But with the special candles burning down rapidly, I didn't really have the time for a ticking-off and although there didn't appear to be too much damage to Lord B's birthday cake, Murphy could see that I was unhappy with what had just happened and as he quickly took off, Minnie sensibly decided to follow him.
Yes, it was Murphy the feline! But as he looked so shocked to see me, I didn't have the heart to be cross with him for photobombing this important image!
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However, my initial feelings of annoyance at this disruption to my carefully planned photo shoot, quickly became those of curiosity, as I knew that the feline was no fan of cake, especially one that was covered in chocolate, jam, marshmallow, pink icing and much more besides...
Then, it dawned on me; could he be looking for someone! But for who? For it was the middle of the day and he was usually in the Land of Nod at this time but no, here he was; creeping around on that slippery cake board that I had balanced precariously upon the glass fruit bowl in order to take a better image...
And, then it FINALLY dawned on me! I bet he was searching for Minnie B, that little black ball of fluff with the ferocious appetite and a fondness for, well, anything that she really shouldn't eat...
And what do you know! A quick glance to my left, there she was, looking sheepish and covered in MY lovely cake!
With peace now restored and with most of my cake still intact, I was able to take the last of my photographs before the candles finally blew themselves out and after I had cleared away and put the fruit bowl back in it's rightful place, I enjoyed an hour of peaceful solitude with a large mug of tea, a read of yesterday's newspaper and of course, a large slice of this cake!
With tea-break over and with camera in hand, I made my way to an upstairs room which has a private attic for my plants, books and all the other stuff that is important to me and it is from this room that I write, plan the creation of my ‘Small Worlds’, scribble about the delightful Lord B, undertake my genealogical research and usually with no one else around!
But no sooner had I settled into my cozy seat, turned on the computer and switched on the radio, I heard a familiar rustle of plant leaves and as I turned to look, I saw them both - again!
This time, however, they were both gazing intently at my special bust of Lord Byron fashioned entirely out of marble and inspired by a portrait of the poet as he appeared in his early twenties in the year 1812 when he awoke to 'find himself famous'.
I could just make out the conversation between the two felines and listened with interest as Murphy gently explained to Minnie B who 'this Lord Byron was' and the reason for the special cake.
To-morrow is my birthday - that is to say, at twelve o' the clock, midnight, i.e. in twelve minutes, I shall have completed thirty and three years of age!!!! - and I go to my bed with a heaviness of heart at having lived so long, and to so little purpose.'
Yes, today is Lord Byron's Birthday and if we were able to live forever, he would now be 228 years young!
And even though Byron shuffled off this mortal planet many years ago, I always enjoy a large slice or three of a delicious birthday cake in his honour and today has been no exception.
However, earlier today as the candles were burning nicely and as I was firing off some images of this glorious confection to share as the Blogging Byronian; I spotted a familiar shape out of the corner of my camera lens....
It was a pleasant surprise to discover Minnie B was actually listening to what Murphy was telling her about Lord B for she has something of a 'fiery' temperament and will usually do only what she wants to do and always in the fastest way possible for you've only got to witness her throwing herself down the stairs for breakfast to know that patience is probably not her strongest virtue! However, I digress...
Several years ago my son gave me an empty can of fizz that he had saved for me as it was inscribed with lines from Canto IV of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, arguably one of Byron's finest poems and which has sat by my window ever since and now I listened on in delight as Murphy shared these lines with us both:
But I have lived, and have not lived in vain:
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
And my frame perish even in conquering pain;
But there is that within me which shall tire
Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire....
Every Byronian knows that the poet had a special fondness for animals or as one biographer described it for his 'yapping, screeching, clawing menagerie' and although dogs were usually his pet of choice, I think that he would appreciate the quote by Robert A. Heinlein that I love, that reads: 'Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea'.
I also like to think that he would enjoy a chuckle about the birthday cake tribute that nearly never was!
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