A Traumatic Week with Daisy | Pupdate

A Traumatic Week with Daisy | Pupdate

If you follow me on social media, you might have seen that I posted earlier this week that Daisy Dog hasn’t been well.

Daisy has never been a high energy dog, but when she first arrived she was quite scampy and would run around sometimes. Then in August 2019 we noticed she was drinking loads and she was eventually diagnosed with Cushing disease. She’s been on 4 tablets a day since and whilst she’s still poorly, we have been able to manage it with the medication.

However, over the last few weeks, and perhaps because we’ve have been with her 24/7 we have started to notice a few more things that weren’t quite right. Namely

  • She was bumping into things
  • When she was resting, her legs were shaking
  • She was unsteady on her legs – so if we lifted one up to put her harness on, she would fall over
  • She was struggling to walk. Excited to go out, then wanting to come home after about 10-15 minutes.
  • She had a hard lump on her jaw

We had chatted to the vet a few weeks ago about the walking issues and our vet thought she might have Arthritis and gave us some tablets – but they made things a bit worse as they upset Daisy’s tummy and made her a bit miserable.

But as things hadn’t improved, this week, we asked our vet to take a look at her and so we experienced our 1st Coronavirus vet visit. This basically entailed the staff being in full PPE, us handing Daisy over at the door, M waiting outside in the car, the vet calling with the news and then M collecting Daisy from inside the vets waiting room, once the staff had left the area.

M arrived back from the vets with potentially devastating news.

  • Firstly, the vet is convinced Daisy is much older than we were led to believe when we adopted her. What we were told suggested she is 9 now, but the vet thinks she potentially as old as 12.
  • It’s likely she does have Arthritis, the vet thought her gait and age strongly suggested this. The vet also said she would probably in pain when she was walking or going to the loo, as arthritis makes it harder to move around.
  • Daisy also failed the 3 eyesight tests they did on her, which suggests she is either blind or has very limited eyesight. She might see shadows.
  • Whilst drawing blood, the vet also noticed that Daisy’s hair hadn’t grown back since the last blood test 6 months ago. Which suggests she also had Thyroid issues.
  • Finally and the scariest thing was that the vet was worried that the hard lump on Daisy’s jaw was cancer. She said it was hard to confirm without general anaesthetic, but if it WAS cancer, it was inoperable. Which was the worst news possible and when M got home, there were many tears.

BUT our trauma for the day wasn’t over. M and Daisy had been back from the vets about 30 minutes and Daisy was resting on her cushion when we noticed she was bleeding from the lump, like a LOT. We called the vets, who told us to put pressure on the wound, which we had already started to do. The vet advised us to put hard pressure on the wound for a minimum of 2 minutes. Luckily Daisy is a very docile animal and so even though she clearly wasn’t keen, she let us hold some kitchen roll against her jaw till it stopped bleeding.

M went back to the vets for a collar and some anti-biotics. We were all a bit traumatised. Poor Daisy – she’s been a bit unwell for months and she’s such a cuddly sweetheart, we would hate it if she had been in pain that whole time.

But… after some of the blood test results, it seems there might be a slight chance that the lump on her haw could have been an abscess. Without a biopsy, it can’t be confirmed, and even if we DID do that, it’s academic as it would be inoperable.

We’ve had a dreadful week, with dreadful news – we hope for an abscess, and at the moment, she does seem to be a bit brighter so you never know. She is on some serious drugs though, so I imagine that really helps too!

We love our Daisy Dog and I hope more than anything, that she can stay with us a while longer. M and I have been through this before and we have learned that as long as she seems happy in herself and isn’t in pain – then 10-minute walks, 2 tonnes of medication and sofa cuddles it is.

Thanks to anyone who send love our way – we really needed it this week.

G x

Birthdays in Lockdown | CoronaVirus

Birthdays in Lockdown | CoronaVirus

Over the last week we have two birthday’s within the family. My husband Michael turned 47 and his mum turned 82. Lockdown birthday’s were definitely a new and different experience and they definitely forced me to be creative.

My husband is the kindest, most generous person you could ever mind and he felt weird about getting gifts for his birthday, so he asked his family that if they were thinking of getting him something, then instead he would prefer if they made a donation to a local food bank. I mean… he’s the best…

But I still wanted to make fuss of him if I could – so I organised a series of small suprises.

  1. The first one was simple. I got in touch with his work friends and asked the to change their backgrounds to a birthday or party theme when they were on their daily video calls the last day he was in work before his birthday. He was VERY surprised an a bit tickled.
  2. Of course, the night before his birthday, I pretended I wasn’t tired and then hand threaded a birthday banner and blew up some balloons ready for the morning. Birthday standard in our house!
  3. Also, a few days before his birthday, I got in touch with our lovely neighbours and asked them if they would very kindly, but a Happy Birthday message in their window for him. BOY did they not disappoint me!! They went above and beyond and again, he was tickled PINK!!!
  4. The final thing was that we had organised a FaceTime family get together and all M’s family wore red at my request and his mum actually wore the “family” fascinator – which was very very much appreciated!

I did make him a cake too, but it was the very definition of a cake fail! As it turned out it tasted OK, but looks AWFUL! I was going for a buttercream, drip cake type of thing.. .which I did… but only if you imagine someone basically flicking watery buttercream at a chocolate cake and then drizzling not quite enough chocolate at it….

But as I said, it was also Michael’s mum’s birthday too and I think she was expecting it to be a bit “meh”. But as it turned up, all the important people turned up to wish her happy birthday through the window – all co-ordinated so they didn’t meet and no-one coming into contact with anyone. She had a birthday cake made and delivered on the step by one of the visitors and then in the evening, we had a family facetime. She said it was lovely and much better than she had been expecting.

I really do hope I get to live to my 80s and still have a unique experience.

Lockdown has it good days and bad days and I have learned to live through both and just go with it. I hope you are ok if you are reading this and not having the best day, I can only tell you that tomorrow can be a clean slate..

Take everyone, stay safe and stay home

G x

One cool thing a month | Lifestyle |CoronaVirus

One cool thing a month | Lifestyle |CoronaVirus

At the start of this year, I decided I was going to do one cool thing a month throughout 2020 and I was SO looking forward to it as I knew it would force me to go out and try new things. Not so much a resolution but more sort of mantra for the year.

In January I decided to try swimming as this was something that was sort of restricted to holidays, despite the fact I live within spitting distance of a public swimming pool! I went along to my local pool and enjoyed it so much that I signed up for swimming lesson and swam every week from January to early March.

In February, I decided to try Floating at a Spa in Altrincham – 60 minutes of sensory deprivation floating in capsule, which I thought I would love, but couldn’t quite get in to.

In March, I booked for us to have a tour of an Amazon Fulfilment Centre, which meant we would get to see how the operations side of how Amazon works…the geeky side of me was really interested. But at the end of February, we had an email from Amazon that due to the ongoing issues with the CoronaVirus in Italy, they were cancelled all tours. A sure sign things to come.

So my “One Cool Thing A Month” activities now appear to be surviving through a Global Pandemic and at the very least, staying sane. I have never baked, cooked and cleaned so much in my life – the lockdown has turned me into a 1950’s housewife!

So for the foreseeable, I am going to think of “One Cool Lockdown Activity” per month.

During March, I think the 1 cool thing I did was cook. Hear me out. Before lockdown, I was a lazy cook, firmly in the camp of “often can’t be arsed”. This resulted in us eating out, takeaways and the occasional home-cooked meal. But since lockdown, I have cooked almost every night – peeled, chopped, cooked, baked and scoffed all manner of lovely and mostly healthy food. Only this morning, I made us a full English Breakfast, unheard of in our house! We just really miss going out for Breakfast!

Anyway, I need to go and think of one cool thing for April to do…. ideas on a postcard, Tweet, Instagram Comment, DM or you can just email me…

Hope you guys are all ok, Stay Home. Protect the NHS.

G x

Free Quiz |CoronaVirus

Free Quiz |CoronaVirus

So it seems that Video Call Quizzes have become a real thing whilst we are all confined to our houses and in my house, we have hosted 4 so far.

So just in case, you were looking for new quiz questions or rounds, I thought I would share the ones we have been using. Hope you enjoy and happy Quizzing!

Quiz 1 – Easter Lockdown Quiz

Round 1  – General Knowledge

You can download the question sheet from here: Easter Quiz 2020

  1. Which veteran actress links Queen Victoria and James Bond (Judi Dench)
  2. In technology, what does the abbreviation VCR stand for? (Video Cassette Recorder)
  3. Which poet described a Host of Golden Daffodils (William Wordsworth)
  4. What is the city-state called where the Pope lives? (Vatican City)
  5. What colour do you get, if you mix together Pink and Blue? (Purple)
  6. Whereabouts on your body are your Molars? (Your mouth)
  7. Who was the 1st man on the moon? (Neil Armstrong)
  8. Who is the current 1st lady in America (Melania Trump)
  9. During World War II  there was an American Airbase in the North West of England. Where was it? (Burtonwood)
  10. What nationality is Pop Sensation Justin Bieber? (Canadian)

Round 2 – Famous Faces 

Send images of the following people and the players have to put them in Age order. 

  1. Beyonce (38)
  2. Phillip Schofield (58)
  3. Oprah (66)
  4. Billy Connolly (77)
  5. The Queen (93)

Round 3 – Split into 2 

For quiz teams with anyone under 70 in their team 

Treasure Hunt

  1. Find something purple.
  2. Find something that is older than the youngest person in your team. 
  3. Find something sparkly. 
  4. Find something with the number 1 on it. 
  5. Find something that you didn’t have before lockdown. 

Round 3 – For the over 70s – The 1970s 

  1. In 1972, which swimmer won 7 gold medals at the Munich Olympics? (Mark Spitz)
  2. Who was Astronaut Steve Austin also known as (The Bionic Man/The Six Million Dollar Man)
  3. Which Swedish pop group won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974? (ABBA)
  4. Why was Evil Knievel made famous in the 1970s (American Stuntrider)
  5. What year did Elvis Die? (1977)

Round 4 – Connect the Answers 

This round has 5 questions and each of the answers is linked together by a common theme. Answer all the questions correctly and then guess the theme. 

  1. What do you call it when you wrap up wool? (Ball)
  2. Another word for when someone is making a lot of noise (Racket)
  3. Something  you might do when you greet a King or Queen ( Bow)
  4. Which animal uses sonar to navigate (Bat)
  5. What is a shortened version of the word Internet? (Net)

Theme  – Things you use to play sport. 

Round 5  – What are these Nursery Rhymes? 

  1. HDSOAW (Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall)
  2. TBM (Three Blind Mice)
  3. TGODOY (The Grand Old Duke of  York)
  4. HDD (Hickory Dickory Dock)
  5. JAGWUTH (Jack and Gill went up the Hill)

Quiz 2 – Lockdown Quiz

You can download the Quiz Sheet from here: Lockdown Quiz

Everyone will need a piece of paper and a pen. 

  • There are 5 rounds. 
  • 1 x Picture and People Round (5 pts)
  • 1 x General Knowledge Round (10 pts)
  • 1 x specialist subject round (5 pts)
  • 1 x Picture and Places (5 points)
  • 25 points max. 

Round 1 – Picture Quiz 

WhatsApp 5 x pictures to everyone, one at a time. 

  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Mo Farah
  3. Claudia Winkleman
  4. Ed Sheeran
  5. Michelle Obama

Google a relevant picture and save them on your phone. Give the answers at the end of the round. 

Round 2 – General Knowledge 

(Ask these questions directly and give answers at the end of the round)

  1. How many sides does an Octagon have? (8)
  2. What is the capital of Wales? (Cardiff)
  3. What is Focaccia? (A Type of Bread)
  4. Which football team plays at Carrow Road? (Norwich City)
  5. In which city in America are the Bellagio and the MGM Grand? (Las Vegas)
  6. Which TV programme featured the cafe, Central Perk? (Friends)
  7. In Snooker, how many points is the black ball worth? (7)
  8. What is the French word for Bread? (Pain)
  9. In 10-pin bowling, what is it called when you knock all 10 pins down? (A Strike)
  10. Who is the Prime Minister of Canada? (Justin Trudeau) 

Round 3 – Specialist Subject 

If your quiz participants are in teams, you can ask each team to pick a relevant specialist subject. If they aren’t, you can ask for people to vote on which subject they want the next 5 questions to be on. 

  • Social Media
  • Fishing 
  • Sport
  • Retail 
  • Pot Luck 

Social Media Questions 

  1. Which social media platform has a white ghost as it’s the logo? (Snapchat)
  2. On which social media platform are you limited to 280 characters? (Twitter)
  3. Which social media platform is the movie “The Social Network” about? (Facebook)
  4. Which social media star competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2018? (Joe Sugg)
  5. Which YouTuber has the most subscribers? (PewDePie)

Sport Questions 

  1. What city should have hosted the Summer 2020 Olympics? (Tokyo)
  2. What is a Birdie in Golf (-1 par)
  3. What sport is Michael Bisping known for? (MMA)
  4. In which sport do teams compete for the Stanley Cup? (Ice Hockey)
  5. In which race does Bechers Brook appear? (The Grand National)

Fishing Questions 

  1. Can you identify this fish (to be WhatsApp), Rainbow, Trout
  2. What is a reel used for in fishing? (Stowing Fishing Wire)
  3. Which Angler presents the Tv Programme “Total Fishing” (Matt Hayes)
  4. What is the name of the industry magazine that is popular with people that like to fish? (The Angling Times)
  5. In Fly Fishing, what is used as bait to catch a fish? (An artificial lure/ fly)

Retail Questions 

  1. In retail, what is a BOGOF deal? (Buy one get one free)
  2. Which retailer is TK in the UK and TJ in the US? (Tk/TJ Maxx)
  3. Which online retailer was started by Jeff Bezos? (Amazon)
  4. What is the name of the Shopping Mall in Sheffield, which is similar to The Trafford Centre? (Meadowhall)
  5. For Jennifer’s 30th birthday, Gill got her a handbag. Which city was she shopping in when she bought it? (New York)

Pot Luck  – Goodies & Baddies

  1. Which planet is Dr Who from? (Gallifrey)
  2. In the James Bond Films, which animals were the villains traditionally pictured stroking? (A Cat)
  3. In the Marvel comics, what is Thor’s nasty brother called (Loki)
  4. In the Wizard of Oz, where was the witch from that wanted to steal Dorothy’s Ruby slippers? (The West)
  5. Who was Superman’s alter ego? (Clark Kent)

Final Round – Pictures and Places 

Name the following places

  • Wembley Stadium 
  • The Liver Buildings, Liverpool
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Houses of Parliament 
  • The Statue in Mesnes Park, Wigan (Sir Francis Powell)

Google a relevant picture and save them on your phone. Give the answers at the end of the round

A better week|CoronaVirus

A better week|CoronaVirus

How has your week been? Been anywhere exciting (?!?!) hopefully not!! Today is the 5th April 2020 and its just about 13 days since I went anywhere further than my local shop and it’s 4 week son Tuesday since I did any work outside of home. Lockdown is settling into a routine for us. To update you on a couple of things from last week, my brother-in-law who has had suspected Corona, is fit and well and back at work after 7 days in isolation. We think he only had a mild version thank goodness.

M is also now working from home until this thing goes away and I am more than grateful for that. But it other news, this whole isolation thing has really forced the people in our family to embrace technology and by technology, I mean video calling – along with the rest of the world!

In the last week, we have hosted 2 x family quiz nights*, one with my dad, sister and her girls (when Rob was in isolation) and then another one with M and all his family, including his 80 odd-year-old parents!!! They were never fans of video calling as when M lived in the USA 20 years ago, they tried to video call him and there was always a troublesome time delay… but thankfully technology has moved on and with an iPad and a bit of Facetime, family Quiz night could take place!!

We have also organised to “meet for coffee” M’s parents, again testing the technology with octogenarians has been much simpler than you would imagine. It was lovely actually, we both had our hot drinks and instead of being in our favourite garden centre, we were in our living and their dining room! Not ideal, but a great substitute.

My dad has also has embraced the FaceTime thing too and so it’s been relatively easy to keep in touch with everyone.

I had a couple of days last week where I felt awful, really wobbly… mainly just feeling a bit couped up and then, of course, we had a mini-crisis when Daisy got her leg stuck in a grate!

As if what is going on wasn’t stressful enough! But I realised after this was resolved that the exercise thing is really important for me (funnily enough). So the next night I went for a long walk with Daisy and then again the following morning – of course social distancing and not going out more than once a day. I felt better and I have felt better ever since.

So anyway, I hope you have had a good week and you are able to find hope even if you’ve not.

Take Care, Stay at Home and Wash your Hands.

Gill x

Lockdown Thoughts |Coronavirus

Lockdown Thoughts |Coronavirus

Well that is week 1 of official Lockdown started. How has it been going for you? For me, well I am just shattered. Even though I am moving less physically, I am mentally drained as it’s SO much more to think about than normal.

I deliver a lot of training in my day job and so that has all been cancelled. I am lucky enough to have a full-time job that isn’t affected by this whole thing (yet) But I have been working mega hard training people via Google Meet to work remotely, which has seen me deliver 9 training sessions in a week to staff from all across the UK.

At home, things have changed too as I have been joined by M in my home office as after Boris made his announcement, he has been working from home too. It has to be said that whilst the situation we are in is scary and difficult, having the 3 of us together at home, is just brilliant..

One odd thing though for me is the way I have reacted to the whole thing. I am normally one of those people who will put myself forward to help, will volunteer and get involved, but during this time, I just haven’t been able to. The reason for me is an odd one. I feel super anxious at the moment, which isn’t like me. Is it my hormones? Maybe. Is it the virus… well yes… but it’s not just that. I have talked about losing my mum a lot on this blog as it was a horrible pivotal moment in my life. She was very ill in the year between her diagnosis and death and I spent that entire year with a ball of worry and unease in my stomach that disrupted my sleep, eating habits and made me wake up every morning knowing something was wrong. Sadly, that’s how I feel now.

Somehow this virus thing has been quite triggering for me as it reminds me about the last time I was intensely worried about illness. I’ve tried to shake it, but I can’t. I feel better now the three of us are safely at home and the unease is a tad better, but it’s still there.

As I write, my brother-in-law came home from work last night with symptoms and has been told to self-isolate. Even though he will probably be ok (normally fit and well), his daughter (our niece) is a T1 Diabetic and is in the vulnerable category…. it’s just too much to think/worry about.

But I have to say that the country and my community, in particular, has really pulled together to help each other. The NHS clap in the week saw friends and neighbours stood at their doors clapping to support the NHS for looking after us. More than a few of my neighbours are police officers and wow, it must be so stressful to keep going out to work every day, but especially now, I am so grateful.

But one very good thing is that M and I have been cooking loads and being loads better at not wasting food. Something fresh to eat every night with hardly a takeaway in sight. I will take that silver lining.

Hope you are ok. Stay Safe. Stay at Home. Wash Your Hands.

G x

We Be Social Distancing |CoronaVirus

We Be Social Distancing |CoronaVirus

Ok wow, so how is everyone doing? I think we can all agree that this is the weirdest time to live through. All the information and advice seems to have been coming and changing at the speed of light. It feels to me like I went very quickly from deciding whether or not I should go to Cornwall to realising that I had to stay 2 metres away from everyone!

One thing that has been joyful is the sheer amount of community support that has blossomed in my local area. A dedicated group has been set up in Newton-le-Willows to help people that are isolating and/or can’t get out and about for any reason. So if you live near me, then check out Newton and Earlestown Helping Hands.


Also, in my street we have a closed Facebook group and one of my lovely neighbours posted a great Rainbow idea:

I thought this was the coolest idea and it was a joy to walk around our little estate last night and see so many rainbows in windows.

What has also been great is that we have started to FaceTime our loved ones in an effort to keep in contact and M started a group chat with his sisters and mum which resulted in lots of messages flying backwards and forwards yesterday. Now I know that isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it’s something they just never thought to do, especially as his mum is in her 80s. Gotta love a pensioner with an iPad!

Of course, with a dog we still need to go out for walks and for the most part everyone is practising social distancing and keeping away from each other. We did of course see 3 x teenage girls out last night, walking in a close knit gang which made me despair. This is so serious and I have never been more grateful that I work from home.

I am so grateful for all the NHS workers and all the other people who are continuing to be in work to help keep us safe and keep the various services working. Who knew that supermarket workers would be on the frontline and Amazon delivery drivers would be putting themselves at constant risk.

I feel so weird and unsettled, but beyond grateful to have home comforts that I do have. I will never again take for granted going out for breakfast or a seeing a film at the cinema.

But if nothing else, please just Stay at Home Everyone… if not for yourself, but for everyone else… you just never know.

Stay Safe and Stay Home


G x

Working from Home | CoronaVirus

Working from Home | CoronaVirus

So today has been the first full day that M and I have both been working from home for the day. I work from home usually, so I was nice to have some company for a change.

We are lucky enough to have a dedicated office space in our house which is already set up with desks and the essentials, we even have a loo! It’s pretty cosy up there and if either one of us needs a quick siesta, there is even a sofa-bed

As it happened, I spent quite a lot of the day on calls trying to figure out what my job is going to look like for the coming weeks and months and as I deliver quite a lot of training, that just isn’t going to happen in today’s climate.

Office Buddies

But one thing I do know is that this isn’t going to be a short lived thing. Most things are cancelled for the next month and what goes on beyond that is almost unprecedented. I have heard today that the Cretan hotel we were supposed to be staying at in 5 weeks is remaining closed until May and seeing as the Greek government is recommending 14 days quarantine for incoming visitors, I think I can safely say that our week relaxing in Crete is well and truly OFF. No matter how much of a first world problem that is, it’s still really dissapointing.

Anyway, the good news is, is that the virus seems to be decreasing in China and it sounds like thousands of people are surviving it rather than are becoming a victim to it. I remain hopeful.

Right then, off to feed Daisy, who frankly couldnt care less!

Daisy on her walk today

Take Care

Gill x

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