Saturday, 26 January 2013

Moving - and an Adoption....

I've just spent the day moving Merlin from my old stableyard to my new one -we'd been very happy at the old place, but I was tempted away by a lovely yard with fabulous facilities.  Sadly I had to leave behind many friends including Martha and Sheena, Susan and Amy, Kim, Kelly, Leila and various others, and we had to drug Merlin absolutely off his face in order that we could get him onto Sheena's truck to make the short journey to the new place.  
Merlin will just about do anything at all for me apart from get on any form of horse transportation - we all have our little foibles I guess.   So my dear friend and equine vet Vicky prescribed Merlin a drug which virtually put him out. I think in actual fact I was supposed to take it, because once I had got it into the horse (no mean feat) he was fairly unaware of what was going on.  It took seven of us to get him up the ramp and ready for travel - not because he was drugged, but because despite being drugged, he still wasn't going up that ramp.
When we got the other end I was absolutely convinced he was going to fall down the ramp and was ready to jump for it but he managed to stay on his wobbly little legs.

Several hours later he woke up in a new stable with a new view with look of amazement on his face (trust me, horses can do amazement), not quite sure how he got there.

At the same time, we have now adopted Olly, who was the cat we had been taking care of for some time at the old stableyard - we've loved him as long as we've known him - about 3 and a half years.  He's coal black from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail and is a prodigious hunter, but he's going to have to get used to living in a house rather than a stable now - fingers crossed that our cats Harley and Mia will allow Olly to become part of the feline family without too much difficulty.  Olly's previous owner, Grace, had given him to me last year - before my darling Harry was killed on the road at Christmas, so he was a planned adoption - and I am glad of this, because I don't feel I am trying to replace one cat with another, which would never be the case.  The loss and the heartbreak doesn't get any easier and Harry is missed every single day.  

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Florida, USA

It was a long time since we had a proper holiday (that is all holiday and no work), and we'd planned this break long before Harry the cat died, though had I actually been able to cancel, it was definitely the way I was feeling.  As it was, my parents stayed at the house as usual to serve the cats in any way the cats desired, and I was bundled out of the house feeling very unlike wanting to leave home and my precious cats....especially as we were moving stableyards on return from holiday.
For some reason, we expected poor weather and we got everything but - it must be 12 years since we were last in Florida and I noticed that many businesses and malls appear to have gone to the wall, and in many places an air of tumbleweed blowing down the main street seemed to prevail.

Despite being far from home and in theory away from the stress of Harry's death, I'd just start crying randomly....thank god for dark glasses, because I think I had these horrible haunted eyes most of the time.  Blubbing would just erupt at any moment my heart wandered to what has just happened.
But there were moments of brightness, and the heat seems to have done my bones and health a lot of good.  We landed at Orlando and immediately took the rental car down south towards the Keys, our old haunt without much of a backward glance, though we pinged from coast to coast as we did it - we stayed at Captiva and Sanibel islands, both world famous for magnificent shells that wash up on the beach (the only shells I found were in shops!) - before driving further and further south and ending up at Islamorada in the Keys, and later took a trip to Key West which is a bit like Disney world with performing cats and drunk transvestites
dragging passers by into bars.  Clearly I have actually never been to Disney, but I think stuff like that would surely liven it up.

These cockerels were strutting their stuff all over Key West. There doesn't need to be a reason for it to be so in this place, it just is.

We stayed at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada, somewhere we have been before and I was able to just sit and drink tea and be as miserable as I wished, which was a lot miserable some of the time.  I was able to raise smiles for the massive Iguana who leapt out of the bushes and scared the living daylights out of me and made me shriek the first time which was only because he surprised me as I have met iguanas before and I know he meant me no harm. Sadly, no camera at the time but I did see this fab green creature lurking around my favourite lagoon pool several times.    Cheeca Lodge has marked itself in my memory
as the hotel with the outside got to close curtains round you (or that was at least the idea in order not to frighten the rest of the world) and sit on the balcony in a massive round tub - bathing is listed as one of my hobbies so that made me happy.
Although we travelled together I have been spending a lot of time on my own because I am probably the worst type of company in the world....Mark would go off diving or swimming and I would feel totally free to stick my sunglasses on and just stare at the sea, or go and take another bath.

Rheumatology had given me my 'Christmas Dose' of steroid which I always feel compelled to beg for just before Christmas hits so bone-wise I was doing pretty darn well, despite the stress of what had just happened at home.  
It was a lovely trip but badly timed, though I was not to know that at the time of booking several months before.  We were saddened by the hardship that people are obviously going through in keeping businesses, jobs or just body and soul alive and were astonished by the number of people who seemed to be begging on the streets, it must be quite awful to be in such a situation and I hope life is able to pick up for them in the future. 

There are no miserable faced pics because I wouldn't have any taken....I don't want to look back in a few years and say 'oh yeah, that was that really sad holiday'.   We returned through a town called Sarasota which was just fab and Mark started dreaming about buying an apartment.  Dream on, we need to eat instead!   Enjoy the sunshine in the pics xx