Friday, 27th January, 2017

I need to list these things before the memories fade!

Memories, 2016

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Round about my birthday (14th April), I saw eighteen red-kites swooping an circling over the field just beyond the end of our terrace.   I was to see twenty and more of these magnificent birds at various times during the year. My Family’s party to celebrate my birth (in 1939) was held on April the 17th so that everyone could be there.   It’s always so cheering and moving to have ’em all together nattering and putting me in my place!

Our May holiday in Saundersfoot was another memorable one, despite the rains.   Saw a whole flock of goldfinches on Shrinkle cliffs, and at Angle we found the biggest crab-shell in Wales.

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The results of Rosie’s spinal-scan came in June and the diagnosis was better than either of us expected.   Then, a full report came from Dr. Carl Langley over the phone and we felt even happier about the result.

In August, we had to have the house-lights during some of the mid-Summer days!   Rosie was taken ill with her stomach in the small hours of one Saturday morning.   I shall never forget driving through the dark following the ambulance to Bronglais Hospital, and the worry I had while she was in dock for a few days.   Looks like the NHS have got all her tummy problems under control now.   Great-grand-daughter Gracie had a tumble off her new bike and injured her arm – she soon got over it.   There seemed to be lots more rowan-berries than usual in these parts this year – and they were everywhere!.

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In September, it seemed that local hawthorns had tried to beat the earlier rowans in the production of berries.   And our second Saundersfoot holiday was grand.

October was made sad by the passing of our beautiful Bess.  It came not long after a smashing trip to see Rosie’s brother and sister in Wolverhampton.   Indeed, Kaydee – June’s grand-daughter – was really taken with the niceness of our dog.   We were with Bess when, on the 14th of the month, she was “put to sleep” in the back of our car – a place which she had always regarded as her own territory.   I cried buckets.   Later that month, it was found on a routine and regular blood-pressure test that I might have had something wrong with my heart.  An ECG was arranged at Bronglais Hospital.

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I found that I had developed a habit of patting every dog I saw in November!   I was lonely and still in mourning for Bess.  Bronglais gave me a heart-monitor to wear for a few days.   It took many weeks for the result to be sent to our panel-doctor (“worry, worry, fret, fret”).   And we still enjoyed seeing those lovely “Autumn” colours.

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On 16th December, though still so sad about losing Bess, we heard from our Vets that there was a dog needing adoption.   Her owner had died suddenly and our daughter Liz told us we needed a dog to help get over Bess.   Grand-daughter Ceri and her fiancé Peter went to see the dog, brought her straight to our home – and insisted we adopt her.   Neither they nor Liz would take no argument.  Libby – aka “Libz” – is another Border Collie, this time a tricolour.   She has settled in wonderfully well and has become my Shadow – she follows me everywhere.   She is not a replacement for Bess, of course, simply a girl who needed a loving home.

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ALL YEAR:  as I’ve mentioned, there are lots of kites in this area these days.   We’re noticing more buzzards, too.   But there were no cuckoos to be heard round here, and not one skylark chirruped.  When we first came here, a curlew would often be heard on the ridge opposite our terrace – not heard one anywhere for years.   My main memories of 2016 will be seeing its wonderful Autumn colours – and lots of trips for medical appointments!

Only one set-back:  we had three one-week holidays, and I had absolutely no ice-creams!

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