RIP Poor Hilda.She lost her fight overnight. Jacqui called this morning. I was elsewhere so she left a message on the answering machine. She had appeared to be going well. I’d called Jacqui on Wednesday for an update on her. She had lost then regained weight. She still had weight gaining problems, losing then regaining weight since Wednesday. Then she just appeared to have had enough of the fight, the poor little sweetheart, and gave up. I hope she’s enjoying her new life in the big hog box in the sky.
At around 2pm on Saturday (Nov. 14th), I was sitting on the sofa reading, Em was in the kitchen doing some washing when suddenly Em said to me “there’s a hedgehog in the garden”. Okay, not that significant you might think, but if you know ANYTHING about hedgehogs (and as we have several visiting our garden we’ve read up and are familiar with hedgehog antics) you’ll know that seeing a hedgehog (a nocturnal creature) out in daylight is NOT good.The weather was quite horrible. It was raining and the light was dimming (even at 2pm, yes!), but still, a hedgehog shouldn’t really be seen out before dusk. Em gloved up, went outside and retrieved the poor little mite. We initially had the poor little fella/miss in a cardboard box. I searched the ‘net for a number of our nearest hedgehog rescue centre. There was one near us, but I couldn’t get through. The line was busy every time a tried. I tried a couple of others, but they went to a recorded message. Then I tried one at Leighton Buzzard, a little further away for us, but I got to speak to a real person. Her name is Jacqui and she was VERY helpful with advice on how to care for the little one until we could get to her. We weren’t able to borrow a car until Sunday, so we kept the little hoggie with us in doors overnight. We transfered the hog into Chris’ carrier and put a cushion and some wheat pillows in there. We gave the hog food and water. We gave it wet food at first, but then tried some dry food and it ate some of that. The water bowl was a bit too big, and the poor little tyke ended up sitting in there getting wet and cold. So we got a smaller dish to put water in, cleaned out the carrier as the poor little thing had pooped quite a bit and it was a bit runny so a change of towel was needed and change of wheat pillow. We also kept up supplying the dry food. Chris was getting curious so we had to put the poor little thing in the bathroom overnight. I called Jacqui on Sunday morning to arrange a time to come over. We got there just after 11.30am. Jacqui inspected the hog straight away. It had two ticks on it (which she removed with special tick removing tweezers) and she also gave the little lady (as it turned out) a milky glucose drink to help rehydrate her. Then she put her in the little cage she’d be staying in during her recovery. There was a bowl of food in there topped with meal worms. Hilda (as we decided to name her – as Jacqui asks people to name the hog that comes into her care) went STRAIGHT for the food and she hoovered up ALL the meal worms. Jacqui did say though that Hilda only has a 50/50 chance of surviving. We’d weighed her on the Saturday when we found her and she only weighed 265 grams. Half the weight a hog needs to be to be healthy enough to hibernate. She could recover quickly and look like she’s fit and well after 48/72 hours, then 24 hours later could crash and die. She’s had it happen to hogs before, so it will be touch and go for her. Jacqui will keep us informed of Hilda’s progress and if she takes a turn for the worse she’ll let us know straight away. It will be about a week before Hilda fully recovers and puts on enough weight to come home. And that’s the best part. If all goes well, Hilda survives, and puts on the weight required, we can collect her and bring her home 🙂 We have our fingers and toes crossed for her. She’d get a bit frustrated from time to time being enclosed in the carrier and let her thoughts be known. Here is a bit of footage of her protesting! Poor little love 🙂
I did something that I rarely do and watched an episode of Question Time last night. It seemed a “must see” piece of television as earlier in the evening the BBC faced a brunt of protests outside Television Centre with the arrival of Nick Griffin of the British National Party to the studios.There were about 1,000 people outside the TV centre protesting against the idea that the BBC would give a voice to Nick Griffin on a political platform. I only took in bits and pieces in last nights programme as I found myself on Twitter watching the cascading flow of tweets on twitterfall whilst people around the country tuned in to watch old goblin face. The BNP had come under criticism the previous day for using images of Spitfire air craft and Winston Churchill at their party conferences. The first question posed to the panel, which included Labour MP and justice secretary Jack Straw, Conservative MP Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne and Curator of the British Museum Bonnie Greer, was whether it was fair the BNP had “hijacked” Winston Churchill’s image for use in their campaigns. Jack Straw was first respond. He said that the BNP had no right to use Churchill’s image. He said the BNP has no moral compass and says that WWI and WWII was only won with the help of many black and Asian people. He also said a race-based party has no standing in the UK. Nick Griffin’s response to defend his party’s use of Churchill’s image was that the party chose Churchill as an image because no other party would, due to some of his political philosophies. IE: that he thought there was a real threat of over-migration and that he was worried about the impact of fundamental Islam. Griffin went on to say “I’m not a Nazi and I never have been.” Erm…really? Then what’s this? He also ended with a personal attack on JS saying “My father was in the RAF in the second World War whilst Mr. Straw’s father was in prison for refusing to fight Adolf Hitler.” What relevance this had on proceedings was hard to decipher. When host Daivd Dimbleby asked why he made this statement he said “Jack Straw was attacking me and I have been being continually attack for the last week.” Oh, grow up man! And as for Jack Straw attacking you personally, he did nothing of the sort! I dare ask who was the braver in that time, Griffin’s father for being in the RAF (he didn’t say what role he had – my uncle was in the RAAF, but he was a chef!), or Straw’s for being a conscientious objector? Still on the issue, Bonnie Greer pointed out that Churchill’s own mother was American and her family had possible Mohican Indian descendants, therefore questioning the BNP’s choice for Churchill’s image being that of a “British white role model” that the BNP was looking for. Chris Huhne chimed into the discussion with his personal views on what he thought the BNP as a party, represented. He said the BNP is “scape-goating” politics. Peddling hatred and fear. Churchill would be rolling in his grave (at having his image being used by the BNP, or being associated with them). He was never a fascist. Huhne also quoted Nick Griffin as once saying he thought “Yes, Adolf went a bit too far.” He then asked Griffin what part of “too far” did he think Hitler had gone? Slaughtering millions of Jews? Invading Poland and France? Bombing innocent people in Britain? Griffin amongst his replies says “I brought the BNP out of being a racist party.” WHAT THE F**K?? David Dimbleby quotes him as saying (not ver batim) “Let’s start out (the BNP) as being moderate to win votes/support. Then we’ll reveal our true agenda.” When asked about this and his involvement with David Duke he said “David Duke was the head of a non-violent arm of the KKK”. This statement had people in the audience and the other panel members in groans of disbelief. Nick Griffin would shy away from responses to most quotes read to him of things he’d said. Jack Straw confronted him on this. He said (not ver batim) “When we give a quote of something you said you make a defence of saying ‘Oh, I never said that. That’s not quite right.’ But you are there on YouTube, in videos, actually saying these things. Time and again he (refering to Griffin, addressing the audience) wants to wriggle out of it…This guy is the Dr. Strangelove of British politics!” A question came from an audience member asking why he believes the holocaust was a myth, Griffin said, “I cannot explain why I used to say those things, I can’t tell you (groans and shouts from the audience) any more than I can tell you why I’ve changed my mind, I can’t tell you the extent that I’ve changed my mind because the European law prevents me.” This was dismissed as bunkum. He was asked to explain why he’d changed his mind about his denial of the holocaust and he gave some lame excuse about hearing radio intercepts of German recordings or something. Jack Straw said “Why would you need that? Were the images from Auschwitz not enough for you”? Sayeeda Warsi revealed to the audience that he’d shared a platform with Islamic extremist Abu Hamsa after some time of discussing his views on Islam and what he thought of aspects of the Muslim faith. He said he didn’t agree with much of it. It’s treatment of women, etc. Bonnie Greer said that Griffin starts his history at around 1700 to bypass Roman rule because it doesn’t fit in with the BNP’s “white agenda”. In Roman times there was an influx of many ethnicities, not just Romans. Baroness Warsi says we need a cap on immigration. She also said she thought that why many people vote or support the BNP is not because they are racist but it is because they are concerned about immigration. Jack Straw counters this by saying a party like the BNP has been in the British political system on and off since the 1930’s. That the BNP’s recent success in the European elections was NOT due to people with racist leanings voting for them, but it was purely votes gained from protests over the MP’s expenses saga. On immigration Griffin said successive British governments were committing calculated genocide on the “indigenous white population” of Britain. WWWHHHHHAAAAAAATT?? Bonnie Greer quoted Griffin saying the BNP are for the “indigenous Ice Age”. She replied, “But there are no people from ‘the indigenous Ice Age’ in the UK.” The UK was populated around 17,000 years ago from people from the south. They certainly didn’t come from the north. How could they get here? “We all know now that we (the population of the world) are all descended from Africa. You should know this Nick, you have a 2:2 in history. The only people who were here on this continent (Europe) 17,000 years ago, and I use the term ‘people’ lightly, were Neanderthals”. Then, speaking to Griffin personally, “You can come to the British Museum and check. We’ve got a lot of information on it. I wish you’d come.” Then a man from the audience was offered to ask a question to the panel, he said “Yes, I have a question for Dick, er, sorry I mean Nick Griffin”. That made all us twitterers have a little giggle. Pretending he was making a mistake with his name. It was childish, but funny. I’m not sure if the programme itself really got anywhere. It did seem to descend into an hour of Griffin-bashing, but perhaps it was worth it just for that. It was certainly entertaining watching twitterfall for the hour the programme was on. I’ll leve it to the man himself to finish…
Hmm. What an interesting (if only) adventure that was!The night before, we were doing some last minute packing, etc, when I could feel my left heel starting to play up really badly. It’s been like it for weeks. The ball of my left heel gets PAINFULLY sore, like I’ve got an Achilles tendon or gout or something. After a while I can hardly walk and look like a hobbling old invalid. Obviously, the longer I’m on my feet, the worse it gets. It can even be painful when I’m sitting if I have no way of keeping my leg elevated or manoeuvrable. I think it was brought on by compensating so much for my right leg when my knee was at it’s most painful. Anyway, I could feel the pain coming on and went to bed with a dull thud in my left heel. Unsurprisingly I woke early next morning to put my foot on the floor and feel instant pain. “Oh fabulous! Thanks! We’re off to Weymouth today!” I was thinking. We were up before the crack of dawn at 5am. We were like zombies. We had barely four hours sleep. Well I did anyway. Em might have got an extra hour. We had a cup of tea, got changed, fed the fish, made sure Chris’ food was plentiful and her water clean, then we called a cab. I was really nervous and apprehensive, partly because I was worried things (the coach, the tube, the train to Weymouth) wouldn’t match, but mostly because my foot was already aching. We were on the coach and leaving Luton airport at 7am. It all looked smooth on the motorway (small mercies) and we ended up at Victoria station in plenty of time. Luckily, as Victoria was HEAVING with rush-hour commuters. We had to wait for the 3rd train to come by before we could even board! We had to change lines to get to Waterloo at Westminster, which was a *little* quieter, thankfully. We were at Waterloo by 9.10am and the train to Weymouth was leaving at 10.05, so we refueled. We had a strawberry yoghurt each, and Em had an apple (she was extra peckish) and I had a lovely M&S vanilla and maple syrup smoothie. We were on the train by 9.53 waiting to go! It was a surprisingly pleasant journey down. The train was really lovely. Comfy, roomy seats, nice staff, a good, clean toilet. A nice quiet carriage, apart from a bloke directly behind us wheeling and dealing on TWO mobile phones. All you could hear when he called someone was him saying “can you hear, can you hear me?” and then him hang up and try his OTHER mobile! God knows what network he was on. A crap one by all accounts! He finally left the train at Bournemouth. Peace, at last! We arrived in Weymouth at 1pm and the sun was shining. We headed straight for beach front. It was nice. Not as shingled as Brighton, but not entirely sandy like I thought it would be. There was quite a number of people around on the beach for a Thursday and for October 1st. It was a bit mild, around 20 degrees. There were even a few men with their shirts off (all over 50, so there wasn’t really anything worth gawking at!)! We slowly (we had to, my foot was stuffed by now) made our way to the Premier Inn we were staying at. Em kept thinking we had to be on the road and kept worrying we’d overshoot or go too far, despite my reassurances. And despite me forgetting to take a map to show the way from the station to the motel, we found it easy enough. It was amazingly close to the beach front. No sea views, which I wasn’t expecting anyway, but the beach was only a few minutes walk away. Luckily for me, as I wouldn’t have got to enjoy any of the beach front at all otherwise. We settled into our room, had a cup of tea and then went to the restaurant next door to eat. It’s a pub food chain called Brewer’s Fayre. We used to go there a lot when we had a car. Our nearest one is not really accessible via public transport, so we haven’t been to one in years. We filled up our bellies and went back to the room. I was knackered by now. I was tired, bloated from eating, and my foot was at its worst. I stayed in the motel while Em went back off to the town centre for a gander, take some shots and find a few provisions for later. Having been so knackered sleep eluded me until late in the evening, around midnight. I read from about 10.30pm onwards in the hope it would help me drift off. I didn’t fully wake the next morning until around 9.45am. Once I’d gone to sleep, I’d slept like a log. With my foot the way it was, I had no plans to do anything that day other than eat! We eventually moved our butts out about midday. Well, I moved mine. Em had already been off and into the town centre again in the mean time. We spent an hour or so on the beach (well, more accurately, on a bench BY the beach), then we went to the Brewer’s Fayre again. Last time Em had a cheese and onion pasty with mash and baked beans, and I had gammon, eggs, chips and peas. This time, Em was going to have the only meal she normally has when we go to Brewer’s Fayre (they’re not normally fab with the vegie meals Em likes, they’ve had the odd thing she likes – like the cheese and onion pasty for example), fish and chips, and I had the most GORGEOUS liver and onions, with bacon, mash and peas, in a giant square Yorkshire pudding! And afters, Em had an caramel apple crumble cake with ice cream, and I had a banoffee waffle with pouring cream. Divine! We were so stuffed (again), we spent the afternoon (and the rest of day, admittedly) in the motel room. Em was starting to feel the effects of a head cold. I was hoping we could go to the Sea Life centre next door as a last day treat, but of course Miss Tight-wad almost went into cardiac arrest when she heard adult tickets were £17 each. A Sea Life visit was looking VERY unlikely. I felt rested, but my foot was not any better. Miss Cardiac-Arrest had a horrible nights sleep trying to breathe with her head cold. Last day we had to be out of the motel by midday. We were out by 10.30am and my foot was feeling better initially. We walked along the beach front into the town centre. Looked through some of the shops, realised we had HOURS to kill before our 5pm train, so decided to see a film. The weather wasn’t conducive to being on the beach. It had gotten chilly in 48 hours, and was now 15 degrees and blowing a gale! It was also overcast and drizzling with rain on and off. We had a fish and chip lunch, then went and saw Creation, the film about Darwin completing The Origin of Species. It was a good film. The plot wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It was quite sad, but wonderfully done. There was a kleenex moment for both of us. Nice bit of irony when we paid for the tickets, little vouchers offering 2 for 1 tickets to Sea Life with a cinema ticket! Oh how I laughed – not! After we came out of the cinema, there was STILL time to kill, so we wandered a bit. Sat in the local library before it shut, then went to the station just after 4pm. The train was already on the platform, so by 4.25 we were already seated, waiting to get back to Waterloo. Not as nice a journey home. The carriage was quite full, and there were a few Saturday night revellers getting on and off, and the toilet was small and there was urine on the floor – always nice! We got to Waterloo at 7.50pm and the fun hadn’t quite finished yet. Of course we had to get back Victoria. We were going to go back the way we came, which meant a trip on the Jubilee line to Westminster, and then from there on the District and Circle line to Victoria. Only problem was, the Jubilee line was closed!!! Flipping hell! So we had to change our route. We had to go on the Bakerloo line to Embankment (which is MILES further underground than Jubilee – it’s like a mile just to get to the Bakerloo platforms FFS!) and then from there on the District and Circle back to Victoria! I was about ready to collapse when we got to Victoria. We had some food there, then got on the coach back to Luton. From there, a quick cab ride back home. We were back at home around 10.45pm and as we were scrabbling for the keys I was saying to Em “I can hear something that sounds scarily like one of our fire alarms.” Lo and behold when we opened the front door, the wailing became louder. Sure enough, it was one of ours! Fig! It took Em a minute or so to turn the damn thing off. Chris was nowhere to be seen. God knows how long the flipping thing had been activated. Hopefully not 15 minutes after we left. We eventually found Chris cowered under the sofa. Poor sweetheart, she was as jumpy as anything for the next few hours, poor baby girl 😦 A fitting crescendo. Still, it was time away. I was hoping to see a few different birds down there, but all I saw were gulls. Gulls, gulls and even more flippin’ gulls! Pictures will be put online soon.
Just had to add this pic. The other night there were two hogs in the box at feeding time. But now, tonight, there are THREEEEEEE!!!Yes, three little hogs in the box – all vying for dog food! WARNING: The following image may cause aCUTE sensory overload (boom boom)! LOL
He certainly didn’t control me last night!Last night was the second of a series of programmes Derren Brown is doing titled “The Events”. Last week on the Wednesday night (9th September), he had a little ten minute programme on claiming he could and WILL predict the lottery numbers as they went out live. I didn’t watch the show, but many people did and were discussing it on Clive Bull’s show on radio LBC. He had the country talking of nothing else for the following 48 hours. He had predicted all six numbers! Everyone was talking about how he did it. There were so many theories being thrown about. Last Friday, he told us in a programme sub-titled “How To Win The Lottery”. To keep it short it was to do with some thing called the “Crowd Influence” or something to that effect – can’t remember it verbatim. It was to do with a collective of people having better odds at predicting things and influencing results, than individuals or a small number of people (say, less than 10). He got together 24 people. They looked at all the lottery draws for the previous 12 months, then did some “automatic writing” technique to come up with sets of numbers that subconsciously they would think would be drawn next. Then used averages to come up with the final six numbers. Anyway, to cut it short again – after three attempts (September 9th being the third), they predicted all six numbers. But right at the end of the programme he went on to say (at the beginning he outlined three plausible ways to win – randomness and luck IE: his numbers just happen to come up, the technique with the 24 people – whatever he called it again, or, cheating!) that he did NOT cheat. Then proceeded to say stuff like…for instance I would have to know someone working at Camelot (the lottery organisers), which I do not, and I’d have to get that person from Camelot to sneak in weighted balls into the draw machines, which I did not (blah de blah)…and so on until you found yourself thinking in a reverse psychology way, “is he admitting to cheating?”. So this week it was going to be him having us quite literally GLUED to our chairs! There was about 45 minutes of waffle, with him doing all his usual little mentalist things. Just before he was about to “glue” us all to our chairs, they went for an ad break, but just before that, a subliminal image flashed on the screen. After they came back from the break, and just before he finished explaining what was going to happen and play the film that would have us “all glued to our chairs”, the image flashed up again. When the show was over, I rewound and grabbed a shot of the image. The first time I saw it, I got a little disturbed, I must admit. It was a split second, but I could see it was someone sitting on a chair. It looked more like a sort of fractal crash test dummy image when I saw it for that split second. It’s even MORE disturbing now I can clearly see what it is! It played on my mind all through the break, but my mind got used to it and less and less disturbed by it. Then when it flashed again, I was ready for it. By the time the film played, I had a little heightened sense of fear, but I was sort of assuring myself that I would NOT get stuck. As the film played, I found the music sort of soothing and wasn’t disturbed by the image at all. After the minute was up, I jumped out of the lounge saying “I’m not stuck. I’m SSSOOO not stuck!!” I was thinking “take that Derren Brown! Your mentalism didn’t work on ME. I’m no pushover!!” Then I was feeling slightly left out a few minutes later when loads of people were stuck to their chairs. Damn! I was SO pleased with myself for not being open and susceptible to this kind of stuff. I’ve always wondered whether I could be hypnotised. Now I’m even more curious after that. But I have no plans of going to a hypnotist to find out!!