Monday, 31 December 2012

31/12/12 December: New Year's Eve

This December has been mild and rainy (like most of the year!) It does somehow feel as though many of the seasons have been rolled into one this year with the weather being so unpredictable. I would definitely say that the UK has had a rather wet climate in 2012!

We have had a nice, restful, relaxing Christmas with my Mum staying with us. Bubbles has received lots of exciting cat presents (thank you to the friends who sent them.) She is very good about the Christmas decorations and has only fiddled with the Christmas tree once (we caught her sitting up on the table next to it, very quietly, gently patting the baubles on the lowest branch!) She has mainly been fascinated by the tinsel which glitters beautifully in reds and golds around the lounge.

I sincerely hope all my readers have enjoyed reading my Blog so far! I aim to try to update more regularly as one of my New Year's resolutions for 2013!

I really hope 2012 has been happy for everybody. Today I have been reflecting on the past year and feel grateful to have had a wonderful year with some lovely holidays spent with loved ones, happy events and some achievements I feel very proud of.

I hope 2013 is a happy and prosperous year for myself, my family and all my readers and wish you all a very "Happy New Year"


 We had the most fantastic mini break to the Lake District this November; visiting a little place called Haverigg, near Millom. The B&B we stayed in was BEEOOTIFUL, with luxurious bathroom fittings, a super comfy bed and THE most delicious breakfast. To top it all off, while we ate our breakfast in the dining room, garden birds were eating at the bird feeder right outside the window!

We knew Bubbles would love to visit such a place, with abundant wildlife to stare at through the window (as well as an amazingly comfy bed & window ledge to curl up on!)

I wonder if any readers know of any cat friendly B&B's or holiday rental places? If so, do please leave a comment, as it would be lovely to be able to take our furry friend on holiday with us, rather than always shipping her off to the cattery. I know she would prefer it!

Arriving at the cattery, Bubbles did her usual trick of hiding under her bed & pushing it along the floor, just so we would feel guilty for taking her to such a fearsome, horrible place. (The cattery is actually very nice! The owners always do their best to make her feel at home, playing with her toys & brushing her.) Then as we got ready to drive off in the car a little face appeared at the mesh doorframe looking so sad and folorn we IMMEDIATELY felt like the worst owners in the world!

Realising Bubbles was actually perfectly alright at the cattery, we got on with the business of enjoying our holiday in the Lake District, where we visited Silecroft Beach and were quite awestruck at the enormous waves, created no doubt from the tail end of Hurricane Sandy which a few days earlier had hit New York.


October was a busy month; getting to grips with new courses, new workload etc. But it was also a very exciting, very proud month for me because October was the month I graduated from the Open University!

I attended a graduation ceremony in Manchester and was so proud to finally get up on stage and receive my handshake, watched by my Mum, my other half and my Aunty and Uncle who had driven a LOOOOONG way just to come to see me graduate.

My Mum bought me one of those cool, funky helium balloons that float around the room to celebrate my graduation. Needless to say, Bubbles was HIGHLY unimpressed, eyeing it suspiciously every time she ventured into the lounge - just in case it chose to suddenly leap out from the corner where it innocently bobbed around next to the settee and attempt to lunge across the room at her. Of course, whenever it was time for her treats, Bubbles forgot all about her balloon fear and leapt up onto my knee to delightedly receive her treats whilst purring and completely ignoring the bobbing balloon!

Saturday, 10 November 2012



September passed in a blur of busy days, lots of reading with plenty of cat cuddles to help me along the way!

The days were pleasantly warm and mainly dry, although I wouldn't go quite so far as to call it an Indian summer.

Bubbles has enjoyed plenty of pouncing opportunities; especially when attempting to "catch" Daddy - Long - Legs' in the garden.

She always looks so disappointed when they get away, until the next one looms out of the grass like a wobbly helicopter attempting to navigate itself out of a sea of green. Then she leaps across the lawn and smacks a furry paw onto the unsuspecting insect. You can almost feel it cowering in fear, until she removes the paw, looks disdainfully down and the Daddy-Long-Legs seizes its opportunity to make a jet propelled escape!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

9/9/12 My Books

I could hardly believe it today (Sunday) when there was a knock at the door and a parcel had arrived from Amazon already!

"My Books" I squeaked, racing up the stairs to open the package at my desk. My other half thought with all the fuss and excitement a truly grand moment must have occurred, such as winning the lottery. I think he was somewhat disappointed to discover my excitement was caused by two rather complicated and wordy looking textbooks.

Meanwhile, I was lovingly caressing the covers, daring to peek inside for a few moments before putting them neatly on my desk for work to begin....

Bubbles, meanwhile, was busy ripping up the tough, cardboard packaging, having a great time!

8/9/12 Keys?

Hmmmm, where are my Mum's keys.

As the weather has cooled down quite a bit now, I haven't been too worried about watering Mum's plants on a daily basis. Every few days would be plenty but the trouble is I cannot find the keys to Mum's house. My other half and I have searched high and low, much to Bubbles' delight as we turfed out cupboard upon cupboard and made a lovely mess for her to pounce through in the hall as we grumpily looked for the keys.

In the end we decided the only way to deal with the situation and avoid killing off Mum's prize pergonias would be if my other half went round and climbed over the fence into the back garden.

Now this plan was not without serious risks. We realised he could 1) fall and hurt himself, 2) fall and break the fence, 3) fall and crush the flowers, 4) successfully climb over but split his trousers or 5) get arrested if any vigilant neighbours spotted him hopping over the fence and called the police.

He decided point number five was the lowest risk as the neighbours did, in fact know him and would recognise the car, so set off on his perilous journey taking care to avoid points number one to four!

He arrived back an hour later unscathed and happily reported a successful plant watering mission

7/9/12 New Books

Tonight I have ordered the new textbooks I will need for my distance learning postgraduate course. I can barely believe it. Me, a postgraduate student!

Excitedly I went onto my favourite website; Amazon, where got spending. Forcing myself to behave and not get carried away I only ordered the two books I would need for the first module. The trouble is, when I'm on Amazon, I could so easily spend hundreds of pounds in one go (but I didn't!)

Bubbles looked at me rather disapprovingly, as if I had gone mad, after I'd clicked on the "confirm order" button and did a little squeaky cheer and mad hand clap in my excitement!

6/9/12 A Little Cooler

The weather was slightly cooler today. I even had to wear a cardigan! Fancy that, in September!

Bubbles has been sunbathing on the garden wall today.

I think it's her new favourite place, as she can lie on the wall, hanging her head and front paws over the side to watch for any ants, spiders or other creepy crawlies who dare to venture onto the brickwork inviting a swift slap of the paw!

5/9/12 Mum's Holiday

Mum jetted off this morning to spend a lovely couple of weeks abroad. I have received full instructions on looking after all the garden plants and hanging baskets, given the impromptu heatwave the watering will need to be done on a daily basis.

Bubbles spent more time in the garden today. She is loving the sunshine

4/9/12 Even Hotter

Now why wasn't it twenty three degrees (and more) this time last week, when I was actually at the seaside?

I haven't been in the sea at all this summer because of the dodgy, freezing, un-summery weather but as soon as I am back home,  hundreds of miles away from the sea, the weather turns positively Carribean.

Bubbles has been enjoying a lovely afternoon, sunning herself in the back garden.... Soon, it will be time for the Daddy Long Legs's to come out!

3/9/12 Autumn, no wait, SUMMER

Bizarrely on the week the children are due to go back to school, signifying the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn, the weather is hotter, brighter, sunnier and more summery than it has been for, well, the whole summer really!

Bubbles doesn't care whether it's spring, summer, autumn or winter.... as long as she is able to go bouncing in the garden she is happy!

2/9/12 The Washing

Being away for a week, then away again the very next day, of course, means I have piles of washing to catch up with!

Luckily the weather has taken a turn for the better.... meaning lovely, fresh washing dried on the line.

Bubbles loves the concept of dirty washing, as it means carrier bags full of clothes to bounce through in the hallway!

Friday, 21 September 2012

31/8/12 - 1/9/12 London 2012

After our holiday to Bridlington, my Mum and I had the mad notion to whizz off to London the very next day, in order to watch the Paralympic Games at London 2012.

We felt like we had barely got off the train after our journey back from the seaside when we were on it again first thing the next morning for our trip to London

We booked into St Paul's Youth Hostel Association hostel, which was opposite St. Paul's Cathedral.

All I can say, never having set eyes on the cathedral up close before, is "WOW!" It is MAGNIFICENT!

The Paralympic Games were all we could have hoped for and more. It was a fantastic, emotive, exciting and inspiring experience. The audience created a wonderful atmosphere and we were proud to be part of it. When a Mexican wave came around, we heard a rushing / roaring sound as it approached - sounding just like a real wave forming and swirling in the sea, rising and rushing to break into a froth and foam of white water.

When Hannah Cockroft won a Gold medal for Great Britain, we all had the honour of standing to sing our British National Anthem. I felt so proud and quite choked up. It was an amazing experience.

I arrived home exhausted on the Saturday evening, to the chaos of dirty washing, unpacked suitcases and sandy beach shoes I had deposited haphazardly in the hall! Bubbles was having a great time sitting in my suitcase, curled nice and comfortably on my clean, folded clothes! When lifted out she "Miaowed" loudly in protest, then went to have a quick scratch on her scratching post (looking sideays to check what I was doing!) When I left the room, she sneakily decided the suitcase was still her seat, so this time curled up snugly on top of the closed, fabric lid, making a lovely cat shaped dip in which she could snooze contentedly!

25/8/12 - 30/8/12 Bridlington

My Mum and I have had a fantastic holiday in Bridlington. We were so lucky with the weather, as we had glorious hot sunshine on the day we chose to walk along the cliff path from Bridlington to Flamborough.The scenery was beautiful; sparkling blue sea with barely a ripple and only the odd sea-kayaker paddling calmly along (no doubt exploring the many wondrous sea caves etched out along the cliffs.)

We found secluded bays and even a tiny lifeboat station tucked away between the cliffs. It was glorious walking along, watching the golden cornfields sweeping and curving into the distance.

We also had an exciting boat trip, which took us across the bay from Bridlington harbour, along the North Beach then on to Flamborough Head, where we saw both the old and the new lighthouses. We had brilliant views of the sea caves, as well as pillars of rocks in many biazrre shapes. Some were nicknamed the Bridlington "Elephants" and one was even nicknamed "The Queen." The water was a tropical aqua green / turqouise.

On our return journey into the bay, we discovered an RAF sea rescue helicopter performing exercise manoevres in the bay. They did a fly by, especially for us!

I really enjoyed my holiday but was equally hapopy to be home; where Bubbles greeted me with her furry tail held high, lots of little excited squeaks and a showing off marathon on her scratching post, all the time checking I was watching and making a fuss of her!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

24/8/12 Packing

The bit about holidays I am not so keen on is always trying to figure out exactly what to take with me, then trying to cram it all (and more) into a bulging overfilled suitcase. Today was no exception. I seemed to have emptied the entire contents of my wardrobe out onto the bed but could not decide what to take and what to put away.

Abandoning my "mess" I went downstairs for tea, only to discover afterwards that a certain furry someone had found my mountains of clothes most intriguing; knocked a few piles over in her explorations, then settled down for a catnap on my (white) towels!

23/8/12 Pear Cider

This evening we went out for a most pleasant meal with my Dad and his girlfriend, during which I rekindled my passion for pear cider.

Realising it is on offer currenlty in most supermarkets, I decided that (for the moment anyway) it will be my favourite tipple.

On arrival back home, Bubbles was rather unimpressed to discover that we smelt of roast meats and gravy but had not thought to bring her a sample of the delicacies we had indulged in!

22/8/12 Gardening

As it hasn't rained for a few days I decided to take the opportunity to mow the lawn and sort out the weeds once more!

The lawn mowing done, I began my task of digging and hoeing between the paving slabs; digging out the mega dandelions that seem to be taking over the patio (I blame all the rain!)

Bubbles doesn't come outside whilst mowing is in force, so she looked on from the confines of the lounge, supervising the gardening goings on with a very swishy tail!

21/8/12 Reading

Today was a day well spent getting on with some of my Masters reading. I am currently reading Coetzee's Foe, an interesting adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Although, I have to admit, I find Coetzee's writing style much more readable.

Reading about tropical paradises and remote desert islands is a perfect way to while away a lazy summer's day.

Bubbles has enjoyed another relaxing day catnapping whilst I relaxed and enjoyed my reading

20/8/12 PJ Day

Today was one of those lazy days, spent fiddling around doing a bit of washing, a bit of reading but not much else.

Bubbles enjoyed lazing on her activity centre and on the bed whilst I read; waking to "help" me with my washing chores in the garden!

19/8/12 Folders

I decided today that I really ought to tidy up the mess that is my study area. My folders and papers have been in a state of disarray for quite some time, which is not ideal when I am aiming to be super organised (hmmmm not sure when that will ever quite happen!)

Anyway, it resulted in me dusting, sorting, throwing out old papers, priniting, filing, rearranging books.... until, "Voila" my study area looks exactly like that: a study area!

Bubbles was intrigued throughout most of the day's events, particularly, it has to be said, by the printing. She has an immense fascination with the printer, which I think is mainly because of the exciting clicking and whirring noises it makes, accompanied by the sudden shooting out of paper. Everytime she hears the printer begin its sequence of clicks and whirs she comes in to have a look at the printed piece as it shoots out of the machine. I think, in her own way, possibly inspecting my work!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

18/8/12 Rest & Relaxation

Today is Saturday! My other half and I have planned a weekend of rest and relaxation.

The weather was typically British! Therefore, we abandoned any ideas of going outside, having a berbecue or trying to do anything "summery."

Instead, the three of us settled down to a good old film fest.

Bubbles loves it when we all chill out together, especially when she is in charge of the remote control! "Hmmm now what shall we watch?"

I just know she will choose her favourite RSPB documentary on birds!

17/8/12 The Hairbrush

This morning, after breakfast Bubbles and I were sitting in the lounge together, relaxing contentedly, when I decided it was an ideal opportunity to brush her.

Bubbles loves being brushed but sometimes gets very silly about it! This morning was no exception.

I got out Bubbles's brush and comb, which she noticed immediately. Ears up, she jumped off her activity centre, trotted across the room and jumped up onto the settee next to me ready to be brushed. Soon, she was standing on my knee, head held high whilst I brushed her carefully but firmly.

Bubbles is very good at expressing her emotions. Her face rubbing again and again on the brush told me she was enjoying the experience, then a sudden twitch of the tail, a narrowing of the eyes and a slight stiffening of her body posture told me she had ENOUGH!

I quickly withdrew the brush! Not quickly enough for suddenly Bubbles lurched forward, taking in a mouthful of soft bristles as she bit at the brush! Soft or not, I am sure they did not taste very nice as Bubbles sat up straight, pulling a face as if to say "Eugh yuk!"

16/8/12 A Very Blustery Day Outside

 To quote from A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, today has been "A very blustery day outside" indeed.

For me, a perfect drying day....

For Bubbles, a perfect prowling day....

But I'm not sure Eeyore would agree:

15/8/12 Sore Feet & Exhaustion!

After our marathon walk around London yesterday, my feet feel so sore today! I have spent most of the day lying on my bed (good excuse to do some reading) with my feet propped in an elevated position.

Bubbles considers me to be VERY lazy indeed! She has been sitting on the landing waiting for me to "do" something, giving me disapproving glances as I while away the day.

Ultimately I feel so guilty I manage to hobble downstairs and into the garden so Bubbles can enjoy some bouncing time outside, whilst I sit, rubbing my sore, throbbing feet!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

14/8/12 London

Today, my friend and I had a fantastic day trip to London. We walked miles, seeing all the sights in the glorious sunshine. We visited the British Museum, Covent Garden, Leicester Square (twice due to map reading difficulties resulting in a slight, circular tour) and finished with the Tate Modern Gallery.

Later that night my feet were so painful I couldn't wait to take my shoes and socks off and lay, half unconscious on the settee (ok, slight exaggeration) sipping tea to revive me suitably to make it up the stairs to bed.

Bubbles was very unsympathetic to my foot problem, thinking it a great game to bounce on my bare feet in  rugby tackle style as I was walking up the stairs! Well, I had woken her at a most unsociable hour this morning to catch the train at the crack of dawn!

13/8/12 Burning The Fat

Usually, one of my favourite occupations is "chewing the fat;" i.e. having a good old chin wag, however, as I have recently been inspired by the super slim, toned, muscular athletes competing in the Olympic Games, I feel I must do better with my fitness regime, therefore, am now busy "burning the fat!"

This involved going for a mile long, non-stop run, which I am very proud of and which (according to my pedometer's calculations) informs me that I have burned off 1000 calories, the equivalent of a small pizza!

Excellent! I am very impressed with myself and forgive myself the naughty custard cream, which I inadvertently ate whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, post run.

Bubbles eyed me very suspiciously when I returned, sweating and panting from my exercise. In fact, she spent several minutes sniffing my legs then pulled a rather disgusted face, wrinkling her nose to show her teeh in a kind of "Ooh yuk" expression. Well I suppose sweat doesn't really smell very nice!

I am now to be restrained in all manner of food temptations! Bubbles is pleased with my new fitness plan, as it includes lots of delicious mackerel and tuna fish, which she is able to (sometimes) share!

Friday, 17 August 2012

12/8/12 Olympic Games London 2012 Closing Ceremony

Tonight, we all sat together in the lounge watching the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, which, I must say I thought was fantastic. Bubbles lounged on the back of the settee enjoying the TV viewing (I think she was intrigued by the giant octopus):

After all the exciting events of the Olympic Games, I think my top three excellent Olympic moments would be (in this order):

1) Tom Daley winning a bronze medal for his diving

2) The tense sailing race between Australia and Spain, where the Australian captain was swept out of the boat, rescued by her crew & they kept going!

3) Usain Bolt and the Jamaican team winning Gold, Silver & Bronze medals all in the one race

I wonder what my readers favourite Olympic events were? Please leave me a comment if you have any favourite Olympic moments you'd like to share!

I also wonder what Bubbles thinks when she watches the Olympic events.... all these crazy humans running or jumping (activities which she enjoys purely for fun!) I wonder what it would be like if we had an animal Olympic Games....


11/8/12 A Fishy Occurence

My Mum came to spend the day with us today. We enjoyed watching the Olympic action on TV and eating a lovely, summery lunch of smoked mackerel fillets with salad and hunks of bread and butter. De - licious!

Bubbles also benefited from the delicious mackerel dinner. She queued up in the kitchen, nose twitching as she smelt the tasty fish being prepared. Then to her delight, received a generous portion in her bowl.

I hope she does not expect this sort of gourmet feast every day, as usually her cat food will just have to do!

10/8/12 Dandelions

The dandelions seem to be coming up bigger than ever in the garden now. It must be all the rain we are having; alternated with blazing sunshine. I think we are getting giant versions of them!

Bubbles doesn't mind; she enjoys sniffing at them as she pads around the garden, enjoying the fresh air when we are able to get into the garden.

Hopefully I will be able to mow the lawn again soon.... as soon as we have enough dry weather for the grass to be mowable!

9/8/12 The Castle

My friend and I decided to make the most of today's unexpected sunshine and embarked on an expedition to the local castle. Taking plenty of water and a good picnic, we soaked up the sun as we walked and enjoyed the spectacular views from the top of the castle hill.

Had I realised it was going to be this hot, I would have worn a sun hat and more sunscreen. As it was, however, I arrived home red faced where I had caught the sun with big, white circles where my sunglasses had been.

I'm sure Bubbles did the cat equivalent of a snigger when she saw me!

8/8/12 Vets

 Today, Bubbles has had a swelling on her lip again, which has flared up probably due to the trauma of the cattery. (As if we didn't feel guilty enough already having sent her there for a week.)

The lip swelling prompted an unwelcome visit to the vets. It goes without saying that Bubbles was HIGHLY UNIMPRESSED! On arrival, thankfully the waiting room was empty so we were whisked into the consultation room right away for the vet to do a swift but thorough examination, taking his own life heroically into his hands as he did so, whilst Bubbles growled and hissed as menacingly as she could whilst being held firmly in a pair of strong gardening gloves. (A necessity since a previous, unfortunate incident involving my other half's hand and Bubbles' sharp teeth!)

A quick jab of something to make the swelling disappear and she was bundled safely back into her cat carrier and off we went. Back at home, the growly cat had disappeared, replaced by a calm, serene creature who blinking prettily, stepped out of the cat carrier, stretched then bounced off upstairs to demand cat treats!

7/8/12 The Blue Planet Aquarium

Today, my friend and I visited The Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire. As a lover of the sea and anything to do with marine wildlife I was in my element. The sharks were colossal and the walk through tunnel provided excellent opportunities to examine these magnificent beasts (safely) in close up detail!

We saw Manta rays, Sand sharks, Nurse sharks, Sea horses, Caiman, semi-aquatic snakes and lots of brightly coloured tropical fish. It was mesmerising until.... we came into the "venom" section. A hideous section dedicated to arachnids! Yuk, shudder, shudder!

There was a "Tarantula tower" (a horrible circular glass tube which you could put your head up the middle of, allowing you to come face to face with the creepy eight legged creatures.) I hasten to add that I went nowhere near it! There was also a Goliath bird eating spider (I'm not saying Goliath because it was big; that really is the name of it!) It certainly suited its name though. Curiously, the deadly black widow spider was a tiny thing (though clearly not to be messed with!)

We exited the spider section rather quickly and went to look at some more nice sharks. There certainly was a vast array of creatures big and small and I liked the fact that a lot of the Blue Planet's profits goes on conservation work in the wild. I know if Bubbles set her eyes on any of the pretty fish, conservation would be furthest from her mind; she would be salivating at the prospect of dinner!

6/8/12 The Balloon

My Mum has given me a wicked "Congratulations" pressie, for passing my degree. It is a large, purple helium filled balloon that floats around the living room attached to a piece of pretty, weighted down ribbon.

I think it is fantastic but Bubbles, at first, was not sure!

The balloon arrived by car and was installed in the lounge under Bubbles' watchful cat's eye. She looked on suspiciously while the balloon was removed from its carrier bag; free at last to float up, displaying its full glory at ceiling height. Bubbles glared as the balloon bobbed around on the ceiling for a while. It then became still, swaying only in the occasional draught, as if to taunt her.

The balloon, now currently ensconced in its new home in the corner by the settee, likes to sway gently at the end of its ribbon, quietly minding its own business whilst enjoying its elevated position with views of the lounge room and garden!

At first Bubbles would come into the lounge then stiffen as she caught sight of the air filled imposter, throwing nervous backwards glances as she trotted quickly across the room to her activity centre, where she could hold the highest position, sitting high up, proudly on her platform. Now, however, she has accepted the new balloon as a part of the living room furniture. She happily trots in or out, taking no notice of it whatsoever. A few times while I have been sitting on the settee, she has jumped up onto my knee, leaned forward and carefully pulled at the ribbon with a gentle paw, watching , ears forward with curiosity, as the balloon jiggles merrily in the air.

5/8/12 Hiss

Bubbles is so pleased to have us back from our holidays, she has been sitting next to us constantly on the settee, or going off upstairs to fetch her favourite toy "Hiss" the snake, who she then presents to us in the most dramatic fashion by dragging him down the stairs in her mouth whilst still managing to "Miaow" at the top of her voice!

It is always an honour when Hiss is presented to us, as Bubbles does not hunt mice, therefore, this seems to be her special present to us, in the same way outdoor cats bring mice to their owners (I would MUCH rather be presented with a furry toy snake than an actual partly decapitated mouse!)

At first, I thought she brought Hiss to us, as she wanted us to play a game with her (dangling Hiss for her to pounce and catch him), however, on depositing the snake at our feet, she then lies down, quite content and totally ignores any attempt to play a game!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

30/7/12 - 4/8/12 Saundersfoot Holiday

This week, my other half and I have been on our summer holiday, to Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Wales. While we were away on holiday the results came in for the very final piece of assessed work for my English Language and Literature degree.

I PASSED! YIPPEE! (see the rather excitedly written writing above!)

This excellent news proved a fantastic start to our holiday, where even the heavy rain could not dampen our spirits. Each day brought new and interesting weather conditions; some days we had rain beating down sideways in the morning then a few hours of clear skies before the next onslaught! One day we even had.... wait for it.... SUNSHINE ALL DAY! (Albeit a bit cool and windy, but sunshine nevertheless!)

We enjoyed lots of outdoor activities, including walking along the beautiful, sandy beaches at Saundersfoot, Amroth and Tenby:

We enjoyed pottering around Saundersfoot village and visiting the bustling, beautiful and quaint seaside fishing town of Tenby:

One evening we drove along the coast to watch the surfers at Manorbier. The sea looked cold and grey. For once, even I wasn't tempted with my body board!:

Our week's holiday seemed to go far too quickly, as time always does when you're enjoying yourself.  Soon it was time to pack for our return home.

Bubbles was so glad to see us when we arrived to collect her from the cattery. She had realised a couple of days before we went that we were "planning" a holiday, as animals just always seem to know.

I caught her sitting in various drawers as I left them open when packing, as if she were trying to say "pack me!" I also discovered her lying on top of the suitcase underneath the bed; probably a clever attempt to stop us from using it, therefore, foiling our plans to go on holiday!

Alas for Bubbles her cunning efforts were to no avail and she looked on, mortified, as we packed our things and got her equipment ready for the cattery. During the final packing stages she hid behind the TV in a last ditch attempt to avoid the cattery; by hiding out of reach with the most awful facial expression designed to make us feel like the worst and cruelest owners in the world as we packed her off to the cattery for a week.

On our return, however, all has been forgiven. I awoke this morning in the early hours, to find a very heavy but happy pussy cat lying on top of me purring. She has been investigating the whole house whilst "Miaowing" loudly. No doubt checking all is in order on her return

Sunday, 29 July 2012

29/7/12 Nails

I have decided to paint my nails today as am feeling quite summery. (Although in typical British summer fashion, the minute I decided to get my toes out it rained!)

Having given myself a DIY manicure including an absolutely foul smelling hand mask, fiddled about with the cuticles a bit and done some filing I was ready. Now decisions, decisions, what colour?

My preferred choices were: candy floss pink, turquoise, a darker sea green or steely grey.

I opted for the turquoise as it always stands out bright and fresh.

Bubbles couldn't give a monkey's what colour my nails are. She just enjoyed supervising my manicure efforts from her vantage point on the top of the bannister!

28/7/12 Pruning

Today, my aching muscles suffered once again, as this time I tackled the front garden, where three bushes seemed to have morphed into one! I quickly set to work pruning the shrubbery with a pair of sharp secateurs.

I was quickly reminded of why I would fail abismally at hairdressing. Every customer would enter asking for a "trim" or "tidy up" and leave completely bald!

Having completed the backbreaking task of pruning the garden shrubbery, I stepped back to survey my work. Not bad really as I have managed to create two rectangular shaped shrubs and one tree shaped one (not the image above - my efforts were slightly less symmetrical!).

Bubbles spent the entire time supervising my efforts through the front window. I'm sure she wanted to come outside to help and was most put out to be confined indoors.

I was rather relieved not to find a resident hedgehog among the shrubbery, as we do have a friendly little fellow who seems to frequent our front garden, sniffing around and racing along at a tremendous pace for such little legs!

I can already see the weeds starting to peep through the paving slabs again in the back garden so no doubt will soon be slaving away at them again.

When did I ever find time to study?

27/7/12 Olympic Games London 2012

Tonight was the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games and what a spectacle indeed it was.

I particularly liked the way the honour of lighting the Olympic Cauldron was passed onto the next generation of young, aspiring Olympic athletes; which really epitomises the way England and Great Britain have been working to inspire young people to take part in sport through schools and many other activities and the importance of and achievements reached as part of this.

Bubbles sat on my knee for the final part of the ceremony, patriotically sporting a Union Jack headscarf but probably wishing she was, instead, partaking in the "Cat Olympics" sport of cat napping, treat eating or mouse chasing!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

26/7/12 Happy Birthday Bubbles!

"Happy Birthday" Bubbles, who is six today!

Here she is, waiting for some birthday fuss whilst sunbathing on her birthday!

She has received a very exciting ball with a feather tail and a catnip mouse for her birthday (the carrier bag containing presents had to be quickly smuggled in and concealed in the wardrobe before she got a whiff of any catnip!) However, she did eye me and the bag suspiciously when it was brought in yesterday afternoon.

Today, I think Bubbles intends to spend most of her birthday sunbathing, sleeping, relaxing and eating.

I think I might join her....

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

25/7/12 Peeking


I'm not the only one who has been doing the gardening this week. So has my cousin Francesca, whose cat Pierre was also kept indoors during the proceedings.

Pierre, however, found a most unusual way of spying on his owner; peeking through the letter box, which Bubbles found highly amusing!

24/7/12 A Run

With my aching muscles threatening to seize up even more, I decided some serious action needed to be taken; in the form of going for a run.

The temperature today has risen to a glorious 26 degrees, so I think my run today could probably be classed as more of a jog / walk / jog / walk. Still, I give myself ten out of ten for effort, as I pounded the pavement, slurping away at my water, with sweat dripping down my face!

On arriving home I collapsed in the garden to cool off much to Bubbles' delight as she enjoyed a lovely, relaxing lie down in the shade; whilst I puffed and panted on the grass next to her (hogging most of the shade I must admit) while trying to get my breath back and trying to feel human again!

23/7/12 Ouch Agony!

Ouch! Today I can barely move thanks to my gardening efforts on Saturday having caught up with me. Sitting down is somewhat painful on the hamstrings and when I crouch down to check Bubbles' litter tray, I can hardly stand up again! I definitely cannot straighten out my legs and my hands feel as though they are going to drop off!

Well, five and a half hours worth of gardening certainly made me discover muscles I never knew I had! So an easy day today with a lot of TV watching and some gentle cuddles from Bubbles, who seems to sense I am in pain and has not divebombed me at all!

22/7/12 Fridge Cleaning

After my gardening frenzy yesterday, I was certainly feeling in the mood for a bit of spring cleaning... so like a whirlwind whizzed round doing the washing, organising the cupboards and cleaning the fridge out.

Bubbles was enjoying a lazy day of relaxing under the bed in the cool, probably thinking it was best to avoid me incase I accidentally popped her into the fridge or in one of the cupboards; which reminds me of a story:

"Once upon a time, there was a much smaller cat named Bubbles, who was, in fact, still a kitten. One day, her human owner was busy making breakfast and had accidentally left the fridge door open.

Well, being a very inquisitive little cat, Bubbles' eyes went as big as saucers as she sat under the fridge door, gazing up in wonder at all the food lying on the glinting white shelves and sniffing the cool air which cascaded down from the shiny interior.

Bubbles desperately wanted to know what lay inside this large, delicious smelling contraption; so she crouched down on her haunches and with ever such a light spring, launched herself up, landing neatly on  one of those lovely, white shelves.

Bubbles wasn't sure about this new seating arrangement, as it did feel slightly cool on her bottom but decided to make the best of it and investigate her surroundings.

Meanwhile, her human owner, humming contentedly to herself, turned to replace the butter in the fridge and froze, butter in hand, gasping in horror!

'You naughty girl!' she remonstrated, swiftly removing the rather surprised kitten, who had just discovered where the ham was!"

Needless to say, I was rather late for wherever I was going that day, as instead of just eating breakfast and going out as planned, I suddenly had to schedule an entire spring clean of the fridge into my morning routine!!!!

Every time I open the fridge, to this day, I always push the door fully shut; just incase a certain someone decides to explore it again!

Ok, so our fridge isn't QUITE that big, or for that matter quite that full of wine or chocolate puddings but one can dream!

21/7/12 Gardening

Today I decided to tackle the meadow that is my back garden! So out came the lawn mower (retrieved from the shed by my other half in view of the fearsome large spiders residing there!) He did offer to do the gardening but I wanted it to be my mission, and a mission it was!

Five and a half hours of mowing, re-mowing, shearing the long grasses, pulling weeds out, pruning, edging, hoeing and sweeping and the garden looks FANTASTIC!

Bubbles spent the entire afternoon watching me through the window. Knowing her fear of the loud mower engine it was best to keep her inside where she could supervise from the safety of the lounge. On completion of my gardening efforts, however, she raced outside at high speed, only to skid to a halt on the short spiky grass. "This is not how it was!" I could see her thinking as she padded carefully across the lawn. "Where is my meadow?" I could sense her disappointment at the long grasses being cut down, as she does love to play at lions; pouncing in the long grass!

But as she sprawled out to relax in the shade on one side of the lawn, I decided she was probably quite pleased with my efforts after all!

20/7/12 Results For Some

Aaaaagh! Officially I still have two weeks to go before my final results for my degree will be released by the Open University. However, just to freak me out completely, today the OU have released several module's results TWO WEEKS EARLY!

Now I know I (and probably all my fellow OU comrades) had psyched ourselves up to begin checking the week leading up to results day but suddenly having the possibility of them being revealed two whole weeks early was quite a surprise.

Now the clicking begins: "click, click click" on the course page. "Refresh, refresh, refresh!"

The computer will probably explode from overuse!

A great big "Good luck!" to those still waiting for results (including me!) I hope you all receive the results you are hoping for.

Bubbles, meanwhile, just does not understand what all the fuss is all about. She has received lots of cuddles and pats while I mutter to myself, clicking away at the computer.... She thinks it's great fun!

19/7/12 Baseball Cap

Hilariously, in the lounge tonight, Bubbles suddenly decided my other half's baseball cap was, in fact, a new cat toy! The hat had fallen off the settee and was lying at a rather jaunty angle on the floor, half tipped over.

Bubbles walked up to it, side stepped quickly around it then got into perfect position, wiggled a bit and pounced - before the hat could move!

The hat, being a very dull and unresponsive prey, received a bit of patting. Bubbles then picked it up in her mouth, shook it about a bit, then proceeded to floss her teeth on the peak, whilst we sat about laughing silently; lest we should put her off her hunting manoeuvres.

18/7/12 Dinner at Mum's

Yum, yum, as always when I go to my Mum's house for tea I am fed as if I never eat at all for the rest of the week.

Tonight was no exception with a roast chicken dinner and a choice of trifle or strawberries for pudding.

When I arrived home, stuffed full to the brim, Bubbles sniffed me suspiciously as if to say "What have you been eating and why have you not brought me any?"

17/7/12 Cat Behaviours

As a follow on to my "Cat Etiquette" post, I wondered whether some of you might enjoy this (very professional) analysis of cat behaviours!

Bubbles is most put out to learn that we humans have them sussed!

16/7/12 Cat Etiquette

I found this poster and thought I would share with my Blog readers, as I feel it is very appropriate for cats the world over!

Now, a checklist to analyse whether Bubbles is behaving according to "Cat Etiquette":

1) Remove kibbles from dish.... (Yes, often)

2) Be sick on the rug.... (Yes, always) (Bubbles excels at this, in fact she even did it into my other half's slipper the other week!)

3) Stand on owner, facing with bottom.... (Yes, often)

4) Scratch furniture when feel like it.... (No, very rarely) (Bubbles' furniture scratching is pretty much accidental and only occurs when climbing up something)

5) Kick litter all over the floor.... (Yes, often)

6) Shed fur everywhere.... (Yes, sometimes) (Bubbles usually just sheds on the bed where she sleeps but occasionally she finds a nice pile of white, clean towels on the bed, which then receive a coating of black fur!)

Not bad! A grand score of 5 out of 6!

Please share your cats ratings of "Cat Etiquette" on my new poll!

15/7/12 Robinson Crusoe

A slow start to my reading of Robinson Crusoe (the next book on my long list!) I am hoping the story will get more exciting as he sets sail and departs for his seafaring adventures.

Having moved my reading location to the settee, Bubbles is now able to watch me read from her vantage point of her activity centre. Her favourite place for keeping tabs on what's going on both indoors and out in the garden.

Having posted yesterday's picture of the fantastic indoor library, I now feel my reading collection may be better stored in something like this!:

Wow! Imagine?

14/7/12 Antigone

Today I managed to complete my reading of the ancient Greek tragedy Antigone, which I must say I thoroughly enjoyed. Bubbles kept me company for most of the day while I read in the quiet solitude of my bedroom.

This book now complete, I will soon be onto the next one....

I have a feeling I might need something like this in my house in the very near future:

13/7/12 Friday the 13th!

Whilst some are highly superstitious about Friday 13th, I did try to take no notice of the date. That was until, walking along the pavement I spied a ladder right in front of me, proppeed up against one of the terraced houses, completely blocking my route!

"Hmmmm, to walk under it or not?" I asked myself. "Not!" replied my subconscious so I went out of my way to ensure I stepped off the curb and did not walk under said ladder. Some may say this was more dangerous than actually taking the risk of stepping underneath the ladder. Superstitions aside, however, there is a good reason for this as I do remember a rather unfortunate incident as a child, when my father had been carefully painting the outside of our house (up on a ladder) and he came down to receive a cup of tea from my mother. Whilst standing, chatting away at the bottom of the ladder, the paintpot (which he had left balanced precariously at the top) somehow tipped over and emptied its contents entirely over his head!

Now, I wouldn't have wanted to walk under a ladder (on Friday 13th or any other time) and risk this happening to me. (Sorry Dad, for the embarrassing anecdote!)

Arriving back home in one piece (no paint on MY head) Bubbles and I went for a race round the garden, with no ladders present at all!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

12/7/12 Sleepy Me

I could hardly keep my eyes open this evening after tea. My other half cooked a nice tea for us while I did a bit of work on the computer, sorted out the washing then dozed off in front of the television.

Bubbles was also feeling quite chilled out, as she settled quite early with us in the lounge; entering dramatically by flinging the lounge door open wide, marching across the room miaowing loudly (just incase we hadn't noticed her arrival in the room) then clambering up onto her (our) beanbag!

She proceeded to lie on this, in the most uncomfortable looking position imaginable; balancing precariously right on the edge but half hanging off the beanbag!

11/7/12 Ironing

It's funny when ironing is to be done, the way I always think "I'll just iron one top, or maybe two, for tomorrow as well...." Suddenly the ironing pile grows to immeasurable proportions and takes about four hours to complete!

Bubbles sauntered into the lounge, then suddenly noticing the contraption jumped a mile and froze into a crouching position! "Silly cat!" I laughed. Embarrassed, she lightly ran past, pretending not to care but giving the ironing board sideways glances as she went past it!

She soon settled up on her activity centre, where from a high vantage position she felt in control, surveying my ironing procedure, whilst flicking her tail back and forth with disapproval!

10/7/12 Full of Cold

Today was the annual Race for Life, however, being absolutely full of cold and with the ground soaking wet and yet more ominous weather approaching; my Mum, my friend and myself took the decision to pull out of the race. The money we paid to register will still go to the charity so we at least feel we have made a small contribution.

I felt terribly guilty for not partaking in the race, as have taken part for the previous few years but realise that I'm not really very well so it was more sensible to stay inside in the warm and dry. My Mum cooked a delicious pasta carbonara with salad and I went from her house home early to bed.

Bubbles was unimpressed when I arrived home smelling of a combination of garlic bread and Fisherman's Friends cough sweets. She took one sniff of me then galloped off upstairs to hide well away from me, under the bed!

9/7/12 Rain

Today, I think the weather has played a deliberate trick on the population of Great Britain. For quite a few hours it appeared sunny and I even had to open some windows and remove my cardigan! Bubbles even managed a bit of garden time. Then suddenly at about 8.00pm the sky blackened and the rain just FLOODED down.

It was nice to be able to cosy up indoors but I did feel sorry for anyone who, taking advantage of a seemingly mild summer's evening might have gone for an evening stroll and got a good soaking!

Once again Bubbles and I spent our evening indoors; the sound of the rain hammering against the windows really intrigued Bubbles, who kept trying to look through the darkened glass. The noise and excitement proved too much for her and she began skittishly plucking the carpet on top of her activity centre platform then raced off upstairs for a mad half hour!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

8/7/12 Reading

Ah reading!

Today I will start the reading for my Masters course. I have several set books to get through before the start date in three months so I had actually better get cracking.

It feels like just the kind of lazy Sunday activity I am in the mood for.

Bubbles is fast asleep in the spare room chair and my other half is enjoying watching motorcycle racing; so the distant buzz of motorsport TV provides a nice, familiar Sunday atmosphere.

Yes, ready to relax with a book then cook a (hopefully) nice meal later this evening!

7/7/12 Dog

Tonight, my partenr's friend called round, bringing his new puppy with him for me to see. He is a very sweet, calm, gentle dog who enjoyed a good fuss!

When I went back inside, I found Bubbles hovering in the hallway, glancing accusingly towards the door. She obviously realised we had a visitor of the canine variety. Not being used to dogs I did not know what her response would be if she saw one, but was definitely not going to risk a face to face encounter.

Instead, I carefully picked her up and carried her into the kitchen to look through the window. Meanwhile, outside, our friend lifted up his puppy to also look through the window. The two animals looked curiously at one another. Neither hissed, barked or stiffened and they were able to each view the other species with the safety and reassurance of their owner and a double glazed window.

Unfazed, afterwards Tonka the dog got back in his van ready to go home, while Bubbles went off upstairs to play with her ball then have a good rest in the comfort of the spare bedroom chair!

6/7/12 The Flood

No, I have not plagiarised one of Take That's pop songs. Today, there has been yet another freak weather occurence; with one month's worth of rainfall falling in just one night and day. Roads around many parts of the country have been affected, with people's houses being flooded and access to many areas has been restricted.

Venturing out in my car this morning, I had to turn around and find another route as I discovered a main road near my house was completely flooded. Some people had attempted to drive through the water and had got stuck. I decided there was no way I was going to even try to get through so did a dodgy turn in the middle of the road and found another route!

Scarily the water has been deeper in some local places including the road pictured above. Yes, this is ACTUALLY A ROAD! Luckily the bus was not carrying any passengers and the driver (pictured) was ferried to safety in the rescue boat.

Whilst having my breakfast this morning, Bubbles and I looked out of the window as the rain pelted down in huge splashes. Bubbles looked totally fed up as she realised this was another non-garden day!