I love Dog. You do, if you own a dog. Get a dog and watch as your DNA mutates into a slobbering devoted mess.
But there are things that make me question my general besottedness. Like his insistence on ignoring the fresh water I carry for him on a long walk if there’s a puddle with the black gooey consistency of a doggichino. Or how he will attack a horse or sheep turd with the relish I save for gingerbread muffins. He’s a carnivore, for pity’s sake – well ok an omnivore but the veggie are definitely fillers – yet climb a grassy hillside where the sheep have been grazing and he’s hoovering up their offerings like a Dyson commercial.
Which is exactly where we were a week or so ago.
As you, dear readers, most of you anyway, know, I was, in a different universe, an overpaid member of the legal profession, all dark city whistles (whistle and flute: suit) and shoes that proved the malleability of feet. I was lucky to make some very good friendships, though, and a group of us, now all beyond the day to day grind, regularly visit places from which we can walk while chewing the fat, laughing at our past and current pretensions and praising the day we moved on.
This month it was to Dorset that we repaired and specifically the Isle of Purbeck. We wandered up and down, around Swanage and Corfe Castle, we meandered along the coastal path towards the beautifully named Worth Matravers.
In particular we stopped at the eccentric Durlston Castle (which I also visited recently with the Archaeologist). This country park of some 280 acres was the brainchild of a stone magnate, George Burt, who pretty much paved London in the 19th century and created this place as a visitor attraction, using recycled stone for the purpose.
The centrepiece of which is a stone globe with a somewhat bizarre (nowadays) 1880s world map in relief thereupon.
The countries reflect the then European Empires and the geography is somewhat, hmm, off-kilter.
But around it are statistics and worthy sayings that make you wonder what the Victorians thought on their days out, possibly by charabanc from Swanage.
But this last by Pope, well, it still has resonance today. If you can, visit. The tea rooms alone justify the effort!