Sunday, March 12, 2006

MOTs and normal stuff

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MOTs and the cat and normal things

A week of preparation for tests and test passing, centred around the pain and tension of the MOT outcome. Two Mazdas in one week, both performed well and we can now salute the skill of their Japanese designers, amazing how these machines, so neglected (well in my case anyway) for 364 days a year still manage to pass this annual eleven-plus examination. The same cannot be said sadly for my elders son’s Fiat which died this week and will not be mourned (expect perhaps for the loss of it’s Irish number plate) as it is replaced by a new Astra that I am assured has all the right toys.

The cat’s MOT took place today at the Vets surgery just of Lothian Road. He performed well also, though the journey to the vets and the arrival of two barking dogs in the surgery did not exactly put him at ease. He was fine anyway; we departed the surgery with a bag of fur-ball biscuits, worm drops and a fully weighed, sounded and vaccinated Syrus – and a bag with dirty towel. The kids came along for the spectacle and enjoyed most of it, apart from the “nervous cat” smell that now hangs in the car. Magic tree anyone?

A short hop across to Sainsbury’s at Craigleith left me infuriated. The shop was packed, chaos seemed to reign in every aisle, and the tills were awash with queues puzzling over their pin numbers and to crown it all I couldn’t get the items I was looking for. Finally getting to the head of my till queue the unfortunate assistant had to tell me that his machine had “crashed”. I could take no more and in an unusual move for me abandoned my shopping and walked out the store. I wont be back, well not for a few weeks. God bless Tesco South Queensferry, it seemed like a haven of calm and organisation after that and I got all the stuff I was looking for. Saturday lunch, hunted and gathered.

The afternoon was spent watching “the Cat Returns” a Studio Ghibli DVD. The four us sat in the lounge watching this strange Alice in Wonderland type of tale about a young girl and the kingdom of cats. I think we all found it to be an odd mixture of puzzling, amusing, quirky but always great to look at. The story never really catches fire and the dialogue is wooden, but the animation quality and the draughtsmanship of Studio Ghibli within this and all of their productions always impress me. We are not fixated with cats by the way.

Tea. Pasta and mince and sauce and wine, quite a successful combination that helps Saturday evening roll along. We also discover, courtesy of the BBC that we are a far from stupid family, if you believe in the odd measures, tests and general mixed messages about fitness and mental health they send out. We’re planning an eco-igloo now anyway, probably without a full-time TV.

Then of course the slightly off-season snowfall, a snow ball fight, cars stuck in the snow and an unusually laid-back Sunday morning (football cancelled). Works for me.

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