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I've been having a quiet evening listening to some of my favourite music and reading a very pleasant book, when my attention was taken by Morgan, (Morgan III, that is) lying on my bed.

I was in that state of delight brought about by achingly beautiful music that makes one feel as though one's heart might burst, when I noticed Morgan prosaically washing himself, without the slightest indication from his ears, which normally twitch at every sound, that anything was happening at all.  If he was aware of the music, he gave no indication that he could even hear it, much less whether he approved of it or not.

Bramble was asleep in the chair and he too gave no indication that he could hear anything, let alone take delight in it.

So I started to wonder about cats and music.  I know that dogs are often affected by music; I used to know a border collie who would howl uncontrollably whenever she heard the theme tune to The Archers, just that particular tune and nothing else that anyone ever discovered.  I've also heard about farmers who play music to their cows when they're being milked to prevent restlessness and to give a higher/better milk yield, and I've even heard of music being played to those poor battery hens so that they don't pluck out their feathers and indulge in other unwanted behaviour.

My own cat Morgan II used to howl remorselessly whenever I sang or played the fiddle, but ignored music on TV or the record player.  I have noticed that if I start singing Morgan leaves the room, and I don't think my voice is that bad, even now...........  I was, after all, trained to sing and I still sing in tune, even if I don't have enough breath to sustain a note.

All three cats normally appear to ignore sounds from the TV, radio or CD player, except for the occasional lion growl, or crying baby, which make Phoebe's fur bristle.  And Morgan once spent an insane three minutes or so trying to get at the mouse on the TV, running round the back, and crawling onto the shelf underneath. 

So I've really started wondering how the cats perceive human music.  Can it really be true that they listen intently to the birds singing outside, but Carreras is a closed book to them?

It's really interesting, and I think I must spend some time tomorrow seeing if I can find anything on Wikipedia or somewhere else on t'Internet.

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Well, I thought it was going to be I Day today, because I had to go to my Diabetic follow-up and I knew my blood sugar had been bad recently.  As it turned out it was my Hb1AC was 8.6, which is bad, but not as bad as I feared.

However, it turns out that since I had been ill with those medication side effects and had been unable to get any sort of exercise when that was going on, the diabetician was prepared to give me a little leeway and then we discovered that at my last appointment the diabetician (not the same one) had apparently recommended that I double up on my Glimepiride.

I have absolutely no recollection of this at all, and I don't seem to have had any of the paperwork to give to my doctor, which they normally give me, but there it is in black and white, so I've had a reprieve!  Let's just hope it will work.

I have to confess that I need to clean up my act too, because I've been letting things slide recently, since I didn't seem to be able to control my BGs whatever I did, and started eating too much carbohydrate, probably too much fruit and have eaten the occasional bar of chocolate all in one go, which I used not to do.

We've also been eating a lot of rice dishes, which I should really only have occasionally, but Charles, does cook some delicious things and it's hard not to have any or not to eat more of it than I should, since I've always loved anything made with rice.  And I've had mashed potato a few times recently, which is a real no-no for me. No more Vichyssoise!  Sob!

So it's back to being strict with myself and taking the extra tablet and hoping to stave off the dreaded Insulin for a while longer.  If the cardiac rehab helps me become fitter so that I can take more exercise, that should help with the blood sugar as well.

I felt so cheered up that I spent the glorious afternoon pottering around in the yard, which I'm glad about as the weather forecast doesn't give us much hope of any more decent weather any time soon although the sun is out again now.  It's funny how the cats love having a human being outside in the yard and come out to sit with me while I'm out there.  We have a lot of fun with Bramble, because the garden table has a hole on the centre for a sun umbrella, and you only have to wave a leaf or something over the hole and this big determined white paw thrusts out through the hole, trying to catch whatever it is.  I suppose I must be easily pleased, because it never fails to amuse me.

I hope we do get some more sun, as I have to justify buying my new sun-glasses.  I've been thinking for some time that I desperately need a pair of prescription sun-glasses, but just can't afford them, so I went on ebay on Sunday and found some carp-fishers' polarised over-glasses sun-glasses.  They arrived the next day, and they're really good.  I'm very pleased with them.  It's years since I had Polaroid sun-glasses and I'd forgotten how they appear to make everything stand out more sharply than usual.  They completely cover my ordinary glasses, so I don't look as much of a geek as I feared I would.  The only disadvantage is that their maker's name is Eyelevel, and I can't get the ghastly signature tune to the Van der Valk TV series out of my head now.

I've also bought some lovely pale-blue suede sandals, although I haven't worn those yet and I had to buy a new fan for my bedroom as the existing one just suddenly gave up the ghost.  I haven't really needed it yet, because it hasn't been very warm, but I know that if I don't have one, I shall be unable to sleep because of being too hot sometime soon.  So if the summer suddenly ceases to be, it's All My Fault!

Tomorrow is cardiac rehab in the morning and an appointment at the surgery in the afternoon.  I'm going to ask my LLD whether there's another medication I can take in place of or as well as the one I'm currently taking for my breathlessness, as this new one doesn't control it anywhere near as well as the one which gave me the horrid cough and rhinitis.

Writing about my new sunglasses suddenly reminded me about a wonderful pair of sun-glasses I once had.  They had dark-pink lenses and they really were rose-tinted spectacles!  The trouble was that wearing them made me feel insanely cheerful and upbeat, so much so that I found myself doing Daft Things and driving a little dangerously, so I put them away, thinking I would use them just occasionally, but somehow they vanished, the way really good things do and I've never seen any since.

Maybe I shall do an Internet search..........
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Well, the weather certainly made up for it today. It's been a gorgeous sunny warm day. I had a podiatry appointment this morning, but after lunch we all went out into the yard and spent two and a half hours tidying up, that's seven and a half man hours, so we got quite a bit done. Then John and Charles took all the rubbish to the tip while I cleared the tools away and locked up and made a pot of tea.

There's still an awful lot to do though. Tomorrow, all being well, we shall get out the high pressure hose and wash down the concrete where the cats have spent all winter upsetting pots and earth and making a complete mess. We swept it all today, but it really needs a good hosing. Thank goodness we have so much water in our region and I don't have to feel guilty about it.

I'm amazed that a Greek oregano has made it through the winter. It's a bit overstretched and woody, but I've trimmed it back and hope it will come back prolifically.

I don't know what's wrong with my poor bay tree. Two years ago I nursed it through an outbreak of rust, or scale or whatever it's called, but now it has something which is killing all the new growth and making it look as though it's been scorched. The older leaves are OK, it's just the new growth, which is rather alarming. I shall cut off all the damaged shoots tomorrow and see what happens next.

I have another problem with a very large tub which Bramble and Morgan are enthusiastically excavating. They're not using it as a litter tray, they're just digging an enormously deep hole (for cats) in the compost. I don't know what they've done with the compost they've extracted; they must have eaten it. Last Autumn I put three climbers in there, after the complete disaster I'd had using it for runner beans which just didn't do anything, but only one has survived and that is in imminent danger because the hole is getting nearer and nearer to its roots, and it's getting knocked about by the enthusiastic team of diggers. I must find some way to discourage them from digging in there. Karen has suggested chicken wire stuff, but the yard is so tiny I like everything to look nice. I wonder if a good layer of bark mulch would stop them doing it.

I suspect that the chief digging culprit may be Morgan, because Bramble has never attacked the outside pots before, but on the other hand, he was the one who dug out loads of compost on my sadly-deceased yucca plant in the sitting room. And he did eat that, too. There again, Morgan is the one who is making it impossible for me to keep plants indoors at all by attacking them all the time and destroying them. Sigh!

I was a bit cross when I opened the composter to put some stuff in the top to see that someone, I know not who, had filled it with about 4 inches deep of sticks and twigs which hadn't even been cut up. I took them out and stuck them in with the stuff to be taken to the tip. Very naughty of me, I know, but I just didn't feel like sitting there all afternoon snipping it all into tiny bits.

The new sage officinalis I bought last year has turned into a very pretty little bush, although there was snail trail all over it, which rather surprised me, because I would have thought that the taste of sage might be a bit much even for an enthusiastic slug!   The purple sage, however, has become altogether too woody and leggy and I think I shall have to replace it. I only seem to have one surviving thyme, where I had several potsful and that is old and woody and will probably have to be replaced, although I did spend some time cutting back the old wood and trimming it with scissors, hoping to induce it to put out lots of lovely new soft leaves.

I think perhaps the pots of thyme have been overcome by the self-seeded wild violets which have invaded almost every pot.  I gave several pots of them away last year, but shall have to find someone else who would like some.  I can't bear to just dig them out and throw them away, but they're turning into a pest!

The pot of self-seeded teazles has grown back. I'm always in two minds about them. It seems strange to grow a pot of weeds, but I know the birds love the seeds and I rather like the plants myself. If I had more room, I'd like to have one of those giant thistles as well

I weeded and chopped back the chives which had the consistency of thatching reed where no-one has been snipping them as they grew.  I have terrible trouble getting Charles to use the herbs growing in the yard;  he'd far rather use the packet stuff, which is OK, but nowhere near as nice as fresh herbs, in my opinion.

I still have a lot to do out there before I go and buy plants for the pots and hanging baskets, but it looks much better out there now, even tidy!

The strange thing is that the whole time I was out in the yard I was untroubled by  hay-fever or my dreadful cough, but as soon as I got back into my room it started off again.  I know my room is incredibly dusty and John and Charles have promised to wet-dust it for me sometime when I'm out, but the window was open and the trees are in blossom..............then again, and I do hope it's not this, I wonder whether I've become allergic to my beloved kitties.  But it started up again this evening in the  sitting room which isn't really dusty at all, so I don't know what to think, except that I'm heartily fed up with it.

I had a truly awful night last night.  I spent it propped up on pillows and cushions coughing, choking and spluttering, nose running until about 5.00 am when I finally fell asleep. At one point I got up and spent a couple of hours messing about with my would-be web-site.  Of course, I couldn't have a lie in because I had to get up for my Podiatry appointment.

Now I somehow seem to have managed to acquire a blocked and runny nose at one and the same time.  That should be impossible, surely?  And why, oh why, does it always get worse the nearer to bed time it gets?

I'm so shattered that all I want to do is sleep, but it doesn't seem as though that's going to happen for a few hours yet!  I've tried Piriton, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

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I'm absolutely freezing here and have been all day, in spite of the late sunshine this afternoon.

I've been told off in another place for being a miserable old bugger, so now I really feel like one.  Originally I was feeling fairly cheerful but a bit miffed because the weather is so cold up here, but now I'm feeling really pissed off.

What a comfort a cat is when they sense you need a cuddle.  They're so warm and soft and affectionate;  they're uncritical and they make loud noises of satisfaction at your smallest attention.  So unlike humans.

Lit & Phil

Feb. 22nd, 2008 11:20 am
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I finally got to the Lit & Phil yesterday, although I very nearly gave up trying.  Everything seemed to be conspiring to hold me up and when finally I couldn't find my new keys, I nearly gave up and went for a lie-down instead.  When I eventually found the old ones, which I had lost, (inside my handbag lining as there appears to be a hole),  I almost drove off in my slippers.  I know the Lit & Phil is always full of odd people, and I'm sure people have turned up in their slippers many times, but I'm not ready to be that odd just yet.  I doubt that anyone would notice, though.

It was surprisingly full for an afternoon, with several people at each table, all beavering away at their writing.  One of the things I love about the Lit & Phil is the way it's full of concentrated interest and attention, but very very quiet.  It's very conducive to thought and reflection and encourages me to get on with things myself.  Even though it was pretty full, I still managed to get my favourite seat, which is childish of me, but seems to be pretty much general.  I always see people sitting in the same seats!

Yesterday, however, I was very tired after having a bad night, and I kept finding myself waking up from a few microseconds sleep, while still sitting upright and still writing.  I actually managed to incorporate a dream into the text, which seemed to work quite well for the thing I have just started.  Maybe I shall put lots of dreams in.  If I italicise them, I imagine any putative readers would realise what's going on. 

Who am I kidding?  I doubt it will every be finished and if it is I shall probably chuck it as I have done so many things over the course of my life.  Never mind, I'm enjoying doing it.

I may go again this afternoon, although as John is off to Ipswich and Charles is going to his differently-sane band practice, I may just stay at home and type up the stuff I wrote yesterday.  I also have a horribly difficult database of my poetry to get on with.  I've done the database with no problem and was surprised to find that I have over 250 finished poems, but now I have to work out how to link each entry with the poem itself, so that I can call it up to print from the database. 

Several people have made suggestions, but since it seems necessary to call up DOS, I'm not sure I'm capable.  I don't think I know how to call up DOS from within an application.  I must search for the manual!

Before I do anything, though, I must strip the bedclothes from my bed and put them in the wash.  Morgan came in and draped himself lovingly over me while I was still in bed, but unfortunately he was wet through and gritty!  Sometimes I think they do it just to get dry!

I shall also have to think about replacing my beloved cheapo handbag.  The lining is too badly torn for me to repair it, although the bag itself is made of one of those modern miracle fabrics which never seem to get scuffed and always look like new.  The trouble is, that I'm not sure where I bought it and I suspect it was one of the stalls in the Green Market which has now been demolished in the interests of Big Business and Capitalism!

Maybe I shall have to arrange a trip to the Metro Centre next week.

Meantime, although I have now found my lost front door key inside the bag lining,  I have now lost its replacement.  John is getting cross.


Feb. 20th, 2008 11:32 pm
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I simply cannot believe how dirty the bathroom floor has become since I steam-cleaned it on Sunday.  It's covered with dust and dross and cat hair.  It looks worse now than before I did it.

And there is what can only be described as a big sooty mark on the front of the loo pedestal.  It must be the cats!!  Of course, everyone denies all knowledge of the cats being allowed in the bath-room.  I know that they are always waiting outside when anyone is in there, ready to insinuate themselves inside when the door is opened, and that you have to be pretty quick to stop them going in there.  But what I don't understand is how, having sidled in there, they can manage to make the place so mucky!!  As far as I know there is no source of sooty black stuff in there, and they don't have pockets.  How do they manage it?

I am very dischuffed.  I'm trying to work up the irritation sufficiently to make me pick up the nearest one and use him as a cloth to wipe the dirt off.  But............I can't  The nearest one is Bramble, asleep on my bed, looking fluffy, cute and angelic, buggrit!  He's on his back with his paws crossed over his eyes.

Never mind.  It's writing class tomorrow.................oh no it's not!  It's half-term.  Wail!  Gnash!
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I got up late this morning and as I was leaving the bathroom, I saw Bramble and his henchcat, Morgan at the foot of the stairs.   There was obviously something jammed into the place where the bottom riser meets the floor and it was clicking furiously.  The cats were darting at it and retreating without doing anything much, and the clicking got faster and faster.

When I went down to see, I found that someone had caught another bat, but this time in broad sunny daylight.

I retrieved the bat and it didn't seem very damaged, although it's difficult to tell with something which looks like a broken umbrella to start with.  I locked the cats in and put the bat out on the roof and it started to "walk" along the roof.  Later, when I looked from the office window, it appeared to have gone.

Charles and I went out shortly afterwards to check whether it had really gone, only to find that it was hanging onto the overlap roofing felt and could easily be caught by the cats, so I tried to affix him to the shed wall beneath the over hang,  I didn't have much success until I realised that I was trying to hang him upside down, but eventually he was safe.

We went out a few hours later to check and he had gone.  The first bat which we thought had died had disappeared as well and Charles doesn't think it was in a place the cats could have fished it out of.

How on earth can they catch bats?  Surely they don't normally fly low enough for a cat on a shed roof or a wall to catch them?  I don't even know which of them caught it.  I imagine it must have been Bramble, but Morgan was certainly joining in without being warned off by Bramble.

I do hope it doesn't happen again or I shall have to get the Batman involved!
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Poor Morgan had to go for the snip today!!

Adrian-next-door was taking him because the people he got Morgan from had offered a very cheap deal, so I got him into the travel basket just at the time Adrian was due to arrive, but I should have known better by now.  Adrian didn't turn up for 40 minutes, by which time Morgan was wailing, beside himself with desperation to get out of the box and Bramble was hanging around anxiously wondering why the baby was in prison.

He was brought home at about 4.00 pm and was still a bit wobbly and sleepy but very hungry.  Charles and I had to get busy with cotton wool and warm water to clean his poor bloody white fur, and since then I've had him locked away in my room, because Bramble wanted to start straight away with the rough play and poor little Morgan was wailing in agony.  He actually went and hid in the corner under John's desk, but in the end I fished him out and brought him into my room, mainly because I was worried that he hadn't drunk anything since this morning.

I've got his water, his food and a tray of litter in my room for tonight and probably tomorrow he'll be OK to play again.  At the moment he's fast asleep on a towel on my bed with his "Teddy"

Bramble has been wandering round disconsolately all day wondering where the baby was.  Now I'm having trouble keeping him away from the invalid.  He doesn't mean any harm, he just wants to play, but he's altogether too rough for the baby at the moment.

It's amazing how cats don't bear a grudge.  Morgan has been so sweetly cuddling up to me and purring like a diesel this evening that I feel really treacherous, although I know it's for the best really.

John didn't go on Boys' Night Out tonight as he's got a job taking something to London tomorrow, leaving at about 3.00 am.  and the client wasn't able to let him have it until 10.00 pm.  They don't want much do they?

I suppose that means I shall have to wrestle with the London Congestion Charge website again tomorrow.  Sigh!
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Yesterday we had the accounts up to 31st. October from our dual-fuel gas and leccy suppliers, showing that they have about £650 of my money sitting in their account. even after this most up to date bill.  That's almost two and a half times our excessive monthly direct debit.  I am not pleased. John will be phoning them tomorrow to blister their ears.

I always knew that the amounts were too high, but John had several arguments with them and they said that this was what they anticipated we would use. So that's sheer guesswork then, but they don't take any responsibility to check after a while to see if they've made a mistake and they don't supply bills for the customer to check how accurate it is.

[personal profile] hooloovoo_42  suggested that we switch suppliers and keep the estimated amounts in an online deposit account in future rather than pay by direct debit.  I think that's a good idea if it doesn't work out that any interest we earn is taken by extra charges for not paying by Direct Debit..  We have to get it sorted out first, though, cos there's no way I'm leaving that money in their pockets earning them interest and keeping me poor.

John and I went to the Riverside Park again yesterday afternoon and I managed to walk even further than last time which quite pleased me, although I found it harder work than usual to return to the car.  It was another lovely afternoon and the place was deserted except for a few Old Codgers like us taking their dogs for walks and so forth.  Everyone is soo friendly when they meet you out wombling along the bank.

I took a lot more photos too.  Here are a couple.  The colour is a bit washed out because of the camera setting I had it on with the zoom at maximum

I wish it wouldn't get so dark so early.  Even when it's been a lovely day as it has today again, it gets a bit miserable around dusk.

I slept very badly again last night.  Apart from cats on the bed, I was just unable to sleep despite being very tired.  My eyes were too tired to read or use the PC, so I just had to lie awake listening to the radio.  Since a lot of the stuff was repeats, I got very bored.  Then I was woken at 8.00 am by Bramble and Morgan demanding attention.  Today I've taken both Prozac at once in the morning in the hope that that may help. Charles seems to think it may.  I have to say, I feel extremely calm.  Perhaps I should have started taking the extra one sooner.

It's time to go down and take the dough out of the bread machine to make into burger buns for our home made burgers which are resting in the fridge.  That'll mean Charles' home-made chips again!  Delicious!
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On Friday John drove me to Coventry where we stayed overnight in the Windmill Village Golf Club Hotel (I think that's what it was called) It's a bit more upmarket than the usual hotels I stay in when I go to the Midlands on Community Transport business, but it didn't make a lot of difference that it had a spa and a swimming pool, because the journey down was sooo atrocious that we only got there at 7.30pm, half an hour before we were meeting for dinner, after leaving home at 2.00 pm. There was nose to tail traffic from the instant we hit the A1 all the way down and by the time we got to the M1, we were in a continuous series of jams, although we did just about manage to keep moving at maybe 30 mph. Thank God we weren't going the other way because we observed a stationery jam which must have been 25 miles long!

I didn't even have time to change for dinner but it didn't matter because it was a very laid-back restaurant, in spite of the really good food. We had a lovely dinner and a great time in pleasant company.

Unfortunately I was unable to get to sleep for hours because the room was, as usual with hotel rooms, too hot, despite our having the windows open and the heating turned off. It wasn't only us, our colleagues also had suffocatingly hot rooms, even though they also had windows open and heating off.

Consequently, I didn't wake up until almost 9.00 am. I have to have breakfast so that I can take my handful of pills and breakfast finished at 10.00, so, sadly, I had no time for the pool. We were very impressed when we woke and looked out of the window to see the golf course spread out before us with all the coloured leaves on the trees and a tiny lake, practically in Coventry.

Fortunately we decided to come home via the M6, in view of all the road-works we encountered on the way down and we went on the M6 Toll Road for the first time. It cost £4 for about 25 miles and I think it was well worth the money to avoid all those dreadful hold-up spots around Birmingham. John thought it was too expensive, though.

The M6 proved to be free of jams after that and we had a good trip home, although it was a horrible gloomy grey day, and when we drove through all the beautiful countryside north of Lancaster, we could hardly see anything for clouds swirling round the tops of the hills.

When we got home we found that all the lighting on the ground floor was inoperable, although upstairs was OK and so were the downstairs sockets, so that we could use all the appliances, we just couldn't see to do so. Charles had already cooked dinner, but we had to eat it by the light of a camping gaz lamp and a bunch of candles.

Poor Charles was quite upset. He thought he'd done something awful to the lighting, although how he could do so just by turning the lights on, I don't know. Still, that's the nature of his illness.

It's very annoying because when we lived in Hampshire, I had a large collection of gas lamps, oil lamps and hurricane lanterns, but we haven't needed them since we've lived here, so I've neglected to keep them filled up, with functioning wicks and mantles. I shall have to go out tomorrow and find somewhere to buy all  those things so that if it ever happens again I shall be properly equipped. I shall be all ready for the Apocalypse or Global Warming whichever catches us first!

Today I phoned Christopher and he came over this afternoon, but he was unable to fix the lights straight away. He says there appears to be a short in one of the junction boxes and he had the upstairs floorboards up but he didn't manage to track it down before he had to go somewhere. He will come back as soon as he can, but as he's fitting us in around his real job, I'm not sure when that will be. It's not too inconvenient really, except that it's too dark to fill the dishwasher, so that will have to wait till tomorrow.  Apparently it's difficult to diagnose because the power is going out to the boxes but not coming back so it makes it difficult to use a certain piece of equipment to find where the problem is.  That's what Christopher tells me, anyway, and I have to believe him, because I've no idea what he's talking about

Morgan is full of beans again now. The little girl next door came to see him on Friday evening and Charles was unable to find him!! This is a big house and all the cats have little hidey holes where they go when they want some peace and quiet, so she had to come back this evening. I kept him locked in the sitting room with me in case he went missing again and cause her to think we were doing it on purpose. I found that the reason she isn't too upset about us having him is that she has another cat in her mother's house (her parents are divorced). Anyway, Morgan played with her good naturedly for half an hour before she went away. I've told her she can come any time.

Charles said that Morgan missed me on Friday night, but he certainly made up for it this morning. He woke me at 8.00 and wouldn't leave me alone until I got up. I do adore him, but I draw the line at him chewing my ears and stepping on my eyes!

I had a quick panic on Friday because my car insurance runs out soon and so does my MOT.  I telephoned and arranged the insurance, but we have to take Lucy in for the MOT tomorrow.  I do hope she doesn't need a lot of work, because John's going off on holiday at 8.00 am on Tuesday and it will be difficult for me to get the car back if Keith has to keep it overnight.  I can't think there can be much wrong with her, because we had no trouble with her going to Coventry and back, and John just got me a proper spare wheel and tyre last week to replace the stupid pretend spare wheel which comes with the car.

John's going off with a couple of old TA buddies to visit a fourth who lives in Malta.  They're all awfully chuffed because they got a special deal whereby they pay one new penny each way.  Of course, the taxes and airport car park charges are still applicable, so it's not entirely free, but certainly worth feeling pleased about.

Not only that, but they've got the free loan of a flat while they're there, jammy hooters!

Judging by previous experience, whatever can go wrong will go wrong while John's away.  He even missed the 1987 hurricane through being in Germany!
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I went to the cardiology department this morning to have a portable tape machine fitted which measures my heart rate over a period of 24 hours; I have to go back tomorrow to have it taken off. Unfortunately I haven't had a very active day, so my heart rate hasn't gone really high. Still, it did last time and he didn't seem to think that a rate of 163 was too much out of the way!

Just as I'd given up hope of getting it this side of the postal strike, my parcel from Amazon came today. I ordered the new Terry Pratchett and the 2008 diary (Lu Tze's Yearbook of Enlightenment 2008), plus a CD of an old record my Pa had which I always loved. It's just been re-released this year. It's Music for Tired Lovers with Woody Herman and Erroll Garner; it was first issued in 1954. I find it as smooth and romantic as I ever did; I'm so glad I managed to find it.. I have to say that, digitally remastered, it sounds so much better than the original recording did, which by the time I heard it had been traipsed about Nigeria for quite a few years, and got scratched and dusty.

Now, I wonder if I can remember the name of that wonderful St. Louis Jazz band he had a recording of.........
I seem to remember that it featured Lizzie Miles.  I've googled a bit for it, but so far have had no luck.  Still, it took me a long time to find another record of folk-songs from the 60s which I desperately wanted.

Yesterday I took Morgan to the vet for his follow-up inoculation and had him chipped while I was at it.  The surgery nurse told me that I would be eligible for 6 weeks free insurance for him, and it looks better than the insurance I already have for the other two, being slightly cheaper and in that whatever happens to him, they won't refuse to insure him throughout his life, providing I don't let the policy lapse.  It's for up to £4000, so I just have to hope he doesn't get anything major wrong with him, considering that poor Phoebe's little tooth extraction and saliva gland surgery alone came to over £360 last year.

It's so cute to see him and Bramble together.  They've become virtually inseparable, except when snoozing, and even then they sometimes curl up in the same chair, Bramble in the chair and Morgan on the chair arm.  Of course, if I see them like that and go to fetch the camera, they've stopped by the time I get back.  They spend an inordinate amount of time chasing about play-fighting, and if they don't break something soon, it will be a miracle.

Now that we've finally put the heating on, it's too hot and I have to keep turning it off.

It was a lovely day today and this afternoon John managed to track down a second-hand Lucida wheel to be Lucy's spare wheel.  Neither of us likes the idea of being at the mercy of the stupid pretend spare wheel which comes with the car and is only good for 200 k.  We have no idea how much it's been used before, or even if it's still OK. 

We went out for a sunny little ride in the glorious Autumn countryside to somewhere near Seaton Delavel where there was a breaker's yard which had a Lucida wheel available.  So now we have a full size wheel plus a rather good tyre for £15.  John had them check it thoroughly before he bought it.

I'm feeling really happy today, even though I'm so broke!
blackberry444: (Default)
It's been a busy week what with one thing and another, especially the cats, who are exhausting me.

Arthur has fitted in as though he's always lived here.  Phoebe is gradually unfreezing towards him although I doubt she'll ever be very welcoming but the big surprise is Bramble!

Bramble is utterly fascinated by Arthur and this interest is returned with knobs on.  They spend a great deal of the day chasing each other round and round, grappling, boxing and so forth.  Every so often Bramble gets him in a half-nelson, Arthur cries piteously, I wade in and break it up and Arthur starts chasing Bramble again.  Although Bramble appears to be biting him, no skin has been broken nor blood spilt as yet!

This activity is interspersed with food and kitty-milk binges, followed by an hour's sleep wherever he happens to drop.

It's sooo lovely to have a warm kitten in the house again!

Arthur has been in every room now, except the spare room, the office and the dining room, which are kept closed for the moment.  I don't encourage cats in the dining room, and the office is just too much of a mess to risk losing a kitten in there.  He finally found his way up to Charles' room this afternoon.  When he first arrived he had a little trouble negotiating the stairs.  Three days later he's rushing up and down the stairs, skidding round the corners just like Bramble.  How one tiny kitten can make so much noise clumping about the house I don't know.

He went into the bathroom this afternoon and disappeared into an tiny space between the wall and the box round the pipes.  I had to wait till he got fed up and came out before I could shut the door.

Meal times are a hoot.  For the first two minutes they all eat industriously from their own bowls, then a moment later, Phoebe has retired (she doesn't eat much), Bramble is eating Arthur's kitten food and Arthur is eating Phoebe's dinner.  It's a bit annoying because kitten food is supposed to feed him all the things he needs, but  I simply haven't got the energy to stop them.  Bramble seems to like the dry kitten food better than almost anything in the house, except for Polish sausage and bacon fat.

At the moment Arthur's galloping around the room chasing a ball made of crunched up paper - he's such a cheap date!

Charles and I are considering a name change for Arthur.  He doesn't show the slightest sign of paying any attention at all when called and we're wondering whether he needs a name with more MBs, Ps or Bs in it to attract his attention.  The trouble is that we can't think of an appropriate name.  It prolly doesn't help that most of the time I call him Tootles.

Poor John has been to Bristol today.  He didn't get home until 10.00 pm and was very tired.  The journey down took far longer than he expected and the journey back was even worse, owing to it being POETS day, among other things. 

This decided me to do an Internet Asda shop, since Charles is out tomorrow and Sunday and I don't want to wear the poor old boy out taking him shopping.   The weather forecast is good for tomorrow, so maybe I'll start on the yard again now that all the rubbish has finally been taken to the tip.

Perhaps I'll leave John in charge of kittens and go to the garden centre to find some shrubs to go into my tubs now, so that they can get established before the Winter sets in.  I'll see how we feel tomorrow when I've examined my bank balance!


Sep. 19th, 2007 12:16 am
blackberry444: (Default)
This evening we collected our new kitten Arthur.

He's beautiful, cute and utterly fearless.  He and Bramble are playing nicely.  Phoebe is ignoring him.

Here is his picture, always assuming I manage to put it in here.

blackberry444: (Default)
We took Bramble and Phoebe to the vet this morning for their booster shots and their annual MOTs.

Phoebe let Charles put her into the travel box with great dignity and no resistance. Bramble happily went into his, but then discovered he couldn't get out again and was not happy.

Phoebe sat happily in her box looking out of the window all the way to the vet's while Bramble moaned continually in anguish all the way there.

Phoebe was reluctant to get out of the box once in the consulting room, but submitted to being examined and injected, rushing to get back into the box of her own accord.

Bramble didn't want to come out of the box at all, and even when we upended it was clinging for grim death onto something inside. He didn't bite or scratch, but he didn't like being examined and injected and scrambled back into his box as swiftly as possible

They're usually completely opposite in personality. Phoebe is normally the wimpy scaredy-cat and Bramble is the Big Brave Cat frightened of nothing.

Fortunately it seems they're both fit and well. Phoebe is not, as we feared too thin, although he did say that if she starts losing more weight we should take her back to him and Bramble, contrary to all our expectations was judged as being not too porky. So that's OK then. It only cost £69.20!!!

Bramble wailed all the way home, but stopped as soon as taken out of the car. I fed him as soon as we got inside, because I was afraid he'd run off and get lost out of spite, but by the time he'd polished off an unexpectedly meaty breakfast, he seemed to have forgotten all about it. Phoebe, on the other hand won't let anyone get close enough to pick her up. I dare say she'll have forgiven us by tomorrow.

I'm still dithering about my Wedding Hat. Last night I made up my mind to have the apple green one, but when I put in what I thought was a sufficiently high bid, it wasn't enough. Someone had bid far more than the shop price as their original bid, so I decided that although I loved it, I didn't want to pay any more for it than I'd put as my maximum bid, because I would still have to pay quite a bit of postage on it. Let's face it, if I'm going to spend a lot of money I might as well have one from Acccesorize.

So now I have to decide on a pink one. Most of them are rather too Mother-of-the-Bride, and I don't want to go too much over the top. I looked at them till I was dizzy last night, so I thought I'd leave it till this evening to decide. I could try for a lime green hat, but I'm not quite sure that's the right shade to go with the dress which hasn't arrived yet.  I have to order it soon, because I want to take it when I get my hair cut, which will be at least a week before the wedding, so that it can settle down.

In spite of the mist and gloom, I know it's summer now, because Charles asked me to cut his hair..  It took ages to do this time.  I don't know why he lets it get so long, because he's always relieved when it's been cut and is much shorter.

My hair's a complete mess.  I should really have had it cut a couple of weeks ago, but as the wedding isn't that far off, I've let it go.  It's horrible!

Never mind.  It will feel sooo nice when I finally do get it cut.


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