October marked the beginning of a series of shorter house sits, which we took for lack of more long-term options.
Our second house sit was in Highgate, north London, for Chutney the fluffy cat. He liked to sleep between us in the middle of the bed, and would often bring small leaves inside in his fur.
Our third and final house sit in October was in Crouch End for an elderly cat called Freddie. In a stroke of good fortune, Crouch End is just down the road from Highgate, so we didn't have to trek cross-city like we have to for many new house sits.
The township itself was very quaint, and Yannick and I both decided it was a good place. Though small, there were several supermarkets and useful high street shops, as well as a clocktower that made use of three different architectural styles. The one thing that was less than ideal about Crouch End was the lack of a Tube station - we had to catch a bus to the nearest Tube, which was ten minutes away, and go from there. It wasn't terribly inconvenient, but we were accustomed to easy walking access to the underground.
Freddie was adorable, and would sometimes sit on our laps. One day he snuggled up into the crook of my arm! When he was hungry, though, he would meow very loudly until he got what he wanted. He also had a heart condition which meant that he required a pill every day which we hid in some food. We've never had to give medication to pets before, but it generally went smoothly.
As the temperature was dropping and rain increasing, I never went out to enjoy the garden. One day I came downstairs in the late morning and started preparing a snack. Half-way through, something niggled at me from the corner of my eye and I gave it a closer look. Foxes! In the garden! They had curled up atop a brick structure and evidently gone to sleep. Very excited, as I had never seen a fox so close before, I got Yannick's camera and went up the the second floor for a better angle. As I was taking photos, however, I began to worry. Where was Freddie? I searched the house but he was no where to be found, and I thought that the presence of the foxes might mean that he was avoiding the garden and therefore couldn't get back inside. Not knowing what to do, I rang Jemma to ask for advice, figuring that as someone from the UK she would know more about foxes than I. She helped to calm me down, and though we hadn't decided on a firm course of action, as soon as I unlocked the door to the garden, they were off in a flash! Shortly after, Freddie returned and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Marc, a Belgian I had met at the Brixton Vegan Fayre, was in town for VegFest and had never experienced Cookies and Scream, so I took him and some friends to Camden Lock Market where we loaded up on Mexican and Colombian food as well as cookies, doughnut icecream sandwiches and milkshakes. Bliddy amazing.
I also met up for lunch with Yannick a couple of times, and one weekend we ate koshari in Covent Garden from Koshari Street. This is Egypt's national dish, and is served in little roadside stalls all over Egypt. With a base of lentils, rice and pasta, it's very filling. Atop that is a spicy tomato sauce, chickpeas, fried onions and a nutty spice mix. Koshari is both hearty and moreish, and I can't get enough of the stuff.
One not-so-fun part of October was voting in the US presidential election. The voting process was actually fairly painless, even as an overseas voter - it was the result that stung. We'll say no more about it.