Fluffy is our nick name for a squirrel that visits our garden. He or she and younger ones often visit usually in the morning for their breakfast. We say 'Fluffy' because Molly knows what a squirrel is and would chase it away!
Ann now has a small tripod for her camera that helps to get a clear shot.
It has been over a year since we moved off M2L. Much time and money spent on land based property to keep us comfortable inside four walls and a low roof!
Medical issues, friends and family, exploring the New Forest and gardening have occupied our time. But now we look forward to time back on board for short visits. Ann has three months between checkups while Chas hopes that dental problems are sorted soon!
The boat is to be blacked this month, weather permitting, and the top sides badly need a fresh coat of colourful paint. A major effort required to keep Moore 2 Life looking good for a while longer. We plan a new look for her. No cream in sight! But all that effort is not a job for us mind.
Just hope that when we get back we can cope with the locks and living on board. Perhaps it is like riding a bike! It will be very different to permanently living on board with much less on board than before.
From where we are at the moment perhaps the Oxford canal will be enough, who knows. Cropredy Marina will remain the boat's home. That is far enough away to drive from the Forest.
It is mid winter so we decorate our living space to brighten up those short grey days of the long shadows.
Then we rush around in a panic counting down to that one day that has to be perfect. We spend money on presents and food like it is going out of fashion!
The presents are good to give and receive but the food becomes unusual and plentiful. We even set fire to our pudding!
By the time the New Year arrives we are still eating that strange food. We had cold Christmas pud with pine apple chunks and juice! Cold slices of meat in sandwiches and those endless mince pies! And we still have some of that rich Christmas cake which the grand children decorated.
All those nuts are still in their packets and we have not had a potato since that perfect day. There is an abundance of sugar loaded candies, sweets and chocolates. Also a cupboard full of alcoholic beverages.
Oh well we won't starve in January and won't need to go shopping except for the usual bread n milk.
St. Nicholas was a fourth century bishop in Asia Minor and is buried, circa 346 AD, in his cathedral at Myra. He has become a patron saint to many categories of people over the years. He is honoured throughout the canals of Europe as the boat peoples special saint. In Britain he is known as Father Christmas while in America they refer to him as Santa Claus. In France he was called Papa Noel. The giving of presents results from the saint learning of a poor man who considered selling his three daughters. St. Nicholas visited the property anonymously and tossed a bag of gold through the window. It landed in a stocking hanging up to dry.
Where else can I start but at the beginning, the 4 th of December. A lump appeared distorting my face. It did not hurt much! (No sense no feeling?) I got an emergency appointment to see the doc the same day! I waited an hour and a half! The Doc said I had a bad tooth that should be extracted! She just gave me Antibiotics.
Next stop the Dentist. Not seen one since leaving the boat! Found one locally and just walked in. Within half an hour the offending tooth was out. Not NHS of course!
Just keep taking those Antibiotics that make your poo go soft but that lump just got bigger! Went back to the Doc who just looked at me and booked me a 'Fast Track' appointment at the hospital. That arrived a week later for the 19 th December.
I ran out of pills by Saturday. Had to ring 111 for advice. The only place open was in the next town so we went there and got more antibiotics that did not help.
I was in a loop of despair not knowing which way to go. Another option was an Emergency admission at the hospital. This bypasses all the medical routs so far taken. So I entered that other NHS door.
I joined the queue of other poor souls where some were smoking outside! After about an hour I was assessed for priority and taken in. A week earlier than that 'fast track' appointment!
A thorough examination followed by Xrays and a bed later that evening. I was to stay in three days. An operation took place early next morning to drain the abscess for that is what it was.
Once in the Hospital environment medical care is constant and effective. I was given two meals a day, monitored for medical conditions and given intravenous drips of antibiotics. The surgeon even came to see me several times. The drain under my chin was removed and I was discharged when they considered that I was better.
I went back to the Medical Centre and Dentist to tell them what had happened to me. Now the Dentist wants to see the Xrays taken at the Emergency department. The Medical Centre may not even get them! I certainly won't see them!