Thank God She’s Cute

The regular readers among you (of which I like to think there are at least, say, seven) will know that I have a dog. Her name is Juno, she’s about twelve foot tall despite being only a year old and generally, she’s pretty awesome.

Juno being generally awesome.

Juno being generally pretty awesome.

However, every so often, my mum will go on holiday, leaving me and Sophie to look after Juno. And on these occasions, you’d better believe Juno is thanking her lucky stars that she’s cute. So far, since having the dog, I have been solely responsible for her for about ten days in total. Here are a few examples of what she gets up to when my mother isn’t around to rule with an iron fist.

She scratched my eyeball.

Like, directly in my eyeball. You know it’s a bad day when your first conscious action is to Google “damaged eyeball”. I had resigned myself to a life of partial blindness, but fortunately the blurriness faded. The shitty depth perception is an integral and permanent part of my personality, so I don’t think I can blame that one on the dog.

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She threw up, and then re-ate an enormous chunk of bone.

This one was a good ‘un. She strategically threw up all over the shoes I normally pull on to let her outside, scooped up the bone and ran into the garden with it. Cue frantic search for different shoes, lots of cursing, gag-worthy attempts to remove said bone from her mouth and eventual acceptance that she was going to swallow the bone, and then throw it up again. She did.

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She ate an entire stick of Witch Hazel Spot Healer.

This is a fairly recent one, so I’m still alternately cursing her for her constant idiocy and fearfully observing her for any sign she might be about to keel over/transmogrify into a witch.

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She ate the piece of tissue I used to blot my lipstick.

I…I don’t know. Maybe it was floating around and looked like fun?

She ate a plastic tampon applicator.

I got nothing. My dog is a mystery. And an idiot.

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But I must commend her for her excellent charity work.

She woke me up at 5am, pretending to be desperate for the toilet, so we could go into the garden and bark at the birds.

For a week.

She threw a cup of tea all over me.

Because I stopped petting her for a moment to take a sip. We weren’t having an extremely British Footballers’ Wives-y spat. Do people even remember Footballers’ Wives? Must get more up to date references to make me sound cool.

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She ran away to find a new family.

And nearly gave my neighbours a heart attack when she dragged Sophie face-first along the ground into their living room.

She sneezed directly in Sophie’s face.

This was very, very funny. Ten points to Juno.

She is in the process of digging a Shawshank-style tunnel behind the shed into our neighbours garden.

Not the same neighbours whose living room she invaded. She seems to be cool with literally any family, as long as it isn’t us.

IMG_2234She dragged me into the middle of the road to chase a leaf.

She then ate the leaf. And then spent the rest of the walk choking on it and glaring at me.

She thinks that she’s an appropriate lapdog size.

Okay this one is pretty cute and I like it.

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And I work full time. So pretty much all these shenanigans occur between the hours of 5pm and 9pm. Five days until my mum comes back…why do I get the feeling that she’s going to be coming back to either a daughter or a dog?

 

Wooden Spoons Are For Scones, Not For Scotland

It’s finally happened: a Scotland six nations game that didn’t make me want to shrivel up and die! Let’s take that wooden spoon and make some victory scones. And then hope to god that someone else ends up with it.

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For victory scones, you will need:

350g self-raising flour
90g butter
3 tbsp sugar
180ml milk
1 egg
Big pinch of salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 220C. Stick a baking tray in the middle shelf to heat up. Put your butter, salt and flour in a large mixing bowl, and rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Don’t squash it, treat it gently, as though you’re touching Johnnie Beattie’s beautiful face.
  2. Warm up your milk in the microwave. Make a little well in the middle of your mixing bowl and pour the milk in. Stir until your mixture is much smoother than Scotland’s road to the prestigious second-from-bottom position.
  3. Dust a surface and your hands with flour and tip out your dough. If you have any lingering resentment about the English battering us at Murrayfield, now is the time to get it out. Smooth the dough between your hands and flatten it out to however thick you want your scones to be.photo
  4. Time to cut out your scones. If you are an actual functioning human being, you might own a round cutter, I just use a small tumbler. Cut out four, then roll your dough back into a ball, flatten it out and cut out another two. Feel free to make amusing shapes/voodoo dolls of Owen Farrell with the leftovers.
  5. Beat your egg. Again, it may be helpful to think of Owen Farrell while you do this. Brush the tops of your scones with egg, place them on your hot baking tray and put them in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Make a cup of tea. Chuckle gently at the glory of winning by 1 point with about 2 seconds to go.
  7. After 10 minutes, check on your scones. If they are as golden as Ritchie Gray’s hair, they’re ready.

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I like mine with butter, but if you want to be super-fancy, crack out the jam and clotted cream. Feel free to add a big handful of cheese to your mixture if you aren’t in a relationship with a fromage hating philistine. Or, if you are a philistine yourself, why not add sultanas, raisins or other ruined fruit?

Serve with an enormous cup of tea and the tears of your enemies.

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Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

For the past nine months, I’ve had to take a train to and from work every day. At first, there was a sort of fun novelty to it, not to mention all the things I pretended I could do with that time.

Two hours a day? I could take an audio language course! Or write a book! Or read all the books I’ve always wanted to!

Of course, eventually I realised that the only thing to do on a commute is to sit and steep in your hatred for everyone around you.

Me on an average day's commute.

Me on an average day’s commute.

But. Every so often, I’ll encounter a person on my commute that makes it totally worth it. Today was one of these rare occasions.

It didn’t look like it was going to be a great day, with three trains being delayed because of the bad weather. With three rush hour trains worth of commuters packed onto one train, and it looking likely that I’d be standing all the way to Glasgow, I was feeling pretty grumpy.

And then, at Linlithgow station, salvation arrived in the form of a three year old little girl, her six year old sister and their world weary grandparents.

There were too many gems to count, but here are just a few of my favourites.

3yo: I’ve got a great joke! What kind of hot dog has no tail? No…wait…what kind of dog has no tail?

3yo: What do you call a sheep with no legs? *pause* I can’t remember.

3yo: What do you call a clock with eight legs? Wait…have I told the clocktopus joke already? No? Okay, what do you call a clock with eight legs?

3yo: Can I hold my ticket? Granny. Granny. Granny. Can I hold my ticket?
Papa: How about having a sweetie instead?
*sweeties are handed out*
3yo: Papa, can I have another sweetie?
Granny: No, you’re not getting another one.
*pause*
3yo: Granny, can I hold my ticket?

6yo: We’re not fighting, we’re just playing a nice game. *launches herself at her sister, sending her flying into the aisle*

6yo: Granny, can I have another sweetie?
Granny: No.
6yo: But I only had one.
Granny: Everybody only had one.
6yo: Papa didn’t.
*Papa looks shifty*

Thank you, you tiny little heroes, for brightening up a very rubbish train journey.

Unhelpful Thoughts

So, as we’ve covered already, I haven’t been feeling too braw. I gave the British method of combatting everything with a stiff upper lip and steadfast denial a go, but when that failed to make me feel even a little bit better, I decided that maybe I should go get some help. So, for the past three weeks, I’ve been taking part in an online course designed to help you identify and combat unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

As it turns out, I have quite a lot of those.

So, in the interest of science and mental health, here is a list of unhelpful thoughts that I have pretty much every single day.

  • “If my life was a horror movie, this is totally where I’d be murdered.”
  • “Is that man looking at me weird because he can hear my thoughts and is appalled by my weirdness?” *Screams inside head and watches for a reaction*
  • “Is my rabbit really fulfilled?”

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  • “Can I put peanut butter on that?”
  • “I wonder if I should quit my job and go audition for Frozen on Broadway.”
  • “Maybe I should go blonde.”
  • “Maybe I should cut my hair short.”

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  • “Maybe I should get a tattoo.”
  • “I like my new Facebook cover photo, but does it really say enough about who I am as a person?”
  • “Imagine there was an axe-murderer behind this door/in my wardrobe/behind the shower curtain/standing at my window/under my bed.”
  • “I’d probably make a pretty awesome spy.”
  • “Why does Phil make Hercules bulk up when he’s already super strong?”

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  • “Maybe I should take a nap.”
  • “It’s been a while since I encountered an enormous, terrifying spider. That’ll probably happen soon.”
  • “Maybe if I buy new stationery, my life will improve.”
  • “Maybe if I buy a blazer, I’ll become the type sophisticated girl who wears blazers.”
  • “I am so funny. I wonder if anyone would pay me just for being this hilarious.”
  • “Maybe Pinterest has the answer.”
  • “This situation will be better if I paint my nails again.”

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With all this junk floating around my brain, it’s no wonder I’m not functioning properly. Although the junk isn’t really a recent thing. Maybe I’ve always been a little bit crazy.

In all seriousness, the course I’m taking has been super-helpful so far and it’s free, so if anyone else is feeling low, check it out here.