Sunshine and Showers ……. Day 57 of 100


Today we have typical April weather …. a mixture of sunshine and showers.  And that  pretty much sums up my current mood.

I’m usually quite a  ‘sunny’  person ….an eternal optimist ….annoyingly so, according to friends and family.  But, you may remember,  I have blogged about feeling  ‘under par’ …. a rather glum and very tired, shadow of my former self.

Well, recently I have had exhaustive medical examinations and so many blood tests that, even  if I were to lose a leg,  I doubt I would bleed very much. …… most of my blood has been drained from my body …..hehe ….at least, that’s how it seems.

And finally we appear to have a solution, of sorts.

I thought I was slipping into a deep depression but, no.

My overwhelming tiredness and low mood is probably because I lack Vitamin D.  And this is not just a tiny deficiency ….oh no !  When I do something I  really do it.  Apparently my Vitamin D level is 17 and the  normal  level is between 70 and 80 !

Goodness knows how it has got so low…its a mystery to my GP, too.   I eat healthily; go out in the sunshine as often as I can; exercise and try to do all the things I should.  Okay, I never  ‘sunbathe’,  but I don’t avoid the sun …..I just wear a high-factor, sunscreen as I dislike being too tanned. ….

In addition, because of my low Vitamin D ….I have had a bone scan and discovered that I am also beginning to develop osteoporosis …….  I am due to see a consultant tomorrow to discuss treatment etc.

So, there we have it, I finally have some reasons for my rather vague ailments.  I’m not sure how I feel about all this……oh, nothing is serious …at least, as far as I am aware.  And I am glad to have some explanations, as I’m sure that people were beginning to think I was complaining about nothing …..that I was in danger of being a hypercondriac …….or, self-obsessed at best.

I guess it all makes me a little more aware of my own mortality …. a little more aware of the  ‘tick tock’  of  the clock.  Time is passing and slipping away from me ….

In my head, I am not old.  I don’t act old …… I don’t dress old …… I interact with young people far more easily than with people my own age.  My peers seem too staid…..too  ‘set in their ways’.

I suppose its time I accepted the ageing process ………….

But …………….

Not yet, eh ?  ……………….



Would you like another  ‘Tarquin tale’  ……….. ?     Well, if you would …read on ……


My story about  Tarquin, the Afghan Hound, was very popular with readers of my blog and I have been inundated with requests for more  ” Tarquin Tales”   So,  you only have yourselves to blame for the following memories of my dear dog.


Tarquin was always different.

It was immediately obvious that this puppy was totally wild;  extremely loving, but WILD !

Everything was done at top speed, including going for walks;  once he had accepted the leash !

He lived his whole life in the  ‘fast lane’   and I had to pedal furiously just to keep up  ! He was very solidly built,  probably due to a feeding regime that included daily fresh salmon,  kindly provided by my husbands fishing habit !

It also soon became clear that  Tarquin had no manners.

He had none of the characteristic Afghan aloofness;  he was a clown.  He launched himself at any unsuspecting guest and ended up on their knee or over their shoulders; spilling their drinks and knocking over side tables.

One friend, who visited regularly,  used to quickly plant himself rigidly in one of our heavy,  high backed leather chairs and Tarquin would fly into the room,  leap over the sofa and land on our friend,  knocking chair and occupant backwards onto the floor and the poor friend would then be sat on and thoroughly licked.

Tarquin loved everyone and, luckily, everyone loved him.

But, alas,  he was far too big and heavy to allow him to run freely through the house all the time and so we had to find some way of confining him when people called;  or when we had to leave him home alone !

Our two other Afghans stayed in the large kitchen,  curled up in front of the Aga , but  Tarquin leapt on them and made them cross and he ended up with a bloody nose for his pains.  Nothing was safe, as he could jump so high and pots and pans were frequently over-turned.

Our house was a large,  stone built, 6 bed-roomed old building that had once been a private school. It  had also been the home of the local Laird’s mother.  All of the rooms were huge, including the laundry room. This housed a Belfast sink; cupboards; washing machine;  tumble dryer  and a large built-in  airing cupboard with huge floor-to-ceiling sliding doors.

So , as there seemed to be nothing that  Tarquin could jump on,  or knock over,  the laundry room would be  ‘his’ room when we were out.  His sanctuary when he had to be  ‘confined to barracks’.

All went well and Tarquin accepted his occasional  confinement …….. or so I thought !

A few days after Tarquin had been moved to his new quarters,  I had a huge pile of washing to do.  I sorted it into piles in the laundry room. The dogs were all outside in the sunny garden; their coats blowing in the breeze.  It would be a great drying day !

I put the first load into the washer and put my hand down to turn the control knob to  ‘hot wash’  and ……….. NO KNOBS !

Just the chewed remains of the spindles !   I looked over at the tumble dryer and there were the same chewed spindles and no sign of any control knobs anywhere !

I didn’t know what to do,  other than frantically search the floor.  So,  on hands and knees,  I inspected every inch of the room and there,  between the skirting board and a cupboard,  was a tiny gap and forced into the gap was the mangled remains of,  what looked like, one of the washing machine controls.

And that was it, no sign of anything else.  Nothing !

I can only surmise that Tarquin had actually eaten them !

So, for the next few months,  I had to use pliers to grip the spindle and turn it to the approximate region of  ‘Normal wash’ …….. which was the only setting I was sure of,  while the tumble dryer had two available settings ……… On or Off !

As for the missing controls;  well he had, indeed,  eaten them.  And he didn’t stop there !

One particular day, we had to spend a few hours in Aberdeen, on business and so Tarquin was left on his own,  in his room,  for 4 hours or so.

He had food and water; a radio; his bed and his toys.  He could see out of the large sash window;  he was quite safe.

When we returned,  I went straight to let him out and was greeted by my lovely boy,  thick coat full of small pieces of wood.

The huge 8 feet high airing cupboard doors were no longer there and all the towels, sheets,  etc. were pulled off the shelves and strewn around the room.  Pieces of chewed and shredded wood littered the floor and  Tarquin stood in the middle of all this devastation ….. beaming !

The tidying up process was very puzzling though.

We shook the wood off all the linen and towels and put them in a huge pile to wash.  I swept the floor and brushed all the pieces of wood from Tarquin’s coat and we put all the debris into a black bin-liner.

There was barely enough for doors half the size of the original ones.  What had happened to the rest ?

We found the answer to that over the next few days !…………………………..


This was first published on in 2011 and later in


About rosiewrites2

Growing old, disgracefully and enjoying every minute.
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2 Responses to Sunshine and Showers ……. Day 57 of 100

  1. denis1950 says:

    Rosie you have the basis of a book here, ideally with lots of sketches/photos, (did you capture any of his adventures on camera?). It would be loved by older children and you could have an adult version. Tales of Tarquin.
    If you run out of Tarquin tales and your other Afghans were too docile to fill the book then I am sure other blog readers could give you some help. Here are a quick few tasters i could share with consequences in brackets.
    Flossie dancing backwards on her hind legs down a busy road almost embracing a braking motorcyclist, (kept on lead for next 4 years)
    Kelly climbing out a car window , only slightly ajar and proceeding to terrorise a nursery.
    (windows max 3 inches after this)
    Kelly pulling out of any collar and racing home regardless of traffic etc. (harness)
    Kara getting under a gate deemed safe and commandeering a back yard 3 blocks away defying dog catchers to catch her. ( gateway bricked to one inch)
    Kara threatened with expulsion from puppy school for leading all other puppies astray, evidence too numerous to mention. ( gave up puppy school and learnt not to feed calcium powder to Afghan puppies)
    Suki excavating under the house whenever wire fences were constructed to protect the cats. ( cats stayed indoors until she matured)
    You mention Tarquin’s jumping ability, sadly many possums in our trees fell and still fall victim to Suki and now Charlie having the ability to reach incredible heights from a standing start.

    What is Tarquins next adventure???


    • rosiewrites2 says:

      Yes, a book has often been suggested ….but it sounds as though you have plenty of ideas for your own book, Denis. Your Afghan’s adventures are equally hilarious.
      I shall post more Tarquin Tales soon.


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