Oh my. What a lovely evening.

It was the first night of a new community film club. In the same place where we go to Book Club in SE5. The book club Celia and I joined after peering at an indistinct poster behind glass that was covered in condensation.

Michèle happened to be passing. Oh do join our book club, she said. But we don't live here, we said. We are from further up the road; part of the SE17 tribe. No matter, said Michėle (or words to that effect), you are still welcome.

So the SE5 tribe opened its doors to us, and communication between two neighbourhoods opened up.


The opposite of those stories people tell you about people in cities living lonely lives surrounded by millions. Continue reading

Of Pets and Poetry

Yes, I can go on holiday. Hurrah.

Maybe there’ll be a film, When MasterB Met Julie, and you’ll see a slomo sequence where the two of them see each other for the first time: his perfect gingerness on the stairs in his purple velvet collar from Poundland, Julie proffering treats before I told her he wasn’t allowed them.

He happily showed her how he gets his treats from the catcher; played with the feathered stick when she waggled it; allowed hmself to be petted; sniffed her coat intently and tried to climb into its sleeve. In short, he liked her.

Dreaming of a Catflap and My Own Garden

It was only as I reached the door, where Cookie was waiting impatiently having raced ahead of me up the stairs, that I realised how tired I was, and how I really didn’t want any cat politics tonight.

An eleven hour day, which was fine while I was working, but which suddenly caught up with me, and made my whole body sag. All I wanted to do was fuss MasterB, feed him and let him out while I ate a quick meal before bed.

Celia had called in to see him in the afternoon, but her text message said he hadn’t wanted to play or to be affectionate, but had eaten and then groomed himself intensively. Sorry Celia. Continue reading

New Beginnings

So I have my glass of wine; a lit candle stands in the window; MasterB who was curled up beside me has gone outside.

If Freddy hadn’t died, I shouldn’t have MasterB. A death marks not just an end, but a new beginning.

I have long called MasterB Cat’s Legacy. Before Freddy adopted me I was A Dog Person; I had no intention and no desire to have a cat.

Fourteen years after having my life turned upside down by a determined feline, the idea of living sans cat was just unthinkable.

So as well as remembering the Gorgeous Boy today, I am giving thanks for MasterB; a new life, a new relationship with my perfect companion cat; loved, cherished, as dear to me as Freddy.

And it’s spring. How could anyone fail to be glad? Continue reading

Pet Remembrance Day

Yesterday marked four years since Freddy the Gorgeous Boy, known on this page as Cat, died in my arms.

Here is a picture from a couple of months before he died.DSCN0428

His loss doesn’t hurt as it once did. People are right when they say time is a great healer. But you need to let time do its work. It is a slow business this healing. The memories are now a comfort. Continue reading

The Biscuit Thief

Cookie has taught MasterB some tricks. When she invites herself round, her first port of call is almost always the kitchen to check out what is in MasterB’s bowl. I rush ahead of her and cover it with a saucer. That has always worked with MasterB: a saucer covered bowl is a an out of bounds bowl.

But not to Cookie. A saucer covered bowl is a bowl with a cover that can be easily pushed aside to reveal the wet food she likes.

So I started not only covering the bowl, but lifting it onto the counter. MasterB knows he is not welcome on the kitchen counter. But Cookie has no such inhibitions. Now the bowl has to go in the fridge.

MasterB has watched these predations on his dinner and obviously found food for thought in them.

Thinking Time

Thinking Time

He has a measured amount of biscuits each day. He knows the pot I put the biscuits into to weigh them. He knows the sound of the scales being lifted from their usual place. He knows the sound of the biscuit bag being opened.

Some of the biscuits are put in his catcher or in his biscuit bowl if I can find where he has rolled it. The rest stay in the pot. Oddly, Cookie has yet to investigate the biscuit ball and has shown no interest in the catcher. Continue reading

Garlanding My Wrist

It is exactly a year since I broke my wrist.

A few months ago, Kathy, in a comment on another post, asked me what I would do to mark the anniversary. I didn't have any plans then, and don't have any now, but as I write that, I think making an effort to get back on my bike would be the best way to celebrate the fact that I have recovered almost all my wrist function.

The other thing would be to toast the National Health Service in general, and the amazingly wonderful staff at St Thomas' Hospital in London in particular who saw me through the various stages of A&E, urgent care, surgery, fracture clinic and physiotherapy.

Continue reading

Working for a Living

I didn’t get wet today. The rain which was pelting down when I got up had stopped by the time I left home. Wrapped up in several layers and my warm coat, I was pretty toastie. A hot chocolate shortly after starting work had me warm on the inside too.

Working means talking, and I have talked all day. My throat feels uncomfortably raw. Tomorrow I am working from home, so no talking, unless I need to use the ‘phone, and lots of hot drinks, though probably lemon and honey rather than chocolate.

No voice means no work. No work means no income. But not talking can mean more thinking time. There was an item on the news tonight about Grant Shapps, the Conservative party chairman, who has been caught out being, as it is referred to when our elected representatives dissemble, ‘economical with the vérité’. I didn’t see the whole item, as MasterB wanted to go out, but I did catch the bit when he bizarrely dismissed the revelation as an anti-business thrust by the BBC, the Guardian and Labour. Really? If so, quite what does that say about Mr Shapps views on honesty and business? One can only hope that other business people take a rather more serious view of telling the truth.

However, recent news stories might suggest that would be an over optimistic hope. Hardly a day seems to pass without some individual in receipt of eye watering amounts of cash intimating that the rules that govern the rest of us somehow do not apply to them. I am constantly reminded of Leona Helmsley’s comment that ‘we don’t pay taxes. Only little people pay taxes.’ She said it, but it seems an awful lot more people believe it.

On the train in the middle of the day, I found myself wondering how Rona Fairhead got her £500,000+ non executive position at HSBC. After all, if she didn’t actually have to read the reports herself, how difficult could it be? Where could I find an equally lucrative, responsibility free income? How do they advertise these posts? Continue reading

Sunday Afternoon

After days of sunshine and warmth, yesterday the winds blew chill and today the clouds glowered in the sky.

I have been having a bit of a relapse, feeling tired and not so well, so I have pottered about inside most of the day, making just one trip to the library. It has helped. I am feeling better again and am now looking forward to supper with Octavia.

I downloaded photos from my little Olympus. It seems an age since I took them. Still loving the spring colours.

Continue reading