Thursday, 26 January 2012
8. Ah Bless!
(Apologies! Blog numbers 8 & 9 got left behind and only discovered when posting No. 10! So this one should have been about 5th Jan 2012!)
This is getting a little monotonous. After Bella’s excursions into the school playing fields (during Christmas break – no children harmed in this trespass) and her escapades into the neighbour’s garden, she’s been under house arrest for long enough to make the punishment more than the owners can bear!
After being woken up one morning with dog Handler Number One shouting out of the bedroom window: “Hey! That’s not your garden!” I just knew it was going to be a long day.
With one fence raised and no (visible) means of entry to the school playing fields, Bella wasted no time visiting the neighbour’s beautifully laid out flower beds among the well manicured lawn paths. Not exactly the good impression one would like to make among the neighbours in a new village! But they were both very calm and continually told us not to worry and that we could fetch our doggy anytime!
The frustration is that we cannot just let Bella out into the garden at regular intervals, but we now have to take her for wee walks a few times a day (I love that pun!) Not that we don’t take her on regular walks anyway – Handler Number One is up and out before the sun rises each morning and one of us tries to take her another longish walk during the day – if it’s not raining cats and dogs!
Walks are good times any time of day. It’s good to be out in the country (winter) air, suitably clad with thick socks, wellies, jacket, scarf, hat and gloves. January seems to be the windy month and trees, grasses and clouds all seem to dance to the wind’s tune as it roars, whistles and whispers along the pathways. During the daylight walks there’s many a casual conversation with other dog walkers usually including the “What breed is she?” question everyone asks about Bella (A bit of Chow, a bit of Staffie and probably a bit of Husky.)
While prowling the streets as the sun was setting (just before 4pm) looking for one light coloured, free-running female hound, I was waylaid by another neighbour who asked in jest, “Have you lost him?!” Well yes, I replied, have you seen my dog?! Twenty minutes later, having learnt neighbour’s name, address and previous address over twenty years ago, he gave this useful piece of information about the Suffolk natives: “Their favourite saying,” said he, “is: Ah! Bless! Doesn’t matter what’s going on! The TV could be sailing through the lounge window on to the pavement and they would simply look and say Ah Bless!” This was an attempt at explaining the unfazed attitude of the country folk here in the east of England! However, I still feel uneasy and unhappy that Bella would visit the neighbour’s manicured garden without permission!
Walks are good times any time of night! The wee walk at the end of a day when the wind is blowing the clouds away reveals the stars as bright and unfazed as the villagers seem to be. So what if it’s 5ºC, with an evil wind dancing through my hair and pinching my exposed hands and nose until they glow red! The parish lantern (another local saying I really like!) is shining bright and the stars add a winter sparkle to the dark mysterious sky.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! …… When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him….? (Psalm 8 v 3)
How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! …. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Psalm 147 v 4)
(The fence will be fixed by the weekend!)