Lonely in the Snow

14876_10151445309009042_635542717_nSnow 1

As the snow brings the Country to an almost standstill once again, I hear myself harping on about the past. “They would never have coped if they had the snow we had as youngsters!” It is true though. To digress slightly, I took a phonecall last week from a man saying he wouldn’t be in for his shift as it was snowing…. Erm yes?? So what? You are just going to give up and stay home, go sledging with the kids? Not even an offer of putting a holiday in? I have walked 2 miles to the nearest bus stop and navigated the tricky bus protocol which is foreign to me. Apparently you can’t sit in the very front seats. You have to keep them free for those who can’t make it further up the bus.
I don’t like to drive on snowy or icy roads even though my car is ok and able to handle it well. I hear people saying that if you can’t drive in it you should stay off the road. No problem! I can adhere to that one. Small sacrifices though. My car is ok but my sons sporty little number isn’t so good so we hatched a plan that enables him to drive my car as long as he drops his old mam off along the way. Perfect? Not so much… he starts work at 6.30am.
So here I sit, all alone in a large empty office. It is eerily quiet. I’m all wide-eyed as I realise that the first person in has to get busy quickly! Changing the calendars, emptying the dishwasher and opening the windows to let in some air. It is almost like being at home.
The forecast is threatening one last heap of snow before the temperatures rise early next week. I think we have floods to look forward to then…
If I could sit in my conservatory, with a steaming hot mug of coffee all day long I would want it to snow forever. In my fairytale world that would be perfect, sitting and watching the birds as they fought for a morsel. Seeing the squirrels, busy fools, collecting nuts and hiding them. Returning later and trying to remember where they buried them.

Reality bites though. Instead I sit here in a lonely office after navigating a snowy and icy hill. After rising at the unearthly hour of 4.45am and dowsing my face with cold water in a hope of short, sharp wake-up shock. After spending a much too large portion of my working day yesterday trying to work out why my Dads Sky system is telling him that there is no satellite signal. After ringing all the bus depots to make sure my daughter can get home from college and after realising that my fairytale conservatory roof is leaking….

Don’t forget that this weekend is the RSPB Bird-watching weekend. (UK)

Have a wonderful weekend. Yeah! A lie in tomorrow!

A Dog is for Life…

We are a family of animal lovers, from the birds on trees to the largest mammal on the earth. My dad looks after my birds with the very best seeds and nuts from a company in Devon. They love my dad at that company, or the “nice little old man from the North East” as he once heard himself reffered to as. Well, he is certainly nice, not so little and I prefer the term ‘older’ as opposed to ‘old’.  He is always adding some form of nut or fatty ball holder into the garden.  I have an apple tree that actually has more feeders on it than branches.  The squirrels and the hedgehog are fed courtesy of George too. He says it is his responsibilty. “You supply the trees and wildlife so I will supply the food.”  I’m not sure I supply the wildlife but it certainly does arrive.



Moving from outside to inside we have a small variety of critters.  Downstairs we have Edgar, an eight month old Degu rescued from a greedy petshop.



We have Tino the Leopard Gecko …


and then we have Ares and Apollo the aged dwarf hamsters who refuse to kick the bucket. Defying their life expectancy of 18 months to 24 months.


Upstairs, and safely packed away in my daughters bedroom are the four female degus. Noisy… thats why they are tucked up there!



Lastly we have Dragon, the rather manly named Bearded Dragon. 


I went to give him a stroke the other day and he whipped his tongue out as he thought I was food. Quite apt that he belongs to my son Allen who would like everything to be food.

So that brings me nicely back to my title. It is time… to have a fur-kid enter our home and our lives.  Its been 11 years since we had a  dog living with us but for me its only 11 years without a dog out of 43 years. We have requirements of course for the newest member of the family….

1. It has to be a rescue.

2. It has to be a male. (I believe a male would get along better with Scruff who is a little (unfortunately named) girl.

3. It has to get along with Scruff. (see above)

4. It has to be able to stay home alone for a maximum of 4 hours. (Preferably un-crated) If crated, it must be used to it as its not something every dog likes.  I would like to give a dog a good and loving home and to not have to sacrifice my furniture, doors or cushions.

5. I’d prefer no casting or as little casting as possible… (I am a tidy nut!) so only a short haired pooch will do.

6.  It MUST be able to live amongst all of the above.

Are my requirements acheivable? I hope so.  We are not hurrying this process. We fostered a little guy called Cupid a week or so ago for a weekend and Cupid was almost perfect.  Cupid failed at No. 6… miserably.  Red mist appeared and no amount of nudging or coaxing from us would interupt him where the degus were concerned. Cupid had a similar unhealthy focus on the birdies in the trees… almost flying headlong through the conservatory window to ‘play’ with them.  I also think No 4 would have been an issue.

So, we’ll see what happens and keep you updated.


I have no idea who reads now, if anyone does as its such a long time since I posted anything read-worthy. I’m grateful of readers and of course comments and I will try and visit some blogs too.  No promises…. Lets just see. :)

Season Change and Critter Check

Autumn has arrived so winter is most definitely on the way…. I see all the leaves flitting like delicate butterflies gently to the floor.  I also know because I slip on the pile of leaves in my drive every time I walk out towards the car.  One of these days you are going to see a rather large unladylike lump on the floor after a spectacular skid.  I guarantee that there will be an audience. I can’t imagine I’d manage to do it without being seen!

My son has a birthday looming and he will be 21! What an occasion.  I still can not believe he can be 21! I keep doing the math, fingers and toes out, and coming up with same answer.  Where has my cheeky little boy gone? I’m not sad though, because now I have a cheeky big boy.  I win!  It makes me laugh how the entire family are looking to me for inspiration for his twenty first birthday gift?  My dad is asking me his ring size…. How do I know? My daughter wanted to pay for him to have another tattoo done! I vetoed that one pretty quickly I can tell you! I’m not a fan of the body artwork on my own children. It’s ok on other people’s children. :o)

Then after the birthday its Christmas…. I care less about the gifts and more about the fact that I just want to ensure that I have a carpet down to put the Christmas tree on. I’d like to have all of the painting finished so I can put decorations up and I’d like to have doors fixed on so I can close them and get cosy!  Small things….. But apparently they take the longest to get right! Oh… and a sofa to sit on… and a dining table so we can sit around it and pull crackers.

I’m not getting my usual array of garden visitors now.  I know why, it’s mainly due to the fact that I have a family of Sparrow hawks living nearby. It puts a dampener on the normal feeding frenzies I used to have. Unless of course they want to become the food that causes the frenzy I think things will stay quiet for a while.  I’ve seen more foxes than usually lately.  On the way back from the cinema at the weekend with my daughter and my sons’ girlfriend we spotted a fox crossing the very busy roundabout as we left the motorway.  I also saw one crossing some waste land near my house.  I like seeing the fox as it’s not something I get to see often.  (I’ve seen quite a few asleep on the roadside….seems a strange place to snooze.) The squirrels have gone… not sure where but they have left the garden.  It will give me time to squirrel guard the feeders for spring! Destructive little devils!   I seem to have invested in the very posh Nyger seed for no reason! The nyger seed feeder is untouched, and here was I, sure I would have all the tropical birds visiting from miles around!

My house critters are all doing well.  The Dragon and the gecko seem happy, spending their days lolling! They make it look easy! We witness the occasional spurt of enthusiasm when my son puts the crickets and meal worms in the tank.   The fish seem happy…. I think… it’s hard to say otherwise, I mean, have you seen an expressive fish? Moving into my daughters’ room…. We have my favourite ladies, the degus! They are fine.  We had a moment on Sunday when one of the girls seemed to injure herself.  She was being a little over enthusiastic trying to get to a monkey nut and she suddenly slumped to the floor.  She seemed to hold up her front leg.  I scooped her up and handed her to the animal cuddler… (My daughter… that’s what she always used to say she wanted to be when she grew up) She calmed her and rubbed her gently. After about ten minutes she seemed ok. We put her back in the cage with the others and she seemed fine. However, a couple of hours later she was huddled alone in her hammock looking less than happy.  I told Andrea that she may have hurt herself and just needed time to recuperate.  I must be related to the Dolittles because right enough, the next morning she was scurrying over the log bridge like a Degu possessed!

Andrea’s hamster Polo died a few weeks ago.  We haven’t had a lot of luck with the hamsters lately and we wondered if it was to do with where we were getting them from. That being said, we have decided to call a halt to hamster adoptions. She breaks her heart over them and they already live short little lives.  This one was never very sociable and Andrea hadn’t managed to work her magic with him.  He just went to bed and never got up so I’m presuming there was little suffering.  Allen of course saw an opportunity to offload his dwarf hamsters and he knocked on her bedroom door, cage in hand, smile on face. Andrea rolled her eyes and placed the cage over by the window.  These two little guys live even shorter little lives than the Syrian hamsters! 12-18 months tops! They are cute little boys though.  We have so much fun watching them. They like to tunnel so we have found a use for empty toilet rolls! Add to the toilet rolls lots of sawdust, two wheels and some food and you have instant entertainment!  They have some terrible mealtime manners and toilet habits. Apparently there is no need to leave the wheel! Lordy there is poop and food flying all over the place as they spin a mile a minute with full pouches! So Ares and Apollo seem happy to be living with the Belle girls in Andrea’s bedroom. There is officially no room for anything else…… not even the two rats Andrea keeps smiling at in the pet shop.   Uncle Gordon has been getting a snake (Ceaser…like the salad) so he has kindly offered to make use of any future dead rodents! Andrea was appalled at the offer!


Morning Skies, Sleepy Dog and my Favourite Daughter.

The morning sky was so striking I just had to do my best to capture the fleeting beauty!

Whilst admiring things of beauty, I managed to capture a vision of the word ‘Serenity’.

How gorgeous is she? I think I caught the perfect moment. She was just lying there.  She did move…slightly just to look and see where her dad had gone….

Haha! To perfectly caption this post….. “Where’s my dad gone?”

I’ll finish with my teen Angel.  Although she appears to be having a ‘Peter Pan’ moment. She had been searching in her under-the-bed cupboard for cuddly toys to donate to a dog charity.  As you can imagine the pile to keep was so much higher than the pile to go! The birdy got to stay!


Finally! The relief on my daughters face to be finally free of the metal restraints in her mouth is easy to see in this photograph!

I think this is the first time I have seen her smile properly in over 4 years.  She has hidden her smile for so long.  I have to say though, if there are any parents out there who think for one minute that getting a brace fitted for your child is not the right thing to do, take heed!  My daughter received an instant confidence boost the minute the brace was taken off.  I know, she has to go back to have a retainer fitted but it’s only for a few extra months and looking at how nice her teeth are now, she has no problem with it at all.  I think in general it is a long drawn out process having the teeth straightened but with Andrea, her jaw was unevenly aligned due to all the teeth keen to make an appearance and so the whole process has been longer for her as she needed blocks fitted before the brace when on. 

She’s beginning a new chapter in her life today as she is doing her induction day at Sixth Form College.  I am the proudest mother around!  You GO Andrea!

Not much has happened in the past week apart form the fact that my house looks like a scene from a war movie.  I’ve no skirting boards on, I’ve ladders where dining tables used to be.  The elephant ornament family have taken refuge in a storage box.  I have no blinds up, I have colour test patch all over the walls, it looks like a severe case of the measles has broken out.  I keep saying to myself…. “It will all be worth it.” (Repeat 986 times and remember to breath!)  The floor is coming up, the doors are being removed.  I shall live in a shell! It will all be worth it!

I have to pinch myself you know, just sometimes. I see my 21 year old young man, come home from work and then I see my 16 year old young lady, come home from college.  How did that happen! I must have done something right!

A little bit of everything

Autumn has arrived….officially.  I don’t mind autumn but of course memories of last year in early November are still fresh in my mind… all of the that Autumnal snow we had! I doubt this year will be any different.  After years before of mild winters and years ahead of the changing seasonal patterns I suppose we should expect harsher winters.

Things are changing for me a little on the work front… after 8 years of having a company car it looks as though the company are changing their policy and the company car will be a thing of the past.  Of course, my salary will reflect that and negotiations are in place.  I will now have to bear the cost of a car and all its running costs and have it all in place by October 1st.  I have my eye on something very pretty……  You may remember this blog post from the past, although it did seemingly go by almost un-noticed! Well that’s what I have my eye on… I just have to hope my funds will go that far! We may have to cut back on costs….. if I got rid of all the animals in the house I’m pretty sure I could comfortably afford one…. I know…. That’s not going to happen!

You would be very surprised though how much our animal collection do cost me.

The degus are especially expensive to keep happy. They need so many new things to keep them occupied. (A bored degu is a sad degu!)  My Blue Peter attempts of making things have been a little lacking. My dad is funny though, every time we visit him he hands Andrea an armful of empty toilet rolls informing her that they are for the “Gogo’s”

My lovely daughter did amazingly well in her recent GCSE results.  She had a smattering of A’s B’s and a very lovely C in maths…along with a D or two, but they are all passes.  She has the results she needs to forward march into Sixth Form college and continue her education.  She wants to concentrate on English literature and Language, History and Geography.  I’m very happy with her selection.

Andrea has another landmark event in the offing… she has her fixed brace removed on Monday! After almost four years she is very happy with the prospect of being brace free… well almost… She will need to fitted for a retainer but it’s much smaller, less bulky and not permanent.








I haven’t spent enough time promoting my lovely garden friends this year and I intend to change that.  The bird feeders are once again full.  Mainly visiting blue tits and coal tits but they are all welcome.  The Jays appear to becoming braver and seem to venture further up the garden every day! Not close enough for a photograph though! I’ll keep trying to capture that image.  The rabbits don’t dominate the garden as they used to in previous years.  This year we had more flowers in the garden than ever! I still see the odd rabbit but they remain nearer to the woods… far enough away from the flowers!  With Scruff and Louie making more frequent visits to my garden perhaps the rabbits are little less keen to congregate there.













So, that’s me bang up to date once again.  How are things with all of you? No really…. I’m interested.

Oh one last thing… I don’t want you to think that I’m not mentioning my lovely son Allen. He helps in his own way. Look at him here! He’s helping me with the clearin gup after dinner!


Giving Thanks


Well another lengthy wait before I decide to do an entry!

I’m always surprised anyone still reads….other than the obvious die-hard readers. (For which I am truly thankful!)

So another birthday came and went… It was fun, with the aid of facebook and the birthday’s notifications everyone you know is informed of the mournful day. (It was for me anyhow!) 42! Goodness, how did that happen?  Here I am, a woman of forty two with two grown children.  I sometimes have to check this life is really mine, I check the reflection in the mirror is really me and I check that the scales aren’t faulty!

Thank you to all of my friends who wished me a happy birthday through one medium or another.  The girlies at work made the entire day a lovely day.  Considering I WAS at work that’s quite an achievement.  Sadly it would seem that my family and friends truly believe that me and my home smell… well considering all of the smellies and candles and aromatherapy bits and pieces I received…. I’m assuming they are trying to tell me something.  Of course all of those things I do love, along with squid.

My dad in law decided to tell me that I almost got some squid but the fish market man didn’t have any left! That would have been the icing on the cake!

My dad bought me a smart phone! Me, getting a smart phone! I couldn’t even fathom that you needed to read the emails from the provider and click a link to activate the 3G (3 Gnomes??) and of course the keyboard is too small for me, it has nothing to do with me having stumpy fat fingers.  Until they slim down I’m afraid my texts will be littered with typos.  Finally! I have a valid excuse for typos! See, the phone IS smart!

Along with greetings from family friends there was also an email greeting from someone who I haven’t considered a friend for quite sometime. I appreciated the greeting; it was very nice of this person to remember my birthday.  Had the boot been on the other foot, I doubt I would have done the same.  I gave thanks, no olive branch was offered or received or would have been accepted but at least it’s a civil non-friendship!

Time marches on, we all get older, most get wiser, some of us have the reverse happen and become somewhat dumber…. I blame it all on age! 

As the family unit trundles through its daily rituals I find myself happy in life in general. I find myself comfortable with time if not with age and I find myself content with what I have but assurances that if I was offered more I would become no less content!


It was my attention to share some photos of the latest family members but sadly I’m on a different pc.  I may add them at a later date.

Allen has added to his ‘reptile house’ with two non reptile members. They are Ares and Apollo, not Gods but dwarf  hamsters! Some may see the resemblance.  Andrea has Polo, the new Syrian hamster not minty confectionary.

They are all as sweet as can be…  I’m guessing they are happy even though a smile is not visible.  One of the dwarf hamsters tends to look a little grumpy on occasion  (That may be Ares, well he is the Dark God of war!) but I think it’s due to the noise of the crickets in the reptile food drawer.  I have to admit, some people say they hear bells and I hear crickets.  I wish the Bearded Dragon would consider a vegetarian lifestyle or the equivalent in a diet of non-noisy foodstuffs ….


Back to the entry, it was really just to say thank you. Thank you.

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