my mother was visiting and she took one look at Lucy and said ‘I think she’s getting fluffier’.

Save me please.

8 May 2016



Lady Jane.

After Lucy moved in lady Jane got very anxious and grumpy. She’s always been an anxious cat, and new cats are the Most Stressful Thing for lots of cats, so I wasn’t really surprised. And after six months or so she calmed down a lot (especially after Lucy finally realised that not all cats want to be her very best friend and started giving Lady Jane lots of space). But about two weeks or so ago she seems to have a reached a whole new level of acceptance and has become a very happy cat again. She’s picked up a whole number of habits and behaviours I totally forgot she even had/did. Like, I forgot she used to wake me up every morning by lying on top of the blankets (if you aren’t expecting it, there’s nothing more terrifying than your half-conscious brain realising there’s a heavy weight on your chest, obstructing your breathing ever-so-slightly). And I forgot that she used to follow me around when I’m home, chatting about her day. I forgot how she used to leave her little foam balls at the foot of the bed in the middle of the night. And I forgot that she likes to roll around on the floor ecstatically, paws flailing in the air, and making little ‘mrr mrr’ noises, when she’s happy.

My sense is that Lady Jane just takes a long time to adjust to anything. She took about three years to really settle in after I first adopted her. So I’m actually sort of hopeful that she might even be at ease enough to be friends with Lucy. Which is all Lucy has wanted from day one. For now I’m just really happy to see Lady Jane being ridiculous again.

12 April 2016

This week I’ve been reading…

basically nothing. Because first, I’m still reeling from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot which is the sort of book that slowly seeps into you and takes hold of your brain and also your feelings in subtle but strong ways (like, it took me a very long time to realise that it was making me feel a constant trickle of anxiety about social rules; also, it represents trauma and depression in complex ways that I still can;t wrap my head around).

Second, end-of-term wrap up has kept me busy. Final lectures to prep, and exams to write, and a Good Deal of Email. Plus grading, grading, grading.

I did start Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale a few days ago. It’s a fast, engrossing read. A change from Dostoyevsky. I have mixed feelings about it. It’s a good modern-day romance along the lines of The Woman in White or The Monk or anything weird by Walpole. But that also means it’s got a lot of the sensationalising of violence (particularly sexual violence) for entertainment that I’m uncomfortable with in contemporary literature. But it also points a bit more to the traumatic effects of violence in ways that Walpole certainly doesn’t give a poop about (I’m looking at you, Mysterious Mother).

We’ll see.

(I don’t know what happened in that last paragraph. I’ve got no real eloquence left these days.)

((I am totally equating the Gothic novel with romance but you prove to me that they aren’t the same thing.))

9 April 2016

Vegetarian pasta: a three-part drama.


Me: [trimming spinach]

Lucy: Spinach!

Me: Stay off the table.

Lucy: [jumps on the table] Spinach!

Me: Don’t touch the spinach, please. Stay out of the spinach! Stay out of the spinach!

Lucy: [stands on edge of bowl, knocks bowl to floor, runs away with mouth full of greens] SPINACH!!


Me: [Slicing lemons.]

Lady Jane: Scratch my ears, please.

Me: There’s lemon juice all over my hands tho’.

Lady Jane: Scratch my ears now.

Lady Jane: [shoves face under hands]

Lady Jane: Lemons.

Lady Jane: [sneezes, yowls]

Me: I told you.

Lady Jane: Lemons all over my fur.

Lady Jane: [more sneezes, yowls]

Me: Sorry.



Me: [opening pasta]

Pasta: [explodes all over the floor]

Lucy: Pasta! Pasta!!

Lucy: [eats dried pasta. scatters the rest to dimensions unknown.]

Me: [holds broom hopelessly.]

Lucy: PASTA!!!

25 December 2015

(Happy Catmas.)