It is, as they say, splitting the rocks.
Let 'em split, is my answer to that. It's about time!
Our entire lives have moved outdoors - mainly into the courtyard.
It is, therefore only a matter of time before something vital is left out and ruined in the rain which will inevitably come when we least expect it and when something intrinsically valuable has been forgotten.
It happens all the time.
Once it was the visitor's book
Maybe next time it will be the camera or the handbag my son gave me for Christmas.
But for now, it is wonderful, hot, marvellous, glorious summer and the courtyard is heaven.
(And a hen-free zone!)
And even better, Top Dog is back in the building!
He went off with the In-Charge first thing on Friday morning.
We managed to mask the horror of his destination by taking the wwoofers too, thereby letting him believe he was just on an important errand, and it was only after they had been dropped off very close to the Needle Lady's dreaded abode that he smelled a rat.
He arrived home unconscious at 12.30pm and by mid-afternoon, Model Dog and I were sitting very close to him watching anxiously for signs of recovery. I mainly did the watching and Model Dog mainly did the anxiety, while Under Dog just came for regular updates and to relate in gory detail to the wide-eyed Model who, and who alone, could have reduced Top Dog to such a sorry state.
Fortunately at 5.15 he opened his eyes properly and looked at me - rather sheepishly, I thought - but I was so relieved I immediately hand-fed him a saucerful of minced up chicken left-overs.
He thought they were delicious, but did remark on how pitifully small the morsels were.
When I pointed out that small morsels didn't require him to raise his head more than a centimetre from his bed, he looked sheepish again.
Model Dog seemed to feel that anxious nurses deserved chicken left-overs too, but kindly said there was no need for me to go to the trouble of mincing them up, she'd somehow manage quite large chunks.
I told her that chicken left-overs were only for patients, whereupon she heaved a hefty sigh and retired to her couch, no doubt to dream up patient scenarios that involve neither pain nor needles.
|Top Dog displaying his terrible wounds, and grinning rather sheepishly|
By yesterday Top Dog was well enough to go for a gentle walk, and spend the day moving between the cool kitchen and the baking courtyard. Sadly the chicken morsels were all gone.
Meanwhile, the In-Charge and a friend took the fab French wwoofers out in the boat to go fishing and enjoy the sunshine.
They mooched down the river to the estuary, pausing to admire the seals sunning themselves on the sandbanks
and other fishermen on the far beach.
They climbed aboard the stranded concrete boat in mid-river.
Yes, the concrete boat. Mutually exclusive in my mind, but there you go. And did it run aground?
Yes it did.
I rest my case...
And finally they turned for home in the balmy, translucent dusk
It was nearly midnight when they got in, the sky still pink in the west.
They were, to quote an old family phrase, tired but oh, so happy.
But not too tired to feast on sea trout that still tasted of the ocean.
It was our wedding anniversary, but as - in the words of the In-Charge (romance not being his strongest suit) - we have been married for a hundred and fifty years, I didn't mind being left all day with the animals, the sunshine and my book for company!
Good company, all.
Oh summer, glorious summer!