Home sweet home

We’ve spent more time than usual at home recently, Skye may well be having her first season (it is difficult to be absolutely sure)but Tilly is definitely in season so there can be no mornings playing off lead in the park and no visits to doggy daycare. Since Tilly can jump almost any fence, even time in the garden must be supervised carefully and walks are planned for late evening when hopefully we meet few other dogs.

Both of the big dogs are therefore full of energy and need to be kept occupied as idle paws soon get into mischief. Skye managed to destroy my reading glasses in the time it took me to pay the window-cleaner on Monday and yesterday morning opened a cake tin and devoured about a quarter of a cake while I cleaned my teeth! I thought cake tins were pretty safe but she knocked it off the worktop and the lid flew off when it landed. Tilly meanwhile stole some bread one afternoon while I was at work and as it contains wheat suffered the consequences for a few days with a sore tummy.

Nino is improving a little, I think his pills are having an effect as he seems more alert and less confused than he was and is beginning to sleep a little better…hooray for that!

The spare bedroom is now empty, awaiting my son to move his bedroom furniture in there while his floor is removed to allow the rewiring of the dining room. It is a slow process as he is usually either working or socialising or mending his bike.  Once all the old furniture was removed I could still see the outline of the landscape scenery that was painted on the walls when we first moved here and it was a bedroom for a small boy. It has had a few coats of paint since then but you can still see the faint outline of the sea and sky. He loved that room and his sailing boat curtains and quilt but eventually of course grew out of both the room and the design so moved into the other bedroom. Once his room is rewired we will redecorate it as he’s outgrown the teenage colour scheme and replace some of the furniture and the carpet and then I can redecorate the spare room and transform it back to being a guest bedroom and sewing space. A good excuse to get out all the colour charts and enjoy the planning stage before the hard work begins!

Rites of passage

Skye has passed from being a puppy to being an adolescent today at the age of 11 months. We went to the park yesterday and were joined by a very attentive and enthusiastic big black labrador who spent a lot of time chasing Skye. When I got home I was thinking that maybe Tilly is due to come into season but instead it is Skye who is in heat today.Being so grown up is plainly a hungry business as she has been bringing her empty bowl to show me a few times after she’s eaten and occasionally resorts to trying to eat the bowl itself!

Growing old gracefully

Nino and I went to visit Karen, our lovely vet, today to ask her advice about his increasing dementia. He is fifteen years old, virtually deaf in both ears, his sight is now little more than light and shade, he has a heart murmur, Cushings disease and is very very confused. I had talked over the possibility that he might be reaching the point that his quality of life was suffering ,with my son and we had agreed to see what the vet thought we should do next to make his remaining years as good as possible. Karen helped me to fill out a questionaire to assess his various difficulties and having looked at it has prescribed Selgian – which should ease his confusion and help him relax. Nino was his usual stoical self at the vets and stood on the examining table looking like a small haystack on legs. He enjoyed the car ride and was very interested in the field of sheep beside the vets (his sense of smell is excellent), all the excitement tired him out so he had a good sleep when we got home. He is to try the medication for a month and then we will review the situation. In the meantime we are also giving him Manuka honey (very good for general health and he loves it) and have been advised to take him on short walks or car rides each day and to play simple games with him to stimulate his brain. We played hunt the banana chips this afternoon – he was very good at this game and wagged his tail a lot! Tilly is taking responsibility for getting him inside when he gets lost in the garden and does a fine job of  trying to herd him back to the door …he’s not always very compliant but I’m sure she will master the challenge.

A place for everything, everything in its place…

Many years ago I went to Denmark as an au-pair, I worked in a beautiful house in Kongens Lyngby. The owners were fairly well off, the husband owned his own company and worked long hours. His wife stayed at home, the children were grown up and lived away from home but they liked to have an au-pair to do light housework, help with cooking and do the shopping. To occupy herself she did a lot of beautiful embroidery and tapestry and introduced me to the Eva Rosenstand and Clara Waever embroidery shop. I bought a small bellpull kit with a design of birds and plants to be embroidered on linen. When we returned to the house she showed me her embroidery supplies which lived in a beautiful sewing table. The table was coffee table height, had a drawer to hold thread, scissors and needles and a basket below to hold work in progress. I loved the table and in the years since then have often looked for a similar one. I have seen many over the years, either in very poor condition or in good condition but with a ridiculous price tag attached, then a couple of weeks ago I began watching one on a Scandinavian auction site, the price kept climbing and the shipping cost was prohibitive but the website gave me some more information about the table. It was designed in 1950 by Hans Wegner and made by a company called Andreas Tuck. Armed with this new information I did a websearch and found some images of the table. One of the images was on a website offering props for hire to theatrical companies so on an off chance I phoned the owner and asked if he’d consider selling the table. He said he had planned to keep it but would sell it if I was interested in it.He was coming up to a family occasion in Cumbria this weekend and could deliver it too. So this afternoon I became the very happy owner of a Hans Wegner AT33 Sy-bord (sewing-table). I am having to be patient and not fill it with lovely sewing things until I find an appropriate place for it to live but I am delighted to think that my knitting will soon be safe from puppy games and my hand sewing supplies will be neatly arranged and near at hand. I may even take up hand embroidery again!