What I did on my holidays..

Don’t get me wrong, we have had holiday disasters before.  There was the three days in Bruges when we arrived in the freezing rain at dusk to find the B and B shut and locked.  There was the weekend in Amsterdam, where on our arrival we found the hotel had given our room away and had no more beds. And then there was the long weekend in Rome when I came down with a horrible flu/cold on the journey there.

But this latest adventure really takes the biscuit.

I had sooo been looking forward to this holiday – a whole week away in a cottage down on the Dorset coast. Instead of rushing around trying to see everything in a weekend, we would have time to sit back and smell the roses/daffodils (it’s spring here, no roses yet). Plenty of time to visit museums, gentle fossicking for fossils  on the beaches, drives in the countryside to see beautiful scenery.

We really should have stayed home and just dreamed about it, it would have saved a lot of grief..

It started on the trip down – with the brakes failing on the car, by the time we pulled into the services there was smoke pouring from the back tire and we had absolutely no idea why.  The brakes had been sorted recently and although the tire was burning hot, it was still in one piece.  Parked with the hood up we attracted the attention of various helpful, kind people and were about to limp our way to a garage in Chepstow when a man came up and informed us that he’d had experience of this sort of thing before and that we would find that after the car had a rest that it would be fine.  And guess what?  He was right.  We started on our journey again – the brakes worked and the smoke stopped and we made it to our destination with no further trouble.

Till we got there..

We were stood talking to the lovely lady who had showed us around our cottage, the dogs were in the car – all excited and leaping about, it was time to unpack and show them their accommodation for the week – except wait – we can’t, in their excitement the dogs had trodden on the door lock and locked themselves and the keys in the car… excellent.

We had to smash the window to get in and get them out..

But wait folks, there’s more..

We then preceded to have three lovely days, fossil hunting, admiring the scenery, strolling the streets of Lyme Regis and Bridport and drinking the odd pint of lovely local beer. And then it was Tuesday.

Mr T dropped me off in Bridport and he and the dogs went to the beach for a amble.  We had arranged to meet at a certain time and we would have a lovely lunch in town before maybe, another spot of fossiling.  So I was surprised to find him leaning out of the car and yelling for me, half and hour earlier than had been arranged.

 

Charlie, our beautiful Pomeranian boy was in Bridport vets in an oxygen tent, with a broken leg.  Instead of following Mr T and Toastie down to the beach he had wandered unnoticed up the cliff path and fallen about four metres, probably hitting himself on the rocks on the way down, and ramming sand into his eyes when he hit the ground.

His leg was so badly broken that the Bridport vets said they couldn’t do any thing for it and his x-rays were sent through to our vets in Hay-on-Wye who have a visiting orthopedic vet who said he would try to fix it.

So..

Home we went, Charlie splinted and bandaged and carefully held on my lap.  He had his operation on Friday and it is going to take around three months to recover.  He has drops for his eye that was badly scratched, antibiotics, painkillers and a crate which he is supposed to be confined to, none of which he is inclined to enjoy but the worst part is that he is not allowed any exercise apart from very brief forays (5 mins) outside to toilet.  Have you ever tried to keep a Pomeranian quiet and calm?  Let alone, poo on demand during his five minutes outside?  It is a trial believe me.

We had no pet insurance so having started the holiday with a small amount of savings, we are now so deeply in debt to the vets that we will still be paying for it in nine months time.

All the holidays that I mentioned in my first paragraph turned out well and made good stories,  but I’m afraid I am struggling to  see the light in this one.  If I can’t keep Charlie from knocking his leg about there is the chance that it will not heal properly and he will have to have it amputated.

I am grateful that Charlie is alive and that we had a few days at least of enjoyment but still..

No more holidays for a while.

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Now – where are my dried frog pills?  Ahh, that’s better…

So, where was I?  Doesn’t matter – I’m not there now..

Last time I looked I wasn’t Atlas, I do not have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and every now and then, like today and Sunday, I remember and my world becomes a lighter place.

What am I up too?  Well, it’s the middle of winter here in little, old N.Z. and mostly I seem to spend a lot of time putting wood on the fire to keep warm.  And dressing in lots of layers, and walking the dogs in the rain and drying wet dogs and wet washing and – well you get the picture.

I do like the winter though, especially when we get truly wild weather like we had yesterday, southerlies rolling in, lots of dramatic, freezing wind and rain.  Giving me a chance to wear some of my sixty million shawls and hats and socks and boots.

I have been making stuff as usual, like this blanket, which handily warms my knees as I hook it.

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The latest shawl, fresh of the hook and waiting to be blocked.  It’s called The Sunday Shawl from a pattern on Ravelry and I am pleased with it except I could have been more careful about the main colour – dark blue is a blond dog fur magnet.

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I am also doing some stitching, using my natural dyed fabrics.  My brain has not been working well recently and although I wanted to stitch something really complicated it turned out that energy and concentration levels as well as the ability to MAKE A DECISION FFS, were not playing together nicely.  So I’m keeping the design simple but interesting (to me anyway).  I will show you it again when it’s finished.

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I have company during my day of course, there is this dog..

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and this dog..

 

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and both of them are giving me the ‘it’s time to take us for a walk’ signals, so I’m off.  See you soon hopefully 🙂

 

feeling groovy..

I used to pride myself on my ability to do more than one thing at a time.  I’d actively look for multiple activities just to see how far I could push it. Nowadays I have to actively try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time to get anything done properly at all. And even then I still get it wrong, as evinced by my dismay at putting my jeans on around the wrong way, looking down with confusion at the arse-shaped fabric ballooning from where it shouldn’t.

I suppose I should be thankful I noticed..

Anyway..

The weekend has been lovely, really lovely.  Several things joined together to contribute to the general loveliness of it all – firstly Mr T was home for the whole weekend and he has got over his flu.  He seems to have been ill for the last month at least and so when he has been home he has been cast on the couch of doom, snorting and hacking and feeling like a bag of bollocks.  Not much fun, but now he is well, yay!!!

Secondly – the weather, though forecasted for rain, morphed into warmth and sun and gentle breezes so we could have the tiny house door open and go for walks and generally bask in the temporary relief from freezing southerlies.  This is not to be sneezed at – at this late stage of winter when desperation for sun sets in.  I even cast off my second layer of trousers, (I wear leggings under trousers all the way through winter, and yes I do wash them regularly and they do not have to be cut off come snow melt), and then hastily donned them again this morning when I found the dream was over and I was a little nippy around the nethers.

Thirdly, although I was still brain fogged, I was blessed with a happy, quiet mind.  This is good – very, very, outrageously good.

Apart from book club on Sunday afternoon, for which Mr T made a fantastic batch of Welsh Cakes and Philippa a Rhubarb Crumble Cake with cream, Mr T and I were happily unsocial and spent our evenings cwtched up on the couch with our fur friends watching many and varied – old Red Dwarf episodes, a little Boston Legal (Denny Crane!), cult Australian movie The Castle (for the eleventh million time) and inhaling multi episodes of The Brink with the ever gorgeous Tim Robbins and Jack Black.

Saturday afternoon found us charity shopping, drinking superb coffee and eating Hummingbird Cake at the Arts Centre Cafe and walking the dogs in the park. The town graveyard is adjacent so we had a wander around the early settlers graves.  I was saddened by the headstone of a family who had died in the 1870s, the father first, leaving a pregnant wife whose baby died the following year at 5 months and then the death of the wife the year after.  There can be few activities more guaranteed to make you glad to be alive than hobnobbing with the dead – I wholeheartedly recommend it.

So without further ado, a few photos..

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More spring flowers, snow drops and japonica
Waiting for fur Father to come out of the bathroom
Waiting for Fur Father to come out of the bathroom

Charity Shop finds include-

A pair of GoodyGoody silk slippers $3

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A pair of china elephant bookends to support some of my most loved childhood books

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and a 50 cent addition to my small ‘Made in Japan’ vintage china collection, which Mr T takes great enjoyment in mocking furiously when he comes home and finds I’ve acquired another little kitsch orphan, and who would want to deny him that pleasure huh?

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That’s it for now – I have been writing this post on and off for most of the day interspersed with walking dogs, and having a lovely friend visit, so now it’s time to get on and make something.

Hope you are all having a good one

a break in the weather..

All day we have been having Weather. Polar southerlies blowing in cold and wet.

In the break between the wet bits I managed to get myself out of the house to walk my friends and have a bit of bracing air. Round the block, an eye out for nasty dogs that slam themselves frothing against their garden walls promising to devour us if they could only leap a bit higher and an eye out for storm clouds. Home without being eaten or rained on and back into the blessed warmth.

Our new house is proving to be a haven, with a damn good fire that heats our huge lounge (still haven’t got over the novelty) and kitchen happily. I am sitting in front of it now, in full gratitude mode.

Over the last month or so I have been suffering some internal foul weather as well which has been driving me to distraction, anger, and despair..but today, like a southerly storm, I have experienced a lull, much needed, and some calm. This afternoon with our walk over we settled in front of the fire, me with old episodes of friends, tea and crochet, the dogs to steal each others chew bones, race about with sqeezy toys and finally collapse to twitch and dream.

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We adopted the newest addition to our family on the same weekend we moved in here. His name is Charlie and he is a four year old Pomeranian. He used to live just down the road from our old house but his owners had a baby and worked full time and as a consequence Charlie was spending most of the week locked in his crate. So his owners decided that life would be easier if Charlie was rehomed and I said yes as soon as I was asked, oh yes we would have Charlie and what a great idea that turned out to be.

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Keeping toastie..

It’s a bit like this today..

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Toastie is in her second favourite spot (the first one being in front of the fire) – the back of the sofa, behind which is the largest radiator and the front window – you’ve got to keep warm whilst watching out for intruders and of course, her arch enemies – the evil neighbourhood cats.

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To keep out the gloom I have made an enormous one of these –

Sprinkled with cinnamon
Sprinkled with cinnamon
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Latte Coffee in my favourite mug.

Then I plan the rest of my day, which unfortunately requires me to walk out in the Weather with my terriersaurus who will need airing.

I will be doing some more work on this..

A la Alabama Chanin long sleeved bolero.
A la Alabama Chanin long-sleeved bolero.

Finishing the Cretin Stitch edging, which I have finally got the hang of and am now really enjoying.  I had been going through that part of the learning curve where I did know how to do the stitch but it really didn’t make a lot of sense, now it’s clicked and plain sailing, whew.

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I am also finishing the second part of Stephen Fry’s autobiography which I have just loved to bits – his utter honesty about his inner demons is so touching and so brave, while his reminiscences of his career set in the media cultural landscape that I grew up in are fascinating, rude and hilarious.  Everyone from my hero Douglas Adams to Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie of course, Ben Elton, Paul McCartney and the Queen Mother – just a few in a cast of hundreds of famous people to write your life around.

Later tonight we shall be going to our friend Leslie’s birthday party – supposedly dressed as Pirates but unfortunately we will be very crap Pirates as nether of us has a costume.  Hopefully Leslie will forgive us and just be happy that we are venturing out to her place in the snowy night.

reading, knitting, blogging and snowing..

Ok, so..

Sorry to anyone who tried to access my blog in the last couple of days and found it password protected.  I did have a little wobble and thought I might like to do away with this blog, but I have centered myself now and the normal programme of not posting much has been resumed.

All is well here at present, we are snowless once again, although there is always the possibility – winter is clenching and hanging on.

I am learning to knit an actual garment (as opposed to scarves), with shaping and everything and it is a &%&@%£$@£$$££^%$&^*&^*&*&$$££@£@£@£ bitch..  I screwed it up so badly last week that I have been unable to do anything with it, until last night’s Stitch and Bitch when my lovely friend Thursday sorted it out for me – I love Thursday.

I am overloaded with reading material having found several wonderful  authors recently  Hilary Mantel, Katherine Swift (many thanks to BoxofMisc you are a treasure) and Billy Letts, as well as a  new interest in Mass Observation diaries and the diary of our local hero/weirdo Victorian curate Francis Kilvert, whose writings I find alternately, beautiful, lyrical, horrifying, tragic and amusing and sometimes several of those at once.  Reading Kilvert also reminds me just how very, very lucky I am to be living here in this time.

In addition to books, I am reading other people’s blogs and have resolved to make a effort to leave a comment every time I do – even if it’s just  a smiley or a frowney or whatever – just to let them know that I have been there, heard them and tip my hat.  A sort of a small payment, if you will, for their efforts.

I would really appreciate it if you would do the same for me, I’d love to know that you have been by.

Some photos of our lovely snow days..

The lane in front of our house
The lane in front of our house

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Snowing
Snowing
Not too cold to chew a stick
Not too cold to chew a stick
See my snow dags?
See my snow dags?

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My new crocheted jumper
My new crocheted jumper
St Mary's, Cusop
St Mary’s, Cusop, hidden under all this freezing load are the first Snow Drops
The snow makes the graves more cheerful
The snow makes the graves more cheerful

The Grubby Wurzel..

On Friday we went to Hereford so I could rustle through the charity shops and Mr T could walk the Toast along the river bank. So far, so usual.. until that is Toastie discovered something buried in the mud at the side of the river..


She just knew that the Saxon Hoard was buried in there somewhere..

 

What a little darlin..

Oh well - better luck next time..