Amber

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Here she is, and I love this little thing so much already… I had cats all my life but never one that so instantly felt at home.

She arrived here about 5pm last night, came out of her box, had a good look around, ate something and then plaid for the rest of the day. I took her to our bed at night – didn`t expect her to stay, just wanted to show her where it is – but she lay between us and stayed, waking me up at 6am by brushing past my face, purring and wanting cuddled.

She very apparently didn`t know mirrors. It was so hard not to laugh when she was howling at her own reflection, tail all fluffed up and ears completely disappeared. I sat before the mirror and she was slowly walking round my leg, expecting the other cat behind it… I never saw anything like this outside youtube…

Oh, and she`s teaching me stuff on the computer. She walks over the key board, rearranges something, and I have to find out how to fix it: screen resolution, CRTL + ALT + (Arrow buttons). Latter is genious, though. Could do that as a prank at work…

Just saying…

I think if you are asked for your opinion, you should be able to express it freely. And I think if you ask for someone else`s opinion, you should be able to accept it or not ask in the first place. And I also think if you are not asked for your opinion, and you think it may be considered controversial, it may be better to keep it to yourself. And I also wish people would stop trying to involve joint friends in their arguments.

It`ll probably never cease to amaze me how many people seem to disagree.

Independence of mind

on the anniversary of the Scottish Independence Referendum…

Wee Ginger Dug

It’s a year on from the big vote, and everything has changed and nothing has changed. Scotland has changed forever, Westminster hasn’t changed at all. Scotland buzzed with energy, with hope, and found a new self-confidence and inner strength. It wasn’t enough to win the vote, but it was enough to win independence of spirit and mind. Scotland is already independent in its imagination and in its dreams. This is not the same country that it was a few short years ago. Once the box of hope was opened, things could never go back to the way they were before.

The knowledge that that profound change is irreversible is why the Unionists remain angry and bitter, afraid and uncertain as they inch gingerly along, never knowing when the Union will plunge to its doom. They know that their old certainties are gone, they’re afraid of what might replace them, so…

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That`s it! I`m on a diet (pardon: healthy eating regime)

 I`ve subscribed to a calorie counting app today, and I bought a calorie counting book. Too much sugar recently, which makes me want to eat more garbage all the time, so I gained weight. Friend rolled her eyes when I said how much. I know, but there`s a reason why I`m the size I am: because (after 34 years of yoyo-dieting) I now take care of myself and nip it in the bud.

I wonder whether this was a subconscious thing – trying out what it feels like to relax a bit. I`ve been thinking about this recently – about adopting a more mainstream eating regime and obtaining a more mainstream body. Be sexy in my enjoyment of food and for being a bit more soft and rounded. (Yes, I know where this comes from. From the people around me who make this lifestyle and body type seem more attractive than my own).

I don`t like it. I don`t like my own ravenous appetite, my feeling all weired but too tired to exercise at the same time, I dislike the almost daily remorse and the wondering where this will lead me, and I certainly don`t like the thought of my thighs getting bigger. It`s a feeling all too familiar which, since 2009, I`ve only been experiencing occasionally, however, every time, there is this fear that I will not be able to regain control this time and eat myself back into binge eating and overweight, just as I did so many times before.

Noooo way! And I like my healthy things, I really do, and I`m satisfied with small-ish portions and plain things – normally. It`s just eating garbage that makes me want to eat garbage, and increasing amount of it, so I know what I need to do: to once again take out – the garbage…

Got some spare time coming up (working half days to help the cats settle in), so I`ll use this for two weeks of intense healthy eating (fresh, raw, whole grain, plain, sugar- and additive free as well as no soda and alcohol) and getting myself back into formal exercising…

Kitti

Kitti is in total renal failure. We`re both heartbroken, but we agree we have to do what`s kindest to her. Vet said she could put her on a drip, but her suspicion is that she`d become unwell again as soon as they`d take her off. No. We love her too much for that. She hates being in cat hospital, and she hates going to the vet, so we asked for her to come here to her home.

I`ll be forever grateful for her long (she`s 18!) and very full life which included motherhood, mice, birds, gardens, human beds and more kisses and cuddles than most cats would ever accept. When she was 13, she survived a very aggressive cancer that we were told had an almost certain probability of recurring within 6 months. No regrets whatsoever,so I want to think of her long and happy life rather than grieving for what happens much too early for some.

Please could you not write poems, pictures and all the other things that people usually say – I know they`re well meant, but honestly, they`d be just digging in at the moment. Thank you x

Facebook

Ever so often, I need to rant about the uselessess of facebook. For example, for keeping in touch.

If you think about how many people you know who are currently going through a tough time and how many of those are sharing this on facebook, you`ll probably find that there is none.

Your cousin is moving closer to her mum so she can help more with the children? Their father just left her, and she can no longer afford the mortgage. My colleague has bought a diamond ring? She was burgled and all her jewelry stolen, and when she finally got the money from the insurance, she decided to buy one thing that she could always wear on her body. My sister and I were posting party pictures until late on a school night? We had just given our dad the last rites that afternoon. Too many grinning selfies in pizza parlours? I was going through a tough time, and my friends abroad had asked for them because they wanted to see that I eat. And that`s just my own timeline.

There are a lot of people on my friends list who I rarely talk to other than facebook, but (and maybe because!) facebook gives me piece of mind that we won`t lose touch. As long as they still post, I don`t feel the need to phone or meet up with them, even if all they post is shares and check-ins. The really important stuff doesn`t go on facebook. One young girl is posting happy party pictures all the time, but it turned out that she has split from her boyfriend whom she hoped to marry.

I used to kid myself that I just have to check someone`s timeline if I want to see how they are doing, but I rarely do, and even if all it says is that they`re still alive with internet access. And if, ever so often, they like one of my pictures, all they say is that they haven`t unfollowed me yet and that the occasional click of a button is enough for them, too, those days.

Two close colleagues have left within a week of each other. One is on facebook, the other is not. Since they left, I spoke twice to the first (on facebook!!) and about ten times to the latter (whom I also saw). Because here, I have to make an effort. My closest friends are not on facebook (or never log in), and those are the ones I see most often and share most things with. Could this be because they`re not on facebook?

On Criticism II

The other day, I overheard a rather gleeful remark about someone`s weight gain. The person in question is 51 or 52 years old and has been very dainty up until, say, 2 years ago. I was wanting to say something about hormones in middle age, which will come to us all, including the speaker herself, but all others were already laughing (hopefully about her cheekiness rather than the other one`s weight), and one man, also laughing, told her off in a lighthearted manner: “You can`t say that!!”

I`m glad I didn`t need to speak. I think I would have been perceived rather differently – straight faced and matching voice. I would have retaliated and, by defending her, kept the focus on the other woman rather than shifting it to the cheeky one. I may have even redirected it towards myself, for not being able to take a joke.