Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Roy Update

Roy had his return visit to the vet's surgery today. The growth on his anus has not altered despite him having been on antibiotics for nearly a week. The young vet (loves border collies, addresses Roy as 'Buddy', and Roy nuzzles into him like he's a long-lost pal) has consulted with the other vets in the practice and they seem to think that surgical removal would cause more problems than it would solve. As testosterone is the likely culprit they think that neutering would be effective almost immediately. He is booked in for the snip in eight days time. If the tumour is malignant and neutering doesn't impede its growth we'll hold on until he's not comfortable any more and then do the needful thing. I'm hopeful though.

Meanwhile, another member of our canine family is having problems. Zoe's older dog has a spinal problem and is in doggy hospital. Fingers and paws crossed that she will recover. She is around the same age as Roy but we've known her since she was conceived. Her mother is Kerry Sister's oldest dog who is, so far, in excellent health.

Get well soon, Miss Gracie.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Herding Pigs

Roy is on a course of antibiotics and does not like them. However, he is prepared to take them if I encase them in a thick layer of soft cheese. His anti-inflammatory meds are administered by syringe and both he and Judy find this more palatable. It seems like such a short time ago that I remarked to Bert,

Isn't it great having young dogs and no vet's bills to pay!

At least they are both in good enough form. Balls to be played with (Judy) and pigs to be herded (Roy and Judy). Our pigs are the best-herded pigs in the country.

It is Day Two of the quiet house. Hannah has landed safely somewhere in the Canaries. She was vague as to exactly where or maybe I wasn't listening. Anyways, as long as she has a wonderful time - that's the main thing.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Catch Up

Not much blogging last week reason being that this damn Bert Flu really kicks in at night and that's when I usually sort Nelly's Garden out. And I'm too tired and worn out to do it.

The news is, we had a Musical Evening on Saturday. Well, Hannah did. There were four or five guitarists, a banjo player, a violinist, a harmonica player and a clarinettist. There were several very good vocalists. There was someone playing the kazoo but he got a mild telling off from the gipsy jazz guitarist. It was very enjoyable but oh so tiring and Nellybert weren't worth tuppence on Sunday.

Monday was Back to Gardening Monday. No Dave, as he is Game of Throning in Moneyglass. Just Zoe and the girls. I made spaghetti meatballs and a Golden Syrup steamed pudding. Had a kitchen meltdown (too many people in it) and then got over it. Rod came out to see the dogs and brought me a bottle of wine. Most welcome.

Yesterday I pottered.

Today I finally got round to re-sowing chillis, this time in my brand new propagator that I bought on Saturday morning at Montrose Garden Supplies. The first lot I sowed before I went to Norfolk and they did absolutely nothing. Hopefully, the new lot will be more successful. Hannah headed off to Belfast as the first leg of her holiday. She's heading for the Canaries tomorrow.

Now the sombre news. We took Roy to the vet today as he had some sort of spot on his bum. Turns out it might be cancer. He has a course of antibiotics to take, then back to the vet next week to discuss his options. When he came to us we knew he wasn't neutered and decided not to do it because he was over ten. Turns out that if he had been neutered then he'd have been at less risk for this cancer that he might have. Anyway, we'll see. Dogs get old so fast. The poor old fellow also has mild heart disease which was diagnosed at his last checkup.

Friday, February 16, 2018

What I Did On My Holidays

The main thing I did on my holidays was fall madly in love with my fourth grandchild, Emily. She fell asleep on me a lot and there is a part of me, my left side from my shoulder down to my breast where she has left a psychic imprint.

The next big thing was immersing myself in the world of trains with James. I have probably watched at least half of the available episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine by now and together with James I watched hours of YouTube videos of steam engines in America. These films are surprisingly soothing and proved very much so the day that James had the vomiting bug. His psychic imprint is on my right side, where his hard curly little head dug into my shoulder. These were my best times.

Of course, I got sick myself. There was the watered down Bert Flu I brought with me which lasted the entire ten days and which I still have although it paled into insignificance when I got the vomiting bug. I wasn't much use to Katy and family that day.

Another highlight was my three sightings of a Little Owl hunting on Sculthorpe Airfield. There were no photographs as it was dull and rainy on each occasion. I'd never seen a Little Owl in the wild before so it was much more interesting just to watch it rather than fiddle about only to end up with a mediocre shot.

And that is pretty much how I spent my ten days in Norfolk. Owls and babies, babies and owls. What could be better?

Saturday, February 03, 2018

One More Sleep

At last, the morning of the big push to Norfolk. Achievements so far,

Bought Guardian and paracetamol for the grievously sick husband.


Early afternoon now. Not one single thing of mine in the suitcase yet. All James and Emily. The polytunnel has been watered and the poorly sick husband is up and about wearing complete rig out of farming clothes, big boots, boiler suit, beanie hat, heavy fleece jacket. He won't take them off as he is "too cold and miserable". I'd be miserable too if I was wearing all that stuff.


Late afternoon - inundated with visitors. Polished my shoes while I chatted with them. I do like a bit of multitasking. Have already walked Jack Byrne in icy rain and had plain lunch. Bert still very sick man. One of the visitors said Man Flu is really a thing and if Bert needed sympathy give him a call as the poor fellow was obviously going to get no kind words at home. Not true! I made him a cup of Earl Grey and reminded him to take his paracetamol.


Evening. Packing completed. Husband still sick. Polished my handbag and watched an episode on Inside No. 9. Feeling very excited. Hope Bert is fit enough to take me to the airport tomorrow. I took a photo of him sleeping on the sofa but it is too sad to show. Instead, here is one of Jack whose people will be collecting him tomorrow.

It might be a day or two before I get back to the Garden. See you!

Friday, February 02, 2018

Two More Sleeps

Today was supposed to be a day of preparing for the Norfolk trip but instead it turned into a day of two breakfasts, a trip to Ballymena with Leitrim Sister and Yer Man and a lot of chillaxing in front of an open fire and a glass or few of Lidls finest (and cheapest) Merlot.

All I have to do tomorrow is get up early, buy the Saturday Guardian (still can't get used to new format but at least Stephen Collins is still there), tidy and water polytunnel, fill suitcase with stuff for Emily and James and perhaps find tiny amount of room for a couple of changes of clothing for myself.

It was good to spend an hour or so with Deirdre and Nick and I'm almost certain I told Hannah that they'd be staying overnight. She did get an awful shock when she charged into the spare room at daybreak looking for clean socks. She met Bert on the stairs up for his early morning old-man pee and asked "Who are those people in the spare room?" so perhaps I only imagined I told her.

Still, as I always say on such occasions,

At least nobody died.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Three More Sleeps

The next two days will be spent sorting things out, watering the polytunnel, leaving Bert instructions to keep things alive,

the hens
my sourdough mother
my chili seedlings

And packing. I have so many presents for James and Emily that there will be hardly any room for clothes for me. But not to worry, for Katy has a washing machine.

Then on Sunday, I leave for Norfolk and the start of a new journey when I fall in love with Miss Emily Anne.

This is the little person I will be meeting for the first time.