Saturday, 19 November 2011

Boys to Men

2nd birthday celebrations for Max and Millie are now a dim and distant memory, instead it's now all about Christmas, the journey to France, shopping for gifts, preparation, preparation, preparation. Today I managed to do at least half my Christmas shopping online which has taken a bit of pressure off.....only a bit though! Why, pray tell, do the shops out there think that each present has to cost hundreds of pounds, and that we, as members of the population they target, have the money to spend in the first place when there is a rather serious economic meltdown taking place out there....hmmmmm?!?!?!?!

The (un)official 2nd birthday picture

So, what do I have to say/rant about/get off my chest in this male dominated chapter of the blog??? far as I am concerned you can sod Christmas, really you can. Don't get me wrong, I am more than looking forward to a holiday in France with my handsome Husband, the Wooflets and our lovely, wonderful friends but I would happily and honestly give up the entire festive period and all that goes with it if I could have a Husband that was 100% healthy and I MEAN 100%! It's seriously no fun for him at the moment, if it's not one thing it's another, or a combination of more than one. Seriously, give him a F*CKING break, please?! I'm not going to go into a huge list of symptoms, they are many and the list IS extensive but I would like my Husband to retain at least some dignity (some things don't need blogging!), however last week he spent 4 hours (2 hours waiting and 2 hours being treated) in the Western Eye Hospital experiencing a severe Uveitis/Iritis attack (Google it) in his left eye. Basically, in layman's terms it's inflammation of the Iris and is not pleasant. At. All. It's also a 'by-product' or side effect of his Spondyloarthropathy.

My handsome Husband

He became quite the celebrity patient with the Consultants summoning the junior doctors to 'come and have a look' at this extraordinary case. Eye pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from 10-21 mm Hg. My old man's eye pressure was somewhere around the mid 40s and was affecting his eyesight to the point that it was blurry/foggy, he had a severe head ache and the bulging was causing issues!!!!!! If this isn't bad enough, add to this his aching/hurting/swollen joints, the dozens of pills he takes (you can hear him rattle when you shake him!), the insomnia and a myriad of other ailments. What truly breaks my heart is seeing him struggling on two walking sticks because there are days when he can't walk without them. He's not a man to be limited by walking sticks, he wants to be out there having an adventure and getting himself into trouble!

Foggy London

There is always a smile there, sometimes it's hidden from view and can be a rare creature to spot, but it nearly always shows itself eventually. He amazes me that he can be so positive and still retain that effervescence that I love so much. Me, I wouldn't deal with it half as positively as he does. My Fella gets on with life, he tries really hard to not let it beat him and for the most part it doesn't, the days that it does beat him are, thankfully, extremely rare, I think I can count them on one hand. He is, considering everything, astonishingly positive and I admire him more than I can express through words alone. Never does he ask for help nor does he complain, never. 

It goes without saying that I worry about him and my mind is filled with questions, the answers to which appear difficult to find sometimes, although they can be staring me in the face:

Am I doing enough?
Is he alright?
Am I helping out when and where I should be?
Am I paying enough attention?
Am I getting in the way?
Why don't I remember to remind him to take his pills?
Am I being supportive?
I should cook more often!

All these questions, and more, go through my head on a daily basis.

Doggy cuddles are very beneficial for those in need....

Which brings me nicely to me and my head.....oh what a tangled mess that is!!! Recently I have been more than a little unhappy, not with anything in particular, with everything. Last weekend I was incredibly grumpy, angry even and I found it so hard to calm down, to ignore myself and get on with the weekend. Something as simple as cooking the Sunday Roast was filling me with dread, anger and putting me in a really bad mood. To put it simply, I was heading for a humongous tantrum, HUGE! I was having arguments with myself in my head, I wanted to throw stuff, slam doors and lie on the floor and bang my arms and legs, screaming and shouting. You'll be pleased to know that I didn't!

A face that screams "THERAPY"! (Loving the hat!!!)

I would like to say that I have a very short fuse but I don't have a fuse. It's gone. This feeling is bubbling under the surface all the time and some days I really struggle to hold it in. Anything and everything that doesn't go my way or for whatever reason goes wrong, it upsets me, it makes me cross, it makes me angry, it makes me REALLY angry. There have been days when I have felt the urge to sob, scream and have a bloody good cry, but why, what for? It's not going to change anything, I'll still have these feelings and will still wake up every day and go to bed every night with that 'unstable' feeling in my 40-something bones and I'll remain on the verge of breaking down into a sobbing mess. But, I HAVE to hold it in, if I let it out it wouldn't help us, it wouldn't help my Husband and I must remember that at all times. I'm waiting for a revelation and I want some sort of resolution but I fear that they may be far, far away. In the meantime I deal with it internally, but believe me when I say that on a positive note, two little wagging tails and the warm, furry hug of your Husband make everything easier to cope with.

Losing my mind.....

Finally, Max has discovered 'happy time'!!!

Our little boy is growing up and turning into a little man. Maximillian Sydney Bruiser McEllis has discovered the joys of shagging a cushion. Oh yes, he is a Bad Ass little sod who likes to give the sofa cushions a good seeing to. He crossed the line when he tried to mount Millie, she was not best pleased and told him so. Daddy's little puppy is now a proper little the little ones grow up so quickly, it feels like only yesterday Max was a tiny little puppy and now he's a tiny little dog!

'Bad Ass' needs a snooze after 'Happy Time'...!

And as for Millie....??? She's wonderful, she is most definitely still as crazy as hell when she goes out for a walk and sees other dogs, however at home we are seeing improvements in her behaviour all the time. Millie now actively WANTS to play with toys and Max. She'll run around, pick up a toy and present it to Max for some play time. They'll have a bonkers 5 minutes darting around the lounge and dining room before Millie realises that she's playing and then straight back to bed and to sleep she will go! It's brilliant to see, it's wonderful to see her settling down and really becoming happy and settled in herself. She is a marvellous little dog! Oh, Millie also has the best dog smell in the world, she smells really, REALLY lovely and I am a huge fan of cuddling into her with my nose snuggled in her fur.....I do the same with my man but that's a different blog! *grin*


As you can see, I have finally managed to work out how to put the music player within each chapter of the blog, at last!!!! The track is inspired by Maximillian's new found pleasure..... *ahem* (Just click the play button).

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - RELAX (Scott Wozniak Classic Re-Edit) by ScottWozniak

Apologies if this chapter seems to be a bit 'close to the bone' and personal, however, it's how I feel right now (Isn't that what blogging is all about?). I also cleared the content with my Man before I published it.

Normal service will resume eventually, I promise.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Anyone for 2nd's.....?

November is here already, how did THAT happen?!?!?! The evening darkness descends at approximately 4pm and we no longer see the Hens during the week, they have the sense to arise later on in the morning and we get home in the almost depressing time of year but also one of beauty, colour and daily change as the trees shed their cloaks of leaves and become skeletons awaiting Spring's arrival and the promise of warmth and new growth.

London is pathed with Gold...

This chapter is brought to you by the letter 'M' and the number '2'. M is obviously for Max & Millie who both 'celebrated' (this basically means they scoffed loads of treats!) their 2nd birthday this week. It's incredible to believe that the dogs are now 2, they're still such little dinky things and I always think of them as puppies even though they are now officially adult, something I fear Max will never be in his mental state!!! As for Millie, I've always maintained that I think she's that little bit older, she could possibly be 3 in my mind, but as is the way with rescue animals, we're guess-timating and will never know the truth. No matter, we love, adore and cherish our animals, whatever their age.

Doggie treats!!!

M&M are, as always, spoilt rotten and received a card from Grandma (treats will be arriving with her at the end of the month) and a birthday 'cake' from their Dads made from chewy hide, something they love. Inside the cake were lots of smaller but just as scrumptious treats for them to devour. Is it any wonder that Miss Millie McEllis has increased in weight from 6kgs to 8.15kgs since we got her?!?!?!?! They've also got some Christmas 'outfits' which we are both responsible for buying them....I honestly cannot wait for December so that I can start taking pictures of them in their hoodies, fleeces, scarves and bells......oh yes, there are BELLS!!!!!!!

Christmas sneak preview........*excited*

The only small 'problem' with them having outfits is that when they have them on they each see each other as a toy, and therefore, you have the unfortunate issue of two dogs trying to rip and rag each other to pieces!! I say unfortunate, it's actually bloody funny and I will be getting video once we enter the festivities proper.......not that I am wishing November away but who knew dogs and Christmas could be so much FUN?!?!?!

We picked up some bargains at the Garden Centre....

The other '2nd' to celebrate is Yours Truly recently became a Runner Up in the "Britain's Next Top PA" competition 2011, which is run by Office Angels, a national recruitment agency. My wonderful Boss nominated me for the competition and I then promptly forgot about it - I never thought I'd get anywhere. So, a few weeks later, I received a call telling me I'd been short listed to the Final 20. I then endured (I hate them) a competency based telephone interview - "Give us a specific example of a time when...blah, blah, blah....". I was then short listed into the Final 6!!!! 

The Final took place on Wednesday 2nd November, held at De Vere Conferencing facility near the BBC offices in W1, and the evening (and announcement of the winner) was held at Gordon Ramsay's Claridge's restaurant (nice food!!!). Helen from The Apprentice presented the award to a fantastic, deserving lady called Lesley Knight, PA to the Chairman of Chiltern Railways, she ran rings around us, just an amazing PA!!! Yes, I was gutted, absolutely disappointed not to have won, however Lesley really was THE deserving winner. Although, I was the only male PA and the only London PA in the Final 6, so some achievement there methinks!!! Any Head Hunters out get in touch ;-)

John McKenna, Britain's Top Male/London PA!!!

Now, in the words of Taggart, "There's been a murder!", or should I say there's been approximately TEN murders!!!!!! In the last couple of days a creature of unknown origin or species has helped itself to the vast majority of our goldfish in the pond, even Mr. Swishy, the huge fantail that was here in the pond when we moved in over 8 years ago has gone....trés tragic! It seems a tad OTT to come in and basically empty the pond of just about ALL the bloody fish....obviously a well stocked larder that has now been well and truly plundered. If it's a cat, it's going to find its arse having an intimate meeting with a garden fork......I jest you not!

In Happier Times......!

As part of my Britain's Next Top PA goody bag I received a Kodak Play Full HD video camera which is rather brilliant. It's tiny with a itty bitty screen, however on playback the videos are very good quality and I can feel myself becoming addicted to recording anything and everything.....apologies to my long-suffering Hubby and the pups as they will no doubt feature in many of my 'captures'......! Anyway, judge for yourself on the quality by having a peek at the video below:

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.....

Last and by no means least, Millie-Moo's passport is almost ready. Eight little paws are nearly on course for a Christmas holiday in France, woo-hoo!!! They will of course be travelling in their festive outfits *grin*

This chapter's music is all because we've been 'rolling in the celebrations' this week! Enjoy!