A building site will, at some point, present an expanse of cement or concrete, with a vast unexplored temptation factor: it’s like arriving on your first morning of an Easter skiing break at Obergurgl or, better, Hochgurgl and finding that, not only has it snowed during the night but that, inexplicably, everyone else has come down with a sickness bug or is watching the Grand Prix and you’re there alone, at the top of a gentle slope of virgin powder snow that’s glistening like tiny diamonds in the March sunshine. Off you go, you make the first tracks and for a glorious moment that piste is YOURS and no-one else’s.

This is the situation with a layer of newly-laid cement. Cement and dogs don’t mix. Or, rather, they DO mix. All too often. And there, as they say, is the rub.

My dogs took a short trip into the back garden today as everyone had downed tools for lunch. They left their mark:



There is a place in our garden that will now be forever Raffles and Oscar.