The bigger the brolly the greater the lightning risk

This morning, in Acton, a dog walker’s van was stolen. The van had six dogs in it. The worst was assumed as far as the dogs were concerned. One of the owners was Rory Cellan-Jones. Each day he Tweets his walks with his dog, Cabbage. He has almost 200,000 followers on Twitter. When the van was stolen he made a heartfelt plea on Twitter. It quickly spread with retweets from everywhere.

Throughout the day, the tweet grew momentum, spreading further and further, honing in on the perpetrator. @MissingPetsGB picked up the challenge. The six dogs were named, photos collected, posters produced and, sent out into the ether.

The story was picked up by the BBC and both the Daily Mail and Telegraph online. According to one Twitter user, “…we made things too hot for the thief.” By the afternoon, a man found five of the dogs wandering the streets near the abandoned van.

Obviously, five of the six owners were delighted and relieved, but the plea continued as the search for Buffy/Bafi continued. It wasn’t until quite late that the news that Buffy/Bafi had been found was broadcast on Twitter.

Twitter as a network is usually filled with anger inducing bile and Tory sleaze but, today, it was used for something wonderful. Today it was a force for good.

Here, in Farnham, things were not quite so exciting. The weather was drizzly for a start. As I said to Dave the Gardener when they arrived, it’s days like this I’m truly glad I’m not a gardener. He gave me an ironic smile.

The walk into town was a bit grey though the rain that fell didn’t make anyone wet. Not that that stopped everyone wearing enough weather proof clothing to survive the Arctic. I’ll never understand the way the English over dress when the weather gets a bit miserable. Today I even saw kids with golf umbrellas. Why on earth do kids need umbrellas bigger than themselves?

Also, why do golfers need such big umbrellas? Are they that scared of the rain? Surely the bigger the brolly the more chance of attracting lightning. I’ll never understand golfers.

But back to this morning. Farnham wasn’t looking its best in the gloom.

But ‘braving the weather’ paid off as I spent a lovely couple of hours chatting with Andrew, mostly about food in far-flung places. From the good (Beijing) to the ridiculously expensive (Venice). From the unexpected (Tenerife garages) to the ones to avoid (menus with more than three languages).

We were so ensconced in our conversation that the usually deafening parents-returning-from-dropping-the-kids-off-at-school, came and went unheard. In fact, by the time we left, the place was almost empty.

Then, as if to complete the morning with as much joy as possible, the sun came out, the clouds dispersed and the park look beautiful again. So much for the doomsday raincoat and golf umbrella brigade.

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