curiouswombat: (Hop tu Naa)
Gosh - I haven't posted anything in almost a week. The house is noticeably quiet still, without Shaka, but we all feel that we do not want to replace him, at least just yet. I do have some Shaka pictures to post - I'll sort them out and do it soon.

We had him cremated, and I asked that the ashes be left in an open container for scattering. So I kind of expected a small version of the plastic jar my father's ashes came in. I have to say Shaka's came in a much nicer container - it is a small carved wooden box with his name n a plaque on it.

This led to one of those silly conversations sometimes associated with death and mourning; D-d arrived home for work and saw the box where I had left it - mainly so that she could see it. "I can't eat my tea with Shaka sitting on the table staring at me like that...!" So she moved the box to the shelf that has family photos on. Then says "It's a very posh box." I agreed, and said to her that I had expected something like the plastic jar my father's ashes were in.

She considers for a moment. It is worth noting here that my mother insists she wants no money wasted on her funeral - it is to be as simple as possible. "If people usually come in Tupperware boxes, Granny would be really miffed if they were to put her in a posh box like Shaka," says D-d.

"Granny'd probably supply her own Tupperware box, just to be on the safe side..." I suggest.

"Actually," D-d goes on, "Granny might think Tupperware a bit extravagant. What's the betting she's got a plastic sandwich bag somewhere with a note on it telling us to have her ashes put in that to save money?"

We both ended up laughing hysterically, I fear.

Today we visited Mum and told her about the conversation - she ended up laughing, too.

Talking of D-d - she's gone to a Halloween party tonight. The theme was 'Famous People - as zombies'. It was both real life and fictional people. She said "It's hard to come up with something because the shops are already full of Christmas stuff." Then a short pause whilst you could see her brain working.

Yes - you've guessed it. She went off dressed as a Zombie Father Christmas. Pity I didn't get the camera out in time.

Oh, and she went bearing cakes - she had made fairy cakes into small ghosts and owls - and again, by the time she'd finished them she was in such a rush that they were in a box and ready to go before I could get the camera out - but they were fun.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
curiouswombat: (Shaka)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 05:41pm on 21/10/2011 under
Tinsel cat

As those of you who are also friends of [ profile] speakr2customrs will know, Shaka died, quietly, this morning. He was sixteen and had always been a fit healthy cat until his last few months. The house is very quiet without him.

I know that most of you will understand what a large hole a family member of 16 years can make - I don't think I could cope with all your hugs and sympathy without crying all over the computer and so, just this once, I am going to turn off comments.
Mood:: 'sad' sad
curiouswombat: (saner emu)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 01:04pm on 05/10/2011 under , ,
Firstly a cat update. Shake is a little stronger and the vet is pleased with his progress. However his lifespan may be seriously curtailed if he continues to consider my handbag as a suitable alternative to outdoors or a litter tray... Fortunately I noticed in time!

Now some silliness - S2C has been deep in a place where Éomer is to be coronated, Eldarion is known as dead, and poor Merry suffers a setback as he recoups from the Black Breath. Yes - he is perusing the summaries in the Lord of the Rings section of

We have just been considering which is the most expendable letter in the word Legolas. The letter most likely to be missed out in a summary is the 'o'.

We feel there should, perhaps, be a whole genre devoted to 'Leglas' the elf - whose brother or sister is doubtless called 'Wide-eyed'. If the doyens of the new genre can spell that, of course.

However all these oddities pale into insignificance beside the one he has mentioned on his own journal...

I am copying his entry here for my LotR friends who aren't also his LJ friends.

Alyssa jumped up wide awake her dagger, which she had placed under her pillow, drawn when she heard it; The Screeching whale of the Nazgul...

This is, presumably, from the version of Lord of the Rings where the Council of Elrond decides that the Fellowship shall include Legolas, representing the Elves, Gimli son of Glóin, representing the Dwarves, and Queequeg, representing the Harpooners.

Call me Ishmael Baggins...

It is worth also going over to his journal for some of the comments.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
curiouswombat: (Shaka)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 02:10pm on 29/09/2011 under
Thank you so much for all the hugs and good wishes - I'm not sure if I will get to reply to them individually, but thank you all.

Shaka is home, breathing easier, eating a little, and is currently sitting in a cardboard box in the garden where it is misty, but dry, and not cold although we are not having the heat of the UK mainland - here it is currently 17C - so about 63F.

He is on medication, which he is not happy to take, of course, and is certainly not a very well cat, but he is home and seems content.

I must dash back to work....
Mood:: 'grateful' grateful
curiouswombat: (cat haikus)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:55pm on 09/07/2011 under
I've just spent 15 minutes getting more and more desperate as I tried to work out where I must have put my mouse whilst I got paper out of the cupboard and put it into the printer. I looked all around where I'd put the laptop on the floor, then around the cupboard, all around the printer... Then I looked under the settee, on the table, through the rest of the room, before going out to the kitchen in case I'd taken it there when I went to pour myself some coffee.

If only I'd looked under the cat in the first place...
Mood:: 'ditzy' ditzy
curiouswombat: (Husband)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 09:59pm on 07/04/2011 under , ,
Towards the end of this month it will be our Silver Wedding Anniversary. How scary to be old enough for that! Although actually my younger sister got there before us...

Anyway - well worth celebrating, we decided - and we are going to have a luxury few days away including a very special train trip. Oh - and I'm going to go down to London on one of the days of the break to meet Ann, Kortirion, Jay and others - leaving S2C to his own devices! But we are both cool with this plan so that's OK!

However, this seemed to be a good time to get new cutlery and crockery - here is a picture that shows the old crockery -

Friday - hot cross buns

Very basic, very 1990s, and getting badly scratched from cutlery. Which is weird, really - why on earth make plates that can be scratched by knives and forks?

The cutlery was a bit of a hotch-potch too. Replacing it became something of a major search - to get spoons and forks the shape S2C likes, bowls that I liked and so on. But we have finally achieved this - in time for the anniversary.

My mother has bought the basics of our new cutlery, and we have added the soup spoons and some pastry forks - this is it - simple, feels right in the hand, and we are both happy with it.

The crockery took even longer - and we went around in circles a bit, but we now have a full eight place setting in Halo by Denby. Somehow simple food seems posher from these!

But we had quite a lot of the old stuff, and other odd bits that didn't match it, so what to do with it? It has gone to Kemmyrk. They help their homeless clients to find homes - and often they need to furnish and equip the new homes - so our perfectly usable, if a bit scratched, crockery and our slightly battered, odd, but usable cutlery, will be recycled for someone who really needs them - I'm really happy about this - apart from anything else it isn't sitting here taking up space!

Cats? As I have sat here typing this, Shaka has been sat beside me on the settee, poking me in the arm every minute or so, claws out, to remind me that I'm not making a fuss of him.

As is often the case when you've been a couple for such a long time, S2C and I both came to the same conclusion almost spontaneously - I need a set of Bracers (aka vambraces) - preferably a magic pair, a personalised D&D magic item perhaps - Bracers of Defence +4 against Cat Claws, we think!

Also I may have been married for almost 25 years - but I can still find Neil Oliver sexy...
Mood:: Full of holes!
location: Right here.
Music:: A History of Celtic Britain.
curiouswombat: (Shaka)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 08:28pm on 12/03/2011 under , ,
It's almost the end of my week off work - and my cold is, finally, lifting... figures!

I had meant to have a good sort out in the garden yesterday or today, but the weather has been meh - cold, grey, and wet.

The cat is being awkward. He has decided he doesn't eat this cat food - it is clear that someone (that would be me, then) is trying to poison him by getting him to eat... whatever this is! I keep pointing out that 'this' is actually Waitrose's cat food - not something cheap or nasty - but to no avail.

Each time either D-d or I went out to the kitchen today the cat has followed, then looked pointedly at the food in his dish, and mewed piteously. By mid-afternoon he had started to not only mew piteously, but also to eat some of his dried cat food, looking at us sadly after each mouthful - clearly saying "See what I have been reduced to by your cruelty."

But he finally had me clutching my sides laughing as I waited for my second day chilli to reheat - he came out, looked piteously at the abomination someone had left in his dish, then at his dry stuff, then went pointedly to the small bin, containing food scraps for composting, and nudged it as if trying to open the lid... Poor, starving cat...

D-d was at her friend's on Thursday night. Before she went she asked "Do you think Dad will mind if I borrow some of his Buffy DVDs?" Fair makes you proud - a real chip off the old block...
Mood:: 'amused' amused
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 08:49pm on 06/03/2011 under , , , ,
It is possible that one or two of you noticed there was no pic-spam last Sunday; I had taken some pictures but, with Shaka still missing, I didn't really have the heart to post them. So I will put a few of them with this week's instead.

It really is beginning to look like spring, and we have had nice, bright weather all week - although mainly still quite chilly - about 5-6C most days. D-d has come home for half-term, to flop and be cosseted after a lot of exams, and I have a week off work. What a pity, then, that I feel rather grotty with a cold...

Still, hopefully, it will be over quickly and we can enjoy some time together. I don't think D-d has been eating very well over the past month or so, she looked rather peaky. But we had one of her favourites for dinner last night (gammon steak with cheese and pineapple on top), and she has just tucked into a full roast pork dinner - which I was rather proud of, as my crackling was crackly, the roast parsnips just right, and I remembered to throw a cooking apple into the roasting pan for the last 15 minutes or so to make instant apple sauce. I am currently pleasantly replete!

Anyway - the pictures don't include the gammon, or the pork, but there is a bit of bacon - we seem to have eaten a fair proportion of a pig over the past month! Oh and a bell! (A picture of one - not that we also ate one!) And a picture especially for [ profile] aleia_kali.

click for the pics )

And now I am sitting here quietly; except for a snoring cat and the distant sound of D-d listening to music in her room - if I was upstairs the snoring cat sounds would probably be replaced by snoring S2c sounds as he is in bed, having been at work last night but not tonight. All in the Casa del Speaker to Wombats is as it should be.
Mood:: 'full' full
location: on a small island
Music:: gentle cat snores.
curiouswombat: (Shaka)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 12:45pm on 28/02/2011 under
Shaka is Home!

It appears that he spent most of the last 5 days in the plumbers' workshop behind our house - even though the doors were open every day, and the plumber had been keeping an eye open for him!

The plumber (Mr K) is our neighbour - and said to me this morning that he presumed the cat was home as he'd seen him yesterday...

I came back, sent S2C off to Mr. K's workshop - and, after much calling - there was the familiar duck-like quack which is Shaka's greeting - and there he was!

Now he is demanding food and a fuss - just as we had hoped.

I've told him that if he's taken up gallivanting (or as Deinin said - having a late midlife crisis!) we won't be worried next time he doesn't come home for days!
Mood:: 'happy' happy
location: home
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 08:29pm on 09/01/2011 under , ,
It seems like a long time since Christmas and New Year - D-d flew back to York on Monday, I went back to work on Tuesday, and now things are so much back to normal that that could have been a month ago!

It was my mother's 84th birthday on Wednesday - we bought her a new, sensible, watch as her old one was becoming unreliable. This was obviously a hit because when my sister was up on Saturday she was actually wearing it, rather than keeping it in the box!

D-d has just been on the phone - she is planning her 'gap trip' for the summer - she has 11 weeks between finishing at college and starting her training contract and intends to spend much of it in Australia, not only visiting her grandparents and aunt, but having a look at the rest of the country too. She is going to go to buy her main air ticket on Wednesday - so her mind is well into summer whilst I am still deep in winter, still putting the Christmas decorations away. I think this might be a reflection of our different ages.

Talking of putting away the decorations - and there is a picture of me doing just that under the cut (how exciting!) - I also took a picture of my glass vase of baubles and lights as [ profile] melegyrn was asking about it.

Most of the pictures, though, are of the walk I took before lunch in one of our local glens.

pictures are under here )

Oh - and in other news, Shaka wasn't very well after Christmas; he had a nasty cough and a wheeze, and was very sleepy. So I took him to the vet who diagnosed bronchitis and gave him a couple of injections. The cat has perked up well - but I took him back for his follow-up appointment a couple of days ago and Edric (our vet) declared Shaka to be in very good condition for a 16 year old cat, but still a little wheezy, therefore he will need to take oral medicine for a further 10 days.

Edric laughed when I told him my plan to make sure the cat took the medicine - but it works very well... Well, if you were a cat and someone kept giving you small portions of smoked salmon you'd eat it without question too, wouldn't you?
Mood:: 'chipper' chipper


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