OK, it’s definitely Friday today. We were sitting outside last night enjoying what should have been a tranquil clear evening and purple sunset. Now, I don’t want to appear to be xenophobic but there are one or two differences between the Portuguese and we from the frozen wastelands of the north. For us, pets are cherished, fed, pampered and kept under control. You almost never heard a barking dog in Germany, and, if you did, it was shortly followed by a sharp rebuke and a silver silence.
We live in quite a nice area, all palms pools and villas, mostly owned by expats. Opposite, however, is the residence of a Portuguese family. I know they’re Portuguese, not because I’ve met them, but because they go out at night (don’t ask) and leave their dogs outside to bay at the moon or bark at nothing for hour after hour after excruciating hour. You’d think they’d get sore throats. They’re not even nice dogs; they’re mangy scruffs and the sound they make reflects their appearance. They’re not like our barking dogs – they sound noble and well brought-up, they do the minimum barking necessary to show that they’re around, then curl up and sleep. No, these are darking bogs, a little spoonerism concocted accidentally by Luis last night, and it suits them down to their fleabitten coats. I suppose we should be grateful that they don’t do what most Portuguese do, and that is to leave the dogs out all night, like cats. The cats stay indoors, of course. But they don’t bark.
I have thought of poisoned steak but that might spark a vendetta and it’s cruelty to dumb animals (not wishing to be too specific with that reference) and we love animals, after all. Humane drowning or a Korean curry are next on the list but neither really appeals. Earplugs might work, or Wagner at full volume but then the other Germans would set up their chairs ouside to listen and set up Wurst bars, etc. No that’s not going to work. And the dogs might like it.
Away from darking bogs and back to the book. I’ve more or less decided that the hero is Rupert Penry-Jones and he has a nerdy side-kick who does all the IT research for their section; he’s based on James McAvoy and a bit like Penelope Garcia in the TV series Criminal Minds. Katja is, of course the fab Uma Thurman. We start in a scene where the paint is still wet on the new Agency and they are awaiting the arrival of Katja, a minor celebrity in Germany as she is an ex-Tornado pilot who served in Iraq with the RAF. Take it from there.
I think I’m ready to start writing. Darking bogs permitting.