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Tuesday 7th August 2018
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Tuesday 7th August 2018

Utterly exhausted today with the kids keeping us on our toes. Ernie can not be left alone for a second without getting into mischief and even when you’re watching him constantly he seems to still manage.
He was all up in Phoebe’s colouring and craft stuff, grabbing at pencils and pen tops and we wrestled it all away from him. A minute later Catie let out a scream - Ernie’s entire mouth was blue. How had this happened. I put my finger in his mouth and fished around and found the tip of a coloured pencil that he must have spotted and secreted in his mouth, like a prisoner snaffling up a paper clip that he can later use to unlock all the doors.
We cleaned him up in case the pencil was poisonous (but not before we took some photos, because cute social media posts are more important than a baby's life - none of them really capture how much he had blue himself). Look how happy he is.
I was falling asleep as Phoebe watched Lego Batman and once we’d got these pricks in bed we were going to have some dinner, some nice wine and have an early night.
But typically I couldn’t sleep now and in fact just as I was drifting off at about 10 (oh we’d already been in bed for two hour by then) I thought I heard Ernie crying on the monitor. More like whimpering really. We’re meant to ignore it for five minutes, but he was making really weird sounds. Catie came back from the bathroom and said she thought that there was a dog in our back garden. 
This literally could not be. Wolfie is with Catie’s parents at the moment and our small garden is surrounded by high fences and behind a tall gate. But Ernie was asleep and not barking at all. We went downstairs to be greeted by a dog staring through the kitchen door at us. It barked angrily, like we had turned up at his house and I didn’t really fancy going out to meet him. He looked a bit wild and mangy and thin. I was, I confess, too scared to go too close.
Also we were a bit freaked out about how a dog had suddenly appeared in an enclosed garden. Was there a modern day Bill Sykes with him?
Catie took some photos and we posted them on the local Facebook group. People suggested it looked like a hunting dog, maybe a saluki (which I googled and discovered that it could jump six foot fences - why wasn’t it jumping back?) but no one was claiming ownership.
It was tricky to know what to do, because we couldn’t really cope with a whimpering and barking dog in our garden all night, but equally we live by a fairly busy road (though not so much at night time) and we didn’t want to let him out to cause an accident. 
I had to man up and attempted to approach it from behind by coming through the gate, but the dog was more scared of me than I was of it (so very scared) and darted out into the street. I tried to follow it up the road to see if I could read its name tag, but it hared off (salukis are also extremely fast dogs) and I had to hope for the best. I think it was nervous enough to get well out of the way if a car came anywhere close, but that wasn’t too reassuring. 
I had failed the dog and felt bad about that. And now I was pumped full of adrenaline and our early night turned into a very late one. The countryside sucks.
I know the dog survived the night as there was a sighting of him on a nearby farm the next morning, but he took flight when approached. Like a more realistic Littlest Hobo I think this dog has been going from place to place for a good while now. Hopefully someone will find him and reunite him with his owner and hopefully he won't return to freak me out again in the night.

If you want to buy a ticket to my one appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018, then here’s the link. It’s me and some other nerds talking about podcasts. It’s a TV Festival thing but there’s a limited number of tickets available for members of the public.

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