Saturday, 29 March 2008

Where Have You Gone Sally?

Some of my friends go back a long way and there are two couples that Harry and I have kept in touch with over the last twenty five years.
We usually meet up, the six of us for a meal. We might go quite a long time till we see each other again afterwards, but the six of us always get together again eventually.
We recently were invited to Viv and Peter's house for dinner and I knew that Sally and Robert were also going to be there. I see Viv most weeks at Church and she had warned me that Sally was having problems with her memory and was having brain scans. I realized that it was a good few months since I last saw her.

When we arrived at Viv and Peter's house I was a bit stunned when I saw Sally. Robert was his usual self, but Sally didn't seem to recognize us at first and looked a bit blank when she saw us. I was shocked by her appearance. She was clean and tidy but her hair was not the same and she had not worn the kind of clothes she would have worn the year before. She is only sixty but seemed years older, suddenly. She slumped silently on the sofa beside Robert, who explained that her scans had proved that her brain was slowly deteriorating and she joined in with this conversation and said she had been advised to walk a lot and read, though she had difficulty remembering what she was reading.

The meal went fine and Viv excelled herself with her usual good cooking. Sally did seem to be enjoying her food, but seldom joined in with the conversation. The rest of us had plenty to catch up with and we kept going back to Sally and went over old times, that she didn't seem to remember at all.
In the space of a few months, Robert had had to give up his high powered job, with lots of responsibility- a job that he really enjoyed to the utmost, to look after Sally, as she could not manage on her own. She had to finish working as a child carer and could not now be left to look after her own grand children.
Not only was her memory affected, but it seemed that she had lost her personality as well. She had ended up like a little girl who was lost and bewildered if her husband moved away from her side.

I'm not sure how to handle this situation at all. Viv thinks we must all keep in touch and I know that we should, but Sally is only a shell of the person she used to be. How do we move forward? I don't really know. By ten o'clock she wanted to go home, so we did all break up earlier than we normally would have done.
The real Sally was intelligent, confident, with plenty to say about her life, work, family and ideas. She was always sparkling, nicely dressed and made up and with nicely styled hair.
She was never one for hugs and kisses and was slightly reserved, but now she clung like a limpet when we had to go. I couldn't believe the change in her.

Fortunately, Sally and Robert have always been so much in love and are committed Christians. I just  know he will stand by her, what ever happens, but I am stunned by the way this Alzheimer's Disease has come upon her so fast and unexpectedly. It is frightening, it really is. She knows what is happening to her, that's the sad part. She remembers how she was and wants to carry on as normal but she can't.
These people really did not deserve this severe blow in their lives. Over the years, they have given themselves to other people and to God. 
Isn't life cruel?

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Other People's Gardens.

On Easter Monday it was sunny, but freezing cold and very, very windy. I announced that I was going out for a brisk walk, as I'd eaten too much chocolate! Harry replied that I would have to walk to Scotland to get rid of the effects of the chocolate binge and he said he thought I was mad to go out on such a cold day.
Undeterred, I wrapped up like an eskimo and braved the cold and wind, to do my next favourite nosey thing to people watching............ that is looking at other people's gardens.

I soon walked out of our immediate district of Victorian terraced villas with tiny front gardens, into a slightly more affluent area with homes that had been built in the 1930 era. I noticed that many  people had given up their garden for a brick paved parking area and many had small trees and shrubs in ornamental pots to take away the bareness that this had caused. Harry had announced only recently that "the papers" had said there was a possibility of having to pay more Council tax for homes with garages and off road parking spaces. Well that lets us off the hook then as our garden in the front is too small for a parking bay and we have no garage. Then I remembered that some inner cities are thinking of charging people to park outside their own homes. So either way, car owners are losers.

Many gardens, I noted, had exotic looking Cordylines growing in their front gardens, that are used to sunnier climes, but they seem to grow very well here. Judging by the amount of people who have planted them, they seem to be all the rage and I wonder if they will be the "Leylandii of the twenty first century" only to be scorned in the future. We have one in our back garden that grew through the bottom of a clay pot at an alarming angle and is now quite big. Son, Sam or should I call him Sam son, swung on it to see if it was safe for the children to play under, and he pronounced it sturdy enough.

Some gardens are really well loved, you can tell by the clipped shrubs and weed free borders. Unfortunately these are often next to a really untidy, neglected one, that makes a terrible contrast. Why is it that if I see something in need of a good clip, I feel I'd love to be let loose with a good pair of shears? Yet I don't always feel like that with my own. I start to think of the reason for the neglect. Is the person too old or infirm to tidy it? Or is some one living there who simply hates gardening? Maybe they are just too busy.
Some homes have a little notice on the front door or gate saying "no circulars or junk mail." Well you know where you are with a house like that. I suddenly thought, "Wouldn't it be good if bloggers had a notice on their blogs to say that they didn't want a tag, meme or an award." At least we would know who not to tag without having to learn by trial or error. Now I am digressing just like Ronnie Corbett. Strange what you think about when you're walking though, isn't it?

I pass a good many homes with tiny front gardens where a small shed has been squeezed in, to house bikes safely, I should think. It would be impossible to get to the house windows to clean them as the sheds completely block off the way. If the occupants of these homes have to choose between locking a bike up safely or cleaning the windows, then the bike might well win.
Just a few gardens had rubbish in them. Some homes were being revamped and the mess was temporary, but I could see that others didn't care at all about mattresses and furniture lying on a lawn for months.

I came round full circle to our house. I had enjoyed the tiny lawns, grey slate shingle and mock york stone patios with plants and interesting garden ornaments and came home glowing, warm and feeling like some more chocolate!

Monday, 24 March 2008

How Strong Is My Faith!

David at authorblog in his Weekend Wandering asks "How Strong Is Your Faith?" Not a popular subject, judging by the responses, but maybe I like a challenge!
How do you measure how strong your faith is? By whose standard? What does he mean by faith? Faith in what? These are difficult questions to answer.

I am a Committed Christian, so have faith in God through Jesus and I was baptized at 41 years of age by total immersion (which was scary for me, as a non swimmer!) Not that I had to swim, mind you! But I didn't like going under water. However, on the day, I was filled with peace when I did it and joy afterwards. I have attended a Baptist Church regularly, ever since.
I am quite certain that I will never turn away from my Christian belief, so does that make it strong? I think it is a firm belief.
However, I would not scream about it on street corners, like some do. Those people make me feel uncomfortable. I don't feel that is what I am supposed to be doing at all. If people ask me, I tell them what I believe, but I don't ram it down people's throats. So does that make my faith weak?

To me, being a Christian means having a personal relationship with God through prayer. I have certainly come through some difficult times in my life and have felt that I've been helped by the power of prayer many times.
Some times things get in the way of prayer, like blogging! So I will use this post as a little testimony (groan from lots of people, I expect, but I won't do it frequently!) and I will give something back to God, so it is tit for tat!

Could it be David meant faith in Human Nature? This is a bit of a risky thing, as people can let you down. Even the best of friends can do that, though admittedly, there are some wonderful people about. I'd sooner put my complete faith in God, though humans are important to me.

Faith in myself? Well, everyone needs to have some faith in themselves or else they could never cross a busy road, but I would not like to think that everything depended on me and there was nothing else! I suppose some people who don't believe in God, must be very strong people, going it alone. But what happens after death? Just suppose they got it wrong?

Some people put their faith in luck and charms and things, but that is not for me!

So who am I to judge other people or myself? I will trust God to sort it out and continue to put my trust in Him and believe on Jesus for everlasting life!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Happy Easter

I had been appointed to look after a very intelligent but autistic five year old boy, not long ago when the school where I work went on a coach excursion to the local seaside. I was part of a team of helpers in the Reception age group.
During the coach ride he interacted with me fairly well and we ended up playing the game "I Spy" to ease the monotony of the coach journey.
I felt pleased that he had taken me into his confidence and the game went fairly well until the child chose the letter W.
Me.     "Wall"
Child.  "No"
Me.     "Window"
Child.  "No"
             Several attempts later ........
Me.     "I give up!"
Child.   "Woof!"
I smiled when I realized he meant roof! I didn't stand a chance, did I?
Hoping you all enjoy a Peaceful and Happy Easter.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


We have a certain "someone" 
Who steals about our house
And it's not an elf or fairy 
Who creeps silent as a mouse!

It tidies up just anything
And puts the toys away.
It follows every bit of mess
From where the children play.

The rubbish disappears so fast.
From the magic kitchen bin,
No one sees who empties it
Or puts the liner in!

This "someone" always gets the blame
For hiding things from sight.
Remote control & socks & keys
Are lost into the night.

Could this be the same "someone" then,
Who cleans, yet hides away?
That "someone" many seem to think
Might just be Maggie May! 

Monday, 17 March 2008

Just Think Of The Baby Gazelles & How They Feel!

I was in a bit of a tizz the other day, when I had to visit the Bank to rectify something that I thought was a complete mistake they had made. Sam had gone with me. I'm not sure whether he thought I didn't understand about the mistake or whether he'd gone as a guard to stop me from hitting the Bank Manager! (Well actually we were going somewhere else afterwards.)
While we were waiting,  he said to me."Don't worry, just think of the baby gazelles and how they feel! "
Did I just hear that right?
He repeated the sentence. A puzzling thing to say in the middle of a bank! I suppose he meant that they had predators and didn't have an easy life compared to me.
I suddenly started to laugh at the absurdity of the sentence and how it didn't seem to fit in with the problem at the bank at all, but it did diffuse the situation, which was fixed more easily than I had anticipated.
That made me think of other strange things that people have said to me.
Children are always saying things that make me smile.
Three year old Millie, my granddaughter remarked when she saw her daddy kissing mummy goodbye, "Daddy, why are you kissing Mummy?" He replied, "Because I am going out and she is my wife."
Millie got quite annoyed and said, "No, you are MY wife and you shouldn't do that! You should kiss me!"
My other granddaughter, five year old Amber, went with the family to a pebble beach the other day and she found a tiny paint sampler that had been washed up with the tide.
 She then opened it and proceeded to paint some of the pebbles bright pink. When the children were told they were going back to the beach recently, Amber said, "Oh goody! We can paint more pebbles. Well she obviously thinks that it is perfectly normal to find tiny paint samplers washed up on the beach. Sadly though on another trip, a very large tin of gloss paint was washed up with the tide, but Sam steered the children safely away. No need to overdo the painting! Enough for a whole beach there.
I know someone who had a Cocker Spaniel which was taken out for a walk by a twelve year old. A neighbour said "What a lovely dog, is it a lady dog? (Being polite) "Oh no," was the reply, "Its a cocker!" Well it did cock its leg, I suppose!
So next time you are in a situation when you feel annoyed or upset and thinking of funny sayings doesn't seem to help, you can always try thinking of the baby gazelles and how they feel!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Poles Apart!

My beautiful niece, Angelica has shoulder length red, wavy hair. She has always been a good looker. Where she gets these good looks or hair colouring from we have no idea.
My mother once said that before I was born, my father grew a moustache that turned out to have reddish tints but he was dark haired and couldn't really be regarded as handsome.
My brother, who is Angelica's father, is quite ordinary and none of the rest of the family are particularly good looking, except for the Japanese girls, who are stunning. But they are a product from outside our family and therefore have no bearing on Angelica's looks or hair colouring at all.
So, it seems these assets must have come from her mother's side. Angelica's mother is Polish, so it must come from there!
My lovely niece is a talented young girl too. She is a very good singer and often does gigs and when my energy levels have permitted me, I have been known to be her groupie, following her round pubs or wherever she has been singing. She sings like Eva Cassidy ............. and would be famous now, if she'd got there first!
As a child, Angelica was always confident and would jump on a chair to sing to anyone who would listen to her and her hand always shot up at school to be chosen for a play or musical, where she always managed to get a leading part. She always loved to dance and sing on stage and could play the piano to an audience without nerves.
I was the exact opposite as a child and would go to great lengths to keep myself out of the limelight and would try and make myself look small so that I wouldn't be chosen for anything that would draw attention to myself and had very little confidence even though I was talented in some ways. I didn't pursue piano lessons after I learned that I had to take exams and I would be physically sick with nerves, if I had no choice.
So is it in the genes, this confidence thing and does it come from Poland?

This Blogger Tells A Good Tale Award!

I have been kindly awarded the "This Blogger Tells A Good Tale" award, by Mother's Pride. Well actually her very talented daughter, known as the FIXER designed it. I am very proud to receive it, and had not thought of myself as a teller of tales, really, but I guess I am!

I have no hesitation in passing this award on to Milla from Country Lite. as she tells a good tale!
Please don't forget to pass it on to some one else. The Fixer will be somehow or other monitoring where it goes! A bit scary that!
There are several others who I think are excellent tale tellers, however they don't seem to get involved with tags, memes or awards, so I won't name them!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The Twenty Minute Slot!

My Chiropractor was not happy with me this morning when I went for my three monthly check. "What have you been doing?" He asked. Well, I couldn't think of anything unusual and I'd been so careful with lifting and bending as I know from experience what the excruciating pain that a bad back and sciatica can be like. Absolute torture and the phenominal expense of having the necessary run of chiropractic treatments needed to put it right again was something I didn't want to repeat.
I suddenly thought, the only thing that is different in my life now from when I last saw the chiropractor three months ago, is my blogging! Well, I wasn't going to tell him that, was I? My blogging is an absolute secret! So I said, "I seem to spend a lot of time on my computer!"
"You mean you have spent hours slouched over a lap top?" He asked me. I felt like a naughty school child being told off for something bad that I had been caught out doing and reluctantly admitted, that yes, I did love computer work.
Computer work, a sort of obscure phrase that. Could have meant anything really, but certainly not blogging! Obviously he could think that I was doing something much more sinister on my computer than that and the fact that I kept it all a bit 'cloak & dagger', made me think he did! 
He was quick to tell me that I must carry a timer with me whenever I undertook any task and I had to set it for 20 minutes. After that time, I must move on to another activity.
Well, I ask you! Just imagine having to resist the temptation to read just one more blog because my pinger decided to go off just at the wrong time. I might be really involved with a creative flow of words only to be interrupted by a "ping"! That would be very off-putting.
Not only do I have to time myself on the computer, but for every other task I undertake. I can weed the garden for 20 minutes and then have to do some clipping or pruning whether it needs to be done or not.
My ironing is not a task I really enjoy, but imagine setting it all up, only to leave it again 20 minutes later! My steam iron would be just getting into action by then.
Too bad if my cooking takes longer than the alloted time, I must now move onto dusting and forget about the dinner.
I wonder what Work would say if my pinger went off and I said, "Oh well its time to move on to another task now!
I expect I'll have to come to some compromise but I am the type of person who likes to see a task through to the end, so it will be really hard for me to leave anything unfinished. Goes against everything in my nature.
Excuse me, I've got to go, now, my pinger has just gone off!

Monday, 10 March 2008

There's a Rat in the Kitchen (almost) Part 2

The trouble with poisoning a creature (oh, that makes me feel such a heel!) is that it does not always die in the place where you want it to! Obviously this causes a tremendous stink and my Goodness, what a stink! I advise people to stop here if you are squeamish.
The only way to escape the hum is to open windows and doors which is not so good in cold weather. Wrapping up in layers of clothes in a cold room is much preferable to being warmer in an unventilated room I can assure you.
Ratman promised us that the smell would go by the end of the second week, which it did. The longest two weeks of our lives! During this time we spent pounds on aerosol sprays, neutralizing agents and all sorts of other remedies that we tried, from raw onions to incense sticks, non of which worked.
A team of men were sent round by Ratman to examine the drains and a smoke test revealed that there was nothing wrong with toilets or drains. Next door was also tested and given the all clear. For good measure we paid for a camera to go down the sewer which was a compete waste of money, as nothing unusual was found there.
We were advised to dig up about a third of our patio by the kitchen, to see if anything was amiss under it. A small hole was found in a pipe going under the kitchen. That must be it! What joy! The fault was repaired easily and the patio re-cemented in place.
Now we were told that it was alright to knock down the kitchen ceiling that had been trashed by the trap door & rodents.
While this was all being done, everything had been moved out and we had to manage with a microwave, toaster and kettle, as well as a fridge/freezer for a week. Not too bad an inconvenience really.
Harry easily smashed down the ceiling and some not very nice things came down, as you can imagine, but horror of horrors, a large mummified rat fell at his feet, completely dried out and totally flat except for the ribcage & tail.

It was lovely to have a new ceiling, with thick insulation above it, newly plastered and painted. As well as new ceiling lights! A chance to repaint everything. I felt I had a new kitchen.
What a relief! It was all over!
It was while I was ironing one morning ..... I heard it! The unmistakable sound of a creature on the ceiling! My world seemed to be dashed to pieces in an instant.
Ratman was called back and although I liked him, I had hoped I'd never need to see him again. He also looked disappointed to be called back!
"You have two choices," he informed me. "Either move or put up with the occasional visitor in the roof space. He went on to tell me that a fair percentage of his clients never get to the root of their rat problem and even if the kitchen was razed to the ground we might never find an obvious entry point.
He told me of people who had run away from what they thought was a bad rat problem only to find that they moved into a house with a worse one! At least mine was contained and I could put poison in through the outside vents, if the problem got too bad.

We are still here! We have not had a repeat of the bad smell so far. Sometimes we go a long time without hearing anything. We call him Roland when he does visit.
The house is convenient to everything we need. Its just where we want to be at present. Why should we be pushed out by a rodent? The thought of passing on this problem to some unsuspecting family makes me feel guilty. However, we must do something, but what?
We keep promising ourselves that we will pull down the entire kitchen and start afresh - examine everything with a fine tooth comb.

I recently went to the cinema with Sam & Amber to see Ratatouille. All was well until the ceiling collapsed under the weight of the rats and they all tumbled into the kitchen. Well that was only a story, wasn't it?
On a bad night I lie awake and wonder how many rats it would take before our ceiling would give way? However most nights I think of all the bad things going on in the world, people in danger of their lives who would give anything to live in a house like mine, and it all gets put back in perspective.

So here I am, a respectable married lady with 4 lovely grandchildren, 2 part time jobs and a rat!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Watch Out! There Are Taggers About!

I have been tagged by granny P from rockpool in the kitchen who wanted to know 7 unusual/peculiar things about me.
  1. When I was very small, too young to know any better, I put my very tolerant tabby cat in a bowl of soapy water & washed her. I then put her in the oven of an old fashioned range near the open fire. Fortunately my mother rescued her before she got too hot!
  2. I used to have a pink streak in my hair when I was 16 & I wore a hooped skirt & winkle picker shoes. I thought I was the "cat's whiskers!"
  3. I won't go in a lift by myself!
  4. I am almost NEVER late for anything!
  5. If I throw out a pair of socks with holes in them or a pair of pants that have warped elastic, I always wash them before putting them in the bin! Mad!
  6. I have bushy eye brows, thanks to my Dad!
  7. I would prefer a quiet night in to a party, any day!
Now I have to tag 7 other unsuspecting bloggers! 
7 unusual/peculiar things about yourself and then tag seven people!

Now, I'm trying to get my head round the next one!
Crazy Cath tagged me and asked me to tell her what super hero I identified with.
Well, it has to be Super Gran cos that is what I am!  However I cannot do photos yet even though I can now link!!!!!!!!!!
What super hero do you identify with?

Finally, I would like to award crazy cath for the article My Firstborn. My Son. with some flowers as she has not been well & is constantly cheerful.
Also one for mean moody middle aged mom who has also fought off a terrible virus.

PS........ I still can't do images but Sam was here to help! He is trying to do his sudoku and keeps sighing everytime I ask for something. He is threatening to start his own blog!

Friday, 7 March 2008

Would You Let An Earwig Ruin Your Dinner?

Not long ago, gonebacksouth  revealed in her post, Taggie by Maggie, that she threw a whole healthy stir fry in the bin because she was horrified on finding an earwig sizzling on top of the vegetables.
I replied to the effect that I wouldn't have wasted it. I would have just removed the earwig, but several readers agreed wholeheartedly with her and said they would have chucked it out too.
Well, I know I am probably one of only a few bloggers who were born during the Second World War and food rationing didn't finish until I was 10 years old, so I feel I was definitely influenced by the "waste not, want not" attitude of the era.
The majority of you are probably young enough to be my children & some of you my grandchildren, but that doesn't matter! I like friends of all ages. I do believe though, that many of you have been brought up in a more affluent environment than I was. 
However, this has got me thinking what would have to be found in a stir fry to make me throw it out!
Any human bits, finger nails etc., would send me straight to the bin! As would hairs that looked totally unfamiliar! 
Bluebottles & houseflies ............ straight to the bin!
Also mouse, or droppings ... Heaven forbid!
Spider, crane fly or similar inoffensive creature ............. probably not!
Bee, wasp  or moth.......... no!
Caterpillar ........ mmmhh - not sure, a bit squeamish!
I would hope that the frying on high heat would sterilize germs, if there were any.
Anyway, don't the Australian Aborigines eat wichety grubs live? I have seen them doing this on travel documentaries. Well, I couldn't do that, dead or alive.
Now if I found only half an earwig in my stir fry, I would definitely look carefully for the other half, as I certainly wouldn't want to crunch down on the remainder!
So may be I discriminate between certain types of creature. Some seem more dirty than others. I really don't know.
So come on, would you throw good food out because of an earwig? If not, what WOULD make you chuck away your dinner?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

There's a Rat in the Kitchen (Almost!) Part 1

I didn't really want to start this story, but after all, it is The Year of The Rat! So here goes!

It was several years ago when I first became aware of a scratching noise low down in the kitchen party wall. Harry said I couldn't have heard anything in there because it was a solid wall, nine inches thick. These houses are well over a hundred years old. No way could anything get in there. Must be a neighbour rummaging in a cupboard. Trouble was, the neighbour was always rummaging in the cupboard, but now it seemed further up the wall. What was going on in there?
One day I was cooking the evening meal and heard scratching right at the ceiling level, followed by a thud and a scampering across the ceiling. There was a creature of some sort up there. Gordon Bennett!

Harry was never there when the "thing" was active, in other words he never heard it! Maybe it didn't exist except in my imagination. He couldn't have made that more clear.
I put up with "the thing" for a while hoping it would go away, only it never did go away. It started to party and other "things" started to scamper about with it.
Whether Harry could hear it or not, it was time to do something about it. I rang Council Pest Control on a Thursday. They would send someone round next Wednesday, as that was the day designated for our area and as "it" was not actually in the house, it was not considered an emergency.

The Pest Controller came in an unmarked van. Phew! That was a relief! He turned out to be a very pleasant, helpful young man. He said that although we are never far away from a rat, this area was a squirrel area. That gave me a glimmer of hope.
He climbed up a small ladder, took off a few tiles and peered into our kitchen roof. He said there was a bit of a problem. A sloping roof built over a flat roof ..... creature in a three inch gap between the kitchen ceiling & the top of the flat roof. He couldn't get at it because of the sloping roof being built right on top of the flat roof.
"Only one thing for it," the man said, "You'll have to cut a hole in the ceiling so that I can get a better idea of what we are dealing with."
"He must be mad!," I thought. "If I did that it would be in the house!" He told me it was that or nothing and that he would call round next Wednesday when the hole was cut.

After refusing point blank at first, Harry persuaded me to let him make a trap door in the ceiling. The very thought filled me with horror, but he cut a square about a foot each way and found another piece of plasterboard to fit inside. I bought strong duct tape to cover the joints because it made me feel more secure! Who was I kidding? Couldn't any rodent eat through anything?
I had sleepless nights worrying about whether "it" would jump down into the kitchen while we were asleep. First thing every morning I examined the trap door to see if it was intact.

The Pest Controller called the following Wednesday and peered into the hole using a torch. "Bad news," he told me. "It's rats! Probably 6-8 of them." He put two trays of poison into the opening and sealed it over with the duct tape. He would be back next Wednesday.

(to be continued.)

Busy Bee Award

I was just about to reveal the horrible story about my rat and then yesterday I was tagged! So I managed to get my son to help me with that & then thought that I would put the rat story in today. Now I find that sweetirene has awarded me a busy bee logo, which is extremely kind of her and a great honour, but my rat story has got to wait.
There are two people who seem to be action packed all the time and they are:
Please accept your awards!
I have done the linking with very little help! I am well chuffed!

Monday, 3 March 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by Ashley Ladd: I'd rather be writing, and have been asked to write six random things about me.

1. I am a complete technophobe and if my computer so much as hiccups, I am panic stricken. This tagging has almost caused a nervous breakdown and without the help of my son, I couldn't do it!
2. I like to be near the sea to just look at the waves crashing into the shore. I love the sound of pebbles being sucked by the water and I would never get fed up with the therapeutic sound.
3. I never learned to swim!
4. I am an avid people watcher and love to watch the way people inter-react and to listen to what they say. Some people would call this nosiness, but I really can't help it and feel I am too old to change now.
5. I feel "pent up" if I don't get out for a daily walk. I hate being cooped up in the house for long and my idea of Hell would be to be house bound.
6. I love ice-cream and need to eat some every day! This is why I am not slim!

I am now tagging six people at random.

The rules are, to share 6 non important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
Tag 6 random people and let them know they've been tagged.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Foggi, Sticky & Furry Fred!

"Just for one night," I firmly told my teenaged children when one of them brought a wet & bedraggled, frightened, black kitten into the house, rescued from slashing rain outside. "Tomorrow it will have to go!"
Well I couldn't send it back outside in that storm, could I? But I definitely didn't want a cat. It had been a wonder that the frantic meowing had been heard above the storm, in the first place, when it cried outside the back door.
As we had no suitable cat food, we fed it small pieces of Cheddar cheese, that disappeared quickly down its ravenous throat.
In the end, Sam braved the storm and went to the nearest shop to buy a small tin of cat food, as it wasn't staying, I stressed. The hungry kitten devoured it quickly and it was obvious that it hadn't been fed for a long time.

Well this was the beginning of our love affair with cats. Debbie named him Furry, as his black coat had dried out to reveal his lovely sleek fur. However, Sam thought that was a soppy name and called him Fred. He soon learned to respond to either or both, so he was named Furry Fred!
Furry Fred was a bit of a wanderer and kept escaping from the back garden and liked to sit in the main road and was always weaving in & out of traffic. I tried to keep him indoors, but he was never happy and usually managed to escape.
He was forever being bitten by the local felines and must have been defending himself, as he certainly wasn't a bully by nature. This resulted in him having to have abscesses lanced at the vets. We had already had him neutered 

Four years later, my friend asked me if I'd go with her to help her choose a kitten! Well that was a silly thing for me to do and I came home with Foggi, a delightful  grey female kitten and she looked as if she was an expensive pedigree.
Furry Fred was not at all impressed with his new companion and hissed and stomped off, spending more time at Doreen's house over the road. Doreen was rather a lonely lady  who enticed him over with expensive tins of salmon, not realizing how dangerous it was becoming for him to dodge the traffic.
The lady who gave us Foggi, had one kitten left and as he was the runt of the litter was very small and not attractive in any way, having black, sticky fur that stuck out in all directions, he was going to be put to sleep if no one chose him by the end of the week, she had said.
Well, I couldn't let that happen to Foggi's brother, could I? So within a few days I went back to see if he was still there and he was. Nobody wanted this poor little mite.
Foggi was delighted to be reunited with her brother & she and Sticky were always close by one another and slept head to tail, snuggled up.

Because of his love of danger, and his salmon addiction, Furry Fred had several accidents in the road that resulted in him breaking a leg on two occasions and his jaw on another and together with his frequent trips to the vet for abscess lancing, Furry Fred was an expensive cat to keep!
In spite of his unfortunate start in life, he went on to live for 21 years, living a happy life, I think.
Sticky grew into a fine, handsome cat and lived a happy and uneventful life in the house and back garden to the age of 16.
Foggi was my absolute favourite and she & I were very close. She was pretty and affectionate and always sat on my knee while I twiddled with her ears and watched TV. She died at 14 years of age and I was truly heartbroken.

I have fought off the temptation to even look at another kitten, even though I've had many opportunities and offers! However I often think back to how our "cat era" began when I agreed to take in Furry Fred for just one night!