Thursday, July 31


I'm really not sure what I feel about this:

However, I notice that the facility is male -> female only. Now would it be cynical and unfeeling of me to suggest that's because the Thai economy doesn't have a role for that type of transgendering?


I've posted about issues with my prosthetic eye before - however after much love and support (notably from The Boy and Dr Bones) I've started investigation options to improve my current set-up.

On Tuesday I had an appointment at the Oxford Eye Hospital. The lovely Miss Hague suggests a course of treatment, that would consist of three possibly four operations, over 18 months. For some of the time I wouldn't be able to wear a prosthesis, so I'd need to adopt a piratical look (which if it wasn't so uncomfortable after a few hours, would be no bad thing). The first operation would be under general anaesthetic - which means I need to reduce my BMI to make that safer.

I really don't know what I want to do - and the 'anti' camp is strengthened by the fact my private health insurance won't cover it, because it's deemed 'cosmetic'. However, I've a while to make up my mind, as I've a fair amount of weight to lose before I can even be put on a waiting list!

Sunday, July 27

Billy has Fur!

It looks like Billy has put his over grooming behind him, and decided to take growing fur seriously...

he really does have a flat nose.

Wedding Notice

I saw this sign at the weekend - it rather tickled me :-)

Thursday, July 24

The 'Queen Street Two'

My friend Marmaladekiss is on her hols and I am hen sitting. I thought I'd post a pic. to show that they're alive and well - I should really have given them the front page of today's newspaper to hold in their beaks!

André and Friend

Here is a picture The Boy took on his phone, of André and Bunty. Bunty belongs to The Boy's godfather Peter. Like most animals - she's getting the lion's share of the sofa!

Gladioli Forest

When she was here at the weekend, my Ma gave me these gladioli. They're not a flower that I'd usually choose for myself, but they are lovely.

I like the stems - as I think they look like a forest!

Tyson - Bargee

Here is a very bad picture of Tyson - who is moored next to Dr Bones at the moment. I wonder if he was called Tyson because he bit another cat's ear off? Still, he was very friendly with us.

I've always loved the idea of ship's cats. It seems to underscore the concept of the ship as a travelling home and/or community. However, one needs to remember that they were (are?) working cats, keeping the vermin down, not pets. Although I'm sure they were given plenty of strokes and rubs behind the ears - after all, Simon was awarded his medal not just for ratting, but for raising morale.

Here is a picture The Boy took of Tyson. It's not much better, but at least you can see his face!

Monday, July 21

One of my Favourite Pub Regulars

Here is Kipper - touting for a drink!

Professor Adrian William Moore - An Apology

Last night I managed to get 'Big Zero' birthdays muddled in my head - and added nine and a half years to my erstwhile philosophy tutor's age.

I would like to state that my beloved Professor is only 50 years young - and his youthful looks and demeanour make that hard to believe.

[Is that enough crawling now?]

Transatlantic Visitors

Yesterday - my friend, the Welshman across the Pond came to stay with his lovely wife Staje.

What can you say about someone who's one of your oldest friends, and is family in every meaningful sense. I owe him a lot, as apart from anything else, he introduced me to The Boy and The Weeping Cross - two other people I can't imagine life without.

It's been a privilege to watch him blossom - from a shy, geeky, youth, into the man he is today. Such a shame that he lives such a long way away in Colorado (although it is beautiful there).

Staje (pictured here with four legged pal) has become a really, good friend too. That Welshman is a one lucky guy!

Mystery Berries

I think these are beautiful - but I have no idea what they are...

White Water

The Thames is very high at the moment. The water was thundering over the sluice yesterday.

Christopher at Stonehenge

Christopher had never been to Stonehenge, so we managed to fit a trip in. We arrived there just as a huge storm was brewing.

The piggies seemed to enjoy their visit... did Christopher.

Sunday, July 20

The Talented Templeman

I have SO MANY talented friends - maybe I should have a salon :-).

The lovely Sue Templeman now has a showcase on the Web - Sue has begun to really challenge herself, and experiment with new styles and techniques, it's great to watch her blossom. I'm going to check in frequently (and perhaps buy something) - I suggest you so the same.

Friday, July 18

Good Advice in an Unexpected Place

Seen in a skip in Queen Street. I'd love to know the back story:

- Was it part of an art project?
- Did someone come home one day and find that their parent/significant other/house mate had annotated the TV?

Thursday, July 17

Trying it for Size?

Now...La Marrison SAYS she was looking at the frescoes...but I'm not sure I believe her!

Burgundy 2008 - What a Great Trip!

Thank you C and A!

I hope they had a nice time with us - here they are on a trip to Buscot Park.

Burgundy 2008 - Sancerre

Our last trip out was to Sancerre - a beautiful medieval town. To reach it, you wind up a steep hill, through the vineyards, which produce the eponymous wine.

The area is also know for it's goat's cheese - the most famous is Crottin de Chavignol, which is absolutely scrummy (especially with a glass of Sancerre!).

Burgundy is known for its snails (although Christopher tells me that they all come from Poland nowadays) - but Sancerre is just outside in Centre. So...what should we see but snails...

We think they were advertising a toyshop...but it's still a mystery.

There were certainly a lot of them!

[Thanks to Marmaladekiss for the collage idea.]

Wednesday, July 16

Burgundy 2008 - No Caption Needed!

Burgundy 2008 - Down by the Yonne

I've hung out with dirty bargees for so long now, I find myself twitching slightly in the presence of nice boats.

Auxerre is on the Yonne - and there were some very, nice boats indeed...

...including this swish hire boat...

...a cute boat lift...

...and this lovely barge, which I really lusted over.

These urchins looked like they were about to make off with the pedalos!

Burgundy 2008 - Auxerre

We had a number of reasons why we wanted to visit Auxerre:
  1. It's somewhere that Grandpa and Rowan used to visit and really loved.
  2. After my recent visit to South Leigh, I'm mad keen on wall paintings, and Auxerre has some of the oldest in France.
  3. It has a cathedral AND an abbey (in the picture above).
  4. In the past we've always taken the wrong turning out of Auxerre, and we felt we had something to prove :-).
The limestone carvings outside the cathedral are beautifully intricate...

...the ceiling is breathtaking...

...and the wall paintings that remain seem to glow.

In the 11th century crypt there is a painting of Christ on a white horse. No flash photography was allowed down there and it was hard to get a clear picture - so I just urge you to go and see it.

In the crypt of the abbey are the oldest frescoes in France - circa 850. It was a real privilege to be able to see them.

It was nice just to wander around the backstreets...

...catching up with the odd saint...

...and revelling in the old buildings.

I was rather taken aback by this! It turned out to be a gift from the people of Redditch - to celebrate 40 years of being twin towns. Now, I admit I've never been to Redditch, but I can't help feeling that they have the best of the deal!

Burgundy 2008 - Hunter

The Boy noticed this cat in an Auxerre backstreet!

Burgundy 2008 - Vézelay Street Scenes

Apart from servicing my abbey addiction - we went to Vézelay to vist a new modern art museum, the Musée Zervos. It has a lovely little collection, and the house that houses it has been very cleverly adapted.

I also really enjoyed just walking around - and monk spotting.

My eye was caught by some rather nice street signs...this cat...

...a B&B...
...and I've no idea what these ones were advertising!

Here is some wisteria for my Mum.

There were reminders all over the place of how ancient Vézelay is...some wattle and daub...

...and a mysterious face...

...or two.

Add the wonderful views, and you can see why it's such a special place.