Monday, 31 December 2007

New Year's Eve

Another grey day, but very mild, bit drizzly. Managed to get a couple of things done in the garden this morning (I moved Diddy's kennel from by the back door, it was getting in the way and preventing me safe access to the bird feeding area out back) I scared the shit out of my poor little mouse though, seemed he had set up home underneath, he's lucky I didn't squash him, I just saw this thing run across my foot and screamed lol! Poor little bugger, hope he ran somewhere safe, he headed through the gate into the main garden!

I trimmed down the hazelnut tree that has self seeded by the back door so that I have some dry footholds to get up the grass to the feeders. I will need to get through that way too when I get my new fence panels. At least I won't be slipping over in the mud now hopefully.

Shot up the farm shop to get a new bag of birds seeds - guess what - it was shut. That means nobody local has been able to get any pet, farm or horse supplies since Friday, they don't open Saturday anyway. So I thought I'd get some from the pet shop - guess what - yep also shut. WTF is up with these people, the village was throbbing with people, nowhere to park cars, and half the shops couldn't be bothered to open, I mean it's New Year's eve, big deal, that's tonight, today is just a Monday isn't it? Must be me. Well I shan't run out I suppose, but will mean I will have to go shopping again on Wednesday for some. Nice to do a 14 mile round trip for nothing though.

Okay so I did the farm this afternoon, went up there early due to the fact that the shops were shut. The older ewes had eaten all their hay in the nets. They also have some meal in troughs now too. As do the lambs in their field (sugar beet) and the two boys. Took the dogs for a walk, did the feed, had to put two more hay nets up, boy those ewes are boisterous, if I don't end up on my arse in the mud it will be a miracle, they jostle and shove each other, and don't care that I'm in the way, it's hard to get the bucketful of meal into the troughs, most of it either goes on their heads or the floor. Had a laugh, when I looked up, White Socks the cat (I can never remember his real name) was in the wheelbarrow! And he stayed in it whilst I wheeled him all the way back to the barn! Lol. I only had my phone with me, so photos not too clear due to the dismal light, I wasn't expecting to take any pics with the weather really, but couldn't miss that one. Good job I did though, cos some of the donkeys finally put in an appearance, they came over heehawing very loudly, awww, so cute, I love donkeys.

Emma got absolutely filthy, plastered in mud and soaked, I think maybe I will leave her at home tomorrow unless it dries up a bit, I only take her once anyway, she can't handle two walks that long in a day. (Neither can I really, especially pushing wheelbarrows uphill, it's hard work this time....)

Oh well, Happy New Year to all my online friends, hope it turns out to be a good year for you all.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Just a quickie

The weather has been awful, raging gales, torrential rain, lost a fence panel from the back, completely disintingrated, so now have a lovely view of the neighbour's living room (and vice versa) Won't be able to get a replacement for at least a week as the builders merchants are shut! I need to replace 4 panels really, so may as well order them all I suppose, will have to try and find someone to help me put them up and dispose of the old ones.

Kate phoned this morning, she is feeling better, they are now going on Monday, so I've got the farm for three days, hope the weather is okay, I was horrified to see some were saying we've got snow for next week, god I hope not, it will be impossible to get there, not to mention them getting back!

Got a bad leg, been giving me a lot of problems, will have to go to the doctors next week, don't think they are open till Wednesday either, I hate this time of the year when everything comes to a standstill because of a couple of days holiday, everywhere is shut for 10 bloody days!

And finally, something that amused me earlier, Emma was fast asleep on the floor down the side of the sofa, and had no idea Diddy Boy had snuck up on her, I only had time to grab the Nokia camera, so shots are not brilliant, but her face was a picture when she woke up! He doesn't try and get her now though, poor old fella hasn't got an ounce of malice left in him, I can do anything to him without any protest now. He keeps wanting me to fuss him, awwww.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Boxing Day

Well I had a marvellous day yesterday with my friends Kate and Terence and T's sister-in-law Gilly and her son Marco. I felt completely comfortable, had some great food, great company, and lots of nice pressies, from them, and my mum and other friends. Emma didn't get abandoned for too long, as Terence suggested I come and get her and walk her with their dogs. It's handy them only being 5 minutes away.

The plan was that I would be doing the farm from this evening until Saturday night, as they were going away to visit Terence's mum and dad. However, Kate has been poorly, I don't know how she coped yesterday really, with all that cooking and organising. She has the cold from hell, caught from her granddaughter over last weekend. She has only just recovered from an awful virus which put her in bed for a week, so the cold has caught her before she had built herself back up. Apparently last night she coughed so bad she was sick. So this morning she phoned me to say she had stayed at home, and Terence had just gone to visit some other relations just for the day. She was feeling so ill though she asked if I would still come up this afternoon and walk the dogs. I said of course, so that's what I did. Was glad to as well, was bored out of my brains all day pacing from room to room trying to think of something to do. I refuse to sit and watch tv in the daytime, it just doesn't seem right at my age, and I can't settle and relax anyway.

Anyways, in the end I went up about 3 oclock, couldn't go any earlier as it was too early for the dogs to have their evening meal otherwise. Fed the cats, walked the dogs and fed them (with Emma), fed the ewes with their mix, and then the rams, (they didn't need any hay this evening) and did all the bird feeders. Kate was really grateful, but she did look ill and was going to bed as I left. Hope she will be okay. :(

If she feels better, they are going next week instead so I shall still have my time up there then, thank goodness. Hope the weather holds out though, it was lovely today, turned really mild, and we had a bit of blue sky and faint wintry sun (yesterday was fantastic btw)

Came home and Mike and Chris from across the road had just come back from doing the horses, and they gave me a big box of Cadbury's Roses! Oh no, how could I refuse? I told everyone else not to get me any sweets for Christmas because of the diet, but I was feeling a bit miserable not to have any goodies last night (although I came home armed with half of a huge Christmas pudd from Kates, and an enormous blob of brandy butter - they insisted, as they were not going to be there, and Kate doesn't eat sweet stuff anyway, lucky her! ) I just had half of it tonight for my pudding, warms up a treat for 30secs in the microwave.

Oh well, best try and find something to watch on the telly then, can't say as I can see anything that particularly appeals tonight though.

Dogs on the walk up the field

Feeding the rams, awww, they like their heads tickled.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas

It's been great to receive all your comments this past year, and to have made some new friends through reading other blogs. Am now off to bed, but just to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

My fibre optic tree, not the best of pics, but hey ho, it's the thought that counts... ;)

Friday, 21 December 2007

Feeling a bit sad

Twenty-four years ago today, and almost to this very minute (5pm) I had the most terrible shock. I was working, and had a message to go and see my mum straight away. No details. I was luckily only about 4 miles away, and drove as quick as I could given that it was rush hour. I was thinking oh no, perhaps she's not feeling well, or maybe dad has hurt himself. It was worse, much, much worse. I turned the corner of my mum's road to see an ambulance parked outside. My stomach then in knots. I went inside and my mum was there, and a policeman, and ambulance men I think, it's all a bit of a blur. Mum's words were "It's your dad, love, he's gone" Disbelief, no, don't be silly, he can't be. But he was. I went to see him, still sitting on the sofa in the living room. Just like he was asleep, except that his jaw had dropped a bit. Otherwise completely peaceful.

My dad was 62 years old. Never ill, except that he had indigestion two days before, when I was over for my Sunday dinner with him and mum.

He worked about 50 yards along the road from the house, he managed a garage. He always came home for his dinner, always had, all their married life, he'd worked within walking distance of home and they had cooked meal, main meal of the day at what I call "lunchtime" He had an early start, long day, so he always had 2 hours for lunch. They had eaten, and mum went off Christmas shopping about 3 o'clock (Dad had 2 till 4 for his break) She got home around 4.30 and he was still sitting there on the sofa. My god, it was bad enough for me, but I can't imagine what it must have felt like for her to have found him like that.

He had a major heart attack. The later post mortem discovered he had heart disease,blocked valves and various other problems, probably caused from over 40 years of smoking. The only thing I can say is what a lovely way to go for him, it didn't look like he suffered at all, there would surely have been some sign of this in the way he was sitting if so. He just dozed off on the sofa for his daily nap, and died. Obviously, the indigestion on the Sunday was the first one. The second one got him. My poor old dad. I still miss him. I still often have dreams where he is in them, and I wake and just for a moment, forget....

He would be 86 now, I wonder what he would be like, whether he'd still go up the pub every night! Whether he'd still be smoking, playing darts and snooker, watching the horse racing on the telly, or hiding behind the newspaper tutting when me and mum watched Corrie, but secretly peering over the top, and watching it too, or nipping off down the betting office... His mate Eddie is still around, and doing some of those things. It's so unfair isn't it?

Ah well, life goes on, as they say. Sorry this is a downer, but I just wanted to remember him for once on this special day.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Had some friends round for lunch .....

Another fabulous day. Got my car back at 12.15, and decided to go to New Quay. The heater is still crap, so wasted £20 as I expected. Brian hasn't a clue how much it will cost to clear out the heater rad, it depends how long it takes really to remove all the dashboard etc.

Emma had a great time again - it's lovely to see her having fun on the beach, I ought to go more often really - it's only 20 minutes if I get a good run. Would you believe the bloody tide was in again though? How come when it was high tide two days ago at the same time of day - it should be 4 hours difference today. Oh well, plenty of sand again, so no worries.

I bought some chips - mainly for Emma, I only ate a maximum of 8 of them, I was everso good, honest, but I don't particularly like proper chips, I prefer "fries" from MacDs, the french-style skinny ones, so it wasn't too much of a temptation. I had the most fab time throwing bits of them up in the air for the Black Headed gulls, I wish I had taken a loaf of bread with me, it's fantastic the way they catch them in mid air. I was grinning from ear to ear, good job nobody else around! (I guess I wouldn't have grinned if one had crapped all over me though) Sitting out on the harbour wall, it was really warm. Bought a few bits in the pound shop too, a flashing Santa (no, not that kind of flashing...!) He has a candle which flashes on and off, I don't know how long the batteries will last, but they are rechargeables anyway, bargain for a quid! He's busy flashing away now in the front window. ;o)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Busy day today

Left for town with Eileen at 9am to try and get a parking space, only just made it too! We hit Marks & Spencer food department (well she did, I didn't really need anything from there) Then we went up to Morrisons, had a coffee and did the big shop. Hopefully that's it now, I should have enough veggies and stuff to last till after Boxing Day, if not will have to do without! Actually, it wasn't too packed, but I'm sure it will be a nightmare from the weekend onwards down there, to be avoided at all costs. Eileen insisted on buying me something for Christmas, so I ended up with a lovely pink scarf and matching gloves, plus two slices of Lemon Cheesecake, (ooops) and a bag of clementines! Lovely of her though.

Came back, quick bite to eat, then set off for Pats. She is away all week, and I offered to go over and do all her bird feeders etc in the garden. There were a few with some peanuts in, but no bird seed or fat balls of course, so having stocked them all up and put loads of seeds out on the three tables and in a couple of hanging feeders too, I took Emma over the Dingles woods. It seemed strange to be there without Pat and Ben, but it was breathtaking down there today. Everywhere was frosted and iced up, I thought it maybe a bit muddy, but the ground was frozen solid. Beautiful day again though, but a tad chilly to say the least! Can you believe it's like minus 3c, and Emma still went in the water and sat down?!

Had a quick cuppa before making my way back, I didn't want to leave it too late because the lanes were lethal, no grit lorries go that way, and some stretches were just a sheet of ice, did a couple of slides round corners, which was a bit hair raising, (there were plenty of "oh shiiiitssss" in the car I can tell you!)

Left my car up at Brian's on the way home, to save me going out in the freezing cold first thing again. Only hope the new thermostat will fix the heater a bit, but as I've said, have my doubts.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Still cold

Another freezing cold day, but beautiful blue skies and unbroken sunshine. I decided to go the petfood warehouse that I've not been to in ages, and buy a 13kilo sack of sunflower hearts, as they work out cheaper than keep buying the small bags. So I set off, taking a picnic lunch with me (low cal of course...) Needed a couple of other bits too. Of course, he didn't have any, so I ended up buying 3 x 1 kilo bags which was dearer than I'd been buying them from Wilkinsons for months anyway. I was going to walk Emma along the river and have my picnic down there, but decided it would be lovely to go to the beach, we've not been for ages, only a few miles further on.

So I got to Aberporth, and of course, the tide was in (as always) Still, there's lots of sand anyway, and Emma had a great time, huffing round like a two year old. It was freezing cold but it didn't stop her going in the water. The last photo below has white patches on it, that was frost and ice at 2pm!

Came back and booked my car in for Thursday with Brian, the heater is so crap I was frozen in the car as well as out, needed a blanket wrapped round me. He's going to change the thermostat to see if that helps, but I don't think it will. I wouldn't be that lucky, it will probably mean a major job clearing out the heater rad which means taking half the car apart by the sounds of it, but I can't drive like that for the rest of the winter, will be useless if the screen freezes up inside (has been known)

Taking Eileen shopping tomorrow, we are going early, hoping to get parked up in town, her husband is hopefully coming home on Thursday.

Called in at the vets to pay my bill, hoping to catch a glimpse of you-know-who, but no luck, sigh. Oh well, roll on Valentines day..... ;o)

Monday, 17 December 2007

Brrrrrrr cold cold cold!

Coldest night so far last night, minus 5c recorded on the thermo by my back door. Water stayed frozen all day, even though the sun felt warmish on my back when I was outside worm hunting with Diddy. Saw the Red Kite overhead, quite low, against the beautiful blue sky, but of course, by the time I'd run in and grabbed the camera, he was about a thousand feet up! Still, undeterred, I took the opportunity of snapping some of the other birds around. I've got three robins squabbling around, also three pairs of blackbirds, one of which is my Jake, he's still going strong (the one with the broken foot) There's also a male with a white patch on his head, so is probably related to the missing White Cheek that used to come here. The robins are plaguing me, every time I step outside the door they are appearing from all directions waiting for a mealworm or two.

Rang Kate up and took Emma up the farm for walk with her and the two dogs, it was blowing a bloody gale up there, couldn't believe it, not a breath of wind down here, it's a lot higher, never realised how different it could be 2 miles away, and I'm sheltered here from the north easterlies. Terence lent me his woolly hat! It was okay in the field though, just going up the lane was a bit bracing! Had a good old chat over a coffee and a piece of home made chocolate cake - shriek, well how could I refuse when it was thrust in front of me??? Good job I was way down on the calorie allowance yesterday!

Blue tits on the porch feeder

Robin on the bird table

Starlings waiting for me to go in

Kite is up there somewhere!

Two robins call a truce for a moment


Jake again, clearly showing his broken foot.

Male and Female Blackbird (not Jake) and Starling

Sheep in the field next to the garden.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Starting the day with a smile...

Something that amused me no end, and I ended up with a giggling fit. Probably just me though being stupid, but still....

My budgie Chippy, who talks quite well, sometimes mixes up words, and what comes out of his beak is so comical at times. Like he mixes his name up and for ages has been calling himself Chippy Mortosi, which is the start of his proper name, mixed with toast and don't know where he got the "i" from, but it makes him sound like he's an Italian, lol. So today, as I walked in the room to uncover him, he said Chippy O'Shit - so he's now changed nationality to Irish! hahahaha, sorry. It's the only naughty word he has picked up thankfully..... :oD

Butter wouldn't melt..

Friday, 14 December 2007

Christmas MeMe

Cant' be bothered to blog other stuff at the moment so thought I may as well do this.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? - Wrapping paper

2. Real tree or artificial? - Artificial, I bought it last year, white fibre optic job

3. When do you put up the tree? - I did it today, because I had to get something else out of the loft, so grabbed that at the same time

4. When do you take the tree down? - Usually New Year's Day, to me, Christmas is well and truly over by then, and I'm not superstitious!

5. Do you like eggnog? - Not sure if I've ever had it, if it's the same as Advocaat then yes, yum.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? - Probably my dolly, Susan, with blonde curly hair, or maybe Paul another year, who was a life-sized baby doll, and mum had knitted him a blue romper suit!

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? - No

8. Hardest person to buy for? - My mum, she's got everything she needs apparently!

9. Easiest person to buy for? - Emma, anything edible is fine by her

10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? - I can't really think of anything

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? - Mainly by mail, one or two email

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? - The Snowman

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? - Never before the first week of December, usually later, most of my stuff has to be posted though, so can't leave it too late.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? - Yes, quite a few!

15. Favorite thing to eat/drink at Christmas? - Christmas Cake/Baileys with ice

16. Clear lights or coloured on the tree? - Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? - Driving Home For Christmas - Chris Rea, always makes me smile and sing along.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? - Stay at home.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? - Nope, I know Rudolph, Donna and Blitzen, no idea of any others, is that bad?

20. Angel on the tree top or a Star?- Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? - Christmas morning always!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Tuesday 11th Dec

Today went to the shops (again) trying to find a bit more stuff to get for my mum for Christmas, just about got all I am going to now, just bought her lots of what I hope will be useful bits and pieces.

I also bought loads of suet pellets in Pets at Home, the birds are loving them at the moment, and I have three robins squabbling and chasing each other here at present, and I'm sure one of them is my Bouncer. He is sitting waiting for the mealworms which Diddy hasn't been bothering with, and today he came whizzing right up to me as if he was going to take one from my hand, but swerved at the last minute and waited on the fence. It's sad when another one appears and chases him off though. Of course, because I was getting rid of them as Diddy decided he doesn't like them after all, now he decides he does want them, and scoffed loads today!

Diddy is still very much up and down, but has been outside the last two days as it's dry at last, and had a full crop again when he came in tonight. He somehow managed to get very wet though and I sat him on my lap and dried him with the hairdryer (which he loves, have done it before, but a long time ago) Anonymous, you will be pleased to know I've relented and thought to hell with the new carpet, and am letting him come in the living room at teatime now, he loves to share my evening meal! Tonight he has had half a hard boiled egg from my salad, loads of cheese cubes and grapes. He's also eaten loads of proper bird seed today, yet he wouldn't touch them for ages. I just wish he wasn't so thin, there is nothing but skin on his breast bone. I have joined a Pekin Bantam forum which I found thanks to Google, so am hoping to get some help with various things from there. Sometimes, he just doesn't want to eat anything, and other times he eats and eats. Bit like me though I suppose.... He's just been in here sitting on my lap for a while, he thought he was going to roost on me for the night I think, but I've put him in his little den now and up on the perch. He has carpet on the floor out there now, I forgot to mention, I did that a while back using the old carpet tiles that I used to have in my hall. I put newspaper down on top though to keep them fresh-ish. He also has the electric oil-filled rad (as do my birds up in the aviary now, I am dreading my electric bill, but still, can't let them suffer) I think they cost around a £1 a night to run, but the one for Diddy keeps the chill off the kitchen too so it's worth it.

Last night we had the hardest frost of the winter, even the water down by the back door was frozen solid, and the screen wash froze in my car inside the garage. Lovely not to have to scrape ice off the car for the first time since I've lived here, the four quid a week for the garage is worth every penny for that I think. I had to phone the council about getting something done re the drainage in there though, when it rains, the floor floods and won't drain away, and the car is standing in about 2 inches of water, need wellies to get in it! They are coming in January to take a look for me. I don't suppose they will make it water tight, in fact, it's hard to actually see where it comes in, but I just want some drainage holes drilled in the floor somewhere.

Took Emma round the reservoirs before we came back and took some more snaps with the Nokia phone camera. I then decided that I would have time to take her to the vets after all, so shot indoors on the way through and grabbed her heart pills which I haven't given her for a few days. I'm pretty sure it was them that has been upsetting her tummy, she has had the most awful smelly wind apart from the other stuff she has presented me with! Since no pills, no stinks! Anyway, explained all to the lovely Damien (swoon) and he has given me some others to try, hopefully will be kinder on her stomach, and are certainly kinder on my purse. A months supply from them will be about £18 as opposed to £24 for the others, but again, I've found somewhere online where I can get two months supply for £21 so will go for that option if they are okay for her, will need to get a prescription from Damien though before I can buy them. I've to take her back in a couple of months for a check up though so will sort out the prescription with him then if necessary. Ah well, that's about it for now. Got to wrap up a couple of presents as I'm off over the ex's tomorrow and have a gift for Cylene.