Saturday, September 19, 2020

Last Of The Summer Wine

It's still balmy and clement in the garden. The sky is a little overcast, and there's a chill to the wind signalling that Autumn has arrived with all its colours and splendour, but the overall gentle warmth of summer lingers and the cats are making the most of it.

    With the final sultry days of summer holding the garden in their warm embrace, the feline four are basking in the now overgrown grass and late blooming flowers, showing no signs of wanting to spend time indoors with mum and dad, rather lounging lazily anywhere a cat shouldn't be. 

    Husband has cleaned out the two ponds and the goldfish are showing off their iridescent scales, like living precious metals darting through the lily pads. Sapphira, though still distracted by her yodelling llamas and invading alien hordes, is fascinated by the flashes of silver and gold, prevented from gorging her tiny self on the fin-some wonders by the sturdy mesh that protects them. The canaries, for once free of her scrutiny are taking the opportunity to fly and race and play, darting around the aviary like feathery darts of sunlight.

    Missy is casually lapping up the sun's rays whilst sipping a perfect mojito poolside. Of all the exquisite flowers in the garden she is certain that she is the most radiant bloom, sparkling in her diamante studded bathing suit and basking in the adoration of butterflies who cannot compare with the divine Party Princess in all her post hangover glory.

    Gizmo sleeps the sleep of the satisfied senior citizen, the warm air soothing his old bones. He manages to project a pathetic air that guarantees sympathy and pity of any casual observer. He remains virtually immobile until he senses the presence - like a practised Jedi - of an approaching human, bringing with them the possibility of food, whereupon he begins his song of the eternal meow, beginning in trembling my-legs-are-falling-off-for-want-of-a-plate-of-sausages tone then rising swiftly to a deafening Celine Dion impersonation that will continue at ear-drum-piercing levels until food is served and cuddles are dished out copiously.

    The only activity is in the person of Leonard, young, boisterous and enthusiastic in the pursuit of his many rodent nemeses. He climbs trees, stalks through grasses, clambers onto sheds and then sets off merrily on a trek through the wilds of the surrounding fields - Leonard of the jungle - in search of unsuspecting, ill-fated prey. 

    As the first leaves fall, this moment of perfect peace is like a bubble in time, away from the grim realities that plague the rest of the world. Sometimes the simplest things are the greatest blessing.




Friday, September 11, 2020

Harvey Balboa - A Happy Revelation

 

One of the most common questions I reckon we all face is, "why do you journal?"
 
The answers are wide and varied - and often intensely personal - but here are a couple of my reasons which struck me like a ton of bricks this week....
 
In my process of scanning bits and bobs for blog posts and to send to a friend and to show the wondrous folks on Facebook, I found this page from 2017. It's before my strokes, when I lived alone with my kitty, Harvey. Harvey passed away late last year and the hole in my heart has yet to heal, so finding pages like this - seeing my drawing of him, happy and strong - makes me smile, and just for a while he's with me again.
 
In reading the words I noticed that this entry actually records the very first day that my second fur baby, Leonard, visited the garden as a stray! Leonard's first day! Now he's my big daft lad, Harvey's brother, now the younger sibling to Gizmo, Missy and Sapphira. His first day...
 
Then I look at the date. September 23rd. When Leonard finally met his daddy last year, he bounded into his arms and hasn't left his side since. He follows him, comes when he calls, rolls over for tummy rubs and wags his tail, and I have said all along that I reckon Leonard is my husband's old springer spaniel, Sprocket, reincarnated and that he found me because he was MEANT to be reunited with his dad, who loves him more than life. September 23rd....is my husband's birthday. 
 
I have no words, just a bundle of happy feelings and a warm glow which fills that hole in my heart, at least for now.
 
Why do I journal? Well, this would be a good start.
 

 

The New Monster in Town

 There's a new monster in town. His name is 'Toggle' and he's a ginger fluffcat belonging to my sister-in-law and her son (who named him.) 

    Toggle's about eight months old now and he's already HUGE - he'll easily be as big as Leonard I think... so - roughly the size of a small pony! He's a little terror and has just discovered, apparantly, that he can jump over the VERY high garden fence - so he'll be dragging pensioners home by the ankle any time soon, much like his black and white cousin and his wildebeest.

    Since he appeared in the home, his human big brother has been asking for a picture of 'crazy Toggle' and, as it's his birthday today, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to immortalize the little terror on canvas. As Pokemon are a current favourite for the birthday boy the subject of the piece was a no brainer. And here we are, a little acrylic 8" x 8" canvas of the craziest kitty in the whole world:


 


Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Last Lazy Days Of Summer

 

 

    It's been a full week for the troublemakers.... 

    Gizmo has fully embraced his 'country bumpkin' persona, and has spent the week communing with nature, nodding knowingly at every dancing breeze and passing raindrop, breathing in the sporadic sunshine like it's true ambrosia... Gizmo's old man corduroy trousers are ruining his famous ninja-style stealth approach, though, rubbing noisily together as he toddles along, making him sound like a giant geriatric grasshopper.

    Sapphira's psychosis has her hypnotised by the giant semolina zeppelins and trapeze-performing alligators that we are convinced she sees on a daily basis. She stares stolidly into the middle distance, unmovable and unswaying until something horrific - such as the sudden appearance of a savage butterfly assassin - jolts her from her 'cat'atonia. (....my sincere apologies....)
 
    Leonard seems to be operating on the assumption that all local birds are blind and/or stupid, galloping up trees and scrabbling through branches to lie impatiently in wait for a passing feathered fancy to flit gaily and naively into his gaping jaws. It hasn't worked for him yet, but he's unconcerned, as climbing trees affords him the unfortunate opportunity to drop, like a Wile E. Coyote Acme anvil on mummy or daddy as they pass below him. 
 
    Missy spends her nights raving in the fields in a neverending nip-fuelled festival of illegal substances and questionable entertainments....("midde name's 'Negotiable'"), supported by Mr Winstone the gangster guinea pig. During the day she sleeps off her excesses in shady spots, occasionally demanding a mojito or a kebab with extra chips. She's a beautiful disgrace.
 
    As Autumn approaches, all of them are taking advantage of the still clement weather, each in their own way, worrying shrews, amusing birds and charming mum and dad. They're an endless source of inspiration... and a reminder of the little things that make every day worthwhile.


 
 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Usual Suspects

 Hello lovelies!

    A little piccy for you in the "lunch tin" line - a certain group of suspicious miscreants who seem more than happy to pose for a line up.  None of them have an overwhelming sense of innocence...rather a worryingly confident and provocative air that strongly implies shennanigans! 


    Leonard, Gizmo, Missy, Sapphira.....which one dunnit?

Sunday, August 30, 2020

When The Parade Passes By....

Hello Lovelies!

    Well, for those of you who choose to swing by and pass a little time here, I thought I'd share the little extra illustration created for the CAC 'All Souls' exhibition in Texas. I wanted our fur babies to totally represent, so I dressed them up for the occasion and sent them parading through the crowded streets of Mexico to celebrate La Dia De Los Muertos with everyone else. As you can see, they had a whale of a time....

    A little A4 size watercolour and ink piece with the bright colours that are abundant in this celebration, set against a night sky illuminated with flares from fireworks scattering sparks upon the merry band.

    Thank you for visiting! Hope I see you here again soon xxx


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Around and Back Again

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