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

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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.

Gizmo, Harry and Mistletoe

Sadly, our three remaining rabbits were declining, not getting better after all contracting myxomatosis.  We've been giving them medicine twice a day but at the vet this morning we made the decision to put all three down.  I'll be burying them all in the back yard later today, to join Cottontail and Ebony who also died in the past few weeks from that terrible disease.


Another of our rabbits has died... Ebony.  It looks like we have a myxomatosis outbreak.  We took the three remaining rabbits in to the vet today and two of them are showing signs.  We've segregated the healthiest one, Mistletoe, and it's now in the conservatory.  The rabbits will be given medicine and we'll see how it goes. 



Cottontail picked up a respiratory infection. Linda had been giving her medicine after taking her to the vet the other day... Sadly, we have found that she has passed away. She was about 4. Our nicest rabbit. She'll be missed and very fondly remembered...

Animal health and a toothache for me


Tansy is still with us. Seems content. We keep her in the conservatory most of the time where she has a heater, a bed (and conservatory furniture) to lie on and a litter tray all to herself. She sometimes misses, or overspills the litter tray which creates a bit of anguish for Linda who cleans it up. We don't normally have a litter tray, as our cats just go outside usually, but we want to keep Tansy in while she's old and frail now.

Gizmo the rabbit is confined to a hutch away from the other rabbits still, while he has medicine to take daily, but he's improved quite a bit from when he had a tilted head and a cloudy cataract eye. Linda goes out to the rabbits daily.

The other animals are all fine. Meggie the horse still needs to be kept away from too much to eat, tho.

I've been having a rough time lately with a sore tooth. I have a dentist appointment coming up in a few weeks, so I'm just waiting it out and taking pain relief pills as needed, but it's been pretty persistently bugging me for the past week. I wish it would go away.

Autumn 2006


A season in the life... Things that happened in Autumn 2006:


PC finally gets fixed.

Saddened by the news of F's grandmother passing away.


Linda bumps into a Porche when parking her car, apparently. A long story goes with this, but not here.

We get wireless broadband for the house.

I try growing a beard, not very successfully.


We get new windows and a new front door installed in the front of our house.

The MacDonald Brothers are on X Factor. Surprising because we had seen them play at a place in Ayrshire the year previously when we were on a little holiday.

Tabitha the rabbit goes missing, presumed escaped.

Gizmo getting better

Gizmo the rabbit seems a bit better.... Linda has been giving him medecine from the vet over the past couple days, and it seems to have helped. He's back at the vet now for a check-up (with Linda).

Gizmo went to the vet


Gizmo the rabbit went to the vet the other day, as he had a bulging eye and cataract. His head kept tilting at an angle as well. We feared the worst, thinking he may have had to be put down, but it turns out he's getting some medicine.

From info typed by Linda:

"Gizmo has E. Cunculi

He has had an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory injection and has worm paste to take daily for a month. It is a protozoa which is generic and has maybe affected him because his immune system is compromised by teeth issue.

It is life threatening as it can affect all organs (including kydneys and bladder) and also the nerve system, hence the head tilt, which may be permanent, but he will probably walk staright again if he gets better. They also can recover, but any damage is permanent.

He says he looks bright and not in discomfort. When I put him in his hutch (keeping him out of the run with others at the moment) he tucked into his food and greens!"


Gizmo the rabbit has an eye problem now... Going to the vet tomorrow. He's about 7 and a half years old. It's always something with these pets.

May 2006

What was going on in my life in May 2006?

Living in Glasgow during the week, Dumfries on weekends.  Working at BAE Systems in Scotstoun...

 - During a spell of nice weather, I walk three times around Bishop's Loch near the gym in Stepps that I go to after work.  Linda is controlling my diet and encouraging exercise.

 - I go to Manchester for a 3-day course on Process Capability for work.  We a forced to eat cookies and have huge amounts of food at dinner, along with pint after pint of beer.  Fitness regime turns to fatness regime for a few days.

 - Whisper the rabbit died...  put down at the vet after a presumed stroke.  We get a new rabbit, Clara, to join Sam, Serena, Tabitha and Gizmo.

 - Jenny goes to Ibiza with some girlfriends.


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."

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."



Sadly, one of our six rabbits died the other day. It was Jet, the one that had the prolapsed uterus about 3 years ago. She did fine after getting fixed and stitched back up, and had a good couple years since her medical problem.

Dec. 8th, 2010


Arthur, the oldest male guinea pig, who is the father of the two other males (Puddleduck and Tiggywinkle) out in the shed-hutch has sadly passed away. It's been very cold out lately... they are relatively warm in the shed-hutch, but we've now just brought the other two in for the winter just in case... Don't know if it was too cold or more likely something else that caused Arthur to die... maybe just age... the others are fine... but we don't want to take chances, so they will spend the winter inside.

There are five rabbits out there still, but they are better able to cope with colder weather than guinea pigs.

We also have two female guinea pigs who stay indoors (separate from the males)...

About two years back, we had an accidental population explosion when Arthur turned out to be a male instead of female as we were told by the pet shop.

Summer 2005


Five years ago in my life....

June 2005

 - Linda, Jenny, Andy and I go to Ireland for the weekend...  flying from Edinburgh...  for Nicole's 21st birthday celebrations.  We attended the party in Skerries and a dinner in Dublin.

 - Mistletoe the rabbit dies.

 - Linda and I see the musical production of "High Society" in Edinburgh

July 2005

 - The old black Vauxhall Corsa fails its MOT, and I start thinking about getting another car...  

 - We go to a Chuck Berry concert at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall...  but Chuck Berry didn't show up (or showed up late, actually) so the concert was cancelled.

 - I buy my new car...  a new SEAT Ibiza.

 - We go to a Brian Wilson concert in Glasgow.... our fourth time.

 - Linda's Aunt Irene is in the hospital after having mini-strokes and a bowel infection.

 - One of Joy's horses hurts its leg badly and needs to see specialists in Edinburgh.

 - We get two bunnies, Serena and Sam.

- I start using Livejournal for my on-line blog...

August 2005

 - We have a free mini holiday at a resort place near Girvan because of a timeshare presentation we had gone to a while back.  We go to see Culzean Castle and a few Burns-related National Trust properties in Ayrshire.  We also drive down the coast to Portpatrick.  We look for Sawney Bean's cave, but miss it.

 - Aunt Irene is very poorly in the hospital.  We make frequent visits.

 - After incessant badgering from Linda, I join a gym and start to go regularly after work in Glasgow.


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