Those who follow my social media channels will, by now, know Princess has taken the rainbow bridge to the stars.
It's been a horrible time as I had to say goodbye to my best friend and muse for the books. I stayed with her to the end and am grateful she got to see herself as a global superstar. Her diva side couldn't have been happier. I also must say thank you to the staff and wonderful vet at Furry Friends in Didim. You were all wonderful despite the distraction of a balding, blubbering, middle-aged Englishman in the corner.
It feels very empty without her. I'm sure everyone who's ever had a pet knows the feeling far too well. In the case of Princess it feels harder, as she gave so much. All I did in return was give her a home, food and tummy tickles. She gave me a new life.
It would be easy to ask you to buy the book to read about some of her adventures, but I'm not going to. Instead I'm asking you to find your nearest animal rescue centre and offer help. It may be a financial donation, volunteering to clean the kennels, or taking the animals for a walk. Everything helps so, if you can, please help these wonderful charities. There are many more like Princess out there who will give back much more in return.
Circle Of Life
My two stray cats, Smokey and Lucky, have been missing Princess. They've appeared very lost without her. Then something amazing happened. I stepped outside the back door to find Lucky looking after four little kittens. The circle of life was continuing.
They are beautiful little balls of fluff with a favourite game of seeing who can hide behind the plant pots the longest. Feeding time is hilarious as all four climb over each other to get to the food bowl they have decided to share. I'm not sure Smokey is happy with the situation, so I'm feeding her in the conservatory before she climbs the tree to sleep on my balcony every night. She is getting lots of cuddles and is far happier when she's on her own with us.
The kittens weren't the only surprise. I received a SMS telling me a delivery was on its way. It was odd as I hadn't ordered anything. My friends from MNG Kargo turned up on Saturday (two days earlier than the expected delivery date. Take note the so called big boys of the industry, this was proper customer service). The package weighed five kilos and was bags of cat food. Our lovely neighbours, who are only here for a few weeks during the summer, had made a wonderful contribution to our attempts to feed the stray cats. It was the loveliest of surprises.
I'm not an animal rescue centre, but I do try to help the stray animals. I'll repeat my request. Please help your local rescue centre in any way you can. It makes the world of difference.
It's Formula 1. It's Silverstone. Every year it brings back wonderful memories. My best mates have been petrol heads for as long as I can remember. I even had one of them walk into a well-known electrical shop, where I was working selling TVs, wearing his overalls and racing helmet after a day racing karts. I'm not sure who was more concerned, the cashiers or security!
A few years ago a client asked me to arrange corporate hospitality for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix for 6 people. I was overjoyed to see I was one of the 6 names listed.
I resolved to make the day extra special. My client lived in North London. Silverstone is an hours drive up the M1 between Milton Keynes and Northampton. Only a limo would do for this journey. I had a friend with the perfect vehicle. Quite how I managed to keep the bacon sarnies warm and the champagne cold for the trip up the motorway is still beyond me.
We arrived at our designated corporate table overlooking Copse Corner and settled in. It shows how long ago this was as Lewis Hamilton won the GP2 race to raucous cheers from this fellow Hertfordshire boy.
Corporate hospitality was worth every penny of my client's money. Wonderful food, excellent service and an open bar. One of the guests considered himself something of a lothario. He couldn't understand what was happening, as his best attempts at being charming were met with fits of giggles. I could have told him far earlier, but popping his ego felt more beneficial to the human race. The solution was easy. When trying to look cool and sophisticated whilst wearing designer sunglasses, it's probably best if one of the lenses hasn't fallen out.
Race over and we went to search the vast car parks for the limo. Car parking at Silverstone has never had the best reputation, but give credit to how well they actually do getting that many cars into fields and out again without riots breaking out. The rest of my party decided I should go and find the limo as they lay down on the grass and all fell asleep. It did give me a chance to watch Damon Hill and Eddie Jordan doing their best rockstar impressions as the entertainment continued.
I found the limo and manhandled everyone inside. I realised we didn't have any champagne for the trip home. Thankfully, my then girlfriend, lived in Northampton and came to the rescue after a short detour. There are many reasons I enjoyed our time together, but rescuing me with a case of champagne is high on the legends leaderboard.
In the end we got everyone home safe and sound, even if they did all miss work on the Monday. Memories were made and friendships cemented. I even made a profit!
It's time to say goodbye before I revert to the blubbering wreck I've been for the past couple of weeks. It helps a lot the other stray dogs are being so loving and caring. It does feel as though we all miss Princess though. So, once again, if you can help your local animal rescue centre in any way, please do.
See you next time.