Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

Tonight - just the two of us - we did what we do best together. We made a Polish Christmas Eve supper .....

- Borscht
- Monkfish with a mushroom, brandy and prune sauce
- Makowiec (poppy seed cake)
- with a fine French wine
- and candles

.... and we talked.

Links: Makowiec recipe

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Winter Solstice

Glorious sunshine after days of dank cold grey. So warm I've had to come back inside and change my two sweaters for a T-shirt.

I'm finally cutting back the brown tendrils of the morning glory that smothered the trellis at the end of the veranda in the summer. They have intertwined with the bare stems of a white summer jasmine. The sun is hot on my back as I work. Tod is giving the swimming pool a clean - the last of the leaves from the apple trees have sneaked in under the cover.

A tiny lizard sunbathes on one of the stone pigs. I walk down to the derelict cottage and disturb a red admiral basking on a wall.

The météo promises this weather to Christmas Eve. There's a chance I'll get the rest of the pansies and tulip bulbs planted before it turns cold again.

It's so warm, I've let the fire go out in the kitchen range. I'll light it again this evening and, joy of joys, the new Godin stove in the lounge.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I hardly dare breathe it ...

... but Smudge is finally getting better.

I blithely posted something similar nearly three weeks ago and the following night we were woken by his whimpering and crying with pain. At three in the morning I e-mailed our vet and deleted the post in fury and frustration. After all our love and care how dare he have a relapse!

But now, finally, he wriggles vigorously when we lift him in and out of the car, rather than hanging limp. A wriggling Airedale is a splendid armful. He sits sphinx-like on the Indian rug in the kitchen keeping an eye on breakfast proceedings, rather than just going back to sleep. Good, that means he's hungry.

And he walks - painfully slowly and with a limp, but still he's walking: along the veranda and all the way round the back of the house; down towards the derelict cottage, now being restored, where he found (and sat with) our two workmen eating their lunch in the tin-roofed shed; twice round the empty patch of mud in town where the tatty circus sometimes pitches, because once round was not enough; across the town square, down the street with the pizza restaurant that has cats, along the side of the church where it's not clear who has right of way and back past the pharmacy on the corner where they speak English and would only sell me his incredibly expensive antibiotics one packet at a time, "just in case".

In the end, it was not leukaemia, or an autoimmune disease, but toxoplasmosis which crashed in on top of his immune system already weakened by the tick fever. Finally, this week, the blood test results are negative.

This evening I'm taking him to Dr M. who will murmur sweet nothings to him and give him osteopathy and maybe acupuncture. Our vet who has supported us through all this emailed me this morning: "Give Smudge a hug." You bet - lots!

A Further Week
Tick fever