Mister Bubbles Arrives

I let things lapse again. That last post seemed so immense, that it was so hard to shift it off of the top if the page by another post.

So…we had a baby. Then just over two years later, we had another one. Another boy. I am a mother of two sons.


Mister G Arrives

Mister G is a handsome chap with gappy teeth and an easy smile. He loves balls (get yer mind out of the gutter), in fact it was the most repeated word when he was just starting language. “Baw!” he’d say, pointing at anything round. “BAW!!!”


Goodness me! so what’s happened?

Marriage has suited me, it’s super-fun to share your life with someone you think is marvelous. My husband seems to quite like me too, which is nice.



Let things lapse again.

Just transferred my blog to its own domain (properly anglodoodle this time), but the decor needs some work.




We went to Venice.

We did  a lot of gazing over the lagoon and at each other. We slept a lot. And my SO finished off his Straight8 Project. I got increasingly pregnant. I mean I was pregnant already, I just got more so, swelling like a great big happy blimp. I did say I got married in cream, not white…


April 16th

  • Plan A: A small wedding at the registry office, then go out for a curry.
  • Plan B: A big wedding with celebrations at various venues on several days. Perhaps with elephants.
  • Plan C: Small wedding at registry office, and a relaxed, happy bloody big party somewhere else.

Plan C was the one we went with. We’d have a buffet, beer, and Ceilidh. And plenty, PLENTY of friends.

I got married in cream: be-trousered with lacy wrap. He got married in a tartan skirt, as the Scots are wont to do.

I smiled and laughed so much that my face ached for days afterwards. Ow.

All my brothers and sisters were there – by blood, half-blood and love – and many many kids.


Hello world…

I am married now.

Married to a most fabulous man with a hairy face and a delightful sense of humour.

I believe I loved him from the first moment we met.

It took him a while to get used to me, however.

We would have probably continued to live together for years if it wasn’t for a lovely couple that we just met in a pub at New Year asking “so, when are you going to get married?”.

“So is there ever a good time to ask?” whispered my Significant Other.

“Now?” I said.

And that is henceforth how it shall be remembered.





Massive sucking sound

OK so I’ve decided…I cannot possibly squish the entire ton of news I have for the past few years into one blog post. That might create a super-dense object. Perhaps it would collapse in on itself, like a neutron star, and pull everything with it. And that would be bad.

I will try to avoid this.


The problem with not updating your blog for a while…

Mysteriously pointy-headed

…is it gets harder and harder to update your blog.

And then there’s the difficulty of how much to write, how much to give away. I am a grown-up (or convention would dictate that by my age I really really should be), and a bunch of people may be reading this that will judge me professionally or personally. I mean, who are YOU, anyway? And why are you reading this?  If we are friends, would you not already know all my news from Facebook?


Personal Pets

Kitty Replacement Therapy

A Box of BaxterFacebook Friends have been inundated over the last few months with status updates of a recent addition to the Claratee Household, a fuzzy kitten-shaped ball of mischief called Penny. Before I annunciate about her charms on this blog I should probably put the memory of another cat companion to rest – it seems most respectful – that of Mr Baxter.

Mr Baxter was a large black long-hair who I adopted in Seattle – my friend Ms Scarlett delighted in labelling him ‘Clara’s huge black pussy’ who she would inquire after on email lists or loudly in public places.  Mr B gave hugs that you would not believe. Yes, a cat who hugged back. Front paws either side of your head, face snuggled up to your ear, purring madly.

Mr B had some *ahem* issues though, which made me consider the benefit to burden ratio of pet ownership. I and my dear friend Cherry Divine shared a house, while our cats shared animosity. In an attempt to enforce their territory and dominance, they would pee liberally around the house. It was unceasing tit-for-tat terrorist urinary warfare.  There was definitely a certain aroma, and a need to suspiciously pat or sniff all surfaces before one sat or lay down. Our washing machine was tasked to clean duvets regularly, in a mixture of vinegar and/or anti cat pee solution. Futons were considered a disposable commodity in our house. Rather like dish cloths, nappies, bin bags. The futon frame in the living room was often empty, its slats exposed like a  sad whale carcass, until we could get a replacement off of freecycle.

We tried a number of different methods to impose order and domestic decorum: expensive pheromone diffusers to calm the nerves, spray bottles full of various liquids, angry punishment, treats with catnip.  To no avail; our boys continued to sneak into each of our rooms during the day, and leave little damp surprises on our beds. I counted five unique spots on my duvet after a weekend away.  I started laying plastic sheeting on my bed. Eventually we just locked our cats in our rooms when we weren’t in the house. It got really desperate.

I was planning to move back to the UK earlier this year, and was rather troubled by the need to rehouse my pissy territorial cat. Black fluffy loving cat who hugs back. Can you detect some ambivalence there? I heard that the number one reason for cats to end up in a shelter is inappropriate indoor peeing. I knew that I would have to be honest with the people that took him in, warn them – “caution: urinary leakage”. “Does not mix well with the feline competition”.

A friend of a friend was eager to provide a home. I had described all the good points of Mr B, but not the bad. I mulled it over for weeks, I don’t know what I was expecting. Perhaps Mr B would learn the error of his ways, miraculously. I knew it would not work out, I could not pass on the burden, I’d have to tell.

What happened was ghastly, but a strange mixed blessing. A few weeks before I was due to leave, Mr B did some late night unplanned gymnastics off of a cat tree, and suffered some serious internal damage, resulting in an enormous and painful blood clot in his bladder. He spent the next week spinning wheels high on morphine, nesting in his cat tray.

Please, will someone take my pissy, broken, elderly cat? He hugs back, if he wasn’t in so much pain.

I got him put down, after deliberation, he died in my arms. My housemate drove me to the emergency surgery in Lake City Way, and hugged me while I cried and cried and cried.

I’ve got some strange mementos from Mr B. I’ve an ultrasound, and some x-rays that might make an interesting but macabre stained glass piece.

I still miss Mr B, sometimes. I miss the sensation of his weight in my lap, his fuzzy belly pressed against me, his paws wrapped around my neck, his face nuzzled in my ear, purring loudly, a delicious comfort after a long horrid day. Penny is too squirrelly and too tiny to do the full-on Baxter hug. Every cat has a ‘thing’ when interacting with their people, hers seems to be shoulder sitting and leg climbing, but who knows what it will be when she is fully grown.

Rest in Peace, Mr B. May there be no cat competition where you are.  May there be ever-full food bowls, laser pointers, and boxes and platforms upon which to sit. May the cat trees be sturdy and hold firm against your considerable weight. May the futons and furnishings be self-cleaning. May there be patient people with open arms and laps and soothing voices. May there be sunbeams cast through windows onto comfortable, deep pile rugs. Rest well, Mr B. Rest well.