The blessed peace, the quiet, the sheer heaven of being home alone. The world is my oyster. I can hear nothing other than the occasional sigh from the Loyal Hound as he enjoys life without being in trouble and the bliss of solitude once more.
He has suffered greatly over the weekend. In an eager effort to please he has carefully gone around gathering up the various articles of clothing, toys, beakers, snotty tissues that have been abandoned in a trail behind the swooning nephews, and has carried them all back to me. What can I say. He has a tidy nature. Unfortunately my sister has an excessive awareness of hygiene. No ten second rule for her. Despite having grown up surrounded by dogs, cats and various other bits of wildlife dragged into the house (usually by me and my brother), she has decided that wildlife is 'unsanitary' and the loyal hound definitely counts as wildlife.
I tried explaining that a dog's mouth was more sanitary than a persons mouth, but she rather unkindly pointed out that she didn't see any people carrying her children's abandoned belongings round in their mouths. Picky or what.
She then heaves a long suffering sigh as he appears with another abandoned T shirt carefully scrunched up in his mouth, tail wagging with pleasure at being able to help. As I hand it to her she ostentatiously puts it in the 'wash pile'.
What happened to her? She used to be a normal, fun, amusing person who laughed and didn't secretly wipe down counters with antiseptic wipes when she thought nobody was looking. Then she got married and had children. Now I'm not saying that it is the fate of all women to become dull, paranoid and disapproving when they procreate but there are days when I think it was hers. What really confuses me is how she can now so thoroughly disapprove of her own childhood? Everything that we loved about growing up - being allowed to run outside on our own, refusing to wear our shoes for months on end, lying fast asleep in a heap of dogs, waging war on each other with pillows, sticks, hand grenades (depended on the level of war as to the weapons used), refusing to change our clothes when they were covered in grass stains, cake and river weed. These are all things that frighten her to death for her own children.
Consequently, they scream with fear if they trip over, they sob if they get water on themselves, they think flies are the work of the devil (this may be true but as there is little you can do about the pesky blighters I don't think it is worth pointing out their true evil nature to children), they don't like being barefoot on the grass. I could go on but it just depresses me.
What depresses me more is that there is an inviolable law that says you can't tell your sister that she has turned into a lunatic and that her children are following her down the yellow brick road to lunacy. Even worse, all this paranoia makes her life exhausting, and her exhausted and consequently even more paranoid, dull and freaked out by anything that can't be controlled.
Having got that little rant out of the way I must return briefly to the loyal hound. In between irritating my sister he managed to excel himself in a sport that all dogs should be famed for - Croquet.
There is a standing rule in our house that if the dog retrieves the croquet ball mid game then you have to play from where he drops it. Little did everyone realise that I have got his training to a peak of fabulousness and he carefully fetched my croquet ball and dropped it neatly in front of the relevant hoop each time. Game Set and Match to me and the Loyal Hound!!!!
The price of health
12 hours ago