It’s been too long since I last did one of these. More than six months. That omission has two negative effects: my loyal reader can’t keep up with what’s going on with us, and my aide-mémoire that locates significant events in time is absent. I shall do my best to put that right, starting today. So; this week.
Tuesday was a busy day. Let me go back to the beginning. A couple of weeks ago, while Clare was in UK with Tania, visiting family, I came across a blog (it’s called a blog, but it’s actually a WordPress based marketing site) that was going into great detail about houseboat holidays in the Kashmir area of India. I looked at what was displayed, read reviews, investigated costs and finally left the site, thinking that such a trip would be nice, but…
Being without adult supervision, I followed all sorts of paths, thinking how nice it would be to have a holiday somewhere neither Clare nor I had been before, in this or previous
lives incarnations relationships.
In an earlier life – okay, three and a half decades ago, I worked in Dubai. No, I’m not keen to go back there; there has been too much change, and I fear I’d spend an entire holiday making unfair comparisons and being disappointed. While working there, I was responsible for the print room, travel, secretarial, typing and office janitorial services, including car cleaners etc. In total, I had a staff that peaked at a little more than thirty men. All of these were Indian nationals, working away from home, as I was (working away from home, not Indian). Many of my staff hailed from the southern Indian state of Kerala.
When I left Dubai, in 1982, I departed with a wish to visit the state that Keralites call God’s own country (yeah – like no-one else in the world ever applied that epithet to the place they call home). I started looking. Hours and hours I spent, and even discussed it briefly with Clare during one of our daily Skype sessions. I was delighted when she told me that she’d like to see the area too, so I dug deeper, found what I
hope think believe to be a solid, trustworthy agency and booked a holiday. Before confirming the holiday dates, though, I needed to book flights. Thanks to Expedia, and to my chosen agency, we now have reservations for a personalised eleven-day visit for what is labelled ‘Incredible Kerala Tour’. Job done! Holiday booked and deposits paid. We leave at the beginning of October.
Last week, my HP printer started playing up. It had been working perfectly, but suddenly developed what it called a print head error. A search of the support site said replacement of the entire printer was the only solution. I emailed HP last Sunday; coincidentally, the last day of the printer’s warranty. Fully expecting all manner of bleats (I was dealing with HP in France, closed on Monday for Pentecost and, in any event, France is not famed for customer service), I was very pleasantly surprised to receive, on Tuesday, five emails over a twenty-minute period starting at 9.15am, telling me that a support case had been opened. Each of the five quoted the same case number but each had a different but consecutive suffix. One minute after the last of these, a sixth arrived. This one informed me that a replacement printer was about to be sent out and that, as a result, my Instant Ink contract had been terminated. I would, the email said, need to sign up afresh, which would give me two month subscription at no cost. Just after 6pm the same day I received an email from UPS telling me that the replacement was on its way. It arrived on Friday. I have installed the replacement and set it up; I’ll send the old one back after the weekend. How’s that for service?
Why five emails? Obviously, one for the printer and one for each of the four ink cartridges.
Well, this is France…
Eos continues to settle in well, and we are becoming ever more confident in her. Trevor is still a little curmudgeon. He doesn’t share anything, he will only tolerate other dogs in his space if he’s in charge. Happily, we rarely move beyond growling. I think he knows that Eos could take him with one paw tied behind her back, so he isn’t as pushy as he was with Ulysse. So far.
Here’s a quick video showing how she is doing with recall training. This was taken early in the week; she’s even better now.
Sadly, or perhaps not, these walks aren’t getting rid of all her energy. She and I still have games around the house and, as soon as I get into bed, she jumps on me for fifteen minutes of play. She plays rough, and having seen the puncture marks on my arms, the locum doctor I saw during the week gave me a tetanus shot to be on the safe side.
I’m afraid, though, that my dog walking is on hold for a while (translates as Clare has to walk both dogs alone).
I had got into the habit of walking both dogs off-lead in the large, sloping field shown in the first video. According to my measurements, the field is on a slope of around 30 degrees for about 100 metres. We walk to the bottom of the hill, then when I judge the dogs have run off their surplus energy, I start running back up the slope. This triggers them to run back up to Clare, who is sensibly waiting at the top. This is also part of Eos’s training; recall without shouting, whistling, screaming or making any other noise. It’s more difficult for Trevor, as the grasses are now higher than he is. He has taken to leaping into the air and looking around to see where we are!
On Friday, half-way up the hill, my right calf felt as though someone had thrown a large stone at it. I went down (as you would) and uttered an unprompted expletive. Half an hour and a lot of help later, I was back home, nursing a badly torn calf muscle. Again. The left calf went in similar circumstances four years ago. You’d think I’d have learned from previous experience; that at 67 years of age (next month) and slightly overweight, I’d have more sense than to run up such a steep incline. But no.
That’s why my dog walking is on hold for a while.