Country mouse on a visit to Ireland

You have to love Ireland. After a trip to Phoenix Park, we needed to head back into the centre of Dublin, but there was not a taxi to be seen and the rain was steady. The driver of a double-decker bus gestured enquiringly and acknowledged our enthusiastic nodding by stopping in the middle of roadworks to pick us up. He thought it didn’t matter that our weekly tram tickets were rendered invalid by his machine and told us not to worry.

After an exciting tour of the suburbs, he deposited us very close to where we were staying. Back in England, the rain we had thought of as very Irish continued all week, and became not only very English, but southern.

A lawn that was as brown as a scone is now greener than a shamrock. We are mowing again after a couple of months off. All this water should help those with livestock, who had been feeding their animals on supplies meant for the winter.

One of our menagerie has moved on, not for reasons of food shortage, but because her jockey has upgraded to a bigger (but naughtier) version. Kitty, our 28-year-old Shetland, not much larger than a St Bernard, has gone to what must be at least her 10th family. We have retained visiting rights. It’s what the Irish would do.