Although I've made the choice to somewhat distance myself from the forum (it's hard giving practical advice about something I no longer have active involvement with
), I still like to return from time to time and see what everyone is up to, as well as update everyone about the goings-on in my own world.
There isn't terribly much to report; my recovery from long-term sickness is extremely slow and causing a lot of frustration, but I am grateful to have the support network that I do. Everyone keeps telling me to be gentle with myself, hopefully I'll learn how to do that properly.
We popped to my former favourite garden centre recently and picked up a giant box of 42 Christmas baubles for £5 (they were on clearance and had clearly been there a while). I'll be decoupaging them for my first ever Christmas with Stephen (yippeeeee we can be together at last!!), so I'll probably post photos as I do those but, also, I was very excited to see that they stocked both Pinguicula 'Tina'
AND Pinguicula 'Weser'
! I've not actually seen Weser actively and accurately labelled in a garden centre before, so this was very exciting. Yes, I was tempted, but the last thing I want is for it to die because of lack of light in our little flat. One day... one day!!
Anywho, onto photos. We have a new addition to the family. Introducing His Royal Nibs: Gizmo! (AKA: Gizzy-Wiz, Giz, pudding pop, squish, squidge... etc.)
He so gorgeous.
I grew up with animals so the spell of 8 months without a pet of my own has been extremely challenging; when we decided to get a pet we weren't sure what and I honestly didn't want another hamster, after what happened with my former one, but Stephen gradually won me over and I've found that, this time around, things are much easier and less of a strain.
Gizmo was unwanted because he was extremely nervous when he arrived at the pet shop; he would growl and bite, but the ladies there took wonderful care of him and gave him the extra attention he needed. He's been with us nearly four weeks and is chilled out (most of the time) with me stroking him, he also climbs out and crawls over my arms. He's just like Skatty: skittish but very curious and very friendly, so I know exactly how to treat him.
I forgot how ungraceful Syrian hamsters are; he clambers all over the bars and flops about as though made of jelly sometimes. He's really sweet, though, and always comes to see me when he knows I'm there. We haven't taken him out of the cage properly very much as this has proven to be very stressful for him, but we're getting into a routine and he will adjust as time goes by.
He has two favourite things in all the world: yellow millet-based treats (he had one attached to a longer string of nibble treats and he demolished it within days) and peanuts. If you give him a peanut still in its shell he will parade around with it in his mouth before departing to his otherwise unused house and nibble it, right at the very back, so that no one can reach him and steal it. The look of contentment on his face is absolutely my goal in life. He does this every. single. time. And it is so funny! I took a video so will get that uploaded somewhere eventually.
Also, these guys have been living in the courtyard at the back of our building.
I miss having access to a garden and am finding going out and about to explore for wildlife to be particularly challenging at the moment (my mobility has gone a bit... weird), so when a pigeon decided to build a nest, on the ground, behind an abandoned sofa in our tiny, completely enclosed courtyard, I was delighted. They have since disappeared though -- considering this photo was taken two days ago I do not imagine for a second that they fledged, so I am hoping and praying that our landlord called an animal charity and had them rescued, as their nest was brutally disturbed.
I am keeping my eyes open for them.
And finally, for today at least, a little bit of info on my latest major project. I found a beautiful white linen jacket in a charity shop for £5 some time last year and decided that it would make an awesome white mage jacket (if you haven't seen the wedding invites, google "Final Fantasy White Mage" and you'll get what I'm trying to achieve here). I hadn't done any "proper" sewing for over a decade so my ideas were very ambitious, but I bought the fabric I'd need and then dumped it all in my wardrobe for nearly a year.
Back in August I was struggling with some anxiety and depression, and Stephen encouraged me to do something that I'd enjoy, and he mentioned the jacket as he's known about it for quite some time, so I thought "Yeah! It'll be crap but, yeah! Let's give it a go." So I did. It's not finished yet but I thought I'd share my progress so far.
And the most recent update (4 days ago)...
I hand stitched everything. This project is actually a huge testament to God's healing ability and how far I've been brought out of my illness, as there was a time when I couldn't hold a pen or pencil, let alone a needle. To be able to do all of this by hand is an incredible experience for me!
I have photos of the entire process but just wanted to upload these for now. It's getting there!