Wednesday, 29 April 2009

It started with crap....

....and it's getting crappier by the minute.

Sunday morning, up with the lark. Shit, showered and shaved....well, OK, maybe not the shaved bit, dressed and The Hounds walked by 9am. At the Sunday market by 9.30.

Now for some reason, the people who run the market have decided to hold a car boot sale on the same site, at the same time. Given that the site the car boot sale occupies is usually a parking area for the market, they have had to open up the arena next door for parking. To get out of there you have to walk through a long tunnel under the buildings. As I walk through, something landed on me. It felt like someone had dropped a load of pebbles on me. Except it wasn't pebbles. It was bird shit.

I have no idea what bird was perching up there but judging by the amount of crap it produced, it was big. Possibly a vulture or something. Maybe. Anyway, more to the point, it's crap was all over my clean shirt, my jeans, my hair, my bag, inside my bag....and it was gross. I cleaned up as much as I could and bought a cheap t-shirt in the market to change into.

My mood plummetted.

Sunday afternoon I sat down to do some work on the Greyhound Gap 07/08 accounts. We do a lot through Paypal and I had to breakdown every payment we'd received for the year into different categories. Three and a half hours it took me. I started to put the breakdown onto the main spreadsheet but the figures didn't match. Odd. Looked again at the Paypal spreadsheet.....then this burning feeling just started at the tip of my toes and worked it's way up until my head exploded. I stared at the computer screen not quite sure if I could believe what was staring me in the face.

I had spent three and a half hours working on the 06/07 Paypal account instead of the 07/08.

I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, scream or get raging drunk. For the first time in my life I had rendered myself speechless.

Last week I had to take The Greyhound to the vet. He had weed in the house twice, despite having been spotless since the day he arrived, and was drinking so much water that it was obvious something was wrong. I managed to get a urine sample from him and walking in, clutching that, gave my vet some clue as to what I was there for. Like me, she suspected a urine infection of some kind and, indeeed, the tests she did on the sample did show some blood in there. But she was slightly concerned about the amount he was drinking so took bloods to send off as well.

The results came back yesterday. No bacteria or crystals but there were significantly elevated liver levels and a slightly higher than normal creatinine level in his kidneys. That "significantly" gave me a bit of a wibble.

He went in for an Acid Bile Stimulation test today - that means he was starved for 12 hours overnight, they took bloods first thing this morning then fed him a fatty meal and then took more bloods - that will indicate how well his liver is actually functioning and the results of that come back next week. Whilst he was in, they also did an ultrasound scan. The scan is showing that, whilst not enlarged, his liver is much denser than normal.

At the moment we have no idea what this may indicate. It could just be some sort of blip and all will return to normal, or it might not. Depending on what the test results indicate, the next step will be a biopsy.

This week is getting crappier by the minute....

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Stu's Tuesday Challenge #15

It's jsut as well Stu is handing out these challenges or it's very likely I would have disappeared off the edge of the blogoshpere. But remind me to tell you about my day today........

Anyway, I digress. Stu's challenge this week was to take between 3 and 9 pictures which tell a story. They should be edited into the space of a single picture.
OK. Sounds easy doesn't it? My problem? Lack of imagination. End of. So I worked with what I have. Lurchers.

I can't say this tells a particulary enthralling story, as I said, my imagination is not my strongest point.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Stu's Tuesday Challenge #14 - Run Away!

This week Stu's Challenge was to set the camera onto the 10 second timer, press the shutter release.....and run away!

The challenge for me this week was to find somewhere to do this. It should have been somewhere with at least some interesting terrain but, living in London, there was no way I was running away from my camera for even 10 seconds. It wouldn't have been there when I got back! So it's a bit of a poorly effort from me this week...but I did have two lurchers running with me trying to trip me up....

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Twilight Zone

OK, that was a bit of a corny title, but Twilight has finally caught up with me. Or, rather, I have finally caught up with Twilight. The first three books have been sitting on my shelf for some months now but I've kept putting off starting Twilight for some reason. I'm not sure if it was because I thought they wouldn't live up to the hype or because I have been in full-on sci-fantasy reading mode for the last few months.

But I finally picked it up on Tuesday night and read a couple of chapters. It pulled me along quite nicely so Wednesday night I picked it up again.......and I didn't put it down until I reached the last page. I don't remember the exact time but I know it was in the very early hours of Thursday morning. Then I dived into New Moon. I'm half way through but the only reason I haven't finished it is because I'm working this weekend. I normally sit in bed reading before I go to sleep but I am having to make myself stay in the lounge to read and leave the damn book there when I go to bed otherwise I know I won't put it down until I've finished it. It's even kept me from my favourite tv programmes.

I've read a review that says this is mindless mush. Maybe. But it's been a very long time since a book kept me reading until the wee hours, so it must have something. I like the way Stephanie Meyer writes. And although the books are aimed at teenage girls, I suspect any female with even the minutest smidge of hormone in her will be able to relate in some way to Bella.

But damn, why did it take her so long to twig about Jacob? I got that when she saw the wolves in the meadow and it was very frustrating waiting for her to catch up!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Back to life. Back to reality.

I've had a week off work this week. And it's been great. If I look around I don't appear to have achieved much but I have been quietly getting on with a few things and moved them all forward a bit. Oh, and I have slept a lot.

The problem is that, apart from a visit from a friend and one or two phone calls, I have completely isolated myself away from people this week. Just me and my dogs spending some quality time. But I have to go back to work tomorrow. Back to reality.

I've realised how easy it is to be alone when you are on your own. It's easy and I enjoy it. Perhaps a bit too much. Yes you can be alone in a crowd, but with people around you do have to interact with them in some way. It's quite amazing how quickly you can adjust to living without that interaction, and how quickly you realise how peaceful it is. It would be nice to live like this forever and I've often thought that a remote cottage somewhere would be how I would like to spend the rest of my life.

But that's not possible so I have to gird my loins and get ready to face the public tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to it.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Tuesday Challenge #13

Stu's Tuesday Challenge this week was, I think, meant to take us out of our comfort zones.

Your task this week is to take a photo of a complete stranger. With their knowledge and consent. That’s someone you have never spoken to before. Since all photos should have intent, let us know why you chose to photograph that particular person.

I really thought I could do this without too much issue. I don't usually have a problem photographing people - in fact, taking candid shots is something I love doing - but, the more I thought about it, the more nervous I became about actually approaching a complete stranger.

And then a perfect opportunity presented itself. The Lurchers and The Greyhound were at the back gate barking like crazy. I went outside to see what all the fuss was about to see a chap standing at my gate talking to them.....and he had a greyhound with him! So I plucked up the courage to ask him if he would mind if I took his photograph. I explained what it was for and it turns out that not only did we have greyhounds in common, but he used to teach photography. Fate or what!?

So, the intent? Well, apart from it being an opportunity that presented itself, he had such an interesting face.

And just in case it isn't obvious that I had his consent.....

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Anyone have a shovel?

I really need to dig myself a big hole and hide myself in it for a while.

No, wait. I have already dug the hole haven't I? Maybe I now need to stop digging.

All that stuff yesterday? I was so far off the mark it's untrue. The stony silence that has followed the deathly silence proves that.

How could I have got it so wrong? I know I'm out of practice at this game but, damn, I dip one little itty bitty toe in the water and I am reminded that the water is way too hot to play in. I realise I am not yet ready for this game so I'm taking my toys and heading home. Honestly, I am such an ass!

Oh, and if I ever appear to forget this little lesson and try this again would someone please grab me by the scruff of the neck and haul me sharply backwards?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Hands up who's been here before then...

There's someone you know vaguely, having had dealings with them from time to time, and one day they make a comment that pulls you up short and you think "Are they flirting with me?". Then they make another comment and a bell goes off in your head, your hormones suddenly wake up from hibernation and tell you, "Do you know, I think they jolly well might be".

Not entirely sure what the heck is going on, your brain is telling you that you may have completely misread the signals and that you should run away very quickly before you make a complete ass of yourself. Your hormones, of course, don't give a shit if you make an ass out of yourself and plough on regardless and you find yourself flirting ever so gently back. Of course, you have played out the scenario in your head and you KNOW that he will reply and ask you out for dinner, I mean, what other response could he make? You've worked out how you are going to respond and so on and so on and so on......

But instead there is deathly silence.

Your brain is saying "Told you so" and your hormones find every excuse under the sun as to why he hasn't replied. Then you get really pissed off because he led you to this point (yes, OK, by the nose) and then disappears. Then you get really angry with yourself for being such an ass and why the heck would anyone want to flirt with you anyway.

We are so bloody predictable aren't we?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Stu's Tuesday Challenge #12 - Purple

I reallystruggled with this challenge this week. I have a beautiful purple flower in my garden and I have struggled to get the camera to capture the depth of colour in the flower. THis was about the best I could manage.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

You remember that Ball I went to?

A few weeks ago I actually went out to a Ball organised by one of the local riding stables. I was lucky enough to win a raffle prize (at £20 for five tickets I'd have been mightily pee'd off if I hadn't!). I won a studio photography session with a local photographer.

So I rang him up the following week and explained I'd won his prize and we chatted for a while about what it would involve. He finished off by saying "come along with your family".

I paused for a moment and said "Actually, my family is me and my three dogs" at which point I expected a sharp intake of breath and and a polite refusal. Not a bit, without pause he said "Brilliant! This should be great fun!". And so it was!

This morning I've been to pick up the prints, one of which I had enlarged to 20" x 16"and framed. And here it is!

This one was quite accidental. We'd finished the shoot and Georgie and Tyler had wandered off. The Greyhound just stood there with his head on my shoulder and the photographer was quick enough to spot the moment and capture it! I hadn't intended to have any individual shots but this came out so well I couldn't not have it!