Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 79: the one with the First Birthday

Dexter: Arch, Arch, it’s my birthday! I’m one today!

Archie: I know, Pipsqueak. Happy birthday.

Dexter: What did you get me? Huh? Huh?

Archie: It’s round and squeaks.

Dexter: A ball! Yay!

Archie: Mum’s going to make you a birthday cake. Except you got so excited that she has to mop the floor first.

Dexter: Mum, hurry up and make my cake. Pleeeeeeeeease.

A short while later…

Dexter: Is that my cake? Is it, is it?

(Much impatient waiting for it to be cooked and for the mashed potato ‘icing’ to be made.)

Meanwhile: birthday chews!

Dexter: Arch, you have to sing to me now.

Archie, sighing: Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Pipsqueak – now shut up and let’s have cake! Yummy!

(They did save enough for the neighbours’ dogs to have a slice. But it went very quickly…)

Dexter: Arch, I’ve had a lovely birthday. Now I need a nap. Be my pillow?

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life, Writing news

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 78: the one with the RNA Awards

Dexter: Arch, Mum’s excited and she’s asking people on Facebook what she should wear. What’s happening?


Archie: It’s the RNA Awards today, Pipsqueak. Mum’s been shortlisted for the Liberta Book Shorter Romantic Fiction Award. It’s quite a big deal – it’s for her 90th book for Mills & Boon, and they first published her 20 years ago, when Chloe was the same age as you’ll be at the end of the month.

Dexter: So what’s that weird noise?

Archie: The hairdryer. She only uses it when she has to make her hair look really nice. Not like normal, when she just washes it and lets it dry while we’re out for a walk.

Dexter: And what’s that red stuff?

Archie: Lipstick. Oh, yeah, she hasn’t worn make-up since you were born and it’s all dried up so she had to go out and get more. That’s why we had scampi for lunch.

Dexter: Is lipstick as nice as biscuits?

Archie, laughing: Well, you can try licking it off her face. But not until after the awards do.

Dexter: It’s weird, seeing Mum dressed up. She’s normally as scruffy as you are.

Archie: Oi!

Dexter: Why do we have to sit quietly on the sofa with Dad?

Archie: Because it’s a Lockdown Awards Do – that means it’s on zoom, instead of her abandoning us to go to London.

Dexter: So we could go and leap on her and say hello to loads of people all over the world. After all, we are her Edit-paw-ial Assistants. She can’t write books without us at her feet.

Archie: No. Apparently there are technical problems. Let’s have a nap.


Dexter: Mum’s crying! Noooo! We need to be there and make her better!

Archie: She’s not crying because she’s upset. She’s happy! She won!

Dexter: And you were lying about lipstick tasting nice… Pah!


Dexter: It’s all very nice, this rose Prosecco and that, but where are the biscuits?

Archie: All the excitement’s tired me out. Let’s go to sleep and dream of the biscuits I just know she’ll buy us tomorrow…

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 77: the one with the snow [video]

Dexter: Arch, Arch, what’s this white stuff?
Archie: It’s snow, Pipsqueak.
Dexter: It doesn’t smell. It doesn’t taste. But my paws are cold – and it’s skiddy!
Archie: The first time I saw snow, I was five months younger than you are now. And we had a trampoline. Snow’s fun.
Dexter: I’m cold. I’m going in for a biscuit and a cuddle.

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 75: the one with Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside…

(With apologies to John Glover-Kind…)

Archie: We didn’t get our New Year walkies by the sea, Pipsqueak – thanks to lockdown and the weather. So let’s look back at last summer in our favourite place. We can sing about it…


Every dog delights to have a doggy holiday
Down beside the side of the silvery sea.
We’re no exception to the rule, in fact, if we’d our way,
We’d reside by the side of the silvery sea.

But when you’re just a spaniel you can’t drive out to the sea
You have to wait and plead
Until the parents agree
You save up all your biscuits so you can have a packed tea
(Archie: Unless the cafe’s open and you can beg a sausage roll)
Then away they take you to Wells-next-the-Sea…

Oh! We do like to be beside the seaside!
We do like to be beside the sea!
Oh we do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
(Dexter: Arch, there isn’t a prom, just endless sand and dunes!
Archie: Shh, Pipsqueak, it’s the chorus!)
Where the brass bands play, “Tiddely-om-pom-pom!”
(Dexter: Arch, there aren’t any brass bands, either! Just dogs.
Archie: All right, Pipsqueak…)
Where the other doggies say, “Woofity-wuff-wuff-wuff!”

So just let us be beside the seaside!
We’ll be beside ourselves with glee,
And there’s lots of dogs beside,
I should like to be beside,
Beside the seaside,
Beside the sea!

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 74: the one with the New Year

Dexter: Arch, Arch, what’s New Year?
Archie: It’s the first day of the year, Pipsqueak. Your first new year (just as this was your first Christmas).
Dexter: And?
Archie: Usually we go to the beach.
Dexter: Running around, playing with lots of dogs, jumping in the waves, then going to the cafe so the parents can get coffee and we get a hot sausage roll.
Archie: Yes. But not this year. We’re back in lockdown. So we’re home. Naps on the sofa. Oh, and we’re supposed to make resolutions.
Dexter: What are resolutions?
Archie: They’re things you try to do in future so you’re healthier and happier.
Dexter: That’s easy. More walkies — and more snacks.
Archie: I think Mum would prefer you only to eat food in future. Not the tea towels, not the corner of her favourite tablecloth you chewed this morning, and definitely no more scourers.
Dexter: You have to admit, it was great having chicken and mash three times a day.
Archie: Yeah, but Mum in worry mode is like the worst thing ever. We need to give her more cuddles to make up for it.
Dexter: Then that’s my resolution. More walkies, more snacks and more cuddles.
Archie: That’s a good one. I think humans ought to do that, too — well, when they’re allowed to hug again. Happy New Year!

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 73: the one with the dining room chair

Dexter: Arch, I’m hungry.

Archie: Pipsqueak, you’re always hungry.

Dexter: How can I get Mum to give me more dinner?

Archie: To be fair, when you pushed your bowl round the floor, she gave you more kibble.

Dexter: I don’t want kibble. I want yummy roast turkey and sausages with bacon.

Archie: No chance.

Dexter: There must be something.

Archie: You could try making her laugh. Sit on the dining room chair and she’ll get the hint that you want your dinner.

(Dexter sits on the dining room chair and woofs: where’s my dinner?)

Archie: Woofing is going to get you told off for being pushy, Pipsqueak. You need to look like a poor, hungry, hard-done-by spaniel. Like this…

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 72 – the one with Pipsqueak’s first Christmas

Dexter: Arch, Arch, what’s Christmas?

Archie: Pipsqueak, it’s when Santa Paws brings us new toys and yummy things. The parents eat too much and play board games with the kids and there’s cheese – and we get Christmas Dinner. Like Sunday roast but better.

Dexter: Is that why that tree is on top of all the music?

Archie: It’s there so you don’t pull the reindeer off and chew the tinsel. But, yes, it’s a Christmas tree and if it’s like last year that means some of the parcels underneath it are ours.

(Christmas Eve)

Dexter: Arch, Arch, is Santa Paws here yet?

Archie: No, but we’ll keep watch…

(Christmas Day, morning)

Dexter: Arch, Arch, Santa Paws has been! That thing I sniffed under the tree when I stood on the arm of the chair – it’s ours!

Archie: Calm down. You’re moving so fast Mum can’t take good pictures. We’re blurs! Calm down. We have all day. And you’re licking the wrapper, Pipsqueak. The good stuff is actually INSIDE the stocking…

(Christmas Day, evening)

Dexter: Mmm. Turkey. Walkies. Sausages wrapped in bacon. More turkey. A roast potato. Walkies AGAIN, yippee! Though the parents got a bit excited about the light in the sky.

Archie: Dad says it was a UFO. Mum says it was probably a bolide.

Dexter: What’s a bolide?

Archie: I don’t know, either.

Dexter: I don’t understand half of what Mum says. But never mind. My tummy’s full. And did you see how well I’ve trained Chloe? I lay on my back and lifted my paws, and she came and sat next to me and rubbed my tummy.

Archie: Yeah, but Chris gave me extra bacon.

Dexter: Because you’re bigger than me. I’m exhausted. What a day! I’m going to have a nap on Mum’s lap.

Archie: So am I. Though I really think you shouldn’t have scoffed those Brussels sprouts. They’ve made you a bit gassy.

Dexter: The turkey made YOU gassy. Haha. Can we do it all over again tomorrow? Christmas EVERY DAY?

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 70: the one with the king of the castle

Dexter: Look at this, Arch! It’s a big pile of sand with a racetrack round it.
Archie: It’s a sandcastle, Pipsqueak.

Dexter: What’s a sandcastle?
Archie: It’s where kids — and sometimes teens — build a castle, and what you think is a racetrack is a moat that gets filled with water when the tide comes in. Sometimes they bring buckets of water from the sea but it sinks down and never fills.
Dexter: Water to play in — yay! I love the sea.
Archie: I know, Pipsqueak. And sometimes they sing songs. I think they’re meant to stand on top and sing, ‘I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal…’ Except you’re the rascal, Pipsqueak! Let’s have a race!