Thursday, 31 October 2013

Spooky cat and bird

Many, many years ago my Mum, Sister and myself were watching a spooky film and as the tension in the room was rising our old cat, who was lying sleeping along the top of the sofa, clearly thought she'd show a wee bit of solidarity and support for her scared humans. So she silently and slowly reached out and gently popped a reassuring paw on my sister's shoulder which nearly caused her to hit the ceiling and her shrieks scared the hell out of my Mother and myself. The cat was most miffed at the stupid humans reaction!

At the same time as the old cat was alive we had a budgerigar who was normally one forceful package of feathers. He was a sweet soft green boy budgie who was mine but oh heck did he have a temper especially if you didn't go to bed by ten pm. This wasn't great for a family of late bedders and many-a-night we'd end up going because he set up such a racket that the tv couldn't be watched, or more correctly heard.

Anyway, one night we were trying to watch Hitchcock's The Birds and as usual by 10pm he was doing his go to bed antics quietly, then more loudly as we weren't budging. So one trick was to pop his cover over him which sometimes fooled him. And on this occasion it worked but only for a short while. In the scene where the birds are attacking he decided to chirp up by shouting "Good boy" and  "who's a Good Boy" which totally ruined the film as we were laughing so much at him. My little palm sized bird-brain could not have been any match for Hitchcock's birds.

Graham the cat goes shopping

If only I could persuade my two furry layabouts to emulate Graham the Pets at Home shopaholic cat then I wouldn't need to get ASDA to deliver my groceries. 

Though, I suppose, there is always the risk they won't stick to the shopping list and I might end up with some distinctly challenging items for dinner....anyone got a recipe for goldfish soup...?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Foxy appendage

This is often my view as I dress/put my make-up on in the morning. The Red boy surveys his territory, from the safety of some double glazing naturally, while waiting on breakfast being served once I am ready.

Occasionally, if I am in a silly mood, I lean over and give it a tiny tug/shake while saying brightly "Ding dong, ring for the waiter!" which, oddly, he doesn't find as amusing as I do.....? Instead, he gives me his exasperated, confused look which, bad housemate that I am, makes me laugh even more and ask "who did that to you? You tell me and I'll get them". Sadly, this is what passes for the height of entertainment of a morning in this house........!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Any port in a storm

Sometimes when you are tired, you just need to get your head down even if the house is in need of some being put upright again....!
Also sending good wishes and hoping everyone is nice and safe during the storm predicted for our southern cousins. Stay warm and cosy.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bead Tray

Red...? Is that a slightly petted lip you have because I'm using you as my bead tray for my skull bead....?

Friday, 25 October 2013

Thankful Thursday

I've pondered about this post, over whether it is appropriate or not and I'm still not sure but here goes anyway. This evening was a very difficult evening as it was the beginning of my namesake aunt's funeral services. She was also my Godmother.

Our family certainly didn't fall off of Walton's Mountain and the work of maintaining links can seem onerous in the melee of everyday life. This isn't a new occurrence in the wider family as I can recall as at each funeral shocked relatives commenting that they only seemed to meet up at these times and they should make more effort. However, time and again this pattern was repeated with the real culprit being complacency and the whirl of everyday busy-ness.

Tonight was very emotional and very difficult to be there and to witness. She died much too early and suddenly, just a few years into what should have been a happy retirement after working hard to raise her three girls and make life the best it could be. Now she leaves a family stunned by grief and uncomprehending as to how they will manage with the yawning chasm that her loss represents.

My Mum, her sister, who has had multiple life threatening illnesses and is thirteen years older, is now the only one left of her family. For me, the shock hasn't sunk in properly but tonight at the service to hear my own name used repeatedly by the priest was surreal and confusing. To watch my cousins and my uncles comport themselves with such dignity was humbling. I wish them the blessing of sleep and rest tonight for what they have to endure tomorrow.

So what am I thankful for? Well I am thankful that I could be there tonight and will be there tomorrow to honour my Aunt and to support her family. In addition to the dread attending a funeral holds I also pray that I will be able to manage to do the walking I need to do on my faulty knee to fulfil my duty and act of love to hold strong for them. If anyone has a moment to send a prayer please hold us in you thoughts.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Supermarket cost comparison

Recently I returned to online shopping. I have a leg problem that barely supports me properly never mind lugging groceries. I've been pretending this is all very temporary but as the food supplies dwindled and the challenge of cupboard cuisine got harder it became a moot point.

I am a complete "Supermarket Tart". By that I mean the food and household cash is available to the retailer who has the best offers such as money off or petrol deals, has new and innovative things or who stocks things we like best.

I like Sainsburys, as I reckon their food quality is best but a large ASDA is also on my way home from work so I use them for stocking up on basics and homewares/non-food items. Home Bargains for toilet and kitchen rolls, Lidl and Aldi for continental goods and lovely fresh fruit and veg and Waitrose their fabulous frozen chopped Thai spice mix, garlic and cheese. Iceland is a surprising contender too for frozen and fresh stuff and their wonderful ready made frozen chicken sliced. Morrisons and Tesco are a bit 'meh' so I usually only visit when they have an offer on. As you can see for shopping, I do get about a bit!

I was also lead to believe from all the advertising and till point chitties that there was probably only a few pence between all the supermarkets now that they price match. How wrong could I have been....???

All the big supermarkets deliver here so I did a 'virtual order' on My Supermarket to check who would be cheapest. I was utterly shocked that Tesco was £55 more expensive than ASDA for the SAME order and the others weren't much better. Obviously, ASDA got my 'real' order and their £15 delivery pass for three months will allow me to do small restocks without incurring lots of delivery charges while my leg recovers.

It is always reassuring to feel you've got the best deal but I am horrified by how wrong I'd got it in terms of working out where to get best value for the same items. By value I don't mean own brand generics or dodgy white label ranges, I mean lowest cost of my shopping. It also is a salutary lesson in how insidious the advertising is as I already thought I was a savvy shopper. When I am mobile again I'll still go round getting my special bits from the other supermarkets but with such a wide price variation ASDA has priced themselves firmly into our home - big style!

Ps. for anyone who thinks this might be an stealthy piece of social media advertising please think again. This blog is my thoughts and experiences alone. The only money involved was the ruddy great saving made by choosing the right mob to hurtle round with the week's shopping!  

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mani Pedi for cats

My shoulders are currently torn to shreds as I have been so busy that I haven't got round to cutting the cats nails and both love to 'hang on tight' to me when we cuddle. Both of them have their nails cut regularly since kitten-hood to stop them shredding the humans or the furniture. It would be only fair to say that sometimes it goes better than others!

I pick up the intended victim and produce the clippers:......

A 'good' day

Both cats put up a little half hearted resistance with a couple of disinterested miaows, just for appearance's sake.
Both allow me to trim their nails without wild howling, indiscriminate bids for freedom or hiding in inaccessible places.
They don't require to be swaddled up in a bath towel
Both cats appear to have all four paws accessible
Afterwards some snuggles and soothing happens

A 'less good' day

This involves procuring a bath towel and wrangling them into it. The victim is picked up and they unleash a storm of protest and gymnastics akin to crocodile wrestling. Bearing in mind the nails are still intact means the furry adversary has a trump card weapon and not getting them into the right position can result in me coming off worst. If I get the upper hand they somehow manage to hide a leg and I am left rootling about under the towel for the missing limb with the long toenails while keeping the cat swaddled in towel and preventing escape.

One of three outcomes is possible on a less good day: 1. the cat acquiesces to my force of will, and very grudgingly allows the enforced manicure while administering the death stare, letting out ferociously threatening growls and poised for flight if I give an inch. 2. they escape and flee under the bed whereupon they've won this round 3. either the cat becomes too distressed or is rendering my skin into bloody fringes, in this case we call a truce.

Most times it goes ok and ends with some loving cuddles and much praising but as always with cats there is no telling which way they plan to play the game which I suppose is the fun bit about living with cats.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Furry Nice Laundry Trapeze Act

Nooooo, he's at it again..........! I thought we'd got over Red's trapeze antics on the washing line but clearly not. Threats and commands to desist were utterly ignored as he performed his shaky walk and tentative pirouettes act. Wonder how much I'd get if I tried to sell him to a circus.....!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

So sorry for the interruption in service

Time to get back and enjoy my blogs again. A couple of times in the past couple of months I have drafted a post that has been in my head or made the odd comment. Unfortunately, as much as I hoped to find time to blog some new disaster or worry befell us.

I have really missed blogging but difficult and frightening events have evolved this year and had to be dealt with. As often happens at these times additional problems take the opportunity to compound the situation. Small plateaus of relief more often than not turned out to be precipices to the next tumble. You'll note I refuse to use the popular euphemism that tries to reframe problems as 'challenges'; my view is that situations that have no chance of resolving well, no matter what is decided, are simply problems and should be acknowledged as such. 

I know everyone has to face unexpected illness and the unknown. No life is lived in joy alone so we just have to do whatever we have to do to sustain ourselves and those we love during the bad times. Friends and colleagues have brought light, caring and practical and emotional support. I'm so immensely grateful to them for helping me keep going and to have been able to cling to them to haul us from the gloom. Some good or fun things have happened but when the default setting is serious they just seemed to get rather overshadowed.

This blog is one of my happy places for dwelling on the good so for now suffice to say I'm just happy to be able to return to be among the fab Cat Blogosphere bloggers. Special love to Hannah and Lucy's mum and Jacqueline who invited me not just to blog quietly with their very kind encouragement. The joy of winning Carolyn's 'Coppers' blog competition and being able to do a random act of kindness in return was great just before things got overwhelming at the end of May. Love also to the kind bloggers and followers who have commented on this blog and were a joy to read. Guys it feels great to finally be back among you.

I'd joined Bloglovin in the beginning of May and have been using it to allow me to scan my favourite blogs, when I could, but I haven't had time to be able to fully read and interact much for which I hope you'll forgive me. I'd hoped to be able to catch up on everyone's blogs properly all in one go but, as my short blog absence became a long one, I think I just need to restart and contribute from now.

During my blogging absence there have been very few pics of my furry friends taken but I'll endeavour to resume normal service with words and pictures. The cats are both well. Red is as daft as ever but remains an adorable little angora ball. Magic has been her usual caring and solicitous self making sure she is by my side when I most need a cat cuddle.