Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

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Welcome to CatMinders

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Did I say , we sold the MR2 ? When I say we , it was nothing to do with me though I did help deliver it .

Had a text from D today telling me he was marooned off the Backworth sliproad off the A1 ( is that the name of that big road ) as his throttle had gone . A later report said it was the throttle linkage and a clip had gone and the lonkage had blown up or some such .
I worried that after the petrol pipe of last sunday this would finish him off , but it was soon fixed and apparently cost him a fiver at his favourite garage .
CatCalls coming in now for the weekend so the stormy weather doesnt seem to have affected holiday plans . Two new cats to visit tomorrow night and Debs at the weekend .

Woke this morning at five am , sitting in the bathroom with one of the cats, pondering a hideous feeling of impending Doom . Still no idea what it was all about but unable to get back to sleep , tossing and turning and even my Elizabeth Jane Howard book didn't help . Despite that a good day at the dayjob , back to back appointments but fun all the same . .. Doom had gone by eight thirtyand hasnt returned so maybe it was a bad dream that I didnt remember when I woke .

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Freddie, once more

I really miss Freddie s blog , finding out how he's doing every day , a window into someone else s life and such an inspirational one at that . We miss people according to how they impact on us , what they mean in our day to day lives and , how much we think about them and how much they make or made us think and how what we thought changed us . ( That's what I'm thinking now anyway , as I write this . )
I think abut Mandy , who was my sister in law , whenever I'm on my bike , usually when I'm panting up a steep hill . Mandy was probably the fittest woman I knew , my head would be down as I struggled up some mountain ( they all seemed like mountains to me ) in the Lake District and I would hear this weird clicking noise and it was the gear change on her bike as she steamed past me , head down as well but how it looked effortless . Mandy who taught me without making any effort , how to be a Mother with a capital M , producing tiny notebooks and pencils and felt tipped pens from her bag when we all went to the pub or a hotel bar to eat and the kids were tired and grumpy , and she would have thought ahead to stop off in a little newsagent or toyshop to supply herself with bits and pieces to keep them happy just long enough till the food arrived . Mandy who only ever really wanted another baby ......because of how she felt about her beautiful daughter S who is eighteen now but who was only sixteen when she helped her aunts carry her mum down the aisle in her coffin .
Sometimes nothing much makes sense

Monday, 28 May 2007

Rather a dispiriting day involving a malevolent tea shop in Alnmouth . There had been so many severe weather warnings that we had called off various sunny weather plans thinking they would all be washed out , but in the event though it was very chilly , more like March than May , it didnt rain torrentially nor blow the promised gale so it felt like the day was wasted somewhat , waiting for the worst .

Barter BooksBarter Books - One of the largest second hand book shops in Europe. was as ever though and I managed to get several paperbacks and check out the dogs section for Pug Manuals . It seems Pugs are very Popular at present though , and the shelves were full of cocker spaniels ( been there , done them ....and lovely they were too , except the smelly ears ) and lhasa apsos ( sp?) whch looked both flowing and hairy and elegant .
We then drove on to Alnmouth and the aforementioned tea shop which I pictured crawling with incubus and succubus , though possibly it was more to do with my mood . Even the fact that they called their vegetable soup , broth , irritated me so it was as well when I settled down in front of a further two episodes of Six Feet Under ( more tv in the daytime , where will it end ) . Pearl snuggled up with me . She wasnt impressed with George .

The highlight of the day was playing Hide and Seek with Honey , a cute little six month old we're Calling on , all black and very playful , wriggled like a squirrel when I picked her up , all she wanted to do was chase little toys around and pounce from behind doors . The wood floors meant she skidded a lot but she seemed to like that , a bit like a child sliding along the hall ....

Sunday, 27 May 2007

South Shields ...

Brilliant sun shine and no cats to feed until afternoon .
We managed to make it to the ferry landing by ten thirty with the bikes , camera and a lock in case we wanted to stop for coffee , in high spirits and raraing to go . Despite having lived near the ferry for over twenty five years it was my first time on board . There seemed to be hundreds pf people disembarking as the ferry arrived and a crowd of us ready to head for South Shields and the other side of the river . We left the bikes on the bottom deck and sat up on the top in the sunshine , slight wind blowing .
The cycling was great , no hills , very little traffic as we headed along the sea front , wending our way along the backs of little boatyards which were all a hive of activity , mostly men working on the boats but the occasional woman pulling on a wet suit and ready to launch herself .

A definite sense of being on "the other side" , from our side the beach ( left ) is visible and the fun park and the pier and the red lighthouse but I wasn't expecting these concrete people all in conversation in little groups , not the flatness of the landscape on n this side inn sharp contrast to the steep slopes and cliffs and drops into the sea of North Shields and Tynemouth .

More later , I was dragged away at this point to assist with the sale of a car ( the MR2 has finally gone ......) and its delivery to Gateshead ....Another story

Friday, 25 May 2007

I managed to read a map , the first Ive done in ages . Map ? A to Z more accurate , anyway it ook me a few minutes of stopping the car , turning the page round a few times to work out what was what then , hey who needs a satnav anyway .
But , I did pay loads of money for it when they first came out and now I cant get the maps working and it cant be right to just ditch it . I find what looks like a warehouse and a garage all rolled into one , very much a man's world kind of place but once I find my way in the three men are very friendly and seem to know what Im talking about " you know the code thing where you ring germany well I cant get it to work whenn I input it and now you cant ring them like you used to so can you show me ? " I realise as Im talking I must sound incoherent and one of them looks at me quizically like D does late at night when I talk total nonsense and he tries to make a story out of what Im saying or asking
" Are we talking satnavs here ? " he says " and are you talking the vdo and the icq code "
I realise looking round me hat this is a big company and they sell a million other things besides this particular satnav with the poblem .....

But they dont seem to mind . Its Friday morning and the place is deserted . He tells me they can definitely help but Margaret who knows about them , has phoned in as she is a bit ropey this morning , so they will take my number and she will phone me . Result !
Im more than happy with that , and head off to Debanhams which is just down the road , attached to the MetroCentre and manage to squish myself into some size ten jeans ( though I do bend my longest nail in the process ).

Its the start of a good day ....


A new CatCall arranged yesterday for this weekend and possibly some more dates in August , a lovely little six months black kitten who retreated into her yard and sat and watched me from there . Long and thin with a big fluffy tail , she looks like one of her parents was somebody posh and the other , less posh but fluffy .
The dogs havent got back to us though its still possible , but we have a busy weekend ahead so if they dont thats fine too. A bike ride is planned for tomorrow involving a trip on the Ferry ( my first ) , though the forecast for the weekend is not good so we are hoping to beat the rain . I bought a cat magazine and almost a dog one , but resisted as that would send out all the wrong messages . I did think of buying it then hiding it but thought that wasnt wise . She might think we definitely are contemplating that pug , and Im not , really , am I ?

pugs and satnavs

I was wrong . The post it note (Electronic ,Post-it Software Notes - ) on my laptop screen didnt say Look into getting a pug for Nat , it said Look into buying Nat's pug . There is a difference though subtle .... but it made me think , with its implication that there already is , somewhere out there, a Pug that is Nat's and the message to me was about finding that particular pug , not finding any old pug .

Having spent hours yesterday at home writing a report for court , staring at the screen , searching for the right turn of phrase that couldnt be nitpicked to death later , if it came to it , I awarded myself a few minutes research last night ( pugs , the breed , availability of rescue pugs etc ) . An hour later I was still there , staring at endless cute pictures of pugs crossed with boston terriers ( Buggs ) , pugs crossed with cavaliers ( Puggaliers ) , pugs crossed with chinese crested somethings or others . Its endless . The funny thing is that in the cat world if your cat got out and gets together with a non pedigree you wouldnt be thinking of selling the kittens ( for money , you'd be wondering how to find good homes for them ).... but these cross puppies are still selling for £1000 .....But hey , who cares they're so sweet . ....Just hope N isnt reading this .

Off to get my SatNav fixed ...... another never ending saga of the maps , the codes , the CIQ authorisation system which involves ringing Germany then being told ( automated phone message , polite German voice .. We are sorry that we no longer exist , try the website to get your maps now ...) to get on your computer and manage that way .

But , and this is not inconsequential , I fear becoming lost in Dunston without the SatNav to direct me to the satnav mending shop .
Wish me luck ....

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

a tree in a bed and no Dogs

Another Belsay Hall picture .
The MR2 is still outside the house . The couple who came on Sat and agreed to pick it up on Monday , didnt ring to make arrangments on Sunday so following another flurry of interest yesterday , someone else is coming tonight . Fingers crossed that it goes before D blows a gasket .
The RS2000 is fixed though, petrol pipes replaced and car itself serviced and declared immaculate and worth much more than D paid for it .
CatCalls are coming in now for the next few weeks but neither of the DogCalls have materialised . Shame really , I was looking forward to the Labrador and corgi and dogwalking at the weekend .
Yesterday was a desperately stressful day so I watched two more episodes of Six Feet Under Series Five , Nate s funeral . Several pieces of flapjack came in handy as well .
Reflecting how much I would like to work in a hospice , but that as far as I know there arent any in this area for children and thinking of Freddie , as I do a lot , it seems all wrong . I wonder what it takes a to open one . Money , I suppose .
An electronic post it has arrived on my laptop :
"Look into getting a pug for N "

Sunday, 20 May 2007

...he really didnt have the nerves for it either . He rang the man he thought had bought the car , to ask where he was and what time he was coming , and would you credit it , accidentally got the numbers mixed up and rang the man he had turned away yesterday afternoon , telling him it was already sold and then having a hard time from the man who tried to pressure him into selling it to him anyway " Never mind the other guy , Ive got the money on me , I want to buy it now not tomorrow " and D being a man of principles refused to do the dirty on the first- comer .

Now here he was ringing that man by mistake and saying " how come you're not here ?"

This is probably way too complicated for anyone who wasnt here and didnt see D s face when he came off the phone ....." Its no good , I just cant do this any more ". When Id stopped laughing I told him it could have been worse . He could have accidentally rung the " Time wasting Geordie B*****d people and asked them where they were . Now that would have been funny

Belsay Hall, leaking petrol

51 pictures I took .
I needed to get over my anxieties in the RS2000 and to appreciate that the banging noise from the exhaust is a desirable attribute which even has a name ( a burble , when its attached to a Subaru anyway ) . I managed to relax a little in the passenger seat by flicking through the Sunday Times magazine and avoid looking at the other trafic and tuning out the noise of the engine and whatever else was making all those awful noises that get me in a complete panic and make me feel we are caning it at 100 miles an hour quite unnecessarily . My excitement about Belsay hall helped . Half way up the dual carriageway though , the smell of oil , or burning rubber , or something scary got too much for me and even eating a sour cherry sweet only worked for a minute or two . Turnd out D could no longer ignore the smell on the grounds that it couldnt be happening ( not so soon after Toad Alarm anyway ) and he pulled over on the hard shoulder and we both looked under the engine , which looked very clean and nice and no smoke .
So far so good .
Having parked in a field as ordered by an English heritage person , we walked past her on our way to the exhibits and she called us over and told us we were leaking oil and showed us the evidence on the road . It seemed best to proceed with our day and shelve Broken Down Car Stuff till later .
The art was amazing . The cheese scone was ok . The birds and the flowers and the gardens were inspirational , but when I got back to the car and D told me it was indeed leaking , petrol though , my heart raced thinking of how cars with petrol pouring out of them explode when you see them on Casualty . I wanted to stay there and sleep in the car all night , or ring for the AA man to come and tell us what to do , or even do it for us . I didn't under any circumstances want to be a passenger in that car driving home Far Too Fast ( to beat the explosion )but .....
here I am , downloading my 51 photographs .
The man who bought the Toyota was supposed to call tonight to make arrangements to collect it (and pay for it)and guess what , neither . D , who has been edgy throughout the whole buying and selling of cars business , is looking tense, and threatening to trade the RS2000 in ( at a garage) for a nice big old Honda , and has almost conceded he hasnt the nerves for Trading .
We shall see .....

DogCalls and a can of Carlsberg

Another DogCall ( and another CatCall ) making me wonder whether the ad has been re listed in a different space right next to dog services or something .Maybe there's a lack of dog services at all ? Maybe no such thing as dog services so they have to ring CatCalls . Who knows ?

Such high winds today I was pedalling as hard as I could on the quay and making no progress whatsoever , even got blown up a steep little incline that usually takes it right out of me . Arrived at the ferry landing though just in time for the arrival of the North/ South Shields Ferry . ( Now that I know about the Four Broken Ribs I dont feel quite so pathetic on the hills , don't think back with anguish to five years ago when I could sail up ( quite )big steep hills near Ambleside ).
The winds have also contributed to Toad Alarm Problem , and D was approached by one of the neighbours to let him know the alarm keeps going off , so having sold the MR2 at lunchtime ( to be collected on Monday ) he headed for MotorWorld and had Toad Alarm investigated . Transpires Toad Alarm has long since burnt out , so he dismantles it and has a CD player fitted instead . There's a logic in there somewhere .Meanwhile I fester in front of the Boxed Set of Six Feet Under , season five , revelling in daytime tv which wasnt allowed in my day , in fact it probably didnt exist except on sundays , when there was a Film .
N arrived back from her friend's at nine and shortly afterwards the doorbell rang and she disappeared outside for long enough to burn the cheese and bean toastie she was manufactering in the kitchen .
Later , much later , during a lull in Six Feet Under when I ask who was at the door she said it was A , upset because someone had called her an anorexic barbie . I've lived in fear for years of someone insulting me like that . I should publish my photo at this point .
Just received a text from L " How odd . . I have just found an unopened can of Carlsberg down by the river.. This morning I am mostly painting "
Life on the farm always seems so much more full of detail somehow .
Today is Belsay Hall day . Debbie has heard the exhibits are fantastic . I tried to get TimeCode at Blockbusters but to no avail , hence Six Feet Under.
D has returned from the plant stall at Tynemouth Station with several more tomato plants , a dwarf bean plant and some perpetuating lettuce ( my request) all for a fiver . He is delighted , not least as the numerous tomato plants alraeady set up outside have a fungal infection of sorts and have waterlogged with all the rain . He is trying to shelter the cucumber plants in the outdoor guinea pig run from the wind....

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Dog Calls , threats and stuff

Advertising a cat sitting service elicits all sorts of weird and wonderful phone calls , the funniest last year from a young woman who told me she was Indian and lived in Newcastle and there was a small cat sitting on her window sill and she was scared of him . She asked me if I had any ideas what she could do as she was too scared to walk past him , but on the other hand she was worried about him as he was miaowing and she thought he might be hungry .
We had quite a long conversation whilst I racked my brains and had I not been writing a report to a deadline I would possibly have gone with my instinct to go round and see what was what. Sometimes its hard to separate out what is my business and what's not . We finally decided that she needed to remind herself that the cat was not going to hurt her , that she could perhaps ask a neighbour s advice as to whether the cat looked well cared for , if not she would call the local cat and dog shelter for advice .

I digress , yesterday's call was to request DogCalls rather than CatCalls , and we agreed thinking it would add fun to our weekend to have a labrador and a corgi to take along the fishquay which coincidentally is where they are accustomed to taking their constitional. Next weekend that is .

Yesterday also brought a threatening text about the MR2 citing D as a "time wasting Geordie B*****d" and exhorting him to F*** O** now , which will teach him not to turn down the offer of a daewoo laganza with high mileage . I had no idea advertising cars could be such a colourful business , and was particularly amused by the comment " Your car should be Scraped (sic) " as it was in fact advertised as such , ie as suitable for Spares .

I also enjoyed a useful meeting with a Unison rep yesterday and very enlightening that was . Of which more anon I feel sure .

Todays plans include the usual early morning bike ride ( running late already ) some more MR2 enthusiasts and some research prior to tomorrow s visit to Belsay Hall for the Art
Picture House – Film, Art and Design at Belsay - Artists

The sun is out as well as the wind so the guinea pigs can look forward to an afternoon in the run whilst we clean up their indoor abode .

Friday, 18 May 2007


A flurry of e mails and calls about CatCalls . It must be Summer .

A flurry of calls and visits about MR2 s . It must be the Autotrader . Its still out there though .... the man who wanted to swap it for a Daewoo sent his heavily pregnant wife to view it and she came with the welder and wanted to take it there and then , having driven for over an hour . But the Daewoo had a serious lot of miles on the clock ...
Another man way after hours ( way after my hours anyway ) but turned it down when he cottoned on it was an automatic . It did say that in the ad but never mind .

Will see what today brings . The welder was a man not a tool in case anyone is wondering
The bathroom is all ready for decoration now , and I found a honey face pack in the process . What bliss as I sit here covered in soft plaster .

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Four Broken Ribs and Jane's kitchen . Oh and a picture of the RS2000

Returned to the house at six to find a letter from the consultant who had sent me for a bone scan a couple of weeks ago . As expected , it said , the results of your recent bone scan show that you have four broken ribs and it describes which ones , two on the left side and two on the right , they have numbers attached , 6 and 8 and 8 and 9 I think , anyway I'm assuming they're near the top where it hurts , and , this would account for the severe pain you have been experiencing .
Tears of relief as I read it , an explanation for the pain , making such a difference to how I felt .
Rang Debbie and told her the good news . Weird to describe it as good news but all connected to Day Job Issues and the helpfulness of being to say that I have an explanation for my chest pain .

N out at her friends and D off to pick up a car in Carlisle ( after a day driving to Sheffield for reviews ) so rang Jane and went round there with Jenny s belated birthday present . Not that for once we didn't have it ready on time , but they were away on the birthday , then I rang to arrange to go on Monday but they had mislaid the phone in the upheaval that is their new kitchen , which was another reason I wanted to go round , to see the knocked down walls and the new everything , as you do .
A lovely way to spend an hour or so , fielding the year old collie pup Jem which wanted to climb onto my chair with me . Might have been OK but it was pouring outside and she smelled distinctly of Wet Steaming Dog and besides was really quite damp , and anyway isn't even allowed in that room we were in never mind on the chairs . But the rules about rooms and chairs and permissions had all been relaxed . In the face of no proper kitchen and a temporary one set up in one of the sitting rooms its hard to stick to your guns about furniture . I looked at Jenny's birthday presents and she liked the bag we had got for her and I remembered back to when N was 9 , or even 11 and used to be polite and friendly and ......Though I suppose N is polite and friendly to everyone really , just some of the time not me . But she is lovely with it , even when she is sounding off and telling me how to run my life . Elly is twelve and not thirteen and it shows . She and Jenny both stayed with us whilst we talked about this and that , joining in about school trips , kitchens , ribs and our trip to Center Parcs when I made them laugh with my bravery on the rapids and the attendant loss of my swimsuit and dignity ( probably ) . Did I mention that previously on here , perhaps not ?

This is the RS2000 though not yet clear how long he will keep this one as he has admitted it doesn't quite feel like him . I haven't driven it yet , but I'm not keen on the way the Toad alarm ( sorry the Class One Toad Alarm ) goes off several times every night , causing minor panics at each event , much tripping over mobiles and chargers and fumbling for keys in the dark.
Anyway an ad on several MR2 owners clubs and one in the Autotrader has resulted in several calls about it and a man is coming by later to propose an exchange with a daewoo something or other which not being a Subaru is unlikely to cut the mustard either . Oh well . This won't get the bathroom window sills cleaned . then again with four broken ribs should I perhaps be Resting Quietly

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Oh , now the links are published , they do work!


This article in the Times on Sunday was so my sister that I became convinced she had written it . I spoke to her online , my sister that is , and she feigned lack of knowledge and an interest in reading the article , so sent her the link . Today , Tuesday, out of the blue, received a text from her ( again my sister , not Caitlin ) pointing out that Not Bothering is the ideal solution really , all the delights of the planning and the anticipating without ever needing to get off one's arse ( is arse an acceptable word in a blog ? Ass might be better , but so American ?). Oh , the link didn't work , try this one .....

caitlin How come these links arent working here but they work fine in my favourites list ? Another of the mysteries of the world .

Due to the recent demise of the MR2 ( was that its name ? Sudden mental block , anyway the Blue Car ) D has been frantically scraping around for another Car with Character , ebay being the second port of call , where to my horror he was again focusing entirely on Loud Subarus which go Far Too Fast and make a loud banging noise at the back end to boot .

Having failed in a bid war whilst I was watching Casualty , things were getting desparate as he needed to drive to Sheffield today and still no wheels on sunday night . Undeterred , he found an RS2000 not too far away in a magazine and went to collect it yesterday . The journey involved getting the metro to Newcastle , followed by the train to Durham ( fifteen minutes ), then a bus to the Durham village where it was living . Suffice to say D is not used to public transport.

Whilst he pored over train timetables and bus routes I had a clear picture of him on one of the few trains heading for London which fails to stop in Durham ..... so tried to say to him " make sure you get a train that does actually stop in Durham blah blah " . I knew he wasnt listening , wondered , shall I say that again , but not wanting to come across like someone's Mother , I kept my counsel .

Next day , he texted me to say " Guess what , Im now heading for Darlington. Caught the one train today that doesnt stop in Darlington" .

The car looks great , but I have a funny feeling about it too . Probably just the loud noise from the back end ( a something bore exhaust ?) , which makes me very nervous in the passenger seat . Only one solution to that .

Watch this space .

Sunday, 13 May 2007


No CatCalls today again so the chance to sleep later and recover from the 5am awakening and attendant Issues ( Teenage Business again ). Mist and drizzle from the window so back to bed until 8 with half an hour of Carol Shields to get me back to sleep .

felt like a day to celebrate no work , so cooked mushrooms and bacon and toast as well as the usual Rachel's coconut yoghurt ( from Hexham , we can't get it round here ) and strong black coffee from the new machine . The cats swarm as usual and the guinea pigs squeal with glee as the fridge is opened . Kitty , our tortoiseshell ThunderThighs is furious as Waitrose food is on offer , forgetting that she rejected Pearl Gourmet last week . She barges at bare legs and throws backward hisses over her shoulder but it cuts no ice .

At nine we brave the chill outside and do the usual Fish Quay run , this time with the camera in tow and are rewarded by the arrival of two imposing ferries right in front of us as we ride along the edge with no barrier .

A few minutes later we are in front of the Priory , castle ruins and I stop for a breather ( steep hill ) on pretext of taking some pictures . I hate the fact I struggle with those tiny hills just now , hopefully not for long . The picture of the castle was meant to be here but there you go

Saturday, 12 May 2007


The car I just got used to drving when mine was off the road ... and now its failed its mot and is about to bite the dust .
That patch on the road isnt an oil leak either, it's water after a heavy fall of rain .

Pug Puppy

N is desperate to have a pug puppy . A few of her friends have dogs now , all acquired in the last year or so , and she describes how they all take them out religiously every morning before school and the only reason N herself stays in bed right up till the last possible minute and beyond is because there is nothing to get up for . Of course , with that puppy in place everything would be different . I point out that we rarely see her these days , she is always hanging around with her friends who knows quite where , but apparently most of the friends ( two of them at least ) take their dogs with them and they sleep with them , train them feed them brush them!
As the days pass , the pug puppy begins to turn into the panacea for all ills and would improve all aspects of her functioning , her homework would get done , she would do this and that blah blah .

I resist all discussions for days . We cant have one . We have four cats . The cats are used to a queit life . The cats would hate them . I dont want another dog . After Jasmin I was determined we would have no more .
Finally , proud of my resolve , I call upon Google and sneak a look at a page of pug pupppies , then quickly look at some breeders sites .... £ 1200 .... Surely not ! My Birman kittens went for £350 or thereabouts and are Far Superior in every way . But then again ..... I find myself logging on again and reading about the breed personality ,and before I know it pug puppy has become Pug Puppy in my mind and I hear myself mentioning the fact that N would like one when we meet my mother for coffee at Kirkharle courtyard , a favourite Saturday morning haunt . " Mm " she says noncommittally , trying to carry on the pretence that its nothing , just a passing fancy .( She could not imagine life without her dogs . )

Later in the day N brings my purse to me to give her some money to buy some new school trousers as her old ones "have stretched " , a thing mine never seem to do , and oh poop , she catches me looking at Pug Puppy pictures , little grumpy faces from all angles

Mum , she yells , I KNOW you want one ! And I HEARD you telling Grandma about them too .
Why do teenagers shout everything out loud so the whole world knows your secrets .

Mm indeed .

Friday, 11 May 2007

Freddie's Funeral

Started work on yet another court report at seven knowing I would struggle to get it all done in the day as there was a meeting I needed to go to in Darlington later .... from inside, a lovely day , sunny and bright . By 8 45 took the bike down to the fish quay , the wind was not apparent through the windows , hard work pedalling along to the ferry landing . So much goes on down there .. cycling back along past the shops with their blackboards outside advertising their stuff , much of it home made or home cured or home whatever , the wind at my back I could have been on a Greek island . Wrapped up in a fleece with a gortex over that I was as warm as I would have been in a vest top in full sun , and the sun sparkling off the oily water and later the waves , I could have been anywhere enjoying two weeks of bliss.

Wherever we live now it seems we all live CityLives , seeing nothing except the inside of our homes , our offices , department stores and the occasional pub , hotel or restaurant .
Wonderful to be in a different life which plays out not ten minutes from my house and yet rarely seen by me anyway . On a bike you swish past the shops with wet fish in the doorways and patches of oil mingled with twists of fish guts , close enough to really see the fisherman standing in the alley ways talking and sometimes drinking from a can as they go off after the night shift .

After the quay the wind blows me along the river as it opens to the sea , the waves splash against the walls and I plan the rest of my report .

They buried Freddie on this day , in the afternoon .

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Pulling up at the kerb tonight at six pm I spied an elderly lady watching my approach and obviously ready to have words with me . Tall and genteel with elegantly set hair , yet somehow I knew she wasnt just going to talk about the weather or ask me to look after the cat . Recalling encounters years ago with Mrs L who frequently came out onto the road to complain about her husband , I smiled and then looked away but before the car had fully come to a halt she stepped off her perch on the pavement , and pulled open my car door . ( Goodness me what price personal space ) . She immediately launched into a tirade of words ( well , yes , there now , you see ) so I said Are you all right ? fearful even as I spoke that she might clout me one .

No , I'm not , she said , firmly , Ive had enough of you pulling up to the kerb with your dark glasses on and telling me nothing of anything I need to hear , you're saying nothing at all of anything .

Oh ! I said . Im sorry .
Anything else would have sounded inflammatory I think .

Im sure there are people all over who would agree with her , though how she knew how little I have to say , beats me .

And at that she stalked off up the road .

I collared one of the neighbours later who recognised my description and promised to have a word with her sister whom apparently she might have been looking for .

Thursday, 3 May 2007

3rd May

Yesterday Freddie died at quarter to six pm . The previous morning the picture at the top of the website was changed to a tranquil scene of a waterfall over rocks and with pale flowers at either side . Overall feeling that his pain is gone , over . And a feeling that none of us can anticipate how we might feel in his parents’ situation , or in any situation other than our own .

At around the same time I had been reading a distressing letter ( day job , where I am reducing my hours ) . None of these things mean anything , or much and long may that continue .
Such an amazing thing that I came across Freddie s life , the blog , his story and his parents story , which perhaps would not have happened had I not been ill myself and had time to pursue it .
So many trivial everyday things I could write , but I don't want to detract .

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A new CatCall inquiry on the machine so leave a message and hope they get back to us.
D's car , the automatic which I need a hoist to get in and out of , and which I've only just learned to drive since Steve was looking after mine , has failed its MoT today and would reportedly need a four figure outlay to weld back together etc . I quail as he flicks through a car magazine and looks at cars-which -can-go-really-fast and I panic about his next speeding ticket .

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday