York Haunted Pub Crawl

Right so its been a while since I’ve blogged. Been meaning to do it for ages and I thought today’s post was quite suitable for attempting a come back. Last time I wrote a post it was about losing my cat Indy in the states. On top of all that I was also dealing with a bit of depression and what I found so odd but seemed to explain a lot, culture shock. While it’s not my first time living in the UK or experience things in the north. I was missing the normality I would get in St. Louis and not having a job and getting out of the house was also taking a toil. But now I have a job and a steady income I’m not only able to get out a hell of a lot more, I’m socializing a lot more. I still miss home obviously but I’m doing a lot more and spending so much time doing things and working that by the time I get home I am so worn out and sleeping within minutes of getting into bed. I might still be getting used to the work but I do like how quickly I’m going to sleep considering just a mere few months ago I was struggling to fall asleep at night.

Anyway last weekend my husband, me and our two friends David and Fiona went to York for an overnight trip. We did a haunted pub crawl that I’ve been wanting to do for nearly two years now. I got a booked called Haunted York and in the back with a list of haunted historic places there was a list of 10 pubs that were reported to be haunted with a map to help find our way. The only unfortunate thing was there was no stories as to their hauntings in the book. So I had to do a bit of research for all the different places. We didn’t get to go in all of them, there was only two we didn’t actually even get to see as they were the two farthest out of the main pubs. At least another 3 more that were too crowded to want to get a drink in as my husband and David joked, serving crap beer anyway being John Smiths pubs. Though I want to say one wasn’t and I really wanted to go in it but it was so crowded from a live band that was playing that I figured any spirits in that one wouldn’t be around.

So first we went to the Golden Fleece which had a doorman for such a tiny place. The fleece’s story I would write in my own words but I think its written quite well from a website I found.

Reputedly the most haunted pub in York, this early 16th century inn is certainly one of the oldest, having first been documented in 1503.

It is believed that no fewer than 15 spirits haunt this quaint unsuspecting pub. The most notable of these reports is the spirit of Lady Anne Peckett, the wife of the one time mayor of York, John Peckett. Many guests and staff have reported the sighting of a woman wandering the corridors of the inn, moving things around, and walking up and down the staircase in the dead of night.

Other ghosts include a man dressed in red coat uniform and holding a pistol. He’s known by people as One Eyed Jack, whether this is because he has been seen to wear a patch or is missing an eye is not known. He is also joined by a grumpy old man, both of whom are often sighted in the bottom bar area. A young boy is also seen in the top bar. It’s believed he is the ghost of a boy who was trampled to death by horses outside the inn sometime during the Victorian period.

After the Golden Fleece we got dinner, checked out Dean Court Hotel and decided we didn’t want to pay the prices but I will share the history I got from their website

As York is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the entire world, it’s no surprise that the Dean Court Hotel is haunted, primarily by a cleaner known as the ‘Mad Maid’. Mediums who have visited the hotel in the past came across the mad maid in the basement kitchen, where she told them that she used to work as a cleaner in the guesthouse that used to be next door to the hotel, that later became part of the hotel.

A number of other paranormal happenings have also been reported at the hotel, namely in room 36 on the third floor where most of the activity seems to be concentrated. Guests have reported doors slamming, feeling pressure on their chests late at night whilst they lie in bed, objects being moved around and out of their original positions and terribly cold spots in the rooms, even in the height of summer.

Not far from Dean Court Hotel was the York Arms which so happened to be a Sam Smith’s pub and is one our favourite breweries. Now the ghostly part of York Arms I could not find. The only thing I was able to find was that it was designed by J. P. Pritchett in 1838 and his work involved the demolition of the old Peter Prison and the mediaeval Minster Gate. We liked it there so much we stayed for two drinks. It was nice and quiet which was surprising for a Saturday night. After that we went to one of my favourite pubs Ye Olde Starre Inn in the shambles and that was our first bit of actual ghostly activity.

Ye Olde Starre Inne dates back to 1644, however historians believe the cellar is much older than this. It is from this cellar that most of the activity occurs, with screams and groans often heard. It was here were Royalist soldiers were treated during the inns’ time as a temporary hospital during the Civil War.

Another frequent experience is the sighting of an old lady wearing black clothes. There isn’t much known about the identity of the woman, or how she died, but she is often seen on the staircase.

Perhaps one of the strangest hauntings in this list, is the ghosts of two black cats that reportedly haunt this pub. Local legend says the cats were bricked up between the pillar between the door and the bar. On several occasions, customers have brought their dogs in with them, and whilst having their drinks the dogs have growled, snarled, and in some instances have bolted towards the pillar, with one dog knocking itself out doing so!

The tradition of burying cats in the walls is a tradition that goes back a long way throughout Yorkshire. It is believed this ritual protects the building against both fire and bad luck.

Now I took these pictures before I read the story and saw the first smudge and thought it was the cord of the camera in the picture so I took two more knowing I had a tight hand on the cord and there was still that moving orb. Mike and I believe it might have been the poor cats that were bricked in the pillar. Our friend David kept making fun of the idea so I think that might be why its trying to pick his nose :p It might also explain why I always feel so at home in that place because not being a fan of crowds but being a very big fan of cats, I am never in a rush to move on. I firmly believe that’s the cats visiting our table but then moved on when Mike took over the camera. I did take a few more shots too just to see if it was a flaw with the camera but there was nothing and rather than share an odd picture of my purse I didn’t add it on here. So yeah ghostly cat tails in that place with orbs in lots of other places. Next was The Punch Bowl (not the Wetherspoons one) which also had some orbs in it. They stayed with Fiona mostly.

Said to be haunted, The Punch Bowl has been a pub for over four centuries, or perhaps we should say pubs, as we have suffered two major fires. We have a historical connection with the Whig Party from the 17th Century. Punch was the preferred drink of the Whigs, whilst the Tories liked their claret. Any pub displaying a punch bowl sign was therefore declaring its political allegiance.

As with many of the old pubs in York, the Punch bowl is host to a couple of ghostly figures. In the past, the pub was renown as a brothel. One story is that one women rejected the advances of a client, who then chased her around the pub to one of the rooms where he strangled her to death.

Her ghostly steps and voice have often been heard by the staff and customers. The second being that of a previous landlord who died during a fire in the pub.

After The Punch Bowl we tried to go to the Roman Bath which has a museum downstairs with the Roman bath that was found and is on display. Obviously by this point we couldn’t see the it and it was really crowded so we decided to move on and try it another time. Next was The Old White Swan, we sat at a round table by one of the fireplaces, it was busy but the place was large enough for the crowd. I ended up spilling my cider into my purse which had all my electronics so I had to quickly clean it out. I wasn’t the only one to spill my drink there either so I think it was safe to say we were pretty sloshed. Anyhow the story is here, comes from their website.

Part of a collection of buildings dating back to the 16th century, the Old White Swan is also one of the oldest in the city, and with that comes the history and the stories of hauntings. It is believed that the pub is haunted by a group of papists who have been seen gathering round the fire in the early hours of the morning. The fire itself is often re-ignited by itself after staff have extinguished it shortly before.

Another piece of strange phenomena that occurs at this pub are the reports of furniture being moved and in come cases thrown and toppled over by unseen hands. Muffled voices are also often heard, and the sound of footsteps are a regular occurrence.

The Old White Swan is a collection of buildings with a rather colourful history that dates from the 16th Century. We are one of York’s oldest pubs and are said to be haunted. Buildings at the rear of our courtyard date to medieval times and in 1781, the world’s tallest man, Mr O’Brian, was exhibited here at the pub. O’Brian stood 8 feet tall and the then landlord charged onlookers a shilling.

While I don’t know if the fire we sat by is the one they talk about, there is an orb in one of the photos. So again we didn’t plan to sit by one of the haunted areas before we read the story yet still managed to. Oddly coincidental.

After the white swan we made our way to The Snickleway Inn which sadly was the one with the live band and crammed with people. So we stood outside while I read the story and it took a lot of effort not to just go right in after reading what can happen there.

Situated in the historic centre of York, the Snickleway Inn is one of the oldest pubs in the city with parts of the building dating back to the 15th century. The building was not always linked to the pub trade; evidence suggests it may have once been used as a brothel as well as being the Royalist powder magazine during the English Civil War.

In addition to being one of York’s oldest pubs, the Snickleway Inn is also reputedly one of the most haunted. Derek Acorah names the pub as being amongst Britain’s 100 scariest places to visit, thought to be haunted by at least 5 spirits.

The ghosts include Mrs. Tulliver and her cat, Seamus. Some customers claim to have felt the cat rubbing against their legs. The ghost of a young girl has been seen sitting on the pub stairs. She is the daughter of a past landlord who ran outside into the road one day and was killed by a brewer’s dray. An elderly gent is said to sit on the barrels in the cellar and has been known to throw tools at certain members of staff when they go down there.

Now the part I can’t remember is if we got some food on the way back or before we made our way there but we decided to go to some places that weren’t on the list as the last two were too far out from where we were and our hotel. One place wouldn’t let us in because I forgot my passport in the hotel which was understandable but hey not every place has a doorman so we went to The Red Lion which everyone but me wanted to go to first as they were saying its a pub crawl but it wasn’t on my list and I wanted a haunted pub as we all agreed to do. So I may have pitched a mini fit at the beginning to make sure we stuck with the plan. But now that there was plenty of booze in me and we were pretty much done with our list we went there and it was quite a nice place. Could definitely tell it had some history to it. I’ve yet to see what there is about the place but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something. After that we finished our night with the Wetherspoons that was connected to the hotel. And of course before heading to bed we raided the vending machine just in the lobby. It sadly was not as pleasant a night of sleep as I would have hoped because we had the window open in our room which you could hear traffic and people out later than us. Then very early that morning a family next door woke up us. Or really the 3 kids and dad trying desperately to get the ready for the day. One crying and two were bouncing around, how do I know this? Because the walls were so fucking thin!!! Or they were just ridiculously loud. Which is highly possible as Fiona and David heard them and they were a few doors down and not connected by the wall that we were. What was funny was when the father left the room with one of the kids and the kid started to say something the father immediately hushed the kid. And it was like yeah bit late for that! So we ended our time in York by having a nice breakfast at Bills and our server telling us about more haunted pubs when she asked about our visit to York. And I had just enough time to quickly nip into The Cat Gallery to grab Grey some of his catnip mice. It was a great trip and I know we’ll be visiting the other two places as well as the new ones we were told about. Oh and I’ll share the stories for the two we didn’t get to go to. Which were The Black Swan and The Cock and Bottle. And there I shall leave you with the last of the stories and pictures.

Cock and Bottle

Georgie Porgie

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie

Kissed the girls and made them cry

When the boys came out to play

Georgie Porgie ran away

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628) was the bisexual lover of King James I. By no means monogamous, Villiers also had affairs with ladies at Court as well as with the wives and daughters of powerful nobles. It is believed he used his relationship with the King to force his attention on unwilling ladies:

“Kissed the girls and made them cry”

Whilst avoiding prosecution or retaliation. Parliament finally ordered James I to stop intervening on his lover’s behalf causing all the jealous husbands to vow to get their revenge, so…

“Georgie Porgie ran away”

Said to be the home to the ghost of George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, who was rumoured to have been made famous by the Georgie Porgie nursery rhyme.

The Black Swan

This solid oak 17th century inn was originally built in 1417 and was used as a family residence. However, the pub as you see it today wasn’t built until sometime during the 17th century.

The Black Swan is certainly one of the oldest buildings in our list, and it also has some interesting reports of paranormal goings on. One of which is the sighting of a Chaplinesque looking figure that wears a bowler hat, pacing around the rooms of the pub as if he’s waiting for someone to arrive. After a while he normally disappears!

The ghost of a beautiful young woman with long black hair and wearing a white dress is also seen. She is often seen looking towards the fireplace as if in deep thought.

Perhaps the strangest of all the haunting at the Black Swan, is the male legs that have often been seen walking around the landlord’s living quarters.

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Guy Fawkes Day

Last week was rough. I’ve been going through a lot lately and been having trouble communicating with people so when I do it comes off wrong or I just end up losing it. I’ve been quite emotionally and I think it’s because of me not knowing if I’m leaving soon or not. There are a few other things but mostly it’s the question of when am I leaving?

I found out my grade for my dissertation finally. I’m happy to say that I passed though not with flying colors. At least I’m done, at least I can say I now have a masters, but until I pick up my dissertation up it’s going to be bugging me about why I got the grade that I did. I can say now that my supervisor was quite hard on me for a lot of things. I do wonder if the English was not up to par but then I would think that shouldn’t account for such a large part of the grade. I don’t know really since I really thought I was doing what he wanted. I know he had to nit pick a lot since he couldn’t find a lot he had issues with but I don’t know.

Anyway it’s Guy Fawkes Day and I wanted to share a little something with ya.

 

“Remember remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder treason and plot.

I see no reason why gunpowder, treason

Should ever be forgot…”

 

I’m more than sure I probably shared this last year and with V for Vendetta having come out there’s not many who don’t know what it is that I’m talking about.

However there might be a few. So Guy Fawkes was with a group of men in the early 1600s who were conspiring to blow up Parliament but was caught while he was guarding the explosives. The group was called the Gunpower Plot. I don’t think he was the only one that was caught but I can’t remember. However we were discussing the other night that one thing was for certain, we couldn’t want to die the way he did. Hung, drawn and quarter is not a nice way to go, but he pissed off the King and had to be made an example of I guess.

There are many that might say that we need a Guy Fawkes now with the way the government is going. We definitely need something.

Anyhow it might not be known in America that on the 5th of November bonfires are made all over the place in celebration of the failure of the plot. Fireworks are allowed to be shot off and if you don’t go to a large bonfire, many people just have one of their own. We tried it this year but the fire didn’t last long and we just ate inside until we shot off fireworks. Though I wonder if many have the bonfires in memory of Guy Fawkes since he’s not really considered a villan now. Just food for thought.

©Lisa Helker

Fountains Abbey

These are my selected photos I took of Fountains Abbey. If you wish to see a larger version just click on the photo.

Stratford Weekend/Marsden Day

So my Sunday trip to Stratford didn’t really go as well as planned. It rained like hell. Weird combination there but not even 15 minutes after we got there it started raining. There was this really cool street performer too that I really wanted to photograph but by the time I had gotten back to her it was raining and she had moved on cause her paint would have washed off. But I will at least describe her. She stood out. I don’t know if was the gold paint on her face or the fact that it looked like she was sitting on nothing but a large stick. She was also holding a woven heart that was wooden, or at least looked wooden. Her head was covered in a wrap and she kind of struck me as like a Hindi God kind of look. She was above a woven mat as well that had a jar saying Follow Your Heart. I remember really looking at her entire display and thought it was so cool. So did Mike, we were holding hands as we walked by and commenting on it. As I looked at her and down at her jar I looked back up at her and she was watching us and smiling as she clutched her heart. I really should have just stopped right there and taken a photo because she looked beautiful but I thought when I’ve gotten to Shakespeare’s house I’ll come back. But like I said it started to rain and I saw her move on. She didn’t notice us but she walked right by us not looking too pleased at the rain. I should know as a photographer to take the opportunity when you take it. But I didn’t and when that happened I knew I had to burn that image of her in my head to share. I wish there was a visual that I could show you all. But that’s all I can do.

So beyond that not much has been going on. I didn’t enjoy the weekend that much, the few things I wanted didn’t really happen and all I kept thinking the whole time was that I wanted to be home snuggling with Grey. He’s been staying with us at night. Since his little accident we’ve been sure to let him out before bed and he’s snuggled with us on the bed. He sleeps the whole night and generally doesn’t want out or food until about the time Mike’s alarm goes off. He seemed like he wasn’t feel that good today. His eye was a bit weepy and seemed to be kind of mopey. But then Mike came back with KFC and boy did he perk up! He got to enjoy some fillet pieces practically jumping Mike for some pieces. After that I gave him his real dinner. I think he’s outside since he hasn’t come back up but I think he feels a lot better. I kind of think he was wanting to be around us more but he was outside for a bit today (the weather has been nice for a change) and we were out visiting a little town that has a visitors center for the canals. I took some photos which I will share as well as what I was able to take in Stratford.

So tomorrow is my presentation of my dissertation. I will be all nerves and likely having a pint or two during my lunch since I am the very last person to go. So I’m finished as of 3pm tomorrow (London time). I also seem to be having semi success with a job application. Hopefully I’ll have a job by November at the very least 🙂

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Edit: I seriously need to stop forgetting to add a title. This like the third or fourth time. If I don’t do one right away I tend to forget. Also to update on Grey. He went out before he had his breakfast this morning and brought back dying bird as I was leaving. I know it was dying because it’s legs were twitching as he tried to bring it in the house. I couldn’t let him in or make him drop it. So I guess he got his own breakfast. Bleh.

No More Teachers, No More Books…

So I’m attempting to write this post sideways cause I have a Grey in my lap. He hasn’t tried to lay in my lap for a while so I’m taking advantage of it. Minnie came in a few minutes after he did and just stopped and stared at him like, how dare you that’s my lap! She a big lap cat. I think I posted once about her getting jealous of my laptop because it was on my lap. So I haven’t had much happening lately. And I realized I’m faced with something I’m rather baffled by.

I have time on my hands. When did that happen?

I finished writing my dissertation last week. And the only thing I have left to do is edit it, or I should say have my fiancé look at it and tell me how to make it more “English”. My supervisor likes to nitpick at how I word stuff because let’s face it, I’m American and I don’t sound sophisticated enough. He says I write like I’m working for Fox News and I don’t know if I should feel insulted or not  by that. But I know that after high school my writing style had to change. I was taking some kind of secondary English/writing class (it was required) and I’m willing to admit that a lot of things such as parts of speech kind of go over my head. So I had the professor give me a pretty bad grade for one paper and he actually wrote on there to see him for help. I did, because I remember I made such an effort and I didn’t want another bad grade for something I was missing. I actually respected him more for that. Then we schedule a time and worked on a paper and he saw where I had weaknesses (I got a free short story book from him too that was just lying in the room we were working in). I wish I could say he completely changed my writing style and changed how I see things. He did change my writing style to something more serious and out of a high school level but I still struggle to see the parts of speech and unless I continually try to do things to figure it out like I had to in school, I was a part of the special school district, I have a learning disability though I couldn’t tell my exact problem because for many years I didn’t know and I have since lost the paper work, all I can say is I don’t have ADD unlike my mom and brothers and that it affected my math and as well as understanding the English language which also helped me to get out of taking any foreign language classes. Not to say I didn’t want to but if I have a hard enough time understanding English, what makes you think I’d get Spanish or French?

Anyway back to what I was saying, that professor helped me and I always appreciated anyone that went out of their way to help me understand things that were baffling me. I’ve found I’ve really enjoyed all the professors I’ve had here but for maybe one (I was quite intimidated by him but I think that was more my perspective of him than what he actually was.) and I couldn’t really say that for all of the professors I had for my undergraduate. I didn’t like a lot of them because they didn’t make me feel like I was worth anything. I was a transfer student when I went to Webster University and I had one teacher tell me that I may have been a junior but my work was that of a sophomore. Gee thanks, you’re so nice. I wasn’t the only one she said that to either, one of my friends who was as well a transfer student was told the same thing. It didn’t make sense that we were being given crap for not going there the whole four years. I don’t think those that are teachers realize how much they can tear a person down with stuff like that, it doesn’t just stop when we grow up, college teachers can do the same. There is giving constructive criticism and then there’s making someone feel less worthy as a person or professional. I’m willing to admit I’m quite sensitive to that kind of thing, remember that incident with the bone marrow donor, I haven’t been able to not feel bad about my weight since then and it hasn’t changed much with the effort I’m giving. I’ve realized I don’t eat a lot but I have my moments, my diet has changed a bit but it’s really hard to exercise when it gives you pain. I can’t be on my feet walking or standing for too long or my left foot starts hurting every time I walk. I’m more than sure I have plantar fasciitis because my mom has had it for years and I recognized the symptoms and then looking it up I see I fit the description. I’ve actually ordered an arch support wrap that will make it easier for me to get around with or without shoes. I might make an attempt with Mel B again :p. Though I will say that even though I didn’t always like my professors for how I felt they treated me, I respected most of them.

Anyway beyond that I guess I’m writing for a few reasons. I got an email today saying that one of my favorite professors has taken a  “voluntary redundancy” I have no idea what that means. I understand voluntary and I understand redundancy. Is it just a clever way of saying retired? My supervisor told me that a few weeks ago when I asked why the email to this professor wasn’t working. It does make me a bit sad because he was always very help and he was funny in his awkward way. I’m hoping he’ll be there when we have the presentations because I want to see him again and thank him for what he’s taught me.

I also had a hit and miss with a job opportunity at school. They have work at the moment but unfortunately it required you to be there full-time. The guy that called me didn’t realize I was still doing my course and won’t be available for full-time work until after these job opportunities finish. But they said they’ll have lots more when school starts. So I’m hopeful.

So yeah I have a ridiculous amount of time. My dissertation is due in a few weeks. So I’m hoping to get Mike to finish editing it by this weekend and I can get it bound next week and turn it in early! (Now wouldn’t that be awesome?) Then I got the presentation to work on. But I decided I would start on that next week.

So what have I been doing? Watching tv and playing on the sims mostly. My internet hasn’t been that good lately. We realized it wasn’t capped like we thought. It’s either the router that needs replacing or it the cable that my father in law accidentally cut through and patched up. It makes it really hard to do anything online at times and with another person here also using the internet it’s kind of like a fight to use it. I can’t really talk to my mom on Skype either since that is the only thing I can do is talk to her. Otherwise the connection goes a bit weird if I look something up.

Oh and speaking of fighting for something. It appears I have competition with Grey. Mike’s friend who is staying with us (I’ve managed to resist writing a rant blog about him) likes the cat as well so when he comes upstairs and does his meow, we both call for him. And sometimes he opens the door before me and manages to get Grey for a few hours. I’m willing to admit I am very jealous. Mike and I talked about it last night. I’m acting like a child that doesn’t want to share their toys because when it came to my cats back home, I was the only one interested enough in them that I didn’t tend to have competition for their attention. They came to me because they knew they could get it from me. Mike noticed one day last week when Grey came up and meowed so I called to him as did Justin and apparently the look I had on my face was that like I wanted to kill him. I probably did but I was getting tired of having him around because he doesn’t do much and it’s hard to get some peace when he playing music and my usual route is interrupted by someone else.

To be honest the only Grey tends to do besides beg for food is sleep in the bed. He probably lays in my lap once a week but he needs to know he’s allowed in and does crave attention at times. It was funny this morning when I got up (I’m still getting up with Mike) and came down, Minnie didn’t even wait for me to get to the bottom of the steps before meowing for food. So I went into the kitchen to get her some food and I look out the window and see this shape. Grey is sitting outside the kitchen window looking in perfectly still. I didn’t have a key for the door so I started to go up and it when I hear him at the backdoor (he was fast!) so I let him in and he’s soaking wet. I had just put some dewormer on him yesterday too so I’m hoping it didn’t wash out. But he got dried and ate and now is sleeping peacefully on me. I’m home alone at the moment. The in-laws went to the doctor and Justin is out for the day. One of his little role-playing games today. So I’m getting some peace even if it’s only for a little bit. Wish I could have gotten it this past weekend with Mike. It was a bank holiday weekend and the last one before Christmas so instead of getting at least one day with jut me and Mike, we had either  Justin, Mike’s parents or some people over. Granted the game night was nice but I did reach a point where I wanted everyone out because I was feeling a bit closed in. Anyway that’s was pretty much it. Rather boring really but I guess that’s better than nothing. I’ll leave you with a few more photos Mr. Grey.

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Update on Grey

So I thought I’d post a quick update on Grey. The strangest and most coolest thing happened last night. Grey had come in to eat but I just left the door open for him to go out when he wanted. It was after dinner and I was sitting next to Mike while playing the sims 3. We heard a meow just outside the door and Mike wasn’t paying much attention thinking it was Minnie but I knew the meow. Grey had come upstairs all on his own. So he came in and looked around and meowed at us. It’s odd it’s like he needs our approval before he does something. So he came in and jumped on the end of the couch and then got into the windowsill. Earlier that day I kind of lured him up to see if he’d stay. He just got in the windowsill then for a few minutes and then decided to leave. So I’m enjoying my game and watching him and the next thing I know he’s decided my lap is where he wants to lay. He pretty much forced his way onto my lap forcing me to move my laptop cause he would have laid on that too. And that’s pretty much where he laid for the last several hours last night. At one point when I was trying to get Mike to quit my game for me because I realize there was no way I was going to be able to play again he got up and got into the windowsill again but not before he decided to steal Mike’s seat briefly. His parents got to see him in the room and then make himself comfortable on me again.

When he decided to lay on me the first time, I had the biggest grin on my face and didn’t care that I couldn’t play my game. We had to put him outside again last night but it did look like he wanted out and there were some outdoor cat beds he could easily sleep in. But barely after 9am this morning he’s let in to eat and he comes upstairs again. He’s currently snoozing away on the bed that I wasn’t able to make now that I’m up. I think it might be safe to say he owns me now.

 

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Happy Birthday to Me!

So today is my birthday. I’ve now reached that point where I am in my late 20s. I don’t think I ever thought about myself being this age. I remember ages ago when I had nothing better to do than try to do a life plan, I thought I’d be married and have kids at this point. I think that was when I wanted to have a lot of kids and needed to get started pretty early. Reality has since hit and Mike and I have talked of only having 2 or 3 kids which leaves me quite a bit of time. I’d rather get a decent education and save up some money to enjoy life with Mike before kids. I also know I won’t want to work when I have kids but you never know I might need to so I’ll have the education to get me a decent job (hopefully). It’s been a rather lazy day so far. I tried to sleep in a bit but a certain Mogs wanted outside and was doing her sad puny meow. So I let her out and fed the other cat, Minnie. There was no sign of Grey but all that says is he was holed up somewhere else.

The funny thing is I wasn’t really thinking it was my birthday since it’s so different over here but the amount of emails from stores I use sending me birthday “gifts” of money or percentage off of a certain amount bought then I saw a few birthday wishes. After I got up, I got back into bed to read a bit and relish the lovely dream I had of Michael Fassbender and Gerard Butler the other night. Sadly I couldn’t really remember Gerard Butler that much just that I had a dream about him but Michael Fassbender was the last dream I had before I woke up. Anyhow I mostly been lazing about. I got a visit from Minnie today. She’s currently gracing me with her presence by sleeping next to me on my shirt (and in my spot but that’s no matter to her). I got a cute card from my in-laws to be with a bit of money. The card is of 5 different cats surrounding a couch. They know me so well! I cant wait to see what Mike got me. I did get a nice dinner Sunday night before we went to see The Dark Knight Rises on the IMAX screen. I know they keep talking about how great it is and the 3D like effect but I couldn’t help but think the IMAX screen at the St. Louis Science Center is far better since you’re looking up in tilted back sheets.

Anyway the rest of my day will consist of being continually lazy in my comfy clothes (no make up and dressing up for me!), watching films and playing the sims 3. Do wish a certain kitty would move so I could have my sheet back but oh well. Hopefully I’ll get a visit from Grey. I should probably go check to see if he’s wanting food. He’s been coming around every day for nearly 2 weeks multiple times a day. He’s a sweet cat. I’m thinking he’s a Russian Blue but I can’t be sure. He does tend to prefer being outside but he doesn’t mind me picking him up. Besides food he does seem to crave attention. It was raining the other day and I wasn’t going to make him eat outside so I picked him up and brought him in. The purr that started with him kneading my arm was instantaneous. Now any time I pet him when he eats that purr starts up again. So pretty sure he;s ours now. He’s also a great big pig when it comes to food. He ate all the food that was out yesterday, either he was really hungry, didn’t know if he was getting more, or as it was suggested maybe has worms since he’s sleeping rough most of the time. I hope he doesn’t but who knows. Anyhow I’m going to continue my lazy day of celebration.

Friday I’m baking a cake since I couldn’t be bothered today and if we still have the BBQ Saturday it will be there for that. Anyway I’ll  leave some photos of Grey.

Oh yeah we found a bat last week. Poor thing was injured but we found a bat society that’s taken him to see if he’ll heal and then they’ll bring him back here to release him. I’ve dubbed him Bruce. 🙂

 

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Crazy Cat Lady Adventures Continue!

So we may have a new cat.

But it’s too soon to tell at the moment to know if we do or not.

 

You see, there’s this grey cat and he’s really cute but we don’t know if his owner is coming for him. (Wow that was nearly turned into a call me maybe meme.)

There used to be this single mom that lived across the road from us. She had two cats, one that became an a serious outside cat after they got the kitten that he didn’t like. So instead of trying to work with them getting used to each other she just throws him outside all the time, even if it’s raining (strangely he didn’t seem too bothered by the rain). I used to feel so bad for him when I’d see him seeing there waiting to come inside because she had gone somewhere (From what we know she didn’t have a job and was supported by the government, who knows if that’s changed, but it’s quite common over here for people to never work because of all the money the government gives them). About a month or so ago she moved, we figured she moved in with a new boyfriend. We were seeing a guy around there quite a bit at the end. And sadly grey cat was gone.

Now Grey I always liked, I never knew his name so I used to just call him Grey. He’s quite friendly though he’d like to sneak in through the back door and eat Mogs and Minnie’s food. He used to run when he saw one of us. I once managed to get him to come back so he could see I was friendly though it backfired by encouraging him to try coming in more. He also used to pick on Mogs a bit. But she’s a big girl now so it seems the tables have turned.

So either Thursday or Friday Grey showed up again. It seems he decided to come back. But without knowing where his owner moved to and if she’ll come looking, he basically homeless. Since he doesn’t mind being outside, we just feed him outside. He was so hungry yesterday when I saw him, he ate two food packs in one go. He came back later for dinner and I fed him again. I think he realizes we’re friendly and he can trust us for food (and luckily he likes the cheap stuff). We put this nice covered cat bed outside. We figured he could sleep in it at night though he has to fight for it between Mogs and Minnie laying in during the day.

Minnie in the cat bed

We’re hoping that Grey and Mogs will get along enough that if we do end up adopting him, that he can come inside. Especially if the weather is bad.

Mr. Grey!

I’ll update to let anyone know if his owner ever comes or if we decided to officially adopt him. Apparently he was waiting outside the backdoor this morning to be fed. I think we’ve been adopted in this case.

Eating Dinner
Back to Exploring!

I’ll Always Remember Blackpool…

I shall always remember Blackpool. It wasn’t glamorous and the piers are nice and historic and it was cool seeing the tide come in but comparing it to that I think I prefer Scarborough for the coast part. The reason I will remember Blackpool though has to do with one special person and an important question he asked. Or rather wrote in the sand.

On Tuesday evening Mike and I went to the beach so I could take a few photos of the sun setting and the piers lit up while the tide was nearly done coming in. While I was I was taking these photos he had asked me not to turn around for a few minutes. I had an idea of what he meant but it built up excitement still. When I turned around he had written in the sand, “Marry me?” and was on one knee holding up the ring. I was very happy to say yes though I think at the time I just squeaked and hugged him because a few minutes later I said, just in case you didn’t realized I’m saying yes. So I’m engaged. It took me about a day to get used to wearing the ring. It’s definitely one I love. Don’t know if it’s what you would call a traditional engagement ring but I think it’s very me.

 

 

Mike and I don’t have a lot of plans at the moment. I’m still working on school stuff and he’s got bills to pay off before he can consider moving to the US. That said he could pay them from the states but our wedding wouldn’t be any time soon. It will likely not be until 2014 or 2015. I do know I want it in the fall, like late September or early October and I want the wedding to be outside but I want the reception inside. It won’t be a big wedding since a lot of Mike’s side might not be able to make it plus it would more expensive if it was bigger. I’d probably invite more people to the reception rather than the wedding. Anyway I got plenty of time to plan and probably shouldn’t make any major plans until I’m settled again back home. Just wanted to give a quick update and once I’m recovered a bit more I’ll post photos.

Mike and I at Pleasure Beach amusement park.

If Cats Could Talk…

So we found out today what happened to poor Mogs. My boyfriend’s parents came back today and she spoke to one of the neighbors after visiting with a woman across the road that has health problems. She was apparently stuck in the basement of a neighbor two doors down. The husband thought he kept hearing a cat meow and his wife kept saying “Don’t be silly”. By the third day he realized something was up and opened the door to find a frighten cat run out and climb into their chimney! He couldn’t get her out so he left his back door open and left her be and that’s how she came to show up that early morning my boyfriend found her. It would also explain why she was so dirty.

That poor, poor kitty. It would explain her behavior since she’s come back. Don’t think she’ll be doing that again.

Now I shall share the photos I’ve taken of her since she came back.

 

Not even back a whole day and she wants out again!

 

Mogs and Minnie looking outside together

 

Mogs still deciding about it…

 

She eventually joined her.

 

Chilling out in the closest. And wondering why I’m trying to get her out.

 

Enjoying a nice snooze on the bed.

 

What I really wished I would have gotten was a video or picture of Mogs leapfrogging Minnie yesterday outside. Mogs when she wants to come in will sit at the window, but sometimes she doesn’t realize the door is open and I have to stick my head out and tell her. Yesterday I was doing this when Minnie decides to go out as well. Mogs see this and sees that Minnie has her back to her. So she jumps down and creeps up behind Minnie before just doing a leap-frog over her and surprising the heck out of Minnie. It was quite funny. She’s definitely back to normal.