We’ve had a very good grape harvest this year, they’ve been delicious.

There wasn’t much to report during June, July and August apart from how hot it was, hospital and eye clinic visits, trips to the vet and veterinary hospital, leaks in the bathroom, failed pool pumps…..I’ll stop there. Not very interesting reading.

We did however have this interesting summer visitor
Eye eye!!

A very quick summer summary….Nigel had his second cataract op on 21st June which seemed initially to be very successful. However, he developed inflammation which has been very slow to respond to treatment resulting in many, many trips to the eye clinic and a very strict eye drop routine. He’s now been semi discharged, just needs to go back in November for a final check up.

Ditto injured himself in early June chasing rabbits. He was in a sorry state for a while, walking on his knuckles. Another long recovery from a herniated disc took place with many vet visits and an MRI scan, physio and laser treatment. He’s always going to be susceptible but he is much better than he was.

Laser treatment and physio

Ditto feeling very sorry for himself!

Belle became very frail and finally decided she had had enough, she left us in early August aged 14 and two months. We miss her dreadfully but it was hard to watch her struggling more and more with arthritis and so now we are grateful she’s no longer in pain. She was however a much loved and well travelled companion, she has accompanied us to 11 different countries and filled 2 and a half pet passports!

Belle the whippet 08/06/2009 to 03/08/2023

Because of all these issues it was impossible to get away in the camper as we wanted to do to avoid the heat. It’s a very long journey up to Galicia and back where it is cooler, not viable with the two weekly or so medical appointments we needed to keep.

But now we have a three week window before our first visitor since April comes out to stay for a week, after which we are off to Naples for a few days to visit Pompeii, traveling via Manchester so that we can visit family as well. House sitters are scheduled to arrive after Philippa leaves to look after Ditto and Poco while we are away.

We’ve decided to head off to the Pyrenees again during these three weeks to visit places we didn’t have time for in May. If it rains, it rains and we will get wet but it will be a welcome change of scenery.

As for the leak in our en suite…..it has precipitated a new bathroom as Spanish plumbing runs between the walls. Tiles had to be smashed off inside to repair it. It was very much needing an update anyway (according to me!) so that is being done at the end of October when we are back from Italy.

Not a pretty sight before the leak….certainly not now!!!! Our en suite disaster.

The pool pump has been replaced and the subsequent plumbing associated with it repaired (heard a bang one day and looked out to see a Geneva style fountain emanating from the pool pump housing! Good job we were in!)

Nigel decided to while away some of this enforced stay at home time to buy himself a new gadget….. a 35mm slide scanner, he’s currently working through the hundreds of slides we have stored. These are our two dobes, Merry and Dusky, from the  early years of our marriage when we lived in Radcliffe.

The Bury branch of the disused Manchester-Bolton canal was at the bottom of the fields behind our house. The bridge has a name: “Knickerhole”. I kid you not, it’s on the old 2.5″ O.S. maps …

In between these dogs were Kitty, the Irish Setter, Sula and Holly, the standard Schnauzers, and the one and only Dash, the Border Terrier.

Ditto joined us in November 2019 as a pal for Belle who was pining for Dash.

Three became two: really glad we have Poco as a little best mate for Ditto.

You may have heard of a book by Abi Morgan entitled, “This is not a pity memoir. ” She catalogues her journey supporting her husband through a devastating illness and then became ill herself. She tells it with humour and sadness and never a scrap of self pity. I’ve read it, I laughed and cried. I am in no way comparing what we’ve just been through with the events she describes in her book but I just wanted to end by saying “This is not a Pity Blog!” We’re okay, we’re still here and ready to move on and enjoy some cooler weather. Yes, the heat has been debilitating but we chose to live here. At least with solar panels now up and running we can turn the air con on without too much guilt and worry about the running costs! Just wanted to explain why we were absent for so long as a few people have asked if we’re ok and recent events have knocked us a bit off kilter.

See you again soon with more news and pictures and who knows what memories are yet to unfold amongst those slides!!

Hasta Luego