New season

Mar. 21st, 2014 02:18 pm
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
My crocuses (croci?) have started blooming!


Planting something in autumn to see it bloom seven months later feels like cheating somehow, like it shouldn't be allowed. And I've moved around so much in my life I was half convinced I wouldn't even be here when spring came and then all that work (it wasn't really that much work) would have been for nothing. But here I am, and here they are, and sometimes things work out like they should. There's also the tulip bulbs, which I look forward to blooming later in the spring.

I've got a lot planned for the garden this year, though seeing as I've finally landed a job (after a year of unemployment) I might have to dial it back a little bit. In any case I'm definitely gonna make a new flowerbed, away from the scorching heat that gets reflected from my building's red brick wall. Somewhere along the fence, where it might catch a little bit of shadow from the neighbouring house, and then I'll keep the first flower bed for succulents and things that can tolerate the heat (last year the poppies thrived, so they can stay).

I've been dreaming about making a small vegetable garden in a corner of our (immense, empty) garden, but that might just be more work than it's worth. Anyway, there's the watering issue -- last summer I had to carry all the water into the garden. This year I'm looking into hooking up a hose to my kitchen faucet and running it out the window, but it's still gonna be cumbersome. So we'll see about my dream victory garden.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
So while I was away, the heat wave came and ravaged my garden. I've already talked about how the placement of the flower bed makes it a furnace even during normal Norwegian conditions, but the overwhelming heat sure did a number on my poor flowers and plants.

My entire window box -- lettuce, chives and marigolds - is fried. My beautiful poppies all lost their petals. One of the lavenders sighed its last. My borage, dill, coriander and lacy phacelia weren't doing that good to begin with so maybe it's for the best the heat put them out of their misery. Before I went away my mum also gave me assorted climbers from her garden, but they died before they really got started.

Poppy, pre-heat wave.

I'm surprised to say, some plants did make it through the heat though: The marigolds (both the common and African ones) in the flower bed, the rest of the lavender, a few cornflowers, the sunflowers, and also I'm surprised to see the poppies starting to regrow buds.

I'm not too disheartened by this turn of events -- I really didn't expect anything to survive this summer without me there to water them, so I'm delighted at seeing the survivors stand tall. My sunflowers are wonderful, they're very nearly as tall as me now (170 cm) and their stalks are thicker than my thumb. One of them's got five flowering heads at the moment (the bumblebees love it), while the other's got one. According to the packet they weren't supposed to be the multi-headed type but as surprises go it's not he worst.

Sunflowers, post-heat wave. Also common marigolds in the corner.
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
It is with great pride (and a little sense of shock) I unveil...



That is, the first plant I've raised from seed to flower. Sure, I've got ready-bought carnations in my flowerbed that're covered with flowers, but raising them yourself is different: Guys, I've successfully grown a marigold! It's pretty much my first proof that I'm not hopeless at this gardening business!

See, in my last update I was so disappointed in my garden progress I was almost ready to throw in the towel. I had just a few scraggly stalks to show for all my effort - but then the rains came and now my flower beds are bursting with green things! Not many flower buds though - which is why I'm so pleased with this one marigold. Hopefully more will follow.

On the other hand, bees and other insects are noticeably rare. Apart from the beetles, ants and spiders already living in my flower bed (in peace, of course) I've only seen one bumblebee in my garden this year. I don't like this at all. Still hoping they're just slow to increase in numbers because of all the rain.
tilly_stratford: (Blue & Gold)
I once bought some second-hand action figures of two of my favourite superheroes. I always intended to make it a little collection of superheroes to have on top of a shelf somewhere (shh, it makes me happy). But then I sort of got stuck trying to choose which figure to get next.

Meanwhile, the line that had produced my Beetle and Booster figures (DC Universe Classics) ended due to economical trouble (whether this was due to the company's terrible sales model is up to debate). Whoops. But THEN it returned under a different name (Signature Collection) and I thought, "Hell, why not throw a few bucks their way".

And a little photo story, because I'm a big child.

Hmm )

Collectors have their wish list of characters they want to see made as action figures.

I've come to realize I'd love some sort of Executive Line - all the DC characters that don't run around in spandex, but are big personalities in the superhero comics even so. There's Sue Dibny, for one, who was an official member of the Justice League at one point. Also Maxwell Lord (though they'd probably give us the blah villain version), and oh, Amanda Waller (who was actually made as a Justice League Unlimited figure back in the day).

But now I'm back to where I was: Whichever figure would it be appropriate to get next?
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Among the fab gifts I got this Christmas was a second-hand DS Lite (which proved a very welcome diversion on the seven-hour train trip home). I've named it Lance.

It needed a case though, so today I went down to the Salvation Army, bought clothes for 20 kroner and then went to work with the sewing machine:

I'm digging the pocket.

Got the pattern from here, but being my mother's daughter I quickly started making it up as I went along - which is incidentally why the back of the pouch (not pictured) is a disaster. Plus I didn't really take into account how quickly shoddily-sewn denim unravels - but hey, it works for now, and even if the denim-and-paisley pouch doesn't last long, it shouldn't take me too much work to whip up a new one.


Jan. 6th, 2012 02:14 pm
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Back in Bergen again - where I discovered a commode in the shower and the wires and bits of the water heater coiled up on the the bathroom floor. Not entirely certain what's going on there.

Now that I'm back to my regular life - and computer - again I feel like there've been so many things I've neglected to write about this December. Just look at all the things I've done:

- Finished all of The Wire, which I feel I should have written A WHOLE LOT about, because it is probably the best TV series I've ever watched. Top quality. It's this damn-nigh perfect entity - which is why I've never been able to write much about it, because I can't pick it apart and latch onto specific things to fangirl about, like I do with my other shows. All the characters are complex and flawed, ALL of them do both wonderful deeds and despicable ones, the stories are spellbinding but never gimmicky. The Wire is just... amazing television.

- Listened to Tiny's upcoming baby's heartbeat. Well it - she - is already a baby but she haven't made her world debut yet, you see. I accompanied Tiny to her check-up, and the doctor listened with one of those doppler things and I... spontaneously started crying. I mean - I know my sister's eight months pregnant and I've felt the baby kick and hiccup and everything, and I'm not a very sentimental person, but hearing those heartbeats I got shockingly emotional all of a sudden.

- Celebrated the most ethical and environmnentally friendly Christmas yet, by replacing the usual "I don't know what to give you so here's some silly knick-knack I found in a store two days ago that we both know you'll never use" with Fair Trade digestibles. Well Tiny did, and I latched on. Didn't recieve any complaints, and that vanilla fudge was excellent.

- Cut Linni's back claws all by myself. Linni, who'll lash out the moment anybody tries to hold her or otherwise contain her. Linni, who's perpetually nervous about anybody touching her paws. And yet I managed to do it all in one evening while we we're both lounging on mum's sofa, and she never hissed or bolted. So now Linni can walk on hardwood floors without that click-click-click noise.

In fact when we moved Linni to mum's place I was worried that facing mum's two resident cats would make Linni withdraw and hide like she did at the shelter, but once again my cat showed off how adaptable she really is. She respected Missi, the elderly no-nonsense cat, and vigorously played with Luna, the young off-the-wall mischevious one. Here's a photo Luna and Linni at a rare quiet moment:

Good holiday overall!
tilly_stratford: (Default)
Tiny and Morten are well on their way back to eastern Norway, while I'm slipping back into my Bergen lifestyle.

A handful of pictures from the last couple of days )

So speaking of my Bergen lifestyle - see, this is the first time since infancy that I'm not working on my formal education, where my day isn't spent on school work in some way. And for the last five years I've been extremely comfortable with the "student" label. Losing that, it's like I'm undergoing some sort of identity crisis. I mean, what other label do I get now? "Unemployed", I guess. I'm not at all comfortable with that one, so I'm going to have to fix that ASAP.

I'm a young, intelligent and educated person in the best of health, I've held a handful of interesting creative jobs (go into any major Norwegian bookshop and there's a real chance you'll find at least one product with my name on it), I'm very prepared to be an asset somewhere! My immediate challenge is to find out where I can be an asset, to find out who'll have me. I already know my degree in Medieval History isn't worth a thing, so at least that won't come as a shock.

Out into the world we go.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
I was literally losing sleep thinking about it. Not so much that I expected bad news, just the thought of the stress of capturing Linni and then having another vet scoff at my inability to hold or carry her. I was really not looking forward to this.

And then it went off without a single hitch. Amazing.

First of all, the vet (who I'd warned about Linni's antisocial tendencies) was just so extremely good at her job. Remember that the previous vet refused to even give Linni the most basic of check-ups because "she's too aggressive". Well, this one checked Linni's ears, her teeth, everything. She picked her up, carried her into the reception room and weighed her (a few hectograms too many, I suspected as much), and later trimmed her claws, just "snip snip snip" (and Linni is usually terrified of anyone even brushing against her paws). I was completely amazed.

(Of course Linni, my little pooping machine, was perfectly terrified throughout all this. But this is the first time I've seen Linni scared without getting aggressive - she swatted at me from inside the cage and hissed a little bit at the vet initially, but she still allowed the vet to do what she needed to).

I also told the vet my concern about the angle of Linni's hind legs. This is something I didn't even see before Tiny pointed it out to me, but Linni's hind legs are knock-kneed, she walks with her heels turned inwards. I worried about early signs of hip dysplasia or something like that (Linni's not very fond of jumping up on stuff), but the vet told me it was possible that malnutrition as a kitten had stunted her muscular growth, or that it was simply something congenital. Eased my mind, in any case.

Everything went so much better than expected.

ETA: Okay, and here's what she looks like chilling out next to me as I'm typing this:

tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
Having another period with insomnia, I can only seem to manage a couple hours of sleep every night. Constant headache and nausea not good, but at least two hours of sleep per day is better than none. Anyway I don't need a lot of energy to play video games and draw anyway, which is what I'm doing these days.

So instead of being negative I'm going to mention how the sky looked completely breathtaking tonight as the sun was setting - the light spilling all over like the delicious runny yolk of a perfectly fried egg (and remind me not to try to wax poetic ever again when I'm this sleepy).

After three years I still love the view from my window.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Notice how, when I find a new interest, I somehow always wind up with toys, even though I'm really not a toy person?

Or a diorama person for that matter.

Thank you, I'm trying not to think about the fact that I've bought my first piece of ~anime merch~ but to be fair it's one of my favourite movies, characters, and guns.

And it only set me back about the price of a chocolate bar, because OH -


And that's sort of the charm of it. It's in fact just a cheap vending machine toy, a gashapon, but when I realized I could own just the darlingest wee little anti-tank rifle I had to buy it. (Also I think it's kind of cute that they still make toys for an animated movie from 1978, and tiny plastic dioramas of such completely inconsequential scenes).

I swear, I am the only person whose bookshelves get more plastic crap displayed on them as I grow older.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
Aw yeah, I've got my new Angels With Dirty Faces poster up! Not where it's supposed to be, granted (I used to have a poster of the goddess Durga in that spot, but she's been relocated to the kitchen door), but after taking that frame apart and reassembling it my hands were too bruised to start putting in extra screws in my wall.

Isn't this just the classiest wall ever?

We've got your Deadpool, your Kaizers Orchestra (signed, natch), the Rat Pack, a couple of Harry Clarke illustrations... and now a German poster for one of my top three favourite movies ever. You can see an image of the poster here.

Silly Germans retitling a movie that expressively takes place in New York, Chikago, but it's got good things going that weighs up for it - apart from looking classy as heck, it pleases me that Humphrey Bogart gets third billing like he should (this is pre-breakthrough Bogie, he plays the shyster lawyer), and the fact that The Dead End Kids becomes der Dead-End-Bande.

Excuse me, I'm going to go sit in bed admiring my sexy new movie poster.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
I had a conversation with a student friend the other week where it came to light that I've never eaten instant noodles.

"What!" he incredulously spat. "But you're a student, you're unemployed - instant noodles is supposed to be something like 80 % of your diet!"

Well what can I say, I've never had money problems bad enough to affect my eating in any major ways, and I'm more of a pasta girl anyway. I have on a few occasions eaten noodles, but always with meats and sauces and vegetables and things in addition, so I'm not even sure what noodles taste like. Just eating noodles on its own is a foreign concept to me.

So, considering this obviously is a great scientific project that requires eye witnesses (and since I live alone and don't feel like inviting the next-door-neighbours over to watch me eat instant noodles) - guess what you'll be subjected to! I suppose you can view it as a continuation of that time (half a decade a go, man how time flies) I liveblogged my first coffee-drinking experience.

So I went to the supermarket and bought the one kind they had, the brand that markets itself on vaguely offensive Asian stereotypes. But it had chicken flavour, score!

Can you tell I'm procrastinating before an exam? Yeah I thought so )

I apologize for that, we'll now return to our usual routine where I post a picture of myself maybe once every two years. (But whoa isn't my hair getting long!)
tilly_stratford: (Default)
Yesterday was one of the most pleasant days I've had in months, which is sort of incredible considering I spent most of the day working on my archeology paper about viking ship technology (the conclusion was AW HELL YEAH VIKINGS).

I went to the second hands-on archeology seminar which was a treat because my favourite thing about taking archeology is the Touching Really Old Stuff bit, and I got to touch a lot really old stuff, like viking age dice and shoes and pipes and toys. And because this seminar was held at the Bryggen Museum I took care to go look at my favourite stick in the world - a little piece of wood with carvings depicting a viking fleet disappearing into the distance, drawn a few hundred years before the laws of perspective where figured out (Conclusion: AW HELL YEAH VIKINGS).

And all is well here at home. Here, let me bore you with yet another picture of Linni.

We have discovered the Blanket of Calmness so things are going great. When positioned on the Blanket of Calmness things that are normally terribly frightening lose their edge, like people walking in the corridor, or cuddling with your new owner. Even if the Blanket of Calmness inexplicably moves to new places, like the middle of your new owner's bed, that's also okay.

Now I'm off to travel to new and scary places and try to locate a scratching post. Somewhere in Sandsli, I believe.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
Man, Project Linni is going so much better than expected. Yesterday I observed her doing a slew of things that I've never ever seen her do before in all the time I've known her, such as:

01. Chillin' out in the open. In the slightly-more-than-a-year I've been watching her at the shelter, I have never ever seen her stand in the middle of the floor. Linni's spent her entire existence crawling along walls and pressing into corners so this is wonderful news.

I even got pictorial evidence! (Finally something better than that grainy phone shot)

This was when she discovered the TV. I suddenly realized she's probably never seen one before,
but after the intial shock she seemed to realize Robert Preston wasn't going to step out and get her.

Not only does she stay out in the open, she even dares to sleep there. On her side, even, not just in kittyloaf position (I love the phrase "kittyloaf", so descriptive!). Yesterday she actually spent more time on the carpet next my bed than in either of her hiding places (and her extra-secure hiding space under the bureau has fallen almost entirely out of use!).

02. Playing. I swear, I never once managed to make her to as much as bat at a piece of string while she was in the shelter. Yesterday I went out and got the least scary-looking toy I could find (a fishing pole with a peacock feather at the end) and after half an hour of coaxing she finally got into the game. - Even rolling on her back and swatting at it, which is actual playful behaviour rather than "THIS IS A BIRD AND I'M GOING TO KILL AND EAT IT".

03. Showing an interest in humans of the not-"OH GOD THEY'RE GOING TO GET ME" variety. Which is to say she's started following me around. The moment I turn she runs and hides but obviously the curiosity is there.

04. Vocalizing in other ways than hissing. And man, I just don't know. Every time I turned off the lights and went to bed it's like she wanted to figure out how to make every noise known to Cat. During the night I heard her mieow, yammer and chirrup, and I've no idea what prompted any of those.

I've got admit I was surprised to hear her mieow though, since feral cats as a rule stop meowing once they reach adulthood (which makes sense, since meowing essentially translates to "I want your attention" and ferals don't learn that they can communicate vocally with humans). Linni's obviously tamer than I first thought.


May. 4th, 2011 09:51 pm
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
Thought: What is it that my journal has been lacking in these last couple of months?

Oh I know - shelter cats!

When I locked myself in today I found a little surprise nestled up on the reception desk between the adoption papers and the money box:

The new bundle of joy's name is Kasper, clocking in at 12 weeks, he's half Maine Coon, half who-the-hell-knows-how-did-our-cat-get-out-anyway and his new family is picking him up on Saturday.

Click through for Kasper's siblings and some other stars at the shelter )

Well that's a few of the thirty-ish cats we've got on the shelter. Going to be interesting heading into the kitten season.

Oh and one for the history books: Absolutely no scratches on me today! Though I did get chlorine into a small cut on my hand and boy that stung like a bitch.
tilly_stratford: (JLI: Beetle and Booster)

When I delivered my last archeology paper I ordered some dirt cheap volumes of Justice League International as my reward. Aw look at these! Actual paper! I own printed paper with Justice League adventures all legal-like! (Granted the paper is suprisingly low-quality but I suppose you get what you pay for)

But woe, I've got an English exam to study for and no time to read comics right now. Too bad I can't do both at once.


Gosh, that was fun! And why the hell not - our English professor told us that she usually picks examples from whatever she's interested in at the time (one year the exam questions all featured dialogue from X-Files).

Hey it might make cramming phonetics and grammar a bit more interesting, that's all I ask for.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Okay here's a thing that was pretty much bound to happen.

Remember when I inexplicably started to find the action figure community strangely entertaining? And you've noticed how I've become a devout fan of Justice League International?

I think you can see where this is going.

Playtime! )

If I knew 100 kroner's worth of plastic could bring me this much entertainment I would have bought them sooner!

(Worst thing is, I'm kinda in love with the technical aspect of the figures too - they have wee little ankle joints and you can pose them in several ways without them falling over and they've got the canonical height difference and Booster's got this wonderful metallic sheen to his costume! - Not to mention a detachable Skeets!)
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
So now I've suddenly got a lot of spare time on my hands, and I've watched another five Lupin III movies -

- that is to say, I didn't watch those five movies in the interrim between finishing my exam yesterday and now, but presently I've got time to write down my thoughts about them and doing capping and GIF-making. I don't know what's to blame; That the movies are becomingly increasingly crazier, or me getting more opinionated about them or the fact that I was so excited about having a breather from school I honestly couldn't sleep last night, but this entry will be wordy.

I have also made an assload of GIFs because I've been watching some mighty pretty animated movies, guys.

Of special interest this time: I've watched both the 30th and 40th anniversary movies, as well as the first official crossover movie - featuring Detective Conan, remember him?

'Just a stray cat? Or a cat burglar?' )

AND SO. Just to prove that even a pathetic little pirater like me still got some honour in her soul: Since I found Episode 0: First Contact so awesomegood, the next time I ordered something from the US I included a certain DVD, bought all honourable-like even though I already have a pirated copy. PROOF:

An official Lupin III product in the coastal city of Bergen, Norway. I feel all respectable now.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: relaxed)
I got to name a cat today. I mentioned that considering we've already got a Cleopatra (complete with an "I BITE" tag on her collar) and a Cæsar (who's almost entirely recovered from the flu), it would only be natural to call him Antonius.

So Antonius it is:

A bit shy (and suffering from a cold sore on his nose, poor thing), but he's one of those prepubescent cats who start purring the moment you give them some attention - Antonius was purring like an Evinrude engine while chasing the laser pen.

We've also got another new face, and a very unusual one too: A purebred persian male by name of Twist (we don't keep him caged up, he just prefers to be in there). He even comes complete with a pedigree chart from his previous owner.

Twist gives me some conflicting feelings, because he is a very very sweet, affectionate cat who at the same time represents something I hate with all my being (and I've always used persians as an example of how twisted the breeding industry can get too). As lovely as he is, I can't help but think that this is not what a cat is supposed to look like. Of course I don't hold it against him, I just can't help getting a little bit sad about the fact that people think a cat like him is worth five times as much than any of the others we have at the shelter.
tilly_stratford: (ST: Space OT3)
Ah yesterday's party was great fun (and oh God I can still taste those delicious homemade pumpkin muffins on my tongue om nom nom), and today I woke up all groggy wondering why all my clocks were displaying different times (not that I had a single drop yesterday).

The Star Trek costume wasn't a big hit, though I did get a lot of "Oooh, you're from Star Wars!". I was a polite enough geek to always smile and answer "Close, do you mean Star Trek?" - "Yes God, that's the one! Awesome costume!". So all in all it went better than the one time I was Groucho Marx and no one got it.

Sadly I didn't get any full-body pictures of me in costume (I'm considering a crazy Star Trek photoshoot when my sister comes visiting soon), but you can at least see some of it.

Boldly going where so many geeks have gone before )


tilly_stratford: (Default)

March 2015



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