Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Ian Fleming's home "Goldeney"  in Jamaica
Another vista from "Goldeneye"

I'm allowed to dream....

One thing leads to another. How often has that been said, I wonder?   Speaking on my own behalf, I’ve said it many times over; and no doubt will repeat the phrase ad infinitum - a slight exaggeration, I guess; but you know what I mean.  

It’s really very simple how I know this to be so. It happens to me all the time- the starting off in one direction, with one purpose in mind, and then becoming waylaid. 

For example – I start searching for something on the Web. Simple and swift it should be. It shouldn’t take me very long to find an answer to my query. It might be a word; an historical person of interest; information about a celebrity/sportsperson/writer etc; a song; a singer, songwriter and so on.  Within a blink or sometimes even half a blink, I become distracted from the initial search; stolen away as if kidnapped. 

Giving little resistance, I find myself being led along corridors; entering doorways to the left and to the right; even aloft into attics if they're on offer; being guided further and further into a world of wonder; a world of knowledge. No shoe leather is ever wasted or worn thin because my fingers do the walking.  I’m transported to foreign, exotic places without having expended a cent, let alone a dollar, on travel tickets; without having to pack a suitcase.  

A few years ago I spent a Sunday afternoon leisurely roaming around Jamaica.  While sipping on a drink more suited to a pirate than James Bond – Captain Morgan rum and mango juice, I spent hours enjoying the ambience at Ian Fleming’s estate “Goldeneye” in Oracabessa, on Jamaica’s north coast.  I found it very difficult to drag myself away. In 1976, twelve years after Fleming’s death the late Bob Marley purchased the property, but Marley resold it a year later, in 1977. 

It’s a most wonderful estate spread over lush green landscape. The home situated on the edge of a cliff, overlooks a private beach and the Caribbean Sea.  So, you see - you must understand how easy it was for me to willingly become lost in a fantasy world of dreams; of a reality I’d love to have been a part of, and probably would have never left if I had been so fortunate.  It is my kind of place!

In case you’re thinking otherwise, this is leading somewhere – really, it is.

Over the weekend I was searching for a song via today’s worldwide, endless highway…the Web. The Web Highway has myriad side tracks, and once on it, I dart off here, there and everywhere, never knowing where I’ll end up.  That’s half the fun, I guess.  Sometimes I become so engrossed I'm not aware I've ventured off the beaten track.  Next time I should pack myself a picnic lunch, grab a blanket; some fresh water, and fill a thermos flask with coffee.  Sustenance is needed.

I forget the initial song that kick-started my search, but I stumbled upon an old, all-time favourite – “Gentle On My Mind”. Glen Campbell made it famous, as did crooner, Dean Martin.  I prefer Campbell’s version, but that’s just my opinion and taste. It’s a beautiful song, and a melody difficult to be ruined by anyone - except when sung by me.

An interesting piece of trivia evolved out of my search.  John Hartford who wrote the song stated he was inspired to write it after seeing the movie, “Doctor Zhivago”.  Hartford wrote the song the same night he’d seen the film.  Engulfed by memories, it took him only 30 minutes or so to pen what was to become a chart-topper and a classic.   

Our memories can inspire us to do many things; to want to do many things; and to relive past moments- the good, the happy ones, in our life.  I wish some of my memories were capable of making me enough money to purchase “Goldeneye”. I’m just saying….I’m allowed to dream!

“Doctor Zhivago”, both the movie and the book inspired me, too…in a different way.

It was during my first marriage, in 1968 I saw the movie and read the book. I immediately fell in love with both.  How could anyone not fall under the spell of Lara and Zhivago; or drown willingly in the large, compelling, brown eyes of Omar Sharif?

(An aside: An aunty of mine – through my marriage to Randall, my second husband – was an avid and competent contract bridge player, as was Omar Sharif.  During a visit by Sharif to Australia to play contract bridge, Ethel, said aunt, played with him…contract bridge, that is!  She found it very difficult to concentrate on the game with him sitting across the table from her.  A very good ploy by the opposing team, I'd say)! 

Somewhere amongst my memorabilia I have a photograph taken at that moment in history.  I don't know where to start looking for it!

When I left Gympie in July, 1965 to move to the “big smoke”…the city of Brisbane...I had to leave my beloved ginger cat, suitably named “Cat”, behind with Mum and Nana.  Cat had such a unique personality from when he was just a little kitten, I couldn’t think of a name that suited his wonderful character, so he was stuck with “Cat”; and as it turned out, it fitted him well.  

I’d had Cat for years…a long time before “Breakfast at Tiffany's” hit our screens. I didn't see the movie until 1963; and I didn't read Truman Capote's 1958 novella until a number of years after I saw the movie.

Holly Golightly’s cat, also ginger, for the uninitiated, was, coincidentally, called, “Cat”.   "Breakfast at Tiffany's" remains on my list of top movies...movies that I love and have watched many times over.

Each afternoon my cat, Cat loyally would wait at the edge of the footpath outside our home  – waiting for me to arrive from work. He'd greet me with gusto and follow closely at my feet, fighting not only with possession of me, but for the stairs as we climbed them to enter the house. He never tried to hide the joy he felt at seeing me.  It broke my heart not being able to take Cat with me, but I had no other choice. I was to stay with friends for a couple of weeks or so until I found suitable accommodation of my own, and I couldn’t have my beloved furry mate with me wandering the streets of Brisbane looking for a flat in which to set up our camp. 

The day I left Gympie Cat sat forlornly on the very same footpath, right on the concrete edging of the gutter, watching me leave.  That moment was more of a tear-jerker than “Doctor Zhivago”; movie and book combined!  I think I cried most of the way to Brisbane.  It felt as if my heart had been wrenched from my chest.  

When Mum and Nana left Gympie to live at Slade Point via Mackay, Cat went with them. Cat remained in the loving care of Mum and Nana until he died at a grand old age.  More tears were shed.

Between my moving to Brisbane mid-1965 and shortly after seeing "Doctor Zhivago", the movie, I’d not had a cat in my life; and that was the longest period I’d ever been without a cat.  All through that period, which seemed like a lifetime to me, I felt something was missing from my life. The time had come to rectify the situation.

And then one Sunday evening a week or two after watching the film a friend visited, unexpectedly bearing a gift for me.  The gift was a fluffy, six-week old ginger kitten. I was immediately smitten.  Our feelings about each other were mutual. The little ball of joy was mine; and I was his (I wasn't a little ball of joy, of course!). From the moment he was placed in my hands there wasn't a moment of doubt.

I christened my little ginger friend – “Sasha”…named after Zhivago and Tonya’s son.

Sasha became my constant.  When Mervyn and I separated - when I moved into the flat with the rose garden on Oxlade Drive, New Farm (my post of September 16th, 2014) - I didn’t go alone.  Sasha went along with me.  He packed up his food bowls, his fur coat and moved out, too.

Wherever I went, he went.  There was never any thought about debating the situation.  It was clear cut. No contracts needed signing.  Sasha was smart; very savvy; and extremely loyal.  There was no pulling the fur over his eyes.

I told you there was a point to this story...I may have gone the long way around it...but I got there in the end...I hope you've not jumped off halfway through....

More about Sasha to come....


  1. To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen either Doctor Zhivago or Breakfast at Tiffany's--let alone read the books. Oh, but I am very familiar with Glen Campbell's Gentle on My Mind. It is so sad that Alzheimer's has him unable to recognize himself on the screen most of the time these days when he is shown clips of his past performances.

  2. Yes, it is very sad about Glen Campbell. He didn't give up easily, though. This documentary will be worth watching, I reckon.


    I'm surprised you've not seen either movie, Jerry....they are both excellent movies in their own right...as are the books. Try and find them somewhere.

    Thanks for coming by. :0

  3. I am not a movie goer - but cannot count the number of times I have read and reread Breakfast at Tiffanies.
    And love hearing about the cats who have wound their paws deep into your heart strings...

  4. Hi EC...I never go to the cinema these days, preferring to watch movies in the comfort of my own four walls. I do love movies.

    The first time I saw Breakfast at Tiffany's was in 1963 and Zhivago in 1968...and I've watched a few times since. Great movies. Audrey Hepburn was absolutely exquisite as Holly Golightly....Hepburn was exquisite, full stop!

    I'm glad you like my cat tales, EC...I have more to come. Thanks for popping in. :)

  5. I had a ginger cat as a child, named Ginger, of course! When we moved away from that house he wasn't anywhere to be found, so we had to leave him. Over the years I saw him a couple of times around the old neighbourhood but he would never come if I called.
    I love that Jamaican home!!

  6. It's so sad to part from a pet but I'm glad there wasn't a sad ending, Lee!

  7. Hi River...I've had five ginger cats throughout my life - amongst two greys...two tabbies and a black and white.

    Yes...it's a stunning house...I just love it!

    Thanks coming by. :)

  8. Oh...I've broken my heart over many of my pets, my cats, Jenny. But they are such an integral part of life, I believe.

    Thanks for popping in. :)

  9. What?? No recipes?

  10. Oops! I've been very slack in the recipe department these past couple of posts, Carol!

    I'll have to pick up my act!

    Thanks for popping in...have a good weekend. :)

  11. I haven't been surfing the internet like I used to but I often get sidetracked anyway. This morning I was checking to see how the local football team did when I came across an article about the 17 most creepy abandoned sites in the world. For some reason, I just had to check to see where they were (none in Australia).

    You didn't say whether you've read the book Dr. Zhivago, did you? It's a very interesting read once you've seen the movie because they're different in revealing ways, I think.

    Never owned a cat myself but with mice lurking in the rafters and elsewhere, I could be tempted some days.

  12. Hey there Dave...yes, I did mention I read the book "Dr. Zhivago" as well as seeing the movie. I loved the book - once I got all the names in line! ;)

    Cats are wonderful creatures. I love dogs, too and have had, at different times, throughout my life had a dog, but cats are my constant. I think cats and I understand each other. Nice to see you...thanks for coming by. :)

  13. I feel for you having to leave Cat behind...it would have been heart wrenching! Like you, I've always had cats, either one or two, from the time I was quite young.

    Contrary to what is often said, cats are loyal and loving animals. I've always found that and I feel people who say differently simply don't have empathy with them.

  14. Oh...it broke my heart to have to leave Cat behind, Robyn...but I had to do so...Mum and Nana loved him, so at least I knew he was in good hands. Then my heart broke all over again when he passed away.

    Some people don't understand a thing about cats, and it's those who've never had them. You and I both know differently. We know just how extraordinary our furry mates are.

    Thanks for coming by, Robyn. :)

  15. Hi Lee,

    I get lost during research on the Internet too.

    BTW, my constant companion is a nine pound Pomeranian named Dinky. We adopted her from the Animal Shelter. It was her last night there. The next morning she was to be euthanize. My daughter does volunteer work there and asked that we adopt her so she would have to die.

    The funny thing is, we all thought she'd be my daughter's dog since they had bonded at the shelter while she worked there. But no, once home with her and I sat down to get a good look at her, she jumped into my lap and pretty much trailed after me ever since.

    She's eight years old, so we won't have her for too many more years, but we'll make what's left good ones.


  16. Dinky is a very lucky little girl to have found you, Janice. Our pets are so precious to us. I know mine are and always have been.

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  17. Cats are much better than people.

  18. My sentiments, too, RK! lol

    Great minds think alike! Thanks for popping in. :)

  19. Recently Doctor Zhivago was on TV and I just happened upon it. Boy, that's a looong movie ! I had half forgotten the story so I settled down and watched it again. So glad I did. What wonderful music too!

  20. You little ball of fur you!

    It is easy to get lost on the web, sooooo easy!

  21. I love ginger cats, Breakfast at Tiffanys and Dr. Zhivago. :) Interesting that Gentle on my Mind came from out of Dr. Zhivago.

    I could completely picture cat racing ahead of you up the stairs - I do adore cats. I had two, Cleo and Sophie. A calico and a ginger. I got Cleo as a 4 year old kitty - she was a true and faithful friend to the end. And Sophie - the ginger - was my funny, sweet baby. The cable guy said, "She's a redhead!" He said she was an unusual color.

    I went to an allergist at some point and I found that I was allergic to their fur and dander. So I took allergy shots for years, but decided it was best to not have any more feline friends at home after my girls passed on. The house sure seems empty without them - I always think about how they used to be underfoot in the kitchen.

    Lovely post, Lee! And why would Bob Marley give that beautiful place up? Just imagine walking out and seeing those lovely vistas every morning. Sigh.

  22. Oh my you describe my wayward travels on the net to a tee. Lately, I have limited my time on the computer and if I do not drop in you know at least I am out there with the living. When I moved to Nashville, my first roommate, Mary Ellen, favorite singer was Glen Campbell. So I got a real good dose of his music early on. The Devil is named Alzheimer I am sure of that. Animals are our best friends even when we do not recognize it. My favorite movies are musicals and the first one I ever saw was The Wizard of Oz. Back when most TV were black and white, the networks would show it once a year along with other movies during the Holidays. That was something to look forward too. Now you can watch it and eat all kinds of food daily. That time was less complex and I would never have gotta lost especially on a computer. Peace

  23. Hi Lynn...how unfortunate you have an allergy. I'd be lost without having my cats in my life. They are my all...my constant and ever-loyal best friends...mates.

    It is a beautiful house and area, isn't it? I could live there effortlessly! Thanks for coming by, Lynn. :)

  24. Hey there Lady Di...it is very sad about Glen Campbell...but he didn't give up or in without a fight...he kept touring until he could tour no more. His memory may have failed him, but ours of him will linger long, as will his wonderful music.

    I loved musicals when I was a kid, too...Saturday afternoon matinees were my introduction to them,

    Thanks for coming by, Miss Kitty! :)

  25. Oh! I know just what you mean! I very often go off on tangents but I learn so many things, things that I find very interesting! I did a post about Glen Campbell and I truly love him! (And I love Gentle On My Mind too, Glen sings it best!) I have Glen Campbell on a video playing BAGPIPES! My God, what a talent! I know he has the horrible disease of Alzheimer's and I pray for him.
    To show you what I mean, I just did a post bout Oscar Hammerstein and I looked as much info about him as I could today, and I see that his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania is a B&B! And it is lovely!
    (Also, I looked at info about The King and I...and Anna, the REAL Anna is the great aunt of Boris Karloff! AND "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" which was narrated by Boris Karloff won a Grammy for I think it was for best recording for children.
    Oh my dear, I could go on and on!!
    And I am pleased to see that you say "ginger" cats in Australia, they don't really use that expression in the USA, not in Georgia anyway!

  26. Oh! And I also did a post about Audrey Hepburn and Johnny Mercer..."My Huckleberry Friend" , I think I called it...I will have to go back and read it, I have forgotten all about it! HA!

  27. Hi Kay...yes, it is very sad about Glen Campbell. He certainly entertained us for so many years with his wonderful voice and songs...and he did the songs written by Jimmy Webb so well, too.

    Obviously you love trivia as I do...and what better tool we have at our fingertips to satisfy our cravings. :)

    Thanks for all the info you've given here. I'll have to locate your post re Hepburn and Mercer now, too. Audrey Hepburn was absolutely magnificent. I loved/love her.

    What are ginger cats called in the US if not "ginger cats"? You've got me intrigued now.

    Thanks for popping in. :)

  28. Yes, "Gentle on my Mind" is a great song and Glen Campbell does it best. Your cat must have been very special; the only time our cats wait for us is if the food dish is empty.

  29. Hey there Dexter...All my cats have been special, but then I treat them as being special and they respond and act accordingly.

    Remy and Shama, my two cats who share my life now have unique characters. I think they're mini-humans clad in fur coats...just trying to fool me!

    Thanks for dropping by. :)

  30. Our pets really are family aren't they?

  31. Hi there Optimist...mine most certainly are...a most important part. Thanks for coming by. :)