>First "treat"

>I slept in this morning. After yesterday’s dawn start, a late night, and a restless sleep, I slept in.

Yesterday’s meeting went on longer than expected and I also had 3 very long phone conversations too, so much of yesterday’s planned work has been shifted along. Good stuff was agreed and planned, though, and I’m looking forward to being involved with the variety of work.

Last night I discovered something a bit unusual … Domino (the cat that doesn’t live here) comes to a whistle. Just like a dog. I was whistling along to an advert on the telly when she jumped down from her settee and joined me and Holly on ours. Then later, when the same ad came on and I joined in again, she moved from the other end of the settee to my lap. So I put it to the test. When it was time for them to come in at bed time, Holly came straight away and I whistled … in the dark I heard a mew of reply before a pair of yellow eyes appeared just above the little gate.

This cat is very house trained, she likes her home comforts, she’s not fallen pregnant – yet (which suggests she may have been “done”, the amount of tom cats we have around about, but I won’t hold my breath until I know), and she comes to a whistle. All of this suggests she had a home once, and isn’t feral. Perhaps she got lost, perhaps something happened to her owner. And now I’m wondering if the occasional tom cat that also appeared at the same time as her is her “brother”. At least, I think it’s a tom cat … it hasn’t let me get that close to find out.

And so to my first “treat” since choosing to live without credit, seeing as I had to cancel my trip to the Edinburgh Book Festival.

My grocery shopping budget for July was 4 weeks @ £40 per week = £160. It’s pay day this Friday, so the August budget starts this weekend for 5 weeks. However, during July my total spend came to less than £110. That gives me just over £50 in my “slush fund” or “treats and special purchases”. I’m dead chuffed with that and I wouldn’t have managed it had I not been so disciplined or still in possession of valid “plastic”.

I’ve been talking of going to Oakwell this year, home ground of Barnsley FC (soccer club), but the first game of the season is away to Sheffield Wednesday on 8 August. Shef Wed is my “other” adopted club, it’s a local derby – so a fantastic game to go to – and it’s the first game of the season. I contacted Barnsley FC first for tickets, as that’s where I live, but they were only selling one per season ticket holder. So I went to Sheffield Wednesday – and got TWO tickets. In the Kop – that’s behind the goal. And my sister’s coming with me.

This football ground, Hillsborough, was the scene of one of the worst sporting disasters in known history, and was the reason UK football stadiums converted to all-seaters and steel fences were taken down. I’ve never been fond of Liverpool FC (more than 90 fans were killed that day, 20 years ago this year), but it will still be a poignant moment for me. And I do have a soft spot for the Owls.

The firewall at work was a bit aggressive yesterday. It seems to have calmed down again today.