Wednesday, 26 August 2015

cat-shaped space

Bronzino has been with us about fourteen years after someone said did we want a ginger tom kitten.
Good timing as our small runty cat, (Scrabs) had been stolen by someone passing by in a car, according to our neighbours of the time  - odd as he really was runty.
We went to see Bronzino (who was living in a car at the time as the person had twenty or so cats in their house) and decided he would fit into our lives just fine.
And he did fit in; a perfect feline, really. Not too clingy, but happy to occupy a lap in front of the fire in winter. He caught mice, rats and rabbits, and, as if having listened to us, not too many birds.
He had his territory, would see off other cats, and would follow us (the pack of assorted humans and dogs) down the road until his self-appointed patch ended and would yowl plaintively as if warning of dangers ahead to be encountered while visiting the bread shop, chemist or whatever.
I never had to take him to the vet and he was a good solid specimen of feline-ness until recent weeks when something happened internally and he shrunk into ultra old age causing Mark to finally take him to the for-mentioned place.
I will eradicate those final few weeks from my mind and think of him as the ginger king of the garden that he was.


Monday, 17 August 2015

Songs of life No 7



Dance music - I'd have to have some, but how to whittle it down to one record . . .
Throughout the years, dancing, whether to Le Freak in a grimy Bournemouth disco, Black Box in a Mansfield pub, Leftfield in Brixton's The Fridge, or Parov Stellar in my front room, has been essential to most days.
After learning the basics of 'beat mixing' I did D.J ing for a couple of years with some old monster Technic decks while building up a collection of vinyl favourites (which now sit in a few flight cases as my ears had started to protest).
I had a look through them recently (records, not ears) with the thought of selling a few and remembered all the various gigs, and drunken people getting into my record boxes, howling for Hotel California/anything by Abba/Dire Straights. Possibly the most memorable gig was a wedding where the bride fell over while dancing to Fat Boy Slim, broke her arm and had to be ambulanced off to Carcassonne hospital while the evening carried on.
So, which would it be . . . Can You Feel It - Jacksons? Weapon of Choice - Fat Boy Slim, Sex Machine - James Brown, Connected - Stereo M.Cs, Love Shack - B 52s, I feel Love, Donna Summer, Rock The Casbah - The Clash, Love Cats - The Cure, Got to give it up - Marvin Gaye, and so on . . . Mm, think possibly it would have to be this: Funkstar De Luxe vs. Bob Marley - Sun Is Shining for the memories and for its . . . just its danceability.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Art in odd places

Most car parks are fairly unmemorable but this one on the outskirts of a small French town, whose name I can't recall, was most memorable for two reasons. One that there was an overladen peach tree of the yellow variety (think the ones that appear in tins) that no one seemed to be interested in harvesting, and we were interested, and out came the bags from the car for just such an opportunity. A memory to store up for winter - fuzzy-skinned, sun-yellow peaches, plucked from a tree in about forty degrees as the cicadas whirred manically all around.
The other reason for the car park's notability was this art piece.



A bollard with a special knitted casing. Why? Not the cold evidently, and generally metal bollards wouldn't need a knitted protection against climate. Protection then for someone's car who was in the habit of repeatedly crunching into it? Possibly going by the bent nature of the post but I can't imagine a thin layer of wool would make any difference; a wrapping of loft insulation perhaps, or a gaffer-taped sleeping bag if you were really anxious - and judging by most French cars, and ours, no one's really that bothered by the odd prang.
I think it must be a statement: a woolly phallic statement about territorial parking rights or maybe it's an example of a new phase of Free running - Free knitting in the environment. Anyway, it works well with the experimental garage door painting.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Past revisited

With additions . . .
I was sent an email a week or two back from friends I had managed to lose touch with, oo, eighteen years ago, or so. They wanted to come and stay in our B and B - all four of them. I remember the first baby Phoebe vaguely - as I remember most very small children: small, head, legs, etc, but was unaware of a second child.
So they arrived bearing wonderful gifts of (see last post) TEA! much tea; some of which we drank sitting on the terrace in raging heat waiting for the growling thunder to turn into a storm (which it didn't).
So, eighteen years (ish) and nothing much had seemingly changed. We (parents) were obviously a little more lined/chunkier/hairier/less hairier than we had been; the children now graceful and willowy teenagers. I wondered if I had ever been graceful and willowy . . . I think perhaps not so much, but then it was the era of PERMS and mega-flares made of indescribably horrible fabrics so maybe I had an excuse.
Anyway, we clicked back into chat as if we had only said goodbye a week ago after a nice dinner - as it should be with good friends. Hopefully it won't be another eighteen years before we catch up again.
Bon continuation tous les quatre, et a bientôt j'espère.