We've a very genteel nursing home on the patch. It's taken over an Edwardian era Vicarage and converted it to accommodate the residents in the rooms formerly devoted to staff and family, using the larger reception rooms for dining and lounging very much as you'd expect. It's a good one. You can tell because your never greeted by an unsavoury aroma when you cross the threshold-- regular visitors to such establishments will know exactly what I mean, there are always staff on hand to greet you, and always with a smile, and none of the residents is left to wander wraith like through the halls and stairwells.
It's also apparently run by people of quite unsound mind. They commissioned a local artist (also a patient of mine as it happens) to bedeck their common areas with what our family has always referred to as "Muriels". Vasty paintings of trellised vines and frolicking Putti interspersed with little snippets of inspirational text . All very tasteful, but neither Vicarly nor especially Homey, but not without it's own idiosyncratic charm. But this is far from the limit of their artistic pretensions.
Being an Edwardian era property the home has grounds which though obviously landscaped ab initio, had been let go a bit before the present occupiers took root. So they decided to do them up a bit and have a sculpture park. You know the sort, all concrete Lions and Dishevelled and Deshabillee Nymphs and Graces. Indeed the portals to the establishment are guarded by two resplendent sprawling "marbled" Lions of fierce and noble mien who look like they've been there since time immemorial.
Now I've not visited for a few months-- they're good enough that I seldom have to except to welcome new residents who have opted to join our list, or to review the med's of those of our patients who have been lucky enough to fetch up there-- yes Dr Field et al, some of us really do go out and review our patients med's you know (sorry just a bit of a snit about today's Radio 4 News coverage, if you've not heard it it really doesn't warrant repeating now-- forgive the intrusion). So today I was especially pleased to see they've installed a new sculpture pride of place in the centre of their lawn.
There, atop a noble plinth stands a life size "bronze" of a sheepdog. Fair enough I hear you say. Nothing wrong with a statue of dear old Shep surely? And you're quite right, except....
This dog has his forepaws planted foresquare on the rump of a rather startled looking sheep, his hind legs splayed wide in classic leap-frog pose as he vaults over his ovine charge, ears flapping away behind him.
After spotting this I chuckled all the way back to the surgery, and I only hope, when my time comes, they find me someplace just as quirky to spend my dotage.