Monday, January 25, 2010


... through the endless wastes of January and then February. This is always a bleak time of the year, and my mood will lift when the daylight returns. One thing that lifted me before then was reading Susan Chernak McElroy's blog here. I've admired her books for a long time, so it was wonderful (and somehow strange) to find the author in person.

Someone who's off my "admired" list, though, is Dara o'Briain, whose greyhound was euthanased after she broke a leg in a race. It's a fixable injury, and there's a charity in the US, Greytlegs, that specifically pays for surgery for racing dogs who break a leg, so that they're not killed for an injury that would be treated in a domestic pet. Shame there isn't a branch in Ireland, but then the aforementioned comic, who is never off the TV, can't be so short of money he couldn't afford a vet bill. Particularly not after just appearing in a happy little programme showing him travelling across Ireland with the aforementioned greyhound, Snip Nua, and two friends. Unfortunately I now have to boycott one of my favourite TV programmes, "Mock the Week". Such is the price of principles.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sighs of Relief

The snow has almost gone, and the temperature is now a balmy 7 degrees centigrade. I feel human again, a human no longer under siege. Parts of the North Yorkshire moors are still difficult to reach, but here in the foothills, normal life has resumed. I feel tired, though. My grandmother used to speak of people she knew as "won't last another winter", and I know how that feels right now.

Apparently today is Blue Monday (3rd Monday in January is the time when most people will feel terrible) but I was vastly cheered by the kind comments. I've had to put comment moderation on again, due to receiving weird Chinese spam - thanks again to Lesley for pointing out what they might mean in translation. Somebody's trying to improve their search engine rankings the bad way.

And finally, although his owner died, Gollum the Italian greyhound found his way back home. My thoughts are with Gollum and Andrea's family.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad Weather Blues

It's been four weeks now since the first snowfall, so I wasn't best pleased to find another inch fell overnight last night. While I haven't yet had to crawl across the road, the last couple of days have been ludicrously icy, and I've been driving to work at 10 miles an hour until I reach the main road.

I am tired of this now, and my patience with the dogs is at a low. They are sliding around on the ice, and Herbie isn't too happy, but Holly doesn't care if she pulls me over every time she sees a cat. I am thinking "treadmill" for Holly, and wondering if Herbie should be walked at all. I would just like to be able to go for a walk and get to the shops without skidding. Just for a few days, at least.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Snow Day - Again

Once more unto the snow shovels, dear friends, once more...

A gloomy old man in the village told me that the long hard winter of 1962 started like this. "It were bad before Christmas, and it stayed bad till March." Oh great. People keep ringing to tell me where they've been stuck, how long it took to get out or be rescued, where they came off the road, where they had to spend the night, etc.

I've taken today off work because the local radio announced that my route in, the only gritted route, was blocked. It's not the day for back-roads driving. We've had snow cover now for almost three weeks, which is rare for these parts.

Herbie had an emergency visit to the vets on New Year's Eve because he started coughing and wouldn't eat. One lot of antibiotics (Noroclav) later, and he's back to normal. However I'm starting him on Tramadol, a painkiller, because he seems to be a little brighter on them. The snow is not kind to old bones.