Friday, 5 June 2015


I am very excited to welcome author Gabrielle Mullarkey to my blog today with her fun guest post about garden warfare of the furry and feathered kind. Being a cat owner and nature lover myself, it is a subject close to my own heart.

Gabrielle Mullarkey is a novelist, short story writer – she writes for most of the women’s magazines - freelance journalist and writing for wellbeing facilitator. Her motto is, ‘when in doubt, write, and failing that, eat some chocolate.’ She does all her own stunts.
Her novel Hush Hush, published by Corazon Books, is out now.

Hush Hush
Widowed 30-something Angela knows there’s only one way to get her well-meaning mother off her back – to take her advice and launch into a new job, maybe even a new relationship… But, fulfilling the adage that ‘life happens when you’re making other plans,’ Angela’s hopes of easing herself gently back into the world are turned on their head by a chance encounter on a plane journey – and the realisation that she can only move forward by facing up to the secrets of the past.

When not writing, Gabrielle (and her other half) are engaged in a battle of wits to keep warring factions apart…

Catman & Robin

Much as I love the epic sword fights and flaming dragons in Game of Thrones, I’ve recently been riveted to a drama of feuding rivals unfolding in my very own back garden. In one corner, and supposedly at the top of the food chain – myself and himself indoors. In t’other, and draped across various fence posts – the neighbourhood cats. The disputed territory – a small back garden that proved attractive to nesting birds, until certain whiskered upstarts from the House of Felix got their paws under the trellis.

First things first. I am a cat lover. Himself is a cat liker.
Together we form quite a cat appreciation society.

Trouble started when a pair of robins took a fancy to a patch of ivy on the garage wall and established a des res. What larks we had (metaphorically speaking), watching Roberta and Bob swoop in and out of the shiny leaves, industrious, entertaining and tuneful.

Of course, birds have their own pecking order (this time, not metaphorically speaking), so we weren’t surprised that the blackbirds in the fig tree penthouse appeared to have had their beaks put out of joint by a redbreast incursion. However, Mr & Mrs BB seemed to tolerate R&B well enough, and anyway, robins can look after themselves.

Then came the magpie.
Woken at 3am one morning by a heck of a racket, we opened the bedroom window to see a magpie attacking the robins’ nest, the robins defending themselves, the blackbirds attacking the magpie, some crows joining in on both sides for the hell of it, and a lot of sparrows jumping up and down on the sidelines, taking bets on the outcome.

With the robins left hanging onto their nest by a wingtip, we both felt a solemn responsibility to uphold and protect the back garden kingdom on behalf of its nesting and rustling wildlife.

Then came The Nights of the Cats.
From being a relatively cat-free zone, suddenly we were overrun with furry nocturnal destroyers, perhaps acting on rumours of vulnerable defences.

It’s not like they disturbed us with yowling – instead, angry birds woke us, often at unearthly hours, to demand we do something, resident blackbirds and robins convening on our windowsill, shrieking the place down and waving ‘cats out!’ placards.

Himself takes a very serious approach to this ongoing duty.
He patrols the garden perimeters nightly (hourly at weekends).
He talks to the birds. He talks to the cats. He thinks he’s Ban-ki Moon and can get them to sit around a bird table and agree to get along.
I’ve told him, it ain’t gonna happen.
The robins are on the verge of quitting the ivy.
The blackbirds have got suitcases on standby.
The sparrows are briefing their delegates.
The cats and the magpie are probably in cahoots, working on a fresh assault.
But I try to look on the bright side. At least the worms and invertebrates are happier.

In fact, we’re probably on the verge of a new campaign – Save Syd the Snail, newly attached to a green stalk in a flowerbed, and a bird’s eye gander away from a grisly demise… unless Catman can ride to the rescue.

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Twitter: @authorgabrielle














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