blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
I do not know what happened to this year. It was here one minute, and then the next, it was all but gone.

Since I do not need to spend 2013 earning All the Monies, I hope it will be slower. Or I shall just have to start listening to Enya and watching Parliamentary Question Time, so it feels as though it is.

A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to [livejournal.com profile] silentauror! You have been busier than me this year, I hope that it is all working out for you and that life is starting to fall into place in the ways that make everything easier and more seamless and not just entertaining dinner party anecdotes in future years. One thing I must be better at next year is birthday wishes! Sorry, flist!

Today we accidentally tortured a cat. My friend M is headed OS and needs to find a home for her 12-year-old calico Moushka. She may be able to stay with her sister, but they have two kittens, so we thought we would try her here. I know all the steps one OUGHT to go through to introduce them, but alas, time is too short and our house too small. So we went with the free-range trial today to see is there was any hope.

Cookie was unimpressed and went to defend Monster from the interloper, which consisted of sitting between Moushka and Monster and being the fluffiest cat in the world, with a spot of retaliatory hissing. Monster was briefly hoping someone might have brought her chicken, and gave up after a while when it became clear noone had. Poor Old Moushka hid behind the sofa, first in a bucket in the corner, and then in the crack between the sofa and the side bookshelf. She was not too perturbed about the strange people, or being left by her human, or even the house, but she did NOT like Cookie and was not that keen on Monster. Hisses abungo! She did take to the bucket, though.

Over the space of about six hours she barely came out and didn't eat or drink, though she did purr whenever we patted her. Our two gave up being concerned about the corner cat, and she did not want to leave her corner or her bucket when it was time to go home. At the moment, it looks as though there is a 40% chance she will cope with being around two grown cats, but we are going to try again on the weekend. And yes, I know it's all wrong, but our house is too small and open-plan to sequester her and give her a separate space and introduce scents and so on over time. Constant Vigilance is the only option! Otherwise she is off for life with a very nice small boy and two kittens, so she will be fine either way.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] ciraarana! SUCH a good choice of birthdate! I hope yours is marvellous! Thank you for your good wishes!

Thank you very much to [livejournal.com profile] _inbetween_ for the extremely apt e-cards. Right on every count and you made both of us laugh wildly! Thank you also to [livejournal.com profile] nenne and [livejournal.com profile] fire_juggler for your gifts, so very kind! And to [livejournal.com profile] ecosopher, [livejournal.com profile] subtlefire and [livejournal.com profile] montjoye for your messages, I was very touched! And thanks, too, to [livejournal.com profile] snottygrrl, which comes coloured with guilt because I started to knit you a thingy and it was put down and your birthday sailed by and ... look, my crapitude is hardly news at this point ...

My celebration of birth has been reasonably quiet, as Mr B slept in until early afternoon, so we missed going for a ride or into town (at least I rode to the markets yesterday: fresh peas and marshmallow! And broccoli, eggs, garlic and catnip. Probbaly should have planned better for menus from that lot ...) Instead we saw Hugo, which I loved, but he only liked the comic parts of. A lot of the film is a meditation on the importance of creative endeavour (it's by Martin Scorsese, after all, and yes, there's a wonderful bit on the history of film), so I think that it spoke to me in ways Mr B missed. And it is beautiful, as well as being wonderfully acted and just charming.

For giftage, Rob Ryan plates and book, and tickets to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in March! HURRAH!

I've been out of the loop for much of the month due to having loads to get done. Still working only as a writer at the moment, which means less money and more brainwork, but it is more enjoyable, I confess. Whichever of my flist said that I was fortunate to be able to make my living this way was right, if only I could type well ... And I've been sewing like a fiend for one of my young friends who is the daughter of friends and who needed a mediaeval outfit for a do she was going to. If I were a sensible person, I would not have handstitched most of it. Alas ... Still, it's done now. As is the surprise Cookie Monster outfit I ran up for another friend after he thoughtfully cut it out. DONE! (Save for hoovering up the monster fluff. NB the cats looked at it and clearly said 'Call that a Cookie Monster? Pah!') Now I can concentrate more on writing and knitting!

Finally, cat update! One part of the sewing process was moving the ironing board into the living room so that I could get through loads of ironing while watching docos on the telly. Every time I turned the iron off, Cookie would appear on the ironing board, usually sitting on whatever I had just de-haired and pressed. I think she is 100% well again. Here's a shot of her the day she came home from the vet, you can just see her little shaved patch under her chin where the hair is asymmetrical: 



She's recovered a good deal more since this photo and is now entirely fine, just with her shaved patches still growing out. She's cross that the ironing board has not been left up, but when we pulled out the folding occasional table to put my cake on tonight, she leapt up onto it and declared it a success. We did our cake and candles ritual in the kitchen, there's no point disturbing a comfortable cat!
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] ciraarana! SUCH a good choice of birthdate! I hope yours is marvellous! Thank you for your good wishes!

Thank you very much to [livejournal.com profile] _inbetween_ for the extremely apt e-cards. Right on every count and you made both of us laugh wildly! Thank you also to [livejournal.com profile] nenne and [livejournal.com profile] fire_juggler for your gifts, so very kind! And to [livejournal.com profile] ecosopher, [livejournal.com profile] subtlefire and [livejournal.com profile] montjoye for your messages, I was very touched! And thanks, too, to [livejournal.com profile] snottygrrl, which comes coloured with guilt because I started to knit you a thingy and it was put down and your birthday sailed by and ... look, my crapitude is hardly news at this point ...

My celebration of birth has been reasonably quiet, as Mr B slept in until early afternoon, so we missed going for a ride or into town (at least I rode to the markets yesterday: fresh peas and marshmallow! And broccoli, eggs, garlic and catnip. Probbaly should have planned better for menus from that lot ...) Instead we saw Hugo, which I loved, but he only liked the comic parts of. A lot of the film is a meditation on the importance of creative endeavour (it's by Martin Scorsese, after all, and yes, there's a wonderful bit on the history of film), so I think that it spoke to me in ways Mr B missed. And it is beautiful, as well as being wonderfully acted and just charming.

For giftage, Rob Ryan plates and book, and tickets to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in March! HURRAH!

I've been out of the loop for much of the month due to having loads to get done. Still working only as a writer at the moment, which means less money and more brainwork, but it is more enjoyable, I confess. Whichever of my flist said that I was fortunate to be able to make my living this way was right, if only I could type well ... And I've been sewing like a fiend for one of my young friends who is the daughter of friends and who needed a mediaeval outfit for a do she was going to. If I were a sensible person, I would not have handstitched most of it. Alas ... Still, it's done now. As is the surprise Cookie Monster outfit I ran up for another friend after he thoughtfully cut it out. DONE! (Save for hoovering up the monster fluff. NB the cats looked at it and clearly said 'Call that a Cookie Monster? Pah!') Now I can concentrate more on writing and knitting!

Finally, cat update! One part of the sewing process was moving the ironing board into the living room so that I could get through loads of ironing while watching docos on the telly. Every time I turned the iron off, Cookie would appear on the ironing board, usually sitting on whatever I had just de-haired and pressed. I think she is 100% well again. Here's a shot of her the day she came home from the vet, you can just see her little shaved patch under her chin where the hair is asymmetrical: 



She's recovered a good deal more since this photo and is now entirely fine, just with her shaved patches still growing out. She's cross that the ironing board has not been left up, but when we pulled out the folding occasional table to put my cake on tonight, she leapt up onto it and declared it a success. We did our cake and candles ritual in the kitchen, there's no point disturbing a comfortable cat!
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Very brief good news, Cookie cat bounced back to health this morning and was home this afternoon. It looks as though it was some single acute episode (very likely a drug reaction) and she should be fine. Still a bit subdued, but very happy to be home. Monster cat has been regularly giving her a lick to get the vet smell off her. She is back in the scarf box shedding on the handknits, her fave!

The vet wrote a note at the end of her aftercare saying that they were all very happy she was well because she is such a sweetie. She is!

I am knackered and have a surprise job interview tomorrow at 3.30, so I am afraid that I will end the weekend as far behind on replies and work as I entered it. Sorry! But thank you so much for all the good cat wishes, it kept us feeling very positive while we fretted!
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Very brief good news, Cookie cat bounced back to health this morning and was home this afternoon. It looks as though it was some single acute episode (very likely a drug reaction) and she should be fine. Still a bit subdued, but very happy to be home. Monster cat has been regularly giving her a lick to get the vet smell off her. She is back in the scarf box shedding on the handknits, her fave!

The vet wrote a note at the end of her aftercare saying that they were all very happy she was well because she is such a sweetie. She is!

I am knackered and have a surprise job interview tomorrow at 3.30, so I am afraid that I will end the weekend as far behind on replies and work as I entered it. Sorry! But thank you so much for all the good cat wishes, it kept us feeling very positive while we fretted!
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Poor little Cookie cat is having a very bad week. On Tuesday she did something manky to the tendon in her back leg, which led to her being doped up on opiates and anti-inflammatories by the vet. This seemed to work rather well in terms of knocking back the pain -- indeed, she resembled nothing so much as one of my young friends who once decided that YES! E and speed would be a GREAT mix!*

Alas, like such a reckless recreational drug mixer, Cookie was not a happy camper. Wednesday was a day of vomiting, which cats will do, so we just observed her. When it had not perked up by yesterday, back to the vet for more checks. This time it was decided to treat the nausea and wait and see. Today she was listless and manky, so back over she went. It appears that her kidneys are not in good shape, which may have one of several alarming causes, but is also possibly caused by a reaction to the drugs. Since she was fine on Monday, we have our fingers crossed that it is an adverse drug reaction, which should resolve in a few days.

At the moment she is trapped in the vet surgery with a drip in her paw, and a deep lack of delight at the world.

On the upside, she is not too badly off and the vets are fairly optimistic, and the vet is across the road from our place, so we can visit her all hours of the day and half the night. Yay vet! We visited the stray kitten pen on the way out, where they have a litter of five very small kittens, just at that tiny and active stage. The vet nurse said they would love a cuddle and a play, but that getting them back into the cage was a trick. She spoke truly! We gave all of them pats and cuddles and let them have a little run around, and then spent ten minutes trying to put five kittens inside the cage without one or more kittens slipping out while the next one was going in. The best effort was four leaping out while we put one inside. If Cookie takes too long to get well and be discharged, I can see us turning into The House Of Many Cats ...




* Kids, despite being sober as a proverbial judge (rather than an actual one) I am the last one to question anyone's desire to be off their face after growing up surrounded by shit-faced hippies. Nevertheless, some things just don't mix. Do your homework, only buy from pharmacology students, and have straight friends with decent first aid or medical knowledge who are not afraid to call Poisons Information or an ambulance, depending on the scale of your cockups! OR, try sobriety! It's cheaper, better for you, and leaves you with memories of all the immensely dodgy things your peers got up to, which ensures FABULOUS Christmas pressies so you don't say a word to their parents or, later, children.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Poor little Cookie cat is having a very bad week. On Tuesday she did something manky to the tendon in her back leg, which led to her being doped up on opiates and anti-inflammatories by the vet. This seemed to work rather well in terms of knocking back the pain -- indeed, she resembled nothing so much as one of my young friends who once decided that YES! E and speed would be a GREAT mix!*

Alas, like such a reckless recreational drug mixer, Cookie was not a happy camper. Wednesday was a day of vomiting, which cats will do, so we just observed her. When it had not perked up by yesterday, back to the vet for more checks. This time it was decided to treat the nausea and wait and see. Today she was listless and manky, so back over she went. It appears that her kidneys are not in good shape, which may have one of several alarming causes, but is also possibly caused by a reaction to the drugs. Since she was fine on Monday, we have our fingers crossed that it is an adverse drug reaction, which should resolve in a few days.

At the moment she is trapped in the vet surgery with a drip in her paw, and a deep lack of delight at the world.

On the upside, she is not too badly off and the vets are fairly optimistic, and the vet is across the road from our place, so we can visit her all hours of the day and half the night. Yay vet! We visited the stray kitten pen on the way out, where they have a litter of five very small kittens, just at that tiny and active stage. The vet nurse said they would love a cuddle and a play, but that getting them back into the cage was a trick. She spoke truly! We gave all of them pats and cuddles and let them have a little run around, and then spent ten minutes trying to put five kittens inside the cage without one or more kittens slipping out while the next one was going in. The best effort was four leaping out while we put one inside. If Cookie takes too long to get well and be discharged, I can see us turning into The House Of Many Cats ...




* Kids, despite being sober as a proverbial judge (rather than an actual one) I am the last one to question anyone's desire to be off their face after growing up surrounded by shit-faced hippies. Nevertheless, some things just don't mix. Do your homework, only buy from pharmacology students, and have straight friends with decent first aid or medical knowledge who are not afraid to call Poisons Information or an ambulance, depending on the scale of your cockups! OR, try sobriety! It's cheaper, better for you, and leaves you with memories of all the immensely dodgy things your peers got up to, which ensures FABULOUS Christmas pressies so you don't say a word to their parents or, later, children.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
A few months ago I met [livejournal.com profile] fire_juggler online, which was a GOOD day. She had the brilliant idea for a podfic fest, [livejournal.com profile] hp_podfic_fest, which has been running for a week and which I have SO many things bookmarked on already for listening to at the gym. 

But I couldn't hold off on listening to this one: [livejournal.com profile] raitala's reading of Tidings of Comfort. It's all in the very best spirit of regifting, as this was a story I wrote for rai after hanging out with her in London and Paris in 2009. It's all about our shared love for Wren's architecture and Draco Malfoy's cheekbones. Her reading of it is spot-on perfect, with Draco's crisp need and Harry's tentative warmth coming across beautifully in the voices. She even captures the briskness of the weather – it was started on her sofa in the winter of '09 while I alternately typed and cupped my nose with gloved hands in an effort to thaw it ;-)

At only just over 10 minutes, it's a very quick listen, so even if you have never dipped a ear into podfic before, this is an ideal place to start listening (NB, it is [livejournal.com profile] raitala's reading that makes it so good, she could add charm to Hansard).

The fest has fics ranging from under 10 minutes to over an hour, and a variety of pairings and gen are up so far, so load up your ipod!

Summary: Draco Malfoy has been coming to sit in St Paul's for a few weeks now. He isn't looking for salvation or forgiveness, just quiet and space to think. When he meets a familiar figure on the steps of the cathedral one winter evening, it's better than anything he'd thought of wishing for at Christmas.

In other news, poor little Cookie cat is not having a good week. She did something to the tendons of her back right leg yesterday morning (probably a mis-step in one of her epic leaps of teleportation), and it was very painful. The vet massaged the tendon back into place, then dosed her up on painkillers and anti-inflamatories, which had her wide-pupilled and tripping all day. It was very hard trying to keep her calm in order not to exacerbate her original injury. Today she has been rather sore and stiff and having the sort of reaction to the drugs that I do -- which is to say her stomach is rebelling and she is not a happy camper.

Because she is a tiny black cat, she finds it quite easy to hide around the house, which is full of tiny dark nooks and crannies. Despite searching methodically through a room that we know she is in, torch in hand, she often defies finding. It is as though she moves into a parallel dimension and then slips back into this one when she wants some human company. Which is normally fine, but when she is ill, it's a bit distressing. Poor wee beastie. I don't know how people manage having sick children, having a sick cat throws me into a pother of concern that wipes out most other thought.

And, unrelatedly, since I have been going to the gym I have dropped a dress size and so some clothes have been moved on – in some cases to sleeping or garden clothing. At the same time, Sydney is CHILLY for the start of summer: 17-21 degrees C as opposed to 24-37 a few weeks ago. The other night I pulled on some old yoga pants and a stripy long-sleeved T-shirt that had been redesignated as pyjamas. Then, because I was reading in a draughty room, I added a beret and gloves that were on top of my woollies pile. After a while, I pottered into the study to see what Mr B was up to. He took one look at me and burst out laughing. I looked down. I realised what he could see. I backwards-walked-against-the-wind out of there.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
A few months ago I met [livejournal.com profile] fire_juggler online, which was a GOOD day. She had the brilliant idea for a podfic fest, [livejournal.com profile] hp_podfic_fest, which has been running for a week and which I have SO many things bookmarked on already for listening to at the gym. 

But I couldn't hold off on listening to this one: [livejournal.com profile] raitala's reading of Tidings of Comfort. It's all in the very best spirit of regifting, as this was a story I wrote for rai after hanging out with her in London and Paris in 2009. It's all about our shared love for Wren's architecture and Draco Malfoy's cheekbones. Her reading of it is spot-on perfect, with Draco's crisp need and Harry's tentative warmth coming across beautifully in the voices. She even captures the briskness of the weather – it was started on her sofa in the winter of '09 while I alternately typed and cupped my nose with gloved hands in an effort to thaw it ;-)

At only just over 10 minutes, it's a very quick listen, so even if you have never dipped a ear into podfic before, this is an ideal place to start listening (NB, it is [livejournal.com profile] raitala's reading that makes it so good, she could add charm to Hansard).

The fest has fics ranging from under 10 minutes to over an hour, and a variety of pairings and gen are up so far, so load up your ipod!

Summary: Draco Malfoy has been coming to sit in St Paul's for a few weeks now. He isn't looking for salvation or forgiveness, just quiet and space to think. When he meets a familiar figure on the steps of the cathedral one winter evening, it's better than anything he'd thought of wishing for at Christmas.

In other news, poor little Cookie cat is not having a good week. She did something to the tendons of her back right leg yesterday morning (probably a mis-step in one of her epic leaps of teleportation), and it was very painful. The vet massaged the tendon back into place, then dosed her up on painkillers and anti-inflamatories, which had her wide-pupilled and tripping all day. It was very hard trying to keep her calm in order not to exacerbate her original injury. Today she has been rather sore and stiff and having the sort of reaction to the drugs that I do -- which is to say her stomach is rebelling and she is not a happy camper.

Because she is a tiny black cat, she finds it quite easy to hide around the house, which is full of tiny dark nooks and crannies. Despite searching methodically through a room that we know she is in, torch in hand, she often defies finding. It is as though she moves into a parallel dimension and then slips back into this one when she wants some human company. Which is normally fine, but when she is ill, it's a bit distressing. Poor wee beastie. I don't know how people manage having sick children, having a sick cat throws me into a pother of concern that wipes out most other thought.

And, unrelatedly, since I have been going to the gym I have dropped a dress size and so some clothes have been moved on – in some cases to sleeping or garden clothing. At the same time, Sydney is CHILLY for the start of summer: 17-21 degrees C as opposed to 24-37 a few weeks ago. The other night I pulled on some old yoga pants and a stripy long-sleeved T-shirt that had been redesignated as pyjamas. Then, because I was reading in a draughty room, I added a beret and gloves that were on top of my woollies pile. After a while, I pottered into the study to see what Mr B was up to. He took one look at me and burst out laughing. I looked down. I realised what he could see. I backwards-walked-against-the-wind out of there.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Back in December I promised [livejournal.com profile] auntpurl  I would blog photos of the cats. Er ... here we are!

CATS! )
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Back in December I promised [livejournal.com profile] auntpurl  I would blog photos of the cats. Er ... here we are!

CATS! )
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
That last month has been interesting. As is usually the case, after something very stressful, I fell over in a heap with flu. The annoying sort where one is febrile, knackered and filled with joint pain rather than the snotty manky kind where at least one is so obviously ill that one receives sympathy from all around. The obvious downside to this is that typing has been painful all month, the ridiculous downside is that I have spent many evenings languishing on the sofa with a blanket clutched to my bosom, apparently about to sing a charming aria regarding imminent death from tuberculosis and cold hands. Bloody Puccini.

That's not the only thing that's been keeping me from typing, there's this, too:



[personal profile] leochi's cat and Draco drawings have been making me smile of late, but I am still miles behind on commenting on everything. I am also miles behind on reading Worldcup. I think that I am doomed to remain so. I have a few things I wanted to talk about on the commenting palaver, but that involves me having energy enough to do so. Right now, it is time to return to the blanky and the kitties.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
That last month has been interesting. As is usually the case, after something very stressful, I fell over in a heap with flu. The annoying sort where one is febrile, knackered and filled with joint pain rather than the snotty manky kind where at least one is so obviously ill that one receives sympathy from all around. The obvious downside to this is that typing has been painful all month, the ridiculous downside is that I have spent many evenings languishing on the sofa with a blanket clutched to my bosom, apparently about to sing a charming aria regarding imminent death from tuberculosis and cold hands. Bloody Puccini.

That's not the only thing that's been keeping me from typing, there's this, too:



[personal profile] leochi's cat and Draco drawings have been making me smile of late, but I am still miles behind on commenting on everything. I am also miles behind on reading Worldcup. I think that I am doomed to remain so. I have a few things I wanted to talk about on the commenting palaver, but that involves me having energy enough to do so. Right now, it is time to return to the blanky and the kitties.

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