THE PENKNIFE PEDICURE & DOGUE DAYS

O has to wear a suit for Sixth Form. Moss Bros had a suit sale. Having set out with reluctance and much growling, O emerged from the shop smiling. He has never had a suit before. It was laid out on the back seat of the car and inspected at frequent intervals on the way home. Then O retreated to bathroom. A very long time later he appeared in the kitchen dressed in new suit, new shirt, new belt and with hair sculpted with K's mousse ... and proceeded to clean his shoes. Then requested a photo shoot.

Less successful was O's attempt to give himself a pedicure. The Tescos delivery arrived so asked O to help carry the boxes.

'I can't walk,' O declared.

'Of course you can walk,' countered unsympathetic mother.

 'No, I really can't walk.'

'Why not?'

'My feet are in Great Pain.'

'Why?'

'I tried to get rid of the dead skin.'

'That shouldn't hurt that much.'

'It does.'

'Show me.'

Revealed soles of feet covered with hideous raw sores surrounded by lumps of hanging skin.

'What did you do that with?' I demanded in horror.

'My penknife.'

Today O had first trip to chiropodist.

August means more madder-than-ever dog owners:

Mrs SC from Cardiff booked her dog in for a couple of days this week. Phoned the evening before to say she had to cancel because neither she nor Mr SC could drive. Why? The dog had bitten both of them so badly up both arms that they both had to go to A&E and are bandaged from fingertips to armpits. The dog is a 10-month old cocker spaniel.

'Has he done this before?' I enquired.

'Oh yes, but he's only a puppy and he's only playing. We don't mind because we know he loves us and he doesn't mean to hurt.'

In the interests of small children in parks and the overheads to the NHS, suggested a trip to the vet with a view to finding a doggy behaviourist. Mrs SC snapped: 'I've brought up 6 children without any need for a psychiatrist and I don't need one for my dog.' Felt tempted to ask how many of her children were involved in the recent riots. But some questions are better not asked.

The English have dogs, the Italians have cani and the French have chiens. Not quite. The French aristocracy apparently have dogues. Perhaps I should design a new form for Dogues with a gold crown in each corner and a box labelled 'Title of Dogue'.

K had laryngitis. Still expected to work at the deli, including an extra shift on a Sunday when no buses run. Her voice went completely as she'd had to shout all day to generate enough sound for the customers to hear her. Perhaps:  'Would you prefer a virus or some bacteria with your Panini?'

Am recovering from builders. Large lump of render fell from the adjoining cottage. Builders appeared. Promised my render was about to make its descent too. "'Tis The Wrong Sort of Render" (concrete). Much mess and many £s later - though thankfully less than half the £s of next door - have new front of house. And still several days of lime-washing to do.

PLANET OK - AUGUST 11

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