Today has brought the worst weather of the season so far: gale force winds, squally, driving rain, and a sky one minute black as night, bedecked with rainbows the next. Rising as always in the darkness, after a night in the kitchen huddled beside NuNu on the big bed, we suffered from a chillier than normal environment because, with the wind coming from the north, it pushed at the cat-flap all night long, and it caught repeatedly, letting the cold air in. The beach trundle was abandoned in favour of an early breakfast and then a trip to the blasted heath beneath Bamburgh Castle, a shorter morning outing to be sure, but sensible in view of the mountainous seas which were not long past high tide. Only a couple of other hardy types were about – dogs like us, utterly untroubled by a bit of atmospheric turbulence. We are remarkable as a species for our ability to keep on keeping on, so long as our bowls are laid down regularly and the routines are honoured by those we love.
Beyond these walls, however, where the warmth of the AGA and the stove in the living room radiate reliably from hour to hour, the world seems fragmented and disturbing in so many ways. Were we boys not loved so much – and held so close – there would be so many reasons to tremble. Wherever we look, there is something to fear. Across the sky tonight there will be fireworks shrieking, terrorising us all, bonfires lit over the heads of unsuspecting hedgehogs and other tiny creatures and all in aid of some outdated anti-Catholic anniversary of something which didn’t even happen hundreds of years ago. Across the country, folk are generally confused and bemused by the nature of government while across the Atlantic our closest allies are tearing themselves apart. Rage, intolerance and lack of respect are everywhere, expressed by this frightful gale.
Kemo Sabe puts a Dundee cake in the oven and pays-homage to the late-rising sparrows by filling their feeders despite the driving rain. A lone wood pigeon rocks tentatively towards the back door, inquiring about a seed or two that may have been overlooked by more agile colleagues. His need seems to typify ours: searching for an answer to a question we cannot even put into words.