Thursday 26 February 2009

Enemy sighting

We were having a sedate little walk, taking photos of the crocuses and daffodils to encourage the poor souls still suffering perpetual winter in Toronto, and just minding our own business, when the dog spotted her arch-enemy, our grumpy postman, and took off in hot pursuit. Sadly, he failed to notice.
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Saturday 21 February 2009


Once upon a time, I had a life. And now I have shredding. It's just about the dullest, most boring thing to do if all you have is a small, noisy domestic shredder, instead of the big fat industrial one we used at work, which could tidy your desk for you in a flash if you were feeling reckless and devil-may-care.

What you see here, underneath My Little Helper, is a second shredder, the first one having burned out, thanks to the shameful amount of work it has had to do in the last couple of days. And why? Because I have finally squared up to the boxes in the attic, and sorted the tattered, yellowing paper evidence of that former life: the phone bills, the bank statements, the payslips, the insurance documents (so many!) and the work diaries. Three large plastic sacks have been filled so far, with more and more paper being brought downstairs in the blue basket, and there seems to be an endless supply remaining. We may need shredder number 3 at this rate. My Little Helper finds it all quite fascinating, but then she can't read or count very well, so she won't see that I had a rather irresponsible overdraft in those days, or, that unlike nowadays, my main expenditure wasn't cat-related.

Some fascinating oddments have turned up in amongst the dreary dross: a hastily scribbled letter from my mother, simply dated "Monday" and written in a terse style, unusual for her, suggesting that she could have managed emails or even texting, had she not been so resolutely technophobic: "PS My pen (same as one I gave you) refused to write. Shop sent it back twice, now at last it writes. Firm says they adjusted the ink flow, shop says it's a new one." I could almost hear her tone of derision.... I wonder which pen it was; she and I shared a love of fountain pens, and each of us had several. It was good to see her bold distinctive handwriting again.

And another letter,
many years old, a rather unconvincing apology from the Lovely Son for some offence, long-forgotten; he very rarely wrote except to say sorry or to ask for something, and this letter serves both functions - "sorry I didn't...and could you send me..."

And a sign, written by a delightful young lodger and waved at me from an upstairs window when she was supposed to be revising for her finals: "I'm bord" (sic).

Tomorrow I shall set to on the large box that came with me when I moved offices and that never quite made it to the new office. I bet I'll be bord in no time.
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Wednesday 18 February 2009

Feet, with kitten attached

15 weeks already....where does the time go?
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Monday 16 February 2009

Don't mess with your elders and betters

If that kitten pounces on my tail just once more......
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Friday 13 February 2009


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Thursday 12 February 2009

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Nothing much happening here. The dog has been under the weather (rain, snow, sleet, sun, snow....), moping and smelling sour, hunched and yelpy to touch, but before I could decide that she should see the vet, she picked up again and is her bouncy little self, especially in her new double-thickness reversible coat that her devoted Sandra knitted. No more cat food leftovers for her though.

The young cats continue to demand and devour vast quantities of the more costly varieties of pet-grade junk meat and fish that the industry produces; reading reviews on the feeding of animals is the most confusing and anxiety-producing activity I know. They also sleep a great deal, heaped up together like hamsters, charging their batteries for episodes of hyperactive hooliganism, then eat and sleep some more. And then there are the litter boxes.....My household budget has shifted to cat litter and cat food; never mind me, I'll just live on lentils.

Old Kevin is almost affectionately great-uncle-ish with Millie; he wasn't suited to a single-cat life, and is doing well. And Millie?.... sigh....she has learned to jump onto the worktops. I fish her out of sinks, off the stove (first time sitting decoratively behind pans simmering on gas burners), scrambling into the fridge, wrecking the houseplants, investigating and helping wherever she ventures, and leaving debris and footprints everywhere. She has escaped into the street twice despite the extreme caution of visitors coming and going, once being locked out for over an hour in the cold and dark, but dashed indoors when I came out and called for her, my voice shaky with panic. Microchipping soon! Except that there are suggestions of microchip-induced lesions in cats with was simpler in the days when you fed your cat pink stinky fishy Kit-e-Kat, hardly ever went to a vet, and thought that 10 was a ripe old age for your beloved, and unworrying, moggie. I know I'm giving my age away.

I have a new form of Repetitive Strain Injury: MHS. Mouse Hurler's Shoulder, acquired by endless games of throwing small toy mice up the stairs for two exciteable youngsters to retrieve/beat up/hide under furniture.

Today, as the snow falls and actually accumulates, I am making ice cream. Not an obvious choice for the time of year, but when a yearning for a good grown up coffee ice cream takes you, you gotta listen. Come and visit; thaw out, throw a mouse or two, have a bowl of ice cream, and be careful that a small grey-striped shadow doesn't slink out into the great outdoors as you leave.

Monday 2 February 2009


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