7th January 2023

Once upon a time, in the remote days of my youth, one owned a brainless alarm clock that had two settings, those being “On” and “Off”.

A simpleton such as myself could manage these choices.

Even the “Snooze” setting had not yet been invented for the benefit of those poor souls who would subject themselves to such a unique form of torture.

But now we have progressed into the New Millennium in which our lives are no longer our own.

Now, everything we do is guided by Artificial Intelligence.

My old alarm clock gave up the ghost but as I seldom need to rely on such a device, I determined that I may as well utilise the App on my iPhone.

Which is why I was awakened this morning at 0515.

Two nights ago I had carefully checked to ensure that the App had been de-activated, having tousled with the thing once before.

So yesterday, I was allowed to sleep. I didn’t bother checking the thing last night because I had only set it for one day and I had ensured the little slidey thing had moved into the off position.

But this morning….

The cats did not wake so I was able to get back to sleep, only to be rudely awakened by the full force of fishy cat breath.

A new request for Grant this morning:

“Please do not feed Toby or Patches fish at night!”

The aroma of fish-flavoured cat breath is overpowering.

There I was, rejoicing in having perhaps found a solution to Toby’s hair-pulling mania that has been my recent wake-up call.

On Wednesday I had the latest pain management injection. One is required to don one of those fetching hair bonnets.

Having progressed along the production line to the discharge point, I removed the bonnet and a nurse grabbed for it as part of the routine dance.

“Ah!”, I said, “I have a purpose for that!”

The nurse seemed surprised. Who would want one of those things?

So I explained about my geriatric cat and his peculiar habits which won me a smile and a raised eyebrow.

That first night my bonnet kept the boy at bay on the far side of the bed.

This morning I sort of sensed that he was perhaps poking at the thing, maybe seeking to pry loose a hank of hair.

Since caving to pressure and allowing my hair to be cut short, there aren’t actually many hanks available, but as Toby made his move he breathed out into my face.

“Ahhhh! Yuuuk!” I cried.

Moan. So I rose muttering from my bed and looked out at another soggy morning.

It seemed to me there had been predictions last night of plummeting temperatures, so I had expected to look out onto a frozen world but instead it was mild and very moist.

Reason to celebrate, I know, the heating bills etc.

But it’s January and it feels weird.


Dear old Toby soldiers on, sometimes even plays.

Though Dee Dee inevitably moves in.

Surely you must agree this is a more attractive image than grey gloom?

Those other sunny photographs are from January 3rd, the lovely late afternoon light.

3 thoughts on “!

  1. You can keep the snow, thank you. We are returning to below-zero temperatures tonight. I would settle for almost anything other than the relentless rain of the past few weeks. Except snow.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Your late afternoon light photos are beautiful! My dad had one of those “old fashioned” alarm clocks (well, it came with a radio, so maybe it wasn’t all that “old fashioned”). But when it broke, he was quite upset. We eventually found him a “new” one at a second hand store – he said at the time that it was the best gift he ever received 😇.

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