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  • FIRST POST
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    • 3,170Posts
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    *Robin*
    Blowing in the Winds of Change
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    Blowing in the Winds of Change 16th Jul 16 at 8:03 PM
    A brace of raptors soaring in the breeze over the Nest just after dawn on Solstice morning gifted me the title of this, my reprise into MSE's Diary-world.

    I'd had little sleep. Partly because, well, Solstice is a special day and the night had been filled with memories of happier years, and partly because it seemed that my faithful companion was rushing towards The Light, her paws galloping in the air as she dreamed contentedly beside me.
    I was exhausted. Fear of what might come to pass if my dear girl's last, eternal bed had not been prepared before she was ready to cross Rainbow Bridge loaned me energy I could not afford; each day a single bucket of stony earth was added to a pile beside the chosen resting place.
    Dear Vet had nothing more to offer beyond comforting words and her promise to attend should the need arise, any time day or night.

    DS1 rescued me. He called to offer salutations not long after sunrise; apparently I was making no sense at all on the 'phone which led to a prompt visit - tools in hand - and the job was completed before the day's end.
    Bless him.

    Although resigned to the inevitable at that point, Clever Dog was not in pain so I decided to delay departure from the Nest until she had no more need of my staying. Her behaviour in the van suggested she would not welcome another long distance adventure and obviously, I did not wish to cause her any distress during her last days in this realm.** Despite Divo Four and Dear Relative's increasingly urgent requests for my presence at homehome, the weeks passed and each day the mercury in the thermometer rose higher.

    Meanwhile I have not been paying attention to financial matters since giving up m' previous diary: A bank card expired so I could no longer check that account. The gizmo for signing into another stopped working, but CD and I have been living comfortably on our £400 per month allowance - half of it spent on her medications and the best diet, another £50 on storage for the camper-van, and the rest - well I can't really remember, but there always seemed to be funds left in our 'daily' account when it came time to turn another page on the calendar.

    There's nothing praise-worthy about that though; it's easy to rack up NSDs when one has no energy to go out except on essential missions, and there's a plentiful supply of veg in the garden (mostly planted for me by a couple of winter visitors).
    "Garden" is perhaps no longer the right description for the wilderness which surrounds the Nest; I have not had the strength to undo Ex-Gardener's neglect (I forgave him, vastly overpaid him, but he lied and then stole from me so there was no choice but to terminate his employment, alas. I still feel very sad about that ending).

    Eventually DS4 lost patience. He 'phoned with two pieces of wonderful news: A double-first [justifying his decision to rack up a relatively modest student loan], and notification of his imminent arrival!

    We brushed the spiders gently out of camper-van, and went for a trial night away locally. CD amazed me; apparently quite happy to travel and potter about when we stopped. Maybe her vocal objections to being in the other van [**] were due to the fact that most of her trips out this year have ended at DV's clinic, being prodded, poked and stabbed (for blood tests)?

    Plumber put on his Mechanic's hat to check camper-van's travel worthiness, resulting in a trip to the garage for a little preventative maintenance and a service - which wiped out all the cash saved by living parsimoniously over the last six months. Plumber was incandescent at the size of the bill when he saw they'd replaced some good parts while failing to fix the actual fault; must say communication between the booking-in chap and mechanic was appalling, especially given that this was at the regional main dealer.
    <sigh> Not very MSE but I just wanted to get out of there so paid up (after they replaced the faulty bearing!). Oh well.

    The thought of driving all the way to the Chunnel filled me with trepidation - just don't have enough strength for such sustained effort these days, and DS4 hasn't held a full licence for long enough to be covered by insurance abroad.
    So I called the ferry company. Usually, pet-friendly cabins are booked up half a year in advance, but CD is still remembered (it's partly due to her Houdini behaviour in bygone days that pet-friendly cabins were introduced).
    Result: They found us a cabin on next week's boat!

    Now I am [supposed to be] packing. Camper-van is parked in the village; CD and I slept there last night, and I started this diary to help m' poor-ol' brain-fogged mind keep track.
    The acquaintance who outed me at the beginning of the year has not been in touch since, although half a dozen RL mates around the World did express their regret that I'd given up my first MSE diary. So much for anonymity - have decided I really don't care, because the support of all you MSEers is of inestimable value..
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-07-2016 at 1:20 PM.
Page 10
    • Bubblesmum
    • By Bubblesmum 20th Mar 17, 4:32 PM
    • 1,050 Posts
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    Bubblesmum
    Oh Robin, I don't like to think of you being brassic with not much to eat .

    So glad all turned out ok with Grand-pup. How scary!

    CD must be a huge miss Xx
    Originally posted by please-let-me-be-lucky
    PLMBL has said all that I was thinking - sending hugs and hoping you've had a puppy cuddle recently.
    Mrs B Debt £1857 @ 13/06/2017, £1790 16/06/2017
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 28th Mar 17, 5:29 PM
    • 3,170 Posts
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    *Robin*
    Thanks for your comments, Sun.A, Lucky and Bubbles,

    Grand-Pup is absolutely fine again now - he's actually doubled in size since joining DS' & GGF's household five weeks ago, and is now the proud owner of his very own passport.

    Oh Robin, I don't like to think of you being brassic with not much to eat
    Originally posted by please-let-me-be-lucky
    Please don't worry, Lucky - there is more than enough in the garden and store-cupboard to feed me (and I could do with losing a few more kilos anyway, so a shortage of sweet treats can only be a good thing! ).

    In fact last week I was able to rustle up a feast entirely from stocks, to celebrate our winter tenant's last night before he left DH's cottage. Admittedly the prep took all day: Peel spuds - lie down for a rest. Pick broad-beans - lie down, rest, then shell 'em in bed, etc. Still, everything including two mains [for different dietary requirements] came together by half past six so we ate at a reasonable hour.
    Mind you, the washing up is still going through the system!

    Wasn't worth much over the following couple of days, but managed to get out on British Mothers' Day; DS3, GGF and Grand-Pup collected me and we all went up to one of the mountain villages where an ex-pat bar had arranged entertainment. It was a beautiful day; sunny and warm, plus great fun to catch up with lots of friends I'd not seen for ages.
    DS and Grand-Pup went for a walk to look at some Phoenician ruins on the top of the closest peak, which meant I had to wait a couple of hours for a lift back to the Nest - a delay I could have done without, tbh.
    Clouds were rolling in from the West by then - harbingers of a vicious storm front; the warmth of the day was over. GGF stayed at the bar while DS drove me down the mountain. He had intended to do some gardening then meet up with GGF at the Old House later, but realised he'd mislaid his 'phone so dashed off again - thinking he'd dropped it on the mountain top, wanting to get up there before dark to try and find it.

    Nearly four hours later, thunder and lightening crashing overhead with rain lashing down in the darkness, GGF and I started chatting on-line. We realised DS hadn't made it back to the gathering at the bar - after a flurry of calls and messaging, it turned out that nobody had seen him since he left the Nest!

    Now, everyone who has visited the white mountain villages of Andalusia will have noticed many roadside shrines, each of which commemorates a life ended in tragic circumstances. Every year their number grows.. There are stories of miraculous escapes - DS1 was saved from a three hundred metre fall into a river by a well-placed ancient fig tree when his first car left the road, but we've lost half a dozen mates over the years who weren't so lucky.
    It's not easy to raise a search party when the weather is atrocious; the risk of landslides adds to the danger and of course DS was driving our only accessible vehicle (Divo One is away, working on his current project for a couple of weeks). Bless her, GGF's Mum agreed to take her and drive the route again, looking for any sign that the van had fallen down a steep drop.. This was worth doing before calling out the police, mainly because it was quicker (two friends died from postural strangulation after being knocked unconscious when they had an accident which wasn't found in time - killed by their seat-belts!).
    Anyway, after a nail-biting wait GGF told me there was no obvious sign that DS had gone over an edge.. None of the folk who were still at the bar were willing to risk their own lives by searching the mountain top, but the van wasn't parked at either of the two footpaths leading up so that possibility was looking unlikely..

    By this time both GGF and I were terrified.. Hearts gripped in iron bands as the storm reached it's furious peak. If we'd been in a movie the background music would have been approaching a crashing crescendo; the fulcrum moment - would our hero survive or not?
    Should GGF and her Mum go to the nearest Guardia post? It's a serious step; the Spanish police wouldn't be at all impressed if called out in dangerous weather for a false alarm.
    We were talking on messenger, trying to reach a decision, when suddenly new comments started appearing on GGF's thread which obviously weren't from her. After a couple of minutes' confusion - was this a voice from the next dimension [?!] - we realised that DS was typing from their home computer, on GGF's log-in - he was safe!

    The elastic band of stress released it's grip.. Fellow PwME will understand the effect of that; I've been useless ever since. But oh so relieved and thankful; DS' karma must have been good enough to keep him out of trouble.
    Next time we're in funds, GGF and I are going to buy some of those tracker discs to put on everyone's keys - it's not worth the angst of having to rely on mobiles to keep in contact.

    Today am very, very grateful for Divo Three's good luck. Also for wonderful mates - two of whom have offered loans if I'm in need of funds before the current bottleneck eases - and my fruitful garden which hopefully will render cash borrowing unnecessary.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 28-03-2017 at 6:47 PM.
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 28th Mar 17, 6:18 PM
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    maddiemay
    Robin what an awful time you both must have had whilst waiting for DS to turn up, your Adrenalin levels must have been off the scale. I hope that you are able to rest and recuperate without further adventures by the family.

    Gentle licks from the furry one.
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 29th Mar 17, 12:19 AM
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    Dansmam
    Oh Robin I'd missed a couple of your updates and then this - so glad to read and find a happy ending - it must have helped to be in touch with GF while you were both worrying - what a relief all was well. Garden must be a boon, glad it's keeping you fed. Seeds planted here last weekend but keeping them in the warm. Sunny with a bit of a chilly wind this week so far.
    Hope the temporary cash flow blip turns round soon - before you tire of vegetables at least! Gently does it, take good care of you. Lurcher boy sends a virtual lurcher lean in, as lurchers do. He'll be overjoyed if you wouldn't mind giving a virtual ear rub. Pup sounds a joy too, so glad he turned the corner.
    Van's out of storage, my girl making travel plans. Love to hear more of what's happening with you and yours x
    Last edited by Dansmam; 29-03-2017 at 12:21 AM. Reason: apostrophes are important and shouldn't be misplaced
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 29th Mar 17, 4:35 PM
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    Sun Addict
    Oh Robin what a scare! Glad all's well that ends well though. Good idea about the trackers.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £424.05
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    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 29th Mar 17, 8:12 PM
    • 8,022 Posts
    • 44,159 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    So pleased to read DS3 is safe! My heart was racing with yours as I got further and further into your 'tale'!! Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in July - 1/5
    Lbs lost - 9
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 31st Mar 17, 2:28 PM
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    *Robin*
    Hell's bells.. it's Friday again! The weeks are flying by so fast.

    Thanks for posting, Maddiemay, Dansmam, Sun.A and Lucky - you're all wonderful!
    ..Over two hundred other people have read without commenting since m' last update - can't help worrying about them and wishing a few more would at least say 'hello.'

    Maddie - thanks for virtual licks from Herself, please pass on huggles from me in return.
    You're right about the adrenaline! Takes ages to recover from that kind of upset; writing it all down was very cathartic, allowing me to close a particularly difficult chapter - even though it came out as a 'tale,' Lucky.

    Sun.A - yes I like the sound of those trackers, especially as they can be disguised as a personalised key-fob (or identity disc for Grand-Pup). GGF and I are going to club together and buy a set, as it's pretty economical to order half a dozen.

    Dansmam - do people get tired of eating vegetables? They wouldn't last long here!
    We've stopped planting now because there probably won't be anyone to eat seasonal produce over the summer, so am concentrating on tidying up the trees and weeding perennials which hopefully will still be flourishing in the autumn. It's nearly time to strip and freeze all the broad-beans - they've done really well this year (every visitor is gifted a bagful but there are still tons left on the plants).
    Thinking about it, leaving the garden is the worst thing about travelling in the summer.. Do like to know that my food hasn't been sprayed with pesticides or grown with artificial fertiliser (not to mention the expense of having to buy everything while I'm away from the Nest, of course). Ha - talking of organic produce, last night I noticed lots of the salad leaves were peppered with tiny holes. Looking closer, I see that the caterpillars have moved in. Am happy to share, because butterflies need encouragement - it's a good excuse to just pick the smaller, sweetest leaves, and leave the rest for my garden guests.

    Good news that DD is readying her van for her next adventure - no progress on mine, alas (need to pay the parking yard before I can take camper-van out, which is one bill I cannot satisfy atm).

    Thanks to Lurcher-Boy for his lurchery leanings-in - please do pass on ear-rubs and cuddles in return.

    Well, not much actual progress to report here. No money = no spending of course, and I haven't seen anyone in RL since going out last weekend.
    There are a couple of tasks I need to accomplish; paying CT and service charges on the flat as the sale hasn't gone through yet. Noted here to ensure I get it together - hopefully there's enough in my UK a/c to cover those bills; if not, am about to become overdrawn for the first time in years.

    Am grateful the weather is getting warmer - probably won't need any more firewood before next winter. This is an odd one, but am also grateful that my children are grown and don't need me to organise their lives these days (so it doesn't matter when I'm unable to do more than keep myself fed*). *On this topic, am grateful for my mother's training which has ensured there's enough in the store-cupboard to feed me during times of penury.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 31-03-2017 at 2:32 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 1st Apr 17, 11:31 AM
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    *Robin*
    April Fool's Day (British). Serves me right for commenting that I hadn't seen anyone all week.. This morning I was woken up by a brace of estate agents. They told me they've been driving around this area with a client who has spotted the Nest and would like to buy it!
    "Well," I said. "Everything is for sale at the right price - how much is your client offering?"
    "How much do you want?"
    "Oh no, I'm not looking for a buyer - I love my little garden here! It's up to your client to make me an offer I can't refuse."
    They left me their card, we exchanged mobile numbers, and agreed to speak again next week. Interestingly, they'd also come across Divo Three walking with Grand-Pup while they were out with their client. Time will tell whether this is a scam, or they were actually casing the joint (a common ploy here - usually it's a fake gas engineer wanting to check for out-of-date hoses and adaptors).

    Managed to pay the two bills mentioned yesterday, after a worrying half-hour wobble when I couldn't remember the password for DH's flat's account. As usual, money out attracted money in - the first rent instalment from the New House tenants has been paid into my UK a/c (phew!). Just as well, because DS4 reminded me about another large maintenance bill which is overdue. I've been trying to pay that for months (when I remember about it).. Now finally have the amount required, the recipient's bank details - but can I remember his surname? Aaargh - bluddy brain fog! ..Serves me right for putting him in my 'phone book as "Don Handyman" (to distinguish him from the other five Dons on my list ). Embarrassing to have to call him in order to ask, but needs must I suppose.
    Once that's done I'll check the UK a/c balance, and see whether there's enough left to pay the parking yard bill here.. Which would be wonderful, as then I can take out camper-van and go to visit the pet rescue centre mentioned several posts ago. The timing would be perfect - DS3 and GGF are going away to Portugal for a week in the Spanish van, and I'd rather not be stranded without an option to call for transport if required.

    Today am grateful for the flock of goldfinches who have been playing in the almond tree outside my window; so sweet and entertaining. Also to Smiley Neighbour, who put half a dozen beehives on his land next to the Nest last night - they're all over the meadow flowers this morning, so I've just filled up the bee-friendly water bowl. Last but not least, am grateful to DS4 for organising the rent payment which hopefully has stopped my UK a/c from going into the red.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 01-04-2017 at 11:26 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 2nd Apr 17, 4:32 PM
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    *Robin*
    It's a perfect day here - nowhere near as hot as the weather Sun.A is enjoying, but perfect nonetheless.
    Can't seem to settle to anything today.. Wandering from one task to another, but there are snags with each job which distract me and require pauses.

    Don Handyman hasn't got back to me yet - maybe doesn't look at his 'phone over the weekend? Have left sufficient in the UK a/c to pay his bill and transferred enough over here for the parking yard account, plus some personal spends to cover the next few weeks (maybe a rescue-dog adoption fee?). The Spanish van needs a new technical inspection this month - ah, better remind DS3 in case the expiry date clashes with his trip.

    Might have a summer tenant for DH's big cottage. He's a good mate though, so just paying utilities (hopefully).

    The estate agents are a bit of a mystery. DS says he didn't meet 'em in the campo (despite them describing him and Grand-Pup pretty accurately). They 'phoned him soon after leaving the Nest though; we're not sure exactly what they're up to?
    The card they gave me is from a valid company - but based about three hours' drive East of this area. Rather odd.

    We have yet another family member facing serious health issues. He's hinting that he'd like to be looked after, please, but I'm honestly not sure that I'm up to it this time. Would be easier if he came here, but he'd rather I trudge across Europe to him. Hmm.
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 2nd Apr 17, 6:10 PM
    • 732 Posts
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    stepuptothepl8
    It's always so lovely to read your updates, although I don't post very often

    For what a stranger's opinion is worth, I do not think that you should be travelling across Europe to look after anyone. All well and good if you are feeling 100%, but I get the impression that you aren't quite at that magic number. And it's important to look after your own health. Hope you don't mind me butting in.
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £8852 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 2nd Apr 17, 7:21 PM
    • 512 Posts
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    Dansmam
    Hi Robin
    Didn't want to read and run, stopping by in mid cooking session to say I'm another vote for you staying put and nesting to look after you. Is relative up to flying out to join you or is medical support an issue?
    Lovely sunny walk with lurcher boy this afternoon- do I hear a trip to visit potential canine companion calling once the van is liberated?
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 3rd Apr 17, 8:04 AM
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    Sun Addict
    Can someone else look after the ill relative and take the burden from you for a change? I think you need to look after yourself at the moment not other people.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £424.05
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    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 5th Apr 17, 12:17 PM
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    *Robin*
    Hello MSEers,

    Thanks for posting, Stepuptothepl8, Dansmam and Sun.A.

    Stepuptothepl8 - am more than grateful for you "butting in" (as you put it - I'd say you showed objective concern ). Your comment about 100% rang a bell, prompting me to have another look at "the ME ability scales" (for anyone interested, they can be found here: http://www.hfme.org/themeabilityscale.htm ).
    Apart from the fact that I refuse to use a wheelchair to increase mobility / occasions when more activity is possible, on the physical scale I'm at around 20%, with cognitive function swinging between 20 - 30%.
    It wouldn't take much more effort to cook healthy meals for Dear Relative as am managing to do quite well for m'self, but certainly couldn't take on house-keeping duties. Simply having to interact constantly with another person would also be exhausting.
    Add in inevitable recovery time after the long drive North, and it's obvious I cannot be the servant DR thinks he needs.

    Dansmam - gosh, thanks for interrupting your cookery to comment! ..Am jealous of your walk with Lurcher Boy; really must put visit to rescue centre at the top of my "To Do" list..
    DR let his passport expire ages ago. He could afford to get a new one, and pay for medical support here which would also very much speed up the process - but only really has two priorities for his spending; electronics and fine wine (the latter is tempting him - he enjoys £20 bottles which only cost a fiver each here).

    Sun.A - thank you for interrupting your holiday to support me; much appreciated! ..Hope you have a wonderfully relaxing last day on your current trip.
    You're right of course, but everyone has their own lives to lead and very few people realise how much effort it takes me just to look after myself. So there is a common tendency for family to feel that as I have fewest obligations, I should step into the breach (having done it many times before).

    Yesterday DS3 arrived with naughty Grand-Pup, who had been returned home twice after following his master, but then popped up again just as DS unlocked the van. It was getting late by then, so DS gave in; the little monkey was so pleased with himself! I bodged Little Girl's old harness to more or less fit Pupkin, found CD's lead and we set off for town.
    By the time I'd got some cash out of the bank, we had acquired three hung-over hitch-hikers. After popping into a local market where Grand-Pup behaved very well, our passengers were clearly in need of sustenance so we all stopped for lunch at at DS3's favourite bar. DS1 turned up too which was a lovely surprise, although somewhat worrying that he's come home early because he's not feeling well. Our meal was delicious; MSE at £32 for six people, including two rounds of soft drinks - but after a couple of hours' conversation and supervising Grand-Pup [who hasn't yet got the hang of sitting quietly under the table - he's a lead-chewer] I'd had enough.
    Still, we pressed on to the German supermarket, where Divo Three found the hitch-hikers a lift onwards to Portugal with some mates of his, and I was delighted to spend just £40 on this months' groceries for both DS3 and self (we made a deal; he paid my bar bill and I bought his list of supermarket stuff).
    By then there were black holes in my vision and I was staggering, so DS brought me home. We missed out on calling at the parking yard, paying their bill and collecting camper-van - but at least I've got the cash for that in hand.

    Divo Three got called out to take someone to the airport which meant Grand-Pup stayed with me. After gulping down a scratch meal he settled down with a loud, contented sigh.. It felt so right, listening to his little puppy whiffling and breathing while I also had a rest. Think I even slept for a while, until woken by the 'phone: Don Handyman - great, that's another bill paid. Big one though; ouch.

    Grand-Pup woke up full of beans; made me laugh aloud with his antics as we wandered around the garden picking dinner.
    DS3 returned, joined us and collected a bagful of veg for him and GGF, but then had to carry Grand-Pup away too after the little wretch dodged back into the house three times while they were leaving!
    ..The sooner I find another canine companion the better. Have no intention of pinching Grand-Pup, but can see it might look that way as he clearly prefers it here - really don't want to fall out with DS & GGF. Think it would help Pup understand better if there wasn't such an obvious 'dog-shaped vacancy' at the Nest either.
    Have been keeping an eye on the rescue groups' lists.. There are several 'possibles' I'd like to meet, and talk to their carers because heart and head are battling as to which one would be the best 'fit' with me - choosing three would be easier! But before I can visit any dogs, must retrieve camper-van so there's somewhere to rest and take stock.

    Today am most grateful not to have any obligations or visitors expected. Beyond that I cannot think - will just enjoy pottering in the sunshine, listening to birdsong and bees-buzzing.
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 5th Apr 17, 1:24 PM
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    maddiemay
    Loving all the stories of Grandpup Robin, they are such fun when they are young, but rather like small children incredibly tiring too

    I hope that with some rest and your lovely fresh produce that you are able to soon bounce back from your wipe out session.

    Two huge clouds that have been sitting up there for several weeks have gone today, namely all clear back from OH's invasive gastric test results, and my dear baby brother (he's 54, but still one of my BB's) has come home from hospital after an 8.1//2 hour operation to patch up his Aorta, first major episode was 4 years ago when he was in induced coma for 5+weeks and although he resumed his work and life in general we have all been living on tenterhooks since then, apologies for letting it all out on your diary, just needed to somehow

    Anyhoos, as always gentle licks from the hairy one, it is blowing like mad outside so hopefully it is blowing some of the hair away
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 7th Apr 17, 2:13 PM
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    *Robin*
    Maddiemay - thank you for sharing your great news re two of the men in your life; you must be so relieved and happy, about both of them!

    It turns out I was wrong to worry that DS and GGF thought I might be trying to pinch their Pup.. Yesterday they asked if he could stay at the Nest while they have a weekend off - they've decided to follow our erstwhile hitch-hikers to a free festival in Portugal.

    So I have a wriggly, waggy little house-guest.
    He woke me half a dozen times during the night, wanting to snuggle up in my bed rather than his - although it's bad for discipline, in the end I let him win.. At home he still sleeps with a hot-water-bottle; they forgot to bring it and I haven't got one, so guess Pup had an excuse.
    Maddie is right in likening a pup to a small child; this one certainly has plenty of energy in between nap-times.
    I've made him a very successful MSE toy in hope of getting peace to write.. He'd already found the spare new mop-head, so I stuffed the hole [where a handle should screw in] full of treats.. Really stuffed tight. It's kept him happily occupied for about three hours so far; in between chucking it about and chewing the fronds, he's only managed to extract about a third of the treats.
    ..Thinking about the extortionate prices pet-shops charge for dog toys, I am especially proud of my 50p DIY "octopus"!

    Does mean the idea of getting camper-van out this weekend has been abandoned. Too many chances of disaster; Grand-Pup isn't used to travelling, and without a navigator to ensure his safety I couldn't concentrate on the road. Instead we might be able to meet up with another rescue-dog who's in foster locally.
    If that excursion happens I'll buy lunch for our driver at a convenient bar, but otherwise am looking forward to NSDs until next week - entertainment will be puppy-walks around the environs of the Nest.

    Today am grateful Maddie's DH and brother have overcome their health challenges. Also that DS and GGF trust me to look after their "baby" - and for his "joie de vivre" which makes me laugh!
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 7th Apr 17, 3:14 PM
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    Sun Addict
    What a relief for you Maddie!

    Glad you're thinking about getting another dog again Robin. Despite the fact my little dog is the first dog I've had since I was a child, I couldn't imagine life without one now. They are such good company. Pleased you're having a lovely time dog-sitting and he's enjoying your very inventive toy
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    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 9th Apr 17, 9:10 PM
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    *Robin*
    Hello Sun.A, hope you've got over the post-holiday culture shock by now, and thanks for your comment which made me think; this is the longest I've lived without a four-legged friend since leaving the parental home!

    Grand-Pup is providing endless amusement, and he's an absolute doddle to educate compared to the snow-dogs. He now has several more DIY toys; a bottle puzzle, a sproingy snake [really a length of stripy plant-tie fabric], and treat-dispensing roller-balls made out of supplement pots. He's also dragged a blanket and the outdoor seat cushions into CD's old bed to make a comfy nest he can burrow into - last night he stayed put, perhaps also helped by the fact that it got so chilly I lit the stove (he's so thin-skinned and short-haired, he'll definitely need some kind of coat when DS and GGF take him to the UK).

    Yesterday we went to meet the local rescue-dog I thought might be a suitable new companion. She is a lot smaller than I was expecting, and sadly is actually a very sick old lady. She did tug at m' heart-strings, but head is saying she would find my travelling lifestyle very stressful, and it would surely be better for her to stay under the care of a vet who understands how to treat Mediterranean illnesses (poor thing is suffering from two of the worst ). One of the drugs she's on was a shock; it will already have cut her expected life-span significantly, and is really only for palliative care (her foster-Mum didn't seem to realise the significance of the vet having prescribed it).
    If I were staying put for the next six months I'd take her and pamper her for whatever time she's got left, but to be honest she's not the dog I am looking for.
    Next week hopefully I'll find enough energy to visit the other little girl who might be suitable.

    Meanwhile Grand-Pup is ticking so many boxes without even trying; he's bright, alert, learning fast and is apparently genetically programmed to protect his yoomans - up and barking at any unexpected noise.
    Can be naughty though: The day before DS and GGF left him with me, Grand-Pup followed his best canine chum / bad influence out of the Old House's garden, then a few minutes later DS had to rescue him from a scrap with the neighbour's guard dogs.. Pup has a nick in one ear, two scars on the top of his head and a couple of punctures on his back - hopefully he's learned his lesson (although he obviously enjoys having the wounds tended - don't want an infection creeping in).

    Spent £30 on fuel and feeding the friend who took Pup and self out yesterday; we actually had a very pleasant afternoon, despite the upset of finding out the dog we went to see was so ill.

    Today have been grateful for a quiet day, for finding a home-made ready meal in the freezer for dinner, and the happy antics of my little visitor.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 09-04-2017 at 9:17 PM.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 9th Apr 17, 9:52 PM
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    Sun Addict
    Sad about the rescue dog, bless her. I hope the other dog turns out to be more suitable for you. You have such a lot to offer to a canine friend, I hope the wait isn't too long. Grand pup sounds delightful.

    Thankfully the weather in the UK has been fabulous since our return so the shock hasn't been too great. Heard it's return to normal April weather tomorrow though.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £424.05
    Weight loss 0/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 9th Apr 17, 10:44 PM
    • 512 Posts
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    Dansmam
    Rescue dogs can so tug on our hearts but you're right to think forward Robin. If your lifestyle won't fit it is unkind to even try.
    The right dog will be there when both of your lives are running parallel.
    Have worked out holiday trains and cars and will start DDs journey south with her and leave her to get on with it when circumstances mean she's ready to cast adrift. Or I need to be at work. Owhh that will hurt. She will be working for board and lodging till landing back with bf so I will worry meanwhile.
    Aim is land and veg and chickens and income below uni payback but we shall see. I sort of understand not paying back uni given the uk gave me 4 years degree and 2 years professional qualification for free but left her in massive debt. I did make sure she was eating.
    Which (what the uk did for me) strikes me as very unfair given current rules.
    And if I was starting out now I'd be keen on land and veg and chickens. And a dog 👏
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 9th Apr 17, 11:08 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 1,769 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Hmmmh on reflection that was not well worded. Now is unkind and unfair. Then was less so. In my view.
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