Archive | March 2018

Dixie brings down the curtain

Dixie, I’m afraid is facing his second court appearance in as many weeks. I can’t actually say this was willful damage because it surprised him as much as it surprised me but to begin at the beginning.

We were waiting patiently for our supper to cook, I was watching the television, he was playing with his favourite toy, tossing it into the air, chasing it happily all over the room and holding it down and kicking it with his back paws, so as to put it in its place and generally having a happy time with it. But he tossed it into the air once too often and it disappeared behind the curtains. This could plainly not be allowed. He leapt after it through the small gap between the curtains, teeth and claws at the ready prepared to do battle. But it didn’t quite work out that way. Within half a second he was swinging from one of the curtains and both curtains, pole and part of the wall were tumbling into the room. I don’t know which of us was the more surprised.

I have matching pairs of curtains at each end of my living room, as you can see from this picture of the undamaged pair! Now I have one end of the room looking as it should and the other looking more like a bombsite.

He wishes you to know that the damage was unintentional and to understand that of course he had to deal very thoroughly with the run-away catnip. It was just that the curtains happened to get in the way. He finds it quite hard to understand that I would beg to differ.

He certainly knows how to bring down the curtain, I suppose I must count myself lucky that he didn’t bring the house down!

Cat pie anyone?


This entry was posted on March 14, 2018. 2 Comments

The UK Southern Book Show

I spent last Sunday in the Pavilion Theatre on Worthing Pier as part of The UK Southern Book Show. It was organised by an independent, friendly writer called Natasha Murray who gathered independently published writers from all over the South and even further afield and produced this poster, which as you can see, is very eye-catching. The object of the exercise was to provide a stand where independently published writers could display their books and their posters and whatever other publicity material they had produced and sell to as many book-lovers as could be coxed into the theatre. They were also offered the chance to address their audience and say how good their books were.

It didn’t work. And the reason it didn’t work was obvious from the moment the first speaker took to the stage. The auditorium seats six hundred people according to one of the front of house team whom I asked. But there were never more than ten people sitting there and often fewer, so the speakers were talking to a virtually empty theatre and couldn’t make eye contact with anyone, which is essential for a good speech. And they were so far away from the people they hoped would be listening to them, that they might just as well not have been there.  The noise was deafening because the walkways were full of people, all talking at once and talking to one another and although the speakers had a microphone, it was almost impossible when we were sitting at our tables, to hear them. I tried hard but heard very little because people were talking to me at my post at the table.

When I finally got up to make my own speech, I discovered how desperately isolated it was up there on that stage. The lighting was harsh, so without holding your hand up to shade your eyes, you couldn’t see the few people who were sitting in front of you. The noise of the microphone was even harsher. I gave up after a few minutes, smiled in case anybody was noticing, although I don’t think they were, said ‘over and out I think’ and went back to my stall.


The sad thing is, that this sort of event can be handled successfully, as I know because I attend a similar event, every year, in Selsey. It is held in a small hall where the tables are set all round the walls and people have plenty of room to walk from one to the other so the noise level doesn’t reach booming proportions as it did in the theatre, because there are no speakers there, only buyers and sellers. The Selsey venue, is nowhere near as handsome as the Pavilion Theatre but it works.

It was pleasant to meet up with authors I knew and people I’d taught many years ago or taught with, but none of us were selling many books, which is what it was all supposed to be about. But it was sad too. I began to wonder whether Oswald Moseley had put a curse on the place. He spoke in this very theatre in the ’30’s and led his storm-troopers out on to the promenade, in their black uniforms and jack boots and all bellowing ‘England for the English’ in their hideous way. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.


This entry was posted on March 8, 2018. 1 Comment

Felonious behaviour of Dixie the cat


Do not be deceived by the innocent expression on this cat’s face Your Honor. He stands accused of three separate felonious activities, in that on the 28th of February 2018, he threw his owner’s hearing aids on the floor while she was in the shower and when she emerged clean and refreshed, she could only find one them and was seriously concerned that he might have swallowed the other.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, on Saturday the 3rd of March 2018 the said cat tossed his owners wrist watch on the floor – a Longines, so not something she could easily replace – and that wasn’t found until her cleaner came and retrieved it from underneath the bed. Stern words were spoken to said cat by said owner which should have been sufficient to warn him from further misbehaviour.

However the warning fell on deaf, black ears for the very next Tuesday he contrived to switch off his owner’s computer by dint of pushing his way, despite being warned against it, among all the connecting wires on her desk. The computer hasn’t worked from that day to this and neither has she, yet he has shown no remorse.

The excuse he gave her at the time was that as her literary assistant whose job it was to keep an eye on books of all kinds and the various apparatus that had to be used to produce them, he was checking her machines for any faults. The fault Your Honour lay entirely in his behaviour. Do not be deceived by that innocent face.

I urge that he be given a very stiff sentence and suggest something along the lines of:-

You’re as daft as a brush, Dixie, and you’ll end up as cat pie.



This entry was posted on March 7, 2018. 4 Comments