A chance encounter of a cafe with cats

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We’d been out and about and were wondering what to do next this afternoon and thought we’d pop to a cafe on the cliffs at St Margaret’s we’d been there before but we took a wrong turn and ended up seeing the Curfew Tea Rooms.

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We were given the chance to sit in the very beautiful summerhouse as the weather was slightly drizzly.

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Our hostess, Poppy, was very friendly indeed.

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The house was originally three cottages and is now one big house. The newer tiles in the middle are a reminder from when the house was bombed in the war.

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Our afternoon tea came out on beautiful vintage crockery. My cheese scone was delicious and came with some cubes of cheese and a little bit of chutney.

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We saw another kitty, Topaz, too and a third one who slunk in and slunk out ever so briefly. It was a lovely relaxed place. A perfect end to Caturday.

The cream on the cat cake: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

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The whole reason for our sojourn in London was because I finally managed to book a table at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. Can you tell how excited I am? We were half an hour early for our booking but I figured better earlier than late.

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It did give us a chance to have a drink and study the menu.

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The speciality drinks were all named after cafe cats.

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It was lovely to see lots of kitties all hanging out together.

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Lovely Donnie

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Littlest one – Lizzie

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The kitties did spend most of our visit in the window upstairs. We had a table downstairs but staff explained it was just where we would be served our drinks and food and we were free to wander around. Most of the kitties were settling down for naps as we arrived so I think I’d go earlier than 11 next time but it was a nice place and, for London, not overcrowded so quite a nice atmosphere.

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Carbonelle

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The speciality drinks all came with their own stencils

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The beigels from Brick Lane were incredibly tasty.

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Donnie and Petra

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Artemis. She was hanging out downstairs but her main interest was the birds outside the window. She did let me brush her a little.

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Loved my hot chocolate :)

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This is Wookie. He has a hole – and he slept in it the whole time apart from 30 seconds when he lifted his head and looked at us.

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Mue – Mama to many of the cafe’s kitties.

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Romeo

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Petra

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Donnie and Romeo. Both gorgeous.

It took all my will power to leave the cafe without cat napping any of the beautiful residents. It is a lovely peaceful place.

The Horniman

Yes, that is it’s real name! It is one of the most brilliant museums I have ever been to.

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The Horniman Museum is located in a beautiful part of London called Forest Hill near Crystal Palace. The walk up the hill from the station is quite pleasant and you see this amazing mosaic at the entrance.

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The map shows quite the extent of the place – we didn’t see all of it – too tired!

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I loved the sculptures outside – the dodo was my favourite.

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As it was a Saturday, there was quite a lovely farmer’s market up there. We bought a load of tasty items for a make-do brunch. This cinnamon cronut was quite delicious. There was a really delicious flaky focaccia bread which we had with hot smoked salmon, too.

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It was a beautiful day at the view from the top of the hill was quite beautiful.

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This beautiful glass house was at the entrance of the museum.

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Of course, we couldn’t resist a photo.

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The museum is mainly free but you can pay a small supplement to visit the Aquarium downstairs.

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Obligatory aquarium selfie.

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A friend of mine describes the Horniman as a big version of Kim’s game. There is a big room of African artefacts..

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and then you come upon Asia..

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.. then a room with musical instruments ranging from this child’s toy..

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.. to some sophisticated stringed instruments…

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… to natural history…

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.. and even a giant stuffed walrus!

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It was only these two little chaps who kept us coming back to our accommodation. The one of the right is Bill – he was shy but very soon he was sitting on my lap.

Notting Hill and Portobello Road

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We visited a few places we’d never normally have visited when we were in London. We went to Notting Hill and Portbello Road for a morning. I spotted my first ever taxi cabman’s shelter.

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There were some really usual high class junk shops.

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We spotted the Hummingbird Cafe – I’ve made lots of cakes from their book so we thought we’d take a look.

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I had a peanut butter and jelly cupcake which was very tasty. We were a bit disappointed as there was nowhere to sit down inside. They had some stand up counters which you could ‘eat in’ at but it was nice to try something. I think pao wants me to make some cupcakes now.

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This sign made me laugh.

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Isn’t this ice cream van transformation amazing? It was fun to go to Portobello Market and Notting Hill to look around but it wasn’t our favourite place. We got a bit bored looking at stalls after a while and I’d only really gone there to satisfy my Sylko obsession. Several hours of browsing and not one cotton reel! We did find a couple of haberdashery stalls but they were expensive and quite an interesting vintage fabric shop but it was hot and we were tired so sadly no photos.

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We had a little pit stop in Oxford Street for lunch and a date with Darth.

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One of my favourite places was the Olympic Park and we spent a very long time sitting and watching the kids playing with the fountains.

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This kid didn’t take too much encouragement.

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This sweet girl insisted in lying in our suitcase.

Textile Journeys

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My friend Anna and her daughter Bea took me to the Textile Journeys Exhibition today which her mum and our friend Jenny were exhibiting in. Judy and Jenny are doing a Level 2 City and Guilds course in Embroidery and it was amazing to go and see their work. We started looking at some of the work of the Level 3 students. This piece was based on the lamp posts in Thanet.

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I could have imagined an Elizabethan lady in that beautiful bodice. I thought it was very clever the way that it was staged like that.

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This bolero jacket was ever so intricate.

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Here is the back of it.

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I liked seeing how some of the students had experimented with dyes in their work. This bowl caught my eye as it was so unusual.

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This cape was quite amazing, too.

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A close-up of the collar.

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And a close up of the stitching.

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The artist’s sketchbook cover was as beautiful as her work.

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This is my friend Jenny’s stole which she made for another friend who has just become a vicar.

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Here is a close-up of the stitching and the butterflies

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The inside of the stole has two Bible verses stitched around the neck.

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It was lovely to see the other pieces that Jenny has been working on, too and also to see her sketchbooks.

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Jenny’s second piece – the box – was so intricate. I can’t imagine it was easy to work with such dark fabrics.

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Judy’s work is really beautiful, too. (excuse bad photo!)

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Her projects were a mirror and a handbag.

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I loved the little handwritten note tucked inside “For Bea’s room at Granny’s House”. This was my favourite piece but perhaps that is because I’m biased as I think Bea is a delight.

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We all agreed that this cushion was really stunning. The artist explained that it was about 6-7 layers of fabric sewed together to make that effect.

I had such a lovely time and thank you to Anna for driving me and Jenny and Judy for inviting me. I can’t wait for next year :)

V & A Museum of Childhood

pao and I had a couple of days in London. Unfortunately, our accommodation wasn’t as nice as it could have been but I won’t go into all of that here. We did make the best of it but visiting some nice places though. I had a little list of places I wanted to see as I didn’t want to go to all the big places that tourists normally go to.

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On the top of my list was the V & A Museum of Childhood. We had a little picnic outside before we went in and as the weather was very hot indeed.

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The display in the foyer was made by a whole load of school children

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and was themed around a birthday party. I kind of liked that there were all sorts of things the children had made and were put together like that.

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I’ve been doing a lot of collage recently and enjoyed finding this cutout cat. It reminds me a bit of my childhood in the 70s.

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What I enjoyed the most of was seeing toys I’d played with like this Viewmaster. It might seem so old fashioned to kids today but it was properly exciting to me when I was a kid. I can’t remember what my disks were but I think probably of London. As I wasn’t living in England then, it was probably all the more exciting to play with.

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Of course, I couldn’t resist loving Snoopy. I still love Snoopy to this day.

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I thought these knitted Punch and Judy characters were pretty neat. Given how violent they are to each other, the knitted aspect does soften the blows.

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Anyone who knows me knows I can’t resist a cat or three.

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I think this is exactly the kind of thing I wished my grandma would have given me when I was a little kid. I’ve taken to eBay without success to see if such a thing still exists to no avail so I’ll just have to keep an eye out in thrift stores to see if I can find one.

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Spirograph was one of the top toys of my childhood. I still remember the ads but I also remember thinking they weren’t as satisfying as they could have been. I remember the whole making lots of lots of circles thing.

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A cat? Yes, this is Millie. She is one of the two things that made our accommodation vaguely bearable. A sweet girl who loved to be brushed and loved a cuddle.

June Babies

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I saw this lovely little scene and spent a few minutes watching the little family wandering around the car park near my doctor’s surgery.

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Lovely to see the whole family together.

I’m sorry my blog silence has been so long. I’ve just been very sad lately and I don’t know why this is. I should be happy but I guess that we can’t always be happy which sucks a whole lot. I’ve been doing some odd bits of art and making and a whole lot of working so I’ve not had a lot of space and time to myself yet this year. If anyone is still reading, say hi, please if you’d like to!

The almost matchy matchy

I was on the nail with my matchy matchy blue striped socks but these Noro ones proved more difficult because half way through the skein, the yarn was cut off and another random colourway was tied in.

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They are quite a close match

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but the toes are a little off.

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Tamyra isn’t bothered. She is happily ensconced in her bed!

Matchy matchy

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I’ve been laid up for the last week with acute bronchitis so between long long sleeps, I’ve been working on my matchy-matchy skills.

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I don’t think I did too badly.

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Tamyra has been my sleeping buddy. I’m not so sure about what she did to make her bed like that but it is all fixed now and more exciting is the fact that she slept with me on the sofa for hours and hours.