Weekly Blog No 102 – Local Dog Show

Yesterday we went to a local dog show with the hope that we could enter Lottie into some of the categories. Oh my, it was a dog fest with more cross breeds than pedigrees. Dont they say owners can look like their pets, maybe there is some truth in that saying.

We entered Lottie into 2 categories as the rain looked promising. 1. Prettiest Bitch and 2. Best Crossbreed.  There was 5 rosettes to be won in each category.  I actually did think Lottie would win one in the prettiest bitch category as everyone was saying how pretty she was. We had people stop us to stroke Lottie. Yet she didn’t win in either category. Never mind there is always next year.

The event was good fun and proves that people are very passionate about their pets. The grey sky never put a hindrance on the day and the show went on even when there was a sprinkle of rain. Enjoy looking at some of pets who attended the day. X

Weekly Blog No 86 – Happy 6th Birthday Lottie

20160102_112937561074

Lottie’s annual message.

Wow it’s my 6th birthday. Let me tell you about my last year. I’ve been back in the UK for over 12 months now and I have adjusted very well. Can’t say I love the rain, I still prefer the snow. Who invented rain anyway and what is it’s purpose? I still don’t like my coat getting wet, I hate looking like a drenched rat and half my size. They should do dog umbrellas!!!

I attend doggy day care for socialising, whilst my human mum attends her hospital appointments. I have a few friends now at the kennels. One of them is Mitzi, she’s a chihuahua. I do a lot of chasing with her. Boy am I tired after, its like a months workout for humans.

img_2490-jpg1561079

I have developed an obsession for neighbours cat (Timmy) next door. Timmy likes to cross over my garden to get to his. He leaps over the fence and makes me jump out of  my skin. I do see a cat at the local car wash but that cat doesn’t bother me, we just do a stare off. Timmy on the other hand insists on teasing me through the patio doors walking over my territory. Dam cat.

I love my groomer Sophie, she does a great job and makes me smell beautiful, however my dad has a habit of going too far with my haircuts. My human mum likes me looking adorably cute and my human dad gets carried away on the hair on my face being too short and trying to make me look like a Jack Russell.

20160418_100422

It’s quiet funny hearing my human mum say after a haircut ” what have you done to my dog, poor Lottie”. However to me it means more fuss and I’m not going to say no, to more snuggles and cuddles.

As you know, UK drive thru’s are not much fun, like they were in Canada. Therefore my human dad does take me to the local bakery on Saturday and the women adore me. Therefore I go into my cuteness mode and walk out with a sausage every time. I do get heaps of cuddle & fuss.

img_3569561084

I’m still all over my human mum, she’s my snuggle blanket, however my human dad is the Santa of treats. They do eat some exciting stuff, my nose is constantly being tormented by my human mums cooking. I do love chicken though and if I had springs on my paws, I would snatch the chicken away. Why does chicken taste so good.

That’s all for this year, maybe I will get some chicken as its my birthday.

img_3508561089

Weekly Blog No 83 – Movies

image

Today as I’m starting to feel a little better than my NORMAL, so we decided to go the cinema to see Jason Bourne. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to leave the house due to symptoms. I managed to get through the whole movie without any serious symptoms. I am very tired but it is butt dart day tomorrow.

The cinema experience is very different in Canada, far more leg room, comfy chairs and amazing food choice. Unlike the UK, less leg room, semi comfy chairs, unlimited food choice and seriously overpriced. However Canada doesn’t do sweet popcorn it’s either salted or butter, which has never appealed to me or Mr Zebrakat. Armed with sweet popcorn, pick & mix and cold drinks, we were ready to go and watch some action.

image

Matt Damon aka Jason Bourne has never failed in his action packed movies. Another great story and I’m sure he’s going to be back again at some point with another sequel.

 

Weekly Blog No 80 – Cancer Update

image

I have not been keeping up on my weekly blog due to ongoing issues. My symptoms are relentless sometimes and can be from morning and continue throughout the night.

2 weeks today, I had a colonoscopy and I am waiting for the biopsy results. The bowel prep wasn’t wonderful but eating lighter meals for a few days before the procedure certainly helped. In Canada, you don’t remember the procedure that you had, which I thought was amazing. In the UK, even though the right drugs are given, you’re very much awake and you can feel some discomfort. I would love to be time machined back to Canada for this procedure. How can 2 country’s be so different. The GI Consultant knew I had a bad experience before in UK and he saw it, as a challenge to wipe away my bad experience. He was amazing and very compassionate.

The following morning I was seen by a Net Consultant not my usual Net Consultant and I will say he was greatly missed. Let’s just say fish & chips can work in harmony, where this one was more of a case of salad & chips, not so harmonious.

After digesting my salad & chips appointment, I did telephone the department and ask for a fish & chips in future.  I don’t need to be considering side orders if  it has no beneficial impact to my health or immediate care. You may think a side order of beetroot is good for me but it’s not advantaguous to me

I did walk away armed with medication and more investigations to be undertaken. I will start scans again next weekend, let’s hope there is a positive outcome

In the meantime, the Net Specialist Nurse arranged for a Macmillan Nurse to see me for symptom control. She was a breath of fresh air. More like caviar & chips lol. She has made further changes to my meds, including ones I already commenced last week.

She is arranging for a Specialist to see me at home to explore some more of my symptoms. The Macmillan Nurse is going to check in with me again early this week. I did thank the Net Specialist Nurse because local support is required when symptoms are ongoing.

My Family Physician has also referred me to be seen by a Gynaecologist on the request of the Net Team. I had a hysterectomy early 30’s but retained my ovaries. I’m having some pain in the pelvic area, we know  I have disease in the pelvic area so we going to investigate carcinoid ovary or it could just be a case of cysts on the ovary’s. Let’s see what happens.

Overall there are lots going on, I definitely  feel like I’m declining, however I look ok. Appearance is not everything. My medication represents a very sick person but it’s not out on show. Therefore there is no telltale signs. I like to think I just get on with it but having the Macmillan Nurse acknowledge your illness certainly makes you more aware that you really are ill and that is why these people are here. I will stress these visits are only for symptom support not end of life support.

Here’s a link to the Macmillan Nurse and the service they offer. They are the most compassionate caring people. My Macmillan nurse even  hugged me goodbye on out first meeting. She wanted to keep Lottie too but that wasn’t going to happen. Lol

Weekly Blog No 72 – The Grand National

Grand National

The Grand National is an annual steeplechase event held at Aintree, Liverpool, UK. The racecourse is approximately 4 miles/3 1/2 furlongs and 30 fences. The event started in 1839, therefore it’s not far off being nearly 200 years old. This annual event is older than some countries. I understand that this event is shown all around the world, however I have never seen it televised in Canada.

The Grand National Racecourse

The racecourse has some challenging fences including Bechers Brook, The Chair and The Canal Turn. About 40 horses run the race and the jockeys are mainly men, however woman are taking on the challenge too. I believe it was 1977 when the first woman jockey rode in the Grand National. The most successful placing for a woman jockey is Katie Walsh who came 3rd place on Seabass in 2013. The prize fund last year was estimated to be £1 million and the winner was “Many Clouds” a favourite to win this year as well.

KatieWalsh JockeyKatie Walsh

The Grand National is betting shops sugar fix for the year as non betters generate their one or only bet of the year. The whole nation seems to make a bet or will get involved in workplace sweepstakes. You can guarantee if you wanted to shop in peace and quiet with no queues this is the time to do it. Everyone else will be sitting in front of a television at home, work or a pub enjoying the atmosphere.

Friday was Ladies Day at Aintree, here is a photo of the fashion.

Fashion at Aintree

Have you made a bet this year?

I think “Saint Are” or “Last Samuri” to win and each way bets would be “Many Clouds”, “Holywell” and “Morning Glory”.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Blog No 69 – Reading Books

image

Books are a marvellous pastime of mine. I do have my own little library and assortment of books from fiction to construction.

My personal library has been back and forth to Canada with me. I believe I brought back about 300 books on my return to the UK last year and I’m sure its nothing to some peoples collections. The UK retail pricing for books is outstanding compared to Canada.  I can buy 3 paperback books for the same price as one in Canada. I’m grateful to the UK for competitive pricing. I have since added more paper hoarding to the collection and seem to have added more in the 8 months in the UK than my whole 6 years in Canada.

I have attempted this blog like a Q&A scenario for a change

Who is your favourite author and why?

I have to say Dilly Court, she also writes under the name of Lily Baxter. I have only read Dilly Courts books to date. She has me completely immersed in her work from start to finish. She is consistent, I’ve enjoyed every book so far.

What was the last book you read?

“Ragged Rose” by Dilly Court published Feb 2016, so you will find it on bookshelves now. A story of secrets, heartache, poverty, love and 20th century history. Incredible read.

Which book are you presently reading? 

“Me Me Me” by Charlotte Crosby

The book is about Charlotte’s life as a child leading into her reality tv career on Geordie Shore. I know Charlotte is like marmite, you either love her or you don’t. I do find her hilarious and her one liners always has me in giggles. I would give her parents a trophy for their dedicated love & support for their daughter.

Your reading material does seem quiet varied?

Yes that is very true, my genres are from historical romance, autobiographies to true crime only to name a few. I would say that I consider myself diverse but not diverse enough.

What other authors do you read?

Katie Flynn

Maureen Lee

Pam Weaver

Rosie Goodwin

Gemma Townley

Danielle Steel

Your choice of authors seems more about historical romance?

I do enjoy cultural history, a lot of my reading material does involve the Irish, which I can relate to coming from an Irish Catholic family.  I am extremely passionate about history so by reading this material, I do learn something new too and widen my knowledge base.

You also said you read autographies too, why?

I love to read about life experience,  good or bad. No one has a perfect life. We all tend to make a lot of assumptions about things and people, therefore reading these types of books can broaden your opinion to be more open-minded.

Is there any books that you read recently that touched you in some way ?

Yes most definitely  “Sins of the mother ” by  Irene Kelly

OMG the book had me in tears, what an incredible woman on so many levels. She deserves happiness and her family too and I hope she is achieving that.

This is one book that I would give to people who are constantly negative about their life and don’t appreciate what they have now or had previously.

Is there any books you are waiting to be published?

Yes last year I read “The New Arrival” by Sarah Beeson MBE

Again amazing insight into nursing in the 70’s and how her career developed arriving in Hackney, London from Staffordshire. A dedicated nurse who writes about her career progression. The follow up book is going to be the next stage in her career.

Do you have a favourite book?

Yes, ” The diary of a young girl” by Anne Frank. It should be on every child/adults reading list.

Do you prefer a book or e-book reader?

I like a physical book but I do like an e-book reader when I’m on holiday for convenience. I could not bring myself to read all books on a e-book reader, call me old-fashioned at heart.

Are you likely to read a book and then watch the movie or vice versa?

No not anymore. I had read the book “lovely bones” by Alice Sebold. I bought the book after seeing it on Richard & Judy’s Book List, it was a great book. I was so disappointed when I had watched the movie. I’m sure if I hadn’t read the book and had just watched the movie instead, there wouldn’t have been an issue. I kept comparing the movie to the book. Following that movie, if I have read the book I won’t go see the movie or if I have seen the movie I won’t read the book.

Is there any books that have captured the world, which you haven’t read?

Yes Harry Potter collection, which has never caught my desire.

Another one is ” Fifty shades of grey” by E L James. I think I’m the only person that hasn’t read this book.  I just don’t have the craving to read this book although I have heard mixed reviews.

I am open to new authors or books, which you would recommend. Please send me your recommendations.