Hiding From Halloween

As I was coming into the house yesterday I met my neighbour and we discussed plans to hunker down in the back room thereby giving the impression there was nobody home. Why so? Halloween of course; Barry kids are hard and will not be put off by the weather! Wednesday also happens to be recycling night so more than a degree of organisation is required; is it black bag or garden waste week, has every item of food waste (or potential food waste – i.e. time to chop that pineapple) been popped in a corn bag for onward transmission to the large green box (from the interim home in the small green caddy); and is the blue bag stuffed with all that is recyclable (i.e. has everything that could be shredded been shredded? Has the shredder been emptied in the blue bag (still not found anyone with a hamster or bunny rabbit or could use the material)? Exhausted – me too!

So I prepared the blue bag and the green box early evening; only the food waste made it out of the front door it seems. This morning as I was drying my hair it suddenly occurred to me that I had no recollection of actually putting the blue bag out. Attempting to peer down the stairs to see if I could spot the blue bag I marginally avoid tumbling head first into the front passage; pulling myself back in the nick of time luckily as I was only half dressed! Deciding to check I multitask by filling the washing basket before going downstairs – with legs like mine i.e. current wooden and filled with something resembling a frozen Slush Puppy (remember the blue raspberry flavour),  energy needs to be conserved. Of course common sense does not prevail as balancing a laundry basket under one arm is somewhat challenging! But hey with a little comedy wiggle the task is carried out without incident .

As I open the inside hall door I spy the blue bag and remember that the last thing I’d thought was ‘I’ll put it out later once the trick or treaters have gone home’. Only I didn’t do the last bit and I can’t rely on my neighbour to remind me (she has been known to phone me to tell me what needs to go out). It’s 820 precisely as I open the door to put the blue bag on the pavement; I know this because my neighbour is about to get in her car and bless her she comes over and says ’shall I put that out for you?’She is so kind and I secretly worship her! She is so considerate that she always apologetically informs me when her brother is coming to stay as he’s a big guy and one could be forgiven for thinking an elephant had moved in when he is in residence.

Today, in fact this past week I have been attempting to distract myself on account of significant anniversaries falling around this time; anniversaries I shall not be marking this year on account of changing circumstance. The death of a woman who was significant in my life coupled with a parting of the waves, some months ago, involving a once special relationship. Getting older one occasionally has a flash of insight that removes a rose-tinted prism through which something or someone has been previously observed. Wisdom and insight are double edged; sometimes the right thing inflicts a searing pain that inflames an almost healed wound. I am not alone in my tendency to pick old scars; girls are especially adept at persuading themselves that the blame is all theirs! So tell me please why we persist in behaving thus as if perfecting this particular skill will prove beneficial at some point?

I know that what I might consider logical behaviour is not always comprehended by others but regular girl friends have become accustomed to such foibles. When shopping in Morrisons earlier this week my eye was drawn to the special offer on a new brand of doggie treats apropos I can only assume of a conversation I had with a friend about her ancient Labrador. Suddenly a fit of the vapours overcame me and I was engulfed with sympathy for all those poor dogs who will be quaking in their paws as Bonfire Night fireworks fill the dark hours.  Before I knew it I had filled the trolley with four parcels of treats for the canines of my acquaintance! Taking particular care to purchase a low fat variety for the older beasts mixed in with other rather more indulgent delicacies – all pain and no pleasure is hardly going to be sufficient consolation.

So home I seek out jiffy bags to post the goodies in and I have to tell you the misshapen chews, dental bites and wacky sticks are a bugger to post! And it hardly makes sense to not include a card – obviously to be read to the beast whilst it is wrestling the irresistible treats from the packaging. OK I promise to get out more; soon, once I get my balance back which should be soon assuming the antibiotics see off yet another infection ( MS tends to convert one into a canary in the mines prone to picking up bacteria from heaven only knows where! That would be aimed at Aunty who always asks ‘now where did you get that from?’ in a concerned tone tinged with the perennial accusation of carelessness!)

Parcels complete there seems no time like the present so off I go to the post office for some reason avoiding the branch I’d been to earlier the same day – don’t want to give the impression of being disorganised or heavens that I have developed an insatiable e Bay habit! Now I have written a return address on the back of the packages and suddenly the potential for misunderstanding occurs to me. The Sub Post Master at this particular branch knows me as I am memorable as the woman who posts Christmas parcels overseas where the postage is often in the region of £60; surely a sign of something ‘not quite right’! What I have written as the return address is ‘From The Fairy Dog Mother’; it seems apt in the house and would be certain to make the human recipient smile. Well in the case of the female humans it did but for the one male of the species who intercepted the parcel for Toby a state of confusion was induced; a translation seemed well a little pointless as without the full back story the humour is frankly an acquired taste.

And then I heard about the story for dogs recorded by Simon Callow in partnership with the Dogs Trust (amongst others); a first venture of its nature apparently and released just for Bonfire week. Reassuring perhaps that I’m not the only one worried about quaking canines escaping the firework festival – apparently loud music would be just as distracting – me I select Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sound of Thunder; Mr Callow’s boxers prefer Radio 3!


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