On the evening of Christmas Day, a wine glass in one hand and a bottle of Californian white in the other, Julia realised that life was a series of disconnected events, designed to make everything more difficult.
“First things first and first would be wine”, she muttered as she opened the bottle and poured herself a huge glass. The wine tasted of American sunshine. Somewhere beyond the icy roof tops of London was a place that was bathed in sunshine all year round, where grapes grew plump and juicy and nice Californian people spent their days turning the sun kissed grapes into wine. Her thoughts were interrupted by a persistent scratching sound. It was coming from the direction of the kitchen.
“Oh no, I forgot about Fred, how could I forget about Fred”, she put the wine glass down and raced to the kitchen. As she opened the door, a bundle of wet fur hurtled past her. Fred raced into the lounge, crashing into everything. “Stop Fred, sit. S I T , I SAID.” The dog ignored her, as he ran round the room. Julia sprinted back to the kitchen, opened the fridge hoping to find a treat that would stop Fred long enough for her to put the leash on him and calm him down.
The only things in the fridge were 8 bottles of Californian wine and some mouldy cheese. No food because at this moment she was supposed to be in a ski lodge, sipping après ski cocktails in the Italian Alps not sitting here in London, alone with a big lump of a dog.
“It will have to do” and she grabbed a bottle of wine and the cheese and went back into the lounge.
“Fred,” she waved her hands theatrically to get his attention. He trotted towards her, grinning in anticipation of the treat coming his way. When he was close enough, she grabbed his collar snapped the leash on and gave a big sigh of relief.
“There you go” she said putting the cheese on the floor in front of him. Opening the wine, she took a swig out of the bottle.
Fred was her boyfriend’s (Michael) mother’s dog, and Julie had kidnapped him; well not kidnapped him exactly, it was more like borrowing him without permission.
It seemed like a good idea at the time - a way to get back at Michael for cancelling their Christmas ski trip because he had to dog sit Fred, while his mother went cross country to visit her new grandson. When Julie called Michael to inform him that she had Fred and that she was keeping him until they went skiing, adding for good measure “and I am not releasing him a moment sooner”; she was met with complete silence.
“I am speechless, truly gobsmacked. Mum will be so pleased that I am driving her down to see the baby, since you have so kindly offered to dog sit. See you in 4 days, darling."