Driving cats, Shingy goes X-rated, whatever next? Cont…

s and n cwall (3)
Ninja, Carnyorth, Cornwall circa 2001.

s and n cwall (2)
Pawn star in person outside my office window enjoying the sunshine and not catching any voles despite his best efforts at home in Carnyorth, Cornwall, end Feb 2001.

To approach this most delicate subject with some sense of decency, to give you a clue, granted, Ninja is a bit depraved. Will she ever grow out of sniffing Tom’s dirty underpants and socks and wanting her bottom smacked?


I knew her ‘uniqueness’ would be passed on down the genes but to this extent? Shingy can be considered strange but not half as strange as you realise. I’m still in two minds as to whether I should share this with you, or not. I mean… it’s embarrassing on a gargantuan scale.

Er, well, it’s like this.

Shingy is a virgin. He’s never been known to utilise his lipstick for anything other than his daily habits. The castration took place when he was a few months old. One minute he had bobbles with which to take care of, to proudly show off in the communal showers when the next – they’d gone. In one snip they went from a decent-sized pair of acorns to a couple of frozen peas. Sounds horrible, I agree, but unpreventable because try as I did, Shingy couldn’t get the hang of birth control. His claws got in the way and rendered every single contraceptive useless.

Put it this way, this type of contraception works better when intact. Better? I mean, it takes just one pinprick and you’re up a gum tree.

All right, back to embarrassing matter in hand. Hmm… is it hot for the time of year? What do you mean, no, get on with it you cowardy custard.

All right!

Shingy does porn. There! I said it.

Or should that be pawn?

It happens only when I’m in bed (don’t you dare say naturally) and only when certain conditions are imposed. No, not when the whips, chains and ice cream are to hand. Good grief! Maybe I’ve made more of this than there is.

Ice cream?

I have to be lying flat on my back and the bed covers must be right up under my chin (I imposed that) and only then will he jump up on top of me and begin. He gets into position. A sort of humpback whale pose ensues as his front paws slowly start to pull and claw at my duvet. I hang on to it with grim determination and the tips of my fingers but still it starts to creep its way down. It soon turns into a battle of wits. Who wins? Who’d you think! Not fair, he doesn’t have ME. That’s all there is to it except, should Tom walk in unexpectedly, Shingy will stop what he’s doing and jump off the bed.

It’s like the cold shower effect.

Every now and then he’ll interrupt himself and pause to glance over his shoulder to check the coast is clear before continuing. Meanwhile, I’m lying there underneath him like a hot dog wrapped up in its bun desperately praying this is the time he doesn’t turn around rendering my face two inches away from his frozen peas. On such occasions I have known to become the heavy parent and push him away.

I do have a cut-off point, thank you. I think it’s pretty liberal of me to allow him to do what he does in the first place. Only fair really. Ninja gets to nibble and dribble on my head while administering acupuncture and Shingy gets to do his thing but did it have to be that?

I don’t recall when it first began. It’s not exactly something you write up in your diary, is it. I didn’t know what he was up to until he was in full throttle by which time it seemed a shame to interrupt him. And so there we go! Happily it’s not a once a week event, more like once a month, on no particular day. Or time.

Sometimes, while under the spell of hypnotic animation, he’ll slip and I’ll get a back paw skidding across my chin with claws slightly extended. One time my nose got the full brunt of it. Thank goodness for make-up is all I can say. The whole thing lasts for about five minutes during which time his back legs start to wobble and they become bow-legged like Charlie Chaplin’s. His eyes resemble full moons along with a hypnotised look that makes them glaze over and I swear he has a silly grin plastered all over his face… until pow!

That’s it.

He jumps off the bed and toddles away. Not to smoke a cigarette, very funny, but I tell you this much. If he ever, ever, plants a wet nose on my cheek afterwards THAT’S IT! Africa it is. One-way ticket. Time to meet the cousins. Get some space between us.

Now I’ve managed to lose whatever street credibility I had, I’ll carry on with my story about my rapidly approaching classic car that is becoming more so with each passing minute.

As am I.

All right, what really happened?

Well, it is true we did climb into the car and find a hair belonging to Shingy on the area surrounding the gearstick that is still in need of a polishing. Must remember to bring my beeswax-environmentally-friendly polish outside and buff that up. It got me thinking. What if Shingy was taking the car out at night? Cruising. I embellished the story somewhat, this I confess. I do hold my hand up to that. With cats like Ninja and Shingy one does not need to embellish but in this case, I did.

It’s just that his hairs turn up everywhere.

It doesn’t matter if you take a trip to an office you’ve never been to before. There will be a Shingy hair waiting to greet you. It’s got so I look out for it. I can’t settle until I’ve come across it.

“So nice to meet you, Mr Brooke,” I say, pumping his hand in greeting while furtively glancing about me at the same time. “I knew it! There it is!”
“I beg your pardon?”
It’s the same in shops. “Hello, can I help you?”
“Yes, do you have this shirt in the same size but in black?”
“Yes, here we are.”
“Thank you,” I reply before screaming and pointing like a gibbering idiot as I spy a Shingy hair on the collar.
Tom opened up his new tub of margarine at work and guess what was in there? That’s right! Margarine. Was it alone? Of course it wasn’t!

There is something to be said of Rex cats… as ugly (but in a good way) as they are. It’s bizarre. It’s as if… hello? That sounds like the car. Must be Tom. As I was saying, it’s as if… eh? Tom’s still in the house. I can hear Lara Croft. Wait a minute. Let me look out the window. Hmm… it appears to be a car that looks just like ours. Staggering off down the road. Talk about bunny-hops! That’s strange. All I can see in the driver’s seat are outlines of what looks like two little triangles bobbing up and down.

Forgotten what I was going to say except don’t take this seriously, obviously it’s fabrication. Sadly, apart from the pawn. Two triangles bobbing up and down? Got it! It’s one of those hats that are all the rage. A woollen article with a flap that folds back on to the top of your head that from a distance looks like two little pyramids, yes, most cool. Wish I had one.

Driving cats? Ha! Ha! As if. Yes, sure, absolutely. Naturally it’s a hat, I mean, what else could it be.

Big, big, universally huge thank you to all you kind souls out there who take the time to visit my page and / or Like and / or Follow me and I will, I really will get around to visiting each and every one of you but for the moment I need to divert my incapacitated energy to other things which will also have an affect on my weekly blog resulting in an intermittent blog. So I might see you in a week or it might be a month. Don’t forget me. I won’t forget you. Be kind to yourselves, your kids, don’t eat sugar eat STEVIA instead. Anon, R.

s and n cwall (1)
Ninja taking time out from eating or rolling around in knickers and socks or dribbling all over my head.

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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Driving cats, Shingy goes X-rated, whatever next?

S in bag (1)
Shingy or Shingalana as a kitten 1997, Theale. Bet you can’t see me!

S in bag (2)
Here I am! I know, I know, corny as heck captions. Sorry about that but my creativity (such as it is) appears to be on extended leave hence my current “cheating” by posting excerpts from one of my books. What! So shoot me!

My car is fast approaching what is politely termed as a classic car. Shame they can’t do the same with people. “Ooh, she’s getting on a bit” is done away with. You simply become classic.

And on that note, I’m turning classic.

I know this because I find myself searching for songs on the radio years ago I’d have gone to any lengths to avoid. The type of song my mum would listen to given half the chance but for the Battle of the Knobs. It was a constant friendly war twiddling back and forth from Radio One to Radio Two and back again. Nowadays not even Radio Two is classic enough for me. Shut up do! I’m depressing myself. I think it’s too poppy, although, Shingy and Ninja appear to like the songs. Squeaking with delight when one of their favourites gets airplay. From some artiste I’ve never even heard of.

Let’s get back to the car.

The other day, Tom and I had some urgent business to attend to. Special offers on 3 ply recycled loo roll don’t come along every day. About twice a year if memory serves. As do the rude remarks the previous time when I purchased the toilet roll. I don’t believe ten packs justifies asking personal questions about my proposed bowel movements. Informing me their strawberry air freshener was selling for half price.

I opened the door, hopped in and promptly strangled myself as I always do when I buckle up. Would crashing through a windscreen head first be so unbearable compared to being strangulated and having your oxygen supply cut off? And that’s when I saw it. It was sitting there looking at me. Can cat hairs look? This one seemed to be. Right there on the polished walnut area that surrounds the gearstick, all right, all right, the area in need of polishing that surrounds the gearstick but I do know for a fact that it had been hair-free.

“Look at that!” I hissed.
“Look at what?” Tom replied.
“That,” I said, pointing with my index finger before getting back to wrestling with the snake in a valiant attempt to prevent it from crushing me as it always manages to do.
“What? What? That hair. It’s Shingy’s hair. I mean, how did it get there?”
“Floated off one of us?”
“That did not float. That was already there when we got into the car. You know what this means?”
“Rex cats in future?”
“No, he’s been sneaking out and cruising about in the car again.”

That would be it. Absolutely. A cat sneaking out in the middle of the night to go cruising in a car in which he can’t even reach the pedals let alone see anything considering he would be on eye level with the steering column.

Had I finally lost it? Not to mention he doesn’t even hold a current driving licence.

Had those feline reprobates finally driven me insane? This is highly possible but not in this instance. I know what you’re thinking. How would he manage to unlock the car door? By using Ninja’s abseiling equipment it would be possible unless he’s borrowing Ninja’s trampoline of which she has no further use thanks to her organic wonder medicine.

Take a sip and become rejuvenated. (And that’s a tale in itself).

I still think I should take some.

Jumping up and down with the car key in his paw only to hang on for dear life when he makes contact with the lock. Swinging there like a commuter on the London underground. No, that’s not what happens. You’re forgetting one thing. You’re forgetting who his mother is. Not me, his real one.

That’s right! Ninja, the super feline spy who taught James Bond everything he knows. Except for the intermittent smug mode, drinking Martinis, and the fact he’s permanently randy… actually cut that last bit. Yes, Ninja had to have her paw in this somewhere. Shingy couldn’t have done this alone. Not having to dust off and recruit Lieutenant Columbo for his professional opinion because I know full well what happens.

Actually, I don’t. It grieves me to say so. I’m gutted. I’m crying all over my Prada handbag and I call myself a writer?

Creative imagination? Huh! I can’t even work out how Ninja and Shingy manage to open the front door, scoot across to the car and open it, jump in, and prowl about in the middle of the night through the country lanes like Burke and Hare. Shingy propped up on a pile of cushions or my large exercise ball whilst doing his best not to puncture it. Ninja crouched on the floor operating the foot pedals.

Is that what I’m saying? Really?


Well, my instincts do tell me that Ninja along with her special cache of MI6 tools has to be playing a part in all this. I only have to dredge up memories of Ninja lobbing furry mice that emit poisonous gases whilst escaping out of a second-storey window to realise as much. She does it all. I admit I joked about Shingy having to use the trampoline but Ninja’s participation in all this is highly probable. The bit that has me stumped is – how did it all begin?

Or, it did, until today.

I jumped in the car. Wrestled with the anaconda. Needed a tissue. I went to open the glove compartment when it fell open by itself, the catch is a bit temperamental, and that’s when I saw it. Inside the compartment I keep a bag of hard-boiled sweets should we ever break down in the middle of nowhere and have nothing to survive on apart from tree bark and assorted pear drops. I pulled the bag towards me and peered at it more closely. Yes! Teeth marks! And unless the interior of the car had sprung a leak that was cat spit on the bag.

Cat spit on the plastic bag. I should have known. What does Shingy do? Double up as a bloodhound? That cat will go to any lengths to chew on plastic. His preference is clear plastic bags. I mean, how could he smell plastic that’s inside a car twenty feet from the house? He could have seen me putting the sweets in there, I suppose. I mean, the way he creeps about the house and suddenly pops up can be more than a little disconcerting.

Suddenly you’ll find a pair of unblinking ginger eyes watching you from the top of the stairs, the bottom of the stairs, underneath the stairs. Swinging from the chandelier if we had one… in fact they’d both be swinging what with their non-aversion to perversion.

What do I mean? Huh! Are you sure you want to know the answer to that?

I feel compelled to warn you it is X-rated. I know. I know! What does X-rated have to do with cats? Normally, not much but when it comes to Cynthia Ninja Payne and her son – anything is possible.

To be continued…

Ninja Theale circa 1995-6
Theale, mid 1990s. Ninja caught in the act of ejecting my video. A few times on coming home from work I didn’t get to see “Neighbours” and had to catch up on Sunday with the omnibus version.

Orb in France (5)
And here she is, my classic, and looking a dirty one too but then she’d recently motored all the way from the UK to France. For all you ghostly adventurers out there what do you make of that orb-like thing floating to the rear left wheel of the vehicle?


Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Definition of a Ninja.

No! Not that Ninja, as gorgeously sexy as they are. Ooh, I do love most things Japanese I must say. I’m talking about my Ninja. As below. You’ll get to know her a little better in the coming weeks. You have been warned.

N barkham road 17 3 95
Ninja, six months old, March 1995, Wokingham, Berkshire. In a perfect backwards arc hanging on to her fish on a string. She might have been tiny but she was a strong little minx.

N in fruit bowl
Theale, Berkshire circa 1998. Okay, I know, most people put fruit in theirs.

S and N fruit bowl
Hey, Mum! I don’t think there’s room for me.

N France 2003
Ninja, 2003, France. That was a good one tell it again!

Ninja, May 2008, Germany. Gorgeous girl fast asleep. Thank goodness! Moment of peace.

Before I begin many thanks again to each and every blogger out there who took the time to read my stuff, like it, follow me. Don’t follow me I’m lost too. Boom! Boom! In the 70s I wore such a patch on my jeans depicting a rather hairy caricature of a figure looking like Russell Brand who’s just come in from a hurricane below which said just that. “Don’t follow me I’m lost too!” It summed me up at the time. And on and off since. Anyway, my old fruit cakes, I will get round to visiting your blog maybe not this week or even month but in six months time but I will visit. What’s the big deal it only takes a couple of minutes I might hear some say, hmm? And fair point except it doesn’t take me just a couple of mins. I like to make my visit count and do it right. Properly look through your stuff in return and perhaps spend up to an hour on your site. I tried to keep up and cut corners but it didn’t sit well with me and it doesn’t work. Again, thank you.

Happiness to you and do something nice for yourself and at least one other.

And apologies for missing last week’s blog but energy took over or rather the lack of and I was completely incapacitated when I did a silly thing in pulling a muscle. You never appreciate how much you use your muscles until they are damaged. I’m talking about the muscle under my breast bone but fear not! I was fine just as long as I didn’t lie flat or sit up, cough, sneeze, talk, blow my nose or breathe too deeply. Apart from that it was fine. When I did have to sneeze or cough or blow my nose I soon discovered the only way to achieve this with the minimum amount of pain was to squat down and stick my bottom out behind me. I mean, can you imagine if I had to do that in public? Really!

Anyway, blog as below is once again about cats as they do seem to go down well. It’s all true apart from the time frame and I do not own a Prada handbag. Allow me a little artistic license.

Definition of a Ninja:
Engineering genius, pilot and a world-class feline secret agent (003½) with a Licence to Fill her stomach all prettily wrapped up in a foghorn for a voice and still as powerful albeit somewhat croaky in later years. It sounds like she’s gargling. Interfering with video recorders remains a favourite hobby of hers. She just can’t get into DVDs.

As I sit here attempting to give the impression I’m working my mind wanders back to last month. This isn’t difficult. I tend to do it a lot. What momentous occasion has popped into my mind interrupting the important decision-making of whether to take out a comma or leave it in?

Well, if it was good enough for Oscar Wilde… is it something of a romantic nature, I hear you ask? Absolutely! Allowing a cat to dribble all over your head could be considered romantic within some cultures.

But I digress.

Last week, Ninja was sick. That unmistakable retching sound only a cat can do with such aplomb and finesse woke me up. Well, perhaps finesse is too strong a word. Not to worry, I thought in my half sleep, I’ll clean it up tomorrow, and went back to my dreams. Now, where was I? Was it Rudolph Valentino this time or was I about to have my neck bitten by Bela Lugosi… Tom! I left behind a curious combination of bats and sheiks to hear Tom sounding off like he’d just trodden in something nasty and that’s because he had.
“What’s this on the carpet?”
“What’s what?” I shouted down.
How was I supposed to answer such difficult questions and so early on in the morning all before a life-affirming hot drink? I grabbed my Prada handbag (recent acquisition second-hand done my bit for recycling) and shuffled downstairs to find Tom hopping about like he was performing an excerpt from Riverdance.

He just couldn’t get that bendy Barbie doll swing thing they do from below the knee.

“What’s up?”
“This!” he cried, shoving his foot towards my face.
I moved my Prada handbag safely out of the way and stepped forward to find myself gazing down at what appeared to be a flattened hairy prune stuck to the bottom of his foot. Suddenly, I remembered the escapades of the night before.
“I think Ninja was sick,” I replied helpfully, looking at my little tortoiseshell bundle looking back at me.
Tom said nothing. He hopped over to the staircase before limping up each stair on the heel of his foot. That’s all right. I’ll clean it up, then, shall I?
“I’ll clean it up then, shall I?” I said.
“Would you? That would be a great help, thanks!”

I placed my Prada handbag safely on the couch, looked at it lovingly, and glanced down at the carpet. There on the floor was the offending stain. I was about to head for the usual assortment of hot water, sponge and disinfectant, when I spied another on the arm of the couch. Then I saw another on the edge of the rug, and another all over Tom’s Kylie Minogue CD. I had to agree with that one but what on earth? They were everywhere! Had Shingalana, her much larger son, grabbed Ninja by her tail and swung her round and round as she projected regurgitated fur balls and tuna fish?

It looked like we’d been bombed by anti-aircraft.

Tip: Do not rush to clean up cat sick. Let it dry. It’s much easier to scrape off. It comes up like a mini dried cowpat leaving you to simply clean offending stain with hot water, disinfectant and a scratchy sponge. Do remember to discard sponge straight afterwards to prevent it being used to wash the dishes in a momentary lapse of forgetfulness.

How do I know it was Ninja? Being sick, I mean. I recognise her retch. It sounds like a Lada starting on a cold day. Plus, she’s sick more often than Shingalana. What do you mean, like all supermodels she vomits! That’s how she stays so thin. Cheek! It’s simply one of those things like something else peculiar to her. Something she’s been doing since she was a kitten.

I’ve racked my brain in trying to approach this with some vestige of decency and the sad thing is, I can’t! I’m gutted. It shows a huge deficiency in my writing ability and as I sit here lamenting my lack of skill I sob into Ninja’s fur. She leaves them all over the place like calling cards. But it’s not something that’s ever caused me enough concern to have her bundled into her basket and off to seek advice from the vet.

Besides, it’s not a daily occurrence. More like once a month.

I simply remove offending object and wipe the immediate area clean with hot water, disinfectant and scratchy sponge… especially cautious not to experience mode of memory loss and wash up dishes with same sponge later on in day. As if! Yuck.

What am I talking about?

Put it this way.

How did one of those little round chocolates that are so light they float in the air all by themselves (you’d think NASA would be interested) end up on my carpet when we didn’t even buy any, hmm?

Never walk barefoot in our house is all I can say. If you’re not kicking one of Ninja’s calling cards you’ll be squelching about in one of her regurgitated meals. I think it’s because she gobbles down her food. I’ve only ever heard sounds like that before on a pig farm.

“Oh, look at that! How long has that been hiding there?” You can hear us laugh as we grab some hot water, disinfectant, kitchen roll and scratchy sponge.
“Where do they come from?”
“Honestly? Do I really have to answer that?”

It’s a Ninja thing and it’s fine by me. And Tom, too. But then I’m usually the one who stumbles upon them and consequently disposes of them like a regular bomb disposal expert.

We have a theory. She licks herself constantly. Ninja could lick for the UK. Anyway, when she visits the toilet it’s quite possible that (a chocolate that floats in the air all by itself surely would have NASA interested) her deposit gets tangled up with the hairs in her digestive system and ends up sticking to her bottom like Velcro. However, the rapid movement of her little legs causes it to disarm itself only to be discovered by someone at a later date.

And that would be me.

It’s simply one of those things. It’s dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders along with disinfectant and a sponge, still, I can’t help wishing… wait a moment! Has the central heating gone up the spout? I’m burning up and it’s not even summer. It’s autumn. Ah, yes, autumn. It’s that time of year when breath is in the air each time you speak along with heaps of russet-coloured leaves dancing at your feet.

Shingalana adores this time of year. Autumn allows him to act like his big cousins in India and Africa. Hunting and rustling about in the leaves. Not that he ever catches anything. He just likes to mimic his relatives doing what comes naturally in their natural habitat. He never misses his favourite programme on BBC2. You know the one, that wildlife show they do so well. Shingalana likes to imagine he’s one of the big cats and if his body language is anything to go by, it would appear tigers are among those he wishes most to emulate.

But then, that comes as no surprise.

The name, Billy Arjan Singh, is spoken with reverence in this household. At his home at Tiger Haven in India, Billy demonstrated care towards ‘big’ cats, to all animals, the only way a human being should: on equal terms and with respect. Most individuals would hitch up their dhoti and run for their lives when confronted by the sight of a fully-grown tiger strolling towards them, but not Billy.

According to Billy, there was only one difference between the cats that would drop in at his home and a house cat. A regular-sized plastic poop scoop simply didn’t do it. A shovel was far more in keeping. He is a man to emulate. Billy, bless you, and may your persona live on.

Sorry, have to go. I can hear that Lada starting up again. Oh, good grief! Have you thought of eating more grass, darling, just as a suggestion?

S theale garden ca 98 (1)
What was that? Did you see that? Theale Circa 1998. Shingalana or Shingy less than a year old still growing and already bigger then Mum, Ninja.

S theale garden ca 98 (3)
I’m sure it went this way…

S theale garden ca 98 (2)
Or did it go this way?

N and S garden theale ca 98
Wassup? What was it? Something I’d be interested in? Oh, do tell!

N and S on stairs theale 98
Theale circa 1998. Love Mum so much I just have to squash her.

N and S on Wsill 3 5 99
Theale, May 1999. See the difference in size? Mum was tiny whilst son grew to be enormous. He gets bigger. Bless them both! Love you lots, Mummy. x


Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Hmm… must be wash day.


“Well, really! I don’t think much of this week’s entry whatsoever.”

I love Tina, honestly, I do. She’s a gorgeous, clever little Spanish athlete who just happens to be feline. A loving, sensitive and highly intelligent rescue cat from Spain who is a joy to have around. Yes, you’re quite right, there’s a “but” coming.

How can I put this delicately?

Let me think about this.

Right! Thought long enough, she pongs. Absolutely. The aroma which emits from her little person can sometimes have you gagging and wishing your sinuses were completely congested because Tina has her moments of absolutely humming to high heaven.

We, being my ex-husband and I, give her a regular bath. First it was every three months which increased to every two months and now it’s every five weeks. She loves them. Has no aversion to water whatsoever which is lucky for us. If we let her she’d be on her back playing amongst the bubbles (cruelty-free, naturally) having the time of her life with her rubber mouse.

The thing is, Tina was tested positive for the FIV virus. And me being me I rushed or as near to it to the Internet to do a whole load of reading up about FIV in cats otherwise known confusingly as Feline Aids. She has the virus not full-blown aids it’s not the same thing. Anyway, before I get sounding too much like a Dr Kildare for cats, Tina’s saliva is pretty potent and this is predominantly what gives her that unique fragrance as the more she licks herself the more she pongs. I mean, that’s putting it mildly. You know of the Komodo dragon and how its spit is so lethal it can remove paint from a piece of furniture in the next county. Like that bedside cabinet you finally threw out as forget “distressed” this was already on St. John’s wort? A Prozac equivalent.

Tina the Komodo.

The poor little thing can’t help it, I know that! But it’s not only us who benefit from her date with water she’s none too happy about smelling like something that’s past its sell-by date either, I can tell you. And me being me having ME have to be careful. They say cats with the FIV virus or even Feline Aids can quite happily live alongside humans as humans cannot catch anything from the cat. This is true. Absolutely true. Except where I’m concerned. But then I never claimed to be “normal” not my favourite word to describe a person or activity as what’s normal?

Surely something that’s different for everyone.

My immune system is knackered. Not worth much. And therein lies the clue. I have learnt to be extra careful and wash my hands even more diligently after touching Tina. Besides, she didn’t mean to give me an infected eye. It wasn’t her fault I went around looking like Charles Laughton in the 1939 version of “Quasimodo” but without the hunched back for almost a month. My fault entirely.

Would I welcome another animal with the FIV virus? Absolutely. They can’t help it as much as I can’t help my ME. In fact, having ME has made me more tolerant of the fact she has this illness. She has her freaky moments as it does affect the brain (not many people know that) and of course she has her pongs. I learnt a long time ago you adapt and fit in with the world you can’t expect the world to change for you.

And I wouldn’t change a thing about her.

Best to you and much happiness,

Tina fast asleep on the lamp base on the desk of my ex-husband. Yes, this is not my desk. No, I do not have pictures of women’s naked bottoms adorning my desk not to mention Pokemon. As Tina would say, well, really!

Wolf Black blog:

Working website:


Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


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So, that’s how it is, is it?

Rosie and Tina Nov 2013

Nov 2013. I do this a lot and other days hardly or not at all. I’m not in bed just under cover, resting, furry attendant on hand.

Just like to start off by voicing my sincere appreciation and delight to all those of you who have taken the time and trouble to read my rubbish and actually enjoy it. Thank you. Much appreciated. And profuse apologies for not being able to reciprocate and therein lies the crux.

Where I’m concerned it’s not so much a lack of time although that is an issue as my days can be very short. Part of my concern has to do with energy.

Okay, what am I going on about now?

Well, put it this way. Can you hoover or vacuum without too much trouble? Yes, I know, it’s no problem you have Ethel come in twice weekly. How about washing your hair? As in the bath or shower? I could go on with a list of questions but as I’m not a masochist, I won’t.

When I’m in the bath and I’m not getting X-rated here, I sit down with the shower hose in my hand, I rest my head on my drawn-up knees and simply let the water run over my hair as it is too painful to raise them in order to rub at my head.

It’s always been the arms. The arms always get it. Hoovering can sap what strength I have and so can brushing my hair, the latter of which can be a pain because of the action of lifting my arms up. And the severity of that depends on if I am having a good day or a bad one.

I have what I call Malaria-like attacks. That’s the easiest thing I can relate it to for easier understanding, although, every day is never free of pain be it in my back, my legs, arms or head, but I’ve learnt to live with that and just get on with it. No problem but it’s there.

I also have a limited amount of energy be it mental or physical so I have to be careful how I use up that parcel of energy. Do I use it up on cooking myself something to eat, cleaning up cat sick, or attempting to write or read something or simply getting out of bed? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve held full-time jobs down in the past. Just to confuse the issue.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with you then!

Actually, I don’t know if I’d refer to it as something “wrong” but I do have ME or ME/CFS or CFS call it what you will as it comes under all those terms.

How can you work but not wash your hair “normally”!

It’s all to do with putting all my energy and concentration on the job in hand be it my full-time job (I’m talking late nineties) watching television, whatever really which leaves me with nothing left over for anything else. Any activity no matter how simple it may appear but both physical and mental activities can be a pain of a strain.

If you’re that sick you can’t do your job properly you should be in a wheelchair!

If anything I do, or did, it better! Purely because with the ME you have to be methodical, extremely so, and because you are acutely aware of your “quirks” you pay extra attention to the job in hand. When I worked all my energy went on my job I led a strict life (I still do) and I had nothing left over for anything else. But I wasn’t complaining. I see it as nothing to complain about. I re-charged my batteries over the weekend ready for Monday and getting through each day the best I could. Which was pretty good considering. I might go a different route to most other people but I get the job done and I get it done to a high standard and simply because it’s done differently doesn’t make it wrong.

This is only touching the surface of ME/CFS. I haven’t even approached the subject of diet and allergies or stress, the mitochondrial, or how I can be quite well (at least for me) one minute when the next I look and feel like I’m auditioning for a part in a zombie film. For all I know I haven’t done a great job in explaining it. I appreciate it is truly hard to understand. I find it so although not so much these days I’ve lived with it for nearly 25 years, and I’m the one who has it! What’s going on here then! Oh, right, yep, it’s only my old friend, ME.

So that’s it really. I’m blogging to keep my hand in. Blame my old tutor! Not old in age old as in an ex-tutor. She was disappointed to learn I wasn’t writing much these days so I made the effort and got two blogs up and running (one is for Wolf Black my male alter ego) aspiring to getting my impetus and energy enough with which to finish my autobiography. On top of getting my jewellery out there. And if anyone enjoys my blogs whilst I’m at it that’s really cool, that’s fantastic, and I’m sorry I can’t keep up the pace and buzz about and reciprocate.

Just wanted to let you know.

Take care, be well, be happy.

Wolf Black blog:

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Say what you mean and mean what you say, say what?

dinner dance lookalikes

You can look twice but that is not Marilyn Monroe snuggling up to Charlie Chaplin and neither is it Joan Collins looking sultry standing next to Clint Eastwood doing what Clint does best. They are lookalikes appearing at my company’s biennial dinner dance 1999 courtesy of yours truly. At the time I was a PA to a bigwig director and part of my duties included arranging the dinner dance. Nice one, Joanie.

The other day I was asked a question which I did my best to answer but as I found it rather amphibious it resulted in my waffling a bit, I know as hard as that is to believe, before realising the word I was looking for was in fact ambiguous. But then again considering the nature of the question it may well have been deemed fishy.

What question! What answer!

It was to do with my jewellery.

What jewellery!

I’ll get back to that. Talking of ambiguous I am guilty of this. Of being ambiguous I mean. When in 2012 I took my A-level equivalent in creative writing, my tutor had to pull me up a couple of times by my ear lobes when she deemed I was being vague. And quite right she was too. Simply because I follow what I’m talking about doesn’t automatically mean everyone else will. Take for instance when in a recent blog I spoke of vegan cheese and how I should be congratulated for at least trying it. Oh yes, the Vegan Trying It medal. This was way, way back when eating vegan cheese was as pleasant as having a red hot needle poked in your eye. Unlike today. One could be forgiven for thinking I simply went back to eating cow cheese. Wrong! I continued to go without but I failed to make that crystal clear, didn’t I!

I apologise for being an amphibian.

And there’s another instance too. Good grief, was I on drugs? No, but I did have a hangover and not an alcohol-induced hangover a caffeine overload hangover (if you can call two cups of espresso an overload). I referred to a white milky-frothy-so-it-looks-just-like-clouds coffee as a farty latte as in arty-farty because let’s face it, they are, and I figured my meaning was clearly evident. Or? Although farty could be appropriate too, I mean, coffee can have that effect on one. Baked beans does it for some.

So, what jewellery?

Well, I took it upon myself to design and create a range of jewellery. Personally, I’m not that into jewellery but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate nice stuff and neither does it affect my aim to make others happy with my designs. I am not a girlie girl. I don’t particularly enjoy shopping, gossiping (well, sometimes) and throughout my life my closest friends have always been male. Platonic male friends. Apart from a couple of very, very dear and long-suffering females with whom I am incredibly lucky enough to connect.

I only hope they feel the same.

On that note, I wish you well.

Best wishes and ttfn,


Blue Deep Ocean.
Jewellery Mizuki by Rosemarie

Ninja windowsill

Ninja at home, 7 Swallowfield Gardens, Theale, Berkshire, 15 June 1997. Beautiful, funny, incorrigible, intelligent, liked sleeping on heads mine in particular. All gone now. And I am being purposely amphibious.


Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Playboys, hangovers and The Queen Mum

In last week’s blog I promised you this week’s entry would be shorter. I’m not one to go back on my word. Absolutely not. As if. I said it would be much shorter and short it shall be.

Bye then,

Rosie as Wee Willie Winkie and brother Richard dressed as a beauty queen Pontins Jersey 1966

Mid-late ‘60s. Jersey, Channel Islands. Guess which one is me! Not the pretty one in the bikini that’s for sure. That happens to be my brother. Picture taken by Dad, professional photographer, ex-ice hockey player, yachtsman, skier, playboy. By the time this photo was taken all that rollicking was way in the past and nothing but a cold memory. Particularly the ice hockey except for one permanent reminder. My father’s shins had faint but permanent bruises on them until the day he passed away. Nice thing to remember about your dear departed dad. His psychedelic shins.

Yes, still here. Can’t get rid of me that easily.

Actually, to be honest, I’m sitting here nursing a hangover and before you start tut-tutting it’s not like that. I braved the elements this morning wrapped up in white oversized jumpers and doing a fine impersonation of a Michelin Man in the process, for two reasons. One, to flog my jewellery and two, to meet an old and dear friend I haven’t seen in ages also called Bach. I’m Bach by birth. I only added the “Holzer” on getting married as I steadfastly refused to relinquish my Bach. Since my divorce in 2001 I’ve been seriously reconsidering in reverting back to my maiden name. Indeed, some things I don’t do in a hurry.

Where does the hangover fit in?

Being sociable, as that’s what one has to be when mixing with friends, apparently, we met in a café where we, Bachy, my ex and I, caught up over a hot chocolate, a farty latte with bells on and an espresso. The latter being mine and on reflection not the wisest of choices. Two espressos later I was jumping out of my own skin. My fault entirely as I should only drink decaffeinated but I told myself it’s not every day I do this; be sociable and try to flog my jewellery.

What jewellery? If I may, I’ll divulge next time. But before I say ta-ta I have a question which has nothing at all to do with young boys impersonating young girls (he won first prize in the fancy dress contest), purple-coloured legs or desperately trying to think of something to talk about whilst trying valiantly to disguise that fact. Question: What do Britney Spears, The Queen Mother, and I have in common? Can you guess? Got it yet? No? Shall I tell you? Nothing! Absolutely nothing. But talking of The Queen Mum, if you haven’t seen “The King’s Speech” starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, and you’re stuck for something to do, rent it, you won’t be disappointed.

Signing off, best to you,

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Maggots, great-grandfathers and stinky alleys

Ajax and cows

Lintig, Germany, back garden, circa 1983. I think I should name this picture “Spot the Cat”. He’s there. Look closely and you’ll see facing the cows two shadowy grey ears. His name is Ajax. Beautiful boy. Intelligent. Played fetch with his ball. Bless his soul. Always in my heart.

Hello fellow bloggers and I hope this finds you well and blooming in all the right places. A few years back… no, more like in the area of 17 years ago, argh! Slow down, do. Parts of me are still lodged in the 20th century. I can’t catch up. And gone off the subject, as usual.

Err, cheese.

Yes, cheese. Not your stinky, ripe old blue where maggots are practically crawling from it cheese. I’m serious. My maternal great-grandfather used to guzzle down blue cheese (and whatever inhabitants in it at the time) so ripe I am practically related to a fly. Anyway, in the mid to late-nineties and for a couple of years I became an absolute vegan and never felt better. Absolutely. And I did it in my own inimitable way (some would call it obsessive) of going the whole hog. Didn’t eat animals or their by-products and neither did I wear them. I would buy my footwear from a great charity called Animal Aid and my handbags from “Stinky Alley” in the heart of Reading, Berkshire.

Yes, so-called because this particular alleyway always ponged a bit.

A curious mixture of Domestos, raw meat and incense sprinkled with unidentifiable aromas would assault your nostrils whenever you were in the vicinity. Reading, for those who are unaware, is made up of old, delightful, narrow cobbled alleyways either side of which sit various shops. And one such establishment was an ethnical type of place that sold material bags made from velvet and anything else as long as it didn’t once have a pulse. Opposite and on the corner to the ethnics with supplies direct from India and Africa and the proprietor’s auntie from Bethnal Green who was a dab hand at sewing, sat a butchers which was the main contributor.

To the pong, I mean.

The smells emanating from his shop were delightful. Blood, fat, raw meat all mixed together with that most beastly of bleaches, Domestos. Hadn’t he heard of Ecover?

Anyway, bear with there is a point. I could never get on with vegan cheese. Frankly it was hideous. I tried. Give me a gold star for trying but honestly I’d have been better off melting the plastic packet in which it came and pouring that over my cauliflower.

And here’s where my ex-husband enters the picture.

Profuse apologies if you are finding this entry to be an elongated waffle. Next week’s will be shorter. Guarantee it.

Congratulations to aforementioned ex-husband for recently discovering a vegan cheese which tastes DELICIOUS! No thoughts of “Why did they bother this stuff is horrible” and “Good grief they must be joking I’m expected to eat that?” even remotely entered my head. Brilliant to see at least one thing has improved in the 21st century. Vegan cheese. Lovely jubbly.

Um, in case you are wondering, I lapsed. At least for the moment. No longer can I claim to be a vege not when I’m sitting here with dead Antipodean sheep gracing my feet otherwise known as Kiwi Ugg boots. And something else too. All vegans and vegetarians reading this cover your eyes. Eating the odd piece of fish. I know, I know, and yes, I have seen “Finding Nemo” maybe I should watch it again. Sorry, not proud of it but each to their own. Live and let live. Make the choice with your conscience. At which point I can’t help but wonder if there’s such a thing as an inverted type of VA? Vegans Anonymous.

Best, best.

PS. I mentioned the elderly woman in a previous blog let’s not forget the mature gentleman who lives alone at the end of your street. Why not take him out to your local for a pint? He’d like that. And you’ll feel none too shabby either.

Skip over to my counterpart as below to read more daftness about insects the size of a small country and their relationship to cooking utensils.

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Ballet and tap.


Bebe 1

Guernsey, CI, circa 1978. It’s a poodle. Yes, it is, no, it’s not a mouse wearing a bear suit on his way to a fancy dress party it really is a poodle puppy. Called Bébé. And what a character she was. A right handful of incorrigible brown curls. Bless you, Bébé. However, should you prefer your canines the size of a small vehicle I aim to please. Simply hop over to my counterpart at
and meet Rex.

It could be my ten years studying classical ballet that… sorry? Oh yes, just call me Rosie Fonteyn why don’t you, anyway, it could be my ballet training that is so installed in me that my posture is such that I stand as straight as a ramrod. Or, at least that used to be the case. Nowadays thanks to my decrepit well-being in general it’s more like a ram’s horn. No, I exaggerate. But my shoulder blades do tend to stick out a tad if I don’t make a concerted effort to stand up super straight and pull my shoulders back.

And there’s the thing.

When you stand as such it automatically makes your chest stick out and considering my cheekbones are the sum total of anything of mine that comes in pairs that can actually be considered prominent, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a beneficial move. Quite possibly but it feels silly but then I’d rather feel it then look it. I mean, who wants chicken wings on their back. I’ve done the yellow canary hair and that’s as far as I care to go in my emulation of anything ornithological as much as I adore them and animals in general.

Except snakes.

And to end on a familiar note. You are now acquainted with the electronic singing choir in the Rosie household? Well, to add to this list I now have a tapping telephone. Yes, my telephone taps, although, it could be described as a tick. Tap… tap… tap or tick as I can’t quite make up my mind, and then a pause, and just as I’m beginning to relax, another tap. What next – a whistling kettle that doesn’t?

Best to you. Tap, groan, chirp, miaow! That was the cat. And quite an acceptable response too when a hasty ex-husband treads on her tail.


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Sally and the Sign People by Rosemary Bach-Holzer

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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Spanish athletes are feline

IMG_0002 (2)

Mum’s poodle, Meg, Guernsey, circa late 80s. On her return from the poodle parlour. That’s the dog, not Mum. Yes… do you reckon the stylist was having a bad day or something because I never knew they gave short back and sides to dogs.

Yesterday I couldn’t make up my mind if I was feeling hot or cold. The heating was being turned on and off so many times it looked like I was attempting a Morse code message with my Calor gas flame. Ah, well, at least I’m not on the receiving end of any birds knocking at the window which is always a good sign although the other day there were a couple of chaffinches flitting about in the naked tree pecking away on something only visible to birdy beady eyes.

Tina, the cat, spied them and instantly began a one-way monologue.

Tina is a little strange which has nothing to do with the fact she’s from Spain. I’m sure of it. Like all good Spanish she’s a superb athlete and loves playing with her squeaky mice, catnip mice and my supply of Labellos. She lobs the flying toy back and forth with such skill you could be forgiven for thinking you are in the middle of a tennis match. Or she’ll jump with both arms raised to intercept the flying offender in a move that any goalie would be proud to emulate.

The weirdness comes into play when she attempts to scale my back like Edmund Hillary.

As I’m sitting upright at the time I can only surmise she’s stuck flypaper to the soles of her feet in her hope to scale the summit and plant a Spanish flag on the top of my head. Well, it would make a change from a tin of organic tomatoes flavoured with basil.

I think I’m a little weird so the cat is in good company so to speak.

She’s a rescue cat from Spain hence the flag of her country. I trawled through all available cat rescue shelters to find her as company for my ex-husband. So he wouldn’t miss something weird and catty muttering about the place when I’ve returned to the UK. And that’s weird in itself, I mean, who stays with their ex-spouse? Does any of this ring a bell with anyone out there or is it just me?

Talking of which… all right! Bear with, bear with! Let me get my little plug in. “Cat Tales” is continuing to do well on Nook. Three excellent reviews. Well, two and one with five stars but no comment. Probably lost for words. Thank you kind readers for your input whomever you are.

Well, back to it.

Happy New Year to one and all, and just a thought, say hello to that old person down the road who lives all alone. Maybe even offer to help with something or pop in for a cup of tea. One day, that could be you. Or me. Oh, nice! What an inspiring note on which to finish. Can’t do it. Think on. One is never truly alone when one is in the company of good music, good books, and a good dog (or cat)!

Best, best,
Rosie x

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Cat Tales by Rosemary Bach-Holzer


Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


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