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Wednesday, 16 September 2009


If a turd had to be anywhere indoors then it’s best that it was on the coir matting and relatively intact. Important to start the day with a good omen. Lolly gave me a “yeah? What of it?” look, smacked her chops, stretched until her paws skidded on the floor, and squeak-yawned. I can’t begin to describe what an irritating combination that is, and her favourite trio of moves. Then she shook, and I closed my eyes with a hunched shudder to the invisible splatter hurtling towards clean walls. She stood, thoroughly pleased with herself.

Having fallen foul (ho) of dog turds the other day, I am raw with recent faecal experience. I had weeded the driveway, then tottered down the side of the house towards the compost bin, carefully keeping a wary eye out for turds blending cunningly with the gravel since, God, can that dog ever create! Another cause to ponder, just what’s in it for me?
It’s got to be 2 or 3 a day she squeezes out, the product of the toxic plops from a tin I ladle faintly into her bowl. The things for which my degree comes in handy.

My mother does it bigger and better. Not only is their dog the size of an old-fashioned caravan, but she’s reached her incontinent phase (dog, not mother; we’re talking seas of wee) and she has to be fed by hand. Tripe, or chicken breasts, and mars bars. What with the hamsters (yes, now plural) turning their tiny pampered snouts up at anything less than Waitrose tenderstem broccoli, their pets cost more to feed than they do.

“Yes,” my mother said, “I picked up some good reduced things from Waitrose today, though.”
Every penny helps when you’re haemorrhaging cash having the extension knocked down.
“I feel a bit guilty,” she said. “It’s your inheritance.”
“I rather think you have first call on it,” I said, “Spend away. Anyway, what were your bargains?”
“A Thai chicken curry for your father, 95p and a, well this doesn’t sound actually very nice but it will do two meals, a parsnip and carrot mash for 65p for me.”
Unpleasant, but with the added benefit of stretching to 2 meals. Who can resist?
“The dog can always have it,” I said.
Her silence suggested that it wouldn’t be good enough for the dog.

I trod shy of the landmines of fresh turds and slung the weeds at the compost bin. At which point, something fast and dark and, gulp, rat-shaped, heat-missiled itself out of the bin, through the hole at the back and on to where it belongs, which is next door.
I stepped back … into a turd. Nice shoes, too.

I discussed it with my mother. We decided it was a mouse. Possibly a big mouse. The R word is not used. But, where is the justice in any of that? A good deed cruelly repaid. Shit on the shoes taking 20 mins to clean off. Yum. A similar smack around the face by fate’s careless hand occurred when I bent down, once inside, to do some unnecessary sweeping and a cupboard door swung open from nowhere to smash into my head. The conspiracy of inanimate objects to piss you off.

Out on the walk, the talk is of the 800 new houses planned to link 2 villages: neither of which wants linking. They will go in nearby fields which “flood once in a thousand years” (environmental agency). Surface water gathering after a 20 minute shower doesn’t count; that it is more or less a flood area doesn’t count. The wretched crew of that irritating Blears woman rubber-stamped half of it on a whistle stop tour (the image of her in her leathers on a bike floats unbidden to mind).
Last week, we went to an interface session or whatever they called it at the village hall. E was too angry to stay. I spoke to a nervous young sacrificial lamb booted and suited and wheeled out from the PR company to deal with us enraged villagers, all of us quick to snarl and jealously guard. He hovered near flipcharts which detailed the proposed rape of our countryside.

“What about all the extra cars?” I said. “Come 20 to 8 in the morning the roads are already all clogged; there’s no employment here, everyone has to travel to get to work as it is.”
“Ah,” he said, Pleased That I Had Asked; he bounced a finger in the air to show so. “We’ve established that, at outwards time, point three of a vehicular unit per dwelling will be added to the flow.”
What?” I said (so much to enrage here). “Please. Say car, not vehicular unit.”
Outwards time? Point fucking three. Flow! “800 houses means 1600 cars,” I said, “and if they’re not driving to work, they’re driving to the schools – which are already full – where does point three of a car come into it?”
“We’ve consulted a survey,” he beamed.
“Commissioned by the End User?” I asked, nastily slipping into bollocks-speak.
“By an industry standard, as it goes, a company called TRICS,” he said, proudly.
Tricks? Nuff said. I filled in a form, blackening it with the dire poetry of my upset.

“No one wants it! Mr Lovely suggests setting up barriers, guns, a sort of passport control,” confessed Mrs Lovely. “I suppose we’re not allowed to think that sort of thing.”
“Your daughters could man it,” I suggested.
“Don’t! I want them put into Care,” she said. “We’re quite nice; and the children just aren’t.”

Mrs Very Rich’s 2 are at one of the smartest schools in the country. “They eat like pigs,” she said. “Pasta by hand!”
”Curry by hand!” trumps Mrs Lovely.
“Soup by hand?” I asked, really rather pleased with it all. My father is Table Manners Taliban and is shocked by our two’s manners. But at least they, generally, use knives and forks and sit facing the table.
“Soup?” Mrs Lovely gave me a look. Don’t be silly, Milla.
It’s almost worse when they do use cutlery,” Mrs VR said of her 17 year old. “Grabs the fork with her fist and shovels, chin to the plate. Talks with her mouth full, the lot. Disgusting.”
We laugh.

Mrs Gossip sidled up, torn between wanting to slag off her children and store up ammunition against the rest of us. She settled for both, “Oh, you’re so lucky, having just boys, Milla,” she said dismissively. “Sounds like yours are a handful?” she wheedled hopefully, turning a face towards the others.

I had seen Mrs Anxious earlier on, waving, bleakly at the backs of her two sons receding into the distance, trudging up to school. “Not allowed to walk up with them,” she explained.
F10’s slippery little hand had clutched mine the harder. We always walk up together. T13 always happily kisses us goodbye when dropped off at his bus. I thought of that now, smug before a fall maybe.

“Oh,” said Mrs Lovely, “Lulu! In town, I’m not allowed to acknowledge her, or her friends. Can't say hello. No. I have to turn the radio off as we draw up to school. Wind the windows up, everything. Not allowed to exist.”
Mrs Gossip nodded happily.
“It’s probably something or other to do with what they’d call identity and separation and stuff,” I said wisely, a long evening with a psychobabble friend still in the memory. “They’ll be back, they’ll be great later. Don’t you worry.”

The dogs, known – we like to think affectionately – as the hooligans, were munching on a fat old crow (dead). Tossed feathers fluttered in the air. The dogs hawked and chomped and sneezed. Everyone shrieked and attempted fat lady runs up the hill, inept scaredogs in inefficient motion. By some miracle of miracles it was Mrs Gossip’s foot which landed in the cow pat.


Edward said...

The quality trajectory continues ever upward, like a bell curve that doesn't know it's a bell. I particularly liked the dire poetry of my upset

Just one thing. No, two things. One, can we have fewer turds in the next post? And two, could you tell me when the dog craps in the porch? Just in case that's where I want to eat my dinner.

Potty Mummy said...

Fabulous, as ever. And I assume the R word we don't talk about is Recession? What else could it possibly be?

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of your dog. She sounds like she has a lot of character. I switched my dog away from canned food and feed him a vegetable based diet and he's much better for it. His turds stink worse than ever, but at least it's just one dump a day now. But what do I care, I throw them over the fence into a neighbour's yard based upon a recent argument. Mind you, I wouldn't want to be downwind of a dog that just ate a parsnip. I'd warn your mother if I were you.

Sorry to hear about the new homes. Unfortunatley, nothing you do will stop it. I went through the same thing 10+ years ago and I have never seen such a genteel set of villagers turn so nasty. Nothing stopped it though. Perhaps you need to let Lolly take her dumps down at the construction site? That would scare the developers away.

Carol said...

Sometimes life just sneaks up and smacks you in the face doesn't it!!

We're going to a meeting in our local Town Hall tonight...the powers that be want to get rid of 74 parking places!! It's horrendous trying to find somewhere to park as it is...god only knows what we'll do if these proposals go ahead!!

LOL. What a shame it was Mrs Gossip's foot that landed in the cow pat!!

C x

Preseli Mags said...

"I filled in a form, blackening it with the dire poetry of my upset."

That's one form I'd love to see.

That was utterly glorious, Milla. I'm sorry to hear about all the new houses. I have to agree with Dave P-n-M. Turd warfare might be the way to go.

Off now, to e-mail Talk Talk with the 'dire poetry of my upset'.

ChrisH said...

Yep, I hate to depress you even more but Dave PnM is right - we went through all that and my blood still boils at the thought of it... in vain because I'm looking at the results instead of a field. Grrrr. Next-door's dog craps in our gravel and Across the Road's cats crap behind the garage. I can't tell you what Tom has planned for all the offenders but I envisage a post-apocalyptic scenario. Oh well, it will stop people wanting to build houses near us. Maybe.

KittyB said...

Two words, Milla: dry food.
They don't like it so they don't eat much so they crap less. (And beg more at the table, but you can always ignore all the jumping and squeaking).

Brown Dog said...

Yes - dog turds and gravel to not mix - or rather, they do, all too well. Was going to suggest dry food, too, but Kitty beat me to it.

And, yes - I don't know where they get these surveys from, but when a little estate of 171 small, three-bed houses was recently built near here and people raised concerns about the local school not being able to cope, we were told a 'survey' suggested there would be only one school-age child to every ten houses. I still can't work out where they plucked that figure from and, strangely, the school now has classes in the mid 30s. Hmmm.

(And, yes, that image of H Blears in the biking gear does, unfortunately, spring to mind.)

Excellently entertaining, as ever.

her at home said...

I'll swap dog turds for cat pee anyday, although alas sadly we ahev both. I think that it is in Clariisa wotsit Wrights book "Spilling the Beans" she says the Labour Govenement promised to cover the countryside in concrete when they came to power. Well I suppose one must congratulate them on trying to keep at least one of their election promises.

Calico Kate said...

Brilliant post - Ours get dry food but they still crap a lot, all over the lawn especially under the washing line! Just a dog thing I think.
So pleased Mrs G got patted! Sorry to hear about the houses, such a difficult one. We have a new estate giong up but we also have Beavers, not sure which is worse, both have been imposed in places they aren't wanted or needed.

Welsh Girl said...

Blissful post Milla.

Why is it that people who actually live in the 'designated to be destroyed by progress' places are NEVER consulted?

In all seriousness, the only way forward is to get everyone to write once a week to your MP. Eventually they will do something about it (ours certainly did when we tried this route and it worked). There is a good website called 'write to your mp' which makes the whole thing dead easy. Good luck....

Jennysmith said...

Ugh! The first day we moved in here, some bloody cat had left a turd on the back doorstep as a present for us. And guess who stood in it? My heart goes out to you

Great post xxx

the fly in the web said...

I have just been listening to a pack of expat Brits whining about wanting to return to the U.K. and suggested they read your post re the proposed development before getting so starry eyed.
Not that things are brilliant in France...here we have 'lotissements' which, as the council makes money on selling the plots, means that you can't get planning permission for anything anywhere else in the commune.

Thanks for a great blog.

Bluestockingmum said...

Love it!
And especially that you don't mention the 'R' word - fab.

Kitty is right - speaking from experience my yellow labrador's turds resembled a horse until we stuck him on complete.


Milla said...

you can imagine just how complete I feel as a human being discussing dog turds but ... have to say ... she was far worse on the truckles, the hard brown things. Better on the obnoxious gloop. Better still being bad.

Fennie said...

Such a lovely word - turd. You'd think it would describe something different. Faeces, crap, shit, excrement even are all hard unlovable words - but turd is, in its own quiet unassuming way, beautiful. So is fart, by the way. Have you noticed? Fart is bright and bold whereas flatulence has a whiff of the Victorian about it all menthol vapours and ammonia. In fact turd and fart together are even more innocuous still - the sort of thing you might repeat to your Mother who discovers you boozing down at the old Bull and Bush. ''Tis only me turd or fart' you could say airily with one of those sort of squeak yawns which I think I shall now have to try and learn.

Woozle1967 said...

Thank you for making my day, Milla! Whenever I am feeling low, I can pop in here and have a right old giggle!

BTW - at least you only have one dog and gravel. I have 3, but they do eat dry food!!!!

Expat mum said...

Well that knocks the "Shall we get a dog?" conversation on the head for the moment.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

You're not on your own Milla, I sympathise and love, love your depiction of Lolly's 'favourite trio of moves'! Best wishes. Lesley

Sally's Chateau said...

Course its Rats woman, great big fat juicy vermin rife with disease, ready to chomp round the bins and scuttle through open doors on the new 'estate'. What bloated belly became more gross on the sale of land ? and how many greasy palms are slithering and smirking to themselves. They are the turds.

patsy said...

Fabulous post Milla. Thought it was just me who can talk crap all day! Kitty's right too, good dry food equals less dog logs to trip over.
Me? At the moment we are battling Marathon bars all over the garden...squirrel poo...a hazelnut in every bite...

annakarenin said...

Dare I say it but these are getting even better.

Got Mike to compare one of yours to a certain other writers piece the other day.

Unsuprisingly he chose yours.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Another great post. Made me laugh out loud. I'm always clearing up dog turds from the garden which, as we don't have a dog and the property is walled, is somehow a bit worrying!

Friko said...

Love your tales, Milla. Love the characters.
Consider yourself followed by Friko.

Fred said...

There are several things in life that defy explanation. Like how can a sorry, dire England XI lose 6-1 to Australia then beat Sri Lanka and South Africa with sheer, unexpected brilliance? But most of all Milla, why the hell aren't you published yet?
You just get better and better.


1. Now I remember why I don't have a dog.

2. Wankers. (Developers, Politicians and Shit-spewing Arses I mean, not your friends and neighbours, let's be clear)

3. It was a rat, face it!

4. Shame about your nice shoes. Jimmy Poos?

5. Word verification is rather aptly 'borseurd' which, of course, makes me think 'Bores and Turds'. An equally fitting title for your post, methinks!


Anonymous said...

A little late to the party here, but our spaniel is invariably known as Triple Turd Tebbit, for excellent reasons.

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