Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Blanket Dispute


It's my blanket. No, it's mine

I think Rafi won this one when we came in from our walk, even before I had time to take the leads off them. But Jade got her own back by sitting on him.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Miscellany

I don't want this blog to be full of doom and gloom, so I haven't posted much lately. The days have been full of trying to cope with the treatment for my illness, and the side effects of the cancer drugs and even when there were happier interludes I could have reported, I haven't really had the energy. But we now seem to have turned a corner with the drug trial and error and , fingers and toes crossed, we may have found the right dosage of the right drug to keep the tumours at bay and still allow me some quality of life.

I looked in on my singing group yesterday, was made a big fuss of and even managed to warble a few of the Christmas songs being practised for the seasonal sing-outs. Maybe I'll get to join in with them yet.

My daughter has started her new job. My neighbours have been helping out with dog walks. My granddaughter has begun taking two buses to school and is more grown up than ever. She put on a pair of new shoes today and is now - at 12 years old - taller than both myself and her mother.

Jade has also found a new lease of life; her limp disappears when she is out walking and running around with Rafi. Yesterday my daughter met a friend to take the dogs to Sandbanks beach and this friend took a great pic of Jade. I just had to show it to you.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Brookwood Cemetery



pic by Ron Strutt

A post over at Sharkbytes' My Quality Day' has inspired this one. It reminded me of  the largest cemetery in England which I pass in the train on the way to London. Some of my friends have done the guided tour and I have long wanted to make a visit myself.

I'm not sure what the attraction is of cemeteries. Perhaps it's just their tranquil nature. Sometimes people just want to visit the last resting place of someone famous or just known to the visitor. I just feel drawn to this place for its history and the intriguing way it looks.

I found it has a wikipaedia page which tells me it was opened mid 19th century to take the London overflow. It also mentions how spacious and uncluttered the grave sites are, and that it was landscaped and planted to make it attractive, with for example, large avenues of tall sequoia trees and various luxurious shrubs.

Half of the Necropolis was designated for those with non-Anglican religions, including Jews. It was considered so important that it had its own railway line built - the London Necropolis Railway - with a stop in each of the different halves of the grave yard. The designated railway is long gone but you can still reach the cemetery via a stop on the main line. The cemetery has developed significantly over the years and part of it was taken over by the military to accommodate war graves in the 20th century.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Sleeping with the Laundry

Jade has reinstated an old habit.



Here she is as puppy in the same basket.


Seems like old habits do die hard.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Old Friends and Favourite Places

I've just had a weekend away, staying with an old friend and her husband and their dog, Ginger.


My friend is old in more ways than one. She is my age and we are both well into our twilight years. But we first met at Torquay Girls' Grammar School when we were in our teens, so we really are old friends. I only have one friend who is older in that sense of the word - someone I met at primary school age - and they are also known to each other and whenever I see one of them, she asks after the other.

So here is the story of the weekend. I left Jade with my family, who were having their own friends to stay and were pleased that my bedroom would be free. I let the train take the strain and after about an hour's journey, was met at the other end by my friend, who ferried us on to her home in the country. She and her husband have been there for a lot of years. The house is one that is carved out of the estate of a 'big house', and the garden is surrounded by mature trees which shield them from all the individual new homes that have been built around them. Neighbours are not often evident and it seems to me like a peaceful haven. I always relax straight away when I get there.

Another bonus is the saluki-like greyhound they acquired from a greyhound rescue centre, who is the most laid back dog ever. Yesterday we took her for a walk around Bishops Waltham, which is a delightful little nearby town, where everyone greets you with a smile and a comment about the dog or the weather or some such.

The day before we left her with her master and took ourselves off to Mottisfont Abbey, which is a favourite haunt of mine that I have written about before in this blog. This time it was showing an art exhibition of paintings of trees which included some pictures by a friend of my friend. Of course we also had to go and see the walled garden, which was still a delight although it was way past the time for the olde English roses to bloom. There was colour outside the walls though. Here are some pics I took of the flowers and foliage.



Thursday, 1 October 2015

Router Problem Indoors, Sunshine Outside

After being without the internet on my laptop for nearly two weeks, I finally have  a new BrightBox courtesy of EE, and I can post again. Yippee. My faithful Belkin was working hard to connect everything, but couldn't get me internet access so it has been consigned to the stationery drawer, where it will probably languish for a while before exiting for an unmentionable future. It was touch and go with the BrightBox when I got it set up, but when I turned everything on yesterday, we quickly got connected.

Everyone is pleased, but granddaughter jumped for joy that she can get Youtube on her i-pad and can play on the Xbox with friends from the London area.

We've had some good weather recently, and a lovely walk on Sandbanks beach on Sunday while the lamb roastie was cooking. The dogs loved it, as they do most of the off road walks we have around here. Here they are both waiting patiently by the front door for their humans to be ready.



Now we are a two dog household one of the problems is that when Rafi gets excited, Jade joins in and they both chased a local cat in the garden recently, after which Jade's limp has returned with a vengeance. The vet says she must still have moderate exercise so she still come for walks with us, but we can't go too far and she musn't run much, not that she wants to.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Another Lovely Dog Walk at Badbury Rings

We took the dogs on a recce to Badbury Rings this morning. Jules goes horse riding nearby one day a week, but she rides alone and wanted to learn her way around a bit on foot. We did some exploring, which I love to do, following the bridleways. Didn't meet any horses and riders - just a few walkers like ourselves.

It's a lovely place. I went there with George in June last year and wrote about it here. Of course it was a little bitter sweet remembering that. This time we went through the gate at the far end and followed little paths until we could see the farm where the horse Jules rides lives.



Then we turned to do a loop that took us back into another entrance to the Badbury Rings enclosure and along the outside of the outer ring of the hill fort to the car park. We walked for nearly an hour which is a bit longer than I've been doing lately, but I really enjoyed it.



The dogs had a great time too. Unfortunately, Jade found an area of sheep droppings to roll in so she had to g in the shower before the indignity of the hair dryer and then getting well wrapped up for her kip.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Water in the House but the Carnival Show Goes on

I've been on my own for three days as the family have all gone to London for the weekend - it's bank holiday and time for the Notting Hill Carnival.


The pic is of one of the amazing floats in last year's carnival and was taken by David Sedleck√Ĺ

I expect the girls back later today. The weekend has been good for me. I've found out how much more I can do after being spoilt so much following my operation, so they will come back to find all their laundry washed and pressed. I've also driven the dogs out to the start of some great walks, although they are still a bit shorter than I used to do. And it has all been paced with rests in between and decent meals.

I had a shock one night last week though. Woke up at 4 am to hear water dripping. It was coming from a corner of the boiler cupboard which is in my lovely new bedroom in the garage conversion. Fortunately it was dripping into the waste bin and not on the new carpet. I got a bowl underneath it and put a tea towel in to muffle the sound, but lay in bed listening and waiting until morning when I could call the builder to check it out. We'd had some torrential rain in the night but it  did stop in the early hours and eventually so did the drip. When the builder returned my call I told him it was not so urgent and he came this morning to investigate. He found some loose brickwork below the flat roof and a choked gutter, cleared out the gutter and will return later in the week to redo the bricks. Should do the trick, as another £100 bites the dust. (Note to self - check if home insurers will cough up). I'm still luckier than my dog groomer though, whose house was in 10 inches of water after a storm earlier in the year, and is still not properly dried out.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Stage 1 is Over

Here I am again. The bad penny is back.

Two weeks ago, my dear daughter and gorgeous granddaughter moved in with me. The following Friday I had my right kidney and its tumour removed. The Monday after that I came home. It's amazing what can be done with keyhole surgery these days, and how you can recover quickly. I now await decisions on the next stages of my cancer treatment.

My sleeping quarters have been moved downstairs to the garage conversion with its en-suite. Couldn't be more convenient. My girl is looking after me and being a real mother hen. Wednesday afternoon saw me sitting outside a Boscombe beach hut to celebrate my son's birthday and watch all the beach fun.




But this weekend I'm having some quiet time while the family are out with friends. This is what Eryn got up to yesterday afternoon while I was snoozing at home.

https://video-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hvideo-xft1/v/t42.1790-2/11834426_10207506275238886_1453504712_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjQ4NCwicmxhIjo1MTJ9&rl=484&vabr=269&oh=8347f9be349a78af3b4b6bd8bae32e7c&oe=55D09394

Sorry I don't know how to make this live on the blog. It's worth a look if the link works or you can copy the url which I got from Facebook. Eryn is wearing the red jacket and the other flyer is her friend who is visiting us.


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Health Problems

So. I am sick, with some nasties growing inside my torso. I guess they are going to get me in the end, but the medics are determined to prolong things with surgery and new drugs. I shall go along with this because I really want to be around for the next few years with my daughter and granddaughter living here, and my son and partner not far away. And I'd like to see more of my older granddaughter and the great-grandees. The youngest is a year old today.

And I want more time with Jade. She is progressing well after her op. I rook her for physiotherapy this afternoon and the therapist was really pleased as she hadn't seen her for two weeks. Next Monday week she has her follow up consultation with the surgeon.

In the pic she is sitting at my feet as I perch on an upturned boat at our harbour
beach. We can go there again now as long I take her in the car, lifting her in and out, and she doesn't walk for more than 15 minutes. She has a sandy nose from all the sniffing and snuffling she's been doing, and she's looking at me as if to say, 'what are you doing sitting there. Come on. Let's get going.'

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Solace in the Garden

Jade had keyhole surgery 2 weeks ago, and some loose bone was removed from her right front elbow. The vets looked at the other leg with an invasive camera but found no work to be done there. I collected her the same afternoon and spent some days lifting and carrying her, but she is back on her feet now, and it's hard to stop her jumping on the furniture and getting into the garden to chase cats. Hopefully she'll soon be her old self, but in less pain. But for the next month I'll still have to carry her upstairs at night. I was so worried about carrying her back down without mishap that I devised a novel way of doing it, with her sitting on my lap as I slide from step to step on my bottom. Picture that, and have a giggle. It works, though.

Unfortunately, I've had a health scare myself and have to have more hospital tests this week to find the extent of the problem. Fingers crossed it's not too bad. I'm getting very tired so have to pace myself and rest in between jobs.

In the meantime the house project continues with lots of help from my family.My daughter has been here for a week to remove the last items from my old office and paint it. I've ordered a carpet and, when that is laid, I can turn it into my new bedroom. We bought some shelving for the new study area and I'm starting to fill it, but still have lots of stuff lying around in boxes.

The garden was badly neglected over the winter, and I thought the frost had killed off the arum  lily plant. But it has come back with three beautiful flowers.


The one at the bottom has been nibbled by something, but the other two are pretty well picture perfect.



The beetle thinks so too. Can you see him in the bottom picture?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Jade and the House

Jade now has a firm diagnosis - some degeneration in part of the bones in her elbows. She'll be having keyhole surgery next Monday to remove bits that are grinding together and causing pain on weight bearing. I brought her home yesterday afternoon, still rather sleepy and subdued after the anaesthetic for the scans, but otherwise ok.

With everything else going on I haven't had time to update you on the house changes, but the sideboard has been cleared, cleaned and put up for sale on Gumtree. It seems there is a market for retro 1960s G plan style furniture. If it doesn't sell it will go to a charity.


Everything from inside it has been sorted. A lot just went into the bin. Some will be off tomorrow to the Pound Puppy Animal Rescue for fundraising. They are also going to have all the books that have sitting on Green Metropolis for several years - I've just discovered that, sadly, that website has closed down. A few other items I may try to sell myself. Anyway, I now have my dining table back and ready for use. Compare the pic below with the one in last Wednesday's post



Monday, 11 May 2015

Jade is in Doggie Hospital

Today I took Jade to the specialist vet she was referred to, and I decided to leave her overnight as they didn't have time to complete all the tests and scans today. I could have taken her home and come back in the morning, but I'd have had to punch through all the peak time traffic to get her there by 8 am, so this is easier for me. Apparently she is getting lots of fuss made of her and is making lots of friends, but I worry about whether she will eat for them as she is a fussy eater. I had to starve her this morning and she won't be able to eat again after midnight, but I suppose a couple of days won't hurt too much.

I'm not feeling too good myself actually - another reason for not bringing Jade home and having to get up at the crack of dawn. Rather nasty cold symptoms with painful throat and neck. Making me very tired as well so I hope I can stop worrying about Jade, get an early night and have a good sleep.

I expect a call in the morning to give me an update and be able to collect her when she has recovered from the anaesthetic in the afternoon. Looking forward to the welcome I'll get then and praying for her in the meantime.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Sideboard that Has to Go

 This is the last drawer of the sideboard that I have to empty


Most of the rest of the items it disgorged - those that have not already been binned - are now sitting on the table.

My next task is to decide what to do with it all.  Binning it is the easy way, but I can't bear to throw away things that will be useful to someone.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Coming Down from the Clouds

After that last wonderful weekend it was back to my projects at home. Tuesday afternoon saw my new glass splashback installed to protect the new sofa which arrived the next morning. With the newly painted walls and the new curtains and blinds, it all looks very swish. When I get some colour coordinated cushions it'll be even better.



Of course the rest of the place is in chaos. The sofa and dining table are now rather squashed so the next thing to go will be the sideboard, so the table can go further away from the sofa. The sideboard cupboards and drawers had been taken over by my hubby. I'd been putting off sorting all that because it is a mess - he had a habit of pushing things into it and then forgetting them for ever. I've made a big hole in the sorting now, and when I've finished I'll clean it up and probably offer it to a local charity.

The  breakfast bar that used to sit where the sofa is now, is to be installed in my new study alcove to act as a long desk and shelf. I'm expecting that job to be started by a friend on Thursday. So the reorganisation is coming along in fits and starts.

But the real worry at the moment is Jade, who is now very lame. we don't have a proper diagnosis for tor her problem as yet, but I have an appointment for her at a specialist vet to do an assessment next Monday. This is at Ringwood so it'll be almost a full day out. I do hope they can find out what is causing it so that it can be treated. It will also be very expensive but they are going to claim it on my insurance. I'm so glad now that I took out one of the best ones. I had been thinking it was a lot of money to pay out every year, but now I realise it was well worth it. Just a MRI scan would make a big hole in my meagre savings, which are already being depleted by the house makeover.

It's been a lonely week too. Jade and I have been on our own in the house and not seen many people to talk to on our short forays outside. Long treks are out of the question while Jade clearly finds it so painful to walk. How people used to manage without telephones I just can't remember, although we didn't always have one in our house when I was a child.




Thursday, 30 April 2015

Marathon Day

Blogging has had to take a back seat for a while as there is so much going on here. But last weekend I was in London and saw the marathon runners for the first time. I was there with some of the family to cheer on my nephew who was running his first full marathon. He was running to support UNICEF and we pitched up at their cheering posts just in time to see him flash by at Mile 13 on the opposite side of the road to us at Mile 22.

My daughter took some great photos.
This one features his wife and children with my granddaughter.


This is where we set up camp and had our picnic lunch during the long wait for him
 to run the next nine miles.


And here he is at last, stopping off long enough to give us all a big hug.


He made it in five and a quarter hours, earning £2.5 thousand in sponsorship for UNICEF. 
Here we all are at the UNICEF meeting point afterwards. 


It was quite a day. When we got back to my daughter's house after battling through the crowds to a train at Waterloo, we were pretty exhausted ourselves, even though we hadn't run 26 miles. It took the Torquay contingent until after 11 to get home by car, so I guess we really were the lucky ones. And we had a fantastic welcome from the dogs, who had been home alone except for going out for a walk with some very helpful friends in the afternoon.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Jade Likes the Beach

Jade and I are alone again. After the last of my visitors left yesterday, Jade was really upset. I didn't realise until it was her dinner time and she wasn't interested in her food. Hunger got the better of her though. She picked at it during the evening and it was all gone by 9.30. She's back to normal this morning and breakfast disappeared in a flash.

Her limp is getting better, though still in evidence, so I haven't been walking her far. But yesterday morning we went for a final walk on Sandbanks Beach with Eryn, her mum and a friend, and of course, Rafi. Jade was overjoyed and ran and played a bit, though not as enthusiastically as Rafi.


It was a day for meeting other cavvies. These dogs always recognise their own breed and run towards each other with tails wagging away. We met at least half a dozen of them in ones and twos, which was quite unusual.

Eryn forgot to bring her jacket, although she had been reminded before we got in the car. She insisted that she wasn't cold, even though the air was distinctly chilly in the wind. She probably just wanted to show off her new T-shirt.


Anyway. it's back to solitary walks for me and Jade now.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Bittersweet Memories

Today would have been my lovely mother's 97th birthday, but we lost her 10 years ago.
I took this pic the last time I saw her three weeks before she passed.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

On the Ninth Day

I'm posting again. The house is mainly a tip, but I have one beautifully redecorated bedroom, plus a pristine and pretty kitchen/diner and alcove. All thanks to my daughter and some of her friends.

Children have been catered for with watershutes, indoor bowling, crazy golf, dog walks, park visits and football on the beach, as well as an x-box in the bedroom. Daughter and I have been catering for everyone morning midday and evening. We are all feeling pretty tired.

Both dogs have been unwell and have been taken to the vet. Rafi has an ear infection and has special drops for that. Jade hasn't caught that but is limping badly despite the prescribed pain killers. She refused to walk when we all went out after supper yesterday and today, just dug in her paws and wouldn't come with us. It was obviously hurting her too much. She has now been started on a course of injections.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Clocks and Dogs

I lost a couple of hours this morning. I woke up when Jade was pawing at me and looked at my watch - 6.30. Ok, time for a cuppa before I take her out. I took my tea back to bed and sipped it while reading the current book on my Kindle. Soon after 7 the landline phone rang. I galloped downstairs but just missed it. 1471 told me it was my daughter.

Thinking it must be an emergency for her to call that early, I phoned back but she couldn't talk as she was on another call. I finally discovered that it wasn't an emergency after all. She just wanted to ask my advice on something that wasn't particularly time critical. Strange.

I went back upstairs and got dressed ready to take Jade out. In the kitchen, I faffed around finding tissues and pooh bags for my pockets. I glanced at the clock: 9.58.

What!

Every other timepiece agreed, even my mobile phone. All except my watch, which clearly needs a new battery. So it was actually after nine when my daughter called,

Poor Jade. Instead of having her morning walk before 8 as usual, she had to wait until 10. Do you think the picture is the equivalent of a dog with legs crossed? No wonder she had been pawing at me to wake up.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Getting Back to Normal


Felt quite proud of myself yesterday for what I managed to achieve on my own. I had got the floors, worktops and cupboard doors cleaned up the day before, and was wondering how I'd manage to get the furnishings back in place, even the curtains which had previously been a two-man job. But I worked out the way to do that before I even got out of bed in the morning. And my plan to take the curtain rail down, resting it on chairs to get the curtains on and then put it back, worked a treat, even if I was in danger of falling off the step stool a couple of times. Later I found it was possible to drag the fridge and the heavy furniture across the tiled floor, and now I have my kitchen/diner back. It won't have to be moved around again until the decorating contingency arrive just before Easter, by which time the plaster around the new window will be well and truly dried.

My lounge is still covered with piles of books that need properly sorting before I decide where the ones I want to keep will live in new house format. Jade is somewhat confused by it all and frequently escapes into the garage conversion where she has a comfy bed  behind my computer. The only trouble with that is, while she can push the door open and go in, it swings to again and she can't get it open to get out. So I have to follow her and wedge the door open. If I don't see her go, I know where to find her later. But she's usually quite happy if she has a warm bed to curl up in.



Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Let There be Light


This is my new window which has just been fitted. It lets more light into the ground floor extension, opposite the alcove that used to house the kitchen and is destined to be my new study area.


Monday, 16 March 2015

My Great Grandchildren


At Christmas I was given a lovely calendar for 2015 with various photos of one or more of my three greatgrandchildren. This is the one for March. It's so lovely I can't keep my eyes away from it. It had to come down from the wall as the builder has finally arrived to add a new window to my kitchen diner, and I wanted to protect it from dust. A great opportunity to scan and share this one.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday the 13th

I'd completely forgotten that today was Friday the 13th until a few moments ago when I logged into my email and discovered I am a little over $40 better off as my article about this phenomenon sold today at Constant Content.

That was only one of the happy events of today. It rained quite hard in the night and was still raining when I got up this morning, but by 10,30, when I was ready to take Jade for a good walk, it had stopped. Before that I had tucked her into her rainproof coat and let her out into the back garden.

After the rain we enjoyed a grand tramp through the woods and Jade obediently stayed on the far side of the gate while I hotfooted it to the pooh bin at the Upton House car park. The farmer was about to bring his cows across the lane and was really impressed that she stayed exactly where I left her until I returned. I wasn't: that's what I had told her to do. (The picture is by John Lamper, and shows the rather splendid frontage of Upton House, which is surrounded by the country park.)

After that Jade stayed at home while I went to catch up with some of the Streetlifers over a drink at lunchtime. I had to leave them early though to head on to my singing group practice, where we had a hilarious time with all the jokers bang on form. When I got home Jade was looking out of the window to watch for me and we've just had a lovely cuddly hour on the sofa.

So I have enjoyed today. I think Friday the 13th could be good for me.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Postumous Poetry

One of my friends lost a dear friend last year. She told me that she was the only person who had seen her friend's poetry, and there was plenty of it over the years. She doesn't want it to die with her, so has undertaken the massive task of collating and publishing it on a website. I've looked at quite a few of the poems and found some of them really intriguing. I'll be popping in from time to time to read more as the collection grows. If I have piqued your interest, go to marionjonespoetry.com.

Here's a taster - my favourite so far:

Not when the sun-lit blue of summer seas

Not when the sun-lit blue of summer seas
Laps softly white against the golden sand ,
When fluffy clouds drift gently in the breeze
And the fierce sun glares in the blueness over the land ,
When tanned young swimmers laze by the lazy deep ,
With soft warm sand for a pillow as they sleep —
But when the white unbridled horses shake
Their manes of foam , and leap in the grey-green sea
When grating rollers wild on the pebbles break
And the black sky thunders warning of storms to be ,
When men in oilskins struggle with wind and wave ,
In peril launching , loved souls in peril to save ,
Praise we most fully Him who all things made
Whose voice these men , as once the storm , obeyed .
14th September 1952

Friday, 6 March 2015

How to Make Friends and Influence People

The internet, they say, is a way to make friends all over the world. I certainly have many virtual friends in faraway places. But recently I've discovered that it can also help you make friends in your own neighbourhood. I've now been living here for nearly six years, and I know my neighbours and the local dog walkers, but haven't got really close to anyone. Joining the singing group widened my circle of acquaintances, but suddenly there's a whole new raft of opportunities coming through Streetlife.com.

I got a letter inviting me to join so I decided to give it a try. Streetlife is a local community network which has recently started up in my area to facilitate conversations between local people and keep them up to date on what's going on in the area. One stream I got involved in has already resulted in joining forces with other dog walkers and have company and chat on the way. The same one has organised get-togethers for coffee or lunch which have not yet quite worked for me yet, but I'm sure they will. There's a lot of recommendations for skills that might be needed and it's an opportunity to advertise events that might be of interest. And all completely free.

Meanwhile, the first daffs have come out in my garden.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

My life by Jade: Helping my Mummy

My poor Mummy has writer’s block so she asked me to help her out by producing this and apologising for not posting for such a long time. Actually I think the block has been in getting her to sit down at the computer. There has been so much else going on here, and it’s not going to get much better for a while.

She finally found a builder to put in the new window that will bring light into the alcove that the computer is to move into with all the stationery and stuff that is left after the big turn-out (which is still under way). We hope that will be done next week. The leak from the towel rail in the shower room has been fixed properly at last. When all the lights went out last night, it did rather seem like the last straw, but in the morning light she found the trip switch that turned most of them on again: all except the one which broke and tripped us into darkness. We can manage just as well without that one.

Today we went to another vet to get a second opinion on my ‘arthritis’. I am only four years old but my front legs are hurting nearly all the time now. He was a very thorough vet and he confirmed that I have joint problems in both my shoulders. Mummy had thought it was only one but I let her know about the other one this morning when he pulled it. He was a very nice man and gave us several options for how to deal with it, and now we have to discuss it with my usual vet again.

In between all this Mummy has been making some new friends which meant one day we went for a walk with four other dogs and their two Mummies. We also had some visitors so we can write more posts about all that as well.


Will that do for now, Mummy?  Thank you, Jade.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Things that Make me Smile

I am feeling very chuffed today. I've been quietly getting on with my project of dismantling my home office and getting rid of all the business documentation I can. It's quite a task with files that date back to 1995 when I set up as a marketing consultant, specialising in targeting and tendering, in partnership with a former colleague after we were both made redundant.

Some years before that I had started writing a novel on my old Amstrad WP, then shelved it when life became far too busy. Several years ago, I turned my house upside-down trying to find my hard copy and resurrect it, but had no success. I thought I must have accidentally destroyed it, and although it was still all in my head, I lost heart and gave up on it again.

I should have known better. Just this morning it has turned up in a file marked writing ideas which I obviously haven't opened in donkey's years. So that has put a big smile on my face.

What else is new? The weather - Tuesday last week I was writing about snow. The last couple of days Jade and I have been out walking in sunshine. Yesterday I managed to park on the cliff top outside the harbour, and we walked down the chine to the ocean.


Once we were there, Jade shot off to gallop around on the beach. She  must have suddenly realised I wasn't with her because she then turned to high-tail it back.


Photos by Chris Downer (2007)

The trouble was she didn't see me as she thundered straight past and went hairing off down the promenade dodging the legs of all the walkers. She soon realised her mistake though, heard I was calling her from behind, and turned around and came back so we could have some fun on the sand before taking a zig-zag path back up the car.



Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Snow

Yes, we woke up to some snow this morning. Quite surprised actually, and rather gutted actually, because two days ago, after sheltering my latest purchase of potted daffodil bulbs on the kitchen windowsill for several days, I decided it was safe to plant them out because the cold snap in the north of the country hadn't reached us properly here in the south. I suppose I was asking for it. Yesterday we had a sharp frost and then today, the snow.


Not a great deal but enough to make me put on the snow and ice stud belts (bought recently from the AA via the internet) over my boots when I took Jade to the park first thing. By the time we went out again after lunch the sun had chased all the snow away, and I felt safe driving my car. (I'm a real wimp about things like that.) So we had a brisk tramp harbourside around Hamworthy Park, with some beach play thrown in, and I took a blanket to wrap her in when I had to leave her in the Asda covered car park for a quarter of an hour. She was still under it and warm as toast when I returned to the car with my groceries.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

My Mistake

I posted something about a local crime, and it got to Google+ before I read a local paper that printed a plea from the police to leave it alone on social media. So I thought I'd better delete it. Sorry to anyone who tried to follow the link. In the fullness of time, you may be able to get the story.

But I will tell you that I've had a lovely visit from this lovely pair of great grandees today, with their parents of course.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

No Time to Write

I'm forging ahead with my projects, and clutter is leaving the house every day. Most of the files of documentation from my old businesses have already hit the dust, which feels like weight lifting off me. (Sorry about the mixed metaphors/similes, but they just seem appropriate). I have photographed a box of reusable files, dividers and empty file pockets and put an ad on Gumtree to see if anyone local to Poole and Bournemouth is in need of such items.

My recycling bin is already heavy with all the paper I've removed, so I've already pushed it from the back to the front of the house ready for the next collection. Otherwise I might find it difficult to move it on my own. Another two bags of hubby's clothing have been put out for charity.

It's still a slow process, punctuated by family visits, a day out with a friend, singing on Friday afternoons, and the daily dog walks. Jade and I have been exploring a new area of Upton Country Park which has just been opened, with new trails to follow. At the weekend I had Eryn and Rafi to stay and we had a glorious walk along the beach below Highcliffe Castle where I handed them back to my daughter on Sunday, so she could drive them northwards back to London while I turned westward for home.

I have also completed a tax return for my son, who will get a nice rebate, and one for myself,with the amount due paid up. Despite all these distractions, the projects are coming along. What I haven't been doing is writing. You probably noticed a dearth of blog posts in the last week. I realise I need to rectify this or it will be hard to get going again. While removing old articles from old files, I realise that some of them can also be recycled for my portfolio at Constant Content, so will have plenty of ideas when I come back to that. In the meantime, I'd better keep on blogging.

Writing Tip



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