Saturday, 30 March 2019


My dear readers – it has been a long while. But thought it only polite to try and squeeze in a quick post before we open The Forge for the season and life switches up a gear again. Of course, the past few months have been just one big holiday what with the two businesses, full-on corporate job, two kids under 7, the veg patch, the farm and now THREE bloody dogs!

Talisker, or Tal for short
“It will be so lovely to have one of Bru’s pups”, we said. “How charming for the girls to have a puppy”, we said. “We’re both around so much a pup will just blend in”, we said. OMG – how wrong we were. How can we have forgotten how intense and demanding a small dog can be?!

Add into the mix our own personal Brexit and things just get even more stressful. You see, pup number two, is headed for our good friends in Ireland but due to the, ahem, delays and general fuckwittery surrounding our exit from the EU, getting a doggie passport is proving rather challenging. So, we have double trouble. Lovely that the brothers get to keep each other company and entertain each other. A killer when your two hands are playing against their eight legs when trying to move them anywhere. The kids are of course delighted that they get a dog each, but when the four of them are together I am not sure who is more at risk than who - the girls from scratches and bites, or the puppies from being mauled and manhandled all day long. And don’t even talk to me about the house training…..

Working title: Oreo
And as if the 5am starts, constant pee and poo monitoring, not to mention removing any object within chewing distance were not enough, today things got a whole lot more stressful.

So here I am, home alone, with the kids and animals while hubby is away entertaining a stag group. Our eldest daughter is in the finals for a Welsh poetry recitation at 8.30am in a town 12 miles away, and we have to deal with all the lovely farming jobs before we go. Make it to the competition with just moments to spare, sit in the hall mentally checking and rechecking everything we have forgotten to do. Frankly it is little short of miraculous that we are not in our pyjamas/covered in dog hair (or worse)/wearing wellies. Add into the mix that I chose today to do an Instagram takeover for one of our partner businesses (so am effectively managing three social media accounts today), am having to deal with booking enquiries for Easter and had to organise our branded clothing order whilst in the ‘big town’. Multi-tasking in the extreme!

And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I arrive back late morning, having bribed the children with cake from Costa so I could ‘treat’ myself to a coffee to get through the day. They are high as kites from the refined sugar (why do I do these things to myself?!), the pups have destroyed a juggling ball (how it got into their cage and what it was filled with I do not know) and also had several ‘accidents’. As I am clearing up this chaos the children then decide it would be a wonderful idea to get the paint out and start painting the puppies’ paws to make cards to send to people. I turn my back for max 5 mins and when I go back outside the scene of carnage makes me want to weep. Paint and paw prints everywhere. And not some lovely colour but BLOOD RED, BLACK and BROWN. Dogs covered. Kids covered. Garden destroyed. Whereupon, into this Jackson Pollock-esque tableau, I kid you not, wander two Jehovah’s Witnesses. Well, I have never seen two JHs back away into their car and drive away so quick. They didn’t even try to impress upon me the Watchtower. I think the look of Medusa-like rage on my face must have terrified them!

So here I am six hours later. Sat in the remains of my garden in the dark, save for my headtorch which I am using to track the puppy’s every move whilst inwardly praying for rain (to clean up the paint – no way I am going to waste valuable energy on that) and that these sodding dog’s will do their business so I can go to bed! (Maybe I should have harked the words of our Jehovah’s friends earlier to speed this whole process along!). My fingers are freezing, I’m wearing some horrid hair mask thing to zap the headlice (that’s a whole other saga for another day!) and a manky old woolly hat. Is this what my Saturday nights have become???

I know we will look back on these moments with fondness in the years to come but right now the cuteness is somewhat outweighed by the sheer upheaval of two more dependants into the mix. And as for poor old Bru, he has literally just come and laid his head on my lap with a look of stoic resignation on his face. "If thing are hard for you just think how I bloody feel", he says, with a sideways glance to the two little upstarts, who have already usurped his comfy dog bed!


  1. This did make me laugh as I am sat watching my litter of 7 4day old red Labrador puppies.
    Please say hi to Jamie for me and good luck for this season
    Simon Ansell
    Garden Pizzas

  2. You had it easy . We had four J H W s' imagine that!!!