4 Apr 2015

Hestia says ....Happy Easter/Merry Christmas


Dear Reader - can you see what this is?

It is a box of Matchmakers.

Can you make out the label?

This was a gift for his Guidance Teachers.

For Christmas.

It is now April.

These have been rattled up and down to school every day for 3 months.

*can think of nothing sensible to say*

Happy Easter :-D




20 Mar 2015

Hestia and Nero - hors de combat

Do you ever have moments that you wish you could rewind - just for two seconds - and do something different? I have one of those from last week.

Thursday morning.  Chucking it down with rain, but I'd left out my jogging stuff.  Twice around the sports' field would be enough for Nero and I, I thought.

When in the park, I let Nero off his lead when there is no sign of any other animal.  He walks beside me, picking up his 'wee mails' as I jog, I am THAT slow.

We jog to the half-way point on the running track and Nero toddles off to sniff some trees and have a pee.  I stop running and fish his leash out of my pocket - there's a path nearby that if a dog comes running down, Nero will take off like a rocket.

If only I had taken some steps towards him and clipped him up, but I didn't.  If I had only listened to that tiny little nagging voice that said - go and clip his lead on ....

Instead I called him to me. And he took off at a gallop.  I was not immediately concerned - there were no dogs and he usually stops and runs back to me.

I wish I had grabbed him as he shot past me.

He ran up the grassy banking and, instead of stopping, he wheeled left. And there was no grassy banking there - just half a dozen broad concrete steps where people could stand in tiers and watch the football.

And over he went, at full speed, legs, tail all flailing - yelping, howling and then .... just a motionless black shape at the bottom of the steps.

Frozen to the spot as I watched him tumble, I found my legs and ran as fast as I could to him and, thank God, saw him staggering groggily to his feet.

And trying to put weight on his front foot.

Bucketing rain.  No phone. In the middle of a deserted park with a dog in pain that can't walk.

Bear Grylls never tells you how to handle these emergencies, does he?

The dog gamely hobbled forward.  And so we progressed.  Slowly.  With yelps. Cars stopped to let us cross the road.  It took 40 minutes to get home, when it only took us 3 minutes to get there.

There was blood.  Of course, there was blood - with greyhounds there is always blood.  I dabbed him clean and dried him.

And phoned the vet who could, thankfully, see him within 10 minutes.

The long and the short of it is that thanks to me not taking those few steps to clip on his lead, my dog has a badly broken toe.  Amputation of the toe has been mentioned - and still might be again if his bones don't knit properly.

I feel like my nerves are on the outside of my skin. I can't concentrate on very much.  I am sleeping downstairs with him because he can't go upstairs.  He's to go back every week to have his dressings changed and another x-ray to check on the bone progress.

I know that whatever happens, he's going to be fine - amputation of the toe or not.

But I feel terrible because it was all my fault.


16 Mar 2015

Hestia and Mother's Day 2015

I'm never terribly sure where the apostrophe should go:  Is it Mother's Day (ie your mother's day) or Mothers' Day (all mothers' days).  I have the same problem with Gardener's World....

Anyway, enough of my grammar-wrestling demons :-D

I received breakfast in bed: a toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.  With a cup of tea.  And a yoghurt.

I received an expertly wrapped up present:


Which contained these:


Which are luggage tags for going off to Italy next month.  Luggage tags that I HAD BOUGHT MYSELF but which I had agreed Sonshine could give to me as part of my Mother's Day gift.

I am still awaiting the re-imbursement of the £4.99 that I shelled out for these.

I was also given some vouchers.  Nothing from Groupon or any of that old shit, oh no:


Just to be clear :

There are 7 vouchers here that include..... one free bake (which will, I am reliably informed, include the washing up), one day of all Nero's dog-walking, one visit to the supermarket, one car wash, one mystery 'Specail' task (in which he says he will do ANYTHING) and my very most favourite one of all, the bottom right which is:

"One go out with your damn friends and enjoy life" voucher.

I'd like to know how he's going to finance that particular one :-D

Tell me what happened in your life on Sunday :-)

10 Mar 2015

Hestia and some random updates

1  I am not dead.

2  I don't really have anything to blog about right now.

3  Wait! No, sorry, I got nothing ....

4   I have been up at the school campus making potato bread and gnocchi.  I thought I was just going to watch a demonstration, so I tipped up in my orange sweater.  And was handed an apron.  A warm room is needed to help the yeast do its thang.  I was so hot I thought I was having a flash.

The bread was, unfortunately, so gorgeous that I ate half a loaf and about half a pound of butter BEFORE I went for my weigh in with Slimming World.

5  Oh yeah, I signed up for Slimming World.  So far, I've lost 24 pounds. Of the Queen's head variety.  And 3lbs of the lardy ones.

6  Tartarus is in Bulgaria and I am missing him.  This IS news.  Usually I don't care where he is.  But I am missing our cups of tea as he reports from the coal face of the garage and some THING that needs fixing on someone's motorbike and I report on some THING on facebook that has held my attention for five hours.

7  I've started going running again.  This 'running' is a term that I use very loosely.  Truthfully, I am going 'walking slightly faster than I generally do.'  Nero hates it because it's a useless speed for him - neither walking nor running.  Lolloping.  Nero is lolloping.

No, that's not true.  This morning I was jogging behind him and he was walking.  I jog slower than my dog walks.  There's an admission.

8  I am getting excited about going to Italy in April.  Without family.  Meeting up with a group of Tarot fans and 'sploring museums and, hopefully, eating my own bodyweight in risotto milanese.  Minus the veal shanks.  Because, well, VEAL.

9  I bought all 80 of the Penguin 80th birthday Little Black Books.  I could not afford it, but it's BOOKS.


10 I am wakening up at 3am with the Nameless Dreads - death, disease, famine, never amounting to anything, alien invasion - yes, fear of it all hits me at 3am.

11 Sonshine has hairs growing on his legs and his voice is up and down like a bees wing.  He's growing up.  Hence the Nameless Dreads, I think.

Enough about me, how are YOU?

20 Feb 2015

Hestia... has been away

So we've been away for a few days.  To a greyhound friendly cottage in the Borders' town of Innerleithan.

The cottage is called Cosaig  and it's REALLY dog friendly.  If you book with your recycled greyhound, Jennifer makes a donation to The Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary.

Jennifer's Cosaig welcome box is very thoughtfully put together and includes locally produced goods (we had apple juice and beer.  Guess who drank the beer?) And she made flapjacks too - bloody gorgeous.  Of course the diet went straight to hell!

There were even doggy bix from her greyhound, Luke, to Nero.

Overlooking Victoria Park and the distant hills, it's a great place to base yourself for any walking or cycling gig that you might fancy in the Borders.

There is also a Wii.  I had great fun with the boxing.  Until the following day and I could barely put my knickers on because my arms were THAT sore!  I also manage to actually punch Tartarus with my Wii numchuck in my hand. Not part of the game, but felt great in a passive-aggressive way...

So, I won't bore you with all the details of what we did, save to say that we ate like kings - including an apricot frangipane that weighed the same as a housebrick and tasted like heaven on earth.  A marvellous Indian meal was also purchased as a carry-out from Saffron, just round the corner from the cottage.  I have never lived so close to a lovely restaurant.  I'd be the size of Belgium if I actually lived at Cosaig!


Snowdrops at Kailzie Gardens (also home of delectable frangipane cake). Very friendly staff in restaurant and deli and, vitally, dog friendly. Unlike Dawyck Gardens who are distinctly unfriendly to dogs (although guide dogs etc are permitted).  Restaurant had lovely local artwork on the walls and I was fair smitten with a ladybird painting! My lunch there was a divine open sandwich of beetroot and a fairly local blue cheese.  The combo sounds unlikely, but, by jingo it worked!


Sonshine and Nero on a treestump.  As you do.


Sonshine and me on a swing thing, just across from Cosaig next to the tennis courts.  Do I look bilious? If there's one thing that makes me feel sick it's going round and round.  Add going up and down to the round and round and you've got potential projectile vomiting right there.

We had an absolutely marvellous time and can't wait to go back!

What did you do at half term?

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