Shelving Cats and Stroking Books

In November we settled back into the routine of Sarasota life.  It was good to be back in the sun!

Collecting

Although we considered our condo to be fully equipped a year ago, we often think of other things we’d like to have.  Some we bring from England – we now have Ian’s collection of chess sets here, as well as his silver teaspoons (no room to display either in High Wycombe).  Others we buy locally, often from thrift shops which we are getting to know well.  One day recently we toured round places in the Bradenton area, and came home with a good haul – some things we’d looked out for and others we’d just spotted and thought might be useful.

Chess sets on display

Chess sets on display

Spoils from a tour of thrift shops

Spoils from a tour of thrift shops

New vase

New vase

We’d been toying with the idea of buying another desk, so we’d have one each.  On Saturday mornings, we walk into town, doing a circuit of the library, the farmer’s market and the thrift shops.  One Saturday we spotted a very cheap desk which we thought would serve the purpose and when we went back to collect it, we saw they had a suitable chair as well.  Sandie thought it would need two trips to take them both home, but Ian created an amazing 3D jigsaw and we did it in one!

Sandie's new workstation

Sandie’s new workstation

Volunteering

Sandie has become a volunteer at the main Sarasota library and also at the Cat Depot. She spends a few hours each week at the library, shelving books.  At the Cat Depot (an amazing place, with currently 143 residents!) her task on each visit is to ‘socialise’ a particular cat or cats, which means petting or playing with them, encouraging them to be friendly with humans.  Her goal is to foster kittens – an ideal task for cat lovers who for obvious reasons cannot have a cat of their own.  But potential foster carers have to attend a training course first, and the next one is not until January, so we will not have a kitten for Christmas!

Shelved cats

Shelved cats

June

June

A trip to the beach

On Sunday 20th November we drove up to Anna Maria Island and parked at Coquina Beach.

This is one of our favourite places, but we noticed some changes this time.  We walked up to Bridge Street and had coffee, but discovered that the Sunday morning art and craft market is no more – it’s now combined with the Coquina beach market.  We walked back along the beach, and were pleased to find that the diggers have finished their work, so you can have a pleasant walk down to the end of the island.  We returned to Coquina Beach, looked at the market stalls and had lunch at the beach café before driving home.

New groynes on Coquina Beach

New groynes on Coquina Beach

Skimmers soaring

Skimmers soaring

Mermaid statue

Mermaid statue

Coquina Beach market

Coquina Beach market

A pile of clam strips

A pile of clam strips

The following Thursday was Thanksgiving Day, and we’d planned another trip to the beach.  Unfortunately Ian had developed a really bad cough, and had lost all his energy and his appetite, so we had a very quiet day at home.  He was no better by Sunday 27th, when we’d planned to drive down to Key West, so our trip there had to be rescheduled. He was below par for several days, but by the end of the month he was getting back to normal.

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