Sheer fun

This has been a very difficult year. So many challenges and tough decisions and sad stuff and bad stuff and it’s not over yet. Not only is the year not over but we’re not through with the tough, bad and sad stuff either. 

So we decided – I decided – to add another complication to our lives and get an Airdale puppy😱. 

This decision followed  a brief trip to Holland to see lovely Helen, and having seen three such dogs cavorting on the beach. In fact there were hundreds of dogs at the beach all playing in the sand and scooting about with their upright and oh so healthy looking Dutch owners. Really it could have been an advert for dog food or the benefits of dog ownership or even a mass trespass of dog walkers. There were that many you could not but smile.

It was like this times ten. And it made me very happy, which was the point of going. That and cycling and walking many miles jabbering on to my dear friend. 

Anyhoo that’s when I decided. Enough pros and cons. Enough shall we shan’t we? There’s always going to be a reason not to do it. Get the puppy. I rang, we drove to Southampton and paid our money and brought him home. 

 So small and so cute with slightly wistful eyes. This is Douglas. Dougie. We already have Tom so two more and we have a McFly tribute band. Anything is possible. 

Doug the dog has been with us for three and a half weeks. And he had already been worth every penny we paid for him. He is everything a puppy should be. A chewing, racing, chasing, falling over on the bends, poop monster.  

Pardon the pants! He’s not staying small and cute -he’s now leggy and gangly and a complete wrecker. He’s met a number of dogs some of whom made it plain they didn’t care for his full on love assault. Was he abashed or diminished by this? Not in the least. He backs off a little and tries to engage them again, from a different angle. 

It’s hard work and feels like madness at moments but we are laughing aloud every day whilst wiping up his piddle and rescuing books and toys from his clutches

So for once the Thompsons did not overthink and and analyse. We just did it. Watch this space. 

Orchid revival

Josh bought me this plant some 18 months ago for a Mother’s Day gift. It was extravagant and in my opinion (then) unnecessary considering the state of his finances. 

I looked after it and then I didn’t, and it spent last winter huddled in a corner of the garden near the house with some other neglected geraniums, sheltering each other among the dying leaves and taking their chances. When I finally gave them some attention, snipping off dead stalks, repotting etc it was in a sorry state, more brown than green and no blooms at all. I was tempted just to bin it but in honour of my son and his love for me I kept it and, while I didn’t lavish it with love, I kept an eye on it and snipped obvious dead bits off as close to the base as I could. 

It still looks ragged and frost bitten in places, but it’s put forth new growth and I can count one, two, three … seven stems with blooms about to flower. 

It’s survived, against all the odds. It’s survived my love, my overwatering and hard pruning – and my neglect. That gives me hope that there’s a power in this world stronger than me and my strategies and lack of them. And that power is a mystery to me so I’m grateful and humbled. 
Ps I could have cropped out the milk  bottle and the marigolds. But they’re the stuff of life too really, aren’t they?