CAPTAIN BACK SPARROW

“Cover your eyes and Elsie’s too!” Grandpa ushered, no shouted to Mama J last week while my family were enjoying an evening cup of tea. Now Mama J is 37 years old and has experienced the sights and sounds of drunken debauchery on her numerous nights out over her partying years. I am a former city Yorkshire Terrier, who is altogether just as street wise as Dizzee Rascal. I love going Bonkers and I sure would Dance Wiv Me, well Dizzee if he so asked me.
   Just what was going on outside of our living room window? I’ll keep you in suspense no longer… Two sparrows were trying their luck at procreation on our railings! It was like a scene from the Fifty Shades Of Grey movies and these two birds were using their flapping feathers to spank each other with. All this whilst one bird was bouncing around on the other birds back. Yes, our railings really had become their red room of pure passion.
   Grandpa was totally prudish to the birds moment of ecstasy and jumped up and down waving his arms around to shoo them way but Mama J just saw it as nature. She’s a Countryfile and Springwatch fan and was sure that both Matt Baker and Chris Packham would approve of this outburst of flying feathers. However Mr Packham would probably be able to explain it in much more scientific terms than to akin it to a bonker buster book and film but hey ho I’ve got a simple, mucky and poetic mind at times!
Now without completely lowering the tone of this blog, Mama J was getting out the shower and drying herself off, gently caressing her body with the towel, up and down her skin in circular waves whilst thinking longingly about Idris Elba. Okay I really am going to stop this smut now I promise. 
   It was last Wednesday morning and she was drying herself off and she coughed to clear her throat. With that there was a ding and then a loud yelp of, “Ouch!” that I heard from down the road, whilst Granny and I were out for our morning stroll. Yes, Mama J had pulled the bottom of her back.
   This sure is the most unconventional way to pull a muscle that I think I’ve ever heard of and I’m sure if Mama J did go to the Doctor’s they wouldn’t be able to help but chuckle. 
   So she has been wandering around like The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, only taking Calpol to ease her pain. Mama J will only take one Calpol every four hours as well as she doesn’t want to become addicted to children’s pain relief. Granny and Grandpa both suggested Deep Heat cream, however with the hot weather we’ve experienced into the weekend, Mama J felt that the pungent smell may put people off coming to her counter at work. It’s so nice that still in pain she’s concerned about the companies profits!
   Anyway her back does seem to be improving but she won’t be standing legs apart or thinking about Idris Elba next time she decides she has to clear her throat. 

SHE'S OFF UP DALE!

In my family politics really is the order of the day. However we aren’t talking about the election fever that is gripping the British nation… Okay I mean every televisual news report trying to whip us all up into one mass of election frenzy. Everyone around these shores has practised voting on every issue there is over the last few years. I vote that we don’t need to vote again for another few years at least. Anyone else with me, please put a cross in the box below!
   We’re not even discussing Donald Trump’s latest political faux pas. He tweets a disaster almost every hour, it’s so difficult to keep up with his every public relations nightmare.  
My family’s political conversations (oh and there has been a lot of chatter coming from their mouths) have been dominated by the looming nature of 3000 houses engulfing our beautiful village and turning it from a rural idyl into a town. My Grandpa has started a protest group to try and garner local support against the build. I’m prepared for him to be laying in the middle of the road in front of a digger one day when we go out for a morning stroll. Or he could go sit in a tree just like Emily Bishop and her nephew Spider did in Coronation Street, in an attempt to save The Red Wreck. I will lend my support by barking along in protest and snarling at anyone with a local council clipboard. I’m a feisty Yorkshire Terrier, they won’t mess with me!
   With Grandpa’s group just getting into its stride Granny, Mama J and I are feeling a bit like a family of golfing widows. All we’ve heard all last week is the pitter patter of, not tiny feet but Grandpa’s fingers going ten to the dozen on his laptop’s keyboard. I try to give him a, “Stroke me now please Grandpa!” paw but I am being more than slightly passed over for the cause. Now I know how he must feel when on a Monday I’m in my blogging zone and only wanting disturbing for food and exercise. 
   Well, generating interest for a blog pawed by a Yorkshire Terrier is such tireless Monday work! Then there’s all my other social media engagements, like Mama J waving a camera in my face just when I’ve pressed the button (don’t worry not the nuclear button that world leaders have) and this has gone live for that week.
   Anyway I wish Grandpa and the other villagers involved in this campaign the best of luck in trying to change the minds of the local council’s planning department. I know Mama J and I like path walking but I also want to feel the grass between my paws and see the same idyllic country views that I and other doggies before me have had the pleasure of seeing for many years to come. 
On Thursday afternoon when Mama J got back from the hairdressers looking gorgeously quaffed, us three girls settled down to watch Sarah Beeny’s Channel 4 property programme How To Live Mortgage Free. 
   The first episode where barge living dominated the proceedings had Mama J on eBay looking for a run down watery abode that she had no clue how to do up! Now Mama J as I told you all last week can’t swim, so she better look into some life insurance just so I’m fully looked after, should she fall in the canal whilst trying to board her boat. When she went on the school barge she missed her footing and her right jeans leg ended up taking a dipping, so things aren’t looking too promising for a new water lifestyle.
   Anyway this weeks show was about a couple who did up a double decker bus which was interesting especially considering they both had mobility issues. However Mama J has decided to take umbrage with some of the ideas, as a lot of the people featured build their unconventional homes on family members land. This and all the possible building work in our village got too much for Mama J and she ranted, “I’ve had enough of folk! I’m off up Dale to live!” Granny was hysterical (I was worried at first as she was giggling so much I thought she was crying) and laughed all her make-up clean off her face at Mama J’s very Yorkshire dialect. Now I know I’m a Yorkshire lass too but we’ll be having sing songs of, “On Ikla Mooar baht ‘at!” next should anymore Yorkshire come out of Mama J’s mouth, along with stuffing our faces full of Yorkshire Puddings and washing them down with a mug of Yorkshire Tea. Now where’s my flat cap, I’m off up Dale too?


A DUCKING PLAY DATE AND ALSO A HEALTHY RIVALRY

Well, I managed to get through my week closely monitoring Mama J’s every movement. It was a challenge but one I feel I rose to so very well. I’m such a formidable boss lady even if I do say so myself! If she breathed too heavily or sniffled into her handkerchief too much, I was there staring into her eyes to make sure she was up for the day and walking activities that lay ahead.

I had her out and about touring every village in our vicinity and chasing off other pooches that got in our way. We had the most beautiful weather for our “tour” which did turn into a Mini Cooper adventure in Primrose, Mama J’s set of wheels. I so enjoyed riding shot gun next to Mama J watching the countryside fly by and then getting my paws on unfamiliar turf for a stroll. Seen as these villages were local I didn’t need to play the role of navigator. However next time Granny and Grandpa go away, I live in hope that we may go further afield and I may get to use my map reading skills to there limits.

On one walk we went to such a pretty village that had a duck pond in the centre of it. Things were going swimmingly (pardon the pun) when I spotted a duck descending into the water. With that I was pulling hard on my lead to give chase. Mama J on the other hand didn’t share my enthusiasm for that sort of sporting activity. This was probably due to the fact that Mama J can’t swim. Where were a pair of armbands when she needed them? Thankfully for her I’m just a Yorkshire Terrier and not a German Shepherd and she’s more than powerful enough to pull herself and me to a minimum safe distance away from the waters edge. I swear as I was moved swiftly away from the pond I could hear the duck quacking, “Na! Na! Na! You won’t get me now!” Therefore I have decided that Mama J is going to learn to swim. I’ve already been online looking at lesson timetables and I’m just going gently persuade her to go along for a splash. So next time my little ducky pal you, Mama J and I are going to have some proper watery fun!
On Tuesday Mama J had to show willing and go to work for the afternoon. Well, they do pay her and this leads to the me living the lavish lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to, so I fully support her going behind her shop counter. Whilst Mama J was earning her crust, I was living the high life! I got to spend a lovely afternoon with my handsome boy Watson and his equally fabulous Mum on a play date at his house.
   I had the best time laid on Watson’s Mum’s lap watching the beautiful and talented Keeley Hawes in The Durrells. I don’t know whether this made Watson a bit jealous as he’s not allowed on the sofa or on people’s laps but I did keep a look out for squirrels whilst I was up there so Watson could chill out. I must remember not to bark out The Durrells plot line though when Granny has a catch up session later this week, I’ll be getting a large case of déjà vu when that comes on the telly! Anyway I give massive thanks to Watson and his wonderful family for their kindness and for welcoming me into their lovely home. It was a real treat.
As well as walking me a record three times a day. See I said to you all I’d be a hard task master and I certainly wasn’t lying. I also witnessed Mama J doing other strenuous activities. No, it wasn’t anything smutty, you mucky minded lot! She CLEANED the bathrooms, HOOVERED the carpets and WASHED and IRONED clothes!  All this was done under my watchful and indeed amazed eye. I earned myself a few more treats for my brilliant supervisory role in all of this when Granny and Grandpa came home to an extremely tidy house indeed. They needed a lie down to get over the shock!

When Mama J got home from work on Friday we were told tales of Granny and Grandpa’s Majorcan holiday. They went to visit Grandpa’s Step-Mum, Sue and her gorgeous Papillon dog, Bruma. Now it was said that Bruma rivalled me on the barking at other dogs scale. However I’m pleased to announce baring an altercation on a street corner that my crown is firmly still in tact!
   I’m sure if Bruma and I ever crossed paths and came wet black nose to wet black nose that there would be a healthy rivalry akin to boxing’s Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko’s.
However seen as Bruma is as Peggy Mitchell used to say, “Family!” I’m sure we’d be respectful and in the end loving towards each other. First there was the Eastenders Mitchell’s, then the Emmerdale Dingle’s and now the Chelton dogs! I’m off the get myself a passport and a plane ticket to Palma airport, Bruma and I are going to have some fun terrorising her manor together!

SHIRLEY VALENTINE'S NEW LOOK KITCHEN

So our kitchen refit is now all complete. Yes, you can all put on the party tunes, put up the banners and let off the party poppers! I’m going to give a paw shaped round of applause to my long suffering family and especially my Granny, who because of Grandpa’s work commitments had to deal with most of the communication issues along the way. I must say she did ask for a few more bottles of wine to be brought home by Grandpa, for purely medicinal purposes of course. I even caught tee-total Mama J eyeing up the gin bottle throughout the process as well.
   Anyway the Mayor couldn’t attend the grand unveiling to cut the rope, so we ended up having a more quiet (well apart from my barking) affair when we invited two of our neighbours around for a peek and a lovely afternoon of coffee and cake, oh yes lots of wonderful cake! To shut me up in my Everhot cooker excitement, I even got a taster of the sponge and it was delicious. I will give the people who run our village shop an outstanding review for their sponge making skills.

Now the job is complete I can tell you a little more of the funny parts of refitting the kitchen. Let’s put it this way I can now see why house design programmes such as Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces really do make entertaining and informative viewing. With the issues that even our small property threw up such as uneven flooring, I can see why there is always someone having a near nervous breakdown midway through the show.
   We also had to contend with the fact that our Kitchen Fitter’s native language wasn’t English and they were also deaf. We all were astounded and amazed how he worked around these problems to get the outstanding results on our kitchen.
   We found there was always a major problem when Grandpa was safely away at work and it was usually when we sat down to watch our guilty pleasure of The Real Housewives Of Cheshire on an afternoon. One of the housewives would be having a go at Dawn Ward and then there would be a tap on the living room door. When Granny went to see what the problem was there was no one there. Was our Kitchen Fitter a closet child playing the knock on the door and run away game?
   On one occasion we didn’t have enough floor tiles and seen as our man couldn’t communicate with the flooring specialists my family had previously used, Granny had to drive him to their outlet and articulate what we were wanting. Peter Kay could use this tale in the next series of Car Share if he likes, Granny wouldn’t mind! Mama J and I thought when they were driving off into the sunset together in Granny’s Mini Cooper S, she was perhaps doing a Shirley Valentine and running off with her new toy boy. She too would have to talk to the wall for a chat should the need arise. One morning Granny in her vain hope of trying to communicate her requirements to our Kitchen Fitter was heard saying, "Mañana. Mañana." Not only was he deaf but he wasn't Spanish either, so there was no wonder he had a confused look on his face. 
Anyway I’m sure you’ll all agree that the results are stunning and I can say with full enthusiasm that the new Everhot cooker really does warm my bum up a treat when I’m stood in front of it. I’m happy that I now know the whereabouts of my water bowl, as it kept moving every day throughout the process and that I’ve found the new hiding hole of my food. It’s all change here but it sure does keep me on my paws and claws.
Right folks seen as Granny and Grandpa are away next week visiting family, I’m being left with the task of keeping Mama J in line. As this is going to take up all of my skill set, I’ll be back in a few weeks time to dish the dirt on her naughtiness.