Annie Bee In The Guardian

I was delighted to have a very small piece published in The Guardian newspaper last month. I hope you enjoy reading it. As you probably know, I now have 2 chooks as pets ~ Alabama and Georgia. They are utterly enchanting, but no match for Bunty.

Bunty Jenkins III
Died aged 13

Bunty Jenkins III was one of the five loves of my father’s life and the last in the line of three family cats that shared the name.

My brother was given Bunty Jenkins when I was brought home from the hospital, to soften the blow of no longer being the only apple of our parents’ eye. He wanted to call him Humpty Dumpty but, being just two at the time, could only say Bunty.

Bunty was terrifyingly nasty and we were glad to give him to friends when we moved from New Zealand’s North Island down to Christchurch.

Bunty II was a far sweeter character: when she went missing for four days, having been hit by a car, I got my first taste of a family in crisis. Luckily, she hobbled home and was an integral part of our family until she, too, had to be given away when we went to live in Wales for a year.

The difference with Bunty Jenkins III was that she was a cat of such character, beauty and intelligence that when we left New Zealand for the UK, my father announced that she was coming with us or else he would take her to a taxidermist so she could be stuffed and forever sit on top of the TV after our move.

I have no idea what it cost to transport her those 12,000 miles (this was the late 1970s) but I remember she touched down in Hawaii, about which we were very jealous, and then had to be quarantined for six months before we could take her home.

The other four loves of my father’s life were my mother, his children, Wales and rugby (not necessarily in that order). What he didn’t know (or maybe he did) was that the love of Bunty Jenkins III’s life was my brother David.

I only saw my father cry once and that was at the vet’s when the last Bunty had to be put down due to kidney failure. We never had another cat – she was irreplaceable.

DG Jenkins, Bunty III and DG Jenkins

My brother David, Bunty Jenkins III and my father, Graham c. 1976

The full article (with other reader’s pet obits) is here: Guardian Pet Obituaries (July 11th 2015)

Annie Bee x

Annie Bee signature

Who’s Got The Best National Anthem?


I belong to a strange tribe of mutts  – I am not one thing nor another, and had a nomadic upbringing. If you put a gun to my head I would say I am Welsh, and I do feel at home when I go back to the Mother Country, which I don’t do often enough.

I was born and brought up in New Zealand, but with two VERY Welsh parents (there is nobody more Welsh than a Welsh person who is 12,000 miles from home), have lived in Wales, but now live in England with an English husband and a crew of Baby Bees (all born in London) who also find themselves neither one thing nor another.

Today is a big day for rugby enthusiasts. I was steeped in rugby from a very early age and on my father’s side of the family, there are very strong ties to Llanelli Rugby Club. I knew what an Up and Under was before I was out of nappies. So I will be watching this afternoon as Wales play Italy; Scotland v Ireland follows and then the day rounds off with England v France. Rugby heaven.

But can I admit that my favourite bit is not the game, but the National Anthems at the start? I would definitely argue that Wales have by far the best National Anthem in the world. I am prepared to be proven wrong but am fairly sure it is the only time you will hear the crowd singing in harmony. I find it very moving indeed. Have a look and see what you think.

And then there’s the Haka. Also very moving, not to mention unsettling for those at whom it is aimed:

It is only another 6 months until the Rugby World Cup. And I for one can’t wait for the singing.

Equipe Nouvelle Zelande


Annie Bee x

green bee for signature copy