A few short months ago, we were approached by a new cat. This sort of thing is not that unusual, as we live in Greece. The kitten had cat flu, which has a high mortality rate. Also, it can affect the joints in the cat’s body and as a result she walked like John Wayne, so we called her Bandy. She was also calling for her mother a lot. She was distressed, skinny, and very young. At first, we gave her some water, and then some food. We made a bed for her in our greenhouse, so she at least had a place to stay that was warm and dry. We then advertised her on our community website, in the hope someone would come forward and collect her. We already have three cats, and the pecking order was being ruthlessly established, despite her inability to defend herself.
She got better, and within a week was bouncing around like a mad thing. The other cat’s stepped up their campaign, attacking her as often as they could, but still she stayed. She became the comical cat, the most unusual cat we have ever had, and we have had several over the years. We decided to keep her.
A few days ago, I was chatting online with my wife. She had returned to the UK for a few weeks, and while we were chatting I heard what I thought to be a cat fight. I feel quite protective of Bandy now, so I excused myself from the conversation, and dashed outside. As I approached the back path, I saw Bandy along with her arch-enemy, Gorbs, another of our cats, who particularly hates her. Bandy dashed past me for the safety of the house. If Gorbs could whistle, as if to say, it wasn’t me, then she would have. I urged her to go away, and she got the message; I was very angry.
When I returned to the house, Bandy was panting, her tongue was sticking out, her chest heaving. I have never seen anything quite like it. I started to chat with my wife again, telling her the news, the symptoms. She began searching for the cause online, while I checked on the cat. Bandy began staggering, unable to walk. I lifted her up and placed her gently on the sofa, her favourite place.
I returned to the computer, and talked to Pauline, keeping one eye on the screen, and one on the cat. Then Bandy just flopped, motionless. I said to Pauline, ‘I think Bandy is in trouble. Have you got the number for the vet?’ She replied, ‘Hang on, I will call her.’
I didn’t want to check on Bandy, I must admit, but I did. She was still breathing, thankfully. The vet said she could not see her until 7pm. It was midday. I sat with Bandy all day while she rested, it seemed to soothe her, to help her sleep. The vet had said that if it was a snake bite, then it could be bad news.
I put Bandy in the cat box and drove to Finikounda to meet the vet. During the journey, two puncture wounds appeared on her leg, oozing red pus. The vet told me I was right to bring Bandy, because the wounds would have created cysts, and yes, the bite was from a snake. There are many types of snakes in Greece, some poisonous. Three antibiotic shots later, a lot of tender loving care, and protection from the big bad world, her massively swollen chicken leg now looks normal. The other cats still hate her of course. Bloody cats!
Imagine you are on a train minding your own business when an orchestra suddenly appears amongst the crowd and starts to play…
Have you ever wanted to put down your thoughts, write a short story or even a novel? I have been threatening to write my first novel for 30 years, and thanks to this excellent software, I completed my first book and fulfilled a life-long ambition.
The software, called Ywriter, is the brainchild of Simon Haynes, the designer and programmer. He is also a published author. The software allows you to focus on the creative aspect of writing, rather than the organisational side.
If you are like me, with a hopeless memory, this software can help you overcome that slight problem. I can name a character in Chapter one, and by the time I get to Chapter three I have forgotten what I called them. This software allows you to keep track of all the characters, including their biographies, their foibles, even include a picture if you have one. You can break down each Chapter into scenes, allowing you to plan as far in advance as you want.
When you save your work, there are various formats you can save to, including exporting the file as an ebook, suitable for reading your work in Calibre. And best of all, the software is completely free. If you like the software, you are encouraged to register it.
There are many more features to explore in Ywriter. So what are you waiting for? Download this essential software and be creative.
Three years ago we decided it might be fun to hold an annual event in recognition of William Shakespeare. As his birthday coincides with his death day, and St George’s Day, we completely and shamelessly stole the Burns’ supper concept, and adapted it for Greece.
This year was our third successful event, and although it is not mandatory, we encourage people to say a few words, sing a song, read a poem, whatever they wish to do. We had a variety of ‘acts’ this time round, ranging from a quiz on Shakespeare, a limerick based on the great man’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’ speech from As you like it, a talk on the history of The Globe in London, and even a sing along to various old-fashioned variety songs.
This year we decided to conduct a secret ballot as to who had given the best account of themselves. The dubious prize was a vase literally worth nothing. The winner, pictured here, was Neil, with a humorous insight into Shakespearian characters, and what they might say if they were living now.
The success of the event, is down to team work. Each of the attendees is asked to provide something to the menu, so we tucked into soup, followed by Coronation Chicken in wraps, various salads, quiche, and finally a fruit salad served with Greek yogurt, naturally. Of course all washed down with local wine.
Interestingly, something was brought to the event that made everyone go ‘WOW’ . This is the first year that a photograph has been produced as exhibit A. One of our guests, Mal, a seasoned entertainer, brought a picture collage of some of her appearances on stage in years gone by, including one appearance where she wore a basque. We scanned it, and I present it to you here in all its glory. Click on the ‘photo to see it full screen. Nice one Mal!
I am pleased to announce that my book Had the virus, bought the t-shirt is now available as an ebook from both Amazon and Smashwords. For the moment I suggest you download it from Smashwords as there is a glitch in the pricing at Amazon US. Please note that if you live in Greece you will not be able to purchase the book from Amazon UK.
Had the virus, bought the t-shirt is an adventure story and tells the tale of a group of school children, in particular the members of the Knight family, who succumb to a viral infection. However, the consequences of catching this particular virus are both unexpected and extreme.
They are aided in their plight by several people, in particular by Diaz and Veronica who attempt to maintain their freedom. They are pursued by a sinister group of individuals whose motives are highly questionable. And it’s funny, honestly!