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

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Friday, 31 August 2007

RedBubble.com

The excitement ...! Someone ( I'm sure its Michelle ) has bought some of my art work at http://www.redbubble.com/ I can hardly believe it . And all because of some cat photos on my blog here .

I plan to buy some greetings cards myself , of my pictures of the lighthouseCatCalls: Early evening at the lighthouse and the Baltic art gallery CatCalls: Baltic Art, Andy Warhol etcwhich have had the most comments of all at RedBubble , and some of other people s work . Must feel amazing to see your name on the back of a card .

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Strange Days and Nights


I dream I walk past my car and a man is trying to break into it . I shout at him and he shows me he has a knife and comes close to me to threaten me and Nat with it . He is short and menacing . He forces me into the house and pushes past us and goes into the garage ( its my childhood home now , once I am in the front door ) . Nat and I stare at each other and in my dream the word Petrified comes ito my head . I am frozen . I am too scared to contain my fear and I wake .
I am calm , though terrified , my body is not reacting . My breathing is normal and my heart rate slow as ever .
It is 2 am and I cant sleep . I read Margaret Drabble The Radiant Way till 3 30 am , and my headache is not bad at that stage .
I sleep again and this time I dream the streets are flooded . I drive along the coastal path and it is flooded , people are swimming in the streets , stranded and trying to get to their destinations , and my car is mowing them down . I am about to drive right over a group of swimmers and my brakes will not function in the deep water . I am a ship . Again I can't contain the fear and I wake .
With the alarm at six forty I have a headache again . I have one CatCall which is easy , I function on automatic and switch on a tap to let the cats play in the water , which they love . They are bored with their own company so anything new entertains them .
I return home and cancel my 1 pm meeting as my head is by now throbbing , I am nauseous and driving is not safe .
My headaches have colours . Sometimes they are red , fiery flame red . At least this one feels alive . Today its the one I hate the most , the yellowy bilious green colour which makes mefeel half dead . I contemplate the knife of my dreams and the fantasy of sticking a knife into my head , to cut out the pain . It makes no sense , I know , but then nothing makes sense when you can't escape pain , when life is on hold for yet another day , which at the start of the week held so much promise .
I spend the day dozing , reading when I can , and counting my blessings that I am working less at the Day Job and not having to force myself to go in . Finally , at six thirty, Immigran starts to work . Maybe tomorrow will be better .

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A monkey .....

I go to bed soon after posting last night due to headache and inability to concentrate any more . I fall asleep quickly , wake as N comes up and hearing her look into my room ask if I can have a drink from the water bottle she is carrying . That's the last thing I remember ... headache pills having knocked me out .... D arrives up a bit later to see if I'm still in the land of the living and asks me if there's anythinghe can get me ( he's lovely like that ) .

Apparently I then say "yes , a monkey" .

He then says " Im not sure Im going to be able to get you a monkey at this time of night to which I reply " oh well thats all right then " ( see how accomodating I can be . )

This morning he tells me this is his sign that the medication has kicked in . Apparently Ive asked for a monkey on several occasions.

I wonder if this is connected to when we were little reading the Enid Blyton books and one of the characters has a monkey as a pet and another has a parrot . We would have given our eye teeth for either of these , not content with our smooth haired fox terrier and our cat ( oh and the garage full of pet mice ) . But we were refused . For some reason there was a view in our family that a monkey would wee in the teapot .

I guess my desire for a monkey has endured across the years , to emerge at times of stress...

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Drowning in a swamp ...


Drowning in a swamp these last few days ....

After eating something at the weekend I then had a migraine arriving so took Immigran which then gives me rebound headaches . Coupled with anxieties about what if ... what if it doesn't clear and I can't manage the Day Job this week when I'm due back , what if it doesnt get better and I have to take more medication leading to more problems , what if what if ?
Problems with my left eye making my usual distraction of reading when the headache is not s bad , or dulled with painkiller , not an option . So the worrying increases .

But oh the bliss of taking Immigran when the head is throbbing and the neck is stiff and its unbearable .... the little pink tablet that you can almost feel dispersing into your veins . The feeling of lightheadedness it brings on is not pleasant but when you start to feel it there 's a sense of relaxation which starts , if you're in a safe place and not trying to drive home or drag to the end of a working day . It starts as you perceive the beginning of the End , the end of pain . It can take minutes to dissipate , or it may not work at all . Usually when there's going to be no relief its because youre already past the point of no return and nothing will help except time and maybe the vomiting which sometimes relieves the pressure that seems to build up . And when the light headedness comes thats a sign usually that its going to help .

I'm still trying to figure out the food allergies or triggers . Eggs is one . Some heavily spiced foods don't help . Dark expensive bitter chocolate is best avoided .

One more day at the Day Job then I can relax , know that even if the migraine persists its ok , CatCalls is quite manageable . Cats in fact seem to know when I am less vibrant than usual ... I do everything slower and sit down with them more and they will often jump up to me and purr and do whatever it is they do to show affection .

I smile at the memory of an afternoon visit some time ago to a fabulous apartment overlooking the sea . It was painted mostly in white and as I walked in, the sun glinting off the white walls caught me unawares and bang I was into a classic migraine where I was unable to see properly and knew I couldn't function sufficiently to drive home . I fed the cats , sat down heavily on one of the leather sofas and next thing I knew it was an hour later and I had fallen asleep . A soft beige throw was across me ( I must have pulled it over myself as I slept ) and a huge grey cat was parked right on top of me , also fast asleep . .....

Monday, 27 August 2007

Alnwick Garden




Wierd shot and Tree House .
Argh .... left my camera on macro setting after taking some flowers in the yard last night at the barbecue .... and all my photos today are blurred and Blurgh ..... a bit how I feel for some reason unknown and unquantifiable ...... will be back when I'm back in focus ....

Rogue Sausage

Last night we had a barbecue and as ever there were some deliciously charred looking sausages left . Having resisted all night to have just one more , I finally succumb at bedtime and take a half sausage upstairs with me . So , carrying the usual mobile , Times 2 ,and half a sausage , as I call at the bathroom I pile up the items outside the door . Somewhat surprisingly , as our cats don't usually eat " proper food " ( you could leave a roast chicken out on the bench and they would walk past it sniffing in disgust ) , when I emerge a few minutes later , Toby and Jessie are squabbling over the half sausage .
I shrugg ( in my head ) and go back down for the other half ( I sound like an expat in India) .
Later ,I hear D come up to bed and can track his passage across the landing then his double take at the rogue sausage mangled on the cream carpet . I hear him tut to himself as he realises what it is and as he comes into the bedroom he relays the story . Kitty was hard on his heels and did the same as him , though with much exaggerated gestures as she turns the corner and screeches to a halt at a safe distance from the offending item , playing the cartoon cat with gusto . I wish I had seen her .
This morning the sausage is gone .

Sunday, 26 August 2007




The Guinea Pigs have such different personalities . Hedgehog , on the left , just looks benign and pleasant , genial to the last and its hard to work out why exactly . Altogether more confident and forthcoming , she seems to enjoy life more than Tinkerbell , right , who when looked at in close up has a definite wariness to her . Something about the set of her eyes , or maybe its the colour .. red eyes being generally linked with "something other ". Question , is the personality a result of the appearance or vice versa ?
To be continued , with comments on Germaine Greer and Princess Diana .....and yes there is a connection with guinea pigs ..

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Corbridge afternoon ...



Sofa Girl and Cat


So many late nights , finally a girl has to rest ......

cat pictures




Toby ( left ) checks the progress of the black eyed Susan every day .
Pearl surveys the scene from her vatnage point of the old suitcases on top of the treadle sewing machine .
being deaf she always likes to be high up , and with her back against the wall . I suppose it means no one can creep up in her unexpectedly .

Things its not ok to blog about ?





Its been a dilemma for me , since I started this blog which was designed to let people visiting the CatCalls website http://www.catcalls.biz/ know about me and our services looking after cats locally in their own homes . But , as these things do , it started to spiral , mostly because I'm verbose , I like to write and its hard to confine myself to simply cats ... and also , a swith anything , catcalls is not the whole of me or my life , in fact its a much smaller part than I'd like .

And from the start it seemed like there were so many things to write about , like being a parent to a teenager , being in a relatively new relationship , the unexpected experience of having been a single parent which was the last thing I'd ever wanted to even considered possible , like the Day Job which has many fascinating aspects , and many difficult ones . But for various reasons, from the outset I decided most of these were out of bounds . The CatCalls aspect meant I needed to be upfront about who I was so the blog couldn't be anonymous .

Over time I have included little snippets about my daughter N and usually checked with her if it was ok . Of course this meant leaving out the bits I really wanted to include , all the stuff about the Challenges I think we call them nowadays , and leaving in only the stuff that I know she would be ok with say her friends seeing , or that I know wouldn't upset or offend her . Only a few nights ago she was looking at her laptop sitting right next to me and started laughing and laughing . I realised she was looking at the blog , a thing she rarely does , and was very amused by the story about the nectarine which involved her .CatCalls: healthy living And it made me think . One of my favourite things when I was little was a birth record book , you know the thing where your mother fills in all the details of your birth your weight a curl of your hair when your first tooth came through and such like . I would look at this book endlessly , even when I was a teenager I think . It was a pink padded book with a lovely cover and little bits of things stuck in . The sad thing is I dont know where it is now ? And it struck me that the nectarine story is the modern day equivalent , via blogging , and that inspired me to question my earlier assumptions about keeping N's personal life out of here .

So , last night , when we were visiting my parents , all sitting at the table , we started talking about the tea towels which were on the wall, see above , which included some amazing pictures . I guess all nurseries and first schools do them , and the kids are invited to draw themselves . We were all in hysterics by the end commenting on the various children , many of whom are known to me now as teenagers , and how they saw themselves at the age of four or five .

I have one of these towels but mine is saved away somewhere carefully . How much more sensible to have it on the wall where it can spark off such interest and laughter . ....

I'm not sure what Im saying here exactly , about how much more I think it's ok to include in a blog , but its made me think .

Friday, 24 August 2007

Edinburgh Day

The much planned Edinburgh day finally came off yesterday . The previous week the Castle Howard spicy soup had put paid to the plans , but the tickets were rebooked ( and fully refunded as well which was a bonus , thanks to D going to the station on the day we should have travelled . Going even a day later would have meant a ten pouds charge . Worth knowing , that is . Strikes me though , if you cancelled due to illness how many people would be able to get there on the day of travel to claim the refund ? I digress ) and plans were made .

A faster than usual tour of the cats , birds and fish , managing not to set any alarms off to slow my progress , and we were at the station , brilliantly sunny day , with time to spare .

Out of knowhere as we sat outside Costas Liz appeared . I havent seen her in ages , since her book launch in fact when she was so busy launching we didn't have much time for conversation . I've had one or two enigmatic texts since then proposing meetings which have somehow never quite come to fruition though we did get so far as to name a restaurant .....

She was with A , her partner , and her two sons and a friend from Kenya , Mark , a lawyer, and they were also having an impromtu day out though with firmer plans than ours ( which were mainly shopping dominated in line with N's desires ) to take in the Arts , some theatre and even a craft event . J , at lunch , " can you imagine , mum even went to this thing to make FELT ! "

We hesitate about trying to switch our tickets so we are travelling together but finally meet for lunch later in the day and a happy couple of hours are spent touring the city and taking in the sights and the sun whilst trying to locate a lunching facility which will accommodate all our needs ..... Mark's for meat , A R and J for something veggie though there were additional Issues for J of a twelve year old boy nature which I didnt fully appreciate , myself having a thirteen year old who eats Chips with gravy or Chips with Gravy please . After several false starts , including being in a queue with trays loaded with items which have to be abandoned right as we approach the cashier , as there is a distinct lack of the right kind of Meat , we finally descend on British Home Stores , laughing at the notion of travelling to Scotland for BHS food .

We walk ( and shop ) for what seems like miles .....and N and I wind up the day pretending to be old ladies and soaking our feet in a bowl of Radox Substitute . Bliss .

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Thai 7

Two cat calls this morning .
I went to bed early last night as my eyes were hurting so much . I have a condition called Dry Eyes and if I'm working on the pc all day , especially the laptop it seems to really get to me . They stream and hurt and the left one feels like there 's a lump of grit in there and I get convinced if I rub hard enough it will come out . In the end I went to bed at eleven thinking maybe reading up there will be less painful than messing on the laptop . I managed a few minutes of Margaret Drabble "The Radiant Way" ... having started the trilogy with last weeks migraine I'm now hooked again . Its the eighties but still good , still feels relevant . But my eyes were hurting up there too .. so I fell asleep early , woke at fivethirty and then back to sleep . I don't know about you but if I have more sleep than usual I end up waking feeling worse . This morning it was so hard to drag out of bed , after weeks of being up and raring to go at 6 30 . Or seven maybe ?
Everything happening in slow motion , couldnt be bothered with my usual breakfast , cereal bar and coffee instead , and off to the first CatCall .

As soon as I open the frong door , and through the porch and hurry to the alarm pad , I can smell something is not right . Now often there is a wierd smell here as these cats need their litter tray changing every day , but this was something different , so I go into the kitchen carefully wondering what Im going to find . These are the Mischief Personified big kittens who eat vast quatities of everything going , nip the back of the legs if the food doesn't materialise fast enough , and then give cuddles and kisses standing on the kitcehn benches and reaching up to my shoulders to steady themselves .

Right in a swathe across the floor is this terrible streak of red and this amazing smell I can't quite place . Blood is my first thought , though the cats are racing about happy to see me . Across the counter tops are red foot prints , and a path over the shiny glass table top . I step closer , still not sure I want to know whats been going on , and begin to see that the red stuff is powder , and there rolling in the corner is a spice jar . Thai 7 its called , Not one Ive come across before ..... the cats smell of it too , their food bowls are full of it as its trajectory from spice rack to floor with lid parting company with jar is a wide one . In fact , lets face it , everything is covered in Thai 7 .

Arrive home to find a load of whites locked in the washing machine . Those things are great till the door handle breaks then you find yourself staring forlornly through the porthole and wondering if it might have been simpler to wash them by hand in the bath .
Oh well maybe not .

Back to the laptop and the report , this one will probably end up in the High Court ....

Edinburgh tomorrow . Reckon I 'll stay up late tonight to make sure Im fresh in the morning .

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Mugshots and PopTarts

I'm late posting today . Several reasons , I'm no longer on hols from the Day Job so report writing has had to come first , and this time I had to go into the office as well . Ah well such is life . I love it really .

Next , I started looking at other blogs and diaries in earnest this afternoon / evening and I just got hooked . Some people have been blogging for ages and there' s so much fascinating stuff to read , I keep logging back onto the same sites and being unable to drag myself away feeling vaguely voyeurisitic as I go , peeping through windows into other worlds . Most of the worlds are very other too , people writing about their relationships in great detail , about their kids , about their spiders . Etc etc . I could go on . But that would keep me from my own efforts .

N is still on summer hols and keeps popping up with her friends as I sit at my laptop , surrounded by cats and papers and a mounting pile of echinacea tea cups and other assorted debris , including a half completed Times Quick Crossword and Oh Bliss my latest obsession Codeword . This is an amazing new ( I think , if not I've only just noticed it ) puzzle which is remarkably wonderful if you get it right and believe you me can ruin the day if you make a mistake .

At the dinner table the girls are belching hugely . I note their trick of , immediately after burping , shouting Safety . If the other person gets to shout Badger before they shout Safety , there is some consequence .
I burp myself , very loudly , partly showing off in front of a guest and partly to see what happens . They shout Badger . I fail to shout Safety and they start slapping me on the arm( albeit gently in deference to my age and presumably , lack of understanding ) , in unison . Shouting at the same time " name six cereals " which I hear as name six serials , so I shout Skins ( which I have heard them meantion is a new tv show .
They look bemused ..... No Mum , shouts N , Breakfast cereals
Oh right I say , entering fully into the spirit now
" Rice crispies !
Mugshots !
Tarts ....
Mum ! tarts ! thats not a breakfast cereal !
Pop tarts I shout
Cornflakes !

Before long I have six ... some time later , during a post mortem of my word-confusion , the girls look at each other . Mug Shots ! Says P . Mug Shots ? says N. D is queitly wetting himself behind his dinner .

Dont worry , says N . Its just those pills she takes . I keep my counsel .
I stopped taking those anti epilepsy pills at least three months ago . This is just how my brain works these days .

Monday, 20 August 2007

healthy living


N eating a pot noodle for breakfast and I ask her is it possible that she might eat something healthy in addition . Oh yes she says companionably ...I will have something ....( I wait .).... I could have one of those red balls . Red balls ? I ask , yes red balls , she says , in the plastic tub . Those red and green balls .... (I wait ).... she looks up and gives me her attention . I think they're a fruit or something . She means nectarines .
She finally did have one , at nine fifty pm .
Down to two sets of cats now and one tomorrow then back up to two for another three days this week . Its all good . Back to the Day Job this morning so it was great to get up at six forty five knowing I still had cats which extended the feeling of being on holiday and as I was report writing from seven thirty onwards it was a welcome relief to fit in visits to cats and gardens and bird and fish feeding , not to mention trying out my best handwriting to make it legible for the Returners .

The report didn't go so badly either , though it will need working on again on Wednesday if I can find the time to go back to it as there s another three looming .

Weather sunny this afternoon so the Pigs went out in the pen for a while ( run I should call it otherwise they sound like Proper Pigs as opposed to GPs .)

Last night the bedroom door was accidentally left open and the cats all fell asleep in our room . This morning at five am as they started to parade around I began to think of how without opening the eyes its possible to work out who is who . Toby comes in heavily , straight up to the middle section of the bed , squeaks like a bat a few times , paddles with his paws a bit then flops down and sleeps heavily , barely stirring . If you needed to push him across he would go with the flow , sink back nto place and start sighing in sleep again .
Jessie arrives to the side of the bed , lighter on her feet , no noise , and immediately starts scraping with her foot like a deer scraping the snow in search of a blade of grass. If she can she ferrets under the covers , finds a fleshy protuberance and digs at it . And digs , and claws appear . And finally , either she settles down , or you lose patience at being used as a sharpener and ask her politely but firmly to leave . At which point she leaves via your head . Standing On and Walking On . Your Head .
Pearl makes chirruping noises in her throat , and mostly sits in the upright stance on the chest of drawers . For hours . Watching as you sleep ,Most disconcerting . Occasionally she comes to the side of the bed and stretches a paw out in front of her and sleeps .
Kitty is noiseless but deadly . At the bottom of the bed , never heard arriving but lashes out ferociously and purposefully if the feet move .

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Kittens

The wicked S kittens continue to surprise and delight .

Girly Cat flies past us into the utility room and dives into the pile of newspapers there for purposes of lining the litter tray . Squats for yet another long wee, looking happily over her shoulder as she does so . Triumph !

Navigation ....


Me yesterday , when my excellent navigation skills were called into question .

Rosemary cake ....


Rosemary cake , with rosemary and orange infused icing ......the picture doesnt do it justice , it tastes better than it looks .

Tickets .......




Collecting tickets for Edinburgh at Central Station , decided to tarry awhile in town ..... my loitering included coffee and carrot muffin in Cafe Royale , never need an excuse to go there !
My real reason for lingering .. D hit a problem hanging blinds , not his fault , the wall was not straight at all , or the window frames were askew or something . Either way having fretted long and hard ove rthe Cutting of the Fabric and the Hacksawing of the Rod and Wood Dowelling bit , now having got it perfect , it was hanging off to the left ..... much anguish and hand wringing .
I felt my interests would be best served by Leaving him To It .....
and yes arrived home and it was all perfect . Blackout achieved . Now N can stay in bed all day if she likes , the sun will no longer disturb her .
Spotted in Fenwick cosmetic dept , a very fine looking pot of something called Hand Relief . Surely not ? I had to retrace my steps .... hand cream no less.
Action day here .... raining and blustering outside . Two families back from hols today so a bit of a clean up at their places to make sure it looks ok when they return . Putting rubbish outside making sure litter trays are pristine etc ... but I wonder if any of it is worth it . Sure that as soon as I pull the door shut behind me the cats skip about doing their worst . I usually leave notes too but I often get feedback about my illegible handwriting so maybe its not really worth it ?
Baking a rosemary cake , my first cake in ages . Fresh rosemary out of the garden . D is putting up blackout blinds in Nat's room . teenagers need darkness so they can stay asleep long after the sun has risen and she has had to do her best stacking her spare pillows against the window frames , to no avail . D fretting as he cuts off swathes off the blinds , in case he gets it wrong . I'm still considering the bathroom , and occasionally making forays into N's room to throw out another pile of "stuff" .
Trip to the station later for train tickets for Edinburgh for this week ( in this rain ? may not be wise ? )
Its all go .

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Chasing Art


Drove to Newbiggen by the Sea this morning to view the progress of the beach sculpture . Two people , man and woman , to be called Couple , on a plinth , placed out at sea assisted by a crane . When the tide is out they appear on a pile of rocks , as seen left . But when the tide is in , presumably they will appear to be out at sea , surveying the scene BBC NEWS England Tyne Giant coast sculpture installed
Misty day , unsure whether the soft focus shot to do with the mist or the zoom lens .
Followed by a trip to Barter Books to buy presents and reading material as I have had to resort to re reading ( for the twentieth time possibly ) Margaret Drabble , A Natural Curiosity . Part of a trilogy this is one of my favourite recovering from migraine books . I know the story and the characters so well that reading is effortless , comforting .
And finally Ikea . I knew when I spotted a wood cabinet with basket drawers that I would find a spot in the house for one somewhere and sure enough , I found a cabinet shaped gap in the bathroom just yesterday . Delightfully installed already , it looks perfect and sets off D's window painting of this week to perfection . We spent a happy fifteen minutes in there placing and re placing a tissue box to best effect . This decorating lark could turn out to be addictive . the porch is looking a bit down at heel , not to mention the kitchen. Hall , landing and stairs ? Possibly .

pre pre senile dementia ?

As I prepare raw carrots for a salad earlier , D asks me what I plan to have with my salad , bearing in mind it is almost lunchtime . Oh , nothing much , I say , probably just a sheet of paper .

Even as I say it , I hear the words coming out of my mouth and know they are the wrong words . But it takes me a minute or two to tell him my plan , a slice of toast .

Friday, 17 August 2007

CatCalls

Catcalls this morning a joy with no headache but still spaced out enough by medication from yesterday to need to do everything at a slightly slower pace than normal . Four calls this morning and I head for the Fairytale Garden first . The bird feeders are empty as ever , the wire feeder knocked to the ground and pigeons marshalling the grounds waiting for my attention . The cats are much less insistent , both outside in recognition of the sunshine , the house deserted and though one of them follows me round the garden pledging allegiance I know she can't wait for her proper family to return .
At the second house , where there are two quite wicked kittens , mayhem awaits . The cupboard door in the kitchen is open , despite being firmly retaped yesterday , and they have been inside pulling items to the edge as best they were able . No mean feat for a cat . The vegetable baskets are overturned and one of the portraits of the family dog has been hooked off the wall and has flown some distance across the floor . Toys are mangled . They leap at me in delight and as I go into the utility room to collect food and wash dishes , the boy cat nips me playfully on the back of the leg . As I bend to bring out a tin of food I notice him clamber into the sack of cat litter wood chippings and begin to settle himself down ( probably to do what cats do best in cat litter .....) Argh , I scoop him up and tell him he has a properly appointed place for such matters . Later , when I empty the tray , clean it and replace the newspaper which lines it , before I have the chance to fill it with litter , the little girl has jumped aboard and started to produce a very long wee, looking around and blinking proudly at her skill in managing to thwart me where her brother failed . Oh well .
At my fourth house , I am delighted to see that Mr Upstairs is home , though attempting to confuse me by lounging on a leather beanbag downstairs . I am not used to seeing him after day three of a stint , as he tends to get bored and move in with one of the neighbours , but here he is though making it clear by the disdainful look he gives me that he is not welcoming attention . Ms Downstairs is cheery as ever flitting about in front of me and landing on chairs so that she is at the right height for conversation . I am tempted to water the garden , but mindful of the forecast decide to leave till this evening as it is likely to rain anyway . Though I will go out there later in any event as there are raspberries promised , and possibly even a strawberry .
At the final call ( usually I go to her first but as she is alone in the house I wanted to spend more time there today ) there is a sombre feeling as I approach . I know that a young man has died and I can't help noticing a shiny black car parked outside next door and wonder if its connected . Two nights ago as I sat the car outside waiting for a lull in the storm I noticed a solitary seagull on the chimney stack in the pouring rain , keening loudly , seeming highly distressed .
The little cat , also not much more than a kitten , races to the inner door to meet me . I have brought her a little toy white mouse as we have dozens of them at home and her toys seem to have disappeared . She pounces as I throw it then tosses it in the air for herself whilst I organise food and litter tray . We then play hide and seek until she returns to her food and I know her priority is breakfast rather than play .

Safer South Tyneside


Turning the corner on our bikes near the sea front in South Shields , we are confronted by a policeman in uniform and immediately feel guilty for riding on the promenade area , and certain we are about to be given some friendly advice about keeping South Tyneside safe .... but no , he asks have we heard about the Safer South Tyneside community bike stamping event , and invites us round the corner in the environs of Minchella coffee shop where we were planning on stopping , to tip our bikes upside down and have them etched , photographed , and thus logged with the police , very handy should they be stolen . In return for stopping and taking part , we are to be rewarded with a combination lock each . Sounds too good to be true . Whilst I unfasten the decidedly uncool ( Harvey had to remove it when borrowing my bike last week ) bike bag as I don't want the contents all over the footpath , a group of boys approches , one of them sans bike . He explains to the policeman in charge that he has locked the bike over at the " skatey" ( skateboard park ? ) and now he can't get the combination right to unlock it . He
explains which number he put in , how he changed it ( reason for change not given ) and now neither will work . How is it that I know that in weeks to come , when the policemen are long gone , and I am over the other side of the water ( we are a long way from home here , having travelled on the ferry this morning ) that I will be that boy ( figuratively, or do I mean metaphorically , speaking ) wrestling with the lock and a variety of possible combinations rattling through my mind whilst I become increasingly irritable .
The man on the phone is the man calling for assistance to unlock the boy . There is always an answer .....

Thursday, 16 August 2007

The Longsands , now and in its heyday




The picture on the left was taken August this year and the one on the right from a photograph exhibited in No 61 a cafe and guesthouse in Tynemouth Front Street .
I have seen the beach crowded but never anything like the scene above . Amazing .
The Plaza is still visible on the top left if the picture is enlarged . It burnt down some ten years ago .. Walking past with N in a buggy the day after , there were still charred papers and fragments of the building blowing in the wind .

Wake at 4am and Pearl is keeping watch from her vantage point on the chest , and Kitty sleeping quietly on the end of the bed , though doubtless spitting and hissing if any foot movement disturbs her .
I shift carefully to see if the headache has gone . There is still a knitting needle poking through my head behind my left eye , boring a track of fire . Hot waves wash through my head and I think again of the ice helmets or ice packs I have seen advertised and never understood previously when all I have wanted has been warmth to my neck where the pain starts .
Though trying to take as few painkillers as possible as they inevitably cause headaches in themselves , I need something to deal with this so I find Syndol and swallow a whole one knowing this will knock me out fairly fast . I lie there looking at Pearl and watching her as she watches me and think about pain relief in labour and breathing through the pain and conclude that I never understood it when I was in labour and I dont understand it now . But I watch my breathing and try to keep my head still and think ahead to half an hour's time when the medication will be working and I will float off leaving the pain behind me and I start to feel a little spaced out and once I can feel the effects and I know its going to happen the panic starts to lessen .

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

RedBubble

Another plug for RedBubble . Having posted some of my photos at the suggestion of Michelle who commented here , as otherwise I would never have thought my stuff was worthy , I am now seeing some great comments about my pictures which is amazing ... so any of you out there with photos to show , go for it . I'm glad I did .

Migraine Days


I've used this before as a visual image for my migraines so sorry if you've seen it before . But it seems to me to summarise perfectly how my head is spilling out all over , nothing makes sense , I can't make myself understood properly , or believe I can't . Sometimes I talk and I'm not making sense and I can see that in other people's faces , sometimes , like today , no one seems to notice that Im talking gibberish . Mostly no one knows as I don't see anyone outside the family . The cats are all used to my nonsense anyway , and they're delighted at the extra time I spend lying down trying to make my head disappear . It never does .
But maybe the throbbing and sensation of being on fire in my head ( which is new , now I understand those ads for ice helmets ) will recede by tomorrow .
I will be back , laptop permitting . It needs to go off somewhere but I have four reports to write next week and I'm hoping I can get them done before it finally waves goodbye ( literally ).

laptop and other crises



Picture from the Andy Warhol section at the Baltic .

Note reflection in bottom right hand corner.
Excursion to Yorkshire yesterday ended in disaster . Became ill after eating heavily spiced parsnip soup and had to be driven home at great speed with my head wrapped in my jacket to block out the light . Held it together long enough for CatCalls then driving away from the last one , my will power gave way and I powered down the window and projectile vomiting ensued across the road ( rather a nice one at that , tree lined ) , just as a young girl was approaching the car so to avoid her gaze I moved on and took up again around the corner . Later , after the car had been hosed down with a watering can ( D , not me , thank you ) and I was safely in bed , echoes of Little Britten and the garden fete ladies , only in my case an attack of parsnip soup not racism or homophobia .
Now my laptop is severely indisposed . There seems to be a bad connection between the lap and the top and the screen becomes wavy and vague ( like me , today ) every five minutes . Typing is sometimes possible with one hand , holding the lid in place with the other hand .
My cats are fed for the morning . I am going back to bed to try to fix my pounding head .

Monday, 13 August 2007

Reiki

I had the most amazing reiki session today with Nina Dawning. Incredible , and I will write more tomorrow .
The weather is forecasting Rain tomorrow but I cant quite believe it . After all the dark clouds coming to nothing these last days , I can't see that the Sun is gone yet .
Either way , there is a wet weather and a hot day holiday plan .

Elton or David ?

Fascination with Isabella Blow led me to read the article in the Sunday Times magazine about her recent demise after swallowing weedkiller ( at least I suppose that's what she did with it ) and spotting an obvious grammatical error in the card allegedly accompanying flowers at her funeral from Elton John and David Furnish ( let's hope I've spelled that right in view of my comments ), which reads : Darling Izzy the world will be a much less brighter place without you with love Elton and David .

They can be forgiven , grief being an awful thing, but I find myself noting such mistakes with irritation in a way which irks me . There are in fact grammatical errors everywhere today , and once (again allegedly) Grumpy Old Women like me ( though in fact I am actually quite Young ) have died out or ( perhaps better still , and less irksome ) Stopped Noticing , the world will be a different place .
I cringe every time I ring my daughter's school and hear the recorded message which contains a real clanger . I found myself unbearable to be around when I finally attended the school and found mistake after mistake on the walls and ( and this was the real killer ) in the teachers' handwriting . I hopped about a bit and muttered under my breath but looking round found it difficult to imagine finding anyone who would care really , and as I didn't want to cause any more embarassment ( to my long sufferening daughter ) than I already had simply by appearing at school at parent's evening , I sighed and went home . A lost cause .

And now this . Elton and David. In the Sunday Times .

PS spot the deliberate mistake in this post ?

Seagull Baby




Arriving at a CatCall this morning
noticed a large seagull on the pavement in the street ( Just along from the Morris Minor of last week ) . A woman gardening saw us looking and told us its a young bird whose parents are nowhere to be seen . Apparently they can't fly initially and usually when a young bird appears in the street the parents swoop down though this baby seemed quite alone . As we watched , it walked about in a little circle seeming quite unalarmed , and then finally settled itself down near her garden , in the sunshine . She speculated that cats would probably give it a wide berth due to its size . I wondered though about the owl-style cat I'm feeding , with her tendencies to kill first and ask questions about size later . The saving grace is that she tends to stick to the gardens at the back of the house and the bird is at the front . Fingers crossed .

Headland


Last night , the headland at seven pm . Amazing that King Edward's Bay was the same beach that we photographed on Friday , full of sunbathers . Deserted tonight apart from three people and a dog .

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Dogs ?



Sailing School .... several small boats
sailing between two markers in the mouth of the Tyne this morning ...brilliant skies as yesterday .
We buried the bird in the Fairytale Garden this morning . When I say we I mean I provided the trowel . The garden was wet with rain ( unintentional echoes of TS Eliot here ) and pushing through the avenues of creepers and hanging and trailing plants to get to the pond and the bird feeders , my hair gets damp . I look like WildWoman and N looks aghast as she emerges from her room prelunch .. an early start as the hamster family, back from Italy , are returning to collect Buzz . I looked up the bird not being sure what it was . A greenfinch . I still cant decide what happened to it .
Sitting by the sea this morning looking at the skies and wondering about rain , and watching dogs go by with families , we noticed a tiny Jack Russell dog with a slightly fluffy head , as if the result of a cross with a larger more sheepdoggy breed . ( I look at dogs all the time now partly because I'm still keen to find the perfect dog for us , partly looking out for pugs etc ) . He hurried past us without pause , despite the fact that I was eating a fun sized pack of Maltesers . Off he went up the hill and we forgot about him until ten minutes later a couple with a black poodle came towards us , the man carrying the Jack Russell in his arms like a baby . The dog was resting back ( on its back ) completely at ease and looking very trusting and happy whilst the man held him in one arm, quite a feat . As they passed us , the woman asked if he was our dog . Turned out he had run up the hill towards them , obviously alone , then stopped dead on the path and lain down , defeated and clearly lost . So they were on a mission to find his family . We pointed out which was he had approached us from and within minutes they were back , their poodle looking much happier , having found a couple searching for him on the cliff tops .Though relieved they were reunited , I did harbour temporary yearnings towards him wondering if he was the dog who would one day " find us " , my excuse for not searching in a more concerted way . I return to the house and the cats are strewn about everywhere and I wonder how they would have coped . A puppy would definitely fit in better .

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Freakshow at the Baltic






some freaky things and a view of the bridge as seen through the lift shaft ....



Baltic Art, Andy Warhol etc




Art at the Baltic this afternoon . Andy Warhol , or art in the style of , and an exhibition called Freaks of Nature or something of that ....( Freakshow, an unnatural history)
Some pictures to follow . The stormy skies outside the Baltic Flour Mills heralded rain but like much of this week , it never materialised . Makes a change after the rain of the last few weeks , flooding etc .


No 61


Coffee after more CatCalling in the garden of No 61 tearooms in Tynemouth .

King Edward's Bay , yesterday


Late afternoon . The sea is cold enough to freeze your ankles . How are all those people swimming ? How is D swimming ?
I can spot both Laura and Harvey at the shore to the right but unless you know them , you perhaps can't . Harvey is in a stripey top and L is striding purposely towards him .

FeelingHouses

My second day of CatCalls at one of my favorite places .

Favourite for many reasons , one that they were one of my earliest families , they have a garden that I love , part of my tasks being to feed birds and fish out there and also to do with the happy feelings in that particular house .
When I started out my daughter was much younger and she liked to come with me and help me . She named the garden the Fairytale Garden and this is how I still think of this job " Im off to the Fairytale Garden now " and everyone knows where I mean .
The bird feeding is serious stuff here , as there are bird feeders galore hanging from trees and with benches strategically placed to ease the task and provide a resting place for the boxes of sunflower seeds . Laura came with me yesterday and spotted mealworms in a container but I decided to exercise my right to ignore those as though I'm sure they weren't alive they still had a wriggling look about them . Mealworms are best left to the experts .

I still feel the absence of the biggest and friendliest boy cat who was part of the family but is no longer with us . He loved company and would invite us to sit down with him in the sitting room and give him a few cuddles once we had come in from the garden duties .
The girls are a little less friendly and how much I see of them seems to depend on how hungry they are , though yesterday there was quite a lot of maiowing and affection and L was of the opinion that she was trying to tell us something .
Later we discovered a poor dead bird under the feeders and wondered if this was the work of the sparrowhawk , though if this was the case the bird would have been taken away ?
Equally I would have expected a bird caught by the cats to have been brought into the house ...? A mystery . Either way , I will need to decide on disposal . At Debbie's there are frequent baby mice brought in as gifts , and we have an agreed routine that they are wrapped in a tissue shroud and committed to the compost though with a few words said over them .
I feel that in this case, having eyed up the compost bin , a burial is more fitting . I will ask D to help later , remembering previous disastrous burials I have conducted , and of which I will say no more ( on this day at least ) .

The feeders have gone down considerably since yesterday so I top them up again .



One of the things I love about this job is the opportunity to spend time with cats , but also there is something fascinating about houses . Interesteing how people live and the space they create for themselves and the feelings that attach themselves to a property when it becomes a home .

This particular house is relaxed , comfortable, light and somehow uplifting and only the alarm system gives me any cause for hesitation . Odd therefore this morning when as I crouch outside the front door the better to find the keys in my bag I think I hear something inside and have to steel myself slightly to go in , hurtle across to the alarm and do the business there before checking to make sure there is nothing or no one sinister inside . The feelings don't immediately fade so I lock myself into the house , something I rarely do , then open the garden door knowing that being out in the garden and announcing my arrival to the cats will restore my equilibrium .
And of course as soon as one of the cats approaches me noisily , everything is in its place again and I know the noise I heard could have been anything , the cat flap , the heating system , traffic outside , any of the hundreds of groans and creaks that are in all houses . ( heating system? In August? I will console myself with anything !) But I do a quick check around inside the house before I start preparing the cat food , making sure there is no one lurking .

I am rarely spooked in other people's houses , though some have definite vibes attached which I think are to do with the past . Ive also had experiences of things not being where I left them , or things I've left one way being another when I arrive . I have an almost photographic memory for how I left a room and can always sense ( or notice ) if someone has been in whilst Ive been out . Some families have cleaners , though this is rare when they are away on holiday and this sometimes explains things . Occasionally it turns out that other family members have keys and pop in to check on things , though usually I will have been warned about this to avoid being startled should we all turn up at once .
But just occasionally there will be a house I feel wary in . Its never stopped me doing what I do . I've lived in ( and arguably do still live in ) houses with odd goings on and its been a source of fascination rather than fear .
Today for example I couldnt find the fish food scoop anywhere . I looked everywhere and finally , knowing it was there , right there yesterday , I look in the pedal bin and hey presto , there it is . Now that could have just been me absent mindedly dropping it in there instead of in back into the fish food box situated alongside . Or something else ? Who knows ?

RedBubble.com

This redbubble site is great ! I spent an hour last night putting some of my photos on and have already had some comments last night and early this morning . Its just so exciting to get feedback . To know that a picture I took and liked has been looked at by someone else who has then had enough interest and feelings about my picture to take the time to write something . Its the same as when I got my first comment on my blog . I was squealing with excitement at that point .
Its easier to get though than to give , takes some confidence to leave a comment on someone's work or their blog . As I found when I first starting out in this adventure . In Spring this year I was ill , in and out of bed for weeks . Couldnt stop coughing , losing weight , almost unbearable chest pain . Some days I just couldn't begin to imagine being well again . Emails were one of the thing that kept me sane , and the newspaper each day , which D would bring up to my bed as soon as it arrived . A letter in The Times one day from Tim Wills in support of blogging , as it seemed an earlier report had dismissed most blogs as nothing but boring old rambles ( Im guessing here ) . As the day stretched in front of me , I logged on and onto his site which was then called Get Well Freddie Get Well Freddie.... though the name changed later as it became clear to them that their baby wouldnt get well . As soon as I logged on I was addicted , stepping into someone else's world , a window into a life lived in hospital with a very sick baby , Tim's humour , his ability to see the bigger picture , to express anger without sounding bitter . There were pictures of everything , of Fred , mostly in his cot or in his parents arms , of himself and Rachel . It was real , stark , and it helped me focus . But it was a while before I dared to leave a comment . All those on the site seemed to be from friends , from people who had met and knew Fred , who knew the couple or their parents and had something meaningful to say . But it wasnt long before the desire to communicate took me out of my feelings of who am I and how can I think I have anything to say to them ? It wasnt long before I had an e mail back responding to the comment and telling me a bit more about things at the hospital .
As always I digress , this started out as a comment about how hard it can be to leave a comment and ended up being about something else . I recently logged onto the Freddie site , though I know Tim has stopped posting except very occasionally , but for some reason I wanted to look again and read some of the older posts . The site has been taken down as the provider is doing some redecoration I guess . Im sure it will return .

Friday, 10 August 2007

Angel Cards

After a hectic day doing CatCalls including plant watering , a new visit including Kittens as mentioned earlier , an afternoon at the beach , search for ice cream and fish and chips , we finally collapsed and whilst Harvey ( whom I note is now being called Harv'ster . We always seem to add ..ster to the end of names thus Hedgehog the guinea pig , Pigster ) in line skates in front of the window with Liam , Nat hangs out somewhere with Georgie , D tidies up the kitchen before joining us , Laura and I settle down for a spot of Angel Carding which Laura has been building up to all day . I multi task and upload arty photo shots to Redbubble at the same time , ( www.redbubble.com) , so that Michelle who left me a message about buying a greetings card of one of my pictures , can still do so if she wants to ( Thanks Michelle I've had a great time on the site and received some positive feedback already ) .

Angel Cards in case you haven't seen them are something we use occasionally . A set of Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue , given me by my great friend Margaret Anne , invite you to focus on a question or issue , choose a card from the pack and will receive a message or guidance from a beautiful angel . Laura selects the card Friendship and declares the written information accurate and pertinent as she feels the time is right in her life to make New Friends , though I am sceptical about her declaration that she has none . Harvey points out the names of a few people he regards as her friends but she declares they are acquaintances only . I am shocked that she doesn't regard me as a friend but D and she are clear that I am Family and this is different . I regard myself as having several very close friends without whom my life would be considerably less fun , in fact less manageable altogether and would certainly regard her as a friend as well as sister but ....
D refuses a card , unusual for him , so I chose and come up with Retreat . This turns out to be an exhortation to rest and suggests I may be altogether pushing myself too hard . I am advised to spend some time alone in quiet thought and to take time to reflect on my heart's true feelings and desires . D gives an involuntary groan at my side , and L snorts derisively thinking possibly that of all the people she knows I am the best at Resting .

We talk D into taking a card , noting that so far each has been pleased with their card , and I suggest that he may in fact find one called " Scuttle about and Keep Busy " thus giving him divine guidance to follow his heart's desire . It is hard to establish whether or not he is truly amused . He choses Freedom which indicates that he may be feeling Trapped right now by life conditions , but points out that he is in fact the only Jail Keeper surfacing in his own life . Harvey choses the Emerging card which tells him he is awesome which of course is true in every way . N is still out so misses out but would probably have turned down the offer of a card , finding them "spooky" .

Meanwhile my uploading is going well and within minutes of posting one or two of my favourite pictures I have favourable comments posted which makes it all worthwhile .

We are all suntanned from the beach , the bathroom , hall , porch are all full of sand so we will crunch underfoot till further notice .

CatCalls... the beach

Time for a quick post whilst preparations are in motion for the beach . For the entire summer holidays so far our porch , hall and bathroom have been permanently crunching with sand , but this is the first time I've joined in . There has also been an issue with Missing Towels . And children who take them to the beach but seem oblivious of the niceties of picking them up and carrying them back , now that they are old enough to take themselves to the sea. A day off for the adults but there are consequences . We have discovered however ( or rather Laura has ) that Primark sells excellent bath towels for £3 each. Today the adults are going to the beach too and there are male children wanting to come and asking whether we will be joining in the making of the fortress games . The female children have considered the options and taken themselves off to town shopping for school clothes . Although admittedly I find it hard to think back to a time when I was thirteen I find it hard to believe I would have gone to town to buy school uniform items without parental supervision . But maybe its just that N has weighed up the options ( Mother moaning if we have to attend more than three shops when its hot and busy in town and preferring to pop into Cafe Royal for coffee and ricotta muffins every ten minutes rather than Pret a Manger or McDonalds ) and finds it much simpler just to take the cash and organise her own life. Or maybe thats just the difference between being thirteen in the seventies and now thirty years on .
As I ruminate quietly here , the beach preparations are stepping up . I had better make a move . Blogging can make you very unpopular .

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Malcolm Pointin

Despite being away we managed to watch the documentary about Barbara and Malcolm Pointin.( Malcolm and Barbara :Love's Farewell ) Shocked by all she had to do , how she managed to keep on doing everything for him for all those years whilst he became more and more difficult to manage . Particularly shocked by his aggression , and by how she seemed to manage not to retaliate when he made definite attacks on her pulling her hair hitting her squeezing her hands very hard and generally appearing to shove her and manhandle her . However much she knew this was not the "real Malcolm " whom she said had always been a very loving and gentle man , I still find myself wondering whether in her shoes and under extreme duress I might have snapped and attacked back with verbal violence or even actual physical hurting . You hope not , but ......
Incredible to think that he survived for so long and that she went in caring for him day after day , and by the looks of things with very little support . Knowing all the furore about whether Paul Wilson had actually filmed the moment of death , I found it hard to grasp what this was all about . There was enough there to exercise people about the tragedy of Alzheimers and what little help is there for those whose lives are affected . It seemed to me that Malcolm started dying well over ten years ago and that it was this ( process of )"dying" and "death" which interested Paul Wilson , rather than an attempt to film any one particular moment .

Keswick


I have dozens of Lake District type photos but this is the one that appeals at the minute , Coffee shop newly opened with amazing grass in pot outside.

Guinea Pigs watching Big Brother


The Guinea Pigs are not amused ....though they seem to enjoy family life . In the kitchen they squeal loudly whenever the fridge door opens , especially if its D as he can't resist them . In the sitting room they seem to make constant little twittering noises .

Keswick , Cumbria


Keswick this morning . We packed up and left Lamplugh early and drove to Keswick and found a coffee place which just opened yesterday . Consequently they didnt know how to operate the tills and had not worked out the difference between a carrot cake and a cheeesecake and kept trying to deliver us the wrong order . But when it arrived it was delicious and the ambience was just what we needed for leaving the Lakes and the return home , which was traumatic for various reasons .
The one I' m struggling with most is the broken laptop. There seems to be a loose connection between the top and the bottom ( base ? keyboard , not sure what its called ) and every few minutes the screen loses all definition and cant be used . When it is working , and I'm assuming this is connected , its almost impossible to get upper case . Im worried because I want to get back to blogging but also once the Day Job is operational again , I shall need it urgently as I have four days report writing mostly for court deadlines .
Three CatCalls tomorrow to look foreward to, and one of them involves Kittens . Bliss.
Auntie Laura is still here , and is watching Big Brother with two Guineas on her lap . They chunter quite happily , though they are less than impressed with Carol's moaning ( apparently ) .

windermere...and broken laptop



one of the places we spent the last few days . .... great weather , only one splash of rain just as we set off to walk round Buttermere . So wierd to be back in a full sized house , (with full sized cats and guinea pigs ). But , and tragic this for blogging , my laptop is unwell .
If i disappear temporarily , thats why . Argh ......

Monday, 6 August 2007

almost too late


As we left there were two people still daring each other to paddle through the sea to get off the island .
When I enlarge this picture ( click ) I can amost feel the heat still in the air

N's "eightes reject hair "


I post this picture from yesterday and these thoughts at 8 30 am on Monday morning when I should be packing to go away as so far all I have done is get breakfast and put out my phone charger and the camera . The duvet cover will be next on my list . D meanwhile is doing all the mundane stuff that I would forget ....I would be thinking of food but I see he has started that particular collection whilst I was still asleep . This probably says something about me , that my phone and camera are the things I want with me the most ... and my pile of books of course was done last night .
CatCalls keys are handed over to Laura who is taking over here and will be looking after Deb's cats and attending to the watering of their fabulous cottage style garden . Hoping there will be no dead baby mice brought in by the cat-who-looks-like-an-owl . Mr Upstairs was at home yesterday( relief) but was not amused by us and our attempts to ingratiate ourselves . Sitting hugely on a sheepskin rug he stared blankly at us and refused to engage . He is not a cat who humours cat sitters , and I've found in previous times that if I try too hard he simply moves out for the duration and goes to a neighbour who feeds him cat crunch ( not permitted as he has kidney troubles ).
I post this picture of N and Harvey yesterday though I fear N will make me take it down as she looks so unlike herself when her hair is naturally curly like this . Laura and I are completely struck by how like my sister she looks . Laura also has dark hair ( N s is much lighter than this before the hairdyeing phase took hold ) and though N doesnt have our bone structure there is something about her that is so like my sister when we were younger .
Odd experience yesterday morning . Laura and I had been out to Deb's and were walking back in the sunshine deep in conversation when we saw a girl walking towards our house . Not realising who it was till she spoke " Hi Mum " ....a shock to realise I had not recognised my own daughter and a growing recognition that she is no longer completely a part of me , but that she has a whole other life elsewhere . If I'm lucky I get to peep into that world sometimes , when she tells me things she does with her friends or she has a rant about the things that get to her , or just evenings like last night when she got into the car with us all so full of everything that she talked nonstop half the way to Seaton Delavel . When I turned to D at one point and said " youre very quiet " and he said , simply , yes , then a few minutes on added " It would be hard to get a word in really " and I realised what he's up against with me , Laura and N and H all talking loudly and often at cross purposes and in counter conversations against the noise of the radio vying for air space against N's mobile phone being used as MP3 player .
It will be strange being away from it all .....
To the packing .....

Sunday, 5 August 2007

just before the seal .....


Harvey , Laura and Nat just before the seal appeared
Spot the family likeness

water almost across ... last to escape


Everyone leaving all at once ..... just in time

Early evening at the lighthouse


After the trip to the island yesterday when the causeway was clear of water , we checked the tide times and decided it would be fun to return when the tide was due in and escape just in time as we had heard that the water comes across fast once it starts .
We drove first to Seaton Delavel for the famous ice cream that tastes like Ambrosia creamed rice , then more clambering about on the rocks near the lighthouse .
Laura thought she saw a seal in the water and after a few minutes of staring out to sea and seeing nothing , we began messing about and posing for silly photos . At the point the seal re appeared , and we all saw it several times as it bobbed about off shore its round head well out of the water . We were all over excited and I took several pictures of the water but sadly the seal bobbed down each time it saw the lens . Finally we took thirty or forty pictures of us pratting about and then various shots of the waves swirling fast across the causeway . Probably sounds daft but we had a great time imagining we could have been trapped on the island and leaving it till the last possible moment to leave .
A future plan is to take a picnic and some towels and stay there whilst the tide comes in . According to the tides timetable we would only be there around three hours before the tide goes out again .

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Afternoon walk







After the bike ride yesterday when I thought how great it would be to potter about on the rocks and sit by the sea , we ( me , Laura and Harvey ) took the car down to the island again and walked across the causeway giving ourselves a couple fo hours to mess about in the sun . We have got so used to rain that it never occurred to us it was going to be hot and sunny and despite the black clouds in the skies on the pictures it was a great afternoon .
Whilst L and me did what we always do when given half a chance we talked about childhood memories and explained things to Harvey which he asked about .
All the while perched on the rocks whilst watching for seals ( which L has seen , allegedly , on previous visits ) and planning Sunday's events .
We return and D comes back from the football with I and we have fish and chips from Kristian's on the quay . Harvey then takes some wild card photos of L and me which L has forbidden me from publishing . Oh well .....

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday