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Sunday, 19 June 2011


“So what have we here with this young man then?” The old man’s knees cracked when he knelt, sounding like an expensive mistake in a fireworks factory.

He’d taken a while to set The Walk in progress: a deal of disembarkation and cumbersome coat work, and painful stretching to slam shut the car boot. The clipping on of the lead had been clumsy.

Lolly and I had done a lap of the little park and stopped because, to Lolly, any speck of fur however, frankly, hopeless, is a Must-See situation. He had turned to Lolly and bent down to, I don’t know, make the most of her. I stiffened as he passed his hand through her ripe fur, fearful of a seizure, that the odour release would trigger a heart attack.

The old man’s dog, an exhausted ball of knitting wool the cat had given a good seeing to, panted a worrying sequence of near-death gasps. Perhaps she was olfactorily fragile, too. Lolly bounced on her stiff little legs with an energy which is wearisome to me and terrifying to the weak.

“What we called then, boy?”

“She. She’s a she,” I said apologetically.

“A she!” he carolled, and a couple of sparklers went off in his legs. “Sorry, boy. So what kind of fine young fella are we then?”

“Well, a soft coated Wheaten Terrier,” I said anxious she might send him flying.

“Beg pudding!” he bellowed, creaking to a stand. “You’ll have to speak up, hearing’s on the way out!”

I was shouting as it was and somewhat too tired for this fruitless exchange of information. I upped the volume.
“Wheaten Terrier! Soft coated!” My throat hurt.

“Marvellous, well done, boy!” he roared. Then, “What’s one of them then?”

Lolly shoved her face up the ball of knitting wool’s bum which promptly fell over.

“Sorry,” I said. Not for the first time in my life. “And yours, what’s your …” ball of wool?

“Just a Yorkie,” he said, his voice softened by love. “Little bit arthritic aren’t you, boy. Him and me both. Falls over all the time, silly old thing.” He whisper-hissed, lest the dog hear. “Best be off.” He gave the lead a tug. “C’mon Bella.”

Lolly and I stood and watched them go. Lolly sat, tucked in neat, energy contained, sweet and streamlined, and looked up at me. Such a good boy. Sometimes.


Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Chortle and splutter

I must stop reading your blog while drinking tea -

Anonymous said...

Your posts about Lolly never fail to make me smile. Is that a love-hate relationship you have with "him", do you think?!

"He" sounds like a wonderful mutt - send him to me any day!

CJ xx

legend in his own lunchtime said...

I think I sound like the expensive mistake already, so god help me when i get to his age. Maybe the battle of the Somme!
Thanks for the laugh.

Expat mum said...

Given that I've seriously done my back in and can't even risk taking the mutt for a walk, it's really not funny.
OK, well it is to other people, as I've seen when the kids imitate me, but it's a bugger not being able to bend to put my own underwear on!

Fennie said...

It is honestly impossible for a poor drizzling soul like me to leave a comment on that. It's like one of those word games you play with the children in which you find yourself checkmated almost before you've begun and just left gawping 'but I....but I....' Start again - too late! Still my theory that Lolly in reality is a wise, kind and understanding dog who would rush into a burning house if events called for it is not contradicted by this incipient incident of shared degenerative diseases.

Tattie Weasle said...

Wonderful way to start the day even if it does mean am now late for everything because too busy replying to this to pay any attention to the alarm block!

Milla said...

Karen, try coffee. Tea's filthy stuff, shudder.
CJ, once I've worked out how to make the parcel tape stick, consider here despatched. Loony-tunes, tsk.
Expat, nasty glimpse of being 103. Mocking children? You're a mirror to their future, that'll wipe the smile off their faces. Hope it gets better soon, though, seems to have been bad for ages.
Yes, Legend, I could barely hear his knees over mine. Not good :(
Fennie, you what? Do I smell cooking sherry? :)
Tattie, you're up mighty early!! How can anything that early constitute being late. In awe. And a little bit scared.
Many thanks for the comments, chaps. Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

First class post if you please.. Second class is useless.

Edward said...

A beautiful little jewel of a blog. I particularly like, and endorse '"Sorry," I said. Not for the first time in my life.'

Posie said...

Milla you capture it with so much humour and so perfectly...loved the Lolly tale and the endearing description of the 'gentleman', with his cracking knees, deafness and stuborness....good boy that Lolly

Anonymous said...

My FIL, who is a 60-something, deaf, flat-cap wearing, arthritic farmer - and quite an enchantingly dry, funny chap, really - persists in referring to our (female, but admittedly rather butch) collie as 'he', and our (male, neutered, and very in touch with his female side, so I suppose he's half-way home on this one) spaniel as 'she'. As far as I can gather, among a certain rural sub-type of elderly men, some breeds are male, some female, and that's the way they stay. Irrespective of undercarriage. *shrugs shoulders*

Milla said...

CJ, Lolly has eaten the string. Looks like we're stuck with her a little longer. E will be thrilled.
Talking of whom, E, SEE! I do apologise. I do. Sometimes. But only to old men of 103 and you're not quite there yet.
Posie, thankyou - am rather alarmed by your horse EATING a metal gate. Shurely shome mishtake??
HFF, undercarriage, please! this so sums up what is wrong with that dog, namely unseemly "bits" - am far too squeamish. I like your spaniel, poor, er, thing! Lolly spends an unacceptable amount of time shagging my leg so am well across post op trans-gender confusions.

Leigh said...

"Beg Pudding?"
Hahahahhhaa! Brilliant stuff. Am addicted to your blog now, damn you.

Shiny said...

I nearly fell over myself in fits of giggles. Bravo! x