Monday, 23 August 2010

hello kitty

I wasn't allowed a pet when I was growing up.

My two elder brothers had once been allowed to keep some goldfish as long as they looked after them ... you can guess how that ended ... down the pan!  As well as their untimely demise this also put an end to our family's relationship with the animal kingdom, well, on a live-in basis anyway.

I always felt badly done by about this; I wasn't even alive when the bloody fish carked it and resented the fact that I was being punished for my brothers' negligence.  Being the youngest by a country mile I would have done anything to have the constant companionship of my pet of choice, namely a puppy; a living, breathing, tail-wagging toy that would always be there to play with, cuddle up to and generally worship me ... not much to ask for is it?

I've known some great pets over the years, none of them mine alas, but I've been part of their extended family I hope: Tina (Sharon's dog), General (Ann's dog), Jasper (Sheila's dog), and Ollie & Lucy (Kay's dog and cat) to name my favourites.

Fate has a funny way of creeping up behind you and biting you on the arse though.  I always told mum and dad that I'd get them back when I grew up by having a menagerie of pets ... then suddently when I was around 17 I became allergic to anything with fur, which put paid to that dream.

It's never long before the first sneeze, although I'm ever hopeful that this allergy will recede as fast as it arrived.  It's been nearly 25 years and I'm still waiting ...

I did once try and convince myself that it was psychosomatic.  I was temping in an office when the security guard found an abandoned kitten in the grounds and it was love at first sight (the kitten, not the security guard).  Even though I was completely allergic and living in a shared house where no pets were allowed, I could hear myself saying out loud that I'd take it ... and so I did.

Oscar (after Mr Wilde) was a gorgeous smoky grey/white kitten, so small and fragile and heartbreakingly terrified of anything and everything at first.  Everyone in the house was OK with him so we figured what the landlady didn't know couldn't hurt her.  Or that was the plan.  I spent the next few days coaxing Oscar out of his shell and was amazed at how he flourished (litter training notwithstanding) - a little love goes a long way.  But, within a couple of days I was drowning in phlegm (it was as unpleasant as it sounds) and I knew that I was kidding myself; this love affair's days were numbered.  I found a fabulous cat sanctuary that was happy to give Oscar a home, and although it broke my heart (still does) I know it was for the best.  I still have the card that the sanctuary sent me a week later to say that Oscar had settled in well and was enjoying playing with his new friends on the farm.

I'm not so delusional to think that I'll ever really get over this allergy and as D is allergic too (& even more enamoured of our feline friends, RIP Addiecat - gone but very much remembered, I wish we could have met) we're sadly destined to be a two-legged household.

Or we were, until we became foster parents of Hazel!  She's a gorgeous white, ginger and black cat that has rather taken to us, for a limited time each week anyway.  We seem to get visitation for an hour or so at the weekend when she's doing the rounds and fancies a chat.  The first visit was very much aka social services checking out the joint and us; second visit was a test run; and we must have passed muster as the last visit was very much acceptance, I got the same look from Hazel as I did from Oscar once we'd got to know each other, the one that says 'you're ok you know, I think I like you'.  Hazel pops out the window when she's got somewhere better to be, but keeps coming back, which suits our nasal passages just fine; and I think that's the key, she stays because she wants to, not because she has to.  Long may it continue ...

Friday, 13 August 2010

age concern

I'm not feeling my age, I'm feeling someone else's; and she's a 60 year old woman.

This is a bit of a concern as I'm only 41.

It's been an emotional three years; soaring highs and devastating lows thrown together with the everyday stresses and uncertainties of life.  I've lost and found my whole world simultaneously.  I didn't know it was possible to feel such conflicting emotions at the same time; I've overloaded and shut down in some areas in hope of a reboot at a later date.  But it's not that simple is it, there are some things you can't recover.

I've been through a bit of a physical meltdown too.  Shingles wounded me in the summer of 2007 and I still feel the scars on my stamina to this day, my social diary bearing testimony to this.  Grief is a sucker punch, the sheer physicality of it.  & I'm fast approaching the ideal weight of a sumo wrestler; great if you aspire in that direction, not so hot if you're only ambition has become getting up off the sofa at the first attempt, without groaning and a helping hand from the hubbie!

So what's an elderly gal to do to reclaim her middle age (I'm not so naive as to think I can get my youth back!)?!

I know that I need to stop eating and start moving - release those endorphins!  I've a cracking bike in the garage that I bought last summer and have maybe ridden twice so I'm dusting that down tomorrow and cycling to Walton (9 miles round trip) for a cuppa, hopefully CV has lots to tell me as I can't promise I'll have any breath left for conversation.  & spare a thought for the motorists who are gonna have my huge backside staring back at them for miles and miles as they haven't the bottle to try and overtake such a wide load!

My culture intake has been sadly lacking, mainly because funds are too; so cheap fixes are needed.  I'm trying to break the monotony and boredom of my commute (around 3 hours a day) by getting back into reading and it's working.  I've just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett and what a fabulous book, review to follow but suffice to say it's a corker!  I've found myself actually looking forward to getting on a train and come close to missing my stop a couple of times I've been so engrossed.  It's such an inspirational story and has really given me a kick up the backside to make things happen for myself.

Maybe acknowledging that there's a problem is the most important step.  & if that's the case then watch out, I'm on the up!


'til tomorrow (or maybe the day after, or even the day after that ... who needs deadlines!)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


I can't remember the first time my dad called me this, or the last.  I do remember the way it made me feel though ... special.  'priscilla' was one of his pet names for me and it was only ever used lovingly or when he was teasing me.

As a kid whenever I was in trouble it was always "ELIZABETH!" and I didn't like the way that made me feel ... such a disappointment.  Maybe that has something to do with my abbreviating my name to 'Liz' at the earliest opportunity?

No-one had my back like dad ... a man who knew right from wrong but who also had room to accommodate the grey areas and an understanding of the mitigating circumstances that led people into them (otherwise known as 'life').  He had the biggest, kindest heart and exercised it on a regular basis for his family, friends and neighbours.  If I can make one person in my life feel as special as he did me, then I'll count myself a success.

I'm not religious (I'm positively anti-organised religion) but I am hopeful that there is something else, something more; although like dad I'm a bit too pragmatic to really believe.

I miss talking to him, about anything and everything, so when I was thinking of starting this blog and struggling to come up with a name I thought about this and decided on 'daily dose of priscilla'.  Fingers crossed the www is more far-reaching than we could ever have imagined.

'til tomorrow!