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Still On A Big Dipper



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It's been a strange week to say the least. On Tuesday I nipped into Douglas to change a skirt that I thought would fit me. I have dropped a size and a bit since Tom died and I attempted to drop 2 sizes in a skirt. Well I poured myself into one which was part of a suit that I bought from Dorothy Perkins. I could breathe and sit just about, but if I was going out for a meal or put on an ounce, I was going to be in trouble. Rather than doing shallow breathing, I thought I'd just change the skirt for the next size. I was invited to an old ladies 80th birthday dinner at what I thought was Rowany Golf Club and I was going to wear the suit. Anyway I couldn't change the skirt for a bigger size as they were out of stock, so I bought another skirt, top and clutch bag with the intention of ordering the suit skirt off the internet, which I duly did on Thursday. I got dolled up for the first time in a long time and headed for the golf club, only to receive a phone call when I was half way there telling me I had it wrong and it was Port St.Mary. That wasn't a problem and I soon arrived at the club. I parked the camper at my friend Pauline's and walked around the corner to the golf club. I was greeted by the lady whose birthday it was and then I ambled over to the bar and had a glass of orange. I knew the people who run the golf club restaurant and John came over to talk to me. John is the son of Captain Jack that Tom wrote so much about and his brother was Toms childhood mate. The tears started to well up and John was all embarrassed. I couldn't help it though and although I pulled myself together for a short while, they came again after John had gone to get on with his kitchen duties. I had no choice in the end, I didn't want to spoil the birthday party and I didn't want people wondering why I had a bright red nose and tearful eyes. I made my exit out of the fire door and went. So that was my night out in my new outfit.

For those who may be wondering, I GOT THE INSURANCE MONEY A WEEK LAST THURSDAY. I'm still in the process of paying all my outstanding debts. When my broker comes back off holiday I have to take it all a little further now that the company have eventually paid out.

Wednesday was a sad day for me as I attempted to access telephone banking and didn't know the pin. Tom used to do that side of things and my failure to manage the task caused me to be a bit down. Well that and events the night before. I suppose I was just fragile and I also wondered if my attempt to come off the tablets was a little premature which was confirmed by the doctor the day after. He also sent me for an x-ray on that dreaded knee of mine which has stopped my walking for the moment.

Thursday night went camping with Ray and Pauline to Glen Moar, near Kirk Michael. It's a lovely spot and although there is a field with mobile homes, it required the owner's permission to stay there, which we didn't have, so we stayed on the car park which had a loo and we didn't feel any worse off for it. I had trouble walking that night and so limited myself to short walks along the beach and I concentrated on getting different shots of Peel in the distance with the changing light. It was a really peaceful place to stay and there was a wonderful array of birds and wild rabbits to entertain us as we sat in our campers. I watched 2 ravens in flight, seemingly synchronizing their flight and they looked so graceful. It looked like it could be a courtship dance or two lovers gliding, dipping and soaring together in total unison. Black headed crows nested in the sandy cliff at the side of us and lots of rabbits also had their homes in the cliff which could be seen so clearly from our spot. There were fishermen on the beach, children playing and people walking their dogs. It was all such a happy scene with everyone enjoying the sound of the surf and the relative seclusion.

Yesterday was a day I would not want to repeat again. I was busy trying to do all the paperwork I had neglected for months, including tax returns and Orry the parrot was quietly mooching about. I suddenly became aware that he was up to something and found him eating a packet of my thyroxin tablets that I take for an underactive thyroid. I was mortified as he had eaten 4 and I know that they could cause heart problems if too much was taken. I was onto the vets in pure panic mode. Time goes so slowly whilst you are waiting for a phone call to say what to do next and after calling them back to check if they knew anything but was told they were working on it, I decided to try another vet. This was me at my worst in panic and that vet also had to go and investigate and would get back to me. Eventually the first vets called me to tell me that the dose Orry had eaten was within the range for parrots and that he would probably get hyper and eat a lot. She suggested I get him to drink plenty n case there was any powder still in his throat. That was easy as he loves tea and will gorge on it. Then the 2nd vet called and said that the dose was a bit high for a parrot but he should be ok but he would be hyper etc. If was worried about him I should get back in touch. She also advised that I give him charcoal to absorb some of the tablets, suggesting perhaps a charcoal dog biscuit. That wasn't a problem as I had some shapes in the cupboard and after emptying the cupboard contents on the kitchen floor, I found the shapes and a charcoal biscuit. The problem was that Orry didn't want a dog biscuit. I then remembered I had charcoal granules in the aviary, so I ran as fast as I could there and back with the charcoal only to find that in that short time, Orry had punctured 5 cans of coca cola and the kitchen was swimming and fizzing. Trying to get the cans into the sink with a manic parrot isn't easy, but I managed. I then dumped the cans in the bin, but Orry had other ideas and my hyper parrot banged on the bin until it opened. All the time I was trying to do some toast to put the charcoal granules on to entice him. I then had to put rubbish in the bin to stop Orry getting the cans out, but he again opened the bin and attempted to pull the rubbish out so he could get to the cans. He will be 2 in a fortnights time and I think he is pretty ahead for his age. He wouldn't touch the charcoal granules so I phoned my friend Pauline and asked her to go to the book/art store in Port Erin and buy me some charcoal sticks. You can imagine the man in the shops face when she asked for charcoal sticks and informed him that it wasn't for her as she wasn't an artist, but it was for her friends parrot. Orry may be clever, but he'd make me a fortune if he could produce some charcoal drawings. Anyway my ploy worked and he ate the charcoal stick because I let him think he couldn't have it. Orry survived the 24 hours I'm pleased to say and he has eventually calmed down.

Another little event took place that morning when I could hear an almighty racket coming from upstairs. The dogs and Orry were down and the only other possible culprit was the moorhen. I was shouting him and eventually went looking for him. As I shouted, he shouted back, but I could hear lots of splashing. He had somehow investigated the loo and fallen in and was flapping about like mad trying to get out. He was fine after his little ordeal, but now I have to make sure the bathroom door is closed. The moorhen is very domesticated now, even though I let him have his freedom outside. I walked him down to the river the other day and stood whilst he pecked about. From nowhere another moorhen flew at him and stopped dead when t saw me. I call my moorhen Fluffy due to how he/she looked when I first got him. It looks like he will be with me indefinitely unless he finds a partner in the future. He is a wonderful bird to have around and so clean, using a bowl of water in much the same way as a cat uses a cat litter tray.

I am going across to see my mother and the rest of the families tomorrow. I haven't stayed at my mum's since we got married, preferring to stay in a motel with Tom instead, so I am going to have a lot of firsts this next week. 'm not sure how I will be with it all but it has to be done. It is yet another step in getting on with life on my own. I'm taking the camper and I'll manage a bit of retail therapy.

So this is Barbara on the banks of the Silverburn River preparing for an early rising.

Love Barbara

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Bless, I did laugh when reading about Orry!! Sounded really funny when he was attacking the coke and the bin!!! (But I do realise you must have been really worried too) and I am sure Tom would be watching with some amusement!

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