Sylvia A. Winters

If a cat is thrown a lemon, he builds a log cabin and spends the summer in Canada

Pancakes are for Pancake Day!

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It absolutely astounds me that some people have the sheer cheek to continually flout the rules. However, flout they will. This continual disregard for what is right and proper will eventually result in disorder and chaos if we let it continue, and so, I implore any and every reader, to do something.

I don’t care how it’s done, but the making and eating of pancakes on a day that is not pancake day, must be stopped as soon as possible.

My own mother came to me today and seriously suggested that we make pancakes, using a packet mixture, no less! Naturally, I was horrified, and did only what a good citizen can do in these situations. I told her, her sins must be atoned for, and so I erected a stake and surrounded it with straw, tied her to it and had her burnt.

Of course, it was terrible and my heart aches greatly, but it was for her own good and for the good of my country.

For that is the way to deal with these hooligans. We can not allow our society to be overrun with such people.

Pancakes are for pancake day. That is how it has always been, and how it always should be. If not, well, I dread to think of the consequences.

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Written by Sylvia A. Winters

August 19, 2010 at 2:50 am

Pterodactyl

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As I’m writing this, the very creature of which I am about to write is perched outside my window, staring at me with large, beady eyes that whisper to me through the silence of worlds. It is he who has haunted me these long and bitter months, and has allowed me no rest.

The pterodactyl, a beast thought to be long since extinct, follows me continuously, the way a sex offender stalks vulnerable young women.

It would lick its lips if it possessed such things; instead it opens and closes its beak with a terrific clacking noise that sounds to me like the drum beat preceding a man’s death- my death. It tells me that I am not long for this world, and so I must hasten my hand.

This creature has not eaten in decades, and I, chosen soul to be damned, will break its fast.

O’ sae me, Lord! I pray- no. It is hopeless. Prayer is the last hope of the truly desperate, and although I count myself so, I will not shame myself by clinging to my father’s trouser-leg. This beast can not be of God, and so God can have no power over it.

It beats its gargantuan wings and shatters glass.

It’s in! It’s in! God have mercy upon me! I can speak no more …

Written by Sylvia A. Winters

August 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm

A Guide for Keeping Dog-Seal Hybrids

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The dog-seal hybrid is a great pet, so long as you understand its needs and are able to communicate effectively with it. Understand that your dog-seal is an individual. What I might prescribe here may not be fit for your own dog. This guide is merely an outline for new hybrid owners.

1) Bathing. Make sure they’re bathed regularly. If you do not do this they will not only stink like Mary Magdalene’s vagina, their skin will become dry and flakey and they will become despondent.

2) Feeding. Feed them only once daily. As a pup you can feed them more, but try to get this down to just one meal only by the time they are 9 months old. They love dog-food, but a bit of fish is a brilliant way to treat them. I feed my dog-seal a small amount of fish (varying between salmon, cod, and herring) once a week. More than this is too frequent and they will grow accustomed to being fed in such a manner, but less than is perfectly acceptable, although it is nice to make your pet happy on a regular basis.

3) Collars. Don’t enforce the wearing of a collar. Whilst this item is common wear for dogs, seals are not usually kept as pets, and your dog-seal may be offended by the restrictions of such a thing. There are dog-seals (I know of one) who enjoy the collaring, but most just aren’t into this kind of bondage and will strongly object if you try it. If your dog-seal doesn’t mind the collar, then you can leave it on him, but chances are that the introduction of this item as a puppy will not take. You can try, just don’t expect positive results.

4) Ice-cream. Ice-cream is not an acceptable treat. Dog-seals will always be begging you for some as you eat it, but for their own good you must ignore them. Likewise with both chocolate and chickpeas. However, yoghurt is a nice way of showing your dog-seal that you love them.

5) Cats. Most dogs hate cats, but seals rather like them. If you introduce your new dog-seal to your feline friends slowly and carefully, there should be no animosity between them. If your dog-seal is male, you will need to watch it, because they can become very aroused by cats and wont hold back their affection. I once had a dainty little moggy who died from shock shortly after a rigorous bumming from my dog-seal.

6) Mental illness. Dog-seals are at a much higher risk of mental illness than either dogs or seals. This is thought to be due to confusion over their special identity. My own dog-seal often becomes depressed, and takes no interest in either fish, yoghurt or ice-cream. Not even bathing will cheer him up. In this instance it is necessary to both A) give your dog-seal its own space and B) make sure you cater for its every need. If it peeks an interest in the slightest of activities or objects, encourage this. However, depression is not the only mental ailment that afflicts dog-seals. Both schizophrenia and kleptomania are common. Symptoms are similar to those found in humans, but you must be extra attentive in the case of your pet. Do not make the mistake of assuming that your pet is ill however, as a self-fulfilling-prophecy may occur, or a mis-diagnoses resulting in your dog-seal receiving unsuitable medication.

7) Walking. Dog-seals like their walks, but due to their short legs they can not go very far. Younger dogs may be able to manage an hour’s walk, but as they get older too much exercise will be harmful to them. I take my dog-seal out for 20-40 minutes each day, unless it is raining, in which case he will sit down and refuse to move. Dog-seals also hate the heat, or any extreme weather.

8) Staring. Do not be alarmed when you’re dog-seal stares at you for long periods of time without respite. This is normal, although it can be very frustrating and a little creepy for your guests. You may want to return this stare and show your pet just who’s boss, but although it will result in a break from the staring, this break will be brief and your dog-seal will begin again, in a matter of minutes working his way up from furtive glances to a no-pretense, wide-eyed stare.

9) Attack! Dog-seals are most usually a grumpy sort of lot, therefore it is essential to be careful about introducing them to new people. If the dog-seal growls, take it as a warning and not as an act of viciousness. Each dog-seal may have a particular type of person that it hates more than others. My own dog-seal quite likes elderly people, but despises children. Anyone that touches before asking, or ignores my warnings about my pet’s temperament (this happens more often than one might think) can be sure of a nice set of teeth-marks about their wrist.

10) Love. Despite all the incredibly annoying little traits that dog-seals possess, they will love their owner(s) unconditionally, and whilst they are a cowardly sort and can’t be relied upon to defend their owners from attack in case of mugging, rape or verbal abuse, they will help in any way they can when their owner is drowning, suffocating or has tripped over a loose wire. If your dog-seal is male and unneutered, beware. They love a good leg-humping session, and wont be inclined to stop once they get going.  This is a sign of the highest affection, but often an unwelcome one. They are the perfect pets for children (for they love their own child owners regardless of any possible hatred of other children) and the elderly, and indeed for any person.

The dog-seal, whilst being a strange and enigmatic creature, is undoubtedly the most affectionate and adoring. Perfect for all ages, sizes and sexual orientations.

Written by Sylvia A. Winters

August 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Pink Hat

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Alarm goes. Arms flailing wildly until a hand catches snooze for another ten minutes of blissful half-sleep. Alarm again. Roll out of bed, face to the floor. Hands over ears until moving is unavoidable. Alarm off but still ringing in tired ears. Crawl to the door and push it open. Slowly pulling up to stand on two feet with the aid of the banister whilst making the way to bathroom. Shower on, water rushing. Citrus-scented shower gel and apple shampoo foaming, then washing away.

Towel-dry, one wrapped around wet hair. Breakfast. Bread in the toaster. Coffee, two spoons, one sugar. No milk. Dog that, for a moment, convinces that he’s half-seal, half-hedgehog, stares up. Drop a piece of crust on the floor. Leave him dog biscuits in the bowl before you head back upstairs to get dressed.

The unmade bed, that lusty temptress, willing you to spend one more hour in her soft, warm embrace. She beckons. Pull clothes on quick to avoid further advances. Make-up. Hair-dryer, brush. Shoes, bag and lunch.

Then out the door, ready for a day of climbing frames and monkey-bars. Beneath the winter coat, the gun hidden calm against smooth lining. The kid with the pink rabbit hat and pigtails making faces. That hat is going to get it.

Written by Sylvia A. Winters

July 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Lemons

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Today I would like to talk to you all about a subject very close to my heart. Lemons. Now, most people have a negative opinion of lemons, assuming that because they are bitter they must be turned into something sweeter to be of any value. However, this is unfair to lemons, who should be appreciated for their true character. Bitterness is part of their charm, and is not necessarily a bad thing at all.

Look at House, he’s a bitter old miser but people love him for it. If he was polite and sweet we House fans would not be fans at all. House is not a lemon, but he is like a lemon, and so I feel this comparison is just. We wouldn’t want to change House, so why would we want to sweeten up a lemon?

My husband’s a lemon, and I have not tried to change him in any way (except for the misguided attempt to smarten him up for my sister’s wedding – the top hat and candy cane did not go down at all well). He is perfect as he is, knobbly, yellow and yes, bitter.

So when life gives you lemons, take them as is. Sit back and enjoy their bitter charm.

Written by Sylvia A. Winters

July 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm

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Sausage and Carrot Scones (or Skank-Scones)

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Ingredients:

(all measurements are approximations)

8 oz of self raising flour

4 oz of butter

1/2 Mattessons smoked pork sausage

1 carrot, peeled and finely grated

1/2 oz of sugar

3 oz of cheddar cheese, grated

1 pinch of chili powder (mild)

1 pinch of coriander

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of marmalade (orange or ginger) optional

Milk optional

Egg optional

 

Instructions …

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Written by Sylvia A. Winters

June 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm

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A Day in the Life of a Cat

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The cat. Perhaps the most enigmatic of domestic animals. Then again, perhaps not. Perhaps that title goes to the unassuming goldfish, who only pretends to be boring, but, while his keepers are all fast asleep, dreaming about their cats mowing the lawn, holds the most fantastic parties, parties that neither you nor I could dream of, and would put every event we’ve ever attended to shame.

But of course, I digress. We’re talking about cats and their strangely mysterious habits. I followed my cat around for the day and am here to report my findings. It wasn’t easy. Climbing over the fences and onto rooftops certainly presented a challenge, and I was unsure of what to say when my neighbour caught me crouching in her flowerbed, muttering to myself (I was actually voice-recording). My cat, the bastard, just left me hanging and after narrowly avoiding a confrontation (it always pays to be polite and confused) I spent over an hour searching for him, only to later find him curled up on my bed!

Well, I will now cease my babbling and present to you my work. I call it ‘A Day in the Life of a Cat’.

I was awoken promptly at 6am by my cat mewling outside my bedroom. Somehow the rotten creature managed to claw open the door and before I even knew it was morning I had a heavy feline clawing at my chest.

After shoving him away and getting out of bed, I showered and breakfasted, all the while with him winding in and out of my legs (although he waited impatiently outside the door as I took my morning shower). I then fed him, which was of course what he’d been wanting for the last hour at least.

Once he’d had his Whiskers (chicken supermeat), he slipped out through the cat flap without so much as a by your leave. However, I was ready for him. I followed him across the lawn and as he leaped elegantly onto the fence and disappeared over the other side I discovered the flaw in my plan. I clambered over and half fell down into the neighbouring garden. My cat was squatting in the corner of the garden, and after relieving himself he kicked a small amount of dirt over the excrement. He then padded around the place, marked his territory, glared at the small hutch of guinea pigs for a spell and then jumped up onto the far fence and onto the garage roof.

I followed with some difficulty and just as I was pulling myself onto the roof he wandered over to me and headbutted my face. I almost slipped and fell, and when I was finally up I gave him a good ticking off, but he just stared at me coolly before turning away and jumping down the opposite side of the building.

It was now quarter past 8, and the street was not empty. Mrs Ellis from number 27 was packing her children into the car to take them to school, and Katie, the youngest of the family, age 6, bent down to stroke the cat before she was bundled into her seat. I lay low on the rooftop to avoid detection. The last thing I wanted was to be seen and labelled a pervert. I was already described as ‘eccentric’ within the village, but so far nobody minded my (according to them) odd ways because I regularly contributed to village fetes. My yearly potato salad was rather famous.

I watched my cat with a keen eye, noting the way he shied from the yapping terrier that growled at him from behind the front gate of number 21 and the stand-off between him and the large tabby that regularly picked on him. He was the first to move away, and he stayed cowering in the bushes at the far side of the road until the tabby moved on to taunt the terrier.

Mrs Ellis was gone now, as were the other inhabitants that held regular 9-5 jobs. I lowered myself down from the garage roof and felt an enormous sense of relief at being on the ground again. My cat, however, was not as pleased. He gave me an angry glance before disappearing under another fence. This time it was Mr Humphrey’s garden. Mr Humphrey did not like cats. He didn’t much care for people, come to that, and he certainly did not care for people who had cats. I was unsure how I should proceed, but remembered that today was a Wednesday, and that Mr Humphrey would have left the house at 7am in order to breakfast with Ms Little from the neighbouring village. I did not have to climb over the fence, but instead simply unlatched it and walked calmly into the neat, square space where Mr Humphrey kept his rose garden.

I spotted my cat almost immediately. He was clawing at the wooden fencing, sharpening his claws. I gave him a little wave and sat down on the bench to survey him. He spent the next hour of his day sunbathing, and only moved when a sparrow landed atop the wheelbarrow. He slowly got up, tail swishing, and crept over to the little bird, keeping low to the ground. He did not pounce, but watched quietly until he thought the moment was right. Happily for the sparrow and disappointingly for the cat, the bird flew away before that moment could arrive.

Now in a bad mood, he slunk off the way he’d come into the garden and I followed him closely up the road and back into my own house where he curled up onto the sofa and remained there until just after noon.

After recovering from my hard morning of stalking with a cup of tea and a cheese roll I began to note the manner in which the cat slept. His ears twitched from time to time but other than that he was very still, that was until I poked him in the neck with a pencil, at which juncture he opened one eye and seemed to consider biting me before he rose, stretched, and jumped off the sofa.

Now, after I followed him outside he entered the street once more. He then proceeded to sit in the unused driveway and lick himself in a clean but undignified manner. I watched this, and observed the way he washed behind his ears with his paws. Clearly his mother had taught him well.

He marked his territory just at the edge of the drive, and then crept through the bars of Mr and Mrs Havisham’s (their names a long-standing joke in the village) gate. Now, I knew that Mrs Havisham had no job, instead preferring to keep the house, but on a Wednesday afternoon she would almost always go into the nearest town and do the weekly food shop. This is where I got into some bother.

My cat had just squeezed through a gap where the wood panelling of the fence bordering their back garden and their neighbour’s had cracked, and I was crouching down, examining the crack and wondering how to follow him since the hole was far too small for me.

“What are you doing?” I heard Mrs Havisham shout from the kitchen window, accompanied by the sharp rap of her knuckles on the glass. I knew it was Mrs Havisham without looking because of her unusually shrill voice. Even without that particular aid I would have known because it was, after all, her house, and her husband worked weekdays, her two children were at school and her mother had died last month.

I turned and put on my best apologetic expression. As she came out of the house I didn’t hesitate to apologise profusely and I explained to her that my rabbit, Flopsy, had escaped and I was looking for her. “I saw her disappear through your fence,” I lied. I knew Mrs Havisham had a great affinity with rabbits, and her last had been mauled by a fox. As I knew she would, she empathised with my plight and let me go, informing me that she would keep an eye out for dear old Flopsy.

After searching for my ungrateful feline for the next hour or so I decided to give up the search. It was impossible to tail a cat for very long. I’m sure there are exceptions, for example if your cat is very fat and hates the outdoors.

In conclusion, I found that no matter how closely you stick to them, cats will always give you the slip, therefore it is impossible to know everything about the bastards and we can only assume and imagine what they must get up to when we’re not around.

Written by Sylvia A. Winters

June 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm

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