This time last year… the Cat Returns

Not that he really went away I suppose. After digging him out from behind the kitchen units shortly after we arrived we blocked it up. He then went to hide under the bed and wouldn’t come out. So we just left him there with his litter, water and food. We had put him through a lot after all with weeks of boxes and finally stuffing him in his carry crate and traipsing him nearly 1000 kilometres on the back seat of the car. I figure Wallace had good reason to hide.

There had been a Wallace and Gromit when, back in 2007, I gave Delia a birthday present of two kittens, but Gromit, always the bolder of the two, was sadly run over shortly after we started letting them out. 

We’d go to bed with Wallace still hiding until shortly before Christmas he had established a habit of greeting us as we went to bed and sleeping at our feet. But as he gained confidence and explored he insisted on being able to get out of the bedroom at night (we weren’t letting him into the outside world since we figured we’d be moving soon). This culminated in being woken one night around 4am as he chased a mouse around the bedroom. He finally chased it downstairs and I was sent to deal with it. By that time it (the mouse) was quite slow but still difficult for me to catch. I must admit I ended up playing whack-a-mouse with a shoe. The next day I was at the local hardware store buying humane mouse traps – we caught a further four mice but set them free (probably to be eaten by owls), Wallace’s only amusement in this was to show an avid interest in certain locations guiding us as to where to set the traps.

Éclairs Chocolat
By popular request something about food… I am not sure if this will be what was expected but you can always comment…

eclairs  - OTT?Anyway, part of our mission in France was to check out the pâtisseries. Difficult, but we considered it our duty to accept. We chose to specialise in éclairs – specifically chocolate. There is some variety in size shape and taste, and OTT decoration (see left) the best was from a pâtisserie in the Charente-Maritime at St Ciers du Taillon. The house we saw there was disappointing, a lovely location and climate but randomly renovated and over-priced. I can’t quite describe why these éclairs were the best – a combination of the perfect slight crunch of the outer layer of the choux pastry with the inside being soft but not soggy, the soft and shiny chocolate icing and the sweet creamy filling – chocolate with a very slight coffee taste. Our local pâtissier makes his own but they are irregular in shape and the icing is too firm. Our local supermarket is very close to perfect and we keep trying them to make sure there is no variation.

We considered trying some in Australia but having a choice of custard and cream or just cream filling was not very  inviting.

Now… Home from Australia from 40 degrees to -2 degrees but with a glorious blue sky. When we collected Wallace from the cattery he seemed pleased to see us. We try to keep him at night but with a new puppy it had been difficult before we went away – now though we keep him upstairs rather than the kitchen with the dog and he has been very attentive and seems to be back sleeping at the foot of the bed. Love? Probably more to do with the temperature.

 

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