Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Blakey cuteness

Oh, and did I mention that Blakey thinks that Lulu is her mother? Well, she does. Lulu has to bat her away when she tries to suckle, but she is happy enough to let her curl up beside her and sleep.

We went on holidays

To Markree Castle in Sligo.

The plan was originally to go to Cuba, but that turned out to be very expensive and a massive hassle, so we decided to have a cheapish reading week in Ireland, which wouldn't involve flights or luggage allowance or any of that crap. Markree, as a bonus, let us bring the dogs, so we didn't even need to worry about that. Just chuck everyone in the car and off we go.

From that point of view, the place was a dream. The dogs were very welcome, and the room was big enough for all six of us to bunk up together, spread over two beds. There was plenty of space to run them across the (as advertised) rolling parklands and formal gardens. Nobody disturbed us, and we didn't disturb anyone else. We took them out for a long run in the mornings, then spent the afternoons sitting around reading while the dogs slept. Then another run in the evening before dinner, and another short walk in the moonlight before bedtime. Top notch. And we saw a stag one of the days. It was all very Regency.

There were a couple of problems with the room. The shower was awful. Truly awful. With the shower head on, you were standing under a dribble of hot water. Taking it off produced a slightly more satisfying trickle, so we did that instead. Also the bed was broken on one side. Separately, the food was kind of strange, as if the proper chef was away and had been replaced by someone who had never cooked a vegetable before in their lives.

We still really enjoyed it, and looking at other people's photographs of the place on Flickr indicates that the food isn't always like that, so I would recommend it to someone else. Plus I read two novels while I was there, which was something of a result, because I can't remember when I last finished a book.

It has been an awfully long time

Things have been busy here on Waltons' Mountain. Life news in brief:

*Ozzie is doing better, thanks. She has stopped losing weight and actually might be putting it on a little. This is great news, because it means we've found the problem and it is treatable, which means that when she has her weight up to normal, we can start looking for a home for her.

*We have a new kitten. She is called Blakey. She is called this because she has kind of a Hitler moustache effect going on, but you can't really call a kitten Hitler, can you? (No, is the answer. The answer is no.) Blakey came to us from Roscrea, where we were attending the funeral of our friend's mother. At the reception afterwards, some people rescued her from a tree, but then she was just left there in the carpark, only a five-barred gate between her and the main Dublin road. So we took her away, leaving our details with the hotel staff in case anyone came looking for her (although given the worm load she was carrying, and the state of her ears, and how hungry she was, it seems unlikely that she strayed from a loving home). We are officially looking for a home for her, but there are kittens everywhere, it seems, and nobody appears to be interested. So that's five cats we have now.

*Jane has been ill, but she appears to be doing better now.

All in all, there have been a lot of trips to the vet, which has been expensive and time-consuming, and reached a nadir when I had to give Jane a suppository. Hopefully we're on a bit of an upswing now, because I can't manage much more animal hassle.