Friends

30 September 2012

29 September 2012

Things That Amaze Me

Kindle, iPhone, iPad, and Cloud. All these things amaze me. 


I like a bit of a read while I have breakfast and this morning was no exception. Almost at the end of a chapter in Peter James book, Denial, my Kindle battery suddenly failed. Damn! There was nothing for it but to charge it up. Then a thought occurred to me that Kindle was also on the iPad. I went to look.
 iPad

It was there all right, thanks to the amazing Cloud facility.  I finished the chapter that way but not until I had answered the question:  you had reached page 23, do you want to go to that location? 

Yes, please.

During a discussion with hubs I remembered that Kindle was also on the iPhone and found the book was there too. Again courtesy of Cloud! I was asked the same question, only this time I was even given the time I had reached the specific location, 8.23.

 iPhone


Now I completely understand that the picture of a cloud does not represent the cloud I’m talking about. But I ask you, how else can I describe something so invisible. I can’t even tell you what Cloud is, except to say that it is something technical that operates in mysterious ways. I mean, I don’t even understand how wifi works. I’m relying on the fact that one of my knowledgeable readers will be able to explain.

Cloud!

They say that Big Brother watches us ... I'm wondering if he lives somewhere in the clouds.

Sometimes I feel that whatever I do Cloud will know about it. Maybe it lurks in toilets or hides in kitchen cupboards.  I imagine one day the recipe for the meal I’m cooking will find its way to all my gadgets. Seriously though, how clever does it have to get before I panic?

27 September 2012

Feline Capers, part 6

Characters:

There’s me, Lee, a lady cat. I’m the one telling the story.
Mom and dad, my human parents.
Tom and Sukie, my best feline friends.
Woof, a visiting Persian kitten with a daft name.

 AM I TOO OLD?

Woof was brought to see us the other day. He is growing fast but still playful. Just a few months ago he was a tiny bundle of fur; now that his fur is longer and his face is taking a more mature shape I want to keep stroking him. He’s very cute and extremely placid. When I nuzzle his neck he doesn’t back off like some cats do. The only foreign cat I know these days is Smokey and he isn’t a patch on Woof. Yes, the Persian is something else.

I took him down to the lily pond to watch the frogs sunbathing. It was peaceful. The only sounds being an odd spaced out croak or two combined with a woodpecker’s distant drumming. One of the frogs was trying to catch the insects hovering on the water and most of the time he was successful. The speed of his tongue was amazing. I tried shooting my tongue out but it was disgustingly slow. Imagine all the disappointments if I had to catch mice that way.

Woof was mesmerised by the frogs but he soon relaxed and tried to play. Every time he extended a paw to touch one, the frog jumped; and so did Woof. Not literally, of course, just an automatic reaction. He must have thought it was great fun because he kept doing it until the frogs decided they’d had enough and hopped to the opposite side of the pond. I was totally taken by surprise when Woof tried to go after them. He leapt like a gazelle, tried to land on the lily pad, and promptly toppled into the murky water. 

He got out all right but you should have seen the mess on his white fur. It was like he was wearing a green weed coat. It was just my luck that my mom and his mom chose to come down the garden at the very moment Woof emerged. I have to say that his mom’s screams are very similar to my mom’s anguished cries.

Naturally as an older and wiser cat I had to take the blame. My mom thoroughly berated me, not letting up even when I rubbed against her legs. She relaxed eventually but not before warning me to take better care of the precious kitten. After all that I felt duty bound to keep Woof out of further trouble. Next time, I decided, I’d let him chase mice instead. Surely nothing untoward could happen then.

When he’d had a bath and been dried off we settled down for a nap in my bed. I’d been ordered to go there and stay there but Woof went voluntarily. It was the first time I’d ever shared and I quite liked the feeling. Being so close made me feel quite maternal. I lay with one leg across him so he was held close. Yes, I was in a strange mood, calm and philosophical. If I wasn’t the age I am you might think I’d fallen in love with the little chap.

By tea time Woof’s mom was ready to go so it looked as if the mouse hunting expedition would have to wait. I did hear some good news though: Woof was coming to stay when his folks went on vacation. He was just as delighted as me when I told him. I vowed to spend my time planning what we could do when he arrived.

When mom and dad are in bed I usually slip through the cat flap to do a bit of night hunting, but after saying goodbye to Woof I didn’t feel up to it.  Instead I lay on my bed, listening to the barn owl while I went over the day’s adventures, and realised I missed the little chap. I thought about him, remembering how warm he felt lying next to me. Did Tom ever feel that way when Sukie sneaked in? Not that he’d ever said, but my imagination was running amok. I suppose I could ask him next time we meet.

Decision made, I snuggled up to giraffe and started to think about frogs and mice and those little beetles that crunch under my paw, and wondered how long it would be until Woof’s folks brought him back. Was I too old to fall in love, and worse was Woof too young to love me back?

See you soon.

Meow!

25 September 2012

A SUMMER CHILL, CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER SIX

For the benefit of his blistering feet Brian limped up the curb and came to a standstill outside the Flower Patch. 'Footslogging ought to be abolished,' he mumbled as he rocked backwards onto his heels, the only way he knew to relieve the pressure of new boots. If this wasn’t such a backwater village they might consider issuing the station with cars to patrol in.

The sight of Patrick Finnigan loping towards him emphasised the alarming suspicion that his own body was wearing out. He was feeling his age lately, especially since hearing of the vicar's interest in Audrey. He felt woefully antiquated and totally unable to compete against a younger man, temporarily forgetting he was no longer in the running for Audrey's affection.
           
Coming to a halt, Patrick scanned his watch and rubbed his palms down his trousers. He was smartly attired in a brown pinstripe and well-polished shoes, and his tight grey curls positively glistened with a heavy-handed application of oil. His sullen greeting, however, was at variance with his spruce appearance.
           
'Very nice, Paddy. What's the occasion?'
           
Paddy glowered and nodded towards the shop. 'I'm here for an interview,' he said, sounding none too enthralled. 'Eileen's been touting for work. Don't know how she did it but she's managed to con her Ladyship into seeing me. I ask you, can you see me working in there? Honest to God, I'd bunk off if I could get away with it.' He mopped his brow with a cotton handkerchief and again consulted his watch. 'Blimey, it's only ten to. This is going to be the slowest ten minutes of my life!'
           
*******

Dead on the hour, after Paddy had timidly elbowed the door, and pulled a face at the medley of lilting notes that accompanied his entrance, Brian rested his weight on the bow window's wide sill and speculated on the likelihood of Maureen giving him a job. If he was a betting man he'd put a fiver on rejection. In her shoes he'd think twice because of Paddy's criminal antecedents. Eleven months of the year he respected the law like everyone else, then in November he succumbed to misappropriating other people's stuff. The story went that it was on the anniversary of his father's suicide that he shoplifted, by all accounts a subconscious need to punish himself. Brian found that difficult to believe, but what did he know - he wasn't into psychoanalysis.
           
Deep in thought, mulling over Paddy's deep-rooted problem, Brian strolled as far as Settons to purchase his cigarettes. It was only when his fingers touched the door handle that he remembered he'd given up smoking. The realisation brought on a craving so powerful his hands started to shake. The frantic longing to clamp his lips on a cigarette set him ransacking his pockets for the packet of gum he bought yesterday for an emergency such as this. There was one stick left. He slipped off the wrapper and sneaked it into his mouth. It would have to do. Too many people knew about the undertaking to kick the habit and the last thing he wanted was to appear lacking in willpower. The rest of the guys would malign him for breaking the no-smoking pledge and, on top of that, the donations would suffer. And it wasn't worth the hassle of explaining that he had broken his promise so soon.
           
Having decided that the cause must come first, he twisted round so that his back was towards the newsagent's door and chomped the gum with a certain amount of satisfaction. He was well-pleased with his self-control, but the pleasure abated somewhat when he saw Michael Spencer and Gladys marching towards him, their heads bobbing in eager chatter. He glanced sideways in the hope that Paddy would emerge from the shop but the door remained unsympathetically shut and he was denied an excuse to drift. He hankered anew for a cigarette, the thought of conversing with the cranky, womanising Vicar being too much to handle without a comforting weed in his mitt.
           
'Morning, Brian,' hollered Gladys from a distance of fifty yards.
           
Resignedly, Brian wedged the chewing gum on a double molar and waited for them to draw near.
           
Michael welcomed him like an exuberant mongrel. 'Brian,' he cried, showering spittle in all directions. How nice to see you. Yes indeed, splendid. I sincerely hope you're keeping well. Sadly I can't stay to chat, it's my day for visiting the sick. Perhaps we could get together soon for a real chinwag. Yes, an excellent idea, that would be most pleasant. Do forgive me for dashing off.'
           
This reception drove Brian to silently impugn the man's superficiality, savagely reckoning that if he wore a studded collar he'd do for Crufts. However, apart from making Brian cringe, the effusive welcome served to console him for it made him realise that never in a century of eternal summers would Audrey succour up to him, not for religion, not for fellowship, and certainly not for sex. Feeling extraordinarily smug, he fixed an artificial smile in place and saluted. 'Don't worry, Michael,' he said. 'We've all got our work cut out.'
           
Michael nodded. Thrusting his head forward, he hurried off like a walker in a race. Brian watched him go, marvelling at the way his hat defied gravity and remained perched upon his head.
           
'You don't like him much, do you?' observed Gladys.
           
Preferring not to discuss his opinion of Michael, Brian ignored the question and challenged her instead about being absent from work.
           
Gladys pretended to be indignant but at length disclosed that she was shopping for the House, which was her way of describing her job … the ‘House’ representing the Dingle-Jones family as well as their abode. Craning her neck to verify that they were alone, she bent towards Brian and whispered, 'Heard about Liz Tomlin's latest attempt to die?'
           
'Gladys!'
           
She straightened and tossed her head. 'Well! I get annoyed with the woman distressing her family like she does. Once I can understand, once is forgivable, her problem is she doesn't know when to stop. Mark my words, time'll come when she'll go too far.' Her tirade concluded, Gladys produced a shopping list. 'I must press on. If I get this done quickly I can take a few minutes to call on Doris.'
           
As she finished speaking the florist's door music sounded and Maureen appeared with Paddy. Gladys waved, but muttered under her breath. 'Oh gawd, now she'll be wanting her lunch. Doris'll have to wait.' Without more ado she waltzed off, her skirt billowing to reveal a slender pair of black-stockinged ankles.
           
Brian grinned. One of these days she would lift off like a balloon, and he hoped he would be around to see it.

*******

Patrick hummed a doleful tune as he ambled along, which Brian took as evidence that the interview had been unsuccessful, but without warning Paddy leaped from the ground and punched the air, whooping, 'I got it.' Then he grabbed Brian's waist and danced him round, to the amazement of Tom Setton who could see the unusual activity from his window.
           
'Well done, mate,' Brian said when he'd anchored his size elevens to the pavement. 'Eileen will be overjoyed.'
           
'Never imagined there was so much to the flower business. I thought I'd learned everything there was to know in my Dad's garden. The missus said if I can master the common flower names to start with she'll teach me the Latin ones.' Paddy paused to slip off his jacket. 'I'll stink if I don't take this off,' he said as he bundled the coat under his arm. 'She wanted to know about Dad and the way he died. It came as a shock, I can tell you. Apparently Eileen did a waterworks job when she pleaded for work. Apparently she confessed all. I didn't mince about. I gave her the story straight. You know what she said?'
           
Brian shook his head.
           
'She said I could have the job providing I kept both hands out of the till. You could have knocked me down with a blade of grass.' Paddy attempted a lumbering pas de deux. 'Cripes, Brian, I'm that chuffed.'
           
Whatever his earlier doubts Brian was instilled with similar enthusiasm. He landed a playful punch on Paddy's arm and hooted, 'Good on ya, fella.'
           
'Come and have a celebration pint,' urged Paddy.
           
'Can't, old man. Not on duty. Sarge would throw a fit.'
           
'Second house then?'
           
'Sure thing.'
           
*******

Brian returned to the station at noon to discover Chris Beresford shouting down the phone, demanding that the person at the other end stop being such a stupid arsehole and FIND OUT. Judging that it might be as well not even to raise an eyebrow, Brian dropped his helmet on the desk and proceeded to pour a mug of coffee.
           
Chris covered the mouthpiece. 'Do you know where I might locate Arnie Trevors?'
           
'Why, Sarge, what's wrong?'
           
'Susan's dead. Heart attack.' Chris removed his hand and bellowed 'YES' to the individual on the phone.
           
At first Brian thought the Sarge was play-acting, that this was some kind of ghoulish farce, but one look at his solemn countenance told him the information was true. He was stunned. It only seemed five minutes since Jane was expressing concern, and Arnie was proclaiming that Susan's suffering was indigestion.
           
For something to do while he waited for Chris to finish on the phone, he poured a beaker of steaming coffee and carried it to the sergeant's desk.
           
'Cretin,' barked Chris, slamming the receiver down. 'I thought they were supposed to be intelligent in Redhampton. It takes them hours to dig out answers to simple questions.'
           
'What did you want to know?'
           
'Nearest cattle auction. From all accounts that's where Arnie's gone.'
           
'Arnie? You mean he doesn't know?'
           
'Not yet he doesn't. See, Susan was found in the kitchen by our friendly vagrant. He rang here, not knowing Arnie's whereabouts. Knew he was at an auction. But which one, for God's sake.' Chris slurped his coffee and drummed his fingers on the desk. The instant the phone rang he seized the receiver and banged it to his ear. 'Beresford. Right. That the only one? Thanks.' He mouthed ‘Dunkley’ at Brian.
           
Grabbing his helmet, Brian signalled that he was on his way and belted out of the building to where the Escort was parked.

*******

The worst part of Brian's occupation was the helplessness he felt when breaking tragic news to unsuspecting families. There was no painless way of notifying a wife that her husband had died of a heart attack or a mother that her child was killed by a car. Sometimes the grief lingered for ages. In bygone days Audrey nursed the misery out of him by substituting his burden of grief for the enjoyable onus of fulfilling her smouldering needs. And by God he needed her now.
           
*******

It was late when he felt able to leave Arnold. Susan's sister and her husband were with him and Martin Down had installed himself in the loft so as to be in easy reach if required. There wasn't a lot Brian could do. Arnie was best left with family.
           
Motoring disconsolately along the deserted lane, Brian got to thinking about Audrey's recipe for curing the blues. His mouth automatically formed a sucking pose. 'Sweet Jesus,' he muttered, unprepared for the turmoil in his stomach or melancholia's tendrils crowding his breathing space. Perspiration oozed from his pores in a burning desire to lose himself in the fleshy delights of Audrey's bosom.
           
Overwhelmed by the intensity of his emotion, he wound down the window to let in some air, driving on, taking a right turn at the crossroads and shooting up the lane leading to Arbor Road, drawn there like a pin to a magnet. He parked the car at a spot where he could view Audrey's house without causing offence and sat there for half an hour. His behaviour was bewildering. Why, after so many years, was he hungry for her? If he saw signs of life, would he knock on her door? Was he courageous enough to risk inflaming her wrath? Should he take a gamble? He dreaded to think what she'd throw at him if he did. In the end, he resisted the impulse and fired the engine.
           
He headed towards the green, disturbed by the prospect of spending the evening in an empty and depressing house. There was, of course, Paddy's invitation to join him in the pub, but after the last few mournful hours he wasn't disposed to drinking; on the other hand, an hour's relaxation might remove the sudden obsession over Audrey. Bearing in mind, too, that Paddy would be disappointed if he failed to appear, he decided to make the effort.

*******
He drove home first to leave the car in the garage. It was no use drinking and driving and being done for it. The state he was in alcohol would seriously impair his judgement and an excess was likely to make him lachrymose. He had been known to cry like a baby after swigging ale in a despondent condition. Twice. Both times following the disintegration of a relationship.
           
He drew up at the house and jumped out, noting that the low gate at the end of the front path was swinging on its hinges. That meant someone had been in. He tried to think who. It couldn't have been Gladys, it wasn't her day, and the postman brought a fistful of bills prior to him leaving for work. He closed the gate, forcing home the reluctant catch, and went to open the garage doors. As he reversed the car in, it struck him that there were few visitors to his abode, which didn't say much for his standing in life. The boys rarely inflicted themselves upon him and most of his mates were merely drinking partners. Since Audrey, he hadn't felt disposed to establishing long term friendships.
           
Securing the padlock, he pocketed the key and debated about going inside to check the letterbox, but decided against it. All would be revealed in its own good time.

*******

Brian sat in his shirtsleeves nursing a large whisky, his civvy jacket in a heap on the floor. There was no sign of Paddy and the promised tipple. He was whacked after the exhausting high-speed trek. His feet hurt, his back ached; if he'd had any sense he'd have changed his boots. When Paddy arrived he would accept a drink to be sociable, then get off. He wouldn't return the favour. The sooner he soaked his bruised feet in the bath the better.

Sampling the neat whisky, he thought longingly of a tub of steamy foam and was reminded of the last sight he had of Arnie, when the quietly grieving man had seen him off the premises looking so wretchedly bereft as he stood on the threshold of the dwelling, one hand resting on the tin bath that hung on the outside wall. What would he do now? What had he to look forward to now that Susan had gone?
           
'Brian looks glum?' remarked Peter from the bar.
           
Ron Pearce hauled up Brian's coat and dumped it on a nearby chair. He crashed down beside him, sending a wash of beer up the side of his pint glass. 'What's wrong with you then?'
           
'I was thinking about poor Susan Trevors.'
           
'What's up with her?'
           
'She's dead.'
           
'Bleedin' hell,' voiced Peter. 'When was this?'
           
'This morning.'
           
'Poor woman,' said Ron. 'D'you know who did it?'
           
'Did what?'
           
Ron's face turned an appetising shade of red. 'Er, how did she die?
           
'Heart attack.' Brian's forehead puckered. 'Christ! I do believe you thought she'd been killed?'
           
'No! Well ... I suppose I did.' Ron sheepishly strove to redeem himself. 'I must be watching too much telly.'
           
In response to Norman's request for a full account, Brian swivelled his chair to face the crowd. He outlined the facts and ended by pointing out how helpful and efficient Martin Down had been.
           
'Who's this Martin you keep referring to?' asked Ron.
           
'He's the tramp you folks've been bothered about.'
           
'Pardon me,' said Peter, moving round the bar. 'What was he doing there?'
           
Brian explained that Arnie had let him camp out on his land.
           
'Good thing as it happens,' proclaimed Ron, raising his glass. He went on to ask how Arnie had taken it.
           
'He put on a brave face. He's the sort to mourn in private. He told me that Susan suffered with indigestion. Some indigestion, it was her heart all along. Just shows you, Chris is right when he quotes: Get a pain, get it sussed.'
           
At that point the door flew open and Bill Mountford rushed in, scarlet-faced and gasping, lobbing his tracksuit jacket across a stool as if its weight was responsible for his breathless condition. He pitched himself at the bar and panted to Peter, 'Give me a long, cold pint. As cold as you can make it.'
           
Bill took to jogging when Ellen complained about his paunch and lack of stamina. In the beginning he endeavoured to mobilise his friends to join him in his fitness campaign, but there were no takers. To a man, the chaps insisted they kept themselves fit by wallowing in strenuous bedroom escapades.
           
'What are you doing to yourself, William?' enquired Norman as he emerged from the gents. 'Your face is practically puce.'
           
Bill nearly choked. 'Puce,' he spluttered. 'Puce!'
           
Collecting the glass he'd left on the bar, Norman amicably retorted, 'I meant to say you looked rather overheated.'
           
Bill would not be pacified. 'You know the definition of puce? I'll tell you the definition of puce. It's purple-brown, the colour of fleas.'
           
'Steady on, Bill,' cautioned Brian. 'There's no need for that.'
           
The rebuke seemed to knock Bill's padding out of true. The high colour drained from his cheeks, his shoulders sagged and his head drooped. He kept it that way while the other occupants of the saloon deliberated over Susan and the kindly tramp. The blow-up, though, had aroused Brian's curiosity and he tried to fathom why a normally even-tempered guy should get so heated over such a trivial detail?
           
Ron Pearce plucked dog hairs from his navy blue blazer. 'You forget, Norm, that Bill is a crossword zealot, an absolute wizard with words.'
           
'I will choose my words more carefully in future,' Norman said as he yanked his polka-dot cravat straight. The action demonstrated that the verbal contretemps had severely dented his composure. However, he was not one to dwell on extraneous matters so he went on to say that, if anyone was interested, he had a revelation to impart.
           
The group waited for him to continue, all except Bill who was studying a spot by his feet, his own face now blotchy with remorse.
           
Having won their complete attention, Norman bided his time, eddied the brandy in his glass, inhaling the fumes as if wholly unaware that the bunch were agog with expectancy.
           
'Come on, Guv,' blurted Peter. 'What's the tale?'
           
Very slowly, Norman arched his head and stared at the ceiling so that when he spoke he croaked like a man with an inflamed throat, but the second he uttered the words: 'Patrick Finnigan's got a job,' he promptly angled his head to assess the reaction.
           
'What!' That was Ron Pearce. 'Who in the world would give him a bloody job? He's never out of bloody jail.'
           
'Actually,' said Norman, pressing the rim of his glass against his bottom lip, 'it was my wife.'
           
A moth's beating wings could have been heard in the protracted silence. Without a word, Brian collected his jacket and decamped, thanking the Lord there weren't too many days like this one. He had come for a jar with Paddy but in the event he was glad the man had stayed away. There would be all kinds of ructions if he knew what bitchy things were being expressed behind his back. Let him never find out, eh, God? Even a part-time felon doesn't deserve such animosity.

*******

Brian yawned as he trudged along the road. Yawning was something he was doing a lot of lately. He sensibly dismissed the idea of taking a bath in favour of crashing into bed and slumbering his cares away. His smarting toes would keep until morning, sleep was much more important.
           
Hearing footsteps behind he curved round to see who it was. He identified the hurrying figure as Bill Mountford, who was motioning him to wait. Against Brian's finer judgement, urgent repose being uppermost on his mind and the only thing at that moment he wanted to do, he slowed his steps until Bill caught up and they walked together to the Green.
           
Bill apologised for his childish outburst, offering tiredness as the reason. Altogether too flaked for a full-scale discussion, Brian sarcastically suggested he tried sleeping at night, but Bill alleged that the blame for his fatigue was entirely due to work, shortage of staff, and an incompetent boss who couldn't organise an office if his life depended on it. The overtime was destroying his home life, murdering his appetite, and smothering his desire for intimacy. It was little wonder Ellen got peeved.
           
'You're best bet is to resign,' Brian said.
           
'I might not secure another post.'
           
'That's rubbish. Redhampton's a sizable town. You're bound to find something with your qualifications. Browse through the vacancies in the Mail. Start now.'
           
They slowed their steps at the corner of Ardenrose Road and, before crossing the Green towards his home, Bill stroked his chin and said, 'Maybe I will.' Then he winked at Brian and added, 'The very thought of resigning makes me feel randy.'
           
'Ellen will no doubt be pleased to hear that.'

(to be continued)


24 September 2012

Monday Mirth

Torrential rain here today and again tomorrow. Woke this morning to a leak in the kitchen ceiling and a flood on the floor. Roof only recently fixed so we have yet to find out how the rain is getting in. Maybe this Monday Mirth will cheer me up.


A blonde goes to the vet with her goldfish.
"I think it's got epilepsy," she tells the vet.
The vet takes a look and says, "It seems calm enough to me".
The blonde says, "Wait, I haven't taken it out of the bowl yet".
 


Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was
really annoyed.

She told him "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the
driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!"

The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke
up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box
gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.

Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought
the box back in the house.

She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Bob has been missing since Friday




Factory Workers
In a small town in the US, there is a rather sizable factory that hires only married men.

Concerned about this, a local woman called on the manager and asked him, "Why is it you limit your employees to married men? Is it because you think women are weak, dumb, cantankerous..or what?"

"Not at all, Ma'am," the manager replied. "It is because our employees are used to obeying orders, are accustomed to being shoved around, know how to keep their mouths shut and don't pout when I yell at them."


oOo

A teacher was giving her class a lesson in logic.
 ‘Here is the situation,’ she said.
 ‘A man is standing up in a boat in the middle of the river. He loses his balance, falls in and begins splashing and yelling for help. His wife hears the commotion, knows he can’t swim, and runs down to the bank. Why do you think she ran to the bank?’
A girl raises her hand and asked, ‘To draw out all his savings?’



23 September 2012

22 September 2012

Blame the Scales

Blame the scales, that's what I say!

I guess this is the sort of poem I should read every time I go out to lunch so, since Saturday is eating out day, I've not only read it but I've put it on here for anyone else who has to watch their weight.



Tipping the Scales … by Judy Rose

This morning when I weighed myself, I got an awful fright…
For the weight that came up on the dial was certainly not right.
I’ve really had it with these scales, they’re utterly misleading,
I slid them over to the bath to get a second reading.
Again the weight that registered was ridiculously high,
I moved them back towards the loo to have another try.
The pointer stubbornly remained just under ten stone three…
I raised one foot and then breathed in, but all quite fruitlessly.
My last hope was the carpet, so I moved to softer ground,
Just to suffer more frustration … I’d gained another pound.
I’ll really have to face the fact: these scales have had their day.
They simply can’t deliver me an honest, spot-on weigh.
A brand new, high-tech digital would really be the bizz,
I need top-notch equipment now that tells it like it is.
And passing by the mirror, I catch sight of my reflection,
It’s not a picture that inspires, a more in-depth inspection,
But I am not at all perturbed by the vision that appears,
That mirror distorts everything ... it’s been like that for years.

20 September 2012

Feline Capers, part 5

Characters:

There’s me, Lee, a lady cat. I’m the one telling the story.
Mom and dad, my human parents.
Tom and Sukie, my best feline friends.
Woof, a visiting Persian kitten with a daft name.


EXPLOITS IN THE GARDEN

I don’t like dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind them in their own place but when they come near me I just want to spit at them. It’s a natural retaliation when they bark and strain on their leads in an attempt to get at me, though I’m not sure what they think they could do if they did manage to get close. I’m fastidious about keeping my claws sharp and, according to mom, they’re lethal. A dog would soon know about it if I gouged his face. Oh dear, I hope you’re not getting the impression that I’m a violent cat; I swear I would only retaliate if I was set upon first.

Of all the dogs in the road the most outstanding is a Great Dane called Jackson. To me, he’s more like a horse. I wouldn’t dare spit at him. One strike from one of those enormous paws would knock me sideways and no mistake. At least he’s friendly. For all his size he doesn’t try to rule the roost. Not that there’d be any room for hens if he did. What I mean is, once he enters a place he dominates by sheer size. He never barks when I’m around and for a while I wondered why I got away with it and other cats didn’t. I began to wonder if it was because of my small stature. Perhaps he can’t even see me. Walking between his legs would be like walking under a bridge. Great if it was raining.

To add to my list of dislikes we now have a new fox visiting the garden. Even he would probably fit in under the Jackson’s legs.

Foxy II is younger and his fur looks healthier than his older relative’s coat, a much fancier shade of red. His tail seems bushier as well. Tom thinks he’s quite attractive as foxes go and I can’t argue with that. The old one looks a mess compared to this youngster. Dad reckons he’s suffering from the mange, whatever that is, and warned me to stay away. I looked at him in amazement when he said that, I mean, why would I want to go near him in the first place? Cats and foxes aren’t really suited to deep friendships.

What I do object to is that he, the fox, thinks cat food is put out for him. It only happens on fine days, of course, when mom puts the feeding bowls outside. She doesn’t like the smell of my food in her kitchen. I can’t think why, it smells delicious to me. Dad caught Foxy II at it one day and chased him off. Since then the little devil has kept his distance, going instead to Tom’s garden. I always know when he’s there because Tom lets off such a terrifying yowl it’s a wonder the whole range of wildlife doesn’t disappear. Right now though I’m too busy with my latest hobby to join in.

Actually it was seeing Foxy II licking milk bottle tops that started me keeping watch. That’s how I came to see what the blue tits got up to. Have you ever seen blue tits trying to peck through milk bottle tops? One of the little blighters succeeded the other day, had a right old time dipping its beak into the cream. Now I’m hell bent on catching him. Every morning I wait for the milkman to drop off a couple of bottles and then I take shelter in the long grass and wait for the first bird to appear.

First attempts were pathetic, the birds flew off the minute they saw me. Now I wait behind the Pampas and slink out when their stupid heads are hovering over the cream. I nearly made it one day, I was actually right up to the bottles before the tits caught sight of me. One flew off just as I lifted a paw to catch it. You can imagine it, can’t you? In my haste to catch a bird with newly sharpened claws I accidentally caught the bottle. One toppled against the other and they both crashed over on the hard slabs.

There was milk everywhere. Tom arrived on the scene, looking very smart in a new red collar. We both got stuck in to lap up the mess. It was like being uplifted to heaven. I just managed to get a lick of the cream on the bottle top when I was seized by a pair of human hands. I’d been so engrossed I didn’t hear dad coming. He was in a right mood. I was literally thrown into the kitchen and Tom was booted back to his own place. Mom gave me what for as well. I was in total disgrace. It put me off ever trying to catch birds again, at least while they’re pecking at bottles.

The chase is still enjoyable. When I’m up the tree I like to scare the life out of the chaffinches by hitting out just as they land on my branch. Nowadays I don’t go up too high, not since the accident. When I’m fed-up with that game I spend a bit of time trying my luck with field mice; one day I might succeed in catching one, if one ever slows down. The times I’ve hurt my paw smashing it down on a tail that’s suddenly not there is nobody’s business. Gosh they can’t half move. No sooner do I see one when they’re gone again.

And then there’s the frogs. I almost drool when I see them sunbathing on the lily pads. If only I could conquer my fear of water I’d leap onto a pad and nobble one. Not to worry though, I have all the time in the world to find a solution.

Yes, I can see I’m going to have a lovely summer.

Meow!