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Showing posts from March, 2012

Saturday morning and getting worse

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The magnolia is in full bloom and looking gorgeous.  We had another traumatic day yesterday, as usual I spent two hours with James in the morning.  I suggested that he may need a change of scene as he had been staring at a blank wall for the last 4 days.  Fine, but there are no wheel chairs except in the main entrance so it was back down to collect one which cost me £1 as they have them chained up like supermarket trolleys.  It was quite a struggle to get him from the bed to the wheel chair as with both sides of his body damaged he is largely helpless and weighs twice as much as Basso!!!  We spent a while in the sunshine chatting then I took him back and reversed the process.  Mike came and fetched me at midday and finally I managed to get the dogs out for a short walk then I decided to boil a big pan of potatoes so they would be ready to go with whatever we were eating.  I had a stale loaf of bread which I  made into crumbs and then suddenly I had a brainwave, what about potato croq…

Friday morning

and we have made it through another week.  I went to visit James yesterday and he asked me about the bike which we have sold, much to his disgust.  Motor bikes are particularly difficult to deal with as although Mike has a full motorcycle licence he could not ride it home from where it had been left and we had little option but to get rid of it.  I still don't think he realises how long it will be before he is fit enough to walk unaided let alone ride a bike.  He is very frustrated, angry and confused on all the drugs he needs to keep him comfortable which is making him a pretty difficult patient.

I finally managed to get T mobile to send out a sim card.  I was told that only a shop could deal with the problem so we drove into Chatham to sort it out.  The shop manager immediately said they couldn'tdeal with it, but I think the look on my face told him his life was at risk and he made several phone calls and finally the sim card is on its way.  We can put the card in a spare ph…

Thursday morning

Good morning all yesterdays visit to James was a bit of an eye opener as they are making moves to discharge him home to me once the OT have checked the suitability of the premises.  As yet they
haven't even sat him out of bed!!!  He is completely incapable of even pulling himself up in the bed, he is still catheterised, so I don't know what they think they are doing!!!! I hope they are just forward planning, I think I am going to have to stand my ground and refuse to take him home until I am happy that I will be able to cope with him.  Especially as he is still having terrible nightmares and I don't have a gaggle of porters to call on if he falls out of bed.

Now on to more mundane things, we tried the Eco egg on a load of washing and it did as good a job as any soap powder so that looks like it might be a success.  The egg contains enough beads to last 72 washes so it should work out very economically.  If Shiona continues to be happy with it I may well purchase one myself…

Wednesday morning and bin day

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Good morning all, now I know that you are wondering if I did what I was told and went to the ideal homes,  Well you will be pleased to hear that for once in  my life I did the sensible thing and went and I am pleased that I did as my mind was taken from all the mess and I could think about other things.  We caught a slow train up to Charing cross during which time I managed to finish one of my next pair of socks much to the amusement of a group of french school girls on a day trip to London.  A bit of a shuffle around on the underground got us to Earls Court and the exhibition.  It is the first time I have been for years and I was pleasantly surprised that it was not as crowded as I remember and there were lots of places to rest your weary legs with a bit of a sit down.  Did I buy lots of rubbish? well of course I did!!!  perhaps rubbish is too strong a word.  I bought some lovely moisturising cream which will probably last me the rest of my life.  I also bought a magic whisk which is…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all now this must be the first time in ages that I am us so late.  I went to see James as usual in the morning and he was so much better.  I had a long chat with with the specialist nurse and also the registrar who were hopeful that the specialist pelvic chap would be able to give them advice now that he was back from leave!!!  Moral of the story is make sure you check which doctors are on holiday before having any accidents.  I was assured that I would be informed of what treatment was recommended.
We then set to with the organisation of the other outstanding items.  I spoke to the insurance company and informed them that I had no paperwork except a bank statement showing a direct debit payment and would be grateful if they could send me the policy details.  Power of attorney was duly emailed and back came a nice letter asking for the policy number.  Obviously I had been speaking chinese!!!  Next it was an attempt to sort out the mobile phone.  T mobile have sent a lette…

Monday morning

Well what a shock I went to visit James yesterday morning only to find that he was screaming the walls down in pain.  The night staff in their wisdom had not given him any pain relief which in turn set off one of his nightmares.  His broken foot was hanging off the bed and dragging his pelvis out of alignment.  The back slab on his elbow was in several pieces and about as much use as an ashtray on a motor cycle.  They had put him on a mattress on the floor so that he couldn't fall from the bed, which is distressing but understandable.  At this point I cut up rough and found the ward sister and insisted he be given some pain relief and I explained that I felt his care was unacceptable. I also took photographs of the condition I found him in.   Suddenly there was a flurry of activity doctors arrived to re-do the back slab and some 20 minutes after he had his morphine and his leg was elevated all was peace and harmony.  However, as you can imagine my trust has been shattered and I fe…

Sunday morning

What a glorious day it was yesterday, not that I got much opportunity to enjoy it.  I popped in to see James first thing but ended up sorting out an elderly gentleman who was very confused and was trying to shred his pillow he then acquired a pair of very sharp nail scissors and proceeded to shred his pyjamas so I am afraid I confiscated both  before he could do any serious damage to himself.  The two compos mentis  patient were in direct sun shine and gradually cooking so I drew the curtains for them.  I then set too and tidied up the accumulated rubbish around James and straightened out his bed and pillows.  I think I will be putting in a bill to the hospital as agency staff!!!!  James finally got his heel scanned yesterday afternoon but they have yet to manage to do the elbow.  He has been immobile for 4 days now and I am getting concerned that the other problems of bed rest will be an increasing risk.  Deep vein thrombosis is being dealt with by anticoagulants but he is still at r…

Saturday morning but only just

Oh hell it is stupid o'clock again and I am awake.  I went to visit James yesterday morning and found him a bit more comfortable but seriously sleepy with the morphine.  However, we managed to get him to sign, left handed, a power of attorney document so that we can now get something done with his bank etc.   Suddenly all my nursing skills were brought back from retirement and I set to and cleaned his mouth and gave him a shave.  I also made sure that he drank some fluids and filled in his menu card.  There is still no movement on treatment and they tried to scan him again yesterday but had to abandon it as he was in too much pain.  Today they are going to try again with some heavy sedation so they can get the pictures.   There is quite a lot of stuff to sort out as his flat is due to be on the market solicitors needed to be instructed and his motorbike needs to be sold to defray some of the costs.  The motorbike is some three miles away outside a friends house so it is all a bit …

Friday morning

What can I tell you this morning except that as usual I spent the morning at the hospital.  I had a chat with the orthopeadic registrar who kindly went through the X rays and scans with me.  The fractures in his pelvis are pretty bad and the heel is a real mess and now they are also aware that he has a broken elbow as well.  When I rang last night none of the specialists had seen him yet however as the data can now be sent electronically there is little need to see him in person.  No decision has yet been made as to what they are going to do.  James is very restless and full of morphine which sadly is insufficient to sedate him.  He needs to lie still but is finding that impossible and every time he drops off he starts awake with pain.

Yesterday morning I made a batch of split pea and ham soup which kept us all going through the day and Shiona made us a lovely supper of gammon steaks with saute potatoes mushrooms and egg, a sort of full english breakfast.  It was great and just what …

Thursday morning

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Just when you think things can get no worse!  do you remember some time ago I bought a key safe, well thank goodness I did or I would have no front door today.  Shiona Mike and I were just coming back from our run to Dobbies, where I had bought the lovely hellebore, when we saw two ambulances drawn up outside our house.  The paramedics had let themselves in only to be confronted by 5 wet dogs who had just been for their walk/swim.  On my dining room floor lay James who had fallen from the roof.  While we were out he had decided to hang his England flag and had slipped and fallen some 15 feet.  He had managed to crawl in to the house and call an ambulance and given them the combination for the key safe.  So after some half hour of immobilising and 20mg of morphine  and copious Entonox [gas and air] it was off to the hospital where they X-rayed him and scanned him to discover that he has a very badly fractured heel bone [calcaneum] and a fractured pelvis and sacrum.  Fortunately being y…

Wednesday morning and bin day

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Yes sock mania is progressing well. Now this latest sock I like!  Can I recommend that if you find your self waiting in a hospital then sock knitting is a great pass time.  I managed to complete this one yesterday.  The body of the sock is in 2x2 rib but the sole is in plain stocking stitch.  James is home but not well and very angry so quite difficult for everyone.  I was going to go shooting with Shiona this morning but she is going to come over and offer moral support and we can have a knitting and chatting session instead.  No doubt if the weather is fine we can take the dogs for a walk and do a bit of shopping too.  I was in Dobbies the other day and spotted the most beautiful Hellebore.  I didn't buy one as my mind was elsewhere but I have been thinking of it ever since so today I think I will indulge myself and buy one.  I'm not sure where in the garden to put it but I'm sure I will find somewhere.  They say you should go to a garden centre every month and buy some…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all.  I am exhausted but not from knitting socks!!!   Yesterday is a day I will not forget in a hurry.  The powder keg we have been sitting on for the past 6 months finally blew up.  James went into melt down and I spent most of the day at the local hospital.  I am pleased to say that physically he in not in any danger now, but mentally he is desperately in need of help which seems almost impossible to get.    As a mother I was concerned at just how many straws it would take to break the camels back.  Now I know and it is back to picking up the pieces.  My shoulders are broad but they are creaking under the strain.  Mike is lost and devastated so needs some support himself he is not a well man at the best of times.  We none of us know which way to turn next.  I managed a couple of hours sleep last night but it was not enough to recharge my batteries however we will see what today brings.  My only consolation is that I know there are plenty of people who have worse problem…

Monday morning

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As you can see I am up a stupid o'clock again but I am hopeful that I can go back to bed and catch a couple more hours. 
The first of the oddment socks is done, not very sure I like the result but it will do fine for the garden and inside wellingtons.  The finish, in double knitting, is not as nice but they do feel very warm and comfortable and knit up very quickly.  This is an experimental sock just to see how it knits up and if I can still remember how to do cables.

Thank you Denzil for the good wishes for mothers day and you will be pleased to know that the crackling was delicious and came out really crisp and crunchy.  Sadly the rest of the day was very stressful as James was in one of his foul moods and we all got the benefit.

The weather was gorgeous so I took the dogs for a nice run and got a breath of fresh air myself while the meat was in the oven.  It was so lovely that I took the opportunity to get a load of washing out on the line to dry.  It makes such a difference …

Sunday morning

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As you can see I am still in the throws of sock madness I have moved up from 4ply to double knitting and thought I would experiment with a cable and some different colours.  After taking the dogs for a walk in the rain yesterday morning I stopped off at a different wool shop to try and find some double ended 4mm needles which luckily they had.  They also had a couple of large bins of odd balls of wool at £1.25 each.  So when I run out of my current supply of remnants I will be able to restock or should that be resock!!! anyway I had intended to make this pair knee length but the ribbing is too tight so they will just have to be short ones.

The saga of the lost phone rumbles on; the insurance company will only cough up when they have a letter from the service provider stating that the old phone had been black listed. Which is fair enough. The service provider will only send the letter to the billing address which is of course in London and so not very convenient.  I think we may just…

Saturday morning but only just

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Morning all, well it is only just morning and I am wide awake again.  The stress levels in this house are not conducive to sleep at the moment.  This latest set back has really knocked James for 6.  After a bit of investigation I have discovered that James phone would be covered by our insurance so we can replace the phone and hopefully all his information is stored on the cloud so it should not be too much of a trauma to sort out.  However, it does serve as a lesson with so much data on the new phones if you loose one you also loose half your life.

As you can see the new vac packer has arrived and is now installed in the kitchen.  It has already been put to good use as I had a couple of packets of bacon steaks and as they come in twos there was one left over which I could repack and seal. We were going to have them for supper but as it turned out no one fancied one so they have been put back in the fridge for today.  I did however get stuck in and made a quiche as I have loads of eg…

Friday but not the 13th

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Just when you think it is safe to breath the world comes crashing down round your ears.  Yesterday started well the freezing temperatures and fog gave way to a day bathed in sunshine. I pumped off a couple of loaves of bread and James set off to work as usual but by 12 o'clock he was back, disaster had struck.  While he was on a job delivering documents to a place in High Holborn he had been required to remove all his motor cycle gear and and pass through metal detectors.  He left his helmet phone etc with the security guard and tried to deliver the documents.  There was no one to receive the papers so after waiting 20 minutes he decided to phone the office for further instructions only to find that his mobile phone had been stollen.  The security guard said he should phone the police which he did and while he waited for them to attend he was given a parking ticket.  After 45 minutes he decided to return to the office as there was no sign of any police.  When he explained what ha…

Thursday morning

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Good morning all, well it is stupid o'clock and I am wide awake.  The heating is off and it is pretty chilly here and a mere 2 degrees outside.  We had a nice day shooting yesterday and I managed to come in only 5 shot behind Jeff and all of those were lost on the last stand.  It was chilly and dull when we first arrived but the sun did come out and made for a very pleasant day.  Young Hamish [the west highland white terrier] had his stitches removed leaving him with a beautifully healed wound from his surgery.  He was very well behaved as I held him and Shiona removed the stitches, so all in all, he has been a very good patient.  It will take about a month for the testosterone to leave his system and hopefully he will be a bit less head strong.

Poor Baso was very disappointed yesterday evening as the boys next door were playing cricket but would not let him field.  He sat glumly in our garden watching the game and hoping for an invitation.  We had had a kebab for lunch so were n…

Wednesday morning and bin day

Yesterday was a day of bits and pieces and in the end I was too shattered to be bothered with the cinema, perhaps Thursday would be a better day.

The laundry had piled up so that took quite a while to sort out.  On my way to the washing machine I had dropped a couple of pairs of socks which I sent Basso to fetch.  Jane was absolutely gobsmacked that he could do this.  Basso too was delighted as he normally gets into trouble for stealing underwear.

Then I had some salmon which I put through the sous vide and given that it was on and hot I also put a pile of chicken legs and thighs through as well.  We had the salmon for supper with some potato salad and crisp fennel salad.  The some of the chicken legs will be for tonights supper the rest can sit in the fridge for a later date.  However my vacuum packer was playing up and refusing to seal the bags so I think it may well be on the blink.

While I was out with the dogs I noticed that there were some violets in bloom but sadly I didn'…

Tuesday morning

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Red sails in the sun set. 
When you have gone to the trouble of getting a silk duvet from China, it is seems only appropriate to have a duvet cover with a bit of class, so here is a nice red satin one.  It is so 'loud', as to keep you awake at night!!!


The clematis is planted and has its obelisk to climb as it develops and hopefully will have a mass of white flowers to brighten up what is a very dull corner.


Another pair of socks finished ready for Shiona on Wednesday.

Did I do the green house? the answer is no, it was too cold to get soaked to the skin so I abandoned the idea in favour of finishing the socks.

Now here is a bit of a moan; we are about to have a hose pipe ban imposed on us as part of the drought order.  Yes we have had a couple of dry winters but they have also been building houses with no thought as to how they would be supplied with water.  For the last 30 years to my knowledge we have needed another reservoir and have they built one?  No, they have paid th…

Monday morning

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What a lovely spring day we had yesterday, the sun was warm and there was no appreciable wind.
We had a nice busy morning getting the hens out of the glasshouse and back into their run.  Once we had rebuilt their house and got it all fitted out with saw dust and shredded paper we tried to usher the hens the couple of feet between the glasshouse and their run.  Well being hens they had hysterics! and in the end we had to catch them and put them in the run.  Once they discovered that they could run about and scratch all the new earth they were in seventh heaven and set about squawking like mad.  I'm sure the fox was delighted with the announcement.  I also had a go at cleaning out the pond pump which was rather blocked with leaves.   The water was still freezing so not a very pleasant job.

I did the roast chicken for lunch with parsnips and cauliflower cheese.  Not a colourful meal as it was all white but it tasted very nice so that was alright.  In the afternoon I took to my bed t…

Sunday morning

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Yet another sock finished I recon it is taking me approximately a week to knit a pair of socks now that I have the pattern cracked.  This pair are smaller as I have reduced the size of the needles and I hope they will fit Shiona as it was she who provided the wool and if I keep knitting the pair should be finished by wednesday when she comes over for shooting.  

On our walk yesterday Basso managed to get himself covered in burrs and for once he stood still as we got the magic comb and stripped them out of his coat.  I think he has finally twigged that we are trying to help him not torture him.  His own efforts merely result in his transferring the burs from his legs to his face.

James took himself off to sort out the banking which is now all in order so that is one less chore but we still have yet to get the forms filled in for the inland revenue so I guess that will be todays job.  For ages now I have felt the need of a DVD player to accompany my TV so yesterday I bought an extremely…

Saturday morning

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Buds are bursting out all over the place and spring is just round the corner.   I had taken the dogs for their usual walk yesterday and decided to do a bit of training with them.  I thought I was alone in the field but when I turned round there were several other dog walkers watching the demonstration.  Fortunately the session had gone well and the dogs were performing well, perhaps they knew there was an audience!!!  We then took ourselves to the grand opening of Dobbies where we had a free cup of coffee and two free primula plants.  It was absolute bedlam in the shop so we spent only a little time there and then beat a hasty retreat.  I bought the clematis "Avalanche" for the patio pot and managed to find one at a reasonable cost.  The first plant I looked at was £45 which I was not going to pay and finally I found a smaller one for £12 which was more my style.  I also bought a pair of chickens from the butcher for £8 one of which I dismembered the other I have left whole…

Friday morning

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When you see the sunny faces of the daffodils you know that spring is not far away.  Yesterday was a glorious spring day bathed in sunshine and without the bitter cold wind of the day before.   Shiona arrived at her usual time and Hamish is looking well following his surgery but his stitches are not due out until next week.  We gather out guns and went off to Dartford where we had a go at shooting "down the line".  Well what an experience that was: the clays are very low and fast and quite difficult to hit.  However, we didn't disgrace ourselves totally, we gradually got used to the direction and managed to hit a few.  It would be a great discipline to shoot on wet days as you get to stand inside a dry shed.  Once we had exhausted our allocation of targets we wandered back to the club house where we sat on the veranda and ate our bacon butties in the glorious sunshine.  The club house is on a bit of marsh land close to the river and the QE2 bridge.  It was interesting t…

Thursday morning

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The rather nice statue outside Dobbies it appears to be made of rusty wire but looks very appropriate outside a garden centre.

What a miserable day it was yesterday, I got drowned out walking the dogs and the wind was absolutely freezing.  Of course the dogs didn't mind one bit and revelled in the wind which seem to drive them mad with excitement.  I had walked out on our usual route but decided to make the return journey via the field which I though would be more protected.  Wrong, it was even more exposed to the wind and the driving rain looked like smoke billowing across the field horizontally.

As it turned out the irish stew was an ideal meal as James too arrived home soaked to the skin so a big bowl of irish stew accompanied by peas and carrots was perfect.  While I was cooking yesterday I prepared a rabbit and made stock with the carcass so today that will be made into a fricasse with mushrooms.  The carcass will be picked over for the dogs breakfast then the bones given to…

Wednesday morning and bin day

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Just when things seem to be going along smoothly something happens to bring you up short.  My wretched back has decided to play up for no good reason at all.  If I had done something stupid like digging a flowerbed then I would accept it but I have done nothing out of the ordinary so I am really fed up about it.  The weather forecast is for rain and wind today so I have cancelled shooting as that seems a daft thing to do.  Hopefully we will be able to go tomorrow and if we shoot down the line then there is little walking carrying guns and cartridges so my back should be OK.

We had our trip to Dobbies yesterday and were duly impressed with the serious amount of "stuff " available.  Once we had walked round the food section and the perfume section it was on to the outdoor section which has plants and chickens and fish for sale.  The hens are all of known breeds but the price is about £30-40 per bird - this is what I pay for 4 birds on point of lay.  The koi carp they have are …

Tuesday morning

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Another memory of Nigeria this illuminated address has been hung in James flat since my parents died and now it is back in my house.  The wording is quite amusing and the art work is definitely primitive but it has always provided a talking point.

Yesterday, was a relatively quiet day, I went off to the hairdresser at 9am and now I am pleased to report that my hair is once more manageable.  It was bitterly cold with a fierce wind blowing.  We demolished the last of the tongue for lunch and I made preparations for a nice shell fish risotto for supper which as it turned out we had quite early as James had come home.  There is one portion left which I am going to make into sort of fish cakes today.  I just intend to make it into patties and then egg and breadcrumb them and shallow fry.  I don't see why it shouldn't work do you?

The wonderful Jane is due today so the house will be spruced up a bit and with all the rain there is a bit of mud around on the carpet but it is better …

Monday morning

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We are back to winter temperatures again today it is a mere 3 degrees and still raining.  It rained all day yesterday not heavily but constantly so I hope the garden appreciated it.  Of course James didn't as he was moving all his furniture into storage at Shiona's house.  He really could have used a dry day but with his usual bad luck it was not to be and just to cap it all one of his friends has packed his wallet with all his cards and money in one of the boxes.  The simplest solution was to cancel the cards and reorder them as going through the boxes was not an option.

I finally got this weeks ironing sorted out and put away just in time for a new weeks worth to start accumulating.  The crossword got finished and a caper sauce was made to accompany the tongue which was really nice.  There was plenty left cold for supper so sandwiches were the order of the day and there is enough left for lunch today.  One of the next pair of socks is finished and has actually come up bigge…

Sunday morning

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Yesterday was one of two halves.  The morning was filled with all the usual things like bread making washing and ironing.  Shiona had a small jumper to finish sewing together for her nieces birthday so once that was done I then passed the iron over it and we packed it up and got it to the post office.  For lunch I had made potted shrimp and stuffed tomatoes which we had with some toast.  No sooner had I got the washing on the line than we had a shower of rain.  Just enough to wet the washing but not enough to do any real good to the garden.  They have forecast rain again today so lets hope we get enough to make it worthwhile.

In the afternoon we had a shopping experience as we went to the brand new, and only just open, Dobbies.  Well, what a lovely store, there is hardly anything they don't sell.  I gave the food hall a good once over and had a chat with the butcher.  I enquired if they would be having veal and was informed that anything I wanted could be organised from their main…

Saturday morning

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Well a generally successful day was had by all, if you can count successful surgery in that equation.  Little Hamish was taken off to the vet bright and early and we picked him up at 5pm minus his ornaments.   Poor little thing was a bit dopy so he has been put in the big dog crate for his comfort and to keep the other dogs off him until he is feeling a bit more awake.  Once we had deposited the dog at the vet it was off to the Apple shop and the genius bar for some help.  Some of my queries were answered and now the iPad is fully functional and receiving eMails which was merely a case of re-entering the email address once it had been cleared.  My problems with the photographic program will unfortunately require a bit of dedicated effort to sort out.  There is no quick way to organise things the way I want them.

We had lunch at a tapas bar as none of was really hungry which was hardly surprising considering that we had had scones with clotted cream and "Little Scarlet", str…

Friday morning

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Yesterday was a lovely sunny warm spring type day.  My bowl of spring flowers was really in its element with the crocuses open in the sunshine.  I actually managed to get a bit of gardening done and clipped back some over hanging climbers from next door which are smothering my wisteria.  Now is a good time to do it as the leaves have not yet appeared and you can see what you are doing.  The dogs got their run, a couple of loads of laundry dried beautifully on the line.  I made the jota soup which I hope will be nice today but there is rather a lot of it so I think a portion or two may end up in the freezer.  I spent ages trying to phone the campsite to book our pitch for July but given that it was their first day open despite hundreds of attempts I couldn't get through.  I guess it will have to be on todays' list of things to do.

Shiona is due here pretty early as we need to get her boy dog to the vet by 8.30 [shh don't tell him but he is being castrated].  I have then b…

Thursday morning

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Well all that waiting and is it worth it the second Strelizia flower is finally out in all its glory.  It really is a very bizarre flower and I am not sure if I really like it.

We had a very mild but over cast day yesterday but it was ideal shooting weather.  However, when we arrived at the club there was a chap who didn't have anyone to shoot with so he came round with us.  He was a very good shot but insisted on giving instructions to both Shiona and I which is guaranteed to put you off your stroke.  About half way round I had almost lost the will to live!!!  This sounds very ungrateful but we were happy muddling along on our own and the one thing I have learned is that the more instructions you get the less likely you are to hit anything.   We didn't get back home until about half past one and by the time we had eaten it was gone two and I was beginning to sink into the west.  Shiona booked up at my vet to have her male dog castrated and so she is coming to us first thing…