Friday, 31 August 2007

Much better!!!!

I was up with Gyp until 4am, and then came downstairs again at 7am. She was vomiting watery froth, actually peed on the kitchen floor which she's not done since she was 10 weeks old and she was in an unmoving trance-like state. This morning we genuinely thought she was dying. 

We took her to the Vet and had to carry her to and from the car as she wouldn't/couldn't walk and he gave her more antibiotics and another anti-emetic and kept her in for observation.  We came home to the house bereft and not knowing whether we were coming or going.

We rang at midday to see how she was, fully expecting to hear bad news and, well, isn't it brilliant, but she was on the mend!  The vet said he'd keep her over the weekend if it would help but he thought she would be fine to travel to my daughter's today.  Come and have a look, he said.  He's concluded that she has a nasty case of gastro-enteritis.  She was so glad to see us, wriggling her little body and wagging her stumpy tail.  When we got her home she gave Dennis a quick lick hello and went to look in her <empty> food bowl.

So now she's in Lutterworth with her special convalescent food and 5 days worth of antibiotic pills and she's fine and getting just the right mix of attention and peace and quiet, thanks to my brilliant daughter.  Not many  mums of 14 month old toddlers would take on a dog for convalescent care with gastroenteritis.  I must have done something good sometime to have a kid like her.

Meantime hub and I are knackered - no sleep and we didn't start packing or sorting out holiday measures for my polytunnel and the 40 baskets and pots in the courtyard until 7pm this evening.  Every container we own is outside, full to the gunnels with water and plants and 2 cases are also packed to the gunnels with hair straighteners <g>

Early bed tonight and thank goodness we can sleep without worrying until up at 5.30am to set off for Manchester and NYC.

Thanks so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Not good.

My little dog's no better.  I made an emergency appointment and took her to the Vet at 9pm and when he took her temperature the thermometer came out with blood on it. He wondered if she'd eaten any poison or perhaps carrion but she has no access to poison and never pays any attention to Dennis's leavings. He gave her antibiotocs and an anti-emetic and told me to bring her back at 8.45am tomorrow.  Once she was back at home she went into the garden and poo'd a small pool of bloody flux.  She's in a sort of trance, as if she's suffering from petit mal.  We're worried sick about her.

Duhhh dood!!!

From time to time when I have a glut of produce from my garden I sell off at my garden gate that which I can't eat or freeze.  In past years I've used for a Sale sign a metal tripod thing abandoned on my front drive by road-hole-menders, and very handy it's been.  Sadly however earlier this summer it was either nicked by some miscreant or retrieved by the council and so I had to think of something else to fulfil the same function. 
I tried a sign hanging from a branch that hangs outward over the hedge but a van knocked that for six.  I tried a post to hold one of my grandchildrens' blackboards but again, some beggar who can't steer straight gave it a whack. 
Eventually I hit on the notion of taping signs to my wheelie bin and siting it in the middle of where my drive meets the road.  Fine, very visible and very stable so no-one cared to risk hitting it with their wing mirrors and everyone could see it as they approached my drive.  So there it's stood for the past fortnight bearing large sheets of lining wallpaper daubed with huge letters advertising Victoria Plums, Swiss Chard, Courgettes etc.
So far 4 customers, all barely 5' tall, have told me that before coming up the drive they stopped and looked in the wheelie bin expecting the fruit and veg to be inside.  I asked each of them how edible they thought any plums at the bottom of a wheelie bin would look, and how they'd thought they might actually be able to reach down and get them out.  All 4 said, Oh, I didn't think of that.  Sometimes Shropshire folk can seem really really dumb. 
I'm supposedly off to NYC first thing Saturday morning and my pooch has chosen now to be poorly.  She's not eaten, didn't want to go for a walk, keeps womiting frothy watery stuff, is shaking, and looks extremely sorry for her self.  If she's no better tomorrow we've to whip her round to the Vet before taking her to my daughter for a week with my grandchildren.  It's not looking good for NYC, is it?  Sad

Sunday, 19 August 2007


This week we've had the pleasure of Constance's company.  Connie is 5, and the sort of easy-going and happy nipper who would make anyone wish they could start another family.  We were really sorry to have to take her home.  Especially as she never finished clearing up the hawthorn hedge cuttings.  We'll save the remainder for the autumn half-term <evil laugh>

This is a Long Eared Owl who's visited our garden before but never stayed long enough for me to get the camera out. This morning he was more relaxed and sat while I fetched the camera and opened the window - and then sat through 2 flashes.  According to our book Long Eared Ows aren't at all common and, so the book says, are only out and about during the hours of darkness. So much for bird books, but he's a cracker, isn't he?

Just after he'd flown off into the orchard I saw a sparrow hawk do a stuka swoop onto an area of lawn at the back of the house.  My hub rushed out and got within 6' before the hawk flew off with a vole in his claws - too quickly for a photograph but boy, what a flier.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Browned off

Am I pissed off?  Just a little.  I found tomato blight on my vegetable patch which is where all my crop for freezing was planted out and starting to crop well.  Blight begins with browning of leaves and then patches of the stalk followed by the tomatoes getting brown patches on their skin and the whole plant eventually dying. Even if the tomatoes are taken off and brought inside, they'll go brown in the bowl so they can't be saved.  I've just put about 60lbs of actual and potential tomatoes in the dustbin.  That's our winter tomato soup and sauce for the kids gone.  I could spit.

And now, to make my day perfect, my hub has decided to strip the paint from the fancy portico which surrounds our front door.   I can't let him just get on with it, husbands being the half-assed botchers that husbands are, or mine in any case, but common sense demands I supervise and advise and my conscience demands I do my share of the graft.  He was seized by this fantabulous idea at midday in full sun.  I may give him a slap before the day is out.

Finally, and best of all, I've put on 2lbs and, as I never actually reached my target weight before I started celebrating losing 1.5 stone, I can't afford to pile up anymore.  So just when I should be living on salads and tomatoes............... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The Road

If you like reading stuff which gives you plenty to mull over then the next time you log on to Amazon or wander by a bookshop then take a tip and buy The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  One of the best of the current crop of American fiction writers McCarthy writes dark tales, and The Road is the blackest yet - tho not his bloodiest. 

The common theme in his stories is of very ordinary people struggling to survive in extremely bleak environments and The Road tells of a journey undertaken by a man and his small son after a devastating catastrophe has killed off all living things.  It's thought-provoking, scarey yet ultimately hopeful and the language is of real quality.

The Road: Cormac McCarthy


Thursday, 2 August 2007

In my garden

This has been a very trying year in the garden but as always it's come up trumps.  Even so, every time I'm outside and looking at my planting beds I'm constantly thinking that this was a mistake, that should be moved, this has to hit the compost and that should have been divided last autumn. 

Here's a few pics taken in my largest bed, created 4/5 years ago on the base of an old cowshed:


And just to show how decorative vegetables can be, here's some 'rainbow' Swiss chard fronting up a bed of Bulgarian leeks and backed up by tomato plants grown from the leaf axil sideshoots of my polytunnel plants: