Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Goodbye Dallas & Dundee

In the space of just over a month I have lost two of my special guinea pigs.  I still can't quite believe it and feel pretty devastated.   They came to live with me in July last year and were such wonderful characters.  I had to make the heartbreaking decision to have Dallas put down at the beginning of October as he had a possible tumour behind his eye.  Surgery would have been at a great risk (and unfortunately expense with no guarantees of survival) and having put a guinea pig through surgery once before only to have them die afterwards I swore I would never do it again.  I just didn't want to put one through that kind of stress again.  This really upset me and I still feel bad about it.  Then yesterday I had to make the decision to have his mate Dundee put to sleep as he had developed some problem that was causing him a lot of pain.  He was a very unhappy guinea pig.  He went from me thinking he was just lonely on Friday as he was not eating like he usually does, to not being able to eat at all yesterday and he was crying and clenching his body frequently.  It was awful to see.  I suspect he had some kind of kidney/bladder problems as he had a 'smell' about him and was passing reddish urine and had a discharge.  I have owned guinea pigs for over 40 years and knew his prognosis wasn't good.  

I feel a bit 'cheated' that I didn't have them long enough, but not knowing their age when I got them I guess that is one of the hazards of 'rescue piggies'.  Just loved these two characters who used to make me smile and laugh.

Some photos of these two gorgeous boys.

RIP Dallas 4th October 2018 and Dundee 19th November 2018, I will really miss seeing your cheeky little faces each day.

Friday, 16 November 2018


We moved the bookcase back into the lounge yesterday afternoon - to a different place than it was before.  It will no longer have the sun on it which will be good as I always worried about putting good books in it for fear of them fading.

First to go in the bookcase was my bargain of the year.  A lovely set of Encyclopedia Britannica that is in as new condition.  We did actually already have a much older set, which I will now pass on to my son.  I am really pleased with these books as I do still like to look things up in a book and these are such lovely books to have.

This is the pile I am still sorting through.

I find it very hard to get rid of books.  I have been collecting Peter May books, but now wonder whether I should pass on the ones I have already read back to the charity shop as I really don't have the room.  A lot of books I have been reading lately go straight back to the charity shops.  The Tess Gerritsen books for example, I read and then pass them on.  Hmm...a bit of a dilemma for me.  Am I likely to read them again?  That is the question.  I am guessing probably not, so using that I should probably pack them up to take to the charity shop, especially as I still have a load of books on the floor that I currently don't have room for!

I have a almost a whole shelf on health and pain as well - an illustration of just how much it has effected my life!  Always on the search for cures, and solutions and learning about different ways to possibly treat my pain issues.  Of course, nothing has been successful so far.  

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Decorating, Gardening and General Update Ramblings.

This Last week we had our lounge redecorated.  The last time it was decorated was in around 2005 if I remember rightly.  It needed freshening up and after the windows had been serviced and then painted this year it needed to be done.  We decided to go for a lighter colour than we had, but when the decorator put the paint up that a local shop had mixed, it was a completely different colour!  It was green instead of a very light yellow.  The shop refused to exchange it or refund and unfortunately as we hadn't paid the shop directly for it it we didn't really have a lot of comeback.  If we had bought it we would have stopped our Visa payment, but the decorator paid for it and then we paid him, and as it wasn't strictly his fault, and he is a good guy and decorator, we just had to swallow it.  But despite our efforts to support and 'shop locally' this shop has now lost any future business from us.  It was quite clear that it was a completely different colour.  In the end we decided to just play it safe and go and purchase the original colour we had on the walls which is 'Daffodil White'.  Fortunately I had remembered what it was!  It is now looking much better as the green just really didn't suit that room at all.

In the garden I have been quite ruthless with the pruning of my roses.  They had become far too big and straggly, so I have cut them right back and hopefully I haven't annihilated them and they will come back next year okay.  I have also really cleared out the bed beside the house as that had also got very unruly and overgrown.  Hope to plant a few wintering flowers in the spot if I can find something I like.

I've actually been staying up at my son and daughter in law's place while they have been away and have done a fair bit of gardening there as well.  I worked on their front garden, it was very weedy and had stumps and roots, and various unwanted saplings coming up, so I dug all of them out and dug the garden over.  

They live near a canal so I have been enjoying some walks along the canal (have already posted two of my walks) and also a lot of footpaths through fields and have been enjoying walking those as well.  They are very lucky to live where there are so many lovely walks to do straight from the house - especially without the constant roar of the horrid M25 which is what we have round here.

The fields are starting to get a bit muddy now so boots are needed, but still very pleasant to walk them.

I had a bit of fun using the black and white setting on my camera.

To be able to walk round such beautiful fields and the canal on a daily basis has been wonderful.  Wish we had such nice places to walk here at home.

Back home now.  

We had the plumber come out yesterday to replace a radiator valve that was replaced earlier in the year!  It was faulty so it was replaced under warranty which was good, and while they were out we had our kitchen tap replaced.  This proved to be a much longer job than expected, for a variety of reasons.  We ended up not using the tap we had bought for the kitchen as it turned out it was a quarter turn tap, which I hate as they are far more difficult to control the flow in my opinion and when your water pressure isn't very good, which is the case for our hot, it meant that it had very poor flow indeed.  Not only that it didn't sit right on our sink and wobbled.  Fortunately we had bought another and that had proper taps that you can turn and adjust the flow as you want, which meant the hot water flowed a lot better too.  Not only that but it sat on the sink unit much better.  We will return the other tap as it really was not fit for purpose.  Not only that, it should have said on the packaging that it was a quarter turn tap.  He also fixed our under sink water filter so we were able to reinstate that which is good.  So my above sink filter that I brought home from NZ with me, has been 'retired' for now.  It means we have more space which is good as well.  

This post is more for my records than anything else, so that I can look up the names of paints etc we have used and when things were done around the house.  It has proved an invaluable record for things like this.

I can't believe just how fast the year is going past.  I need to book my ticket to NZ in the next couple of weeks...I have been putting it off for a variety of reasons...as whenever I go, I never want to come back to England again!  It is so lovely spending time with my family, and so hard to leave them.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Along the Canal

There were some really lovely days in October that were conducive to some lovely walks along the canal and I managed to do two fairly long walks on two consecutive days.

So lovely to see the light reflecting on the water.

Swans and their Cygnets are always beautiful to see.

Loving the blue sky!

Such a stunning day, the blue sky reflected in the blue of the water in the canal.

This old building is for sale in Hertford - certainly has some interesting history behind it.

The following day, not quite so bright, but still a lovely walk in the opposite direction.

Boats moored up.

This was such an interesting boat.

A couple of rag dolls.

Sweetly decorated on top as well.

One of the lock houses.

Walking back along the path on the other side of the canal.

I was exhausted after both these walks - my legs really struggled and were in a lot of pain that evening, but they were no worse the following day, so I guess that is something.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

A Canal Walk

Tuesday 9th October was the most glorious day so I set off for a walk along the canal near where I am house sitting.

The day was beautiful and the blues of the sky and the river looked so lovely

Although there was unfortunately some road noise, louder in parts along the canal than others, the beauty shone through.

Birds could be heard in the trees and fields.  

Canal boats were moored along the canal. These looked like they had their own personal mooring and land.

A swan was busy looking for food.

The cows were grazing in the fields.

Walking back it was still beautiful

Just loved the reflection and colours here.

A really nice day and I was very proud of myself for having walked so far. I actually walked 11.5 km!!   It was no mean feat and although I was really sore afterwards being able to soak in a warm bath later in the evening seemed to really help.  I am trying to beat the pain myself - trying hard to ignore it - and to some extent this day I achieved my goal.  I didn't think I would be able to walk as far as I did, and although I almost had to crawl through the front door when I got home it was worth it.