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I climbed on the back of a giant albatross... and ended up somewhere in Scotland

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Sadly, the person taking care of our pets has reported that our oldest guinea pig has died. She was seven.

Lexie was a very special guinea pig unlike any other we've ever had. Very calm and not bothered about being picked up or handled.

We're going to cremate her so she can be in the conservatory.

Oct. 3rd, 2014

No babysitting today but still a busy day as we had an early visit to the vet for the cats to get some shots, apparently Sirius was found to have fleas so we need to now deal with that. Lexie the guinea pig got checked over because she has a wound which has been getting looked at... needed a different type of bedding so we got that and I cleaned out both g.p. cages and put in the bedding Lexie needed... so it seems like it's never ending with these animals and grand kids. Need to go up to the horse tonight too.

I drove Linda in to her old school where she has lunch with the ladies every Friday. I was 9 minutes late returning at our agreed time, and it was raining, so I am in the doghouse. It's not like I ever had to wait for her. No.

Jul. 11th, 2014

By the way, Adam named our two new guinea pigs Woody and Buzz. We have six now... three boys and three girls. Woody, Buzz and Puddleduck... Lexie, Peppa and Poppy. They're all enjoying the grass outside today.

Jul. 3rd, 2014

Linda got two more male guinea pigs to be companions for our remaining male guinea pig, Puddleduck, after Tiggywinkle died. They are yet to be named... Adam will have a say in what we'll call them.

Tiggywinkle RIP

Sadly, one of our guinea pigs, Tiggywinkle, died. He was born about 5 years or so ago when we had a guinea pig who got unexpectedly pregnant. He was the one who was always a bit more stressed out than the others. Squawked a lot when taken out.


For the Song HoF... "Ben" by Michael Jackson

This is the sappy sweet song about a boy's love for his rat. We've had lots of gerbils and guinea pigs and rabbits and fish and cats and Tess and Meggie etc in our time... so this song is a fitting addition to my list of relevant songs. A nice little tune sung beautifully by a young, solo, Michael Jackson.

Jan. 2nd, 2014

I'm in an exceptionally bad, depresseed mood. Just buried Archie out in the back yard.

Earlier, I cleaned out the cage Archie and Lexie were in, put in all fresh bedding and hay. After going to the horse this morning, we stopped into the Pets At Home store and decided to get two new young female guinea pigs to go in and keep Lexie company. Archie had been a male but was neutered. Linda has named our new guinea pigs Peppa and Poppy. In the other cage we have in the conservatory are our two male guinea pigs Tiggywinkle and Puddleduck.

Archie GP RIP

Very sad to find that Archie the guinea pig had passed away... Linda found him dead in the cage this morning in his usual sleeping spot. We had him out just the other day and he seemed OK. Not sure what happened. Lexie, his cage-mate, is fine.

Spring 2002

And now....  here are some life events from my journal back in Spring 2002...  in a continuing effort to chronicle them, slowly but surely:

March 2002

  - Christmas, the guinea pig, dies.

  - Linda and I go to see the musical Godspell in Edinburgh.

  - The Queen Mum dies.

April 2002

  -  Linda and I have a two night stay in Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate our third wedding anniversary.  We visit Shakespeare's birthplace, Anne Hathaway's (his wife's) House, Mary Arden's (his mother's), etc.  We take a dinner cruise on the River Avon.  Before leaving for home, we visit nearby Warwick Castle.

May 2002

  - Linda and I visit Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. (A film location of Harry Potter)

  - Meggie the horse is diagnosed with laminitis.

Jun. 9th, 2012

Our black indoor guinea pig (one of three), Edie, died. No idea what happened. We've had her only about half a year (from up in Oban). Bummed.

Jan. 20th, 2012

We babysat Adam twice this week....  just a few observations:

 - Still not up and walking yet, but he crawls around at an amazing speed.  He stands and walks unaided a few steps, or holding on to furniture...  but can't QUITE say that he can walk yet.  This saves us a few pounds when we take him to the fun farm play place.  Rates go up for walkers... he gets in free right now.

 - He's usually quite contented, but can instantly become grumpy when you block his way to where he wants to go (usually to cause some sort of attempted destruction of something).

 - His favourite toys are the telephone, the TV remote controls, eyeglasses, coasters, dvd cases, etc.  These hold much more fascination to him than his actual toys.

  - No words yet...  just pointing and saying what sounds like "boh".  He recognises words, tho, and will look at and point to things such as the light, guinea pigs and dog when we say those words.  He always says "Mmm" when we say rice cake.


Here are excerpts from a year-end Christmas letter Linda is sending her aunt and uncle in Canada:

"How quickly has this year gone – again!  We really enjoyed having you and Aidan visit. He is such a charming young man and he really fitted in here. I sat chatting to him about all sorts and it reminded me of when Steven and I did exactly that. Really good memories!

Darrin completed his Masters degree in Carbon Management. It was a very intense course and hard work but he really enjoyed it and is now in the process of having interviews for jobs. He has had a couple of interviews so fingers crossed – there aren’t too many jobs in his field in this area. Breaking news - Today he has been offered a job as an instructor in Electrical Engineering and Carbon Management with Dumfries and Galloway College.

As you know, I took early retirement in the summer and I have been so busy since that I now wonder when I found time to work! I had a lovely retiral, with special ex-colleagues also there which made my day , and Andy and my Dept had decorated the hall with pink and purple balloons and flowers. I got so many cards and gifts... ....

I really don’t miss school as much as I expected to – Andy says it is because Adam has given me new focus and I think he is right. He really is the joy of our lives. We look after him 1 or 2 days every week since Jenny went back to work part-time in October. He was one on November 30th and is such a happy and clever little boy – and gorgeous with it!!!  He had his first taste of cake (Jenny spent hours making it then decorating it with his favourite TV programme, Balamory) and he spat it out!!! Not a sugar fan – I remember Aidan eating his first cake! 

Adam is growing so fast! He and our Tess are best of friends already! She is so good and patient with him and she seems to understand that he is just little. He is very active and crawls at great speed and is walking round the furniture and can stand alone a little. He looks very like my Dad, and is the double of Jenny when she was that age, but taller.

Jenny is having big problems with her shoulder – ....  ....  It is worse on the days she is at school. Andy is still working at “my” school and enjoying it.

In the summer my father-in-law, Doug, came to introduce us to his new wife, Darlene – we enjoyed meeting her and they seem very happy. It was strange to see him with someone else but she seems very nice.

In October we all went to Marbella, Spain, to celebrate the wedding of our friends, Nicole and Graham, from Dublin. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed our week out there in the sunshine. It was nice being able to go away at that time of the year. Jenny and Andy came for the weekend as he had to get back to school. Adam stayed with Andy's parents as he was too young to come and it would have been difficult with his routine. Jenny really missed him!

Our animals are mostly doing well – we sadly lost Blanket (gerbil), Jet (rabbit) and Luna (guinea pig) recently and have welcomed two new guinea pigs, Archie and Edie, into or family. Our elderly cat, Tansy, is now 17 but is fairly fit, while our horse, Meggie, is doing well since taking medication for Cushings Disease. Tessie is her usual bouncy self – still doing tricks!

As always we miss my Mum and Dad, Aunt Irene and mother-in-law, Marcia, but we know that they are happy and close by.

We hope this finds you all well and wish you a peaceful Christmas and a healthy 2012. I hope you visit again soon – Uncle Jim too!!! Give him a huge hug from Jenny and I."

Argyll trip

Speaking of Balamory, Linda and I went up near there (Tobermory on Mull, that is) as we traveled up to Oban this weekend. We went up there to adopt two guinea pigs believe it or not. We brought back Archie and Edie to keep our inside guinea pig Lexie company in the big cage we have in our living room.

May 2001

Excerpts from my journal in May 2001....

May 9, 2001  - "... we got two hamsters this past weekend"... named Honey and Fudge.  "That brings the total pet count to 15.  Two cats, two rabbits, three guinea pigs, five fish, two hamsters and a horse."

May 10, 2001 - "I'm house-sitting for my B&B landlady and her husband while they're down in London for the next two weeks.  Home at weekends as usual of course."

May 15, 2001 - "I went for a walk along the Solway in Carsethorn on Sunday.  Yesterday, I walked around Milngavie a bit north of here in Glasgow... Also went to Bearsden and took a look at the Roman bath ruins... which was sort of interesting.  It was along the Antonine Wall.  Today I just walked up to Anniesland Cross and back.  I'm trying to exercise more..."

"We had an earthquake in Dumfries Sunday morning.  So that was interesting.  At 9:30am we felt a rumbling and heard something odd.  When Jenny said her boyfriend Andy felt the same thing on the other side of town (she was on the phone to him), I knew it had to have been something big... perhaps a plane crash or explosion.  It turned out to be a 2.9 magnitude earthquake.  This was the biggest tremor in the Dumfries area since the early '80's."

May 21. 2001 - "It was Linda's 47th birthday yesterday.  We celebrated by going out to dinner in Rockcliffe along with Jenny and Andy." ... "Today's Meggie the horse's birthday.  I think she's 8."

Nov. 18th, 2011

We brought Luna, one of our indoor guinea pigs, to the vet this morning and decided it was best to put it down. She'd been acting strange lately and finally couldn't walk straight, sort of flopping over all the time. Apparently something has gone wrong in her brain... she was quite a nervous and weird guinea pig all along. Not one that seemed to enjoy life or people or even other guinea pigs. It was a rapid decline to where it couldn't get around well anymore. It's sad but at least she's at peace now.

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