62 days ago

The cat and I both visit the doctors, it is my bank balance left writhing in agony

I was first up and my encounter was scheduled, it was my diabetes check up. When the Shipmans test your blood they obtain a three month average trailing score of blood sugars. So this chat was about bloods taken on March 4: two months of sobriety, healthy eating and exercise and one month of drinking and over indulgence during the olive harvest and then Christmas.  Yet my results were stunning, a 25% reduction in blood sugars, albeit from a terrible start. The nurse was full of praise and said how much thinner I was looking. I think she meant I looked less fat but the trend is my friend.


214 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel: the cats save Big Bear from the Charity shop

We didn’t buy Big Bear, pictured below. He was given to us by someone looking after the hiuse one summer. We just came home to find him sitting at the kitchen table with some pots of porridge in front of him. These days he sleeps in the same room as Joshua and Jaya but the Mrs and myself have been quite keen to give him to a charity shop. But now he has been saved.


359 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel: the chap I share an office with in action

I have moved my place of work to what will one day be a library. It has stacks and stacks of books already but the fireplace needs a bit of work to bring it back to its original 1650s glory, I have one modern bookcase to replace and the room is also home to various bits of clutter which we keep saying we will get rid of/take to Greece/ sell on facebook marketplace. we never do. But its a good room looking out through an enormous sash window to the back garden.


850 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - Very fat cat in very small box

When stetched out, cat Quincey is really very large indeed. Supplementing his diet with numerous mice, rats and birds he is a true fat cat as I showed you the other day HERE. And that makes his love of trying to get into very small boxes make him look all the more ridiculous as you can see below.


854 days ago

Photo article: fat cat at the Welsh Hovel

Rescue cat Quincey is not deterred by the storm that has sent the bedwetters at Wrexham Council into wild panic and has just ventured out for a mouse hunt. He knows that a rising river Dee may flush lunch out of its holes. But still, after such labours he needs a good rest and this was him “in action” last night on a King William sofa from my late father’s house, now lovingly restored. Only the best for Quincey. 


887 days ago

Why I cannot give to the CALM Charity, the only fat cat I support is called Quincey

My friend Paul Nicholson urges us to donate to the anti-suicide charity CALM but I fear that I cannot. It is not that I do not consider the cause worthy. For very obvious reasons I do. It is the CEO salary I cannot accept.


968 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - cat in a trug

For some reason Quincey has graduated from sleeping in Jayarani’s baby chair and is today taking control of my garden trug which, after bringing in another batch of chillies for threading and drying, sits on the kitchen floor. Maybe, as he approaches his 7th birthday, he is growing up. Whatever, the bigger and friendlier of the two cats is very handsome as you can see below.


984 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - the slow upgrade of the farmyard as inspected by a cat

Forgive the big thumb in the first photo. I never claimed to be a pro! But at least you get to see Quincey the cat inspecting the farmyard and the progress made.


1012 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel - the cats engage in colonialism

That is to say that they are seizing control of the possessions of baby Jayarani. Today Quincey had taken her high chair as his own while Sian goes for her baby rocker as you can see below. To be fair, when Jayarani cries, Quincey is often the first to rush to her to nuzzle up to her with his mousey breath and comfort her.


1026 days ago

Photo article from the Welsh Hovel: Cat in disgrace relaxes after another "episode"

I cannot think what possessed a couple of swallows to nest under the eves of the porch. Both cats lie in wait and just now and again as one of the parents or, now flying offspring, swoop in to land, a feline leaps and takes one down. The porch is next to the kitchen where I am typing and have just heard and witnessed another kill for Quincey, the larger male cat. The noise of death and dying was not pleasant.


1033 days ago

There’s a shock – I have not got covid but I have lost one hundred and thirty pounds thanks to Mark bloody Drakeford

And so for the results of my second covid test in four days. This is all so utterly pointless. I was resident for seven weeks in remote parts of Greece where the covid rate is way way lower than it is here in Wales. I have had the disease so been vaccinated by God. I have been double jabbed thanks to Pfizer. And I had a test in Greece on Saturday morning which turned out negative.


1059 days ago

Photo from back in Wales - sheltering from a Thunderstorm

Not Byron and Cam Hobhouse in Zitsa but cats Sian and Quincey back in Wales and snapped by a kind friend who went round to talk to them. No doubt someone in Holt will be dobbing them in on the village facebook group for non mask wearing and a failure to social distance. These cats are what i miss most about life back in Blighty which tells you a lot about how Airstrip One appears from abroad right now.


1074 days ago

Photo from the Welsh Hovel - grounds for divorce surely?

I refer not to the photo but to another matter. The photo is included because it is amazingly sweet. Even a hard-hearted old chap like me can be sentimental.


1208 days ago

Photo article: and you thought baby mats were meant for ...babies?

Do not tell Quincey, the larger and lazier of our two cats, who should be lying on the baby mat. When not sleeping in the baby chair, he has a new place to catch forty winks as you can see below. As for baby Jayarani: well that is not HIS problem is it?


1246 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel: building up sandbag defences as floods rise and as Police call 7 times

The first call was mid-morning. On that occasion it was two young WPCs. If one was a filthy old man with a thing about uniforms it would have been a bit of a treat but my initial concern was that someone had read my writings about my crime family flouting daft lockdown laws on my birthday and snitched. Oh no. It was about the floods – the two young ladies just asked if there was anything they could do for me. Well since you mention it officers…


1254 days ago

Photo Article - if you do not think Quincey is adorable you have no heart

The title is self-explanatory. Even the Mrs does not have the heart to move him as he sleeps next to the kitchen table where I am working today.


1259 days ago

Photo Article: sledging and snowballs with my son at the Welsh Hovel

Someone asked what the big box under the Christmas tree was. It was a sledge for 4-year-old Joshua and so I had hoped for a morning like today when we woke up to snow. It was not thick, perhaps half an inch, but that was enough for the boy to comment on his own footprints as he walked across the farmyard and for a quick exchange of snowballs. Then for sledging which, on your own land, is still not illegal in Wales although that may change.


1259 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - the Mrs accuses Quincey the cat of cultural appropriation

Following on from the Life Imitates arts series at Christmas, the Mrs has tidied away all cardboard boxes, plastic bags and workers’ dust sheets, leaving sleeping spaces for our Northern cats, Sian and Quincey, severely restricted. But these Scousers are a resourceful lot…


1260 days ago

Shameful birthday-forgetting & remembering on January 5 as my own approaches

It was January 5 and a notice came up on Facebook. And so I remembered. It would have been the 20th Birthday of my morbidly obese three-legged cat Oakley. His Facebook page where devotees could watch him in action is still live even if he is not.


1270 days ago

Just One last cat photo from the Welsh Hovel this Christmas

Heck, Sian starred on Panorama so I know my two scouser rescue cats have a big fan club. So one last treat for the fans, following my Life Imitates art series this Christmas. The Mrs bought another duck for our second Christmas which will be shared with the younger generation today.


1271 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel: Life imitates art, my cats prove they are true Northerners part 5

So the Mrs thought about getting the cats a basket but I insisted that that was for soft Southerners and that our Northern cats, the scousers Quincey and Sian, needed and wanted only a cardboard box each as they said, in true Monty Python fashion: “when we were young we were poor but we were happy”. So she took away a cardboard box.


1273 days ago

Photo article - life imitates art, my Northern cats part 4

So the Mrs thought about getting the cats a basket but I insisted that that was for soft Southerners and that our Northern cats, the scousers Quincey and Sian, needed and wanted only a cardboard box each as they said “when we were young we were poor but we were happy”. So she took away a cardboard box.


1274 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel: preparing for Santa

My four-year-old Joshua has been talking of little else for days. Yesterday, he really did get a card from Santa in the post which told him that he must be in bed early so that Santa could pop in and that he must leave a drink for Santa and something to eat for both Mr Claus and for Rudolph.


1277 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - if art imitated life, my Northern cats part 3

We started this tale with my wife suggesting that we buy a cat basket for Sian & Quincey our rescue cats from the grim North, that is to say Liverpool. “Oh no” I objected on their behalf, “cat baskets are for soft southerners, when we were young we lived in cardboard boxes”. I put two out and the cats dreamed of sleeping in cardboard boxes. “In the old days in the North we were poor but we were happy” they said, as in the Monty Python sketch.


1279 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel: Life imitates art, my cats prove they are true Northerners

Yesterday I explained to you the battle of the cardboard boxes here at the Welsh Hovel. I had put two out in the living room for the cats to sleep in. The Mrs insisted that the cats deserved a proper cat basket. I insisted that as fully fledged Northerners (from Liverpool), they thought cat baskets were for soft southern cats and, as per the famous Monty Python sketch, they were lucky if they had a cardboard box.


1279 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - my holly tree offers a pleasant surprise

On the lane down to the Welsh Hovel at the edge of what was once known as the jungle and will one day be a soccer pitch sized vegetable garden sits a holly tree. In the autumn it was full of red berries but I was resigned to the birds eating the lot.


1280 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel: Cat in a box

The Mrs thinks that when boxes are emptied of Christmas presents, they should be thrown away or just plausibly used for lighting the woodburning stove. Not that she has done that once. But the cats and I know what boxes are really for.


1301 days ago

Photo Article: a cat, a baby, a young boy and an older father at the Welsh Hovel

Featuring in these family snaps are Joshua, pre haircut, baby Jayarani, myself and Quincey the cat who has responded very well to the new arrival.


1363 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - Quincey in action

The library is a bit of a mess as we clear stuff out from the dining room next door to reveal its wonders. As a result, Quincey, one of our two rescue cats, has had to change his place of sleeping during the day when he likes to be with me. What better place but the firewood basket which is where he is now as I tap away.


1364 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - meet my "new dogs" Oscar & Winston

I lie of course. How could I inflict such pain on Sian and Quincey (the two rescue cats who boss this house)? However, Oscar (top) and Winston (bottom) are daily visitors at the hovel. They live about 150 yards upstream and seem to escape, go for a swim in the river, and come and visit me once a day. The owners are terribly apologetic and say they are building a bigger fence but I rather hope they don’t as these are wonderful dogs and I enjoy their visit. And it is not as if my cats mind. Should they meet, Quincey arches his back and hisses and the dogs retreat pronto.



1399 days ago

Photo article: Hairy, Black, Welsh pussy

Thanks to Google search engines this website will have a few new readers. Sorry you dirty bastards, I fear you may be disappointed by what follows. For starters the pussy below is English.


1672 days ago

There are so many reasons not to vote Labour but, I beg the Mrs, just think about the Jews

The Mrs will almost certainly vote Labour as she always does, happy in the knowledge that a victory for Jeremy Corbyn will mean an immediate 5% pay rise for here and all other underpaid and overworked sociology lecturers. I have pointed out that after five years of following Venezuala style economic policies she will be eating our cats but that is one good reason not to vote Labour. Quincy and Sian are, out of pure self interest, rooting for Boris. There are numerous freasons not to vote Labour contained in its extremist and economically illiterate manifesto, but the over-riding reason why no-one with any conscience can risk Labour winning is anti-semitism.


1762 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - Quincey, the daftest cat in Wales gets lost

Before we left for Greece the two water meadows next to the Welsh Hovel on the banks of the River Dee were five or six foor high with grass and wild plants. Notwithstanding this I used to wade through the grass towards the bridge that takes you to England and Joshua’s nursery. And one of our two cats, Quincey, would try to follow me but after about 100 yards he would give up.


1798 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - cats at rest

Sian, short tail female, is on top of Quincey (long tail, male). Amazingly they seem happy to sleep with their bodies so contorted in the, as yet unrenovated, dining room at the Welsh Hovel where I work at my laptop each day, when not sanding floors or hacking away at the jungle which will, one day, be an orchard or a vegetable garden.


1844 days ago

Photo Article - who is an adorable, if very naughty, cat then?

9 AM Wrexham, vets, booster jabs for cats Sian & Quincey. 7.45 AM Welsh Hovel, the Mrs lets Quincey escape from the confinement I had arranged prior to our trip to the cat doctor. Cue a few cross words from me and frantic searching for an errant cat.


1865 days ago

Photo Article update from the Welsh Hovel - a sight to delight daughter Olaf

I came home to the Welsh Hovel late last night to see cat Quincey sitting outside in the yard. In my absence the Mrs had, for a second time, let him escape his new home. after driving almost 400 miles in a day I let rip with a few choice words and then wasted an hour of my life coaxing the wretched cat back inside where I pounced and recaptured him. He has just rewarded me with another shit on the kitchen floor.


1874 days ago

Missing cat Quincey recaptured by cunning and the bravery of Joshua and myself

Eight days ago, two four year old rescue cats, Sian and Quincey arrived at our new house, the Welsh hovel. On Monday night it emerged that someone who shall not be embarrassed but is currently attending a sociology conference in Germany, had not closed an internal door properly. Both cats had escaped from the kitchen dining area which is entered via a porch and the main door to the house.


1882 days ago

Photo Article: Oakley's cousins arrive at the Welsh Hovel

Since the sad demise of my once morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley late last summer, my two year old son Joshua has not stopped talking about his friend who used to sleep by his cot, keeping watch every night. Our old house in Bristol is “Oakley’s House” and while you and I know that the old boy lies at rest next to the body of Kitosh and across the yard from that of his long time companion Tara who is under the rhubarb, Joshua and his mother and I have agreed that the three legged one has “gone to the jungle” where he is happy. But there is a gap in all of our lives anmd so yesterday we told Joshua we had a treat.