I have a hard earned reputation for being a bit ill tempered. However, at risk of alienating my audience, I’m going to be Miss Goody Two Shoes.

A year ago, a tortoise went missing from a town in Northumberland. I have a liking for animals of the Order Chelonidae.  I like tortoises, terrapins have an admirably bad attitude, and while scuba diving in the Maldives I had a turtle crap at me to cover its escape. Anyway, Andy-Bob, a great name, went AWOL. His owner, Ella Holland, aged at that time just six, was understandably distraught.

Fast forward twelve months. A neighbour found Andy-Bob wandering down a road, and recognised him by his bent tail and slightly deformed shell. Ella and Andy-Bob were reunited. Andy-Bob was a bit malnourished, but otherwise unharmed.

The thing here that’s intriguing is that in order to get where  he was found, he’d had to pass an old watermill, ford a river, and cross the East Coast Mainline rail route. He did this all by himself with the dogged determination that all tortoises exhibit, then survived quite a vicious winter.

It warmed the cockles of my heart, the photograph of Andy-Bob and a delighted Ella.

See? I’m a softy really.