More May Musings On A Sunday

Such a quiet week last week, I have very little to report.


Weather news is good though. A mainly dry week, with temperatures creeping up, the mud drying out, and being able to wear shorts every day. Ollie has responded to the warmer weather by spending time in the river to cool off most days, and the buzz of insects has increased each day.


I drove to the Vet in Swaffham on Thursday to collect Ollie’s monthly supply of Arthritis tablets. Once again, the price has increased. Every month since he was prescribed them, they have increased slightly. The first batch cost just under £39, and this week that had gone up to £52. Nothing ever goes down in price, does it?


I hope that you are all having a nice Sunday, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.


Deer Hunting: No Longer What It was

Long-term readers of this blog might remember that one of Ollie’s favourite activities was to chase Deer. Over the years, he has managed to chase the three main varieties found around Beetley; Roe, White-Tailed, and Muntjac.

Of course, he never managed to catch one, and rarely even got close. Their ability to jump outclassed him, often leaving him confounded by wire fences or wooden gates. Besides, I would have called him back if he had got too close, as I would never want him to hurt one.

Over the past year, my old dog has slowed down considerably. On some occasions when we have spotted deer as close as 60 feet away, he has not even bothered to run after them. But in the close confines of the woodland area on Beetley Meadows, there are numerous Muntjacs to be found. Often not much larger than Ollie, they tend to run short distances, then go to ground in Brambles or Holly. The sharp spikes don’t seem to bother them, but Ollie knows better than to hurt himself by following them in.

We are just back from today’s walk, and in the woodland area, Ollie flushed out three of them. The two larger ones headed east, and a smaller one ran north, passing a few feet in front of us. Ollie watched them go, and made no attempt to chase any of them.

So, Deer hunting is no longer on the agenda for my old friend, it would seem.

He has realised his limitations.

May Musings On A Cold Sunday

The East of England has had some strange weather this week. It started with thunderstorms, heavy rain, and humid temperatures up to 21C. I was wearing shorts earlier this week, then yesterday I was out walking Ollie wearing a heavy winter coat, and gloves. This morning it is struggling to get above 8C, and it feels like winter inside the house.
It certainly doesn’t feel like May. We had better weather in March.


Ollie had a recurrence of head shaking on Wednesday, so it was back to the ear-wash for two days. So far, it seems to have worked. He has been lively out on his walks, and enjoying his food. Keeping my loyal dog fit and happy gets harder as he gets older, but I would never do anything else.


Food prices continue to climb, with a steady increase every week in our supermarket bill. Everyday items like Olive Oil have almost doubled in price since January, and some vegetables have disappeared from the shelves due to import problems and lack of production in Britain. I sit and wonder how large families can possibly cope, even with two working parents. Then the interest rates rose again, putting more pressure on people with mortgages on their homes, and making it harder for young people to ever buy a flat or house. Our govenment continues to blame it on everything but its own policies. The Ukraine War, the legacy of the pandemic, and runs on banks around the world.
So if that is true, how come the rich are getting richer every day? (Including our Prime Minister, and his cronies.)


Not much sunshine around, literal or metaphorical. I hope life is better where you are, and that you have an enjoyable Sunday.


First Sunday Musings For May

Weather took centre stage this past week. I was wearing shorts last Monday, in sunny, warm weather. On Tuesday I was wearing a heavy coat, and by Wednesday I was seriously considering turning the heating back on. On Saturday it rained on and off all day, and was dark enough in the afternoon to have lights on in the house by 4pm. It doesn’t feel much like May, from where I sit.


Ollie managed to stay fresh from his grooming until he decided to plunge into the river on Wednesday. Now he is back to smelling like a dog.


We had a coronation in Britain on Saturday. I had no desire to watch the archaic nonsense on TV, so Ollie got a longer than usual walk.


Tomorrow is a public holiday because of the coronation. Just another Monday for me, so I will be doing the supermarket big-shop, as the shops are open.


I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday, whatever you are doing, and wherever you are doing it.


The Last Sunday Musings For April

I had already posted some musings on Wednesday, having missed out last Sunday due to becoming forgetful. If you didn’t see that post, here’s a link.

Belated Sunday Musings On A Wednesday

As a result, today’s offering is shorter than usual.


Ollie finally had his grooming and claw-clip on Wednesday afternoon. He was long-overdue, as the failure of my old car meant he could not be taken the three miles to the grooming shop. Then when we got the new car, we had to wait for an appointment. He had to be washed twice, once in a strong shampoo, and again in his hypo-allergenic shampoo. After that, she gave him a Watermelon Face-Wash to smarten up his jowls, and clipped his claws.
It was nice to once again have a sweet-smelling dog, even though it won’t last into next week.


We remarked that we had used the central heating every day in April, due to the unseasonal cold. That finally changed today, with a rise to 16C (61F) this afternoon, and some real heat in the sunshine. I saw many people over on Beetley Meadows wearing shorts, and if this keeps up, I will be wearing them from tomorrow.


Wherever you live, I hope that you are having a pleasant Sunday, with some nice weather.


Belated Sunday Musings On A Wednesday

I have only just realised that I didn’t post any Sunday musings on the 23rd. I must be slipping! So here are some midweek ones instead.


Having just got used to our newer car and starting to enjoy it, a sudden crop of warning signals appeared on the dashboard as Julie was driving to work one morning. This naturally alarmed her, seeing a large orange spanner, an orange exclamation mark, and text advising of some kind of pollution problem. So she rang the dealership. They said it was safe to drive, as the warnings were orange, not red. Then they booked it in for the next morning for diagnostic inspection. As Julie had to go to work, she took her old car, and I drove the newer car to get it checked. They examined it while I waited, and declared that it needed a part in the exhaust sytem that controlled the exhaust emissions pollution. They could fit one in thirty minutes. Fortunately, the car is still within its short warranty period, or the bill would have been almost £350. As it is a parts-only warranty, I still had to pay £44 (plus tax) for labour. We have only had the car for seven weeks, so I am hoping we don’t see any more orange lights for a very long time.


Talking of cars, Ollie is now starting to use the folding steps to get into the back. On a trip to the Vet yesterday, he ran up without too much coaxing. But we still have to stand either side of him, or he will leap off the steps sideways. But no amount of cajoling will make him use them to exit the car, He still insists on jumping down.


The Vet pronounced that Ollie’s ear wax problem is greatly improved. One more week of ear-wash, and she doesn’t need to see him again for this issue. As it was a ‘return visit’ with no presciption necessary, we got a ‘discount’ on the fee. It still cost us £30 for her to tell us that though.


I hope you are all having a good Wednesday, wherever you are.


The Perfect Spring Day

It already felt warm when I woke up this morning, and the blue skies enhanced my mood before I had my first cup of tea.

By the time I took Ollie for his walk, the weather conditions were so perfect, it was a day I would like to save and repeat for the rest of my life.

15C, (60F) but with real warmth from the sunshine. A breeze that felt fresh and clean, but not strong enough to move plants or grasses around.

The birds were singing like a choir, and insects were buzzing in the air.

It was warm enough for shorts, but I wasn’t wearing them as I had decided it was still too early. My mistake.

Ollie could feel the warmth, and was soon in the river for a drink and a cool down. But he had the same sense of the day as me, so we headed across to Hoe Rough to double the length of the walk.

On the path leading to the new footbridge, I was startled to see two young Adders, stretched out in the rays of sunshine. It is very early to see those, and they do not normally appear when the temperature is below 25C.

As they are a poisonous snake, I took a wide route around them, making sure that Ollie didn’t notice them. A bite from one of them could kill my loyal old dog.

After the walk, I made my usual Monday ‘Big Shop’ trip to the supermarket. The inside of the car was hot, and I drove the four miles with the windows down, enjoying the feeling of warm air coming in.

So my conclusion is that today was the perfect Spring day. A day that makes you feel good to be alive and living in the countryside.

Ollie’s Vet Visit

We were able to get a quick appointment, so took Ollie to the Vet about his ears yesterday afternoon. A different Vet saw him, and she wanted him up on the examination table, rather than examine him on the floor. That was a struggle, as he has never had to stand on the high table in the past.

At least he went up the new dog steps to get ino the car (with some persuasion), even though he took them two at a time, and almost crashed into the back of the seats when he ‘landed’.

There was good news. The ear problem is not an infection. (That’s a first) It is irritation cased by the build-up of wax low down in his ear. So no antiobiotic gel is required, only a special formulation ear wash to break down the wax. Twice a day for two weeks, then a return visit to check on the progress. The Vet even said we could use olive oil, to save the cost of the ear wash, but as it was not very expensive, we took it.

That was the cheapest Vet trip we have ever had since Ollie was born, (less than £50 in total) and hopefully will get to the root of his current problem.

A Bit Behind

I had to wake up early this morning, for a ‘call of nature’. It was well before 7am, and a look outside the window told me it was pouring with rain, bleak,and very windy. It took me one nanosecond to decide to get back into bed.

As a result, I didn’t stir again until almost 10:30. Julie had to wake me up, or I may well have slept in much later.

Fortunately, I had prepared the first episode of the new serial yesterday, so had no blogging deadlines. But I was on the ‘back foot’ for the rest of the day, and have only just returned from my regular Monday Big Shop at the supermarket.

So if I have missed commenting on any of your posts, I will catch up tomorrow.

At least Ollie got his (wet and rainly) walk at roughly the right time. And the rain stopped at 3pm.

Easter Sunday Musings

Trying out Ollie’s new folding ‘dog stairs’ didn’t go well. As anyone who read my post yesterday will know, we decided to take him to Thetford Forest. Ollie cannot differentiate between different types of cars, so once the hatchback was open on the new car, he wanted to get in. Even with Julie and I standing each side of his new dog steps, he wasn’t convinced. So I put his lead on, and made him try the stairs. He scrambled up in such a panic, he managed to gouge out two nasty scratches with his claws. Our otherwise pristine new car is now slightly damaged, but we cannot really be angry with our dog. We had to get a towel for the second attempt, and laid that over the paintwork. After much encouragement, he took the steps two at a time, and finally settled into the back with no more damage.
When we got to the forest car park, he flatly refused to use the stairs to get out of the car, and jumped down instead.
Ollie’s expensive car stairs remain a work in progress.


Otherwise, it has been a quiet week. The Easter holiday required a change of plans for my shopping trips, but other than many closures today, the main shops are open, albeit with reduced hours.


Ollie has to go for his booster jabs next week, but I have yet to make a Vet’s appointment because of Easter closures. While he is there, I am going to get his ears looked at again, as he is ‘dragging’ his left ear. And on one occasion this week he refused to eat any dinner, a sure sign he is not feeling well. The Vet has told me in the past that his options are limited for those ear infections. He is too old for surgery, and the antibiotics have been so numerous they are beginning not to take effect. I hope something can be done, but I am not hopeful. Seeing Ollie in pain breaks my heart. Julie got him two new soft toys as an Easter gift. He now has a small lamb and a rabbit, and has enjoyed playing with them.


The weather is set to change tonight. Rain from the West coming in, and a wet Monday is forecast, as is the rest of next week. That is very traditional in England. The weather at Easter is notoriously bad, whatever date it falls on.


I hope you are all having a happy Easter, wherever you are.