Diary

October 2006RSS feed

Seasons

Monday 2 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:01am in Anything goes 3 comments Add your own

One of the (many) things that I like about life in Scotland is the seasons. We're on holiday today - traditional Clackmannanshire holiday the first Monday in October - and it's misty and cool. So the jobs on the To Do list have changed. They include "put up curtains", "order coal", "clean out gutters" and the like, in preparation for winter. Although yesterday was so warm, we were out and about in T-shirts and the hens were sunbathing.

I also hate to admit it, but I ordered our Christmas cards and wrapping paper the other day - well, it might run out if I wait! And I'm kind of wondering if we should have goose for Christmas dinner again. We had goose last year and it was absolutely delicious. A rib of beef would be lovely, too. Every year I promise myself (and Dan) that I won't get over excited - never happens, though.

Copper

Monday 2 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 9:15am in Cats 3 comments Add your own

Copper, our tortoiseshell cat, has just been for her annual check to the vet. At eighteen, she's quite an old lady now but is good value. In fact, she's probably healthier that either Cassius or Felix.

We changed their diet a few months ago - they now get one tin of Whiskas between the three of them each day plus Hill's Science plan Senior Lite dried food. The good news is that Copper has lost 1.2kg since her check-up last year. When I took her last year, she was 6.95kg - I pointed out to the vet that she WAS a big cat to whcih he laughed and said she was a 5kg cat with add-ons. However, he felt, as I did, that dieting her at 17 was not the right thing to do. So it's good news that she's shed a bit of weight over the year.

Tempting fate - Copper

Monday 9 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 7:37pm in Cats 3 comments Add your own

Only a few days ago, I posted a diary entry saying how great Copper was doing for an 18 year old cat. I must have tempted fate.

Dan and I were away for the weekend and when we returned on Sunday afternoon, it was clear all was not well. Copper was endlessly drinking and weeing on the floor. She was fine on Saturday. I took her to the veterinary hospital immediately and she's still in.

It looks like her kidneys are failing. At the moment, the vets are still carrying out tests and trying to stabilise her. She's on a drip and not in pain - in fact, when I phoned to night for an update, the nurse said she was quite chirpy and displaying some "attitude"!

Carriage driving

Monday 9 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 7:47pm in Equines 0 comments Add your own

Dan and I were down in the Lake District this weekend. While there, we took the opportunity to watch some horse driving trials at Holker Hall, near Cartmel, organised by the Scottish Carriage Driving Association. I've had a hankering to learn to drive and teach Smokey to drive and am now sort of progressing that, so I thought it would be good to see some folk in action.

Horse driving trials have three phases - like eventing. There's dressage, cones (the equivalent of show-jumping) and the marathon (the equivalent of the cross country phase). We watched the dressage and the cones on Saturday, but didn't have time to go on the Sunday.

Sparkly Smokey

Monday 9 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 8:02pm in Equines 2 comments Add your own

Now, I'm not one who baths her horse regularly. In fact, I don't bath Smokey much at all, which is why he's probably the dirtiest horse on the yard. That and his sweet itch, which makes him roll - I think the mud must be soothing. I also don't bath him because he winters out without a rug, so he needs the oil in his coat for protection. I DO wash his mane and tail with a soothing insecticidal shampoo during the summer, again for the sweet itch.

However, it was a really nice day today; sunny, warm with a wee breeze and I decided it was time for Smokey's annual bath. He was really mucky and it seemed like a jolly good idea. I think he enjoyed it - he had a good scrub with shampoo and a rubber curry comb, which really worked out the dirt, then a rinse with the hose, a scrape down with the sweat scraper and a rub with a towel. He held his feet up to get his feathers done, then got his mane and tail done with conditioner. All finished, he got his fleece on and we went for a walk up the road to dry him off.

Copper's home

Tuesday 10 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 7:32pm in Cats 2 comments Add your own

Thanks to those who sent us their support. It must have worked because Copper came home tonight, back, apparently, to normal! I can't tell you how relieved and delighted we are.

It is true that her kidneys are failing but she seems to have had an infection that made her poorly, so she has antibiotics plus medication and special food to help her kidneys function better. She goes back to the vet next week for a check-up and more blood tests.

The dogs seemed really pleased to see her - Meg was nearly in the cat box with her and Tess has been following her around all evening, which gives Felix, the usual recipient of Tess's attentions, a break. Cass, in his usual style, "welcomed" her home by trapping her in a corner and holding her there with a hard stare.

Announcing revish

Monday 16 October, 2006

by Dan at 5:59pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

My distinct lack of posts recently is down to several factors, one being the new website I'm working on in my spare time. Fortunately R has been exemplary in her posting record, and I know she's got some good posts planned for the coming weeks, so you're in safe hands.

Anyway, this head-above-the-parapet post has nothing to do with smallholding, and everything to do with shameless self-promotion, for which I apologise. The site I'm working on is called revish, and will be a new book review site. Yeah I know, so what, book review websites are a dime to the dozen. But I'm hoping this one's going to be a bit different, and I'm genuinely excited about it.

Smokey's new clothes

Monday 16 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 10:22pm in Equines 3 comments Add your own

Smokey's new harness arrived today. Our living room looks like a "house of bondage". I think I know what's what and how it goes together, but we'll find out on Wednesday. I'm a wee bit worried that it might be too big, but Smokey's working hard to fill it. I can't believe how much grass there is - all the horses are pooing pure grass - it's like springtime!!

Anyway, so he doesn't outgrow his new clothes, I've looked out his grazing muzzle. I bought it ages ago and have never used it. We'll see how it goes.

Smokey's new clothes 2

Wednesday 18 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 10:46pm in Equines 2 comments Add your own

Well, Smokey got to try on his new harness tonight.

First, he had to have a wash because he was absolutely filthy and I didn't want the harness to get mucky in case it had to go back. I didn't shampoo him, just rinsed him off.

He was very patient while I worked out which bit went where and attached to which other bit. I think the front parts - the breast collar and saddle are fine but the back bit - the crupper and breeching seem a bit big, although the breeching might be better when it has shafts in it. I didn't use the new bridle with the blinkers because I'd like him to be comfortable with the basics without blinkers.

Project Clackmannanshire

Wednesday 18 October, 2006

by Rosemary at 11:01pm in Anything goes 5 comments Add your own

Since it's coming into winter, I thought I might spend some time telling you all about Clackmannanshire.

If you've read the "About us" bit on the site, you'll know we live in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Now, I was born and brought up here so I know where it is but it never fails to surprise me when other people don't know where Clackmannanshire is. I don't really know why I'm surprised, but I am.

If anyone had told me when I was eighteen and off to see the world (well, the pubs of Edinburgh) that I would come back here to live, I'd have thought they were mad. But I love it; it's my home. Dan jokes that I get nosebleeds if I have to leave the county, which isn't entirely true, but I'm always happier when I can see the Ochils.

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