Wednesday, August 15, 2012

After the Interval...

Well, it has been a long time coming, this new post, so I'd better make it worthwhile.

The great news is that I have a new granddaughter, Abigail Elisabeth, born on the 7th of July 2012. I have not seen her yet, but in a matter of days I shall be able to gather her up, for real! We travel to Norway on the 23rd. Another early start and late finish will be the order of the day, but that is the way of the airline.

Speaking of which, when travelling to Norway on previous occasions we have used the Scandinavian national airline, SAS out of Heathrow. This time they had no seats available for the outward flight, only homeward, which was weird. However, there is another carrier, Norwegian, which uses Gatwick. It is apparently a budget airline, but the two flights are only a couple of hours each so what the hell? It means being at Gatwick around 7 am with a 4 or 5 hour stopover in Oslo and arriving in Bodø around 7 pm - a long day. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again, and particularly Abigail. I wonder what she'll think of my beard. Since her other grandpa has one, perhaps she'll think that all grandpas come with beards!

We have had so much rain this year (it's raining again as I write) that there are now so many jobs to do in the garden I fear that I cannot get to even the more urgent ones before the colder weather hits. More than this is the impact it may have on all of our lives. Some plants may drown, and some species of insects may not be able to reproduce effectively. Take butterflies and moths, for example, eggs maybe washed off the plants where they are habitually laid, or the caterpillars may get washed away, or their food plant not thrive in the wet. Eggs of other insects are at risk too, even those laid underground, from floodwater if not from the initial deluge. Then there is the problem farmers face. Even if their crops grow in unaccustomed conditions, the continual rain may have flattened them or prevented timely ripening which will affect the harvest. That will have an impact on food prices. And it's not just the UK, the changing weather conditions are being experienced world wide.

I am not an avid follower of sports, although I appreciate a well contested cricket match, or a boxing tournament, but I must say that the Olympics in London were outstanding.

Before the event kicked off there were plenty of doom-sayers predicting problems with transport, ticketing, accommodation, catering and more. I am delighted that during the two weeks of the games they were all proved wrong! From the Opening Ceremony the superb organisation and logistical expertise of the authorities was a joy to behold, simply by being invisible. There were few doping revelations, and those athletes who were foolish enough to indulge were quickly dispatched home, as were the oriental cheats. Of course the icing on the cake was that Team GB were superb, not only in achieving more medals than for more than 100 years, but in the dignity they showed in triumph and failure. All the athletes, from every country taking part deserve our praise and congratulations for the true Olympic spirit which they displayed in striving to be

And as for the British Olympic Committee and Lord Coe? Outstanding! I enjoyed every moment I watched, every triumph and disaster. As our Gold Medal winning boxer Nicola Adams memorably said, it made my day! Rio? HERE WE COME!!!!                                                                                           

Number One cat's health is, on the whole, very robust, but of late she has had a recurring sniffle which causes her to sneeze violently. The vet is aware and from time to time prescribes an antibiotic to prevent the infection settling on the cat's chest. She is also on tablets to treat an over-active thyroid, but remains in very good health with a good appetite. She plays, hunts, and sleeps like any other cat. Not bad for an age anywhere between 13 & 15 years. Anyway, we took her to the vet on Tuesday for the sniffle, and the waiting room was full of cats! One of them had been brought in by two young women as a stray that they had found around their stables. Two days previously the cat had approached them mewing, but they had simply acknowledged it and went about their business. The following day they saw it again.  It could hardly lift its head, was very emaciated, and vocal in the extreme (hoarse by this time) with distress. The vet's nurse established that the cat was micro-chipped, but although given 3 separate numbers by the chip register none of them was working. Additionally, the address for the chip was some 50 miles away! Seemingly moggy had been abandoned. People have such evil in them. Anyway, the vet took the animal which would receive treatment, and if it was found to be viable the two young women volunteered to give a good home to it. People have such good in them. I wish them and pussy a happy life together. I do hope the cat is OK



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