Saturday, 26 October 2019

Saturday 26 October - Half term!!!!

Half term! We got there!

Working backwards from right now;

I have dealt with this morning's mini-crisis involving cat litter and granola. Now I remember exactly how prickly cat litter is when you walk on it with bare feet. (Why have we got a litter tray in the kitchen - all will be revealed soon.) Anyway, I had come down to make breakfast to take back upstairs for it's-half-term-at-last-and-I'm-not-working-this-Saturday breakfast in bed. As I pondered whether I would sweep up the litter now or later, the problem was resolved when the packet of chocolate chip granola threw itself down from the top of the fridge, landed upside-down on my head and filled my world with toasted crunchy nutty grains and chocolate flakes. Sweeping suddenly became a priority.

So, the current crisis is a complete cat flap fail. At half past eleven last night we discovered that our electronic catflap's electronics are finished, done for, over, dysfunctional, kaput.

We spent a fruitless hour changing batteries, changing the changed batteries, pressing the reset buttons, removing the batteries, leaving it for ten minutes and starting all over again, going back to factory reset... nothing, nada, rien.

At least that meant we didn't have to reconfigure the microchip recognition whatsits, which entails feeding each cat in and out of the cat flap several times (in the dark, at midnight.

But we did have to investigate the shed to find the cat litter tray, (luckily we had litter left from when Leo had her teeth out in the Summer).

We went to bed early this morning leaving the cats taking turns trying to force the cat flap open.

Later this morning - like - as soon as the shops were open - he went to try the local pet shops for a replacement, and our current in-out arrangements for the cats look like this;

the kitchen door wedged open with the cat scratch pedestal which is a real pain in our small kitchen and never gets used for scratching. I'm thinking of replacing it with a stool which we can sit on as well as the cats. Fortunately the wind is blowing away from the back of the house and it is not a frosty morning.

Yesterday morning was dentist day, which is why we have the tribe home for the weekend. If you know us, you already know that historically going to the dentist (the surgery is 20 miles away) is an all-day family outing. This is because I started going to this practice before I was born, as, back in the 1950s, this was the first dentist that my mother ever managed to go to more than once. (All the others in her experience must have been fiends.) It was a complete shock to me the first time I went to another dentist when I was a student a long was North, and discovered that you had a checkup one day, and returned a week or so later for treatment. We'd always been checked over and had the fillings done at the same time.

The dentist from the 1950s has retired and gone to dentist heaven, and his successor has more or less retired, but his daughter is there, so all will be well for the future.

We all escaped with checkups and clean-and-polish.
I was working hard at mind control, projecting the following commands with all my mental strength;

'I do not grind my teeth and do not need a mouthguard at night'
'There are no cavities'
'Whatever it is you are probing at is fine, you can stop doing that anytime soon'

I'm clearly improving my psychic control powers.

We visited my godmother - she seems to be living on a diet of

breakfast - rice krispies and cocoa chimps (a version of coco-pops, and monkey is not listed as an ingredient), hot chocolate to drink
lunch - a few bits of marinaded herrings with a small bit of boiled potato and a ryvita-style cracker, and a cup of boullion made with vegetable boullion powder
supper - baked beans and a small portion of stewed apple and a fortisip drink
and about half a small bottle of fizzy water per day

I'm not sure that I would thrive on such a diet... but she seems none the worse for it. She has abandoned the frozen meals service she was using - 'they don't use any garlic, or onions or anything with any Taste!'

We buy various meals and items from the supermarket to see if we can tempt her - avocados worked for a couple of weeks, and Waitrose Duchy soups, but not any more. Hey ho. You can but try.

                                                                    **** **** ****
If I am sounding out of breath, it is because I have paused from sitting comfortably on an ergonomic chair to type the blog, to crouching down at floor level to push cross and irritable cats through the flap of the new cat flap in order to register their microchips. 'Mioul, mioul,' they cry, slithering out of my grip as I try and cram them through the little porchway to the flap. They are not grateful for all we are doing.

Last Thursday, and Wednesday, and Tuesday, and Monday, have all evaporated into the mist of 'Les temps perdu' and I'm not sure that it is worth 'cherchez-ing' them - I'll have notes in my diary, no doubt, for someone to write up when I am famous. Like 'it rained all day' or 'we were able to sit and have a coffee in the garden this afternoon' - that was Tuesday, come to think of it, when he - now read this, and admire him - he walked up to the school where I had been teaching to meet me and carry my bags home as we walked back. Yup. That's the kind of lovely man he is.

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