Sunday, 31 October 2010

The process of grieving

I had a weird dream (26 October 2010); that my dog Odin had been put to sleep but that he came back to life.  We then went on to do all the things that he loved.  Walking in Buckham Park and wondering through very very muddy puddles; swimming in Tilgate Park (both in West Sussex) and then the Nile.  Going for early morning walks with 'Uncle' Les.

Because of aforementioned dream the next two days (27th October and 28th October 2010) were more difficult than usual.  My Arabic teacher asked me how I was and I said noss-a-noss (or half and half).  She asked why and I told her the back story and then that I had had a strange dream.  She asked me what the dream was as she interprets them.  She said that this type of dream after a bereavement is very usual as you want to be with the 'person' that has passed hence them being returned to life.

I have been better the last couple of days having posted on here and sharing some of my memories of the Monster.  Plus I have a little one (a kitten) to look after. 

Although Odin can never be replaced I have compant again;  the kitten is four months old (an a lot smaller than European kittens of the same age as they have a harder start to life.  He arrived at my house two weeks ago (11 October) and has been causing mayhem even since.  He does occupy some of my day and makes me laugh with his antics. He's a typical baladi cat and his name is Button. You can guess why!

He enjoyed eating feet, playing with his balls.  He can finally go out on 9 November 2010 but we have the facility of letting him roam in our villa.  He visits upstairs alot eating their cat's food (see above) mooching around and sleeping.

(11 October 2010 - my tail is 10.5 inches and I am 12.5 inches in length from the tip of my nose to the base of my tail!?

(14 October 2010 - see I told you my tail was long!!  Aww mum did you have to post me yawning?!!)

(15 October 2010 - meeting one of the neighbours - Gismo (aka The Ginger Whinger!)  I wish you could have heard the noise that Gismo was making - would love to know what he was saying!)

(17 October 2010 - oh I'm just too cute.  I love purring, padding (even in mid-air), sitting close to my mum and snuggling up!)

Follow my story as I grow ...

Friday, 29 October 2010

In Memorium

On 22 October 2010 at 6.10 am, the time that Odin would wait at the back door for 'Uncle' Les to take him for his morning walk, the following dedication came to mind.

"My darling Bugajugs, Mutley, Dogly, Odin - one dog with many names.  A big dog with a huge personality and the gentlest of souls.  Everyone who met you loved you.  I miss you each and every day in each and every way.  I know you are now at peace with no pain and that you no longer have to struggle for breath.  Although my life has a huge void since your passing I know that we will meet again one day and together cross the Rainbow Bridge.

When I first got Odin I wondered how I would ever tell the difference between my Labrador and all the other labradors - but it was easy in the end!

Typical labrador poses (not that you were a typical labrador although you loved water and food!!)

(7 October 2005)

On our walks together you had to say hello to every dog and their owners in particular - you had many friends and loved to play - these are just a few favourites the big group were affectionately called the posse!

(15 July 2005 one of the black one was harvey and his 'brother' was henry, I cant remember the names of the other three - one of each colour!)

(14 July 2005)

(20 July 2005 - Harvey a german shorthaired retreiver who was also slightly mad!)
(7 September 2006 - A friend and then you followed by Doodle, and Jerry the Springer!)

If you saw a water, in any shape a form you had to go in. 
Be it clean and shallow ...

(2 May 2005)

(22 January 2005)

... clean and deep ...

(7 October 2005)

... or muddy ...

(9 May 2006)

(10 May 2006)

... cold and frozen (oooooh I love snuffling in snow)!

(6 January 2010)

... or even better, clean and wet on the ground and frozen in the sky!

(4 March 2005)

You would never guess you were a retreiver.  You loved your ball and racing after it but only rarely would he bring it all the way back and bribes with treats were needed so you would relinquish the ball to allow me to it throw again!  Once you got it you would not let it go!

(20 July 2005)

Rest in Peace my darling dog, my memories of  you will keep me warm, until we meet again - Mum xxxx

Thursday, 28 October 2010

My beloved Odin

My beloved companion Odin was put to sleep on 5 October at 7:50pm after a very short illness.

I have not been able to write a homage to him and then all of a sudden on 20 October 2010, about the time he would go for his morning constitutional , this poem by AA Milne came to mind.

He had such an attitude even when he was very young; we bought him home on 6 March 2004 and this photo sums up his attitude to life ...
(23 March 2004)

Now I am Six by A A Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.
(6 Jan 2005 - 1st birthday)

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
(10 February 2006 - Look mum don't I look lovely!)

When I was Three
I was hardly me.
(30 March 2007)

When I was Four,
I was not much more.
(21 July 2008 - ohh grapes, one of my favourite things, along with water, mud, walkies, apples and any food group really!)

When I was Five,
I was just alive.
(4 October 2009 - my first trip to the seaside)

But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
(6 january 2010 - ahhh snow I like to eat snowflakes and catch snowballs ...)

(... and running really really fast!)

In June I moved continents and so did Odin - and here he is in his new home telling me all about it as usual.  Its a shameI didn't get a photo of him swimming in the Nile with Ali holding the lead.  Odin was swimming and swimming yet not going anywhere - his face was just priceless!

I do have a photo of Odin taken on his last day but I prefer to remember him like this ...

(9 August 2010 at home in Luxor, Egypt)

Friday, 8 October 2010

When not to get your Egyptian yearly residency visa

I accompanied some friends of mine into Luxor yesterday and among other things they needed to renew their visa.
This couple originally arrived in Egypt in July and three months later went to apply for a full residency visa, When they arrived at the passport office window they were told that they were late. The entry visa that you get at the airport on arrival is a stay of four weeks and valid for three months. So as they had been there for three months they were definitely late! It was necessary for them to pay taxes for each month they were late (however if you accept your fate it is highly possible that these taxes are waived!). The passports were left until after lunch and their visa was duly stamped for renewal the following year in October.

Now this is the story of what happened to me during Ramadan this year and a warning for those who are likely to have to get their visa during Ramadan next year.

I arrived in Egypt on 16 June and so on 6 September I duly went along to the passport office to get a full year residency visa (I thought I was early – but I was going to Middle Egypt the following week so decided to get my renewal early; I should have waited).

The cashier told me that I was late and needed to pay taxes; and the yearly visa charge. I quietly accepted my fate but was still charged the full amount. The person that was dealing with me was in a really really foul Ramadan mood (it ended on 11 September!! – like I said I should have waited!!).

Anyway I left my passport and returned the following day to collect it. The visa had been stamped for renewal - June 2011. So although I had paid my taxes for being late and the full visa amount instead of the visa being dated September 2011 it was backdated to the day before my original date of entry :(

Monday, 30 August 2010

Rainbow Bridge

I can say it no better than The Rainbow Bridge Poem

“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…”

Author Unknown

Sadness in Luxor

A tribute to Harvey

Many people, especially those who do not have animals, may think it strange that I am dedicating a blog post to a Dog.

Some say that you are owned by a cat but you own a dog but it is rather they are your friend, your partner, your defender, Your Dog! You are his life, his love, his leader! He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart! You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

I did not know you well but you were a loving and kind soul. As devoted to your sister as she was to you – frequently licking each others ears. As your dad frequently commented “you had the cleanest ears in Luxor!”.

There are many things I will miss and to name just a few, to see your nose pocking through your balcony’s balustrade to ‘talk’ to me, and the image of you carrying a shoe to say hello will stay with me forever, especially when it was one of my shoes. This is a habit that my little one has also adopted.

When you and your sister protected the newcomer ‘Odin’ it thrilled my heart that he had been accepted into the pack as I know he is a jumped up little upstart who could easily have been rudely put in his place which is what he badly needs. But true to your very kind nature you readily accepted him and me into your family.

Harvey means – battle worthy and in your last few days you had a huge battle, one that unfortunately you did not win.

As with Kayla, your dear sister, we will all miss you greatly but we will remember you with laughter and love and hold you close to our hearts.

RIP Harvey, sleep well.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Fun in Luxor

I had a visit from my upstairs neighbours cat the other evening.

His name is Gizmo and he was looking for chitchats.

He went into the kitchen, then my own dog came in fromn the garden.  When Gizmo saw Odin he jumped up onto the worktop and became a big arch with a fluffy tail.  As you can imagine they have yet to make friends.  It was quite hilarious.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

I have beem remiss in my postings, just to say that we are one week into Ramadam and its hot, hot, hot.  However, the electricity is low which means that the air conditioning, if it works, goes in the wrong direction.

For a while I have wanted to share some photographs of my latest craft session that occured before I left the UK.  It was for a local training event held by the fabulous Natalie O'shea - check out her awsome web site.


This is some paper I made using the resist technique which was later used in a card.


Another resist technique paper, the Friend stamp from Stampin' Up! Vintage Vogue set and raspberry razzle ribbon.

Using the Stampin' Up! bird punch and some sentiment stamps.

This is my personal favourite,  the leaves were printed through the negative of the bird punch mentioned above.  The main feature is the Whimsical Wings Hostess (level 2) stamp set.

All the items used are available from Stampin' Up!
I hope you enjoyed these.

Friday, 16 July 2010

In less than a month Odin has become a member of the Luxor Massive. Lassie, my next door neighbour's dog snarled, growled and woofed at Odin the other day and Harvey and Kayla came to his defense. Something similar happened today and Uncle Les told Lassie that Odin was part of the 'pack' and that she needed to accept him too. We do need to give Lassie some latitude as she is expecting ... and its hot and she is lovely and hopefully one of her puppies will be adopted by me and Odin!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Moving and Stuff


I have been very remiss of late on posting on my blog but I think i can be excused because i have moved house in the UK and then have emigrated to Egypt.

Its over 40degrees C constantly if not more.

My dog arrived on Monday 21 June and is slowly getting acclimatised. But saying that he got me up in the night every 2/3 hours.

I had to buy a new fridge/freezer as the old one did not really work! Then a TV. I also got the carpenter to do a mesh screen for the front door which keeps the dog in and the bugs out. It is not a good idea to led Odin out when the gardener has just soaked the garden as mutley is prone to walk in the mud, he is a labradour after all!

I also had to have the internet set up and to get a satellite receiver so i could watch my HD TV.

All i now need to do is stock my kitchen and i am done!

Monday, 1 February 2010


This is where i will be moving eventually - it cannot not be too soon

I wonder why ... now I know!

We received to offers on the house that were exactly the same and on the advice of our estate agents we took this one. An investor who they had dealt with before and who wanted to be in mid-January.

Anyway we were meant to exchange on Monday, then Tuesday and after much toing and froing with our solicitor yelling at the other sides solicitors it is hopped for on Monday (01/02/10).

We wanted to complete asap to ensure that we kept our flat which is rather a find and at least by 12 February. But now (because of probate or something) the other side want to complete on 12 March!!! I wanted to be on the flight on 15 March with dogly in tow. I have hardly slept this week ... the only thing keeping me going is that move to Egypt!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

This is my first blog - i've caught up with the latest technology.

Its been snowing on and off for two weeks. The weather people said we would have snow over the weekend and we didn't. I was hoping for fresh snow yesterday but we had none (boo hoo) but its been snowing since about 5.30 am. It goes from thick flakes to small drizzly snow.

I will have to make the most of this as it will by my last snow before moving ... The exact date is still up in the air a bit as it all depends on when Odin (dogly) my lovely but naughty labrador (who was 6 on 6 January) get his rabies blood test results which can take up to four weeks. I am counting the days but it looks like it will be early/mid March. In the words of the Pointer Sisters "I'm so excited!"