I always get super excited to go back to the North East, it still feels like my home! I don't think that'll ever change. This past weekend I got to spend a lovely wintery day in Northumberland where I got a bit camera happy. These were all taken in and around Blanchland, after a terrifying night in which I was convinced the ghost of Dorothy Forster was coming for me (what had happened, in fact, was that I'd kicked the hot water bottle off my bed unknowingly, and thus was actually haunting myself, which is... absolutely as ridiculous as it sounds. Nice one, Alice.)
My mum's puppy that I posted about a little while ago is so much bigger now! He loves mud, puddles, and just generally getting filthy.
I really love grey squirrels. I've had a complete change of heart about them recently, having grown up being told that grey squirrels are bad and horrible - in the UK, and elsewhere in Europe, the grey squirrels were brought over here and have since mostly displaced the red squirrels as they're just... better at surviving, pretty much. We have a pretty weird nostalgic attachment to red squirrels, which are very cute. But still, grey squirrels are just little fuzzy animals doing their best. We brought them over here, it's on us. Not them.
Anyway, I had a day trip to York this past weekend and had a lot of fun with the squirrels in Museum Gardens! They're super friendly and ran right up to me when I made my mouse noises at them, I'm clearly some kind of rodent pied piper. I wasn't even offering them food. Just look at these precious little babies!
Fair warning: I'm about to get really soppy about rodents in this post. I can't help it. I am genuinely delighted every day to wake up and see three tiny little animals living happily in my house with me and I literally haven't shut up about it since we first got the hamsters. Animal people are rolling their eyes at me constantly (and this includes Gavin, who's had every rodent under the sun) but this is still super new to me! I wasn't allowed animals when I was little (with the one exception of a Syrian hamster when I was 10), I've never had family members with animals, and I didn't even know I would enjoy having animals so much.
But, um, I do. As you might have noticed. Almost as much as Piemur loves cornflakes.
Baby Piemur is not only my fourth ever pet, but my first ever non-hamster. Hamsters are adorable. They can be super personable. I'm definitely, absolutely not knocking hamsters. I love my hamsters. But mice. Mice are smart and agile and amazing and it's just this whole other type of pet experience, and I am so stupid for this mouse. He's perfect. I'm teaching him actual honest-to-god tricks. My crowning glory with the hamsters is that they'll come to collect a treat from me if I make a clicking sound at one end of their tank.
I love how interested he is in me. He really wants to join in, it's so cute. He waits by the door of his cage to be let out and likes to sit at the end of his cage that's closest to where I am in the room. Which basically means that whenever we're both awake, nothing useful gets done. It is Alice Fussing Over Mouse time.
Mice, as pets, don't have an especially great reputation. Same with rats. They're seen as dirty pests (sob) and people are weird about their tails. (Mouse tails, by the way, I can definitely vouch for being super soft and silky and beautiful.) I'd never even really thought of getting a mouse before, and I didn't know anyone who kept mice. I do know a bunch of rat people, and whilst I love rats and want at least five thousand, I do think the awesomeness of rats and their slightly more people-oriented nature and easier to handle size has overshadowed mice a little. Poor little mice. They are tiny little fuzzy bundles of love.
He's so tiny and smelly and adorable and I love him even when he pees all over my clothes and it stinks.
Today I have rediscovering my poor, dusty Pullips! According to Flickr, the last time I took a photo of a Pullip was January 2013... yikes. I dug them out and had a little wig switcheroo to mix things up - this is my Pullip Eos wearing a grey fur wig that's usually on my Taeyang Gyro.
I had a pretty intense Pullip phase circa 2010, I think, but it's been years since I bought any new ones. I think the main appeal (and I'm sorry, Pullips, to insult you this way) was that they were a beautiful compromise between BJDs (which are expensive) and Blythes (which are also quite expensive) at comparatively cheap prices. They're so photogenic, as well! The matte plastic and their lovely face ups just photograph so beautifully. The downside: their stock wigs and bodies can be a bit iffy, quality-wise. I'm a little behind on the situation these days, but I always re-wigged mine and generally re-bodied (Eos is still on her type 4, but the legs and hands fell off twice taking these photos, so point proven!)