Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What did I say?

I've lost a follower!

I do hope I haven't upset someone.

Little bear has been sick all afternoon. It may be a while before further posts

Party party party

My sister in law had a party to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. She sent invitations suggesting long dresses should be worn and that the theme was Hollywood. I have mentioned this.

Well, I spent two hours and a lot of money in the local salon. I wish I could convey the deep distrustful suspicion that little bear had as he looked at me. His expression betrayed so much doubt and cautious disapproval I got the giggles. I looked rather nice, though I say so myself, with my hair up and nails done and all the rest. Dear heart looked absolutely drop dead gorgeous in a James Bond type tuxedo. I'm not sure little bear entirely approved of that as well.

It was the first time that we had gone out for an evening together since little bear was born. The babysitter came round - she lives next door, but I think darling father (78) was a bit taken aback by having a youngish teenager come round in her pyjamas and towelling dressing gown. I left them to it. Apparently both had a nice evening chatting and watching football/doing coursework. The babysitter would sit for us again, which is reassuring.

When we got there, it was obvious that many hadn't made so much effort, and that some had not turned up. Well it is daunting to read 'long dresses' on the invite - especially for the gentlemen. And the birthday girl was not able to do as much as she liked as she had broken her foot the day before.

When we got home I asked anxiously about little bear. Apparently he had woken up. The babysitter had gone upstairs to use the bathroom, and little bear had woken, come to the stair gate, assessed the situation and then, without a word, gone back to sleep.

But it was fun, and we did have a good time. I am not, however, in a hurry to repeat it. It was just such a lot of rushing around. And I shall certainly NOT be doing similar for my 50th. I shall be pretending it isn't happening.

Darling Father has gone home

Darling father has gone home. He had to, he goes to Benidorm on Sunday. He stayed a week longer than he had planned - even though he was really welcome it was a surprise, but I was really happy.

We worked out that in one fortnight he had drank three litres of whiskey. This is not good.

I have an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. Now it could be that I have over developed worry muscles, but I am a little concerned about my darling father.

He has left some clothes behind, which is a good sign, plus a drift of Daily Mails and crosswords. Little bear misses him.

What I did on my holiday Part 9

Day Seven - Thursday

Today was another quiet day. Little bear and I went to feed the ducks in Pickering. It was obviously a feeding station for the ducks, and little bear was happy throwing the ends of the loaves that had gone stale (delivered Friday) but only to the ducks in the water. I surreptitiously sneaked a few bits to the ducks crowding onto the path. Little bear did want to stroke them, but fortunately he was not holding bread at the time and I managed to dissuade him.

The railing at the duck feeding station is actually very good. It sort of leans out, so that the bottom of the railing must be about a foot away from the edge of the drop to the river. It is stout, newish looking and I had no qualms about sitting a few feet away while little bear hurled bread at the ducks in the water. Until he dropped a bit on the concrete between the bottom of the rail and the drop. I abandoned pandy and shot across - I don't think any Olympic sprinter left their blocks as quick as I left that bench to grab little bear as he bent to get the bit of bread. In hindsight I can see that at no point was he anywhere near the edge. That is not the point. I stuck to him like glue after that.

Later on, after a walk in the woods by the castle, little bear fell asleep on my lap. It was wonderful.

Tea was a second round of the casserole, with tinned tomatoes and cumin added.

What I did on my holiday Part 8

Day Six - Wednesday

We went to Whitby. It is twenty minutes by car. Dear heart and darling father had set their hearts on going by steam train. It was an hour and a half each way. 'Don't worry,' darling father told me. 'Little bear will be fine.'

Of course I made certain preparations. I had some small toys stashed to be brought out if he was fractious. I had juice. I had milky bars. But little bear was actually quite good, brumming little toy cars around and watching out of the window. It was a pleasant journey. Then out to Whitby.

First stop was fish & chips - you cannot go to Whitby and not have fish & chips on the front except.. The tide was in, the sea was quite choppy and the drizzle was unrelenting. So once again we tested little bear's fortitude and went into a restaurant where he had to sit still - and he did! I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant, they were so nice to little bear, and the food was fantastic. Dear heart watched darling father ordered the pensioner's fish & chips and asked if he could have the same. They were happy to do so, even if dear heart is somewhat off retirement age (actually quite a bit and gorgeous with it) and dear heart was quite happy at the portion in front of him. The normal portions were, well, whale like in proportion.

Then we pootled round Whitby in the pouring drizzle until the train home. Little bear was once again fine. I didn't need most of my emergency supplies. He had a very early night, however.

We were all still too full from the fish and chips to bother with anything for dinner.

What I did on my holiday Part 7

Day Five - Tuesday

Today was deliberately a quiet day, with lots of snoozes and walks. It was only enlivened by little bear's enthusiasm for wildlife.

At the bottom of the garden we left the detritus of little bear's attack on his breakfast toast. This morning he was investigating just how much had gone down when he shot back up the garden, making the Makaton sign for hamster. Dear heart saw the wee, sleekit small brown creature flee from little bear. 'It's a mouse,' dear heart said. But little bear patiently and insistently explained to dear heart that what he had seen was a HAMSTER thank you so much.

We had a casserole for tea. I was rather taken aback by the price of shin beef in the butchers, but padded out with lots of local vegetables and a large splodge of brown sauce it was extremely pleasant. I did two lots - one in the oven and one on the stove with the second stashed away for the next night.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

What I did on my holiday Part 6

Day Four - Flamingoland

I had never been to Flamingoland, otherwise I think I would have tried to get there earlier. It was beautiful and sunny, and we were all in good spirits. I whimpered a little at the cost of the entrance tickets, but in we went.

It was marvellous. We had sandwiches, which we ate some of. We had pork pies, of which a small amount was eaten. We bought chip butties and ice creams and we saw all the animals.

Little bear was reasonably impressed by the sea lion display - I loved it. He enjoyed seeing the animals and also being indulged by darling father.

There was a serious incident - pandy fell into an enclosure! Well, not exactly. There is a fence, then a strip of woodland type terrain and then another fence and then the camels. Little bear dropped his precious pandy. It bounced over the fence and down several yards into the woodland type area. Little bear was devastated! Fortunately dear heart was a hero and rescued it, and little bear then clung onto his pandy for dear life! Dear heart did say, with some conviction, that if pandy had landed in the lion enclosure it could have stayed there!

Perhaps the best bit for me was at the end. It was a Monday out of season, and so quite quiet. We only got to see the chimpanzees as they were curled up in their nests of straw, which was almost magical in itself. Then we wandered past the kangaroos. They were all lounging, like cads at a gentleman's club, and we saw a local rabbit shoot past them, presumably to raid their food trough. We were almost the only people there as we strolled around the walkways past the flamingos and we got to see some lovely sites of the animals just playing in the quiet. We were one of the last to leave.

Little bear slept for the last part, and missed the flamingos, but kept a very tight hold on his pandy!

What I did on my holiday Part 5

Day Four - Monday

I raced down the hill to Pickering and picked up some lovely minted lamb burgers from the local butchers, and scoured Pickering for coats.

I had a rummage in the charity shops and I just want to say that those not of a religious persuasion can look away now. I thought to myself that really I ought to be asking for help for little bear's coat, and I actually made a quick, silent prayer and then looked through the children's clothes. I actually found a bargain in a charity shop, incredibly rare for me. I found a beautiful denim jacket, fleece lined, Next (which is so expensive on ebay) for £2.50, a perfect fit for little bear, absolutely spot on for the autumn jacket I was looking for anyway and looking unworn. So I believe in giving credit where credit is due and I was definitely helped to find that.

I ended up getting a fleece off the market stall for me. I had been considering getting a new jacket for a while and I thought the £10 price tag for a warm roomy jacket was acceptable - but I hadn't wanted to pay £10 then.

I then dashed back up the hill and peeled potatoes and carrots and got everything ready for tea, then we went off to Flamingo Land.

What I did on my holiday Part 4

Day Three - Sunday

This was a lovely quite day of walks around the castle, lounging in the house and general relaxation. Little bear was quite recovered and so enjoying racing in the garden, walking round the outside of the castle and generally being indulged by the attention of three adults.

I was still a little concerned about my lack of coat, and regrettably this is when I discovered that I hadn't brought little bear's coat with me either. I was a little stressed by this.

Little bear spent a lot of time playing with the two cars I purchased for £1 in one of the few shops open on a Sunday. I watched them disintegrate with a certain amount of resignation, but the red one is still relatively unscathed and currently being played with here at home.

Tea was baked potatoes and the local sausages again. It was lovely.

What I did on my holiday Part 3

Day Two - Saturday

It was a free open day at Pickering Castle and we went up to see what was going on. There was an archery display and medieval games. Little bear was not a happy chappy. He had been a bit off colour for the last few days, and it was still showing. He was extremely grumpy.

I left dear heart and darling father and took little bear back to the cottage (several yards away!) as I suspected his nappy. On the way we passed a police handler with a sniffer dog. I carefully pointed out the nice doggy, with the nice policemen, and checked before letting little bear get closer that the dog was okay. "It will be fine," said the handler. The sniffer approached little bear warily, sniffed and then growled and hid behind the handler. I thought it best to move on.

Back at the cottage I could understand the sniffer dog's distress, little bear's nappy was epic! I got him cleaned up (with some effort - and he was so sore that he cried when I changed him, even though his bottom had been fine just two hours earlier!) and took him back to the castle.

I saw the handler, and said that she shouldn't be cross with the sniffer dog because there was a really serious nappy involved. She said, 'It's fine, besides he's always like that with littlies.' I think I would have appreciated knowing that to keep little bear a little further away from the poor dog.

I was extremely proud of myself for the tea. We had wonderful local sausages, from a real butcher, with the leftover fried rice from the 'takeaway' the night before but I refried the rice with onions and added a small tin of sweetcorn. It was lovely

What I did on my holiday Part 2

Day One - Friday

It was a pleasant drive along to Pickering and I was actually quite calm about the packing. Dear heart loaded up the car without too much fuss, and we trundled along and up to Pickering. The cottage was clean and ready when we arrived and I had unpacked in no time.

That was when I realised that I had left my coat behind. Darn.

We had a delivery from Mr T at 4.30. I am used to Mr S, but he doesn't cover Pickering yet, and the local driver was lovely - unlike the local Mr T drivers. So there was yet another flurry of unpacking as darling father and little bear played in the garden.

I had arranged for a chinese meal in takeaway style to be included in the order. It was actually there (I was a little nervous) and we ate it in the sun in the garden. Little bear approved because when he finished he could continue hurtling up and down the garden while we all finished and drank our tea.

What I did on my holiday Part 1

Where we stayed.

We stayed at a place called Castlegate cottages which I thought was brilliant. We had Castle Cottage, aptly named for it was several yards away from Pickering Castle. Castlegate cottages are lovely stone built cottages with open fires (not tested - can you imagine little bear with a grate full of ashes?) and fully equipped kitchen - including a dishwasher. I had never used a dishwasher before, it was a voyage of discovery!

It was so beautiful inside, immaculately clean, lovely furnishings and the lovely lady had provided a portable stair gate to at least give me a chance with little bear.

The big snag was that there were only two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with twin beds. So dear heart and darling father shared the twin room while I shared the double with little bear.

I was so nervous about this. I have heard all about the benefits of co-sleeping, and little bear is not a baby, and co-sleeping is really the risk if you are sleeping very heavily indeed, but I did sleep quite lightly as I was terrified of rolling onto him.

Of course this never happened. However I did find my self waking up with his head or feet in my back as he had revolved 90 degrees, or trying to coax him back to sleep at 3am without waking anyone, and little bear always sleeps with a night light which made it a little harder to get to sleep.

Then there was the morning wake up call, usually obscenely early as little bear presented me with my slippers and insisted, 'down!'

So we would creep down into the living room (it was a lovely warm cottage) and I would give him his morning bottle (he is reluctant to part with this and I am not currently forcing the issue). We would get dressed downstairs and then little bear would want to play in the garden.

We have a small concrete yard facing onto an unmade road. Little bear was suddenly presented with a turfed area at least ten yards long and three yards wide and he raced up and down with far more enthusiasm than I could muster at 7.30am.

I am trying to contact the owner so we can go there again next year.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

In haste

In case everyone wondered what happened on holiday...

All went well.

But darling father (who arrived two days earlier than foreseen) is now staying at least a few days longer than anticipated as he is poorly.

As is little bear.

Dear heart is fine, and I sincerely hope that continues for some time.

More will follow when enough shreds of sanity are gathered together.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

I would like to thank...

Hardup Hester has kindly nominated me for a creative blog award. I feel really honoured - all giggly and girly about it.

I shall respond suitably when I return from holiday to whatever havoc evil cat has wreaked. In the meantime I shall practice my 'acceptance speech'.

...and I would like to thank evil cat if she could refrain from attacking the expensive upholstered chair right next to her scratching post...

A mellow afternoon

After little bear had finally calmed down and started to sleep, darling father had forty winks and then decided he would like a little drinky.

He drank half a bottle of whiskey this afternoon, chatting about all sorts. He is great company, but I was watching the level of the whisky sink and feeling less and less comfortable. You see, as I don't drink much I am not used to the idea of drinking during the day, unless it is a special occasion. I don't have any objection, I just think it a little odd. And it was such a lot of whiskey - more than he drank for the England game.

He then went for a shower. What could I say - darling father, I think you need to be breathalysed first? I was sat rigid with tension listening to the shower and trying to hear if there was a thud.

He went to bed at 9pm, closely followed by dear heart.

I am a bit worried sometimes.


Little bear is upstairs, hot, tired and very cross. I am sitting here with my heart breaking and no idea what to do for the best.

His nappy leaked, so I took him upstairs and when I lifted his leg to pull off his boop there was an unpleasant trickle - he had filled his boops, or at least one of them.

I took the boops, rinsed them out, sprayed them and left them to drain in the bathroom. I thought this a moderate reaction. I then went back into his room and tried to put on his old boops.

Little bear would not tolerate this, they were old boops and he wanted his new ones. But the new ones are still upside down in the bath, and he is inconsolable. I feel like the worst mum in the world, because there is nothing I can do and he need his nap, and I keep thinking that he is sleeping but after a pause there will be more wails of unhappiness and invocations to pandy and it is all wrong and just when I am about to go up... all goes quiet again.

Evil cat makes a tactical error.

Evil cat was in the garden and noticed that nice Mr Next Door was out, so she went out for a snuggle. She passed next door's tom cat, Socks, who is twice her size and ten real years younger, or about seventy cat years.

Of course she attacked him - this is evil cat who has a lot more fur than brains. Socks, being a sensible moggy, ran.

On the way back to the garden she was so jumpy that when nice Mr Next Door went to stroke her she drew blood.

He is supposed to feed her while we are on holiday.

Fortunately he understands and humours elderly cats. But scratching the hand that is going to feed you is not good.

Warm little bear

Little bear is starting with a temperature. He has been a little run down and would have had a good sleep yesterday if darling father had not poured gallons of Sprite into him. I expect a cold.

We are due to go on holiday tomorrow.


Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Darling father

Darling father came to visit on a Tuesday. He never comes to visit on a Tuesday. Tuesday is golf, as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever more. No arguments.

He was looking a bit stressed as well as he arrived. A few hours with little bear sorted that out, but he was very tired last night and all today and has hardly drunk anything except tea.

Darling father brought up his British Legion medals to save for little bear.

My instincts tell me that darling father is worried about something to do with his health, but he hasn't shared.

I am really worried.

Darling Father comes to stay

Darling father arrived yesterday. I will be quite honest, I am a little concerned. He rang up to come and visit early and I was happy for him to come, of course I was. However I am a little concerned that he arrived on a Tuesday - a day normally inviolable and sacred to golf.

He brought with him a thirty two inch high panda for little bear. Little bear has a four foot panda, four ikea pandas, a very peculiar Japanese panda, a TY panda and lots and lots of panda related bits. He even has a panda rug (best acrylic! - I was having a bad time and ebay was being very friendly). This did not dull his enthusiasm with this new panda - his entire face lit up at the sight of it.

We picked up little bear on the way home from picking up darling father, and had to persuade him carefully that the huge panda was staying in his bag until we got home. When I got in, the first thing I did was put the kettle on. The first thing little bear did was make pleading eyes at darling father until he got his hands on the panda.

I had left little bear a little longer at nursery, and they assured me that he had napped, but he was doing a very creditable impression of exhaustion. All he wanted to do was sit on his mum under the new panda. The new panda is bigger than him (I think, or as big) and nearly as heavy, so being under a little bear and large panda was no joke. I kept peering round various arms, legs, paws and ears to try and have a conversation with darling father.

I would also like to add that I was extremely grateful for dear heart for lugging big panda upstairs rather than me - I think it might have been rather beyond me.

Little bear didn't go straight to sleep and we heard sounds of distress. Dear heart went to investigate, and little bear was struggling. He had managed to heave the new panda onto the bed, despite the panda being at least as large as him, nearly as heavy and having to negotiate the bed guard. Now he was struggling with the four foot panda (exactly the same length as his old cot) and trying to get that on the bed by himself. Dear heart helped out in the end, it was kinder.

When I went to bed I looked in on little bear. He was there in his pyjamas and boops, wedged between a huge mound of soft toys and an almost equally large mound of books, completely and utterly asleep.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

And another thing...

I remembered something else we have spent out on in the last six weeks - a new washing machine!

October is definitely a no spend month and I think I shall spend November being creative about presents. I have put money aside for Christmas etc, and I am determined to make it go as far as possible!

Slowing the shopping

I should be tidying.

I have just gone back and knocked almost exactly £45 off the order to be delivered after we get back from holiday, and it still includes a potty, some spare bottles for little bear and nappies.

Perhaps it is just as well as dear heart will be renting a tuxedo for his sister's birthday do.

Stopping the shopping

The last few weeks have been very expensive.

First there was my sister in law's fiftieth birthday invite, for a Hollywood theme. So, ebay is my friend and I purchase very bright jewellery, much tackier than I normally would even consider (necklet, bangle, earrings, two ridiculously large rings - less than £20 for all inc p&p though I begrudge the money - I got rid of all my teenage party stuff, or I could have used that, embarrassingly enough). Then there is the appropriate makeup as I hardly ever wear make up these days and I need more than a bit of eyeliner for the do (that came to more than the 'jewellery', as I got a reasonable quality). Then there is the bag (brand new, £3.49 inc p&p, I still begrudge the money!). I'm sticking to clothes and shoes I already have. I have crumbled and agreed to have my hair done on the day (more expense) and an inexpensive manicure. I am appalling with my hair, it normally looks like 'Hair by Hurricane'. So add a sparkly hair clip to the list of purchases.

Then I succumb to the Economy Gastronomy cookbook. And it seemed a shame not to add one or two things to the Amazon order. They were inexpensive in themselves, but it all adds up.

Little bear went to the birthday party, and that was an inexpensive but very pink gift, plus very pink wrapping paper, plus pink card.

I really should be tidying instead of blogging as darling father is coming up early. That means an increase in whisky, lemonade and, unless I am careful, takeaways. We already became absolutely sickened of takeaways during swine flu. I have just added Sky Sport to the package.

Then there are the grocery deliveries - here, on holiday, then next week as dear heart is off so that means I am topping up with lots of lunch items. None of the deliveries are inexpensive.

The holiday is coming up - petrol, fish & chips, lots of money on steam train rides, entrance fees, donkey rides, ice cream, candy floss (if little bear will countenance it this time) and all the gifts that are compulsory to bring back.

When we get back after the dust has settled there is the birthday present for my sister in law (cash), plus paying the baby sitter, plus drinks. It is surprising how much a glass of lemonade costs (all I will be drinking).

And add in all the impulse buys I've fallen for...

And we really need the new computer, as in we don't think this one will last another month need.

I really think that October is going to have to be a no spend month. So I am afraid that the blog is likely to be cluttered with my struggle to stop the shopping. I am sick of spending money!

Mind you, I have Christmas to worry about next plus little bear's birthday four days after plus a birthday party for him plus five birthdays in January, including one twenty first. I have been putting money away for that - I hope that I have enough stashed away.

Monday, 7 September 2009


There may be some gaps in my blog coming up.

Firstly, we are going on holiday, taking darling father along.

Secondly, I've just changed my tablets again, so it is once more into the great unknown.

Thirdly, our computer is more creaky than ever. It may totter off into the computer heaven it so much deserves, it has been a marvellous work horse. It is usually switched on when I get up, which is rarely that late as little bear has a very reliable alarm nappy. It is switched off (if it deigns to switch off) when the last one goes to bed - sometimes as late as midnight. I consider it the hardest working item in the house - including me but not including dear heart who works very hard.

I was really not planning a new computer before Christmas, but it looks like we will have to bring it forward. It freezes, it stages go slows, it refuses to turn off, it is just elderly. I can't remember exactly how old it is, but we have had the cheque for the 'get your money back if you remember where you put the piece of paper after three years' deal, and I think we got that before little bear was born.

It does seem a bit sad. We have creaky old evil cat, we have a creaky old computer, I am not feeling too spry myself. Fortunately little bear is all young and energetic and darling father, although 78, is very young at heart.

Not stopping the shopping

I bought yet another knitting book, which I really do not need. It's called Anticraft.

It has a pattern for a crocheted cat o' nine tails.

I need to get some sort of control over this. However there is a recipe for black beans with peach chunks and cajun sauce which I may post on here, and that looks like it may make it to the saucepan, so it isn't a complete loss.

I am going to have to learn to crochet.


I have had a very satisfying morning. We will be going on holiday soon, which I am so looking forward to! And of course there will be a grocery delivery as we are self catering - Mr T, as Mr S doesn't cover the area.

This morning I happily updated the delivery due this week, the next delivery after that to here and the delivery to the holiday cottage. It felt so satisfying.

However I am now somewhat in a whirl, as I am trying to remember which item I have put on which list. Did I remember nappies? Did I remember darling father's whisky, on the right order?

Of course, we live in an urban area, with useful local shops and are holidaying in market town with a cottage quite near the centre, so we are not exactly going to Mars. Nappies will be available no matter where we are.

I have no chance

Little bear is far too quick for me already.

On the way back from his party he was clutching the party bag. We got tangled up in the traffic for a football match, and we were stationary for some time. I looked back and little bear was happy clutching his panda and tucking in to a (fairly small) bar of chocolate.

"What have you got in your hand?" I asked.
"Pandy," he said, in a 'stating the bleeding obvious' sort of way.

I don't have a chance.

Little bear has been to a party

I am so proud of little bear, of course. One of the things I am proud of is his placid nature. Now, this may not sit well with my descriptions of wild chases to get him to a napping position, but he is a very placid child. He doesn't get upset by new things, he just weighs it all up and then acts how he wants. He doesn't do stress, and I have no idea where he got that from.

The soft play party we went to on Saturday was a case in point. Little bear was so much at ease with all the strangers round, and then he saw the play area - I didn't get a chance, he was off! A lot of the things there he hadn't seen before, like a ball pool and a huge slide, at least twenty feet high, with lots of bumps on the way down. There were strange arrangements of holes and crawl ways and tunnels, all carefully enclosed with nets etc. There were trampolines. In the middle of all the kids, there was little bear, clutching his toy panda.

At one point he came hurtling back and had some juice, then just waved casually to us and was back to the trampolines.

I think the highlight for me was my not yet three year old son, coming down a huge slide that he had never seen before, with a huge grin on his face, using his panda as a cushion.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tired little bear

Little bear has been green nosed again. I am resigned to this being the state of things until he is around eight or nine. It has left him needing naps.

Little bear has reached a wonderful age where he really does need a nap, but doesn't want to have a nap. Last week was a case in point. He was ricocheting round the living room, rolling around horizontally and generally giving all the signs of acute nap deprivation. So up we go to the bedroom, change the nappy, cuddle, then I go to the loo. When I come out he is desperately begging for a drink 'dink! dink!'. So down we come.

He has two sips of juice and then is once again hurtling round. I try some fruit in case he is hungry (he ignores it, of course) and then I fight him upstairs, twice in the spare room, drag him off the curtains (who else has jam on their bedroom curtains?) round the bathroom and finally into his room. Blessed peace reigns...

...for fifteen minutes, when he wakes disconsolate. For some reason he is sitting on the side of the bed with a sock over his hand, absolutely distraught. So he has an industrial sized cuddle and comes downstairs, lots of fuss and a little more juice before he is trying to brain me with a stuffed ladybird. So once again the epic performance of upstairs, drag him off evil cat, drag him off the curtains, nearly have kittens as he plays silly sausage on the top of the stairs and finally he is in his room and exhausted. Peace once again reigns...

...for twenty minutes this time. Once again he is beside himself with woe - sitting on the edge of his bed with a sock on his hand. I have no idea why. But another industrial sized cuddle follows, with another trip downstairs (each trip up or down stairs is accompanied by at least three stuffed toys) and this time a finger of fudge before back upstairs - even he is too exhausted to put up much resistance, I scour the room for socks and confiscate them and he finally naps for three hours.

He may be getting the naps, but I fervently believe it is me that needs them more!

Uninvited guest

We have a mouse.

This is not an unexpected event. After all, on the row backing on to us three out of the four houses are empty. That Landlord's properties are in a gross state of disrepair. We live near a few patches of wasteland. And Her Three Doors Down is over-run with them. Much as I loathe Her Three Doors Down, I can't blame her - she has an empty house at the back of her and a walled up property to one side, and her house keeping is of a far higher standard than mine.

So Saturday night was spent intermittently being woken by an elusive rustling. I was not impressed.

I could rely on evil cat to pounce, but my reliance on her is not strong. She is elderly, creaky and although in remarkable fettle for her age, she is not as nimble as she used to be. Also I am not sure she has ever actually seen a mouse. I am not sure how she would react to a mouse. I suspect that the instincts are there, but not so sure about actual finish.

When we get the first cold snap I expect to be over-run so I shall be going out and buying (what an excuse) some plastic boxes (inexpensive Matalan own brand) and packing up the existing boxes with other vulnerable items.

I am also considering rehousing an older cat. Company for evil cat and perhaps a dedicated mouser. Hmm.