. I looked on in shear horror as this wasn’t the treatment I get when I go to the groomers. Mind you if your only point of reference and experience is an eight minute video, followed by a twelve and a half minute video followed lastly by a twenty five minute video there’s no wonder it all looked a little bit DIY (do it yourself) or should that be DIM (do it Mum) from where I was standing and that was in the hall way just incase Mum decided I needed a little trim too! An hour and a half later (minus a few post shower snips here and there) and Elsie was finished. Dad thought Mum encouraged by an excitable Joolsy had gone too far this time with her exuberant cutting technique especially with regard to Elsie’s now no existent mane which once finished off her crown and glory! Oh well it will grow they all agreed!
Another highlight of Elsie’s week was her midnight (literally here no exaggerations in this case) parties in Joolsy’s bedroom. On three consecutive occasions last week Elsie had a very private party indeed as she was the only one attending everyone else in the house was just reluctantly put on the guest list whether they liked it or not. Now there was no music (other than Elsie’s dulcet tones whining at Joolsy’s bedroom door to be let out) and no alcopops (what sort of a party does she call that?) but Elsie danced around Joolsy’s bedroom wanting to run freely to visit her Granny and Granddad in the room the other side of the landing! The first night Joolsy was very kind and Disney sweetly heard talking to Elsie and putting her back on the bed several times and trying to sooth her. The second night after much deliberation and coordination between Joolsy and Mum and Dad it was decided that Joolsy would not turn her light on and coo at Elsie but would firmly tell her to get back on the bed and lie down quietly. Did this work? Did it chuff! When Joolsy decided to turn the light on (she knows against protocol) and look Elsie in the eye, Elsie ran over to Joolsy’s bed and put up her paw. Queen Of Manipulation at play or what? Mum again came in to see what was occurring and again Elsie seized the day and the opportunity and skipped around the landing tail wagging to see her Granddad. Cheeky! Now on the third night, oh there’s a habit developing here! Joolsy just threw the light on and sternly said, “Elsie on the bed now!” Elsie tried the paw trick again but Joolsy was battle hardened to her cuteness by now (well almost) and Elsie realising this technique had failed to win Joolsy around this time jumped back on the bed and went to sleep. Phew, result! Another thing keeping Joolsy awake this last week has been the wind. Us brits do like to talk about the weather don’t we? Now this wind that would have just been named either Wind or Gales in days gone by now has a new American style storm name, Abigail. First it was McDonald’s from over the pond now storm naming whatever next I ask you? Abigail has been causing Joolsy all manner of problems in the bedroom on a night. No Joolsy isn’t some Royal Marine recruit on a training exercise on the Brecon Beacon’s. Far from it as Joolsy struggled the other week walking up a hill in town. Joolsy and her lovely friend went for lunch and as her friend doesn’t like paying the astronomical town centre parking fees (who can blame her! There’s even a campaign in place with regard to the parking fees which Elsie and I may be joining, more banners are been designed as I type.) they decided to walk a little way to the cafe. This cafe however was closed for some reason. Joolsy’s friend suggested another cafe “just up the road”. They trounced up the road further and further with Joolsy stopping anywhere that had lights on, even if it was an office building they may serve sandwiches and a brew she thought. Joolsy’s pal was worried at one point saying, “Are you okay? You aren’t going to pass out on me are you?” Joolsy assured her friend she was fine and they continued on to complete now what was a circuit from where they had parked the car. Joolsy celebrated her mammoth trek with a panini and a smoothie and we sadly haven’t heard the end of it since she got back. Anyone would think she’d been up Mount Everest the way she’s been carrying on. Now Joolsy did enquire as to the whereabouts of her step machine and exercise bike but on being told by Mum that they were in the loft that has completed her quest for a fit body for this month. If Joolsy managed to get into the loft I fear that would be the last exercise she’d ever do as she wouldn’t be able to get back down the ladder without the fire brigade in attendance. Ah now there’s somewhere else for Joolsy to try and get stuck and indeed try and get rescued like a damsel in distress from. So Joolsy has been kept awake by the wind flapping her ensuite’s (how posh is Joolsy?) air vent loudly all night. Joolsy is outside with some gaffer tape as I type! She keeps me awake too every time it clangs with her version of Jessie J’s Bang Bang. Although Joolsy changes the chorus to Boom Boom as she thinks it sounds better as it rhymes with “into the room”. Artistically I think that Jessie J may not be too happy about Joolsy’s changes to her hit song so we better hope she doesn’t read this post today!  
I have some exciting news to finish with. Erica Sturla the Artist that Joolsy commissioned to immortalise us Chelton’s in polymer clay has sent over a photo for Joolsy’s approval yesterday. It’s fantastic and Joolsy more than approved of it, she loved it! I’ll put a picture of us in all our glory once the fully framed version has been couriered across, hopefully in time for next weeks post. 















EXPLOSIVE ACTION!

So last Thursday was Guy Fawkes Night and it started off with a long, large and loud BANG! Now as an auditionee to play James Bond’s dog and a pooch who has been clay pigeon shooting many times in the past with Dad, I did not flinch even my pinky claw as the shots were fired and the clays were broken up. Even after all my training, I jumped to attention at some of the fireworks. Elsie was on high alert the whole of Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Joolsy was even on the Internet at one point typing into Auntie’s Amazon and eBay search engines for ear muffs to add to Elsie’s growing wardrobe for next years banging and twinkling events. The ones she found were very industrial looking indeed and very well modelled by the dogs wearing them, some of them looked like they were super imposed onto the dogs heads. I reckon they were for workmen’s dogs whose owners had worked on a premiss where take your dog to work day meant literally every day not just one token gimmicky day of the year. Elsie would go in for this notion and a change in employment rules as she cries whenever Joolsy leaves for work. I on the other paw just lay quietly and knowingly that someone will be home in a jiffy, normally Mum who gets back from shopping just after Joolsy leaves for work on a Tuesday and sometimes before for a doggy handover.
I alluded to Elsie’s growing wardrobe a moment ago and it has expanded again this week with the addition of a Pringle-esque red jumper. Mummy put it on a very bemused looking Elsie for Joolsy’s arrival from work on Saturday evening. She couldn’t/wouldn’t sit down in it but did manage to do a sterling job of a mini photo shoot in front of Joolsy’s iPhone camera. Mum had to take it off her (arms first then over the head like a child, making her hair wilder than usual) as she was having a Naomi Campbell diva style turn straight after the camera flashes had stopped. On removing the jumper Elsie turned from stroppy mare into Julie Andrews playing Maria in The Sound Of Music in one fell swoop of the jumper. She was giddily bouncing around the dining room. I thought a rendition of the famous song was on the cards (I would having joined in howling along to the tune) but then Mama’s Lasagne was mentioned and all thoughts of any singalong The Sound Of Music drifted quickly out of our minds and thoughts of mince meat took their place, scrumptious!
Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday and the human elements of my family have been wearing their poppies with absolute pride. I’m not going to get too maudlin here as know I’m meant to be writing comedy and not an episode of Eastenders or an Adele song but I will say this. Elsie and I give a massive paw salute to not only all the service men and women who work tirelessly and bravely in defence of our beautiful country but also to all the dogs and horses that have helped these brilliant human beings along the way over the years. We can at best manage to give a paw and bring toys, only five times mind you though as our boredom threshold kicks in and we are on to our next trick of barking at people walking past the house, post flying through the letterbox and in Elsie’s case planes flying overhead. Whereas these heroes amongst dogs and in latter days horses go into conflict zones and do an amazing job aiding their handlers in battle so we can lay here and be fed dog treats all day long. A huge thank you, you’re all amazing!
Downton Abbey’s series came to a close last night and Joolsy is going to have Elsie and I making Blue Peter style banners once this is typed saying, “Make Lady Edith happy!” Oh dear I can see the painting flying around the dining room table and all over our fur now! I could hear Joolsy shouting, “Go on!” from her bedroom last night as Lady Edith finally tore a gigantic strip off Lady Mary. Elsie even whooped a bark too next to me on the sofa. Lady Edith is Joolsy’s favourite Downton character as she’s gone from shy, retiring door mouse to quietly confident, self assured, witty but still warm magazine mogul. She’s the ultimate Spice Girl and should Victoria Beckham not have time to do another reunion what with all her fashion designing, I think Lady Edith would be the perfect replacement! If Julian Fellowes doesn’t give her a justified happy ending come Downton’s Christmas finale I fear Elsie and I will be camping outside his house waiting for him to come out on a break from typing his next masterpiece for us to bite more than his leftover turkey crown. Joolsy will now be cheering us on pom poms in hand, not only in joyriding but in assault of the writing supremo that is Julian Fellowes.
I’ve had to type todays blog in two sittings as my Editor In Chief had a diaried engagement with James Bond, Joolsy was upset that this was not an actual engagement with him as that would be most exciting on her day off. Elsie and I have been stuck in the dining room in our beds with only the radio for company. Dad was winding Joolsy up before they left telling her to keep an eye open for John Barrie’s name as he wrote some of the musical scores for all the Bond films. Joolsy pointed out that Sam Smith wrote the song for Spectre and sure enough his was the only name they saw in the opening titles. They didn’t stay for the closing ones so we will never know if Mr Barrie’s name flashed up. Joolsy thought the film was typical “Bond” in its style and followed the same format as they all do. The opening sequence in Mexico City with the helicopter reminded her of a mixture of three things:- Black Hawk Down (everything with helicopters in it reminds Joolsy of that film. She was tempted to shout out, “We have a black hawk down, a black hawk down!” but though better of it as she’d been looking forward to watching the film and didn't want to be barred from the cinema). Emmerdale when they had the helicopter crash earlier this year and of course the 1980s TV hit show Airwolf. Joolsy has been humming the theme music since getting back from the cinema. Hope John Barrie didn’t write this music too, sure Dad would have it on CD somewhere if it turns out he did! Bond as usual gets into loads of scrapes and punch up’s but never ever looks beaten up. You’d have brain damage the amount of times he got hit around the head even in thirty minutes of this film. I reckon he could actually be Robocop or The Terminator and actually made of metal, just a movie mash up thought there to finish with this week.   












STARS IMMORTALISED IN POLYMER CLAY

I’ve been a naughty boy and a little t-leaf thief yet again today as I’ve stolen Joolsy’s computer and I’m typing this from my cage at the doggie groomer’s whilst I’m waiting to be preened to even more perfection than usual. Hopefully Joolsy has done all her computer business and won’t be wandering around now in a daze scratching her head and screaming, “Has anyone seen my computer?” At least this time it was only her computer and not her Primrose, Mini I’ve stolen. Speaking of mine and Elsie’s joyriding exploits again (if I have to as I don’t really like talking about my criminal activities) which was all in the name of art you understand, keep having to make that clear as the Police will be circling. Now we are going to be immortalised in polymer clay, whatever next I ask you. Why not go the whole hog and get me a star on Hollywood Boulevard. I’d love that actually putting my paw prints in the clay especially once they have been groomed today that is as the clay will come off so much easier. Elsie has taken to have the muck washed off her paws in the kitchen sink after our strolls, oh the glamour! I’m a little too large for such a sink filled splashing so have to be brushed within an inch of my life instead. So Joolsy has been on a two year quest now. Off she goes upstairs (sometimes we think never to be seen again) in search of artworks to adorn her bedroom walls. There’s me thinking she was just eyeing up David Gandy in his pants for all that time. Oh no Joolsy is far more highbrow in her Internet activities than I gave her credit for. Shame on me for thinking she was lowering the tone of our wonderful village with her smutty activities. I always wondered whether that was the reason she seldom took Elsie and I out on a walk, maybe she thought everyone would know she was partial to a man in pants. Mind you she has signed her Instagram account over to me but didn’t have the heart to unfollow David Gandy, Calum Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. People will be talking about me next especially if I come back from the groomers today smelling of Parma Violet sweets again instead of manly Brut or Lynx! So Joolsy thought she’d been on every gallery website in the UK (she never knew there were so many artistic offerings out there) and has found some staggeringly brilliant pieces of artwork however there was always something “missing” (“The skyline isn’t right. The painting’s too big…” Her critique of modern art world went on and on and ON!) until Thursday evening when she came across Erica Sturla’s quirky clay pieces. Joolsy was just giddy in the way she gets every fortnight when Mama’s Lasagne is served up for our Saturday night tea. I say our as Elsie and I actually have drool coming out of our mouths as well as the large pool of drool coming from Joolsy’s gob too. She came bounding down the stairs like Tigger and grabbed the iPad to show the family Chelton Erica’s work and tell of her ideas for a commission. She not only wanted us doggies to be in this portrait but the whole Chelton clan. Dad pipped up, “We could be stood outside the cottage in our Hunter wellies and our Barber coats!” Oh dear that’s going to be a glamorous shot! Joolsy looked on in pure horror as she had a vision of something a little more sparkly in mind than turtle green coloured wellington boots. Dad explained, “That is how people in the village see us with the dogs!” Oh dear again! Well, it maybe how people see Mum and Dad when they are out and about in the village but “people” aren’t going to see the piece displayed in the vicinity of Joolsy’s bedroom are they? Joolsy emailed the artist and they are going to discuss the finer details of making Joolsy look fabulous in her new posh red coat with black buttons (yes Joolsy really did put that and the “make me look fabulous” line in her introductory email), as she insisted she looked later this week. Can’t wait to see us all in our clay finery in the near future.
Now I’ve been a little grumpy lately. I blame Joolsy as she keeps watching Eastenders which is enough to turn Little Miss Happy a grey shade of glum. Plus I live with Elsie who has such a chirpy disposition, well she did come from care so I guess I’ll let her off. However my handsome (even if I do say so myself) face keeps getting comments as I look a little jaded by life at times throughout my waking day! I can’t help my face can I? Joolsy says that I have SAD as the weather has turned autumnal of late but Mummy says I look like this permanently. Charming! I’m going to get Joolsy’s handbag in a minute and do an impression of Reeves and Mortimer going, “Oooohhh!” lifting the bag with my paws or be like Catherine Tate and enquire angrily, “How very dare you?” if they don’t stop these unnecessary and unkind comments about my demeanour. They keep calling me Victor after the One Foot In The Grave character Victor Meldrew. Well, Elsie suits the role as positive Margaret Victor’s long suffering wife I guess so we’ll have to go uncompromisingly with that. As long as I haven’t got one foot in the grave just yet as I’m only 7 years old and hopefully I have a good few years in me yet. Elsie does sometimes wind me up though as she is extremely playful after her walks. She steals my toys and then squeaks them in my ear which I can’t stand after a toy cracker freaked me out as a pup. Joolsy thought she was being kind in my first Christmas with the family and got me a noisy cracker but I don’t and never will like squeaky toys. With Elsie though, the louder the toy, the better. She actively seeks for the squeak to my and my ears extreme horror! It’s like Joolsy when Dad sought out Classic FM and forced her to listen, she’s just about getting over that incident now however I never get an opportunity to get over my horror as Elsie keeps grabbing the noisy toys from our toy basket. Elsie not only plays loudly with toys but goads me slightly by charging up to me like the General of an old fashioned Army. Then when I kindly and assertively tell her to bugger off she runs joyfully away trying to get me to chase her, some times I do barking along the way and other times I want to be left with my thoughts. How “deep” do I sound? I’ll be mediating next and going on a yoga retreat or to a Monastery for some peace and quiet time.
Saturday was Halloween and much to my families delight we didn’t get too many trick or treaters. I say this as Elsie and I are always in fine voice with knocks at the door (fine pair of guard dogs us two make) plus the human elements of my family enjoy tucking into the chocolates that weren’t claimed with their tea time brew. Happy days! We had some friends around so Elsie and I didn’t settle down too much. Elsie managed to escape when one gang of trick or treaters called but I think their costumes frightened her somewhat so she ran back to Mummy sharpish. We doggies did a better rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” than was displayed by Jeremy Vine on Strictly Come Dancing although he was in time with the music and showed slight improvement in his dancing abilities this week I feel. Oh I’m getting all critical like Dad now, it must be catching in our household. So it’s Guy Fawkes Night this week and we are all wondering with baited breath how Elsie will be with the fireworks. I’m ready with the cotton wool at my paw tips just in case she starts barking at every bang. She doesn’t like planes flying over head, so much so that Joolsy has had to restrain from watching her all time favourite film Top Gun since Elsie’s arrival last December. I’ll let you all know how we get on next week.
I told you a few weeks back that Joolsy had bought Elsie a Shearling style flying jacket (or should that be an Only Fools And Horses Del Boy coat?) for when the full on winter chill happens as she does feel the cold more than I do with my thick fur and I said that Joolsy was going to get one too to match her puppy in the fashion stakes. I was joking but sadly Joolsy was not! She’s gone and got one and quite frankly is going to look like a prized prat marching down the street with Elsie. I’m going to need to get myself some dark glasses and a baseball cap to hide my blushing with embarrassment cheeks. As if that’s not bad enough Mum ordered a vintage Shearling coat too on the same day. It’s a fashion nut house that I live in with the female element wanting to look like used car sales women! Reckon they should give the Veterinary practice a good giggle next time Elsie has her Epifen blood test done by all wearing them together. Dad and I will be at home hiding behind the sofa in shame! Right it’s shampoo and set time for me so bye for now.