29th October 2021. FROST again today.

No, Ralph isn’t another cat. At least not mine.

Ralph was one of Tom Cox’s beloved felines that died this year at the age of twenty.

Tom Cox is a well known British writer who first caught my attention with “Under the Paw, confessions of a cat man”, in 2008. He wrote amusingly and endearingly about his seven feline friends.

Tom seemed to feel about cats much as I do.

And his four books about them were very entertaining. As has been everything else he’s written.

Tom Cox later began publishing through Unbound and I was delighted to be able to have a part in this by sponsoring his work. If the idea interests you, you can check them out. You will find all sorts of worthy authors to support.

It is very satisfying to read a book you helped get published. And I do recommend Tom Cox.

Also Jackie Morris whose art and words are stunning.

But no, my Ralph is not a cat….


another early morning frost!

Lately days are full of interruption…

Two days ago it was the snowman, Chris. I thought it was the grassman who is Bob. Whoever it was, I left Grant to deal with it.

He was outside gassing for a good half hour, then came in and announced that Chris was turning our job over to another chap because he has too much business.

Grant was introduced to the new snowman but somehow, when he came back in and told me this, he had neither name nor number for the man.

Yesterday, Bob the grassman turned up to do our last cut of the season. Originally there had been someone else as well, but his name had become mud for some reason and it took us a while to work out who was doing what.

The only contribution I could make was that one of them had “eyes”. I always notice eyes and now I know who owns them
because yesterday he came in to get paid.

So now I know Bob and Chris but the new snowman remains a mystery. When it snows he may or may not turn up.

The next thing was, Grant discovered our doorbell wasn’t ringing.

Can’t say I’d noticed, since no-one ever tries.

But Grant was expecting a delivery that was going to require a signature, thus his sudden interest.

After taking it apart (not hard there are only 4 pieces) and changing the battery, we declared it dead. So now we need a new one of those.

Frankly, I’m not in any rush and I certainly don’t want the sort that will require a PHD to comprehend.

Like the new phone.

While I don’t need to have inbound calls announced, I realized that it is quite helpful to be told when it’s “Potential Spam”, because then I need not remove the phone from my pocket. Useful when my hands are dirty or wet, or I’m busy!

But in the olden days when the phone rang, we often had to run to another room, possibly on another floor to get the call and if we weren’t fast enough, the caller couldn’t leave a message and we couldn’t find out who had called.

How did we survive?

Which seems a good moment to return to our Ralph.

(Naming it was a requirement of the registering process.)

Whether Grant noticed an ad on his new phone, or where the notion came from I don’t know, but at breakfast yesterday he suddenly mentioned Roomba. If you’re a cat person, you may have seen videos of cats riding around on one. I don’t think that’s what Grant had in mind.

He has been in a flurry of cleaning activity lately. Not a moment too soon, either!

As it happens, I once owned a Roomba. They first came out in 2002 but it was when I had a spinal fusion, in 2007 that I decided to get one to make life easier while I recovered from the surgery.

It worked, sort of. The first unit broke down rather quickly and I was more impressed that their customer service immediately sent me a new one, than I was by the actual device itself.

When I moved to a multi-level house a few months later I don’t remember that the Roomba made the transition.

Instead I invested in Dyson vacuum cleaners.

And employed ladies to push them around.

So I knew a little about Roomba and as they have been around all these years I figured they must have improved on the original. I felt I owed it to them to stay with their product and not try a cheaper imitation.

When I discovered that one could be obtained at a nearby Home Depot Grant said “let’s go!”

Another morning hijacked!


Inevitably, Grant found himself a slow-poke to drive behind and muttered all the way to Greenwich…

Greenwich, NY.

Another small town struggling to survive…

Whence it was clear sailing, or driving as it were.

Try telling Grant that a slightly slower speed will not impact our lives the teeniest bit. He cannot endure having a car in front.

Most male drivers of my experience were bad-tempered, so I ignore it and take pictures.

We crossed the Hudson….

…and came to a grinding halt …

Pointing out the sign as we waited had no effect on the commentary.

Roomba was swiftly located and Grant did his thing at self-check out.

Anything to avoid interacting with another human being!

We rode swiftly home, with our purchase…

How can one complain of roads like this?

…or this?

It’s hard to resist a ride at this time of year. Fall is really a gift. It’s not possible to view it any other way. And, as we near Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the gift of sight which has afforded me so much joy in my lifetime.

Tomorrow, if there are no interruptions, I will tell you more about Ralph…

5 thoughts on “Ralph

  1. I was looking forward reading more about Ralph … oh well, hope for no interruptions then! That photo of the sun shining through the clouds (with a figure … looking like a man’s head) … is that a real photo? It’s quite amazing 😲.

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