The bad news is that my Labrador, Lucky, had a stroke recently and she isn't too well. When she had the stroke I thought it was curtains. She couldn't stand up, kept crashing into things and didn't seem to know where she was. After some serious doses of Cortisone and now some tablets for her blood she seems better, although she is still very dodgy on her legs. She is nearly 14 so the moment of reckoning cannot be that far away. Hey ho.
The seriously marvellous good news is that our neighbour died, quite unexpectedly. He was only 70 which, in Italian expectancy terms, makes him a virtual teenager. But his falling off his perch has changed our lives. They lived in Genoa. He and his wife used their house here as a summer home. So they came up at the beginning of May and left around the end of September. Psychologically he always had the advantage in that his house is above our road so when we came to our gate we had to look up to see if he was there. He was the most unpleasant, inconsiderate, selfish, pig-ignorant person I have ever met. When they were in residence there was a constant stream of noise. He had an electronic organ with all the disco-effect bells and whistles that he loved to play for hours on end. At maximum volume. Pum-padda-pum-padda-pum-padda-pum. Their dog howled for hours when they went away. Their TV was always on maximum volume. When we suggested that they might have more consideration for their neighbours (us) he used to say that when in the "countryside" he wanted to do what he liked. They even had a bloody cuckoo clock which joyfully chirruped every sodding hour. They argued incessantly. Earlier this year he had an intestinal blockage, went under the knife and, wonderfully, it was too late. His widow can't drive so for now we are in delicious isolation.
There is a God.
Thank You. Thank you. Thank you*
* © Jenny Agutter, The Railway Children.