Are We Killing Our Pets?


I have just been reading an alarming report that basically says that what we are feeding our pets is killing them. And I don’t mean pampered pooches that are fed on cream cakes and carried around in handbags…I am talking about our everyday dogs and cats that we feed on the tinned and packet foods that are on the supermarket shelves and that everybody feeds to their pets!


Did you ever see “Super Size Me” where a researcher Morgan Spurlock had nothing but McDonald’s to eat for a whole month? The results on his health, his fitness and his weight were terrible. And this apparently is the same thing that we are doing to our beloved pets, day after day. We feed them “fast food” out of tins and packets rather than the raw meat, bones etc. that would be their natural diet. Read the rest of this entry

Cat & Mouse Part 2

A couple of days after I released one mouse into the back yard I saw 4 mice in the house!

We even managed to transfer one into the car via a shopping bag where it promptly munched its way through a chocolate bar that had been left on the back seat by one of the kids.


The cat quickly became bored with her new mouse friends and just left them to run around the house. Which they did. Then one evening when I was working late at the computer I heard a sound and turned around just in time to see 2 of the mice disappearing into the fireplace and up the chimney. The old chimney is their home and removing the old fire gave them a new back door to come out and play!

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Cat & Mouse – Part 1

I hate housework! I do like my home to be clean and tidy, but the effort to get it that way is sometimes just too much. Plus you do it one day and then the next day it needs doing all over again. Though there is probably no excuse for the vase of what once were flowers sitting looking accusingly at me from the old fireplace in my office. I say ‘what once were flowers’ because I was given this bouquet at Christmas and they have long since passed away. There is actually a very good excuse for this…well I think it’s a good excuse anyway.


A few months ago in a rush of redecorating enthusiasm, I got a friendly neighbourhood builder to pull out an ancient gas fire from the office, revealing a long disused fireplace. Our home is a 400 year old former inn and there are all kinds of strange things going on behind the wallpaper in some of the rooms. I made a mental note to turn the old fireplace into a feature at some point and then thought no more about it. Read the rest of this entry

What a Swishing Party!

I have been invited to a “Swishing” party. No, I had no idea what it was either, but now I do. Swishing is clothes swapping, and no it doesn’t mean you go to a party and get undressed! Plus it’s a women only event. Basically you go along to the party with any clothes you don’t want any more, because they’re too small, too big or you just don’t like them.

Everyone who is invited takes a load of clothes with them. It is often just women’s clothing but can also be kids’ clothes. You get to look at all the clothes before the party starts but you can’t grab anything until it is officially declared open. At that point, depending on how well-bred and polite the guests are, it turns into something between the first day of the sales and a rugby scrum.

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Home working

Many people dream of working from home. Not having to do the daily 9 to 5 seems like paradise in theory. The reality is rather different. Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and sometimes I think a regular job, any job, would be easier.


For starters, when you work from home you are always “at work” – you never get to leave work and go home. What might be a 37.5 or 40 hour working week at a job, can easily turn into a 60, 70 or even 80 hour working week when you work from home.


The next thing is your friends won’t take your work seriously. After all you’re at home all the time so why can’t they just pop round for a coffee or call you up for a chat any time they feel like it?


If you’re a woman working from home, while your partner leaves home to go to work, you will still be expected to do all the stay-at-home wife duties like the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing plus the shopping and general errand running. Your kids and your mother will also not understand that you are working unless you actually leave the house. Your pets understand even less why you won’t walk them or play with them.

There are countless other distractions as well. The phone rings, the doorbell rings and it’s a delivery man with a package that isn’t for you but for somebody else in the street who “works” so you don’t mind taking it in for them do you?

Working from home does have its compensations of course. If you feel like taking a weekday off and working Saturday instead, you can. If you want to start work at 5am and have your lunch break at 9.30am you can. But a dream, it isn’t.