I am trying to work out if Tiggy is the dumbest or the smartest dog in the universe. You be the judge.
Every night, at bedtime, Nobby gets her a biscuit from the cupboard, which is her cue to go and get into her bed so we can shut her in the conservatory for the night. She knows which cupboard it is and no matter where she's flaked out on the floor or how asleep she seems, once that door is opened she'll be in her bed quick as lightning.
On Monday the cleaner did a major wash and polish in the conservatory and decided to pop Tiggy's bed on the coffee table so she could get the mop round. That night Nobby returned from the biscuit cupboard and sure enough the dog had disappeared from the sofa (!) but neither she nor her bed were immediately visible in the conservatory... until we switched on the light and looked at coffee table, on top of which was the dog bed, with the dog in it, ears up and waiting for her treat.
I'm thinking perhaps she's slightly over-trained, if there's such a thing?
Anyway, from disappearing dogs to disappearing Pokewalkers, when the thing hadn't turned up by Thursday night, I decided to step up the search a notch or two. I had the headmaster announce it in assembly on Friday morning and Pickle published his poster in every classroom, featuring a picture of the Pokewalker and a reward of 1500huf (£5) for its safe return. His original offer was 150huf (50p) but I upped it, never really thinking any amount would work.
Halfway through Maths, whilst I was simultaneously fashioning fish out of playdough, wrapping small people in painting aprons, tripping over plastic counting teddies and comforting a distraught little chick-pea with the tiniest paper cut you ever saw, Pickle burst into my classroom and demanded 1500 huf... before proudly producing the Pokewalker from behind his back.
Someone in Poppet's class gave it to her shortly after the posters went up. I promised not to ask any questions but as you can imagine I was dying to know where the thing had been all week until I resorted to bribery to get people to help us look for it. Especially when Pickle told me that all his settings had been changed; someone had clearly played with it.
So a valuable lesson has been learned by both Pickle and me. Don't bring electronic devices to school if you want to hang on to your eardrums should you happen to lose it. And when it comes to rewards and Primary kids, 50p will probably do.
Meanwhile, we all visited a Mamma and Baby exhibition last weekend. No, I don't have anything to announce before you go all squeaky, this thing catered for 'babies' up to the age of twelve. My stock answer for anyone who asks me if I'd consider 'going for Number 3' is 'You first.'
Besides, between you and me and the internet, now I am done with all that, I found the sea of baby bumps being variously patted, stroked or cuddled everywhere I turned actually quite nauseating. Though tinged with a hint of sympathy for the dizzying array of pushchairs, prams, cots, car-seats, cribs, moses baskets, bouncers, hammocks, swings, walkers, slings, nappies, bottles, pacifiers, changing tables, dou-dous and other crap they were trying to get their heads and their wallets round, knowing myself that you don't need half of it and what you do buy will be too small or broken within 6 months and you'll wish you'd borrowed it all off your sister-in-law after all.
Not that my lack of interest in all things baby put off any of the stall holders who happily thrust leaflets on all kinds of essential new-mother devices into my hands at every opportunity. All in Hungarian of course but more importantly, do I look bl**dy pregnant???!**$£%??!!
I still managed to get through every forint in my wallet though; these wily people really know what they're doing. They had table upon table of toys and games and puzzles laid out for the kids to try, which Poppet and Pickle made a bee-line for, once they'd tried the jungle gym and the dry ski-slope. Suddenly I was hit with the realisation that the Big C is only 6 weeks away, though mercifully none of the stalls were draped in tinsel or baubles, so that had me standing out of eye-shot gesturing to the stall holders to wrap up and tot up whatever games they were hooked on. So I came home rather laden.
This week Nobby and I took in another show, this time Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. All in Hungarian again of course but this time the subtitles were actually working. Strangely though they seemed to have translated the English score into Hungarian for the cast then translated it back into English for the subtitles as opposedto just using the original, such was the quality of the spelling and grammar. Apparently Jacob thought his son Joseph was 'dayed' rather than 'dead'.
Well, it gave us Brits something to titter about considering we couldn't understand all the ad- libbing that Pharoah was doing; he thoroughly enjoyed playing Elvis and hammed it up big time. In all it was a great show, better than Jesus Christ Superstar even. But once again we were floored by the community clapping. We thought we'd get away with it because they unfolded a huge technicolour flag across the ceiling so they couldn't bring down the Fire Curtain with the 'hidden' encore door in it. Hmm, no such luck, they made their own door out of the set and walked down and bowed about a dozen times while the audience all clapped in time with each other! It is truly weird.
Still, it's only fifteen minutes of my life and we're considering going to see Spamalot - note to self, get seats on the end of the row for a quick getaway.
Xmas Letter of Apology
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