A few weekends ago, we went to the Dog Show at Earl’s Court to see the lovely dogs and pat them and swoon and love them and show the boys how nice they can be. And we were there for a bit, and Barnaby tackled Casper to the ground, and Casper refused to get up, and so I ordered Barnaby to go and pick him up and apologise to him and come along quickly, and  then they did and then they both fell behind and got lost. Casper was found wandering the aisles a few minutes later, but Barnaby was swallowed up by the hoards and even though I could hear his nervous little voice calling me, I couldn’t get to him. Damn those wire cages and slavering Dobermans. And so, once again, we were that family with the lost kid. Amazingly, there were no police involved this time, and social welfare were none the wiser, but security did have to be called, and they were like a SWAT team, closing in on the kid with the green boots and the red hoodie. FOURTY FIVE MINUTES LATER (ahem) we were reunited with a red-eyed, cranky kid who told me I was very bad to lose him like that. And he went on, and on, all afternoon, in an effort to erase the panic and the embarrassment and the fear that had clearly gripped him, and made it all my fault. And so we went home, and decided we all felt a little bit grumpy about dogs and exhibition centres and should have stayed at home and thumped each other. Muuuuch more fun.

Anyway. The big news. What do a family of four rowdy annoying rapidly growing boys who live in central London in a two-bedroom rented basement flat with two busy parents do with themselves after they have been to the Dog Show and lost kids and come away all wounded?

They get a DOG! A PUPPY! We are going to get one of these:


Oh my giddy aunt, I am going to EXPIRE OUT OF SHEER LOVE when one of those little fellas finally gets here. They are Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, and ours (born two days ago) has been named Magic by the children. I would rather we went for Gordon or Timothy, but it’s not all about me. Really. Only most of the time.


Barnaby is teaching himself to whistle. It is awful, a truly soul-destroying, miserable thing to live with. Everywhere you go, you hear a single sharp note puffed through his lips again and again and again. Its worse than the joke-learning phase, and on par with the constant penis-talk. He also, weirdly, has a six-pack. I have no idea how that developed, seeing as he does a lot of Lego building and a fair bit of telly-watching.

Casper, on the other hand, woolly-headed and obstreperous, got in some serious trouble at school, for play-fighting with his two mates which apparently ended in a communal riot of bum-smacking. His teacher was a bit horrified, and so things escalated to a Serious Red-Card Level Of Missed Playtimes And General Shame. He didn’t seem too worried when I picked him up, and we were going off to the Marylebone Christmas Lights Switch-on, and so I didn’t want to ruin things for all of us. So we didn’t talk much about the Red Card incident, and instead, waited in line for an hour in the dark and the cold to see a fairly convincing Father Christmas and to receive identical stuffed lions. When we got home, Casper, in his loud and serious voice, who had clearly been thinking deeply about things, declared that if you get a Yellow Card at school, or a Double-Yellow card, Santa won’t give you presents at all, because you have been too naughty. But if you get a Red Card, then you definitely get something, because red, after all, is the colour of Christmas. Thus spoke my genius son.

And there have been more Cultural Activities attended to, such as seeing Gotye play on a Monday night, and a film screening of The Silence of the Sea with a Q&A afterwards with Kazuo Ishiguro, also on a Monday night. This Friday we are off to a secret dinner location somewhere along the East London line, where we all have a dress code and last minute directions sent by text. Last Saturday, we went to a friend’s farewell at a private room at Maze. There were canapes! And champagne! And handsome young lawyers who had all passed the New York Bar Exam! And later, more champagne-with-sparklers at a private club. At 11pm on the dot I got hit with the tired stick and had to go home. That’s basically how we roll these days.

Here are the children with their new moustaches:

Anyway. What about that dog, eh? Too, too mental, or, frankly, the best idea we have ever had?

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10 Responses to Magic

  1. Cath says:

    I am going with mental. Suspect it will be a bit like a baby…. Cute as anything, poo everywhere sometimes, and some crying. I have said there shall be No Dogs. That makes me mean but at least I only have to feed clothe walk and toilet the four existing animals. Ahem. I mean children. I do look forward to hearing how you go though. Best of British.

  2. Kerry says:

    Brooke is actually squealing with delight at the puppy news. She says she wants to play with it every day so you may find yourself the new neighbourhood attraction. Just so you know.
    Also, I love Casper.

  3. fedora four says:

    At least the puppy will obey you (or not). Just don’t go all Enid Blyton… “Oh Timmy, you’re so licky!”

  4. Anya says:

    Crazy Jodi, really crazy!!!!! A retriever no less! Well at least train it to retrieve lost kids!!!!! Love ya xx

  5. Weza says:

    Before I even clicked on the blog link to view this post I saw the picture of the puppy and thought, oh no they are getting a puppy! You my dear have got to be the most incredibly patient and strong person I have ever met. The upside is that you will have a running partner, once you get through the ankle biting stage. Just don’t plot to kill the dog like Anya did. So when are you getting a bigger house?

  6. Gem says:

    “Oh my Christ Mick!!!!!” (Gavin and Stacey).
    You are officially nuts. In a very good way.
    How I long for your forthcoming posts, they are going to be entertainment city. A puppy. Four boys. A Flat. I love it!!
    Good luck.
    Enjoy the new addition.
    And the pup looks JUST like a Timothy. Or Richard.
    Magic is cute though.

  7. Victoria says:

    Its what I say to all my friends, if you have one or two children its all under control, if, like me, you have 3 or more children then it doesnt matter if you have 3 or 15, two dogs a turtle and 3 cats, it will always, always ALWAYS be a bit chaotic ALL of the time so Harridan please get the gorgeous puppy (well it looks like you are anyway!), big, chaotic, beautiful, interesting, lively families are a million times more enjoyable than ‘those’ smug families who are all neat and perfect and in control and so on – Thats my view anway – can’t wait to see more pics of the puppy xx

  8. alisoncross says:

    a dawgie!!! I agree with Victoria – get the dog! We’re thinking about getting a dog, but it would be a rescue dog. Probably a big rough-haired lurcher that looks as if he should be called Archie.

    Loving the moustachio-look kids!

    Ali x

  9. Michelle Coulter says:

    I’m thinking the dog thing must just be a joke!

  10. Merann says:

    There’s always room for a dog, I wouldn’t be without mine and every kid deserves one to grow up with.

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