Friday, 24 March 2017

Introducing Alexandra


"Studio" shot and outdoor shot!

She is wearing her Sunday apron, and there is a small pie hiding underneath.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Hoggy ministrations

We have really lovely neighbours all around us. We don't see them often, and because most of them are running small farms, we tend only to communicate by phone or email or Facebook. We were recently invited for drinks and nibbles by the couple whose rather decorative Highland coos keep our paddock neat. The couple have a daughter who lives on the same property in a small house which we can see over the fields from our windows. She and her partner rescue all sorts of animals when they aren't working hard at a business in town.

This evening when I went to empty our kitchen bin, I was met by a perplexed tabby escorting a very chubby hedgehog across our front driveway. I'd seen this particular pincushion before and tucked him up under some branches and leaves well out of the way of our cars, but he is a persistent pin cushion and keeps returning to the vicinity of the garage and wheelie bin. I caught him and then realised he was starting with mange, a common hedgehog problem. I felt like I was offering a St John's ambulance service to him. I whisked him up the driveway, flanked by concerned tabby and show off ginger who kept running up trees on our neighbours long avenue.

My neighbours had just come home from work, and were relaxing watching TV with a chicken perched on the sofa behind their heads. They were surprised to see me clutching a ball of anxious prickles, but were quite happy to take him in and treat him. No doubt he will be released soon, sans mange and be trying to dodge the cars again on our driveway. Here he is, in all his spiky splendour.


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Party Political Broadcast on behalf of all National Health Services

Yesterday I had a prolonged AF incident. Kind of like a pidgeon and a sparrow were playing soccer inside my rib cage. By the time I got to bed I knew it was likely to be long night. I slept for a few hours, woke up to go to the bathroom and almost collapsed in the ensuite. St John's ambulance took me "under lights" to Palmerston North hospital. It's a 50 minute drive. The driver warned it would be a bumpy one. It usually is, because there is a stretch of road, about 5kms, where the potholes and skewed camber make it treacherous. So I was strapped in, and we made it in just under 45 minutes. The road was almost deserted and he told me he drove down the middle on the pothole stretch, to spare me some of the bumps. I got home at 8am, after a series of tests. Turns out I have a UTI which likely triggered the AF. I now have antibiotics and have just managed to swallow my usual medication even though I am really nauseous.

I am not writing this because I want sympathy, it is because I am VERY grateful for a Public Health Service, highly competent paramedics and doctors and access to pharmaceuticals. Whether we live in NZ or the UK or somewhere else with a government health service, we must support it and fight to keep it. It is more precious than gold.

On a lighter note. When you call for an ambulance in NZ one of the things they request, before the ambulance arrives, is that you put away any animals. I am guessing this is a polite way of saying "please put away your angry/bolshy/man-eating dog so that we can access the patient. Boa constrictors and pythons should also be stowed carefully." The first time I called on St John's services, I fretted about finding the cats and making sure they weren't on the driveway when the ambulance arrived. I needn't have worried of course; Ruppin lives permanently under the house/various bushes and Cumin runs when she hears any vehicle on our driveway. But then there is Mango who genuinely believes the world is his friend, his access to tickles under the chin and he believes in generous distribution of Bon Homie. He was the one the ambulance driver nearly fell over when he came into the bedroom and who my husband had to remove before he climbed in their emergency bag.

I got home at 8am and I woke up just before lunchtime. No sign of cats. But as I passed the spare front bedroom, I saw this


It seems the drama of last night passed her by. I called her name, and this is as far as we got


Way too much excitement for one occupant of Coneysthorpe.