Murder At The Mushroom Festival*

Today’s Spin class is a Fartlek class. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play” and is characterised by bursts of intense effort loosely alternating with less strenuous activity. So it’s a mixture of hill climbs and standing and seated flats but you never know what’s coming next. It’s The Boss’s class and you can see us in the above photo.

Here is graph:

You can see the bursts of intense effort in yellow alternating with the less strenuous activity in green.

Have a bath and then lunch and an early sleep. Then we go to meet Polly the border collie who one of Mum’s friends is looking after at the moment. Here she is:

We walk Polly in the woods. She is such a lovely girl. Throw a ball for her and she catches it and brings it back. She finds a stick and carries it for a while. She has gorgeous soft fur too.

This huge mushroom has appeared in the front garden – it’s about 20cm across:

It’s 6.45pm. When we arrive home a few minutes ago the fluffy monster is waiting for us in the front garden. So now he’s in, eating his supper.

Hopefully there will be supper soon. My cold is making me Even More Tired than usual, and the chemotherapy exhausts me anyway. Am going to watch The Secret Life Of The Zoo recorded yesterday and crack on with my knitting.

Happy Friday everyone!

*2018. By Janet Finsilver. Book 4 in the Kelly Jackson Mystery series.

Murder At Turtle Cove*

It’s the new instructor again at Spin and his microphone isn’t working. He shouts above the music and can just about hear him. Today’s graph hasn’t downloaded yet but I spend plenty of time in the yellow zone – over eighty percent effort – so am pleased with self. You can see me with The Master in the above photo.

  • Painventory:
    1. Sore soles of feet: chemotherapy side effect.
      Sore roof of mouth: chemotherapy side effect.
      Cold – poor me. Grumble, whine, moan etc.

    Have been sleeping for three hours. The chemotherapy makes me So Tired – feel as if have been run over by a train.

    Am watching a David Attenborough episode of Natural World called Puerto Rico: Island Of Enchantment. There are rescue manatees. Show you:

    Need to get on with my knitting. Now we are meeting Puerto Rico’s hawksbill turtles:

    And leatherback turtles:

    Oh I love turtles. They’re amazing.

    Right: need to return to my knitting and drinking my iced coffee. Am huddled under my blanket and wearing pyjama trousers and a sweater. It’s cold: 18 degrees.

    Happy Thursday everyone!

    *2017. By Kathi Daley. Murder mystery novel.

    Strangers On A Train*

    “It was lovely meeting you,” the message says. It’s from the owner of new client Prince, the fifteen week old puppy. “I have actually found a vet nurse who is willing to help me train him when she is here dogsitting. She can’t do it indefinitely, but I would prefer to use her for the next few months. May I get in touch with you again when he is a bit older?”

    “Sure, of course,” I reply. “Please don’t forget me though: I was looking forward to looking after him.”

    “Of course,” she says.

    “Good. Am sending Prince a cuddle.” I say.

    But it is not good or fine. Was really looking forward to looking after him and training him and spending time with him. Plus she’d offered me the job. Am really upset.

    Mood is not improved by the rain this morning. Suzy takes me to walk Dolly and it’s grey and drizzly. There are loads of brown leaves on the ground. The rain mainly holds off on our walk though. Here we are:

    It is, of course, lovely to see both Dolly and Suzy. Dolly slips a couple of times in the mud but doesn’t fall over.

    Mum picks me up from the flat and brings me back to the parental home. Catch a glimpse of the fluffy monster. Watch a programme called Nature’s Wildest Weapons: Horns, Tusks and Antlers whilst knitting. Knitting makes everything better. Apparently, antlers can grow 4cm per day which is amazing.

    Have been sleeping. The parentals are going out tonight and have a little treat planned for self: am going to watch Strangers On A Train which is in our Hitchcock DVD collection and which haven’t seen for a while.

    Happy Wednesday everyone!

    *1950. By Patricia Highsmith. Psychological thriller.

    Stories Of The Street*

    Spend an hour at the gym lifting weights this morning. You can see the chest press in the above photo. Also do triceps lifts; low pull; lat pulldown; arm extension; pectoral and abs tree. Manage four sets of everything. It feels good to be back to the gym, although there’s some way to go before I’m back to full fitness.

    Walk to and from the gym. On the way home am also carrying milk, sparkling water and instant coffee.

    Have been sleeping. Now it’s 5.45pm and I’m sitting up in bed writing this, sipping my coffee. Have just eaten an apple. Am listening to a Leonard Cohen playlist on my phone.

    Have knitted this much of new scarf which is going to be a fortieth birthday present for Hannah:

    An unrealistic plot development happened in Bodyguard which has put me off it a bit. On the plus side, see parentals’ chums’ house playing a safe house. There are several minutes of footage set there, so that is exciting.

    Am going to post this and then watch an animal programme whilst knitting before supper and an episode of Midsomer Murders which have recorded after supper.

    Tomorrow am walking Dolly and Suzy is coming with me so am looking forward to that.

    Happy Tuesday everyone!

    *1967. By Leonard Cohen. Song from the 1967 album Songs Of Leonard Cohen.


    The Bank Holiday Spin class is full. This is a shame as it’s a ninety minute class. Don’t attempt to book it till yesterday, by which time all five places on the waiting list are gone too.

    So, go for a bike ride with Dad to the village and back. This is the first time I’ve ridden my bike for Months, but I find I can still do it. Don’t even get out of breath going uphill, which is progress. Next time we will attempt the ride to the mill and back which contains a big hill. It feels good to be back on my bike.

    The fluffy monster asks me for more breakfast and has been cleaning his furry trousers. Hopefully he’s on the mend, although he still wasn’t talking earlier today. Won’t see my fluffy till Wednesday now.

    Dad takes me back to the flat and have my sleep here. Then this person visits:

    It is lovely to see and cuddle him and to chat to his owner. They have just left.

    It’s 7.08pm. Need to watch Episode 2 of Bodyguard at 9pm – the new Keely Hawes thriller in which she plays the Home Secretary who is assigned a bodyguard. Have to watch it as my parents’ friends’ house is playing a safe house in it. Hopefully will see the house tonight.

    Happy Monday everyone!

    *2018. Television series created by Jed Mercurio. Stars Stuart Bowman, Tom Brooke, Claire-Louise Cordwell and Vincent Franklin. Directed by Thomas Vincent and John Strickland.

    Third Girl*

    It’s The Master’s class at Spin today. You can see me with The Boss in the above photo. The class is Extended Intervals which is a 2:1 ratio of working tracks to rests, so graph ought to be 2 yellow sections then a green one. Let’s take a look:

    OK it’s not quite a 2:1 ratio of yellow to green, but there’s a fair bit of yellow so am pleased.

    At midday meet new client who is a fifteen week old German Shepherd called Prince. Here he is:

    He is such a gorgeous and adorable boy. Am going to be looking after him on Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings. Will take him for a twenty minute walk – mustn’t walk him for too long whilst he’s still growing. Am going to continue and reinforce the training that his owner is doing with him: keeping four paws on the floor; sit; stay; leave it; down and so on.

    He is a clever boy and understands these commands but sometimes is not sure whether or not he wants to obey them. If he does a bad behaviour, have to walk away from him with a blank expression. Owner is doing positive reinforcement training, which is good of course.

    Haven’t trained a puppy before: it’s going to be Hard Work but am looking forward to it and to spending time with Prince. He is wonderful.

    It’s been raining All Day and someone has been inside a lot:

    He seems quite a lot better: is eating and behaving normally, although he hasn’t said anything today and usually he’s a chatty person. Have to wait for him to wake up and then can put the anti-fur-ball paste on his paw. He’s meant to lick it off but last time he wiped it onto the carpet. He’s already put himself to bed in the parental wardrobe.

    Last night we watch Third Girl which is excellent. Some parental chums come round for lunch. It is lovely to see them.

    Have been sleeping from three o’clock till six o’clock. The chemotherapy drugs are making me really tired. Now am huddled under my crochet blanket: it’s cold – sixteen degrees.

    Happy Sunday everyone!

    *1966. By Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot detective novel featuring Ariadne Oliver.

    The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side*

    It’s The Boss’s class at Spin today – you can see us in the above photo. Am wearing my He-Man leggings. Push self hard. Show you graph:

    When I get home, I receive an exciting phone call. A woman picked up my card in the vet and is looking for daycare two afternoons per week for her fifteen week old German Shepherd puppy. Am meeting her tomorrow after Spin. Hope she likes me and awards me the job. Cuddling a German Shepherd puppy For Work. Excited!

    Watch an episode of Blue Planet II before my sleep. It’s all about how we’re destroying the oceans, so not very cheerful viewing. Get on with my knitting though.

    When I wake up from my sleep, the fluffy monster is in and shouts at me for food. That’s the first time he’s spoken to me for days, so he must be feeling a bit better. He’s just been sick outside again though. We brush some burrs out of his coat with the grooming mitt. He’s inside for the evening now.

    We watch The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side last night which is a jolly good Miss Marple. Recommend it. It stars Lindsay Duncan who I love as the film star Marina Gregg.

    Can hear Mum chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Am going to look for the fluffy monster and cuddle him when I find him.

    Happy Saturday everyone!

    *1962. By Agatha Christie. Miss Marple detective novel.

    Knit, Purl, Die*

    Walk Gandalf in the woods. You can see us in the above photos. It looks autumnal already: there are fallen brown leaves and acorns in the leaf litter.

    Gandalf finds an enormous stick: a whole branch really. I persuade him to drop it and exchange it for a treat. Later he finds another huge branch which he can’t even lift. We end the walk, stickless.

    Am not going to see my favourite boy for two whole weeks. Kissing him on the top of his head, I cuddle him before I give him back to his owner.

    Watch Blue Planet II and knit. Here is knitting now:

    Have a bath earlier and shell the peas for Mum. It is too cold to go outside now, although we take a turn around the garden after lunch.

    Have acquired a cold which is making me even more tired.

    Right, had better get on with my knitting.

    Happy Friday everyone!

    *2009. By Anne Canadeo. A Black Sheep Knitting Mystery – Book 2.

    The Cat Who Lived High*

    Here I am with The Master at Spin this morning. There is the new Instructor who I don’t really know again today but am able to work hard, show you graph:

    Notice the long section of yellow for over eighty percent effort.

    After Spin, see the fluffy monster resting in the house. Here he is:

    He is a bit ill at the moment with gastroenteritis and is not quite himself. Normally he is a chatty person: meows or chirrups for food; announces his arrival in the house with a loud meow. But he’s not talking at the moment. Also he has some dried runny poo stuck in his furry trousers. The vet says he will clean himself when he starts to feel better so let’s hope this is soon. Otherwise we’ll have to take him to the vet for them to sedate him and clean him up, as he really doesn’t like anyone going near his bottom.

    He’s on three new pills and an anti-fur-ball paste which he’s meant to lick off his paw but instead wipes onto the carpet. We just give him his pill and, on examination, he’s not so mucky around his furry trousers, so that’s good. He must have started cleaning himself. Mum cuts out a matted clump of fur whilst I hold him.

    Last night he climbs up a wall but then doesn’t feel well enough to come down. He is sitting on the top of the wall retching. We spend about half an hour trying to persuade him to walk down the sloping bit of wall and eventually I coax him a couple of steps downwards and, whilst standing on a chair, pick him up and carry him down.

    We worry so much about our fluffy monster and hope that he recovers soon.

    Have just been sleeping from 2.30pm till almost 6pm. The chemo drugs make me Really Tired.

    Tonight we have the last episode of Unforgotten to watch which we’ve been saving since Sunday night so don’t spoil it for me. First there is spaghetti for supper – yay!

    Happy Thursday everyone!

    *1990. By Lilian Jackson Braun. The 11th novel in The Cat Who Mystery series.

    Close Knit Killer*

    Suzy comes with me to walk Dolly today. Here we are:

    We have a brisk walk and it’s good to be with my chum. It looks autumnal in the Park due to the hot, dry summer. Autumn has come early. There are dead brown leaves underfoot.

    Dolly is on good form. Love her. She is such a sweet, gentle person.

    Mum drives me back to the parental home. The fluffy monster has gastroenteritis and doesn’t feel well enough to clean his own hindquarters. Wrap him up in a towel and hold him whilst Mum washes his hind legs with soap and water. He objects to this by kicking his back legs and growling. Obviously hope he feels well enough to clean himself soon, otherwise we’ll have to take him to the vet for them to sort him out.

    It’s 5.47pm. After lunch watch a programme about the Queen and Princess Margaret whilst knitting and then have a sleep. Don’t sleep for long enough. The chemo drugs are making me Really Tired.


    1. Nausea – from chemo drugs.
    2. Chest pain – muscle pain from weights yesterday, so Good.
    3. Arm pain – muscle pain from weights yesterday, so Good.

    4. Left forearm pain – comes and goes. From walking Gandalf I think as he won’t wear his harness and pulls a bit on the lead.

    Tonight will be watching Midsomer Murders and knitting with Mum – Dad is going out.

    Happy Wednesday everyone!

    *2013. By Maggie Sefton. A Knitting Mystery, Book 11.