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    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    • 3,263Posts
    • 13,306Thanks
    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 18
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 28th Dec 17, 11:00 AM
    • 7,762 Posts
    • 18,046 Thanks
    can someone pse send me a link to start a new thread i cant see the button for it
    Originally posted by skeggs885
    Hi there
    if you got back onto the debt free diaries main page (where all the thread titles are ) just above the start of the thread titles there is a button that says new thread
    cheers chev
    Last edited by chevalier; 28-12-2017 at 5:55 PM. Reason: spelling
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 29th Dec 17, 8:46 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    Forgive me, but this will be another *Robin* post.
    Need to write a list: Find Colloidal Silver dropper bottle. Check 'phone & torch - charge? Freezer. Find internet bank details for: Solicitor2, animal2 and child2 charities. Fill water bottles, decide on next stage for Kefir cheese - do it, breakfast, M patrol pueblo [*sample for DV?], find thing for coiling lekky cable on - do it + gas + empty thunderbox. Bank, puppy-park, vet [bloods, more raw, M's sore eye?], beach. Contact off-spring.

    Written earlier in a different headspace:
    Thank you Dansmam; yes, am starting to perk up again now.
    Finally got my Xmas dinner on Boxing day afternoon, it was delicious; an energy-giving healthy feast.. Was still pretty wobbly so spilt a dribble of sauce between cooker and sofa-table - all of three steps lol - Musketeer made short work of clearing up though. Who knew dogs like orange and balsamic sauce? This one does. In fact he thought it was so delicious that when I dropped off to sleep and my mucky plate slipped down to the floor he polished off the left-over salmon skin, orange rinds and every last morsel!
    ..Normally that isn't allowed of course, but it was Christmas, and his helpful snurfelling saved me treading the mess everywhere when I came round.
    Musketeer made do with several short "scent-enrichment" walks around the village that day and the next - have realised, he is back in his element here! Living in suburbia his behaviour appeared quite juvenile and reactive, but here he understands the job; to guard his patch against intruders of ill intent, be they two-legged or four. He has a look-out in the front of the van, where he's got a good view of the ridge which attaches this small knoll to the main spine of the mountain. There are steep ravines on either side choked with cane thickets growing on top of landslides, so anything approaching from above will be seen by our self-appointed guardian.
    From below it's as steep a climb as possible without requiring crampons and ropes; one hundred and fifty metres up from the river bed. Which for me, is one of the problems with living in this little village so beloved of my darling DH. All dog walks further than around the knoll involve an awful lot of up, down and up again.. Hard if one is short of energy.

    can someone pse send me a link to start a new thread i cant see the button for it
    Originally posted by skeggs885
    Chev - ^^^ thank you very much for helping Skeggs.

    sorry if I was a bit crass on the envy point - it!!!8217;s a time of year for missing old times, isn!!!8217;t it just.
    by Dansmam
    Sorry for jumping back at you.. DH loved this place so much, I find it unsettling - he should be here.. His absence seems most "wrong" here - it's thought-provoking which is a slow process given brain fog which tends to descend about four hours after waking.
    Sometimes there is a murmuring at the edge of hearing, which could almost be DH's voice talking to someone behind the houses or on the bottom terrace of his jungle garden.
    Am being bugged by another noise regularly; a short but repetitive high whistle. Thought it was a bird at first, then perhaps laptop fan, something in freezer gizzards or another electrical gizmo. Can't find it though - doesn't sound internal?

    Two big dogs in a van. Hmmmh, glad you!!!8217;re thinking that through first. Is there any real reason GGF folks can!!!8217;t take grandpup while his parents are away?
    by Dansmam
    Well to be fair, at 18 and almost 24kgs they are medium sized dogs. The problem is more that they are boisterous together, and GrandPup's training schedule has mostly been on the non-existent side of lax since his accident - hence his other potential hosts aren't too keen. There is another possibility which would be better all round, but it will cost.. DS3 won't be pleased.

    I got my Christmas wish for nothing I can!!!8217;t use up in the next 12 months - this house wont be short of soap for a while ...
    by Dansmam
    Now that is a really imaginative Wish - well done! I just said "socks please" - the last batch have been falling into gaping holes for the past few months [a case of wearing then binning rather than into the wash-bag!].

    It will be light soon. The hunting dogs in their kennel on the hill are barking frantically - some of them will be running on the high lands when morning has broken..

    After the Boxing Day hunt M showed me very clear signs of boar tracks skedaddling down into the ravine thickets.. He followed the trail back up to the road and across it - which was far enough for me as it got steeper the further we went. Looked like a pair, one smaller than the other, so perhaps a Mum and baby? If they're still down near the river they'll be safe today - which is probably more than can be said for the hunters' unfortunate dogs. Apparently, on average three out of ten do not return to their kennels from a boar hunt.. It is a brutality of the Andaluz macho caballero character, alas.

    Have gone through everything in the "medicine cupboard" - no sign of a dropper bottle with CS in - unfortunate because Musketeer thinks the spray version is a snake! Have had to resort to spraying CS onto a used tea-bag and wiping his eye with that. To be honest, it seems to be working; no more discharge and looks a lot less red this morning.
    He needs a revision anyway, so will show Dear Vet - just in case there is a grass seed or something stuck in M's eye.
    Did find a sterile sample pot[*], so need to fabricate a hygienic collection bottle - for the other test which is part of M's regular maintenance; time to see just how effective the holistic treatment has been re his bladder crystals.

    Chevalier your post mirrors just what I feel. One selfish child and one totally oblivious child plus OH with brain damage = not a very merry Christmas I bought my own present from OH.
    by Sun Addict
    Been thinking about you and Lucky a lot recently Sun.A; wondering whether I would actually have coped half as well as you two, if Life had thrown DH a hand similar to your husbands'..? There must be such poignancy for what has been lost, along with very understandable frustration.. (((hugs)))
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-12-2017 at 9:12 AM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 29th Dec 17, 10:58 PM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    Need to write a list:
    Find Colloidal Silver dropper bottle. Figment of my imagination.
    Check 'phone & torch - charge? Torch charged, events overtook 'phone - see **
    Freezer. Most contents transferred to house freezer, van freezer now replenished with raw 3kg chubs.
    Find internet bank details for: Solicitor2, animal2 and child2 charities. S2 and C2 found and paid. A2 on list for New Year.
    Fill water bottles, decide on next stage for Kefir cheese - do it, breakfast, M patrol pueblo [*sample for DV?], find thing for coiling lekky cable on - do it + gas + empty thunderbox. All done.
    Bank, Bill a/c was down to 10!!!8364;. Transferred half of balance in current a/c.
    puppy-park, Roaring success! Musketeer had a fantastic time playing with the other big pups, he must have run at least five miles.
    vet [bloods, more raw, M's sore eye?], See below **
    beach. Current location!
    Contact off-spring. Another win for telepathy? Again, see below **
    Originally posted by *Robin*
    Well. What a day! **M was an absolute star at the vet's clinic; first of all ignoring both resident rescue cats who were asleep on waiting room chairs, then submitting quietly to a general health check, a prolonged and intimate examination of his eye, a stabbing blood-draw and finally a boring interlude while I was extracting non-beef chubs from packed freezers..
    Then he suddenly made a dive for the front door, returning with GGF who looked very close to tears. I hugged her and asked what was wrong, then heard DS3's voice in the consulting room:
    "Oh - he looks a bit better now!"
    Following the end of M's lead we found GrandPup struggling to get off the bench Musketeer had just vacated, trying to reach his best mate - who was about to jump up and join him. Dear Vet was doing her best to examine GrandPup while Divo Three hung tight on to his collar..
    Eventually the chaos subsided. GGF was issued with a syringe & an emetic liquid, and we all went outside. GrandPup was very wobbly - yet again the wretch had eaten something he shouldn't have done!
    Musketeer went back to the van to play with his new toy - Dear Vet gave him some tiny dehydrated liver treats as a reward for being so well behaved, they were perfect to go inside M's K0ng Gir0. Kept him quiet while I paid my bill and provided moral support to GGF and Three.
    The emetic was effective. What came up was copious and disgusting. Not sure of the verdict, because I was distracted by the unexpected but happy arrival of DS2 and family, who just happened to spot camper-van as they were driving past.
    When Three joined us, all he could say was that DV thinks GrandPup will be ok now - however, the bill for this dog he never wanted had emptied his wallet!
    Divo Two took us all for a late lunch, but GGF was very subdued. The pups stayed in their respective vehicles to avoid GrandPup getting excited again.

    So. M hasn't got any foreign bodies or ulcers in his eye, but it is still inflamed so DV gave me a prescription for antibiotic drops. She wants to see him again next week to make sure this is no more than a case of conjunctivitis or the result of jabbing himself with a twig. Apart from his eye Musketeer seems to be in excellent health; no warning signs that the Mediterranean illness he's got is about to flare - but I'll wait to see the blood test results before opening a celebratory bottle.

    Having paid today's bills, collected M's script and hidden an extra cash gift inside DGD's Three Kings present, it looks like I am ending the year with 8!!!8364; in my current a/c and 40!!!8364; in cash. The bills a/c should be ok until February.

    The sea is quiet today; gentle surf providing a wonderful lullaby, with Moon-light shining through the roof-light* [*sure there's a better word for that but am too tired to think of it..].
    Good night everyone.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-12-2017 at 11:04 PM.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 30th Dec 17, 3:11 PM
    • 5,847 Posts
    • 38,634 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I think you must keep your vet in business Robin. Glad M is ok and that grandpup is recovering. Fingers crossed M's blood tests come back clear. Grandpup is a demon eating machine bless him, wonder what he keeps finding that's so enticing.

    The sea, surf and moonlight through the roof hatch sound very soothing
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 296.07
    Debt 2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
    Weight loss 0.5/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 31st Dec 17, 8:21 PM
    • 8,840 Posts
    • 51,800 Thanks
    Happy New Year to you and Musketeer, Robin. Much love Xx
    Debts @ LBM 23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 31/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 2nd Jan 18, 4:37 PM
    • 873 Posts
    • 4,348 Thanks
    Happy New Year to you and to M.. here's hoping Grandpup only eats what he is supposed to this year! xx
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 16208 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 3rd Jan 18, 12:40 PM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    A slightly belated Happy New Year Everyone!

    Another list [no brain]:
    Sort out / freeze dog's enrichment toys [while on mains ]
    Wash up
    Wash me
    Get blue milk out of house freezer, butter & green beans from fridge.
    Find dog's passport / last test results.
    Retrieve dry washing, stow away.
    Search all likely places for any forgotten cash. Write shopping list accordingly.

    Am annoyingly flat today, which is making an arranged trip into town difficult. Moving very slowly, probably rattle due to painkillers taken. Will decide whether safe to drive once actually ready to go. No matter if not, both appointments can be delayed 'til tomorrow.

    Two of the Divos have let me down a tad. Three spent the money earmarked for repaying a short term loan on GrandPup's latest medical emergency. Four diverted my December and January expected income towards paying his uni fees until the next bursary instalment arrives at the beginning of February.

    Not sure I've got enough food to last that long..

    Three is also cross because I have not solved his foster-problem re GrandPup, although he agrees my current set-up living in the van plus poor physical state makes me looking after their not-very-well-trained, bouncy dog an untenable option. << Ow; bad sentence, sorry, best I can do right now.
    • Knit Witch
    • By Knit Witch 3rd Jan 18, 1:19 PM
    • 3,474 Posts
    • 31,706 Thanks
    Knit Witch
    Happy New Year *Robin* - sorry to hear you are under the weather (and that your finances are a little ), re Grandpup - sorry to say this but Divo's dog - he needs to sort out what is happening as you can't take him!
    V3ry - 389.60
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 4th Jan 18, 12:39 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 1,881 Thanks
    Happy New Year Robin. May 2018 treat you well.
    What on earth has grandpup been eating? Yeurgghh! Hope you!!!8217;ve found the odd spare euro - you do have to eat, after all...
    Love the sound of the moonlight and the sea - what a peaceful picture that!!!8217;s painting.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 5th Jan 18, 4:45 AM
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    Don't remember writing m' last post at all..
    Do remember Three turning up the next day bearing more cash than I was expecting to get back. He topped up van's water tank and took Musketeer for a walk - later I realised they explored the bottom of the ravine where M still thinks the piggies are living. Plenty of sign in the village supporting M's nose - tracks, paths through rough land - it was lucky they didn't meet tbh; wild boar well deserve their name!

    Another list [no brain]:
    Sort out / freeze dog's enrichment toys [while on mains ] Done
    Wash up Done
    Wash me
    Get blue milk out of house freezer, butter & green beans from fridge. Done
    Find dog's passport / last test results.
    Retrieve dry washing, stow away. Done
    Search all likely places for any forgotten !!!8364;!!!8364; cash. Write shopping list accordingly.
    Originally posted by *Robin*
    re Grandpup - sorry to say this but Divo's dog - he needs to sort out what is happening as you can't take him!
    by Knit Witch
    He says it's GGF's dog. If the idea was supposed to be a trial run pre baby planning, then it's back-fired; DS3 is now adamant that he cherishes and will defend his child-free status!
    GGF is staying away from me - she is probably more disappointed that I haven't welcomed GrandPup with open arms. He's a lot bigger than he was before, and maybe she's feeling guilty for not keeping up his training which would have made him an easier prospect for any of our family members to take on.

    What on earth has grandpup been eating? Yeurgghh!
    by Dansmam
    Don't know what it was this time [not identifiable]. First temptation was a dead toad - out walking with me so removed immediately; pup got stoned but didn't need vet. Second time it was tiger slugs - hospital overnight on a drip. Then the desiccating granules - vet and jab.
    If he were my dog he'd walk off-lead wearing a muzzle because he obviously can't be trusted not to pick up poison! ..This opinion did not go down well with pup's 'parents'.

    Love the sound of the moonlight and the sea - what a peaceful picture that!!!8217;s painting.
    by Dansmam
    I've always loved sleeping by the sea; ozone in the air really helps, and it's warm enough to leave the skylights open.

    Still struggling physically, on a wake-sleep cycle of roughly four hours. Am so grateful there are no young children relying on me to look after 'em!
    Last edited by *Robin*; 05-01-2018 at 4:49 AM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 6th Jan 18, 11:30 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
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    Good morning MSEers,

    At last the weather has broken here; every time I woke in the night it was raining. Dawn didn't really happen as we were deep in the clouds, but I knew when it should have been because the new municipal street light [a contentious issue] switched itself off.
    Musketeer nipped out to spend a penny but then dived back into the van and brought me his Gir0 - now nick-named "doughnut" - fine; he can do enrichment activities rather than going for a walk this morning.

    Am running out of food but it's Three Kings, so everything will be shut until Monday. Actually am quietly glad this extended crash prevented me from driving; it's not a good day to be parked on sand in a heavy vehicle!
    Still, the neighbours won't mind me scrumping a few chard leaves and abandoned tomatoes from their veg garden, and I have a frozen "meat feast meal" in stock - was going to get a couple of duck breasts last time out shopping, before realising a whole duck cost the same price! So I'll make a stew with whatever veg I can find plus slices of the breasts and thighs, and the rest - the bony bits and giblets - will be portioned up and re-frozen for M (yes I know - lucky dog! But it will last him quite a long time as the 'bone in' portions of his dinner twice a week).

    Brain is beginning to function again, albeit creakily, so guess I'd better take a look at the "official business" [HMRC, correspondence with Solicitor1] today, at least until the rain lets up..
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 6th Jan 18, 3:32 PM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    Apologies - bad tempered rant post. Feel free to scroll on by..

    Am seriously regretting this duck; half is chopped up and back in the freezer for M but am swaying..
    How on Earth am I going to get through my share of the meat - it's about three months' worth of my normal non-veggie consumption.
    Can't re-freeze it - wonder if the dour neighbour might be interested (this is the man who preferred a McNasty chicken wrap to joining me on Boxing Day for a delicious organic salmon feast..)?
    Dog is not impressed - waiting patiently for a tasty gobbet to drop into his mouth but now Mum is back in bed until some more energy appears..

    Seemed such a good idea when I was shopping; thought DS2, DS3 and families would come here for a meal sometime over Xmas, but they didn't.
    What really hurt was Xmas Day itself.. not one of the folk I am closest to thought of putting a portion of the big family feast into a plastic pot and bringing it to me because I wasn't well enough to be at the party. My Xmas dinner was a mashed banana, as that was all the prep I could manage!

    No-one said thanks for all the carefully chosen, lovingly wrapped gifts DS4 and I sent up to go under the tree either - think it's time to draw a line under the experience and simply have nowt to do with the Festival of Consumer Consumption in the future.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 6th Jan 18, 5:35 PM
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    • 38,634 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    It's annoying isn't it when you know you'd have gone round to theirs with food if they were ill. Same with the presents, you put a lot of effort in and no one mentions them. Saying thanks costs nothing - I used to have to write thank you letters when I was a child no matter how small the gift. Also disappointing when you buy food in for others and they don't turn up. I don't blame you for feeling hurt.

    Christmas isn't always the wonderful time we're led to believe it is.

    Onwards and upwards Robin, take care xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 296.07
    Debt 2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
    Weight loss 0.5/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 7th Jan 18, 11:12 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    Thank you for your understanding and sympathy, Sun.A - much appreciated, especially in response to my bad-tempered outburst!

    After writing said previous diary entry, M and I went to see what we could find in Abuela's [="Granny" - Lovely Neighbour] garden - don't worry, I have permission to help myself because they can't eat it all now they have to spend most of their time in town.. As we walked I finally looked at the horizon and realised why there was a distinct nip in the air; the rain which woke me the night before had fallen as snow higher up - every mountain top glistening white in the weak sunshine!

    My garlic, chard and duck soup - with much of the liquid provided by Abuela's oranges - was actually quite palatable. Have run out of spuds though so am labouring beneath a carb-deficient headache this morning.

    Thieving-Neighbour is here today. Didn't spot her in time to take another path so was forced to socialise. She said her husband saw six wild piggies in the village last night - bad news; he'll tell the hunters!

    Really want to try and get down to town today - Musketeer is being so well behaved but must need a decent run by now, which means visiting the puppy-park. Also gives me the option of getting a take-away tonight, and being in the right place to re-stock tomorrow. Need to collect M's test results too, and try and catch the gas depot guys to talk about changing van on to Spanish bottles before my last UK one runs out.
    On the way back I have a couple of potential new properties to look at - and really must rendezvous with DS3 to get a lift up to the Nest - can't believe I've been here weeks already but have not yet clapped eyes on the place! Apparently wild boar have been there too; they've knocked over a couple of trees (probably using 'em as scratching-posts). Luckily none of the trees I am particularly attached to have been damaged (according to DS3, anyway).
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 7th Jan 18, 11:53 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    At last the Thinking People are beginning to take ME seriously:

    For those who have Am@zon Pr!me, Unrest is available to rent at a very small cost. Please watch it if you can (Jen is a lovely lady, have spoken to her on-line - and hope her work gets the Oscar! ..Far more deserving than most of the brain-in-reverse Hollywood offerings that are nominated).

    8.1.18. Edited to add:

    The global ME community has been given some terribly sad news; we have lost Anne Ortegren, a severely affected lady I never met but learned many coping strategies from (thanks to her written articles over the past few years). In the end she could not bear any longer her hopeless decline and the lack of care from people who should have been helping at all levels.
    Before she died, Anne wrote one final letter to the World. It's quite long, but everyone who reads it can tell the words are from her heart and they explain a lot about the reality that many PwME have to look forward to.

    I know I am lucky; I can still function - more or less, some of the time at least. I have two patches of the "burning skin" which tortured Anne for so long, but I can mostly ignore them (one between my shoulder blades, the other where I was inoculated with smallpox vaccine as a young child). If I ever lose hope that one day ME will be recognised and properly researched, and my condition deteriorates to the point where I must entirely rely on family for my care, I won't be following Anne to Switzerland. No, I'll find a good home for the dog, then use the last of my strength to crawl to the edge of the cliff - and fly!

    Please read Anne's words, she wanted more people to understand:
    Last edited by *Robin*; 08-01-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 9th Jan 18, 2:02 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks

    Well, Mutt and I still have not ventured off the mountain. It's been raining for most of the time since writing last and road conditions are not great; higher up snow caused a lot of accidents, so all the local builders have been out in their JCBs doing what council gritters and snowploughs do in the UK.

    Good news; can claim another NSD - still to break m' duck for 2018 - but perhaps that's just as well given this month's meagre budget.
    Rather dreading the bottom line on camper-van's essential gas system exchange - pretty certain the current bottle won't last until February. However, utility bills are covered as is fuel (unless am struck by a sudden irresistible desire to relocate to Portugal, for example. Haha ).
    Musketeer's larder & freezer are well stocked, so just need fresh vittals for m'self, a few store-cupboard tins, and to keep us both away from unexpected unpleasant expenses (eg., involving vet, medico, or doing something stupid behind the wheel of the van).
    Will be fine to drive tomorrow; am rested, weather forecast is better, we have A List:
    Organic market, gas depot, puppy-park, vet, beach.
    Pause. 'Phone-calls (no signal in the hills ).
    Puppy park, German supermarket, hopefully gas depot again for fitting of appropriate parts - solving problem, then with luck visit the Nest and one of the possible new projects. Back to DH's cottages before the freezer defrosts.
    Sounds do-able, doesn't it?

    Just remembered summat - maintenance task - need a new breaker for the mains supply here. The old one is struggling to cope with an unasked-for smart meter installed a few months ago, while there was no-one around to object. Hmm, that really shouldn't wait too long..

    Haven't got as far as sorting out correspondence re solicitors - both of 'em now[!] nor the dreaded annual submission to HMRC - which is becoming harder every year, even with support from a friendly accountant.
    What have I got to do to retire

    Today's gloomy clouds have given us their bounty and drifted off, leaving behind the heady scent of wet earth and view of a reclining crescent Moon, riding low above silhouetted mountains..
    Away from the municipal street-light's baleful yellow glare; our vast, ink-black sky is studded with cold silver stars. Despite temperature dropping fast now, the beauty of this awesome night is irresistible.. I watch, inhaling the World.
    M snuffles happily then stands motionless, tasting the air. His head turns; pricked ears, eyes and nose focused. I hear the noise too - something moving down in the avocado orchard where there are deep layers of crisp, fallen leaves beneath the trees. More than one something.. There followed a slight difference of opinion which I won, discretion being the better part of valour (one dufus dog is no match for a family of wild boar!).
    Must be bed-time.
    Goodnight all
    Last edited by *Robin*; 09-01-2018 at 2:08 AM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 9th Jan 18, 10:49 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    Best laid plans - haha..
    Thick 'ead, struggling to find sufficient energy to have a wash and dig out clean clobber for appearing in public.
    It's not raining, but grey and chilly. There is a lot of bright snow decorating the horizon though..
    Run outa milk so no second cuppa to help get Robin moving today..
    Ho hum.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 09-01-2018 at 7:40 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 10th Jan 18, 9:11 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    'Morning All,

    Yesterday's list changed a bit in the execution:
    1. Organic market - just caught them, packing up. Got some good deals though; a month's supply of Jersey spuds, big bag of greens, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers and another of fruit all for 25.
    2. Gas depot. Not a success. Met a bully who insisted I dismantle the van's current system - after he threw my mains lead on the ground and broke the holder. Then told me he wasn't a technician and couldn't help!
    3. Puppy park; definitely a success with Musketeer. Only three other dogs there but all like him - young, long-legged, full of energy. Reckon he must have run a good five miles playing tag with 'em while I hobbled around at the top of the hill, watching.
    4. Vet - M's blood test results are fantastic [= much improved]; Dear Vet is very pleased and intends to research CBD and GP for use with other patients.
    5. Supermarket - a month's supply of bread, milk, my 'go to' fast food - fish fingers lol - all to be frozen until needed, sundries and a ready meal for last night. 60
    6. Camp-site. Couldn't help re gas. Sent me to:
    7. Another camp-site. Ditto. Sent me to:
    8. Someone else who I found at the second attempt as light was fading. Hooray - he says he can help - going back this morning.
    9. It was raining again by the time we got to the beach which had the appearance of an enormous shallow lake. Eighteen vans were lined up along the road behind it so I tagged on the end. Scoffed m' ready-meal which wasn't too bad, and was almost asleep when a commotion started up outside. Someone banged on the van's door which sent M into a paroxysm of furious barking, growling and snarling.. The police kept well out of range as they explained - politely - that we couldn't spend the night there.
    The big motor-homes were driving around for ages back and forth along the front, looking for somewhere else to park, but I decided to risk the flooded beach. There is an old concrete track across it which I found; we didn't sink. Lesson; don't follow the sheeple!
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 10th Jan 18, 11:00 AM
    • 9,709 Posts
    • 122,546 Thanks

    Glad things seem ok at the monet, please dont go driving around at night, near water and sand they are not normally a good mix.

    Safe travels
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky start date 29.01.18 28 to go / -14 so far and counting!!
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 12th Jan 18, 12:25 AM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 13,306 Thanks
    Kazwookie, please don't worry - as I said, I found the old concrete track and parked on that; it was safe enough.
    Last night though, there was a fearsome gusty wind on the sea-front. The van was rocking alarmingly even tucked behind some three-storey houses next to the beach. Took the dog out at midnight just as the one other vehicle still there drove away - so decided we should go as well. Ended up "stealth camping" in town, between blocks of flats where it was lovely and calm if a bit noisy from the traffic on the bypass. Musketeer thought it was a fine spot, just across the road from the puppy-park. He enjoyed no less than three visits there today, so will sleep well tonight after running around with lots of new canine friends.

    Did have a couple of "wins" recently which I forgot to mention; first, when dressing up to go into town I found a well laundered note in m' clean trousers - 50!!!8364;!
    Then, yesterday morning while parked on the shallow lake aka beach I spotted a new - but utterly sodden - pair of shoes. Obviously forgotten then abandoned when someone drove away from the rising water, they were sat neatly together in an expanse of mud. Still there at midday, so I showed them to the lady who runs the beach bar; said I'd clean 'em up and left her my 'phone number in case the rightful owner returns - but if I don't hear anything shall consider them a gift from the Rain Gods, as they just happen to be my size.

    More frustrations re gas supply. Bloke I'd been sent to turned out not to be a specialist but a chancer.. saga on-going.

    Was wrong about fuel supplies; had to buy 25lts on m' UK card; suspect I'll regret that when the statement arrives.

    We're back at DH's cottages now, plugged into the mains. Mindful of the weak breaker, am swathed in jumpers and blankets rather than enjoying central heating. It's not very cold tonight, despite the snow on the tops.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 12-01-2018 at 12:30 AM.
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