Saturday, 17 March 2012


This is the latest blanket I've finished knitting - only four things to complete now!
As for the new computer - I'm doing this Blog on the old one as I kind-of know what I'm doing.

The new one is a Samsung with a non-reflective screen (not called 'matte' these days, it seems) but apart from trying to find how to open the bloomin' lid (lift it, no catch to slide as there is on this HP) and clicking it on, that's about as far as I've got. I haven't the first idea about computers and am not really looking forward to a l-o-n-g time learning where everything is. However, first of all there's the problem of shifting all the info on this computer on to the new one. But even before that there was getting Stuart to come and install the new BT HomeHub which was sent since the old one 'died'. That took a couple of hours last evening as it had to be linked to both old and new computers while talking to Holland. Do I sound as if I know what I'm talking about? Don't bet on it!
Sometime today - and tomorrow - I shall hand over control of them to Jonathan (my daughter's partner) in Holland who will transfer all my work to the new one. I'll have to be on hand to answer questions, make decisions etc.
I've spent this morning clearing out Documents from 2006,7,8 etc., deleting some Sent Mail and the Inbox, shifting photos from one folder to another and leaving all the icons on the wallpaper page which I've never used since I don't know what they are! I've found the disks for the printer and both cameras...I'll sit and watch the arrow moving itself around with no input from me. Gillian has already expressed an interest in this HP if it's going to be spare. I've already given my 'orrible Vista computer with a shiny screen to James, whose computer collapsed under the strain...
But before that I have to go to Bucks Family History Society meeting to return some borrowed mags for a friend.
When will I get time to have a post prandial nap today? I'll end up with a cracking headache; it was 'complicated' enough having two trips to India this week and unravelling what I was being asked to do to try and restart the HomeHub.
Ho hum...

Sunday, 4 March 2012


I thought I'd post about the cats I've had since the early 1980s, when I lived in Prestwood, and since I've been here.

Puss was the first one to arrive. When Stuart broke up with his then girlfriend he returned home with motorbikes and a young cat. His ex-girlfriend took the Old English Sheepdog, thank heavens! I took her to the vet to be spayed (not the girlfriend) only to find she was already pregnant so that was nipped in the bud. She's resting on the Russian Vine I had grown along the fence but which grew so large and rampant that it had to go.
Puss was quite a nervous cat when she arrived but over time she settled down without having a dog jumping on her and enjoyed finding peculiar places to sleep, especially as she got older. One hot summer I found her in the porch on the old skateboard I kept for moving heavy pots around.Very nice, too, in the shade and in a cool draught as well.
Or in an old trug on the garden seat,
Or sunbathing, just for a change.
I'd said, casually, to a friend that I fancied a ginger cat. Perhaps I'd been reading Orlando the Marmalade Cat to my class of 5-year-olds...One of the farm cats had recently had kittens and there was one which had ginger patches, she said, so he became the next arrival.He's the only kitten I've had, all the others have been older and so already cats. Such a little stripey tail! He was to lose that later on. Puss was interested but not antagonistic and they settled down together. He was a chatty cat and insisted on sleeping on my bed right from the Off.
Except when he fancied a snooze in Stuart's armchair. He still has his tail here... The cushion next to him I'd bought in a jumble and it just happened to be there.
I've never noticed that cats watch TV but this obviously caught Sherry's attention - it's Tom and Jerry, I think at the Hollywood Bowl. Tail still attached.Then disaster struck. Coming down my small garden with me, fullof beans, he took a flying leap for the top of the fence, missed and slid down only to land on a pile of upright planks at the bottom and broke his tail. So off to the vet to have it amputated. Whe he returned home, tail-less, it looked like one of the pom-poms which were found on carpet slippers. You have to be of a 'certain age' to remember the pom-poms and the slippers, too! The collar was so heavy he couldn't lift his head so I made a harness to go round his body out of material odds and ends which took the weight off his neck. He had eyes were quite a pale green.

I noticed that Puss and Sherry were watching a very timid tabby cat which would poke half of its head round a fence post at the bottom of the garden while sitting on the wall section. I didn't really see much of it but as the other two weren't aggressive towards it I left out some food. I had a small leanto greenhouse on the house enclosing a set of french doors. One day, during one of those hot summers we used to have and the doors were open, the tabby came in, very cautiously, sidling round the room, going upstairs and not being bothered by any of us. Gradually he got more confident with people and took up residence in the conservatory, which had a cat flap in it. That's his bed, a Booker Garden Centre box full of straw... He became known as Fraidy - he was a fraidy cat, after all. Very much a loner he would disappear all day, returning when he was hungry, sleeping indoors and dragging his paws on the wooden/plastic furniture to make a squeaking sound - Let me Out!!
He wasn't averse to having some comfort from time to time...
Then I moved here. I felt a bit like a bag lady walking back up the long garden with three cats walking behind me! We used to sit out in the evenings, three cats and I, and were rewarded one day with a badger coming to within a few feet of us, eating what I'd put out for it.
I'd noticed a black and white cat out in the scrub which had grown over the old sandpits and thought it belonged to someone further down the lane - but I was told that the owners had moved to the other side of Aylesbury and this cat had walked back, not once but twice, and was living wild. Here we go again.I put out old cat food which was mopped up before I'd even got back to the house and, of course, this black and white cat joined the family - a four cat family now.
He was skinny, not like this fat cat which he became. I didn't name him, he kept the name which his previous owners had given him, Ashley.I have no idea why I had this toy - Sylvester - or what happened to it but this was an opportunity not to miss.All the above photos are taken with an SLR camera so that's why some of them are blurry - it was a case of Take It then wait for several weeks/months until the film was used up and processed. Too late then to go back and take it again...
All the cats got on well together, arguments and fights weren't allowed!
Then came the digital camera and my other photos of Ashley are there, on the computer, including the one on my Profile.
Puss, Sherry and Fraidy were all buried (by me) under the ash tree with bulbs and plants around them, marked by stones and a concrete squirrel I was given by my grandson many years ago.
And now Ashley has gone, too, down to join his friends. The ash tree isn't there any more so more plants grow there and I'm without a cat for the first time in thirty years.
Very sad.
I've been feeding a fat, fluffy black cat for about 5-6 years now, another one you can't get near, which peeps round the side of the house, eats everything that's put out for it and then disappears. It came twice after Ashley went to join his friends and hasn't been back since.....