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February
1 - Up early thanks to wind and rain battering the house - or was it Sally pawing at her duvet on the floor and 'digging' it up into a nest? The scratching noise translated into a rodent running round a room in my dream! Fascinates me how the mind instantly incorporates such pre waking noises into a dream . . .walked and found a 1920 penny?!!! How weird . . . packed up a token box of eats and a card and popped round the Post office and posted it to DS . . .fell asleep for a while but put the alarm on to get to SHs as he had suggested around 2pm. Left Sally at home and drove. Chats and coffee and unable to help him at all with his VB program!! Haven't touched programming for so long now - very out of touch! Did the 30 deal and came home with his old Olympus 35mm SLR camera and three lenses (28, 50 and 200mm zoom) - bargain - but no instructions on what those automatic features are!!!?? Guess I'll have to really try and learn something now. . .walked in the wind . . .TVd as extremely high winds battered the house - very worrying. . . Yet another feedback from the website that thinks I am a Monty Python person! People are weird. . Some more pleasant feedback from someone but I cannot bring myself to reply - there was a time not long ago when I would have but experience has proven to me that I cannot sustain such contact and it seems less rude to simply not start a communication I wont be able to continue - less guilt!! (4/10)ps
2 - Slightly less wind but lots of rain now! Very depressing weather. . .cable ISP e-mail still down! . . . dressed in waterproofs, took the old camera and the digital and drove Sally down to the River Avon at Conham Vale to see - um - whatever there was to see? The river was high - very high but still mostly contained within it's banks. The rain eased off to almost nothing so walked along the cycle/tow path using up the rest of the film in the old camera and playing with the digital a little. Pleasant walk back along the bridle path through the woods before dropping back down to the tow path and - uh oh!!!!! In the short time I had been walking, the river level had risen another foot or two and had covered the path and was gradually rising further!!! 'Beeses Tea Gardens' on the opposite bank looked as though it was in for yet another dunking with only a few inches to go before it was invaded! So much for a nice relaxing smoke on the bench! Picked my way carefully (although not carefully enough - slipped and ended up with very muddy hands but managed to stay out of the water!!) up the slippery slope away from the rising water. Drove back home and PCd on a gif but same old 'moved the camera between shots' problem - despite supporting it on a tree! Grrrr! . . . fell asleep for the rest of the daylight!!! . . . woke to the sound of yet more rain falling! Seems like such 'unusual' floods are becoming an annual event! May be worth another look at the river over the next day or so. Almost tempting to drive down to M/D just to watch the waves - although that news report last night about the guy somewhere washed to his death from the rocks by a freak wave serves to suitably dissuade me! . . .walked in the rain . . . LB called in a crisis and in desperate need of assistance - a wine bottle had got stuck on her bottle opener!!!!! Oh calamity! Rushed up and managed to disengage and open it - paid for my trouble with a bowl of pasta stuff - put in my fridge for tomorrow . . . e-mail finally back on line and one from BB saying she had moved hotel. Tried to call but ended up having to leave a message with the desk clerk cause their voicemail wasn't working . . . TVd/PCd till early . . . BB returned my call in the middle of her watching "The Bridges Of Maddison County" on her video. :o) (4/10)ps
3 - Up late with a dog stretched out on the bed next to me! . . .grey skies and blustery but no rain - which river shall I head for? . . .drove with Sally and the digital back down to the Avon but levels had dropped quite a bit and the path was back on dry land - looked like Beeses had escaped a dunking. Lots of wildfowl about? Sally had a go at the Canada geese. Drove to Snuff Mills and had a go at some more animations but apparantly same old 'moved while pressing the button' problems no matter what I tried!!? Grrrrr. . . back home and the whole street was full of cars and couldn't park anywhere near the house!! Hosed poor old Sally down on the patio. PCd the pics. A space opened up and managed to go and retrieve the car and park it outside . . .stuffed my face with LBs chicken past thingy - very nice and even enough left for later! Fell asleep on a full stomach - my favourite activity! . . . woken by M/D calling telling me about a film I may want to watch on TV later . . . walked and found a 1 coin - stopped for milk and then returned home and checked all my pockets for holes! . . .TVd and watched "What Dreams May Come" with Robbin Williams as suggested by Sis2 via M/D. Thought provoking and colourful - especially when right at an 'appropriate' moment a single flash and almost immediate HUGE clap of thunder rent the air outside! Good job I don't believe in that sort of hocus pocus! 'simplistic and not the trip I'm on' was my arrogant conclusion. (4/10)ps
4 - Woken by being cold!!? Sally had leapt up onto the bed and stretched out and as I turned over all the bed clothes came off me!! . . . drove to Snuff Mill and walked in the rain along the river trying yet again to do a series of shots for an animation or two. Usual results despite trying to use only parts of the multiple images overlayed on a single master!! I give up. . . PCd as more rain and gales raged. Defrosted a bone from the fridge for Sally and let her start on it in the conservatory - big mess! . . . SH popped in briefly to give me a clue and crash course about what the electronic features do on his old camera. Actually simpler than I had thought - almost point and click! Sally took a break from her bone gnawing and did her growling devil dog routine but soon settled down on the setee next to me, 'guarding' while we chatted. As soon as SH had let himself out as I held onto Sally she tore back out to the conservatory and carried on demolishing her bone (and my carpet!!!!). Left her to it and went upstairs to nap. Unusually she didn't join me - obviously having far too much fun with her bone - and before I fell asleep I became aware of her having moved her bone into the living room! Oh well. . . . woke to silence?!!! No sign of the dog until I got downstairs and there she was, stretched out asleep on the carpet in the living room surrounded by bits of fat and bone!!!! - kinda like a drunk surrounded by bottles!! Gotta smile despite the cost to the carpet - Eewwww!! . . . did some vacuuming! Sis1 called and suggested I pop round her place tomorrow to look at this and that - without the dog! Called PS and said happy birthday. . . walked . . . tried calling BB but yet again simply ended up talking to a receptionist and listening to the phone ring unanswered! Grrr !!! . . . PS popped round for chats and a glass of wine or two till early. Gosh I talk some rubbish.(4/10)psd
5 - Woken by Sally 'snuggleing'! . . .loaded up the new SLR camera and drove to Snuff Mills to walk along the river and shoot off the whole film just to see if it works. The rain cleared and it actually got sunny!!!! Wow - first sun I've seen for a while. Returned home and tried to touch base with BB in her hotel but ended up talking to some poor guy I'd probably woken up!!! BB has moved rooms?! Grrr. . . walked with Sally up to the photo shop and put the two films I had in for expensive one hour developing. Found 22p . . . dinner and showers and drove back up to pick up the films. Lo and behold - every single shot I'd taken had come out - some blurred and all of them pretty poor subjects but at least I know the camera works more or less point and click and pretty damn well at that. Excellent. . . left sally at home and drove over Sis1. Messed around with a couple of silly small things she wanted looked at and pretty much sorted them all apart from her door bell switch which needed work and she didn't have the tools required. Her split and jamming front door is a whole different story - if I were her I'd get a new one quick!! Returned home with Sis1 door bell switch and her real expensive year old phone that had develeoped a fault!! Spent a rediculous amount of time trying to fix up her bell switch - had to cut off the rusty bits and use bits and pieces lying around in my 'electric box' to fix up new bits - think it'll work ok. . . ate and walked . . . TVd and spent a couple of hours dismantling Sis1s phone!!!! Bloody awkward and almost gave up but eventually had it all apart - freed up and WD40d all the stuck switches and put it all back together. Spent another hour or so until early reading the manual and testing most of the functions by ringing myself on my mobile! Seems ok?. . . to bed VERY tired. (4/10)pa
6 - Seems to be a regular habit now - Sally climbs up on the bed when it is morning and wakes me up! . . . BB called to touch base - from her new room! . . . walked and found 5p. On the way back from the field I saw a jacket dumped on top of a wall - kinda like people do when they find a dropped glove in the street!?? Weird. Left it and walked on but couldn't resist and eventually turned round and walked all the way back and got it and then took it home feeling guilty all the way. Seemed inevitable whatever it was would end up being ruined in the rain and thrown in a bin somewhere so I figured at best I could clean it and drop it into a charity shop. Back home - on inspection it is a real expensive jacket!!!! Heavy duty nylon 'RhinoSport' motorcycle jacket with all the zipped in hard reinforcing pads on the shoulders back and arms for when you fall off!! Blimey!! Should I have left it where it was? How is it possible to lose such a thing? Probably stolen!!!! I doubt I'll be riding motorcycles ever again but it does kinda fit me and would be ok after a clean!! Guilt, guilt, guilt!!! . . . no rain and the sun came out! Collected up tools and stuff and drove with Sally to Sis1. Tied Sally to a garden bench and fitted the doorbell ok and saw Sis1 trying out her phone which seemed to be working okish. M/D called to touch base as I had a bit of a go at her front door. After taking it off it's hinges and getting to grips with it in her front garden it became clear that it really was SO rotten there was no salvaging it at all! Tried to improve things slightly by hammering and screwing and glueing but I doubt it'll be any good. Returned home and fell asleep almost immediately, ignoring ansaphone calls! . . . called SH back - he wanted me to set up another ISP account for him so he could test whether or not his PC/modem was at fault or if it was his ISP. Found that his original Freenetname account was still live - made the mistake of testing it and downloading his e-mail - 159 messages!!!!!!!! Called him back and told him but not sure what his password is. . . walked and found 2p. Half way round the field in the distance I spotted what appeared to be yet another 'domestic' although this one did seem to involve a bit of physical! Leashed up the dog and headed off walking in their direction but they disappeared into the night thank goodness! I guess I may seem like a busy-body or something - but rather that than walk away from someone needing help. It'll be a sad day when I turn a blind eye to such stuff . . . TVd . . .BB called. Touched base with M/D. . . TVd till early. (4/10)p
7 - More wind and rain! . . .walked. Big pile of 'rubbish' dumped in the field caught my eye. Investigated and found what appeared to be stolen stuff dumped, AGAIN!!!!! Keys, phone charger, cheque book, papers, stuff all over the place and plenty with the same name and address on. Scooped up all I could and then realised there appeared to be more over by a hole in the hedge. Packed lunch tupperware, more papers and a rucsac!! Handy - popped everything into the rucsac and headed home with it over my shoulder. Tried directory enquiries for a phone number of the name and address on all the papers but no joy. Checked the AtoZ and lo and behold - the address was only just across the field and up a side road. Walked with Sally, found the address and knocked on the door. Wife went to get her husband who had lost the stuff. The story was he'd left it in his car last night when he was doing circuit training, someone had smashed the car window and made off with the rucsac. Lots of clothes were still missing - uh oh , the coat I'd found yesterday? Confirmed that WASN'T his. Offered my comiserations and returned home. Sat around feeling pretty pissed-off how lawless this area seems to have become and how there seems to be nothing that anyone can do about it . . . popped round the post office and posted a couple of cards although the threat of a postal strike on the news means they'll probably be late - if they get there at all!!!! Found 3p . . . balanced my accounts. Uh oh - horribly overspent this month already!! Another rediculous phone bill and putting the odd bit of petrol in the car isn't helping! My plan when I got Sally was to watch my spending to cover her food and vets bills and such - kinda being forced to have Dad's car has screwed me - and I haven't even had to buy my own insurance or tax yet!!!!! 15 left in my current account to last the rest of the month!! No way - gonna have to spend some savings!!!!!!!! Phoned the cable company and had all the TV channels taken off again to save a few pounds. Only a few packs of cheap duty free tobacco left in the cupboard too!!!!! Although - on reflection - I DID buy that camera, and I DID post that box to DS by airmail, and I DID pay to have those films developed in one hour, and, and - yeah - I guess it's understandable . . .called SH to see if he'd sorted his PC connection problems. Gave him all the setting info - I can connect he can't. Modem problem? Offered him the spare internal 56k modem card I think I'd got from PS some time ago. SH popped in for coffee, chats, to read his e-mails and to take away the modem card. . . left Sally at home and walked up the shops in the rain. Found a penny. Stopped in at the local post office to try and get rid of the old broken air mail letter scales that Dad had given me. Can't bring myself to throw them away but I don't want them lying around in case it should be thought I am dealing drugs! Strangely the post office didn't want them and even refused to throw them away for me because they have to pay for their waste disposal!! Madness. Walked up the main Kingswood post office and more or less forced them to have them by popping them on the counter in front of a clerk and quickly walking out as she started to show reluctance and say she'd get the manager! Post office people are weird. . . called in at the vet and asked about booking a date for spaying Sally! Really, REALLY don't want to put the poor babe through it but it MUST be done - I can't take another season fighting off her suitors and apparantly it is better for the dog in terms of HER health. All fixed up for 9:30am Monday!!!!!! No food after 9pm on Sunday. Poor woofer! Oh dear. Oh dear . . . drew money out of the building society and shopped for food . . . touched base with SH who had got my modem card working and connecting so it proved his old modem was at fault - he then went out and bought a new external one for himself? each to their own . . . Sally seemed strangely playfull. She found a ball in the kitchen that I'd found down by the river but she wasn't sure she was allowed to play with it so she brought it into the living room and presented herself to me all ears down as though she'd done something wrong - just like when she stole a potato. Such a funny dog - made sure she knew she was allowed to play with it by throwing it around the house for her to chase, all bouncy. Funny how she has her own moods. I think her true personality is still coming through - do SO hope Monday doesn't create a distrust of me!!! . . . walked and found 2p . . . TVd . . . early to bed very tired. (5/10)ps
8 - Woken before 6am by Sally climbing on the bed and stealing the duvet! She got off and I reclaimed it and managed to fall back asleep until I woke around 8:30am with her on the bed next to me again rolling on her back like a big puppy so I would stroke her tummy. . .walked over the field and then decided to walk all the way down to St Georges park for a change. Sally did her devil dog act on a couple of swans but SOoooooo funny to see them all hissing chase her away. Found yet another cheap cigarette lighter (must have found half a dozen in recent months) and as I stooped to pick it up I spotted a coin. Thought it was a penny at first but on closer examination - a 1919 Farthing - how weird!! 'Chatted' to a woman walking a couple of dogs as Sally hid underneath the bench I was sat on! What a wimp! :o) . . .ate and slept . . .tidied up some more of the junk from Dad's garage . . . walked in the wind and rain - filthy weather. When Sally has her operation it is gonna be necessary for her to poop in the garden while she is unfit to do walks - but that old problem of how to encourage her to go out there when she obviously doesn't want to!!? Scooped some of Sally's poop and brought it home in a bag and despite getting a bit queazy during the operation because I couldn't hold my breath long enough, cut open the bag and plopped it on the patio as an encouragement!!!!!!!!!!!! Things were going ok until Sally ran out and started eating it!!!!! Ewwwww, eewwwwww, ewwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Embarassed to admit I may have been sick a little in the garden! . . . BB called to touch base . . . TVd. So few channels with nothing worth watching but couldn't muster enough energy to do anything else so armed with the remote, pretty much ended up watching all of them all at once most of the evening! . . .wow - an e-mail from someone rather a long way away enquiring about the radio gear for sale. Good timing for some asset stripping if he is serious. (4/10)ps
9 - Woke in the middle of the night being a bit unwell!?. . .woke sharing the bed with Sally . . .walked in the mud! Walked up Kingswood armed with the old fashioned set of 'finger measures' for working out what size rings peoples fingers take - part of the negligable 'inheritance' Mum got from her father that has been sat in Dad's garage all these years. No use in my life but couldn't just throw it away. Popped in a small high street jewellers and asked if it was any use to him. He probably thought I was trying to sell it or something and started giving me the 'no-it's very old' line. I said I didn't want to throw it away and he changed his tune and said 'NO - don't throw it away!!' - handed it to him and walked out. Funny. . . walked up to the shops and sat on a seat and had a smoke with Sally as the Saturday crowds passed by . . . popped into the vets and just sat in the waiting room for five minutes making sure Sally was happy to do so. She sure was when out of a box on someones lap came the sound of a cat!!!!!! Uh oh - time to leave! . . . found 2p . . . On the way home an old lady said 'was it you'? It was the woman who'd had her handbag stolen before Christmas and who's house I'd run to to tell her husband. She wanted to thank me which was nice. Apparantly she has a real dodgy heart which was why she was so upset about having lost her medication!!! The incident could so easily have killed her - like is often reported on the news - the police rushed to a chemist to get her a repeat perscription! Apparantly her handbag and all the contents except the cash were found by someone dumped in Redbank Cemetary and were handed into the police and returned to her which was some small relief in respect of house/car keys etc. She seemed 'ok' about things and not crippled by fear which was good . . . touched base with M/D who asked if I'd seen the news - Princess Margaret died today. Touched base with Sis1 who was in bed and still all worked up over what will become of her job and her relationship - recognises she cannot make decisions - familiar ground! LONG phone conversation - thankfully she'd called me back . . . uh oh - looks like the water in the pond is slowly going down again!!! Bugger! . . .slept for a few hours and pretty much missed the sunny intervals between all the rain . . . Sally was unusually boisterous and playfull and demanding I play ball and such around the house with her? . . . I've had a nasty lower back ache all day!!!! . . .walked in AWFUL weather! Lightening, thunder, wind, rain, hail! Even Sally couldn't handle the hail and cowered using me as a windbreak! Short walk and more poop relocation to the patio! . . . TVd/PCd till early. (4/10)p
10 - Sally dog admiring a tree at Ashton Court 10-02-02Broken nights sleep and then woke stroking a dog on the bed . . . pond is definitely losing water again - but VERY slowly! What a disappointment . . .drove Sally to Ashton Court for a walk. Seemed like all of dog owning Bristol had the same idea! Dogs all over the place! Walked in the mud and rain. Seems like the ground everywhere is waterlogged but signs of spring with bulbs and snowdrops and such breaking through. . . stopped for a Miss Millies chicken take away in St George on the way home. Shouldn't have really cause of the cost but made a bargain with myself that if I could park outside without any hassle I'd stop - I could, so I did. Filled myself full of chicken and chips and fell asleep for ages!! Subtley not feeling quite right and woke with a big headache . . . LB popped in with huge amounts of dinner left overs for the dog, and some apple tart stuff for me . . . returned Dad's ansaphone call and got all the bad news he'd seen on teletext about a reduction in premium savings bond prize fund and the odds on winning - really bad news. I rely on that 'investment' to keep afloat! . . . PCd just a little keeping an eye on the time - gotta get the dog all fed before 9pm as per the vets instructions. Feel really pretty wound up about it all - just wish I could explain to her - I have tried - had a long chat with her but she just wagged her tail and whined a bit and seemed to think I was gonna give her a food treat - which I admit I may have ended up doing!! . . .walked in the rain and gave Sally her food a little earlier than usual. . . transfered 300 from my savings account into my current account to cover the operation cost - not sure how much it will be but, well, however much it is, that is what I'll have to pay - I imagine around 200+? . . .TVd till early - brilliant celtic music program on one of the BBC channels - PROPER musicians - watched it all for hours. BB called to touch base. Went through surprisingly strong emotional reactions to putting Sally in for her operation - and the inherant risks!!!! - and then had difficulty sleeping. It is her 'innocence' that is so hard to deal with - I am VERY attached already. My 'child'?!! Tough evening especially trying to stop myself giving her the usual food treats. (4/10)paas
11 - S. Day - Up before 6am with the first of three alarms - figured I'd need the extra time to get Sally walked and then clean and dry - no good presenting at the vet all mud covered. Coffee on the settee with Sally snuggleing! I just LOVE it when she uses me as a pillow - guess it kinda gives me a purpose! Walked in the wind, rain and mud around 7am. With Sally empty, walked back and hosed her down on the patio trying to get her clean. She got her own back by waiting until she was back in the conservatory before she shook herself and covered EVERYTHING with muddy splashes!! Grrrrrreat! Spent ages wiping her down with a collection of old rags and towels and trying to start the drying process. Pouring with rain so I guess I'll have to drive her to the vet . . . I feel very nervous and up-tight . . .Sally dogdrove to the vet and happily found they DO have limited parking. Parked up and started rolling a cigarette but a woman who had pulled in just before me came running up asking if I would help her get her dog in out of her car - poor little things back legs had stopped working - seemed to be in pain!! Carried him in and popped him carefully on the floor in the waiting room although rather suspect the way I ended up putting him down didn't help his problem!!! Poor old woof. Quick cigarette in the car with Sally sniffing me all over cause of the new dog scent on me. Walked in and waited in the empty waiting room with Sally - sounds of whining and yelps from the poor old dog in with the vet. The woman left leaving her dog behind for tests, looking very upset!! I felt it! Got a muzzle from the nurse just in case and then was called through to see the young lady vet. Nice 'prescence' about her and very happy to give me info about the procedure and what to expect afterwards, etc. Muzzled Sally just in case, and got her to sit on the scales - 37kg - think that is safely up on last time. Sally was really quite good despite trying to remove the muzzle and didn't protest much at all as the vet had a feel about her and then stuck the needle and pre-med in her neck. Got a bit weird - along the lines of, the last time I held a dog in my arms for the vet to jab like that was when I had Sheba put down!! Because they said I couldn't attend the procedure gave the vet my digital camera and a quick crash course in how to use it - she seemed more than happy to take it - but will she really take any pictures? Took the muzzle off and returned to the waiting room with Sally to wait for her to get sleepy and for me to sign conscent forms. Very emotional - getting real soft in my old age!!!! After about twenty minutes the nurse came and lead 'calm-ish' Sally off into a back room saying 'lets go and see the cats'!!!!!! Uh oh - called after her that WAS liable to be an issue. Waited in the waiting room having to subdue tears!!!!???? Eventually the nurse returned and said they'd call later - I said 'as soon as you like - I'll be waiting by the phone' . . . drove home alone to an empty house. Turned the ansaphone off . . . touched base with Mum to tell her Sally was in. This is Dad's last week of radio therapy . . . wait, worry, wait, worry, wait, worry - blimey, talk about seperation anxiety - I'M tempted to have a go at chewing the remote control!! Washed clothes and dishes and, and - I've turned into my Mum!! Ate and lay down to try and sleep the day away but unsuccesfully - at one thirty the phone went and it was the vets announcing Sally was all done and in recovery and could be picked up at three - Owwwwhy not NOW!!!!!! Waited some more, impatiently. Hasn't stopped pouring with rain all day! More rain than leak in the pond . . .Sally Pre-OpSally Post-Opcouldn't wait - drove up the vet a bit early. Did the business - 197.14 for the spay, pain killer injections and a clip of her nails while she was under! Handed the camera back and told they HAD taken pictures - oooer!! The nurse went to get Sally. Oh dear - poor little woofer!! Asleep on her feet with her tongue hanging out of her mouth all covered in hairs!!! So out of it she didn't recognise me at all. Rushed outside and opened the car up then went back in and managed to pick her up and stuggle out and plonk her in the back of the car. Drove home and with a struggle and a bit of a whine from some obvious pain picked her up and plonked her on the sofa. Poor, poor Sally dog! Popped up to PC but with a painful whine Sally got off the settee and had started lurching and wobbling towards the stairs! Put her bedding downstairs in front of the TV and put the clothes airer across the stairs to stop her attempting to come up. Guess I'll be sleeping on the floor downstairs tonight! Checked out the photos - wow, the vet was true to her word!!! Complete series of shots including blood and guts - good job the camera resolution isn't too good!! :o) . . . TVd and watched Sally sleep/breath! . . . PS popped round for chats till early although I was rather preoccupied with the state of Sally. Terribly painful to see her in such a wobbly sorry state - not even interested in a drink although she did let me wet the inside of her lips a little with a wet finger. Once PS had gone I moved the settee and lay a duvet and a couple of pillows on the floor and lay down next to Sally to sleep. (-/10)ps
12 - Sally convalescingSomewhere around 1am Sally stumbled out into the kitchen and had herself a drink - at last - and then came back into the front room and collapsed on the duvet next to me! Around about 5am I was woken by Sally standing over me and giving my face a lick. Poor old woofer still very unsteady but obviously a little bit more awake. Lay around snuggling for a while but I soon had to have some muesli breakfast - tempted Sally with licking out the bowl and the last of the sugary milk like usual and she DID. Yayyyy - good sign. Tempted her some more with some cold custard that LB had donated the other day and all that was licked down too albeit slowly and messy. She even then managed a little of the soft beef dog food roll thing I mashed up with a fork. Excellent. She got up and slowly and wobbly followed me out into the conservatory when I opened the back door but made no signs of wanting to go out to toilet - the post arrived and she was even well enough to give a little growl and stumble off in the direction of the front door. Left her lying in the conservatory and sneaked upstairs to PC but soon heard her slowly climbing the stairs!! Poor little woof - all ears down and obviously hurting but tail wagging as I rushed to the stairs to make sure she was ok. Heartbreaking to see her in this state - GUILT! Had a bit of a look at her scar - all internal stitches - nice neat job! Amazing! . . . fell asleep till around midday with the back door open just in case Sally wanted to go out - she didn't! Sally ate some more, shared a couple of corned beef sandwhiches and then we both fell asleep again in the living room with me stretched across the sofa!! Woke with Sally checking on me with a lick! Sat around in the garden for a while but still no sign of her needing to go!!! Blimey - how long is that now? How is that possible? M/D , and Sis1 who'd gone down to visit, called to touch base and check on Sally's progress as did BB . . . mixed up a bowl of her food with some of the roast dinner left overs LB had donated - Sally tucked in heartily and ate a load. Excellent. I couldn't resist for the second night running sorting out some of the roast potatoes and stuffing from LBs dog donation and making up a meal for myself with some bacon and gravy!! Very nice . . . TVd and sat around waiting for Sally to 'go'!!!! I wont be able to relax until she does. I think I know why dogs that are spayed put on weight - the owner feels SO much guilt about putting the poor animal through so much that they can't resist on trying to make it up to the dog by trying to make it happy - and what makes a dog happier than most anything? FOOOOOOD!! And lots of it! . . .I feel strangely 'on hold' - like I'm just sitting around and waiting till Sally is fully up and running again . . . spent hours and hours rather cold with the back door open so Sally could go out and do her business if she pleased but all to no avail although she did choose to go sit outside on her own for some time because it wasn't raining and was quite nice out. At last around 1am she did at least have a pee - and lots of it! What a relief - for us both - lots of "GOOD girl!!" Sat around some more trying to persuade her to have a poop - absolutely certain she understood cause she kept on looking at the pile I'd relocated out there the other day as her tummy audibly rumbled and gurgled , but she didn't go. Eventually I was so tired I gave her a straight choice around 1:30am - "D'you wantogototoilette or do you wantogotobed?" I swear she understood - she immediately got up from the patio and headed off inside!! Went to bed up in the bedroom - Sally hesitated and didn't settle in her normal spot - as soon as I got in bed she jumped up and lay on the duvet next to me and rolled over presenting her tummy and scar for some gentle stroking! Today was a tremendous relief - she seems much more her normal self. (-/10)ps
13 - Half woken at various times throughout the night by Sally alternating between the floor and the bed next to me! Eventually gave up around 6am after Sally had layed a booby trap - she spent ages licking the pillow case and the next time I rolled over - cold soaking wet dog drool pillowcase all over my face! Got up for coffee and cigarettes in the garden. STILL no sign of Sally going!! Gave her a big breakfast which she tucked into heartily again. She is obviously waiting for her normal morning walk but I MUST resist - she MUST learn that 'going' in the garden is ok also because if I ever get ill and unable to do the walks it'll be necessary! . . .left Sally at home and popped round the post box and found 5p. . . sat around and at last after loads of encouragement Sally had another pee. Excellent . . . no rain and actually some sunshine so suddenly decided to have a go at the duvet from my bed. I'm forty years old and I've never washed a duvet - plenty of washes of various duvet covers but never the duvet itself! Unfortunately I recently washed the cover and somehow never got round to putting it back on, so the duvet itself has gradually become covered in mud and dog hairs and such. Certainly no longer white in colour! Ewwwww. Far too big to go in the washing machine and for some strange reason couldn't bring myself to go to a laundrette and wash my dirty laundry in public for the first time. Decided to give it a go like Sis1 had said she once did hers - in a bath of hot soapy water and walked on like treading grapes!!! Gave her a call just to ask about the best way to go and she suggested loads of soaking and bleach! She'd had a nice visit with M/D yesterday and confirmed Dad's hair was now VERY thin. Don't have any bleach as such so added some 'Domestos' to the water!! Very awkward and time consuming running and slipping around the bath in shorts and T shirt with several changes of water but kinda worked in the end and boy did it need it judging from the colour of the water - that and I've now got the cleanest, whitest, softest feet I've EVER had!! Let it drain it off a bit in the bath and sat in the garden in the sun for a while with Sally - SUCH a good feeling to have sun on my face and friend to stroke. Eventually wrestled the enormous mass of dripping duvet out into the garden and up onto the rotary line leaving a trail of water through the house! Amazing how much water is still in it despite my squeezing and ringing - must be literally gallons - still pouring out all over the garden! Clothes line on the verge of collapse! . . . M/D called to touch base and see how the patient was. They expressed great concern that Sally STILL hadn't had a poop and wanted me to drive her to the field for her health - I MUST stick it out and get her using the yard - for a while longer yet at least. They also strongly recommended I go to a laundrette with my duvet. I've started so I'll finish! Finished the call with rain threatening as per the forecast so returned to the garden to wrestle the dripping duvet back into the bath - wait a minute - what is that? Yaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!! Sally has done a poop in the garden! At last - and I missed it. Oh what joy. GOOOoooooD GIRL! . . . Tis a strange life I lead to get such pleasure from a dog poop. All a matter of focus - kinda meditation like - 'mindfulness of doggy do'? :o) . . . celebrated by having a nap the rest of the afternoon . . . rain has come and gone and the forecast is good for a day or so, so put the still running wet duvet out on the line overnight . . . Sally's appetite is back to normal - and then some! Another huge evening meal woofed down. She seems ok albeit finding difficulty in finding a comfortable position to lie. Tried to explain to her that 'no matter where you go there you are' but she'll still wander around trying different places to lie in the search for comfort . . . TVd but couldn't resist and around 10pm leashed Sally up and gently and slowly walked over to the field. Sally strained on the leash and wanted to race ahead like normal and even did a devil dog act and tried to chase a cat under someones car!!!! Guess she is back to normal. Reached the field and keeping her on the leash immediately she did her business so it was an about face and a slow walk back home. Quick inspection of her tummy and all appears ok - if anything she is spending too much time licking the small shaved area on her leg where the needles went in - seems a little red! Relatively early to bed once I'd sorted out clean linen and a spare duvet.(5/10)p
14 - Happy valentines dayUp around 7am - pretty cold out but a clear sky and the promise of some good weather. Clothes line has survived the night intact but the duvet is STILL full of water/ice!! Blimey - a hand delivered valentine card! Guess I know who that must be from - didn't send her one! In fact after last years farce where everyone I sent one got upset and thought they had a stalker or a virus I sent almost none this year - just a couple in the post as I have done out of habit for the last several years for old times sake - and one other??!! :o) . . .walked Sally gently over the field. Had to poop scoop on the way which was rather unusual?! Walked very slowly around the field with sally on the lead - leading me!! - and then she was sick!!!! Oh dear, poor old woofer!! Walked very gently back towards home only for Sally to go devil dog when she spotted a cat under a car and dragged me along after her!! . . . sat around . . . PCd . . . door bell and barking dog - a HUGE box delivered???!!!!!! BLOODY HELL!!!!!!!!! Bloody hell!! DS has sent me a new PC all ready to attach to my keyboard and monitor and stuff!!!!! Pentium III running at 1GHz! - do they make them that fast? A 40 Gig. hard drive! - do they make them that big? 512 Meg RAM! - hardly need a hard drive!! Etc, etc - AND Windows XP!! I can't believe it!!!!!!! There are times when I am reminded of just how lucky I am - and DS seems to have a habit of reminding me in most generous ways! He makes me feel like Pip in 'Great Expectations' - with a secret distant benefactor! He always has been an example to me of how to be more than I am. I find it SO hard to know what to do with such 'niceness'! Thank you doesn't seem sufficient and I can actually find myself getting down about not knowing how to respond appropriately! How weird I am - and very lucky - think I may be getting better at knowing that in my own way . . . LB called in her usual condition and wanted me to look at her phone extension to see if it could be reconnected as it used to be for when she gets her PC! Had a quick look but didn't want to get into it - may be easily sorted with an extension jumper and a couple of T peices rather than having to try and rewire the BT socket!! Some other time - after all it IS valentines night and she did have her man friend round!!!!! . . . walked gently over the field. VERY cold clear night but little wind and really nice to be out walking - shame Sally is recovering or I may have done an extra long walk tonight . . . TVd. (5/10)p
15 - Sally seems to be less interested in her food today which is rather worrying but I think she ate enough to be ok. Walked gently over and round a bit of the field letting Sally lead me along on the lead once we reached the grass. Funny to be lead along like that and kinda get into doggy interests - find myself strangely veering towards trees of my own accord these days!! . . . back home the duvet on the line was a block of ice!! This drying out isn't working at all - popped Sally in the car and drove to suss out the local laundrette. Figured out I'd return later armed with lots of 20ps so drove on down to the pet store and bought some more chopped maize for the birds and couldn't resist buying a bag of pigs ears for Sally. Back home Sally jumped down out of the car with a whine as she pulled her stitches!!! DAMN - so easy to forget she is very fragile! HATE it when she whines like that - really pulls at the heart strings - she often does that when dreaming which upsets me too. Left Sally at home and struggled with the cold wet duvet into the car and drove to the laundrette - some poor woman got accosted by me asking loads of questions about what to do and how the machines work but she was very helpfull and I was soon feeding 20ps into a tumble drier full of duvet! Must have cost me several pounds by the time I gave up - only then did I realise why I really shouldn't have put a kingsize duvet in such a small drier (the big one was broken) - looks to me as though parts of the duvet are burnt where it was crammed in and not actually tumbleing!!! Damn! Looks awful. NEVER again!! Drove home with the passenger seat full of duvet all pressed up against the windscreen!!! . . . slept for a few hours but woken by an ansaphone message . . . returned the call and touched base with M/D who I WAS gonna call later anyway because Dad today completed his last radio therapy treatment. He seems as fine as ever and happy to be free of the daily trips and amused to have been presented with his plastic radiotherapy mask! Difficult not to think that now we will be playing a waiting game to see how long it is until we have to face reality again - we've all slipped back into our usual routines thinking it isn't happening and of course M/D 'seem' to be acting as though everything will be ok and is carrying on as it is forever. As promised they had been to their local supermarket and bought up all the cheap special offer tins of Winalot - and to cap it all the checkout girl had made a mistake and they'd got three packs of six tins for 3p!!!!!!!! MOST unusual for them to make a quick exit rather than insist to the brainless 'couldn't care less' girl on the till a mistake has been made - they HAVE changed . . . unplugged all the PC leads and plugged in the new PC. Fired up straight away without any hitch at all. Windows XP seems - um - kinda 'colourful'. Gently poked around a little changing country settings and removing wallpaper and changing the colour scheme to my normal drab grey and such. Found the (HUGE!!) files DS had put on the hard drive and sat and watched the home videos he'd included - amazing to watch snippets of his life - put me in a very funny mood. Amazing. Messed around some more and ended up listening to a burned music CD I'd made that I can't play on my cheap nasty stereo - Guns and Roses!! 'Welcome To The Jungle' is a favourite track considering the current state of the neighbourhood! First impressions - the new machine and operating system is VERY impressive!! I have lost touch and am way behind the times - much to think about but VERY tempted to end up with the new PC centre stage in the living room connected to all sorts of things and on all the time - maybe even worth trying to afford cable wideband access now! Need to figure out where I am going with it and which hardware to relocate from the existing machine etc. Come on Sally - 'letsgotobed'Disconnected everything and put the old machine back in place - must get that modem card back from SH. . . . walked Sally very slowly over the field - makes a real nice change to amble along so slowly - I normally charge around apace and I don't know why. Sally seems happy enough to walk slowly too - I'm sure she thinks it is ME who is unwell and has to be treated gently. Stopped for sausage and chips takeaway on the way home. Sally is constantly licking the shaved bit of her leg where the needles went in - she's licking it raw!!!!! Cut up an old sock and ended up actually carefully taping it to her fur on either side of the wound to try and stop her - she carried on licking through it!!! . . .TVd till early but still in a funny mood and called BB to leave an ansaphone message. She makes me dare to dream - although I'm not entirely sure about what cause I've never had it! lol :o) . . . SH called talking about an Access database he'd managed to get hold of and workgroups and passwords and such! That brings back nasty memories of complicated stuff!!I DID know all about that once but can't remember any more at all! Said I'd pop round tomorrow to look (and pick up my modem!) . . . eventually to bed only to find the duvet was - um - 'humid'!! (5/10)ps
16 - Move over you spoiled dog!Woke up cramped and cold and almost falling out of bed - one spoilt dog!!!! Took a couple of snaps! . . .cold and foggy outside. PCd with morning coffee and cigarettes updating my journal. Sally still has her sock-bandage on so I guess that worked-ish although it is very wet!! . . . walked gently and found 2p. Bumped into LB on the way back who thankfully reminded me I'd promised to feed her cats tomorrow while she is away at a masons ball!!!!? I'd forgotten . . .sat around feeling so, SO tired but managed to stay awake until early afternoon and left Sally chewing on a defrosted bone and drove to SHs. Ooops - woke him up!! Prodded at his Access database but couldn't remember much at all and came to the conclusion that without the 'owners' password he couldn't do much. Picked up my modem and borrowed a spare external one he had - maybe at last I can hook up my laptop to the internet and test it to see if the slow old machine can cope with surfing. . . arrived home and HAD to go to sleep for a few hours. . . TVd and then had a go at setting up the modem on the laptop in the living room. Yayyy - all worked out nicely and proved the laptop is more than capable of some surfing despite it's SLOW speed and lack of hard drive/RAM - guess the bottleneck IS the phone line. So - next time I go to M/Ds, or wherever, I could keep in touch maybe - maybe I WILL buy a modem for it after all? . . . TVd . . . Sally took me for a walk in the mist. Another cold but pleasant evening and unusually quiet out - slowly walked a little extra - I like mist . . . read a little of the magazine DS had sent all about Windows XP - it does seem impressive. . . very, VERY tired? - to bed around 10pm!! (5/10)p
17 - Sally climbed on the bed and woke me up around 6am! Covered her with the spare duvet and she actually lay there with me stroking her tummy, all covered with her head on the pillow rather than shake it off like she normaly does whenever I cover her with anything. Tried to get back to sleep but Sally's snoring kept me awake and around 7am I gave up and got up feeling still very tired. Sally definitely seems a little different - more sleepy, more strokeable and more inclined to stay laying wherever she is when I go into another room rather than follow me around all the time?. . . walked in the mist - found another lighter and 2p - Sally seemed intent on eating grass and making herself sick again! No appetite when we returned either! . . . disaster!!!! Was going to go and feed LBs cats but I couldn't find a bunch of my keys! LBs keys, Sis1s keys, MY keys!!!!! Ransacked the house but couldn't find them anywhere!!! Very unlike me to lose something so important!!! Left ansaphone messages for Sis1 just in case she had found them amongst all those she had recently said she'd sorted out from her shed! Called LB at her parents house and told her I was sorry but couldn't feed the cats - she said they'd be ok till she got back later thank goodness. Called M/D asking them to look for a 'foreign' bunch of keys and lo and behold, as we spoke with me pacing round the house on the chordless, I spotted the missing bunch on the floor under the nicad charger that was charging up batteries for the digital camera! What a relief!!! What a fool I felt. Left message for Sis1 saying all ok, left message for LB saying I'm on my way to feed them! Fed the cats and the polecat. Poor little polecat - SO hard to not spend hours cleaning out his home - I strongly disapprove of his 'care'. How long does it take for spilled food/faeces to grow furry?!!!! Grrrrr!!! Did at least spend several minutes de-greening his water bottle although I dont think he uses it anyway - cleaned and refilled the slimey water bowl. Garden is in a hell of a state too - piled bricks/raised bed stones fallen down - cat/polecat pooh all over - nice crop of weeds coming on - looks like it hasn't been touched since I last touched it. Oh well - I figured as much when I did it all - shame though. How long ago that seems!!!! Almost no memory of it apart from what is on my website!!!??? Even if I have to lose my website at some time in the near future, I think I will STILL do a daily journal on my PC - it has become my memory!! . . . Returned home to be sniffed all over for ages by Sally. . . left the conservatory door open and PCd a bit only to find Sally eating all the chopped maize from off the bird table - and she hasn't touched her own food!!? SA quoting 'Lay Down Sally' lyrics had got me thinking about Sally type music - 'Brown Eyed Girl' had already kept on going round my mind - thought I'd see what else was about and ended up with these few. . .feel tired and headachey again! Slept for a few hours and woke with a headache still. . . BB called to touch base - must be costing her a fortune!!! . . . set out to add the spare modem card to the new PC but wouldn't you know it - wrong slot type! Maybe something to be said for external modems after all. Ho hum. Tried watching the DVD that I'd borrowed from SH on my 'old' machine - spent hours locking up and going round and round in circles before finding a website that mentioned Region 2 known disk identification problems with my ATI DVD. Didn't seem to offer any fix other than go buy a new one! Oh well - BB said the film wasn't much good ayway! lol . . .walked . . . TVd. Took the 'sock bandage' off Sally's leg to see what was going on and found 'scudding' where she had licked it raw! Put the sock back on to give it a chance to recover some more!! She was SO good just letting me do it despite the discomfort of tearing out a little fur on the sticky tape! Thank god she doesn't lick where the operation scar is! (5/10)paa
18 - Woke up before 6am!!! Not Sally's fault - I seem to have got into the habit of 'sleeping in pieces' - maybe also slightly uptight about not wanting to sleep too late cause of the 10:30 vet checkup! Dunno if Sally picked up on my different mood but she seemed like a different dog today!? More bouncy, playful and demanding attention. Walked and found 2p. PCd a little but Sally insisted on me stroking and playing with her and even nudged my mouse arm in the middle of a drag and drop and barked to get my attention when I tried to turn my back on her and update my journal! Took advantage of the opportunity and introduced her for the first time to the 'Sally-speak' idea. Encourraged her with some barking and howling of my own!! Good job the neighbours were out! Decided to walk to the vets because Sally seemed so full of energy. Vet seemed happy with her spay scar and not 'too' disapproving of my use of the sock and tape bandage on her leg. Recommended keep her on the lead for walks for another week but good for longer walks now. He pescribed some 'Fuciderm gel' for use once a day on the sore to stop it itching - 11.32 for a tiny 15g. tube - ouch! Walked back home and touched base with M/D who'd called to say good luck with the vet check. Only spoke to Mum cause Dad was out mowing their front lawn!!! Guess he's doing ok then! lol . . . slept for a couple of hours . . . Sally still in a funny mood - dug out a load of earth from a plant container all over the patio!? Had to do shopping but didn't dare leave her alone at home in such a hooligan mood so took her in the car and left her in there while I shopped for food - somehow spent 50!!!!! Blimey - totally blowing this months finances big time, although I DO have a full freezer! . . . Sis2 called to touch base - off on a day sick with 'problems' and happy enough cause she HATES her job! Reminded me how lucky I am, no matter how difficult it is, trying to survive on my pension/savings without working. . . examined Sally's leg before her walk with the intention of applying the gel but made the mistake of reading the enclosed information leaflet - nasty stuff corticosteroids! Usual rediculous medication side effects possible which always seem to be the complete opposite of why you are using the stuff in the first place i.e. "Corticosteroids may delay wound healing and the immunosuppressant actions may weaken resistance to or exacerbate existing infections -//- Locally applied steroids may cause thinning of the skin"!!!! Typical - kinda like half the antidepressants I've taken - side effects may include symptoms of depression! . . . popped in LBs and returned some plates etc. Some talk of wanting my help tomorrow or some time moving a sofa bed for her boyfriend up her stairs now her sister has moved out? She wanted details of how much the annual council tax was because she obviously hadn't yet paid last years! Told her mine would be less than hers because I was a single occupier - she said she was registered as single occupier too(she isn't)!!! Grrrrr - there are times when I feel a fool for struggling along being honest while it seems so much of the rest of the world isn't! . . . Walked Sally without putting the stuff on her leg! Conscience played on me and I came home and applied the stuff to her and re-covered it with her sock bandage. Supposed to use rubber gloves to apply it but they only gave me one pair of 'use once only' gloves so I didn't bother and just used a paper towel - lost track of what happened next and can't recall if I washed my hands or not before getting some bread out of the bag in the freezer!!! Oh well - if this is my last journal entry you'll know why! . . . PS popped round for chats till early. . . BB called briefly to touch my base. . . Weird, weird case on the news about a crematorium in the US where the owner had hidden bodies all over his property rather than actually cremate them! People are weird - US people seem weirder! lol :o) (5/10)pas
19 - Woken around 6am by Sally climbing on the bed for snuggles. More wind and rain and gales forecast for days! Uggh! PCd but once again Sally insisted on having my attention and gave me more opportunities for practicing 'Sally-speak'!? . . . 50 Premium Savings Bond win in the mail - Yayyyyy thank goodness - I need it! Sadly probably the last for a while now they have changed the rules! . . .walked and found a penny. Carried on walking up Kingswood and banked the PSB win at the building society. . . PCd and started trying to sort the DVD problem by downloading what I thought seemed to be relevant software and driver updates etc. Ended up messing around sorting out papers and stuff as the PC downloaded most of the day! . . . slept for a few hours . . . still no go with the DVD despite the downloads, so as DS had suggested surfed in search of 'Power DVD' - found a downloadable 30 day trial of Version 4 so spent more hours leaving the PC downloading. . . LBs sister called asking for help in dismantling her bed that I had helped put together for her. Popped up and as quickly as possible undid the couple of screws that seemed to be beyond her and left her to her packing! Showered and sat around watching TV as the PC downloaded . . . LB rang the doorbell (cause my phone was constantly engaged - downloading!) asking for help with the sofabed move. Download had just finished so popped straight up and helped her man force the sofa through a doorway and upstairs to the back bedroom . . .Yayyy the downloaded demo software works - I can see the DVD at last!! Hang on a minute - the original software works now???? Uninstalled the demo and the original ATI software STILL now works ok? How weird - go figure? Not complaining - as long as it works. . . walked in dreadful wind and rain - let Sally off her lead briefly to speed up her doing her business so I could get back home as quick as possible! . . . ate/TVd/put ointment on Sally's leg sore . . . had my first brief look at a DVD on the PC. Clever stuff - but as I thought the monitor seems too small to do it justice. Was tempted to watch the DVD I'd borrowed - film called "The Perfect Storm" , but decided not to bother - all I gotta do is look out of the window right now!!!!!! DREADFUL weather - 70mph gusts forecast!!!!!!!!!!!!! . . .more funny headache - ended up PCing with my old work computer spectacles on!!! Felt like a funny old four eyes!! . . . to bed and read a little with Sally snuggleing on the duvet using my chest as a pillow as the wind battered the house scarily. Difficulty sleeping that way - saw 1am on the clock as I found the bed free to myself. (5/10)paa
20 - Woken around 2am by what I incorporated into my dream, with a start, as water dripping!!!! It wasn't - it was the sound of incessant licking across sticky tape! Damn, damn, damn!!!!! Sally had managed to pull the sock bandage away from the tape and had bared her sore leg and had succeeded in licking the scud off and making it raw again - never mind ingesting the corticosteroid gel!! So - at gone two in the morning I was wrestling with Sally and cutting up new bits of sock bandage and taping her up again more securely and admittedly a little roughly. Back to square minus one! Was drinking coffee and sharing doughnuts by two thirty!!!! Touched base with BB . . . snuggles and eventually back to sleep . . . up again around 8am after nowhere near enough sleep . . . walked and found a penny . . . PCd and ended up spending the whole morning messing around and downloading the odd MP3 track from here and there - never did that Napster thing , first time I've really played that game in earnest and now I know why! Took hours and hours and eventually only ended up with a couple of tracks! Hmm? . . . slept most of the afternoon . . . woke feeling rather out of sorts again . . .walked and found 25p . . .Decided NOT to remove Sallys sock bandage to apply the cream the vet had pescribed - the bandage seems to work well enough on it's own when left alone. We'll see. . . TVd but early to bed feeling a little sick and real exhausted. (3/10)ps
21 - Broken nights sleep waking up all over the place! Eventually gave up and got up around 7:30am feeling iffy!? Succeeded in dropping my big tin of coffee all over the kitchen floor! Saved some - vaccuumed the rest. Bet I end up with a dog hair in every cup from now on! . . .walked and found a penny. Evidence of a stolen cash till broken up over the field!! . . . still not feeling right and went back to sleep for a few hours!!? . . . woke feeling better - Finally got round to replying to the guy who'd expressed an interest in the amateur radio gear explaining the difficulty of the geographical distance between us. Too much to risk without a COD postal option. Shame. . . Yet again avoided taking the machine apart to try the video card DS had sent and ended up looking for more MP3s and succeeded in grabbing some 'Anastacia' and even a video or two! All a learning experience prior to figuring out what sort of a new setup I'm gonna aim for. If I'm gonna do this long downloading thing, seems like doing it when I walk the dog is a good use of dead time. . .walked and downloaded . . . BB called to touch base . . .PCd till early. (4/10)ps
22 - Just about awake a little after 7am when the phone went!! Imagined all sorts of awful stuff - it was LB!? Her car has been stolen from outside her house!!!!! Bastards!!! Quick check outside to make sure mine was still there - it was. I'd put the bin out last night blocking my gate and it has been moved out of the way onto the pavement? Definitely things afoot in the night!!! Feels like being under siege all the time! Bastards!! Poor LB! . . . think I may be fighting off a bit of a cold or something, hence feeling not right of late . . . letter in the post saying loads of Telewest services had gone up in price - USA calls up from 10p to 15p a minute - and another 2 a month for the internet!!! Grrrrr - I'll do without rather than be forced to try and increase my income . . .walked expecting to find a burned out car over the field, but I didn't - found 2p instead. Took a chance that she is sufficiently recovered and let Sally off her lead - she made the most of it and chased like a mad thing after a playfull dog. . .put more gel on Sally's leg . . . briefly popped up LBs with a phone extension wire to test that she could easily attach her old upstairs line extensions - all proved out ok - all she needs is a T piece and a short double male patch . . . spent the whole day on the PC/s as 50mph gusts battered the house!! Finally got in gear and fitted the TV card DS had donated, to my existing Win98 machine only to find that the NTSC US TV format business seemed to make it unusable EVEN for video-in, which I really expected to work at least!? Took it all back out/off and got back to as it was with no problems. Temporarily attached the new machine and lo and behold - the matrox video card supports dual display and one of those can be a TV!!!! Eventually got a display of sorts on my portable TV (software setting for PAL, so it DOES need to be PAL even for video out - IN too I bet!) but didn't quite get to the bottom of what was going on. Suffice it to say - an AWFUL display, very blurred and almost totally illegible AND some of the software didn't display on the TV part of the extended desktop?? More experimentation required with a bigger TV methinks. . . feel awfully tired and headachey after all that concentrating and squinting at screens and such! Sally has spent the day as a computer widow! Lay down to try and nap but wokenish by CW calling to touch base. Said she'd let me get back to sleep and she'd call later but I didn't and nor did she . . .BB called to touch base as I was 'cooking' Sally's evening meal!!!! A tin of Winalot (duck and rabbit tonight), a diced potatoe, half a can of water, a sprinkle of gravy granules and a can's volume of complete dry food all cooked up in a saucepan on the stove and then cooled in her bowl by floating the bowl in a sink of cold water while I walk her! Strange elaborate ritual but it guarantees she'll get a balanced meal, she is less inclined to steal potatoes from the kitchen, and that she'll eat the dry food which she doesn't much like! Spoiled dog! . . . walked and found 2p! . . . TVd till late. John Thaw - 'Inspector Morse' / 'Reagan' in 'The Sweeney' died today. (4/10)ps
23 - Woken before 7am by Sally taking all the duvet! Received a forwarded E-mail from TS about an interesting site - http://www.colorgenics.com - unusualy thought I'd give it a try and wow - what a freaky close to home result!! Diagnosed avoidant? lolol :o) Clever! . . .walked . . . balanced my accounts / PCd . . . walked up the local PC store with the full intention of maybe spending some money but keyboard etc. that I wanted to look at was out of stock - typical of that store - and the cheap PCI modems they were selling appeared to be software/processer dependent (?) so I shyed off . . .PCd. Gave SH a call and tried to persuade him to sell me the spare external modem he had loaned me - he refused and insisted on GIVING it to me!!!! Blimey! My 'scales in the sky' are completely out of balance - I owe several people a debt of gratitude! . . .Touched base with Sis1 and agreed a visit to see M/D next week. Touched base with M/D . . . Surfed and scoured the Matrox website reading up all I could on TV out setup and connections. Dismantled bits and pieces from my existing machine and broke out an old dodgy monitor and set up the new PC temporarily in the living room connected to the BNC socket on the back of my old (used to be my deceased grandmothers!) television. Round and round in circles for hours! Got a brief display on the TV at one point but it soon disappeared and wouldn't return no matter what I did!!!!? Suspect the TV isn't helping. . .CW/BB called to touch base . . . eventually gave up and cleared away the PC from the living room. Will have to try again some time using the video scart instead of the suspect TV socket . . .applied gel to Sally's leg and left off the sock bandage - think it is healed enough complete with a little hair to try without now. Walked - wow didn't it feel the minuis three centigrade windchill that was forecast -Brrrrrr! . . . TVd till late. (4/10)ps
24 - Woken before 7am with the now usual morning ritual of fighting the dog for a share of the duvet!! PCd some more looking at MP3s - really is an amazing thing the internet! Sally was in playfull mood and demanded my attention by jumping up and hinting it was past time for walks!. . . walked in the rain and idly commented to a walker on his dogs waterproof coats - trapped me into an at length conversation about where to buy them and how to drug nervous dogs with some herbal remedy called 'ignatious', and,and!! Eventually escaped and carried on walking. Called 'Sally-come' from way across the field and she eventually bounded over at breakneck speed - she didn't stop and bowled me over like a set of nine pins!! Ended up lying on the grass in the mud with an excited dog jumping up and down on me!!! Absolutely hillarious - haven't laughed out loud so much for years - don't think anyone saw which was rather a shame really - would have cheered anyone up. Strange far off 'bang' in the air like an explosion or sonic boom as I walked back? . . . PCd and downloaded some celtic music. Excellent stuff - ended up listening to the tracks and falling asleep for hours! . . . IHB called to touch base but I ended up telling him all about the Dad situation and that seemed to quickly end the conversation - which was ok. . . walked and found 12p in loose change on a pavement near the post office? . . . PS popped round for chats till early. LB called rather drunk a couple of times threatening to come down but was obviously too drunk to make it in the end - which was ok! . . . PCd till early. Today seemed somehow 'brighter' in part.(5/10)psss
25 - Up a little later than of late. Is there no end to the awful weather forecasts - yet more wind and rain! . . . walked in the mud. . . PCd downloading the odd track here and there but dial-up really is too slow to get serious about it . . . fell asleep for a couple of hours . . .SH called excited to have sorted out a bit of his program - I think my pointer about 'ampersanding strings' helped a little . . . LB still off home 'unwell' (I'd be unwell if I'd been THAT drunk last night!) called to say the police had found her car over Mangostfield somewhere - taken to a garage it sounded as though it 'may' be repairable? Wonder why they didn't burn it out like usual? May have upset LB by reminding her of the 'dodgy' tax disk she had in it - that could cause difficulties if it is still in it and the police notice! Karmic'. . . Walked in the rain. Down the road and a car ( F731 RLL - bet it's stolen) with a smashed offside wing/headlight lense pulled up alongside me with two 'kids' in it and they asked me for 20p!!!?? Very unsettling - refused and gave a small 'old manish' lecture about how they can afford a car and petrol and I can't and they want ME to give THEM money?!!! They drove off and accosted someone else who I think also refused and then was reversed into as he walked away behind their car! Only a gentle tap and probably not on purpose but outrageous behaviour! They drove off dangerously like the idiots they obviously were with me deliberately staring to be seen at their number plate! Spoiled my walk and made me keep an eye on my back kinda. On the way back they were parked up outside the pub - enough money to smoke cigarettes too! Pointless calling the police cause - um - well - there don't seem to be any anymore!! - but I guarantee there was something illegal going on there somehow. Gits. . . TVd. Sally was in a real weird boisterous mood all day - she demanded I chase around and play all over the house with her lots!(4/10)p
26 - Up before 7am with the alarm. Walked in the howling gale - delayed on the way home by phoning the police on the mobile and reporting the stolen stripped abandoned car behind the school! You could tell it must have been a nice car, someones pride and joy, before all the windows and sunroof were smashed and the wheels were taken - child seat in the back too - some poor family all the poorer now! All this reporting stuff every other day is costing me a fortune in mobile phone charges - I even have the police number in one of the quickdial memories - the number of times I have to call - I wonder if I should ask for a police radio? So tempting, since the police wont, to spend the night over there in my car sometime 'keeping watch'! . . . had to be done - started a new page to start keeping track of some of this stuff! . . .Showered loaded stuff and Sally up in the car and set off for petrol (Sis1 thankfully donated 10) and Sis1s . . . all went down to visit M/D. Both seemed well enough although Dad's hair has really thinned a lot and he has that steroid induced 'moon face' about him - Put on loads of weight too!. Sally seemed even more relaxed than ever wagging her tail around them all as they were allowed to stroke her, which was nice to see - a mountain of tins of special offer dog food M/D had managed to get was neatly stacked awaiting me in the garage. Chats and coffee and a look at the radiotherapy mask and the polaroid photo a nurse had taken during therapy, that Dad had as a trophy of his experiences then all back out crammed in the car and drove to the pub restaurant on Paignton sea front. Left Sally in the car and all ate a huge nice meal. Took a couple of photos on the digital to e-mail to Sis2 who must feel uncomfortably 'distant' and left out. Big bunch of Germans on the next table - SO hard not to start reciting the Fawlty Towers sketch - "Don't mention the war. I may have mentioned it once but I think I got away with it!" One of them saw us taking photos and generously volunteered to take one for us (on mums camera) so we could all be in it. Nice of her. Finished eating and returned to the, car smuggling out a doggie bag of our leftovers for Sally. All walked along the beach as Sally went crazy chasing thrown pebbles in the waves - good fun. Sally gives an agreeable focus for our attentions and conversation - can't help but smile when she is around. Eventually back to the car hoping Sally hadn't overdone it so soon after her op. Got the doggie bag out and her bowl and all sat on a bench as she tucked in and devoured the lot - mushrooms, peas, carrots, everything! Back to M/Ds for coffee and biscuits and fighting off of sleep in front the TV. Loaded the car with all the dog food tins and back on the road after 8pm - some DREADFUL weather on the way back -horizontal hail, lightening, wind - drove slower than usual a fair way! Dropped Sis1 off, home, unloaded and drinking coffee by 11pm. . . BB called to touch base having arrived at the apartment where she will be working from for a while. Uh oh - as we talked I could hear the train go by - and that was the second one within an hour!! Poor BB - how can she possibly sleep through that?!!!! Oh dear. . . spent an hour or so messing with the digital photos and then called Sis2 to warn her I was sending big download e-mails. To bed around 1am exhausted only to find I couldn't get to sleep for ages?! (5/10)p
27 - Up fighting for bed space round 6am but managed to push Sally over enough to get back to sleep for a couple of hours! Woke to see a police car parked outside LBs house!?. . .massive shower but it cleared up enough to walk without me getting wet - more than can be said for Sally - covered in mud!! Back home to remove some of my waterproofs and then walked with her down to the doctors to drop in the repeat prozac pescription form. . .PCd but once again Sally was in a weird hyperactive kinda mood demanding my attention lots! Played a little but that only gave me a vacuuming job to do for later! PCd ignoring her but she expressed her resentment by barking and then going off and grabbing a small piece of the venetian blind that I hadn't used that I'd left on the window sill, and started chewing on it! Grrrrr - several days now of this 'new' Sallydog - tiring me out! . . .Fell asleep for a few hours - woken by doorbell and barking dog. ML was passing and popped in for a brief chat. LB called to offer a visit to Macro in the near future - she had no knowledge of the police car this morning. ML dropped into conversation that he had been approached by a manager where I used to work who had been asking about what 'official' appraisal type stuff I may have on my web site and how they may be looking into it in terms of a breach of the official secrets act!!!!!!! ML soon left but that brief comment has done untold damage! Immediate stress headache and all the old feelings of worthlessness and paranoia and persecution and, and - feel panicky, tearfull and like shit!!!! They will ALWAYS own me! Didn't expect such a strong reaction at all! Thought I was kinda doing ok after having dealt with, none too badly, some pretty crappy stuff these last few months but wow did I fall apart today!! I guess I haven't dealt with that old work baggage AT ALL and have just buried it - and none too deeply at that! Turned 'tortoise' - withdrew and turned off the phones and sat around darkly wrestling with the knee jerk avoidant thoughts of finally actually buying a shack in the hills and having no contact with anyone AT ALL, ever. SO unfair that family and the 'good' people in my life always without hesitation immediately get excluded with the rest in such fantasies. Full-blown AvPD episode! Bugger!!!!. . . SH popped in, after getting no reply on the phone, wanting to talk about his programming and stuff but impossible to fully act like I was ok. Of course he talked some sense and reason about it but sense and reason never enter in to such uncontrollable feelings! I'm not 'stupid'! Paranoia aside - if that is possible under the circumstances!! - it realy does seem SO strange that after all these years, when I am no longer even employed by them, managers there still seem to drag my name up from their subconscious as someone to 'have a go at'! And I'm the one with baggage and 'mental health' problems???. . . Spike Milligan died this day.(2/10)paassss
28 - A glimpse of sunshine so walked Sally all the way down to the river Avon at Hanham. River was real high again - deep wet mud everywhere - Sally found it all!! Some devil dog with a couple of horses - she would NOT come when called but luckily the women on the horses were nice and fully understanding and on foot kept between Sally and hooves. Lots of BIG showers with the rain going straight down AND up - and not the right choice of coat - got rather wet! Walked for several miles almost forgetting Sally was still recovering from her op. You wouldn't know it the way she chased around. Back at home exhausted Sally was STILL absolutely hyperactive and wanting to play and chew and dig up carpets!!? Never seen her like this?! She wouldn't let me nap and ended up jumping up and down on me on the single bed next to the PC where I nap! Cramped and muddy!! Is it possible this is how she now is after her operation or did I really see her eating one of those red Cotoneaster berries in the garden early this morning and that is why? Time will tell! Maybe I should try eating one? Maybe she was just picking up on my altered mood - first time she's known me like that I guess . . . eventually slept for a couple of hours, woken by LB leaving a message on the ansaphone reminding me of later. Crazy 'devil dog on speed' seems to have slowed down a little thank goodness. Weird. . .Showered and dashed round the post office and drew some money out. . . BB called to touch base but was cut off short by LB at the door. Left Sally at home and accompanied LB in her new car to the Macro wholesale warehouse place. Haven't been there for years - quite an eye opener - lots of stuff quite a bit cheaper than in the shops. Should have taken a calculator - so hard to work out the VAT on everything, etc. Resisted as much as I could, even the cheap 32" wide screen TVs, and ended up just stocking up on coffee, dog meal, dog treats and such mostly. Need to sit down with the bill and figure out exactly how much cheaper it all was and whether or not it is worth hassling LB to return some time. Back home unloaded and returned a call to PS. Walked Sally and PS turned up over the field to be barked at! Quick stop at the chip shop for a bag of chips to go with the cheap cold meat I'd bought and back home. Chats with PS till early.(3/10)pas
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