The Winding Path . . . . . .
. Goes ever on; with apologies to Tolkien.
We were looking after Hamish today; at seven years old he has matured into a nice dog – albeit a little bouncy. After lunch, I took him for a walk, following a path that I haven’t used for at least fifteen years. In another life, when I had Friday afternoons off work, I used to take our two dogs up here; the round trip takes a couple of hours and you never meet anybody. In those days, I used to take part in the annual village talent competition, the only adult ever to do so; eventually, the organiser moved away and the event disappeared from the calendar. I used the solitude of those afternoons to practice my talent – reciting poetry. As often as not, it would be a Robert Service piece, a man who I distinctly remember seeing on the television saying the he knew his poetry was rubbish but, as long as people kept asking for it, he was going to keep writing it, though that is probably all in my imagination.
Thus it was, if anyone happened to see me on a Friday afternoon, I would be striding across the fields, gesticulating wildly, and shouting my monologue at the wind. It was many years later that I discovered that The Old Man used to recite “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” as a party piece; it wasn’t one that I ever learned, but I would have loved to have heard him do it.
Times change, and the fences round the fields are a lot more secure than they used to be, so I had to find a new place to climb out and somewhere for Hamish to escape. He’s pretty much an ideal dog: if I stop to take some photographs, there’s always something interesting for him to investigate, if he trots on ahead and out of sight, he’ll stop and wait, and if I do lose sight of him completely, I only have to call and he will show himself; he will come if I insist but, usually, I just need to know where he is – a detail that he understands.
The extra is of a tired dog waiting to be taken home.