Number Eighty Four: A Blog for Beanie.

Hello you, how goes it? You good? Yeah, I’m good. Well actually, no. No I’m not good. But I guess you knew that which is why I’m writing.

So, I know you’ve never been brilliant with dates, but I think even you can remember this one. November 19th. The day time froze until you boarded your TARDIS and left for your next adventure. AKA death day.

There hasn’t been a day in the last year I haven’t thought about you at some point, but you’ve been on my mind intrusively recently. I remember when you first got diagnosed with the tashy bastard tumours and your started Googling, and as much as I nagged, and Angie nagged, you wouldn’t stop?! I’ve kind of been doing the same, but looking up the past. I know, I know, it’s not healthy. But I just can’t help it. I look back at our WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts, blog posts. I read back on our WhatsApp messages from when you were in hospital, I can hear your voice in my head reading them. Asking if your new found relationship with milk was like cheating on me, making demands as to what drinks I should bring up, talking about the relationships you hope I’d have with your friends (FYI – Mr and Mrs B and the Ice Cream family will always be my nearest and dearest), and how much we loved each other. How much we enjoyed just being together. How we regretted wasted evenings at home, hidden behind technology. It’s almost like it sucks me into a world where you’re still here. And then I pull my head up and reality smacks me in the face. Or Nunu. Or the dog licks it.

Looking back, I’m amazed at our positivity. Sometimes I’m angry with it. Angry how positive we were in such shitty shitty shitty times, and the blissful ignorance at what lay ahead of us, and ahead of me and Nu.

2016 has been a bit of a shockingly shit year over all. I’ve had discussions with people that we’re actually living in a parallel universe with all the fucked up stuff that’s happened this year. So I’ve been lucky to have good times, amazing times! With some amazing people, old and new.

But sat here, this week, remembering last year as if it happened last week, I feel like I’ve gone back to square one. I know I haven’t. I know I’m doing really well and that’s reflected back to me in Nunu. I mean, she’s amazing. She really is! She’s so funny, cheeky and loving. She’s also a complete cow, stroppy, stubborn and belligerent (wonder where she gets that from eh?). And I look at her, and all I see is you. I see your weird toes that she uses to pick up her dummy, the fact that she can eat like a horse and she’s still as thin a twiglet, the fact that she goes to bed at night tucked up with Mickey Mouse and a TARDIS….she’s you. She’s us. And she always will be. And that gives me so much joy but breaks my heart all at the same time.

But at the same time, for all the good, there will always be bad. That you’re not here. And you should be. You were 37 years old. 37! We’d just got married, our baby was just 1, we had our house, we both had great jobs lined up. Life was good. So good. And then bastard Cancer fucked it all up. Like it has done for so many others. And it just makes me so angry. So angry and so unbelievably sad. To the point that sometimes I still go to bed, silent tears running down my face, muttering the words ‘you should be here’. Because you should.

So I think on the amazing 6 years, 3 months we had together. Bali. Hawaii. Florida. Southampton. Guildford. Roast potatoes. The Edge. Lightbulbs. France. Fat Friday. Movies. Soho drinking. Batchelor. Rose. Cocktails. Sofa. Dr Who. Bed at 20.45. Super king size beds. And every single minute of it puts a smile on my face.

I watched our wedding video recently, and the line ‘she gets me, I get her’ still stays with me. I don’t think anyone will ever understand me as much as you did. You knew how to make me happy. You knew what to do when I was sad. You knew exactly how to make me happy. And you loved me. And I loved you. And that meant everything, it always will.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense. It’s certainly my most articulate blog.

So where do we go from here? What happens after the 19th? Does time reset and you get a shiny fresh new perspective on things? Who knows. But I know you’ll always be with me, in some way or another. If I’m honest, I still find it difficult to fully process the fact that I will never see you again. That hurts.

2017 will be better. I’m sure it will. Have decided to give Christmas my full on appreciation again (although still no where near as excited as I used to be) and try and pass on that magic feeling to Nu. 2017 will echo 2013; filled with amazing holidays, good memories and good times.

It will always suck that you’re not hear. And I’m going to carry that with me for the rest of my life. But, life is for living not for mourning the past. The past won’t be forgotten, it will inform the joy and adventure today. So, I’ll forever hold Nunu closer, try not to hide behind technology and will carry on. Because I have to, and because I want to.

Forever safe in the knowledge that you and your TARDIS won’t ever be floating too far away.

All my love, for always gorgeous man.

Lx

 

 

Number Eighty Three: A Repeated Tip and a Turned Corner.

If I was ever going to repeat a tip, it was always gonna be #33. At least I always hoped it would be one that was repeated. So when TDW asks if I wanna go and see Bears Den (yes, no one knows who they are, but you will….) in Brixton, at the academy, it was a bit of a no brainer!

So, an extended stay at Granny’s was arranged for the toddler monster, dog sitters for the mops and I woke up on Tuesday morning with nothing or no one to sort but myself. Now, as you’ll see from #33, that in itself was a novelty. If I’m honest, there’s still a big part of me that is adjusting to not having someone else to look after more often than not. If Nunu’s gone for any period of time, there is this urge to rush to make sure I’m back for…….no idea!

So leisurely get up involving egg and mushroom sarnie, apple juice and Frasier. Eventually, I get myself onto a train with a large cup of tea, The Gunslinger on kindle, fully charged head phones and head in the direction of Canary Wharf. Meet my usual Canary Wharf to enjoy her lunch break with her, and then headed west to Sloane Square. I meet up with TDW and we go for a mooch around the Christmas shop in Peter Jones and for the first time in a couple of years, I feel the flutter of excitement that only Christmas can bring. Welcome back spirit! You were missed.

And as the day ticks along, we head back to the familiar comfort of the South East and park up in Brixton. And there it is, Brixton Academy. One of my favourite buildings in all the world. All lit up in green lights. Magic.

So, in the spirit of repeating steps, we head to no other place than Chicken Liquor in Brixton Market. Still just as amazing as I remember. Chicken wings are my soul food, my happy place. Especially when they are covered in buffalo sauce and come with a blue cheese dip! Nom! It went down well, definitely not a first date venue.

Tummy full with chickenie goodness, we walk it off around the streets of Brixton. No purpose, aside from killing time till doors open.

The time comes and in we go. And, to reflect the new stage of life, we head up stairs to the circle. Yes that’s right, SEATS! Me and Beanie always said that the next gig we went too, we’d have to get seats to prevent longer term back moaning. So I grab myself a beer and settle in my seat for the evening.

And then it starts. This gig. This gig of a band that I’d heard on the radio a couple of times, but couldn’t tell you more than one of their songs. But it blew my mind. Completely.

These hairy faced men standing on stage, who you could tell were truly living their childhood dream, sang songs of such sadness, it touched the depths of my soul. Some of their songs were so sad. Songs of loss, songs of grief, songs of heartache. Songs of love. And as always happens in Brixton Academy, the music just washes over you and some how penetrates the deepest part of your soul. Magic.

And there I sit, in my seat, with these flawless harmonies washing over me and I take a few minutes to reflect on life. How much has changed since the last time I was here. That how much I’ve changed. For better and worse.

I think of all the hurt. The hairy man on stage singing about the loss of his Mum. The man sat next to me, holding my hand with tears running down his face because his Mum was stolen by Cancer. I think of my Nunu, who could be sat in this very seat in 30 years time, listening to her own fave band sing their own songs of sorrow and her thinking about her own loss. And I think about the 100s of strangers around us who have their own mad thoughts when they hear these songs.

And I grip his hand a bit tighter, wrap my other arm round his and place my head on his shoulder. He squeezes back and leans his head on mine. I breathe in, breathe out. And I listen to the beautiful, sad lyrics of this wonderful song. With a man that makes me happy. In a building that moves my soul. Change isn’t always good. Change isn’t always bad. But follow your gut, eat chicken and listen to music. Someone out there, in wibbly wobbly timey winey, would want you too.

Bear’s Den – Above the Clouds of Pompeii

 

Number Eighty Two: Song for Beanie.

Latest music discovery has been a lovely chap called Frank Hamilton. I love him! I truly do! He spent all of 2012 writing one song a week and made it into an album. It’s a pretty good project!

Talking through this album, I’ve been asked if any of the songs remind me of Beanie. And they don’t, aside one of the obvious one titled ‘if I die tomorrow’. But his new albums just been released, and now there’s a song that does. Songs to fall asleep to. First line, its obvious why. But it’s almost like it acknowledges where we’re at now. That he’s gone, and I’ll never be able to look him in the eyes again. But that’s ok, I don’t need too. Not anymore. Doesn’t mean I don’t love him. I always will in some way. And when we were in the hospice listening to Even If and Thinking Out Loud, they were the songs he fell asleep too. I like that.

So here it is, a song for Beanie. And I know he’ll love it…..including the first line.

Frank Hamilton – Songs To Fall Asleep To.

Number Eighty One: Don’t assume anything, you donkey!

It’s a well known Social Work saying that to assume makes an ass out of you. Over the last 12 months, I’ve made many assumptions. I assumed Beanie wouldn’t have Cancer, that kind of thing just didn’t happen to people like us. I assumed he’d be cured. I assumed he’d see Nu grow up, I assumed we’d be married for at least a month. Just call me Dominic….

Since Beanie died, the assumptions have continued. I assumed I’d always be on my own. I assumed that for me, he was the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, and that the 6 years we were together would be enough for the rest of my life.

I had also assumed that although my fried egg of grief would have more surrounding it, that actually as the grief was the same size, the second year would be just the same as the first. Up and down, hard and probably crappy. Maybe not as crappy, but still crappy.

But, in the depths of summer blues, a wise and wonderful once told me (whilst sat in her garden over a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits), that the success of the second year depends on what you did with the first. At the time, I didn’t really get it and assumed it wouldn’t be something that applied to me.

But, I pondered, like I do with a lot of things this wise woman says. And I then I realised, holy shit, I have achieved LOADS this year! Highlights include:

  1. I’ve survived.
  2. Not only have I survived, but he toddler, 2 dogs and 2 rabbits have also made it (soz Juno, we still miss you!).
  3. I’ve gone back to work. Not just back to work though. Back to work in a new job, new role, new team, new local authority. And I’ve survived probation. And, dare I say it, I’m pretty good at my job.
  4. I’ve redecorated.
  5. I’ve planned the extention that Beanie wanted.

But most importantly, I’ve started to develop a life of my own. Not as Leah White, or as Beanie’s girlfriend/wife/widow. But as Leah Cox. Who likes cake, long walks with dogs, who has a wonderfully crazy toddler who will forever bring light to the darkest of days.

And I’ve realised that there are certain things I’ve missed over the last few years (oi, keep it clean, you filthy minded people!). Kisses and cuddles, feeling wanted, all that stuff. But also, walking the dogs with someone else! I’ve never done that! Beanie came along a few times, but actually, on the whole he was too poorly to walk Stitch with me. And so all these beautiful places I’ve been too, with wonderful breath taking views, I’ve been on my own. And as much as I love Nunu, her conversation isn’t great!

Thinking about what to wear when I go out, planning dates, enjoying new things. All good, all really good.

And so, the months of dread approach. Hospital stays, IV antibiotics, bulging stomach of tashy bastard tumours, terminal, engagement, wedding, hospital admission, hospice, then end. And I’m going to deal with that. I wouldn’t want to escape it completely. Have to go through it to come through the other side and all that usual bollocks.

But, I’m also planning on autumn dog walks, sitting in front of the fire with someone, rather than being on my own. Excited for seeing the colours change at Winkworth Arboretum, 2nd birthdays, Christmas and chai tea in red cups. I’m excited for more live music, trips to London, big fat roast dinners out in the countryside.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Mrs Cox is still an independent woman, as independent as she has ever been! I’ll enjoy autumn/winter 2016 and beat down the past memories regardless of who’s standing by my side. Because I’m one of those immensely lucky people in life that I have friends that I know will always stand by my side.

But, if this autumn, the person standing by my side is a new friend….possibly more than a friend…who is capable of enjoying the beautiful view of the dog walk, as well as admiring my beautiful bum as I walk slightly in front of him in nicely fitted jeans, there’s nothing wrong with that right? Nah, I don’t think so.

And I know the man in the TARDIS is pleased someone else is staring at my arse too. He’s also thinking he’s not that fussed, as he was more of a boob man anyway. And he’s realised that inbetween checking in on me and Nunu, he can spend the rest of the time making sure Mila Klunis  is also ok. He was just that kind of guy!

 

 

 

 

 

Number Eighty: Can’t sleep? Track me!

So, tonight’s the night! Shine walk night!

Toddler dropped with granny.

Dog care arranged.

Afternoon nap – yeah, failed that one. Gonna regret that….

Bag packed.

Aswad downloaded.

So, if you can’t sleep whilst I’m plodding around London, feel free to check and see where I am! If you see me as a dot floating down the Thames towards Kent….send help!

Shine Walk Tracking!

Participant number: 21122

Chip number: 0879

Not sure what you’ll need, so have it all!

 

 

Number Seventy Nine: Good Grief.

Not a new expression, or one of my random new phrases. That new Bastille song. Do you remember that Co-Op a couple of years ago? It was for BBQ food or something during the summer, but it used Christmas music. Messed with my brain! Christmas music in June?! Not ok.

So I’m a fan of Bastille, have been since Laura Palmer. It was one of those that I used to listen too on repeat in the car and the odd song would trigger the usual M25 teary moment. So when Bastille were back on the radio again, the song was turned up and I passively listened to it.

It took a while before I realised it was called ‘Good Grief’ which prompted a Google search of the lyrics. Shit, that’s a sad song. That’s a really sad song! But the melody, the beat, it’s all so upbeat! Someone once told me that the expression on your face is neither here nor there. If you’re smiling you’ll see it in the eyes. This song is that idea personified.

“Watching through my fingers, watching through my fingers
Caught off guard by your favourite song
Oh I’ll be dancing at a funeral, dancing at a funeral
Sleeping in the clothes you love
It’s such a shame we had to see them burn, shame we had to see them burn

“What’s gonna be left of the world if you’re not in it?
What’s gonna be left of the world, oh

Every minute and every hour
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more
Every stumble and each misfire
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more”

Throughout the last couple of years, in amongst all the shit and bollocks, there have always been these lightbulb moments. When things have just, you know, clicked. One was having lunch with my lovely friend J, whist her son was pooping in the soft play area, that actually things might get easier rather than harder! Another was when I had the conversation with our colorectal nurse, that made me realise my Beanie was dying. Then there was one when I realised I was ready to go back to work. And then there was the one I had at the end of August.

I’m 31 years old. Widowed. Mum of a 2 year old. And I’m having a relationship, a marriage with a memory. And as strong as my memories are, one day, they will fade. What holding his hand feels like will be harder to recall. The way his ribs used to feel on my cheek when I was lying on his chest will fade. His laugh, his smile, the sound of his snoring will all become fuzzy. And he will forever be 37. Do I really want to be in my 50s, with Nunu gone off to live her life, and me, sitting in my house, trying to recall enough of a memory to make me feel like I’m still close to him?

Fuck. That.

Beanie wouldn’t want that. In fact, I know he didn’t want that. Because he told me. He told me he didn’t want me to be on my own. That he liked the idea of me finding someone special. He wanted me to live the life we planned. But we didn’t plan Cancer. We didn’t plan me living on my own.

So, light bulb moment – I think I’m ready to try dating again.

Old friends will know that I’ve never been very good at dating. I’ve been dumped too many times than I care to remember for being too ‘nice’ (I’m not NICE!). So, with an extra 7 years, an extra 2 dress sizes, an extra dogs and of course the ‘single parent’ label, am I really ready to put myself out there? Well, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?!

So, ran the idea past some of my dearest and dearest – zero judgement or concerns expressed. One in fact reminded me, why would I care what other people think? Beanie wouldn’t care what other people thought, it would be about doing what’s right for me.

And you know what I want? I want a laugh! I want to have fun! I want to sit on the sofa and watch crap TV with someone who doesn’t resemble a mop (although I still love my mops with all my heart). I might even want to leave the house every now and again? Go out for dinner with someone who doesn’t demand spag bol and peas, or has a tantrum if I don’t let them run around the restaurant.

So, I did it. Put myself out there. And there were the usual weirdos asking you to drive over to theirs at 2am. Or feeling that ‘you’re fit, wanna meet?’ is an acceptable introduction?! Erm no! What about ‘hi, my name is…!’.

But then amongst all the usual shite (that of course gets send over to B for lolz, as it did 7 years ago…), there’s the odd one. The odd one that looks vaguely normal. That seems to have a friendly face. And dogs. And seems to like burgers. I like burgers. I like dogs. So you send him a message, he sends you one back. A bit slow at first, but then it picks up. And you find myself smiling when the msg pops up. And laughing at jokes. And just simply enjoying talking to someone who wants to get to know you. And doesn’t see you as a mum, or a widow, but as Leah. Who he seems quite interested to get to know. Who brings another dimension to the day. Something else to look forward too. Another thing to think. Another thing to feel.

And how do I feel? Well, I’m fucking terrified aren’t I?! Scared, nervous, terrified, excited, happy, content…..note the absence of guilty or regretful. Simply because they’re not there. Which makes me think, maybe I am ready for something new? Something different? What’s the worst that could happen?

So, first date planned. Second date discussions and he says ‘do you like Bastille?’.

Course he does. Good grief. Bring it on.

Number Seventy Eight: A Blog for Beanie.

Hello gorgeous man, how’s you? Good? Me? Yeah I’m good. Thought I’d just check in as it’s been a little while since we had a proper chat. And a whole 9 months and 14 hours since we were last together. When your hands were warm, and could still squeeze mine. When your eyes were open and I could look into the milk chocolate brown with flicks of green. Your freakishly soft feet, your weird grippy toes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to stop and start one of these blogs as often as I am with this one. Deep breath and on we go….

It’s been a rough month. Some serious ups and downs, but I know you’ve been keeping tabs on it all. And I hope your looking after my boy Juno. Nu still asks for ‘Jua’, and I tell her that he lives with Daddy in the TARDIS now, and she seems quite happy with this. Works great, still really enjoying it and am quite proud of the impact I’ve made in 6 months. But, work, plus dogs, plus toddler…….don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change any of them for the world, but it’s hard work. Mum gave me a break recently and took Nu for a few days, but I stupidly arranged for the new floor to go in (which looks gorgeous by the way) when I should probably have just say on my backside and done nothing. Maybe done some cooking, had a bath, nice walk…. Yeah, I need to get better at resting. I need to get better at early nights. I need to get better at looking after myself.

But with loosing Juno, our anniversary, life stresses and strains…..I’m sad. Saddest I’ve been in a while. Which results in mouth ulcers, broken sleep at nights and feeling like I’m wading through mud at times. But, I’m now on leave from work and off to see the Frenchies for 5 days. Which will be lovely.

But I can’t hep but feel I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, knowing I’m about to be pushed, but no idea when. And I can’t help but thinking about he year ahead:

22.08 – my first birthday in 8 years without you.

17.09 – your bday.

21.10 – wedding anniversary.

27.10 – Nu’s second bday.

3.11 – our last day at home as a family.

19.11 – the day you left

3.12 – the day you boarded the TARDIS.

25.12 – Christmas.

Plus what ever other shit is thrown our way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing ok. I’m happy, Nu’s happy and we’re doing really well. Just some days, some times, things are just so hard the only think I know would help us a hug from you. And a cup of tea. And your spag bol.

It doesn’t get any easier. I miss you as much now as I did on 20th November 2015. It’s just a dull ache I’ve learnt to carry with me. And I know I’m not alone. Because that Tashy Bastard tumour is still going strong and destroying more and more families around us. And that’s shit. And makes me feel sadder.

But the light in amoungst all of this is our amazing daughter. Who really is amazing. She’s funny, caring, cheeky, clever, naughty and so so so much fun. You’d be so proud of her. From her confidence around other children, her sense of adventure, the relationships she’s developing and actually watching her making proper friends…..it’s just magic. Watch over her, try and keep her out of trouble 🙂

Right, I sense I’m now writing a load of bollocks and this post has taken me over an hour! So gonna leave it here and head to bed. Just keep an eye on me in the next few weeks. They’re gonna suck. Especially Monday. Fuck, I’m gonna miss you Monday.

Night night my darlin’. Love you lots, miss you muchly xoxo

 

 

Number Seventy Seven: Grief and a Heatwave.

With the forecast looking like we’re going to have another few days up at 35 C, made me remember the idea for a blog post I had! Below are summaries of grief habits that were broken by the sweltering few days.

My side

Beanie was very territorial over his side of the bed. Which was bonkers in itself! We have a superking size bed, but because he grew up sleeping in a cabin bed, he only ever slept at the very edge. Always on the right. But still, he was entitled to half the bed. Lord forbid my leg drifted over to his side during the night. But I’d hear that faithful mutter of ‘my side…’ and I’d quickly retreat! And if I left folded laundry on his side, or tissues….UNACCEPTABLE! The worst was always when he worked away, or when he was in hospital. I’d sleep in the middle of the bed and when he came back, it always look me a while to adjust to the parameters of my side.

But since he died,  I have not moved from my side of the bed. Not consciously, just noticed that when I change the bed sheets, they’re as good as new on his side.

But, the heatwave hit, and Nunu had helpfully hidden the ceiling fan remote. So, it’s a fair assessment that I was sweating like a bitch!! And that was it. I startred waking up in the middle.And haven’t looked back since. It’s still his side, and it always will be. But it’s nice to have the whole bed back. I wa starting to worry I’d never starfish again!

The 19th.

The impact this day has on me varies. Some days it hits me hard. Like, how can he have been gone this long. Other days, its just an odd numb feeling. Kind of like an odd acceptance that the world keeps spinning and I just keep walking.

But, on the day of the heatwave’s peak, I genuinely didn’t realise it was the 19th until about 8 in the evening. Automatic pang was of guilt, as if I’d forgotten him or something. And then, I heard his voice in my head telling me to stop being so bloody stupid. And I smiled. And then carried on cursing the leather sofa for clinging so tightly to my fatty mama thighs!

Make the most of the day by doing nothing.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I’ve always been hideous at trying to pack too much into my day. Feeling like I have to make the most of my time. When Nu was born, I promised Beanie it would stop. And throughout the year, I really did slow down. But sunny days, I always think, oh lets do something. Initially I had stupid ideas of going to the Lido, as I’d never been before. But the heat kept rising and I quickly realised that it was a really stupid idea. So, we nipped to Argos up the road, bought a paddling pool. Nu had a nap, I blew it up (must to Stitch’s interest). And the afternoon was a ball! We didn’t leave the house. It was lovely. And Beanie would have been proud.

DSC_0011

So they are my mini breakthroughs. The next few months I’m anticipating as rough. But who knows what little wins the rough months will hold.

My fried egg is getting there. Still gloopy, but the white is there.

 

Number Seventy Six: What would Beanie Say?

This is a well used phrase. It’s one that runs through my head on a daily basis. With regards to a wide variety of topics; how much house work to do this evening? Should I get a take away? Comments on my ridiculously late bedtime…..

It’s also something I throw at Nunu, mainly when she’s following an older boy around the park, blatantly flirting and getting said male to chase her. “Nu, what would Daddy say?”. Her reply is always “no no no….”. And then of course she does it anyway! But it also gets wheeled out when she’s seen enjoying something that Daddy hated – marmite, olives, ketchup mixed with mayonnaise….but also when she’s caught doing something he’d be so proud off; her mad jumpy dancing in circles, watching the F1, enjoying her sweeties and her crisps. It keeps him as part of our lives.

But then, as regular readers of this blog will realise, I am prone to making ‘stupid’ decisions. Taking on a project, acquiring animals, booking random last minute holidays….

The latest stupid decision was to get another Puli puppy. As much of a pain in the arse Stitch is, I love him. I love him more than I ever thought possible to love a furry black mop. And as he’s been around for almost a year, started looking back through old photos and got puppy broody. So then I started looking through adverts, just out of interest and there seems to be a bit of a boom and there are actually puppies available within a 90 minute car journey!

But then, long story short, I got in touch with Stitch’s breeder and he said that I could have Stitch’s sister free of charge if I wanted her. So, I of course said yes and started to get excited.

Cue the back lash.

Friends, family, random strangers (joys of social media eh?).

“*gasp* What would Beanie say?!”.

The rationale for my madness varied from ‘haven’t you got enough pets already?’ to ‘haven’t you got enough to cope with?’.

I know it all came from a good place. And the more I heard it, the more it started to cut. Like a scratch that you keep scratching and before you know it, its a deep wound. I know exactly what Beanie would say, he’d say no. In fact, he’d already said no! I remember it as clear as day. We were sat in the living room of a breeder last year having our first introduction with this brilliant breed. She said to us, that that it’s very rare you find a Puli owner with one. They always get another. And I remember looking over at him, and he said No!

But I went with my gut. Stitch was getting lonely now Juno was out and about more often and starting to whine when I left the house. It’s no extra walks, extra time, extra dog proofing. A bit of a upfront cost and then just a little extra each month.

And I also went with the reality. Beanie wouldn’t say anything, because he isn’t here anymore. He’s dead. He died just over 9 months ago. And although I do believe he looks out for us in some way from his TARDIS, he isn’t here.

And so it was my decision. My decision about what was best for me, for my family.

So sausage is now a valued member of our family, and has been for a week. And she’s so sweet and lovely, I have no doubts it was the right decision.

But, call it the universe balancing things out, call it bad luck, call it just shit. Car packed, on our way to get Sausage, we drive past Juno. He’d been hit by a car and was just lying motionless in the road. He was gone. 7 months old. My beautiful boy, Nunu’s Jua and Stitch’s best mate. Taken out by someone who was going too fast on a residential street, about 20 minutes after I’d let him out that morning.

Bitter sweet. Story of my life eh?