STOP PRESS: I finally caught Mrs Blackbird yelling birdie obscenities at Kitty who is getting a bit fed up of having no peace at all!!!

I am very glad that I don’t own a gun and that I live in country where it is generally against the law to own one. Because if I had a gun, last week I would have shot my dog, Dylan. He had a charming dose of the trots FOR 3 DAYS. 3 mornings of cleaning out his bed (crate) before breakfast to a chorus of “ohmygod, that’s just disgusting” from my darling precious daughters who would have run the risk of being shot too.

This week I would shoot Mrs Blackbird. Yep, that’s right. Mrs Blackbird. I would point my gun and BANG. Feathers all over the place. And then PEACE. QUIET.

Now before you rush to judgement – let me ask – have you ever heard an agitated Blackbird. They make the most annoying racket and it goes on and on and on. The problem clearly is that Mrs Blackbird is a mammy. She must have a nest full of baby blackbirds in the tree at the end of the garden. I am also assuming that this particular Mrs Blackbird was a bit sloppy when it came to doing her background research on a suitable location for her nest. She clearly saw the tree and letting her heart rule her head, decided “This is it”. “This is my tree. This will be my new home.” Had she come back for a second viewing before finally making her mind up (and had she bothered to tune into Kirsty and Phil she would have known all this), she would have realised that she was making a nest at the end of a garden belonging to four cats.

Now my cats are generally laid back, lazy moggies who venture into the garden to lie in the sun or do their business. They have a cat flap to facilitate these comings and goings. Youngest of the foursome is Kitty and she occasionally brings home a field mouse. She has never (to my knowledge) caught a bird. But anytime any of the cats venture into the garden at the moment, Mrs Blackbird comes flying out of her fabulous tree, roaring and bawling all kinds of birdie obscenities. She perches on the swing and keeps up her tirade until the cat in question retreats indoors again. But when Kitty puts one paw into the garden she goes ballistic altogether. Squawking and screeching at the top of her lungs and dive bombing Kitty as she wanders down the path.

But this morning took the biscuit altogether. I was sitting trying at my laptop trying to work on a story. I have gotten somewhat used to the incessant squawking but all of a sudden it seemed to go up a gear and get louder. “Oh shut up” I roared as I turned around to see Kitty sitting indoors on the window sill and Mrs Blackbird perched on a patio chair directly outside the window telling Kitty exactly what she would do with her if she even put one leg into the garden. I was stunned. Of course I had no camera to hand.

I will admit to admiring Mrs Blackbird’s tenacity and her dogged protection of her offspring. But clearly her hormones have gotten the better of her and I am worried for her sanity. Without a gun I am just praying that all her babies fledge successfully and soon. And that Kitty stays as lazy as she is, so we can all live happily ever after!


By Dylan Da Dog

Now I can explain this picture and I would immediately draw your attention to the expression on Simba’s face. He is positively blissful! I think I was keeping him warm, although to be honest that was not my intention.

Over the Christmas, Simba had taken to sleeping on MY rocking chair (well Barbara thinks its hers – but it is actually mine). For a couple of days I tried sitting on the floor staring up at him to make him move. But that didn’t work and so I decided to take more direct action and climb up and sit on him. That kindof backfired though, as he seemed to like it! So it is now a race to see who gets the rocking chair first!

I did get some walks in over Christmas and boy was it very cold. There was nothing like coming home to find the fire lit and the glow of some candles and I could snuggle up on the sofa with my other pal, Pasqua!

Hope your Christmas was as good as mine!
Barbara will be back soon,……. apparently!
Lots of love from

The Homecoming

He follows me down the hall,
recognising signs of impending departure.
A change of footwear.
The noisy gathering up of keys, phone and glasses.
His big brown eyes following my every move.
He pads after me, backwards and forwards,
carefully treading that thinnest of lines
between being a nuisance and being cute.
As I bang the hall door after me
he moves to the window,
pressing his nose against the glass
making a foggy patch, over which sad eyes guilt me for going alone.
On the garden wall, a pair of feline eyes,
cast a disinterested glance my way,
before stretching out in the puddle of weak autumn sunshine.

On my return he is curled up in the hall.
He senses my approach and jumps to his feet,
a mass of welcomes and unbridled joy.
As I enter the hallway, his excitement knows no bounds.
And just as I make to close the door,
the cat scoots in,
casting me another wry glance,
tail up in a subtle acknowledgement of our bond.
A swift glare at the dog, he sweeps by
and makes for his favourite armchair.
Meanwhile dog is conducting a forensic examination of my trouser legs and shoes,
in an effort to establish where I have been and with who.
When he has gathered all possible evidence, he finally relaxes.

And we all resume our indoor routines, together.