Tuesday, September 17, 2013
We found to our surprise that our little friend had a micro-chip. But if we cherished illusions that we would soon be restoring him to a loving home, they were quickly dashed. The last entry in the microchip database was 2007, and the address and phone numbers for his prior person were no longer current. We tried searching on the name, on Facebook, on lost pet forums and at the local humane society and everywhere else we could think of with no luck. About the only thing we found out for sure was his name- Jake. We took Jake home with us, and gave him his privacy in the basement, while we set about trying to get a little meat on poor Jake's bones.
Shortly thereafter Jake's tests came back from the vet showing that he had not picked up any dangerous illnesses in his long hungry ordeal, and so we introduced Jake to Biscuit and Cookie. There was surprisingly little acrimony, though Cookie in particular was quite weirded out. He still hadn't figured out how Biscuit joined us, and now here was another cat joining the household.
Jake seems to have been used to being on his own. He found Cookie and Biscuit to be rather uninteresting, especially compared to the cornucopia of cat food now available to him. But the house has many interesting places to explore and nap.
Cookie is starting to get used to Jake, though he still gives Jake a wide berth and frequent suspicious looks. Biscuit keeps trying to entice Jake to play, bouncing out from behind furniture at him and then tearing around the house. Jake is quite baffled by this, and gives Biscuit a look I interpret as, "What on earth was that about?!"
Now that Jake is starting to put on some weight, he's gone from surprised pleasure at each meal to wild enthusiasm. And it's a tossup who will try first to push Biscuit's nose out of his kibble- Jake or Cookie.
Still a certain amount of settling in to do, but unless Jake's old family puts in a belated appearance, it looks like we have a new addition to the household.
Monday, September 16, 2013
But. I haven't given up playing with yarn. You knew that, right? And while I haven't been writing about it, I at least took a few photos. So here is my summer in crafts:
For those dog days of really hot weather, there was more cotton. I did another bag, more or less to the same pattern as the first, but this time in blues.
And that's the FOs. I'm still futzing with the neckline of the bulky weight sweater (I've knit and ripped it twice so far- third time's the charm, I'm hoping.) There's a mostly finished sock that I should cast off and start its mate one of these days. Last week, I even went through all the new yarn (since I sorted the stash in the spring) and separated it by weight and fiber content to make it easier to find. And I keep thinking about sewing, but I need to knit some more first because the sewing room is awash in yarn. And there's been some connubial carpentry with my husband which also is currently in a partially finished state.
And that isn't even getting into the two shorter trips we've taken since the England trip--so many hobbies, so little time!
We had happened to return on the Queen's official birthday, and watched a fair bit of the ceremony of Trooping the Colors.
We did some walking (as is our habit), and got tickets for the tour of the House of Parliament.
It used to be that it was quite hard to get tours - you needed reservations that were hard to get for non-citizens, but in recent years they have discovered that tourists will pay to see the place. The tour was excellent, and we learned a good deal about the functioning of British government, as well as seeing a spectacular building.
We had outstanding salt beef sandwiches for lunch, and then walked up to the park and sat in the sun while we polished off the last of our clotted cream fudge.
We met some friends who were in London on the their first trip and introduced them to a couple of our favorite restaurants, and strolled around the city. Some of the things on their must see list we had seen on our own first trip, now over a decade in the past, so we arranged some joint activities.
We went to see the Tower of London again, and were interested to see a number of new exhibits.
And we went to a play- another traditional London activity that we had never done before- we went to see Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, which was doubly interesting for us as we'd read about the writing of it when we visited Greenway earlier in the trip. It was quite enjoyable.
We took in a new exhibit at the Museum of Science on Alan Turing- of interest to us both because of his pioneering work in computing, and his work at Bletchley Park breaking German codes during World War II. His brutally unfair treatment by the British government and early death were a tragedy for science as well as for him personally- the work he might have done had he lived another 20 or 30 years could have advanced computing by decades.
We attended a gallery talk on Roman religious practices at the British museum- and reflected not for the first time how interesting it would be if we could get there more often. We walked up to King's Cross station for a more detailed look at the new station and the construction in the area stimulated by the Olympic renovations to the transit system and the new Crosslink rail lines going in now.
Our last day we made another repeat visit to a museum we'd seen on our first trip, this one to Sir John Soane's house. We arrived early and managed to secure places on their very popular docent tour. Soane was a fashionable architect in late 18th and early 19th century London. We had previously marveled at his eclectic collections, but were interested to find out on the tour that they were not simply a case of pack-rattery gone amuck, but rather that Soane used his house to test out architectural ideas, and that his collections of stonework were intended as teaching tools for the apprentices under his tutelage. A truly excellent tour, I highly recommend it.
We finished out the trip in what has become our habitual fashion, by shopping for books at Hatcherd's and artisanal English cheeses at Neal's Yard Dairy. More places we would go more often if we were in London more frequently.
All in all a fabulous trip, and due to its unprecedented length, one that felt more relaxed, despite the typically extensive ground we covered. I'm already looking forward to the next one!
Our first stop was Porthcurno, now a tiny quiet beach tucked between high headlands.
Once, however, it was the nerve center of the British Empire, as the place where numerous telegraph cables came ashore. There is a marvelous small museum there, with fine exhibits illustrating the lives of telegraphers who served the Empire all over the world, and tracing the technology right up to the present (much of the world's communications traffic still travels by cable-now fiberoptic- and some of those cables still come ashore at Porthcurno). And deep chambers cut into the cliff house an astonishing collection of telegraph equipment, much of it in working order to demonstrate how messages in Morse code were once relayed all over the world.
|Geevor Tin Mine|
|View from the bus|
We had fish and chips at one place, and then walked along window shopping and admiring the scenery. We stopped for some clotted cream fudge (a local delicacy) which we enjoyed enormously. And then we took yet another bus back to Penzance.
|St. Michael's Mount|
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Just past it, we found the National Maritime museum, with fine exhibits of boats, amazing video of the coast guard in action in their Search and Rescue exhibition (the sequence of rescues during the Boscastle flood of 2004 were amazing), and an observation tower that goes from underwater up several stories to provide a great view of the harbor.
We walked for a good chunk of the afternoon and then turned inland looking for another route back. But all paths lead to the coast, and we eventually walked another chunk of the coast path back, before cutting through Swanpool to return to Falmouth. Why is it called Swanpool? We found a clue:
Back in Falmouth we had one of the best meals of the trip, at a Jamaican restaurant called Cribbs.
the Lemon Market was charming (mostly closed, but what we saw looked nice). We found a friendly (and very clean) native.
We strolled through the Pannier Market (this one was pretty permanent looking- more like Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia than the flea-market sort of thing they did in Tavistock). We also noted a restaurant and said 'hey, we should remember that' - about which more anon.
|Lifeboat launching ramp|
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Sainsbury's so Jonathan could get one last soda. We'd grown accustomed to Sainsbury's- it's a common grocery chain, usually on the small side by American standards. Not this one! It looked like a cross between Walmart, Home Depot and a warehouse store. It made us a little sad to see it- we spend most of our time in England in town centers, and although we know that the bland retail spaces exist in England, we don't usually see them.
Fortunately, we didn't have anything like that in our immediate future. The next day would be all scenic, all the time.