cat litter

I’ve always been fond of felines, whatever their size and, until I was actually in a position to keep a domestic cat as a pet, I had an extensive collection of tigers.

There were book marks, tea cards, themed birthday cards and calendars, soft toys of all sizes, an Esso tiger-in-your-tank key ring from the 70s, a Russian porcelain figurine, tiger’s eye quartz jewellery…

Some were given away, broken, lost or abandoned. Others must be in a box in a lock up in Spain with so many of my other possessions. A few survive: I’m sure there’s a supermarket trolley token with a cartoon tiger’s head in the bottom of one of my handbags and a Schleich white tiger called Frankie continues to accompany me whenever I travel away from home.
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they paved paradise

Years ago, I worked for around six months in the centre of Birmingham, somewhere in the shadow of the old Nat West Tower and directly opposite the – then brand new – Copthorne Hotel.

Returning to the area a few years ago, I couldn’t find any way to reconcile my memories with the reality: – the development and construction work in the city centre has been tremendous and the landscape has changed both along the skyline and at ground level.
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monkey see, monkey do

Having taken the photo of this rather splendid chimpanzee, I was wondering what on earth I could post in the way of text to go alongside it. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any poetry featuring primates other than humans.

But despite having watched Planet of the Apes and knowing that chimpanzees are not monkeys, I post enough tenuous connections and bad puns on the blog to feel that I can get away with making a link via the verb to monkey when used with the meaning to mimic.
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Europe

The lady in the photo is, of course, Europa. She’s sitting outside Madrid’s main airport, clearly enjoying the sunshine.

Botero's Rapto de Europa statue; Madrid Airport
She gives me an excuse to revisit a poem-in-progress – The three body problem – from which this phrase is taken:

[…] You’ll find persuasion – just


a little gentle bull – can found a continent


of opportunity. […]

 
It probably helps if the gentle bull is ruler of the gods on Mount Olympus.
 

Sanfermines

Although I am in Spain, I will not be attending the controversial running of the bulls in Pamplona. Instead, to mark the San Fermín festival, which started yesterday, I offer this splendid statue from Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.

Bull statue, Birmingham Bullring

in Catalonia II

The Mediterranean Sea at l'Escala, Catalonia

L’Escala: thunder blue,
the Mediterranean
beat her lace-frilled cuffs against
the coast’s ridged washboard rocks
while the cobla band played on
in brassy silence.

Monument l'Escala, Catalonia, Cobla musicians

You’ll find a couple of other poetry fragments from my recent trip to Catalonia if you click here.

tooth in advertising

Having suffered at the hands of the dentist yesterday – and I do suffer, with the only consolation that, as a writer, I may later find it useful to know what it feels like to have hysterics – I was glad to see that the old Especialidades Juanse tiles are still in place in Madrid’s Malasaña district.old tile adverts, (especialidades juanse), Madrid
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