WHAT a great start to 2011 – losing the dogs on the moors above Ballowfields about four miles from home on Sunday lunchtime. After two days of searching and almost giving up hope, the dog warden rings at 7.00pm to say they’ve been found nine miles away in the picturesque village of Castle Bolton. They’d made their way there after roaming the moors all night in the freezing cold and a kind man had taken pity on them. The warden delivers them to the door (fee: £120) and says his girlfriend is very jealous when he tells her where he’s been. “She’s always wanted to go to Castle Bolton and I’ve never taken her,” he explains. And now Maud and Harry have beaten her to it. My stylish posters are instantly redundant and it occurs to me I’d better retrieve them: if people clock that we’re prepared to pay a reward, they might just harbour ideas of kidnap. “How much ransom would you be prepared to pay?” I ask Ian. “Nothing,” he says. “I wouldn’t give in to blackmail.” And if it was me, not the dogs? I don’t press the point. He likes his own company.

Meanwhile son-in-law Mark says that instead of making new year resolutions we need to find something we really want to do, and do it. This removes the ridiculous obligation we put ourselves under at the start of another year of doing what we’ve always done but kidding ourselves we’ll do something more or better. At least I think that was his drift. Anyway I’m now putting my mind to thinking of something I really want to do but am not necessarily resolved to do. One thing is doing my blog every day . . .


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