Monthly Archives: July 2012

Strange days come, Strange days go.

It’s been a funny old day. Things started OK at the usual time. I got up about 5.00am and turned on the computer while I nipped to the loo. ( No, I didn’t take it with me).

Coming back through to the bedroom after venting Niagara, I started on my messages. There were 71 since just gone midnight. If I ever catch that little epostal God on his own………  Anyway, quite a few turned out to be duplicates from Gather. I usually answer the first one I come to and delete the others. I confess to not knowing whether that’s protocol or not. Maybe I’m meant to answer them in every group that posts them but that seems highly redundant. The others I ignore are those that get me steamed as it’s too early in the day to throw things at walls. If I disturbed Lady J’s beauty sleep she’d throw me at the odd wall.

About 6.30 I grab a sachet of cat food ( I get peckish about then) and take it through to the kitchen where he currently sleeps, stopping only on the way to offer milk drop to the rats and a yoghurt drop to the degu ( she’s much more up-market). Kettle filled and on ready to clean Oscar’s dishes it’s time to take a handful of cornflakes through to give then girls their first nibble of the day, just to save my fingers being their first meal later. Things are still going to plan at this point, so I wash Oscar’s dishes, empty the new sachet into one side and water to the other. Then I remember he need some olive oil for his coat. It already been pointed out to me that smearing him in it isn’t going to wwin mr prizes from Oscar, Lady J or Oscar’s Amazonian Transylvanian vet. Therefore I take a capsule of the damn stuff and pierce it with a knife tip. These are not soft gelatine capsules though, they’re armoured and have little warning notices sticking up from the surfaces saying Verbotten. Mmm, I don’t remember olive oil being this red before.

I slammed down the offending dishes and applied a plaster (bandaid) which immediately floated off as I belatedly washed my hands. “Oh Dearie me” said I, and promptly remembered that the rubbish collection day has changed to a Saturday. I apply a new plaster (bandaid) and take the bins, one refuse and one kitchen waste, plus one bag of newspapers, one of glass, one of plastic bottles and the tin can one outside ready for the men. Hands wash, plaster floats off, another oops and one more fresh plaster. Now it’s time for medications. What joy, two sprays, one anti biotic, 6 steroids and 8 other tablets and a partridge in a bloody pear tree. Then on with the kettle again because it’s my turn. One more tablet for 20 minutes before a meal so I pour out my coffee and check the time. Nearly 8.00am so I’ll risk an early death and get Julia up.She’s not a morning person these days so I pretend it is the right time and ask if she’s coming to get the girls out to play. I get a big smile and a nod and I’m safe. I put her a cup of tea out ready and nip back to the kitchen to put the toaster on.

Ah, a nice cup of coffee, a piece of cool toast and two final tablets as pudding.(Oh joy). Through to the lounge to sit beside my beloved . I swear there were two pieces of toast on the plate when I came in , oh and what’s that? Well, that is Amy foraging in my pocket for a packet of tissues. What a clean rat you say. Well actually these are for her doily making lessons while her sister Penny has run off with the other half of my toast. Not to be thought greedy I’m sure Amy will get a share when Penny’s finished licking the butter off it. They’re having half an hours fun and frollicks on the couch. I demolish what’s left of my toast and feeling a little guilty give the other two who are still in their cage a chocolate drop each. Julia in the meantime takes Saffy the degu out and places her inside a large plastic ball to roll around the floor hitting as many ankles as she can. And believe me she can. If she wasn’t such a sweetie we’d be a degu free zone by now. There’s no malice in her at all. She doesn’t bite and loves human interaction- hence the ankles I suppose. Penny is by now nudging me and being the subtle little thing she is, I bring my coffee cup over, ilt it slightly so she can drag at the lip and spill it on me before daintily dipping her hands in and bringing them to her mouth.

Almost 9.00 now so Julia is ready to put the girls back in the cage ready for the second crew, the youngsters. I nip to the kitchen to wash my plate now devoid of toast. Damn, another plaster.

In the UK we have a biscuit called a Wagon Wheel. Not the type of thing to get you very far in the Wild West but a nifty snack here. Having lost my toast I decided ‘Why not’? And took one through to enjoy with whatever coffee I’d been left. Bernie (Bernadette) and Priya are  out now and are having a mad half hour running back and forth. I’m a very generous person and still feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t shared my toast with them ( well not all of them and not willingly anyway) I decided to offer them a nibble on the edge of my Wagon Wheel. Bear in mind that these have a diameter of about 4 inches, have a biscuit base, a layer of marshmallow and jam (jelly U.S.) and are then coated in chocolate, they’re not the lightest biscuit in the world. Both girls step up to the plate and the next thing I see is Bernie, arms open wide gripping the biscuit, back legs pounding away in the opposite direction from my mouth. Believe me, with the speed of light my hand descended from above and relieved her of her load even as she took a flying leap to get behind a cushion with it. You could sense her disappointment. With  firm grip I offered it again and dejected they both had a little nibble and left me to it.

Playtime with the girls can be real fun though having Bernie nip inside your dressing gown and then rappel down the cliffs from shoulder to tummy using your skin and her claws as brakes can be hell on earth. Priya is much quieter and more gentle but is learning rapidly. They were returned to their cage ready to sleep during the day and Saffy was released from the ball and returned to her cage to carry on digging the escape tunnel. My mistake with her de-luxe home was to buy a metal cage with a plastic base. I forget the rodent teeth though I can see for myself the progress she’s making. Ju and I get dressed ready to go out since her brother is coming later and we’re picking him up from the bus station in town.

The pick up accomplished at 12.00 we decided to go for lunch. The special today was roast lamb dinners. Chatting away to the owner the waitress came to see what we wanted. I ordered the drinks than 3 roast dinners. Why? I don’t like lamb much and had been going to order a very healthy, diabetic conscious sausages, bacon, egg, ships and beans along with a reproving look from Julia. Instead I order lamb????? I’m not going to lie. It was well made and the meat was very tender. I grinned and bore it.

A visit to another nearby town for a quick shop and a latte and we were home again. I’d promised to do some photographs for my brother in law so came through to the computer and the next 87 messages while Ju put the kettle on ( didn’t suit her) and placed Saffy in her ball. Eventually 3 days later I was able to join them in the lounge and passed Terry the pictures. I noticed Saffy’s cage still open but no sound of her rolling around looking for ankles to wallop. Before I could ask I caught a glance out of the corner of my eye of this little nonchalant beastie  just strolling across the lounge floor not a care in the world. Somehow she’d managed to bang off, or unscrew ( I know which my money’s on) the end of the ball. Because she’s not intimidated by us at all she doesn’t run away but her little bottle brush tail just disappeared under the settee as Ju got down on the floor rustling a bag of yoghurt drops. “Look what mummy’s got for you” she said. “Prison” thought Saffy and carried on walking. Oscar had been lying on my chair arm up to this point and now took notice, He saw Saffy taking her constitutional and did what all brave pussies do, he went rigid with fear ( ever since Penny ran up his back leg) and shot out of the room. It took quarter of an hour to entice her out from under an armchair mainly because we all thought she was still under the settee.

At 5.00 we took Terry home and let the cast members settle down. When we got back at 6.00, Oscar was asleep on my bed, the furthest point from the lounge. Saffy was just widening the escape shaft in hut 18 and the girls were just starting to rouse themselves. Ju and I sat and watched an hour of Big Bang Theory and relaxed.

 

 

 

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Shock and disaster

For some time I have been telling you about the cancer within the family. My wife has pancreatic cancer and the prognosis is poor though she seems to be holding things at bay at the moment. My nephew was recently diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and had a worrying lump in his chest. The chest lump turns out to be thickened tissue which is a relief  but the throat is more of a problem. He’s lost his voice almost totally but the hospital say that the cancer is currently not aggressive. Because of that they want to hold treatment until it starts being aggressive and becomes a problem as they can only treat the area once with radiation. If they do it now and it fails with the cancer then becoming aggressive, they’ll have no treatment to use. I don’t understand how there can only be one treatment.

My ‘brother’ is a friend I’ve known for 35 years. We have always been close and the news some time ago that his daughter in law had a form of leukemia was devastating. I haven’t mentioned her because she was finally given the all clear this year after a bone marrow transplant. She was doing well apart from a few minor blips when her temperature soared and she had to be admitted to hospital to bring them down. She was i hospital just over a week ago but released next day and my brother was able to come home for a long weekend. We saw him on Saturday and he was his usual cheerful self. On Monday he travelled to Manchester to visit his elderly (but sprightly) father before finally going back to his son’s yesterday. Today she was again readmitted with a high temperature.  We had a shock call from Michael a short while ago to say she’d passed away. Kirsty leaves behind many people who love her and will miss her for the beautiful natured person she was. Hardest hit of all will be her husband and two young children who will find this hard to come to terms with. My heart goes out to them all.

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Pennant Park Wishes

I know that I have previously made mention of Pennant Park Riding Centre where Julia visits. She being the one who loves horses and me being the bystander who goes along for her sake you wouldn’t expect me to wax lyrical on the subject. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t but circumstances are not normal these day are they ?

 

The owner of Pennant Park is Carl Crofts. He’s a nice person, a highly skilled riding instructor with a very pleasant manner and huge dreams. Pennant is a lovely property as you can see from the link http://www.pennantparkridingcentre.com/ . There are good grounds, and plenty of nice hacks in the area. For newcomers or for those who want to learn dressage there is a good arena. The problem is when the weather is bad ( and bear in mind this is the UK so more bad than good) the arena can’t be used. Because the arena is uncovered Carl is limited as to the people he can train there and of course the income goes down when the open arena is out of use.

 

Julia does her riding/training at an RDA ( Riding for the Disabled) stables about twenty five miles away. Carl and his wife Storm would love to be RDA approved so that he could help the disabled youngsters in the area learn to be comfortable around horses and help them, along with disabled adults to get pleasure from riding that often helps with other problems as well, like people with mental health problems and soldiers returning from action with stress have been shown to benefit from interaction with horses too.
I’d love to see this happen since obviously it would mean not having to travel so far for Julia to ride. In order to become approved for RDA there must be a covered arena with a lift to help get the disabled onto their horses. Herein lies the problem as Carl cannot raise such funding when he loses so much income due to the vagaries of our weather. What’s needed is an influx of goodwill from businesses, maybe corporate sponsorship. After all. it can’t do any harm to have a little board ‘Sponsored By….’ somewhere around an arena to be seen by visiting parents etc.

 

So, if you have a business or know of a business who’d be prepared to help by putting some sort of building around the arena, or providing a small lift that takes people up to the height of a horses back…… Don’t be shy. If you’re part of a group of businesses on a trading estate perhaps you could get everyone together to bring this dream to fruition not just for Carl but for generations of disabled and able bodied children who could use these facilities. You’ll find contact details on the link.

Telephone 01352 714986

Contact – enquiries@pennantparkridingcentre.com

 

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Criminal Cancer.

Well today was the day of the revisit to Dr. G the Oncologist. Today I was determined to keep my own counsel since my views of what I’d like to see are in opposition to others. I was interested however in what he’d have to say. No mention was made of the need for a new scan in order to ascertain the growth of the monster inside Julia. I’m surprised since I really wanted to know the truth and see that it’s not eating away at her. Since we’ve had the morphine increased since we last saw him I thought that might have triggered a response.

I must explain that my reason for wanting to know the growth rate of the tumour is to see if we can find whether it’s approaching a point beyond where the nerves were cut in the operation. If so, I’d hoped maybe for some chemo tablets to set it in retreat again. Others understandably think it better not to know but to carry on as we are now while she’s doing well. It looks like Dr. G may agree since as I say the subject wasn’t raised. What was raised however was the weight loss. 5 kilo’s over 6 weeks may not sound much ( especially to someone on a diet) but this loss takes Julia below the 8 stone mark which worries me- especially since I bought her suit for the wedding and it’s not going to fit now. I’m doing all I can to encourage her to eat which includes eating out as often as possible and suggesting puddings which might entice her. Lunchtime seems to be the only real attempt at a meal. She admitted this to him today rather than saying she’s trying. Today she said she just can’t face food most of the time and it holds no interest. He’s prescribed an appetite inducer which should help me in my battles with her, and her in her battles with food. Our daughter and niece made various suggestions as to what to do including trying breakfast, milkshakes and a biscuit with each cup of tea or coffee. It’s a big shopping day tomorrow so I’ll increase the list and add some bananas.

That was about it except for some blood tests which proved to be clear so her vital organs are still working OK. Now it’s up to Ju to try and keep to an eating regime and fill out a bit again. Even her skin tight jeans now hang like she no longer has a bottom and her legs are stick thin- no change there then. Tomorrow we’re due to have a family photograph taken so dressing for that may give her a boost after a breakfast and a light lunch. Perhaps being conscious of the difference in her size now compared to when she last wore the outfit will reinforce the message about food too.

So currently there’s no real news and unless things change for the worse we don’t see Dr.G for another 6 weeks. I just hope things continue to be relatively pain free and Julia can carry on riding which she enjoys so much. It looks like we’re on target for our daughter’s wedding in September which is Julia’s main goal now. Onward and upward I hope to the next target, a grandchild !

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Pennant Park Wishes.

 

 

 

 

I know that I have previously made mention of Pennant Park Riding Centre where Julia visits. She being the one who loves horses and me being the bystander who goes along for her sake you wouldn’t expect me to wax lyrical on the subject. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t but circumstances are not normal these day are they ?

The owner of Pennant Park is Carl Crofts. He’s a nice person, a highly skilled riding instructor  with a very pleasant manner and huge dreams. Pennant is a lovely property as you can see from the link  http://www.pennantparkridingcentre.com/ . There are good grounds, and plenty of nice hacks in the area. For newcomers or for those who want to learn dressage there is a good arena. The problem is when the weather is bad ( and bear in mind this is the UK so more bad than good) the arena can’t be used. Because the arena is uncovered Carl is limited as to the people he can train there and of course the income goes down when the open arena is out of use.

Julia does her riding/training at an RDA ( Riding for the Disabled) stables about twenty five miles away. Carl and his wife Storm would love to be RDA approved so that he could help the disabled youngsters in the area learn to be comfortable around horses and help them, along with disabled adults to get pleasure from riding that often helps with other problems too. I’d love to see this happen since obviously it would mean not having to travel so far for Julia to ride. In order to become approved for RDA there must be a covered arena with a lift to help get the disabled onto their horses.  Herein lied the problem as Carl cannot raise such funding when he loses so much income due to the vagaries of our weather. What’s needed is an influx of goodwill from businesses, maybe corporate sponsorship. After all. it can’t do any harm to have a little board ‘Sponsored By….’ somewhere around an arena to be seen by visiting parents etc.

So, if you have a business or know of a business who’d be prepared to help by putting some sort of building around the arena, or providing a small lift that takes people up to the height of a horses back……  Don’t be shy. If you’re part of a group of businesses on a trading estate perhaps you could get everyone together to bring this dream to fruition not just for Carl but for generations of disabled and able bodied children who could use these facilities. You’ll find contact details on the link.

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