As Husband pulled into the garage I was waiting, dog leads in my hand.
'The girls have eaten, they need to get in the bath and I need to take the dogs for a walk.'
It had been a long day at home - Frieda has tonsillitis and I have SO MUCH work.
My multi-tasking skills are pretty damn hot, but trying to code HTML while mediating sibling squabbles and work through the rider for South Africa's most famous drag queen proved just a little too diverse for me yesterday ....
The dogs and I set off at a fast trot. It was an unusually still evening and I enjoyed the neighbourhood sounds floating past us - ice tinkling in sundowners, baths running, dinners cooking - I enjoyed not being part of any of that (even the drinks!), moving quickly through the cool air.
Not being encumbered with small people we walked faster and further than usual, finding ourselves in streets and cul-de-sacs I'd not walked through before, and being later than the usual dog-walking set, we were alone.
Or so I thought.
An owl, somewhere close.
I slowed and scanned around the growing dusk, the trees and bushes strangely in sharper relief as the light faded.
Hu - hoooo.
Of course he'd spotted us before we saw him. A-perch a branch only just above my head we stared at each other for a long while, totally motionless and relaxed, then I left him to his evening hunting and walked on.
It was getting darker as we headed home. The shady pathways we'd come on felt closer and more mysterious now, the dogs stayed close, all of us breathing hard.
Those with some sense kept their mouths closed as the clouds of spring midges gathered. The dogs sneezed and coughed.
Approaching home I could see darkness in the upstairs windows, the girls weren't in the bath yet. Half an hour before that would have infuriated me, now it was totally fine.
We burst in the door in a gust of crisp air and renewed good humour, and smothered them in hugs and laughter.
A necessary walk. Thank you owl. Thank you dogs.
*African Eagle Owl pic from flickr*