Now then. If you're a long-term bloggy friend, you'll have seen this request before. The thing is this: we have two black cats - exhibit A (top), Sirius, very goodnatured if a bit dim, and exhibit B (above), Cassie, slightly more strongminded but basically friendly. And we're rather soppy about them, so that if we go on holiday, we don't like to put them in a cattery. Indeed, we've never done so.
Five times now, we've been very fortunate and have had kind bloggy friends who have come and stayed in our house when we've been away. They've got free accommodation in Edinburgh and our cats have been fed and kept company.
I wonder if there might be anyone out there who would like to do this, this year? This very much includes any return visitors!
The first dates are a few days in April: the nights of Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April. The whole family, including my brother and his wife and offspring, are going for a long weekend to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday.
The second occasion is likely to be two weeks from Sunday 15 July (our son is getting married on the 14th so we can't go away till the following day) - until Saturday 28 July. We haven't actually booked anything then but will certainly try to go away for the first week and possibly the second also. I have friends and neighbours who would fill in the odd gap if necessary.
I know this seems like a long shot, but it's worked before so I thought it was worth trying. (Cats do make life difficult at holiday time. I have friends who would pop in and feed them, but we'd rather have live-in catsitters.)
The duties aren't onerous - to keep their dishes filled with cat biscuits and water and (ideally) to shut them in at night and let them out in the morning. There's a closeable cat flap and they come and go during the day.
Our house is not palatial but is comfortable, in a quiet street but only a short lane's distance from buses into the centre of town. The journey into the centre takes about ten minutes. We're also easily accessible from the station and airport. We have various bedrooms, tvs, etc. Edinburgh is a historic city with plenty of cultural attractions.
Obviously this suggestion is open to bloggy friends or their friends and family rather than passing burglars. Do think about it and let me know if you might be able to help.
On another topic: I'm currently suffering my fifth cold since retiring, six months ago. Up till then, I was lucky to keep fairly good health. But since then, I've just recovered from one when I get another. Currently I'm at the stage when it wouldn't surprise me if my ears exploded, I keep sneezing, my poor old nose is wearing away with all the blowing it's getting and my eyes are streaming attractively. It seems very odd. I don't think I really believe this - but it's almost as if when I was a working woman I was living on adrenaline, moving too fast for infection to take a hold. And now that I've slowed down, all these germs are attacking me. Is this possible, I wonder? (No, Son, I don't suppose it really is.)