Monday, 31 May 2010

Stag Night In The Park

On Thursday evening we decided to go for a walk to our local park. Matt needed to go out for a walk and the park is close enough for him to get there and back to before his back gets too painful.

It is the park I used to go to as a child and although it has changed quite a bit it still seems to have stayed the same, which doesn't really make sense but that's how I feel. The woods are not as dense as they used to be but they are still very much the same woods as they used to be when I was little.

I used to feel like I could easily get lost in the woods when I was little but now I am older they seem really quite open but they still feel closed in enough for you to feel hidden. I think a lot of the trees were lost in the hurricane we had in 1987. We sometimes feed the squirrels in the woods. They are probably the children's children of the squirrels I used to feed as a child.

I had forgotten how nice it is to go for a walk in the park in the evening. The light is lovely and it is quiet enough to enjoy a peaceful walk but not so quiet you would want to dash through with one eye over your shoulder! Everything is so lovely and green at this time of year. It's all shiny and new like it's just been unwrapped.

On our way out I happened to look to one side at a tree that we were passing and I gasped so loadly Matt thought something was seriously wrong! But I was fine, I was just excited at what I had spied! Resting there, almost camouflaged by the tree's bark, was the biggest, most beautiful Stag Beetle I have ever seen in my life.

Really the pictures do him no justice. He was at least three inches long. He moved like he was a wind up toy and he shone like he had been polished that morning with Brasso!

I used to collect Stag Beetles when I was little, I would always put them back where I found them, but I used to like looking at them. The ones I remember were much smaller than this one. I didn't want to leave him where he was in case he fell in to the wrong hands, but I didn't like to disturb him so we left the park for home.

I was on a high all the way home and I think I probably got on Matt's nerves slightly with continuous questions about what he thought of the beetle and had he ever seen one as big and so on and so on. But I was in love and I didn't care!

I said I would post again before the month was out. Thank you Mr Stag Beetle!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Rubbish At Updating My Blog

I am rubbish at updating my blog. It is official. I know no one is really on the edge of their seat waiting for my next post, but I would have liked to have been a bit better at updating.

I have a lot going on at the moment and feel like time is passing through my fingers like an unset jelly. I don't seem to realise until it is too late that something I feel like I have only just done was actually over a month ago!

This is what things look like to me at the moment, I am at the beginning of this and I have to crawl all the way to the end. It is very daunting and I have no idea what I am going to find at the end. But at least the sun is shining through parts of it.

I will post again before the month is out. I have made a promise to myself!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Bennie's 80th Birthday

It was Bennie our cat's Birthday this week. He is 16yrs old which in cat years is 80yrs. I have had him since he was ten weeks old, when we first went to see him and his brother Scooby Doo, at our local animal shelter. They were both so small and shy when we first saw them and I fell in love with them instantly. I was only about thirteen or fourteen, my childhood cat Jack had died a few months before and I wanted another cat, not to replace him, a cat like Jack could never be replaced! I used to dress him up and push him around in my dolly pram, then the next minute he would be outside having a barney with one of the other cats in the street, or wandering over to another street to see what was going on. He knew how to look after himself. He had been a stray for a while so being able to look after himself was a necessity. He was a black and white long haired ball of fluff and he was big!

We had him for about seven years before he got ill, we never knew how old he really was. He died the night before we were going to take him to be put to sleep, he had deteriorated throughout the day and he needed to be let go. It was a great comfort to me that he had past away in his own home, in his box beside me. We buried him in his favourite spot in the garden. After a few months I decided it was time, I wanted another cat, I wanted a kitten!

My mum said that if I was going to have a kitten I should have two to keep each other company. So the search began! I wanted either all black or black and white kittens. Not ginger or tabby, all white or tortoiseshell. And I wanted boys, which put having tortoiseshells out the window anyway as they are almost always girls. After much searching and quite a few phone calls our local animal shelter said they had three black and white kittens, all siblings one girl and two boys. I couldn't get there quick enough. They were so nervous when they were brought in to us and I couldn't believe that they were actually going home with me. They were equally as nervous when we got them home, Bennie hid under a cushion the moment he was taken out of the carrier. I think they had been kept in a pen for the first ten weeks of their lives so suddenly finding themselves in someone's living room was probably quite daunting.

Scooby Doo

They grew so fast, soon they were adolescents and beating each other to a pulp at every opportunity. Although they would always be found soon afterwards curled up together asleep, all was forgotten. Bennie could jump up on top of doors or he would have mad moments where he would be running and jumping around with Scooby Doo looking on as if he thought he was completely nuts only to be so overcome by Bennie's energy that he couldn't help but join in!

People who don't know cats don't realise that every single cat that has ever lived has a had a personality all of its own. Bennie and Scooby were like chalk and cheese. Scooby was the shy silent type and he was extremely intelligent. He could open doors and food packets and seemed to be able to understand everything you said. Bennie was not very bright, he couldn't talk and was quite bossy, he had to eat first and Scooby would hang back and wait until Bennie had started to eat before he would start himself. Scooby liked being cuddled but Bennie would panic in your arms if you tried to cuddle him. The only thing they seemed to have in common character wise was that they both loved tummy tickles and kisses. They loved affection and gave it back in bucket loads!

As they got older they became more sleepy and enjoyed just relaxing and grooming. I also got older, I met my husband Matt and when we wanted to move in together I decided that I didn't want Bennie and Scooby to be moved from a home they had known all their lives, where they were settled and comfortable. They both loved Matt, they were just too old to move. I saw them everyday, one of the conditions of moving in with Matt was that we had to live close by. For days cried every time I looked at one of them in the lead up to my leaving, I didn't want to leave them. But they were happy.

They were older, but it still came as a shock when little under a month after Matt and I got married, my mum call and asked me to come over. Scooby was ill, he seemed to be in pain. When I got there he was unable to walk and he was crying out, we had to take him straight to the vet. They kept him in as soon as they saw him. It turned out that he had a heart condition which had caused his blood to thicken. A clot had got lodge in one of the arteries in his back end which is why he couldn't walk, it was too painful. They put him on medication and we were able to take him home, it was a Sunday. He was different, his eyes had changed and he just seemed overwhelmingly sad. He seemed glad to be home though, so we continued with the medication they had given us to give him. By Tuesday he seemed to have improved, he seemed happier. But on the Thursday afternoon there was something wrong, his head seemed to be leaning to one side and he didn't seem to be able to see out of one of his eyes. He was bumping in to things and as a result didn't want to move. That evening he started to become sleepy. I held him and he became lifeless. We decided it was best to take him back to the vet the next day.

Bennie (Loving his blanket)

Before I left that night I held him for one last time and I said goodbye just incase, I told him how much I loved him and how he had made me so happy to have had such a lovely and intelligent friend. He ate all his dinner that night, the first time he had eaten that much in a whole week. He died that night in one of his favourite sleeping places, behind the television. Again like Jack he died at home and of his own free will. Bennie and Scooby were house cats and never went out so it seemed wrong to put Scooby in the garden so we had him cremated and his ashes were put in a wooden box carved in the shape of a cat in the same position he liked to sleep in.

So Bennie was left all on his own. He has changed a lot since Scooby died, for a start he doesn't stop talking. It's as if every time you go out he thinks your not coming back, so when you do he is so pleased to see you he can't contain his relief at seeing you again. Perhaps its just me, but I think he misses is brother. He has his own health problems now, he has got renal failure so he has to eat a special diet, which he hates! He has lost weight and seems to be a little senile but he is always up for a tummy tickle and now even a cuddle! He loves just sitting there on your lap, just being close to you.

My little old man.

Don't You Just Hate It When... No.1

Don't you just hate it when you go to pick up something that to you looks really heavy but when you grab hold of it its actually really light and your hand goes flying up in to the air and you end up just feeling like a prat?

I do.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Where does the time go?


I have just noticed that I haven't posted anything since the 18th February! I didn't realise, I thought I had posted only the other day.

I really want to keep this blog consistent and post as much as I can. The thing is there is so much going on here at the moment that I can't tell one week from the next. Matt's back has not got any better which is really worrying. He is off work still so home life has changed considerably. I'm a creature of habit and I like to have a routine but my routine has now completely changed. Matt being at home is not a problem at all but I feel like our whole world has been tipped upside down and it is being shaken violently by it's ankles!

I'm hoping things are going to start to get better soon, I just have to keep going and make what is happening my new routine. I'm sure we will find a smiley face at the bottom of the mug eventually.

Thursday, 18 February 2010


I have just discovered I can post a blog from my iPhone.

So I am.

I have taken this week off of work to have a bit of a holiday. My husband Matt has been having some problems with his back and has had to take time off work to rest it, so he has been going bonkers stuck at home all day on his own. So, I thought I would have a week off to keep him company and have a bit of a rest myself, it's hard work looking after a man with backache!

I decided on Monday that I would start painting the boxroom, something I have been meaning to do but haven't got round to it. I was going to do a post about it with before and after pictures. This is it before I started:

This is it after:

I managed to get the ceiling done before lunchtime and was all ready to start on the walls soon after, only when I went to get our Dulux Paintpod out I found that the last time I decorated I threw out the roller attachment because it had been used so many times and wouldn't clean properly.

Ok, I could have just painted the walls with a normal roller and tray using the Paintpod paint, but the paint is made really runny to go through the machine so it would have been splashing all over the place. I decided to just do the cutting in and planned to go out the next day to get a new roller attachment, which I did.

The boxroom now looks like this:

Yes, I know. The same as before. I was right out of the decorating mood by the next day, not to mention the ache in all the muscles I didn't know I had and had not used since the last time I decorated a year ago, painting a ceiling should be used as an interogation technique for suspected criminals, I bet they would talk after less than half an hour! It makes your arms feel like you have been dragging a drunk elephant up a hill for a day and a half.

So, this is not the post it was supposed to be, but I will finish operation boxroom very soon.

And I am supposed to be on holiday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 11 February 2010


While I was out yesterday morning I saw something quite out of the ordinary.

I was in a taxi travelling across London and as the taxi stopped at some lights I happened to look to my left at a motorbike that had just pulled up beside us. I always feel a bit nervous at traffic lights, whether I'm driving or not. Anyway, I had to look twice just to believe what I was seeing, for on the back of the bike, tucked up in a rucksack, was a small (ish) brown dog.

Yes, a dog riding pillion!

He looked really relaxed and not at all frightened (I would have been!) he looked like it was an everyday thing for him. The thing was he looked really vulnerable, I mean his owner was wearing full leathers and a great big helmet to protect his head but the dog had nothing. Fine he looked happy, but what if they had an accident? Motorbikes are a risky mode of transport on the busy streets of London.

The lights changed and the bike sped off up the street and round the next corner, the dogs little ears flapping in the wind. And that was that. I forgot about it, until I got home later on and remembered the dog on the motorbike and I did what most people would probably do these days...

I Googled "Dog Helmets".

And yes you can get helmets for dogs. And here is proof:

Here is one being modeled:

Although I think he prefers four wheels rather than two.

And to keep the wind out of their delicate doggy eyes there are.....


I hope the dog from yesterday has many more exciting rides around the city, and that goes for his owner too wherever they may be.