A brief excursion

Having found a route for small vehicular excursions recently, and noting the cloud conditions, we decided yesterday to go off looking for a sunset. My house is beautifully located for the rise, but the setting sun descends beneath the hills behind.

So leaving the cats slumbering, off we went.

When last we did this trip, just two weeks ago,

it was early in the day with totally different light.

In that fortnight, also, remaining leaves had fallen.

So it was a whole new experience.

Now, we need it to snow, for another whole vista.

But Grant is not so sure he’ll want to drive.

Maybe by then my eyes will be more reliable.

If not my driving. Hmpf. I’ll go by myself then.

The ubiquitous moon was once more watching.


It was not the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen, but the sky was lovely and it was an excuse to get out of the house for a little while.

We got home to find the cats had woken from their slumber and were worrying about the provenance of dinner, which was promptly forthcoming. Of course.

And speaking of cats…..I never finished my list of animal books.

Today I will mention just one author. He was my most favourite of all cat authors and he was a really lovely man. He had quite a following of devoted readers. We were all very sad when he died in 2013.

In February, 1992, I was in a small English country town with the love of my life. We used to stop there on our way to or from my parents home in Wiltshire. In winter we used to warm up cozily in the wonderful tea shop, with a pot of tea and scones. Inevitably, we would also browse the bookshop.


That is where I noticed this:


Of course I had to have it.

It became my birthday gift.

This was my first encounter with the writing of Deric Longden, but I was hooked, immediately.

Mr Longden’s first two books were not specifically about cats, but animals definitely featured.

Diana’s Story, which was made into a film, is the story of his first wife who suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis, a crippling and painful disease. It is an amazing and very touching story. It’s also quite funny.

As is “Lost for Words”, also made into a movie, about Mr Longden’s mother who was an amazing character. The film, produced by the BBC was called “Wide-Eyed and Legless”.

By the time I had finished those two books, this man had become my idol!

There followed four more delightfully funny, sometimes sad books :

  • Enough to Make a Cat Laugh
  • A Play on Words
  • Paws in the Proceedings
  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself
  • Tailpieces ( This was a book of short stories )

Deric Longden wrote about his life in Yorkshire, about trying to make ends meet in hard times when his first wife was so ill, about meeting and marrying a new partner and about his children. One had the feeling of a deeply loving and kind man with an amazing sense of humour and a wonderful family. The kind of person if would be good to be around.

I miss Deric Longden. His was the first blog I followed, though I’m not sure it was called that then.

6 thoughts on “A brief excursion

  1. Thank you for your book suggestions – I always look forward to what you have to say…
    Have you read Lillian Braun’s series “The Cat Who….”? They are light hearted mysteries featuring 2 Siamese cats. I found them enjoyable reading and came away with new ideas on ways to entertain cats…

  2. I smile every time you post about the animal books as I have almost every one or have read at least too,, even those mentioned today. Great minds ( or at least animal lovers) think alike! Lol!

  3. Loved this post and photos! Thank you!
    After a brief struggle with Amazon, I was able to order three of Deric’s books which I’m sure will be a welcome distraction during the stay-at-home winter ahead. I have loved Doreen Tovey’s, stories as well as the All Creatures books and others from British authors who all seem to capture lovingly and humorously life with their pets. Thank you!

  4. I read many different books about cats when I was writing my first cat book, including at least two by Deric Longden. I thought he was a marvelous writer too!
    I enjoyed your landscape photos!

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