Sunday, June 21, 2009

Off on our hols!

As I write, it's 00.45, and I have to get up at 6.00 for our flight to Florida. Well, actually to Toronto, where we (hopefully) spend the day, then tomorrow night we fly on to Orlando. The little doubt is that someone told us that we may not be allowed to leave the airport, in which case we have a 10-hour tour of Toronto Pearson Airport. Oh please, NO!

I can never sleep the night before I go away- I don't know if it's excitement or fear or simply a desire to not leave my familiar stuff behind, or a mixture of all that. But, whatever it is, you can be guaranteed that any jobs that have been waiting on the long finger will get done, almost to the point of painting the house! Today, for instance, I sorted all the schoolbooks from last year, brought them to the bookshop and left in the lists for the coming year. That could have waited, but not in my world. The house is cleaner than it has been in ages, again a product of the "going away syndrome". Does anyone else do this?

We're all excited and looking forward to the holiday. It's several years since we went on a 2-week holiday, preferring recently to do a week skiing at Christmas, and one week or less of something in the summer. Last year, that one week was wheetled down to 4 days in the Black Forest. We had plans to do something else, but they never materialised. Such is life.

Anyway, because of all that, we're all hoping that this goes well. Disney is on the cards, at least for young people. Heofinfinitepatience got a flexi ticket for me and eldest daughter, but we may not get that much use from it. We're planning a lot of lazing, me by the pool, she indoors by the air conditioner! Doesn't like sun, tans or heat.

So, hope you're all having a nice time, whatever you're up to. Be back early July, and I sincerely hope to be able to tell you how wonderful downtown Toronto is.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still no sign

Cutting up apples this evening for my darling young people, stabbed my heart as I cleared the cores into the compost bin- they would usually go straight to our very own composter, Crash.

He's still nowhere to be seen.

Last night, younger daughter points to her head first, then her heart, and said "I miss him here and here". My heart aches for her.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

No sign

There has been no sign of Crash all day. The garden feels like a mortuary .

The worst bit is not knowing where he is or what has happened to him. If he has passed on to rabbitheaven, we'd like to think that it was quick, painless and peaceful. We wouldn't like to think of him suffering or of being in pain or frightened.

As I said, there are urban foxes around where we live, although we haven't seen one out the back for years. I've always thought that if a fox or cat were to get Crash, there would be fluff around the garden, or some sign of his demise. There's nothing.

I wish I knew somebody who was expert in the behaviour of sick bunnies. If they're feeling poorly, do they want to crawl in a hole (of their own digging) and pass away peacefully, or would they gravitate towards their human "owners". We've looked behind the lavender bush where the entrance to his burrow is, no sign of anything. We're afraid to go rooting around too much. I now dread that there will start to be a decomposing smell soon, and I'll never feel the same again about my poor lavender bush.

I suggested to the girls tonight that we'd go to the lavender bush and say a few words of farewell to him, no harm done if he returns. However, they're not yet ready for that.

Anybody got any ideas?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Our rabbit "Crash Bunnicoot" has gone missing.

When daughter went to put him in his run last night, he was nowhere to be found. We always let him roam freely in the garden during the day when we're in the house, and put him in the run at night, as there are some urban foxes around.

Sometimes at bedtime he does a runner, into the tunnel he dug behind the lavender bush. In the early days, heofinfinitepatience would wait with one or both girls, torch in hand, for sometimes over an hour, for him to come out. Then one night, he just wouldn't come out, nothing would coax him, so they left him and next morning there he was, hail and hearty, running around the garden.

Since then, we've adopted a liberal attitude, and if he isn't available at bedtime (ie a bit before dark) we leave him be. And every morning till today, he has shown up. But not a sign of him this morning or all day. This does not bode well.

Sometimes he appears from nowhere when I go near the plum tree, as he loves the leaves and I always cut some for him. Today, however, I cut several branches with the newly-purchased lopper, but no appearance.

It's a strange feeling, not knowing where he is or what has happened to him. He was 7, which I understand in rabbit terms is quite old, so he may have just "passed away peacefully". That's what we hope. While I cursed him many times for eating stuff I planted, and for the stuff I'd love to grow but can't, cos I know that within a few hours of it being planted, he'll have eaten it to bits, I do miss him. However, I got a load of gardening done without interruption today, which was also nice. Maybe I shouldn't write him off yet, he may appear tomorrow. Time will tell, and I'll let you know.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shop around!

It's been a hectic couple of weeks, what with 16-year old doing exams, boy doing some work in his former primary school (which he loves!) and me trying to work through list of jobs that term-time would not allow, such as getting the house alarm fixed- it had been going off at random times. What really motivated me there was that we're going away soon for 2 weeks, and I don't want it disturbing the neighbours in the middle of the night.

Incidentally, there's an upside to this recession- well 2 upsides if there is such a thing. Renewing our house and contents insurance, I decided to shop around, and got a quote HALF the price of what my broker firm quoted me. I thought I'd ring them and tell them , then decided that it's not my job to do this. They were charging me €30 fee, which is supposedly to get the best quote! I really did my homework, checking excess etc, and this policy is also better, and allows you to pay by direct debit at no extra charge, for which my broker firm wanted 6%.

2nd upside to the recession: I phoned the electrician thinking that he did alarm repairs. He doesn't, but offered to phone someone he knows who does. The guy was at my house 20 minutes later, and the alarm was fixed within another 20 minutes. Now I really wish I had waited till the recession to do all my building work, when I think of all the unreturned calls I made to builders etc. No more!

Someone told me last year that June is like December without Christmas. It's true- it's one party or "farewell for the summer" do after another. Last night, two of these were on. Oh, the agony of choosing! So I went to the band meal first with my fellow musicians, then on to a house party. I've had 2 lots of coffee also this week, with friends who'll scatter to the 4 winds for the summer. But it's fun, and it's lovely to have a bit of time for socialising and catching up.

Next Tuesday I go to Brussels for the day, to meet my dear friend for lunch. Sounds crazy? I just find it easier not to stay overnight, then you don't have to pack anything. It's a 6.30 am flight out, but I'll sleep on the plane.I haven't been over for a year now, so am really looking forward to it. We're going to a lovely restaurant run by an Irish woman and Belgian man. The food is absolutely divine, but not expensive. We'll probably spend 3 hours over lunch, catching up, then go for coffee and more catchup. I fly back at 21.40, home by bedtime.Perfect day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I thought I'd give up the blog- I know, only a few posts and she throws in the towel! I've been finding it hard to think of stuff to write, and telling myself that nobody would be interested anyway.
However, the comments left on my last post have encouraged me now to keep going for another while, so here goes.
I've been doing an aromatherapy project recently. My brother is going to South Africa for a week in September to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. I promised to help with his fundraising, and as people seem to love the aromatherapy creams that I make, this seemed a good way of raising some money. Certainly easier than hosting a coffee morning or cake sale!
So I did a bit of research on oil-yielding plants that grow in South Africa and ones from Ireland. I came up with a combination of: Lavender (but of course! It seems a cliché, but it really is a fantastic oil) and Geranium grow in both countries, Vetiver and Lemongrass grow in South Africa. I made up a blend of those 4 in a cream, and my contribution was to cover the costs, so the full price of the jar of cream would go to Habitat for Humanity.
Then I sent a group text to more or less everybody whose mobile number I had in my phone, and the response was instant and amazing- sold 60 jars at €10 each! Needless to say, brother is delighted to have a €600 extra to his fundraising. I called the cream "Dóchas" which is Irish for "Hope". I hope it will be the beginning of a better life for at least some families out there. Here, it seems that everyone's a winner- people got a lovely cream for their money and maybe got an introduction to aromatherapy ( I like to hope that we have even one new fan!) and I got to learn more about the oils and a bit of feel-good factor too!