Tuesday, 17 March 2009


This is Samson:
As a kitten, sunbathing outside his barn.

Having found a home, with Cheeky.

I'm afraid that no-one will ever get to met him, since he died on Friday morning. It turned out he had leukemia and his liver was in a really bad way. It was something of a shock since he'd seemed to be healthy until last week and it all happened so quickly.
He was only ten months old - one of the cats that I'd rescued from the barn near my mum's house. I'd brought him back home to get him used to being around people with the aim of finding him an adoptive home - I was going to post on this organisation's website - but he turned out to be such a sweet and gentle cat with the biggest paws -  with which he'd only ever pat at you gently - and so eager for company and love that the idea of letting him go had become very difficult. In the end, I had to give him up in the hardest way possible.

Not only am I devastated, but Cheeky has lost his best friend too, he's become very affectionate now his snuggling partner has gone and is curled up on my lap as I type this, purring.

While I'm here, and on a happier note, I'd like to make one more introduction. This little scamp is Mouse, the third cat I rescued, Cheeky and Samson's sister.

I think she's going to be hanging around now, since I can't bear to give her away anymore. From a quiet, shy, skinny puss, deserving of her name, she's turned into lively, loving little minx.

I suspect Cheeky's going to have his paws full keeping all four ladies in order.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


OK, yes, I admit it, I have been lazy as well as busy. I meant to post in the New Year seeing as I had lots to tell you about, mostly involving my first trip back to the UK in three and a half years. And it was fun. I got to see my sister and her boyfriend, and my niece and flirt outrageously with their cat, a handsome ginger tom called Olly, and eat my first Cauldron Foods veggie sausage sandwich in years, which my mum had very kindly prepared for me to scoff as we left the airport. Speaking of which, I got dizzy - honestly- going round the roundabout in the 'wrong' direction leaving Stansted. I'm properly continental now it seems.

Anyway, I can't remember the last time it was so cold, certainly not here, although at times this last winter it's not been far off. But anyway, the cold there added to the festiveness of the trip (probably since I had central heating to go with it) as did a trip to the panto in Harrogate in which I fully particpated. So much so that I started to lose my voice near the end from all the shouting 'oh yes it is' and 'it's behind you', though that didn't stop me, oh no... it was panto, and specifically my first in years and years, and my first with my niece and I wasn't going to not take part.

Sunrise in Ripon, N. Yorkshire on a cold winter's morning. I was taking my niece to school, quite possibly the only thing that could've induced me to get up that early on such a cold day.

Mr Oliver, what gorgeous eyes you have!

How could I resist? And of course, I didn't.

Anyways, I got my first curries (yes, in the plural) in too long, my first chip-shop chips, doused in malt vinegar, in too long and on top of that was spoiled rotten by all the snug central heating. And, if all that wasn't enough, my mum got me a digital camera for Xmas, so now I can once more snap away happily, thanks mum! After five days in North Yorkshire I pootled on down to London with the expectation of warmer weather. Ha! Temperatures got down to -10ยบ. Though I did still enjoy myself. I got to wander the excellent British Museum for an hour, which was nowhere near long enough but still an adventure.

In the British Museum.

I caught up with friends and enjoyed being in the capital, especially at night. Walking across Tower Bridge and seeing the South Bank and St. Paul's and the London Eye all lit up was something special.
Excuse the blurry pic - still practising with the camera.

As were the cocktails with Sue, the vegetarian curry in Tooting and my first pint of proper ale in what felt like an eternity: it was one I hadn't tried before - Timothy Taylor's Landlord and it was quite possibly the best I've ever had.

Too many to choose from, so we ordered two and shared. I very much approved of the large glasses.

The star beverage of the trip: a very tasty Landlord.

I arrived back home in Asturias to snow falling as I drove back up my mountain. Believe me, it's not pleasant coming back to a stone house that has been empty for a week in the middle of winter when it's cold enough to snow after having spent a week of blissful luxury in a centrally-heated environment; especially since a feral cat ripped the cat flap door off its hinges letting a freezing wind into the house (and I'm still having trouble replacing it with the new one, how can an electric drill be so hard to use?). Then, just in time for the start of work, I came down with a nasty cold and cough, which I've just about managed to shake off completely now it seems that spring and the sun have returned to Asturias.
View down the hill at dusk.

Anyway, since then, what have I been up to? Well, getting a tube shoved down my thorat into my tum to see if I'm Coeliac for starters, which was vile, and I'm still waiting on the results - not until May; trudging down to work and back in more snow; starting a self-defence class and wishing my body was as quick at learning as my mind - legs go this way, left arm goes round and out, right arm goes... aw shit, let's start again, again; and welcoming Sue who's come to stay for two months (not quite the strapping 'au pair' she herself suggested I get to help out, but much better company at least) and has been helping me get the garden in order - the potatoes went in today - as well as being a good Scrabble/drinking/DVD-watching partner.

There's one more even that's happened recently which doesn't suit the tone of this posting, which I'd started over two weeks ago, so I'll tell you all about it in another post very soon.

Sorry to have been away for so long - yet again. Now I have a garden helper I hope to have more time again for the blog.