Underwhelming, because I've got the post-handing-in-a-chapter disorientation. Because 'editing' old chapters feels like hard work. Because I marked 55 exam scripts which did nothing to convince me that the A-level curriculum is any kind of preparation for a specialized study of English Literature. Because it has been cold and wet.
Heartrending because Poppy, our retriever ('our' as in my family in Richmond), died this week at the relatively young age of 12. It all came as something of a shock- I last saw her just under three weeks ago, and she was at her best, tearing through newly-planted hedges and digging up flowerbeds and so on. She was a very 'doggy' dog, in the best sense of that word, which is to say that she was chiefly motivated by food and paid little regard to the niceties of human etiquette. That isn't to say that she wasn't affectionate, or wouldn't play with humans: rather, she was something of a connoisseur of the dirty pawprint on the newly-mopped floor, the underwear stolen from the room of a little-known guest, the surreptitiously 'tasted' baking. The latter speciality was the case in one of my favourite Poppy anecdotes of all time. When I was about sixteen- maybe even fifteen still- and she was in that interim stage dogs go through where they're too big to be called puppies and too immature to be anything else, I was walking up the step out of the kitchen into the living room. Everyone else was through in the office, or whatever that room at the back was at the time (I admit the geography here only makes sense to people who ever visited West Terrace) and I heard a slurping noise. I turned around to find Poppy, with her paws up on the surface, licking- not eating, just licking- a plate of newly-baked flapjacks. The detail here is in the licking, I think. Anyway, there are many others in that vein, which is why she was such a good dog. I can't see the point in dogs if they don't misbehave. So, thanks for all the comedy and other good times (which mostly featured at least a soupcon of hilarity.)
Anyhow, bit gutted this week. Twenty to six? Friday? It's almost a quarter to pub!