A Busy Wednesday

Yesterday was a big break in routine for me.

Julie had to renew her passport. She had asked about a postal renewal, and was told it would take ten weeks at least. As she is travelling abroad in March, her only option was to go to the main Passport Office for the East of England. That is 65 miles each way from Beetley in the city of Peterborough, around 90 minutes each way by car.

I offered to drive her there in her car in case of parking issues, so I was up much earlier than usual, and took Ollie out while it was still below freezing, and very frosty. As it turned out, we parked easily, and were also early for her pre-booked appointment. It all went smoothly inside, (I was not allowed in, so waited ih the car) But even with that ‘personal appearance’, she was still unable to return home with a new passport. They will send it by insured courier within seven days.

The journey home was even easier, and I was back in plenty of time to give Ollie his favourite dinner of cold chicken.

Forty minutes later, the car dealership phoned to say my car was ready for collection. Out we went again, just 4 miles each way this time. I was told that the mechanic was able to remove the magnet and electrical connection that was stopping the gear selector going into and out of park, but he also had to rig a small cable below the selector in case the ‘override’ happened again for any reason. Just pull it, and the selector moves easily. I would have preferred a new part, but had already been told it was no longer available.

Then the mechanic showing me how to operate the cable-pull informed me that if the very small part had been available, it would have cost me a staggering £500! Add to that the fitting charge of well-over £200, and I would not have been a happy bunny.

The final bill was £198, intead of around £740 had they fitted a new part. As I drove home, I had never been so grateful for a part no longer being in stock.

Sunday Musings on The 5th of February

The shortest month is here. Even only three days fewer than January still seems to make it fly by much faster.

————————————————————————————–

I am taking a break from posting Serial Fiction for a while, so you may notice less posts overall from me this month.

—————————————————————————————

Most of you will have read that my car broke down on Friday, and now rests in the local dealership awaiting parts next week. I wish I could be more confident that they will arrive on time, but the head-shaking of the service manager gave me the opposite indication. I have had to cancel Ollie’s check-up visit at the Vet next week, as Julie’s car is not suitable to get Ollie into except in an emergency. I am still applying the ear gel though, and it does appear to be helping him a lot.

—————————————————————————————-

At least the weather has been kind. Much warmer, up to 12C, no rain, and the Spring flowers are appearing over on Beetley Meadows. Yesterday I saw Snowdrops, Crocuses, and even some small Daffodils.

—————————————————————————————–

Our little granddaughter is three years old today. Yesterday evening we had a family meal in a nice restaurant, and twelve of us celebrated her big day. She loved her birthday balloon and all of her presents, and was delighted when we sang Happy Birthday to her.

——————————————————————————————

Whatever you are doing today, I hope it makes you happy.

——————————————————————————————

The Last Sunday Musings For January

The weather warmed up after the recent ‘big chill’. We went from -7C one night, to +4C the next day. Still cold, especially in the wind, but nowhere near as bad as the previous weeks.

—————————————————————————————

On Thursday the heating engineer returned by arrangement, this time to do a complete service of the heating system. We only needed one new complete part, a condenser, and its partly-perished hose. He even called in a colleague to help realign and tighten the flue pipe, securing it solidly into the system. Before he left, he looked at the main bedroom radiator, which had a ‘stuck’ thermostat. Two minutes later, and that was working too. I didn’t even have to pay him anything that afternoon, as his company will send me a detailed invoice by email, in due course. It was a great service all round, and I really don’t care how much the bill will be, as the heating is working better than ever.

—————————————————————————————-

Ollie began shaking his head again on Thursday evening, and we knew that he would have to go back to the Vet’s. When I rang them on Friday morning, I was pleased to be offered an appointment that same afternoon. Ollie was prescribed the same treatment he had last time, as it had worked so well. But this time he has to be checked over in ten days, to ensure that the swelling has gone down inside his ears. He hates me putting the tube into his ears, and sometimes gives me a warning growl. So we worked out a system where Julie shows him a treat, then holds his head still. When it is over, he gets the treat and soon forgets his discomfort.
If only we could be as resiilient as dogs! (Doughnuts would work as my treat.)

—————————————————————————————–

Julie has not been into work at all this week, due to a persistent cough and sore throat that made her lose her voice and kept her awake at night. Naturally, she tested for Covid, but was negative. And this time, I didn’t catch it! (Whatever it was…)

——————————————————————————————

I am wishing you a happy and peaceful Sunday, wherever you are.

——————————————————————————————

Sunday Musings After A Cold Week

As the post title suggests, it has been a very cold week. When the heating failed to work on Tuesday, we tried calling a different engineer. It just so happened that he was at his mother’s house nearby, so he came round immediately. He could tell the boiler was not firing correctly, but as he had no experience of that make of boiler, he gave us another contact phone number. The second engineer actually lives at the end of our street, so agreed to come and look at the problem on his way home. He diagnosed the fault in moments, and fitted a small replacement part that solved the issue, though he did say we need the boiler system extensively serviced. As he cannot do the service at the moment, he took no money for his work or the replacement part on Tuesday, and told us to pay later.

—————————————————————————————

One great thing about living in Beetley, you get to meet a lot of very honest and fair people.

—————————————————————————————-

Ollie’s head-shaking seems to have subsided. His appetite is huge at the moment, perhaps caused by feeling the cold. But we have to control what he eats, because he is no longer as active as he used to be.

—————————————————————————————–

The freezing conditions continue, but at least they come with bright sunny days and blue skies. It is forecast to climb well above freezing next week, but those slightly warmer temperatures will also bring cloud and rain.

——————————————————————————————

I try not to wish my life away yearning for the longer days and brighter evenings that will come soon. Trying to find something positive about January and February is not easy though, and I struggle with the dark afternoons, using my SAD lamp when necessary.

——————————————————————————————-

Whatever you are doing today, and wherever you are doing it, I hope you have an enjoyable Sunday.

——————————————————————————————–

Sunday Musings On The 15th Of January

The week has been dominated by weather. Bad weather, constant rain and strong winds. The combination has caused something to happen on the roof, resulting in a leak that is finding its way down the chimney of the wood burner, onto the stove top. So now as well as walking Ollie in slick mud and getting regularly soaked, I have to wait for a roofer to call me on Monday to discuss whether or not he is interested in doing what might be a ‘small job’. I cannot go up ladders any longer because of Vertigo, and it annoys me that the condition has stopped me from investigating the problem myself.

—————————————————————————————

Ollie started shaking his head again on Friday, so we are back treating him with the ear-gel. It has almost run out, and I suspect an expensive trip to see the Vet is on the horizon.

—————————————————————————————-

The central heating is still deciding when and if it will work. Another job next week is to get a company in to try to solve the problem once and for all. Naturally, temperatures are set to go back to below freezing from tonight. Winter tests houses, and also tests my patience. January is often the most expensive month for us, and we can be sure that many things will go wrong at once.

—————————————————————————————–

Yesterday was Julie’s birthday. I took her to The Chequers Inn for dinner. This is a 17th-Century Inn with great character and original features, specialising in large portions! Just over 30 minutes away by car, it is in the small village of Thompson, south of Beetley. There are some photos of it on this website.

Home


This evening we are meeting up with all of her family at a pub/restaurant in Dereham. So she will get to see everyone at once and continue to celebrate her birthday.

——————————————————————————————

Whatever you are doing today, and wherever you live, I hope that your Sunday is a happy one.

——————————————————————————————-

Late Musings On A Jaunuary Sunday

I am late to the blog today, as we went out early to deliver gifts to my step-children and grandchildren. Because we were both ill with Covid over Christmas, this served as a substitute ‘Christmas Day’ for all of us. While we were over there, a thunderstorm started, and we drove home in torrential rain. As soon as we got home, I had to take Ollie out for a much later than usual walk. We both got soaked!

—————————————————————————————

The recovery from Covid continues. We are both testing negative, and Julie returned to work last week. As I mentioned earlier this week, the fatigue continues, and I am soon exhausted by trying to do anything physical. I appreciate this may take a long time, but at least I am able to sleep all night now.

—————————————————————————————-

Weather-wise, we have unusually warm weather for the time of year, punctuated by heavy showers, and occasional gale-force winds. It doesn’t feel much like January at all, to be honest.

—————————————————————————————–

I will do my best to catch up with everyone’s blogs next week.

——————————————————————————————

I hope you all had a peaceful Sunday, whatever you are doing, and wherever you live.

——————————————————————————————-

Musings On The Eighth Day

On the 21st of December, I tested positive for Covid-19 and wrote off Christmas 2022 as a non-event. The next few days became a blur of constant coughing, hardly getting any sleep, and not being able to lie down and rest.

—————————————————————————————

Between us, we tried our best to scrape up some Christmas spirit. Julie was able to watch her grandchildren opening presents on the 25th, but only via video-link on her phone. Ollie received his gifts with his usual infectious excitement, and that at least gave us both some smiles. There was no traditional dinner though. We settled for two days of eating a selection of Tapas items that involved little preparation, and no cooking.

—————————————————————————————-

For the first few days, Julie had to take Ollie for his walks, as I wasn’t capable. Deciding to get some fresh air, I started taking him out again, sliding around in the mud caused by the relentless rain that has accompanied this year’s festive season. Although I carefully avoided any other walkers, I didn’t have to try too hard, as there have been few people out in the dull weather.

—————————————————————————————–

Today is supposedly ‘back to normal’ in England, at least until the New Year holiday. Many people are back at work, and shops are open regular hours. Not that you would know that, here in Beetley. You could hear a pin drop in the street outside. No traffic has moved up or down the road, and nobody has walked past the house. I am the noisiest thing in Beetley this morning, as my persistent coughing punctures the silence.

——————————————————————————————

I suppose I should say I have improved. On evidence, I have. As long as my head and shoulders are propped up, I have managed some sleep over the last few nights. A luxurious seven-and-a-half hours last night alone. I have finished my 7-day course of antibiotics, and I have stopped taking the cold and flu combination tablets. So, am I better? I certainly don’t feel much better. The muscles in my chest and lower abdomen are completely shot from constant coughing. Whatever remains of the C-19 virus in my body has left me with just about enough strength to get in and out of the bath, and that’s it. If I feel a coughing fit coming on, I have to brace myself for the pain that will follow. At least I am used to that by now.

——————————————————————————————–

It would be good to end on a positive note, so here it is.
I am not as bad as I was, nowhere near that bad.
I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, whatever you are doing.

———————————————————————————————

Ollie Update

I know many of you like to be informed about what is happening with Ollie. Well, something new has happened. As if our poor dog hasn’t suffered enough in his almost 11 years.

With us both living with full-blown Covid, Julie elected to take Ollie for his walk today. That saved me going out in the freezing rain when I was feeling like death warmed up. On her return, she was concerned. Ollie had tried to poo as usual, but he had trouble passing it, and eventually just started to bleed copiously from his rear end. It didn’t seem to upset him unduly, but naturally worried us and we didn’t want to be faced with an emergency over the Christmas shutdown period.

So Julie rang the Vet and arranged that they would see Ollie under Covid rules, with her wearing a mask. She got an appointment for 4pm. The Vet did the usual examinations, and had an immediate diagnosis. Colitis. Ollie has an inflammation of the colon, caused by the interior version of the frequent exterior skin infections he gets every year.

She managed to put Julie’s mind at rest. It is very common, and easily treated. A prescription of antibiotics, and feed to be changed to small amounts several times a day, instead of one big meal.

Now everyone in this small house has something. Even our beloved pet.

Musings On The Last Sunday Before Christmas.

As anyone who has read my blog this week will know, my musings are not going to be very cheerful this week. Julie tested positive for Covid-19, and has been very unwell. So far, I have avoided catching it from her, but I do sense it is inevitable that it will happen.

—————————————————————————————-

Then poor Ollie started to shake his head again yesterday, so I have resumed treatment with his ear-gel.

—————————————————————————————–

Our central heating is still not working properly, and the engineer will not come back to fit the part because Julie has Covid. So we are running out of wood for the log burner soon, and having great difficulties buying any locally that can be delivered before Christmas.

——————————————————————————————

It has been excessively cold all week. Not getting above freezing at all, and dropping to -8C at night. (17F) On the bright side, it is supposed to warm up here from Monday morning, and that will help. But it will still not be warm enough to cope with unreliable heating, unfortunately.

——————————————————————————————-

With Christmas day falling on a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are public holidays, causing everything to shut down here until the 28th. It really couldn’t be a worse time of year for all this to happen. But I am trying to stay positive, despite it all.

——————————————————————————————–

Whatever you are doing on this day, I hope life is trouble-free for you.
I really do.

———————————————————————————————

Sunday Musings 14 Days Before Christmas

The tree is decorated and shining its lights in the side window. The presents are all wrapped, and stacked around the base. Julie wrote some Christmas cards, and they are posted. With two weeks still to go, that’s pretty good, by our standards.

—————————————————————————————

The weather is the main talking point this week in Beetley. With the wind coming from a northerly direction, it got cold very quickly. Very cold. Ice on the cars, on the ground, and in the freeezing fog. There is no mistaking we are in the grip of winter, especially with the chance of snow forecast for next week here.
—————————————————————————————-

Ollie finally succumbed to an ear infection, and began dropping his ear and shaking his head. Luckily, we still had some of the antibiotic gel left, and I squirted that into the affected ear. Fingers crossed we don’t have to visit the Vet before Christmas. But I never say never, not where poor Ollie’s ears are concerned.

—————————————————————————————–

Julie made two trips into Norwich this week. One to take her oldest son to dinner for his birthday and go around the shops with him, and the second to accompany one of her friends who wanted to get everything in one trip. She was worn out by both trips; walking around the city, and having to stand still in shops for ages as they chose things. Now she has a very painful back, and is using her heat pads for pain relief.

——————————————————————————————

I hope you are having an enjoyable festive season so far, and that the stress of it all is not getting on top of you.

——————————————————————————————-