This Sort of Thing...


This Sort of Thing - November 2023 - Second Half



16 November, Thursday

While Priyatelkata was making yoghurt I heard her shout ‘There’s a cat in the kitchen. What am I gonna to do?’ Sharenka the fat cat likes to sleep in the sink. That’s the problem.

No feline trouble as I prepared bean goulash. They don’t like that. And they hate her artichoke soup. I hate that too.

Apparently in wartime France they only had Jerusalem artichokes to eat because the Nazis took all the potatoes. I hope there isn’t another world war.

The unleashing of Jerusalem artichokes on the world should have been recognised as a sign of things to come.


17 November, Friday

I’d never seen a more pathetic creature. Well not since our previous street cat rescue mission.

Skin and bone wrapped in filthy matted hair. A sternum sharp enough to peel a potato. Crying without making a sound. It was like stroking an Iceland frozen chicken portion.

The vet smiled as he checked for hernias, fleas and testicles. We’d saved another life which meant another regular earner for him. I told him that and he smiled again; chuckled.

We gave him the name Crado (the cat, not the vet). It’s the French word for cruddy. Suitable!

He’ll grow to be beautiful.


18 November, Saturday

There's a new kind of horror that's a sweepin' the world now

(Come on baby, do the Netanyahu)

A rain of bombs and rockets at Gaza's children being hurled now

(Come on baby, do the Netanyahu)


In a place we’re calling the Holy Land

A terror stricken nation’s holding out its hand

As western politicians ensure the flames are fanned

So come on, come on, do the Netanyahu for the damned


Saturday night beneath the melting plastic palm trees I see Biden, von der Leyen and Sunak dancing round their bulging handbags while the Jordan river is spiked with Rohypnol.


19 November, Sunday

Because of Cat Nouveau, who’s shitting everywhere by the way, I forgot that on Friday night we saw Samaia Dance Show at the Vasil Levski Palace of Culture.

Absolutely spectacular traditional music, costumes and dance from the land of our Black Sea neighbours that we call Gruziya (Грузия), so we never understand why you call it Georgia.

The dancing men were disturbingly convincing in their fighting dance. They could have had someone’s eye out, or leg off. The dancing ladies were stunning.

Today heralded our last contact with former house sitter, Mary Poppins on acid. Unforgivably, she steals scouring pads. Nastiness!


20 November, Monday

It would appear that, for this year, I’ve finished muttering about having to water our garden every evening. Our long hot summer finally fizzled out at the weekend and Saturday was as wet as a badger’s wet bits.

The heating’s on, the thickest duvet is operational and salads are redundant. Noticing that the sun shines brilliantly for the few hours that it’s out of its bed I smile a little.

The winter solstice is a mere month away. I won’t need to paint my body blue with woad because it’s already blue with cold, except for the very red regions.


21 November, Tuesday

Cat Nouveau news:

His name, Crado, is very similar to a Bulgarian word ‘kradets’ (крадец) meaning ‘thief’, and seems appropriate.

He’s not at all intimidated by our other animals (two dogs and seven cats). In fact, Vlad, the small grey gay Romanian cat seems to be afraid of him.

His photogenic qualities almost make up for his poor toilet habits. He’s a bit slack at finding the correct toilet situation and, since this morning, his toilet movements are a bit slack too. Perhaps we should call him Shat Nouveau.

We shampooed him in the sink. He doesn’t look as cruddy now.  


22 November, Wednesday

While precious pretentious street dog, Snezhinka, was at the groomer's, busy Priyatelkata ran around town so I sat with coffee and jotter in City Pub.

This place I haven't visited for years because it reminds me of those English Wetherspoon's establishments with the persistent poodle rock music playing and clientele predominantly from Luton.

For these dark months the outdoor cafés have moved indoors so the choice is limited.

Since I started reading War and Peace I have read In the Forest by Edna O'Brien. I need Siberian weather to put me in the mood to continue. But I won't beg.


23 November, Thursday

We sang Never Smile at A Crocodile as we applied anti-bacterial cream to street dog Snezhinka’s gum infection with a fifteen-metre-long cotton bud. Typing fingers are precious.

Fibonacci Day was enjoyable but we agreed it would be much better if it fell in the spring or summer when nature provides for observation more examples of this learned man’s number sequence in phyllotaxis. We booked a couple of nights in a guest house near Buenos Aires to avoid the same disappointment next year.

What does a full Argentine breakfast consist of? Will we be served coffee or a can of Tango?


24 November, Friday

How strange that the day after Americans give thanks to a god for the things he has provided, we join in their tradition of congregating in shops to beat each other to death with televisions the size of the flight deck of the HMS Ark Royal to ensure that we get the best bargains. No wonder they call it Black Friday.

Priyatelkata and I saved 100% on purchases by staying at home all day, except for a trip to the vet which is what our social life comprises of these days. Cat Nouveau’s first vaccination. Hopefully he’s immune from consumerism.


25 November, Saturday

It stopped raining only briefly so that it could snow. Braving the dampness, I did garden preparations for the forthcoming Arctic blast. Do they still sell Arctic Rolls or did the advent of the Viennetta render them extinct?

A highlight of 2023 was the guesthouse landlady on Clare Island offering us slices of Viennetta after meat-and-two-veg style evening meals. I’d have preferred meat and two Viennettas because the veg was boiled to hell, but that’s Ireland for you.

It must be great to live in the Arctic. It must be an absolute blast.

But when will we next see Ireland?


26 November, Sunday

We’ve got genital-deep snow, depending on the length of your legs. So I...

  1. Cleared the path.
  2. Watched the snow cover the path again.
  3. Opened the back door at sixty-second intervals to let cats and dogs in and out of the house.
  4. Said the word 'bollocks'.
  5. Sang Cliff Richard's Summer Holiday.
  6. Bought some Speedos on Amazon.
  7. Rubbed two Boy Scouts together to start a fire.
  8. Dressed up like Elsa in Disney's Frozen film.
  9. Ate a Penguin (biscuit).
  10. Remained cheerful.
  11. Resisted the rakia bottle.
  12. Sang the Bulgarian national anthem.
  13. Went into power saving mode.
  14. Snored.
  15. Irritated Priyatelkata.
  16. Woke up with bruised ribs.


27 November, Monday

A paradoxically sunny but grim day. After shovelling snow for an hour I found a car so I braved the post-apocalyptic landscape of ice and broken trees to take Cat Nouveau to the vet. He’d stopped being delightfully cute but fears of deadly cat disease were unfounded. He’s anaemic. We’ve got him on the Guinness.

Priyatelkata’s feeling rough too. She declined suggestions of a trip to the vet. I promised her a biscuit if she was a good girl but it’s the thermometer up her arse that puts her off.

Indoor cat war day two, because they couldn’t go out.


28 November, Tuesday

On this grim day void of sunshine and warmth I'm determined to write with positivity.

It's raining on the snow and tonight it will freeze, but tomorrow Priyatelkata and I will be the Torvill and Dean of Malki Chiflik.

Trips to Kaufland usually lack joy but today the handlebars of my shopping trolley were still warm as I inserted my fifty stotinki security deposit coin in the slot. I felt love from the previous driver who I suspect was an old man with galoshes and a hacking cough. But I hope it was Alina Pușcău. Maybe she hoped for me.


29 November, Wednesday

You see it's the months ending with 'ber' that I don't like. It eases my heartache seeing that we're close to the end of the third one of them but it's the fourth that really does my crust in. The darkness hurts.

All this rotating of the Earth on its axis round the sun nonsense! Whose idea was that? It must have taken a lot of organising. Time that would have been better spent saving turtles or doing shopping for the elderly.

Can we have a 'move directly to January, do not pass go' card please?

Spring forward, Winter black!


30 November, Thursday

One thing I love about this time of year is going weeks without being stung, bitten, sucked or gnawed at by fearsome Balkan insects. So my embarrassing rashes, it would appear, are all self-inflicted.

Crado Cat Nouveau is recovering nicely from his virus but when he purrs he sounds like he needs to cough up and spit out. He's so Bulgarian!

We’ve lost our old-fashioned tubular steel grapevine frame, crushed under the weight of the snow.

And I’ve terrible sadness on me from the death of Shane MacGowan. People I consider heroes are rare, but he was one of them.


In my little town - the rooftops.

Number of comments: 0

:) :( :D ;) :| :P |-) (inlove) :O ;( :@ 8-) :S (flower) (heart) (star)