Thursday, 31 January 2008

Awwwww so cute!

I set up the webcam in the shed to see who is taking the food and made the nest. At 7'oclock he/she appeared, and has been darting back and forth for an hour now. It's not going to be like watching the hedgehogs though, because he is just grabbing a piece of food and running off with it. I would imagine the dish must be virtually empty now, so he's not going to be coming to the dish for much longer so won't be transmitting any images. The only thing I can do for future evenings maybe is put two dishes of food or you will just have to come online earlier!

Last day of January already

Been awake since just after 5 am, gritting my teeth at the sound of the raging gale outside. Supposedly 29mph hahaha and ha. Gusts apparently up to 70mph. Terrified for my aviary and my budgies and cockatiels. I can see it from the kitchen window, enough from the street lights in the distance to see it's still standing thank god. I have a night light in the shed for the birds and can see a couple of the 'tiels sitting there ok so all is well. The noise is still horrendous. Have already done all my day's online quizzes, had two coffees, looked at my forums and other people's blogs and it's only bloody 7am! Oh well, I doubt I'll be doing much today, the good news is that the forecast is ever worse for the next couple of days. :(

Only things to update otherwise is that I bought one of the Tens Machines from Lloyds Pharmacy, oh the power of tv advertising! They are doing them really cheaply at present, normally £40, selling at £15, so thought worth a try. It's fantastic! (They are little battery operated thingies, that you put two sticky pads on achy places like bad backs, sore arthritic joints etc, and they pulse, massage, etc) Thrilled with mine, I was thinking of getting one for mum for her knees, but am afraid as usual that she won't understand how to use it, it is a bit complicated, she's not too good with gadgets nowadays) Maybe will get one anyway whilst they are on offer, and show her how to use it next time I go up, which hopefully won't be too long away.

Yesterday met Pat in town for some shopping, and had lunch. I took Emma round the reservoirs first though for her walk, so she had an early one yesterday. There were some new ducks on the lake but sadly the far side, and I didn't have the proper camera to zoom, they were white with brown necks! Soon as we went round the other side to get nearer, they swam furiously to the other side. Oh well, never mind. There were some Coots which weren't quite so nervy, but most of the birds there aren't overly tame. Beautiful day again though, the calm before the storm though obviously....

Hmm well, guess I will find something else to do today, housework I suppose. Yuck.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Quick catch up

Haven't really done anything overly interesting, so will be brief just to keep this going.

Friday : Another dry but windy day, had a text from Christine to say they would be over on Saturday to help with me with the fence panels, so I spent three bloody hours doing the wood preservative on one side of three panels (the side that would go into the neighbours) Nearly broke my back just shoving them along the path. Also had to do a mad cleaning spree indoors as I was having visitors!

Saturday : They arrived. Early! I'd only just got dressed and hadn't been out to do the birds even. Anyway, Barry slipped on his arse down the bank before we'd even started (he only went up to see where abouts the panels were going! This garden is lethal. Anyway we got them done, look great. Had nice lunch down cafe. (We all had child's meal portions! Plenty enough) They dropped a bombshell - looks like they will be moving far away, had enough of it in Wales. Bit gutted, hope they change their minds. I haven't got many friends here as it is, and doubt I will see much of them if anything if they move back to England. Bit hard to take when someone's been in your life for nearly half of it.

Sunday: Went to shops to buy sprayable fence preserver and the canister thing to spray it with. Worth a go, supposed to be able to do a panel in 15 minutes. Well, will be fun trying I guess. Knowing my luck I don't expect much success though.

Today : Painted the square gap on the house wall with masonary paint where the dreaded metal box used to be. The bloke came and removed it whilst I was out last week. Couldn't take it away though, oh no, just dumped it by my front gate. I wonder how long it will be there before it's collected? If ever. Cleaned my windows. I can now see the birds in the garden again! Went to Pats this afternoon. Walked dogs. Came home. Lit fire. Struggling though, the logs are very wet still. Erm that's about it.

The only exciting thing is to say it hasn't rained now for five days. Wow. A record! We've got a lot of nasty stuff on its way again though apparently, sleet and snow, temperatures dropping drastically. I mean, people were out in t-shirts yesterday, crazy for January.

Oh yeah, my exercise cycle stats for the week were I travelled 33 miles, and burned 1,300 cals. Not bad. But I didn't lose any weight. Not good. :(

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Decisions, decisions.....

Hmmm, now they look yummy...

...or maybe I should go for the Fat Balls...

No, I need to watch my waistline, I'll just have a few peanuts

Don't faint but.....

... it didn't rain today! What's more, it was like the first day of spring. Beautiful blue skies, sunshine, no wind. Bit chillier of course, but always happens when the clouds disappear at this time of the year.

Took some photos by the back door this morning of Sausage, and an inquisitive Blue Tit, then went to do a bit of shopping, didn't need much but was out of milk and a few veggies. I went earlier than normal incase the weather changed, then decided that it was too nice to just plod round the reservoirs today, so we went to Ferryside. I thought it may be windy down there, but it wasn't too bad, I've felt colder in June! We walked and walked and walked a bit more, as the water was the lowest I've ever seen it there, right out and round the point of the estuary into Carmarthen Bay, the furthest I've been ever down there, and we could see the dunes of Burry Port in the distance. Fairly fast walk out and slightly slower back, but all together walking steadily for around an hour, so I reckon we did about three miles. I couldn't have done that four months ago before I lost weight. Poor Emma is now completely knackered, but she needed a decent walk, hasn't had a lot of exercise for a while now. She went in all the pools as usual, several which were out of her depth, which resulted in much snorting! I only took my phone with me as the batteries were being charged up in the camera at home, but the pics have come out pretty well I think, good enough for blogging anyway.

Fingers crossed for a dry day tomorrow, as Barry and Christine are going to come over on Saturday and help me get those fence panels up at last. I will try and slap some cuprinol on them at least one side tomorrow. Please don't let it rain again....

Sausage enjoying the sunshine

Llansteffan across the estuary

Burry Port in the distance

Wednesday, 23 January 2008


Not much to blog about today, except the usual stuff about the weather. I am beginning to wonder if it will ever be dry again. Yet another day of blustery winds, mist and heavy drizzle. Still mild though. All those logs I bought the other week, and I've not needed to light the fire since....typical.

Most exciting thing was again to do with birds, nothing tragic today thankfully, but I discovered that I have a whole string of Sausages! My No 1 Sausage appeared waiting for his mealworms, and as I threw him one, Sausage No 2 appeared on the fence so I threw him one too. No 1 then attempted to chase, but I threw another one, and then there was a truce and they happily received them in turn. No 2 is timid though and took his up onto the top of the fence the second he had them in his beak, whereas No 1 will stay on the lawn to eat his. Me thinks they are a male/female combo, I guess they will maybe pair up eventually and all this bravado is just playing hard to get.

So I went up to the main feeding area and what do you know, two more Sausages in the holly, definitely courting! And I could hear another one singing up in the tree. One of these Sausages came down almost to my feet for a suet pellet, but then dived back into the holly, I was wondering at first if it was Bouncer, but don't think so, too timid.

Other than that, took Emma down to the river near the vets, round the park is a waste of time at present, half of the path is under water from the flooded river, and it was too blowy, would have got soaked. Along the river where the canoes go is at least sheltered, we went there yesterday also, it's not too muddy surprisingly. Have to keep Emma on the lead though, she still has a paddle in the pools, but the main river is raging, won't take any chances, one slip and she would be gone.

News on the exercise bike to finish. Well I'm getting on well with it, I've now moved it into the bedroom however, looks better in there and it's not affecting the amount of times I use it, in fact it may even be more. I am trying to keep to doing three five minute sessions at least every day, lunchtime, teatime and just before I get in bed. So far I have cycled 18 miles, at an average speed of 20 mph (which has increased without effort, it was only 17 mph when I first started) and I've burned 652 calories. How accurate the readings are I have no idea, but hope that bit is correct. If I can burn off 1000 cals a week, it will be like a whole day's food nearly, which will be brilliant. I can feel that it's doing good, my legs aren't as stiff, which is unbelievable. My bum still hurts but I think that's a good sign! It's certainly not putting any strain on my back or knee joints so far which is the bit I was worried about. Yay!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The Vets

I had the edge taken off my excitement big time. This morning I went out to do the bird feeders and as I opened the back door, one of my hen Blackbirds, the original one I'm pretty sure, been around for at least 3 years, came out from under the holly flapping madly, couldn't take off and ended up gasping for air, wings spread in my woodbark border. I picked her up and thought she maybe had crashed into a window and was stunned. So I popped her in the shed in a box, did the feeders, had a look and she was still laying with her wings spread, so thought I'd give her a bit longer. After an hour, no change so I thought I'd best look at her more closely. Both her legs were broken. Heartbroken, I doubted there would be anything that could be done but anyway took her when I went with Emma to see Damien.

I got there 3 minutes after the afternoon surgery started, and there were already 6 people waiting. The only spare chair (there were people in couples) was next to a bloke in overalls. No problem I thought. The longer I sat there though, I realised I'd made a big mistake. He absolutely stunk. He had no pet with him either. He smelled like rotting fish. I was nearly puking. I wondered why he was just sitting there as people came and went. In the end, I got up and went to the reception desk and spoke to Elin about my bill, and then accidentally sat down in the next seat along when I went back, as this was now vacant. The stench wasn't quite so strong then. Turned out he was a puppy breeder I think, when it was his turn (he wasn't seeing Damien) he went out to his vehicle and brought in carry boxes full of puppies. :(

Anyway, I sat there a bloody hour and a half in the end, and was losing the will to live frankly. Emma, who normally sits under the seat as good as gold, kept coming out and looking at me, looking at everyone else, bored out of her brains. There was a young bloke with a Staffie that screamed, whined, cried and huffed non-stop, despite the guy's best efforts at fussing him to keep him quiet. If Damien had been on any other day this week, I would have walked out I think.

Anyway, as anticipated the poor blackbird had to be put down. We couldn't work out what had happened to her. So upsetting poor thing, I'm sure she is the original hen, and the mother of two of the others I have here, all three of them were completely different to look at one has a white throat, one a goldy coloured chest, and she was just plain brown. If she'd been hit by a car, I think there would have been some more injuries, so maybe she got her legs caught in something. I was hoping one of them would be okay, but they were both smashed out of her shoulders, so no hope for her, it would have been impossible to heal her and she wouldn't have been able to feed, or take off. Wouldn't have lasted five minutes in the wild.

So Emma had her anal glands done, no screaming this time although she did wriggle a bit. Damien reckons something is not quite right with her left hand one, and we need to keep a check on it, say perhaps within the next 8 weeks. If it gets any worse, it could mean surgery. So not particularly good news there either.

He said "see you" when I went out the door. I wish.... *swoon*

Monday, 21 January 2008


Been very busy today. Had, just had, to clean out the poor birds in the aviary. I'd been putting it off because it meant disturbing the mousie-who-lives-in-the-shed. (well I never need much of an excuse to not clean out the aviary...) The little nest is down the side of my woodchip bale, and I also needed the paper-based litter that I use on the main floor of the shed, which meant moving my sun lounger, my pressure washer, and a bit of worktop, and an old rug very carefully so nothing fell on the nest. Well having done all that, I lifted up the rug and you wouldn't believe what fell out of it....

Well maybe you would. Bloody hell! I'm beginning to wonder if it's a hamster not a mouse now! I didn't know they stashed their food. It looks like every thing I've fed it in the last two weeks had been stored in the rolled up rug! I put a little dish of food in there every night for him/her. Sometimes, I fill it in the daytime and it's always gone before nightfall. Poor little bugger. Anyway, with all the banging and crashing and moving stuff around, I thought I would have scared it off for good (I wonder where it was hiding all this time, it wasn't in its nest..) I left a few bits in the dish, and that disappeared too by this afternoon. When I looked this evening, some of the stash has disappeared too so it's been busy, probably stuffing it all back under the rug!

Also cleaned out the guinea pigs, and popped round Helen's to try and sort out her pc problems (no luck though, I don't know what's up with her computer) She is going to buy a laptop having seen mine!

Took Emma to the park, the river was right over onto the field though, so could only get halfway round, was enough though really. I wanted to bath her today as we are going to see Damien tomorrow, but have run out of time. I may see if I can do it in the morning though, and will go to the afternoon surgery. Tee hee, can't wait. Silly cow! :)


Awful, awful weather but decided I wasn't going to spend the day stuck indoors. I went to the Car Boot sale at the showground (it's indoors at this time of year) because I was looking for something specifically. Something I'd been thinking about getting for a couple of weeks or so, looked at the new ones and wondered if I could save myself a few bob on a second hand one. No such luck of course, so I thought I'd go to Llanelli for something to do.

The car park that I go in there for the town centre means you have to walk through JJB Sports to get into the complex, and I saw what I wanted in there instantly, fell in love with it, and bought it. So I am now the proud owner of .....tada *drum roll*
An Exercise Bike.

Mum sent me money for Christmas and I hadn't bought anything with it, nothing I particularly wanted, but because of my dieting I want to get fitter too, but the possibilities are a bit limited because of the area and my health, so I did some research and read that these are good for building stamina, burning calories and most importantly trimming up the flab on the lower regions!

I also got a bargain pair of Reebok trainers in the sale, reduced from £49.99 down to £20. Very pleased with my purchases. Set it up when I got home and have had a few goes since, seems ok, don't think I've wasted my money anyway. Burned off a couple of hundred calories already. It's something that I can sit on whilst watching tv, and get myself warmed up a bit instead of sitting on the sofa doing nothing, so hopefully will save on fuel bills a bit too!

It has a speedo, pulse rate, calorie burner, mileage covered etc. You can adjust the pressure as your legs get stronger. It folds away if you can be bothered (which I probably won't be) Sits nicely down the side of the sofa out of the way, or if I have company (haha, that will be the day) it can go in the bedroom, that's why I chose pink. :) The only downside I've found so far is that the "comfortable" saddle is torture, my poor bum. I've tried sitting on a cushion on it, but it's not a lot better. Oh and it was a bargain price too reduced from £79.99 to £54.99, which was cheaper than any I'd seen online that folded.

Saturday, 19 January 2008


Well the burial was duly done yesterday. Very upset of course so won't go into too much detail. The weather was horrendous and I wished I'd buried him on Thursday when it was dry. But it had to be done. I went to the Garden Centre and had a good look round at all the plants and decided on a Japonica variety, called Skimmia Rubella, which seemed to be best suited for the position in the garden, and also looked pretty. I also wandered around a few other shops and saw a mug in one, and I just had to have it. Photo below and you will see why. I shall use it daily for my afternoon cup of tea.

I wrapped him in the sheepskin fleece that he had in his little box, so he will be nice and cosy there.

It's now not stopped raining for 48 hours again, but it's ridiculously mild for January, so I'm not complaining. At 5 o'clock when I shut the birds in it was 12c outside, and I went to the shops today and was sweltering, could have done with a t-shirt on under my jacket, not a jumper. I haven't altered the temperature of the radiator in here, and it's normally 19c at this time of night, it's currently 22c.

Tried to get Sausage to come a bit closer for a photo this morning, I was still inside the doorway so the camera wouldn't get too wet. He wasn't too keen though, but got one that wasn't blurred out of 3.

The new mug

The grave

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Some sad news

I'm not long back from the vets. It breaks my heart to say that I had my dear little Diddy Boy put to sleep a while ago. I am falling apart as you will probably realise. I've not had to make that decision with a pet that I treasured or have had for so many years before, dogs included, they have died of natural causes, so it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. He would have been 10 years old on the 11th April, and some of you may know that I had his mum and dad, and that I saw his very first moments in this life as he emerged from his egg under my broody hen.

He was living on borrowed time. I've not blogged about it before because I felt it may be a bad omen, but I've brought him back from the verge of death twice in the last month or so now. Both times, he had collapsed and was unable to get himself up again and was just lying on his side, frozen and lifeless. Both times I've warmed him, cuddled him, propped him up on the radiator and he has come round and perked up. This last few days though, it's been a struggle. The last month he has been a shadow of his former self, his comb and wattles have gone from a nice red to really pale pink. He hasn't wanted to eat anything all day, and even going outside in the garden for ten minutes to get some worms with him hasn't really excited him like it was. For the past two nights, he hadn't hardly bothered to scrounge from me whilst I was eating my tea, which really was about the only time he would eat anything substantial, mainly tinned sweetcorn. Last night, he ate about 4 pieces and then went to bed in his box.

Today, he didn't even want to come out, finally appeared about 11.45 am, had a drink, but I couldn't tempt him to eat anything at all. He just stood with his head hanging, eyes shut, and was only able to keep upright by using his wings.

In one last attempt to talk myself out of what I thought was best, I took him outside in the sunshine, and he just stood, closed his eyes, and a small gust of wind blew him over onto his side. I knew that was it.

The guy at the vets was brilliant, he said it was for the best, which I knew in my heart it was. Doesn't make it any easier though. He is one of the best pets I've ever had the pleasure of owning and I shall miss him so much. The only thing I can say is if I were in the condition he was in, slowly dying, with no quality of life, then I would want someone to do the same for me. I just wish I didn't feel so guilty about it, like a murderer.

I shall bury him tomorrow, up with his girls, I have the five graves marked with nice plants, two have lilac bushes, one has bamboo, one the budlea bush and one dwarf rhododendron. I can't face doing it now. I'll buy a nice shrub for him.

RIP little man.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Fridge magnets!

Well it comes to something when the most exciting thing I've done today is take photos of my fridge magnets! The weather has been so hideous. It has torrented down with rain for 26 hours now without a stop. The wind howled until a short while ago, and I've set foot outside three times to do the birds, and got soaked. I am now ready to go up the wall being stuck in here all day and already thinking I can't wait till bedtime. It's been such a long day. I've paced from room to room looking out of the windows. I couldn't believe it when it was nearly dark, and I looked at the clock and it was only 3.30.

Made a few phone calls anyway, spoke to my ex, to Irene and to mum, so that killed about two and a half hours. I had a call from Sky this morning too offering me a free deal - 30 days the whole package, no strings, can cancel on 13th February if I don't want them. So I said yes, so watched Happy Feet on movies, and the footie on Sports. Gonna watch Phantom of the Opera on C4 tonight, not sure if it will be any good, but it's a stage show I have always wanted to see, would have loved to see it when Michael Crawford was the Phantom, I had the album years ago. The film may not be any good but will take a look. Will record it too and put onto dvd if it's good.

So to the fridge magnets. When I took the photos of the kitchen yesterday, it occurred to me how many I had. I wonder if anyone else collects them? I have mainly bird ones of course, and some dog ones, hedgehog, guinea pigs, I have bought lots of them from the Gift Shop at the Nature reserve at Cilgerran I go to. They are only a £1 each, I think a bargain, some of them are really lifelike.

Oooh can't leave without mentioning I lost 3lbs this week. Another 16 to go and I will be a very happy bunny.

Happy Feet on the telly!

Came in the living room earlier and found Diddy Boy grooming Emma's head, she was fast asleep and didn't know! Time I got the camera though she was awake lol.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

New Quay again

Absolutely beautiful day here today for a change. Blue skies, no wind, so I thought I'd take a trip to the beach as Emma has had a pretty lousy week, walk-wise, and it's her favourite on the sands and in the sea. (Not to mention what comes after I guess - well ok then - CHIPS)

When we arrived the fishing boats had just finished unloading their catch, well although I eat fish, I was kind of glad I didn't see them somehow, but it was nice to see the boats so close up. The sea was beautifully calm, and there were lots of kids paddling! Well the idea was they had wellies on, but they had gone in much deeper of course (kids will be kids..!)

Bought some chips, of course, but I only had a few of the crispy ones, and Emma and the gulls had the rest, I reckon I had about 300cals worth, so not too bad. I didn't bother with the photos this time as I did it not so long ago, this time there were lots more Herring gulls though, and a couple of Jackdaws got some too.

Had a great thrill this morning before I went. Looked at the peanut feeder hanging outside the kitchen window and nearly fainted - a Long tailed tit! What a beauty. He flew off when he saw me, but then I looked across and there was another on the peanut feeder up by the aviary. A first for me. There has been a small flock of 8 or so up in the hawthorn tree (which isn't there any more) very fleetingly in the past, like I mean for ten minutes, but they have never stuck around and certainly never come on my feeders. I seriously thought that now the tree was gone they would never be here again either. Wow. Such beautiful, tiny little birds. Got a pic of him anyway, although not brilliant, just for proof!

Also on the way up to the coast, there was a Buzzard sitting on the fence by the side of the road. Couldn't stop - car behind me, but was amazed he was still there when I came back a couple of hours later. Got him that time, no traffic. I did pull alongside a bit closer, but he flew off then dammit!

Oh well, back to normal now here, clouded over and about to rain by the looks of things. Knew it was too good to be true! Yay one of my favourite programmes is back tonight too, can't wait - Primeval. The last series was brill. Hope this is as good.

Felt all arty when I saw this, the way the boat was lying against the smooth sand - oooer!

Did someone mention chips?

The L.T.T.

Mr Buzzard

For OC....

The kitchen! The orange is actually a bit darker than has come out in the photo, but you should get the general idea. :)