Life, photos but not the universe

No fire without smoke therefore no heat without smoke.

I notice that while we were really not very interested in the little hairy visitor, being more concerned about Great Grandad, our surviving cat has made it very clear that this is her territory and any whippersnapper of an ignorant, interloping, spaniel puppy can take it as read that CAT is (in every way that matters – cat is in fact tiny and spaniel is quite large) BIGGER and MUCH MORE DANGEROUS than spaniel*.  It’s just one of those relationships where age and experience count. Tosca is making it count and Jess is waiting politely and nervously in doorways until she has permission or a human escort to go past CAT WHO MUST BE OBEYED.

I suspect that when Jess goes home to her own people she may well want to ask them if she could have some new spectacles so she can work out how big a very small cat really is.

The fact is, that down to earth stuff like heating, animals, and the infuriating chirping of the smoke alarm letting you know that its battery is flat, just keep bringing you back to the practical present.  You might want (and I do) to think solemn thoughts about LTU& death but the heating suddenly becomes much more important than anything else.  If it happens to have run out of fuel.  Which it has.

We spent most of Sunday afternoon obtaining various parts for the movable gas fired room heater and then taking them back because they weren’t right.  It’s a very old heater.   And dealing with a large excitable puppy.  And cursing the chirping smoke alarm.  And forgetting to change the battery.

This morning I discovered that although I have remembered how to fire the dummy gun thing, I don’t always get all the bits quite pushed in enough.  Also that someone has put some empty cartridges in the cartridge box.  So several of my brave shots didn’t happen at all and several more were just damp squibs and flopped the dummy into the mud a few feet away.  Then, although I can handle**  the kick, after struggling with cartridges and muddy bits of gun for ten minutes, my fingers won’t push the cartridges in properly as they’ve gone numb and lost all their push.

So I may have to resort to mile long walks to keep the excitable puppy effectively wearied enough to live with.  In which case I shall have all kinds of shoulder problems as she darts and dashes and suddenly pulls the end of the lead more stressfully than the gun kicks!

The heating oil should arrive this afternoon.  Perhaps the boiler will immediately and happily fire up.  But then perhaps it won’t.

So the other thing I need to do is keep the home fires burning.  I’m so glad I gave Barney a pair of bellows for Christmas.  They’re really useful when you’ve forgotten to keep piling wood on the fire.  And they make a lot of very encouraging smoke.

Speaking of smoke, yesterday a steam train went through Newbury.  Rather than moping and hanging around by the phone, Barney went to watch it.  He took some rather good photos and  I was a bit envious : )

Great Grandad is holding his own.

*I really wish wordpress would let me do different sizes of typeface.



February 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Cat who must be obeyed. LOL How funny–don’t they all think they should be obeyed?!

    Himself drooled over the photo of the steam train–wanted to know what number it was. He’s got an A 1 in cabinet (a wee one, of course..but you know us and trains!)

    I’d envy Barney too. And I’m hoping heat’s happened.
    (good choice of gift, those bellows!) 🙂

    Comment by Mel | February 16, 2010 | Reply

    • I shall ask Barney about the train Mel : )
      And yay!!! Heat has happened : )
      And the Dad appears to be a little better – hand squeezing, eyes open and very reluctant to let go of mouth refreshing swabs! Tried to smile.

      Comment by letouttoplay | February 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. ((((((( Mig ))))))))

    *sending warm thoughts for the dad and for all of you*

    Comment by Mel | February 16, 2010 | Reply

    • : )

      Comment by letouttoplay | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  3. I love the photo. I drive by a train yard a lot near my home. I see people set up with a tripod once in a while and i think I’d like to try that someday, get pictures of the behemoths.
    As far as the gas appliance, well, too bad it wasn’t the 1980’s and i was your neighbor. I’d jog over and get it running in no time as I operated a handy dandy maintenance service and have much experience with these kinds of things.
    Positive energy sent your way for all Elders and the people who love them.


    Comment by Spadoman | February 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Well I wish you were my neighbour Spadoman!
      Thank you for the positive energy : )

      Comment by letouttoplay | February 17, 2010 | Reply

  4. I hope that grandad is doing well. . . as for the puppy – can’t you hire some reliable child to take it for walks?! (I’d lend you Mini-Teen, she’s desperate for a dog. . .)

    that firing dummy thing sounds rather confusing – and I don’t like the fact it hurts your fingers; do you have one of those scoppy-uppy-throwy tennis ball gadgets? kind of like lacrosse sticks without the net, but the same principle of throwing?

    I do hope your oil has arrived and that you’ve warmed up

    the photo reminds me of when we used to live beside the railway line, and sometimes the Orient Express would go past on it’s way to Windsor and the races



    Comment by I, Like The View | February 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Oh I wish I could borrow Mini Teen! As long as she’s a very strong mini teen – that ‘puppy’ is as strong as a horse and I swear weighs nearly as much too. And has more energy than any natural creature ought!

      Anyway, warmth has arrived. This is such a relief!!! And coo-er! The Orient Express! That’s quite a splendid thing to have in your memory store : )

      Comment by letouttoplay | February 17, 2010 | Reply

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