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Deuce it out

Deuce it out
‘She’s always like this when Wimbledon ends.’

Phew, wasn’t that exhausting, thrilling, nail biting and oh so….polite.

I am rather partial to a spot of tennis, so the Wimbledon fortnight is a couple of weeks where I know I will be entertained and manage a stitch project or two. This year it was welcoming to see and hear the crowds getting behind the players, the commentators banter bouncing as artistically as the balls across the court. Thanks to the multitude of BBC options I had plenty to choose from. Merrily from late morn til late evening I could get behind the under dog, admire the resilience of the known and marvel at the prowess of the new blood breaking through.

After the happenings of Sunday night, I also delighted in the behaviour of the crowd. No slurs, no drunken stupidity, no offensive language, no brawling, no scrapping, no abuse. What is it about the mob mentality of football fans that turns the sensible into unabashed vile thugs …. but that’s a while other subject.

While watching the tennis, I was able to complete a round cat blanket and even tackled a new stitch style for the edging.

When Wimbledon concludes I am often left feeling flat. Not as flat as when BFF flies home but adrift, so a mini project commission was tackled Monday. I had been flicking through some photos, looking for something specific, when one of my carers asked “What was that?” Cat Butt Coasters I replied. I had made some for a friend in the USA.

She was so amused that I said I would make some for her. Diving into my stash I searched for a suitable shade of butt to centre the grey and black cat coloured yarn,

The other distraction …. #NotMyCat, who enters for breakfast, leaves for a constitutional, then returns to commandeer my lap to snooze upon, my hands to fuss him and brush him until my next carer arrives.

Round these parts we’ve entered sticky season, when the heat and humidity rises, helped by menopausal hot flashes, equals sticky body parts. Not something many have to deal with but when trying to slide ones naked butt to and fro, it does matter. Even cotton sheets latch to clammy skin and nights are spent throwing off and retrieving the light weight duvet.

It wasn’t always this way….was it…..Or am I getting properly into ‘old’ (don’t answer that).

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2021 in General, Life, Projects

 

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The cat who didn’t get the cream

Somebody’s Sunday morning has not gone according to plan.

When my carer arrived this morning she opened the kitchen door and peering through the back window were two expectant faces, #NotMyCat Mickey and his brother #NotMyCat2 Ginger.

To avoid them getting underfoot or indeed worse getting into my sandwich she didn’t open the window straightaway. Once I was safely in the lounge with my coffee and sandwich she then returned to the kitchen to find no faces at the window but as she opened it Ginger sprang to the bin and announced his arrival in his sweet way. Presumably the other one would not be too far behind.

Two pouches were put on the individual trays and left in the usual spot ready for the hungry horde. Ginger eagerly tucked into his, clearing up every single morsel of gravy, he then took advantage!

You see dear reader, So often Mickey will hang around, patiently waiting for the window to be opened, and then sit beside the cupboard where the pouches are kept, and be first in line for breakfast. The more cautious Ginger will wait before tentatively sneaking in by which time the tray is bare.

But not this morning. As my carer was preparing to leave she sneaked a peek in the kitchen and Ginger was gleefully helping himself to the second tray and there was no sight of Mickey.

About 15 minutes later a black and white disgruntled moggy wanders into my lounge and gives me a glare as if it is my fault that breakfast has been devoured by another. I tried to placates him with the remains of the dreamies packet, I proffered a nibble of my sandwich contents, I even offered my coffee mug for him to sniff. But no, so now he’s sulking, he is on the arm of the sofa, with his back legs against my hip, and the occasional claw from a front paw on my bum. I will likely have to suffer this punishment until about 2 pm.

EDIT :: when my carer returned at 2pm, Mickey was staging a sit-on protest (he’d moved to the cushion on my lap), he followed her through to the kitchen to be served a pouch …. sadly today really isn’t his day, as she squeezed it into the tray Ginger wandered through from my bedroom and ‘nibbled’ some too.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2021 in General, Pets

 

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Sunny holibobs

Back to normalcy with a winding thrump, after a smidge over two weeks with my BFF, where we enjoy snacks, cats, stitching and bitching (as in kvetch at the idiocy of some and how their get their knotted thong wedged up their butts being mean to others), foods we normally do not have like sausage, egg and chips! We wandered out and about, even got to the seafront esplanade and had an ice cream, with a flake too!!

We both went out for pedicures and I got my hair harvested (not saying it needed it but the vacuum had to be emptied midway as the bucket was full). Jobs and errands got taken care of. And I was spoilt rotten with attention. I love my BFF time, such fun, we even kareoke-d into the wee hours remembering lyrics to songs we hadn’t heard in decades. There were a couple of times we both laughed so hard, and kept setting each other off again, until we almost ‘oops-ed’ ourselves.

Of course Mickey (#NotMyCat) and Ginge (#NotMyCat2) were in hog heaven, practically getting food on demand, well Moocher does have a penetrating stare. Ginge is still a little timid but did settle on the sofa between us on the day of rain. With windows and doors left ajar from early morning until bed time they had free range to come and go at their whim, which they did. BFF bought a brush and Mickey really seemed to enjoy stretching out on the floor and being brushed, the implement soon choked with his white fur. As for the scratch mat, it’s a work in progress.

Avoiding the football we indulged in some serious binge viewing as well as a few films and documentaries

Live & Let Die
Moonraker
The Spy Who Loved Me
Pilgrimage (bbc iPlayer)
Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Life series
Blue Planet series
Penguin Town (Netflix)
The Wizard of Oz
Moulin Rouge
Singing In The Rain
Believe Me : Abduction of Lisa McVey
Steel Magnolias
Titanic
Kedi (Cats of Istanbul)
One Chance (Paul Pott story)
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Thelma & Louise
Mona Lisa Smile
Rat Race
Frankie & Grace (Netflix series)
The Pharmacist (Netflix documentary)
FireFly Lane (Netflix series)

All too soon as always she’s packing the suitcase, putting the duvet back on the bed and we’re waiting for the taxi to whisk her away……we restart the clock for when she can return to play again.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2021 in General, Life, people

 

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June Arrives Like A March Hare

Blimey and it’s barely gone noon and the day has whirled like a dervish already!

So let’s see, so far today there were two emails from friends asking if I was available and up for a catch up this afternoon, one postponed, the other coming 2:30; there’s been a phone call from Mr Pane In The Glass about the window mechanism, they promptly appeared, wrangled banged and replaced it; BFF messaged with musing as she’ll be here on Friday; and I’m half way through a commission piece (bobble hat for a gear stick)!

I’m already exhausted!!

You may remember I decided May would be crochet month, how did I do? Welll…….. red&black blanket finished, two other blankets finished and fourth started, two mouseseses done and four fishies. All in all I did rather well, might give myself a ⭐️

BFF is arriving Friday afternoon for two weeks of natter, films, food and two cats (Ginger will undoubtedly follow his brother Mickey D’Mooch in for breakfast). We are booked in for pedicures (they might need an angle grinder for my little toe nail) and we are hoping to get out-out up the seafront for some racing sea air and sunshine.

Right then, bobble Pom Pom making to be done…… toddle peeps

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2021 in Life, Projects

 

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Just Ignore Him – Alan Davies

It was with a degree of trepidation that I began this read, a curious reason to choose to read the book at all you may think. You see, I had read many glowing reviews and critics praise, so often I find them so over hyped and the opposite to my own conclusions, and also because I enjoy Alan’s skills and abilities as a comedian, panellist and actor across many years and I was intrigued and eager to hear about his history.

Thanks to his “As Yet Untitled” series on Dave and of course QI I had gleaned a few snippets of info, I know Australia featured strongly, that his Mum had died when he was very young, that he had a turbulent relationship with school and so forth, but not the core happenings, the fundamentals that form our foundations. His journey that took him from a child to adulthood, from innocent exploration to working family man.

This memoir is not a chronological diary of life, picking out those highlights or significant events that either helped or hindered his progress through life, interspersed with whimsical anecdotes. This is an honest, touching account from a survivor of life as a sexually abused child. It is phenomenally well written, at no time is Alan portrayed as the hapless, silent victim, but the confused child, struggling to comprehend weighty issues, in an environment of isolation, by which I mean alone within his own family as well as in a crowd.

Reading and understanding how his fathers behaviour towards him across many years affected his every moment through out life was incredibly enlightening. The conflicting emotions and signals, the ‘special secret’ versus being ignored or intentionally reprimanded. The feeling of displacement and disconnection around him. At the core there is this influential figure, a father, the person you have an instinctive affection towards, who is supposed to protect you and teach you about life. Realising the perversions of this authoritative presence and the extent of them and how they still prevailed in his dotage.

It has left scars, fractured the family somewhat, still rearing its ugliness on Alan to this day. Taking the brave step of reporting his father’s behaviour to the authorities must have been such an incredibly hard thing to balance in your own mind, the tugging to and fro with the pros and cons. He has my continued admiration.

It was powerful to read about his misbehaviour, the antics that some may say was attention seeking, maybe it was, maybe not having the nurturing, caring, maternal aspect at home he was seeking it from somewhere else, in some misguided fashion to fit in a place comfortably. All children have phases of tantrums and boundary pushing, it’s a process of learning and growing, but it can also be a red flag to something not being ‘right’ there is more to this behaviour than growing pains. As adults we are incredibly blind to spotting the subtle signals of difference.

I hope Alan has found calmness within himself as his adult life has progressed, getting the support and understanding from his wife, a fresh fun zest in life as his own children grow. That he knows he has value to other people.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2021 in Books, In The News, people, Review

 

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I’m na’ casting me clout

Ne’er cast ya clout til May is out. Ha! With the great British weather as it is, I’m na’ casting out my clout regardless of the month. Soo in April there was a frost somewhere every dang night, chilly you say, well it would seem so. Friday morning as carer arrived, in the time it took her to get from car to my door there was rain-heavy rain- hail, chunks of stinging balls of ice! Mother Nature is off her meds again, or her grandkids flipped her calendar back to February.

So … how are things? Been anywhere? Looking forward to being out and about with the great unwashed? I know what you mean, it’s too peopley out there *shudder*

I scrolled back to my list, can you believe it was as far back as 20th March! Time has done it’s thing, still feeling a bit groundhog but the days are lighter for longer. Anyway, as they say, previously

  • Add crochet border to red cat blanket – started yesterday but run out of that colour.
  • Start the Alan Davies book – I’m about half way through
  • Check domain registry dates – did that, all good until next year
  • Go through iTunes genre – classified the blank, tweaked others
  • File images accumulated – mostly, sort of done ish

So my to do list is lacking the mastermind effort (I’ve started so I’ll finish). In my defence April got taken over with writing a poem everyday and reading all the other excellent, poignant, hilarious, rude, epic verses.

May, I have decided will be crochet month, each day I will do some, hopefully getting a blanket to grow across a week, maybe a toy or two across the weekend. Ohh, I wrote a poem about that…..

I'm a little hooker
Not short nor stout
Sometimes I swear
Often I pout

You mucky minded readers
Keep your trap shut
It's not what you're thinking
None of your smut

Yarn over, pull through
Yarn over, pull through two,
Front post, half double,
Twiddle deftly is what I do

Blankets for the pussy cats
Toys of fish and mice
A gift to Cats Protection
Because I'm really nice
 
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Posted by on May 2, 2021 in Life, Projects

 

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#NaPoMo concluded

I must admit there were times went I felt myself going mildly cuckoo as I wrangled to make things rhyme or when rhyming couplets spewed forth like a native second language. Still, I have completed the challenge, a poem per day.

Last time I bored you with a few of my attempts. Well buckle in dear reader, here we go…again!

Our lovely group leader posted a picture of a fun fare, think charactered postcard, as a prompt to rhyme.

Yesterday at the funfair, There was so much to do
Throwing for coconuts, Hooking a duck or two
Crash banging on the dodgems, Screaming at the ghost
Stopped atop the Ferris wheel, Sure scared me the most
Eating hot dogs and candy floss, Galloping around the carousel
Sliding down the helter skelter, I started to feel unwell
With all that motion and excitement, The injested sugar and grease
My inside started to heave, It had to be released
Sorry Mr Tristrum I tried my very best
Apologies for spewing all down your bright striped vest.

Another bright thought in the wee hours, triggered by a podcast I was falling asleep to

I love an oxymoron they often make me laugh
Like being 'slightly pregnant', or choosing the 'larger half'

Being 'weirdly normal', when you're 'clearly misunderstood'
My 'unbiased opinion' tell me these are 'terribly good'

I feel your 'deafening silence', hear your 'dull roar'
From 'growing small' with 'intense apathy', wait I have more

How 'awfully good' was that 'crash landing'
What about a 'civil war' or being 'found missing'

It really is the 'living end' how 'seriously funny' these get
'Good grief', it is 'properly ridiculous' and yet

They're 'openly deceptive' and leave 'only choice'
Our language is ridiculous But it's our only voice

I found the challenge of haiku and fib syllable patterns quite enjoyable.

One
Nine
Thirty
Twenty six
Forty four, sixteen
Bugger, no Jackpot win, again

As for the last day, well…….

When April returns in 2022
Wanting another each day
You can if you want to
I'll be running the other way!

I’ve kept all my creations in a document, after a month or four I’ll re-read them and groan, maybe blush a little that I put them in public view.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2021 in General, Uncategorized

 

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Rhyme Time (#NaPoMo)

April is National Poetry Month, across the cyber world people attempt to grapple and wrangle with their language to conjure something of power, of poignancy, or amusement. Poetry is one of those forms that has many variations, from the syllable structure of hiaku, tanka and fib, the free form structure (isn’t that a contradiction terms, an oxymoron), limerick, sonnet, the list goes on.

Many moons ago in the blogging days of the defunct bcuk.com a group of us would game play with words, write short stories, poems, enjoy the weekly Friday fives, Wednesday wordle and alike. A few of us are in a private Facebook group and have been enticed (read cajoled) into taking part in the write a poem everyday.

Now I am no bard, I struggle enough just writing a blog. My levels of imagination swing between non-existent to fleeting sparks. Yet somehow I seem to have ended up joining in and I might admit begrudgingly that one or two of my attempts ain’t too too bad. I shall now proceed to bore you all with a few, please feel free to vacate now if you wish.

Let’s start with a light limerick

There once was a man from Nantucket 
Who was troubled by the hole in his bucket
Eliza suggested
Henry then tested
Until they conceded to chuck it

A haiku follows a syllable pattern of 5-7-5.

Procrastination 
Is my new occupation
Until tomorrow

A fib poem follows the syllable pattern 1-1-2-3-5-8, and I was attempting one when the death of HRH The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh was announced

Gone
Dead
Grieving
Such a brain
Such a character
None like him will be seen again

The acrostic style is where the first letter of each line spells something out

Nonchalant 
Openly inquisitive
Through my window creeps
Mannered and quiet
Yet expecting
Chair, blanket or lap
And caresses on head and chin
This cat of not mine

There there is the more traditional comfortable style

Fight The Rhyme, is the new rallying call
We'll storm the libraries, we'll march to Whitehall.
April has been high jacked, It's becoming quite the strain
More addictive than hippie crack, the effort quite the drain.
It's sneaky and enticing, You're teased with a simple ploy
Just a few to start with, to release those endorphins of joy.
A little harmless game, it's fun, a poem a day
Before you know it you're caught, and with headaches you pay.
I am here to make a stand, to stop this engulfing all of us
If you need help, reach out, to Poets Anonymous.

Websites like thesaurus.com, rhymezone.com and syllablecounter.net have seen their hit rate sky rocket into the stratosphere.

Right then, off to wrestle with tomorrow’s attempt.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2021 in General

 

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Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

There was a hilarious tweet recently that started me on a trip along that leafy memory lane. Someone posted “Our neighbour just put their house up for sale, couldn’t resist a snoop on Zoopla ………. that’s our bloody cat!” There quite unashamedly stretched across the purple bedspread was a very contented fluffy ginger cat. The comments had for more amusement as people across the globe were sharing ‘tails’ of having visitors. So if you’re in need of calm amusement, pop over to Twitter and search #NotMyCat.

Here’s my story.

Back in 2017 I kept my green recycling wheelie bin at the back door so I could easily lift the lid and deposit my green credentials. When Big Sis and I were cleaning house ready for BFF’s visit, Big Sis grabbed the recycling with all intent but as she entered the kitchen said “Can’t put the recycling out, there’s a cat on the bin”.

Now ‘cat’ was no stranger, he was often seen prowling around the gardens, giving cars meticulous inspections and had played with a leaf atop my sisters estate car. He had decided this was his manor and he was security. Postie became a friend to go to for a quick head scratch, bin men were glared at from a distance, window cleaner and gardeners were avoided, a suitable snooze spot in the sun found. He often featured in estate agent exterior photos.

If my front door was wide open he would cautiously approach but not venture over the threshold. His neck would stretch further and further with curiosity but his back paws remained firmly on the door step. Until one day during BFF’s visit the ultimate, irresistible inducement to be courageous was offered – sandwich ham. My fate was sealed.

After BFF had left for home, Big Sis and I were sitting in my lounge when a faint sound could be heard, just slightly, we looked at each other and chuckled. She got up and opened the front door and in sauntered Mickey, on patrol but fussing.

On BFF’s next visit (can you sense a theme here) the bedroom window was opened for air and in the wee hours a voice remarked “Oh it’s you” as a lump walked up BFF and snuggled down for a snooze. A visit to the High Street pet shop resulted in a couple of cat toys and some nip. Somehow while grocery shopping some Dreamies or Felix treat bags sort of accidentally fell in, followed by a box of pouches (well he is a large lad). He confidently strides through an open door or window, has head scritches, chin tickles, back strokes, decides whether he is going to sleep on the wooden chair, desk chair, armchair, sofa or me. Gives me the “Do you mind!” expression if I move a muscle, lightly perpetrates my thigh with his generous acupuncture treatments.

With CoVid delaying BFF’s first visit last year she was concerned that Mooch might have forgotten her (ha! As if). She arrived mid afternoon, front window was opened slightly for air and suddenly this white blob attempted to jump in the narrow gap because he had heard her voice. You could see the joy in his face at having her back again. I’ve told him, June, just 66 days, she’ll be back.

Fur forward four years and “Mickey” (because his black ears reminded me of Mickey Mouse, should have called him Oliver) still sits on the bin, sunning himself, supervising any kitchen goings on, also gently rests front paw on the door handle as a subtle hint.

A carer had a sporty car with a straight exhaust and he’d inspect the car every time, warm his paws on the bonnet, or glare at her when she came in and disturbed his snooze. He is currently working his charm on my other carers. Just last week while I was parked on the porcelain throne Carer was in the kitchen preparing my dinner when she declared “I can’t stand it”. She strode to my lounge and returned to the kitchen and I heard “Here, stop starring at me”, treats were popped on the bin to appease her guilt.

This very morning as I was wriggling into position on my bed, Carer opened the kitchen door and declared “Ohhhh, hello beautiful, do you want in?”….. I think I need to check my care plan, I don’t think it says ‘Look after cat first’.

But, well, he is handsome and charming and……..

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2021 in General, Pets

 

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CoVidVersary

How are we? Things pootling along okay? I am sort of slightly unanchored, with the days getting longer I cannot feel what time of day it is, I have no idea what day of the week it is and I am not altogether sure which month it is, especially in relation to things/events I need to remember. It’s all gone a bit groundhog. Even my three day week method has collapsed as I think it’s today when it’s actually tomorrow.

We are approaching the anniversary of the first lockdown here in the U.K. Oddly for me it wasn’t that much of a change, I can’t leave the house and there’s nowhere I want/need to go to anyway. Once I grasped the book-early book-often with the groceries, that sorted that.

Where it all impacted me was people visiting me. A work colleague (hello Joss) would visit and we’d chatter, laugh, rant, ponder and generally muse over the oddities of life and I have really missed those hours of escape. BFF had to reorganise her visits, although we were able to get together but were isolating except for food. Neph would bring my bread, ably assisted by mini-me and we’d have a brief catch-up. Then there was my bi-monthly pedicure, I really miss that. A hour of scrubbing, pampering and natter which resulted in tidy toes, shiny nails and a general happy inner well being. Plus Neph’s better half would come to harvest my hair and we could catch up on happenings at the same time.

Generally it feels like we have forgotten the seriousness and ominousness of how things were back early last year. It’s amazing the power of the unknown has, where as now, it feels like the atmosphere is a mix of weariness at the restrictions and lack of faith/trust in the information.

As we begin the steady slow progress of coming out of lockdown, I do wonder how the general populous will behave. Will it be the manic, crazy, rush akin to the Harrods January sales of old or will it be the tentative, cautious, creeping animal rehomed after rescue.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2021 in General, In The News, Life

 

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