Dear Daughter Mine is anxiously waiting the arrival of two kittens, which she purchased from a local rescue centre.
The word that is interesting in this sentence is ‘purchased’. Since deciding that she wanted to take on the responsibility of owing a pet; she, as well as my lovely husband and I, has been staggered by the change that has occurred over the last ten/twenty years in regards to the cost of acquiring a pet.
After looking on various websites we found that pedigree, quality kittens were selling for around £400; for a simple ‘moggy’ the cost could be anything from £50 to £100 depending on the area in which you lived.
I can remember the days when notices appeared all over shops and newsagent’s windows advertising kittens free to a good home but not anymore.
Apparently, according to the rescue centre, there is a shortage of kittens due to the fact that nowadays most young cats are neutered as soon as possible and so therefore not many animals are being born, consequently with a shortage comes the price ’hike!’
For those who have female cats, who haven’t had the operation, there is an opportunity to have a nice little earner if they wanted too. A litter of three or more kittens could net you up to £300!
However, Dear Daughter Mine is delighted with her choice of two black and white brothers who were abandoned at birth. She’s already bought the equipment items she will need to provide them with a comfortable life but at a cost!
The pet industry must be making a fortune with the products that they have on sale today.
Honestly, what is wrong with a small, old blanket or towel for a bed rather than some of the commercially produced beds that are on sale ranging from £14 - £25!
The assortment of bowls for feeding your cat is vast with different styles, colours, materials and sizes- again I ask, what is wrong with an old saucer!
As for playing items and accessories from litter trays with lids- called potty stations, to large construction scratch stations, it makes me wonder if the pet manufacturers are having a laugh!
Well, after a visit to three different pet outlet stores the answer is quite simple, yes they are! All the way to the bank!
Thought for the day: People that say money can’t buy you happiness have never
bought a cat!
I’m sure that you have all experienced the kind of day where really you should have stayed in bed. The kind of day when the words like ‘Ooo...er’ and ‘Oh no, not again!’ or ‘What have you done this time?’ reverberate around.
You know what I mean - the kind of day, when incidents seem to take precedence over normal everyday occurrences.
Well Saturday was one of those days for me.
It started out quite simple really when I lost the sandpaper. I had it in my hand and the bag that it came in. Then within two blinks of an eye it had disappeared. Just like that! I searched high and low but to no avail. I had to go out and buy some more as my lovely husband needed it to sand dear daughter mine’s new kitchen door ready for painting. Four hours later it turned up in another bag, which I must have put away without realising it. I always think that you can’t have too much sandpaper!
Next came the vacuum cleaner! Dear daughter mine has one of these hand-held mini hoovers that you can use for mopping up little jobs and I haven’t used one before. So in the spirit of helping, I decided to hoover up some of the sanded wood, when I realised that it was full.
So never having opened one before and not being a logical- let’s look at it kind of person I pressed a button and the top flew off and all the contents spilt onto the floor making, I must admit, a terrible mess. After being shown how to put it back together again I managed to hoover up the mess under the watchful eye of dear daughter mine!
Trying to make amends I decided to help even more when my daughter wanted to put some heavy glass beads into a vase. This was an easy job or so you would think. However I hadn’t anticipated that the beads would be really heavy so when they fell into the vase they cracked the side of it. I tipped them out to the sound of ‘Oh no! What’s happened now?’
I explained and then again not really thinking about what I was doing I picked up the vase and the bottom fell off shattering into pieces. I have since bought a new vase and dear daughter mine is going to fill it up herself!
You may think that by now I would have been locked away or sent from the house but no. I was asked to help out in another room. Dear daughter mine took down three Lego display boxes, which I thought were joined together as Lego is easily connected but to my dismay and my daughter’s horror they weren’t.
She asked me quite sensibly to hold the backs of the cases and support them when they were in transit but by the time the instructions had permeated my brain; it was too late and the whole stack tumbled to the ground!
Luckily nothing was broken but as my daughter had spent quite a long time arranging the Lego characters into certain places within the display cases she was not amused. In fact for quite some time after she didn’t really speak to me or acknowledge me in any way. But fortunately for me after grovelling and apologising profusely she came round. She was never one the hold a grudge.
The sand paper had been used in the meantime and the door on which it had been applied had been painted. Now you could forgive me not remembering that paint is wet or tacky to the touch especially after the day I had had, so when I leant on it and it smudged; the atmosphere in the kitchen seemed to tense and there was a definite coolness directed towards me.
However undaunted I decided to help with the evening meal. I lifted a pan, emptied some of the sauce, which by the way smelt incredible and went to place it back on the hob when I tipped it a little too much and again it spilt all over the cooker top down the front cooker door and left greasy stains on the kitchen floor!
I was asked politely to sit down at the table and not touch anything!
As for the rest of the evening I was banned from doing anything, which could have been all part of a cunning plan- couldn’t it!
Thought for the day: A helping hand doesn’t need to be big in size.It is the helping attitude that matters the most!
It’s that time of the year – the beginning of a new one when people start to look back on the previous year and think about the mistakes that they made and what they would change in order to improve their lives.
Yes you know what I’m writing about – the New Year resolution! By now thousands of people will have already made and broken their chosen resolution!
I often wonder why we make them. As I’m a ‘start on Monday’ kind of person; the beginning of the New Year is an ideal way to help me plan the future. Giving myself goals to achieve is a way to focus my energy on something positive rather than negative. So what if I didn’t lose that extra few pounds last year! Well fortunately life isn’t over yet and I have a new chance to start all over again.
I usually make a list of things that I would like to do each year.
If any of you have checked out my website you would see that in 2015 I wanted to start a website and write a blog. And I did. I also joined Facebook and Twitter, which brought me in contact with the use of social media and I’m so glad that I did it.
In 2016 I wanted to focus more on writing so I joined a writers group and attended a couple of writing courses; as well as buying myself some self help books along the way.
This year I want to write more regularly and finish projects that I have started. I’m an ideas person and after I write them down I usually forget about them. The drawers in my office are full of notebooks with story ideas not yet written!! So this year I want to see if I can turn some of these into finished stories. Hopefully I will.
Also on my list are things like:
· check my e-mails more frequently
· keep my website more up to date
· eat less
· exercise more
· try to improve my memory by doing some puzzles...!
· Learn, remember and recite a verse from a poem or something like that.
My goals are not huge as I want them to be achievable and if they are I will feel really good about myself which will bolster my self esteem.
Did you know that New Year resolutions go back 4000 years when the Babylonians made vows to their gods to pay their debts, return borrowed items and pledge loyalty to their new King so that they would have better harvests in return for their promises.
I can only hope that my crop of writings bear fruit this year! I’ll just have to wait and see!
Thought for the day: If nothing ever changed; there would be no butterflies!
On Thursday I wrote about the artistic revelations that we found on our cultural day out in Manchester. After visiting the HOME complex and the Ford Maddox Brown famous painting called ‘Work’ displayed in the city art gallery, my lovely husband and I ventured forth into three galleries holding exhibitions of photographs, which were taken by a variety of photographers from all over the world.
My first thoughts were; what makes a set of photographs art? What lifts them from the ordinary? You know what I mean, the photos that we all have in our photo albums at home; of family and friends and places that we have visited.
Looking round the many rooms which housed these pieces of work, I couldn’t really see much difference from the photos on display to be honest but then I wandered into one room and saw four portraits by Bruce Gilden, which transcended all the mundane and ordinary to the height of fine art. These four photographs were stunning not only in his subject matter but in the clarity of the detail his camera lens exposed.
The eyes...! The skin, blemishes and all...! The tiny facial hairs and the sticky mascara on the woman’s eye lashes...! WOW! Absolutely fabulous; I really enjoyed looking at them.
One of the main reasons that we decided to visit the gallery today was a new exhibition by Manchester’s Monet; Wynford Dewhurst!
He was a contemporary of some famous impressionist painters such as Monet and Pissarro. Dewhurst followed in their famous footsteps creating typical impressionistic versions of French landscapes of woods and pretty field scenes as well as views of Leighton Buzzard in England.
When looking at them all I could think of was that his work was just too similar. They seemed to me to be just copies of the same scenes that Monet and Pissarro had already done. He had used the same views, same colour palette and painted them in exactly the same style. He didn’t seem to create his own impressionistic style, which was a shame as some of his work was really pretty to look at.
However he did write a book which led people to understand that Impressionist painters had their roots in famous English artists of the same era such as Constable and that this helped people in this time period to accept the new impressionists more readily.
I took a photograph of one of his paintings and I know that you may think that I am biased but I am sure that if you look at this painting and one of my lovely husband’s you would agree that there isn’t much difference in the ability of talent, and quality of work between the two of them. And my husband doesn’t imitate!
I think that it is a shame that local artists don’t get the chance to display their work in city centre galleries. Maybe these galleries should donate a wall for such talented local artists so that they can show case their work to the public. Galleries could have a rolling two week programme whereby they hang their work alongside their more prestigious counterparts. It would open up the galleries to new and exciting work rarely seen and encourage newcomers to visit the gallery.
Oops! I’ve gone off on a tangent- sorry my about my soap box moment. So let’s get back to our day out. My lovely husband and I finished our day with a trip round the shops and then home for tea!
Thought for the day: “Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
My lovely husband and I have just had a really interesting day out In Manchester.
Our first visit was to the HOME Theatre and Gallery Complex, which was a pleasant surprise. We hadn’t been here before and it had been on our to-do list for some time.
After a warming drink in the upstairs cafe we explored the site; looked through the upcoming events brochures and finally made it to the gallery where we experienced some surreal pieces of art work.
The exhibition was by Glaswegian artist Rachel Maclean who treated us to a highly unusual yet fun show. Although I personally didn’t really understand any of it – I just wished that she had been there to explain to me- you know the type of thing; her vision and what on earth was going through her mind when she conceived her ideas.
Honestly, I could appreciate the amount of hard work that went into creating her art pieces, which included gigantic sculptures of friendly looking kid monsters being attacked by wedding dressed rat like creatures plus huge wall hangings with so much strange details on them that I could have spent hours trying to decipher their meaning as well as a visual film of some bizarre apocalyptic minion type person asking for a salted caramel coffee.
I know that this sounds phantasmagorical but it was energetic and invigorating to the eye and I absolutely adored it!!
However, I did have reservations about her conceptual explanation that I read in her brochure. I don’t think that she fulfilled the jargon that she gave behind the exhibits but that is, I believe, one of the problems with conceptual art- the ambiguous and often bogus rhetoric that accompanies it. Mind you I did enjoy the show and I came out feeling excited and eager to see what other artistic delights were on offer in Manchester today.
So after a quick soup lunch with my lovely husband at Philpott’s on Oxford Street (Why is it I always choose the wrong soup and my husband the better one!) we made our way to the Manchester City Art Gallery. I love this gallery as it has one of my all time favourite paintings in it; ‘Work’ by Ford Maddox Brown.
Every time that I see this painting I discover something new that captures my attention. This week it was the woman’s hat in the foreground of the picture and how she could see through the brim and her feet were painted so clearly and minutely. Exquisite- absolutely loved it!
From the ridiculous to the sublime in a couple of hours what better way could you spend the time!
Thought for the day; Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.