So, yesterday. I wasn't quite sure how it would all pan out. My beloved cat, Mr C, was back at the vet, a recurrence of a troubling and potentially serious - even fatal - condition. He had been readmitted the previous day for further investigations, not by either of our usual vets but by another member of the team who, unlike our usual vets - both women - does not do warm. He does not reassure. He does not speak kindly and gently to my dear old boy.
But just as I was setting off for an early walk with the dogs, one of the kind vets called to say that there was good news, Mr C was much better, although - if I were agreable - they would like to keep him for another day for an X-ray. She rang again, twice during the day to confirm that his recovery had been sustained.
So, that was the first good thing.
And then it was off to the hospital where I had been treated for breast cancer AKA on this blog as the Massive Inconvenience; it was the day of the annual post-treatment check-up. My Dear Friend, the Only Blonde in the Village came with me for reassurance and distraction. I wasn't anxious; I knew at a deep, instinctive level that I was fine. Nevertheless. . .
The concerned radiographer managed to make the mammograms less uncomfortable than in previous years; no mean feat, as any woman who has had them will tell you. As a late friend of the Only Blonde once remarked, it's akin to having your tenderest part shut in a fridge door. After the mammogram, the examination . . . but the young and rather gorgeous registrar came in smiling, so I knew: the news was good. Two years down, three to go before I am officially out of the woods but I continue to travel hopefully because it is the only way. The rather gorgeous registrar was followed by the jolly consultant who promptly organised some physio for ny stubbornly frozen shoulder - a side effect of the sentinel node biopsy two years ago and 'general wear and tear'.
Within an hour of our arrival, the Only Blonde and I were out of the hospital and, not for the first time, did I give thanks for the NHS to which I have happily contributed all my life and which gives me the care I need, free at the point of delivery. I may have to worry about paying the heating oil bill and the car service bill and every other big bill but I do not have to fret about finding money for essential healthcare.
So that was the second good thing.
We set off for a delicious and celebratory lunch at the Rock Inn at Waterrow. (Highly recommended, by the way.)
We met again later in the afternooon, when we were walking our dogs, and that is when things started to unravel. Because Miss P, my lovable but slightly bonkers foster dog, a Saluki collie-cross, went AWOL in pursuit of a pheasant. We called, we whistled, we searched, but the minutes and then an hour ticked by. The light was fading. There was no sign of her and the woods fell silent. And then night too fell.
For the next hour I shuttled between home and the ink-black woods, putting up 'dog lost' posters as I went. And then, good things happened. Friends and neighbours helped with the search: the Only Blonde and her husband said that they would drive their 4x4 around and through the wood, along the only vehicle-accessible track. The young gamekeepers who live in the village took details and said they would look out for her. Miss P's dear owners drove over from their village, kitted out for muddy night-walking, with torches, stout boots and warm jackets. We set off again, leaving the other dogs at home, snoozing after their supper.
When we arrived at the wood, we could see the lights of the Only Blonde's 4x4 as she and her husband finished their circuit and suddenly a cry went up: 'She's here; she's here!'
And indeed she was: cold, wet, shivering and frightened, running behind the 4X4 - three hours after she had gone missing.
So we all went home again . . . and I wanted to cry at the kindness of good people. I did cry.
It was the third good thing.
My original intention had been to sit up and watch the results of the US elections unfold - the Only Blonde and I had been united in our hopes for Obama - but I was as exhausted as my little dog. Bed beckoned. I slept through it all but woke to yet more good news and found myself bursting into song. This one in particular, by Elbow, which the choir I sing with learned over many weeks earlier in the year. It's a tricky song to master but once there, it's a fine song to sing and to listen to, as well. It contains this line:
'One day like this a year will see me right.'
Indeed it will.
A fine result, sealed with an equally fine speech.
The fourth good, exceptionally good, thing.