Much as I adore being at home nowadays and the benefits of being able to work from here and genuinely add to our income (by writing - which is something I never thought would REALLY happen, despite it being all I ever wanted to do) I do, on occasion, get cabin fever and need to be away from the house, away from the computer, away from the kids and away from it all.
On those occasions I grab Duke and head out to our favourite park in Sherborne where we'll bump into dozens of other dogs and their owners, meaning I can chat to strangers (I like chatting to strangers) and I can watch Duke having fun and running around.
We have one of those big long things that lob tennis balls a distance that makes me feel like I'm very impressive - and he loves loves LOVES running after them. Not so much actually picking them up and bringing them back...
That's good though, it means I get a long walk too. I take three balls, I throw one, walk to where he's marked the spot by sitting beside it looking at me, then throw another whilst I collect up the first and in that way we do laps of the whole park.
By then he's hot, thirsty and panting - so we head to the river with a handful of sticks (I don't throw the ball in, he'd never bring it back) and I throw them from the bank and he dives in and out, helping himself to a big drink whilst he's in there.
If it's a very nice day I wade in there too and cool myself down whilst we're at it. There's a lot of freshwater mussels in there so yesterday I gathered some of those up; those should make a nice snack later!
Nothing makes me as calm and happy as that little break from home and work, and seeing Duke enjoy himself. It's like being alone but better.
How could this beautiful spot fail to make anyone happy?