It's been a little while since I checked in, about 2 1/2 weeks I think. Some stuff has happened in the intervening period, some hasn't, you know, the usual things. I think I've had a spot of mild depression, actually. Or maybe I've just been busy being my usual miserable cow at this time of year.
The nasty, virusy-headcold thing I had lasted a good three weeks and quite how TLH managed not to stab me due to the incessant coughing is a wonder, but he didn't. The weird thing is I have absolutely no idea where I got it from - I've been my usual fairly antisocial self of late and haven't seen anyone other than a handful of people, and none of them had the remotest snivel or hacking cough, so it's a mystery. I did get very sad and miserable for about a week following the death of poor Pepper Bean and being quite that down does, I believe, depress your immune system so in some ways I'm not too surprised that I contracted such virulent head-rot with additional gangrenous throat and tubercular lungs, plus additional nosebleeds. It was definitely as cheery as it sounds.
But it's gone now. Just in time for Christmas. Whoopee. I don't know why I take against Christmas so. I mean, before the days of the intertubes, it used to be unadulterated hell shopping for presents, elbowing your ways through crowds of people in overheated shops, and fighting over the last turkey on the shelf. Plus I was working full-time so had to cram all that in as well. By comparison I have it so much easier now - as I'm a Trophy Wife (aka lazy layabout) I'm at home all day and I can just do all my shopping over the internet and have it delivered to my door! Bliss! I don't have children so the only presents I have to get are for a few young nieces and nephew and the rest are grownups who can be placated, usually, with a bottle of spirits and a decent book so I'm not really sure what my problem is.
I still feel the pressure, though. The endless, endless, bloody advertisements for food and perfume and aftershave, the no-getting-away-from-it-ness. I hate it all with so much passion that I would willingly consider going on one of those silent spiritual retreats to a monastery in the arse-end of nowhere where you get a little room to yourself in which to contemplate the infinite, only emerging after all the bollocks of New Year has been and gone. I know I've said it before (probably last year, actually), but as far as I'm concerned, the best Christmas I ever had was in 1989 when The Artist and I buggered off to Thailand for 10 days and sat on a beach from 22 December to just after New Year and managed to avoid the whole damn thing. I can still remember how stress-free I felt in the run up to going away because the relentless TV advertising didn't mean a thing to me that year. And by the time we got back it was all over anyway and felt like it had never happened. I shall do this again one year, I hereby promise myself. I shall donate some money to a charity in lieu of presents and cards, and go lie in the sunshine for a couple of weeks.
So what else has happened while I've been maintaining radio silence? Sylvester Bean is healing up nicely from his cyst removal and the fur is beginning to grow back, so he looks less like a lobotomy victim and more like someone's had a bit of an accident with the hair clippers. He's also turned into the chattiest cat I've ever been pestered by. It's quite odd. Obviously now Pepper's gone he's become the focus of all our attention and that seems to have resulted in him suddenly discovering he's got an awful lot to say about things. He's also having a difficult time coming to terms with the new cats in the neighbourhood. Our immediate neighbours have an adorable young cat called Bruno who looks exactly like the cartoon Felix cat (the one advertising the cat food) -
He's a lovely little cat, the most curious I've ever met. He wants to know absolutely everything that you're doing and I think has been inside everyone's house in the close because as soon as a front door's opened, he's in there like a shot! Except Sylvester hates him with the heat of a thousand suns, and has already beaten him up at least 3 times in the last 10 days, like the grumpy old man cat defending his territory that he is.
Also, as I mentioned previously, some extremely good friends of mine have moved opposite and have brought their 3 cats with them. Two of them - Prince and Puffle - aren't interested in coming out yet, but Maggie has been around and about for the last week, including visiting our garden a couple of times. Interestingly, although Sylvester was outraged and hissed at her, she stood her ground and didn't run, and neither of them attacked each other. They both then moved a safe-ish distance apart and just kept a wary eye on each other.
Why it didn't turn into a scrap - as it does every time with Bruno - I have no idea. Maybe it's because Maggie's female? I dunno. Cat psychology, eh?
On the job front, TLH has been working for a couple of weeks in a town that Betjeman's 'friendly bombs' unfortunately managed to miss. This particular job is likely to last until March and he doesn't seem to mind the commute so far, even driving through the heavyish snow and icy roads that we had recently.
I realise I haven't expressly described exactly what he does for work. Mostly because he doesn't like being discussed in a public forum (and I'm happy to concede with his wishes) but also because I don't really know myself. Let's just say that he does contract work and if that makes him sound like a hit-man, well, you didn't hear it from me, okay?