moody landscape

The Old Wooden Toy That No None Wanted, and other stories from my week

Well, that bug I thought I’d got rid of last week came back with a vengeance.

This has actually become something of a December tradition for me: I get sick, I get better… then, a few days later, I get sick again. I’m fairly sure it’s the universe’s way of taunting me. Like, “Oh yay, you’re all better! HAHA NO YOU’RE NOT!” So I got the weird ‘sore throat bug’ back, THEN I had a migraine, and now I have a head cold.

So my body is basically just falling apart, like an old wooden toy that’s been passed down through a few too many generations of children. Now the paint is starting to peel, the limbs are looking a little wobbly, and the children are all, “We want an X-Box One, anyway: screw you, old wooden toy!” And then they throw the old wooden toy into the trash, but a passing fox picks it up and takes it back to its lair, where… wait: what’s this post even about, anyway? Because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be about an old wooden toy, although I kinda wish it was, now, because that would be a little more interesting.

No, this is just another one of those diary style posts, where I tell you what I’ve been up to this week. Other than being ill, obviously. So, here we go…

Rubin and his earmuffs

On Saturday, Rubin managed to escape from my parents garden, sparking major panic and a 4-person torchlit search. I’m actually pretty sure that’s what brought my lurgy back, because running around in the freezing cold, screaming at the top of your lungs will do that, won’t it? Or it won’t HELP, anyway.

The Great Escape happened late at night, so naturally it was pitch dark outside, and it was also freezing, having snowed the night before. The snow had melted by the time The Escape happened, and luckily there was a brief lull in the non-stop pouring rain it had been replaced with (I say “luckily” – if it had still been raining, Rubin wouldn’t have gone out in it, so maybe I shouldn’t complain so much about the rain, huh?), but conditions were still less than optimal for us to search for a small dog, lost in the big, dark world.

It was, without a doubt, one of the two worst moments of the year for me: the other one being the LAST time Rubin escaped, and I thought we’d never find him. GOD. As bad as that previous occasion was, though, this was way worse, mostly because it was so dark and cold outside that I really thought we had no chance of ever finding him.

I kept imagining him being cold and scared, lost somewhere I’d never find him, so when I finally turned a corner and caught sight of a little white shape, calmly sniffing a tree as if he hadn’t a care in the world, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I settled for a bit of both, and Rubin was (thankfully) totally unperturbed by his ordeal: I think he just thought he’d been for a walk or something. I, meanwhile, lost another few years of my life, so thanks for that, Rubin: also, you’re totally grounded for the rest of the year now, OK?


(OK, I know no one cares about this, but the old wooden toy? Well, the fox took it back to its lair, and it spent the next 6 months living amongst the foxes, and learning their wily ways. And that old toy grew smart. One day, it packed its bags and headed for the city, and by that point it was SO smart that it was able to pass itself off as a REAL girl, and get a job reading the news on the local cable channel. Then one night after dinner, the children who threw it away were watching TV when the news came on. “Wait,” they said. “Isn’t that…?” And it WAS, people. IT WAS.)

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

books by Amber Eve
  • The Other Emma


    Your posts always make me smile. Thank you for confirming the old toy was ok, because I do care about it. Nobody wants to think about old toys being all alone and not loved any more…………………………

    December 4, 2015
  • Alice


    I love your chairs! I have them in grey (which now seems awfully dull – though I do have the super bright blue wall, rainbow chairs may have been overkill…) I was also far too excited to remove the foam for a good week; the plastic on the legs is a bugger so I fully empathise. Glad the old toy was ok!

    December 4, 2015
  • Hope you feel better soon! Those boots are gorgeous – I know exactly what you mean about calf-fitting problems :S

    December 4, 2015
  • Those boots!!! Wow! Love them. And I’m glad you found your cute, fluffy little friend. 🙂

    December 4, 2015
  • OMG you never fail to make me laugh!! Love the fox’s tale. Brill!
    I LURVE your boots… maybe you should buy yourself a second pair as a back up? 😉
    Suzy x

    December 4, 2015
  • TinaD


    Sorry you’ve been ill. I get those sort of not-sick-enough-to-lay-down-but-won’t-go-away bugs too; it is generally a sign I need to take a whole weekend on the couch watching cooking television. Sympathies to Terry, too, because painting kitchen cabinets is not fun either. (Particularly when you could be watching the aforesaid cooking tv.)

    December 4, 2015
  • Myra


    The escapee dog is a really scary situation. Max’s puppy went missing on a walk to a local moor, where he loves to play off the lead. You should see this place – acres and acres of trees, fields of very long grass, cows and horses, two rivers running through it with a lot of overhanging vegetation, and lots of opportunities for a puppy to get into trouble. Panic!!! That’s an understatement. He went into the enormous field of very long grass with an American bulldog, which could see its way out, but no Teddy. After over an hour of fruitless searching and calling, just before dark (he is black so couldn’t be seen at night). Finally, an idea to go home and get his favourite toy chicken and squeak it! What do we find – Teddy sitting on his doorstep, very dirty, very excited to see a friendly face. Phew!!

    December 4, 2015