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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Annual UK Vixen Bash

Today our lovely Ann invited Eliza, Diane and me to her house for our annual reunion. We three met up on a busy Tube station platform, and were so busy chatting we appear to have missed the first train to our destination! (We told Ann it had been redirected...) When we got to Ann's nearest station her son picked us up and took us to her house. It's easy to see she's passed on her sense of humour as well as her kindness.

Ann has a reputation as a fantastic cook, and she put enough delicious food in front of us to feed an army. She put out her deli-special salad spread, with great quiches, followed by fruit and cream filled meringues, cake - honestly, it was almost impossible to move afterwards!

Of course, the order of the day was to talk about Vincent, and in particular Diane's visit to NYC to see the great George Geronimo Gerkie. She brought the Joe's Pub gang's pictures on a CD, and we drooled over them on Ann's big screen TV. She also gave us a photocopy each of the sheet listing Vincent and his fellow musicians' set for the show, autographed by them all, including Himself.

Eliza dispensed the wisdom of her amazing computer knowledge. She's the only reason many of us know how to make pictures from DVDs, post them on blogs, and do all the other things we didn't even know existed when we first discovered Vincent.

All I managed to do was listen entranced. Poppy and Pansy kindly sent Ann half-a-dozen eggs.

We were so lucky that Ann's son was still in the area when it was time for us to go, and he took us back to the Tube - though not before kidding his mother that he was driving to my neck of the woods "if anyone needs a lift there". You'd think she'd know by now!

Sadly, we were too busy talking to remember to take any pictures, so here's one of the lovely GGG instead.

I don't have any information saved with this picture as to whose it is, so may I say a big thank you to the Vixen who provided it for our delectation, and please identify your good fortune and genius so that you can be credited with your generosity in sharing it with us.

I just got word that this is one of Ruby's pictures cropped by someone else, so thank you Ruby, you have been so generous with your lovely pictures and videos.

So Proud

Last year, when Shelley celebrated his 18th birthday, I asked the Birman Cat Club to add him to the Veterans page of their website, which they did, updating it a couple of months ago. This section of the website is in two parts, one showing information about elderly Birmans who are still alive, the other celebrating those who are no longer with us.

Shelley has just been awarded his place in the roll of Birmans who have shuffled of their mortal coil at a very advanced age. He has his honourable mention here:

I love him so much.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Everybody's Man

Not just ladies, eh Snark?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Beer and Chocolate

It was back to work yesterday, but just for one day. Rather than mope around today, I went back to London Zoo to see how the new male gorilla was getting on. What I found were a couple of potential stars for future ads.

There are two baby toucans, who would be lovely models for Guinness ads when they grow up:

(OK, I own up, that was the same baby twice.)

The gorilla is relaxed enough to feature in a Cadbury's ad like the one a couple of years ago that went viral on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RequiesCat In Pace

Late last night, my darling, precious cat Shelley died. He was 19 years 4 months and 28 days old.

Shelley, a blue point Birman, was born on April 2nd 1991 and was named Adraylo Katya Kabanova. His first owners named him Phantom, and his brother, Magic.

When they were a year old, I adopted them when their owners were not able to keep them. They didn't answer to their names, so I called them after my favourite poets, Byron and Shelley.

The early days
Shelley plays in a box while Byron gives himself a manicure

The inseparable brothers curled up in the laundry basket
Shelley is as the top

Four years later, at the age of only 5, Byron dragged himself home with serious injuries one Saturday night. The emergency vet x-rayed him and found a shattered pelvis. I will never know how it happened. He could have found his way to the road and been run over, but he would never have been able to get back home again.

Shelley was the friendliest, most affectionate cat you could imagine. When visitors rang to doorbell, he would run to meet them when my other cats ran away and hid. He played with the window cleaner through the glass. He climbed into workmen's toolboxes, and most would have happily taken him away with them.

He used to visit other people in their homes, and unlike most cats, who flee from children, would play with their kids in the garden.

Shelley loved the garden when he was younger

He never lost his pleasure in stretching out somewhere comfortable

Snuggled in a plant pot was a great place to snooze

As he grew older, he became more frail. His back legs were weak, and when he got an infection 18 months ago, I thought the vet would be unable to save him. But medication, TLC, and a permanent berth on my bed all contributed to his recovery. He has lived on my bed for those 18 months, happy to snuggle down with me under the covers (especially on hot nights when I was having hot flushes) or to pat my face till I turned over to give him a hug.

Shelley on his 19th birthday on April 2nd this year

Over the past few weeks, Shelley has become weaker and weaker. His back legs were unable to carry him, and he often dragged himself to his litter tray. I knew the time was coming when he would have to leave me, but I was dreading having to take him to the vet's to have him put to sleep.
When he became severely constipated, he had to have an operation. He managed to survive the anaesthetic. A return visit the following week showed that he had made as good a recovery as could be hoped. Then he flagged once more. The usual vet was on holiday, and his partner "would put him down if he was mine, because he can't walk". But she said his temperature was low, and this signified that his systems were failing. I took this as a sign that I might be able to let him meet a natural end at home.
Over the long weekend Shelley became weaker still. Yesterday he did not eat at all. I thought I would have to take him to the vet's today to have him put to sleep.
But at 11pm last night he made himself as comfortable as he could, and within the hour his little heart had stopped.
He had another dawn than ours.
Goodbye, my darling boy. I will love you forever. Thank you for being my faithful companion. It was an honour to know you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Best Scruff

Just look at how perfect the ruffled hair and less-than-beard stubble look.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jumping Up and Down and Screaming

I have been trying to post my tiger movie for two days now. Thanks to my brilliance in putting a MP4 card in my video camera, I have to convert each movie, and a five minute clip can take a couple of hours to convert.

Having done this yesterday I found the new format was playing quite jerkily, so I tried another, at which point my terminally slow (new fast) computer crashed. When it rebooted, I'd had enough.

Today everything was "not responding" for so long that after an hour I hadn't even managed to read all my emails. But at least the movies were processing again...

I switched on my previous record slow computer to try to make things better, but they weren't, much. Anyway, finally, here we are. The movies are still a bit jerky, and the tiger part features the loud camera clicks of a man with an enormous one (to compensate for his lack of size elsewhere, I'd imagine, it was at least 18 inches long and too large to fit your hands around, unless you are Vincent) and the judder of my lens as he moves his instrument around, leaning it heavily against the fence each time. You'll hear my comments about his being inconsiderate.

Anyway, as I type this, I find that YouTube is going to take over an hour to upload my tiny five-minute video, and it's already 9pm. Ain't life grand? Three hours to make things compatible with a standard computer.

There was going to be another post yesterday about being locked inside a mummiform coffin, sorry, MRI scanner, but time just didn't allow. I'm sure those of you who've been inside one know just what I'm talking about. The rest of you, hope you never have to find out!

Anyway, at long last, here is the long-awaited film of the flirty female Scottish wild cat and the teeny tiny, strong and sturdy little girl cubs:

I love the way mum tries to cover the cubs up before she goes over to dad the second time!

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