#npc2011 Talking Point – Are New Professionals too Cliquey? One Perspective

There has been a lot of brilliant posts covering the entire day at the New Professionals Conference from Hulme Hall, Manchester on 20th June. Because of this, I thought I would focus on a few of the points that stood out for me from both the presentations and workshops. This topic came from the very excellent presentation from Rachel Bickley discussing establishing dialouge with more experienced professionals. When examining perceptions of new professionals by these more experienced, among all the positive feedback, there was the comment that new professionals seem to be ‘cliquey’ (apologies for the taking out of context to the nth degree).

Before I start I need to clarify 2 things:

  1.  This is by no means is attempting to be a complete piece of work, rather hopefully a discussion piece based upon my own opinion. People more coherent and lyrical than me, will be covering this in the upcoming days. It will be almost solely based upon my own personal anecdotal evidence. I have, where possible, hidden names as I don’t want to embarrass or fall out with people, as i may still work with some or do so in the future! It is not intended to be a spiteful piece as these experiences have in no way harmed me long-term, and upon reflection have made me stronger as a professional. If you do recognise yourself and want to rebalance the side please leave a comment and i will be happy to communicate.Or fight you at the bus stop after School. Which ever suits really.
  2. I honestly do not really view myself as a ‘new professional’ despite fitting into the description. I have worked full-time in Libraries for almost 8 years, the past 3 years as a service manager (and most senior ‘library’ person in the organisation). Before that for I performed many tasks that are associated with a clinical librarian role, in conjunction with more traditional ‘library assistant’ tasks.

Now once Rachel said that, my first impression was ‘that’s correct’ and thought about the NP ‘twitterati’ as well as those very few I have personally encountered. Very closed exclusive groups, not very open to new ideas, or especially new people. A text-book definition of a clique. However, behind that impression was a few thoughts:

There are always cliques within a workplace – be that inter-organisation or intra-organisational.It is by no means library specific:

  •  People being driven from a position (in fact two people, after one had replaced the other) purely because ‘they did not fit’. This was a healthcare position. These perpetrators were not ‘new’.
  • A  large, very ‘political’ office had to be re-arranged because of the different clique’s and the issues that this was bringing. Where genuine complaints were made because individuals were no longer sat near their friends! Again these were not new professionals.
  •  A library specific example – A group of library staff only operated between themselves. They ate together, sat together. mass-desicions, the same way without fail.On one very memorable occasion I was made to feel very uncomfortable at a meeting where it was basically this group and me. I made attempts, but was ignored. Sat on a table on my own drinking coffee before and at the break. These were not new professionals, these were senior and had made a decision to exclude me and others before and after me – without the excuse of being ‘new’. There were other ‘political’ reasons they excluded me. I still don’t believe I am viewed as an equal by those from the group that remain.

Though not entrenched within a new professional society or activity I have never heard of anything like even remotely close to these examples. I am also positive that these happen all over the library community and in different communities beyond that.

So why are new professionals (even by one person) viewed like this and why did I originally agree with the statement?

Is it because they are a close-knit group of friends? Does that mean they are a clique? If so, anybody who has partaken in the MA Library and Information Management course at MMU in the past 2 years (especially the 2nd year), should probably view me as a part of clique. I probably would. I saw groups/cliques within the full-timers. Us? A small group – always sat together, went out for lunch/socially together (and really never invited anyone), did group work together – made in-jokes, kept to ourselves. It wasn’t because we thought we were better than everyone else – we just had a similar approaches to the course, felt the same way about it (it was shite), in the same classes, no integration ever really took place etc. We were a peer support network.

New professionals may have met at Library School, or just maybe are experiencing similar things, dealing with similar issues and just prefer and have been drawn to those people within their support network. This is how you make friends in the real world. It can be difficult to approach someone who being an information professional aside, you have no connection to, especially if networking is not a strong suite. If they can find a support network, a comfort zone or just a bit of protectionism and reassurance from like-minded folk. is this wrong? Is it just strength in numbers? I think as long as you evolve that network as you develop I would not class it as cliquey. How much of the advocacy work going on in public libraries at a local level would happen without this network.

There is also the fact that if a group dynamic works, in a professional sense, why change it? Again within the region there are specific groups and when pieces of work come up – they have the prefered people to work with. Is that wrong? Is a sub-community of practice cliquey? Not all the time in my opinion. You can have this at any level, at anytime. If you find people who you work well with – good. Is that what a team is? As long as it is not at the detriment to overall purpose.

If you have gotten this far, thank you for reading, this really became a stream of consciousness! Overall I can understand why new professionals could be perceived that way, but as a kind-of outsider, I would not class them that way. Mean Girls we/they/us/them are not!

Let me know what you think – am I wrong, have I missed anything?

p.s. Buy the Bon Iver album!

Advertisements

The greatest gift I ever recieved…

I’ve always been lucky with gifts in the physical sense of receiving a present – I’m surrounded by thoughtful and creative family members, so gifts have always been good. Laura especially is brilliant with gifts, as my burgeoning comic book collection will testify to, as well as The Wire boxset and Dead Space 2 and a lava lamp etc. etc.

The greatest gift I received in a materialistic sense was from my little sister, about four or five Christmases ago. It was a set of 3 books. They are not antique, rare or monetarily valuable (all 3 can be bought for 3p pre postage off Amazon in fact). To me however, they were invaluable as they gave me confidence in a particular basic aspect of my life – a confidence that has grown, I believe into a skill. It helped (and still helps) with my relationship with Laura and gives me a function within the household (alongside chief computer game player and head of getting in the way).

The book set is the ‘cooking for blokes’ set by Andersen & Walls (encompassing Cooking for Blokes, Foreign Cooking for Blokes & Flash Cooking for Blokes). Outwardly they look terrible – seemingly written for the WKD generation and the mentality that brings. However, the book is well written, recipe’s are clear and concise and there are never any surprises or secrets. Within these books, whilst not covering every recipes or every skill, it gives you the foundation and the fundamentals to like me, build your confidence and skills up. It’s good as a reminder, or if you’ve never done a basic recipe before for  example I had never cooked an omelette before 2011, got the basics from this, now I produce them with all sorts added. I also found a brilliant slow cooked duck recipe in there.

I cooked and ate bad food. It was a process. I now enjoy cooking, I believe I have a skill. I can take basic ingredients, and make a palatable meal no matter. The occasionally chippy tea treat aside, I have not eaten fast food in at least three years, and did full Christmas tea this year down to the minute. Although I am not boundf to these books for the things I cook, I am forever greatful for this ability they gave me.

 I would recommend these books, all three as a set to anyone (not just ‘Blokes’) who lacks confidence in the kitchen or has never really had to cook for themselves.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cooking-Blokes-Duncan-Anderson/dp/0751515639

The actual greatest gift I ever received was Laura in my life. I am totally punching above my weight. But I think everyone knows that

Treadmill Tracks 4 – #Shinemarathon 2

After the success of this weeks gym, i thought it best to do myself another set of tracks to keep me focused, keep the nostalgia and sweat flowing whilst keeping everyone else out of my way. It also came into my thought process whilst overhearing a couple of teenagers discussing some perceived slight by one emo band to another. It could never beat the rumour that The Seahorses were named because it’s an anagram of ‘Hates The Roses’ . Gold. Paranoid Gold. This one is another one based upon the greatest compilation album of all time – Shine and the uber-awesome #shinemarathon.  This one will feature more well-known tracks than the first one which had either lesser known bands or not as well-known tracks by well-known bands. Again – it’s not my favourite tracks, but the ones for hammering the treadmill. Enjoy!

  1. Blinded by the Sun – The Seahorses
  2. One to Another – The Charlatans
  3. Grateful when you’re Dead – Kula Shaker
  4. Getting Away with It – Electronica
  5. 10 Storey Love Song – The Stone Roses
  6. Kandy Pop – Bis
  7. Nancy Boy – Placebo
  8. The International Language of Screaming – Super Furry Animals
  9. Lost Myself – Longpigs
  10. The Day we Caught the Train – Ocean Colour Scene
  11. Babies – Pulp
  12. Wide Open Space – Mansun
  13. Going for Gold – Shed Seven
  14. We Could be Kings – Gene
  15. The Masterplan – Oasis

There it is… defiantly get the blood pumping!

Next one may possibly be a Johnny Cash Special – as i find his stuff very driving.  I may one day even post about something related to the profession 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Treadmill Tracks 2 – A #shinemarathon special

This is the 2nd installment of Treadmill Tracks – trying to improve the quality of music in gyms – and I thought i would do a playlist from another musical topic close to my heart – The Shine Marathon .The only rules are that they are on the Shine Marathon playlist and they are songs that i like. It’s not my ‘best of’ #shinemarathon, more songs suited to the treadmill. I’ve tried to go for either not that well-known artists or in most cases not the artists most well tracks. So it may be educational as well as err exercisonal! Either way i hope  it will still get the feet a moving on the treadmill. Or Cross Trainer. Or Stairmaster. Or Exercise Bike. I have put the #shinemarathon number after them in case you want to play along 🙂

  1. My Star -Ian Brown (287)
  2. Race – Tiger (238)
  3. Richard III – Supergrass (325)
  4. Something 4 the Weekend – Super Furry Animals (95)
  5. Angel Interceptor – Ash (50)
  6. One in a Million – Sussed (161)
  7. Livin’ it Up – Northern Uproar (153)
  8. 12 Reasons Why I Lover Her – My Life Story (136)
  9. Sandstorm – Cast (61)
  10. Sleep Well Tonight – Gene (109)
  11. Divebomb – Number One Cup (69)
  12. Let’s All Togther – Marion (57)
  13. She Said – Long Pigs (85)
  14. We Love You – Menswear (131)
  15. U16 Girls – Travis (240)
  16. Chinese Burn – Heavy Stereo (154)
  17. Bully Boys – Shed Seven (231)
  18. Tomorrow – James (261)
  19. One Night Stand – The Aloof (204)

This is worth listening to purely for the lyric wonderment that is  Number One Cup – Divebomb. Awesome.

So after one gym session listening to that, you should be fitter and smarter. And of the opinion that the 90’s were indeed the best decade for music. If you think music starts and ends with britpop. Which it totally does.

Let me know what you think!

edit 07/02/11 – Having actually test driven it, i feel its slightly too long, and as such have removed Pavement- Shady Lane from the list.

My year in Gotham/Metropolis/Above London/Mega City One/Coast City etc. etc.

I’ve been asked to blog to help support the Graphic Novel Group I partake in (as a consumer  rather than a Librarian) on a four weekly basis at Bolton Central Public Library, and specifically the inter-activity of the group that they want to re-produce. There’s no real criteria on what I blog on (especially considering I’m hosting it here J) as long as it is somewhat Graphic Novel/Nerd related so I have a wide remit. However for the first one I thought I would discuss how I fell in love with Graphic Novels in the past year.

Entering 2010 I had no real interest in Graphic Novels, a brief unmemorable dalliance with 2000AD in my early teens aside. Now in 2011, I have read a fair amount of GN’s, though I do not have the knowledge of those who have grown up loving them, I know what I like from my lay perspective, and my taste has grown. I have not discovered everything, so am still uncovering ‘new’ gems. The credit for getting me into the genre was Michael Stead ( @MichaelStead ), who when he worked at Bolton Central Library (and be a member of the Graphic Novel group) used to pay us a visit in NHS Bolton Library for a quick 5 minutes chat (or 45 minutes if the library assistant was around) and we chatted about all things nerd: library, films, gaming and eventually comics or graphic novels. The first graphic novels (circa March 2010) I read were some Green Lantern ones: Reborn and Blackest Night. Although I did not fully understand all character relationships (and still would not know today) – I loved them, read them in a sitting and then re-read them almost immediately. Since then the vast majority of books I have read have been graphic novels. The vast majority have been from my public libraries (#savelibraries) .

In August I attended my first Graphic Novel reading group at Bolton Central Public Library. There has been a wide range of topics discussed (groups never staying full on topic for the entire session) as well as an outing to a comic-con which sadly I could not attend. Although not as well attended as they had been (and hopefully will be in the future), I enjoy them greatly. I am the newbie in the group, and have realised the more I read, the less I know (in a good way) – the other group members have different spheres of knowledge and can impart different views and opinions. Many of them have had this passion for graphic novels since childhood so I see it as sitting under the learning tree, though I am slowly contributing more and more each group – all of us enthusiastic amateurs.

I’m not going to go through every comic book I have read, because I believe the number will reach almost triple figures! I am going to look at those books which have stayed with me and why. Along with Green Lantern, I started with other traditional names like Superman, Batman and Judge Dredd all of which offered different stories especially as history, realities and characters differed from writer to writer. I was also recommended ‘The Boy’s by Garth Ennis as a one of the new era of comics.

 The Boys series really epitomised my year in comics, upon the first read I was engrossed, it looked so different – vibrant, violent and a new type of story. Having borrowed volumes 1 and 2 from Bolton Public Library, I bought 3-6 straight away and really enjoyed them. However I came to re-read them 6 months later – and having 6 more months on reading graphic novels – I found them less enjoyable. Although the concept was still very, very good, the reliance on sexualisation began to grate. In some parts it was actually part of the story (Annie & work harassment, the gay friendly superhero who was homophobic when mask-less) but in many, other areas it was just there to be there. Although I don’t think it misogynistic or homophobic, I would understand why people thought it was. To me it was just over-sexed, most probably to appeal to those in the audience that are under-sexed. I would now say I prefer Preacher over The Boys, and have Crossed sat upon shelf waiting to be read

Another series I read quite early on in was Strangehaven by Gary Spencer Millidge. It was completely different to anything I have read up unto that point – being of a stranger arriving in odd circumstances to an English village and things seeming to good to be true… There was sex and violence in this book as well – but they were used to drive the narrative on. Unfortunately the story was never completed and the last volume was published in 2005 and it seemingly never will.

An area where I have got inspiration from is adaptations, often reading the novels of books of the film I have already seen! There has been instances where I haven’t enjoyed the novel as much of the film, or as in Watchmen, where I have enjoyed the graphic novel much more than the film. However I have read Losers V1 &V2 and on the back of the novel, not bothered with the film.  Other notables include The Walking Dead (good on both accounts ,Kick-Ass, an Aliens spin-off which was not good at all.

Going back to Super-hero theme another series I have enjoyed (again having discovered it in my local library) is The Ultimates by Mark Millar. It is a re-imagining of The Avengers and features the immortal line “Does the A stand for France!” genius. I am a  fan of the ‘new’ Captain America as it moves away from the wholesome standard of the classic, but keeps some of the naivety and ‘pureness’ – also shown in Civil War The original Captain America is almost unreadable in comparison. I’ve not had chance to read as much Green Lantern as I have wanted to, just the occasionaly book here and there. I’m hoping for a collection of sorts (Darkest Night-Brightest Day possibly) to tie in with the film.

 

The first Batman I had chance to read were the Frank Miller ‘imaginings’ and I enjoyed them as I have enjoyed his other works that I have gotten chance to read such as Give Me Liberty’. However the Batman I have most enjoyed (and there are a few variations) has been Grant Morrison’s vision of Batman. Although he is not the ‘Detective Batman’ I know some enjoy he is the vision of Batman I enjoy the most from ‘Arkham Aslyum’ through to Batman RIP and the entire ‘Black Glove’ series. I would really recommend checking them out.

I was aware of Neil Gaiman the author, having read some of his works, but had not realised he had come from (and still does) graphic novels. I enjoyed his Sandman work, Batman stuff and Marvel 1602 but Neverwhere was absolutely brilliant. I read it in one sitting, waxed-lyrical about it on Twitter, and then read it again. It is a modern fairy-tale and should be treated as such. I have the DVD, but have never watched it. Maybe I don’t want to spoil the magic.

This newly found passion has come about solely through public libraries – be it an enthusiastic librarian getting me to try them in my advanced years (@michaelstead), the library having the stock in for me to start my reading or the reading group to help cultivate my enjoyment and broaden my horizons on what is out there. And there is still plenty to be understood. Graphic Novels rock and so do Public Libraries. I’m off to read Neverwhere again.

Other notables comics that I’ve read and enjoyed (off the top of my head!)

  • Absolute Power
  • Red Son
  • Preacher
  • The Walking Dead
  • Ex – Machina – the first 100 days
  • Y – The Last Man on Earth (the first volume anyway. I felt it lost some of its spark after that)
  • The Death of Captain America
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentleman
  • Any Grant Morrison/Batman

I hope you enjoyed reading this look into my introduction to the world of graphic novels.  If you have any comments or would recommend any to me let me know!

Indie-Work Out Mix Version/Volume 1

I don’t see why, on the whole dance music corners the market of ‘gym music’ be it the awful background music, the work-out mixes or even in spinning classes. It doesn’t help that its the dull repetive dance music. Basically it is the slave ship drum beat (as often seen in Asterix cartoons) with a 21st century tilt.  Guitar music can also be uplifting, fast paced and driven.

With this in mind i have taken it upon myself (with no scientific evidence) to develop the ultimate ‘Indie’ workout mix, using my limited knowledge of mainstream music. It’s going to be approximately an hour-long, with a 3-5 minute cooldown (or 1 slow song at the end). There will  be a sprinkling of a #shinemarathon in here most probably but I will try to keep it as current as possible as not just to be my favourite fast paced tunes!

  1. Arcade Fire – Ready to Start
  2. The Walkmen – Angela Surf City
  3. No Future Part III – Titus Andronicus
  4. Power – Kanye West
  5. Grounds for Divorce – Elbow
  6. Worm Tamer – Grinderman
  7. King of the Beach – Wavves
  8. I’m not Living in the Real World
  9. A Pot in Which to Piss – Titus Andronicus
  10. Round & Round – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
  11. Paper Planes – MIA
  12. Night – Zola Jesus
  13. I Can Change – LCD Soundsystem
  14. The Golden Path – The Chemical Brothers

If this doesn’t get you running, nothing will! This will be my soundtrack to the treadmill until I bother with another one.

(Alternatively – Just listen to the entire Titus Andronicus: The Monitor Album)

Let me know what you think!

*Edit* – Should be called ‘Treadmill Tracks’. Stupid slow brain.

Introducing – The Cats

One of my resolutions was to blog more, however I’ve been struggling for topics. So i thought, write about what I know.  And i know my cats.

 

I have 3 cats. They are very important to me. I thought it would be nice to introduce them to everyone so that we can all share in their awesomeness. Originally I had always been a dog person, and only chose a cat because living on my own at the time as well as working full-time I didn’t feel I would be able to look after the dog as much as I should. I think the willingness to get a pet was a tactile admission of loneliness as well, as I led a very insular and solitary lifestyle at that point.

Adebisi – often abbreviated to ‘Besi’. Named after a character in the TV show OZ, because much like the character, my initial impression of him was ‘man he’s big, black and mental’ I got him in May 2007, and he is approx. 7 years old.

So, deciding I couldn’t look after a dog, I chose a cat – and a rescue cat because it’s the right thing to do isn’t it? I’m not an eight year old girl so it didn’t matter what sort I got.  The RSPCA when I rang them said they had a surplus of black cats, so a black cat is what I went for. I went to the outskirts of Horwich, Bolton to pick this cat up, and the ‘fosterer’ was cat mad – cat rug on the floor, cat cushions on the couch, even cat tapestry, a catestry if you will, on the wall. Very much a cat-lady. Though with our cat calendars, cat-based cards, cat draft excluder, I have no doubt people think that about us now! I got him home and of the 3 he was the most hesitant initially, though after a week or so he was very much at home.  For a rescue cat he was in very good physical health – almost perfect in fact. It was only later that I found out he had got a giant bald patch under his arm from where he had been entangled in something.

He is as my friend Emma calls him a ‘Daddy’s boy’. Only I can pick him up, and often only I can stroke him. The feeling is mutual. When I suffered a burglary in 2007, the RSPCA rang my work and wouldn’t leave a message (as my phone was stolen). I was convinced they were going to take him away from me for some reason and was devastated. The relief when I found out it was just another money grab by the RSPCA. For a cat, he is very well-behaved, though that maybe because the other 2 cats are quicker of the mark when it comes to naughtiness. He is good-natured, and is great fun when nipped up! He is by far the best looking cat I have ever had, but also the fattest.

He is probably the most cowardly cat ever encountered. He will leg it at any form of noise, from a pan lid being dropped to the Hoover being turned on. He is also afraid of plastic bags which leads me to believe that this is what caused his arm injury. He has a tendency to eat his food to quickly and then throw it up. He has also on occasion when Laura has been cleaning the bathroom, turned the opposite way in the litter tray and pissed onto the floor where she is mopping. But I think that was done by accident…

He was very playful in the first year, but has since chilled out. This was good as he was all claws and this used to leave me with arms like Richie from the Manics! He also used to jump out of the bedroom window to go on a night-time prowl as they don’t go out after dark. When he is hungry, he will often sit on my chest and perform ‘paw-paw-claw’ on my face! He will not eat large chunks of ‘proper meat’ instead what for me to cut it or tear it into manageable chunks and feed it to him. He is without doubt my favourite, and we both know it.

Esme (short for Esmeralda) was gotten in January 2009 and was again a rescue cat. She is at least 11. I asked for a black girl this time, as I thought ‘2 boys will be fighting all the time, girl cats are nice and friendly’. Little did I know. For all the luck I had with Besi being a beautiful cat, Esme was not either in temper or physically. She was at least 8, but nearer 10. She had been badly mistreated in her past having only two of her ‘main’ teeth, the rest being knocked out. She also had a bad skin condition that resulted in big bald spots appearing on her face, which she would scratch until they bled, then getting infected. My first impression of her was that she was so friendly – purring, trying to get a stroke through the cage front of the cat box in the car journey home. I think that it would be nice to describe her as ‘suitable for a household with no other pets’ as she does not play nice with others – even by a cat standards. The need to strike out at the others is so apparent that it is almost schizophrenic, she can be purring and in the same movement hiss and strike out before returning to her state of happiness.

She is very affectionate. When she wants attention, she lets us know. Her party-trick is ‘bear cat’ where she will stand up on her hind legs to try to grab your hand. She is very territorial, and has chased of very large cats from the backyard. Her favourite hobby is winding up the little terrier next door, until its owner (who gives her chicken) gets annoyed with the barking and drags it in! Also in the summer months she will spend all day outdoors in the sun, occasionally popping back in to give me a status update! She doesn’t play that often preferring strokes and tickles behind the ears.

Although she is very friendly, she has occasionally struck out at me. Within the first two months of having her, she slashed me across my face so badly (I made the mistake of trying to move her when asleep) that people thought I had broken my nose. Also on Laura’s 1st visit to the house proper (we totally courted), Esme was lay on the back of the couch, as is a cat’s want. Laura went to sit down on the left side of the couch (nearest the door, just in case) when Esme looked at her with so much evil and venom that we swapped places and I have been sat/slept on the left ever since. She was friendly with Laura after that.

Being an older cat, she does have some health problems. She suffers from fur balls very badly. She also goes through bouts of incontinence. In August 2009, on her regular check-up at the vets, she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. In January 2011 she’s still going on strong, unlike that idiot vet.

I think in a throwback to her abandoned days, she very rarely turns food away and is always in the kitchen when food is being prepared or dropped. In the past she has:

  • Stolen Bacon out of the pan
  • Baked Beans from somewhere
  • ½ an uncooked sausage that we thought was a thumb
  • Knocked a roast chicken that was covered of the side onto the floor then eaten it
  • Taken a piece of chicken out of curry that was being made
  • Eaten: broccoli, sweet corn; raw potato; popcorn; crisp with her favourite being monster munch.

Oddly enough she doesn’t like Bob Martin cat treats.

She is a very friendly cat to  both of us, who is affectionate and who I’m glad we’ve been able to make her life a little bit better than it was prior. Though I wish she wasn’t so violent towards the other cats. And stop shitting on the floor.

Franklin

Franklin was born in late August 2009 and we took him in October 2009. I was actually at the birth. But because i’m good in a crisis rather than a wierd, weird situation. He is not a rescue cat per-se but his mother was taken in by my library assistant when she was pregnant after she had been left at the vet’s his girlfriend works in. It was taking her in or her getting neutered whilst pregnant. Also at this time we thought Esme would be dead by Christmas, so it was an opportunity to not only replace ours, but also to help a friend out and unlike the other two, which were pre-Laura, this one would be ours.

He is named after Franklin the Racist Puppet from Arrested Development, the funniest TV show ever. The name originally wasn’t liked by Laura, but now it fits perfectly. When we first got him, he couldn’t bear to be alone, whining when we put him in ‘his’ room to such an extent that Laura considered giving him back. Now most nights he sleeps on the bed – under the covers on a cold night.

He is the most vibrant and playful of all the cats, still having a lot of his kitten tendencies. He loves to fight with Adebsisi, and occasionally with Esme – but only until he remembers why it’s not a good idea. He plays fetch with hair bobbles an old collars, and loves to be chased and play hide and seek. He will for the want of a better term go dicking round the house at top speed often crashing into things. He is also a very vocal cat, his best noise being a meow when purring or a meow when yawning. He has the best sleepy face as well.

He hasn’t got many bad points really – I wish he would stop fighting with Besi so much, but that’s me being protective of my boy. He also likes to drag the litter tray liner over from the corners after his ‘business’ into an almost pasty-esq shape. This doesn’t help Esme’s incontinence.

He’s a brilliant cat who is vibrant and full of life and is very good-tempered (when awake). Of all his original litter I think he’s probably the best overall, though he could lose a few bellies. He’s not Besi though. Not other cat could be.