Well my time

at Bruges is coming to an end. It’s been an interesting experience, and I wouldn’t swap it for the world (I’m privileged to be here) but I’m glad to be going home. I suppose the main reason for this is that my dog probably won’t make it over the weekend. Whilst to most that sounds totally trivial, to anyone that has had a dog that long, it’s a heart breaker.

Lou has been with us since we bought the house, seen us get married, have kids that grew to love her lazy traits and crapping on their football pitch. I keep telling myself that she has had a wonderful life, lots of love and affection, piece and quiet when she’s wanted it, a regular meal and only the occasional bath. This does not in any way lighten the pain we all feel today.

The chances are high she has an inoperable tumour, though we are hoping for a miracle. She goes in on Friday morning, which means I have about an hour with her before in all likelihood she goes to sleep for the final time. My folks are just as upset as we are, as she has become an intrensic part of their life too, for so many years now. We affectionately call it “dog share”, but it’s so much more than that.

She has been hit by a car and survived, eaten a manky chicken carcass and survived, survived mithering by the boys and others and like most mongrels, the end comes quite quickly. I know I’m writing this and she’s still around with a small chance, but as we say, she needs snookers I think.

The worst part of being away is that I cannot help with the burden at home, and even if I could, it wouldn’t change anything. If I knew on Sunday what I know today, without a doubt I would have stayed at home. As nice as Bruges is, it’s not worth this.

I notice I mentioned in my previous post that the Travelodge at Binfield is grim. Well it still is. The bad was reasonably comfortable, but the place has the atmosphere of the moon. Compare this with the Hotel Navarra, where I have been staying this week, and the comparison could not be more stark.

The Travelodge has no internet. It has no restaurant. It has no gym, or swimming pol or sauna. It has no bar. It has no TV to speak of (no Channel 5 even!). It has no minibar. It has nothing. Travelodge says you shouldn’t pay for stuff you don’t need, but the Navarra manages it for not so much more than you charge. I hate the place and hope I never have to go back. The Hilton ain’t perfect, but it’s better than the Travelodge. With the greatest respect to Bracknellers, your town took a wrong turn somewhere early in the 1990’s.

Some more Prison Break I think (which I’m really getting in to), then bed, then off to the airport in the morning.

Bon Voyage!

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