It's the busiest time of the year, and I found myself holding the fort in the largest library by myself for the lunch hour. Tourists asking where the information centres are (They've gone, two years ago). Tourists asking for WIFI. (We don't have it but I can get you onto a computer, it just takes 5 minutes while I leave the queue of customers at the desk yet again.)
A record number of children joining the Summer Reading Challenge thanks to it finally getting TV publicity after 10 years.Unfortunately we no longer have the staff to talk to them about books and reading.
All around me faces of customers, waiting to be served. Waiting for advice, quite often ridiculous:-
I can see you've got a queue, but if I give you 40 pages of legal papers, can you scan them and attach them to an e-mail? I don't have an e-mail myself, so I can't do it
Do you know the name of the hotel I booked? It's in Sandown? I went there last year.
Have you seen someone called Mike in here ?
Rolly has been unwell, very suddenly unable to walk, not eating or drinking and with his eyes covered by his third lid. I thought he had sunstroke. I had to syringe water into his mouth until I was able to take him to the vets, early one morning. I have to drive half an hour to the vets, which starts surgery at 9.00am but allows you to wait in the waiting room from 8.00am.
I was up at 5.00am, after giving up on any chance of sleep. I wandered around the cool garden with depressing thoughts about the outcome of the vets visit.
I was first to get there, unsuprisingly, and the vet saw me at 8.45am. She diagnosed a virus that has made his arthritis flare up. Anti inflammatories prescribed. Return visit if they don't work.
Drove him home, then back again the same way to work.
Rolly has a bit of stiffness normally, in his back legs after sleeping. How can he be unable to walk on all four legs? It didn't seem right.
And while this was going on, and I'm getting through the working day like a robot, the other half decides to invite his family round to our tiny, tiny home for a family get together. That's ten adults, including ourselves! Lists of essentials include glasses, plates, cutlery, food, wine, beer (stored in the bath!) , fold up tables and chairs borrowed from the library and a gazebo so everyone can be outside.
Last minute change of plan as rain forcast, complete furniture re-arrangement indoors and gazebo for smokers.
I got through it knowing Rolly would have to go back to the vets, as his situation had not changed. I kept him quietly on the bed while the noisy visitors made merry. Thankfully the other cats do what cats do best, and scarpered for the evening.
Another sleepless night and very early morning, when I saw this beautiful female Stag beetle. I had to get my camera.
A different vet saw Rolly. She pulled at his legs, and said pretty much the same. More painkillers for his arthritis. Could be long term. His temperature has started to come down, though.
My Dad came out of hospital after 10 days. Nothing too nasty after all, just got to watch his diet. What a relief! He can't remember passing out or the ambulance or the blood transfusions at all.
All that remains of the party is the gazebo, which just fits nicely over the patio and is lovely to sit under when the sun is just too hot. Smudge likes it, too.
I've noticed his once bare tummy is now getting covered with an attractive pattern of fur markings
While all this was going on, Whiskers had a bad limp too. He does keep jumping down onto concrete from the porch roof. Poor boy has not had much attention, but I made up for it this morning with big fuss. His limp has gone now, until the next time.
So I've finally had a day off, and not had to go somewhere or get something or prepare anything. The last week feels like a time warp, but now I'm going to pick up my book and finish the chapter I started over a week ago.