During the winter months the dogs –
well most of them, prefer the comfort of the kitchen to
sleep in and mainly because its:
b) A Food source
c) Humans are available
d) It’s a food source
e) There is plenty of room for them – but there’s
more in the conservatory?
f) It’s warm and
g) It’s a food source
with ‘most’ of the dogs in the kitchen at
inappropriate times it becomes a little congested and
making a cup of tea becomes an obstacle course and if
biscuits are involved or slices of cake then a prior course
in E & E (Escape and Evasion) is crucial to successfully
getting back to the front room.
fact, planning to make a cup of tea whilst already in
the front room is much more sensible as you can (read
I can) plan the strategy, plot the course and timing of
events and cunningly work out the disguises for the cakes
on admit it? You’ve been there and although ‘you
got used to it’ it’s easy with one or two
dogs – but with 7 Spins and an arrogant French thing
plus the ‘other two’ then at times things
tend to get slightly out of hand!!
have complained about this several times to The Dearest
One that it is a hazard, and a dangerous place to have
hazards in, after all, there are many potential accidents
waiting to be sprung once you enter the twilight zone
of the kitchen that is occupied with ever hungry dogs.
You could trip over one, you could drop a crumb from a
biscuit packet and get knocked down by the umpteen mouths
leaping up to catch the crumb before it hits the floor,
one of them might grab a bucket of courage and jump up
to see what’s on the counter and in reaching for
the cloth to clean the counter you slip backwards on the
retreating dog – you needed the cleaning cloth because
it’s still raining outside and guess where they’ve
complaining has finally paid off?
had a close encounter this morning with a rogue Spin in
the kitchen and it got my toast” explained the Dearest
One, “And it nearly got the milk carton as well”
you making me a cup of tea as well then dear”? I
but poured yours into my bucket so I could maintain my
own daily dosage” “and I had your toast as
“Gosh” I said calmly!!
took a huge lungful of local oxygen and swallowing a huge
amount of pride (along with my tea and toast) came the
immortal words………”You are right”
“We need to re-arrange the kitchen”
I came round a few moments later I felt I was in a dream
world where I had been right – for once
dared not ask her to repeat what she had just said for
fear of being hit with a low flying fist, so I asked –
still slightly dazed “And what would you propose
get a new kitchen”
this one out and have this up there, rip them out, build
a breakfast bar, have a cupboard in the corner, cupboards
here, here and here and put down a new floor and and and”
yes and you can strip out the old and in with the new”
something quite religious happened……I got
a call to go away again and only for few weeks this time.
So before I left we went to our local ‘Kitchens
are us’ emporium and viewed and reviewed options.
Finally having made a choice a nice man in the emporium
came to our house to measure and design and offer us options.
After he had gone we were happy – read she was happy
because there was work to do!! Or rather for me to do
took him 20 minutes to measure everything and 2 hours
to go round all the dogs stroking and petting them……What
a sweet man!! “Oh God please make him go away”
lead time for our bespoke ready assembled kitchen allowed
for me to be away and for the old kitchen to be stripped
out, which The Dearest One completed with a 4 pound lump
hammer and a vengeance. Meanwhile I drew up a plan of
works, things to buy and hire.
I got back from my latest excursion we were ready for
hired a hammer to get the old flooring tiles up and I
have to say it went through it like a knife through butter.
By the end of the first day the old floor was gone and
new one laid.
The dogs came and went as the noise went from extreme
to quiet. Some of the dogs came in and poked a wet nose
in my face as I laid the new tiles. I smirked at them
and just said they were in for a shock!!
be fair, The Dearest One had done a great job in getting
the old kitchen out and had had a lot of help from her
Father. Or he had done a great job and The Dearest One
had been a great help!!
sure which way round it was
the new kitchen arrived
was not going to be easy and although I have all the tools
it’s about the preparation and the planning. The
preparation was good and the plan was on course –
the sink side would be completed first and here we came
across our first delay – the plumber!! A local!
at what he does, has a terrific reputation but lives in
a different time zone and probably a different planet
as well from what I understood of him – which was
next to nothing “It wants a what”??
he came we encountered a few further problems but nothing
that could not be overcome, but in overcoming them I had
to work late into the night. By the following morning
we were slightly behind schedule – one day!! A potential
the base units went in easily enough, the top cut out
for the new sink, the plumbing done, albeit with an air
lock which was a nuisance, but otherwise we had the makings
of our new kitchen.
next morning I went to my workshop to get some tools and
noticed The Dearest One’s Father in the garden –
nothing unusual about this I thought…………(Oh
God, now what)
was smoke coming from the lawn
was a small square white piece of board being wafted on
top of the lawn
stopped and leant on the fence to watch this rather unusual
was The Dearest One’s sweet old Dad looking at me
with a real vengeful look?
I enquire what you’re doing” I asked
these bloody moles out” he said
OK then” I replied
this tip from a mate who said this was the best way to
get rid of moles”
right” I said
let me understand then, just how does this work”
into the hole, cover the hole and slowly move the board
up and down thus pushing the smoke down further and through
– and when is your mate due to be released”
swears by this method” “And they never come
back” he said
I’m not surprised either, I’m not sure whether
it was the smoke or that the moles thought he was just
a nutter and that is why they left”
walked off. It wouldn’t be long before the men in
white coats came for him as well I thought, and then him
and his mate could share mole moving stories together
from the confines of that nice home……
yes John those yellow pills are my favourites as well
and blend so nicely with the purple one’s to give
you that all round hallucinogenic effect”
“Who are you talking to”?
mole on the sofa over there with the TV remote”
“Why do you ask”?
wondered, because I’m over here and the mole is
called Maurice by the way”
“And Maurice won’t take any notice of you”
he’s too busy watching a documentary about the dangers
of smoke inhalation”
surprised really given the amount of fire lighters that
were put down through his mole hill”
moles are blind you know”
how come they see well enough to ruin my lawn and make
small volcano effects all over the place”?
how come the moles are not with them and those dogs next
they see sense and recognise the dangers”
OK, so they can see sense and see enough to ruin my lawn
and yet they’re blind”
me those pills again – these are wearing off”
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen
us we worked our way through the wall units and electrics
and other bits and pieces along with our defining moment?
The breakfast bar was carefully put into position. Then
shortly after that The Dearest One put all the cupboard
doors on. To perfection I might add – these last
two events crowned a very busy and very hectic week, but
we had done it, we had a new kitchen and – and we
now had a terrific space under the breakfast bar where
the dogs would take up a place – or several
the decorating and tidying up was needed and The Dearest
One would take on that as she pointed out to me.
yes – then there was this little gem?
are to provide me with sufficient funding for new pots,
pans, ornaments, dishes, cutlery and anything else I might
need – we have a new kitchen and therefore everything
else must be renewed as well”
but what about the dogs I hear you ask?
beds were laid down, the dogs were excited and when finally
we were ready we let them in.
cunning plan had worked and they settled nicely under
the breakfast bar. And stayed there?
We had our working place, they had comfort and all was
OK then – happy once they had jumped up first to
see what was on the breakfast bar – and the other
base units, and in the cupboards and behind the cooker………..and
an exhausting few minutes of settling them down “Get
off there you jolly naughty doggies” everyone was
the moles next door
were kept awake all night from their coughing and spluttering…….from
inhaling all that smoke
moles evacuated the in-laws back garden and found sanctuary
– they came to take up residence in our front room!!!!
yes there were two of them – in our front room
Dearest One armed with an empty dog bowl grabbed them
both and then proceeded towards the wood where she let
them go…..she then gave them a map and a compass
so they could find their way back to the in-laws back
garden – a fact we were reminded of by ‘him’!!
(The looney with the board and firelighters)
the Viz was happy?
of course is the root of all this trouble?
is – as you may have read in previous BNs has an
Olympic Gold medal for digging at mole hills and digging
in general. That dog is the ultimate mole hunter and he
does not need a firelighter, a piece of board and a nutty
mate to tell him how to rid the garden of moles. But the
issue here is that the in-laws garden is a mole safe haven
– when the Viz digs they have to move on and guess
will tell and I’ll keep you updated
for The Dearest One’s Dad and his mate I will also
let you know where they end up so you can send flowers
and cards – but not with moles on!!
the scene at the home for retired mole hunters when they
get the post delivered
Dude, this is so cool” “I got some big brown
pills in a box and they’re called chocolate mix”
wonder if they’re as good as the yellow and purple
dude and I got big green pills on a small tree –
they look like grapes but these are so cool”
on John, let’s take one of each and chill out”
says on the card – all my love Maurice”
don’t know a Maurice, do you”?
must be some underground pill supplier”!!!!
dogs were kept occupied by some guests we had with us!!
“You have got to be kidding me”
daughter was to stay with us for a while and she brought
along a smaller version? We call this one a Grand Daughter.
so it came to pass that all the coffee’s and tea’s
were supplied by the aforementioned Daughter whilst the
mini version watched the idiot box, annoyed the dogs,
sorry, played with the dogs and generally had a thrilling
and inspiring time with us away from the big city where
they originated from (for ‘big city’ read
– a small village similar to the one from the TV
series “The League of Gentlemen”) Royston
Vasey was the village for those struggling to remember
the village name – I loved that series - mainly
because I live it nowadays!!
was supplied via two mediums
1. We went out to eat of an evening or
2. We went to the in laws – oh no, not porridge
latter was a surreal experience?
dogs were funny because they could not understand why
we weren’t in the kitchen playing “First to
grab the food”
is a great game for all the family!!!
get say, 6 to 10 dogs to meander round the kitchen while
you’re trying to cook dinner for the evening. The
game is simple…….you get out the ingredients
and try your hardest to keep them away from the dogs.
Then just when you’re winning the meat that was
cooking needs turning over or stirring or adding fresh
vegetables or whatever. Meanwhile the dogs have to get
as many bits and pieces as they can and the winner is
the one who gets the most food.
out of interest we have played 23, won 18, lost 2 and
with 3 draws.
daughter and mini version of course cheated?
had breakfast every morning at ‘Grannies’
– but it was embarrassing for us stood outside looking
through the kitchen window at them all munching away and
enjoying copious amounts of Grannies special homemade
so The Dearest One and I had to be content with a cup
of tea with cement dust, wood shavings and bits of old
kitchen tiles. Yummier………
is hopeless? I’ve digressed again haven’t
the hammer and vengeance session of taking out the old
kitchen a pile of ‘old kitchen’ had been left
outside at the back of the house and one morning I took
time out to relocate it to my favourite place where I
have my garden fires.
burnable would be……..
got the wheelbarrow and happily plodded around for a couple
of hours clearing up……that is until?
I suddenly remembered taking ‘that piece of wood’
down to the fire earlier? Oh well, must be two of them.
a pipe reappeared
another piece of wood
so it went on
suddenly a light came on in my head?
was helping me!!!
took it down to the fire and he brought it back up
was well pleased with himself, whilst I wasn’t
that wasn’t bad enough JJ kept bringing me a piece
of wood I was supposed to throw for him and in a moment
of outrageous stupidity – I did
now I was in trouble, Duncan fetching the ‘old kitchen’
back and JJ leaping around like a demented thing on yellow
and purple pills wanting to retrieve that damned piece
the French thing joined in and after about an hour I threw
myself on the fire…….
I hadn’t lit it
there was nothing to burn what with Duncan taking the
wood off it and JJ fetching anything by now that resembled
a piece of wood and the French thing copying them. This
was a disaster.
trudged off up to Grannies and asked if Colin had any
of those pills left……..
a few days the new kitchen was in and triumphantly we
There were bits and pieces left to do but essentially
we had a new kitchen, the dogs had more space and the
aforementioned food competition was now going to firmly
swing in our favour?
Dearest One had one last trick up her sleeve?
kitchen had been planned so that a dog gate could be located
at the far end that effectively kept the dogs out of the
kitchen main area when we were cooking…..we were
well pleased with ourselves.
and Gentlemen, I give you the King and Queen of Smugness
dogs were clearly shell shocked
next morning we let them out for P & P and their usual
constitutionals and all was quiet.
next thing we heard were shrieks and screams and bad language
from the cottage next door where those elderly folk lived…you
know? Granny Porridge and Granddad Mole……
the dogs had plotted overnight to take a mole each from
our garden and fields and relocate them into the garden
next door. We of course got the blame….
porridge suppliers would probably go on strike and ruin
a little girl’s life, how would she ever get over
this terrible ordeal of no breakfast at her Grannies?
a tantrum…….it worked
had a tantrum once you know and ate with the dogs that
night – from the spare bowl!!
Dearest One does not do tantrums
is a ‘Motivational Speaker’!!!!!!
moments of joy are both bowel moving and breathtaking
in their intensity. The passion behind the speaking, the
choice of words illuminating and the colours of the face
are to be truly admired and I can tell you that the motivation
to go faster, work harder and do more is an inspiring
event. I have been so moved at times……!!
I downed tools just to listen to her and felt as if I
was in the presence of a great Deity
I just downed tools and went off outside with the dogs
as I was so moved
once went to say something and was immediately bought
down by the hand of this most inspirational of speakers
had to be there
know? Another minor digression
The whole exercise taught me a lot about a number of things
and remember. When you stop learning you die
in all fairness it is a very significant undertaking to
strip out a kitchen and to replace it with a new one.
We had carefully planned it, discussed it and worked to
the plan. 80% of it was spot on but next time we do this
I’m going to allow a bigger contingency margin
Guests will do more!!!! Inclusive of the size of them
Guests will be assigned project work inclusive of being
tea and coffee bearers
Moles will not be tolerated and relocated next door
Elderly people – older than us – will have
their pills reduced to lower the effects of the hallucinations
Elderly peoples ‘mates’ with weird and very
odd advice will be shot coming up the lane so they can’t
provide drug induced advice to an equally odd couple at
the top of the lane
The dogs will not be allowed out when I’m moving
the rubbish down to the fire – several times
Porridge will be banned
There will be less ‘Motivational speaking’
and more work
The menu for evening meals at the old people’s home
next door must be improved with more variety – Mole
Stroganoff, Meat and mole pies (bit furry, but edible)
Mole and firelighter in a red wine sauce, mole sausages,
chips and mushy peas and my favourite – Mole Tikka
and white rice – preferably steamed
And finally – the wine!!!!
want to finish on the subject of the wine??
what’s this got to do with the dogs”
to be honest, absolutely nothing, but I just wanted to
show you what I have to put up with!!
night we went ‘up there’ to the house of very
mature people- or, very immature people as it turned out………
Mole had prepared a meat and porridge dinner for us –
very nice, in an oaty kind of way
Meanwhile, King mole offered me a beer and or a glass
of fine wine!!
started eating our meal and toasted the new kitchen –
before I go any further and to get you into the minds
of the downright unscrupulous, some time ago we went to
the cottage where ‘they’ live and I had a
glass of beer with them. All very sociable except for
like a decent glass of beer, I also like a decent glass
of wine. But on this night in question ‘The inscrutable’
ones had swapped my glass of beer for a supermarket version
of a distinct lesser quality. I never said anything and
my oh my how they laughed!!!
me out and I’ve never lived it down. BUT……what
goes round, comes round!!
the night in question when we were eating our meat and
porridge stew with a plaster cast casing over the top
of it….no sorry that should read pastry over the
top of it – I think……I was given a glass
of beer and a glass of wine. The glass of wine was more
like vinegar and not my usual expectation of what I determine
as a smooth fruity wine. I drank the beer and said nothing
– just grateful for the food……or its
the wine worried me?
thought carefully – very – about my next few
you not sealed the top of the wine bottle properly”?
think air has got to this wine and its going off, its
bitter like vinegar…….”
was still quiet
Mr Mole started to choke back laughing and claimed the
food was going down the wrong way
Mole just said it was recently purchased and had only
been opened that night, but I knew something was not right
with this wine? Or a derivative of a wine
I didn’t drink the rest of the glass and stuck to
the beer – which was at least beer
was then a moment of merriment and at that moment I smelt………a
mole. The Dearest One kept a neutrality to be admired
and clearly this was not a moment for a motivational talk.
was duly dispatched away and lots of thanks for the pleasant
I later learned that Mrs Mole of the unscrupulous clan
had kept an empty bottle of a good wine, then bought a
wine that was less than quality and poured the contents
of it into the empty quality wine bottle and served it
to me as a good wine.
beer got me, the wine didn’t. I had a hint of what
went on behind the scenes and have a good memory!!!!
it’s my turn to play……..and the moles
will be back!!
not as you know it!!
for the house on the hill?
is calm, all is well in our new kitchen and with only
bits and pieces to do it’s going to be bliss?
dogs will be kept at bay, they will now and forever only
be able to look on in disgust at the deviousness and sheer
brilliance of The Dearest One’s kitchen gate.
it and watch out for the moles……..