Ziggy in her tub

Google Street Cat

Ziggy now appears on Google Street View.

It’s all because of this cat tree…

We’d noticed for awhile that Ziggy liked to climb high, so we decided to get her a tree. Admittedly I didn’t research for long. I ordered the Fluffy II because it was reasonably priced and 163cm tall. I guesstimated since it was ten centimetres shorter than me, it would be high enough to interest the resident feline but wouldn’t take up too much room.

What I failed to take into account was the Fluffy II’s width. And its thick, thick covering of faux sheepskin. And the giant furry crow’s nest on the top.

It was bloody huge. It hogged half the window and dominated our not-large living room.

“I think we’ll need to return it,” I said to Gareth as he finished the assembly.

No way, said Ziggy, who immediately jumped to the top level.

She’s been up that bloody tree for about 80% of her time ever since.

It’s like she’d been phoning it in the last three years, hoping this moment would come. Now that she has Fluffy Towers, as Gareth named it, she no longer has to feign interest in engaging with us. She can simply reign from above, watching and judging, descending only briefly for food or litter tray or treats or a backyard stroll or a few stair runs. Then she’s all, “BYEEEE!” and hops back up to the luxurious embrace of fake fleece.

Hanging out in my tub

She spends her days alternating blissful snoozes with surveying the neighbourhood.

Ziggy snoozing in her tower

Spying on the neighbours

At night, she observes what is happening in the kitchen from the safety of the penthouse.

What's going on?
Hey! That better be a tin of tuna you’re opening.

Recently I went to Google Maps on my computer to plan a bus journey. When I typed in our address, the thumbnail image of our street caught my eye. It looked like the Google Street View car had been in the neighbourhood back in March, for the first time in a decade. Instead of a previous resident’s caravan, our driveway was now empty.

I clicked and zoomed in. And lo, there was Fluffy Towers in the window, topped with two blurry triangles of snoozing cat ears!

That made my year, I tells ya.

Ziggy on Google Street View

The first time Mother-In-Law Mary saw Fluffy Towers, she froze halfway up the drive and burst out laughing. She slapped her hands to her thighs and laughed and laughed and laughed. Before that moment I’d thought, maybe it isn’t so ridiculous, we can get away with it! But such a reaction from lovely mild-mannered Mary confirmed it was bloody ridiculous.

We are now at peace with the big woolly wedding cake (as father-in-law Dave calls it) and its sun-blocking properties. There are occasional double takes from passers-by. And as I took a parcel the other day the postman remarked, “I see the Queen is in her castle today!”

But every time I arrive home to this surly face, it’s a small price to pay for a happy cat.

Greetings, Human
So… you have returned.

Review: The Eule Planner for Digital Entrepreneurs

Review: The Eule Planner for Digital Entrepreneurs

On 4 December 2018 I had a pre-holiday Skype with Kerstin Martin. We are blog pals from way back, and meet regularly to chat all things life and self-employment. You may remember from her Working In My PJs interview that she runs a hugely successful business as a Squarespace designer and educator.

So there we were a few weeks shy of year’s end, and she tells me she’s just had an idea to create an analog planner for digital entrepreneurs. She’d tried all kinds of diaries and dabbled in bullet journalling, but couldn’t find the system that did everything. She wanted to make her own.

I was all ears. I freaking love all things stationery and organising. I start thinking about the next year’s planner in July. Plus, Kerstin was one of the most precise, thoughtful and logical people I’ve ever known. If she made a planner it was bound to be a goodun.

It was already December 2018, so I thought, Awesome. I will look forward to her planner in 2020.

But no. This is Kerstin Martin we are talking about. She is a woman of ACTION.

Kerstin was not waiting around for 2020. Before I’d even tucked into Christmas dinner she had designed her planner, hunted down a printer that could print it with paper as good as our mutually beloved Leuchtturm products, and ordered her protoype. Then not long into new year, this beauty was released into the world:

Eule planner cover

At first I resisted because I’d already settled on a Hobonichi Weeks planner for 2019. But already the Hobo wasn’t feeling right. Its compact pages had worked great in 2018 when I worked on site a couple of days a week and needed the portability. But in 2019 I was working at home most days and generally felt more… chatty! Expansive! I wanted more room to write and doodle. So I repurposed the Hobonichi and ordered Kerstin’s planner.

I’ve now been using the Eule Planner solidly for 7 months so I wanted to share my review. I paid for this planner, and there are no affiliate links – it’s just a planner nerd sharing a good find. Kerstin is my friend but these are my honest thoughts. She wouldn’t want it any other way!

So… the Eule Planner is an A5 size. It has a hard cover but it is a little padded, so it’s soft to the touch. Can you say a planner is cuddly? It feels lovely in the hands. It’s easy to wipe clean if you had to use it as an emergency coaster one time. It has a nice teal blue ribbon so you can bookmark a page.

The planner innards are high quality 50# Domtar paper. The pages feel thick but not bulky. Fountain pens don’t leak through.

The start of the planner is packed with useful tracking charts and tables to keep track of all sorts of business and planning bits and bobs, including:

  • Annual and Monthly Goals
  • Weekly and Monthly To Do’s
  • Year/Month/Week At A Glance
  • Daily Schedule
  • Track Your Statistics (e.g. Social or Money)
  • Monthly Blog Post Planning
  • Newsletter Planning and Stats
  • Mingling: Guest Hosting and Appearances
  • Detailed Project or Daily Task Tracking

You can see what those pages look like on Kerstin’s website.

I’ve found these pages help me to pause and think about my business overall, instead of just lurching from one weekly to do list to another. I’ve made a monthly ritual of updating the stats, and it’s satisfying to quantify ones efforts. Or in the case of the Blog Post tracker, see the lack thereof. Le sigh.

Now to the guts of the planner – the weekly spreads. There are echoes of the Leuchtturm weekly planner layout here, with the dates on the left page and note space on the right. But Kerstin goes beyond Leuchtturm’s lined page, and breaks the right page into two useful columns of To Do’s with checkboxes, plus note space underneath.

Eule planner weekly spread
Please admire how the calendar week starts on MONDAY, which should be the law if you ask me. Oh how I bloody hate a Sunday start planner. Hehe.

I’ve generally settled on using the pages like this:

  • Left – Appointments in Column 1, Meal planning in Column 2. Or if it’s a mega busy week I’ll put that day’s work priorities in Column 2
  • Right – Work items in Column 1, personal in Column 2. Hmmm but in this photo above I don’t do that at all! Och well, it’s a very flexible format.

I prefer using highlighters to check off completed items as I like being able to still read the words underneath and also effort = colour!

Now an awesome feature of the planner that I’ve not seen in any other is that you also get two full note pages each week. And they’re dotted, which is the greatest of page markings if you ask me!

At first I wasn’t sure how useful two weekly note pages would be, but it always ends up being the right amount to jot notes on a call or two, or to scrawl down some random thoughts that will make no sense to your future self. Having the week’s notes next to the week’s planning makes it easy to find things later down the line.

Eule planner weekly notes

Overall, this planner is a beauty. It’s thoughtfully designed and logical. I look forward to planning out my week. It’s the first business-focused planner I’ve bought where I actually use all the supplementary pages. It really does have the online biz owner in mind.It makes me feel a wee bit more like a business person and not a rank amateur.

Great job, Kerstin “Action” Martin. I will back for 2020.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the Eule Planner head over to Kerstin’s website. Pre-orders are now open for the 2020 edition!

 

 


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