Keeping it Sane

It’s been a busy week and a productive one. No, I am not talking about Brexit, though a new extension has been granted by the long-suffering EU until October. It sounds a good amount of time, six whole months, but once you subtract the days the house isn’t sitting it’s more like three. Mark Francois has made an arse of himself (again) by making threats to the EU and reading poetry aloud very badly, yet some people think he should lead the Tory party. Hello? Theresa May, whose air miles must be enough to get her to the moon and back by now, returned to the house and made the same speech again. Is it obstinacy, lack of imagination, or a plan to just wear people down? She does an aggressive upward look, reminiscent of Princess Diana, across the floor of the house to anyone who dares contradict her. Whatever the question was, Brexit is not the answer. Tonight, when the news was on, I deliberately left the room to avoid seeing the Farago announcing his new Brexit party with Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata on side as a prospective candidate. Some huge percentage of the adult population says it is suffering from Brexit related stress and anxiety. Tell me about it. I wake up from dreams about it.
Anyway, it’s Friday night and time for a bit of a break, though I fully intend to watch Have I Got News For You at nine o’clock, and I have already listened to the News Quiz. It’s like a itch I can’t help scratching. As though Brexit anxiety wasn’t enough, I have been worried about MasterB for the last couple of days. He has been under the weather, sleeping hugely, not nagging me much to play, taking only a cursory interest in his food. This morning, before I went to work, I rang the vet practice and talked to one of the nurses, describing his symptoms. If she told me to keep a close eye on things once, she told me a dozen times. Being Chief Litter Tray Monitor, I am well versed in MasterB’s bowel movements. Normally his digestive system functions admirably well, just the odd pungent smell from his hind quarters when he is sitting beside me, or the popping sound of wind breaking in tiny bursts. So I was able to say that yesterday’s deposit was less solid than usual. Today’s was even less solid than yesterday’s, so it seems something has upset his tum. I’m hoping he’s on the mend now as he has just led me to the kitchen and had a few mouthfuls of the wet food in his bowl, and his interest in biscuits has definitely returned. So long as it’s nothing serious, a few days of restricted calories might be just what he needs to shift the stubborn superfluous 500g he’s carrying.


While my ginger stress buster regathers his strength, Hartley and Romeo have stepped into the breach. Despite the fact that I chase him away from MasterB with the water pistol, Romeo still comes to greet me in the garden.

Romeo walking

Hartley wants to sit beside me, or on me. He was very pleased when Celia and I sat outside before she set off to Gatwick airport and Crete for a family wedding. Celia had a mint tea, but Hartley was glad I had opted for water. Perfect for sharing.



I’ve always found horticulture to be a good stress reliever. There is something about watching seeds sprout and grow that is immensely satisfying. I hadn’t actually been thinking about it, but then I realised I had five trays of flower seeds growing on the window sill, with more seeds to plant as soon as the first lot are ready to go outside. The one I am really proud of though is this amaryllis.

Home grown

The flowers are completely open now, so maybe another photo this weekend. I grew this from the seeds of one of my other amaryllis plants. For the last two years it has been green and leafy, but no flower, so this has been a wonderful surprise.
Another amaryllis plant has a bud:


And this one is a four flower beauty:


I’m also walking a lot, reading a lot, taking photos; time and tested remedies for stress. I read this book in one sitting, even with MasterB’s help, and I highly recommend it.

My Name is Lucy Barton

Our book group book this month was Heartburn by Nora Ephron. I didn’t think much of it. It was very light reading, good in parts, but I don’t think reading it has added to my life. You’d think that a novel written to be humorous would be the best antidote to stress, but the books that have absolutely absorbed my interest have not been light or particularly happy. It’s been the strength of the narrative and the writing that has given me a welcome break from current events.
I know I’m not alone in needing time out from domestic and international politics. What are you doing to keep a hold on your sanity?

10 thoughts on “Keeping it Sane

  1. I don’t have a good grasp of your political system, and assume I know the different political philosophies of the the Tory and Labor parties but I feel like I could write what you said with just a few changes in words and names. I have been thinking I about what kind of post to do other than the one I’m working on. I think I’ll follow your lead – and of course do a link to this one. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I agree sanity is a rare commodity with the daily news from Westminster! Fingers crossed that Master B continues to recover and resume his usual activities! Have a good weekend!

  3. Afraid you are already applying all my stress modifiers: walking, mindless television watching and cooking. The latter being a problem unless there are ready consumers of the comestibles. I don’t think Master B needs to lose that 500 g – from the looks of those photos, he’s just “big pawed”. Good thing you’ve found domestic bliss with the B cause Hartley is clearly flirting with you!

    • MasterB seems to have more bounce in his paws this morning, and has tucked into some food. I am out at work all day, so am hoping for a full welcome and a demanding, healthy cat when I get home tonight.
      Hartley is a babe. He loves being groomed, fortunate given how much fur he has. He has a home, but he rarely goes there, preferring to live in our garden. I think he would be a perfect therapy cat, living in a community where there are lots of people to fuss him, and where he can enjoy a garden.

  4. Pingback: Keeping it Sane on This Side of the Pond – A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully

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