As we approached, we saw two of Izzy's school friends jumping around naked, in a large inflatable paddling pool. They spotted Izzy and started shouting hello, just as one of their mothers, Julia came out from the house.
"Would Izzy like to come paddling?" she shouted to me.
"Yeh, sounds great," I shouted back, joining her in the garden with her husband Will, and friend Amanda.
"The plan is," continued Julia, "that the children wear themselves out in the paddling pool whilst us adults drink gin and tonic.
"Bloody civilised," I nodded approvingly, taking my place on a sun drenched bench.
Within moments, Will had placed a
So for three hours, we sat under the blue sky and chatted, watched life go by, and laughed at the antics of the children in the pool.
It could have been described as idyllic if it hadn't been for Naughty George. He broke free from his lead, peed up the side of one of the chairs and then proceeded to eat from a bowl of pasta that had been served to one of the children for supper. Even worse, whilst aforementioned sobbing child was being placated, he found the grated cheese pasta-topping and ate the lot.
"I'm really sorry," I shouted, trying to pin Naughty George into a corner.
"No problem," shouted Julia, "he's probably over-excited."
"No, you misunderstand," I responded, "he is called Naughty George because he is actually a complete naus."
"Yes," mused Will, regarding Naughty George disparagingly. Then without even trying to keep up the pretence of 'oh he's a nice dog really', he added "he isn't the most endearing of mutts."
So finally, the sun started setting, and I thanked everyone for a lovely afternoon and set off, striding through the village, and back to my cottage ........ where, upon arriving, I realised that I had left NG tethered to a bench at Will and Julia's house. Doh! Too many gin and tonics.
So I had to endure the 'walk of shame' (which is generally characterised by a slightly wobbly gait), and traipse back through the village to retrieve mutt, and back again through the village again to get home.
All in all though, a very pleasant afternoon, made more so because of its impromptu-ness (yeh, yeh, I made that word up, but I can't think of a better one).
So what have you been up to this weekend?