Saturday, 30 July 2011

More Furniture - and a Picture

No sooner were my humans back from London than Andrew had to start building another piece of flat-pack furniture. Andrew is very nice (he cuddles me - and sometimes he helps me with my typing) but he is definitely a human when it comes to flat-pack furniture. I had to offer him calming cuddles through the day. I'm very generous like that.

By the end of the day, as we expected, he had calmed down a bit and decided the instructions had lots of mistakes. But we did have a new chest of drawers where (almost) all the pieces fitted. He now has more space for his clothes.

The new chest is taller than the one he had before so I can have my photo taken on it and you get a good view or the picture on the wall behind me. It is an original production cel from Pinocchio. Naturally, it features the star of the film - Figaro the cat - doing what cats like best - going to sleep in the most comfortable place in the house. In this case it was his human Geppetto's bed. Figaro looks a little cross in this scene. He is being kept awake by a silly little wooden boy continually asking, "Why?". Why did Geppetto get so attached to that puppet when he had a lovely little black and white cat?

Just over a week to go now before we set off to Barcelona. In two weeks, we will be on Disney Magic. Mikki has been watching a DVD about Disney Cruise Line just to get her in the mood.


Friday, 29 July 2011

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been?


The humans went to London but didn't take me. They weren't going to look at the Queen, but they were going to Buckingham Palace to look at the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress.

Really, it wasn't that much of a "Meeoww" that they didn't take me. There is no photography inside the Palace so I wouldn't have got any pictures there.

The humans were quite impressed - although Mikki couldn't help thinking the dress looked better when on the bride. It was easy to see a lot of the detail. Apart from the dress itself, there was a sample of the lacework which you could get up close to (it was under glass) so even Andrew got some idea of how much work had gone into it. They saw the nice shoes Catherine wore and a silk representation of the bouquet.

The wedding cake was on display in another room. According to the notice by it, only the top three tiers have been removed (the third tier being the one eaten at the reception). They had been replaced by decorated dummies but for the rest, the humans were looking at the real thing. I wonder what will happen to it.

There was also an exhibition of Faberge items owned by the Queen. As well as some of the famous eggs, there was a great range of other things that amazed them - including flowers and animals. There was a elephant, a racehorse, and a d*g. They didn't mention seeing a cat. Well, you can't have everything.

In the picture, I'm looking at some of the things they brought back: a hand towel, a loving cup and some postcards. There was nothing special for me but I'm happy about that, I'm just glad to have them back to give me a cuddle. They were away for less than 10 hours.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Another Figaro

We have an addition to the family. Here he is with me in our living room.

Almost as soon as we got back from Wales and Warwick, we were off to Harrogate (Andrew's home town) to help his mother. She is now 88 years old (which is even older than my character) and has recently had to move into a care home. She didn't like the ones she tried in Harrogate but seems very happy in one further north near Andrew's brother. She was visiting Harrogate to say "goodbye" to friends still there. She also chose some things from the flat (apartment) to take with her. This meant some tough choices - and one who didn't get to go was her toy Figaro - who she had called, "Mischief".

There's a good reason why he looks like "Floppy". As soon as Andrew's mother saw Floppy she demanded one of her own. Floppy came from Florida but fortunately they were selling the same design of Figaro in the Disney Store in London at the time. So another Figaro joined the Young extended family. We have promisd him a good home. At least he can be reassured that he is now with people who know his Disney heritage. He definitely hasn't seen anything like as many Mickey Mouses around him up to now.

This means that both Floppy and I now have two "brothers" in the house. The humans sometimes tease us that the brothers are there in case we get too worn or dirty. I suppose I have to humour them but it can get tiring. How many times do I have to tell them, "Nobody's getting replaced".

Now I'm just looking forward to my cruise with Mickey and friends (and the humans).


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Characters - but not Disney

Time to finish the chat about our trip to Wales and Warwick. Here I am with somee people I met inside Warwick Castle.

You can probably recognise the man at the top. He is one of the most famous characters in English history - King Henry VIII. I am not sure who the lady is but there were five others standing around too. I don't think all six ever got together like that in real life. Yes, these characters weren't even people - just waxwork statues.

The other two spoke to us and gave me a little cuddle. They introduced themselves as the Earl and Countess of Warwick. They were from the Greville family - who I think may be still the Earls of Warwick (although they have sold the castle). This couple are dressed like they are from the 1700s

My human Andrew, who has been doing some research, says the Earldom of Warwick is unusual. The title has died out 3 times (and so had to be recreated by the King - if and when he wanted). So there have been 4 men who were "1st Earl". The most famous Earl of Warwick - "The Kingmaker" - was the 16th Earl and lived in the 1400s but the present Earl is only the 9th Earl. It's confusing for a toy cat. I am "No. 1" Figaro in our house.

You can imagine I was glad to get back to our lovely guest house - which is right at the castle gate. They know how to treat cuddly toys there. All the rooms have teddy bears in them and the bear has the same name as the room. We stayed in/with Francis. Of course, I had to tell Francis about who shares the bed with my humans but there was no trouble.

OK, is that enough? I'm nearly up to date. Can I have a cuddle now?


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Castle - but not Disney

Here I am at Warwick Castle on our way home from Wales. The tower behing me is called Guy's Tower (I don't know why). It was built around 1350. A lot of the castle is even older. For readers in North America, it is all a long time before Columbus.

Yes, it's a real castle. That's solid stone behind me, It isn't a fibre-glass fairytale castle. It isn't even a 19th century fake built by a mad king that Walt Disney is said to have used as a model (that one's in Germany anyway). It's a real medieval castle built to protect one of the most important nobles in the country. The narrow slits in the tower were for archers to shoot arrows. The overhanging bit at the top was to protect the defenders while they poured all sorts of nasty stuff on the people outside. During the Wars of the Roses, the then Earl of Warwick was known as "The Kingmaker" because of the number of kings he had arranged to have replaced one way or another.

Look, I'm only a toy cat. I'm not supposed to know all this serious stuff but Andrew likes to do research for me sometimes and gets upset if I ignore all of it.

Actually, inside this one is not that different from a Disney castle. There are people wandering round in constume. Oh, and there are lots of overpriced food stands and attractions with supplementary charges too!

I think I have some more pictues somewhere. I'll look them out.

It was fun.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Still in Wales

Here, as sort of promised, are a couple more pictures in Wales. These were taken while I was outside enjoying the sunshine. One shows the hotel itself - called Llangoed Hall - and the other looks away from the hotel towards the River Wye. My humans really enjoyed the room, food and service.

I enjoyed having pictures taken. It's a lot easier when the weather is good and I don't have to search forever to find something clean and dry to stand on (apart from one of the humans' hands).


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Lovely Hotel in Wales

It's lovely to tell people about my trips away - even when they aren't related to Disney (can you believe that?). We are just back from two trips away. The first included a weekend in a really luxurious country house hotel in Wales. What is more, the accommodation was free. My clever human Mikki won a competition on the website of the famous British chef, Delia Smith.

The top picture is of our bedroom. I'm sorry you can't see me too well but Mikki insisted I included as much of the bed and room as possible. All of the rooms were elegant and made the humans imagine they were staying as guests in a country mansion. As you may guess from the picture below (yes, I've learned how to upload more than one picture) Mikki even decided to play a little snooker. The windows looked out on a beautiful view of the river Wye. I've got some other pictures outside and may show you.

The humans say the food was also excelent. They had breakfast included but decided to have dinner too.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Happy Cruising

When I told you that the cruise information we received included details of what to do at Port Canaveral, I decided it was an excuse to show you my humans' favourite picture from our last (and only other) Disney cruise. Here we are on Castaway Cay with the ship (Disney Wonder) in the background. I guess everyone who has been on a cruise like ours has a picture like this - Disney are very good at finding and creating photo spots - but here is ours.

There is a little story to go with it. We were not in the first rush to get off the boat so when we arrived at this photo spot there was no line. Mickey was waiting for us. He became quite excited - and not just from meeting me! From his gestures, we worked out he was telling us he recognised my humans too. Andrew wasn't surprised because we had met him on the ship a few times. No, that wasn't it. He moved his hands round in a circle and we guessed it was the world - Walt Disney World. No, not good enough! The hand signals got more excited and a line started to form as he kept trying to get his message across. Eventually, his "minder" intervened to ask if there was a problem. We all felt rather stupid when the "minder" explained the round thing Mickey was showing us was Spaceship Earth. He was telling us he had met us at Epcot.

Our last cruise had some very memorable and happy moments like this one. I hope we get a few more on the next one.

We're all off to Wales for the weekend now. The weather forecast says it is going to be wet. Not (quite) as hard as Florida in a summer thunderstorm but a good bit cooler. At least we are staying in what looks like a very nice country house hotel so I'm hoping for a few more nice pictures.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

New Desk

As soon as he had assembled the chair for Mikki, Andrew set about the task of making a new computer desk. This one was for the computer in his own room. Assembling flat pack furniture is a rather different proposition from taking a chair out of its box so we toys were on alert for a human who would need lots of calming hugs. Well, here it is finished and hardly one scream of frustration!

It looks like Andrew has taken this picture rather carefully so you can't see any of the other things he has in his room. Perhaps I will be able to persuade him to take some other photos soon. I'm specially sorry he hasn't shown you the picture that is on the wall just a little to the right of this view. It is actually a production cell from Walt Disney's second full length animated feature film. You know, the one that for some reason is named after one of the minor characters - a wooden puppet called Pino-something. The cel in question is of the more important character, the black and white cat. In it, Figaro is in his human's bed. There's a message here and I am pleased to say my humans have got it.

Oh, by the way, Mikki has now opened and read the exciting package of cruise information that came from Disney yesterday. There are a couple of luggage tags and lots of useful information about boarding the ship - at Port Canaveral. I hope someone has told the Captain that he is due to pick us up in Barcelona!

Today, we have been out looking for fancy dress for a party the humans are going to later in the year. The theme is "toys". The humans have been talking about making giant dice or playing cards. Then they went to a fancy dress shop and looked for characters like Woody and Buzz. They could simply look round their own house and see which toys are the most popular: Mickey Mouse, Tinker Bell and, of course, Figaro.


Monday, 4 July 2011

New Chair

We have a new chair for sitting at one of our computers. That's it in the picture. It swivels and tilts and has memory foam in the cushion. I didn't think too much to it myself: after all, I'm not big enough to make it tilt and I already have memory foam on the bed, so I will be happy to stay there most of the time.

Mikki has bought the chair for her study. You may be able to tell it is her room from the large number of mice in the background. They are all very well behaved (they are almost all Mickey: somehow one or two Minnies got in too but I keep them all pretty well under control).

Mikki says the chair is very comfortable for her. Andrew says it makes her look very smart and managerial. You can't see the desk and computer in this picture (the camera is below the desk) but you can probably work out that I could never reach the keyboard from this new chair. This is OK. I am training the humans up to accept dictation so that I don't need to type the blogs myself any more. So why shouldn't they be comfortable?

Oh, by the way, some cruise papers arrived in the post (mail) today.