Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 2010 craft update

This is going to just be a quick update.

The items for the craft giveaway thing are ready to go, but with everything going on - and the fact I was waiting for an address from someone - I haven't actually posted them yet. Sorry! :(

The toys I'm making for baby Michael for Christmas are half done. I've knitted the pieces for them, I just need to sew them together, and put the toy stuffing in to them.

And that's all I've achieved this past month.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kero's korner: the last couple of weeks (FD)

Hi humans, it's Kero here!



I haven't done anything other than post photos lately, so I'll tell you today about some of the stuff that's been going on these past couple of weeks. Well, actually, I have no idea what's going on around here lately. First some people showed up and played with the pipes, and moved stuff, and made lots and lots of mess. They also made Mami snarly, and for some reason Gwydion got brought inside. I'm not sure why, though I heard the humans mention something called an "exterminator," and something about a bees nest? *Looks confused* Well, anyway, Gwydion slept in the spare room for the night. He wasn't happy about it. I'm not sure why though, because I would have thought a night in the house after all those nights outside would be great. He's a strange little animal. I like him though, and give him a good sniff at least once a day while Mami holds him still for me.

Anyway, then Mamgu - who had been away somewhere all week - came and grabbed Mami, so I was left home with Dadi almost all day, when I really wanted my Mami. And then I spent the day at Willow's house while Mami first went to a place where she smelled of Auntie Tizzy and a human I really didn't recognise the smell of. Then she went to that gaming club. I was a bit upset at first, but Mamgu gave me chicken, so I got over it. I was glad when she finally came back to get me and we went home though.

Monday and Tuesday I had a chance to rest from the excitement of the week before.




But then - Wednesday - the strangest thing of all happened. A really tiny human pup came to visit. I've seen some of those things out and about, but I've never been so close to one that small before. All the human pups I've met in the past have been able to walk on their hind legs... This one didn't seem able to even sit up, without human help.

The humans seemed really excited about it, so I tried to get a closer look, but it grabbed my fur. Well, I did not like that, so I went to lay on the opposite end of the sofa to where Mami was, since I figured I could still keep an eye on Mami - who was holding the little human pup - from there, but was too far away from the tiny human. For some reason, this actually earned me loads of praise and a treat from Mami. The strange thing about it is though, that I don't think somehow it's because she felt sorry for me for having my fur pulled. I think it was for something else... But I'm not too sure what. All I can tell you is that Mami said, "good boy with the baby," as she gave me the treat. What's a baby anyway? I don't remember any baby... Just that tiny human pup. I think there's some kind of connection I'm missing, but I can't think what... Perhaps the tiny human is the baby thing Mami is talking about? If so, what did I do that was so good? I'm so confused!

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Good Witch's Garden

"Middleton prepares for its bicentennial, and Grey House is to be the party venue. Good witch Cassie is remodeling it as B&B. her first and only guest, Nick Chasen, claims to be a distant relative. He produces papers to prove he's the heir of the builder, colonial era captain Hamblin, while the Grey lady was his mistress and stole it. Police chief and lover Jake Russell goes all the way to motivate her to fight and disprove the claim before she's effectively disowned. Brandon is dared to pass a rascals-initiation by local brat Steve and Duke. George's gardening skills lead to romance."

(Above taken from here).

I watched this not long ago. Actually, I did watch the end of it some time ago, having turned the TV on and ended up getting in to it - despite it almost being over - but this time I watched the whole thing. Anyway, it's a great little movie, which I recommend to anyone who is a fan of these types of movies. Meaning, movies with subtle magic, and mysteries.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monsters vs Aliens

"When a meteorite from outer space hits a young California woman named Susan Murphy and turns her into a giant monster, she is taken to a secret government compound where she meets a ragtag group of monsters also rounded up over the years. As a last resort, under the guidance of General W.R. Monger, on a desperate order from The President, the motley crew of Monsters is called into action to combat the aliens and save the world from imminent destruction!"

(Above taken from here).

This was a fantastic movie, with plenty of action and amusing scenes right from the start. I'd say it's most definately worth a watch!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Special edition Kero's korner: rainy walkies

Hi humans, it's Kero here with a special edition Kero's korner post for you.

There I was, laying on the sofa, when I heard Mami say one of my most favourite words in the whole wide world... "Walkies!" I wasn't sure if I heard right at first. I'm not known for mishearing, but there's always that chance. But then, she said it again... "Walkies,!"



What she didn't tell me though was that it was raining, so I needed my coat.





The clouds above the houses looked really dark... Like a storm was coming.



And the tall street lamps looked scary.



But despite the storm clouds in the sky, I was going walkies!







I'm really glad we got home before the storm hit though, because I'm very, very scared of storms!



I don't like water. But I love walkies!

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Godson - Michael John

Last Tuesday, my Godson Michael John was born. And yesterday (Sunday) I finally got to meet him, and have a cuddle.





He seemed comfortable and content in my arms.



There are more photos of Michael on my Mam's blog. The ones on her blog were taken closer to when he was born. I'm not sure if it was when he was 24 hours old, or when he was 48 hours old. The little outfit he's wearing in the photos on Mam's blog is the one I brought for him.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gwydion's Sunday squeaks: what's going on? (FD)

Hi humans, this is Gwydion again.

I don't have the faintest idea what's going on around here, but my house kept moving this week. No, really. I got moved around so I didn't have my house in my little protected corner, and some people were there doing something. Then my Mami got all snarly about something, and Dadi and one of them other people picked up my cage and took it in to the house. I then spent the night staring at one of those bed things in the spare room. Mami said it was, "the only safe place for tonight," but I'm not sure what that meant.

The next day Dadi and Mami carried my cage back outside, so there was lots of bumping about, since Mami couldn't use her hands to look where she was going while also using them to hold my cage. Also, since Dadi is lots taller than Mami, so was holding my cage higher up than Mami could, my cage was a bit slopey, and I was sliding about a little.

My Mami did check on me when my cage was nicely back where it belonged, but by that time I was scared and cross, so I just told her to go away, and hid in the corner. A little while later she brought some salad out to me though, so I gave her a much warmer reception, and allowed her to pet me. It took until the following morning before I would allow her to pick me up though. I love cuddles, but humans who make strange things happen to poor, unsuspecting, sweet guinea pigs like myself, don't deserve cuddle times! And these humans have to know their places, and that they are meant to be my human slaves... Here for my comfort and happiness. Not here to make me slide about in my house, and be in a strange room all night instead of in my very own spot in the garden.

I need to go eat... That will make me feel better, I'm sure!

Squeak soon,
Gwydion

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Asterix In Britain

"Asterix and Obelix must travel to Britain with a barrel of Magic potion, to help a rebel village fight against the Roman Empire, which has conquered the whole country."

(Above taken from here).

I've seen this movie a few times in the past, but it was on a little while ago, so I watched it again. It's a great movie, as are all the other Asterix movies.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kero's korner: a pig and a treat (FD)

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

I have some more photos for you all. Starting with a photo of me with a pig teddy that Mami brought me back when she went to that carnival thing at the start of the month. She says she didn't actually bring it back for me, but I think she's just kidding around. I mean, why did she bring it back if it wasn't for me? It couldn't be for herself... She brought herself back some sweets, a hippo teddy and some flowers, so she couldn't possibly need a pig teddy for herself too. See, it's obvious it was brought for me!



Mami and I have been playing with the piggy teddy lots and lots. We played "tug the piggy" and "fetch the piggy" together. And I played "throw the piggy" on my own a few times.

See... Here's a photo of me in the hallway with piggy.



And here's one of me playing "tug the piggy" with Mami.




Oh, look... Here are some photos of me with a treat on the sofa.





It's one of my favourite treats... A Pedigree Jumbone! It's soft, and chewy, and so tasty!



And here's proof that my humans share with me.



The pot is a yogurt pot. Mami was letting me lick out the bits humans have trouble getting at. She often lets me share... If she's eating something I like and am allowed to eat.

Some people say I'm spoiled. I disagree. I just think I'm treated in the correct way for a dog!

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Apologising

I'm sorry I haven't really been a good blogger lately, and haven't been around the blogs properly in this past week or so. I'll get to them when I can, but between stuff going on I just don't have the time, and when I do I need to use it to sleep. The only reason you've been getting posts is because last week I set up a load of the posts I had in draft to publish during these next couple of weeks when I'm going to be busy a lot. Anyway, I just wanted to quickly apologise for my lack of replies to your comments and posts recently.

Coraline

"An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets."

"What we are shown is a world through a tiny door in the wall of an old triple-segmented home. There are stories about this door used to explain the disappearances of some local children, including the sister of loudmouthed and shy Wybie Lovat's grandmother. Only a weathered black cat appears to know what is going on, what the too good to be true farce beyond the door is actually masking behind it. This cat can travel between worlds and therefore knows it all, allowing him to warn Coraline by orchestrating events via those she encounters. A disgruntled child is easily malleable and fooled when doted upon and given sweets and a smile. The mantra "never talk to strangers" is never more applicable than it is here. With something a tad off-kilter in the fantasy world, Coraline finds herself shaking it off and relishing the opportunity to experience all that she had dreamed of, not knowing that if her parents succeed with their new gardening catalog, those dreams will be fulfilled in reality."

(above taken from here).

I watched this movie recently, and thought it was fantastic. Not necessarily one for young children, though a great one for older children and those of us who are kids at heart. The children who watch it would need to be able to know the difference between the reality on TV and reality in general though, or sleepless nights for parents, grandparents, or other guardians may follow. Still, if you are old enough to appreciate that difference, then I highly recommend this movie.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Witch Mountain

Escape To Witch Mountain:

"Tia and Tony are two orphaned youngsters with extraordinary powers. Lucas Deranian poses as their uncle in order to get the kids into the clutches of Deranian's megalomanical boss, evil millionaire Aristotle Bolt, who wants to exploit them. Jason, a cynical widower, helps Tia and Tony "escape to witch mountain," while at the same time Tia and Tony help Jason escape the pain of the loss of his wife."

(Above taken from this page).

Return From Witch Mountain:

"In this sequel to "Escape From Witch Mountain," Tia and Tony, teenage sister and brother who possess extraordinary powers, leave their safe refuge on witch mountain for a trip to Los Angeles (their transport ship lands in the Rose Bowl). Tony is kidnapped by the evil Dr. Gannon and his spinster partner Letha and brainwashed into helping Gannon and Letha commit various crimes. It's up to Tia and a gang of truant kids to rescue Tony and prevent a major disaster."

(Above taken from this page).

I have seen the 1995 version of Escape to Witch Mountain, but it was the 1975 version I watched this time. I'm pretty sure I reviewed the 1995 version when I saw it, but it was a few years back, so I can't be 100% sure. Anyway, both versions were fantastic movies. Return To Witch Mountain was good too, but not quite as good as Escape To Witch Mountain. Like I said though, it was still pretty good, and I would quite happily watch it again. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Bible & The Diamond Ring

I got this from a friend in an e-mail a few days ago and thought I'd share it. I'm not a believer when it comes to God, but the message behind it is one people should bear in mind whether they believe in God or not.

******

A married woman was expecting a birthday gift from her husband. For many months she had admired a beautiful diamond ring in a showroom, and knowing her husband could afford it, she told him that was all she wanted. As her birthday approached, this woman awaited signs that her husband had purchased the diamond ring. Finally, on the morning of her birthday, her husband called her into his study. Her husband told her how proud he was to have such a good wife, and told her how much he loved her. He handed her a beautiful wrapped gift box.

Curious, the wife opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the wife's name embossed in gold. Angrily, she raised her voice to her husband and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" And stormed out of the house, leaving her husband.

Many years passed and the woman was very successful in business. She managed to settle for a more beautiful house and a wonderful family, but realized her ex-husband was very old, and thought perhaps she should go to visit him. She had not seen him for many years. But before she could make arrangements, she received a telegram telling her thather ex-husband had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to her. She needed to come back immediately and take care of things.

When she arrived at her ex-husband's house, sudden sadness and regret filled her heart. She began to search through her ex-husband's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as she had left it years before. With tears, she opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. Her ex-husband had carefully underlined a verse, Matt 7:11, "And if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father, who is in heaven, give what is good to those who ask Him?"

As she read those words, a tiny package dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a diamond ring, with her name engraved on it - the same diamond ring which she saw at the showroom. On the tag was the date of her birth, and the words, "LUV U ALWAYS".

How many times do we miss God's blessings, because they are not packaged as we expected? Do not spoil what you have, by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. IF YOUR GIFT IS NOT PACKAGED THE WAY YOU WANT IT, IT'S BECAUSE IT IS BETTER PACKAGED THE WAY IT IS. ALWAYS APPRECIATE LITTLE THINGS; THEY USUALLY LEAD YOU TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More photos from where we walk

Just thought I would share some more photos from my walks with Kero.





Including some of some of the plant life (Ivy) growing along the path.



And some green leaves.



Nothing special, but I thought I'd share them anyway.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gwydion's Sunday Squeaks: me in my cage

Hi there humans. This is Gwydion again.

I'm a little shy...



But I thoughtt I would share these couple of photos that Mami took of me in my cage back in June. The tube in this next one is a cardboard tube that I like to chew on, and which the humans often put hay in for me so I can have the fun of pulling it out and eating it.



I hope you enjoyed these photos of me.

Squeak soon,
Gwydion

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2 years ago today (kinda R/WP)

Some days it actually feels like it happened years, and years, and years ago. Other days it feels like it only happened yesterday. But it was two years ago today that it happened.

I'm talking about the op to have my other eye out.

Sometimes I feel like I'm over my sight loss, and that I'm ready to face the world. But then the monsters come back, or something happens to make it obvious that things have to be different for me. That I can't do some of the things I used to do when I still had my sight.

It's just little things. Like choosing colours for my figures to be painted, then being frustrated because I can't see - or even visualize - the colours, let alone paint the figures. Or having a situation I know would make a perfect photo, but missing the oppertunity, and not having anyone around who can help make sure I got the shot. Just little things, but they all add up. Most days those things don't bother me. And those are the days I know I'm dealing with things well. But then there are the days when everything bothers me. From waking up in the morning and not knowing it's morning until I check the clock to knocking my elbow on a doorframe because I was just an inch or so too far to one side when going through the door. From ending up taking 20 minutes just to find the sock I dropped, to cutting my finger when trying to cut a carrot. Again, just little things, but some days even one of those is one thing too many. And those are the days when I know I'm not adjusted, and when I just want to curl up in a corner and cry.

I'm not looking for sympathy, nor hugs, nor appologies that aren't necessary anyway, because it's nobody's fault. I'm writing this post because I want to... Or, maybe I need to?

The night before I had my op, I watched the sunset, then I got up early the following morning to watch the sunrise. I always loved to watch them both, and wanted to make sure I watched them one last time. I couldn't see the colours by then, and the increasing light of the sunrise brought the pain in my eye up to the point where I could hardly bear it. But I was determined to watch. I needed to do it, or I knew I'd regret it afterwards. I'm glad I did it now. I knew I would be.

The hardest day for me was two days later. The day it really sunk in that I would never see the sunrise again. The day after I came out of hospital (yeah, they threw me out the next day... I was determined to come home anyway due to lack of proper care, but that's beside the point).

Mam had stayed over in case I needed her, and Kero woke me up needing a pee. I'm used to Kero waking me in the middle of the night wanting out. He doesn't do it all the time, but it's a semi-regular thing. Anyway, with the pain the light always caused I never bothered turning it on at night unless I was awake enough to have fully functioning monsterish thoughts (as I said, I've always been afraid of the dark). So, half asleep, I stumbled out of the bedroom, and headed for the back door. Mam was stood just outside it having a smoke (I don't allow smoking in my home). I stopped short. This wasn't right. It was dark, and Mam was up. Mam would never, and I mean NEVER be in the dark. So, I asked her the time. It was around 7:30 am. That really wasn't right. I knew rough sunset and sunrise times... It should have been totally light by then... After all, just two days earlier I'd had to be up hours before that time to see the sunrise.


That was a difficult moment for me. And every morning for several months afterwards I went through a similar realisation. It gradually got easier, but at one point I was scared of going to sleep, because I knew when I woke up I'd have to remember again. And that fear fed the nightmares. Nightmares of hospitals, nightmares of laughing people who wouldn't share the visual joke. Nightmares of children who hated their Mami because she couldn't see the picture they made her at school. So many nightmares, but all the same theme.

It's strange in a way that it was that day that affected me most. You'd think it was the day I realised my sight really was going. The day the pain started in the evening. Pain so bad I curled up on the floor and just cried and cried. Then had to stay in the dark all the rest of the evening, because I couldn't cope with even a little light. Followed by the morning I woke up to a world of blurry colours. You'd think that would have been the worst day. But it wasn't. Perhaps because then I still had my eye? Perhaps because then there was still hope of fixing it? They'd saved my sight from going completely once before, perhaps I thought they would again? Yes, I think that's it. After all, after that time I was convinced the day would never come. I was convinced the prediction of total blindness I'd been hearing from early childhood was never going to come to pass. And all because I'd beaten the predictions, and managed to get a few more years.

It's just a shame I didn't have the sense to spend those extra years memorizing the little things around me, and some of the big things too. Then maybe I'd remember them better.

Like I said, I'm not writing this for sympathy, hugs, or anything like that. I'm writing it for me. But if you stuck around and read it all. Thank you. And thank you too to all those good friends who have stood beside me and helped me in the past few years. AliceKay, Deanna...and everyone else who has been there when I needed a friend. But I especially want to thank Iggy, who patiently accepts e-mails full of attempted photos, then sorts through them to find that one good shot that "might" be among them, then clearly labels them for me. Who gives me descriptions of his own photos so I don't feel left out. And for all the other things he has done for me. Your a great friend, Iggy!

Yoga (LBE)

Ever thought of trying yoga as an alternative to other forms of exercise? Or, perhaps, for some other reason? Don't know where to start though? Well, I found this routine, which may be of interest to those of you who this applies to.

******

To begin with, put on some soft, soothing music… try Hariprasad Chaurasia’s bansuri (bamboo flute), or Ravi Shankar’s sitar. The names of the asanas sound complex, don’t let that scare you off, most of the positions are fairly simple. Oh, and breathe normally through all these exercises. And also, don’t force your body to stretch beyond its capacity. Take it easy, and stretch further as you become more flexible with regular practice. So, here goes –

Utthita Trikonasana
Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Turn the foot of your right leg outward, and the foot of your left leg a little inward. Raise your arms by your sides and hold them parallel to the floor. Now, bend sideways from the waist to touch your right foot with your right hand, with the left arm stretched toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a minute. Straighten up. And repeat on the other side. (Gives a great stretch and improves the flexibility of the body. Improves the balance too.)

Padahastasana
Stand with your feet together. Raise your arms overhead and bend forward from your waist and touch your toes. As you become more flexible, you can grab hold of your ankles and try to get your forehead to touch your knees. Hold for one minute. And return back to the starting position. (The spine and the hamstrings get a great
stretch.)

Janushirsasana
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend you left leg at the knee so that the sole of the foot rests on the inside thigh of your right leg. Now raise your arms and bend forward, and get hold of your right leg’s toes with both your hands. Try and get your face as close as possible t your right knee. Hold for one
minute and come up. Repeat on the other side. (Good stretch for the hamstrings and the back. Gives your internal organs a massage.)

Upavishtakonasana
Sit with your legs stretched sideways as far out as possible. Bend forward to try and touch your chin on the floor in front of you, while you grab hold of your toes on either side with your hands. Try to keep your spine as straight as possible, and try not to bend your knees. Hold for one minute. And release the stretch. (This gives an intense stretch to the inner thighs. Improves the flexibility of the pelvic region.)

Paschimottanasana
Sit erect with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. Now raise your arms up and bend forward and grab hold of your toes. Try to get your face as close to your knees as you can. Don’t allow your knees to lift off the floor. Hold for a minute and come up. (The spine, hamstrings and calf muscles get a good stretch. Massages the abdominal region.)

Shalabhasana
Lie flat on the floor on your belly, with your arms by your sides. Now lift your head, torso, arms, and legs off the floor, so that you are balancing on the lower part of your belly. Hold for one minute, and come down gently. (Great for toning up the back muscles. Strengthens the spine.)

Bhujangasana
Lie flat on your belly. Place your palms on the floor at shoulder level. Now lift your head and chest off the floor, straightening your arms, while the lower portion of your body, from belly down, remains on the floor. Stretch your head back, looking up at the ceiling. Hold for a minute, and come down gently. (Great for the spine. Gives a nice stretch to the chest and arms.)

Dhanurasana
Lie on your belly, face down. Bend your knees. Reach back with your hands to grab hold of each ankle with each hand. Now, pull your legs up from behind, and lift your head and torso up. Hold for one minute, and release out of the stretch gently. (Another one for your back muscles and spine.)

Urdhwa Prasaritapadasana
Begin by lying on your back, arms by your side. Now, place your hands, palms down, under your lower back. Then, tautening your abs and tightening your leg muscles, lift both legs off the floor to a height of 30 degrees. Hold them there for a few seconds (count a slow ten silently). Then raise your legs to a height of about 60 degrees, and hold for a few seconds. Then lift up to 90 degrees or straight up. Then reverse the process, coming down to 60 degrees, then 30 degrees, then down on the floor. (Very good for the abs.)

Halasana
Lie on your back. Lift both your legs and your hips up, off the floor, and swing them over to reach over your head, so that the tips of your toes touch the floor above your head. Hold for one minute. (Terrific for the spine, and massages the abs too. But requires some expertise. So get expert help for this one.)

Sarvangasana
Lie on your back. Lift both your legs and your hips off the floor, lifting them straight up, until your whole body is balanced on your shoulders and the nape of your neck, with your hands supporting your waist from behind. This is considered to be the queen of all the asanas (the king being the Sirshasana, or the head stand, which is too advanced for me). Anyway, the Sarvangasana tones the whole body, including the glandular system deep inside. But this exercise too needs a fair amount of expertise. So, learn the technique from an expert first.

Shavasana
Lie flat on your back. Close your eyes and let your whole body go limp. Breathe deeply and slowly. And relax completely for one minute. Feel the soft music flowing over you and through you. (Great relaxation after doing the asanas.)

Well, that's it. Actually, the fun thing about this set is that you get a total body workout in just about 15 minutes.

Above taken from this page.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kero's korner: back garden this time

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

OK, here are the photos I said last week I would leave for this week. The ones from the back garden.

It's fun watching for people through the gate.



"Did you call me, Mami?"



"What, Mami?"



"Did you want me or not? Because if not, I'm not coming any further!"



"OK, I'm here! Now, what did you want?"



Why do the humans insist on calling me when I'm busy enjoying myself in the garden?

Oh, it's time for a close up? OK!




Alright, let's go inside now.



Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New neighbour

I was just heading out for my walk with Kero yesterday when a man came down from upstairs. With all the workmen in and out lately I just ignored him. Then I noticed he had no intention of closing the gate (despite the fact I'd already gone out of it). So, I stopped to ask him to close it. Anyway, to cut a long story short he's the guy who will be moving upstairs, and has promised to do his best to remember to close the gate.

He's about in his 50s, and he seems like a nice guy. We also met his grown up daughter, and know from a comment he made that he has a grandson. There are no pets that I know of, but he obviously likes animals, because he spent most of the time we were talking petting Kero, and asked Kero's name before asking ours.

I was a bit shocked to find someone is already moving in, so I asked if the work was done. He said, "kind of," so I asked him what he meant by that. It seems the council did the repair work they had to do in order to make the place look nice, but not the work they plan on doing on the bathroom, kitchen, etc (same work as they're doing down here). I think it's stupid that they're allowing someone to move in when they're doing the work in a couple of weeks. I suppose they want the rent money? Mind you, that's not as stupid as the other thing he told me. Apparently the new bathtub they put in, and the new flooring they did... It's being removed for the new stuff that's being done next month. So, basically, they did all that work for nothing. Does anyone else think that's a total waste of time, money, effort, and resources? Or is it just me who thinks so?

Another thing that came from my chat with him...

There's a front garden, a back garden, and a side garden on the property. Officially the front is ours, the side and back belong to upstairs (with a small part of the back... The area near the back door where my swingseat and Gwydion's cage are... Belonging to us). Only we had the back, because Eleri seemed to be using the front. And in the past couple of weeks we've been using the front and back. Anyway, we have a bit of fencing that we put up to stop Kero getting around the side and to the front if we let him out the back. It's not proper fencing, just a bit of mesh stuff to make Kero think he can't get through. Anyway, we asked the guy if he wanted us to remove it so he could have his garden back, and he went and looked at the garden. His response was that the bit down the side was more than enough for him, so we should leave that up, and still keep our front garden. He says as long as he has his sheds (which are at the side near his door) and a spot for a little greenhouse (which there's room for beside the sheds) and a spot to sit in on nice days (which he also has with the side garden) he's happy.

We're going to sort the fencing round the front when we can, and if he changes his mind, we'll remove the barrier and give him back his back garden. After all, it is officially his. But, for now, we have both the front and back gardens to enjoy, while he has the side garden.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Council update, gaming and stuff (LBE and FD)

Last week we got a call saying someone would be coming out to talk to us about when the work would be done on our place. The person came yesterday (Tuesday). So did someone to "measure up" for the new heating and water system. The heating and water guy was just finishing up as the other guy arrived. But they both knew the other would be there anyway.


The heating and water system is being sorted next week. They're coming about 8:30 am on Wednesday (21st July). We wont have any heating or hot water over night, because they can't finish the job in one day, and have to come and finish the job the following day.

I'm really glad that's being done quickly though, because the sooner that's done, the better. It's going to save us a lot of money, because the current heating system is old and the timer function on it wont work. The only setting on it that works is "constant" or "completely off" Which means we have to keep the water on constant to have hot water when we need it, or we'd have to know two hours ahead of time when we'll be needing hot water for even a small thing, since that's how long it takes to properly heat the water. It's been costing us a lot for gas to work it. But this new one is built to only heat on demand, so costs a lot less money to run. Plus, our new fire is going to be electric, and they're a lot cheaper to run than gas ones too. Not to mention safer.

And, speaking of electric...


The electrician is coming to check all wiring, and give us more power points in the wall on August 4th. I'm not sure what time he'll be coming yet, but at least I know the day now.

And, finally, on Monday August 9th the work on the kitchen and bathroom will start.

I don't know how many days that will take to do, but we were told today that the floor will be done the week after - likely August 17th - so I'm guessing it will be basically that entire week that they'll be working on the kitchen and bathroom work.


I'm glad they aren't doing it until then, because my little-big brother (Carl) is coming for a visit. Well, he's staying up with Mam and Dad, but still. Carl and Rachel are meant to be arriving with my parents some time on July 30th, and they're staying until August 9th. And the reason I'm glad the kitchen and bathroom work aren't being started until the 9th, is that on July 31st a roleplaying session is behing held here with Kelly as GM, and with Dad, Carl, me and any of the guys from the club who want to join in as players. Then there's an all day figure gaming event happening on August 1st. Then there's another roleplaying session on August 7th. Followed by normal club happening again on August 8th. Now, the all day gaming session and club day wouldn't be an issue. For one thing they don't happen here, for another, they happen on Sundays, and most places don't work on Sundays here. But the Saturday sessions here could have been real chaos if the bathroom work was being done when the guys are due for roleplaying. Especially since if the work was being done, we couldn't change location, because Kelly and I would need to be here, and we can't be here and not be here at the same time. It just doesn't work. Despite what my Nan thinks. I mean, she was absolutely convinced I was somehow managing to go to club and go to the beach with my Mam at the same time. She wasn't sure how I was pulling it off, but she was convinced it would happen. Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

For the heating guys all we have to pack up is my ornaments that are on the mantlepiece above the fire. And we have to make sure nothing is stopping them getting to any of the radiators in all the rooms. Well, nothing is, so that's OK. By the weekend I'll be able to put my ornaments back, so at least I wont have to pack them up for long.


I don't know exactly what will need to be moved for the electricians. I'll let them tell me when they show up. As a general rule the wall sockets are easily accessable though, so not much should need moving or packing up for them to do whatever it is they've got to do.

But, for the kitchen and bathroom it means packing every item in the room up, and actually removing it from the room. They'll move big items (like my fridge and washing machine)... Thankfully! But we have to pack up all the plates, cups, cutlery, food items that go in the cupboards (which means Kero and Gwydion's food stuff needs to be put in a box in another room or something while the work is being done) and any other small items in the kitchen. Including small appliances (kettle, toaster, etc). It also means packing up all the stuff from the bathroom... Spare toilet roll, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste... The lot of it. We'll have to pack up what we can the Friday before, or early on the Saturday morning, because of the roleplaying and club sessions on the Saturday and Sunday before the Monday they're coming. After all, we don't usually get home from club until late, and if the time they're coming next week is anything to go by, they'll be here really early. That means if we plan on having any sleep we need to make sure only essential items aren't packed. Or, everything is packed, but essential items are easy to get at to use from Saturday night to whenever they finish the job.

And I only just got done unpacking properly too!

OK, not really, but it feels like it.

***

I wish the weather would make up its mind. The garden needs mowing, but as soon as Kelly goes to do it, it rains. It's like there's a plot to stop him mowing it. Mind you, I'm not entirely sure he minds. I do though, because it really, really needs to be done!

That's the only reason the rain bothers me... Because I want the garden to be sorted out, and using an electric lawnmower and strimmer in the rain is so not a good plan!

***

There was another carnival type thing last Saturday. I say "carnival type thing" because it wasn't an actual carnival. It was the "Big Day Out 2010" event. A Mardi Gras style street carnival type of thing, basically. Anyway, I didn't go to it. Nobody else seemed enthusiastic about the idea, and I couldn't take myself. Kelly might have taken me up to the main road to get photos of the parade, but it was raining, and he wont go anywhere he doesn't "have to" in the rain. And because he's gotten in the habit of not going out if it's wet, when he does go he ends up sick. And I hate him when he's sick! Otherwise I'd have dragged him out of the house to take me despite the fact it was raining.

Technically I can walk up to the main road on my own. I do know the route perfectly, and have walked it with people many times. But I'm not ready to do the walk on my own. I did walk a little way with Kero, but not even the lure of the parade could give me the confidence to walk up to the main road without another human with me. I did go further than I've gone on my own before, but not close enough to have any chance of getting parade photos.

I used to do the walk no problem before I actually had my eye out. But since I had that operation I lost the confidence to try. There are too many monsters. That's why I took Kero. I was hoping the lure of heading in the direction of town would have him excitedly pulling in that direction, distracting me from monsterish thoughts. Only, I started getting a bit anxious once we got out of my comfort zone, and I guess he was feeding off it, because he started whimpering and pulled in the direction of home instead.

***

When Carl comes for his visit there's going to be a buffet on the all day gaming session. I'm taking tuck with me though. Because it's all day, I'm packing a lunch, and I'm packing some tea. No, not drink tea. Tea as in evening meal. Although, I might take the stuff to make some herbal tea with me now that I think about it.

Dad and Carl don't see why, because "there will be non-meat items among the things people are bringing," but - as I explained to them - having non-meat items available doesn't mean that I'm going to get a look in at them. Not to mention the risks of people putting the wrong things back in the wrong places, or having sausage covered fingers then touching the non-meat items without washing their hands. Also, some apparently non-meat items aren't. Like cheese. Some cheese contains resin (sp?) which is an animal product. And some things you wouldn't think have meat in them - like marshmallows and pop-tarts - do have meat in them (both those items have beef gellotine in them).

Kelly is taking a few buffet items, since he's sharing the buffet, but -as I said - I'm not.

I haven't decided what to pack for my two tucks though. I'm going to make sure they are both filled with totally different food items, because it will be more interesting that way.

***

I had my first game with my own Warmachine figures at club on Sunday. I won. Mind you, it wasn't really a difficult victory. My aponent was playing the same army, so I knew what they could and couldn't do, despite him owning the figures longer I know the rules a bit better, and he was having lousy luck with the dice. It was also made easier by the fact that when he saw he was getting a beating he decided to run away and allow me to be automatically declared winner. Mind you, in his defence, by thattime he just had his caster (leader) and had lost all his jacks (robot soldiers controlled mentally by the caster), where as I had three of my four jacks left as well as my caster, which basically meant it was going to be very unlikely that I would do anything other than win the game.


I hope I do that well when I play Carl in a couple of weeks. I doubt I will though, because Carl has been playing for a couple of years, where as I've only played two games. I'm going to try though. And if I lose? *Shrugs* Well, it's just a game!

***

I've got a whole load of movie reviews, some book reviews, and other stuff saved in "draft" so I'm going to set some of those posts up for the days the council people will be doing work here, since I'm not sure how much - if at all - I'll get online on those days.

There is one movie I wont be providing a proper review for. And the reason is quite simply that I have no idea what the movie was called. It was about a rich girl who runs away, and a poor boy who finds out about some treasure meant to be buried locally, and he wants to find it so as to save his home and the buisnesses in the area. And they both end up looking for it, while two guys - who want the treasure for their own selfish reasons - are chasing them. I missed the first few minutes, and Kelly was sleeping, so I couldn't have him look. That's why I have no idea what the movie was called. It was good though.

***

I've been sleeping OK lately, but I'm still feeling a bit run down at the moment. I don't know what it is. I've just been feeling really drained of energy the past few days.

Ah, well, life goes on! :)

Anyway...

I think this post is probably long enough. I hope you managed to stick around to read it all. ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Helicopters, planes and contrails

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's Superman!



Oh, wait... It is a plane, actually!

There have been loads - and I really mean LOADS - of planes and helicopters flying about around here lately. I think the planes are at least partly to do with training for the air show, because I'm pretty sure that happens soon, and the training ground isn't all that far from here really. I'm not 100% sure when it's on though, but I'm sure it's soon. I have no idea what's up with all the helicopters. One thing I do know though, is that all those planes and helicopters passing gave me plenty of chances to try and get photos of them. And - after several attempts, and a lot of patience - I managed to get these.



And, I managed to get these contrail pictures while we were out on our Sunday walk a few weeks ago.



And I got these ones last Monday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A truck and a cone

During our walk by the river a couple of weeks ago, we found an abandoned toy truck. So, with nobody around to claim it, we rescued it and brought it home. Then I washed it and put it in the box of toys I keep for any visiting children to play with. Here's the truck.



Do you recognise the cone in the second photo? Any of you who read Iggy's blog should recognise him. It's Nick Conas of the Conas brothers. He's come to live with me. I have to watch him though... He's eyeing up my dog-shaped money box. I'm pretty sure the stopper is too difficult for him to pull out - I have trouble with it myself - but I still need to watch him.

Other than the obsession with my money box, Nick has been the perfect house guest. He's quiet, he doesn't eat much, and - most importantly - Kero likes him.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gwydion's Sunday squeaks: Me and Kero

Hi there humans. This is Gwydion again.

I thought that this week I would just share a couple of photos with you that were taken of me and Kero on Mami and Dadi's bed.

Firstly, just an overhead view of me.



And now a couple of photos of me and Kero together.



As you can see, Kero is becoming much calmer with me. Mami and Dadi would still never even consider leaving us alone together, but at least I can come and investigate the big wide world without Kero having to be kept away. Which is lucky, because Kero barks like mad if he knows he's being shut away from something, and it scares me.

Anyway, I will let this do for this week and go and eat the dinner Mami left in my bowl for me.

Squeak soon,
Gwydion

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Carnival 2010 (LBE and FD)

Exactly a week ago, Mam, Jo, Jo's youngest (6 year old Owain) and I went to the carnival that was being held in one of the villages between where I am and where my Mam lives.

We let Owain play in the play park for a bit first, since we were there quite early, so not everything was set up when we got there, and we didn't want him getting bored while we waited. We took photos of him playing on the slide, but Mam wanted to put them on her blog, so you'll have to look on her blog if you want to see those. She posted them yesterday.

Anyway, when everything was set up we went around some of the stalls where we played games, won prizes, brought cakes (I had a blueberry muffin, actually) and brought some sweets. I brought some fudge, some coconut ice, and a bag of honeycomb toffees. Yum, yum!

Then I went on one of the rides. I was the only one brave enough. Owain wouldn't have been allowed anyway, since he's only little, but nobody else wanted to go on with me. So, I went on my own.







It was great fun, though not something you want to ride too many times in one day. I was a bit wobbly when I got off it. My Mam laughed at me though. Not because of the wobblyness, but because my only concern was that I hadn't handed my phone over to her, and it had almost fallen out of my pocket while I was on the ride. I'd given her everything else (other than my cane... Wasn't handing that over) but forgot to hand over my phone.

Anyway, after that we played some more of the games, and won some more prizes.

Just as we were thinking about finding some food, we saw Adrian (Elizabeth's partner) with his little boy, Dylan. And, while we were talking to Adrian and little Dylan, we had some food (Owain and I had chips, Mam and Jo had burgers). Dylan's a real cutie. He's only two, and was showing us his, "fire, fire," (that's two fire trucks to the rest of us).

Anyway, after that we went to put all of our prizes in the car.

Then it was time for the parade.

(Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, and the missing heads in some of them).

The parade started with a marching band.



Followed by some little ones in buggies/strollers wearing costumes.



And adults in costume.



And more people in costume, with decorated floats.







With another band somewhere among it all.



And more people in costume.







And somewhere in there were the cadets.





My big brother, Wayne, was marching in the parade with the cadets, but since most of the cadets are headless, you probably can't find him among them. I promise he was there though.

Anyway, there were also some vehicles with the parade.



Including some police cars.




And fire trucks.



Once the parade was over, Mam, Jo, Owain and I went back to my parents place with all our prizes.



Those are all my prizes, but two of the three teddies I'm holding didn't stay mine for long. The rabbit (which was actually a glove puppet style teddy) was claimed by Willow, and the pig was claimed by Kero when I got home. I got to keep the hippo though, and the flowers (not real flowers, fake ones) are in the pot where I had some immitation roses.

Anyway...

We finished off the day with a BBQ at my parents' place.



Mam made burgers and sausages, and she also cooked a couple of veggie burgers for me. She actually cooked those first, so that I could have them before the meat stuff went on the BBQ. There was also salad, which I had the leftovers of for my tuck at club the following day.

After the BBQ I went home. It was a great day, but I was tired by the end of it.