A purrfect trip to The Cat Café (Manchester)

Last week my flatmate and I went to The Cat Café in Manchester in the Northern Quarter. This was an advance booking which we made the previous week in the midst of having a breakdown over a freezing cold house.

By know you have probably heard about cat cafés, people pay money to spend an allotted time with cats in a café setting. It sounds crazy, right? Only cat crazy people would do it, well my friend you are wrong. As someone who is first a dog person (but does love the cats), the cat café is a great way to spend time with cats (especially if you don’t have any pets) and it does bring a smile to your face. My timing to the cat café came just after a very mixed week, so it left a very Cheshire grin on my face when I left.

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All the cats that live at the cafe

The Cat Café in Manchester opened earlier this year and seems to be a growing success like other cat cafes around the country. The café has 11 cats who have all had previous homes and reside at the café, they have their own chill out room away from the public and staff are on hand to keep an eye on the felines. The Cat Café has various house rules set in place such as no picking up the cats and disturbing them when they sleep to keep the kitties at their happiest. There is also a strict limit of 20 people (not including staff) in The Cat Café at any one time.

We arrived on a rainy Friday evening around ten minutes before our allotted time at six o’clock but the girl on the desk allowed us to go in earlier as the café wasn’t full. You are required to wear slippers or shoe covers to protect the cats when entering the café and you can store your items in lockers provided free of charge. As we entered the café itself (after a three door system) we saw the odd two cats running about, which I will admit disappointed me a little. We order our free drinks and took a table and then more cats appeared out of nowhere, it was feeding time!
If you visit, I recommend around the six o’clock time as you will see a lot of the kittens. Feeding time was a little manic as the staff made sure the cats all eat their own food. Some of the felines returned to their room but the majority stayed out.

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(L- R: Georgina and Harvey, Aslan, Gus and Joel)

So for the next hour Beth and I moved around the café and interacted with the cats, we briefly stroked a few but cats are cats and they do what they want. You could really tell some of the cats personalities. Joel seemed rather excited, Aslan was done with everyone and Georgina was happy to observe from the bookcase. I would say we saw all but three of the cats, which I would consider a success. My personal favourite was Aslan but Harvey and Gus were just as adorably fluffy.

Would I go again? Hell yes!

Surprisingly spending the hour with some kittens made me really happy and it was just a cool thing to do with my time. I am already telling my friend when she visits we will go to The Cat Cafe. If you know someone or yourself would love to spend time with some precious cats give The Cat Café a whirl. I am sure you will have paw-some time.

gus so fluffy.jpgThis picture of Gus makes me chuckle

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Beautiful Books

As a bookworm, I try not to judge a book by its cover as the old saying goes. However, some books are much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than others. Some books could have great covers but the contents of the book could be poor, this works vice versa. But today I am not talking about what is on the inside, I am talking about what is on the outside.  Not all the books I have chosen are favourites of mine, in fact some of the books I didn’t rate that much but the cover of the book is simple beautiful.

Hardback Collage

The first three books are different from the rest as they are the ones with pictures or illustrations in. The illustrated version (illustrated by Jim Kay) of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was gifted to me this Christmas by my Nanna, the illustrations in the book are sooo pretty and remind me of some of the concept art from the film. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Illustrated by Robert Ingpen) is a beautiful book with some illustration in colour while others are black and white. I have always been a fan of Alice and her tales of Wonderland; I find the nonsense of the whole plot absolutely wonderful.  Primrose Bakery Everyday is also a new book (Christmas present from my stepdad), I asked for a baking book and this is what I received. The colour combinations of the book are well put together and they complement the stunning pictures of the various baked goods. I can’t wait to start baking some of these delights, they all look so appetising.

Paperbacks 2

These last four books are a mixture of soft and hard backs and all have great covers (or dust cover in the case of After Alice).  Fahrenheit 451 is probably my least favourite book of this whole lot but it is probably my favourite cover, it is simple and striking. The cover of Out of the Easy is a clear and crisp image. Once you have read the book, the image on front symbolises the whole book about trying to break out. Extraordinary Means sadly fell short in my expectations, yet I still find the front cover one of my favourites to date. Just like Fahrenheit 451, the tree shaped lungs tell you a lot about the novel. And the final book that pleases my eyes is the dust cover of After Alice, I have yet to read this book (another Christmas gift) but I always like Maguire’s take on retellings.

I know there are many beautiful books covers in the world but these are the few that I own and have to hand. I have seen some YouTube videos on book spines so that may be a blog posts at some point.  Do you have any books were the covers are striking or appealing, if so let me know? Or do you have different editions of the same book because you love the range of covers?

2015 – A look back

I’m late to this ‘my year’ blog post, I did aim to have this post up before the new year but Christmas and work got in the way. I digress; let’s talk about the past 365 days.

Overall 2015 has been a good one, there has been a lot of highs but as expected there have been some low points. Three major things happened this year, in April I cut my hair off for charity. It was a huge deal for me and I raised £160 in the end, you can read all about it in my blog post here. I graduated, I finished university (maybe not forever, I might do my masters at some point). University introduced me to a lot of great people and open my eyes to the world, it was a long three years though. In November, a whole year had been and gone since my mum passed. The day itself went by with a few drinks and talk of good times. I am still grieving, I accept that and it might last for a few more months or perhaps several years, I have to take each day as it comes.

This year music, family and friends have played a large role. This was one of my favourite years for seeing live music, I saw some bands I really wanted to see and they did not disappoint. My family has been a strong rock this year, I feel like we all got closer and this year Christmas just seemed to have that extra twinkle (despite my lack of festive cheer). For the most part my friends have been amazing, yet there is a friendship that I may need to take another look at this year. Also a special shout out for TV being awesome this year, I started watching Supernatural and I am in deep, if you are curious I am on season 5.

So where do I want 2016 to go? I want definitely two things from this year, a salary paid job (no more zero hours) and to move out, also finishing my driving lessons and passing would be ace. Everything else can fall into place, I guess. I will continue to improve myself be that through being more creative or just by reading more. Either way I am ready to see what the New Year holds, I am welcoming it with open arms.

My Reading Challenge

This year I set myself the challenge of reading twenty-one books (the same as my age), I really wanted to read more and I thought by setting myself an  achievable target I would succeed. I was wrong, so very wrong. My main and overriding rookie mistake was setting myself a challenge this year, the year I completed my degree and finished my dissertation. Dissertations are a long, hard and take up a lot of your spare time. There is also a mass of reading that needs to be done and for the first half of this year my reading was seriously dented by the dissertation.
What about after my dissertation?  Well frankly, I wanted to lie down in dark room for several hours (and finish watching Sons of Anarchy); it was fair to say reading was not my on radar for the month following hand in day. Also money played a large factor in not being able to purchase books.

As of this post I have read a total of ten books (I don’t count books that I gave up halfway through *cough cough* looking at you The Post-Birthday World), I am disappointed in my dismal attempt. Don’t get me wrong, some of the books that I have read I have really enjoyed but I just want to read more because I do love reading. By far the best books I have read this year were A Court of Thorns and Rose and Throne of Glass both by the same author, Sarah J. Maas.

Next year I am going to set myself the same task as this year. Twenty-one books, rereads do not count (f they did I would be a lot higher than ten), I will have no dissertation to contend with so the year should be on my side. I will report next year with how it went.  Wish me luck!

Zero Hours Jobs Are Alright

I may mention politics in this post but hold on I won’t be dragging it out.

I work two zero hour jobs, in fact since I left high school all I have done is zero hour jobs and it has been very helpful to me. However, some people in the UK do not see it like that, politicians for that matter. Recently according to Independent, the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seems very much against zero contract hour jobs, it was a large part of his manifesto. But Mr Corbyn is not on his own, David Cameron (UK Prime Minster) claimed he was wanting to protect those who worked zero hours. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that zero hour jobs are not what people want and that these types of contracts can be abused by companies. I am not here to get involved with the ethics of why zero hours is good or bad, I am just going to talk about my experience.

Having a zero hours jobs means first off I can pick my own hours and now that I have two of them I can organise my life around them. Yes, not every week will be the same but my current lifestyle allows me to flexible. I am currently considering a move to a city, with zero hours I am under to no obligation to the companies I work for; I am not tied to a contract.
However, I have also seen the harsh side to the zero hours (not the extent some poor people go through). Since the end of August my first job could not provide me with hours to work (it was the same for everyone else in that company), while not earning and having very little to spend has been a slight annoyance this past month it has not been dire. However, if I was in rented accommodation and had mouths to feed it would be very different circumstances indeed.

Zero hours jobs are not as simple as black and white, there is a lot of grey area and it does depended on the company you work. I’ve been very lucky in that case. Zero hour jobs are a lifesaver to students, I think the government realises this. In summary zero hours job are alright.

I Have A New Blog!

Like the title says, I have a new blog! It is called Mum, It’s Me!

Mum, It’s Me! is a blog where I will be talking about my mum in more detail and informing her about what is going on in my life. For those of you who are unaware my mum passed away in November 2014. I have had this idea in my head for a long time so I am glad it has finally taken shape at last.

The blog is in its early stages and I am changing the theme quite a lot (I’m never happy with it), so please bare with me on that part.

Also after finally finishing with uni (at long last!) I will hopefully be able to get back in blogging on this blog at least once a week.

Hopefully I will see you on this blog and on Mum, It’s Me!

Where Have I Been? (a.k.a Hello! Is It Me You’re Looking For?)

Hello again, it has been about two months since I last made a blog post.

After my last blog post life became extremely hectic, my university life was coming to an end and my main focus was on the final exams and coursework that I had left. After all that finished, I had several jobs interviews (none of which I got) and then I had to pack up my university room and move back home. I have just had my 21st birthday and as of writing this I am currently at my dad’s house for the week.  Everything is still a bit up in the air at the moment but I am hoping in the next week or so I will finally have my feet on the ground.

As of now I have a fair amount of spare time which is something I have been lacking in the previous months. So in between job hunting, I will hopefully be fully restarting this blog. I’m still not sure what direction this blog will be heading in  but that will hopefully develop over the coming weeks.

The next blog post will be one from The Daily Post prompt as I was feeling rather inspired by today’s email. After that you should be getting two blog posts a week (maybe three if I am feeling adventurous).

See you in the next post!