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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Update From Bodyfuddau

It’s been a long time since I added anything here but life just got too complicated. I I am awaiting a new shoulder joint at Liverpool Broadgreen Hospital but it’s been a tricky journey. It was scheduled last year but I fell and broke my hip so it had to be put off. Now it has just been put off again so I am most frustrated and still trying to manage everything left handed.
Meantime while I was in hospital for the hip the wet got into the end wall of my house and the ceiling in my studio collapsed. Pete, a builder friend, offered to move in while I was in hospital for the shoulder to repair the studio and outer wall and to look after the dogs [who have an on-going love affair with him. Thinking we had a date for this [Pete said he wanted to do it while I was out of the way] we ordered scaffolding and so when the op didn’t happen the roof and wall still had to be done so Pete and a mate spent 3 days on the roof and now the end of the house is, I trust, weatherproof. I went away then to stay with friends for 3 days and he has demolished all the undesirable stuff from the studio. Everything from there is stacked in the spare room so no one can even get into a bed there and I can’t find stuff for bookbinding etc, Bought new supplies and have been using the dining room to bid books.
And Thereby Hangs a Tail [both colour version and black + white [from printers] sold out so have purchased more of the latter and am in the middle of producing more volumes of the first. Had also produced home-bound new book — The Filigree Sheepdog Tales, children’s fiction about small grey collie with a best friend who is a young dragon. That also sold out so managed to make several new volumes and have resumed my visits to Dolgellau Thursday market.
Have also translated And Thereby Hangs a Tail to Welsh and had it checked by a local friend who is a native speaker. Now I am waiting to see if my latest attempt at uploading it to the printers is working. This is not something at which I excel, to put it mildly..

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Due to our wild Welsh weather and my state of health there is not a lot to report on the animal side. Having waited a year for some continuation in the treatment of my second knee and my right arm, both hospitals sent for me practically simultaneously. Fortunately, the summer festivals being  over, I could call on Emma for help. She had to commute as she and Phillip now have a year old son called Noah, a charmong little boy. But she valiantly came up nearly every day to do the animals while I rattled back and forth in hospital transport between Ysbyty Gwynedd [Bangor] and Liverpool. Had my second new knee which like the first has been a great success. Only real problem was me rather thatn the knee and I am still somewhat groggy a lot of the time.
It didn't help that lightening struck our telephone [new dual one I had just bought] and there is still a peoblem. Emails don't work and only phone is a 30 year old bt one that I brought downstairs to the sitting room so that o can hear it and with luck get there before it stops. Spent some time in good nursing home. We are lucky around here in our medical services. The next thing is to get the arm done  -- cat can on friday and then preop in March. When the lightening struck Dyfi dog landed on my lap utterly terror struck. He is the biggest but also the greatest wimp of the three,
While I've been at home I have been investing in the services of an excellent jobbing carpenter to get various long outstanding jobs done. This had the double advantage that he [Pete] is quite in love with the wolf pack. as he calls my collies.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

collies and gardening

Today for the second day running we actually have warm sunshine here in Snowdonia and I have even done a few minutes gardening at intervals. I bought a wonderful implement with a fairly long handle and a very sharp curved blade from a company called Elderberry who sell things for people with disabilities or sheer old age.  This thing has actually enabled my almost useless right arm to weed patches whose weeds I can then gather up with the left hand. Probably I'd better put some bits of wire fence on flower beds before Jess realises it's spring and decides to help.
This is her smiling. Yes, I do mean smiling, not snarling.
 I am in the process of writing a book of animal stories, pure fiction, unlike And Hereby Hangs a Tail which is true. All the tales concern a small border collie who doesn't like sheep, her dragon friend and her boss who is a poet.
This episode concerns gardening so I thought I'd post it.



THE FILIGREE SHEEPDOG DECIDES TO HELP

The poet had been busy in his garden. Now it was lunchtime.
He looked around his newly dug flower beds. The antirrhinums his friend had given him were all planted in a newly dug bed. He thought they would be lovely next year when they came into bloom. They would look really nice in front of the phlox he’d planted last year and which were growing well.
Now, he thought, it’s time for a nice cool drink and some lunch. Ffili followed him into the kitchen and put on her most hopeful look.

‘I suppose you want your lunch too?’ said the poet.

‘Yes, please.’ said Ffili.

The poet placed a nice bowl of meat and biscuit on the floor by her water bowl and Ffili tucked in enthusiastically.
When she’d finished and the poet had made his own lunch, he opened the door for Ffili.

‘Perhaps you’d better go out for a few minutes, little one,’ he said.

Ffili went out. I liked it better when it was wild and grassy, she thought. She eyed the fork that the poet had left stuck in the flower bed. Strange that people needed a thing like that for digging. She could do it much quicker with her paws. She decided to surprise him with a bit of help.

She started on the flower bed behind the new plants. He hadn’t dug that at all. Her little paws flashed in and out and the soil flew behind her. It was good fun, especially when she came to the plants. They were tougher than the earth and she had to dig hard to get the roots out. She’d noticed how the poet dug out a lot of grass and stuff, so she dug really hard and even pulled some roots out with her teeth.

When she thought she’d done enough, she went in to fetch the poet. He was sitting by the fire with his slippers on, but he followed her out to see what she was wuffing about.
All his lovely phlox plants were lying around the lawn in pieces and a good deal of the flower bed too.

He was surprised but definitely not pleased.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

It is getting necessary to limit my livestock activities and gardening. The front garden has now been rationalised to the point where it is mostly lawn [if one can call it that when Silver has continued to wreak havoc in spite of my underlay of carpark netting!] and the only flower beds are around the edge. I'm trying to stock them with plants that can defeat weeds and don't need too much attention.
I had thought my are was recovering from the shoulder operation gradually but then it started getting worse instead of better. This was a bit alarning until the surgeon pointed out on the latest xray that I had broken my collar bone. So I am slightly mollified on the grounds that one could expect that to limit progress.
Meantime the animals are all well except my dear old Felix, who at the age of nearly 12 jumped the top wall and met his death. So now there are only two sheep.
The photo is Felix RIP in front, followed by Luki [left] and Badger [right].

Saturday, 8 December 2012

I seem to have neglected this for best part of a year. It has been a complicated year. The recession has more or less put a stop to my language teaching so I have been selling books on Amazon. That has meant a lot of time checking, cleaning and listing books. Also Dog walking has taken more time, partly because my walking has deteriorated [had my 80th birthday in July] and partly because my dear Emma has not been able to walk dogs as she was heavily pregnant for sveral months. That has a happy ending -- the arrival several weeks ago of baby Noah.  The picture which hopefully will appear below this is Dyfi with emma's Rocky up on the mountain while Emma was still coming. Rocky is part bulldog and part Boxer and is very clever. This year he even noticed what Emma wanted when she was shepherding sheep out of a field preparatory to a game of ball and he took to doing it for her, and not a drop of sheepdog blood in him. Dyfi is wearing a muzzle in case they  encountered any sheep on the mountain; he is not to be trusted.
Emma is recovering from her caesarian and is hoping to get back to some dog walking soon. Rocky wants to see his friends.
Dyfi, meanwhile comes with me every morning to feed my three woolly pets. He stands outside the pigsty while I dish out shee- muesli. He is actually quite useful as without him Felix comes in and stanps on my heels with sharp-pointed hooves. The first day I fed them Badger had forgotten the routine and was inside the pig sty. Finding the way blocked by me and Dyfi he charged and I went on my back in the mud. By the time Badger had extricated himself from the dog lead he had also removed Dyfi's collar. I struggled to my feet yelling 'Paid!' [don't] and found Dyfi faithfully beside me and not giving chase. One virtual gold star for good behaviour.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


Either the ducks are not laying any eggs or something other than me is eating them. I've mended any holes I can see in the netting over their bog/run and yesterday blocked a hole through the branches of a tree where squirrels at one time used to get in.
We still have not had snow so they are let out everyday to go hunting and act as garden ornaments.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Update on weather, dogs etc.

So far this winter has not tried to emulate the previous one. Everything round here is thoroughly muddy but, thank goodness, no snow. I actually got to have Christmas dinner with a friend and then get to other friends in Boxing Day. Last year my neighbour brought me Christmas dinner as my van was under a snow drift and I couldn't set foot outside.
So now I'm grateful for small mercies. Silver is still whirling round the lawn and churning the surface but, thanks to the plastic mesh I put down at the beginning of summer, she can't actually produce trenches so I expect when spring comes it will regenerate and still be flattish. She is a lunatic.
Dyfi Dog is back to supervising my dishing out of sheep's breakfasts and is behaving quite well, but is attached to a bungy rope just in case he gets any bad ideas about chasing.