Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Bonkers about Perfume and the Bonkers kitten turn six (years and weeks old respectively)!

Well, technically the six-themed milestone for both my blog and my upcoming new feline arrival was Sunday just gone. However, though I managed to go and visit her - and take an utterly preposterous number of photos, much like her full name (big - or should that be long? - reveal to follow) - I was dogged again by a chronic headache for much of the rest of the day (to mix my animal metaphors slightly). The headache has been hanging around for six days now in fact, though I feel a little better at the time of writing.

So yes, 25th October, 2009 saw my first post on Bonkers - about the genesis of the blog, where I explain the strange phenomenon of Sudden Onset Perfume Mania which descended on me some 18 months before thinking of writing about scent in the public domain. I am surprised to have kept it up as long as I have, albeit there has been the odd hiatus along the way - notably in the summer of 2012, when I moved house. And I did seriously consider kicking the blog into touch a few times as well: once when it was hijacked by an Israeli site, once when I ruffled a few feathers with a guest post on Now Smell This, which I shan't even link to in case I ruffle a few more(!), and once when my blog template got accidentally corrupted to the point where I had to set it to Private until a friend kindly unscrambled it for me over the course of two nights' work on his part.

I have noticed that some of my 'generation' have also slowed down their pace of blogging or stopped altogether - The Left Coast Nose, Another Perfume Blog and Parfumieren being three much missed examples of 'retired blogs'. And while they each had their own reasons, maybe it is natural to move on to other things after x number of years, because of the not inconsiderable time and effort involved in blogging. I may well get to that point too by and by. Though we do also have examples of behemoth blogs such as NST, The Non-Blonde and Bois de Jasmin, which have been going for much longer than me - and maintained an impressive posting schedule to boot. For myself, I shall continue to pootle on on this ad hoc frequency of 'about a week'-ish, and see where that goes...

Source: pinterest

Oh, together with a number of bloggers 'on the scene', I recently took part in a survey hosted by a postgraduate student at a Swiss university on the subject of the influence of perfume blogs. It was quite an interesting and thought provoking exercise, and I might post my answers in full in a later post, but it is perhaps appropriate on my anniversary to mention here how I answered this multiple choice question about why I blog in the first place. The options were:

'Because you would like to...

1. 'influence people'
2. 'inform'
3. 'warn'
4. 'educate'
5. 'because you enjoy it, because you are communicative'
6. 'because your followers value your opinion'

So I replied:

'Quite simply - to entertain, which is closest to your #5, though not the same. Perfume is a hook on which to hang what I hope are amusing posts - oh, and I also write travelogues, which have the same aim, and may feature perfume sniffing along the way.'

Though increasingly they don't, haha! And it seems only a matter of time before my compulsive collecting of wool aka 'yarn harlotry' creeps into a blog post, that being the other key 'pillar' amongst my interests. Well, soon to be joined by the Bonkers kitten, with whom I expect I shall spend a fair amount of time playing wool games of one kind and another.

So I went to see her on Sunday, as I say, and she was as enchanting and cute as ever, if not more so. My Facebook friends will already be aware that the kitten's mother was killed in a hit and run incident two weeks ago, but most fortuitously, the mother cat's mother happened to have had a litter of her own just four days previously, and by the end of that sad day had stepped into the breach and started to feed her three orphaned grandkittens. She was still feeding them on an 'on demand' basis during my visit, bless her. ;)

The owner said that out of all the kittens, my one - and one other - were the most loving, in terms of liking to sit on laps and be cuddled, which is all very promising. She added that if I had picked Betty - a grey tabby - she would  have been a little more concerned, as Betty is a bit more self-contained, and a darn sight more mischievous than Truffle.

Which brings me lastly to the 'long reveal' of the Bonkers kitten's name, prompted partly by the fact that the owner latched onto one of the names on the shortlist a couple of weeks ago and started to call her 'Truffles' off her own bat. ;) My brother said that Truffles plural sounds a bit like a 1930s burlesque dancer, while it reminds me of someone doing a whole box of Ferrero Rocher watching Strictly. So I will probably singularise the  name when she comes. The other kittens have also all got rather sweet names now, to wit: Lottie, Simba, Betty (as mentioned), Cleo and Willow.

Oh....and Truffle's full name is...brace yourselves!...'Truffle Ganache Salome Bonkers' - or just 'Truffle Musson', obviously, if she is visiting the vet. The complete and decidedly bonkers suite of names was designed by committee, which says it all, really. But I'd like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came up with such a variety of thoughtfully chosen suggestions. I can assure you that they all went into the pot for consideration, even if, as it turns out, a rather eclectic 'dish' of nomenclature has come out of it again.

And lastly it remains to thank readers everywhere for your interest in Bonkers, however long or short a time you have been reading. If there are any types of posts you would like to see featured on here, let me know in the comments. And if you think that I should continue to resist sneaking wool-themed posts in, do please speak up. Also if you love dogs. Actually that might just be too bad. But I realise I am already digressing quite a bit from the supposedly core topic of perfume with my travel / band-related posts, so there may be a natural ceiling to the number of permissible tangents I can go in, hehe.


Tara said...

Hi V,

Happy sixth blog birthday to Bonkers! Happy to hear you'll be around for the next week at least :)

I love your writing so much I really don't mind what you topic you cover - you always make it fun and entertaining. We came for the perfume but stayed for the clever word-play. Digress away!

Truffle is a very cute name for a very cute kitty. She really is a darling and it's nice to know her temperament matches her looks. I'm so happy your family middle name got in there too.

Thinkingmagpie said...

Congratulations on your 6th blog birthday, Vanessa!! Whether you are writing about perfume or kitten or anything else, I still enjoy it; that's why I keep coming back here. You certainly entertain us all. ;)
Love the name Truffle and gosh, she is so cute. Her markings are getting more prominent, really lovely!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your blog reaching its 6th anniversary - many happy returns! I'll read about yarn and kittens and places - all blog contributions gratefully received:-)

Virtual hugs to you and Truffle, who is too cute for words, simply adorable.

I don't like the sound of that headache so I hope that it has gone for good by now. (Wafting virtual lavender your way so you can't smell it but it will send the headache packing for sure!)

cheerio for now,
Anna in Edinburgh;-)

Unknown said...

Happy Geburtstag, bonkers. I love to be entertained by you and also can't wait to see more of Truffle. If you ask me you could blog about the weather in the Midlands and I would still read it.

Unknown said...

Happy blogiversary, or whatever silly thing they call it these days. I always enjoy your posts, whether about kittens or travel, yarn or perfume. I am partial to the perfume and cats, if you really want to know, but as long as Truffle gets her portrait thrown in every once in a while, you could describe your favorite butter or garden mulch and I would be happy.

Vanessa said...

Hi Tara,

Thanks so much, also for your faithful readership, and commentship, if that is a word.

I also chuckled at 'Digress away'. ;) Thanks for encouraging me to ramble up even more thematic byways if the fancy takes me.

I am so thrilled that Truffle is as sweet as she looks - I had a bit of a wobble last week that I might have picked a kitten with a mean or standoffish nature, who wouldn't bond with me. I couldn't really tell much about that when I committed to this particular one at the ripe old age of a week, hehe. But it seems I got lucky in the personality department as well.

Vanessa said...

Hi Yuki,

Thank you very much. ;) I am glad you don't mind the diversity of the topics I cover, and that you find them entertaining still.

Yes, the kitten's markings are getting more prominent - there's a bold black squiggle down the side of her face which is especially marked. And I love her little striped tail too.

Vanessa said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for your good wishes, also for the virtual lavender to despatch my headache. I am quietly confident that today might finally have seen it off, as it has been in abeyance for many more hours than on past days this week. And I haven't had to take to my bed at all today, as I have every day since Thursday!

Thanks for reading Bonkers - I do appreciate our virtual and RL friendship!

Vanessa said...

Hi Sabine,

Vielen Dank! I did laugh at the idea of my blogging about the weather in The Midlands. Though I did once write a piece about dodging a hurricane in Florida, which was entirely weather related, haha. ;)

Vanessa said...

Hi Liz K,

Thank you very much! I think the spelling of blogo/i-versary is pretty arbitrary at this point. And I must say I am as genuinely surprised as I am heartened about people's receptivity to the idea of my blogging about other topics.

I wish I *could* blog about garden mulch to be truthful, as it would suggest that I knew about such things, and might even be actively applying them to my borders.

I am working up to some more perfume reviews, as it happens - some bitty vacuous ones (as promised a while back!) and maybe some bigger, more conventional ones. I always have to wait till the angle comes to me. It's odd, but however much I like a perfume, if I can't think of an angle, I am never moved enough to write about it.

Tara said...

Yes, it's so important she's the type that will be a companion rather than a lodger. It's great she's turning out to be that way inclined :)

crikey said...

Many happy returns of the day to you and your blog! Please, continue to write about anything and everything that entertains you to write about--from envelopes to espionage. It's all a delight.

And huzzah for Truffle. Gosh, she's pretty. How lovely to find out that she's a bit of a sweetheart too. (so sorry to hear about her Ma. That's awfully sad.)

(p.s. Have just returned from the Harvey Nic's scent thingy--all very lush and made interesting by a rather good wee talk by one of the perfume Society ladies--and had my nose deep in the Myrrh Imp. I now completely understand your enthusiasm for it, and suspect it will nag at me until I succumb. I was thwarted *again* in my attempts to buy Bois d'encens--after last time's lack of time while rushing through Heathrow, this time HN was out of stock. But the lovely chap made up a decant for me, to tide me over while new stock arrives...third time lucky? )

Asali said...

Happy 6th! to both of you. I can't concentrate because you gave me cat photos, Meow! I've just been catching up on 'Mittens the text messaging cat'- take care that Truffle will not learn to text ;-)

Carol said...

Congrats dear Vanessa on the blog-o-versary ANd the adorable kitten (love her name!!) xox

Martha said...

Happy blogbirthday! And I, too, am happy to read about whatever you want to write about.

As I read the beginning of your post, I was thinking, "Huh; I might have started my blog around that time, you know within a year or two..."

So I went to check and my first post was October 1, 2009.


Vanessa said...

Hi Asali,

I have got to check out a text messaging cat...;) I have heard of cats walking unhelpfully over computer keyboards, but this marks a new development in their ICT skills.

Vanessa said...

Hi Carol,

Thanks so much! Your blog must be of a similar age, as we are ourselves indeed. ;) xx

Vanessa said...

Hi Martha,

Oh that's fun about your anniversary being the same month. I had you very much pegged as a 'blog contemporary', and that confirms it. I have just tried re-adding CFO to my blog list in fact. I did so when I first reconstructed it after the corruption incident, but several blog names - yours included - didn't seem to 'stick' in the list when I entered them. So we'll see!

Vanessa said...

Hi Crikey,

Thanks a lot! I smiled at 'envelopes to espionage' - it may well be just that kind of range, hehe.

It is sad about Truffle's Ma, who was a lovely, serene cat, and only two herself. Truffle has benefited from four weeks' solid mothering, followed by another two weeks' grandmothering, and I am grateful for that. I saw her feeding from her granny when I was there.

I am glad you also like Myrrh Imp. You aren't having much luck with Bois d'Ences, purchase-wise, but that's nice about the chap at HN making you up a decant to be going on with. Service indeed. And let me know if you do spring for a bottle of Myrrh Imp at some point. ;)

What exactly was this event? I know the Perfume Society people get about, but I am not up to speed on all the sessions.

Vanessa said...

I like that about a lodger, haha. Cats are notoriously independent at the best of times, but a more clingy one is fine by me.

Ingeborg said...

Happy blog birthday, Vanessa! I really like your style of writing, the word-play as Tara put it. Having just found out Birgit of OT will no longer write on her blog, I am happy your blog is not near an end! We need a variety of voices on the perfume blogs, for sure.

Truffle looks more adorable than ever, it must be good to know she also has a good personality.

I have told you before I really like the posts about the band on tour and everything happening when you travel for business. I must be one of the few people not interested in knitting, so I would skip that kind of posts.

Blacknall Allen said...

Happy Blogoversary and many compliments of the day, and I hope your headache has cleared up by the time you see this. Truffle btw is a scrumptious kitten.

Posts, hm... Six is a long time in the blogging world, I haven't "turned" five yet myself. I suspect you have to love it or you won't do it, and your travelogues and descriptions of scent and life are simply fun to read. No mystery there :-)

crikey said...

It was a HN thingy--they are doing a big push on perfumes at the moment--so a big sniffathon, with the Perfume Society helping to provide clue and loveliness.

And I finally have my sleek black bottle of Bois d'encens, so... do let me know if you'd like a dose of that. I will eye up the MI in duty free...I think I need to wear it a good few times before coughing up that cash.

Vanessa said...

Hi Ingeborg,

Thanks for your kind comments - yes, I read that sad news today, the end of an era on OT. Speaking of Tara, she and Portia did a grand job of guest blogging in recent times and I hope we will see more of T's writing somewhere in future. Portia already had a few 'platforms' / 'homes' for her writing, as it were.

Yes, Truffle is cuteness personified, though I am biased of course. ;)

Thanks for reminding me of your tastes in topics - I may never actually blog about knitting, or not on its own...

Vanessa said...

Hi Blacknall,

The headache seems to have shifted, thanks, as mysteriously as it arose. And it was a humdinger!

You are quite right that if and when I stop enjoying blogging, I will stop without any hesitation, because it mustn't be a chore or it won't be fun for me to write - or anyone to read...

Roll on your fifth anniversary - regardless of the years you have clocked up, your postal tally is prodigious!

Vanessa said...

Ah, thanks for explaining. The Perfume Society would be a useful adjunct to such an event, I'm sure. Facilitators, that's the word I am looking for.

Congrats on your bottle of Bois d'Encens! I will check out the notes - I might well be curious about a sample. I am going to try and get one of MI so I can repeat my own trials before committing to a split or a FB splurge, if that day ever comes!

Tiffanie said...

Best wishes to you on your blogging anniversary and as you bring your furry little one into your home. De-lurking to say I very much enjoy your writing and photos. I found you as I linked from one perfume blog to another a few years ago. Please keep sharing your thoughts about your life, your travels, your fragrance adventures, and now your kitten. I hope you will share your knitting thoughts, too. I'm convinced the internet is held together by cats and yarn. :)

Anonymous said...

A belated Happy Six Week Anniversary to Truffle! What an adorable kitten. Her markings look totally appropriate for her name. I hope she will soon be challenging Rusty as blog model extraordinaire.

By the way, ;-) a Happy Six Year Anniversary to your blog writing too. As others have said before, your entertaining writing style will have me happily reading no matter what the topic

-- Lindaloo

Undina said...

I'm not too late, am I? Happy blogoversary, dear Vanessa! There are just several blogs out there which I read for the topic of perfumes. All other blogs - those that are written by people I consider my friends - can cover almost any topic, be that perfumes, kittens or knitting perfume-themed hats for kittens while on a band tour.

Truffle(s) looks even cuter than she did on initial pictures so you should definitely groom her to be a photo model for your blog.

BTW, #5 was my choice as well (but I didn't have time to finish the questionnaire.

Vanessa said...

Hi Tiffanie,

It is always lovely to meet readers, so thanks so much for de-lurking to comment! I loved the notion of the internet begin held together by cats and yarn, hehe. My world shortly will be, for sure. I just hope I can teach the kitten the important distinction between wool earmarked for garments and wool I don't mind being savaged in gratuitous hyperactive fun. ;)

Vanessa said...

Hi Lindaloo,

I am glad you approve of the name - it is a sort of 'swirly confectionery filling' kind of a pattern she's got going on. Marble would also have been fine too in that regard.

It's good to receive feedback from readers about what topics are of interest or otherwise. Sounds like the diversification which has already occurred on Bonkers has not been excessive!

Vanessa said...

Hi Undina,

You are never too late, comment away anytime! And thanks for the good wishes. I was very amused at the notion of 'knitting perfume-themed hats for kittens while on a band tour', haha. Given the many random knitting patterns people post on my Facebook wall, it may only be a question of time before I turn to just such a project. ;)

Truffle was very young in the initial pictures I took, so I think she is blossoming with each successive week. At one week old they do look a little ratty, though she didn't look too bad even so. I am not at all sure she will ever prove as biddable as Rusty, photo model-wise, though I daresay more pictures of her will creep into the blog. In my view, Rusty is and will remain the undisputed doyen of cat models.;) I think you could even sign him up to one of these pet modelling agencies if you were so minded. He is so exceptionally amenable to posing and interacting with perfumes - it is quite remarkable!

Oh, interesting about your answer to that question on the university survey. I am going to feature more on that very shortly!

SallyM said...

Many congrats to be sure! As others have mentioned I'll read anything about which you put fingers to keyboard - I especially enjoy your online voice as a fellow Brit because I don't get to hear "home" stuff nearly enough outside of Acorn TV and BBC America ;-) And with the sad but certainly understood end of OT this week, I'm extra glad you are hear to stay after 6 years.
Truffle is simply scrumptious. I had meant to respond to your name-a-thon a while back but life got in the way and so was tickled to read that one of her siblings was called Willow, as that was my suggestion. "Twas in memory of my dearest feline friend who crossed the bridge a while back and also because - well - your Truffle has the colors that resemble the pussy willow bud. But Tuffle is wonderfully descriptive of her coloring and I'm glad she has the sweet nature to finish off the picture. Good luck with instilling a discriminatory rule about the yarn...

SallyM said...

ha! *here not hear*

Vanessa said...

Hi SallyM,

Thanks very much! Happy to be a 'voice from home' for you in your adopted country. And yes, it seems that OT has sadly run its course, but as an archive of perfume reviews it will remain as a behemoth in the blogosphere.

Funny that you liked the name Willow! I had a cat called Willoughby in the 70s, whose name was shortened to that, but as there is already one Willow in this kitten household, that is probably enough. It would get rather confusing for owner and litter alike otherwise. ;) Sorry to hear of your departed cat of that name. You are quite right that Truffle has pussy willow-style fur - I hadn't noticed that before. It's a sort of sable / mink colour almost.

Yeah, the wool training may not be a picnic. Or the not scratching my three sofas and venerable dining room table, hehe.

Anonymous said...

One way to minimize scratching of your furniture is to have lots of scratching posts or ramps around so Truffle doesn't feel deprived. If she starts to scratch the furniture, you could try to gently remove her and take her over to *her* scratching posts. Not to say she won't be a rascal when you're away. The worst is leather furniture: they don't scratch, it's just that their claws pierce the leather when they jump up to sleep or cuddle. But, then again, children are pretty much destruction machines.

-- Lindaloo

Vanessa said...

Hi Lindaloo,

I am not sure I want to have too many scratching posts around, on both space and aesthetic grounds, hehe. I would be constantly tripping over them, for one thing. I know what you mean about leather furniture - I had that in my last house, but not till the cats I had at the time were grown up and relatively sedate. Luckily for the upholstery, this house is child-free, but I think I will have to come to terms with a degree of cat-related wear and tear. Particularly tear.