Archive for November, 2008

Upgraded WordPress

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

I have just upgraded WordPress and add Stats. It has lots of nice new features. So there may be a delay while we undertake some further develoment!

Let me know if you see any changes or problems.

Walk in the fog

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Gabi has come to stay for a few days and has dragged me away from the canal to see the lovely Oxfordshire countryside. We looked at the weather forecast (met office) – cloud with sunny intervals, oh good we thought, a walk in the park, lovely. And then we decided we had better set off in good time to get back by 3, before it gets dark. OK it was a bit foggy when we set off, but we were sure it would lift later, and the countryside views would be wonderful.

At 2.30 pm today in Blenheim Park, this was the view.

Fog at Blenheim

“Wonder when the fog will clear….we will be back at the car in half an hour?
At 3pm we finally got a lovely view of the bridge.


and the house

Blenheim house and bridge

And a great day was had by all !

Gabi and Karen

A Wedding

Monday, November 10th, 2008

We had a wonderful day on Friday, when our boat friend Jeff (of Huddersfield canal fame) married his new love Sandra. We joined them for the evening bash and listened, open mouthed, to the tales of the days events.

First, earlier in the week when they went to collect their M&S specially ordered 4 tiered wedding cake, only to find that half the cake was not there. The top two tiers had gone missing! M&S apologised, found the missing tiers and gave a total refund.

On the day itself, Sandra got a call at the house a couple of minutes before she was due to leave for the registra’s office, saying that the stretch limo had broken down. The flowers hadn’t arrived either, so what to do? The available vehicle was a jeep, so she gathered her long white dress and climbed in!
Got there just in time, and as she was climbing out of the jeep, who should appear but an apologetic florist. They had been stopped for speeding by the police and been delayed. As Sandra and Jeff said – you couldn’t write it !
Their sense of humour carried them through, and having coped with all of that, you can see that they are made for each other and will have a wonderful time together.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Hall.

Happy days in the sun

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Happy days

A happy walk in the sun on the river Trent July this summer. Only 3 months ago…its a good job we didn’t know what was waiting for us. They had a great summer, and so did we. Thank you.

No dogs on the boat

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Our wonderful vet John Taylor came out, yet again, this morning on a final mission of mercy for poor old Jet. Our dog was struggling to get his breath and Paul had been up all night with him, supporting his head because he wouldn’t lie down. The fluid on Jet’s tummy was putting a lot of pressure on his lungs and he just couldn’t breathe when lying down.

We comfort ourselves with the hope that his last 4 months over the summer were wonderful for him. He enriched our memories of the cruise to yorkshire through his exuberent enjoyment of new walks and experiences. Here are Pip and Jet in the sunshine at our favourite mooring at Shardlow July this year.

Mooring at Shardlow

Paul and I are pretty shattered with all the sadness, losing two wonderful dogs so close together. My little Pip especially, who with me, Paul and my three boys shared so many joyful times. Pip came to us as a rescue at 8 months old, we were her 5th home. She was suffering from chronic seperation anxiety and had destroyed two kitchens and the inside of a BMW with previous owners. It took us 2 years of patient work to win her trust and get her clean in the house. But we had such fun with her and she was such a faithful little friend – though full of tricks too – have to get used to not hiding the rubbish bin when we go out – as Pip’s not there to raid it! And who will get me up at 6am to share the early morning walks along the river and through the woods with me?

It will be so strange with no dogs around, the first time in nearly 20 years.

Here are a some of my favourite doggy related quotes and poems, one by Mr Kipling (of Jungle Book, not cherry Bakewell fame)

Fragile Circle
Irving Townsend.

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan.”

Losing Jake
Amy Waggoner

There’s a hole in my heart where a dog used to be.
He’s nuzzled my soul and is now part of me.
His pain is his life and I know what to do.
But when I release him, I’m losing me, too.

The puppy I cradled three short years ago
is a ninety pound bundle of love and I know
that he’d lick away all of my tears if he could.
It’s his sense of duty to make me feel good.

It’s my obligation to do what is best.
The love of his “master” is put to the test.
It’s a wrenching and sorrowful way that we part;
it doesn’t hurt less when the head rules the heart.

There’s a hole in my heart where my Jake has passed through.
When we say goodbye part of me will go too.

Tribute To A Best Friend
Author unknown

Sunlight streams through window pane
unto a spot on the floor….
then I remember,
it’s where you used to lie,
but now you are no more.
Our feet walk down a hall of carpet,
and muted echoes sound….
then I remember,
It’s where your paws would joyously abound.
A voice is heard along the road,
and up beyond the hill,
then I remember it can’t be yours….
your golden voice is still.
But I’ll take that vacant spot of floor
and empty muted hall
and lay them with the absent voice
and unused dish along the wall.
I’ll wrap these treasured memorials
in a blanket of my love
and keep them for my best friend
until we meet above.

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long–
So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Gone to chase bunnies…

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Pip asleep

Pip has gone to chase bunnies in another life. Sad news, but she had had enough, so we called John the vet to end it all for her on Saturday at about 12.30. She went very peacefully and really was not aware of much. After several small strokes over the past week she was just sleeping like a rag doll and showing no signs of any recovery.

We headed for the pub to raise our glasses, but not with great enthusiasm. Poor Jet couldn’t even make it to join us, his range is about 55ft – even for a chocolate biscuit.