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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Come in. It's Christmas.

Oh the joys of rural living.

Our bedroom is a tip! It's a huge room but unlike our two gites (which are beautifully restored and cosy and surely represent good value for money,book now to avoid disappointment,) is in need of a little renovation to say the least.It's the room where everything that doesn't have a place lives.There are piles of stuff. Boxes that haven't been unpacked since we moved here eight years ago. Everything from mattresses to mirrors to car radios to christmas decorations and somewhere in amongst all this is our new house guest.
For some time now I've awoke in the dead of night to scratchings and scrapings and the patter of tiny feet sometimes running overhead inside the sloping section of the ceiling and more recently from the corner of the room that is this pile of stuff.
What could it be? Far too noisy for a mouse. I know the cats outside,and anyway when you switch the lamp on it stops instantly. A rat? possibly, although too horrible too contemplate.
Well yesterday I think I found the clue needed for identification.
We were getting dressed up ready to go to a Christmas dinner and as the wellies didn't really go with the suit  I put on a pair of shoes not often worn to find one of them contained a stash of hazlenuts and acorns!
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Must be. Mustn't it?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

joyeux noel


Monday, December 12, 2011


It's official. I've reached middle age. My body no longer can keep up with the demands of the mind..
A couple of weeks ago I was in the third week of an enforced 'do nothing' phase following an operation.
A good time to take our annual weekend away at Pophams in Cornwall, take in a veterinary seminar on alpacas and generally have a jolly good busmans holiday. Or so I thought.
Now I should say that I am a reasonably frequent ferry traveller and have never suffered from seasickness apart from one occasion returning from Ireland in my youth but I had had Guinness for breakfast so really only had myself to blame!
This time it was a day crossing to Plymouth, A calm sea,and we had barely left St Malo port when I realised I had to buy a cabin and lie down.
Jayne and I had just had one of those moments that you have when you've been married too long and had been arguing about where was the best place to sit on the boat.
I chose the bar. She wanted the quiet lounge by the window.
We ended up in the quiet lounge by the window.
So when I made the announcement ten minutes later that I had to leave she left me to it. No doubt thinking I was having a 'mardy' after losing  the seat debate.
I got myself a cabin and spent the next five hours on the toilet floor dying. Being seasick is bad enough but believe you me wretching on a stomach recently patched and stitched was memorable to say the least.
And where was the missus when you really need someone to mop your brow and kiss it better?
Knitting alpaca bootees in the quiet lounge.
The bellyache subsided shortly before docking and a couple of jars of real ale and a chicken piri piri in the evening seemed to make the world right again.
The weekend was great, as it always is.But something wasn't right. Every now and again it was like I was back on the boat and the floor was gently undulating under my feet making me feel dizzy, and a haematoma that had developed above the navel had doubled in size.
Anyway to cut a long medical story short I've had another week in hospital on our return following bad stomach cramps and it is still under investigation with further tests this week.
It would appear I have three different unrelated ailments that have all decided to come at once just to confuse things.
So there you go. It's like buses. Twentyfive years without seeing a doctor and then three come along at once.

vets day at Pophams

It's not all bad though, somewhere inbetween being ill I did manage to get to the movember moustache grand passing out Gala where my moustache was judged to be... not as good as somebody elses. So I didn't win the Mo-bro crown but a few hundred pounds were raised and I'm glad to be rid of it and clean faced again.

the three moustache eers

the band ,who's name I can't remember

A fine drop handlebar effort from Patrick in the background
Lee van Cleef meets Charles Bronson
Apart from that nothing much has happened. I can't remember the last time I was able to pick up poo. Despite her best efforts Jayne is struggling to keep on top of things but understandably weeks of damp and drizzle have left the fields and the alpacas not looking particulaly attractive.My light duties have included cleaning out the workshop,putting up the Christmas tree,lots of hoovering and a half hearted attempt at repairing the washing machine.
Force 10 gales are forecast for Wednesday so we shall batten down the hatches and hopefully a few tons of wet soggy leaves will get blown away a rid us of one big job!