Monthly Archives: October 2016



Mystic’s behaviour has definitely changed significantly since the nose incident that sent me hurrying him to the vet.

He is still looking fairly well for an old, old cat. His coat is lovely, he eats up all his food and looks to see if the others have left any, he goes out for a wander – he was actually clambering around in the bushes today.

But he’s developed some new traits too. He often climbs up to the back of the sofa, sometimes spending the whole evening there in a deep sleep. When I carry him out to the kitchen for the night and put him on his bed, he just goes on snoozing.

By contrast, he’s now much more pro-active and assertive in claiming his right to first choice of sitting on Mummy, and will wallop the other two if they try to share. Not always, but more often than he used to. Rest and cuddles have become more important to him. Sometimes when he’s purring there’s a rattling noise in his nose, and the nostril where the sore bit is runs very slightly most of the time.

He shows no sign of being in pain or even discomfort except for the occasional jump, as if something has stung or touched him.

I’m watching carefully, and Best Auntie Jen says he’s doing OK. For now.


I’m still unearthing old poems to share, please note I am happy for people to comment on how bad/good/terrible they are and why!

Here’s another poem based on Tolkien, so far I have not received a message by Nazgul from the Estates threatening my demise for plagiarism…..

Barliman Butterbur is a canny fellow;
Bright white his apron shines, and his cat is yellow.

Barliman is not the kind to water down the cider,
He has a smile for all who come; Hobbits, Dwarves – and Strider!

Barliman is famous for his ale as dark as Fangorn
And from his kitchens there come forth such pies as dreams are made on.

Through old Barley’s hands there pass coinage by the bushel
Silver pennies, copper pieces – scooped up with a shovel!

Long may Barley’s pony prance, long may he delight us
With foaming mugs and platters heaped and pewter of the brightest!

Good old Barley Butterbur, a kind and jolly fellow;
Bright as roses are his cheeks, and his cat is yellow.


Benji – my gentle doggie Spirit in the Sky

Poor dear Benji, a sweet and good dog indeed. Be happy with your Dad, good boy. xxxxxx

Jan Hawke INKorporated

benji-toby2 Benji’s on the right with his usual sad, soppy expression. Toby was very fond of him and they cuddled a fair bit.

I’ll keep this short and (like Benji) very sweet and soft. He wasn’t feeling very well and, I think, had been trying to tell me for several days that he was really fed up and tired. So yesterday afternoon I took him to the vets to find out whether he was still losing weight and was already prepared for leaving without him. I stayed with him as he slipped away, and sat with him for a little while longer until I could face leaving him.
I had the extreme pleasure of sharing his long life (he was 16 years old which is ancient for a collie-springer cross) for nearly 4 years. Toby and I miss him like mad, but he’ll be coming back home soon, and will join his Dad…

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In his author statement at the end of this astonishing book, Rothfuss says, equally astonishingly: ‘It’s the sort of story you write, then on your deathbed you remember it and ask a close friend to burn all your unpublished papers. Right after they clear your browser history, of course.’ (156)

Thankfully he was dissuaded from this procedure and the book is here for us to read. How to comment, though? All Rothufss’s writing makes me wonder how I dare call myself a writer at all. This one is miraculous.

It is a gem, a feather, a ring of gold, a hymn, a whisper, a roll of thunder, a joy, a sorrow, a symphony, a ballad, a fairy-tale and a pain.

It is not in any way whatsoever actually ‘like’ any one of the following: ‘Smith of Wootton Major’ or ‘Leaf by Niggle’ or ‘Of Mice and men’ or ‘Bleak House’ or ‘Ghormengast’, but in my head and my heart those are the books I’ve shelved it with.

I insist that you do not fail to read this book. Now, please.


Mystic waiting for Mum

Exciting to be back in my study after 4 days of being unable to breathe in here after the moth-spraying.

I said in Catalogue 80 there would be more changes and so there have been. On Sunday Mystic washed his face after lunch. And, as he has done so many times before, he knocked the scab off the sore bit on his nose.

This time he also managed to make the whole thing bigger and a lot of blood ran out of his nose, I had to staunch it with tissues. So back to the vet on Monday.

This time the vet and I had to look the situation in the eye and accept that it’s cancerous. It had by then scabbed over again but after an examination that was the only realistic conclusion. There’s nothing to be done but make life as good for him as possible for as long as possible. 18.5 is a good long life anyway in cat terms. But I’ve only known him for four months and on the selfish side, I hope he can stay around for a good while.

He had an antibiotic injection which lasts for 2 weeks, in case of subsidiary infection – it does seem to be helping and the scab stayed on for a while – when it came off this morning there was no more bleeding, though the crater is still there.

Mystic is eating well, demanding first choice of cuddling Mummy, and yesterday when the rain stopped and it was warmish, he went out for a wander. He’s sleeping more than he did before, and tending to do so up on the back of the sofa, presumably to avoid the other two.

So the other change is that I’ve now separated bedtimes – Mystic and Fluff go in the kitchen, Felix, who actually prefers privacy, gets to sleep in the dining room again with a litter tray etc in the hall. I really don’t want him scratching Mystic and breaking that damaged skin down any faster than it’s doing on its own.

So what’s round the next feline corner?



Lots of changes with the cats while I’ve been (a) dealing with domestic stuff and (b) posting poems instead of pusscats.

The battle of the fleas is now in the past, and all three cats are enjoying more peaceful snoozes and getting (mostly) far less cross with each other. However, a week ago I made a dramatic and impulsive change. I could not work out why the catwee smell was back on the landing, until suddenly one night at bedtime I spotted Mystic at it on the carpet. He’s regressed. Well, he’s now 18.5 which roughly equals 90 so I think he’s allowed to get a bit confused. He confuses me too, since he sometimes goes out and dashes up the wall and into the next garden, while at other times he seems hardly able to walk to the kitchen for dinner.

Anyhow, as they say in a certain sort of novel, ‘something snapped inside me’ that night, and I gathered all three cats and put them in the kitchen and utility for the night. Then I slept badly, feeling guilty, especially when I woke up and realised there was no-where comfy to sleep in those rooms. Also, would Felix eat the others since he so much loves his privacy, and besides wasn’t this unfair on Felix who never does anything in the wrong place, while neither of the others is wholly reliable?

They got a very early breakfast next day, and of course were all well, and all the litter-trays were full. Yay! I’ve now kept to this routine and they have apparently accepted it – I make sure they have a bed each – heaps of old towels for easy washing – it’s very warm in there thanks to the boiler, and weeing on the carpet has more or less vanished again.

I miss Mystic and Fluff coming to help me get out of bed each morning, but it had to change, unfortunately. On the whole they are getting on better with each other, and the pile-of-three on Mummy is now less common – as if they aren’t so desperate for comfort. Maybe the more enclosed sleeping-quarters has helped that?

With cats this age there are bound to be more changes soon, but this one’s worked out well. Phew!


What’s your indie-literary community done for YOU lately? Why #RRBC is the book club that makes a difference…

Jan Hawke INKorporated

To paraphrase a wise and charismatic man –

ask not what your book club can do for you, ask what you can do for your book club…”

Well – Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) is a place where the community does exactly that, because the premise on which it was founded is that we constantly 

profile, promote and propel our indie author members.

The idea behind this is that if we all participate in this celebration of other authors and their work, and they do the same for us, the world will get to know about us and what we do a whole faster and better than if we’re battling all on our own in a vast ocean of thousands of other writers, all trying to get their books noticed.

If you followed the last link, you’ll have an idea of what goes on with RRBC EVERY SINGLE DAY! 

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The cats are resettled after the great flea adventure, and Mystic is thriving on softer food. There will be future bulletins of course, but meanwhile I’m still sharing poems. You are encouraged to comment as writers in community should do!


I never heard her coming.

Yes, I’m deaf now, but then
reading had the same effect.

There she was, shouting,
“What did you get for your homework!?”

“2 out of 10 Miss.”
“Yes, and now you’re reading a library book!”

Her grabbing at my shoulder hurt;
The smack hurt more.
But I didn’t cry.

I was busy inside, realising.

For one thing, teachers can see
through solid wood.

For another thing –
and this was the big one –

some people thought
it wasn’t good to read.

Some people didn’t think like me.

Some people didn’t even like me.

So I became a librarian.

I’ve never stopped a single person reading;
all over the country
people’s houses are piled high with books I’ve given them
friends’ handbags stuffed with scribbled lists

and I never did get much more
than 2 out of 10 for maths.

She was just angry.
She didn’t know
she was giving me



(For 3, see FB 13/10/16)


In the grey space

between dimensions

tumble inchoate ten thousand cups


of tea we’ll never

brew each other, tangles

of washing never to mix


In twin-tub or automatic.

On the white sands

of western shores remain


ghostly potentials

of our unshod footmarks.  Unfleshed,

embraces we might have known


in clean white sheets beside a window

open to the ancient wave-song.

In every pub, tables


wait vainly for our set-down glasses;

rushing roads will never know our journey

into the country of our longing.