Saturday, August 28, 2010

Life with Riley

A dog came to stay a few days. I can’t think of another mutt who could induce me to offer a spell of pro-bono dog-sitting but Riley is a charmer: a pint-sized border collie possessed of abundant charm and personality. On our Dalem walks he routed every squirrel in sight. He would have chased stick all day if my throwing arm hadn’t eventually fallen off. We proved a useful birder too, flushing grouse, chasing crows, daring ravens to accept a fight to the finish. Yep, I was sorry when the interlude came to an end.

We inherited a bucket of fresh filleted mackerel. Which provided an excuse to get the smoker back in action. What with Jan’s marvellous marinade and a good fire of birch and green alder the proceeds were just as gratifying as planned.

We continue to be blessed with fine summer weather. The swimmin’ hole is just about perfect. Tonight we go for gold: it is prime time for the annual late-August bioluminescent diatom extravaganza. Accounts and descriptions will follow.

Meanwhile Doris makes excellent progress in Halifax. She manages to sit for hours now and walks the hallways of Ward 8.4. Next week she expects to move to a rehab unit. Once the hospital stint is over the dear old girl will have a new address. She’s given notice at Caxton Close and will move to an apartment in an assisted-living facility in Truro. Daughter Nancy will be close at hand and Doris will be an hour closer to us. She looks forward to forging a flurry of new friendships.

Less than two weeks to go before we depart with Lynn and Louise for a fortnight in Ireland. The principal draw is a 180-km, 8-day walk around the Dingle Peninsula. If you’ve ever seen David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter you might understand why I’ve long harboured a desire to wander that corner of the emerald isle. Given the thirst likely to build over the course of a long day on the trail, I look forward to concluding each day at a pub with a view, a cool glass of Guinness in hand.

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