Archive for January, 2013

Blue sky and dappled shade

January 30, 2013 2 comments

After the rain it seems hard to believe that the sky can be this colour, with not a cloud in sight.

Blue sky above our roof

Blue sky over the roof

We sat outside for lunch today, and Galileo got in some serious exploring.

Galileo camouflaged in the patchy shade

Galileo camouflaged in the dappled shade

A hot water bottle

January 29, 2013 12 comments
Hot water bottle inside a furry cover

Hot water bottle inside a furry cover

Clive’s lymphatic fever has thankfully gone, but he’s still feeling cold at night so I’ve been getting him a hot water bottle.

Every time I do so, I find myself flooded with sensory recollections.

When we used to arrive at our holiday home in the winter as children, my mother used to prepare us each a ‘hottie’ as we called them. Other times as well, but it’s from those nights that I remember them best.

First there was the drill-like noise of water pouring from the kettle into the bottle, and the comforting smell of hot rubber.

Then a tiny clucking, gurgling sound as she squeezed the bottle to exclude the air.

I nursed my hottie all the way up the stairs.

It went into the bed before I did, creating a welcome warm patch.

I clutched it as a lifesaver before finally pushing it into the freezing depths of my bed with my feet, to lead the way.

In the morning it was useless; quite cold. But I woke up feeling as if I’d arrived in heaven.

Full moon through the branches

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Full moon

Full moon

It’s been grey and misty today with non-stop rain.

Typical, when we’d arranged to have a delivery of pellets for the stove and were obliged to cancel because otherwise the sacks would come into the house wet.

Before today, there was blue sky and bright sunshine.

And a bright full moon.

Pure as the driven snow

January 27, 2013 3 comments
Taylor today, after his shampoo

Taylor today, after his shampoo


Yesterday I saw a deer run up the hill. Taylor ran after it, though not in a serious attempt to catch it.

When he returned, there was evidence he’d been distracted by something far more interesting.

Its dung.

He’d coated himself liberally in the dark, gamey-smelling substance.

I had to strip off and take him into the shower.

His collar was covered and once this was removed, there was nothing to get hold of him by. Fortunately, if I use nice warm water and talk gently to him, he’s quite compliant. In fact he just stood there, looking slightly pained, while I was able to wash him using both hands.

Better still, he waited for me to towel dry him before shaking himself!

Is she her daughter?

January 26, 2013 2 comments

Galileo has come home and after a very thorough and joyful tour of every nook and cranny in the house and near part of the garden, has settled down.

He’s on his blanket under my desk at the moment.

He’s been avidly remaking the acquaintance of Joules as these photos show.

They really do look very alike.

Like father like son!

Two generations!

A tolerant Joules

A tolerant Joules

When Joules was small, he had the same sort of resemblance to the older and darker of our two neutered male golden retrievers, with whom he was great friends.

We had a lot of fun out of the innocent but (to us) silly questions inspired by that resemblance.

“Is she her daughter?” was one of them.

Helpline maze

January 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Indicative of the branches in the TIM helpline

Indicative of the branches in the TIM helpline

This morning Clive pointed out in alarm a message from TIM, our internet service provider, saying that his 5Gb of upload and download per month were almost used up.

Once used up, the speed would slow to a crawl (not even worth trying to access the internet).

He checked on TIM’s own page and it said he’d used 4Gb, while their statistics said he’d used 2.7.

I picked up the mobile phone and settled down for a long session.

The options on the free helpline branch and branch again. The voice which conveys the recorded messages is gratingly familiar and enthusiastic. The content is almost entirely promotional.

The option for help from an operator is the very last one in each round. Unlucky you if you actually expect it to be there at the end of the maze. By the time you’ve exhausted all avenues, it has disappeared.

You have to know that the only way to reach an operator is to pretend that your phone has been lost or stolen. Now that could be dangerous! Do that in other countries or other situations and your number is instantly cut off and can’t be reconnected without protracted delays.

To add insult to injury, TIM now asks you to tap in the number of the phone or SIM card that has been lost. It was only after an otherwise unhelpful call to the shop which sold us our internet keys that I had the courage to tap in the number of Clive’s key.

And then I was too slow finding the asterisk with which I had to begin and had to hear the whole thing round again!!

When I finally got an operator, she confirmed that Clive has 1Gb left of his 5Gb, which is plenty to see him through to the renewal date of the 27th. (What happened to the 2.7 figure, though, and why are they sending out false alarms by text?)

She also confirmed that the only way to speak to an operator is to go through the farce of typing in a ‘lost’ number.

I sometimes think that it’s almost a full-time job just LIVING here.

Looking forward

January 24, 2013 2 comments

After hearing that Galileo still wasn’t eating, we went to pay him a brief visit this evening at the vet’s.

He was all eyes, locking his gaze onto mine and seeming to want to swallow me up.

Apparently, according to the vet’s father, he has eaten a bit of what looked like chicken-based baby food in a little jar.

The vet was out on a call so his father rang him on the mobile. Apparently it was coccidiosis that Galileo had, and not parvovirus at all, which is good news.

It does mean, though, that he is still unprotected from parvovirus, so as soon as he’s properly better he will need to be vaccinated.

I hope we can collect him tomorrow evening.

I’m so looking forward to the spring and summer with him. These anemones, which bloom right through the winter, are a reminder that spring will eventually come!

Anemones blooming in the middle of winter

Anemones blooming in the middle of winter