Essentials for sanity in trying times ...
Ok. I realise anyone looking at this will think I've changed my mind about dogs, but no. They are but mere adjuncts to the prime ingredient in this blip. And on this occasion, very wet adjuncts: if you think the photo is strangely blurred it's because it's been raining all day and didn't stop just because I wanted a photo.
It was when I first moved here, almost 47 years ago, that I realised the importance of having One Friend. It's lovely if you have several people you call friends, and even lovelier if they live in the same area, but one at a time will do just nicely. And what is even more amazing - or perhaps it's just an essential ingredient - is the serendipity that brings you someone who fits with several of your eccentricities and complements the rest by being completely different. (Like a dog lover, for instance - I've enjoyed the friendship of three such in my time here).
In life as we're living it right now, I need someone who is willing to be utterly crazy when it comes to going for walks in a downpour, climbing over fences totally unsuitable for septuagenarians, giggling when we both might lose our cool instead, discussing family, religion, upcoming sermons, sermons that have been, mutual acquaintances, and even politics - the last encompassing the very real possibility of complete disagreement that won't be fatal. As I once said in a sermon about the importunate widow, my pal Di would be the one who might mutter imprecations if I turned up looking for a spare loaf at midnight, but she'd get up and give me it, and I'd know she would.
Other things that brightened today, in addition to the complete soaking before we'd even had lunch: the trees are still there, still glorious, still lighting up the road; the woman who slowed down just in time to avoid the lake across the road that would have drowned us (and the dogs) had she skooshed through it and then told us we were to be in Band 2 of the latest Covid regs and ended up advising me how to go back to cutting my own hair (my hairdresser is in Band 3); the floods that didn't trap me on my return journey home because someone seemed to have cleared a drain (this was a nagging worry throughout the walk).
And now I'm free to do my Italian lessons, write this blip, make dinner early (I was so late with lunch that I just had some newly-made brown bread and honey) and feel that because I walked in the morning I've made up time.
I am very probably mad - but I'm not alone!
Adding one of my few remaining extras because I can't resist...