Monday, 26 June 2017

The evidence

Today I was sent a link, by a friend, on Facebook. It was of our visit to Lothian Buses last week. Apart from spelling my surname wrong and not doing the promised... which was to pick a picture that made me look good... it's rather nice to see that the bus people were happy with us.

Diesel and me with the bus people

On Saturday we started out by going to the Farmers Market especially to buy tomatoes only to discover the tomato people were at the Royal Highland Show. Very disappointing. But then it was clock-time.

I'd had a phone call from the clock man on Friday to say the clocks were good to go. Much to everyone's surprise the new bits had arrived in record time and so, on Saturday at midday, clocks were installed and at 11 minutes past they were telling the right time. It's lovely to get my house back to looking good again.

Back to normal

To celebrate the new clocks, my neighbours came round for a glass or two of Prosecco, which turned into a lot of glasses of Prosecco! We had fun and that's all I'm saying about that.

Sunday we paid a visit to my good friends, Shirley and Andy. Poor Shirley had done her knee in and was in worse shape than me with my foot. We spent some time commiserating and a lot of time eating and enjoying sitting in their conservatory. And then it was home before all those people decided to go home from the Royal Highland Show and clog up the Edinburgh By-pass. I managed it... just.

I have just one more week to go before I head for my annual jolly to France. Can't wait!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The countdown begins...

Yesterday my clock was supposed to be put back. The cherry-picker arrived, the clock man arrived, the clock faces arrived and the wrong spindles to put the mechanism in and join the hands up also arrived. So now I have clock faces up in all four places in the clock tower, but none of them can tell the time!

The clock man wasn't amused, but personally I thought it was quite funny!

The clock tower with no clock faces

One of the new faces

The South facing face is in... minus hands!

Meanwhile, Diesel and I left the clock people to it and went off to Galashiels to say hi to the badminton folk before they finish for the season. They were amazed at how big he is now. Then a bit of shopping and back home for lunch.

After that we had a really lovely walk in the woods. The sausages are working fantastically and Diesel now runs to me as soon as he's called. He even left playing with another dog to come and get his sausage treat, which means he's a real joy to go walking with now.

Ok... well I've come to a decision. This is actually the 990th post of this blog and I've decided that I'm going to go to 1000 and then stop. I thought I'd give you a 10 post warning so you can start getting used to the idea of not knowing what I'm doing!

You have 9 more to enjoy...

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Photo call

Today Diesel and I had a day in Edinburgh.

We started out at the back of 8 am driving into the city, where I parked my car at No. 2 Son's house. We then took a bus down to my philosophy class. When that finished at 12.30 it was a quick nip back to the house to feed Diesel and then off we went for a photo shoot.

Diesel is a sponsored pup. He was named by Lothian Buses so we had to do our bit and go to the bus depot and have our pics taken with all the bus folk. Considering there was another Guide Dog there (a proper one), who'd done some fundraising, and her owner and loads of people all wanting to stroke him, Diesel did incredibly well.

He had a lovely time and left most of them with a bit of slobber on their uniforms to remember him by.

I don't actually know what they're going to do with the photos they took, but I'm just hoping we don't end up on the back of a bus!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

I love summer

On one of the most gorgeously hot days of the year so far, Diesel had a busy day.

But first... yesterday, he had lessons from Ziggy as to how to jump into the back of my car, so I didn't have to keep lifting him in. He managed perfectly. But today, because... it was too hot? He's too lazy?  He likes being lifted? Who knows?... he just looked at me when I asked him to jump in. Oh well.

So, having lifted him into the car, we started off going to Boots in Galashiels and meeting up with some of our favourite sales people. They absolutely adore him in there and I think the feeling is mutual.

Then it was off to the The Borders Book Festival for a wander around. I don't think it was Diesel's most enjoyable experience. It was very hot and he's quite a lazy pup, so it was all a bit too much and so we left after about 20 minutes. I'm really pleased I didn't take him on Thursday night, that's for sure.

We had a final drop off at the Championship Dog Show taking place in Kelso. Diesel's face was a picture when he saw a dachsund for the first time ever. It was hysterical! Just sorry I couldn't take a pic, but I'm sure you can imagine. We had a lovely wander around and talked to quite a lot of people while watching some lovely looking doggies doing their thing.

And then it was back home to wait for the clock man to come and (re)measure something for next week's epic of getting my house back in order. Yes...  the clock faces will be back in the clock tower next week and working too. I hope!

We've had a nice end to the day, relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying being in the garden.

I love summer.

Friday, 16 June 2017

And the answer is... sausages!

Yesterday started off with a visit to the physio, who told me that my foot was already 70% healed, which after just 3.5 weeks is a miracle. Still bruising and swelling but that's to be expected. I now have strengthening exercises to get it back to full recovery.

In the afternoon, I took Diesel over to Alex and Jackie's so he could have time with his half-sister, Ziggy, while I got myself ready for my poetry reading at The Borders Book Festival.

He had a brilliant time, but apparently was looking for me when I left him (awww... so sweet... and I thought he'd go with anyone who had food for him) and was really pleased to see me when I got back.

My poetry reading went well considering that I could feel my nerves. It didn't help that I was 9th out of 10 readers and the wait was excruciating. However, one of the other readers, Anita John, a very good Borders poet, who's well known in these parts, was even more anxious than I was. Somehow that helped a bit. Interestingly, she was also part of the play writing competition I was in and she's been on tenterhooks about it... I think she's expecting to win. And I think I'm expecting her to win too.

This morning didn't start well. Diesel and I were supposed to go to Edinburgh and meet up with the puppy supervisor at 9.30 am for help with his recall, which hasn't been brilliant. Diesel works on Diesel-time and that's it!

Anyway, last night I was still awake at 2.45 and that was the last time I remembered until I woke up at one minute before 8. I was a bit shocked as usually Diesel and I get up at 7 and, given that it takes 45 - 60 minutes to get to where we were to meet the PS this wasn't the best start. So there I was with 30 minutes to feed the dog, feed myself, get showered and dressed and get the dog in the car, before having to set off to negotiate the A68 and hope for the best. And unbelievably, I managed. The PS, however, didn't and was nowhere to be seen. It turned out her morning was even worse than mine, with her aunt (who lives with her) feeding her 2 dogs last night without telling her and then the PS fed them too... the results of which were large, not very nice 'parcels' on her kitchen floor this morning, followed by a whole host of problems with the little girl she fosters.

She eventually arrived and we took Diesel to an enclosed part of Fort Kinnaird (who knew such a place existed?) where we let him off the lead and he went off and did his stuff. She could immediately see the problem I've been having and, apart from hiding from him and encouraging him loads, the remedy given was... sausages. Not the kind you cook, but the kind you find in jars that live in brine and are incredibly cheap in Lidl. I was left with instructions of how to use said sausages and so did a quick trip to Lidl when I got back to The Borders.

Given that I've not eaten meat for over 25 years, it wasn't the best experience getting the dratted things out of the jar, cutting them up and putting them in a bag. Then Diesel and I went out for a walk and, following all the PS's instructions, they worked a treat. He bombed back to me at high speed once he knew sausages were on the menu.

The only problem was, was that it was windy and that I'd completely forgotten that my hands were covered in sausage, so when I tried to smooth my hair down it too got covered in sausage... not the best for a non-meat eater.

It just goes to show the lengths that have to be gone through to train a Guide Dog puppy... so if sausages is it, then sausages it must be and I'll probably end up having to wash my hair much more often!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Back to normal

My puppy is home!

Freda brought him back for me this afternoon and I got a wonderful greeting. He seemed to be pleased to be back, but it must've been confusing. In the last 3.5 weeks he's been to Lynne's, to Clare's, back home for 36 hours and then off to Freda's, so I'm not at all sure he expects to be hanging around for very long! And this will be compounded when we go off to Alex and Jackie's for him to have a play with Ziggy tomorrow afternoon, while I get myself ready for my poetry reading at the Borders Book Festival. He'll probably get a shock when I actually go and pick him up again the same evening!

And he's grown... quite a bit. He'll be 20 weeks on Friday and is the size of a 6 month old pup, but his legs are still far too long for him. It was lovely watching him gambolling about the garden, falling over himself, as he still has problems controlling them.

The boy's come home!

Monday, 12 June 2017

6 weeks? I don't think so!

Today was the first day I've truly felt like my foot is recovered. I can even see the veins on my foot coming out again. Never thought I'd be grateful for that! I know there's still a way to go (I was told 6 weeks for initial recovery and 3 months for full recovery) and I do have to be careful and there's still a lot of bruising and a bit of swelling, but to be walking about without my stick and being able to do things like walk up and down stairs with no problem... well it's fantastic!

My foot, complete with veins. Hooray!

But what's even better is that I'm getting my puppy back on Wednesday. I'm so pleased as I've missed him loads. And of course, there's no more French Open for me to watch. I don't know if you watched it, but for the first time ever the women's final was more exciting than the men's. I never thought I'd say that!

Roll on Wimbledon. Can't wait.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Something to work towards

Today was physio day and it's all really good news.

Apparently my foot is as good as it gets after 11 days. I've been given some exercises, told to walk with a stick and still spend time with my foot up. With a bit of luck and a fair wind I should be able to walk much better by next week. And once I can walk for 20 minutes then Diesel can come home.

Now that really is something to work towards.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Something to work on

The good news is that the healing is going to plan. The bad news is that the plan is incredibly slow.

The swelling on my foot has gone down hugely, but it's still swollen. According to my doctor that's what's to be expected after 10 days and I've now got the proverbial doctor's note to stay sitting with my leg up for most of the day and just get used to it until it's better. However, she also did suggest I went for private physio as waiting for the NHS version could take probably into next year. I've now got an appointment tomorrow. Let's hope that helps.

Meanwhile I've been watching lots of tennis and using up an incredible amount of energy whilst doing so. I sometimes wonder whether watching high level sport is good for me, as my tendency is to get very over-involved and very over-excited.

Diesel came home from Sunday afternoon until yesterday morning and was as perfect as he could have been. No. 1 Son also came for a visit on Sunday, so that was really nice for both Diesel and me.

Yesterday was puppy class and Diesel was handled by Freda, who he was going off with for the next while and so it gave them a chance to get used to each other. It was really interesting for me to see him strutting his stuff and, on the whole, he did well. Even better though was that, at last, I was given my photo of Vespa from when he graduated from Guide Dog school last August. It was truly lovely to have it and it's already on the wall.

My gorgeous boy

I very obviously haven't gone to London, as there was no way I could manage without causing further damage to my foot, which leaves my poor brother having to tell my mother that we're taking her car away. My thoughts will be with him tomorrow.

So that's me. Still feeling a bit sorry for myself, but not quite as sorry as I was the other day. Patience was never my strong point, so it's good to have something to work on!

Friday, 2 June 2017

A trying time

After Monday's accident I've been forced to stay at home for the most part. Yes, I've been able to drive as I have an automatic, which is great. However, getting a shoe on my foot has been another matter.

I've got a lovely pair of Skecher's, which are soft and easy to wear, but I've not even been able to get those on my foot properly until today. Hooray... I can put a shoe on! So today, for the first time since my accident I've been able to go outside and walk around, at least in a limited fashion.

My foot is still quite swollen, bruised and very sore. All I can say is thank goodness for The French Open, which has kept me well occupied whilst I've had my enforced rest. I'm also lucky that I have a freezer with food in and I did a bit of shopping the day before the accident, though my lovely neighbours have offered to get me anything I need.

Diesel has been having fun. He went to stay with Lynne, who was also boarding his great friend Folly and he apparently had a wonderful time. I'm not quite so sure that Folly would agree, but she went home on Wednesday. Lynne was going away today, so it was arranged that he'd go and stay with his other pal, Oscar, last night. Lynne very kindly took him over there and the messages I've had so far from Clare (Oscar's owner - he's a withdrawn GD pup) is that Diesel has been perfectly behaved. Such a relief. I'm going to pick him up on Sunday as Clare can only take him until then and he'll be with me for 24 hours before he gets farmed out again to Freda. That visit was arranged a couple of weeks ago when it became apparent that I needed to get to London to sort stuff out for my mother. We'll see if I can go for that, but anyway, Diesel will go to Freda until I can walk properly again. That's the pup sorted!

Now I just have to be patient - not do too much, but also not let my foot get stiff. Frankly, I'm finding the whole thing depressing and frustrating. According to someone who also had a severely torn ligament recently, it's going to take about 6 weeks to heal fully. 6 weeks? We'll see about that!