Monday, December 27, 2004

Well that was Christmas that was!

Well Christmas started as it meant to go on. My daughter rang on Thursday from Devon to say she wouldn't be coming to stay for Xmas that afternoon as she had just run into the back of a 4x4 with a large towbar and spare tyre which had not done her radiator and bonnet a lot of good! Fortunately her dad came to the rescue and got her back to his place and then bless him, drove her all the way up here that evening so she wouldn't miss out on the family festivities.

Mark came up on Friday afternoon and helped us clear out the spare room so they could sleep in there the rest of their stay. Its such a relief to have that room sorted out. We had to get rid of an awful lot of rubbish to make space for the two beds.

Friday evening was interesting too! I'd popped up stairs fot the vacuum cleaner for the spare room and checked on the pupsicles and they were fine. Half an hour later Ian went up to be greeted by the sight of the two of them sitting in their crate surrounded by bits of gold foil with an air of innocence on their faces. On investigation he realised that this was the remains of a whole bag of chocolate coins that they had somehow managed to drag into the crate and extricate the chocolate from the wrappers! We knew chocolate was not good for dogs, but not how bad, so I did a search on the internet to find it can be lethal! There is a substance in chocolate which they cannot digest and is absorbed by the liver and then recycled constantly around the dogs system building up toxicity which can eventually be lethal, giving them a very unpleasant death. Fortunately we knew roughly how long it must have been since they ate it and how much (approx 65g!) so rang the vet straight away.

Of course it being Xmas Eve the only vet on duty was the other side of Bournemouth so we bundled them both into the pet carrier and raced across town. The vet was waiting for us and rushed them straight into the surgery to induce them to vomit up what they had eaten.

Fifteen minutes later he brought them back into the waiting room and informed us that Pepsi was the main offender as he seemed to have eaten most if not all of the chocolate. So poor Max had had to be treated for no good reason, but we couldn't have taken a chance as we simply didn't know who had eaten what. As Ian was paying the bill - a painful £94.00! - I heard Pepsi retching and dashed to get him out of the crate just as he threw up over poor Max's head. We pulled him out far enough to put some paper down under his head to vomit on but then to add insult to injury he started to get diarrhea out the back end which as he was standing just in front of Max again poor Max bore the brunt. We hauled Pepsi out onto the floor of the waiting room and there followed a merry game as we tried to get him to stay still so we could keep the mess he was making to the paper towels we were putting down. Alas it was not to be! I have to say the vet and his assistant were very good about it all. They even took them away again and cleaned them up as best they could.

Of course as soon as we got them home again we gave them a bath each. Max was the first to get the treatment and then it was Pepsi's turn. On coming back into the study with Pepsi we found that Max had crapped in his crate and so it was back in the bath again! This is not what one particularly wants to be doing on Xmas Eve!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Should have gone to the opticians today for my new specs but somehow just couldn't get the energy to make the effort - plus the thought of all those crowds doing their Christmas shopping was enough to put the kybosh on that plan. Will just have to wait until after Christmas, tough! Ian went up to Salisbury to see his kids this morning so I had a lovely lazy morning with the Creatures from the Black Lagoon. Had intended taking Max for his first walk today but as its been raining too much had to resort to putting him on his new lead and walking him up and down the landing! He does seem to be getting more used to it so hopefully when we do finally get to take him out he'll be as quick as Pepsi was.

Although he's a pure bred scotty dog he looks more like a daschund as he has a long body with very short legs. Our vet tells us this is normal and as he gets older he'll start looking more like a proper scotty, but he's so comical looking at the moment we can't help but laugh.

Well we finally got round to starting to put up the Christmas decs this afternoon. Two long multi coloured rope lights draped around the study, along with an optic fibre xmas tree and candle bridge lights in each of the 3 windows. looks great from outside. Ian actually bumped into some of the neighbours who live opposite and they were asking when we were going to put the decs up as they enjoy them so much so he was able to tell them they'd see them when they get home. Still have to put the tree up in the lounge and decorate that and also the outside lights. Icicle lights round the bay window and multi colour lights down the length of the fence. Oh nearly forgot the curtain lights for the lounge windows! So still a lot to do! Looks like we're going to be busy tomorrow, as we still have to clear out the spare bedroom for Sam and Kieran to stay when they come for Xmas. Arrrgh!!!!

Pepsi has finally mastered coming down the stairs on his own which is great as it was getting to be a pain having to carry him down every time he needed to go out. I attempted to get Max to go up on his own but he wasn't having any of it and I could see he was still too small really so it'll be a little while before he can make it.

Ian came back from the supermarket with the ham for Christmas and is buried in recipes as to which is the best way to prepare it with glazes and cloves and the whole shooting match. He's having so much fun planning the Christmas Dinner. He's got a special turkey on order and is going to prepare it the way he did last year which was superb. He cooks the crown and legs seperately and stuffs the legs before wrapping them in buttered foil. Last year they were sensational. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Well its Christmas next week and I've got a stinker of a cold, plus its now gone to my chest and I'm coughing all the time, which is very annoying and painful. Have had to have the last few days off work with it, which would have been useful, but all I want to do is sleep, as I am coughing most of the night. Doesn't seem to bother Ian - he just sleeps through it!

Just looked down at the puppies, Pepsi & Max (aka Beelzebub & Mephistopheles, the Creatures from the Black Lagoon!) They were wrestling and Pepsi had Max in a full nelson- they are so funny to watch when they play together. They are being very good today (it cant last) Neither has done a pooh off the pads and little Maxsie has only had one wet accident on the carpet which is such a relief as they were a nightmare yesterday and really drove us to the wall! But they are so sweet we have to forgive them and just hope this 'phase' wont last much longer - of course we realise we are probably just kidding ourselves! This could go on for a very long time, particularly with Pepsi being a Westie. Max is still very young at only 10 weeks but caught on to the puppy pads from the word go, he seems much more mature than Pepsi, despite being 3 months younger, but I think Scottie dogs are much more cool, calm and collected than the 'mad' Westie!

I spoke too soon - just found a Pepsi pooh out on the landing carpet, despite there being a pad only a foot away- he just doesn't seem to get it! Anyway they have both been banished to the Black Lagoon (the puppy pen) for the time being.

We watched the Royal Variety Performance last night which was very entertaining and saw a medly from The Producers with Nathan Lane and Lee Evans. It looked great fun and I've always loved the movie so I checked out Ebay for tickets and found a package with good seats and overnight accommodation in a very nice 5 star hotel called the Langham. It's just off Regent Street so is very handy for shopping and sightseeing as well. So I've booked this up for us as a special treat for New Years Day. I will have the chance to wear my new full length fur coat (faux of course!) which I've just got off Ebay so I'll be able to sashay around town in that - great fun!

Ian has just come down from the loft where he has spent the last hour or so putting down loftboards so we can use it as a proper store room. Mainly for Xmas decs, up until now we have just been piling them around the hatch. We seem to have accumulated an awful lot. I was amazed at the number of boxes that came down this year. We have also got a lot of my mums stuff piled in the spare room which can now go into the loft - and probably never see the light of day again! sadly I just can't bring myself to get rid of it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

As you can see I haven't posted anything for a while. I've been very busy lately and things have just got busier as we have begun redecorating the lounge, dining room, hall, stairs & landing in readiness for new carpeting. It all started when we decided to open up the old fireplace in the lounge and install a nice period mantelpiece. It took me two hours to get the old faux fireplace off the wall and I found it had been blocked up with plasterboard. Unfortunately when Ian tried removing it the next day he managed to take off most of the plaster on the rest of the chimney breast as well! This meant we had to get a plasterer in to dryline and plaster the entire chimney breast as the remaining plaster had to be removed on both sides as it would just crumble when touched.
We have also decided to attempt putting up some very onamental plaster coving which I have had sitting under my stairs for about 4 years. As none of the walls or ceiling have accurate angles this should be interesting! The original hearth collapsed when we removed the faux fireplace so there is a large hole in the lounge floor where this normally would be so this is going to have to be reinstalled when the fireplace is fitted on the 29th May. We have finished stripping all the wallpaper and border now but it will all need a good clean with sugar soap before we start doing the coving and painting. We won't be able to put up the new wallpaper until after the fireplace goes in and then we will be ready for the carpets, a lovely peacock greeny blue throughout.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

A trip to Bath in the Caravan

Just got back from our Anniversary weekend near Bath. We drove up with the caravan on Friday, our 3rd Wedding Anniversary as well as being Valentines Day. I had found a site to stay at in the Best of British booklet, the Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park, near Chew Valley Lake in Somerset. After we had set up the 'van Ian made a lovely dinner and we just chilled out watching the TV for the rest of the evening.

The next day, Saturday we drove to the Bath Park & Ride carpark and then got a bus into the city. First stop was the Roman Baths ( which were amazing and fascinating. The excavation of this huge Temple and Bath complex of 2000 years ago is extensive and given that its in the middle of the city, right next to Bath Abbey has been all done underground. Afterwards we visited the Pump Rooms and tried the spa water (an acquired taste!). It was bitterly cold but we still decided to go on one of the open top buses that tours the city and very nearly ended up with hypothermia! but a great way to get around and see everything properly. Afterwards went back to the most amazing fudge shop where we had watched a lady making the fudge ( and bought a slice of Triple Belgian Choc to go with the Maple & Walnut I had earlier. Has to be the worlds best fudge!!!

That evening we went out for our Anniversary Dinner at The Carpenters Arms ( lovely olde worlde pub and restaurant I found on the internet (and only 5 mins away from the caravan site). There was lovely big log fire burning in the bar which was welcome seeing it as was -3C!

Saturday had been a lovely sunny day with blue skies although bitterly cold. On Sunday it was a lot greyer so we decided to pretty much take the day off and only went out for an hour to drive to Wells and Wookey. The scenery is so pretty all around this area that one doesnt mind just going for a drive. The rest of the day we chilled out reading the paper or watching TV. Later Ian cooked a fantastic prawn curry for dinner.

Didn't get up until 10a.m. this morning (Monday)! Had breakfast of bacon & eggs, sausages, mushroom and baked beans with fried bread (its amazing what Ian can produce on that little caravan cooker!) Packed up nice and leisurely and drove off site at 12am. Had a lovely drive home through some very pretty scenery and villages and got home just after 2.30. Have just spent a couple of hours unpacking the caravan and putting it to bed again for another month or so. Can't see us taking her out again until the end of March when I have a week off. This is the first time we have been out in her in the Winter and its been a different experience, what with night temperatures going down to -4c! The water has frozen, the electric was initialy intermittant, although we did manage to sort that out fairly quickly. Cant wait for the next time, although its lovely to be home!

Friday, February 06, 2004

Planning a trip

I've had the day off work today and spent much of the afternoon on the internet (Thank God for Broadband!) As its our 3rd Wedding Anniversary on the 14th February (Valentines Day - Romantic or what?) we've decided to go away for the weekend in the caravan and have plumped for Bath as its an interesting City and not too far, about 2 hours or so. So I've been doing searches on all sorts of things for our trip and found a cracking Caravan site called Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park which has 5 stars and all sorts of awards so it should be really nice. We want to go out for a nice dinner as its our Anniversary so I've been wading through all the restaurant and pub sites in the area and have come up with what sounds like a very nice place in the Carpenters Arms, Chewton Wick, near Bath. There is a very big lake beside the site called Chewton Valley Lake which is a site of special scientific interest because of all the birds and wildlife so I am looking forward to seeing that too. Just have to hope the weather is kind to us!

Sunday, February 01, 2004

My First Post!

I was clearing out all the clutter on my side of the study on Saturday when I came across a guide book of the Brighton Pavilion which I'd visited a few years ago. Showed it to Ian and he suggested driving to Brighton the next Day. So on Sunday we were in Brighton (only took 2 hours from Poole) by 12 o'clock and went straight to the Royal Pavilion ( What a place! The Banqueting Room with the huge Chandeliers suspended from Dragons, the silver gilt plate displayed on the sideboards. The whole huge room decorated completely in the most lavish and ornate Chinoiserie style has to be seen to be believed. Then more beautiful rooms until you come to the Music Room, even more stunning! Then upstairs to see Queen Victorias apartments. There was even a micro mosaic portrait of the Prince Regent made by the workshops of the Vatican out of tiny pieces of coloured marble. You couldnt tell it was a mosaic unless you looked really closely. I couldnt resist pointing it out to some ladies behind us who were amazed when they realised what it was.
After lunch in the Princess Adelaide Tearooms we wandered around The Lanes, a maze of little alleys full of jewellery and antique shops. Although it was cold it was a beautiful sunny day and we had had a lovely afternoon in Brighton.