Hackney Wicked

Today saw the final day of Hackney Wicked, a weekend art festival championing local artists, with open studios, exhibitions, performances and more.

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I grabbed Patrick, and we headed over to east London to take a look!

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Of course, we made a (few) customary detour(s) for lunch and drinks first, and I warned Patrick he’d be my glamorous assistant for the day (basically he’d be holding my bottle of cider as I took photos).

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First stop was Hackney Hardware, which had been transformed into a popup bar – we got there just as they were opening, but 2 glasses of wine for a fiver was not to be sniffed at.

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We took a stroll through Victoria Park – seriously beautiful, not that busy, with dedicated bike lanes, lakes, and acres of space.

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When we got to Hackney Wick, the whole area had a cool buzz (coincidentally we saw a lot of people dressed up for Back To The Future at Secret Cinema… The men in braces and indenti-kit women started to blur a bit…)

We got stuck in exploring the studios.

I didn’t get a card for this artist (Patrick got the last one!) but her work was made by photocopying hair she collected, and then screenprinting it.

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This exhibition was interesting, but I didn’t get a chance to speak to the artist or find out the back story.

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The next studio we visited looks how I imagine my own place would look – eclectic, art supplies littering surfaces, sewing, knitting and crochet work all over, and a general outpouring of ideas.

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Of course, being a fan of multiple projects, I’m not sure I’d have finished work.

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I loved the next series of photos – 2 women displaying their typographic letterpressed cards. Simple but so beautiful.

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We explored other parts of Wicked, including:

a human beatboxer (he was so flippin’ good!)

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street artists, painting the side of The Lord Napier building

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some awesome skateboarders – one little kid in particular was so good!

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And of course, no jaunt with a camera would be complete without some graffiti and street photography.

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Lovely day, happy Kat.

North London lunch (with a special date)

Recently I decided to start exploring my neighbourhood a bit more – namely, Wood Green/Palmers Green/Tottenham/Walthamstow. North London at its finest.

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Last weekend I spent a lovely afternoon roaming the Turkish shops on Harringay Green Lanes (up near the North Circular) and today I did a little bit of wandering, and a little bit of lunching (pro tip: the Turkish and Greek supermarkets are brilliant – just under half a kilo of hummus for 99p, or a full kilo for £1.99, and a packet of pita bread for 39p – no need to go to evil Tesco!)

The Turkish and Greek shops and restaurants of Green Lanes are legendary – in fact, Green Lanes as an entity is pretty famous. Stretching 7.5 miles or so, with many of the side streets being one-way only, it’s an easy place to lose half a day to, exploring and eating your way along.

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For lunch I went to Fatisa. Named after the town of Fatsa in Northern Turkey, this Italian-Mediterranean restaurant is a sweet little local spot. Less than 10 minutes walking from Wood Green tube, the restaurant has expanded a lot in the past few years and has a new 2nd floor, an extended terrace, and a lovely little garden, where locals hang out.

I started with a summer special – the goats cheese, roasted pepper and aubergine bruschetta.

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This was the stuff of dreams, it really was. Rich, creamy goats cheese fresh from the grill, soft roasted peppers, and delicious smoky aubergine.

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Total gem of a starter, so simple too.

I wasn’t planning on getting a main meal, but the lovely waiter recommended the homemade burgers, so I gave them a whirl. The fries and bun were okay, but really this was all about the burger itself.

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Of course, I couldn’t get a nice photo of it – but it was so good – juicy, full of flavour, and not fatty or padded out with bread! I let most of the fries and bun, and instead tucked into the fresh, light side salad, with a really good dressing (the simple ones are always the best).

Together with a few drinks, my meal came to less than £20, so thumbs up from me!

But possibly the best part of it? This little pup who decided to hang out with me.

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I heard the dog described as both a he and a she, and the dog was called a “naughty dog!”…as it slept soundly. Also, apparently the dog “belongs to everyone”, so I’ve not acquired a timeshare dog.

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Those puppy dog eyes!

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Afterwards, I went for a little walk through Woodside Park, and headed home before the rain tried to catch me.

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If you’re ever in Wood Green or Alexandra Palace and fancied a lovely lunch, check out Fatisa – summer al fresco lunches are the best!

The brunch that grew and grew

I’ve been lucky enough to have a week off work for Easter – my first longer period off work this year. My first port of call when having so much time off is to come north and see my best friend and my parents. So on Wednesday I trekked up and got together with Lauren for first a gig, and then a day-long brunch on Thursday.

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This isn’t a recipe post really, it’s too simple to justify calling it that, it’s just a ~look at beautiful foodstuffs~ post.

We started off by doing a lot of shopping the night before… adding more and more food to our baskets, without a clear idea at first. Ultimately, we decided on a biiig frittata, a brioche bread and butter pudding, a meat and cheese platter with crackers, crumpets and snacks, and we did buy some other snack foods that thankfully lay unopened.

It was definitely a case of eyes bigger than our bellies, and we did NOT eat all of the food… Just a lot of it…

Frittata is the easiest thing to make, but in case you’re interested, we used:

1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
2 small sweet potatoes
2 small regular potatoes
bacon (enough for a small army, or however much you want really)
1 bunch of spring onions
5 eggs (3 pictured, because this is a play-by-ear thing)
milk
garlic (we used crushed garlic from a jar – about 2 cloves worth)

For both dishes, preheat your oven to 180c.

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It really is very simple…

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Chop all of your veggies…

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Cleaning the ones that need cleaning…

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Peeling the ones that need peeling…

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Beat some eggs and milk together – we started with 3 eggs, but added 2 more, so 5 eggs + about 170-200ml of milk, a pinch of salt, and your garlic (it’s way better to get the garlic into the eggy-milk mixture, because it’ll be distributed more evenly)

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Chuck all the veggies, and chopped up bacon, and whatever else you want to add, into a dish, pour on the eggy-milk mixture, and top with cheese…

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Into the oven it goes! About 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is more crispy than gooey!

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We also decided to make a little somethin’ somethin’ sweet – a chocolate and cherry brioche bread and butter pudding. Calm your artery-clogging boots – it’s naughty, definitely naughty, but it’s not the worst thing in the world… That’s how I’m justifying it!

If you’re interested, to make what we did, you’ll need:

1 large-ish chocolate brioche
Butter (not a little, little blobs here and there)
Nutella
Cherries
4 eggs
Milk (about 150ml)
A little bit of sugar

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Start by slicing your brioche into 1-2cm slices, spreading with a little bit of butter, and a healthy dollop of Nutella, before lining the slices into a baking dish, slightly overlapping…

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Fill the baking dish with slices, stud with cherries, and make another eggy-milk mixture (NO garlic this time – add a little bit of sugar if you like!), pour onto the slice brioche, add a couple of blobs of butter around the dish, and a little sprinkle of sugar for a crispy top. Into the oven that goes! About 35-45 minutes should do it!

Brunch with Lauren

While that’s cooking, go and indulge in other food, because that’s what sensible people do, honest… Make some coffee, get some juice, light a candle, snuggle up. Anything to pass the time before this guy is ready…

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Isn’t he handsome?

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What a babe!

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Brunch with Lauren

At this point, you can stop waiting, put down the camera, and forget all dignity. Just eat, nobody needs to know that you have seconds, thirds or mores.

My life definitely needs more brunches – especially with my best friend.

Bonus pic – we have matching Mailchimp tshirts, you can join our snugglefest food parties if you have one too! (I may or may not be kidding)

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Project 365 – part 4

The final chapter.

This is the part that feels most relevant to my life at the moment – that might be because the last photo was taken 6 days ago, so it’s not that surprising. But this final quarter starts at the beginning of December, and actually, it’s a pretty good quarter.

December through to February saw me do some more travelling (Warsaw, Jersey, Cannes, Manchester), spend super happy times with my family and best friend, throw some colour into my life, and learn some new stuff.

Festive December…

December saw a lot of pre-Christmas crafting, my nails snapped (need moar calcium?), I got a new iPhone, I had another trip back to my parents (see photos with my mama and my Lauren), I acquired a super sassy hat (blue glittery tophat!) and sated a work-Christmas-party hangover with a trip to Five Guys. Christmas was spent in Poland which was relaxing, with board games (including a Polish game about queueing in front of shops in the 1980s) and walks in the forest. New Year was spent with my best friend, eating a lot of Turkish food, playing with sparklers and having sekrit times.

New Year – January…

The New Year continued with time spent with my best friend – on the first of January we went on the London Eye, which I absolutely loved. We also visited Winter Wonderland (btw HOW BIG is the German Beer Hall there?! it’s amazing!). In contrast to last month, my nails were now screwed because of wearing false nails. C’est la vie! This month also saw me get my bangs cut back in, travel to Jersey for a beautiful few days for work, try a street dance class and do Fire Marshal training for work.

The final month – February…

February was the final month of my Project 365 – by now, it was completely ingrained in me to photograph something everyday. The month started with a weekend in Cannes for the Midem music hack weekend. Such a surreal weekend, I loved it. I also became a qualified First Aider (spent part of the afternoon flouncing around pretending the mannequin was my boyfriend.. I thought more people would do this, apparently not..). I travelled to Manchester to see Childish Gambino, ate the biggest pancake ever at My Old Dutch, received the most beautiful flowers for Valentines Day, went to a London Fashion Week event, visited Greenwich, bought a dress, and generally continued to love London.

Phew.

Once again, I have to say thank you so much to you guys for reading and revisiting my year in photos with me. Part of me looks back and thinks not much has changed, but a bigger part of me is amazed at how far I’ve come. I’ve loved looking back at the little details in my life, laughing at how silly things have been, seeing myself move on from sad times and throw myself into the good times.

I’m already 5 days into my next 365, and can’t wait to share that with you.

Project 365 – part 3

First up, I want to thank you all for reading my garbled round-ups of the first half of my Project 365, for clicking through my snaps, and for putting up with my constant banging on about how great it is.

I especially loved the comment from one of my mama’s friends, that she enjoyed looking at the randomness of the photos.

That’s how I like to see it myself – even during the most mundane of days, where I stayed in bed ‘cos I was sad, or said very little at work ‘cos I was uninspired, I still think documenting the little details, and remember why they were important enough to photograph (or conversely, why my day was crappy enough to warrant a photo of an apple), is important to me.

The next quarter covers September through to November. This was as rocky as the previous months, in all honesty, and my closest friends were there for me a lot. This quarter spans heartbreak, mistakes and distracting myself from that, but also some brilliant times spent my best friends and parents, Christmas cake and seeing Newcastle play.

September up…

September started with Patrick and I going to London Mela, a huge south Asian festival in west London. This involved dressing up and eating a lot. September also saw some crazy rain vs crazy sun, spiderwebs, a new passport and some vegetables. This is the month I started my hexagon quilt, which grew rapidly; but probably the real highlight was a weekend in Amsterdam with my best friend – one of the best trips ever, I’m still so happy from it.

October here…

October saw me leaving my job at Reading Room, an agency I’d worked at for 18 months. I left behind some brilliant colleagues and clients, and a social life that will never be beaten. I also spoke at 2 conferences (The Digital Barn, and 12 Devs), which were so much fun. Thank you to the people who listened to blahblahblah on! In between leaving my old job and new job I went home to my parents for a week, which saw a haircut, dancing with my best friend, and cuddles with my mama bear. I also baked Christmas cakes this month, including the little mini cake shaped like a rose. A pretty good month actually.

November saw the suckiest moments of the year, but also a great big whopping highlight – I started my new job at feelunique.com – as witnessed by photos cropping up of freebie products, and dressing up for the COPRA ball (an annual ball for retailers in the cosmetics/perfume industry). I spent more time crafting, took a late-night rickshaw with Patrick (drunk + G.A.Y = makes sense), and went back to my parents for a weekend where we ate a lot of Christmas cake and went to a football match.

All in all, a successful autumn.

Project 365 (part 2)

So yesterday I posted the first quarter of my Project 365 (a photo a day for a year). I humblebragged about how proud I was, and going through the next section of photos has been no different. It’s so interesting to see how far I’ve come, in the space of a year – how much has changed, how much I’ve done, and it’s really lovely to look back on photos of relatively insignificant things and think how fun they were.

The whole process is making me realise how much I value the little details in life, which has made P365 so worthwhile.

So here’s June…

June was the start of the summer heatwave – it saw me eat at some goooood places (Hache burger, Meat Liquor, that fancypants 1920s stylee French place near Piccadilly.. name escapes me..), also this was the month I hung out with the Queen at the trooping the colour, tear a ligament in my foot, and finally spend a lotttt of man-hours making origami hearts. They were made for a summer garden party for my parents in July, and I still love looking at the progress of the hearts – I made 400 of them in less than a weekend. It. Was. Glorious.

July was this…

The heatwave continued, London was a sweaty mass. The month started with a sciencey event where I learned about alcohol (by drinking a fair amount of free booze… all in the name of science!), a trip to Poland for the aforementioned party – look at those hearts in situ! I was in love with them! July was also my birthday (the 17th! represented here with a chocolate ball and raspberry sorbet ball.. heheh balls..), the month my hair kinda exploded with volume, there was free Eton Mess in Soho Square, and I bought kabanos.

August was good…

It started with a little photo-montage of how I made origami stars (which I then didn’t blog..), and my new camera arrived! What a little babe! I had lunch with a dog in a pub; Patrick and I got hammered and barged into Ed’s Diner for the most amazing chips; I worked on my portfolio site. I also flew to Berlin for a long weekend – another garden party, plus boardgames and photobooth fun! Lauren came to visit, we played Guess Who! amongst other sekrit activities. This was also Notting Hill Carnival month, where Patrick and I accidentally joined the parade and shook our booties.

I’m getting all nostalgic looking back at these photos – for about 90-95% of them, I can still remember exactly what I was doing, how I was feeling, why I snapped that photo, what it means to me. My actual memory is pretty shoddy, and I’m a sentimental person, so being able to flick back on photos and remember every feeling (good and bad!) is a novel experience. My next post will be autumn, which holds some sad memories, but also some exciting changes. More tomorrow.

Project 365 (part 1)

Friday (Feb 28th) saw the final day of my first completed Project 365. P365 is a photo a day for a year. Sounds simple, and it’s something I’d actually attempted to do a few times previously, but my god is it difficult.

My previous attacks at doing it always faltered after a couple of weeks, then I’d forget a couple of days and suddenly BAM! its 6 months and I’ve forgotten it. But not this time.

Let me just preface, this is a bit of teeny tiny humblebragging – I am So. Damn. Proud.

So because there are 365 photos to share, I figured I’d do separate posts and split it down – so there are 3 months at a time.

Here are some facts, who doesn’t like facts…

  • There are a fair few selfies. Sorrynotsorry.
  • There’s not a whole load of pattern, consistency, rhyme or reason to the photos taken – basically like me – I very little pattern, consistency, rhyme or reason.. yeah..

These photos chronicle my life for a year, which has had ups and downs, and snaps include…

  • Food. A lot of food. The naughty food crops up more often than the healthy food – let’s be fair, these things photograph nicely. But rest assured I ate plenty of veg in between the junk
  • Booze. It was a summer fuelled by Pimms, I’m surprised it doesn’t feature more
  • Boyfriends, break ups, sad days, good dates, bad dates, and mistakes I’ve made
  • Mundane life – sometimes a photo of a streetlight, at 11.59pm when I haven’t taken a photo of anything else that, seems like a good idea
  • Travel – one of the best things about the past year, starting with the kickstarted my 365, Lisbon, Newcastle, Devon, Warsaw, Berlin, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Jersey, Cannes and Manchester(!)
  • Health, weight gain, weight loss, an indulgent summer followed by an autumn of mistakes followed by a winter of hibernating
  • Happy days – seeing my parents, my best friends, feeling safe

Images are clickable and make a nice little slideshow, thanks for that one WP

So hey, here’s March 2013…

March started with a trip to Lisbon, saw some flowers bloom, legs bared (…then the snow came), and Easter, which involved a visit home to my parents and egg painting/dying.

April 2013

April saw more sunshine, the London Marathon, ice cream, more flowers and going to the gym a lot.

May 2013

May was a mellow month with some good cocktails, a trip to Devon, pancakes, cameras and seeing The Book of Mormon.

My next 365 has already started, with a trip to Birmingham yesterday, which deserves its own blog post really.

Waiting for spring

I’m getting a bit impatient about spring coming – I feel like we’re in seasonal limbo, and although some of the trees are starting to blossom in my street, not a whole lot else is happening at the moment…

In my impatience, I started flicking back on some old photos from December, when I spent a weekend at my parents house in the north east, and snapped some of their garden – and completely forgot to share the photos. So, please enjoy them, while I sit quietly and wait for London to bounce into spring.

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Jersey Girl

Back in January I was lucky enough to be invited to Jersey – it was a work trip (the company I work for has their HQ there), and having never been – I jumped at the chance.

Now, I’m a well traveled, well educated gal, but I have to admit I wasn’t entirely sure where Jersey was, until I joined the company – even then, when I did my research, I didn’t realise a few things – a) how British-y it would be there (even though it’s not part of Britain!), b) how close to France it is (on a good day you can see France from the east-side of the island), and c) just how incredibly beautiful it is.

So on a cold, damp morning mid-January, I packed my case and flew over for a few days (under the guise of doing work – I swear I did some!), with camera in hand, and I’d like to show you what I saw…

I flew from London City airport, it’s teeny tiny (but very accessible!), and the plane was similarly teeny tiny. I love taking photos mid-flight, and as we left the British Isles the sun came out, and the earth just glowed for the camera… (all photos are clickable to get a bigger version)

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Flying over Normandy, over the Bay of Biscay, seeing the Channel Islands sprawling out beneath you is such a lovely experience – it definitely helps that it was sunny during the flight, but it gave me such good feels.

When I arrived, I was picked up and driven to meet a whole host of people (but that’s work stuff, so I can’t/won’t share the details), but one of the designers I work with who is based in Jersey took me on a lunchtime sightseeing tour. I’m not sure he’s met anyone quite as excited as I was about seeing the island.

This is La Corbière lighthouse, on the southern tip of the island, the area is home to many shipwrecks, and the original meaning of La Corbière is “where the crows gather” (they’ve actually all gone now…)

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We drove around the island, he showed me some of the best views, and I went shutterbug crazy…

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I was lucky enough to stay in a seriously beautiful hotel in St Brelades (Jersey is split into 12 parishes, St B is one of the biggest), and on entering my hotel room (with a sea view and balcony) I was greeted by this beaut of a view…

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Because I’d been up since silly o’clock, and working all day, as well as sightseeing and embracing that fresh air, I was pretty knackered by about 5pm – but I managed to drag myself out for a walk along the beach at sunset – it could’ve been romantic if I wasn’t on a work trip, and/or so very single, but instead I enjoyed the company of these 2 rather insane dogs on the beach. I made the mistake of pretending to dig in the sand, encouraging them to join me, which was fine at first but then.. they didn’t stop.. it’s quite possible they’re still digging, and may be quite close to the centre of the Earth now. Sorry Jersey! Sorry dogs!

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I had some dinner, and retired to have a bath with some champagne (who says work trips have to be 100% work all the time?!), and in the morning was greeted by this:

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I really want to visit again, I can imagine it being a pretty wonderful summer holiday destination.

Oh Jersey, you so pretty!

 

A week of walking in the forest

A slightly misleading blog post title, I’ll grant you that. But for the past week, I’ve gone out for a daily walk in the forests around my home in Warsaw in Poland, with my camera clamped in my hand, so I could finally capture all the things I see and instantly fall in love with.

One of my heroes, Dan Rubin, recently wrote a caption on an Instagram photo of his that addressed criticism of people taking photos a lot – we get a lot of flack, people tell us we’re missing life because we constantly look at it through a lens, but I 100% agree with what Dan wrote – if only people could see it through eyes. I think people miss so much beauty in the world because they just want to rush from A to B – each of these photos I got super excited about, the lighting and composition, and I wanted to capture it and share it and keep it forever.

So this is a weeks worth of walks through the forest in Central Poland…

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Sunrise
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There are new friends to be made…

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Shy little guys who are happy just to walk quietly side by side…20131228-154046.jpg

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More woodpeckers…20131228-154136.jpg

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And a bonus kitty cat, again!20131228-154640.jpg

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