Monday, 28 February 2011

John.....What A Girl! (An Appreciation of Fabulously Fastidious Female Feline)

I have just finished emptying John's litter box...not my favourite domestic chore I have to add....well there are none that I'm verging on orgasmic about ....but scooping the poop definitely registers about minus 15 on my Richter scale of knee tremblers!

Anyways...back to John...John is a house cat ...she prefers 'cat in captivity' or 'feline felon'...depending on sorry she is feeling for herself as she gazes wistfully out of the window at the Promised Land (aka back garden) where lesser members of her species wander free and unfettered.

As a house cat, John has her very own toilet facility and it is with regard to this that she behaves in a way I've never known with my other cats. Firstly, when she's done her business she doesn't just quickly cover the offending wee or doo-doo with some litter...noooooooooo..not her...we have about 10minutes...I kid you not... of raking,  scraping and what sounds like much so that I've often expected her to come through the hall ceiling!This is followed by another 5mins of  scraping her paws clean on the inside of the box. Finally we have a period of grooming and cleaning of the appropriate dangle berries on this little lady...No Siree!
Now Leo...he does his offerings outside in the garden...well actually not my garden..but in surrounding gardens (Shhhhhhhhh!!) ..and he basically just dumps and walks...not even a cursory attempt to cover anything up!

However, it is in the post-toilet phase that John once again comes into her own because, once she has finished, she hovers around the box...often laying siege to the landing... with a 'So when are you going to deal with the aforementioned poop...'cause if you think I am going to use it again while that lot is in there you've got another thing coming' look on her furry face!Only when you have prostrated yourself in apology and removed the soiled litter will she go downstairs and relax on her chaise longue with a G&T! 

Heaven for fend if you don't do it before she needs to go again because she is as good as her word... the one time I was held up/distracted by something else...well let's just say...we'll never look at the bathroom scales in the same way again!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Poem

When rifling through a box of old cards this morning ,I came across a poem I wrote in June, 2009. Now I'm not one for writing poetry but the event referred to in this poem affected me profoundly and I was literally compelled to write something about it. I had to put my thoughts on paper..if only to try and understand in some way what had happened.

Basically, on a beautiful summer's evening in June, 2009 a young biker died when his bike collided with a car here in Braes on Skye. This young man was 23 and, although I did not know him personally, I remember him when he was a school boy getting on the school bus that I often travelled on too. In later years, I often saw him hanging about with other bikers in the Square in Portree. He was handsome, friendly, always smiling.. in the prime of his life. 

My eldest daughter, Natalie, phoned me and told me that he had been killed and to go look at all the messages already posted on his Bebo page. I just could not process it...that this beautiful summer's evening had been this boy's last and his friends were now expressing and sharing their sense of shock and sadness at his loss in the most immediate and accessible way they knew.

Anyway... here is the poem which I had just scribbled down on a bit of least by typing it here I can acutally save it somewhere relatively safe.

Last Active

'Last active' 12hrs
Online status given damning power
As speeding death overtook at Braes
RIPs like the blood slick seep down his page.
Where friends pour out youth's soft pain
And he 'last active' forever will remain.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

I Got An Award!

I got an award!

It really is

I'd like to thank Julie for sending this to me! :-)
There are rules to this award.

1. First, thank and link back to the person that gave the award.(Check)
2. Answer the 10 survey questions
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you have chosen to let them know about the award

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this?  If you aren't anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now? No wish to be anonymous...then or now!

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side. I don't have a 'stubborn' side as such...if I want to do something...and it is a realisic 'want'....I pursue it...but I am goals and aims change constantly because I get bored/fed up and abandon one goal for another. Similarily...if I don't want to do something...the same pattern applies.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?  Skye's answer to Demi Moore obviously ;-)

4 Favourite summer drink? Fizzy Chardonnay

5.When you take time for yourself, what do you do?  Read, walk, sleep and occasionally blog

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? I would love to go on Safari and I would like to write a book...but as for the latter...I don't have the dedication...never mind the achieve that.

7.When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?  None of the above really, I loved school, did well but didn't fit into any pigeon hole/niche....happy days in the main

8.If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?Oh this is very recent...on June 16th when I was sitting with my Dad and daughters  in my parents' house and watching my Mum being being taken from her home  by the paramedics and knowing she was close to death and that she would never be in her home again.

9.Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events? Nooooo.... it's all about ME, ME, ME!

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?Read a book...every very much a solitary, personal me' calls are ok but by definition have to be 50% about the other person's needs and issues.

Now - i think i'll pass the award on to 'Eye Love' written by my friend David whose blog is a firm favourite :-)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

So Long Shitmas, 2010.......Reflections on a Christmas Past

Well  the big 'C' has been and gone and, whilst I am nothing if not delighted at its passing, I have to say it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Admittedly, the weather over the whole period was atrocious so that added extra worries about family travelling home on public transport etc and the disruption to mail deliveries resulted in some Xmas pressies turning into December 29th pressies!

For the first time in years we didn't go out for Xmas dinner but had it at home with a close friend and her son and a neighbour joining us. None of us could face going to the hotel we had previously visited....the absence of Mum/Granny would have been too difficult for us all to cope with...whereas having it for the first time in this new house with some new company added to the mix created a different feel and a new memory of Xmas for us.

Instead of having a proper sit down dinner with one course following on from another, we paced ourselves and spaced the courses out over the day starting with prawn cocktail at lunchtime, soup about 3pm, main about 6pm and trifle/xmas pudding about half 8.  All preceded, accompanied and followed by the odd vino or 3 I should add ;-)
Doing it this way it was less stressful I found and the serving up and the washing up were far more manageable :-) Natalie was a brilliant help  and Yasmin and Candace ....well.... they just sat and ate and looked Christmassy!

My poor Dad was rescued from oestrogen overload by the presence of neighbour George and they sat in the sitting room happily sipping sherry (Dad) and coffee (George) and  watching 'Still Game' dvds back to back :-) Natalie poured George a 'Natalie' measure of whisky about half 8 and the poor man heroically managed to stagger along the road to his flat at 11pm!

To the gifts...well I was delighted with my Kindle (how did they guess that was what I wanted?!) and very surprised with my snazzy lime green Ipod Shuffle....I had other lovely presents too....obviously I have been a very GOOD girl this year! ;-) Everyone else loved their presents too and Dad especially liked his copy of 'White Christmas', his sweeties and  minature of Laphroaig :-)

As for Hogmanay/New Year...well I completely opted out of that this year....maybe with a year's distance hopefully I will feel differently next December 31st :-)

So to sum up....bah humbug is still my default status, however, to be fair, the whole shebang wasn't too shabby at all....but I still would prefer the same company with slightly different food sitting out in the garden enjoying a holiday period with pressies in......MAY!!!!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Scarlett O'Hara...A Woman After My Own Heart

As people who read my FB contributions and follow this blog will know, winter is my least favourite time of year. I don't know if I have SAD...I've never pursued a diagnosis for why my spirits plummet at this time of year...but I certainly feel my mood drops, my energy levels wane, I eat more, I do less, am less sociable and feel generally under par in these dark, dismal months.

 The loss of my Mum in June has obviously been the most significant factor on how I feel at the moment...her cancer diagnosis followed by her death a mere 7 weeks later..still has an unreal aspect to it even though the brutal reality of her absence in my life... in all our lives... is daily evident.

Monday was a  difficult day. I felt everything was pointless, Xmas, the whole shebang could carry on without me...I just felt numb, flat and very sad. However, as strong and pervasive as these feelings the day went on...something else stirred, something that always stirs when I feel like this.....HOPE.

It has always been matter how bad things have got and they have got seriously bad at various times throughout my life... I have always been an eternal optimist...I always think...this too will pass, things will get better, circumstances will improve and I will move forward. I identify very much with Scarlett O'Hara... not the Rhett Butler problemo or the plantation/slave owning thing obviously(!)...but with how she dealt with her problems....'I'll think about that tomorrow....after all....TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY!' is a very fine life philosophy as far as I'm concerned :-)

I am very good at putting off thinking about problems until tomorrow... or a week next Friday if that is what suits....and I am equally good at ignoring people who are pissing me off until I am ready to deal with them. Putting things on the back burner may seem like cowardly procrastination to some but for me it works and I am sure it has saved me from making some hasty, dodgy decisions and from ripping some people's heads off.

So today, because my mood has indeed lifted, I will focus my mind on the remaining cards I have to send and other ghastly things pertaining to the Christian Capitalist Conspiracy that is engulfing us all and do it with a kinder, calmer heart than I had on Monday.

 Emily Dickinson, one of my favourite American poets along with that other cheery soul, Sylvia Plath, wrote it best, I think, so I shall leave you with her wise words on the subject...
'Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.'

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Scott of Portree Reporting In.....

Well having just trudged back from our local emergency supplies's emergency supplies being newspapers (we could be living in Alaska...not that much of a mental leap today and  the old boy would still want his Press&Journal & his Daily Depress courier delivered by huskies) bottles of Shiraz and Baileys and some Shitmas cards...I have to report it is pretty brutal out there :-l

Now the Shiraz is for the big fuck off Lasagne I'm making for tonight's repast...I made it for Julie and Peter's arrival in October...and let's face it the Bolognese element needs a wee bit of le vin rouge to give it the necessary mmm factor. However, there may be  a problem because you only need a couple of splashes out of 750ml bottle for the mmmmm and that leaves a dangerous 700mls kicking about in my kitchen! I love a good red but a good red doesn't second that emotion so if I'm not going to spend the evening with Armitage Shanks as opposed to Anne Widdecombe I will probably need to put it up in the loft! 

Baileys is pretty much my raison d'etre at this time of year.....and the Bolognese sauce is definitely  far better without no sojourn in the loft for it ;-)

Shitmas cards....a necessary evil and one of which I can no further bear to speak or contemplate :-l

Have definitely noticed that extreme weather seems to make your local moody bastards feel the need to engage  you in conversation. Twice this morning, certain personages, who I've smiled at as I've passed all year round and got a complete ding, have been...well verbose doesn't even cover it...practically verbally incontinent about the 'terrible weather' etc etc.....another good reason to wish for the snow to do one!

I feel sorry for Natnook ...  she is up on holiday at the moment and is trying to catch up with some friends and therefore had to trudge all over Portree ....however, I have noticed she seems to be offered alcoholic fortification at every port of call which she has thought only polite to accept so that has made her various journeys more bearable.

Yasnook and Flowrinook have taken to hibernating in Yasnook's boudoir and I've not seen them emerge since 11pm last night...however once she discovers there's Baileys aboot this doubt she will be down the stairs quicker than a rat up a drain:-l  As she accompanied her mother, in a blizzard, to the Co-op last night, I think she may be granted a few spoonfuls ;-)

Anyways...I hope wherever you are this weekend that you have plenty of warmth, chocolate, alcohol and other comfort items of your choice. Remember exercise keeps you warm so a quick limber up before Strictly is always a good start to the evening ;-)

NB: Can I just clarify that my Dad reads the Daily Depress as therapy...allows him to vent his spleen...repeatedly... about the 'Tory Fascist Rag' that it is and implore me 'To read this bit, Linda...' and he does love the crosswords!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

These boots were made for walking....

As a longtime devotee of the couch, and in the knowledge that many of my FB friends are fellow lounge languishers, I am going to break  this to you gently.....I, Linda.....being of sound mind(?) and body and without the benefit of any healing hands or 'miracles' going to raise myself up and WALK!

After you've all read and re-read the above paragraph several times, availed yourself of a fortifying alcoholic beverage and speed dialled your chosen therapist, I will endeavour to answer the question that I'm sure is buzzing round your brains like a bumble-bee.....WHY ?

Well, I'm looking to kill 3 birds with the one stone here....we are nothing if not multi-tasking....and in a rare moment of insight and cerebral clarity...WALKING.. was revealed to me as the solution to my Dali-Lamas.

Firstly, and most importantly, I am missing my Mum big time at the moment... much more now than when she died in June. I can feel myself retreating into myself and, with 4 months left of winter climes left, if I don't do something now I will emerge in March as Portree's answer to Howard Hughes!
I can never repay the doctors and nurses who looked after my Mum in her final weeks but I  can & want to do something in my Mum's memory that will provide funds to continue to help other cancer patients and their families in the future . Hence the idea of doing the 5k for MacMillan Cancer Care in June, 2011.

Secondly, especially since becoming a carer ...but to be honest for a long time before that too..I feel my life has stagnated into a comfortable but, nevertheless, mind numbing rut! That definitely needs to change for my sanity and for the sanity of those around me! I need to get myself out of the house more & I need to have a focus/aim too and preparing for this walk serves those imperatives well.

Thirdly, after coming through, and out the other end of, being anaemic, I now feel much better and more energetic than I've felt for quite some time. I want to keep feeling this way and I want to get fitter so walking seems the ideal activity. I know some people take up running  in midlife  to keep fit but with my bosomage it is neither a safe nor attractive option and one does need to consider such factors as a laydee in her prime when choosing suitable past-times ;-)

So there you have planned activity from now through to June. I wasn't going to start until the New Year but given my track record in adhering to New Year Resolutions I binned that idea tout-suite! I am just 'sourcing'..... I just love that sound so 'on message'!... suitable shoes with the advice and guidance of you lot....some more helpful than others, Mr Oswald!!....and then watch out Portree....Linda has been let loose on the community...see her near a place near you anytime soon! ;-)