#BlogBattle Week 42 Theme Gift

 

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Week 42 Theme will be Gift

Date to Post: Tuesday, December 29th, 2015


Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!
The inspiration for this story came from a missing present on Christmas day, not an unusual event in our house as I tend to be a bit scatty and sometimes I forget where I have put all the presents! It eventually turned up, luckily I hadn’t thrown it into the rubbish by mistake but it just got me thinking……  what might happen in different circumstances if a touch of fantasy made its way into Christmas Day. Who knows where a missing present might lead you ?
Read on and find out…
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Christmas

The Secret Santa Gift

The envelope was white, plain apart from the printed letters marking her name. Ellie opened it and found a white and gold gift tag inside bearing the words: Happy Christmas, love from your Secret Santa, followed by two golden criss-cross kisses. The envelope was empty, no present, no gift voucher, nothing.

Ellie didn’t mind that there was no present inside, that just made her even more curious. She lifted the envelope to her nose and inhaled the masculine scent within. This succeeded in making her knees go all weak.

She dropped the envelope and a flurry of gold dust appeared, scattering a trail that extended towards the front door. Ellie didn’t hesitate for a moment she liked an adventure so she followed the trail. The gold dust continued for several feet and then vanished. She spotted another tiny envelope. Ellie leant down and picked it up. Inside she found the tiniest folded envelope that she had ever seen, and within this envelope there was an even tinier painting of a heart. Ellie blushed.

She paused, wondering what to do next. The tiny folded envelope began to spiral round and round twirling, lengthening and widening, flattening and folding into a succession of beautiful origami flowers. First, an exquisite rose, then a vibrant lotus flower, followed by a proud orchid, and then the origami flower took flight turning into a bird of paradise that flew up into the air and finally flattened out, folding into a pocket heart than lingered like a tender caress within the palm of her hand.  Ellie couldn’t believe her eyes, how extraordinary!

She unfolded the origami pocket heart and saw that within it there were three paper puzzle pieces with the words:

Love and kisses!

From your …..

Secret admirer.

How strange! She heard a rustling sound and looked up, just above her sat a tiny elf on a branch of an overhanging tree. He smiled at her, and blushed so much that he turned the tips of his pointed ears a spectacular candy floss pink.

Ellie realised that her secret admirer was in fact one of Santa’s elves. He was tiny, but had the most handsome face that she had ever seen. He was dressed to impress, his clothes were smart and shiny, his hair sleeked back. He jumped down from the tree with the agility of a dancer and bowed down so low that it looked like he might scrape his nose on the ground.

“So pleased that my gift reached you Ellie; I’ve been saving up Santa points for good behaviour for years so that I could be your Secret Santa!”

“Goodness, that’s so sweet of you… ”

“Eddy the elf, at your sweet service,” he said bowing again, even more theatrically than he had done before.

“I’ve never met an elf before,” said Ellie, reflecting that she had never met such an imposing fellow in such a tiny but perfect muscular frame.

“Well, you’ll have lots of opportunity to meet all of my elf friends,” said Eddy, “We’re off to help Santa with the last minute wrapping.”

“You’re kidding me,” said Ellie, wide eyed with excitement. She couldn’t believe her ears. She thought she must be dreaming, this couldn’t possibly be real.

“No, I most certainly am not kidding! You are to be my new bride, so I must make a special elf speech. Here goes,” he cleared his throat for special effect, several times before continuing, “Every year one elf must choose a human bride so that we will be on the pulse of what youngsters want today. Will you marry me, sweet, beautiful, exquisite, Ellie? ”

“Your bride!” said Ellie in surprise, “But I’m still in secondary school, I’m way too young to marry.”

“Not in Elfland. Elves marry really young, you’re the perfect age for a love match,” said Eddy with a grin, “We seal the match with a very special kiss. That is how we show love in Elfland, we kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss! We are the kissing champions!”

Eddy took a massive leap catapulting himself up to land a kiss in a million on Ellie’s lips before she could even think to reply.

The kiss was beyond magical. It lingered for ages, long after he had landed back on the ground, tingling and caressing her lips. At the same time Ellie felt a strange sensation, as if someone was pressing firmly, but gently down on her head, squeezing her oversized body into her shoes. She looked at Eddy. Eddy’s nose and her nose were on a level, Eddy’s lips and her lips were at exactly the right point, and she was now the exact same height and proportions as him.

He gave her a huge hug. “Welcome to Elfhood my love,” he said.

Ellie no longer had the feeling that she didn’t belong in her tall, gangly human body. She wanted to screech with joy but she thought that might not be the best example of elfish etiquette.

So instead she said, “Thanks for rescuing me Eddy,” and with a demure lady like smile, she continued,” I always felt out of sorts, a stranger in my gigantic, gangly, human body.”

“I know,” said Eddy, jumping up and down with excitement, as if he was on a super charged pogo stick. “I have always been sure that you are the one for me.”

Eddy and Ellie danced around and around, twirling faster and faster until Ellie’s head felt as light as the lightest Chocolate Whip.

“Hurry, Santa’s nose will be getting redder by the moment, his nose goes as red as his Santa’s top when he’s cross, we’d better go, or we’ll be late for the present wrapping ceremony.”

Off they went, their hands swaying together in perfect joyous unison. Ellie grinned, squeezing Eddie’s hand. Eddie tickled her hand, and Ellie laughed, an unrestrained elfish laugh that started deep in her soul and never ended just like those tasty Elfish lingering kisses!

 

I hope you liked my story, a bit of a Christmas theme!

 

Bye for now,

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Do share your views I’d love to hear your opinion on my #BlogBattle story.

 

If you’d like to join in with BlogBattle or vote for your favourite entry here’s the link to Rachael’s blog:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

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Happy Christmas Greetings from Kyrosmagica

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This is a lovely Christmas wreath that my sister in law Lorraine Mallon made for me, and below is the table top arrangement that she made too. Isn’t it lovely? She’s branching out into creative endeavours, and this is a small sample of the sort of thing she hopes to do in terms of floral arrangement, and well as this she intends to make  jewellery, and paint too. So good luck to her, I wish her all the very best.

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My daughter also had a go at some floral vase arrangement too:

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I finished work at 6pm on Christmas Eve so I have been super busy, retail is such hard work! I’m now looking forward to two days off to rest my weary bones. My husband is cooking, (luckily he loves to cook!) so Lorraine and I are going to be sous chefs peeling the spuds.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with friends and family.

All the best for 2016.

Bye for now, this is what I’d like to be doing….. you can dream …. No snow here, and no hot tub, sigh….!!

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Love Marje @ Kyrosmagica xxx

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Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge

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Hugh  from Hugh’s Views and News is sponsoring his Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge again this year. Last year’s challenge was a great success!

Do you want to join in with Hugh’s Photo Tree Topper Challenge?  Here is all you have to do:

From Hugh’s blog: “Here’s how you can all join in and help Angela, Macy, Toby, and I raise £250 for The Dogs Trust.”

1. Take a photo of what sits on top of your Christmas tree.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge.”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to Hugh’s post or leave a link to your post in the comments section of Hugh’s post so that other participants can view your post.

The challenge is open until Tuesday 5th January 2016 and more details can be found on Hugh’s and Colleen’s blog:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/12/14/hughs-photo-challenge-week-8-charity-christmas-tree-topper-challenge/

http://silverthreading.com/2014/12/19/heres-whats-on-top-of-my-christmas-tree-whats-on-yours/

Please click on the link The Dogs Trust if you would like to make any donations directly to The Dogs Trust, in UK. Or alternatively in America, you could consider making a donation to the Humane Society of the United States or a local Humane Society in your own hometown.This is not compulsory to enter in the challenge, but if you would like to do so that would no doubt be more than welcome!

Sadly I don’t have a dog myself nowadays but I did as a child, Topsy, a cute little black and white cheeky rascal who used to like eating all sorts of things that weren’t particularly good for a dog! Look at that tiny frame it disguises a hearty appetite for inedible things! I remember one year she ate a balloon at my birthday party. Thank goodness she was okay no harm done. Also one year she ran off and had a love affair with a local dog, we were really worried that she had been lost for good but she reappeared with her guilty tail between her legs…

So to get into the spirit of celebrating man’s best furry friend here are a couple of photos of Topsy:

First this photo is of mum and I on our balcony in Hong Kong, I used to live there when I was little. Actually this kind of captures cheeky me and rascal Topsy pretty well I reckon! My mum is smiling but in a hesitant way as if she knows that she has a handful there…

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This photograph below is of Topsy, my brother Donald and my dad Ronald looking all smiley, but Topsy is a bit sad, she is thinking of her wild escapade with her lost love….

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As well as participating in the Tree Top Challenge and chatting about dogs I am also joining in Colleen at Silver Threading’s lovely idea to share Christmas Trees from Around The World, so if you’d like to join in with this particular challenge don’t forget to say where you are! My tree is situated at my home in Cambridge, England.

Here’s the link to join in Colleen’s Trees Around The World:

http://silverthreading.com/2015/12/06/christmas-trees-around-the-world/

At the weekend I went out with my husband and my youngest daughter to find a lovely tree at our nearby garden centre. At that point in time my  eldest was still at University so unfortunately she missed this trip but she’s back home today, it’s so lovely to see her, and now she has seen the tree too.

I just love a real tree, don’t you?

 

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Especially when it is lit up.

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I knew it was the one as soon as my husband pulled it out from amongst an array of other trees it had such lovely symmetry and a fullness that caught my eye. So I said, “That’s the one.” Of course my husband still pulled out a few other likely contenders but I got my way in the end! I can be quite stubborn at times….

I decorated our beautiful Christmas tree with my youngest daughter but to my dismay we couldn’t find the angel to top the tree, so I asked my husband if he could get me another one, but he didn’t manage to find one, he was too busy buying the groceries! Just as well, as I found her hiding in amongst a large bag of Christmas gift tags and wrapping paper. For some reason she wasn’t in the bubble wrap with the other Christmas baubles. Perhaps she felt a bit too grand to be stuck there amongst the bawdy riff raff!

Now she may look like she’s sleeping on top of my tree but don’t let that fool you, she knows what’s what! She’s keeping a look out for any sneaky opening presents before Christmas, that is not allowed.

Thanks for popping by to see my tree and my childhood dog and for joining in the Christmas festivities Kyrosmagica  style, and don’t forget to pop over to Colleen and Hugh’s blog to join in the challenges.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

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Retail Inspiration: Yuletide Style

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Just recently I started working in retail as a Christmas temporary.  My plan is to earn some pennies to get together a book fund to pay for artwork for a front cover, my promotional, and other expenses that I will incur when I self publish my novel Krystallos in 2016.

I’m not working in Ted Baker as this photo above might suggest, I like to confuse you!

No, this shop front window caught my eye, and features in my Instagram account. https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

The Abominable Snowman is sticking his  rather long tongue out at passers by. A new ploy perhaps to gather customers? Anyway I digress, I’m waffling, back to my experience working as a Christmas temp. This has been a huge departure from my usual daily routine of writing, taking photographs, updating my social media accounts, and of course blogging here on WordPress. What a retail baptism of fire it has been!! Particularly as I am working in a large, prestigious store in a very busy department which happens to be right next door to children’s toys and clothes. The experience has been illuminating in a multitude of ways that I did not expect.

First off you have to walk miles to get anywhere, the shop floor, and stock rooms are vast, and it is a long journey to the staff canteen too, so by the end of the day you feel as if you have had a mega session workout! There is no need to spend money on a gym membership! If you’re like me your water, bubble bath, and heating bills will sky rocket because you’ll soak your weary limbs in a hot tub of bubbly loveliness every night.

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As you will know from one of my previous posts, a photography and writing challenge, I am partial to a bubble bath! https://mjmallon.com/2015/06/26/5-photos-5-days-challenge-day-5-serenas-bubble-monster/

The very nature of retail means that you are standing on your feet all day, and if you’re not standing, or walking, you’re climbing up step ladders, (particularly if you’re short like me, and unable to reach the top shelf in the stock room,) or if you aren’t doing any of these aforementioned things you are lifting…. With all of this physical work there is the temptation to sneak into the stock room and take a short sit down for a few seconds on a stool there. The stock room itself is a vast Alladin’s cave of just about everything you can think of, there is even a wall of hangers dedicated to just about every brand you can think of, so the first room of thumb is to befriend the stock room manager as he is a guy you most definitely want on your side.

Thirst, that’s another aspect of working in retail that I didn’t consider. Working in retail is thirsty work, so rule no. 1 is to drink loads of water before you begin, and avoid alcohol at all costs, this I learnt the hard way. Last Saturday I had a very nice Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, Christmas pudding, minced pies, chocolates and a couple of glasses of wine, courtesy of my employer but going on the tills immediately after this gourmet delight wasn’t a good idea, no, I needed a sleep after all that food and alcohol… ZZZZZZ…..

Now this is where I’m going to get a bit silly, but that’s allowed as this is Kyrosmagica blog after all. There is a whole new language in retail that just sounds like gobbledegook to me. I haven’t worked in retail since I was a teenager, I do wish this was just yesterday but in truth my teenage years were a long time ago! Of course this is the case, I have two teenage daughters for goodness sake!  Obviously back then things were very different,  we didn’t have internet returns, fancy collection services, in fact my memory of retail work is pretty hazy, I seem to remember selling china, lots of it and wrapping it carefully in bubble wrap, and dusting, but did I do much more than this? I worked for a department store called Goldbergs in Edinburgh which doesn’t exist anymore, a bit like my foggy retail experience, so it’s no surprise that when a manager asked me to do recovery……  I looked confused and a bit stumped. Recovery, what in heavens is that? My writer’s mind did a merry dance and came up with all kinds of exciting possibilities but ….. Recovery isn’t giving mouth to mouth resuscitation to an old granny who has collapsed in the store, grabbing a stolen package from a thief, or catching a Christmas mug before it splats on the floor, no recovery, is simply making the store ready for customers, in other words tidying up! That I can do, I think….. Then, there is the Kimble gun,  no this isn’t a deadly weapon, well not unless it gets into my hands, that sharp needle has to be kept well away from my fingers and from passing customers, that plastic safety cover is a must. What is the lethal Kimble? It’s just an over sized stapler type device for putting tags on, once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy! As well as this there are other terms which escape me….  There are a plethora of abbreviations on the rota of work to confuse you, so MT is Menswear till, FR is fitting room, if you happen to be a bit dyslexic and think FR reads FP you’d be in real trouble. Funnily enough that’s just what I did the other day, FP, what’s that, Fred Perry? No read the initials properly Marje…. and I’m not even dyslexic so I have no excuse!

Somehow working in retail has been an unexpected fund of inspiration for me, Yippee!!!! Nowadays I can’t go anywhere without thinking of ideas for stories. The stock room has given me an idea for a short story about an evil stock room guy, that’s no reflection on anyone who works in the stockroom you all seem lovely I hasten to add… Those terms that I mentioned might just feature in my writing too, who knows….

Oh, before I forget to mention it one day we had a customer in the store screaming which was frightening,  given the prevalence of terrorist attacks recently. The managers cautiously went off to investigate. I’m not sure exactly what happened and why she was so distressed but thankfully nobody was hurt. Perhaps there’s a story there too..

My highlights up until now have been many but here are my favourites:

1. A handsome young man came and asked for a different size in a garment and asked if he could come to the stock room with me to find it!!!  Cheeky….

2. Santa’s arrival, and of course all the excited kids in the toy department which happens to be right next to Menswear, they bring back memories of my two daughters when they were little!

3. Music playing, one day we had a band playing right next to my particular section in Menswear. This was great fun, and put a spring in my step but by the end of the day, I was kind of glad it wasn’t a daily occurrence! No offence it was lovely for a while…..

4. Minor accidents. Yes I managed to stab myself, drawing blood with the Kimble gun that shoots plastic hanging hooks on to caps, and gloves. I nearly became a selling item! Also at the till one of the staff managed to staple her finger with a bog standard stapler, who knows how she managed that? !!!

One day after work I had to walk some more to pick up a canvas for my daughter for her GCSE Textiles mock exam. I ended up walking to the other end of town to find one in my price range. A mother’s love knows no bounds! My poor wee legs…. There was a wizened old lady serving on the till in that particular shop who looked as if she should be well beyond retiral age, poor soul she looked exhausted, it was just before closing. Sympathy.

As I waited for my bus home, I noticed that across the road from where I was standing there was a large yellow skip with two men standing in it, shouting orders to a young man bringing huge slabs of polystyrene packing towards it. The younger man arrived at the skip carrying these potential missiles above his head, and tried to lob the packing at his mates but his weapon was too big and unwieldy to be a useful missile. Watching this kept me entertained and amused on my long, long, wait for the bus….

Well it’s been an eye opener, it really has. Respect to all those shop workers, and the plethora of employees who work standing on your feet all day, you do a sterling job. It’s not easy.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and put your feet up and have a long soak in the tub whenever you can…

My retail work has really put me in the mood for Christmas this year. What about you? Are you in the mood for Christmas too? Have you started your Christmas shopping? Or are you really behind like me? Do tell….

 

Bye for now,

Chillin' in my Crystal hangout
Chillin’ in my Crystal hangout, before I step out to do my Christmas shopping!!

 

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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Writers Quote Wednesday and #BeWow: Christmas Magic Thoughts

Writer's Quote Wednesday

‘I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
Child star actress Shirley Temple.

 

How sad, poor Shirley, six seems very young to stop believing in Santa Claus, but perhaps this is the price of fame?

 

The magic of Christmas is what I love the most, the twinkling lights, the promise of what is to come,

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the smell of a real tree, the aroma of a roasting turkey, and of course the colourful presents under the tree, what more could you ask for? Well perhaps a touch of good will, and even tempers would go down a treat at Christmas. But often tempers get frayed, and words are spoken that are regretted shortly after, that is the nature of Christmas, the excitement and anticipation, the quest for the perfect Christmas sometimes leads to arguments and strife so today on the 2nd day of December, for Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday and Ronovan’s BeWow,  Be Wonderful Wednesday

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I’d like to focus on the simple magic of Christmas. This magic is often lost, consumed by enormous presents, oversized turkeys, and shows of extreme extravagance so instead let’s consider what is in our hearts this December and share a bit of laughter, and hope that everyone will have a peaceful and harmonious Christmas.

So my #BeWow quote is this gem from Roy. L. Smith.

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
Roy L. Smith

So with the joyful heart of Christmas in mind, let me leave you with a few amusing, cheeky Christmas quotes, which hopefully will get Santa to loudly proclaim Ho, Ho, HO!!!!

‘The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.’
The late American comic Joan Rivers

‘I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.’
Comedian Bernard Manning (1930-2007)

‘The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.’
George Carlin (1937-2008), American stand-up comedian.

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
– Phyllis Diller
There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them.
P.J. O’Rourke
Christmas, here again. Let us raise a loving cup: Peace on earth, goodwill to men, and make them do the washing up.
– Wendy Cope
If you’d like to join in Writer’s Quote Wednesday, and #BeWow here’s the link:
 I hope you liked the quotes.
Bye for now,
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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

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Merry and Magical Christmas Wishes To You

 

 

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A very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. Have a wonderful time. I’ll be back soon.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Just leaving you with a few cracker jokes:

What do ghosts dance to? Soul music

What do you get if you cross a snowman and a vampire? Frostbite

What kind of pants do clouds wear? Thunderwear

What do you call someone who is afraid of Santa? A Clausterphobic

What’s the most popular Christmas wine? ‘I don’t like Brussels sprouts!’

What happened to the man who stole an Advent Calendar? He got 25 days!

 

 

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A Toast To Our Furry Friends at Christmas

 

 

 

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Well let’s get into the Christmas spirit by celebrating man’s best friend

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and our feline friends too.

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So many authors  love cats and dogs, and often play tribute to this friendship by creating animal characters or quoting their love of our furry friends.

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.”
—Aldous Huxley (author, Brave New World)

“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'”
Rudyard Kipling (author, The Jungle Book)

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
—Dean Koontz (author, Whispers)

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”
Jack London (author, The Call of The Wild)

“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
—John Steinbeck (author, The Grapes of Wrath)

 

In fact some authors love dogs so much that they argue that they are heaven bound.

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“You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson (author, Treasure Island)

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
—Mark Twain (author, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.”
—James Thurber (author, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)

“Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul, chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!”
—Anne Tyler (author, The Accidental Tourist)

And these famous actresses adore dogs too!

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“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
—Marilyn Monroe (actress, Some Like it Hot)

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“Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.”
—Elizabeth Taylor (actress, Cleopatra)

http://dogtime.com/25-famous-quotes-about-dogs.html

Dogs and cats are different, no doubt about it, and here’s why!

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential readings for the Nonbeliever

Quotes about dogs on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/dogs

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but cats are a mysterious folk:

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“Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.”  

Sir Walter Scott.

“When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her?”

Michel de Montaigne, French author

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“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.”

Robertson Davies, Playright.

“I gave my cat a bath the other day … they love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, it was fun for me. The fur would stick on my tongue, but other than that …”

Steve Martin, Comedian

“A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.”

 

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“A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime,”
― Mark Twain.
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Alexander McCall Smith  seems to want to make his cat the main subject of any photo he appears in, and there are similarly cuddly pictures of PG Wodehouse, Barbara Pym, Robert Graves, Ruth Rendell, Margaret Atwood (with “Fluffy”) and on and on and on.
Nobel prize–winning author Ernest Hemingway’s former home in Key West,  is now open to the public as a museum, populated by as many as 60 descendants of his famous polydactyl cats. Here’s the link to find out more: http://hemingwayhome.com/
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A polydactyl Cat.
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Hemingway cats
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My favourite Goodreads Quotes about cats:

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
― Robert A. Heinlein

“One day I was counting the cats and I absent-mindedly counted myself.”
― Bobbie Anne Mason, Shiloh and other stories

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
Ernest Hemingway

 

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“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
― Jean Cocteau

“Yearning for love made her feel like a cat that was always twining around ankles, meowing Pet me, pet me, look at me, love me.
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

“That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.”
― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing    

Holding this soft, small living creature in my lap this way, though, and seeing how it slept with complete trust in me, I felt a warm rush in my chest. I put my hand on the cat’s chest and felt his heart beating. The pulse was faint and fast, but his heart, like mine, was ticking off the time allotted to his small body with all the restless earnestness of my own.”
― Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

On a more serious note, please remember that cats and dogs are for life, not just for Christmas:

Meet the people who give up their Christmas Day to look after cats and dogs

Article from The Mirror: “This year the RSPCA has reported an alarming increase in animals being abandoned across England and Wales – and they expect the situation to get worse over the winter months.

With nearly 2,500 cats and dogs in care this Christmas, hundreds of RSPCA volunteers spend Christmas Day with the animals, getting in extra early to make sure the cats and dogs have a special day.

And it’s lucky that they do, because the RSPCA receives 1,140 calls on Christmas Day putting immense strain on the people who choose to spend their Christmas looking after the animals.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/meet-people-who-give-up-4783124

Links:

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/6-famous-authors-who-wrote-with-their-cats

http://www.buzzfeed.com/harpercollins/16-famous-writers-and-their-cats-9npd

I just love Mogget and The Despicable Dog in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Trilogy. So let’s end with a bit of fun trivia:

http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/The-Old-Kingdom-Trilogy-by-Garth-Nix-111096.html

Bye!

 

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My Friday Winter Images

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A  yellow leaf sitting on a bed of sparkling snow. Sometimes the most beautiful images are just so simple. It’s the Fifth of December who could possibly believe it, where does time go? I’m sure Father Christmas leaps into the year earlier every winter and steals a bit of time so that he can get on with his job. Cheeky fellow!

 

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I decided that on this first Friday in December that I would post some lovely images of winter for you and myself to enjoy. Thought it would be therapeutic! I’m not a winter person, as soon as the clock goes back a tiny switch inside me goes click, and I become lethargic and grumpy, Seasonal Affective Disorder, no doubt. I love warm weather, blue skies, and the seaside. I live in Cambridge, a beautiful University city but the sea is a bit of a car drive away, and it isn’t warm enough, not for me. Maybe one day I’ll live abroad again, somewhere sunny who knows?

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With the change in the clocks I turn into a miserable so and so, with each tick of the clock I become more Scrooge-like. This winter I am battling against the hands of time to boot out the Scrooge in me and launch myself into the spirit of Christmas. Christmas is a double celebration in our house as it is also my eldest daughter’s birthday, so I have to be extra enthusiastic! She was born two weeks early nineteen years ago on the 25th of December. An unexpected but very welcome Xmas present. I ended up eating my Christmas dinner in the delivery ward! My youngest was born exactly on her due date. Two sisters with very different personalities, what can I say?  Anyway, I’m digressing a bit, so without further ado here are some wonderful winter images to enjoy.

Let’s start off in a playful mode with this fellow who looks just like Kermit and see where he takes us! He suggested reading a book to escape, what a wonderful idea, always one of my favourite things to do. At the moment I’m reading David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, so I’m leaping in and out of a multitude of bodies, travelling through centuries of time. Kermit  decided to follow suite and leapt out of the confines of his stone body to go out and play in the snow!

 

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Kermit, I heart you.

 

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Kermit on his bum in the snow

After playing in the snow Kermit began to get restless and he remembered some of the wonderful adventures he had experienced while reading. Books take you to incredible places so Kermit wanted to make this journey a really memorable one. An adventure…..

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Reading adventures

 

Kermit reckoned that you might like to see an Ice Sculpture? So off we go to…………………….

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Ice sculpture Lake Louise Alberta

Just one of many amazing ice sculptures in Lake Louise. Great suggestion Kermit.

We’ve all heard of Cinderella but what about an ice slipper anyone?

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A trip to Bryce Canyon?

 

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Bryce Canyon, Utah

 

How about some winter shadows now?

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Wonderful winter shadows
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Hay Tedders, Hoar Frost

Or spectacular blue skies?

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Colle-di-fuori France

Twinkling lights in a winter cabin?

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Winter cabin

Amazing Artic skies…………..

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Artic ocean

A sleigh ride anyone?

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Sleigh ride

Or a trip to Canim falls?

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Canim Falls, British Columbia, Canada

 

A touch of frost, and a glimpse of the moon?

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Frost and the moon

 

Some falling snow?

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More falling snow!

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What about some winter berries?

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Don’t forget the snowman, otherwise his nose might get out of joint.

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Snowmen

And our chirpy little friend the robin:

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A sleepy doggie too:

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Rudolph he’s invited.

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And of course Father Christmas too:

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Whatever you do this Winter holiday, have fun, and don’t be a grumpy Scrooge!

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canim_Falls

http://www.banfflakelouise.com/Area-Events/Festivals/Winter/SnowDays/Ice-Magic-Festival

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryce_Canyon_National_Park

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