Thursday, August 20, 2009

Illness Strikes at Barkingham Palace...

It's been a busy and challenging time here at Barkingham Palace. Aside from Jan's Mum's deteriorating health, I too have had some recent health issues of my own. I am currently getting over yet another staphylococcus infection that has resulted in many sleepless nights and quite a degree of discomfort. I also had to have a blood-test yesterday to test for rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and fingers. Over the past few weeks, I have developed an increasing degree of discomfort and immobility in my fingers, particularly in my right hand where even holding a full kettle has become quite a challenge at times. And so, I'm currently on antibiotics for the staph infection, and anti-imflammatories for the suspected arthritis. My only real concern is that, if it worsens, how will it ultimately affect my photography and my weight-lifting? Both are pursuits that I enjoy very much. In fact, photography has started to become a part of my living of late. We'll know whether it is arthritis on the 28th of August. This is the date we're also looking to see what, if anything, can be done about the recurring staph infections. As a result of this, I'm now way behind on photo processing and things just aren't as organised and as fluid as I normally like them to be. I'm really not very good at all at not being organised! I am ruled so much by organisation and structure. But it's not really me you are interested in is it? It's Madame...

Before illness struck the household, we'd been to a fun-day held by our training-centre manager. It was a hot and sunny day but a fun day. I guess the clue is in the title for that one really - fun day. Alas, Ellie didn't win a thing all day long. We have complained to the management, of course, and wished them all the best despite their obvious bias and blindness to real Border Collie beauty. :) I have several photos that I need to wade through from the day, but the reasons stated above, they are still in the queue.

Ellie is in season again. She's in the first stage at the moment. That means she is clingy, a little bit more grouchy than usual, but oh-so loving. Assuming there is no phantom pregnancy this time, she is getting spayed after this season, for sure!

As I write this entry she is nudging my leg to try and win an invite to come and lay on my desk. It's her new thing - she waits for me to lay a blanket on my desk and then she just comes and lays on it while I work. It's a hard life isn't it? For the record, I didn't even get to complete that sentence before she'd won me over and was laid on the desk looking smug and self-satisfied.

I'm not sure what new things she has learned since my last entry. I know for certain that I taught her to retrieve my shoes for me. She loves retrieving objects and it never ceases to amaze me how well she can differentiate between the various objects that I ask for. She will also now pass items of clothing from the laundry basket into your hand as you are ironing. She seems especially proud of herself as she does that one!

Guess who we had come to stay with us over the weekend? The Doodles! What? You can't remember them? Shame on you! They are two Jack Russell Terriers, Ceasar and Cleo. They converted me from someone who didn't much care for JRTs to someone who loves them. Well, these two at least. I can't promise to feel the same for all of the breed!

In terms of home-boarding dogs, they are the near perfect guests. They pretty much leave Ellie alone, are fun to have around, but also know when to just chill out and relax, and well, I think I've taken to Ceasar in a big way. From the first day we had them on the previous visit, he and I seemed to naturally gravitate towards each other. I think it's because he's quite pushy in his own way. Cleo is a little more reserved and cautious. Ceasar? He doesn't give a damn. Because I wasn't feeling my best when they came to stay, I kept falling asleep on the sofa in the afternoons. It must have been quite a sight with all four of us taking up the sofa!

Talking of the doodles, they have their own website now. Yes, they even write the entries themselves! (I believe Ceasar does this on his personal iPhone.) Please do drop them a visit and say hi.