Bad year

So far this year has pretty much been a lousy one. Someone I really liked and thought liked me stamped all over my feelings and left me utterly crushed and depressed. The bastards who call themselves Edinburgh City Council are trying to take me to court for money the claim I owe them for repairs to my block of flats which the rpevious resident was suppsoed to pay. They very nicely shoved a court summons through my door (not even in an envelope, sticking out for anyone passing to pick up and read). DOn’t bother phoning me or sending a letter, just take him to court like he’s a common fucking criminal. Nice treatment, huh? One of my dearest friends is terribly ill and having to undergo an awful lot of seriously nasty treatment to ger her better (and she will get better or I’ll find God ro whoever runs the universe and ram a Claymore right up their arse – sideways). And as if this isn’t enough – and the year is only three months old so far – a big old chunk of filling and tooth just broke off today (I know, mild by the standards of the first three troubles, but just seems to be a general pattern of lots of crap things happening to me but never good things right now) and, after this weekend an even more depressing humiliation – Scotland getting totally buggered 31-nil by France. Not a single point while playing on their own home ground in Murrayfield rugby stadium in Edinburgh. How crap is that? Scotland’s rugby team have hit a new low… Sigh, I remember the glory days of only a few years ago when we beat everyone and took the Grand Slam, utterly unstoppable… Now I suspect my old school’s First XV could crush them. The other blows this year were terrible, but this feels like a stake in my cold, black heart ….

Thank goodness for cats and chocolate…

On which note Gordon and I took my chum Melanie to the Royal Museum last weekend, It was Mel’s birthday and she’s an even bigger cat person than I am. By which I mean she loves cats not that she turns into a jaguar or leopard when sexually aroused like the protagonist of Val lewton’s Cat People. Unless there’s something she’s not telling me and htose claw marks on her once pristine Habitat sofas wer enot caused by Zag and Dizzy at all… Anyway, we went to the Cats: a History of predators exhibition at the museum. Excellent stuff, although obviously aimed as much at kids as adults, so we had to negotiate our way through lots of toddlers running around. I found one cat which is called a Gordon Cat – hey my very own Clan Cat!!!! Coooollllll! In fact it’s cool for cats… Next to a display explaining why cats from domestic to lions sleep so much of the day (because they can) they had a huge cat-basket, full of giants cushions for kids to take a catnap! Even had little tiger suits to wear (they didn’t fit me, alas).

Great fun but more than a little worrying just how many of the creatures featured were on the endangered list. And not just big cats in Africa or Asia, even here in Europe. The Iberian Lynx is thought to be down to about 150 animals on the Spanish peninsula. They live often among trees from which cork is harvested. You’d think now more plastic caps are used for wine bottle they would be safer, right? Wrong – when they harvested cork they had to replant to keep up supplies. Now they don’t need them they don’t replant and farmers are clearing the land for agriculture, decimating the habitat of the lynx. Fortunately my moggies suffer no such intrusion into their habitat.

After sampling some more exhibits in the musuem we headed off to the nearby Elephant House (one of several cafes in Edinburgh which is claimed as the one where JK Rowling famously wrote her first Harry Potter novel) and enjoyed a nice chat over good coffee and even better chocolate cake with marshmallow bits in it. Mel scandalsied me by asking for a low-cal cake. There is no such thing, I told her. And if there were I would hunt down the chef responsible and impale him on a sharp stake just like Uncle Vlad used to do, cover him in whipped cream and let hungry cats loose on him. Low-cal cake indeed! And on her birthday??? Needless to say Doctor Joe’s wisdom prevailed and much yummier cake was consumed by all, after which we went for a wander, got some nice CDs for a bargain in good old Fopp then some booze. Pretty good day really. Oh, wait, maybe good things do happen occassionally :-)!