25 April 2006


Nasty fright early Sunday morning on returning from watching the Easter fireworks - our Sam dog was nowhere to be seen.

On Holy Saturday around 11pm, all the bells toll and everyone gathers for the Resurrection.

Down in the town's Esplanade Square, everyone crowds round the Bandstand where the Bishop leads the chant.

Bang on midnight, the mood changes


followed by massive fireworks display visible from miles around.

Yours truly had forgotten the effect of all this on sensitive *and* forgotten to close the gates behind us as we drove off, so the natural conclusion was that a panicked Sam had run out and vanished into the surrounding countryside, almost certainly to be crushed 'neath lorry wheels or stolen by canine connoisseurs on the morrow.

You can imagine our sinking hearts as we cruised the area, calling his name to no avail.

We spent a forlorn Sunday/Monday/Tuesday contemplating the store of dog food and all the doggy paraphernalia one collects: sleeping rug, favourite toy, brushes, etc.

Most poignant for me was that I had no companion for my midnight rambles to walk off the digestive metaxas just before turning in.

Worse, the company of that young fellah provided a scintilla of meaning, a pin-prick of hope as he shambled up to say hi as i bent low over whatever "garden" chore I'd fallen prey to.

Now it looked like unadulterated solo tedium in that black fog of pointlessness.

But lo! Wednesday morning as we were laying out the breakfast yoghurt and honey and toast, up the patio plodded our chappie ... a little damp on the underside but unharmed.

You can imagine the rejoicing and petting and tummy rubbing and ear wrinkling and summonsing of the servants to make ready the fatted calf ....

So, lesson learnt and I am now firmly closing the gate on every journey and will ensure pets padlocked within the castle reach for every future fireworks event.

Christos Anesti.

Samuelis Returni.