Oscar & Rosie's on Youtube...A Surprising History

Oscar & Rosie's on Youtube...A Surprising History

When I uploaded the previous Vlog to youtube I searched “Oscar & Rosie’s” from a different account to see how easy we are to find and was presented with a list of all the video content on the platform that bears our name. I’d never done this before and was surprised at some of the results.

So here for your viewing pleasure are the top 5 videos on Youtube about Oscar & Rosie’s.

5. Kickstarter

This is kind of where it all started. We’d finished our run at the Picnic Basket and I was trying to raise money for the move to Das Kino. Crowdfunding was brand new and seemed very us, but the idea of making a video to promote the campaign (in which it was apparently important that I featured…ugh!) filled me with dread. Until I realised that we could hang the while thing on a comedy song. Sing along…

4. How We Make A Pizza - by Aqibul Ali

A really talented filmmaker who made this excellent spoof film for shits and giggles whilst an intern at GoDine (forgive me if i’ve mis-remembered that). Always thought it was a bit of a shame about the sound, and the fact that I’ve got a monster sweat patch going on under my right arm, but a great vid nonetheless. When this was released I got calls from several friends who were concerned that the were really my glasses (they were actually part of a Junior Soprano costume I’d been working on.)

3. Gloaty Sock Restaurant Reviews

I genuinely have no idea who this person is but his offbeat restaurant reviews are hilarious and should definitely be more widely enjoyed than they seem to be. There are a couple on Youtube but this is the most recent one.

2. Toilet Review by El Shires Man

This video is pretty much the reason I did this blog post. It’s not a review of the facilities as a whole (which would still be pretty niche but some quite a lot of people feel strongly about bathrooms) but more of a technical rundown of the actual toilet itself; the model, its flush operation etc. I especially like the comment that has been left below it, suggesting that rather than being a lone wolf, this man is part of an underground community of toilet enthusiasts whom the internet has galvanised into something of a movement (pun intended). At the time of writing this is the second most viewed Oscar & Rosie’s based video on the internet. What a time to be alive.

1. Best Pizza in Notts by Gorge Us

The most viewed O&R based vid on Youtube is this slickly produced review by those nice boys at Gorge Us. Great looking film, Riccardo spinning dough, excellent audio and editing, marred only by an extended appearance by me.

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Hockley Hustle 2019

Leaping with both feet into the 21st Century, this instalment of the blog comes to you in video form and chronicles the exciting goings on at our place and around the neighbourhood during this year’s Hockley Hustle Festival.

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The Real Oscar & Rosie

The Real Oscar & Rosie

“Are you Oscar?”

It happens a lot. Some people simply dispense with the question and call me it anyway, which I don’t mind at all. I’m aware that this piece may have a Year 3 ‘My cat’s breath smells like cat food’ homework quality to it but nonetheless it’s a story that deserves to be told and one I tell a lot so in the name of digital efficiency here it is, exclusively for the first time on the record.

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Rosie came first.

The place we lived for most of my teens wasn’t even a village in that it had no pub nor shop, more like a stretch of road containing a handful of houses and farms in North Somerset with a sign at each end. A local farmer we knew called Geoff had a barn where some feral cats lived and whenever they had a litter his wife Jackie would try to scoop up the kittens to take them indoors and domesticate them. If a kitten is exposed to humans in the first two weeks of its life then it will become domesticated, otherwise it is feral forever. Rosie was one of them, born in the wild and then brought into our house.

Rosie

Rosie

She was a scrappy kitten who didn’t care much for most people she met but we were close from when she was tiny, a miniature panther who liked to play rough. At 18 months old she got knocked up by a local tom cat we knew as Jack Spratt and had a litter of four; Mackenzie, Tiddler, Dudley and Oscar, all of whom we kept. It’s hard to sex certain baby animals accurately (this weekend I met a female calf called Neville) but even after we realised Oscar was a girl she kept the name, refusing to be defined by traditional gender norms long before it was mainstream.

Oscar was a popular young cat with places to be and little time for humans until one day at two years old she was hit by a car and seriously injured. The whole family nursed her back to health, spoon feeding her until she was strong enough to feed herself and taking turns to keep vigil by her sickbed. The result was that she lost an eye, broke her jaw and apparently sustained some form of brain damage which completely changed her personality.

Oscar

Oscar

The others in the litter turned their backs on their newly mangled sister and she became remarkably human-centric, always preferring to be around people, sitting on them or even better, being carried around in their arms like a small child. As the years passed the other cats went their own ways. Tiddler went out hunting one day and never came home, Dudley went to live with a family in West Bridgford and Mackenzie passed away of a heart attack. But Oscar, against all odds, lived on.

Around eight years ago Oscar & Rosie, the single mother and spinster daughter, came to live with me and my girlfriend of the time in Nottingham.

Here are some things about Rosie.

Rosie was a rock chick who loved to hang out with musicians in the small studio in my house during recording sessions. She was an effective food thief with a well honed technique that involved sitting very still on the outskirts of your field of vision until you forgot, just for a second, that she was there, before striking with the precision and quickness of a lunging cobra at whatever half eaten bit of your dinner she was stalking. She once licked the icing off a dozen cupcakes that had been absentmindedly left on the counter of our un-Rosie-proofed kitchen. One was consequently always suspicious when she languidly sashayed into the front room licking her lips and looking pleased with herself. Her favourite song was ‘Into My Arms by Nick Cave which I would play to her on the piano while she sat next to me. She lost her tail when a horse stepped on it and her resulting truncated appearance earned her the nickname Rosie Bear, or RB. And all through her life she would quite literally walk over other people to get to me; unless she was out or sleeping elsewhere there was never a time when I could sit anywhere in my house for more than a few minutes without a cat on my lap. She was my trusty steed.

Rosie again

Rosie again

In one of the worst times I can ever recall, Rosie became poorly. Animals live in your house with you all day everyday and become such a part of the everyday fabric of your life that when you’re finally faced with the prospect of them not being there anymore it is capable of being just as distressing as losing a human. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a heartless bastard who should be ignored.

During the time Rosie was very ill Oscar took to sitting close up next to her and grooming her, something that they’d never done before. Rosie passed away at the grand age of 16, peacefully and surrounded by the people that loved her. The previous night she had a final dinner of her favourite lasagne and ice cream and I slept on the living room floor beside her, both of us warmed by the dying embers of the log fire.

They look cross here

They look cross here

Oscar lives on to this day.

At the time of writing she is nineteen years old and (touch wood) going strong. She has no teeth left, is deaf, forgetful and yet is relentless in the pursuit of anything that she may want at whatever moment she might want it, usually breakfast at 4.30am.

Although she looks very much like a cat, albeit a one eyed one whose tongue is often hanging out of her mouth, she doesn’t really ’speak cat’ as such by which I mean she is not au fait with the particular collection of gestures and sounds that cats use to communicate important information between themselves. I have seen a much larger cat run in terror from scrawny little Oscar because when he made the hissing and growling noises that she should have understood as a threat to yield, she instead wandered happily up to him to investigate what all the fuss was about.

So it was a good day when she met and became friends with Benjamin a six year old British Shorthair with a sensitive disposition who came to live with us after getting a hard time from the local cats at his previous home. They now live together happily.

An old cat, like an old car or house, requires maintenance and we have a close long-standing relationship with our vet where Oscar goes at least every six months to be weighed and have her blood checked. It is no exaggeration to say I could run a car on what she costs in upkeep. Every time a new vet sees her the appointment is inevitably delayed by the amount of time it takes to read her expansive notes, and who often point out the curiosity that while every other animal’s basic details are highlighted on the practise’s computer system in pink for females and blue for males, Oscar’s information is displayed in green. No-one knows why this is.

I’m happy to report that she is enjoying her golden years. Alert, engaged and curious she is still seized by an overwhelming FOMO and is inevitably positioned right in the centre of any non-routine action in the house; watching a tradesman fixing something, sitting in the discarded packaging of a parcel, or emerging from the neglected basement covered in cobwebs when you forget to bolt the door.

Oscar at the centre of things

Oscar at the centre of things

The first time I thought of naming what was provisionally called ‘Rodney’s Gourmet Pizza’ after them, the words felt silly in my head and stuck in the mouth when I said them out loud. ‘You’re naming it after the cats?’ was a common response but now it’s hard to imagine it being called anything else. It’s entirely possible that a greater number of people in this world know their names than know mine. I’m totally ok with that.

Oscar & Rosie

Oscar & Rosie

What am I trying to achieve here?

What am I trying to achieve here?

A fine question, to which the answer is not yet fully clear to me.

Perhaps it is because there are interesting creative dimensions and happenings at 8 Stoney St that I would like to share and talk about in a way which does not suit the medium of social media posts?

Perhaps just vanity?

I used to do more of that sort of thing on IG but friends sniffily told me off for ‘posting holiday snaps’ (a rather unfair way to describe totally legitimate research and development trips IMHO).

At the very least, it is a more orderly successor to the ‘About Us’ section of the website which I update every now and then but in a haphazard and clunky way. This will be better.

Either way, I envisage this being a place for me to tell anyone who may be interested about things that I have come across or stuff that has happened. Can’t get it anymore specific at this time I’m afraid but I’m sure that if I keep it up for a while it will, as these things do, show us what it wants to be.