First, another glorious Northumberland sunrise! Such a peaceful, windless morning – calmer waters and gentle air about our ears – deserves to be recorded after what we’ve been through lately. As a routine, the daybreak outing sets the tone for the rest of the day, hence I often feel moved to dwell on it as I gather my thoughts on other things. But both wind and rain have set in now – nothing too dramatic, just very English dreariness. By contrast, though, our lives were brightened by a dinner time when gorgeous bits of sausage replaced the usual jellies in our bowls. The smell is legendary and utterly scrumptious! Perhaps I should explain: jellies, I now understand, are pieces of beef heart. Breakfast and dinner consist of them, on top of vegetables and wholemeal bisquit. Lovely!
Though this kind of dinner is a complete first in my little life, Uncle Jonny used to have sausages every day in his later years and I remember when I was a tiny boy smelling them browning gently in the oven – so savoury, so tempting. One day I shall write about the legend of the sausage about which all dogs learn by instinct and which is now generally thought to explain why we joined forces with humanity thousands of years ago. Jonny’s digestive incidents were certainly legendary, but it was sausages which kept his tummy on a surprisingly even keel. Whether we will see any more of this ambrosia I cannot tell, though I noticed the jelly box had been washed out and is lying empty on the shelf. When we grow old, as Jonny did, we can eat what we like so long as it keeps us well. This lovely picture was taken after he had enjoyed a meal of two steak pies freshly made by the local butcher, washed down with a bowl of tea. That day, none of us had to worry what the consequences might be as, when he woke up on the comfy sofa, lovely Lucy was there to take the pain away for good. He saw her and was glad. Remember what he told us: ‘Do not worry. I am very happy. I will always still be here.’ And he is.