Thursday, 20 December 2012

Bad Timing

Talk about putting a damper on my Christmas fare! Yesterday I received a letter from our local GP surgery, asking me to make an appointment to have my blood sugar tested, since they have told me I have impaired Fasting Glycaemia! This is a pre-diabetic condition. I must have my blood tested annually to see if I have developed diabetes.

Following this they made recommendations about what I should be eating, less sugary food, less fat and take more exercise. Couldn't they have left this until after Christmas? I don't intend to make a pig of myself, but we all enjoy chocolates, Christmas pudding and mince pie etc.

I'll wait until the New Year to make the appointment, but suspect all my levels will be higher than usual because of the time of year. At least they are keeping an eye on me, for which I should be grateful.

Happy Christmas and New Year everyone.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Of Mice and Monkeys

Mouse alert! Mike decided to take garden waste to the tip this morning. On loading the car with the bags, a mouse jumped out of one of them, straight into the car (my car.) We tried poking with a stick to no avail. No sign of the little beastie. Mike decided to carry on.
When he arrived at the tip he opened the doors and found the mouse sitting in the wheel arch. It was gone in a flash, poor little thing. Far from home now and missing its family. Feel sorry for it, but I didn't want it running around my car when I'm driving, and maybe jumping down my neck.

It's great living so close to Monkey World; we often hear the chimps as they have their breakfast, but this last week when we've had cold weather, they've been making so much noise. Last Sunday we thought they must have escaped and any moment we expected to see some of them swinging over the rooftops. I think it must have been the direction of the wind that we heard them so clearly, or maybe they were complaining about being shut out of their homes while their keepers were cleaning them. No news of any breakout anyway.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

What are we like?

We must be the most unromantic couple ever! We've had a week of quiet celebration. Last Thursday was our 37th wedding anniversary. On the Wednesday I asked Mike what tomorrow would be. His reply was that it would be Thursday, so I thought he must have forgotten.

On Thursday we visited a friend. Neither of us had remembered up to then. She must have said something that sparked a thought, so I wished Mike a Happy Anniversary. He immediately looked at his watch to see what the date was. Oh well, it doesn't mean that we don't care, just that we had more important things to think of.

Monday was his 70th birthday. On Sunday he asked me if we really had to go out somewhere. I hadn't made any arrangements, so said not if he didn't want to. He wasn't feeling too well that day, which explained why he didn't want to go out, but he was better next day, so we just ended up going for a quiet lunch at the pub (The Bear in Wool). It was very nice and I didn't have to cook. He wouldn't have wanted a big party anyway, but I felt it should have been more than it was.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Responsible dog ownership

As most of my friends know, I'm passionate about dogs. Sometimes though, it's possible to come across one who does not behave as it should. Usually it's not the dog's fault, as it hasn't learned some of the lessons it needs to learn about living alongside humans. Gizmo and I met such a dog the other day, and poor Gizmo came off the worst, with cuts around his ear, bruising around his neck, and a cut in his mouth. It could have been worse of course.

I'd just like to say to all those dog owners who let their dogs loose off the leads, which is not a bad thing of course where suitable, that if they know their dog could be aggressive, please keep them on the lead, and muzzle them. Everyone would be a lot safer then.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


One of the good things about this time of year is the colours we see around us. This Virginia creeper covers a wall at Stinsford, near Dorchester. We went there recently to visit the grave where Thomas Hardy's heart was placed. The rest of him was cremated and placed in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey.

The village of Stinsford was Melstock in his novels. It's an interesting and pretty area.

As for our situation, Mike is continuing to make good progress after his spinal surgery, and all professionals we come across say how lucky he's been. Don't we know it?! He now looks the picture of health.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Two good weeks, and wild flowers in the garden

The last two weeks have been quite a change for us. No medical appointments for either of us! Wonderful, but next week we have to go back to the hospital for Mike's follow-up appointment after his spinal surgery. He's doing quite well but it will take time for full recovery.

Earlier in the year, Mike scattered some wild flower seeds along the side of the garden. This is one of the flowers from that sowing. It looked particularly attractive one morning after rain.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Just one of those days

Yesterday began in such a way that I went to check the calendar, in case it had suddenly moved on to Friday 13th. But no, it was just a bad start.
Firstly I found a young starling, upside down on the lawn, kicking its legs into the air in an effort to right itself. I managed to pick it up and place it on the side of the lawn on a bank where it may have had more shelter from the continuing rain. I was about to take Gizmo for a walk, and thought I'd build a shelter for the bird when I came back. I'd noticed a spot of blood on its tail feathers, but had no idea how badly injured it was. It was certainly soggy.
On returning from the walk, the bird had gone, so I can only assume it was just stunned with a minor injury. Thank goodness for that.
Next, since Mike has a bad back, and the physio has advised a hot water bottle three times a day, I filled this for him and he placed it against the chair. Unfortunately, it had developed a split which oozed water over the chair, and onto the new carpet below. Fortunately though, it had not scalded Mike. Hairdryer deployed, but I had little time as I had to get to the optician.
I just had time, I decided, to nip to our local Boots, and buy a new bottle. They had them in stock I was told, but couldn't sell anything to anyone as the pharmacist had not arrived, and would not do so until about 10 o'clock. Frustrating or what?
After that the day improved, everything else fitted into place, and I spent the afternoon at the Writers' Group, which we all enjoyed.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Not just any old olive tree

This may look like any other olive tree in Andalucia. To me however, it is a special tree, where, over eight years ago, an abandoned dog looked after her five puppies. One of those puppies became my dear Cara, now no longer in this world.

On a recent trip to Spain, I was able to find the tree again, and in my mind, saw again those wonderful puppies. The inside of the tree is now so large that it could accommodate even more puppies, but thankfully there were no dogs around. Just as well for me, as I could not have coped with importing them into England. It's a journey I shan't make again for sure, but I was delighted that I could see the tree.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

U3A meetings

It's been an enjoyable week for U3A meetings. Wednesday the intermediate computing group had a guest speaker, and the whole meeting was given over to the subject of making your family tree via the net. Most illuminating, and as many of the people there have large families, and have started tracing their ancestors, it was of immense benefit to them.
This morning we were at the Meeting Points, the social gathering of anyone from any of the groups, plus visitors. The first half was dedicated to coffee, biscuits and chat plus any administration news. The second half was presented by a guest speaker, who showed photographs and told us about the weather in Swanage, past and present. Some great photographs, and wonderful stories from the past.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A couple of March outings

These old houses in Cerne Abbas took my fancy recently, not a straight line among them. We had a lovely visit to the area, with firstly a look at the Cerne giant! After a visit to the village of Cerne Abbas, we stopped on the way home at Nether Cerne to look at the churchyard. Very pretty.
Today we've been to the U3A Meeting Points social and enjoyed a talk and slides on the Galapagos Islands. Beautiful photos too.
Pleased with some progress on the writing front. Posted an article off to a magazine this morning - yes I do sometimes still use snail mail. Fingers crossed for a good result.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Could we have some good news?

The only place for murders is in fiction. Just at the moment though, all the news bulletins are full of reports of terrible violent incidents. Can everyone please stop killing each other. What has happened to people in this country? It seems that if a relationship is over, or somebody has offended another person, revenge has to be taken.

Does anyone else think there are more of these events than there ever were before? If so, what can we do to stop it? Any ideas please? Let's keep the killings for the pages of the books we read or write.