Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I am sure that you will have worked out by now, that any title beginning with 'Cat...' is about..........cats! I have to slip a story in every now and then, being a cat lover myself and having a family that is moggy about mogs!
As you know, my daughter is very involved with rescuing strays, and most weeks has two or three in those clever traps being taken to the various vets who neuter and vaccinate. A few weeks ago a small one-eyed female came out of the bushes and literally flung herself at Catherine’s friend, desperate for food and love, thin and weak. Off she went to the vet to be checked, treated and spayed. On top of her poor condition the vet had to clean and stitch the empty eye socket (turns out she was born that way thanks to a virus). She was named Lily (as I said to Catherine, 'Lily with one i, just as she is', clever hey??) She stayed at the vet's for a while, wearing a collar to stop her scratching, and became a firm favourite.
Lily with her collar after her op. (Pics thanks to Catherine)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Jigsaw Jeopardy!

I am doing the ultimate in frustration................a jigsaw puzzle!

I have always loved doing puzzles, and so has Catherine, my daughter. She used to choose the complicated ones in the triangular box, the cartoony people in swimming pools, or on the beach, busy street scenes with lots happening. Every time she started one, Andrew would sneak one piece and keep it in his room, so he would always claim to have the final piece to complete the puzzle! I lost track of how often that happened! I was forbidden to touch it as I loved to stand there and fiddle, so I would do some when she was in bed, and then undo it before she saw. The love of puzzles must run in the family because my sister often has one on the go. She has the added complication of having a dozen cats that either enjoy batting the bits around, or insist on lying right on top of it! I am also very happy to see that Mateo is a puzzle lover too, and he manages to complete some fairly complicated ones.

Just before Christmas, a donation of over a hundred puzzles arrived at the Hospice shop. They ranged from 250 pieces to 1000 pieces, and lurking among these was the Hardest Puzzle in the World. Seriously, it was even printed on the box! Not only is it a very complicated picture, it is made made even more complicated by having the picture printed on both sides of the pieces! Not only that, the picture on the reverse has been rotated 90 degrees to the one on the front! Are you still with me? Good!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Emma, Patrick and Gertrude!

What thread ties these names together? Read on!

Yesterday my gorgeous granddaughter Emma, had her First Birthday! I looked forward all day to seeing her on Skype, but when we finally made contact, all I could see were vague coloured shapes on the screen, distorted and fuzzy. Mateo was holding up his hand so I could count the number of fingers he was showing me, but all I saw was a waving lump! We cut it short to try again during the week. Isn't technology wonderful? And frustrating!

Gorgeous girl!

Happy Birthday my darling!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hey there Thick Head!

Can you imagine being called 'Thick Head'? Better yet, what about 'Spotted Thick Head'? or 'Spotted Thick-knee'? Believe it or not, it is the common name for one of our birds belonging to the Curlew family. The Afrikaans name 'Dikkop' sounds less rude somehow!

They are large, aggressive birds with  piercing yellow eyes and long yellow legs, and will take on a dog or cat with ease. Their diet is varied, they eat all kinds of insects, spiders, lizards, small mice, and eggs and chicks of the White-fronted Plover. (That's a bit cannibalistic I think!) Pity they don't seem to eat snails though! During the day they are very relaxed and quiet and blend in with the surrounding countryside, but at night we see them running in the road and hear their loud, mournful call. We have several pairs here, and at the beginning of February, Rob noticed a nesting pair in the old farm just behind our wall.

So well camouflaged! 

This was taken on the 1 February and you have to look carefully to make out the bird in the middle of the picture!