Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Gorgeous baldy cat

Look at this lovely lady that came into our care a few weeks ago, pictured yesterday in Sue's pen. Someone rang and said this cat was roaming free, they were feeding it but it was in a terrible state and they didn't want to keep it. The poor little love was matted up with thick knots and clumps of stuck together fur.

It didn't seem to mind being groomed, so Janet, Paul, and Sue set about de matting it. It took a couple of weeks of gently teasing the lumps away from it's body and
snipping away, and gradually all the tangles were removed......

to reveal that the cat was pregnant. The fur will grow back and she will be beautiful again.

So now we have mum cat, who will be spayed, and three fluffy black kittens, to re homed. I don't have a pic of the kitties yet as they are huddled together in their bed, but when they start wandering about I will go back with the camera.

We don't know very much about the history of the cats we take in, sometimes details are very vague. People can say anything on the phone, and we sometimes wonder if the cat acually belongs to them and they just want to get rid of it. It may be that the story was true, and another family disowned the cat. We just don't know. What is more important is not where it came from but the life we can hopefully give it from now on.

It was all a bad dream

I felt a bit off it yesterday, couldn't find any motivation to do anything. I thought I might make a bag, picked the fabric out of my stash, ironed it but the creases wouldn't come out, so I gave up and thought, sod it I can't be bothered. I watched a programme about a very large man who lost a lot of weight after a bypass op, and when it came to the end of it I realised I had just sat through something that I had seen before. My memory is getting worse.

It rained all day yesterday, so that rather put the dampeners on things. Couldn't tidy the garden, was going to visit Sue to take photo's of her new kitties but could find no motivation to step out of the door, so I watched another programme on the computer. This time the Queen story, part one. This was good, Freddie Mercury is my all time favourite music performer, I enjoyed that.

I wondered where all these negative feelings were coming from, it's not like me to mope around feeling sorry for myself. I am usually quite good at giving myself a swift kick up the backside and getting on with things. What caused that blip in my enthusiasm yesterday?

I bet it was the nightmare I had the night before. I woke up in a panic, felt I hadn't had any sleep and been on a journey all night long. Oh my God, it was awful, no wonder I lost the plot. They say you have re occuring dreams, and mine always involves work. That dreaded four letter word 'work'.

I was driving a lorry, trying to find my delivery point, getting lost, got the lorry stuck in a busy street, people crowding around me, they crawled all over the lorry, stealing my load, I tried to phone the police, no one came, I tried to ring my boss and tell him I had been ambushed, I needed help but he didn't answer the phone. I was on my own, so I ran away, then I came back and tried to drive the lorry away but it wouldn't start, then it did start and I couldn't remember which way to go, I wanted to go home but I was lost. I was so worried I would get the sack.

I woke up in a panic, where is the lorry, shall I go and look for it, what day is it, what time do I start work, what load will I have to take out today? I drifted in and out of sleep, after about twenty minutes I managed to calm down, as the realisation started to sink in.

You don't have to go to work any more, that is a life you have left behind. You used to do that to earn money to pay the bills, remember? You don't have to worry about slaving away to earn money any more because you don't need it. You have enough because the government is paying you back some of that income tax you have paid into the system, now it's time to relax and enjoy life.

I need another talking to. I don't need to stress myself out with work any more. I don't need to spend lots of money, so I don't need to earn it. Now for goodness sake, get on with it. It's the start of another beautiful day, don't waste it. The sun is shining, the washing is blowing on the line, the cats are lounging in the garden, and Henry choc lab is coming for a visit and we will go a lovely walk :0)
PS. The above photo was taken by myself. My dolly is almost as old as me.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Not old enough for this

I have in front of me details of a special offer that is hard to refuse, well actually I lie, it is going to be very easy for me to toss this leaflet in the bin and say no thanks.

Apparently I should feel priviledged to receive this offer. As a past subscriber to Saga Magazine it has been noticed that I no longer receive it, as my subscription ran out at the end of last year. And now this lovely lady editor wants to welcome me back with open arms.

What they don't know is that I didn't pay for my last subscription, it was a gift from my Uncle Stan. When it first started to plop through my letter box, I thought, oh goodeee it's free, something to browse while I eat my bran flakes in the morning. There were some interesting interviews, but by about the six months mark, it started to lose it's appeal.

The blurb on this leaflet says, and I quote, 'A GREAT READ. 180 pages a month of award winning money advice, excellent health writing, beautiful gardening and interiors, feisty opinions, and fun interviews'. Let's look at these USP's one at a time.

Award winning money advice. Yes, there is lots of information, but it's for people who already have a lot of money, investments, private pensions, rental properties, savings, who shall I leave it to, etc. There is nothing for people who have to manage on a low income, with no savings, so not really relevant to me.

Excellent health writing. All well and good if you are unlucky enough to be of not very good health, you might like to read up about your particular condition. But of very little interest if you have a good all round general knowledge of what you should be doing to look after yourself. I suppose hypochondriacs might find this interesting to read though.

Beautiful gardening. The magazine caters very well for people who spend shed loads down at the garden centre on a Sunday afternoon, buying all they need to replicate a show garden they have seen at the Chelsea Flower Show. There is nothing for people who have to scrounge, beg, make, buy second hand, borrow, everything that goes into keeping their garden tidy.

Beautiful interiors. The magazine is fine for people who browse the furniture stores or diy shops, or hire a professional to redesign their lounge after watching Grand Designs. It's full of expensive furniture, accessories, and home decorating ideas. There is nothing for me, who will have to make all the second hand furniture I own, last untill I die. Not that I am complaining about that, I can't see the point of relacing something which still has a lot of life left in it, just because it is out of fashion.

Feisty interviews and fun opinions. Well, yes there are a few of those, but not enough to make me want another years subscription. I can get all that from the radio, much better when it is in the spoken word.

Mainly the magazine is full of adverts for appliances to make ones later years more tolerable. No I don't need a chair that launches me into space at the press of a button. No, I can get in and out of the bath by myself, thanks, and I can still climb the stairs. I'm not ready for a motorbility scooter yet, and I don't need any accessories to ensure the comfort of my nether regions either. And while I am at it, I don't wish to go on holiday with a lot of oldies who enjoy being ferried around in a coach visiting stately homes, and who get put up in friendly seaside boarding houses, with a good singsong around the piano for entertainment. Each to their own but it is not me.

I think you have guessed by now that I am too young to read Saga Magazine, so I will not be sending £5.99 (50p a month) for one year, or £9.99 (41p a month) for two years. I don't want my recycling cupboard cluttered up with it ;O)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

How much did it cost?

Good morning, it's still blustery here, more like Autumn than Summer. One hour dog walk done and I have spotted some litter that needs cleaning up. I will go and do that later. I see we are entering the Best Kept Village competition so I had better do my bit, you never know, we might be in with a chance.

Anyway, now comes the crunch time, 'how much did it cost?' This is my list, I think I have noted everything down. The biggest shocker was the petrol, I did a similar mileage last year and it was a lot less than this time.

Petrol £124.49
Ferry to Mull car and one person £67.25
Tobermory Youth Hostel 3 nights £50.25
Oban independant Hostel 2 nights £49.00
Crianlarich Youth Hostel 2 nights £35.20
Britannia £9.50
Ferry Iona £4.50 foot passenger
Camping 1 night £14.00 not a cc member so more
Insect repellant £9.50 didn't need it
Gifts for cat sitters £12.00
Wifi internet £5.00 at hostels
Parking £3.00 Holyrood
Souvenir £2.50 fridge magnet
Food bought out £20.15 supermarkets
Bus fare £2.60 park and ride Edinburgh
Ice cream/choc/drink £4.35 2 icecream, 1 choc bar, 1 can coke
Food taken with me, £10 est of what I ate, a lot brought back
Toilet .20p had to go, ha ha.
Total £423.49 for 11 days.

My overall thoughts are that this is quite high for a holiday in the UK, but maybe I am out of touch with current prices. It might have been cheaper to fly abroad on a package holiday, but then you have to factor in the cost of the journey to the airport. Public transport can be costly if you are limited to certain times, and car parking near airports is very expensive.

By holidaying in this country you already know what things cost so you can plan to suit your budget. If you go abroad you have to guess how much spending money you will need, and you have got the exchange rates to contend with, it could cost you to change your money.

Because I moved around a lot (1,015 miles) my petrol bill was high. I could reduce this if I travelled to one place and stayed there, possibly using public transport. My London trip in November came in at just under £200, which was quite good value.

I might look at using public transport again. The only problem is that I get bored staying in one place too long, I like moving about, the gypsy in me, ha ha. I can't stand lounging around doing nothing, when I have seen it all I want to move on.

Now I am looking at how to trim £'s off my trips so I can have more of them. I like the UK and have no desire to battle my way through the rules and regulations which control airport check in, not to mention flight delays. No thanks, you can keep it.

There are so many places to visit in the UK. Ireland is on my list, but that might be one for May next year. I'll look at some which aren't quite so far away for the rest of this year. Happy holidays, good luck with your choice of holiday.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Saturday walk in Tobermory

No one was in a hurry to go out this morning, I stayed in bed a bit longer when I saw the rain outside. Eventually I ventured out clad in waterproofs, I can do it I thought. Not going to let a drop of the wet stuff spoil my holiday.

I walked up to the car park, and according to the book there is a steep path in the corner which goes to Aros Park. This walk is only 4.5 miles long but it might be enough if it doesn't stop raining. The little brolly which my friend gave me is certainly coming in usefeull.

The path follows the coast line as it climbs up from Tobermory Bay. I can see Calve Island.

Visibility is not so good, it is very drizzly.

Halfway through the wood I came across a waterfall, the water was coming down from the right and tumbling over the rocks into the sea on my left. I stood on a little wooden bridge which goes over the top of it.

It looked pretty spectacular, even better than the other waterfall I mentioned.

The path split just there, with a sign saying 'Upper Falls', to the right. I was already impressed with the size of it so I decided to explore more and climb the path to the upper section.

I'm glad I did. When I reached the top the camera came out yet again. Huge waves came crashing down on to the black boulders below. It was well worth the climb up in the pouring rain.

After lingering for a few minutes to take in the beauty of this masterpiece which nature has provided, I returned down to the path below and continued to follow the path in the book.

I came to a little stone pier with a couple of derelict buildings close by, which was deserted. There was a concrete ramp to launch boats from and the sign says this is a working pier.

I continued to follow the signs for Aros Park and came to a big fishing pond. The book says do a circuit, so I did. Just by chance I came into a car park and picnic area. I had been looking for somewhere dry to to park my bum while I had a bite to eat, and found a stone wall with a wooden canopy over it. Not ideal but it kept the rain off my sandwich.

By this time my enthusiasm was beginning to dampen, ha ha. There's only so much drenching a person can stand before it becomes really annoying. I'd had enough so I set off back to the refuge of the hostel. Just follow the signs.

It continued to rain for the rest of the day. There was a friendly atmosphere at the hostel, some lovely French people to chat to, and families arriving with small children. I took over the TV zapper in the longe, and zapped to my hearts content. A toy for me to play with as I don't have a TV at home.

This is the last of the holiday pics, I hope you have enjoyed them. I have Henry choc lab arriving in about half an hour, then it will be lots of doggie walks. I hope you have a great weekend.

Friday, 27 May 2011

A day trip to Iona

This is the day I have been looking forward to, a visit to 'my island', ha ha. The ferry leaves from Fionnphort, on the south of the island, so I had a fairly lengthy drive of almost two hours. This can't be done any quicker because of the constant stopping and starting on the single track roads. Often there are sheep and cows straying loose, no one seems to bother, but it's best not to run into them, ha ha.

There are three old and rotting boats laid in the water by the side of the road. The sun was in the wrong place to get a good shot of the insides of the boats, so I like the second one better.

I had just missed the ferry, but not to worry, the next one won't be long. Time to take some shoreline shots.

The sea looks very choppy, but no rain thank goodness.

Here she comes, tossed around like a cork, bobbing up and down in the water. The boat goes backwards and forwards continually, so if you see it on the other side you know it won't be long before it comes back. It's a fifteen minute crossing and a return ticket is £4.50.

Well that wasn't too bad, here we are arriving at the jetty at Baile Mor. No vehicles are allowed on Iona apart from those who belong to people who live there, and from time to time service vehicles which need access to work there. A BT van was on the ferry as they needed to do some repairs. Bicycles go free, and there is only one proper tarmac road, all the rest are farm tracks.

Approaching the landing ramp.

The boat ramp is being lowered.

Now it's ok to get off.

There's a few people waiting to go back.

Just then the wind got up and a downpour was brewing. These brave souls were off for a trip round the caves of Staffa Island. They are welcome to it, you wouldn't get me onto one of those motorised airbeds.

The library book came in usefull again as I decided to follow the advised walks. This is St Columbas's Chapel, a retreat which can accommodate 23 people.

I approached the Abbey through the back gate, from across the fields, later I noticed there was a front gate and an entrance fee to pay. Whoops-a-daisy, I should have paid for my look around.

There weren't many people about so it was very peacefull

Heading up towards the top end of the island I took the footpath on the left, to climb the only hill on Iona, the summit of Dun I. Although it has a height of only 333 feet, the extensive views takes in the whole of the island and some of the nearby islands.

There was no one else up there, it was sunny and a little bit breezy, with beautiful views.

I found a little bit of heaven on 'my island'.

Time to come down and explore a bit more. I retraced my steps back to Baile Mor, and set off in the other direction to the golf course on the west coast. This gate intrigued me, I had to take a closer look. It looks very much like an old mattress which has been stripped of it's stuffing. What a novel idea to make use of the springs.

There is time to spend a few minutes strolling the grounds of the ruins of the Benedictine Nunnery. These walls are amongst the best examples of a Medieval Nunnery in Britain today.

I was lucky with the weather today, it started clouding over as I waited for the boat to go back. Iona is a lovely place. I got my souvenir fridge magnet which has joined the rest on my fridge door.

A gushy, sloppy, mushy, thanks from me

Thank you for your lovely comments, despite the difficulties posting them. I read them all, and it's lovely to see people commenting for the first time. Many are reading my older posts even from one year ago. Thank you aligforreal, I'm glad you found the post about the Minack Theatre, one of my favourite places.

Christy, your boys will love the Royal Yacht, I'm pleased the younger generation find bits of my blog interesting, thank you boys for reading.

Hello mother noah, thanks popping in, thanks for your comment.

gz,I've been reading your blog. I hope you find a way through, thinking about you.

Hi Cynthia from Oz, I am so excited that you are here, reading my little blog.

Sorry if I haven't mentioned you personally. I am not normally a gushy, sloppy, mushy, kind of person, but you lot really warm the cockles of my heart. There, I've said it, that's all the sloppy stuff done, ha ha. I'm off to Sue's now. She has a load of rubbish that wants taking down the tip. Catch you later.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Arriving on Mull

Thursday morning and I have a boat to catch, I'm off to Mull. My time keeping is normally abysmal but I can make an effort if I have to, I'm early in the queue. It's a very fast turnaround so from seeing the boat approaching, unloading, and getting on, is no time at all.

This is the scissor lift which alters the height of the pedestrian walkway as the boat is loaded up.

Nearly there, follow the one in front.

We all have to lock our vehicles up and make our way to the upper decks. Off we go, leaving Oban behind.

Here we pass Dunollie Castle.

And Maiden Island

Oh look, it's Jonathan Livingston Seagull following us, flying faster and higher than all the other seagulls. Come on Jonathan, you can do it, ha ha.

After getting off the boat at Craignure there is a 40 minute drive to Tobermory, along mainly single trackroads. I spotted the hostel straight away as it is one of the colourfull buildings on the sea front. All the parking space is full up along the road in front of it, so I parked in the car park a couple of minutes walk away. I had a bite to eat out and set off for a walk as it's too early to check in. Tobermory is quite steep so there are lots of places to walk giving good views. The weather is changeable, one minute bright sunshine and the next it clouds over and we get a downpour.

The pier jutting out into the bay.

Just catching a glimpse of the hostel now.

It's that peachy coloured building next to the one with the blue top.

These little cottages are halfway up the hillside, their gardens are on the opposite side of the road, with fantastic views.

That's the car park down there and the visitor centre.

This is one of the cottage gardens, how lovely to sit there on a summers day sipping a glass of wine.

I have time for a longer walk so I set off down the road for the forest and Ardmore Bay, another walk from the book. This is what they call a Burn, I call it a stream. A lot of trees have been cut down, but I see they are replanting, there are lots of areas with new baby trees coming along.

An easy to follow path.

The guide book says there are ruins of old cottages amongst the trees so I go and investigate.

This was Ardmore Village

A tree growing up inside the building.

It looks very spooky, not another soul about, except perhaps the souls of the people who used to live here. I wonder what they were like.

At last I reach Ardmore Bay, have a bimble around and eat a sandwich, and set off back.

Looking back across the bay.

Evidence of the new trees which have been planted.

And here we are back in Tobermory. There are spaces at the front of the hostel now that the day trippers have gone, so I moved my car. I have a few bags to get out.

Settled into my room nicely, it has six beds and I have a bottom bunk, three others in the room with me. More interesting people to talk to. I think I will go to Iona tomorrow.