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Showing posts from January, 2016

Sunday morning

Good morning all - another chilly day yesterday but they were lucky on the last shoot of the season it was at least dry for them.  I had a chat with Sandy afterwards and she is of the opinion that Dan is worth training up to work for a living so we will have to spend the summer working on his picking up skills. I must say it never ceases to amaze me that the clown in the house converts to a hunting dog as if you have flicked a switch suddenly he is completely serious so serious in fact that he refused a bacon sandwich because he was too focused on doing his job.  Mind you he made up for it at supper time demolishing a huge bowl of food.
Yesterdays lunch was a simple task of filling a tray with an assortment of root vegetables and then plonking the chicken thighs on top.  I cooked them under tin foil in a low oven at 160 then took off the foil and blasted it at 200 until the edges of the onions were slightly charred and the chicken skin was lovely and crispy.  Supper was equally simpl…

Saturday morning

Good morning all well we now have the wind and rain but I am still walking several feet off the ground.  Dan is a little confused as to why he is flavour of the month after all he was just doing what he was bred for.  He spent most of yesterday snoozing and recovering from so much exercise and having to use his brain all day.  He was not the only one taking it easy Denzil and I too were nursing sore muscles.  Although James didn't come with us he was pleased as he had done a lot of training with Dan so he must take some of the credit.  The game keeper insisted that Denzil was paid for his work although we had said we didn't want paying.  
I did very little yesterday and just pottered around having spent ages in a hot shower loosening up the aching body.  I looked at the washing and ironing but decided it could all wait until I was in the mood.
The pharmacy has refilled Mikes prescription and put it all in a dosset box so he can manage his medication better.  He is on a lot of…

Friday morning

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Good morning all  -  I hope you are sitting down before reading this - I am ecstatically happy even if every muscle in my body is screaming.  Dante was a total star and behaved beautifully.  Just to add to my anxiety there was a film crew on the shoot so I was doubly afraid.  Denzil got roped into the beating line so he too is a bit stiff this morning.  It could not have been a more perfect day the sun was shining the sky was cloudless it was crips and cold but we were wrapped up nice and warm so it was fine.




 A fair size bag of birds but before you get upset about this photo just remember that this is food and these birds have had a much better life than any chicken you have ever eaten and probably at least as many got away.
On the final drive a partridge came down wounded so I sent Dan to do his stuff and bless him he did fine and brought it back to me from the deep cover where it had fallen.  He caused a bit of consternation as he is a very unusual dog on shoots.  Lady Sondes join…

Thursday Morning

A hunting we will go.....Today is Dans first time at a shoot.  We are off to Lees Court which is a big commercial shoot but the season of paying customers is over and the beaters get a couple of days shooting for all their trouble.  The idea is just to see how he reacts to guns and dead pheasants and if he will pick up the birds.  When I took Basso he was a natural but I didn't know until the first excursion.  I of course am as nervous as hell and desperately hoping he doesn't run a muck or embarrass me too much.  He is already at a disadvantage as he is not a black labrador and with his pale coat he stands out so his misdemeanours are easily spotted.  I am hoping to hide in the woodland out of sight of the guns.  If he misbehaves badly I will bring him home immediately but hopefully he will be a good boy and sit quietly while we wait.  If nothing else I can help Sandy carry back her birds.  The game keeper and the shoot captain know I am coming and that I don't require p…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all we have just had a bit of a trauma putting out the bin bags one of them split and with a force 9 blowing the contents was blown all over the garden in moments.  Though it is wet and windy fortunately it is not cold so running around the garden in my dressing gown was not a problem though if anyone saw me I bet they had a good laugh.
Yesterday I decided to make a sweet and sour sauce with no sugar using fresh pineapple instead.  I looked at various recipes and then made up my own.  There was enough for three portions so two are headed for the freezer and one we had for supper.  The ingredients are pretty standard garlic and ginger and soy sauce to give the oriental flavour then lots of peppers onions and carrot ribbons and finally a little water with some cornflour to thicken and a big blob of tomato puree for colour.  oh and of course the pineapple!!  I have no idea of quantities as I played it by ear until it looked and tasted right.  I'm afraid when it comes to…

Tuesday morning

Well what a pain my machine decided not to let me on to the net this morning and it has taken a complete reboot to get it up and running.  Computers are great when they work but a real headache when they don't.
Good news it looks like someone might be interested in our van and I have spent ages trying to find the details to send to the lady as most of the information is actually in the van itself.  Anyway fingers crossed that it is just what she wants!!!  This would make my life so much easier.  
Yesterday was beautifully sunny when I took the dogs for their walk but very soon after it turned cloudy and dull but it stayed relatively warm.  Dan managed to get into the mud just 5 minutes from the car so he returned with black wellingtons of mud and coat full of burrs.  
We had a quick lunch of bacon rolls and I made the stroganoff for supper.  It is definitely better with beef but pork fillet works quite well.  I made sure that the meat fried hard in the pan rather than boiled so i…

Monday morning

Bit of a rocky night so another late start.  The sun is shining but I have gerbils clog dancing in my head.  Hopefully the party will slow down as I wake up fully I don't want to start the day with paracetamol and coffee.
Yesterday was all bit of a muddle with James having a bad night and sleeping in till lunch time so it was lunch for three and supper for four.  Today I have a pork fillet out of the freezer and as yet I haven't decided how to cook it.  I quite fancy a stroganoff and I have the cream and mushrooms so it will be nice and easy with a portion of rice.  
I have started to make a cot blanket with some of my wool supplies.  It is going to take a bit of knitting as each row is 121 stitches so takes a while.  I am a fairly quick knitter but even so it will take a while.  I have some lovely silk based petrol blue yarn which I think will make a really lovely border but first I have to get the main part knitted.
I bought Mike an adult colouring book but as yet he has no…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all late again this morning but I had a very late night so nothing unusual there.  The weather has turned really warm and we now have tropical temperatures in double figures.  The weather this week has been crazy from minus 6 to plus 10 in a mater of days.  It is no wonder that we Brits talk about the weather so much.  
Yesterday's lunch of pork belly strips worked well as I put them in the pressure cooker along with garlic ginger and star anise and gave them a good boil then splashed them with soy sauce and honey and put them in the halogen to finish off.  The water from the pressure cooker had all the flavouring so I boiled the rice in it.  
My friend came with her adult daughter and we hit Aldi and had a fine time rummaging through the stuff  and stocking up on bits and bobs and some wagyu burgers which were on offer so they made a nice supper.
I finally finished the matinee jacket that I had made such a mess of so now all it needs is a quick wash and press and it…

Saturday morning

This week has flown by it has been a bit of a rollercoaster but I think we are gradually getting to grips with the new situation.  I made a nice tomato and Serrano ham sauce which we had over some pasta for lunch.  James returned from the dentist with his old tooth sort of glued in as a temporary fit but last night it just fell out so we are now back to square one.  Supper was some tuna fish cakes which I had made with left over mash and which we ate with a big chopped salad.  Today I have some pork belly strips which I intend to cook in a sort of oriental type sauce and serve with some rice.  I thought I would give them a blast in the pressure cooker before putting them in the oven so that they are meltingly tender.  We are also on the hunt for a letterbox for the front door; you would think it was easy but as the door is UPVC it is not as easy as you would think.  Currently we have a force 9 gale blowing into the porch through the rectangular hole where the letterbox used to be bef…

Friday morning

Yesterday I finally got out and went shooting.  I had just one round of skeet which is only 25 shots but it was perishingly cold so that was enough for me.  Two very nice guys asked us to join them so we didn't have to wait.  I shot really badly and one of the guys, who really could shoot, helped me to get a few more clays.  One thing he advised was to use different cartridges with more pellet per shot which would give me a better chance.  Every time I go shooting there are always good shots who who are only too happy to help you shoot better.  It is so nice to be encouraged.  Anyway having frozen ourselves it was back to the club house and a bacon and egg sandwich and a big mug of tea. Denzil and I also shared a portion of chips - they cater for men so the portions are huge.
James had stayed behind and babysat so he had fed Mike and himself for lunch and we had a takeaway for supper which meant no cooking at all the whole day!!!  It did me a power of good to get out and away fro…

Thursday morning

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Better day and better night.

Never seen this before a line of ice marking the high tide line.  Needless to say Dan went swimming anyway but not before he had discover his paddling pool had become and ice rink and he is no good at skating!!!!

Sadly when Mike kicks off we all suffer he sure knows which buttons to press to cause havoc. Anyway his CPN came to visit and I had a long chat with him and filled him in on what happened over the christmas period.  The house was totally peaceful with no problems but as soon as Mike came back he started to stir the pot.  Sadly this is not the man I married if he had dementia it might be easier to cope with but he doesn't he is perfectly lucid just malicious and paranoid.  He is determined that we are all out to make his life difficult and miserable.  That aside I made a dish yesterday which I saw Ivan Day make with lamb cutlets which were egg and breadcrumbed and then gently fried in lard oh yes this is the low calorie version.  Actually it …

Wednesday Morning

So sorry to be so late but I had the day from hell yesterday followed by the night from hell and finally fell asleep at 6am.  The boys just left me to sleep and dealt with the house hold morning chores.  I had planned a lamb cutlet lunch but that has gone by the wayside and Denzil is doing some bratwurst and salad for lunch so now that I am back in the land of the living I will do the chops for supper. I must admit is nice to have some back up.  James if off to the dentist to see what they are going to do about his missing tooth.  If he returns with a frozen face I have some soup or scrambled eggs if he needs them.  In the mean time I have Mikes blue badge to sort out which has taken longer to renew than my shotgun licence which took forever.  Anyway I think we are close as they are asking for money.  I will keep this short as I am now so far behind schedule i will meet myself coming back.  Have a good one all

Tuesday morning

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Finally the temperature has fallen below zero and we are in minus numbers so winter is really here.  I think the new blinds are making a difference as the room certainly feels warmer.  I made a simple cottage pie for lunch yesterday which we had with cavolo nero.  There really is something so comforting in mounds of mash and gravy.  The sandwiches for supper were made with just toasted bread as I don't have a toasty thing.  I seem to remember years ago when I had one it was a fabulous way to burn your mouth as the fillings always turned into molten lava.  
Today we have a busy start as Denny is due so we need a run around tidy up so she can get going.  Mikes colouring book arrived along with a big box of coloured pencils so far he has not attempted anything if that were me I would have dived straight in.  We will have to wait and see if he ever has a go.  I have finally caught up with my knitting mistake and knitted the opposite front.  [What an idiot].
On the menu for lunch toda…

Monday morning

Good morning all.  What a night, I had a real nightmare from which I woke in melt down it was so real.  I think I might inadvertently have sparked it off myself the last thing I remember thinking about was trying to see what the future holds for me.  Very stupid as I know you cannot see into the future and you just never know what is around the corner.  However I managed to really depress myself just before I fell asleep.  My brain then took over and played a disaster movie for me.  Anyway on the good side I fell back to sleep and slept soundly for three hours and now feel much better and rested.  
Yesterday was a good day I hit Aldi and did a massive shop and restocked so this week should be easy.  Today I have some mince out ready to make a cottage pie for lunch and for supper we are going to have some ham and cheese toasted sandwiches so that is the menu organised.  The laundry is now up to date but dusting is something that needs doing however Denny is due tomorrow so that will b…

Sunday morning

Good morning all well it is perishingly cold here today no snow just very cold.  I had a nice day yesterday and spent the morning visiting a friend which made a change from being trapped in the house.  Lunch was using up left overs in the freezer so I can now get back to catering for 4.  I think I have used up all the things for 3.  Todays shop should be easier as four is always easier than three.
Mikes over bed table arrived and we assembled it which was extremely easy it was just a case of pushing bits into place no tools required.  I bought myself a pulse oximeter and have checked Mikes O2 levels which drop dramatically when he is off the machine.  He really does need to be on it for most of the day.  I was told 16 hours per day which actually means all day then off at night when he is asleep and using minimal O2.  I am still having great trouble in persuading him to get out of bed he seems to feel that he needs 24hour nursing care which is not the case yet!!!!
I took a leaf from …

Saturday morning

Good morning all a bit of a late start today but I had one of those nights where you wake on the hour every hour.  I finally fell into a deep sleep at 6am and slept for three hours solidly.  Yesterday was a lovely sunny day but it was very cold and today it is even colder but still sunny which is good for the spirits.  
We finally got round to having the ox cheek in beer and all the delay did nothing but improve the meat and oh boy was it good everyone was impressed and the gravy was to die for.  This is something I must do again.  Having had such a nice lunch we were happy to have a fish cake and some baked beans for supper.
Today my mind is a blank canvas as far as food is concerned and I will have to have a rummage around and see what I can find.  The dogs have had their walk and Dan came across ice for the first time which confused him as his legs went in all directions.  Very funny to watch!!! Skating is not his forte!!!!
Things are ticking along as expected with Mike he is grad…

Friday Morning

This week has just dragged by it seems to have gone on forever.  I expect it is all the upheaval that has made it feel that way.  Some weeks just fly by but not this one.  Mike kicked up with the financial advisor when he came but I shut him down before he really caused trouble.  He seems to think by moving our money from an ISA in his name to our joint account has robbed of his money.  Despite explaining why it is necessary he told the advisor it is because he is crazy!!!! It was a good job I was here to set the record straight.  The volleys of barbs are diminishing which is making life a bit more bearable. This house is now a group of 4 bed sits with communal cooking and dining.  Having lost our sitting-room their is no alternative.  Most of us are happy with the arrangement as we all have our own space to retreat to when the going gets tough.
James made an appointment with the dentist but the earliest they can see him is next Wednesday and I suspect it will be even later when they…

Thursday Morning

Good morning all well the temperature has dropped like a stone overnight and we are just above freezing but only by 2 degrees.  
Yesterday went according to plan with Mike coming to terms with the new regimen and so far trying to tow the line.  However don't imagine all ran smoothly James made himself a sandwich for supper and took one bite and lost his front tooth which was a crown anyway as some school girls had knocked him off his bike with a satchel and he lost both front teeth a good few years ago.  It was not a deliberate act but an accident due to stupidity.  So I guess he will be making tracks to the dentist this morning.  We have our financial advisor coming to see us this morning and hopefully get our finances into my name as Mike is no longer able to deal with things.  I have been dealing with most of it but there is one investment in his name which we need to sort out which will hopefully sort it out before I need power of attorney.  I have already sorted out power of…

Wednesday morning

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The new blinds are up and I can't believe how much warmer they make the place.  They are what they call duet blinds as they have a layer of air between two layers of blinds.  As you can see they don't cut out a huge amount of light but they do get rid of direct blinding sunlight. Because they are insulated they will keep out the heat in summer and keep in the heat in winter.  I am a very happy bunny.  
We had a better day with Mike yesterday and I am working on dog training principles ignore bad behaviour and reward and praise good.  I have laid down some strict rules I have offered to help with anything he wants to do but I have refused to do it for him.  Sniping across the meal table will not be tolerated and he will be served his meals in his room if he persists.  I was quite surprised at how spritely he is and how well he can potter around so he really doesn't warrant 24 hour nursing care.  I stood my ground over the medication so he has now decided to take it as he r…

Tuesday Mornining

Good morning all - well Mike is back home.  The ambulance delivered him at lunch time and the ward rang me to say he was on his way.  I had put the heater on in his room because I know the hospitals are kept at quite a high temperature so it was all toasty warm.  I had made a roasted butternut squash soup with croutons and nice swirl of cream for lunch so I thought we were all ready! No sooner had the ambulance guys gone than Mike wanted the bed turned around I explained that we had had to do this to accommodate the oxygen gear.  At which point we were all told to F off he is now refusing to take his medication and his portion of soup got flushed.  This was an absolute tantrum which you would expect from a 2 year old who couldn't get his way. Sadly he has now found out that we are not going to be bullied and if he choses to be an idiot that is his privilege.  He does seem to have some cognitive issues and flatly refuses to believe what he is told it is all done to make his life d…

Monday morning

Good morning all it is pouring with rain here and blowing a gale.  The ambulance for Mikes return is booked for 11am so that will be four for lunch.  The dogs are patrolling around waiting for their walk but none of us feel like getting soaked first thing. They of course don't see the problem as they are immune to weather conditions!! 
I think we are all set up for Mikes return and his room is all prepared.  We gave the laundry a caning yesterday but today the beds need to be done.  Thank heavens for tumble dryers as I cannot use my airer any more as there isn't a square inch to put it up.  Tomorrow the guy is coming first thing to put up the new blinds so a couple of busy days ahead.
The boys are going out this morning to do some chores and a bit of shopping for me but as yet I have made no decisions as to lunch and dinner. Perhaps something simple like a carbonara and salad for supper and something individual for lunch as timing will be an issue perhaps a pasty or some soup…

Sunday morning

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Good morning all.  We had a busy day yesterday as the oxygen was delivered at the crack of dawn and a very nice guy explained what we needed to do.  He too was concerned about the gas fire so we have taken off the knob so it is impossible to light.  Candles have been removed as well as the shot gun cartridges which lived under the sofa.  We also rearranged the furniture to make it easier for Mike to move around.  I now have a huge arm chair in the dining room so the furniture in that room also had to be rearranged.  Mike had accumulated several piles of paper work so a shredding session was also in order.  I also charged up his iPad and made sure he couldn't inadvertently buy a  Rolls-Royce.  Today I am going to go shopping and make sure we are prepared for 4 people meals rather than 3.  I hope we are all set up ready to receive Mike home which we think will probably be tomorrow.  The occupational therapist put me through a grilling about the lay out of the house and what facilit…

Saturday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday I had a chat with the sister in charge of the rehab unit and Mike is still kicking off refusing to do things so they are going to discharge him but she said they would try and keep him over the weekend to give me a chance to make preparations for his return on oxygen.  My big fear is that we have gas appliances and they do not go well with oxygen and I would rather he didn't blow my house up.  I have had a 5 lever dead lock put on the front door as Mike will open it to anyone so I need to be able to lock it from the inside.  Today the boys and I are going to have a go at rearranging the furniture in the front room to accommodate the oxygen compressor which is the size of a two drawer filing cabinet.  The room is already stuffed with a three piece suite and a bed and bedside table so we will need to do a bit of thinning out.  In fact I am wondering if I should get rid of the suite and make the room a proper bedroom rather than a temporary solution.  I …

Friday Morning

Good morning all just when you think things are improving another problem hits.  Mike has been in Barts for 24 hours and has already caused problems refusing to do what he is asked.  I took him in some clothes so he can get dressed and suggested that if he were to unpack the bag he would know what clothes he had - absolute flat refusal - so everything is still in the bag.  He has already upset the staff who have explained that they are there to help but if he doesn't want help he might as well go home.  From which he deduced that he is coming home today.  Denzil came with me for moral support and to carry the bag and was shocked at just how nasty Mike was to me.  He used to reserve his venom for James but I guess as he is staying out of the firing line I am the next best thing.  I came home very upset and at a complete loss as to what to do next.  I think we may have reached the point where I need to do some serious investigating of care homes.  One thing is for certain I am not …

Thursday morning

Good morning all today is a wet one it is hosing down as I write and fairly chilly to boot.  Mike was moved to rehab yesterday but not the nice one he is now in what was St Bartholomew's Hospital Rochester which is an ancient building condemned in 1912 as unfit for human habitation.  They have managed to keep it going but there is no car parking except in the street outside which is the main A2. Visiting times are 3pm to 4.30 and 6.30 till 8pm.  The 3pm will be impossible as it is kicking out time for the schools and the later time clashed with supper preparations.  So it is going to be a real pain in the posterior.  It is directly opposite the art college so everywhere is full of student cars.  Of all the places this is by far the worst in terms of visiting.  I am pleased that he is out of the bug infested hospital and with any luck he will not have to spend too long there before they allow him home.  This morning I will ring them and see what exactly they would like him to have…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all - well at least it is not raining today though it looks pretty grim outside.  Mikes brothers came to visit him yesterday and one of them dropped in to see me before going home.  The hospital are still trying to move him to rehab but with little success I only hope they get him out before he catches something else.  Lets hope it it third time lucky!!!!
The left over turkey made a magnificent faux pie.  I say faux as I cooked the puff pastry separately and just plonked it on top of the filling mix.  As luck would have it there was enough for both lunch and supper so all in all I made 9 meals from on turkey leg.  That has to be good value for money and as Joy says it is very tasty meat.
Our next door neighbours came round to show us the plans for their new extension and loft conversion which we have often though about but the stair case was always a problem however their architect has found a way to manage it by converting the stairs into a sort of square spiral if that…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all.  Now I know you already know this but I am an idiot and that is official.  I had a cheque to pay into the bank so I had a trip out yesterday then I though I was so much better I would pay Mike a visit and that was one journey too many.  I was absolutely finished by the time I got home and went straight to my bed.  
The turkey leg worked out really well and the flavourings were just right.  There is still plenty of meat left over so I guess a turkey pie might be in order. Given that it is still raining I am not going out at all today as the cold air on my chest does me no good at all. I am hoping that Mikes brother might come and visit him today but much depends on where he is likely to be which I will not know until midday.  They are desperately trying to get him a rehab bed but as you know they are like gold dust.
Well I am going to keep this short as Denny is here and I need to get going having slept like the dead last night.
Shiona rang to say that her mum had pa…

Monday morning

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Good morning all I guess it is back to real life after the holiday season.  Yesterday was a day of deluge it rained constantly all day not heavily but incessantly.  I pottered in the kitchen for a while we had some left over mash and some cooked leeks so I amalgamated them added and egg and some flour and made potato cakes which we had with some of the Serrano ham and a massive chopped salad.  I have been hankering for a salad for days.  For supper I finished the left over salad with a frikadellen, the boys had beans and fried eggs with theirs.  I bought a turkey leg and thigh in Morrison and today I am going to cook it in the oven as though it were a piece of veal - with butter rosemary and lemon zest.  I think long and slow is the answer and with any luck there should be enough for cold and salad for supper.  The antibiotics are doing their stuff and I am feeling much better in myself but now is the time not to get carried away and over do it.  I have almost finished the next kimon…

Sunday morning

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Guess who had a lovely time out on his walk yesterday?  And guess who had to have a bath!!!! You don't want to see my carpets but nothing a good hoovering will not remove.  He refuses to get in the bath but once in he is a good as gold.  Even Tubby was filthy so he too had a bath.  Once Dan was out and towel over he dashed straight into my room and jumped in my bed to dry himself off so I was left with a wet bed oh well the sheets needed changing anyway.

Mike has been moved to a side ward on a female ward while they wait for a bed in rehab to come available.  He is not best pleased however they have taken him off his oxygen and he seems to be managing OK which is one of the criteria for getting him home.  He now has a functioning phone and called me for a chat this morning so things are looking brighter.  Of course today is Sunday so the hospital is run by fairies and nothing is likely to happen until next week.  Fingers crossed that a bed becomes available in rehab and he can fi…

Saturday morning

Good morning all.  I have lost track of the days and had to check with the computer that it was Saturday.  The boys went in to see Mike yesterday and retrieve his phone which is out of credit I am confused as to how this happened given that he has made 2 calls of a minute or so. Anyway I will stick a tenner on it so it should last him a little while.  I have made it very easy for him as there is only one number in the phone and that is us at home.  It is also a very old fashioned clam shell with no bells and whistles to confuse him.  He is now being shunted around the hospital from ward to ward which is not only confusing for him but for us too.  The boys will take his phone back to him today but I will phone first and check which ward he is on.  
The antibiotics are kicking in and I am beginning to feel a bit more human.  In an effort to keep myself sitting upright I have been knitting like mad and have finished another jacket and am halfway through a third.  It is still warm and we…

Happy New Year

Good morning all sorry to have been off the wires for a couple of days but the drippy nose did the dirty on me and developed into a nice chest infection which has taken the legs out from under me.  Of course this has caused all sorts of problems with visiting Mike the last thing I want to do is take him in yet another infection.  The hospital rang to let me know they were moving him back to a less intensive ward with a view to getting  him home.  I explained that I was in no condition to look after him just yet especially with a house full of gas appliances and him on oxygen anyway they are not looking to get him out just yet so hopefully I will be up and running when he does come back.  Not the most auspicious start to the new year so it can only get better!!!!!