Farewell to 2011

New Year’s Eve already, a time to look back and think about the past year and to look forward to 2012. So much happened last year, most of it good and some of it sad

The lovely and gentle Charlie Bear died, although he only lived with us for six months he was very much a part of the family and he left a big space in our lives….so








we got Skye, a lovely black German Shepherd puppy







who got bigger and bigger and bigger








After ten long months we got Tilly back. We were so happy to see her and she was so happy to be home again.







Nino is still with us despite being so ill during the summer and developing dementia. He is a very confused little dog but still enjoys his food and a wee walk round the block if it isn’t too cold. He seems to like watching the other dogs playing but has no interest in joining in.






The kitchen cupboards were built , flooring installed and blinds put up at the windows.





I did lots of cooking both before and after the kitchen was installed, especially jam making which I love doing. The picture shows less than half the jars of jam I made, I donated most to the MacMillan Coffee morning to raise funds for MacMillan nurses.




I survived another year without dialysis, had to have my dialysis access fistula repaired and was accepted onto the renal transplant list, I had a few problems with my heart again and have to have some more tests but otherwise stayed relatively healthy.

I knitted lots of things… eight baby cardigans, a baby coat, three necklace and bracelet sets, five pairs of fingerless gloves,numerous pairs of socks, three pairs of pulsvarmers, two pairs of gloves, a couple of scarves, a hat and part of a blanket.

I didn’t do much sewing and as a result have far too much fabric sitting in cupboards. I went on a quilting course and have a quilt still to finish I’m ashamed to say.

I did even less gardening but we did get a wonderful lawnmower that is easy for me to push so I did manage to cut the lawns fairly regularly. The garden has been so wet over the summer and autumn that it now resembles a muddy mess but hopefully when it dries out in spring we can restore the lawn and sort out the flowerbeds.

We sold the pretty blue Saab and bought a beautiful Ruby Saab. We had a garage built. My son got a Harley Davidson motorbike, in bits and put it together.

I walked a lot and cycled a little .

I watched Forbrydelsen (The Killing) on TV and enjoyed it, I gave up watching most other TV because it has become less and less interesting but I renewed my aquaintance with the radio and the CD player and have discovered the joys of listening to audiobooks while waiting for hospital appointments.

All in all it has been a good year and I have managed to do most of what I planned to do. Tomorrow I’ll make some plans for the new year!






Restoring the Ruby

Now the Ruby is well and truly mine (the registration documents arrived today!) I can begin the restoration in earnest. I took the car to the garage last week for a quick check over and heaved a sigh of relief when I didn’t get a huge list of repairs that were urgently required.  I had a wee drive to Lytham last Saturday, the car drove as beautifully as I had hoped and I couldn’t stop smiling, I’m looking forward to taking it on a longer drive as soon as it’s possible.

I found a dog guard on e-bay and am waiting for it to arrive and found a Saab rubber boot liner in the small ads on the UK Saabs website so the car will be ready for canine passengers soon.

Next week the car will return to the garage to begin the process of fixing the oil leak, replacing the ball joints and removing the rusty patches. Since I can’t do any of the actual work on the car I’m contenting myself with sourcing and collecting spare parts, sorting out paperwork and of course paying the bills! Fortunately Saab owners seem to collect spare bits and pieces and if they don’t need them themselves to sell them on to others who do, there is a brisk trade in even the tiniest parts usually accompanied by a discussion of which car you have, what else you may need and good wishes for the future restoration.I think the next purchase may well have to be shelves and boxes to store my rapidly expanding collection of spares!

The sad state of the Saab company’s affairs always gets a brief mention and there is usually a discussion on the idea of resurecting production of the early models such as the 900, 99, 96, and 95.

PS I know there has been little news of the puppy recently, rest assured that she is growing enthusiastically and learning to behave and Nino is benefiting from her calmer behaviour. We had visitors for coffee and cake yesterday and both dogs were very good. Skye sat with us ( i.e. the ladies, drinking coffee/tea, eating cake and knitting), playing with her Stagbar and Nino and the very small (2year old) boy chatted to each other in the other room…well the small boy chatted and Nino listened politely and occasionally sneaked a lick of the small boy’s ears.

Quiet Nights…

and busy days. Skye went to daycare all day on Monday and Wednesday and enjoyed herself a lot. She was such a sleepy little pup when she came home each night it seemed a good week to begin working on her sleeping downstairs as she’s become too heavy to carry down in the mornings and isn’t yet able to get down our steep stairs unaided. She accepted the change without difficulty and now sleeps soundly from 11pm to 5 or 6 am. She has been having at least one or two walks each day, her favourite destination being the local park where she can watch lots of other dogs and be admired by all the passers by. Because she is sleeping well, Nino is getting a better night’s sleep although he still wakes and paces once or twice a night. And because he is sleeping better so am I so a good result all round!

The Ruby went off to Malcolm for a check up, there are a few jobs to do which I knew about already, and a couple which I didn’t, but thankfully nothing major. I’ve got the car back for the weekend but it will go back next week to start the work. I haven’t driven the car much yet so I’m looking forward to a wee trip this weekend.

I employed a couple of gardeners (their term not mine) to come and cut the hedges and lawns today as they had become very overgrown. When they came to price the job I mentioned that I also wanted to have the lilac trees cut back from overhanging the back driveway. This morning I left them working while I took Skye for a walk and on my return found that they had cut one tree off at waist height, slashed a few branches from the second and left the third intact however the amount of overhanging branches on the driveway is almost identical to how it was before. I think Skye could have done a better job just by chewing the branches! They obviously realised they were making a mess and charged me just for the hedges and lawns and went on their way sheepishly. The trees look a complete mess and will need to be sorted out by someone who knows what they are doing but I have to admit the garden does benefit from the extra light that they were blocking out. All four trees (they ignored the fourth one) are very old and have got a lot of dead wood surrounded by rather leggy new shoots growing from the bases so they may be beyond repair. The cherry trees and the birch also need to be pruned too and the garden will be so much better once they have been done. To be fair to the two “gardeners” the hedges and lawns look much much better and should be easier for us to manage now, especially if we replace the ageing and ineffective lawnmower. . . I still think a sheep would be the answer!

Come in no.53

Not the best photo but here it is, a Saab 900 Ruby no 53 of 150 made for sale in the UK, (apparently around 15 were also made for sale in Sweden and northern Europe too.) This is the car I’ve wanted since I saw a new one in 1993. I couldn’t afford one then and they were the last of the classic 900s made. I’ve had a couple of 900s and a Saab 96 and even a Saab 9-3 briefly but I have kept looking for a Ruby. It is beautiful, a deep ruby red, 3 door hatchback, the interior is excellent, the exterior has a couple of small rust patches but they will soon be sorted out.  It was delivered this afternoon, I was like a cat on hot bricks all day but occupied myself finishing my Le Creuset panstand.

The colour is Farrow and Ball Parma Grey which is a blue/grey colour to match the sink unit in the kitchen.