Simba

Simba: an East African word for lion.

Simba: a character in the movie The Lion King (which I haven’t seen).

Simba: The cat who thinks she’s a dog.

Simba owns my brother. She made sure that he rescued her a few years ago, one December. He named her Simba in reference to the month, not because she resembles a lion or anything. Because of her name, everyone who meets her thinks she’s a boy, but she isn’t.

She loves cuddles and chasing her tail. She loves being brushed and having her chin tickled. She doesn’t like other animals and growls when there’s a knock at the door. And she loves taking a nap.

She’ll use anything for a pillow.

Sometimes pretending to be one herself.

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Sunbathing on a rug, she’ll just stretch out and drift off to sleep.

In a morning, when she first meets us, she smiles, and looks longingly into our eyes, sending a gentle psychic command of “feed me” or “brush me” or “tickle me”.

Even though I’ve managed to grab these photos of her, for some reason she doesn’t like having her photograph taken.

Although sometimes she will nonchalantly pose for the camera.

But she’ll only allow one shot at a time. Once taken she’ll simply turn away.

Sometimes, however, she can be caught unawares.

But usually, she’s off, far away, in the land of nod.

Simba. Relaxing and Feeling Good!

Just the tonic for a Sunday!

Made It!

Phew! Just about made it.

I had the bright idea to buy myself one of those new-fangled 3D printers the other week or so. When I first got it, I stored it, temporarily, in the Bathroom for safe-keeping until I could find a more permanent home for it, which I did a couple of days later and I moved it down to the Cellar.

Now, as you are aware, me and technology don’t exactly go hand in hand. I can honestly say that I don’t know my acrylonitrile butadiene styrene from my endstop switches, but I’m not going to let anything like that stop me.

The 3D printer I bought was a kit that one makes at home. Like flat-pack furniture; all of the required parts are there, and a starter pack that contained just enough ABS nuggets (ABS is the ‘plastic’ that is the end product, apparently… the pack said) to get me started. I’m sure I had a few parts missing, as what was on the diagram wasn’t in the plastic bag, and some items were different colours.

Anyhow, I persevered, and knocked up my 3D printer in no time. It looked quite similar to what was in the instruction manual, with a few wires missing here and a different coloured cable there, but all in all it looked OK.

I plugged it in, switched it on, and it buzzed, clicked and whirred into life.

I decided that I would make a small model of yours truly, and set the device to scan me, which it did perfectly. Well, it appeared to, anyhow. I was stood on a metal plate, and bathed in a gentle blue light as the plate rotated. The printer hummed as it took its own mental notes of my vital statistics as it scanned me, and then started to chug and click alternatively as it began to weave extremely fine gossamer threads which seemed to gain a life of their own as they emanated outwards from the device.

I noticed in the corner that I’d forgotten to put the cover on, so what happened next can only be blamed on me and not the printer.

The threads spread outwards from the printer and towards the plate. The plate I was on. The plate I was whizzing around on at a gentle pace, and couldn’t get off until it had stopped turning, otherwise the printing would fail, and I would have had to reset the printer.

So I was stuck.

The threads wrapped themselves around me, and worked upwards, gradually covering my whole body like some sort of ancient Egyptian Mummy.

I managed to keep a breathing hole in the plastic by sticking my tongue out every time I’d rotated away from the printer, which pushed the setting plastic polymer away from me.

The plate stopped spinning. The machine beeped. The printing was done.

That was last week.

I’ve been on that plate since then, in case you’ve wondered why I haven’t been on the blog.

It was quite comfortable, as the set plastic was a support when I slept, but when I was awake I’d try my hardest to push out, and break myself free.

I managed that this afternoon when, after one final hefty shove, the plastic shattered.

I desperately needed the loo, so dashed back up to the Mansion’s bathroom, and then returned to the 3D printer.

It appears the threads that got me should have been worked back into the machine, and the cover I’d forgotten to put on would have seen to that. The printer had started to replicate me, however, although some of the proportions were slightly wrong.

It had started from the top of my head down, and had reached just below my nose before it ran out of the ABS – obviously, there would have been plenty if the threads had reached their correct destination.

So, I have another Selfie, a 3D one this time, which both looks like me and doesn’t in equal measure. You can see a photo of it up there.

I may not use the printer again… but really I should have thought harder when I bought it from the car boot sale, but I couldn’t resist. That’s me, you see, impetuous.

Incidentally, Made It! also refers to one other thing. Back in 2010 I started this blog on May 13th. I’m still here, five years later. I almost missed today’s post due to circumstances absolutely beyond my control, but it just goes to show we really can do anything when we put our minds to it!

It’s good to be back. And it’s good to still be here.

And here’s to the next five years!

Cheers!   

Observing the weather

As I write, clouds are hanging dark and menacingly up above. And not only overhead – they seem to be covering miles around. Below them, and just above the horizon, thinking about it, the darkness is contrasted by the brightest of white, which tells me that the day’s sunlight is still hanging on, and shining brightly on the out-lying areas to my immediate world.

The air is still, the atmosphere clammy. Mixed in with the stillness is the scent of rain. Fresh rain, although it is still dry here for now.

Somebody once told me that nature braces itself for a storm. The grass holds itself perfectly upwards, ready to draw down any stray raindrop that happens to land upon it. The young leaves on the trees unfurl themselves, opening themselves, welcoming and anticipating the refreshing downpour.

Birds, insects and animals head for shelter, hiding themselves away goodness knows where, anticipating the storm in a different way.

And people? We always get taken by surprise. Even if we’ve seen the forecast.

Ginny Greenteeth

Walk not upon the duckweed
For an evil temptress waits
She appears by stagnant ponds
Looking for anyone, young and old,
To meet a grisly end

Ginny Greenteeth, Ginny Greenteeth,
The hag with the long green hair
Whose offered hand of friendship
Only brought about despair
She tempted tramps and beggermen
With a warm fireside to rest
Yet when they slept, she’d quarter them
So evil was she possessed
She’d scatter around their body parts
In rivers, streams and ponds
But soon enough she too was caught
And sent to the great beyond
Trapped within a muddy bog
She had nothing left to do
Except allow the mud to take her
And shout “I’ll be back for YOU!”

She personified the duckweed
Made it knit together, appear thick and strong
And she’d wait behind the willows
For someone else to come along
She’d lure them to the waterside
Make a sound to draw them closer
And then she’d grab them by the ankles
And pull them rapidly beneath the water

Walk not upon the duckweed
So an old legend says
For an evil temptress lies in wait
As she’s done for many days
And if the water’s stagnant
Be sure to take extra care
As Ginny Greenteeth will be around
Hiding
Anywhere…

The Legendary Sandman

 

I toss.
I turn.
I flail… I wail.
I wait; I try counting sheep.

I stretch.
I rest.
I try my best.
But I just will not go to sleep.

I hope and pray
At the end of the day
That slumber
Catches soon…

Yet somehow, I realise,
I’m not in bed
But I’m walking on the Moon.

My coat is green
And I’ve lost a glove
And I’ve searched for it
Everywhere

And then I see it
On a shelf
On the cruise ship
Over there.

I catch a leaf
As it blows by
Which lifts me off
The ground

And I hold tight
As I’m carried high
And see views
Of all around.

The leaf becomes a feather
Attached to the neck
Of a giant hawk
Which turns its head
And looks at me…
I’m sure it wants to talk.

It squawks
And flies
And dips
And dives
And tosses as it turns

Then it lets me go
As I fall below;
When suddenly
I glide.

I blink, surprised
And when I reach the ground
I need to rub my eyes

I’m back in bed
Eyes full of grit…
Yes; the Sandman’s been around.

*  ***  *

The Boggart

When milk turns sour and the time’s not right,
And objects vanish from out of sight,
When noises sound in the dead of night,
The imp’s playing its game.

When doors are locked without a key,
When four socks washed change to three,
When papers shuffle without a breeze,
There’s only one to blame.

When laughter’s heard and no-one’s there,
Or an invisible hand pulls your hair,
And when you sit you ‘miss’ your chair,
It’s the one you shouldn’t name.

With clammy hands that clutch your face,
Then pull your ears out of place,
Then sprinkles water from an empty space…
Mischief is the boggart’s aim.