Posted in Having a rant, This thing we call life., Writing bits and bobs

I have murder on my mind… my printer has gone on the blink.

With a deadline fast approaching it’s good to be able to rely on computers, printers and modern technology to be there and to work beautifully. After all, isn’t that why we spend so much of our hard-earned cash on them?

So,… my printer has gone on the blink.  Okay, I don’t submit my writing by snail mail, but, it would be good to print it off and actually see what my masterpiece looks like. We don’t always pick up on the little mistakes, on a computer screen – but, when we read from a printed piece… it’s all too obvious. Our stupid mistakes STAND OUT! YOU ARE SO STUPID!

I’ve devoted the best part of two of my precious days this week, trying to coax the little sod into actually printing what I need it to print. It prints – but nothing that I want. I’ve done printer maintenance, changed cartridges, being on help sites, cleaned the printer heads with alcohol and so many other things I can’t remember. I’ve lost the will to live and seriously fantasized about purchasing an axe and smashing the blasted thing into little pieces. But, I suspect the actually axing to death of the damn thing would aggravate my fibromyalgia something rotten.

I’ll kill it in a story instead.

I might also buy  a new printer. So, my son-in-law can arrive the day after I’ve set up the new printer, press a button and make it all better – because he actually understands these things. And before you say it… no, he can’t talk me through it on the phone, because I am a complete computer, tablet, mobile phone and printer der brain.

It was all so much better in the days of typewriters. With a typewriter I would actually have a typed copy. Granted it would be covered in Tippex, have numerous typed over words and it would be my 100th attempt at getting it right… but it would be physical. I could hold it in my hand… and see the glaringly stupid mistake – right at the beginning of the feature. Then, I could take the same axe to the typewriter.

I’m not violent  – honestly. Just a wee bit frustrated by all of this wonderful modern technology.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go and drown a printer… then I’ll attack it with an axe!

Anyone else having fun with their technological gismos?

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

Posted in Adopting greyhounds., Greyhound training, Greyhounds and muddy boots., This thing we call life.

A fistful of sausages: training the Daisy dog.

 

the-daisy-dog-1

For a few sausages more I’m hoping my greyhound will be good, not bad and certainly not get us into an ugly situation.

I’m out with the Daisy dog on a bright, late January afternoon. The birds are singing hopeful songs and a gentle, relaxing walk lies ahead of us.

We turn the corner and are immediately thrown into a standoff, not dissimilar to a scene from a spaghetti western – hence the title.

 

Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com
Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com

A beautiful, long-haired, border collie who goes by the name of Flossie leads her pack of two humans. They always trail several yards behind her. The music builds to a climax  in my aching head as I clock Daisy’s body language. She is eyeballing the Flossie and all her muscles have been tensed. Flossie stares the Daisy dog down and keeps coming at us.

There’s no time to retrieve the fistful of sausages in my glove ( yummy!) and I take evasive action by turning my pooch away from her perceived threat to face a wall, whilst calmly, but firmly telling her no… to defuse the situation. But, Daisy’s not having any of this and she lunges at the Flossie. I manage to pull her back in time and tell her no! She gives up and the standoff is over. Phew! The Flossie continues on her walk.

The rest of Flossie’s pack ambles up and a joint and judgemental ooh! is muttered by them and so the finger of blame wafts in my direction.

To say that I’m bloody furious is an understatement.

Standoffs with this Flossie are becoming a regular occurrence.  Usually, I get to deploy my weapon… sliced sausages. A request for the Daisy dog to watch me distracts her as she loves sausages. Don’t all dogs?  The Flossie passes us by and her pack of two loyal followers rush silently past us. Which is odd, to say the least. Most dog walkers like to pass comment on our various canine encounters. Or at least say ” Hello.”

In my quest to train our pooch, I go everywhere with my fists and pockets full of sausages, or bits of beef, pork and when I’m desperate liver. All cooked of course. I smell really yummy and dogs for miles around are thrilled to see me. They all want to stop and say hello. Which is fine… the Daisy dog gets to socialize with other dogs and I get to chat for England.

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All except Flossie that is. Flossie doesn’t stop to chat, her pack never stop, or chat and the Irish Daisy dog thinks it’s highly amusing to shout “Feck off!” at her.

It is not.

This is not acceptable for a lady/female greyhound and so the training continues.

At this stage my husband and I ( one has been watching The Crown on Netflix and is feeling rather regal) can’t decide whether it’s the pack leader thing that is the problem, or the rubber ring that Flossie has rammed in her mouth, at all times. The Daisy dog has lots of toys and things to chew… other than chair legs, mobile phones, pairs of glasses and false teeth, but no rubber ring.

Yet another day and Daisy and I round the corner to be confronted by the Flossie. This time I quickly cross the road, with a very verbal and reluctant Daisy dog in tow. Flossie continues and her single pack member struggles to keep up with her.

I cross back over and explain to Flossie’s guy that it would be very helpful for them to have her on the lead, when we meet. He admits that he can’t walk her on the lead. She “pulls my shoulder out of its socket” he tells me.

We talk on, the Flossie keeps going… somewhere around the corner and walking along the side of the very busy, main road through our village. ( The thought of this scares me to death…  seemingly not him.)

He accuses me  of having a vicious dog. I point out that in all of our standoffs I’m the one that has to deal with both dogs. Never have they made any attempt to call the Flossie to heel. ( There’s no whistling of the pooch going on in this version of The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.) Nor do they put her on a lead; as other dog owners tend to do, when they see an approaching dog being walked on the lead. It evens things up a bit – in the canine world!  The Flossie is presumably still on the roam. Points made and taken, we go our separate ways.

december-2016-new

Several minutes later and the pooch and I are further down the road, and making my way round to the river when we meet…

Flossie leads again, he follows on. His anger is almost tangible.

This time the sausages are deployed, but we’re trapped in between another damn wall and them . He struts past. However, Flossie has stopped to sniff the grass. He shouts her five times, each time more frantically and angrily. Finally, she decides to join him. The Daisy dog is more of a lady this time and doesn’t swear, or attempt a lunge for the collie. She gets an extra-large piece of sausage and oodles of praise.

Bloody marvellous, I think… and head to the river for some chill out time.

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The Daisy dog’s rubber ring arrives today.

Watch this space as I train our still adjusting to life as a family pet and so occasionally ever so slightly naughty, but absolutely adorable greyhound.

Do you have a free spirit dog? Or are you training your pooch? Feel free to share your experiences and words of wisdom/techniques .

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daisy dog hard at it.
The Daisy dog hard at it.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Funny videos, Having a rant, On my soap box, This thing we call life.

A right load of old garbage.

wheelie-bin-saga-2Back in the day, here in the UK and I’m guessing quite probably in a quite a few other parts of the world, households had a simple metal dustbin. We even made up songs about it here in good old Blighty.

My old man’s a dustman he wears a dustman’s hat. He wears cor blimey trousers and he lives in a council flat.”

 

Sang Lonnie Donegan in 1960.

And here’s the proof.

Once upon a time the dustman came to collect your one metal dustbin, which was discretely tucked away in a corner of your garden. He would leave the lid and haul the bin, on his shoulder to the waiting wagon. Then, he would return the empty bin, replace the lid and if you were super lucky… close the gate after himself. And the bins were emptied every week – not fortnightly.

The downside of it was – there were massive landfill sites, scarring the landscape and gulls the size of a small dog feasting on the festering mess.  We were rapidly running out of places to dump our garbage and something had to be done.

These days we have a bin for household waste, recycled waste and garden waste.

wheelie-bin-saga

They come in lovely bright colours, such as blue, green and black. Some of us have small courtyard gardens and have opted to use garden refuse sacks, which have to be bought  and a licence obtained in order for the bin men to stop and lob the sacks  into the back of their huge wagons.

The remaining two bins in garish colours and proudly displaying the name of our local borough council – lest we forget who the magnificent things belong to, take up about a sixth of our yard. They blend in perfectly and in summer positively hum – but not with the sound of insects.

At this point, after I’ve emptied an entire bottle of concentrated disinfectant into it and it still smells like a mini landfill – because it has been sitting there festering in a heat wave for two weeks, I dump it the passage at the back of our cottages.

The day before bin day we drag the monsters around to the front of the house. I know there are some folk out there who have about a mile to walk from their house to the bottom of the lane, with their wheelie bin… because these super-duper vans can’t come up the lanes these days. We are asked to put the bins out for 6am on the collection day. I have yet to see a van out at that time – but, we live with the fear of being left with the festering mess for another two weeks – that would give us a month’s worth of garbage – very nasty garbage to contend with.

It’s easy to see when the bin men have been… various wheelie bins are scattered all over the pavement. If you’re pushing a pushchair, or driving a scooter enormous fun can be had tackling the obstacle course. Sometimes you actually have to move the bins out-of-the-way.

In order to cut down on the waste material that can now be sent for recycling, packages arrive in huge cardboard boxes filled with about a tree’s worth of brown paper. The pen that you ordered is in perfect condition and the box and paper fill your recycling bin.

I’ve had a run – in with our local council recently over them failing to empty our recycling bin. It was happening all too frequently. We live on the main road that runs through the heart of our village. On bin day the road is a sea of bin wagons and yet on several occasions recently not one of them stopped to empty our bins.

Just what kind of service were we paying for and surely common sense should have told them to stop and sort out the line of seven eagerly waiting to be emptied bins? Er… no.

Anyhow, after a series of rather silly emails that they sent to me and which annoyed the hell out of me, the matter has now been happily rectified.

At my most mad moment I took to Twitter… a la Donald Trump style.

Just who the hell do I think I’m talking to? I asked myself. I’m not one of the most powerful people in the world.

But, it felt so good. I’ll give Trump that.

However my series of garbled and somewhat confusing messages will be out there forever! Not so good.

I growled at the woman in the refuse department when she couldn’t and wouldn’t answer my questions.

” If you don’t stop shouting at me I will end this call.” She told me.

Honey, if you think that is shouting you need to develop thicker skin. I didn’t swear at you, insult you, or use my extensive sarcasm on you. I had to raise my voice because you wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways!

All is now well in the garbage garden and we’ve kissed and made up. I have the manager of the department on speed dial and I’ve emailed him to ask him to send my apologies to the woman who was on the end of my frustration.

I was going to ring her and then I thought she might just have a nervous breakdown. Best not.

My beautiful garbage bins are now back in the garden and look as wonderful as ever. And, as I’ve taken delivery of a packet of TENS Machines pads this morning… the packaging for it has now filled the recycling bin. Roll on the next fortnight!

How about you?

Do your bins get emptied and do the bins fill your garden? Do they hum to you in summer? It would be interesting to know how other parts of the world tackle their garbage.

I know – I need to get out more.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Having a rant, It's a health thing, This thing we call life.

Walking upright is so underrated: confessions of a temporary Quasimodo.

walking-post-2Well hallelujah! I can walk upright again and without the aid of my trusty walking stick. Walking upright is so very underrated.

Sunday saw me resembling some weird combination of Quasimodo crossed with a constipated duck. What does a constipated duck look like? Me – yesterday. I had that slow and slightly wobbly walk that they have. Hunched over and unable to straighten to my full 5ft 7 ins I tried to adopt a graceful and dignified walk.

Hubby told me : ” You look fine… you’re hardly bent over at all. “ But, I was using every bit of my strength and resolve to stay as upright as possible. My muscles at the base of my spine and in my pelvis burned, and screamed for me to sit down. They felt like rubber bands that would snap at any moment.

Back inside, I relented and Quasi was back BIG TIME!

” You stand more upright when you’re outside, you need to go outside again.” said my terribly, sympathetic husband.

Oh, you’re so funny!

Thinking about it, he probably won’t have that much sympathy. He has Parkinson’s disease and for the last twenty years since he was diagnosed,  he has gradually become more and more bent over. The difference is… he doesn’t get any relief from it. He doesn’t suddenly straighten up, like me today. He has it day in and day out… and he doesn’t moan about it – or blog about it!

Yesterday has made me appreciate just how great it is to walk tall. True, I am still sore and tender, but I am truly grateful for being able to unfurl to my true height.

I don’t know what caused my temporary back problems. It could be linked to one of many things at present.

I have given up gluten to try to help my daily headaches/migraines. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a headache.

Some folk who give up gluten experience the withdrawal symptoms and I’m one of those. Well, what a surprise?

I’ll bore you with the ins and outs of that in a future post… when I can stay awake long enough.

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Right now, I’m just here to celebrate being able to walk upright again… for now.

Not a bad way to start a virgin week I reckon.

Thanks for dropping by and have yourself a great start to the new week.

Dorne (Quasi)  x

Posted in New Year, This thing we call life.

Welcome 2017! How will you live your year?

fibro-fog-for-wd-4January 1, 2017 – gosh that feels good to write that. It’s a new year – all fresh and virginal.

It’s a bit weird how one tiny second that takes us from one year to the next is so liberating. And it’s all in the mind. Nothing has really changed, but the power of our collective minds makes it so.

We have a new year and new challenges to deal with. But, we have fresh hope and a sense of a new beginning.

True, some folk are still on a rather warped and destructive path of their sense of justice… that’s life. We don’t have to let them win though.

We have a break up with Europe to face and an uncertain and controversial person about to enter one of the most powerful posts in the world. Wars rage and famine continues to take lives all too easily.

Change is going to be the buzz word of 2017.  Change can scare folk rigid. But, it  can also deliver pleasant and unexpected surprises.

Like that job you took that you hated at first and then really fell in love with, as you adapted to the change. Or the  move to a house that didn’t feel like home and then you cried, when you had to leave it and move on.

We can let the world and its current events scare us , or we can choose to live and see the good things.

Wherever you are and whoever you are I wish you a good and peaceful 2017. May you rise to your challenges and find the good in this weird world – that is of our making.

How about you? Do you love or fear change? Does 2017 fill you with hope?

Thanks for reading – it is truly appreciated.

Dorne x

 

Posted in Christmas, Having a rave., My family and other animals, This thing we call life., Video corner., Yorkshireland

Do you remember Dixon of Dock Green in the sixties? A Saturday trip down memory lane.

childhood

There’s something special about Saturdays. I was born on a Saturday night, just as Jack Warner as Sergeant Dixon in Dixon of Dock Green said “Evening all!” I’m led to believe that this was about 9.20 pm. My paternal grandma watching it downstairs, turned up the sound on the television as I screamed upstairs,throughout the episode. When it had finished she investigated the source of the noise pollution. She loved me really… and me her.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with 1960’s television shows in the UK, here’s a clip of the opening titles.

 

You’ve got to admit that’s pretty gripping stuff. Cor blimey! This show went on for many years. Sergeant Dixon brought me into the world and accompanied me throughout most of my childhood.

As a very naughty six-year-old that crawled the length of the children’s hospital ward underneath the beds, to hide from the nurses; used the beds as trampolines and swung from the toilet chains, I had my tonsils removed. I also pretended to be falling asleep and then made my bid for freedom, as the poor surgical staff tried to anaesthetise me. Round and round the room I raced, like a caged animal trying to escape. Someone opened a door and I saw my escape… only to be captured by a mad scramble of frustrated, but relieved hands.

“I’m going to sleep now.” I told them and waited for that awful black mask to be removed from my face.

I woke up on the ward, minus my tonsils and feeling cross with myself for letting them get the better of me.

For being such a good girl? I got a Lady Penelope doll. I was Thunderbirds crazy. My Lady Penelope wasn’t chauffeured around by Parker in a pink Rolls Royce, no…  she drove herself in a blue, plastic jeep. She drove like a mad woman and did things for herself. She didn’t wear the shop bought costumes. I made my own creations for her and I think mum might have chipped in as well with a few items. She was a hippy with headbands, maxi dresses and was nothing like her television personality. She talked with a Yorkshire accent and didn’t brush her hair very much. She climbed trees, played in mud and sand and just lived like a child.

Here’s the Thunderbird’s version of her Ladyship in action.

Later on, as a teenager, Saturday meant pay-day for my paper round and a free Mars bar. I’d buy a can of coke and slurp, and munch my way around my paper round. Then I’d head off to Music College for the morning. I played clarinet. I still have it and occasionally I try the odd Clarinet concerto… as one does. My mouth is not used to the reeds these days and I get blisters. Also, it sounds like a cat on heat! The poor thing can’t get any relief.

These days Saturdays are still special to me. It’s almost as if I can feel them. The traffic that meanders its way through the village and past our cottage sounds different and feels different. I can almost feel that Saturday shopping anticipation/ going to the match/ to visit friends. No work – for some. At this time of the year Christmas shopping is picking up and the excitement levels of guys being dragged off to shopping centres is at an all time high.

Early on a Saturday morning I  roam the sleeping village streets with the Daisy dog and imagine the snoring folk behind the closed blinds and curtains. Eventually, they will rise, without the aid of an alarm and sleepily wander into their Saturday.

The only part of Saturday I can’t abide is the evening television. It’s all stupid game shows, dancing, prancing and mindless garbage for morons. Yeah, I love it. I persuade hubby to binge watch zombies, controlling presidents/politicians and aliens. A bit like Brexit and the Amercian Presidential Election really!

So, that’s a muddled up post about Saturdays/ childhood memories and a bit of other stuff thrown into the mix.

And to think that this all started off with some fog and frost this morning. It got me out of bed… to photograph it and it got me thinking about Saturday.

There may be some of you who would have preferred the fog and frost… SORRY! But, memory lane got in there first.

So, did any of you have a Lady Penelope doll? Watch Thunderbirds? Play clarinet? Do you remember Dixon of Dock Green? Have your tonsils removed in childhood? Climb trees?

I’m off to walk the Daisy dog now and climb a few trees! Oh, and I forgot to mention the roller skating. Maybe next time.

Thanks for reading.

Dorne x