Posts Tagged ‘her majesty’

Vale Her Majesty


Her Majesty, Madame Mim.

2016 was a pretty pants year all round. On the 10 December, I had to say goodbye to one of the housemates who featured on this blog: Madame Mim, you’d know her better as Her Majesty.

She was 19 years old, which is a very good age for a cat. My sister got her as a kitten, so we’ve had her in our lives a long time. I will miss her steadfast presence in my life, the comforting weight of her next to me, the special way she tinkled her bell when she was unimpressed, the click of her claws when she walked on the floorboards, the warmth of her purr. So many things.

I remember when she was a kitten, and she singed her whiskers investigating a candle. I remember when she was old enough to be let out of the house: she got stuck on our patio roof. I remember when I moved to Watermans, and took her with me. It was the first time she’d ever dealt with stairs. It took a month, and me taking her to the top of them, before she would climb them.

When I painted, I had to have two water containers: one for my brushes, one for her; otherwise she’d drink my paint water.


You are in the spot that I want to nap in.

She was the silent mass of black who kept me company through assignments and blog posts, almost every bath I’ve had involved her sitting on the bathmat to keep me company….or insisting she be patted while I bathed. In the last couple of years, she’d deciding drinking the water at the bottom of the shower was a delicacy. I haven’t had a shower to myself and unobserved for about 2 years: she was outside the shower door, waiting for me to get out so she could get in and drink the shower water. Being able to shower without a feline deadline has been an adjustment.

The silent reminders (and the many not-so-silent hints) that it was approaching dinner time. She would start off subtle, then get very chatty.


Waiting patiently. This is the last photo I took of her.

When she got chatty, I always figured it was because she thought she could talk people. And that I understood. Sometimes I did: the cat bowl is empty, let me out…other times it was a regular gossip session on her end, and I just acted like I understood.

The ability to communicate a thousand expressions with the twitch of an ear or the change of an eye.


The you’re trying my patience expression


You’re trying my patience, but I am hopeful of pats. Now put the camera down.

Her ability to both dribble, and later on to drool, when she was content. There’s a definite difference between dribble and drool…something I’ve learned over the years.


So content I am about to dribble.

The steady, comforting presence to the right of my pillow on the bed.


Official spot

She was a very mannered bedfellow: she’d miaow, or sit on the floor next to the bed looking hopeful until I patted the cover, then she’d jump up (towards the end of her life it was sometimes more of a scramble) and nestle into position.


Hopeful expression

Her diabolical strategy for waking me up, mainly when she wanted to get under the covers. It involved moving her head until her whiskers just touched my face and then purring. When that didn’t work and I rolled onto my other side, walking around my head (on my pillow and, yes, treading on my hair) and doing the same on the other side of my face. And…when that didn’t work and I rolled over to my original side, walking around my head (on my pillow, still treading on my hair) to do the same again to the original side of my face. Diabolical, stubborn…and impossible to resist forever.


The face of a cat who has just woken up their owner

Her love for the sunny spot: particular favourites were on the sofa, on my bed and on the patio. She could bake for hours on the patio paving stones.


One sunny spot, reserved.

Sometimes when I came back from work, I could never be entirely sure she’d moved during the day as she was occupying the same spot on the bed. She had a particular fondness for covers folded over, pyjamas or clothes left on the bed: anything you could nestle into and nap for long periods of time.

Her patient presence, even when I tried it very severely by introducing a new cat into the house. I had two single cat household cats, in one house.


The expression on her face says it all

She tolerated it, she mostly tolerated him being annoying.

I think – although this is even more anthropomorphic personification – it’s been rough for him. One day she was there, the next she was gone.


Awkward Housemate Photos, sadly no one is wearing a bad Xmas sweater

She did have a good life, she was loved and she is missed. And I was with her to the very last.


Gone but not forgotten

The house feels a little emptier now.

It echoes in strange places now, and in others is strangely silent.

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Dreamy Eames Replicas

I popped into Ikea to replace two more of my Nisse Dining chairs. They are the cheap white folding chairs I had around my dining table:


Nisse and cakes…

I’ve already had to replace two in the time I’ve been at the house (the backs eventually break: you can’t repair them and they are unsafe to sit on), and I had to replace another two while also knowing that a third had started cracking…

So I popped into Ikea, to discover that:

  1. I’d picked the worst weekend to go to Ikea: the new catalogue has only just been released
  2. They didn’t have any white Nisse chairs in stock

Given I was having a dinner party that night, and I didn’t want to force everyone to sit on the plywood stools unless I really had to, I decided to rethink my seating in the dining room.


New chairs inspected by Her Majesty

So I left Ikea, having only purchased a brown toy rat for the Ginger Menace (he likes their rats), and hied myself to Gogo Furniture. Which conveniently just happened to be 3 left turns and a right turn away from Ikea.

Gogo Furniture stocks replica Mid Century designs as well as replicas of other iconic designs. After mulling over silver Tolix chairs, I decided on 4 replica Eames DSW chairs (fibreglass/plastic with the birch legs):


Very pretty

Ironically, these are the chairs I first considered buying for my dining table. when I first moved in. At that time I was trying to decide between: white Casala chairs, replica Philippe Starck Ghost Louis chairs, white Eames DSW replicas or white Eames DSR chairs (with the metal Eiffel base). Eventually I decided to go with the Nisse chairs: time and budget being two significant factors.

What goes around comes around, both in terms of design and house purchase decisions 😉

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The other Fog Index

On Saturday (yep: we’re now almost up-to-date), I got out in the garden in the early morning and weeded. I filled up my entire waste bin with weeds from my front garden.


Looking into the Rising Sun

It was very pretty.


Slightly different shot.

Her Majesty decided she wanted to get out in it (she is the project manager). You can see some of the weeds in the patio planters…


If I can’t see the rest of the world, is it really out there?

The dawning sun through the the mist, and through my front door was very pretty.


Just one more photo and THEN I’ll start weeding.

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Smugness at stealing the middle of the bed. Smugness.

Her Majesty, Madame Mim, hasn’t been on the blog for a while. Since the last time I “properly” updated the blog (June), she’s had a couple of traumas. Namely the removal of 3 teeth.

And in case you wondered: there is a tooth fairy for cats, but s/he pays out direct to the vet. With each tooth costing roughly $333.33 AUD. Cat teeth are like cat years, they manage to cram more into the same period as humans. She lost her upper canines, so no more little cat fangs there. She still dribbles when you pat her…

Speaking of cat years: HM is actually 17-18 years old. That makes her ~84 according to the useful chart at the vet tooth fairy. And she’s still got (most) of her teeth.

It’s not many 84 year olds you see climbing up on window sills:


All hail the great mid century styled vessel.

She does this occasionally: sometimes I find her on the mantlepiece, where she’s jumped up to from a window still. Other times I find her on great aunt Eileen’s buffet (where she had to jump from the floor).


Looking for the weekend.

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My first toolbox

As part of the epic pre-spring spring clean I am doing over my holidays, I also sorted out my tool collection.


Those lunch boxes are about 15 years old…and they keep on keeping on…

My tool collection started small, but has crept up on me over the 5.5 years of house ownership. I initially used some old lunch/freezer boxes to store my tools in (perfect re-use for 4 lunch boxes that weren’t suited to the freezer space distribution in my fridge), but it was getting too big, and too cluttered. Enter shiny new red toolbox:


What’s shiny, cantilevered and red all over?

I have fond memories of DIY Dad’s tool box, which was old in the 80’s. It was a dark blue metal toolbox, with rust patches, and it had one cantilever shelf. Sadly I couldn’t find a navy blue one and the blue ones I did find where too big (space for 2 cats, a small child and all my tools), the beautiful orange one I found online was about 5 times the price of the red one (not including postage)…so I settled for Not-So-Big-Red:


Cantilevers are so fancy

Her Majesty treated the new arrival with some concern (possibly she’s realised that anything lying around the house is currently being sorted, cleaned and crated or boxed…and she does a lot of lying around the house):


It’s okay, this storage option is not quite big enough to fit you…

Now that my tools have been organised (I have a shelf for screws, a shelf for nails, and more), Not-So-Big-Red (there really were bigger tool boxes) is living on the Lerberg in the laundry while the lunch boxes that keep on keeping on, are now corralling smaller items within larger crates, e.g. house painting crate, plumbing crate and more…




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The Ginger Menace inspecting the lemon harvest (also: on his favourite perch)

The one thing I love about having a small, enclosed back-yard is that I can wander out and work in the back garden in my PJs and Uggies if I so choose.I would never have done this before, but being a home owner changes something…

I can also check on the state of my garage in my PJs and Uggie attire, just to make sure that my intense cleaning up effort of the last two days was not some sort of holiday-induced delusion:


All still neat and tidy, good to see.

As you can see, my “tree that does lemons” is doing a lot of lemons right now. It’s so named thanks to a workmate who, while he was quite ill with a cold, asked me: “Do you still have that tree that does lemons?” as a prelude to seeing if he could get some lemons for his cold.

Yes: I did still have my tree that does lemons, and no: that question has never been forgotten and comes up occasionally…especially around lemon ripening time:


I predict a surplus of lemons for this harvest.

This year I plan to make Nanna’s cordial (great on its own or with soda and gin), lemon curd (so I too can make my BFF that I have never met Rachel Khoo’s lemon lava cakes: the Garden Goddess, another Khoo BFFTINM, made them last week, so deluxe: I want a batch in the oven at all times.) Plus I also want to try preserving lemons, finally! (I’ve been meaning to try my hand at preserving lemons since I moved in).

I’ve just realised that the last time I appear to have updated you on progress out the back was 2013 (when I showed the rocket takeover as well as the great nasturtium boom), so I’ve included some more photos to fix that.

As you can see from the snap above, work on the Great Wall of Dianella has not yet commenced. It’s possible that the limestone blocks I carted from Bibra Lake up to Dianella are still out the front waiting for me to have time (and a less sore back) to create my master work.

On the other side of the back garden, the rocket still continues to dominate (or at least it did until I ripped it out while wearing my PJs and Uggies this morning):


Back garden by me, Photobomb by Her Majesty

This is about as close a shot of the other garden bed (I always forget to take a closer shot), you can see the wild rocket all around the base of the compost bin:


Finally, a cat free shot!

That rocket has been growing for about 3 years, meanwhile the soil underneath it is building up a rich humus, thanks to the nasturtiums, rocket, watercress and also the overflow from the compost bin. The soil was getting so high, it (and the rocket) was covering up the paving stones to the compost bin.

I’ve ripped out the rocket and redistributed the rich soil around the lemon tree, meaning I can also uncover the paving stones again. You can see the rocket in the compost bin, ready to join the next part of the garden cycle.

While I normally don’t rip out productive plants, this rocket was getting old and leggy (wild rocket gets very bitter as it gets older). The soil will have quite a few rocket seeds in it, so I should get a fresh burst of smaller rocket plants that are less peppery (if not, I saved seeds :D). Plus I want to grow nasturiums again, I love their leaves.

Although they are hidden by the bay tree in the foreground and the lemongrass and mint on the retaining wall, the Jalapeno chilli and Cape Gooseberry plants are going great guns too:


Blank canvas

Meanwhile back on the other side of the garden, the Ginger Menace resumed his favourite position to inspect the compost around his lemon tree:


It may not look like it, but he actually did move between photos.

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Although the daybed has to be moved back into the studio, the housemates are getting in some srs nap time while it’s in the living room.


Proving that occasionally, the housemates can share

While the daybed is out in the lounge, I don’t have to fight so hard for space on the sofa

Super cute when sleeping, super grumpy when woken

They are not normally this cooperative or sharing…

Some of us are still sleeping, some of us are trying to wake up

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