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Friday, 7 March 2008

Huffing and Puffing

“Ahh, she’d’ve made a lovely mother,” T11 said wistfully lamenting Lolly's utterly sterile status.

“Lovely pair of gloves more like,” said E in a tone that one can only describe as sour.

He was doing something male and important with the tool box (possibly stroking our filler) while Lolly skittered round the kitchen island, her galloping going nowhere since rugs and claws and wooden floors don’t go, for all the world like a moth on acid.

T11 meanwhile had his head at an admiring angle, and I wondered at his skewed view of motherhood.
He doesn’t say “You’re a lovely mother,” much to me but I hadn’t attributed this to my deficiencies in the skittering department, nor would I have said that this particular activity should sum up all that is fine and indicative of the properly maternal.

We had her lampshade taken off yesterday. We humans were rather fond of it by now since it conferred on her an unlikely bonneted dignity at strange odds with her ridiculous clattering.
After the initial fury, she had grown very patient, too, with getting blocked by it wherever she went. With all the predictability of rain on Sports’ Day she would bang into the Workmate en route out of the side door, but she didn’t tut, nor did she complain when she lay glumly obedient in its shadow in her basket.
I was quite excited on her behalf with how pleased she would be to lose it. I had expected a gleam of gratitude when it was wrenched off, a canine version of “Oh Mummy, thankyou thankyou thankyou!” and caught her eye ready for same but nothing crossed her face, her expression didn’t change. Not a jot. She didn’t even go into a massive shake, the kind she reserves, when wet, for my legs, and which I had assumed would be the very least of her reactions.
She is truly dim.
She just segued seamlessly from one state of being to the other without any reaction at all.
Really, she might as well be a dog on a trolley, with wheels for feet, for all the thinking that goes on. And it would cut down massively on the food bill.

I received my £4.70. Which was pleasing. I’d been rather tense about this for there was a cut in the bonnet over which I was prepared to go to war, like a infant school child, tearfully establishing that it was There Before We Got It. I’d been tempted to photograph it with my phone, for Petty is my middle name but had forgotten because short term memory issues are real and multiplying. In the end, although I pointed and started a half hearted mutter, the vet merely gave me an odd look and patted her pockets for change.

We arrived home, and E was staring gloomily at the ceiling. I had noticed an alarming crack a day or two before the earthquake: not a mere line we could call “settlement,” such as all the others are dubbed, but a definite bulging of brick which looked wrong, like a broken leg looks wrong sticking out at right angles from a knee. All to do with what should be where, but isn’t. He had raked it out and filled it with The Best Filler in the World, and every now and again one or other of us is to be found Daring to Look.
It occasions much huffing and puffing, and is, yet again, not the time to be considering giving up drinking. So, when F9, in the bedroom above, lands with all 14 feet in clogs from his bed we wince, glass in hand. When he stomps down his corridor like the big Billy Goat Gruff we clutch each other and eye the erstwhile crack and reach for the bottle.

The earthquake made no difference to it, however, which just goes to show how very very impressive our filler is, holding up the house all on its tiny ownsome, making me feel all but maternal towards its very competence. “Oh yes, I say airily to others –interesting conversation being very important – “we have excellent filler.” (I boast about it far more, for instance, than T11 getting into the grammar, which I took rather for granted. I must think that the filler’s superior qualities are an extension of my own.) It was the first thing I thought of when the rocking started that night.

Whereas cracks were not the concern of the friend I was standing with at one of several interminable football matches which have occupied gross chunks of this week.
She was talking about the earthquake. “Well!” she exclaimed, “I woke up and the bed was shaking, the walls were shaking, the whole house was shaking and I just said to Andy, ‘Andy,’ I said, ‘What ARE you doing!’”
We all chortled and Andy (at which point I am duty bound to say Bless Him) chortled, and looked at his feet and rocked in the mud on inappropriate shiny leather shoes, most pleased with himself, as ready to subsume all responsibility for house shaking properties as I am for filler and much as T11 ascribes skittering to motherliness. Not right, but it’ll do.

27 comments:

Bill said...

An excellent blog as usual. However, my view of the dog has been revised since she stopped c*rapping in the house. She's actually rather a fine pet.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

AH hah Bill are you going soft on us then.

Surprised that she didn't make more fuss when the lampshade came off . . . ours always go completely bonkers. Maybe she is a new breed of dog and just too kewl.

As for the filler . . . Hmmmmmm I hope it lives up to the expectations you clearly have of it.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

They look cute with those lampshades on don't they. Only you end up black and blue after being banged into all day long.

Crystal xx

hyd said...

milla you crack me up - so glad to have found your blog :)

LittleBrownDog said...

I don't think you could be dull if you tried, Milla - you could make Polyfiller sound interesting. Oh, right - you just did. Obviously a very superior kind of Polyfiller...

Yes, its funny isn't how dogs soon just seem to accept a lampshade as a new hitherto unnoticed part of their body, yet they never seem to get into the habit of allowing an extra five inches when trying to negotiate things. I came to quite like that telltale scraping-along-the-floor sound that announced the imminent arrival of the dog.

bodran... said...

Yipee skittering lampshadeless dog! but Derrr she didnt notice..andy was funny bless.
We've got a crack it appeared last year in the kitchen tiles, after an earthquake Ikeep thinking the kitchens going to open up ..x

lampworkbeader said...

Dull Milla? Never! Great blog as always.

elizabethm said...

Fabulous blog. How on earth can you make a blog out of filler? You are a genius. I now have a perfect vignette in my head of you and E, glasses in hand, glancing nervously at the crack above your head, not quite meeting each other's eyes.

Cait O'Connor said...

Not boring at all, very funny!

Expatmum said...

Very smooth segues from one topic to another. And funny. I don't even need a cracked ceiling to hit the vino, but come to think of it, there is a suspicious wavy line in the plaster going up the stairs. Oh no - quick, pour me a stiff one.

Potty Mummy said...

Of course it may just be that your darling pet knows exactly what she's doing and is simply denying you the pleasure of witnessing her delight at freedom from the collar. Behind your back she was high-fiving the cat - but you'll never know...

Frances said...

Well Milla, this is not boring, and you did sort of promise us boring.

Once again you have been inspired by your muse. Now that she is without her lampshade, I feel that her influence over your creative spirit will increase.

When you take her on those walks, compose another essay. When you see how she judges the crack in the ceiling, take note. When she inevitably does something that Really Annoys you, remember she does it for your art.

xo

ChrisH said...

Oh how funnY - but not if your house falls down but you know what I mean. I was with you on the lampshade - I would be puffed up and ready to defend my £4.70 too!

Pipany said...

Our house used to be held up by filler and then Dave discovered expanding foam...now have areas exuding a brownish gunk like something from Alien. Very funny blog Milla xx

Fennie said...

The trolley dog on wheels reminded me of Alan Bennett whose father used to make Penguins on Wheels, which you pulled with a piece of string and so they always came when you called them and no vet's bills. Still I'm glad for Lolly, but maybe she was lying low in the emotional exuberance department because she did not want to risk having the plastic bucket put on again - this being what happened last time after about five minutes if I remember rightly.

As for filler, Milla, this house is built hanging over the edge of an erstwhile railway cutting - on dark nights you can still hear the ghostly whistles at 3 in the morning I tell people - you could say we are built on filler. So I hope it's as good as yours, otherwise we may gently subside into a chasm and never be heard of again.

Kathleen said...

Well, Celeste didn't do a happy dance when she was finally free of her lampshade, either. She simply accepted that it was her due, as a princess, and why in the world wasn't I (the servant) more quick about getting the damnable thing off her.

Maybe Lolly has it in her mind that you are her servant-in-training. One has to be patient with all the help.

KAREN said...

Grammar school - pah!

You can never underestimate the importance of filler.

Bill said...

Unfortunately, due to dog restarting c*rapping activities, the prospect of some wheaten fur gloves gains more allure daily.

Flowerpot said...

Pleased to meet you, Milla. I will be back!

Maggie May said...

Thought that was a very good post. Glad the lampshade is off & you got the money back! Also that the filla is staying put even in earthquakes! Not boring!

Lane said...

Your writing is hysterical (in a good way ... a very good way:-)

KittyB said...

Oh, funyy, Milla, funny.
Lolly would make a fine dog-on-wheels. Very Cath Kidston. A fine heirloom-toy-cum-pet. You should have her stuffed when she's dead. We're planning to have Gertie done, then she can lie under my desk without the constant stinky guffing, or by the fire without the constant groaning, scratching and tinkling of collar just at the important bit of the TV programme...

the mother of this lot said...

Came to say there's an award over here for you...

Swearing Mother said...

Comedy dog lampshades? What's not to love.

CAMILLA said...

Milla darling, great blog, not at all boring, you could never be that, I so love your amusing wit.

Ah, good old Lol, at least now she does not have to wear lampshade anymore, remember one of my furry ones having to wear one of those, she absolutely loathed it.

Camilla.xxx

grit said...

is there a limit to how far filler fills, iyswim... we have a small wall i made out of cardboard and i'm inspired now to try a different approach. also, can filler be used effectively by the non-specialist? this is also quite important knowledge.

@themill said...

Brilliant, m'dear.