Thursday, February 4, 2010

Plus gris que le gris de ma vie


Unfortunately we don't have a lot of parrots living around us in North West England, for I could have done with a picture of a poorly parrot this morning. Then I could have used a heading like "Sick As A Parrot!". However, as I say, with a singular lack of parrots I have had to fall back on this group of inordinately brassed off looking sheep. I took this on, what Monday or Tuesday when the rain was pouring down from leaden skies. Sheep in this neck of the woods are hardy beasts, after all they live outdoors in all weathers. At the start of January, with 16 inches of snow on the ground, they were out there foraging for food, but when I took this picture they were huddling. I feel a lot like them today.
They say bad things come in threes, so yesterday counts as a bad day plus.

It started with Jasper. Like an awful lot of Spaniels he suffers from glands at the bottom of his bottom that get full of something which smells like you wouldn't believe. You can tell when they become painful because he starts running in circles trying to bite his tail. When that happens we just take him to the vet who cleans them out, it takes about 45 seconds and costs us twenty pounds. I must learn how to clean them out myself as it will save me a fortune. At the moment they seem to need cleaning about every six weeks.

So I made an appointment at the vet's clinic for 2 pm. I thought, I'll save on going out twice, I'll walk there and back, about two miles each way, and that will be the Loony Dog's walk for the day as well. So I set off at 1 pm, by 1.30 |I was well on the way, just turning into Spire Hollin (that's a road), stepped on a patch of ice I hadn't seen because the pavement looked fine and down I went. At the moment the big muscle in my left leg is not strong enough to fully support me, so if I slip on my right leg, my left just collapses under me. Yesterday I went down pretty hard. A passing Carpenter's van pulled up and this young bloke of mid twenties got out and helped me up. 

However, as soon as I was on my feet I realised that I had twisted my ankle. Not awfully badly, but badly enough for walking to be uncomfortable. Is there a good reason why mobile phones stop working when you really need them, or is it just mine. I could have done with a lift to the vets at that point, but no phone meant no lift. So I had to walk about a half mile, or rather hobble, to the Adult Education Centre where Pat was having her art lesson. Then we went to the vet's together in her car. Twenty minutes later and twenty pounds lighter we were back home. What else can go wrong today?

About five o'clock Jasper threw up the entire contents of his stomach all over Pat's feet and the kitchen floor. Poor love, he had not looked right all day. That was thing number two. Not much of a disaster as they go, except for Jasper. He is such a bouncy, vital dog that when he is off form he looks really awful. He spent the rest of the evening cuddled in to whichever of us was sitting nearest to his bean bag. 

So, what else can go wrong today? About 9 pm I was upstairs messing around with photographs on my computer when Pat called me downstairs. In the middle of our snug, the new room we created from what was once our Dining Room, water was merrily dripping from the electric light and making a pretty puddle in the middle of the new solid wood flooring. Now the ceiling that the water was dripping from was newly plastered last summer, when the roof gave way and the ceiling collapsed. That new roof had only been in place for six months and the guy who fitted it promised us it was guaranteed not to fail for twenty five years.

I rang him up, by now it was ten o'clock because I'd turned off the power, using a flashlight I had taken the light fitting down and disconnected the electric cable from the light and up twisted the cables so that water was no longer dripping from a live wire. Then put the electric back on. So at ten at night I rang Alf, the roofer. He is a good bloke and lives locally, which was one of the reasons we employed him in the first place, but I don't think he expected a phone call at ten pm saying that a roof he fitted six months ago was leaking. 

But it has to be the roof. The only thing up there is ceiling boards, insulation, electric cables and roof. It's an extension, so there is no upper floor with central heating pipes that can leak. The funny thing is, it hadn't rained all day. We've had some awfully wet days and no water dripping down the lights, then on a dry day it starts to drip. What is going on.

Anyway, he has promised to come round today. If it had been me I'd have been round first thing, but it's now getting on for twelve noon and there is no sign of Alf yet. Ah well.

That's three things though. Yes. Please agree with me! I can't take another day like this!

See you soon. Oh, I'll include this rather nifty piece of ornament I saw at the edge of someone's garden yesterday, before I fell over. It's not exactly your usual garden gnome. See you soon.

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