26 June 2016


I shouldn’t be allowed out, which is something I have said more than once. Quite recently I couldn’t seem to get anything right. I would like to think I could blame it on the weather, or going  shopping too early in the day, but that would only be making excuses. It’s the brain, you see. The older I get the more confused I get. Most times I’m okay but occasionally I get an off day. How’s this for starters?

It was Friday and that means get to the shops early or there would be no parking space and no easy access to the local supermarket. Friday is the worst day of the week to go shopping. It’s the day when everyone has the same idea, and all those people have cars. I usually manage to avoid Fridays, but not this week.

None of the above has anything to do with what is to follow, it was all down to my addled brain.

First of all I went into the chemist to buy an ordinary roll of sticky tape – the sort you put on wound dressings. No, I hadn’t got a wound, what I had got was two rings that kept sliding round the finger in the most irritating way. To solve that little problem I put a discreet piece of sticky tape round the two shanks, which fills in the gap between ring and finger and stops everything from sliding round. Yes, I know there are little clips designed for this purpose. I have some - they don't work. 

As you can imagine a roll of sticky tape can last years but mine was almost gone. I hunted for ages along the pharmacy shelves but couldn’t find what I wanted. I could find other sorts of dressings for cuts and other wounds but not the simple roll that I wanted, minus the dressing. So I asked the pharmacist, a very obliging young lady, who went straight to the shelf I had been searching and plucked out a box of – yes, sticky tape. I felt such a fool but resolved to shake off that feeling.

Back to the counter to pay for my sticky tape where the pharmacist’s assistant was sorting out prescriptions. Now mine are dealt with on a monthly basis and I am texted when ready. Brilliant system! Goodness knows what made me mention my prescription. I stupidly remarked that mine would be ready before long. Anxious to please, and before I could stop her, the assistant rushed off to the computer to check. I tried again to stop her but she was deaf to my efforts. Another month, she told me, which of course I knew. What else can you do but smile like an idiot when things don’t go the way you intend them to go.

The pharmacy is one that uses loyalty cards so in my total confusion I pulled the wrong one from my purse. I was beginning to wish I’d stayed in bed but I endeavoured to leave the store in ladylike fashion rather than like an old woman who shouldn’t be allowed out.

Next stop, the local supermarket. I wanted half a dozen large eggs. I didn’t want a dozen, of which there were plenty, I wanted half that amount. No joy, all the eggs in half-dozen boxes were medium size. I queried this at the cash-out and was told they never have large eggs in half-dozen size boxes. Excuse me? What the hell have I been buying all these years? By this time I'd had enough. I just wanted to go home.

Next stop, the bank, where I needed to get money from the cash machine. Would you believe I got it without any problem? BUT as I proudly stuffed notes in my wallet, a load of coins fell to the floor. I didn’t realise the zip of the loose change purse was open. With difficulty I spent a good five minutes picking up coins and hoping nobody would snatch a few before I could rescue them.

I only had one more job to do and that was to post a letter. I’ll stop at the corner shop, I thought, as I got in the car. Ten minutes later I arrived home and was about to climb out of the car when I spotted the letter on the passenger seat.

As already stated, some days I shouldn’t be allowed out. 

19 June 2016


(Picture borrowed from the Internet)
Charlie is a fussy eater, or rather he tries to give that impression. Having stocked up on meaty products it was with great reluctance that (eventually) I gave them away because of his refusal to eat. How strange to discover that he doesn’t like chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb. I looked but didn’t find a product containing mice! I now firmly accept the fact that he only wants food containing fish but the acceptance comes after many trials and errors.

It’s interesting shopping for his food. I can go to a supermarket and not speak to a soul, except the girl at the check-out, but I can guarantee being drawn into conversations on the pet food section. Hmm! Is that where lonely people hang out or are pet lovers automatically drawn to each other? One lady told me some hair-raising tales about her cat’s behaviour which had me wondering what Charlie got up to when I wasn’t looking. So far, so good, at least I think so!

I listened carefully to advice offered by an elderly shopper who apparently owned several cats, after all if she had that many she should be au fait with all their likes and dislikes. ‘Oooh,’ she said, as she selected some Whiskas Temptations, adding that her cats lurve them and practically fight over who gets the first one out the box. I popped two boxes in my basket. When she turned her attention to the Goody Bags (yep, that’s the name) I ignored her on the grounds that I’d bought enough for one day.

I really should rely on my own experience and not listen to others. Even though the Temptations  taste of fish Charlie turns up his tiny nose at them ... and if he comes across anything containing or smelling of cat-nip he practically snorts in disgust. However, when Rosanne (bless her) bought him a present of Goody Bags and Charlie made it clear he actually liked them, I couldn’t wait to get back to the supermarket. 

Of course, I still have the Temptations (please don't misconstrue that... smiles) but the only way I can tempt Charlie to have one is by sneaking one in with morsels from the Goody Bag. It’s one way of not wasting money but I have a feeling that pretty soon he will cotton on to my little schemes.  

12 June 2016


Twelve months ago I was told that I had the start of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and was told to do various things to test its progress. Well, you know how it is, you start off with good intentions but those good intentions have a habit of decreasing as each uneventful day goes by.

However, when my yearly appointment loomed I became nervous. I knew I had been a bit remiss in the treatment. Well, I say treatment ... ‘checks’ would be more accurate. I was supposed to check the condition of my sight by practising one particular exercise. Nothing strenuous, merely opening the page of a book to check if the type ‘wandered’. I had twelve months in which to do repeated checks... I did one. That’s why I felt nervous about going to see the optometrist.,, 

I expected the worst as the guy took me through the checking procedures followed by camera work. It all seemed rather calm as I waited to hear the worst, silently resolving to be more sensible, swearing that in future I would heed recommendations and advice. After all they were offered for my own good. Who did I think I was fooling? Not once did I feel guilty but I did feel ashamed.

Whilst waiting for the verdict I was offered a cup of tea. I accepted, but deep down took the gesture as a softener. Isn’t that what they do when bad news looms? I had never been offered tea before so why would they do it now? My knees began to shake and I had to admit being terrified. If only I could turn the clocks back a year.... if only... but it was no use torturing myself. The news would be bad enough.

The guy came back into the room, took my year old specs and began to clean them. He didn’t speak until the job was done. Then he turned to me and said ‘There... that will see you through until you feel like cleaning them yourself.’ He had a smile on his face when he added ‘there is no change in your eyesight. I am very happy with the condition.’

Oh boy, so was I. Seems my AMD is a slow mover and for that I am eternally grateful. Now, where did I put that book.....

05 June 2016


To date Charlie, the cat, has lost three collars and two engraved discs but he gained a couple of points for catching mice. If I had my way he would get no more points on the grounds that I don’t much care for mice in the house – dead or alive!

It’s a new venture, apparently. At least I think it is. Certainly in the three months Charlie has lived here I never saw a mouse in the house. Not too many outside either, although I did raise a couple of mouse babies a couple of years ago but not seen any since. I have blogged before about the tiny mice who came to collect ‘deliberate’ droppings of birdseed whenever I went out to feed the birds. Maybe the upheaval caused by new neighbours has deprived the mice of protection in the garden and made it easier for Charlie to catch them.

I have to praise Charlie for his actions, though. He doesn’t just kill mice; he carries them carefully through the cat flap into the side passage. From there he carries them up two steps and round the kitchen door which is currently left ajar (I am waiting for another cat flap to be fitted). Then he saunters along the hall to the lounge where he places them amongst his toys. I hasten to add that he does this one at a time. I’m not sure he could carry more than that in one go. Ah, I imagine him saying, another trophy – and I wonder if he knows it’s me that removes them. I’m quite furtive when I use the litter scoop to toss the dead creature into bag before chucking it into the refuse bin ... I would hate to upset him.

I wonder if it’s okay to put it there? It’s not something I can ask the neighbours on the grounds they might not like mice in any shape or form being binned and transported to the refuse depot. I suppose even if I could dig a hole Charlie would just un-bury the poor thing. How does one dispose of a dead mouse? And how does one stop a cat from triumphantly bringing home his prey?

His latest capture was a baby bird which did upset me. I can see I need to harden my heart as far as nature is concerned, after all Charlie is only doing what all cats do. If only he would stop offering them to me! I read somewhere that cats like to show off their so-called prizes. Well, I have praised him, repeatedly telling him he’s a clever boy, so does that mean I’m due for a few more dead gifts? Still, dead is better than alive when we’re talking about rodent house guests. Ugh!

01 June 2016

How to give a cat a pill!

How to give a cat a pill:
Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. 

As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. 

Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil, and blow down drinking straw.

Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of Scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

Tie the little @!!@#@#$%'s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak fillet. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and remove pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.
How to give a dog a pill:
Wrap it in bacon.