Now the thing is, I had some time on my hands. The kids stopped being a burden and the workload just fell off. In fact, I hadn't worked in months and all I did was sleep and drink Sangria, in the park. No, mate - all the time in the world. The world was indeed my scallop and I needed something small to add to life so that I didn't fizzle out to a pointless nothing and become fodder for invertebrates.
So me and the missis, the fragrant Mrs Acular, we went and got a dog.
For those of you not yet bored of hearing about this development on Facebook, I introduce Dooza - the new Vicarage dog. She is a crossbreed - a Great Dane-Chihuahua blend with a latent like of Labradoodle: a fluffy optimist. Seriously, the scrap of canine cuteness too close to my armpit for its own comfort is a German Shepherd-Lurcher cross, or put another way - a wonky police dog. Thinking about it, we should have called her Gertcha!
Well, we are into week one. The thing keeps dunging on my 8-gauge polyprop and widdling on my 70s parquet. It yelps all night, gnaws the fingers off of my progeny. It can already run faster than me (but let's face it, so could Brian the Snail on a bad day and an aching foot). It is growing faster than bamboo and is already more readily notifiable than Japanese Knotweed. It's paws are of a scale not to look our of place on a passing polar-bear and she has beige blobs near her eyes that make me feel like she is looking at me all the time. Even when the blessed thing finds sleep (which is rare, trust me - and I mean rare on a scale applied to a conversation concerning certain Royals and clothing, that sort of rare).
Anyhoo - meet the dog. She is a perfect joy (mostly) and I now feel like the ageing farmer that I appear now too look like. Life is good, and so was sleep!
I wanted to call it Imhotep, but the woman wouldn't let me