You may remember that I was too tired to post an episode of my serial the other night.

Then I woke up feeling much perkier yesterday.

But by 9 pm, I felt completely exhausted, and could hardly keep my eyes open.
I was in bed and asleep not that long after 10 pm.

I slept for over 12 hours, without stirring. When I got up late this morning, I felt as if I hadn’t even been asleep. As the day went on, I did my usual stuff on the blogs, feeling sleepier than ever.

But Ollie has to go out. So I had a bath, got dressed, and took him over to his usual favourite places. After 30 minutes, I had to sit down on a fallen tree, and could easily have stretched out and slept on it. But I had to press on, for Ollie’s sake.

After 90 minutes, I was so tired, I had to come home.

I don’t have a cough.
I don’t have a high temperature.
I don’t feel unell.

But I found this online.

‘According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough.’

Oh dear…

I will let you know what happens. Meanwhile, there may not be any more blog posts from me today.

Beetley, and The Virus

Whatever happens, 2020 will always be remembered as the ‘Year of The Coronavirus’. Life in Beetley was always pretty quiet, but this year it is even quieter.

The population of Beetley, including the hamlet of Old Beetley, is just 1,390. On a busy day, I might see perhaps ten or twelve of those people, and they will mostly be walking dogs. Almost every home here has a pet, and the majority of those are dogs.

On large dog-friendly areas like Beetley Meadows or Hoe Rough, we might be joined by prople from the next village of Gressenhall, or from the nearby market town of Dereham, four miles south. But since returning from a short trip on Tuesday, I have hardly seen anyone.

People here are taking self-isolation quite seriously. Like me, many are only venturing out to walk dogs, or to buy groceries. Even though the schools are not closed until Friday, lots of children have already been kept away from school.

My daily dog walk has become quite strange. Other walkers are keeping a distance, in some cases turning round and walking away from me and Ollie. Over on Hoe Rough today, the sight of us approaching sent one family into an apparent frenzy to avoid walking past us. I felt as if I should have a bell around my neck.

I wonder how long it will be until we have to start painting black crosses on our front doors?

Another Blogging Absence

Regular readers may recall that it is my birthday next week.

I am going away for a few days, to celebrate by visiting friends and relatives. Ollie will be coming too, so don’t worry about him.

As a result, I will not be online very much from Friday 13th until Tuesday the 17th.

Obviously, there will be no new episodes of the fiction serial during that time, or any other posts from me. I will also be unable to comment on your posts, or answer any on mine.

Once I get back on Tuesday, I will do my best to catch up.
But it is unlikely that I will be keeping up with any of your posts, so my apologies in advance.

I like to let you know, in case you think I have died! 🙂

Best wishes to everyone, Pete.


(All photos can be enlarged for detail by clicking on them)

Happisburgh is a coastal village on the eastern side of Norfolk. It is 38 miles from here, around an hour by car using small country roads. Local people pronounce the name ‘Haze-borough’. I have no idea why that is.

Given the power cut at home today, it seemed like a good idea to take Ollie out in the car, and that is where we went. The village is known mainly for its impressive lighthouse, which dates from 1791. It is still the oldest working lighthouse in the east of England, and tours can be arranged through the volunteers who run it.

The lighthouse, and the keeper’s cottages.

The sandy cliffs in that area are dangerous, as they are eroding and constantly falling onto the beach. Huge rocks have been brought it to try to protect them from the sea.

At this time of year, the sandy beaches are almost deserted.

Old coastal defences from WW2 are still dotted around the village and cliffs. This pill-box is in good condition.

The soldier’s viewpoint, from inside.

Unfortunately, Ollie did not consider walking the coast path to be a good exchange for his usual trip to Beetley Meadows, and refused to pose for a single photograph!

For more information on the lighthouse, here is a link to their website.

Happisburgh Lighthouse Open Days

Guest Post: Ollie, Dad’s Dog

I have got to make this quick. Dad’s in the bath, and has left himself logged on.
I put my photo here so you will know it is me.

I need your help. You all have to write to Dad, and tell him stuff for meeeeeeeeeeeeee
(Sorry about that, not easy to use this with paws.)

Don’t let him know though, as he doesn’t know I can use spellcheck.

First, I would like to have two dog sausages at night. One just doesn’t hit the spot. I stand and stare at him, but he doesn’t seem to realise he should give me two.

And those dry pellets he puts in my bowl. How would he like to have to eat those every day, even with some slices of chicken on top?

Tell him to give me just the chicken, and a lot more of it.

Now I admit that I have a lot of toys, but some more new ones would be nice. Why don’t you suggest that he gets me new toys? Don’t mention I asked though.

I am always a good boy, and keep out the way when Dad is eating his dinner. But when he is having some biscuits later on, I reckon he should give me more than one. He says that I have already had my Bonio Biscuit, but that’s not as nice as a tasty digestive is it?

Say something about my walks too. Dad seems to hate the mud, and when it is bad, he only stays out with me for two hours. Why don’t you tell him to make it four or five hours? It’s all right for him to come home and type in the office or watch the TV, but all I can do is go to sleep. I would like to stay out all day, until it is time for my dinner.

Tell him that please.

If I get the chance, I will let you know if it has worked!

Love, Ollie. xx

Something that isn’t fiction

I have been posting a LOT of fiction lately. Thanks to everyone who is reading it, and commenting. Thanks also to all of you who sent (and are still sending) photos to prompt the current short stories. But this blog isn’t just about fiction, as regular readers will know.

So, what else is going on, in the world of beetleypete?

The short answer is ‘not much’. That said, One of Julie’s twin daughters presented us with a lovely new granddaughter on the 5th of the month.
Mother and baby (yet to be named) are doing well, I am pleased to report.

Ollie’s fur finally grew back, just in time to get a good soaking most days out on our walks in the various ‘Named Storms’ affecting Britain at the moment. He hasn’t encountered many of his furry friends lately, as many dog-walkers are avoiding the foul weather, and are wary of the numerous trees that have been blown down. Last week, we lost another one of his oldest friends, Paddy the Border Collie. He was owned by our next-door neighbours, and was one of the first adult dogs Ollie ever met. I used to walk and feed him when they went on holiday, and he was always pleased to see me. But his back legs failed not long after he was 15, and he made his last trip to see the Vet.

My Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet has been annoying me. After working well enough until the guarantee expired, it started to be reluctant to turn on. A factory reset was suggested, but it has to be on to do that! Anyway, I deliberately ‘over-charged’ it the other night, and it finally came on. Perhaps I have been lax in shutting it down when I should? I don’t know if that is a problem, but now I turn it off completely every night, and keep my fingers crossed that it works the next morning.

Loath as I am to mention it, we haven’t had too many issues with all these unusual storms. The shrubs and hedges have survived, the tall chimney for the wood-burner is still in place, and the recently-installed TV aerial has refused to budge in high winds too. It is best to be careful when out driving, as some minor roads have a lot of water on them, and some trees are down close to the road too. But I don’t have to drive unless I need to go to the supermarket, so I am currently only going out in the car twice a week.

Julie caught an awful cold, and has been off sick from her job. Her voice is croaky, and she is flitting between being too hot, or too cold. We are confident is is not a case of Corona virus, and as she works as a doctor’s receptionist, she can be sure of getting good medical care should it be needed.

February has not been very inspiring for photography, at least not for me. So no new photos, I’m afraid. I am hoping for better weather in March, so I can celebrate my birthday with a trip somewhere, and some photos of the occasion.

That’s it for now. Sorry it’s a bit boring, but I’m a retired old man

“Oi! Wake up! You’re at the end of the post now!”

Birthday Boy! Eight Years Old!

On the 12th of February, 2012, Ollie was born late at night, in the house next door.

Three months later, he came to live with us, and has been my constant companion ever since. Hardly a moment of any day goes by when he is not close enough to me to touch, and the only time he is ever on his own is when he settles down on his bed at night.

He has mellowed my moods, given me reason to exercise and explore, and through him, I have met most of the people I know in Beetley.

Despite all his numerous surgical procedures and other medical problems, he has stuck with me loyally, and remained my best friend for those eight years.

Happy Birthday for yesterday, to the best dog anyone could ever hope to own.