A pond walk and a demonstration of Murphy’s Law – First published 1 June 2013

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June 2013 and two day weekends were revealing themselves to be problematic. In fact there were things I hadn’t even thought of, turning up to give me problems. Cooking and shopping ate into walking time and it all felt very frustrating. In the end, there was only one thing for it forget all the things I was supposed to be doing and go for a walk. Millers Pond seemed like a good plan and it turned out to hold some wonderful surprises. Continue reading A pond walk and a demonstration of Murphy’s Law – First published 1 June 2013

low tide, lifts and St Mary’s Church – first published 29 May 2013

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The last week of May 2013 was the first five day week I’d worked for a long time. Even at Mad House I’d only worked four days, albeit ten hour ones, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with two day weekends. Still, there was always lunch time for a bit of extra walking and for this one I decided to take a wander around St Mary’s Church, the mother church of the city. Our football team take their name, Saints, from it being originally formed by church members. Continue reading low tide, lifts and St Mary’s Church – first published 29 May 2013

the unexplored path – first published 26 May 2013

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A sunny Sunday in late May, and a new pair of walking boots seemed like a good excuse for a walk, as if I ever needed one. Add to that a path I’d been meaning to explore for a while and you have a nice little afternoon stroll. As it happened it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped but at least I ticked it off my list. Continue reading the unexplored path – first published 26 May 2013

great day for a purple wedding – first published 25 May 2013

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After days of dull, miserable weather, it was a great relief to wake on 25 May 2013 and see sun. Let’s face it, it’s always good to see sun but on my son’s wedding day that goes double. Of course wedding days are never without their problems and most of ours seemed to revolve around shoes… Continue reading great day for a purple wedding – first published 25 May 2013

showers, tights and chips – first published 24 May 2013

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Wedding day minus one and the mother of the groom was dashing about manically and worrying about things like pale legs, tights, nail varnish, wobbly bits and the weather, which had been decidedly miserable for the last few days. Life would be so much easier if I was a man. Then I’d only have to worry about ties and maybe matching socks. Seems to me it would be easier if women all got together and decided not to bother. Think of the time we could save. Continue reading showers, tights and chips – first published 24 May 2013

the eagle has landed – first published 23 May 2013

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The last week of May 2013 was a busy one for us. There was a wedding coming up and, as mother of the groom, lots of worries about my hair, nails and the state of my legs. We also had Commando Senior coming to stay to recover from his broken hip. The house was upside down, the bed hadn’t been delivered and I was worried what he’d make of my cooking. Fraught might be the best word to describe things. Continue reading the eagle has landed – first published 23 May 2013

we are sailing, very nearly – first published 21 May 2013

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For nine months I’d been organising entertainment and refurbishment for the Silver Helm ship. Arabella and I had pored over carpet samples and fabric swatches, discussed which bars or public areas different entertainers would perform in and ordered hundreds of books for the library.  For the last few weeks I’d been preparing detailed itineraries for ship visits, discussing which cabins on which decks we would be able to show prospective passengers even what we’d eat for lunch. During all this I had never actually seen the ship. Finally, on 21 May 2013 I was going to board her. Continue reading we are sailing, very nearly – first published 21 May 2013

she came in through the bathroom window – first published 19 May 2013

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For almost a year we’d been puzzling over a mystery. How did the little black and white cat who thought she was ours keep getting into our house? Obviously there were times when CJ, Commando, or even I in a moment of weakness, let her in through the gym door. At other times she’d sneak in when the door was open. Quite often though, she’d be inexplicably inside when we knew we hadn’t opened the door at all. Finally, in the middle of the night, the mystery was solved although the answer was quite hard to believe.

19 May 2013

In the early hours of the morning Commando got out of bed to answer a call of nature and solved a mystery. As he stood there, a scratching sound caught his attention. It was coming from the bathroom window. When he turned to look there was Fluffy the cat perched on the window ledge outside. She was stretched up and scratching at the tiny top window which was open a crack for ventilation, trying to work it open enough to slip inside like a cat burglar. Top marks for effort Fluffy. That explains How she was getting inside last summer then, when the window was further open. I suppose the lure of cat treats is to blame. Even so it’s a long and difficult journey to the ledge outside our bathroom window, a very narrow ledge and a long stretch for a little cat. Good job they have nine lives.

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In all honesty we had an idea that was how she was getting in although it seemed fairly unbelievable. Other than being able to walk through walls there really was no other way, unless she had an accomplice in the form of CJ. Even so, it seemed far fetched that such a small cat should make such a difficult journey just to get into our little house. Back in February, when we had the snow, I saw tell tale cat footprints on the roof next door and I suppose she must walk along the fence, over the top of the gate, across the gym roof and somehow make it up onto the windowsill from there. I wonder how many other houses she breaks into? Do other people give her cat treats?

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Her owners, our loud, angry neighbours, have had a succession of pets. There was an Alsatian puppy that used to escape all the time and come into our garden if the gate was open. That didn’t last long, probably because a dog takes a lot of looking after, and we never did find out what they did with it. There have been other cats too but Fluffy seems to be a record breaker in terms of how long they’ve had her. Hopefully she won’t suddenly disappear like the others because I have to admit I quite like her and CJ would be heart broken, he spends hours playing with her.

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Fluffy started scratching at the French window while we were eating breakfast this morning. We’ve made a rod for our own backs with the cat treats for sure, although, to be fair, she does appear most mornings as soon as her cat senses tell her someone is up. She’s like a little meercat, standing on her back legs trying to peer inside and scrabbling at the window. This can go on for hours, or until someone relents and let’s her in.

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When Commando opened the door to go out for his run she was inside like a flash. There was a bit of sniffing round meowing, trying to find the cat treats, then her head popped up over the arm of the sofa and she looked at me accusingly. Commando, being far more of a soft touch, relented and got some treats to lure her outside again. At this rate she’ll be too fat to climb in through the bathroom window by summer.

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While Commando was out on his run I went up the Big Hill with CJ for milk. No sooner had we closed the door than the rain started falling. I had to go back and get a hat and, as I opened the door, Fluffy shot inside. Of course this meant we had to chase her out again. Maybe we should install a cat flap then she could come and go as she pleased. It would also save us running round the gym like lunatics trying to shoo her outside.

Seems to me Sunday would be better named Rainday as I swear it rains more often on a Sunday than any other day. This is not a scientific study you understand, just anecdotal. Even so, it does seem there are grounds for contacting the Trades Descriptions people. If they’re going to call something Sunday then surely there should be sun! This particular rainy Sunday was a day of rest, apart from the little shopping jaunt and the cooking of a roast dinner. Next week is going to be a manic one so lazing about on the sofa watching Sky+ for most of the day felt like a necessary gathering of strength. Somehow I think I’m going to need it.

preparing for Commando Senior and the demise of the Bargate Centre – first published 18 May 2013

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Mid May 2013 and, not only did we have a wedding to prepare for, but we had to get the house ready for a guest. Commando Senior was recovering from a broken hip and was going to be staying with us for a while. Logistically it was a bit of a nightmare and I was a little concerned he’d find the hustle and bustle of our house a bit of a culture shock after the peace and quiet of Commando’s sister’s farm. There was also a final walk through the deserted Bargate Centre.

18 May 2013

The day started early after more walking dreams. This time I was walking round London, there were square blue and white markers hidden on walls amongst the road signs, each had a little motto on and I had to find them all. It had a frantic, slightly panicked feeling about it and I woke with a start, almost breathless as if I’d really been powering along the London streets at top speed. It seems like the feet aren’t doing any walking but the brain sure is. How odd. As I was awake it seemed silly not to get up so I did. Continue reading preparing for Commando Senior and the demise of the Bargate Centre – first published 18 May 2013

another London jaunt – first published 17 May 2013

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May 2013 seemed to be all about London for me, what with auditions and the Moonwalk. Less than a week after my epic nighttime walk around the big city, I was hopping on a London bound train again.  It was time to meet Arabella for the second round of auditions. At least this time I knew exactly where the Music Studios were and what to expect. At least I thought I did. Continue reading another London jaunt – first published 17 May 2013