I’ve told you before but I’ll tell you again, I am childless by choice. Not once in all my 40 odd years has it ever occurred to me to have a youngster. I’ve never minded going through the motions of reproduction (depending on who else was in the room at the time of course) but I’ve never wanted anything beyond a slight sweat and a craving for cookies as the outcome. But lately I can hear a soft ticking that heralds a change in priorities.

Perhaps it’s all these major life changes that I’ve made in the last year and a half. Perhaps it’s a newfound appreciation for things beyond myself. Or perhaps it’s too many re-runs of Frasier. Lately, every time I watch my two favourite psychiatrists in the finest display of neurosis ever captured on film, I find myself distracted. All I can take notice of is Eddie, the Jack Russell terrier who never fails to charm me into a swoony state of longing. Yes, my dogological clock has been wound tight and is keeping time with alarming precision.

Recently we met a little dog named Haggis. A goofy, milk chocolate version of Eddie who has come into the lives of some friends here in France. This must be what wanna be parents go through every time they pass an infant in the mall, a fundamental pull towards chaos no matter what the cost. I’ve had dogs before but Neil and I have never had a dog together for practical reasons. I was often working for long stretches of time as was he and it never seemed fair to have a poor creature spend most of its time alone.

But now I’m home all the time. I mean all day and all night. I call it winter but maybe self imposed house arrest is more accurate. I suppose I am a bit hermit-ish these days. Any dog of mine would be waiting for me by the side of the bed with my purse in its mouth, begging me to leave the house so it could finally chew a shoe and drink from the toilet, much like my husband does now.

But I know I need to be practical. Lord knows I’ve seen enough parenting go wrong, expanding one’s family should never be taken lightly. There’d be vet bills, housebreaking, walking in all sorts of nasty weather not to mention what to do with the little bundle of joy whenever we want to travel. And it’s that last one that stops me. I absolutely love that I can pick up and take off whenever I bloody well feel like it. Okay so I don’t exactly have an income that supports true jet-setting but hope springs eternal.

Anyway, I know myself pretty well and I freely admit that I don’t really have what it takes to be a mother. So for now I shall continue to love doggies from a distance. It’s probably just as well, I hear the breast feeding is a killer.