The return of Fu Fu the cat

We have a lovely, timid  neighbourhood cat whose name we do not know. We call him Fu Fu because of his panda-like appearance.  Think Wang Wang, Shi Shi or  Yang Yang.   Fu Fu comes to our garden to see our cats most days.  But for the last three or four weeks we had not seen him at all. We thought perhaps he and his peeps had moved away, or that Fu Fu had an early demise on a nearby busy road.  Andrew and I were a little sad that Fu Fu was not visiting.

Today though, he came back and he looks healthy and like he has grown.  We’ve speculated that he has been at ‘Kitty Camp’ while his owners were away on holidays.  He’s still shy, so clearly, if he was at Kitty Camp,  he has not become a gregarious party animal!

A tentative Fu Fu with the effervescent Speedy
Fu Fu amongst the cat grass and thyme


Jose, not so sure about all this Fu Fu visiting

We are glad that Fu Fu has not moved away and we expect his personality won’t change much.  And that’s just fine.  All of the cats we know have unique personalities and that’s what makes them so enchanting.

The pleasures of home

Today is my last day off before going back to work. I have been off since the 3rd of September, with most of my time off spent in Italy.

Travelling is great, there is no doubt about that in my mind. Here’s a favourite quote of mine:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
Mark Twain – Innocents Abroad

Just as I love travelling, I also love coming home and want to celebrate some of the pleasures.

Lunch in Chinatown
Chilling out in the garden
Seeing the Jacaranda trees in bloom
Our buddies Speedy and Jose Gonzalez

And there are more which I will write about in the future. So welcome home us!

My boys: Andrew with Speedy and Jose

My boys, Andrew with Speedy and Jose

Originally uploaded by lou_roo

This photo was taken one winter afternoon in 2009. The sun streams into our bedroom on winter afternoons and all my men love an afternoon nap on the weekend. This is also a great place to park with the Weekend Australian newspaper or a book in winter. But I think Andrew has made a bad move wearing all black with those two ginger boys’ hair everywhere. He seems oblivious. Lucky him. Lucky us.

Beauty is everywhere

Life is full of beautiful moments and sights. Sometimes you just need to look in your own back yard.

The Adelaide summer has brought out the best in this Bougainvillea plant in our garden.  It starts out slightly coppery and then goes  hot pink.  I am overwhelmed by its capacity to bloom about 9 months out of the year. No matter how hard Andrew trims it back each autumn, it come back hardy as ever.

Only a few houses away on the corner are 4 specimens in different colours.  Perhaps it’s time to take some cuttings and share the riot of colours around the neighbourhood!

Another beautiful thing is our cat Speedy.  He is very small for a 2.5 year old and he is as cheeky as they come.  He has two speeds, fast and sound asleep.  Here is a beautiful sleeping moment.

speedy and the austria poster

At 2.5 years old, our two cat brothers, Speedy and Jose Gonzalez, are inclined to fight a bit.  But every now and then they just hang out together.  Andrew captured them last week resting on the sun lounge in the garden. Amigos.

lounge cats

And now for some photos

I usually write here but would like to introduce some photos from our daily life.  Well, when you have a cat or two, they really do rule the house.  Speedy and Jose Gonzalez are two amazing brothers who came into our lives via the local vet who had rescued them.  After nearly a year with no animal we decided to get a new cat.  Call me a sucker, but when we went to the Vet to choose one I could not bear to leave the other behind so we took both. Speedy and Jose are about 2.25 years old now and super kittenish still.  They love to explore and romp and play and play-fight. Speedy is much more gregarious and has a habit of jumping in the neighbor’s bathroom window as well as ours.  He is a bit of a show off and has no fear. Speedy is lean with definite tabby markings but many patches of white all over his body.

Speedy prefers to come in through the bathroom window when it's open

Jose is bigger and less outgoing than his brother. He likes people but is cautious until comfortable. He is quite talkative when you are alone with him.  He seems to worry when Speedy goes off on an adventure and comes and makes us go out in the garden with him to romp when no one is around.  He is not as good at climbing so he requires us to chase him around the garden plants for a bit of fun. Jose has beautiful eyelashes and is a very pale ginger tabby colour.

The more timid Jose Gonzalez

Besides cats, our garden also has a lovely veranda where we eat most of our meals from October till April.  On New Year’s Eve we had a little supper with Champagne while the sun set on 2009.

A light supper to end 2009, Champagne to wash it down
A nice loaf of caraway rye with a few nibbles for a light supper at sunset

This morning we noticed our grapes are ripening so we had a few after lunch.  Some are still slightly bitter but in the main, they are ready to eat.

grow your own!

In a future post I will cover some of the renovation work we have been doing for the last 2 months. But now, it’s bedtime!

The year that was – 2009

Well, 2009 went off without too many personal dramas.  I was fortunate  enough to go with Andrew to South America for 5 and a half weeks. From Late march till the end of May.  We were blessed with great weather everywhere we went which made trekking around very comfortable. I reunited with a travel companion from 30 years ago, Amalia Solari Faerman and met her funny husband Gustavo and their 3 grown children in Buenos Aires.  I really loved South America and long to return to see a bit more…That trip has been heavily chronicled in earlier posts.

My work with the IPED National Editors Conference finished in October when we presented a fantastic conference here in Adelaide. Visit the site.  I wrote most of the ‘News’ section:

On the work front we both had enough to keep us going and I made a weak attempt at reducing my hours to 9, rather than 10 days a fortnight.  It only lasted a few months and now I am back to full time.  Work is challenging due to the departure of a boss who had the technical skills to take me through this particular project I am working on. We are getting through the work, just more slowly than expected.

In the household we have enjoyed our two ginger tabby brother cats antics, especially the precocious Speedy! He and Jose are so fun to watch and at 2 years old still have heaps of kitten in them.

We are just about finished a minor renovation that opened a few rooms up, re-purposed a few and gave us a new kitchen.  There is still some painting and tiling to do and a tidy-up of the office, but these things take time.

On a literary note I read quite a few books this year including Cloud Atlas, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, The Time Traveler’s Wife,  The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Dear Fatty, the Power of One and probably more…currently just about to finish A Secret History, by Donna Tartt. Not a bad year, but I have other books on the go and stacks on the bedside table and bookshelves waiting to be read.

I attempted NaNoWriMo but was not really successful! See previous posts.

Musically, we saw a few live performances, notably Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe at the Festival Centre here in Adelaide, a Joni Mitchell Tribute at the Sydney Opera House, Leonard Cohen at a winery in McLaren Vale, near Adelaide, and of course Neil Young at the Big Day Out in Adelaide. (Next year we are already looking forward to seeing Ravi Shankar at WOMADELAIDE –

The goals for the new year will include those post-reno tasks, more reading and writing and a commitment to getting rid of stuff.  Here’s to more free time in the new year!