Sometimes You’ve Just Gotta Eat Grass

2016-05-25 15.01.05

The grass is getting pretty long around the edge of the local playing field at the moment. We often cross, to reach the woodland on the other side, and there’s a fairly well trodden path, which is handy in the mornings when the grass is wet with dew and I’m wearing shorts!

The dogs however will always grab a blade or two for a munch, if I’m not paying enough attention, they’ll even try and have a feast!

Ruby Looses Her Ball, Finds it Again

  
One of our regular walks (almost daily while the wet weather has been about) is around Fort Fareham. Built to defend us from French invasion, it’s now a light industrial site and area for recreation.

As the trees have lost their leaves Ruby has started to notice the squirrels, particularly as they have been so active in the mild weather. A few days ago she saw one and went on a chase, although the pursuit was short lived (she hasn’t worked out the whole tree climbing thing), she dropped her ball. The video below shows what happened next.

Allotment Update & Swimming With Dogs

I’ve been a little slack posting here, so by way of a couple of videos, here’s an update on some of what I’ve been up to. I hope to have some news on the job front soon, and will cover that separately when I do.

We took the dogs to Emsworth for a swim yesterday. Only really the first time that Ruby has properly been swimming. The video is fairly low quality as I didn’t want to take my expensive camera out over the water with me, so I was using an older one, that I was less worried about dropping, but the quality isn’t as good.

Our garden seems to have become quite popular with a certain juvenile magpie, he’s taken a shine to one of the fatball feeders (rain or shine) and his acrobatics trying to get to the fastballs is quite entertaining. He’s fascinating to watch, particularly recently as he’s been trying to work out if he can dislodge the feeder from the tree branch to forgo his acrobatics (he hasn’t succeeded yet).

  

Deer, Oh Deer

Walking the Fort
Walking the Fort

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about not seeing deer on my way to work in the mornings. I’ve been on “leave” the last couple of weeks, my official last day in my current job is tomorrow, which has obviously given me more time to take longer morning walks with the dogs.

This morning we were on our way around the fort when I heard something crashing through the bottom of “the moat”. Being Summer the vegetation is now green and lush, and it is difficult to see any distance, but I did glimpse the bouncing white tails of two Roe Deer. I’ve seen deer here before, but not that often as there are just too many people about. We’d obviously spooked them, and they weren’t hanging around, but it’s good to know that I still might see deer in the mornings.

Teaching Ruby To Swim

2012-08-20 17.38.57To Emsworth, to walk on the shore. Threw balls into the harbour as the tide was in and started to teach Ruby how to swim. She hasn’t quite gotten it yet but I think she will. There’s a lot of splashing and she hasn’t worked out how to use her tail as a rudder, but she will. Back to the car with two very wet, but very happy dogs.

Brought in all the towels from the car when we got home, and left the car windows open for a bit to air out the damp dog smell.

A fun afternoon.

(Regretting not getting any photos of Ruby actually swimming!)

Ruby Update

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Unfortunately I’ve had to take Ruby back to the vet this morning.

She’s had a barrage of tests during the day and is spending the night at the surgery, hopefully I’ll be collecting her in the morning. Diagnosis is still the same (haemorrhagic gastroenteritis) and hopefully she’ll respond better to this second round of treatment.

Will update when I know more.

One of Those Days…

One Year Today

Being woken at 2am to the sound of a dog vomiting, is never likely to signal a good start to the day, and things didn’t improve from there. By 4pm I found myself fighting the traffic on the way to the vets with Ruby; ultimate diagnosis, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, treatment; 3 x jabs, plus antibiotic tablets and kaolin paste.

The good news is she seems to be perking up, but not back to normal yet, although she did bring a chew toy up on to our bed this evening. We need to see what tomorrow brings, but hopefully a return to food for her and not more sickness and diarrhoea.

It’s also one year to the day that we bought Ruby home for the first time as a puppy.

Thoughts On Summers Past

In just under four weeks, I’ll have had my last day in my current job, two weeks after that is my last contractual day. I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about what happens next. My plan (barring a job offer) is to take a few weeks off, while starting job hunting.

In some ways this reminds me of summers of my childhood, with 6 week holiday breaks. I have memories of spending time on boating lakes, at the beach, in the woods; in the garden. Playing by myself, with friends and with the dog(s). When I was older I would head off for long morning walks with the dog, trying to get out and back before it got too hot and the insects started biting. I remember one summer, I would have been 9 or 10, when each morning before I got up, I would read a chapter of “The Hobbitt”.

 

 

Dogs of Summers Past
  
These are good memories, although I suspect a little enhanced by the passage of time. I don’t expect this summer will be much in comparison. There will undoubtedly be dog walks and books to read, but an element of my focus needs to be on finding my next job. I appreciate that the job market is quieter over the summer, but I’ll still be looking. Maybe I’ll find something different or something the same to what I do now, really now my options are open.

Weekend Round-Up

Ruby keeping an eye on proceedings
Ruby keeping an eye on proceedings

We’ve been having a few issues with our broadband connection, which has meant limited internet time and speed, so although I was going to try and upload a video this weekend, I’ve not been able to. I will however try a few photographs.

It’s another bank holiday weekend so it’s meant an opportunity to spend more time than a regular weekend on the allotment. The weeds seem be growing exponentially, and are certainly growing faster than the food crops at the moment. I spent some time on Saturday just weeding. I’d planned to do some other things, but at the moment, it’s important to try and get ahead of the weeds, otherwise they’re going to crowd out the other plants. I feel like I made good progress, but there is always more to do!

Last weekend I planted some Cavolo Nero and Brussels Sprout plants which seem to have all taken well. These were followed this weekend with some Celeriac. The plot is looking quite full now, which is good. I harvested the first of the broad beans, which although were probably on the small side, were very sweet tasting.

Tomatoes Ready To Go
Tomatoes Ready To Go
Tomato Already Fruiting
Tomato Already Fruiting

Back in the garden I moved on the tomato plants that I’d been given, into their final growing spot. To do so, I had to move the last of the overwintering plants out of the potting shed to make room for them.

I wasn’t going to bother with tomatoes this year, having had such a bad season last year and I didn’t therefore grow any from seed, however as a fellow allotmenteer gave me some plants, I thought why not. One of the plants even has a small tomato on it already!

Monday is a Bank Holiday, so that’s given me more garden time. I’ve spent this morning clearing around the slabs in the back garden. I checked back through my notes and it’s only three weeks since I last did this, so I can see it’s going to be a regular occurrence if I want to keep the backyard pristine through the summer and not use any chemicals (which I don’t want to do).

I know the time span because I’ve been journalling more than I ever have done before. I’m finding that I’m quite enjoying recording my thoughts and observations, and I haven’t kept a proper paper journal for many years, probably since I took up blogging. I think it means that I remember far more when I come to sit down in front of the computer than I would otherwise.

I took a break from the gardening to finish a job application. My redundancy date isn’t that far away, so I’m taking more time to job hunt. I’m hoping to get a bit of a break over the summer, but don’t plan or want to be out of work for too long.

Anyway there’s still a lot of Monday left, and I’m intending to tackle the front garden this afternoon. I need to clear back some of the front border as it’s encroaching on the pavement a little, and again there is some clearing around paving slabs to be done as well as a few other tasks.

The Dogs Are Quite Content To Watch What's Going On.
The Dogs Are Quite Content To Watch What’s Going On.

Bank Holiday

Until about the middle of last week, I’d forgotten this weekend was a three day Bank Holiday. I treasure my time away from work (remind me I said that after the end of July, when I’m redundant and job hunting!).

 

Bank Holiday Reading Sorted

 As the weekend drew closer, a little reading matter arrived on Thursday, with David Hewson’s latest novel, “The Wrong Girl”, and my reading was settled. I’d been looking forward to this book particularly as it is the second in a new series.

Allotment Saturday

 

Will. Not. Start
As is my usual habit on Saturday I headed off to the allotment. I took the lawn mower along to cut the grass, however the machine refused to start, so I settled for some weeding, watering and general tidying. The gooseberry bushes have set fruit, so I put up the framework of canes that will become the fruit cage once the remaining Loganberries have flowered and the bees have done their thing to set their fruit.
I saw my first Swallows on Saturday morning. A bit late compared to some, but I’ve been looking and hoping to spot my first local birds for a few weeks, so I’m pleased to have seen my first “Sky Jewels” of the summer.

 

Co-worker

I was also visited by another feathered friend while working. As I weeded a robin came and worked alongside me, as I cleared the weeds, he fed on the insects I disturbed. I suspect he has a nest and young nearby, as he was flying away and coming back empty beaked for more.

I harvested the first radishes, the last purple sprouting broccoli and some rhubarb. Other crops are coming along nicely. There’s a video to follow, once it’s edited and uploaded.

Dog Walking Sunday

 

Bluebells
The rains came late on Saturday and stayed through the night and until mid-morning on Sunday. In the afternoon we left for the woods to walk the dogs. The bluebells are in bloom and it was nice to spend time and look at the glories of spring. I need time in the woods occasionally to bring a little peace and balance to my brain.

The Best Bit of a Bank Holiday Weekend

Still to come, Bank Holiday Monday.