Posts Tagged cats

Just Checking In

After our move from France back to England, we are starting to settle in a bit in our new house and finding out new things.

Our big old oak tree is home to many different species of birds and has prompted Mr. Tialys to unearth his binoculars and run the risk of being marked down as a voyeur if anybody walking down the country lane behind spots him lurking behind the window.  Looking even more suspicious, I broke out my telescopic lens in order to spy on the wildlife.  No birds in the feeders in this photo but there are many, many rooks up in the high branches plus blue tits, long tailed tits, the occasional woodpecker, starlings, collared doves, wood pigeons, thrush, chaffinches, robins, etc. plus egrets and pheasants in the fields.

I worry about the effect our cats might have but I read that the more birds there are, the safer they are as they set up a clamour if they spot a cat and warn each other.  Certainly, the rooks go berserk if they see anything untoward.

Our new neighbours seem really nice as far as I can tell with socially distanced chatting – which is a relief after our recent experiences with one of our French neighbours.  One man in particular has endeared himself to me by telling us he has a routine before bed each night where his two Labradors lie on the floor for him to rub their tummies while he sings the song ‘yummy, yummy, yummy I’ve got love in my tummy’.  I love him already.

He told us the other day that we should keep the cats in because the local hunt was coming through.  The hunts now are not supposed to chase actual foxes but to follow a trail.  This claim is often disputed by animal rights organisations.  I have my own thoughts on the issue but it’s certainly not as crazy as the hunting with dogs they did in France every weekend throughout the hunting season using powerful rifles which, more often than desirable, wounded or killed other hunters or people hanging out their washing or chopping wood in their own gardens.

Still, out came the binoculars and camera when the horses and followers started to assembe on the distant hill.

The hunting dogs were released and once they appeared to pick up a scent the riders came down into the field.

The next thing was they were all trotting down the lane and disappeared out of sight so I’m not sure if anything came of it.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned cats had to stay inside for two weeks when we moved in so that they would become acclimatised to their new surroundings and not get lost when finally let out.  Having been on an unscheduled tour of Europe with the animal transporters (a whole different post!) followed by a stay in a cattery for a week waiting for us to arrive, I think they were used to confinement but Leon at least looked very miffed that he couldn’t sample the new ‘outside’.

Yuki seemed less bothered……..

if at all.

Although, when the time came to let them out, she was the first one to brave her new territory.

She still spends time ‘helping’ us unpack though.

If only they could help me with the mess that is my sewing room – the result of trying to squeeze in most of the contents of a room three times the size of the one available to me now.  Still, I’m grateful to have one at all in the new ‘dolls’ house’ so I don’t have to perch on a table in the dining room and pack everything away when finished for the day as I know is how some people have to manage.

It’ll be a while before anything new gets made in there though as the sewing machine isn’t set up yet and, anyway, we’ll have to keep the centre clear for the inflatable mattress Miss (not Mademoiselle any more) Tialys the Elder will sleep on when she comes for a couple of days at Christmas which is fair enough as this room is the biggest of the three bedrooms and I’ve nabbed it for my workroom.  I have a very indulgent husband.

In case I don’t have time to write another post before Christmas – and I haven’t managed many at all lately so it’s a distinct possibility – I’d like to wish you all as jolly a festive season as you can manage in these strange times and a healthy, happy and peaceful 2021.

Lynn xxx


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Too Hot?

The U.K. is having a heatwave and, this time, it seems to be lasting longer than two days.

It’s hot here in my part of France too and in lots of places around the world so I thought I’d give you some alternative tips on keeping cool.

Try not to get angry if ‘somebody’ gets hold of your handmade leather tool roll and decides to re-shape it to their own design.

She was just a bit bored as everybody is too hot to play ball with her.

Let older and wiser ones teach you about the best places to keep cool – even if it means blocking the kitchen doorway.

Don’t bother with the weeding – you wouldn’t want to disturb those wild sweet peas would you?

Try to keep away from anything woolly even, or especially,  if wearing shorts –  it sticks to hot, bare skin :/

Take a dip if you can.  I should follow my own advice but the water has to be almost bath temperature before I venture in.

Don’t stress about it if you’re having a bad ear hair day.

Don’t bother cooking – let somebody else get hot and sweaty in the kitchen and admire their handiwork.  (BTW this was the most divine buffalo mozzarella I’ve ever tasted).

Don’t panic when it appears your husband might actually have become more dog than human based on his choice of starter.

Stay inside in the shuttered gloom and help write a blog post.

Don’t bother to do any housework  – although I would put that in a list of tips for almost anything.

Stay chilled and, of course, you already know to drink plenty of water and all that other much more sensible advice out there.


p.s. I’ve just realised there is a free game to play on this blog post called ‘Spot the Hidden Question Mark’.  There are absolutely no prizes at all.






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Rhetorical Questions

I promised Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger that I would take her to her favourite bookshop when college finished for the summer and, more importantly, providing she got some of the toot off her floor so I could walk across it and open a window to air out the health risk we call her bedroom.  Her favourite bookshop is one that stocks a copious amount of Japanese animé – or Manga.  Don’t ask.  Especially don’t ask her otherwise you will be trapped in a one sided conversation for several hours- a position I have been in many a time but have now become fairly well skilled in avoidance tactics.

Yoshiko Tsukioni

Roaming about the bookshop while she made her (extensive and expensive) choices, I must have had things Japanese on my mind because I spotted this book in the sale and, despite the beautiful young woman wearing what appears to be a box with sleeves on the cover, I had a closer look and discovered, not only was it in the sale but it held 26  patterns inside – 26!!.  I must like some of them surely!  So I bought it.

And there are some that I like.  This one for instance.


and this one


If only I were so cute and young and doll like.

But most of all I like these

Japanese clothing patterns

especially the one on the right.

Although I think I could shorten the one on the left and make it work for me too.  I was so pleased with myself that I left a huge sheet of 3mm cardboard that I had paid for on the floor propped up against the checkout counter and didn’t realise until I was nearly home – an hour’s drive away.

Just one question.  Why, oh why, did I have to buy this book the day after I saw these two cotton lawns and, not knowing what I was going to make with them, took only one metre of each and that shop is one and a half hours away.

Cotton Lawn

Either would have been just right for that blouse.  Grrr.

Actually, I have more than one question for you today.

Yellow Ironing Board Cover

Why did I take the trouble to make an ironing board cover when I only iron an item of clothing if not doing so would put the wearer at risk of arrest for vagrancy?*

Green Smoothie

Why does every smoothie I ever make turn out green, grey or brown?

Cat Face

Why does my cat hate me?

*  Of course, an ironing board (and iron) is an essential part of any sewing workroom which is where mine now lives so it must look pretty.  No more clothes will get ironed though!


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Pole Dancing Cats

Mlle Tialys the Elder has been pole dancing.  Apparently it is a legitimate form of exercise.  When she was doing a class earlier in the year, close to her University on the South Coast, she did it in shorts and trainers (I think).  Now, she is doing an internship in London and when she rang to ask for details about a local class they said  ‘some of the ladies like to wear high heels’.  Do they now!  I was a little worried because even though I flung myself about in spandex à la Jane Fonda back in the day, there was never a pole in sight.  Unless you count the one holding up the pub sign where I usually ended up after class to down a swift lager and lime.  Anyway, we have communicated by text this morning and she appears to have escaped being kidnapped by shady characters and was designated as being worthy of the  ‘intermediate’ class.  Perhaps it’s best if she doesn’t get too advanced.

Anyway, when she first started this pole dancing lark, she made me laugh by telling me about hanging upside down on the pole and having to lower herself slowly to the ground and her thighs were making a loud squeaking, creaking noise against the pole as she descended which resounded around the room and that reminded me of this –

Forget all those other famous lines from classic films,  ‘Feed me –  if you dare’ has got to be my favourite.  Plus, how gorgeous is Antonio Banderas’ voice?

Talking of cats – which we sort of were – on one of my rummages recently I spotted this poster for an art exhibition.  It just gets into the ‘vintage’ category (or the American one at least), being over 20 years’ old, so I bought it for my shop but I then made the mistake of hanging it on my wall and now I just might have to keep it.

Vintage French Poster

A bit on the creepy side, I know but just look at that cat’s face.  He reminds me of my own long suffering black cat Salem.  Every summer he gets eaten by some sort of insect and his face, eyes and ears go all scabby and sore looking.  I put cream on which helps a bit but it happens every summer and, round about this time of year, it clears up and you’d never know he’d ever been affected.  It’s so bad that, if he wasn’t mine and I saw him wandering around, I would think he was a poor neglected creature with no home to go to.  As it is, if I see him and I’m in company, I just pretend not to know him which saves any embarrassment and wards off threats to report me to whatever passes for the R.S.P.C.A. around here.

Scabby CatSalem’s Summer Look -note the missing fur round eye, scabby nose and nibbled ear.

Of course, I also have a cat that looks like Shrek’s Puss in Boots

Who has also let himself go and is not ashamed to show it.

(He is alive in this photo by the way)

Back to sewing, knitting, crafting news next time but a change is as good as a rest to a blind horse as somebody who likes to mix up their proverbs might say and, anyway, I have too many projects on the go and nothing ready or worth photographing yet.

Yes, I know I should really have called this post ‘Pole Dancing And  Cats’ but that wouldn’t have sounded quite so intriguing so I sort of cheated.

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Presenting the Case for Cats

This Saturday’s selection (well o.k., it’s Sunday but I forgot yesterday!) is a super cool idea from lovenostalgicwhimsy who has taken vintage suitcases and, with the addition of some repurposed furniture legs, transformed them into pet beds and side tables.

You can find more of these ingenious conversions here

Now, why didn’t I think of that?

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Hanging About With Cats

I’m supposed to be getting the guest room ready, finishing the ironing and doing the housework because my mum arrives tonight for a week.  Not that I only do housework when I’m expecting guests, you understand, but there’s a bit more pressure on if you think somebody might be running their finger along the shelves to check for dust.  Normally, any such person would be very lucky and find quite a bit of dust as I’m not the world’s most avid housekeeper.  I prefer to be upstairs in my workroom where there is no dust because children, animals and husbands fresh in from working in the garden are banned.

I have a new obsession.  I have had a fabric cat hanging from a hook in my laundry room which I made years ago and thought I might make one for Halloween.  I gave him one of my pendants to wear – one with a skull on it to match the theme – and off I went in my busy, buzzing, fevered mind.  So, I’m sort of matching the cats with the pendants and coming up with a character and a little story.  I can think of so many, I want to make them all straight away but, of course, my mum’s coming so can’t keep disappearing into my ‘lady shed’.  I’ve instructed her to bring some knitting so she won’t be bored if I have a flight of creative fancy and I might even let her into my workroom with me while she knits. 


Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel

The Fallen Angel (which is a reference to a quote from Frankenstein as I’m sure you realised) is too scary to be filled with lavender but I will use it in the heads of my other cats as they will then serve as natural room fresheners as well as looking decorative.
Miss Elizabeth Swann-Kitt Loves a Pirate

Miss Elizabeth Swann-Kitt Loves a Pirate

You can’t really make it out in the photo, but she’s wearing a pendant showing a cat in a pirate outfit – Captain Jack Sparroweater, as I imagine him to be called.


Sergeant Pepper - Give Peace A Chance

Sergeant Pepper - Give Peace A Chance


He’s a child of the 60s.

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