Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Man bought me this lovely cupcake with my morning tea and I thought it was so lovely I ought to share it with all of you:

In other news, the Tatami is finally finished! I am mostly delighted with it; the fabric, colour, drape of fabric etc. is all really lovely. However, I wonder if I need to do something to make it less straight and boxy at the front and have been wondering about a garter-stitch border with some short-row shaping to make it just a bit more pleasing around the hips. I love the shoulders, though, and the huge sleeves. It provides ample opportunities for me to be cute and meerkat-esque as I busy myself around the burrow house.

Meerkats are indeed the other theme today as I met a lady with her pet meerkat yesterday and am still slightly starstruck by the experience. I am peculiarly obsessed with these small, brave, biting little creatures; they are my very favourite beasts in the entire animal kingdom. Although there is much to detest about Meerkat Manor, (the appalling television-device of using soap-opera dramatics to describe the life of the meerkats, the application of demeaning and anthropomorphic names to the meerkats etc.) the meerkats themselves are fascinating and sealed inside the terrible, pappy script, there are often some interesting observations on their behaviour and life. I find it very interesting how they survive in the desert and for something so small and ‘cute’ they are surprisingly feisty and brave. They eat scorpions, have high tolerances to various snake venoms and run around in gangs officially termed ‘mobs.’ Because they are often poached directly from the wild in Africa and kept as pets, there is a widely held belief that it is wrong to keep a meerkat as a pet, but they aren’t an endangered species and if bred in captivity, are legal to ‘keep’ here in the UK. Stories like this one tell of families who happily have them as pets, and the one I met yesterday certainly seemed very happy and lively. It was rather more manicured and sleek than its wild counterparts! But for myself, I don’t think I could take the responsibility of owning a meerkat. I would constantly worry that it was going to be kidnapped/get lost/run away/be runover etc. and would fret constantly about its wellbeing! I also think it would be hard not to be able to leave the house without being mobbed by curious and well-meaning passersby! The lady I met yesterday was very good with the fascinated public and the meerkat was very eager to sniff us all. He bit my trousers (perhaps wondering if they were edible?) and ran all over a woman standing beside me. I was rather shy of picking him up, thinking that perhaps he didn’t want to be handled by everyone with an interest, so I preferred to watch him and just be extremely happy to see one at such close proximity. I didn’t get a photo of The Meerkat, but I did take a photo at Dublin Zoo over New Year which I shall share here:

This one is very busy digging. So it was very nice to meet the meerkat, but for now I’ll channel all my adoration of the little meerkats into the creation of a knitting pattern, inspired by this amazing, crochet version!

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