It’s the little things 

The end of financial year sales will be upon us soon. I do not remember this being a phenomenon in the UK, but perhaps they just went by the more generic name of, ‘stocktake sale’ in those days. Perhaps, in Australia, the EOFY sale is just a happy coincidence, occurring as it does at the end of June as we round the final corner of Autumn and hurtle towards winter.

I still can not get my head around winter in July. Every sinew in my body screams out to buy flip flops and sunscreen and book a holiday to Greece. Instead, the shops are full of jumpers and every Australian house, ill-equipped as they are for cold weather, is freezing.

Still – every cloud, as they say.  The one thing I generally like to get done is the Xmas shopping – or at least some of it. My husband is skinny and never changes size so I can buy him clothes at any time of the year and know he will still get into them months later. I generally buy a few items, including a Xmas jumper and the underwear that it is compulsory for all men to receive to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

There is a particular brand of boxer shorts that I buy for my husband. They have quite fun and bright designs and you can generally get them at a good sale price around this time of the year. Lately, he has taken to ensuring that he matches his boxers with his socks, usually based on colour, but occasionally on theme if I have gone the whole hog and bought him socks with images on too.

Sometimes it is about taking pleasure in the little things.

This evening, as I showered, I looked down at the wall behind where the bathroom door sits while open. About a foot up from the tiled floor, there are now two small hooks which I stuck to the wall last Sunday. The hooks are there because of the dog.

Archie has been a mess since he arrived to live with us four years ago. I have detailed his ongoing obsession with bikes and joggers repeatedly, his determined and unnecessary vigilance guarding our fence, or any fence for that matter, and his apparent determination to rid the world of Crocs.

I can’t say I don’t in some part sympathise. Crocs are very ugly, but unfortunately they are also very comfortable and so they have become the default indoor shoe that we wear in the house. They work well as slippers, are light on the feet and (at least the copy ones we buy) are cheap. Archie wants to rid the house of them.

I have tried a number of tactics to discourage him from chewing the footwear, including buying him long, Croc-shaped toys to play with, but I think I have rather missed the point. When Archie is having one of his ‘mad ten minutes’, it seems to be a deliberate strategy of his to grab a Croc, because he knows he will get a reaction. His body language screams, ‘chase me, chase me!’ As he tears off with his prize and then shakes the living crap out of it, ultimately ripping it after repeated attacks.

I keep my Crocs beside the bed and he generally does not think to look for them there, so it is my husband, who leaves his behind the bathroom door, who falls victim to the Croc attacks. Archie will race in, grab one (always the left one) and then do his best to destroy it while apparently enjoying all the attention of being yelled at while I try and pin him down and get him to drop the footwear.

So on Sunday I stuck a couple of small hooks to the wall behind the door and hung the Crocs just off the ground. I am not sure why I decided to leave the temptation quite so within reach of a determine snout, especially as Archie, when fired up, can jump surprisingly high. I guess I thought it would look kind of sweet – a pair of shoes hung just above foot level, but possibly just high enough to make Archie think twice.

So I smiled to myself as I got out of the shower tonight and saw the latest pair of crocs hanging snugly on the wall from their hooks. We have left the previous victim lying just below them, as a sort of decoy as well. Two step protection – just like every goddamn website I seem to visit nowdays wants. We shall see whether the tactic works or not and in the meantime, I noticed that my husband, who has his clothes ready to go when he gets up very early tomorrow, has chosen the boxer shorts with the sharks on them and the socks with a pattern of tiny surfers.

There is a certain pleasure in attending to these small details. Perhaps when I visit the sale in the next couple of weeks to do my Xmas shopping, I will see what new ideas I can add to the mix – I am thinking crocodiles this year.


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