Friday, 24 July 2009

Knitting (mark 1)

Last christmas my Brother-in-law bought me 2 balls of cashmere wool in ice-blue. Not knowing what to knit I have left them until now when I was inspired by to create an '...mmm cashmere...' something.

I went into my railway trunk, where I keep all wool, and dug out the 2 balls. And a third which I had bought 'just in case', in turquoise and set to work on a pair of bed socks.

Using a combination of my 'Harry Potter sock' from 'Charmed Knits' and 'Scottish Inspirations' I started improvising.

Day two of the knitting and I am one sock down... And, knitting pretty quickly... somewhat impressive for me. Shall keep you posted and will eventually try uploading a pic.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Jellicle Cat

My beloved and beautiful cat of 13 years has disappeared. 5 days ago she went out to do her evening rounds of the front garden, she never went further unless it was to hide in the nextdoor's overgrown rose bushes because there were children around. The general consensus is that she has gone to die...

I spoke to my mum on the phone the other day and she found it upsetting but said that it was a natural thing for cat's to do. That they know when their time is up and like their predecessors the lions, they leave the pride and do it in private with dignity. Jelly was a house cat, only going out as far as the front garden every so often and then only in the summer months after a couple of days being inside. So after 2 days of her not being seen we thought the worse as the circumstances were odd.

Jelly, or more frequently Dame Jelly Melba, was a very soft cat. Her fur was always soft and fluffy, like cotton wool... It malted everywhere in the summer but running my hands over her belly as she purred beside me was almost a luxury. She was always suspicious of new people who wouldn't stroke her, and always more so of the females. Never quite understood why. She was never bad tempered, for long, and always found it necessary to kiss you.

She has been ill over the past few months. She had a cyst on her back which recently disappeared, then grew again.Then she started to bleed. I think sub-consciously we knew she was going to do it soon but that still doesn't prepare you.

I know in my heart of hearts that she has gone to the heaviside layer. I'm finding the grieving process quite hard. Not fully grieving, holding out some hope that she will return, yet still knowing she will never return. I'm not sleeping well and have irregular eating- which is something my Jelly would not have approved of under ANY circumstances!

It is hard, but in time I am sure all will be well. I have framed a photo of her and have put another in my weekly diary... each time I open it to check what I'm doing, or where I'm supposed to be, her cheeky whiskers and big eyes peer at me. I know she wouldn't want me to be sad but that isn't an option right now. I was 10 years old when I got Jelly, and she has been there through the most important and difficult moments. Ever a source of comfort and love.

She was the greatest, most beautiful, funny, cuddly, intelligent, sophisticated and bitchy (at times) cat that ever owned a human. And will ALWAYS be loved...

P.S. I was searching on the internet in a fit of 'trying' and I came across this.... It was helpful to know that I am not alone.

'On July 28 my beloved 14 yr old cat Alladin just dissappeared. He never left the house except to use the bathroom in the front yard, the litter box being way to undignified (except if it was raining or cold!) He had no health problems that I knew of and was eating well and in good spirits, but some of the other cats had been acting strangely around him. One in particular two days before he left, got up on the sofa and literally put her arms around him and slept that way all night.Everyone is telling me that he went off somewhere to die. But I have searched my neighborhood and put fliers in mailboxes to ask if anyone has seen anything. I can’t get closure. He was an amazing cat. Has anyone heard of a house cat going far away to die? Thanks for any help.'

— Leslie Ferguson Monday August 20, 2007 #

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Day of La Diva

Here is a previously in-published blog I found from about 18 months ago, my how things have changed...

Sitting by an open window always gives one the feeling of great achievement, taking in a deep breath and allowing the fresh air to blow serenely onto your face. When in actual fact all you have done are the things you do naturally, you have no control on the weather. Or control over the fact that to survive a human has to inhale Oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. I suppose the act of opening ones window, and the state of mind you are in while partaking in such activities could be classed as a sense of achievement. But only if you’re general state of mind puts you a notch above a chimpanzee… And without any further ado, we are back where we started, the same frame of mind that propelled one to open the damn window in the first place.

The day started perfectly normal, well normal if you are my cat. I woke pretty early as we have guests whom are not used to this city, so I thought the best thing to do was wake early and see them on their way. The alarm, which I did indeed set so no one else can be blamed, went off ridiculously early… 7:30. Who is awake at 7:30 on a Monday morning?? Anyway, I switched it off and curled over, making sure the duvet covered my head sufficiently enough to block out both the light and noise. Thus giving me more time in which to complain about it later in the day. (That was the normal bit I mentioned not the waking early). Anyway that was all shot to shit as the noise from several people taking showers and insisting on giving renditions, if a little less Maria Callas more Michelle McManus, of La Traviata. Please forgive me but I am damned if I want to woken by ‘Libiamo ne’lieti calici’, and not by my alarm clock. If I wanted to be woken at all I would have acknowledged the alarm with gratitude and sheer joy. But I didn’t, so I didn’t.

By 8:30 everyone was washed, dressed, cleaned and spruced and ready to leave in their finery for the day. Me however was just about stable on my feet. I threw on yesterday’s clothes, draped a pashmina around my neck then adorned sunglasses, a necessity I found when one has a headache. And I can tell you; today one had a very big headache. We left the house and made our way to the train station. Guests were put onto a train and I was nearly put into a coma, stupid bloody trains… this is London not some remote country village, no need for loud whistles and train horns! This state of shock put me completely off my morning coffee, so you can imagine how bad it was. I eventually made my way back home, picked up the mail, kicked out the cat and carried out my best impression of Norma Desmond by dramatically collapsing onto the sofa as if in a silent movie. I then realised the cleaner was coming and that we had run out of black bin bags, apparently another necessity. So I had to go to the local supermarket. Intending to spend nothing except the few pounds on the bags, I inevitably left with a ton of cleaning products, I’m sure the cleaner steals them, enough food to feed an army, some scented candles and a new serving bowl. Of course when I got home I noticed I had forgotten the bin bags. I blame the alarm clock.

I eventually mustered the energy to make myself an Earl Gray, just as the cleaner arrived, and I’ve been sitting here ever since, by the open window. The cleaner, whose name I don’t know is currently do the ironing. The one good thing about her is that she doesn’t speak. She’ll be off soon, and I wonder what on earth I am to do with my day… I dare say I maybe very proactive, and watch re-runs of Ground Force.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Summer

Heat + Me = 1 very unhappy person...

I can't really stand the heat, nor the sun. I sweat too much and it frustrates the hell out of me that I leave the house and by the time I turn the corner at the bottom of the road it starts happening. Drip. Drip. I can feel it on the sides of my shirt. It's uncomfortable, claustrophobic and painful. And ruins the way to work...

My journey to work consists of 3 parts.

Act 1: the journey down my road amidst the remnants of a leafy suburb. Past or over the common (depending on mood/amount of people around). Along another ex-leafy street, to the train station.

Act 2: The Train journey. Mostly consisting of the reading of a poem from an anthology I am currently carrying. (This week it is Sylvia Plath: Selected Poems by Ted Hughes).


Act 3: The walk from Victoria Station, by Buckingham Palace, through St. James' Park. Hitting Trafalgar Sq. on the way.

All in all, a rather pleasant journey. But not in the current climate. I cant seem to grasp the deal with the weather. I feel far too grumpy in the sun. Even when wearing a straw hat, wearing linnen and eating fresh -over ripe- peaches... Which should make me happy.

I am well and truly a cold weather animal. I like the cosiness of wrapping ones self in a wool blanket. Wearing mittens. Drinking tea with a slice of hot, freshly baked cake. Returning home from the bitter outside, unsheathing from a mac, hat and long scarf. I belong up north... but 50 years ago it would seem.

I mean, I am from Yorkshire after all.

I'm not quite sure why, but... I just don't like all this heat...

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

I Hate it When...

I Hate It When…

I hate it when I wash my hair, despite the fact
there is not much there,
that the remaining strands decide to go on following
the soap down the overflow.

Ah… To grow it back. To regain a charm.
-Like Noah but on a follicle farm!
2x2, then 3x4- Ah, just to have that little more…