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A busy Spring with Art, Elderflowers and Pop Up Shops

We’ve had a busy few weeks in the Cupcake household and have seen the season change from wintery gloom to almost full on summer.  The blossoming days of Haringey in bloom were magical and we enjoyed walking round N8 with cherry petals in our hair like wedding confetti.  We’ve seen and celebrated the royal wedding, witnessed the crops of purple bags appearing in Crouch End with the arrival of Veolia, the new council waste management team and watched forlornly as the iconic fort was dismantled in Stationers Park.

Whether by hitting a nerve through my maniacal dog poo campaign or whether N8’s dogs have found pastures new to foul, I’ve noticed that our transit to and from Crouch End centre via the school is a lot less precarious than it was.  There have been virtually no piles for me to chalk up in the last 3 weeks so I’m keeping my fingers crossed and for the moment, my buggy wheels clean.  I had hoped to take a stall at the upcoming YMCA Hornsey fun run and festival where I could sell some cupcakes and publicise the campaign.  However, getting hold of essential bits and pieces to make the stall worthwhile proved just too difficult in the short space of time I had so it can wait until July, where I shall be taking a stall at the Haringey Families Summer Fun Day at the Hornsey cricket ground.  I had a lovely chat with Sally Wood who organises the cakewalk revival at Alexandra Palace and we’re hoping to collaborate along the cakewalk theme, so maybe a little dancing and music could also take place.  We’d definitely love to have something like that at our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Cakewalk procession that I’m hoping to organise over the summer.

The Crouch End Open Studios weekend was a great success and though we didn’t manage to visit the actual studios, we’ve visited Hornsey library to see the taster displays and were very impressed.  We particularly loved Bruce Manini’s sculpture of an anteater and seeing our shoes on display in Liz Brown’s Shoe String Stories.  We’re looking forward to seeing more of Suzi Livingstone’s photographs as I hear her Marrakech series is going to be on permanent display in Honeycomb.

We've been regular visitors to the Portable Bookshop at Crouch End's Devonshire House, currently happening on Wednesdays from 2-9pm. These are run by Robin Stevenson, (WHO IS NOT A PIRATE) and if you buy a book, you get 20% off a meal at the pub. As I've said in my review, the Devonshire House is a wonderful new addition to Crouch End and is exceedingly good value. Pop Up shops are proving very popular in N8 and there's also one popping up at Stardust this Saturday 14th at 128 Crouch Hill. Ruby Tuesday will be selling some of her beautiful handmade jewellery, so please go along and have a look.

Twitter has been providing me with a great source of amusement,  keeping me up to date on what’s hot and what’s not in the N8 area and has even broadened my social circle. @snoozysuzy and I are going to share our birthday celebrations with a Crouch End picnic in Priory Park on Sunday 10th of July. We’re keen to make it a ‘locals’ picnic, so please do come along - just bring a rug, some eats and meet your neighbours.

I took Isabelle on a Bat Walk in Ally Pally last Wednesday, organised by the Friends of Alexandra Park, which was utterly thrilling, if not a little creepy!  We were given bat detectors and as soon as the evening turned to dusk we could hear hundreds of squeaky clicks through our bat phones and stood under the trees trying to spot the shadowy creatures.  We saw one or two at first dive bombing the boating lake and circling the trees but quite soon we were surrounded by several species of bat, all swooping and fluttering around us.  Isabelle was enthralled and was quite keen that we acquire a bat for her to keep as a pet, along with Wendy the ladybird and an assortment of Rosemary Beetles that currently inhabit her bug box.

Inspired by a recipe from N8eat.com, a lovely foodie blog I’ve discovered, we set about picking elderflowers yesterday to make elderflower cordial.  We found citric acid in Petter Pharmacy and covered our umbels in sugar, lemon slices and boiling water and they’re currently steeping in a kitchen cupboard, filling the house with the most glorious perfume.  If it tastes anything like as good as it smells, we’re in for a real treat.  There are elderflowers in bloom all over Crouch End and the process is extremely simple so I’d recommend bottling some of your own before the wind and rain wash away the blossoms.

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Tags: crouch end, elderflowers, hornsey library, petter pharmacy, portable bookshop

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Comment by CrouchEnd Cupcake on May 11, 2011 at 22:31

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party is going to be great - we'll have to have a chat about it as I'm sure you'll have lots of ideas and know people who'll want to get involved.  I'm now so excited about our birthday picnic - it's starting to remind me of Mr Pye's community picnic in the Mervyn Peake novel when he invites the whole of the island of Sark to the beach.  I wonder if either of us will sprout wings...?!

Comment by Adrian Essex on May 11, 2011 at 12:27
This reads like an account of a rural idyll with internet and creativity. Its well worth looking on the bright side.

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