Friday, 4 March 2016


I think I have recovered enough from the terrible sadness of one of our dogs suddenly dying to make this post. 
Our beloved Springer Spaniel, Oscar died early morning on Wednesday 2nd March.

He was very sick on Sunday evening, so I took him to the vet first thing Monday. She gave him a good examination & we decided to try him with an anti-sickness injection. However by Tuesday I was very worried about him not recovering so got him to the vet again. She gave him another examination and a pain killing injection and  thought that he possibly had either something that he'd eaten which had got stuck somewhere in his digestive tract or it was pancreatitis, so I booked him in for X-rays & blood test for the Wednesday morning. But unfortunately he didn't make it and died in his bed. The Vet said that he most likely died from peritonitis due to something being stuck in digestion, for him to have gone that quickly. 

He was a lovely boy, very friendly & a typical working type of Springer. We rescued him when he was around 9 months old, he'd been quite literately dumped at the side of a canal so we took him on. He was a scruffy little thing but extremely lovable & enjoyed running around the footpaths & a good splash in water, but he was never much of a swimmer the way you'd expect a spaniel to swim. The picture of him was taken last October at Lynton in Devon, he looks nice & clean there because he'd just had his hair cut before we went on holiday and he had been splashing around in the stream.

Our other dog Indie seems to be OK, although when the chap from the crematorium came back this morning with his ashes she hid upstairs, so whether she remembered him taking Oscar away & thought he was going to take her I don't know, but otherwise she seems to be OK. In fact we had a lovely longer than usual walk this afternoon, a few months ago she was having a lot of problems with her back legs, but other than being a bit stiff if she lies down for a length of time she seems to be much better now, so hopefully she will carry on for a while yet. Again she's a rescue so we don't really know how old she is, but we think she's probably about 12. In fact we always thought that she would be the one to go first & I think if she had then Oscar might have pined for her.

I'm starting to feel a little more philosophical about it now, we've had enough dogs in our lives for me to know that each one is unique and brings something special to our lives, which non-pet owners can never understand. I try to explain to them that it's like having a child that never grows up, they rely on you every day to look after them, feed them, walk them, keep them clean  and give them a safe place to sleep at night, but unlike a child they never become any more independent that having a run off lead. But having not had children I can't imagine how parents would cope with a child dying, it's hard enough to lose a pet. I suppose if you lose a child it will be a hole in your heart for ever more, at least we could get another pet to replace him, but that's not going to happen for a long time or maybe never. The trouble with having pets is that they are such a tie. We have to plan time around their outings & feeding etc. & although they can be left you can't go off on holiday & leave them unless you either have someone to look after them or they are OK with being in kennels & you can find a good one, which we haven't been able to find for many years. The last time we put them in kennels for a couple of nights they both had bad tummies & were very stressed, so we decided that we just won't do it any more. 

So goodbye Oscar sweet boy, you never know if there is a heaven or an after-life we may meet again one day

Outlander the TV production

So now onto the TV production of Outlander. We decided to get the free trial of Amazon Prime to try out over Christmas, and guess what I found on there? Yes the TV show of Outlander, series one so I didn't bother to cancel the free trial and I can now watch it to my hearts content. I was truly hooked from the start to say the least, the acting is excellent, in fact there are many well known British actors in the series including Annette Badland who's acting I love, so it was a real treat to watch. There are harrowing scenes of violence as well as a lot of nudity and sex, but I feel it is all handled very well by the actors involved. Nothing is overtly gratuitous and there is some fine acting in what must have been very difficult to shoot scenes. The fact that the leading actors are very easy on the eye is also a huge bonus! These are the female and male leads, Irish model turned actress Caitriona Balfe and Scottish actor Sam Heughan in their costumes for the wedding scene
I am truly hooked on the costumes, they are beautifully designed and made, although I don't know much about the fashions of that period, the designer, Terry Dresbach and her team appear to have made tremendous efforts to get the costumes to look right, so no obvious zips or velcro, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned if you're trying to get authentication on costumes.

A confession from me, I often watch 'period' dramas to see how the costumes are made and lose a lot of interest if they are made in too modern a way with zips etc. While I appreciate that a production might have a lot of costumes to be made for extras I really think that effort should be made at least with the principal actors to make the costumes as far as possible, authentic looking. 

I suppose this is one of the reasons why I have been so pleased to watch this programme, to see the men wearing genuine Great Kilts in muted colours, not the gaudy Victorian kilts that are thought of by most people as being Clan tartan, and the women wearing the lovely muted colours that look like the Scottish scenery where the filming was done. I would love to see an exhibition of the costumes, and who knows, maybe they will one day go on display somewhere in the UK, then I can indulge myself in trying to find out what the fabrics are. I would especially love to have a closer look at that wedding dress, to me it looked like linen on the overskirt, certainly looked like plain weave in the close ups that I've tried to get, and the embroidery is utterly stunning, although I did see a little video & it is unfortunately machined not hand stitched.

They have apparently just wrapped filming on series 2, much of the storyline is based on late 18th century Paris, so the look of the costumes will be very different, just look at these beauties. 
 Again I don't know about how true to the correct type of fashion and textiles of the day they are, but I do love the way they look. I've been up to now more interested in primitive and Medieval to Elizabethan era textiles, dismissing much of the later eras as 'fashion', but I'm sure there is as much of interest in them as there is in early fabrics. I am not one to follow fashion in any way shape or form, but I will now add the 18th Century to my list of ever growing research along with the others that I have a passion for. Of course that was the era of what I suppose I would call the dandy fashions, even the men wore very beautiful clothes if they were mixing in the highest of Parisian society. I wonder if Scottish Highlanders will feel completely comfortable in all that satin!

Probably very strange of me but I prefer the Scottish look!