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Better?

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Throwback Thursday — Goodbye Flash, hello Billy no-mates …

This week's throwback Thursday takes us back seven years, with a post from 23 August 2009.


… but only, as Alistair Stewart was wont to say on the quiz show King of the Castle, for the moment.

We took Shitsu to see the vet on Monday, so he could check on her war wound. Where she had been scratching it, the rate of healing was not what it could have been, so he gave her another antibiotic injection that was the equivalent of a fourteen day course, and some steroid tablets to reduce inflammation and so make it itch less. Tania came to collect her dogs on Monday evening and took them back to Paris on Tuesday morning.

Back to normal. Not that we had weren’t happy with her dogs – the four got on together very well and we had no problems at all.DSCF0573_resizeWe took Flash to the vet on Wednesday. As soon as the vet saw him, she pulled a face – not the one builders or motor mechanics use to give advance warning of the potential they have perceived for major billing activity, but the one mothers use when they see a disabled child. After a good fifteen minutes’ discussion, it was agreed by us all that prolonging his existence was not in his best interests. He was, therefore, given that most compassionate treatment which, if given to a human, would be called murder. Perhaps it’s because we care more for the suffering of animals than we do for the suffering of humans. Who knows?

We thus say goodbye to Flash after almost fifteen years of life, more than twelve of which he spent with us. He goes to join Hobie wherever good dogs go when they die. He will be missed.

All of which leaves Ulysse as an only child. Two days earlier he was leader of a pack of four.

We have been giving him extra activities and outings to stop him from being lonely, but recognise the risk that he may become too dependent on us. We like our dogs to be dogs, not little hairy humans, so we are looking at getting him a friend.

In the meantime, he has been for car rides,IM002158_resize IM002159_resize IM002164_resizedigging for moles,P1020841aand doing what dogs do best.P1020842a_resizeWe think we have identified a friend for him but, as we are not in the habit of counting our fowl before their incubation period has reached a successful conclusion, we shall say no more.


We have had a fabulous week for weather. Some cloud from time to time, but mostly glorious sunshine and high temperatures. Last week I showed the thermometer at 32°C. Here is this week’s best:P1020837_resizeMore like it, isn’t it?

The insects appreciate the weather, too. In one of her walks around the Buddleia, photographing butterflies and stuff, Clever Clare managed to photograph two Hummingbird Hawk Moths!P1020832aAnd that with a small pocket camera.


On Tuesday, Rik asked me to help him to get his Orange Satellite TV system working. On arrival, I could see that the azimuth was too high on the dish, so we adjusted that down. We tested the signal using a different decoder. The orientation was fine in both planes, so it was just a case then of setting up the Orange decoder. At first it behaved the same as mine – refusing to acknowledge the very existence of a well-aligned dish – but, after changing one of the technical settings (turning DiSEqC off) it worked fine. I left, deciding to try that setting on my decoder, too.

That setting is not present in my decoder. I went to the dish, yanked it around to roughly where I thought the satellite should be, intending to slacken the nuts and position it accurately at a later stage, went inside, told the decoder to look for a different satellite – and it worked. Signal strength over 90%, quality over 80%. Why has it been refusing for six months? Probably best not to ask.

I can now try to align the third, four-satellite dish, and have it feed the TV in the study.P1020839_resizeThat will then give us Orange (French) in the séjour; Sky in the séjour, the dining room, the master bedroom and the yellow room, and multiple channels in the study.

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Sony SLT-33 at 27mm (35mm equiv), 30s at f/5 and ISO 12800

Best of the crop, I’m afraid. I’ll try to do better this evening

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