So - my lovely home is finally on the market. A very bittersweet experience - the house and garden have never looked lovelier. The weather is astounding, crisp frosty mornings, warm afternoons with the house bathed in sunlight both inside and out.
A whole gamut of emotions are running through me - this house defines me, throughout the battlefield and misery of my marriage, it was my refuge - the place where I licked my wounds over the years whilst the philanderer betrayed me with relatives, good friends, and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. I poured my love, my own money, my ideas into the house and garden. It is an expression of me, my inner self, everything that defines me. And nothing about it has anything to do with him.
As usual, I am sitting at the kitchen table, it is a glorious morning, the weather at the moment is a delight. The birds are singing their morning chorus, the sun is playing on Billy and Maud as they snuggle down in their sheepskin bed on the terrace, and I can hear the woodpecker in the willow tree, at the far end of our paddock, drumming his beak against the trunk. Rar-atat-a-tat-tat. Something is now suddenly annoying Maud, and she starts giving little barks and yelps. She can be so annoying - she is now flying to the front door, and I am getting fed up with the noise. There is noone there. I have never felt unsafe living here on my own - both Maud and Billy would see off anyone who tried to gain unauthorised entry to the house.
These two dogs are my shadows - everybody knows how much I love them, and their complete devotion has been my saving grace. As they are now back lying in the bed outside, both of them are turned towards me, their eyes fixed on me, just oozing love and affection.
Billy has become rather full of himself lately. Frankly, for a male dog, I have found him to be so gentle and no trouble, so I should be thankful for small mercies. Two days ago, a pigeon swooped too low above his bed whilst he was sunning himself, and suddenly, I heard squawks, thumping, growling, and in a flurry of downy feathers was presented with the contents for a stew for my evening meal. A few hours later, a small bird, followed by a mouse, and later still part of a very dead rabbit. I think a little re-training is necessary.
I am expecting Possetta Baddog soon for a visit - I wait in fear and trepidation as during her last visit she taught Billy to dig holes in the lawn, 14 to be exact, and since her return to London, he has been carrying on the good work. It doesn't look too good right bang in the middle of the estate agent's expensive pictures in the sale brochure. Poor old Bill - he says he is just exercising his right of passage to full manhood. God help me.
I think he is jealous of the Baddog. Whilst the Senior Daughter was at home here in the country on her extended visit from the Big Apple, the Baddog was rewarded by Barbour with the offer of her very own tailor-made dog coat. Bill thinks that is favouritism. Especially as his owner was also treated by a lovely lady from Barbour to her very own Barbour. A Barbour International, no less, tight fitting, waisted, belts and whistles, the lot, divine, and Bill says, Bah! The truth is, Bill does not take very kindly to coats, because the one time I tried to put one on him, he said, I am not going to look like a big girl's blouse, thank you very much. Sigh.
I now have to have yet another house tidy-up. The downside of selling a house is that it has to look permanently like a show house. A little tricky for the dogs and I, but we will survive. All bones, dog beds, half-chewed toys, disembowelled
furry meerkats and beavers, and old slippers chucked in cupboards - oh dear. please, prospective viewers, keep your hands off cupboard handles.
2 hours ago