Sunday 19 April 2020

All the pancakes

Anyone else sitting around on the grass idly making daisy chains to hang round their dog? No? Just us then.

Four weeks of lockdown and I have been appreciating the chilled moments of everyone sitting around chatting and playing games and generally spending a whole lot more time together than they normally would. I am less appreciating the constant eating and how the fridge goes from stuffed full to half empty in the blink of an eye. A normal supermarket shop for me looks like I am stockpiling for the apocalypse, so I'm finding the amount of stuff in my trolley a bit embarrassing. I may make a sign saying 'Teenage boys at home' to ward of the judgy looks. A conversation over tea the other day - Littlest Boy: [Biggest Boy], if you had to, who would you eat, dad or mum?' So you can see, I cannot afford to let the fridge fall empty, already they are sizing us up for digestibility.

I made pancakes for breakfast yesterday and today, which is a new thing. The littlest boy always approaches the idea of breakfast as a thrilling adventure to discover some exciting new tasty dish, whereas I'm fundamentally opposed to cooking first thing in the morning as well as at ALL THE OTHER TIMES. But Lucy had a simple-looking oat pancake recipe on her blog this week and then I happened upon Smitten Kitchen's carrot cake pancakes, so we gave it all a go. Lucy's are brilliant, the littlest boy will be able to make these by himself (in theory). The carrot cake ones were excellent too, but a bit more involved.

My favourite pancakes are the vegan coconut pancakes I made on Shrove Tuesday this year. I didn't have any 'coconut drink' so I used a tin of coconut milk and they were utterly delicious. I can't see myself making pancakes regularly for breakfast though, I'm not a huge fan of starting the day by washing up frying pans and jugs and goodness knows what else. Although of course now I've done it once I will no doubt be expected to do it all the time.

The dog has had a bit of a rubbish week, although I suspect he may just be a big drama queen. The little lump on his tail has been annoying him mightily and we had to switch to a bigger (labrador-sized) cone to prevent him licking it. He decided he no longer cared to go for a walk, and even if we managed to tempt him out, he sat down after a hundred yards and had to be carried home, lolling upside down in my arms, legs and paws flopping up and down, head hanging down to the ground, in the manner of roadkill.

The neighbours asked me what was wrong, imagining him to be at death's door. In fact, having had the results back from the vet, the lump is something that can be itchy, but that's all. I had of course built it all up in my mind to be some huge ghastly thing, causing absolute agony, when in fact he is just being dramatic. He has had people waiting on him hand, paw and finger, feeding in his kibble piece by piece, bringing his water dish over to him in case getting up was too much of a trial and tempting him with tiny tasty morsels. He has done it before, and I fear he may turn out to be the dog that cried wolf and next time we will just ignore him. Oh, who am I kidding, of course we won't, we live to serve him.

I hope all is well lovelies, look after yourselves and your beasts. CJ xx

Sunday 5 April 2020

Like in the movies

Scenes from an early morning dog walk. The cow parsley is just starting to open and the birds are collecting nesting materials. The paths are deserted and the wildlife is making the most of it.

I hope you are all well out there and coping with the lockdown. The urchins have had some online schoolwork but otherwise there has been tennis and basketball in the garden, reading and, the current craze in our house, magic. Honestly, you can hardly go into a room before someone says, 'Pick a card, any card, look at it, don't tell me what it is.' Some tricks are more successful than others.

I curled up on the sofa yesterday afternoon and read a book, which is unheard of for me - daytime reading! I might do something in the garden later, although I'm feeling lazy and all the garden jobs are quite full on (dig up dead tree, plant new tree, empty compost bin, that sort of thing) so maybe I won't.

I'm noticing the effects of a reduction in exercise from fewer dog walks - I usually go out three or even four times a day, plus other running about. (Not literal running, you understand).  There's a skipping rope in the kitchen and I keep thinking I'll try some skipping, but then I don't. I think I have quite a big lazy streak in me.

The dog turned three the other day. It was a mixed day for him. Walks, but not too many. Snacks, but remembering to watch our waistline. And horror of horrors, a veterinary appointment. But wait, I hear you cry, what about lockdown. And here's the genius of it all, it was done by video. Honestly, the dog thought it was brilliant. A quick photo (he has a sore lump on his tail), then later on, being held up in front of the camera for a moment, in the comfort of his own living room. No poking, no prodding and nothing inserted anywhere unnatural. He heartily approved of it all.

Cream was prescribed, and I had to go and ring the veterinary receptionist from their car park, then they came out and left the box on a bench. Then when they'd gone I was allowed to approach the bench and collect it. It was a bit like a cold war spy film, you know, when they leave a folded newspaper with an encoded message in the crossword section on a park bench and someone nonchalantly picks it up and discovers who the mole is but then gets stuck with a poisoned umbrella before they can pass the information on. Or maybe I'm just being over fanciful.

The dog has been wearing his cone left over from one of his previous misadventures to stop him licking the lump. Other dogs have been laughing at him. It's hard to be dignified with a lampshade on your head.

Well, enough for now I think. Look after your lovely selves and don't use too much toilet roll. CJ xx