Realising I still have £5 left, I decide to take a detour on the way home and reinject it into the rural economy via the Village Pub.
The lounge bar is empty apart from Malcolm and Hawkwind Sid, who was never actually a member of Hawkwind, but claims to have jammed with them when he used to *like, uh, do the festivals, man*.
"Hello stranger," says Malcolm, peering at the recycled carrier bag plonked on the bar. "Been shopping, have we..? What's this, Marmite, schnapps and - oh, get this Sid, the man of letters has bought a CD by the greatest poet of the sixties, as in uh, Bob, uh, Dylan, ma-a-a-an."
Malcom makes a peace sign over his gin and tonic. Sid scratches his crotch through his combat pants. "Like, uh, right," he says. "What's it, uh, got on it..?"
"Bob Dylan mainly," I reply. "Bought it to like, uh, listen to in the car."
"Never had you down for a Dylan man," Malcolm says. "Sid met him in the seventies once, didn't you Sid..?"
"Uh, like, yeah, uh, no, that was Lemmy," says Sid. "When he was, like, uh, in Hawkwind. Or maybe after he left and, uh, formed Motorhead."
Quality conversation with my neighbours is one of the reasons I enjoy the occasional visit to the Village Pub. We are unsure when Motorhead were formed. I plump for 1980. Malcolm thinks I've confused them with Radiohead.
The latter half of the 20th Century is largely a blank as far as Sid's concerned. His dog is called Lemmy, in memory of temps perdu, but said hound does not play bass guitar for Motorhead, or have a wart on his nose.
Half way down my pint of Shuck, Malcolm disappears to water the horses.
"Uh, I was, like, uh, wondering something," says Hawkwind Sid. "I thought you were, like, uh, a journalist, man."
I reply in the affirmative, eyeing up my rapidly emptying glass.
"But Malcolm said you were, like, uh, a man of letters," Sid continues, clearly perplexed. "So if I buy you another pint, would you like, uh, write one to my probation officer..?"
Two hours and several pints later, I stick on the Dylan CD, sit down in my study with the bottle of schnapps and start writing.
Dear Mr Jenkins,
I am truly sorry for the mess that Lemmy my dog made in the probation office. I particularly regret the fact that he urinated on your photocopier, rendering it inoperable and causing a power cut in which your colleagues lost their work.
I hope that the remorse I feel on behalf of Lemmy regarding Friday's events will go some way towards assuring you that I am a changed man who is well on his way to rehabilitation. While I have not, strictly speaking, breached the terms of my licence, since preventing my dog from urinating on office equipment was not included in my parole conditions, I am willing to make a donation of £50 towards a charity of your choice by way of recompense.
Sidney Breeze Esq
I e-mail it to Sid, along with instructions on how to buy a stamp, attach it to the envelope and address it to the probation office.
Let no-one say I'm not prepared to go the extra mile for my mates.