Okay, so I'm slightly misquoting GK Chesterton, but the point still holds: be careful with your butter ration. I've been being even more sparing than usual in order to save up butter for a fat-rich weekend meal with my herby potatoes as a main feature. Done properly, they take a lot of fat, so saving up is good.
I didn't count on how the smart the stupid dog could be. Our two Border Collies, Rosie and Jen, are chalk and cheese. Rosie is a typical Collie - obedient, smart, quick to anticipate and always ready to round up sheep, other dogs and the smaller of the humans and keep them penned.
Jen, however, is about as untypical a Collie as you can get. Not only will she not round anything up, she also won't obey, can't anticipate and, when she's not sure what to do, will roll on to her back to have her belly rubbed. If we got burgled, I'm sure that she could easily be persuaded to help pack up our belongings by a quick belly rub.
But some of this is an act. After a walk, the dogs sit in the utility room to dry off - they usually play in the sea for a bit. The utility room has a purpose-built gate across the entrance to keep them there and stop random shaking-off-of-water occurring anywhere else.
Jen dislikes unexpected loud noises - thunder, fireworks, the doorbell - and has learnt to hurdle the gate when such a noise occurs. She has no idea what to do after that and has usually forgotten the noise by the time she's over, but it's a good trick nonetheless. What CJBS hadn't anticipated was that, having learnt to jump the gate, she had actually learnt to jump the gate.
CJBS and the dogs got in soaked. He put them in the utility room and headed to the shower to warm up. I continued to work. My first clue something was wrong was the sound of something metallic falling in the kitchen. I got up, went downstairs as was confronted with a scene of devastation. Jen had leapt the gate, headed straight for the kitchen and, being greedy like all dogs, made her way along the counter tops dislodging anything edible on to the floor and eating it.
In those few seconds, she'd had all the remaining bread, foolishly not put back in the bread bin and, most importantly, my hoarded butter ration. 8oz of butter were gone, much of it to be found around her mouth. And she wasn't prepared to stop there, continuing to lick out the butter dish even as I dragged her away, finally stopping when her fear of my annoyance overcame her greediness. Then she ran for it, attempting to find somewhere to hide.
Oh, but I was annoyed. Annoyed with the dog, although she was just being a dog, annoyed with CJBS for walking away from the gate without realising the trap he'd set and annoyed with myself for only telling him four or five times that she was now willing to jump the gate unprovoked. Why oh why did I not nag him more about this? I should've been bringing it up at mealtimes and during favourite radio programmes, leaving him small notes and sending him text messages - you know, the standard "nag+" way of getting a man to remember stuff.
The butter, once gone, could not be replaced until the next rationing week, but CJBS has never let the rules of this project get in the way of a happy life and he bought me butter anyway. So now I had butter in but couldn't use it until next week. Worse than that, rather than buying the cheap, tasty and multi-useful butter I get, he "treated" me to some expensive branded butter that has no taste and is only good for cooking. So my hot buttered toast treat was not just gone for a couple of days, it was gone for the entire next week as well.
And he didn't understand why I didn't thank him, so I had him making hurt puppy-dog eyes at me every time I mentioned it. Which, frankly, I did a lot.
That was last week (I'm still not over it) but today, once I've waited in between 9am and 7pm for a delivery (it'll come at 6.59pm, unless I pop out before then and come home to a card saying "we called but you were out, please drive to Plymouth to collect your parcel") I'll finally get my new, edible fat ration. And then I shall eat hot buttered toast in front of him and look smug, whilst he will have forgotten the whole incident.
Heat and High Water - For reasons far too dull to go into here, I found myself in Manchester with a couple of hours to kill. It was a beautifully hot day, with clear skies, so ...
4 days ago