Thursday, 31 December 2015

31/12/15 A Year of Numbers


For my family, this year has been a year of numbers. A year of firsts and a year of lasts.

The first time I kissed my husband on our wedding day; our first dance; our first announcement as Mr & Mrs; the first time I used my new name; our first Christmas as husband & wife; my first trip to Cyprus; my first day in my new job....

The last time I signed my old name; the last time my Dad came round; the last conversation we had together; Dad and I sharing our last hug.

I am struggling to write creatively or emotively at the moment as everything feels so very factual. So I thought I'd write a list! So here is our year in numbers, amounts or quantities - however you want to think of it; from 1 - 10! 

1 husband gained
1 lovely step daughter gained 
1 lovely niece, 1 nephew, 1 sister, 1 brother in law 
1 lovely Dad walking me down the aisle & giving me away at our wedding


1 lovely wedding speech done by my Mum

1 new car 
1 new job 
2 very proud parents at my wedding 
2 books published - 1 with my Dad


2 lovely bridesmaids
3 trips to Llandudno 
4 nights in the countryside on our Lake District mini moon adventure 
5 wedding suits hired 
6 eggs stored in our funky wedding gift egg house! 

7 the month of our wedding 
8 beautiful illustrations drawn by Dad for our poetry book 
9 Bubbles celebrated her 9th birthday whilst holidaying at the cattery - we made up for it with presents & cat cuddles on our return from 
10 nights in beautiful Cyprus for our amazing honeymoon


With boundless unconditional love from the people who matter most to me in the world.

A New Year begins tomorrow. This year has been a year of contrasting, conflicting feelings and emotions. Riding high on the waves of euphoria on our wedding day, and in Cyprus as we truly had the happiest day of our lives. Then crashing down into what I can only describe as absolute sorrow as my dear, lovely Dad passed away.

The feelings I have experienced this year are all down to love - absolute unconditional love - of and from my parents and my husband. Bubbles has ridden this rollercoaster with us all the way; being there with a loving purr and a furry head rub when we have needed it the most.

Next year I want to try to turn this Blog about our cat and about our lives into a book - whether it has the potential to be a full length novel or a little novella has yet to be discovered but I am looking forward.... looking forward to trying.... and looking forward to trying to grasp life with both hands and living. But most importantly loving and appreciating those I love the most

Saturday, 15 August 2015

July 2015 Our Biggest Adventure

Bubbles, and us, have now embarked on our biggest ever adventure! On 24th July, my fiance and I took the wonderful, exciting new step of getting married. So he is now.... my husband!

Bubbles knew something amazing was about to unfold, as she could sense the excitement, anticipation and emotion in the air. Wedding favours and bits and bobs were piled high in the lounge, where, Bubbles took to prowling like a lioness in a sea of yellow. Large bags arrived containing suits and were hung from bedroom doors, dangling daringly; requiring serious inquisitive investigation.

Bubbles' sharp nosed sniffed out all manner of exciting wedding treats and cards that kept arriving were all in need of a serious sniff. Just about every shelf space, window sill and even parts of the floor became full but Bubbles was so careful not to knock anything over as she tiptoed carefully amid her nostril enquiries.

Before we knew it, the day before the wedding dawned. My bridesmaids and I went off for our pre-wedding manicures and my husband to be visited the barber shop. Then five o' clock came round and it was time for Bubbles to embark on her holiday to the cattery. Our wedding was to be followed by a honeymoon abroad so we knew the best place for Bubbles would be to have her own little holiday at the cattery where she would have lots of company, fuss and always something interesting to watch - from the birds hopping about on the cattery lawns to the free roaming hens and their henhouse - all in perfect view of the cats holidaying there.

Bubbles was, shall we say, significantly UNIMPRESSED when her red cat carrier came out of the spare room. She did everything in her devilish powers to avoid capture - including hiding under the bed, hissing and snarling if we came within a metre of her and eventually hiding in her "den" under the spare bedroom chair. This proved a superb outcome for us as we were able to coax her forward into said carrier, but not before a substantial amount of sweating had been done - by us, along with persuasion techniques to rival any hostage negotiator.

Once at the cattery, Bubbles bounded out of her cat carrier and leapt high onto a shelf where she peeped cheekily through her hatchway window. She miaowed at the cat in the pen next door, who eyed her with interest - a beautiful boy cat with whom Bubbles no doubt cheekily flirted for the entire two weeks, then she pushed her fleece bed from home, off the shelf and settled underneath it - a sign that she repeats on every cattery visit - that she was trying to settle in and needed a bit of peace and quiet.

After the most beautiful wedding day we could have dreamed of, and a fantastic, exciting, hot, relaxing, romantic honeymoon abroad, we returned to the cattery where Bubbles greeted us with large yellow saucer eyes, a puffed up tail and the biggest "Miaow" we have ever heard!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

June 2015 A Literary Kitty

It would seem that Bubbles has inherited my love of reading, as she is pictured here, eagerly devouring my long awaited first book of poetry!

I have always loved writing, as I'm sure you have realised by now! Over the last few years I've been writing poetry and this Spring had finally built up what I considered to be a thoughtfully suitable collection for publication. Soooooooooooo.... I went for it!

I had, at first, purely decided to hit the e book market. I told myself there would be little demand for a first-time-published writer's poems in paperback, and everyone reads Kindle nowadays anyway, don't they? I did LOTS of investigating and research on the computer into how to go about self-publishing and finally decided on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing platform. I would highly recommend this to anyone else who's in the market for, well um, marketing their book! It was pretty straightforward so after a bit of tinkering around and faffing with the format, it was ready to go. Online and on sale within an hour of me submitting for approval. I couldn't believe it!

The surprises kept coming, however, with the amount of people who actually downloaded it and also who have since left me positive feedback or placed a review on Amazon. The support and encouragement was, in a word, inspiring. As were the many requests for a paperback version. More people than I had originally realised were really interested in ordering a copy but didn't have a Kindle or didn't want to download the App, saying instead that they would prefer to have an actual book to hold in their hands. I can relate to this because nothing quite beats the smell of a new, or an old, book!

I really hadn't considered publishing in paperback... but I'm so glad I did! I used a different publishing platform that allowed me to still sell through Amazon, and decided on an alternative front cover, to distinguish my paperback from my Kindle version. But other than that, the books are identical in content. It has proved a big hit so far and has definitely encouraged me to keep writing my fiction book, to hopefully publish as a novella in the near future.

                                                            Kindle and paperback covers

Sunday, 24 May 2015

May 2015 Hoover Horrors

Bubbles was just relaxing, minding her own business under the table in the lounge yesterday, when her arch nemesis "The Hoover" made a sudden, scary appearance into the lounge. She stared with saucer eyes and skeetered across the room to hide behind the TV. Now age nearly nine years old, Bubbles still feels the same fear she had for this noisy mechanical beast when she was just nine weeks old.

We wonder if she had a nasty experience encountering a hoover in her very early kittenhood, before we rescued her. Most adult cats have fears of some description or another but Bubbles is clearly quite terrified of the Hoover Monster.

When she was much younger she could not stand to be in the same room as it, having to leap bravely past to leg it up the stairs to the safety of the spare room window sill, where she stayed still as a statue until the Monster had been slayed (well, switched off again!)

Nowadays, however, her bravery has increased and she now hides behind the TV for protection but is able to peek out; watching her enemy through black slit like eyes, never trusting for a moment, never taking her eyes off its menacing movements. Waiting.... until it is silenced into submission and wheeled back into the hallway to reside as a silent unthreatening being once again.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

April 2015 Spring Sunshine


Spring is finally here and it feels as though Bubbles and I are finally coming out of hibernation! The flea - prevention stuff has been applied, with much fidgeting on Bubbles' part... But she knows it means freedom to explore the garden so she put up with it and only made a few terrible sounds, as if I were torturing her mercilessly!

The hanging baskets and garden pots are all planted and we are just waiting for the first flowers to appear. The shed is in dire need of painting but it will have to wait until slightly more stable weather and Bubbles will most certainly not be allowed outside while that is going on. We don't want a khaki green cat.

Bubbles' old scratching post finally fell apart after almost eight years of good service, so we have treated her to a lovely, plush, brand new one. We thought she would love the soft, velvety platforms in contrast with her old rough ribbed carpeted ones. We thought she would languish luxuriously; basking in the softness. We thought she would be up on it with a hop, skip and a jump... We thought wrong!

While she was sleeping upstairs, my other half built Bubbles' new scratching post and took the old one away. Bubbles came downstairs a while later and marched into the lounge. She stopped and eyed the new structure suspiciously then tiptoed across the room to sniff it carefully, turned on her heel and marched back out.

A few days later, Bubbles felt comfortable enough to lie on the very bottom platform and we saw her scratching on the first carpeted vertical post but she would NOT climb it!

A few days after that, when she needed to do a really good scratch and was having a mad half hour, she jumped up to the second vertical post and had a really thorough scratching session but she would NOT put her paws on the platforms! Usually, at this point while clinging like a monkey to the side of a tree she reaches up, grabs hold of the next platform and swings herself up. But not now!

Weeks later she still would NOT sit on any of the platforms apart from the Ground Floor one.

Finally, the little cogs were working well enough for me to realise that the fact her new scratching post is all smooth and silky-soft is the exact reason Bubbles has struggled to get to grips with it. It's just not grippy enough for her to grasp and grab to pull herself up onto!

But now she has a new strategy. She jumps boing-boing-boing up onto platform 1, 2 and 3, and lo and behold, she loves her new scratching tree.