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intertext: (moominpapa)
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 02:55 pm
Last night I returned home from a five-day stint in Toronto, specifically at York University, more specifically the Biennial Congress of the IRSCL (International Research Society for Children's Literature), at which I was presenting a paper on intertextuality in Diana Wynne Jones's Hexwood. One of the nice things was that [personal profile] steepholm was there, and I was able to see her presentation on adaptations of The Borrowers and also spend more time just chatting with her than I've had a chance to do before.

She has written very amusingly about a rather disastrous afternoon we spent in downtown Toronto. It was kind of like this:
Me: "I lost my phone this afternoon."
You: "Oh dear, how did that happen?"
Me: "Well, it was a little damp after I fell in a fountain, so I put it down beside me on a bench where I was sitting, forgot it was there when I walked away, and someone stole it."
You: "You fell in a fountain??"
Me: "Yes, that was when [personal profile] steepholm and I were nearly hit by a speeding motorcycle. When I jumped out of the way I slipped and fell in backwards."
It was, in hindsight, rather funny, especially when miraculously no one was hurt. Losing my phone that way is a whole lot more dramatic than dropping it in a toilet, which I've also done.

The conference was great. I met a lot of people, including a lovely young woman studying at Valencia University who is also doing work on intertextuality - we admired each other's work and the possibility of collaborating on an article was discussed, so that was cool. I rubbed shoulders with a lot of very Big Names, all of whom were very nice.

One of the highlights for me, as it was for [personal profile] steepholm, was Robin Bernstein's talk on bedtime books, featuring Goodnight Moon and Go the Fuck to Sleep and brilliantly deconstructing an argument by Jaqueline Rose. One panel on dystopias in YA fiction featured some discussion on heterotopias which looked at them differently than I did (I theorize an intertextually rich text as a kind of heterotopia for the reader), but intersected in interesting ways. Two of Steepholm's Japanese friends spoke very interestingly about the Green Knowe books, which were among my mother's favourites. I am inspired to re-read them. Yesterday I went to a panel that focussed on sexuality in YA novels, which was shocking in the fact that there are - count them - more than 50 recent YA novels depicting date rape, which raised the question of their purpose, their audience and the awful truth that so many teens and young women have experienced this. Also how few books were actually "sex positive" and what that meant.

My trip home was a lot less eventful than [personal profile] steepholm's, but still delayed by more than two hours, which meant that I was up until 4:30 am Toronto time, arriving home at 1:30 am in Victoria. Today I am feeling very tired and have to go out to replace my phone and also get some food in the house.

Sadly, two days before I left, one of my cats, Simon, disappeared, and he still has not come home. This is very worrying and upsetting, although I'm doing my best to hope that he may yet return. He's not normally a wanderer, though, and the longer he's gone the harder it is to keep the faith. My other cat, Tabitha, was left at home alone while I was away, and I think she missed both Simon and Baggins (who went into kennels). Certainly she greeted me ecstatically when I came home last night, which lessened the feeling of emptiness without either Baggins or Simon. Keep your fingers crossed for Simon.
intertext: (flying kitten)
Saturday, July 16th, 2011 10:55 am
Simon really is the most endearing little soul. He has the kind of solemn, wide-eyed goofiness that reminds me sharply of some of the cat-characters in Doreen Tovey's series of books about Siamese cats (have any of you read these, by the way? They're lovely). I keep taking photographs of him sleeping, because I am constantly finding him in the most abandoned sleep positions - on his back or lying across my legs with his head lolling downwards.

Sleeping Kitty

Tabitha seems to be coming round to him, despite herself. Mornings and evenings are now punctuated by cat races around the house (yesterday, I had to move a bewildered Robinson from the place in the hallway where he was being trampled by two sets of thundering paws). Yesterday, I actually spotted the two cats wrestling, and howled with laughter when Simon launched himself from a chair onto Tabitha's back, actually escaping without a pounding. Tabitha is very vocal, and given to screeching as if being murdered when she's only playing. I am getting used to this, too. Tabitha still thumps Simon regularly, but it is with claws sheathed and seems entirely in a not-very-successful effort to put him in his place.

My only concern is that Tabitha may be feeling a bit displaced in my affections. I try to give her lots of love, but she's staying a bit aloof. Also, Simon is extremely affectionate and likes nothing better than to snuggle - it's hard when Tabitha comes chirruping up for a cuddle and Simon is already there. I think I may leave Simon shut in the study with his breakfast in the early morning, because both Tabitha and I are missing our morning ritual of purrs over the laptop and her finishing off my cereal bowl. Simon will be annoyed, but I think Tabitha's needs come first.

However, all in all I'm delighted with this new member of my family, and so thankful that I happened to be in the right place at the right time to find him.

By the way, I think he's twice the size now that he was when I first got him, and he has big paws. And he eats like a horse. I suspect he's going to be large.
intertext: (flying kitten)
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 02:54 pm
The further adventures of Simon.

He is settling in very well. He likes me a lot, and he tolerates Robinson, and he adores Tabitha. He says that when he grown up he wants to have green eyes and stripes, just like hers. Tabitha is not so sure about him, even though she has allowed him to touch noses. Mostly she thumps him when he gets too close (but with claws sheathed). Her nose is a bit out-of-joint, especially as he has a habit of rushing in just when she wants to come on my lap for a cuddle, and he's figured out how to jump up to her feeding bowl. Tabitha and I have a long-time ritual that she comes on my bed after she's had her breakfast and while I'm reading LJ and checking my email. It's hard to be peaceful when there's a kitten mewing piteously and waving his paw under the door, but it's either that or Simon zooms in and jumps on my chest purring madly and Tabitha goes off in a huff. On Sunday morning, though, I had one of them on each side of me, which was lovely.

Extreme cuteness under the cut )
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intertext: (flying kitten)
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 10:23 am
Hello, Kitty!Please welcome the latest addition to my household: Simon the Siamese.

It was one of those nice little serendipitous things; I've been thinking for a while about getting a second cat to be company for Tabitha, especially as I'm facing the loss of Robinson in the not-too-distant future. Having a young thing around might help both of us weather that. And then, yesterday, I happened to be doing routine errands in the Pet food emporium, and there he was! My pet shop does a satellite service for the local SPCA, and I usually go by and say hello to the cats in their cages. Yesterday morning, I noticed a siamese kitten looking out at me, and when I went to talk to him he came right up to the bars of the cage and nudged my hand, then stared at me fixedly, and my heart was lost. My friend kp, the cat expert, had recommended that if I got another cat it should be male and preferably a kitten, and I love siamese cats, so this was a match made in heaven. I wasn't sure they'd let me adopt a kitten, given that I have a dog and another cat, but perhaps it's the time of year when they're over-run. In any case, I got the approval within minutes, and very soon after Simon was ensconced in my bedroom at home.

He has not yet met Tabitha face-to-face, but they have sniffed each other under doorways. I'm letting him have the run of the house when Tabitha is out, and then giving Tabitha lots of love while he's shut away. Robinson is pretty much oblivious. Yesterday, Simon hissed and arched his back at R, but this morning he (Simon) came and hung out on my lap while R was lying at my feet, so I suspect all will be well fairly soon. I'm hoping that later today I can have both cats free in the house. There's something of the quality of a bedroom farce in whipping one out of the way when the other comes to the door!

Simon seems to have a very strong personality and has taken the new surroundings very much in stride. He likes to sit on my shoulders, which is fine for now, though may not be optimum when he gets bigger :)