By Alison October 7, 2014 8 Comments 2 Min Read

October is doing exactly what it is supposed to, though frankly it never ceases to amaze me how well behaved the seasons are. How certain it is that Autumn will arrive and lay a carpet of of orange and evergreen down my lane. How my drives to and fro school will be cheered by pheasants strutting across the road. How the house will suddenly feel like the haven it never is in the temperate days of Summer.
Alice has been spotted. She is lost in the undergrowth behind the Scout Hut at the back of my house, and makes regular forays to shelter in the outhouse in my neighbours garden. Though it seems as though every neighbour and every little crowd gathered to watch the kitten in the red bow tie bouncing around the long grass apparently joyously, has seen her, I have yet to set eyes on her, and she is taking on a mythical quality in my mind. There but not there. The Scarlet Pimpernel of cats. Too many hours lost to calling her name and wondering if she is only feet away, sniggering at my rather desperate antics. Frightened of losing something else.
Last night I took Finley for his very first bag of fish and chips in a chippy that now has the glory that is gluten-free Mondays. We drove to Formby, queued for an age (Finn was nearly delirious with excitement and had the whole chippy in fits while he worried out loud about whether the chips were likely to kill him!) and then drove to the beach, where we ate the chips straight from the paper watching the ships come in to port before taking Alfie for a walk on the blowy, dusky beach. The sky orange and cold. The boats and their little tugs, black.
My phone had died. I had no means of taking pictures. Could not record Alfie’s fear of the iron men stood staring out to sea. Couldn’t video Finley writing his name large in the sand, or the bliss on his face when he first tasted an onion ring drenched in salt and vinegar. I was just there. In the moment. Laughing. And running. And enjoying my Finley, for he is growing up so fast and in his eleven years all too often I have watched him with a bloggers eye…  looking for the story-worthy. The most handsome pose. The funniest phrase. And now I want to devour what is left of babyhood. Experience it. Drown in him, while he is still willing to hold my hand in public.
There are memories to be made.  And decisions. About his future. And mine. But it is October. So there is time to dwell on new thoughts and mad ideas, while we wander down the lane, leaf-kicking and squirrel-spotting. Deciding what school Finn should attend in twelve months and what Mummy should do with the rest of her life. Is this a life? I don’t know.
The leaves are falling. And the times they are a-changing. 


  1. Dawn Gilmore says:

    I’m so glad Alice is alive and well. Curious that she is so close to home but won’t come home. Do you think it’s because of Alfie?

  2. Gill says:

    So glad she is around and safe.

  3. Gena says:

    Naughty little Alice! we had two cats many years ago and then got a delightful little Bichon pup,they went in the huff for months! Hope you are ok Alison,there is a sense of sadness about your posts just now xx

  4. Alison says:

    What a relief that little Alice is alive and well. Perhaps you could get a friend or neighbour to catch Alice for you if she associates you with the puppy and take it from there. Best of luck. Alison

  5. Wilhelmina says:

    So glad that Alice is around, albeit in stealth mode. It’s encouraging she is so close, discouraging she is so far. I think that Alfie crimped her style. Give it time, wait for it to turn colder, she is nearby and knows she is wanted.
    I cheer for the gluten free Fish & Chips. My daughter has anaphylactic allergies, so food can be a killer, and it’s such a happy occasion when you can eat something perfectly ordinary to other people but extraordinary for you.
    You do sound a little low; you are doing a great job and are much beloved.

  6. Deborah Newbound says:

    I’m pleased to hear that Alice is still around. She will turn up again when she’s ready. We had one who did something very similar to this and was wooed back with plates of sardines brought progressively closer to the house each night. You will get through this – all of it – and life will brighten again. Take care. x

  7. Sasha says:

    My baby has turned 18 and I am going through a grieving process of sorts I fear…..for all of a sudden everything is responded to with ‘I am an adult’ as if she is cutting my apron strings from her by force….. relish every single moment you can with your baby!
    And on a much lighter – though none the less benchmarking note for us Gluten intolerents – please tell me where there is a Gluten free chip shop in Formby???!!! Though I live in Hertfordshire, we have recently been ‘re-united’ with family in Crosby and were within a sniff of Formby the other week! And on a Monday too! As I hope we will be paying many more visits to the area, this would be a treat for me as I haven’t eaten proper fish and chips for years and years! And can Finley eat vinegar? I am always worried about malt vinegar…
    This was written beautifully Alison and I hope my deviation hasn’t bothered you – it’s just a coincidence I cannot ignore in my excitement!

  8. Lynn Dirk says:

    I love the way you write, Alison. I’ve missed out on your blog for a few years. Going through my own life trials. But I have recently added you to my feedly, and realized how much I missed reading your blog, consistently. Cant believe how old Finn is getting. But I have a great feeling he will always love being close to you. Alice, not so much as that is the nature of cats. I do agree with the food enticing method though – for cats and boys 😉 Hugs to you from North Dakota, USA.

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