To Chateau de Saint Loup near Parthenay at the weekend for the wedding of friends from London. Biff is beside himself with excitement as we arrive (if you look to the left of this picture you will see a small black dog perfoming somersaults of happiness on the lawn.)
The following morning I am walking him along the canal in the grounds of the chateau when suddenly I hear an ominous splash. I look down and see a small black face swimming frantically in a green carpet of slime. He tries several times to scrabble out and up the steep muddy bank without success. Realising that he's not going to get out unaided, I scoot down the slippery bank on my bottom - wondering if it is possible to swim in riding boots and a Barbour - and extend an arm down into the water but he's too far away to reach. He tries to scrabble out again, and after several attempts, I manage to grab him by the scruff of his neck and drag him out of the canal. He's covered in luminous green algae which he promptly shakes all over me.
We both return to the chateau covered in mud and green slime - which is really not the look for the weekend - and I smuggle him up the stone staircase without bumping into too many people and hose him down in the bath tub.
Later, as he poses for photos and mingles with guests at the cocktail reception and candle-lit dinner, I start to worry that he is looking a little too at home in this chateau. And sure enough, when we return home on Monday morning, he lies in a sulk on the sofa, resentful that I have removed him from the scene of such fun.