Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ginger Therapy

When you get to the land that lies beyond Theendofyourtether, which is close to, but not quite near the Lightattheendofthetunnel, it is best to go for a walk by the sea with a black dog and a ginger cat.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A recipe for Posh Sticks

The manufacture and acquisition of posh sticks is a delicate and dangerous operation involving mind control and serious sneakery.
Posh sticks come in many flavors, tomato sauce, bolognaise, venison stew, but my favorite is beef in beer.
First you have to look into the eyes of the two legs and make them think, "hhmmmm... haven't had beef in beer for a while".
She then gets a pack of diced stewing steak ( made from Kath's Dexter cows that chased me through the field when we went to visit ), some onions, a bottle of chocolate stout and some flour. She fries the meat a little to brown it, takes it out of the pan and puts in chopped onions to brown those and then adds a big spoon of flour and stirs it quick sharp with the posh stick. Then She puts the meat back in the pan, and all the juicey juices and it all looks like mush and I remember how scared I was of that cow, and smile a little smile inside my mouth, all the while watching to see where the stick is. Then She adds the chocolate stout a bit at a time, and lots of stirring happens and that stick just takes up the juices. Then, into the oven with it all for about two hours with pepper and salt and a smile, and I curl up warm by the cooker and keep an eye on the stick which is out of reach and I hope and hope that She won't wash it and the phone will ring and She will go out of the room and I can reach up up up high and flick it with my tongue, and away.
Yes, beef in beer. My favorite.
She gets quite cross. I heard Her tell Hannah that She wants ten new wooden spoons for Her birthday. Somehow this is related to me. I know because She gave me a Black Look when She said it. But tomorrow is Hannah's birthday and she will be 15 and last year I was her birthday present, and that makes me very proud.
I hope she still wants me this year.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

As time goes by

Many of the paths that criss cross the hillside, paths made by badgers and foxes and ponies, have been lost to time and sunshine and rain, overgrown green tunnels jeweled with butterflies, today bent low with the weight of water. Yesterday was a lizard day, sunshine and tail flick and shadow patterns as lizard tail disappeared under zig zag ferns. Today is a slug and snail day and tonight the toads and frogs will be happy.
Rain is coming through the places where the roof is not finished. We dream of the fire as autumn creeps nearer with its chill kiss.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


On inspecting the remains of the house I anticipate that soon this will be a good place to sit in the morning. A huge piece of Brazilian slate will make a windowsill that is warmed by the slant of early morning light. She will need to clean the windows for full effect.
Soon, but not yet.
How slow and uncertain is the progress of restoring the house to calm.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Once a bird

Although the day began fierce with rain, cold as winter the wind blew away the clouds and sunshine came back. In early evening light we walked up the green lane and over the hill where the slate gray sea heaved and rolled and white horses ran over wave tops. On land we found a place of yellow flowers, and a place where there was once a bird. Blackberries had turned the sun's light to sweetness, small jewels in the green.

Rainsong on a summer day

Listen. Outside it is raining. This is not the fine rain of summer that falls warm from the sky. This is winter rain. The clouds mourn for the passing of sunshine. Harsh, cold. The sky is weeping. Inside we find ways to be dry, away from the noise and dust of the builders. On the bed we shine like the memory of fire, like pools of sunshine fallen to earth. We watch and we wait and we dream.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If wishes were horses then cats would ride.

Pixie: Do you think She will get a horse?
Elmo: If She does we can sit on its back to the top of the hill.
Maurice: If She does, it will probably be ginger.
Kiffer: ?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maurice and the rival for affection.

It would seem that I have a rival for Her affections, but then he is just a picture on a mug, and I.....

well, I am ginger, beautiful and purfect.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fame and the FT.

TV in September, Financial Times today. We will be signing pawtographs soon!

Thanks Tom ( and a special thanks from Kiffer) for the lovely article. Come back and walk with us again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wool and dragons and cats

At Middlemill there is a mill, with a stream running past and a big water wheel. Sometimes otters swim by. Inside the mill it smells of wool and at the mill two cats work, keeping mice from eating wool and sitting on the rugs to be sure they are comfortable. Heddle and Bobbin. Both have eyes like dragons.

In the mill the looms hammer and clank and you can watch the weaving and see some of the old machines.

Amongst the wool and the sheepskins and the other beautiful things are now signed copies of Her books for sale. You can order them by email, or by phone and you can see more of the mill at their website.

When She signs books She always draws a little picture too. Each one is different.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh dear!

Kiffer: Seems that we weren't exploited after all. She has just had an email to say that we have been edited out of the program.
Pixie: Ah well. Maybe it's for the best. And she was such a lovely lady, Joanna, don't you think?
Maurice: If you like humans.
Pixie: Erm...... Oh dear..... I think if you read the email it says that they have edited out the interview with Her. They still have us in. Walking. Being ginger.
Kiffer: She's not going to like that. You know what She's like. Just 'cause She hasn't got ginger fur She gets jealous. Big time.
Pixie: Oh dear.
Kiffer: I think the proverbial poo could be about to hit the metaphorical fan.

Neither a pet nor exploited.

Kiffer: Listen to this.

Joanna Lumley: Catwoman

Animal lover Joanna Lumley is turning cat detective, to explore the unique relationship we have with our feline friends in a brand new, two-part series for ITV1.

As she travels the world, Joanna meets the people who have a unique relationship with cats. She explores how such an unlikely partnership first began and why the cat stirs such conflicting emotions in us.

On her journey, Joanna find out how cats can be used as therapy, for shameless commercial purposes, uncovers the barbaric ways we have tortured them over the past 1000 years and explores the effects our breeding methods are having. She also meets the cats themselves, from domestic tabbys and show cats, to wild cheetahs and the lions who have been kept as pets.

Joanna’s travels include Egypt, Japan, Namibia, North America, Belize and Mexico as she seeks to find out why cats stir such different responses in different cultures.

From the Land of the Pharaohs where cats run wild in the streets, to the Far East where cats have clothes specially made for them, Joanna uncovers the history behind how these wild creatures have gradually became the number one pet in the Western world.

An ITV Studios production for ITV1.

By shameless commercial purposes do you think they mean us?

Pixie: Do you feel exploited?
Kiffer: No, I feel very comfortable and well fed. But I wish She would stop pushing paint around and come for a walk.
Pixie: I don't feel like a pet either. Neither exploited nor pet. What do you think Maurice?
Maurice: I think the builders have been here for a long time and they are a bit like pets and I heard them muttering about being exploited.

Hide and seek.

The grass has grown long with the summer rain, and so we play hide and seek. First Martha in the long grass and heather....

then all three.....

But best is when only tails show, like exotic flowers in the golden grass.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beautiful just.

There is nothing like the low slant of evening sunlight for making a ginger cat look like a star that has fallen to earth, for making the eye of a ginger cat shine like amber, for making a ginger cat look just beautiful.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Searching for Dragons in the Dimity Darkness.

She walked, as the light once more fell out of the day. The green lane, so overgrown, already held the twilight and slowly released it into the darkening sky. She walked, searching for dragons, and Martha went with her. Owl eyed, snake tailed, moon clawed Martha, a bright flame of red gold in the dimity light.
Beneath their feet moths rose in small clouds. All but the dance of the moths was stillness. The wind held her breath. The sea flat calm. Only the occasional sound of wings stirred the silence.
It was as if this small part of the world was waiting.

Moments like these

She is trapped in a book, so that instead of rising early She opened the bedroom windows and stayed late in bed reading. In we crept, to curl in company and snooze in sunshine.
We like it when She looses Herself deep in a book because then there is stillness, and moments like these.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Silver disc in a morning sky

In the morning the sky was clear. The moon still hung, pale, translucent in the blue gold sunrise. A fresh day. Moths yielded way to butterflies that danced in courtship couples through warm air scented by heather and sea salt. Bee song played a melody to the sea's breathing, in and out upon a golden shore.
At last.

Last night

Last night the moon rose huge over the twilight landscape. Pink moon, heavy in the darkening sky, full round. In the long grass of the green lane moths danced like flakes of moon fallen to earth. Last night the wind was resting, the air was kissed with dew, grass flowers bent, aerymice flew and the moonflakes made patterns in the gloaming. Last night as the night became rich with darkness a silver light painted each blade of grass, each flower petal and moonshadows fell in velvet pools. Last night the world belonged only to cats.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

James's Hobnail Boot

Now it is almost full moon, but the sky is still shrouded in cloud. We should be sitting in the garden in the warmth of a late summer evening, heads back, looking up at the stars to catch a falling one. Instead we walk the bounds of the village on swift feet, past the whispering well, beneath the sky paths of the aerymice. It is cold.
Earlier today we sent Her off to St Davids Cathedral to see if She could find the memorial. She found James Price from Treleddid Fawr. Perhaps this was James's hobnail boot?

Monday, August 3, 2009


All day long, rain. We curl in warm puddles of ginger fur, wrapped around each other in the bang, clatter crash as the house begins again to take shape. It rocks in a sea of rain. And this is not like summer rain, but dark and cold and heavy.
Across the sea we dream of a sea dog, pirate and adventures.
And still we curl like ginger flames of fire and wait. For the house to be finished. For the builders to be gone. For peace.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A place of belonging

From the first day She came to the house She had known it was there, hidden somewhere in the roof. The woman who lived here before told Her about it. But we learned the story from the cats who had lived here before.

So when the builders came and tore the house apart we kept a watchful eye for it, waited, until it came to light. It was almost swept out with the rubble, all bent and tangled with cobwebs, it looked like nothing. But the young one saw it, picked it out, and put it safe up high. Something called to him, through the years, told him to keep it safe. Something, or someone.

Years ago there was a tradition that when a child left home you would place one of their shoes in the eaves of the house. This way they would always return, no matter how far they roamed, no matter where. This boot, now bent with age, now dry and dusty, this hobnailed boot belonged to a child, much loved. This was the Sunday best, going to church boot, all groomed and shod. All week the child would run barefoot over the hills, wild with the wonder of heather and gorse, seals and the sea, barefoot in the grass in the sand in the waves. On Sundays they would march together into church and sit in solemn rows.
Once this boot shone, polished with love, caressed by a mother's hands. She would tie the laces for the restless child, hug him close and breath in his summer scent, then lose him on the world and watch him run, between the high banks, all the way to the big church.
And when he grew too big for his child's shoe she kept it safe.
Then came the day that she dreaded, when the world called her boy away to war. She watched him march away with the other lads from Treleddyd Fawr, excited, full of themselves and full of the joy of being alive. She watched until he was long gone and still she stood. Then she fetched the shoe from its draw and placed it in the eaves of the house and said a small prayer.

In St Davids Cathedral there is a war memorial that carries the names of three of the sons from Treleddyd Fawr who died in the Great War.
It is said that if the shoe in the eves did not bring the child home that it would draw back their spirit to rest at home so it would not wander the earth in some foreign land, forever lost.
Sometimes, when the day is calm, we think we can hear the laughter of a child, the click clack and clatter of hobnail boots on the stairs.

She will put the boot back in the eaves. This is where it belongs.

nb. Read Carol Ann Dufy's poem for the last two veterans of the First World War.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


There is a moment in the day when the moon is swelling towards fullness, when the remains of the day still lighten the sky, when dark and light hang in perfect balance, when aerymice draw patterns in the sky, then moonshadows are softened by the remnants of sunlight. This is the moment when magic will happen.

Rosie's hints and tips on culinary matters.

I am the Rosie and I have lived in the House of Ginger for a whole big year now. No longer a puppy, now I can run with the big dogs. It is a while since I have given the world the wisdom of my culinary tips, so here is a round up of the last years eating.

1. Poo, preferably rabbit or horse, but sheep or cow is ok too.
2. Cameras.
3. Mobile phones
4. Kitchen knives (always good for causing alarm among the two legs!)
5. Builder's sandwiches. Yum.
6. Biscuits.
7. Wooden spoons. The best are the ones used to stir up the beef in beer. Very tasty, like posh sticks.
9. A good book. ( though you have to be careful. She was none to impressed when I ate the book with one of Her manuscripts in!)
10. Cat food.
11. Horse food.
12. Robin's bacon sandwich that despite being warned many times about my thieving nature he had left in the kitchen right under my nose and what, after all, is a dog to do.
13. Yoghurt pots.

And the best bit of thieving I did in the year? Taking the bacon out of the grill without even burning my nose! Skill!

ps to see me in all my cute growing click on the label below.