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Scarlet, and other stories…

Ok, well, if I am honest, Scarlet will not be featuring in this post, I don’t know her.

Tuesday’s Child… Busy week again this week.  On Tuesday I had to go to the hospital again for my heart scan.  So for all those who think I do not have a heart, it turns out I do have one.  The lady who did the scan said that recorded the extra and missed beats, and that the speed of it is at the upper level of fast and she would add all that to her report for my cardiologist.  I am there again on Monday to get another 24-hour monitor fitted, then again on Tuesday to have it removed and downloaded.  One thing I like about this hospital is it is efficient and all the appointments are on time every time and the fact that it is a specialist hospital dealing with hearts and chest only.  Unless there is a major problem, I do not think I will know much this year.

Road to Your Soul…  Wednesday I went out with my friend E.  I first met her when I started working for her when I was in my mid 20’s, now in my late 40’s we are still friends and have a great laugh with each other.  We went to one of our favourite restaurants which is situated about 6 miles away.  We started with large Tanqueray gins.  Starters ordered, and we moved on to a rather fine Italian Rioja, which was delicious, especially with the queen scallops and black pudding stuffed pigs cheeks. Main courses, E had a Christmas Turkey roast dinner as she will be in Mexico for Christmas, so will not have a traditional dinner.  I had tender liver in a red wine sauce with creamed potato and carrot and turnip.  Another gin at this point arrived as we had finished the wine.  Desert for me was cinder toffee Eton mess which needless to say was amazing, E had coconut rum and raisin, not my idea of a desert but she enjoyed it.  Next was a couple of amarettos and a cheese board, followed by more amaretto.  We paid the bill and moved to the bar, and E started messing about with the reindeers on display, madness ensued and we had a laugh.  More gin, this time Hendricks then I went onto the Jack Daniels.  After several, we decided to call it a night and got our taxi cabs home.

Only One Reason…  Amazon finally sorted themselves out, apologies quite a lot and added a few free months to my account.  They spoke to the transport team and started an investigation as to why so many of my deliveries are lost or majorly delayed.  I received all the refunds that I should have had and an assurance that it would never happen again.  The latter promise I have taken with a pinch of salt as I know they will screw up again, but I really hope that they don’t as I could not deal with all the problems again.  Tomorrow will tell as I have three things coming to the house.

Dream Now…  Finally got my 7mm circular I can now finish making my sweater.  I have sewn the shoulders together and picked up a load of stitches so I can now do the large ribbed turtleneck.  I was going to do some tonight but decided to do it tomorrow as I want the light and to get it right from the start.  I had to pick up a collection of stitches that were divisible by 6 + 2, for example, 62 stitches.  If I get an early start I should finish it by the end of the day, and a big YAY to me if I do.  After sewing the shoulders together I opped it over my head and M said that it looked really nice and expensive too, which is great news.  Once I have finished it I will post some photos of it.

Pieces of Our Hearts…  All the presents are wrapped and under the tree, all the essential none perishable items have been bought and are in the larder awaiting the big day.  Mazikeen is a little too interested in the presents under the tree, so much so that she stole one and ripped it open, one of mine to be exact, however, M got to it fast enough that I did not see what it was, but it was a lovely box it was in, whatever it is.  Harper keeps looking at the stuff under the tree, and since there are about 60 items there is a lot to look at.  I know what she is doing, she is looking and sniffing to see if she can see something for her.  Her and Maz have a lot of things to open, but we have them upstairs out of the way, or they will end up stealing them.  Lilu loved Christmas and on the big day she knew it was her time to open lots of presents (we spoiled her), she taught Harper how to open them over the years, both of them experts.  This will be the first Christmas in this house without her, so will be a little odd, but she will be with us in spirit.

Blind Lemon Sam…  The pup has started growing at an alarming rate.  I was a little worried as she just seemed to be the same size for over a month, but this week she has had a growth spurt, and when I came home yesterday evening she seems to have increased by 50% since last seeing her just 10 hours earlier.  I bought her an elf sweater for a small dog, that would have done a week ago, and it is quite tight on her, she looks adorable, but a little snug in it.  I wanted to get Harper one, but they did not have one big enough, shame really.  Mazikeen has only had a few accidents lately and seems to be getting better with her toileting. I have taught her more tricks which is funny to watch, and she now can get onto the sofa with no problem, although still cannot get on to our bed, it is really high.

The Pearl Fisherman…  Well that it so far for my update, fingers crossed I can get back to posting more and reading everyone’s blogs, which seems to have been put on hold, but I will catch up and read everyone’s posts over the past few months.  Just have to get next week out of the way, and I think normality will be resumed.

The Empty Dancehall…  In case anyone was wondering about the titles and the name of my post, it is from a group called All About Eve, the album is Scarlet, and other Stories and the bold are titles of songs.  I went to see All About Eve back in 1989 in Liverpool and totally loved them, and have spoken to Julianne Regan many times, she even recommended that I read ‘On Ther Periphery’ about David Sylvian, which I loved reading.

I’m Back…

Busy, yes, I think that sums up the past 3 weeks.  In fact, I could go one further and say bedlam, mmm, yes, I will stick with bedlam.

Obviously, the pup has been keeping us on our toes, but we have had so many appointments to fit in including puppy days at the vets, Mazikeen getting her final injections, then back for worming then again for kennel cough vaccination, then Harper with all hers.  Add to this cardiology for me, helping out a friend with her business, and life zooming along at a million miles an hour that is it in a nutshell.

Once Mazikeen could go our a week after her final vaccination we took her to the forest, which she loves.  Picking up sticks to carry with her, meeting other dogs and people that just want to fuss over the both of them, and who can blame them, they are both very cute.  We have not taken her to the beach just yet as the weather has not been very good to us.  The near freezing temperature is fine, we all have winter coats and the dogs have lovely matching ones, it’s just the constant rain and high winds that make it near impossible to be on the coastline.  Mazikeen’s training is coming on very well and the breeder was very surprised that she does so much on command at such a young age, as she is only 3 months old today.

I have managed to finally finish The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt, and given that this is his first novel, I thought it was well written, and kept me interested throughout, although the end was a little anticlimactic.  So with the end of one physical book, I have started another one, this time “Breakfast with the Borgias” by D.B.C. Pierre.  The title and cover intrigued me, also last November I was in the Borgia Apartments in the Vatican, so it felt like I had to read it.  I mentioned it being a physical book because I have so much I am reading on my Kindle including among others Captian Scott by Ranulph Fiennes and Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang, this is the second time I have read this.

I have not managed to do any more of my sweater, and I really need to finish it, I’m getting cold.

Christmas is close at hand and with that comes more running about and buying presents for M and the dogs.  I have done my cards and bought some presents for M, but more are on the way, and I have managed to get something for my niece but still looking for my nephew and my parents.  This year I have found it really hard to get things for M.  I have not been inspired by anything and being honest, I thought that the hateful black Friday may give me some ideas and bargains, but nothing at all, everything that seemed to be on sale were things that we already have.  There was one thing that I saw but was too late as they had run out of stock.  I am sure you can tell that I am not a fan of BF.  I think it is just a way for the shops to get us to buy crap that we do not need, but the fact remains that over 60% of goods on offer on that day can be bought cheaper either before or after the so-called deal day.

I had a little accident this week and managed to fracture my nose.  I have broken it many times and I am a tough cookie if I am honest, and I just get on with it.  I have smashed many parts of my body in through the years and ended up in the hospital far too many times.  This time I was cleaning the inside of the back window of the car, I have an X-Trail and it’s quite a big car, and with that quite a big hatch.  I stepped back and to the side after cleaning and pulled it down with a lot of force, but had not stood back enough and brought the corner of the door/hatch down on the bridge of my nose.  Pain and seeing stars was then followed by lots of blood pouring down my face, needless to say, I looked a bit of a mess.  I have a little bruising today, but nothing worth talking about.

That about sums it up.

Christmas looms closer…

dear-santaWith that, I have started buying my Christmas presents.  I have bought quite a lot, and have wrapped them already.  I am only buying for M, Harper, Mum and her hubby and my niece and nephew.  My siblings and I decided on my suggestion that we do not buy for each other.  I decided to WhatsApp chat with them all to suggest this as each year we buy each other gift cards.  A few years ago I went out of my way and spent a fortune one them all, and did not receive a thanks or anything else for that matter.  So, I decided why bother.  With the loss of our wee dog, things gained perspective, and I was glad I made that decision, there is no love lost between us all, and true colours over the years have all of a sudden become blatant, so I will not regret, or have to sit there thinking about what to buy, and if they liked it.  It makes Christmas easier to deal with.

I enjoy buying for M, and each year I have gone totally overboard, but this year we said that we would stick to a £50 limit.  M questioned this limit the other week, and I said I was more than happy to stick with it, after all, I do not need anything at all, and want for nothing, hell I even have a framed picture from North by Northwest complete with Cary Grants signature, I literally have everything I want, well, apart from a new Range Rover and a new top end iMac, and maybe the new iPhone X, but apart from that I have no needs.  Even the things I would love to have are not needed, I have a new car bought only in January, I have a perfectly good MacBook Pro that I bought myself last year along with a new iPhone, so all told I really do not need anything.  Not even knitting stuff.  I have a stash of yarn that if unwound and tied end to end would circumnavigate the earth several times.  Maybe I am missing a few extra long circulars, but being honest, if a pattern calls for it and I do not have it, I will just order one from Amazon.  One of my many traditions of Christmas wrapping is that I go totally mad, one year cost me about £70 to wrap them, not because there were many to wrap, although there were, it was due to the things I used, including hand-carved wooden deer, stag and Santa tags, handcrafted organza ribbon that was beautifully decorated, and other things, not to mention the paper.  This year we have stepped it down a few notches, okay, quite a lot of notches so far.  The paper that I have is a frosted blue with deer and rams on it, very festive, but I need to find bows and ribbons, and of course, name tags.  Yes, lots of them are wrapped, but not completed until I find the perfect additions.

Down to one dog, so no doubling up on each thing.  Lilu taught Harper to open her presents, the first year Harper was bewildered, but she was only just over four months old.  The year after she watched and copied her, and last year as soon as we took something from under the tree and placed it in front of her she tore apart the wrapping and had a wild time, usually with the wrapping as she has a thing for ripping up paper and cardboard.  Again, she does not need for anything.  I have just bought her a new winter coat, she has a sturdy police harness, and she gets toys and balls all the time, however, I will make sure she has lots to play with.  We have bought her one thing so far, a talking ball that taunts her with sayings like “I’m gonna get you”, “Hey Puppy!”, “Woof, woof woof”, and more besides.  She has one already that we bought from Ireland and she loves it, but being a Staffy, she chews through everything, no matter how tough it is.

Purchasing for parents is a bind too, my Mother changes her hobbies at a rate of knots, one year gardening, next knitting, the next painting (even went as far as having a studio).  Her Hubby is easier as he likes to make things from lego to 3D puzzles.

My next task will be to decide on the menu and to make a Christmas cake, the latter will be started in the next week or so and of course full of cognac which I inject into the cake to “feed it”.  Mmm, I fancy some cake now.

December

December is a time for both my birthday and that of Christ, not that I am religious but thankful that we have such a celebration.

I used to hate Christmas with a vengeance.  Why?  Well, the guy with the sandals who died an extremely long time ago seemed to take precedence over my Birthday.  Now don’t get me wrong, I had no problem with Him, but I just hated that everyone forgot about me.

When I was in my 20’s my friends were usually either busy with work parties or had no money to go out, so, as a result, I tended not to go too far. In my early years, I used to go to the local pub “The Thatch” and drink lots of Guinness or Newcastle Brown ale with a few like-minded friends.  However, due to university, jobs and life we all went off in different directions, and that put paid to that.

When I was a kid I used to get “This is for Birthday and for Christmas”. Being a savi kid, I knew that the cost was the same as just one or the other celebration, not a combined amount.  Again I was not bothered by what they spent, but a little thought and separate presents would have been more pleasing. My partner knows that I hate the joint thing, so has always made sure that this never happens and always makes it a really nice day and one to remember. This year was no exception, and I received lots of really nice presents. One of which was a fantastic Chinese chess set, so I will be teaching him to play soon.

Christmas was really nice too, just the two of us with the dogs.  This year I did not go mad with the portions, which usually ends up like a scene from feeding the 5,000. Portion control and it was the best dinner for many years as I was full but not stuffed to the gills. The trifle was not the size of the house, again, this was good as usually I end up throwing lots of it away as we can eat no more.

Family were really nice too with their gifts, which was a surprise, no crappy tack, or books and DVD’s which we have no interest in at all.  Amazon vouchers were in abundance, so much so I ended up with £70, so my kindle is going to be overrun with lovely books.

Other things I got this year were a new Canon Maxify MB2350 printer, a Fitbit Charge HR and a graphics tablet, so I did really well.  Not complaining at all.

It is getting close to the end of the year, and looking back I am very thankful for all that I have, my little family consisting of my Hubby and 2 dogs.