Nurturing Thursday 5

On her blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, poet and artist Becca Givens often writes about her fur~family. She believes that there’s a portal in her yard, through which animals in need come to her, knowing that they’ll find a loving home for as long as they wish to remain. I’m beginning to think that we have one too.

In addition to The Cat Who Isn’t Our Cat, we now have a Dog Who’s Not Our Dog!

Six weeks ago my darling daughter suffered a shocking bereavement and is now adjusting to raising my twin grandsons without their beloved Daddy. Of course we’re on hand, to help with whatever we can and I’m drawing on my own experience of losing my father, when I was little older than the boys, (they’ll be four in April.) But much as I wish I could erase their pain, I know that I can’t ~ I’m only able ease it, wherever possible.

So The Artist (a committed cat~person) and I are fostering their seven year old fox~terrier cross, until Rachael is in a better position to have the family pet back. Indie’s only been with us six days and it’s working out even better than I expected, (and I’m an eternal optimist!)

Summer, the stray cat, wasn’t too impressed initially ~ scratching my arm deeply, as she struggled to flee from the inquisitive little canine. So we’ve given her the run of upstairs, feeding her in the studio and letting her in and out via the front door. Indie remains downstairs, is allowed into the kitchen garden and Secret Courtyard and gets walked around the neighbourhood twice a day. We’ve met a couple of other dog~owners, who’ve given me the heads~up on more open spaces and ~ when we’re confident she’ll come back to us ~ we can allow her off the lead in these.

Yesterday morning Martin suggested we drive to one of the Island’s beaches, where she could trot along the shore in safety. The tide was high, (must check the tables in future) so we romped with her in an empty field alongside the cliff path instead.



Despite the fact that I feed her and have the enviable role of poop~scooper, she regards the Artist as leader~of~the~pack and is already devoted to him. Typical! It’s exactly the same with the cat, who miaows at me plaintively until I fill her bowl then ~ when she’s replete ~ sits on his lap, purring loudly!

But, as Becca will readily confirm, this is not a one~way exchange. As we nurture this unlikely duo they reward us with uncomplicated affection, complete trust and tons of fun. And I’m certain that very soon they’ll make friends and happily share the same spaces. (Did I mention that I’m an optimist? ;))

As the step~daughter of a veterinary surgeon and the mother of two children, I’ve looked after many different animals in my time. And, although I appreciate those experiences, I’d never have chosen to have more. Then Summer turned up and now Indie is in need of temporary accommodation. But they’re not our pets, we don’t own them ~ we’re just borrowing them for a while. 🙂

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 4

After putting up with a dwindling Internet connection and buzzing land line reception for some time, we’re finally being beamed a strong signal, via the magic of fibre~optics. Who knew that those frondy, colour~changing lamps ~ so ‘space age’ in the ’70’s ~ would one day open a portal to the World Wide Web?

So we’re up and running again, with a new telephone number, faster broadband and a more stable link to the XBox 360 downstairs. Which means we can surf the super~highway in confidence and watch on~demand TV, catching up on missed programmes at our leisure, free from ‘buffering’. Which is great ~ we don’t view much and the most interesting~looking programmes are broadcast at inconvenient times. Like when we’re at work, or wishing to sleep or when the sun is blazing hot and we’d rather be basking in it, outside. (OK, I made that last one up.)

Our new number is unlisted, which should drastically cut down on annoying nuisance calls. As an additional precaution the installers advised us not to give out our real number if we use online comparison sites, for insurance quotations and the like, as this is how marketing companies obtain contact details. We never realised that and, as a result, have been plagued seven or eight times a day.

There are no longer wires and cables trailing across the top of the stairs ~ I’d cobbled together a precarious connection between a vintage MacBook, plugged into the mains and our faltering router, by means of an Ethernet cable. Sporadic, but better than nothing at all in this age of instant communication with every corner of the planet ~ and my family, who live in the next county.

This messy arrangement reminded us of the old ‘dail~up’ method of accessing the Internet, when it took all night to scan in one of Martin’s paintings, jamming the printer when we attempted to print it out. We thought we’d broken our spanking new (and expensive) devices until the help desk reassured us that we’d bought enough technology to send a man to the moon and that our learning curve would be vertical. Nevertheless, we didn’t attempt to copy artwork again, until software programmes could meet our ambitious expectations!

So, on this Nurturing Thursday, I’m extremely grateful that a whole bunch of niggling irritations has been dealt with in one easy move. And I’m indulging myself, messing around on my iPad and making good use of the ‘Excellent’ Wi-Fi signal showing up in my settings.

Yay! Thirteen years post~Millenium and we’ve just arrived in the 21st Century! 🙂

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’
To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 3

What with the various technical issues we’re currently experiencing and because of a recent family tragedy, I’ve been unable to visit Blogland for a while.

But I’m beginning to regain my equilibrium and, though our internet speed is still not up to scratch, this should improve next week, when we have a fibre~optic connection installed. So, as I’m not sure how long I’ll be on~line and this being Valentines Day, I’ve decided to re~post a Tao of Scrumble blog that I first published on February 14, 2011. Happily, it’s still relevant.

‘Don’t expect roses’ said The Artist, shortly before our first Valentine’s Day, ‘or a card. In my opinion, giving someone a piece of compressed wood pulp doesn’t prove how much you love them – it’s merely a cynical ploy, an opportunity for greetings card manufacturers to increase their profits’

‘You could make me one,’ I said, thinking how cool it would be to show off some of his original artwork to my friends and colleagues. (Little did I know that his actual pictures would shortly be hanging on my walls, stacked behind the sofa and propped up against the TV cabinet, waiting for the paint to dry.)

‘Hrmph,’ he replied, in a tone that I soon came to understand meant ‘No’, ‘I believe it’s the thoughtful little things that you do for your loved one that count.’

Like noticing, on our first date, that the kitchen sink in my house was minus a plug. A day or two later, when I hadn’t contacted him (I was ‘playing it cool’), a bulky envelope landed on my doormat, containing one. Written on the front, above a smiley face, was the message ‘Don’t let our ‘thang’ go down the drain’. Of course I had to call and thank him. The rest, as they say, is ‘written.’

This gentle-manly wooing didn’t stop when we began living together.

Each morning he’d fetch my car from the garage we rented a street away, warming it up and pointing it in the right direction so that I could snatch a few extra minutes in bed. He’d frequently call me at the office, amusing the receptionist by asking to speak to ‘the most wonderful housing officer in the world.’ When I came home on a winter evening, my slippers would be warming by the fire, a hot meal on the stove. In the summer (remember them?) a deckchair was always waiting at the sunny end of the garden, a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge

He laboriously painted the kitchen in blue and yellow check, because I’d seen a similar (but not as detailed) effect in a magazine. When we decorated the bedroom, he walked into town and back, in the rain, to buy luminous stars for the ceiling – keeping his journey secret until we turned out the light.

Knowing my fears about motorbikes didn’t stop him from riding his. He encouraged me on to the pillion, telling me what – and more importantly, what not – to do. Once I’d relaxed enough to enjoy sitting behind him, he took me to the bike shop to buy my own gear. And when another customer suggested that I could make do with a budget crash helmet, my man dismissed him with ‘This is the most precious cranium in the universe, mate,’ and selected a quality one.

He spent months preparing his modified 1964 MGB, so that we could travel across Europe to Germany – where my son was appearing in ‘Starlight Express’ – pulling up outside the stage door on my birthday, as he’d promised we would. He drove my mother, her budgie and me from Plymouth to Portsmouth (in her ancient 70’s hatchback,) to watch my daughter take the lead in a play that she’d written and directed for her Performing Arts course.

I could go on but I’m conscious that this is beginning to sound as though he’s no longer with me, when in fact he’s a few feet away on the other side of the studio, checking out ‘boys toys’ on the Internet. And I hope I haven’t made him sound too much like a saint – because he can also be a complete nightmare, (can’t we all?)

I don’t wish to give the impression that he never brings me presents, either. One day he returned from a ride-out bearing a multi~coloured tufted jumper, reminiscent of Rumpleteaser from ‘Cats.’ People always smile when I wear it – with me or at me, I don’t care. The Artist saw it and thought of me, that’s all that counts. Although, I have to confess that it is a bit tight now, (must’ve shrunk) so I’m considering transforming it into a cushion.

While we were shopping on Friday I spotted some yarn that I fell in love with. Despite the fact that my work area is piled high with a rainbow assortment of spun fibre, he took it to the till, saying, ‘you always regret what you don’t buy, never the things that you do.’

True to his word, my Valentine has never sent me a card, or brought me flowers. But this year he bought me the materials to crochet an everlasting bouquet for myself!

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’
To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.