Thursday, 7 February 2008

The Lenten Rose and dancing to someone else's tune

These were one of his favourite winter plants and are now filling the garden with their droopy flower heads. Amazingly, there are bees out, diving in and out frenetically trying to gather some pollen. So too, is Pebble out in the sunshine, diving in and out of the plants, following Banjo, then diving back in through the open door whenever an unfamiliar noise erupts.

It's good to feel the warmth of the sun on my back as I take photos and talk to the cats, encouraging Pebble to come further into the garden and explore. A builder shouts and Pebble dashes back indoors.

I go to the new Dance class and try my best to contort my body into the impossible positions the class teacher commands. She demonstrates some peculiar moves while spinning on her back on the floor with her legs over her head and asks us to do the same. I look at a woman next to me who raises her eyes to heaven, we all laugh and get down on the floor just to appease the instructor. What occurred next did not resemble in any way the moves of the instructor. I have not put my body in such positions since attempting a Yoga class years' ago, or since having a very active sex life! She ended the class by reminding us to wear something pink or red next week to celebrate Valentine's day, and that she wanted to do some even more complex moves along the same theme as tonights. Hmmm, I think I shall give it a miss and try a different class next week, one that doesn't require me to stare at my own backside with one leg over my shoulder and spin like a demented character out of a horror movie.

I'd like to try something a little less complex and contortionalist. Like the Lenten Rose, I prefer to move according to my mood and the weather, not to an ex-dancer's need to show off. Hence my love of swimming... to my own tune.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Expensive Hair-Do

'Too many have given up generosity in order to practice charity.' Albert Camus. This was the quote of the day on my Google Account and so very true of some ex-friends of mine who firmly shut the door on me over a dispute on the meaning of words , whilst I believe, they were living under the cloak of charity. Thank you Puddock for bringing Albert Camus to my attention.

Moving on ... decided to treat myself to a hair-do at great cost, only to be dissappointed with the end result. The cut is expertly done, but shorter than I wanted, and I didn't realise this until the final blow-drying when I at last put my glasses on. Highlights are good, but half of them have been cut out for the final style. Like most British women in this predicament we say lamely that it is shorter than expected only to be met with 'but it really suits your face shape.' So, I made the next appointment for two months down the line in the hope that my hair grows rapidly and must remember next time to be more assertive about how much is to be cut off. As for highlights, well they look good for 5 minutes, but think I shall return to doing-it-myself in future.

Moving on again... I am now joining more classes at the Gym, so meeting more people... a necessity before I lose the power of face-to-face communication skills and speak only in 'cat'. Speaking of which, the cats fights most of the time, or rather, Pebble tries to fight Banjo, (his testosterone levels are still high), while she fends him off; lots of hissing, spitting, growling and fur-flying. When his hormones aren't racing through his system, he tries to rub into Banjo and wash her face... she mistrusts him and hisses quietly until he backs off. I nearly bought a book on recognising and interpreting cat behaviour, but it was too expensive, and I thought, what would that knowledge do for me... except to enable me to exclaim, 'Ah, so that's what they're doing.'

At least animals don't let you down; their love is unconditional and forgiving. Wouldn't it be great if family and friends were so?

Monday, 4 February 2008

Double-ended screws

For days I have been filling cracks in walls, washing down woodwork, sorting cupboards and drawers and putting the remains of 'Eygtian Sand' on the walls of the dining room. And, as is the custom of DIY, the curtain pole became loose and no matter how hard I tried, the screw would not hold. I trotted off to the local hardware-cum-ironmongery shop in the nearest town to ask advice from the nice man behind the counter, who has helped me out a bit in the past.

He ummmed and aarghed a little then said, 'what you need my love is a long screw'. I kept my eyes firmly lowered at the pile of screws I'd taken in with me, not daring to look him in the eye. 'Or, perhaps we could get away with a double-ended screw', he added. My lips remained firmly shut, while I desperately wanted to giggle. Luckily he remained deadly serious as I adopted a female 'haven't a clue' look. I ended up buying a complete new curtain pole complete with all fixtures and fittings, which amazingly fitted into the existing screw-holes on the wall.

Not so helpful was another man, in another builders' merchants where I'd gone to find replacement window latches and stays, of a certain measurement and style. Of course I couldn't find any and the said man muttered that I wouldn't find any like them in Oxford. However, daughter number one later suggested that I clean up the old ones and spray paint them with special metal paint. Brilliant idea!

While I have been occupied with all this decorating, Pebble attacks Banjo at every opportunity, lunging at her neck; (I think he must be at a difficult age in Cat terms). Banjo cannot tolerate this behaviour and 'beats him up' in return. Clumps of fur scatter the floor in each room. However, there has been a major breakthrough with Pebble's outdoor habits; he now goes in and out of the cat flap... mostly at dusk and dawn, so as not to be seen I suppose, so, no more litter trays!

As for their fighting, they will have to sort it out themselves while I continue to throw away junk and some memories that I no longer want to keep. The best memories are in my head.