A steamy, damp Monday morning greeted me on chucking the dogs out into the garden this morning. What a change from yesterday - although by evening, the sky was a uniform grey tinged with yellow, a sure sign of rain to come. I was distinctly bleary-eyed. At least three times during the night, the dogs had rushed downstairs barking hysterically, and having been constantly woken up, I felt in bad shape. I assume it was a fox on the prowl, because this morning, the dogs picked up a trail of something interesting around the garden.
Even though I had had yet another enjoyable weekend, so many people say to me in concerned fashion "I expect your weekends are your worst time - I expect they drag, and you feel rather lonely" My unspoken response would be "How about asking me out" but in truth, there is always at least one invitation, family or friends visiting or staying, or perhaps two days in which to just chill out and relax.
Yesterday, for instance, some great friends invited me to the Christening of their first grandchild, which they were hosting at their home. I was thrilled to be invited, not least because I am extremely fond of their daughter and son-in-law. I have found since I have been on my own, that friends have often included me in their family gatherings.
The Christening took place in the local village church where the young couple had married 4 years before, and I had had the joy of decorating the church for them.
The sun shone, baby Tabitha behaved beautifully, and we enjoyed lunch in the garden, with lots of pink fizz and delicious food. Talking to all the young, and seeing all the small children running round the garden, blowing bubbles, and paying games, it slowly dawned on me that I have now joined the ranks of the older generation, the grandparents, to be exact. How time flies.
It was all tinged with an almost unbearable poignancy - because I realised that I would never host such an occasion myself, in similar circumstances. My lovely home is the perfect place for such a gathering, but it will not now happen. I felt, in some ways, like the spectre at the feast. I still have to explain to people, if they are only acquaintances, why I am on my own - it takes time for a change in circumstances to filter through to the wider world.
When I arrived home, I was in deep trouble. The dog posse were so unamused by being left alone for 4 hours, for heaven's sake, 4 whole hours, that I had hardly turned off the burglar alarm, before they stationed themselves by the kitchen door, "Walkies, NOW", the body language of three abandoned pooches almost febrile in its urgency.
Off we went, me muttering under my breath that I would much rather have a cup of tea, and attack the Sunday papers. The irony of all this - after about 10 minutes Maud and the Baddog turned tail, and headed for home, leaving Bill and I to trail back behind them. Contrary? Pah!
Today - will any of them go out, apart from a quick visit to feed the sheep? Not at all - but, it has now stopped raining, and the sun is weakly showing, so tough luck, lazy dogs. After their behaviour during the night, they will toe MY line. Out we all go.
4 hours ago