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, 23 April 2010

Iggy-the Legend-RIP







Iggy the legendary station cat, well known to all those who frequent Tynemouth station either as travellers or as visitors or traders at the weekend markets and fairs (books, farmers' markets and latterly European Markets) has sadly died. Many will recognise Iggy who was always pottering round the stalls on market days , often resting quietly on one of the pet stalls , usually in the middle of the finest bed or softest cushion he could locate, or sauntering around tail aloft in search of one of his many friends , some of whom were rumoured to travel from as far afield as Durham even on days they were not trading simply for the pleasure of making sure Iggy had his salmon , prawns or tuna. I'm not sure how many of these rumours are true but my brother in law himself has a market stall and he will vouch for the numbers of different people , usually females, providing Iggy with "something special" which Iggy lapped up with pleasure.
Many in the locality believed that Iggy somehow "belonged" to the Station but in fact he had a very good home with Clare and Seamus in the house next door to mine ; it seemed though that as he got older he enjoyed spending more and more time on the station and even in Winter was still out on the benches keeping waiting passengers company as they waited for their trains.
I myself wrote a blog post to that effect back in December 08 and will attach a link . CatCalls: Iggy the legendary station cat
Over the last year Iggy became increasingly thin and his coat less pristine . He was found to be suffering from mouth cancer and though he continued to patrol the station , he was also going home for his medication and his home comforts no doubt.
A move is afoot to place a longstanding memorial for him in our station . I hope that this will be possible .
Walking through the station isnt the same, Iggy . Watching you cross the tracks with bated breath( ours.. you never hurried!) -nightmare!. Sharing stories about how you once caught a train and travelled along to North Shields . Just sitting stroking you on the bench in your heyday and stopping to say hello has been part of our day to day life for as long as we remember here.
Gone but not forgotten . Iggys Page also shows photos of Iggy .
Goodbye Iggy.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Da'rryl Durr , Malcolm McLaren

Da'rryl Durr on the death penalty World news The Guardian

No CatCalls today .
I am up early with a list of Things to Do . Having a Blackberry device is great except that whilst I am walking Alice on a new walk we have discovered along the side of a ploughed field enjoying the sunshine and the Spring flowers , I am being contacted by all manner of people asking me all kinds of things . Thus , a Weimeraner springs up on Alice unexpectedly and spoils things for her . At home , Alice is nervous and territorial , only in immediate proximity to our house and gate . A few metres away and she is pleasant and genial , or heads down and slightly aquiver if the dog approaching is a tiny scary beast of the Jack Russel variety or small fluffy scary teddy type which frighten her too. Her immediate preference is a medium size hairy dog variety such as a soft natured bichon frise and the like.
Weimeraners are the very pits for Alice. At home a couple walk their beautiful specimen , a male with their baby buggy each morning and evening and they pass by just as Alice is going out . The dog is not on a leash and it bounds along happily at high speed investigating everything. Alice cant abide it . Everything about it seems to rub her up . Its sleek skin , pale colour , the friendly owners who hope that one day our dogs will be friends- Friends- ? Alice looks aghast... theyre jesting for sure? She is not going to be friends with that liverish coloured creature which would almost certainly want to show off and even try to outrun her! The cheek of it .
So , as this bigger brasher version of the Weimeraner appears from behind Alice is close to fainting. Far from home and a fair few yards away from me, she momentarily freezes , like the proverbial cartoon dog , until she regains her self respect and grasps that this is not the dog she dislikes so much , and makes a half hearted attempt to pretend to want to play. Brave Girl.

Later in the day India Knight tweets that she came upon the funeral cortege for Malcolm McLaren , one assumes on its way to Highgate cemetary. I attach a link to the post on her blog written soon after.
No such fuss for that of Mr Durr, though there is an article attached by myself published yesterday in the Guardian.Malcolm McLaren's cortege - india knight's posterous

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Salcombe at Easter












Or Easter in Salcombe? Either way it was bliss.
Most of the photos are on my phone and I still need to grapple with the technology that will put them onto the blog via the pc . I can upload them
straight to Tweeter woops Twitter ( and frequently do ) so anyone interested enough to follow me there ( No ? didnt think so , though people do , but maybe not the blogging fraternity... ) so I find myself showing my pictures that way mostly now . But Twitter is hardly for words.
Salcombe at Easter was the place for sunlovers and peace seekers though. We stayed in a lovely old fishing cottage belonging to some friends who rented it out to us at a very low rate for a few days. Situated on a steep hill right near the centre of the action of things in this haven overlooking the estuary , known as the English Riviera due to its amazing climate , it was great to go from one seaside village ( where we live) to another and find somewhere so different in every way.
Our cottage had been inhabited by an elderly lady for fifty years and little had been changed there apart from some minor updating , so it was like stepping back in time into the tiny two up two down place with old fashioned black and white photos on the walls from the past.
The cottage was bought by the family who had also owned next door as a holiday cottage so that their friends and extended family could stay alongside them , and the guest book dating back to the eighties gave us many hours of pleasure and insight into our friend's parents lives and all the people who had passed through and the fun holidays they had spent , sailing and picnicing on the beach , which is only reached by a little ferry even today , making trips here and there , sampling cream teas and adding to their expanding families year on year . One doctor seemed to have a new baby each year until finally there were six children . Where did they all sleep? Only two bedrooms! We wondered where Mrs Hannacombe herself had slept had she herself had more than two or three children , and how they had managed living in such close proximity.
Our journey from home took from 8am until 4pm and as the cottage is central and with no parking we had been advised to park in one of the town car parks on arrival . We then had to locate the cottage and carry our belongings including bedding up the steep slopes to our new home , with Alice the dog in tow not to mention 16 year old who was keen to investigate the Jack Wills shop right opposite where we were going to be living. We had piles of stuff. Food, suitcases, dog gear , duvets, you name it we were dragging it up that hill!
By five pm we were safely installed , a free parking space had been located above the cottage , the kettle was on and Nat and me were having a preliminary rekky in said Jack Wills. Alice had taken up the position on the sofa and D had tucked her up with her quilt and her toy monkey "just in case" she was feeling tired and emotional after the long day.
By the following evening a routine had been established. Early morning constitionals either with or without Alice were unmissable ... to see the yachts on the estuary, to wander round and catch the early light and see the town waking.Everyone had a friendly word and there were a few early pugs and labradors out.
My first morning I had woken first and after my first pot of coffee I was out there at six fifteen am ( minus dog , if I remember rightly , she closed eyes firmly and tucked her head under the duvet) . After a cooked breakfast another walk would follow around the town , along the harbour front where the kids and old men were crabbing , peering into the buckets to have a look at the catches, glancing into the shop windows at the cakes and scones on offer, a wander in an art shop , promising myself a print of Salcombe to take home ( alas I ran out of cash) , taking photos , back to the cottage , catching up on some reading in the garden ( sunbathing weather!) then planning the day's events.
We discovered that Alice loves pubs and wondered if she has in a previous existence been much accustomed to "the pub" and pub life. She tucked in under a bench seat on one occasion very happily and on another stretched out very fully in the bar and made herself at home , though as at home , reluctant to move for passers-by expecting them to step painstakingly over her, no mean feat with a greyhound at full stretch.
And then again last thing at night the late constitional with Nat and me often taking ourselves and Alice out , taking the hill past the hotels so that we were high enough to look down over the bay and able to look at all the twinkling lights .Warm enough to sit on benches and muse over the day and what tomorrow would bring , this and that . On the way back we would make ourselves run up the steep hill back to our cottage , kidding ourselves we were getting fit and using my pedometer to check whether we had got our "steps" in for the day.
Happy Days.
I think the first holiday of my life where I haven't wanted to return home.
I miss Salcombe. Can you tell?



Friday, 2 April 2010

Easter Baking




And finally after much delay .... I give you my Easter baking pictures. The hot cross buns that sparked off Silliyak's much appreciated wit ( see previous comments section) and now the Simnel Cake ... oh which I think also set him remembering the Apostles and their Balls .
I think I always have a struggle with the balls . If its not remembering how many balls there should be , its knowing how to get them all the same size . Today , I've been practicing the Art of Relaxing . So rather than fretting about getting them all the same , I decided that all the apostles would have been different anyway . Hence a rather tiny ball stage left . Also , being of Buddhist persuasion myself , I conclude that this is a multi faith Simnel cake so if the number of balls is wrong well thats fine too . One of them represents the Buddha nature in all of us . Rather than the missing Judas Iscariot which I think its supposed to . In former years , its usually been the one that has fallen off and rolled under the Guinea Pig palace .
Alice the Not so Skinny Greyhound is distinctly aware that something is afoot . In fact a few things are afoot of which more later . So much so that earlier this morning whilst some members of the household were building up to collecting a car , she had managed to find a tiny cat turd in one of the deep litter cat trays and was juggling it for her own amusement ( alternating it with her own cuddly toy , a large reindeer with green and red protuberances which squeaks when it lands badly) . Sadly this did not end well . Alice became over stimulated and as so often happens with children when for example juggling with their mouths and say savoury snacks , a bit ends up going down the wrong way . Ditto! Alice choked and a nasty incident ensued. with much dry heaving and panic prevailing . Her putrid breath gave the game away . Yuk! Why are animals so gross ?

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday