Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Birthday with Mas, Pete and Salty

Pete came up to see us yesterday, and we sat about chatting and catching up, and generally relaxing as Pete was feeling under the weather with a cold. Mas made a nice meal, and for the rest of the day we lurked about cheerfully, Pete playing with Salty from time to time too.

Today is my birthday and Pete gave me Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. Maheena called round with a present, and I gave her one for Varun as it is his birthday too.
Mas, Pete and I went to The Man in the Moon for lunch. It was so nice to have a glass of red wine that tasted of red wine, and things seeming normal again. After this we got a little shopping which included a cat collar.

When we were home Pete and I listened to my new CD, and when he and Mas went off to watch something on the TV, I made some banana bread. Later Mas made a nice meal, and we watched a Battlestar Gallactica, and put in some more earnest relaxing.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Funny festive feast

On Saturday Mas was feeling rather depressed and end of yearish, but we did our usual things and tried to have a reasonable day in spite of this, and watched something on TV in the evening.

Today, Sunday, we went to Tania and Robert's home at midday, as we had been invited for lunch together with some relatives and friends; in total there was nine of us. The weather was cold and bright, and when we arrived we joined the others and had some welcome mulled wine and mince pies. We all chatted while we waited for the Christmas dinner to be served; Tania's relatives were laughing a lot, and we soon found out why.

Apparently Tania had bought such a huge turkey that it would not fit into her oven, as she also wanted to roast some vegetables. Seeing the dilemma, Tania had secretly dug a huge hole in the garden the previous day, as you do, and put in some charcoal.

Today she slipped out of bed before Robert was awake, so avoiding inevitable criticism. She then set fire to the charcoal and placed the turkey into the hole and covering it carefully, and filled in the hole with earth again. The relatives kept asking Tania to open it up, to see how it was going, but as Tania pointed out it would let all the heat out. I was shown the site where the turkey was planted, and a thin trickle of smoke or steam was rising from the soil. There were many jokes about the turkey having the Last Rites, and people tapping their watches and laughing. The smoke alarm went off twice, adding to the hilarity. Eventually Tania dug up the turkey, only to find that it had not really cooked all through; one of the friends gave an imitation of how the turkey looked. As a precaution Tania had also cooked a small turkey without legs, and diner was soon served with all the festive fixings to go with it, and was delicious.

After this Tania bought in a traditional Christmas pudding, complaining that it would not catch fire as she had poured lots of rum on it (more laughter), and then a cheese cake with chopped fresh fruit in it; when asked what the fruit was, Tania replied that it was fresh piss, being unsure of the pronunciation, which caused another burst of laughter. Thinking about this later I suspect it was Persimmon, or Sharon fruit. Then to top this, a meringue was bought in with pomegranate and passion fruit sprinkled on top of it! At this point it would have been impossible to eat anything else, and we did not need the big turkey!

When sitting down later we had some champagne and Tania showed us the small winter hats that she had been knitting, most too small for a human head, and, by this time all restraint had
gone, and a new crop of jokes was produced with more laughter.

I think Tania is one of the most generous people I know, and she was joining in with the laughter too. I don't think I have ever been to a meal where everyone had so much to laugh about before, and I am sure none of us will forget it.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas day and Boxing day

On Christmas day we were woken at 9.30 am, which is late for us, by a neighbour. We had a very relaxed day talking and watching TV. Pete called, and we chatted for a while. We saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which we both thought was the best of these films that we had seen, and some of the Battlestar Gallacticas that Toby had sent. A cozy day with Salty in front of the fire; we tried out the new laser light cat toy, but he got so excited we had to stop after a short time.

On Boxing Day Monica phoned to postpone our visit as she was, sadly, feeling rather ill, but the boys were feeling better by now. We had a surprise call from Eileen saying that she and my brother Alex would be in our neighbourhood in the evening, and could they visit us, and so they arrived later bearing whisky based mince pies and a bottle of wine. We sat in front of the fire chatting about their holiday; visiting St. Petersburge, Estonia and Finland, while Alex played with Salty.
It was nice to see them both.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

This week we spent a lot of time watching TV, and contacting friends. On Christmas Eve we went up to St. Albans and met Robert and Tania at the Bua Thai restaurant where as usual we had a lovely meal and had lots to talk about. As we left the restaurant it was getting dark, and the market was lit up, and so were the decorations. It looked very cheerful, sadly I had forgotten to take my camera.

We drove home, and unpacked the fruit and vegetables. Maheena called round bringing Christmas presents, and we had some herb tea and cake, and as usual with Maheena we had a lot to laugh about.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

A relaxed breakfast and chats with Monika

Today is worth celebrating as it is the shortest day, and the days will lengthen from now on.

Mas and I went off for an earlyish and slow breakfast at The Man in the Moon, after our usual waking up coffees. It was a nice bright day, and afterwards we got some shopping before returning home. Monika phoned to check her intended menu for Boxing Day, and to try and persuade us to accept a lift from Oktay on that day. Milan was not feeling well, so she said she would phone to confirm our arrangements on Boxing Day.

In the evening we finished watching Pete's Frasiers, and looked at another one of our sci-fi series.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Adventures with Salty

Today as usual, I took Salty into the garden, after a brief but dangerous struggle to put his halter on. He went happily round the garden and he sharpened his claws on several trees, trying desperately to sprint up them all, but being restrained by me. As we were coming back, Mas came into the garden, and before I noticed, Salty had got free from the halter and had rushed to the side gate that leads to the front garden and road, and I rushed after him. Salty turned to face me and hissed, which was a first for him, and surprised me too!

Later Mas was sitting in the kitchen chatting, with Salty on his knees, and they were both watching me while I took the lentil and vegetable soup I had made, and put it in the blender. Without thinking I turned on the blender which is very loud, and the cat sprang upwards and backwards and was plastered on Mason's face which had also caused Mas to do one of his startled jumps for which he is rightly famous. The cat shot away, and it was along time before Mas and I could stop laughing, and go to find him.

In the evening we began watching Battlestar Gallactica which Mas had been looking forward to.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Sherry with Glen and a small party with friends

On Friday Glen came round as planned during the morning and we had biscuits and sherry and generally put the world to rights.

At seven we walked round to John and Margaret's where eleven of the usual suspects were gathered. As usual they had prepared a wonderful spread of tasty party food which we all enjoyed. We all had a really nice time chatting, and we suddenly discovered it was almost midnight, and went our separate ways home.

When we arrived home, we found that Salty had taken off all the small decorative birds that Tania had stuck on the holly wreath that she had given us, and had carried about a dozen of them all over the house, and there were toys strewn about everywhere too.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Knee deep in the North Sea with Barra Brieth and presents

On Monday morning the postman delivered a beautiful book that Diane had sent. Mas spent time on the computer and eventually fixed the problem. The next day was raining and dreary, and Mas had a bad back ache all day, and rested it a lot. In the evening ,after washing up I listened to Late Junction which is a radio programme I really like as it features world music, ancient and modern; one of the tracks I liked was by the Portico Quartet called Knee Deep in the North Sea http://www.babellabel.co.uk/

On Wednesday Glen called in bringing a large Barra Brieth, Welsh spotted bread which is fruity and delicious; she was surprised at how large Salty is now. Mas received a present from Romy and Tobe which pleased and surprised him. I went for a short walk posting letters and delivering cards to neighbours.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Misbehaving computers,cats and unusual animal parade

The computers were misbehaving all day and it seems that AOl were having problems too, so this kept Mas busy and frustrated most of the day. For a break we watched Merlin and later the dreary Wallender again.

On Monday I received a lovely surprise Christmas present from Diane, so I phoned her later, and she seemed in very good spirits which was nice too.

Salty on the other hand, seemed to have disapproved of the economy litter we had bought for him to use, and had dug up a planter in the conservatory and used that, but he had obviously enjoyed using earth and had thrown it all over the floor and window sills with great enthusiasm. I put it all together again, covering the earth with black plastic and orange peel, and put the more expensive litter back in his tray!

Joan sent some pictures, one with this unusual horse, a Gaited Leopard Appaloosa who is 26 years old.














This is a Bernese Mountain Dog. Every year in a village not too far away from where they live there is an All Animal Christmas Parade, but it is possible to see the owners and talk to them.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Optimistic hospital visit and general cheerfulness

We got up fairly early today as I had to go to the hospital again. Mas gave me a lift to the station and I took the tube to Belsize Park. Once in the hospital I went to the general surgery clinic and saw a surgeon and we discussed my progress. It was decided that I should have various tests next year, and a follow up appointment in June. I will be monitored by my usual department in the meantime, and have contacts should any problems arise. I left feeling optimistic.

As it was a nice day I walked up through Hampstead, calling in at the Post Office on the way, and being generally pleased that I was alive and a lot of things seem right with the world. I went home and had a catnap with the cat.

On Saturday we went shopping and had lunch at The Man in the Moon where it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday,but it was pouring with rain. Later I spoke to Diane who seemed rather cheerful, and later to Toby who was also cheerful.

We watched a very good Italian film, which we are hoping will be a new series, called Inspector Montalbano. It showed lots of interesting scenery, and the characters were very nice and unusual. This caused us to stay up much later than usual, but we still had to play Salty's special mouse game before we could go up to bed!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Swiss surprise and a harnessed cat

This morning we received a package from Switzerland. Christian sent us a series of CDs he had made for us which we will enjoy looking at. Monika phoned with another kind invitation.

As Salty enjoys going out so much that he trembles with joy I made him a harness to wear so that he can walk about in the garden rather than me holding him. Just now we are frightened to give him full freedom until he is older and can find his way home again.




















In the evening we watched Quigley down under which starred Tom Sellick as a cowboy in Australia. This was an interesting film which showed the abuse of the Australian native people by the settlers, but in a fictional format.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Hot meal and cold shopping

On Wednesday we drove off to St. Albans, and got our shopping from the market early as it was very cold. We were happy to meet up with Tania and Robert and drink some nice hot jasmin tea in our usual Thai restaurant and have lunch. Tania had bought us a holly wreath that she had made for us, which will be the first decoration we put up.

When we left the restaurant it had got even colder, all the traders were blue, and on the fish stall the fresh fish were frozen rigid and I knew how they felt! It was as we drove home. We had a beautiful drive home, the sky was translucent with the afterglow of the sunset, and there was an almost full moon in the sky.

We were glad to get indoors and have a hot cup of tea before we put our groceries away.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Vet visit

On Tuesday morning we put Salty into the cage we had borrowed from a neighbour and drove off to the vets in Boreham Wood. Salty went through his entire repertoire of meows, biting and scratching the plastic cage in between.

Once with the vet, Salty was the model of sweetness and good behaviour which lasted until we were back in the car again. The vet gave Salty an injection in his neck which he did not seem to notice at all, and we left with a worm pill to give him in two weeks time.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Irish hospitality and over eating.

On Monday, as arranged, we picked up Margaret and John and drove off to Hendon where we were meeting Christiane and Eddie at an Irish pub called The Claddach Ring. We had a lovely three course meal together, wearing paper hats.
Christiane and Eddie had bought Christmas gifts with them, and we had a very cheerful time. We were all so full, that we had to take home the mince pie that was served with the coffee to eat much later. We certainly did not need an evening meal either. That was a fun occasion.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

TV fest and wild turkeys

Sunday 7th, we got some shopping.Later I began to do some of my Christmas cards; Mas has already done most of the family cards. We watched 'Allo 'Allo and Diagnosis Murder for an afternoon break.

In the evening we watched another episode of Wallender which, to me, is rather like watching paint dry, especially as everyone seems reluctant to answer a direct question or act spontaneously, and we have to go through every nuance of facial expression before any action is taken. Apart from that it is gorgeous.

Joan sent pictures of wild turkeys taken through her kitchen window!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The postman called while we were having breakfast. I received a parcel from Tobe and Romy containing some beautiful wool made by the Fleece Artist in dark bluey greens and some black wool to knit a beret with, and some bamboo knitting needles. I can hardly wait for my hands to be healed enough so that I can begin knitting! Also included in the parcel was enough of my favourite soap to last a year; what a luxury.

Monika, Oktay, Milan and baby Radovan arrived as planned, and we had a lot of talk to catch up with. Monika is frightened of cats, which I had not known, but she let the children play and touch him so that they would not be made to fear cats as well. Salty was on his best behaviour, and although he fights me with tooth and claw was really gentle with the children.



















Later we were invited to go for a Chinese meal in Edgware which we enjoyed. The restaurant was cheerful and busy, and the meal was self service where people were invited to eat as much as they could. I also enjoyed tickling Milan who has an infectious laugh. It was a nice day.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Car crash and crashed cat

We woke up to a severe frost, and found that someone had skidded on the corner and crashed into the car parked in front of ours which had been knocked into our car. Luckily there was not much damage to our car, and we decided to ignore it as it was mainly cosmetic.


As it was so cold we lurked indoors most of the day.














Monika phoned, and arranged to call in to see us tomorrow as they have to visit Edgware anyway.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Cheerful lunch and depressing television

On Wednesday was very cold and frosty, and as Tania and Robert could not meet us today we did not go to St. Albans as usual, but we got some essential shopping and had lunch at The Man in the Moon. There were two jolly groups of people having an early Christmas get together which was cheerful. We went home again, and spent the rest of the day keeping warm indoors.

Thursday was wet and cold.
I had a surprise e-mail from Ruth, and in the evening we watched another episode of Wallender which was even more depressing than the last one. We also watched one of a series called Apparitions with Martin Shaw as the priest who does exorcisms. This was also depressing!
We switched to Frasier for a little light relief.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Royal Free hospital and The George pub

Today it was frosty outside, and I went to The Royal Free Hospital again, after another blood test I was advised that the medication was having too toxic an effect on me and that I had better not take the last course of pills. Diane was also attending the hospital, and we met up after we had finished our appointments.


We walked to the nearest pub called The George, which was previously known as The Rat and Parrot. We had a drink, me having my present favourite of Ginger Beer, and caught up a bit before going off on the tube in different directions.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Springing kitten and Swedish detective

Today we relaxed and had a slow breakfast appreciating our coffee. The sun was shining, making rainbows and sparkles all over the ceiling and wall of the dining room because of the chrystal that is suspended in front of the window. Salty, the kitten, spent ages springing at the wall trying to catch the moving sparkles, and pouncing on the ones on the carpet. I think we should have named him Sir Pouncealot.

In the afternoon we watched Diagnosis Murder, and in the evening saw one of a new series called Wallender with Kenneth Brannagh as the Swedish detective. It was interesting but rather depressing

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving

Pete, Lorraine, Mas and I went off for breakfast to the Man in the Moon before returning home and Mas preparing the Thanksgiving meal. Tania and Robert arrived as planned, but sadly Diane was not feeling well enough to come over as usual.

Lorraine gave me a bunch of Freesias which I really like, but had not arranged very well, so Tania did a pretty arrangement of them for me, and she also bought a bouquet of flowers, some from her garden.

We had arranged to have an early meal so that it would not make it too late for the journeys home afterwards, and it was Robert's busy weekend as he publishes and puts together a financial journal fortnightly.

We had a really nice meal, and sat about talking for a while. Robert took Pete and Lorraine off to Mill Hill station so they could catch the train back to Brighton before it got too late. Unusually everyone seemed rather tired, not just me, and when everyone left Mas and I had an emergency rest, the kitten coming for the rest as well, before clearing up and relaxing.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Boewolf and Mexican meal

I spent the next few days feeling tired, but on Friday I managed to pull myself together, and we went off to get shopping and had lunch out then spent a little time clearing up the house which had become filled with cat toys and shredded pieces of paper. In the evening we watched Boewolf , but neither of us liked the animation that was used very much.

On Saturday we were expecting Pete and Lorraine, so I scrubbed and polished the kitten and got him standing to attention. Unfortunately Lorraine lost her case en route, so Mas took Pete and Lorraine to get a few replacements. Afterwards Mas made a huge Mexican meal which we enjoyed.

In the evening we watched a few Frasiers before going off to bed.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Hospital care and car care

Mas had a hospital appointment today for a checkup, and I began to feel rather ill, so phoned the hospital and was told not to take any more of the pills that I had been prescribed, and to call them the next morning at 9.00am. Later Mas took the car off to the local garage as prearranged, and we watched some Frasiers on TV.

Today I went off to hospital, had an abdominal x-ray and blood test, and was told I may not be able to continue with the course of treatment as I am reacting to it quite severely. I will go back next week for another review.

In the meantime , although it was a really cold day, Mas had been clearing up leaves again in the garden while he waited for the garage to call. When I returned home the cat and I had a rest together, then Florence called and we talked for a long time. Mas finally went to pick up the car, and was pleased as they had done quite extensive work for a reasonable price.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Continuing car problems and cat's prayer

We phoned friends to see if anyone knew of a mechanic who made home visits to fix cars, and several of them tried to help, but we found ourselves waiting all day.

I found this charming 'Cat's Prayer'
http://cybermax2005.free.fr/chat/priere-chat.htm

The next day Mas and I managed to drive to Stanmore, and reached it as the car began to boil again. We had a quick lunch and bought some shopping as snow was forecast for the next day; it was certainly cold enough. Later Mas managed to get the car to the nearest garage and the mechanic said it could be one of several faults and to bring it in on Tuesday. In the meantime Mas tried to find out what the problem was with the help of Satish, and this carried on through the next day with Mas doing bouts of leaf clearing from the garden (the expected snow did not arrive, but it was fearfully cold).

On Sunday we awoke to a thin covering of snow, which surprised the cat more than somewhat.
Toby phoned and chatted for a while, and later Pete phoned too, but we were interrupted at one point by the cat stepping on my phone and cutting Pete off! In the evening we watched some funny Frasiers.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Devil cat and cantankerous car

Wednesday, the day we had to take Salty for his flu shot at the vets.....before we set off I wrapped Salty in a towel, and buttoned him into my coat as before, but we took a cardboard box to put him in in case there were large dogs in the waiting room at the vets.

We set off, and the kitten went rigid and pushed away from me, and began to get free, just as we were going through an awkward cross road. When we could, we stopped and stuffed the kitten into the cardboard box which he resisted with all his might, this of course did not stop him and he had soon forced the seams in the box apart, and was pushing his daemon mask full of barred teeth out of the box together with all the clawey bits. Luckily I had a thick jacket on and managed to put my arms across the holes, and then Salty decided to try and shred all the bits he could reach.

It was at this point that the car began to make a strange noise, and we soon realised that it was boiling, and the windows steamed up. And as quickly as we could we pulled into a car park, and turned the engine off, hoping we had done this before there was more damage to the car.

We went into the Vets, and Salty looked as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth when he was let out of the box. He had his flu shot and a leukaemia shot too and was given a worm pill. The kind Vet lent us a cage to take him home in which was lucky as we had to walk to the car. The Vet also gave us some water and anti freeze. Walking past the shoppers one man asked us if we wanted our kitten, otherwise he did!

Mas attended to the car, and we set off with the cat meowing like a tap dripping; we did not get far before the car was dangerously overheating again, and we had to pull into a petrol station and put more water into the radiator, this now made four bottles of Evian water! We managed to get home just as the car began boiling again! We were so relieved to make it home after all this!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Return of the Pink Panther and snow scenes

Although it was a cold day Mas did some more garden work. I spoke to Pete. I am feeling increasingly tired and did not do too much except the essential housework and playing with Salty. In the evening we watched The Return of the Pink Panther which still makes us laugh.

Mas visited the doctor about his recent blood tests, and is also being referred for physiotherapy as he is still having a problem with his arm. We watched an episode of New Tricks in the evening. Joan sent these snowy pictures, the apples shown are really decorative, but even the donkeys will not eat them. More snow has been forecast!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

TV Fest and snow squall

On Sunday we watched a re run of 'Allo 'Allo and in the evening an episode of Heartbeat. Mas watched Spooks which I do not like; I feel I have been involved in enough torturing already this year without looking for more on TV.

Joan sent this picture after a snow squall.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Kibbles for a Salty Katz

Friday the 14th, a sunny morning so Mas went out and cleared some of the leaves from the garden. The good news is that the kitten is eating kibbles, his special dry food for kittens. He has finally got a name now which is Salty Katz!

On Saturday, while having breakfast we had a surprise delivery of Narcissi from Diane which were sent from the Scilly Isles, and Salty really enjoyed the box they were sent in, biting it and dragging his toys into it. Florence phoned and we had a cheery long talk.

Early evening we watched Merlin which is quite colourful and entertaining. Later we saw a n episode of a new series called Outnumbered where two parents are outwitted by their children's naive logic, but we did not think much of it.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Maheena and mouse shopping

Maheena called round to see us. We chatted sitting round the dining room table drinking tea and eating biscuits, catching up on various recent dramatic events, when the kitten, who had been playing, crept under the table and ran up Maheena's legs which caused Maheena to jump and bang both hands on the table which also startled the kitten...both were rather cautious after this.
After this we started talking about the strange people we knew, and some of the things we had done once in Paris which was making Maheena laugh so much she said her jaw ached.

Later we drove over to Boreham Wood to get essential shopping for the kitten, including a mouse toy for you know who! Once he got used to it he loved it.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Fashion victim in St.Albans

Mas and I went off to St.Albans to have lunch at the Thai restaurant with Tania and Robert, and later pick up some fruit and vegetables. Apparently in Thailand white cats with dark tails are lucky cats, we could do with some of that!
This little dog attracted attention wherever he went!
When we got home again we found our nameless kitten had been asleep in his bed while we were gone.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

hospital visit and head sitting

Today I had to go to hospital and had the usual blood test. As I had to wait for an hour till it was time for my appointment I left the hospital and walked down to Southend Green, and then to the pond.



















When I saw the doctor she said that they were going to discontinue the drip medication now, as my blood was not recovering quickly enough, she did say that the chances that I would make a complete recovery were very good. I still have to take two weeks of pills, then go for another blood test. At this rate I should be finished with medication by the 24th of December.



Picture sent by Joan from Ontario






I took the train back after collecting the pills from the pharmacy, but felt really tired by the time I got home and had to have a rest, and the kitten came too, but had to be persuaded from sitting on my head!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday and recovering kitten

Today is Remembrance Sunday which always makes me think of my grandfather who fought in the trenches.

Toby phoned, having had a relaxing weekend with Joan and Dick, but Romy had to go to work for a few hours, despite recovering from a stomach bug.

Mas and I had an uneventful weekend, but the kitten with no name began to feel much better and spent lots of time playing with home made toys, and in between, having long cat naps and washing sessions.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Joan sent me some fingerless gloves which she had knitted for me from special wool from Nova Scotia in a packet with small cats stuck around the address. They are very soft and warm, and the colour of purple storm clouds, also she included the pattern which I will try later; it will make a nice change from knitting socks! They are particularly useful because if my hands get cool at the moment they get weird pins and needles sensations which is a side effect of the medication, and I feel as if I am wearing rubber gloves all the time.

Joan also emailed me knitting patterns for leg warmers as I had told her I have been making some out of old sweaters simply by cutting the arms off and to use them. I am thinking of threatened power cuts later on when the weather gets really cold.

The rest of the week passed in a haze of tiredness and looking after the kitten who has to be watched as he has not always been using his litter tray. Glen and Barry called round to meet the kitten, and on cue he ran up Glen's legs and made himself at home and looked very winsome indeed. They will be happy to look after him if we go away at all.

Friends and family all kept in touch which was nice. One evening we watched Amelie with Audrey Tautou which we enjoyed as much as the first time we saw it.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Kitten coddling

Today I buttoned the kitten inside my jacket and we went to Boreham Wood, to the vets, where he was examined. We were given some kaolin based pasty medicine to syringe into his mouth. Needless to say the kitten did not enjoy this, but got over it quickly. We were told to give it white fish or chicken until his stomach settled, and there was no problem with persuading him to eat this!

The whole house filled with the aromatic scent of fish, and we found we seemed to spend all day looking after the kitten who still wanted to be held all the time; and I was remembering the saying be careful what it is that you wish for!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Rescuing a kitten from the rescue centre

Yesterday we went off to Boreham Wood and bought a cat bed for the cat we do not have yet, but today we had an appointment to visit a cat rescue centre in Watford. We borrowed a pet carrier from a neighbour and eventually found the right address.

We wanted a tabby kitten,but the kitten chose us, and after signing all the papers and paying the 'contribution' of £75.00 we went home. The kitten settled in happily, but would not eat any of the food we had got for it. We discovered that it had diarrhoea, and we phoned to make an appointment with the vet. The kitten was purring all the time it was being held, but wanted to be carried all the time. When we wanted to go to bed I put a hot water bottle in his bed, and he settled into it purring, and slept till it was morning.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Scenic journeys and cat searching

We drove up to St. Albans, the countryside looking beautiful with the recent snowfall, and the autumn colours of the trees highlighted by the sunshine. We met Tania and Robert as usual and went to the Thai restaurant and had a leisurely lunch with lots of chat.
We got our shopping quickly afterwards as it got very cold again, and Mas did not want to drive home from St. Albans in the snow as he had done once before.

On Thursday we went off to The National Animal and Welfare Trust to see if we could get a kitten. When we arrived we were told that we could only have two kittens, despite the fact that we are home most of the time, so we went home again.

After a quick lunch we decided to go to our nearest RSPCA. We headed off towards Shenley and soon found that we were going down narrow country lanes which often ended in a farm. We asked the way several times before we found the place. When we got there we learned that half the cats were quarantined due to cat flu, and that in the healthy group all the kittens were reserved, which meant that someone had reserved them, but that they would have to be visited at home to make sure that the home was suitable. We returned home despondently.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Friends and a harmonious picture

Mas took my computer off to see if there was a problem with the hard drive, and I did not seem to have the energy to do very much all day, and that applied to Sunday as well. Christiane phoned, and I made some soup. All pretty uneventful.
On Monday morning Glen called in, and we talked of different places to find a kitten amongst other things. Mas took the computer away again so that it could have a diagnosis of the problems which will probably take a week to sort out. Diane phoned, and Chris emailed giving a very graphic description of his stomach upset.....thanks for sharing that Chris!


On Tuesday we went shopping, and had a late breakfast at The Man in the Moon where Sunil saw me and came over to chat. He went to school with Toby and is a teacher too. It is half term, but he still had to go into school to work, and was having lunch with the headmaster. It was nice to see him again. The weather turned rather cold, and in the evening there was a thunder storm and later it snowed. Joan sent this warm picture of bulbs drying on a mantelpiece, and how the colours blend perfectly with the wallpaper.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Computer problems and portrait commission.

I started to have problems with my computer, which apart from making ominous clicking sounds would flash me messages which would not remain on the screen long enough to read which added to the general feeling of alarm, and the curser would freeze in one spot which did not help. Knowing my limitations (as per Clint Eastwood) I ignored the problem till Mas took it over for me.
I began feeling exhausted, but was cheered by a commission to do a portrait. In the evening we watched the miseries of The Bill and Silent Witness before clambering up to bed.

Today I spoke to Glen and Barry to ask if, when we get a cat, they would look afer it should we go away later. They agreed to this willingly. Mas spent most of the day doing the computer, and I did a bit of housework and gardening, but began to feel too tired, so stopped. Manu phoned, but I felt too tired to invite him round this evening. Mas and I watched a few Frasiers before bedtime.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Exercise cycle to quince jelly

Ben and Poppy's tenant across the street bought the exercise cycle for us just after breakfast which was kind of him. Mas and I went off to Boreham Wood and got some shopping, and I bought a cardigan too. We had another fish and chip lunch, and had a quick look in the pet shop where kittens are marked for sale at £75 each on their notice board, and decided to keep waiting for a rescue kitten .

When we got home we had a quick rest, and Monika phoned with her news. She is very busy as Olga is visiting with a friend and staying for ten days. Luckily the children are well. It was really nice to hear from her; Oktay will be going to Paris on business for a few days too.

Mas went off to the Broadwalk to meet some people, and have some coffee. While he was doing this I made some quince jelly, having recycled my jam jars recently the jelly was poured into a variety of odd jars, but it tastes nice. Mas had already done the hard work for me while I was in the hospital; thinking I was going to make quince jelly he prepared it the way we do crab apples, cooking the fruit and straining off the juice, so I did make jelly!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The great pumpkin race and My Name is Red

Monday was a rather dreary day, but Joan sent some interesting pictures from Nova Scotia where they do a Great Pumpkin Race across half a mile of lake. The pumpkins are huge, and hollowed out to make boats which are then painted; it looks like a lot of fun to me.


































Later we watched a silly film called Big Mamma for a change.

On Tuesday I went back to the hospital, and after long muddles and delays with blood tests I saw the specialist who said that I could have my medication today. I had bought the book 'My Name is Red' to read while I was on the drip, but it was very busy in the department and I could not get the use of a table and as it was awkward holding the book up so I did not get very far with it. Luckily I was next to a very nice lady, and we spent some time talking, the nurses on that ward are very friendly too.

I left the hospital rather late, but felt well enough to come home on my own. In the evening we watched some of Pete's Frasiers.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Time slippage at 'The Lake House' and helpful friends

On Saturday the weather was fine, so I took some late cuttings and hope they will work. I seemed to spend most of the day doing cooking and housework, and was feeling tired when Margaret called round to bring me lots of quinces that John had gathered as I like to make preserves of them; what a nice surprise!

In the evening we watched an interesting film starring Sandra Bullock called The Lake House, in which the two main characters are living two years apart in time. It was intriguing to see how they would catch up with each other, but talking about it later we thought the original book must have made a smoother ending without leaving so many questions unanswered.

Today I took some more cuttings, and cooked and froze some cooking apples for later use.
Pete phoned and chatted, and later Ben phoned from Guernsey with all the latest news. Luckily it turned out that he and Poppy would lend me their exercise cycle as I mentioned that I was going to buy one later and get super fit.

We watched Heartbeat and A Touch of Frost in the evening.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Of cats and cars

Mas and I went to Boreham Wood as there are two pet shops there, and we thought we would see if there were any kittens. First we looked in the nearest pet shop, but they did not have any kittens for sale we then had a fish and chips lunch and we got the shopping we needed and thought about finding the next pet shop.

We found our car would not start despite trying numerous times to get it going. Finally I was going to call the breakdown recovery people, only to find my phone needed recharging! With the help of the friendly girl in the pet shop we managed to phone and were told help would arrive within the hour. The cheerful breakdown man arrived, got in the car, turned the key, and hey presto it started immediately! We felt duly mortified, but he said it was surprising how often this happens, and after completing the forms he left grinning and waving.

We tried a Vets practice, and they gave us useful numbers to try for a rescue kitten. The second pet shop did not have live animals, so we went home. In the evening we watched the concluding parts or The Bill and Silent Witness, and to cheer me up we watched an episode of Jeeves and Wooster.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Lunch with Tania and Robert followed by dark stories

We were going as usual to St. Albans, but our friends phoned and invited us to lunch at their house instead of meeting in town. It was a bright and sunny day and the drive up was lovely. We sat about talking for a while and then we had lunch. Tania had made a delicious fish meal followed by the nicest cheesecake Mas and I have ever tasted. We were having such a nice time talking that we left it too late to go to the market, and as I had got very tired we went directly home afterwards.


At home I lay down for a rest, and after a while Florence phoned, and we talked for almost an hour. She has an infectious laugh, and I felt very cheered up. In the evening we watched The Bill and Silent Witness, both with good plots, but very dark stories.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Blood test and afternoon tea for three.

On Monday morning I went off to the Royal free Hospital early to have a blood test in the hope that it would speed up my treatment tomorrow. Mas also went off to see our doctor at this time. When we came back Margaret phoned to invite us round for tea in the afternoon. Mas could not go, but I went round and briefly talked to Maheena who was just leaving their house.

Margaret, John and I talked at length, generally putting the world to rights. When I left, John gave me a bag of his home grown cooking apples and some chillies, which Mas will appreciate, and some Cosmos seeds.

Bright and early on Tuesday I sped off to the hospital in the train again. Sadly my blood test showed that the platelets were too low, so the treatment was put off for a week when I will have another blood test. Pete phoned with good news and Mas had also fixed the TV set up while I was out. We watched The Sender, but both thought little of this film.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Defrosting, dental hygienist and neighbour's story

I spent time on Friday morning defrosting and cleaning the fridge before going off to my dentist to see the hygienist. I took her a box of chocolates as a small 'thank you' for the caring treatment she had given me last time I saw her in May. Mas wondered if it was a good idea taking chocolates, but she said she always has three sugars in her tea and has never had a filling!

Getting home again I felt really tired, and when Manu phoned I did not really feel up to having a social evening with him, so we left it for another day.

On Saturday I defrosted and cleaned the freezer, and afterwards generally lurked around at home taking it easy. In the evening we watched NCIS, and afterwards I listened to music for a while.

On Sunday I phoned Pete to wish him a happy birthday, and then as it was such a bright sunny day I did some gardening, and prepared some pots for cuttings, even though I am rather late in the year for this. Mas and I spent some time in the garden drinking tea and relaxing, it is so peaceful sitting under a canopy of leaves with the sunlight shining through them.

One of my neighbours who had cancer some time ago told me his story. He said when he found out he was ill he had a row with his wife and stormed out of the house and went to the local shopping centre. He looked at the cards, and there were some posters displayed in a rack that could be spun around. He moved them around and where he stopped it with his hand there was a poster displaying the 'Footprints prayer', he went home again after reading it for the first time.

He has a dog, and when out walking in the local woods he saw a branch on a tree that had been broken, and he taped it together; he says he doesn't know why.
When he was in hospital just before his operation a clergyman visited him to tell him there was a chapel in the hospital, and he gave him a card with the hospital plan on it showing directions. When he left, my neighbour turned the card over, and there was the 'Footsteps' prayer again. He took this as a good omen.

When recovering after leaving hospital he walked in the woods with his dog again, and found the branch he had taped up had grown leaves and was still alive. Later in the year he found that the branch had died, but someone had taped the 'Footsteps' prayer onto the branch. After this coincidence he was convinced he would be well again. That happened ten years ago.
http://www.footstep.org/footstep.htm

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Brighton breakfast and lunch

On Thursday we got up and were all greeted by a purring Calliope. We has a lovely relaxed breakfast with fresh coffee and bread and currant bread too that Pete had just bought from his favourite bakers. Later I washed up our few dishes, but while I did this Calliope ran up the back of my legs and back so that she could sit on my shoulders and watch everything that was going on in the garden too, I kept putting her on the chair,but she ran up to my shoulders five times. At one point she was standing on my head, and I had to be careful that she did not fall into the water. She is very entertaining and funny.



















Pete went off briefly to the chiropractor for another session, all useful places seem to be a stone's throw from Pete's house which is really useful. Mas and I packed our stuff up, and we all went to lunch at The Sussex Yeoman pub (just around the corner)where I also managed to get some ginger beer, which is my substitute for red wine for the time being, and a nice lunch. Looking out of the pub window the sunny houses opposite reminded me of Folkestone.

Quite soon afterwards we walked to the station and sadly left Pete at the barrier before going off to London on the train. The view crossing over the Thames was very picturesque in the sunlight, and before too long we were home again. I really enjoyed our Brighton trip and seeing Pete in his sun filled home. I believe Mas wants to get a kitten of our own now as he liked Calliope so much, but we were surprised at how much they cost now. Previously people used to give kittens away and were glad that the cats were going to a good home.

Diane had left a few messages so I phoned her and we bought each other up to date with what has been going on.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Visiting Pete in Brighton

On Saturday Mas had his yearly 'flu' shot before we went off to get shopping and have an early lunch in Stanmore. We watched a 'Midsomer Murders' in the evening. Toby phoned on Sunday, otherwise we just pottered about indoors as it was raining all day, and I did a bit more to Pete's skelly picture.

Nothing too exciting was going on until we went off to Brighton to visit Pete. Luckily the weather had changed completely and was bright and sunny, and the countryside, as we sped through it on the train looked lovely. We got to Pete's just before lunch time so we had time to meet Calliope and have a cup of tea and chat. Later we sauntered downtown to a Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and had a huge lunch, and afterwards had a short walk to the Mock Turtle which has wonderful cakes and is a very cosy interesting place.
Calliope


























We returned to Pete's home and had a short rest before playing with his kitten a lot while Pete prepared dinner. Lorraine came round after work as planned; it was nice to meet her at last. Unfortunately Pete had a bad migraine so poor Lorraine took over the dinner which was very nice. Pete came back once his migraine fireworks had stopped, and we chatted for a while before Lorraine left and we went off to bed.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

MOT and scan

Today Mas went off at 9a.m. taking the car for a service and the annual MOT, and having left the car at the garage he came back by bus.

I left for an appointment at the hospital to have a CT scan. I took my book with me, The Love Apple Island, as I knew I would have to wait for two hours. It was interesting reminising with the authoress about various shops and tea rooms that have changed hands and no longer exist, and she had worked in times past for the Guernsey Press where some of our relatives had worked too. Once the scan was done, I sped away, and ate my sandwhich in the chilly Heath Strange Garden which is on the original site of what was to become the Royal Free Hospital, before going home.

Mas eventually picked the car up and got home again after 7 p.m. with this year's MOT cetificate and no extra expenses! We had dinner before watching three very funny Frasiers and so to bed.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

No ginger beer at The Boot Inn


As usual we drove up to St.Albans and had lunch at Sazio's, after having an emergency ginger beer at the Fleur de Lys, the Boot Inn sadly did not have any ginger beer. Our friends could not meet us as Robert has another exam tomorrow. After lunch we got our usual shopping from the market, and loaded it into the car.

This is the view from the car park roof.


















Once home and rested I spoke to Diane and Pete.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Computer conundrums and French film fun.

I caught up with e-mails and correspondence today, but my computer began behaving strangely so I called Pete and tried to sort it out with him until his nerves became jangly. I did some therapeutic housework and gardening, and in the evening we watched a stylish Poirot.

The next day I managed to get my computer working enough to back up my files, so saving all the images of my paintings, which was a relief.

Things continued quietly over the weekend, but on Monday Mason got spammed with hundreds of e-mails, and spent a long time sorting all that out. As the weather was really warm and sunny, for a change, I pruned all the roses in the front garden without lacerating myself too much. Diane and Florence called and chatted later.

Mas then had a look at our TV and managed to sort the system out enough so that we can watch our CDs again. We watched Pete's film Les Goût des Autres which I really enjoyed, and Mas did not, but we agreed to differ on this.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Defragmenting and entertaining

On Wednesday I had computer problems , and Mas spent a long time defragmenting and doing other magical things to it. I spoke to Toby for a while hearing about the vatious stresses that they have been coping with; luckily these should be resolved now. Pete phoned and is worried that his small cat is ill as it is sneezing a lot.

Mas and I watched The Bill and had dinner before going off to bed early as I was feeling tired.

Today my computer was still playing up and Mas had gone off to see the bank manager, so I tidied up as we were expecting Robert and possibly Tania to call in for dinner.

Monika phoned and asked if she could come over briefly as they were going to be in the neighbourhood. It was lovely to see them, and they all looked very healthy after their long holiday. The baby Radovan has grown very fast, and is busy trying to walk although he is only seven months old, and Milan had made me a coaster mat of little beads that had to be clipped together, no doubt using up the last of his patience. Monika had bought all kinds of Turkish treats with her; exotic sweet and savoury pastries, a pineapple, pomegranates and fruit drinks that tasted of bubble gum.

In the meantime Mas had prepared dinner, and Robert arrived. Sadly Monika and Oktay had to leave and we will have to wait till next time to get all the news. We had a nice dinner with Robert who has passed the exam. he has recently taken, but has to do another exam next week!
After dinner Robert and Mas put the world to rights, and by the time they had finished I could barely totter off to bed.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Love Apple Island and headless nanny goat ghost

Mas and I had breakfast out in Stanmore before collecting some shopping, and going to the bank. I did lots of tidying up as I go to the hospital tomorrow, and I managed to finish one of the Skelly pictures for Pete which I sent him. I was relieved that he liked it, and will try to do another soon. Calliope the kitten seems to be settling in happily with Pete.

On Tuesday I went off to the hospital early, had blood tests and my treatment which took all day. Luckily I had saved half of my good book, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, to read during this time so the time passed fairly quickly. My medication has been reduced again as my blood levels were still quite low, so I felt well enough to go home under my own steam, and walked from the station home.

I had a nice surprise when I reached home as Betty had sent me a long letter and another book about Guernsey called The Love Apple Island; this one seems to be more of a biography with lots of photographs. I am looking forward to reading that, and will save it for the hospital again.
Betty had written clues for a charity walk near her home which she sent to me to see where they walked. Some of the clues were funny, and she sent them down a supposedly haunted lane that runs between grassy banks; as it was a sunny evening the ghost of the headless nanny goat was not seen.

Mas and I had dinner and watched the customary Pie in the Sky.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Autum car boot sale and a new kitten

Here are three types of fungi that are in our garden, a sure sign that autumn is here now.






It was a nice sunny day, and we did a little gardening and I went for a walk and got a brace for Mas to wear on his hand to stop him bending it in while he is asleep, and so straining his elbow. then we spent the rest of the day doing our usual things until we watched CSI in the evening.

On Sunday, after breakfast, we walked off to a car boot sale being held in Arches field, it was a huge affair and seemed to stretch over three fields. People were buying bagfuls of things, and looking pleased with themselves as they carried them home. I got two jazz CDs, one with Miles Davis and the other with John Coltraine, hoping they would be alright.

After lunch Pete phoned saying that he had collected a kitten with Lorraine and it was now settled in his home and asleep, and he gave me a full description of the kitten before putting the phone down. He called back in about two minutes for me to hear it meow and purr over the phone, which I could!

We watched a new series on TV called Merlin, and an Agatha Christy's Poirot with David Suchet before bedtime.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Visits from friends, and various cheerful plants




















Photograph of Joan's cheerful sunflowers, just the right picture for a depressing rainy day!

On Tuesday, as planned, our neighbour Glen paid us a visit, and we sat talking, eating biscuits and drinking tea for a few hours catching up with world events. I managed to do some gardening, and some of the usual chores. I spoke to Pete for a while, and in the evening Mas and I watched watched our usual TV programme Pie in the Sky.

As usual on Wednesday we went off to St.Albans, had lunch at the Thai Restaurant and chatted to our friend there before going off to collect our fruit and vegetables from the market. Lately we have been driving back on a slightly different route through picturesque fields with farm animals on them. The countryside was looking nice as the sun had come out.

Today Mason had an appointment with the doctor which resulted in him being told he has tennis elbow, despite Mason not being able to think of anything that he could have done to hurt his arm.

Pat came over to see us travelling from the other end of the Northern Line, which is quite a journey, the last time this was planned I was too ill and it had to be put off, so it was really nice to see her this time. We have been friends for many years, and used to work in Euston together. She bought me an interesting outdoors plant, it is a Salvia called Hot Lips.



















This plant spreads for three feet, so I will have to find a spot in the garden where it will be happy. Pat has given me several plants for the garden, lots of small roses.

We had a leisurely lunch together and caught up with all her family news as she now has two grandchildren, but she forgot to bring the photos. Before it got too late I walked down to Edgware with her she had lost her way coming to visit us as the cinema that used to mark the turning has been replaced. I was quite sad to see her leave, and we had spent a nice afternoon together.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Ticking over as usual

We went off to Stanmore and did a few chores before we went to the Man in the Moon for an early lunch and then picked up some groceries. As it was not raining we did some gardening, and I cut the grass. Later I began painting the Skellie pictures for Pete while listening to the radio.

On Sunday Mas was busy with his website, and I walked down to Edgware as a French Market was being held there today. I resisted the cakes that were on display, but did buy some soap.
Later I phoned Monika and Pat, who arranged to visit us on Thursday.In the evening we watched an old 'Poirot' detective story with David Suchet; they are so stylish.

On Monday Glen, our neighbour called round just after breakfast with some flowers, cheerful yellow Chrysanthemums which lit up our dining room, what a nice surprise! Mas and I did our usual things all day, but had a break to watch 'Diagnosis Murder,' and then in the evening watched a rerun of 'New Tricks' before going off to bed.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Red Admiral butterflies and a happy visiter.

The weather changed and became sunny and as we were having breakfast we noticed a flock (swarm?) of Red Admiral butterflies in the garden. Mas would have said it was a slew of butterflies, and we went out and watched them feasting on the nectar of various plants, especially the ivy which is in flower now.



















We went out and watched them for a while as butterflies seem to have been in short supply this year.

I spent some time gardening, trying to get a good quota of vitamin D before going indoors and doing all the usual things.

On Friday I went for a walk in the afternoon as the weather was still nice. Later I seemed to spend a lot of time searching for misplaced things and mentioned to Mas that I seem to have a few screws loose lately, and he said I was the most screwed together person he knew ( screwed up?), which I took as a compliment.

Manu called round in the evening, and chatted over a glass of wine. As he left, he skipped down the passage saying he was completely happy now as I looked so well, which made me feel happy too.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Breakfast with Pete

We had a long breakfast, Mas talking about films which was making Pete laugh with Mason's descriptions and turn of phrase. Pete and I talked about the Skelly picture a bit, and I read some of the story which Pete had sent me earlier, but most had not been shown in the first download. I hope I can get Skelly right, and do justice to the story.

We took Pete off to the station just before lunch, and we went off and got some shopping before coming home again. Mas phoned Robert for a chat, and I called Diane, and Manu phoned too.

We watched Ghost Whisperer in the evening, the story line has got much more sinister and ended before the story was complete, which was a bit annoying.
Autumn flowers.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

A lunch time feast with friends and visit from Pete

On Monday I heard from Poppy and Florence, and I tried to paint the right kind of skeleton face for Peter, but somehow he turned out too sinister. Mas went to the doctors with a list of things to discuss with him; it is hard to get an appointment so it is important not to miss anything. Despite the list Mas forgot to mention the most important thing, his hurting arm and leg, so another appointment will have to be made. I suggested it would be useful to give the list to the doctor in case anything was missed again.

On Tuesday we were invited by John and Margaret for lunch. Christiane and Eddie were invited too, having returned from France, and it was nice to see everyone. Margaret had prepared a really lovely lunch, lovely to look at as it was so well presented, and very tasty as lots of the vegetables were home grown. For dessert a colourful display of seven kinds of fruit were put in front of us, and there was a home made apple pie too. A variety of different cheeses were served with the coffee. We were very touched at how much thought and effort had gone into this meal, especially as it had only been arranged the evening before! Mason and I will obviously have to pull our socks up in the entertainment area!

Pete arrived around four as planned, and we spent a long time sitting in the conservatory which was warm and bright despite it being a rainy day as usual and talking and drinking tea. Mas showed Pete some of my pictures which have been framed, and look much improved by exactly the right framing and mounting; it seems to me that the framing is just as important as the picture in making the end result.

We had a leisurely dinner and lurked around for a while before going off to bed rather early as we were all a bit tired.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Lost in Austen and happy in Havana

On Wednesday as usual we went off to St.Albans, and got our shopping at the market and had lunch at Sazios. We did not meet up with Tania and Robert as he was swatting up for an exam tomorrow. We had lunch, and left feeling a bit too sazio (satisfied) and a bit uncomfortably full, but had enjoyed a very cheerful lunch. We decided just to eat some fruit for dinner later.

Later we watched a new production on TV called 'Lost in Austen', about a modern young woman who finds herself living in Jane Austen's novel 'Pride and Prejudice'. We found it really irritating on several counts and will not watch the rest of the series which is a shame as there is so little that is interesting to watch lately.

On Thursday we did a little local shopping which seemed to take a long time. We committed the sin of watching daytime TV; 'Diagnosis Murder' which at least has a cheerful looking Dick Van Dyke in it. Later I blended and froze lots of strawberries and raspberries that we had bought from the market yesterday.

On Friday it was raining as usual, I seemed to spend most of the day phoning and e-mailing friends and family. We feel really lucky that we are not being inundated by floods, but the weather is so grey all the time it is depressing, and it is too wet to do any gardening.

On Saturday the weather is still terrible; one area had 6" of rain in twenty four hours, and there is terrible flooding and destruction; two people were drowned. this of course is nothing to what is happening in other places around the world.

Mas and I watched a really confusing sci-fi film called 'The 13th Floor', and by the time it finished we were still confused, and felt it would be reassuring to watch something really predictable afterwards!

On Sunday I spoke to Pete and then Toby. I had been trying to paint the skeleton picture for Pete, but without much success, Skelly is proving very elusive. For escapism I watched the old film 'Our Man in Havana' with Alec Guiness. It is nice when there are happy endings!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Potato Peel Pie Society and Pie in the Sky

Mas gave me a lift to the station and I took the tube to Belsize Park and walked to the hospital. I had the usual blood test and found my platelets have recovered enough for me to have my treatment today. Mason in the meantime collected some nice wood to make a cabinet for the video machine.

I took the book I had been saving, to read during the four hour treatment: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I was soon lost in the book and was surprised how quickly the time went by, I did not even hear the alarm bleep on my drip when it was empty! It is an interesting and sometimes funny book.

As I had been given a reduced amount of medication I felt quite well enough to go home on the train and Mas collected me from the station. After dinner we watched our customary Pie in the Sky and Ghost Whisperer before going to bed.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Skeleton pictures and encounter with dentist not in disguise

On Monday morning I spoke to Diane and Pete, and commenced trying to do the skeleton picture for Pete, I did two rough drawings and sent them to him to see if they were along the right lines.

Mas went off to Edgware as he had an appointment at the bank, and because he had to wait for a while he went into the cafe opposite for a coffee. Our dentist was having lunch there and Mas had a chance to apologise. Recently Mas went to the cafe, and this pleasant man who Mas recognised, but could not place, came over and asked how we were, and Mason later asked the owner who he was, and when he said he was a dentist Mas immediately knew he was ours! When Mason explained to the dentist, the dentist said it was because he didn't have his white coat on!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Catching up with friends

We had a fairly quiet Saturday doing our usual things. Pete called, and we talked about the skeleton illustration for his book.....later there were cartoons of small dapper skeletons all around me on the floor, I was trying to get the right attitude to match what I know of Skelton Yawngrave! Later I did some washing up , which is something I can do without thinking at all!

On Suday we sprang to attention after a long relaxed breakfast, as Diane was coming for an early lunch. Mason immediately began rewiring the TV and Video so that they no longer sit in a cupboard surrounded by flammable videos which they had for years, but beside the TV(temporarily). Needless to say this took twice the time that he had allowed for it. However Diane arrived on time, lunch a little later, and there was a lot to catch up on as we had not seen her for a long time. The weather remained unsettled, and later as Mas gave her a lift to the station for her journey home the rain began in ernest again.

Later Mex phoned and we got up to date with what has been going on which was very interesting. Unexpectedly Marion called in for several hours which was nice, but by the time she left we were so tired we could only stare at the walls and could hardly drag ourselves off to bed.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Back to our routine

On Wednesday and Thursday we did our routine things, shopping, housework and gardening and sending emails, and I am trying to go for a walk everyday. The weather has been grey and overcast all month, to see any sun we have to watch TV, so I hope it will all change soon and we will have a bright September. I took this photo as it makes such a bright picture.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Breakfast surprise, treatment delay and news from Peter.

The postman bought a surprise package as we were having an early breakfast. Our little granddaughter Clare sent me a handmade 'Get Well Soon' card, done very carefully with a long message from her and an attractive necklace enclosed. What a nice start to the day!

I got to the hospital, had my blood test and later saw the consultant. Unfortunately my blood platelet count is still too low, so I had to leave without the treatment, and now have another appointment for next Tuesday. My blood group is AB Rh D positive which probably denotes that I am a direct descendant of Genghis Khan.

I walked home from the station and had a late lunch with Mason and watched Diagnosis Murder, it is somehow reassuring to see familiar things. Pete phoned to say he was back home again, but had had a lovely holiday in Crete, swimming for about two hours a day and looking at all the fish while snorkeling, and that he was feeling very relaxed and well, and has some freelance work in the pipeline too.

Mas and I watched Pie in the Sky before going off to bed.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Toby to Brighton and back to our usual routines

On Sunday Toby, Mas and I had breakfast together, and Toby began getting his things out for his return to Brighton. Pete is on holiday, but it was thought sensible for Toby to stay at his house overnight as it is such a short journey to Gatwick airport, and there were threatened strikes for the Bank Holiday when Toby was due to return to Toronto. We took Toby to Stanmore station and bid him a sad farewell before going off and getting some shopping.
When we went back we put the house to order and relaxed for most of the day.

This morning Toby phoned from the airport to say that the planes seemed to be flying as normal. Mas spent most of the day gardening, although it was still grey and cloudy it did not rain. I did some gardening too, and vacuumed the house in case I should feel ill after the hospital treatment tomorrow and not feel like housework. The house seemed very quiet without Toby. we watched some TV before having an early night.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Lunch at The Fishery pub and poking around in Pinner

On Friday we had breakfast, and then lunch with Toby before he went off to town, and Mas and I did our usual things, but took a break in the afternoon and watched 'Diagnosis Murder' with Dick Van Dyke.

On Saturday Mas, Toby and I went off to The Fishery pub beside Elstree Reservoir and had lunch together. Afterwards Mas dropped us off in Pinner, and Toby and I walked around looking at everything; this area has lots of old Tudor buildings.
We walked to the church, but a service was in progress so we walked around the graveyard. We noticed that this man was buried in 1775, aged 118 years. Two surgeons were also buried there in the 1700s, so possibly this was a very healthy place to live in during those times.



Click to enlarge!









The church hall was displaying a local art exhibition. On the notice board was a statement that the four local churches are working together in harmony, despite being Catholic, Church of England, Methodist and Unitarian.























We had a coffee in the Cafe Rouge, sitting outside on the pavement, and talked for a long time. We then had a quick look in some of the Charity Shops before taking the bus back to Stanmore the scenic way.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Walking in Hampstead with Toby

After breakfast Toby and I went off to Hampstead, and left Mas in peace and quiet to sort various things out. We walked all around, up Flask Walk and eventually came out by The Old White Bear pub, and then went off in a different direction. We both really like the houses and architecture, but I was unable to decide which would be mine (if only I could afford to live there).














Later we went into The Flask Pub and had some very refreshing ginger beer and a tasty snack. It is a nice pub as there is a conservatory kind of glass roof which makes it very light and airy in the eating area.
When we left there, we headed down towards the Vale of Health and walked on the Heath for a while, in an area where children usually fly kites.

























We left there and walked around Christchurch, and past the small school that my mother attended when she was a child, before heading back.
As we walked back we saw people swimming in the mixed bathing pond, and saw that the fairground people were setting up the Fair for the Bank Holiday on Monday.