I’m in a lovely cottage in a village in England with my laptop, a pile of notebooks, some cheap wine, and two dogs. Raffi and I are here for a week, dogsitting 15 year old Mabel while her family are on holiday, and I’ve brought with me the novel that has been getting lost in the tangle of my everyday life.
Mornings: a mug of tea, breakfast for Mabel and settling down at the kitchen table to write. Mabel trit-trots around me as I work, her little claws on the wooden floor part of my writing soundtrack, along with red kites mewling above the garden and the trains shooting past on the nearby railway line. The novel, thrillingly, starts to take shape, slowly coming into focus, moving from an idea into something more solid.
In the afternoons Raffi and I join a local dogwalker to walk along the riverbank and past recently harvested yellow fields, the dogs busy with scents around our feet. One day we meet a young woman who is gathering armfuls of speedwell. It’s also called gypsy weed, she tells us, and it helps you sleep.
In the evenings I water the garden, soaking containers of tomatoes and courgettes, aubergines and potatoes. I take Mabel and Raffi down to the river to sit near a herd of quiet horses and watch the setting sun reflected in the river. Then home for a glass of wine in the garden, just me, my thoughts, and the dogs.
I wish this was how my life could be all the time but it’s over too soon. But just before we leave I take Raffi to the village fete where he wins second prize in the Handsome Hunky Hound competition, his blue rosette the icing on the cake of this perfect week.
With thanks to Bandit's Bespoke Pet Care Services for the lovely walks