So, of course, I took a doll friend with me to Bruges. I took Ariel, my Alexis Emerald, because she was a present to myself for my undergrad graduation, and it just felt kind of appropriate, given I'd just handed in my postgrad dissertation (although I won't get my marks back and actually graduate for a few months yet.) I'm so glad I snapped her up back in 2012, she's beautiful.
I still have a bunch of photos of our mini-break to share yet, but I thought I'd collect all of Ariel's one-sixth sightseeing together first!
There is a new tiny rodent living with us! His name is Piemur, and he is a six week old baby tricolour mouse. He is the cutest tiniest little poop factory I have ever had the honour of being pooped on by. He's only been here 48 hours, and he's already super friendly and excited to come out and play when we open the door of his cage. (Anne McCaffrey fans, you might recognise his name...)
Unlike any other animal I've ever met, driving him home was a dream. He curled up in his carrier and slept quite happily along the M62.
Setting up his cage has been amazing fun, because mice are really agile climbers (pretty much the opposite of the hams, who bumble about very happily at ground level.) I bought some super cute fabric with little field mice on and whipped up some fleecy hammocks for him which have gone down a treat. We're getting an even better sense of just how much he loves to climb now he's here, so we'll need to fashion more exciting things to dangle from his cage.
The breeder we got him from took a lot of photos of his litter as they were growing up, so we have a lovely bunch of photos of him in various stages of baby mousehood.
He's such a sweet little guy and I'm excited to get lots of mouse cuddles. And maybe teach him basketball.
This is probably not all that impressive, but I have successfully propagated a baby succulent! (Like I said, not terribly impressive, but I'd never done it before!) I bought the parent plant almost a year ago when we first moved in as a sort of house-warming present for myself, and I gave the baby plant to my sister as she moved into her new house this week. A chain of house-warming succulents!
For your propagating needs, this blog post is super useful. I'm actually ashamed to say I have no idea what kind of succulent the parent plant is, as it came in a cute little Ikea multipack without plant names. I think it might be an aloe? When it flowered last winter, it grew an absurdly long stem with a flower on top, which I am told is an aloe hallmark. We had to actually open up the top of our Socker greenhouse it grew so tall, it looked so bizarre (but very pretty!)
I've been a little absent from the blogosphere over the past few weeks - finishing my MA dissertation, recovering from the trauma of handing in my dissertation, and then spending the past few days on a last-minute holiday in Belgium! I have a tonne of photos to share, but for now, here are just a few from a boat trip on the canals, featuring Fidel, the famous golden Labrador that naps on a windowsill all day. What a life.
One of the magical things my student card does is get me into York Minster for the excellent price of free! It's become a habit of mine to go there after my dissertation meetings to wind down a little. Not that the meetings are stressful, my adviser is lovely and everything's gone amazingly to schedule! I just need some time out. I had my last ever meeting this week, and my last ever post-meeting Minster wind down, all the school holidays had ended and it was lovely and quiet.
York Minster is beautiful from the outside, and I'm a big fan of the grotesques. The rose window you can see in the photo above is the Heart of Yorkshire, and superstition goes that if you kiss in front of it, you'll stay together forever. (I keep trying to get a photo of myself and a packet of hobnobs outside, but I've always chickened out when the tourists start looking at me weird. One day, I will do it. I will.) The inside is probably my favourite, though. It's just so lovely!
The Great East Window is currently being restored by the York Glaziers Trust, so while you can't actually see the window itself, there is a huge bonus in that you can actually get a really close look at some of the restored early 15th century stained glass panels in the Orb. It's so amazing.