Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Deep-sea trawler at work

Today, time is flying!!

I realised that my commitment to simplicity has encountered a grave hiccup in the area of electronic filing, and I have begun a trawl through of my memory sticks to organise and de-clutter.  Blimey.  What can I say?  It’s like the bit in The Mummy where the librarian knocks over every single bookcase in the reference library and has to tidy it all up again.

It is, to say the least, time-consuming.  And I have other tasks waiting.

But in my scramblings among the foothills of electronic storage systems, I came upon this photo of a page from the little book Hebe made me; and today, as when I first saw it, I found those words, and the simple artistry of their presentation, were heart-stopping:






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365 366 Day 52 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here





We had two of these.  This, in case you aren’t sure, is a Modest Cat Bathroom.   The reason we had two is that our rescue kittens proved lively little chaps, and in one of their death-defying stunts when they were a couple of months old, one of them very nearly didn’t defy death, and ended up needing surgery and four week’s isolation from his brother indoors shut in one room.  Watching him shin up the apple tree yesterday I had to marvel at our vet’s good work: and my, were we grateful for the insurance that came with the rescue package!

Anyway our furry purries are all grown-up, savvy and completely in charge of themselves now.  Unlike ignorant Western humans they know better than to attend to their personal needs indoors.  So the Modest Cat Bathrooms were Freecycled.

11 comments:

Buzzfloyd said...

It's extraordinary how it accumulates, isn't it? I am grateful that, at least, electronic files don't take up the physical space of paper files!

Ember said...

Totally! Something I do a lot is obsessively saving duplicates of work or images that are precious and I am afraid of losing. Why? Er . . . because I can . . .

Gerry Snape said...

I'm a sucker for wonderful little mementoes like that...goodness knows what the family will think when the time comes!

but I've stuck to the one out a day...ooops pride comes... and all that!

Ember said...

Hooray! Well done you! x

Heidi said...

I recently read an article about how the Internet is affecting the environment. It said that we can save trees by sharing information online, obviously, but the databases we use to store this information do use quite a bit of electricity, and that made me think differently about what e-mails to save etc.

Elin said...

I must say I find the name Modest Cat very amusing. Cats are cats, they are neither modest or immodest in my view so it feels so wrong to use that particular word to me. I see a cat wearing bloomers or something like that when I hear that word, bloomers and a cap...

Ember said...

Good thought, Heidi!

Elin - they do say that the trickiest thing to translate is a sense of humour! There is no such thing really as a Modest Cat Bathroom - they're built like that just to reduce odour and likelihood of toddler interaction with cat faeces. Calling it a Modest Cat Bathroom is just a small joke arising from all our talk about modest dress etc :0)

Elin said...

Oh, I see I thought it was the actual brand-name of it!!! Silly me, I am so stupid! I thought is was all part of that humanisation of animals thing where they put clothes on them and give them human emotions like actually believing that cats have a sense of modesty.

Although, some cats might, they seem to really prefer that kind of covered litter box.

Ember said...

No, not stupid at all, Elin. That's what I mean about a sense of humour being hard to translate.
I was really intrigued when my Dutch friend Carien, who speaks the most excellent English, told me that the hardest thing of all to access in learning another language is its jokes.
I *think* an English person would have picked up that I was joking, though I confess it's beyond me to say why or identify what the cues are. If Buzzfloyd is reading this she might have a comment to make on it; she's really good at analysing this sort of thing because it interests her very much, she's got a very international friendship circle, and she's married to an alien.
That last remark is another example of my English sense of humour - here 'an alien' is the technical legal term for someone from overseas but in popular speech would always refer to a being from another planet. That's what I mean about another language's humour; the essence of verbal humour is that it's buried in the speech, so can be hard to spot if it's not your first language.
I hope this doesn't sound patronising! Your English is superb. x

Elin said...

Trust me, in this case it has nothing to do with language, it totally me being stupid. I would have fallen for the same thing in Swedish I think. I just read the passage with far too trusting eyes and believed every word you said...

It is true that joking is hard in different languages although Swedish and English humour is often quite similiar. Humour can even be regional, I had a hard time at first when I moved to another part of Sweden to tell jokes because they simply didn't get that it was a joke.

I love the kind of humour you refer to, words with double meaning, (and yes, I totally got the alien example without explanation) but I find it hard to tell jokes like that myself in English. I know a lot of words and I tend to get it when other people tell such jokes but my own brain is just not fast enough to tell them myself unless they are very obvious. It feels strange, in Swedish I am kind of known to tell that kind of jokes quite easily and sometimes that part of me is a bit stifled in English. I am not exactly the same person in English and in Swedish, for better and worse, I do not use as many curse words in English as in Swedish, I am more polite in English but I speak faster in Swedish, I can explain nuances much more easily in Swedish and many other things.

Ember said...

That's a really interesting observation, Elin, that in the different languages you are somehow different people!