Friday, October 28, 2016

 It has been one of those weeks where the beasties are concerned but overall an 'interesting' one.  I am currently awaiting a plumber after a tap seized up and then water poured out on to the floor. No.1 son mopped it up as I turned the water off at the stopcock.  I suspect it will be a simple matter of tightening the nut below the pipe but the tap itself is a bloody nuisance. This will be the second time for the same tap and I might ask the plumber to replace the top of the tap. It looks decorative but is awkward to fix and I prefer functional as opposed to decorative and unfit for purpose. 
Maisie has been neutered at the vet but we learned that she is infested with fleas and again needs re-worming, jobs for this weekend after allowing her time to recover from her operation. She is pictured below with Mindy whom we have adopted. Mindy was de-flead but the medication knocked her out for two days and we were worried about that. The house has been sprayed with some foul smelling flea eradication stuff from the vet and the two boys have had their monthly application of flea liquid applied to them. 

To top it off the pooch has had a couple of accidents and flooded the back room with foul smelling urine which also got into the clean laundry bag. This morning she also left a large deposit in the hallway, lounge and back room. Windows opened, cleaned up, sprays and a variety of cleaning fluids used and the house finally smells fresher. We think the messages via her nervous system between her brain and bladder / bowels is not working which is a sure sign that we may be approaching an end game with her. Poor old monster, the foul smelling urine is not a good sign either and she drinks gallons of water each day. It could point to poor kidney functioning and I can no longer keep throwing money at the vet to put off the inevitable end. She got to the kitchen bin again yesterday and twice this week bullied the cats off their food when our backs were turned. She was in the dog house literally following those incidents because the boys are used to her behaviour but the young girls were terrified by her. All in all. an eventful week where the beasties are concerned and once again it is the plumbing that trumps everything. Here is a size comparison for Watson, Maisie and Mindy... I thought Watson was small but no longer!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Yesterday evening I tried to capture a photo of the cats together, an impossible task to ensure all four sit quietly in the one room. I gave up on that and I attempted to capture an image of Sherlock and Mindy together for a size comparison. As I was doing so I observed an orb moving on the screen of my mobile but nothing there when I looked up. I snapped the shot and this came out...

Mrs C noticed it first but there is a cat like shape below her chair just to the right of the cat tunnel! Not the reflection on the armchair leg at the above right.
I  went on to take a dozen more pictures but I could not replicate that image nor can I explain it. We have joked for years about a 'ghost cat' whom we have caught glimpses of in our last house and during the first few years of residence here. But no sightings over the last several years but then this image... How to explain it. Is it a ghostly presence or just an anomaly?

Friday, October 21, 2016

A quick update and guess what? Yes, more modelling nonsense.
I have left the earlier panzer 2 as I have to consider weathering and washes for it, areas that will be very new to me. I thought I would crack on with a Somua S35, a French tank but used by the Germans following the fall of France. The model was slightly more difficult to build but relatively straight forward.

Once assembled and an initial rattle-can spray of primer paint I found a large gap between the upper and lower hulls which required filling. No applicator with the filler so done by my fair hands wielding various tools, hence the messy appearance. I will leave this to dry and then some sanding will be required.

The building is enjoyable especially when I had to scratch build some parts, fill in and then add some additional parts to alter the original model (turret for German service) but the creative part is coming next. Painting, adding washes for depth and weathering which I am looking forward to. Mrs C says she has never known me so quiet and concentrating for hours during this apart from when I have been studying. It keeps me busy and happy as I am a real nerd when it comes to armoured vehicles and the like.

At the moment it is a work in progress and I have ordered some sanding sticks for the fine detail work that will be required. I also have to construct a booth for spray painting and I will make up a cheap cardboard box for that job to see how I get on with it. I will be honest, having avoided any modelling for forty years I am now like a dog with two tails as I am thoroughly enjoying my re-found hobby. Hopefully it will turn out in a similar style to this...

In other news we collect Mindy the kitten this evening and reunite her with her mum Maisie. I was hoping to wait until after Maisie had been neutered but she is ready to come to her new home. It might perk Maisie up but she seems happy enough with the boys now. I have also applied for a full time job back in my old crisis team. My desire to pay off the mortgage and finally buy a camper van needs my return to full time employment for at least a couple of years. At fifty-six I still feel too young to retire fully and realistically, working until I am sixty years of age is a reasonable compromise. It also gives me something to moan about other than politics (WTF?!!), the gradual breakdown of society and the dreadful state of modern day media.
 I am showing my age Dear!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

With an uncalled for absence from work I find myself at a loose end and reaching for a good book or watching supernatural tales on you tube. Much to my delight I have found 'Rivals of Sherlock Holmes' which has had me glued to my seat. My preference is for old fashioned terror and horror, not the slash 'em up genre of serial killers, zombies and fashionably androgynous young vampires. I like the creaky floor, the wind whispering through empty dusty rooms and the scratching at a window on stormy nights with candles guttering in their sconces. I like my ghost stories suitably Victorian / Edwardian hence my love of M R James' tales.

It had never occurred to me that there might be rivals to Holmes and more importantly, supernatural detectives. We are coming up to All Hallows Eve and the veil between our world and the next is apparently at its thinnest so what better than to soak up a few eerie tales.

I have a pot of fresh brewed coffee and I am surrounded by my feline familiars and I am ready tp plunge into the era of gaslight and fogs, where the modern early days of the twentieth century and science blow away the dust and cobwebs of the Victorian superstitions... or do they? We are yet to encounter the war to end wars or the horror and terror of modern science via gas, shell, tanks and barbed wire. So pull up a comfy chair close to the fire, the lights are low and have a drink as we delve into another age...

Monday, October 17, 2016

We are well into the sniffle, sneezes and leurgy season and I have caught my first one. The usual headache, earache and other cold related phenomena has confined me to home today. Add the extra goodness of a toothache and I am looking for the farmer with his shotgun to put me out of my misery. Ho hum, I and thousands of others have succumbed. To cheer everyone up here's a picture of Maisie...

Poor wee mite is now booked in for the vet next week and I will ask for a thorough check up of her health as she is thin, had been pulling out her fur prior to us getting her and she is fairly subdued. One of her kittens Mindy is being collected on Friday so that might help her perk up. She is very gentle but she does take Watson's food and he allows her to do so! This is Mindy...

Enough of the cats for now as my next lot of day nurse is required.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

As mentioned in  an earlier post everything has now been set up for my military modelling hobby. No, I shan't be dressing up as a Japanese Admiral as someone at work remarked when I mentioned it. I save the admiral's uniform for high days and holy days! I had considered placing the table in the window recess when Mrs C pointed out it is the only single glazed window in the house and it will be cold. I used to build models as a kid and stopped when I looked around one day and realised there is a life out there for 16 year olds, particularly girls and music. But as a hobby for a sedentary late middle-aged chap it is perfect. I have acquired a stash of projects for building...

These will be made over the next several months as I practice my skills and enjoy the process of putting them together. It's one creative outlet for me and I enjoy the research side of it.

The first model is coming on but boy have I got a lot to learn, particularly painting skills as I have discovered how ham fisted I am. Great fun and it keeps me off the streets. Music and tea are the accompaniments and the mutt is happy as she is sprawled beside me. Mind you, I soon attract the cats as I settle in for an hour or so and they add to the fun of removing paws, claws and jaws from various objects.

I had a two week break from alcohol as a half of sober October which I then broke yesterday with some good malt whisky and a couple of beers. The two week break saw me adopting some more early nights and an increased coffee and chocolate intake! My excuse is the dark nights coming in, the rain and the cold needing something to keep it all at bay. Hopefully you are all having a relaxed lazy Sunday and keeping yourselves well.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Her majesty as we have taken to calling little Maisie because she settles onto her chosen spot like a queen is settled in after nine days. She has been wormed after she threw up and in a scene reminiscent of 'Alien' the vomit was alive and wriggling with roundworms. She has also now had anti-flea stuff applied. Poor little thing is now nine months old, skinny and having had six kittens eight weeks ago she needs fattening up. We will also be booking her in for neutering in the next week or so. 

She gets on reasonably well with Watson who is pictured with her but Sherlock is keeping his distance for the time being. A happy little addition to the family and she will be joined by one of her kittens Mindy in a couple of weeks time. We shall then have a full complement of four moggies plus the elderly pooch. Enough to be going on with and there is enough space for them. The cat rescuers whom we have contact with have been inundated with kittens with approximately forty needing re-homing.  Hence the need to ensure Maisie is 'done' and she can then start going outside with the boys each day. We try not to let any of the cats out at night and particularly so as we are now approaching fireworks season. 
I am slowly renewing my skills with the military modelling by practising on the panzer 2 I received for Xmas last year. It looks a bit of a mess to be frank but good to practice on. One thing I hadn't considered was my age and my poor eyesight for close working. I will be booking myself in for an optician's appointment at some point as it is not very good. I have bought a daylight lamp to aid me as well as some magnifying glasses. Working on tiny bits of plastic, painting and ensuring a good fit has to be done for short periods of time as my eyes become strained. Everything has been moved downstairs to what we now call the pink room but the cats are also fascinated by the various tools, parts and objects they can knock over, chew on or batter with an inquisitive paw.

This was taken part way through redecorating although I still have one small area to re plaster and then paint over but it is generally finished now. Once it is complete I shall have to consider which room to do next. I suspect I shall be busy over the next several months as every room needs redecorating! I worked four days this past week because of the volume of work plus completing an on-line course with 'Futurelearn' hence no decorating this week as much needed R & R is required. 
Time for a cuppa and a good book.


Friday, October 07, 2016

This sums up the current work situation as teams are closed down, several internal inquiries into 'incidents', staff leaving and Chinese whispers of bankruptcy doing the rounds. I plod on with my three days a week and keep a weather eye on the prevailing winds. In over thirty years I have never known anything like this...
We pick up Maisie from the foster carer tonight and we are excited. The poor boys are blissfully unaware and the fun and games begin tonight. There is enough space for all three cats so hopefully the boys will come to accept her. Sadly, the pooch is starting to struggle with her back legs and she collapsed last night. I think I will have to make a decision soon because it took several minutes to get her back on her legs and moving again. I am dreading it but it is not fair when her quality of life deteriorates such that she is no longer enjoying life. I will take it week by week for now and ensure she is happy in her final days. Funnily enough the cats now fuss around her and I think they are aware she is struggling. C'est la vie...


Sunday, October 02, 2016

It is the "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close bosom friend of the maturing sun".

I pinched this picture of one of the ponds at Hampstead from somewhere on the net. If I had the money we would have a house near the heath, preferably between Highgate and the heath. One of my favourite places and one of the few things I miss from London. I love this time of year, the change of scents in the air with burning leaves and the peppery scent of dead leaves upon the earth. The changeable days with the need for a brisk walk wrapped up against a blustery wind. The soft lighting as the evenings darken and just upon the edge of one's peripheral vision, the ghosts of memories past and the monsters, myths and mysteries hidden in the deepening shadows. The awareness that for all of our sophistication and knowledge, there is doubt and anxieties creeping in with the darkness. A wonderful time of the year and with harvests gathered in and death everywhere on show, it is no wonder that people in past times told stories of other worlds, of ancestors and wraiths returned to pierce the veil of those selfsame mists to clutch bony cold fingers at our hearts. Build up the fire, bring light and warmth to all around it and shutter up the door and windows. It is blowing a hoolie out there, rain is pattering against the windows and something shuffles and moans outside in the deepening shadows...