Time Off and Time Out

I worked eight days in a row after returning from my hols and boy was I glad to have a couple of days off. I love my work, but it can be a bit intense at times, and I definitely needed time to recoup. I am rereading Milkman by Anna Burns for book group next month. However, my recuperation required doing a jigsaw, and having more credits than I know what to do with with Audible, I decided to buy the audio book so I could listen and solve simultaneously. It works really well. I’m switching between the audio book and the print version according to where I am and what I’m doing. It’s a multi-sensory experience.

This afternoon I left both the audio book and the real one at home and headed to Tate Britain to see the Frank Bowling exhibition. I am so glad I did. It is wonderful. I took some photographs once I realised it was allowed, so maybe I’ll post some of them tomorrow. His work is abstract and I found it tremendously uplifting, though I can’t say why. It made me wish I lived in one of those loft places which are murder to keep warm but which have vast walls. There were several paintings I think I could happily gaze at for the rest of my life.

In the shop I rather fell in love with a book Brenda is a Sheep. It wasn’t, as you may have guessed, the most high brow of the books. I didn’ t buy it, though once in Tate Modern’s shop I did succumb to Old Tom‘s Holiday about an irascible ginger cat who reminded me of Freddy.
Reading the Guardian I had to look twice when I saw a photograph of Chris Packham smiling and with Carrie Symonds. Packham is a massive advocate for wildlife. He is outspoken and brave. Naturally he has received death threats. Symonds is Boris Johnson’s girlfriend. They were photographed at Birdfest in Rutland, described as Glastonbury for bird watchers. Celia and Charlie are there this weekend. I wonder if they have seen this strange pairing.

My cat count has gone up this weekend as, as well as cuddling MasterB, I have been with the Lads Hartley and Romeo, and on Rosie duty for Helena and Jimmy who have gone on their holidays. Rob takes over from me tonight. Helena and I are united in liking Jeeves, the black intact male with white bow tie shaped marking, and wanting to protect our cats and Hartley from Mr Manx aka Stumpy YumYum. My Manx is lovely to humans but a holy terror to other cats. He targets Romeo. I have chased him so many times with and without the water pistol that he runs away if I so much as glare at him from the window. Apparently he picked a fight with Hartley last week and Helena’s nasturtiums got trashed. Hartley usually makes himself scarce when Mr Manx appears, but was evidently forced to fight and inflicted a big scratch on his aggressor’s head. Well done that cat.

I am back at work tomorrow, and on Monday, but then my intention is to head for the boat for a few days. Despite being the middle of August it feels more like autumn than summer. The temperatures have dropped and yesterday was cold and wet in the afternoon. But I have checked the forecast and although it’s still going to be cool for the time of year, looks like a few sunny days coming up.

8 thoughts on “Time Off and Time Out

  1. Jeeves sounds like what we’d call a Tuxedo Cat. “Apparently he picked a fight with Hartley last week and Helena’s nasturtiums got trashed.” What an excellent opening sentence for a novel – I love it.

      • I was hoping you’d write the novel. Or perhaps we could all join in and write it in a circle. Are you suggesting I should be next up? I believe the definition of Tuxedo cat is rather open ended. Just met a pup who has a white milk beard. As if he dribbled a bit too much.

  2. No, we missed Carrie Symonds and Chris Packham, although we were in the same marquee earlier in the day, so have touched the hem of the well-known. Didn’t even know she was speaking until we heard a reference to it on the local news.
    Much enjoyed Birdfair – a gathering of thousands of bird watchers by the lagoons on Rutland Water, so you can, for instance, try out binoculars and cameras as you watch birds on the water. Charlie and I both bought a new pair after studying four cormorants obligingly posing on posts in the lagoon. Not that Charlie birdwatchs – he uses his for reading the score board at cricket matches! He was somewhat bemused to find himself at a birdwatching extravangza.
    I continued our tradition of clothes buying in random places at the Rohan stall so came away the proud owner of a new jacket, fleece and walking trousers.
    What else? Cards from the art marquee; tasty falafels and chick pea curry for lunch; a taste of Cygnet gin from Wales – yes the gin maker is a bird watcher!

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