Friday, 14 May 2010


Sometimes I think shopping is a penance delivered down to us male of the species by a revengeful superior being. The females of this world, by and large, enjoy this activity though some purport not to and try to hoodwink us into thinking they are like us. Not true. Nobody has the trials and tribulations that we men do when we undertake to go shopping for some little clothing purchase.

There is a completely different strategy adopted here as well. I, and this is a personal account of things, tend to use the blitz approach, whereby I head for the nearest store, do a five or ten minute recce, see the item I need, pick it up, march to the sales counter, pay for it, bag it and walk away. End of story. Some lady buyers however seem to use the stealth approach, where they may over-fly a huge number of shops, find the very item they want, pick it up, look at it, turn it round, put it back on the rail, go away, come back to it, pick it up, look at it, turn it round, put it back on the rail and go away. Maybe even leave the store altogether, and do the same procedure in a huge number of shops, eventually to return to the first one to discover the size they wanted has now gone, and so the whole process starts again to find a suitable alternative.

We, or at least I, cannot quite figure that out, but apparently it’s all to do with choice and maybe, just maybe out there somewhere is a better bargain that if discovered after purchasing the first choice would be a disaster of cataclysmic proportions. Ok, I can see some logic in this, but the trauma of having to go through the ultimate shopping horror over and over again just appals me and I couldn’t cope with that. This ultimate shopping horror is of course the dreaded ‘trying-it-on’ process. I really detest this part of shopping, and can very happily purchase socks, underwear, shirts in general, casual or otherwise, but trousers …. I begin to break down into a cold sweat and start to shake violently at the very thought of it. It brings back far, far too many disastrous memories of moments of sheer and utter bedlam that has befallen me over the years.

The first approach to buying trousers, be they smart dress ones or simply casual jeans or chinos or suchlike, is to go and weigh up the choices. Not one store has the same size in all their trousers. Each style though it may like to think they have a universal sizing regime in place is just kidding itself. I know from experience that this is simply not true. They are all made by some little foreign tailor half way up a mountain in some far off country and his selection of sizes differ greatly from his pal in another far off country. A size 36 waist in one is a size 34 or even a size 38 in another. A leg length of 34” in one is a 32” in another and so on it goes. This means that I have to ‘try them on’. A relatively simple process, that hundreds of men are capable of doing day in day out. Why then do you think it causes me so much grief and distress ? Is it me … or is it that there is some kind of hidden force field surrounding those horror chambers they called ‘Fitting Rooms’.

I generally find that after a long time looking and wondering and holding up alongside me I finally have the strength to take two pairs to the ‘Fitting Rooms’ and I stride off in search of an assistant. Within seconds of my approach towards these little cubicles, there appears three or more of these people, each one eager to help and ‘assist’. I faff about with my purchase and she then leads me off and into their inner sanctum, and guides me through the opening and there before me is a choice of three small cupboards with a sliding curtain concealing the entrance. This she sweeps aside in a confident manner and ushers me through with the now familiar words … “There you go sir, and just give me a shout if you need any assistance”.

I am now inside this ‘room’, which if I’m lucky is about three feet square with a large mirror on the opposite wall. This mirror is almost always at least one human head length too low. I look across at it and can see myself from the neck down to my knees. There is no head and no feet visible. I try to stand farther back a bit to see if the view improves, but not really I then try the one foot forward and one foot back approach where I am standing like some Robin Hood archer ready to shoot off a whole quiver of arrows. This stance does allow for one foot and a fair section of my head to be seen. I lower myself a fraction more and there, I can see most of my long body in the mirror now. Just then the curtain swings back and the assistant pokes her head in again, and sees me in this squatting position, still dressed as I went into the cubicle, and gives me a long hard look before uttering …

“I’m just awa fir ma tea, so if you’re needing ony help then Rita will be here for you”.

Then after a long pause as she holds the curtain back so Rita can also see my unusual position, she leans a bit farther in and says …

“Yer aaricht aren’t ye … yer nae haeing a seizure are ye?”

“No, no” says I, “I was just about to change me”

“Aye … ah weel, as lang as yer sure yer nae haein a seizure, as wir nae wantin nane o’ that kerry on in here”

“No, no, I’m fine”

Good job I hadn’t just whipped off my trousers at that point as Rita’s colleague was still holding the curtains wide open so everybody in the store could see and hear the ‘victim’ inside. Finally she let it slip and so I started to change me and took off my jacket. Now why is it there is only one silly little hook on the wall here. You would think they might have thought “Heh, these guys are going to take off jackets, trousers, shirts maybe, so let’s give them a few hooks and a couple of hangers etc” But no, one paltry hook, that’s it! Onto the hook goes my outside jacket, then since it’s possibly a cold day outside maybe a jumper too. Then it's time to get the trousers off. By this time I’m getting pretty fed up of all this de-robing in a cupboard the size of a cigarette packet. I’ve already banged my head and elbow on the opposing walls and am a tad annoyed, so decide that basically bugger it, I’m just going to pull the trousers off over my shoes, as I just can’t be arsed to untie and retie my shoes over and over again.

Most times I can generally slip the trouser leg off over a shoe no problem, but go inside a ‘fitting room’ and everything takes on an air of total disaster. I successfully managed to get one leg off, and was on the second leg when the trouser bottom jammed over the heel of the shoe and I was left hopping about the cupboard on one leg while trying to pull the errant leg off the shoe. I started to hop slightly more violently as I pulled ever harder on the offending trouser leg. This set in motion a series of events that neither Marks & Spencer, Rita the assistant and a few others were ever really ready for.

As I bounced around inside the room, I could feel my balance was going and so as I was now in a position with half my trousers around my ankles, one leg flapping freely while the other one impeded my forward progress somewhat, I lurched towards the wall. I was still holding onto the trapped trouser leg, and so stuck out my free hand to balance myself on the solid wall. Unfortunately I misjudged the actual wall position and so instead of connecting with the wall I shot past this and my hand went through the curtained opening instead. This resulted in me being propelled even faster forward and I grabbed desperately at the curtain, and managed to secure a grip on this to try and steady myself. However, as I made a rather fierce lunge at it, I inadvertently pulled the curtain from the rings securing it to the upper rail, and me, the curtain and my trousers shot out through the opening and I landed headfirst at the foot of a small Aberdonian wifie, who was sitting waiting patiently for her husband to emerge from another fitting room. This gave her a pretty nasty scare, as you can imagine, as sitting there minding her own business, suddenly there’s a 6ft plus guy who leaps out of a cubicle with no trousers on and attacks her. I think if she hadn’t possibly jumped up so quickly, things might have been calmer, but she shrieked loudly and on rising tripped over her chair and fell on top of me. At this point her husband stepped outside his cubicle wearing what I can only describe as a lurid deep red jacket and I think both of them must have been a trifle colour blind, but he was met with the scene of his wife of many years cavorting around the floor of Marks & Spencer with another man wearing no trousers.

Rita was beside herself, and summoned a whole host of substitute assistants who had been sitting on the bench seemingly awaiting just such an event, as within minutes I was surrounded by around six or seven of them, all trying to lift Mrs Aberdonian up off the top of me. Meanwhile Mr Flamingo ran around the sorry mess in a state of fear and alarm, trying to tell everybody that Mrs Aberdonian had never done this sort of thing before. I finally managed to get myself extricated from the heap and hauled on one leg of the trouser and the offending leg itself, and so there was a modicum of decorum at last. I gave my apologies to Elsie, as Mrs Aberdonian was called, and she was re-seated and tea was brought to calm the whole sorry situation down. I tried to explain what had happened and to be honest she was a sprightly peerie soul, and having now got over the initial fright began to see the funny side. Norman, Mr Flamingo, still wasn’t quite sure who had instigated the raucous behaviour and so stood a bit back from the scene, before finally taking up position in front of me and directly in front of Elsie and inquired of her …

“Well, after all that … what do you think?”

Elsie, looked up at him, looked across at me and then turned and said ...

“No Norman, No, I don’t think pink’s really your colour”.

I got my shoes off, hauled up my trousers, stood on a chair and rehooked the curtains to the rings, tidied up the mess and put the rest of my clothes all back on again, before finally seeing that Elsie was ok and said my goodbyes. As I left the fitting rooms, Rita the super-assistant, called after me …. “Are ye nae wanting tae try on the ither pair then ….”

I looked back and saw a line up of M&S assistants all grinning like a row of Cheshire Cats, waving two pairs of trousers at me ….

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Today I am recovering. This happens to me a lot nowadays, We cats have to take time out after some of our exploits. This is a process of recharging the batteries after some over exuberant aerobics. Yesterday I was moving with the speed of light, dancing like a butterfly, stinging like a bee … and today I resemble a sloth on half speed.

I enjoy little moments of extreme exploration whereby I can vault up onto the oil tank from where I can deftly span the gap between this and the house and so climb upwards towards the ridge. This is an exciting moment, and I then take up a spate of free-running along the ridgeline chasing unsuspecting starlings. These guys are real stupid.

Recently I had a sublime moment of living life as nature intended, stalking an elusive starling that had chosen to sit atop the chimney. I enjoy these early morning, dawn arising, stealth patrols, they keep me sharp and in tune with the environment. I had ascended the roof by means of the oil tank and the little cute starling was sitting there with his back to me, unaware of my approach. I shuffled along the ridge flat on my belly, SAS style, and crept up behind him. The silly article was tweeting away big time, so helping to drown out any noises I may have made as I grew closer and closer. I did have one slightly dangerous moment, when I was momentarily distracted by a low flying fat pigeon who turned and dive-bombed in an attempt to dislodge me from my flattened ridge position. He very nearly succeeded too, as I made a quick swipe at him as he screamed past and missed and toppled over the ridge, but I grabbed out with both paws and dug in with my claws and managed to hold on. He’s on my list of ‘take-outs’ now … I’ll remember him too; fat, grey with a hint of purple and one red eye. His days are numbered.

I have to confess, I am not the most successful predator, having so far in my long life managed to catch just one very small rabbit, which I didn’t have the heart to kill, and just slipped him into the utility room for a bit of fun one day. Dear God, the mass hysteria that caused! Speak about being useless; humans just don’t seem to be able to get it together when small rodents invade their space. For crying out loud they’re a hundred times their size, but they jump about and stamp the ground and scream and shout, none of which does any good. Why they don’t just bend down and pick the little devils up with their teeth, give it a couple of vicious shakes and it would all be over, but no they get cardboard boxes and brooms and run around trying to sweep them up or bash them over the head. It never works and they generally smash something or other or break windows. Still, it’s great to watch and a just proves that we cats are the Supreme Being.

Anyhow back to the ridge, smarty pants starling is still there singing his heart out on the chimney top, I am now within inches of him and coil myself into the athletic form I am and lean back and leap …… maybe my timing was a tad off, or possibly he had got wind of my approach, but in the half light of the morning I didn’t quite notice the wire stay which supports the metal chimney, and I catapulted into that which sent a loud ‘Twang’ through the air. The next sequence of events was quite spectacular if a trifle worrying. The starling jumped upwards and promptly hit his head on the chimney can and toppled backwards down the chimney! I in turn had spanged off the wire support, smacked my head against the same chimney can and fell backwards down the roof. I scrabbled frantically at the tiles and just managed to grab hold of the last one but the momentum carried me onwards and I lost my grip, I was now within inches of the roof edge and with an almighty twist and turn I sprang through the air and landed heavily on the oil tank roof. Another ‘hunting’ moment gone awry .. once more!

I took a moment to assess things and my position, and was actually quite chuffed that I still had that inbuilt sense of balance and dexterity to fly through the air and land feet first when faced with imminent death. I took a moment to lick my backside, as you do in moments like this, and then lay back with a large grin on my face, rolled over and promptly fell backwards off the tank and landed in among the rose bushes. Not a pretty sight, I shot upwards from there with a few thorns stuck in places thorns shouldn’t go and tried to walk nonchalantly off the flower bed as if nothing had happened. The starlings on the fence wire broke into a huge round of laughter and they mockingly tweeted loudly at me as I ambled off.

Hah … but I had the last laugh, their brother had been forced down the chimney by Elwood the Destroyer and I was still ahead on points. However I began to realise this may cause large amounts of distress to the humans, as the chimney was attached directly to the wood stove, and there was no means of escape for the said starling. I took a stroll across to the patio door and from this excellent vantage point I could see directly into the sitting room. There in front of me was the glass fronted wood stove, with a small frantic looking bird darting about inside the fire. It laughingly being called the 'summer' there were no flames, just an empty grate …. and a blackened dancing starling doing the macarena.

Things could only get better … it was just an hour or so before the humans would be getting up, and so I settled down to a short nap before the excitement and fun would commence. I didn’t have to wait long as sure enough I awoke to see the man of the house coming into the room in his usual early morning gait, ambling around in his boxers looking out on the sea and down towards the beach. Oh, goodie, goodie …. wait till he checks the fire …. Yip here he goes, his attention drawn to the noise of the starling doing back flips behind the glass door.

“Good God … what’s that” he mutters to himself …. “Oh my God, it’s a bird, how the hell did it get in there?”

He stands and looks at it, while the starling stops his aerobics and similarly stands head cocked to one side and looks back at him. A stand off ensues. He then sees me looking in at the patio doors, and comes across and opens them and lets me in. I feign love and affection by weaving between his legs and then edge up to the fire for a closer look. Hee Hee, what a cracker, the bird gives me the eye and I give him my fiercest twitching mouth, bristling whiskers look, and pretend to paw at the door.

“Heh!” he says, “Come away from the fire”

“How are we going to get him out of there?” … he asks nobody but himself, as he doesn’t realise I can understand him.

You’ve got you’re work cut out of there pal, I think to myself, but Hell it’s going to be a lot of fun watching this.

He ambles off and in a minute the Mrs of the house returns with him. They both look down at the starling, which is now into his Dirty Dancing routine, jiving back and fore inside the grate, kicking up the ash and dust and generally making a right meal of it.

A few minutes pass while they both look at the bird and the fire and a lot of muttering goes on until finally he heads off out of the room, only to return a few minutes later with a large dustsheet. Oh wow … this looks good! He proceeds to describe in minute detail to her the intricacies of the capture manoeuvre. It sounds too good to be true, he thinks if he deftly opens the door a mere fraction and positions himself close by with the sheet, when the starling makes his escape he will capture the bird in the sheet and then release it outside. Simples! Ho Ho ….

She takes up position on the door handle, he in squatting poised dustsheet-at-the-ready stance, the fun is about to start. I retreat a few steps behind as I just know this is never going to work, but I might just be able to nip in and capture the starling with a quick pounce if he tries to make a get away. Slowly, ever so slowly, she cranks open the fire door and he is now moving slightly closer, a bit further, but still no bird appears, a bit wider the door opens and still no sign of the little devil. Finally she opens it completely and looks inside, he’s nowhere to be seen. This is clever, what’s he done, I take a step nearer too and both of us are now peering into the fire grate. He must have climbed in behind the throat plate or something like that …. and the Mrs and me look at one another, and just as we look back into the fire …. he leaps out from behind the plate and makes a dash for freedom.

Holy Shit … all hell breaks loose …. She falls backwards with fright at the bird flying past her nose, he steps on the dust sheet and then tries to throw it over the speeding feathered object, trips himself up and lands in a heap on the loose mat which shoots outwards and in turn upends himself onto the floor, throwing the dust sheet over his wife. She scrabbles about underneath it while he in turn rolls over on the mat and lunges desperately at the zooming starling. I, to show willingness, give a couple of swipes at it as it flies past which does make it alter it’s flight path considerably and it goes onto head butt the patio door quite forcibly. He leaps up to try and catch the stunned bird, and I join in the merry frolics, but possibly I am not helping matters, as he inadvertently trips over me and disappears over the back of the settee in what I have to say is a beautiful manoeuvre, somewhat reminiscent of a swan landing on a loch. There is a tremendous crash from behind the sofa, and I guess there’s no water there to absorb his landing. Mrs Homeowner meanwhile has finally extricated herself from the dustsheet and is chasing the bird around the sitting room. He appears to be trying to get up again, as a few grunting sounds comes from behind the sofa, and slowly his dishevelled head appears above the backrest. I have taken this moment to slip quietly away and take up a position near the opposite window sitting with my mouth as wide open as I can, in the faint hope the starling will fly directly into it. This doesn’t happen as while the bird is heading in my direction, so are the humans armed with the dust sheet amid cries of despair as they dart round and round the room chasing the blasted thing.

I have to say I haven’t had so much fun since the day they tried to give me a tablet, and watch in amazement as the chase ensues. The final and ultimate tactic is a clever one in a way, but not necessarily the best for all concerned. He decides to open the patio door as wide as he can, while she tries to steer the wild-eyed, high speed, super jet Mr Starling towards the opening. Three aborted attempts later, they are closing in on the beast, and a concentrated effort on their part with the dustsheet is the plan. They shoot past me holding the sheet high between them, above their heads and driving the bird towards the open door, the bird finally dives down and out into the open air. So too does he …. not as was initially planned I think, as with the sheet over his head he shoots out through the opening, landing on the cold concrete in his bare feet, which in turn is littered with small sharp white stones.

The story of the 7.30am bus seeing a ghostly vision outside of a Levenwick house as it cruised past was told for many a day. Not only was this apparition flaying about, but it was seen to be jumping wildly up and down too. A fearsome sight with a blood curdling wail emanating from within.

Later, talk at breakfast was all about ‘the flaming bird’ or words to that effect, and how it could have fallen down the chimney. I lay there at the side of the Rayburn, saying nothing ….. but I knew, because a little bird had told me.

Friday, 16 April 2010


As you will have read in the last post I am the new occasional contributor to this blog. Firstly I should probably introduce myself. I am Elwood. Elwood J Blues, harmonica and vocals. My brother Jake E Blues was the other half of the team. We are two dude cats, separated soon after birth and we have gone our separate ways in life. Of Jake, I have no idea what became of him. That’s what happens to cats. We are an independent breed who lives a life of relative freedom compared to dogs that are carried, led, fed, bred and made to take part in other human designed activities. We, cats, on the other hand occasionally slip in and out of humans’ lives in a kind of semi destructive sort of way, and so make our presence known.

I was originally cared for by my current mentors daughter, who lavished enormous amounts of care and affection on me, and I kindly returned this love by inflicting a cat dust/hair aversion of huge proportions on her other love, namely her partner. This resulted in me being adopted by her father and his long-suffering wife. At least that is what they think. I actually adopted them, and they in turn have yet to agree the terms of our co-habitation, but they will eventually see the main conditions I’ve set are right and proper and come round to my way of thinking.

That therefore is the basis of my existence etc. I like to think my mother was an errant Siamese of good breeding, and my father a randy Tom who happened to be passing by. I have inherited my mothers’ good looks, and possibly a slight smattering of my fathers ‘streetwise’ cunning and panache. I fear I may well have also picked up the genes from my grandfathers stupidity and in some cases, a hell of a lot of them. This is not good. It has little or no kudos in the big wide world, and you will see in the posts that follow that this has a large bearing on all that I do and all that happens to me.

Suffice to say, this little tale of Fire and Water is a case in point. I generally find weather a phenomenon I could do without. I don’t need seasons. I need sun and warmth. Snow is not in my list of pluses. Ok, I do sometimes let myself slip and find rare moments of fun and excitement in snowy days, where I accompany the man of the house in his moments of madness, and we sledge down the hill together. He then carries me back up to the top of the hill on the back of the said sledge, which he finds highly amusing and of course I find very satisfying and saves me platching through the deep drifts. Good combo.

This particular day I had been out for a small ablution moment, and to say it was cold is not the word, it was bloody freezing and my whole head and body was a freeze zone. I blundered back into the house and took up residence directly in front of the Rayburn. An essential item in every cat home. However, Mrs Boss was busy cooking soup this evening and I appeared to be in the way. How that could be I just cannot imagine, but I was summarily shoved through to the sitting room. I made a mental note to rub up alongside her black newly ironed jeans, just so as we understand who’s really the Boss around here.

I sauntered casually into the sitting room, giving her one of my ‘looks’ and wandered through towards the mulberry coloured rug in front of the fire. A good spot of back rolling, leg waving, head rubbing ensued and I then sat up and satisfied I’d left enough hairs to merit a comment and a Hoovering session tomorrow morning I stretched out and dozed fitfully. After a moment, although I felt comfortable, I was still suffering the effects of squatting down on my haunches in the wet, cold snow. I decided to take up position closer to the wood burning stove. A thing of beauty and delight. It was in full furnace mode, having just had a load of wooden logs supplied, it crackled and spat, and so I edged nearer and sat there staring at the glowing red embers and absorbing it’s warmth and cosiness.

I may have dropped off for a brief moment, but the next thing I knew I was grabbed from behind, hoisted in the air and the room was filled with the cries of “Oh My God … look at the cat” and “For the love o’ God what a stupid animal” and one phrase which did attract my attention more than the rest … “Quickly, fill the basin with water, his head’s on fire!” I have to say I was slightly aware of a burning hair sensation and more accurately a slight singeing smell wafting through the air as I was transported at some speed I might add through to the kitchen. This manoeuvre seemed to fan the flames so to speak and I have to say I was quite annoyed at being grabbed in such a violent manner and lashed out at Mr Mentor. I managed to leave my mark on his bare arms, so we both understood my annoyance, and unfortunately he seem to tighten his grip even more.

“He’s not going to like this, but it’s all we can do!” ….. Well he got that bit right. We sailed through into the kitchen and in a moment of sheer madness, he upended me and plunged me head first into the basin full of water. What the hell did he think he was playing at!? For God’s sake cats and water … not a combination you want to play around with. There was a loud hissing sound as my head disappeared into the bowl, and a further loud hissing sound as I re-emerged. The first was from the burning hair and the second from my mouth. I lunged desperately at the idiot that was holding me and managed to inflict an open wound on his other arm and then set about systematically wiping every dish, cup, pot, pan, utensil, and cutlery from the kitchen drainer as I made my escape. He had by now slipped his grip on me and was dancing around the room, waving his arms about like a windmill, and she in turn was chasing after him shouting something about ‘blood everywhere’ and to stand still.

I took a calculated risk and leapt from the drainer, soaking wet and abseiled down the towels onto the floor and skittered across the wooden floor and made my escape towards the bedroom. Always a good safety position, as being old and becoming infirm they cannot always get down to crawl underneath the bed and get hold of me. I just lie there for a while until they are both down on all fours crawling in, and then just leap towards their heads, they in turn shoot upwards and crack themselves on the bed planks, and in the confusion that follows, I simply walk over the top of them and out of the room. It works every time. You would think they might learn, but no, not ever.

After an hour or so, I ventured out and casually lay in the sitting room doorway and listened to the conversation. I gathered after a moment they were discussing me ….

“I saw him, he just was sitting there with his eyes closed leaning slowly forward”

“What, was he asleep then?”

“Yes, fast asleep … then he just leaned a bit too far and fell slowly against the stove, with his forehead firmly clamped up against the side ”

“Why didn’t you shift him?”

“Well, I didn’t think the stupid twat would just lie there, I thought he would spring back when he realised he was burning, but he just lay there, his eyes closed, his head burning and a little wisp of smoke slowly rising upwards from his forehead !!”

‘Stupid twat’ .. That’s no way to refer to your pet cat ... another mental note to sit on his newly washed car next weekend, after I’ve walked through a couple of puddles first.

So, so … seems I may have inadvertently fallen asleep headfirst into the side of the wood burning stove, and obviously caused a minor incident that escalated into something resembling a small nuclear war the way it was being portrayed by the humans. I did notice that the soup was no longer in the pans, there appeared to be a few broken plates in the waste bin, and virtually all the walls and floors in the kitchen had been scrubbed, though the tell tale specks of red seemed to linger on every one. Hmmmm … I slipped outside for a while and had a sleep in the garage until the dust settled, and then He was out in the morning whistling on me with a bowl of fresh new biscuits. Nice one Elwood.

Monday, 12 April 2010


Hi there … I have been away from here for a while, and you have probably never noticed, but we’re back! Just really to say cheerio … again !

What’s happening is this … apparently the book ‘Cats, Clouds & Flatpacks’ turned out to be the Shetland Times Christmas Bestseller and firstly, many, many thanks to all of you out there who bought a copy. The feedback has been brilliant, and it seems you all seemed to enjoy the nonsense contained within and liked reading about my misfortunes. That’s nice !

The result of this now is that the ‘Times’ are interested in a second book for the 2010 or more probably the 2011 Christmas market, and so I have been busy compiling another selection of short stories to share with you all. There seemed little point in ‘blogging’ them all on here initially, as if they then all end up in the book, there will be nothing new for you to savour or complain about, so hence the forfeit of postings!

However, as I sit and type away on the computer there are other moments, mostly in the life of Elwood, my feline companion, which I think you might enjoy, and so as these little snippets will most probably never end up in any book, I intend to share them on here.

So from time to time, I will hand over the laptop to Elwood, and he will randomly post moments of madness from his life, his thoughts on world events, and his take on the Theory of The Copenhagen Interpretation (The part where the furniture in your house behaves differently when you’re not around) and so on …

He tells me he wants to share with you the time his head went on fire, and so sometime in the next week or so he may scribble down this traumatic story from his life. There are other similar events apparently that he feels may need a wider audience and has listed car surfing, sky-diving, sleepwalking among them. We’ll see if he masters the intricacies of the computer keyboard, and hopefully from time to time a small epistle may well appear.

Meanwhile, once again, many thanks for all your support for ‘Cats, Clouds & Flatpacks’ the book; and hopefully by November I may have managed to write another slim volume of utter nonsense for you to slip unnoticed into somebody’s Christmas stocking for 2010 … or if not then maybe 2011 ;)

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Hey Rowalski ..... Check out page 53 !!

Thanks to everybody who turned up for the Book Launch on Saturday and bought a copy of 'Cats Clouds & Flatpacks' and I hope you get as much fun out of reading it as I did in writing it. The whole experience has been great, and it was a lot of fun meeting up with everybody and thanks especially for all the good wishes and to Kit for the Flowers! That was different I have to say, but great all the same!

For those of a statistical leaning you may be interested to know that all together we consumed a total of 5 packets of Jelly Babies in 2 hours. This may be a record ….. :) 

Meanwhile this blog is also beginning to take on a life of its own, so with a bit of luck I’ll try and keep posting my version of events as and when they happen or as my memory recalls them. If you want to keep up to date with these then you can ‘subscribe’ either to the free email notification service using the Blog Alert link, or the RSS Feeds, or just put this web page in your favourites and check it out from time to time.

Thanks again.


Monday, 16 November 2009


Who … Magnie !? Written a book !? Good Grief !!

12 Noon - 2 PM

Possibly you’re wondering what the film Madagascar, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo have to do with a book signing in Shetland ? It’s a long story really, but I have this similarity to Melman - we share the same tailor - and Gloria and I bonded at Busta House one night.

If perchance ( I have waited years to use that word ) you may feel you want to know more, then the book ‘Cats, Clouds and Flatpacks’ includes a passing reference to them, in among a few other stories.

Having read it you come to the conclusion that the writer may well be a few clowns short of a circus, you are probably quite correct. But I hope you have a giggle finding out.

So if you’re in town on Saturday 21st between 12 and 2 and find yourself outside the Shetland Times shop, come in and say hello. Otherwise I’m going to look a right numpty sitting there all on my own with my bag of jelly babies and a biro pen :)

Monday, 12 October 2009


These minor events have begun to take on a world of their own, and have now been collated into a book due to go on sale on Saturday 21st November. "Cats, Clouds & Flatpacks" is a paperback with a collection of 15 stories, some of which you may have met before, and some you probably haven't. This is 'the book' that a few folks have been asking - when is it coming?   Well, it will be here soon!

The whole idea of course is designed to make you giggle, and hopefully when you read through the book you will maybe do just that. Laughing is good for you and makes you feel better. Just don't do it with a glass of wine or a cup of hot coffee in your hand. Not a good idea.

If I get the hang of all this gobbeldy-gook I'll keep you posted on the launch date and times, and any other moments that we (that's Elwood and me) think we should share with you. Meanwhile as a taster of things to come, here's a pic showing the covers.