Monday, August 27, 2012

Twelve Habits of Highly Successful Cats and Their Humans by Dulcy and Dee Ready

"Do you yearn for joy? Do you dream of a welcoming lap and gentle words? Do you wish to know the deep delight of a life filled with tangy tuna and abiding love? Then follow my twelve habits"
So begins this charming book chronicling the 'training' of one human lady by her feline mistress!
Habit one: Practice being unique... In her description of how to acquire this habit, Dulcy asks her fellow felines whether they can "howl melodies that pierce the night". For sure the little kitty-cat that paid us such a 'melodious' visit, as described in my last post, could howl not only to pierce the night, but as you will see one day soon, in the day as well!
With each of Dulcy's habits, Dee Ready explains how Dulcy's feline advice also pertains to humans. For example, Dee describes how when we were young we were the centre of our world and that our experiences were filled with' wonder':
"'Look at my bean plant. It's growing!' And we beamed with delight as if the sunshine of our smile had made the seed sprout."
But as we become part of the larger world we lose that sense of uniqueness. Dee then describes how she rediscovered her uniqueness and how through her relationship with Dulcy she was able to learn that "with practice, we will become what we have always been called to be --unique, lovable, one of a kind. A gift to the universe."
I found it interesting to contemplate what each habit meant and then to see if I could imagine how it would relate to humans. For example, what does it mean to 'Discover Your Heartwish'? And how do you 'Listen with an Open Heart?
This is a little treasure of a book. One that celebrates relationship. Relationship between ourselves and others; between ourselves and other creatures; and between ourselves and our 'self'. There is serious insight and humour -- "Habit 7, Trust Your Instincts" where Dulcy describes her instincts about dogs had me laughing out loud!
Most of all it is a book about love ...

I highly recommend Dee Ready's blog:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Cat's Meow

It started loudly a few weeks ago at the mid-night hour, just as The Man and I were drifting off to our dteams. Our loft has long been a haven for various creatures, but particularly for feral cats and their litters. They have kept the mouse population under control and while not exactly welcome broadly tolerated.
Our bedroom has two windows, a velux window in the roof and a dormer window, from which all kinds of detritus was thrown at after the walls were smashed to bits. At the time only the dormer had a screen. So when tne almost, if not quite ear-splitting MEOWS started just outside the window I was sure an animal was about to come crashing in upon us.
The Man went to the window to investigate only to find a small kitten who aware of his presence quickly scampered to the other window. A game of 'Cat and Man' followed with the little fellow/lass running from one end of the roof to the other and 'cat'erwailing all the while. The poor mite was screaming for help and terrified of getting it. The Man even went outside with a flashlite and tried to think of a way he might capture it, but wisely decided that clambering over the roof tiles in the middle of the night after a feral little kitten was not the better part of valour!
Back to bed and just as we were about to drift off the mewing began once again. That was when we discovered Mama below on the terrace watching intently but saying not a 'meow'.
Now it just so happens to be true that at the time I was in the midst of reading two books by Dee Ready (and Dulcy) about her extraordinary relationship with and mutual love for Dulcy, a feline of exceptional quality.
So, being in the middle of their lives, in a literary sense, I suspect that I just might have been susceptible to a bit of 'cat'anormal persuasion. Mama down below bears an interesting resemblance to the wise Dulcy, and has a black and twitching tail very much like the one Dulcy accidentally lost!
It was very obvious to us that Mama was determined that her child find his/her way down to the ground. We knew there had been two kittens and the other was not around. We suspect the sibling had already followed Mama down some days before. Our little kitty was the perfect 'scardy cat'! He was also very hungry one... The way down was via a fig tree that grows along the side of the house and conveniently to our roofline and access to their haven and nursery: our loft!
The little meowing monster had exhausted him/herself and sleep descended on the little farmhouse. But that is when I am sure that Dulcy herself appeared in my dreams and pounced upon my psyche ... For the next day I really believe Dulcy helped us with the rescue... (to be continued)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Late Evening Sun

Let me know if the quality of this image is good enough, please... It's amazing what you can do with just a smart phone! The size of the picture went from 1Mb down to 271 kb using the phone's photo editor! Just think what I would not have learned if the tablet had not gone 'wonky' on me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


This year I have gone out of my way to ensure a modicum if Internet access from the maison secondaire. Since there is no broadband access from this itsy-bitsy corner of our village, I had a challenge before me...

Last year I had thought that at least my cell phone would enable me to download my e-mail in between visits to the local library twice a week and the Internet office provided in the nearby town. Unfortunately, the phone went up the creek after two weeks...

But that was last year. This year I was determined tl come up with better solutions. First, I decided to get a tablet ... Mostly because it is lite-weight and since I was having to fly down with Ryanair, that was an issue. I then worked how to set up mobile Internet to use with the tablet. Next I found apps for both the phone and the tablet that would allow me to post to blogger and to work offline. I even discovered that blogger has an app that would enable me to post pictures! It had taken a lot of effort, but by last week I had it all figured out!

Then last week I went to turn on the tablet. The one I got for my birthday last June... It would not turn on!

I admit it...I am an addict to the Internet and to blogging in particular. So why can't the gods just leave me to get on with it? The good news is that at least I bought it through Amazon and when I get back to England it will be replaced. And I am, for the moment at least, able to post using my phone, tedious though it is... But I do miss keeping up to date with my favourite blogs ... Blogging is after all very much a two-way street...

In the meantime, I'll have to make do with reading and lying about in the sunshine--life is tough when an addict has to almost go 'cold turkey'!

Friday, August 10, 2012

All Wired Up and Ready to Go

Our new bedroom seems huge to us! All of the work was done by The Man. The biggest job -- which is true of all renovation, is what you can't see! Above the ceiling is a loft and his first job was re-wiring the electrics so that it would no longer be necessary to have a lampshade hanging from the middle otf the ceiling for him to hit is head on. If you recall in the little film I made, you can see the electrics hanging in mid-air. The electric sockets that had been on the wall behind the bed, now had to be moved to the new wall.

After that a bit of wallpapering, the laying of carpet and oh yes more miscellaneous wiring!

The Man had told me that he would not be able to build the closet until next year as he hadn't brought enough wood with him and he couldn't find the louvred doors that he wanted. However, the more he thought about it the more he thought he could build a temporary solution by using the doors and material from the old wardrobe!

He started to build the frame. As the structure took shape he discovered that the doors from the old wardrobe were pretty much the right size for what he had in mind from the beginning.

While all this ingenuity was taking place, I was in England getting daily reports from The Man who was sounding more and more pleased with himself wnile at the same time insisting that I was to be the final authority as to whether all his work as acceptible...

Of course I love everything he did! Believe it or not, the estimate we had from a neighbouring carpenter to build the closet was 2,700 euros. The Man reckons it cost him 60!!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Waving the Flag for Britain

It's been cmplicated and I've had to be patient and find work-arounds, but it is possible to post a picture -- but only one at a time, else it would take days of waiting for them to go through the e-mail shoot of the tablet via a mobile phone network. I had never taken the time to experiment with sending a post using e-mail and it is so dreadfully simple that anyone can do it! So, it's over a week now of being here -- 10 days I think and here is the house as I found it when I got here! Tomorrow you can see the renovated bedroom with closet, which we are both very pleased with -- a true example of British ingenuity! Until then the sun is shining and it's not too hot -- right good weather for Paradise!