A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts


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Cat flaps

The cats are loving their new enclosure but it was getting a bit chilly having the back doors open for them to go in and out. Because of where we’re situated, and because Rosie tends to panic if she can’t get in and hide if she needs to, we couldn’t just close the doors and leave them out there.

We’d been talking about having a cat flap for a while but couldn’t decide where to have it. The options were to go through the wall in my craft room, which would be a big job but would only need one flap. I was worried about getting a draught in there though as it’s a cold room to start with.

The other option was to go though the kitchen door. Then to either go through the conservatory wall, or though the door, which is double-glazed. If the latter, we’d have needed to have a new glass bit made with the cat flap already in it.

We’d been going back and forth on it for ages so eventually we found a company online that looked reputable, (Facebook reviews/good website etc) and gave them a ring. They turned out to be a godsend as not only did they give excellent advice, but fitted two flaps the next day (last Friday).

We had one in the kitchen door and one in the conservatory door. We had the glass panel replaced by a solid one as the door wasn’t wide enough to take the cat flap and still be strong enough. It looks a bit odd having the glass on one side and a solid panel on the other but I can live with it. If it does bother me, I can always get the other panel replaced to match.

The company we used is All Glass & Glazing, and we’ll definitely use them again if we need any glass work done. They were fast, efficient and friendly and left absolutely no mess at all. They supplied the flaps, which we chose from their website and they’re plenty big enough for the cats.

Frodo got the hang of using them straight away. I’ve been trying to get a pic of him but he’s so confident that he goes through them at about 90mph. He’s loving it.

Stephen made a little step for them outside as we thought the drop might put them off using it.

Sammie took a little longer to use the flaps and would still prefer for us to open the door instead, but she has been using them and has been in and out a few times today.Rosie is the most reluctant. She has used them but isn’t keen on trying to push them open. There are magnets holding the flaps steady, so they don’t blow in the wind. The cats do have to push a bit harder than if there weren’t any and that is what Rosie is struggling with. She’ll soon get the hang of it though.I’m noticing that the back door needs cleaning. Everything got a bit grubby out there while the landscaping in the enclosure was being worked on. Now it’s pretty much finished, I’ll have to get my scrubbing brush out!

I’ve been taking photos of the enclosure and I’ll post them soon. We’re really happy with it, and so are the cats.

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The Alaska/Canada album is finished

Finally! It’s taken a while but I’ve got loads done since we got back from Florida so I’m really chuffed to have it finished. Here is the final gallery of photos.

The previous layouts in the album are herehere and here. I’m going to make a page for them to keep them all together.

Now I can start some Disney scrapping. I’ve already sorted and printed loads of photos and I signed up for Shimelle’s ‘A most magical scrapbook’ class. I’m really enjoying watching all the videos and am getting lots of ideas. I can’t wait to get cracking on it.

As a reward for finishing the Canadian layouts, I treated myself to a bit of new stash. I know I didn’t really need anything, apart from adhesive, but there are some lovely stickers available and that’s one thing that I didn’t really have. Hopefully I’ll have something pretty to show soon.


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SAL – Crazy cat lady #1

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and A whole lotta latte has temporarily been retired. After not stitching for a few weeks, mainly due to being on holiday, I got Latte back out with every intention of getting lots done for this update. I put a couple of colours into the stripey cup and when I went for the next colour, there was none left. After checking to see how much was left to do in the rest of the colours, I realised that another colour had run out and two didn’t have enough left either.

Not good. After checking online, it seems that Dimensions do not use DMC so although you can find conversion tables, they’re really only useful if you’re converting the whole project. I managed to track down an email address for Dimensions and asked if they could supply the missing threads. I got a reply quickly enough and they promised to send what I needed, but explained that it would take about four weeks due to international post.

I didn’t want to sit twiddling my thumbs for four weeks so I thought I’d start a new project and go back to Latte later on.

This is the new project.Don’t you just love it? And isn’t it so me! I’ve been waiting to start this for ages.

I’ve got a bit done to it already and I’m loving it.That doesn’t look much but it took hours with all the partial stitches in different colours. Notice that I’m doing the backstitch as I go? I have no plans to do all that at the end *shudders*.

It’s a bit more interesting to stitch than Latte as not only are there normal full crosses, but there are straddled crosses too, which feel wrong as normally you’d avoid moving the crosses over half a stitch. There are also diagonal half-crosses, horizontal half-stitches and vertical half-stitches. It gives much better detail but you need to concentrate a bit more. I like it. I’m glad I replaced the aida fabric with evenweave though. Doing those half-stitches and straddled crosses on aida would be very tricky.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:

AvisClaireGunLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristina Kathy,
 MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine,  Mary MargaretTimothy, Heidi, Connie, Jackie

Look how many of us there are now! Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.

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WDW holiday, 11th Oct – Flying home

Wednesday/Thursday

We had to get up at 5.30am this morning. Our flight wasn’t until 11.40 but Disney does like to get you to the airport nice and early. We’d had notification that we were being picked up by the Magical Express at 7.15 and to get there 15 minutes early.

I only had a couple more things to pop into the suitcases and they closed easily, thanks to my expert packing skills 😉 (plus we hadn’t done much in the way of shopping)

We made it to the bus stop in plenty of time and the coach arrived bang on 7.15. I do like using the Magical Express. It’s a door to door service and you can just sit back and relax. They play cartoons and trivia games on the overhead screens and the seats are comfortable. Much better than the stress of driving back and having to faff about returning a hire car at the airport.

The airport was quiet this morning and once we’d used the self-service kiosks to print our boarding passes and luggage tags, (I’d already checked in online), we were seen straight away at bag drop. There was only a short queue at security, but we were able to go through a different line as our boarding passes had ‘TSA Precheck’ on them. It was brilliant. The laptop stayed in my hand luggage, our jackets could have stayed on, if we hadn’t been carrying them, and our shoes didn’t need to come off. Five minutes from flashing our boarding cards to walking out of security the other end. We have never got through that quickly before. Maybe they decided to give us a break after my pat down last year, and Stephen’s this year LOL

Once airside, we headed for Starbucks for a light breakfast. Stephen had a sandwich and I had some pumpkin loaf – yum. Then we headed for our gate and sat and waited. We had over two hours before our flight departed but I’d rather be two hours early than two minutes late 🙂

We were quite looking forward to the flights, for a change. I love flying, but hate cramped seats, especially on transatlantic flights. We were so happy that we’d got such a good deal on premium economy with Air Canada. It’s definitely easier now that we’re getting older.

We were almost the first people on the plane and settled in to our lovely comfy seats. We had some juice while we were waiting for take off, and were handed menus to select our lunch option.

The food was delicious, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about airline food before. We both had the chicken tandoori and there was loads of really tasty chicken. I love the hot towels that you’re given to freshen up before eating, and I love that they clear your tray as soon as you’re finished. It’s completely different to what we’re used to in economy.

I finished my book on the Kindle during the flight, (Earthly remains by Donna Leon – very good) and started another, (the latest Stephanie Plum – Turbo twenty-three by Janet Evanovich). Stephen watched Passengers on the iPad that’s provided.

Our flight took off slightly early and landed about 30 minutes early. We had ages to wait for our next flight but it went fairly quickly. We went for coffee, and had a walk round a couple of times. I bought some maple chocolate, which was yummy.

Boarding went smoothly again and we settled down for our longer flight. Once again we got the juice, hot towels and a lovely meal. No photo of the food, but I did get a pic of the menu. I had the chicken and Stephen opted for the beef. Both were very nice indeed!

I slept for most of the flight after we’d eaten and I think Stephen managed to get some sleep too.

We landed a bit earlier than scheduled and were through security and waiting at the courtesy bus stop by 7.10am. The bus came ten minutes later and we were soon in our hire car and on the road. We stopped at Oxford services for some breakfast and finally got home at about 11am.

Stephen had to take the hire car back and while he was gone, I tidied up. I’d moved a few things to give the cats more space to play so had to rearrange the furniture a bit. I washed all their blankets and quilts too as they’d been well used and needed freshening up.

The cats were happy to be let out into their enclosure and seemed very happy to see us. They look as if they’ve been well looked after while we were away. Kitty Angels do a brilliant job. I’ll post some of the photos that they sent us when I get time.

We had a brilliant holiday, seeing some new things and revisiting old favourites. Yes, it was very hot and humid and occasionally very rainy, but we still managed to do everything that we wanted and spent plenty of time relaxing too.

 


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WDW holiday, 10th Oct – Hollywood studios

Tuesday

We had a slightly later start this morning but we were at Pepper Market, the quick service restaurant at Coronado, by 8.30am. We had a nice breakfast there. I had pancakes and sausages and Stephen had a breakfast sandwich. Once we’d finished eating, we went for a stroll round the resort.

Coronado is split into three areas, all with different styles and landscaping. We’re in Casitas and are just a couple of minutes walk from the central area with the shop and eateries. The landscaping is lovely all around the resort. It’s a pretty place to walk around and we enjoyed having a little explore.

We had our FastPasses at Hollywood studios today but needed to pop to the Swan first to return our hire car. We needed a photo of it first though. It’s a holiday tradition.

From the Swan it was just a short boat ride to the Studios. We got there in plenty of time for our first FastPass on Tower of Terror. Stephen didn’t feel like riding it though so he sat in the shade while I went on by myself. I had a blast, but sadly the people in front of me had their hands in front of my face for the photo. We did get a magic shot with the balloons though. We had fun getting it done.

Next we went over to do the Muppet show and spotted a lonely photographer when we came out. He had no customers at all so we hijacked him to take some shots in front of the Muppet theatre. We asked if he had any magic shots and he walked us round the corner and took this one.That’s another one that I’ve been after so I was a happy bunny.

We were getting a bit peckish so had a bit of lunch at PizzoRizzo. We split a small pizza between us but had a dessert each. What can I say? It’s our last day and we needed a treat.

Next up was Toy Story Mania, which we love, and Stephen actually managed to beat my score this time. I’ve beat him every time on Men in Black, TSM and Buzz Lightyear apart from this time, so I guess I can let him have one win 😉

We spotted one last photographer taking pics with the Star Wars sign in the background so joined the queue. He took a few normal poses and then told us to do this.
We did have one more FP to use but we needed to get back as I wanted to take my time doing the packing. We have a very early start tomorrow as the Magical Express will be picking us up at 7.15am.

We got back to our room to find that housekeeping had been busy.So pretty!

We had a little relax before starting the packing and then Stephen hauled the suitcases out. I like that in this room, they fitted nicely under the bed so were out of the way. Packing, as usual, consisted of me organising and packing, while Stephen hovered waiting for instructions.

It took a while to get everything as ready as we could, and we were getting hungry so decided to walk over and get something to eat. We’d been eyeing up the table service restaurant here, the Maya Grill. It’s about a three minute walk from our room so we popped over and got a table.

It’s lovely inside and the menu is short but everything looked lovely. I had the beef short rib and Stephen had a pork chop. The flavours on both were delicious. My beef just fell apart and was excellent.

Back to our room after that and an early night, ready for departure in the morning.


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WDW holiday, 9th Oct – Animal Kingdom

Monday

This morning we were up early and managed to get to Animal Kingdom for early entry at 8am. It was hot even then at 26° with 97% humidity. Apparently this is July weather rather than October’s. We’ve never felt heat like it here and even though we’re here a month earlier than usual, we really didn’t expect this.

The lines for both Pandora rides stretched for what looked like miles so we went to the Safari and had two goes on that. It would have been nice to get another ride on Flight of passage but we’ve been on it twice so can’t complain.

A lot of the animals weren’t out yet on our very early safaris but we did see all three lions together which was worth the early start alone. On one of the safaris we managed to get a shot of the lion and one of the lionesses together.On the other ride we got my favourite ever lion photo.We also managed to get a nice shot of one of the black rhinos as he’d come down to the water at the front of his area.

My camera didn’t like the heat & humidity. The lens misted up and wouldn’t clear. My glasses have been misting when going from the air con to the heat, but clear in seconds. My lens was still misty an hour after leaving our room. In the end I had to gently wipe it. I’ve never seen that happen before but luckily Stephen had his camera on him so we didn’t miss out on any of the photo ops on the Safari.

We were getting peckish once it got to 9am but had a walk round the park trying to get a few more photos before we left Animal Kingdom for the last time this trip. We got the elusive Simba magic shot on the Harambe bridge.

The photographer told us that there would be a photographer in Dinoland in about 15 minutes, when we asked about the dino bone magic shot. I’ve been trying to find that one since we arrived in Disney World but there’s never been a photographer in the area. We crossed our fingers that our luck had changed and headed over. We got some nice photos over in Asia on the way.When we got to Dinoland, there was indeed a photographer and she was very obliging. She took several shots of us posing in front of the huge dinosaur and then took us to the side to do our dino bone shots. Stephen’s is definitely the best.

I was starting to get a migraine by the time we left so instead of heading out to find breakfast somewhere, we came back to Coronado to pick up something to take back to our room. It was blessedly cool inside so we decided to relax for a while after eating, and go back out to the Magic Kingdom later for our FastPasses.

By 2pm we knew we weren’t going to the parks that day. The temperatures were up to 33°, but with the lack of a breeze and the high humidity it felt like 40°. We just couldn’t face it. Stephen has had a cold for a few days so had a nice long nap and I read for a while.

Once it had cooled down, and after doing a bit of research on what was showing, we headed for Disney Springs to go to the cinema. We saw The mountain between us and quite enjoyed it. We had hot dogs and popcorn in there and called that dinner 🙂

After the film, we walked down to The world of Disney store and got another three charms for my Pandora bracelet. There are charms that are exclusive to the Disney parks so I can only get them here. I got a purple Mickey charm, one with the castle and fireworks on it, and a red/black/silver Minnie charm. They’ll add a bit of colour to my bracelet.

We looked round a few other shops then took a slow walk back to the car park and headed back to Coronado.


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WDW holiday, 8th Oct – Coronado Springs

Sunday

This morning we got up fairly early and packed everything up as it was time to leave the Royal Pacific. We’ve loved our stay there. It’s a beautiful hotel and all the staff are so friendly and helpful. The room was full of luxurious little touches but at the same time was cosy and comfortable. Add to that the short walk to the parks and having Express pass access to the rides, and it’s a great place to stay for a few nights.

It wasn’t quite time to go home though as we were off to Coronado Springs on Disney. It’s a resort that we haven’t stayed at before but I’d read great reviews of it and it looked and sounded lovely. On the way there, we stopped off at IHOP for breakfast. I had a pancake combo again but this time with chocolate pancakes with a mocha espresso filling/topping. It was yummy.

We checked into Coronado Springs just before noon. Our room was ready but the cast member asked us if we’d like one of the newly renovated rooms instead. I said that I’d like that very much and she said we’d have to wait up to an hour as housekeeping were still in there but that I’d get an email when it was ready.

We had a look around the central area while we waited and then drove over to the nearest car park to our room. The email came just after that and we unloaded the car. The room is lovely. It’s quite large and has a really nice bathroom area with lots of storage space in it. It looks like we got an upgrade too as we booked a standard room but have a preferred room. We got a decent coffee maker again, the same type as we had at Royal Pacific. There were plenty of USB charging points as well as standard sockets.

There is some construction going on at Coronado at the moment, which we knew about when we booked. We didn’t think it would impact us that much so we weren’t worried. I thought it was a nice touch that Disney left a little gift in our room because of it though.

We unpacked the essentials and drove over to Animal Kingdom to use our FastPasses. We went on Dinosaur and hammed it up for the photos again. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of that 😉

We found a photographer who was doing magic shots with the butterfly. We hadn’t found that one before so were quite chuffed. I do love the way Stephen really gets into it.We also found the magic shot for the Lion guard.We did the Safari and saw the Nemo show, which I love to bits, the Lion king show, also brilliant, and It’s fun to be a bug. At one point we walked over to Africa from Pandora, using the new path. It was a nice walk with a lovely view of Harambe as you approach it.

We had lunch in Satu’li canteen again. Stephen had the same as the last two times, the beef bowl, but I tried something different and had the cheeseburger bun, which was something a bit different and although not as yummy as the chicken bowl that I’ve been having, was still very nice.

When it got dark enough we headed over to Pandora as I’d been dying to see it lit up at night. It was beautiful. I didn’t attempt to take any photos, partly because it was raining a bit but we did get a couple of photos taken by the Photopass photographers.

I love this animated shot with the wood sprites.

After we’d had a good look round we headed back to our room to finish unpacking.