Monday, 12 October 2009

Well that was unexpected

I have a second cat.

Not on purpose per say. She is another Egyptian mau and she was advertised 4 weeks pregnant to a blue point Siamese. Worried that she would be taken on by a 'back yard breeder' who would let her have the kittens, flog them then drop her in a rescue centre I decided to take her.

So I now have a pregnant two year old bronze Egyptian Mau girl to go with my sixteen week old silver Egyptian Mau kitten. The new girl (Meeka is the name she came with, don't know if I'll keep it) is currently cowering in a terrified corner in my living room and has unfortunately thus far had attacks of diarrhea in the cat carrier and two in the corner of the living room. Much scrubbing later it stinks a little less but I'm really hoping it's just settling-in stress. She's only been here 24 hours.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Also BARFy

Lamb Variety also a hit. This is disconcertingly easy and painless so far! Probably because she's such a young kitten she'll eat most things I put in front of her, it's just older cats that struggle with diet changes.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

BARF - more than just a sound effect

Today was day one of the raw diet. I have to admit I was more excited than anyone has any right to be over cat food.

Allow me to elaborate. Over the course of the last few weeks in the lead up to Kitten Day I have been researching cat food amoung many other things. It is an interesting subject to in a certain frame of mind and a little shocking. Did you know that Whiskas dry cat food is a whopping 4% meat? Read the packet. It is, for the most part, meat flavoured cereal. Although they add lots of lotions and potions and powders to it to make it complete this is still not a natural diet for a cat as they are obligate carnivores and as a result much of this food is not digested. So off I went in search of something better!

Enter stage left, Biologically Appropriate Real Food, more commonly known as BARF. Now, it's obvious the marketing peeps had no input in THAT one. I mean, come on. Barf? Hardly appetizing. Anyhow, I digress. The central concept of this philosophy is that a cat's diet should resemble their natural wild diet as closely as possible. This appeals to the biologist in me. On the basis that I have been investigating raw feeding.

Food4-cats makes this amazingly easy. You see, you cannot just feed a cat mince from a supermarket and expect that to be okay. Oh no, that would be too easy! See, that's just muscle meat, and in the wild she would be the bones, skin, fur, organs, and all these things have a value. Bones for calcium. Offal for taurine. Skin for oils and vitamins. This website however provides carefully balanced packs of whole ground animals including the right balance of meat to organs to bone and skin meaning you just scoop it out the packet with all (well, quite a bit of) the ease of a tinned food. Just defrost a few days worth then warm a little in the microwave.

So today we tried it. First attempt, may I say, 30 seconds in a microwave is too long. I tried the beef variety first and it turned into a badly cooked hamburger.  Second attempt, 10 seconds. Success! Slightly warm, body temperature, perfect. So down the mince goes onto the floor. And is immediately gobbled. Or at least half of it is. Another lesson - feed a little less.

So much to my joy it seems Lily like raw food! Or the raw beef at least. Chicken, pork (not sure about that one on health grounds) rabbit, wild rabbit and beef & kidney left to go and I can't help bouncing just a little.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

The disproportionate value of stuff

I am a materialistic person. Not in a grabby way I feel, but things and stuff make me happy. They do not have to be big or expensive, they do not have the be plasma televisions or sports cars or big diamonds, but purchases of nice good quality things please me, for a long time after their purchase as well, every time they are picked up or used or even dusted, I enjoy them, lining my nest with them like some courting bird.

Since buying my house I have not had much money spare. Bits here and there spent on projects and things, but I work a modest job and it does not leave huge sums sloshing about. As a result the majority of my household things were begged, borrowed, old, or bought from Ikea, and the idea was to systematically replace them with nice things one by one as presents or as and when I could afford a little treat.

In my kitchen is (or, not to ruin the plot, was) a shelf on which I kept the few 'replaced with nice things' items in my kitchen, a modest enough assortment of some hand made water glasses with little glass watermelon slices in and matching jug, two bone china mugs and a set of six etched wine glasses my Mum and her husband gave me for Christmas.

Friday while I was at work this shelf crashed from the wall. My nicest things in their little display spot where I could smile at them when I went past reduced to a couple of kilos of shattered glass (which of course had to be meticulously cleared up from all over the kitchen and hallway).

It is only stuff. Things. I feel like it says something unpleasant about me that I was not simply disappointed but really very in-tears upset. It is not so much a silver lining as a 'that could have been worse' but I am frantically glad this happened now instead of in three weeks time when my kitten would have been home alone - it looked like a bomb in a glass factory, if she had been in the kitchen when it fell she would have been horrifically injured, possibly killed, and even walking through that room after it fell she would probably have been badly hurt from the huge amount of glass on the floor. That would have been something to be in tears over. But indeed, here I am, a materialistic little person drinking out of her chipped Ikea mugs with snobbish distain and crying over broken trinkets.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Goals update

Kitten visited, cuddled, chosen, coming home on the 13th of September. Her name is Lily. One more picture can be found at , beware potential diabetes!

The diet is coming along, 3st7 down so far. I have been cheating quite badly though, think it is getting harder to find the motivation now it's been four months. One month to go I think, will see how I feel.

One goal is simply scratched from the list - the ribbon business is impractical as I am simply not around enough to take delivery of stock and have no transport to go and pick it up from the depot if I miss a delivery. On which subject:

Learning to drive goal has been replaced with learning to ride goal - as I can afford to run a bike but car insurance in my area even for a corsa is an impressive £1400.

Getting there! Garden is looking wonderful too which makes me happy and makes me feel accomplished. There should be pictures of that sometime in the not too distant future.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The really huge list of big things to do...

... in the next 12 months.

*Select Egyptian Mau kitten (August 23rd)
*Arrange the logistics of getting kitten home from London (16th September)
*Breed from Egyptian Mau cat (June 2010)

*Finish losing the rest of the weight (October, 3 stone down 2 to go)
*Stabalise eating habits into a place where I can keep the weight off (December)

*Discuss and potentially buy sister in law's abandoned ribbons/fabric eBay shop largely as an *experiment in retail procurement.

*Apply to university to start preferably this course in September 2010 (application deadline 15th January 2010)

*Learn to drive (maybe spring 2010)

Summary? Sort your fucking life out.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Good day, bad day

So. I have been on a diet. That would be the gentle word for what I have been on anyway, being in reality a clinically monitered program replacing all food with goop. But here's the important bit - results! I have now been on the program eleven and a half weeks and have so far lost two stone eleven pounds (that's 39 pounds for the Merkins and 17.7 kilos to the Euros).

Now, these are nice numbers. I like them. But because I'm losing weight at such a rate I have been avoiding buying new clothes, given I will shrink out of them soon enough. But on Friday my work are whisking me away for the afternoon to the races on an all expenses paid do and, well, it was a new clothes moment. And you know what? That was the first time I remember where I picked up five things, and liked myself in all of them. Rare to like myself in even one! And I have gone from squeezed into a UK size 18, to comfortable in a UK size 14. So - GLEE! There may or may not be pictures of me in the nice size 14 dress after Friday, oh yes.

So that was the good day thing. The bad day thing? Coming home to a lovely letter that said "We are sorry, we buggered up your smear so we didn't get a result. So you need to get another one. GRATS!" Which was officially less good. Oh well!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Good reason

Friend, "And why did it have to be my left arm? That's my wanking arm!"
Me, "Okay. I'll bite. Why specifically is your left arm your wanking arm?"
Friend, "Because I type faster with my right hand."
Me, "Good reason."

Friday, 30 January 2009

Well shit

So, t-shirt hell are closing down as of the 10th of February.

Don't get me wrong, I wince at some of the t-shirts in between bouts of manic laughter. That's the point. But when I read through his reasons for shutting down (which seems to boil down to "despite being hugely successful even through the economic crisis I'm sick of people complaining about my deliberately massively offensive slogans") I can't help but want to slap him. I mean, honestly, what did you expect?! T-shirt hell designs seem carefully crafted for maximum controversy and offense. Why the hell run a website devoted to such gloriously terrible taste if you don't consider the whining of your detractors candy and rainbows?

RIP t-shirt hell. To everyone else, hoover up your cheap shirts while you can.

Monday, 26 January 2009

A short poem about rain

There's a hole in the sky where the rain gets in
And its drumming on the ground makes a rhythmic din
And puddles like mirrors, with other worlds in.
But only I can see them.

Saturday, 24 January 2009


So, squeezing toothpaste from the middle of the tube. Long has it ranked up there with leaving the toilet seat up in the catalogue of inconsiderate spouse / partner / housemate / guest habits. But I ask - why?  

I squeeze from the middle of the tube. But not one knows this! This is because I squeeze from the middle of the tube then shut the cap and then scissor my fingers at the bottom of the tube and push up, squeeging all the paste back to the top. I say this not to point out what a great considerate toothpaster I am, but rather because I catch myself thinking, this process takes under a second. How, the toilet seat thing I understand, having been unfortunate enough a few times to stumble sleepily into the loo and sit down into the toilet bowl when someone's left the seat up. But pushing toothpaste to the top of the tube? No sweat.  

In short - judge a person not on how they squeeze.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

30 Days of Night

So I finally watched this on Saturday. On the whole I enjoyed it, nice and escapist be, because it's more straight forward gore than creepy mind-fuck it didn't even have to hiding under the covers (as a general rule I'm not a horror genre person, haunts me too long).

One thing really annoys me. No real spoilers as this is the concept of the film, but at the beginning it is the last day of sun before the 30 days of night that come with an Alaskan midwinter. I am aware these exist for plot reasons, but almost the whole of this scene setting annoyed me intensely.

Let us start with the most base, glaring issue. Simple celestial physics, the same the world over. There would be no 'final day of sun'. It wouldn't be anyone's idea of a day. The sun would peek over the horizon at mid day, decide against it then disappear again in a fleeting haze of orange glow.

This alone put my teeth on edge for the entire opening phase with everyone running around in the final long long hours of sun before it sank down for the last time in a month like some hibernating squirrel. The contents of these final hours however were equally frustrating however. The very final plans, the closing up of everything, the mass exodus of everyone who'd been fine with a month of less-than-an-hour-of-sun suddenly evacuating all at once, the idea that days shortening down to nothing at all somehow grounds every plane. I mean really, "I missed the last plane for a month"? Sure, I forgot planes can't fly in the dark.

All this boils down to is the idea of a town that goes from a normal days and normal activity before being plunged into a magical annual phenomena of not simply 30 days without sun, but rather 30 days of 4am, suspending it in a time bubble where everything is closed waiting for the sun to rise in three hours' time.

Once I got over this though? The body of the film is good fun.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Brass monkeys

So I believe the technical term for today's weather would be 'fecking freezing'. I woke up this morning, bleary and surprised, to find the ground spangly with three inches of fresh snow. This was at once astoundingly pretty, and astoundingly inconvenient, as the British transport system is not designed to accommodate inclement weather and instantly grinds to a screeching halt.

Still, I did eventually get in, for an extended day of a glorious ten-hours. Whoop. I have started drawing at my desk in between calls, and while none of it is exactly worthy of scanning, it is at least practice. One of the troubles of not drawing for an extended period, is you kind of forget how to.

Once there is something worth showing I shall dig the scanner out.

Sunday, 4 January 2009


First post! And what a dangerous game it is, making a blog again after a long, colourful, slack history of having such a thing and never staying focused long enough to stick with it. For anyone wishing to witness my previous attempts at such a thing, see my livejournal in all its patchily updated glory.

Ooo, sunbeam!