There was a very funny episode of Beastly Politics this evening. It has rained since yesterday lunchtime with steady persistence. Miss Dog and Miss Cat have spent the day in my study staring out at the curtain of falling water, emanating Ďbored, bored, boredí while I typed frenziedly, and a draft chapter emerged from whatever deep well one fishes in at these moments. Unlike the animals, I was not entirely sorry that it was raining. Yesterday morning, because I had dragged him over from New Pitsligo when he didnít want to come, the Geordie Ambassador was in a snit, and for the length of time that he and Mark the Squaddie were on the premises, he made it completely impossible for me to do any work. But labradors need to be walked even if it is raining like the Missouri, and if nothing has happened to enliven Miss Dogís day before six, the Puppiesí Charter decrees that she is walked before I start worrying about supper, around seven. I have a distressing old canvas jacket in a fairly nasty shade of orange which is the Dog Walking Garment and has a pocket in which I keep the E-number and additive-rich dog treats which she adores. The mere sound of my putting on this garment, which has a distinctive rustle, will normally produce a dog at a speed suggesting that she has been fired from a cannon, capering with canine glee. But dog came there none. I went up the stairs and discovered she was on the top landing, eyes glistening and tail wagging frenziedly. But three steps down, there was Miss Cat, who out of sheer badness and boredom, had elected to wind her up. She was sitting bang in the middle of the step, and there wasnít quite room for a largish dog to pass her either on one side or the other without brushing against her; and the poltroon Dido, paralysed by cowardice, couldnít pluck up the courage to give it a go. I have to say I thought this was funny, but fairís fair. I reached forward and before Miss Cat cottoned on to what I was up to, slipped a hand under either end and smartly elevated her by approximately three feet, to her surprise and indignation: Miss Dog, deeply relieved, streaked underneath her and did a dance of joy in the hall while I struggled into my wellies. Iím sure Dogs Will Pay.