Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Skype Me?

Animals don’t talk. Well, they do but not in our language. And animals in the wild do not use computers, let alone Skype. But I am almost certain if they could, some of them would love the SkypeMe mode….. especially when they need help.

It is well known within my family and circle of friends that I love animals. I have a few and all of them (my dog was an exceptions but she died in February at the age of 12, very old for a Kuvasz) are refugees.
I found my two cats in 1999 (brother and sister) at the age of 4 weeks, dwelling in the village and very poorly. I never regretted adopting them; they are social, sweet and funny.

My crow Caro comes from the Permanent Water sport Exhibition where I worked, back in 2005. He was suffering from pneumonia, long worm and an ordinary cough. It took a while before he recovered and now he is part of the family, bossing the cats.

Fluffy, the sparrow is 7 and comes from my Mum’s garden where she must have fell pout of the nest. No bird looked after here so I adopted here as well. She was a tiny, fluffy baby bird which travelled everywhere I went because she needed to be fed every 15 minutes. Fluffy never wanted to leave me either, whatever I tried.

Almost 4 years ago, someone gave me a chicken. I still had two hens and one cockerel at the time but they died in the meantime, the cockerel last year. Ever since, the chicken lives on her own and her behaviour changed from wild to domestic. She runs free in my backyard but has chosen not to sleep in her pen but on top of the cupboard in the shed / semi kitchen. I blogged about this before.

When I am in Tallinn, a girl in the village is looking after my animals with great responsibility with the chicken back in her pen. But as soon as I am home gain, chicken returns to her favourite cupboard.

Over the years I also raised various pigeon babies. One even returned a year later when a bird of pray badly wounded her. As soon as she was recovered, she left.

This week, on Monday to be precise, Tjep and I noticed a woodpigeon sitting at the lawn in the village. The partner of the pigeon tried to force her to fly but it was obvious that she was hit by a car.We took her home so cats could not kill her.I felt ever so sorry for the partner but know that they will reunite as soon as she will be released.I tried this the next morning when the pigeon was far more lively then the day before.Wisely, I thought, I released her in my backyard. If still not able to fly it would be far easier to catch her then out on the open streets.I opened my hands and after a quick look left and right, pigeon jumped and…….. fell like a brick. Just as I wanted to pick her up, chicken jumped furious on top of pigeon and started a fight.Pigeon tried to escape but the wrong way. She fell in the water filled ditch behind my garden and worked her way to the other side. No way I could get her from there as the wall was too high. Wading through the ditch wasn’t an option either as the layer of mud in there is very deep.

I went to my neighbour who also has chicken, for his chicken net. Remember my blog post about the frog??? Unfortunately by ringing neighbours door, I woke him up but he was so kind to give me the net.
Tjep, a professional sailor, fastened the net to a long pole with a strong rope and standing at the edge of the ditch, Tjep holding on to my trousers so I could not fall, I tried to catch the pigeon. Without success.Pigeon waded forward so I had to change my position. Catching started all over again. But after 5 minutes we finally had pigeon, wet but safe and sound ashore.

She is now recovering in a large bench in my office. Because she inhaled some dirty water, I gave her Baytril in case of.
Still it must be a dramatic adventure for her: without her partner, hopefully only a huge concussion, in a bench in someone’s office with two laid back cats as regular visitors (cats are used to the odd bird around), food and water in cups and a scary human being giving her her medication. It was definitely not her day yesterday.

But today she seems so much better. Right now she is tidying her feathers; she just ate (for the very first time) and drank some water. She also tried if she could escape but gave up very quickly, still not feeling fit enough.
But she will get there, I am sure. Back to her partner who will be waiting for her. When I happily release her, I will tell her “Skype Me when I am on line, love to hear how you are doing”

Monday, June 02, 2008

Back home and stuttering internet connections

After a safe flight of a little more then two hours I arrived on Dutch Soil. My loved ones at home were complaining about rain where the weather in Tallinn was beautiful. I promised them to take some sunshine home and believe it or not, the sun arrived at the same time as my plain. But gosh, what a difference…… Tallinn was sunny and bright where Holland was sunny and humid. Will I ever get used to the humidity? I doubt.
Tjep and I took a weekend off. We had inner in a lovely restaurant (where I almost fell asleep, somehow you got to pay for long working days) and a visit to his sister an brother in law. Both events were very nice, so was the food.

Me not being logged on to my laptop during the weekend is an exception but to be honest I did not miss it too much.This week I am working from home in Hilversum and Tjep had a Linksys router installed so I could work either from his office or from the living room which I find more comfortable. Just because the height of the table is more suitable for my own hight them the office desk.

Unfortunately the router did not do what it promised and the signal was too weak. I moved to the office where I sat on 3 pillows (!!) to get a comfortable seat. I am not a dwarf but the desk was definitely designed for someone taller.

Although I set the Windows XP wireless configuration to stop, I repeatedly got disconnected from the Internet.
On off….. on off…. I am not a hothead but this drove me mad. How can one work, talk, chat etc with am internet connections that behaves like a bag of popcorn?

Poor Tjep, he arranged so much to let me work from home. He called his wiz kid who delivered a repeater so I could work from home and after that we were going to look if we could solve the popcorn effect.
Whilst the wiz kid was installing the repeater, I had a relaxing drink and bite.

For some reason it took a lot of effort to get everything working order and to my great delight I am connected to the internet without any disruption for over an hour. Late but ready for work, ready to Skype. Skoll!