By Vic Daniels
Having a dog is one quick way to make for a bigger social circle. You meet fellow dog-walkers in parks, become acquainted with total strangers you pass on the street, and even become friendly with folks your dog may, at one time, have almost scared the life out of.
Such is the case with one elderly Caribbean woman I met a while back - she came around a corner and bumped into Dino, who as usual, was taking his owner to the park. Since then, we've become more than passing strangers and often enjoy a brief chat whenever me meet.
'I'm leaving soon', she told me recently, 'The house is up for sale. We're going back to the Caribbean'.
'There's nothing here for us now', she replied when I asked her why her and her husband were 'returning home', 'We've been here for almost 50 years, but things are different now. We came here for the opportunities. But Britain is finished. There's nothing here but trouble. I fear for some of my friends who are staying. People are different here nowadays. It used to be such a friendly place'.
Naturally, I wished her well. 'It's the British, like you, I feel sorry for', she continued. 'At least we can go back to where we were born - back to a place we've bought near the sea. Back to nice people and nice weather, back to a place which is as unspoiled as it was 50 years ago. But people like you, Mister, have nowhere to go. It's so sad'.