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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just look at that hairy old cat with the white whiskers and soppy expression...


That's our good friend Andrew. But if you think we only associate with well-dressed, respectable pet owners, then think again...


The Greek playwright Euripides said that you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Which is worrying, as I count the bloke above as a mate. That's actually our old friend, Crash, facial hair aficionado, artist's model, and star of 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'. He still hails from my old stomping ground of Ipswich, but he's now a professional treasure-hunter who spends his days roaming the countryside looking for crap he can flog to the gullible. He's like David Dickinson, only slightly more normal.

Fortunately for us, Crash's Bargain Hunt Roadshow rolled into Brighton on Sunday, so we popped up to the racecourse at lunchtime to pay him a visit and browse his vast range of collectables. Oddly, the pink spotted dress remained unsold at the end of the day, as did the Butlins Redcoat, but he was offered seventy quid for the skull of a dead stag. And he turned it down. So I think we might give up trying to sell Amelie's old clothes on eBay, and offer them Baby Antlers instead.

We learnt a number of things from our visit: firstly that we can't get anywhere on time, no matter how near it is to our flat (although I think we already knew that); secondly that the hideous furniture I grew up with is now considered retro chic and worth a fortune; and thirdly that God is destroying Shotley Gate, one house at a time. And I can't say I blame him. This delightful semi-detached home with the extended skylight is just yards from my old flat. And I'm not saying that everyone in that village knows each other, but I remember Ian Lord's wife as the head of the local dance school. I think she only married him so that she could call herself Lord of the Dance.

Anyhoo, I thank the Lord as my witness to that act of God, and pray they can resurrect the house. But in the meantime, I'm reminded of an entirely different bolt from the blue. It was actually a year ago on Sunday that we were blessed with the pitter-patter of tiny feet. And I don't mean Toby. Frankly he's too lazy to walk, and can still only crawl backwards.

It was actually the first birthday of our kittens...


That's Amelie having her cake and eating it, round at Stefan & Andrew's flat on Sunday. And frankly I needed some cake when we got there. Our journey from the car boot sale to their flat was a distance of about one mile. And it took us just over an hour. Which might have been ok if we'd crawled there backwards on our faces, but seemed less acceptable by car.

Unfortunately for us, and for Brighton as a whole, it was the March for England on Sunday, which meant the biggest police operation in twenty years, and traffic at a standstill. The march itself had finished an hour before we left the racecourse, but the running battles were continuing throughout our journey. Someone posted this photo on Twitter within minutes of us driving past...


... so frankly we were lucky to get through at all. By the time we'd got close to Queens Road, anti-fascists were gathering at the station, the area was swamped with police, and traffic ground to a halt again. We eventually made it into Brighton via a circuitous route through Hove, and arrived at Stefan & Andrew's an hour late, to the news that Zita had decided to celebrate her birthday by going missing. Which meant all the more cake for us.

Naturally her owners were worried, but we attempted to take their minds off it all by inviting them to become Toby's godparents. And I'm thrilled to say they agreed. Which means they're now contractually obliged to hold him whenever we ask...


Toby felt that Stefan would look better with a v-neck, which is a bit rich coming from someone dressed in a tablecloth.

Anyhoo, we threw in Amelie as a free gift to sweeten the deal...


... and before they had a chance to change their minds, we'd sealed it with two cups of tea and some birthday cake. Soon afterwards, we were roasting Rozi over eight flaming candles, and forming a search party to hunt for her sister.

We did a complete circuit of the block with Amelie miaowing like a kitten, Toby falling asleep, and the rest of us looking in wheelie bins and porches, but the search proved fruitless. In fact, we'd all but given up, until 6:30pm as we were preparing to go home, when the doorbell unexpectedly rang. Lisa suggested it might be Zita, which showed a level of optimism rarely seen outside of mental institutions, and suggested she'd got Andrew and Zita mixed up with Ashleigh and Pudsey.

But as it transpired, she was right. On the doorstep was a neighbour, who'd found Zita stuck in the basement two houses along. She'd fallen down, hit rock bottom, and scratched her nose...


... but other than that, she seemed fine. Although by that point, I'd wrapped up the rest of the birthday cake and hidden it in my bag, so her day didn't get any better.

4 comments:

Phil's Mum said...

Poor Zita! Adventures must run in the family. Shimmy got locked in my car, in the heat of the midday sun today, for over an hour.

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