Dalmatians weren't that common around here so mine got all the attention. Neurotic middle-aged loonies were everywhere so I didn't. But that was fine.
There were different constellations now it was autumn, but the sun still shone brightly for many of our walks, not marred one iota by the impending rain, but rather by those who forewarned that it was coming. Leaves were dying on every branch, but seldom did death look so radiant. It wouldn't be long now before the public footpaths, the historic rights of way, would be carpeted once again, just as they had been for hundreds of years before.
In the meteorological offices experts studied their seaweed and fir cones in order to accurately forecast the weather ready for the tabloids to exaggerate. Of course farmers had their own mystical and unfailing know-how when it came to the weather. They knew, for example, that red sky in the morning meant, 'shepherd's warning.' They knew when it was dark over Will's mother's house it was going to rain. And they knew it was going to rain too when the cows laid down in the fields. In fact, to the agricultural community it was a pretty safe bet that if almost anything happened it was going to rain.
Nada was a fair-weather dog and considered it adventurous just to stand still in a field with the wind rushing past her and pretending she was running. But that didn’t stop me from dragging her out whatever the weather.
Just as the rest of the country were filling their coal scuttles and battening down the hatches I headed up to the ridgeways. There were always going to be days it would rain, but life goes on, just a little damper that’s all. There'll be worse days than these.
From the hills the valley resembled a teacup and the storm therein would soon blow over. For now at least there would be fewer people around to ignore me in favour of my dog.