First up are some photographs of Picton Castle and the grounds. I particularly liked the fernery and walled garden they had there, I would like to go back again one day without Elis and spend a long time looking there. I didn't get much chance as we were busy running around and playing hide and seek and stuff. I also like the carvings on the castle's doorway.
We've also had a couple of trips out to Folly Farm. I really like the place, we ended up getting season tickets so we can go there as often as we want now, I think it's only about 6 trips in the year and the ticket has paid for itself. It's a handy place to go to on a wet day thanks to the extensive indoor play areas and animal pens. I also love the antique fair rides, fruit machines and stalls - it's a really entertaining day out.
So, I'm currently cameraless, which maybe just as well, I've got a couple of months of photographs to sort out and some to add here. We have a small Panasonic camera here that we had as a gift, but unfortunately we've lost the charger for it. I'll have to see if I can get a new charger for it, as I don't particularly want to shell out for a new camera so soon after the last one. I can't believe the last two have so a short life, it's pretty annoying.
It's with great sadness I write today to mark the passing of one of our 4 cats, Hopper. He was put to sleep yesterday around lunchtime, following the discovery of a large tumour on his insides. We've all been devastated by his loss, the house feels that little bit emptier since his passing. If this is already to maudlin for you, move along now, but I'm going to mark his passing with some words and pictures.
Hopper came to us as when we moved back to Cardiff in 1998. He turned up on our backdoor skinny as a rake and obviously neglected. We took him in, much to Piri's disgust and he's been with us since. As he was a stray, we don't know exactly how old he was, but I think he would be around 12 years this year.
He always had a glint in his eye and was prone to mischief of the scratching kind. His favourite place to sleep was the other cat's baskets, and without fail he would greet Louie every morning with a sharp jab to the head. You'd think Louie would learn, but everyday he went to try and rub heads with Hopper, only to get a head full of claws for his trouble.
That said, Hopper was also a very loving cat, and looked out for the rest of the bunch if any other cats showed up to challenge the territory. He was also a caring cat, and would always be there to say hello and check up on you. If he came and sat on your lap, it was an honour and you knew it was because he wanted to and trusted you enough.
We bought him home yesterday, spent an hour or so with him in the garden whilst we prepared his final resting place. We chose a spot at the end of the garden, roughly where he would often go to laze in the sun since we moved here. We lined the hole with grass and mint as he was a big fan of it. If I ever left chewing gums in a packet where he could reach them, he would pull them down and play with the packet, so fresh mint from the garden seemed fitting. We said our tearful goodbyes as a family and left a marker for him.
Today, as if the cosmos decided to play a little one of those strange coincidences on us, Mrs Dio found a grasshopper on the bed where Hopper would often spend his days. You have to smile. I haven't seen one for years and then it turns up like that. How it got in I can only guess. It's gone back to the open now, like our Hopper. I'm missing him like crazy right now, and I think the other cats are also feeling a loss and wondering where he's gone. Hopper, thanks for 10 great years my little love - take care.