The Meerkat Muse – 17th August 2022

We’re well-into the Summer Holidays (well, as a full-time salesperson, there’s no such thing for me!), and there’s some ground to cover, as we jump back into the Meerkat Muse! This one is out of sync with the bi-weekly idea, but there’s a good reason for that, which will become apparent later.

beige and white meerkat
Photo by Egor Kamelev on

We kick off this Muse with… spiders!

nature insect macro spider
Photo by Pixabay on

I don’t consider myself to suffer from arachnophobia, and the other day a tiny speck of a spider was crawling up my arm, without bothering me, but a larger spider… I don’t want one of them climbing over my skin! In my house, spider-removal duties fall squarely upon my shoulders, so when a bigger-than-usual spider was spotted by my daughter on the wall, guess who was summoned to deal with it?

The spider’s body was fairly small, but it had a reasonably impressive leg-span. I try not to kill spiders, so what I do is I get a glass, and a coaster, trap the spider with the glass, and slide the coaster in, using it to form a lid. From there, I’ll drop the spider off outside. In this instance, I am carefully trapping the spider (I’m trying not to injure it), and my wife decides to run her hand over my shoulder, mimicking a spider’s motion.

I screamed. My daughter screamed. My wife cried… with laughter!

You had to be there, but she found the whole affair to be hilarious.

The Scarlet Witch

The other night brought yet another curious and baffling nocturnal adventure. I dreamed of a conflict between two versions of Wanda (from the MCU). They were locked in a pitched battle, unable to gain the upper hand on one another, and their duel threatened everything. As they tired, but refused to yield, the act of placing pizza ingredients upon their faces was enough to soothe them into some kind of truce.

From there, the dream abruptly shifted, and in a scary twist, my daughter had seemingly gone missing when she arrived at school. However, my wife and I found her, safe and sound, at school (albeit I think she was of infant school age again). From there, we played games with her, and one of her friends. Then I woke up.

Fake Heads

In yet another unusual dream, I took it upon myself to make a life-like model of my own head. No, I don’t know why.

Varnish, Leather and Latex

That’s the title of an email I received, that slipped into my spam folder. I check the spam folder every so often, as sometimes, important emails do end up in there. Normally, the spam folder is filled with obvious efforts to siphon personal information, and adverts that are of no interest to me. However, an email titled ‘Varnish, Leather and Latex’ was too weird and hilarious to ignore. I mean, I get the leather and latex angle (kinky), but varnish?! I’m open-minded, but I’m struggling to get how one might use varnish in sex. I could Google it, but I dread to think what I’ll find!

Eight Years of Meerkat Musings!

On the 6th of August 2014, I made my first ever post here on Meerkat Musings. I had no idea how this site would grow, and evolve, or of the people I would come to know through this adventure. I am grateful to all the friends I have made, and the fun I have had, and I look forward to the next eight years!

Tears of Joy

The England Women’s team have been playing in the 2022 European Championships. Their performances throughout the tournament have put the men to shame. The Lionesses won their group comfortably, scoring 14 goals in three games, and conceding none. They overcame Spain, much-fancied Sweden in the semi-finals, and faced Germany (who are serial winners of the Euros) at Wembley.

It seems that when England reach a major final, the game has to go to extra time, and after normal time ended at 1-1, this trend continued. The England men’s team had triumphed in extra time against Germany in 1966 – could the women do the same? The answer was YES!

This is a landmark moment in the women’s game in England. The profile of the sport has risen, and now, a gutsy, determined, and positive group of players have delivered one of its biggest prizes. Whereas the men play with reservation and trepidation, the women play with freedom and adventure, not weighted by history or over-zealous expectation. The Lions can learn a lot from what the Lionesses have achieved.

Tears of Sorrow

The world has lost a legend. Nichelle Nichols, famous for playing Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek series and films, has passed away at the age of 89.

Ms Nichols is most famous for her role in Star Trek, where she held the unique position of being a black woman in a position of importance, rather than being reduced to a servant role. She nearly resigned from the show, but an encounter with Martin Luther King Jr changed her mind, when he impressed upon her the importance of her role. Ms Nichols would go on to inspire generations of young black people, and especially women. Ms Nichols also took part in the first televised inter-racial kiss on US TV, in an episode of the show.

Alongside other television and film work (including voice-over appearances in Gargoyles and Futurama), Ms Nichols gave some of her time to NASA, becoming involved in programs to encourage women and minorities to get into science and exploration. Through this program, NASA recruited the first black and first women astronauts.

Her place among the stars is, as far as I am concerned, set in stone. She did so much, for so many, and was a guiding light for millions. Her light will shine forever.


It’s been a while since I’ve been abroad, but owing to some recent big birthdays and landmark occasions, my parents took my little family and my brother’s little family away, to a villa on the Spanish Isle of Menorca. We had a little hoohah with the flights (they were at one point changed by the airline, to be really late), but managed to get through that, to end up arriving at our villa shortly after 4pm local time. Most of us were then straight into the pool!

On the first night, we collectively took a wander to the local scene, and did eventually find somewhere to eat (curiously for the location, most places required reserving), whereupon I enjoyed a very large beer!

The weather was hot. By the middle of the day, the mercury reached over 30C. It was therefore prudent to get in the pool sooner rather than later. My nephew took to the water like a duck; my daughter was content to float serenely around.

We ventured out a few times, though the heat (which reached 35C on occasion) was oppressive, even when it was nice. The villa we shared had air conditioning, though it couldn’t compete to what we have at work! As you can see from the pics, there were some impressive meals to be had! A fair bit of our time was spent by our pool, which was a nice luxury. Sharing a pool with other hotel guests can be an experience, but having your own pool, that you can dip in and out of whenever you want, that’s pretty awesome.

Menorca isn’t like Major Majorca or Ibiza. Those two islands are largely about the nightclub and party scene. Menorca is a quieter location, a relaxed setting, and there appeared to be quite a few Spanish families, heading over from the mainland, to enjoy a break from their regular domestic lives.

On Wednesday we ventured by bus (quite a bumpy ride!) to the town of Mao. This bustling port town (officially known as Mahon) is beautiful.

Cheese, anyone?
An attempt at a panorama
How cheeky!
Oh myyyyyyyyy!

What can I say? Menorca was amazing, and it’s a pity I can’t afford to own a villa there!

Alas, like all good things, the holiday had to come to an end. My family and I enjoyed ourselves, but home – and work – beckoned. Still, the day before we flew home, there was time for a few more indulgences…

A whisky torte!
Nutella crepes!
It’s hard to make out, but there’s a little lizard in this pic
A sparkly car! A kid tried to climb in, even though it was nothing to do with him!
A fond farewell pic of the villa!
A great view of London!

I will say that passport control upon landing back at Stansted was a bit faffy. Rather than humans, machines now process your passport, and you’re supposed to look at a camera whilst getting your passport scanned. Eventually this worked, but humans tend to make the process quicker (as the airport in Menorca proved). In an interesting weather twist, we took off in temps of around 30-33C, and landed to temps of 33C!

So that was that. The day after the holiday, I returned to work, but the weather kept up its intensity, as though it followed me from Menorca. At least we have good air-conditioning at work!

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