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Gandalf - On the Royal Family

As you might have read in the description of my blog, I am an avid historian. Being a cat, I could not get admitted in any University so I get all of my knowledge from my Mother. You could say that I am being home schooled. I have spent many a cold winter days perched on Mother’s lap, taking notes, memorizing dates and dribbling and purring like a true historian while listening to her talk to me about various events that have formed what humans call History. I basically call it “While I was napping”.

Mother often talks to me about England, and she has promised to take me there some day so I can have English cat food and smell how England smells. She told me that in England they have a Queen which is just like being a President but with a tiara on his head. She also said that it is a very old country, and as a result it has tons of history and things of the past, and there are buildings there that date from back when cat food had not been invented and cats lived on food scraps. Imagine that!!!
England is in fact part of a bigger England which is called the United Kingdom. So, today I think I will talk a little about the Royal Family of the United Kingdom, England, the Isles, the Whales, some of Ireland and Scotland the Brave.

Here's what my mom has told me:

First, we have the Queen Elizabeth the Second, her name is Your Smajesty II. They call her the second because she has a twin sister or brother, but we never see the twin because it is not Queen. Her job as Queen is to hold a purse, and to stand a lot while wearing gloves and hats, as many as possible. The more hats and gloves she wears, the more important the occasion is.



Here she is, on a casual day.


On the day of her coronation Her Smajesty wore 56 gloves and 29 hats, plus the crown and she was holding the royal golden umbrella too, because it rains so much in England, it even rains indoors these days due to global warming. Actually, I wonder what she has in her purse, because as she is a queen she can't have cash, or credit cards, and she can't have a hankie because it's not queen like to wipe your nose, at least not during a parade with horses and plumaged hats and all that royal decorum and stiff upper chin up your lip stuff that they say over there, old chum.

Your Smajesty is married to corgis and she has a pet husband. He is Greek, but like all royalty he is German. They call him Dr Phil. He is the Duke of Edinburgh-pronounced Edin-boro. Why corgis and not cats? We will never know…

The Queen and Phil have some kids and some children etc, like the Prince of Whales and Dolphins and his name is Charles. He is the one who was married to Princess Diana. Everybody all over the world loved Diana. She is the one who liked to shop at Harrods so much but now she is not alive and so I guess she can't make monthly payments on her Harrods card so her account is probably closed, so she can't shop there anymore. The owner of Harrods is still having her death under investigation. Charles got remarried to Lady Camilla which is a “horsewoman” as they call it in England. I don’t know exactly what a horsewoman is, but I think she must be half human-half horse, just like Pan, but I don’t think she knows how to play the pipes.
Charles likes to wear a kilt and to walk up and down on the countryside holding a stick, or he plays polo or he talks on TV sometimes but rarely. Charles and Diana had two children together. They are both Dolphins and they are called Dolphin William and Dolphin Harry and they are princes and they go to school and they play rugby, tennis, hockey, cricket, ping pong, darts and pool tournament every Thursday between 6 and 8, Prizes to be Won and all drinks half price. In England pool is called “snooker” by the way. This is very important.

Then there is also a gentleman called HRH and he is Andrew, the duke of New York. Legend has it that he is a white rapper. With a name such as Duke Andrew HRH I guess he must be.




Here we see Charles and the Dolphins

listening to Duke Andrew's new CD.



Andrew used to be married to that woman who is now always losing weight for Weight Watchers and who drinks all the Ocean Spray cranberry juice so she can stay regular, because with all the dieting she gets constipated. Back in the day, about 200 years ago he used to date a lady called Koo Stark which was an American.

Then, there is Your Smajesty's third son, Andrew's little brother, which I bet he taunted when they were small, by telling him things such as "no, you can't have royal tea and crumpets today because I told mom you lost her casual everyday crown and in fact I hid it, and you will never find it". The little brother would then stomp his foot on the ground and go “harrumph”.

His name, poor fellow, is Edward, the Earl of Wessex. I think Wessex is a detergent in England, very good for machine wash as well as hand wash, due to its magic charms. (Everything in England is full of charm and magical, my mom says. I guess that's because everyone there washes with Wessex.) Edward is married to Sophie Rhys-Jones. Sophie is an eleventh cousin once removed to her husband but I think she is safe now and she won’t be removed again because if she was, the whole foundation of her marriage would collapse.

Next we have the Princess Royal, which is Your Smajesty's daughter, her name is Anne and she loves horses even more than Camilla does, and then there are some cousins, and they are all called HRH or TRH, so they must be in the rap business too, but they haven’t made it across the pond yet, so we can’t see them on TV. I think they are always swimming in the wrong direction once they get to the white cliffs of Dover. Mom says they should start in Plymouth just like we all did when we swam here.

Any who, this concludes the details on the basic royal family, not to mention everybody's favorite, the dead Queen Mom. When she was the alive Queen Mom she always used to wave regally or simply and to smile and to choke on fish bones and to have many hip flasks or hip replacements-I forget which.

Also, going back a few years there was the super famous Queen Victoria and she was not amused then and she probably still is not amused in the least. I shall dedicate a whole blog to her soon. She deserves it I think, as she reigned for 63 years and she wore a tiny little crown all those years and it never ever fell off her head. Now, that’s class!!!



See? Queen Victoria with her tiny little crown.

Gandalf - On Queen Victoria



Greetings my human friends!!
As I was snoozing on the couch, I remembered that I was supposed to write about Queen Victoria.


A cat historian has a duty to divide his time between snoozing and the preservation of historical data, and so I got up and here I am sharing my wealth of information with my readers. I didn't feel like typing today, so Mother is typing while I dictate.

cr


Queen Victoria, was the mother of King Edward VII. He was the father of King George V, who was Queen Elizabeth's grandfather. Queen Elizabeth is the current Smajesty The Queen With The Twin (see previous blog, titled The Royal Family). Torri, as no-one was allowed to call her, was born on May 24, 1819 in Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace is situated in Kensington Gardens. The Palace is facing the famous road called Millionaire Row which is were all the millionaires are living and they are always showing off to each other with their fancy petunias and lawn ornaments that are made from gold and diamonique. Their gardens are so fancy schmancy that nowadays the butterflies have to apply for a special permit in order to sit on their flowers, but back when Victoria was born everything was a lot simpler.


When she was little, Victoria was just a normal little girl, tip toeing through the tulips and thinking that frogs were yucky. She was wearing ribbons in her hair and her hair was long with curls and she had bangs too. Her favorite shampoo was smelling of chamomiles which had been harvested miles away -by chameleons. Sometimes her clothes would be covered with jam and then her nanny would say “Oh dear, here we go again” and she would change her clothes in the middle of the day. Her nanny was actually a Baroness so imagine the gravity of the situation, being covered with jam and making a Baroness say “Oh dear”. By the way, a Baroness is a human with a title, which is the same as a poodle with an award at a dog show, which means that they are special and their full name is probably very long, and it is something like Fifi Leticia Smith-Smyth Au Jus-De La Tour De France of Titherington Upon Clog.


Victoria didn’t go to school, but the school went to her, as she was home schooled. Until the age of 3 she could not speak English, just German, due to the fact that all royalty is German anyway at least in the beginning. Then she studied the English language as well as Italian, seeing as she was very fond of pizza or was it the opera? non ricordo ma non importa, I don't remember but it is not important.
Her favorite subject though was History. She was also learning all kinds of other subjects like Latin and Karate. In the meantime, a bunch of people became King and then died and then other people died before even becoming King and there was nobody to claim the throne and so in the end it was her turn, although she was too young because she wasn’t 18 years old yet. For a while she was half a queen, waiting to reach the age of 18 and then she would be old enough to be a full queen. There was a slight delay though and she was actually 19 when she became a complete and official, head to toe, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdoms -on June 28, 1838.


That’s when she started wearing her tiny little crown. Yes, it was small, and the person who ordered it from the Royal Crown Catalogue got beheaded for his tragic mistake. It was too late to send it back though and Victoria got stuck with it for ever. That was actually when she said her famous phrase “we are not amused”, it was when they put the Crown on her head for the first time and explained to her that they couldn't take it back.

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Queen Victoria and her tiny crown


Soon after she became a Smajesty, Victoria met her husband to be. Her husband’s to be's name was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotcha but sadly he didn’t compete in any breed show. Pity because with such a name he would have been smashing. I am not sure what “Gotcha” means, but maybe he was a prankster and he always ended each phrase with “gotcha” and so it became a nick name for him. Victoria was mad about him and he was mad about her and they run through the woods hand in hand and in slow motion at any given opportunity. They were really happy together and on Valentine’s day they always exchanged Ye Olde Hallmarke Scrolls and stuffed pheasant. They had 9 children, four boys and five girls.


Victoria was a Queen but also she was very interested in fashion and clothes design. She actually had her own company, selling clothes discretely via the mail because if people knew about it they would frown upon her. This is why she named her company Victoria’s Secret. It is still a very successful franchise of various layers of garments, over, under, and yonder garments too.


Victoria’s reign was long and endless and it lasted for 63 years and some 7 months. There were some difficult times, such as the famous Chamberpot Crisis of May 1839, when she was called to dismiss all her chamberpots because otherwise a man named Robert Peel refused to form a government, because he didn’t want to. Actually, no, I think it was her chambermaids and not chamberpots that she had to dismiss and she said “No, no, no” and Robert Peel got very upset but he didn’t show it, he just raised his left eyebrow sarcastically and then he rolled his eyes up and then he went to the puppet show, because the cinema had not been invented yet.

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This is the puppet show everyone was
watching back then, it's called Punch & Judy.


Something strange that happened to Queen Victoria a lot, were assassination attempts. They happened so often that if I was her, the slightest bang would make me jump and run for cover. First there was the attempt of 1840, while she was pregnant. They shot at her twice while she was on a coach but luckily they didn’t get her. Then, in 1842 there were two more attempts one in May and one in July. By that time it would have been of very bad taste to invite her over to tea and to decorate the room with balloons, just in case.

Then there were two more attempts, one in 1849 and one in 1850 and after that nobody tried again maybe because they lost interest, until her golden jubilee that is, which is when everyone was going to celebrate that she has been Queen for 50 years. Some very mean people had planned to assassinate her on her special day, but luckily the evil plot was discovered early enough and she lived and celebrated and she had cherries jubilee and coronation chicken for dinner that day. By the way, Coronation chicken is a sandwich filling, comprising of chicken, mayonnaise and curry powder. She first had this sandwich on her coronation, because she wasn’t used to balancing the tiny crown on her head yet and no way could she have soup or grilled fish. She liked the Coronation chicken so much though, that they also made it for her on her Royal Jubilation, though at that point she could easily eat corn-on-the cob even, with the tiny little crown staying put on her head.


Sadly in 1861 Victoria’s husband, the prankster, died and she was devastated, poor Smajesty! She never recovered from this hard blow and she spent the rest of her life isolated and avoiding parties and shopping trips with friends and she didn’t even go to the puppet show much. Poor Queen Victoria, all alone without her dear Albert to hold her hand and laugh it off each time someone tried to assassinate her... meow! Sigh…Any who, what can’t kill us only makes us stronger as humans say… and then there’s string, which can lift one’s mood in seconds.

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Here she is!!!


Victoria herself lived a very long life, blessed with health and good weather every time she went out unexpectedly. One day she died though and it was January 22, 1901 when it happened. She was 81 years old. I think that she was a great lady and a great Smajesty Queen and I bet she kept cats, lots of them.


PS: Victoria is famous not only for her tiny little crown and of how so many people were shooting at her everywhere she went, but also because she liked all things Victorian. Her whole palace was decorated that way and she loved fine porcelain tea cups and floral patterns on her recliner and lace doilies scattered everywhere, even on the ceiling. Also, Victoria was the first Queen to travel by train and she found it to be too scary. And did you know that back in the day they didn’t have clean water to drink and they didn’t have corn flakes, so her traditional breakfast was steak and a glass of ale? Fascinating, isn’t it? I am more of a tuna and water guy meself…

Gandalf - On Shakespeare

Hello my dear readers!

Warm weather is finally here and my birthday is coming up so all is well for me and Mother. Last night we watched a DVD of the 1967 movie Taming of the Shrew. What a great movie, but then again as I always say, with Franco Zeffirelli you can’t go wrong. Elizabeth Taylor’s performance was fantastic and Richard Burton was great, though in all honesty I think that Garfield would have been better for the part. The Taming Of The Shrew is of course one of Shakespeare’s plays and so I got the idea of blogging about William Shakespeare.

Ahhhh the famous bard of bards! Who today can say that they have never heard of Shakespeare? Yes, perhaps the word Hamlet sounds like a fancy name for a small Christmas ham, suitable for a modest yet festive dinner for two, but it is more likely to be associated with the Shakespearean character. Romeo and Juliet, the lovers doomed by terribly bad timing and family issues that would have qualified them for the Jerry Springer Show, are also children of Shakespeare’s imagination, and so are Othello and Macbeth and King Lear and many many more. Quotes from his plays have become very familiar to all of us, without us even realizing that we are quoting the great bard. For example, we all have heard of “To purr or not to purr” and “Romeo, Romeo, where forth Art Garfunkel Romeo” and my personal favorite, which I believe refers to a desire for snacks when the cupboards are bare: “Obesity is the mother of invention”.

In fact, even hamsters that have spent their entire lives in pet shops are often heard quoting Shakespeare while running on their exercise wheels. I can actually remember one such hamster, who kept running on his wheel and reciting the complete Midsummer Night’s Dream script, from the Max Reinhardt movie version, which he claimed was easier to memorize than the original. You could hear his squeaky voice throughout the whole pet shop. He was articulating just like a graduate of the acclaimed Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and his forte was the part of Puck, played in the movie by a very young Mickey Rooney.




Mickey Rooney as Puck

During any Puck lines that hamster, overtaken by his passion for Shakespeare, ran so fast on the wheel that it made you dizzy to watch and when it came to the phrase “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” as said by Puck in act II, he would give his whole heart and soul to his dramatic performance.
What zest, what a passionate effort! Fluffy was a very talented hamster thespian indeed…

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Any who, William Shakespeare, also known as the “Bard” had a very interesting life.
He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is also the birth place of the popular line of cosmetics. Stratford is sitting upon Avon and Shakespeare was sitting upon Stratford as a young boy, already composing sonnets and thinking of ideas for plays. The year of his birth was 1564, something which is not recorded anywhere, but is rather an assumption based on the fact that he got baptized on that year. He had 7 siblings, and 2 parents. His dad’s name was John Shakespeare and his mom’s name was Mary Arden. Here we have another spooky connection with the world of cosmetics, and I am referring of course to Elizabeth Arden. John and Mary allowed William to have a pet dog, as any boy should have. The dog’s name was Loreal, and according to legend when William first asked his dad for a dog, his dad asked “Son, why do you want a dog so much?” and young Will replied “Because I am worth it”.

The years went by and soon William became a young teenager holding a cool quill pen (the equivalent to today’s Blackberry) and undoubtedly looking very spiffy in his poofy velvet shorts and thick tights. That’s why at the tender age of 18, he caught the eye of a lady named Ann Hathaway who was 8 years older than him. When they married, she was already pregnant. Judging by this I’d say that Will and Ann were way ahead of their times and I can just see them, young and in love, driving their Subaru over frozen lakes at midnight or drinking cans of ale tucked inside cozies whimsically inscribed with the phrase “Much Ado About Hops”.

A few months after the wedding, Ann gave birth to their daughter Susanna and then a few years later they also had twins, Judith and Hamnet. All was well in the kingdom of Denmark, and then maybe something went rotten, because one day, William got up and left and he moved to London and he became very famous. Ann Hathaway never left Stratford-upon-Avon. Today one can actually visit their house and see their bedroom. Mother has been there and she also recalls seeing the signature of Sir Walter Scott scratched on a bedroom window. Was Sir Walter Scott an early vandal? A graffiti artist? No light has been shed on this incident yet. It sure is nice scratching stuff though, I try to do it every day, on the furniture, the bed and on my Mother’s sweaters, but Mother seems to disagree with me, especially when it comes to the leather couch. Oh, I could tear that couch to shreds in minutes, and what fun that would be, if only Mother didn’t start jumping up and down and yelling at me every time I go near it… I did manage to leave my claw marks on it just a little when she was away in Salem though!

Anyway, I should stop thinking about that couch and return to the life story of Shakespeare. When he moved to London in order to pursue his acting and writing career, he was met with great success. He wrote a total of 154 Sonnets and 37 plays and as an actor he performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I and King James. He also co-owned a very famous theater called The Globe.

The years went by, and for some reason, in 1613, Shakespeare decided to return to Stratford-upon-Avon. He lived there for three years, and then he died, leaving behind his wife and 2 daughters, as his son Hamnet, had died at the age of 11. In his will, he left his second best bed and bedroom furniture to his wife, and I quote from the original will “Item I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture”. He left his bestest bed to his daughter Susanna. “Why would he do that?”, I hear you wonder. Why would he leave his wife the second best bed, and give his daughter, who by the way was married to a wealthy man, the number 1 bed? It was not because he was a rude bard, I can assure you. He did it because his second best bed was his bridal bed, and his bestest, the one with the memory foam, had been the guest bed.

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Shakespeare's Grave


Throughout the centuries, some have doubted the authenticity of Shakespeare’s works, claiming that they were written by other people. Some people would say the same about myself also, so I know the feeling. How could a cat type? they say. How does he know how to embed images in his blog? Does he know html?! With regards to Shakespeare, most theories doubting him are leaning towards Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, or the Earl of Oxford as the supposed authors of his works. These theories are called the Marlovian theory, the Oxfordian theory and the Baconette theory. The theory on Bacon is quite a sizzling one as some people are claiming that Francis Bacon not only is the person behind the works of Shakespeare but that he also wrote the works attributed to Christopher Marlowe. For all we know perhaps Bacon is even a distant relative of Martha Stewart and he invented the crepe. My personal opinion on the matter though is that Shakespeare did indeed write everything himself. As I am stating this I can’t help but think that Mark Twain would not want to pet me now, as he too was a supporter of the Baconette theory and advocated that Shakespeare had never been a successful author.

Here are some of the Bard’s most famous quotes that I am listing along side their interpretations-in case not everyone is familiar with them already:

“If music be the food of love, play on” (yum yum, play that funky music white boy)

“Et tu Brute?” (uh-oh, I thought he liked me)

“A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” (what’s the number for Schooner Bay Taxi?)

“Knock, knock, who’s there” (Hark, it’s 3 in the morning)

“She hath eaten me out of house and home” (my divorced is finalized)

“Not that I lov'd Caesar less, but that I lov'd Rome more.” (indicates a preference for romaine lettuce in all green salads)



And finally here is a mesmerizing video clip of a feline production of a Shakespeare play, courtesy of Cat Head Theater:

Gandalf - On Charles Dickens

Hello everybody!
I hear snow is possibly coming our way already, brrrr!
Today I am going to share with everyone a plethora of valuable information on none other than my mom’s most favorite writer, Charles Dickens.


DICKENS Pictures, Images and Photos
Charles "Boz" Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born during the Dickensian times which were happening during the Victorian times, where else but in ye olde England - What oh! dear chap, fancy a scone? Oh thank ye, I’d rather not, I have ye olde diabetes.

Dickens was born in Portsmouth, Old Hampshire, England, on February 7th, 1812. A few months later, as soon as he was able to lift his noggin over his crib, Charles looked around and thought to himself “oh how lovely yet also boring” so he started living in a world inside his head. There are actually many autobiographical elements in his novels and that is because the world inside his head was connected and relayed to the world outside and around his head which was covering a radius of at least 3 miles, especially in the spring - not his head but the world around it.

A good example of this fact, is what my friend Alan was discussing last night with momsie over a glass of wine. In fact there were two glasses of wine one for each person and Alan and momsie weren't literally hovering over them, they were sitting behind them actually. Any who, while at the Waterfront restaurant, Alan happened to come across momsie, and he is English, British and European, so he said “I say, what about the weather, and did you know that Dickens’s character Mr Wilkins Micawber was based on his actual father?”. Momsie then replied, “Oh, it is rather chilly but I shall suffer in quiet desperation with my pinkie up, did you know that the median expected salary for a typical anesthesiologist in the United States is $314,279 ?”. Those Europeans are so classy and knowledgeable! As they were having this refined conversation mom was even painting a gravure and Alan was playing a portable clavichord. I shall go back to Charles Dickens now though...


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This is what mom was doodling, a gravure titled Hotel Dieu





This is an example of the clavichord sound, I like it!


So, Mr Micawber was a character in David Copperfield which is one of the first books my mom ever read, in fact she was so young she had not yet learned how to read so her parents gave her the Braille version. Same as in the case of Charles Dickens’s dad, Mr Micawber would live above his means, trying to keep his social status in tact and as a result he ended up at the debtor’s prison. As a result of the result, Charles ended up having to move to Camden Town which is in London and he stayed with a family friend, Mrs Roylance which by the way inspired the character of Mrs Pipchin in Dombey & Son. Charles got a job at a blacking factory, blacking being the Victorian word for shoe polish. Did they wear other color shoes back then? I wonder…

In 1827 Charles got a new job, working as a clerk in a law firm. He had started to write short stories too, and in 1833 one of them, the Dinner In Poplar Walk, was published in a periodical titled The Monthly Magazine. That was it for Charles, he immediately shot to fame and he was all over the place, on YouQuill.com and on MyChambers.com and on So You Think You Can Scroll and so on. His first book was published in 1836 and it was a collection of short stories and it was titled “Sketches by Boz”. Boz was his pseudonym you see, his nomme de plume and his plumme de plum. Round about the same time Charles got hitched and I kid you not, he had 10 offsprings! They all had their own names and dates of birth and here they are: Charles Culliford Boz (b.1837), Mary (b. 1838), Kate Macready (b.1839), Walter Landor (b.1841), Francis Jeffrey (b.1844), Alfred Tennyson (b.1845), Sydney Smith (b.1847), Henry Fielding (b.1849), Dora Annie (1850-1851), Edward Bulwer Lytton (b.1852).

At the same time, Dickens was writing and writing more and so he wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and The Old Curiosity Shop and a series of five Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. He traveled to the USA and he expressed that he opposed slavery and he moved to Switzerland where he expressed his fondness for cheese and he also lived in Italy where he followed in the steps of Mario Batali for a few months - walking backwards of course. During that time he was prepping at the restaurant La Cocina Victoriana Con L’ Adizzione Di Sale. (The Victorian Kitchen With The Addition Of Salt). Apparently his Turnip a la Marsala was out of this world!


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Dickens age 30, in the USA, painted by Boston painter Alexander.


Dickens then one day washed all the putanesca sauce off of his hands, made himself a panino with sopressata, arugula, olio and aglio and sat down and wrote The Tales And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit. By the way this is another one of those that my mom read in Braille because she was only 3 years old. She also teethed while chewing on David Copperfield and that happens to be another favorite of hers and between you and me and the fencepost, I think my mom's childhood must have been rather peculiar!


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Overall what can I say? The guy is a genius, and he also wrote Bleak House and Little Dorrit and Great Expectations and the Tale of Two Cities and a ton more and Oliver Twist and The Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby (not in that order) and he started doing reading tours, where he traveled and appeared in theaters and halls and read his stories to people. He visited America once more then and he stayed in the States between November 1867 and April 1868, where he read a lot and partied and ate so much that in the end he couldn't eat anymore, so he made the wise choice of living on champagne and sherry with raw eggs in it. I guess Alka Seltzer had not been invented yet…

Dickens had said that while writing his books he could see his characters and talk with them as if they were right there in front of him. In his novels he made social and political commentary and he created controversy on more than one occasions, once by sneezing over his neighbor’s dessert, a few times through his prison scenes which were aiming at improving the conditions of the prisons, and often through talking about the poor and how nobody cared for them. He stopped writing when he died, of a stroke, at the age of 58, in 1870 and despite having asked to be buried in a simple manner at the Rochester Cathedral, he was laid to rest at the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.

I shall now leave you with a Dickens paragraph containing Mrs Gamp’s comments on her dead husband:

'Ah!' repeated Mrs Gamp; for it was always a safe sentiment in cases of mourning. 'Ah dear! When Gamp was summoned to his long home, and I see him a-lying in Guy's Hospital with a penny-piece on each eye, and his wooden leg under his left arm, I thought I should have fainted away. But I bore up.'


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Mrs Gamp, Mother’s most favorite Dickens character ever!

Gandalf - On Philosopher George Berkeley

Good evening my esteemed readers! Today I will discuss the life and works of famous used car salesman and pianist, George Berkeley, who was also a philosopher and a brainiac and in fact he never sold cars or tickled the ivories, oh well, his loss! Yes, you know him, Berkeley University in California is named after him!


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Clearly this is not Berkeley University.


There are many scientists and philosophers who come up with their clever cloggs theorems and hypothecaries and empirical this and that and the other. For example, have you heard the one about the tree that goes like this:

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?".

This philosophical riddle is attributed to George Berkeley. He wrote it in order to make us ponder on what reality is exactly. Is it something objective or is it something subjective and if I might add, is "reality" even a correct umbrella term for the way each of us perceives life? Certainly not when comparing humans, moths and bananas or even simply two groups of local creaturess such as lobstermen and lobsters, for example!

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Hark! I hear nothing.

Berkeley's original dictum was: "Esse est percipi".
For those humans who are forgetfull, a dictum is something that somebody who is a great authority can say, and it means "because I said so". It's like, per say, if you will, if I go to the vet and he says that I need to lose weight, then that's his dictum and I can't just open my mouth and say "But Dr Lee, I am not fat!". No, sir, I just have to sit there and take it like a man and say thank you and purr too!

Mr Berkeley came up with his theory of "immaterialism" as it is called while suffering with extreme acne. He was very shy on account of his oily skin and at parties he would hide behind the curtains and try to make himself dissappear all together. That's when he first came up with his "Esse est percipi" dictum. "Esse est percipi" means "To be is to be perceived", thus if he was behind the curtains, it's as if he was not even there, and so his stress levels would lower and he would even un-hide and have a canapé or two. This is how the question about whether the tree (which in his subconcious represented Berkeley himself) can be heard etc was born.

I shall now take a moment,in order to descibe Berkeley's geographical whatnots.
He was born on March 12th, 1685 in Thomastown, (not to be confused with Thomaston, ME) in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He immediately went to Trinity College in Dublin, and got his Meowster's degree, so as to get it out of the way because it was such a long course. He finally got his diploma in 1707 at the tender age of 32, when his acne luckily had started to fade away. That's when he decided to stay in Trinity as a tutor and lecturer of the Greek language, which looks like this:

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This I believe is a Greek proverb.


Berkeley also got the nickname Bishop but nobody knows why. He was doing very well, teaching and lecturing and writing books and everybody liked him, until he wrote these two books, "Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge" in 1710, and "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous" in 1713.

These two books were meant to compliment each other and to present to the whole world his beliefs -and so they did. Unfortunately, as a result though, even the people who had thought he was a genius changed their minds and told him to get a day job and then to not quit his day job. Thus, most people thought "Tree falling and can we hear it, say what? Blimey,have you lost your mind, Bishop?".

After that embarrasing event, Berkeley decided to lay low, so he moved to England. I guess he was continuing the application of his dictum, as in "If I can't see Ireland and the people who read my books, is it not safe to say they do not exist?". He remained in England between 1714 and 1720 and during that time he stewed in his own juice licking his wounds for so long that when he finally emerged from his self-imposed isolation he had become an over-achiever.
He started by travelling around Europe and he specifically went up and down Italy in a gelatto consuming frenzy and then he went back to Ireland and got a doctorate in Divinity. At this point it became understood why his nickname was the Bishop, too. He decided to stay in Dublin yet again, and to lecture on Divinity and on Hebrew. Hebrew looks like this:


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My Hebrew is very rusty, but I believe that this is a poem.


Anywho, one sunny day, George Berkeley became uber-ambitious again and decided to open a college for the training of people in the priesthood so that they could travel and spread their beliefs, so he moved to America as the college was to be in Bermuda. He bought a plantation in Rhode Island and he waited and waited for funding for his college to arrive, alas though nothing happened! So, as he did once before when his ego had taken a beating, he moved to England. "England, my England, oh fleur du sel, mon amour creme anglaise!" as I always say...

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There she is, miss Rule Brittania, with Rickeyyyy, her pet lion
with the bumps on his forehead.


After that, one day, just like that, kappow!! he was appointed Bishop in Ireland so he moved back there and he bishopped for many many years. He also has influenced math somehow but indirectly, calling mathematicians infidels even, but I don't know why because I am realy bad in math today.

He also developed a passion for pine-tar. He even dedicated a book to it, one bearing the longest title in the world I believe, which is Siris:Philosophical reflexions and inquiries concerning the virtues of tar-water, and divers other subjects connected together and arising from one another. This is what it says on the cover, and then you open the book and on the very first page it says "THE END".

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Finally he retired in Oxford, England, but not because his ego was bruised this time, but because his son was there. He had a boy, with his wife Ann you see, which I didn't mention earlier just to keep everyone in suspense regarding Berkeley's marital status, just like Agatha Christie would have done.

Before I go, I would like to ask him what I would have asked him, if he was still alive:

Dear mr Berkeley, you are asking me "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" and I would like to ask you this: "If no one is around to see the tree on the first place, how do we know it is there and getting ready to fall?".

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Here is da man, George Berkeley, discretely pointing at his new kicked-up watch. Booya! Rrrrrespect!

Gandalf - On Tarzan

Hi all!
I was at French & Brawn earlier today and a gentleman said to me that my blogs tend to be full of historical inaccuracies and my command of the human language is mediocre, to which I replied “look there, Stephen King just walked in” and then I ate his ham right out of his basket before he’d even paid for it.

Any who, today I am going to put my spectacles on and to tell everyone about Tarzan.
Tarzan was originally a real person, just like you and me, and you and I, and to whom it may conserve. He lived a normal life, he even smoked a pipe, and all was well until the day Edgar Rice Burroughs decided to write a cookbook about him. Tarzan expressed that he was opposed to the idea but Edgar really wanted to write the cookbook, he didn’t want to get sued or anything though, so his way of solving this was to start pretending that Tarzan was not a real human being.

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Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan’s first cousin, miss Arabella Houghton-Loughton, always made a point of reminding Mr. Burroughs the truth about Tarzan, by treating mr. Burroughs as if he was a fictional man himself. She would invite him to afternoon tea, and during the whole visit she would ignore him and instead talk to an empty chair. She would offer cookies to that chair, place the teacup by that chair, and even laugh at the jokes she could supposedly hear the fictional version of mr. Burroughs tell. During that time, the actual mr. Burroughs would be drinking whiskey out of a flask while looking at the ceiling and every now and then he would look at the clock too, hoping the time would go by faster. “Why did he even bother accepting the invitations to tea?” you might ask. “That’s because he didn’t want to be rude to the lady” I shall reply.


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Here is Arabella, at a later age, still talking to the empty chair.


Now then, let me tell you a bit about Tarzan:
Tarzan’s real name was John Clayton, Lord of Greystoke and he was born in England, on Thursday, November 22, 1888. He was a very tall man, but one side of his body was slightly shorter than the other, as well as slightly narrower. That fact confused people’s sense of dimension when they looked at him. They’d squint first and then they’d close one eye and look at him and then they’d close the other and look at him again while at the same time pretending they haven’t noticed anything strange.

That whole dimensional issue is what made Tarzan very uncomfortable around people and very early on in life, in fact it was only 11 o clock, he became quite reclusive. He would spend most of his days in his room, dreaming of the jungle and of apes, many apes. In Tarzan’s visions there would be all kinds of species of apes but mostly Mangani ones and they’d all be crossing London Bridge while surrounded by accountants. Some of the apes would be holding umbrellas, while others would be holding rubber duckies or copies of Charles Darwin’s “The origin of species” and sooner or later they would always look deeply in Tarzan’s eyes as if they were trying to tell him something. Tarzan had not been able to understand what that was until the day Mr. Burroughs’ cookbook hit the shelves.

That morning Tarzan woke up to the phone ringing. It was his cousin Arabella, who told him the bad news, that Edgar’s cookbook “Tarzan, a tasty treat for the whole family” was available for purchase for $12.99 and sixpence and that it was actually becoming a hit.

That was the final straw for Tarzan, who had been collecting straws for years. Part of him wanted to sue Burroughs but he knew that if he did that, all eyes would be upon him, squinting and blinking and mercilessly comparing the uneven sides of his body. Another part of him wished he could shrink to the size of a grain of sand and spend the rest of his life un-noticed and without the burden of emotions, stationed perhaps inside an hourglass or an ornamental bottle full of layers of colored sand. Overwhelmed with frustration, Tarzan lay on his bed with his eyes closed. Soon, the apes started appearing in his mind’s eye. This time the apes seemed to be quite uneasy and the accountants were frothing in the mouth, while their stripes in their pin stripe suits were swirling in a hypnotizing way.

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Some accountants on London Bridge

Tarzan once more struggled to understand what the apes were trying to tell him. “Should I become an accountant or should I move to the jungle?” he kept asking himself. “What are they trying to tell me?” Then, about 3-4 hours later, all of a sudden he jumped up, took the light bulb from over his head and put it in a drawer and he packed his bags and just like that, off he was to get purposely marooned somewhere on the west coast of Africa.

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Tarzan of the jungle, marooned and athletic

As soon as he found himself there, Tarzan felt right at home. He even had an adoptive ape-mother named Kala and all kinds of friends from the animal kingdom. Being the sporty type, he found it very easy to jump rope, run, swim, do the splits and stretch up to pet giraffes between the ears. He even learned to speak tons of languages, from ancient greek to latin to cockney and he even learned the language of “luuurve” and got married to a lady who’s name was Jane. That’s when Tarzan said the most famous pick-up line ever, when he saw her and his heart started pounding and he forgot all his languages and simply said “Me Tarzan, you Jane” and then he did the splits, in order to impress her.



The most interesting part of Tarzan’s life is I think that he and his wife also, became immortal due to drinking some magical potion that some magician gave them during a show. His name was PC Sorcar, he is old now, because he himself forgot to take the potion, but back in the day he toured Africa at least once a year, together with his glamorous assistant Debbie McGee.

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Sorcar while making a parking ticket dissappear

So my friends, as I am getting ready to finish my story, the immortal super hero that Tarzan is, is still out there somewhere in the African jungle. He is probably enjoying his life as much as ever, fishing, hunting and teaching lemurs how to speak Esperanto, while his wife, having become his ex-wife sadly, is back in London doing her own thing. Having defeated Father Time, both shall be around for ever, as for Mr. Burroughs, he went on to write 69 more cookbooks before he got tried for being a cannibal and was sent to prison for a long time. He died a free man though, at the age of 64, on March 19, 1950 in Encino, California.

Gandalf - On Marie Antoinette Part I

Hello everyone, nice weather we are having, Mother says it is nice weather for ducks in particular, which is an English expression. Personally I don’t mind the rain, as it keeps me indoors and I can do things inside the house, such as yawning, purring, scratching and clock maintenance. Today I have decided to blog on another famous historical figure, and that is the Queen Of France, Marie Antoinette. She had quite the life you know, with ups and downs and then that terrible neck health issue that ended her life…
First of all, if you have been reading my blogs so far, you can already guess that she had a very long name, just like a poodle. Yes indeed, her name was Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen, and that’s why her checkbook was made to order and it was 1 foot long, or else her signature would not fit on her checks.
Marie was born when she was a baby, on November 2, 1755 in Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. As soon as she was born, she was instantly hired to be the Archduchess of Austria. Of course, like all children of royalty she was born a dolphin, and as dolphins are very gifted, she adapted to the needs of her job pretty fast and she could stay out of the water for hours.


Marie Antoinette with a rose in her hand.



Unfortunately as a child, Marie was beginning to have issues with her mom and her sisters, because her mom was very stern to her and she was nicer to some of her sisters and that made poor little Dolphin Marie very sad, and back then they didn’t have television sets so she couldn’t even go on a day time TV show and talk about it. That was a big problem back then, because before the invention of the TV set, if somebody went to a TV show to tell their story they were heard only by the filming crew and the presenter, and some thirty odd guests, so it was quite an unpopular method. Now with the podcasts and the ipods and the youtubes and motorollas it is much easier to share stuff with people we don’t know, you know.



This is Marie’s evil mom, Maria Theresa.


Any who, as a result of how neglected she was as a child, when she was 12 she didn’t even know how to read or write, but being naturally very inventive, when everybody else in class was doing grammar or arithmetic, Marie resorted to coloring and to making necklaces out of macaroni and raisins.
Then, when she was about 13 years old, all of a sudden, all kinds of crazy stuff started to happen to Marie and her family. For example, she got married at the age of 14 and here’s what happened. Basically, it all started when in 1767 everyone started dying from smallpox. One after another, all the Maria Theresas, and Josephas and Carolinas and Amalias popped their clogs or almost popped their clogs, well maybe they just popped one clog some of them and some died. To cut a long story short, while they were dying or almost dying, they would also get married at the same time. It was like “I am not feeling well, oh my goodness, yes I do, I do, of course I will marry you Ferdinand darling, oh no, I am getting dizzy, in sickness and in health, am I looking pale? coz I am feeling kind of weird you know, forever and ever, till death do us part, thank you and goodbye” to be followed by a tastefully catered funeral. Marie was lucky she had suffered from smallpox as a child so she couldn’t catch it again and so she was basically the only healthy and unmarried person in her family, so she married another dolphin, because dolphins are cool.


Marie and Louis during happy days.


Her husband’s name was Louis Auguste, the Dolphin from France. The marriage started very well, both parties were happy and Louis had not even realized that Marie couldn’t read or write and that’s because she was always good at pretending. Whenever she “read” something she always assumed various facial expressions that were misleading her husband to believe she was deep into the subject. A little laugh here and there, a chortle, a snort, a soft sigh of exasperation or a widening of the eyes in an expression of absolute shock always worked, except for that one time when she had been holding the newspaper upside down. When it came to writing, she would make squiggles but at the same time she would move her lips as if she is dictating to herself, and then she would always pretend to read through it at the end to make sure there are no mistakes in it. What a great way to save face! I would be doing the same had I not got my Catvard Degree and fancy bow tie to go with it.



Here’s Marie's husband, Louis.


Anyway back to Marie who was now married to a Frenchman, and she was Austrian and she was actually living in France with him. Being the French Dolphin’s wife, she was always in the public eye, but also sometimes in the public chin and ears, because some liked her and some really, really, could not stomach her at all. To top this, her mom was still being horrible to her, putting her down and ridiculing her, and her husband was not really interested in her either, neglecting his husband duties of brushing her, taking her to the vet for flea stuff and claw-clipping once a month and he didn’t even give her treats in the evenings, when they would sit on the sofa and spend hours watching a TV stand, coz as I said there was no TV yet as such. As a result, poor Marie, developed a gambling addiction and she also became a shopaholic. Amazing, isn’t it? It still happens to so many people too, and through Marie Antoinette’s life we see that basically it was even happening back then.




This is the actual TV stand they had, it is an original antique

Ming Dynasty TV table, and it is priceless.

Time I bet was going by pretty fast for Marie, as she was going from betting shops to boutiques all day until her husband was crowned King and he became Louis XVI, on June, 11, 1775 in Reims. Mother says that Reims is where all the good champagne comes from and that’s all we need to remember about Reims, so all I know about it is Veuve Cliquot. You know, Veuve Cliquot is a champagne house, situated in Reims, and it was founded in 1772, so for all we know maybe they supplied the champagne for the coronation of Louis XVI too. Veuve Cliquot means the Widow Cliquot in French by the way.



This the real Veuve Cliquot in all her glory.


After the coronation, in the early years, Marie was having the time of her life, gambling and partying and apparently cheating on her husband quite a lot, as he had never mated with her even once since their wedding. Marie was quite the party animal and she played cards for three straight days leading to her 21st birthday, and she kept spending cash in expensive clothes and so on, until one day everything changed. It was the day when her brother came to visit… During that visit, her brother Joe, who was also the Emperor Joseph, sat down with her husband Louis, and they had a couple of beers, and then Joe asked Louis why he would not mate with his sister… to this, Louis replied something along the lines of “I don’t know how it is done”, and after some guy talk about the birds and the bees, Joe left to go back to being an Emperor and Louis knew what to do so a few months down the road, Marie finally got pregnant. It was 1778.




This is Joseph the Emperor and he was tons of other stuff also
Such as
Holy Roman Emperor; King of Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia,
Dalmatia,
Bohmia, and Italy and Archduke of Austria.


And now that she is approaching her mid-twenties and she is expecting, begins another period in Marie Antoinette’s life... This period slowly leads to the day of her decapitation by guillotine, and I will talk about everything in my next blog, as I fear that this one is getting too long and tiresome for the delicate eyes of my esteemed readers.

TO BE MEOWED AND TO BE CONTINUED …
Four score and seven years ago, I was supposed to conclude my telling of the story of Marie Antoinette's tumultuous life. In my previous blog, we left Marie pregnant and playing cards and buying hats. I shall now give my esteemed readers the super concise version of the rest of her story.

So, she had children and the French Revolution started and then some rainy day her husband got beheaded and she was very sad, and she was sick too, and to top it all she was accused of sexually abusing her son and she had to go to court for that.

Turns out that the accusation was part of a plot, aiming at her death sentence, and so, one sunny day, she got beheaded, at the age of 38. Back then there was no L'Oreal Excellence, or Preference or Clairol Z68 Auburn Princess Nancy or Sassy Britches Blondie C92 etc etc etc so she had grey hair when she got beheaded. I think there weren't many cosmetics back then either, because at the age of 38 Marie looked 83, and even in Walmart where if you appear to be under the age of 40 they have to card you, nobody would have bothered to card Marie, even if she was paying for 2 gallons of moonshine, 200 Marlboro's and an AK-47.

Us cats are different I think, because we never look old, but we might turn senile at some point and start biting our parents in the middle of the night, like my friend Robert who is 18 years old and sometimes these days he mistakes his mom for a rottweiler and he attacks her. Poor lady she even had to go to the emergency once, but she loves him too much to part with him so she just runs away and hides in closets or under the couch when Robert starts to hiss. I believe that once she hid in the refrigerator even but luckily she was wearing a coat and galoshes so she didn't have to shiver and her teeth did not chatter, not even once.




This picture was taken in 1788, by a painter, and Marie was 33!!
She could have used a gift certificate to a good spa I think.

Personally I am not as old as Robert yet, but I do something strange too, though it does not involve attacking my Mother. The thing that I do, is that twice a day on average, I go into the bedroom and I howl in a very creepy way, and very loudly, and Mother says that if there was such an animal as a Were-cat (the feline version of a Werewolf), they would sound just like me.

Mother doesn't realize that I am not howling, but merely performing "Vesti La Giubba" from Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci", which happens to be one of mine's and Mother's faves. I sing it in the style of Jussi Bjorling, which was a very, very and super-very, talented Swedish opera singer, a tenor in fact. I even try to make the dramatic facial expressions and to overall live the part as much as possible-how tragic, to be a sad clown, still dressed as a clown while finding out that your wife loves another man. It is very similar to an incident that happened to one of my Mother's uncles, which proves that many situations in life can be affected by wearing the wrong clothes. So, my mom's uncle George, which is a very tall and big man and who sometimes loses his temper very easily, was driving to a Halloween party dressed as Robin Hood and he got into a minor car crash, which was all the other driver's fault. The other driver stopped of course and got out of his car and at that point, uncle George lost it, and so he got out of his car too and proceeded to beat the other guy up while dressed as Robin Hood. I don't have a clip of that but I have a clip of Jussi Bjorling, singing Vesti La Giubba. Good stuff!!!





PS Just for the operatic record, Caruso sings it fantastically too, of course, but personally, I prefere to imagine that I am Jussi Bjorling, I am not sure why...

Gandalf - On our departed friend Shawn

Today I would like to talk about my mom's friend Shawn who sadly and unexpectedly has left this mortal coil. I liked Shawn a lot. He would come and visit my mom and he would scratch my back and then they always followed the same few routines during his visits. Mom would sit at the piano and Shawn would play his violin accompanying her, while they went through many a piano and violin sonatas, mostly by Mozart. On spring days, they would ride their horses through the meadows and occasionally feel very bemused by the fluttering of the bees around the clear water springs. On summer days they would always picnic under their favorite willow tree, Shawn would bring the cold cuts and pomegranates and Mother the cheese and crackers and chamomile tea and then Shawn would read to Mother for hours, either Chaucer's Canterbury Tales or something or other by John Milton.



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This is their favorite spot, it is on the corner
of Bayview and Frye street between Ephemere and Alan's Clock shop.




Oh, and by the way, I lied. I just tried to make it all look like scenes from a Merchant Ivory production, so it would appear to be poetic. In fact what they did was that they used to watch funny movies and eat peach salsa with tortilla chips. So today, as I feel that it would be terribly inappropriate to blog about my usual -funny according to some- stuff, I have decided to share with you some clips of what Mom and Shawn loved watching together.

Shawn was a huge anglophile, or maybe he was too polite to tell my mom that he actually was not a huge anglophile, any who, he and Mom watched so many British comedy series and movies (ordered through Netflix) that after a few weeks Shawn could speak and understand the cockney dialect like a native.


The first one I will share with you is titled Only Fools And Horses. Shawn and Mother, and sometimes myself too, have sat through dozens and dozens of episodes of this show, which is one of Mom's favorite comedies.

Here's is an excerpt from Wikipedia explaining what the show is about:
Derek "Del Boy" Trotter (played by David Jason), a fast-talking, archetypal cockney market trader, lives in a council flat in a high-rise tower block, Nelson Mandela House, in Peckham, South London with his much younger brother, Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst), and their elderly Grandad (Lennard Pearce). Their mother Joan died when Rodney was young, and their father Reg absconded shortly after his wife's death, effectively making Del Rodney's surrogate father and the family patriarch. Despite the difference in their ages, the brothers share a constant bond throughout. The situation focuses primarily on their futile attempts to get rich.

Here is a scene from Only Fools And Horses, the best scene from the whole series actually. That night Mother even went so far as to cook her favourite English dinner, pork chops, peas, chips (fries), gravy and yorkshire pudding, and Shawn loved the yorkshire pudding! Mom made a terrible English dessert too, canned fruit with evaporated milk on it, yikes, ye olde English cuisine sometimes scares me. PS Yorkshire pudding is like a crispy dumpling designed to absorb the gravy and it is not a dessert pudding. It's awesome if prepared the correct way.

Anyway, on with the show, this is Delboy:




and here is another clip, with Delboy's brother Rodney in it:





The other one they loved to watch and have gone through all the episodes of all the seasons, is a british comedy titled League of Gentlemen - it has nothing to do with the movie the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This one is on the morbid side, quite dark and bizarre. Here's an excerpt from wikipedia:

The League of Gentlemen is a quartet of British comedy writer/performers, formed in 1995 by Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. The television programme for which they are best known, although officially labelled a sitcom, was initially more sketch-based, linked together by their common setting: the fictional village of Royston Vasey, set somewhere in the north of England. The first series aired on BBC Two in 1999, and follows the lives of dozens of the town's bizarre inhabitants, played by Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith in a number of different guises and make-up.

Here's a clip from this one:





There was another masterpiece though that I remember them watching, and laughing to the point where I thought they would choke or something, and that was a movie titled Cannibal! The Musical. This one is a production by the guys who created Southpark, Trey Parker and Mat Stone. And then there are the Triplets of Belleville, a mostly silent french animated movie, and Escanaba In Da Moonlight, a movie about a guy in Michigan who can't catch a deer, and then there is Mel Brooks The History Of The World which was Shawn's most favourite movie ever, and so much more that I can't think of now.

Anyway, it was an honour having met this gentleman and I will always remember him with fondness and I am sorry that he will never be in our living room again to scratch my back and to watch silly movies with us...Meow Shawn!

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Gandalf - My Birthday

Hello everybody! About two weeks ago it was my birthday.
Mother always makes this a very special day for me. She took some pictures of the festivities so that I could show everyone what I did on my birthday.

The day started with breakfast in bed. Same as every year, instead of normal catfood, I got 20 treats for breakfast! Yum!!!


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Breakfast In Bed


I am very fortunate to have been born wearing a tuxedo, but Mother added a red ribbon just to make me look a bit more festive. I don't mind wearing it every now and then, because I know Mother thinks it's cute.


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Voila!


Mother then presented me with a surprise present, a pot of cat grass she had been secretly growing just for the occasion.


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Here I am, eating it. It was fabulous!


Then, Auntie Peggy came over, to have lunch with my Mother and to celebrate my birthday. She brought champagne for Mother, and catnip for me.

I don't usually like catnip but this one was really good!
It was stuffed inside a little pillow and I played with it for one whole hour. By the end the bow around my neck was undone even, and Mother said that I looked like one of those guys who go to a wedding in a suit and tie and then they get drunk at the reception and they start dancing with their tie tied around their head like a bandana.


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I really don't see the connection??!!


Then, there was time for the birthday cake!!!! Mother makes me cakes from wet catfood, decorated with whipped cream and heart shaped treats, I am such a lucky boy!


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Here it is!! Meow!!


Then, while still discombobulated from the whole catnip experience, I started feeling very peckish for some reason, and the cake went down a treat...


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I need to blow the candle first!


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Mother re-tied my bow and I started eating
the cake. Tuna, chicken, and whipped cream, yum yum!!



Then, auntie Marie came over and sang me Happy Birthday. She has such a lovely sweet voice!

The only thing that I didn't get to do this year, is to eat out straight from the fridge. I was so stuffed from everything that I didn't have room left for the ham Mother lets me "steal" from the lowet shelf in the fridge.


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This one was taken last year
on my birthday! That ham was great.



So, after all the excitement of the day, I purred and purred and thanked Mother for my special day and then I went to bed early, because I was exhausted.
The next morning I had leftover birthday cake for breakfast too!!

I am now back to normal mode, eating less (sadly) and soon I will return with another history blog.
Have a great Sunday everyone!!

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