Tuesday, 15 January 2013

W is for Wool, X is for.....

Since I started knitting again, I seem to have amassed loads of wool, and spent the autumn knitting lots of tiny things for our new grandson, Otto. It was very enjoyable and now they are being used. I especially loved making a little green set in Rowan Baby Alpaca Dk from Black Sheep Wools, which is gorgeous to knit with and feels so soft - perfect for such delicate skin.

When we were in France in September, I spent the evenings knitting this Apple Tree Blanket from Rowan Yarns. It definitely stretched my knitting skills, which I like doing, and I think (and hope) my daughter Claire was really pleased with it. It was such fun to do, though I must have made it about six times over, with the amount of times I pulled rows out and re-did them!!

Not a good picture above, and the colour looks really horrid, but below is how it really looks...

X is for...  X-emplary? No!  X-pert? No!  In January, what else could it be but XS - I mean EXCESS!!

We are still eating Christmas cake, and have both XL'd ourselves at eating too many bad things once again!

Weightwatchers looms on the horizon, (well, on my links bar, actually!) and we have to start being good soon. I have to say, I love the Weightwatchers Online site, as we make a lot of different dishes and I can copy recipes into the database, so it works out the points per portion. I have a list of my recipes and there are tons more on the website too. Once we can get ourselves into planning a week at a time, because that's the only way we personally can do it, we don't feel too badly done to, as there are lots of treaty things. 

Me and George :o))

Thursday, 10 January 2013

U is for Unicorn!

I never finished my 'Alphabet for August' challenge, and it went on most of the year, so now I'm going to finish it, continuing with.... 

U is for Unicorns! Why, you ask? Well, I was struggling with U and thought unicorns were definitely the nicest things I could think of. They are magical, mythical beasts, and wouldn't we all like to find one in a forest clearing somewhere? Plus it came to me on the spur of the moment, it is probably not the most likely thing for me to say, and occasionally I like to surprise myself!

V is for Vet - who we and the well-known pet insurers we shall not name have spent a disgusting amount on over the last few years. We have felt in the past that Ruby was getting treatment she didn't really need (as well as being overpriced) and it was actually making her ill! This was all done because she was going to have a dental, and had nothing else wrong with her. They did a blood test and found that her platelet count was low - very low - 32, I think. They said something like 250 was normal! Obviously we were scared. Now greyhounds have completely different blood compositions, heart and lung sizes etc, but this isn't always taken into account. They put her on steroids for months, which had little effect on her count, but changed her beyond belief,. She went off her food, did puddles all over the house, didn't want to go for walks and was literally hangdog all the time! Now they were earmarking her for leukemia treatment, when she had been a happy normal dog before the drugs kicked in. We were due to go on holiday with her, so we told the vet we had decided to stop the steroids and see what difference it made. In the first week she perked up and stopped having 'accidents' in the house, and she just went back to being our sweet Ruby. We aren't in any way saying dogs shouldn't be given steroids, or advising anyone to go against their vet's advice, but remember, Ruby wasn't ill to start with. Some months later, she had a blood test again and it was 500, and the next time, just before the dental she never had was re-planned it was about 55. They had once said that some dogs have counts that go up and down all the time, but I'm so glad we took her off the treatment when we did.

We changed vets when when they told us how much it would be to extract one tooth and clean the rest, and I thought it was a stupid amount, so checked locally and on the internet. Everyone was charging half the price or less than our vet. So we upped sticks and left. You can always change your vet, so shop around. The one we took her to in the end deals with greyhounds and lurchers all the time, so we know she's got the best one now.

If you want to see the earlier alphabet entries, please browse my earlier posts.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My poor blog ...

... has been neglected for the best part of a year, so I thought I should jump back in the saddle, so to speak!

I have been in a state of confusion and indecision for most of that time, as has George, trying to decide whether to move to France or the south of England. We had a very wet and gloomy holiday in Normandy and Brittany in June, made worse by the fact that my elder daughter Emma was rushed to hospital with meningitis. By the time we got back, Emma was recovering at home. We decided we preferred Normandy and returned in September for a drier but still partly grey holiday.

Grey Day!

Autumn Sunshine and Beautiful Percherons at the National Stud 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, although we love France, we have decided to stay in England, for many, many reasons, not least our family but also my up and down health. I think we both feel better for making what we really feel is the right decision for us. We still want to head for drier and warmer climes, so we plan to head south, top listers being the South Hams in Devon and the Isle of Wight, though nothing is set in stone.

To this end, well partly, as we wanted to go there anyway, we've booked a fortnight in Kingswear, Devon in this lovely place called QuerQuay Bolthole (how could you not love that name!) Perfect for a bit of romance!

QuerQuay Bolthole Garden View