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Sunday, 06 September 2015


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Hello, nice photos, love the chicks too! You got through quite a lot of books recently, you've certainly beat me by a mile. I love 'The Midnight Folk' it's utterly delightful, and did a blog on it two years ago. I have a vintage edition, but amazingly (as I found the FS rather more expensive than I'd like)have managed to find the Folio Society edition of that one and 'The Box of Delights' at last for a fraction of the cost!


Excellent post as usual -- sorry not to have had reviews for at least *some* of these books, but you are forgiven because you obviously had a nice time. I had seven chicks hatch, of which two are no longer with us (I know, last time I commented it was a kitten -- not much luck around here this summer) but the other five are getting quite big. No idea if they are boys or girls -- if boys they will have to go, as we already have one of those. Not into the pot, of course, but hopefully to some loving home. Good luck with yours. Couldn't Sootica just become Sootico?


Lori, that's because I'm a teacher and neglectful mother and general lazy person, so I did have plenty of opportunity to read. As for doing anything else useful this summer - I had even made myself a Stern List - I failed utterly. :) The Folio Society books are lovely, I've just treated myself to a second-hand copy of The Once and Future King... My copy of The Midnight Folk is a first edition which was insanely cheap on ABE Books. No pictures, but a nice solid book, with a lovely smell.

I think I might still write about Ingenious Pain, Harriet, because that was an interesting book. The others are a bit further back in time and now that I'm old I forget things so quickly. I'm always planning more blogs than I ever manage to write.

You really aren't having much luck with your livestock, I'm sorry. Good luck with the other five chicks. If Fluffy or Night Fluffy is a boy, he will have to find a new home too, although K is hopeful that that home will be the pot. I keep thinking girly thoughts whenever I walk past the hen coop in the hope this will make them female.

Sootico is a good idea - thank you!


Aww what a lovely summer! I'm so impressed by that huge pile of books you've read, and those chicks are incredibly cute (your inclusion of small, eager children amongst the other predators made me laugh and laugh). No photos of your new hair cut? (she suggests cheekily!) Finally, what is it with cats sticking their bums in a person's face? Ours does it all the time, despite the obvious lack of applause...

Jenny @ Reading the End

Fluffy and Night Fluffy are the cutest chick names I've ever heard. Well done to your official naming people on that.

DID YOU LIKE BEAUTY?? I read it as a kid and I think it made me probably more sentimental about it than maaaaaybe it objectively deserves? So I will not be crushed if you didn't love it.


It looks as though you read some interesting books. I've only read Longbourn, which I wanted to like but actually found quite annoying. I wonder if one really can write a humourless spin-off of an hilariously satirical novel. It didn't work for me, anyway.

Good luck with keeping your poultry alive. Are your kittens desexed yet? Six months is the usual age for doing it here because they start breeding not long after that.

I'm a bit envious that you saw real Van Goghs. If I went to Europe I'd want to visit ALL the galleries, museums and libraries. *sigh*


litlove, the internets are not ready for photographs of me! I'm glad that other cats are also bum-wavers and that we haven't happened upon the only two exhibitionist kittens in the world.

Jenny, yes the Chief Pet Namer does occasionally strike gold, although not always (cf. Black Boy Cat). As for Beauty, heh:

Objective Brain: This book is pleasant but not in the vanguard of literature.
Subjective Brain: Who cares? I love it!

I'm keeping my copy for when the Chief Pet Namer is old enough, it's just a really nice book.

Violet, I think I perhaps liked Longbourn more than you, and I thought there was some really good writing in it. Overall, I did feel as if I'd stumbled into a lecture on how the servant class was exploited by their employers, which became a bit monotonous over a whole novel and was rather hammered home in the structure too. And I suppose I also felt as if I'd listened to nasty gossip about some friends, without giving them the chance to speak for themselves. At the moment I'm reading the memoirs of an 18th-century Scottish footman, which I suppose is the flip-side of Longbourn as the flip-side of P&P. It's not as well written as Longbourn, but offers a more optimistic interpretation of servant life, which surprised me a little.

Yes, the kitties will be off to the vet's soon, but they're not six months quite yet. K is oddly sentimental about this - yes, he's a man who would cheerily pop Fluffy in a casserole, but he gets sad about having Sooticus's manly bits chopped off. (For as of yesterday, following Harriet's excellent suggestion, Sootica has become Sooticus.)

I'd love to go back and see the Van Gogh's properly, i.e. without moany children. Come to Europe! We could go together...


What a great summer holiday and look at that pile of books you read! The chicks made me say "awww" and look forward to March next year when I will have some of my own. I can hardly wait! As for your cat's name, when I was two we were adopted by an all black stray kitten. My mom tried calling her Midnight and Shadow and I refused to play along so for her long 21 years of life she was known as "Cat-Cat"


I agree that Longbourn is well-written, and it was probably only the quality of the writing that kept me reading. I think that if it had been a stand-alone novel, without being built on P&P, I would have liked it more. The Bennets she shows us just didn't ring true for me, and I don't know how someone could be cook/housekeeper and ladies' maid, too. There would not be enough hours in the day to do everything!

Sooticus will be much happier when he's neutered. He won't want to spray urine around the house or go off on nocturnal wanderings and get into fights. I recommend it for all males. :)

Kath Jourdan

First time to read your post. My you are a fast reader! A few of those are on my list to read, loved the Earthsea books. As a cat lover, I can say that the bum waving is a high compliment to you, as cats sniff each others noses, and then the bums in greeting. Must be offering their scent for you to learn who they are. I have 3 black cats and offer the following names.. Pluto, from Edgar Allen Poe's story "The Black Cat", Caito from the Pink Panther (he always dressed in black); Schwartz - German for black, or use another language; or just use a name - I have a Claude (for Claude Monet) and Simone (for Simone de Beauvoir, who I use to read quite a bit)... they are brother and sister and I must have been in a French phase. Good wishes, and yes neutering does help quite a bit with spraying and keeping the population down.


I am excited by proxy about your chicks, Stefanie! Ours are still alive. They are growing little wings and combs. I'll take some more pictures just for you.

Violet, I completely agree about Longbourn, although I could believe that Mrs Hill did do much of that work. I'm not sure that she did a lot of lady's maiding, I had the impression that the Bennets generally fended for themselves and then it was all hands on deck, including Sarah's, for special occasions. I doubt I could have managed it all though.

As for the neutering... :) it would be the solution to so many problems! Although in Sooticus's defence, he doesn't spray. Yet.

Hello Kath and thank you for your comment! I'm not that fast a reader, I just did nothing but lie around on the sofa all summer while the dust eddied around the house and my unwashed and poorly fed child played sad and alone with whatever unsuitable household implements she could find... Thanks also for the lovely name ideas. We lazily renamed him Sooticus in the end, because we kept calling him Sootica anyway. But future cats may benefit.

Oh, and I will try and take the bum-waving as a compliment...

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