Wednesday, 30 May 2007

It rained. Lots

So, Sunday was Greyhound Gap's Annual Fun Dog Show in Walsall.

It's our biggest fund-raising event of the year and Gap's supporters come from all over the country.

At 7am, the weather as we left London was atrocious. And it got worse as we headed up country.

At 9am Lisa, Gap's founder, called me and said we had to make a decision. Do we go ahead or do we cancel. I arrived there at 9.30am and, as most of the stalls had already set up, we decided to take a chance and go ahead.

At 11am, there was hardly anyone there and, with class registration about to start, things were looking dire.

At mid-day, the hundreds of complete and utter nutters wonderful people that support Gap had turned up in force and the day was in full swing! It did not stop raining all day and the occasional gusts of wind that blew across the ground resulted in several gazeebos being destroyed. And no-one seemed to care! Once everyone was wet, they couldn't get any wetter so just resigned themselves to it and got on and enjoyed themselves!

Gap could not do the work it does without the support of these people and we take our hats off to all of them for turning up regardless of the elements and helping us raise a staggering £3,000. Almost a £1,000 more than last year when the weather was reasonable!

We're thinking of ordering some "I was there" t-shirts!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Why do I do it?

Why do I buy myself new gadgets when I know I will never use them to their full potential and a cheaper, basic option would have done the job I need it to just as well? I'm sure it stems back to that time in life when you naively believe that "more expensive" must equal "better".

Take the other week. I spilt coffee all over my keyboard at work and, once it digested the coffee, it stopped working. So I head over to PC World's website and order myself a lovely shiny Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 6000. Complete with a wireless Laser Mouse 6000.

It arrives and it's lovely. Except the ergonomically shaped keyboard seems to hinder my typing and I make far more spelling mistakes than usual. My fingers can't seem to move to the new key locations. Neither could I remove the "Reverse Slope Palm". So desperate did I become that I took my life in my hands and placed a call into Microsoft Support. It pains me to say that I was actually quite impressed with their help. Particularly as they didn't get totally exasperated with my seeming inability to understand American English and they resorted to sending me step by step photographs. Above and beyond I thought.

The keyboard has lots of buttons for you can store your favourite websites, access and use e-mail, Windows Live and order a large Latte with Double Espresso from your local Starbucks. And here I am two weeks later having reverted back to using Alt Tab and using the mouse and shortcuts on the screen, just like a I did before.

But as I thought I liked the keyboard so much I bought it's younger sister to use at home. I don't seem to have found the time to figure what all its buttons do, and I rather expect that I shall never quite get round to finding the time either. Neither do I like the mouse that came with that one so I have reverted to using my Wireless Trackball again. This leaves me with two wireless receivers that I know one day very soon are going to get into a fight with each other and leave me stranded keyboardless and mouseless.

Habit is an expensive habit.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Greyhound Gap Annual Fun Dog Show

It's the annual Greyhound Gap Fun Dog Show this coming Sunday at the Walsall Arboretum Annexe. That's in Walsall funnily enough.

So if you fancy a day out at a dog show, and help us raise some funds at the same time, it would be lovely to see you!

Monday, 21 May 2007

Found it!

The formicophilia reference was in this blog over two years ago.

You didn't really need to know that but, not unnaturally, I'd forgotten I'd posted that and re-reading it I had quite a chuckle. It's worth going on over for a look.

Saturday, 19 May 2007


One of the widgets I have on my blog is Blog Patrol which gives me some stats about my blog and where people link into it from. It's not really important but I'm nosy and I like to know these things. One of the other things it gives me are the keywords that have led people to my blog from search engines.

Blog Patrol has been off-line for the last few months but has still been quietly beavering away in the background collecting the stats. It came back on line today so I logged in for a catch-up. Two of the three keyword searches might have been expected "common illnesses in lurchers" and "lurchers in need".

The third one threw me a bit.

"Formicophilia photographs"

Having no idea what Formicophilia was, I pootled over to Google. Well, that was an eye-opener. WHY would ANYONE get off on having snails, frogs and ants crawling on, and nibbling at, their genitals?

Just the thought is making my blood run cold.

And now I'm off to search my blog to find out what could possibly have led the search engines to my blog for that one.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Dream Dream Dream

This morning I had a rather *ahem* intimate dream about Robert Redford.

No idea where it came from or why it was him. He's not someone I've ever found remotely attractive, despite his film star looks. Obviously my sub-conscious knows something I don't.

Monday, 14 May 2007

She did...what!!??

It's been something of a week. And not just the fact that seven days have passed.

Lily the Lurcher has had one or two settling-in issues, for which Lurcher No.2 is still bearing the scars. Having been an only dog for almost 9 years, she's had a little trouble adapting to having two other lurchers around the place. If one of them so much as dared go past her at anything more than a sedate walk, she nailed them to the floor with her teeth. She's a feisty old boot! But she has gradually settled in and learnt to live with them in harmony or, at least, what passes for harmony in a three-lurcher household.

And then she surpassed herself.

The completion of the move from the flat to the cottage on the Bank Holiday Monday meant that the goldfish had finally arrived at Chez Lurcher. Unforunately, OH managed to drop the fishpond as he was moving it, leaving a crack down the side of it. Whilst it awaited repair, Fsh (for that was her name), was living in a temporary pond made out of a large enamel bowl with plants and bits and pieces in it to create hideaways for her. Except they weren't hideaway enough.

Lily had been showing way too much interest in Fsh for my liking - sticking her head straight in the pond up to her eyes with no thought for breathing and her ears perked forward rather too keenly keenly definitely falls into the "way too much interest" category. So I barricaded up the pond and surrounded it with plants and bits of wood and anything else I could lay my hands on, including my bike.

Thursday night I came home from work to find wood and pot plants everywhere but where they should be. And no Fsh in the pond.

Lily had eaten her.


Expecting some sympathy from my fellow Gap colleagues, I was greeted with howling, hysterical laughter,with a little bit of sympathy chucked in for good measure. And a surfeit of fish jokes. And one clever person, who knows who she is because she reads this blog, with whom I had the following conversation:

"Cod that's awful. It's hake-ing the pee a bit that a floundering foster would do that. She probably only did it for the halibut, I mean everyone knows it's sole food, but even so it's better not to get into a roe about it and keep carping on like an old trout, so sprat'll do." Said she.

" 'eel be singing another tuna when I knock you off your perch!" I retorted

"I did think I was skate-ing on thin ice." She responded

And on it went in that tone.

Saturday morning, my vet telephoned me (Ms Vet adopted Lurcher No. 2's littermate so we're kind of family). Now you'd certainly expect some sympathy from your vet wouldn't you? Trying to hold back the laughter, she said:

"I know we recommend a balanced raw-food diet Angela, but it really should be dead first"


Other things that have made this week a week of weeks:

We lost Apollo Gemini Valentine who curled up in his hamster cage and went to sleep forever.

The parents arrived for the weekend. Four people and four hounds in one very small cottage when it's persisting with rain has all the makings of being a very fraught time. But it passed in a pleasant haze of hot tea, the Telegraph General Knowledge crossword and the Sunday Times.

Lily won't get in the car. And I'll leave that saga for the next blog because it's worthy of one all by itself.

Monday, 7 May 2007

That's that then

We finally cleared the flat and handed the keys over today. I was glad to be out of there but OH had a momentary pang The end of a 15 year era.

Lily is here and we're having a few settling in problems which will hopefully pass. She is not used to being with other dogs and keeps nailing The Lurchers to the floor for no apparent reason. But, she has been uprooted from the only home she has known for almost 9 years and where she has been an only dog so it's not surprising she is feeling somewhat out of sorts. She's nervous and scared and reacting accordingly. The Lurchers are giving her a wide berth and avoiding her at all possible cost. We'll give it some time to see how she adjusts and take it from there. I really do hope we can work through these problems as I would hate for her to have to go through this all over again, but if we still have three miserable dogs in a few months time we might have to rethink.

Picture will follow once Blogger lets me upload them!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

What could I say?

Or more to the point, what could OH say?

Please say hello to Lily.

Lily is coming to stay with us as a foster dog for Greyhound Gap. I rather suspect we have joined the Failed Fosterer's Club before she even arrives. In which case, please say hello to Lily, from here on in known as Lurcher No.3!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

As it happens....... wasn't a problem with the washing machine. It was a problem with the operator. Ahem.

You see, the other night, our water pressure dropped quite dramatically just as the washing machine was about to go into its rinse and spin cycle. This resulted in the machine having a minor hissy fit and flashing all its lights at me. Once the pressure came back later that evening, I turned the dial to a rinse and spin cycle to finish off the wash. You can see where this is going can't you? You see, the dial looked like it was pointing to the normal wash cycle that I use, when it fact, it was still pointing to the rinse and spin cycle, which just happens to be directly opposite the normal cycle.

Yes, Togdom strikes again.

In other news, back to the Royal Marsden for another check-up this morning. They were quite happy that I had increased my Thyroxin dosage back to where it was before they dropped it two months ago. They accepted without argument that, despite what the blood tests showed, I felt like crap. Which was very good of them and did surprise me a bit!

More tests loom though. This "illness", for want of a better word, does make one more susceptible to osteoporosis so I have to have a bone scan to make sure everything is OK with my bones.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Oh dear

Today I blew up my keyboard by spilling coffee all over it. It was fine for a while then the bottom row of keys stopped working. It took a while for the circuits to go into caffeine overload.

Tonight my washing machine seems to think that it is not necessary to actually wash the clothes before going into the rinse cycle.

I've just switched on the breathe is bated.