Of Castles, Hats, Dentists and My Summertime Cat

The weather gods have been slacking. I was wearing socks yesterday. In June, a whole week before Wimbledon which generally heralds dark grey skies, icy rain and bitter winds. Sunday wasn’t much better. There was a moment at lunchtime when I thought a pair of gloves would be welcome.

So today, although I heard the sun was expected, I still pulled a warm jumper on over my blouse before heading down to Guildford to meet my new dentist. It wasn’t a social occasion, we weren’t going to chat over canapés and Prosecco, but I was one of the few women at Waterloo Station not wearing either a hat, or that misleadingly named hairband with knobs on, a fascinator. There were so many men in top hats, it was like an edition of the Beano minus Dennis and Gnasher. Ascot. To be honest, I prefer the horses.

I had the day off and my dental check up was overdue, so off I went. By the time I reached GU1, I realised the forecast had not lied, and I spent the rest of my time with my jumper slung around my shoulders. It’s quite a Surrey look, so I have had plenty of observational practice. Lunch was a sandwich in the Castle Grounds, a place I walked so many times as a child that my DNA is embedded in its paths and stones. The castle was swathed in scaffolding and green netting. Men walked along walkways made from planks but I couldn’t see any notices to say what they were doing. Maybe, I mused, the castle keep is being converted into luxury flats. It has an enviable position, a long history, and is set in lovely gardens. An Englishman’s House is his castle after all. I am sure if castles went out of use today there would be an immediate move to convert them rather than leave them as historical piles in prime locations.

I was nearly home when I heard my name being called. Celia was hanging out with her granddaughter in our new gelateria. They were persuaded without too much difficulty to come and sit in the garden and jump for ripe cherries. I went indoors for colouring pens, the cat, and to put the washing on.

MasterB was shy at first, but after a while he joined us. I hoped he’d play with fallen cherries and he did. Maybe he wanted to please me, because moments after saying I should like to see him climb the tree, up he went. What a good boy.


In the Cherry Tree

In the Cherry Tree


One for the calendar perhaps.

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26 thoughts on “Of Castles, Hats, Dentists and My Summertime Cat

  1. Who says cats don’t do obedience? Your every wish is his command, Isobel! 🙂

    I invited Leo up on to the pew in the kitchen to sit by me yesterday. He looked, then turned around and walked over and gave the fridge door an affectionate rub, then rubbed against my shins, thought about it for a minute, decided not to go and have a little nosh of his dried food and finally (two whole minutes later) he jumped up and settled down, purring. This is probably the reason Cat Obedience never features at Cat Shows. They are far too relaxed…

    • We are very bonded. My lovely neighbours say he watches my every move.
      Sounds like Leo is very definitely your boy. 🙂
      Where did this reputation for aloofness come from?
      Are you watching the programmes on BBC2 about the tiger cubs?

    • I met some lovely folk from Colorado on Sunday and recommended your blog to them.
      I thought maybe the Lord Snooty/Beano/Dennis and Gnasher ref would not make sense to anyone outside the UK, so thanks for the reassurance.

  2. I’ve been to Hampshire, Sussex and Kent in the last week and now back home and still we have warm sunshine – it’s been a long wait though. Looks like Master B has found a shady spot!

  3. Isobel, that look on MasterB’s face in your header… He OWNS that place and your heart! Sounds like a great day with Celia and her granddaughter. Sweet picture of him sitting in the grass and little wildflowers!

    • Hi Pix
      I am about to go to sleep and he is on my toes. I had to persuade him to come in. If I didn’t have to get up in the morning I would have been tempted to let him stay out quite a while longer. He is living the summer.

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