So Far This Summer…


I‘ve been a little MIA for the last month, and thinking about it I’m not even sure what exactly has stopped me writing. I’ve been busy, but what’s new? Try not to take it personally; I’m pretty sure I’ve been like this with everyone, a true flitterer (this a made up word because I, along with two others, couldn’t think of the right one).

The truth is probably as simple as saying I have a family and friends, and this obviously fills up my time quite a lot, but I wanted to share a little of what has been going on in July. Some of these will be expanded, but I am still catching up on a large number of drafts I’ve had prepared for YONKS, so bear with me.

Summer can be such fun. Mine has been massive! Copyright EKMCronin 2014.
Summer can be such fun. Mine has been massive!
Copyright EKMCronin 2014.

The Dreaded Dentist (not in the cool dreadlocks way…)

I’ve been terrified of dentists for as long as I can remember. I’m also pretty convinced that my needle phobia, which I seem to now be thankfully over, was also rooted in this list of bad experiences. I won’t go into it here, but I did manage to book an appointment, walk into the place, have a very quick check, and leave without bursting into tears = SUCCESS!
I will be talking more about this in detail soon because: OMGOSH I WENT TO THE DENTIST!

Reading Theology

I love theology, I love reading and discussing, and I love how much of the world it reaches into. I could talk forever about theology, but normally it has coincided with art conversations, as I am mainly looking at the join between them. Recently, however, I have been reading about ethics, specifically medical ethics, and yet again I am feeling like there is so much I don’t know, and that’s awesome! I may try to write a little about my wanderings here (especially as I have well-and-truly fallen by the reading challenge wayside).

Dog Agility (& Swimming!)

Photograph from Lucky Dog Training at Water Hounds Hydrotherapy.
Photograph from Lucky Dog Training at Water Hounds Hydrotherapy.

We are so proud of our bear of a dog, Guin, and how far she has come since we brought her home last year. She is now almost fully grown, pretty well-behaved (if a little stubborn), and knows a whole host of tricks which can be accomplished through food (definitely a Cronin). She also recently had a couple of small dips in a proper doggy pool at Water Hounds Hydrotherapy, and we were really excited to see her get gradually more and more used to it. She was nervous and a little less than keen, but she did so well, and even jumped in at one point. Mama Bear almost cried.

Mango Cake & other tasty adventures

With my sister back in the house, culinary adventures have been an almost daily occurrence as we try to feed the family without us all wishing death to the potato. Recently we’ve experimented with pumpkin, cherries, cheese, crumble, belly pork, and a variety of greens. Commonly the difficult dishes are also the most delicious, but I will be adding a created recipe for the exception to that rule: Mango Sponge – so tasty, especially warm and in our mouths quickly.

One Onesie for the Groom-to-be!

Yup, that's the groom hugging a lamppost...
Yup, that’s the groom hugging a lamppost…

I made a onesie! Not for my dear small one, but for her much larger Godfather. He is getting married and as his stag had to be somewhat embarrassing I decided (because of pooey no-girls rules) that I would gift him with something bright and bold and particularly striking to wear wandering around in Manchester.

Somewhat surprisingly it was a perfect fit, so I might be telling you how to do it too.


Scariest moment of my life was in slow-motion. Hot soup + baby do not work well, and although Cub is completely fine now, with only a small red mark, it took quite a lot for me to recover (your own burns don’t get a look when your aim is to do the best for your child). I know almost every parent will have a moment something like this, or a close-call, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the feeling of helplessness, and yet fierce anger. Accidents happen but argh!

Save the date’s (& thank you’s)

I also got back into a little design work by volunteering my services for my Dad’s 60th. So far the “Save the Date”‘s (or disturbingly abbreviated “STDs”) have gone out, and the invitations have been designed with an updated-yet-retro feel. Alongside these there were also a number of thank you cards sent out, embroidered, with a beautiful photography by Iain Challis Photography. I feel a little bit more able to do this type of stuff now, a few years ago writing that many cards (and coming up with original wording) would have driven me into an early grave!

Copyright EKMCronin 2014.
Copyright EKMCronin 2014.

Book binding (& future planning)

A secret project is underway, thanks to some amazing service at Anglia Ruskin, and I should be able to show the finished product soon. However, I was also asked to illustrate an astounding poem written 20 years ago by a good friend of mine. It was so exciting, I suggested a new take on it, to transform it into a children’s book and hand-bind them into limited edition artisan books. These will not be the run of the mill mass-produced paperbacks, but beautiful, hand-stitched, colour-print, pieces of craft. The aim is for them to be ready by Christmas, or if not: Easter, so I will be showing you far more in the coming months!

Decluttering, OCD organisation, and new cots.

We bought a new (to us) cot for Cub and this has set off a chain reaction of reorganising certain spaces around the house. As you probably know I am not a fan of stuff, and so it’s been interesting how much I’ve actually saved from the bin in contrast to before. I wouldn’t say I’m moving too far from the neo-minimalist state, but I am finding it fascinating how I view objects that could now be passed to my children, tell a history, remind me of pieces of my own childhood – minds are funny aren’t they!?

So after all that there is so much to look forward to! I have a website to unveil at some point in September, a book in August, another in December, personal tales of triumph and terror, and maybe some how-to’s. There is also what has come to be known as “The Wedding Week of Crazy” in the first week of August where I will hopefully be sharing some amusing adventures about what happens when 3 bears try to fit 3 weddings in 3 parts of the country into 7 days, with all the dresses, nappies, and marriage advice we can muster. Excited? Me too!

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