Holiday reading and viewing

Well, it was a funny old holiday really. Not really a holiday at all. First there was the illness… the cough to end all coughs that has lasted longer than a cough ought to last and is so flipping tiring it is almost the cough that carries you off. So we spent day 1 of the holidays in the doctor’s surgery getting antibiotics and steroids (not the first for this cough, but don’t encourage me or we could be here all day).

Day 2 was spend doing the housework that had been severely neglected over the Advent/Christmas period. You know the sort of thing – rubber duck nativities scattered hither and thither, christmas lights to be untangled, cards to be taken down but only if you are willing to dust and I wasn’t quite at that stage, diary to be updated, etc etc.  Oh, and Rita kitten had just been ‘done’ so I had to spoil her ridiculously, although she didn’t seem in the slightest fazed by the whole drama, and carried on leaping about like a gazelle and cleverly removing her own stitches. (We always knew she’d go far, that one.)

And sleeping. Yes there was a lot of sleeping.

So I didn’t really get into reading mode until about Day 3 and I managed to get through Death comes to Pemberley by PD James. Now, I am a big fan of PD James. And I am not averse to a little Jane Austen either. So I thought that when PD James wrote a book in the style of Jane Austen, and cleverly following on from the tale of Pride and Prejudice, I thought: “What’s not to like?” But I really had to force myself to keep reading. It was okay. But I’m afraid I didn’t think it was a great PD James or a great Jane Austen. It was a 2 stars for me.

My next book was a Christmas pressie from Son #1 – The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. I’m afraid this was a bit of a struggle too to keep at but the second half did improve things a bit. I just don’t think there were any likeable characters and so I didn’t really care what happened with any of them. Except for Krystal. I ended up caring about Krystal and she was the whore.  2 stars again.

I abandoned Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton which someone had recommended. It is a memoir of depression and perhaps is more interesting to people who have been through that or very close to someone who has. I don’t usually give up on a book although I have begun to come to the conclusion that life is too short to read bad books. But this one just didn’t seem to be good enough for holiday reading. Perhaps I’ll go back to it.

Then yesterday I went to see Les Miserables at the cinema. Now this gets a big 5 stars from me. For some reason, I’ve never seen the stage production although I did share a flat with an ordinand once from Gateshead who had a penchant for the soundtrack, in particular ‘The Sound of Angry Men’. I came to hate those angry men.  Nor did I know that it was an opera and that the whole thing was going to be sung and that took a wee while to get into. Especially as everyone sung so much higher than me – and that’s the men I’m talking about! But once I got past that, and the very obvious white teeth, it was absolutely riveting, moving, and rousing. I just adored it. And I’d go back tomorrow.

Last day of holiday and one has to find a church. Oh what a dilemma. I really must learn how to use a Sat Nav – and indeed buy an up-to-date one. But in the end I had to go and visit Papa and drop Son #1 off in Edinburgh so I ended up going ‘home’. Should have checked the website first! It was a Children’s Service! Woopee. You know, I think I’m just going to leave it there.

So it was a funny old holiday. It doesn’t really feel as if I’ve had a week off. The house is still not completely tidy and the back of my mind is still niggling with Lent courses. (Anyone recommend a good one?) The good thing, I suppose, is that the cough is nearly gone. Not quite but almost. I have caught up with sleep. And today I made my first ever Chicken Liver Pate. It remains to be seen if it tastes any good.

Oh and how is my New Year Resolution, I hear you cry? Well, not very well, thank you for asking. You may remember, dear Reader, that my resolution is to buy no more fiction this year. I have a bookcase and a Kindle full of unread books, not to mention all those books I’d love to read again. Someone asked me yesterday how it was going and I said ‘not too bad’. He then pointed out it was only 12 days. Blimey, it felt like I’d been at it for months. So far my Amazon wish-list has grown by 8 books. That’s not bad, is it?

 

Ironing with Rita Kitten

Well, that’s not strictly accurate. I wasn’t actually using Rita Kitten as an iron, or indeed trying to iron her, but she was present in the room which must be a first since she came to live with us 6 months ago.  (That does not mean that I only iron every 6 months, by the way. It is merely the first time she has been in the room with me while the ironing was going on.)

So, here’s how it goes when you iron with Rita Kitten.

  1. Put up ironing board.
  2. Eeek! Scary clunky noise. I’ll put the hair up on my tail so that this big metal beast is warned off.
  3. Plug in iron.
  4. Oooh! A flex to play with.
  5. Get water jug.
  6. Oooh! A jug to drink out of.
  7. Bring basked of ironing through.
  8. Niiice! A place to lie down and leave as much hair as possible.
  9. Iron first hankie.
  10. Ahaa! What is this movement back and forth? It looks intriguing. Is it a game?
  11. Take hankie to folding pile.  Turn round to find Rita Kitten lying on warm spot on ironing board.
  12. Repeat 10 to 11 with dishtowels, shirts, duvet covers (bigger warm spot to sprawl out on) etc.
  13. Go for cup of tea. Come back to find Rita Kitten has moved on to the folded pile and gone to sleep.

 

Rita kitten and the Sacrament of the Present Moment

Rita kitten has joined the rectory household and our lives have changed immeasurably. My life has changed because I have become a mother to a lively 8 week old bundle of tortoise fluff who delights in climbing up my legs at any opportune, and inopportune moments. My nose and eyes have been thoroughly investigated and a trail of blood drops follow me around as the wounds of climbing expeditions and wrestling matches slowly heal to make way for a new batch. Who needs to watch the Olympics when you have a kitten around? We have our own long jump, high jump, earring swinging, running up legs, boxing rats on springs, squeezing through tunnels and under sofas, patting balls and hop, skip and jumping just for fun.

Lucy Pussy’s life has changed because she is not happy with this small creature invading her space. This is rather unfortunate as we had hoped that they would be company for one another. So far there has just been hissing and a low growling and they haven’t yet been allowed together in the same room without the wee one being in her pet carrier. But we are doing what the book says and taking it slowly, introducing them for a few hairy moments each day (at a safe distance).

Son #2’s life has changed because he now is told to take tortoise fluff when he comes in from work to give mummy a rest. All of our computer speakers are now on the floor in amongst a tangle of cables and much has been produced from under bookcases and drawers. (Not always nice things.)

As I watched Rita kitten last night it occurred to me that she was absolutely living in the moment. She will sleep where she drops (on the bookcase, under the table, in the pet carrier, on the back of my neck…) and when she is awake she is completely engrossed in what is currently taking her attention. She will play with a ball for ages and then move on to the scratchy post with dangly pom-pom then investigate each of my five fingers and their bitability before moving on to intense scrutiny of my nostril and then eye-lid. Each moving part is focused on with such attention. Her own back leg can amuse for a good few moments and I can’t wait until she discovers her tail. The bookcase with the glass door and the shiny fire place surround have caused great amusement as she catches her reflection and flies at it with a resounding thud and embarrassed look. But the sideways startled leap into the air with all four paws off the ground amuses me most. (You can’t be depressed with a kitten around.)

We have tried to photograph her but she just doesn’t sit still long enough. I think I need an action camera or something. So I have many shots of an empty space or her bottom. Our lives have certainly changed for the better and I have definitely enjoyed living in the moment with her. (I have even forgiven the pee on my duvet and then feather bed, all parcelled up to go to the cleaner later today.)  I fear I am indeed turning into an old cat lady, or at the very least Mrs Slocombe continually talking about my pussies.