Cats and Other Animals

Anita’s love of cats is well-known.

The times of her life when Anita was without a cat were vanishingly few. More on that another day. Until then, let’s remember the pigeons.

Anita used to feed the pigeons outside her house at 58 Bedford Road so much so they used to roost above the front door.

For obvious reasons, therefore, it was necessary to make a quick exit and entrance from the place.

(Right: Sister Pat Simms recreates the character played by Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds while visiting Anita in September 2016)


Anita was addicted to Radio.

Through the 1980s she adored listening to scouse DJ Brian Jacques who played Luciano Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits until the wax melted. Somewhat unexpectedly, Jacques later went on to become a bestselling fantasy writer in the Terry Pratchett way, but back then he was Anita’s weekly aural fix.

Then in about 2005 Anita was excited. She had discovered a great NEW radio show.

“You should try it, it’s hilarious,” she assured me. It took a good 20 minutes before she realised she couldn’t remember its name, but from the labarythine description, it sounded very familiar.

‘LARRY! LARRY! What’s it called?!’ The RADIO PROGRAMME!! Yes, of course you know!

‘Oh yes, that’s right… It’s called “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue”, Have you heard of it?’

‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’ has been running on BBC Radio Four since 1972. Anita had discovered it over 30 years after it was first broadcast.

Larry and Anita became big fans. So much so that in 2008 they managed a rare trip to the theatre together – the Lowry Centre theatre to see a Live ISIHAC Show – another very rare thing.

And even more remarkably, they witnessed host Humphrey Lyttleton’s last ever performance, which included a little bit of Jazz trumpet too – perhaps the last live jazz trumpet Anita ever heard.

Anita had her arm in a sling too – a great excuse to cancel, but she made it that night.

The whole performance is available on DVD, but here’s a clip – if you squint, you can see Larry & Anita in the audience somewhere. Probably.