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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Loyalty - Day 15

At home with Bobby. Only in the kitchen, though. Why not the bedroom?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Loyalty - Day 14

This is as much of Flyboy as I can bring myself to show.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweet 16

As my boys can open the locked catflap, unless all felines are indoors I cannot shut the inner door, so they can escape. This makes it impossible to ensure that I can keep a vet appointment made in advance.

After trying for a couple of weeks, I finally managed to get the sweet old things to the surgery today.

I knew that both have rickety back legs and that Dandy's teeth are in a bad way. But my 15 minute appointment stretched to nearly an hour, with lots of blood tests and thorough examinations.


John is a very fetching, very thorough vet. I first came across him when he took over the surgery and came to visit my mother's cat...with his shapely, tanned Aussie legs in a pair of shorts.

Beano and Dandy have been with him since they were kittens, 16 years ago. Now that they are old boys, they are beginning to show it.

Dandy is a big cat, but recently I've noticed I can feel his backbone. John put him on the scales and discovered that this gentle giant, who another vet in the srugery said last year should lose weight, has lost a kilo. A blood test has shown he has extreme hyperthyroidism. Other tests are pending. All i have to do now is get some pills down his throat twice a day...And get him back to the vet's in a few weeks' time for a repeat test.

Beano has really lost the ability to use his back legs properly, a weakness that first showed itself over 8 years ago, but is now quite severe. John thinks it's more likely to be a neurological problame than the arthritis I had thought. Renal tests show he is able to cope with a treatment that may improve his mobility.

I'm not very happy that at the same time as my income has taken a nose dive, I have a vet bill of over £400 (and ongoing refills to contend with) on top of the new boiler, which is arriving on Monday and being fitted on Tuesda). If I'd got the boys to the vet's earlier, I would have foregone the boiler and got them to have another try with the old one. But there's no way I'll deny them their treatment, even if I have to go wthout food (which would probably be good for me!)

Looking at their pictures, and knowing that their characters are as sweet as their faces are beautiful, I imagine you would agree you'd do the same.

Beautiful one-eyed Beano

Gentle giant Dandy

Autumn Colour with Swans

JoJo has posted so many gorgeous pictures with autumn colour, I thought I'd share this one with you, a readers' picture that appeared in several online versions of today's papers.


This is Sheffield Park Gardens near the Kent/Sussex border.

I'm hoping that the picture will get bigger if you click on it.

Loyalty - Day 13

Bobby encounters the new acting captain (playing hookie from his usual job as a sergeant in Florida in Dexter).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Loyalty - Day 12

The moment we all dream of happening to us - Bobby getting physical.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Morning after The Night Before

The Hurricane 25 years on.

On 15th October 1987 I called the local council to ask about the possibility of getting some trees planted in my street. The person I spoke to said he'd put us on the list.

In the evening weatherman Michael Fish said in his forecast that a woman had phoned to ask him if there was a hurricane on the way. In a reply that he was never to live down, Mr Fish told her not to worry, there was not.

That night the southern half of England was hit by hurricane-force winds that caused massive destruction, uprooting millions of trees, and killing 18 people.

From midnight to about 5 am on Friday October 16th I lay in bed listening to the winds howling outside my window, frequently jumpng up to look out at what damage might be being caused. Bizarrely I seem to have dropped off just as they storm reached its peak. When I awoke an hour later half my garden chairs had been lifted up and silently thrown over the table and remaining chairs half way up the garden. Part of the fence had been blown down. Then the power went off.

Having no idea how huge this event had been, I phoned school where I got the deputy head (how he got there I never knew) to tell him I would be late as I couldn't shower till the power came back on, and that was when I discovered that this thing was bigger than either of us. All schools across the south east would be closed. Trees were blocking all routes, including railway lines. Swathes of the countryside had been laid waste.

Later that morning I went to visit my parents, passing a nearby park where many trees had been lost. I parked in a nearby street, and went to visit her. Luckily they were not really affected. But when I returned to my car, there was a fire brigade turntable lorry sending a firefighter up to a high roof to peel the lead away from the skylight so that a resident could go out and check his roof.

I dashed home to get my camera, getting back just in time to see him being brought back down. Seeing my disappointment, the chief fireman sent the cradle back up so I could get my picture! There was such a feeling of community.

All through London trees were down, some across cars, some having crashed through roofs. Many major London streets are lined with huge plane trees, and large numbers of these had crashed across the thoroughfares.



Acres of woodland were lost, aerial views making the fallen trees look like matches.


Emmett's Garden, a place I have frequently posted pictures of in the past, is the highest garden in the county of Kent. The redwood you can see in this picture, which survived the storm, is the highest treetop in the county. Other trees were virtually lifted out of the ground by their roots.


Managers of many of these damaged woods cleared everything away to make it all look neat, and planted up with new saplings.

Wiser experts left the trees where they were. The roots sprouted new trees, and many species thrived in the lighter, more open spaces, which has led to a more considered management of woodland that benefits more species than the dark canopies that had developed since the days when woods were regularly coppiced for firewood.

Every available tree was put into service replanting the landscape, and my ill-timed request for trees was lost in the mists of time.

One of the causes of the damage was that a late autumn meant that most of the trees still had their leaves and therefore gave the winds lots of resistance. The ground was also very wet.

Given how late autumn has routinely become, and the amount of flooding the country now gets, I have a suspicion that events like this will no longer be happening every few hundred years like they used to.

Climate change? What climate change?

It makes my blood boil!

Some of you may remember that a few months ago I had some problems with my central heating boiler. I thought they were resolved, but when the weather turned cold I discovered the same problem was persisting. Of course, British Gas, who hold the maintenance contract, insisted it was a different fault, and wanted to charge me an extra £50 fee (I have an excess payment to keep my monthly payments down. This usually worlds well for me as in 12 years this is the first time I've had any problems with the boiler). They sent back the same engineer on the same day I called in the continuing fault, which I thought was pretty good going. Meanwhile I'd found some possible fault causes in the handbook. On the back of one of these he tested the air pressure switch and found it was the wrong pressure for the boiler! Given that no one has ever replaced any part of the appliance, this must have happened at the factory when it was made. Yesterday he came back and fitted the correct switch. I'm hoping this will be the end of it. But meanwhile I had agreed to have someone give me an estimate to replace the old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing one.
This is the recommended one, a Worcester Bosch combi boiler. With the promotional £400 off, and an extra £150 discount for being a current customer, it will only cost me...£2,492.31. Cash. A lot more if I use their credit system.

This will save me an amazing £115.34 a year, £1,730.10 over the lifetime of the boiler.  Wow.

Loyalty - Day 11

Now we get to the second part of the worst LOCI ever (apart from the ones without Bobby in at all).

Firstly the completely unexplained absence of a uniform for Bobby at Ross's funeral. He hadn't yet been fired.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Loyalty - Day 10

The Goren Dip Season 9 style:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Loyalty - Day 9

No mistaking that back, grieving or not.

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