Season 2, Episode 9: Sunset/Sunrise (Mystery solved?)

Sunrise. Sunset. Two beautiful times. When the world is, usually, still and quiet. Times of reflections. What is to come? What has already happened? If this isn’t speaking to all the fans of K&E, then maybe you need to go outside with your headphones and begin listening to the podcast again from the first episode.

The penultimate episode (next to the last, for those that were unclear), begins with a 1979 newspaper article from the Portland Oregonian. The Steinfield Pickle Factory, which had been in operation since 1922, has been the victim of a terrible explosion. Cause unknown. However, 120 employees are out of work and the future of the company is bleak. (Well, Vicki W. now you know.)

Dot is back. Moaning about how kids these days just don’t understand sacrifice and how “back in the day” you respected your elders. Especially your parents. Helena agrees. Especially since her daughter blames her for everything wrong in her life. Helena’s daughter seems upset because she had to care for her younger sister when Helena was doing time in the pokey. Poor Helena. Sleeping on a cot and peeing on a cold toilet (someone crochet her a toilet seat cover, STAT!) while her eldest daughter whooped it up in the “big city”. Also, the slop (AKA, jail food) was terrible. Who knew prison wasn’t a luxury spa?!?

Aloha Karen…. today is YOUR day! It’s her birthday! And, can you believe that Aloha Rob RUINED her last birthday?!? (I’m aghast at this accusation! Rob ruin something?!?) Every year, as per tradition (except when Rob ruins it by chucking the karaoke microphone through the TV screen and getting them kicked out of the bar) (By the way, that could happen to ANYBODY!), Aloha Karen sings birthday karaoke. So, this year, our sassy birthday gal is heading to her favorite karaoke bar (the only one in town that allows them entrance) to sing, sing, sing, sing, sing! Unless Rob gets too drunk and they are forced to leave. Whichever comes first. All other birthdays pale in comparison to Aloha Karen’s because, DUH!, it’s HER birthday. Happy birthday, Aloha Karen!

(Here, our favorite Karen, Sara Stapleton proceeds to sing, sing, sing, sing, sing! I admit, I laughed. Loudly. Hysterically. Tears streaming down my face to the incredibly poignant Bette Midler song, Friends. I have no clue how Sara managed to get through this. Soon, I found myself actually crying as I recalled the words and how they reflected upon my time spent with the podcast, roomie community, and Josh. But, thats a blog post for another time.)

Skype time between Sara and Josh! (Oh, this always means juicy information is on the horizon!) Josh finally spills the handwriting analysis. And, the answer we have waited for since the end of Season 1 is finally revealed. The letters are not written by THREE people. It appears that the Mark and Karen letters were written by the SAME person! (I wish I could add a shocking sound effect here but, since I can’t: Make a gasping sound on your own. Also, I think most of us have suspected, including Sara herself, that the letters were not 100% real. It’s just that Josh has finally verified that to us.) Which leads to Josh openly stating, with all the information he has uncovered, that the girls could not be that naive and stupid. It now appears that the letters were clearly written for comedic purposes. (Can’t say we haven’t laughed!) Based on some actual events but, embellished. Josh has also heard back from Darren. It turns out both Darren AND Josh have lived in every city the girls have. (Ok, seriously? I may be jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon. Now, I just need to figure out which one of you is Karen and who is the Ellen?)

Email from Darren. He’s not comfortable reaching out the BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen). As Darren has reread the letters, they have taken on a whole new meaning knowing that BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen) is the writer. He just doesn’t know BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen) well enough to want to broach the subject. However, Darren does remember some interesting conversations and tidbits about BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen). He tells Josh that during a conversation they had, BLEEP mentions she dropped out of interior design school because she felt the program was “creatively oppressive” and “stifled her unique point of view.” BLEEP is also a big fan of cats (#alwaysTeamEllen). BLEEP (the Real Fish Ellen) does NOT like her family. At all. Her family of friends are the only people that truly matter to her and she welcomed Darren to “the family” several times. (I have to wonder if BLEEP is a follower of Charles Manson?) The most shocking tidbit…. BLEEP (the Real Fish Ellen) was at one of Josh’s Twin Peak parties! (What the what?!? SO MANY QUESTIONS! 1. Really? Can we verify this? Pic or it didn’t happen. 2. What is a Twin Peaks Party? How do I get an invite? If I don’t watch Twin Peaks, can I still come? 3. What is your obsession with Twin Peaks, Hallmark?!?). Small world, indeed.

With all this new information, Josh asks Sara for her overall theories on how these letters came to be and who these people are. Sara thinks Mark is a writer. (Me too, Sara. Unless I am the writer. Unless, I’m not.) She feels Mark created a project based on real life letters and experiences he has had with tenants. Largely, based on the real life people that were found, as the main focus and source. Sara doesn’t feel that our Karen and Ellen actually lived together. But, our fearless leader, Josh has the answer to that. He has been keeping a theory to himself. (#notsurprised #TBAKing) Based on these facts; 1. Helena was arrested in the 80’s. 2. There appears to be no Dad in the picture. 3. Fish Ellen’s name was on the lease and not Karen’s. 4. Karen was a minor at the time. 5. After living in the cottage, Fish Ellen moved to Seattle and lived with Aloha Rob. Josh’s theory (which makes perfect sense and nails the final puzzle piece into the pictures) is that when Helena went to jail, Fish Ellen took in her younger sister, Aloha Karen (which is where Aloha Karen and Aloha Rob meet). Upon leaving the cottage, they all moved to Seattle together. Crochet Pants Karen was Fish Ellen’s original roommate, until she had to move out so that minor Aloha Karen could move in. (I swear, this makes sense, even if it seems convoluted!). This means that Mark, when writing his project, combined Crochet Pants Karen and Aloha Karen into one character. Josh also followed up with the Oakland Library Clerk (shout out to Nicki T!) once he had all the actual names involved. Our clerk was able to provide the following information; a parking ticket was issued to Aloha Karen across the street from the cottage. This links Aloha Karen to the cottage even if her name is not attached to it.

Marking the one year anniversary of her Dad’s death, Crochet Pants Karen is reflective. While the past year has been nightmarish, at times, Crochet Pants Karen has staked her umbrella in the metaphorical sand. She has found things she likes to do, the things she has to do, and has found tremendous life giving strength. Her children, her spouse, and her community of friends and family keep her sustained and provide a well of comfort. Crochet Pants Karen sitting on her porch, reading a book about the iconic Ava Gardner, remembers her father. The passage she reads speaks volumes. “I might have worn hand me down frocks and had dirty knees. Maybe, I didn’t always scrub them as often as polite little girls should but, we were never dirt poor. I was the goddamnedist tomboy you ever met. In the summer time I went barefoot and that was what farm kids did. Of course we were poor. It was the Great Depression. Everybody was poor. It cost you just to create. But, being hard up didn’t make us dirt poor.” And so, here is Crochet Pants Karen, with her own dirty knees. She isn’t as polite as she should be either. Being taught to be polite, because it quiets us, it limits us. Crochet Pants Karen sits, proudly, barefoot. Grateful that her family allowed her to dirty her knees. Reflecting on the road of loss. No more ruckus nights at the dinner table, with her father, telling stories together. Realizing that her passion for stories and her history itself may be the greatest gift.  (ARE YOU BAWLING YET?!? No? Ok, me neither. I swear. Ok, maybe just a little.) Crochet Pants Karen was just in Berkeley visiting her old friend, Miss Doctor Kathy, telling stories. Miss Doctor Kathy was her old neighbor (how’s her brother doing? What happened to the cats?) and they spent many nights together, talking in the yard, about what it means to be a strong woman. They were not neighbors for long though as Crochet Pants Karen’s roommate had a family crisis. That roommate, was a strong woman, at the young age of 20. She was soft yet, strong. Both sweet and sassy. Curious and convicted. Unfortunately, they did not remain in touch.

Crochet Pants Karen lived in the cottage briefly, with Fish Ellen. Fish Ellen had a family crisis and Crochet Pants Karen had to move out. Presumably to make room for Aloha Karen, a minor at the time, to move in. BAH BAH BUM! Sara proclaims, Mystery Solved! So, why doesn’t it feel done? Well, it may not and Josh says unless he had the balls (HIS WORDS, NOT MINE! I only recap! And, make up commentary that I usually add via parentheses.) then, we may never actually know what is fact and what is fiction. However, this seems a satisfactory hypothesis. Do the details really matter?

Dear Bonnie. MARK!! IT’S MARK! (The scoundrel responsible for this tale!) He has enclosed a, not so pleasant, letter from CW. Poor Mark. He has gone his whole life without being called a buffoon. (Until now.) Mark is tried of fighting the battle.

Dear Mark. CW! (Now, we get to know what he has to say!) CW is profoundly disappointed in Mark. Mark’s trivial conduct has nullified this production. Mark has not disclosed relevant information. In addition, he has exploited finances for personal gain and buffoonery. These actions have jeopardized the film and could have led to litigation. (Uh oh…. will I see Mark on the next episode of American Greed? Maybe listen to his story in a true crime podcast?) Mark is exhausting and behaves similar to the characters in his screenplay. (I pick Karen! He is a Karen! What’s Mark’s sign?) All funding is pulled and appears this project is a legal nightmare.

OH NO! Poor Dot! A loud bang awoken her in the middle of the night! Gun in hand, she went to find the source. It was awful. Worst than any home invasion. Misty’s portrait fell off the wall! It landed on Mr. Jeeves the Butler and tore a giant hole into Misty! An emergency road trip to Sedona with Jackie is happening to repair the damage.

Well, it had to happen sometime. Helena is deleting the face books. Well, she can’t figure out how to delete it so, she just isn’t going to log in anymore. The damn thing is so stupid and such a waste of time. (It’s also really complicated. Just look at all the comments on the Facebook Complain Department page!). No one post on Helena’s wall anymore because she won’t see it. Because, she won’t be on the face books anymore. Don’t we have better things to do than be on this stupid internet page anyway? How about if we find cheap plane tickets to Seattle? Looks like Helena is heading to Seattle.

Love and Avocados…. and one more episode to go. Get those wine bottles and tissues ready, everyone!






Season 2, Episode 3…WHAT DID I JUST LISTEN TO?

WOW! Just WOW! That is about all I can say about Season 2, episode 3. In my legal opinion; it was full of twists, turns and just a maze of insanity. This blog post will be in two parts. Part one will be the transcribed notes I took, in real time, while listening. Part two will cover additional episode information as well as a peek behind the After Show.

Here are the notes I took as I was listening to the episode for the first time. WARNING, this blog may not be suitable for all readers.

  • Josh? Did you fall down a well? Should I call Lassie to help you?
  • Mark wasn’t surprised to hear from Josh when he first contacted him. Hum?
  • Someone else contacted Mark previous to Josh to discuss the letters.
  • Misty WAS a girl. Duh.
  • Jackie is a red head who is married to Frank. Is this relevant information? Store it away for later just in case.
  • Patty. Patty with the crystals. (Lord help me if I ever make a friend named Patty because I will use this phrase constantly!)
  • Patty is an obnoxious talented artist. Ellen is it you?
  • Bouncing along to the familiar jingle.
  • Is this an airport sound? What’s up with all the sound effects this season? They MUST mean something. Or maybe they don’t.
  • Dear Mark….WAIT! WHAT? THIS ISN’T SARA! Or is it? Is Sara using a different acting voice? I know this voice. But, IS this Sara?
  • Oops, I missed what was said. I’m trying to figure out this voice thing.
  • HOLY CRAP! WHERE IS ROB? What is happening? Who IS this? Is this the right podcast? Is Josh messing with me? Is this some joke? Ha, not funny Hallmark.
  • UGH! What did Fake Rob say? I missed it. Are these the same old letters? I’m going to have to relisten.
  • I HAVE NO IDEA WHY STEVEN PAPPAS IS TALKING? Is This Adulting? This is weird. DRATS! I can’t pay attention to anything being read. I’m barely listening to what is being said.
  • This is all kinds of wrong.
  • DONNA! Donna, why you Ellen?
  • Hum….there must be a REASON for this. Are these some kind of audition tapes? Is this representative of finding voices for the show? Is this an audition for the live shows? Maybe a theater show?
  • You pod people need to go back to your own shows. This is like being at a Persian Bizarre.
  • Freaky.
  • I’m totally lost. I’ve quit listening. I’m still trying to figure out who Fake Karen was….I don’t think it was Sara. But, I KNOW that voice. Ugh….which podcast host is that? These are all podcast hosts!
  • Steven, can we get a mental health check in?
  • mute = moot. STILL FUNNY.
  • Steven isn’t so bad…when I actually LISTEN. It’s just alarming to hear him in this role.
  • Donna has the cutest voice. I could get used to Donna as Ellen. I’d still cry over Sara Beth not being Ellen though.
  • I keep waiting for Donna to giggle. Will she giggle? I don’t think she’s going to giggle. What’s the Varmint! this week, Donna?
  • CUT!
  • CUT!?!?
  • I still feel bad for poor Leslie.
  • So, this IS a show! OH MY GAWD!
  • Hum…..someone contacted Mark BEFORE Josh….was it about a show?
  • At least the pod people voices make slightly more sense now.
  • BAD KARAOKE! “Tell it to my heart….” HELP! My ears may bleed. This is BAD. But, catchy. Ugh, it’s going to be stuck in my head. Damn you, Hallmark!
  • Sara and Josh…please, make heads or tails of this! I need info!
  • “The more it makes sense, the less it makes sense.” PREACH!
  • Wait? This does NOT add up.
  • Karen had a kid before Rob too! IS ELLEN THAT KID?
  • Doing the math. This isn’t right.
  • Are time lines off? Were letters altered in the time line?
  • Something doesn’t add up. It smells like avocado. Hee hee….avocado. I crack myself up.
  • Records of who lived in the cottage doesn’t include Karen.
  • Didn’t Mark state that Karen’s dad co-signed lease? Maybe it was in his name and therefore, Karen wouldn’t be on lease but, her father would.
  • But, Ellen’s name IS on a lease. Sara confirms it is an Ellen who has a SUPER Jewish name, is an artist, into natural healing and lived in Portland! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
  • Sara’s Ellen also paints FISH! FISH!
  • Are these letters even real? At all? Or just made up? I mean, its a fascinating story but, maybe it is all fake.
  • I need to see these prints of fish. Now.
  • Josh snoops on Sara’s Ellen and says she’s pretty! OF COURSE ELLEN IS PRETTY! She’s an angel. #TeamEllen.
  • Two different timelines?!?
  • Possible Jewish pickle factory owners.
  • (I can’t even translate what I wrote next….it’s A LOT of arrows. Like a paper murder board. I need a cork board, push pins and red string. STAT!)
  • Josh, HOW DID YOU VERIFY EMAIL KAREN? I want to know your vetting process.
  • Patricia….Patty? Patty, with the crystals? One in the same? I mean, come on….they have to be, right?
  • Patrica is a visionary. Wind chimes are playing. Pain? Joy? Seekers? Psychly? Is psychly a word? Da Fuq is happening?
  • I want a pet portrait done of Jewelie….how do I make that happen?
  • What’s a SOUL MAP?



A Recap: How To Catch A Mouse

After 5 long months; which is nearly 6 months; the wait is over! The Karen & Ellen Letters is back with a bang for Season 2. As well as the usual audio, we were treated to a YouTube video as well, to accompany the episode. It was really useful to help keep track of the different timelines. Of which there were quite a few! I will reference the video several times in this post.

The first six minutes of Episode 1 were the subject of an earlier blog post; so here goes for a speedy summary:

We start in early 2012, in Scottsdale, AZ, according to the video.
Dot is messaging her friend Helena on Facebook. Dot has retired, Robert has left her a while ago, and she has discovered the joys of cruising with her friend Jackie.
Where do these 2 fit into the story? There aren’t too many clues so far.

Back in 1989, and everybody’s favourite landlord, Mark, is finding himself on the receiving end of a reprimand. It takes the form of a letter from Bonnie; who we can deduce is Mark’s lawyer. Bonnie reminds Mark that he agreed that he would cease all contact with Ellen.

Mark agrees, somewhat reluctantly. Like us, I think he’s had a lot of fun with these letters.

Something I missed last time; Bonnie asks Mark to bring some candies and some devilled eggs to a party they’re both attending. It sounds like Mark may be a dab-hand in the kitchen; as well as The King Of Snarky Correspondence.

The first appearance of Karen in Season 2 does not pass without fanfare. Karen’s first letter is preceded by a very unique karaoke performance. Thanks to the video, we know it’s a fairly recent performance from 2014; at a bar called Di’s. What the singer lacks in any remote form of vocal talent; she makes up for in enthusiasm.

Speaking of lacking in capabilities; here comes Karen…

We’re back in familiar territory. It is once more the summer of 1987, and Mark’s now infamous tenants are just moving in.
Karen has some important questions:

Why is a cashier’s cheque called a cashier’s cheque?

Why does rent have to be paid up front?

It’s ok Karen. Anything you pay your landlord in advance; you can just ask for back at a later date. Once you’ve compiled your list – sorry, 2 lists – of ludicrous demands.

Next up was the absolute highlight of the episode for me. Ellen’s Rental Application form! Which was given to Mark after she had already moved in. Of course it was. There were some huge and fantastical revelations contained within:

Ellen can drive, but doesn’t like to, as she isn’t very good at it. Can you imagine?!

I think we should all just take a minute to be grateful that for once in Ellen’s life, common sense prevailed. I’m sure that there are many people who are still alive today; due to Ellen being reluctant to venture out behind the wheel.

We also learn that Ellen doesn’t have any pets. Something else to be thankful for. Any animals in Ellen’s care would probably have been very clean; but also probably pretty dead. If she’s not spending money on fuel and pet food; Ellen is going to have to find something else to splash out on. Because she has a LOT of money. A monthly allowance of $1,200; plus $350 per month from her trust fund. In today’s money, that’s an income of $3,390 per month. I’m a little upset that Ellen was better off as a student in 1987, than I am working 30 years later! But, I digress…

The biggest shock for me was to find out that Ellen had not only survived a year living away from home; but that she did this abroad. Budapest, Hungary, no less. What was she doing there? Some kind of student exchange programme? Why Hungary? Did she mistakenly think it was a country full of starving children; whom she could help through some kind of Good Deeds? I’d love to know. Hopefully we’ll find out more as Season 2 progresses.

“Ava”, who Ellen lived with in Budapest, is among Ellen’s list of referees. I bet Ava could tell a few tales about Ellen’s escapades abroad. Ellen’s astrologer is also on the list. Her number is unlisted, but Ellen assures Mark that she can get a message to her. They’re probably telepathically linked. Also down on the form are some previous employers. These include the Pickle company, whom we’ve heard mention of before. The site of another fiery work-place incident; that frustratingly never gets expanded upon. Ellen tells Mark, ” I don’t think you need to know about that.”

Oh we do Ellen. We really do.

Before we leave this gem of a document, we have to talk about the astrology section. The form didn’t have an astrology section; Ellen just found it extremely pertinent to include this information. Wow. She is seriously into this stuff. She gives a detailed analysis of star sign compatibility; of which Professor Trelawny would have been proud. Let’s just remind ourselves that this isn’t an application for a dating agency. It’s a tenancy agreement.

There was a great deal of information to attempt to relay; but here goes.

Ellen is a Gemini.

The best landlords for Ellen would be another Gemini, or a Sagittarius. Taureans and Cancerians would be considered; but Scorpios are a definite No Go.

Purely because they are Scorpios. And we all know what that means.

Virgos and Pisces are also no good for Geminis. This is because their suns are squared to each other. Apparently this is bad.

Moon, square, sun, is also difficult; but could be risked for the right property.

Understand now? Nope, me neither. I haven’t got the first clue what Ellen is on about here. But I’m going to attempt to find out. I’ll do a bit of research, and attempt to decipher some of this in a future blog post. Watch this space! (No pun intended).

After that complete and utter brain-fry, it’s comforting to be back with an unhappy Mark, in October of 1987. The rent is short. (He’d better get used to that!) This is due to yet more deductions decided upon by Karen. She has taken $231.00 off the rent cheque, to cover a “lost” porch light, and a pair of binoculars.

Now I’m sorry, but $231.00?????? The $30 bath mat in Season 1 was bad enough; but in what universe do 1 light + 1 pair of binoculars cost $231.00?????

Quite rightly, Mark is having none of this. He announces he’s coming to visit, to collect the outstanding amount. And also to replace the Caldwells’ sprinkler heads, that have mysteriously been broken. (The Caldwells are the neighbours of Karen and Ellen, who also rent a property from Mark).

Replying to Mark, Karen reveals that they think that the porch light may have been stolen! This is why binoculars are required. To retrospectively watch out for the perpetrator of a crime that has already occurred. Completely logical! Karen also apologises to Mark for not hearing the doorbell when he attempted to call round. Maybe the thief made off with the doorbell too? Or perhaps the car wash was just particularly loud that day! These 2 will be needing hearing aids next, as well as binoculars.

Mark suggests that maybe the girls should file a police report about the theft. He is also surprised that the girls have already bought a replacement light, without consulting him first. Oh Mark. Little do you know! Authorisation and jurisdiction mean nothing to these two. I just hope that they got it in Eggshell.

Karen is very quick to reassure Mark that there is no need to involve the police.(Personally, I think that this is because Rob’s sticky fingerprints are all over the porch light. Probably on the Caldwells’ sprinkler heads too. Clumsy seems to be his middle name.)
Karen has enclosed 2 cheques for the remainder of the rent. Ellen is paying more, as she wasn’t home when the porch light disappeared. Maybe this is because the cost wouldn’t divide equally by 2. Or maybe it’s a Karen-imposed fine, for Ellen not using her “inner-eye” to foresee the theft.

Suddenly, the episode takes a whole new direction. According to the video, we’re in Manhattan, KS; and it’s 1998.

“This is unbelievable,” somebody is writing. What, we don’t know. But it’s not Karen’s maths skills this time. It sounds like something way bigger.


“Long story. Want to get to work straight away. Need the entire team out here, like yesterday.”

What is going on? This sounds huge. I can’t wait to find out. At the moment, I have zero sensible guesses. In my head, I’m imagining another Rob-fuelled catastrophe. An entire team of agents; with Men-In-Black-style gadgets; swoop in to erase the memories of any witnesses. All in the name of protecting You Know Who.

The final line of this exchange is:
“Until I say so, no-one knows about this.”
Whoever you are, please say so quickly. WE NEED TO KNOW!

The penultimate part of Episode 1 brings us hurtling back to 2017. We at last get to hear a few more details about the results of Sara’s cyber-stalking; which we had a teaser for at the end of Season 1. Sara is truly a Facebook sleuth extraordinaire. She has found someone called Rob, who was married to Karen. This is phenomenal news! But – and it’s a big But – they were both born in the 1950s. This doesn’t tally up with them being teenagers in the late 1980s. And they already had a child. A girl. Josh voices what we’re all thinking…..


Could it? This is mind-blowing. Is everything that we thought we knew that we knew, a lie?

And that’s where we are left hanging. How can any of this make sense? Like Karen’s maths, it doesn’t add up. 

Fittingly, we end the episode hearing from the person at the centre of this controversy. Ellen’s heart-warming mouse release video wraps up Episode 1. We’ve got a date for this video now, 2016. (Thanks YouTube). So this is ultra-recent Ellen. Exciting! This is conclusive proof she’s been found, surely?

As usual, Josh has left us with more questions than answers. Will we get any answers in episode 2? Somehow I doubt it! But whenever they come; it’s totally terrifical to be immersed once more in the crazy world of Karen & Ellen.

Bit-part players from Season 1 I wish we knew more about:

Bit-part players from Season 1 that I wish we knew more about:

5) Ellen’s Uncle Gary, and owner of the Pickle Factory.

We never get to the bottom of exactly what happened there. It’s the equivalent of “The Fishing Trip” in Gavin & Stacey.

4) Hal

Just one question.

Did he really live in an actual chicken coop?

3) Myron Shapiro.

The unfortunate owner of The Busy Beaver Christmas Tree Farm; and victim of Karen’s & Rob’s complete ineptitude. The man whose business quite literally went up in smoke.

Did he require therapy?

Was he ever able to look at a Christmas tree again, without breaking out in a cold sweat?

And how much did it cost the 2 families to pay him off?

2) Annette

The suicidal piano lady, who was a previous tenant of Mark’s.

I’d love to know what became of her and all her pianos.

Maybe Ellen was right, and that house could have benefited from an exorcism after all. It does seem to make all of its occupants ever so slightly deranged.

1) The Caldwells

Karen’s & Ellen’s next-door neighbours.

It would be amazing to hear from them; and find out if they witnessed any fish-washing, avocado-sniffing; and any other craziness first-hand.

And let’s not forget their high-electricity consuming cats. They were probably quite literally cats on the wall of our 2 favourite correspondents.