Friday, December 31, 2010

Grey & Overcast New Years Eve 2010.

Elbe Bridge.

Rolf Nesch.

Today is a grey, overcast day, had to put the light on as soon  as Richie opened the curtains and did my leg exercises.

Hoped for a bright day today so that the fireworks can be seen better, mind you we can’t see them as that freaks Marleen out.

Got a mail from Jacky’s owner that she can’t go through with re-homing him, she says she would miss him too much.

She has two small children who I am sure would hate it if he were to leave them, so Richie will go to Leiden next week to visit Binkie with Marleen.

He looks a lovely dog, I hope Marleen and Binkie hit it off and Richie will bring him home next week.

Be nice to give Binky a new chance and at the same time give Marleen a new chum and us a lovely new dog.

Hope that this time we will get lucky and this little dog will be living here with us, we will change his name so he can have a total new start.    

Feel disappointed about Jacky,I had wondered yesterday whether Jacky’s owner could go through with giving him away.

Thought she might not be able to give Jaaccky away, not when I saw the picture of Jacky and two children.

It is a New Year soon, a new year and new chances, looking forward to enjoying all I can in the coming New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Exciting Things Hapening.


Sokea soittoniekka (Blind Musician)

Alvar Cawen.

Great news had a call from Frans, from Tiltechniek, who came by about the new hoist straps yesterday which he was going to order for me and would be here in two weeks time.

Today a happy Frans called to say he had found a set of the straps and a colleague of his would be in Amsterdam tomorrow and could drop it by at 10.00.

Brilliant news, great to get a set that will not be painful like the ones we use now; my skin has become so very sensitive in the last three years that getting the straps on is very unpleasant.

We both wish there were another way of getting me transferred from bed to shower chair and then into wheelchair and back into bed, that was painless.

Looking forward to the new straps tomorrow is excellent to have a set of straps that does not feel unpleasant like my skin is being scrapped raw with an emery board.

So tomorrow will be quite a pleasant change, I hope that the new straps will make transfer as easy as it was recently at the hospital.  

Looking forward to tomorrow and trying out the hoist straps be so good to be able to be transferred without discomfort.

So tomorrow first the excitement of the new straps in the morning and then the excitement of the last afternoon and evening of 2010 before fireworks at midnight.

Then the next excitement is seeing the little Jack Russell, Jacky on Sunday at 15.00 that will be very exciting indeed.

So exciting things happening this year and next year, we are both very excited at the prospect of a new dog in our lives.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Am Enjoying The Here And Now Immensely.

A Long  Way From Greece.

Charles Thompson.

Great news, we got a reply last night from someone in Amsterdam who wants to find a new home for Jacky, their lovely 10 month old male Jack Russell.

Wonderful to get such a quick response and to be picked from the 147 responses so quickly, that is very flattering.

Richie also found another two lovely Jack Russell’s at a dog pound in Leiden, both desperate for new caring homes.
In lots of ways I think we would rather take the dogs from the pound than the dog here in Amsterdam.

I think the dogs in the pound probably need to get a new home more urgently than the little Jacky.

Hope the dogs in Leiden get new homes very soon; they certainly deserve a good home with people, who will look after them well,

We have an appointment to meet Jacky this Sunday and if Marleen and Jacky click then we have a lovely new dog.

If they do not click, then we will be in touch with the dog pound and go to Leiden to see if one of the JR’s there is Marleen’s new chum.

Very dark outside by late afternoon, after what was a surprisingly bright today for a grey overcast day, had a good appointment with Frans from the company that supplied my hoist.

I will be getting a new set of straps in a softer material which is better for both of us, as it won’t be as painful for me or as difficult for Richie to get round me for a safe transfer.

So a good day for us both, Marleen also had a good day when Richie took her for a walk this afternoon.

Despite my disability I am feeling very optimistic about life which feels good, my body has been fucked up by my MS, but my mind and my spirit are fine.

I am enjoying the here and now immensely.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Relaxed Day.

Relaxed day today had a very nice visit from Anja, a good friend of 26 years now, brilliant to see her this afternoon, especially as I was just thinking it would be pleasant to see her.

Wonderful to get her mail yesterday asking if it was ok if she popped by this afternoon, which of course it was, in fact it was very alright.

Lovely to have a visitor, felt like the first one for ages, I enjoyed chatting for an hour, very nice to give Anja a present, also for Erik, her partner and Bosse, their son.

Have enjoyed that this Christmas, it is such good fun to give friends presents, felt good to do especially this year, particularly because I am enjoying the moment..

Richie and I had a pleasant time this Christmas, we always do have a good time together, but I still miss also sharing the holidays with friends and having friends coming by.

Thirty years here in Amsterdam, yet despite everything that I do like here I still miss the community that I had in Reading.

Writing that I am immediately aware that of course looking back in time tends to imbue the past with a rosy glow, everything looks better.

Probably just how I chose to remember it, memory is like that it seems to have airbrushed out all the things I would rather not remember.

Becoming very aware that if I want something different that I need to do more to make it happen, which I will try to do more of.

First of all I am going to talk to Richie and suggest we have a party in January, be nice to make up for the cancelled party on the 19 December and have it either on 23 or 30 January.

Especially nice if we can have it then as January is such a long dark month, a get together with friends sounds like a great idea.  



Monday, December 27, 2010

Day After Christmas.

The Meschers. 1951.

 Ellsworth Kelly.

Well here it is the first Monday after Christmas, wish I could turn the clock back and enjoy those special days again.

It is the day after Boxing Day; and it is quite a bright day with a lot of bird traffic on the bird feeder by the bedroom window.

Richie has taken Marleen to the park for an early afternoon walk and games, also maybe with other dogs.

She is getting quite cheerful again, lovely to see her grabbing her toys and demanding a game from Richie.

I have enjoyed this Christmas very much; especially giving presents to friends has given me such a lot of pleasure this year.

Discovering the delights of Internet shopping has been wonderful for me, I especially like eBay, I think it is very good.

Found an excellent seller, she designs and makes everything by hand; it is well finished and looks wonderful; she will also make up your own designs

She wrapped all the presents I bought for friends in Christmas paper with gift tags which was brilliant, she also wrapped Richie’s presents too.

She is a really lovely woman; I am so happy I found her; she is also on Face Book, I would like to recomend her to everyone.

So if anyone wants well designed, well made and superbly finished clothes Rem.Designs is the designer for you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day 2010.

The Gate.
Hans Hoffman.

Happy days one of the parcels I was hoping would arrive in the post did arrive and our friend Marianne whose address it went brought the three cd’s in it nicely wrapped for Richie.

Wonderful I am very happy that the cd’s have arrived especially as the band are a big favourite of Richie.

Funnily enough I dreamed that the parcel would be waiting for Marianne when she got home today.

Thought that it was a pleasant fantasy instead it has become reality which is brilliant really is.

So good to see Richie’s pleasure at unwrapping the 3 presents, ac brilliant moment, the packet arriving from the USA would make my joy complete.

Something I bought on 14 November and hoped would get here no problem for Christmas but so far no sign.

Still hopeful that it will be here soon and who knows maybe it will surprise me could even be this week.

Marleen is looking more like a cheerful dog every day good to see her trotting around so far no luck on getting a new dog bet we are both very optimistic that a dog will turn up soon.

Looking forward to Richie playing his new cd’s later which will be very good and for now I am listening to music on BBC Radio 6 which is enjoyable.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Well Here It Is Merry Christmas.

The Talisman

Paul Serusier.

Last night we had our presents, just like they do in Germany, and how we used to do it in Trinidad too.

Remember Christmas Eve as a kid so well, as soon as it was dark the tree lights were turned on in the front room.

Then Christmas music would be played and the door would be opened and the Christmas tree in all its glory would be revealed with presents piled up at its base.

Our lovely red Christmas tree looks gorgeous again this year, I think it looks even better than last year.

Richie got me four gorgeous perfumes, Yves St Laurent, Lolita Lempicka, Jean Paul Gaultier and Angel.

All beautiful perfumes which I will enjoy having Richie spray some on me every day, what lovely presents from my darling Richie.

I got him a pair of Dr. Martin’s boots, two scarves and Chas & Dave box collection and there are two presents on their way, that are stuck in the post somewhere.

The Christmas post has become quite messed up with the snow and ice and TNT being on strike over here.

Hope both the parcels will turn up and provide my darling with two more surprises which will be lovely.

Well here it is Christmas Day, the snow is still here but it is gradually turning into a sheet of ice and making getting around difficult.

Richie took a delighted Marleen for a late night run around in the park last night which she enjoyed a lot.

Lovely to see her regaining her joy of being a dog, we have been building her up all week and it has worked.

Have been getting Richie put Marleen on my bed not long after we wake up so we can have a cuddle and bonding session, which she enjoys.

Marleen feels very loved and very much part of it all, important to let her know that her life is not going to change because Spike is not here.

Right now the cloud cover has gone and there is blue sky and a glimmer of sunshine which is gorgeous to see.

I am going to post this and enjoy this sunny Christmas day with my darling Richie and Marleen.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010.

A Man's a Man for A' That

Is there for honesty poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave - we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that?
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that,
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A price can mak a belted knight,
A marquise, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that,
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
That man to man, the world o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that.

Robert Burns

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cold Winter Day.

English Beach at Heist.
Georges Lemmen (1865–1916)

Sitting here typing with my left hand mostly, though I do try to keep using my right hand too, even if only intermittently.

Just gone 16.00 now and it is getting dark, not long now and it is night again, really feel it is winter now.

Marleen is a little bit happier and more relaxed today, which is lovely to see, she also does not look as depressed and as middle aged as she did on Tuesday & Wednesday.

When she sat with her jaw hanging, looking suddenly much older and quite resigned to life.

She seemed to get tremendously cheered up by her walk yesterday, plus Richie put her on my bed in the morning those plus lots of games and attention.

Really good to see Marleen looking and being herself, she woke up very cheery this morning and wanted her early morning games.

First time since last Saturday when Spike was just died that Marleen has been abit livelier, she really wanted a game with Richie this morning which was sweet to see.

At the moment there are no Jack Russell’s online that need re-housing, we will keep looking and hoping for a new dog, so we can lavish attention and love on it too.

Marleen is definitely missing Spike presence and the interaction with him, their 5 years together made them very close, a lovely little pack.

Who knows we may be able to find Marleen a new chum after Christmas, I hope we do.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nearly Christmas.

Le Jardine de Pontloise

Camille Pissario.

Soon be Christmas now, miss the excitement of going off on my own to get presents, used to love doing last minute shopping.

Love the excitement and all the people and the cold weather, lovely to find just what you are looking for.

Sad that this is now in the past, but have found the internet and eBay very useful, hope a couple of things still turn up for this weekend.

That would be brilliant but realistically they will be New Years presents, as long as they get here sometime, I do not care.

Shame it had to be exactly the things for Richie that I was the happiest to find, typical that they are the ones that are not here.

Richie has received a big box of his father’s records among them many classical record that he listened to for the first time ever.

Nice of his sister Aud, to send them to Richie, he is so happy to get them as they are full of memories for him.

Another cold grey day today, very quiet outside which I am enjoying a lot, the stillness is all part of it nearly being Christmas.

One more day and it will be here, I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

Tuesday, 21, December, 2010. Winter Solstice.

Giacomo Balla.

Today is Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night and then slowly but surely the days will be getting longer again                       

Love these December days, always find myself getting quite excited as soon as it is 19 December.

21 December is also a favourite, love how it gets dark by 16.30 and the quality of the stillness.

There are no bird sounds in the mornings; the only active birds are Blue and Great Tits on the bird feeder.

Shame we did not see the Lunar Eclipse, it was just before dawn this morning and was probably not visible as last night was cloudy.

I got woken up by a phone call  this morning from someone I sent a mail to last night who was looking to re-home Jacky, his 14 month old Jack Russell.

We would have to wait until some other people saw him and f they did not want him then we could have him.

We knew right then, that the other people would take him, sure enough they did, sad for us but good for Jacky as he got a new home with a garden and two children.

So back to searching the internet for a new chum for Marleen, hope we find a nice little dog soon, as she is very sad on her own.

When Richie takes her to the park, she wants to play with every dog; Marleen has always been friendly with other dogs, but never wanted to play much with them as she had her own playmate.

Despite my sadness about Spike not being here anymore and the progression of my MS I can’t help but enjoy this time of year.

I am hoping to enjoy a few more Solstices and Christmases, am looking forward optimistically to the New Year.


Monday, December 20, 2010

A Winter Wonderland.

The Liver.

Arshile Gorky.

We are living in a winter wonderland, in a frozen snow world; everything is slowed down as no one can move fast on the icy surfaces.

Observed several people trying to cycle up the road, it looked scary, wonder how many cyclists have been to Accident & Emergency over the weekend.

Richie has kept me amused with stories of Marleen’s fun outside, she likes the snow, and she runs around at top speed and even delights in rolling in it.

Noticing again today how quiet Marleen is without Spike, we are doing our best to play with her and give her plenty of attention.

Which works to a certain extent but not totally as we are not dogs, she is so obviously missing the interaction with Spike.

Even eating is not so much fun for Marleen right now; she no longer barks excitedly when Richie puts food in her bowl and puts it down for her.

She did play with some toys for awhile just now, showing us what a lovely dog she is, which was good to see.

Hope we find another dog needing a fresh start,, just as Spike needed one in 2002 which we gave him.

Just like we gave Marlee;, when she came to us in 2005, twice as heavy as she should be and severely depressed.

She needed a new home because of a new baby with asthma at her old home, plus she was not getting any exercises.

She came to us with a mega bottle of shampoo, several grooming implements suitable for horses not dogs, and not a single toy.

We introduced her to toys, how to play, gave her a good diet and plenty of exercise which soon helped her to blossom

Be good to give that to another dog.



Sunday, 19, December, 2010. An Artic Sunday.

View of Toledo, Spain.

El Greco.

The weather has been awful since the downpour of sleet on Thursday afternoon, when it did not turn to snow; we thought we had made a lucky escape.

Sadly we didn’t as we woke to thick snow on Friday morning, and we did not know that there was even more still to come nor how much.

There was an incredible heavy snowstorm on Friday and worse of all the snow became very icy by around 16.00 in the afternoon.

On Saturday there was even more snow and conditions became extremely cold, Richie was taking even longer putting on all his layers.

Saturday we both missed Spike and cried a lot, I may start again at any minute it comes and goes just like with any bereavement.

Richie told methat weak as Spike was he seemed to enjoy going off  with him on the bike, sticking his head out of the bike bags and sniffing the air as he went off on his last adventure.

Poor Marleen is very down without her pack mate, she has been looking for him inside and outside, especially whenever Richie came back on the bike.

We are going to research this well and find her a new friend verey soon before she becomes really depressed.

This morning we were both still wiped out by being up so late Friday to Saturday, we did not get to sleep until 05.00 in the morning.

Richie took Marleen for a long walk in the park then returned and got me showered and put back in bed.

After which he set about getting ready for our party, Eva came around at 15.00 to help and to bring her contribution delicious bread from the great Moroccan baker near us.

By mid afternoon it became clear that sadly our party would not be able to go ahead.

The majority of people would not be able to get here due to all the ice and snow so we cancelled it and hope to do it in mid January.

Something, to look forward to in  cold, dark January.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Goodbye To Our Lovely Spike..



This evening Spike still wanted some of my cashew nuts, and gave me looks until he got some too, I am going to miss sharing little treats like that with our lovely dog.

Later on it became obvious that Spike had reached the end; at first he howled and barked in pure frustration and rage that he could no longer move.

This went on on and off, for a couple of hours until Richie took the dogs to the dog toilet and when they returned Spike was extremely quiet.

As if he had used up his last energy at the dog toilet and after that there was nothing left, really nothing.

For the first time ever, he did not want to eat his chew when they got back, nor did he want anything else either.

He was suddenly very quiet, tiny and very withdrawn and obviously in alot of pain, have never seen him so still. 

It is 01.00 in the morning, Richie has just taken Spike off to the Emergency Clinic for Animals to have him put to sleep and put an end to his pain.

We got an appointment for a quarter to two this morning, Richie phoned me to say he had arrived safely at the clinic; it took him about 40 minutes to get there in the snow.

It had became very obvious tonight that Spike was totally finished, it was really heart breaking seeing him go off with Richie, obviously in so much pain as he was so totally still.

Before they went Richie brought Spike into the bedroom to let me stroke him for one last time and to see him look at me for one last time with his sweet eyes.

Heartbreaking to think that Richie will soon be back without Spike, poor Marleen was quite distraught after they left.

 Running around barking hoarsely before standing up on her hind legs to look at me and then sat quietly near my bed while we waited for my darling Richie to return.  

Richie just phoned to say that Spike had died being cuddled in his  arms 5 minutes ago, it is now  2.35 and Richie is  on his way home.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Masses Of Snow.

Airplane Synchromy in Yellow-Orange.

Airplane Synchromy in Yellow-Orange.

Stanton  MacDonald Wright.

Woke up to masses of snow today, must have been falling all night as Richie says it is quite deep, up to mid calf height.

Much thicker than in many years here, Richie was planning to go to three shops today to get all our shopping, also for the party on Sunday..

To the Oriental supermarket in the Nieuwmarkt, the good Moroccan shop in the Bos and Lommer neighbourhood and the Oasis the whole food shop near us.

What a surprise that there is snow and so very much of it too, incredible how much there is and it looks like it will be here for a long time.

My first winter here in Amsterdam in 1981, there was snow from November until early march and it was incredibly cold too.

Find myself wishing it will vanish overnight as it normally does but think this time the snow will be here for ages.

Wonder if everyone can get here on Sunday or our party, those coming by bus and train may not be able to get here.

Hope Richie takes the dogs to the park sometime today, a warmly wrapped up Spike could have great fun barking as Marleen goes mad running around in the snow.

Despite being terminally sick Spike is still very bright and really interested in everything aroung him, he has been responding to every dog he sees or hears on the street.

Glad he can be so bright and have such fun when he is so ill, but somehow I am not too surprised as he always makes so much fun and can turn any situation into a game.

Guess we are quite similar, both enjoying everything we can in our own way, I am sure I shall cry again about Spike, but for now I am smiling as I hear him barking in the front room.

That’s my Spike.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Cold Gloomy December Thursday.

Madam Matisse.    

Henri Matisse.

A very dark gloomy December day today, poured with rain all morning and afternoon, it was a sad sight seeing the person doing the post getting very wet.

Mathilde arrived luckily dry because she has good rain gear not like the wet postie who seemed to be drenched.

After our physiotherapy session Mathilde went off to her next appointment and then the rain turned to a huge snow storm, happily nothing stayed on the ground.

Well things are moving along nicely for the party on Sunday, everyone who is coming will bring some food.

Glad we are doing this; mind you I have had several moments of misgivings and almost panicked wondering whether it was the right thing to do.

I think this has a lot to do with Spike being so ill now; we did talk about not wanting anyone here on the one hand and on the other really needing our friends here for their support.

So glad we have not cancelled, the party, really feel that it is so important to make as many social events happens as possible.

Despite any worries we may be both having right now and until Sunday, I know we will both enjoy the party very much.

Remember how good we both felt after the party in September, we were very happy, really energised by having friends here to share food and fun with.

Getting quite excited now about Sunday now

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

That's Life.

Social Realism.

Today it has become obvious that we need to be brave about Spike, he can’t do much anymore, he can only move with huge difficulty.

He still tries his best to move around the apartment and somehow through getting up and tottering for a few steps then collapsing and doing this again and again he gets around.

We have both been crying loads today, hating the thought of saying goodbye very much to our little dog, but it is obvious that it is now a case of when not if.

Richie put Spike on my bed this afternoon, first time in ages, because he has not been able to spend much time on our beds recently preferring the cooler floor.

So this afternoon was special, he licked my hands very delicately and most thoroughly which was so incredibly touching.

Difficult to keep dry eyed when writing about Spike, he is near me in the front room lying stretched out on the floor.

Such a lovely dog, I just ate a cashew nu and instantly his head was off the floor and he was looking at me and wanting a cashew nut too.

What a dog, fading away, losing strength yet still aware, part of it all and demanding his share of whatever is going.

That’s our lovely dog Spike.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Christmas Surprise.


 Eugene Boudin.

Had a huge disappointment this week, I bought something for Richie on EBay and had it sent to a friend’s address.

It was the only way to make sure it was a surprise for Richie at Christmas, as he opens all the post, since I can’t do that anymore.

The plan was for Marianne to wrap it and bring it around wrapped and then put it under our Christmas tree ready to surprise my darling Richie.

So it got sent to Marianne’s house, problem was I had it sent to Richie’s name and turns out that when it arrived it was turned away.

Marianne’s neighbours told the post person that there was no-one by the name of Maguire who living there.

The post person took it away again and when Marianne called TNT, they told her it had been sent back already.

What a massive disappointment for me, especially after tracking down a band that Richie has talked about since I met him in 1989.

Still hopeful that it will be back in the UK by now and the company can resend, this time to our address.

 Who knows the package could still arrive in time for Christmas; really hope so very much, really want to surprise Richie this Christmas.

Monday, 13, December 2010. Today Has Been A Strangely Pleasant.Day.

A Dog Named Picasso.
 Today has been a strangely pleasant day despite the weather being very dull today, had the light on as soon as Richie opened the curtains this morning.

Spike is so obviously weaker but amazingly he is still interested in everything around him, Marleen and he were very sweet together.

This morning they lay quite close to each other, mirroring how each other were lying, a lovely picture seeing them so peaceful and happy together.

In the afternoon Richie took Marleen and Spike to the park, Spike only walked a short distance before making it very clear he could do no more.

Instead he stood in his wheelchair having a wonderful time barking and watching Marleen running to catch sticks Richie threw for her.

It has always been a favourite game of Spike’s watching Marleen playing tug or chasing the ball while he refereed the action.

Even though he could not do much, Richie says it was very obvious he was enjoying himself enormously.

The dogs returned happy from the park and devoured their dinners and both slept for a couple of hours.

This evening has been pleasant, sitting relaxing together in the front room with our two lovely dogs.

Really enjoying this time together with our lovely Spike, very aware this special time will be over too soon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, 12, December, 2010. Enjoy Yourself While You Can And I Will and I Do.


The weather started off with well blue skies and sunshine then became cloudy and grey and dark, and then back to blue sky and sunshine whenever the clouds moved away again.

So it was both grey and cloudy at times, as well as beautiful blue skies and sunshine, funny mixed up December weather.

The weather seemed to aptly mirror, how I was feeling, which was quite good most of the day and but not so at times in the late afternoon and early evening.

In the late afternoon, my arms were becoming very stiff and were difficult to stretch out to reach the keyboard; I had to keep asking Richie to massage my upper arms.

Then stretch them out, every time he did that, I could manage for a short time to touch the keyboard and type a few words.

Then the struggle would be on to hit the right keys, invariably I would drag my fingers over the wrong keys and have an incredible struggle to correct the colourful typing errors.

I am determined to type for as long as possible, now hours later my hands and arms are once again functioning well.

What a relief, wonder if worrying made me so tense this afternoon, so much so that my hands and arms got stiff and extremely difficult to use.

I think it may have contributed, but it was not the cause; I think that the real cause is the progression of my MS.

Mind you worrying about Spike did make me cry quite a lot this afternoon; he is getting much weaker so walking is quite a struggle for him, as he loses control over his back legs.

I noticed this yesterday too that his right leg almost collapses to the ground as he walks yet it does not stop him, he still stumbles around the apartment.

He came in to the bedroom a few times, when I was still in bed and had a wonderful time chewing his large chew, even defending it from Marleen in a very butch way.

Richie and I talked about Spike and how we will handle things, today it was very clear Spike won’t be here for long but while he is here he will enjoy himself as much as possible.

Think that sums it up nicely, enjoy yourself while you can and I will and I do.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Re-Homing Is Very Rewarding.

Richie, Daisy and Spike in 2003.

Richie just came back from going round the block with the dogs, Spike started off hating his wheelchair, as he always does every time he uses it.

Think he soon noticed how useful it was, as he can move around better and can get to explore all the dog scents he wants to sniff.

He also got considerable attention from people on the street, which Richie said he milked for all its worth.

Richie says it was a sweet sight, seeing Spike wagging his tail as people oh’ed and ah’ed over him in the wheelchair.

They returned and Spike was still in the wheelchair and not protesting about it, glad even Spike can understand that the wheelchair is useful.

Thinking about Spike brought tears to my eye, more tears followed when I read Janis’s post about her dog Bruno, and she also mentions Spike.

Janis’s story about Bruno is moving, what a lovely dog he was, and what a treat to have a dog like that in your life.

Having Spike in our lives since 2002 has been wonderful, he was a handful when we first   brought him home but very rewarding for us all.

It was hard work convincing Spike that he was not the boss; that he was a pack member, as soon as he understood this, he was a happy dog.

Re-homing dogs is a good thing to do, better than buying and encouraging puppy farms.

Re-homing Spike and Marleen has been very good and incredibly rewarding for Richie and I as well as Spike and Marleen who have both blossomed with us.


Friday, December 10, 2010

A Cold Grey Day Today. .

Paul Cezanne.

Last night I was quite often disturbed by Spike stumbling around, poor little fellow, I really felt for him.

A good friend came by last night at 20.00 and stayed until 22.45 chatting and catching up with us.

It was lovely, as  we had not seen Louis since he moved up north in 2008, with his parter to live on a farm.

That they have turned into a business, called Lauenshout, making furniture and restoring furniture and wooden buildings.

It was good to see him, Spike seemed to think so too, as he brought his kong over right away, he can’t run for it but he can hobble rapidly and he can catch well.

He is quite some dog, still following Richie around everywhere which is very sweet until Richie takes a step back and treads on Spike or very nearly falls over him.

Our two terriers are great at always being in the wrong place at all times, one of their favourite place is between my wheelchair wheels.

Richie and I think Spike is fading fast and will not be here with us for very much longer, he has had a good week since he has been getting the extra food.

But it is very clear that Spike will not be alive for too much longer, Richie wants to take him to a couple of his favourite parks today and over the weekend.

Love Spike to be around for much longer, he is such a wonderful character, he really is.

I thought it was lovely how he recognised Louis after two years and wanted to play right away.

Very cold day today, a cold grey misty day a complete contrast to yesterdays blue skies and sunshine.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

THC Helps Me 6 Days A Week.

Untitled 1950.

Hans  Burkhardt.

It is getting colder here today, the sky is a beautiful bright blue and the sun is shining brightly, must be extremely cold outside.

Richie looks well wrapped up against the freezing cold; this is for sure long john weather for everyone.

We were up too late last night so at 02.00 so I took a sleeping tablet as my time to sleep had long passed.

The pill, lormetazepam helps me to fall asleep gently, and now there are no unpleasant after effects like with the temazepam that made me feel bad the morning after.

The dosage of the Lormetazepam is 2 mg and the Temazepam was 10 mg which had to be increased a couple of times during the time I used it.

That was a year from April 2007 until August 2008 when I wanted my doctor to increase the dosage, from 20 mg to 30 mg

I needed the increase but my doctor did not want to, she was concerned that I was becoming addicted to the sleep pill, glad she told me and glad I stopped nightly using Temazepam immediately after our telephone conversation.

Since a few moths I have started to use Lormetazepam once a week on a Saturday after late night football, Match of the Day on BBC2.

The rest of the week I eat a weed chocolate not too long before cleaning my teeth, before Richie turns the light out.

This setup suits me well, no point in lying awake all nigh if we don’t sleep until 02.00, the rest of the week the weed chocolate works very well.

So now THC helps me sleep well for 6 nights and a 2 mg sleeping tablet helps me on Saturdays when we stay up late.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Turn Back Time.

Joseph Minton.

For someone who hates summer ending and autumn starting I do like the month of December.

Wish it did not rush by, would like the December days to pass by slowly, shame that is not possible.

Time passes the same every day and every year, mind you isn’t it just our perception and time does nothing.

I had a look online for definitions of time and found this on Wikipedia:
''Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time. 

One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence

Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.

Time travel, in this view, becomes a possibility as other "times" persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line. 

The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events. 

This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz[4] and Immanuel Kant, holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled.

Ray Cummings, an early writer of science fiction, wrote in 1922, "Time… is what keeps everything from happening at once",

Wikipedia also says:
''Time keeping is so critical to the functioning of modern societies that it is coordinated at an international level.''

It is interesting to see that at some point humans decided that time had to be measured and decided how and when to do this.

Seems to me that our perceptions are very important in deciding many things, time and our lives are all part of our perception.

Since I have become so disabled due to the progression of my Primary Progressive MS I have become very interested in perception.

Realise more and more that how I perceive the world around me has a huge effect on my life.

If I am positive then everything is positive, but if I am negative then everything is negative and I  can not see good in anything.

Time is something else that is affected b y my perception of time flying by and time creeping by.

Now that I am older and have experienced many things, time seems to have speeded up but I know that is because many events are known to me now.

So my knowledge is more extensive and therefore time now seems to go by much faster than when I was 5 years old.

My perceptions are important for how I am, how I feel about life the universe and everything.

I choose to have a positive perception and life feels better for it. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Bright Cold Day Today.

Le Pont de Europe.

Gustave Cailleboutte.

Yesterday had a good session with my lovely physiotherapist Mathilde; she massaged my arms and shoulders before we started to do arm exercises.

Massaging my arms and shoulders helps me to stretch my arms, makes doing the exercises much easier, which is good for me.

After Mathilde left we had a late lunch and then I wrote my post, was funny to notice how foggy it was

Today the weather is clear and bright, with a pale blue sky and sunshine; perhaps it is colder than yesterday.

Have to wait until Richie takes the dogs out to get a report about the temperature outside today.

Last night Richie took Spike and Marleen for a late night walk in the park, the dogs were very happy, as they obviously thought they were not getting a walk anymore yesterday.

Spike had a great time in the park charging around and thoroughly enjoying himself, Richie said it was a fine sight.

The extra calorific food has had quite a dramatic effect; Spike looks much better, he does not look pathetically skinny as he did last week.

He has more energy which is very lovely to see, and good to know that something as simple as the right extra food, with extra calories gives him such a boost.

Had helping Spike enjoy his life, while he is still here, we are both very aware that Spike’s condition can change quite dramatically.

For this moment, we are enjoying our lovely Spike and not even considering what the future will hold.

Today is sunny and bright which I am enjoying tremendously, I feel good despite all my pain and discomfort.

Living in the moment is a good idea, it takes some getting used to, but I think that I am getting the hang of it now.