J is over in Blighty, in Gloucester, while I am back here with les animeaux - Jack, Rocky, Ginge and Sal. They have now all settled together and established what seems to be a working pecking order of sorts. Jack, as oldest and noisiest top-dog, appears to be at the bottom of the list. The cats, Ginge especially, pinch his basket regularly and ignore his whinnying attempts to uproot them. Indeed, so pissed-off with them has he become that he will even tolerate Ginge sharing his space at times. Something Charlie, still sadly missing, constantly tried for but never achieved!
Not sure that Sal is particularly impressed with the sleeping arrangements here:
Today we had a cold start, around zero, but now bright and sunny. Positively printemps! Yesterday we had freezing rain and the day before I woke to snow covered landscape! Certainly not normal for here at this time of year! Last week, however, we had two crackers with temps of 17 one day followed by 18 the next! More like it, I say.
I'm off back to Engerland on Wednesday by ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven. Jack's off to a local kennel while the cats, with a catflapper and loads of food/water etc., left out for them should be able to fend for themselves for the few days I'll be over. Though I have a horrible feeling Sal is coming into season, so maybe I'll take her to the cattery too. I don't have time to have her spayed before I go and, anyway, I won't be around to look after her recovery adequately. So it'll have to wait till I return on the ninth or thereabouts.
Sadly, I'm going over for a family funeral: my brother has just died - the usual Glasgow disease de la couer having done for him. He was 70 though and had a fine life, enjoying his tucker:
He was a respected telly sports producer, responsible for the Saint & Greavsie etc., the Big Match etc, while at LWT in the seventies and eighties. Latterly he ran Chelsea FC's telly thingy on a part-time, semi-retired basis. The wake is being held at Wentworth Golf Club, where he was a member for over thirty years. I know there will be loads of telly punters and pundits there and many ex-footy people. I was at school, same class, as Kenny Dalglish and I know my bro kept in touch with him, so I'm hoping he might show up as I haven't really seen or talked to him since his late Celtic days. If not, I'll send him my best through Ian St John who still lives up in the Wirral and obviously knows him well.
I've been asked to say a few words but think I'll pass on that opportunity. I'd be a bit upset and tongue-tied, I fear - despite having been a lawyer/advocate for many years. I'll leave it to the professionals, I think. An old chronie of his, Russell Galbraith, from his days as Sports Editor with STV, is doing the main waffle anyway.
It's been a bit usettling, his passing, as my American friends are wont to call it; we always got on well and it feels strange to think I'll never see him again, the only person I've truly and literally known for all of my life:
I'm in the kilt. They were once all the rage, I believe. Certainly back then, in the early 1950s, I surely cut a dash in St Andrews where this shot was taken, or should I suggest, composed!
I was watching the live footy, England v San Marino last week on ITV - seldom do I watch England play but I thought there'd be goals aplenty and 'tis always a pleasure (as a Scot) to see Rooney ballsing a penalty for his national side - when at the interval they flashed up his piccy and the commentator began wittering about his death and career with ITVsport. It was most touching and kind of them, I felt. I know it pleased his family, widow, son and daughter. So thanks, ITV sports punters and pundits. Never thought I'd say that!
Anyway, enough of that. I've got a few gigs to attend in the UK on my return, later in April. The plan is tat I'll 'do' the funeral then return here to France, for a week or so, then once more journey oer land and sea to England for, maybe, six months, bringing the animals with me, of course. We almost bought a narrowboat for accommodation but hesitated at the very last minute. Thanks go to Carol and George on NB Rock&Roll for their help on this interesting and enviable possibility: nbrocknroll.blogspot
I've arranged tickets to catch a mad Jock steel-guitarist called Dave Acari - someone I've been hoping to catch for a while now; Show of Hands; Steve Tilston; Paul Brady. Not a bad set of artistes. I might also squeeze in the coming tour of Feast of Fiddles, as I know one of the fiddlers, Ian Cutler. He appeared in the cult film, The Wickerman, playing his fiddle for the most part.
Hardly the most subtle of players but entertaining, I'm sure. And that's what it's really all about!