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So, Simon wanted to meet up in London and the place Eric suggested was Federation Café in Brixton Village. I've not seen Brixton Village before. It's astounding. The bright colours of home decor and clothes punctuate the busy ribbons of every form of café and small restaurant possible. It's impossibly crowded and incredibly friendly, especially if you're used to the idea that Londoners are stand-offish.

Federation Café itself actually hides in this background, with plain wooden tables outside, stencilled in black. They do fresh cakes, baked often enough that we ended up viewing two different selections while we were there. There's a limited, tasty selection of savouries. And they roast beans once a day, throwing out what's unused, and they grind beans every half an hour. The coffee is the best I've ever tasted, anywhere. I saved my morning caffeine dose for their coffee and had a little cup of miracles, and then the decaf turned out to also be amazingly tasty, which is a new and lovely experience for a decaf drinker.

The actual social experience was the same as these things always are - nice people chatting about general subjects and a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. A bloke who was trying to read his paper ended up part of our circle, brought in I know not how or why, but kept there by being passed food. We were sharing our cakes - salted caramel millionaire's shortbread, rosewater and raspberry sponge, blackberry and almond cake and goodness knows what else.

On another subject entirely, we watched Horizon last night, me and ccooke and ruthi. The subject was domestic cats, which have been tracked and had cameras put on for a week-long survey. It was great. The talk about how cats are evolving was less so, but honestly just seeing cats' home ranges, and how they cover different shifts, and how cats in a multi-cat household genuinely are social, that was brilliant. I hope this becomes a regular thing, like Springwatch.
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Spice is very, very playful and I can't always keep up, so I thought having a kitten might keep her occupied. Of course, when they first met, neither was at all impressed by the other. Spice was downright scared, but kept creeping up to examine new kitten with a look of fascinated horror on her face. I played relentlessly with Hatter (the kitten) so he wouldn't stare at her and frighten her off. So she got unscared, and then Pounced him, at which point *he* got scared - but, being a kitten, only until something moved nearby and he forgot all about it. Spice did, clearly, recognise that this was a Small Cat once she got close enough - reassuring, because for a while she was treating him as potential prey. But then she spent yesterday Putting Him In His Place - coming up to him and whacking him hard once or twice on the head. He got very fluffed, then less fluffed, then apparently just accepted that life apparently hands you larger cats who come up to you and randomly bop you on the head. Then Spice changed tactics, and kept bouncing up to him at a rush, stopping just before contact - again, Hatter fluffed up, then got used to it. Today, she bops him and runs off, then he chases her in turn.

This has led me to discover that it is very hard to play Fallout: New Vegas when your keyboard keeps being bounced, first by a kitten being chased by an adult cat, then by an adult cat being chased by a kitten. On the one hand, I am very glad that the introduction of kitten to cat is going so well. On the other hand, my fingers are scratched and bleeding.

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May 2014

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