So we duly advertised the room, and had no takers (for about a week). During this week we went down to my Mum and Dad's to get my car MOT'd and it passed without any problems. groovy. We also went to see my brother in his cobblers shop and DS had a cool time there.
I think DS will have to do his work experience with my brother. They will have a great time. Its funny to think that both Bro and I were only 13 when we started cobbling. I was eased somewhat more gently into the trade being a 'girl' but by the time I was 15 I was mending like a pro. My Bro took my job when I left for college (we go at 16 here in the UK) and was mending on his first day. Now he runs the place. Good eh?
We came home, had some chocolate, wine, take aways and more rubbish and I just could not be bothered to diet in any way shape or form. We were in desperate need of spondoolics as the room was empty and wasting money.
On Saturday 14th March, 10 days after Rob left, we got a call from a lady called Jean. She was from South Africa and said that she had been trawling the net trying to find a room for her friends Danie and Claudine. D&C had apparently come to England to work for 5-10 years and were looking for a flat. She told them they were mad, and all they needed was a room in the general location until they were on their feet, had started jobs and had the capital behind them for the deposit bla bla bla. Both of their sons were in the British Forces, and were on leave trying to help them out. They also said they just needed a room, and Jean told us we sounded ideal.
I told her the room was still available and arranged to pick them up from the station on Monday so they could see the room. I was so desperate to get it filled, and this was the only call I had had in 10 days.
I went to fetch D&C and their two strapping twin lads from the station, and they came and had a look around. They were very pleasant and chatty and seemed like a lovely family. C was very stressed out and you could see she needed a break bless her. She said 'it's like coming home' as we drove up the drive. They told me that they like the room and would let me know that evening.
Not exactly the answer I was looking for, but at least hopeful. I made them a coffee and we sat chatting about stuff for about 15 minutes as the next train didn't leave for a while. It was then that D was telling me about his sister being in the UK and trying to trace their family tree. She hadn't had much luck. Well of course I said that maybe I could help because I had been doing it for years and might have the connections to give them a hand.
He said his family name was very unusual and that it was unlikely that he would find anything, but he wanted to try.
The name is indeed very unusual (and for privacy reasons I am not going to repeat it) and it just happens to be the EXACT same family name as mine. I was B L O W N away. There was all this kind of wide eyed 'no way' kind of stuff going on. I had been looking into that family line for 12 years and his particular family line for 6 and a half with NO SUCCESS. His family had been trying to trace back from South Africa for about 3 years similarly with no luck. So as 'fate' or wahever would have it, my long lost family had walked through my door.
I swear that when I saw the twins, something hit me that I couldn't put my finger on, and when I found this out, that's when I realised that they were like my great grandad exactly. Even in the same regiments.
Obviously my great grandad isn't smiling and hes about 16 when this was taken, but the resemblance is too weird for words.
So guess what... they took the room there and then! HA HA. I know that C was very very relieved and as I drive her to the City for a job interview she said she felt at home here and that it all seemed so divinely organised. It certainly is newspaper worthy I think.
They move in on the Thursday, and the rent crisis was over thank goodness. D didn't start work for about 10 days so we were able to take them around and show them some things about the place. I also took them to Sussex to see their roots and some very memorable things went down. We had a lunch in a pub owned by one of their ancestors kin, and stood on Littlehampton beach where their South African Founding Father had his house and most likely stood in 1840 before he left for South Africa. He owned one of the houses in the seafront row here.
So a very emotive and exiting couple of weeks, and then on Friday 20th March Mary had her kittens. 4 lovely little bundles. It was extraordinary as she was so humongous and only had 4. All of them were fine though, which is what mattered.
As the week progressed we all mentioned the fact that they were very contented and seemed very lovable. they were very handleable and fell asleep in your hands. So delicious!
The situation did not change and, although they were gaining weight and feeding well and looking scrumptious, they didn't move. They didn't hold themselves up or wander about.
Yesterday I took them to the vet because I was very concerned that at 3 weeks old they could not walk. they lie in the basket and only move around to get to the teat, which is usually about 2 inches away from them. They lie on their backs and they have no guarding reflex... you go as if to poke one in the face and they don't blink or move. You clap your hands suddenly and they don't jump. They are seemingly the most contented kittens in the entire world, and that is exactly what is wrong with them. This is not normal. also the fact that they wobble about trying to walk if they are put out away from the basket, and they tremor in their sleep and have massive jerky movements also doesn't bode well.
The vet new there was something wrong too. He said that there could be no definite diagnosis (well there could, but it would cost mega bucks), but he suspected that Mary was exposed to Panleukopenia virus whilst pregnant. It doesn't affect the adult cat, in fact all cats come into contact with it during the first year of their lives, but if the cat is pregnant, it can be bad for the kittens. It usually means they wobble, shake and are lethargic. Euthanasia was suggested but both he and I were not exactly willing to do that right away until I tried something else.
Another virus - called Toxoplasmosis that every pregnant mother has heard of -"don't touch cat litter or dig the garden whilst pregnant" etc... Well cats get toxoplasmosis from eating a raw bird/frog/mouse. This happens very often apparently and the cat will emit oocytes in its faeces for about 14 days. It does not make the cat ill, and it doesn't even make humans ill... it only affects mammal babies in utero - human and feline.
The virus causes a parasite to enter the body of the kitten and it crosses membranes etc and will eventually grow in the cerebellum of the kitten who at about 3-4 weeks old will begin to die - called fading kittens. This is much more usual as the injection against panleukopenia has been very effective and has become a rare disease now. Certainly Mary didn't have any of the symptoms of the disease at any time.
Now, given the fact that my kittens are 3 weeks old and still alive but very very dopey and lethargic, he thinks there might be a strong possibility that it is toxoplasmosis rather than panleukopenia induced Cerebellum Hyperplasia (the first option), so we have started giving them antibiotics. They should start to improve in a few days if it is toxoplasmosis and the infection will be clear in about 10 days to 2 weeks. Mary did have a weepy eye at about 7 weeks pregnant, which is often indicative of toxoplasmosis infection - but that's about as bad as it gets in adult cats.
If it is Cerebellum Hypoplasia, then we have a problem. The kittens will actually live to a ripe old age, just be wobbly and weird and docile and dopey. Actually a lovely lovely cat I think. But they will be basically a disabled cat, and have to live indoors as the roads will be treacherous and they of course cannot jump. So at the moment, we are waiting to see. I seriously hope and pray that it is toxoplasmosis.
So that's an ongoing story, and another ongoing story is that we are getting a new puppy! I know, you must think I am mad, but after Clifford our black labrador died 2 years ago, we always said we would get another dog but we kind of never could broach the subject as the death of Clifford was still too raw. Then of course Sue moved in bringing Dylan with her, an old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which DS adores.
Now Dylan in 12. That's ancient for a CKC. It could be any time that Dylan croaks his last, and I know DS will be devastated. So DH and I decided it might be a good time to get a puppy to preempt his demise and give DS his own doggie again.
Little did we know that Airplane Grandad (DH's father) was thinking of getting DS a dog as a gift anyway, so it turns out that we get to choose a puppy and he is paying for it! Brilliant.
So our new puppy is a Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who we have named Geoffrey.
Here he is at about 1 week:
At 5 weeks old
What a Cute little baby, and the puppy's not too bad either!!
Ok, as for band news... whats to say. I am not doing anything with it. If I choke, then I puke and then I go back to my food when I can. Its just an annoying piece of silicone and I cant deal with thinking about losing weight right now. I have half hearted thoughts of going on slimfast for a while and seeing what happens but the right week never seems to come up. I have it all here ready to go, but just cant get myself motivated. I just wish I had gone for the bypass. I know that if my band had not gone wrong, and I know its the same for my Bunk Mate 'M' from Brugge too, that I would be winning this battle, but we lost serious emotional, mental and physical trust in this thing and its never come back.
I do want it too, but right now, I am not in that zone.
Ok, I will promise to write this blog more often, because this has taken me hours and I don't want to be doing that again.
Oh, yeah and I am going to an Indian wedding next weekend - henna, sari the works! Cool eh?