The Meerkat Muse – 9th August 2023

Welcome one and all, to the Meerkat Muse!

Irritating Inclement Weather

What does a Brit talk about a lot? The weather. Usually, we moan about the weather, and that’s where this Muse begins. You see, the last few days of July, traditionally a warm month, proved themselves to be horrifically damp. Granted, I am pleased to have avoided the deadly 48C conditions seen across Europe, but I had hoped to see sunshine, and temperatures that would rise above 22C, instead of what we ended up with. Grey skies and endless rain are the purview of March and April, and should have shaken off elsewhere by the time July comes around.

August… well, we’re barely into August. Can a traditionally very warm month here in Blighty rescue us from the dreariness, without also incinerating us?

On Target

I received a small kick up the backside at work at the start of July, and so focused on making sure I not only hit my target, but comfortably exceeded it, which I did. I think I wound up something like £5,000 or £6,000 over target, which is of course quite lovely! It would be nice to do the same again in August, and all things are possible.

July’s goals were achieved despite having time off, and despite shifting goalposts. A colleague was off sick, at first for the first half of the month (which meant everyone’s targets got adjusted upwards), and then for the second half too (which meant further adjustments). There’s no controlling that; to coin a phrase, ‘it is what it is’, and I had to get on with it. What else was there to do? I still smashed my target, and I am very happy about that!

My Daughter, the Creative Soul

My daughter has a wonderful creative side, and in recent times this has revealed itself via the painting of models (such as Paddington here), and also in the form of her artwork, which is far superior to my mashups! Lately, she has fallen in love with the classic theatrical tale Phantom of the Opera, and is making herself a Phantom mask.

I love that she is a creative soul, and that she is not afraid to defy convention. How many teenagers, in this day and age, would express an interest in the haunting tale of the Phantom? I hope she never loses that imagination.

Impromptu Adventures

Last Wednesday, my wife, daughter and I took a trip to London. We decided to do something pretty-much on Tuesday evening, as it would get us all out of the house, and have us do something together. We visited legendary sci-fi shop Forbidden Planet, located near Leicester Square, but not before passing through Leicester Square, and taking quite a few pics of various statues of TV and film icons.

In case you weren’t sure, the statue is the one on the right

One of the things about London is that it echoes with eras of history, alongside fascinating modern architecture.

An ancient Roman wall
The Tower of London, peeking out from behind the trees
The Shard

Another thing about London is that old buildings are constantly finding new life.

Certain Tube stations have retained a strong sense of their original character.

We walked from Forbidden Planet to Covent Garden, because despite the Tube map’s implications, the distance between a lot of stations in this part of London is miniscule. It is often easier to walk, and sometimes quicker too. Plus, walking means you get to soak in sights like this…

Covent Garden itself is famous for a large, and very varied indoor market scene.

Spot the classic red phone booth!
I had not expected a Moomin shop, but if it was to be anywhere, it would be Covent Garden!
I was really tempted to buy this!

Having wandered around the markets for a bit, we then paid a visit to the London Transport Museum, which taps into one of my great loves: trains!

Not just trains, but buses too…

It was a busy day, and it also poured with rain (recall what I said earlier about irritating weather?), but it was a productive one.

The Scourge of Spam

For reasons unknown, the volumes of spam calls I receive on my mobile has shot upwards. My policy with calls from random numbers is not to answer them. If the call is important, the caller will leave a message. If the call is unimportant, or junk… well, oddly enough, the caller never leaves a message!

I despise the cold, predatory nature of spam callers. They are seeking to harvest people’s personal details, and to prey upon vulnerabilities, in order to steal. I would love for this particularly ‘industry’ to be crushed.

The Chaos of Cats

We need a cat-sitter for a few days, and this is proving to be something of an absolute nightmare to organise!

Everyone that we would normally ask happens to be going away at the same time! It’s a case of a bad series of coincidences, and now we’re scrambling to find someone who can take care of this little fuzzy booboo for a few days…

In the end, we resolved this mini crisis, even if it meant shelling out more money than I’d bargained for, but such is life.

Writing Progress

I’m nearly at 50K words with The Awakening sequel! I have inched along with it, and I am starting to feel happier with it too. I have a rough plot in my head, and I am hoping it will crystalise a bit more as I write. I have to be aware that my writing time is going to be cut short soon, due to an impending week away (don’t worry, I’ve got posts scheduled, so I won’t fail my Writing Prompt series!), so I can either rush some writing now, or wait till later. I’ll probably wait, as rushing things doesn’t usually produce good results.


I have sorely neglected the Muse homepage, so now, it’s up-to-date with links to all my previous Muses. Not the most exciting piece of news, but news nonetheless!

Nine Years

The 6th of August, at 7.20pm, saw Meerkat Musings turn nine years old! Has it really been nine years?! The funny thing is, the ninth anniversary nearly passed me by, because I’ve been preparing a post to mark 10 years. That post will be a bit special, but it is also a year away!

With that, it’s time to wrap up this latest Muse. Until next time!

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