For a while now I’ve been describing my home as a “cluttered, circular flat”, and the reason I don’t post more photos of things I make as they appear around my home is simply because it’s such a mess. My name is Debbie, and I am untidy.

Sadly there is only so much space in the drawers of the ‘spare room’. The ‘junk drawer’ is overflowing and the ‘drums cupboard’ is full of recycling. Thankfully the drums have gone to live somewhere else out of fear for their own safety. The extra table is in the garage and clean clothes are piled so high on the spare bed that if a friend ever wants to stay they will have to sleep amongst them like some kind of hibernating bed monster. I feel certain Wall-E will soon move in to my flat and start transforming the heaped piles of my possessions into neat sky-scraper-esque cubes.

A huge part of this problem lies in the fact that I hate chores. I am lazy and easily distracted. I would rather do some sketching, watch a film, surf the net or read a book than fold clothes or sort out paperwork. But a second problem exists: I have too much stuff. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K Dick coined the word ‘kibble’ to describe those useless items that build up and multiply, like today’s newspaper that becomes worthless tomorrow. That’s true of so much stuff; the online purchase that you maybe didn’t need but really definitely wanted arrives with its pals Packaging and Invoice which never quite make it to the land of Recycling but do love to hang out in Pile with all the other undesirables.

So I am tackling this mess by sorting and selling. If I’m going to keep it, I need to be able to use it, and if I’m not going to use it, why keep it? Some things are only good enough for the charity shop or even the bin, but quite a few of my unwanted bits and bobs will be going up on everyone’s favourite online auction site. For now this only includes some phrasebooks left over from my previous life in publishing, but fingers crossed that hopefully I’ll be selling off all the catalogue clothing purchased over the years and never returned out of sheer laziness, unwanted gifts that I felt too rude to get rid of, some of the Jane Street lane sale £1 ‘box of crap’, and who knows what else once I get into the swing of this.

I am determined to see my surfaces again. I will wear clothes from my wardrobe, and not from ‘the pile’. I do not need more than one copy of the same book. I cannot afford a robotic junk-sorter. Plus, as they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Here’s hoping there are some treasure-hunters out there.

one mans junk is another mans treasure

>>> This is post 16 of the 31 I’ll be writing for Blogtoberfest 2012 <<<


If ever a single book declared that print publishing is alive and thriving, Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories is that book.

Building Stories Chris Ware

In this case however, ‘book’ is something of a misnomer. The tale of Building Stories is told in 14 different items – bound books, pamphlets, comics, a map board and a tabloid. This assortment of different formats is for me a huge part of the appeal and source of my excitement towards this book. Each element is so beautifully designed and each tell a separate story, that, like stories of a building, fit together to create the wider picture. The reader chooses where to start the story and in what order it progresses.

These different items are packaged together in one large beautiful box, with a strokeable matt finish and a fit so perfect that as you wiggle and slide the top off the bottom it makes that schllluuuup sound you hear when unpacking new board games. It’s roughly 30cm x 42cm, but to really get an idea of the size, here it is alongside some everyday objects. Measurements are one thing, but the universally recognised Cocktail Umbrella Scale is unbeatable.

Building Stories box scaled with everyday objects

The elements of Building Stories combine to describe the residents of a Chicago building, focussing on the life of an unnamed female protagonist, and eventually her husband Phil and daughter Lucy. With the exception of a male bee named Branford, the tale is told through the eyes of women, and from my first excited skim it seems to be fairly bleak. The first spread inside a coverless book reads “I just want to fall asleep / And never wake up again”. In this sense, and in the drawing style too, Ware really reminds me of Daniel Clowse, whose graphic novel Deathray is one of my favourite things ever, and is in fact the reason my lovely boyfriend James decided to buy me this book out of the blue.

So far, the details of Building Stories are what I love. The tiny drawings hidden on the side of the box, the inclusion of bees in the background of some panels, whole spreads without words at all, or simple sound effects. iPhone messaging accurately rendered, the glow of an iPad in a dark room, the awkward nakedness of interrupted sex. But this book is not only a visual feast, but a fantastic character study. Some of the stories I’ve read so far are heartbreaking accounts of unhealthy relationships, that jump seamlessly forward and back in time to paint a vivid picture of how people change and impact others’ lives.

I love holding Building Stories in my hands, feeling the heft of the box, flicking through the pages, picking up and sorting through the different items. I am so excited by the beauty of the book itself that I wanted to share this before I’ve even finished reading it. This book is for me a great example of why I love print publishing, and what I adore about the physical presence of books. Don’t get me wrong, e-books are super duper. But print publishing has something more: the ability to make me marvel.

>>> This is post 10 of the 31 I’ll be writing for Blogtoberfest 2012 <<<

debbiedoesdoodles fictional friends

Yet another 30 Days of Lists inspired post! This time – fictional friends. And while the selection of characters above do seem like a strange assortment, each would bring their own particular qualities to our new special friendship…

  • Doctor Who – for all the laughs, the insane ‘take it all in his stride’ attitude, his devotion to his pals and the added benefit of travelling in time and space together.
  • Arya Stark – she could teach me a thing or two about attitude, strength, cunning, swordfighting and dire-wolf training.
  • Jessica Day – life with Jess would be full of entertainment, insane songs and Kermit voices. And being friends with her would also involve an apartment full of hilarious men-folk too!
  • All the Ewoks – you think they’re cute, and then they turn out to be fierce little warriors – I would want an ewok with me at all times if I could.
  • Jules Kiki Cobb – Cougar Town‘s Jules Cobb and the cul-de-sac crew combine the insanity of the New Girl gang with lots and lots of red wine. Which sounds excellent to me.
  • Superman – Who wouldn’t want to be friends with the big guy? Any potential dangers of being used as bait by baddies would be totally outweighed by the flying trips to space, free lifts around the planet, and the authentic takeaway food. Presuming he wasn’t too busy saving the world.
  • Dr John Watson – Not only is Watson an actual practising doctor, he is also a crack shot and knows how to be a patient friend to unusual characters.
  • Kara “Starbuck” Thrace – As Kara’s friend you’d spend a lot of time getting her out of trouble, but she’d be a great drinking buddy, Triad partner, and she’d always have your back against any potential cylon outbreaks.
  • Arrietty Clock – I would put teeny-tiny Arrietty in my pocket and carry her with me everywhere. She’s super smart and would love the adventure. Some days I’d let her ride on the Ewok.
  • Lion-O – The Lord of the Thundercats has the coolest weapons with the best names ever – hello Sword of Omens! He isn’t scared to take on the genuinely terrifying Mummra but doesn’t have the greatest success with the ladies. In real life I think Lion-O would make a great personal trainer; he’s slightly terrifying, super fit, and wears a man-leotard like a pro.

Thirty Days of Lists is a challenge to journal something every day to create a snapshot of your life over the course of a month. Click here to see all my posts on the subject and please leave a comment if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or tips for UK craft stockists. You can also keep up with my 30 Days of Lists activities via Flickr, Instagram or Pinterest.

debbiedoesdoodles Fictional Places to live

Two Thirty Days of Lists posts in a row shows that this idea of list prompts is really good for inspiration! Yesterday’s list was ‘fictional places I’d like to live’ and there almost seemed too many to choose from. So, in no particular order, the shortlist is:

1. Metropolis

Definitely the DC Comics version, rather than the Fritz Lang imagining. As I child I was totally obsessed with Superman, and proudly wore the outfit (meant to be worn by little boys and not pigtail having girls like me) anywhere I was allowed. As a teenager I kissed posters of Dean Cain from The New Adventures. And as an adult I still have Superman nick nacks and feel a sense of attachment to the Man of Steel. So, naturally, if I lived in Superman’s world, I would live near the big guy himself, just in the hope of catching a glimpse.

Similar place I would not like to live: Although apparently within driving distance of each other, I would not like to live in Gotham. Way, way darker. Way more violent.

2. The Magic Faraway Tree

The Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton are probably one of my favourite series of children’s books ever written. As if the everyday lives of Moon-Face and Silky the fairy, with their ridiculous neighbours Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot, Mr. Watzisname and the Angry Pixie, wasn’t enough, adding to the excitement is the prospect of magical lands that arrive at the top of the tree. I could fill this whole list with lands I’d like to live in: the Land of Do-as-you-please; the Land of Tea Parties; the Land of Goodies; the Land of Marvels… the list goes on.

Similar places I would not like to live: The Land of Topsy Turvy; the Land of Tempers; the Land of Dame Slap

3. Dorne, Westeros

Dorne is the most southerly kingdom that makes up the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the land of the Song of Ice and Fire books and Game of Thrones series. As a large peninsula to the south of King’s Landing, a mountain range and a rebellious attitude meant that Dorne was the only kingdom not to fall to Aegon the Conqueror in the Targaryen grab for power, but was incorporated into the kingdom later through marriage. Thanks to the Rhoynish traditions prevalent amongst the Dornish, they practise equal primogeniture, which means the eldest child inherits the title even if she’s female. Which would be nice.

Dorne is hot and water is scarce, but trading with the Summer Isles makes Dorne the least dependent on the unreliable and war ravaged economy of Westeros. And being hot might not be a bad thing, since we all know that Winter is coming.

Similar place I would not like to live: The Wall. Luckily as a female I wouldn’t be allowed to take the black, but even as someone who lives in Scotland, the Wall is just too cold for me. I think I could handle Winterfell, but in times of strife in Westeros, I’d rather hide somewhere inconspicuous.

4. Do As You’re Told

Parental instructions lost their edge once they became associated with the bizarrely adorable creatures living in the land of Do As You’re Told, home of animated series Stoppit and Tidyup. The eponymous characters were the most unlikely of friends – the excitable Stoppit lived in what looked like a landfill site, while more serene and house proud Tidyup loved to tend his garden of giant gherkins. I loved the two bees, Beehave and Beequiet, the overconfident Clean Your Teeth, the messy Comb Your Hair and mischievous Eat Your Greens. Go and Play with his giant white shorts was always a little creepy, and the villain of the series, the big bad I Said NO and his pet Not Now were quite alarming as a small child, but watching them again as an adult, as I have been known to do, is brilliantly entertaining thanks to Terry Wogan’s hilarious narration and the complete absurdity of the storylines. I could definitely live with these strange neighbours in the land of Do As You’re Told, perhaps in the Valley of the Sit Downs, although the language of calls and squeaks would take some time to master.

Similar place I would not like to live: The ancient castle of Trapdoor, the claymation series made by the same producers of Stoppit and Tidyup, was the home of many a monster of varying ferocities.  I’ll take the advice of the theme song and “Stay away from that trapdoor, ‘Cos there’s something down there….”

5. Hogsmeade

Butter beer, Honeydukes, a joke shop… I think Hogsmeade satisfies every requirement for a wizarding way of life. And as the weekend destination of choice for wizards all around britain, not only is there good food and drink, but everyone there is in the best of moods!

Similar place I would not like to live: Hogwarts sounds exciting, with the grand hall and banquets and moving staircases and Quidditch and Hagrid and all, but if I haven’t made it clear above, I’m really not one for danger. And [spoiler alert] if Dumbledore can die, no pupil is safe.

6. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

Rivers of chocolate! Ooompa-Loompas! Singing, magic, mayhem and treats! While it’s true that many of the children who visited Willy Wonka’s factory suffered not so nice fates, they were the naughty children. Only the naughty children break the rules or steal or sneak. I would naturally be a very good girl and live a contented life amongst the Oompa-Loompas in the sweetie trees.

Similar place I would not like to live: The Giant Peach. I don’t like confined spaces, I don’t like insects.

7. Galactica

Space travel was never so dramatic as when aboard the Battlestar Galactica. Not only is the ship and civilian fleet travelling with it running for their lives from the warring cylons, they are also desperately searching for a new home which is possibly their old home, unknowing of the enemy embedded within their ranks. As the centre of the action and excitement Galactica is a dangerous place to be, but it’s also got the best defences, most interesting people, and most importantly a bar. And yes, Cloud 9 would be so much more luxurious, but [spoiler alert] it’s also got too many explosions by nuclear warheads for my liking (which is one, because one is all it takes).

Similar place I would not like to live: The Pegasus. I would rather live forever on New Caprica, or   to have been wiped out by the cylons on one of the twelve Colonies.

8. Wonderland

So much nonsense and lots of tea parties while wearing funny hats. Sounds lovely.

Similar place I would not like to live: Narnia. Love the talking animals, but the risk of permanent winter doesn’t appeal. Even factoring in the Turkish Delight.

Other fictional places I would not like to live: District 12 of The Hunger Games (not enough food, too much dictatorship), anywhere in Middle Earth (too much Sauron, not enough japes – perhaps with the exception of The Shire, which does seem pretty fun), District 9 of District 9 (too many catfood craving aliens), The Island (what is a smoke monster anyway?), Arrakis from Dune (too much sand, too many sandworms), the American Arctic research station (too much Thing) and Fantasia from The Neverending Story (too much Nothing).

Thirty Days of Lists is a challenge to journal something every day to create a snapshot of your life over the course of a month. Click here to see all my posts on the subject and please leave a comment if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or tips for UK craft stockists. You can also keep up with my 30 Days of Lists activities via Flickr, Instagram or Pinterest.

Last week as part of September’s 30 days of lists, I was prompted to list reasons to quit something. And as a person who regularly leaves things half done, I chose to quit quitting.

While it’s true that I’m really bad at leaving craft projects and paintings incomplete, I’m also pretty bad at abandoning books half way through. Generally I’ll find my way back to them eventually, but pausing during a good read makes you lose so much momentum. And when I do find time to pick a good book back up again, it takes me a chapter or so to even remember who the characters are.

So, this must stop. While I have some great new reads which I’m itching to start on, right now I have a plethora of incomplete books crying out for attention. But each incomplete book has its own back story, and for each I remember exactly where I was when I started, and paused, my reading of it. So selecting which to complete first is not such a simple decision…

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

My grandmother, my father’s mother, loved giving presents. She would put so much thought into choosing gifts and spend so much time wrapping and decorating each one. As a fellow book lover she frequently gave books to people for Christmas and birthdays, and naturally this was something I particularly enjoyed. When she died in November 2008, days before I moved to Edinburgh, she had already bought most of that year’s Christmas presents. And so that year, for the last time, everyone received presents selected by Granny. Mine was The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale, accompanied by a silver monogrammed bookmark. I really enjoy the way this book is written and the depth of the research undertaken by the author, particularly the inclusion of old weather reports and social statistics to set the scene of what life was like during that time. Yet something about how special that last gift is has stoppped me from quite finishing the book, and the monogrammed bookmark is still resting in one of the final pages.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin & American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Half way through reading A Clash of Kings, the second volume of the Song of Ice and Fire series, I joined a book group that was reading American Gods. So I abandoned the former for the latter, but in the week or so before the group never completed the reading. The book was great; the book group wasn’t so great. And as it turned out, that was their last meet-up. Without a sense of urgency I lost the nightly reading habit that I’d hoped the group would encourage. I will return to both, particularly since I’d like to read A Storm of Swords before HBO complete a third series of Game of Thrones. These books take you to a different world entirely, with kings and knights, houses and sigils, direwolves, white walkers and dragons. The complex web of characters plays out even better on paper than it does on screen, with even more detail. As the bookseller that sold me A Clash of Kings said: “He spends a chapter describing one character and their back story, only for them to die on the next page”.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharpe & Just My Type by Simon Garfield

These books are perfect for dipping in and out of, in that typically each chapter deals with a different subject. The main problem with these is that they are so well written and inspiring that they make me want to stop reading and do something instead, whether it’s creating something artistic or just oggling lovely typography (with a better appreciation of it).

Dune by Frank Herbert (again)

I read the whole Dune series as a teenager and have such a distinct image of the desert planet Arrakis, sandworms, the Fremen people, spice, and all the brilliant names, like Muad’Dib, Kwisatz Haderach, the Bene Gesserit, House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and the Sardaukar. It’s a cliche, but re-reading this book is like seeing an old friend again. One of my old flatmates ‘borrowed’ this book many many months ago and I’m on a quest to return it home – at least for now I can dip into James’s identical copy!

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas

I love Scarlett Thomas’s writing. The End of Mr Y was totally captivating and is one of those books that, a few years later, I still find myself thinking about from time to time. Our Tragic Universe was formerly a book that lived in James’s flat, before we moved in to our current flat together and while I was practically, but not officially, living at his. I’ve found it a bit of a slow read so far – for the first chunk of the book the protagonist is dissatisfied with her life and a little depressed. It’s perhaps for this reason that since the consolidation of our literature this novel has continued to drop down the priorities list.

Pocomoto: Brush Popper by Rex Dixon

This was a find from one of Edinburgh’s lovely second hand bookshops. It’s a children’s western about a horse named Pocomoto, probably one of the greatest horse names ever. I bought it for its intriguing title and simple illustration, but I’m not sure I’m committed to finishing this one. It may find its way to a more appropriate owner sometime soon.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, Bed by David Whitehouse & The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey

All three of these novels were bought in an airport or train station. Books are great for long journeys, especially for reading on the train. The 4.5 or 5 hour trip from Edinburgh to London is ideal for reading – it’s long enough for any other activity to be boring, but gives you enough time to get so involved in a good book that you almost forget where you are. More than once has a ticket inspector had to give me a little nudge to get my attention, as I sat reading with complete obliviousness to my surroundings.

So I have no good excuses for not finishing most of these, except the usual – time and energy. But just writing this has been the reminder I needed of how much life exists in the pages I’ve been neglecting. And at least I kept my bookmarks in.

There’s been a craft fair inhabiting the gardens of St John’s Church on the west end of Princes Street for the last month. And finally, yesterday, the very last day of the craft fair, with just a couple of hours before they packed it all away, I made it along. And it was brilliant! Colourful bunting hung from posts and trees, stalls filled the arches under Lothian Road, and rows and rows of marquees filled the cobbled paths. There was a lovely buzz to the fair – stallholders were friendly and relaxed, chatting with each other, customers, potential customers, me… I saw so many soft handmade scarves and unusual decorations and upcycled jewellery made of typewriter keys or old pennies or safety pins. There were many many moments when I had to be strict with myself and walk away from something I desperately wanted, but didn’t necessarily need.

But if you live in Edinburgh and didn’t make it along, never fear! Because my two top finds of the craft fair both happen to be based in Edinburgh anyway.

Phoenix Copper Art: handmade books

Superhero and comic book covers caught my eye while wandering the stalls of the craft fair but once I started browsing these handmade notebooks I soon fell for a map-covered book showing Edinburgh and the Port of Leith. These books are bound by hand with big bold stitching along the spine, in such a way that once the papers of the notepad are used up it’s possible to refill with standard A5 paper or hand-made punched papers of your own desire. Creator and stall holder Will Phoenix happily showed me how to refill your own book and his enthusiasm when speaking about his work was contagious. This book, it seems, was made from an old Bartholomew map from the 50s, which is in remarkable condition considering its age. Other books on the stall featured designs embossed in copper, recycled second hand books and comic book strips. He also makes a pretty funky looking Tardis notebook.

Information included inside the books tells that Will is a book-lover and only upcycles books beyond repair, in order to “breathe new life into old books”.

I don’t need a new notebook so although I really appreciated the artistry behind this, I knew I shouldn’t buy it. Remember that bit above about walking away from things I wanted but didn’t need? Yeah.

The problem was, I couldn’t put the notebook back. I have a total lack of willpower when it comes to books. Especially beautiful, unique, geographically relevant, reusable books. And so I am now the proud owner of an A5 Edinburgh map hand-bound notebook.

Miss Ballantyne: organic skincare

Karen Ballantyne produces a range of organic skincare products which smell fantastic without using any artificial ingredients. Judging by one day of use they can also make your skin feel super soft. I stood nearby her stand looking interested and was quickly drawn in to sample various different creams and moisturisers. Karen suggested that for my normal skin the vanilla scented blue cream would be ideal – I’m a big vanilla fan, and the label suggested it was a good solution for tired or dehydrated skin, which sounds perfect for Weekday Debbie!

Instead of a simple business card or flyer, Karen provided her contact details inside this gorgeous hand crafted envelope – it’s actually a large gift tag with details printed and stuck inside, folded over and tied up with string, and each one was adorned with a different stamp. I love this kind of detail and it couldn’t be more different from the experience of shopping on the high street. Each crafter I spoke to yesterday was so passionate and enthusiastic about their particular product – Karen had started this business on a trial six month basis, and just never stopped, because not only had there been demand for her products, but she loved what she was doing. Speaking to these people made me want to buy independent and local more often – not just to support small and innovative businesses, but because the experience you get as a consumer is that much better.

Miss Ballantyne is stocked in numerous shops around Scotland (and a couple in England), and her products are also available via Etsy.

Books are great, aren’t they? (Yes, they are). I LOVE books. So a bookshop, a place filled with books, is a wonderful place to be if you are me. And second hand bookshops can be the best. They smell of books. The books aren’t uniform. Sometimes the books will have the name of a previous owner scrawled inside, or a page turned down at their favourite passage. I love the potential to find a little treasure hidden amongst the jam-packed shelves of a second hand bookshop.

Here are a few of my favourites…

Read More

My four year old nephew requested a story while in the bath. I, feeling too unimaginative to make one up that evening, and not wanting to bring a book into a potentially splashy environment, decided to tell one of my favourite tales from childhood from memory.

Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gág, was one of my favourite picture books growing up. My sisters and I would recite “hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats” as we read, or were read, the feline filled tale.

So I thought I knew the story of Millions of Cats really well. I started the tale with the lonely old couple, who decide to get a cat, and the old man’s journey to find one. And then he stumbles across a whole hoard of cats and kittens everywhere, and just can’t pick the prettiest cat. Each time he selects one he turns around and sees another just as pretty, until eventually he’s chosen all of the hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats. See, it’s really quite a catchy line.

My favourite part was always the journey home over the hills, the old man being followed by his hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats. They stop to eat some grass, and an entire hillside is stripped bare. They stop to drink, and after one sip each, an entire lake is gone. They return to the old man’s wife and she is shocked at just how many cats her husband has brought home with him.

Now at this point in the bathroom retelling of the tale, I forgot the ending. I just couldn’t remember how the old couple chose their little kitten. So I improvised. The old lady realised that they couldn’t possibly keep all of the cats, so she decided to pick the prettiest. And she picked up a lovely cat that was definitely the prettiest of all. But then as she turned around, she caught sight of another pretty cat, and she decided to keep that one too. And then before she got inside the house she saw another cat that was just as pretty, until she, like her husband, gradually selected every single cat. And then they both laughed and laughed, and lived happily ever after with their hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions or cats.

Ok, it’s unrealistic. Those cats would have drank the entire town’s water supply and eaten every hillside bare as far as the eye could see within the week. But it seemed like a nice ending. After my nephew went to bed, probably to dream about hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions of trillions of cats, I had a look at the old picture book, still on a bookshelf at my parents’ house, to find out how the story should have ended. And it’s crazy! They eat each other! The cats, in a fight to decide who is prettiest, eat each other up. Until just one timid kitten, who doesn’t think he’s the prettiest at all, is left alive, and lives with the elderly couple, becoming more beautiful every day.

Now, my story may have been unrealistic, but the real one is just brutal. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved this story for many years, and it’s enchantingly written and beautifully illustrated. But it’s no wonder I blanked that ending from my memory! It’s gruesome enough to give young children nightmares. And reading the book as an adult makes me really question the logic behind that old man’s decision to bring all those cats home with him. If I was his wife I’d have rolled my eyes and slapped my own forehead. “Seriously, Walt? You seriously thought we could feed hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats? On a state pension?” Is what I would have said. And then I’d have questioned whether my beloved old husband still had all his marbles, and whether it was really the best decision to send him on a solo mission to Cat Land. I would also consider calling an animal control agency of some kind to a) investigate the mysterious location that seems to be a breeding point for vain and cannibalistic yet oddly obedient cats, and b) help me clean up the mountain of cat carcases and lake of blood that must have been created in the battle between hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.

Apologies to all Millions of Cats fans who stumble across this blog post. It really is a very charming story, cat feud notwithstanding.