Thursday, 16 February 2012

Sorry ! I Think I'll Need A Couple Of Days Off ....


It's been odd being at home "sick" for two months .

Though I must admit , when the cold snap "snapped" and the local bread shop's display slowly disappeared from view , I was more than happy to sit by the fire and drink my way through an assortment of Kusmi Russian tea that I'd been given for Christmas .

The whole province hummed with excitement as the ice got thicker and thicker and suddenly there was a real chance of an Elfstedentocht . Our back door froze shut , it was even minus 17 Celsius a couple of mornings and every waterway froze ....

The river round the corner was suddenly covered in skaters chatting on mobiles , cyclists , people walking their dogs , a young couple hurtling past having a blazing row , grandmas and babies in pushchairs , even real skaters , heads down and one arm behind their backs , going like the wind . Leeuwarden was en fĂȘte . The chance of the race happening climbed to 80% and then suddenly ...... it started to become less cold . We heard that one of the race's officials , checking the thickness of the ice ( 15 cm is the absolute minimum ) had fallen through somewhere on the 200 kilometer course . Till finally it all vanished and we could even wrench our back door open again . Very sad . It rubbed salt in the wound to see this 1986 copy of the local paper in a local antique shop's window display the other day

But it did mean that I could haul my bike out and , thumbing my nose at this ad. for an electricity company at the bus stop ,

try cycling again , almost two months from the day that I fell off and broke my wrist . It was a bit nerve-racking but I'd built my left arm up again and I rode round the block ( as a safety precaution my chosen route took me past our G.P.'s house ! ) and came , grinning , home . Yesterday I cycled all round town doing some shopping as I went .

So now it's time to go back to work , where , it seems , I'm eagerly awaited by at least a few of the children


if this huge waving flower , delivered by my colleagues this afternoon , is to be believed .

Monday, 13 February 2012

Competition winner!


We had 4 correct responses to the question, and as Friko quite rightly pointed out: 'the one with the collar'! So we wrote out four bits of paper and asked Toots to choose. Let us put it this way, we took as her choice the first one she stepped on.

Which was - tadah! Rattling on. So, please send me an email at my home email of fosterharvey AT gn DOT apc DOT org. I will arrange a small package so that your two cats (wanted for terrible crimes at the moment, I see) can fight over the pirate mouse.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Competition: win a Battersea Mouse


As requests have been made for photo of Toots, our rescue cat, I thought it might be fun if you guessed which one of these 4 tuxedo rescue cats she is:

Top left cat
Top right cat
Bottom left cat
Bottom right cat

I don't think it will be hard! The one (or one selected from the ones via a random selection process) who gets it right will win this specially handknitted pirate mouse by a cat loving volunteer for Battersea. Whoever the knitter was, she or he made this rather special. Sadly, Toots hasn't taken to the toy at all, as she prefers string or yarn that is in the process of becoming something to play with. Perhaps your cat would like it?

A link to the pattern can be found here

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's Not Raining !

Sonata :

After moaning about the endless dim and dismal weather , it seems a little ungrateful to complain , now the sky is a glorious blue . So I won't .... but it was -5 degrees Celcius at noon today , the snowdrops had all keeled over with the cold and the wind chill was such that , once out of the house , my top lip went numb after 5 minutes and I briefly regretted not having a moustache . And it's forecast to get colder and colder over the weekend .

I don't mind , though . I've dug out a suitable 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle ( Smitonius' suggestion , since I still can't sew ) and it's mesmerising me .

The book I ordered at the exhibition on The Golden Temple of Amritsar last summer finally arrived this week and has proved to be well worth the wait . Beautifully produced , it's full of wonderful photos and water colours from the early 1900s . And may have prompted my impulse buy at the Health shop .

Given that I've still got 6 DVDs to watch once I've finished the first two series of Downton Abbey , I might not come up for air till Monday .