Missing My Bin Buddy

Obviously Trixie died the other day, I mentioned that. And it was ridiculously sad and upsetting and, in all honesty, I still tend to look out of the window thinking I’ll see her pottering past or jumping up onto the windowsill to stare at me until I give her some food.

It’s bloomin’ ridiculous. She can’t do any of that because she’s been lovingly buried in a garden a couple of houses away.

But it’s still genuinely gutting.

It really hit home today when I went out to the bins earlier on.

This time last week, Trixie would come running through the gardens and hang out as I sorted out glass bottles or tipped my card and plastic into the green bin. She always used to accompany me as I took the bin round from the back of the house to the front, running ahead to make sure the coast was clear and then waiting patiently by the front door to be let in for some nibbles as she used the house as a shortcut back into the garden.

And today I went out and she wasn’t there. No tell-tale jingle of her collar, or the rattle of the gate as she jumped through it. Nothing.

It sucked.

Absolutely sucked.

Because I was still checking where I was walking to make sure I didn’t trip over her. Still checking the the coast was clear before I moved the bins. Still doing things I did all the time when she was still about. I know that she’s not about anymore. But I can’t stop doing the things…

I almost want us to get another cat, just to fill the void left by a cat that wasn’t ours. The stuff with Trixie is almost like the plot to War Horse – everyone takes responsibility for it at some point but only two people every actually owned it. It’s the same with Trixie. She was everyone’s cat, by virtue of her unashamedly just meandering into people’s houses and making herself at home, but only one person actually owned her.

I don’t even want to put the bins out anymore because it seems wrong to do it without my little buddy. Peppa doesn’t accompany me. She just sits and watches. Anything could happen to me as I round the corner. Trixie used to run on ahead to make sure I’d be safe, and then wait for me to catch up. Peppa’s too chicken when it comes to things like that. She sits there and says, “You’re on your own, my friend.” And then when she knows I’m safe she’ll mooch round to see what’s what. And if I wasn’t safe I bet she’d mooch round and feed on my corpse.

It’s not the same.

Every now and again I think that if I had just called to her as she walked past the house earlier in the day, could I have saved her life. If I’d got her to come in for some food and a mooch, would I have changed where she was at the fateful time. It’s the Butterfly Effect, but for a cat. Or Sliding Doors.

A cat for pity’s sake.

Not even our cat.




Today was one of those days where you learn a little bit of behind the scenes information that you had never even considered.

We were watching parts of the Remembrance Day broadcast this morning, and saw the laying of the wreaths around the Cenotaph. And as we were watching, we had a little “oh…” moment.

Because on the steps surrounding the monument, circles had been drawn. And inside each circle was an initial. And that, it turned out, was where each individual would lay their wreath. We noticed it, first, as Teresa May walked up to lay her tribute, once we’d finished joking that the band should have been playing the Darth Vader march music as she walked up. There on the stair, right there, was not a little mouse with clogs on but a circle with a big T in it. Presumably for Teresa, but it equally could have stood for Terrible or Twit.

It’s probably something that’s only really become visible with the advent of better TVs and filming equipment. I assume that such a thing has always been there. Because I can’t imagine there’s anything more awkward, say, than the Prince of Wales having to nudge a couple of wreaths along a little bit to stop his from overhanging the edge of a step.

It, along with one of the representatives of the Commonwealth and/or Colonies telling his group when to bow, raise their heads and turn around was like a little peep behind a very well regimented curtain.

Although my highlight of all the proceedings was during the singing of “God Save The Queen” which affords the Queen a moment of respite – her not having to sing about God saving herself, it would appear – to have a good look around the crowd and see who was not singing, You could see her at it. A little bit of cheeky side-eye out into the crowd, checking on her subjects, seeing if any of them will be removed from any Honours list. Or, more likely actually, checking all around to make sure Prince Andrew hasn’t set up some sort of elaborate King Ralph-esque way to launch himself to the throne rather than just become more bitter and twisted with each passing child that stands in his way.


Curry Favour

Dear Sainsbury’s,

You know, I’m not even mad. This is not even a message of complaint. It’s more a message of awareness. Or maybe by writing it down I’ll be able to make sense of it all. But I don’t think I will. Because it makes little or no sense. But hey, here we go.

Last week, we did a shop. Among the items on the shop were two bags of currants, weighing in at 500g each. For those keeping score, that’s a kilogram of currants. There were, it appeared, no currants in the Huddersfield area and we received a substitute item in place of these currants. Two hundred grams of raisins. Which is a fifth of the desired weight in entirely the wrong dried fruit.

I mentioned this to our delivery guy this morning as we discussed what is about to appear below, and he said that seemed okay because there are all sorts of dried fruits and that there can’t be any difference between them really. And then mentioned cranberries. Which are very different. So I stopped talking to him about it.

Anyway, today. Today I ordered a ready meal because I was at work this evening and knew I wouldn’t be bothered to cook anything. Equally, I work in a job where I may finish later than I initially think due to incoming bookings so meal times can be fluid. My desired meal – a chicken jalfrezi – was not in stock so I received a chicken tikka in its stead.

Not just one.

FOUR of them.


Where I had ordered a £2.50 meal. I received £10 of substituted items.

I sent them all back because I didn’t really fancy a tikka but… I mean… what? Last week it’s a fifth of what we ordered, this week four times as much. What’s even more confusing regarding the jalfrezi is that when I ordered it there were at least two others that showed up on the items page – either of which would have been preferable to enough tikka to float a boat in. An admittedly very small boat, but a boat none-the-less.

I don’t know what you do with feedback like this.

I assume you pass it on to the store and then next week someone will stamp on my eggs. Although as they’re always consistently packed at the bottom of the crates often under the cushioning safety of products such as large bags of potatoes it would be hard to tell if any actual egg-stamping had taken place.

Seriously, though, I’m not annoyed, cross or demanding that something be done. I’m just bemused. And I know from when I worked in customer service that there’s not really a category for bemusement.

As a side-note, I did finish – I mean the fictional children of ours finished – the Lego Card collection this year, despite the best work of the delivery team not to hand over anything!




Carole’s just rung me with sad news.

She’s out at the moment, babysitting her niece while her sister and brother-in-law are in London.

But she’s just had a phone call from Trisha, our neighbour, to say that Trixie – beloved gorgeous, super-friendly, adorable, loving fluffball Trixie – has been found dead at the end of the road, presumably hit by a car.

Absolutely gutted.

Not even our cat and I’m gutted. Trixie has been a part of our lives for the last eight months or so. You couldn’t go outside, or even open the door, without hearing the distinctive jingle of her collar. And now she’s gone.


She was a bloody lovely cat as well, despite what her owner may have said about her. There were always countless over-the-fence discussions about how unloving she was a cat. She couldn’t be stroked. She couldn’t be picked up and held. She was always clawing at things.

And she’d come to us and she’d be rolling over and letting us tickle her tummy, letting me pick her up and carry her around, rubbing herself on my legs and – mainly – eating anything we offered her.

I’d always put a little pile of cat biscuits out for her if I knew she was in the garden.

And only yesterday I happened to look up from what I was doing to find her staring intently through the front room window, the breath from her nostrils fogging up the glass. So, obviously, she came in for a little bit and sat on the inside windowsill eating biscuits and getting warm.

And now all that is gone.

When I got off the phone to Carole I came straight upstairs and gave Peppa a massive hug. And that started a long presentation about road safety. It’s the only way.

I saw everyone running down the road this afternoon as well. Now it makes all sorts of sense. I initially thought that the child of a lady further up the road must have toddled out of the garden and was meandering down the road, such was the speed she went at. But I guess that wasn’t the case.

I’m genuinely gutted.

Trixie was the best cat we never owned.


Filling With Anger

I’m beginning to think that my filling is in some way cursed. Or, rather, that my cavity is in some way cursed, so I will never even get as far as a filling.

On the same day that the dentist recoiled in horror at what I thought was a missing filling and later discovered to be an entirely buggered tooth, I had an x-ray. That revealed that I needed a filling. They didn’t know this while I was there because I was allowed to leave before the x-ray was developed.

The dentist phoned me the day after my appointment, but I didn’t answer the call because I was nowhere near my phone. They left no messages regarding the fact I needed to make an appointment for a filling, so I thought it was some sort of customer satisfaction bollocks, which is the sort of thing they’d do, and thought nothing of it.

Two weeks later (!) they called and told me I needed a filling – I can’t just make appointments out of the blue, so I said I’d need to check when was best and ring back. In between this call and me ringing back, I also got a letter telling me that if I didn’t make the appointment I would have to pay for my extraction – a letter essentially accusing me of inaction when they hadn’t called for two whole weeks… but hey.

So I made the appointment.

And they cancelled it because it was the only one on the day for my dentist, so basically she wanted the day off.

So I re-made the appointment.

And I was halfway there this morning when they rang me and cancelled it because the dentist is off sick.

If I cancel an appointment at short notice, I get charged for it… just saying.

So now I have to make it again – obviously they tried to get me to make it today, but if there’s one thing I don’t enjoy doing it’s discussing dental appointments on a packed bus so I said I’d have to call back. Plus the one they offered me was at 3pm and only mad people have appointments in the middle of an afternoon – that right there is a whole day ruined.

So now I’m probably going to get a letter tomorrow accusing me of dental neglect or something because I still haven’t made the appointment yet.

I’m tempted to get hold of Bob Mortimer on Twitter and ask him if I can go round to his and do my own filling, perched on a chair on his kitchen table, or however he said he did it on Would I Lie To You?

That way it might get done…