One pole-axed pup

Good morning all I am up a bit early this morning but have had six hours of total oblivion so I feel wonderfully refreshed.  Yesterday was a day to remember I shot out early and bought a paper for Mike who would be completely unsupervised all day and I didn't want him getting into an mischief while I was out.  I dressed in what I though appropriate for a cold and damp day but I got it wrong, I don't think I have ever been so cold.  It was a really miserable morning with drizzling rain and a cutting wind directly from Siberia.  We all agreed that it was perishing and that we had not been this cold even when it was snowing hard.  The first 5 drives of the morning netted less than a dozen birds and poor Basso didn't get a look in.  He did however, acquit himself well and sat rock steady as two hares and a fox ran past his nose.  I was very grateful that he has finally learned this lesson as 6.5 stone of muscle with the throttle down is very hard to hold.  Tennis elbow now where can that have come from she muses!!!!  Anyway, at lunch time we huddled in the car and munched the one miserable ham sandwich washed down with the still hot tea from the flask.  Not too much tea - I didn't want to get caught short.  The two afternoon drives were much better firstly the Siberian wind had died down and the rain had stopped then there were even glimmers of the sun through the black clouds.  At last Basso got some birds to retrieve and then discovered a new source - when birds fall close to the guns they often pick them up and put them with their gun slips and cartridge bags - Basso just assumed they were downed birds and that they must be brought to me at once so felt no compunction in thieving them, much to everyone's amusement.  Once the final drive was over I was helping tie up the birds with the game keeper.  Basso was just running about sweeping the field for birds but we knew there were no more to be collected.  Suddenly he appeared from nowhere with a large cock pheasant in his mouth it must have been pricked and run off but it didn't escape Basso.  This earned him extra brownie points.  The final bag was 52 which at the end of the season is not so bad.  I loaded Basso and the spoils into the car and headed for home where I picked Mike up and we drove straight to the Car wash to deliver a brace of birds to the Albanians.  Well you have never seen such a bunch of happy guys.  They thanked me profusely but I suggested that the thanks were owed to Basso who was the picker up so he was then lavished with praise.  I think my car will get an extra special wash from now on and there will be no complaints about the mud!!!!!
We finally got home at about 5pm and it was time for FOOD the dog was fed first while the oven heated up, then in went a couple of cottage pies and a tray of Jerusalem artichokes.  We had the usual hysterics when it came to washing Basso's feet he still thinks I am going to put his paws in boiling oil.  However once we have struggled the first paw in he relaxes in the warm water and allows you to wash his feet. Then it was my turn full of cottage pie and artichokes I threw myself into a hot bath and turned on all the jacuzzi functions and lay there letting the warmth reach my bones which had been frozen all day.  Finally warm and fed I lay curled in my duvet and settled to watch Casualty - well I never even saw the titles.  I was away with the fairies in moments hence I am up at stupid o'clock. 
Now as for today I am in a quandary, do I 
1  go shooting after all I really need the practice before next weekend
2  stay home and clean my muddy boots and clear the dining room of pictures etc. ready for decorating 
If I go shooting I still have Monday to clear the dining room so I am leaning towards option one.  It also means that I would meet up with Roger and I could borrow a cartridge bag for next Saturday.  Drat it, Mike will want feeding but who is a clever girl and has secreted pheasant pies in the freezer so I guess it is no contest - Cinderella will go shooting!!!!!
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