We had to have our little cat euthanised last week. Two days after being diagnosed with a fast-growing tumour, she was so ill we couldn’t bear to see her suffer any more. We stayed with her and I stroked her while she slipped away.
Heartbreaking, and the first time I have needed to do that, because although I have had cats all my life, this has never happened before. At least, apart from when I was 12 and just not up to staying with my cat Penny while she was put to sleep. I went upstairs then and sobbed my heart out.
Bertie was 13, so not a young cat, but not old either. We both keep expecting to see/hear her. I expect that will pass, but it’s still a small jolt of sadness every time.
Well, I got so fed up trying to sort out Pysolfc on Ubuntu 22.04 I eventually installed Ubuntu 20.04, which has a working version of the card game. What a performance. What an absolute performance. But eventually managed it. I think I’ll spare you the gory details, because they’re just not interesting unless you’re a computer nerd like me.
The weather is much too hot again. For me, at least. Various health warnings abound on the news and the weather forecasts. But it’s even hotter on the Continent. God I hate it. But I’m inside, with a glass of tap water, and the fan on in whichever room I’m in.
Also, on the upside, I decided that the coffee coasters needed a bit of an update. Some of them are crocheted and need a wash, but I didn’t have anything to use in the meantime. So I actually got out my crochet hook, my favourite pattern, and crocheted two! Very pleased with myself, because it’s been months and months since I did any crochet at all, and weeks and weeks since I was able to knit. But now I’m feeling a bit more motivated, so may well have a go at knitting quite soon. Maybe when the weather calms down a bit.
I can’t bear to even think, let alone write, about the shower of muppets currently in charge of the government, or competing to be in charge. Nor can I bear to think about a certain ex-President of the USA who has had his “beautiful home” searched by the FBI. Although I am chuckling to myself that he’s pleaded “The Fifth”, as he is on record as saying why would anybody do that if they were innocent . . . . hee hee hee.
The cat is getting used to being inside all the time. She does cry occasionally, but not very much at all. More of a “song of her people” than her normal “feed me you lazy sod” sort of a noise, but she is eating ok, using her litter tray ok, and sitting on my lap and purring when the mood takes her. Which is most days. Mm.
Went to a “cat cafe” on Monday with my friend Sue. You need to book, and you get an hour. There are ten kittens, all four or five months old, and it was an absolute delight. There are plenty of toys for play with, shelves strategically placed so that they can climb and stay up high, cat scratching posts/trees, and everything they could possibly want. We had a cup of tea and a stroke of a couple of kittens who decided we looked interesting. It was full of mums and children, and not all the children understand you have to be quiet and move slowly around cats, so it was noisy. But I will definitely be back. Maybe not in the school holidays though . . .
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my cat (!) but she is now an indoor/house cat. Two new cats have moved into the area, and are intent on taking over her territory (basically our back garden). So she has ended up at the vet, needing anaesthesia and stitches in her leg, antibiotics and pain relief. Fortunately the vet is so skilled with the stitches that she hasn’t needed one of those cone collars. She really doesn’t cope with those. Anyhow, the wound is healing well, but she’s not terribly happy that she’s not allowed outside. So I bought a Feliway diffuser, which is supposed to replicate happy pheromones which calm upset cats, and a couple of new toys. She has of course ignored the toys so far, and is currently sulking under my bed. Ho hum. The vet agreed that she will be safer inside. And she’s 13, so an older cat. Hmph. As you can see from the photo, however, she doesn’t seem to be in any pain, and is quite relaxed. You can just about see a small “hole” in her fur – it’s her left back leg which was bitten – so she was actually running away.
And I got very cross indeed with Windows 11 when it stopped printing. Hubby was able to print from his pc with Windows 10 on it, so it wasn’t the printer or any connections. I have installed Linux 22.04 and all is working fine, except for my favourite suite of card games (Pysol fc). After much research, and discovering that Pysol just doesn’t work in Ubuntu 22.04, I’ve installed wine, which is an emulator, and installed Pysol inside that. It basically means that Pysol thinks it’s working in Windows. Phew.
Meanwhile I’ve been selling stuff on ebay and having such trouble with the couriers! Royal Mail took almost a week to deliver when I’d paid for a 48 hour delivery, despite delivering a parcel collected at the same time within two days. Then Evri didn’t pick up a parcel, I rebooked it, and only managed to get it collected because their courier happened to be delivering to us that day, but wasn’t expecting to collect. Jeez. Also, a winning bidder decided to cancel their bid, which means I have to re-list (but can’t do that for a few days). I’m trying not to be too cross about the inconvenience – anything could have happened in their life – but my first reaction was, to be honest, to be irritated. So I won’t put any feedback, because it might be totally inappropriate.
And last of all, we have another damn blasted rat in the garden. We think they are attracted by the bird food which gets dropped by the birds. So. Hubby has blocked off access to under the shed, and when he did that he found that the rat/s have gnawed their way through the wood so that they can get in the shed. Now I’m a bit worried (terrified) that next time I go in the shed there will be a rat/some rats in there. We shall see. If we see another rat, the next option is to call out the rat catchers (£144!) who will lecture hubby (again) about the bird feeders.
It is another reason, though, to be relieved that the cat is now an inside cat. Two aggressive new cats and a rat does not make for a safe outside environment. Hmph.
We just don’t cope well with anything over 25C in the UK. Some people love it – I used to when I was younger – but these days I just need to mope around with the fan on drinking cold water. The grass looks like straw, but usually recovers. Whether it will this time I don’t know. This is unprecedented. I’m using water from the water butts in watering cans rather than the hose. There’s currently plenty left but don’t know how long it will last unless we get some rain soon.
And while I’m in full rant mode, why are the muppets competing to be our new PM not even talking about climate change? you couldn’t make it up.
Loving the football – Euros 2022 (women players). It’s very exciting.
Also reading lots of books on my Kindle. Big fan of Jack Reacher (Lee Child), Lucas Davenport and his cronies (John Sandford) and am currently deep into John Milton (Mark Dawson). Yeah. Was given a Lucy Diamond book by my friend and really enjoyed that too.
No knitting though. My stupid hands are way too painful.
The cat wasn’t very happy that I wouldn’t let her out in the heat – after about 11 am I kept her in the cool. She isn’t terribly bright, and hasn’t come across this sort of heat before, but made the best she could of her situation, lying flat out near a fan! so not really that cross with me . . .
Today is not a great day – I slept most of the morning and have decided I don’t have to do my ironing today or tomorrow, nor do I have to package up the Sonos kit we’re about to sell on ebay. It’ll all wait until my energy comes back. Hmm.
Today would have been my Dad’s birthday so a bit nostalgic for me. At his barmitzvah he had strawberries, so my mother always tried to make sure there were strawberries for his birthday. Not so easy years ago.
Yesterday we returned from a long weekend at Center Parcs, with ED, her hubby and their little boy. He gets travel sick, and we all travelled from our separate homes by car on Friday, the hottest day of the year so far. Our air conditioning is fine, but theirs wasn’t working, so LCS ended up with heat exhaustion. A fair amount of vomming, lots of lying around being pale, and very difficult to get him to drink. By Sunday, however, he had perked up dramatically, and was much better. So Friday was much too hot. Saturday it rained all day. Sunday it was cooler and sunnier until the evening. I struggled with all the walking (really, really can’t ride a bike!) and the IBS, but we had a lovely weekend nevertheless. It’s great to see them.
Just fetched the cat from the boarding kennels. All was going swimmingly, despite the howling (her not me) until I took a wrong turn and missed the motorway. That’s actually ok because she hates the motorway worse than almost anything else, until I smelt a suspicious smell. Yup. She’d pooped. Then the yowling ratched up several notches, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it until we got home. Except for opening the car windows wide. And luckily it was all neat and contained within the towel/puppy pads in the carrier for just such an occurrence. Yeah.
So the cat is happy now, pottering in and out of the house/garden. I’m a bit fraught but not too bad. Hubby has popped to Marks and Spencers to get the stuff we need.
Today my job was fetching the cat. Done that. Knackered now! Tomorrow is sorting out the new router day. Last week we had major problems with the internet, some of which was the providers’ fault, some of which wasn’t. I had set the provided router up as a modem, and we have a separate router in the lounge, which improves the signal no end. But when I cut out the router, and made the old router back into a modem, it all worked. Sigh. So now we have a new router which I need to install. Yeah.
The washing is drying nicely on the line – love it when it’s dried outside. It just smells so nice!
I’ve been able to knit a little, which feels so lovely. Here’s a picture of the tension gauge square I did for the cardigan I’m knitting.
The garden is coming to life. Love it.
Here is a story about a log.
The cat goes to kennels when we go away, and in each cat pen they have a real log for the cats to scratch. What a good idea, I thought. Maybe that might stop her ruining our carpet. I kept my eyes open. One day, on my small walk, I saw some tree surgeons cutting down and chipping trees. I asked if they could spare one of their logs, and they said yes that’s fine. So I lugged it home, scrubbed it down, and put it in the corner on a towel so that the cat could scratch it.
Next thing, hubby informs me he cannot stand it. We are not living with a log in the room. Apparently. It looks awful. Imagine my glee (it was quite heavy). After a short while (!) we discussed it again, and we agreed it’s a bit big, and needs sawing down by a foot or so (30 cm ish). When hubby moved it into the garden to do this, he discovered it’s oozing sap. Yes it is, it’s fresh. So now it’s in the garden, weathering, and hopefully oozing all its sap before we get it cut down. I’m going to ask the gardener chappies if they could bring a power saw one day.
The old M.E./C.F.S has reared its ugly head and involved several days asleep in bed. I’m being much stricter with myself about how much I do and when. We shall see.
I have just finished the second tension sample for the cardigan. Yes. Just. Normally it takes me an evening to knit up a sample square. Hey ho. Well, that one is too big too. I’m going to have to do another one on slightly smaller needles. Ho hum.
Went to Brighton the weekend before Christmas to see family. We stay in a lovely hotel in Bramber, which is right next to an old castle and church. It’s really nice and there is parking! which is an issue in Brighton. It’s about 15 minutes away in the car from ES. The only fraught thing about the whole weekend was charging the electric car. The infrastructure is simply appalling. Even when you find a charging point, you’re lucky if a) it’s working and b) there’s no queue. And it was cold!Christmas Day was wonderful. Just hubby and me. No worrying about the Appalling Mother any more. Just lovely food, gifts (of which more in a moment), siesta and relaxation generally.
One of the things hubby gave me was a paraffin wax bath for my wonky hands. Sometimes used by beauty salons, they are good for arthritic and painful hands. I had a go with it yesterday – takes some setting up the first time, as you have to wait for 3 x 1 lb blocks of paraffin wax to melt, but it was worth it. It’s very hot – 50-55o C – so you just dip the painful part in and take it straight out again, wait for the paraffin to set, and dip again. About 6 – 10 times is recommended. It is so soothing. The paraffin wax just peels off, and you can discard it, but as I’m the only person using it, I’m reusing the wax.
Both the physio and the surgeon have discharged me from the hospital – 5 months after the operation.
It should continue to improve hopefully. Still a little swollen and quite stiff but I can manage most things.
Watching some excellent tv – Succession series 3, The Great series 2, the films Spencer, and The Power of the Dog. Wonderful drama. Spencer is about Diana (of course) and takes place one Christmas. The stuffiness and insistence on adherence to tradition, however dreadful, is claustrophobic. Some characters are invented, but make a strong point. Charles is portrayed as completely hidebound by the rules, but not a bad chap overall. Diana is portrayed as being very unhappy, resentful of Camilla Parker-Bowles (the mistress), unsurprisingly having mental health problems, and a wonderful mother. The Power of the Dog is a Western of a very different type from usual. Shot in New Zealand, directed by Jane Campion, it’s very very good. Dark and powerful.
Also last night watched Billy Connolly’s “My Absolute Pleasure”. He’s nearly 80 now, has Parkinson’s, and is such a lovely, lovely man. His sense of humour is delightful. I just love him to bits.
Hubby has gone into Solihull to spend some Christmas vouchers. Also he doesn’t feel comfortable being in the house when the cleaners are here. So I’m doing this, he’s in Solihull, and the cleaners are cleaning.
I’ve ordered myself a “monocular”. I can’t see through binoculars because of the stupid double vision, but I can see through a monocular. The plan is that when I see an interesting looking bird through the window I can grab it and actually see what’s going on. Mm. We shall see.
Made an apple and almond cake for Christmas. Hubby doesn’t actually like fruit cake. This is a recipe from Nadiya Hussain, who is just wonderful. I didn’t use olive oil for the icing though, just dairy free butter cream. And for Christmas I did white glace icing so it looks a bit more Christmassy. It’s absolutely delicious. Quite rich though. Even I can only manage one slice per day. But Oh. My. Days. it’s yummy.
I had to get a new computer in the end. The motherboard was clearly in distress. Strange random beeping noises and kept falling off the internet, when everything else in the house was fine. Hm. And managed to work out it is 3 years old. Not old for a personal/domestic computer, but the industry standard when I was working in tech (20 years ago now I know!) was to replace workstations every three years. So I’m on Windows 11 now. Had to tweak it a bit because it was quite slow, and took me a whole day to install it – which is usual, I will say, for Windows. But I’d backed everything up, so haven’t lost any data, so am fairly smug about it. I just need to nuke the old hard drive and Freecycle it – with clear warnings about the dodgy motherboard.
Hubby uses his Virgin email address and it wouldn’t work the other day. Eventually after much faffing about I discovered that it was locked for some unfathomable reason. So I ran a virus check (clear) and managed finally to change his password. After an hour it magically unlocked itself. FFS. What is that about? Damned blasted technology. But I think I won, even if I don’t know what happened. Mm.
Improving but slowly. It’ll be eleven weeks tomorrow since the op. Swelling in my hand is less, pain is less, but still very stiff. Things I can now do include showering, hair washing, dressing myself, eating mostly right-handed, even started a bit of crochet (a few minutes at a time, with an ergonomic hook).
But. I lost all the weight I’d regained. I now weight 8st 7/119 lbs/53.9kg. I was 9st 7lbs. So even my skin is too big. Am weighing myself every week (too depressing to do it more often than that) and the doctor is aware. I am to arrange a phone consultation if I lose any more, or don’t put any on, within 3 weeks of when I last spoke to her. That means another week.
I do feel ok though, perkier generally, but more tired than usual.
Yesterday went to the osteopath. Today took the cat for her annual flu jab. She hates the car and howls the whole journey, but is quite happy at the vet, even purring while she’s being examined. And she takes absolutely no notice at all of the injection!
Tomorrow we’re going to the tip (recycling centre). We have to book now because of Covid but that’s ok. No queues! and once we’ve booked it means we have a quick sort out to make sure we are taking everything.
Almost done with the Christmas shopping. A couple of gifts to get, but mostly done otherwise. Parcels arriving almost every day. Thank goodness for internet shopping!
The state of the UK is dire though. And the government will simply not admit it’s because of Brexit. And why is anybody surprised that hardly any HGV drivers have applied to work here? why would they? Brexit made it clear that the right-wingers don’t want “foreigners” here. It’s our own stupid fault. So we have queues at petrol stations, shortages of workers, and we insult the NHS staff by offering them a paltry 3% pay rise. After all that clapping to make sure they know that they’re valued. Harrumph. Just Harrumph. I try to avoid the news because it’s so damn depressing.
However, our garden looks lovely. Despite everything.
So. The fridge is working fine, and the fan oven mysteriously just started to work again all by itself. Strange.
However, hubby’s hi-fi is definitely dead. So we’re getting new kit. No small matter, and he’s very excited about it.
Visited a new cattery this morning. The one we used and loved for many years was Compulsorily Purchased (it’s a thing) because of the HS2 railway. Very sad. So she went to a different one which the cat liked – I can tell because she came back happy and not clingy. That one is now closed because, well, Covid. The owners were a bit anti-social, but the staff looking after the animals were just lovely.
So we had to find a new one. It’s excellent, although the satnav let me down badly. It took 35 minutes to travel 9 miles there, and 12 minutes to get home. But now I know. They have a wooden log in each cat-room, standing on end, leaning into the corner. For a scratching post. Genius! I’ve asked where they get them. Our cat has ruined our carpet. But only in certain places.
Struggling a bit at the moment, to be honest, with pain and depression. I do have medication for both, and have needed to up the pain meds, so I’m taking Co-codamol 30/500, which is the strongest of that particular make, and has to be prescribed. But it makes me feel a bit odd, so I only take two doses of two tablets a day, and the other two doses are plain Paracetamol. It’s just a question of what time to take which meds.
So in an effort to be less miserable, I have ordered and received a latch hook kit. It’s something I thought about but never followed up on, and one of my friends has started and loves it. When I’ve finished the current project (tea infuser cover) I’ll have a go.
Meanwhile I’ve taken some photos of the lovely colours in the garden, which always cheer me up. May is my favourite month, I think, garden-wise, although autumn is my favourite season. I try to ensure that there is always something interesting going on in the garden for every season, though it does require research because I don’t know enough. I do know some stuff, but not enough. A couple of photos of Bertie the cat sneaked in. She’s being cute because she wants to be fed . . . and in the final photo she’s got her little tongue out a bit . . . .