Saturday, 1 April 2017

Getting My Goat!

Sadly I haven't got a goat - although I would love to have one or a few. I took the photo at an animal rescue centre. Look at that beautiful expressive face, "Stop taking photos and give me more FOOD!"

There are several explanations for the origins of getting your goat. One is that in days gone by, a goat was placed with a racehorse the night before a race as a calming influence and rivals might nick the goat to upset the horse.

The title of this post came to mind because at the time I started writing it, a lot of things were getting my goat and turning me into a grumpy old mare (see what I did there?).

I wrote a lengthy rant about all the goaty things and deleted it. Life’s too short to dwell on the goat getters.

Some upheaval during the past few weeks has resulted in a very tidy house and multiple trips to the tip. I even found a couple of books I’d bought a few years ago for research and never got round to reading. Happiness!

I’ve rediscovered my baking mojo too and have been making lots of cakes every weekend – including Heavenly Nutty Chocolate Cups which aren’t cakes and don’t need to be baked. They are extremely popular with everyone. The kids are always asking when I’m going to make more and they are vegan which pleases my oldest grandson (and me!). And I ring the changes by sometimes using different nuts – I like to use peanuts and cashews.

At the moment school seems to be getting the resident little person’s goat and Harley thought if she went to sleep on her school shirt she would save her. Unfortunately her cunning plan didn’t work – it was a shirt put aside because it has been outgrown.

They’re all more than ready for the Easter holidays and a break from school – and so am I.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Novel Blogging, Newsletters and Dogs

If you like a good read, then Mandy Brittany (a name I know many will recognise) is sharing two novels free via two blogs. One is a magical comedy called Phototime and the other is a mystery thriller called The Cold and I know from her short stories that she’s very good at both.

As I said, the novels are free to read, but Mandy is hoping to raise money for Cancer Research and there is a link on the blog to the Just Giving site. Whether you wish to donate or not, the books are there to be read. You can start reading The Cold here and Phototime here.


I subscribe to a few of my favourite writers’ newsletters and as a subscriber I was lucky enough to win a beautifully illustrated little book of poems by Robert Burns. It really is lovely and I have Rosemary Gemmell to thank for it.  Rosemary’s is one of my favourite newsletters and you can subscribe via her blog here.

Rosemary’s blog is well worth a visit anyway.


You’d think after all that leash walking Dusty had to do while he was recovering from his leg operations, that I’d have managed to train him to walk nicely wouldn’t you? He’s so quick to learn and has been the easiest dog I’ve ever had to train.

And he’s incredibly helpful, bringing me my dog-walking shoes when we’re going for a walk and pulling the duvet back for me to get into bed. He even gets my clothes for me in the mornings and it’s hard to be grateful when they’ve been dragged all round the floor and thrown up in the air, but I do try.

I’ve tried all sorts of different head harnesses and body harnesses to get him to walk nicely. I’ve tried treats, but for a food obsessed dog, he’s just not interested once we leave the house. I’ve tried toys and balls and doing the stopping and changing direction thing. Nothing works. So I’ve given up and resigned myself to having a dog that is almost rubbing his chest on the ground because he’s pulling so much.

I steel myself against the tuts and dirty looks I get from those lucky enough to have dogs trotting along beautifully at their sides. Oh and did I mention he also shrieks as we walk along which draws even more disapproval.  But something amazing has happened…

I pass an elderly couple with their two dogs when I walk to the fields. They always smile and laugh and say “We can hear you coming a mile away! He’s so keen! It's lovely!” And I see a man with a hearty laugh and a small dog and he says, “It makes my day seeing you! I love the noise he makes. He’s so eager to get off the lead, so full of energy. I love him!”

So if we brighten the day for a few people, then I’ll put up with the embarrassment!

It was Dusty’s best friend Poppy’s 6th birthday last week. She’s much more of a cat person than a dog person and would rather play with cats than dogs, but she makes an exception for Dusty. 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

More Teething Problems

Harley taken by her special little person Izzy

When Harley was a year old and went in for her annual check-up, our vet found her back teeth covered in tartar and her gums very red. She was taken in for a dental clean up and fortunately kept all her teeth.

She was tested for Calicivirus, but it came back negative. Apparently the tests can give a false negative, so it’s still a possibility that she had the virus before we got her. Or it could be a genetic problem.

We know that she had a bad start in life. She was dumped along with her brother over the sea wall onto the beach when she was very young. Fortunately someone saw it happen and was able to rescue them.

Those people who threw her away like rubbish have no idea what they're missing. She's such a sweet-natured and kind little cat and she has a very special bond with my almost-8-year-old granddaughter Izzy (even if she does wake her up taking photos of her!).

She was expected to have to have a dental clean up every year, but at every six month check-up she hasn’t needed one – until this time. The vet thought she might lose one or possibly two teeth, but said she wouldn’t know until the teeth had been cleaned.

She had to have four out. That was a shock. I didn’t think her teeth looked as bad as they had that first time and that she’d just need a clean-up.

As she dislikes soft food in any shape or form, I had to soften her kibble with warm water. She had to have antibiotic capsules twice a day and a squirt of Metacam, an anti-inflammatory. She is so good taking her medicine.

Since the problem was first found two years ago, she’s had special food for oral health and a sprinkle of Plaque Off on her food.

I took her for her post-op check on Saturday and they were very pleased with how well her gums have healed already. It’s very sad and frustrating to think this is an ongoing problem and that she will probably lose more teeth no matter what we do.

But she is a happy and content little cat and now those teeth have gone, probably a much more comfortable little cat!

Blissful Sleep

Saturday, 14 January 2017


Well it didn’t happen. After all the warnings and evacuations, there were no significant floods in this area thanks to a change in the wind direction. Further up the coast in Whitby and Hornsea, they weren’t so lucky, but even so, it wasn’t the disaster they had been preparing for.

My daughter’s house was in a danger zone and they moved valuable items upstairs and packed bags, ready to come here if necessary. We were a whisker outside the potential flooding zone.

Were they right to evacuate some areas? Yes, they were. Better to put up with a little inconvenience than to suffer the way people did in 1953. On that night, my mum said it was like a tidal wave coming down the street. People lost their homes, their possessions and their lives.

I wrote a post five years ago about the 1953 floods, "The Eyes Say It All", with photos from the time. We should never be complacent about what could happen when a storm surge coincides with a spring tide and a strong wind from a certain direction. I would rather be evacuated from my home unnecessarily than risk going through what my mum and so many like her went through all those years ago.

We didn't get much snow either, much to the disappointment of the children who were all hoping for school closures and snowmen!

Dusty still has the remaining scrap from his Christmas toy sheep. It has now been joined by the remains of a cow, a monkey and a donkey which he was given on his third birthday last week!

We were sitting round the table drawing and Dusty decided he wanted my youngest grandson’s toy dragon to add to his collection! I didn’t get a single photo of him trying to steal it without his arm being a blur!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A Dusty Christmas!

I hope you all had a good Christmas whatever your beliefs and however you celebrated.

Dusty was so excited on Christmas morning. When he heard, “He’s been and he’s eaten his mince pie!” he ran through to the front room, slipped over onto his side and skidded on the floor, then leapt up and carried on. Talk about a heart in the mouth moment!

He found his present straight away.

And got on with unwrapping it.

There is no such thing as an indestructible toy as far as Dusty is concerned – he even wrecks those very expensive ones, so we’d got him a cheap sheep toy from B&M. It kept him quiet for the whole time we were opening presents.

He made a bit of a mess.

Then he realised there was paper and plastic everywhere and left the remains of his sheep.

This is his “No one has noticed” face!

All that is left of the sheep is its face and one ear – and the two ropes that were its legs.

He had his own Christmas dinner on a proper plate – not leftovers – and he really enjoyed it!

A bit early, but Happy New Year!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Season's Greetings!

I wish all the lovely visitors to my blog a very happy and peaceful festive season however you are spending it.

With much love and thanks for your kind comments and for taking the time to read my assorted waffles.

Not my front room by the way (I wish), but part of the Grotto at World’s End.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Is it safe to come out?

I’m glad November has gone. It is my least favourite month of the year for a number of reasons. I dread its arrival every year and breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over.

The Norovirus reared its ugly head and felled us like trees. Only one adult (out of eight in the immediate family) escaped unscathed – and it wasn’t me. It seems that bleaching everything in sight and taking every precaution you can just doesn’t help sometimes.

As well as the stomach virus, there are sore throats and chickenpox doing the rounds at school. I’ve still got one home poorly.

And goodness knows what’s happened to Blogger! I have to rummage around now to find the blogs I’m following. Please tell me it’s not just me!

On the plus side I’ve been to visit Santa twice (with different grandchildren). The highlight was meeting the reindeer. They are so friendly and love being made a fuss of, but they have room to get away if they want to which I think is important. Visitors are only allowed to meet them one family at a time and are supervised. My eldest grandson who is 11 came in as an adult, but he still enjoyed meeting the reindeer.

We’re off to visit my youngest son and his family at the weekend and are hoping see Santa with my granddaughters.

Dusty says he doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.