Saturday 27 December 2008

Or maybe...

...just hanging out in a dignified way with the pyjama-clad Adored One might have been enough for some...
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Was it fun?

Did you have an exciting and uproarious time this Christmas? Did the wrapping paper hold more thrills than the presents? Did you dash about, wide-eyed with delight, full of fun and mischief? Did you eat little special-treat things that weren't dinner, till you couldn't face dinner? Did you collapse later in the day and sleep soundly till it was time to wake up and do it all over again? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you are probably either a very small child, or Lottie.
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Monday 22 December 2008

Finished? Unfinished? Who cares!

Today I made a mountain of shortbread biscuits (aka cookies!) as little stocking fillers, as this is the only mix I can make that rolls out easily - none of that rolling between sheets of non-stick paper nonsense for me - and holds its shape in the baking. They are a jumble of shapes, some Christmassy, some picked on a whim. The Andrex puppy and Hallowe'en cat are clearly unimpressed by the star and the angel. Suzy and I each ate a cat that had a broken tail, very sad. And deliciously short, and crumbly....

The cake decoration is never going to get finished, I know, as I have so much still to do, and so little time in which to do it, and have lost my way with it anyway through fretting so much about the cake crumbs looking like mouse droppings. So this year we are a having a less-is-more cake, which I suppose is more recession-friendly, although the bumpy and dinted icing will be horribly exposed.

The Lovely Son arrives tomorrow. The fridge is groaning, and his bed is made up, and that's probably enough preparation for now. However, I'm prepared to take bets on how soon after his arrival he remembers people he hasn't brought a present for, and the traditional last-minute panic will set in, with some bad language and frustration about the crowds and the queues in Borders. He can borrow the car; I shall sit on the sofa and listen to carols.
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Sunday 21 December 2008


Coming home in the deepening dusk, I found flowers on my doorstep.

It's the winter solstice, a time laden with hope and meaning
. Today we need all the light we can get, but tomorrow we can start to say, tentatively, "The days are getting longer...."

from FOUR QUARTETS by T.S. Eliot

O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark.
The vacant interstellar spaces......
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

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Friday 19 December 2008


Lovely presents, lovely friends and family. Dreadful photography.
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Wednesday 17 December 2008

It may be the new 40, darling, but....

Tomorrow I shall be 60. And I really don't mind greatly. My teens were ruined by Twiggy, and by the time I accepted that I would never be taller than 5 ' 1" or weigh as little as my mother, and my skin had cleared, I found it hard to care much about the advancing years. I thought my 30s were the best years, and later had far more to think and worry about than my age. Anyway, I am always more aware of the progress of time when it is my son's birthday, rather than my own: "He's going to be what? 37?? But he was a cute toddler only moments ago!"

What does get to me though, isn't the accelerating rate of decline, physical and mental, that comes with having lived all those years (a horrifying prospect when we were 16 and thought our friends' older sisters were over the hill at 21), but the paraphenalia that comes with the decline; the hair colourants, the upholsterery where once was lingerie, the spectacles. Ah yes, the spectacles. As if they weren't bad enough in themselves, the trendy ones being so expensive and too numerous to choose from, why, in this high-tech age, are they still so uncomfortable and able to make an unpleasant notch across the bridge of one's nose? Why does one lens keep popping out, to be found in the car, in the sofa, and (months ago, probably never to be found unless it starts a major grass fire) in Sydney Botanic Gardens? Where are all my specs, anyway? I must have eight pairs, mostly old and from supermarkets, but all I can find are the two pairs with a missing lens each, (yes, I know what you're thinking, and I thought of it too, but have you tried wearing two pairs of reading glasses at once?) and the ones that catch my hair, and that I fear will in time create a little bald spot at my temple. Reading glasses alopecia.

Suzy came up for a cup of tea this afternoon, in order, she said, to have a last look at me before I turn 60. I'm not sure what she will expect to see tomorrow; I hope she doesn't know something unpleasant that I don't.

A bloodless coup

It didn't take her long, did it. This is the trophy chair, and Kevin was on it first, fast asleep. They may look like they're snuggling, but I suspect he's just being squashed.
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Tuesday 16 December 2008

At home

and feeling quite comfortable and relaxed, thank you.
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Sunday 14 December 2008

It's Lottie!

Harry died in September. Missed terribly, he seemed impossible to replace, but Kevin moped, I moped, and the dog, seemingly impervious to the loss of a rival, certainly missed all the leftover cat dinners that a poorly cat donated. The household felt, and was, miserable and dull. Gradually it became time to look for a new companion through the local cat rescue websites. And suddenly, there she was.

The rescue centre's photo (that I posted here on the 11th Dec.) was all I had to go on before she came to me, with a brief description of her as apricot and tabby, but when she arrived, semi-hysterical and covered in her own poo after a frightening car journey, I saw that to look at she could have been Harry's little sister.
She isn't exactly a Harry clone, and has a very different personality, but the physical similarities are remarkable and strangely comforting.

She no longer stinks to the heavens, which is a relief, given her extreme friendliness.
She was in the rescue centre's foster home for a month, losing her emaciation, and has a great deal of energy to run off - she does this by charging up and down the stairs at high speed. Her need to play is very obvious. She has stalked the dog, who ignored her, being more interested in her toys, especially that whirring little chicken one that is crying out to be terrier-torn to shreds. She has tried everything to engage Kevin, all to no avail, even when she boxed his ears. All her bouncing, stalking, and throwing herself in front of him leaves him fairly unmoved - watching them, I felt it was like seeing an extremely old man regarding a lively toddler, mildly interested but firmly uninclined to join in the play. Her gleaming white paws are currently soot-coloured from her attempts to look up the chimney, and her curiosity is boundless.

Several names have been tried, and Lottie seems to be the one that gets the most enthusiastic response from her. She is utterly delightful, and I suspect that she may be younger than the guessed-at 18 months, and that an ancient cat and a middle-aged dog aren't going to be the most lively companions for her.

(See where this is leading? In January, the foster carer has a plump grey mackerel tabby kitten ready to rehome.....

she is just what was needed here, and as my mother used to say, I can feel my heart dropping back into its right place.

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Friday 12 December 2008

It's me, that's who!

I'm a rescued cat, and underneath all this fur I am very thin, despite 4 weeks of feeding up in an animal shelter. But I'm young (18 months) and full of life, curiosity and energy, and I think I've found a lovely new home with a doting owner who is eating out of my paw already, 2 hours after my arrival . I don't know what my name will be yet, but sweetiepie and darling and lovely girl seem to be used rather a lot. I think she's going to be a pushover.

I'm not keen on being picked up much yet, but as I had an embarrassing accident in the travel box on my way here, and had to be cleaned up on arrival, the doting human isn't too bothered. She says she can wait a while before I settle down on her knee. The dopey dog isn't a challenge, although she steals my toys, and the old ginger creature upstairs will be fine in a day or two. We exchanged courtesy hisses, but then he went back to sleep; I can see I will have to make my own fun round here .
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Thursday 11 December 2008

Who is this?

You will have to wait and see, just as I must.
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Thursday 4 December 2008

Wet snow, suffering dog

Looks nice, but the dog hates it, and tries to drag Sandra back home. If your tummy was only 4 inches off the slushy ground and your thermal tartan coat was already wet, you'd have views on this matter too, perhaps.
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Monday 1 December 2008

It's all a bit of a shock

All day frost in the city. Winter is here at last.
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