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Monday, 25 February 2013

And All Because The Lady Loves Risotto

I think it must be an age thing but I've suddenly started to loath supermarket shopping unless there's only me and 3 other people in there, sadly it's usually me and several 100 Midlands Chav's and their screaming offspring. This is why I've taken to nipping to the local Aldi (which I love) for bits and bobs and only treading the boards of the multi-nationals when I need my gluten free crap and odd stuff like that. I'd made up my mind that this weekend was going to be one long creative splurge as I got busy crocheting owls but by Saturday afternoon boredom had set in. Having no great amount of cash, no friends less than an hours drive away to go plonk myself on for a cuppa and a chat and a BF who works nights and sleeps most of the day I was at a loss with what to do to brighten up my cold and murky Saturday afternoon. Thankfully I can be lured away by something as simple as a special offer so I bombed off up the M6 to stock up on Risotto rice, chicken for the pooches and a few veggies from my fave German supermarket. 

It's all your bloody fault

On the way back the signs above the motorway were warning people to slow down to 50 as there were 'animals in the road'. I expected this to be a few loose sheep where I got off at the dreaded Catthorpe interchange but how wrong can you be. As I getting in lane to join the A14 I could something small and black running down the grass verge on the hard shoulder and I nearly had a heart attack and bought the car to a screeching halt when I realised it was a small black dog. Anyone who knows me will know that when it comes to animals all sense and reasoning goes out the window so I didn't give a thought to my safety as I got out the car to try and coax it towards me with a bit of smelly processed meat. The poor thing was so terrified he just backed away and sat there barking his head off. I did the only thing I could think of and rang 999 assuming that they would already be in the process of doing something to get him off the road. Sadly my faith in people and the Great British system took a nose dive as I was told by the woman on the end of the line that no the Police wouldn't get involved as they wouldn't accept the responsibility of the dog causing an accident and would I please get in my car and go home. Now I've done my rebellious bit since I was 14 and every now and again I will stick to my guns and stick 2 fingers up at society and it's narrow minded expectations. I never expected that I would stand at the side of the M6 with a packet of chicken pressed to one ear and my phone to the other with traffic roaring by, tears rolling down my face as I told this person in good old plain English mixed with a few choice words that I didn't give a shit about people and stupid health and safety shite, I was not going home, I had a conscience that wouldn't allow me to be that bloody heartless and  I was not leaving this poor scared dog so I suggested she sent someone out to help me or else I was going to stay there all day. Amazingly she gave in, told me she could see me on camera, could I park my car a little better and someone would come out. Me and the dog stood there a good 10 minutes - me freezing and him barking, and finally the keystone cops turned up (Traffic cops) and with a few nifty moves they caught him. They didn't know what to do with him so I guess it was a good job I'd already decided to take him home and find a rescue or someone to take him on. My ever suffering BF opened to the door to a tearful me clutching a poo and pee encrusted Chihuahua and didn't bat an eyelid. I cleaned the poor little bugger up (dog not the BF) and left him to settle in with my 2. Saturday obviously isn't a good day to get hold of the authorities as I rang 3 councils, was passed on to or told to ring various dog wardens none of which would accept the dog as their responsibility due to where I'd found him. The RSPCA and several other rescues don't take strays from the public and the few others I left messages for never got back to me. All in all people aren't scoring very well in my book at the moment. I named him Jorge (George), he had some dinner and settled down as well as any dog can that's been scared out of its wits by traffic. By Sunday I managed to talk to a Dog warden who pretended she hadn't heard where I'd picked him up and they came to take him to the kennels for 7 days to see if he'd be claimed - I won't hold my breath. I made her promise that they'd rehome him if not and they'd let me know as by now I was very very attached to him and it was breaking my heart to let him go. It's weighed on my mind ever since that I could have done more but maybe that's just me. I'm finding it hard enough financially to deal with 2 dogs at the moment without adding a 3rd to the mix. Someone will snap him up as he 's an absolute sweetie, that's the good thing. I was meant to grow bored and go out to buy rice, that's the other good thing, and thanks to being bolshie and stubborn and bloody minded I was meant to drive down the M6 instead of going the lanes way home cos sadly we seem to live in a society where not many people care about distressed animals, It's always somebody elses responsibility or problem. Not in my book it isn't. I'd have stopped if it had been a chicken running up and down the verge. Maybe I am stupid and I have little regard for my safety but I know my limits and at least I sleep well at night knowing that I didn't turn a blind eye and leave it up to someone else.

Makes it all worthwhile

I never did get my bloody Risotto for tea nor did I have my planned creative splurge and I spent most of Sunday after he'd gone bawling my eyes out but who cares. I think I earned my wings - but can I have black or purple as I don't do white and fluffy

Friday, 15 February 2013

A Bit of Jam and Jerusalem

It's been one hell of a week. I turned 44 (whoopee doo) and took umbrage that certain people forgot but then I am always the idiot who remembers everyone elses special days weeks in advance so maybe I should knock that on the head and then I won't give a damn. I seem to have done nothing else but knit and stress about diabetic dog. We finally registered him with a 3rd Vet practise (must be a record in such a short time) and at last this bloke explained it all in simple terms and I'm no longer frantically running around the house waving a blood glucose monitor around in a state of panic. Timmy can have 1 blood test a month which will apparently map his glucose levels for the last 4 weeks  (technology astounds me) ! So no twice daily visits to the Vet which means no stress for him and no stress for me. Izzy has taken to eating memory foam after having her favourite dry dog food withdrawn as it's basically the worst crap either of them could eat, and me and the BF may well end up skinny (hurray) as we can't sit and eat anything 'snacky' without an audience and loads of guilt. I will have to lock myself in the wardrobe with a bar of Galaxy at this rate.
The Goth doll is almost completed and I'm actually really enjoying knitting it which comes as a bit of a surprise. There could be a business venture in there somewhere.

I'm planning a few more out of the book when this one is finished so watch this space. I also want to have a go at crocheting Owls. They appear to be highly fashionable at the moment so why not try and cash in on people liking the same thing for gawd knows what reason.

Last night I attended my first meeting as a fully paid up member of the Swinford Women's Institute and I bloomin well loved it. I am by a flying furlong the youngest member and all of the ladies took it in turn to pat my arm and tell me eagerly how glad they were that I'd joined! Most of the Wednesday craft club are members so it's a great way for me to get to know people now that the sad realisation I have no friends in close proximity has hit me. Everyone needs a cuppa and a gossip now and again. I have to drive about 100 miles if I plan on doing it which is a bit of a bugger. I have even put my name forward for their quiz team event in June - I'd better watch a lot of Eggheads and Mastermind to get in practise. That was the best thing about February 14th - can't be doing with mushy valentine's crap for the masses. I did get given a bag of chocs on the 13th. I've never had a card in my life. The BF had one from the dog + a Pot Noodle (don't ask) and diabetic dog and his beloved exchanged cards (they both write very well for dogs). Now that my every waking moment isn't consumed with lancets and insulin doses I can kick back and do some serious creative stuff and maybe a bit of baking, after all isn't that what W.I. ladies do? Bring on the jam pots, I'm feeling fruity :)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Needles and Pins

How difficult can it be to get blood out of a dogs ear? If you have a placid, stands still type of dog then I imagine it would be a piece of cake. If, like me you have a whirling dervish, snapping turtle of a dog then it becomes a wee bit more difficult. We spent 25 minutes with my Vet this morning being shown how to use a blood glucose monitor (not very successfully I may add) and then the Insulin Vetpen (more success with this thankfully). Me and the dog can now look forward to this palaver twice a day until his blood glucose levels stabilise - test blood, stab unwilling patient with a needle and then feed him his special food and hope he sees it as a treat. I also have to phone the Vet twice a day so he can tell me what dose to administer according to the blood readings! The cost so far requires valium and smelling salts but it should level out now with me only having to buy insulin cartridges as and when required. I need to get my butt in gear and get my van cleaned out, photographed, advertised and hopefully sold. Last nights supposedly lucky lottery produced bugger all (long story all to do with the number 8) so maybe tonights health lottery wouldn't mind sending £100k my way. Failing that I'm making a de-cluttering list (again) of stuff to wack on ebay, having realised that selling my body wouldn't earn me much around these parts.

Beware of women with sharp objects

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Life Is Sweet

A friend of mine was lucky enough to go on a course last week on 'how to use your Aga' - she's moving to a property which comes which a very fine red specimen installed in the kitchen and apparently they are nothing like normal ovens to use so specialised knowledge was required. I must admit to a bit of daydreaming as to how lovely it would be to live in an old house with a range cooker that heated the whole place and a warming oven you could keep lambs in (I watch some bizarre shite on tv that stays with me for years). So imagine my delight to find that I too have to go and pick up some 'knowledge' next week from a professional.....dismiss all romantic notions of oil fired ranges and thatched cottages from your mind for I have to go and learn how to check the dogs blood and how to administer insulin. Yes indeedy, our 2nd Veterinary trip of the week was poles apart from the farce on Monday. Timmy's glucose levels are high and so blood was taken (his and not the staff thankfully) to test for Diabetes or possibly Cushing's. The results are back 24 hours later (take note NHS) and Mr Grumpypants is a confirmed diabetic. So what does this mean for us? I will have to check his blood daily for 5 to 6 weeks until he's stabilised and inject him with insulin twice a day for life and his diet will also have to change rather drastically so I feel sorry for the poor old git. I'm not very medically minded but I'm reassured by the Vet that you can now get an insulin pen which might make my life easier given the temperament of the patient. It's a bit of a shock but at least it's manageable and having lost 2 dogs to dementia and 1 to cancer I think this is a walk in the park. Smelling salts may be required considering the costs involved and as I'm 44 tomorrow I think I'm getting a bit long in the tooth to try and drum up 'custom' on the A5 if you get my drift. 

Who says I'm over the hill?!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Art of Creation

Some days you have to make yourself 'do' stuff you really can't be arsed to. This is one of those days but I'm determined to plod on and have something to show for it by bedtime. After a lousy nights sleep worrying about the dog and the multitude of problems he might/might not have, I managed to lose myself in Aldi for an hour - the place has a soothing effect on me, and now I have parked myself in the chair with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of black wool to start on this dratted Goth doll that I've agreed to make for someone. There's only one problem....

Breathe in dogs
...there's me (my arse) and my knitting and 2 porky Yorkie's squeezed into 1 armchair. I loath knitting at the best of times and it's no more fun with my elbows around my ears!! The beautiful blue sky and sunshine has made way for grey skies and more flaming snow (it can just bugger off back to where it came from) so the light in our north facing cottage is now a bit grim. It had better not affect tomorrows 'craft gathering' or I shall have a mid-life tantrum.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Pissing In The Wind

Any thoughts of getting creative have taken a back seat today as I am a lethal combination of exhausted, stressed and evil. Yesterday we made the 320 mile round trip to Brighton with 2 whinging 'we hate travelling' dogs in transit. The reason for this day trip madness? So I could spend a few hours in the company of my friend, deliver 'the' rainbow blanket and in turn save my dwindling sanity. Despite the lousy overcast and wet weather it worked. I got to see the people who mean a lot to me; we had tea and cake in the rather lovely Metrodeco and then a jaunt around the lanes of Brighton. I got to stand and look out to sea and came away looking just a wee bit windswept. When you live - as we sadly do - in the landlocked, chav filled Midlands these batty excursions work wonders for the soul.

Cake anyone?'s mine all mine
Today I feel like getting in the car and heading down there again after a trip to the Vet's has sent my stress levels into hyperspace! I've had the same Vet for 20 odd years but was finding the 40 mile round trip every 4 weeks a bit of a bind so in my infinite wisdom I moved the dogs to the one in town which is 10 minutes away. I can't say I've been impressed. Every time I take the 'old codger' for his cartilage injections I get the same personality lacking, simpering Aussie wet weekend that they would have me believe is a qualified Vet. Today she managed to wind me up and piss me off in such equal proportions I almost wished that Timmy would get her with his 1 fang. He's been drinking and peeing to excess in the past week and I was worried so wanted him checked out. After being given the wrong information by the nurse on reception I didn't turn up with a sample ( I did try) so I basically had to fork out £20 for the Vet to spout shite to me for a few minutes. She filled my head with talk of Cushings disease and kidney failure and then made the excuse that she couldn't listen to the dogs chest cos he was grumbling (she has no backbone this woman) so could I go away and come back with a urine sample which might not tell them much so then they'd have to do blood tests and maybe more blood tests which could run to several hundreds of pounds. During all of this Timmy (who is a bit special in a lot of ways) was doing what he always does in company - talking in his own unique way which sounds something like a goose being strangled crossed with a sea lion. The insipid specimen kept jumping back and asking me what the hell he was doing as it sounded like he was hiccuping. I decided there and then that I would rather drive 20 miles to see a true professional than 10 minutes to see a lousy excuse of  an educated human being who might be a bit cheaper. Consider that a very important lesson learnt. I may have to get the crochet out after all. Every time I jab the hook into the wool I can imagine I'm jabbing the bloody vet and my stress levels will return to normal.

Who are you calling special?!

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Cost of Happiness? - £8.50

You can't buy happiness so people would have you believe but I'm afraid I have to disagree. It can indeed be purchased and for the grand total of £8.50! That is how much the wool cost me for the Rainbow blanket - the one project that's really managed to lift my spirits in the 2 weeks I've been working on it. In the 18 months since I taught myself the basics of crochet thanks to a book and a bloke doing a tutorial on You Tube, I have hooked 4 huge blankets made up of 70 - 80 squares. I kept the first, 1 ended up cut to ribbons which nearly broke me, and the other 2 were gifts for special people. Then came 3 continuous square blankets and several cushions which are still lurking in the UFO cupboard of doom. Yet this latest creation for my friends wacky 3 yr old who I adore loads (quite a feat considering I usually loathe children) has been my favourite and I think I may have to do a few more inbetween less inspiring projects just to bring a bit of sunshine to the day. This one is heading to Brighton on Sunday which seems quite apt really

It's all been a bit of a Frill !!

I'm not one of these bloggers who has Ta-dah moments or professes to pee sparkly glitter. By most crocheters standards this isn't perfect but I'm well chuffed with it and it makes me downright bloody happy and I hope it has the same effect on its recipient.