Monday, July 21, 2008

normal service is resumed

well readers, i have had to be firm with the peeps. it is no good sitting around moping. in fact i am adjusting very well to the single life. no nagging, no lady stuff going on. it suits me just fine.

but the peeps are a little glum. herself's glumness is not helped by her only having the one functional limb. normally when she is down she persecutes the plants in the garden, or takes it out on the walls, but she is limited to gentle pursuits until the wounds heal.

so when my boy's sitter came i took the peeps to the beach. i did a few rounds of silly running to make them laugh but herself just stood looking at the sea and weeping. so i did a bit of bouncing around and playing the clown. i am the merry widower after all. but they were not be be deterred. they sat on a bench looking at the sea and not speaking very much. herself refraining from speaking is particularly alarming. it means she is thinking. while multitasking comes as second nature in terms of most of her activities, thinking before or while speaking does not seem to be one of them.

i sat down and fixed her with my blue eye. this is my magic eye. sometimes when people stop herself and ask her "can he see out of that eye?" she will reply in a portentious voice, "he can see into your soul!" i use my blue eye for matters that require someone's full attention. when i had herself's attention i put my paw on her knee and my chin in her lap. this seemed to comfort her. she took hold of himself's hand and they went back to the car and drove home.

yesterday my boy was getting ready for school and herself was sitting laptopping. my boy gave me a cuddle and chatted away in my ear. to tell the truth i wasn't really listening. suddenly my boy said,

"why do dogs like rhetorical questions so much?"

this made me sit up and listen. here was a philosophical conundrum, and before breakfast as well. should i answer my boy and break the cardinal rule of doghood? if i were to say "i like rhetorical questions because they allow me to maintain my silence, thus perpetuating the belief that dogs do not speak," i would by that very act be doing just the opposite. but if i did not answer, it would effectively turn what was not a rhetorical question into a rhetorical question. luckily herself stepped into the breach.

"because they don't want to have to go to the trouble of thinking about anything too complicated, especially before breakfast."

maybe she can see into my soul too...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

joker the author

i find the best way to cope with sadness is to keep busy. so i have persuaded herself to knuckle down and finish my book. this is a book with selected highlights from my blog. if it is a success i will publish another one with other highlights.

i could not decide which posts to include in the book. some of them put me in a less than glamourous light. some of them make himself cringe. herself was no help either. but her ma'amship and the prof are visiting so her ma'amship was persuaded to select her favourite posts.

if you want to have a preview of my book, click on the little badge to the right. if you want a signed copy you will have to ask herself how to arrange it...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a bit of sad news

dear readers, this is a short post. it is just to let you know that all the peeps' efforts to find a home for my lady friend came to nothing. the kind man in devon changed his mind about having her. one of his lady dogs has just had a litter of puppies and he felt he couldn't take on a dog with such special needs. the peeps were in something of a state. clearly they could not keep a dog that has bitten members of the family 3 times but there was a real reluctance to give up on her.

however, last night herself got out of bed and my lady friend bit her badly on the foot. it bled a lot so hopefully it will not go mouldy like the hand did. and herself is still on anti-biotics for the hand anyway.

so the peeps will be taking my lady friend to the vet today to have her put to sleep. although i will miss her i will sleep much better knowing my peeps will be safe again.

Friday, July 11, 2008

a little light relief

dear readers, i feel it is time for a little light relief. this is not something rude. it is a saying meaning time for a bit of a chuckle. herself has a running list of blog fodder. life throws blog fodder our way relentlessly. what with our recent dramas the list is getting unwieldy. so today's post is an effort to wade through the list.

this picture is of the front page of herself's website. a new friend at work has said some magic words that have persuaded herself to get off her rather large but nevertheless perfectly formed backside and sort out her entry into e-commerce. my boy liked the sound of e-commerce. he thought it was a way of purchasing the forbidden e-numbers over the internet. but he was rapidly disabused of this misapprehension by herself, who went on to say that in spite of her extensive marketing efforts she had yet to sell a single item.

"well, i expect everyone thinks you are a nutter!" said himself, helpfully. my boy is a more sensitive soul and gave herself a hug.

"don't worry mummy, i'm sure you'll get some orders soon," he said. herself noticed the contrast.

"sweetie, do you think you could give daddy some social skills lessons on the way to meeting the taxi?" she asked. i felt a point was being made here, but it was too subtle for me. himself jumped on the bandwagon.

"i'm sure you will get some orders soon. i expect people are waiting for birthdays, or christmas." my boy shook his head slowly and said ruefully

"stolen words, daddy, stolen words."


a while ago (you see how long it has taken me to get anywhere with the list?) the peeps were watching football. or more accurately my boy and himself were watching football and herself was moaning about football.

my boy pointed to a lady sitting in the crowd, upon whom the camera lingered for longer than usual.

"who does she think she is, the queen?" asked my boy, noticing her slightly aloof air.

"er, yes," said himself, "she is the queen of spain."


mrs lupin visited recently. she is the human who belongs to lupin, who my longstanding readers will recall. she did not bring lupin this time. mrs lupin and herself were sitting chatting about what their respective young folks wanted to be when they grew up. lupin's girl (who in the past was known as lupin's wild girl but who has calmed down much as my boy has with the advent of teenagehood) wants to work with horses. herself was much in favour of this. she said she wished my boy would do something so sensible.

"at the moment he wants to be an assassin," she said. "i have explained to him that i will find it very difficult being the glowing proud mother at social occasions telling people about 'my son, the brilliant assassin', but so far he is immune to my entreaties."

i have always found being an assassin to be a very rewarding profession. unfortunately i was compulsorily retired in my prime...


my readers who have been around for a while will remember the whole cookery lesson business. my boy is something of a natural cook. unfortunately, while he takes after himself in the cooking field, he takes after herself in the organisational skills field. there has been a repeat of the apple crumble fiasco recently involving chicken stir fry. herself does not eat meat and refuses to have anything to do with the chicken side of things. so it fell to himself to ready the ingredients for the stir fry.

week 1 went reasonably well. chicken was purchased in time. the only way this could be assured was through multiple reminders. my boy put a reminder on his mobile phone. herself put a reminder on the calendar. this is a google calendar which in turn sends a message to as many places as you choose. so my boy had another message from google saying "chicken!" herself had one on her phone too, as well as an e-mail. in addition there was a note on the table saying "chicken!". in case none of this worked herself drew a large chicken and placed it on the table. the cookery lesson went well and my boy enjoyed his stir fry for tea. himself was equally impressed.

on week 2 my boy said he needed ingredients for stir fry again. this was at 9pm the day before.

"i'll have to go in the morning," grumbled himself. this meant very early in the morning as my boy and himself have to head off at 7.30am to meet my boy's taxi at 8am in the town where we used to live. the morning dawned and with much troll-like behaviour himself furnished my boy with his ingredients.

when he got home my boy said "it was the wrong week!" it seems that the chicken was needed for the following week. so those who are meat eaters had the stir fry for tea.

on week 3 the whole sorry story was repeated again. and again my boy came home saying that this week had only been a practice run. the banquet for which the cooking was being done was in fact next week.

week 4 had everyone in a state of high alert. the chicken was purchased in time, lemon sauce was poured, vegetables were organised. as my boy and himself were about to leave herself said,
"i hope it really is this week!"

himself did not look amused at the possibility of further chicken-fetching expeditions.

"if it isn't this week you will have to tell them that the chicken mountain has crumbled, the lemon sauce lake has dried up, the stir fry forest caught fire and we have run out of money!" he retorted, flouncing out of the door as only a man with a beard and a belly can flounce.

luckily this was the right week. my boy's teacher was impressed with his culinary skills and he came home with a beautiful place mat that he had made. i have to say i am a bit relieved...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

it never rains but it .... rains

dear readers, remember last time i posted? i bet you wouldn't have thought things could go downhill on the blogging front from where we were then what with herself having only the one operative hand and all that?

well, they did. last sunday herself was stroking my lady friend on the head. this is the usual place my lady friend needs to be stroked. she is a nervous wreck, as you know. my lady friend had a little cut on her head from a misunderstanding we had over whose breakfast belonged to who (or perhaps whom?). herself had a look to see how it was doing, which elicited a curled lip from my lady friend. given my lady friend's nervy nature herself gave up and went to stroke her shoulder to re-assure her, whereupon my lady friend went at herself with some vigour, injuring her other hand.

this is not the first time that my lady friend has forgotten herself. there was an incident in january when herself was given my lady friend a gentle scratch on the back and my lady friend whipped round and sank her teeth into herself's hand, going through a vein. there was a fair bit of blood and gore and shrieking. the peeps put this outburst down to my lady friend having a sore bit on her back from an old injury of which she has many. so my lady friend was x-rayed and prodded whilst under anaesthetic for other things, but nothing was found in her joints so the evil vet said it must be some other problem. after that point the peeps stuck to the head area for stroking.

just before we moved to our new house there was an incident where my boy dropped a cherry tomato and without thinking went to pick it up as he was worried my lady friend would choke. my lady friend had to fight for every morsel of food in her former life and, probably without even thinking, whipped round and sank her teeth into my boy's hand. to say he was upset was something of an understatement. he is a gentle soul and could not believe that his kindness had been repaid so roughly.

under normal circumstances any dog that bit my boy would be on a one way trip to the vet but the peeps and my boy were under huge strain with moving house and everything else that was going on with them so they all felt they couldn't deal with taking such a step. they all felt my lady friend's behaviour was not through nastiness but because of the life she had endured. so life meandered on and things settled down. we moved and got settled in and all was well.

but sunday changed all that. herself was in a very bad way with no hands at all. she wept and wept. it was pretty obvious to all the peeps that this couldn't go on. the following day himself bathed herself and washed her hair. he went off to work leaving her with sliced bread to put in the toaster for lunch. with the help of the mega painkillers that herself was given by the hospital for the other hand it became possible during the course of the day for her to move the index finger and thumb of the bitten hand so at least she could do geeky things on her laptop. but the middle and ring finger were not so good and by monday afternoon the hand was not looking good at all.

luckily on monday afternoon the lovely kidney counselling lady came to see the peeps. this lady is helping them get their heads round the whole kidney thing. she has 3 dogs of her own so she always gives my lady friend and i a lot of fuss too. she took one look at the bitten hand and said it needed seeing by a medical person. the kidney lady works at the hospital so she knows about medical stuff. eventually herself was persuaded to make an appointment at the docs. it is just as well that she did. herself has blood poisoning from my lady friend's ghastly teeth. i could have warned them about this given my own marital problems.

the doc has put herself on 2 sorts of anti-biotics. one sort stop you drinking alcohol and the other sort stop you going in the sun. herself said it was just as well she was not planning on a booze cruise. she had to levitate the hand (this means keep it in the air). she was to go back the next day to have it checked and if it wasn't a bit better it was off to the hospital to be put on a drip. so yesterday off they went again. it seems the hand is just about holding its own but the doc filled herself with dread having explained about infections in hands and scarred tendons and all sorts of horrors.

meanwhile the issue of what to do with my lady friend remained. herself has never believed in re-homing a dog that is a biter. her first ever dog was put down after he became vicious, some 30 years ago. this was from lead poisoning after being shot. but my lady friend is not vicious, just terrified. when herself collected her from the kind man who had rescued her he made her promise to bring her back to him if things didn't work out so herself rang him to see what he wanted to do.

"she must come back to me!" he said without hesitation, "if she doesn't settle down here i will have her put down but we will see how it goes." the kind man has a farm in a remote area and he doesn't have children visiting. the peeps were hugely relived. the kind man is not sentimental and if things don't work out he will do the right thing with my lady friend but at least she is going to have a chance to sort out her poor muddled head.

so on saturday the peeps will take her down to devon. i will be a divorcee. in spite of it all i will miss the old girl. we have become quite close. but i cannot bear to see my peeps so traumatised, especially my boy. so i will be brave and strong for them...

Friday, July 04, 2008

top of the morning to you

well readers, no picture today. plugging the usb thingy into the camera is too much for the one-handed old gal. and indeed thursday's fun and games would not be all that pretty.

the old routine has been thrown a bit as herself has been off work, having tried but failed to spend the day at her desk on wednesday. so on thursday morning himself was late feeding me and my lady friend. which meant we had to gobble down our breakfast so we would be ready in time to head off with him and my boy. my lady friend has not got the hang of this yet. so no sooner had her breakfast gone down (look away now squeamish peeps!) than it made a re-appearance on the carpet. well, the whole squeezing toothpaste with one hand thing pales into insignificance when compared to cleaning up a dogs breakfast with one hand. it simply cannot be done.

because of himself's dodgy kidneys he is prone to queasyness. therefore herself is in sole charge of those lovely little tasks to do with both ends of myself and my lady friend. i thought i would help out as i could see that this was a job too far but my offers of assistance were spurned most swiftly. himself did the honours but almost immediately felts the effects and spent some time leaning over the sink, saying cheerio to his own breakfast.

to add to the noise levels my boy appeared and started shrieking about germs and anti-bacterial spray. herself could see that there was no option but to deal with this side of things herself so she set to spraying the carpet. my boy meanwhile, sat down on the sofa and refused to budge.

"there is no way he is going to be fit to drive!" he squealed. "i cannot go to school. he will be sick in the car! all over the steering wheel! there will be germs!"

herself assured my boy that himself would be right as rain in a minute and that as soon as he got his head out of the sink he would be shouting at my boy for not being ready. as was indeed the case. and funnily enough my lady friend and i did not get our walk...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

poorly paw

dear readers, getting anyone to type this post has proved even more difficult than usual. as you will see from the photographs, i just cannot get the staff. the lengths that herself will go to in order to avoid an honest day's toil beggars belief. in the top photograph you can see 'before'. herself has a perfectly good hand, apart from having an oddly placed arrow. in the bottom photograph you can see 'after'. a hand that will not work at all.

"why has herself done this?" i hear you all ask. well, it is not vanity. nor is it misery. it is to sort out the car-pull tunnel thing that she has in her wrists. she has had this for years. up until now she has lived with the dodgy wrists fairly happily. what has prompted the drastic action is himself's forthcoming kidney transplant. herself will have to drive up to london and back each day while himself is in hospital. and while driving with numb hands works ok for short trips, it is not advisable in london traffic.

so on monday off the peeps went to the hospital. the operation was to be done under local anaesthetic. this means they do not have to bring it very far. the downside of the whole thing was that herself was awake. when the surgeon injected the stuff into the nerves in her wrist it was a little painful. in fact a lot painful. the arm whacked up in the air and just missed the surgeon's nose, making him jump a mile. in true drama queen fashion herself had to have the little oxygen mask and be wheeled back to the ward on a trolley, when all the other victims were happy with travelling by wheelchair.

since arriving home herself has entertained us no end. readers, if ever you are feeling a little low, pretend you have only the one hand. obviously for those readers who already have just the one this will not be so much fun as you will have special tools and techniques to deal with basic tasks. but those with two hands who are a bit down, pay attention! especially you, mrs deb! the way to cheer yourself up is to try the following tasks with only one hand (all these can be done in a hotel room if need be):

tear off a piece of loo roll
put some toothpaste on your toothbrush
put roll-on deodorant under your arms
pull up your knickers
put on your socks
wash your face
wash your hair

i won't go on, you get the idea. the hairwashing was particularly funny. herself decided to have a bath as the bandage would get wet in the shower. so there she was sitting in the bath with the shampoo. the first squirt on her head without being able to see did not produce any bubbles. so she had another go. this time there were so many bubbles she looked like santa claus. and putting the toothpaste tube between your knees to squeeze it may not be the best plan if you have strong legs from riding horses for years...

herself went back to work today but flagged by lunchtime. her boss very kindly delivered her back to us and she went straight to bed for a long kip. she woke later, due to me and my lady friend making a bit of a kerfuffle. we could hear the next-doors outside. it sounded as though there was a bit of a crisis. when herself went out to have a look it transpired that young ruby had cut her paw. what is it with women? one of them has a bandage, they all want one! anyway herself is a bit of a dab hand at bandaging paws. i may have helped her to acquire this skill what with my slightly accident-prone habits. but paw bandaging with one hand?

in fact all turned out well as there were many hands there already. young ruby was given a small dose of my painkiller stuff. she also had to wear her lampshade, which put something of a damper on her usual youthful exuberance. my boy is being sent round as i dictate this in an effort to obtain a picture of her dressed as a lamp. [update - young ruby is not answering the door]

and how have i managed to get this missive typed? i hear you ask. well, when my boy was a pup he didn't sleep much. and herself worked from home. so she learned to type with one hand, having had to jiggle the young fella on her knee with the other one. i can only surmise she must have managed to put him down when she brushed her teeth...