Tomorrow brings the first of September and so we will be busying ourselves with haircuts (not making the mistake of procrastinating about that again!), new uniforms, buying stationery and the like, ready for the new school term.
It wouldn't be quite true to say that we've had an easy Summer. Moving into the teenage years seems to be just as awkward for me as a parent as it is for Cameron himself. While we remain extremely close (and oh, how grateful I am about that!) returning to the school system has been a steep learning curve in growing up and, understandably, it is a difficult time as Cameron finds the right balance between being completely himself but also taking into account what's considered "cool".
Our usual Summer activities like visits to museums, the seaside etc. were not met with the usual enthusiasm and so it took us a while to find our groove again. Cameron had plenty he wanted to do but much of it was solitary and I really wanted to find something we could share together.
I searched and searched for things that might appeal to Cameron's new tastes and fortunately stumbled upon A Summer of Studio Ghibli at the National Media Museum - 'For over 25 years Japan's Studio Ghibli, lead by master animator Hayao Miyazaki, have been producing some of the greatest-ever films about childhood. In the summer holidays we will play some of the best Studio Ghibli films in matinee shows.'
With his love of Pokemon, gaming, manga, anime and all things Japanese, this was perfect!
The first film we saw was Kiki's Delivery Service and, to be honest, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed the film. Cameron was enchanted by the hilarious cat character, Jiji and temporarily named Socks after him. I found myself inspired by the food in the film as Kiki ends up living over a bakery.
The film that really stole our hearts this Summer, though, was My Neighbour Totoro. What a magical film!
The Totoro were so unbelievably cute and we are still talking about the film now. I came home wanting to embroider little Totoro characters on everything I could lay my hands on!
A quick search of Ravelry patterns brought up very cool patterns for Totoro hats and mittens but Cameron was resistant. I just had to try and sneak some Totoro into our lives somewhere, though, if only to have proof for myself that we shared a common interest this Summer.
I remembered that I had some tree bark fabric which would be great for a little woodland scene with Totoro running around so I embroidered the little white one, not quite sure what it could end up as - a bag, a pencil case, a patch for an item of clothing? 'No, that's not cool, Mum'. So I thought a bit more and ended up making it into a bookmark - it doesn't come more discreet than that. I even managed to sneak some autumn leaves on it for good measure, too.
I have since cast on a knitted Totoro plush, which I had intended to keep a secret until Christmas but the ears gave it way last night and my secret is out! The pattern is fiddly but I'm persevering. I'll let you know how it turns out for Yarn Along next week.