Thursday, 19 July 2018


The sun is shining. The rain has done much good. On Monday we came home in the rain, heavy rain for once. I looked outside at the paved area. I noticed what looked like a large leaf. I was just debating whether to go & get my glasses to look more carefully, or just pop out in the rain to move it, when it moved of its own accord. A great couple of leaps. It was a frog, also jumping with joy at the wetness.

Still the ground has its cracks, especially by walls & fences. Next month, unless substantial amounts of rain descend, a hosepipe ban will begin. I’m not surprised. As I’ve said before we’re profligate with our use of water in this country. We personally have not been having sprinklers on all day to maintain green lawns but many have. We’ve watered pot plants & new plantings initially but that’s it. They have to survive on their own. The situation has not been helped by the need for so much of our water being used to dowse the moor fires on the Pennines.

Still today is sunny once more. It’s nowhere near as hot. When I go out later I intend to wear a jacket for warmth.

It’s been good to have a few cooler days. Days when we’ve felt up to cooking hot food even if it has meant standing (or sitting in my case) on top of the hot hobs. We’ve even eaten the meal inside. Today the Fox is going to get the wok out to give it some exercise for a change.

Monday, 16 July 2018


Joy, oh joy! It rained last night. From the water around, I suspect it rained most of the night. The worst of the chasms in the soil have closed up. The soil still leaves deep rifts where it abuts solid objects such as walls & fences, but all is looking considerably better than it has in ages.

One of present joys in our garden is the flowering of some sunflowers. These giants of the garden are a coppery colour rather than the usual yellow. They’re not what I’d call “red” as our gardener expected when she planted them this year.

The French for sunflowers is “le tournesol”, the plant that turns to the sun. Certainly our sunflowers predominantly face the direction of the sun. They seem to move more facing it as the sun moves around in the sky. Admittedly I can’t see that happening today as the sky is grey & white with clouds, no blue sky or sun in sight.

The other cause of joy is that the Fox seems to have made a step in the right direction healthwise. He’s managing to lift his legs up just using his leg muscles. It’s a bit of a strain but he can do it. He’s even managing to eat a bit more.

Somehow, now the cruise is more imminent, & he knows our friends can’t join us for dinner all the time, he seems a bit more relaxed, a bit more excited by the trip rather than filled with dread. I just hope this can keep on going.  Who knows, we might yet have a good holiday & fall in love with both Norway & cruising.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Table for two

I’ve just been on the phone. This time to change a detail on our cruise.

With the Fox’s loss of appetite not improving at this point, we thought it might be wise to be moved to a table for 2, rather than the 6-8 we were booked for. The last thing he needs at this point is to be sat at a table watching other people around the table digging into a full 5 course meal. At least if we have a table for 2, we can just have a couple of courses, or the Fox can have a starter while I have a main. He doesn’t have to be made to feel self-conscious about his lack of appetite or nauseous at the sight of all that food on the table.

I spoke to the agent & told them of the Fox’s ill-health at the moment. The cruise company can’t guarantee it will be a table for 2 but they will try their best in the circumstances. We are advised to talk to the maĆ®tre d’ as soon as we get on the ship.

At least that should be one less pressure of us for the trip.

If it can’t be organised, we will just have to eat in the more relaxed (possibly self-service) restaurant rather than the fine dining one. It can’t be helped.

It seems such a pity when the good food was one of the highlights of the cruise we were really looking forward to. Our “friends” have much to answer for by putting on this extra pressure of their coming with us uninvited.