Sunday Musings on The 5th of February

The shortest month is here. Even only three days fewer than January still seems to make it fly by much faster.

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I am taking a break from posting Serial Fiction for a while, so you may notice less posts overall from me this month.

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Most of you will have read that my car broke down on Friday, and now rests in the local dealership awaiting parts next week. I wish I could be more confident that they will arrive on time, but the head-shaking of the service manager gave me the opposite indication. I have had to cancel Ollie’s check-up visit at the Vet next week, as Julie’s car is not suitable to get Ollie into except in an emergency. I am still applying the ear gel though, and it does appear to be helping him a lot.

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At least the weather has been kind. Much warmer, up to 12C, no rain, and the Spring flowers are appearing over on Beetley Meadows. Yesterday I saw Snowdrops, Crocuses, and even some small Daffodils.

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Our little granddaughter is three years old today. Yesterday evening we had a family meal in a nice restaurant, and twelve of us celebrated her big day. She loved her birthday balloon and all of her presents, and was delighted when we sang Happy Birthday to her.

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Whatever you are doing today, I hope it makes you happy.

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The Last Sunday Musings For January

The weather warmed up after the recent ‘big chill’. We went from -7C one night, to +4C the next day. Still cold, especially in the wind, but nowhere near as bad as the previous weeks.

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On Thursday the heating engineer returned by arrangement, this time to do a complete service of the heating system. We only needed one new complete part, a condenser, and its partly-perished hose. He even called in a colleague to help realign and tighten the flue pipe, securing it solidly into the system. Before he left, he looked at the main bedroom radiator, which had a ‘stuck’ thermostat. Two minutes later, and that was working too. I didn’t even have to pay him anything that afternoon, as his company will send me a detailed invoice by email, in due course. It was a great service all round, and I really don’t care how much the bill will be, as the heating is working better than ever.

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Ollie began shaking his head again on Thursday evening, and we knew that he would have to go back to the Vet’s. When I rang them on Friday morning, I was pleased to be offered an appointment that same afternoon. Ollie was prescribed the same treatment he had last time, as it had worked so well. But this time he has to be checked over in ten days, to ensure that the swelling has gone down inside his ears. He hates me putting the tube into his ears, and sometimes gives me a warning growl. So we worked out a system where Julie shows him a treat, then holds his head still. When it is over, he gets the treat and soon forgets his discomfort.
If only we could be as resiilient as dogs! (Doughnuts would work as my treat.)

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Julie has not been into work at all this week, due to a persistent cough and sore throat that made her lose her voice and kept her awake at night. Naturally, she tested for Covid, but was negative. And this time, I didn’t catch it! (Whatever it was…)

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I am wishing you a happy and peaceful Sunday, wherever you are.

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Sunday Musings After A Cold Week

As the post title suggests, it has been a very cold week. When the heating failed to work on Tuesday, we tried calling a different engineer. It just so happened that he was at his mother’s house nearby, so he came round immediately. He could tell the boiler was not firing correctly, but as he had no experience of that make of boiler, he gave us another contact phone number. The second engineer actually lives at the end of our street, so agreed to come and look at the problem on his way home. He diagnosed the fault in moments, and fitted a small replacement part that solved the issue, though he did say we need the boiler system extensively serviced. As he cannot do the service at the moment, he took no money for his work or the replacement part on Tuesday, and told us to pay later.

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One great thing about living in Beetley, you get to meet a lot of very honest and fair people.

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Ollie’s head-shaking seems to have subsided. His appetite is huge at the moment, perhaps caused by feeling the cold. But we have to control what he eats, because he is no longer as active as he used to be.

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The freezing conditions continue, but at least they come with bright sunny days and blue skies. It is forecast to climb well above freezing next week, but those slightly warmer temperatures will also bring cloud and rain.

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I try not to wish my life away yearning for the longer days and brighter evenings that will come soon. Trying to find something positive about January and February is not easy though, and I struggle with the dark afternoons, using my SAD lamp when necessary.

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Whatever you are doing today, and wherever you are doing it, I hope you have an enjoyable Sunday.

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Sunday Musings On The 15th Of January

The week has been dominated by weather. Bad weather, constant rain and strong winds. The combination has caused something to happen on the roof, resulting in a leak that is finding its way down the chimney of the wood burner, onto the stove top. So now as well as walking Ollie in slick mud and getting regularly soaked, I have to wait for a roofer to call me on Monday to discuss whether or not he is interested in doing what might be a ‘small job’. I cannot go up ladders any longer because of Vertigo, and it annoys me that the condition has stopped me from investigating the problem myself.

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Ollie started shaking his head again on Friday, so we are back treating him with the ear-gel. It has almost run out, and I suspect an expensive trip to see the Vet is on the horizon.

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The central heating is still deciding when and if it will work. Another job next week is to get a company in to try to solve the problem once and for all. Naturally, temperatures are set to go back to below freezing from tonight. Winter tests houses, and also tests my patience. January is often the most expensive month for us, and we can be sure that many things will go wrong at once.

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Yesterday was Julie’s birthday. I took her to The Chequers Inn for dinner. This is a 17th-Century Inn with great character and original features, specialising in large portions! Just over 30 minutes away by car, it is in the small village of Thompson, south of Beetley. There are some photos of it on this website.

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This evening we are meeting up with all of her family at a pub/restaurant in Dereham. So she will get to see everyone at once and continue to celebrate her birthday.

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Whatever you are doing today, and wherever you live, I hope that your Sunday is a happy one.

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Late Musings On A Jaunuary Sunday

I am late to the blog today, as we went out early to deliver gifts to my step-children and grandchildren. Because we were both ill with Covid over Christmas, this served as a substitute ‘Christmas Day’ for all of us. While we were over there, a thunderstorm started, and we drove home in torrential rain. As soon as we got home, I had to take Ollie out for a much later than usual walk. We both got soaked!

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The recovery from Covid continues. We are both testing negative, and Julie returned to work last week. As I mentioned earlier this week, the fatigue continues, and I am soon exhausted by trying to do anything physical. I appreciate this may take a long time, but at least I am able to sleep all night now.

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Weather-wise, we have unusually warm weather for the time of year, punctuated by heavy showers, and occasional gale-force winds. It doesn’t feel much like January at all, to be honest.

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I will do my best to catch up with everyone’s blogs next week.

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I hope you all had a peaceful Sunday, whatever you are doing, and wherever you live.

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Some Short Musings On New Year’s Eve 2022

We have no plans to celebrate tonight. Both still feeling flat after Covid, and not in the mood to venture out or invite anyone into the house, it will be all I can do to try to stay awake until one second past midnight.

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Tomorrow, we are having our Christmas Dinner on New Year’s Day. The turkey we couldn’t face eating when we were ill is thawing ready to go into the oven in the morning, and the stuffing, bacon, and pigs in blankets are ready to accompany it. I have a feeling it will make at least three meals, plus sandwiches and some offcuts for Ollie.

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The weather is still damp, raining on and off. The sky is battleship grey, and the cold wind is still blowing. Another quite miserable dog-walk is looming.

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Whatever you are doing tonight, I hope you enjoy it. Bid farewell to 2022 with no regrets, a year best forgotten for many of us.

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Musings On The Eighth Day

On the 21st of December, I tested positive for Covid-19 and wrote off Christmas 2022 as a non-event. The next few days became a blur of constant coughing, hardly getting any sleep, and not being able to lie down and rest.

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Between us, we tried our best to scrape up some Christmas spirit. Julie was able to watch her grandchildren opening presents on the 25th, but only via video-link on her phone. Ollie received his gifts with his usual infectious excitement, and that at least gave us both some smiles. There was no traditional dinner though. We settled for two days of eating a selection of Tapas items that involved little preparation, and no cooking.

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For the first few days, Julie had to take Ollie for his walks, as I wasn’t capable. Deciding to get some fresh air, I started taking him out again, sliding around in the mud caused by the relentless rain that has accompanied this year’s festive season. Although I carefully avoided any other walkers, I didn’t have to try too hard, as there have been few people out in the dull weather.

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Today is supposedly ‘back to normal’ in England, at least until the New Year holiday. Many people are back at work, and shops are open regular hours. Not that you would know that, here in Beetley. You could hear a pin drop in the street outside. No traffic has moved up or down the road, and nobody has walked past the house. I am the noisiest thing in Beetley this morning, as my persistent coughing punctures the silence.

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I suppose I should say I have improved. On evidence, I have. As long as my head and shoulders are propped up, I have managed some sleep over the last few nights. A luxurious seven-and-a-half hours last night alone. I have finished my 7-day course of antibiotics, and I have stopped taking the cold and flu combination tablets. So, am I better? I certainly don’t feel much better. The muscles in my chest and lower abdomen are completely shot from constant coughing. Whatever remains of the C-19 virus in my body has left me with just about enough strength to get in and out of the bath, and that’s it. If I feel a coughing fit coming on, I have to brace myself for the pain that will follow. At least I am used to that by now.

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It would be good to end on a positive note, so here it is.
I am not as bad as I was, nowhere near that bad.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, whatever you are doing.

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Musings On The Last Sunday Before Christmas.

As anyone who has read my blog this week will know, my musings are not going to be very cheerful this week. Julie tested positive for Covid-19, and has been very unwell. So far, I have avoided catching it from her, but I do sense it is inevitable that it will happen.

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Then poor Ollie started to shake his head again yesterday, so I have resumed treatment with his ear-gel.

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Our central heating is still not working properly, and the engineer will not come back to fit the part because Julie has Covid. So we are running out of wood for the log burner soon, and having great difficulties buying any locally that can be delivered before Christmas.

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It has been excessively cold all week. Not getting above freezing at all, and dropping to -8C at night. (17F) On the bright side, it is supposed to warm up here from Monday morning, and that will help. But it will still not be warm enough to cope with unreliable heating, unfortunately.

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With Christmas day falling on a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are public holidays, causing everything to shut down here until the 28th. It really couldn’t be a worse time of year for all this to happen. But I am trying to stay positive, despite it all.

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Whatever you are doing on this day, I hope life is trouble-free for you.
I really do.

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Sunday Musings 14 Days Before Christmas

The tree is decorated and shining its lights in the side window. The presents are all wrapped, and stacked around the base. Julie wrote some Christmas cards, and they are posted. With two weeks still to go, that’s pretty good, by our standards.

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The weather is the main talking point this week in Beetley. With the wind coming from a northerly direction, it got cold very quickly. Very cold. Ice on the cars, on the ground, and in the freeezing fog. There is no mistaking we are in the grip of winter, especially with the chance of snow forecast for next week here.
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Ollie finally succumbed to an ear infection, and began dropping his ear and shaking his head. Luckily, we still had some of the antibiotic gel left, and I squirted that into the affected ear. Fingers crossed we don’t have to visit the Vet before Christmas. But I never say never, not where poor Ollie’s ears are concerned.

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Julie made two trips into Norwich this week. One to take her oldest son to dinner for his birthday and go around the shops with him, and the second to accompany one of her friends who wanted to get everything in one trip. She was worn out by both trips; walking around the city, and having to stand still in shops for ages as they chose things. Now she has a very painful back, and is using her heat pads for pain relief.

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I hope you are having an enjoyable festive season so far, and that the stress of it all is not getting on top of you.

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Sunday Musings 21 Days Before Christmas

Well I have the presents I am giving Julie as the last one was delivered yesterday. Now all I have to do is get around to wrapping them, and buying her card.

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Talking of Christmas Cards, this is the first time I am not posting any to family, friends, or contacts. The price of stamps is getting ridiculous, with our privatised Royal Mail paying out fortunes to greedy shareholders. On top of that, the ordinary postal workers are striking for better pay and conditions, so cards may not arrive.
(I support the postmen and women 100%!)

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Yesterday, we went into Norwich to celebrate our grandson’s eighth birthday. It was held at a family-friendly restaurant that includes a huge play area for children. As well as the birthday boy and his young sister, the whole extended family was there. A happy celebration indeed.

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Ollie has had another good week. No head shaking or scratching, and his skin and fur in pretty good condition. I hope he manages to avoid any medical issues until the new year, if at all. He will be 11 in February, a grand old age for his breed.

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No weather moans this week, I have already posted about the leaves starting to fall.

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Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope you have a peaceful Sunday.

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