Now I have full-time employment I also have colleagues. One would wish for colleagues like Gareth, Colin or Johnny. But no. It’s hard to get any fun or indeed human interaction of any kind and therefore to have remained sane by Friday. My best bet - and my main source of Jeremy Clarkson news - is Doru, a jolly decent chap but with rather low horizons: “Barry Bogiss he won last night”; “Eh??”; “European Long Distance Lawnmower Rally. You did not see on Eurosport 2?”; “Oh, errr, yes, of course, errr...”; “Sven Spodsen he started well but his rotor blades were set too high. In London is raining a lot, yes?”; “…yes, indeed, yes, almost all the time, yes……. Chim chiminey, chim chiminey chim chim cher-ee….”.
So after the departure of my donkey friend, I’ve been forced to turn for companionship to the canine community. Dogs are plentiful here: domesticated, wild, feral, bi-feral, feral-curious… one of my wife’s cousins even has a dog that’s half wolf! I remember when it was the cutest puppy you ever saw, but now it’s a wolf, though for some reason still as soft as shite. The man next door has dachshunds, which he tells me – inexplicably, unless it’s to make me feel at home – are English. I’ve been convinced there are at least 20 of them, but Mrs Dilo assures me that because they move around so quickly and randomly it just seems like there’s a lot. I therefore applied my A.I. unsupervised learning and pattern recognition skills and deduced that there’s 3 of them, based on 3 distinct emergent patterns of fur-colouration. But Mrs Dilo, again, whose eagle eyes spot bargains, gypsy misdeeds, and the differences between hedge warblers and sedge warblers from several kilometres distance, assures me there’s 4 of them, but that 2 look quite similar. And they’ve got names: “Bruno”, “Blackie”, “Boo-Boo” and – oh yes – “Lady”.
Another mystery solved. I’m now friends with them all and with their Ţuică-breathed owner. We’ve barred them from our garden by boarding up the holes in the fence, but Bruno in particular can make himself incredibly low to the ground so it’s only a matter of time before he’s crapping on our carpet.