As promised last week when I bemoaned my stupidity in handling my "trusty" computer (or should that be MIS-handling?), this week has not been as fraught, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that somehow on sites like One Drive I seem to have got some more pictures of former Cuddlies that might prove useful in the future. Also, on Friday night, while surfing (a VERY DANGEROUS occupation as folks will realise in view of my proclivity towards clicking on buttons without realising what will happen next), I made another lovely discovery - some files that will be even more useful.
Among the finds was the fact that, somehow, the list of nearly ALL of the 80+ different Cuddlies included in the shop (www.Etsy.com/shop/COLDHAMCUDDLIES) was still available for use. Now how come I managed to save these, and not the others which were in the same place on my computer, I will never know. But no matter: I have something to work with!! Hurrah!
When moving north last year, I inadvertently discarded the typed version of this list, which included all the prices for each Cuddly and the Etsy Shop section in which they appear. (It had become very tattered and difficult to keep in once piece though). It was invaluable when blogging, allowing me to refer to the actual reference number for each Toy. One of the jobs planned for the summer break was to re-do the list. Now I only have to edit it, and add the newer Cuddlies that have appeared since the original was thrown out! Except that I have to work out how to change the format in which it originally appeared (and is filed on One Drive) so that I don't lose all the elements in the interim!! Having got this far, am confident I shall find a way.
Now, to the other Animals I re-met during my recent trip back to Heytesbury. They include one dog - a Lurcher named Blackberry, who answers fairly readily to "Berry", and two cats (who were mere kittens when I left a year ago) called Pelinore and Merlin. The latter are two brothers, from the same litter, but one would never know it!
Talk about a guilty look - but, for once, she did not actually have anything to be guilty about! Berry when I knew her last year was still small enough to be able to JUST squeeze herself through the cat flap - and take off - often to the The Hospital of St. John, an almshouse complex of bungalows, apartments and studio flats for the more mature and where I had lived with Peter since 2008, until he died in 2012. Not every resident was willing, or sometimes capable, to entertain a puppy, so it was an interesting test of village neighbourliness in the early days! I sometimes found myself called upon - because of my relationship with Widget - to catch Berry and return her home!
I used to dog-sit Berry's predecessor - a Boston Terrier called Widget. Unfortunately, Widget died earlier in 2014, and Berry was rapidly found to replace her. Her owners have a number of grandchildren, who are regular visitors, and a dog is regarded as an indispensable part of the family when it comes to keeping them happy and occupied.
Berry's particular friend in the animal part of the family is Merlin - who is a cuddly armful of fur, who is never happier than when being fussed by his humans. Unfortunately, he is also ready to play with anything that comes into his sights - and Berry on form, is hard to miss. Because of the difference in size, Merlin often comes off worst in a play-game - and tends to look scruffier than his brother, Pelinore - who is a much more distant feline who definitely considers such rough and tumble goings-on to be beneath him.
This picture was taken before he launched himself at me - in a vain attempt to reach me and climb up onto my shoulder. Regrettably, he does this often (usually choosing the rear of the target human), and his claws are remarkably adept at keeping him in place, once he has achieved his objective!) Despite that, he's a very loveable little fellow and his purrs sound much louder than he looks capable of producing.
Merlin particularly enjoys licking Berry, who puts up with the attention for so long and then moves to stop the attention happening!
The resulting fur grab, results in Merlin looking very shaggy and ruffled in his spinal region as show in another view of Merlin, still with the look of choosing the area of human anatomy that he wants to land on - immediately!
And then, there is the aloof, Pelinore:
While Merlin is curled up in the background, Pelinore is about to get going on his daily rounds of the big garden in which his home is situated. The birds and other small creatures are duly wary of his attention and when the weather is fine, Pelinore spends most of the day outside. When he does condescend to come inside, he'll find a comfortable chair, bed or window sill on which to perch - and may, sometimes, be joined by his brother. He's does not encourage cuddles or fussing - and does spend a lot of time preening his coat and keeping it in good order. He's still a beautiful cat - with potential to grow into his fur, methinks.
|"Now - what shall it do next?"|
As with all Lurchers, Berry has a good turn of speed and loves to run up and down the long garden where she lives. This final photo shows her getting ready for one such spin up and down her favourite paths.
Nowadays, as you will realise - Berry is only able to fit her head through the cat flap, which is her way of greeting anyone who comes to the back door.
Next week, as mentioned last week, I'll show you some recent pictures of the Hospital of St. John taken during my visit there in July - and include some other shots of the garden there, which survived the computer meltdown.
Until next week - have a good one, everyone. Isobel.
PS: These photographs would not have been available were it not for the friendship and hospitality extended by the animals' owner, Katherine and Mark Venning: both with long time family connections to the Organ Building firm of Harrison & Harrison Ltd - details of which can be found by clicking here www.harrisonorgans.com
Incidentally, Coldham Cuddlies have been adopted by the Venning family too.