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Monday, 30 July 2012

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Dog News.

The Poodle has made a full recovery, the liver roan cocker likewise (mysterious gut pain seems to have disappeared and she has returned to full energy) and the blue roan cocker has burst her own lump. Sadly I had her on the Vet's examination table when I noticed, and so still copped for 40 buttons for a tiny anti-inflammatory and 7 anti-biotics for her. Think she will self-heal with a following wind and a bit of luck.....

Saturday, 28 July 2012

July - slips by....

I looked at the calendar, and saw with amazement, that July is almost spent. Frittered away visiting friends and family, complaining about the rain, and baking in the intense sunshine. What a month!

My baby boy progressed from teens to twenties, my dishwasher threw in the towel, I dined with my gorgeous lady friends, the yellow horse luxuriated in a personal back massage, the farmer and I motored south for a wonderful Black party and barbeque (wearing red, white and blue), and also north to a glamorous and emotional 18th/50th, I motored south again to spend a couple of days with a girlfriend,  shopped with a lovely young lady, and the kitchen door practically worn out with all the to-ing and fro-ing of an endless number of University students catching up with each other. It. Has. Been. Busy.

However. The time has come. I have located a sketch book, and begun....... just begun...... to make a few trial sketches in preparation for my second year as a Fine Art Student. There. I was beginning to think that it wouldn't happen. I have surprised myself. If I can also find the time to visit a few galleries during August I shall be able to cast off the burden of guilt I am feeling for not picking up a pencil or an art book during June and July. Shameful but true.

And. A DOLL HAS ARRIVED! Yay. A thing filled with love and emotion. A beautiful thing. And I shall be using it! To the maker I say 'thank you'. And I hope it's a sign of things to come.....

Dog News. Dog 1 - The poodle collapsed in pain 14 days ago, and veterinary investigations revealed the presence of a grass seed in his inner ear. The wretched thing has worked its way down his ear canal, ruptured his eardrum, and fragmented on the other side of the drum. He has been to the vets every other day, endured a long course of anti-biotics and looks well on the way to recovery.

Dog 2 - blue roan cocker, has a large and painful looking lump on the top of one of her paws. It doesn't seem to be troubling her, except she is licking at it too much, and so on Monday she will be revealing it at surgery.

Dog 3 - liver roan cocker - appears today to be in constant pain from possible digestive trouble(?) or punctured intestine(?) or some such alarming condition. I filled her full of dog anti-inflammatory/pain killer this morning and shall do the same tomorrow. So, guess what? On Monday she also will be visiting the veterinary surgery. Ergo, I am anticipating that our local Vet will be taking a long, expensive and well earned summer holiday at my expense owing the the massive pile of buttons that continue to pass from me to him. *sigh*. Come on dogs. Buck up!

The farmer purchased a very ancient and delicate scull for the baby boy to learn to scull in, on the river here at home. 'The learning' is proving to be an unexpectedly hazardous procedure, and he has still not quite mastered the technique. The process resembles a toddler battling to ride a two-wheeler on stabilisers. The scull is slender, unstable and faster than a speeding bullet. The boy has rolled it, lost his specs on the river bed, been angry, elated, wet and embarassed. He is now short of 'time to try' as he has started work at the fine old resort that is Butlins, on the east coast. Whether he will continue his exploration of lone rowing is anyone's guess, I salute him for having a go!

Home news: the decorator has finished making two of our bedrooms into respectable and immaculate places to rest and recuperate. Magnolia walls, oatmeal carpets and statement curtains are the order of the day. Carpets do not arrive for another 10 days so the turmoil of squeezing the contents of 5 bedrooms into three smaller bedrooms continues. Can't find anything. Laundry everywhere. Grumpy sons squashed into single beds, grumpy parents on son's memory foam mattress and hating it. Its all a bit of a challenge. I absolutely abhor the turmoil and hope it will be worth it in 11 days time..... And that magnolia paint? I love it. Can buy it anywhere. It goes with everything. Its cheap, clean and can be patched and refreshed almost endlessly. Interior decor. Easy.

Farm news: THE HAY IS FINALLY CUT. Like everyone else's, its too long, too late, too weedy and too wet, really, but at least it's down. This does, of course, mean that the dry spell we have been enjoying will break, and the rain will return, drenching the stuff as it lies on the fields. Probably.  Mould is infecting the wheat (and everyone else's) owing to the wet and humid weather. This will mean that the crop will be reduced. So, although wheat price is high we shall have 25-50% less quantity through disease. Sad but true.

I read today in the Farmer's Weekly that farmers are among the happiest workers in the land. Amazing. So, you lot must be bloomin' miserable!  Chins up.

Hoping to bring you gallery and exhibition news with my next posting. Wishing you all sunshine and laughter. X

PS - DOLL LADIES - your time has come! Offerings gratefully received..... XXXXXX

PPS _ Big boy home, safe and sound, from his southern work experience at Farley Estates. Well cared for by the Hearnes, wiser and thoughtful about the direction he might choose in his career. He has learned much. Now waiting for harvest and tractor driving, and filling his time clearing out the farmer's sheds (treasures), burning, scrapping and generally causing mayhem! Long may it continue...

Monday, 9 July 2012

appreciating friends

This week I have appreciated the incalculable value of dear friends. Mr and Mrs B invited us to spend a night or two in their holiday cottage with them in Norfolk. We headed off gladly and enjoyed two really wonderful days with them, and their friends Joe & Kirsty; discovering, in addition to any number of other things, this bold young starling on the seafront. He was determined to taste human flesh if at all possible.
Joe and Kirsty's dog 'Sir Alfie Mackenzee', who reminded us very much of the long-gone, but not forgotten Poppy. Alfie, however, was much less malodourous. Indeed, he was positively endearing. Quite a surprise for a Patterdale.
Whilst in Norfolk we arose early from our beds to attend a 'moth trap party....' We were lucky enough to meet, at close quarters, this giant hawkmoth, an Eyed hawkmoth and a Poplar hawkmoth. Also, a very cute snout nosed moth, and a white fellow who had feathers rather than wings. A very interesting morning (even though I am just slightly afraid of moths......)
Here are the trapped moths, in pots, for inspection, cataloguing and subsequent release. We were amused to note that a fearless robin was hanging around with a determined look on his beak. He has learned that escaping moths are fair game, and seemed to view the entire moth operation as nothing more than a visit to a fast food restaurant. He was, obviously, fat and smug!

Furthermore, this week, I am grateful to a friend for the opportunity to spend an entire afternoon in a screen printing production area. AND another friend has provided son number 2 with the opportunity to spend a day or two in the office of a very successful Chartered Surveyor observing and learning. AND, yet another friend has provided son number 1 with work experience alongside the Manager of aViscount's Estate near Windsor. (The son met the Vicount today and found him charming and generous). AND furthermore yet another friend is housing and feeding son number 1 during his sojourn in foreign parts (that's Wokingham.....)

I am humbled by all the kindness we have experienced in the last week or two from those above, and others. Sometimes its difficult to find ways to say thankyou. So here is a big fat thank-you to friends everywhere. Lovely, lovely friends. Where would we be without them? In a lonely place, that's for sure.

Baby boy has officially left his teenage years behind, as of yesterday, and the Farmer has today fetched an enormous scull (boatish thing) and all its accoutrements as a birthday gift. Watch out for a speeding dart on local waterways. That'll be the rower giving it his best. Exciting times.

Mucho. X

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Life, lions and lovely families!

I called into Louth recently, and, to my surprise, found a small pride of huge lions in a glass case in the Market Place. And they were exquisite. Well done Shauna Richardson artist and creator.
Crocheted by an Artist, all three were awe-inspiring.
We went to stay with friends near Henley. Our youngest was competing there. Our hosts offered us this wonderfully refreshing, and somewhat unusually coloured home made Pimms. We courageously sampled this colourful beverage, and declared it drinkable. You read that right. It was fine. If blue.

Our hosts' dog resting in preparation for more resting. Rosie, the mose peaceful canine I have ever met.
At Henley now. I left my hat, my lipstick, my hairbrush and my vanity 2km away in the car. Yet still had the courage to sit beside the quite lovely Ollie who is University of Leicester Men's coach, as well as being an almost graduated Med Student. Some people are gluttons for punishment! He has worked so hard with the rowers I am proud to have met him. Dedication personified.
Our own Henley rower, post-race, and the lovely Daisy.  Tired and unbowed by a closely fought race which Leicester lost by a nose. We are expecting him home for the summer tomorrow. And with any luck, plus a following wind, we may host Daisy for the summer too. I look forward with excitement to some 'girlie stuff'. At last.

And finally. The Farmer and I attended a 'Cowboys and Indians' party. In the rain. Outdoors. Only true friendship kept us there in the dark and drizzle! And some riotous party games, excellent food and a huge, roaring garden fire. Some compensations!

It seems to have been non-stop during the past two weeks. Up and down the country to Regattas, Big Boy roaring round the nation going to a ball, delivering calf pens to Gloucestershire and living it up in Devon. Now hoping for a little peace and organisation going forward. We are off to Norfolk on Tuesday leaving boys in charge (eek), and away again at the weekend to celebrate a joint 50th & 18th with friends. Big Boy away on Sunday to Farley Farms for a few weeks Estate experience, and youngest inducting at Butlins in couple of weeks for his summer employment. You know what? This doesn't look much more peaceful to me. Pass me some Red Bull!

Adieu, adieu, until the next time. X