Hello my lovelies, this might seem a little bit out of the blue, but I have started a new blog! Fresh start and all that. If you want to keep up with my adventures, then this is the place you want to be:
Hello, friends! It's been a while. As always, you can keep up to date with my life with my flickr or my instagram, and if you've been following me on either, you might have noticed there is now a bit of a Hamster Situation ongoing. By which I mean, there are hamsters in my life and I'm being really, really tedious about it and just want to take photos of them and talk about them all the time.
So you've got three guesses what this blog post is going to be about. (Clue: it starts with hamsters.)
So! There are now two little Roborovski hamsters living with us, named Sputnik and Pintsize! Both Gavin & I had Syrian hamsters when we were kids, but we didn't know all that much about Robos. They're the smallest type of hamster, and they only grow to be about 2 inches long. They are teeny weeny little baby hamster cuties <3
Pintsize & Sputnik when they first arrived home!
Like some other dwarf hamster species, they can live together quite happily! They were super super cute cuddling up to each other. Unfortunately, they only lived together for about a month, and now they live separately. They started fighting and Pintsize took a chunk out of Sputnik's butt, so they are now lone robos. (I've seen some people on the internet successfully reintroduce hammies after blood has been shed, but we decided not to try. They seem really happy on their own, and they just weren't that compatible. They have completely opposite personalities.)
This is Sputnik! He is a pied robo and I chose his name (we wanted to keep a robot theme, hence the names) and he is the cuddly (silly) one. Sputnik was always completely unafraid of us, and has been the easiest to tame.
He is silly and cuddly and cute, and caused me extreme anxiety when he had his butt wound because he is a precious gentle little baby and I am really really good at worrying. (He is 1000% fine now!) He is definitely less dignified than Pintsize.
This is Pintsize, named by Gavin! He is an agouti robo, and is incredibly photogenic. I love his little white eyebrows.
He is also very very sweet and gentle - he seems like the vicious one of the hammies because he was the biter and Sputnik was the bitee, but that is definitely not the case! Neither of them have bitten us at all (except for an initial nibble during which they decided that no, the human creatures are not good to eat.)
Pintsize is faster than Sputnik, and a little bit more wary, so he isn't quite as tame. He will run on your hands for a bit, then inevitably decides that there are better things he could be doing with his time, and will just launch himself off into the distance. Which is a problem, because he has no sense of height, and can actually propel himself surprisingly far. He is learning to go slow on us, though! (Robos are tiny, but they are FAST.)
They both have exceptionally cute butts. (That's an eggcup, just for an idea of how tiny and adorable they are!)
To conclude: they are the light of my life and my existence was hollow and meaningless before them.
But seriously. I love these silly creatures, they bring me lots of joy and giggles. I am probably going to continue being really tedious and talking about them and taking photos of them all the time. Don't say I didn't warn you. :)
Hello blogosphere! I sort of dropped off the face of this blog for a while? I've actually got a tonne of photos to share with you, whoops. I think the thing is, I don't really like posting a whole bunch of photos on here without actually having some words to add to them? That's kind of what I use my flickr for, and it just seems... repetitive? I don't know.
Anyway, my blog identity crisis aside, there are two things I want to share with you! Firstly, I made a photo tumblr, which you can follow if you so wish! nuwandalice.tumblr.com
Secondly, some tiny vikings enthusiastically living up to their stereotype. Because tiny vikings!
Wouldn't necessarily advise using real fire as a photo prop, as it's all, you know, on fire and that. I nearly had two melted minifigs on my hands, but that's all you need to know about my ineptitude!
The first photo is from early December and you can see it was getting looooong. The second photo is right after I got it cut (in the toilets - I know, I know, super classy, right?) and maybe you can tell it's longer at the front and shorter at the back? Anyway! It's way shorter, and it feel awesome. Wow. Long hair is lovely, don't get me wrong, but I am done done done done done with having it on my own head.
Because my hair was so long, I could actually do something useful with it when I chopped it all off, which is ace! I've sent it on its way to the Little Princess Trust (the chosen charity for BCUK 2011) and hopefully it'll make (part of?) a very nice wig. When you donate hair, you need to cut it all off in a big ponytail. It was the weirdest thing to look at, just lying there, detached from my head...
Farewell, hair! You served me well. May you end up with someone who appreciates you more!
Speaking of hair, I have been on a hair related quest recently, which I thought I would share with you. I've been hunting for cruelty-free shampoo alternatives because I learned that my go-to shampoo was not cruelty-free (urgh so unhappy about that) and I'd actually been being super naive about the extent to which so many household products are tested on animals outside the cosmetics we usually think of when we think of animal testing. Anyway. It's below the jump cut lest I be accused of being boring and/or preachy. (No talk of animal testing in any detail! Just shampoo!)
I have been studying in York since the end of September, and this is the first time I have ever taken in my actual camera or a doll. That is a pretty tragic situation, and it needed fixed ASAP. So, voilà!
So much nostalgia! I know that sounds weird, because this is the first time I've taken photos there... but it's been a while since I took pictures of a doll in some medieval ruins after class. It just felt weirdly familiar.
This is the lovely Jessica, who has been with me three years this month! I bought her for myself as a post-exam present in my third year of undergrad. She arrived a full eight days before my exams were over and I exercised extreme restraint in not opening her until I had finished. Still my greatest achievement to date, let's be honest. Such willpower! (The ruins are St Mary's Abbey.)
Bonus! Behind the scenes shot of my ugly mug and Ms J taken by Gavin. Just because?
Over Christmas, I got to see some family photos I'd never seen before from my mum's side. I scanned as many of my favourites as I could - and this won't be the last blog post with them in, you have been warned - but my absolute favourite thing was this beautiful album my grandad had put together. It's mostly from the summer of 1950, just after he and my nana got married, on their mini tour of the UK in a (very beautiful) car.
The best thing about it, though, is how Gavin & I seem to be ending up in all the same places, 60 years later...
I never knew my grandad liked taking photos so much, there are some really, really gorgeous shots in there. One of my favourite photos (which my mum hates) is when my grandad was in his 70s on holiday somewhere. He's sitting on his hotel bed in his pants intently reading a Minolta AF-E manual next to newly opened camera packaging, and clearly was not expecting to have his photo taken! Knowing how my nana and grandad were, I would bet anything my nana got bored of the manual and just grabbed the camera and took a somewhat unplanned shot! It's not a very dignified photo, but I love it, and it makes me laugh.
I am feeling super proud of our efforts with the flat recently, so I thought I'd share. We've been living here since September and have been slowly organising and optimising. Our newest storage solution - an Expedit! I have pined after these for years and years after seeing so many amazing photos on Flickr of cubey goodness. Finally! We only got a small-ish one - two by four - but it looks ace. I love Ikea.
So, our new and improved living room:
We also bought a savagely reduced (a term my mum uses a lot when she is trying to justify buying things she didn't need - but seriously, it was really reduced quite a bit) telly, so we have something to actually watch stuff on and use our consoles.
The space above the telly looks a bit bare now, but I have a few ideas...
Aaand a closer look! If you'll humour me in talking you through our Expedit/Besta arrangement...
Cube 1: the extra special Blythes, Cube 2: the Pullips & co plus some small guests, Cube 3: mostly craft books/magazines, Cube 4: currently containing Rosie the Riveter (plus a few books) before she finds a wall space and my new project can go there, Cube 5: comics trades, Cube 6: mostly Warhammer/D&D/general gaming and hardback Pratchett, Cube 7: a box of yarn, Cube 8: a box of doll clothes. (The huge DC Modern Mythmaking book doesn't fit anywhere, so it's been exiled to the floor where it can think about what its done.)
On top of the Expedit are the remainder of the Blythes, some Monster High, plus some MLPs, a Treeson, and my Domos. The rest of the Monster High are perched happily on top of our Besta bookcase. Other plastic cuties are scattered throughout!
Besta is mostly full of our books, with some of our favourite/most played board games on the bottom shelves. (Please note our Anne McCaffrey shelf, third up. We're very proud of that.) We have a lotmore books (and games) but they're either in the spare room, or still up in Scotland. (There's also a minor Warhammer explosion in the spare room, but it's pretty much under control.)
Here's a closer look at the doll section of the Expedit - the left box is all the extra special Blythes. (Doronjo, Goldie & Kenner at the back, CMA Middie in the middle, Alexis Emerald and Rei sitting down, plus my two favourite LPS petites. Plus some tokidoki friends!) The right box are the Groove family (the ones all in one piece, anyway) plus some Lalaloopsy and various toys.
My LPS shame is on the top shelf for all to see. In my defence, I bought most of them 2011/12 when they were all half-price or less in TK Maxx. I miss seeing those guys in the shops.
I did try to curb the doll Expedit take-over a little, so we could actually solve the problem of piles of books lying everywhere...
The rest of the MH live on top of Besta. I was going to put them on their stands, but they look more like they're having a mass gossip session this way, I like it.
This is the Gavin corner, containing one Gavin having his morning tea and his gaming set-up. Here are the rest of our DVDs in a lovely Ikea Benno (the others are under the telly) - please note the tiny shelves featuring my Takochu and Doppelgangers, and the desk squidlets! We found the awesome print and frame above his desk in a charity shop for under a fiver!
Here is the table, which is where I mostly work/procrastinate on the internet, and my windowsill Socker.
Finally, a bonus close-up of our sea monkeys! We only have five at the moment, not a lot actually hatched from this batch of eggs. I think they might flourish more in warmer climates, alas.
That's probably enough organisational back-patting for one post!
ps. in other "Alice is super efficient" news I also finally actually put some stuff on my 'about' page. Because apparently that's what they're for?
If I'm honest, I'm pretty happy to see the back of 2013. It wasn't all bad, but the overwhelming theme was definitely "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON" and so even the good stuff felt chaotic. I started the year in a job I wasn't really enjoying in a city I wasn't really sure I wanted to be in, and I just felt like I'd made all the wrong decisions post-graduation and I couldn't undo them. The year did pick up pretty quickly - I got a new job, Gavin got a new job, I made a snap decision to apply for my course, I got into my course, Gavin got a transfer and - well, here we are? I'm halfway through my masters and we're both happily relocated in Yorkshire.
I still have no idea what happened. In retrospect, it seems like a pretty awesome year with lots of awesome things happening, but at the time I felt like - if you'll excuse my terrible analogy - I was falling down some stairs pretending I'd done it on purpose and somehow landed on my feet at the bottom? (People tell me my entire twenties is going to feel like this. I hope not!)
Everyone has been really lovely to me over the past 18 months as I flailed my way through my post-graduation life and I know I have been a massive pain in the arse on many, many occasions. Gavin deserves an honourable mention for being awesome in so many ways, as does my mum for calmly talking me through all the stupid stuff I have done (such leaving the car lights on and getting stranded with no battery) in my quest to reach functional adulthood. I will get there! Maybe.
I don't really do new year resolutions, but...
A few practical things to take care of, and then the cheesy stuff. Because if I'm going to have this stressful social construction of a new start forced upon me then I insist on it being full of cheesy optimism. So, here's to the theme of 2014 being "I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON."