Escaping from the political craziness that is going on around us all, I have found some more odd things to rabbit on about.
Tim Dowling’s column in the Saturday Guardian impressed me first of all. His wife discusses house rules with their-returned-from university son, stuff like paying rent (now that he has a job) and keeping the kitchen clean. She finishes up with, “Lastly, I need to know if you’re going to be here for supper,” she says, “Everyday, by 5pm yes or no.” At first I thought she meant they were eating at 5pm but then I realised it was just notification she wanted by that time. But still, “supper”?
I have just about accepted that effete southerners have “lunch” and “dinner” rather than a good northern “dinner” and “tea”. But “supper” at 6 or 7 or even 8 in the evening is a step too far. In our house when I was growing up “supper” was a cup of horlicks or hot chocolate and a slice of toast or a bun before you went to bed. What are things coming to?
Katherine Hamnett, fashion designer was the subjcet the Q&A feature. Two of the regular questions struck me, or rather her answers struck me.When were you happiest?
Camping with my parents in the South of France. We went every year with the beautiful bell tent they made on a sewing machine.” If you could edit your past, what would you change? Boarding school. It was horrible.
Maybe they had time to sew a beautiful bell tent because they sent her to boarding school. Of course, maybe her parent’s facility with the sewing machine influenced her choice of career later in life.
Then there is the cat hotel with rooms from £20 a night. The owner of a persian chinchilla cat, which has stayed there 5 times in the past year, using the hotel’s £4 per mile chauffeur service to get there tells us:
“She listens to Andrea Bocelli during the journey. She melts when he sings and it keeps her calm. Once she’s there, I can log into the hotel’s CCTV and see that she’s treated exactly as she would at home: like royalty. She always comes back perfectly groomed and rested.”
Cats watch cat-and-mice DVDs, “enjoy” reiki therapy and being read to. Some owners organise their own holidays around availability of rooms for their cats in the cat hotel.
It’s not just pet hotels that are part of this craziness.
Ikea’s pet range includes a sofa bed that extends for “puppy sleepovers”. Sleepovers for children are bad enough, surely! But, puppy sleepovers? Who invented them?
On Amazon, sales of memory foam pet beds are up 107% year on year, while doggy beer and rosé gift sets are up 260%. Beer and wine for dogs?
There are doggy cinemas.“I like to take them to different places for mental stimulation - I perish the thought that they would ever be bored,” says one crazy dog owner. Who by the way seems not to have understood how to use the expression “perish the thought”.
And the trend for doggy clothing extends to dressing-up costumes.
Back to the cat hotel: “One couple recently ordered their cat, and all 14 cat guests staying in the hotel at the time, a premium à la carte dish: the prawn and crayfish tian. Because it was what they served their (human) wedding guests. They all got to celebrate too,” said the hotel owner.
Now, I willingly admit that I am really, seriously not an animal person. I would never hurt one, I hasten to add, and I can grow quite fond, well, a little tiny bit fond, of other people’s pets but I don’t mistake them for babies or children or human companions of any kind. While I have a sneaking admiration for those who are cashing in on this bit of human madness, I think those who spend that cash must have too much of it and need their heads examining!
It is hardly surprising that such madness is around. After all, the USA is led by a man who blames his distinctive orange hue on energy-efficient lightbulbs. Justifying changing regulations on environmentally friendly bulbs POTUS said, “People said: what’s with the lightbulb? I said: here’s the story. And I looked at it. The bulb that we’re being forced to use! No 1, to me, most importantly, the light’s no good. I always look orange. And so do you! The light is the worst.”
He went on to claim that the energy-efficient bulb needs to be treated as “hazardous waste” if it breaks. “What are we doing?” he said, “It’s considered hazardous waste, but it’s many times more expensive and frankly the light is not as good. So we’re going to sell them, but we’re also going to sell incandescent bulbs. People are very happy about it. It’s amazing.”
The world is bonkers!