Tuesday, 25 October 2016


It is with much sadness that I have to tell you that Carol and Dave's lurcher Tinker passed away peacefully today.

Carol and Dave have had such a tough year having lost Eric their lurcher just five months ago in May. Eric and Tinker were such great friends and it would be nice to think they are together again. It was Tinker's time to pass as recently she had been suffering with dementia. Needless to say Carol and Dave are heartbroken.

Tinker had been Eric's companion for the last eight years after Carol and Dave adopted her from the greyhound rescue they are involved with. They were told at the time that Tinker was eight years old and it was obvious that she hadn't had the best life.  She certainly landed on her paws in her new home and discovered love and kindness. She coped well with having just one eye and she learned how to have fun.

I love this photo of Tinker with Eric in happier times. 

Run free together at the Rainbow Bridge, Eric and Tinker.

Sunday, 23 October 2016


Martyn had his surgical clips removed at our doctor's surgery on Friday. When I went to make the appointment I had to take a letter which was meant for the doctor.  I was told they didn't have any clip removers, they gave me the letter back and I had to traipse up to the local hospital to get some. I wasn't sure if I was going to the right department, what I was supposed to be collecting or even if they would hand some over.  I needn't have worried but the nurse at the hospital thought it was funny that the doctor's surgery didn't have any but went to get some for me anyway. They were just some plastic, disposable scissors with a blade.  Anyway,  Martyn's scar is all neat and tidy and has healed well.

While Martyn was supposed to be taking things easy,  he vacuumed the carpets for me while I was out walking Annie! I decided if he was going to carry on being naughty I'd order him a lightweight, cordless vacuum cleaner, and I chose the animal.   It was expensive but worth it and we had next day delivery too which was very handy. Anything to make life hassle-free :)

Saturday, 15 October 2016


I had a parcel delivered the other day which was a complete surprise as I hadn't ordered anything. The delivery man told me there was a note on the parcel and asked with a big grin if I had a birthday coming up. Carol's note said "Birthday present for Mum".

Along with the birthday present and card were some gifts she had bought for us on her recent visit to Berlin. It wasn't her first visit to Berlin as she really loves it there. She witnessed something truly shocking this time and we haven't seen her since her return to give her a great big hug. She is such a strong character and she has told us she is OK and the incident won't prevent her from visiting again.

I thought I would share these very thoughtful gifts with you. Four bars of chocolate, I really love rum chocolate, rum truffles, rum and raisin ice cream , rum babas you get the picture. A Berlin coffee to go travel mug which needs no further explanation and there were treats for Annie, she'll really enjoy those I'm sure :)

I've saved the best till last I'm sure you'll agree. She found these poo bags in a German supermarket :)

It isn't my birthday until later in the month but unfortunately Carol and Dave are reluctant to visit because Annie didn't get along with Molly when they first met. I think Annie is just very territorial and objected to an unfamiliar dog wandering around her house. Annie has never been keen on Tinker to be honest but over the years has reluctantly accepted her. They all got along fine in the park but back in the house Annie was definitely looking to cause some aggro and we don't want any of them to get hurt.

This blog post is a big thank you to our daughter and son-in-law who were  literally prepared to go that extra mile for us this week. Martyn had his operation in a hospital on the Wirral but when it came to coming home Martyn thought his transport had let him down and phoned to say he didn't know what he was going to do. At the same time I was speaking with Carol over the internet and without hesitation Dave set out from his home in Stoke to pick Martyn up to bring him to our home. I think it would have been a round journey of something like 175 miles. As it turned out Dave had just set off when the hospital phoned to tell me Martyn's transport had turned up after all. Carol then relayed the message to Dave that he could return home, luckily he hadn't travelled very far. We can't thank them enough for what they were prepared to do for us. Martyn is fine and quietly recuperating at home with no further stress we hope and he'll be better in time to celebrate my birthday :)

Thursday, 13 October 2016


I am thrilled to have been awarded the Liebster award from The Captain, thank you so much Captain Kirt. The Captain blogs about his daily life, his wife and daughters, his likes and dislikes. He's a keen cyclist, a Star Trek fan and loves holidaying in Wales. He's a very honest blogger and I have more in common with him than he realises.

My favourite blog is called not meat loaf again! although I've never asked Chocolat Lover why she gave it that name. CL and I have been blogging friends for a long time, her huband James began commenting on my blog way back in the early days when I blogged about my job as a shop manager.
CL once sent me some chopsticks as a prize and so we have each others addresses which is great for sending cards for birthdays and Christmases. I was very surprised when CL announced she was expecting a baby and I feel honoured to be an onlooker as Evie grows up and I almost feel like I could be an auntie :)

I have to answer 10 questions and these are the questions The Captain asked:

1 - Why did you start blogging?  
My son  urged me to start blogging way back in 2005 and helped me to get one started. I've had a few blogs along the way as he has, but he always encourages me to keep on blogging.
2 - If you were a time traveler, would you go forwards or backwards?
I'd definitely go backwards as I feel like I was born in the wrong era. I feel lost with modern gadgets and social media.
3 - What is your idea of a great evening? 
We don't go out much and so I like to curl up with my dog Annie, a Sudoku puzzle book and watch the soaps in front of the fire.
4 - Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
I wouldn't be like to stuck in a lift.
5 - What scares you, I mean really scares you?
I'm a very bad passenger and driver and don't like speed. I do enjoy watching Formula 1 for some strange reason.
6 - If you were a cartoon character which one would you be?
Martyn is a collector of Dandy and Beano figurines so I'd like to be one of the Bash Street Kids.
7 - If you won the lottery (or came into a large sum of money) what would you go out and buy first? 
A house with a big enclosed garden and no close neighbours.
8 -When you're in the car alone (if you don't drive then think of a similar circumstance where you're alone with a radio) what would you turn the radio on to?
Radio City,  I like Paddy McGuinness on there, he makes me laugh.
9 - Star Wars or Star Trek? 
It has to be Star Wars. We bought our son many, many figures and  toys when he was growing up and he is still a huge Star Wars fan. We gave all his collection to a friend for his grandson when our son got married and left home. They would be much sought after now and worth a fortune no doubt.
10 - Gravy or no gravy?
Gravy no question.

and now I'm going to answer Chocolat Lover's  ten questions

1 - what is your favourite chocolate bar?
I love Kit Kat Chunkys, I've always got some in the fridge.
2 - what colour eyes have you got?
Blue eyes. 
3 - do you prefer cats or dogs?
Dogs, did you really have to ask :)
4 - drink in or take out?
Both. If I can't take Annie into a cafe I will have a coffee to go :)
5 - who is your favourite band?
I was always a Beatles fan but I can't say I have a favourite band now. 
6 - what colour describes you best?
Red as it's an intense colour.
7 - what is your favourite smell?
I like the smell of leather. If I'm looking at handbags I have to smell them first.
8 - describe the cup you drink your first cuppa from?
It's one I bought for Carol but she didn't want it. I've had it for about fifteen years and if it got broken I'd be most upset.
9 - what do you collect?
I don't collect anything, Martyn is the collector in our house.
10 - what socks are you wearing?
None. I don't wear socks unless it's really cold. 

Now I get to name the blogs that deserve the award.

Fisrtly, these first three blogs are linked

ann's art@studiohyde - this is Ann's art blog with a link to her Etsy shop where she sells her lovely sketches and watercolours. She blogs about all the interesting places she visits with her husband and lurcher William.

Sketching William the lurcher - Ann's daily sketch of her lurcher William, he's nine years old today.

William the lurcher - William has his own blog and posts photos of his many adventures

Secondly, these two blogs are linked.

A Tent, A Caravan, 4 Wheels And Me - Eunice's blog of her many solo camping trips with her two terriers Sophie and Poppie.

Life In The Mouse House - Eunice's new blog about anything that takes her fancy. She's an animal lover and collector of ornamental mice.

The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016 can be found here

All that is left is for me to set ten questions.

1 - Are you usually late, early or right on time?
2 - What makes you bored?
3 - Are you a good judge of character?
4 - Do you sing in the shower?
5 - Can you keep a secret?
6 - What colour ink do you prefer to write with?
7 - Tea, coffee or hot chocolate?
8 - Do you believe in ghosts?
9 - If you had a boat what name would you give it?
10 - Do you like clowns?

I think that about wraps it up. I look forward to your answers.

Monday, 10 October 2016


Yesterday I wrote a letter to our solicitor telling him we want to proceed but have no intention of paying legal costs to the housing association. It'll be interesting to see what happens next. Our solicitor has two offices and we were instructed to reply to the main office ,so after putting the letter through the letterbox I took Annie to the park.

It was a nice, calm morning but with a chill in the air. I walked down the grassy slope towards the lake where tables were set up with several radio control boats. I had to walk past a group of people playing rounders with a tennis ball. The ball landed close to my feet and so I picked it up and threw it back to the group. That was a cue for Annie to chase the ball :) I shouted her to leave it and steered her away. I watched the boats on the lake for a while before heading to the cafe for a hot cup of coffee and a toasted teacake. I couldn't resist taking a photo of Annie watching the rounders' game wishing she could join in :-)

Taking Annie to this park made for a pleasant Sunday morning. We have been taking her down to the beach now that the summertime dog restrictions have been lifted and Martyn made an accurate observation, there are more people on the beach now than there have been all summer!

I thought I might show you a photo of the piece of our garden that has caused the dispute and try to explain what is going on.

You can see in this photo the fence and our old gate between the two houses. This fence encloses our garden and the gate is the entrance to our garden. Originally we were given seven days to remove the fence and items in that area but that would have opened up our garden but still not give them access to their garden. I should explain they do have their own garden gate and access to their own garden.  The long fence between the two gardens ends in an L -shape onto their house wall and it's this small area in-between the fences where our bins are kept which is in dispute. This long boundary fence should not have ended where it did and if it had been carried on then it would have been correct to the plans and they would have been able to walk all the way around their house and as detached houses you would expect them to be able to do that. This is what the argument is all about.

The very first owner of the property never mentioned it and it was never a problem to them or to us. The problem arose with the previous owner's complaints and now the new owners are complaining but they are well out of time to claim back this small piece of land in the legal sense. You can just about see that the boundary fence is also in need of replacement which I think is going to become another problem for us.

Sunday, 9 October 2016


You may remember this post way back in March when we had a new gate fitted. Our neighbour had been to our home threatening us with legal action to lay claim to part of our garden. Their house was up for sale at that time and just to update you, the house was sold the following month to a housing association.

The day after completion the new owners sent us a letter requesting that we remove the fence and gate to our garden and gave us seven days to do so claiming that we had erected this fence which was obstructing access to their property, which we hadn't and it wasn't. This was the original fence as erected by the builders before we bought our house as a new build twenty years ago. In this letter they did point out that the boundary was different from the title plan and while we agreed this was the case, it was exactly as we had bought the house and land twenty years ago. There is a small piece of land that is in dispute.

We decided that we needed the help of a solicitor and fortunately we had an aeriel photograph which we bought a couple of years after we moved in, one advantage of living on a new estate and buying from cold callers at the door! Looking back through our own photographs we found one of our house which still had the sold sign on the front of the house and the fence is clearly visible. We took these photographs as proof to our solicitor along with a copy of the title plan.

The housing association responded with some demands that we re-register the title plan and pay all associated costs. At this point they said that if we did not comply they would dispute the boundaries through the legal system.

Thanks to our solicitor, the housing association then accepted that the piece of land was ours and agreed to the boundary amendment. Our solicitor then set about re-registering the title plan but thought that as the housing association raised the dispute that they should bear their own legal costs.

Now we've been told it's very likely that the housing association won't deal with the transfer unless we pay their costs. So this is where we are six months down the line, not much further forward and our solicitor is asking if we wish him to proceed. We've settled two bills with our solicitor already and I can't tell you how  angry and frustrated we feel, but after much discussion we have decided we are going to carry on the fight!

Sunday, 2 October 2016


Martyn had his pre-operation tests done last week and all being well will have his operation next week and then he'll be grounded for a couple of weeks while he recovers. With that in mind we thought we might have a couple of days out beforehand. We'd promised ourselves we would do this again but go up by bus rather than take the tram after discovering there was a car park at the summit and a bus stop. The bus service is hourly and better still we could use our bus passes and travel for free.

I'd foolishly gone out in just a short sleeved top and gilet and as I discovered, there was a definite autumnal chill in the air so I had to buy myself a cardigan before catching the bus.  I have to share this little tale with you. I was waiting with Annie outside the public toilets and I got talking to the lady toilet attendant. She was admiring Annie and told me she used to have a scruffy dog, quite similar to Annie that she took to work with her.  She said the locals nicknamed him "bog brush".  I thought that was quite funny but at the same time I felt strangely offended :)

We went to wait for the bus and once again while waiting in the bus shelter I got talking to a couple and the man announced he thought a spot of rain had landed on his glasses. The next thing you know we could see a sheet of rain actually approaching us and my goodness it really threw it down. We debated if we should get on the bus at all and risk getting soaked at our destination or forget the bus and wait for the rain to stop.  Anyway, the other couple got on the bus and so did we. When we got off the bus fifteen minutes later, you wouldn't even know it had rained, the ground was dry and there was a nice blue sky and fluffy, white clouds. Very strange indeed.

It had never been our intention to have a picnic but to go for a meal in the cafe which is dog-friendly. We also spent some time in the visitor centre and I bought a gift in the shop which will be my very first stocking filler for Christmas.

Talking of Christmas I actually bought my Christmas puddings in September and I got exactly the same reaction at the till as I did last year which was "you're starting early".  Nothing wrong with planning ahead, I can prepare for most things apart from the weather it seems :)