Archive for May, 2011

RIP Fudge the Patchwork Puss…

May 25, 2011

Yesterday I had to take Fudge, one of our 4 cats, for that Final Trip to the vets. It wasn’t a surprise, I’d known for weeks that she was terminally ill & all we could do was make sure she wasn’t in pain & was still enjoying life, within limits, until the steroids stopped working & the growths in her nose & sinuses got big enough to be painful & interefere with her enjoyment of life. Three days ago she was still sunning herself in the garden & trying to catch unwary baby birds, but then she went quieter & her nose started to bleed. Yesterday morning she’d lost all interest in food and just wanted to hide under the bed, so I knew her time was near & I didn’t want her to suffer. It’s a hard thing to do on a personal level, but the only compassionate thing you can do for an animal that’s suffering.

Her two sisters & niece don’t seem to have missed her yet but she’ll leave a power vacuum – she was the shyest of cats to humans, but the boss amongst the cats – and I suspect the chickens will miss her more; she genuinely loved them although she didn’t take any nonsense from them, and often tried to sleep in the chicken shed – not just for the mice, either, there’s no hot water bottle as good as a broody bantam!

She was only 13; I know that’s an average lifespan for a domestic moggy but I think that’s much lower than it should be as I’ve known many cats in farm/rural conditions live well into their 20s, though quite often their tails don’t last that long. I’ll always remember when she & her 9-week-old sisters came to us; they’d been in a small local animal sanctuary that was closing down, along with the next litter up from the same mother & none of them had found homes so they were all going off to be farm cats if I didn’t take them. (Not that that’s a bad life for a cat, by any means, as long as they can stay clear of the machinery) The other two, Tinkerbelle & Tabitha, assimilated into our large & noisy family quite quickly & easily, but Fudge was petrified & stayed under the dresser for 6 weeks – all efforts to coax her out were met with a blank stare of terror. Then one night I felt a warm little head snuggle under my arm and a shy silent purr, and there she slept for the next 13 years, as long as I remembered to evict her from the chickenshed at roosting time! She was very pretty as well as affectionate; a true tortoiseshell (or calico cat, if you’re American) with clear bright markings in shades of brown, ginger, cream, black & white that earned her the nickname of the Patchwork Puss, and little black freckles on her nose.

So rest in peace under the rosebush by the chickenrun, Fudge. We’ll all miss you a lot. But the garden birds & the mice can sleep easier in their nests now…


It’s been a while…

May 22, 2011

…because I’ve been busy. Very very busy, in fact, in the nicest possible way, because there suddenly seems to be a lot of interest in what I’m doing, So I’m taking the plunge & have rented a small workshop/shop in the centre of our little town, to open up; website to be set up over the next few days.
I’m really excited but there’s a lot of work to do; the unit needs painting & some other stuff like hot water & flooring sorted out, and I’m trying to source just about all the fittings secondhand, recycled or reclaimed, with one or two exceptions for electrical safety’s sake. There’s a side room for my VintageCraftStuff, and also some gallery space to display our own creations and those of other local crafters. There’ll be human-powered sewing machines & spinning wheels, giant knitting needles, inkle looms, spinning & felting supplies, handspun yarn, and reclaimed fabric, yarn and buttons for sale, and of course, books and magazines… open for retail Mon-Fri, 11-4 pm.
The idea is to run FREE lunchtime “craftalong” sessions – bring your sarnies, or buy something yummie & inexpensive from the Riverside Cafe next door, and sit & stitch/knit/crochet/whittle – whatever, as long as it’s creative! – for free in good company, anytime from 12-2 pm. Then 2-4 pm will be inexpensive have-a-go themed workshops, probably about £4 per person including materials (if it can be done) on simple basic stuff – cardmaking, scrapbooking, bookmaking, wet felting, needlefelting, learn to spin/knit/crochet/stiitch – and there will be expert workshops in the evenings & some weekends, with more advanced tutors. Everything will be small scale, partly because of space limitations but also because it’s nicer & easier to learn that way.
There’s a little garden space at the back to grow a few dye plants, herbs & flowers in tubs & baskets, and sit & stitch or spin in the sunshine on nice days. The river runs right outside the door, so it’s a very green & natural space for a town-centre location.
So I’m really, really busy trying to sort all the background stuff like insurance, website & fittings out right now. I’ll post again just before we open, so wish me luck, watch this space & plan to come & visit us when you’re down this way!