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Something is eating me....

♥Sep. 12th, 2016 // 08:12 pm
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I'm not sure what it is, but I'm waking up every morning with more bites. I would say it's mozzies, but we're a bit late in the season for them to suddenly appear and there's not much open water around here. I've been bug-spraying the bedroom each evening, and tonight I've gone to the extreme of closing the window before doing so. Fingers crossed....

Today, the vet called. She wanted to see how GB's eye was doing (fine) and let me know the result of his blood test (not fine). We've upped his medication, but I'm a little worried about it as he's now at the highest dose he's previously been on.

Later, the saddler came to check that the boys didn't need anything changing. They didn't, and she was pleased with how both of them looked when I rode them. "He's put weight on," she said of Bugs. Yep, that's why I've brought two girths over! "Ah, are we having to sometimes use fatty girth?" Yep! (Although he *has* just had a new saddle pad, so maybe it's fluffier than the old one...? No, ok, just fat!) I told her of recent vet annoyances, and she recounted a story about the same chap: an ex-racehorse who'd had spinal surgery years ago. When she went to fit a saddle for him, she tried everything in her stock and got angry face about all but one of them (this when they were just popped on his back, not ever a girth never mind a rider), so they went with that one and he was fine in it. He had a lameness, and when the vet came out he said it was because the saddle didn't fit and it was (drum roll) causing the horse to have the back problem that he always diagnoses. Not, you know, an issue because of the old surgery. So not having him back if Bugs shows problems again.

Later, I was sitting listening to PM when I noticed movement on the front patio and saw Esk wandering around. We've never before seen a duck on the front patio (they're not terribly good with steps), but a bit later Agnes joined her and they poked around in the pots going "ooh, this is tasty", interspersed with looking through the window at me and quacking loudly. It was nearly bedtime, but it did seem like odd behaviour and I wondered where Houdini Magrat was, so I went and poked my head out of the front door. No sign of her, but I could hear her quacking. Out on the road again? No, and I couldn't hear her any more. Went back inside, and heard the quacks again: in the back garden. No idea how she got there, and I'm pretty sure that we're going to have to go hunting for another hole under the fence fairly soon.... (The back garden is off limits, both because it's not duck-proof in the way that the front (allegedly) is (so they could get out to the field and / or road) but also because we don't want them trying to get in the fish pond in case they get tangled in the (heron-proof) cover.)

Archers spoiler: here )

I half decided not to go to and half forgot about B-Movie. Did anyone make it? How was it?
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♥Sep. 7th, 2016 // 07:52 pm
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I've just caught part of a programme on the World Service in which Peter White (a radio presenter who is blind) visits Kenya and, during his trip, gets to meet a giraffe.

"I know from stories that they're very tall, but what are they like? Are they furry?"

After a bit of shaking of food, Daisy comes over to say hello, and he gets very excited about her tongue, and her fur, and the shape of her head. It was absolutely lovely, thoroughly Pick Of The Week worthy, and well worth a listen.
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The Archers

♥Mar. 2nd, 2016 // 07:05 pm
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Can I recommend The Ambridge Observer? And express (impressed) bogglement that the Helen Titchener Rescue Fund has raised £60k for Refuge?

(I'm eagerly awaiting an increased number of media pieces about Helen and Rob, because they'll signal Something Happening that will wrap the whole horrible thing up. I can barely stand to listen. At present, it looks like it might lead to Kirsty and Tom getting back together, as well, given they're the only people who're suspicious. Or Helen will die. One or the other.)

I had a fun drive home from Pilates today: about half way through the class, a hail shower made it suddenly dark enough to turn the lights on (this never happens, it's a very bright space), and then the motorway was a lovely, spray-filled mass of wet snow swirling about in the gusts of wind. And something thrown up by a lorry in front of me chipped the windscreen, although thankfully it's only tiny. The boys, Mike reports, were Unimpressed.
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♥Jan. 11th, 2016 // 06:18 pm
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Very, very sad, and deserving of celebration. Not sure it was worth a good 3/4 of PM, though. Margaret Hodge on Lin Homer was marvellous, though: she did *try* to start off being nice balanced, but then just went 'fuck it' and laid into her. Brilliant.
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Radio 4

♥Dec. 21st, 2014 // 11:31 am
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I've been getting increasingly annoyed with the R4 Christmas trails: a collection of clips from Christmas programming, followed by the direction to check the R4 website for more details. The website doesn't have more details, as far as I can see, other than the full schedules. One of them was Dead Ringers doing The Reunion, and searching for Dead Ringers got me the schedule (yay, a whole new season! And it looks like it's in the Friday evening slot, so it might even make it onto the podcast).

I was sure I heard David Sedaris in one of them, so I did a search of the R4 programme: nothing. I did manage to find it by doing a search of the whole BBC website (11:30 on Christmas Eve), though, so I suppose that that's ok?

But it would be nice to know what the other things, the ones that I couldn't immediately identify them from a five second clip, a) are and b) will be on. Fortunately, Google has provided: there is indeed a page listing the highlights, which I'm glad that I've finally found. Why the hell isn't it linked to from the R4 front page, though?

(And Good Omens, natch, but why on earth is it on so late at night?)

(Super Home Front on Friday, though!)
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And now we wait

♥Sep. 1st, 2014 // 03:16 pm
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The sloes have been en-ginned:

(I particularly like the two that can't decide whether to sink or float, and so are just... hovering....)

So now we just need to wait a few months.

(And, yes, we could have done with that extra bottle of gin that I forgot to ask Mike to get: there's half a kilo left in the freezer. Suggestions welcome, as long as they don't involve de-stoning the buggers.)

Whilst walking the pooch, I listened to last week's TKC and learnt that they're in Canterbury this week: must see if we can go. I'm just amazed I'm sufficiently caught up on my podcasts that I found out in advance!

Currently waiting for the vet to call me back about worming the ducks. I suspect that the delay is because he's realised that there isn't a licenced duck wormer in the UK, and he's trying to decide if it's ok to tell me to use chicken wormer (which is what everyone who worms does: the internet is pretty much equally split between "essential" and "no point". Then again, the internet is also pretty much split between saying that if you want year-round eggs then you need to get chickens (because ducks stop laying in winter) and that you need to get ducks (because chickens stop laying)...).
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Three things

♥Aug. 22nd, 2014 // 06:41 pm
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- Mike tells me that I was, loudly, editing a newsletter in my sleep last night.

- The Next Doors are away for the weekend, so we're feeding Horse. We went over to give him his dinner and set up the start of his breakfast (it needs to soak for twelve hours...). Half an hour later, we finally fed it to him, and came back to spend five minutes making four meals for our two, which included opening a new bag of feed.

- Is anyone else listening to Home Front? I'm quite enjoying it, but am excessively annoyed that they had Florrie Wilson, happily married matriarch of her domain, introduce her episode as that of "Mrs Florrie Wilson" rather than "Mrs Albert Wilson".
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♥Feb. 12th, 2014 // 01:30 pm
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Yesterday, it poured down all morning. On the plus side, the Aga Man came, and now my bum warmer is back in action. I suspect that, when he next comes to service it, we'll need to arrange to be busy doing other things: he charges by the hour, and never stopped talking (except possibly while he was using the vacuum cleaner. I couldn't be sure, though). I suspect that the bill will be smaller if he doesn't have an audience to pontificate to....

On the plus side, the sun came out after lunch. I double-checked the rain radar, and popped out with the pooch. Mrs Next Door had had the same idea (even though Mr Next Door has banned her from going up there on her own, now that the baby's dropped), so we had a nice walk in the woods.

When we got back, I guilt-tripped Mike (and myself) into jumping on the boys so that they could get a bit of exercise:

I was a little concerned that, when Mike asked for a canter transition, the Baby threw a tiny buck and then carried on as before: he's done it to me a couple of times, but always then picked up the canter immediately, so I was working on the basis that it was only a tiny buck and we could get rid of it later when the canter was more reliable. I'm alarmed that he's doing it and then not striking off, though, and worry that he's going to learn to use it as an evasion when Mike's on him. Will discuss with the riding instructor tomorrow, assuming that the sleet forecast goes away and we actually have a lesson.

Today, it's rather blustery out there: it was definitely one of those days when I wished that the speaker on my iPhone went up to eleven had another notch. Sheila Dillon on the Food Programme was ok just about ok, but Helen Mark on Open Country is very softly spoken, and I gave up after about ten minutes when the only thing I'd actually managed to take in was that someone had carved a statue out of local stone. In the time since we got back, it's got distinctly gloomy, so I would imagine that the rain will be here shortly. The boys, naturally, are not out, poor things.

Now then, sweet peas. I planted some in the autumn, as Country Life told me that I'd get much better results if I did (I'm going to plant some more, possibly this afternoon, to compare), and they came up nicely and started sprawling over the table looking worryingly healthy. Then they stopped growing and just had a rest, but now they're going a bit pale and fragile looking:

(Ignore the failed attempt at winter salad on down the side of the table: that was planted too late to be viable, I fear. It came up nicely and then immediately keeled over from lack of light.)

I note that the most pathetic looking ones (and bits of ones: some have one tendril that's very perky and one that's all shrivelled) are both nearer to the closest window and furthest from what little sun they get. I'm assuming it's one or more of too cold, not enough sun, too much water, not enough water, needing feeding and being pot-bound*, but would anyone like to take a punt at which, so that I can try to perk them up, or at least stop the rest of them from going all sad?

* I couldn't find the tall pots that you're supposed to use in the local garden centre.

Mike's off in London, today, so I'm mostly hoping that nothing happens to disrupt his journey home (eg, tree across the High Speed lines, sink hole opening up on the other of the two nearby motorways). The rain's started, now, so I think that pooch and I will have a fire and stay close to home for the rest of the day.
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♥Dec. 9th, 2013 // 06:58 pm
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I haven't even heard this week's R4 serial, having been in the field during the morning playing*. I haven't heard a trail, either.

But I did hear someone say that it was the return of Mr Peyps, so I've spent the entire bloody day earwormed by what google tells me is "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" by Robert Herrick. Bah!

* (but I will be listening in a little while, as I do like it!)
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The Letter Of Last Resort

♥Jun. 5th, 2013 // 05:09 pm
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This is rather good (available for anther three days):

The Letter of Last Resort is a hand-written letter from the Prime Minister to the commanding officer of each of Trident's submarines. It contains instruction on what action the commanding officer of the submarine should take in the event that Britain is obliterated by nuclear attack and all those in authority deceased. The letter can only say one of two things: retaliate, or, don't retaliate. Each new British prime minister must write the letter upon taking office.

Set in the near future, David Greig's brilliant play is a conversation between the new prime minister (in this case a woman) and the Head of Arrangements, John, at the end of her first day. It unpacks the arguments around nuclear deterrents - and the surreal position a new prime minster must find themself in.

Yesterday, I took GB out to the water meadows near the stable: I'd never been before, mostly because I didn't want to just go on my own but had never managed to get the timing right to go with someone else. The bad part was that I let myself get talked into trotting down the narrow road through the village: I try to avoid too much trot on the roads, because I don't want GB's legs to have trouble, and they were indeed swollen when we got back. Fortunately, they don't seem to be bothering him today, so Ill just keep an eye on it.

The good part was that he had a lovely time charging around on the grass, and splashing in the river. He was very dubious about going in it, but I convinced him to try and, once he'd looked confused and had a big drink, he wandered around quite happily. I swear he was deliberately making as much of a splash as he could! I'll have to take him back, without the trotting down the road part. Maybe we'll take the baby as well.

Life seems to be terribly hectic right now, which is at least partly because Mike was around during the day last week: we were down in the new house twice, for a start, and the horses had massages. Plus I had to go to work. That's just rude. Also, Mike broke the car, which not only meant that I had to go to a breakers yard and hang out with the strange men there on Monday but (as that hasn't fixed it) also means that I have to faff about pumping one of the tires up every time I go anywhere. Bah. Yesterday, I was being primped, and today I had two riding lessons (dashing back to the stables in between to swap both horses and saddles: this may have been foolish) and am out for dinner.... And then I have to go to work, *again*.

(I'm bored with work, now. I've fixed it all, so it's just day-to-day stuff, and that's getting dull. Well, fixed it all other than my usual problem with companies I work for: this one is, ahem, showing all the signs.)
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♥Sep. 5th, 2012 // 05:46 pm
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The Shipping Forecast will never be the same again.
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