Good with words

Fear... distractions.... the efforts of a self-employed writer to pay the mortgage.... all that jazz.

Monday, December 26, 2005

12 weeks old and growing...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

'Twas Christmas Eve in the workhouse

And the snow was raining fast. (Well, actually, it's too warm to snow.)

Our garden centre had sledges today. I nearly bought one.

But here is the main news of the day: It's Christmas Eve!!!!!!!! I wouldn't be blogging, but Steve is wrapping my presents up and has thrown me out of the living room.

I will probably go downstairs to find a large box with whimpering sounds coming from it.

We have spent a happy day running in the garden, cleaning up poo, watching 80s films on ITV, and photographing Holly. Even Charlie is warming to her - and who wouldn't? - she is just so cute.

We took her for a walk this afternoon but have since discovered that she isn't to go in public places until she has her jabs, so I hope she doesn't die before we even get her to the vet.

And so far we have suffered no:
Well, hardly any.
Which are all the things that people have taken great joy in warning us about. She is the most angelic puppy the world has ever seen. All she asks is a cuddle and the occasional game of fetch, and she loves us almost as much as we love her...

Escort Service

So I've never driven on the motorway before.

And never will again.

It was my first time on Thursday, and I'm pleased to report that at approximately 5.13pm I had to be escorted off the hard shoulder by police!! One driving the car, one in a nee-naw behind us!

Am so classy.

The original eco-warriors

So we've been on a Christmas road trip visiting various family members, including Nan and Gramp (Steve's side) who live in Builth Wells.

Nan and Gramp grow most of their own veg and pick fruit and berries (for the freezer) whenever they can; Gramp 'finds' wood in the local hills and chops it himself; and they trade services with nearby farmers and posh folk. Until recently, they lived with an Aga which heated the house, and their water comes straight from the brook that babbles through their garden. Everything else they own comes from a car boot sale. It's their way of life that has always inspired me.

However, being of their eco-friendly, country-living generation has drawbacks too. Like an old-fashioned attitude to women ("hoovering, now come along Anna, that really is women's work") and other races (can't repeat those comments). An addiction to cigarettes that was firmly embedded before anybody knew about the health implications.

I wonder if we will be similarly inspiring and disgraceful in the eyes of our grandchildren...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

War Wounds

I have to be honest - the reason I haven't posted for a while is because I visit my blog and get distracted by that cute lickle puppy.

But here we are. Now her picture is off the screen, so maybe I will get more work done.

The Demon Tabby has injured my baby puss so now it's War. The vet said to get an airgun and if the vet says it, it must be okay? A water pistol is the minimum requirement so Steve is under orders to collect one (or two, or several) on his way home today. This way I can set it up in my window, like an uzi, and then just randomly fire whenever I see a rustling in the bushes.

At least it didn't follow her into the house - they were fighting, Charlie ran over to me, and the tabby followed and then stopped. And looked at me. I quickly seized a bowl of water (handy having rubbish in the garden) and threw it - and got the demon! Hurrah.

I do think my responses need sharpening up though - am thinking some practice sessions, with Steve holding up a box to represent the tabby and running around the garden? I would need to practise from outside and in to get really good. I will wait for my supersoaker and then we will commence.

So anyway, yes, I didn't realise at first but when Charlie raced into the house and hid on the top shelf of the wardrobe, I figured something extra-bad had happened, so I went and prodded at her until I could see the problem. The demon ripped her ear!!! For heaven's sake. The poor lickle thing was torn and red and bloody. So we had an emergency trip to the new vet. As I haven't even got around to registering her with them yet, it was very kind of them to stay open until 7 waiting for us to arrive.

The poorly ear was shaved and cleaned and is now recuperating in a darkened bedroom.

Charlie is also on a course of antibiotics, which is always fun. I have no idea how one person is supposed to lift up the cat, hold open her jaws and pop in the pill - that's three hands, as far as I can tell. So we have mixed it amongst her food, which probably isn't at all nice.

On a jollier note, it is only 10 days to Christmas!!!!!!!! Wowee. I so can't wait. Our potted tree is so cute and twinkly and the living room is a picture with the log fire and the sparkly presents. The only blight on the horizon is that I have so far not been able to find 'Muppets Christmas Carol' in the Radio Times, and am quite concerned that my favourite has been left out of the schedule. Is v.bad. Catastrophic, maybe.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Names please......

So now we are shortlisting to decide on a name... any suggestions welcome! She is a girl. With a white-tipped tail and a white fluffy bib. (A springer/lab cross.)

Puppy Love

We went to see a litter of puppies last night. (Hands up who doesn't know where this is going.)

Steve he was in a right grump about it all. I rang him at lunchtime yesterday to say "Guess what? We're going to see some puppies this evening!" - and he yelled at me on the phone, then pretty much continued when he got in from work.

So I said we wouldn't go, and I would cancel, but he said "No, we might as well go now you've arranged it, and on my night off as well" (because he is usually always on call).

It continued in the car on the way there (they live near Torquay - miles and miles away, took us an hour each way!!); Steve making all the sensible objections like a right royal grump. "You wouldn't get up early and walk it EVERY morning!! I'd have to do it!! Charlie's life will be ruined! All the furniture will be ruined. I don't even WANT a dog!!!!!"

When we got there, the puppies - all four of them, each about as big as Charlie (who is a very small cat) - came bounding outside with their owner, ran straight to us, and started jumping on our laps and licking our ears and fighting for attention. And Steve just melted on the spot!!!

He started saying things like "Ooh, they've got very good muscle structure" and "they're nice and shiny" and "the mum is very slender for a labrador" and "how often would we have to walk them to be sure of exercising them enough?" and I knew the battle was won!

In the car on the way back it was all "Do you think we can rearrange our Christmas plans and take her home sooner?" and "Will she be okay on her own until the 23rd?" and "Don't you think she will be lonely when all her brothers get sold?". Tee hee. He is so predictably soft.

So we are not buying any Christmas presents for each other... and are settling for this cuddly little house-ruiner instead. They are so adorably bouncy and attention-seeking - lab/springer cross with smallish parents - and we can't wait.

(And that'll teach that demon tabby!!)

My Christmas Present!!

Second from left... that's right, the one with her eye on the photographer's slipper. And curly brown ears (just like me)!