Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.


Is it fair to say that it's an English thing to appreciate a game played well rather than a game won at all costs? May be. I can't help feeling a sense of disbelief when I watched the latest game played by England. It wouldn't be fair to criticize either the manager or the players without mentioning the fact that they were playing on a pitch that was almost reminiscent of a bog! What chance would there be to show off even the most aspired footwork on a pitch that was an utter disgrace to the sport of sports to red-blooded keen paying supporters? The fact that the ground itself is named Wembley makes the whole farcical affair even worse. The game should never have been played there. Should any future major game be played there? As a nation that enjoys sportsmanship more than most we should at least have given our own sportsmen 'the England football team' a fair and fighting chance of beating the opponents - a pitch that bad is taking fair play too far!


As a young child my mother always greeted November with the following saying "no sun, no moon, November."
November is still a month of moisture with rain, mist, occasional fog and a dampness in the air even on the sunniest of days when the fine droplets of water or morning dew outline the spiders' webs - secretly tucked into the hedgerows. It no longer holds the threat of the thick swirling "pea-souper" that used to cloak the land like a blanket. Fog had a thick almost yellow tinge and an acrid smell that would almost bite the back of the throat it was considered a threat to life. People would hold handkerchiefs over their noses and mouths or wrap scarves around their heads to avoid breathing it in. Every year there were bronchial troubles and deaths that were attributed to it.
Now in 2007 it is lovely now to see some November sunshine. Sometimes the days are grey and hold the threat of rain but at least the month now holds the promise of being able to see the sun and the moon. There is always one day during the month Winter opens its gates and we have a glimpse of snow - just to warn us that December is on the way!

Black, white and retractable

I had always had dogs and was determined never to have a cat. Cats to me always seemed either very distant and cold or over friendly and constantly rubbing around your legs. No happy medium. So I was going to always stick with dogs.
My resolution was changed one year when we took a holiday on the Isle of Man. My son, whose only interest in pets up until this point were stick insects had declared that he would really like one of the cats with no tails. For those who have never been to the Isle of Man their cats come in three varieties: long tails, stumpies, and most renowned are the tail-less ones. Apparently any of the cats can bare each type of kitten either a normal long tailed version, a small one-and-a-half to two inch tail version, or a none or nob tail (no tail) version. As I later found out it is apparently caused through a birth defect similar to spina bifida in humans, which can cause obvious complications. Besides the usual Manx cats there was a very unusual tabby cat - it was a real bagpus - yes it was a definite pink, so much so I asked whether it had been dyed but was told no there were cats of that colouring on the Isle of Man - so for cat lovers everywhere >>> that must be where pink cats come from. I have never seen one since - they certainly don't appear to reside where I live!
Our family cat pictured above, came as a kitten from an animal sanctuary. She had been the runt of the litter. Very small, born to a very young cat - really only a kitten herself. The whole litter including the mother cat had apparently been discarded. All of the other kittens had died one by one until only one tiny one was left. She was so small that they kept her at the sanctuary until she had turned four months old. When we were allowed to bring her home she was very quiet. Not a sound came from her with the exception of a purr. She still purrs now almost continually. As a kitten, she stayed in the house for a long time before she would venture into the garden and it was months before she eventually explored any further. Her favourite game at this time was to hide either somewhere within the house or behind a plant or bush in the garden and wait until one of us walked past - then out would shoot her paw - and latch on to a raw leg, foot, shoe or trouser. Her young claws were as sharp as a surgeons scalpal. It's quite strange because whereas with a young puppy it's easy to say "no" and they look at you with doleful eyes and soon catch on. A cat is totally different - they just stare back at you and continue to play the game.