The Year of words: Day 303 - That was the month that was.

I am tempted to say that OED get no shrift from me for the introduction of the word worstest. I have to squint and sniff sideways every time I see it.

As we move into the first day of November, it's worth a quick summary of what's been happening at the Acreage and in the Shire in the month that was October.

The month started with a new engagement for me with work. A long-term placement with four new organisations meant finding my feet quickly after just having moved to a new job in mid August.

It also saw energy businesses going bust daily. If your husband happens to be a regulatory lawyer in that space trying to deal with what looks like me to be a broken market, it's hardly surprising that takes its toll. I don't think he realised how stressed work was making him until it forced him to take a break. So some support from me where I can.

Taz (Nashdom Unforgettable)

Then one Saturday evening on returning from London, Taz was doing some important barking in the back garden when he pulled up lame. A couple of days to recover brought no improvement and two vet visits and an x-ray later, I found he had managed to rupture a cruciate ligament on his left rear leg.

That changed things dramatically and my time was split between work, supporting Vaughan during his sick leave and taking on veterinary nursing duties.

Luckily, Taz is well insured so there's no worries about getting him treatment, but finding a vet free and with experience of this procedure in herding dogs (they're more difficult as they are more Tiggerish than most) was more difficult.

Sorting that and preparing for four weeks of enforced rest (whoever has had a border collie knows how challenging that's going to be) took me out of circulation for most other things - more than enough plates to keep spinning for the moment.

Unfortunately. we had to cancel a holiday we should have been on now as a result of Taz's injury. It became clear Taz couldn't be left and I wouldn't have been able to settle away while Taz is on three legs so the holiday fell through. Normally that would be my only concern, but I know Vaughan had been counting down to the time off given his work pressure. I can't help think I haven't helped by cancelling. That said, neither of us wanted to leave Taz and we'll all get through a rough health patch.

Luckily, not much longer to wait - I've promising Taz I'll get his leg fixed in four sleeps - he going in for his operation on 4th November, I day I'm approaching with an equal mis of feelings. I'm keen for him to have the repair as it should give him a useable leg back and pretty normal mobility. Equally, general anaesthetic on a dog of ten comes with risks that give me anxiety for the date.

The one positive I'm hoping for is that his post operative medication may make bonfire night a little less traumatic than usual.

Partly due to the pressure keeping plates spinning and keeping the normal domestic things sorted, I replaced reading with listening.

Audio books may not meet some people's standards but I'm very much for them. They work for me and it doesn't make the pictures any less rich or vivid.

One of the books I heard this month was Social Warming which considered the impact of Social Media on us and how (it argues) it makes us more hostile, divided and extreme. It's a good read/listen and makes a strong well sourced case. I would highly recommend it for those with an open mind on the matter of social media and its benefits.

The book's themes certainly chimed with me this month. I'd grown tired of reading (or engaging in) pointless debates - pronounced arguments - with people I know and like or watching others write lumps out of each other. It all became a bit too destructive, As a result, I've picked up my tent and moved to another village - here.

I may blog on how leaving Facebook is almost akin to breaking an addictive cycle - there are real similarities. However, for today lets just say I've left a post of Facebook pointing peeople elsewhere but haven't been on Meta for just over two weeks. For what it's worth, my French has improved, the house is tidier, my blood pressure is lower and my piano is improving.

Finally this month, regular readers will remember a garden shed had been ordered (10 x 8 feet).

Said shed arrived, a concrete base was put down and the shed put in place. I may not have a greenhouse at the Acreage but there is a potting shed (and storage space).

Those of you with gardens of any size will know it's a never ending task keeping on top of the jobs - you'll note the grass needs cutting one more time before the mower hibernates for the winter.

So overall, October was rather like the curate's egg. Progress made in the garden, shed built, house painted, shrubbery cut back and decluttering progressing. I'll be much happier when Taz is back on four legs rather than three hopefully in time for the New Year.


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