21 April 2008

The Great Escape

So ... I handed in my notice last week. Even though I have no job as such to go to.

Some would say this was a foolhardy action. After all, I have a mortgage and a cat and other grown-up responsibilities, I should be in a stable job earning stable money. And this is why I stayed in my job for two years. But there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.

The bottom line is, my job doesn't make me happy. In fact it makes me actively unhappy. If I stay in it because of my mortgage, cat and other grown up stuff, that would mean I'm unhappy because of all those things. I should enjoy owning my own home but instead I've regarded it as a millstone round my neck, keeping me stuck in a horrible job, ever since we bought it. That's just silly. Why spend more money than you've ever spent before on something that makes you miserable?

So I quit. I decided I deserve to be happier than I am, to enjoy being 24, married and a home owner. If I have to temp for a while so be it - I might even enjoy it, you never know! And doing this has made me realise that nothing needs to control my life other than me. There's no point waiting for a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card to fall in your lap if all it takes is a calculated risk. I've taken a risk, and it means I can escape. And I will, on May 12th.

Wonder what will happen on May 13th??!

This Week I will Mostly Be ...

... reading 'The Brothers Karamazov' - I might have it done in another four weeks!
... watching 'Life is Beautiful'
... looking for a job
... playing with Millie
... going to Leamington for a houseparty
... going to see my first G&S!
... feeling excited about the future

15 April 2008


Well, it wasn't years. Or months. Or even weeks.

Freddie didn't respond to medication. He just got worse. His breathing became more laboured, one of his legs swelled up with oedema, and he struggled to even lie down comfortably. So last Monday we made the heartbreaking decision to have him put to sleep.

It's sometimes hard to explain to people who aren't 'animal types' just how hard it is to lose a pet. People think it's daft to say they're part of your family, but they are. Freddie was like a baby to me, and I loved him. Seeing him suffering was the most heart-wrenching experience I've ever been through, and letting him go was just as bad.

Our time together was all too short, but here are some of the things I'll remember about Freddie. The way he used to purr for ages after you'd stroked him. How much he loved being cuddled. His inquisitive nature - I once walked into our bedroom to see his tail poking out of our canvas wardrobe, I tried to tell him off but it was so cute I couldn't manage it. When I was off work ill, laid on the sofa almost unable to move, and he came and cuddled up with me. The way he used to sleep on the back of the sofa and he would slowly sink down until he was resting on your head. The way he loved being groomed. His ability to recognise a milk bottle - and how he would chase you if you walked around carrying one. Dipping his paw in an almost-empty cup of tea so he could have the dregs. How he was always at the door when I came in from work. His beautiful face, like a barn owl. Him and Millie chasing each other about like kittens. How he used to take up well over half of the bed we bought for the two of them.

All these things I want to remember, and I will. We had him for two months, and the last three or four weeks he was not the cat we first got because of his illness, but at least we had those first few weeks. He was part of our family, and will not be forgotten.

This Week I will mostly be ...

... a bit more able to face blogging
... reading 'The Brothers Karamazov'
... catching up on DVD watching
... choosing what else to buy from Next having bought a fabulous coat
... working out my notice!
... panicking because I have no other job to go to!!

05 April 2008

More trials of cat ownership

Remember in my last post about the cats having their teeth out I mentioned Freddie had a bit of a cough? Well it turns out my worries weren't unfounded. After the operation, Freddie went off his food, became much less active and started breathing heavily. When we took him for a check-up on his teeth a few days later, the vet noticed his breathing, took him in for an X-ray and found fluid on his lungs. Having drained it off it became clear that Freddie has heart failure. He went on tablets for a week, but it seems these didn't do much and the fluid reappeared. So now he's on stronger tablets and diuretics, but he's still not too good and whatever happens he'll never be the same cat again.

It's come as a huge shock. We've only had the cats for two months and already it looks like we might lose one. I couldn't believe just how much we'd become attached to him, we're so upset about it and can't bear to see him in discomfort. I suppose that's the risk you run with rescue cats, it's not something that would have been picked up had he been through a proper rescue agency, it's just bad luck. But at least now we can give him a loving home for however long he's with us.

I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping the tablets take this time, if they do we could have him for years to come, if not it'll be weeks. However long we have him though, we'll love him and care for him as much as we can.

Generous Journal: Our green holiday

Everyone needs a holiday, even people who are trying to be generous. But holidays are tricky little things. Do you go abroad and use a plane, or do you go to somewhere in England but have to use the car because our public transport is so doggone awful? Well here's a solution, Eurostar!

The week before last hubby and I went to Brussels for two nights then spent a night in London afterwards. Altogether it cost about £400, and the only time we got in a car was getting a taxi home on Sunday evening because we'd missed our train and din't want to get back late (were it not for the fact that one of our cats is really ill at the moment and we wanted to get back to him, we'd have waited for the next train). We got the train from Guiseley to Leeds, then Leeds to London, then the very whizz-bang Eurostar to Brussels. It also goes to Lille and Paris if you fancy France more than Belgium. Once there we got Brussels Cards, which cost 20 euros and allow you free entry to about 30 museums for 24 hours and free public transport for 2 days. So we used the underground and trams to get around when we were there, as well as a heck of a lot of walking. How green is that?

We also tried to be generous when it came to eating. We saw at least three Pizza Huts when we were there, and as a veggie it was tempting to go to one because then I knew I could get a meal, and it was cheaper than other restaurants. But instead we supported local restaurants, and just used our collective knowledge of French to find meat-free food for me! (Actually, we only went to one restaurant where they didn't have English translations, another reason why Brussels is great!)

After Brussels we got the Eurostar back to London and used the tube and the busses to get round there. I actually preferred the busses, once we'd worked them out they were more convenient and usually less crowded than the Tube, and so much cheaper! Then the next day we got the train back to Leeds - which took almost twice as long as it did to get from Brussels to London!

If you're looking for an eco-friendly way to go on your hols, I really recommend Eurostar. It's fast, comfortable (apart from the ear-popping 20 minutes under the Channel!) and carbon-neutral. And if you're not from London it's an excuse to do some sight-seeing in between train journeys!

01 April 2008

This Week I will mostly be ...

... reading 'The Brothers Karamazov' (nearly halfway through now)
... watching 'Atonement'
... back at work after 10 days off - ouch
... worrying about my poorly cat
... chilling out in the evenings - back to singing and youth club next week