Saturday, December 02, 2006


Up at Preston today for an agility show. Normally this would entail leaving at around 6am to get there in time for the 8.30 start. However this time they have given me a schedule that means we have no events until lunchtime, so we get a lie in. The alarm is put back to a leisurely 7.30.

After L does the usual repeated shouting upstairs to Son to try and shift him out of bed to do his paper round, she returns to bed and we do some more 'catching up'.

Then I'm up and making my two flasks, one of coffee, one of soup, then Doggo and I are off up the M6 to join the dogging masses in Preston.

England post a decent score in the cricket and declare.

Up at Preston, we time our arrival brilliantly and our courses are being set up just as we get there. We have chance to peruse our three events while everyone else breaks for lunch.

Course look ok but I am a bit worried about Doggo whose nose is permanently glued to the ground sniffing. He's not looking terribly interested in doing any competing, far too many nice smells, if nice is the right word. Luckily he perks up eventually and we have a crack at out first course. We do well, quickest so far but immediately beaten by the next dog to run.

Quite pleased with ourselves we go off to check out our next course, a trickier intermediate. An hour and a half later, we have slipped down to third in our first event, but this is still in the trophies. They call for any remaining entrants to come run the course. Once the event has closed, we find we have finish 7th. Four of the last batch of dogs to run has beaten us. This is a frustratingly common problem of the best dogs hanging on until the end to run, it is also against the rules but these rules are never policed.

We cock up the intermediate, Doggo is slow off the sea-saw, and in trying to speed him up I forgot to put myself in the correct place and send him over the wrong jump. Elimination. We have timed out last few runs badly and are last to run in our final event. We have to leg it there and don't really have time to study the course. We put in a clear but unspectacular round and come 24th out of the 200 entries.

L informs me via text that she has had a crap game of badminton. This is partly following on from when she complained to the council that some centres unfairly charge her full price when she plays with Daughter whereas others are more reasonable and charge her child price. Consequently the council has now started charging them full price all the time! Today they share the badminton hall with a group of 10 who are playing across the other two courts and disrupting their game. She heads for town and retail therapy.

Obviously I'm out of local radio range so don't hear much about Derby's game at West Bromwich but it seems their luck has finally ran out. They go down to an 89th minute, deflected goal by the ageing, slightly rotund John Hartson.

We drive home and then L and I go out in Nottingham. A couple of pints of Caledonian, three Leffe's and a lot of city council bashing later we stagger home, decide to skip our pre-prepared chilli and go straight to bed, to sleep, it is 1am.

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