Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Dog Attack

Since having Calvin, I have heard a lot about Guide Dogs getting attacked and know that lots of work is being done to try and change the law, so that dog owners are prosecuted for not controlling their pets. However, in the nearly four years I have had Calvin, I never really expected him to be a victim with his bolshie attitude. How wrong was I!

Last Friday, we went down to Dorset, as on Saturday it was my birthday and I have dreamed of going to Monkey World for years. I love monkeys! Recently, the weather has been amazing and therefore it seemed logical to spend some time on the beach. Naturally, Calvin was beside himself with excitement as soon as he smelt the sea air. He was puppy walked in Devon and so spent a lot of the time free running by the sea.

Conveniently, our hotel appeared to be across the road from the dog section of the beach. So we let Calvin off the lead, as we followed the ramps down to the shore. When we got on the beach, Calvin clocked the sea and went bounding towards it. Another dog was playing in the sea with its owner, nowhere near where Calvin was heading. For no apparent reason whatsoever, the dog aggressively pinned Calvin down on the sand before he could make it to the water and attacked. The owner was fairly swift to restrain his dog, but Calvin came limping over with a heart breaking cry. Calvin didn’t even try to fight back.

The beach was packed and therefore herds of people came over to check if Calvin was ok. The owner of the dog also came to check, only after the initial shock Calvin seemed fine with no visible injuries. Much to Calvin’s dismay, thereafter I kept him on the lead. I hate going in the sea, but went in with him so he could have a little paddle. It must have been around twenty minutes later, my mum noticed that Calvin was bleeding on his back.

We asked the lifeguard, some people from the council and other dog owners if they knew where the nearest vets were. Nobody was helpful. I called Guide Dogs to see what I should do, thankfully, it was just before five. I was told to report it to the police who would have details of the nearest vets. The police gave me an incident number, but had no details for the vets. So I had to call the dog warden for the area who gave me the number for the emergency vets that was no use because it didn’t open until seven. I eventually text a friend and got a number that was constantly engaged, luckily we found the practice in the yellow pages and drove there instead.

It was nearing seven by the time Calvin actually got seen. The vet took him away to shave around the wound and to see if it needed stapling. When I got him back, it turned out he had two bite wounds that the vet decided not to staple and said would heal itself. Calvin was given an antibiotic injection along with a pain killer jab and antibiotic tablets for six days. Due to the positioning of the wounds, I am unable to work him, as the harness would touch the affected area.

This meant on Saturday, I had Calvin on the lead and had to be guided around Monkey World. I did not expect Calvin to freak at the sight of monkeys. He was crying and jumping all over me when we reached the gibbon enclosure. I thought it was going to be an extremely long day! We went to one of the chimp enclosures next. Turns out, that chimps aren’t too keen on dogs either. They began banging on the windows, which made Calvin and some kids cry. We moved swiftly away, only we had to pass the outside enclosure before we were clear of them. Without warning, I felt bullets being fired at us! Several of the chimps had trooped together and were picking gravel up from the floor and sling shotting it at us through the fencing! They have powerful shots let me tell you! Calvin began to growl and bark as we hot footed it away! Poor Calvin wasn’t having a great weekend!

Apparently, once you have been attacked by chimps, no other monkey can faze you! Afterwards Calvin was eager to visit all of the other types of monkeys who were intrigued to see him too. Everywhere we went, the monkeys would appear and follow Calvin as we walked along. To be fair none of the other apes felt inclined to throw stones!

So, I had an eventful birthday, not exactly how I planned. Calvin is ok within himself, but it is frustrating that I can’t work him for a while.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Live Shows

Back in May I went to see The Big Reunion Tour at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham with some friends. We were transported back to the nineties and early noughties, which in a nutshell was epic! Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, The Honeys, Liberty X, 911, 5ive and Blue all provided hit after hit that kept us dancing, singing and reminiscing all night! When I was younger, I saw Blue three times in concert, my friend and I had a slightly unhealthy obsession with Duncan Matthew James! Thinking about it, I don’t think I have actually grown out of that and would definitely consider seeing Blue again, as whilst all of the bands were amazing, Blue took the roof off in my opinion! I have however, booked to see 5ive tour on their own, which I am certain will be another great night.

It felt like an age since I had been to the theatre, Christmas time in fact when I saw Grease. So although I hadn’t heard of the musical Dreamboats and Petticoats, I was eager to see it. The show was jam packed with apparent hits from the sixties, only other than ‘Let’s Twist Again’ I’m ashamed to say I didn’t recognise any! It was quite a generic love story, the humour seemed amateur at times, but if you view it light heartedly, it was an alright show. There must have been some pop star that was big back in the day, as lots of old women got very excited when I can only assume he started performing his old hits!

I attended my first festival! Admittedly, I didn’t do the whole camping thing and only went for one day, but everyone has to start somewhere! My friends are in a band called The Last Train Home and after entering a competition for unsigned artists made it through to the final meaning they had the chance to perform in the Rhythm Tent at the Godiva Festival in Coventry. I had heard some of their music on Sound Cloud in the past, yet had never seen them play live. I can honestly say I was more than impressed! They write their own material, play their own instruments and have amazing vocals too (oh and they are both blind as well). It’s so lovely having such talented friends and I have pre-booked them to play at my non-existent wedding in the distant future, although there is some dispute over fees! Surely their wedding present to me should be that they play for free!

On a serious note, if you are interested in checking out The Last Train Home and their music (I highly recommend it) just click here to go to their Sound Cloud page.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


How has it been 3weeks already since I got back from Tunisia?! I went with my family to the 5star Amir Palace Hotel for a week from 5-12 June.

I say 5 star, only I have certainly stayed in better 5 star hotels. Upon arrival we had no porter to help us with our luggage to go to our rooms, I guess this saved us money on a tip! We had 2 rooms as usual and we walked into one to find a wardrobe door hanging off and the other was not made up. So a complaint was made and we were upgraded to rooms with a sea view. I had to giggle to myself inside when the guy who changed our room for us strode over to open the balcony door and asked if I agreed with him about the view being beautiful! I’m sure it was, so nodded enthusiastically and declared ‘wow yes its lovely’!

As with any hotel, you do find that the food gets repetitive. Breakfast was ok most of the time, I love the various pastries you get on holiday and the turkey sausages became a firm favourite. Apparently a firm favourite with most of the guests, as it was a battle against the Russians every meal time for food! I think only the British queue. This would have gotten you nowhere in Amir Palace, as if you didn’t grab the food first, it was often found that they didn’t replenish it. Meat in sauce with rice was the meal of choice or rather lack of choice every lunchtime and evening! I went wild on some days and swapped rice for pasta! One positive aspect about the food was the good quality chocolate ice-cream available in the evenings, although again, you had to be quick to get it. I found it quite strange that they gave you a square spoon to eat the ice-cream, funnily enough, eating it was a challenge! I really don’t know what use a square spoon could have in any situation! Oh and once you had the food on your table, if you blinked for a second, a waiter may have swiped it from under your nose assuming you were finished despite your plate being full! It was crazy the amount of times this happened to guests!

One thing I can’t complain about was the weather. It was hot everyday. You couldn’t really feel the heat either so didn’t have to sit in a pool of sweat as there was a constant breeze, well gale force wind at times, but mostly just a light wind! My family and I got into a bit of a routine. Each morning was spent with my parents playing tennis on the cracked hard court, stopping now and then to fix the net that kept collapsing if the ball hit it too forcefully. Whilst they were busy with that, I did a circuits session on the side of the court, convinced I could tease my six pack into showing its face (I have been trying to get a six pack for months), only my stomach still refuses to show any definition. My brother was content with sunbathing. The afternoons were spent by the pool or the beach where I listened/read my audio/Braille books. It was absolute bliss. We did venture out of the hotel twice to the neighbouring towns. Nothing was really bought though, as we were bombarded by the locals to ‘looky looky’ ‘no hassle’ (only we are clearly hassling you) and being told they had ‘Asda price’.

Despite the flaws of the hotel, which just added entertainment to the trip more than anything, I had a really nice break. It is a shame that we are not having much of a summer here, as I long to just sit in the garden and relax since I currently have no uni stress. Thankfully, it is not long until I’m away again though, as I am going to Egypt on a Nile cruise with Victa at the beginning of October. Bring on the sunshine!