Monday, 29 September 2014

Birthday boy

Today is the birthday of our beloved male guardian. Oh the excitement, why I could barely contain myself. I had, however, to be patient for it is the first day of a week of rest from their usually daily endeavours; to lay on as the hand moves beyond half past the hour of five in the morning is a precious gift in itself. I therefore had to refrain from my morning ritual of gently talking to them and, as is sometimes necessary for my brother to undertake, a little reminder of the time by a "pat" upon a cheek. Alas, on occasions one has to be quite firm. The guardians believe it is my need for sustenance however, I assure you, dear friends, it is merely the need to ensure prompt time keeping on their behalf that sees me, and my brother, thus engaged each morning. I am delighted to show you the card we so carefully fashioned with our lady guardian; we are most delighted with it as indeed was he with a delighted smile upon his face when he was awoken with the gentle chink of morning tea in bed. Such bliss to while away some time drinking tea and opening his birthday cards and presents. Why, my brother and I do find such fun in crumpled paper!

Thereafter, whilst my brother and I took a light nap, our male guardian decided to spend his birthday walking in our beautiful countryside. The carriage was brought forth, a basket of supplies provided and the destination agreed. The haven for which they set the carriage is a beautiful wood within one of our national parks. Magnificent steeply wooded glades and streams with miniature waterfalls and pools to delight in. The weather was warm but not hot and most conducive to a number of hours spent enjoying the beautious splendour of nature. What a joyous day and one to remember.

It is also with great joy that we wish one of the antipodean contingent of the family "Many Happy Returns"; for tomorrow is the birthday of my lady guardian's twin sister's partner (my, my, quite convoluted to comprehend in writing!). Some would say most interesting that both twin sisters have partners with birthdays but a day apart. No matter we say, merely a strict reminder to enjoy oneself, dear chap.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

And yet......

And yet, dear reader, the warmth at the peak of the day is quite amazing. My brother and I spent a number of hours taking stock of the sanctuary garden. We were delighted to see the roses still in blossom, as well as the hydrangea.

 Why, my dear brother did partake of a moment of rest in the warmth of the sunshine bestowed upon us this autumn day. My Brother is a year older than I but, my, my dear souls, does he not maintain a rather becoming coat and, indeed, if I do say so myself, quite the most beautiful set of whiskers I have seen on any feline in the near vicinity. 

Misty, still morning....

As I accompany my guardian on an early morning perambulation through the sanctuary garden and beyond, I am struck by the stillness of the air and the cool damp mist arising from the dew laden grass. My paws, and the feet of my guardian, are drenched and the early morning birdsong echoes in the quietude of the air. I do believe that autumn's cloak has stealthily crept upon us, beguiled us with warmth at the height of the day, to slowly steal away light at either end, taking with it the last warm breaths of summer. The holly berries are suddenly here, bursting forth upon the eye, unmasked from their green finery; the raucous call of the crows and rooks echoing through the morning. Another fine season begins as one fades away. Oh, how I do so love the seasons we enjoy in this fair country, a sentiment it has to be said, my friends, that is not always echoed by my fellow countrymen. No matter, each brings its own delights to enjoy. I am contrarily fond, as you may recall, of the redolence of an autumn bonfire . This will mean that the estate garden is being tidied for winter and preparations made for spring.

The air is crisp and the wisps of mists caress us as we make our way across the estate, footprints an echo of where we have been. Homeward bound towards the shining beacon of light that means the first cup of morning tea is being prepared. My guardian can oft be heard echoing the sentiments of George Gissing in his writings of Ryecroft "Perhaps it is while drinking tea that I most of all enjoy the sense of leisure" for what morning could be complete without this very Bristish accompaniment.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Good neighbours, dear friends.....

Dear friends, like many of you, we are blessed on one side by good neighbours and cursed by bad neighbours on the other. As in the words of Hesiod "A bad neighbour is as great a plague as a good one is a great blessing; he who enjoys a good neighbour has a precious possession."
However, on the whole, we are greatly blessed with neighbours. Why today my lady guardian has spent a number of hours in the joint venture of hedge trimming along the boundaries with one such neighbour. My, my the volume of work they did manage was quite something to behold, made all the better by the easy relationship of working together. A truly rare occurrence in this world we live in and one to be cultivated and nurtured. The adjoining estates are quite delightful and give the joint impression of parkland surrounding those large historic seats, quite beautiful in the early morn with the sounds of birds, estate chickens and goats from a neighbours estate echoing through the countryside. This very morning we have enjoyed an early foray, before the hubbub of the day begins, to enjoy the fruits of our labour in beautifully restored boundaries and hedges, returning as the sabbath bells could be heard echoing across the fields. 

We continue to be blessed with the weather, and the sun has risen in a largely blue sky, a cooler nip in the air upon the breeze that stirs the leaves. Each day a drift of leaves upon the ground beneath the trees attests to the slow turn to autumn. As my guardians prepare for this, we see our neighbours also going about their tasks,  gradually putting the garden to bed and ensuring the home is ready for any onslaught of weather that comes our way. In the words of Alexander Graham Bell " Before anything, preparation is the key to success"; a maxim that can truly be applied to many situations.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The sights and sounds of autumn..

We are most fortunate are we not, dear friends, in the delay of a full autumn season. It has to be said that my brother and I do delight in the English seasons but perhaps a double delight to have the mix of two seasons in to the splendid weeks of weather that is upon us. My female guardian is overjoyed at the onset of autumn; the sights to behold in the beautiful sunsets and the early morning mists arising from the fields that give way to a warm sunshine; the barn, tawny and screech owls declaring themselves to one another - such a delightfully heartlifting sound. My dear guardians felt they had been blessed this very week with the alighting of an ethereal barn owl atop a tall pole within the sanctuary garden at dusk one evening. Such a sight to behold. Not a move did they make lest it scare it, taking time to marvel at such beauty and grace before, as silently as it arrived, it left. Deep joy was etched upon their faces. A truly blissful moment for staunch country dwellers.

The relatives of my guardian, whose estate sits nearby, further atested to the turn t'ward the next season with a grand garden bonfire, leaving the air redolent with the aroma of wood and leaf smoke. Does this fine aroma not "speak" of autumn to all who smell it?

 I so admire the poet, George Cooper, for his "October Party" verse; such a joy to read, invoking the very spirit of autumn.

 October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

Although, dear friends, if the current balmy weather continues, I do declare an indian summer will be the prediction of many a local weather expert. To be fair, do not kith and kin delight in great discussions regarding the weather? Why, what would our opening foray in to the delicacies of small talk be without discussions around the Brisitsh weather! 

My brother and I take solace where we can and as the nights begin to draw in, spend time together in rest and relaxation to restore the soul for the days ahead.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Have nothing in your house.....

Well, such news and joy it has to be said. My lady guardian received a most delightful invite this week. A local artist was exhibiting their paintings not but a hare's breath from our very estate (hair's breadth is the correct wordage but, for a county dweller, this is my preferred saying). My guardian, being a patron of the arts, in particular of fine painting, felt that a brief respite was to be taken and time spent in the enjoyment of the finer things in life. Whilst our male guardian was suitably ensconced, she eschewed the carriage to walk across the late summer/early autumn clad countryside betwixt ourselves and said artist. Along the way her sister, in her carriage, did spy my guardian and stopped a while to enquire as to her destination. Well, my dears, the sisters, suitably excited, sallied forth, one on foot and one atop her carriage, to rendezvous at the said exhibition. The sight to behold on arrival was bewitching; beautiful seascapes, country vistas and much more. Oh what joy to spend a delightful hour gazing at these  wondrous creations. Alas, temptation beget my guardian and the return journey saw a carefully transported package delivered to this very estate.

William Morris was a great believer that one should "Have nothing in your house that you do not believe to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Dear readers, whilst a painting may not be described as useful, it is indeed a thing of beauty to behold; a seascape with such beautiful cloud formation - quite breathtaking.

This fine artist is one of the local artists that my guardian admires and patronises, a fact you may notice on this very document. Happy perusing dear friends, happy perusing.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Such joy....

Such joy, dear readers, the work is complete and a return to the peaceful haven my dear brother requires. Why, he has been at his wits end the last few weeks such has been the intensity of the restoration. It is, however, complete and my brother is restored to his normal good humour. As is custom for the man of the house, he made a detailed inspection of the work. Once again, one must comment upon the high standards of both gentlemen involved in the works; the carpenter and fitter are both of integrity which shows in the quality of their craftmanship. The windows are clad in a fine and becoming shade of gentlest blue externally and a fine fresh white on the inside. My guardians are much delighted. It has to be said however that the male of the species finds such invasion in to their private domain a sore trial. My female guardian and I have made every effort to make this invasion more tolerable. It has to be said, dear friends, it is quite exhausting maintaing such a stance for all concerned; why my female guardian and I were quite outnumbered by the male of the species.

Nevertheless, we are weather proof for the next season and the house is clad in its new becoming shade. My brother returns to his quiet good humour and his amenable character has been restored once more. Such a blessing.

Saturday, 6 September 2014


It has come to my attention that my sister and I have been somewhat tardy in the minutiae regarding our circumstances, for which I proffer my profuse apologies. Most ungentlemanly.

As you know, we are descended from a long line of Maine Coons, the lines of our heritage being of a reputable pedigree, of which we are most proud but, of course, one rarely discusses these things in polite society, does one? We were most fortunate that our guardians came in to our lives at a time when my sister and I were in an hour of need and kindly took it upon themselves to offer us a most comfortable home on their modest estate. We are most fortunate that they are indeed kindly souls.

The estate, as I have noted, is a modest one but entirely suited to  the needs of our homely quartet, set in the countryside of the South West of England. We reside in an old home that our guardians, true to their personal integrity, have taken on and slowly improved upon in a style that is suited to this old building. Much care and attention has been taken to source quality trades people. It is exactly this that has been currently underway; our residence has required the renewal of  ALL of the windows. Dear reader, I cannot begin to recount the upheaval this requires to every, yes EVERY, room. The gentleman undertaking this refitting has been quite delightful in the care and attention taken with such consideration. As one knows, such a person is a rare commodity indeed and one worth investing in. Alas, the work is yet to be finished but it will be undertaken to a high standard that will, my guardian reassures me, be worth the upheaval. I do believe that my delicate ears may never recover from the noise BUT the weather can be quite inclement during the winter months, lashing our home with the elements, therefore it is utterly necessary for the home to be restored to its former glory. We will of course reap the benefit through a draft free home that is warm, comfortable and inviting during the colder months, for which I am eternally grateful.

Added to my guardians list of estate requirements is the suitable coating of said windows, to maintain the weatherproofing. A haven for us all worth preserving or, in the words of Charles Dickens "Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration".