Life, photos but not the universe

Call the RSPCA

I’ve been starving the cats!

Some time ago, I decided they were being pampered too much by getting 3/4 of a tin of wet food every day in two helpings, and cut them down to half a tin in the evenings and a handful of crunchy stuff in the morning.   In the past, I often had to throw out half the wet stuff and most of the crunchy stuff so it didn’t look as if they needed as much as they were getting.  And until recently, although all the wet stuff vanished instantly, the crunchy stuff mostly got left.

As I may have mentioned, my little tabby has been shrinking and although she still wolfs her dinner down and brings in an occasional mouse she is a shadow of her former self, still a silky, clean and happy cat but very very thin.  Old age I thought sadly.  Until I noticed she wsn’t bringing mice in any more and wondered if she was missing the extra mousy supplement during the day.  Also, whether her teeth maybe aren’t up to much crunchy any more.  And then when we came back from holiday, little skinny cat was following me around with loud, demanding wails which is something she normally does only at meal times.  I looked down at her big serious eyes and started giving them a whole tin, in two helpings, every day.

Oh my goodness!  You’d think it was the end of a famine!  In theory, cats only ever eat as much as they need, unlike dogs who eat as much as you can give them.  If so, they needed a lot more than they were getting.  At this moment, little skinny tabby is licking her paws and lips and showing every sign of having had an urgent emptiness filled up.  I hope they’ll forgive me!  And that she’ll get a bit fatter.

Oh and just for good measure, a good dose of worm treatment is nearly due.

(of course it’s possible that the next development will be two fat cats who need a diet!  Or one fat cat and one thin one and then I’ll be in trouble!)

Finally I’ve given in* and got some stuff to make my eyes wetter.  They get a bit dry and itchy these days and while I blame lack of, and irregular, sleeping hours (and maybe occasional excesses of stuff like alcohol and computer screen viewing) since I don’t seem to be doing anything about the probable cause, I thought maybe I’d do something about the symptoms.  At the moment,  the magical, spray on the eyelid, moistening stuff is making the eyes sting and water.  I read the important notes in the packet and couldn’t find any more information than was already on the outside which is all, clearly, aimed at Mr and Mrs Dumbed-Down Public.  Not Mrs snarky and snippy What-Exactly-D’you -Mean-By-That Public (that’s me)**.   Well we’ll see.  Or I’ll see (or not as the case may be) and then I’ll tell you about it.

Barney, spurred on by lavish leguminous gifts from next door’s vegetable garden, has been cooking this evening.  So far, he’s made  leek*** and potato soup and beef mince kebabs and has prepared a bag of runner beans for freezing.  He’s also made salsa and far from quickly microwaving the left over rice from yesterday, he plans to fry it with exotic or ordinary flavours  depending on what he can find.  As the sous chef, I’m getting a bit harrassed since I’m the person who has to find any elusive ingredient he can’t lay his hands on at any given, crucial moment (that’s nearly all the time). What kind of a chef doesn’t know what’s available in his own kitchen I ask, let alone where it’s kept!****  (He has, however found three skewers bought in Morocco in 1974.  These are not going to be any use since they are both rusty and badly designed but it’s very nostalgic : )  Meanwhile I am confident that at some stage all this industry will result in a truly delicious meal.  For me.  Tonight.  Please.

He has also found an old tape of the Iron Horse playing some rather enjoyably Eastern Mediterranean sounding folk music which I am enjoying, not only because they’re good but also because the quality of the recording reveals a nice amateurishness which is making me feel better about the recordings we made of Sensible Shoes on Sunday.  For some months (perhaps years) we, the band, Sensible Shoes, have been planning to do a recording and after many cancellations and postponements, we finally got together on Sunday and recorded 16 tunes.  Max, our sound engineer and keyboard player (who just happens to have been, once upon a time, a musical child prodigy – I kid you not) will be able to wipe out some of the bad noises we made and substitute good noises we made some other time during what seemed like a very long session – 1.45 to about 9.30 in the evening.  Still, I am very much aware that returning from a party in Bedfordshire at 12.00, preparing dinner for 4 and then launching into a recording session might work for a fifteen year old but is very hard work for someone of my age (let’s say nearly sixty).  Myself, I think the recording will lack fire.  Jan, the concertina player has recently moved to Devon and had to drive up the previous day for the recording, Barney and I were probably a bit hungover and Max is maybe a little more relaxed than he should be since he is a full time musician and does this sort of thing all the time.  We’ll see – hear –  when Max has time to work on the recording.  On the other hand, I wonder if we said anything funny during the recording which can be incorporated to make us seem more human and less like Gods : )  I know at least once I said “What????”

Now I’m wondering about a photo of some sensible shoes for the CD cover.  I wonder how many shoes you could stand on a piano keyboard?

A dull chilly day with plenty of wind.

A bridge into Autumn

Bridge into Autumn

Dark, sheltered cutting leading into the darker mouth of a short tunnel with a bright exit.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

Hunting between the canal and the railway.  A bigger hawk than the other one and nearer and keeping up with the boat.



Or sparrowhawk?

Or sparrowhawk?

I can never remember

I can never remember

Going on to the next pitch

Going on to the next pitch

I really wish I could tell if it was a Sparrowhawk or a Kestrel!

Right, I’ve had breakfast and coffee and half  The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.  It’s great.

Now I’ve got to get my act together and do useful things in case today’s dull chilliness turns into something else later.

‘Bye : )

*I’ve resisted for years on the basis that once you start using stuff like this you can’t stop and the more you use it the less effective it becomes.

**For instance, how exactly are you supposed to spray your closed eyelids from a distance of 10 centimetres away?  Like, with your eyes closed.  I mean how are you supposed to find your eyelids once they’re closed?  And how does the stuff get into your eyes when they’re closed?

***Yes I know leeks aren’t legumes.  I don’t care.  I just liked leguminous as a word ok?

****The answer is, of course, one with a wife who does know what we’ve got and where it’s kept.  Sometimes.


September 23, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. just think how many pairs of shoes you could store in a piano!

    our cats just eat. . . of course, they prefer the sloppy stuff to the crunchy biscuits. . . problem is, we have a few extras at the mo as the person who was going to take two of the kittens hasn’t. . . it’s all getting rather expensive!

    lovely lovely moody autumnal photos (have no clue about the bird, but it’s a lovely shot!)


    Goodness I never thought of that I! What a brilliant idea, though the piano tuner would tell me off if I did fill the piano full of shoes 🙂
    And I’ve found out about the bird. I think it’s a kestrel.
    I’m thinking Mandu had better get fat quickly since they’re now eating twice as much as they were between them. Honestly it’s almost as bad as feeding children!

    Comment by I, Like The View | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. hmmmmm, have thin cats, will open more tins, feels guilty! But you know, in my defense, I was chucking stuff away too!

    Problem is I have only one thin cat ziggi – the other one is as fat as ever. Worryingly suggests that there might be something wrong with her! I just hope she fattens up a bit now.

    Comment by zIggI | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. Poor Kittys. With three wild dogs around here it’s always feeding time/ fighting time and GET OFF THE BED DAMMIT time.. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for your e-mail. I’m good. Just a long hard (not over) Summer.. I envy your talk of fall.. Our fall.. 106 today.. Hope all is well and glad Barney cooked you a wonderful dinner.

    Glad you’re ok Betty 🙂 I wonder now whether your winter will be as extreme as your summer!

    Comment by Betty | September 26, 2009 | Reply

  4. Ohmygosh…….kestral. Wonderful shots!!

    And light at the end of the tunnel is awesomely wonderful as well.

    Maybe the fat cat bullies the skinny cat?
    Or maybe they just need to eat separately. LOL Now there’s a complicated solution. 😉

    YUMMMMMMMM……homemade salsa!!!!!

    Goodness Mel! Separate cats! That would be very complicated. As far as I can see there’s no bullying (except of the dog by both cats but that’s just to keep him in his place). Currently, both cats eat side by side, each from their own bowl, with total concentration and in silence. No movement except munching jaws and gently waving tails. When one has had enough and left, the other will sometimes nibble from the first one’s bowl. During the day they nibble randomly from either bowl. But when the next meal arrives they’re both up there, side by side and waving tails silently again.

    The salsa was brilliant I must say 🙂 And the Kestrel, what a joy to get a really good look at her!

    Comment by Mel | September 28, 2009 | Reply

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