Queen and Latifa



Posted on September 14, 2011 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Recently, a different ‘pet’ has been vying for my attention. I am the proud owner of a 3DS and have a copy of their virtual pet game Nintendogs + Cats. On said game, I have a dog called Frobisher and a cat called, well, Latifa.


Yes, I am a ridiculous person.

Yes, I did own a Tamagotchi when I was a kid.


Anyway, I now write for gaming website Egg Says Whut?, and have written a review of Nintendogs + Cats. Check it out here.

While you’re there, why not check out my other stuff, and indeed the whole site too? It’s awesome.


Posted on August 2, 2011 at 6:59 PM Comments comments (0)

Last month, my brother and Laura (his girlfriend) came back from Sierra Leone (where they live), and my parents wanted to do something special as a family. My parents came up with the marvellous idea of going to the Monkey Forest followed by a visit to the Emma Bridgewater Pottery factory.


At Emma Bridgewater’s, we had a very interesting tour of the factory, and then had the opportunity to paint our own mugs. The five of us sat around using sponges and paintbrushes to create pottery masterpeices.


  • My father, inspired by a holiday to Thailand where he fed baby elephants, used the sponges to create a line of elephants around his mug. Dignified and personal.
  • My mother, a girlie girl at heart, used the butterfly sponges to make a feminine mug that she loved. Dignified and personal.
  • David used a paintbrush to adorn his mug with the flag of Sierra Leone where he currently lives. Dignified and personal.
  • Laura used the sponges to create a nautical themed mug with boats on for her father’s fathers’ day gift. Dignifed and personal.
  • I used the sponges to create the following:



It’s not very dignified, but it’s certainly personal!


M x

I Wonder...

Posted on June 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM Comments comments (0)



Wouldn't it be awesome if they did 'Latifa Black Olives' too?!


M x

Project Complete!

Posted on April 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM Comments comments (1)

This is what happens when I'm home alone (well, home with 'Tifa, obviously) on a Friday night:




You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.



I think you'll find that that is an accurate depiction of the diva in pencil sharpener form. I went through 3/4 of a pot of Tipp Ex...


M x


Posted on March 30, 2011 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

My friend Philip has given me this as a gift:



This 'delightful' novelty item is an elaborate pencil sharpener that, when you put your pencil into its bum to sharpen it, meows. Classy.


As wonderful as this item is, it clearly needs a makeover. It requires me, a bottle of tipp ex, and a cat that will inevitably hate being a life model. Yes, I am going to customise said pencil sharpener with tipp ex to make it look like 'Tifa! Oh yes, I am!


I will post a picture of my masterpiece once it is done!


M x

Three Names

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 3:48 PM Comments comments (0)

Considering that I consider myself something of a Sci-Fi fan, it's was shameful that at 32 years of age, I'd never seen Logan's Run. This shocking omission was rectified yesterday at a friend's Sci-Fi film evening (yes, I really am that nerdy... and so are my friends!).


There is a character that we meet later on in the film simply known as 'Old Man' that is played by Peter Ustinov (who is, frankly, the only actor in the whole thing who can actually do his job with any skill whatsoever but that's by the by). The Old Man was an awesome character! He is quite clearly a little bit bonkers, and lives on his own with hundreds of cats whom he dotes upon. My friends cracked that that would be me when I was 80. And, well, it was a fair cop, to be honest, wasn't it?!


This a quote from the Old Man about cats that I particularly liked:

“You know, they've each got three names. Yes. The naming of cats is a difficult matter, It's just not one of your holiday games; You may think at first that I am mad as a hatter, When I tell you that each cat's got three different names. See, they got their ordinary name and then they got their fancy name. And that makes two names, doesn't it? And now it's got a third name. Can either of you two guess what that third name is? (beat) Come on! (beat) Above and beyond, there's one name that's left over, and this is the name you never will guess. The name that no human research can discover, but the cat itself knows, and never will confess.”

(Thank you Wikiquote!)



Latifa is obviously 'Tifa's 'ordinary name'.

But what of the other two?


I am inspired to give 'Tifa a 'fancy name', but I am currently unable to come up with one that I am totally happy with. I was thinking something along the lines of 'Gentle Princess Magnificent and Splendiferous'.

What do you think? In fact, why not reply to this blog with a suggestion for me?


As for 'the name that no human research can discover', well, I fear I shall go mad if I ever attempt to research it, so I'll have to resign myself to never knowing it. It's not as if she ever sees any other cats to be able to tell them anyway!


As a side note, some vague internet 'research' informed me that the character's cat naming thing is partially inspired by a TS Eliot book, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats which I have now resolved to read (despite it not being available on Kindle!).


Have fun,


M x


Posted on February 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I feel that you're owed one. Sorry.


For no real reason, I've just not blogged recently. There's been family bereavement, a renewed interest in reading since I got a Kindle for Christmas, and a lot on at work: all of these things could be blamed, but that'd be a cop-out. I just got a bit lazy.


If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen snippits of Q&L campery throughout the last two months, but the twitter account was always supposed to be a supplementary bonus to the blog, not a poor substitute.


So, please accept my apology. I am hoping that from this point that normal service will be resumed (roughly an update a week, hopefully). Thanks for your patience and continued support.


M x

Q&L Seasonal Card 2010

Posted on December 7, 2010 at 1:39 PM Comments comments (0)

Seasons’ Greetings to all my friends and blog readers!


As I have done for a number of years now, I’m not sending out paper greeting cards for the usual reasons. Without wishing to be a preachy, environmentalist, save the planet nutter, it is clearly better for the environment to send an electronic card rather than chopping down trees to say what can be said on my blog. Beyond this, as always, the money I save by not paying for paper cards is given to a charity. This year, unsurprisingly, I have once again decided to give a donation to the RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch. So you may not have a paper card from me that you’ll throw away in January, but you did get goodwill vibes and the satisfaction that some money went to helping out poor kitties in the situation that ‘Tifa was in before I adopted her: homeless and with nobody to love them (yet!).


Also, I would find writing out cards incredibly tedious, and those other two convenient reasons give me a good reason not to!


Another thing that using this medium allows me is the opportunity to do something a little more personalised. So here you go, a proper Q&L seasonal greeting for you:







I say it every year, but one the biggest things that I am proud of in my life is that I have made a huge amount of truly fantastic friends all over the country and, indeed, the world. That’s you, that is. I am humbled that I can consider so many decent, amazing, and diverse people as my friends. Thank you for being one of those people that make my life awesome.


And with that, all that is left for me to say is that I hope that you have a relaxing and enjoyable seasonal break, and a prosperous and happy New Year.



Have fun,



Mark & ‘Tifa


Twittering Queen

Posted on September 2, 2010 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Do you follow Queen and Latifa on Twitter? if not, it's @queenandlatifa.


As much as it could be considered a cop out, I tweet a lot more often than I blog. Such is the nature of the beast of having a busy life and two blogs, but sometimes there really is only time to do a quick tweet rather than a whole blog. I like to think that microblogging at least allows me a presence every day however little time I have. I also like to think that the gleeful, peculiar charm and cat obsession of Q&L is still there with the Twitter updates. The requirement to be concise is potentially a very good thing! After all, I do whitter on when given a free reign sometimes!


I really like Twitter actually. I have four other accounts that you might be interested in too:

  • @GGWFMark - The twitter for my other blog which is about wrestling (please note that the language isn't family friendly)
  • @QandLMark - An account that is just my random thoughts sans kitty or wrestling
  • @GlittergemWoW - An account for my World of Warcraft character! Yes, I am that sad!
  • @UoSLGBTStaff - The account I manage for the LGBT Staff Network at my place of work (I am its Chair)

Have fun,


M x


Posted on July 29, 2010 at 10:12 PM Comments comments (1)

Whilst at work today, I interviewed a colleague for the LGBT Staff Network's newsletter (I'm the Chair of said Network and the Editor of said newsletter). For this task, I borrowed a rather snazzy modern digital 'dictaphone' (it records MP3s rather than use tapes) from our techies, and as with most gadgets, I instantly wanted one. This is the first time since last year that I have needed (or, indeed, ever thought about) a dictaphone, so my mind wandered as to what I could possibly use a digital dictaphone for to be able to justify the purchase of one. I contemplated whether or not I could use one for either of my blogs, and thought to myself: 'how awesome would it be to interview 'Tifa and post it to my blog?!'


Then I realised that it wouldn't be awesome, it would be utterly ridiculous even for this undeniably utterly ridiculous (albeit fabulous) blog! It wouldn't be funny; it'd just be further evidence, if any is required, for when the men in the white coats come to get me.


No digital dictaphone for me!


M x

Site Clock

Recent Blog Entries

Page_white_text Mug

Follow Queen and Latifa on Twitter

Super Share

Share on Facebook