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Saturday, 31 July 2010

see how they grow!




4 weeks old today! They are growing so fast you can practically see it happening. Can now get out of their 'box' in the house, so have been demoted to the stable full time. They are running all over, sniffing everything and fighting merrily. Still being provided with calories by their mother, they are trying pup food every day, but it is not as good as the stuff their parent provides. Teeth and attitude have arrived. Also endless puppy pooh and quantities of wee!!!! Not all gorgeous I can tell you.

Busy, sweaty and mad at work, these three weeks are horrible. All huge families and hot, tired travellers. Looking forward to the end of the 'silly season' and return to normal guests! We are full, despite the determination of callers to discover a hidden vacancy which has not been owned up to...." no vacancies in a caravan then?" "No, sorry, we are completely full". "What about a cottage then?" "No, sorry we are full." "An apartment perhaps?" "No sorry, full up I'm afraid." "Oh, a bungalow perhaps?" "No, still as full as we were 10 seconds ago..." And horror stories from poor flea bitten travellers who have booked in to less than clean accommodation (I found it in the local papershop window) (it belongs to a man at work) (a friend told me about it, and it was cheap), and who are now looking for something clean and confortable, and can't get their money back from the shark who has taken it.

Mor cheerily, the yellow horse got new shoes today, so I guess he will be going out for a walk to try them out later.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

pupdate

At 3 1/2 weeks old one of the boy pups has secured a new home with a Nottinghamshire fireman, his wife and son. Coming to collect on 1st September. Just three more to go. Big boy off to Scotland Saturday & Sunday to try and secure accommodation for his sojourn north of the border. Difficult to do from Lincolnshire. Fingers crossed that something is suitable. Next Tuesday will find us all visiting Buckingham Palace public rooms and Victoria and Albert's private art collection! Have had the tickets for MONTHS and the day is nearly here. Logistically, something of a mammoth operation to get us all to the big city for 11am, and then undertake a full days outing. Must be feeling old, there was a time when I wouldn't have blinked at all the effort!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Jools Holland and pupdate





The farmer and I are toddling off to Skegvegas tonight to cheer and whoop for Jools Holland, his Ryhthm & Blues Band, and some impressive guest singers too. Quite excited about the even, particularly as it is only 6 miles from home, in our tiny local theatre.

The pups are growing fast, despite the minor set-back of their mother's 6 day digestive upset. Now they are piddling, pooing, whining, barking and even tottering around their box. In a week or so they are going OUTSIDE in a SHED, at least during the day. I shall quell all arguments about this with a very hard stare.

International Traveller starting honest labour today, 10am til 6pm 6 days per week with just 30 minutes for lunch. Working Reception at a large holiday park. This contract for 6 weeks. He has also volunteered to do two or three nights a week behind the bar of the Countryman Pub. He won't know what's hit him! Fingers crossed his first day goes well, he was a bit nervous! He will be pleased to get to University for a rest.

Big boy trying to find a room to rent in Dumfries for 6 months whilst he does his Fish Farming HNC. Why are all the advertisers 'ladies of a certain age'? He is persisting!

And the buckets and spades? All these have been abandoned by departing guests. We are storing them for free loan to new guests, but its one way traffic, more and more are joining the pile in Reception. Can't think how to reduce the glut, except obviously by chucking them in the bin, which seems such a waste? Buckets and spades anyone?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

a fat lass



You know the feeling. An excellent meal with family/friends, a full stomach, followed by the absolute need to have a bit of a nap. Just hope your belly is not as fat as this!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

nearly time for lodgers to fly off





The pups at 11 days (yesterday). The mess left underneath the nest inthe front porch, and, of course, the makers of the mess! Surely they will depart any day now? Their parents are working overtime to feed these monsters. Frankly, I think they are just sitting here in a crowd enjoying the easy life, and not working to feed themselves. Teenagers everywhere the same it seems!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

whoop, whoop- rain!

At last, its POURING! Hooray. Might sleep well tonight, and dust all laid down outside for a while. Pups, who weighed in at 385 grammes at birth now weigh 1160 grammes at 11 days. Fine fat fellows that they are. No sign of eyes opening, but some attempt to get up onto their stumpy little legs. Still only one spoken for so far. No further communiques from foreign traveller in Budapest, take that to be good news. Quiet few days on the social front too, billy no-mates this week. Storm now rumbling overhead and rain slashing at the windows. We live in Interesting Times!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

yellow horse + hot day = strolling


This does not qualify under the Trades Description Act as 'riding'. Slumping perhaps? Having a manicure? Taking the air? Lovely anyway.

8 day old puppies, full, fat and warm in heat of day


They are growing so fast its amazing. She is doing them very well indeed. Birth weight 385g. Weight at 7 days 850g. No eyes yet, and ears still closed, but notice that their little legs are beginning to hold up their (considerable) weight. So, so hot. Just taking out yellow horse, but its really far too warm to enjoy equine pastimes. Youngest has departed for outward journey to Budapest, carrying just one small rucksack containing mostly pants and swimwear. Temp at destination is 30 plus degrees. More nervous than excited now that the trip is actually here! Fingers crossed that all 7 lads return safe, well and tired.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

midnight walk for St Barnabas hospice

Despite extreme tiredness, and thinking about crying off at the last moment, I am very proud to say that I turned up for the six and a half mile midnight walk, with 100 or so other ladies, and completed the circuit in good time and in excellent physical condition (for my age, and weight etc!). So pleased that I turned up and did it. Less cheerfully there is something in our house that is biting the big boy and me. The farmer and the youngest seem immune to this rapacious blood sucker/allergy inducer. The big boy and I are counting our huge, itchy red skin wheels, swallowing anti-histamine, and searching frantically for the culprits. Dogs seem to be flealess, cats don't come in at all - difficult to know where else to look. I am wondering if the very cute nest of house martins which is aalmost in the house is the source of a bag load of bird lice? Or, as the big boy jogs around the field daily, and I walk the dogs around the field with bare legs, is it something in the long grass? Youngest doesn't walk dogs much, and the farmer doesn't get out of his teleporter, except in emergencies. Mystery must be solved, and quickly, or big boy and I are going to disappear behind our swollen legs. Whatever it is - certain and swift retribution waits......

A busy day at the salt mines owing to fabulous, tropical sunshine. I am grateful indeed for the business the weather is bringing, but can't help thinking that we do now need a bit more than a drop of rain. Sorry, but perhaps at dead of night?

Yellow horse fat and happy. Hardly any work this week owing to other committments, and the heat. He doesn't seem to mind, but now wondering if he is going to burst. A new fence making his grazing area much smaller is in the pipeline......

Friday, 9 July 2010

18th birthday with friends, a tandem, water & humour

A guest, tired, absolutely sodden, frozen and happy! Time for bed really

My sister, who hid in the sitting room behind the TV during the prolonged water fight. Snatched from her safe base by the birthday boy, carried outside, and absolutely drenched!


Supplies of balloon water bombs ran low, therefore birthday boy and his beautiful cousin commandeered my sister's tandem, and rode off to the local village shop for further stocks. My sis and her husband cycled 12 miles on the tandem to get to the party, and then 12 mile home, in the dark, absolutely blathered. I believe their homeward journey was much quicker than their outward.

Racing for grown-ups and smalls
Swinging in a picnic mat. The other small guest was not so keen

Egg and spoon, very well supported by the 18 to 25 year olds. This was followed by the quite difficult 'backwards egg & spoon'. The end result of the egg racing was scrambled egg!


Sadly I was not quick enough to catch this cake for a photo. My niece made it. It was a mountain of chocolate sponge, chocolate filling, chocolate icing, and wearing a coat of sliced, fresh strawberries. The plate hit the table, knife to cake and whoosh, the plate was empty. Luckily I did manage to fight my way to the front for a large piece, and can report that it was gorgeous. Now its loving my waist and hips from the inside.
Large hang-overs, bombsite kitchen, garden like a horror story, and happy memories. If only all birthdays were made this way!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

more lodgers!

here they are, prior to tail docking and dew claw removal this morning. very traumatic, not for the pups, but for us - it was truly awful. Pups sailed through and hardly seemed to notice.
In absence of mother who was out on a pee-stop, youngest steps in (not very reluctantly) to make sure tiny dogs feel safe and warm!

And here are our other lodgers. In the tiny front porch of the house (where the main front door that we never use is) perched precariously upon a 1930's triple light fitting is a nest absolutely bulging with house-martin babes, not yet ready to fledge, but coming closer every day. Think there are about 5 or 6 of them crushed in here, daren't get any closer for fear of wobbling them out of their nest. We are happy to clear up the mess below them in exchange for watching their parents practically fly into the house through the open porch doors to feed them.


And here they are in all their cliff-edge glory. Of course, we are not switching the light on! Don't want baked fledglings on our conscience as well as docked puppy tails....
Baby boy 18 tomorrow (how can that be? where did the time go?). Doesn't want any kind of party, as he is preparing for his departure to Budapest imminently on his first solo holiday. Can't believe that both of my tiny babies have turned into hulking great big youths who are ready to fledge from their home just like the housemartins. Sad and happy as I am, its a difficult time for a Mum! Counting the weeks now until both depart and each day seems to flash by. Expecting 7 young men to stay in our house tomorrow night (birthday celebration, but NOT a party), some of whom are staying over the weekend. Biggest boy also having a sociable weekend, so have pulled up the tourer near the outside loo for his friends. House full and I'm tired but happy. Will miss all this when they go!
On Friday night its the 5 mile midnight walk in aid of Macmillan Nurses. I have a number and a tee shirt, just hoping will also have the energy. Saturday night thinking about a bottle of fizz, a large glass, and a night on the sofa with the tv. Sounds lovely. So long as its not full of great big youths!!!!!
The farmer has 'got in the hay' which has resulted in an owl feeding frenzy. Owls absolutely having a ball picking out all the small, furry things which have been hiding in the long grass of the established meadows. Its a joy.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

new additions!




No 1 arrived at 6am, number 2 at 9am, number 3 at 10am, number 4 shortly afterwards. Then a loonnnnggg gap, and poor number 5 arrived breech presentation, and not thriving, at about 12.30pm. I'm afraid number 5 hasn't made it, she looked like she had a faulty heart, and lungs full of mucus. 1 to 4, however, seem hale and hearty, already full to bursting with colostrum and clinging onto their teats as it their lives depend on it (they do!). The cocker spaniel has not endured birth very well, she has not shown a very robust attitude to it, but she is now warming up to her brood. Her sister is not allowed to peek. Her human family may pick and pull at the new additions as much as they like. All this excitement has made for a sleepless night last night, and a very tiring day today, for all concerned. We are all hoping for a night's sleep tonight! Possibly with the aid of Mr bottle of french fizz. (Ooohh lala). We were hoping for a colourful litter, and we have 4 peas in a pod, all absolutely identical to their dad - would have bet against that happening!