Monday, 3 September 2007

A Catch Up

Bussie is still not eating – apart from about three biscuits last night – and has a lost even more weight poor darling, so I’m taking him to the vet later. I only hope he hasn’t got another infection from that s**ing cat that got him in the fight in the first place.

Later, at midday to be precise, when we’ve changed and slapped on a bit of make up (Himself looks wonderful with a bit of lippy and mascara) we’re going to a wedding – well, it’s officially a civil partnership, but as they presumably have the same service that we did in a registry office, who’s counting? I must remember to take enough hankies – I’m bound to sit there blubbing.

But to start with the weekend. Av and I got some sarnies and spent the afternoon walking along the South Devon coastal path from Maidencombe back towards Teignmouth. It was very hilly but a wonderful way to catch up on the last few months (without other halves) and the weather was warm but not sticky, not a breeze anywhere. The sea was eerily flat, only broken by the occasional water skier rippling the surface.

It was so strange walking without Mollie – because I never do, now. But she was there with me (she would have loved the walk), and I could almost see her prancing ahead or stopping to sniff and chase, looking back at me with ears pricked, saying, ‘Come on, Mum.’ When we got to a road, I bent down to put her lead on, was surprised to see her not there. My girl. My pal.

The following day, after a mushroom stroganoff at the local pub that night, we went to a nearby animal rescue centre as that’s going to feature in the next book. I was hoping to interview the staff there and find out more about how it’s run, but we made the mistake of seeing the animals first. They have an amazing selection – dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, geese, ducks and all sorts. I was OK until we got to the kennels for the dogs to be rehomed. There I started reading the reasons why we were there – through cruelty, neglect, because they weren’t wanted.

Well, that was it. ‘I can’t understand how anyone could be cruel to animals,’ I wailed as we left the building, the hopeful barking ringing in my ears. I couldn’t bear their looks of desperation, the questions in their eyes.

Dear Av hugged me as I sobbed my way out of the kennels. ‘I don’t think you’d better to your interview now,’ she said gently. ‘Let’s go and have a cup of tea and I’ll put you on your train.’

Now that’s what I call a wonderful friend. We go back some years, Av and I, through countless heartbreaks and the occasional triumph. Through several men and two husbands (one each). She now lives in Dorset so we don’t get to meet very often, but she is a great friend and a rare person. She is also one of the few people I know who still looks beautiful when she’s crying. Sickening if I didn’t love her so much.

Sitting on the train was wonderful – for two whole hours I could please myself so I did some of my course, then sat and read the paper, eavesdropped and made notes for the new book. No phones ringing, no sick animals to worry about (well, not on the train) and I loved it.

I think I’ve got a new character for the next book. She was sitting in the opposite aisle to me, so I had to be careful about not turning to stare too much. She was tiny and very neat, in her early 80s at a guess, her sprightly face lined and carefully made up with a rather curious shiny foundation. Her eyes were clear and surprisingly young and despite the wrinkles, inside that you could see the face of a twenty year old shining through.

She wore a thick zip up brown cardigan, a twill cotton green skirt with thick mesh tights and sensible brown lace up shoes. Her crumpled thin fingers clutched each other as she talked, animatedly, to what looked like her daughter opposite. (Same bone structure, same eyes and nose.) Her voice was high and clear, with a strong Cornish accent but her daughter, by contrast, seemed older and tired. She lacked her mother’s sparkle – or perhaps she’d been worn out by her.

So - what shall I call her?

24 comments:

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Flora. She definitely sounds like a Flora to me. Or maybe Florence. But not Flo.

Dee said...

Hazel.

Kerrio said...

Myrtle

Hannah Velten said...

Pearl.

laurie said...

ah, those invisible dogs. i know the feeling of walking and missing the boys. doug and i commented on it frequently when we walked in france in april--"boscoe would have loved this!"

names are important in books, aren't they? i have a novelist friend who names minor characters for friends of hers. she named one after me, but then the character turned evil and so she changed her name. (i said i wouldn't have minded a bit being named after an evil character.)

only you can name her. though i think, from the way you describe her, that she needs a name with some dignity and verve. Sarah. Hannah. Elizabeth.

Flowerpot said...

What a wonderful selection of names. Having the picture of her in my mind makes it more difficult to choose a name, if you see what I mean. Florence is a possiblity - well, they all are. I'll mull them over and something will feel just right.

Lesley Rigby said...

Daphne. I knew a Daphne who would be about 85 now (if she is still alive) and the description fitted her perfectly.
What I would have given to be walking by the sea. You are soooo lucky!
I wish Bussie would pick up and make us all happy. The fight seems to have affected him badly but I don't know what the answer is - I wish I did.

Flowerpot said...

thanks Lesley - Daphne is a definite possibility. I wish Bussie would start eating as well. He's a lot better in himself, just not there yet.

Em said...

I'm sure you'll find the perfect name, quite suddenly, when doing something completely different!! I do like Myrtle though. Or Myra. I had a great great aunt called Myra Cross (nee Stevenson) who was by all accounts fantastic fun. Her husband was called Albert..

Hope Bussie picks up! If only Sammy cat could share some of his new-found appetite with him, to balance them both out...

Lesley Rigby said...

This won't be the last I am sure! Prunella?

debio said...

Violet.

Flowerpot said...

Em - yes, I'll probably think of it in bed, at 3.30am or something! Glad that Sammy's so bouncy anyway. It has to be said, Bussie was pretty porky before but not now.

Lesley - I like Prunella but I can't help thinking of Prunella Scales..

Debio - yes, Violet's another goodie. So much choice..

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

It needs to be something very out of tune with her generation as she sounds like someone not bound by the general conventions of her age, despite her dress, and she would have got that from her parents, so they would have chosen something a little more unconventional as a name.

Lesley Rigby said...

Yes, I agree - forget that one.

Lesley Rigby said...

A few Cornish for good measure:- Sylvia, Lowenna, Rosenwyn, Verity, Jennifer. How can you tell that desperation has set in........!!! Is there a prize for the one chosen? If so I am sure I could throw in a few more.....

Em said...

I agree, I think she'd have a quite unconventional name, shortened to something quite businesslike for everyday use, maybe? If you have a root through the free 1881 census online at www.ancestry.co.uk you can find some interesting names from back then!!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I do hope Bussie picks up and that the cat he fought with gets fleas. And any other aggravating cat malady.

For names? I agree it will come at you sideways when you're least expecting it. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I have no good idea.

Flowerpot said...

aoj - yes, I quite agree it would be something unconventional. Or as Em says, something shortened to be unconventional.

Lesley - something Cornish is an excellent idea. I'm making a list and those that arent used for her will be used in the future, so you all get a prize and nothing's wasted!

correspondent - thanks for that. Bussie is much more himself which is encouraging if only he'd eat. Yes I hope the other cat s feeling seriously ill.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

How lovely to be reminded of my beautiful dogs, Ben, Gyp and Cassie who passed peacefully. Their spirits roam our farm while Ben and Cassie particulary enjoy a run on the beach, an invisible stick bobbing about on the waves, waiting for one of them to rescue it.

Good luck with the character name.

Crystal xx

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

Martha - her parents spent some time in the states, where she was born, before coming back to Cornwall as a child.....

Oh dear, I'm getting carried away!

Flowerpot said...

Crystal - lovely to meet you and what a lovely picture of Ben and Cassie.

Graham - sounds like you should be writing a novel as well. No I mean it. That's a great idea...

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

I'd love to write a novel, and will certainly have a bash at some point. Unfortunately, at the moment I don't seem to get enough time to read as much as I might like, never mind write!

Miss Understood said...

I've always liked the name Rose for elderly women. No idea why!

Flowerpot said...

G - well, when things calm down you should. Really.

MissU - yes, Rose is another good on. So many choices!