Just walking in the rain…



Photo by D.Sharon Pruitt

We have had torrential rain today; an Amber Weather Alert, no less, according to the BBC news. Unfortunately dogs need walks come rain or shine and Tilly and Skye need one good walk each and some garden play on a good day and a couple of walks each otherwise. This morning’s walks were wet but the park wasn’t too waterlogged and we managed most of it between showers. Not so this afternoon, Skye went out first and just as we entered the park the heavens opened, the paths soon developed puddles at least an inch deep and the grass began to take on that suspiciously shiny look which means it is very, very wet. Walking in the rain isn’t exactly my favourite activity but bundled up in good wellies, jeans and waterproof jacket I was ok though muttering a bit about this being the longest day and supposedly summertime. Then I looked at Skye, wet through, but gloriously happy investigating puddles, looking up at the dripping trees with interest, chasing birds with delight …just plain happy. She is the happiest dog I’ve ever known, she wakes each day with such joy and greets every morning with merriment. She loves everyone and is convinced that everyone loves her, her enthusiasm for every experience is boundless even visits to the vet – she loves the vet, she loves the nurses and she accepts her injections, drops etc with no fuss because she knows she’ll get a treat afterwards (she even loves dried liver !) When we got home after an hour or so she loved being dried with a big towel and happily went to her bed with a Kong full of food while I took Tilly out.

Tilly approaches life quite differently, she is cautious and wasn’t convinced that a walk in the rain was a good idea but she plodded along beside me because she is a good dog and that’s what good dogs do. She got a bit more enthusiastic when we got to the park, though she eyed the pools on the grass with suspicion. Then she found the perfect stick, (yes, yes I know sticks are dangerous. We have the rubber safestix one but a real wooden stick is much superior in Tilly’s eyes) and she changed her outlook completely. Who cared that it was pouring, that the puddles were up to her knees she had a stick and a human who would throw it for her. Tilly lives to chase and retreive objects, balls, sticks, raggies …she loves them all. She played with the stick until we were both tired and then carefully placed it by the park gates in the hope that it will be there tomorrow and we splashed home. She isn’t keen on being dried but even she accepted that a warm towel might be worth tolerating today.

We all curled up in front of the fire, the dogs to snooze and me to watch a soppy film. Looking back on the afternoon it occured to me that I had just spent the best part of three hours out in wet windy weather but I had actually enjoyed it because I had shared the dogs’ enjoyment.


Home suitability visit

At the renal clinic today I got the news that I am to recieve a home visit to assess the suitability of our house for home dialysis, from what I can gather this mainly involves looking at the plumbing and wiring and space available rather than tidiness and cleanliness thankfully! Once that is done, if the house passes muster, I can then go on the list for training to dialyse at home and according to the consultant should be starting dialysis before the end of the year. If I could find a live kidney donor in the meantime they would transplant me in preference to starting dialysis but that looks unlikely so preparations to dialyse will be set in motion. Although not something I’m looking forward to it does seem like a step in the right direction rather than not knowing what is happening next.

Last week I managed to break a finger, by getting it caught in a ring on the dog’s lead as she leapt forward – apart from the obvious painfulness of the bone and the accompanying cut it is a pain in the neck as I can’t knit, sew, or hold a mug of tea in my right hand. Initially the damaged finger was strapped to the one next to it but I found that more difficult to deal with so yesterday I gingerly undid the bandages, improvised a splint from a lolly stick and bandaged it up again. It is much more comfortable and allows me to move the rest of my fingers normally, useful as I’m in the middle of writing end of year reports!

Painty days

Today I had a day of wall painting, minus the dogs as I used a voucher given to me on my birthday to send them to daycare for the day. It was very strange to come home after dropping them off to a house devoid of dogs, usually Nino would have been here to bumble around amongst the paint tins, share a sandwich with me at lunch time and steal my cups of tea. However I pulled myself together and got the ladders and paint brushes out and got on with the task in hand, while muttering to myself that what this house really needs is another Border Terrier! (Image from Alex Clark Prints.) Day two of the Dulux EcoSense paint saw me having to make two trips back to the DIY shop for more paint – I used the first 2.5 litres on one coat for three walls, got a second tin which did the final wall, mainly window, and second coat on one and a half walls so had to buy a third tin to finish the second coat on the remaining walls. That is almost 7.5litres for an average sized room with a large bay window so despite its good qualities of low odour and matt finish I doubt I’ll buy any more of it. The Ecos paint I usually use is much more economical. Despite that small grumble I am pleased with the wall colour and enjoyed doing the decorating. Changing a room just by painting the walls is a satisfying occupation. The sun shone most of the day so the old curtains have been washed and almost dried outside, they are draped across the drying rack near the Everhot tonight to finish drying and can go back up until I make the new curtains. By the time I finished the last bit of painting it was time to go and pick up the dogs, they had enjoyed a lovely day of playing and running around with their pals. The main road is very busy with roadworks so we came home the back way past the alpaca farm. Sadly the alpacas were nowhere to be seen today, all we saw was a herd of cows which were mooing loudly – Skye looked quite concerned as they were hanging over the fence very close to the car.

Bank Holiday Blues

In true British fashion I have spent the Bank Holidays decorating. Yesterday I bought a can of Magic Paint – not as exciting as it sounds it is merely white paint which when wet is pink but dries to the usual brilliant white. It makes painting a ceiling especially a ceiling with swirly Anaglypta paper much easier as you can see where you have already painted so don’t miss bits. I hate finishing painting and then noticing the gaps! Unfortunately despite its Low VOC rating it had a very unpleasant smell which lingered all night and through today despite the bowls of bicarbonate of soda on the mantlepiece. The walls were going to be Favourite China blue – lovely in the tester pot but it looked quite different on the walls – too dark and too bedroomy so I’ll save it to repaint my bedroom another time. I looked at a few more blues, got some more sample pots but couldn’t find anything I liked. The big tin of Ecos Paints pale blue tint which we used last time had unfortunately separated and would not paint evenly so it was back to the drawing board. Ecos Paints are shut today and take at least 24 hours to deliver so I bit the bullet and bought Dulux EcoSense paint in Natural Calico (cream in other words!) I’ve read varying reviews of EcoSense paint so I was interested to see if it came up to expectations. It is certainly virtually odour free and covered both the unsuccsessful blue and the original colour well and evenly. I like the colour and it will blend well with the curtain fabric I’ve chosen,  Mylor Stripe a Laura Ashley linen fabric.

Tomorrow the dogs are off to daycare so I can get the remainder of the walls and the skirting boards and windowsills painted without help. Skye is currently sporting lovely Natural Calico ears having got too close to a wet wall this afternoon!