Friday, 30 September 2011

Part of a virtual world

Mountain man has returned, full of stories of how he met the queen mother half way up a mountain on a donkey (her not him), and how she chatted about Edinburgh Castle with him; of how he met the Director of Tourism and chatted about what Bhutan could do for him and what he could do for Bhutan; of mountains, of beautiful hotels, of fantastic scenery... all in all a trip to be remembered. He tells me it was hard work, but... I've seen the photos and it all looks unbelievably not like hard work to me!

Not long after was he in the door I had to go to work not to return until 10 pm, then it was bedtime and now today I'm off to London until Monday. I'm being a participant in a workshop for the weekend, which I'm hoping will be instructional. There's one fly in the ointment, and that is London Underground are shutting down certain tube lines for the weekend and the one I need is one of the shut ones. Fun and games are ahead I feel.

Then on Sunday night I'm meeting up with OU friends from the virtual alternative cafe I belong to, most of whom I met last time there was a get together, but still one or two whose faces will be new. I shall be heading home again on Monday, in the hope that my man and I can have more than two hours together before one of us has to go somewhere. Forget a virtual cafe within a virtual university... it feels like I'm in a virtual marriage!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A visit to the GP

My very first effort at a bowls league game had it's moments. I had some appalling gaffs and a couple of brilliants. In the end I think the verdict was 'could do better', or in the words of my skip, 'You have a lovely delivery...' and the unspoken, 'Shame not in the right direction.' At least we won with a rather pleasing 13-5 score, and my very last bowl stopped the opposing team from gaining 5. We still would have won, but the score would have stood at a far less impressive 12-10. My honour survived just about intact.

One bit of good news was that the Club President asked me to join her women's team that's to start it's surge for glory after Christmas. She actually asked me before the game, which was probably a major error on her part, but she did it and I accepted, so no going back!

And now for some book news:
A few weeks ago when I was in the full flush of getting my little book taken on by the Borders Pharmacy Overlord, Mountain Man told me I should take it to the GP surgery and see if they'd have it on their list of recommended books, and in a moment of madness I agreed. The Surgery Manager was lovely but said it wasn't up to her and she'd have to ask the GP's. She also said she'd be in touch if they said yes. I heard nothing so I let it go and chalked it up to experience.

Well, after bowls, I had an appointment at the GP's and while I was sitting quietly reading, the Practice Manager came out and said that she thought I'd said I'd call in (rather than her call me) and so she was really pleased to see me as the GP's loved my book and they want to have copies to hold in reception and sell on my behalf, and could I please drop a poster in so that they can promote it! She then paid for the free copy I'd given them.

The GP I saw said she thought the book is ideal for them. 'An easy read, simple little book that anyone could pick up and get something out of' is what she said. She loved that it's patient focused, and she'd read it and learned some things she hadn't known before... actually that last bit freaked me out a little... but there you go... they can't know everything, and it seems that it's given me a bit of kudos in Borders GP land.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A scary start

Indoor bowls, my winter 'sport', started yesterday at Tweedbank. I have to say I got a lovely reception, which was more than my bowling did, but the change from outdoor to indoor is always a bit of a trial as the bowls run so much faster and a lot of mine ended up in the ditch.

The Monday bowls is always a gentle affair. We play for an hour, stop for lunch, then play for what's left which isn't always a huge amount. I was getting a bit twitchy after sitting down for half an hour, but realised it's all part of the way it is, and the camaraderie was good.

After I'd finished and was putting my bowls and shoes in my locker (I'm really part of the in-crowd this year), the president of the club came up and asked me if I could play on her team for today... this is a whole new departure for me, people actually wanting me on their team, let alone the president. I said 'yes' and then immediately regretted it as she obviously hadn't seen how I'd been bowling not long before, but I have to start somewhere and after all, I certainly won't get any better unless get to play.

My week, after this somewhat gentle, if somewhat scary start, is going to get a whole lot busier. I've got my usual work in Edinburgh and then somewhere down the line on Thursday my Mountain man will return, with enough time for me to say hello and then I'm off to London for a course. On Sunday night I'm hoping to catch up with a few of my OU pals, which should be fun, and then home on Monday, whereupon my man and I can actually have some time together... well here's hoping.

p.s. I really must get a next year's diary. I can't believe I'm saying this in September, but I seem to have dates ringed on my 2012 calendar and haven't a clue what they're for!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Doors closed in Dunbar

I met an artist at the Edinburgh Festival who invited me to an Open Studios event in Dunbar this weekend. I couldn't go yesterday, but as the weather was supposed to be as good today I decided I would make the effort and go. And apart from the fact that the weather wasn't as good as the forecasters had promised (there's a surprise) I couldn't find anything when I got there. I stopped in a shop in the high street and asked and they'd never heard of it! A complete scout around Dunbar yielded nothing, nada, not a peep. So I came home.

One highlight of my journey was that there seemed to be some sort of Ferrari rally going on and I counted 16 beautiful red and one beautiful black Ferrari of all different ages on the A1 heading south. It was quite a sight.

Bhutan was open though and I managed to catch up with my Mountain man, up a mountain, but this time in the daylight, so not just teeth to talk to. It was a relief to hear how well things are going. Apparently I have to go there and see for myself... Oh dear, poor me, but I don't think I shall be offering much in the way of argument with that one!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

11 minutes of teeth

Mountain man and I eventually caught up on Skype, but it was a little weird as he was sitting with his laptop out in dark somewhere in a hotel in Bumtang district and all I could see for the whole 11 minutes was his teeth moving up and down. An incredibly surreal experience I can tell you. And it all ended a bit too soon. However, I learned that he's having a wonderful time and he and his tour guide friend, Tenzin, are as of one mind... or at least that's the story I heard.

I'm relieved to hear it's going so well, though very envious too. Who wouldn't be envious of someone traversing one of the most unspoilt destinations on earth while I sit at home nursing an elderly dog, an intransigent boiler, and some new boots? Well ok, the new boots make up for it slightly, but given the chance for new boots or being in Bhutan for 8 days I think I'd know which one I'd choose... mmm or would I?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Muchos shopping

Sandwiched in between work yesterday, I had a lovely time with Shirley having lunch and shopping. I'm sorry to say I spent more than I probably should, with my star buy being these:

We had lunch in A Room In The West End, which was fantastic. They went out of their way to accommodate my weird diet at the moment, and I was very impressed. Would definitely go back.

After a wander and a quick shop followed by a sit down in a cafe to rest our weary feet, I had to head back to work for my evening group. Only one more week to go, and that will be the end of my finishing at 9 pm... well at least for the moment. They want me to think about doing a follow-on once a month, and I'm thinking about it, but nothing's set at the moment.

And my boiler is fixed. They told me it would take 2 hours and a mere 45 minutes later job done. One less thing to have to worry about.

So now, I have one more client before my weekend starts. The only thing lacking is being in contact with my Beloved. We both had our Skype on, but there was no connection, which was very frustrating and after an hour or so of waiting I gave up. Only 5 more days and he'll be home, then we'll have to find time to go out and 'air' my gorgeous boots... oh yes and one of the dresses I bought... plural? Now there's an admission!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Simmering not boiling

What to do when you have a problem with your boiler? Well not a problem according to the blurb on the contract I have with Scottish Hydro. They are, apparently, only a phone call away. Well, yes they are, but when you eventually get through it all becomes 'interesting'.

I got in from work to find my heating was on in spite of the fact that I had only flipped the switch for the hot water. I phoned. I was kept waiting. Someone answered and said, 'No problem, we'll arrange to have an engineer come and look at it.' So far so good. Then, 'So which day would be convenient?' Also good. I told them I could be here on Friday morning. The reply? 'No, you have to be there all day and wait for the engineer.' When I explained I worked I got nowhere. At this point I went into a 'gentle' rant about how Scottish Hydro obviously hadn't a clue about working people. Within minutes I was told an engineer would be round.

An hour later the engineer informed me that a valve had got stuck. He didn't have a replacement but would order one. 'Which day can we come and fix it?' I took a sharp intake of breath and replied that I could be here on Friday morning... The outcome? An engineer will be at my door first thing on Friday.

The moral of this tale? Kick up a fuss, but only enough of a fuss to be labelled 'difficult' and and not 'whacko' whilst remaining polite but firm the whole time. Well it worked for me!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It gets worse

Tuesday is Zumba day, and in spite of not feeling as well as I'd like I decided to make the effort to go. Good idea? Absolutely not! And the reason is, because in the Community Centre in Galashiels where I do Zumba, the caretaker had forgotten to turn off the underfloor heating the night before.

Imagine if you will, 40+ women and 1 man (yes we have one brave soul) in an airless hall, with the central heating full on, spending an hour giving it everything. I actually felt faint at one stage and had to go out, and I was not alone. There was one door to the outside world, which was open, but I was, unluckily for me, over the other side of the hall. Zumba in a sauna is not a good idea.

If I felt bad before, I felt a whole lot worse by the time I got home. I had a headache nicely building while I was there and when I opened my front door it had turned into a migraine. Yesterday turned out to be a complete washout.

The one good thing in all this was that Nell, bless her, was quite happy spending the day asleep. And apart from having to get up and walk her in the afternoon, where she was quite ok with a short walk, I did not very much at all but lie in bed bemoaning my fate.

Not the best start to being on my own for 8 days... can only get better... can't it?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A sad life

My man has left me for better climes... well for 8 days. He went off to London last night to get his plane to Bhutan today, lucky sod, so it's just me and the dog.

I've been suffering with a poorly digestive system for some time now so made a decision on Friday to go wheat and dairy free for a week to see if it makes any difference. And after the conference on Saturday I decided I should also go alcohol free too. Sadly I think it is all making a difference, but not the miraculous cure I was hoping for. I shall give it until the end of this week and then if the recovery continues will have to stay the same for at least a month.

All a bit sad really... no wheat, no dairy, no alcohol and no man... I wonder which will come back into my life first?

Monday, 19 September 2011

One of those nights

Do you ever have those nights where you don't think you've been asleep and yet you wake up and so you know you have? Well last night was like that.

I spent quite a bit of time thinking about a phone conversation I'd had with a friend and the ramifications from it when I woke up. Then I thought I was struggling to get back to sleep only to wake up again and find that it was 6.45 am and my man had deserted the bed to go and meditate and I never even heard him. 'How long have you been up?' I asked. 'An hour,' he replied, 'You were fast asleep.' Not in my world I wasn't.

Coffee Plant Update
My plants do not like this time of year. We've had cold days and nights and only just put the heating on. They don't like the cold and I've noticed the leaves are beginning to curl again. I'm now investigating the delights of an indoor greenhouse to see if this might help my poor darlings as I'm not sure the central heating being on for a couple of hours a day is enough for them. My cup of coffee seems further away than ever and a whole lot more expensive!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Book news

On Friday afternoon I suddenly realised that I was supposed to be going to the Society of Authors in Scotland conference yesterday. I had booked it up months ago and it had slipped under the radar (or I hadn't turned the page in my diary and therefore completely forgotten about it!). And so on Friday night I trundled off to Edinburgh. The reason I decided to go to it all those months ago when I booked, was because it was being held round the corner from where I stay in Edinburgh and it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Come Friday night I was regretting that decision as was feeling like I wanted a weekend at home but I'd paid and decided to make the effort. Just before I left the house I shoved a few copies of my book into my bag, as I know at these things business cards and any form of self promotion is encouraged.

The conference itself was very interesting, albeit a long day ... all about how publishing is changing, e-books and how to promote oneself. When people asked what I wrote I produced my little book, and 2 people bought it immediately. They said it was 'beautiful', which was gratifying. Of course that's just the cover and the fact that it's a pocket book... nothing about the content!

Anyway, at the end of the conference there was a cocktail party and I started talking to one of the leading lights in SOAIS, Nicola Morgan. She asked what I had written and I duly got out my book. She said the same as the others, so I offered it to her, free, gratis. She refused to accept it unless she paid for it. And so she bought my little book! I was so amazed and flattered. She also asked me to twitter her so she could be one of my followers. More amazement and more flattered. This happened to coincide with my 2nd glass of wine on a pretty empty stomach. I left not long after before I made a fool of myself!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Giving in

After a v-e-r-y  l-o-n-g day yesterday when I had to get my car into Edinburgh before 9 am and then scoot to work for a full complement of clients, scoot back to the garage to find out my car had passed its MOT (just - tho had to bite the bullet and get new front brake pads at an extortionate amount in the process and was 'advised' that my tires all need replacing at an equally extortionate amount), scoot back to work for my evening group, finish at 9 pm and an hour back to the Borders, I decided to have a long lie this morning.

What this actually means is that I woke early but refused to get up on principle. And just as well too as it's cold out there, so have resorted to shower, dressing and crawling back under the covers for warmth whilst watching a bit of the Rugby World Cup and waiting for the central heating to kick in. Yes, I've given in. That's it. Winter has officially begun.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

To London and back

Certainty is such an interesting thing. Just before going to London on Monday I had an online discussion about how long it used to take on the train from London to Newcastle in the 50's. I know there were times when we took the sleeper, so it was quite long. I was saying how great it was now as the train from Berwick-on-Tweed only takes 3 hours and 40 minutes all the way into Kings Cross. How wrong could I have been! A whole 6+ hours after starting out in Berwick, I arrived in London. Apparently there was a tree down somewhere between Darlington and York, but we didn't know this. All the passengers knew was that the train came to a grinding halt in no man's land, buffeted by the high winds, with searing sun coming in and no air con and no windows could be opened. To be fair the guard did keep announcing that help would be arriving, but that took one and a half hours to get to us. The nun in the seat opposite, I noticed, did a lot of praying. We were the last train through from Newcastle that day, so maybe her prayers worked.

I was supposed to be meeting up with Cathy the Bookseller/expert blogger/and all round jolly good person, and in the end she kindly came to Kings Cross and met me there. We adjourned to St Pancras, which is spectacularly beautiful, and sat on the concourse in Carluccio's for food and sustenance. Cathy persuaded me that a g&t would be a good start... and it was. From there we went on to wine, which proved my undoing, and in my lightweight drinking status, 2 wines and I was done for. So much so that Cathy even managed to persuade me to get a Twitter account, so that goes to show just how inebriated I must've been!

I am now the 'proud' owner of @dr_vee11 on Twitter. I've so far managed one post of 11 words. I've worked out that the number of hours it took me to write that is approximately just over three times the word count. Rock on! I can't even remember why Cathy thought it was a good idea I did this, but she is very persuasive.

Meanwhile London was one meeting after the other yesterday, followed by an 'interesting' drinks party with my mother in aid of the Red Cross. I didn't realise that it was the host's 60th birthday. In fact when I saw the napkins I thought someone was trying to be ironic because the host looked at least 75. I only twigged when the birthday cake came out, which he cut with a sword (?!) - luckily I didn't have that much champagne that I said anything of what I was thinking (which has been known in the past) and managed to get away with feeling that I'd lost two hours of my life, but in some ways I think I got off lightly!

Today was another meeting before heading back to Kings Cross for the journey back. My man and dog picked me up in Berwick-on-Tweed a mere 15 minutes or so late. What a relief!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A day at the wedding

What a lovely day yesterday was. Shirley and Andy's daughter, Robyn, got married to Sinclair in a swanky Edinburgh hotel.

The major decision of the day was what to wear. I had told Shirley I would wear my wig, but when I made the final decision on my outfit, I realised that wearing two things that I don't wear a lot and alcohol probably wasn't going to be the best mix. So I decided that it was to be the dress and not the wig. In retrospect I think this was a good decision.

The bride wore a splendid, purple silk number that shimmered green in the light... it was fantastic. And I was rather pleased that my purple dress covered in hearts and poodles seemed to be just the right mix of humour and glamour. The wig would have been a step too far I feel.

Unlike the last wedding we attended in Inverness in May, at this one I managed to get my O/H to dance, much to his consternation. Andy had apparently spent many hours putting together an 80's mix and it was great to dance to, well for me at least.

Shirley and I had a good old reminisce about a particular dance event in Aviemore that she and I went to about 25 years ago. We were on a weekend away, and frankly I couldn't remember whether No. 2 son (who must've been about 6 months old) was with me or whether I'd left him at home with his father and brother, but anyway, Shirley and I ended up at a Saturday dance-off at the hotel we were staying at. The whole event was completed by handbags on the floor as we shook our booties while being totally ignored by everyone else there.

Actually at one point yesterday, it was pretty much the same. Same music, same two women dancing together, just this time, much to my Beloved's relief (and probably Andy's too) our handbags were nowhere to be seen... my poor man he can only deal with so much embarrassment at one time.

Having said that, watching his wife idiot dancing in a dress covered with poodles was probably one over the odds in the embarrassment stakes for him, so a handbag on the floor frankly would probably not have made much difference. However I did notice that he went to get the car very shortly after this, so maybe he was worried at what I might have got up to next. We left before I was given the chance on that one!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Trauma in Costco

I made a trip to Costco today... the 'cheap' store, where I seem to spend a lot of money. There was method in the madness as items were required, it's just that I always seem to buy things I never knew I needed.

I was going round, having my lunch - they always have free samples going and so today's lunch was vegetable risotto with parmesan, an oaty bar, some Tic Tacs and finally, which was a huge mistake, a piece of Florentine that quite frankly made me feel sick so I had to go back and get some more Tic Tacs - when shock, horror, I came across a complete aisle of Christmas decorations, trees etc. It's only part way through September for ****'s sake. I found myself shaking with terror at the very thought of it.

In order to get over the trauma I headed for the books to have a bit of a browse, and there I was, reading Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman, which has been much lauded by Cathy the Bookseller, when I realised three of my fingers were covered in blood. I did rather wonder why people were giving me a wide berth. It was one of those odd bleeds where not only did I not feel myself getting cut, it was also only surface, but you wouldn't have thought it given how much blood was around. I took this as a sign and immediately put the book in my trolley.

The whole experience was shattering... not the bleed, the C stuff. I'm still traumatised by it.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Hot and bothered

Yesterday, when I left home for Edinburgh, it was cold, raining and altogether Autumnal. I decided not to take much in the way of clothing and dressed appropriately... warm top, long socks, and my shoes that have been away in the cupboard over our so-called Summer while my feet pretended it was warm in sandals and crocs. And guess what? This morning is a bright, sunny, warm day and I'm already hot and bothered, with my face turning redder by the minute. Not the most inspiring look as I head off to work. The worst bit is that I'm working until 9 tonight and so I'm stuck. The only thing I can hope for is that as the day gets on, it will get colder, and I can feel a bit self-righteous. But right now I just feel stupid as the rest of Edinburgh seems to be in t-shirts and shorts.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Updates on this auspicious day

Today is an extraordinary date according to mathematicians as contains 3 consecutive numbers, which only occurs five times in every century, today being the penultimate one for us as the next and last one is on 9/11/13 and then that's the lot for this century.  When I was a child I always wanted to be born on a date with an interesting number, basically because my brother was 5 on 5/5/55 and I was more than a bit jealous. However, his life hasn't turned out quite so interesting (though I'm sure he'll disagree) and he hasn't become the superhero that I he told me he was going to be when I was 5 and he was 7. Enough of that. Now to the updates:

The last Game of the season:
It drizzled. It was freezing. We played. I lost.

But considering it was the Club skip and I managed to get 12 points to his 21 I was actually quite pleased. I didn't play all that well, and neither did he. The weather can be a bit of a leveller, but not in this case, it was just horrible out there. So different from Sunday when the sun shone and it was a joy to play. Both of us were pleased to finish last night before the drizzle turned to full on rain.

So that's it for the outdoor season for me. There's still another couple of weeks to go but I'm away the rest of this week, then at a wedding this Saturday and then on October 1st, which is the very last game of the season, I'm in London.

And then the indoor season begins.

Coffee plant update:
I'm sure you can't tell the difference between these two photos, but growth is there I promise. There are quite a few new leaves coming at the top, though the one on the front right is looking slightly worse for wear. We'll see what the next few months brings.


31st July

Book update:
I had a meeting today with the local Scottish Borders Pharmacy Overlord, who is the owner of 5 pharmacy emporia. I was in my local pharmacy yesterday and had a bit of a brainstorm and asked if they'd like a couple of copies to sell. They told me I had to speak to the buying boss, and I duly phoned. She asked me to come across this morning and so off I set with 10 copies in my bag, and instead of her, it was her husband, the Big Boss himself who interviewed me. He took one look at the book and asked me how many I had in my bag... 10 I replied... I'll have them all, he said. And so now my little book is gracing the bookshelves of the rather splendid Romanes Pharmacy in Duns.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Zumba night and day

I've had this rather weird thing happen on Monday nights for the past few weeks, and that is that my mind starts throwing up all the Zumba tunes and moves ready for my Tuesday exercise class. Don't get me wrong, I like the music a lot, and I like the exercise too... but not when I really should be asleep.

Last night I slept for about an hour and then that was it. I spent the rest of the night in Zumba-land and by 5 am I was wide awake and tired. I started reading under torchlight until my Beloved woke up, and then it was time for the day to begin.

By the time I actually got to Zumba I was exhausted and while flinging my body around I began to get a migraine headache, so much so that when the class ended I knew exactly how I was going to spend my day. I got home, went straight to bed and there I stayed until teatime. I am supposed to be getting ready for a bowls competition that in all probability won't take place because it's started raining. We'll see what happens by 6, but if it carries on like this then it's definitely off the agenda.

So there you have it. A day of fitness I don't think.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Almost nearly but not quite

Today was the Bowls Open Pairs and my pal, JT came all the way from Perthshire to play with me. It just happened to be the sunniest, best day of the year to play bowls, and to go along with that we got through to the final, which was brilliant. Sadly that was it as we managed to lose 5 in the penultimate end and we were done for. Until then we were all even. Still £30 each at the end was not a bad consolation prize, and then of course there were a few gins that needed to be shared with folk in the club.

There was one bit that did make me laugh a bit... a bit mean of me I know, but heck some people are just not good sports. Last year's, and in fact the last 3 years winners, 'forgot' to bring the cup back, and we were playing them in the semis. Last year we lost to them in the first round and they were all smiles when they realised this year they were playing us to get into the final. However, it just happened to be one of those games that both JT and I were playing ok and we won that by 1 point. They were the most unhappy bunnies I've seen in a long time and they went back in the clubhouse and muttered all the way through our final and beyond.

So last year we were out in the semis, this year in the finals... maybe next year will be the year?

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Taxing matters

After ignoring that gnawing feeling inside and the ever-present item on my 'To Do' list for at least a month, I finally got down to get my tax affairs in order for 2010 - 2011 yesterday. It took me pretty much all day. This is partly because I spent a good hour trying to find my P45 from last October when I changed my status from employee to self-employed at the firm I work at in Edinburgh.

The problem turned out to be that the said P45 was not the same shape and design as my wage packets, like they used to be in the NHS. No this one was two A4 sheets in an envelope. And where did I find it? Exactly where it should have been in the file marked 'Accounts', it's just that I'd completely overlooked it and only when I started taking everything out and checking all envelopes, admittedly with a slight sense of panic arising, did I find the offending item. I was mightily relieved.

I think a lot of my problems with getting my accounts together for last year are because I had four jobs that all had slightly different things that needed taken care of accounting wise, and because the jobs ran into each other where some weeks I was working 8 days a week and was totally exhausted, I didn't take as much care to fill in my monthly figures as I've done in the past. I'm making sure that doesn't happen again... that is both the 8 days per week and the non-filling of monthly figures, though being honest here, I've already slipped a couple of months and so will spend time catching up this month, so that by this time next year I'm already done and dusted.

Once I'd finished for the day I had little time to walk the dog and then get over to my bowls competition with the Club President, so things felt a bit rushed, which didn't help my bowls any. I started off pretty badly and lost 10 in the first four ends, but after that I think I gave him a reasonable game. He won of course, but I did get 8 points (to his 21), which pleased me greatly as my goal was to get 1 point, so I exceeded that by... well by 7 obviously! Still he was pleased and I spent a pleasant hour afterwards, armed with gin and tonics (yes, plural) with him and his fiancee, which was a nice way to end the day.

I have another competition tomorrow, with my pal JT from Perthshire. Last year we made the semi's, which was none of my doing I can assure you. And then on Tuesday I have my final competition of the year against one of the best players in the Club. Another match where my aim is for 1 point I feel. Still with my tax affairs in order I might not be quite so tired... I live in hope!

Friday, 2 September 2011

A Belated Happy Birthday to Nell

I was reminded by Mari that yesterday was Nell's official 14th birthday.

The official birthday photo

She came to us when she was approximately 6 months old, so thin she could get through the bars of a baby gate and with no muscles in her legs. We couldn't walk her for 8 weeks until she was fed and gently exercised so she could actually walk without damaging herself. We thought she'd live for about 7 years at the outside. She has been a wonderful companion, and we love her dearly.

The story of how Nell came to us:
The boys really wanted another dog after our Bull Mastiff died and then we had a very sad time with a lurcher, who had a brain tumour and was only with us for just over 9 months. We debated whether we should get one or not. We decided we could handle having a small, old dog.  So No. 2 son and I went down to the Munlochy Animal Aid to see if they had such a thing and we came away with a six-month old Alsatian puppy. Actually she was a small dog. She also didn't jump up, which was one of our requirements, but we didn't realise at the time that she couldn't. 8 weeks later we had a manic Alsatian who jumped up at every opportunity. Now she is old, and is also one of the smallest dogs I've owned and doesn't jump at people so she totally fulfils the criteria. Though I have to admit she has a not very pc habit of wanting to sniff people's privates but I'm not going to talk about that!

Nell has always been the most wonderfully biddable pet. In her time she has been a registered Therapet and used to be regular, first at Highland Hospice when my Beloved was Charge Nurse of the Day Hospice, and then she joined us at Maggie's Highlands where I was Centre Head and my Beloved was Cancer Support Specialist. She was much loved there by most who came. And in fact many would come just to see her.

We feel truly blessed.