Having set up my blog I'm reminded at just how much I've forgotten from IT lessons at school; I use a computer every day in my job but creating blogs/websites/pages is not my area of expertise! (give me an Excel spread sheet any day of the week). So I'm sure there'll be many tweaks over the coming weeks/months/years if I keep this blog up, in the meantime apologies if my layout causes headaches or eye strain!
I'd like to start my blog with some bad and good news in order to introduce you to our handsome puppy, Barry, as I will most probably write a lot about him in this blog. Barry is a Jack Russell Terrier and true to breed traits he's energetic, intelligent and just a little bit nuts too! He joined us at eight weeks old back in March and since then has been my little lamb (only with sharper teeth). He's provided us with hours of entertainment, endless love and company and some expensive vet bills too! Which brings me to the bad news... Four weeks ago Barry fractured his femur. I'm not quite sure what happened as I only heard a bang and thud as he came running in from the back garden at a million miles per hour; knowing Barry (total wimp) a Pigeon probably landed on the back fence and scared him half to death and he raced in too quickly. We think he missed the step into our conservatory or caught the doorframe, either way an immediate trip to the Vets confirmed he had fractured his femur (after I had stopped hysterically crying down the phone to my boyfriend, Jack, on what I should do)! He had surgery and two pins inserted to support the fracture and four weeks of cage rest to ensure it healed correctly. Thankfully Bazza is a fan of chilling in his crate so cage rest wasn't too horrendous for either party and here we are four weeks later with a happy puppy now that the pins have been removed (the fracture has healed really nicely) and only another few days of cage rest. At only six months old it was important that the fracture healed correctly and that the pins were removed to ensure they didn't affect Barry's growth plates and I was very relieved when the Vet told us he thinks he'll be completely back to normal in no time. Meanwhile, attempts have been made around the back door to ensure we don't have a repeat of this. People keep telling me "he won't do that again in a hurry" and I keep reminding them that he's a dog, a puppy for that matter, and therefore like children he probably won't learn on this first occasion! Here's hoping that we never have a repeat of this!
Barry at home resting, having had the pins removed from his "chicken drumstick" leg yesterday morning.
I have grown up around dogs but was never lucky enough to have my own. Oh the times I thought my Dad was going to come home with one when he'd tell me "I'm going to see a man about a dog", only years later did I discover that actually meant "I'm going down the pub". Jack and I moved into our very own house together back in January and we soon settled into village life (having lived in Newbury town centre for the past two years). We're located in the beautiful Berkshire Downs and our bedroom view looks out over 'The Ridgeway', believed to be Britain's oldest road. Having grown up in pretty but flat Cambridgeshire, I can't get enough of the rolling hills here. We love exploring the countryside and go for walks daily and there's nothing quite like having a dog by your side when out in the elements. We can't imagine being without Barry now as he's fantastic company for us. Everyone that meets him loves him and we've even been told at the pub in the village not to bother turning up for a drink without him! He's rather popular with the ladies too!
The view last Sunday from our back garden
And now to the next introduction, Squirt and Lola, our two Hermanns Tortoises. I've always had a fascination with tortoises since I was little when my Mum used to tell me stories about her escape-artist tortoise named Toby (he regularly escaped and made it over a mile away in the space of an afternoon to the local Doctor's house, before they'd call the number painted on Toby's shell and my Mum would take her pony Rosie to collect naughty Toby!). I got Squirt when she was 10 months old and around 7cm in length, before getting Lola as a companion for Squirt the following year. Lola was just 2 weeks old when I brought her home and the size of a 50 pence piece! Though tortoises are perfectly happy on their own I have to say I think they're a lot happier together and my two follow each other everywhere, sleep next to each other and fight for the same dandelion leaf! They're funny little characters and by no means slow, so never underestimate a tortoise! Barry finds them interesting but for the most part ignores them which I'm pleased about; dogs are naturally very inquisitive and as friendly as Barry is I would never leave him unsupervised with the tortoises. Likewise Squirt is not afraid to push Barry out of the way should he be in her path and weighing almost as much as a bag of sugar she's a fair weight!
Lola and Barry conversing in my parent's garden in Norfolk, with Squirt in the background doing a runner!
We've been living in Berkshire for over two years now and feel really settled here. We miss our family and friends back in Cambridgeshire but often go home to visit or enjoy having visitors here. It's hard sometimes being hours away from everywhere and everyone you knew, but we've met nice people through work, in the village etc. and we've always been happy with each other's company anyway. Jack and I have been together for almost eight years now. We're both hard working individuals, but enjoy making the most of our time outside of work whether its decorating our new house, exploring somewhere new on a walk with the dog or socialising. Jack (like most men) is sport-obsessed; he's a formula one fanatic (I am too now thanks to him) and a rugby player too. He's also a keen cyclist and squash player and quite happy to give any other sport a go! I'm more of a hobbyist and enjoy sewing, crafting and love nothing more than getting out and about with my camera to take wildlife/flower or landscape photos. I have ridden horses all my life but sadly since moving to Newbury have hardly had the chance other than helping on the odd occasion to exercise someone else's horse. I miss being around them, I loved hacking through the countryside. I hope to get back into it again, perhaps next Spring if I have more time, though I think I'll invest in a seat-saver for whatever saddle I sit on or I fear my bum-bones may not survive!
I think I'll leave today's blog post there for fear that you've already fallen asleep back at the second paragraph! I'll provide an update on Barry's recovery soon :-)