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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Hey You Long Time No See

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Predictably this is all too long so it'll be in two parts. I need to post more often it seems so this doesn't happen. Which is worse to read I wonder. Regular ramblings that will probably be more detailed and rambly or a long one cut into chunks so less detail but more overall information with multiple postings?

Hi. It seems that the last time I posted was when Yuki came back from her tooth surgery. So it's been a while. I cut my nails today so I can type at least. Feels kind of odd typing though since I haven't done it for a while.
Now then. Since you last heard from me the dog (currently) is still alive (I add that caveat in case I invite misfortune by not saying it). She's getting along but she's slower than she used to be. Doesn't eat as much as she used to and is a bit thin we think but you can't really see it with her husky coat, but we can feel a thinness. This, of course, is all to be expected with age. We stopped the swimming during the heatwave and we haven't got back into a routine with it because it can still get a bit hot to cram 2 full grown humans and an aged dog into a car with only 2 windows that roll down (remind me to tell you about the window thing later) then go for a drive along a busy road creating more heat to get to swimming and then back again. And SHE's doing it all in a thick fur coat and rarely drinks when we offer her water before/after swimming. So yeah. Only trouble is that her legs are getting a bit more questionable. She scuffs and stumbles a bit more. As for the gum hole/dip it got bigger. I did worry about that but eventually a big scab came off and I realized that this is basically what it should look like so that's a relief. I was worried it had gotten rotten. We still need to keep it clean, squirt out food that nestles in there (white fish and turkey mince are a problem, the mince is dry and crumbly and the fish just sits there so as she barely feels it I guess). I can't get the syringe near to irrigate it gently so I've had to keep to my original technique of ambush, shoot from a distance and hope my aim is good. Only trouble is I worry that I shoot off healing scabs (it does still bleed. She paws it randomly, more so if there's an irritant). We put a new cool mat out for her because the old one had burst and we couldn't replace it until they came into season, as it were. Only trouble is that it's water resistant and she can't help drooling, so it gets pools of drool (and sometimes she leaks pee too) and she ends up having her face in it so one side of her face gets all dry and crusty feeling and we have to brush it with the puppy brush (because it's for puppies it's small and gentle. I got it for this kind of purpose, face/ears and belly because I've always worried about accidentally catching her nipples. Does it sound less human if I call them teats? but then again I don't think they become particularly teat-like until they're nursing puppies. Never mind) It's also good for rubbing/brushing mud and dirt off of her legs.

I've thought several times about writing but I just didn't want to do it enough. Then it builds up and then I do this. (oh and there were points I was actually too busy)
Things to mention:
The magpies/flowers
The car window
The estate agents
My recent obsession with some waste?
How am I doing after...previous events?

So in the Spring some time (I'm not going though my journal to give you exact times for things) the magpies were quite active (naturally). And these pink flowers kept appearing on the roof outside my window (another reason I didn't mention it at the time, in case by some chance someone who reads this happens to be local and saw the house). In the end we concluded it was the magpies picking the flowers (for some reason) from a neighbor's garden (perhaps that was where their nest was) and they kind of ended up marking their territory? There were some on a roof across from us and a few in the garden and in the street so I imagine that if there had been an aerial view it might have made a kind of circle and it was all quite fun. I assure you it was more interesting at the time and I would probably have done updates/additions like "there's 4 more now" "we found some on the rest of the roof today, you and see three of them from the street" "I've just counted and there's 12 in total that we can see but there's some in the guttering now" and so on had I actually written it up at the time.

The passenger window wouldn't go up one hot day when Mum came home. This has happened twice before. First my (passenger) side, the motor went in the mechanism, in the end we called my dad for advice and he said just call the AA that's what they're there for. So we did. He was able to wriggle it up and wedge some business cards in there to keep it up until mum got to the mechanic the next day. The second time it was mum's side (this was after my mum's hospital time and she needs to go to their pharmacy to pick up the medicine they'd prescribed her) a neighbor leaned out of her window to offer advice because someone she knew had recently had this issue and it was just that a belt had come off of the motor. I tried opening it up to have a look and she came to try and assist (this was during the covid times (which technically we're still in but I think you get what I mean) but after lockdowns) but I didn't have the right tools and didn't feel super comfortable doing it anyway (and it wasn't the belt thing as she had suggested. She was very nice though. Our first names have the same origin (they're different but come from the same place. I'm not telling you what that place is. Well fine. I'll just say it's ironic for an atheist, and that's why I find it funny, and leave it at that)). I think it was then that I had to tape a plastic bag to the window...or was it the first time? maybe it was both times. Well at least one of those times it was raining. Mum called the hospital to tell them. She got them later in the evening. She tells me there was a plastic bag on the window then. It wouldn't go up as much as the first time. she tells me, because I forget, that something had snapped. We called the AA again and that time I had applied duct tape handles which made it easier for him to pull it up but it couldn't go as far as the first time, so duct tape to the rescue. Partly held the window up and partly had the bin bag stick to it. So, onto this time. This is the first time we don't have the deceased to call first to tell us to just call the AA. We tried pulling it up but it only wiggles a little bit and didn't go up at all. I tried duct tape handles for better grip. No. A neighbor I used to play with when we were little (I was friends with his sister, he was/is younger and originally kept mispronouncing my name. It used to annoy me but I got used to it then he grew out of it. I kind of sort of miss it now) he came over to offer advice because he's very recently seen a video where someone used duct tape handles on a car window but that was to open it rather than close it. He had a go but I'd started removing the handles since they weren't working and the window wouldn't budge so the tape snapped. But still it was nice of him to try. He wished us well and went on his way. We taped it up with cardboard and bin bags. Because of it we cancelled swimming and that was the first appointment we'd booked since the heat wave too and Yui really needed to get back to swimming. Mum called the garage the next day. They were booked up but gave Mum a tip to close the window at least. Put the key in the lock turn and hold it and it overrides the system and puts the window up. But because of the cardboard she couldn't see it go up so it took a while to notice. They told her to drive by and they could assess it at least. So she did. It goes down but not back up again. Then they tried the button on my side (driver side is the master button really) and it worked. So there's something amiss in the electrics but only for her button. So for now we're putting it up with my button. She felt pretty foolish though. She hadn't thought to try my button.

I'm going to skip to projects now.
I want/need to re-point some walls. I was waiting for the summer but I ended up not doing it yet. For at least part of that time there was a valid reason I didn't do it. We'll come to that last I think, keep you in suspense and all. I'd like to re-paint the windows but that would require more work than I think. Scraping/sanding off the old paint, filling gaps/holes. possibly priming it first and then painting which could take 2 coats depending on the paint and for all that I'd have to move all my plants. Summer is a busy time for plants. Well it would be if I'd been gardening properly. Again something took precedent when I needed to be sorting my summer planting.
That moves us nicely to gardening. I had radishes early on. Then I planted lettuces and I've kind of been waiting to get rid of them before getting other stuff out so I should be either coming up to or in the middle of tomato and pepper harvesting now but I'm not. I've had some set backs. The biggest one being that I've kept seedlings too long and they've rotted. Usually I'm at war with snails (though I love them so I don't want to hurt them, I care less for slugs though but they still deserve to live) but since I've planted leafy greens this year it's caterpillars. I have some sprouts (I'd very much like to grow our own Christmas veg but I don't think that's going to happen this year) but they've been besieged. I covered my best one in netting but it turns out there were some inside so they could munch away without predation. I removed them and it seems okay for now but still. I had some lettuces outside that I later moved inside for easy harvesting and to make space for a cucumber (it died though but I still have one but it's too late I think. It should be fruiting now, not just barely growing) and it turns out they were riddled with caterpillars but I didn't notice it until the leaves started dying and there were poops everywhere. I thought it was dirt, they'd gotten soil on them when I moved them, but it kind of reminded me of flea dirt (that's what they call flea poo) but bigger. Yeah. That's because it was. Because they were green they were camouflaged. It was only because I took them outside to spray the "dirt" off that I noticed the caterpillars and there were a lot. They're more noticeable when they're bigger and causing more damage. I've been slow with the planting because I've been sifting the soil. It had a lot of stones and bits of plastic in it and twigs and things. The wood I don't mind so much but the stones is something else. I also planted onions. I failed. Onion seeds are hard for me it seems. I bought some plants to grow. A tomato (It's started producing fruit but it's taking a while) some onions (they're growing at least, getting a bit bulbous at the base) and mini cucumber but it wasn't in a good state when I got it and it didn't make it. I liked the idea of mini cucumbers. I hoped they'd be better for pickling.
I got an orange tree. It's a small decorative one (I got it when we went to view the corpse if you remember that). It flowers/fruits all year round. I've harvested it twice. They're very bitter. Tiny bitter oranges (it's called calamondin if you're interested). I tried to candy them so they'd be palatable. I ended up burning the first harvest. I felt so bad for wasting them that I kept the seeds and tried to grow them. Most of them have actually sprouted, which has taken up space in my propagator (which is another reason I've been slow with my seedlings). The second harvest I baked instead. They were nice but I used demerara sugar to get rid of it. Seems white granulated would've been a better choice. If I can I'll try that next time. I got a moisture probe so, when I can be bothered to check with it, I know when my plants are thirsty. This heat has also slowed things down/killed them off. But the growing time isn't over yet.

Waste obsession?
Some houses round here are having work done and there's some bits and pieces (mainly wood) that I wonder if I could make a VERY basic little table with and an unrelated skip in the street I'd keep eyeing up. But it feels wrong to just take stuff, especially stuff in someone's front garden. I'm not a sociable being (I know. How shocking. I hide it well. maniacal sarcastic laughing ensues) so knocking on their door and asking is beyond me and I've never run into the owners (I'm on hello terms with their cat though) so I've wondered if I could just sneak away with these scraps under cover of darkness. Well no. I looked it up because I felt uncomfortable with the idea but oddly obsessed (the obsession was partly due to "hormonal" issues that occur monthly. When that is due I am known to fixate on something I wouldn't normally fixate on as much). I looked it up. Is it stealing if they're throwing it away anyway? Yes. In the UK at least. Yes it is. In relation to a woman raiding a skip of spoiled food but there is a much earlier example of a farmer burying a dead diseased pig and someone else digging it up and selling it for meat. Even though he'd essentially disposed of it it was still his property. The same actually applies to skips, even if they're in the street. Now I know you shouldn't put stuff IN a skip that isn't yours because they've had to pay to rent it so you're using/kind of stealing the service that THEY have paid for. So you'd think they'd welcome someone emptying the skip a bit for them. But legally no. Though I do wonder what the legal precedent is for taking something out of a skip that someone else illegally put in. Anyway. Now I now it's illegal I can't just take stuff. If felt wrong before but VERY wrong now. Well why not just buy stuff? I'm not a wood worker by any means so I'd rather not waste money on something that isn't going to be as easy as I think it is (because that is always the way. You actually have to put effort into things and learn new skills and what you imagine won't just magic itself into reality).

So I need to cut somewhere and I've been saving the estate agents for last for the suspense so I'll be SUPER suspenseful and cut it here.

Updated 08-02-2022 at 11:40 PM by Bluebiird