The First Sunday Musings In March

The weather got colder this week, and we had some unwelcome rain. After a long dry period, the mud is back over on Hoe Rough. Worse to come, according to the forecasters on TV. Next week it wil get even colder, and we might get snow and ice by Tuesday.
Back to Winter.
I am hoping they have got it wrong.


We picked up the used car on Wednesday, the one to replace my ‘almost dead’ Zafira. The new one was suitably shiny and clean, and they had supplied rubber mats inside free of charge. The young salesman kept his promise to run us through the extensive electrical extras, showing Julie how to pair her phone for hands-free use, and how to use the onboard satellite navigation. They had even half-filled the petrol tank, something I had not expected. We also discovered that it has cruise control, which I didn’t know beforehand. I doubt we will use that. It also has ‘Stop-start’ for more economical driving, but I switched that off as I don’t like it when the engine keeps cutting out. Too much strain on the starter motor, in my opinion.


When Julie got home from work the next day, she was worried about a clunking noise coming from the back of the car. We went out for a drive so I could hear it, and I did. Stopping the car, I examined the rear section, and discovered that the jack had nothing to retain it in the storage compartment so was moving from side to side when we turned a sharp corner. We drove to the dealer, and showed them. They replaced the retaining clip with a new item in minutes, and apologised. Good servce from them so far.


Ollie has been exceptionally lively this week, and appears to be unexpectedly rejuvenated. He has been running fast with other dogs, playing rough with them, and staying out much longer on his walks. One day he was out just 10 minutes short of 3 hours, and showed no sign of flagging. It is great to see our elderly dog enjoying life so exuberantly again.


On this chilly and cloudy Sunday in Beetley, I hope you have better weather to enjoy your day.


VERY Big Dogs

As a change from my nostalgia photos, here are some enormous dogs. No matter how big they are, they behave exactly the same as any other dog. You all know I am a dog lover, because of Ollie. Compared to these giants he is tiny, and I doubt I could cope with a dog this large, or afford to feed them!

Walking Stanley

There used to be a local man walking a small Lurcher. The dog is named Stanley, and he is very friendly. Recently, I saw Stanley with a lady, and it turned out to be the wife of the man I used to see regularly.

She told me the sad news that her husband has been stricken with Alzheimer’s, and will have to live in a care home. She is going to be busy arranging all that, then visiting him when she can.

I offered to help out by taking Stanley for a walk with Ollie when she was unable to take him herself.

Yesterday, we arranged that first walk. Stanley was pleased to see us at the house, but a little reluctant to walk off with us at first. Once we got to the path leading to Beetley Meadows, his tail came up, and he trotted along happily. He is younger than Ollie, with lots more energy, so it felt a little strange for me to be having to keep up with a dog, instead of waiting for one to catch me up.

After completing the usual walk, I headed back in the direction of his house, two streets away. He picked up the pace and pulled on his lead, knowing he was heading home.

Next week, I will take him out again. It is company for Ollie, and helps out the lady.

It is also what living in a small village community is all about.

How Animals Perceive The World: Sound And Sight

If you have a pet, you may want to watch this short film. It examines how various animals, insects, and birds (including cats and dogs) hear and see the world that surrounds them, in a very different way to human perception. There is some science to listen to, but even I could understand it.

My friend Antony sent me the You Tube clip, and I think many of you will find it fascinating.

Holiday Snaps (3)

Just the one photo on this post. I wanted to take Ollie to Cleethorpes Country Park, north of where we were staying. It was just less than 30 miles, so under an hour on small coastal roads. It turned out to be a good decision. Parking was free, and there were dozens of dogs for Ollie to interact with. Long paths and bridges around a huge lake gave us a very pleasant afternoon, in excellent weather.

(The photo can be enlarged, by clicking on it.)

Ollie was in his element, and even ventured into the lake for a paddle and a drink. Unfortunately, he was extra-reluctant to have his photo taken, so Julie had to ‘ambush’ him so I could get just one photo.

That was the only one I was able to get that afternoon, but it did not detract from our enjoyment of the visit.

The Beetley Meadows Wasps

The long dry summer has brought a new hazard to our regular dog-walks. Underground wasp nests.

A couple of weeks ago, Toby the Jack Russell Terrier was chasing his ball into the long grass when he screamed in pain and ran back onto the path. He seemed agitated and unwell, so his owners took him straight to the Vet, concerned he may have been bitten by an Adder, a poisonous snake. However, it turned out he had been stung several times by wasps. He was given some treatment, and made a good recovery.

His owners went back to check the area where he had been stung, and found a series of holes covered in wasps entering and leaving. They notified the Parish Council, who arranged for a pest controller to come and destroy the nest.

Then yesterday, in a completely different area of Beetley Meadows, a family group were making their way down to the river when they were attacked by a large number of wasps close to the main path. The wasps appeared from holes in the ground inside the long grass nearby, and a child and her mother were stung. The mother was stung 12 times as she attempted to shield her child.

Today, a sign has been erected warning people to avoid the area. Hopefully, someone will advise the Parish Council tomorrow.

I know they are valuable pollinators, but we can’t have openly aggressive wasps stinging small children and dogs on a family-friendly recreation area.

Fans And Flip-Flops

After my recent complaints about chilly summer weather, the heatwave arrived yesterday, and is set to last until late Saturday evening.

77 degrees (F) on Wednesday, 80F already today, and a possible 91F tomorrow. (I am going back to the pre-Celcius values, as they still seem more relevant to me.)

Naturally, English people are panicking about sunstroke and sunburn, hydration, adequate sunscreen creams, and not leaving dogs in hot cars.

I took Ollie out much earlier today, and it was still very warm despite that. Ollie’s fur is thick of course, so it must feel like he’s wearing a padded jacket in this weather. He was able to cool off in the river, then I took him into the shade of the woodland area for the rest of the walk.

As for me, I was wearing shorts and a straw sun hat, so no issues. I was pleased to see another bright sunny day. In the house, it is windows open, flip-flops on my feet, and a small ‘doughnut fan’ blowing on me as I sit at the computer.

Making the most of that three-day heatwave.

Ollie: Treatment Complete

Yesterday, Ollie had the last of the medication for the current round of treatment.

He has had a lot of tablets, both antibiotics and steroids, as well as daily ear drops for some time now.

We finally managed to get him to swallow the tablets with no fuss, by concealing them in a small chunk of Brie. He lets me give him the ear drops without resistance, though he flinches every time I insert the tube deep into his ear.

I would flinch too.

His fur is slowly growing back, but some of the bald patches are still clearly visible. The head shaking has stopped, and he has been sleeping and eating well.

Once the steroids are out of his system by the weekend, I can start to give him his Arthritis tablets again. Despite being stiff-legged now, he still manages his walks.

Earlier this week, he even chased a Muntjac deer into some reeds by the river, and the animal escaped Ollie by running through the water and leaping out onto Hoe Rough.

On the 12th of February, Ollie will be 10 years old. Around 80 in human years, for his breed.

You can bet he will get a birthday tribute!