Sunday, 28 June 2009

Characters 5 - Geppetto

I thought it was time to see me with another Disney character. This time it is Geppetto. I always like seeing Geppetto and I think he likes me too. After all, Geppetto the wood carver made Figaro his own little wooden bed but didn't seem to mind when Figaro moved to Geppetto's bed after opening the window.

For one thing, Geppetto always knows who I am. This picture was taken a couple of years ago in Walt Disney World and I notice I am wearing my name badge. Geppetto would not have needed it.

Geppetto reminds me of one of the differences between Disney parks in the USA and Paris. In the USA, we all get in line to meet characters like Geppetto. In France, they laugh at people who do that (i.e. Brits and Americans). There is a crowd of childen round a popular character and they push their way to the front as best they can. It was lucky for my humans that they had me with them when they met Geppetto in Paris. As soon as he saw me, he was the one who pushed through the children to get to me! It's nice to be famous and popular.


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Great Fete

Our village had its Great Fete last Saturday. I didn't go because the humans were very busy and might not have had time to cuddle me - or even to watch I was safe. There were lots of things that worry me - like sticky cakes and ice creams and children. Still, I am a little sorry I wasn't there because it was a great success. There were lots of people, lots of fun and lots of money was raised to help with the restoration of the church building. The church building is very old - and I mean what British and other European people call "old": hundreds of years.

I have no picture for this post - but I have something better. Mikki make a video and put it on "YouTube". Try going to "YouTube" and doing a seach for "Beckingham village fete". The highlight is "The Red Arrows", the RAF aerobatic team, flying over in formation leaving smoke. They agreed specially to fly over our Fete on their way to salute the Queen on her Birthday Parade.

I must explain some background. The traditioal English village (like ours) has a church and a large house next to it for the vicar or (as in our case) rector(and No, I don't know the difference: I'm a toy cat). So the traditional Church Fete used the grounds of the house (the Rectory). Well, the Church of England does not have as many clergy as it used to. One person now serves several parishes and a lot of the old houses have been sold. So now you need to have someone living in the Old Rectory who will allow their garden to be used for a Fete - and this year we do. The ownsers of the house were also very active in the organisation. Someone said this is the first such Fete in the village since the 1950s - which is quite a long time ago in itself.

There were lots of other villagers working on the Fete but my humans did their bit. Mikki sent publicity messages to local newspapers and radio stations as well as making some of the posters. Andrew made signs for the day for the various stalls, car parks and so on. On the day they joined with some neighbours selling general donated items. A lot came from Andrew's mother - who is about to move flat (apartment). There were absolutely no cuddly toys from this family - and I don't like to be reminded that someone else did give some.

The Fete raised over £2,000. That's very good for a small village like ours. It may not sound much when you have a church to restore but fortunately there is a national body called English Heritage that is giving a lot of money.

Oh - just one other bit of really good news. Mikki has booked the first few days of our WDW holiday (vacation) in January. We will be in Bay Lake Tower. So look out for your favourite kitten having his picture taken there.

My humans are worn out. Time for a cuddle.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tennis Season

Mikki likes tennis a lot. She likes to play and she likes to watch. So she is very busy at this time of year. She is a member of 3 tennis clubs (and on the committee of two of them). Most weeks, she plays several times a week. She also plays for club teams. She hasn't (yet) ended up playing against herself!

It is also tennis season on television. For the last couple of weeks it has been the French Open. Satellite channels and "red button" give Mikki lots of choice. I think she watched Roger Federer's semi-final 3 times over. She was very pleased he won and made lots of knowledgeable comments about his play (well, they sounded knowledgeable to me).

The French Open is played on clay. Mikki doesn't like playing on the clay surface - which is not very popular in England. She thinks it is slow - and you get your clothes dirty! Mikki is amused that when there is a challenge in the big matches on clay, the umpire gets down from his chair and looks at the marks on the court. How does he know which is the right one? She never understood why Disney seemed so proud of how many clay courts they have at Walt Disney World. Do you remember when they used to mention it specially in the monorail commentary?

This week it's grass court season and preparations for Wimbledon. Mikki has tickets and will be going. Of course, we used to live there but my humans don't miss it much. There is only one thing Mikki says she misses. When she is away and people ask her where she normally plays tennis, she can not answer, "Wimbledon".

Well, of course I had to add a picture of my Mikki playing tennis in Florida. Yes, this is one I have played with electronically so it looks like she really can be everyone on the court at once. In fact, she was getting coaching at the time - which is why she wanted some photographs taking to check her action. The people she plays against now know she keeps in form even when she goes away on holiday (vacation).

And talking about holidays, here is the really good news. When not playing tennis - or preparing for the village fete on Saturday - Mikki has booked some flights to Florida. We are all going to be there again in January 2010.