HIDE, SEEK AND SOME SPEEDY BEATRIX POTTER SICKNESS TO BOOT

I turned into a bit of a Cheetah on Tuesday lunchtime (don’t worry I haven’t abandoned my canine routes and gone to the dark side and changed into feline character, I’m not a Transformer) when I chased my neighbour down the road like she was prey on an African plain. 

Granny arrived home from doing Great Granny BB’s shopping and I could hear voices (not of devilish kind which were in all my head like the Coronation Street Sarah Platt storyline at the moment) from the other side (not from the spooky place of Nightmare On Elm Street with Freddie Krueger been a regular unwanted visitor) of the front door. It was Granny saying a polite, “No” to our neighbour who was trying to get her to volunteer her time for an up coming village event which is taking place in a few weeks time. When she’d given her very valid reasons the front door opened and as Granny arms were full of washing that she’d bought back from Great Granny’s and her eyes were focused on not tripping over me, she missed me whizzing passed her and out of the open gate to make our neighbour fully aware of my presence. 

I ran so fast, in fact as fast as my little Terrier legs would carry me and in the process shocked/impressed Granny who was shouting down the lane at me, with my speed of movement. When I caught up to my neighbour I sat down, looked up at her as if to say, “Give me fuss now!” and then let her pick me up and carry me back to the loving arms of my dismayed Granny who nicknamed me her little Houdini for my bid full escape for freedom. 

My actions on Tuesday confirmed to Granny, that oh dear, I must never go off my lead when out for a gentle stroll, as if we came across a Rabbit, Dog, Horse or those cheeky stalker Squirrel’s I told you about last week, I’d be off like Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell song, faster than any other girl has ever gone!
My family and I (for some parts) played the old fashioned children’s game of Hide and Seek on Wednesday afternoon as we ran upstairs (Mama J was much slower than the rest of the family as she didn’t realise the urgency to move) to hide from door to door sales people who came a calling. 

We’ve had a number of duster sellers and charity collectors over the previous few weeks. The other day Mama J opened the door to an ex-convict who told her he wouldn’t hurt her. Very encouraging! I was on stand-by and Door Doggie protection duties. I’ve been practising the lingo, “Your name’s not on the list, you’re not coming in!” My previous owner before I was adopted by my gorgeous family was a Night Club Doorman so I know all the moves, fully and to the letter. 

We peered out of Mama J’s bedroom window, ducking and diving so they couldn’t do their wheeling and dealing, as we saw the gate open or heard the bushes rustling and we also thought we’d better turn the iTunes album we were listening to off at the moment they entered our property’s surroundings. Granny put the iPad down but I cleverly turned the music back on with my nose, Britain’s Got Talent here I come with that musical expertise. Clearly I loved Lionel Richie’s Dancing On The Ceiling a little too much to do my quiet surveillance duties properly. 

Later that day Mama J and Granny hid from Grandpa (these games are so repetitively fun) in Mama J’s ensuite. Grandpa had seen Mama J slope into her bathroom (she’s still just not getting the quickness in hiding concept very well here) and then close the sliding door behind her. Mama J and Granny (Grandpa didn’t know this was Granny’s hide away plan too) giggled away to themselves until Grandpa slid the door back to reveal their whereabouts. 

The reason they were in hiding was that they didn’t want to go to a show they had got tickets for. They had all been trying to come up with excuses all afternoon, such as we had an argument, I’ve got a headache, the list went on and on. I won’t mention who’s show it was for fear of reprisals. I’m making it sound like they were going to see relatives of The Krays here aren’t I? 

Needless to say in the end, although they had had their tea of pizza at lunchtime (Mama J said that was a reason they should go) I ended up been the catalyst of them not going as I sick all over the living room carpet and the stone floor in the hallway and Mama J didn’t want to leave me for the five or so hours that it would’ve taken to drive 60 miles there and back and watch a performance in between. 

Mama J, I don’t believe you’ve paid me yet for getting you out of going to that show (a show may I add that you raved on about getting tickets for when they were released), now I’ll take cheque, cash, card or PayPal if desired!  

It was Mama J’s turn to be poorly on Friday as she’d had palpitations the previous evening, throughout the night and into the morning. She got up and went in the shower but was still feeling ropey when she got out so laid on the bed to wait for her thyroid medication to kick in fully. Grandpa walked in and she told him she was feeling unwell and he said, “Is it because you are shocked about the EU Referendum result?” Granny looked at him and snapped, “No you daft bugger. Look how pale she is!” Mama J hadn’t done her make up yet but looked like she could give a Geisha girl a run for her money in the paleness stakes that morning. 

Mama J had to stay off work in the end but instead of watching videos to promote our blogging empire (her usual YouTube topic of reference) she watched an enchanting documentary all about the life of legendary Writer and Illustrator Beatrix Potter presented by Hyacinth Bucket (“Bouquet residents lady of the house speaking”) actress Patricia Routledge. She even learnt some tricks of the merchandising/book trade from back in the day that is still relevant now. 

Forget YouTube, making a story out of an animals tales is definitely the way to go! I think so and if you enjoyed this surely you agree too? Wink wink!

MADGE'S SCOOTER SQUIRRELING AROUND CLANGER STYLE

So after a little investigative sniffing in Mama J’s shopping bag on my part, which was promptly taken upstairs and hidden in the depths of Mama J’s wardrobe, I was finally allowed to play with my birthday presents on Wednesday morning. 

I squeaked my two new toys and chomped on my set of Nylabones until my heart was content, which was all of about two minutes when all I wanted to play with was Mama J’s nylon Scottie dog shopping bag. Yes, folks I was “that” child at Christmas who you give all the high tech toys in the world to and they just want to play with the cardboard box and wrapping paper that they came in. Granny tussled with me and namely my mouth but I wanted that bag. I don’t know whether it provoked me with it being another dog (albeit a material pooch) or whether I wanted to play shop but Mama J was not cheering me on in my quest for shopping bag supremacy at all. She turned all stern and Grandma-esque and shouted, “Elsie leave my shopping bag alone!” Then she turned to Granny in a childlike manner and squealed, “Make her stop!” Granny eventually managed to wrestle the bag from my now unhappy shopper mouth and hid it safely back in Mama J’s handbag. I was then distracted by Grandpa who beckoned me to play with one of my new toys again. 

I spent the rest of my birthday eating wonderful things like cheese and biscuits and my new edible treats that Mama J also bought me and my day was rounded off with a bath/shower with my new lavender conditioning shampoo. 

Once I had dried off fully my family were so impressed with my glossy and aromatic smelling coat that I think they may enter me into every competition going to win a hair commercial. I don’t think it’ll matter that I’m a dog as you can’t discriminate on anything nowadays. I’ll even go as far as to say that I believe Mama J has designs on my new shampoo as she keeps stroking me in wonderment. So if it grows legs and feet and goes walkabout, her shower is the first place I’ll be looking and Mama J’s hair will be the first thing I’ll be sniffing. You have been warned Mama J, get your own shampoo!
Mama J and I each had a day of it on Friday, she chased a man and I chased a Squirrel (again on both accounts). Firstly I’ll tell you Mama J’s story. 

Now this is a work related tale which Mama J doesn’t always like me writing about. Although Mama J could write a blockbuster book all about the rigours of modern retail, it maybe a tale more akin to the card game Patience and the children’s game of Frustration. 

Mama J, her lovely colleague and a member of staff from a neighbouring store saw an elderly gentleman on the store’s electric scooter go whizzing by them towards the doors. Mama J gave the man the benefit of the doubt and thought he might stop just shy of the exit, but oh no he kept going out into the car park. Mama J decided action needed to be taken (bellowing music if you please) as customers aren’t allowed to ride the store’s electric scooters in the car park due to insurance protocol. 

Mama J ran like a cross between Davina McCall in her Channel 4 dating programme Streetmate and Investigative Reporter Donal McIntyre (when he was a serious Journalist prior to his Dancing On Ice sequin clad appearances) after this speeding man. She caught him up around the corner and heading towards the disabled parking bays and started calling out like a school Head Mistress, “STOP! You can’t take the scooters out into the car park as we aren’t insured if you hit a car or run over a person.” The gentleman argued that the front pavement area wasn’t the car park and threatened to tell the companies former owner of his Mart Cart woes. 

Mama J and her colleague who appeared from the windy outdoor Garden Centre (yes, it is meant to be summer here in Britain) to offer help firmly explained to the chap again why he couldn’t leave the confines of the store on the scooter. He finally accepted it and Mama J and her colleague started unloading his shopping and headed towards a parked car that in the end wasn’t the gentleman’s car after all. The man’s car was parked another 100 metres down the car park away from the path. The man said cheekily, “Shall I jump back on and ride it over there?” Mama J glared then smiled and replied, “I don’t think so Sir.” 

Once the man’s shopping and himself were safely in his car, Mama J got on the now wet (it was pouring down with rain) scooter seat and realised (another bellowing musical moment here) that it was the new Mart Cart and Mama J didn’t do too well driving it (she nearly crashed into the Newspaper stand) last time she tried manoeuvring it. 

Once she realised how to start it up and her sensible colleague (who by the way had never driven it before) instructed her how to go forwards and then backwards, Mama J turned it slowly around and was then off speeding back around the side of the building and back inside like a mix between new Top Gear Presenter Sabine Schmitz (minus her rasping German accent) and Madge off Benidorm (minus her Perma-tanned complexion and chain smoking). If Top Gear did ever want to do a feature on rally driving electric scooters around a store/car park Mama J’s up for the challenge. 

When she got back inside a customer informed her that everybody was looking for her and her colleague who had a queue by this point said she’d been telling customers that Mama J had been, “Chasing a man down the car park!” What a hussy Mama J is and we better make that a hussy with a wet bum from riding the scooter back into the store. Oh the glamour! Shame the man didn’t look like David Gandy but Mama J got to have a spin and you can’t have everything in life can you?
Now I hope I’m not going to get too repetitive here (I realise I mentioned nature’s wonders the other week) but I must tell you about my Squirrel encounters last week. I had three sightings whilst out with Grandpa on our morning stroll on Friday but then one of the little buggers really upped the anti by visiting my garden’s railings. 

This happened first on Tuesday morning when Mama J came back in from making a cup of tea to be greeted by a Rat… Oh no it had a bushy tail…. A Squirrel then, Mama J clearly needs to start paying more attention next time Chris Packham is speaking on the television! She went to try and get her phone to take a photo but distracted both the Squirrel and myself from our slumbers. I missed the Squirrel on this occasion but it was bolder on Friday morning and I was more on high alert following my encounters of a Squirrel kind on my walk. 

I was on the sofa arm ready to pounce and Granny was set to move the ornaments from the window sill should I make such a move. Good job they aren’t from the Ming vase collection with me around. 

The Squirrel ate nuts from the bird feeder as Grandpa snapped pictures of the little Devil’s taunting and teasing of me on the iPad. The Squirrel then visited again later in the day and suspended itself upside down on the bird feeder (just to wind me up I reckon) as if to say, “Na, na, na, na! You can’t get me!”
Lastly I must finish with the news that I have been linked with a children’s television series. A very good family friend reckons I would make a very good Clanger’s character. As they have beautiful pointy noses, sticking up ears and make a, “Cooing!” noise. 

Mama J has been watching episodes on YouTube to see what our friend was insinuating. She quite enjoyed them, (well I’ve always said she had childlike qualities about her) and could see the resemblance. The final thing I’ve got to ask is, “Where do I sign?” to join the cast.

A FOOTBALLING WESTERN OF PRIDE AND PRESENTS

I’ve been a little cross this past week as Mama J and Granny kept going out and leaving me. They’ve been out this morning to the supermarket with a “T” in its name too, however I will let them off (just) as they came back bearing gifts from Pets At Home for my honorary birthday, which is on Wednesday. Food, beverages, toys or cheques are all warmly welcome people, just saying. I have two birthdays just like our country’s wonderfully spritely (for a now ninety year old) Queen Elizabeth the second. The reason behind my second birthday isn’t because I’m part of the royal establishment but because I was in care and it was 15 December 2014 when I came to live with the Chelton’s so it was decided that I should have a birthday six months after that, especially with it being so near to Christmas. It’s more gifts for me though so I’m definitely not going to whimper about that. I have managed to get one of my presents in my mouth already since they returned home. Granny put them at the bottom of the staircase and Mama J caught me having a less than sneaky peek (my head was like a pigs in its trough rooting away) in the bag. Fortunately I didn’t do my speciality game of find the squeaker in it otherwise it would have been like a school playground tug of war between Mama J and I. Mama J normal lets me win at this game, however I don’t think she’d be so generous with them being special presents for my birthday. Anyway what I spied looks interesting so roll on Wednesday when I can have a proper play.

The other times I was left I was not alone, although I do require all the sympathies a girly pooch can get as I was left my Grandpa. There’s nothing wrong with that as I adore my Grandpa, it’s just that for entertainment he cracked open his DVD collection from under the back bedroom bed! Arrrrgh! I had to put up with watching Ravioli, Penne, Lasagne Sheets, Fusilli, Pici WESTERN’s. No, these weren’t the John Wayne Americanised Western’s, oh no they’re far too low brow for Grandpa’s standards. These were Italian Spaghetti Western’s and by MY standards (and Mama J’s when she returned and found out the torture I’d been through) they were proper rubbish! I wanted Dirty Dancing and got worse, oh way worse than Dirty Harry. I did not get to have the time of my life, twice in a week. Granny joked that I’d be checking myself back into care had it not stopped. As for Mama J and Granny they had swanned off to the laundrette’s the first time and to a clothes party the second. On arriving at the laundrette Mama J changed Granny’s TV character name from Downton Abbey’s Mrs Patmore to Eastenders’ Dot Branning (she gets all the glamorous roles bless her) and asked her where Dot’s blue over coat was and whether she’d be popping it on to get into full character mode, cheeky bugger! On sitting there for one hour and twenty minutes, Mama J got increasingly bored. Even though she checked out her social media accounts and mine (she’ll be opening my post next if I don’t keep my beady eye on her) she started making, “WOOOO!” noises as the washing machines went on their final erratic spins with the two duvets and a throw they had in them. Oh dear the boredom had finally sent her loopy and Granny was looking at her in an, “I’m going to get you sectioned in a minute” sort of manner. I don’t think Mama J should ever do anything that would warrant a prison sentence (fingers crossed she won’t anyway or I’d be disowning her) or go to one of those religious retreats where you have to sit in silence all day baring a morning chant, the sound effects being different from, “WOOOO!” may just tip her over the edge of The Nunneries walls.
We have been watching plenty of football in our house recently, some of which has been very exciting and some extremely frustrating. The first game happened the other weekend and was so special as one of the ladies playing for the England Women’s team is such a close friend of our families. My family has known Rachel Daly all her life and we are so proud of what she has achieved in her footballing career so far. This is testimony to all her talent, hard work and dedication to playing the sport she loves for Houston Dash nowadays in America. On hearing of her selection to the first team Mama J had a little cry, as in her words, “It’s just so nice!” Then on match day itself Mama J rushed home from work for the 5.30pm (she even ran down the car park which is a miracle in itself) as she wanted to be home to cry (again) this time at the national anthem. Mama J had joked to Grandpa that Rachel may sing the line, “Land of the free and home of the brave!” as she’s got so used to playing for an American team and watching the Super Bowl, however she managed to remember to ask, “God to save our gracious Queen” and all was well in the anthem singing world. She did stand up while the anthem was sung & made me stand up too on the edge of the sofa arm with my paw clutched to my chest, now I'm a Yorkshire Terrier with a lot of national pride. Mama J was crying again about half an hour later when Rachel scored and then when Rachel’s fabulous family (oh they gave me so many cuddles) visited on Monday evening for nibbles, drinks and a good old catch up. They were telling us all about how kindly the FA treated them and Rachel and a story about a young fan saying how much she admired Rachel. On hearing this Rachel’s Mum told the little girl who she was just as Rachel walked through the doors to delight her with a selfie. Mama J is pleased that they invented waterproof mascara (it’s not a new thing I know) as there would have been a river of black running from her eyes as she is full of pride with all Rachel’s humble grace, not mention her skills and accolades. To top the whole day off Robbie Williams kindly tweeted Rachel prior to the game to wish her good luck on her debut. Mama J was so impressed by this. Before Robbie met his beautiful and quirky Loose Women star wife Ayda Field, Granny had decided that Robbie would make a great son-in-law for her. I also think Mama J was more than keen on the idea too as Robbie has a cheeky but lovely glint in his eyes that Mama J found quite endearing. Mind you Granny has tried in vain to get Mama J married of to every celebrity on the block over the past twenty years. There’s been Cristiano Ronaldo, Orlando bloom, Jonny Wilkinson and Michael Owen to name but a few. Don’t worry Granny has restrained from stalking these handsome gentlemen but with the invention of Twitter these days, it is easier for her to find out a guys romantic status should she get any ideas about trying to marry off the happily single (better throw that on in here) Mama J in the future.

The other game we watched was on Saturday night when we invited our neighbours round for Granny’s Lasagne followed on with the England Euro 2016 match against Russia. The Lasagne was lip licking good however the football was a damp squib of a 1-1 draw. To use a quote that Grandpa read in the Newspaper a few years ago, “Being an England fan means hyper expectation, dawning realisation, bitter recrimination and then repeat in four years time!” We enjoyed ourselves  anyway as our friends are great fun but the news coming out of France of clashes between “football fans” (hooligans or thugs more like) was less than desirable. These people will no doubt be seen on the season finale of The Jeremy Kyle Show. I know I’m a Yorkshire Terrier with a little bit of characterful attitude but why do humans feel the need to get drunk and have a brawl? Enjoy the football and chill out! There I’ve had my disgruntled say now I’m off to the sofa for a rest.


NATURE'S JUST A VACUUM OF HEALTH AND FUN

Move over Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games as I present you with more riveting nature spotting tales than you and the other members of the Springwatch team could shake a stick at. Just this morning I have being a foot (I’m an old school measurements sort of a Terrier, hope I don’t get fined Pooch and Mutt treats by the EU for my lack of metrics) away from a Squirrel. Grandpa and I were strolling along in the sunshine (yes I know a weathering miracle has occurred) when out like lightning came the Squirrel with me in Uma Thurman Kill Bill style hot pursuit! Cue “Battle Without Honor Or Humanity” music and a yellow jumpsuit to get me into the zone for this chase. Sadly for me the Squirrel was a wily old character (obviously this wasn’t his first Great Escape) and made a very spirited escape up the tree with me watching on quietly at the bottom, just incase he lost his footing. Poor Grandpa didn’t know what the hell was happening at first as I spun him around on his axis but soon cottoned on to the fact that I was after a morning apĂ©ritif, a doggy style brunch with a difference. This isn’t the only nature encounter I’ve had in recent times. I was mistaken for a horse the other week. I know it’s a long shot even by Shetland Pony standards that I could be a horse but this Bumblebee (for the purposes of this blog post we’ll say he was a warm, fuzzy and friendly Bumblebee, he was actually a Worker Bee) obviously got a little confused by my Yorkshire Terrier exterior finish due to my wild mane and jumped on my back for a ride along the lane. Granny was more than a little troubled by my rodeo rider due to her and Marble’s stinging encounter with a swarm of bees at the back end of last summer, so it was up to Grandpa to evict the Bumblebee from my back in a pain free manner for all concerned. He swotted it off with great ease into a nearby flowering bush and we continued on with our walk.
The last nature story I have for you is about the return of Mr Foxy Bingo and this return was bigger than that of Game Of Thrones Jon Snow in our house. He was spotted charging passed our living window the other Friday evening at 8.55pm (his movements are logged in my nature diary just incase I’m ever required to give evidence should he attack any prey and need my help defence wise). Mama J jumped to attention like she was doing a new form of squats at a gym class and made her way excitedly to the window for a better look at the fleeting one. Then three nights later he was spotted again down the road heading towards the fields with a very special friend indeed! Yes, Foxy has acquired himself a girlfriend. So I was correct in my assumptions that this party boy was making himself well and truly known around the area when he went AWOL and had picked up the hottest chick (not a real chick please don’t send in the Hounds) in town and bought her back to his field for natures version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On to be played in the breeze.
I was sent in as GI Elsie twice last week but my mission wasn’t an aggressive and war creating one at all. It was to spread a little happiness and cheer to my Great Granny BB as she’s been having some health problems recently. The first time I visited I met one of my Great Granny’s oldest and dearest friends, who when I said, “Hello” scooped me up and give me a big bear cuddle. She was brave as I’m always wary about being grabbed by strangers but I liked her warm, friendly and had an extremely chatty manner so I let her off with a lick. The second time I went to visit the Vax vacuum and the washing machine caused a ruction! The appliances did it not me I promise! They sent my tail and brain into a spin and made me very loud indeed. I must explain we have a vacuum cleaner and a washing machine at home. I don’t want anyone thinking I live in an unkempt house with the great unwashed but these ones sounded so much different to my trained ears than Granny’s machinery. Plus this vacuum had a green light on it which made me quite fearful as it was hurtling towards my paws and almost flickering in an, “I’m going to get you” sinister way. Now it really was like Tzant sang in the 1990s club anthem, Sounds Of The Wickedness. Anyway Granny told me if I didn’t shut up I wouldn’t be visiting on cleaning days again. I was a good girl from then onwards and until the end of the cleaning session and sat quietly with my Mama J in the naughty corner of the sofa. Oops!
Mama J had a revelation the other night and boy did our household hear about it. I’m not talking anything religious here so don’t worry I’m not going to be doing any cult like preachings. This was a technological revelation as she was playing about with her iPhone 6S. I never get to mess about with it other than taking pictures for Instagram. (@elsiebearcherub) See I came pre-programmed with an excellent work ethic. For some unknown reason (Coronation Street adverts came on) Mama J decided to open up the pre-installed Health app (she’s had her iPhone since January and the iPhone 5 previous to that) and found that when she was out shopping with Granny or her friends and walking me she was clocking up not exactly the air miles but certainly the foot miles. She was quoting figures in miles not metres of how far she had walked around the local shopping centre in the most enthusiastic way and then started wandering around the room, mobile in hand (my toy of choice is Terence Turkey but each to their own) to try and get her step count up for that particular day. She exclaimed, “Wow I’ve done all these miles without thinking about it. Imagine if I actually tried!” She then looked at me, smiled and then I knew my claws were going to get worn down a little further walking wise with the addition of her new found toy. Better get my lead and harness ready, I can feel some pavement pounding coming on!