Sunday Musings On A Sunny Morning

Greeted by sunshine and 20 degrees this morning. (68F) That’s cheerful, and (almost) compensated for the crows waking me up at 4:30am and it taking me ages to get back to sleep again.

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Still no news about whether or not my driving licence will be renewed. Approaching four months since my application, and no reply to the medical forms I sent off recently. So I am driving around as much as I can, while I still can.

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On Monday and Tuesday this week, we had the gardening company in to smarten up the back patio. The old wooden dining table had to go, as some of the wood had rotted. I broke it up to use on the log-burner next winter. We will evetually get a smaller table. The 8-seater table bought in 2011 has only been used to full effect on two occasions since, and spent most of it’s time under a cover, or being soaked by unexpected rain. One of those ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ purchases.

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I’m giving UK politics and the war in Ukraine a miss this week. I expect, like me, most of you are worn out with all that this year.

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Lots of news about the Queen’s 70th Jubilee celebrations. Patriotic bunting in supermarkets, ‘Platinum Jubilee’ special offers, and various sycophantic reports and celebratory concerts and events. Regular readers will know I am not in favour of a monarchy, so you can guarantee I will be showing no interest in the Jubilee whatsoever.

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Ollie has been back cooling off in the river, and started to eat his dinners properly again after a few days where he seemed to be starving himself deliberately. It was a relief when he began to eat everything again.

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I wish you all a happy and peaceful Sunday, wherever you happen to be.

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Subdued Sunday Musings

I still can’t seem to shake my blogging malaise. I may have to resort to reblogging some of my oldest posts, just to keep my interest going.

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Yesterday was the warmest day of the year so far. I actually felt uncomfortably warm during the night, finding myself sleeping outside the covers at one stage. That warmth is triggering thundery rain apparently, forecast to arrive in Beetley soon.

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One blogger I follow mentioned that 2022 seems to be going by very quickly. I know how she feels. It seems like only yesterday that it was my birthday, not two months ago.

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Ollie is happy enough, so that makes me feel calm. Despite his arthritis becoming visibly worse, he is still playing with his toys and enjoying his walks. It feels strange to imagine life without him. So I try not to.

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The politics in this country is still disgusting me, and the war continues in Ukraine with Russia appearing to be unable to make further progress in their invasion. Another mass shooting in America, but they will never give up their guns. Israeli Army and police still attacking Palestinians in Israel, and Britain and Ireland and the EU squabbling about Northern Ireland. At times I grow weary of this world.

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

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Ollie: Clean And Fresh

After a long wait for a groomer appointment, and a revised day and time, I finally took Ollie for his much-needed bath and claw trim yesterday.

When I picked him up at 5:30 pm, he was so pleased to see me he jumped up excitedly, something he rarely does.

His fur feels sleek and soft, he smells like fresh laundry, and he will be able to run around better without long claws.

All I have to do now is to try keep him out of the river for a few days!

Sunday Musings: Still Becalmed

I have still not been posting much, awaiting some inspiration, the return of my blogging mojo, or just a change of mood. I have no idea why I feel so ‘unsettled’ at the moment.

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Ollie’s groomer appointment has been put off until Friday now, because of staff problems. One day won’t make much of a difference I suppose.

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If I have missed any of your posts this week, or failed to comment on them, my apologies. The same goes for Twitter, which I have not really been following for a while now.

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The weather has been quite good. In fact on Friday it got to 22C and very sunny. It felt like Summer, despite some torrential downpours the night before, and rain early on Saturday.

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It interests me to look at my blog stats when I am not posting. I have often advised new bloggers that ‘Content is king’. No posts = no views. I have gone from around 375-450 views a day, down to 70, then 50, then 21. I have never had 0 views of my blog since it started in 2012, but could be heading in that direction. This is not a complaint, just an observation.

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After all this time, I was finally contacted by the DVLA about my driving licence. They rang me the other day, and it was not good news. They want to send me for an ‘independent’ eye test. I told the lady that my Opthalmology Consultant at Norwich Hospital is happy for me to drive, and I have been told I am safe to do so. That was of no interest to her, and she told me that “We do not accept that, only the opinion of our nominated optician”. So they disregard the opinion of a qualified doctor, and take the word of an assistant in a high street Optician’s shop. More bad news followed. She advised me that if I fail their ‘designated eye test’, my licence will be permanently revoked.
Perhaps that is why I feel ‘unsettled’? Never being able to drive again would impact my entire wellbeing.

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I hope you all have a peaceful Sunday. If you have a driving licence, make the most of it while you can.

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The Last Sunday Musings For April

Well it is May next week, and we finally got some sunnier and warmer weather by yesterday. Depite being one of the official driest months of April ever, it left us feeling cold enough to have to put the heating on by Thursday. Fingers crossed that May will be warmer, and stay dry too.

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May also marks three months since I applied to renew my driving licence, which in case anyone was wondering, has still not arrived.
(It’s not complusory for you to wonder, so don’t worry if you haven’t been)

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We finally got Ollie an appointment at the groomer, but not until the 12th of May. By then his claws will be rather too long, and he will be smelling like a musty old carpet.
At least his groomer recovered from her bout of Covid-19, which we were pleased to hear.

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Political news here continues to astound me. On Saturday, a Conservative MP was forced to resign after it was revealed he had been watching pornography on his phone during a parliamentary session in the House of Commons. His unbelievable confession was that he was trying to access a Tractor website, (he also has a farm, as if his MP salary is not enough) and inadvertantly typed in the URL for a popular porn site instead. But despite that ‘mistake’, he watched the porn anyway.

Twice. The second time during a meeting in a parliamentary office.

As well as the outrage that this buffoon thought so little of his role that he watched porn in parliament, I would like to know why he thought it would have been okay if he had been looking at new tractors instead. He is being paid over £84,000 ($106,000) a year to represent his voters, plus a huge expense account, subsidised food and alcohol, and energy bills paid.
It would be shameful, if the despicable man had any shame to start with.

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Gloomy news that Russia intends to have a general mobilisation of all reservists and conscripts, following the annual May ‘Victory Parade’ in Red Square. And Putin has cancer, so is going in for surgery. If it turns out he has nothing to live for, that could be very bad news for Europe.

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It is getting harder to stay chirpy, but I hope everyone has an enjoyable and peaceful Sunday.

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Sunday Musings As The Branches Fall

This weekend has been dominated by the completion of the tree trimming. Two days of work on the largest Oak tree, the one in our back garden. After a late start and early finish yesterday, the contractors were back early this morning, and got busy as soon as they arrived. As I sit typing this, I can hear branches falling at the back, and the men talking as larger sections are lowered down on ropes. Hopefully, this cut should last us for six years. If I am still around in 2028, I won’t be using the same unreliable company, that’s for sure.

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The weather has been remarkably good of late. It was announced on the BBC that this has been one of the driest Aprils on record. I am certainly not complaining about that, even if keen gardeners locally are having to use hosepipes to water their gardens. Mud-free dog walking is a joy indeed!

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I managed to get Ollie booked in next week for his booster injections at the Vet. But so far, the groomer still has no appointments, so his much-needed bath will have to wait.

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Anyone else notice how Ukraine is starting to ‘slip’ down the news? It has come second to whether or not Boris Johnson should resign, and all the wheeling and dealing going on to try to decide who might succeed him. One day this week, Ukraine came third, after the Economics Management Finance conference, and Boris’s antics. There was a better report late one night, speculating that once Putin has a corridor across southern Ukraine, he will move against Moldova next. That country is not in NATO, but it will be interesting to see the world reaction if Russia tries to occupy it.

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Prices of petrol and diesel are still at an all-time high here, but at least the panic buying has stopped. To keep those panic buyers happy, there is something else to worry about stocking up on. Sunflower Oil is one of the largest exports from Ukraine, so because of the war there is going to be a European shortage of the stuff. I don’t use it, but no doubt all other oils, including the Olive Oil I do buy, will soon be sold out. After the first announcement on the news, the ‘big three’ supermarkets had to ration sales of it within hours. Nice to know that those panic buyers have got nothing better to do with their lives.

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I hope you all have a peaceful and enjoyable Sunday, wherever you are.

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Easter Sunday Musings From Beetley

My Easter greetings to everyone who is celebrating today as a religious holiday, whatever your religion. It is one of the few days left when shops still close all day.

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We are spending the day quietly, treated just like any other Sunday. This year, we are not even having a traditional roast dinner. Turkey at Easter is still popular here.

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Most of you will know that we had a lovely surprise on Friday, the announcement of the ‘secret wedding’ of one of Julie’s daughters on the island of Cyprus.
Congratulations from me to the happy couple.

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On the way back from the celebratory family meal, I had warning lights coming on in my car. Investigating in daylight yesterday, it would appear that the ‘sealed coolant system’ is leaking, or the electric fan is not working properly. I had to add water to the overflow tank of the radiator for the first time in 10 years. I am hoping that will cure the issue for now, but I suspect a wallet-emptying visit to a car repairer is on the near horizon. And just when I had finally got permission to drive again too!
(In case you were wondering, my new driving licence has still not arrived after 11 weeks.)

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Ollie was supposed to have a much needed bath and claw trim on Thursday. I took him to the groomer that afternoon, only to be told that the lady that looks after him was off sick with Covid-19, and we would have to rebook for another time. There are so many dog-owners in this area that getting an appointment is on a par with obtaining an audience with Queen Elizabeth.

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Next weekend, the tree surgeons are returning to finish the rest of the Oak tree in our back garden. (Wind speed permitting.) It seems that finding qualified abseilers who can cut branches is also in the dog-grooming category.

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Have a happy day, whatever you are doing.

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Sunday Musings On A Sunny Afternoon

The weather has been very ‘English’ this week. We have had sunshine, heavy showers, hailstorms, normal rain, below freezing temperatures, and now it is 13C and sunny.

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Most of you will know by now that although I have still not received my renewed driving licence, I do have written permission from Norfolk Police to drive until it arrives. This meant I was able to do something very normal yesterday, popping out to the supermarket on my own. Not in the least exciting, but nonetheless enjoyable after being ‘grounded’ since the 15th of March. It also means that I can take Ollie to the groomer next week, and Julie doesn’t have to take time off work.

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Panic buying and hoarding of petrol and diesel continues unabated in this area. The only petrol staton stil open for business has huge queues snaking around it. As a result, Julie’s car is very low on petrol. Fortunately my car is almost full of diesel, so she can use that when she needs to.

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Boris Johnson went to Ukraine yesterday, trying to make himself look like a world leader in time of war. He promised untold millions of pounds in aid to Ukraine, including the supply of anti-ship missiles and armoured vehicles. Let’s hope the intolerable buffoon manages not to go too far, and declare war on Russia.

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Not much else has happened worth musing about this week, so I will leave it there, and hope you all had a happy Sunday.

Sunday Stuff: On The First Sunday Of April

The weather remains sunny but cold. Beetley escaped the forecast snow, though there was some snowfall as close as two miles south.

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It might just be me, but this year seems to be going by very fast. Three months in, fourth month on the calendar, and it still seems to me that Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago.

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Ollie has stopped moulting so badly, so I am hoping his new summer coat is fully grown now. He is still rather sluggish on his walks, becoming stiff-legged after less than 90 minutes.

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We have our grandson here. He stayed overnight yesterday, and Julie took him to the cinema to see ‘Sonic 2’. He loved it, she dropped off to sleep in the warm dark auditorium. When they got back, we took him for dinner at a local pub, and later this afternoon Julie will drive him home.

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Panic buying of petrol and diesel has started again, following climate change protesters blocking some fuel depots. Now all three petrol stations in town are closed, as they have run out of everything. I believe it is high time the fuel retailers imposed a minimum/maximum purchase limit of £50, to stop people constantly topping up car tanks.

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Still no news about my driving licence. I contacted my member of parliament by email, and his staff have assured me that he will investigate my case with the DVLA. The small irritations of me not being able to drive are beginning to bite. Julie was asked to work extra hours next Thursday, and would have welcomed the additional salary. However, Ollie has a long-term booking at the groomer for that day, and we are unable to change it. So she has to decline working overtime, as she will have to drive Ollie to Scarning. This also impacted with Ollie’s Vet trip to get his annual booster jabs. We cannot tie in a time when a Vet is available and Julie is around to drive. Now she has to try to change shifts next week so we can arrange to take Ollie to Swaffham.

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All of us are feeling the pinch of prices rising on everything. The biggest rises are yet to come, especially on bread and flour, as long as the war in Ukraine continues. Even if it stopped now, Ukraine has been unable to plant wheat, and it is one of the biggest exporters of that staple. I am expecting things to get much worse by late summer, and possibly far worse than that by October, when the utility companies add their second massive increase on gas and electricity prices just before we face the winter months.

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I hope you can stay chirpy, and make the most of your Sunday.

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