Seven Years Plus One Day

Tonight Celia and I enjoyed our first g&t of the year sitting out in the garden chaperoning MasterB, who was, I am pleased to say, being very brave in the face of a fairly full on Hartley.

Last night, MasterB and I had a long session in the garden which delayed my bedtime by quite a bit. Hartley does not understand personal space and stayed close to me, leaving MasterB stuck under a car for a very long time until tempted out by play.

Perhaps not the best way to celebrate our Seventh Anniversary, but since his first night here in 2011 was spent confined to the bathroom in the company of his uninvited flea companions maybe it wasn’t so bad.

Today, pre and post g&t, but alas not during as I didn’t take my camera outside, I took some photos of Himself.


Pre gin:

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First Anniversary

This Saturday will be the 14th January. I understand that on the other side of the pond the floss-haired one will be inaugurated as President of the United States, something that strikes me as a being a joke too far, as well as being a jolly disrespectful thing to do on the first anniversary of Aunt’s death.

Or so I thought, but Lyn has just emailed me to say it’s the 20th, not 14th, so goodness knows where I got that idea from.


Auntie Mary october 2015

Auntie Mary October 2015

I meet quite a few Americans through my work. I have yet to meet one who says (confesses?) s/he voted for Trump, which may be significant in itself as I am meeting those who travel away from their home country, and I know a large number of US citizens never acquire or use passports.

A woman today, I’ll call her Jane, told me she is returning on Saturday, and marching on Sunday as a Nasty Woman who is not going to be quiet. She won’t be alone; just her party comprises two busloads of similarly nasty women. She cheered my heart. Continue reading


Yesterday marked the twenty-fourth anniversary of my father’s death. I remember it as though it were yesterday.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of MasterB becoming my cat.

Death and life march hand in hand. Or maybe that should be hand in paw.

MasterB doesn’t seem too interested in having any celebrations. He has refused to sit beside me on the sofa and has commandeered the chair.

I was at work all day, and when I got home, after a quick cuddle he just wanted to go out.

I imagine he’ll want to go out again before he’s ready to settle for the night. This is just a pause for supper, a wash and to catch up on himself. I am wondering when it’ll dawn on him that the garden is now a Cookie free zone. She went to her new home last night. Apparently she was a bit unnerved by the unfamiliar surroundings, but it was no great surprise to hear that within a couple of hours she recovered enough bounce to emerge from behind the sofa and to play with her new family.

That cat has nerves of steel.

Despite MasterB’s lack of enthusiasm for a champagne supper, I felt sufficiently moved by the memory to check back via this blog to see if I had the date right. I had.

This is how it began.

And here are some photographs from the last four years.

April 2011


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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

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.

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Anniversary Days

It’s a year since I wrote this post.
I am so glad I was blogging a lot then. Now it is the anniversary of Mother’s last weeks and by reading back, I can follow the trajectory of those days; my visit in mid April and then the call to say she was dying; the five days leading up to her death. Afterwards.
Octavia and I were talking yesterday about the power of first anniversaries. Why does it feel so important that this month, day by day, I follow, relive, what happened then? The waiting for the inevitable; the knowledge that each time I left her might be the last time I saw her alive. Dementia robbed her of so much, but she was still recognisably my mother. Still someone I loved, with whom the connection was strong. So often those living with dementia are spoken about as though they no longer exist; no longer have rights; no longer have claims to be as human as us.
In the current issue of of the reader there’s a poem written by a woman about her mother who has dementia. It’s warm, celebratory, about the person not the illness. Continue reading

Miracle Dogs

Should I ever have the misfortune to become deaf, I do hope I shall be partnered with a hearing dog.
The work they do astonishes me. Deafness, being hidden, is a socially crippling condition. You miss out on conversations. People think you are being rude when you don’t respond.
The stories in Favour, the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’s magazine, never fail to move me.
Favour was the name of the first hearing dog in the UK. Last year, or maybe the one before, supporters were asked if they wanted to keep the magazine’s title as Favour, or change to something else. It seems we all wanted that first dog’s achievement to stand for the charity’s work.
The charity celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. So many lives have been improved.
You can read about the dogs, their owners, and ways that people support the charity at this address.

A Cat Above the Rest

As those of you know who follow this blog, the cat I write about now, my sweet ginger ninja, is not the cat with whom I first shared this page. A boy of decided opinions, and strong personality, I’m sure had he been literate, the page would be called CatandIsobel. Or possibly, Cat.

He converted this dog person into a cat appreciator, kidnapped my heart and proceeded to conquer my friends and family, as well as making me new friends from his own large circle of admirers.

It sounds like a big claim, but he changed my life. He was a tie, a responsibility, a worry. All those things that people say when they tell you why they don’t want pets. Things I had agreed with. But he gave more than he took, even when he didn’t know it. A visit from Cat brightened Mother’s day. He sliced through her dementia to the animal lover she remains. She was proud that I could let him out of the car and he would walk straight up her garden path to greet her.

When she hovered between life and death last March, he slept on her bed, and she beamed to see him there.
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