Alarm-ageddon and other stories

A quiet day and then the smoke alarm goes off ...

These are the days of miracle and wonder.

Wondering what the hell we have let ourselves in for as we continue to toilet train a short dog with a long bladder.

A miracle if she will cease firing indoors.

Puppy Lily dribbles a small puddle when she’s excited about being taken outside – to pee, which kind of defeats the purpose …

We give out to her about that so she sometimes pees in fright …

And then, outside and often zilch!

Only to unload — once again — in the middle of the kitchen floor afterwards.

When we are not looking.

She just doesn’t seem to get it — but we sure do!

The first time I caught her actually unleashing, I admonished her as severely as one can a bewildered, doe-eyed puppy.

Oh, Sweet Sopping J-Cloths!

Lily Savage we have started calling our still new pup, because you have never seen a dog so obsessed with food … and snaffling it down as quickly as possible.

Hers gone in seconds, she tries to hoosh Bella out of the way and attack her bowl.

Bella has learned to gulp hers down in the same way.

These are also the routine days of dragging ourselves out to work and returning to tetchy kids overloaded on summer Fortnite and sleep-overs.

The long summer days are fast dwindling into crisp autumn, all back to school buying blitzes and last hurrahs before that first school bell sounds.

All this dozy dog and domestic dogsbody stuff came together recently in The Day From Hell.

It was a Friday. Off work and no football training or kids activities to facilitate later on.

Then I got the text. Could I come in to work? I am a freelance newspaper sub-editor, so I texted back in the affirmative.

But still, not leaving until 1pm, I’m having a lie-in, anticipating a leisurely shower, sort out food for the kids and work, and a stroll down for the bus.

Then the smoke alarm in the downstairs hall goes off.

I leap out of bed and reach first for my comfy cargo camouflage shorts — and put my foot right through the left leg, half-way down.

No time for sartorial reinvention, I’m downstairs, giving out to O and K for whatever the hell they had put on the hob that had started the alarm. And why didn’t they close the kitchen door, anyway?

The hob hadn’t been on; the alarm had just gone off, its shrill tones terrorising our ears and the dogs yelping in excitement.

K, all arms-folded indignation, has retreated behind the sitting room door with her Honey Cheerios, telling me to sort it out.

Lily is delighted to see me … ”Not now, Lily … not now … can you give her her food, O? …”

I unscrew the circular alarm from the ceiling, and press buttons and shake coloured wires … the din right in my ears now … Dringgggggggggg!

My wife A is on the phone, saying she can drive home to sort it out, knowing I have only an hour or so before I get my bus.

She has been working really hard, then dealing with the kids when she gets home — I work into late evening when in the newspaper — and the last thing I want to do is add to her fatigue.

This concern, of course, comes out in snapping at her to not even think of coming home, and does she think I can’t deal with this, or what?

… “And anyway I can’t stay on the line, I’m Googling local electricians .…”

I had tried tripping various fuse switches in the electrics box in the hall — K shouts at me through the closed door to tell me the telly has gone off.

I resist — barely — the urge to grab the wires now dangling from ceiling and alarm, and just yank.

 O tells me it is raining, so a frantic barefooted hop in the pounding deluge to bring in the washing A had left outside, and back in to Alarm-ageddon.

The first few phone numbers I ring either they don’t pick up, or no longer operate, at least within 50 miles of our town.

I get one, who tells me he will be there in an hour.

How much will it cost to stop the alarm? A long spiel about how he won’t know until he finds out what the issue is, and if the alarm needs replacing …

“I just want the alarm stopped …how much will that cost?”

“Well, my call-out fee is €35”.

“Grand, I will have that for you …”

“I will be there in an hour or two …”

“You said an hour, can you hear the alarm, we need to stop it …”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thanks. See you in an hour.”

The alarm had actually stopped twice, but resumed. It stops a third time, and this time silence. Relief.

Naturally, I have no cash, and have to get properly dressed, and down, in the rain, to the only ATM in the village, and back.

I explain to K and O I have to go and get money and there is an electrician coming.

“Can you get me something in the shops,” K interjects … “salt and vinegar crisps … Pringles, if they have them …?

I’m back, Money on the counter, crisps proffered — “They didn’t have Pringles?” — grab a few food items, issue instructions and off to the bus stop.

Avoiding being soaked by cars as I head down the path.

My bus app tells me it is due in five minutes, nicely timed for the train station.

Then the app says 10 minutes …  I’m a little anxious now.

A few yards from me a schoolboy cycling on the path shouts out “You bastard!” as a car comes too close and drenches him with a mini-tsunami of water and soggy leaves.

It’s 1.33 now and the train is in 12 minutes.

Then the big yellow 33 arrives, just in time, I reckon, for me to be too late for the train. But enough time to still hope …

We splash through the village, and I jump off at the train stop and the long green tube is pulling into the station as I splosh on down the platform, just remembering to tag on my bus/train travel card as I run.

Cost me 100 quid one time when I failed to do that.

I phone from the train, and the electrician is already there and the alarm is no more. He agrees to return on the Monday with a new smoke alarm.

Work itself is a busy blur, but the time passes quickly.

I am finished in time for the 11.20pm bus, the last one, but there is one last drama.

I have forgotten my phone charger and my phone is dead. And I haven’t topped up my travel card credit on the app.

The driver tells me my credit is in minus and my card won’t cover this trip.

We live 20 miles from the city.

I tell him my phone is dead, but the next time I top up, the card will go into positive credit, and the money owing will be deducted.

The bastard is not having it, and switches off the bus engine dramatically, announcing to me and the silent, seething passengers, he is happy to wait for the police to come and sort this out.

I am too tired to be angry or even embarrassed, and just calmly play my last card … I have €2.30 in change (the fare is €3.30) and I will go as far as this will take me …

He watches my coins disappear into the metal box, relents, and issues a ticket for the full journey.

This day is nearly over as I get off the bus, hoping for a better, dryer, tomorrow.

Just No alarms, and no surprises … please!

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Mission MindfulnessLucy At Home UK parenting blogger

DIY Daddy

Shank You Very Much


3 Little Buttons


55 comments on “Alarm-ageddon and other stories

  1. Does make for an entertaining story afterwards – though I’m sure you could have lived without the pain at the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been there, done that, keep at it, patience and consistently is key, your pup will get the hang of it eventually #globalblogging@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

    • Boy is she a tough one … she can go for ages withiut peeing and then, suddenly … Of course she doesnt warn us!!😊😀


  3. Goodness. Another tough day at the office;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Been there! Patience, Enda! Patience!

    I am now trying to toilet train a guinea pig with a short badder!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, but with a short bladder at least he won’t hold it in for ages and keep you guessing. I’m guessing!😀


  5. Well done for getting through all of that – you must have wished you could have been alone in your bubble!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It us tough going isn’t this parent business Larky X #triumphanttales

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It sure can be!!! Sometimes, luckily!!!


  8. You’re not selling getting a dog to me Enda!! Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales. Do come back next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Daydreamer mum

    Urgh , not the kin of great day you’re going to look back fondly on. Hope your weekend picked up a little!!!#globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m going to say what no one else has… that bus driver is a jerk! I do understand the minus credits, but jeez just notice when someone is on the brink of madness! #GlobalBlogging


  11. Luckily I was too tired to get aggressive Heather. I got home alright. Funnily enough I didn’t say thanks to the driver as I usually do at the end of the trip. More galling, really, was the stony silence from my fellow passengers!


  12. Its never boring is it? Dogs are just as much work as kids sometimes, and many of the commands we need them to follow are the same #thatfridaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  13. They are a bit of work, but they are brilliant to have around!


  14. What a day! I hope you could sit down with a beverage of your choice when you got home!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Blimey!!! What a day to have. The bus driver would have been the absolute last straw for me. Good to hear you got back ok though. For a second I thought you may have got kicked off the bus. Don’t imagine that! Here’s to better days. Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. diynige

    That’s some day mate and you have convinced me not to have dog I really couldn’t stand the mess Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Liked by 1 person

  17. RaisieBay

    Well this wasn’t a day to test your patience by half! I bet you’re glad you don’t get too many like that. Fingers crossed that Lilly get the hang of where not to pee very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sure am … Lily getting better, now mostly confined to unleashing small amounts when she gets very excited. Usually when she hasn’t seen any of us for a while!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Lucy At Home

    Oh no! What a day! Why is it that these things always seem to happen one after the other??

    Your alarm story reminds me of the time our fire alarm decided to go off for no reason. It had only been fitted a few months earlier as part of an initiative by the local Fire Service. We managed to take it off the wall but the battery compartment was sealed shut so we couldn’t take them out. We wrapped the wretched thing in blankets and buried it under as many cushions we could find to try and stifle the noise. We had to live with it like that for 3 days until the Fire Service community officer could come out and sort it out for us! Haha. #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeepers that sounds way worse than our experience … at least ours stopped completely after an hour or so. The electrician I hired arrived as promised, and took down the alarm. He promised to return with a new alarm on the Monday and fit it — but we haven’t seen him, or the replacement alarm since. Just hope we don’t have a fire!!!


  19. Oh goodness Enda, I felt myself becoming more and more tense as I read about your ordeal of a day, I don’t think I breathed until the end. There are few things more stressful than an alarm that won’t switch off, a late bus, a peeing puppy and truculent teenagers but you had them all together in one day! I can’t believe the other passengers on the bus were so unfriendly and wouldn’t lend a couple of coins either, honestly have none of them ever made a simple mistake?! #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: BlogCrush Week 82 - 7th September 2018 — Lucy At Home

  21. Pingback: Blogcrush week 82 – September 7th 2018 | daydreams of a mum

  22. That sure was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day! 😁#blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That is some day you had, my friend! May you have dryer days ahead! I had a cocker spaniel that leaked until she was 16 1/2. Just saying, and Gatsby, he is a good boy! #blogcrush xo

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pingback: A bark and a nark in the park before dark – Endastories

  25. Daydreamer mum

    Congratulations being featured blogger on #BlogCrush this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. That’s a day and a half. I couldn’t help chuckling at the tales of Lily though.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Happiness is a warm puppy, Said good ‘ol Chuck Schultz. A warm puddle, meh… May all be better, drier and quieter ahead. #ablogginggoodtime xo

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh wow what a day. Hope there was a large drink at the end of it!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime


  29. #thesatsesh you survived – this surely means you’ve earned a celebration of some sort? Perhaps not salt and vinegar pringles though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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