Tuesday 16 April 2024

Very proud mummy.


Hello and welcome! 

No, I'm not pregnant but I do have a new 'baby'. More on that later.

After a two week holiday and a long Easter weekend I welcomed the return of my usual routine; kicking off on Tuesday morning with a shift at the food bank. We have yet another new Tuesday morning colleague who is helping make up food parcels. I made up Kettle Packs and put toiletries away and then restocked the Kettle Pack cupboard with the help of Tracey; our second newest colleague. After the food bank, I went swimming managing 40 laps which after a 3 week break was fine by me. I wore a dress I bought from Vinted during lock down and knee length brown boots but completely forgot to take photos. Later in the afternoon OH and I went to a garden centre in Willington, a nearby village, to spend OH's retirement voucher. We bought a lovely array of plants; I wished I'd taken a photo of them in the shopping trolley...

I didn't sleep much on Tuesday night because on Wednesday morning I was off to Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester (near Cambridge) to view a dog called Rain. I grew up with a dog called Milly - a retriever crossbred; when my children were younger we had a dog called Ben - an Alsatian crossbred, for many years. We called cross bred dogs 'mongrels' in my day but so much has changed  in the dog world. I've always loved dogs and am most definitely a dog person. Over the past year I've been seriously considering getting a dog and now that OH has retired from work it seemed like the right time. I began the process of adopting a dog before going on holiday, but only looked at Wood Green as a possible option at the weekend. They got back to me really quickly about the dog I said I liked and the appointment was made for Wednesday.

I wore this outfit to go to the animal sanctuary.  Everything pre-loved: dress by Boden; tank top by Evening Wear and red boots as before. All jewellery pre-loved although I lost the red heart pendant when playing with Rain in the enclosure at Wood Green; where she was doing 'zoomies' and got very excited when I played with her. I loved her when I saw photo on the Wood Green website and she is the dog for me. All being well I'd be able to pick her up the following weekend!

Wood Green Animal Sanctuary (the place where the TV programme 'The Dog House' is filmed; see HERE) also had a charity shop on site, which of course, I had to visit. I picked up some useful dog essentials there and on the way home stopped at a pet store to buy a dog bed. The dog beds were all too small at the Wood Green charity shop, unfortunately.

And here she is - meet Rain, a 3 year old Lurcher; previously a stray. She'd been at the animal shelter only since February. 'The Lurcher is the first designer cross-breed, and distinctly British in origin.

These dogs are a cross between one or more sight hounds — such as the Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki, or Deer hound — and one or more pastoral working breeds, most popularly the Border Collie, or a terrier'. 

You can read more about Lurchers HERE.

I'm not responsible for the bandana/neckerchief. This photo was courtesy of the Wood Green Animal Shelter website. Isn't she lovely? 

When I arrived home OH had begun to sort out the garden and plant up some of the plants we bought yesterday. We're moving our garden table and chairs into the right hand corner to free up the lower level of the garden for the dog to run round in. I'll be taking her out everyday for toilet walks and for longer walks, too. I wanted a female dog who wouldn't cock her leg on the garden plants and one who was short haired so the house didn't get covered in dog hair.

Thursday was its usual busy self. I went out to do the Lidl and Sainsbury's shopping earlier than usual as it was raining; not conducive to a walk.  Once the shopping was packed away, I went for a 4 mile mile walk along the river running some errands in town first. The sun had come out by then and it was actually quite warm. I made dinner for OH, me and middle grandson. What a relief not to have to take the youngest grandson for basketball training...

This was what I wore on Thursday to do the shopping. Skirt pre-loved by Femme; jumper retail and boots retail. All jewellery pre-loved. I changed into camouflage jogging trousers for my walk.

It's Eid next week and one of my errands  in town was to buy an Eid card for my son. He's been fasting for the month of Ramadan.

I'd been hoping for decent weather on Friday as we'd planned to go out with my brothers and re-visit a pub in Northamptonshire for a pub lunch. Luckily the forecast was good and although it was windy, it was sunny and 17 degrees. Not warm enough to sit outside 'The Narrowboat' in Weedon, Northants as we did last time. The pub overlooks the Grand Union Canal which was close to us in London where I grew up. In fact, I used walk past the same canal every day on my way to primary school and although our parents never knew; we played along side the canal at times, too.

As well as having lunch in the pub we visited a nearby ex Ordnance Depot (also alongside the canal) which had been converted in part to an antiques centre,  museum, cafe and brilliant book shop. We stopped here first for tea and a browse. I found a Nicola Upson book to add to my collection. I forgot to take photos of the place and the book shop  in particular but it was called 'The Reading Tree'.

I found this skirt by Wallis and shirt by Next in a hospice shop in Derry and wore a pre-loved black sleeveless top over it with retail metallic boots by Tu.

All jewellery pre-loved.

Once home we watched more episodes of 'Love Hate'.

The weather seemed to have taken a turn for the better. It was sunny and quite warm on Saturday reaching 19 degrees by the afternoon. Middle grandson accompanied me in the morning to Wood Green Animal Sanctuary to collect Rain. She was very good in the car on the way back and we spent the next few days getting to know her and her us. My daughter was smitten with her as was OH. She's a very food orientated dog we were warned and not to leave food out. We discovered she likes grapes as she pinched a bunch out of the fruit bowl! She didn't object when I removed them from her. She's a very gentle natured dog. I've since discovered that grapes are toxic to dogs so when I buy them again I'll have to keep them covered up.

Everything pre-loved except boots retail from New Look. Skirt by M&S; polo by M&Co. 

All jewellery pre-loved except very old Accessorize earrings from the 1990s.

It was an interesting weekend...

She's not supposed to be on the sofa but it was her first day...

Rain hadn't quite got the hang of lying in her bed here, but by Sunday she was a pro at it and curls up like whorled shell once she's settled down.  She has several squeaky toys to play with and a couple of soft toys I picked up from my Barnardo's on Thursday on the way back from doing the food shopping. She also has several tuggy toys I found at the Wood Green Charity shop. She's very playful. She seemed very thin and the recommended food allowance seemed very meagre to me so I am giving her a larger portion of food at each meal but not too large.

 My daughter and I took Rain out on Saturday afternoon for a 4.7 mile walk to Clapham and back into Bedford via the cemetery. I was in the park with her at 6.45 am on Sunday and daughter took her for another long walk across the fields by her estate in the afternoon. I shall be walking her 3 times a day; a toilet walk through the park first thing in the morning and to meet other dogs; a 'long' walk in the afternoon/early evening and another toilet walk between 10 and 11 in the evening before I go to bed. My step count has gone through the roof since Rain arrived! 

On Sunday I swam as usual in the morning managing 46 laps and OH made curry for dinner; chicken curry for the meat eaters and a delicious vegetable curry for my daughter and I.

I was back at Barnardo's on Monday after a 4 week gap. I'd forgotten my till pin number and still hadn't recalled it by the time I went off shift. I tried several times to enter what I thought it was but I was wrong each time...I processed donations and served customers all morning. When I got home  I had  to trawl through my emails to find my till pin number again.

Everything pre-loved and all items from Barnardo's. Skirt by Kettlewell; jumper by Next. I found the pendant in Barnardo's on Monday, too. All other jewellery pre-loved except the earrings which were a Bedford market buy many years ago. The number of stalls in the market has reduced considerably since those days.

From Barnardo's I went straight to the hairdresser for a cut; the sides and back need cutting very frequently as they grow so fast.

Photo bombed by Rain! This was what I wore to the food bank on Tuesday. Everything pre-loved except the OTK boots; retail online about 4/5 years ago. Dress by M&S and jacket by Viyella; all jewellery pre-loved.

With the thrice daily walks with the dog my weekly routine has changed somewhat. OH and I didn't like to leave the dog on her own until she was more settled, but we were building up to it. If we didn't we'd never get the chance to go out together! Rain was making friends in the park each morning; so far we'd met Charlie and Monty, 2 English Setters; Kitty; a Spaniel and Amy; a very friendly Labrador. If you want regular exercise and the opportunity to meet people I'd recommend dog walking. The very first park walk we did, I met a woman and her 2 dogs who used to volunteer at the food bank some years ago. I've learned more dog owner etiquette since that first walk - always ask the dog's name!

I gave up Tuesday afternoon swimming in favour of Thursday morning swimming again (!) so I wasn't away from the dog for too long. I also prefer getting up and getting the swim over and done with; especially as with the Tuesday afternoon swim I have to take my make up off just a few hours after putting it on; which is a pain in the you know where.

The weather had cooled down quite a bit from the very pleasant weekend but strangely enough it didn't deter me from walking with Rain. On Tuesday afternoon we went for 3 mile walk along the river which seems to fascinate her. OH took her out on Wednesday afternoon also along the river; the canoeists and kayakers had her fascinated. Once Rain and I were back from our early walk on Wednesday; I pottered about and then went for a rummage at the Castle Road charity shops where I hadn't been for about a month. I found 2 dresses; one specifically for summer, the other a deep green, quite classic style dress for all year round wear; a pair of jeans and a shirt for my eldest grandson; who loves a colourful short sleeved shirt. I also found a 'treat' tin to put Rain's dog treats in, in the junk shop.

Everything pre-loved and all seen on the blog before. Dress from Vinted; jacket by M&Co; boots as before.

All jewellery pre-loved.

By Wednesday evening OH and I had finished Season 4 of 'Love Hate' with only one remaining season to watch...between the dog and this series I hadn't been getting as much reading done as usual.

I went swimming on Thursday morning and swam 46 laps. I went to the farm shop in Sharnbrook to buy some kindling and what I hoped would be the last bag of coal until the Autumn. Then off to Lidl and Sainsbury's to do the weekly food shop. I cooked dinner for the grandsons and didn't need to take the youngest to basket ball practice; that starts up again when the children go back to school.

I wore the John Rocha jeans I'd found on Wednesday in the Children's Society; pre-loved shirt by Chico and Next tank top. Boots retail.

All jewellery pre-loved.

On Friday leaving Rain in the care of OH; I joined the unofficial bus walk group to see the bluebells. We went to the woods in the village of St. Paul's Walden in Hertfordshire; about 5 miles from the town of Hitchin, where we'd walked before. The bluebells were magnificent.

We stopped for refreshments at Emily's Cafe which also had a Secret Garden. Full of trees; shrubs and old farm and domestic machinery; it was a lovely little place to visit - the cake was good, too.

Flowering currant.

An old washing machine.

We'd parked in a small car park by the church and when we'd visited before the church wasn't open so this time we took advantage of the door being open and went in for a look.

All Saint's Church.

Painted rood screen. I'd not seen a painted one before or the painted pews (below).

Painted ceiling throughout the church.

Painted pews.

Tiny little door leading to the gallery, I think.

Churches always have such wonderful flower displays.

I didn't realise I'd included my feet in this photo. The entire church floor was covered with these gravestones.

This was what I wore on Saturday. All 
pre-loved. Boots by Next; dress by M&S and jacket seen on the blog before.

All jewellery pre-loved.

We had a lazy day on Saturday and other than taking the dog out for a 4.7 mile walk around the fields near my daughter's house; I just pottered around all day. I'd found a small enclosed park close to the house where for several evenings previously I'd let Rain off her lead. The first time she went mad and ran round and round ('doing zoomies' it's called) but then just wandered about having a good old sniff.  She came back when called enticed by a dog treat. Letting her off the lead in the field was an experiment - would she come back to us? Lurchers follow the scent of their prey and go after it. Rain had a huge field to run around in on our walk but wouldn't come back when called; not even for a treat. Luckily,  my daughter was with me and ran after her (I couldn't, plus it was uphill!) finally caught up with her and put her back on the lead. Whew, was I relieved!

We finished the final series of 'Love Hate' on Saturday evening. Now, we'd need to find something new to watch in the evenings.

Rain is very good at photo bombing you may have noticed!

Sunday's outfit. All pre-loved. Dress seen on blog before ; jacket by New Look, boots as before and all jewellery pre-loved.

I went for a swim on Sunday morning after spending an hour walking around the park with Rain. I could only manage 40 laps of the pool but it's all exercise and I enjoy it. We found a dog friendly pub late on on Sunday afternoon along the Embankment where we went for a meal before dropping Rain off at my daughter's and taking OH for his second MRI scan at Bedford Hospital. He was out after about 35 minutes but will have to wait a couple of weeks for the results. When we picked Rain up from my daughter's house; she told me Rain had cried almost constantly for us...a very different story to last Sunday when daughter took her for a long walk on her own in her local area. I suppose Rain knows who we are now.

Back at Barnardo's on Monday where I worked with the manager. It was good to catch up with her. I decoded clothes and priced up and put clothes out on the shop floor. I took Rain for a walk along the river in the afternoon and we got caught in a hailstone shower on the way back. OH and I did the housework and cooked dinner and I completely forgot to post an outfit photo. I wore a blue and black pre-loved dress by Boden with blue tights and black suede knee boots.

This was Tuesday's outfit worn to the food bank. I made up Kettle Packs just a few; then my colleague and I tackled several stacks of crates of toiletries. We managed to put everything away by the time our shift finished. Such a sense of satisfaction.

Pre-loved trousers by Kit; retail boots and polo neck; cardigan by M&S also pre-loved as was all jewellery.

That's been my fortnight - how's yours been?


Very proud mummy.

  Hello and welcome!  No, I'm not pregnant but I do have a new 'baby'. More on that later. After a two week holiday and a long E...