Wednesday 31 March 2010

How I nearly recycled myself, an Award and Twilight

The story of How I nearly recycled myself.

As always on the way home, I throw my newspapers in the recycling bin. This time I realise too late that I had also tipped in an important letter.

Unfortunately the bin had just been emptied.

I could see my papers and that letter laying right at the bottom. I am just over 5 feet. The bin comes up to my chest.

I think I can reach it.

I stand on tippy toes. One hand holds the bin cover open, the other tries to reach down. The bin has wheels. It is also about 2 feet wide and very, very, very heavy

Weighed down by the volume of my body, it tips over at an angle.

I nearly fall in head first. Luckily no-one was around to hear such blasphemy!

In the end I use my umbrella. Luckily no-one was around to hear such blasphemy!

When I tell Charlie, he is completely unimpressed.


ANYWAY! I have a lovely award from Kim at Fuzzy Tales and TK and Squashies of Furrever Home .

Thank you so much! I know most of my bloggie friends already have this award and if you don't, then please may I nominate you? You all bring me sunshine on rainy wet days like today so you all deserve this and more! Yay!

Oh and calling all TWILIGHT FANS!!! A date in your diary. Stephanie Meyer is going to publish her upcoming novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner online for free between 7 June - 5 July 2010 online. Which is very nice of her to do so and even nicer of her to pledge a donation for any hardback copies sold to the American Red Cross.

Have a lovely Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 30 March 2010

The Muse

Charlie tries to find my writing muse.

I'm having to drag her out kicking and screaming into the open once more.

You see she's very shy and very insecure and very uncertain of her abilities. She only knows her weaknesses and never her strengths. She always tries to seek validation and isn't happy with a few nice words of encouragement.

My muse is rather needy. Unfortunately she is also rather hungry - not for chocolate, the mad creature - but for something else less tangible. She is a muse after all and they tend to be flighty and vain and rather selfish demi-goddesses.

But her heart is in the right place. She just needs a little coaxing rather than me wanting to force her out before she's ready.

Which of course makes her a gigantic pain in my nether regions. But please don't tell her that or else she'll sulk and no amount of cake will coax her out.

At least she's more amenable to Charlie's charms.

Who wouldn't be? :-)

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone!

Sunday 28 March 2010

Conversation, Cake, Cuts and Charlie

Me to Daniel (the IT man): I password protected a document and now can’t remember the password. Please help me.

Daniel: Have you tried Google?

Me: Yes.

Daniel: How about downloading a freeware package that does this - there’s bound to be loads

Me: Yes and they end up as shareware asking for $29.99 to complete the process.

Daniel: Really?

Me: Yes.

Daniel: What’s this document anyway?

Me: My novel

Daniel: Have you tried Google?

Bless him, he said he’ll get back to me on this one!

In the meantime here is my Christmas cake turned Simnel cake for Easter (the round blobby bits represent the apostles two of whom I've eaten). I baked the main fruit cake in November 2009, drowned it in Drambuie once a week until last week and yesterday evening, added the marzipan and icing.

And here is Charlie asleep on my bed. The first time he as done so since he adopted me, 9 days ago :-)

I am still at 137 words of my Starting From Scratch Novel and I've decided to cut most of it out. Cos, I’ve just re-read it and have deemed most of it rubbish!

Time to start again.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Summer Time and the living is (relatively) easy...

The good news is that I ate most of the apple dappy cake.

The even better news is that I've written exactly 137 words of my Part 1, Chapter 1: The Re-Write From Scratch. Yay!

Now Charlie's tail says, nuff already

It's officially Summer Time, so clocks go an hour ahead here in the UK. So really it's past 1 am. Yikes!


And just as I'm about to log off, up pops this lovely poem from Ann of InkpotNQuills, these lovely pics from Kim at Musings on a Small Life, and earlier there was this gorgeous sunset from ManxMNews, why I too heart cats from the amazing 9 Lives and Times of Thomasina and this lovely Easter display from Felted House.

And finally there's Stacy Chambers' Lament - her piano composition from her brand new site. I played Lament the morning my ol girl died and still feel a pain in my heart where she now lives when I hear it.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Saturday 27 March 2010

The Belly Rules the Mind

That's a loaf of bread and an apple dappy cake baked fresh by yours truly.


Well I have a cunning plan on how to crack my elusive password.

Remember Daniel - he who works with me on Sunday? He doubles up as an I.T. man in his other job.

And he likes cake. Or I think he does. And if he doesn't more for me! That's if I can keep my hands off the cake today. I probably won't though.. it looks and smells so apply and yummy...

Either way his brain is gonna be picked for ideas, suggestions and possible solutions that won't cost me $29.99 - the current going rate for all the shareware available to crack word doc passwords.

p.s. I know I said I was zen-ned out about this password, but I lied! I'm not, I'm not! Sorry!

Thanks everyone and especially Jane Smith of How Publishing Really Works and lovely Jo who gave me Charlie for all your great suggestions with my password!

The bread on the otherhand is mine, all mine!

And so really I ought to have just taken a leaf out of Charlie's book.

His suggestion? Find a nice windowsill and have a snooze. Oh and ignore that crazed woman and her new flashy toy.

Have a lovely Saturday everyone!

Friday 26 March 2010

I'm a Beautiful Tagged Blogger and Annie Needs a Home

First to all my bloggie friends across the ocean in the land of the
U S of A:
Annie needs a home asap. Yes she does! Please help if you can.

Now the lovely Niki from Wool n Nuts nominated me for this rather lovely swirly award:

To earn this I'm to tell you 7 interesting things about me:

1) I rode a camel across a tiny expanse of the Saharan dessert. Poor camel.

2) I once believed a silly tourist guide who said we were about to visit "Mr and Mrs Troglodyte".

3) I shared a genuine hashish pipe. I think I slept for a week afterwards.

4) I once had a skinhead haircut (now I have lovely flowing locks thank you very much! LOL!)

5) I wasn't meant to be. My parents had 3 girls, wanted a boy, got the boy, they said, nuff already and then I came along.

6) I used to hide under a table - any table, it had to be a table - when scared: a fact my mother never fails to tell everyone. Even at my age.

7) When I was 25, I went to a psychic who predicted I was to have one child - a daughter - when I reach the ripe ol age of 42. EEEEEEEEEK!

I got tagged!!!! The lovely Stephanie Cheryl from Craziness, College and a Little Creativity tagged me!

So to be (cousin) It, I must now complete the sentences below:

I like..... marmite.

I love .... Charlie and all my cats gone over the bridge

Today .... was rainy!

I hate.... ignorance

I (secretly) like... .oh he knows!

I'm cheating a little. I think I'm supposed to have ten things I like, ten things I hate, one I love, one I secretly love, and one today etc etc.

Charlie says:

The light - it burns!!! Please turn it off and go to bed! Purr-meow!

I nominate and tag:

fairyhedgehog - again for the lovely Hamster! , lovely Kim at musings on a small life , Stacy at stacy's cafe , fab Theresa Milstein in substituteteacher's saga , spinster of the parish , welshcake , lexi , cat in the buff , block or not , Mille ,Ann , Kate of a patch of dirt , Jane , Alex of hampshireflyer, Katem , Jenny Woolf , SuzyQ , handsome Noir , KarenG
Amanda , Melinda , Amy and the House of Cats , Amy and the Meow Family , iasa , Susan Fields, Cheri of Wild Cat Woods , Simon , Umi_e, Sharon in Random Thoughts, Jacqueline, Talli Rolland , All at Jan's funny farm, Marge at Marge's Pets, Sweet Abby of ManxMnews, Brian of Brian's Home, Felted House, MeganRebekah, WendyakaQuillfeather, HilaryWagner, TK, Jenny Matlock, Rebecca, Melinda, Creek Cats, Maximus Spittimus.

Everyone, everyone!! If I missed you please help yourself, please, please, please. Happy Friday!

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Welcome Mr MacDoonagoogle to the 21st Century

Guess what I got today?

My laid back muse was trying to tell me something yesterday as I tore my hair out over my password protected document.

Re-write everything from scratch.

My novel has always been in my head and I am lucky enough not to need a password to access that. Well not yet anyway! In the meantime, may I introduce Mr MacDoonagoogle who keeps Charlie company while I tap away at my masterpiece. :-)

I have six weeks to get at least three chapters done. Charlie has at least another week and a half before I introduce him to the big wide world outside my front door. Yikes!

I think Charlie is doing ok. His appetite grows, he speaks to me more often, he visits "downstairs" without wanting me to accompany him and he allows me to groom him and clean his left eye (a torn tear duct from when he had cat flu as a kitten). I think he is settling down well.

So long as Mr MacDoonagoogle is around of course. Charlie has his muse close to hand, I mean, paw, I need to wake mine up!

Oh and this is what Charlie thinks of my photographic efforts!

He doesn't even blink at the evil flashy thing...! What a trouper!

Pawswords for my 69,000 word "novel".

Charlie comes towards me to comfort me as I turn off my pc in despair.

Why? I have a 69,000 word novel that I wrote and abandoned three years before saved on my hard drive.

My main assignments for my writing course is an assessment of the first three chapters of my novel. What an opportunity!

Unfortunately I had password protected it.

Could I think of the password three years later?

Could I unlock the document trying all sorts of fiendish things as found on the internet?

Oh lookee here – here’s the FLOPPY DISK I used as back-up.

I have bits and pieces of the novel scattered around my C:drive but this one document is the whole kit and kaboodle.

Oh well.

Charlie helps out checking all my wiring is ok! He couldn’t find a floppy disk drive either!

Tuesday 23 March 2010

How to... be rejected and be informed

Do sing-a-long!! And please note the important message too. Thanks to Robyn at Love and Hisses for posting it on her blog.

Now here is another video - with a very, very, very important message. Please recycle your plastic bottles - but always remove the top, otherwise it renders the recyling useless. However I am most disappointed with this video. It should have been like the cat one! This one just tries too hard to be "funky" and for me is just irritating. Maybe it's cos I'm old?!?!

What do you think?

Take Your Top off! from Glenda Duarte on Vimeo.

And I'm always in awe reading the Rejecter blog. No-one likes rejection. But if it were from these two, I wouldn't mind!

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone!

And please neuter and spay and take your tops off and don't be too dejected with rejection - just picture rejection coming from these two lovelies!

Monday 22 March 2010

A Tail to be told

So here is Charlie or rather Charlie’s tail.

He came to me via the ether of the internet from the lovely Jane Smith of How Publishing Really Works who knew of Charlie from her friend Jo who couldn’t have him anymore because her new home didn’t allow furry creatures and who kindly had her brother and girlfriend drive Charlie for two hours in the rain to me before going on further to Clacton - for a hopeful seaside trip.

Charlie arrived at 10.40 am, 20 March 2010.


I forget how young an 8 year old cat can be. I forget how agile a cat can be. I forget how curious and how full of curiosity a cat can be. I am reminded on an hourly basis how his mind is zipping through feline thoughts at a zillion times per second – wanting to touch this, smell that jump here, squeeze through that gap - any gap.

What’s behind that door? Boxes of clutter I can’t seem to part with, Charlie!

What’s that on the windowsill? My sister’s floral arrangement she gave me for Christmas. I think the flowers are all dried up now…

And who is that mad woman waving outside at me? It’s the lovely Sue, Charlie! She adores kitty cats and doggy dogs.

What’s that noise? It’s the new next door neighbours – the young couple having a errr.. very good time! You’ll soon get used to it, Charlie!

At 4.30 am he woke me up by leaning with his furry paws up on the edge of my duvet and going: “purr-eow”.

So I took Mr McDoonagoogle and we both ran along the hallway with Charlie chasing after us.

I shall leave Mr McDoonagoogle for another day.

Sunday 21 March 2010

C'est arrive

Ok, Ok, He's Here!!!!

Charlie cupcake, Charlie-boy, Char-Lee pup. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.

And I have 27 pics of him.

I just er.... need to have them developed. The good ol fashioned way.


Yes I know I've just been kindly given a welcome to the 21st Century award by Sharon K Mayhew but think of the irony!


And what was the first thing he did when he found my bedroom? He went behind the bed and sat there looking up at me- in the same spot in the same way as my tough ol' girl just over a week ago. I hope that pic comes out ok. I was very emotional by then.

Now, I'm knackered. And so is Charlie. He has the tiniest of meows, the softest fur, the stumpiest of paws (like my legs!), the whackiest tail and such a sweet and friendly nature.

Golly, I'm tearing up again...

Have a lovely weekend one and all! And I promise pics by Monday! Yay!

Saturday 20 March 2010

A small yay

I'm wallowing in the fact that I got 81% for my 40 line poetry for my course. Small Yay.

I'm only indulging in a little self-patting of back because I really, really, really struggled with this section of my writing course. I like how my tutor said that I was finally "thinking like a poet".


Things I am doing to ease my waiting for Charlie.

1) Reading

It's the best way I find that keeps my excited nervousness at bay. So, I'm catching up on my reading backlog! I won a book called The Deer and Other Stories by Susan Tepper a few weeks ago and am now on story no. 4. I'm thoroughly enjoying the stories so far. They are dark and full of edgy personalities but are above all incredibly human.

Patsy Collins had her story "Grandad's Cushion" published in this week's My Weekly (20 March issue). It's a really sweet story with a heart of gold and at only a page long! Amazing.

Also Simon Lewin of Spellmaking self-published an e-story, the Armagedon Machine. If you are really adventurous you can log onto amazon, download a Kindle application, buy an e-story!

I feel so 21st Century saying all that! Which brings me to....

2) Indulging

Here's a fun award from the lovely Sharon K Mayhew from Random Thoughts. It's for er... "venturing into the Twenty First Century". I shall keep schtum about the fact that I had to ask what a "crackberry" was recently...

Please beautiful bloggers and furry friends of blogword - I nominate all of you for this - because just by starting a blog you have embraced the 21st Century with open arms!

Ten maybe eleven hours to go...

I was going to invest in a simple-to-use-for-a-complete-novice-and- beginner digi camera that won't bring my bank manager knocking on my door, but I think I went into info overload so I still don't have one! Not to worry, I will be getting pics of the gorgeous Charlie somehow.

I'm going to get up super early to get everything ship-shape for my new feline friend.

I just hope he likes me!

Friday 19 March 2010

Reason to be cheerful, 1-2-3

"Unlike us, cats never outgrow their delight in cat capacities, nor do they settle finally for limitations. Cats, I think, live out their lives fulfilling their expectations. --Irving Townsend"

1) Cats are a great help in the art of one's beautification

2) Cats are a great inspiration for one's creativity

3) Cats just are

Have a wonderful Friday.

Tomorrow.... it's CHARLIE day!


Wednesday 17 March 2010

You can't live with em you can't live without em...

Unable to contain my excitement about Charlie, I did a silly thing and told my sister - not the killer heelz sister, the other one!


Her reply was this:

"..don't you think you had enough of heartache? Why get another one? You can love and get attached to animals as you have known 6 times over so why give yourself more grief? Don't you like to travel before you grow really old? See the world, do other activities apart from your lovely creative writing or just give up your Sunday job rather than work 7 days a week because keeping a beloved pet could drain you emotionally, financially and psychologically. Besides you have already given more than 20 years to loving cats..."

S'okey she doesn't read my blog. Well she didn't last I checked!!

My point is this: Families. Dontcha just love em?!?!?!

p.s. I'm sure she means well!

Tuesday 16 March 2010

The Rose Bush

So I thought I'd plant a mini rose bush in memory of my tough ol girl. I want a red one for her because her velvet red collar always looked good on her and she always liked munching on leaves so I thought, yes, a red rose bush.

I visit one of the only two independent local florists in town.

Because of Mother's Day last Sunday I find that there are a glut of mini-rose bushes, pretty primulas, budding daffs and dwarf hyacinths.
But only one mini-rose with red buds.

I'm not as green-fingered as I'd like to be yet I do know that this bush with its dying buds had plenty of new shoots, was fat with newly sprouting stems covered in not quite opened leaves and its roots were bursting out of the pot. Perfect for planting on.

And did I say it was the only rose with red buds? And all for £2.99!

So I take it the counter to buy.

There is this sweet-looking elderly lady - hair like cotton wool, face like cream cake - a bit shakey, a bit tremulous - wearing a pink floral apron standing by the cash till.

She is weilding a huge pair of scissors.

She takes my rose bush and we start chatting. She's telling me how to plant the bush, what to feed it etc etc.

In the meantime I watch horrified as she snips, snips, snips away at the rose bush.

Snip, snip, snip.

By the time she is done talking my previously bushy rose-bush is reduced to a stump.

"Here," she says wrapping the pot triumphantly in plastic and holding it out to me, "all ready for potting up!"

She must have seen my shock because she then hesitates and adds, "Let's call it 90p, shall we?"

Today, the first bumble bee came visiting my lavender plant. Spring has arrived.
And so will Charlie very soon!

Monday 15 March 2010


Last month How Publishing Really Works ran a story about Charlie who needed a new home.

The story is here and there's pics of him too.

I don't know what possessed me but I left a comment yesterday asking if he still needed a new home. I thought, it's been weeks now he must have found somewhere lovely because he's such a lovely looking cat...

Well to my surprise I received a reply to say, no, he's still looking for a home. ASAP.

Anyway to cut a long story short.....

He's found me.

And he's being driven all the way from Leicester to Hertfordshire this weekend by the lovely Jo and her brother.

Oh. My.

My heart is palpitating. I've just lost my tough ol girl....I miss her terribly. And I still cry.

Oh. My.

Empty nest

It hits home when I open the front door and there is her scratching post, her catnip cushions, her litter tray and her food bowls. I know I ought to put them away – but I can’t because I think she’s still around.

Yesterday, I called out to her. I thought I heard her.

The weekend and I find that I have more time in the mornings and evenings. My schedule that had centred on the Cat’s medication and feeding times has freed up these minutes that I never knew I had.

Suddenly I am ready for work and I’ve got half an hour to spare. I’m home and I’ve exercised, cooked, baked date and banana muffins, had dinner and it’s not yet 9pm.

It’s also hit me just how much of my writing course I need to catch up on. Suddenly there are 3 separate assignments of 2000 words or more each to finish in eight weeks. I’m still staring at my course work outline and deadlines and going: ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

How on earth did I fall behind so quickly?

So I have stories to write. I am grateful that at least, I have that.

I thought I was all cried out until I saw this. It was made specially for my tough ol' girl form the wonderful Noir’s Nook, the lovely ML and the amazing Cat Blogsphere. I'm so touched and truly comforted. Thank you.

It’s the silence and the emptiness that overwhelms.

Saturday 13 March 2010

She's gone

4.15 am.

There was nothing the vet's could do. She died growling and spitting and raging at the Big L. Seventeen years and 8 months. I was hoping we'd see our birthdays together.

It's raining outside. I'm home now and finding little bits and pieces of her.

Friday 12 March 2010


I'm writing this because I don't know what else to do.

As the night has worn on, my cat's been fitting - tiny small fits - enough to make her back legs buckle. Her heart palpitates and near enough jumps out of her chest.

She was so herself at first when I came home from work - she ate and yowled and walked around abit. Then as the evening went on, suddenly she started having these, tiny, tiny, tiny fits.

I didn't notice it at first - only when I found her curled up near her water bowl, shaking.

Tomorrow, first thing, I'll take her to the vets as an emergency.

She's now sprawled on the hallway - doesn't want to be touched - her whole body is very tense and rigid. Her breathing is much too fast.

It's 11.10 pm.

I don't know what to do between now and tomorrow. It all hurts.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Close to my heart

Here you will find precious jewels close to my heart: the Cat, shoes, reading and a comfy bed.
I took this pic using a disposble camera two weeks ago so forgive the quality. If I could just explain :

1) I hope you understand why I saw a spark or two left in my tough ol girl. She always looks grumpy but here in this pic you can see that she's gained a little weight since January and doesn't she look ok to you? No outward sign of the Big L... and yet...

2) I love shoes! I wish I had a pair like these.

3) I must have a comfy bed to snore on!

4) The book. Reading is something I would never tire of. Reading blogs, newspapers, magz, books, lots and lots of books. This particular book came to me via a blog scheme where it's passed on to anyone - anyone in the world with a blog - willing to read, review, post a pic of it and then pass it on. This was forwarded to me by the wonderful Stacy of Stacy's Cafe.

So if any of you are interested in reading and reviewing and posting a pic of it on your blog, please let me know.

Here is my review of it:

Ars Memoriae by Beth Bernobich:
This is a fast-paced, adrenalin rush of a read, action packed sci-fi story that uses its novella status to get straight into the drama without pausing for breath.

Trouble is brewing between the empires of Austria and Eireann. It is up to Commander Dee of the Eireann Constabulary to untangle the intricate political minefield that if left could potentially mean a stronger more powerful Austria and a weakened Eireann.

Added to this hotbed of political intrigue is the creation of a time machine. Unfortunately for Commander Dee its creator has been murdered and it has fallen into the hands of an extremist.

If I am to find any criticisms then they are these. First, there is little scope for characterisation and you have to be very patient with the many factors and factions of the political scenario thrown in the mix. Secondly and most importantly for me, the full impact caused by the creation of this time machine on Commander Dee is hinted at but never explain or explored fully. I am guessing that there may be a sequel to this or perhaps I missed a prequel. Either way the titbits of time displacements that affect Dee are left dangling. Whereas the resolution of the main crux of the story is reached very neatly these little teasers are almost tossed aside.

But the overall plot is kept tight, the action as already stated is fast and furious, there aren't any wasted scenarios and it was a jolly good read too.

Lastly if you would like another quick read, here is a tiny snippet from the ever fabulous Theresa Milstein from the Substitute Teacher's Saga that she posted up for competition. As well as the lovely Susan Field's sneaky peaks of her novel.

Have a lovely Thursday.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

The here and now

The day after and what is the first thing the Cat does?

She gets herself stuck between the wall and my bed.

How did I find this out?

She let out this godawful yowl – enough to wake up the dead and then some – at 5.30am this morning.

I find her little face squeezed in the gap her paw flaying in front of her in a bid to push her forward.

I pull the bed out. She wobbles out yowling.

And what does she do next?

She circles around the bed, a little unsteady on her feet, but onwards she goes, through the gap and out again.

I ask you. What am I supposed to make out of this behaviour? I’m like telling her to act incapacitated at least to make it easier for me, silly thing!

But you see that’s what’s so amazing about my tough ol girl. Lymphoma may have beaten her but by golly, she ain’t gonna take it lying down or make it easy for the Big L.

Or for me for that matter.

Why did she go through that gap? Because it was there.


Tuesday 9 March 2010

My tough ol girl is home

She's home! Finally. My tough ol girl!

Unfortunately, I got the biggest hint yet from the nice vet Rachael that maybe, perhaps, if I think about it properly, perhaps, maybe, it's time to call Time. The Cat's lymphoma has reawakend and is now lodged in her brain.

Problem is I can't think straight or calmly. I'm too involved and it hurts too much. I've been down this road four times in my lifetime but each one never gets any easier.

For now The Cat is sprawled sausage like on her favourite spot.

Thank you all for your sweet comments and thank you Amy and the House of Cats for keeping her in your thoughts in your blog.

My tough ol girl

Pardon me if I put this clip as the main focus of my blog today. It's just that I'm taking the Cat to the vets this morning and it's not looking good for my tough ol girl.

I thought by now that I'll be all cried out but my eyes are welling up again as I type.

You should have seen me on the train to work yesterday! I was blubbing so much the guy pushing the refreshments trolley didn't know where to look when he stopped by my seat and asked if I wanted any tea or coffee.

I'm trying to be as optimistic and as positive as I can. I believe the Cat has a spark or two left in her. I just hope the vets would think so too.

So this clip just cheers me up. The best bit is towards the end. They drift apart, find each other and hold flippers? Paws? Best viewed with the sound turned down.

Monday 8 March 2010

Sue the Amazonian

Everyday I have a new vehicle. Sometimes it’s a motorcycle, once or twice a 4x4 and today, a white van.

No I didn’t win the lottery or the Man Booker Prize! And if I did I wouldn’t waste the monies on cars because I can’t drive and I’m a very bad passenger – the kind who can’t read maps and would much rather fall asleep than keep the driver company.

Nope. These vehicles aren’t mine but they’ve all at one point or another parked on my parking space. The small rectangular bit of concrete with my house number painted on it. The small space that I pay for as it’s included in my rental agreement. And it ain’t cheap either.

Ever since I’ve moved in this estate, my parking space has been invaded so many times I’ve lost track. It’s not like people ask either. Each house, each flat in this estate is allocated one parking space. But people are people and will have more than one car. Even when there’s a train service 15 minutes walk away and a regular bus service 2 seconds down the road.

Being the new old kid on the block and not wishing to be the crazy lady with the mad cat (well not yet anway), I’ve learnt to be selectively blind.

Enter the lovely Sue. Sue is the caretaker of the estate. She is also a fellow cat-woman. Every morning she sweeps and dusts and does odd repairs around the estate and every so often we’d chat on my doorstep while I try to stop her from sweeping the leaves from my front pathway.

“I have to show willing,” she’d protest as we play grab the broom while I beg her to stop because I can do the sweeping of leaves from my front bit myself. Eventually anyway.

Sue has taken up the fight to keep my parking space clear.

“It’s not right,” she would fume when she’d find another vehicle parked on my space. I've come to know this as her war cry for battle to commence. Whenever I return from work, the offending vehicle would always be gone.

So every day not only does she stubbornly sweep the leaves from my front bit, she ensures I gets what I pays for.

I’m writing about her because today is International Women’s Day and so I thought what an appropriate way to celebrate one of the the wonderful women I know who make my life a little rosier.

Cheers Sue!

Sunday 7 March 2010

I should cocoa

There I am just woken up, groggy, head full of cotton wool, tasting remnants of drool. I'm a bit wobbly, half of me is still in my sweaty dreams, the other half out into the cold sunshine-filled hallway.

I am staggering to my small office as I’ve always done since the Cat took up residency on the computer chair to say good morning to her before I continue on with my toilette. And boy do I need my toilette time first thing in the morning. I have drool to wash off remember?

Anyway, I know what to expect – the Cat sprawled on the chair, asleep.

Except that this time she wasn’t sprawled. She was nestled against the back of the chair with her legs tucked under her body and her head hanging over the edge of the seat. I mean literally hanging, neck downwards, lolling, floppy - as if the carpet held something fascinating for her to watch.

Except her eyes were closed and her body was very still.

She’s never slept like that before. Never.

The strange thing was that for a second I was so scared to touch her in case.

But I forced myself to.

Of course she startled awake and screamed at me for waking her up but Gordon Bennet, my heart

So what do I do after to calm down? I bake.

But because my heart defibrillated and near enough stopped after the shock, I decide to open my lovely little muffin recipe book “Everyday muffins and bakes – 112 essential recipes” and go straight to the section “Healthy Options”.

I pick “Sugarless Chocolate Muffins”. And because I’ve never been let down by this book, I do exactly as the recipe asks. Big mistake.

The “Chocolate” is strictly cocoa only. And pure cocoa is not sweet. The moisture is unsweetened orange juice – which equates to bitter orange.

You throw in a handful of blueberries – but as we all know, they ain’t that sweet either.

So I end up with 12 brown bitter muffins that as far as I’m concerned do nothing for the advancement of humankind.

What do I do? I buy a couple of bars of cooking chocolate, melt them and pour the yummy goo very liberally over each muffin. Problem solved.

In the meantime, the Cat is liking her new sleeping position. Go figure.

Saturday 6 March 2010

Six Degrees

The lovely Amy from Love Meow mentioned in her recent comment how when she was five her father saved her from drowning.

I’m still going “wow” about this because when I was five, my father saved me from drowning.

Amy jumped into a swimming pool and discovered she couldn’t swim.

I played too close to the incoming tide when on a beach holiday with my family. I found I couldn’t swim either.

Both our fathers saved our lives. Amy remembers being pulled from the waters by her dad. I remember my dad scooping me up as I sunk below the sea.

I feel all “Six degrees of separation” suddenly!

Kind of the same feeling I got when I discovered that the glamorous Ann is a fellow shoe-fetishist and a Cancerian to boot!

Will the coincidences never end?!?!?!?! I hope not!

Anyway, here is a really sweet animation that the ever so talented Kate M created as a celebration of her and her beloved’s first anniversary. It’s only like 10 seconds but it spoke to the romantic in me!

Anniversary Present from kate m on Vimeo.

Being a die-hard sop of all things fluffy and flowery, I always believe that there is a Special Someone for each one of us out there. Being a bit dreamy, I always think that you will know that this Special Someone is the One. There is a great quote from Frasier; “We do not choose love, it chooses us”.

I like that. Now all I have to do is find out Daniel Craig's phone number...


Happy Saturday!

Friday 5 March 2010

Frollicking Friday

The wonderful Susan Fields nominated me for this really pretty award - thank you, Susan!

To earn it I must reveal 7 true things about myself. Yikes!

1. I can't swim. I've got numerous Certificates of Attendances to prove that I have tried to learn and I've even got the swimming cozzie just in case the Thames breaks its barriers. But alas, I wasn't put on this earth to float...

2. I'm a snorer.

3. I used to want to be "an air hostess" until I stopped growing at 5ft 2 inches (without heels) - this was before the days of Equal Opps.

4. I tend to speak to myself alot. Once in a supermarket (not Waitrose!) I caught myself doing it only because a couple of people were staring at me. In my defence, I didn't know which flavour cat food the Cat would like and was trying come to a decision - not my fault the Cat couldn't come shopping with me!

5. I have a real aversion to mobile phones.

6. I think Barry Manilow is the Second Coming.

7. These days, I cry a lot. Especially after watching Beaches..

Now before I nominate everyone, just another quick note to say: Look what you can buy online AND in bookshops!!!!

And nominations go to you gorgeous guys and gals and if you've got it already, have another one!
fairyhedgehog - again for the lovely Hamster! , musings on a small life , stacy's cafe , substituteteacher's saga - hope you're feeling better! , spinster of the parish , welshcake , lexi , cat in the buff , block or not , Mille ,Ann , patch of dirt , Jane , Alex, Kate , Jenny Woolf , SuzyQ , Noir , KarenG
Amanda , Melinda , Amy and the House of Cats , Amy and the Meow Family , iasa , Susan, Wild Cat Woods , Simon , Umi_e, Sharon, VKT


Thursday 4 March 2010


In the UK and Ireland
The rest of the world will have to wait until the 23rd of April!

The aim of having a World Book Day is simply

" encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own".

Read more about it here . There are lots of tokens and freebies and everything else a little kiddie would enjoy, e.g. books going for £1.00.... a site where kiddies may upload their stories! Wow!

So get them young, is wot I say! Start the little dears reading and writing stories and using their libraries and being generally creative and excited about the written word whether online, e-print, whatever!

Books ROCK!

So grab a kid and make them read!


The Owl(s) and the Pussycat

Every night as I tap tap on my keyboard, I hear owls.

Not the kind of owls that go “ooo-woooo”, like wise ol owls do. Nope. They’re the kind that go “yeeeeeeek” “yeeeeeek” “” “yeeeeeeek”.”yeeeeeeeeeeeeeek – oooooh

When I first moved into this house, and I heard them I remember thinking, Oh my goddess the estate agent lied, this isn’t a nice quiet area, this is where Jack the Ripper’s descendants live.

Which isn’t really fair on the neighbour’s that my small office window overlooks – because they have a nice big garden with these mature Cedar trees and they have a yappy dog, a couple of teenagers, and the dad likes mowing his lawn at least three times a day.

Anyway, I’ve gotten used to these owls. And their night-time screeching. It’s kind of comforting for me because I do like a certain regularity in my life and these owls are very regular. They tell me that it’s way past my bedtime and I ought to catch up on my beauty sleep if I’m to stay as gorgeous as I am!

So when I didn’t hear them last night, I worried. I stayed up as late as I dared not tapping anything on my pc. I near enough had my ear to the window but not too close as the glass is still a bit nippy.

Then I hear them. Except it wasn’t them. And it wasn’t coming from outside either. Not from the big mature Cedar tress of the acre garden. Not from the surrounding farmland beyond.

There was screeching alright except that it was coming from next door.

I live in the middle of terraced housing. Two weeks ago I acquired new neighbours. A young couple - nice, smiley fresh faced young couple, late twenties maybe? It’s taken them two weeks to move in properly and last night was their first night in their home together.

Well there was certainly howling. And I think I caught an “oooooh”. Even the Cat woke up and stared at me with big round eyes and an expression that asked "what the...?"

Needless to say, I decided that maybe the owls were having an off night. So, I turned my pc on and started tapping.

Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep either.

But this morning, the Cat woke up looking gorgeous.

Tonight the owls are back.


Wednesday 3 March 2010

Translating purrs

I have been given a lovely award by Susan Fields (it's very pretty - it's got flowers! Thank you, Susan!) but as I ponder my 7 true things about myself here's a clip of two cats talking lost in translation:

And the real thing:


Tuesday 2 March 2010

Down to earth

Picture the scene: I stagger to work unable to breathe because of my rotten cold. My nose has ballooned to ten times its normal size. My skin is pasty, my head is about to explode and I cannot stop sneezing. Much as I try NOT to be unbeautiful the weather and the virus are against me.

It is Sunday. It has not stopped raining or blowing a gale force wind rendering one’s umbrella useless, rendering one’s waterproof hood useless. There is no heating in the building and already the phones are ringing and we don’t even open for another five minutes.

I’ve had this Sunday job for over a year now. It supplements my full time income and has allowed me a certain kind of financial freedom. However since the Cat’s chemo and surgery, it’s not been enough. That’s why on the 1 Jan 2010 I took the decision to tart my stories to a few competitions in hope. I sent off four stories to four different competitions in total.

It’s been exactly 2 months and still no inkling of any results. Their websites all have the “Competition closed. Judging in process” signs on. Two months. I know there are bloggers who have blogged about the waiting time writers are kept when they submit (see womagwriter & Spellmaker) their submissions so I don’t even put myself in that league.

But still.

Anyway, I’m already feeling and looking rotten so to cheer myself up I tart the 100stories for Haiti to my co-worker Daniel.

Let me introduce you to Daniel. He is one of the most laid-back, most easy-going guys on this planet with a wicked sense of humour to match. When I croak out my hello to him, he greets me with “At least you’re making the effort to sound as bad as you look.”

When I tell him all about my dreams and goals and happiness at having one story published – finally!! – he replies with, “Oh it’s great to know you have one talent outside of work.”

Which strangely enough made me laugh so loud it dislodged whatever blockage I had from my nose.

And that in turn made him laugh.

p.s. he’s pre-ordered the book.


Monday 1 March 2010

Two months old today!

My blog that is! LOL!

And I'm celebrating because:

1) The Cat is still very much here, a little senile, wobblier, completely on soft mashed food but still here!

2) It's March and time for spring madness and mad hares. And spring shoes. And a new cat pic on my big wall cat calendar.