Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The next Tiger Woods?

Golf last Friday was brilliant - fantastic weather; I had 4 pars, including 3 on the trot - something I don't recall ever doing before - and I didn't lose one ball. In fact, I only had to look in the trees for it once in the whole round. I was "nearer the pin" than the three other guys in my group for the "nearest the pin" competition hole, and I hit the longest drive of the four of us on the "longest drive" hole.
For anyone that cares, I scored 34 stableford points, playing off a handicap of 27, and went round the par 69 course in 99 shots. I had a 30-foot putt that lipped out that would have given me a "3 for 5" score on that hole, the holy grail of golfers, I'm led to believe...

The boys were off the lead!!

The other big news this week was on Sunday we took the boys for a walk in the woods, to the place we normally go in West Wycombe, where it's rare, though not impossible, to bump into other people walking dogs. The weather continued to be toasty hot, so we took a little picnic too. Part of the walk is uphill, across large fields, which at this time of year the farmer had ploughed but nothing was growing. Lara set off walking up this hill, before a slight difference of opinion developed about something and nothing, and she stomped off in one of her best huffs yet. As we could see all around for hundreds of metres, and there were no threats visible, we just let her stomp away, interested to see how far she'd get before she turned around.
It was about 100 metres, before a circling Red Kite worried her enough to return to us, and we agreed that I'd carry her on my shoulders for the uphil bit.
The really interesting bit was the walk in the woods, where we put Jacky's new muzzle on him, and let him off the lead. We didn't actually bump into any other dogs, but it was a relief to see that within 2 minutes he was trotting along, not trying to take the muzzle off, and coming back to us whenever we called him or gave our two peeps on the dog whistle. He did seem a little subdued whilst wearing the muzzle, not really going more than 20 metres in front of us, but that in itself doesn't worry us. At the moment, we'd rather he did that than run miles away.
We kept Mishka on his 5 metre lead at this point, but after our picnic we came back through the same woods, and decided to let them both off, so for the first time since our December holiday in the Lakes last year (outside of our back garden, of course) they were both off the lead at the same time. Mishka was more adventurous than Jackson, although to start with even he would only go 20 metres before turning to check we were still following. They both came back perfectly when called and whistled, which bodes well for future walks.
We got Mishka back on the lead when we noticed a couple entering the woods, as we didn't want him bounding up to them and worrying them, and we couldn't see if they had a little dog with them, but for those 10 minutes or so, I had what I want to achieve consistently in the future, a walk with my family in nice scenery, with our dogs off the lead, but responsive to our commands. Heaven!

Struck down with the lurgy, but Junior's OK

Well, this week has seen our house resemble a ward in M*A*S*H rather than a home. Not so many gunshot wounds, but certainly an awful lot of coughing and wheezing. Olga has got it the worst, the poor love has a cough that would make a 60-a-day smoker blush, and Lara's not far behind. I've only just started with the odd little splutter. Even Mishka was having an attack of the sneezes today.
There's not much we can do for Olga, she went to see the GP today, but unsurprisingly, given her condition, her wasn't going to prescribe any antibiotics, and she shouldn't even take any over-the-counter remedies to soothe her cough, so we're relying on external and herbal treatments, with good lashings of vaporub, and plenty of honey & lemon in her hot drinks.  Lara is getting by at night with vaporub and tixylix, she has no other symptoms than a bad cough at night, and even that isn't playing her up too much tonight (famous last words - I thought that last night but she ended up in bed with me in the office till 3am). I've decamped to the sofabed in our office so one of us can operate vaguely normally after some hours sleep, otherwise we were finding that as soon as we had both dropped off to sleep, I'd roll over and wake Olga, and her coughing would start again.
I've asked my Mum how to make a kaolin poultice for Olga, but we're not sure you can easily buy kaolin any more, but I'll have a look. I've just googled it, and the second result was from a Horse and Hound forum:
I'm sure that's not something to worry about, I don't remember them doing me any harm, although it might explain why I do like to jump fences from time to time.

Olga coincidentally had a scheduled appointment with her midwife today, and after a worrying moment of hunting around, they tracked down Junior's heartbeat, and everything was tickety-boo, a healthy 140 bpm or something like that. He or she was very active, and hid from the microphone-thingy a couple of times, and the midwife had to hunt "it" down again.