Thursday, 16 December 2010


Candy had to be put to sleep on Tuesday evening. Her kidney disease was discovered when she had a blood test before a routine dental back in August. At the time she was showing no signs of illness. She went on pills and paste, which she accepted when disguised with salmon spread. She went from being a lively, active cat to one that sleeps all day in such a short time I took her back to the vets twice to question her medication, but they said it was fine. Her hind legs grew very weak and wobbly. She struggled on, and I took her back to the vets last Friday. She was given an injection of steriods for her hind legs. It had no effect whatsoever.
On Tuesday evening her front legs folded up, and she all but fell into her litter tray.She had had enough. She was 16 years old, and the only one of my five cats that I have had from a kitten.
I hope she is running around somewhere with Biscuit; the only cat she ever really liked.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Pot Belly

I live in a tiny house, and my pot-bellied stove provides enough heat to warm all of it, with the exception of the bathroom (soon to have a new heater).
It is stoked up with smokeless coal last thing at night, and I clear the still-hot ashes every morning and get it going again. I took this photo this morning, early, still dark and freezing cold outside. Some more coal and a few bits of kindling wood soon sparked off a warm glow. I gazed at the flames and wished I could just curl up asleep with the cats, instead of getting ready for work and a meeting with our union about redundancies after Christmas.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Paw prints In The Snow

I love the book 'Paw Tracks In The Moonlight' by Denis O'Connor. It's a lovely tale about a unique and extraordinarily trusting friendship between one man and a cat he rescued as a new born kitten. Like all true animal stories, I first have to read the ending to prepare myself, as more often than not the animal is no more. Once I know the outcome I can proceed, and enjoy the memories.

Today I paused to look at tracks of another kind, zig-zagging across the snow. Rabbits, hares, foxes? What did they make of the sudden changes in their familiar landscape?
How far did they have to travel for food?

In the distance is the medieval lighthouse of St. Catherines, or, as it is known locally, the Pepperpot. Once fires where lit inside to warn ships of the treacherous rocks that lie beneath the sea around the most southerly tip of the Island.

Lucky are the blackbirds in my garden. I never clear the old cookers, as they provide food for many weeks. A few kicks brought them to the surface and then in flew the blackbirds, squabbles and territorial disputes put aside for once.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


It's so cold today! The Isle of Wight often misses out on the snow that falls on mainland south coast, thanks to that little stretch of sea, but this morning the road I live along was covered with slippy, compacted snow. The Military Road runs along the south western coast of the Island. It rarely gets gritted, and always gets the worst of snow and drifting.
Driving in second gear all the way to work, I had IOW Radio on cheerily announcing that all Island roads are clear. Grrrr!
In the village where I work, no sign of gritters either, until a pile up of cars occured along a steep hill and the police had to close the road. Finally news reached all those proudly declaring business as usual that the southern most tip of the Island had treacherous road conditions.......and was the only place not to be gritted by the council!
In my garden a very late nasturtium has flowered, and even the sharp frost and snow was not going to stop it!

On our walk along the Yar estuary last Sunday, we sat on a bench sheltered from the icy wind, and watched the ever-increasing numbers of migrant birds, most of which remain unrecognisable to me but all seem to have lovely, haunting calls. I could sit there for hours watching the comings and goings.