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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Trip to Kyoto, Japan 2017

I'm not big on travel and neither are my family but after my Mum expressed her wish to go to Kyoto and with my Dad not being keen having 'been there and done that' on business trips in the past I jumped at the chance of a mother-daughter week away. We booked the trip last year to co-inside with the famous Cherry Blossom season and all too soon it was time to take the cultural plunge into the unknown! (Although we did bring PG tips and prayed to the tea gods that they'd be a kettle in our room).

We took the 9:30am flight to Frankfurt, the 13:30 to Kansai Airport, Osaka and 11 hours of film binging, lack of leg room, several different time zones, a 2 hour taxi ride with a 'crouch on the floor into a hole in the ground' loo-stop to Kyoto ride later we arrived at Hotel Mystays, Shijo-Dori. We went for a Western style hotel rather than the more traditional Ryokan (futons on the floor, kimono dressed waiting staff) which was a good move and made the trip that little more comfortable! 

So close!!!

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Sunday, 5 March 2017


~2nd June~

I was gifted my first dead bird today.

The cats (namely Poppy) have become progressively more adventurous with innocent leaves, feathers, a worm, a slug, a stag beetle yesterday and now this. Poppy the little minx not only brought it in once, but 3 times after my failed desperate attempts to fling outside away from my house! On the third discovery where it had been left in her bed (thankfully not mine) I finally bagged it up and put it in the outside bin.

There was a butterfly incident the other day too where a poor butterfly was trapped in a cobweb but in my desperate attempt to recover it I had 3 cats against me trying their best to catch it. It unfortunately didn't survive- as it fell from the cobweb Poppy snatched it and ran off. When I retrieved it back it was like trying to hide a toy from a child. I was literally running to find a safe place away from them to lay it to rest. In the commotion it fluttered to the floor by Leon's paws, he looked at it and then looked at me not knowing what to do with it. Leon, bless him, is a giant teddy bear. He's a bit slow when it comes to hunting. He will leap at moving things but when the things are at their most vulnerable/playing dead he doesn't know what to do with them. 

He is such a gentle cat and a very loving companion. He just wants constant human company and follows me around, sits by me and seeks my parent's or other cats company when I'm out at work. Poppy will seek out snuggles too but only for short amounts of time. Well, theres essential hunting to do like birds to catch isn't there! 

~UPDATED 5th March~

I regularly post videos and pics of Leon and Poppy on my Instagram. So for more regular updates of their antics please follow me HERE

It's a very rainy day today (-0per=fr Oh Poppy's just walked across my keyboard reiterating what I'm about to write) and Poppy is not happy. She got a shock through the catflap on her morning routine: she always goes out to check the garden's still there before coming back for breakfast. She is now going through the cat flap coming back in all wet and muddy and miowing at me to turn the weather off. This cycle has been repeating for the last half hour.

Leon's got the right idea.

I have had sick days recently and he sticks by my side throughout the day. It's very sweet!

Poppy prefers to keep her 'naughty tortie' title and goes about her day her way.

Poppy- 'this is my bed for the night, do you have a problem with that?'

'the piece of buttered toast i nicked from her plate and i hid in my bed has vanished, if i sit on my food tray...she might take the hint...'

'Just casually chillaxing on the loo'
She comes up to me for a snuggle at night and has adopted a fleecy blanket which she drools over and kneads...will have to buy a new one!

Remember to check out and follow my Instagram for more of these two bundles of fluff.

~UPDATED 6th February~

Leon and Poppy have both podged out (Leon is huge!) and continue to get up to lots of mischief since I last wrote. Their curtain climbing antics are long gone now that they are scaling the neighbour's fences, garage roofs and even the trees. I am out at work during the day so my parent's look after them during these hours- I hear about the things they get up to when they think no one's watching! 
read more "#CrazyCatLady"

Monday, 27 February 2017

An Evening with the London Community Gospel Choir

I was very lucky last night to be able to attend an unforgettable evening of song, dance and praise led by the London Community Gospel Choir. 

The choir were founded in 1982 by Rev. Bazil Meade. "We were formed from those who were passionate about their faith and were willing to take gospel music into venues that many churches at that time dared not enter"- Meade. They tour internationally and have sung at the UK's major arena's as well as collaborating with big names such as Madonna, Sir Elton John (the list goes on). 

"'Out of Many One Voice' We are committed to encourage unity, love and respect among all people through the arts and our faith in God"

Vivacious conductor, Lawrence Rowe supplied the boundless energy and pace throughout the evening as well as his own stunning vocal performance. This evening marked his last performance with the choir before he joins 'MoTown the Musical' in the West End next week. 


Each individual in the choir had their own identity and stand alone talent but seamlessly came together in perfect harmony: their sound and conviction was just so inspiring! When the live band started up the members of the choir really came alive- the dancing and encouragement/ ad-libbing from each other made the evening even more enjoyable- there was a relaxed 'good time vibe' so audience participation came easily! It was impossible not to move to the music so when we were encouraged to join in, all singing (in 3-part harmony), all dancing- I was in my element! There was a great mix of well-known songs: this little light of mine, one love, oh happy day to name a few and other less-known songs that are in LCGC's repertoire: Fill my Cup, Faith, I've found the answer, Praise Worthy. 

The members are from different backgrounds, cultures, ages but all have one thing in common: out-standing talent. I would highly recommend you book tickets early (the night was a sell-out) and check out their website for their upcoming performances at:

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Makerly Subscription Box

Makerly is a monthly subscription box for crafters. 
Check out the website for more info HERE

There are 3 different boxes to choose from: 'Stitch-Up'- a sewing themed box, 'Paper-Cuts'- a box full of paper craft and 'Mish-Mash'- each box having a different craft theme eg: paper craft, sculpting, sewing etc. Each month you receive a large letter-box flat box packed with goodies: 
  • Instruction Booklet for project
  • Project tools and materials (and more) 
  • Check out the website for more goodies: ie: project ideas and Makerly blog
If your wanting to start a collection of craft materials then these boxes are great to get you going as they come with more materials than you need for your main project.

The single boxes cost £13.50 per month 
6 Month Subscription costs £70.00 (you save £11)
12 Month Subscription costs £140.00 (you save £22)

This pricing is similar to other monthly subscription boxes however for the materials included and the quality of the instruction booklets the pricing does seem a bit steep.
It would be nice to have a 3 month option.

Personally I have been crafting all my life. I studied Prop Making at uni and my skill set is at an experienced competent level of sewing, sculpting and painting. Saying this, I am super clumsy!
 This might give you an understanding of my skill level in relation to how accessible these boxes are for the average crafter.

I feel they are suitable for anyone with any amount of experience- you can do as little or make it as complex as you like: it's your box, you are given plenty of resources to get stuck in, it's up to you what you make of it! 

Makerly~October 16~PiƱata

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Saturday, 4 February 2017

A Peggy Update

Peggy has been off the social media radar recently. And here's why:

Before christmas she was worryingly urinating a lot of blood. However she was still her perky self, eating well and using her wheel at night. A bewildered vet and some antibiotics later she was back to her self again.

This week however, the blood urinating has reappeared and this time she is definitely not well. She has lost a ton of weight and is very dehydrated (her gums are pale). She is on antibiotics again which because of her lack lustre self I am able to give to her straight, with a syringe. She is not eating or drinking so I am also feeding her cooked watered down chicken juice (yuk) from a syringe. This evening she has also been pulling her back legs along and appears very flat-looking. It's not looking good and it has been quite distressing to see.

Edit: I believe this could be 'Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome'.

I have taken out the ladder to the upper level of her cage as well as made a pile of litter so she doesn't have to heave herself into the litter tray. Edit: I've ground up her normal biscuits and put her food and water on shallow trays for easy access. The two rolled up tea towels were to give her support to stand but she's more inclined to move away from them and to lie near the edge of her cage which is heated from the warmth of the radiator.

There is a specialist vet that I will book in to see asap but in the mean time I wish nature would do it's thing and end any pain she's in. I really don't want to be the one to decide- if you are pet owner you will empathise! I would rather the specialist vet say what's to happen next. Peggy is nearly 4 years old (they live 3-5 yrs) now and I have had her since she was 8 weeks old so she will be a big loss in my life.

UPDATED 30/1/16

UPDATED 4/2/17

Whoops, sorry for the delay- this is the first time since my last post where I've been able to sit down and catch you up properly!

Peggy is alive and well! She is back home and in recovery from her big operation. The vet could feel a swollen 'mass' in Peggy's abdomen and suspected a tumour in the uterus which would be bleeding. Hence her blood loss. However, on operating, there was no tumour there but the uterus was bigger than normal and he has explained the following: as female hedgehogs age, hormonal changes cause the lining of the uterus to develop abnormalities which lead to bleeding (resembling menstrual bleeding). This is not uncommon in ladies of a certain age who require removal of the womb known as 'Hysterectomy'. One condition (which Peggy may have had) is called 'Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia'. Removal of Peggy's uterus and ovaries known as 'Spaying' should have cured her abnormal bleeding.

Peggy has a neat little scar on her belly and is not to do any wheel-running for at least a week. She is on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication (giving medicine to a hedgehog is tricky I'll tell ya that!) The vet said to monitor her and give her some TLC as us humans would want after any operation. She's looking more wide-eyed and lively now and has been gulping down lots of water, nibbling her biscuits and mealworms and doing lots of poo- which I've never been happier to see!

More Peggy:

12 Days of Peggy (xmas Edition)

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