Friday 25 August 2023

The sound of silence


After a much needed change of scenery, I was able to add a lovely new traditional teddy bear to my website yesterday, aptly named 'Devon'...

My husband and I headed to Devon recently with our three dogs in the car, on the rainiest of August days. It was hard to believe it was mid Summer as the rain hammered heaven's hardest on our windscreen but fortunately, when we did eventually arrive at our holiday cottage about six soggy doggy hours later, the sun finally shone and my son and his family had already safely arrived and started unpacking. The scenery overlooking Dartmoor was absolutely beautiful, so we were eager to unpack the car, take the dogs and Grandchildren to the large meadow across the road for a good run ... and launch ourselves into full holiday mode, at last!

We spent a wonderful week exploring Dartmoor and Cornwall as a family. It was hard work but much fun. The dogs swam in the sea at Padstow and the children paddled and rock-pooled in Boscastle Harbour, traversing the scarily high bridge strung between the clifftops of Tintagel, in search of a statue of King Arthur at the castle ruins.

We walked miles with our dogs, meeting wild ponies, long horned cattle and sheep on Dartmoor, then listening to the sound of absolute silence far out on the moors. One evening we supped mugs of hot chocolate and ate marshmallows in the darkness by Harford Bridge while bats swooped around us and another day, we drove along barely used farm tracks lined with gorse and deep dark forest, to find the most beautiful hidden reservoir at the end of our white-knuckle ride ... and we all ate more pasties and ice-creams than were probably good for any self-respecting waistline!

It was a lovely week, full of laughter and family fun with my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren but also full of happy summer holiday memories of my own children excitedly exploring Boscastle and Tintagel when we were still a young family just starting out in life, many years ago. It was very special to revisit some of the special places we had always enjoyed, with my Grandchildren this summer.

Many waters have since flowed beneath the harbour bridge you see in the photograph above... but over more than thirty years later, I can still picture my children posing there for photos snapped on my little Olympus point 'n shoot camera, hoping to be bought an ice-cream and taken to visit the gift shops further along the path, after scrambling over rocky cliff paths. They were such happy times. It is lovely to see my son now cementing his own special childhood memories by sharing them with his wife and children. Life it seems, always comes full circle. 

Wednesday 16 August 2023

A plum perfect farewell to Puddlecat



I love the way children deal with loss. They are able to accept gentle honesty, don't need fairytales and usually process emotion in a practical, heartfelt way...

After Puddle-cat sadly left us on the 2nd of August, my Grandchildren asked if they could create a memory tree for all the cats who had been part of our household over the years. We chatted about each of their life stories, then said a fond farewell to Puddle, Rodney, Daisy, Leo, Socksie, Toffee, Poppy and Sally, with a decorated heart each, carefully tied with ribbon to the branches of our little plum tree... and with plenty of smiles. 

My ever practical five year old Granddaughter made me chuckle when she offered to make a heart for Stanley too... 'for when he needs one Nana'. Hopefully that won't be for many years to come, as thankfully he is currently prowling around quite contentedly!


Puddle came to live with us on the 28th August 2007, sixteen years ago. You can read more of her story here:

Thursday 3 August 2023

Rainy Day Puddle



Yesterday was a rainy day... and a sad one. We said goodbye to our dear ol' Puddlecat, aged 16 years. Always the most gentle of girls, she left us peacefully and as was her way, without fuss.

Puddle came to us as a tiny scrappy kitten who had managed to tug at my daughter's heartstrings. She didn't have the best start to kitty life and Fay was keen to rescue her, so we brought her home and after a shaky start with her health, she soon blossomed into a beautiful glossy black cat with the sweetest nature and a penchant for playing with my knitting. She loved nothing more than to keep me company during the day, teasing me as I worked on my bears, or whenever I picked up my knitting needles.

As she grew older poor Puddle developed hyperthyroidism and gradually became very skinny and fussy about eating, although she never lost her love of cheese and I did manage to feed her a few tiny pieces yesterday. Her gentle nature never changed despite her health and she was always happiest to be close to us, especially in the evenings, when she liked to perch on the back of the sofa while we watched tv. Despite being quite a shy girl, she loved the children and always enjoyed a special fuss from my Grandson, who was very fond of her. She wasn't too keen on our other cats and dogs over the years, or so she would have us believe, preferring to remain aloof and distant with them. The only real exception was Daisy, a previous member of our long-standing cat family but yesterday morning, she allowed Cooper to approach and give her a very gentle kiss while she sat on my lap for a goodbye cuddle and despite her clear disapproval of young Stanley cat when he first joined us, I found them resting comfortably together in the sunshine on our conservatory sofa for one last time, yesterday afternoon.

So, yes a rainy day and of course a very sad day, but also a day to remember our gentle black Puddle-cat and to thank her for remaining faithfully by my side for so many long years.

Sleep tight sweet dear Puds. We will miss you. xxx

To read more about my cat family, please pop over to my full blog on this link:

A tale of nine cats 


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