Wake up at 7.30 this morning, look out of the window.
Grrey, in fact. And tippling down.
Emit faint groan. Today I'm meeting four sparkfriends and going for a lovely walk along the Thames. Stuff head under pillow and beat surface of pillow.
Cut to 11am, and there we all are, bright and cheerful if somewhat muffled up, standing by the farmers' market in Kew.
We have me, Stonecot, Anihaka, Rainbowchoc plus OH and Flower. You won't find Flower on SP, she is very very fit and doesn't need to lose weight.
This is Flower.
So we match names to faces and sparknames and set off. Get to Kew Bridge, nip down the side of it and I'm overtaken at high speed by Flower, off the leash and doing a ton.
Along we trudge, me dodging puddles, Stonecot walking straight through them. She has proper boots you see. I am only wearing trainers though I did remember just in time to put the muddy trainers on, not the new ones. Begin to feel water seeping.
Resolve (again) to buy proper boots.
There are quite a few people rowing on the Thames, and IMHO they must be out of their collective tree, because it is cold. It is very cold. While it stops raining a short time after we set off, the wind gets up and it's arsefreezing. I'm wearing a long-sleeved tshirt, a wool jumper, a fleece and a waterproof and I am not too hot.
We swap about, talking about dogs, cats, sparking, this, that and the other. Flower is a keen swimmer but eschews the nice clean river for a particularly noisome and muddy pond the other side of the path. There's no accounting for taste. She gallops back and forth, up and down and probably does four times the distance the rest of us manage.
Three miles or so and we reach Richmond. Short confab and we go on to the riverside gardens to sit and consume food and hot drinks and talk further. In fact there's a huge amount of chatting been going on, to the extent that I haven't even noticed I was taking exercise.
It's getting greyer and windier and ten minutes sitting down does for us, temperature-wise so we decide to head back.
We were all agreed though, it was a grand day out, we've each made a bunch of new friends, and there will be more.
Watch this space.
PS: Flower lives with Rainbowchoc and OH. I have two cats. I would give you their thoughts on dogs, but the site won't let me post that kind of language.