Monday, 26 November 2007


When a person with dogs says "ewwww", you know it's trouble. And smelly trouble at that.

See, dog people have to do some pretty yucky things: picking up dog poop, mopping up wee and cleaning up various forms of dog-sick - we've ranged from fresh mackerel vomited all over the bed to regurgitated skanky rabbit. We have to deal with expressed anal glands and fox poop that's been rolled in. Oh, you might not want to have read that bit if you're eating or of a delicate nature. o;

Most of those things would send your average non-animal person running for the hills. With the exception of people who've had babies perhaps, I guess not much turns you when you've had children either.

But tonight was a real ewwww. Lurcher no.2 rolled in something very very rank, and I don't think it came from an animal.

That was almost an ewwww too far.

I'm back!!

I've borrowed a laptop from work and have managed to connect with wireless. I am inordinately proud of myself for having got that set up, being a complete technophobe.

My insurance company are going to pay for a replacement computer for me but, typically of insurance companies, nothing is straightforward, and they have to take away the old one to see if it is repairable before they will replace it. So I've also really pushed the boat out this morning and ordered myself a new laptop which should arrive by the end of the week.

I can now relax and enjoy my week off and catch up with everything I need to catch up with, which does mean Christmas shopping but hey, I'm super-chilled at the moment and even the thought of that is not phasing me at all.

I will try and catch up with everyone's blogs today but hope everyone is well and there's been no major disasters!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

I may be gone some time

Computer has died.

Laptop works but won't connect to internet. Yet.

Am now on leave from work for 8 days.

Will hopefully see you all again once I get the laptop connected. If not, I'll see you when I can!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Here I am....MeMe....and then I'm going again!

Having had a break for a week, I'm ready with charged batteries to start blogging again, when my computer blows up and I'm left both internet and PeeCee-less (am at work now in case you were wondering!).

I'm not sure how widespread all this rain and storms have been in the UK but last night we had three incredible thunderbolts come out of absolutely bloody nowhere!! A split second before the first two, blue sparks shot across my desk from my homehub and I lost my internet connection again. I suspect it's also blown the ethernet port and I'm getting a strong feeling of deja vu! Exactly the same thing happened back in July, although if sparks flew then, I wasn't there to see them. It took three weeks to sort it out then and I really hope BT don't mess me about like they did then - or they really will see sparks fly this time.

I managed to connect the USB and get internet connection and then we had the second thunderbolt and blue sparks - at which point I just turned everything off and ran!

I've booted up the PC this morning and it seemed to be loading OK so I left it to it and took the dogs out. When I got back it had turned off and I have lost power - I just can't switch it on.

I haven't had time this morning to see what the problem might be - it could just be a blown fuse but I suspect it's not going to be that simple.

But in the meantime, I've been tagged by Laurie

8 things I'm passionate about

My dogs
Greyhound Gap
Wimbledon Common (I live there, I work there, I care for it)
I suppose I should say Himself but passion seems to have been replaced with companionship. But I’m happy about that.

It’s difficult to find any more things I’m “passionate” about. Passionate means intense and strong feeling and, at the moment, I don’t have huge amounts of room for intense feeling.

8 things I want to do before I die

Watch Wales play rugby at the Millenium stadium
Own an Aston Martin DB9
Buy a house
Have lots more dogs, particularly a whippet
Travel in space
Is it too sad that I don’t have that many goals? I'd rather just wait and see what comes along.

8 things I say often

“Wha you wan for 50p?” (don’t ask – silly story!)
Tyler! No!!”
“It’s too early for dinner” (to Ruby, who always wants food)
“It’s a hard life being a puppy in this house” (every time Lurcher No.1 huffs and puffs)
“I’m going down to the garden to eat worms!”
“Feed me
Seymour. Feed me!”
“Have you seen my keys/sunglasses/gloves/etc, etc….”

8 Books I’ve read recently (or am still reading):

Currently reading: Terry Pratchett – Making Money
Terry Brooks – Jarka Ruus
Terry Brooks – Tanequil
Terry Brooks – Straken
Robin Hobb – Shaman’s Crossing
Robin Hobb –
Forest Mage
Robin Hobb – Renegade’s Magic
Megan Lindholm – The Windsingers

8 Songs I Could Listen to Over and Over (And do!):

Steeler’s Wheel – Stuck in the Middle with You
Lennyrd Skinnyrd -
Sweet Home Alabama
Eva Cassidy - People Get Ready
And all that Jazz (from
Elvis – hard to choose one but possibly In The Ghetto

The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
Rolling Stones – Angie (My song!)
Donna Summer - State of Independence

8 Things that Attract Me to My Best Friends:

They tell it as it is
They love me – warts an’ all
They make me laugh
They make me cry
They have conviction in what they do
They’re prepared to listen to all sides of a story
Their quirks and foibles
They’re always there when I need them

8 People I Think Should Do Crazy Eights

Anyone who feels the urge!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

For the Fallen

In memory of all those who gave their lives and fought for their countries so that we may have the freedom we have today.

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Four years ago today

Just over four years ago I saw this picture of Tyler (Lurcher No.2) on Greyhound Gap’s website:

My heart broke in pieces there and then and I knew, just knew, that he was destined to come and live with us. He had been taken on by Gap with his littermate, Louis. They had been bred by someone who thought it would be a money-spinning exercise to breed some lurcher puppies. After all, everyone wants lurcher puppies don't they?

Tyler had initially been sold to a home. At 6 weeks of age. Louis was the only pup left and was kept in a shed and called "Reject" because he was the runt of a litter. He didn't see daylight until he came into Gap's care.

Then Tyler was returned to the breeder as his owners could not cope with him soiling in the house whilst they were out at work. He was left for 9 hours a day. W
hat the heck did they expect?? So he very quickly followed Louis into Gap's care.

During the next two weeks, I used every wile I could find in me to persuade Himself that Tyler should come and live with us. To this day I'm not sure what eventually persuaded him, but it may have had something to do with this:

This was Georgie (Lurcher No.1) on the day we brought her home in 2000. They were so alike it was uncanny.

So four years ago today I drove up to Stoke on Trent to fetch Tyler home. My heart was finally back in one piece.

I can't say Georgie took to him straight away. In fact, on the way home she tried to clamber onto the parcel shelf in the back of the car to get away from him! To this day she will not tolerate him sitting anywhere near her - she has real space issues! But the way they greet each other when they've been apart is enough to convince me she that, deep down, she loves him!

Day 2

I just love this picture!

And now he's all grown up!

Tyler, my heart dog. Georgie, my soul dog. I am complete. I love them both to bits and simply can't imagine life without them.

Although I'm sure there's room for another one somewhere!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

All clear but....

I had one of my regular check-ups at the Royal Marsden yesterday and, after a few blips over the last couple of years, was told everything is fine. Sort of. There's no problem with my thyroxin medication and no problem with my thyroglobulin levels so absolutely no sign of any cancer returning. But back in May they sent me for a bone scan as the lack of a thyroid gland does make you more susceptible to osteoporosis and the results showed a slight problem in my left hip. They are not doing anything other than sending me for another scan next July - so it's obviously nothing to worry about right now.

The problem is not osteoporosis but osteopenia which can be a precursor to osteoporosis. A possible warning shot across the bows if you like. If I want to lessen the chances of developing osteoporosis, I need to look at my lifestyle and try to improve it in certain areas:

Diet - my diet is pretty good, I eat mainly fresh food and a good selection of fruit and vegetables, and very little processed food. I need to look at my calcium intake and see if I can up that a bit.

Exercise - exercise is good as bone develops as a result of the "stress" of exercise. I cycle about 3 miles a day and walk The Lurchers and Ruby twice a day so if I step out on the walks rather than amble, that should help.

Drink - I don't drink so alcohol isn't a problem and neither do I drink fizzy drinks very often.

Smoking - ahhhh. Yet another good and valid reason for giving up. I'm not a heavy smoker but I suppose even one is one too many.

Being given a pointer as to what you can likely expect in the future is actually quite a comfort. I felt a bit like that when I originally had the cancer diagnosis - " that's what's going to get me in the end." Complete bunkum of course as the cancer I had does not usually spread anywhere, but it helped at the time.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

I have a visitor.

Scarlett Bear has come to stay!

Scarlett is Greyhound Gap's fundraising bear and she recently started a tour staying with Gap supporters all around the country. Everyone who has Scarlett to stay pays £5 for the pleasure of her company and takes her on little adventures which are then chronicled in her blog.

Scarlett is even starting to globetrot as she has just arrived back in the UK hotfoot from Florida.

Scarlett's travels is the brainchild of 6 year old Lucy, one of our youngest supporters, who wanted to do something in memory of one of her mum's best friends, Elaine, who recently passed away very suddenly with cancer. Elaine was also a staunch supporter of Greyhound Gap. The full story is here.

Scarlett has a busy week ahead of her, although I'm not sure Wimbledon can live up to the excitements of Disneyworld, we may just have some local celebrities who might be persuaded show their normally secretive faces.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

I love this time of year...

...Autumn has to be my favourite season.

The colours, the smells, the photographic opportunities:

Monday, 5 November 2007

What do you do at lunchtime?

When I get home for my lunchbreak, I like to chill out and relax and switch off from the office for an hour. So might I surf a bit as I eat, or play a game of patience on the computer, or perhaps read my book. Whatever it is I do, it won't be a chore or any sort of running about. That hour is my respite. The only thing I do, if OH isn't at home, is to give the hounds a 10 minute spin and feed Ruby the Foster Greyhound, but that's not a chore.

Yet most of my colleagues seem to spend their lunchbreak running round like demented lemmings. They hoover and clean, or get the dinner in the oven (how bloody organised is that?), they go shopping or chop wood for the fire, in summer they garden. Whatever it is they do, it involves doing something.

My brain just cannot compute this. The thought of being on the go for a solid 8 hours without that hour break literally fills me with panic...which does make me wonder if there's just a touch of compulsive behaviour in me somewhere!

Don't these people need a break!?

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Deck the Halls....what? Already?

I find my thoughts turning towards Christmas. This is not like me. I fall firmly and squarely into the "Christmas starts on Christmas Eve and not a moment before" camp.

But this year we are spending Christmas at home. For the first time. Ever. There are two reasons for this: firstly, it's our first Christmas living at the Cottage and I want to spend Christmas there. Secondly, I'm on duty so whether I wanted to or not, I have to be there, spending the day with my radio and telephone glued to my hip in case some wayward member of the public gets themselves into trouble. So I am doing my usual thing of trying to get ahead and get things planned. Of course, what will happen is that I will suddenly find it's the weekend before Christmas and I've done nothing other than think about the things I should have been doing.

I am therefore writing all my disjointed Christmas thoughts down here and then I can check back and try to keep my head in one piece. And you can all regale me with your Christmas successes and debacles for me to chortle over, knowing that my Christmas is going to go smoothly and without panic. Hah!

1. Christmas tree. We ARE having a Christmas tree, despite Himself's aversion to them. It will have to be a small one, no room for a big one. It will be a live tree and we shall decorate it with natural decorations. Like pine cones. Oh. Pine cones have been and gone. Revert to plan 2. Oh. There isn't one. Lots of holly and ivy decking the halls, well, hall anyway. Actually maybe not, the hall is so narrow we'd be poking our eyes out on holly leaves every time we tried to venture out of the sitting room. Draped on the fireplace then. Oh yes...we can do that!

2. Who's coming for dinner!? The Parents were coming but Mother now has to work Christmas morning so they are coming Boxing Day instead. Himself is one of eight and you can't ask one without asking them all. 27 people in the Cottage is not an option, unless a few people don't mind eating off their knees on sofas and beds. And they'd have to go home and Himself's family don't like going home. Once they're entrenched they are there for the duration. Keep working on that one then.

3. What to eat? Turkey and trimmings. No discussion about that. It's what we're having, like it or not. Pudding is a different matter. Himself is not that keen on Christmas pudding whereas I love it. Any suggestions for an alternative would be gratefully received.

4. Presents. OK time to go into meltdown. I hate shopping with a passion. And I particularly hate Christmas shopping. Last year was a complete and utter disaster and one I do not wish to repeat. Online shopping is the answer - as long as I get everyone's Christmas lists in time.

What have I forgotten?

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Repeat Blogging

I wrote a really long blog about how you start repeating yourself if you blog for long enough.

Then I thought that you really do not need to know the ins and outs of me going for an eye test. Scintillating reading it was not. Suffice to say I have had to spend over £400 on new glasses and sunglasses.

And if you are wondering where to go to get your eyes tested - there being as many opticians on the high street as there are estate agents - go to Dolland and Aitchison. I was very, very impressed. And it takes a lot to very, very impress me.

In other news, Lurcher No.1 is roaching on the bed. Ruby the Foster is flat out in front of the fire. And Lurcher No.2 is hiding in a makeshift tent of sofa and throws that is his safe place for the next few weeks. He doesn't do fireworks terribly well so he is on the doggy equivalent of Prozac. He still doesn't do fireworks but he doesn't much care.

Safe place and Prozac. Am liking the sound of that.....excuse me while I go make one for myself.