Caturday: Felix the Cat


I have no idea why but I woke up this morning thinking of Felix the Cat. I was not, as a child, particularly fond of Felix and even now he seems unremarkable. A real-life Felix might be an improvement … but I have never seen a white-faced cat with a totally black body and head. Tuxedo cats usually have a white bib and paws, which Felix does not.

He’s also quite a thin cat. I am not into the lean and hungry look as far as cats go. That cocky grin is also annoying.

I didn’t know til a few minutes ago that he was created (in 1919!) by an Australian cartoonist called Pat Sullivan (I was addicted to the Australian series The Sullivans, but that’s another story), and looked quite different in the 1920s …



He appeared in animated silent cartoons from 1924 and looking like the cat above, and didn’t transition to the Felix we are more familiar with until the 50s, when his show started airing on American TV.



Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reads 2018

I am no longer clued in enough about book publishing dates to take on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt: Upcoming Releases I’m on the Fence About. I have a vague idea of some books that are coming out this year, but nothing definite. These days, unlike when I was writing book reviews and managing the books pages of a newspaper, if I do know a book’s release date,  it’s because I’ve heard it on a podcast, read it somewhere, or someone more knowledgeable has told me. It’s more likely I hear about ‘new’ books after they’ve been published — via an interview with the author, a review or recommendation.

Anyway, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl‘, but today I am posting my ten favourite reads from 2018. Late, I know, but then it’s never too late to read these books.

My ten favourite books, in no particular order:

Top Ten

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

The Nakano Thrift Store by Hiromi Kawakami

Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

Provenance by Ann Leckie

The Magicians of Madh by Aditi Krishnakumar

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

Murder While You Work by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild)

The Tale of the Bidadari by Stephani Soejono

Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

And if I had to narrow it down to my favourite five …

Top Five

The Nakano Thrift Store by Hiromi Kawakami

Provenance by Ann Leckie

The Magicians of Madh by Aditi Krishnakumar

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

Murder While You Work by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild)




Until I summon the energy to post properly, I thought I’d share this incident that happened exactly a year ago. I’d posted about it on Facebook and it. popped up in memories this morning and made me laugh:

A tree shrew came into the house yesterday, causing me to scream like I was being chased by a knife-wielding psychopath. Somehow, these furry creatures don’t scare me out in the open, but when they’re scampering about the flat, panicking cos Boris-Doris is staring at them and licking her lips, they make me panic too.

While I hid in my room, my family (incl BD) tried to encourage the shrew to leave. Some herding was done but as no one involved was a border collie, their efforts made the creature panic even more. At one point, it leapt on Elesh’s shoulder and then bounced off his stomach and disappeared – where to no one could tell.

It was then decided that Mr Shrew had left the building, but a couple of hours later, it crept out from behind the sofa and shot out through the door to the balcony.

This is what Mr Shrew looked like …

I hope to start blogging again soon. There’s a lot I want to discuss but life has been messy, so please bear with me. In the meantime, have a happy tree-shrew-free Sunday!

Caturday: The Little Lion

The Little Lion is a character in J. P. Martin’s ‘Uncle’ series.

He is a small lion who can make himself heavy and unbudgeable. When his friend, the musician and music teacher Thomaso Elsicar Gordono (aka the Maestro or Music Master), hears bad notes being played and tries to throw himself out of a window, the Little Lion hangs onto to the Maestro’s coattails and sits down, making himself heavy.

Caturday: The Catkinses

I know it’s been a long time since I updated this blog.

There is so much I want to say, but my life is crowded at the moment and I can’t find the (head)space I need to write.

Ideas are coming thick and fast (as usual). I heard someone on the radio saying that he had too many ideas and he was going to try picking one and seeing it through to the end. I need to do that.

In the meantime, for Caturday, I give you my two companions, Charles Thomas [left] and Boris-Doris …