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‘Can we have a dog? can we have a dog? can we have a dog? can we have a dog? can we have a dog?’ is what I hear in my memory when I think back to my childhood. Yes, I really, really wanted a dog. One that would sleep at the foot of my bed, curled up snoring away, and then waking me up with a slobbery lick of its tongue in the morning.

Now? I want a dog. A bald one.

We’ve spent the day at the French father-in-law’s. It’s miserable and wet* and so we have spent the majority (read: all) of our time indoors. They have a dog. Its hair is everywhere. We (read: his mum) bought my son a new dressing gown, it’s black and white and has the Star Wars logo splashed all over it. At least it did. Now it’s pretty much white all over.

Plus I think it now constitutes a fire-hazard.

This is due to the lovely, cuddly, hairy dog-in-residence – Fleur. She’s a beautiful Labrador,  huge soulful eyes, friendly demeanor. Complete lack of control of her follicles.

The dressing gown I can cope with, and the slippers, and the coats, and the jumpers, and and and…

But due to the confined nature of our visit the kids have pulled out all the toys – who can blame them? – to occupy themselves with. My daughter has a lot of fun with this, another pet-hate (no pun intended) of mine:

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Yes, it’s a Play-doh activity set, specifically designed to allow kids to have minutes of fun creating items that vaguely resemble burgers, chips, biscuits etc. etc.

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It also enables parents to enjoy hours of free cardio-vascular exercise, as they struggle to get the stuff out of carpets, hair, clothes, teeth, toenails etc. etc. When we first moved into our new home in France I made a mistake, I left my daughter alone with some Play-doh for a period of time in excess of 90 seconds.

I’m still finding bits of the stuff around the house to this day…

I love the smell of Play-doh, takes me right back to when I was six. I also hate Play-doh.

But here’s the real cherry on the cake, pictures which despite none of the materials being edible still turned my stomach. So of course I had to share them with you (read: no I didn’t).

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Can you see those whispy bits sticking out of the machine? Do you now know why I felt so sick when the tub of ‘spaghetti’ was being shoved in my face? I told you the dog’s hair got everywhere didn’t I? Bleurgh.

I’m particularly proud of this next photo:

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I should enter it for the Turner prize, I can call it ‘Spoiled childhood’ or ‘Hair of the dog’ or simply ‘It’s not real – honest!’. It does look real though, doesn’t it? My kids have done what all kids do with Play-doh (is that how you spell it? can’t be bothered to Google it) whereby they get several pots, all the colours of the rainbow, and then they just turn it into a brown mush.

A brown mush that is now infested, infested with white dog hairs.

You see now why I want a bald dog?

But it’s ok, turns out they want a cat.

Cats are fine.

They just make me nearly die from having a near fatal asthmatic reaction to them. Hmmm, dog hairs or asthma..choices, choices…

*I’m thinking of asking for a refund, I knew it wouldn’t be the Tropics when I moved over here to France, but if this weather keeps up I’m in danger of evolving/mutating gills. Hey, but then I can have lots of watery adventures, and maybe hook up with Jeanne Tripplehorn, just like Kevin Costner did in Waterworld (nah, if I evolve I know/hope I’ll just develop my own vacuum cleaner-like appendage).

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