Tag Archives: Oil Spill

The Cat – Always Giving

Yesterday afternoon instead of finding the person responsible for the oil spill outside The Cat Towers and getting them to start a massive clean up operation I had to rush to the rescue of a dear talented and tortured friend. Yes it was an emergency and so I took loads of tissues, nasal spray, chocolate, sticky buns and of course Mint Imperials.

My dear friend and fellow best selling author J.K. Rowling called around tea time in floods of tears and in between the sound of her blowing her nose and grizzling she asked me to drop by and have one of our heart to hearts.

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Obviously this is not an uncommon emergency, dear J.K. Rowling or ‘Pesty’ as I call her has been a constant caller over the ten or so years she has been writing her best sellers. You know she calls for advice on grammar, spelling, story lines, character’s names and so much more. In the early days when she was a struggling single Mother she’d even ask for change for the electric meter or a cup of coffee and some toast so that she didn’t get ejected from the coffee bar she used to write in.

Frankly I thought after she became the patron saint of the publishing industry she would stop calling but the calls have just become more frequent if anything. When she’d call she would ask not only for help with her writing but also what did I think of the latest movie, was a Harry Potter theme park a good idea?

Sometimes I have a feeling I think I made things worse but not better, especially when I voiced my ‘concerns’ over the movies but good advice honestly given is a valuable commodity and Pesty was a ardent customer.

So there we were sitting in her ‘drawing room,’ her butler and maids dismissed after arranging the coffee cups for the tenth time, yes this is a girl who has gone up in the world, and she just broke down again. It seems that my dear friend is having some trouble with her latest literary project and earnestly wanted my advice.

After the fifth iced bun and in between cracking open yet another pair of Mint Imperials between her molars Pesty let out an enormous sob, blew her nose on a very damp tissue and opened her heart yet again.

It seemed that pesty’s latest blockbuster in progress was not going at all well, in fact although Pesty had taken a multi million advance from her publisher to buy Rhode Island or something she was stuck, and she wanted to run the story line (so far) by me.

The latest series of books Pesty had decided should be a story about a boy in a kindergarten. The boy called Larry Cotter possessed special powers and two idiot friends who would follow him through any nonsense of a contrived plot.

I sort of sighed and opened my mouth to offer my opinion but before I could dear Pesty put her sticky finger to her mouth to not only ssssh me but also to pop in a couple more Mint Imperials to crack open and crunch as she went on.

“There’s more before you tell me what a good idea ‘The Mystic Adventures of Larry Cotter’ are!” Pesty said with a bravado that nearly broke my heart.

“The teachers at the kindergarten are all very strange and all seem to be against poor Larry who is a bit weedy, but they all turn out to be really rather nice,” the fingers ssshed me again, “and there will be computers, Robots and modern stuff because Larry is not only weedy but also a computer nerd who can build Robots and other modern stuff.”

When Pesty took a breath I expected her sticky fingers to touch her lips for silence but it appeared that she had stopped talking ‘that’ was ‘it’ the entire plot for the next series of five or so books – “mmh I though.”

Well what could I say? I have always told Pesty the truth and look what that has done for her so that is what I told her now, as she rang for a plate of fresh cream filled cakes and after they had arrived took one in each hand so that her mouth would not be empty while I continued.

Had she really explored all of her other ideas I asked earnestly, well yes she said she had started with a story about a college student called Barry Otter who had special powers but that didn’t seem to pan out because he kept growing up and becoming a Cost Accountant.

Sobbing and dripping tears onto the last mouthful of cream cake in her left hand she said that she had then explored the possibilities of a book about a young primary school boy called Nigel Jefferies who came from a children’s home, had a club foot and was in the school choir because he could sing like an angel, but sadly she didn’t seem to be able to work any special powers or magic into the tale and worse when she imagined Nigel playing ‘Poundpitch’ which she thought would be the next ‘Quidditch’ all she could see was him falling off his broom.

Things were, I decided, worse than I thought! Pesty had lost it! Unfortunately it was now up to me to tell her the brutal truth but how that was the problem?

Then I had a brilliant idea, the best way to ensure that people in need suddenly dry their eyes, cheer up, and it has to be said get rid of their visitors as quickly as possible is to ask a favour and rather than break the news that Pesty’s literary career was in a mess this is what I decided to do.

“Actually I have a problem too,” I said as earnestly as possible, “I am starting out on my latest series of books which have a working title of ‘Things and People I Really Loathe Vols 1-3’ and I wondered if you could help me with some of the references. Was the name Harry Potter your first choice name for your main character?”

Just as I expected the tears dried, the cream smeared hands were wiped on the sofa and the last Mint Imperial chewed noisily to destruction.

“Cat” smiled Pesty, “you know I love you and I owe you a lot because you have offered me so much help over the years and that is why I am so sorry I have to say that I can’t help you at the moment. Actually I have something really important to do so you must leave, it has been nice but I do have a book to write.”

As I left Pesty Mansions I knew that the old Pesty was back and soon Barry Otter, Larry Cotter or indeed a female hero called Carrie Lotter would be soon weaving his or her magic over his or her adoring fans, Pesty was back!

On Mint Imperials

It is possible that some readers don’t know what a Mint Imperial actually is and because I am a caring Cat and best selling author I thought that I would offer you a description and a photograph of the little tooth breaking delicious minty treats and indeed a link if you want to try the little minty devils for yourself.

Mint Imperials are small misshapenly roundish candies. They have a Minty rock hard sugar coating and a Minty softer inside they are definitely supposed to be sucked to extinction but because most people who have one, two or in pesty’s case three of these delightful treats in their mouth, tend not to be able to resist crunching on them they are not only delicious but noisy and of course literally Minty through and through.

Obviously the crunching is what can, and does, break teeth which is why dentists say they think that eating Mint Imperials and indeed any boiled sweet is a bad idea, but at night at their dark gathering secretly give thanks to the confectionery industry for making them and thereby increasing dentist’s income by at least a factor of four.

There is a great pile of information here Wikipedia if you want to read more about Mint Imperials.

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If you really would like to try the little devils and risk a tooth or two you could always order some here Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk

I have to stress that I don’t have any connection with Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk in any way what so ever and that means sadly that when my fans put in bulk orders on my recommendation I won’t see a “brass farthing” to quote Charlie Dickens which is a damn shame because Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk seem to know how to charge if you see what I mean, when I was a Kitten a quarter of a pound which is probably 113 gms was sixpence now Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk want a whole British Pound and although British Pounds are pretty worthless a pond seems a lot, but they are worth the cost – promise and you could always send me some.

No not the Mint Imperials the British Pounds silly! You can donate them here – www.thecatsdiary.com just use the donate button here often!

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Oil Spill

You know I think that BP may have been passed ‘The Cat Towers’ my Prague HQ, and the centre of my ever growing empire, because there is the most enormous oil spill outside on the footpath (see below).

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The enormous oil spill here prompted me to ask a favour of anyone living on the Gulf of Mexico coastline. If they could take a stroll down to one of their now black beaches and sniff a tarred pelican or two and then let me know if they smell of Vegetable Oil, because I have a feeling that is the odour that is drifting up to my office window and of course if the beach and the wildlife do smell of Vegetable Oil it will confirm my suspicions and I will start to make my compensation claim.

BP say that they have a 20 billion dollar fund that they will use to pay for the damage they have created which is a hell of a lot more than the 1.28 billion dollars that Exxon reluctantly spent in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez hit the rocks off Alaska.

I wonder if BP will wash whiter? Because people who live on the coastline that the Exxon Valdez sprayed with oil say that they are still suffering the ill effects all these years later, but then as the general public have a very limited attention span who out there cares? Definitely not Greenpeace those guardians of the environment who spend so much of our hard earned money on their offices, ships and of course staff needed to collect even more of our hard earned disposable income.

I only know that they don’t care about those poor Alaskans because nowhere on their website do they say that they are doing anything for those poor sods, but then the Exxon Vadez doesn’t have the cachet of the BP disaster does it? And that means that Greenpeace couldn’t use that old Alaskan disaster to make a grab for more of your money could they! The Exxon Valdez disaster is now only relevant to Alaskans.

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But think about it can you blame greedy corner cutting corporations when it is ‘you’ that they are getting the oil for at the cheapest possible price so that you always can use your car and don’t pay too much for gas!

Tell you what, if you are ‘that’ concerned about this disaster then the obvious answer is to give up your car, don’t fly anywhere and then happily the developed world will need less oil.

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If we give up our cars and trucks and save loads of oil then that will leave the two biggest polluter China and India (who of course don’t have any international legal obligations to stop polluting) to pay ever greater amounts of cash for oil, which I have to say is a nice idea isn’t it?

Still thinking about the BP disaster for a moment – did you know that the BP disaster is not the worst oil spill ever, yes, you wouldn’t believe it would you? There is at least one worse oil spill. It happened when that arch villain Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and then offered a “Mother of all Battles” then ran away before ‘Mother’ arrived and the battle could begin.

During Saddam’s brief time in Kuwait he was worried about the American Marines landing from the Persian Gulf and so being the ‘hero’ that he was he ordered that the valves at an offshore oil terminal be opened. The result was a loss of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and a 4 inch thick oil slick that covered 4000 square miles.

To give you an idea of what that was like just imagine Rhode Island not only covered in oil but swamped with it to a depth of a foot.

Lastly on an equally unhappy note I recently travelled to Hungary to write a little more of my next book which is a Travelogue, now you can see why I went to Hungary it wasn’t for any sort of literary inspiration or anything I hope you didn’t misunderstand.

The whole trip was awful because basically Hungarians are the rudest people I have ever encountered and I have met Prince Charles!

You can read all about my trip in the book when it finally comes out, but I thought I would share an observation and show just why people are acting unwisely if they wear t-shirts with writing on.

As I passed through downtown Budapest I saw a t-shirt which had a very odd message on it! It said “I Love BP” actually it was one of those even worse than dreadful t-shirts that said “I” then had a little graphic representation of a heart “BP” if you see what I mean.

As you can imagine I thought that this was a very risky stance for anyone to take on behalf of BP in the light of what they are doing to one of the prettiest places in the world, but this was Hungary and as I explained, though I hope not too critically, 99.99% of Hungarians are rude bastards.

It wasn’t until I was on my way home and had spent several hours sighing with relief to get out of Hungary alive it sort of dawned on me “I ♥ BP” meant “I Love or ♥ Budapest.”

As you can now tell it was such a dreadful place, because of the Budapestians that it never ever entered my head that someone would love Budapest, or dare wear a t-shirt that showed any love to the oily polluter either for that matter.

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