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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.

Sweater, Fish & Other Updates

It has been a very busy week, not only with the pup but I had to go to the dentist in the next village and the heart and chest hospital for tests on my heart which was an hour drive each way (not that I mind I enjoy driving).

I have managed to get some knitting done, and have finished one sleeve and have started the next one which so far is just the cuff and a few lines (13cm).  Once this sleeve is finished I then have to do the neck then sew the lot together, which will be fun.  Then the best bit, wearing this bad boy.  Today, I decided to do some more, but then I had an urge to carry on reading one of the novels I am halfway through called “The Dynamite Room” by Jason Hewitt, so down went the knitting.

The pup has turned into a vampire dog that’s in fast forward mode all the time.  She is not the first puppy we have had, so we know the drill, but it is amazing how in three years you forget all the sleepless nights, biting and cleaning up you have to do.  She is learning fast, she uses the puppy training pads 90% of the time, with the odd accident, or just plain missing the pad.  I think she is getting used to her name and she seems to respond to it, or the fact that she just responds to our voices, who knows.  I can get her to sit on command if she thinks she is getting some kibble but all in all she is just a wild animal.  We have managed to get her to use her crate.  All our other dogs have loved being in their crates whilst being puppies, but Maz just did not like it.  Yesterday I read online an article about getting puppies to change their minds about being crated.  We moved it to the lounge and put her lounge bed inside along with some toys and put in a few treats.  Popped her in and as she could smell the treats she started to search for them, once eaten she lay down all snug waiting for more.  The article stated that the crate should be a place where nice things happen, so I closed the door and popped kibble though to her, this was a great game and she loved it.  Not to panic her I opened the cage door again and there she stayed.  Later she was in and out, and when she was knackered off she went into it.  Bedtime though was a different story and she was not too interested in staying there, so she slept on the bed again.

We received Mazikeen’s five generation pedigree certificate yesterday too, so now need a frame for it.  It was interesting seeing all the details and that all her ancestors are champion gun dogs, she will be letting the side down, but I know that a lot of her siblings have gone to working homes so the line will continue.

Yesterday and today I have taken Harper out on long walks, just the two of us.  Yesterday we went all around the forest and walked about 5 miles.  Today we only managed 3.5 miles as we were walking along the streets, so there was nothing exciting for her to see or investigate, apart from saying hello to the odd dog out walking with its human.

Since Friday I have been in a fight with Amazon.  I have an Amazon Echo unit and three Echo Dots, and the large Echo kept falling off the network, and I would have to go through set up time and time again, it got to the point of having to do this five plus times a day.  I called them on Wednesday, and the guy said he would send out a new one, however, on Friday what arrived was a refurbished unit.  I called Amazon and the guy blatantly lied to me telling me it was a brand new unit until I pointed out that it stated refurbished on the box and had no cables, instructions or other things that should be in the box, and the outer sleeve that should be in it was not there either.  He backed down after I insisted he was lying and that I would now go to trading standards as they have to exchange like for like, i.e. a new one not a second hand one.  He then told me the only option was for me to send both units back for a full refund, and I could buy a new one if I wanted.  I told him that I just want him to replace it with a new one that works as per the guarantee.  He insisted that was not an option.  I told him that they were now breaking the law and I will report them for this on Monday, and I would shame them on social networks and go as far as I could.  He told me he would then go and find out what he could do and call me back, needless to say, he didn’t.  Now my problem with having a full refund and buying another one was this; I bought the unit on Prime Day, so got it for £79.99 rather than the standard price of £149.99, so in essence, I would lose £70 in purchasing a replacement.  I had told him this and he was not interested.  After a few hours I called them back again and spoke to a lady who agreed that the unit needs to be replaced with a new one, and decided that she would give me a £25 credit towards a new one, and when I send the old unit back would get a full refund of the price paid.  I decided to go with this as it seemed to be the only solution to getting a new one and left it at that.  Then in the middle of the night, I woke and thought, they are going to give me a refund of the price I paid back on Prime Day so I would be £45 down.  I decided to email them expressing my concern and telling them that I had spoken to a solicitor friend and wanted full confirmation as to what will happen when I get the new unit and send the old one back and that I had already sent back to refurbished/second-hand unit.  His answer was confusing:

“I understand that you’ve been charged for the replacement item. I’ve checked your previous correspondences with us and seen that one of our colleagues had provided you with two options. One is issuing a 25GBP promo using which you can purchase the order again and the other being issuing a full refund in the amount 149GBP once the order is shipped to your address.
In this regard, I’d like to inform you that since the order is still on the “Shipping soon” status we don’t have an option to issue a refund for this purchase. As soon as the status changes, we’ll issue a full refund for the order.”

He gave me the order number associated with the latest unit and said I would get a full refund, so I am happy with it if it works out like that.  But this was not the end of my arguments with Amazon.  I should have had a dog whistle and a book delivered on Friday, but for some reason, they never arrived.  I called again and asked where my stuff was.  I had ordered them on Wednesday and the screen stated delivery Thursday, but as soon as I paid for the item it said delivery Friday.  The lady apologies for this as it was bought with two hours left for next day delivery, and as for the missing package, she said that she would monitor it and if not arrived by 9pm she would schedule delivery for Saturday.  Surprise surprise it did not arrive on Saturday either, so today I had to call them over this again and told the lady to cancel the order immediately and give me a full refund on a gift card so I could reorder the items for delivery tomorrow.  She put me on hold for a few minutes and then told me she was refunding me in full to my bank and it would be there in about 4 days.  I quickly tried to interrupt her as she had not done what I had asked and in the end shouted at her as she continually talked over me.  I reiterated that I wanted it as a gift card so that I could buy them again for tomorrow delivery, she sighed and put me on hold again, then when coming back said she had done as I requested.  An hour later the money was on the gift card and I purchased the items again.  However, not content with the service and the fact that this is the 10th order that has been “lost in transit” I emailed them to say how pissed off with this particular delivery office that has lost all 10 packages, and broken one of my items.  I accused them of stealing the items as they are tracked and the barcode scanned when they are put on the van, so how in hell have they been “lost” from the van.  They have a delivery schedule that tells them which item to deliver next so it has to be on the van or stolen, there is no other way it could go missing.  For my efforts, they apologised and said they would investigate this despatch office to see why things are going missing all the time.  My partner has also lost many packages too.

My final chore of today was to clean out the sump for my aquarium.  Those of you who have been following my blog and read about my “Wet Project” will know that I have put a lot of work into building quite an advanced system and balanced environment for my fish.  Cleaning out the sump is dead easy, but, and it is a big but, I had live baby fish in there.  They had been born in the tank, managed to get into the weir and then taken a death-defying ride through the drainage pipes into the sump.  I thought there were only a few, but over an hour of watching and catching them, I ended up with over 30 babies, and have now put them in one of my little tanks in the kitchen to grow and thrive before putting them back in the aquarium.  One final thing that has stumped me with my aquarium is that my reedfish has vanished.  I have checked the weir and he isn’t in there, or in the giant Inca head or the Inca temple, and he could not have escaped from the tank itself as there is no way out apart from the slide doors on the top which are closed all the time, and if he had managed that he would be on top of the tank and could not have got off there as there is a surround that is 6 inches high.  He could have made it through the pipes from the weir to the sump, but he was not there either.  Total mystery as he was there on Thursday.

So that’s the week so far, and I get to do it all again from tomorrow.

Knitting with Puppies…

I actually managed to get some knitting done yesterday.  I say some, and that could sound like a lot, but it was part of the sleeve for my sweater, and when I say part, I actually mean 5 rows of 50 stitches.  Yes, that was indeed it.  Mazikeen was having a sleep, Harper was watching TV with M, yes, I did mean that, she watches quite a lot of TV for a dog, So I grabbed my knitting and off I went, but as you would suspect, it didn’t last long.  I really do have to get a move on with this sweater too as the temperatures are dropping fast, we have had 2°c and add to that frost, hail, and fog.  Oh well, I will have to snatch time here and there as I need this sweater.