Almost daily diary!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Emotional Roller Coaster

What a massive ten days it's been! The job I'd been waiting for became vacant and was advertised briefly on the website with a short closing date. I spent a long time (why does it always take me so long) filling in the application form and writing my Statement of Application. I dropped the application form in in person and crossed my fingers. Later that day, mourning the loss of my darling Archie Cat, I howled out loud in the car on the way home. Hope and sorrow all in a matter of hours. I had 4 days to wait until I would know if I had been shortlisted for interview.

Sure enough, Thursday afternoon brought good news via email. My interview was the following Monday at 8.15am.

By Monday I had a hideous cold virus, I haven't felt so ill for a long time. However I dosed myself up on Ibuprofen and Paracetamol and off I went for a whole morning of interview, I felt as though I was talking through a plastic bag but got through it all the same! I came home and went to bed.

At 3.30pm my phone woke me and I was offered the job! Wow, I could hardly believe it, I texted everyone I knew! It was only a week since Archie left us, what a roller coaster of emotions. That was last Monday.

And today I said goodbye to my old job, my colleagues, and what has been the hardest of all, the pupils. I hoped to slip quietly away but word had got around and I ended up on stage being presented with flowers and having to say my thanks in front of over 300 children, staff and parents. Not really what I had visualised!

The last day of the summer term is always emotional as we say goodbye to all the year 6's who are about to start senior school but this year was more poignant.

When I started this job Small Sprog was only 5 years old and I had no idea what upheaval was in store for us all. Everything since then has changed, except my job, but now that has gone too, a new leaf has well and truly been turned over and it's all very exciting...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Visitors

Magpies. A whole family of them. I watch them from the kitchen window, they are playing, at the bottom of the garden, on and under the new 'steamer' chair that I had for my birthday, one hides underneath and one pecks from above, they seem to show great delight in the game.

At the same time another one has worked out how to get seed from the bird feeder -meant for the little birds which I have tried to encourage for the last year or so. The house is new, and the gardens all non existent when the owners here moved into their new homes over the last year or so. However at the bottom of the garden is a rugby field with many mature bushes and I can hear the little birds well, so I know they are there, so far only a few have ventured into the new garden that provides only a little shelter in bushes that are still not mature. Anyway the clever Magpie birds, though much too big for the feeder, have worked out how to climb onto the stem if the feeding structure and then push the feeder so that it spills a little of its contents (to be eaten later) and, at the same time, when the feeder swings towards them, they climb on board and can balance for an instant - just enough time to grab a seed or two as a prize. The are clever birds, a delight to watch, corvids with brilliant bird brains!

I have become fond of them and put out food for them most days. However they have no scruples! I looked out yesterday to find them, the whole family, shredding my bright orange nasturtium flowers. They were shrieking with delight in their scratchy voices and making a complete racket. Each piece of flower that they had shredded they carried in their beaks as they strutted confidently down to the patio to let go of it in the breeze. As the petal strip started to blow around they would each chase it in turn, like a dog with a ball, as it blew across the slabs. They were amused, they had made up a game, at my expense; though nothing much is flourishing in the garden in this unusually wet summer that we are having. Typical, I thought, I feed you all and this is how you repay me. That and waking me up at the crack of dawn calling to each other with their scratchy little voices and 'laughing' loudly in the new light of dawn.

I am considering putting something shiny outside for them to explore, perhaps it will divert them from their flower wrecking ways?!

Monday, July 09, 2012


Such a beautiful boy,

The smallness of his little life snuffed out in an instant as the needles' contents infuse slowly into his leg.

Gone in a second, his body lies empty, a case, a shell with the essence lost suddenly from within him.

It seems so amazing (as I gaze upon the empty body) that we are all made up of something we cannot see, for when it is gone the body is but an object.

Where did it go, that essence of him?

Is it in that small place in the garden under the rosemary bush or behind the fennel where he used to nap?

Or in the corner by the fence where he would bake for a while in the sun?

Or is it on the landing where he found comfort last night?

Or on my bed, that lovely warm lump curiously heavy, by my legs in the waking hours of the dark?

Everywhere I look there is a trace of him, a memory, a feeling and now a loss.

I clean out his bowls for the last time,

Gather up his toys

and store them away.

My beautiful boy, at peace now.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Don't leave yet Archie...

This is Archie, my beautiful Burman cat - known rather unkindly as Stinky Cat due to his litter tray habits.

Since we rescued him in November he has 'blossomed'; his fur looks healthier and he has a sort of cat smile, he is content and has enjoyed the garden since the weather has got warmer and on a rare sunny day he will doze outside under the fennel bush for hours which, for an old boy, is hopefully bliss.

But recently he has become fussy with his food and then at the weekend he stopped eating altogether. He has stopped playing too and become quiet. So yesterday I took him to the vet. It was the first time he'd been in the car since we brought him home and I hoped he didn't think he was about to be abandoned again, it's such a shame that we can't tell them what's going on and vice versa, as he might be able to explain what was wrong.

The vet was the most wonderful person, so genuinely caring and I felt we were in very good hands. Archie was the model of a good cat because there's not a bad bone in his body. She checked him over and took his temperature (ooch!)

To cut a long story short, she gave him some antibiotics and a pill to improve his apatite to start with. If he doesn't improve it could be something much worse and I am stealing myself for the worst. I really can't remember life without him now and I have had a chat with him and told him that it's much too early for him to leave us all just yet.

So today he has eaten, which is good. He has eaten sporadically and little and often and is drinking too -mostly from puddles outside the kitchen door! But there's something not right... The cat smile has gone; he looks uneasy, agitated in a way, he can't settle, he curls up but moves again fairly soon and his breathing looks just a little more laboured than usual - or am I imagining that?

I am not sure how long the pill for his apatite will last. We have an appointment on Friday to see how he's doing so I will just have to wait, but in the meantime I am wishing for his contentment to return.