The world continues to turn. England is still in the World Cup. Wimbledon starts on Monday, and after weeks of dry, not to say hot, weather, rain is forecast. So some things are disorienting and some things are reassuringly normal.

MasterB is constantly, gorgeously himself. Enjoy.

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Beautiful, Happy Boy

As some of you know, MasterB has not been very happy in our garden for some time. The problem, or rather problems, being the local cats who have designs on his territory.

However, last week in the few unseasonably warm days we enjoyed, he sat outside with me while I got on with some work and he was obviously relaxed, obviously content. It was like having my cat back again. I hope we have more days like these in the summer when it comes.

With bluebells

Showing his stripey jumper

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Pictures from the Marina of My Beautiful Boy

While I loved seeing some of my near relations at das Boot. It was very nice to be alone with MasterB when they left. He had not really socialised, spending most of the time we had company hidden under a pillow in the aft cabin.

But with few people at the marina, he enjoyed some shore leave. While he gets scared very easily by passing vessels or near voices, when it is quiet he has a courage and sense of adventure that scares the living daylights out of me.
One or more of these pictures will I hope appear in the 2018 Ginger Ninja Calendar. As it is nearly September I should be putting it together soon, so shout if you have particular favourites.

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Boat Perfect

A week ago I was at the airport, learning that my flight had been delayed and starting the slow return to London after a break in the country where I had been surrounded by fields with cows and fat lambs; wild flowers in the hedgerow; skies that changed from grey to blue and back again; farm buildings and farm machinery a part of the landscape; and greens of all the shades they say make up Ireland.

But hold on a minute, for I am again surrounded by fields, by sheep and cows and hens; there are farm buildings and farm machinery; this morning’s pale skies have become a radiant blue; the hedgerows buzz with bees enjoying the wild flowers; the countryside is swathed in her summer greens. The internet connection is just as erratic as at Cousin’s.

Yellow, Red and Beautiful

Most of the summer my night and early morning routine has included filling watering cans and soliticiously making sure the tomato plants had enough to drink. That reminds me we have had warm, even hot, days this year, hard to remember now when it feels more like late October than early September. Last night I went to bed in my winter pyjamas. I am back in socks, long trousers, jumpers and even a coat.

But each day, despite the gloom, we harvest. That watering has paid dividends. The basil has been bushy for weeks; the lemon balm is suddenly looking promising after months of being undersized and weak; the thyme, planted last summer, is absolutely settled and expanding; and the parsley, recovered from its infestion of white fly, is green and plentiful. The green beans are nearly over – though I ate one last night – the peppers are ripe and hot.

But its the tomatoes who are the stars. We have about eight plants; different varieties; some small, some large; some yellow, some red. And all delicious.

Just look.

Big Red and Beautiful

Big Red and Beautiful

I love this one so much I can hardly bear to eat it. Maybe I’ll photograph it being cut in half and incorporated into salad when I do. It is becoming redder and redder sitting in the kitchen.



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Of Bradley Wiggins, Pets, Names, Squash and Post-Paralympics

Cycled home tonight with a colleague. He has a new dog named after his hero, Bradley Wiggins. He’s hoping it will be Sir Bradley wiggins soon. I saw another friend and waved. As we were going by he called out “We’ve got a new moggie.” We wheeled round to learn more. Sandy and Steve’s beloved cat Winston was mauled to death by two fighting dogs back in March. They thought they would never have another, but returning from Germany they found a scrap of a cat crying on the doorstep. A tortie, her half starved state hadn’t dimmed her character. Her working name was the Piranha for her sharp sharp teeth. Now she is officially Fang the Mighty.
My own gorgeous one was pleased to see me and we had an extended bonding session before he decided it was time to go out where we found Sonny waiting for his dinner.
Talking of the ginger ninja, I am considering changing his online name from NotCat to MasterB. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know he is NotCat to distinguish him from Cat, my soulmate feline who introduced me to the joys and challenges of life with a cat. Continue reading