Friday, 27 March 2015

Death, extended life, confusion and disappointment

It's already been well over a week but I have finally decided that I can't let the passing of my favourite author go without a mention - I was first introduced to his books around 1988 (Thank you Keith Skedd for the introduction to a world of entertainment,  close to my sense of humour but way beyond my comic ability ) just after the publication of his fourth Discworld book "Mort". I was smitten with the tag line  "Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort he offered him a job." Thank you Sir Terry Pratchett for a body of work that often left me laughing out loud and never once disappointed and lets hope death has offered you Morts old job.....

Extended Life
On a happier note, this month saw our cat McG celebrate his 20th Birthday - not bad for a chubby little kitten of no fixed ability.  He hit a stone in weight when he was 6 months old and has technically been on a diet for 19 and a half years.  He has a kill count of 1 (which we strongly expect was a bird that stunned itself by flying into a closed window) so is probably guilty of the crime of assisted suicide rather than cold blooded murder....

We almost lost him in 2002 when he got crystals in his bladder and ballooned to almost twice his size - a week in animal hospital (fortunately Rolf Harris was no where in sight so we know he wasn't abused) It was touch and go with daily health reports matched only by hourly vet bill updates....happily McG had a much more successful recovery than our bank balance which flat lined and received the last rights twice before finally limping back to recovery - He was worth every penny.

About 5 years ago, during an annual check up the vet told me to bring him back in a few weeks time when we were ready to have him put down.  This second life threatening situation was relatively easy to rectify by changing his diet and more importantly his vet....

McG celebrates his 20th Birthday by
spending it in bed...
We finally managed to get to the Lee Valley Velopark - which was one of the few Olympic venues we failed to get to see in 2012.  It's fantastic and I really enjoyed the evening even if half the time we didn't have a clue what was going on and indeed who was leading.  The only time I knew for certain was when Laura Trott (UK's cycling heroine from 2012 ) was on the track - mainly because she was practically lapping everyone else by the time they reached the first corner....

Some of the race highlights
Keirin racing - each rider follows a rotund man on a tiny motor bike around the track allowing the cyclist to slip stream and cycle faster then they would normally....

Laura Trott gets an honour guard of
chubby men on tiny motorbikes....
Elimination race - teams circle the track until a bell sounds at which point the last team past the finish line gets eliminated.

The Longest race - Competitors have to keep their bike motionless for between 2 and 4 minutes - during that time they are not allowed to cross the starting line or touch the track with any part of their body until the referee starts the race at which point they sprint for a single lap.

Ready set stand still....
Eclipse Hoax?
I've yet to meet anyone who actually witnessed the UK partial eclipse first hand - While Bishops Stortford was admittedly covered in heavy cloud, as the appointed moment approached, came and went, the light didn't dim even a little bit.  The only way I could take part was by shutting my eyes but quite frankly I can do that anytime of the day or night...

C.A.C.T.U.S round-up   
Attendees (17th Feb) The 7th film for 2015 – Focus
a good fun romp - a bit predictable but not bad for a Will Smith film...


C.A.C.T.U.S running totals
Niel (9)
Marb (6)
Penny (6)
Natalie (4)
Al (5)
Mrs B (2)
Mark (2)
Lisa (2)

Photo Finish
We end this addition with some more shots from the Velodrome and McG

Cycling a very hands on sport...
Leaders of the pack...
At times it was just a blur 
The racing was certainly close
Sermon from the box
"I may have the ageing body of a house cat
but I have the heart of a lion..."
Hear me roar...
The happiest summer for McG was 1997,
which he spent spread eagled on top of an Avery
in Chesham. Not sure the occupants or indeed
the owner were that impressed. I believe they had
a party when we moved on...