Thanks so much for the good thoughts you sent my way yesterday! They warmed my heart — and they evidently did the trick, too, because I passed the test. Yay!

Sweetpea and her dad came to meet me after it was all over, and we went out for dinner in Oxford at one of my favorite restaurants anywhere: the Nosebag, where they serve scrumptious home-cooked food in the upper floor of a crooked 15th-century house. We had salmon with asparagus, pea, and lemon risotto, and coconut curry chicken with greens and a Waldorf salad, and it was delicious.

But the best bit was coming home and realizing I no longer need to spend my nights memorizing obscure facts about dog licenses, employment law, and the National Lottery…yay!!!

So my last celebration was a quick walk around the neighborhood as evening drew in. At that time of the day, the roses smell absolutely heavenly — some musky with perfume, others with a scent like oranges and lemons, and still others dark and peppery.

This afternoon I was thinking of those roses, and about the test I just took, when the Prime Minister’s eloquent apology for Bloody Sunday came over the radio. Half my family tree is rooted in Ireland; I wept as he spoke.

A rose from our garden