Day 634 – Heat

Usually, when bathing the beagle – one of the beagle’s least favourite activities – I have to wait until the day is warm enough for her to dry off outside. No-one wants a house full of wet dog.

Today though, I had to wait until it was cool enough to be able to leave her outside. And it seemed that she quite enjoyed the refreshing water. Even then, she dried off in mere minutes. It’s been one of those February days, but before Christmas. Perhaps just on the limits of what I can handle: 36C in the shade is too much for my pale, European enzymes.

The washing was dry before I could hang it up. The gardener melted early on, despite several (or more) litres of cold water and the offer for him to come back another time. I cooked the dinner simply by accidentally leaving it out of the fridge.

I’m hiding inside with a cold drink and I might hit the pool later this evening before watching the last bit of football for who knows how long…?

Day 628 – Beagle emergency

But first of all, hello and welcome to any new readers that might have given a member of my family a D-dimer result recently.
Thanks for that. Ultrasound was clear (for that, at least), prognosis is all good. Happy days.

And talking of medical things, we had a minor beagle-related emergency at the cottage today. After the rain – yes, in December: I am also aghast – we had planned to take the beagle to the beach for a quick snorf and walk. We had got no further than the car park when she grabbed a small piece of sardine from the floor, yelped and indicated that she had got a fishing hook in her lip, by proudly displaying the fishing hook protruding through her lip.

Clearly just discarded by a fisherman. If only there had been a bin nearby for your waste. Oh wait, there was. You were just too lazy to use it.
Great. Thanks, wanker fishermen.

It very quickly became very evident that we weren’t going to be able to remove the hook ourselves. They are made to stay in lips, be they piscine or canine. And that meant a trip to the vet, 43km up the road.

Halfway there, we realised the we had no money and not enough diesel to get us there and back. Cue Samsung Pay on the boy’s cellphone (gotta love technology) and a quick R100 splash and dash at the Struisbaai Caltex.

The vet was friendly, helpful, Afrikaans and very efficient. A quick shot of sedative, a quicker shot of local anaesthetic, some MASSIVE wire choppers and a quick snip later, we brought an exceedingly drunk beagle back home. I’m happy to say that a couple of hours later, the beagle has wobbled around the room once and then struggled back to the beanbag and fallen asleep again.

Which sounds like a wonderful idea to me.

Day 619 – Neighbourhood disaster

Oh boy. This was fun. Not.

I was walking the beagle around the block. The beagle enjoys this and it’s good exercise for me to get up the hills and try and get my lungs working again.

As we reach the top of the first hill, a gate rolls open and out comes a guy with his two dogs. They clearly also enjoy their walk and they are bouncing and yapping all over the place. They are very excited to see the beagle and the beagle is very excited to see them. I say hi to the the man and a moment of mutual smelling ensues (the dogs, not the humans) (really? please…). A black BMW X5 drives past faster than it should and I hold the beagle and one of the dogs as it does so, and the man thanks me and then he and his dogs head across the road onto the grassy area which has been left fallow for the spring flowers to bloom. It’s now very deep (like thigh-high on me) in grass and weeds and ex-flowers and really needs a mow.

The beagle wants to go with them, and I say loudly – in what I consider to be a humorous voice – to the beagle:

Ha! You’re too old and fat to keep up with those two, hey?

And then I turn slightly to my left and I see the man’s wife, who I hadn’t noticed before.
And she is just staring at me.
And then there’s this sudden realisation that she thinks I was talking to her.

So I quickly turn to where the beagle is so that I can show her that I was talking to my dog.

But the beagle has long gone into the thigh-high grass and is nowhere to be seen.

Ah Jésûs

I was waiting for the ground to open up and swallow me whole. It didn’t happen.
Honestly, where’s an extremely rare local seismological event when you really need one?

Thankfully, I do have the lead in my hand and I kind of gesture towards it and I call the beagle and – incredibly, given some of the well-documented disciplinary issues of the breed – it emerges from the bushes some distance up the road. I hurriedly remark something about “Oh look, there she is!”, collect together what’s left of my shattered dignity (doesn’t take very long), and leg it as fast as my chest will allow me.

I don’t dare look back.

Anyway, I’m typing this from about 5km from my house and I could really do with a lift back home so that I can never go out in my neighbourhood again if that’s ok?

Day 484 – No surprise

First off, thanks for all your lovely, supportive comments on various platforms. They’re all appreciated.

I have Covid-19.

Yep. No surprise that my PCR test came back positive. I think I’d decided what it was fairly early on in the course of things and my senses of smell and taste disappearing 36 hours ago really meant that we were just crossing the Is and dotting the Ts.

So this is Day 4, because now everything has to be given a title and an order so that we can work out what comes next. Day 4 hasn’t been too bad: my headache has gone for the moment, which is a huge relief, but my respiratory symptoms are a bit worse. Swings and roundabouts, then.

Apparently, according to my doc, days 6 and 7 are a complete bastard, which is good to know, because its always nice to have something to look forward to.

Last Friday, I was looking forward to a sunny weekend and a braai. This Friday, I was sitting, shivering, listening to my GP tell me under what conditions I should be admitted to hospital.

I’m making the best of the better moments: fresh air and sunshine, a blog post, sorting out my will etc etc. And then I sleep when I feel rubbish again.

I’m obviously concerned about the next few days, but I’m also really irritated that I’m having to go through this at all. Because a better – even vaguely competent – vaccine rollout would have meant that this never happened. And, given that I almost certainly picked this up at the supermarket last week, if people could just learn to put a fucking mask over both their face holes, I probably wouldn’t be here either.

I’ve been so careful for the last 18 months and it’s finally paid off in one way. So much so that I only needed to inform 1 person of my result, and that because he came here to drop something off on Sunday (masks on, social distanced, one Pfizer shot a few weeks ago – he should be fine).

I really, really wanted to go out and do a thing this weekend (if you know, you know), but I didn’t. The FOMO was real, but wow, with hindsight the implications would have been huge. So, I don’t know: if you’re thinking about doing something… don’t.

And sure, it’s less than great that I went for my jab on Monday and I was likely infectious, but sadly, I had no idea. On that note, looking back, feeling just a little off colour that morning was actually hugely important, otherwise I’d be wondering if this was just a vaccine reaction (well, until I got the test results, anyway).

What more to add? I dunno. My logical brain is telling me not to worry about things getting worse. I don’t have any comorbidities or risk factors, so I should be fine. Of course, ideally, you’d choose not to have Covid-19 as well for complete peace of mind, but it appears that that ship has sailed.

And thanks to my wife and kids, who are all likely infected as well (but maybe not to this extent), and are still doing amazing things in looking after me and the household. I chose well. Them… maybe less so. Lol.

Right. Let me try and go and sit in the sun with the beagle. Because when it comes to being lazy, I really couldn’t learn from anyone better.

See you tomorrow.