I'm in Cornwall now, having driven down from Cambridge yesterday. The drive was actually fine, in that the traffic wasn't too bad and neither was the weather, but I was pretty dead by the time I got here. This cold is turning out to be a pretty nasty one, though I suspect that anyone other than me who hasn't been running around so much or sitting in any damp caves in wet clothes would probably not find it so icky. Davina and her boyfriend Neill (Davina's an English student who sings in choirs and does theatre...we have connections) stayed last night before heading down to Minack today to see the Philip Pullman plays, which was nice. Davina played the piano for a couple of songs for me for a bit, which was awesome - I don't get the chance to have them accompanied that often. We then moved over to the CD player and sang along to Handel's Messiah...I like THIS sort of karaoke...stuff just has to be at least 70 years old, and then I'm in with a fighting chance.
The dogs have been all over me since I got back, which is always lovely...I miss them SO much when I'm not here. Rocky especially won't leave me alone - he nearly slept on me yesterday. Quite hard sleeping when you have what feels like half a ton of very solid spaniel on your feet. Kiri's a bit more sedate most of the time, but even she's really affectionate when you just come home. She's trying to make us believe she's getting on for an old lady, which she entirely isn't, she's all of 8 and a border collie. YAY dogs.
Today's excitement, though, was new cats! We went to the Cats Protection shelter and had a look at what they had, but nothing really fitted exactly what we wanted. They did, though, have on their waiting list a mother and her kitten. The mother had been a pregnant stray, and the rest of the kittens had already gone to homes, but the general idea was that these two would go together. Our last pair of cats was a mother and her kitten, and they cordially hated each other, so we're not sure these two will really get on in a year or two, when mum decides baby should have found its own patch. We've got room enough that it's unlikely to be a problem though. We don't know the sex of the kitten, so haven't named him yet, but mum's called Cleo. The smart money's on the baby being a boy though, so I want to call him Tolly, short for Ptolemy (yes, I'm an English student. Ptolemy Philadelphus was Cleopatra's son. He wasn't the famous one (there are getting on for 20 of them), and he was never a Pharaoh, though.). Not sure for a girl. Looking it up, Cleopatra's daughter by Anthony was Cleopatra Selene, so maybe Selene would be the answer. That will depend on what the family think.
What photos there are, are here, but they're not great as yet. The kitten's a nutter, chasing around and hunting people's fingers and mum's tail and generally making use of the many excessively sharp points at his disposal. He's (I can't say 'it's'...) adorable though. Cleo has spent most of the afternoon that she's been sat on the windowsill in the study staring outside, desperate to go out, or growling at the dogs when they knock on the door. She's purred tentatively when someone's caught her at the right moment, but she's not really keen yet. Hopefully she will get used to the idea that we're OK when we feed her enough, but at present it's pretty clear that she's been a stray long enough to HATE being cooped up inside. Sadly it has to be, at the moment. She's absolutely beautiful, though - my pictures don't do her justice at all. I'll have a go with the SLR at some stage and see if I can do better. She's a real dark tortoiseshell, the complete opposite, really, of Tiggy, though Tiggy did have a kitten with very similar markings. Kitten's pretty too, with a little white bib and belly, white socks at the back and little white bits on his front paws. YAY CATS.
The other news is that the man who owns the llama farm came down this evening to look at our space and tell us what he thought before we get llamas. Apparently, he's thrilled with the space (I was asleep through this...evil coldy illness), but we need to sort the fencing. I think the general idea is that we'll eventually have four, but we'll start off with two probably in about six or eight months' time. Which means my mum is going to set the island up for ducks sometime in the next few months, probably after she's been to the wildfowl show in November, which means early spring. Menagerie is growing...woohoo!
I uploaded the very few pictures I took in Edinburgh, beyond the statue in the previous post. I was pretty pleased, actually. The evening light in Scotland is lovely because it's so far north, and this particular evening it was so clear you could see the hills on the other side of the Firth of Forth. The skyline lends itself to this kind of picture, too, just in the middle like that. A lot of Edinburgh is big, Georgian, and square, but leaning towards the gothic - so there are lots of turrets and towers like you see here. The stone is also a particularly attractive honey-coloured limestone, with black slate roofing. They whole effect is great!