Saturday, 25 September 2021

Last day of term


This morning was the last day of term at the puppy graduation classes. Jane the organiser had phoned me during the week to say that she was merging two sessions into one big event and told me it was alright for Tilly to go along for some fun and games.

I have to say that Tilly is slightly under the weather and not eating very much but I'm tempting her to eat giving her some tasty morsels. I thought it would be good to take her along anyway and I'm glad we went as I enjoyed the session and Tilly likes to be among the other pups and she's given lots of fuss and attention from the trainers.

So they played musical islands with mats on the floor. It was just like the musical chairs game that's played  at children's parties but unfortunately Tilly and I sat that one out as she'd needed to go outside for a short while. Then came the agility relay race and Tilly did exceptionally well in that and earned a blue runners up rosette and a bag of treats.

Best of all Tilly came second in the best trick and I'd say about eight pups entered that competition. Tilly did her shake a paw and then I say to her "now the other one" and she lifts the other paw up too. Then it's the down and roll over which she does really well. Everyone went aww and the trainer was impressed and said how good she was especially as she's not too well. The winner was Rosie who crawls commando style on her belly and is such a sweet little pup and a very worthy winner. Tilly won the red special award rosette and the toy for coming second doing her tricks and yes there was a judge.

As it was the last day of term and those of us who had completed the puppy course had our diaries and certificates presented to us. Tilly only missed last week's session because of her being in season. I must say that I will miss going to the classes and it's been really good for Tilly and for me too. We'll carry on the training at home as she really needs to learn to wait, she's out of the front door like a shot when she's ready for going on her daily walks. I'm thinking I should sign her up for the beginners class which is the next stage following puppy classes but I'll wait for her to be more like her young self before I do that. Didn't she do well.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Up close to a helicopter

It's a lovely warm day today and we decided to go in the car and take Tilly for a walk on the beach but things didn't quite go to plan. We thought we'd start off with a walk on the new shorter pier which opened back in July.  The decorative panels are lovely and have been successfully refurbished from the original derelict pier which had been  demolished..

From there we strolled along the promenade and sat and had a late breakfast of a bacon bap and a large cup of coffee from a waterfront kiosk and we watched people on the beach with their dogs playing in the sea and it was a very pleasant way to spend a half hour. Thinking there were too many off lead dogs on the beach and Tilly still being in season we headed back to the car just strolling along the promenade and soon realised a helicopter was circling overhead and looking to land. One of the crew was waving at me to get out of the way.

A crowd of people suddenly appeared to see what was going on but as this was the air ambulance we decided we'd head off home as it was likely the roads were going to be closed off. Two of the crew had put their equipment on their backs and looked like they were heading off towards the town centre while a third crew member got a stretcher ready. It's only since arriving home we have read online that a person had been hit by a car.

On the way home I called for a bit of grocery shopping and took the opportunity to take a photo of the new shop selling merchandise for the upcoming television programme from the castle. I didn't go inside as nothing they sell would appeal to me and I don't need any T-shirts or mugs or need to sit on the throne but I will definitely watch the show again this year.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Coffee morning

I went to a Macmillan coffee morning today by myself and I went there on the bus. I've never been to one of these fundraisers before and wanted to support the charity in my own small way. Waiting for the door to be opened quite a crowd had gathered. I found a table and it was explained that you went to the bar for a coffee and to help yourself to a cake from the table and put a donation in the collection box. Boxes of cakes were available to take home for a minimum donation. When I returned to the table a lady was sat in my seat but I was able to sit opposite her and we got chatting. Sadly she told me her husband had cancer and was too ill to be at the event with her. She was waiting for her friend to arrive and by the time her friend turned up I'd had my cup of coffee, enjoyed a small piece of ginger cake and chosen a box of cakes to take home. I was told all the cakes were homemade by the hosts which was very impressive. I didn't enter the raffle for a doll or enter the tombola to win a prize but said my goodbyes to the lady I'd been chatting to so that her friend could join her at the table.

I suppose I should have chosen a box with just six cakes in but having just enjoyed one at home with a cup of coffee I can tell you they are absolutely delicious and I look forward to enjoying more but not all of the rest....I don't think. I took the photo in the bus shelter while I was waiting for the bus to arrive and  even the bus driver commented he liked the look of my box of cakes.

I can't remember without trawling back through my blog about how much or little I revealed about my own cancer diagnosis in March last year just as the pandemic and  lockdowns began. I had a very helpful telephone conversation with a lovely Macmillan nurse at the start of my treatments which initially my surgeon informed me thought may not go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic but thankfully they did and I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Just this week I listened here to a well known TV presenter speaking about her own diagnosis and planned surgery, I think she's very brave for being so open and honest about her diagnosis and expressing her feelings. Although I don't have young children like she has, unlike her I had no history of cancer in my family at all so my diagnosis came as a total shock. I've decided I will tell a little of my story here.

I discovered my lump just by accident as I awoke one morning with my hand on my chest. I felt the lump and immediately I feared the worst. I'd had a letter inviting me for a mammogram  a couple of months prior to that dreadful day but had put it to one side as we had workmen in the house at the time and I forgot all about it. Thankfully I remembered I had this letter and telephoned the number and fortunately the mobile testing vehicle was still in place on a supermarket carpark and I was given an appointment for a few days later. A short wait for the results and I was then given an appointment at the breast test centre where I had a biopsy of the lump and lymph nodes and I could see on the mammogram myself it wasn't looking good and the radiographer sort of confirmed the diagnosis before I got the official results.

I had a 40mm lump and the cancer was also found in my lymph nodes. I was lucky that I only had to have a lumpectomy and a number of lymph nodes removed but unfortunately during my surgery they discovered another much smaller lump as well. I needed to have twelve rounds of chemotherapy although I missed the last one as I was reacting badly to it by then. The chemo was quickly followed by three weeks of daily radiotherapy treatments and I was unwell during that time but the treatments went ahead regardless. Losing my hair was another of the harsh side effects of the treatment and having to have district nurses coming to the house to take blood from and look after the line I had in my arm.  It's been a long journey made all the more difficult as I had to go it alone due to the coronavirus restrictions in the hospital so no visitors allowed.  I think it's only natural at the outset to think you won't survive this thing but I did and I'm here and I'll be eternally grateful for all the wonderful care I received. Ladies, please do check regularly for any lumps and know that there is so much support out there and the Macmillan nurses do an amazing job. I'm feeling much stronger now, I got through it during a pandemic too, how cool is that.


Sunday, 19 September 2021

A walk around a castle

I thought it wise not to take Tilly to the puppy training class yesterday with her being in season. I wish now I had had her spayed at six months old as I've since been told that can be advisable but I always thought it was best to wait until after the first season, anyway it's too late now. We'll have her spayed early next year, three months after her first season has ended and that is also what's recommended. Hopefully we will make the final training session next Saturday but I'll see how she is before deciding whether to take her or not.

Wanting to find another quiet walk for her on a nice warm September morning I decided to take her to the castle grounds fully expecting it to be quiet there and it was. There was no need to have pre-booked tickets and when paying the admission fee I asked for the senior rate and the nice young man asked if I was old enough which was a very nice compliment :) He was taking payments by leaning out of an open window and he made such a fuss of Tilly and showed a lot of interest in her which was nice.

So here's a few photos from our visit



Dogs on lead are allowed but only on the ground floor levels.  There are several towers but there's no way on earth I would go up there with or without a dog as I hate heights. As you can see there is a man with two young children up on the top enjoying the fantastic views.

It's interesting to see the outer and inner walls and just how thick the walls are.

 It was nice watching from a distance the farmer in his vehicle and his two sheepdogs rounding up and moving a flock of sheep.


 and what are you doing in there Tilly :-)

So that was a very enjoyable morning and we even stopped and sat outside a cafe for a large latte and a bowl of water for Tilly before heading home.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

A pleasing walk

I've decided it's not wise to take Tilly to the park for the next two or three weeks and just go on short walks where there's less chance of meeting other dogs and then it should be just the occasional dog on lead out on their walk and easier to avoid. The weather wasn't great  yesterday, noticeably cooler and rather dreary but at least the early morning rain had stopped. I decided I would take Tilly to see the horse and if he was in his field I would give him a small apple.

I've been hearing the honking of geese flying south for the winter for the past few days  but yesterday as I had my point and shoot camera with me while out with Tilly I just about managed to get a few although not very good photos which I was rather pleased about. I believe the geese fly at over thirty miles an hour and I'm always happy if I can snap a few photos. I do see and hear the geese migrating every year although they might be a little earlier this year with the sudden change in the weather.

There he is, Mister horse and he comes up to the fence to have his treat and a stroke of his nose but unfortunately Tilly is becoming a little jealous of the attention he receives and gives a little bark. It was lovely to see him in his smart new coat, I was wearing mine too but mine's not new or smart like his. I've bought a new coat for Tilly but she can wear her new coat when it's cold or raining.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Unforeseen circumstances


Following the mini-heatwave of the early part of last week the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse although the rain and cooler temperatures were very welcomed by me. I'd packed away Tilly's paddling pool and new poles and unfortunately things went downhill from there onward and this blog post comes with a warning.... it's not for the squeamish.

So on Thursday I walked Tilly to our local park but unfortunately we met an off lead dog in the area where dogs should be kept on lead and as there are several entrances to the park there are enough signs in place for the owner of the dog not to have known. It was a biggish dog and it just wouldn't leave Tilly alone. Tilly yelped and I screamed and pleaded with it's owner to grab his dog which he did and eventually apologised when told his dog should be on a lead. Thankfully Tilly wasn't harmed just very frightened.

The following day we had an appointment at the groomers. When I went to collect her I was greeted again with the message that Tilly suffers with severe separation anxiety and it was dangerous for her to be in that state. I was so upset and I've since been given the name of a groomer where I'll be able to stay with Tilly and she comes highly recommended. I was also told that Tilly looked like she was ready to come on heat something that was always going to be on the cards given her age.

So yesterday was session six of the puppy socialisation classes. Before leaving home I made a picnic lunch  as we planned to go straight from there to an organised Fun Day for people with disabilities and their families. There was going to be a dog show, performers, music, a barbecue, craft stalls and mobility scooter events and it sounded so much fun and we were looking forward to going. However as we arrived at the hall for our puppy class I realised and I won't say how that Tilly had indeed come on heat. I explained to the trainer that we wouldn't be able to attend this week but the lady organiser was so understanding and said we could try rather than go home which we did. There were only four pups attending this session, Tilly and one other bitch and two male pups but in the large hall and with the social distancing in place it was absolutely fine although I do think Tilly was a little off colour. I was given so much helpful advice and the name of the groomer but whether we'll be able to attend the final two puppy training classes now I really don't know and it's so disappointing. Instead of going on to the Fun Day we went home and I have to say Tilly does look sorry for herself and she's using my blankie as a pillow

 but she does look gorgeous following her latest grooming ordeal even though I do say so myself :)

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

In the bag

With the promise of a mini-heatwave today I took Tilly for an early morning walk knowing that hubby could accept the delivery I was expecting. I'm happy to say Tilly walks well on the lead now and I no longer need to use the nose collar which she hates and so we use her harness and training lead. Just as we were approaching home I saw the delivery van outside our house and I was hoping hubby had heard the doorbell which rather annoyingly doesn't always work. All was well and hubby had taken in the parcel.

I set up the paddling pool for Tilly before it got too hot and true to form she loved getting soaked before the water hit the pool.

So after much paddling pool fun and I have to say I'm becoming quite a good shot throwing the balls into the water from a seated position it was more fun getting Tilly dry.

So what was in the parcel which was delivered today I hear you ask, well this bag  and what was in the bag?


These poles were. I only ordered them on Sunday afternoon and they arrived today and I  definitely
call that excellent customer service. Bag of treats at the ready but Tilly and I need much more practice weaving in and out of them but I'm confident practice will make perfect :).


Just a note to Eunice, do you remember my sandals? I only wear them in the garden now having fallen over while wearing them on the grassy slope at the castle in front of dozens of people, another lesson learned, wear sensible footwear when out and about:-)

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Work, rest and play

Another week gone and we're into autumn now and it's definitely turned chillier although there is some more sunshine forecast for the coming week. I haven't done much all week apart from walk Tilly and I've emptied our display cabinet and moved it into the garage ready for collection by the council. The council will collect one large item per year for free. I've ordered a new display cabinet which will be delivered before the old one goes so it was a case of having to shift it. We've had that cabinet for thirty-three years, twenty-five years in our present home and eight years in our previous home and it was left there by the previous home owners so goodness knows how old the cabinet actually is but it's definitely time for it to go.

I've been watching a five part series on TV this week, it was on every afternoon and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a repeat but I'd never seen or heard of it before and as it's still available on iPlayer I may watch it again as hubby slept through the first couple of episodes and when he was awake I was having to explain to him who was who and what was going on.

I showed you in my last blog post  how Tilly was wrecking her new toy, well fast forward a week and it's almost unrecognizable as a unicorn now. She's had good fun with it and that's the main thing.

We're back home from her fifth puppy training class and Tilly was very excitable this week. The trainer suggested I take her for a walk before classes to take the edge off her enthusiasm. She disgraced herself a little by having a poo in the hall but I carry her poo bags and nobody seemed to notice and I was able to deposit the bag in the bin without any comments being made. They made two columns of alternate toys and treats and on recall the pups were expected to ignore those but Tilly was the only pup to decide she'd snaffle a few treats before coming back to me. They put cones on the floor and we had to weave in and out of them which she did alright but on lead of course, I'm thinking of buying some to practice in the garden. They told us the final week will be party time and they were hoping to see that the pups have learned some tricks. Tilly can already shake a paw and roll over so I have three weeks now to teach her something new, maybe to calm down and behave herself :)

Last week

Once again nothing much to report just my daily walks with Tilly. The other day I took her to the harbour and walking alongside the river  w...