Friday 13th

I have been out and about a good deal this year, mainly work, but some treats including last night’s trip to the pantomime at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, and, at the other end of theatrical experience, to see Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams in Mary Stuart at the Almeida Islington. But more about them perhaps in another post.

Now I have a free day, am at home and the evidence of my comings and goings is all around me in unfolded clothes and unread newspapers. Of course I could put those unread papers straight into the recycling, but I have missed quite a lot of the news this week. Octavia filled my astonished ears last night with the Donald Trump/Meryl Streep story as we travelled home from the panto. So actually reading some of the papers this morning seemed a good reason to gather my strength and make a plan.

So I am a bit more up to date with what goodies are on the way in the arts, though I realise I have already missed some. I am hoping SSGB which I saw being filmed in Greenwich at the end of 2015 will be on when I am in Northern Ireland next month and I get to watch it with Cousin. I have flicked through the cookery supplements and consigned them to the scrap heap. The recipes look delicious, but the long list of ingredients for each one makes me tired before I start. In last Saturday’s Guardian magazine I found several gems. Clive James very much on form, quite like the old days; a restaurant review containing the words ‘the food is to subtlety what Trump is to interior decoration, but the effect is blinding’.

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To be fair, Cat doesn’t do a lot on this blog. But someone else had already bagged Isobel as their blog name, so I added him in and the blog became  IsobelandCat.

Cat is one of my main ‘characters’,  the other being Mother. There are a lot of cats and a lot of mothers out there so I reckon it’s fairly safe to talk about them here.

In case you are a friend reading this and worried that your identity will be revealed online, it won’t. I change names, even Cat’s real name is not revealed, I blur and mix locations.

Cat contributes in other ways than typing, though he does like to sit on or near the keyboard, which I see today is alarmingly furry, and has taken to resting his paw on the mousepad, which effectively stops me from writing anything.

When I used to write feature articles regularly from home, Cat would like to join in the interviewing process. He regularly stole my pen, sat on my  notebook and generally muscled in where he had no right to be.

Surprisingly often his antics helped me. I would apologise, explaining that I needed to get another pen, or that every time I tried to write, my hand was being ‘hunted’ by my cat which was why I was squeaking in pain. The person at the other end would change from the formal and official and ask me about him, tell me about their own pets, and when we finally got on with the main purpose of the call, a new and much more relaxed conversation would ensue.

I always felt the picture beside my byline should have been of him, with me somewhere in the background. He never got any official credit then, so it seems fair he gets to be top of page now.