Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year!

Well all I can say is I'm really pleased to be seeing the back on 2014. It's not been the best of years. So come on in 2015 and give us all some cheer!

Happy New Year to you all and I wish you all you'd wish yourselves.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Bye bye Odi

Yesterday Mountain Man and I took Odi to Forfar for the next stage of her journey. When we arrived she was excited to get in and say hello to all those doggy chums waiting for her, so much so that with a quick wag of her tail at us, she just trotted off very happily to her new life.

At Forfar

I'm sure she'd have been thrilled yesterday when her tea time was at 4 pm and not the 6pm that she'd been getting at home, but then by this morning, when there was no breakfast as she's being spayed today, I'm not so sure she'd be quite so happy!

Vespa spent the day with Tweedy, a lovely 10 month old lab/retriever cross who lives in Tweedbank and looks very similar to Odi. He was absolutely exhausted by the time he got home and didn't even bother to have a mad half hour, he just flopped for the evening instead.

Tweedy and Vespa

This morning felt very quiet with just one pup to deal with and in some ways it feels like the end of an era. I know Odi's been away before, but with her coming back it seemed to change things for me. I'll hear in a couple of days how the op went and how she's getting on, but essentially that's our path together well and truly over.

Such a gorgeous dog.

Odi at 7.5 weeks

Odi at 15.5 months

Sunday, 28 December 2014

I survived!

My Christmas was actually far better than I ever expected.

It started with my mother complementing me on my onesie, which is, let's face it, pretty ugly and it just went uphill from there.

I am apparently a wonderful hostess, brilliant cook, fab mother, incredible daughter and she had the best Christmas ever, which considering the last time she came 3 years ago and she said that was the best Christmas ever it's hard to know what to think. I just hope my brother, who she spends Christmas with pretty much every year doesn't find out.

I'm just very relieved it's over and at least I won't have to do it again for another couple of years so I can breathe easy.

Christmas rocks and where I look somewhat 'neckless' due to a wriggling puppy on my knee!

Today is our last day with Odi who we take to Forfar tomorrow. It's a mixed blessing. I feel quite sad, but also pleased that she'll be going to be doing what she was born to do. She's being spayed first and then will enter her training. We won't know for a while how she's doing, but Vespa will keep us well occupied so we probably won't have time to think about it too much.

And to finish with here's a lovely pic of Odi I took yesterday:

Odi looking gorgeous

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

After a weekend on fundraising duties, where Odi behaved so perfectly and the compliments we got were so many, it's back to the reality that Christmas is almost upon us.

The tidying hasn't gone so brilliantly as I seem to have moved the piles from one room to another, but in true stork like behaviour, as long as no-one but me goes into my office or the back kitchen, all will be well.

Meanwhile, Mountain Man, who went to Edinburgh yesterday to do some shopping, had the disaster of his car breaking down and not getting anything done but lots of time hanging around waiting for the RAC to come and rescue him on the outskirts of Edinburgh with not so much as a corner shop nearby to be able to get anything. He eventually got home at 8.30 last night.

With only today left before my mother and the boys come and we've still lots of food to still get and last minute things to do, MM's car in the garage and mine off for the day for a service, I think I'm going for the 'fly by the seat of my pants' Christmas this year and just hope it'll all work out ok.

I mean what's not to work? A critical mother, two energetic puppies, two noisy boys (well, ok, men), not enough food, not all the presents bought (that's MM's ones he was going to get yesterday)... yup, I see no stress there!

Still, we have alcohol, we have central heating, we have games... so in actual fact we're pretty sorted and Christmas is really about getting together and having a good time and I'm sure we can manage that pretty damn well.

So people, I don't think I'll be writing again before the day, so all I can do now is wish you all a very happy Christmas and I'll be back to report on mine in a few days.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Catching up

Can't believe it's been over a week since I last wrote on here and I'm sure you must be dying to know how London went. No? Oh well, I'll tell you anyway.

It wasn't the best of starts as my mother, who'd only just got back from New York, was in a bit of a state as she couldn't find her cheque book and cards. Luckily she found them the next day in a drawer, safe and sound, which lead to a bit of an emotional moment as her jet lag and the relief caught up with her. After that drama she put aside her emotions and, stoic that she is when a party is in the offing, pulled herself together.

I spent my morning at the Apple Store in Regent Street trying to see what the problem with my iPhone was. The battery had started to run down really quickly. It took them almost an hour to tell me the battery wasn't long for this world and I could either have a new battery installed or buy a new phone. I have to admit that I would have bought a new phone, but they're all bigger than my 4S and wouldn't fit in my purse thing, so decided I'd have to forgo my penchant for new gadgets and opt for a new battery. It was going to take too long to wait for them to do and I knew I'd be drinking at lunch and might not make it back to the shop before it closed, so decided I'd get it fixed in Edinburgh. So then it was time for the Xmas lunch.

The actual lunch was lovely with lots of laughs and was good fun. People started to leave around 3 (we started at 12), but Xanthe, who works in the office, and I put our best Xmas feet forward and were the last to leave just before 7.

I got in a cab to go back to my mother's, but the traffic was so awful we only got about 500 yards and the fare was racking up, so I paid up and left to walk back. It was at this point I realised just how much I'd had to drink and also how much I needed a pee. I managed to weave my way through London's streets going in slightly the wrong direction, but this did mean that I found myself at the Ritz in Piccadilly, so popped in there to use their loo. I sat there in the salubrious surroundings trying my best to sober up. When I got back my mother told me I looked a bit squiffy... I think that was an understatement!

The next day, surprisingly un-hangovered, I got back to Scotland with no problems.

On Monday my younger son came to dinner, which was just great. He was originally going to stay the night, but had to scoot back to Edinburgh to help his girlfriend sort out a problem. Still, it was lovely to see him even for such a short time.

Tuesday was Mountain Man's time to be away so I was on dog duty. We had a very ordered day of walking and sleeping. Vespa's due his last lot of jags on Saturday, which will be great so he and Odi will be able to go running together at last.

Wednesday saw Odi and I spend a day in Edinburgh getting my phone fixed and lunch with my friend Shirley at Jamie Oliver's. Odi was fantastic and slept her way around Edinburgh showing everyone how well trained she was. I was so proud of her. When we got home she decided she wanted to be a small puppy again and spent the whole evening in Vespa's first puppy bed and wouldn't give him a look-in!

Odi takes over the puppy bed, while Vespa is confined to her cushion!

Thursday I did a bit of work and then today I went to the bowls Xmas lunch in Tweedbank, where my team lost both games - though I do have to say I played quite well (I was playing lead), but the guy playing second kept knocking my good bowls off, so much so I began to wonder whose team he was really playing for and sadly our skip was having an off day - and then I had the worst nut roast ever. I don't know who thinks that putting raisins and cranberries is a good idea in a savoury roast, but it was disgusting.

I'm just getting my head round the fact that Xmas day is only 6 days away and after bowls rushed off to Marks to get a turkey breast, so at least the boys will have proper, traditional Xmas dinner and I'll be making a nut roast for Mountain Man, my mother and me. I can't trust buying one from anywhere, just in case any dratted dried fruits sneak in.

My weekend is going to see me doing my bit for charity at Sainsburys in Kelso. Tomorrow, Odi and I are fundraising for Guide Dogs and then on Sunday I'm bag packing for Borders Search and Rescue.

In between all that I'm going to try and break the back of the rest of the food shopping and then clean the house. My mother's coming you see, so unless I end up shoving things under beds and into cupboards I'm going to have to pull my finger out and get it done, though to be frank those cupboards are looking mighty tempting!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

On the road to recovery

Luck has been on my side... I had a phone call on Tuesday to say that the physio had had a cancellation and would I like to take up an appointment yesterday afternoon (my previous appointment had been scheduled for January 21st) and I leapt at the opportunity.

Odi and I went off to the Borders General Hospital in the foulest of weathers and she was just brilliant. We arrived in good time for my appointment and spent a happy time changing a young farmer's mind about what he termed 'how sad it must be to be a Guide Dog' (with Odi wagging her tail in appropriate places), and the oohs and aahs from all that passed us until it was time for us to go off with Lorna the Physio.

She was wonderful! It's not ligament damage in my knee, but cartilage. Not that it makes it a whole lot better, but at least I know. The sad bit is that it could take up to a year to mend totally. And as to my back, her comment was 'Youch, that is not good!' The verdict is that it was a nasty fall and I was very lucky not to have more extensive damage and the nerve will take time to heal.

I came away with lots of exercises to do for both knee and back and feeling a whole lot more sore than when I went in, but also a whole lot better psychologically knowing that I most probably will be able to avoid any surgery unless my knee locks again. But I'm not thinking about that now as it has only done it the once.

And now I'm off to London for the annual family/office Xmas party. My brother and his wife have already called off due to flu, so now I only have my mother to deal with on the family side. I am looking forward to spending time with the office staff as they're always up for a laugh.

So that's me for a couple of days. Hopefully not to much snow of the wrong kind will be on the rail tracks between Berwick-upon-Tweed and London and I'll get there and back in one piece.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Odi gives in

It all started so quietly. Both the dogs seemed very settled.

I love my Odi cushion!
And then, for some unfathomable reason last night, Vespa was full of energy. He just wouldn't settle. I gave both dogs a bone, but every time Odi was having a good old chew of hers, Vespa wanted the one she had and in the end, much to my amazement, she got so fed up she left him to it and took off to her bed.

They're both mine!
He's turning into one greedy pup!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

And it goes on

I can hardly believe it's been a week since the accident, which has seen me brave on (or some might say stupidly brave on) to get to work and try to keep some semblance of normality. It all broke down on Thursday when I woke with a slight migraine and a bad temper.

Thursday started with an early appointment with the massage therapist, who took one look at my back and spent an hour tutting to herself while delicately working to release my tightly held body. What happened from that was I became an immediate emotional wreck with a thumping migraine - though my migraine medication took good care of that, which I'm not sure was the most sensible of actions. I had a lunch appointment that I felt I had to make and then a meeting in the afternoon, but since then I've been in a state of near collapse.

The migraine proliferated over Friday, until in the end with a sore head and sore body I ended up in bed yesterday at lunch time and am only just beginning to surface now. I even missed Strictly, which shows how bad I was!

After all that awfulness I'm now hoping I'm on the mend and can face a week with possible snow, certain freezing temperatures and a trip to London on Thursday for the office Xmas party, which includes staying with my mother - a trial all of it's own - so a body that doesn't hurt and a head that doesn't ache would be of huge benefit.

I can only hope!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Trying to look on the bright side

After last week's disasters, things got worse!

I had a fall, which was not just painful, but a bit disgusting too, so if you're of a delicate constitution I strongly advise you to skip the next paragraph:

I was on pup duty on Sunday morning. It all started so well, but when it came to feeding and going out to pee and poo, Vespa decided he didn't want to poo. I asked him if he was sure and he assured me he was, so in he came. I was washing the dog bowls when Odi came and looked at me in a way that told me all wasn't right and so I went in the kitchen to find Vespa squatting on the floor. I grabbed him and took him out to the poo place and went in to clear up the mess in the kitchen and after that went out to clear up outside. What I missed was the other, rather large dump he'd done at the bottom of the concrete step and I stood in it, slipping as I went and landed with my back on the edge of the concrete step. To say I was shocked was an understatement and the pain was worse. I managed to get up and hobble into the kitchen, take my clothes off and wash them and my shoes (thank god for Crocs!) under the tap and then clothes straight in the machine for a 60 degree wash! By the time Mountain Man came down for breakfast I was in need of going back to bed and lying down.

So Sunday ended up a duvet day. I couldn't shake the tiredness I felt and I could hardly walk either. As well as a rather unsightly scrape down my arm and a burgeoning large bruise on my back I seem to have trapped a nerve in my coccyx and every time I tried to take a step... well I don't think I need to tell you how painful that can be and going to the loo...? Well I'll leave that to your imaginations! This all didn't bode well for a trip up to Inverness I was supposed to take on Monday, but when Monday came the pain had eased a touch and I thought I could probably make it.

Dosed up with painkillers and my heated front seats I negotiated the A9 with minimal problems - apart that is from the new restrictions, which had me watching my speedometer rather than the road and my concentration was taken up trying to work out if I'd followed a truck going 50 mph for 15 miles how much longer I'd have to follow before I could overtake and not ruin my average 60 mph speed. And the potholes didn't help. However, arriving in Inverness was another story and it took me a few minutes to actually negotiate getting out of the car.

The all day meeting yesterday went ok and my back had eased a touch more, so by the time I got back in the car I felt not too bad. Once I got home, though that was another story, so I ended up with a fairly early night, which turned into a fairly sleepless night and here I am today, with my back still twinging, but walking doesn't seem too much of an issue, which is just as well as I have to head to Edinburgh for work this afternoon.

One of the good things about all this though is that the pain in my back has superseded the pain in my knee. There's always a silver lining to every cloud!