Lucy dog is now let off the leash on walks, but it’s a heart stopping moment. She powers off with the other two panting in her wake for a couple of hundred yards before they give up. She becomes a faint dot on the horizon before she disappears from view. Perhaps you hear her belling in a wood somewhere far off, or a ripple of faint barking when she comes within sight or smell of dogs on nearby farms. Then, perhaps 15 minutes later, she re-appears. At least this way she gets sufficient exercise but one is faced with half an hour’s work removing burrs from her coat once you get her home.
We’ve got summer back, nudging 30 over the next few days. It coincides with my annual hedge trimming. This is an art since blocks of the top have to be left to grow in order to screen out the latest visual outrages by the grandson. When I first got here, I’d purr through it in a day. Now I take gentle nibbles at it with long rests in between when I dab the insect bites with anti-itch cream. Sometime I should give up smoking – but not yet.

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