Sunday, 25 September 2016

Bye Bye Kitty

On 1 September we said goodbye to our beloved cat St John. He joined us from the Cat's Protection League in 2011 when he was 18 months old and was just one of the loveliest cats ever (even if he didn't really do laps, or let you pick him up!).

He came as a set with his sister Mia (who we called Beany - not sure why but we did) - she was killed by a fox when we still lived in Tooting but St John kept on going for another 7 1/2 years. He had hyperthyroidism for his last 4, but coped well with it. He was too old and frail to undergo the invasive treatments and we were actually surprised he lasted so long. 

Here he is at his fattest (before his illness made him very skinny)...

The hardest part for me was having to make the decision to say goodbye. I know it was the right one but I did beat myself up a lot for a couple of weeks. We've now had St John's ashes back and have scattered them in the garden he loved so much. 

So the little man is after a kitten, but St John's (new) sister Tabitha - who has been with us for 7 years - seems to remarkably happy with the turn of events and is actually a lot calmer and quieter than she was before (I often joke that she's the world's noisiest cat - she just goes on and on and on...). So we're going to see how it goes.

Farewell St John. You were fab xxx

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A Day Out in Kings Cross...

Not something I would've expected to be doing 20 years ago.. especially with a 6 year old. Kings Cross really did used to be a place you went to in order to catch a train and then left as quickly as possible. But the renovated St Pancras Station and the new Kings Cross have helped to change the area and I decided it was about time I had a proper explore.

I'd spotted Camley Street Nature Park when out on a work related errand a year or so ago, so that was our first stop on our end of the summer holidays trip. We arrived at about 10.30am and had the place to ourselves for the first half an hour or so!

Camley Street Nature Park is run by the London Wildlife Trust and is a quite remarkable haven in the middle of Kings Cross. Bordered by a road (and then the mainline from St Pancras) on one side and the Regents Canal on the other, it fills a little slither of land. Other than the occasional siren, sound from building sites and the trains you really could be in the countryside. The little man had a go at pond dipping and we tried to find some stag beetles (which we see quite often around here but I think they were all asleep in their log piles at the park that day!). We saw lots of wildfowl too including the family of swans in the image above.

After tea and cake at the park's cafe, we headed out and over to Granary Square...

Central St Martins moved to Granary Square a few years ago now (I always dreamt of going to college there...) and new students were heading in to register when we visited. The little man was more interested in the mesmerising fountains out the front though, and complained that I'd failed to bring a change of clothes so he could go in them (the weather turned out to be warmer than I'd expected!). He watched some other children getting wet for a while before we walked around the corner to the House of Illustration

The House of Illustration is a lovely little gallery devoted (as you may expect) to illustration. The main exhibition at the moment is of Quentin Blake's illustrations for the BFG - which was apt as we'd been to see the film the previous week. The little man had fun creating some Quentin Blake inspired drawings of his own as there was a lovely big activity table in the gallery for children. The second exhibition was on Russian children's book illustrations but sadly by this point the little man was getting grumpy so I didn't get as good a look around as I've liked.

Our last stop on the way to Euston Road for a late lunch (yep, Pizza Express again, who am I to argue?) was the glowing tunnel leading from the Granary Square entrance into Kings Cross Station. I had to stand there for a few minutes to get a shot without anyone in it! 

So a good time was had by all. We'll definitely be heading back to Camley Street and I'm even considering joining the London Wildlife Trust as it turns out there are more places to visit which I didn't know about!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Eight Weeks of Summer...

I'm back! Well, I haven't really been that far but it's been eight whole weeks since I last posted here. I had an ideas drought but I also had the summer holidays to contend with (which allowing for inset days were seven WHOLE WEEKS - I now need a holiday). I've not been sitting still though, three posts a week for Made By Mrs M and one for Just A Card, together with finalising and launching my new collection (and everything which goes with that) and preparing for three big (for me) events (the first of which is happening as this post goes live) have kept me pretty busy, when I only had five days of childcare in seven weeks...

Anyway! I may still be busy but I suddenly had a rush of inspiration to head back over here and I have lots of lovely posts planned for you (in my head at least). We got up to quite a lot over the summer including trips to the South of France and Barcelona (I could write a whole series of posts about the small boy's behaviour in Barcelona - maybe I should as it'd get it out of my system and make me consider taking him away again one day - or maybe not), we also had lots of days out here in the UK and spent time with family and friends.

For now I'll send you in the direction of my Instagram (which I haven't taken a break from - it's too addictive - even though the new algorithm means my posts are seen by one man and his dog, and I get lots of new followers to both accounts who then leave immediately, but hey) and I'll be back with something more substantive next week!