Boys are crap nurses

January 27, 2015

It just so happens I had minor foot surgery last week. Nothing to elaborate upon because it’s as dull as dishwater. I have however, had time to reflect on a few things, being holed up at home and all that. 
 
Toddlers – and I’m going to enflame the emotive gender neutral topic by another few feet with this – specifically BOY TODDLERS are rubbish nurses. 
 
The Boy is three and a half years old, caring, empathetic and compassionate. This is what his teacher tells us. 
 
Me, a people-pleasing Brit, ie finds it nigh on impossible to ask my husband to get me a glass of water from the kitchen – even if he’s standing next to the tap with glass in hand.

Being incapacitated with a hulking boot on my foot and needing to move as little as possible, I decided that I’d see how my son would react to being asked to “help me”. Basically, train him to be my slave. I’ve seen little girls love playing Nurse. This was going to be fun. We would bond further, he’d learn about being selfless, perhaps beginning his life’s journey as a notable humanitarian; in sum, it’d be a great experience.

On asking for some care as my foot was “broken”: 
He gently surveyed my bandaged foot, then announced “Thor will save you!” as he shoved a hard plastic toy down into the bandaging. This was a mere 4hrs post-op, so thankfully the nerve block was still working. 
 
On being reminded not to touch my foot, he grabbed said foot with enormous gusto and asked “This one, right mummy, RIGHT?”  
 
On being asked to bring me a glass of water from the kitchen: Two seconds after asking and realizing I was an idiot, my fears were unmet as The Boy reappeared carrying a shoe. Phew, no spilled water or broken glass. But a shoe? Glass of Water = Shoe. 
 
A bottle of water? Success. Except that its contents were carbonated, he’d dropped the bottle a few times enroute, then given it a few extra shakes just to check it had bubbles. Cue exploding water in my shocked face.

The book request: I asked him to pass me a book not two inches from his side. He looked all around him, even under his legs. Did he see the book? No. I told him to look harder. He interpreted that as “Squint REALLY HARD and basically be of no use at all”. I told him to look more closely. Apparently that translates as “Put your nose to the floor, whilst squinting.” The book never made it to me.

 

On other occasions, he’s come back with things so totally unrelated to what he originally went to get, that I’ve wondered if I’ve actually had the conversation with him or not. 

A couple of times, he’s just not come back at all.

 
He’s not a touchy-feely kind of fellow. Therefore, the few times he’s wanted to snuggle up have been welcomed with open arms. On being asked not to kick my foot whilst lying next to me on sofa (he’s voluntarily laid next to me less than three times in three years):
Me: “Keep your legs still, darling. Please stop kicking my sore foot.” Repeated x 50. Gradually increased volume and sternness of voice. Erected cushion fort inbetween self and child’s feet. Threatened to chop his effing feet off if he did it ONE MORE TIME. Felt guilty as The Boy looked sad. I apologised for raising my voice, asked for a hug – he obliged and not only stood on my foot, he managed to elbow me in the throat at the same time.

On trying to squeeze past my foot: My foot was propped up on the coffee table. He had around two feet of empty space to manoeuvre in without touching me. He tried SO carefully to tiptoe around me, that in a slow-motion move, he tripped over his own foot, wobbled like a weeble and YES, headbutted my foot.

It’s impossible to get angry at his massive clumsiness, lack of focus or general rubbishness at caretaking. There are some traits that are genetic. When I recognise them, I can’t help but smile. Note I don’t distinguish which parent has which trait.

I’ve stopped the slave training. It was too exhausting.

 

Elaine.

Street Style Sunday – White Midi

January 25, 2015

My outfit for Street Style Sunday this week is an easy outfit for you to recreate from what’s already in your wardrobe. Just piece together a midi skirt, a jumper, and some killer heels. I would wear this for date night or for cocktails with the girls.

 

leopard2

leopardoutfit

leopardshoes

 

I got my skirt and jumper in the Etre Cecile sale recently. And the shoes I got for Christmas.

 

ASOS have some great white midi skirts if you want to buy one.

 

What do you think of my outfit?

 

Nat x

 

 

Now it’s that time again to show us your style for Street Style Sunday – it can be any post related to style.

GET INVOLVED ON IG – each week I will be reposting my favourite instagram style pic on my IG feed, all you have to do is tag @stylemesunday in your pic and hashtag #streetstylesunday. You can gain some new followers and it means more people can get involved with Street Style Sunday.

To link up a blog post – Click add link.

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

Tweet about it, and remember to tag @stylemesunday – I will always retweet.

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style and KA from Life As Our Little Family.

Now get linking and have a look around at all the other fabulous style posts that link. It’s a great way of discovering new blogs you’ll love!


Iglo & Indi – ARCTIC ADVENTURES

January 23, 2015

 

Here’s a sneak peek of that super cool Icelandic brand we love so much – Iglo&Indi’s AW15 collection is called ‘ARCTIC ADVENTURES':

 

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The collection is inspired by the Artic and all the Artic animals, beautiful new damped colours mixed with super cool prints. Ígló&Indí’s collection continues to grow every season; their range of children’s wear now includes more certified organic pieces, knitwear, outerwear and a special Holiday collection which is ideal for more festive occasions.

 

As proud ambassadors we can’t wait to get our hands on some of this loveliness when it comes out. I’ll be keen to show you how we’ve styled it.

 

For all Iglo&Indi’s info go to their website.

 

Nat x

 

Coleen for Littlewoods

January 22, 2015

 

 

 

I’m not usually that bothered about celebrity collabs, but I am loving Coleen Rooney’s latest collaboration with Littlewoods. The 60’s vibe is always a winner in my book, and I guarantee that yellow dress and coat will be a big hit for Spring.

 

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This navy jumpsuit is a favourite of mine, so easy to wear for many an occasion.

 

You can see the full Coleen Rooney Collection here.

 

Would you wear anything from this collaboration?

 

Nat x

Active wear from Urban Outfitters

January 21, 2015

Who’s still on a January health kick? I’m trying desperately to hang on to mine. My dry January turned into a dry start of January, I lasted two weeks that’s all I could manage. Bloody rubbish! But I’m determined not to let it all go to shit and get back on the saddle and keep up the good work.

 

Perusing gym gear helps to motivate me into wanting to get fit, and Urban Outfitters have expanded their active wear range recently and have some amazing kit that will surely get even the most reluctant of us up out of that couch.

 

Leggings £38

 

 

Mesh top £48

Joggers £48

 

 

Joggers £48

 

Remember when Fila was all the rage? LOVING this!

 

 

Tee £25

 

Trainers £70

 

 

Click here for more active wear shopping.

 

So you have no excuses  now get your butt out there!

 

Love Nat x

Kopparberg jumper

January 19, 2015

christmas jumper

 

80sjumper

 

I got some good post the other day, in the shape of this pretty cool jumper. I love the bold colours and the geometric design. It’s got a real 80’s feel to it don’t you think?

 

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Kopparberg have cosied up with London-based designer knitwear label Leutton Postle this winter to create ‘The Kopparberg’, a luxurious knitted jumper that brings to life the warm and festive Spiced Apple cider and is the perfect piece of clothing to embrace the colder weather in. 

While novelty festive jumpers have had their day, the stylish winter knit continues its reign as a permanent seasonal wardrobe staple. With this in mind, limited-edition Kopparberg jumpers for men and women will be sold at London’s most creative independent boutique, Machine A in Soho. Here, ‘The Kopparberg’ will sit alongside Leutton Postle’s highly acclaimed current collection and pieces from the UK’s most prestigious emerging designers.

The jumper gives the wearer a cosy sensation, reflective of sipping on a warm Kopparberg Spiced Apple cider and its colour pops of red are inspired by the appealing shade of the sweet red apples that the cider is made from. Also featuring bursts of yellow and blue, these colours hint to the golden yellow leaves found in the Swedish town of Kopparberg at this time of year and the town’s crystal clear lake.

To draw inspiration for the design, long-time collaborators and friends Sam Leutton and Jenny Postle took a trip to the intriguing and beautiful Kopparberg. The result – bold geometric shapes that echo the form of the town’s autumn leaves and angular falun red barns nestled in the countryside laid over a fresh deconstructed take on the traditional ‘fair isle’ knit pattern.

In recent years, Leutton Postle have taken the fashion world by storm with their craft-led collections and extraordinary attention to detail. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2005, their designs have been found gracing the glossy pages of Vogue, i-D, Dazed & Confused and Nylon and they have built a loyal fashion fan base including Lady Gaga, Bjork and Susie Bubble.

Commenting on the collaboration, Leutton Postle said: ‘We designed ‘The Kopparberg’ to have an offbeat yet wearable design and want the owner to feel stylish, individual and, most of all, warm and cosy inside and out!’

This limited-edition jumper is available from Machine A in Soho, London, via phone orders (020 7734 4334), and at www.kopparbergleuttonpostle.bigcartel.com <http://kopparbergleuttonpostle.bigcartel.com/>  for £150. Made to fit both men and women ‘The Kopparberg’ comes in four sizes – small, medium, large and extra large.

 

Nat x

Street Style Sunday – Life As Our Little Family

January 18, 2015

This week we are announcing a new cohost for Street Style Sunday – Kerri-Ann from Life As Our Little Family will be joining the team. And it’s very lovely to have her. Please pop by her fab blog for all things family, fashion, and fun.

 

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All photos are from Life As Our Little Family

Nat x

Now it’s time to see your style posts for Street Style Sunday – it can be anything to do with style.

GET INVOLVED ON IG – each week I will be reposting my favourite instagram style pic on my IG feed, all you have to do is tag @stylemesunday in your pic and hashtag #streetstylesunday. You can gain some new followers and it means more people can get involved with Street Style Sunday.

To link up a blog post – Click add link.

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

Tweet about it, and remember to tag @stylemesunday – I will always retweet.

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style.

Now get linking and have a look around at all the other fabulous style posts that link. It’s a great way of discovering new blogs you’ll love!


London Art Fair

January 15, 2015

27th edition of London Art Fair:

Pallant House Gallery, international ‘Dialogues’ and the Art Projects Artist Award

21–25 January 2015 (Preview Evening 20 January)

Business Design Centre, Islington, N1

London Art Fair, the UK’s premier Fair for Modern British and contemporary art, kicks off the cultural calendar with its 27th edition at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 21-25 January 2015.

The Fair presents a unique overview of the art world, with 128 exhibitors ranging from established UK-based Modern British and contemporary galleries to innovative emerging spaces in Art Projects; as well as international gallery presentations from Milan, Paris, Toronto and New York. With an engaging programme of curated exhibitions, talks, tours, films and performances, the Fair provides an inspiring and supportive environment for collectors of all levels.

New features and highlights for 2015 include:

  • a museum partnership with Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, presenting an exhibition of key works from their collection in ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’

  • two monumental sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi installed outside the Fair

  • international ‘Dialogues’ selected by Anna Colin, co-curator of the next British Art Show

  • Photo50: ‘Against Nature’ an exhibition of photographic installations curated by Sheyi Bankale of Next Level Projects

  • the inaugural Art Projects Artist Award, furnished by the Fair’s education sponsor Sotheby’s Institute of Art

  • a film programme in partnership with LIMA, Amsterdam

  • live performances including ‘B.I.N.G.O’, an interactive game led by artists Henry/Bragg and the premiere of William Mackrell’s ‘North South’

Pallant House Gallery: ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’

Simon Martin, Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery, curates a unique exhibition focusing on paintings, drawings and sculptures by some of the leading British figurative artists of the 20th century including Walter Sickert, David Bomberg, Lucian Freud, William Coldstream and Frank Auerbach. Housed in a specially designed pavilion at the front of the main Fair, ‘The Figure in Modern British Art’ will explore how different artists in Britain approached the human figure and will feature a selection of exceptional works drawn from Pallant House Gallery’s permanent collection.

The pavilion also hosts a selection of leading dealers; Jonathan Clark Fine Art, PIANO NOBILE and Rowntree Clark, presenting work from their strong Modern British holdings.

Modern British and Contemporary Galleries

Modern British highlights include Rowntree Clark’s recreation of the 1966 British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, featuring earlier works from the five artists exhibited: Anthony Caro, Bernard Cohen, Harold Cohen, Robyn Denny and Richard Smith. Several Modern British galleries, including Alan Wheatley Art and Goodman Fine Art, will carry work by leading Scottish abstract painter Alan Davie RA, who died in 2014 just before a major exhibition of his work at Tate Britain.

Merville Galleries will display a major new sculpture by Susie MacMurray, ‘Medusa’, alongside work by Modern British artists Keith Coventry and Craigie Aitchison, and Gilden’s Arts Gallery present an original 1940s Picasso portrait of Dora Maar.

Fair sponsor Lund Humphries will be celebrating the work of Eduardo Paolozzi, with a stand created by John Morgan Studio, designers of the publishers’ recent monograph on the artist, and a bust of Paolozzi by his friend, the sculptor and fashion designer Nicole Farhi. At the entrance to the Business Design Centre, visitors will also be greeted by two unique monumental sculptures by Paolozzi presented by Bowman Sculpture. The sculptures, Kalasan (1973-4) and Trishula (1966), were originally commissioned by Terence Conran, a former student of Paolozzi, as part of a sculptural children’s playground for his Habitat store in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The aluminium works are displayed at London Art Fair following Paolozzi’s 70th birthday exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1994.

Contemporary highlights include The Multiple Store’s new edition by Yinka Shonibare MBE, ‘Kaleidoscope’, which playfully explores gender stereotypes and power relations; while Redfern Gallery will bring a new edition of prints by American artist Linda Karshan. Contemporary designer makers include Joseph Walsh, whose exquisite woodwork is on show with Oliver Sears Gallery, Edmund de Waal’s ceramics at Crane Kalman Gallery and other leading ceramicists at Erskine, Hall & Coe. Beers Contemporary will celebrate many of the contemporary painters highlighted in their recent Thames & Hudson publication ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’, including

G L Brierley and Andrew Salgado and visitors to the Fair will encounter ‘Something Left But Not Forgotten’ a sculpture by Tim Ellis, of FOLD Gallery | London, in the foyer.

New exhibitors for 2015, RABLEY CONTEMPORARY will be showing drawings and sculptures from Eileen Cooper RA, ahead of a solo show at the Royal Academy later in the year, and The Reel Poster Gallery will exhibit a collection of rare original film posters including those from Scorsese, Hitchcock and one of only two surviving posters from the Marx Brothers ‘A Day At The Races’ (1937). New international galleries for 2015 include Rainhart Gallery (Brussels), Voies Off Gallery (Arles), Galerie Martin Kudlek (Cologne) and Hamburg Kennedy Photographs (New York).

Art Projects

Situated alongside the main Fair, Art Projects is London Art Fair’s curated section of emerging contemporary art from across the globe. It features large-scale installations, solo shows and group displays, alongside an extensive film and performance programme.

Introduced in 2014, ‘Dialogues’ is a section within Art Projects featuring collaborative presentations from invited UK and international galleries. The five 2015 ‘Dialogues’ collaborations have been curated by Anna Colin, co-director of Open School East, associate curator at Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris and co-curator of the next British Art Show.

Galleries participating in Art Projects for the first time include Art First Projects, Division of Labour, Eastside Projects, Federico Bianchi Contemporary Art, Galerie Rothamel, Modern Art Oxford, PAPER, Slate Projects and TinT gallery, as well as South Kiosk, who will be showing a 5M long lightbox work by Joachim Sefzick which will be suspended above the stand. Other Art Projects highlights include the launch of The Catlin Guide 2015, featuring profiles of 40 of the most talented new graduate and postgraduate artists from art colleges around the UK.

The Preview Evening of the Fair this year will see the presentation of the inaugural Art Projects Artist Award, furnished by the Fair’s education sponsor Sotheby’s Institute of Art, with a judging panel carefully selected to include the areas of collecting, journalism, curating and education. The winning artist will receive a cash prize of £2500.

Photo50 ‘Against Nature’ curated by Sheyi Bankale

Photo50 provides a critical forum for examining some of the most distinctive elements of current photographic practice. Curated by Sheyi Bankale of Next Level Projects, ‘Against Nature’ poses a series of questions that consider what it is to look at and display a photograph, and how a photograph can become elevated to the status of an object, act or intervention.

The exhibition will present nine artists working at the intersection of photography, sculpture and performance. Tom Lovelace exemplifies this trifecta, while Andrew Lacon’s practice adopts photographic methods and theories to create an often sculptural outcome. Thorsten Brinkmann’s ‘photo assemblages’ incorporate staged photos in which he plays the leading role, whilst always remaining unnoticed or unrecognisable; through his video-recorded tableaux vivants, Adad Hannah explores the nexus of photography, video and performance and how the human body occupies this space.

Photography

Other photography highlights from the Fair include: Flowers Gallery, showing work by Simon Roberts, Edward Burtynsky and Nadav Kander; James Hyman Gallery, which will be exhibiting photographs from Jon Tonks popular ‘Empire’ series, and BREESE LITTLE with a series of original images from the 1961–1980 NASA space programme. The Fair’s Single Malt Whisky Sponsor will host The Macallan Masters of Photography Lounge, featuring photography from Mario Testino.

Photography Focus Day takes place at the Fair on Wednesday 21 January, including an insightful PhotoVoice panel discussion on ‘The Landscape of War’ with Simon Baker (Curator of Photography and International Art, Tate), photographer Mike Sheil and photojournalist Jenny Matthews. Other Photography Focus Day highlights include a look at the future of the photobook market with Photomonitor; a discussion drawing on the points presented in Photo50 ‘Against Nature’, chaired by Martin Barnes (Senior Curator of Photographs, V&A) and photography highlights tours led by Jean Wainwright.

Film

Curated by Pryle Behrman, the Art Projects Film Programme runs throughout the Fair in a purpose-built screening room within Art Projects. For 2015, London Art Fair welcomes LIMA, Amsterdam, as a partner of the Programme, with LIMA presenting a selection of recent works from its collection revolving around the imagery of cinema and its relationship to media art.

Performance

On 22 January the Fair stays open to the public until 9pm for Thursday Late in association with Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Special events include the premiere of William Mackrell’s ‘North South’ courtesy of Andipa Gallery – a vocal exchange of the words ‘North’ and ‘South’, presented for the first time as a live performance; and Maeve Rendle’s novel-reading, courtesy of The International 3, which will act as a means to explore the curious relationship between freedom of thought and literal interpretation.

Further performance highlights include artist duo Henry/Bragg’s exploration of the rituals of bingo through a live, interactive game courtesy of C&C Gallery, on Sunday 25 January.

Talks, tours and discussions

An extensive programme of talks, tours and critical debates takes place throughout the week in association with partners such as the Contemporary Art Society, ArtTactic, Apollo magazine, Lund Humphries, The Arts Desk, Photoworks and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. All are free to attend with a valid ticket to the Fair.

Mary Rozell, Director of Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York and author of ‘The Art Collector’s Handbook’, will reveal the secret to effective art collection management on Wednesday 21 January. On Thursday 22 January Lund Humphries presents personal recollections of Eduardo Paolozzi from ceramic designer David Queensberry, fashion designer and sculptor Nicole Farhi, and Simon Martin, Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery. ‘A Master Class in The Art of Interiors’ will take place on Saturday 24 January, in association with John Jones bespoke framers and fine art conservators, with Jade Thomson, Feature Editor at LuxDeco speaking to April Russell, Interior Designer and Rebecca Weir, Creative Director of Light IQ.

Tickets

London Art Fair tickets are now on sale at £14 (plus £1.50 booking fee) in advance, including a copy of the 2015 Fair Guide (to be collected at the Fair). Advance tickets are available until 19 January 2015. Tickets on the door are £20.

www.londonartfair.co.uk

Ticketing information:

Day Ticket: £14.00 adv. / £20.00 on the door / £13.00 conc.

Six Day Ticket (includes Preview Evening): £30.00 adv. / £35.00 on the door

Preview Evening: Available only in advance £25.00

Child under 12 years old (accompanied by an adult): FREE

Please note: £1.50 booking fee applies per ticket purchased in advance

 

 

Overall chic

January 14, 2015

The other day whilst I was getting ready to go out for Sunday lunch I was thinking about what to wear and of course as usual I was thinking I have nothing to wear, as we all do. I thought, ‘you know what I really need, I wish I had a boiler suit in my closet,’ it would look perfect with my new trainers. It was exactly the kind of everyday-but-not-too-boring kind of look I was after. My problem is I’m very good at shopping for going out wear, after all heels and glitz is so much more exciting, but I have a extreme lack of every day wear (ok extreme lack might be an exaggeration but indulge me a little).

 

So I got looking for a boiler suit and came across loads of other goodies that would fit the genre of overalls/ work wear chic, perfect for a Sunday afternoon outfit paired with some trainers and a beanie . And easily dressed up too with a pair a heels. Or how about some leopard print ankle boots?

 

workwear chic

 

Don’t be afraid to have a bit fun with your outfits, I don’t think fashion is meant to serious all the time.
Will you be adding some workwear chic to your wardrobe?
Nat x

The Brangelina of cats

January 13, 2015

This week’s topic was suggested by my husband. I was out of inspiration and with what’s been going on in the world the past week, I wanted to write about something light-hearted.

He suggested Cats. Not the musical. God no. That is my idea of hell. People dressed up as cats, singing and all that? No. Just NO. This includes cat mugs, toys, books, calendars. I love a cat, but it has to be real, with personality and a heartbeat.

We have four cats. I write WE just so you realise that it is a joint affliction in this household, not just mine. I only take half the shame. I give the other half to my husband.

Most people I know have 2 cats maximum. Anything above that garners a horrified look and a step backwards from whomever you are talking to about it. Not that I talk about my cats. Please. I’m bad enough talking about my child.

Since I was tiny, I always wanted a cat. Millions of them. Fifty in every room. My mother always got around it by telling us we couldn’t have any pets as we lived on a main road and they’d be killed within days. I bought that for years. My yearning for a pet became so strong that I was beyond overjoyed when I won a goldfish at a fair. It was like being handed the Golden Egg, except it was a golden fish. In a plastic bag. I worried the whole way home that it’d suffocate in the bag and I’d have lost my one chance to have a pet. My mother, not a very sentimental parent, nor an animal lover, gave me a pyrex bowl to house my new friend in. I didn’t know that fish could jump. Not cool. My brother put pebbles in the water. The fish was floating the next day. I was heartbroken. He didn’t even have a name yet.

When I left home, I sort of adopted a neighbour’s cat. Three of them actually. Ceefur Cat (get it? Took me a while, granted), Tom and Jaffa. They belonged to David and Joan two doors down. The cats started to come into our house almost daily. May have been something to do with us leaving out cat food…then leaving the food inside the open back door…and with Joan’s blessing, the three of them soon became ‘our’ cats. Jaffa (because he was orange) was all brawn and no brains. Thick is pigsh*t actually. Tom looked he had eyeliner drawn on, like Liz Taylor in Cleopatra. Ceefur was a fat, cuddly tabby who used to sit upright on the sofa and fall asleep. Much like a fat, cuddly human. We loved those cats. When I moved, I wept for days and days.

Visiting my parents one day, when they still had a restaurant to run, I found a large paper sack in the garden. Inside it was a chicken. We’d get live chickens from a local farm and slaughter them so they’d be super fresh. I was distraught. I set her free in the garden. “Fly! Fly away! JUST F-ING FLY!” I shooed her, I picked her up and tried to woosh her away into the air. She didn’t do jack. Apparently they don’t fly. I gave her cereal that she turned her beak up at. Anyway, it was to no avail. She didn’t budge. Mum found me, chicken under arm, bollocked me, removed chicken and that was the end of that. Foiled again. No pet.

So you can see I was determined to have a pet. I’m flashing forward to current time. Between the chicken and today, I’ve had 11 cats in total. Five was the most at any one time. I know. I know. I just love them. They bring great comfort and are very cheap stress-reducers.

I have a preference for black cats. The meaner amongst you might be thinking “Of course, witches love black cats.” And you’d be partly right… ha! In my experience, they’ve been the ones with the most personality. None of them have been lazy, sleeping, get fat and grumpy cats. One would play fetch and gag at any smell he didn’t know. That was his (my) party trick. Waft something close to him and he’d do a full-on huge gag, noise included. That something could be anything from a slice of cucumber to a lipstick.

Another cat would lie across my shoulders like a snake from morning til night. He’d make no noise and out of nowhere would run up my legs or back and get comfy. He also had a phantom pregnancy (yes, HE) where he collected little crab apples, put them in a pile and then lay on them. The vet said it was common for neutered black cats to think they were pregnant females. Right.

Agatha, my beloved Ag – feral as they came. She loved to sit in the loo just above the water line and watch me flush it – her head would go round and round. One day she got so overexcited that she fell into the water. She was a little kitten still, so she almost went down…not even I found it amusing until a long time after. Poor girl.

Now we have 2 tabby brothers, Gregory Peck and Cary Grant, along with my darling Bear (the original cat) and Miau. The last two are jet black.

All four have personalities.

Bear is a dandy snob. A “proper cat”, my husband says. He hunts. A lot. He meows. A lot. He is skittish with everyone except me. I say that with pride. No throwing around his affection like a slapper. He behaves like a dog. If I call him, he comes.

Miau. The Diva. The smallest and the boss. Spoilt as anything. If cats wore diamonds, she’d don them every day. She’ll make an appearance if we’re having a party, strut about a bit and then leave. She makes Beyonce look timid.

Gregory Peck. Rather unkindly called Dumb by some (glares at husband). He’s adorable. Every time he’s in the kitchen, he waits by the sink to get a bath. Yep. A bath in the kitchen sink. He eats flowers, tulips are his favourite. He and his brother go on walks with us around the block. Like dogs. He is the dog’s best friend by the way.

Cary Grant. The prettiest cat on the planet. Loudest purr in existence. Walks with his tail straight up and only drinks water from vases. He kindly removes the flowers with one paw and then gets almost his entire body inside the vase to drink. He’s clever. He uses his pads on the inside walls of the vase like Spiderman suction contraptions. I kid you not.

We had others as I mentioned but I can’t write about those or else I shall sob.

Whenever we lose a cat, I swear we will never ever have another. Then I see an adoption centre and get giddy again. Thank god we don’t have any cats capable of having kittens. I would never be able to give them away. Not even for $1M. If my husband is reading this, he is probably choking right about now. That’s right dear, not even for $1M.

I’m not That Cat Lady. I just adore them. We also love big cats. When we were dating and he asked what my dream holiday would be, I said an African safari to see the big cats. That just about sealed the deal. He was the only person (other than my sister) who would watch the wildlife programmes with me. Destiny, you see ;-) Leopards, cheetahs, lions etc. They’re majestic with a f*ck you attitude. I wasn’t joking when I said my husband is as much to blame for us being called The Brangelina of Cats.

I credit the felines with our son being allergy-free. I really do. He grew up with the fur, the dander, etc and thus far has avoided any allergies. I swear, by the time that boy was 12 months old, he’d probably ingested enough fur to make a taxidermied cat.

I’d add, to clarify my stance on not being That Cat Lady…we also have a dog. In my book, that exonerates me from being weird. Right?

 

Elaine

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