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

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Off to Spain ....

Just takeing a few minutes off the packing task to let everyone know that we are off to Spain for a week so wont be blogging for a few days , not till a week from now in fact .... an dour return coincides with the arrival of Dog . I'm not sure which is more exciting , the holiday or the dog . Have a feeling she is going to end up being called Dog for a while yet though we have agreed ( I think ) on Alice . But there again I seem to recall Nathalia being called the Baby for a few weeks when her name seemed just too grand for such a tiny little thing ... I am sure it will all fall into place .
Unlike my packing !
THe apple green roller holdall I bought is tiny . How on earth did I imagine everything was going to squeeze in there , and I take very few clothes with me , even less than usual as due to the expanding waist line most of my summer clothes dont actually fit and are therefore staying at home , tried on , sighed over ,and rejected ( though not thrown away , yet as maybe after Dog and I go walking all willl change and the waist line will revert to normal . Or maybe not and I will donate them all to the charity shop Wendy is opening in favour of rescued greyhounds .... Either way someone wins ...

Anyway must get on ..... back later perhaps but if not .... see you in a week ! have a great time all of you .

Monday, 22 October 2007

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Before the Dog arrives ...

Lets make the most of the Dog bed before Dog gets here .....

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Nat in Belfast

Nat is staying in Belfast for the weekend with her dad s family . She rang me last night to tell me she had arrived safely and I asked her where she was sleeping . She told me she had a nice room at Granny's with framed pictures of Oliver's works and books on the wall . Oliver Jeffers is her cousin , a very talented artist and writer of children's books --: Oliver Jeffers :-- and she sounded like she was having a great time .
I can't bring myself to tell her ( yet ) that Wendy is bringing Dog over this afternoon . Maybe later .

Greyhound Day

Today is greyhound day ! Not the day we collect her but a greyhound day non the less. Started with a trip to Pets at Home and Ikea looking for the perfect dog cushion ... we found a lovely big suede effect job in Ikea which was ideal but in bright red was a bit much . So we finally went back to Pets at Home for the pink and grey flat mat/ cushion which is fine . Too small to contain those great long sick insect legs but will at least be soft for her body with the legs sticking off the side . We also picked up a cat nip kitten which the cats are loving , and a guinea pig tunnel which has gone down very well .
On arrival home a message from makeover 2000 to tell us our photos are ready for collection ( tomorrow perhaps ) and then , a phone call from Wendy suggesting she bring Dog over together with her greyhound Suzie and we take them out for a joint walk on the beach . Such excitement ... has chased away my irritation with my cold /nosebleeds/ headache from blocked sinuses . Amazing what the prospect of a dog can do . Apparently Dog is now spayed , has a tiny tummy scar , skin is much better , she is semi vaccinated and microchipped to boot .
I also received £20 in vouchers from John Lewis today an dthe battery delivered as agreed pre 9 am. And Ive been offered £50 in compensation for the damage to the laptop ( scratches etc ) so Im not complaining .
back later with more pictures of Dog , probably .
We are wondering about calling her Alice , as , unknown to me until last week , my mother also had a greyhound when she was younger , called Alice , Ali for short . Nat liked the name so its certainly an option . It suits her better than Elektra anyway .

Friday, 19 October 2007

get over yourself ....

Its ok . I have . Got over myself I mean .
I was awake between 3 30 and at 8 30 after Nat was safely off to school I went back to sleep , musing on how pathetic it was that I was so wound up over a stupid laptop . Who cares if I dont have one for five weeks after all ? Its hardly the end of anything , its not even as if I dont have access to a pc , albeit one I cant use as the mouse is dodgy ( or rather using it is a bit of an Art ) and every time the Mass that is Kitty comes between the pc and the signal everything shuts down temporarily . And any attempt to hoick Kitty along even two cms meets with open hostility , hissing and spitting and foul looks . I dont know how D manages it . Day in and day out he toils at that desk , and she lies there , tongue slightly out , taking up the space and tapping the keys from time to time as the fancy takes her . Reformatting his documents into the bargain . I know we all love her but the man has the patience of a saint .
The most I hear is a mumbling and polite suggestion that she might move a bit . Never does he resort to ejecting her bodily onto the sofa as I did , twice , in a fit of pique . Picking her up was scary . She weighs a ton and as I lowered her down she wheezed and blew , clearly furious . I felt her jinx me the rest of the day and she rarely took her eyes off me . I probably won't do that again .

cant sleep ..

Its 4 am and I cant sleep . Ive tried all my usual tactics . Light on and read for ten minutes and that's usually enough .
Sometimes I need another burst of reading . Im reading two books at the minute one an Anne Tyler Morgan's Something or other ( I'm never good with titles ) and the other Rose Tremain short stories " The Darkness of Wallis Simpson " but that's too gloomy and indeed dark for the middle of the night . In fact it is quite gloomy here .

D is away for the night , staying at J's to help with babysitting as J and D are celebrating their 4th anniversary an d have left him in sole charge. I had some lovely texts about playing on the magic carpet and the kitten and cat fighting etc but its not the same as having him here . I woke and its very cold in the house , or maybe its me . I have a cold . And though the Vicks First Defence seemed to be working well its given me some alarming nosebleeds , including one streaming pouring fountain in the Tandoori Plaza earlier when Nat and I had our night out . There s nothing quite like blood to get catch folks on the hop . Me included . Nat was very calm , she always is . Good with these things having seen my migraines going overboard .

Anyway , my laptop . John Lewis . I'm weary of the tale so may just copy you my letter of complaint .

To whom it may concern

I am writing to complain about the inadequacies of the repair service offered in respect of my laptop which was left with you for repair under guarantee on 16th Sept. 07

I was advised that the item may be away for one or possibly two weeks and when I had heard nothing after some three weeks I began calling the service desk .
On several occasions I was told a member of the service desk staff would call me back and indeed on one or two occasions this did happen . However on several occasions I was only able to be updated thanks to my repeat calling .

On Monday 8th I was informed that the laptop had been repaired and was undergoing " final checks " at Hewlett Packard and was likely to be available to myself sometime later that week .

The following Monday when I had still heard nothing despite having contacted the store and been advised that the service desk was busy and would call me back (15th ) I contacted the service desk again . On this occasion I was told again I would receive a call back . I was not contacted so rang again on Wednesday 17th . Again no call back .

As almost five weeks had by now elapsed I decided to visit the store today , Thursday 18th October having lost faith that I would either receive an explanatory call or that HP would be contacted again unless I was there in person to request this .

I was attended by L who rang HP and discovered that the laptop had been repaired and delivered back to the store .
I had not been contacted as it had not been " booked in " . Therefore it appeared to be missing in the store .

It was subsequently located in a cupboard and was returned to me .

Upon arrival home I discovered that the battery was missing . It transpires that the battery is currently still in the store though a manager Mr H has undertaken to have it returned to me over this coming weekend .

I note also that the laptop , despite having been described as in good condition on the receipt with which I was provided , has incurred a number of scratches on the lid , the screen is covered in dust and flakes ( black specks ) and there are large white flakes of an unknown substance on the keyboard . In addition to the scratches the lid has three small gouge marks and to the right edge there is a scrape mark . The lid is also covered in fingerprints .
These latter details concern me less than the fact that the laptop was apparently in a cupboard at John Lewis for some ten days ( I understand it was delivered there on 10th October ) when I could have been using it ( I run a business from home ) , despite my frequent calls asking about it .

Latterly I have been tempted to purchase equipment such as laptops from out of town stores but so far have desisted and remained loyal to John Lewis believing your record to be exemplary .
This recent episode leaves me questioning my loyalty .

Yours etc

Of course missing from the letter is the thing Im really quite proud of . Having always been brought up to behave well around people , to be polite and courteous and in the main having found that though it usually works well, there are occasions when holding back one's true feelings in times of stress has not served one well .

On this particular occasion when the aforementioned Ms L found the laptop sitting in their cupbpard where it had been all along , or at least since Wednesday of last week , ten days ago , I did say to her " I am livid . In fact Im so livid I can hardly speak " ( and it was true ) .

So true in fact that as soon as I left the Service Desk ( which is situated in a little room off the main Audio and Tv Dept ) , I stopped in my tracks and let out a really loud scream . A really loud I am so frustrated that if I dont scream really loudly I am going to implode ( possibly ) scream . I then looked around at all the Men in Suits , who for some reason all looked very short and unimposing , and at the other shoppers , staring hard into space , and at all the TV s showing the afternoon tv for purposes of demonstration , smiled , gave myself a little shake , and walked on .

You can have no idea ( or maybe you can ) of just how wonderful that felt .

And maybe Mr H , the manager who rang me back twice this afternoon after I rang to let him know that when I arrived home the laptop was without battery and that I was less than amused , maybe he put two and two together and realised I was the Nutter in the store earlier and had best be taken care of lest I returned .

Who knows ?

He tells me my battery will either be delivered by Special Delivery Royal mail ( the normal is no good as they are on strike ) and failing that , he will personally deliver it himself , by metro , as a taxi is not permitted .

Oh here we go . Another nosebleed .


Thursday, 18 October 2007

I screamed very loudly near John Lewis service desk ...

.. and now , strangely , I have my laptop back .....

Am overjoyed , though seething , and going out to celebrate . Though I will be back soon to tell you all about it .

Amazing friends ..and what life throws at them ...

Its been a week for friends . Starting with my sister on Sunday ( even though that was her day for going home ), moving on to Barbara on Monday and a night at Lui's ( tapas in the village ) . Lovely to come home after work and instead of the usual events , to have a bath and get ready to go out . We found a lovely quiet table in the back , with a shelf behind the table , where B carefully placed the jacket she had bought in Toronto earlier this year , commenting its perfect for this time of year as its slightly padded . As we became engrossed in a tale she was telling me about someone we both knew , I saw a curl of smke then a whoosh of flames from behind us and shouted Barbara youre on fire ! Somehow neither of us had noticed the row of tasteful candles and the jacket had fallen across them and was literally aflame . She grabbed it and started bashing at the flames . Fortunately at that point our drinks had not yet been served otherwise my Weston's organic cider might have been wasted . On recovering from the shock Barbara , ever cheery and practical , decided she could cut a stylish v out of the collar of the jacket and situated behind her hair no one would be any the wiser . Though knowing B she will probably tell everyone the tale with a loud cackle as she does so .
A great night !

Margaret Anne and I caught up on the phone on Tuesday evening . We ve always spoken regularly on the phone since she moved away a number of years ago and every so often she comes to stay here or I go to Wiltshire . Last Sept was the last visit when N and I stayed with her for a few nights after Oliver's book launch in London .
She would have been due her annual pilgrimage north in the Spring but for some reason it didnt happen this year although I wasnt sure why as our contact had become less.
I texted her last week saying I was wondering about her though I knew she would be all right .
She rang to tell me the devestating news that their business was in the process of folding and that they were losing everything , their home , livelihood etc . However what was amazing , but didnt surprise me was her upbeat attitude to it all . She was as ever looking at all the positives to come out of it , rock solid relationship with her husband , a new start looking at houses , a new business venture for Mike , and something of a test for her in her beliefs in the power of the mind , in doing the right thing , living with integrity and doing everything possible to live her life acccording to her beliefs and philosophy . It was brilliant to talk to her . I know how much she loves her house , as she loved her previous home here in the north east , and just how much of herself she has poured into it , yet as she said , its bricks and mortar and as long as we have all the important things thats what matters . And I knew exactly what she meant .
And not forgetting Debbie , who I havent seen this week but who keeps me sane on Fridays usually so I will see her later this week no doubt .
Amazing friends . There are others but Im out of time .
I plan to visit John lewis in person now to inquire again about my laptop .
Wish me luck ?

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

still no news

I can hardly bear to write this but I still dont have the laptop . And Im so bored hearing myself telling John lewis the same old story about how theyve now had it well over four weeks and I was told one or two weeks at the outside an dI would have it back , that I now cant even bear to ring them up an d harras them .
And some other minor irritations like a sore throat , feeling cold like Im getting something nasty , like realising I havent booked Nat any holiday insurance .
On a positive note though , only three more work days until we go to Menorca . And of course hopefully very soon after we get back , we pick up the dog !
Bear with me ?
Now sure I can even bear with myself at the minute !

Saturday, 13 October 2007

migraine days

Ive been excited about my sister coming to stay all week . She's not been well so it seems like she might want to doss about and not do much apart from the odd walk to the sea then sitting around eating and chatting ... then I get over excited and wake up at six and having read my latest book Sally Vickers ( the one about the psychiatrist , its brilliant ) for ages , my mind turns to breakfast and I have this desire to cook bacon and eggs and mushrooms and tomatoes for everyone and I do but I accidentally fry an extra egg for me ( I dont eat eggs having discovered almost for sure that they contribute to causing my migraines ) and I look at it sitting in the pan an dit looks so wonderful and I love eggs so much and its only one after all and I say I'll juts take a chance and maybe I 'll be ok and Nat advises caution ( shes seen me too many times with migraine , hanging over the bidet losing everything ) telling me if it doesnt work out I '' really regret it , but too late my mind is made up and I enjoy the egg and the rest of the oil laden breakfast and almost before its digested I start to feel seedy and even though L and I go out for a long walk down by the mouth of the river an d then out along the pier where the waves are crashing and the men are fishing an dthe birds hopping on the wall and by the time we get back my neck is aching and my head throbbing and I feel sick and take off to bed with Immigran .
I wake at five and jessie , the smallest Birman is entwined between my legs fast asleep and I darent move in case she bites me .

So , no more eggs ......

Friday, 12 October 2007

events ...

events are conspiring against me and blogging . Not a word about my laptop . My sister is staying .

But just in the hope that you will keep coming back when I do finally get back to normal , I enclose a picture of the greyhound who will be coming to live with us once the formalities are completed . She is cat friendly , seemed to settle immediately on her preliminary visit to us , and as you can see from the picture demonstated the posture that is greyhounds , ie known in the trade as " cockroaching " . It seems we have a lot to learn about these lovely dogs . I couldnt believe how trusting she was of us .

We cant wait to get her . At the m,inute I feel like somewhere Ive had a baby and someone else has to look after her . Wendy , her foster mother , is lovely and has told me to ring any time to find out how she is . But I still find myself wondering endlessly how she is and wishing she was here ......

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

still no laptop

Still no laptop and its so hard to keep on blogging on a borrowed pc with limited access. the laptop is always there right beside me so when I think , I blog .
Its now been three weeks plus , and they promised me one week or two .
Ive been told it has had a repair , and that its going through the final checks now ( that was two days ago ) so it WILL come back . Meantime we continue here on a roller coaster of Greyhound Dreams and Thoughts ( we should pick her up in three weeks time roughly . I dont know how I will wait that long . I feel like Ive been given a new baby but she has then been taken to live with someone else ....) and ( the down side ) some tricky teen issues .... If this was an anonylous blog Id be writing about them , but it doesnt seem fair .
But , once laptop is back , normal service will be resumed .....

Monday, 8 October 2007


So much happened at the weekend that I didnt finish my posting about Makeover 2000. Suffice to say the photographers ( female ) were lovely , very talented , an dthe pictures were wonderful . We spent a small fortune . But , the upside is we will get some great pictures and who knows , the results may appear here .
But , and far more interesting , we were offered an older greyhound who is described as cat friendly , has just been received at the greyhound foster home . A challenge to decide whether to pursue the idea of a puppy who would be socialised from an early stage with our four cats ( not to mention guinea pigs who apparently becasue of their squeaking , are likely to be of even more interest to a greyhound than the cats ) but who despite that might turn out to be one of the thirty per cent who is definitely never going to be cat friendly . As you see Ive been reading ( and fretting ) about our already existing family / household members . Or to consider an older dog who is cat tested and known to be one of the 60 % who is really not that keen to pulverise a cat , small dog or other small animal . Obviously we are aware it wont be all plain sailing and our cats will have their views , but something about an older dog made us feel it was worth finding out more . Surprise phone call from Margaret to say they an older dog had been left with them and she was not at all interested in the foster home cat.
She asked us to think about whether we wanted to meet her to see how we felt , and we managed to make a decision on that in about three minutes flat , finding out that the dog ( a female ) was black with a little white , probably about three or four years old , very sweet natured " no bother " . Something about this sounded meant to be . I had always said during our agonising over which breed , that the right dog would show up for us an dthis felt like that moment .
What can I say? She was brought along to meet us by Wendy last night and from the minute she stepped in the door she seemed perfect .... folded up her long skinny legs and lay down then soon stretched and rolled completely onto her back ( just like Kitty lies , her tummy being too lardy to place too much weight on it . I'm guessing with greyhounds its their boniness that makes them comfortable on their backs . )

Wendy has taken her back home to complete the formalities and make sure she has had all her injections , is neutered ( they will attempt to find out if she has already been neutered ) etc , so we can expect her to move in in a couple of weeks or so .

Now we need to find the right name for her . Nat wants Elektra . I love the name but not sure it suits her , and given the way she lies about like a big hot water bottle I think Comfort is perfect .
But any ideas gratefully received . ...

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Cycling to South Shields ....

" I reckon its high time you got a puppy ......"
More on makeover 2000 tomorrow ......the photographs were spectacular ....

desk wars test post

The Birmans jealous of Kitty's supremacy .. desk wars last week .

Makeover 2000, another world

Last night was our night at Makeover 2000. I was quite nervous on the way there , wondering how on earth they would manage to make me look good enough for the stunning photographs I had heard of , but once we arrived and looked at the Before and After shots in glorious technicolour in Reception I could see anything was possible . I had also had what to war anxieties . Though the woman who booked us said most people just wear the stuff they provide for the shots , she also said we could bring a favorite top along if we really wanted to be taken in that . I wondered if it seemed a little pathetic not even to be able to muster up one single thing suitable for a photo shoot , and in the end stuffed a couple of flattering ( ish ) vest tops into my bag . I know from looking at these kind of pictures that they tend not to take pictures of people heavily covered up in dark shades ( my usual look ) and that its customary for a deal of flesh to be on view . Nat seemed very calm in comparison , having changed out of her school uniform on the way and having no qualms about her outfit or accessories . I couldnt help comparing myself when I was thirteen , fat , spotty , greasy hair , and wondering how she managed to be so poised even as she embarks on her teens , arguably the most tricky bit of growing up ( something I'm still doing myself at Forty Something ).

The staff at Makeover 2000 were excellent. Very relaxed and up beat and after a few minutes on the leather sofas flicking through makeover pictures and watching the other arrivals , all of whom seemed as unprepared as I felt , it soon seemed the most natural place in the world to be .
Before long Esther arrived to take us upstairs and when I balked at the tiny looking lift squeaking " I cant go in there I need to take the stairs " she didnt turn a hair and we all pretended walking up the stairs was exactly what we needed at five pm on a Friday evening . My Gym Habit was beginning to make itself felt in the region of my buttocks by level two but I kept my counsel and before I knew it I was sitting in a chair under the lights , top off and bra pulled down ( to give strap marks a chance to fade before the pics ) , fortunately facing away from the mirror . Esther asked me all those questions that I hate " what look did you have in mind ? "
Er , I dont know . ( Something that makes me look like one of those models in the pictures but No I dont have a clue which one )
Do you wear make up ?
Er yes . (Cant you tell ? I have the same stuff on I wear every day . )
What colours do you usually go for ?
Erm , sort of pinks and browns .....

She soon realises what she is dealing with and I tell her Im very happy to be guided by her . She tells me she will go for a Fresh Look which sounds intriguing and when I ask do most people ( ie the more confident ones than me ?) come along with very defined ideas about their final appearance .
She tells me that it varies , that most people point to one of the pictures and say " I want that one " , though as she says , some of these looks are now quite dated and shows me a smokey eyed look which apparently is very popular but is now not what she would be choosing to do . I brighten up at this thinking that maybe someone like me who knows all sorts about cats and psychology but nowt about makeup is really not such a difficult customer as it means she can have free reign .
All the while she is plastering on foundation with sponges , brushing my cheeks and eyes endlessly , poking me with eyeliners and shadows and then applying and reapplying three different lip colours . Now lipstick I do know about . Three years ago I decided I had had enough of buying lip glosses and never wearing them as they looked all wrong , and went along to Karen at Bobbi Brown who sat me down and applied two amazing shades and then ( it being a quiet Friday no doubt ) took it upon hersel to make up my face completely with blushers , eyeliners etc and sent me off a very happy bunny . And since then I do often wear lip colour and know its the right shade . I trust Karen implicitly and besides , you can tell when youve got the right colour . Just you can tell when its all wrong ( And hey , do I know that feeling ! )

Esther is apparently feeling its all wrong as she wipes and re wipes but finally , after a quizzical stare ( and remember my back is still to the mirror so I can only guess at whats going wrong as she tuts and grimaces ) I pluck up courage and ask what colour the lips are and she says she s aiming for pink though not to worry its not Hot Pink ! Oh right I say , not sure whether to laugh or cry ... but suddenly either its all come together or Esther has given up hope , and she swings me round to face the mirror and I see myself , now also in glorious technicolour ! Wow.
I stare at myself critically wondering how different I actually look , focusing in on the wrinkly bits around my eyes but noticing the complete absense of black bags which are a permamnet feature . And I like the lip colour . Its very very glossy an d my lips look twice the size. Before I wipe this off later I resolve to have a good look at what shes done to establish whether theres any hope of my emulating it . Little chance as the make up is heavy photogrphic stuff but worth a try I guess.
But for the moment its time to see how Nat is faring in the next booth and then , on to the next stage .
The photographers!

Friday, 5 October 2007


You can see from the title what is playing on my mind today . Regular readers will know how Ive agonised over what dog was the right one for us and ... after various false starts , Im beginning to feel I know .
Ive been researching ( most of yesterday , not that Im obsessed or anything ) and after the Gym this morning ( Is this a sign that I have a Gym Habit again ? It was great to go back today and find my right arm was much less painful today than yesterday . I still dont quite dare to go on the scales there yet though ) , I decided to revive an old post gym habit of a coffee and a skinny muffin in Starbucks in Borders , and picked up a dog magazine and then located the Greyhound Books and squirrelled them upstairs to browse . Choosing the sofa areas was a mistake I was too close to a loud man broadcasting to a bored sounding woman ( I think they were colleagues , in the financial services business , working in different offices or parts of the country and meeting for I dont quite know what purpose as he talked non stop about nothing . I'm sorry , but he did , and it was bad enough that she had to listen but that I also had to hear it all too , not to mention anyone else within earshot ....he was giving her sage advice about parenting too which I thought was fascinating . He may be a great parent but to assume she needs his advice ?? Never mind , I digress , and in bitchy fashion too but there you go .
The greyhound book suggested that cats and greyhounds can mix but obviously great care is needed , the dog coming to you must be cat friendly and cat tested too . And on the sites I looked at yesterday most of the write ups beside the dogs either said Not Cat Tested , or , perhaps more ominously , said nothing at all .
Back at the ranch I started googling again , always a mistake as I was simply covering the same ground as yesterday . Reminded me of trying to get pregnant and reading the same page in my "So you think youre pregnant" book month after month then staring at my bosoms for blue lines ( cheaper than a pregnancy test) , checking endlessly whether coffee tasted funny , was that a metallic taste in my mouth or did I just need to touch base with my toothbrush ? Etc etc . Anyone who has suffered even a moment of believing they're infertile ( and I had a couple of years ) will know what I mean .....No fun .
Finally , having read and read and re read about all the non cat tested but beautiful dogs going , I decided to take the bull by the horns and ring some numbers .... three or four in all . No one available ( I start to have those terrible twos feelings now ... I want a greyhound and I dont want to wait !! stamping the foot and snorting ) so I leave messages . And then , just when Ive whipped most of my clothes off ready for a shower , Val rings ..... she has seen an e mail I sent yesterday and wonders whether a puppy might not be the thing for us . I can hardly contain my excitement ! Of course we would love a puppy but we didnt think there would be puppies avilable via Rescue ... she tells me they have no cat tested dogs at present but there are a litter of puppies three weeks old and therefore ready quite soon. I trip over myself on the stairs in my eagerness to get to the pc ( still no laptop by the way , its now been away almost three weeks ) , and find the four puppies ......and of course , its a done deal , I want them all !
D is in court again so I text him and his response is quite favourable , partly I think as he has had a grim morning and a puppy sounds like welcome relief . Nat will be so excited . I am beyond excited .
Will keep you posted .

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Gym Habit , the extra belly a greyhound and an orange Rocha top

I used to have a regular Gym Habit . It seems to have slipped rather , to the extent that I now have an extra belly ( One ? Or is it Two ? ) So feeling energised this morning and not having managed to track the Mother down therefore scuppering my plans for coffee and scones at Kirkharle , seemed the ideal opportunity .

What a start to the day ! I managed to squeeze into my gear despite being a whole seven pounds heavier than the last time I did , so all well and good . I waddled myself in the direction of the cardio workout dept without too much trouble , and no they hadn't moved it and the changing area was just as ever , and the woman who cleans it just as friendly . But , shock horror , all the running / treadmill machines had been replaced . It was a higher step up for a start even just to climb aboard , and then , once up , all those new dials and buttons and attachments and things to clip on your t shirt . I balked at the idea of seeking out a member of staff . memories of my last " consultation " when , though I had lost half a stone through regular and diligent attendance , the boy ( I use the word advisedly) whom I was allegedly consulting ( though him telling me off was nearer the mark ) , having noted that I was attending four days a week , asked was there any particular reason why I was not able to attend more frequently . I stared at him in amazement wondering if he had misheard me , but no , he persisted . Well , I started , I do work full time , have a house and business to run , and I do have a Life ! he just entered a small cross on the form he was completing ( probably short hand for Dead Loss or Stroppy Customer or Not Committed to Fitness ) .....At this stage I was also well under nine stone in weight and considered myself to be in pretty good shape ( albeit a little hefty ....) so when I said " are you thinking I need to excercise more , lose weight perhaps , his stare said it all. I am guessing his target weight for me was somewhere in the region of seven stones .

Suitably energised by the exercise , I head for Debenhams . I have to report that the mirrors in that shop both on the shop floor and in the "dressing rooms " are very flattering . So much so that I , who always tries on colours then buys an exact replica of my last top in either Black ( 70%) , navy (10%) dark brown(10%) or grey ( 10%) , purchase a bright Orange Rocha top ( half price sale) and then head for a Danish [Pastry and coffee . As I sit wool gathering and thinking my thoughts , I come to the conclusion ( a propos of my rolls of flesh ) that everyone has a Tummy really , its what you do with it that matters " Feeding mine , at present " I think to myself and text my sister to tell her of my successful morning .

Later , back at home , I started thinking Dogs again . Recently someone at work mentioned that Greyhounds can be the ideal pets . Once they've had a walk , apparently , they like nothing better than to curl up and sleep . occasionally stirring to find a warmer spot , but other than that they are placid and cuddly and No Bother . Sounds ideal
I look up a few rehoming old racing greyhound sites and find some very appealing pictures and get quite excited wondering then how I can sell the idea to Nat ( who wants a Pug after all ) and D , who prefers to stick with the four cats and , though flexible as ever , says he is not wholly opposed to the idea of a dog as long as it will leave him alone when working and won't fight to get onto his desk the way the cats do .

I text him to let him know I have written a couple of e mails to rescue sites , and get a reply back when he is released from court for a break whilst the barristers squabble amonsgt themselves . He reminds me that though he will come around to the idea of a greyhound , he is less sure of Kitty's response and I remind him that Kitty does in fact like a challenge and that she had adjusted very well to his own presence after a few initial skirmishes over territory and house rules " You feed me whenever I ask or there's trouble "

No reply to my e mails yet . But there are wonderful greyhounds galore , all with trendy names like Diesel and Cher . I am slowly becoming obsessed . Of course they will need to be " cat tested" first but so far so good .

swarming Birmans ...and Kitty

The cats were swarming yesterday from my first appearance on the landing , where for some reason all four of them were lying on their backs taking the sun ( not that the sun was much in evidence ) . Running the gauntlet to the bathroom is no picnic as they all shift slightly as you pass and Jessie is capable of sticking a paw out to grab the dangling dressing gown cord or a passing toe just for the hell of it .
And by breakfast time , they are all gathered in the sitting room taking swipes at each other , rolling and tumbling and squabbling like demented cocker spaniels only quieter . They dont bark and groan and grumble at each other , but they do snuff and heavy-breathe as they nip and push .
And then finally , and unusually , they all decide that D's desk is the place to be .
Enlarge the shot to get a closer look at Kitty's face .....
( photo courtesy of D . Still no laptop . )

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


Its wonderful to come home to

-an empty house - for once that is ! The tv is blaring as I walk in at 6 , as usual , though as I check all the rooms I realise , yippee I have the entire house to myself . Not that it isnt lovely most days to come home to find it occupied and ( usually ) dinner bubbling away somewhere in the background . But oh how nice for a change to come in , switch tv off ( why was it left on ? ) , and then pick up Nigella Express and start cooking .

- Nigella . What a thing it is to set in motion pork chops with a mustard sauce , get everything simmering then realise that thanks to Nigella there is a half bottle of dry cider sitting on the side juts waiting to be knocked back whilst e mails and blogs are checked ! Bliss.
And tomorrow is another Nigella night , and the planned recipe involves a bottle of dry white wine , so guess where at least a glass of that is going , as the cooking takes place . As you see I'm not a habitual drinker ( anything to avoid migraines ), so even a little bit gets me excited these days

- Lots of updated blogs , all waiting to be caught up on
- A tele[phone call from John Lewis who Ive been chasing all week , to say they will start hassling the laptop company if it doesnt arrive tomorow , which theyre half expecting as they have a delivery due . This is the best news of all .
My blogging and photos will be so much easier .
Im sure I won't feel half as gloomy as I did , for example this morning , with no real reason .

And why is this post entitled naked ? Cos thats supposed to draw in loads of readers .
Ill keep you all posted !

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday