Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Curious Year

Is it 2014 yet?

Well the end of the year sure did creep up on Auntie.  Did it creep up on you?

Seems like one minute 2012 was rolling merrily along and the next, I was pulling streamers from the chandeliers, tossing champagne bottles into the recycle bin and tacking up my new 2013 "page a day" cat calendar.

Well, I know it's customary at this time of year to take a look back and reminisce about past posts but Auntie has a little secret to tell you... I saw a lot of strange things last year that I've been too busy to tell you about.

So in the spirit of the original Auntie Times, I've put together a few little stories to amuse you and brighten your day.

By the way, my new year's resolution for 2013 is to share more little stories with you throughout the year.  I'm sure this will last longer than my new year's diet.

Uncle Jim and I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2013 and that it looks something like this:

So put on your spectacles and let's take a look at the curious year that was 2012.

Strange Pod Takes Over the Dining Room 

When Auntie and Uncle Jim were out walking in the mountains one day, we spotted a pretty vine that had twisted its way through an old rusty fence. 

There were some interesting fat green pods hanging all over that vine so we snapped one off, tucked it in my knapsack and headed home thinking that I'd look it up on the internet to see what it was and if I could cook with it.  Food foraging is a favourite little pastime for Auntie.

Well, things didn't go quite as I'd planned.

Auntie got busy with other things that day and I forgot all about that little pod until a few days later.  By then, the pod had split to reveal pretty rows of brown seeds.  It reminded me of a milkweed pod but this was much bigger.

After Uncle Jim marvelled at it and Auntie took a few pictures, I left it on a tray in the dining room and I got busy and forgot all about it again.

Two days later, Celine came running into my office.  She said I should come quickly - there was something strange in the dining room.  

Well what a surprise!  Those brown seeds had started to creep out of the pod all on their own and each of them had a big fluffy parachute attached. 

At the rate it was puffing, we calculated that the dining room would be full of fluff by the end of the week. 

There was only one thing we could do.  Celine pulled out the vacuum and she sucked away all those seeds and fluff.  Phew.  That was close!

Come to think of it, I'd better ask Celine to go check the vacuum bag.  There's no telling what they've gotten up to in the dark.

That's the last time Auntie brings one of those home!

Meet "Happy" the Nut Cracking Dog

Do you remember Gilbert, the man who sells eggs in the market in Monaco?  Well Gilbert has a new puppy named "Happy" and he's one talented dog!

Every fall, Gilbert brings walnuts to the market to sell and it seems that his new puppy Happy likes the walnuts just as much as Auntie does.

If you give Happy a walnut, he takes it in his mouth, cracks it with his powerful jaws, spits it all out, picks out the nut to eat and leaves the shell behind.  

Hmm.  Maybe Happy can help Auntie crack all those nuts I bought from Gilbert. 

Cat Tails

Well, someone made a mistake at the cat factory when this little fella rolled down the assembly line.  

On Dasher, on Cancer...

If you drive, or walk, from France into Italy these days, the first building you'll find across the border besides the dilapidated 70's style check point building is a little gas station, café and Italian food shop all rolled into one.

Everyone who works there is always cranky and brusque with customers and lately they've been wearing brand new t-shirts with "Go Away" printed in big letters across the front.  Maybe they were a Christmas present from the owner.

But despite the bad service and crabby staff, there are always long line ups at the cigarette counter with hoards of French people buying cheap Italian ciggies for a fraction of what they cost in France.

Well, for the festive season, they put a Christmas tree out front and decorated it with empty soda cans and cigarette packages.

Well, it certainly captured the spirit of the place!

A Well Dressed Cat

If you're looking for a date Miss Kitty, Auntie knows a cat with a white coat and a nice tail....

The Happy Dancing Fund Raising Guy

On a recent trip to London, this fine fellow was in front of the big Selfridges department store asking passers by to give money to his charity.

He donned a colourful wig and did a little happy dance hoping for big donations.  Well, it worked.  Auntie emptied her wallet into his red bucket.

A Menacing Bunny

Auntie Loses her Head

Sit!  Beg!

Brother can you spare a bone?

Who Killed Auntie's Donkey?

The investigation continues in an effort to apprehend the culprit who killed Auntie's vintage yellow donkey this summer.

Prime suspects are Uncle Jim and a few of the neighbourhood cats.

A reward has been offered.