Monday 31 December 2012

A first time!

Bloggie friends! 

2012 was such a year for me!
With some writerly joy for my story (see side bar! LOL!)
But best of all this year for me
Was having Charlie and little Gumtree!

Charlie says: I cannot ignore those laser eyes!

Gumtree says: I like my first trip outside! 

Old Kitty says: See you all  in 2013!

Monday 24 December 2012

The Night Before!

Twas the night before Christmas
And all on the window sill
Was a Charlie all weary
With a silly billy Gumtree!

Me and the Gang wish all our bloggie pals glad tidings, holiday cheer and plenty of spirit (in our case, 40 per cent proof..)!!


Monday 17 December 2012

Chaos Before Christmas

Bloggie friends!!

With a crash and a bang and a thud, thud, thud
I tumbles and stumbles and go judd, judd, judd
I scatter all things in my path with such glee!
I am silly and ditzy and my name is Gumtree!

Charlie says: I ignore everything.

This was a rare sunny moment last Saturday morning. Notice I don't have any Christmas decorations up yet. The Gumster is in full attack mode and everything is game but I'm hoping to have some up by this weekend! 

Have a great week everyone!

Monday 10 December 2012

Party Time!

Bloggie friends!

I had a nice surprise pop up on my email last week. My story "London Meat" is out on an open forum for this competition and some kind soul and complete stranger  emailed me to say how much they really liked it. Awwww!  Makes all this writing malarky worth it! I won't win but it's just nice that someone liked my story enough to tell me.

Gumtree says: I play with Charlie's handsome pic!

Would you all believe it's only 14 days to Christmas!??! Yay!

Monday 3 December 2012

Hide and sneak!

Bloggie friends!

Gum-gum wants to know where Charlie is.

Charlie says: Shhhh!

In the meantime, I (and a load of other fab peeps!!) won the "write a novel in one month" challenge (NaNoWriMo)! LOL!

Huge congrats to all and hope others join in next year too. It's totally crazy - I basically centred my story around one of the nastiest, wickedest, sneakiest most amoral characters I could dream up and had such fun with her for a month! LOL!
Now back to my regular blogging schedule time! 
Merry Christmas one and all!!

Monday 26 November 2012

A temporary truce...

... between Charlie and  Gumtree! And yes those are bits of their fur on the carpet as this was taken after a most vigorous knockabout-play-fight-play that they both won of course! :-)

Bloggie friends!!!

This writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days is bizarre but it's taught me two things:

1) I'm literally and metaphorically writing rubbish just to get to the word count! LOL!
2) I miss blogging! I miss you all!!!

See you at the finishing line!
p.s. Gum-Gum goes for his "little operation" this Thursday so please wish him luck!

Monday 12 November 2012

Peace and a Nano confession!

Bloggie friends!!

Peace at last? 

Charlie says: Nah, I still rule!
Gumtree says: I like my fluffy toy, Charlie!

And now my confession!
I am actually doing my first NaNo (National Novel Writing Month)! Ahem. 

But I deliberately didn't join any forums etc because I want to do this by myself and see if I can. Here is my progress (apologies to the organisers if I wasn't meant to show this! ) 

As you can see - I have a long long way to go. So forgive me if I disappear for a bit in November while I try and catch up with my word count! Wish me luck! 

p.s. Skyfall was BRILLIANT! Daniel Craig can totally have me! Ahem. Off I go now to have a cold shower. :-)

Monday 5 November 2012

Bonfire of the Vani-kitties and NaNo alternative!

Bloggie friends!

Yes I know I said I'd not be posting but just wanted to say:

Happy Bonfire/Guy Fawkes Night!

And here is a groovy competition for all those finding the NaNo thing (writing a 50,000 word novel in a month) daunting - a mini-NaNo writing competition!

Write a 900 word story in the month of November - that's just 30 words a day! Entry is free and the prize is a publication on the website. Details here.

Charlie says: I command this little tyke to stay down!

I may not be commenting so much this week - but I'll try to keep up nonetheless!

Mr Bond, here I come!

Monday 29 October 2012

Shaken and stirred

Bloggie friends!

According to this survey, half of people in the UK will "hide" with a quarter "switching off their lights" to avoid trick or treaters during Halloween night. LOL! Oh dear. I'm very sorry to say that will be me come Wednesday!

Charlie says: I just try and hide from this intruder!

Awwww but please have a great Halloween all of you celebrating it.

Also if you are joining NaNoWriMo (write a novel in 30 days starting 1 Nov, details here) - I wish you all the best!

I won't be blogging come next Monday (Bonfire Night) because.......

I SHALL BE HAVING A DAY OF (James) BOND!! Yes!! I am off to drool over the lovely Daniel Craig in Skyfall! I hope to be shaken AND stirred...

See you all soon, hopefully by 12 November.

Monday 22 October 2012

Kitten heels, Kalm Kitties and Kritiques

What more can an Old Kitty ask for? 

Well maybe not the critiques - harsh though they were! My latest work-in-progress elicited these responses from critique partners:

"I feel detached from the action and the emotion of the story"

"from time to time sentences are very long and cumbersome"


Awww but look at these sleeping beauties and my lovely sandals....

p.s. Oh I cannot lie!! Charlie and Gumtree exhausted themselves from chasing and bopping and whapping each other for hours and hours! LOL!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday 15 October 2012

Getting to know you

I cannot comprehend
This furry little friend
But neither do I see
Why he is named Gumtree!

by Charlie!

Bloggie friends!

Very early days - lots of hissing and confusion on Charlie's part. Lots of play and wanting to be pals on Gumtree's part. Lots of chocolate and wine on my part! LOL!

Oh and I am very excited that the new James Bond film "Skyfall" is getting some great reviews. I cannot wait to see it! I am DROOLING!!

Have a great week!

Monday 8 October 2012

And then there were two...

Bloggie friends!

What a week I’ve had!!

It started off normally and ended with me adopting another cat! Yes!! ANOTHER. CAT.

Someone at work was about to advertise this cat she really didn’t want as “Cat for free” on that I had to step in and say, “no stop that, give him to me.”

And so she will. Tomorrow (Tuesday) and all I can say is "yikes"!

Charlie says: What the...!?!??!

And here is a sneaky peak of the little tyke – unwanted, unloved and thoroughly un-neutered.

All I can say is hopefully he’ll soon be wanted, loved and be totally safe around lady kitties! LOL!

Have a great week – forgive me if I’m scarce around blogworld from now.

I’ll be otherwise preoccupied with feline diplomacy between senior Charlie and baby “Gumtree”. Wish me luck!

p.s. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my Canadian bloggie pals!

Monday 1 October 2012

Home truths

Bloggie friends!

This past week, I learnt two things about myself:

1) I am really quite gullible.

Someone at work organised a night out to go bowling and sent around an email saying, “Bring socks, we’re going bowling”. And what do I do? Of course I pack my bestest pair of socks only to discover no-one else has and worse, everyone one else going knew the “bring socks” bit was a joke!

2) I’m really really quite rubbish at bowling.

When someone on your team yells “try aiming for the next lane” – you know you’re in trouble! LOL!

Charlie says: I, on the other hand, am purrfect.

(pic taken 29/09/2012 - it was sunny and warm-ish!)

A huge shout out to beautiful talented bloggie pals, Theresa Milstein and Len Lambert – their short stories are published in this anthology and you may read their stories, free for a VERY limited time only, here. Yay!!

Happy October!!!!!

Monday 24 September 2012

Last of the summer ice cream

Bloggie friends!

Summer is truly over!

On Saturday, the sun shone, the birds sang, Charlie rolled around on the dirt and grass and I was still wearing my open-toe sandals, singing "Oh what a beautiful morning" while devouring a tub of chocolate flavoured frozen yoghurt.

On Sunday, not only did I return home from work drenched from the stormy rains but I was chilled from the cold and groping in the dark for my house keys as it was night time by 6.30 pm. Oh and Charlie hadn't moved from his sleeping position on my bed from the morning.

Roll on Christmas!

Charlie says:  Dirt and grass are good for my furrs.

(pic taken 22/09/12).

Have a warm and comfy week everyone!

p.s. great news about Squashies - she got two blood donors and is hanging on in there! Yay!

Monday 17 September 2012

Squashies and Sophia!

Bloggie friends!

This is an emergency call for anyone in and around Baltimore with a cat blood typed B. Sweet Squashies of TK -Furrever Home needs a blood transfusion, details here. Please please help!

Charlie says: If I could I would!


Lovely Sophia - who sings beautifully, writes thoughtful poetry and most profound essays on faith has released a book, called the Mormon Diaries:

Brought up in a religious home, Sophia believes the only way to have a forever family is by following church leaders and obediently choosing the right. She goes to the right school, marries the right man in the right place, and does the right thing by staying home to raise her children. But when she starts asking questions about grace, love, and the nature of God, she realizes her spiritual struggles could rip her family apart.

You may purchase/read a sample chapter here and here. Good luck Sophia!

Have a peaceful weekend all!

Monday 10 September 2012

Don't fence me in!

Charlie says:

The whole row of houses is my home
The surrounding gardens and fields are where I roam
I give my human many heart attacks
As I disappear and pretend to never come back(s)!

I am

a free


pics taken 8/09/12 at 5.45pm after he went missing for 24 hours! So please forgive me if I have a long lie down now!
Old-er and grey-er haired Kitty!
p.s. just a quick note of a fab competition: lovely Liza of Middle Passages just announced her friend Suzanne Palmieri is holding a flash fiction competition to celebrate the publication of her book The Diary of a Lost Witch. Closing date is 15/09/12 so enter! Enter!! All the details are here. Good luck!

Monday 3 September 2012

A Foursome! Oo-er!

First, I am loving the Paralympics – so much drama!!! The biggest one so far is South African Pistorious missing out on the 200m Gold as Brazilian Oliveira pips him to the finishing line and now there are complaints! Wow!

Second, my little camera disk is full and as I’ve not got a new one, here is a substitute pic of Charlie done just now! LOL!

Thank you to lovely ManxMnews for introducing me to this wonderful fun thing to do!

Third, the first episode in the new series of Dr Who absolutely ROCKED!!!

Fourth, I think I’ve got something to submit to the flash fic contest I blogged about here (and many others fab bloggers blogged about too!) – but I think it still reads like pants so am gonna spend this week tweaking! I hope you are all writing your stories too! Yay!

So see you all soon! Happy September!

Monday 27 August 2012

Perusing for a bruising

Bloggie friends!!

Whilst perusing job vacancies, I came across this ad that specified:

“The normal working hours are from 9am to 5.24pm, Monday to Friday”

5.24pm? A misprint, surely!??!

Charlie says: Don’t call me Shirley!

Pic taken 25/08/12.

p.s. I am on semi-holiday so am most sporadic with my blogging at the moment! So do forgive if I don’t visit often!

p.p.s.Have a great week everyone!

The Paralympics start in two days' time!! Yay!

Monday 20 August 2012

Love and Hate

Hate is such a strong potent negative word isn't it? So here is a competition to channel all that rage! LOL!

"All you need to do is tell... in exactly 140 characters (including spaces and punctuation) why you hate TWITTER. Entries in the body of an email... to" From Words With Jam magazine (Aug.2012 edition)

Closing date 5th of September. Erm.. you win mugs! LOL!

Now love is a beautiful thing! Unconditional love even more precious and of course y'all seen the pic of John Unger cradling his 19 year old dog Schoep in Lake Superior. Schoep suffers from painful arthritis and the water's warmth helps.

Every time I stare at this shot, my emotions bubble over and I am overwhelmed with memories of my angels at the Bridge and the trauma and profound love we went through in our last months together.

Charlie says: I sleep in this heat.

Pic taken yesterday evening.

Have a great week! I shall be off line for most of this week but I shall catch up with all of you asap!

Monday 13 August 2012

Gadget Girl!

Bloggie friends!

Wasn't that a great Olympian fortnight! Roll on the Paralympics! Yay!

Now last weekend, I tested some gadgets!

1) iPad - I give this 3/5 stars! It was easy to use with super duper wireless connectivity but overall it was a heavy enjoyable very expensive TOY! Can't even write a story on it! LOL! This was borrowed from work so back it goes.

2) Nespresso coffee maker - I give this 10 gazillion stars out of 5! I LOVE MY NESPRESSO coffee maker! It makes gorgeous coffee and froths milk! And the best bit - I got it for free!! A work colleague had it for 6 months and decided she didn't want it anymore. So I got it!

Charlie says: I upgrade your pc by adding some ears.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday 6 August 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Writing Competition!

Bloggie friends!

Charlie sniffs the medal!

Charlie grabs the medal!

Charlie wears the medal!

Before Old Kitty eats the (chocolate) medal... ahem.

We here at Ten Lives have gone Olympics crazy!!! We are loving every minute of it and watching every event we are able to watch – screaming at the telly and cheering! What a joy to experience!

Now for all you budding writers!!

Here's a flash story fiction contest from a new publication! It’s free to enter, you write your story in 250 words or less and you base it on the pic published on the submission page (here). Good luck!

See you all next week!!

Monday 30 July 2012

Simply The Best!

Bloggie friends!

Are y’all enjoying the Olympics – both human and feline/canine (see side bar!) of course? Me and Charlie definitely are!

I have two favourite Olympian sporting people and moments so far:

First is Niger rower Hammadou Djibo Issaka who as a wild card entry came in last in his heat in the sculls competition but he tried, really tried to cross that finishing line.

Then there’s Nur Suryani Mohamad Taibi of Malaysia, eight months pregnant, who came 34th out of 56 competitors in the women’s air rifle shooting final asking her as yet unborn daughter “to be quiet, mummy’s shooting” while she competed.

I kind of feel I’m this sort of people. I do try and give things my best. I may not win accolades or fame and fortune but I’d like to say that hey, I tried, really tried my best.

Charlie says: I try to sleep on messy bed.

Pic taken last night! Charlie is doing ok – more vet’s visits to come I’m afraid but for now, he’s doing ok.

p.s. Lovely Madeleine of Scribble and Edit is having a book launch for her debut romance novel Ultimate Sacrifice on 1 August! Go Madeleine (a short extract of her book may be found here)!!!

p.p.s. Amazing Ellen Whyte of Katz and Other Tales now has her Katz Tales series of books available at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble too! Extracts of her fab series may be found here.!!

Have a great week! I’ll be offline on 1 and 2 August, but will catch up with everyone asap!

Monday 23 July 2012


A list of changes over the weekend:

After the wettest May, June and July, the UK finally has a few days of a heatwave!

My lovely next door neighbours - who loved loved loved Charlie - have upped and moved out. We are so sorry to see them go and are very nervous as to whom we'll get living next door!

Charlie no longer has any teeth!

Charlie says: I check my carrier for any stray molars!

Pic taken after his surgery last Friday evening.

He was very disorientated and a little worse for wear! But he perked up over the weekend and I cleaned him up and now he is getting used to his mushy food. We'll be seeing the vet's today (Monday) and I hope it's going to be a good prognosis!

Thank you all so much for your purrs and healing hugs for Charlie! Let's hope this virus is put to rest for now.

Enjoy the Olympics!

Monday 16 July 2012

Number Crunching

Bloggie friends!

I’d like to think that maybe the reason why I’m a teensy weensy little tiny itty bitty kitty committee ok with using words to create silly stories and bad poetry is because I’m completely pants at maths!

Last week, I didn’t turn 44, I turned 43! My mum was most relieved. LOL!

Oh but there’s no denying that on the 20th July, poor Charlie will have all his teeth removed. :-( And hopefully beat this calici virus.

Thanks to beautiful Kim of Fuzzy tales and amazing Ann of Zoolatry and to all of CB for the above badge and purrs.

I’ll be offline today (Monday) but hopefully will catch up with all of you asap but given Charlie’s surgery too, please forgive me if I’m a little sporadic in my commenting as well.

p.s. Lovely Helena of Becoming Layla! I can’t get into your blog – hope you are ok!

Peace and love!

Monday 9 July 2012

Torch song

An Ode to the Torch of Olympus by Old Kitty

Last Saturday, the Olympic Torch did come
Through my home town with some aplomb!
Was I ready to cheer in the rain with the crowds?
NO I was not, as by heck I had my head stuck in the clouds!


Yes bloggie friends! By the time I raced through the streets to get a glimpse of the torch being carried through on its way to London, it was all over! LOL!

But here is a nice gallery of the torch passing through my little corner of Hertfordshire.

Charlie says: I have nice view of plant from here.

And so to make up for my lack of Olympian spirit, here is the view of the Olympic Stadium taken from the train window yesterday. It was raining Olympiad rain!

Have a fabulous week everyone!! I turn 44 on the 11 July!! Hooorah!

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Better late than never...

Bloggie friends!

Now as my hayfever kicks in big time, I’m spending my waking moments less in front of the PC and more doing this:

Charlie says: At least I do not snore.

Have a great pollen free week everyone!

Happy Canada Day, Happy 4th of July, Happy July!

p.s. Charlie turns 10 years old this week too!

Monday 25 June 2012

Fruits of my labour

Bloggie friends!

Here is my first crop of strawberries fresh from my potted strawberry plant! Yay!

Er... I didn't mean to advertise the brand of honey! Whoops! LOL!

Charlie says: I help you write your story with my back foot.

Pic taken 23rd June! He is so himself again - playing, jumping, eating, playing, jumping!

Unfortunately Charlie's tested positive for the calici virus. Will see the vets soon to discuss his palliative care. In the meantime, I write, write like the wind!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday 18 June 2012

Slowly and steadily

Bloggie friends!

Heeeere’s Charlie!!

Pic taken yesterday (17 June), six days after his dental surgery, minus three teeth!

Apparently he was “very grumpy” at the vet’s! Yay!

Thank you all so much for sending purrs and healing hugs!

You – especially lovely Kim of Fuzzy Tales and gorgeous Theresa Milstein – ROCK!

We’re not quite out of the woods yet.

The vets are testing Charlie for the “calici-virus” (a type of cat-flu) even as he is up to date with all his vaccinations and boosters. These only suppress certain viral strains of cat flu, not all. I won’t know the result for another 18 days.

So to keep my mind positive, I have been writing like crazy and have re-written 10,897 words of my current manuscript - one I started in 2006! Yikes!

I swear, in a previous life I was a giant tortoise. Or a sloth! But these fabulous creatures always got to wherever they needed to go to in the end, didn’t they? :-) Slowly and steadily. Like Charlie's recuperation!

Have a great week, everyone!

p.s. Happy Father's Day to all dads!

Monday 11 June 2012

Molars and Morality

Bloggie friends!

I’m slightly on edge this week as Charlie goes in for some major dental surgery tomorrow (Tuesday)! I’m sure he’ll be fine (minus a couple of teeth) but I doubt I will be until I have him home!

Charlie says: I sleep now.

Pic taken yesterday, 10 June.

Have a peaceful week everyone!

p.s. I’m also saddened by the death of Barry Unsworth. I will never forget how I found myself sobbing in a packed train on my way to work while reading his Sacred Heart. It’s still the most heartbreaking, most moving, most profound of historical novels I’ve ever read. It's a book that questions the morality of profit especially when profit is to be had through the exploitation of human beings.

So, RIP, Mr Unsworth and thank you for your gorgeous prose.

Monday 4 June 2012

A Jubilicious anthology for a good cause!

Bloggie friends!

On a wet and wild Jubilee weekend...

Charlie asks what else is there to do?

Except perhaps cuddle up to a bold and brave anthology like this!

Where I have a little story of unrequited love in it inspired by Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance!

All proceeds to this book will go to One in Four – a registered charity which provides support and resources to people who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence.

It’s only 99p = available here!

For the US, please go here, where it's only $ 1.55!

And the best is that not only are proceeds going to a great charity, Caroline Smailes (details here) who started this project got Nik Kershaw to write the intro to this anthology!

Nik Kershaw!!! Ahem!

May your week be full of music and stories!

Monday 28 May 2012

A ditty from Old Kitty!

Bloggie friends!

As we wave goodbye to May

And say hello to June

We wish you all a happy week

And see you all very soon!


Charlie says: I ignore the ant mess.

p.s. Ok! Blogger just allowed my happy smiley face when normally it doesn't! Darn it all, is New Blogger trying to make me like it?!?! LOL!

Monday 21 May 2012

Dare to dream

Bloggie friends!

Rumour has it that most of the UK will have sunny warm weather this week!

Dare I paint my toenails, pack my winter boots away and bring out my summer sandals?!?!

Yes I dare!

Charlie says: I deaded the mouse.

In the meantime, my characters are demanding I put some Latin phrases in their proper context in my current story. Sigh!

p.s. anyone notice how Blogger these days puts up posts in silly font!??! Double sigh.

Have a lovely week everyone!

Monday 14 May 2012

A Spring First

Bloggie friends!

Last Saturday, I did my first Spring like activity of the season!

I planted my hanging basket!


I’m hoping it will fill out eventually! LOL!

Charlie says: I look for my neighbourly friends.

Remember my haiku of last week? Well it’s here but on re-reading it, I must warn that it’s rather depressing and dark and not very good! Oh dear! Sorry!

Have a great week!

Monday 7 May 2012

Potty pots poetry!

Bloggie friends!

Me and Charlie hung out with our potty pots over the weekend while I recuperated from a nasty viral type illness!

And no, those are NOT crocs! I may have been ill but there’s no excuse for not being stylish! LOL!

I managed to compose a haiku that I hope I’ll be able to share with you all once it’s made public but that was the best writerly thing I could do all week!

Hope you all had a fab weekend! Did ya see the big super moon?!?! WOWZA

p.s. crocs are lovely, really! Ahem!

Monday 30 April 2012

Love Thy Neighbour

Bloggie friends!

Now I’m used to rejection from publishers and writerly competitions but nothing quite cut to the bone as the rejection I experienced last Saturday.

Walking into town I spotted one of my elderly neighbours coming the other way. She saw me too – she stopped, looked straight at me but before I could wave to her she crossed the road – risking traffic.

Once she got to the other side, she walked head down very fast and away from me.

I’m a little torn as to what I’ve done to cause such a reaction. We normally say hello to each other in passing! So her behaviour was very odd!

I look to Charlie but he’s as lost as I am as to the whys.

Oh dear!

Charlie says: I look up at the gathering rain clouds.

Oh well! Roll on May!

Friday 27 April 2012

My email's been hacked - sorry!

Bloggie friends!

My aol email account has been hacked so please ignore anything with the subject heading "Hot Properties!! Cheap Price!!" or any other such NONSENSE purporting to be from Old Kitty/domingojenn.

I never sent any of these stupid emails and I am hacked off that these idiot hackers have invaded my and your privacy. And they have the GALL to sign me off as "Jenny".

NO ONE calls me Jenny! Grrr! LOL!

I am not a happy Old Kitty! :-(

Charlie says: I is a sad kitty too!

Off we go to weep now!