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It's been a hell of a couple of weeks...
Apart from a writer's block, the last two weeks involved, among other things:

Six visits to the vet. These include Draco bleeding heavily from a wound above his eye inflicted by Bren in a squabble over the piece of pork pie nicked from Ina's plate (and the subsequent check visit), the cat Flash visiting the vet for a weeping eye apparently resulting from a cat fight, and subsequent eye-drops-four-times-a-day, then revisit. My efforts to stop Bren's incessant rubbing of his eyes involving a buster collar and human itchy eye eyedrops failing miserably resulting in a visit to the vet, where we discussed his itching continuing despite changing his feed to Hills z/d which is the food with the least allergens you can get and him itching even more every time we bathed him, and how he had scratched a front leg raw and was chewing his paws. This resulting in a decision to make him comfortable over Christmas, then take him off his medication for a couple of weeks prior to a visit to a specialist. We are now involved in a gradual withdrawal of the steroids...

Lots of cooking. Including baking pizza for the agility club. Where Bren astonished everyone by doing two clear rounds - if slow ones. He didn't finish last in either comp.

Buying Christmas pressies. And cards. Just the neighbours to do now.

Lots of hassle over a new fridge. Ina ordered it. Then cancelled when I pulled out the old one and found it was wired in directly. Next was a desperate attempt to find the card or invoice from the very decent electrician who had done the last set of jobs for us. Finally found the name in a cheque book and the number in yellow pages. Work done a week later, fridge delivered a couple of days after that. Old one removed. Phew. Ian-the-electrician arranges to call us in the new year about a full scale electrical survey. (We will not speak about what we found in the depths of the old fridge.)

Ina spots mini Christmas trees in pots at £5 a throw in Sainsbury. We acquire one for the porch. Unfortunately, this means a trip to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head the Big Yellow to pick up the battery lights and appropriate decorations, going by way of Bedfords Park to walk the dogs and taking a short cut which brought us back to where we started after an interesting drive around over a lot of road bumps (no one's fault - the Council had closed the road shown on the map.) Other decorations find their way back with us.

Start looking for my niece's address. Fail to find it. Spend two days sorting, shredding and recycling paper of various kinds. Relieved to find we are insured for house, car, dogs, cats and various utilities. Still fail to find niece's address. Try to locate on internet. Find and recognise name of village - to do more would mean paying for it. E-mail my brother...

Attempts to tidy living room ongoing.

Dog washed in spaces between gales and showers.

One order from Amazon turns out to be mistake. My mistake. Oh, well, someone will take it off my hands at a boot fair.

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Sheesh! It's all go, innit? :o)

I have had zero luck getting near Mr Horrible with his eye drops. I just have to hope he clears up without.

Luckily, none of my cats have Mr Horrible's tendencies, though when we took Flash to the vet the second time the little horror went missing and played hide and seek with us... and we were late for the vet. Which didn't really matter because they were horribly late themselves and we didn't get to see the vet for another hour...

I can do Flash by myself. Some of the others, not so much. Scragging and wrapping in the duvet or a towel tends to be the only way with some. (We used to be drafted in to clip fjm's cat's claws.)

poor animals, and even poorer you two! Eep.

I hope an answer is found for Bren, unfortunate dog. Or failing that, that he grows out of it ASAP (Honey's allergy problems have never gone away but are significantly less severe now she's an elderly lady).

We really don't want him on steroids for the rest of his life. Mind you, our last encounter with a specialist resulted in a cat with a broken jaw, and some tablets that made her foam at the mouth. (Luckily, our own vet -- "I'm sorry. I told the specialist that you could get anything down your cats." -- provided something milder.

I miss Chris. He was a damn good vet, but we still have Alistair and Scott.

Hopefully a quieter time over the holidays.

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