The significance of Ash Wednesday is all too close for comfort, I’m afraid. We’ve been up all night,with the odd snatch of sleep here and there, watching over poor old Miffcat – Chops, who’s on her last legs. She’s drifting in and out of sleep; let’s hope it stays that way as much as possible.I’m astonished that she’s lasted the night. Ah well.
The heating is on, I’m wearing two pairs of woolly leggings under my jeans and a hot water bottle on my lap. Miffcat Mark Three has the comfy armchair next to the radiator, another hot water bottle and a microwave beanbag puppy. I don’t begrudge her them. The poor scrap’s liver is failing; we really didn’t expect her to still be around by now, but since being prescribed steroids a week ago, she’s perked up quite a bit. She still springs to life when any fish is in the offing (makes giving her her pills so much easier) and wobbles her way through to the kitchen at double speed.
Here’s hoping I’m not banned from the wibsite for featuring this little menagerie: Firstly, Miffy Jnr, sporting his very first moustache, in aid of the Movember mens’ health initiative.
Second up – our two resident hairy horrors: Miffcat in one of her (many) snoozing places – the dog’s kingsize bed; her humble servant and subject, Miffdog squeezed into second class accommodation nearby.
I’ll spare you the sight of HH number three – Mr M’s beard. It wouldn’t be fair.
…that wand’r wild and free…
…at times I was taken back years to when the children were small; sitting there trying to mouth ‘For the Beauty of The Earth’ and ‘Morning has Broken’ whilst keeping an inquisitive, wriggly Fido with the attention span of a gnat from misbehaving, fidgeting, and generally ‘showing us up’ was a salutary reminder of what life used to be like every time I went to church. At the point when we were asked to hold and pray for our pets, I was bent down busily trying to remove congealed bits of half-eaten doggie treats from under the pew and untangle the lead from round us both.
Read about what happened when I took Miffdog to church, over on my other blog.
Walking Miffdog just now, it struck me that we’re both singing from the same hymnsheet.
The Ship has a great thread on ‘earworms’ at the moment. My latest is Beethoven’s Creation’s Hymn, ‘To God eternal the heavens utter glory,’ which the choir I sing in used in concert last Saturday. (Umpteen versions to listen to on Youtube; can’t get links to work on here this morning). Sadly, Mr M does not appreciate either my tuneful whistling or the dog’s meliflous tenor barking first thing in the morning. Come to think of it, I don’t exactly fancy our resident Pavarotti warming up either, but that’s beside the point.
So, out to the park we go. If you’re a dog owner, especially owner of a scent hound, you’ll know that walking them is a sloooooooooowwwwwwww process indeed. It’s not unlike being with a toddler. You (or rather the dog) stop to sniff every lamppost, investigate every piece of shrubbery, explore unknown and (to you) unsniffable pongs. Though my sense of smell seems to be particularly acute just now; I love strolling along taking in the scent of flowering shrubs and blossom. I just operates at a higher level than Miffdog; his view of creation is definitely more earthy, basic, and nearer to the ground. (Besides which, if I walked round the neighbourhood with nose to the ground and bottom up in the air, I might just end up being arrested!).
Still, anyoldhow, here we are: him where he is, and Yours Truly where she is, humming away in happy harmony; Creation’s Hymn. I love it.
Rats, Sydney the Swan and PBGVs spotted on the Havenstreet Railway: I was obviously beginning to display signs of a ‘Seabirding’ vocation even then.
…to pinch a recent thread title from The Ship (thank you, Chorister!) I never did add my contribution “Guinea pigs die in house fire;” article ending on an upbeat note: “Nobody was harmed during the blaze.” (Except the poor guinea pigs, presumably).
Unfortunately, our little section of the SE has hit the national headlines over the weekend, as you’ll no doubt have seen. Greenham Common, Swampy, Vodaphone, the bypass, Jimi Hendrix (yes, really, he did once play here), and now, we’ll be known as the place where two horses were electrocuted on the racecourse. Shudders.
I can’t claim to be a fan of horseracing myself. Whilst it’s not quite on the same plane as performing animals in circuses in my book, there’s something about it that to me doesn’t seem natural. Nevertheless, apart from feeling sorry for the poor horses who died and the others ‘spooked’ by the incident, I can appreciate that the racing fraternity itself is facing a major loss, financially and I guess in many other ways.
There is a certain macabre humour about it, mind you. We were at Mark Steel’s local leg of his ‘Towns’ tour a few hours after the news had broken. A while before he’d tweeted asking for any interesting info on upcoming venues Newbury and Swindon. I bet you he’d not anticipated all this! It certainly added a whole new nuance to the backdrop pic of him posing in front of the town’s butchers shop, home of the ‘New ury Sausage; ‘ the missing letter having been knocked out by a roundhead pike, according to Mr S. (Another claim to fame I’d forgotten, our Civil War connections).
Changing the subject slightly, Mark’s thoughts on the miserable so and sos you find posting on on internet forums were one of the best parts of the evening, IMO. I swear he must have been reading some of our local places. Is being a miserable git* peculiar to our neck of the woods, or is it a disease of all small town community fora?
Sniping (mine) apart, we had a great evening, (as proven by the large bag of minstrels that I managed to munch my way through.) We really are lucky here. Small the town might be , but for arts, theatre and other entertainment, we’re really not too badly off at all. Even if the acts aren’t quite in the Jimi Hendrix league.
In other news, there’ve been not a few frissons of excitement up at what I must stop referring to as ‘Newchurch’ as our renewable energy project really begins to get underway. Read all about it here.. Great news.
*He put it rather more graphically than that, of course, but this is A Family Blog. 🙂
To: Miffy Jnr c/o Hop Farm Festival
Re: Your triops
In the unlikely event that you stumble upon this blog, could you please drag yourself away from His Royal Bobness for long enough to reply to your father’s text asking where you left the fishfood. The only stuff of any nutritional value to be found in your room is a tube of Boots fizzy Vitamin C tablets. I don’t think these will prove a suitable alternative. The ‘dozens of delightful creatures’ promised on the box have remained static at three, and since I got in, they appear to be mounting a go-slow. That – or they are experiencing a call to the ermitical life. Either way, they are nowhere to be seen.
Meet ‘Monty,’ Ms M’s latest acquisition. Cuddly, isn’t he?
We won’t be offering to babysit.