If London is glitz and glamour, Pillow 2 is relaxed and comfortable. Here I am in Manchester, visiting a friend I’ve known since first grade. He’s been an expat in the UK for 30 years.
This is my second visit to Manchester. My friend and his partner have bought a charming old home since I was last here. In a long block of homes, attached by common walls, it’s called a “terraced house.” It’s the stuff novels are made of, with a narrow staircase winding up three floors, large rooms with high ceilings, and lots of fireplaces. There’s a true “water closet.” From the front gate, you enter through a tiny garden. In back, sunlight and fallen leaves dapple a small rectangular garden that’s mostly overgrown and too shady to plant most flowers.
Dixon, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, lives here. He gets taken on long walks twice a day through wooded parks and brambly pathways. On Saturday, we picked wild blackberries and, by the next morning, we were eating fresh blackberry jam with our bread.
Dixon knows many of the commands that Penny and other service dogs in training have to learn. I think he must be the smartest dog I’ve ever met.
Now, my suitcase and I are packing up and taking the train to Cumbria, England’s Lake District, where Pillow 3 is waiting.