Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Very Disney Christmas

My humans remember a time before VHS when there were only two ways to see Disney movies. First, you could wait for them to come round to your local cinema (which happened once every 7 years). You then had to hope you weren't away on holiday that week and your parents decided there was some special reason to treat you. The second was to watch a little bit of them on "Disney Time" - a programme that was a fixture on the afternoon of every holiday Monday. The problem with that is you only got little clips from a few films. "Pinocchio" was often one of them but the clip they seemed to like best was of the little wooden boy meeting "Honest John" and Gideon and them singing, "An Actor's Life for Me". Surely, they could have shown the heroic little cat opening the window to reveal the Wishing Star!

Well, times have changed a lot. There is no "Disney Time" any more. But the good news is that daytime programmes on the main BBC channel (BBC1) seem to be given over to the Walt Disney Company for several days. Today is the third day when we have had as many as 5 feature films with only a short break for a lunchtime news bulletin. We have had 101 Dalmations (live action) and 102 Dalmations, Tigger, Piglet and the "2" films of Jungle Book and Sister Act as well as many others.

The fimal film today - showing as I type this - is Mary Poppins. So I have put up a picture we took at the Grand Floridian of me with her and one of her penguins. Yes, there's also my human Mikki - but she should be there because she, too, is practically perfect in every way. As I write this, she is working on a new Netbook PC she has bought so that I can continue with this Blog while we are away from home. Isn't she kind?

Yes, it is less than 2 weeks until we will be in Bay Lake Tower at Walt Disney World Resort. Prrrrr.


Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (or, if you prefer, Happy Holidys) to everyone: to all my friends, to everyone who likes going to Disney parks as much as I do (about 3 weeks to go) and to everyone else too. "Tis the season to be jolly" . . . and get lots of cuddles.

It is Christmas Day and the picture is of me during our Christmas lunch. There were only 3 humans with me at the table this year: Andrew and Mikki and Andrew's mother. They sat on either side of the table and I am standing next to the end. I like to think that means I was at the head of the table, not just standing by the window.

Yes, there is some snow on the garden in the background. It has not snowed here today but there is still a little "white" in our Christmas. I hope all those who have far too much snow at the moment get through OK. I'm just glad that toy cats don't need to go outside! I think my humans may also be glad that toy cats don't shred Christmas decorations. Look where they put me!

Happy Christmas

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas is Coming (3) - and so is my holiday

Today we heard of the sad passing of Roy E. Disney, the last of the family to have a leading role in the Disney company. We offer sympathy to his family and good luck for their future and for the company that shares his name. Where would I be without the Disneys?!
I know some people in the USA read this Blog, so for them my title is, "The Holidays are coming - and so is my vacation.

My picture is of two pencil drwings that go up during the Christmas (Holiday) season. We have quite a few of these drawings and they can't all be on view all the year. The one on the left (my right) has the theme, "The Night Before Christmas" and the one on the right is of Mickey Mouse decorating the Steamboat. Both were drawn by Lindy, who used to work in the Studios in the late 1990s. She also did a very good one of Figaro. Of course, she didn't depart from the approved design but she did shade in the balck fur a lot more than many of the artists.
Come to think of it, that picture of Figaro is one that not on the wall at the moment. Perhaps I can persuade the humans they can put up a few more pictures!
We have also been preparing for our trip to Florida. The bad news for me is that this has meant I had to have a bath. If you've seen "Bath Day", you know Figaro doesn't like his bath (yes, he's a toon actor playing a role but in this respect I am sure it is true). The humans say I am getting grey (gray) and have to be cleaned. Well, I am the most senior of all the toy Figaros is the house and I do get a lot more cuddles than almost all of them so I should expect to get a little worn. At least my humans don't spray me with perfume like Minnie Mouse did to Figaro in the film. Anyway, this picture was taken before the bath but now it is over and the humans say I look a lot better. I am certainly glad it is over.
What's that, Mikki? I feel softer after my bath too? Yes, I'm getting a hug!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Christmas is Coming (2)

We watched "Mickey's Twice Upon a Chlristmas" last night. We saw the chaos Pluto get over-enthusiastic about putting the star on the Christmas tree. He wrecked Mickey's decorations. I strongly recommend this short feature to anyone who still thinks real animals about the house are better than toy ones. It did remind me it was time to tell you some more about our own decorations.
Outside, we have one large illuminated snowflake. It's lights flash - sometimes faster and sometimes slower. If my humans remember to shut the gate it is on, then it is visible along the private drive and can be seen by anyone who comes to any of the 3 houses on the drive. This year, we have added an illuminated snowman standing beside our front door. We think that's enough. The Osbornes we are not - and have no wish to be.
Inside, we have raised the Christmas tree. It's an artificial one: black in colour. My Mikki decorates it very well, with lights, lots of baubles (many "mouse head" shaped) and white tinsel. Unlike Mickey, we don't have a star on top: we have a Christmas fairy. And you probably didn't need my picture to guess which under-dressed pixie casts herself for that role. She even has some baubles with her on too. Oh yes, there are a couple of hanging ornaments of a smart little black and white kitten too!
As well as the couple in my previous picture, there are several plush toys who come out at Christmas. Most are Mickey in various seasonal costumes but there is one Minnie and one more Pluto - this one has reindeer horns. There are, of course, no Figaros who come out for Christmas. I have things arranged so that these days none of my namesakes are in st***ge.
Speaking of reindeer horns, on Friday night the humans joined others carol singing round the village. Mikki wore a red Santa Claus coat over her warm coat and Andrew put on reindeer horns and a flashing red nose. I think they had a good time (they came back from the pub late enough). I didn't go: it was cold out.
Christmas is approaching and we are getting in the mood. Prrrr Prrrr.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Swindon Magic

My humans have been to Swindon - the newly announced "twin" of Walt Disney World. It was a long time ago - so long that I wasn't with them - so there's no pictures. This post is based on what they can remember.

It was December when my humans spent a weekend in Swindon. It was snowing. In England, this means it is cold. It is not like Blizzard Beach. It also means that the roads are iced up and all the public services grind to a halt. In southern England people act like snow is as much of a surprise as it would be in Florida even though Swindon is further north than Canadian cities like Toronto and Montreal. My humans went to Swindon to a conference but many of the people who were due to go couldn't get there.

I think there was a time when towns "twinned" with places that were similar. I don't think this is always the case now. I hope not. I plan to go to Walt Disney World in January and I do not want it to be frozen up.

My humans travelled to Swindon by train. Swindon is on the main line west from London into Wales. Swindon used to be the centre for engineering for the company that built the line, the Great Western.Railway. The original line was famous for how straight it was - not just going round and round in circles like the train at the Magic Kingdom. The open sided carriages are also great fun in Florida but my humans were jolly glad they are not used in British trains. A lot of the carriages have been replaced in the years since my humans' trip to Swindon. That's good because their memory is that it was a cold weekend and the heating was not very good.

Talking of things going round in circles brings me to one of Swindon's most famous current "attractions" - the Magic Roundabut. The television reported that part of Swindon's bid to "twin" with WDW was a poem comparing this traffic system to Fantasyland's teacups ride. If so, I guess Swindon's "Mad Hatter" must have been the road planner who invented it. Now, Americans are said to be famous for getting confused by any roundabout so welcome to one that confuses lots of British people when they arrive at it for the first time (and often for several times after that). There is one large roundabout with 5 small roundabouts connected to it. I think the "Magic Roundabout" is supposed to be like the teacups because different bits have traffic that goes round in different dirctions. I'm a toy and you all know toys don't drive cars (or pizza delivery trucks or airport baggage tractors).

Neither I nor my humans know what either the people of Swindon or the Disney company want or expect from their "twinning" but in all seriousness I wish them well. I think one of Swindon's competitors was Lincoln - our county town. Lincoln has a real castle that was the scene of battles over 800 years ago. I dare say the people of Swindon could have made fun of Lincooln's differences from WDW too.

Now I just looking forward to Chirstmas, the new year, and my next trip.


Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas is coming

It's December and Christmas is on the way. My humans have started to get out the CDs of Christmas carols and we have already been to the Post Office to send our first card (to Australia). This means the humans have now written the Christmas letter they send out with their cards. There's a lot of news about Bermuda this year. I suppose I shall have to forgive them that there seems to be no mention of their favourite toy cat! The cards to the USA and Canada will have to go next week.

We haven't put up any decorations yet but my humans did get several boxes of Christmas things out of their loft when they were up there yesterday looking for something else. The two characters with me in the picture were first to get out of the boxes. You may be able to see that Mickey Mouse has been with us since 1999. Pluto is a little newer. Mickey is very cute (isn't he always). He is always offering people the candy cane in his sack but he always sems to have one left in it. My Mikki seems to like Pluto too. I suppose he's all right. He is a Disney character even though he is a. . . d-o-g.

You won't need me to tell you they are not the only Disney characters in our Christmas things but they were the most pushy - refusing to stay in st***ge any longer. So I had to go and have a chat to them to remind them just who is No. 1 in this house.

OK, it's quite exciting really to start getting ready for the celebrations. I shall have to post a few more pictures as things get going.