However, before I get into that, you'll remember that I was quite pleased to be heading South due to the weather and it was lovely to go from rain when I left the house in the Borders to bright blue sky and sunshine, which started just before York. The sky was so amazing with these fluffy white clouds that it made me think I was in the credits of The Simpsons.
|The view through the train window.|
When I got to London it was great to see people wandering about in their summer gear. I'd managed to layer up so took off my top 2 layers and joined in the general summeriness. I took the bus to Oxford Street and bought myself some food in Selfridges food hall. Those of you who know me will remember that I never eat anything at my mother's because most of the food is so far out of date - e.g. my niece recently found some prunes that were dated 1998 that were mouldy, but my mother didn't care, she just soaked them and then offered them to my niece. Needless to say she declined.
After Selfridges (and by this time it was around 6.30 pm) I walked across Grosvenor Square, which was full of people enjoying themselves. The council had set up boules, croquet, jenga and all sorts for people to try out in the sunshine and it was lovely to see everyone laughing and having a good time.
|Grosvenor Square bathed in sun|
And once I got to my mother's house (she was out as I knew she'd be) I ate my food and got my computer out and ready for my online course. When I was at home I'd got it all set up perfectly and it was working a treat, so imagine my horror when 10 minutes before the start of the very first class I found I couldn't log on. I tried and tried and eventually, 5 minutes after the start time, I emailed the powers that be in Iowa to say I was having difficulties. To give them their due, they were amazing and in another 8 minutes I was part of the class.
It was an incredibly scary experience. 24 of us from across the world (e.g. New Zealand, India, Nigeria, Canada) all with our videos on having to say our bit and a chat bit where we could type and a white board where the tutor, Amy Leach, did her presentation. I hate videos of myself and I could feel the sweat building up, but I managed.... just about... though I still feel I sounded like a complete dork.
The class didn't finish til after 10.30 pm and it took a while for my jangling nerves to calm down enough for sleep, but eventually I did manage to drop off.
It's a pretty full on course and we have writing and reading assignments to be completed every week. Our first writing assignment was to go to a public space and hang out for at least 45 minutes with a notebook and note everything down we see and hear and then write up a 750-1000 word essay on what we noticed. I was beginning to panic as to how I'd manage to go to a public space with Vespa in tow (Mountain Man is away all week) without him needing my attention for that length of time, but, as luck would have it, the lunch after the meeting finished early and there I was at Kings Cross Station with an hour to spare. And I've managed to do my written assignment and get it sent off. Job done... well at least for this week!
One of the weirdest things I did notice as soon as I sat down at the station was a ladybird had taken a fancy to my suitcase and it spent the whole hour there. I removed it to a safe place once my train was called as I didn't think it would necessarily like a train ride to Scotland. I've never seen a ladybird in a train station before.
|The ladybird on my case|
And then it was home to find that Vespa, who'd had a wonderful playing time with Amber, had been limping and Susan was worried, so he came home on Monday night instead of Tuesday morning. They all loved having him and Susan reported that he behaved impeccably and that Amber squeaked for him for an hour or so after he left. Bless!
|Vespa and Amber|
By Tuesday Vespa also had the runs, so a quick ring to the vet and an appointment was made. By the time we got there the limp had gone of course, but he's now got some antibiotics to see him through his digestive upset. At least Amber's hasn't returned, which is one good thing and the vet didn't seem unduly worried.
Vespa loves having digestive upsets because it means he gets chicken and rice 4 times a day in small portions, rather than his own dried doggy food just twice a day. In fact I'm not sure he doesn't eat disgusting things just to make sure he does get ill so he can benefit. One of his current favourites (apart from my credit card) is hedgehog poo, which our residing hedgehog deposits liberally all over our garden. Vespa loves to roll in it and then have a munch. I do try and pick it all up, but it's like the Forth Road Bridge... I start at one end of the garden and by the time I've cleared that I have to go back to the beginning and start again.
Today was dentist day and off we went to Edinburgh to have my crown fitted. Vespa was incredibly well behaved and sat at the receptionist's desk without stirring at all. They were well impressed. Because he'd been so good we took a trip to The Botanic Gardens for a walk about and to find out we'd missed the lily that only flowers once every 10 years by quite some days... next time I hope I'll catch it in bloom, but a lot can happen in 10 years so who's to know... I may well have missed the only chance I'll get.
|Lovely views at The Botanics|
Still we did see some squirrels and the walk was lovely and Vespa did great and didn't even make to chase them at all, but I think he was pleased to get home for his portion of chicken and rice, rather than trotting around the gardens doing his Guide Dogging best.
|A squirrel looking very cute|