Saturday, 30 June 2012

30/6/12 Running

I am now officially in training for the Race for Life, which I am due to participate in on 10th July, giving me just ten days to get myself in peak condition.

I am training by doing cardiovascular running exercises, jogging, walking and importantly making sure I look after my muscles and ligaments by properly warming up and stretching to cool down.

Bubbles is unsure what all the fuss is about and today, looked at me in astonishment when I arrived back from my run, dripping with sweat. Grooming herself on her activity centre, she looked at me with curiosity and a vague hint of disapproval. "Cats do not have such disgusting habits as sweating everywhere" she was obviously thinking, whilst carefully grooming each paw in turn.

Hopefully, by the time the run comes round I will be in slightly better condition!


29/6/12 Simon's Cat New Release

Readers, take note! Today I have discovered there is a new Simon's cat film OUT NOW!

Prepare to be entertained.....

Bubbles and I eagerly crowded round the computer screen to watch: me sitting on the computer chair taking charge of the viewing; Bubbles sitting on the computer desk, her tail in my face, "helping" me to operate the mouse!

28/6/12 Frankenstein

Today I visited a church from the early Gothic period. Inside, it was magnificent with beautiful stone and tiled floors, intricate stained glass windows and tall, imposing gothic arches reaching skywards.

While I was enjoying a tour of the church, it suddenly went very dark, started raining heavily and thunder began to rumble.

At this point I was standing in the vestry, in the dark, with lightening flashing outside and thunder rumbling all around. It was exciting and very atmospheric!

Letting my imagine run wild, I imagined Frankenstein's monster rising from one of the caskets or appearing from behind an arch - robotically walking across the church towards me.  My arms and the back of my neck prickled with goosebumps.... Was this just the cold?

Emerging into bright sunlight after the storm had passed, I thought of Bubbles sitting at home, no doubt enjoying watching the storm from the warmth and comfort of the upstairs window!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

27/6/12 Sneezy

I was thrilled to discover that Monday's yukky cold was just a twenty four hour thing, however, today my hayfever seems to have gone beserk! I know it's my own fault that because of the unseasonally cold weather I have not been keeping up with my preventative hayfever spray. In view of this, it was a bit silly to go outside, attacking the long, meadow style grass in the garden with a pair of shears!

Bubbles was not particularly impressed by the shears; giving them funny looks and a wide berth as I chopped away (she probably didn't want an accidental haircut like the sheepdog on one of the TV adverts!) However, she was quite excited by the discovery of a large snail and spider on the garden wall - a discovery which I gave a very wide berth!

26/6/12 Excitement

I really love it when new books arrive in the post. It gives me that excited, child on Christmas morning feelingwhen I rip open the package and examine my new treasures.

Today, my first two set textbooks for my Masters course arrived. I felt bizarrely nervous as I flicked through the pages; knowing these will become my Bibles for the next two and a half years. They did look nerve wrackingly difficult but I am sure once I begin to learn what they are all about, they will make more sense! I examined the texture, front cover and size and style of font as well as the layout of the text and taunted myself by reading a few words! I am looking forward to settling down to begin reading them properly....

After my mad ripping open of the package, I had left the ripped cardboard box on the floor (very lazily I must add,) when I heard a funny scratching sound "scratch, scratch, scratch" the sound went; "scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, SCRATCH!" I peered round the lounge door to discover Bubbles having the most fantastic time with her new toy - the ripped cardboard box! She was sitting on top of it, leaning forward to listen intently whilst patting a flap of cardboard that seemed to have a mind of its own; bouncing back up after every pat!

25/6/12 Feed A Cold

Yuk! I woke up this morning with a streaming cold (I was starting to feel suspicious about the few sneezes yesterday which seemed to become more frequent as the day went on.) So, dosed up with cold capsules, I sneezed my way through the day and evening.

When I am ill I often tend to be even hungrier than usual (no mean feat) so decided to adopt the attitude to "feed a cold." (Well it is recommended by all good doctors.)

After my main meal I decided I would have a pudding - a rare treat - so opted for a bowl of rice pudding; a good hearty, wholesome choice. My other half was full so I popped his in the fridge for tomorrow, gave Bubbles a small portion in her bowl (she luuuurves rice pudding) and enjoyed eating my own portion. In fact.... I enjoyed it so much that I immediately returned to the fridge and devoured my other half's bowl of rice pudding as well!

24/6/12 Singing

Tonight, I very proudly went to see my Mum performing in her choir at the theatre. She did extremely well and enjoyed every minute of the performance; as did I.

Unfortunately, due to a crisis with the washing machine during the afternoon, there had not been time to have any tea before I went out.... so I had to make do with a very unhealthy tea of  crisps, a twix bar and a packet of chocolate buttons!

Bubbles was very curious about the strange noises coming from the washing machine (a rather worrying grinding sound!) She kept giving it funny looks as if requesting it to kindly be quiet and do its job! Then was most disturbed to be shoo'd out of the kitchen during the washing machine crisis, whilst I attempted to drain the machine onto a tray which I then tried to carefully pour into the sink. There was the odd mishap involving dirty washing machine water sloshing all down the kitchen side and I didn't think Bubbles would appreciate me spilling water all over her!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

23/6/12 Washing!

Today, having a housework kind of day I have actually managed to do a couple of loads of washing and get them dry on the washing line! "What's the big deal?" you may be asking yourself - depending on where you are reading this from!

Everyone in England will know there is a reason for my surprise at the novelty of actually being able to dry washing outside. It might well be June, but this is the most un-June like weather I have ever experienced. It has just rained and rained and rained and rained! In some areas this has actually been really serious; such as the flooded areas of West Wales a couple of weeks ago and now there has been flooding in some areas of North East England. If there is a hot, sunny day it is the exception rather than the norm.

This week saw the Summer Solstice but the weather has been far from summery; with dreary drizzle and demented downpours! At the first glimmer of sun (well actually no sun but a tiny bit of blue sky and this morning's rain having stopped) I scurried out with the washing, accompanied by Bubbles who bounded out into the long grass. The grass is clearly loving the rainfall, having grown to resemble long reeds! I think I will have to invest in a pair of hand shears for grass cutting if the weather continues to be too wet for mowing!

22/6/12 War and Peace

Today, an exciting parcel arrived in the post from Amazon. It is my bargain of the week; a second hand edition of War and Peace for £1.99. I did expect the book to be a bit rough around the edges for that price, however, am really delighted to discover it is in absolutely brand new, never been read condition.

Bubbles spied it sitting on the stairs and quickly had designs on it as a massaging device! She does like to rub her face up and down against the edges of books, she loves the texture of the pages brushing against her face!

Now I just need to find some time get around to reading the 1024 pages of tiny writing! I think it will keep me out of mischief for a bit!


21/6/12 TV

Much to my partner's horror I have planned to catch up on loads of trashy TV and really slob out today. Groaning at the prospect of the Australian soap operas (watched by me purely for the purposes of ogling surfer dudes and dreaming about the sea in a truly "wish I was there" style) NOT for the riveting storylines....

No doubt also tolerated by my other half for the exact same reason (but obviously ogling the girls not the boys) we settled down for some serious viewing; soon to be joined by Bubbles, who loves it when we are all in the same room together and enjoyed a spot of ogling herself: of a rather large moth batting around outside by the window.

20/6/12 Special Therapy

After yesterday's excitement about my exam results, I enjoyed a slightly calmer, more relaxing and less adrenaline fuelled day today!

Now I have definitely passed the course I am able to allow myself to put the course books away (it will make a change to see them arranged neatly on the shelf rather than dumped in a messy pile on the floor by my bed!)

I am also able to de-post-it-note them. A very specialised and therapeutic ritual involving ripping out, violently scrunching up and throwing away all the post it notes which have been marking pages in my text books!

Bubbles gets excited during this procedure as there are invariably a few post it note scrunches that miss the bin, providing her with an excellent scrunchy bit of paper to play and roll around the floor with!

19/6/12 Exam Results

Yippee! The results are in today from the exam I sat in April. I was surprised and quite delighted to find that not only were the results in a whole day early, but I have passed! With a score of 79% (which I do feel proud of!)

Bubbles picked up on my excitement, charging around the house while I was getting my breakfast and ringing my Mum.

A big congratulations to my fellow Voices & Texts course mates on all your results today

18/6/12 Alarmed

Embarrassingly, today on returning to my car in a car park, it would not unlock! There was I, for several minutes, pacing about pointing the key fob in all different positions, looking very foolish and quite dodgy!

The car would not unlock so I rang my other half for step by step instructions on how to disengage the alarm (which sounded several times, very loudly indeed, with my head underneath the bonnet right next to the siren!) My hearing is now probably permanently damaged! Luckily I was able to disengage the siren but the problem seemed to be that although the siren was now switched off, the alarm was still actually going off - demonstrated by the hazard lights flashing every thirty seconds or so for my entire journey home!

Bubbles was highly surprised to see my rather flashy arrival home but I expect she was even more surprised when my other half was fixing the problem with the siren sounding several times again in the process! At least it didn't sound quite as loud or in such close proximity as the smoke alarm (which I do set off on occasion with my fantastically burnt cooking!) Bubbles really hates the sound of this and scampers off to hide under the bed or in the wardrobe whenever I set it off!

17/6/12 Friend's Birthdays

Having completed the washing and ironing, cooked a roast dinner and enjoyed some "reading for pleasure" and TV viewing, it was suddenly brought to our attention that today is the birthday of one of Bubbles' cat friends. So a big "Happy Birthday" shout to Bubbles' friend Alfie James who is three years old today! He is a rather handsome Ragdoll cat with beautiful blue eyes and is, apparently completely unaware it is his birthday! So "Happy Birthday to Alfie!"

Here is a picture of Alfie; enjoying one of Bubbles' and no doubt also one of his favourite occupations, looking out of the window observing the wildlife and enjoying being a "nosy neighbour!"

Saturday, 16 June 2012

16/6/12 Wet Cat

Today, for a change, yes you guessed it! It's RAINING! Another downpour with winds to rival a tropical hurricane.

On looking out of the window I decided I would definitely not be attempting to hang out the washing and did not really fancy entering the garden at all. Bubbles, however, had other ideas.

"Miaow!" She demanded at the back door, looking at me, tail raised high! "Well if you insist" I said. "But it is raining. It's REALLY raining. You won't like it!"

I unlocked the back door, Bubbles stuck her head out and I slurped my cup of tea; confident we would NOT be going outside. Then with a chirrup and a bounce, she jumped onto the patio and excitedly rushed onto the grass to investigate a large fallen piece of tree that had been ripped off in the night and was lying in the middle of the garden.

I hovered inside the back door, still drinking my tea in my slippers. I was impressed with Bubbles' bravery. Firstly for her to venture into the rain and also for her fearless investigation of the tree branch!

The rain started falling more heavily so I decided I really did need to close the back door,. Ushering a dripping Bubbles back inside we went upstairs to find a towel.

15/6/12 Friends

This afternoon I have been out to meet my Dad for a drink, for the first time since finishing uni, then tonight, I have enjoyed a post uni catch up with one of my good friends. We enjoyed a delicious takeaway curry and toasted our end of module freedom!

Bubbles seemed slightly unimpressed at my evening desertion. After all, I did not leave the house for a week when writing my EMA so to go out twice in one day is rather shocking behaviour from her human!

Tomorrow I am hoping the weather will be nice, then Bubbles and I will go out in the garden for a run and a play.


14/6/12 Reading For Fun!

After all my study reading I have decided to just read for pleasure for a while. I have been looking forward, for ages, to being able to pick up a novel or poetry book and read it guilt free, without feeling like I SHOULD be reading an Open University text book instead.

The only trouble is, I now have such a huge pile of books in my "Read this after Uni" pile that I do not know where to start! So, instead, like any sensible person would, I have been to The Works and bought another book, to add to my ever expanding collection.

Bubbles is unsure of this book, because it is all about cat behaviours! Of course, she approves of it in all the usual ways; it feels nice to rub her face against and as a hard back book, the corner is just perfect for flossing her teeth on! But she is a little unsure of the content, just in case the book manages to give away any of her cat secrets!

13/6/12 A Mice Day

Bubbles has had a lovely day playing with her toy mice. This, I know because they keep appearing in various different places around the house. One minute all is quiet, then there is a sudden scuffling, intense "Miaowing" and a toy mouse is flung wildly down the stairs, followed by Bubbles in hot pursuit!

This always makes me laugh because one minute a toy mouse is lying innocently in the middle of the floor, then suddenly it is prime suspect number one with detective Bubbles on the case. She will hide round the corner of the settee, or behind her crinkly log tunnel, then suddenly pounce on the unsuspecting mouse, rolling, grabbing and kicking at it with her back feet until certain it has surrendered! Then she gallops off at high speed up the stairs to hide underneath the bed!

12/6/12 Cold Feet

Today dawned, dare I say it (I'll whisper instead) "sunny!"

"Yippee!" I thought, abandoning my socks and boots in favour of pretty, summery ballet shoes. I went out with a spring in my step only to absolutely FREEZE about an hour later when the weather decided it was, in fact, still Winter after all.

Arriving at my Mums house I borrowed a pair of her thickest socks and sat, shivering with the heating on again!


Bubbles has been feeling the cool weather too. Snuggling up against my legs on top of the bed every night, she feels like a snuggly, warm hot water bottle

11/6/12 Spindly Spider

Yuk! Whilst on the telephone in the hall tonight, I noticed a rather large spindly legged creature on the wall! Yes, another spider of course!

I called Bubbles downstairs from her evening snooze. She emerged yawning and sleepy eyed but soon looked alert and wide awake when she saw the eight legged arachnid!

"Miaow!" she said, sitting neatly on the carpet, gazing up at the spindly legged one, twitching and wagging her tail furiously!

The spider was far too high for her to reach, even standing on her hind legs, stretching her front paws as high as she could up the wall. So I bravely flicked the spider onto the floor with a CD case.

Bubbles and the spider did what looked like a bizarre, ritualistic tribal dance around the hall, then the spider rushed off - to hide underneath the settee. MY settee! The settee I sit on every day. I shuddered, imagining innocently sitting down one evening only for the evil eight legged one to drop on my head or crawl onto my shoulder. YUK!

10/6/12 Sunshine

Of course, the sun had to come out AFTER our holiday to the seaside! But all the same it has been great to finally see some sunshine after an entire week of non-stop rain. I even managed to wash and dry three loads of washing!

Now my Open University work is finally complete, I feel I no longer have an excuse and can find no more avoidance tactics.... so today I MUST confront the ironing!

Bubbles does not like the ironing board and I do not leave her unattended in the same room as it, since a particularly nasty incident when she was much younger and tried to pull on the ironing board cover strings; resulting on the whole ironing board toppling over and banging her on the head, which I felt absolutely terrible about.

Now, she is banished from the room when the ironing board is set up (not that it is set up very often!)

Today, however, I managed to do three hours worth of ironing and feel satisifed to finally have a pile of washed an ironed clothes to wear


9/6/12 Criccieth

We decided to drive down the North Wales coast to visit Criccieth this morning, before heading through the mountains on our way home.

Criccieth, with its high street, beautiful beach and castle was exactly the same as it was all those years ago when I first visited age seven! I still get the overwhelming, heart lifting  feeling of excitement and happiness when we drive along the coast road and the castle and sparkling sea suddenly emerge together.

I have many memories of Criccieth; many childhood ones and many adult ones now. I have visited in every season and no matter what the weather does, Criccieth always maintains its magic sparkle to me.

Today reminded me of many childhood visits in the rain, as I scampered down the stone steps onto the beach this morning I could have been my seven year old self again! The only difference is that now I am a bit taller I can see over the first breakwater and am possibly just slightly more cautious about leaping down onto the pebbles from the concrete wall at the foot of the steps!

A gentle drive to Porthmadog for some lunch, then homeward bound!  Unfortunately I neglected my navigational duties; shamelessly falling asleep in the passenger seat; reawakening just outside Welshpool in time to see a camper van knee deep in water where a small river had flooded onto the campsite.

We heard news stories of worse floods where entire caravan sites had been flooded and caravans washed away but knew to carefully avoid these areas.

On arriving safely back home, Bubbles was delighted to see us; purring, miaowing and forward rolling on the carpet to show her pleasure. She had been very busy in our absence; retrieving some of her toys I had deliberately locked away in the wardrobe due to them being quite raggedy now with bits coming off them that could be dangerous if chewed. Bubbles must have spied me putting "Green Dog" and "Marty Mouse" away in the wardrobe because she had carefully and deliberately managed to open the wardrobe door! Marty Mouse was lying in the middle of the bedroom floor, whilst Green Dog was in a half-disembowelled state halfway down the stairs with bits of stuffing all over the bedroom, stairs and landing!

8/6/12 Llandudno

A very disappointed Bubbles cat watched in disapproval as we packed our rucksacks this morning, ready for a night at the seaside.

Aaaahhhhhhhhhh! The sound of the sea....and the wind and rain!

Llandudno in a fog of cloud, rain and sea mist. But PERFECT!

We had planned an immediate "post degree getaway" come rain or shine and gone for Llandudno, the Queen of holiday resorts.

Our room, right on the promenade, had an excellent sea view and I was able to paddle in the wind and rain, like some sort of lunatic leaping about on an empty beach. But who cares?

Like an alcoholic taking a swig of vodka, or an adrenaline junkie leaping out of a plane, I needed MY fix of the sea!


I wake, from a not very restful sleep. I SHOULD feel satisfied, relaxed, a sense of achievement because my final essay has been sent off. Instead I feel doubts and little niggly "I should have done this.... I should have done that...."

Getting up, I make the bed, eat my breakfast, telephone my Mum.... Suddenly I realise I can't spend the next eight weeks having "I should have done...." niggles.

I race to the computer, fire up Microsoft Word and load my essay....

About an hour (and several tweaks) later, my essay is complete! I feel MUCH better knowing I have ironed out all the little bits I was feeling uncertain about. I still don't know whether it is any "good" and won't know until I receive my final grade in eight weeks time, but at least I now feel really properly satisfied with my attempt. I feel I have done my absolute best, tried my hardest and that is all that I can ever do

My essay is resent (an hour before the deadline)

The deadline has now passed.... I breathe a sigh of proper relief! I have done my best!

Now off to town for a manicure and lunch with my Mum

6/6/12 Stress

 The final day of my degree looms (deadline = tomorrow at 12 noon)

Today I am feeling the pressure. Things go wrong that usually would not bother me - such as plastic tubs all falling out of a cupborad (a strange shrieky sound emerges from me whilst shoving and rearranging the offending articles; banging my head on the cupboard in the process!)

Papers mount on the desk!

Papers mount in the bin!

Papers end up on the floor!

My hair is wilder than usual - a sure sign of my declining mental state!!!!

Bubbles purrs peacefully in the chair, sometimes coming to rub my legs whilst I clatter away on the computer keyboard. She listens with one ear raised quizzically whilst I read aloud my essay, muttering to myself about improvements. Then listens whilst I read it aloud again.... and again.... and again.... and again!

Essay is sent off! I crack open a beer at 11.30 pm, toasting the completion of my final essay!

Wild hair finally gets washed and BREATHE!

5/6/12 The Queen's Jubilee

"Dah da da da da DAHHHHHHHHHHH!" say the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Trumpeteers (or whatever they are called.) Unfortunately I will NOT be partaking in any festivities due to the rather large task of the EMA still hanging over me. Spending a day wearing trackies, an unironed t-shirt and sporting wild, unkempt hair is the limit of my glamour!

The nationwide rain must be a disappointment for street partiers, garden partiers and no doubt for the Queen herself.

Bubbles and I are oblivious to the appalling conditions outside; wrapped up in the warm with the heating on (yes, really, in June!) I am writing away, constantly at the computer. Only pausing to feed Bubbles, feed myself and scavenge the kitchen cupboards for important study items such as:
  • Biscuits ( x 8)
  • Mars Bar ( x 1) - frozen. Used as a bookmark whilst defrosting on the desk!!!!
  • Latte ( x 1 ) - well, microwaved milk with coffee and hot water added.... tastes goooooooooood!
  • Cheese on toasted rolls with added grilled potato ( x 2 ) Yum yum yum delicious!
  • Banana ( x 1 ) The toasted cheese and potato rolls just weren't quite enough. My brain is using a lot of energy today
  • Cups of tea made steaming and fresh (possibly into the 1000s) It is important to remain hydrated during prolonged periods of study
  • Cups of cold tea drunk whilst pulling a "disgusting" face (definitely 1000s) At least I remembered to drink them.... eventually!
  • Crisps ( x 1 ) Eaten during a "I need to step away from the computer for about thirty seconds to think" moment

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

4/6/12 Panic

Today, panic set in as I had a telephone consultation with my tutor; reinforcing the fact the end of my course (hopefully also my whole degree) will be upon me in two days!

Fortunately, the skim reading is now finished. But what a task....

Just to know which theories and parts of the course to include felt like it should have been the essay task, let alone actually writing the assignment!

Bubbles has been very loving and supportive, curled up on the floor just a few inches away from me the whole time, looking inquisitively up at me every now and again as I rustle papers and books whilst juggling various bits of paper, several propped open textbooks and several pens for highlighting and annotating all at once!

3/6/12 More Skim Reading

Today has been a rather rainy indoorsy kind of study day; with yet more skim reading taking place, watched slightly disapprovingly by Bubbles who was feeling a little bit fed up of this game now. I guess peeking under a book loses its appeal when the person you're trying to play peekaboo with just grunts, strokes you and nearly highlights your face fluorescent yellow in a moment of absentmindedness.

Offended by her close call with the highlighter pen, Bubbles retired to underneath the bed, where she schemed her revenge; lunging out at my poor legs, when they dared to walk past,carrying me innocently around the house with my nose in another book!

2/6/12 Skim Reading

I have managed to spend a seriously productive day studying; skim reading HUNDREDS of pages for my forthcoming assignment.

Lazily, I spent some of this time studying in the comfortable confines of.... My bed! Bubbles thought this new study method was simply fabulous, as it allowed her to relax on the bed in the laziest, stretchiest fashion you've ever seen! My legs had to be positioned awkwardly to accommodate Bubbles' relaxation!

Of course, being a dutiful cat, she tried to help me with my reading, every so often by getting out of her stretchy position, walking up the bed & sticking her head underneath the book where a little furry face would appear as if to say "Hello! I'm HERE!"

Friday, 1 June 2012

1/6 12 Relaxing

This morning Bubbles has enjoyed a lovely lie in with me. Until I inconsiderately decided to phone my Mum from my mobile phone!

Bubbles kept lifting her head to look round at me, as if glancing disapprovingly at the disturbance.

I have now just got back from a visit to the hairdressers so Bubbles has had a really good sniff of my hair as if checking it for me, just to make sure I know she approves!

31/5/12 Silly Cat

Bubbles has been in a really daft, wild mood today. It started with her racing past me in the hallway, dashing to the bottom of the stairs, quickly checking to see if I was watching, then racing back the other way; leaping over lounge room obstacles on the way! This includes my other half's rucksack and various bags which are at present in a state of half-unpackedness all around the lounge!

Bubbles then took a flying leap onto her activity centre, where she gripped on with all four sets of claws, whilst turning her head upside down to look at me cheekily, as if grinning at me! She waited until I had made my way across the room towards her then as soon as I was in touching distance, leaped off - straight over the settee to zoom off to the stairs.

We enjoyed a mad half hour playing this game, until Bubbles had enough and went upstairs, where she was found later, wrestling with her large toy "hamster" (which is really a very fat stuffed cat toy mouse without a tail!)

30/5/12 Rainfall

The weather forecasters have been informing me all week that rain is due today, however, on waking up to a beautiful sunny morning with a cloudless sky - I did not believe them!

More laundry has been washed and dried in the (rather warm) breeze then just when we were sitting down to have our tea, the heavens opened.

Bubbles sat at the window watching the rain fall freshly onto the ground in long, vertical streaks. I breathed a sigh of relief as the air freshened and my muggy headache lifted.

29/5/12 The Holidaymaker Returns!

Tonight, my other half returned from his "boys holiday" to Germany, looking rather tanned! Bubbles met him with a squeak of delight at the front door then proceeded to climb in and out of all his luggage bags, as if to check he definitely was staying again - or if not making sure she would be included on the next expedition!

28/5/12 Feet

My goodness how my feet have been aching today! I seem to have been on my feet all day with the combination of the heat and not really summery shoes creating agony for my toes!

So tonight, much to Bubbles' astonishment, I filled a plastic bowl with hot soapy water and soaked my aching feet for a good thirty minutes!

Bubbles kept coming into the room, walking up to the bowl of water as if checking out exactly what I was doing, whether I was still doing it and wondering what exactly my feel were up to in that bowl!