23 April 2010

And mother makes eight...

Okay, people, you know that very excellent bumper sticker ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’? Well, I’ve got my own variation ‘A mother is just for Christmas, not for life’. So why is she still here? Hasn’t she read my bumper? How come she arrived in December for a couple of weeks and is still here five months later? She’s citing infirmity and memory problems but judging from her hearty demolition of Tesco’s Finest (for two) each night, she’s as frail as a navvie and certainly hasn’t forgotten where her mouth is…Considering this ‘stork-in-reverse’ episode was quite unplanned, we’ve all done pretty well in accommodating one another. Okay, we’ve had to drop our rather liberal washing machine approach – you know the one, the ‘let’s shove everything in and pick a programme that sounds right’ – and accept the more regimented ‘do not on pain of death stick anything remotely coloured in with my white pants’ routine. And we’re not too enamoured of the false teeth leering at us in the early morn…but, looking on the bright side, I haven’t had to empty the dishwasher once since the New Year. I may not be able to train my dogs, but mothers….

Anyway, mum is with us for the foreseeable so we thought that a nice little charabanc trip up to the Yorkshire Dales might be fun. So we’re firing up the mobile dog kennel-cum-granny wagon and heading to a place called Crakehall.

Crakehall has the very great virtue of having a small, 5-van only campsite PLUS a B&B on-site. So while mum disports herself in her en suite hoovering up the complimentary tea and cakes, A and I will enjoy a little respite from the pressures of caring for a septuagenarian eating machine and laundry fascist. And I don’t wish to be unkind but when I appear in the morning (she’s always been up for at least an hour before I surface so she can scoff half a pack of Fox’s Crinkle Crunch while ogling Bill Turnbull), yes, when I appear there is, how can I put it…..a certain whiff in the air…and when challenged, she’s uncharitable enough to try and palm it off on the dogs. Trouble is, as all dog owners will attest, every doggie guff has its own peculiar DNA so I’ve got her bang to rights there.

Of course, in the van, without ma, we will surface to the unalloyed pleasures of a five dog farting symposium, which necessitates the opening of a window or three before one ventures to light the gas. But it will be nice to have our own space and for A not to have to run the naked gauntlet to the bathroom each morning, iPhone poised to cover his modesty should mother suddenly appear from nowhere (curiously, mother makes absolutely no sound when moving around which is amazingly unnerving. I’m thinking of getting her a cat bell). I’ve told A on several occasions that he only really needs an iPod Nano to be decent whereas he maintains that he needs to buy an iPad to ensure an appropriate level of concealment. He wishes…

But I digress. The main purpose of the trip is to lose mother…oops, sorry, that’s another plan….hang on….oh yes, the main purpose is to go and have a look see at Lower Park Marina in Barnoldswick. I’ve identified it as a possible staging post on our leisurely meander through the northern waterways so thought it best to go and have a dekko. It would be the end-point of our May cruise from SB, a place to take a breath and plan what to do next – and as that might involve an extended stay exploring the area both by boat and car, it seems only sensible to go and see if it suits us – and more importantly, if we suit them! Now I did do a bit of Google Earthing the other day and was slightly alarmed by the sight of a humungous factory lying pretty much adjacent to the marina. Now I have no objections to factories per se but knowing the area, I was wondering if this was in fact the famous Rolls-Royce aero engine facility. ‘Cos that would be quiet…Just as A was reassuring me that any noise would surely have to be suppressed to acceptable limits, I discovered that actually the RR factory was in another part of town and what I was looking at was actually the Silentnight bed factory! Result! Unfortunately I now have visions of A toddling off there and trying to inveigle himself in as a bed tester…like the hippo but not so cute. Imagine that…sleeping on the job and getting paid for it…he’ll think he’s died and gone to heaven.

2 comments:

Robin and Jenny said...

Hi there

Very amusing writing, great work. All those dogs plus Mum, quite a tribe to carry around!! Found your blog listed on our friends from Gypsy Rover. We spend as much time as we can in our caravan down under in New Zealand.

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Hi Robin and Jenny - very kind words, thanks so much. I've had the pleasure of a holiday in NZ many years ago - would love to revisit, but perhaps minus mum and the dogs...