Sunday, 15 April 2012

Village Life - Owning a Winning Racehorse

Yesterday was a big day for horse racing in Britain.  No, I'm not talking about what happened somewhere called Aintree but what happened here in our little village - where the local pub (the Pack Horse) ran a Race Night.  I ended up owning a racehorse - and it won its race.  |Prrr.

Village life is very different from living in London (where I used to live with my humans) or other big cities.  In the village, your neighbours talk to you (and about you!).  In the big city, you can search out someone with interests to match yours.  In the village, if you are sensible, you just get involved in what is happening.  And maybe - after 5 or 6 years - they get used to you too.  They may even tolerate one family in the community having a toy cat who writes a Blog!

Our village is very small.  There is no shop; no Post Office, no school.  There is a pub but business is hard for all rural pubs these days.  The current landlord of the pub is a nice local man who has given good service so my humans want to support him and help him make a success of the business (this is where it gets a little difficult because they talk about the quality of the food and drink and I don't really understand that because I'm a toy).

So the point is that my humans are not really keen horse racing or betting people but they went to the Race Night because there would be nice neighbours there and to support the village.  It turned out there were eight races and people were offered the chance to be named "owner" of each of the horses as well as to bet on them. All the horses had funny fictitious names (like "Nearly Fell, by Eileen Dover").  In the Fifth Race one was called "Pinocchio by Wooden Lie".  Nobody had yet "bought" him and my humans decided to give the money to name me as owner.  The horse ran as "No.2".

The evening got under way and the humans apparently had fun (no, I wasn't actually there!).  As it happens, the horse in position "No. 2" won in both the third and forth races.  My humans tried to console themselves that one race should not affect the result of the next but the chances for "Pinocchio" did not look good.  Well, I don't need to waste time - "No. 2" did win three races in a row.  The landlord called up the owner and Mikki went up representing me to collect my prize.  Here I am with it in the picture.

I'm very pleased with my prize - and even more proud that I can call myself the owner of a winning racehorse.  I don't think I'll be drinking any of my prize.  On balance, I'm glad my humans didn't act on their friend's suggestion to set up the picture with a  drinking straw from the bottle to my mouth.

I don't even think the humans drink much Martini.  It'll have to wait until they find another way of taking part in village life - by inviting the neighbours round for a party!

And what about the big horse race yesterday and the poor horses who died?  What do you expect me to think?  Moral dilemmas are for humans.  Life for toys is more simple.  Give me a cuddle.


Friday, 6 April 2012

The Whole Family - The Rest of the Weekend

My humans and I were quite busy over several days last weekend:  the wedding was the highlight (see previous post).

For a lot of the rest of the time, we were looking after Andrew's mother, who is now 89 years old and lives in a care home in Hexham.  I am interested to watch all generations of my humans' families but (or because) I don't really understand this idea of getting old.  As my friend Mickey Mouse once said, "the great thing about being a cartoon character is that however many birthday parties you have, you never get any older".

Andrew's mother now needs quite a lot of help.  She wanted to arrive at the wedding in style from a nice hotel so we took her to one nearby.  We asked for a specially adapted room but the one provided (said to be "accessible") was useless.  She could not have used the bathroom safely).  Strangely, the regular rooms were better and Mikki looked at several before moving Andrew's mother.  It all took time, which tired her. Well, she slept soundly through the night.

Fortunately, the next day - the day of the wedding - dawned fine and we all got out into the sun to admire the gandens.  Here am I with my human, Andrew.  Yes, that's Mickey Mouse on his tie.  Mikki decided he should have a cheerful tie because weddings are happy events - as this one was.

And Andrew's mother was looked after extremely well by the bride and groom..  Thanks, again, Anna and Tom..

On the way to Hexham - and again on the way back - we stopped in Harrogate to do business relating to the sale of Andrew's mother's flat (apartment) there. We visited the lawyers and got a removal man to take out some of the larger items of furniture.  It added to what were already long days driving for my Mikki.  She likes me to sit in the front passenger seat when she is driving and I do my best to amuse her, keep her awake and remind Andrew to give her things to eat and drink from time to time.  "Eat and drink"?  Now, that something else about human behaviour I don't fully understand.


Monday, 2 April 2012

Anna and Tom's Happy Day

Just home from a weekend in Hexham, Northumberland, and I will tell you about the most important thing.  We want everyone to know how much we all enjoyed Anna and Tom's wedding celebrations and how much we wish them well for the future.

I suppose my humans aren't totally conventional.  Andrew must be a little unusual.  He lets his toy cat have a blog, after all!  But even he wasn't intending to take me to the wedding of his nephew Tom to Anna.  It was last Thursday evening, over dinner with Anna and her parents, that she invited me specially to the ceremony.  You see what a wonderful, kind and very special person she is.  She volunteered a photograph:  and here it is. Doesn't she look good in that lovely wedding dress!

The whole day was lovely.  It was held in a sort of giant glass pavilion, called "the Winter Gardens", that was connected with the school Tom went to.  The ceremony was held there and Tom and Anna chose their own special readings and had their own special wording for their vows.  After that, we went into another hall while the Winter Gardens were prepared for a meal and then dancing.  It was in this hall that I had my picture.  I think Anna looks very pretty.  I also think my Mikki looks very good - and Andrew says I must say he thought so too.

Once the food and drink came out, I got back in a little carriage the humans had brought for me.  But I will show you another picture we took earlier.  This is me standing next to the wedding cake.  The peacock feathers are appropriate as Anna's surname before marrying Tom was 'Peacock'. In this picture, you can get a bit of an idea of the glass walls of the building and the lovely grounds outside.

I didn't eat any.  I'm a toy.  Andrew says it was delicious.

More news of the weekend in a later post.