Vicious Circle

Some years ago we shared one half of a semi-detached house with another young couple who were the proud owners of an elderly Cocker Spaniel. As young couples with a dog and no children are inclined to do, they talked about their dog with great affection. And, we enjoyed hearing their stories, most of the time.

The dog belonged to the young woman and most of the time, the stories were told by her husband who often shook his head with incredulity in the telling.

One day he told us about the dog’s sneezing problem.

“The dog woke us up again this morning. He was sneezing. He’s almost blind and when he bumps his head on the wall he always sneezes.”

Then he laughed and said, “The worst thing is when he’s sitting next to the wall. He sneezes, then bumps his head, then sneezes again and bumps his head again. He gets into this vicious circle and can’t stop until we get out of bed and move him.”

His story is one of the main reasons we don’t own a Cocker Spaniel today.

Now, without drawing too many parallel lines between my life and the life of this poor beast, I too fell into something of a vicious circle this week.

During the cold, wet days of this year’s winter we’ve had trouble with condensation on the windows. The single-paned stained glass window on the landing is particularly troublesome. So, two days ago I decided to take some action with a towel and dried it off.

Things looked much better on the window, but my now I had a wet towel on my hands.

I’ve learned that the best way to dry a towel in this country is to hang it over the radiator. And, as there is a radiator directly beneath our window I thought this would be a perfect arrangement. I could dry the window each morning with the towel, then dry the towel by hanging it over the radiator. That way, I’d always have a dry towel on hand when the window got wet with the day’s condensation.

An hour later I came back and noticed the window was once again covered with condensation. So, I picked up my perfectly dry towel and wiped it down the window and hung the towel on the radiator below.

My plan was working perfectly.

Still later in the morning I climbed the stairs and discovered that the window was again covered with condensation; my towel was warm and dry.

“Where is all this water coming from,” I thought to myself.

Then I remembered the story about the dog, and the penny dropped.

I believe that I am somewhat more intelligent than the average Cocker Spaniel, but this story left me wondering if there might be more similarities than I’d care to admit.

For now, I’ve decided to let the condensation remain. One day, perhaps with the help of my owners I’ll come up with a better solution.

Today’s post is dedicated to Mrs. Vivien Burns, an avid reader of “The News From Scotland.” Mrs. Burns died last week; I did her funeral this morning.

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