Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cats + downward dog = trouble

A quiet hour of yoga in the conservatory sounded good. I fired up the iPod with a little Supper Club, rolled out the mat, and decided not to kick out the cats, who were dozing peacefully (and shedding many hairs) on the chairs out there. Big mistake. Two minutes into my "warm up" -- lying down with knees bent and eyes shut -- I felt a gentle nibbling at my fingertips.* From then on in, chaos. Cats to the left of me, cats to the right of me, cats under me, and finally, cats mocking my ungainly attempts at bending my spine like a cat. Boo! They spoiled my "me" time! Next time, they'll get the boot.

* Now, I've heard that cats will start eating their owner's dead body after 24 hours if they get trapped in a house with no other source of food -- dogs apparently wait a more dignified 48 hours -- but 2 minutes!? That's just greedy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

They are SO adorable when they're sleeping

When they're awake? Not so much. Whether it's trying to get them out of PJ's office when we're rushing for a train (can't leave them in there as Shin has learnt to switch off the DVR at the socket, thus requiring a 10-minute reset process) or stopping them from jumping all over my keyboard when I'm editing or even asking them not to nibble the toes of the nice man who came round to design our fitted wardrobes, they seem to aim to cause maximum annoyance. I oscillate wildly between repeatedly uttering "NO!" and putting them out of the room or bribery, in the form of cat treats. Bribery is much easier and much more effective, but I'm a little worried that I'm creating a dependency culture (both in them and me). They're still figuring out how to open the sliding door of the cupboard that contains their treats, but I reckon it's only a matter of days. And at that point, our downfall will be complete and we will welcome our new feline overlords.

Some (Proustian) flashbacks

1. Cycling to Chandler's Ford on Saturday morning. The light drizzle turns into a torrential downpour. My hands are frozen, my jeans are soaked, and my glasses are covered in water, blinding me. It is reminiscent of the ride to work in autumn (or winter, or spring, or, heck, even summer) in Amsterdam. Delightful.

2. Drinking Lirona lemonade, purchased at one of Alresford's delightful delis. This tastes like my childhood holidays in France (just like its Web site promises), although I don't have any recollection of drinking this particular brand. Slightly disconcerting.

3. Wolfing down butterscotch Angel Delight. Another taste of my childhood, although I think we tended to have strawberry or banana more than butterscotch. Just add milk and whip (not that kind)! It is artificial and fluffy and utterly wonderful.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To have one garden gnome ...

... might be seen as ironically kitsch:

To have two looks like the start of an embarrassing obsession!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


A pleasant evening spent in the depths of Wiltshire, admiring the large and lovely new home of some friends -- fellow escapees from the clutches of urban life. Meeting a dog named Finn, newly adopted from the Dog's Trust, so somewhat shy and nervous. Driving along the very dark, very winding A303 at just before midnight when BAM! Out of nowhere -- okay, the bushes on the other side of the road -- two Rodents of Unusual Size* shot out and across the 303 just in front of my car. Not actually Rodents of Unusual Size but badgers -- HUGE badgers! I thought badgers were cat-sized, but these were more like small bears and -- luckily for them, my car, and my sanity -- extremely nippy. The vast amount of roadkill along the sides of our local country roads demonstrates that some of their peers aren't quite so fast.

*It's a reference to The Princess Bride; if you haven't seen it, go watch it. Now.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Unhappysville: Population -- these two

I put collars on them today. They were NOT happy about it -- as the gash in PJ's hand attests (he was my unwilling assistant/co-conspirator). But if they want to go outside, they have to wear a collar and ID tag.

At least we removed the bells, which were driving them (and us) even madder. Shin is now pointedly ignoring me, and will no doubt continue to do so until she requires feeding again.