Category Archives: Crumble

Mellow Yellow


Thank you all for your fantastic response to last week’s post. Views rocketed into three figures. Yes! And it was all down to you! I am, however, a little worried about how to follow such success. So I thought I’d talk about the colour yellow today.

Yellow. I miss it. This grey-pearl-sky business is all very well, but we still need a jab of buttery loveliness every now and again. Here are some yellow things to tide us over.

 My fried egg necklace, as previously mentioned on this blog. I would have salted, peppered and eaten it long ago were it not for the rhinestones, which tend to stick in the teeth. It bamboozles people who are loath to ask: “Is that a fried egg?”

In case I am offended and reply along the lines of: “Why on EARTH would I wear a fried egg as a necklace?”


  The only two yellow books that I have produced to date. Scarlet Silver: The Impossible Island is about a pirate with excellent hair and an even better wardrobe than mine, while Naughty Fairies: Sweet Cheat is about fairies and toffee, roughly in that order.

I haven’t included The Lemony Adventures of Mr Lemon here because I haven’t written it and, sadly for all concerned, probably never will. I can hear you all weeping through the screen.


My yellow shoes. Even evil cat dictator Crumble has fallen for their lemon-curdy loveliness. Look at the state of her. DRUNK, I tell you. She’s a disgrace to cats the world over.


And finally the sun. Aaah. Remember the sun? It used to be so cute! And then it turned into a teenager and has been sulking for months in its big cloud room covered in posters of rock bands called things like Arctic Death Winter, refusing to join in any family occasions and hardly ever washing its armpits.

Which makes me a bit annoyed.


The Ribbons of Wrongness


Vengeance is mine.

These imbeciles in their jubilee red, white and blue. Pageants, fireworks, madness. Literally. Madness. And all this for a lady who keeps dogs. Have I taught them nothing? Yet still they fawn and celebrate, dance and daub their faces like fools. They tie ribbons around my neck.


They are but kibbles in my jaws. I shall chew them like mouse toffee. Suck the marrow from their bones like salmon gobstoppers.

I shall arise and go now, to claw their favoured standard lamp, to shake my tail and drop tapeworms upon their draining board. Defecate upon their shingle driveway. I shall laugh in the face of their dismay.

The ribbons lie eviscerated beneath the kitchen table. Oh, for the chance to erase the memory of my humiliation with equal savagery.

Let us speak no more of this.

Hot Smokin’ Rubber


Crumble’s life is very simple. She sleeps, she eats, she scratches anyone idiotic enough to stroke her in That Certain Way (this has never accurately been gauged), she sleeps again. Most of the above is done in a manner best described as baleful.

Now picture Crumble, her malevolence towards humankind miraculously suspended. This evening she has found a rubber band, and hell of a different kind has broken loose.

KILL. KILL the rubber band. MASSACRE the rubber band. The rubber band is MY ENEMY and I shall MURDER—crikey, my bum stinks. I must stop a while and give it a seeing-to. My tongue is somewhat prickly tonight. Now. Where was I. AHA! That EVIL RUBBER BAND has returned to TAUNT me. Resist! Resist! Whoo, that was one hot funky salsa move, back legs going like Ola Jordan on a good day, the rubber band is DYING, it cannot possibly survive the onslaught! I have conquered! *evil cat laugh*

I shall now stare timelessly into space. The rubber band will assume that I have forgotten it. How wrong it is. How very– Any food in this place? What kind of a hotel is this anyway? What are you staring at? My life is littered with the carcasses of fools.

Name change


I changed my bedroom layout a great deal when I was young. My room wasn’t very big – 10ft square at most – but I tried every possible angle with varying success. Bed by left wall, check. Bed by back wall, check. Bed by window, head to window, toes to window, head to bookshelves, plumb in the middle of the room: check. The only one I didn’t manage was diagonal, for the simple and rather irritating reason that the head of my bed wasn’t diamond-shaped. This may have been a reaction to not being able to change dormitory layouts in term-time, or simply because I was bored.

I have changed the name of my blog for similar reasons. Today’s inspiration lies with a fantastic book called BREWER’S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE, first published by Dr Brewer in 1870 and containing such linguistic gems as:

Before the cat can lick its ear. Never. No cat can lick its ear. (It licks its paw and uses that to wash its ear.) See also NEVER.

Pictures and tales of Crumblechops will still doubtless feature along the way, provided she doesn’t eat any long-tailed tits anytime soon.

So. Off I go to do a thousand press-ups before the cat can lick its ear.

[Heads for the kettle and the biscuit tin]

‎To glamorous Fluffy,…


To glamorous Fluffy, my beautiful long-haired Persian cat, Fluffy who came to us as a half-grown kitten, just fur and bone, so near starvation I feared the kitten would drop dead before managing to consume that first bowl of milk I proffered. Fluffy of the big green wondering eyes and enormous ruff and short white gloves and high white boots, with a snow white waistcoat and an enormous burst of frosty white fur at the throat, the whole effect made more formal by a satiny black coat and big sweeping plumelike black tail, Fluffy the ‘sleeping beauty’ who loves to dream the days away and play madly at night, affectionate Fluffy of the high sweet treble meow and soft gentle purr, to Fluffy who – for all that obviously aristocratic lineage – was set on a path of despair when first we met and who has won through to the lordly position of premier pet in our household, to Fluffy so obviously suited for a wandering life of ‘castle to castle’, this book is affectionately dedicated. (LISBON by Valerie Sherwood)

I think this lady writer loves her cat quite a lot. I haven’t dedicated a book to Crumblechops yet. How would it go, I wonder?

To hairy Crumblechops, my bad-tempered short-coated indeterminate tabby, Crumblechops who came to us in a cardboard box as a kitten, so completely adorable that I practically had her on toast, Crumblechops of the greenish narrowed eyes and tiny feet and short white socks and explosive tail, with a snow white apron and extremely soft ears, the whole effect made more exquisite by her permanent state of near-wild usage of teeth, Crumblechops the lazy hairball who loves to sleep the days away and the nights as well, preferably on the radiator, unfriendly Crumblechops of the high and demanding soprano meow and Harley Davidson motorbike purr, to Crumblechops who – for all that she’s clearly come from the gutter – was set on a path of perfect happiness until we came along and who has won through to the queenly position of only pet in our household apart from the spiders in the bathroom, to Crumblechops, so obviously suited for a life of permanent snoozing, this blog post is dedicated. Just please don’t claw my head tonight.

It doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Before I begin


If this blog is to be named after her, I feel I should introduce Crumble before I do anything else. Crumble, or Crumblechops as she is known when I am feeling affectionate, is my cat. She is known by different names when I am feeling less keen, such as when she hides in the folds of my children’s duvets so I can’t find her at night and shut her in the kitchen, or when she eats blue tits.

She is an inscrutable cat, as cats so often are. ‘Inscrutable’ is a fine word. If you don’t know what it means, picture a cat. Here’s one I made earlier.

Image            Image            Image

Crumble in a good mood.     Crumble in a bad mood.         Crumble in a filthy mood.

So now you know who she is, I’ll introduce myself as well. I’m the one who feeds her, persists in stroking her even when she’s in the filthy mood pictured above with such clarity, and regularly defends her from threats of cat eviction, scientific experiments and drowning in Frensham Great Pond from certain other members of my family who don’t appreciate being jumped on with claws on full or having to wipe cat sick from the window sills in the morning.

I’m also a writer. Of children’s books. Which often, but not always, feature cats.

Just so you know.