About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 27) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999


Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    Guy

    “Come on, get to sleep now, you’ve got school in the morning and it’s very late”.  Maddie is offering her usual resistance to the bed time routine.  A movement catches my eye.  I turn towards the door and there is Guy, trying to sneak in so he can sleep in the girls room.  He stands motionless,   knowing he’s been spotted but still waiting for the confrontation.  “Out!”,  I shout, pointing back towards the landing.  He miaows defiantly and stares at me, standing his ground.  “Out!!”, I repeat, and this time he turns and walks slowly back out of the room, turning his head to briefly give me that ‘look’.

    I sit to watch some TV, attempting to eat a stir fry with a tongue and lip still numb from the dentist’s anaesthetic.  Thankfully Guy isn’t in the room or he’d be trying to climb all over me for attention and I’m just not in the mood.  The football ends and I watch some news but the anaesthetic has made me sleepy so I head off for an early night.

    Now, where’s that damn cat.  He’s not in his bed.  I check the girls room and disturb Alice but he’s not in there.  I check our room, he’s not in there.  I check the sitting room windowsill to see if he managed to sneak outside and is waiting to be let in but he’s not there either.  I feel uneasy not finding him but I go to bed;  serves him right if he has to stay out all night, he shouldn’t have gone out this late.

    I wake with a start.  A bleary eye tries to focus on the clock. 12.45, who the hell is that at the door?  I decide to ignore it but as my brain slowly rises from sleep I begin to wonder if it might be Roland on his way in from the pub, knocking to let us know that Guy is outside.  I wander down the hall and peer through to spy hole.  Nobody there.  Into the sitting room to check the windowsill again, see if Guy is there.  Nothing.  I go back to bed.

    Moments later, my mobile rings.  Robin.  What does he want at this hour, come to think of it wasn’t that Robin wandering across the road back towards the pub as I looked out of the window just now?  I answer the call.  “Tony. I’m sorry mate, I think I’ve got some bad news… ”   I dress quickly.

    Walking slowly towards the three figures standing over the dark shape lying in the gutter I pray it isn’t Guy, that he will come bounding over to me any moment.  As I get closer, the reality sinks in, with each step I can see more clearly.  My heart lets go of hope and crashes to the ground.

    Rest in peace, Guy.  You were truly special.

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    6 comments to Guy

    • Andrew Bolton

      This is a tragedy and my heart goes out for your loss. Would it not have been better to keep the cat indoors? I know where you live and I personally would NEVER let my cat out in that area. The traffic and the cat do not mix.

    • It’s always a dilema. If they’ve been raised inside from birth and they don’t know any different then it’s OK to keep them indoors. Guy was a rescue cat who was used to going outside, I think it would have been unkind to keep him locked in.

    • Andrew Bolton

      I take your point regarding indoors/outdoors cats and thanks for responding. I am still convinced though, that knowing your location taking an outdoor cat (rescue or not) was the not the best move. Once again. My sincere sympathy for your loss. All the best.

    • Observer

      I noticed your sign in the street saying that you appear to have lost ANOTHER cat?! In the words of Oscar Wilde “To lose one cat may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness”. You may notice an obvious piece of editing there. Maybe you should consider an indoor cat only? The street you live in is not outdoor cat friendly. Quite the opposite.

    • You’ll be relieved to hear that he’s come back and is now safely locked in the house (for the time being). He managed to slip out when our 5 year old left the back door open, there wasn’t much we could have done to prevent that unless you think we should keep her locked in the house too?

      The world is a risky place, it’s a case of balancing that risk against the positive factors. I’ve had about 6 or seven cats over the years, one of which (a siamese) was happy to be kept inside. All the others instinctively wanted to go outside.

    • Observer

      Well, that is good news. I had no idea you were adhering to a policy of keeping this cat indoors? You do not actually say that here. The risk factor is only balanced in this case by where your living. I have had many more than seven cats in my lifetime and I have never allowed them out in densely saturated traffic areas. Your area falls into this criteria. No real positive factors there I fear. I cannot really comment on any policy of your child being locked in the house 😉