Well. First of all the good news. Freya has found a home. And, even better, she has found a home with a lovely retired couple who live just up the road from me. I shall still see the little girl every day on our 7am walk in the park. In fact, that is how she found her home, the couple own a soppy, gentle mastiff dog called Sandy who is walked in the park every morning. They've always wanted a lurcher, and met Freya and fell in love. So, to everyone who said I would keep her - I hope you are eating your words! But, it is lovely to know she'll still be in Hetty and Cyril's gang of doggy friends. A great result. Oh, and did I mention, she'll be living in a 3-storey Victorian mansion! I took her along last night for a visit, the house is so stunning I felt like asking if they would adopt me too.
Freya will be with me for a few more days while the RSPCA do all the paperwork and check out her new home. I shall take her for the traditional foster dog treat later today: a Minchella's ice-cream cornet at the seaside. And maybe even some fish and chips.
I love this picture of the three lurchers together. It looks like a family portrait. Lurchers really are amazingly laid back, gentle and calm dogs (unless they're running). I do think they make the perfect pets.
Freya has been to The Hair of the Dog poodle parlour this week. Here she is looking all clean and fluffy on her return. Oh, I am going to cry buckets when she goes, you know.
Now. My finances are as dire as ever, so I thought I would indulge in a bit of fantasy shopping. Here are a few things I have my eye on at the moment.
Emma Bridgewater Lurcher Mug. £16.95
This is her second lurcher mug, her first is now a collector's item. They sell on EBAY for about £35. I prefer the first mug, as the picture is of a grey, rough-coated lurcher (like Hetty), but this is lovely too. Of course, I already own dozens of mugs. Indeed, part of my kitchen is given over as a sanctuary for retired and chipped mugs. I quite like the idea of having this one as my school mug. I am teaching younger children this year, I think they may be scared by my current mug, which is adorned with a picture of Nick Cave looking particularly wicked and demonic.
Alex Monroe Peacock Feather Jewellery (from £135)
I do already own a silver feather necklace by Alex Monroe, but this one is larger and more dramatic. I'd go for it in silver. There is a beautiful ring too. I have started saving for the necklace already, although my plans were scuppered by an impromptu trip to the vets with Cyril yesterday (another running/paw injury). And, another £35 spent in the blink of an eye.
All of Alex Monroe's pieces are beautiful: delicate, feminine and inspired by the natural world - flowers, leaves, birds and butterflies.
Boden Islington Coat £175
Last winter I really craved a bottle-green winter coat. I couldn't find one anywhere, but it is probably just as well. The winter turned so bitter and arctic that I lived in a terribly cosy but inelegant quilted jacket. It was rather like wearing a duvet. I adore this Boden coat, it has very chic, 60s styling. It also comes in bottle green, although I think I prefer it in grey tweed. Far too expensive though. Also, are three-quarter length sleeves really practical for a North East winter? I expect I'd have to add knitted wrist warmers, and consequently end up looking more scuzzball Artful Dodger than graceful Joan Holloway.
Nigella Lawson: Kitchen £26 (or £13 on Amazon)
The appeal of Nigella Lawson's cookery books is their homely, cosy and chatty style. They are the kind of cookery book that you read in bed on winter's nights, happily planning the next day's supper. I really don't need another cookery book, but confess, I've already ordered this and cannot wait for it to arrive!