Sunday Musings In A Sunny January

‘Sunny January’ continues unabated in Beetley. Unusually bright weather for the time of year, accompanied by frosty mornings, and foggy evenings. The sun is so low in the sky, and so unbelievably bright, we have to keep the curtains closed until it moves around after midday.
Not complaining, as it hasn’t rained for days!


Ollie’s recent trip to the Vet seems to have kick-started some recovery. Going back on the steroids and ear drops has stopped him shaking his head, and his fur is starting to regrow, albeit far too slowly for my liking.


Julie has been ‘decluttering’ with a vengeance. Seven bags of ‘stuff’ taken to the charity shops last week, and six more to go in the car to be dropped off next week. Most of it was clothes that no longer fit her, as she has lost weight with a change of Diabetes medication. Much of ‘the stuff’ was brand new with tags, so never worn.
There’s a lesson there, somewhere.


After shifting some storage boxes that have remained untouched in the main bedroom, we were horrified to discover that tiny carpet beetle larvae have eaten away large areas of the bedroom carpet. Okay, so it is very old, (long before we moved in, probably laid in the 1990s) and is the only flooring we haven’t changed since we moved into the house. But now we have to face spraying the area, to stop the larvae spreading onto the good carpet in other rooms. Then we will have to replace the carpet as soon as is practical to do so.
It never ends.


Cutrently, it seems that our Prime Minister may well survive the recent scandals around his leadership. Conversely, I actually think that might be a good thing, as it will give him time to act the clown and upset the electorate even more before the next general election. If someone who knows what they are doing succeeds him now, I might well be stuck with a repulsive right-wing government until my dying day.


Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone. The sun is still shining in Beetley!
(A bit, through this morning’s cloud.)


Some Sunday Musings

Life has finally returned to normal after Christmas and New Year. I couldn’t be more pleased about that, as I find comfort in routine these days.


What hasn’t returned to normal is the weather. After three days of bright sunshine, we got eighteen hours of torrential rain. With only one day below freezing, the mud hasn’t hardened, and dog-walking with Ollie is still unpleasant. The strange winter weather continues next week apparently, with temperatures climbing back up to over 10C, before falling again.


After five days on his new tablet medication, Ollie has stopped shaking his head, and is a lot calmer and more relaxed. His fur has yet to grow back, but on the plus side it does seem to have stopped falling out. Becuse he cannot have his arthritis tablets in conjunction with the steroids and antibiotics, his front legs have become stiff again, and he is not even contemplating chasing any deer or rabbits.


I still haven’t got around to having my car checked out, but I am encouraged by the fact it is running well, and there is no squeaky noise at all.
Now I have typed that, I am sure I have pushed my luck, and anticipate ‘The return of the squeak’ forthwith!


Not much else has happened worth reporting. I see that as a very good thing.


Boxing Day Sunday Musings

I hope everyone had an enjoyable 25th. It was a relaxed day here in Beetley, with present opening for me, followed by a very quiet (and cold) dog walk with Ollie. Hardly anyone was out and about at lunchtime, and we only saw one other dog being walked. It has still been raining, so the mud was bad.


Remember when Christmas morning we would see excited children out on the street? Riding new bikes or scooters, falling over as they tried out new skates, or walking in family groups in their best new clothes on their way to visit family or friends.
Well that never seems to happen anymore, certainly not in Beetley.


Ollie loved getting his wrapped presents. He was so excited, running in circles, jumping up and smelling the parcels. It was easy to forget he is almost 10 now, as he was like a small puppy again. He got a plush grey squirrel, a cow that squeaks and crackles, a ‘Nemo’ type stuffed fish, a hedgehog in a spiky ball, a squeaky hot dog in a bun, and a rubber squeaky Christmas Tree. Later on he was so worn out, he slept soundly all evening.


I did well too. A lovely heavy plush dressing gown and real sheepskin ankle-boot slippers. (Both being worn as I type this.) Three different bottles of red wine. (I had the Malbec last night.) Two boxes of chocolate-covered Brazil Nuts and two packets of pistachios. A pair of very nice stemless wine goblets, and a paperback book.


We went out to the restaurant for our Christmas meal at 2:30 pm. It was great food, and served piping hot. There were three courses, and Julie couldn’t finish her cheese board selection at the end, asking for it to be boxed up to bring home. We were the last to leave, and got home just before 4:30.


Today is called Boxing Day in England. This explains why.

The name comes from a time when the rich used to box up gifts to give to the poor. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants – a day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters.The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give Christmas boxes to their families.

I will be cooking a traditional roast Sunday dinner later, and we have a lot to do to prepare for a long day tomorrow with guests coming from around 2pm.


Life returns to normal on the 28th.


Sunday Before Christmas Musings

I lose track of the days at this time of year. By the time January 2nd is upon us, I will finally be able to stop having to look at my desk calendar to know what day it is. Things break my routine during the Chriistmas season. Dustbin days are changed, shops have different opening hours, many not opening at all. The kids are not at school, and new faces appear in the group of dog-walkers.


If you saw my post ‘The Bird Has Flown’, you will know the pigeon has finally left the garden, its wing healed.


We have our first seasonal visitors today. One of my stepsons and his girlfriend, travelling from Bedfordshire to deliver and collect presents. There will probably be no other visitors until the 27th, so we anticipate a very quiet Christmas.


The TV shows are appearing. Those usually dull ‘Specials’, reviews of the past year, the same old familiar films. As a rule, the TV season at this time of year provides little worth watching after the autumn drama series have all concluded until 2022.


Blogging is different at this time of year too. People are busy, some travelling on visits, many not blogging at all. On that subject, I need to mention Mary Smith. She is facing her last days in a hospice, dying of terminal cancer. She is unlikely to see Christmas 2021. So just for her, I am determined to make the best of it, as a tribute to one of the best bloggers, authors, and genuinely nicest people I ever met online. Please read her incredibly moving post. It will make you grateful for whatever you are doing this Christmas.


More Sunday Musings From Beetley

It’s dark before 3:30pm now, and once the early morning sun goes in by mid-afternoon, we have had some very heavy rain every day. Regular readers will know what that means for me on the dog-walks. MUD! Yes, the mud is back, so wellington boots are the only footwear option when out with Ollie.


Fuel prices are increasing dramatically in England. They seem to be going up by a few pence a litre every day, and the last time I filled up, I had to pay £8.01p for each gallon. At this rate, using the car will soon become a luxury.


It’s that time of year when you can’t find anything in the supermarkets. They change the aisles around to feature seasonal Christmas products, and stop stocking a lot of regular food items to replace them with fancy seasonal delicacies. They seem to forget that I cannot really make a nourishing evening meal out of a varied cheese selection, some shortbread biscuits, and pigs in blankets.


Large areas of Britain were devastated by Storm Arwen eight days ago. Over a million homes lost power in northern England and parts of eastern Scotland. Many also had no water, due to the supply needing to be pumped by the water companies. The government reaction has been appalling. Struggling local authorities have been trying to help by opening community centres, and sending families to hotels where possible. But the power companies have so far only managed to restore power to a quarter of those affected, and the government took over five days to send just one hundred troops to the area to help.

If this had happened in some rich commuter belt just outside London, you can bet Boris and his cronies would have had it sorted in twenty-four hours. As it stands, some people in north-east England and Scotland still have no idea when they will get power back. Shameful!


Those of you who were concerned about the injured pigeon in our back garden might like to know that as of yesterday at least, it is still alive. It has ‘moved house’ from the big shrub, and relocated to living under the leylandii hedges at the end of the garden. I am still feeding it, and making sure it has water, but it shows no signs of being able to fly yet.


As it is the fifth of December today, I really should get around to writing some Christmas cards. Maybe next week…


Sunday Musings From Beetley

The first **snow** of this winter is falling outside. Luckily, the ground is so wet after 24 hours of torrential rain, it is not settling.

It is almost December, and another year will soon be over. I think this past year will be remembered by me for watching Ollie age, and combat constant infections. Also for second dose of C-19 vaccine, then getting the booster that made me feel ill. On the plus side, it has been unusually warm until this week, (Global Warming probably) and we had a great holiday in September.

I have managed to keep my shorts on since late March, and was hoping to still be wearing them into December. But I fear that yesterday will have to be the last time for 2021, as I returned from the dog-walk chilled to the bone. As today is only 3C so far, and snowing a little, the shorts will have to go back into the wardrobe.


After my recent fall in the bath, it was Julie’s turn a few days ago. She had gone next door to talk to our neighbour, then missed a step as she stood back after ringing their doorbell. That resulted in her falling flat on her back, with a painful rebound head injury as her head hit the pavement. For a few days, she didn’t feel so good, but fortunately is much improved this morning.


Ollie’s fur continues to fall out, caused by those Paintbrush Lesions that I mentioned. There doesn’t seem much we can do, except to wait for it to grow back in due course. It seems not to concern him, and he is still enjoying his walks, and occasionally chasing a deer.


Government corruption and the buffoonery of our current Prime Minister continues unabated. When a party has such a huge majority in Parliament, it appears that makes them impervious to criticism, and immune from prosecution. The exploitation of foreign tax havens is blatant, and disgusting to behold.


Black Friday came and went, as will Cyber Monday. I might sometimes be an old fool, but I am not fool enough to fall for that marketing hype and nonsense.


Still too early for me to talk about Christmas. I haven’t even written any cards yet.


Season Of The SAD Lamp: Sunday Musings

The clocks went back one hour here last night, so we got an extra hour in bed. The downside of that is that it will be dark by around 4 pm now, and the evenings will feel long and dull. My SAD lamp is already turned on as I write this, and it’s only 9:30 am. The rain is hammering against the window, and the grey skies look to have settled in for the day. Ollie was reluctant to venture out into the garden earlier, and I suspect he just hid in the side alley after I closed the kitchen door.

I don’t blame him.


Today is Halloween Sunday. At least it is for those who celebrate it. That doesn’t include me of course. There was a party last night that went on until just after midnight. It must have been some distance away, but I could still hear the ‘thump’ of the sound system all evening.

In a quiet village like Beetley, that event was enough to get residents taking to the local Facebook forum by 9pm, (suitably called Beetley Busybodies) to complain about the noise and ask the people hosting the party to turn down the music. I am not on Facebook, my wife told me. But it did occur to me (though obviously not to those complaining) that anyone enjoying a party at their house was unlikely to be checking Facebook to see if anyone was complaining.

If this awful weather continues, I am wondering how many ‘trick or treaters’ will be venturing out later. We don’t put a pumpkin outside on the driveway, which is the signal to knock on doors in Beetley. That means we will hopefully not be bothered by anyone.


My 35-part serial ‘Outside’ concluded yesterday. I have a new one in notes, and you can have a rest from fiction until I structure it. I will be posting an overview of ‘Outside’ soon.


Many bloggers have had Christmas Countdowns on their blogs for some time now. A few of them started that in early September, before I had even taken my summer holiday. I don’t want to know how many days it is to Christmas thanks. It will come when it comes, and that always seems to be faster every year I grow older.


We accepted the quote from the landscape gardener to do the front of the property, and we are just waiting for him to give us a start date. That will hopefully be before the end of December, but will presumably depend on weather conditions. No doubt contractors have to get used to working outside in all conditions. I remember having to do something similar when I was an EMT. Kneeling in pools of rainwater, or tramping through snow in unsuitable uniform, feet freezing, and trousers soaked.

So happy I don’t have to that any longer. Except on the daily dog walks of course. 🙂


I hope you all have a great Sunday, and better weather where you live. And for those of you living in the in the far east, where it is almost Monday, I hope you have already had a great day.
Best wishes, Pete.