It started with a mini-tragedy (at least in the high-octane and over-excited world of Labrador Life). Flossie's old yellow ball on a rope has gone missing, so she was given a replacement, just a supermarket cheapie, but to which she became instantly attached. It flies through the air with the greatest of ease, and it has a bell inside so that she has a better chance of noticing where it lands than she would by just looking wildly around while galumphing in all directions.
Even I can throw this jingly ball on a rope impressively far, and today I threw it into a tree. By mistake, of course; I haven't yet mastered the aiming. While Flossie continued to search the ground with obsessive thoroughness, the idea of looking up into trees not having occurred to her, my ludicrous attempts to bend lower branches in order to bend higher branches, etc etc, simply got the rope even more firmly tangled, about 15 feet above the ground.
I had to give up and take a very unhappy dog home, as she cast looks of longing over her shoulder, and worse, I had to leave her at home while I went out for lunch. Walking. There's something about walking without a dog that feels illicit, and the reproachful looks that followed me to the corner from two abandoned dogs in the front window weighed heavily. A bad thrower and a dog-abandoner....
I met Anne (of Frayed at the Edge) and husband Malcolm for lunch at the Biscuit Factory, and was given this:
It's for darning with. Yes, darning, should I ever need to (and I do know how to darn, although it must be 40 years since I last tried).
Then after a lunch where, tactfully, we had to return the tea with unidentified and slightly alarming floaters from an earlier brew, and Anne's tepid soup to have it reheated (we may never be able to show our faces in there again), we came home to my house and had more tea and a wedge of this (pear and almond tart, with cream):
Nobody complained or tried to return anything. I also received a little present for the new shower room:
After a very pleasant visit, Anne and Malcolm went home, and neighbour Sandra - taller than I am, and very useful in an emergency - went down the muddy hill and together we wrestled that tree into submission, reuniting a daft dog with her beloved ball on a rope.
Then the estate agent rang, to give feedback on the two viewings that took place yesterday (no, I wasn't going to tell you; I'm taking a more chilled approach to house viewings this time round).
Couple No. 1 loved the house, but had to sell theirs and look at their finances. Ok, nothing to get excited about there then. Couple No. 2 loved the house, but haven't yet put their house on the market, and can't afford it anyway. Ok, but why did....
Anyway, chill, chill.
The estate agent mentioned having left a message for me on the answer phone. Later I listened to it and heard some new words: Couple No. 1 loved the house, but had to sell theirs and look at their finances, but with a view to making an offer.
Chill, chill. "A view to" isn't the same as making.... Encouraging start though, for the time of year!
Oh, and why did I need that bit of darning wool? For these lovely cheerful socks that Anne knitted for me (as if I would ever be so careless as to make a hole in them!):
Socks for wearing when feeling chilled. In the nicest sense of the word.