Sorry, I’m knackered after a day shut in the back room at the shop so I’m opting for a lazy link to a funny news story. We had two brief episodes of rain – one lasted about three minutes and the second for about a minute. The raindrops were big but it didn’t do much good – the temperature stayed up and the floor didn’t even get well. Tomorrow we are expecting thunderstorms and there is an yellow weather warning in place. In the old days they just told you to remember your umbrella.
I’m going to get invited to the Fire Service Christmas party at this rate.
Fortunately they didn’t rush up to the door with axes. Instead they went to the house across the road and climbed in through an upstairs window as the owner had, it appears, locked himself out.
That took me back to the early ’60s when we were living in Blackburn. We went to the seaside and spent the day at Southport, which always seemed like a treat compared to a day in Blackpool. Even now I can’t tell you why I preferred Southport and Morecambe to the bustle of Blackpool. It may be something to do with the time we went up Blackpool Tower and I discovered I was scared of heights.
Whilst relaxing on the beach the shop keys fell out of my Dad’s pocket. We sifted a lot of sand but never did find them.
On arriving home we rang the fire brigade for help and, as today, they entered by an upstairs window.
The difference between the two events, apart from nearly 60 years and 150 miles, was that we had a dog, a Border Terrier called Pip. He had been left to guard the house and that’s what he did. Fortunately we were able to distract him while the firemen entered and opened the door.
As you may notice, we have lace curtains so I can twitch them whilst spying on neighbours. I didn’t need to do that today, I just sat in my chair and took the photo. It’s probably my laziest ever blog post.
I haven’t been particularly fluent in the last week and I’ve missed a few things out.
The anti-coagulant blood test came and went. They managed to get the blood first time and the next appointment is in two weeks time so things are back on track. I’m hoping to extend the interval so I only need monthly tests. I know someone who has quarterly tests, which would be even better.
We went to the farm on Friday, as I mentioned and found that Evie the sheep dog had died at the weekend. The general view is that she had eaten poison, though I’m not sure where she would have found any as all the rat poison round the place is put out properly in bait boxes. It’s not the best run farm but they do get that right.
She was bred to herd sheep, and as I mentioned when she first arrived she immediately tried to herd the Quercus group, but she was never properly trained and I’m not sure if she had a fulfilled life or not. She didn’t seem overly happy at times, which is a shame.
The new puppy
The men in sheds were saying how good my bread was on Friday. This isn’t linked to any proper measure of quality, they just used to like getting free bread when I was practising and made too much. I said I didn’t bake these days as the kneading plays havoc with my arthritis. Next thing I knew I was being offered healing.
I’m not much of one for faith healing and that sort of thing, and was prepared to feel no benefit, but can’t say that was the case. There may have been some improvement for a couple of days, but it might just be wishful thinking. The jury is out, but I’m certainly not going to dismiss it. The improvement may show more about my imagination than about my arthritis, but even an imaginary improvement is worth having.
Then on Saturday I met a paranormal investigator. You’ll have to come back later for details, as I need to get down to the launderette now. Suffice to say that if I had doubts about healing…
Julia is out tonight. It was something she organised a month ago and I made her go even though she’s worried about leaving me alone.
Her worries are that I may fall over or starve to death. Starve? That set alarm bells ringing. How long is she planning on being away? Only for the evening, it seems. I can’t see that being a problem as I have enough stored fat to last a while. Look at the self-portrait if you don’t believe me. I have what estate agents refer to as an “extensive frontage”.
As for falling over, I have a mobility aid (or stick, as they used to be known) and enough padding not to damage too easily.
However, this isn’t to say that she has nothing to worry about. I may be safe, but it’s not the same as being sensible. Armed with several litres of what Bob Flowerdew calls personal liquid waste I have made a start on reclaiming the garden. We’ve been having trouble with dogs fouling a spot in the corner of the front garden and I’ve decided to fight back. We had an urban fox problem at one time, and did successfully move them on using urine (applied via watering can, in case you are wondering). Direct application isn’t really an option for a front garden in a suburban street.
I’m thinking of this as a kind way of moving them on. Stage 2, if this doesn’t work, is to use a solution of chillis. If I have to escalate to stage 3 I may have to abandon organic solutions and opt for Jeyes Fluid.
I will say no more, as I don’t want this to be used in evidence against me.
While she was out I went shopping for tea, which was Heinz Tomato Soup with a cheese and spiced shallot sandwich. It’s not the last word in healthy eating, but Heinz Tomato Soup is almost a medicine so I think I’m OK, particularly as I had an orange, a banana and a chocolate rabbit afterwards. The rabbit was half price – so it’s a vegetable and it’s a bargain.
I’ve just seen Edie the sheep dog leap from the back of the pick-up and run round in a big circle to gather a mixed flock of hens and guinea fowl.
The results were both spectacular and predictable, with one of the guinea fowl ending up on the barn roof and the dog looking perplexed as everyone disappeared in a flurry of beating wings.
There’s nothing wrong with her ancestral need to herd things, but there’s obviously a bit of fine tuning to be done.
Meanwhile I have discovered that a citrus-scented keyboard makes typing a more pleasurable experience. That’s a spin-off from my diet, as I’m now eating more fruit as snacks to kill the urge for biscuits and other bad stuff. The yoga group left some biscuits yesterday and they are still there. Well, most of them are. It seemed rude just to ignore the gift. At one time they would have been gone before I left on Thursday night.
The downside to the citrus-scented keyboard is that I can’t type any questions at the moment as the key that produces question marks is wedged by a piece of orange peel that fell from one of the fruity snacks.
I think the answer is probably to lever the key off gently using a penknife or small screwdriver and to clean underneath. Me, penknife, electrical equipment…
I may wait until Monday. If it dries out I may be able to get it going without further work.
If not, I may be able to work round it. Over the years I’ve managed to get round most of my apostrophe problems by rearranging my words. I mean, how difficult can it be to do without a question mark…
We had a visitor this morning, looking considerably larger and less puppyish than she did a couple of weeks ago. After that it was all doomed to be an anti-climax.
The sick ewe died (we think it was twin lamb disease), despite us dosing her with the appropriate drench. The worst thing about twin lamb disease is that I always feel it is avoidable.
We had home-made Leek and Potato soup (with the leeks being home grown, as you could probably guess from the clumps of soil on the roots), but it was a bit glutinous. I remember seeing something about the problem before when I started making soup but can’t recall what the cause was. All I can find now is that the potatoes were over-worked (and you shouldn’t use a blender) or that I used the wrong (high starch) potatoes. Neither of these seem to be what I remember from the previous time, which I though was something to do with ratios.
I always use the cheapest potatoes in the shop, I always use a hand blender, and I don’t usually have a problem. Maybe it’s the way the soup-maker works. Does anyone have any ideas?
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Blue tits are using the nest box by the centre entrance, but as my wife pointed out, they did that last year and the year before – they just like to torment us.
Things picked up a bit towards the end of the day when we cleaned the store cupboard (which we had been putting off for months) and one of the group baked chocolate chip cookies. A fresh warm biscuit for afternoon break was just what we needed.