So, the building blocks of our life - just to be cliched - are fitting together nicely, right now - and the latest, of course, has been the introduction of Snoop/Bonnie/Can't-Think-of-a-Name-Yet, a six year old black lab collie cross. We were given her by a family whose daughter is allergic to her and she has slipped into our family life as if she has always been here. And now to a lecture on why everybody should have a dog. I blogged about this before a few years ago, but hey ho, I'm going to do it again.
From our little cottage, we can step straight out into the country and go for long walks through the fields but in the three and a half months that we had been here, prior to getting Snoop/Bonnie/etc we'd taken the opportunity about five or six times. There always seemed to be more important things to do - cleaning, writing, shopping, emailing, practise, God forbid. But when you have a dog, you don't have the option. Since Bonnie/Snoop/etc came into my life, I have been walking her 2-3 times a day, rambling through meadows starred with bright yellow celandine and dandelion and daisies, walking through fields of glowing rape, down country lanes mottled with tree shadows and fringed with cow parsley. In the mornings - in spite of the fact that it is late April, there is still frost on the ground at 6 am, each blade of grass, each leaf, outlined with sparkling crystals of ice. Some mornings it is misty as well, the sheep and cows no more than lowing bundles as we pass, hawthorn blossom emerging, dewey from the mist, pink and white clusters of perfect flowers, whilst all around us the hedges are alive with twitterings and wings.
Having a dog is like having a little child again - everything must be investigated, the world is new and fresh and a wonder every day. Bonnie/Snoop/etc has not learned to be bored with life - as a teenager can be - and every part of her body, from her twitching nose, to her wiggling bottom and wagging fringed tail, delights in the joys of Spring. She feeds my fragile and battered ego with frantic tail wagging every time we meet after an enforced absence (a trip to the loo, for instance) and lies sleeping by my feet as I write.
I am awaiting clearance to be allowed to teach (DBS check - equivalent of an Australian Blue Card) and then I will not have so much time to walk and write, but for now I am loving it, though my over-active guilt gland kicks in big time, every time I think how lucky I am compared to so many others. I could go on, but I won't. I will just wallow in smugness this little while longer.