Tuesday, 27 May 2014


1. I don't like Bank Holidays.  

For overseas readers, a Bank Holiday in the UK is a Monday of which there are about 5 during the year, when the banks shut (or rather don't open after the Sunday, well they didn't used to), most shops are shut (well they used to do) and so do (yes, they still do) public facilities like libraries and swimming baths.

Before I retired I used to love Bank Holidays. Long weekend off work! Great! Fantastic!

Now it seems like just another Sunday and I don't like it. The reason for that is that it confuses me. You see these days I divide the week into weekdays when I can go swimming (which I may or may not do, but I can because I have a membership card for my local sports centre which says so) and days when I can't which means it's either Saturday (the day after I can't go swimming) or Sunday (the day before I can go swimming). Now I know I can't go swimming on a Bank Holiday Monday which then feels like a Sunday and therefore the next day, the first day of the week when I can go, feels like a Monday, even though I rationally know it isn't. So when I wake up the next morning it feels as if Wednesday has sneaked up on me and that it feels like Tuesday. So I'm confused.

2. Why I had to buy a new duvet.

The cat peed on it.

Normally that would be enough of an answer but this being my house you have to ask: firstly, which cat? and, secondly, why?

Well, I'm glad you asked me.

The cat was Gilgamesh the grey spotted ocicat who currently still lives in my large bedroom with windows overlooking the front and back of the house, one overlooking a main road, the other my garden and several neighbours gardens. 

As for the time, it was 22.45, I'd locked everything up, turned off all the lights, and gone upstairs where Gilgamesh was having a spat with Frank the other new arrival. Frank, as I've learned, regards himself as an Alpha male and makes every attempt to make sure all the other cats in the house know this (which is why he's off to the re-homing centre as soon as he's had his second flu jab). I sorted it out, went into my bedroom, undressed (not a pretty sight), put my pajamas on and pushed Gilgamesh out of the way as he was sitting where I lie down. He seemed reluctant but he went and I got into bed right onto a very large wet spot.

I was out of bed a lot faster than I got in feeling considerably more awake than a second earlier. I narrowed my eyes at Gilgamesh, sighed, stripped the bed completely and dried the wet patch as best I could. Then I rotated the mattress so the wet patch was at the bottom on the far side, took down a spare well-worn duvet from the top of the wardrobe, folded it in half and pulled it on top of me. 

Surprisingly I slept quite well.

And next morning I went and bought a new duvet which, from Asda, was cheaper than having the old one cleaned.

3. The unlucky cat.

Some of you may remember me writing about Lucy, a nervous black and white cat. She was a stray being fed by staff at a local school who called me in when her tail got damaged. When she had it amputated, I fostered her for a few months. While not keen on other cats, she liked people and I found her a gentle loving little thing.

Eventually I found her a home with a guy, himself a little on edge due to a serious accident some years ago. But he was experienced with cats and, I thought would suit a nice quiet one. The first cat we tried didn't work out but then, after a gap of several weeks, he approached me again and I brought round Lucy. 

Although I didn't hear anything for a few weeks, it had worked out for them. However, more recently Lucy began to develop what seemed like balance problems, suddenly falling over a few times a day. I took them both to the vets where Lucy was seen by Wendy.  I can't remember what the precise diagnosis was and I've lost the piece of paper I wrote it on but, although serious, it is treatable and Lucy was prescribed two different kinds of pills and a liquid medicine.

Giving cats tablets is hard at the best of times and I offered to take Lucy back if it proved too much. It's over a week now so I'm assuming they're managing. I hope it works out okay because Lucy and her new owner are obviously suited to each other and both have had a pretty rough time. I'd really hate for Lucy to have to find a new home.

4. ...And other stories.

There are some but it's getting late and would involved transferring photos onto the hard disc and editing them in Picasa and it's getting late...

...and Gilgamesh had better not have peed the damn bed again.

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