Tag Archives: NFU Countryside

That was the week that was

My amazing birthday barbecue courtesy of Jerry and the girls

My amazing birthday barbecue courtesy of Jerry and the girls

Birthday celebrations (mine and Jerry’s), bank holiday, toddler getting up at 5am every day (east facing bedroom curse), Monty’s first puppy class, launch of his (and my) new monthly blog on NFU Countryside and a guest blog post for the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging award for Fresh Voice….that was the week that was.  Dear Reader, to be honest, I am still reeling from it all.  To add to the list of fab, fantastic and in the case of the 5am starts, downright frightful, I made a fatal error and did not put my brand new pair of shoes on the very top of the bookcase and they were instantly eaten by the Monster before he could be stopped.   I can report that in just one week, the wardrobe casualties are stacking up: 2 tunics, a chiffon dress, 1 pair of shoes and a beloved cardigan which now has pinholes in it.  Puppy teething?!  Pah!  We seem to have acquired a pup with the chewing skills of a beaver.  Nothing is safe!  I know, I know, how could I possibly be cross with this sweet little face…..?!

Here he is...the little shoe eating Monster.

Here he is…the little shoe eating Monster.

So passing on my TOP TEN tips for the first weeks of owning a furry toddler could not have been a more apt post for my Britmums Fresh Voice voting plea!  Between the children, dog and turning another year older, I found myself nearly at the bottom of the beautifully packaged bottle of Hendricks gin which my dear Papa so kindly gave me for my birthday!

Here are my handy hints if you missed them:

1) Reacquaint yourself with lack of SLEEP – coffee and Jerry’s dressing gown are my new best friends.  No sooner did Poppy start sleeping through, my nightly toddler escapades have now been replaced with standing in the garden in pyjamas, praying the neighbours can’t see me.

2) Explain to both toddler and dog that sharing is lovely but perhaps not when it comes to teething toys.

3) Do not buy any new shoes – dog will chew ONLY the new ones. (I am still mourning the loss of my floral pumps….)


Oh…….(she says weeping)

4) Buy a dog guard for the car – emergency stops on the A4 due to dog jumping from boot to back seats are best avoided!

5) Do not let husband to allow dog to sit on sofa. (My days of wearing black are over……..)

6) Try not to attempt to house train pup and potty train toddler at the same time.  Poppy now thinks a piddle outside (a la pooch) is an acceptable practice.

7) Hone your Mummy sixth sense in order to catch sneaky 4 year old feeding the dog at mealtimes.  Otherwise, you may find that dog enjoys mushrooms from Coq au Vin as well as puppy kibbles.

8) Remember children and dogs often suffer from temporary deafness……although that may just be in our household! You may find the investment of a whistle worthwhile…worked for Mary Poppins.

Taking the training seriously!

Taking the training seriously!

9) Do NOT leave your gin unattended at any point. Following that thought, definitely don’t forget to wash out a glass that puppy has found and licked, before serving your guest another drink from said glass! (Luckily my dear Papa has a very good sense of humour!)

10) And lastly….have your camera ready and drop everything to capture children and dog enjoying the simpler things in life together. Running through the long grass, chasing butterflies and setting up tea parties NEVER seemed as much fun before Monty came into our lives! After all, as Gerald Durrell, author of My Family and Other Animals, knew so well “A house is not a home until it has a dog.”

The full Britmums post can be read hereTonight at midnight marks the end of the voting for the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards and I can honestly say that I am still surprised I even made it this far.  Thank you again because when I started writing the blog in October, I truly believed that I would be writing posts that would drift off into ether and no one (except my Mamma and Jerry) would read them.  I am grateful to you, dear Reader so thank you thank you thank you for the follows, the comments, the encouragement and for the precious votes.  Gin and kisses to you all!  I promise ‘normal’ Margot capers shall resume next week!  Jerry has been badgering me to get on with crossing off some of the items on my to do list….

Oh and if you do fancy following Monty’s adventures on NFU Countryside, then look no further…..you can find his little paws here.


The New Arrival


Puppy Puppy Puppy!!!  After 8 weeks of waiting, we finally brought our scrumptious spaniel home last week, dear Reader!  Jerry, Poppy, Primrose and I stood on the doorstep for our first family photograph and it felt like we were bringing home another newborn baby!  So far Monty is proving to be every bit as gorgeous in temperament as he is in looks and doesn’t even mind when well meaning visitors ask if he is a Springer!  His first night went so well that Jerry and I were slightly worried that he wasn’t breathing.  I suddenly wished that we had bought a CCTV-style baby monitor so that I could check on him without having to go downstairs and wake the whole household.  The last pup to leave his mother, he had already spent one night on his own and after a long day’s play with our girls, he was so exhausted that took himself off to his bed inside his crate.  We didn’t hear a peep from him until we all got up at 6am the next morning (Jerry and I never get a lie in as Primrose and Poppy are the early to bed, early to rise sort of children……sadly).  There have been the piddles and puddles as we expected but he is pretty good at calling us to open the back door to be let out now.

He has also proved the perfect tonic for dearest Poppy who has been very ill, having caught the dreaded chickenpox, with infected spots and temperatures of seriously high proportions.  Not an inch of skin could be seen on her and she was unable to do much more than flop on the sofa and whimper just like a little pup.  In response to her obvious distress, Monty has licked her, let her snuggle down with him and even rest her head on his back – thus proving that a well known fact that dogs are extremely good therapy.

A trip to the vet and first jabs over and done with, we are now looking forward to the second jab when we can FINALLY take Monty out for a walk.  In the meantime, I have resorted to taking him out for a wander inside my coat so that he can begin to get used to all the sights and sounds of the Big Smoke as I push Poppy in her buggy.  I am not entirely sure why I received such strange looks……surely everyone carries a dog in their Barbour, dear Reader?!

Monty's first portrait!

Monty’s first portrait!

Alongside the Brilliance in Blogging awards shortlisting (which is fantastic and many many thanks to those of you who voted for me), I have some other exciting news to share this week, dear Reader.  This month will see the launch of Monty’s own blogging adventures and he and I will be sharing our puppy ups and downs as a monthly featured blog on the National Farmers Union’s Countryside website and magazine here so do look out for us!  The first installment will be published next week and Monty and I are looking forward to seeing our names in print – huge thanks to NFU Countryside for making it happen!

Monty and his cuddly pheasant

Monty and his cuddly pheasant

PS…..Being on the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards shortlist is truly marvellous and I cannot thank those of you who nominated me enough.  There are TONS of fantastic blogs on the list.  They all deserve a vote in my opinion and I am honoured to considered among them.  Do vote for your favourites at Britmums – I know I speak for all the bloggers when I say it means such a lot to us that you read and follow our capers!