I woke up with an intense back spasm this morning which vanished all possibility of sleep. I then noticed the time (half past ten) and felt very guilty that Kitten-cat was four hours overdue his breakfast. Not to worry though, he'd indicated his displeasure by defecating on the kitchen floor and not in his very clean litter box.
After this auspicious start (as Twitter followers will know) I decided to treat myself from my Twinings box... a nice cup of vanilla chai, in the garden with the laptop.
It was peaceful out here (my neighbours seem to be waking up now along with their noisy children). Otherwise it was me, the birds and the windchimes... and Cat 5 (a white cat whose name we don't know but he lives at number 5). I've been watching the robins who I think must be raising a brood, chasing off the pigeons (they are the afternoon diners), and watching Mr Blackbird have a bath. My presence also discourages the heron, who had clearly visited again as the netting was back in the pond!
I shall go in shortly as it is not that warm until the sun gets out from behind the trees and the neighbours children are shrieking. I have no problem with children playing in their gardens and having fun, it is the shrieking I object to; as children my brother, my cousins and I were always told off if we made too much noise as it might disturb our neighbours!
Time to go and watch the Monaco Grand-prix soon anyway!
I am lucky to be old enough that we were allowed to roam around the countryside unaccompanied and nobody ever seemed to worry that we would be snatched away by evil do-ers. This, and growing up in a village surrounded by the Kentish countryside means that I have dozens of everyday happy memories. Summer holidays (six weeks or eight weeks) seemed to go on forever. I my mind it is always sunny. Either the local kids would wander off into the fields and woods to have an adventure, or we would just play in our adjoining gardens. My best friend's father was a house-master at the local public school, so she lived in an amazing house with an even better garden... the adventures we had under (and sometimes in) the spreading cypress tree.
We were lucky too that my parents often arranged outings (with the dogs often) either in the local countryside, or further afield to Asdhdown Forest (where Winnnie-the-Pooh lived) or to beaches along the south coast.
Family outings in the summer with my dad, little brother and gran.
2. What is your favorite summer drink?
Pimms. It must be served just right with some (but not too much) fruit and a sprig of mint. A very English answer!
3. What is your favorite summer TV show?
I'm not sure if that is a show set in the summer or shown in the summer? I actually get the TV schedules quite mixed up and rely on the Better-half to let me know when TV shows are coming and going. The answer from all angles is probably 'Burn Notice'... starting its final season this summer,
4. What is the best outdoor summer activity?
Just sitting in the garden watching the local wildlife come and go and enjoying the peace. Even living in the city we're lucky that we have a big garden and don't hear the traffic noise that much.
5. What are your summer vacation essentials?
I don't really go away in the summer - the last thing that remotely counted as a summer trip was probably the rain and mud of Glastonbury 1997. Most people with MS find that their symptoms are exacerbated by heat and humidity.,. so for me anywhere with an air conditioner!!!
When I was younger.,. a swimsuit and lots of sarongs, factor 50 suncream (I burn like a sausage), and a few good books (would be solved these days by my Kindle)
I think it may have been mentioned before that until I met the Better-half that I never had much to do with cats. I grew up in a dog house (not literally!). My parents bought their first dog when I was a baby and Lucy (a golden Labrador) used to guard my pram. When she was getting older my parents got her a companion, a not quite puppy (with a royal pedigree) called Leo.
When Lucy passed away we were all devastated, but we still had Leo to fill the void. When Leo passed away my parents swore of getting another dog... for about three months.
Enter Dodie a lurcher-cross rescue dog. She was followed by Joe, a collie-cross rescue... in case she got lonely.
In the meantime I'd moved out of the parental home, got myself a dog, and moved back again. Jack, a bearded-collie cross (and another rescue dog) stayed behind when I moved out for good.
Joe, Jack and Dodie were all about the same age and passed away within about 18 months of each other. That was the end of canine keeping for my mother.
In the meantime, I'd moved in with the Better-half and his cats Gizzie and Molly. Gizzie was a bad tempered white Persian who eventually decided that she hated us and went to live with a neighbour (you cant make these things up). Molly was a gorgeous black fluffy girl... not given to lap-sitting or playing. I did teach her to wash her face though!
This is the difference between cats and dogs... I forget who it was that said "Dogs come when they are called, cats take a message and get back to you". Dogs are needy, they have to be with people all the time - it isn't the same with cats (mostly) they can take you or leave you.
Having said that Casper has become quite a people cat. When I'm at home he usually spends pretty much the whole day with me. When I go to work he comes running to see me when I get in (and chew my shoes). He'll snuggle on the bed with me when he's feeling particularly social... and sit nearby when he just wants company.
He knows my routine as well as I do. When I get up to go to bed he races to the bathroom, demanding a drink from the tap and some fuss in the bathtub (where is purrs are amplified even louder!). Then he races to the bedroom, either to get first dibs on the bed or jump on the blanket box where he can keep an eye on me.
In return for all the feline purrs and head-bumps Casper gets games (chasing balls up and down the stairs, chasing the laser dot, playing with ribbons or toys on dangly sticks); he gets brushed (twice a day at the moment as he's moulting); and generally waited on hand and foot - all he has to do is miaow (or more usually yowl!).
I don't know about a dog's life... but it certainly is a cat's life!
I love chocolates, flowers are gorgeous too - but they do want looking after, and they wither and die. The rate I eat chocolates they last for ages!
3. What is your favorite summertime activity?
Sitting in the garden in the sun. Either on the patio bench or the bench at the end of the garden. Watching the birds, and other wildlife... it's all delightful. Listening to the birdsong and the windchimes.
4. Do you have any vacations planned this summer?
Kind of. The Better-half and I are getting married. So we've our honeymoon - two weeks of new married life!
5. Favorite summer holiday?
When I was a very small child we used to go to the South-West a lot. I have many happy memories of trips to the beach... flying kites... visiting farms... all sorts of adventures!
6. What is your dream vacation?
Anything that doesn't involve heat and beaches. I like city trips, seeing the sites, learning the history of a place, that sort of thing.
Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Frank Hornby. My Dad had a Hornby train set... we were never allowed to play with it unattended... it was attached to a folding board (with hinges) which stood on some builders wooden horses. It was fantastic; beautifully detailed, and great fun. It was fairly unpopular the occasion that it was plugged into a dodgy socket and blew the fuses in the entire house!