As you can see, he's looking quite soulful - it's those spaniel eyes that do it every time. The problem is that although I don't doubt that he's pleased to see us, perhaps in his own doggy way he realises that his stay in dog heaven is about to be curtailed.
I was a bit worried that he'd been having such a good time that he would shun us on arrival. Being a dog, of course, he wouldn't appreciate the lengths I'd had to go to, to get North before Friday. Not for him, the knowledge that I'd crammed on to a commuter train into London with blue and pink, endured their toilet tourism while staying calm and trying to guard the precious seats that I'd gained by tactical elbow deployment; he wouldn't appreciate the stress of steering the 2 of them safely across London via the Underground, nor the total embuggerance caused by Network Rail helpfully sticking up posters all over Kings Cross directing passengers for Hogwarts to the new location of 'Platform 9 3/4'. And yes, I could have told them that we didn't have time, that we'd miss our train, but the look of hope on their faces made me crumble, so we battled across the main concourse of Kings X, out the other side, queued up for the photo opportunity (and despite my loud mutterings of 'I do hope we'll make our train' and 'Well you may have to have a picture together because we DON'T WANT TO MISS OUR TRAIN' no one let us go in front of them ) battled back across the concourse to see which platfrom the real train north was going from, only to have to battle back from whence we had come to get to Platform 1. At least in all that battling I managed to get a Nero Latte - my reward to myself when I make these train journeys. And the kids got their photos.
The rest of the journey, was, I have to say relatively uneventful. The train was uncrowded, the toilet tourists only managed 2 trips to the loo (the trains on the East Coast line have sliding doors, so they deserved a second look) and it was gratifying that after reading 16 chapters of Daisy and the Trouble with Zoos, and a significant amount of Five go to Treasure Island, one of my fellow passengers (adult) actually stopped me as we were getting off the train to tell me how much she'd enjoyed listening to the Famous Five again. Allotment Junkie was there to meet us and the children were, as expected overjoyed. Fortunately she had decided not to bring Fred with her to the station to meet us (I had strongly counselled against it - I had visions of my mother and the children being bound together as the dog went nuts with excitement, ran round them with the lead and then dragged them on to a train line).
20 minutes later and we were back at Recipe Junkie's childhood (well, from the age of 14) home, and there was Fred. After an initial 'who's there' bark, as I was hoping, he did his silly grin that he reserves for long lost friends, and went into wriggle mode, then started running backwards and forwards doing silly little yelps which I took to mean that he was pleased to see us. Apparently he has been spending much time in the garden, where he can keep an eye on all the comings and goings, and also, I suspect, to avoid the resident cat - apparently the relationship between them has not mellowed over the last 5 weeks. Tomorrow, I will be back on walks duty, and it will be my responsibility again if he hurls himself off a cliff/into the road/through a patch of thorns - because for all this time, Fred has managed to remain injury free for 5 whole weeks. Someting of a record. I am keeping everything crossed that it stays that way.