Sunday, 26 June 2022

P in the Park

It's finally the Summer and the events and festivals are in full swing. 

We had a quick week - firstly our usual evening commitments and then Friday was a volunteer day for me, out walking greyhounds at the Fife Greyhound Rescue. The greyhound rescue is always a great day, made better by the wonderful weather we had. 
Then once I got home we had our Liverpool friends visit. They were finishing thier tour of East Scotland and we were the last stop before home. Won't lie, it was a very late night, but you can't complain when it's good company!

Saturday was pancakes for breakfast and then they headed off to England whilst we were off to P in the Park. 
It's the first year it's been hosted and, whilst there were a few things I think they could improve on for next year, it was overall very enjoyable. 

There was a market, a give it a go agility course, timed races and also demos. We really enjoyed the K9 sniffer dog demo and talk and Missy did well in the race too (1 minute 15, not bad for a golden oldie!). We picked up some nice bits at the market too before heading home again. 

From there we've kept the rest of the weekend pretty quiet. I've been pottering about the garden - things are now becoming edible: the spinach had come and gone, home grown lettuce has been padding out our salads and today I picked almost 4.5kg of gooseberries from 1 of my 3 bushes! 

I've been getting on with my arts and crafts too - below is a set of dungarees I put together for my liverpuddlian friends little one. I've been meaning to make a togepi inspired outfit for years, and I've now finally done it! Very pleased with the oi9. 

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Powering Through the Weekend

This weekend had an unexpected bonus adventure - the Castle Fraser Steam and Vintage Fair!

So let's rewind a bit. A few months ago, hubby's Dad finally went to a doctor about his bellybutton which had popped out into a little bump (I am positive that this is where hubby has this bad habit from, his arm could be hanging on by a thread and he'd insist he was fine). Of course, to no one's surprise, FIL had an umbilical hernia and he went on a waiting list to get it sorted.

Fast forward to about 10 days, and he was in surgery and successfully had it fixed. Which meant he had to basically be on bed rest for the foreseeable. Which would be fine, if thier dog Ruby, wasn't at least 50% Tigger.

Y'all, this dog has springs for paws. Nonetheless, MIL (who has a gammy knee) stepped up and has done all of the dog walks as well as looking after her husband. We had said since we knew an operation was going to happen that we would come up and help out with Ruby. We knew that it was the best place to help out so that MIL could have a break and get on with some well deserved reading or a nap or two. 

So we arrived and got to work by handing over a get well soon crumble. Saturday we had planned a succession of walks. The Moss. Castle Fraser. BA Field. Maybe the Estate for an evening walk too. 
Also like his father, this is where hubby, and subsequently myself, gets naming walking routes from. 

The Moss, check. A spot of brunch (aka the get well soon crumble which sadly went all too soon). Now onto Castle Fraser. 
We got the dogs in the car and pottered down the road. 
At the entrance was a big sign that said "Steam and Vintage Fair". 
"Oh", I said to hubby, "We must tell your dad they're having an event soon."
We pulled in and were met by dozens of men in bright coats waving us into the overflow caepaek.
"Oh", I said to the car in general, "it's today!" 
We rang MIL whilst we got expertly taken to out parking space. 
"Oh!" FIL could be heard in the background, "I'd forgotten that was on!". 

No, no, there was to be no adventure. We would stick to the plan and be in hand at the house. 

So. Um. Yeah. 

Really, it was an elaborate excuse to work on Ruby's posing. 

Realistically, we did the 30 minute yellow walk and caved. What better way to wear a dog out than new sights, sounds and experiences? Missy is an old hand at this, she'd keep Ruby right and show her there was nothing to be worried about. And, apart from deciding that she deserved a biscuit every time Missy did, regardless of whether she posed it not, Ruby did brilliantly. She was definitely unsure at the start - this is the second event she's done (last year's DogFest being the first), but between hubby's calm demeanour and Missys laid back attitude to the noise and smells, Ruby quickly settled in for it.

We really tried hard with the posing. And she was starting to get the hang if it at the end (although hubby is politely out if shot for them all!) 

We were spoilt for choice. Vintage cars and tractors. Tiny steam engines to giant steam traction engines and rollers. Motorbikes, fire trucks and military vehicles. Honestly, there was something for everyone. 
A very unexpected and delightful adventure. 

We sheepishly returned to the in laws and handed over the exhausted dog. They were delighted we had decided to stay and have a nice day, MIL was pleased to have got the hoovering done and also catch up on her book and emails whilst FIL had a good nap. 
A good day all round then! 
And yes, Ruby did wake up an hour or two later and we took her out again, but she was definitely more chilled out after an adventure of her own. 

Mission accomplished. 

We gave both dogs a good walk this morning before setting off. FIL is now at the point of his recovery where he is to start walking about, so will be able to start on some of the smaller dog walks, so our visit was perfectly timed in thar Ruby will be calmer for them moving into the routine. 

Not a bad little weekend! There is something to be said for a spontaneous adventure!

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Sailing for Adventure

It's been an exciting week with lots of adventure. From sailing ships to beaches, pottery painting and scrapbooking, there's been something for everyone. We did some serious crafting, my sister and I, but I'll let her fill you all in on that in her blog

Last year on our Wales trip, we had so much fun we decided that we really had to do it all again. Hubby floated the idea of his childhood home of Broughty Ferry, Dundee, as a great place to visit and so we booked it pretty much on the spot. 

How quickly a year rolls round! After the excitement of the Jubilee weekend we headed up north and over the Tay for our trip to Dundee, home of Jute, Jam and Journalism. 
After the initial day of running about the beach and getting to grips with the area, Tuesday was the first big adventure. Hubby went with my sister and her family to the Discovery, and Missy and I had a girls adventure at the HMS Unicorn.

One of the oldest sail ships in Scotland, the Unicorn had plenty for Missy and I to see and do. After a dubious moment looking at the very steep steps, which Missy proved to be able to manage far more gracefully than I, the whole ship was pretty much available to look about.

I was glad we had decided to split the party. Whilst I was quite happy to read the columns of text and imagine life aboard the ship with 300 fellow sailors, I don't think my niece and nephew would have enjoyed it. Both are too young to feel rewarded reading panels of text, and I later learned that my nephew also struggled with the stairs on the Discovery.
Missy had a great time befriending the ships cat and stalking mice in the hold. The staff fawned over her as well, so I was pleased that no one probably noticed my awkward shambling up and down the steps. 
I don't think I'd have made a particularly good sailor! 

There was lunch in the local brewdog, a dog swap and a quick caper to the Mcmanus art gallery to see the whale skeleton afterwards. An excellent first day. 

Wednesday was the "quiet" day. My sister always insists on these, but they never really end up all that quiet! There was kite flying in the morning before my sister and her family checked out Broughty Castle. Lunch was in a cafe and then off we went pottery painting. Missy slept through most of it. She's been slowly building up again, but isn't quite there.

And yes. Of course I had to make her something.

Then Thursday was a trip out to St Andrews. After a solid morning walk, Missy and Hubby sat out whilst we all did the St Andrews aquarium.
Then it was the beach. I honestly forgot how much children love the beach. We took turns watching the shoes as the kids played on the the surf and in the sand. Missy played for a bit with her lure and settled down to watch the kids play and soak up the sun.

Our last day was a stop at the Dundee Transport Museum. This was the only thing we managed to all do together as it was the only proper dog friendly attraction that the kids would enjoy.
And enjoy they did. Sitting in driverless cars and old old fire engines, they had a great time. We learned about the Tay Bridge Disaster and also found out that dogs used to have to sit upstairs with the smokers on buses!

Believe it or not, but that isn't the end of the weekend. Saturday we pulled a fly one and, after getting my sister to the zoo, convinced we'd let the cat out the bag, we presented her with an early birthday present: a sponsorship for the ring tailed Lemurs. 

I've mentioned before how important the lemurs are to my sister, or more specifically, a very old, arthritic, half tailed lemur called Stumpy.
We had genuine tears of happiness, and I really can't think of a better way to end a holiday! 

Sunday, 5 June 2022

A Lot to Celebrate

We've had good news. Missys results came back and everything is officially benign so she's out the woods with another scar and none the wiser. That news came on Wednesday, so with my sister arriving Thursday, I was in a great mood to celebrate seeing family and enjoying all the Jubilee activities on offer.

As always when she visits, it's been a busy week. Firstly it was Edinburgh Zoo as we all wanted to take advantage of our passes. 

Then it was a day at the Family Festival in Newhailes. Missy had gotten her stitches out that morning and we kept her walking to a minimum. It was good to watch the live music and enjoy the atmosphere. 
Honestly, covid is starting to feel like a fever dream sometimes, except that I know too many people who are affected long term by it. 
Talking of covid, our friends with the twins joined us (sans husband) and it was great to have both my neices and nephews play together. They're all at that wonderful age where they make friends fast and were soon causing havok.

To finish wrapping up the weekend, we did a family garden party. It felt like a gathering of the clan as each branch of the tree arrived. Our friends mentioned above were also invited, partly because the children were getting on so well, and partly because we're really the only family they have locally, so want to include them as much as possible. 

And it went great. There's always a bit of trepidation when I get everyone together, but it worked well. The kids had a great time running riot (thank goodness it's a big garden) and the adults all got to catch up. 

A success! 

And talking of successes, I managed it. Saturday night the last of the stitches were done, in perfect time for the party. Bit bad for less than a months work, especially as most of that month was worrying about Missy!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, whatever you got up to! 

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Awaiting a Royal Invitation

So, the saga continues, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Missys op on Thursday went well, and her day 2 check on Saturday passed with flying colours. The vet tech was shocked that her hock was dry, clean and free from "lumps, bumps, oozes and bruises", to quote. 

However, it's been another weekend of short walks and Missy enjoying long snoozes on the sofa. She isn't sleeping properly because of the cone and the bright mornings - her teepee is currently dismantled as she keeps knocking it down with the cone, and we never realised before how much the light affected her in the morning. 
So we've been doing our best to keep her calm, rested and as low activity as possible. Which is hard. Really hard as we're in week 3 of this. 

Next weekend we have family visiting, and there is lots of jubilee things planned, including a garden party at my house. (My aunt has already declared she's going to wear the dress I made for my cousins wedding, which I find very flattering!). So we used the time to really push on with the house and garden, which have largely been ignored for three weeks. I hasten to add its all clean, just not tidy. Dog blankets and beds and cones of shame in every room kind of untidy, and plants I really should have repotted and put out weeks ago. 
Hubby told me not to worry about it, and that I have to stop holding myself to so high a standard, a terrible habit learned from my mother - no matter what, everything has to *look* perfect. We've had a bad scare with Missy, we are still waiting on more test results. No one will care that the skirting isn't finished and the doors don't match the new colour. No one. 

Still. I made a damn good attempt this weekend with the garden. It doesn't help doubly so that my mother likes to exaggerate my green thumb, and I'm worried it won't live up to expectations!

However, it wasn't all work and no play. We attended a members exclusive event at Jupiter Artland, where they unveiled the newest exhibit. There was cocktails (and mocktails), weird canap├ęs and sweet popcorn to be had as we wondered about and enjoyed the atmosphere and seeing parts of the house that are normally closed to visitors. Some people did bring dogs, which made me feel guilty, but it was a good evening to be had. Hubby and I both agreed it wasn't to our tastes, but that's what art is about, creating discussion. 

Today we broke and took Missy on a wee adventure. Overtoun House provided the perfect backdrop for a special photoshoot (next week, I promise!), and she got a short 15 minutes walk in the woods as a reward for being so good.

The place is a bit of an urban legend, said to be haunted after more than 50 dogs have leapt off the bridge to thier deaths. Whilst not one for superstition and ghost stories, Missy was on a very short lead as we crossed! Apparently mink live under there, which experts think is the cause, or it could be the fact that your level with the tree tops, so squirrels appear an arms length away from you. We didn't loiter long, and quickly crossed it to enjoy the woodland below! 

I've been avoiding chores with lots of last minute sewing (BILs birthday gift and a Jubilee sampler amongst them). I managed to sneak away from the pumpkins long enough to put together this adorable waistcoat for my nephew:

More photos on insta! 

I'll pause there for this week before I spoil anything else, and will be sure to keep you all updated on Missy too! 

Sunday, 22 May 2022

A Short Respite

Well, things haven't gone as well as we'd hoped. Whilst Missys results were on the whole positive, the lump on her leg requires further surgery. The biopsy results showed an infection, so we were prescribed more antibiotics (Missy officially rattles now) and after good improvement in terms of theunp coming down in size, she is booked in this week for the (hopefully) final op.

This weekend was the reschedule of having my eldest neice and nephew visit (the original being cancelled as I have covid). We decided against also taking Wee Ben as Missy was being a bit grumpy about the cone and stitches.
So, to take advantage of having just Missy, we went to Jupiter Artland (members dogs only, so a location we wouldn't be able to go to with the other dog). 
I'll be honest. I wasn't sure if it would be successful. Whilst neice loves art, nephew has never even set foot in a gallery. With it being a pokemon community day, I had a distraction lined up, just in case. 

It was a tremendous success. They both had a great time. The tactile nature of the place was really engaging for nephew and neice was in her element. I'll be honest, the stunning backdrops and my willingness to indulge her spontaneous photoshoots really sealed the deal.
There was lots of stops for Missy (although she was wanting to go further and faster), so we were confident that she was quite happy. Taking her somewhere new paid off as she slept properly for the first time in days. 

Nephew liked the "inside out" house best, an installation where the internal foundations are rough hewn rock, and the "dark woods" room - a chamber crammed full of tree trunks in the darkness. This one encouraged a lot of discussion about the nervous claustrophobia it triggered, and a return of the out-grown fear of the dark. The primordial fears, straight from Little Red Riding Hood and all Brothers Grimm.
I was shocked though that neices favourite was Mimi upside downside (and a top 3 finish for nephew). I know it was aimed for thier generation, but it still took me by surprise how well they responded to it. Missy and I sat it out, completely because she wasn't wanting to settle and nothing to do with my clown phobia... 

Today we wanted Missy to rest. It was a short morning walk and then we left her tucked up on the sofa in her cone of shame and went bowling. Another thing we couldn't have done if we had had Wee Ben.
I was shocked to have won overall (more luck than anything), but a good time altogether. 
Then it was lunch at home and we dropped them back off, leaving with promises of another weekend together.

Missy is tired and happy, so my main mission was completed. And the kids had a wonderful time, which is an absolute bonus for me. Big Sis and BIL didn't get up to much with thier freedom, spending Saturday working and then Sunday in bed catching up on well deserved sleep. Not exciting, but gratefully recieved nonetheless!

Next weekend will be a quiet one, so I don't know if there will be updates or not - my main focus will be on Missy and making sure she's OK. 

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Girl Down on the Girls Weekend

So... You may have been wondering why no post last week?

We spotted a lump on her leg Sunday at 10am, she was in the vets for 10.20am and by end of play Tuesday, was sporting her least favourite accessory. 
Since she was going under, we got the flesh tags under her arm removed too, so needless to say, she's a very unhappy puppy.

This weekend was a spontaneously planned girls weekend - with a month to wait, I thought we'd be fine and nothing could go wrong. 

Famous last words. 

The plan had been a sneaky 2 night stay near Loch Lomond. Two girls needing an escape from the rat race and a pup on the look out for adventure. Hubby had planned an errands weekend with his brother, so Missy being out the way and having fun elsewhere was an ideal scenario. 

I'll be honest, it took all my strength to admit that she was better to stay home. She would be happier in her own space and it would be better for my friend and I to not have to worry about over walking her. 
By midday Friday I still wasn't packed. I was hugging Missy on the sofa debating if it was worth going or not because, whilst hubby is 110% capable of looking after Missy, I was lamenting the thought of abandoning her.

I did go in the end. And I'm glad I did. It was a quiet, low stress weekend where we just chatted away, played board games and worked on our sewing. 

We did manage to leave the hot tub (my fellow mermaid found this just as hard as I) and we visited Geilston Gardens and did the Sweenys Loch cruises. 

Ironically, both are dog friendly. 

The gardens were outstanding. In full bloom, we saw every colour imaginable. Bees were aplenty and bird song filled the air. A beautiful morning. 

The cruise was good fun too. The audio tour was informative, but didn't go on too much, so we could chat away and enjoy the gentle motion of the ship. My friend is into her mindfulness, and it was good to slow the pace down and just enjoy the moment as we sailed through the gateway to the Highlands and watched the landscape change to mountains. 

There was more laughter, good food and good company.

A fine way to spend the weekend, even if I did insist on buying Missy some treats as an apology for leaving her!

Here's hoping her 10 day check on Thursday goes well and there will some short and sweet adventures next weekend.