Of Birds, Domesticity, Sleep and Good Catteries

Breakfasted with the lark this morning. Or, more accurately with the blackbird. There may be larks in this patch of London, but I have not heard them. The blackbirds, Mr and Mrs, are increasingly strutting their territorial stuff, reminding all comers, whether human, avian or cat, that this is their manor. There’s a lot of proprietorial sitting together on walls. As they haven’t dive bombed MasterB, I’d say they don’t have eggs yet. The bossy wren who did not conform to the bird book’s description of a shy bird, is nowhere to be seen, or indeed heard. I think he had his singing lessons from the local corvids, and they are strangely quiet this week too. Normally the waist coated chuck of the magpies accompanies each day, while the crows laugh and chatter high in the trees by the railway line.
I have two new domestic challenges today: vacuuming and ironing. Octavia lent me a rather fab fluffy duster on a handle. It made me feel I should be wearing pearls and a day dress whole I floated it gently over the bibelots. By the end of my labours I was a bit doubtful. She gave me a snowy white duster that now looks very grubby. I am tempted to buy my own, but it isn’t very environmentally friendly. The instructions say you can ‘just throw it away’ and install a new one. Maybe not. Getting the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard, attaching the hose shouldn’t take more than an hour, and it will be good to remove fur and crumbs from the floors. The ironing poses more of a problem. Those of you, like Cousin, with utility rooms where the iron and ironing board are in a state of constant readiness, may not understand the difficulty. I reckon I can iron with my left hand, but setting up the board, uncoiling the iron from its home on the wall, and more significantly returning it there, feels like my own personal Everest. Honestly, I take my hat off to Nelson. Though maybe someone else did his ironing.

After a night on Saturday interrupted by pain, I have given in and taken a horse pill at bedtime. Where does that name come from? PG Wodehouse? I was reluctant as the hospital had warned the side effects include nausea, constipation and wooziness. So to obviate the middle one, I have been eating lots of lovely dates, figs and apricots, as well as a daily stick of Panda liquorice. Yum. However, the downside to the good night’s sleep is that I evidently forget I have not as much freedom of movement, and wake up periodically as I try to roll over and my plaster casted arm twinges, or simply refuses to cooperate. Work today involves reading and I would normally be making notes, but that takes so long, I shall be largely relying in my memory. By the end of tomorrow I shall know if that has worked or not.
I am still reeling from the news that Ann and Chris are selling their house and the Cattery. I knew it would happen one day, but hoped they would remain for a few years yet. So if anyone knows of a good Cattery, south of the river and still fairly central, please get in touch.


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