On Saturday night we went out for a celebration meal in the village hall. The occasion that we were celebrating was sixty years of the village hall and at the same time the newly installed kitchen was being christened. The village hall had been smartened up in an attempt to make it look more like a bistro than a sixty year old prefabricated village hall. Eleven six seating tables had been arranged around the hall with the top table on the stage. The meal was cooked by the two sons of one of the committee members and served by young ladies who live in the village. The diners all looked quite smart with some men wearing jackets and ties and many of the ladies wearing dresses or skirts rather than the usual trousers or jeans. Husband and I only knew one of the fellow diners on our table, so during the course of the evening we made three new friends.
The evening was a great success and I think that most people enjoyed themselves, but as it was the first time that a meal had been attempted there were a few hiccups and teething troubles which will need to be ironed out for the future. One major omission was the absence of pepper and salt pots from the table. The takings from the evening will be brought round here sometime this week for husband, who is the village hall treasurer, to bank or to be more accurate he will do the paperwork and I do the actual banking. The proceeds from the evening will go towards the fund to build a new village hall, which is badly needed.
It was nearly midnight by the time that we arrived home and the next door neighbour's dog was serenading our little lane with his barking. When I had been getting ready to go out I could not help but hear that the neighbour's dog was barking in a way which indicated that they were away or out and he was obviously outside. Strange that, as when the WAG from next door came round on Christmas Eve she said that the dog had become a house dog and no longer lived outside in the kennel. Well that didn't last long. Anyway we were going out for the evening and I hoped that by the time we came home that the dog would have barked himself to sleep. We went out and forgot all about the barking dog. For once his barking was not going to spoil our evening.
There was no point in trying to go to bed with the dog barking outside our bedroom window or thereabouts so we decided to have a nightcap before retiring. Perhaps we should have offered the dog a drink too. By about 1 am peace and quiet appeared to have been restored to our neighbourhood, so we took ourselves off to bed. Just as we climbed into bed what did we hear but the dog barking. We could not stay up indefinitely. We just had to hope that there would not be anymore episodes of barking. But we were wrong. It was nearly 4 am when the dog finally stopped barking and I managed to fall asleep. On Sunday I felt like something that the cat had brought in, or perhaps that should be the dog. I had a headache all day and my eyes felt as if they were out on stalks. Bedtime could not come soon enough.
We have had this problem of the neighbours going away and leaving the dog on its' own for over two years now. We have complained to the Environmental Health department of the local council but we do not appear to be getting anywhere with them. (That is a post for another day). The police and the RSPCA are not interested as it is not their responsibility. The coalition government are in the process of introducing legislation relating to dogs and antisocial behaviour. The sooner this legislation is introduced the better. The idea of living in a cottage up an idyllic looking country lane may seem like heaven, but right now we have the neighbours from hell!