Arabian nights and christmas decorations….

Living in a very small space with three cats was always going to take some getting used to. We have never let them sleep on the bed overnight (well I did if hubby was away!!) but usually they slept in another part of the house to us at night – in their own baskets and beds of course. So, to have to sleep all together on one bed – well that was going to take some getting used to.

We tried putting the bottom bunk down at night and placing them all on it before lights out in an attempt to encourage them to stay put. Cats being cats however, they would quite happily sleep on the bunk all evening but as soon as the lights went out over to the bed they would come. Molly was the best behaved and tended to stay put all night, followed by Tinker who held it together for the most part but bringing up the rear was Oscar who couldn’t for the life of him keep still. He would quite happily snuggle up to me for a few hours and if at all possible try to get his paws on my pillow!! but that was pretty much his limit and then the walking back and forth across the bed would start.

Another solution was obviously needed and so we came up with the idea of ‘curtains’ to divide our bed area off from the rest of the caravan. That way we could have our bed and the cats could have their’s.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on buying curtains as we weren’t entirely sure it was going to work. Our guys are nothing if not persistent and if there was going to be a way through them then they would find it. So, I brought two flat sheets in a burnt orange colour or ‘naranja’ as they say here. We fitted a curtain pole and attached some hooks down either side of the caravan so I could hook the curtains to the wall and hopefully stop them coming in that way. The sheets are long enough that the excess can be tucked under the bed stopping them coming in from the bottom and I clip the two sheets together in the middle so that route is sealed as well.

Two nights in and they are working really well. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night but that was due to thunderstorms and VERY strong winds that threatened to blow the caravan over and not the cats. Tinker has tried valiantly on both nights to get through our defences but she hasn’t been able too (yet!!) and she soon settles down on her bed instead.

I didn’t get any time before we left the UK to ‘redecorate’ the interior of the caravan and so it still has dusty pink curtains and carpets. Nothing wrong with that but I want a brighter more funkier colour scheme. We are trying hard to find some lino to put down on the floor to make it easier to keep clean and I want to replace the existing curtains at some point. We have a bright pink duvet cover on the bed and that along with the orange curtains is in keeping with my ‘bright theme’. I think the orange curtains actually give the caravan a bit of a ‘Arabian nights theme’ so I may add some gold accessories into the mix as well??!!

With Christmas now only 3 weeks away my thoughts have also turned towards decorating the caravan with our christmas decorations. I would normally have my 7ft tree up by now swamped with decs, but obviously I had to leave that behind:(( I had to sort through everything and brought my favourite pieces whilst bequeathing the rest to my sis. I set aside some time at the weekend to put the decorations up, accompanied¬† by a glass of sherry, some mince pies (raw of course) and our Caribbean Christmas carols CD. Everything looked really good and it felt like santa’s grotto but unfortunately the following day we realised that a month spent banging our heads against decorations every time we moved was going to drive us both potty. So, I took them down and we vowed to start a new tradition this year. The decorations will go back up again on the morning of Christmas Eve when we can enjoy them properly.¬† It’s all a learning curve this caravaning malarkey!!!!

Rabies jabs and a whole lot of wailing…..

Oscar, Tinker and Molly known collectively around here as ‘the babes’ had a trip out in the car today down to the vets to receive their rabies jabs so that their passports could be stamped up to date and they are cleared for travel….

The vets is less than a 5 minute car journey away and I am a careful and slow driver especially when they are on board but predictably they wailed the whole way there taking it in turns to let out the loudest and most pathetic sounded cries that you have ever heard. Once at the vets I had to wait 30 minutes even though there was noone else there and then when I finally did get to see the vet she informed me (in a very apologetic tone it has to be said) that she only had enough vacinne for two and that one of them would have to come back next week. Sharp intake of breath from me, even sharper one from the cats when they realised one would have to make another trip. The rest of the visit was uneventful and the cats behaved themselves until we got back in the car when the wailing recommenced (yes I know Spain is a longggggggggggggggg way….)

So, who has to return next week……not an easy decision as they are all pretty bad in the car so I had to take each case on its merits.

Oscar is the male of our little pack. He is big, very fluffy and a real softie. He likes to think he is a big macho cat but in reality he is just a big pile of squidge. He had to go to the vets last week as he needed some dental work done and I took him to our old vet who is a bit further away – an hours journey each way. He wasn’t in the best of moods when we got there and actually pooped his pants just as we arrived so that alone earns him the right to sit the next vets visit out.

Molly is the baby of the family and the loudest. She meows all the time, constantly and likes nothing more than to be cuddled on demand. She had a big accident with a car last year and lost one of her back legs as a consequence and so now vet visits can be quite traumatic for her as she never knows if she is going to leave with all her remaining limbs!! So she gets an exemption from next weeks visit as well.

Which leaves Tinker who is the mummy of the group. She looks after everyone, washing and grooming them all and generally keeping them in tip top condition. She is 17 now and going a little bit ditzy and although she can meow as well as the rest of them she is also the easiest to calm down. So, poor Tinker pulled the short straw and will be returning with me next week to have her jab.

I am also going to be purchasing something called Feliway, which is a spray made from natural ingredients that is supposed to help calm animals down. Anything is worth a go as otherwise our journey down to Spain is going to be very traumatic for all of us……and if it doesn’t work on the cats then I will just use it on John and I…….

Vacuum storage bags and garlic mushrooms…..

An odd combination I will admit but these two things have been a real revelation to me today.

Vacuum bags because it means I can take more of my clothes than originally anticipated – and that is good news believe me because even after three weeks of extemely harsh pruning my wardrobe was still looking unlikely to fit into the suitcase I had allocated myself for life in a caravan (and it is a very large suitcase) But fear not with the aid of quite a few vacuum bags I have managed to squeeze all essential items of clothing into said suitcase and am feeling very happy again. It has to be said that the vast majority of my wardrobe consists of very summery outfits and an obscene amount of bikinis – I counted about 20 this morning – all of which would seem to be rather useless in an English summer so I suspect that my subconscious has been planning this move for some time…….

And as for the garlic mushrooms – well I had the urge for something garlicky this morning and so chopped some portobella mushrooms and simply marinaded them in some olive oil, salt and tonnes of garlic. They were delicious…….and didn’t last very long…….

That’s it for another day…..more boxes, more lists and another glass of wine…….

The cats are off to the vets in the morning for their rabies jabs so wish me luck. We only have to go down the road but the chorus of wails and meows that they treat me to is quite impressive.