Sunday, March 22, 2015

Meet Smudge

I adopted a cat in January. Her name is Smudge, she's nine years old and she's an absolute beauty!

I visited the Cambridge Blue Cross in the first week of the year after spending a few months trawling their website looking for the perfect companion. I didn't have much luck on the website, though there were of course some lovely cats featured. As I currently live in a small house without suitable outdoor space or a cat flap, I knew that I could only adopt an indoor cat, which seriously limited my choice. So anyway, that Saturday, I popped into the shelter, hoping but not too confident that I'd find 'the one'.

Well, guess how happy I was to meet Smudge! She had only been in there a week, looked gorgeous in her pure white coat and was very happy to be indoors. She was moody and aloof when I visited her, but I was still besotted. After a few treats, she deigned to come out of hiding and quickly say hi. And that was that! Forms were filled out, arrangements were made, a large amount of cat equipment (house, litter box, scratching post, food, toys, etc.) was bought and a week later, there was a cat in my house!

I've never introduced a cat to a new home before and was quite anxious about it, especially considering that my house is mostly open plan so I couldn't welcome her one room at a time. However, I had absolutely nothing to worry about with Smudge! While I expected her to be shy and stay in her carrier for a few hours, she was out and exploring the house the minute I opened the door. She was upstairs within a half hour, and settled herself on my laundry box for the rest of the afternoon.

And so it's been since January 17th. She was timid of my first few visitors, but now takes every new person in her stride and sits on their lap at her first opportunity. As long as they'll pet her... but only where and when she wants. She steals treats out of her toy box the minute I'm not looking. She chases her laser toy with a passion. And she's even venturing outside occasionally, but only around my small garden. She's quick to run inside at the smallest sound though!

She makes me so happy! She cuddles up to me every evening and at night. She sits on me in the morning, waiting (somewhat) patiently for me to wake up and feed her. I've never met a cat with such a personality, and am loving learning about her and how to make her happy.

Welcome to the family, Smudge, and to this fun new adventure!


















Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Harry Potter Studios

Laura and I went to the Warner Bros. Studios at the start of this year and it was amazing! I had prepared by watching all of the films before and after Christmas (and the last three in one night) and was so excited to see the different sets, props and costumes from the movies.

At thirty three pounds a ticket, I was worried that it wouldn't be worth it, but we spent five hours walking around the Studios and never got bored! Even the food, though still a little pricey, was pretty good, and the butterbeer, though not what I expected, was interesting.

The tour was well laid out, with a first grand entrance into the Great Hall and a final walk around the incredible scale model of Hogwarts and the stacks of wand boxes with each cast and crew member's name. We learnt about the different animals used in the films, the secrets behind flying on brooms, and the effort that went into making every magical creature, to name a few insights into the making of the movies. And we got to visit Diagon Alley!!

I was so inspired during the whole tour and couldn't wait to start re-reading the books once I got home! I decided to listen to the audiobooks instead and am so pleased I did! Stephen Fry does an amazing job of reading them!

So if you're thinking of a trip to the Studios but are unsure if it will be worth the price, believe me; it will be.

I'll even go again, if I get the chance! I hear the Hogwarts Express is coming this year...























Saturday, February 28, 2015

Christmas 2014!

I'm sure by now no one really wants to view Christmas photos, but it's becoming a tradition that I post them super late and I can't break with tradition, can I!? The whole Christmas season was lovely, of course! As I was living in my own (rented and lovely) home and feeling very much like an adult, I treated myself to a real Christmas tree. It was a small tree but made me so happy over December!

I had two work events in the run up to Christmas, a party and a lunch. Both were fabulous! The theme for the party was 'A night at the movies' but I had voted for 'Around the world in 80 days'... so I stuck to my guns and went as Phileas Fogg! I was so happy with how all my time spent paper mache-ing and basket cutting went. We all had so much fun at the party; I already can't wait for the next one! The lunch was held in Churchill College and was so impressive! Rows and rows of tables were set with free flowing wine, games and crackers, and the food was so good.

I flew home a few days before Christmas Day and spent most of my time relaxing and hanging out with my family. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to delete all of my photos from Christmas Day, so don't have anything to show!! But I did take a few photos at Donadea Forest.

Then came Ódhran's birthday! The lucky guy got a cake shaped like a car, but couldn't figure it out and kept on trying to drive it with his hand! It was tasty. He got lots of fun presents and had so much fun playing with them.

And of course, we went to Tullamore to meet my Mum's family. Seeing everyone was lovely! My uncle had arranged a treasure hunt on the second day and our team very nearly won! Our annual trip to Tullamore is always so fun and more so this year, because I wasn't writing my thesis!

After Tullamore, I met Paul in Galway, where we had pints at our favourite pubs and met some friends. Then to Dublin, where we spent New Year's Eve with Paul's friends, who cooked up a feast for us! Finally, we went to London and Paul got treated to the Book of Mormon as my Christmas present to him! It was so good! I was worried that it would be too much like South Park but, though there were scenes that were fairly crude, it was great and so funny.

And there you have it! A rather hasty re-cap of my Christmas! Maybe next year, I'll write my Christmas post sooner after Christmas...





















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