Monthly Archives: August 2014

And more

A lovely afternoon with C at Dunwich today.  I was rather later than planned, but we had a glass of wine, then went for fish and chips, which was gorgeous (and I duly gorged, nearly ate the lot), it being cooked to order and the lemon sole being cooked in crisp light batter.

As we parked, we saw several huge dogs, two of which were a breed I didn’t recognise.  A lad was slowly eating an ice cream while they looked at him and drooled with longing.  I made a joking remark about him teasing them and he grinned and his parents chuckled knowingly.  I asked what breed they were – and now I’ve forgotten.  Bother.

A touch of googling – it’s the Leonberger.  One of them was massive, but they were both gentle and came over to greet me.  As they were clearly friendly, I put my head down to meet them and we nearly touched noses.  Their brown eyes were mild and kind.  I wondered what Ben would make of dogs of that size, so much bigger than he.

Afterwards, we went for a walk along the cliff, past the heather and broom.  It was delightful.  I miss living by the sea.

When home, I walked Ben and, when we arrived back again, he was thrilled to see the family next door just home from a week’s camping.  He spent the evening through there with them.

More good things

The new printer arrived today, having only been ordered yesterday afternoon.  Very impressed.  Al offered to set it up for me and it is working.  Huzzah!

The new phones arrived too.  I probably didn’t say – not over-impressed as I’ve only had them a couple of years, but one handset stopped charging and then the main hub stopped working, making the whole thing useless.  However, new ones now charging, so I won’t have to rely on a single corded phone any more.

The sun came out this afternoon and it was warm all day, if wet this morning.

I always felt that Nutella and crunchy peanut butter should be a match made in heaven.  They are.  I knew it on the first spoonful, but tested for a while longer, to be quite sure.

I’m planning a visit to my friend Irene in Maastricht next month.

Second post of the day, because it’s all about excess

Twiglets!  Because dinner was a virtuous stir fry with loads of vegetables.

Wine Gums! For when I’ve had enough Twiglets, not that one can ever eat too many Twiglets.

I’ve drunk all the red plonk so am having to crack open the good stuff.  Every time I do that, I resolve to up my wine standards, but keep being tempted by a bargain.  But the good stuff is so delicious.

Good things

Ok, positive things only –

Dora bought me some gorgeous white lilies last week which are now in full bloom.  I’ve removed the stamens because the pollen stains so much, so they are wonderfully pure white and smell delicious.

I’ve finally accepted that my old printer isn’t going to work any more and have ordered a new wireless one.  Hooray! – I’ve wanted a new printer for ages, but am far too frugal to get one until the old one packed in.

My friend Bobbie (Tim stayed with her over my first blog party and Mike and Ann have done so a few times too) says she will be happy to take surplus eggs for her B&B guests.  I must drop a couple of dozen up to her tomorrow.

Z donates…

You know that I’ve visited India several times and that I dearly love the country.  And everyone knows the awful incidents that there have been recently there, with women being attacked on the bus, or when going out to relieve themselves, being completely modest and not doing anything to draw attention to themselves (not that we lucky Westerners would consider that in any way provocative) – anyway, my good friend HDWK put this link on Facebook and I’m sharing it, in case anyone might feel able to support such a good cause.

For the next few days, my posts will be counting blessings.  Just a few – blimey, moderation in all things.

Z still cuddles chickens

You’ll remember about my dear brown hen who died recently?  I spent most of the day holding her in my arms to comfort her as she faded away.  I had to do the same thing again the other day.

Ben got out – it was a pure accident, I’d left the back door open so that he could come in and out to the fenced garden and Weeza, not knowing that, left the side door for a moment when someone called.  She also didn’t know that I’d let the chickens out for the day.

As soon as I heard, I hurried out and several chooks were scratching around peacefully, so clearly Ben the Chicken Catcher wasn’t about.  I went back to the hen run and the dear things went with me and trotted straight in – of the 29, more than 20 went home.  Unfortunately, I was too late.  I saw Ben at the further end of the drive with one in his mouth.

I belted down the drive, ignoring my surgeon’s instructions not to run further than 40 metres, I called him and he came to me, which was a surprise and a pleasure.  The chicken, still alive, rolled her eyes wildly.  “Drop!” I said and Ben firmed his jaws.  I remembered the word he obeys.  I took his muzzle so we locked eyes. “Give!”  He gave.  I cuddled the bantam and cried a bit.  My friend Dave, who’s living in the annexe with his family, put Ben on a lead.

I went back to the sitting room – I’d got a lot of paperwork to do and phone calls to make and did that while holding her.  She was quite floppy,  panting in shock for a while then calm and, I thought, resigned.  But after a couple of hours, I had to get up and do things.  Weeza fetched a box and some hay, I stood up – and the bantam perked up and wouldn’t stay in the box.

I put her back in the hen run – with the rest of the chickens who followed me back – and the next day, the only way I could tell her from the others was because she’d lost her tail feathers.  A couple of days later, I let them all out again but she didn’t want to leave the safety of the hen run, though she ventured just outside later.

I’m so encouraged that Ben came when he was called (I called cheerfully, good dog Ben, come along) and gave her to me without protest.  I think I’ll bring him round to my way of thinking yet.  Several people have remarked recently that he’s grown up and calmed down, and they see the sweet-natured dog that we already knew.

Z’s day

1 Driving home from town, I noticed a small boy in a superhero outfit with a blue cloak.  He was at a bend on the pavement, waiting for his grandmother who was pushing a pram.  The cloak caught the breeze and he was turning to admire the way it blew out in true superhero fashion.  It was adorable.

2 I let the chickens out for the day.  When they went back, a few didn’t follow.  The cock wouldn’t go back either and chivvied his wives back home.  He finally followed them back into the run when there were only two errant girls still out.  I was charmed.  One of the girls has come back since – the other is probably Indi.

3 I should have taken my bike test today but it’s been postponed because my tutor’s mother is very ill – so I’m taking it in early September.  It’s all turning into a bit of a slog, but I still hope to get through it.  I’m a persistent little thing.

4 I went to fetch some of Jonny’s fine raw milk today.  On the way home, a big fox crossed the road.  I know that a fox frequents the cornfield behind the annexe, but it doesn’t seem to have come into the garden and there’s no sign of trouble around the hen house.

5 The evenings are getting cold and the heat has gone from the summer.  My friend Jack is coming on Wednesday to help me make the tortoise run in the porch.  I’ve done as much as I can without resorting to carpentry.

Z needs to start making lists…

Things are so busy and I’m so tired by the evenings that I’m finding it hard to write anything. let along blog.  I’m going to bed in a few minutes, and I really feel that this is giving in to events and completely unacceptable.

Anyway, to start with some excellent news – Zerlina and Gus have been very nervous of dogs for quite some time.  It wasn’t helped by Ben being so very large and exuberant – but he’s growing up now and he does seem to understand that he has to be very calm around them, and they are both brave children who like dogs, even if they are afraid of them, so they’ve made valiant efforts.  Today, there’s been a massive breakthrough.  They were pretty good yesterday, but today there have been hugs and expressions of love and Ben has behaved impeccably and not got over-excited.  It’s been easier with Rupert, who is much smaller – care is still needed, but we’re basically fine.

As Tim surmised, yes – I washed the Sage’s trousers and only found the notes in the back pocket afterwards.  Now, if they’d been fivers, I’d not have worried, but you know they use that pen in shops on £20 and £50 notes, and hate having to take the latter anyway – in a small town, anyway … it was £210 in a £50 and the rest in £20s.  So I felt I had to take them to the bank.  And so, of course, it was really busy – only three people ahead of me with two tellers, but they all took ages.

In fact, there were four, but one was a husband and wife and she was decidedly odd.  I’m not sure whether it was cerebral palsy or early-onset dementia, but she was peculiar and very rude to her good-humoured and long-suffering husband.  She wanted to sit down and let him deal with it all, but he explained that she would, at the least, have to give clearance for him to do so and she reluctantly and snappily went to the desk.  I can’t remember what was required, but she’d forgotten her PIN – having only changed it the day before – security had been mildly compromised, so she pointed out self-righteously that she had done the wisest thing – but she had no idea what she’d changed it to.  The other teller was able to confirm her identity and she was allowed to access the info (and told she’d be sent another PIN) – and then she loudly sent her husband to the other side of the room while she dealt with the matter in hand, which seemed odd when she had wanted him to explain the whole matter, which he clearly knew all about- anyway, he was very patient and she was quite rude.

Anyway, in due course I went and produced my notes and explained and was duly laughed at by everyone there.  It was fair enough.  And the money has been put into my account – I have told the Sage, but he can’t remember why he’d had that money in his back pocket anyway – I’d already removed his wallet where he usually keeps notes.

Further good news is that we’ve had a couple more torrential downpours, but the roof has been secure and there has been no sign of a leak.

Phil gets plastered

I didn’t get home until 1.30 this morning and blogging wasn’t really on at that time …

Weeza phoned at 6 o’clock yesterday evening to say that Phil had had a cycling accident “but he’s all right,” she added hastily.  She was heading off to Gallstone Hospital to fetch him shortly – I offered to go and stay with the children, but she wanted to leave before i could arrive, as they’re an hour’s drive away.  I offered to meet her on the way or to pick him up myself but, in the end, we agreed that she’d see how he was and phone again.  An hour or so later, she rang –  the upshot was, I drove over to be with the children so that she could stay with Phil.  When it transpired that he would need to be put into plaster, I said I’d take them home and put them to bed.

Phil was cycling home from work and was approaching a crossing – I’m not sure whether it was a junction or a pelican crossing, but he was approaching a green light.  An old man on a mobility scooter was heading for the red light to his left – and he didn’t stop.  “Stop!” shouted Phil, but he didn’t and kept heading for the middle of the road.  Phil had nowhere to go, he braked and swerved but he’d been travelling at over 20 miles an hour and there was no possibility of stopping.  He avoided the man himself but hit the front of the mobility scooter and went over his handlebars, landing on his back and left shoulder and putting his right hand out.

He’s torn ligaments in his left shoulder, which is in a sling and he has instructions to rest it.  His middle right finger was badly dislocated and the corresponding bone in his hand is broken.  The right hand is in plaster except for the index finger and the thumb.

They got back about midnight and we drank coffee and chatted before I headed home.  I slept pretty well for about 5 hours, headed for school to see how the A Level results went (well, thank you) and then came home to phone Phil and see how he was this morning and to get ready for Roses to come for lunch.

So if yesterday was alarming, today was lovely.  But I’m going to have an early night, because it’s been a long couple of days.

I haven’t told you about my money laundering escapades, have I?