Category Archives: Uncategorized

I don’t know what possessed me!

++++ POLITE NOTICE ++++

++++ MISSING SPACES ARE DUE TO BABY REMOVING SPACE BAR EARLIER TODAY ++++

N.B. Any other mistakes are entirely my own ūüėČ

When I was walking to Mum’s a few weeks ago in the rain and my feet were getting wet. Unusually, not because I had my flim-flams (fit flops) on – they finally broke earlier this summer.

No, it was all down to my tatty old hiking boots. ¬†They weren’t brilliant boots to start with but they were on sale in the Trespass shop at Gunwharf Quays and I needed a pair so I thought they’d do. ¬†The soles were having a conversation. ¬†Now, I can’t afford either new flim-flams or new hiking boots at the moment and had requested the latter for Christmas but I was sick of getting wet feet, luckily, Mr PinQ had delved into some of the (still packed – I know, I know but I have decorated two rooms,made a couple of sets of curtains, repaired appliances and a million and one other things!) boxes and had rather randomly, pulled my trail running shoes out.

They were a last-minute buy before my first event. ¬†I had ordered some at booking but the week of the race, they hadn’t arrived and when I contacted the seller, they offered to bring me a pair on the day. ¬†Yeah right. ¬†I asked for a refund and ordered a cheap pair of Karrimor ones because I had no intention of ruining my Brooks on a February cross-country event. ¬†They were tight but I didn’t have time to return them and get the half-size bigger that I should have ordered in the first place! ¬†I then wore them for the next event.

I cycled, skated and swam my way through most of that summer and early autumn but with the Team disbanded by our employer and a very poorly pregnancy, I didn’t run again. ¬†I carried on cycling, swimming and skating (the latter until a few weeks before Baby-Girl was born) and of course, Pup-Pup had come into our lives too so I was walking every day again.

I guess it was the wet feet thing. ¬†I binned my hiking boots when I emptied the bin and litter tray this morning, having worn the trail runners to walk to Mum’s yesterday and not only loving that I had dry toesies (it was a mizzy day yesterday) but also realising that they fitted beautifully! ¬†I’ve lost about 2st since that first run 2 years ago so my feet are back to normal – I was so pleased.

So today, I set off walking to Mum’s with Baby-Girl in her pram (which also contained a nappy bag, handbag and laptop) and Pup-Pup on her lead, which was slung over my shoulder as I had no spare hands. ¬†What did I then decide to do?

Run.

I’ve been thinking about the fact that I have all these beautiful hills around me again and what a shame it is that I can’t go cross-country running because I am (temporarily) a single mummy and whilst I can walk the dog all day in the hills, Baby-Girl is getting rather heavy in her little harness and the pram isn’t brilliant on most of the footpaths. I’m odd. ¬†I love cross-country running but I don’t particularly like road running and I hate treadmills.

I was doing a variation of fartlek training. ¬†There are lots of roads to cross on the way so I ran a block, walked a block, ran a block, walked a block etc. ¬†I’ll be honest, I do need to find my sports bras; a lovely, soft, cotton, non-wired maternity bra really isn’t the best for running but it didn’t stop me.

If I hadn’t surprised myself enough by running there, I only went and did it on the way back as well! ¬†The best bit… I thought that one block would kill me because it has been such a long time since I did any training but I feel fine. ¬†Let’s see if I edit that last bit tomorrow.

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Kindness

I cannot get over the kindness of our family and friends.

Since I was made redundant 18 months ago, things have been really difficult financially, particularly when¬†Mr PinQ’s contract with the charity that he worked for came to an end and he started doing temp work. ¬†Losing my great wage was a blow but losing his low one was devastating, we didn’t know how we could feed and clothe ourselves, never mind our beautiful Baby-Girl when she arrived last summer.

Everyone has been so generous, giving us: bags and bags of knitted, crocheted and bought clothes, blankets, a pram, nappies, a cot-bed, change bags, a steriliser; a little work to earn extra money; lessons in crochet so that I could make things for her myself; toys; a practical helping hand when we’ve needed it; somewhere to stop and feed Baby-Girl or somewhere to sleep when travelling to see family and friends; a shoulder to cry on when it has been needed; puppy- and baby-sitting; baby sign classes – the list is endless!

If that weren’t enough, a friend with a property portfolio is buying another house¬†for us to rent so that we will have a secure roof over our heads until we can afford to buy; another has arranged for us to live in another house until the sale of the other completes.

I’ve had hard times in the past, but it was never as bad as the last 18 months and of course, it was only ever me, my old doggy and cat (when they were still alive) that I had to think about. ¬†Having a baby magnifies those sorts of stresses a hundredfold but having such wonderful, kind-hearted and generous people in our lives negates most¬†of that stress.

Some people handed me money and said, “Get something for the baby”, so I put it straight into savings accounts for her. ¬†With everyone having bought her so much already, we didn’t really need anything so making sure that she has a bit of money behind her when she grows up seemed like the right thing to do with it.

I’ve even been given loads of textiles (Nan-Bear and NannaD) and clothes so that I can make things, either for Baby-Girl or even to sell. ¬†On top of that, people donated to help me set up my own business and I’ve already bought the sewing machine that I dreamed of owning when mine broke – although I’m goign to buy the other bits when we are settled in our new home, it would be silly to buy it now just to have to transport it 275 miles!

We’ve had all of the things from the food bank that other people wouldn’t take. Things like vegetables and uncut, lovely bread: Meditteranean, soda bread, organic brown batch, olive bread, ciabatta rolls and the rest!

We are the poorest we’ve ever been financially but the richest in love because of the kindness of others. ¬†I really do hope that there is a heaven so that I can sit down with all of those wonderful people and tell them what they mean to me. ¬†Some of you will think, “but it as just a little thing…” it wasn’t a little thing to us. ¬†The baby clothes from the charity shop was as gratefully received as the leg of lamb, the pork joint, the vegetables, the vegetable peeling to feed the hens, the second-hand crib, the cot-bed and everything else. ¬†I can never sell any on any of the beautiful things that people have made for Baby-Girl, they are too precious, but I expect I will¬†sell bags of assorted baby clothes at some point but even if I don’t keep everything forever, I will never forget the generous, kind souls that gave us so much peace of mind. ¬†Being able to dress your baby (for at least a year) because so many lovely people have given you so much – when you didn’t know how you were going to dress her past her first few weeks, really is amazing.

I have no way to adequately express what it means to be moving to a warm home where you aren’t in a daily battle with mould. ¬†I even think that the cough and sinus thing that I started with on Christmas day will go when we are settled.

From anyone in need, thank you to all the good people.  When you help someone who really needs it, you give a them light, hope and joy.  Even when reality hits again as it must, the benefactor will always have the memory of that helping hand, in whatever form.

N.B. I normally proof-read in case of garbled sentences, typos and grammatical errors.  I am too tired to do that tonight and I have a tonne of work to do for Saturday plus a landlord visit tomorrow so I am just leaving the post as is.  Apologies if it reads like alphabetti spaghetti!

 

They must think we are stupid!

“Hello,
Message important for you!¬†You have a tax refund of ¬£ 241,76 GBP still pending!¬†We have been unable to credit the funds on your account.”

Their email address showed as:HM Revenue & Customs <payment@germany-carsale24.com>

Honestly! ¬†Even if the email address¬†hadn’t been visible, the dodgy English in the subject field would have made it an obvious scam: “Enquiry from HMRC urgent for you! You have a tax refund of ¬£ 241,76 GBP still pending!”.

Reported to HMRC.

07527915436

“Am I speaking to Mrs PinQ?”

“Ye—s”

“Hello Mrs PinQ. ¬†I am Dave [MYAR5E] from Credit _______”

I didn’t catch the name of the ‘company’.

“It is my understanding that you have personal debt that you pay off monthly.”

“I must stop you there. ¬†This number is TPS registered.”

“But your number was given to us by Citizens Advice and the Financial Conduct Authority with regard to your debt.”

“I don’t think so. ¬†Even if Citizens Advice did have my details due to a problem with debt, they would not contravene the DPA ’98.”

“Well, what I don’t understand is if you can’t amanage your debt, why you have TPS.”

He then hung up.

I have reported the call to the TPS, Action Fraud, Citizens Advice and the FCA.  Mainly because of the people that would be suckered by these scammers Рespecially when they are bandying about organisations such as Citizens Advice and the FAC.

EU: the FACTS

Was the title of the leaflet that came through the door this afternoon.

I can’t say that I was surprised to find a UKIP logo with contact details on the back, the leaflet proved to me that they are aiming for a less intelligent following. ¬†The “IF WE VOTE TO LEAVE THE EU” page had green headers and the “IF YOU VOTE TO REMAIN IN THE EU” using red.

N.B. The use of “WE” and “YOU”

You are part of a nice, snuggly, warm club/family if you choose to vote leave.  Isolation and doom for you if you choose to remain.

Not surprisingly, the “facts” are not particularly factual. ¬†Opinion is not fact –¬†even when it’s mine ūüėČ

I had a look at it because Star (the puppy) kept trying to paw at it so I thought I would read it to her.

Now, the reason that I kept it on the coffee table in the first place was so that I could lodge a complaint.  When we got Star, Mr PinQ put chicken wire across our wrought iron garden gate and fitted the following sign (on both sides):

Please Close the Gate

The sign is approximately 5″ x 7″ (roughly 13cm x 18cm) and the gate is easy enough to operate so I was not impressed when I went out with Star earlier and found that the gate had only been pulled to rather than closed. ¬†I was taught that when leafleting, you should always leave the gate as you found it and I KNOW that I closed it earlier; never mind the fact that there is a SIGN asking people to close the gate.

Further to all of this, I then tried to call the number on the back of the leaflet to complain about the gate, only to be put through to the UKIP membership hotline!  Really? Membership?

With my Aryan looks, I might have to ask Mr PinQ to put on some DMs so that he looks as BNP as possible and pay a visit to the local UKIP member’s office…

I had to make a stand

I spent yesterday morning at the hospital being tested for gestational diabetes.  I had assumed it was routine but it turns out that it was probably just because of my age.

The letter said “no food or drink from 20:30 the night before except water or black tea/coffee.”

I had been very sick shortly after dinner on Thursday so by the tie I got up yesterday, I was pretty ravenous but I followed the instructions. ¬†It’s funny though; this morning, I am happily sat here drinking green tea with mint but yesterday, I _really_ wanted a caramel macchiato!

Having arrived at the hospital 10 minutes before my 09:00 appointment time, I was disappointed not to be called through until 09:27 – particularly because Maternity Outpatients was still quiet at that point. ¬†The baseline blood was taken and I was given a vile energy drink. ¬†The flavour itself wasn’t to bad, it was the sweetness of it that was horrible because I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth. ¬†The Maternity Assistant then had a bit of a flap (she was having a bit of a dizzy morning) over giving me some water, I said that it was okay, I had my filter bottle with me but she said that I couldn’t have that because i could only have a measured amount. ¬†The teeny cup provided really wasn’t enough to get rid of that taste!

I then had to return to the waiting room for two hours before the next blood sample could be taken.  I had my crochet with me to keep me occupied.

After an hour, I couldn’t stay sat any longer and toddled off up the corridor to use the bathroom (rather than the one directly across from the waiting room) and stretch my legs.

When I retuned, the already busy department was now full with only one¬†seat left. ¬†I sat down and started to observe the people around me. ¬†The young mums brought two people with them: mum + baby’s father or mum + friend/sister or baby’s father ¬†+ friend/sister; the older mums in for a scan had mum or baby’s father with them; and the older mums in for blood tests or examinations had come alone. ¬†For us, it was the purely practical. ¬†The letter had said: “allow approximately 2 and a half hours for your appointment.” ¬†I knew that it would be more likely three and wasn’t prepared to pay for parking for that long so Mr PinQ dropped me off and took the puppy for a long walk before returning to collect me – no parking costs and a tired puppy FTW.

There was a young man next to his partner and her mum in the seats just across the aisle from me and a young man playing on his phone with¬†his partner plus her friend/sister on the seats next to me. ¬†As more heavily pregnant ladies arrived for their appointments, I found myself appalled by the fact that no-one gave up their seats but sat in ignorance. ¬†I always remember being taught to give up my seat on the bus for pregnant ladies or elderly people – although many elderly gentlemen would refuse the offer. ¬†Now, all of the young ladies that I know between 15 and 25 years of age would have nudged their partners and said, “Let that lady sit down” or similar but to my horror, not one person moved and women that were well over 30 weeks, obviously suffering from the heat and tired, were left standing whilst the appointment times were over-running by over half an hour.

I wasn’t far off my 2 hour mark and knowing that everyone in the room was listening intently for their names (none of the people calling patients through had the ability to project their voices) I stood up and offered a lady my seat on the basis that I would be called back in shortly.

At that point, a member of staff took my cue and went around the room asking if those who weren’t pregnant if they could please give up their seats.

It’s rather a shame that it took someone of 30 weeks pregnant and a member of staff to make it happen.

Inevitably, the morning had taken its toll and I slept for much of the afternoon before being sick again and am still sick this morning but no matter – not long now!

 

Annual vaccinations for your pet?

When my beloved Sheehan was about 5 years old, I moved to the countryside.

Now, I had always lived on the edge of the countryside and spent much of my time playing/hiking in the hills and walking by reservoirs and rivers.  I knew the countryside code and stuck to it.

Up until then, Sheehan and Spike had always had their annual vaccinations and ate the best “complete” dog and cat food that I could afford for them.


One day, Sheehan developed a massive dry, flaky, white scab on her back and on the site of the scab, lost her hair, so I took her to see an old country vet. ¬†He told me to feed her raw mince and brown bread for a fortnight, he suggested that I might crack a raw egg in as well once or twice. ¬†He was very much against “complete” food because in its natural state, a dog wouldn’t eat a perfectly balanced diet. ¬†I told him about the fact that she ate grass on a daily basis but was never sick with it and he suggested that I give her “veggie ends” because in the wild, if she hunted a grazing beast, she would get all of the vitamins, minerals and fibre of the grass when she ripped out and ate its belly. ¬† He also told me to give her starve days every once in a while to clear her gut, after all, a wild dog/wolf doesn’t get to eat every day.

I was discussing this with an old “dog man” – sadly not a new species but a chap who works dogs – and he told me that he only has his dogs vaccinated for the first couple of years.

I took their advice and changed the way that I fed Sheehan and neither she nor Spike were vaccinated again.

I don’t actually know if annual boosters work like a flu jab where you get a bit of last year’s strain;¬†I also don’t know if they are given live vaccines and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there but I do know that apart from breast cancer at 10 (benign tumours), Sheehan was a happy, healthy girl for almost 17 years. ¬†A Border Collie’s lifespan is 10 – 14 years with an average age of death at 12 years. ¬†Even in her last weeks, she was still walking 5 miles a day. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, when she was in her prime, I walked 10 miles a day and she would do about 30 because she was running back and forth as I walked, whereas in her last year, the 5 miles were broken into 3 walks and there was no running about but I know a lot of young, healthy (?), fit (??) dogs that don’t do that. ¬†Spike lived to be 21 and developed Chronic Kidney Disease in his last couple of years but that was controlled with medication and diet.

If the vaccinations are live, then surely our dogs, cats and bunnies build immunity that doesn’t need to be topped up.

I have recently learned about the Titre/Titer Test (pronounced TIGHT-er) where a blood sample is taken and can be tested for antibodies to things like parvovirus, distemper and rabies. ¬†It is my understanding that the vaccination for parvovirus should last for 7 years and distemper for 5 – 7 years but the vets that will actually do the test will recommend annual testing (it’s more expensive that vaccination – make what you will of that) and many people choose to est every 3 years.

I have also learned a lot about the health problems that cats can develop from eating grains but it is surprising how many cat food products out there still contain rice, wheat and maize.

Finding food without grain for Snowdrop, our new kitten, has been challenging; even the free sample of Royal Canin Paediatric biccies contained grain but Arden Grange (cheaper via Amazon subscribe and save with our other animal feed to make up the 15% discount) has only protein and potato so we’re onto a winner with that one. ¬†Wet food is more challenging for her as she seems to have a bit of an allergy to chicken – it gives her a very poorly tummy – and Mr PinQ discovered that even a food labelled as “salmon” was made from salmon, pollock and CHICKEN so we might be making her wet food¬†ourselves.

20160206-Snowdrop

One thing that I do know for sure is that I won’t be having the babies vaccinated annually.

They will get their primary vaccinations and then I will have to decide whether to test or top-up every 5-7 years.  I will also continue to feed and exercise them as I have learned over the years