A dish so sought after in the Far East that it is customary to leave one’s daughters on the streets and lock up the poodles. The poodle catcher is on the qui vive and the game’s afoot. The Vendée, however, does not have a tradition of man eat dog, although the Labrador across the lane seems keen on dog eat dog. Here, a fresh poodle is safe from the apricot recipe but not from the slavering jaws of peripatetic black dogs. Owing to this Exocet like threat at “walkies” time ( or, being French poodles, “promenade” time) we have to bundle our two temporary charges, Trigger and Gypsy, into the car with blankets over their heads, to make them unrecognisable as lunch, in the manner of mass murderers, or philandering politicians, leaving the Courts of Justice although it is rare that mass murderers or politicians are eaten for lunch but it would certainly save money on appeals. Once out in the forest the dogs are content. Their shiny noses hoover up unspeakable horridness but who are we to judge unspeakable horridness as anything they can do, we can do better as cuisine from the deserts of Sudan to the gardens of Japan clearly illustrate (pace Ian Dury). We are at the dawn of the seventh day of caring for our curly haired charges and the chances of Biblical rest seem remote. Trigger’s closest, closest best friend ( he doesn’t realise that there are duplicates of his best friend freely available on the internet, but then again, do any of us) is a rubber ball with a face on it. It travels by the name of Baballe and it is Trigger’s raison d’etre. Unfortunately Gypsy, who is still waiting for her portrait to be done, in a moment of three dimensional creativity, has transformed Baballe into a semi hemispherical cuplike thing that no longer functions as a ball. There is no point in throwing a cup for a dog, even a cup with an uncanny similarity to an old friend. Trigger is bereft and it is up to me to reft him by finding a duplicate of Baballe. That is today’s mission. As a matter of interest, Algy appears to be on the run.