Saturday, 20th October
Keyword for the Day: Shooting
Today was the first shoot of the season for the men in our family. Nicky phoned up at the the crack of dawn wanting to know if his dad had done him a pack-up and then turned up at eight o’clock sniffing the smell of breakfast in the air and asking if he could have a bacon sandwich. Ho hum … it seems nothing has changed …
When Lee and Tyler appeared just after eight o’clock, Tyler was so excited to be going beating with ‘the men’, he couldn’t keep still or stop chattering excitedly, and when he saw the beating stick his grandad had made him, he grew at least two inches with pride and couldn’t resist tapping it constantly on our living room floor – practising, he said. I look after Charlie on a Saturday, and he hung around his big cousin, hoping not to be noticed and sneak into the shooting party. The wide-eyed look of admiration for Tyler was priceless. To Charlie at just two, seven-year-old Tyler must seem such a big boy.
Poor Charlie gazed out of the living room window disconsolately as guns, wellies, pack-ups, water and doggy din-dins were packed into Land Rovers, the shooting party and our springer-spaniel, Norman, jumped in and then they disappeared down the road in a fanfare of diesel engines.
I was in Tescos with Charlie at half past eight, doing the weekly shop. We bumped into Christie’s mum, Carol, at the checkout and had the cashier in stitches as we commiserated with each other on the ’empty nests’ left behind by our youngest offspring now they have embarked on their new life in Walsingham Avenue.
After packing away the shopping, Charlie and I joined Emily and Sophie and met Emily’s friend in town, followed by a lovely girlie lunch at the newly opened cafe at Dunelm Mill in Kettering. After a browse around the new shop, and a few purchases, I dropped Charlie off home at two thirty, and then sank down, exhausted in my armchair and dropped-off myself!
I have a love/hate relationship with shooting. From the end of October to the end of January it rules our weekends. When the men are not shooting, they are feeding up. It does give me time to myself, or to spend time with Emily, but it can be quite lonely. It is better now I have Charlie on a Saturday, though. He keeps me company. Our two-year old Springers are gun-dogs, although Norman is the better of the two. Hector needs more training before he can be let loose in the field!
Norman’s first shoot went well. He came back, smelly, mucky and exhausted and after a bath and a big meal he stretched out in front of the fire and fell into a deep sleep, paws twitching as he dreamed of his first exciting day with the shooting party.