Saturday, 27 December 2008

quietly adding another year to the tally today

Happy festive season to all my readers (I think that's just me and the stray cat that's walking along the balcony railing and peering over my shoulder). Let's trust that 2009 will bring lots of great things, though of course it is hard to determine just what that is. For me it includes a rocketing British pound and US dollar and a plummeting Aussie dollar.

We've had the usual round of expat do-s, all of which have been enjoyable and all of which involved copious amounts of bubbly. Last night it was a murder dinner and I thought for a moment that 'I done it,' but turned out to be that floozy across the table from me.

One problem that I always have during Christmas - New Year is that my birthday falls smack bang in the middle of that period and brings with it more festivities. I feel that a reprieve from festivities is needed. Maybe if I just say a quiet, "Happy Birthday me," no-one will notice and the day will pass otherwise unremarked.

Well, it's 7:45 am and my son, T, just texted to say that he and his girlfriend, C, have arrived in Doobs. They're staying for a couple of days at a swish hotel right near the Burj. K actually checked The Age newspaper this morning at 1 am to make sure that no planes had fallen out of the sky between Australia and here! It seems that one never stops being a parent and never stops worrying about the offspring!

Looking forward to seeing T & C for a few days before they continue their journey on to Egypt to check out the pyramids and take a Nile cruise.

PS - pic above knicked from net.

Monday, 22 December 2008

how to win friends and influence people

Ennui sets in.

Psychologically limping through to the next hols. Dispute with neighbour over cats. What next?

Actually I feel bad about the cat thing. The neighbour took an instant dislike to me 18 months ago when we first met. I made a flippant remark way back then which I heard through the grapevine was absolutely misinterpreted and held up as evidence of my skinflint ways. Ah well, what can you do?

Said neighbour is one of a small group feeding the stray cats in the neighbourhood. The cats are mangey, thin and some are injured. One has only one eye and one seems to have some kind of conjunctivitis as it can't open it's eyes very much. I understand the pity for the animals, but it seems to me that feeding them only encourages breeding and has the effect of inviting cats from further afield to move into our neighbourhood.

The neighbour has taken to feeding the cats right at the entrance to the apartments. This has encouraged the cats to hang around the door. Instead of the usual one or two cats we had to ensure didn't find their way into the stair wells and common areas, we now have to shoo several cats away. The car park and entrance area sometimes smell strongly of cat pee. The newspapers delivered to our door have even been peed upon.

I don't know what the answer to the cat problem is - letting them starve is hardly humane. A neighbour who has moved out used to have them neutered. That's a better solution, but I really don't know who footed the bill.

I've never been a fan of cats. I don't wish ill for the strays, but nor do I want them, their food or their pee stench at my door. Seeing said neighbour feeding them today, I felt obliged to say something. Needless to say it didn't do anything for our relations! I'm not sure that it did anything to encourage the feeding of the cats in another location either. I guess time will tell.

When you see them like this, they look pretty innocuous, don't they?