Flying Dog. MRI scan

My dog can fly!

My dog can fly!

I got my car back (did I mention that I drove it into a skip?) The skip shouldn’t have been parked on the road outside a shop because there was no licence for it. I was parked behind it and, as I pulled out, I scraped the side of my car- only a little bit but there were two bits sticking out of the skip which sort of impaled my car and made two holes which had to be attended to so the car went I to be repaired. It’s a Hyundai Matrix by the way. They lent me a Ka ,only 3000 miles on the clock but already falling to bits. It wasn’t too bad to drive but when both windows were open there was a terrific whooshing sound like you get when you open a back window without opening a front one.
Never mind, I have my car back now which means I can take Ralph to the Windsor and Maidenhead Flood Relief Channel, now called the Jubillee River where he loves to swim and run about and , sorry to admit, chase cyclists. As you can see, he was very pleased.
Today I went for an MRI scan and I hope I never have to have another one. I knew I was a bit claustrophobic but I didn’t realise how much. You have to lie in a tight tube and you can’t see daylight at first. The staff give you a buzzer so they can take you out if you want and I admit I pressed it straight away! So they offered me  company and one of them stayed and kept contact with me and it wasn’t so bad as I was having my lumbar/sacral spine done so the machine passed over me and I had a little bit of daylight at the end of the tunnel (literally)! The machine then start to make a noise like three rock bands accompanied by an pneumatic drill, which is why you are provided with earplugs.
I managed to stay in and tried to adopt a bit of a trance like state, counting dots on the ceiling and tuning in to the rhythm of the noise. Towards the end I did ask if it would be going back over me except on the way out, thank goodness that was the case. I felt panicky as it came back over and was a bit fuddled afterwards to the extent that I forgot to put my bra back on and had to go back in to the changing room. Then I tried to  leave by the wrong exit, I was quite disorientated!
I have an appointment next week for the results.

Published in: on July 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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There was a robin’s nest in Apache’s stable and the time came for the babies to learn to fly. One of them seemed to be doing quite well but the other took a few steps out of the nest and didn’t like what he saw so went back in. The next day one of the babies was on the floor in the stable so Claire couldn’t do the mucking out. After a while we became quite concerned for his little creature so a friend got a ladder and some gloves and he caught the little one, climbed the ladder and put him on the beam near they nest. Then he found the other robin. We’re hoping that they are getting on alright now, we’ve seen the parents are still around, in fact one was sitting on the rim of one of the feed bowls having a little snack.

We had a rude awakening this morning. J who I’m pleased to say is a lot better having had a cocktail of about nine different drugs, several intravenously, was sleeping in the lounge when she was woken by a magpie. We’re not sure if one of the cats brought it in or if it fell down the chimney. One of the cats did the cack-cack noise they make when they see prey. Our dog showed a singular lack of interest, preferring to stay in bed with me and my husband- and he’s a Springer Spaniel!

Luckily, Claire was here and she has worked at Swan Lifeline and Heathrow Animal Centre when she was studying animal care. She braved the flapping, charging bird and opened the french windows and, with the help of Patch the cat, encouraged it to fly away.

Yesterday I posted a form to the Nursing and Midwifery Council relinquishing my registration as a nurse. That felt really weird, worse than the act of retiring last June. To go back now would mean taking a course. Not that I have any intention of nursing as I am less mobile than I was last year and I’m enjoying retirement.

Talking of retirement ,the ponies are enjoying being semi-retired. It is a great pleasure to see them in their stables after they have had their supper as they nod off like the elderly ladies they are. I would hate to live without animals.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  


Some recent horsey events. Windsor Horse Show, a great day out- wish we’d had loads of money to spend at the tradestands! Claire saw the queen, I “misdrove” (well Hilary can mispeak after all) a mobility scooter. Our friend didn’t get placed despite us toasting her with champagne, the weather was beautiful.(Claire got fingermarks where she hadn’t been able to reach with her suncream, well it proves it works.)

On Saturday Getting Older Dressage (GODS) put on a pantomime for the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at Fulmer. Claire “rode” Black Beauty the pantomime pony. She was Lucinda Bloomin- Stony- Broke (very apt). The children loved it and Claire bonded so well with him she almost went to check on him after the show.

Our friends made amazing costumes and all the horses and ponies were wonderful. There were clowns, fairies, Star wars and the Strictly Come Prancing Competition(all on horseback apart from three clowns).

There were two RDA riders who put on individual shows of a very high standard. One girl only had one arm and the other had no legs and short arms.Very humbling. I imagine that as well as loving their riding, as we all do, they must get a sense of freedom and great achievement. The riders are only allowed stirrups if they have artificial legs (to stop the legs falling off). Their position in the saddle and the communication with their ponies showed up many able bodied riders, myself definately included. I think over £500 was raised from the sale of tickets and a raffle and everyone had fun.

I must get my finger out and make more effort to ride.




Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 1:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Death in the Family

Sadly, our little friend Pickle has died. He was a dear little guinea pig who squeaked a lot, making a noise that sounded like “weep,weep”. He was a good age and had lived on his own in a big hutch which he used to share with his dear friend, Punky, until he died and Mopsy the rabbit moved in. Sadly, she died too! She was a wonderful little black minature lop who lived to a ripe old age. She used to come indoors and climb up my husband’s trousers to get poppadums. (if we were having a curry!)

Now we only have two cats, two ponies and a dog. The ponies are off on their travels again on Saturday, we’re moving them to a yard which is nearer home. We’ll be sad to leave the yard we’re at at the moment but it should be easier for us to look after them,less gates and hills.(We do have lights there now and we really like the other people but it’s time to move on..)

The work on our house is nearly finished, thank goodness.

We’ve been on a couple of train trips recently, firstly a weekend in Scotland and then a day trip to Milford Haven. The Scotland trip was quite a marathon with rather too many coach journeys for my liking! It’s quite a feat when there’s a train load of people to discourge- five coach loads!

We went to Tobermory, which was very pretty. That weekend the Isle of Mull had a car rally so there were lots of motor racing types around. The racing takes place on roads which are closed to traffic but we saw lots of cars as the pit stop area was in Tobermory. Our coachdriver was very friendly and interesting, a born and bred Mullion, don’t know if that’s the correct term!

On the first day, we stopped in Penrith and went to Ullswater where we had a trip on a boat which was lovely. We also visited a castle and a fishing village near Stranrar over the weekend and went to New Lanark but the Tobermory trip was the best. Met a lovely policeman on the ferrry back from Mull, he kept Claire and I entertained for the whole journey.

I really must find a more suitable location for my computer, it’s uncomfortable and I have to keep gettting up to let members of the family through to the lounge.

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Retirement is getting closer

Well I wrote a longer post than usual and kept saving it but it got gobbled up and didn’t publish, except for the title and the tags. Annoying! Perhaps I do need to retire, especially as I can’t really remember what I was waffling on about!

I rode Apache on Saturday, just a little walk but lovely to be able to ride again. (Pain clinic specialist told me not to ride but I’m not taking any notice of that and besides the physio said it was fine).

Talking of physio, I went for assessment on Friday and managed to jigger up my neck/upper back which was a pain, literally.

Yesterday, however, Claire and I finally got around to going to the gym to get our programmes and it was actually quite enjoyable! Stoke Park Club is absolutely fabulous. It’s where Goldfinger was filmed although the Pavillion, where the health club is, wasn’t built then,it was all golf.

Jen is off to London to do some recording for a band today, hope that goes well, it’ll be nice if she can pick up some session work like that.

I’ve managed to kill off my second SPV M600, last time it was the calls, now it seems as if the phone has unaligned itself. Orange can see from their end that it’s knackered and they’re sending me a Sony Ericcson to try. I’ll have to have a new contract but it’ll still be premier which means I can upgrade in 9 months and I still get through to the helpline super quickly.I can’t fault Orange.
Talking of good service, sadly our vet is leaving. She’s been so good and I love the way my number is on her phone as Apache. (I’m hoping Apache hasn’t secretly got a mobile, because I don’t want any more bills)! Apparently the vets from the Royal Veterinary College rang her to ask how Apache was! She’s such a gentle pony, she’s put up with all this carry on and hasn’t needed to be sedated. All she does is donate pooh to the vets when they examine her. I think I’ll try and publish this now, as I don’t fancy losing another post.

Published in: on May 21, 2007 at 8:47 am  Comments (1)  

Good News

Apache is home! No need for the washout, the vets at the Royal Veterinary Hospital have found out what’s wrong with Apache! She has got endometriosis which has been brought on by a high oestrogen level because of a persistent follicle which hasn’t gone on to produce an egg.

They have given her something to contract her womb and something to sort out the follicle. She’s have to have another scan on Monday and more treatment at her next season.

My dear friend offered to take us to get Apache in her trailer. She borrowed her friend’s 4X4 and tried to hitch up the trailer without success. Turned out there was a cap that had to come off the tow knob. Off we went and all went well.

Apache came out of her stable and was keen to make her escape,especially when she saw some cows in a nearby field. She wasn’t going to hang around and have travel boots put on. My friend had kindly left out the partition so that Apache had lots of room. She had also left out the bar that goes across the front of the trailer.

Off we went, quite smoothly, and everything went well until someone in the middle lane told us we had a problem with a tyre.

We pulled on to the hard shoulder, which was quite scary, and Claire and my friend got out and had a good look around but couldn’t see anything wrong. Eventually, we managed to get back on to the road and Apache realised that she wasn’t going to get out so she kicked and wriggled around a bit. After a while, someone else tooted at us but we carried on because the tyres hadn’t been hot and couldn’t see anything amiss. We kept a close lookout in the mirrors and looked at other people in cars to see if they looked concerned but everything was fine.

We knew that , if we had to stop suddenly and get Apache out, we’d have to call the police. She could have run into the road. We carried on until we got off the motorway. As soon as we got onto a minor road we heard a nasty scraping noise and were able to diagnose the problem. The small wheel at the front of the trailer had been grounding due to Apache putting all her weight on to the front of the trailer. The little wheel was practically square! When Apache moved back in the trailer , the wheel came off the ground, that was why it wasn’t obvious what was wrong when we stopped. The moral of this story is, don’t go anywhere without attaching the bar. Luckily it wasn’t much further to go.

When we got back to the yard, we let Apache out of the trailer and took her to the field where she and Celeste had a touching reunion culminating in the two of them trotting round the perimeter of the field as if checking everything was as it should be. It’s so lovely to have her back ! It looks like I’ll even be able to ride again soon which is such good news!

We have another horse convalescing at the yard. Her name is April, she is a thoroughbred. She was on loan when she got a fungal infection which led to a bacterial infection which in turn led to her kidneys shutting down. She also had fits. She was taken to Newmarket and given intensive care. She now has a tube in her head which has to be flushed out with a large quantity of disinfectant and then something else , I think this will continue for another 3 weeks. The insurance will only cover half of the estimated £10,000 cost so far!

Away from the subject of horses, Claire and I went shopping in Reading yesterday. I have previously got a wheelchair from shopmobility and as we wanted to walk round quite a large area, we decided to go and borrow one again. This time we were loaned one of those little scooters, given minimal instructions, and not told what time to return.

I must say it was lovely to get about at a reasonable walking speed without having back pain.It took a while to get the hang of the controls but they were very easy once sussed. I did nudge a display a little which banged a lady in a shop but she was ok and accepted my apology. I was very embarrassed. I felt guilty for using the scooter because I suppose I tend to think that wheelchairs are for people who can’t walk and I can, slowly and with a stick.

After we finished our shopping, we headed back to shopmobility only to find it had closed three hours before! We took the scooter to the information desk and they took it away for us. Claire thought my riding on the scooter was hilarious! It certainly meant we got round a lot more shops and I would be tempted to have one again but whilst still feeling guilty.

Published in: on April 28, 2007 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  


Apache went to hospital yesterday as if she was going on holiday.Settled herself in to her hotel room all chirpy. She had a scan which wasn’t very conclusive so she had to stay in last night to have another scan and scope today. It’s not good news. Her uterus is distended and she’s still bleeding but the reason that the blood is altered is because it is building up in her womb and then coming out when it’s no longer fresh. So there’s a big risk of infection. If they wash out her uterus there’s a chance they can find the bleeding point and tie it off . Otherwise the washout may make things much worse, I suppose that means a hemorrhage.

If they don’t proceed , she may not be with us for long. The vets are going to speak to specialists tonight and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

Everyone is gunning for her and amazingly, she’s still bright. We’re not going to let her suffer. Not much more I can say at the moment.

Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 6:47 pm  Comments (3)  


We thought that Apache was better as she stopped bleeding and seemed fine.She finished her course of antibiotics (with strawberry yoghurt) and anti-inflammatories but the very next day,she started to bleed again. This time the blood was old and dark as if it had been stored up somewhere. The vets are mystified and she’s going to have to go to their hospital tomorrow to have a scan and scope. If appropriate, she’ll also have her uterus washed out and antibiotics instilled. She’s fine in herself and lots of people are looking after her and worrying about her. We’ll be packing her overnight bag with her medicines, yoghurt and her “bally” (which is a big red ball that you fill with pony nuts which trickle feed out when she pushes it around.) My friend, who used to share Apache, is going with her as I can’t really take more time off at the moment.

Yesterday the ponies had to be wormed and Claire had to do Celeste because she is difficult to worm. Claire had Cess’s tongue in one hand and the wormer in the other and they performed a dance round the stable till Claire finally manged to squirt the wormer in, Celeste then refused to look at Claire and was huffy with her for a little while. Luckily Apache takes hers very easily. It’s no good trying to hide wormer in Celeste’s food because she just wouldn’t eat it.

Tomorrow we will have to put Milly in with Celeste as she hates being on her own and will miss Apache.Milly is a pony who should have a children’s book written about her, she has a habit of escaping and wandering off in to other people’s fields. She achieves this by leaning on the fence, snapping a post and then climbing over the lower rail backwards. Sometimes she manages to get over the water trough. If she’s tied up at the rail she craves attention by putting her leg on the metal railing by the school and pretending it’s going to get stuck. Yesterday she and Celeste were mutual grooming over the fence and poor Milly literally bit off more than she could chew because she got mouthfuls of Celeste’s hair. Celeste, being an old girly, takes longer to shed her winter coat. When she rolls she leaves piles of white hair on the ground.

Things have settled down at home , thank goodness, I didn’t talk to my husband much for a couple of days but we’re back to normal now!

Published in: on April 22, 2007 at 3:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Can old ponies learn new tricks?

I am lucky enough to be able to afford to pay friends to look after my ponies. I can’t muck out any longer because of my back and general decrepitude and Claire can’t do the work everyday because of her long hours. At the moment , I have two friends who look after the girls, week on week off and it’s a great relief to me.

Yesterday my friend rang me and said that Celeste, who is 30+ years old, had ripped her outdoor rug. When I went up to the yard I saw for myself the good job she had made of it. A nice big rip along one side with stuffing coming out and shavings going in. Apache also had a small tear in her rug. We have recently had the paddocks divided up so there are some new fittings on the fences. I’m hoping that there isn’t some demon sharp something or other lurking out there waiting to attack more rugs. I also hope that Celeste hasn’t decided that rug ripping is fun.

We kitted Celeste up in a lighter weight rug with a thin one underneath. The thin one is a bit big and it looks like a droopy pair of drawers. Anyway at least she was warm and dry.

Yesterday Jen set off for a college photography trip to Venice. It’s the first time she’s been abroad. I expect that is unusual for a 19 year old these days. My husband has never flown and has no intention of ever doing so. I haven’t flown for 30 years ! We went and got euros and batteries and black and white film for one camera, (the other is digital). Apparently college has made arrangements to take developing equipment.

Jen doesn’t really know anyone on the trip so she’s taken books and 2 ipods . The other people on the trip are mostly a couple of years younger than her so she’ll probably go her own way or spend time with the lecturers.

Claire and I took her to Henley to get the coach. I have no idea how long the journey is, I hope it’s ok.

We then carried on to Peppard to a horsey shop to purchase a new rug for Celeste. She’s now got a lovely royal blue one with a nice neck cover to keep her neck clean and warm and dry. We left the other rug for cleaning and repair. All together rather a an expensive outing but we always used to say “Only the best for Celeste”.

After that Claire had to head off for work after a cold shower to wake herself up. Changing shifts from nights to days off to days to days off is quite hard for your body to adapt to.

On Friday I took Ralph to the groomer and she trimmed his ears so I can’t run my fingers through his curly hair anymore. He looks smart but I think I prefer them as they were. The idea was to avoid them getting matted up which they tend to do. the groomer always puts a little ribbon bow on the dogs’ collars when she’s done them, quite sweet really.

When I took him out for a walk in the rain yesterday , the rain seemed to reactivate the smell of the shampoo. I wondered if was relieved that he didn’t meet any other dogs as his doggy image might have tarnished!

Isn’t great, England have beaten Australia in the one day- ers! Amazing really as England have been rather crap at one day cricket for some time now.

It seems funny with no Jen till next Saturday but at least we should have more cutlery, crockery and clean towels available…

Now here’s a question. does anyone else have a black cat who always chooses something black to lie on? Sometimes Sooty (yeah, I know, very original) is so well camouflaged that you don’t notice her until she opens her beautiful green eyes.

We’re so lucky we have such lovely animals to share our lives with- yuck that sounds awful -but you know what I mean I’m sure!

Published in: on February 11, 2007 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lazy day

Didn’t get up till 10.30! Shock horror! Apart from going outside in the night to check that Jen’s car hadn’t been stolen. (This was because Ralph started barking and a car seemed to be on the drive, probably just turning round.)

Took Ralph out for his walk and he met four dogs but none of them were really in the mood to play.Buddy tried to run about but was feeling sore because he had gone off adventuring one morning and had scratched himself. Two were rather small and obviously thought Ralph was rather alarming and the other was a guest staying at Buddy’s house who was more interested in chewing up a stick. It was a beautiful day, really spring like.

It’s funny how you feel more tired when you’ve had a load of sleep. Nigel’s snoring in the chair and I’ve been lying on the bed cuddling Ralph.

I’m wondering how many people will be asking for bird flu vaccinations tomorrow. It’s been made very clear that such a thing is not available and won’t be until bird flu mutates. Mind you, you can understand why people get confused. There are two messages being given out a the moment, there’s an infinitesimal risk of the Suffolk outbreak spreading to people but if it did it would be very serious. After the foot and mouth debacle it’s not surprising people are unwilling to trust Defra. What was it called before? Can’t remember! Maybe the Ministry of Making a Collosal Cock Up and Killing Loads of Animals.

Trouble is, I can’t see the people of this country coping with anything that would affect their lifestyles. You’ve only got to see what supermarkets are like if there is even a whiff of a shortage. It’s the greatest way to sell something, saying it’s in short supply.

People cannot cope with symptoms for long either. There is very little allowing things to run their course or trusting nature to fix things. A few sneezes or a cough and it’s ” I must have an urgent appointment” (in between the hairdresser and the shopping)!

A cold is never a cold either it’s always flu . Flu is when you cannot get out of bed and walk across the road even if you are promised £1000 for doing so.

Oh dear, I seem to be getting on to my soapbox. It is odd though, isn’t it how a headache has to be called migraine, a cold flu, etc. Maybe it all dates back to getting extra care when you were little and you had something wrong, people want that sort of cherishing and feel they have to exaggerate to get it.

I meet quite a lot of 90 year olds in my job and when I think what they have lived through and how stoical they are, I wonder if anyone from my generation will last that long!

Sorry for the gloom and doom.

PS Can anyone define a ping?