Since the high-drama of last seasons finale, and then the quieter reflection of the coda, the current season in the life of Thomas Shepherd has been of an altogether different pace than to what the fans have been used to. There have been recurring characters from the previous few series, but new ones too – and an at times surreal story arc taking off.
Last week, during one of the hottest weekends this Spring I helped Emma move house. Next month, after she gets back from a holiday in Cornwall with her family, I have to help her move again. Why the moves? Emma had been living in her Grannieâs house, but this now has to be sold so that Grannie can sell it to buy someone else due to having her having to move out of her late-partnerâs house â donât ask â its complicated â but this Grannie, being the other woman in marriage, sounds like quite a characterâ¦), and so last weekend I helped move into The Worldâs Smallest HouseTM (ie. not even a grannie-annexe). Being the worldâs smallest house though prompted a discussion with the vet she was working for last week, and the opportunity arose to move into a country cottage near Maidenhead/Windsor.
You still with me? Good, because it goes onâ¦
I went to see House #3 yesterday and I am so, so, so very jealous. Itâs a self-contained flat next to a house owned by the vet â and youâll like this detail â he canât get planning permission where his practice is to build a practice so he has an X-Files inspired JuggerVetTM where he does his operations (you remember the train that they used to have where they conducted alien autopsiesâ¦?). Well Mr Cook, the vet, has a house which is converted barns/dairy parlours and such like. Next to which he has a separate flat which he doesnât use and has offered Emma the use of at a very cheap rent â and I mean cheap â if it were a commercial rent youâd probably looking at about Â£1k a month! (vet nurses earn less than publishing by the way, so thatâs how cheap). Big lounge, and dining room, okay, the kitchen is tiny, but okay, nice bathroom, two big bedrooms, and a third one with en-suite kennels(?!!!). Thereâs a secluded courtyard out one side and French windows out the other onto a sun-filled patio, buttercup meadow beyond with hares and Windsor Castle somewhere out beyond.
Did I mention the pair of rescued Tawny Owls in the summer house and the Jackdaw? Oh, and that the barn next to the flat used to be home to a bull that was a record-breaking semen producer for, well you know, services lady cowsâ¦
So yes, truth. It is stranger than fiction.