“It’s the most excellent cats that are missed the most”

About 14 years ago Rebekah and Jacob visited the Eden Animal Rescue in Cumbria with their Grandparents and picked out two brother and sister kittens, who they named Timmy and Tilly.
I’ve never really been bothered about pets since leaving my parents home, but when we moved house in 2012 I felt that the house needed a cat, but it wasn’t until early the following year that we managed to get one. Bob and Joyce moved from their home in Cumbria and Timmy moved ‘down south’ to join our family.
Sadly today he passed. He has had a heart condition for a long time, but as a result of that two weeks ago he very suddenly had a blood clot which temporarily robbed him of the use of his back legs. Over the following few days he became more mobile and appeared to be having a miraculous recovery, however he stopped eating and became even more withdrawn; he was in Kidney failure. In the end only his heart or his kidneys could be treated, not both, and treating one would cause the other to fail.
He’s stumbled through the last few days but was a shadow of himself.
We were preparing for today, and am so grateful that despite the subdued nature of this Christmas period we were able to spend it with him.
He was a loving cat, friendly, and funny. Extremely picky about his food, and always overly interested in whatever you were doing. Often a pain in the arse when he would choose to sit on you as soon as you sat down, even if he was quite comfy where he was already; frustrated the hell out of me many times. But I don’t think I really understood the bond between human and pet until Timmy. Last night, I sat watching TV until the early hours of the morning, just so that he could deaden my legs for the last time.
Taking him to the Vet this morning with Rebekah was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
I know I will miss him terribly. The house already seems empty with out him.

Full gallery of Timmy pictures…

*Thanks to Fergus for the post title.

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It’s been a while…

I haven’t spent much time on my personal blog lately. Mostly I’ve been writing on The Lords of Midnight Blog.

I’ve managed to release two games in the last 18 months, something I need to be mindful of. I have to remind myself that that is no small feat in itself, even if the financial rewards don’t back it up, the personal satisfaction does. Although, it can become quite frustrating when you are a single developer and in direct contact with your customers. Every negative comment cuts like a knife. Every problem is amplified. I find myself rushing around trying to release fixes and updates.

I’m also working about four different contracts. That can be difficult when you are juggling your time. I spend a lot of time with my laptop in hotel lobbies, bars, and restaurants, so much of my evenings are filled with work and not pleasure.

When both worlds collide you get a perfect storm, and I end up mentally exhausted and lost.

If I was writing a Novel or a Film, I would say it is difficult to find the scenes that drive the plot forward, but some of them do in an ever so small way. Maybe I just have to question the plot. I miss the family terribly. And even though I know that I wouldn’t spend that much more time with them if I was at home, their social lives being what they are, and me still being busy, but still, that fleeting amount of contact makes a big difference.

As I transition away from The Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge, I am trying to move over to working on my Novel, The Lily Wood Trail. I spent some time working on it  last night, and realised that my writing is now so rusty that I think I might need to get a Tetanus jab. I’ve committed myself to getting a first draft written by the end of the year so I need to get myself up to speed very quickly. It could just be that if it’s tedious to write, then it is likely boring to read…

It’s also difficult to not think about new game ideas, but I really must try hard to park them. I have Timbles to finish first…



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My Aunty Doris died on Friday. Before you go into the usual mode of “I’m sorry” etc… please don’t. I’m not sad that she has left us. I’m not sad that there is no place for her to move on to. (Yes I know those of you who have your beliefs will disagree with me, as will Doris no doubt. She was regular visitor to the church after all. More for fancying the vicar I’m sure!.) And I’m not sad for me. I don’t have an single ounce of feeling of how my life will be that little bit worse for not having her around. The truth is, my life is so much better for her having been apart of it, and for that, I can only be happy.

She was at least 92. And, to quote the proverbial cliche, she had a good innings. Although I’m sure, and forgive me for continuing the cricket metaphor, that last few overs were probably not so great.

Aunty Doris was a friend of my grandmothers sister Phyllis. She moved from London to Manchester during the war and they lived together until about 20 years ago when Phyllis died. I never knew if they were anything more than best friends, but to be honest, I don’t think it matters. They lived together for at least 40 years – a stronger bond of friendship I can’t imagine.

As a child I spent most of my primary school lunch breaks at their house. And I have many a fond memory of those times. They were both more like a grandmother to me than my grandmother ever was. At their time, a nicer, more caring, couple of people I could not have had the good fortune to spend time with.

Lots of love Doris – thank you.

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Just been away on a family holiday in . We stayed at the Sands Beach Resort in for a week.

I must start with the usual disclaimer before I hurl headlong into bitching about the place… 🙂
ie: We had a really good holiday. Victoria and I had some good relaxation in the sun and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves too.

Now, too the bitching… I’ve purposely avoided the Costa’s etc all my life, for all the reasons that I hated Lanzarote.

The place we stayed at was nice enough. The complex has 6 pools surrounded by apartments. The apartments are nice, clean, and functional, and the fact that they sit on one of the poolsides means you don’t have to fight for pool space and the kids could pretty much come and go as they please. In fact we were able to sit on your terrace in the sun and watch the kids play. There was never a real need to do anything other than stay in the sun round the pool, and on that basis we could have been anywhere in the world… that is anywhere with a warm climate!

The problem comes when you leave the apartment and venture around the good for nothing volcanic rock that is Lanzarote. It seems that someone many many years ago realised that the place was a complete waste of space that could contribute anything at all to the world. Having failed to grow any vegetation on it they decided to build some swimming pools, some white hotels, and egg and chips resteraunts, and the brits would come… and come they did.

The place is all about white socks and Jesus sandles, egg and chips, english breakfasts, fat blokes in too short shorts with burnt bellies, football kits, sports bars and pubs showing eastenders and corrie. There are about 5 style of shops all selling the same thing. The restaurants are unable to offer anything that anyone else isn’t offering which is obviously what the brits want… so they all sell the same starters, pizza’s, burgers, full english, egg and chips etc, the same pasta, and on and on. This doesn’t matter what style of eatery it is either!

Sands Beach Apartments Sands Beach Apartments Sands Beach Apartments
Gloria Lights Sands Beach Apartments

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Wikipedia Lanzarote, Costa Teguise

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Ice Skating

We took the kids to Marwell Zoo on Sunday. It was a pre-arranged visit where we were meeting up with the OB’s and taking all the kids Ice Skating and to Santas Grotto. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The kids really liked the ice skating despite the amount of time then spent on their bottoms! 🙂 I thought that Santas Grotto was very good and value for money. The kids go in, in groups. You don’t get the usual 1-2-1 with santa, but it’s a much better story driven event. They also get chance to do some colouring and craft work.

I think the only thing going against Marwell for the whole experience is that, considering they are refurbishing the resteraunt but trying to drive more numbers through the park during the festive period, then maybe they need to pay more attention to the refreshments and in particular warm places to sit.

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