Waiting for me in the Summerhouse today was a queen wasp, crawling about the floor as wasps sometimes do. Those who know of my mortal fear of these vile creatures will understand how I reacted to such a terrifying sight.
I have both doors wide open, you see, letting in all that wonderful fresh air as I type away. Let’s be clear about one thing, however: I did not put a sign up saying ‘Wasps Welcome’.
We Brits do love to complain about our weather, but I don’t think many of us are complaining now, basking as we are in glorious spring days filled with golden sunshine and warmth. Think of all that Vitamin D coursing through our bones!
So warm, that even the cows in the fields are sunbathing ~
Trying to forget about my earlier wasp horror, I think of a time when we took the kids to Lanzarote for a week one April a few years ago. Fed up with the incessant cold and drab dreariness of the previous two summers, we took ‘good’ advice from the travel agent and her sure-fire ‘guarantee’ of plenty of sunshine.
After all, “They only get a few inches of rainfall a year,” she said, winking (I’m sure of it).
Only a few inches, yes, but they fell during the very week of our holiday. Meanwhile, back in the UK, during a month that can still have frost and yes, even snow, they had a heat wave.
So there we sat, one Happy Hour, the kids with their ice creams and us with our cocktails, watching the downpour fall from the black sky, as we took refuge beneath the beach umbrellas.
Still, it wasn’t long before we were laughing along with the other holidaymakers, incredulous as we read texts from our loved ones back home reminding us: “It’s hotter than Greece here, hope you’re having a lovely holiday!”
Thank goodness for the feral cat who befriended my daughter. She named him ‘Caramello’ and enjoyed sneaking pieces of ham to him, despite the many signs around the complex telling us not to do so. No wonder he stuck around.
Feral cats have made their presence known whenever we’ve travelled abroad it seems; some of you may remember my post Cats of Croatia. These savvy cats know how to get food and how to survive but sadly, they are often not looked after by anyone and are in very poor health. And of course, they go on breeding.
So it’s always a relief to find a cat, any cat, who has managed to purr its way into some kind person’s heart. Such as this beautiful little kitty we came across during our holiday in Crete in 2008: he took up a certain chair outside a cafe that we visited most mornings for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice before taking off for the day.
Adopted by the cafe owner’s wife, this adorable kitty was certainly very happy indeed ~
You can see how comfortable he was (or she, I can’t remember!) snoozing away on that same chair ~
One of the many things I love about Crete is that you can hire a car quite cheaply and take off exploring all those side roads (although it helps if you are prepared for some off-roading since some of those
roads dirt-tracks are more than a little dodgy to navigate).
Then, just when you think there is nothing at the end of it, you are rewarded with this ~
A tiny village filled with a handful of homes, tavernas serving traditional Cretan food and a tucked-away cove filled with golden sand where children can safely play, there is also a family of sea-kittens, as my daughter named them.
As we whiled away the evening in one of these tavernas, eating the most delicious Cretan food while admiring this very view, some naughty but oh-so-cute kittens and their mother paid us a visit.
Sadly, although Mummy looked in pretty good shape (and reminded us of our Maisy), she had a sore eye which concerned me ~
She didn’t let her babies wander too far as they explored their beach playground which also doubled up as home:
My daughter spent the entire evening delighting in watching this sweet cat family at play. Sometimes the mother approached diners sitting at their tables, begging for food. Most often she was given nibbles to eat, but some diners were not too happy and shooed her away.
Although it is lovely to watch these adorable kitties, I do worry for them and their future, left as they are to their own devices. Thank goodness for kindly business owners who give them some measure of care and attention.
As for Maisy and Eddie, spoiled as ever, they are oblivious to the hard scrabble life of their foreign, feral cousins.
Maybe I should give them a job. Wasp duty in the Summerhouse would be a good place to start. Maybe.
This post is linked to Michelle’s Weekly Pet Share.
For photos of more gorgeous pets and animals, click on the link below to check out Michelle’s beautiful compilation posted every Tuesday.
Have a great weekend everyone!