I wonder if all the lovely people who left such kind messages and sent sweet emails about our dear little Mouse will ever know just what a blessing they were, in a very dark time? Thank you hardly seems adequate, but - thank you from the bottom of my heart. Being recently moved to a strange area, there were no 'real life' friends to turn to, so every word was balm and helped me feel a little less lonely.
Although our new, temporary home isn't handy for immediate foot wandering - a busy country road runs along the edge of the barn, and it shakes when lorries and tractors thunder by - we drive out as often as we can, to get a sense of place and familiarise ourselves with the area.
I have always found woods to be especially soothing - the mere whiff of damp leaf mould does more for me than a scented candle. And there are always treasures to find - coral fungus, baby frogs and strange stumps littering the forest floor.
A close look reveals a tiny bracken frond emerging from the old, rotting roots of the mother place.
With all the wet weather, fungi and toadstools are already emerging. These woods are mostly conifers, making the woods acidic; perfect for stink horns. There were dozens of them in the first 'egg' form, strangely metallic and translucent.
Stink horns are one of my favourite fungi, despite their smell and if you don't know what they look like after the egg stage, I dedicated an entire blog post to them once.
But if you prefer the larger things in life, then on the edge of the woods there is a vast view of Shropshire from Oliver's Point.
Driving out towards the border and views across to the beautiful Berwyn Mountains in nearby Wales.
While mourning my favourite cat, I have conquered my 'painting block' which has lasted for about two years. This is another comfort. The familiarity of painting has always soothed me. And tomorrow, Tuesday, we go to look at a very promising cottage - unless there is something really wrong with it, or someone else snaffles it, we are daring to hope.