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Out and About

I've been quite busy the last few days.

Thursday I went into town to see Jasper Fforde signing his new book, Shades of Grey, at Waterstones. As I was on the bus into town, I spotted miss_next  (appropriately) chatting to someone on the pavement outside the Post Office on West Street. For some reason, Jasper had been seated at a table just a few feet inside the open shop door, so he was still bundled up in jumper and coat. He was in good spirits and recognized me, but as usual had to ask my name. The cover of the new book is excellent. It's a future in which society is organized and controlled according to the colours you can see. The cover is a light canvas fixed to the boards, with a paint-by-numbers scheme partly filled in. It's very striking and suits the book. I've just started reading it - different in feel to his previous work, less laugh out loud - but I'm really enjoying now.
  I hung around and chatted for half an hour or so, until Jasper left to move on to his evening talk in Newcastle. I'll see him in Leeds this Thursday.

Friday afternoon I went to the cinema with Gary, who'd acquired a couple of discount vouchers. I just can't get excited about Avatar: I don't care how pretty it is, the actual Dances With Aliens plot doesn't interest me. We saw Sherlock Holmes, which I throughly enjoyed. The trailer emphazised the action elements, but there was good characterization and I liked the scenes where Holmes' thought-processes are shown step by step, before the full-speed action. The visual of late Victorian London was good and I thought it had a terrific soundtrack (by Hans Zimmer).
  In the evening, I had stuff to do including rubbing cornflour into the kitten, and brushing it all out again. This takes some time, and Iella got a teeny bit fractious about being repeatedly brushed, combed and fluffed up.

I was up at 6:30 the next morning. Iella had been sleeping curled up at the top of the stairs and when I switched the hall light on, she blinked at me sleepily, with an expression that clearly said "What are you doing up so early ?" and "Please put that blasted light out." I was up early in order to stuff her into a cat box and take her to a show on the outskirts of Nottingham.
   Once there and checked in by the vet, I settled her into her pen, where she curled up sulkily at the back. This time she was showing in the adult classes, as the upper age limit for kitten classes is 9 months, She's just shy of 10 months and was up against fully mature cats. There was a very pretty tortie and white in the next pen, an experienced show cat which had won several titles. After wandering around the stalls and admiring other cats, Helen and I left the hall while the morning judging was going on (as everyone save the judges and stewards have to)
  Ikea was a few minutes drive away, so we went there. We started with a hot breakfast and then spent a couple of hours pottering around. It's quite a while since I last went to Ikea. I got a new bookcase to replace the one on the landing, which is really almost a collection of planks held together by hope. I also got a floor lamp to go next to my chair in the living room, and a spotlight for my toy collection in the games room. Helen bought a lazy susan for the games room so when we play board games, the board can go on it and people can easily turn the board to read it.
   When we got back to the show, the judging for the Open (title-winning) classes was done. Iella was in a large class, with some strong competition, so I thought she did well to get third. The pretty tortie got first, and titles like Best of Breed, so it was no disgrace to be beaten by her. Iella was also in three side classes - these are the non-title classes with entry by prizes won, age, etc. Iella was unplaced in one class, was third in another large one, and won her Novice class. Sadly this show didn't have rosettes for the side classes, so I only got a red place card (actually, two of them for no good reason), and I didn't get a pretty rosette.
   Steve spoke to the judge of the open class to get her opinion of Iella. The judge said she is a nice cat but of course is still very adolescent and doesn't have a proper double coat yet. She needs a few months or a year at least to mature before she can really compete properly.  So no shows for her for the time being. If I want to continue, I'll show her again in the autumn, when she's about 18 months, just so she doesn't forget what the whole show experience is like. Then if she's still promising, show her again next spring when she's nearer two years old.

After all that, I got back home and had a couple of hours to fuss Diesel, rest, unpack and get ready for Asha's birthday party. I chatted at bit to some of her other friends, talked to her cats, and ate plenty of the good food provided. I'm not a big fan of fresh pineapple, but I found it complements watermelon very well.

Sunday was more restful, though with roleplaying in the evening. I've put up the floor lamp and started rearranging other lighting in the living room and games room. I've also rearranged ornaments in the living room, and decided to get rid of a couple of the older and shabbier things to make room for things I like better..

Today I need to assemble the new bookcase and transfer books. And do Other Stuff.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
25th Jan, 2010 15:31 (UTC)
Well done, Iella! :-)

That was Myfanwy I was talking to. Sorry I didn't spot you... though it is difficult when someone's on a bus.
25th Jan, 2010 18:25 (UTC)
Congrats on the nice placings at the cat show. For such a young gal, she's doing wonderfully!

Definitely sounds like a busy weekend, my goodness! Glad you got to chat with Jasper.
25th Jan, 2010 22:47 (UTC)
Avatar's still worth seeing. The pretty is very pretty, and while the plot isn't deep, complicated, nuanced or original - especially for a 2h30m+ movie - James Cameron does a good job of telling it.

If there are other things that grab your fancy more, by all means go and see them instead. But don't write off Avatar just because it issounds corny.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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