Summer is around the corner and the reason I know this is the Panther of News and I have already made the opening moves in the it’s-not-my-turn-to-mow-the-lawn game.
I wandered the estate this morning to survey the crops and weigh up the failed horticultural projects of 2010.
OK, I opened the French windows and looked out.
Past the climbing frame that really must be dismantled and removed (last year it saw most activity from the wasps that nested inside the tent bit) I spied something that made me gasp.
Three dog turds nestled on a mossy bit of grass.
We don’t have a dog or any other livestock apart from the spiders and woodlice who volunteer to live here. And one of the reasons is that I don’t want to pick up poo – I’ve got enough to deal with in the form of infant excrement and the inexplicable puddles of pee around our lavatories.
Over the last couple of years piles of dog muck would appear in the garden and the culprit was the big black labrador from next door. He belonged to a lovely family who were not the kind of people to let their pet defecate on private land. Oh no. They shared home baking with us, for heaven’s sake.
But the problem was that when the parents went to work, they left their beautiful twin daughters in the care of one of the grannies. And granny would just open the door and let the mutt out on his own.
When I raised it with the neighbours it was clear that granny didn’t let on. It was very awkward but I didn’t feel I could go as far as showing the photos that proved granny was an idle, fibbing perpetrator of domestic grass fouling. I couldn’t do that to such a nice household.
But eventually the family left for a new life in Australia taking their hound and my problem with them.
The new incumbent – another lovely family – have been there a while now and seem like the perfect neighbours. She works for an animal welfare organisation so obviously they wouldn’t let their collie go feral in our back yard. Would they?