The wattles are starting to come out along the river so, Sunday a week back - which was a corker of a day - The Boss thought we ought to take the billy-lids on another picnic.
He's a bit out of practice he reckons - back when the Young Missus and her brothers were around it was full-on, he says, and things like picnics were essential to keep the brood busy. He says he's forgotten how much work it all was.
He reckons all his kids took it in shifts - particularly the twins, Search and Destroy - to torment him, deny him sleep, stop him ever listening to the footy.
So he used to try and keep them busy and he gave them all little jobs, like carrying chairs and axes and shovels and collecting sticks for the fire and that sort of thing, trying to tire them out but also teach them stuff.
With the billy-lids he seems to have given up asking them to do anything much and he plods around carting all the gear down to the sandbar by himself.
In fact, he seems to let them do anything they like, whereas he's always telling me and Queenie to sit, stay, go out, come, be quiet and be obedient. What is it about the billy-lids that makes them special?
Like, the Missus was going crook because the young feller was piling gum leaves on to the fire and spreading smoke everywhere but The Boss just chuckled and sipped his cup of tea. In fact, he let out a hoot when all the leaves combusted and up they went, like a North Korean rocket taking off.
I noticed Queenie had snuck off to have a lie-down up the bank a bit and I just managed to catch her before she was settling down. You can see how happy she was to see me, but it was a bit noisy down by the barbecue with the Missus going mad about the smoke and everything.
Naturally I got back in amongst it pretty soon because I could see The Boss was cooling off the spare sausages on the cooling grate. He pretends it has nothing to do with me but I know he's saving a few snags for we hounds - and me in particular.
I hear him whistling back and forth to a shrike-thrush and then leaning back in his chair like he'd really like to doze off in the late winter sun - but with the billy-lids around it isn't going to happen.
I saw him get down on his knees to help the young-young Missus toast a marshmellow and show her how to stop it falling off the end of the stick into the fire - when he looked straight at me, not angry or anything - but as though he'd like to lie back on the sand, smelling the wattles, with me for a cushion. Woof.