The Apparitional Gamekeeper has (temporarily no doubt) achieved his hearts’ desire. In the mid-afternoon, an amusing Highlander with sticking-out ears eventuated with an extraordinary pick-up truck equipped with a sort of portable aquarium, and discharged £100 worth of middle sized trout into the lake. The boy thus has his own private fishing, and clearly he could not be happier. We are also perfectly happy. The water has settled to pellucid, the dam is holding, the iris seem to be happy, the sea of mud will gradually become clothed with grass; the Gamekeeper’s terrific efforts thus end up absolutely pro bono publico, however aimed at the satisfaction of his private dreams. Strangely little has been heard of the Drippy Girlfriend for weeks. He spent about four hours casting from various angles, without a hook, watching the trout with the eyes of a doting daddy. As far as I am concerned, the pool is very nice, the sound of a trout leaping, as they do, is beguiling, and the more mosquitoes they contrive to eat the better I will be pleased. But I must make clear to the Infant Phenomenon that I will not, under any circumstances, cook the blasted things. If he insists on fishing them out, he can deal with them himself, but personally, I would rather the osprey got them.
Otherwise, we have had a Small Fat Antiquary staying (aetat. 3 or so). There was a splendid antiquarian moment of a stony beach on the rain, where all parties, under umbrellas, agreed patiently that each stone was more wonderful & fascinating than the stone before, and we all lurched off towards the car with our pockets banging round our knees. The trouble with collecting stones in the rain is that they never look so wonderful again. Later on, having come in wet and cold, the SFA was introduced to hot water, &, being a tuneful child, favoured us with a rendition of that insufficiently known Puccini aria, ‘Non Vuolo Bagnare’. She seems to have taught it to the dogs.
Miss Best Friend’s paw is better, by the way. She is inclined to come the old soldier, a sure sign it isn’t actually hurting any more.