Today wasn't really going to be a joyful day; Beloved was due at Shrewsbury Hospital for the fourth injection into his left eye to halt the progress of wet macular degeneration. He is really brave about it and pretends it's nothing much. But I know he's nervous, so am I.
It was a horrible morning with heavy rain and limited visibility and we weren't exactly looking forward to the expedition. Driving in heavy rain is not a pleasure and I was annoyed when first a Beamer (BMW) and then a van overtook me, the former at traffic lights and the latter just as I was pulling out from behind a lorry. Both manoeuvres were rather dangerous, particularly as I am a fast driver myself. So I have to admit that I felt a frisson of joy - or perhaps Schadenfreude - when neither car got very far ahead of me at all. Why do people overtake when there's no point?
The eye thing went well and took no more than an hour altogether. Beloved came out with his eye patch but otherwise in one piece, relieved that it was all over for today. A procedure that costs £900, and could save your sight, such as it is, is free on the NHS. If that isn't cause for joy, I don't know what is. There was plenty of morning left, so I raced round one of these vast supermarkets, filling two trolleys, while I parked Beloved in the Starbucks concession. Not a lot of joy there, but it got a necessary job done.
"What are we doing for food today?", Beloved asked when I collected him from the coffee shop. Note the "we". "Not a lot, I haven't even thought of it", I replied, a bit miffed that he should be finding me another job when I was still panting over the current one. "Would you like to stop off at The Pound for lunch?" Do dogs fart? Silly question, of course I would. The Pound is a 15th century country pub on the road home in the village of Leebotwood which serves tasty food reasonably priced at lunch time.
Two starters, one of sweet cured herring with orange, a garlic mayonnaise and glazed cucumber and one pork and apricot pate, with pickled, shredded beetroot and a brioche finger. Both came with fresh baked rolls and butter and salad garnish.
Our main courses were equally good.
Beloved had a chicken leg in a whole-grain mustard sauce,
and I chose the whole plaice, which was beautifully cooked.
There you are, I knew I could find something joyful in the course of the day, if I put my mind to it. All's well that ends well.