Yes, yes … I know.  I disappeared again, didn’t I?  But I do have good reason, as you see.

Those two little beauties up there belong to Son No 2 and his lovely partner, B.  You’ve seen the scans in previous posts, haven’t you?  Well, now they’re here!

The babies, S and P, are twin girls, and arrived late on Thursday afternoon last week.  B had to be induced because her liver was beginning to fail, but the babies were a very good size for twins, weighing in at just under, and just over five pounds respectively.  However, they were kind of reluctant to put in an appearance, and only did so after B had been wheeled into the theatre for a C-section.  Apparently, the Italian midwife and the Russian doctor had an argument, right there in front of them, as to whether she should be allowed one more try to deliver on her own – and the doctor won.  B said it was like some kind of surreal farce with their two very different accents and opinions*:

Midwife (heavily Italian): ‘The heartbeats are becoming irregular – it is too dangerous! She must not be permitted!’

Doctor (heavily Russian): ‘No .. no … she will be OK! The babies will be OK!  She will try one more time!’

And try she did, and out they popped, just twenty minutes apart.

They were initially pronounced healthy, however young P, the second twin, has since caused concern and has needed antibiotics and special care.  They don’t yet know quite what is wrong with her but she’s not feeding properly and is often very floppy, bless her. She’s had a head scan and blood tests and in all probability more scans will be scheduled, and it’s all very worrying, especially for the new parents: B is still in hospital with the twins and Son No. 2 spends all day there, from morning till night when they chuck him out.


We’ve been visiting when we are allowed, and helping as best we can, and I’ve been cooking freezer meals for them for when they get home… and in the middle of all this, I had the Brambleberry stand to do at the Greyhound Extravaganza, Kentford** which meant goods to make for sale and packing of the paraphernalia to get done, and Sid and Jeff have both had to go back to the vets: Sid for ongoing pain issues, and Jeffie for an already-scheduled ‘itchy wart’ removal.


So that has meant that, as well as trips down to the hospital and back (a journey of 30-45 minutes depending on road conditions), I’ve also had to take the dogs back and forth to their kennel to be cared for while we’ve been away not knowing when we’d get home (a journey in the opposite direction of 20-30 minutes), and I’ve had to fetch Sid back from there for his vet appointment (15 minutes in the opposite direction to the kennel) and back again to the kennel, before going out to the hospital.  Feeling dizzy yet?  I certainly was – and far too tired when I got home to be writing blog posts, or even chatting on Skype to my Italian friends!


Anyway.  Here we are, with the pace of life gradually settling in the general direction of normal (whatever the hell that is).  Little twin P is still causing concern, but there’s not much we can do apart from visit and support the parents and be there to talk to, so here I am with a catch-up post.

Must go, though. There’s two roasted chickens in the fridge waiting to be sliced and packed into freezer containers with giblet gravy, and then I have a pie filling to make with the leg and wing meat.

Now… where’s my No. 5 Robert Welch knife?


* Not verbatim, of course
** A big event for Brambleberry, and booked months ago



Hellloooooo, everyone! Get your thinking caps on, because here I am with another little puzzle for you!

Well. I say ‘little’, but of course I’m very bad at guessing which will be easy and which will drive you all nuts. And also, though it is indeed a macro photo (meaning it’s life size or bigger than life size) it is a part of a fairly large object this time.

Now, your average grandmother would almost certainly not have had one of these, and though many of you will have one, few of them will look like this. However, looking closely, you should have enough clues in the picture to have a decent guess at what it is, and what it does. And I must say, mine does its job very well and very elegantly.

This – to me, at least – is a Rolls Royce of … whajamacallits. It is a veritable Prince among thingumajigs. A Queen of Wossnames.

I’ve actually been kind, and used a picture taken at the correct angle. It is just as it would appear as you approached it to … um … take advantage of its function.

So take your best shot, and leave your answer in the comments below, and I’ll be back as usual tomorrow evening (Tuesday) around 10pm UK time to give you a picture link containing the answer!

Have fun! I’m convinced that some will find it a doddle and some will still be scratching their heads when the answer arrives, but we’ll see.

Tee hee.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Not a single one of you guessed this one … and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, even though there was a part of a Very Important Object clearly visible in the frame, even if not in focus.

Go here, to see what we have. You’ll probably be jealous, because it is, after all, the very Queen of Wossnames, but I can’t help that.

I can’t nominate a winner, of course, since there isn’t one, but what I can do is say that Vicki has supplied us with the most amusing comment, and one which made me laugh out loud! The timing lever for an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator it most certainly isn’t, but I kind of wish it was!

Thanks for playing, everyone! I’m sorry I’m not doing the rounds very well right now, but twins are about to be born and I have a show at the weekend and one of my dogs is still not doing well.. in short, everything’s happening! I will visit you all again soon.

See you next week!

Posted on May 18, 2013 in Conversations, Funny, Uncategorized, Wildlife by Jay8 Comments »


Yesterday we drove over to Spalding where OH dropped me off for a little shopping at the outlet centre, while he drove on to buy a small box trailer.  The plan is to sell the big motorhome, which we don’t use anymore, and still be able to get stuff to shows and things.

Anyway.  Springfields is a nice little shopping centre.  It has ducks!  They are always wandering around among the feet of shoppers, and yesterday one pair had brought their young family to show them where the best crumbs were to be found.

Not that the ducks are interested, but there a couple of art and craft shops and a Marks & Spencer outlet – oh, there are shoe shops and other stuff too, but those were the ones I was interested in.   I failed to buy the glue I wanted for my photo cards, but I did buy a lovely pair of yellow jeans, so I was happy.   And OH bought the trailer, which is going to be ready sooner than we thought, so he was happy, too.

On the way home, we chatted, as we usually do.  Suddenly, OH said:

‘Bloody fly!’

I looked, and there was one small and solitary fly, bashing itself frantically against the windscreen, and completely failing to understand why it couldn’t get anywhere.

OH: ‘It’s driving me nuts!’

Me: ‘I hadn’t noticed it, until you said!’

OH: ‘It’s been there this whole trip.  It won’t stop flying around!’

Me: ‘It’s a Spalding fly’.

OH: ‘Oh yeah – it’s probably trying to get home’

Me: ‘Yes – it’s saying ‘Help!  Help! I’m being kidnapped!’

OH: ‘Take me back to Spalding!’

Me: ‘That dance it’s doing probably isn’t a dance, it’s writing on the windscreen in Flyspeak: ‘Help – I’m being held prisoner!  I’m being kidnapped!  I need to get back to Spalding!”

OH: ‘I left my wife and children there .. and I’ve got the door key!’

Me: ‘Oh, now you’re just being silly!’

And of course, we both ended up choking with laughter, as we normally do

I don’t know what happened to the fly.  Apparently he managed to get out of the car, because we couldn’t find him.  I hope he managed to get home, but it’s a long, long way for a small insect.

Still, the by-pass is only half a mile away.  Maybe he managed to hitch a lift.

I’m sure the duck family would be happy to see him!



HTBH-May3-5A couple of things have made me happy this week!  Well.  As usual, the more you think about it, the more things you find that have pleased you, warmed your heart or made you smile, don’t you find?

The first is that I picked up my new specs.  I’ve been bold this time, and gone far, far away from the awful ‘letterbox’ fashion of the day to a pair by Savile Row of London.  They are big and round (most unlike me!) and have tortoiseshell veneers.  The veneers are plastic and come off to reveal plain gold, if I should want to do that, but the happiest thing – apart from the fact that I can now see better, which as the optician said is always a bonus – is that they kind of match my hair and I’ve already had one compliment on that.  What do you think?

Next is the massager.


No, it’s not for me, it’s for Sid!  When I took him swimming last, I talked to Ross of Newborough Dogs Hydrotherapy about Sid’s stiffness and he got someone to dig out this massager for me to borrow. It’s made for greyhounds, and it has a kind of dog-brush attachment which runs through the hair nicely.  It has two settings, and at the moment I’m using the low one just to get Sid used to the vibration.  He wasn’t too sure at first, but now he thinks it’s pretty good and it does seem to help, judging by the way he went up the road today!

Jeffie tries to hijack it every time I go to use it on Sid.  He puts himself in front of me and lifts his nose as if to say ‘go on then – I’m ready!’  He looooves it!


And finally, to do with the garden, I have a little windowsill propagator in which I sowed radicchio, which I need for Risotto Paola ed Umberto.  There is only one place here I know of which sells heads of radicchio, and that’s the Italian supermarket which is about ten miles away, so I’m really pleased that the radicchio in my little propagator is sprouting nicely!

And look!  The wisteria is nearly in bloom. And that makes me happy, because it only needs one frost at this time of year and all the blossom dies and falls off.  I think we might be lucky this time.


If you’d like to join in with ‘How to be Happy’, simply post about something that did it for you this week, and link back here.  You can use this little badge if you like -


Happy ‘Happy’ hunting!