Friday May 24, 2019
Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee
Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - this is what I do when not writing or walking
Photo Article update from the Welsh Hovel - a sight to delight daughter Olaf


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

11 days ago

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.

The other sight to greet me on my return was a fridge magnet bought by the Mrs at the insistance of Joshua who is very taken with the Welsh dragon we see every day as we walk back from his nursery in England, over the bridge and back into the rain sodden second world.

As you may remember, my daught Olaf is half Welsh and a fierce patriot. She will no doubt be delighted to see similar tendencies emerging in young Joshua after just three weeks in this welfare addicted land.  




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

20 days ago

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.

Sian was collared on the upstairs landing and returned to her quarters. But Quincey made his way through the house. Until the day before this had technically been two houses. An 18th century wing to the old 17th century house was separated by hardboard and plasterboard. But those separations had been removed and thus Quincey moved on and found the annexe door open and escaped.

Every night since, he has returned but seemed nervous of myself and refused to be captured. I have no idea where he was hiding but by Friday morning he was back again but escaped my pursuit through one of the old barns on the other side of the yard behind the house facing the two doors (kitchen and annexe).

During the week, on the advice of well wishers, notably my friend Richard Jennings, I have tried to entice him further into the main entrance with food, hoping to run round and shut the door behind him but he has proved far too clever for me, grabbing the food and escaping. On Thursday night came a change of tack, putting a food bowl a yard inside the annexe and leaving its door open. My cunning plan was to entice him further into the annexe with a trail of”Dreamies”. Natch he took the food and Dreamies and escaped.

He ate more food from the inside annexe bowl on Friday during the day. Richard Jennings sent messages about using a dead fish as bait and threatened to come and capture the cat himself. A threat indeed. But the great Catfinder General will not be needed.

By 9.30 last night another trap had been laid and suddenly, as my two year old son Joshua and I said good night to Sian in her cat quarters, I heard cat miaows from inside the house.  Joshua stayed with Sian, I rushed outside through the porch and raced to slam shut the door to the annexe.  Then I returned to the cat quarters, where Sian was locked in, and Joshua and I wandered towards the miaows upstairs, where there is now no dividing door with the annexe. Quincey was indeed on the main landing but seeing us he retreated towards the annexe.

We have not yet rewired the annexe so it is deliberately without power and so Joshua and I had to pursue the cat in the dark eventually cornering it by the front door. How brave we were. I have a scratch along my forearm from where Quincey struggled. Once he escaped and had to be recaptured but he knew the game was up.

Reunited with his sister he is the prodigal son. He has been utterly affectionate, determined to be stroked and to sit on me at all times. Poor Sian has been muscled out. Both have been rewarded with food and a big fire to keep their quarters warm. Joshua, who had been told that Quincey was exploring and had learned the phrase “he might come back or he might not,” is delighted. We are all delighted. The village Facebook Group which had followed this tale is delighted.

Now there are another few days of confined to cat quarters and then they will be both allowed the run of the Welsh hovel as, I hope we start to pick up the pace of restoration. A second industrial size skip has now arrived and I am starting to fill it with old carpet and wallpaper and other junk removed from inside.

Tom Winnifrith



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

27 days ago

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.

We headed up to the RSPCA facility in Wallasey where we had identified two four year old rescue cats who looked just like “da King” and so when we arrived we told Joshua we were going to see Oakley’s cousins. The RSPCA don’t normally house cats with families with a child under four but Quincey (playing below) and Sian (keeping watch) are very friendly I told a white lie about how Joshua was almost three and by the time we filled in forms the lady had marked him down as actually being three. The staff saw Joshua and the Mrs playing with Oakley’s cousins and there was no doubt that we were well suited.

The Welsh hovel is pretty cold but compared to their cells at RSPCA Wallasey it is balmy and both cats have settled in well. For a week or so they must stay in two rooms then there will be another two weeks roaming the whole house before they are unleashed on the outside world. As I type Sian is nuzzling my keyboardwhile Quincey is rubbing against my leg. Oakley would be delighted to see how friendly his cousins are.

The only moment of sadness was saying goodbye to the other cats at the RSPCA. There were a couple of adorable young cats, one of whom looked just like Mrs Chav’s pussy, who had been there almost since birth last August. Sian and Quincey have passed through RSPCA Wallasey twice in their lives, poor things. If you can spare a home and live in the Grim North…. 




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