September Song – More Like A Lament

So much has been happening lately. The month of September was intense: at each momentous event I thought I should write about how deeply it struck me and then something else happened. So my reflections on the death of our beloved Queen and the accession of Charles III, the ruthless and pointless narcissism of Putin as he drives his hapless conscripts to wreak havoc in Ukraine, and now the devastation caused by hurricane Ian, particularly where it made landfall on the beautiful island of Sanibel which I know so well – all were overtaken by the subsequent events before I could even start to sort my emotions into words. Other people have expressed similar sentiments to mine, so I’ll spare you.

Behind my house – mountains and mist and blue sky

Here at home in Eastern Switzerland the weather seems to be attuned to all this. Autumn has most definitely arrived with pouring rain and a noticeable drop in temperatures, the mountain peaks are white with snow, the forests on the lower slopes are changing colour, and I have reluctantly taken in the cushions from my garden furniture as I acknowledge that from now on I’ll have to eat my lunch inside and not on my patio.

Breakfast on 1 September

Can we expect a golden October? Fingers crossed!

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Retaining the rhyme, here’s Noom: and I’m pleased to report that I have lost five and a half kilos (about 12 lb) since mid-July. Not a spectacular loss, but a loss nevertheless, roughly equivalent to a pound per week, but it will still be a while before it’s noticeable to others. Counting my steps (with an app on my phone) means I’m moving more and that gives me more energy – enough to have given my apartment a thorough clean and shifted some of my furniture around so that I have a slightly different perspective as I sit on my sofa. I think my clothes fit better and that gives me more self-confidence. Can I touch my toes again? Almost! 

I’m not sponsored by Noom, so this is a genuine recommendation for the programme which I find just as effective as Weight Watchers or Slimming World without having to attend regular meetings. Instead, there are daily “lessons” that upload themselves onto my phone – informative, instructive, amusing and encouraging. The app also logs my steps and analyses my food intake, making it easy to keep track and balance out the odd splurge on chocolate, desserts or cheese, and tells me how many calories I’ve burned when I exercise.

Before the almost incessant rain started, I was honoured by daily visits from a sweet little feline who decided to annex my apartment for the afternoon. She made her first appearance here at the end of February when she was still a kitten, and made sporadic forays into our garden during the spring, but from July onwards she ventured through the French windows and into my apartment, which apparently received her seal of approval. Once or twice I heard some brief caterwauling from a neighbour’s garden and presume that she had trespassed onto Queen Ayesha’s territory (Ayesha’s coat has now grown back even more luxuriantly than before, I’m pleased to say).

Mimi baby

I privately nicknamed my little tricolour friend “la Coquette” as that sums up her behaviour: if she were human, she’d be a dainty soubrette or a Gigi as incarnated in the famous film of the fifties. Once I’d determined which of the neighbouring houses she belonged to, I discovered she was called Mimi, which suits her down to the ground.

“This is MY bed!”

She always announced her arrival with a series of mews, winding herself around my feet, then after receiving the requisite amount of stroking and fuss, she’d settle herself comfortably for a long nap. I haven’t seen her lately, so I assume she doesn’t like getting her feet wet. 

J’y suis, j’y reste.

Mimi is one of the prettiest little cats I know, with very bright contrasting colours. Tortoiseshell cat in the UK, calico cat in the US – I have often wondered why “calico”, as this is a rough, unbleached fabric and I can see no resemblance whatsoever to Mimi’s gorgeous silky coat. Perhaps one of my readers across the pond can enlighten me?

26 thoughts on “September Song – More Like A Lament

  1. I was intrigued by the term Calico cat (I’m British) so googled it. Apparently Calico cats are tri colour as they are orange, black and white. Tortoiseshell cats don’t have any white fur. Who knew? I agree, Mimi is st7nning!

    • Welcome back, Linda! If my memory serves me aright, we come from the same town (?). Thank you for the information – so Mimi is not a tortoiseshell as she has lots of white fur. I must start following you – your quilts are amazing.
      (1 min later: I just checked – I am already following your blog, but never get e-mail notifications when you post. WordPress!!!)

      • Thank you for your lovely comment. Glad you like my quilts. I always read and enjoy your posts but don’t often comment. I live in Kenilworth, Warwickshire although I was born and brought up in West Bro with in the Black Country – I don’t have the accent! I have visited Switzerland three times and love it. So clean and ordered, beautiful mountains and scenery .

      • So my memory was correct! Kenilworth is a beautiful place too, I think. Long time since I was there but handy for some lovely countryside.

  2. Your patio is delightful. And the mountains are breathtaking. I love fall, so the changing colors help me focus on beauty rather than our tortured world. I guess I’m trying to play ostrich! Since losing my husband and the quarantine of Covid, loneliness has been my stalker. Last weekend I drove three hours to celebrate family birthdays with three generations of my family. It was so wonderful to be celebrating with my only daughter and her husband and three sons and daughter-in-law and three great grandchildren 14, 5, and 2. But each time I come back to my apartment, I kind of fall into a pit. I tell myself that this too will pass. I love your visiting cat. She is beautiful and a bright spot in the day, I’m sure. I call those spots grace. Mine is a furry funny puppy that a seven year old neighbor walks by my window each day…..or rather he walks her! I think your noom accomplishment is wonderful. I enjoy your photos very much. Thanks for sharing.

    • Loneliness can be devastating whereas the enjoyment of solitude is a blessing. I am a sociable introvert, so although I enjoy company I also need my “hermit” moments. Maybe if you feed on your happy memories and appreciate all the positives of living alone (the independence for instance) it might feel better?

  3. Yes, my children thought I wouldn’t last a month during Covid, because I’ve always been so extraverted. But, I’ve discovered I love living alone and have no desire to live with anyone else ever. The first year after my husband died I was learning how to deal with insurance, finances, and family issues on my own. When Covid hit, I saw the handwriting on the wall, so went on a low carb diet, took up exercising, and started writing funny things about old age for two newspapers. My church had zoom services and classes and I took a writing class on line, so I did fine. For some reason, this fourth year I have missed my husband more than ever before. Sixty years of memories bring tears now. He was very introverted and had an office at home the last ten years, so he was always here. And I took care of him the last few years when he was fighting cancer. I still think of something funny or have a question and start to go to the room that was his office. When I drive anywhere in our town, I see the buildings he designed. I keep thinking this too will pass. Helping friends who can’t drive and visiting ones now in nursing homes helps. Frankly, I didn’t expect to live to eighty-five and now though I have arthritis, I seem to be healthier than I was in middle-age! Thanks be for Google, because writing gives me a purpose, but I can’t spell anymore and when I’m searching for just the right word, I can think of a synonym and find it on line. The erratic memory makes writing a slow process, but at least a reason for getting up. Sorry, didn’t mean to do a pity party. I love your photos and hearing about your life. Jealous a bit about Switzerland. I only visited Lucerne, but it seems like such a calm sensible country on top of being so beautiful.

    • Bless you, Eileen – you are a blessing to others in so many ways. I think nurturing people are hardest hit when they have to be alone, with nobody to care for. I believe you are right in thinking this too will pass, but it does take patience.

      • Ours got called that because after we rescued her from under the house, we took her to be de-sexed to the vet and he asked her name…and the only thing we could think of was “Mimi” after the call she makes when you pick her up…: “mimi..mimi…mimi”..

  4. It has been an eventful September. I have been glued to the TV for the Royal Funeral and alternating between hospital visits, friend’s 80th birthday celebrations and my caring duties. I allow myself afternoons off then promptly fall asleep if I m not playing Bridge. Darker nights, cooler weather and mention of Christmas are not exactly enthusing me to venture far. My 99 year old Aunt, due to be 100 at Christmas is I’m afraid at death’s door. We were looking forward to her card from the Queen but is unlikely she will not have one from the new King either! She will be the last of her generation to survive.
    So pleased for your weigh loss, keep it up, you’ll be a Slimbo in no time 😁⌚🙏💯

    • Sorry about your aunt, Marie – I hope she can hang on, and if a notification was sent to the Palace, she should get a card of some kind. I can’t remember the exact procedure but I know I had to confirm that the birthday girl was still alive about a week before the day. Glad you sound chipper, anyway!

  5. A sweet Mimi. Yes, with age comes health issues. I had a visit to the cardiologist who did not look the best himself. He just tapped me here and there, weighed me 72 Kilos and told me to keep walking. I suppose keep walking at least in our minds if not on feet as well. I am trying to gain weight and no matter how many creamy sponge cakes, not an ounce gain.
    Here we are waiting for warmer weather and for the rain to stop. The good thing is that I had bought 20 tulip bulbs which turned into beautiful magenta-colored tulips. 24 flowers. A pretty good return.

    • “Keep walking” sounds a bit like “Keep breathing” – just don’t stop! I wouldn’t mind weighing 72 kg … maybe by Christmas! Hurrah for the tulips!

  6. What a pretty girl Mimi is! I love cats. I stopped to chat to three on my way back from church yesterday, and all were friendly. It always feels like an honour when cats deign to notice me 🙂

    What a fabulous view you have. No wonder you miss your patio in winter.

    Well done on the weight loss!

  7. Thank you for this delightful read and the wonderful pictures. Your patio is so inviting. I know you will be missing having lunch there but I suspect winter will bring gifts for you to enjoy as well. I saw that one of your other readers has defined the difference between calicos and tortoise shells and I agree. I have had both. Your Mimi is a bit of a Diva, I think, but probably deserves to be as she is so beautiful. I love that you share her with a neighbor. Cats are such interesting creatures – truly wild at heart, I am sure. I agree that the word “calico” doesn’t really fit such beauty. However, as an adjective it can mean spotted or mottled so perhaps that is what was originally meant in terms of this beautiful cat coat. It certainly isn’t plain!

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