Friday, June 27, 2008

Spot the Cat

I was just over at Breezy's blog and her post about her animals brought to mind a much loved member of our menagerie who passed away many years ago now. A cat called Spot, mainly because she didn't have any!! I know, it's a weird name, but that's kind of how it happens around here. Spot was completely white and, we think wild.
One pre-children summer on a last minute whim we took a week's holiday on an old narrow boat up the Thames from Shepperton almost all the way up to Oxford. We took my husband's younger brother with us. It rained almost the entire week, but we had a really good laugh along the way. It was an old working barge with the tiller out in the open air and therefore someone always had to be at the tiller standing out in the rain. Guess who we made stand out there?!
En route we visited my husband's aunt and uncle who lived in Wallingford out in the countryside. Whilst there they told us about the kittens who had been born a few weeks earlier and how they worried about one in particular who they thought might be deaf and they lived next to a busy road. And so Spot entered our lives. Even though she was a "wild" cat, being deaf made her strangely much braver and more friendly than her brothers and sisters and she was very happy to join in our boating trip and come home with us. Little did we know what we had let ourselves in for.
We brought her back to Addlestone and into the life of our other cats, Doilly and Turnip. Doilly was an extremely aloof cat who spent her entire time with us trying to be adopted into another family and actually did eventually succeed!! But Turnip was more like a dog than a cat in personality and behaviour, followed us everywhere, walked down the road and waited for us to come home, very loving. Then much to his disgust we brought home Spot, who just wanted to be Turnip's best friend. Spot took to following Turnip like a shadow. We used to have a taller than average fridge, and Turnip spent a lot of time up there because there was no way Spot to could attain such heights. Eventually Turnip learned to tolerate the imposter and they would be like bookends, Turnip one end of the sofa, and yes, there a respectful distance away would be his white shadow.
Unfortunately as Spot got older, she got more neurotic due to the deafness, and when anyone came to the house, she took herself off to hide in the airing cupboard - did I mentioned she was hairy and white!!
She also loved to just sit on the window sill and watch the world go by so if you came home and she was dozing, you had to tap on the sill to let her know you were there so she would not freak out.
Turnip came to a terrible end on the railway line - but that is another post however Spot remained with us and eventually with my in-laws for many, many years until she passed away. In the end she was like a senile cantankerous old aunt that everyone had to walk on tip toes around for fear of upsetting her.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Well that's what you get when you are low maintenance with a sledgehammer. Who knew? Anyway that shiny red car has brightened the start to my weekend, not that I think it is particularly accurate - makes me sound pushy and overbearing, that's not it?

I am off shopping today with one of my friends from the law firm where I worked before I changed careers. So as I said in the quiz I don't have expensive tastes I better hold myself in check, but we do hope to end up on my deck with a couple of glasses of wine, weather permitting. Shaping up for a good weekend. Wishing everyone else the same, wherever you are, whatever you are up. Cheers!

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do you want the Good News or the Bad News?

It has been one of those weeks. Firstly last week I received an email from an old friend in San Diego informing me that a mutual friend had been killed in a motor cycle accident. Very sudden obviously and therefore extremely shocking. He was only 58 and he leaves behind his wife and four children and their families....and a lot of friends.
Just as I was coming to terms with that news, I opened my email again this evening to find an email from one of my three younger brothers, this one J, is the middle brother. In the email he has given me a blow by blow account of how he has just been diagnosed with Hodkins Lymphoma! He went on to tell me that the prognosis is good and that there is a high survival and remission rate for this type of cancer. Still, I can't get my head round it. This is my little brother, the one that I fought with constantly as a teenager, the one who would never do his chores, who at the age of 3 jumped into the deep end of the local swimming pool on my watch!! Who was the bane of my years as the bossy older sister. I was just telling my fifteen year old the swimming pool story yesterday!
It is going to take a while for me to come to terms with this news.
On a very much happier note, my youngest brother, P, became a dad for the first time in his forty fifth year last week and yesterday he sent me photos of the proudest dad and the newest member of my family. And so life goes on.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Almost Over!

Today is exam day and then I can get my life back. So fingers crossed for a good result and then I wont have to worry about it until the next course I have to take. I am in my articling period as a real estate agent and therefore there are two more courses before I am done. I plan to take those in the quieter periods in the housing market so possibly just prior to Christmas and then next February. It has been a very exhausting, though not unprofitable three weeks, but I don't want to do it again for a while.
I am hoping that I can spend tomorrow in my garden, there is some serious weeding to be done. That ground elder is getting the better of almost everything. Some plants need to be moved around. So fingers crossed everyone for a good result, a dry but not too hot day in my garden, and that my clients allow me a day off.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Is it Barbie....or is it The Joker??

It must have been my eighth Christmas, we had just returned to the UK from three years in Germany, where we lived on a joint U.S./British airforce base. While there we had made good friends with an American family, and thus for my Christmas present they had sent me a Barbie doll. I remembered it arrived in a catalogue box (for those of you who don't remember catalogues, i.e. Grattons etc. - your order used to quite often arrive in a large fairly flat box). That is how Barbie entered my life for the first time, along with an extensive wardrobe. I was smitten. She was so glamourous, knocked socks of Sindy (Cindy?). Her pert nose, long glamourous hair (which incidentally was only stitched around the circumference of her scalp. I remember this particularly because I made the mistake of undoing her hair from some impossibly glamourous style which I spent the next 5 or so years of my life trying to re-create!!), hourglass figure to die for, I mean talk about top heavy. She loomed large in my life for a long time - sad eh!

Anyway she has turned up in my life again, this time as a fellow student in the real estate course I am doing. She came in late the first day and plopped herself down next to me. She has religiously arrived late every day since, but when you look like Barbie I guess you can get away with that stuff.

There she was, real life Barbie, sat right next to me. Now when I say "real life" I am using some license here because I honestly don't think "Barbie" was born this way. Science has worked wonders on her and I am fascinated to know what is real and what isn't. Her profile is so weird, I would definitely want my money back if I was her. The cheek bones are amazing. But unfortunately when she smiles, she looks a bit like the Joker, one of Batman's arch enemies. Nothing moves above the lip line. The boobs have got to be fake. I thimk I could probably get my hands around her throat .....whoops waist!!

It goes without saying that she can't move an inch without every male eye on the room twitching. Men are sooo

Anyway I just couldn't concentrate on the course, I had to move seats because I spent the entire first day sneaking glances, looking for clues.....

Carolyn - I just realised this completely goes against the sentiment of your post today....LOL

Saturday, June 7, 2008

She's Baaaack!!

I don't know how she slipped back in, but this manic women is back - life is a whirl. OK there are no babies to juggle, but even so my life has suddenly gone into overdrive. GWE is back on his feet (yes both of them!) and has taken himself back over to Europe. It was interesting actually because we have always been saying "if only he could do what he does from home". As it is he stares at a computer all day, it is not as though he is in meetings with colleagues etc. all the time. Anyway when he wasn't agile enough to get back on the plane to return to work last Sunday, he called in on the Monday to let them know he wouldn't be back for a few days and just as an aside he womdered if there was anything he could do from here........? Well straightaway they sent him some tasks and he spent the next few days at his computer ....but here in Canada! He felt much better because he wasn't losing paid hours and the light has dawned ...maybe he can wangle it so that he works from home, or at least can spend equal amounts of time here and there. So he has taken himself back off there to see what he can work out.

The whole time he was here, as I said, I was on a course, business has gone crazy, (sold two houses in the last week!) and have clients banging my door down to be taken out to view properties. It has been very hectic, very stressful, very exhausting...last Friday, as I collapsed in a heap on my return from a successful deal, I said (very quietly I promise) "don't anyone call me to go out looking at houses!!. I cannot believe I said it but I did. One thing I have promised myself is never to do a course again in the busiest time of year in real estate and when GWE is home. Wait a minute, that contradicts our future plans of him working at home, I will have to give this more thought when my brain cells have rejuvenated.