The Last Sunday Musings For September

It has felt like a long week, for no good reason. Perhaps because Monday was a Public Holiday for the Queen’s funeral, the days have been out of synch.

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Unusually, everything closed for the day on Monday. No shops opened, not even for reduced hours. So my usual supermarket shop had to be put off until Tuesday. That made Tuesday feel like Monday, and every day after that just felt in the wrong place. By Thursday, we were both convinced it was Friday, and I was wondering why the TV was showing programmes on the wrong day.

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For Ollie of course, nothing changed. As long as he got his routine in the right order, and his walks at the right time, he didn’t notice any changes. On Friday, I had to drive to the Vet to get his repeat prescription. I had added an extra, a steroid cream that helps heal a sore spot on his chest. It worked exceptionally well in July, but soon ran out. I wanted to have some more just in case, so asked for another tube. That increased the bill to a mammoth £91. I had to remind myself once again that he is always completely worth the expense.

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After the relentless 10-day TV coverage of all things Royal, the normal news returned and I finally found out what had been happening in places other than Balmoral, Windsor castle, Westminster Abbey, and in countries outside Britain. Naturally, Monday was written off, with 24-hour coverage of the funeral on all main TV channels. Once they got back to normal on Tuesday, all the schedules had to be ‘bumped up’ by one day.

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Out on the dog-walks, we caught up with some friends (and their dogs) we had missed for the week we were away in Lincolnshire. It was back to greeting familiar dogs for Ollie, and marking his territory with an intensity that had to be seen.

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

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Sunday Musings After A Holiday

It has felt like a long week since we got back. The intense coverage of the aftermath of the Queen’s death has worn me out, with the increasingly monotonous 24/7 repeats of film tributes about her life. Not being a Royalist, I can only hope all this will come to an end after Monday’s funeral.
Somehow, I suspect it will not.

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The old saying, “I need a holiday to get over my holiday” rings true. Despite a very enjoyable time, it doesn’t really feel as if we are refreshed and relaxed. The few days since we got back have seen us both quite tired, and not really in the mood to get on with anything. As for Ollie, he is still sleeping more than ever, and reluctant to rise from his bed in the mornings.

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There have been a couple of wet dog walks, as the exceptionally dry summer has been replaced by the arrival of a definite autumn. It has felt cold too. Dropping from record temperatures well above 30c to a daytime best of just 14C has been something of a shock. At least we no longer have to have a fan running to get to sleep at night.

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I have put the last of the holiday photos up on the blog, and started to write the remaining photo-prompt stories from photos received in 2020. By the end of the month, I should be ready to start the next fiction serial.

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Just to remind us that Covid-19 is still very much an issue, I received an invitation to book my annual booster innoculation. The first slot available was at the end of November.

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

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Holiday Snaps (5)

We took the short drive of seven miles to Chapel Point, near Chapel St Leonards. There is a Coastguard Station there, as it affords marvellous views along the coast. It has a smart viewing gallery inside, and a cafe. But as it was a warm day, we decided to sit on a table outside the Seascape Cafe and enjoy the view.

(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Side view.

Main building and car park.

Ollie on the outside decking with his water bowl. As usual, he wasn’t cooperating with the camera.

Julie at Chapel Point cafe.

Julie cuddling Ollie to try to make him forget the camera.

After that we drove into the small seaside town of Chapel St Leonards, and had a walk along the seafront. This pub has tables on a fake pirate ship on the beach, and is very popular.

Julie took Ollie to a bench to give him more water, so I was able to stand some way off and get a photo. Perhaps the best one I got of him all week.

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.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g503974-d7021559-Reviews-or20-Cleethorpes_Country_Park-Cleethorpes_Lincolnshire_England.html

(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.

Holiday Snaps (1)

Because we have been to the same place many times in the past few years, I didn’t take many photos last week. I only took one camera, the Fuji X-30 that I bought some years ago. I will be featuring some of the photos I took over the next few days.

(All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Ollie was in the cabin, and not happy about having his photo taken. So Julie streched out on a sofa and gave him a stroke to keep him still. This means the photo is not very sharp, and her hand is blurred.

The cabin we stayed in is in the garden of the only large hotel in the town. The beach and seafront are just the other side of the road. The beaches stretch for miles, and were mostly deserted. I spotted a couple walking their small dog, and took this to show the scale.

This man was well-prepared for sea-fishing from his chosen spot on the beach. He was the only fisherman there that day. The first photo shows him isolated on the beach, and the second is zoomed in for a closer look. He had to move soon after they were taken as the tide was coming in fast.

More to come from Lincolnshire tomorrow.

Back To Reality Musings

We returned from our holiday on Monday afternoon, and had things to do yesterday. So I have not been online from the 4th, until this morning.
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We were lucky with the weather, despite some overnight rain and an occasional heavy shower during the day, we managed to avoid getting wet and stayed in pleasant sunshine. Like most people do on holiday, I had too much to eat, and a lot more wine than I would have at home. Ollie had a wonderful time meeting new dogs, (including two Sharpeis) but he came home exhausted by the extra exercise of long walks along the seafront. He has been sleeping all the time since Monday, save for his walks across Beetley Meadows.

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It felt strange for me to not be blogging of course, but I am back today, starting from scratch. This means that I have replied to comments on my posts while I was away, but have not managed to tackle the hundreds of posts of bloggers I follow. By the weekend, I should be back to my normal routine.

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Thanks to everyone who read my older posts while I was gone. It was encouraging to discover I had regular views every day, even when not posting anything.

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Quite a lot happened while we were on holiday, including the death of the Queen, and Ukraine retaking ground in the ongoing war against Russia. But I watched little or no TV, as I had a porch to sit on, and watched the world go by outside instead. I make no comment about the death of Elizabeth II, and the media circus that has accompanied her passing. Everyone who reads this blog will know I am not a royalist, and have no interest in anything to do with the British royal family.

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After an enjoyable time breathing sea air, and travelling around a different part of England, I am actually looking forward to re-establishing my routine with Ollie. Julie has today off work, so it will be spent quietly, with a necessary supermarket shop and some catching up on domestic things.

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I hope you have all had an enjoyable week while we have been away, and I will catch up with all of your blogs soon.

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A Long Day

Getting ready to go on holiday can be quite tiring. (At my age, anyway)

We were up early. Choosing clothes to take, making lists so we don’t forget things like chargers for phones, and Ollie’s requirements for a week away.

Ironing can be hot work on a 25C day, and we both did a lot of that.

Ollie had to be walked, and some bags were packed ready for Monday. One thing about taking the car on a holiday in England, you take too much stuff. Lots of weather considerations apply.

Will it rain? Do I need a coat for the evenings? I should take some shoes for wet weather, just in case. Before you know it, you have enough for three weeks, let alone one.

The whittling-down begins.

Three pairs of shoes should be enough, though I should chuck the wellies and umbrella in the car, in case of inclement weather. At least one ‘smart’ set of clothes is necessary, as we will be eating out for our wedding anniversary on the tenth. And how many toys should we take for Ollie? Two should be enough, but three will nail it.

Adding a couple of fleeces for sitting on the verandah after dark, and making sure I have enough boxer shorts for seven days, plus extras. And very soon, it is all coming together.

Bt 1pm, it feels more like 7pm, and we are both yawning. Then Ollie gets his chicken dinner, and he starts yawning too. Julie has a hair appointment for 5pm, to get a much needed holiday trim. I have already dealt with what hair I have left by clippering it off yesterday.

Oh, the toiletries? They have to wait until Monday morning, as we have to use them all before we leave on Monday.

It is now 6:30pm, and feels like midnight. Time to get dinner ready.

The Last Sunday Musings In August

Feeling quite positive this week, so no moans for a change.

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After another burst of ‘big heat’, heavy storms broke the humidity and made life more pleasant, especially for Ollie.

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Despite not starting a new fiction serial on my blog, I have been enjoying finding old photos online and compiling them into nostalgia posts on my blog. And they seem to be popular with readers too.

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Ollie got his bath and claw trim, and feels sleek for the first time in a long while. The groomer said his skin was in good condition, so that made me happy.

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Next week, we will begin preparing for our holiday on Monday week. Sorting out clothes, making lists of things we must not forget to take in the car, and charging up electronic devices like cameras, tablet, and phones. Julie was tempted to look at the long-range weather forecast for where we are going, and it currently predicts one day of rain on the Tuesday. One out of seven won’t be that bad, if they got it right of course.

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Tomorrow is a public holiday in England, August Bank Holiday Monday. But it will just be ‘Monday’ for us, as going anywhere near the coast or to places open to the public will be sure to be jam-packed with visitors. As the shops are open until 4pm, I will probably do my usual supermarket ‘big shop’ for the week. Not very exciting, but then I have a holiday to anticipate!

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

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Ollie Looking His Best

Yesterday, I took Ollie to the groomer at 2 in the afternoon. She took one look at the amount of fur he was shedding and said, “I’m going to need an extra thirty minutes, so pick him up at 3:30”.

That was okay, as I had stuff to do.

The first trip was back to the Doctor’s, where my wife works. I had to hand in a ‘sample container’, and she was at the desk when I arrived. However, she needed someone else to book it in, as she is not allowed to deal with anything to do with her own family.

After that, I had to drive to the Vet in Swaffham, to collect Ollie’s regular prescription of Arthritis tablets. I went the back way, along the country lanes and through nice little villages. It made a refreshing change to avoid the busy A47 main road, even if it took 15 minutes longer.

However, it had been storming and raining since the early hours. After so long without significant rain, many roads were awash with water running straight off of the bone-dry fields. And I had to use my windscreen wipers for the first time in a very long while.

When I got to the Vet’s it was very quiet, and no customers were inside with their pets. So I jinxed the staff by saying out loud, “I have never seen it so quiet in here”. A lady told me off for saying that, then gave me the tablets. I was surprised that the price had increased since last month. In a little over a year, the 30 tablets have increased from a monthly cost of £38, to today’s price of £49.71. That’s almost £600 a year, just to try to keep our beloved dog pain-free.

He’s worth it though, of course he is.

By the time I got back to the groomer’s in Scarning, Ollie was ready, and excited to see me. He looks really good, smells fresh, and his claws are clipped as short as is sensible.

But I wonder how long it will be until he is like a smelly old rug once again.

Musings On An August Sunday

Well, I have something positive to report. My old car passed the MOT test, and had its main annual service. The price was exactly what I had been quoted, and I should be okay for another year of driving.
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Ollie is still losing fur in his big summer moult. I brushed him for almost 30 minutes the other day, and filled a large cardboard box with all the compressed fur that came out. I put the fur at the end of the garden, in case some local birds want to take it to make their nests more comfortable. Then he was booked in for a full grooming session next Thursday. Claws clipped, a good fur strip, and a refreshing double shampoo. That should make him feel better, as well as look and smell better.

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After some more stifling days and uncomfortable nights, the temperatures went down considerably. We even had some significant rain one morning. But despite the temperature drop, it still feels humid and uncomfortable by the evening.

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Ukraine seems to be out of the news again. The BBC has been concentrating on the Conservative leadership election, and the drop in exam pass rates for prospective university entrants. As only 160,000 members of the Conservative party can vote to choose who wil be the next Prime Minister, I see it as excessive publicity for Truss and Sunak, the two candidates. Whichever one wins, it will make no difference to me. Situation normal, make life easier for the rich.

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

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