Captain Midnight here in the post-Christmas doldrums.
The pack was supposed to be cavorting on the beach in Lyme Regis this New Year but we stayed in London instead because Herself has hurt her back and, not to be outdone, Himself has “a terrible cold and a cricked neck.” They’ve been sprawled on the couch for days, moaning and groaning, though I notice that they still manage to get up to pour drinks and stuff themselves on leftovers.
Of course, I hunkered down and did much wuffling and cuddling to soothe their suffering. It’s what we do when the pack is in trouble and I’m glad to report that it seems to be having some effect. Herself can now sit down and get up from the sofa without actual tears of pain, while Himself found sufficient energy this afternoon to finger the keyboard listlessly for 20 minutes or so, albeit without much inspiration.
New Year’s Eve came and went without much incident. There were fireworks in the street and I did what any sensible super-dog would do: stayed indoors and hid under the bed until they stopped whizzing and popping.
In the past week, I’ve sat through half a dozen movies, an entire boxed set of Game of Thrones and 10 episodes of an excellent programme about a family of corgis and their owner, called The Crown.
In between times, I’ve managed to drag Himself round the block a couple of times a day but that’s been about the only exercise I’ve had apart from chasing phantom foxes in the garden and some rather half-hearted ball chucking in the hallway.
I would worry about putting on weight except for the fact that remarkably little of the turkey, sausages and bacon lying around has come my way.
No surprise there.
Sunday 17 December 2017
Captain Midnight here reporting from the wilds of rural Gloucestershire.
Himself woke up late this morning. In fact I had to jump on him before there was any sign of life. I had my usual biscuity breakfast and a quick constitutional to the end of the village and back. Then we settled down in the upstairs office. He bashed away at the computer for hours while I took it easy on the sofa.
Things got more exciting when I dragged him out at dusk to the fields behind Kingscote Church for a walk. We bumped into a neighbour and I had a bit of a gambol with my young Golden Retriever friend Tilva while Himself yacked on with her human, then we were off…
While he lumbered along in mud-caked boots, I rolled in fox poo and chased several pheasants. Then I ran after a hare across the ploughed field and into the woods. If Himself hadn’t called me back I’d have had him. Later, as it was getting really dark, I saw two of those big deer things with horns. Gave them a good run for their money, I can tell you.
As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one walk, I came across the carcass of a bird. I think the pheasant murderers had left it behind and while I don’t approve of shooting things, it was pretty ripe and completely irresistible.
Yes. Of course, I ate it!
I crunched it to bits and ate the lot, feathers and all. It tasted fantastic, which is why I’m still licking my chops in the picture above, taken when we eventually got home. He insisted on giving me a shower, then lit the fire in the sitting room and we both had a bit of a doze.
In the immortal words of Lou Reed, it’s been a perfect day.
Well a perfect afternoon, anyway.
Captain Midnight here enjoying a bit of a swim in Lac de Liez, Peigney.
Himself kept chucking perfectly good stones in the water so I had to do my lifeguard thing and jump in to save them.
Actually, it was a pretty good walk all round this morning. I found two good sticks by the lake shore and made a new friend: Maya, une trés jolie chienne française. We chased each other for a while. I played hard-to-get so she would be attracted to my English reserve. I was doing pretty well until her man put her back on the lead.
C’est la vie…
Then Herself started chatting to a passing French couple who asked about me. She explained that I’m demi-Cocker Spaniel et demi-Poodle. Himself said that I was trois ans et six mois old. They’re so good with languages.
“Ah,” said the nice Frenchman. “En plein puissance!”
Even I know what that means.
I am a writer’s dog, that’s me
I sit around all day.
It’s really rather sad you see,
He thinks he’s Hemingway.
We’ve been to Ireland and to France
In our V-W;
He sits there daily in a trance
Or else he’s in a stew.
He says his writing’s going to stall,
It’s headed for the drain.
It’s obvious if you read his scrawl,
There’s nothing in his brain.
It’s time to go out for a walk
Beside the wine-dark sea;
Old Homer talked that fancy talk
But I just want a pee.
O Writer, do what writers should
And get up off your arse
Please try to think of something good
To end this sorry farce.
And if the words don’t come today
Then let me make it clear
That I am going out to play
And you are staying here.
Captain Midnight here, reporting from the Ring of Kerry.
I’ve been with Himself in Ireland for 12 days now in Rosie the campervan. We started off on Achill Island in County Mayo, where we had long walks on the beach despite much wetness. Himself said that if it had rained any more we would have become fish. I did a lot of drying out while he wrote stories and drank red wine.
Herself joined us a couple of days ago in Cork and we’ve come out west for a few days. Which brings me to the high point of the trip so far: Storm; Indy; Thor; and Thunder.
Who are they, you ask?
The answer is four Siberian Huskies that I met this morning by the sea in Caherdaniel. What’s more, they were (get this) pulling a man along on a two-wheeled scooter. What more could a dog want from life? I try to pull Himself along on the lead sometimes, but he just complains.
There are many breeds for which names like Storm, Indy, Thor, and Thunder just wouldn’t work: Chihuahuas, for example or Pekinese. But they suited this magnificent pack perfectly.
It’s true that each of them was about five times my size, but they were looking respectfully in my direction. I’m pretty sure they wanted me to join them as boss dog to lead the team through the wintry wastes of the Siberian tundra.
I’d be a natural.
Captain Midnight… born to be wild.
Don’t worry, that’s not a noose hanging from the tree, its just where I stash my lead when I’m out marauding. Himself was paid to keep his mouth shut but he welched on the deal, said there wasn’t enough Winalot in the world to ensure his silence.
Now the secret’s out, I might as well tell you the truth. By day I am indeed Captain Midnight, super-dog, protector of the weak, and scourge of the wicked. But by night, when the moon hides behind the clouds, I am “Mad Dog” Midnight, the notorious footpad and I frequent the country lanes of Gloucestershire and Dorset with my partner in crime “Sixteen String” Jack Russell, on the lookout for easy pickings.
It’s a dangerous business holding up coaches these days, as they are mostly huge National Express charabancs that whizz along at enormous speed and don’t stop for anyone or anything. But if you keep your nose to the ground where they’ve been, you can sometimes find discarded booty chucked out of the window. Half a sausage roll, a fish paste sandwich, that sort of thing.
Jack says it’s much better to wait for punters on foot. He says if you’re smart you can hide in the hedge until you spot them on the way home from the Pizza Place or the Chippie. Wait until they go past then leap out barking loudly. If they don’t drop their valuables and run for it you can nip at their heels until they do.
Unless they’re ladies of course! We gentlemen of the road have our standards. No, the trick to robbing the ladies is to roll over on your back and whimper. Then they’ll tickle your belly and give you their leftovers and think themselves lucky to be able to tell their fancy friends of the time they came face to face with “Sixteen String” and “Mad Dog” and lived to tell the tale.
Your biscuits or your life?
It’s up to you.