Category: Life

Her tail stopped wagging…

Yesterday was one of those bloody days.

Through the night Mazikeen could not settle and all in all was moping about and generally restless through the night, making funny noises and the odd whimper.  We thought, this is it, she is going to have her first season (in-heat), as some dogs react that way, but alas no.  In the morning after a shocking night of sleeplessness, I discovered that her tail was sore, and was not wagging.  My thoughts immediately went to a broken tail.

We have a 24/7 vet phone service that is part of her insurance, so I called them to see what they suggested.  They can do a video chat so you can do a version of “show and tell”, but as with all technology that is new, it did not want to work on her side.  Her first question was “has she been swimming?” which deserved an answer of “yes and no”.  We had been to the beach on Thursday and she was in and out of the water, although she was soaked from top to bottom, she had not actually swum, just jumped about in the sea running after shells I was throwing in the water.  Her suggestion was that it could be a swim tail or broken.  I quickly explained that her tail was still wagging most of the evening, and the swim tail would be out, but a broken tail was possible.  Harper is twice the weight of Mazikeen, and they do love to play rough, but usually, this means Mazikeen dominating Harper and jumping on her, but I could not recall any rough arsing about.  She suggested getting her to the vets to get her tail x-rayed.

I called the vets at 8am and got an appointment later that morning.  The vet felt about her tail and found two places he thought it may be broken, and took her in for x-rays and examinations.  She had the first of the anaesthetic injections whilst I was there, and then I had to go so they could do their thing.  Just after 12 I was called and told to come and collect her after 1:30 and the vet would chat to me about his prognosis.  Duly at that time, I went to get her, and like the morning appointment, waited about for ages.  Eventually, I was called into one of the rooms with a nurse who explained that she had not broken it, so that was good news, but she had badly sprained it and that she needed some rest for the next few days, no rough playing and anti-inflammatories for the next 14 days which had a little painkiller in them to take the edge off for her.  

Today, her tail is wagging, not as fast as usual, and she is a little slow on her feet, but she is in good spirit.  So quite an expensive day for a sprain, however, our dogs are our kids, so we do not mind spending money on them, especially health, which I seem to go overboard with.

A little bit wet and dirty

One Year On…

No daft titles here today.

A year has flown by since Lilu passed away.  It is amazing how fast that seems to have gone.  8760 hours, that have ticked away without increasing speed, but in our minds, it seems like only yesterday we said goodbye to her and watched her silently pass from this world to the next, via the doggy rainbow that we have no access to.

All around we have our memories of her, on the walls, on the many bookcases, and I even have a tee shirt that has both Lilu and Harper (at 8 weeks old) on, which I have on today.

If I did not know better I would swear that Mazikeen is a reincarnation at times of Lilu.  She has so many of the same mannerisms and the same spirit of adventure.  Even the spiral staircase in the middle of the house was no obstacle to Lilu, and Mazikeen is the same, however, Harper puts her front paws on the first step and stands there waiting for us, never daring to climb even after watching the pup fly up and indeed when she was a pup herself watching Lilu go up, slowly as her walking was not the best after her spinal stroke, but she still wanted to go up, just for a potter about.  But I know by the Buddhist cycle of reincarnation that it is not possible, as they say, saṃsāra is an endless cycle without pause or end unless liberation is achieved by insight and the extinguishing of desire.

A year on and we still miss her like mad, and now and again emotions stir, a tear is shed, but the fun times and great memories are in abundance.  So I will leave you with a photo of her in one of her favourite places, the beach.

Lilu – Posing for a photograph before launching herself into the sea

Autumn in New York can be relentless…

 Or, maybe not.

Well, this week alone (8.5 days) will be coming to an end at 4pm BST when M finally gets passed back to me.  I am excited, I do not deny, but I will miss the silence.  I am odd like that, I enjoy silence, well as much as it can be silent, after all there is the high pitch whistle in my ears that gets quite loud, and maybe the quiet hum of the washing machine or dishwasher, and then there is the pattering about of the dogs, but it is silence to me.  No TV or radio, not even me playing music in the background.  How I lament silence.  But, all things, good and bad must come to an end.

I rose from my pit quite early for a Sunday 06:20 as the girls wanted out, so in the end, I was up with the partridge.  Dinner is cooked and now in the slow cooker ready for M and me when we get back from the Airport.  Everywhere is clean and tidy, but hey, this is a gay man’s house, so you should not be surprised.  Apart from currently doing laundry, all I have to do now is pop to the shops for butter and make a Victoria Sponge cake for M when he gets home.  He wanted fresh cream rather than buttercream, but then the cake has to be in the fridge and it goes hard, so he is having buttercream, but SHH!  Don’t tell him LOL.

I never go round to fixing the floor behind the dishwasher, but with good reason, or good excuse, you decide.  I need to pull out both the dishwasher and the washing machine, which means moving the dining table to the other end of the kitchen so I have room to work.  But then I need to assess what I need and then go to the hardware store to get the timber etc.  So far, no problem, but, the girls like to get in the way, and I know they are trying to help in their own way, with licks and moral support, but they are a bloody nuisance when all is said and done.  But, the real problem is I need an assistant that is two-legged, rather than four.  Not just for passing things, but holding things too in order to get it done right.  So, with this in mind, I told him that he would be my helper and I would do it next week.  With that job done all I have to do is re-line the cupboard I built at the end of the units and we are done. YAY!

I am reminded by a friend’s writing that what is important today will still be important tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, because if it isn’t, then it isn’t important.  Mix that with M’s description of me doing jobs in the house, it will get done eventually, when he is ready to do it.  Both are so right, and if you put them together, they really do describe my workings in the house, if it is important, then it will get done, today, tomorrow, next week, month or year, but it will get done.

Breakfast In The Regency Period…

It is just after midnight Tuesday, so, technically, its now Wednesday.  Yesterday (Monday) was a busy one.  Up early as the girls insisted I began my list of “Things to do whilst M is away”.  Apart from several walks for the dogs I never stopped.  First was a deep clean of the kitchen.  I knew it needed doing but as our kitchen is so busy as can be seen in the photo (I like busy, but please note, the walls are a light green, not yellow, the photo was taken whilst the sun was out) you tend to miss things.  But with all deep cleaning in a kitchen, all the appliances need to be done, the dishwasher and washing machine are easy, add the product and they do it themselves.  Apart from the detergent draw in the washing machine, which never gets used as the liquid goes in the drum, so I had to do that by hand, and it was disgusting I am ashamed to say.  The cooker I removed all the parts and cleaned each one, and stripped the ovens (two) of everything and cleaned them thoroughly, and having a “Stoves” cooker all the doors have removable glass, so easier to clean.  Every object on shelves and units were removed and cleaned and put back, then the rest of the room was dusted within an inch of its life.

Next, was to shampoo all the carpets.  Luckily I had bought a new carpet cleaner, which is excellent, and one by one each room was done.  The living room carpet, the newest of them had that new carpet smell again, which is quite the sensory drug.

Bathroom next, which was not all that hard as we tend to clean the shower after each use, and always swill the basin out, and the toilet is always clean, so it is an easy room to do.  The biggest thing was polishing the giant mirror, but even that wasn’t hard as again I tend to keep polishing it, as I hate mucky mirrors.

Next job was to tackle the ivy growing around the house, mainly cutting it back from the windows, and trimming around the security lights so no shadows were cast.  As I was in the garden I planted new flowers for the baskets, the summer ones looked worse for wear and being summer plants and flowers do not do well in autumn, now we have cyclamen in them, and I will be doing some troughs to go outside the front gate when more come into season.

Final job of the day was to install a new electrical socket in the hall by the front door so the repeater can connect to the garden gate camera.  I have fitted so many sockets and changed so many from two to three ports over the years I thought I would have finished with this, but no, there is always somewhere else we need another.

Today, Tuesday, Mazikeen had a vet appointment, she goes every month to get weighed and get her worming tablets and a check over.  She is just over a year old and has never had a season, but the nurse said today that she was a little swelled up in various areas, so it looks like she will finally have her first, that is if this is not a phantom season, which can happen.  After that and a long walk with the dogs, I painted the master bedroom, only the first coat, but it was a start.  I was doing the edging and discovered the brushes I had were shit, that’s really the only way I can put it.  Off to the DIY centre to get a good sharp one, and whilst I was there, some magnetic catches for the cupboards and a new electrical socket with USB ports.  Apart from putting up some frames and making myself a curry from scratch, I decided I had had enough, and my lower back, right-hand side, was spasming, which told me to stop.

Tomorrow, Wednesday (which is now today as it is 00:38) I will be finishing off the painting, then starting my knitting again, which is The Great American Aran Afghan.  I had started it the other day, but it is in American English, which is an oxymoron in itself, translating it into correct English is a bit of a bind, to say the least.  For example, it states three ridges, which means knit six rows, so, why not just say knit six rows.  If you were next to me when I sussed out what this meant, you would have heard my eyes rolling never mind seen them with the added slow shake of my head.  I do hate that in English there is so bastardised, and do not get me started on spelling.  Anyway, I digress slightly.  I had started it, but due to this quirk in language the pattern reads wrong, and with wrong the WS rows are not mentioned, so you have to work that one out yourself, which my test showed that you have to to the WS as a reverse of the RS.

That’s the plan anyway, but as with the best-laid plans of mice and men, one can never be sure if it will change.

If you were wondering, yes, it is raining again, battering against the windows in fact.

Penpals…

I wondered the other day, how many of us had penpals when we were growing up, and how many of us had them when we were adults too?

I never had a penpal when I was a kid, living in a small village (of French origin) there was not exactly an opportunity to have one, hell, my primary school consisted of just 28 pupils, and apart from general subjects with a huge overdose of religion, yes it was connected to the church, there was nothing to inspire people to look further than their own garden gate.  No one I knew ever went on a foreign holiday, it was all quite alien.

When I was in my early 20’s I decided I wanted a pen pal, the internet did not exist, so this became a challenge.  I had no idea where to start.  By this point, I was working in the city, and on my lunch popped into WH Smiths as I knew they had international papers and odd publications you would never find elsewhere.  The New York Herald had nothing in at all but was an interesting read.  I tried several foreign publications including Le Monde, but nothing seemed to have the information I wanted.  In the end, I asked one of the staff there if they could recommend something, and to my surprise, she knew exactly the paper.  It was one called Loot, which had every conceivable advert you could think of, and I guess you would compare it to Craigs List on paper.  Adverts for cults, sex, personals, animals, you name it, it was getting sold in this paper, then close to the back, there it was, penpals.  I have no idea where they got the information, but I jumped right on it.

I ended up with quite a few people I wrote to, which suited me well as there was a great shop called Athena that sold coloured writing paper and envelopes, and there was also a few places you could get other designs of writing paper too just around the corner from work.  Some of my pals dropped off and stopped replying, so I dropped them too, but I had two that were constant writers, both from California, one Heather from Burbank and the other Rocko from San Diego.

Both came to visit me.  Rocko was a little over the top and was a party animal.  I was living about 2 miles away from the city at the time, so nightlife was easy to get to and walking home was good.  He was supposed to stay for a week, which I took off work, however, he stayed for a lot longer, which really was a strain as I was used to living on my own and in the end it really started to affect our friendship and my bank balance.  His friend was killed when he was over and that was my queue to make him go home, which was a battle.  He was not convinced that he should go, even though it was his best friend, but I persisted and eventually, he went after staying for about 6 weeks.  I heard from him once more after that, and then he vanished without a trace.

Heather, however, was a delight when she came to visit me.  It was 1998 and I had moved to a seaside town 25 miles away from the city, and she was touring again.  We had a great time, she only stayed for a few days as she was covering a lot of the UK visiting penpals and distant family.  We carried on writing for many years, then the internet came with email, so we ended up emailing each other, which was novel at the time, but I really missed getting snail mail.  Our emails slowed down over the years but still kept going, however, they soon stopped when FaceBook arrived.  To this day we are still in touch with each other through FB, but it’s not the same excitement that was felt when a letter dropped through the door.  I have FB but don’t really bother with it, as I really don’t feel the need to see every aspect of everybody’s life, warts and all, so it is there for the odd message and to keep up to date with the dog trainers.

About 10 years ago, I tried to start up writing again with penpals and had a few who then all wanted to swap to email, talk about colour me disappointed.  M started about 6 years ago to write to a few American prisoners, who were all quite charming, but then the begging letters started, asking for him to send money to them.  He did, to begin with as he knew they did not have much, but this turned out to be an error and they asked for more and more, and unfortunately, he ended up cutting ties.

I keep thinking that I would like to have penpals again, but knowing the way past ones have wanted to switch to email puts me off, and as for writing to prisoners, I would be happy to do that, but hey, I do not need someone that begs for cash in each letter.

Catch up Sunday…

Sundays have always been a bit of a catchup day for me, but lately, I have not got round to catching up with anything, especially blogs and emails.  I have over 2000 emails to go through and I am sure thousands of posts that you lot have been writing over the last few months.

So, today, I am getting out my virtual time machine and going back and reading what has been produced in the past and trying in earnest to read it all, well, the blogs at least, most of the emails I see I tend to hit the delete key and move on to something important, or something that is relevant to me, rather than all the sale (except yarn) emails, and other crap, especially from Amazon, who think that I need products relating to things I have looked at, but tell me, how is a ladies training shoe any connection of a hive light bulb, or a paddling pool to knitting needles?

So, here I am, in the garden, listening to the birds and I think a neighbour eating breakfast in the background, coffee in hand, MacBook on the table, let the reading begin, and distractions abate, after a bacon sandwich that is, oh, and another coffee, then I will begin, honest…

Bastards…

Last night my car alarm went off.  I got out of bed looked out the window to see nothing, the lights were not flashing and the alarm had stopped, so I thought nothing of it after several minutes looking out.  My car alarm has gone off in the past, and it was due to the air vent causing atmospheric changes in the car, yes it’s a little sensitive, to say the least.

This morning I got up and slowly got into my day, and about 9:30 am I decided to take the dogs, went to the back of the car opened the back to let them in and closed it.  M then said “Stop!  Look at the car” which I did, only to discover that some little shit had broken into it, smashed my door window, damaging the surround and stolen my satnav and all the cables.  Glass everywhere!

To say I am pissed off is an understatement, and if I knew who did it I would quite happily take a hammer to their head for all the damage they did.

At 9:45 the calls and messing about started.  I called the Police and went through everything with them and got my crime reference number.  The Police were a delight to deal with an he was very nice and agreed that we should be able to have snipers protecting our valuables.  Then I had to call my insurance and go through lots of things with them.  Next was to speak to the repair centre and arrange for my vehicle to be booked in.  Next RAC to get my vehicle collected on the back of a transporter and taken to the repair centre.  Then car hire, which is not as easy as you would think, trying to get a large car the same day almost seems impossible, however, I have had to go with a Vauxhall Zafira as this was the biggest I could get.  So far the car has been taken away, but will not be looked at until Monday at the earliest, and of course, they have called to take a deposit payment so they can start the repairs.  It is now 5 hours since my first call and I have been on and off the phone during the whole 5 hours and still trying to sort out the hire car.

Fingers crossed this is the last problem I have to endure or sweat to god I will end up killing someone.

Heddon Valley & Croyde Bay

Heddon Mouth

Monday we went to Heddon Valley and walked through to Heddon’s Mouth which is a lovely pebble beach that was completely deserted.  Paul said that most people don’t realise it is there and think it is a grassy bank and a National Trust centre along with a pub.

We got there at 8am and walked along winding paths following the flow of the river to the sea where the bay is surrounded by some of Englands highest cliffs.  To say it was beautiful is an underestimation.  The rocks forming the sides of the cliffs were enormous, and only being close to them could you really appreciate the sheer size.  Mazikeen and I went climbing up a few, but they were covered in sea moss and seaweed which made them quite treacherous to be on.  Harper decided to bound over to us and slipped over, then Mazikeen getting excited followed suit.  Both decided they had had enough and gingerly left the rocks to the more stable grounds of the pebble beach, which to us bipeds it was just as treacherous.  Mazikeen took off into the sea having a wild time, and I decided to join her, so trainers, socks and jeans off and in I went, only to realise it was bloody freezing and really hard not to fall on my ass into the sea, so out I went.  Whilst getting dried I looked over to see poor Mazikeen sat on the pebbles shaking with the cold.  I quickly dressed and moved over to where the sun was blazing down and into the warmth.

Heddon Valley

After taking some photos and building pebble towers we left to follow the trail back to the car.  The dogs were both glad of the rest in the car.

Croyde Bay From Baggy Point

Next stop was Croyde Bay and Baggy Point.  Both places I went to when I was a kid and have good memories of.  We walked part way up Baggy Point, but the heat was sweltering so turned back to the car so the dogs could cool down and rest again.  Quick ice cream then we were off again to find a place for lunch.

Lunch was at The Rock Inn.  The food was really nice, although I was torn between having plaice with crayfish or ribs.  I went for ribs, and although it was very nice, I feel I should have gone for the fish.

The Rock Inn

After all that we went back to the cottage for a well-earned rest, and I had a snooze as I was knackered again.

Devon, Our Latest Vacation…

Titanic Intro…

…It’s been 35 years… Since I was last in Devon.

Well, our vacation came round faster than I imagined, and here we are on day two.  Yesterday, we arrived at about 4:30pm after being on the road for eight and a half hours (288 miles).  It was not all driving as we stopped many times for the dogs to have a stretch and something to eat or drink, and of course for pee breaks.  M and I also need a few stretches, especially after being in a few traffic jams.  One, which was thankfully going the other way on the M5 was 15 miles long, so I was glad ours was not that bad.

The cottage is beautiful and very in keeping with our taste.  Sleeps four, private gardens, off road parking, games room in the barn next door and lots to see, especially the livestock, so far horses, ponies, chickens, sheep and goats, oh and the owner’s dogs and little boy. Our dogs are loving the place and having a great time too.  One of the great things is that as it a farm quite literally in the middle of nowhere there is no light pollution, so at night you can look up and see the sky is full of stars that we normally cannot see. Yesterday when we arrived we met the owners and were shown around and taken through all the facilities that are available we discovered their welcome pack of scones complete with jam and the best of all Devon Clotted Cream, oh, they also left some chews for the dogs too as their welcome.

Today we decided to visit Ilfracombe, for a wander about and an ice cream, the off to a lovely pub called The Beggars Roost Inn for lunch.  M had chicken tikka sticks and I had long tail scampy with chips pea and mint puree salad and a pint of bitter shandy.  It hit the spot dead on, and I have to say, was delicious.  We then went for a drive around, then to South Molton for some groceries, then back to the cottage which is another 20-minute drive.  The cottage is in Exmore National Park and the hamlet only has 7 properties, and the need of a four-wheel-drive car is essential as it is up and down dale.

I loot a few photos whilst in Ilfracombe, one of which was of Verity, which is a Damien Hirst sculpture, standing 66.4 feet and is quite a vision, not too sure if I would say it is something I liked though.  Not the best photo I will be honest, but I never brought my Nikon, just my iPhone, so pleases forgive me.

Ready for a sleep now as I have just eaten a rather large scone and enough clotted cream to slam shut my arteries and cause a heart attack.

More to come later as the Wifi is a bit crap and as such it is like being on dial-up.

Hospital Visit…

Yesterday I had to go for a gastroscopy, which I have had before, along with a colonoscopy.  I remember the gastroscopy being really unpleasant, however, a lot has happened to my body since the last one.  I have had my face rebuilt many times since I had it smashed in when I was 17, so medical procedures really are a walk in the park after that much plastic surgery, however, today was what I can only describe as frigging horrific.

It is an odd thing of mine, but I do not believe in medication etc., now let me explain as I know some medication you cannot avoid.  Every operation I have ever had, I have refused painkillers.  When I have had my plastic surgery or had my face rebuilt, which included nuts, bolts and inserts I have come out of the operation and when back in my room and the doctors or nurses come over and ask if I want pain relief I have always said no, not that I am a sadist, I just do not believe in me taking them, and I have the mindset of mind over matter, so I don’t take them.  I have tablets for my irregular heartbeat and don’t take them unless I really really need to and as soon as it regulates then stop them.

I went in at 8:30am and had all my records checked and then my obs were done.  At 9am I was taken in, and they sprayed a so-called numbing solution to the back of my throat, told to lie on my side then the camera equipment was shoved in.  Now, the thing I have a problem with is that in 2005 I had an operation that removed my tonsils, adenoids and my uvula, my throat was lasered too, but the downside was that the throat opening is small now, smaller than average and even my GP thinks it is far too small.  However, the surgeon decided that the opening was enough for him to do his work.  From the moment it went it I gagged, wretched, and needless to say, vomited bile and acid for the whole time until it was out again.  One of the nurses kept telling me to keep breathing out and not to hold my breath, which I can assure you I was not doing, vomiting and wretching were overtaking my body and I had no control over that.  Part way through I discovered if I press my tongue on the equipment and pushed it to the left then I stopped the vomiting and could breathe in and out as instructed, but the moment I managed to get myself composed he moved or pulled/pushed it and all was lost and the spasms, wretching and vomiting started all over again.

It seemed like it took forever, and when I did manage to control my body I could see the feed the cameras sent to the monitor of my insides.  He did remove some polyps, and apart from an angry looking inside I had no idea what I was looking at, or if it was the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum.

When it was all over I was relieved and asked if it was better or worse than last time, which I admitted it was better as I controlled it a few times.  But what I did not realise until I sat up, I could feel my eyes swelling, and on leaving the little theatre I went to the bathroom and to my horror could see my whole face had swelled up, my eyes were bloodshot, and my face was blotchy all over from the force and violence of the wretching etc. Today the marks are still there and I presume that I have burst blood vessels.

The surgeon told me that I have Barratt’s oesophagus, gastritis, and my hiatus hernia has got worse, and he could see the medication I had for it was not working and has sent details of what 2 different tablets I have to take to my GP along with gaviscon too.  Turns out the amount of acid my stomach is making is causing gastritis among other things.

So, my lifelong refusal of taking tablets looks like it is about to come to an end as I have to get this condition sorted or I could end with severe problems.  My stomach herniates quite a lot so the medication will stop that from being severe, so I guess that may be worth me taking them

M said that next time I should have sedation and even though the procedure is still very fresh and raw in my head (and my throat) I said I would still do it without just to get it over and done with, and not have to stay in the hospital for more time that I need.

When I left after a cup of water and a cup of tea, that they insist you drink I went to the machine to pay for the carpark and my ticket was not working, so had then to find an attendant.   Eventually, I found a man called John, and after a chat, he gave me a pass to get out of the carpark for free, so that finally made me smile.

The Snowless Knitter

Adventures in life and knitting in a warm weather climate

Finding my way in the World

Fulfilling a Destiny freely chosen of Poetic Justice

Cosmicknitter

A little about knitting and a lot about nothing...

Backstage Knits

Random knitting thoughts from a theater lover. Hartford, CT

Endless Roaming

Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently residing in my home of Newtown Sydney

WOOLLY WEDNESDAY

Crafting and wellbeing

bookerworm

So many books, so little time

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

knitsbywhit

Exploring the world one fiber at a time

(CALIATH)

An Empyrean Cycle

The Go To Girls Blog

Life, Love, Family and Travel as we experience it

Daily Ramblings...

Thoughts on Productivity, Health, Writing, Job Hunting, and many other topics...

Idiosyncratic Unicorn

An eclectic collection of schtuffs that is me.

SindrElf

The Geeky Blogger

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.

Double Pie

Fashion_Life_Style

Festival for HORROR

Showcasing the BEST OF HORROR FILMS, SCREENPLAYS, AND STORIES