Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hedgehog rescue activate!

On Monday I got a lift home from work, which turned out to be rather fortuitous as when I got close to my front door I heard a scrabbling in the front garden.  The garden is small but completely overgrown with clover.  I feared it was a rat (we've had them before).  It definitely wasn't a blackbird (their scrabbling sounds different and you don't get them in green plants).  I looked closer and realised it was  a hedgehog. Hedgehog!  I haven't seen a hedgehog for years.
My excitement grew and I thought I must tell my boyfriend about this, so I started filming the hog.  Then I remembered that hogs are nocturnal and if out in daylight are often ill. So I frantically called a friend who is a wildlife expert.  Meanwhile, the hog tried to leave my front garden towards the road, so I blocked his entrance with my bag.  No one wants a run over hog.

The boyfriend came home and we rescued the hog and put him at the back of the garden to find his way out to the woodland behind our house.  It's only little - the size of a hand.  It all balled up and is adorable.  It didn't look sickly, or ill, it was fairly sprightly.

Then I checked my facebook and voicemail and had the aforementioned wildife experts telling me to rescue the hog and call a rescue centre. I then started feeling really sick and worried so went to investigate and found the hog out back.  I picked it up, put it in a plastic box, gave it some catfood (NEVER give hedgehogs milk and bread - it kills them) and felt a bit better.  The boyfriend came home and we also gave it a makeshift hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.

Then I waited for the rescue lady to turn up.  When she arrived at about 10.30pm she looked at him, pronounced him definitely a boy and said that he was probably out in the day because he couldn't find enough food at night.  She said he was about 12 weeks old but really underweight.  If he goes into hibernation now he'll die, because they need to be at least 600grams to survive the winter period.  She also said something about the quality of his spines (not great) and that his pelvis was out of whack, I can't remember exactly.  She said he didn't have these killer maggot/fly things that eat the hogs alive (!) but that he probably did have a worm problem - hence why he was so active.  She will worm him and feed him up and release him.

Here's one video I took of him in the front garden:
That's only about 16 seconds long.

Here's a longer one, about 7 and a half minutes.  If you skip ahead to 5 minutes 30 you'll see him more clearly.
This might show up the wrong way up - tilt your head to the right to see it properly.  I'm amending it in youtube but I don't know when it will change on here.

If you find a hedgehog out in daylight do the following:
Pick it up using gloves or a towel, place it in a cardboard box lined with newspaper or an old towel.
Add a hot water bottle or plastic bottle filled with warm water (warm - not boiling).  Make sure the hog can get away from the bottle if it needs to.  The heat helps stop them going into shock.
Give it cat or dog food and water (a small amount) only once it's active.  Or you can mix up weetabix, whiskas supermeat (not a fish one) and water in a bowl.  If you don't have those, do a hardboiled egg mixed with water.
Don't put the food and water in a deep bowl they can't get into or out of.
Keep the hog in the dark.
Then call your local rescue place.  If their advice contradicts the above follow their advice.

Thanks to Hallswood Animal Sanctuary for collecting the hedgehog, their advice and their information.  They are good.  Please give them money.

This whole experience made a shitty day a bit better.  I'm really glad I could keep the little bugger alive and do something for him.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wonder Woman Wednesday

This is by Terry Didson.  I like her muscles and her strength, but she does a look bit like she's dancing with Cheetah.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ma and Pa Kent

You know what I'd like to read? An account of Martha and Jonathan Kent's time before they found Clark.  An account of why they were childless - are they infertile or did they have miscarriages or did they lose a child (children?) towards the end of a pregnancy?  I doubt they lost a child in late pregnancy because I don't characterise them as a couple who would deny that Clark had a sibling.  If a writer were to retcon that in, I'd have problems.  However, I can see that they never fell pregnant or that they had repeated early miscarriages.

In short, I'd like to read about who they were before they became Ma and Pa Kent, and how trying for a child affected them and how they dealt with it.

Has there been a story like this and if so where would I find it?

The Super family books have a lot to say about grief and familial connections and at some point I'll probably write something about Clark, Kara, Ma and Pa Kent, the Els and Linda Danvers.  But not today.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DC's December Darwyn Cooke variants

Oh hell you'll all have seen them by now but they are so damn purdy I want to blog them anyway.

Wonder Woman:
 Teen Titans:
 I love the way this is set up.  Adore it.

The composition is fabulous.

Superman/Wonder Woman:


And hey look, I'm excited about something.  That's progress.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just in case..

.. you were wondering whether to buy, freeze and eat a cadburys neopolitan mini roll:

Don't. They are fucking rank.
The frozen sponge is dry and heavy. The strawberry and gods-know-what other flavour is nasty.  It was not a good taste experience.

I might buy and freeze the regular chocolatey mini rolls though.  My guess is that the sponge will still be rank but the chocolate might be better.

Blech to neopolitan mini rolls.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Crowdfunded publishing

A couple of weeks back I was searching for a distracting, good natured read.  I discovered that Robert Llewellyn, yes, him who played Kryten in Red Dwarf, had written a utopia based on William Morris' News from Nowhere.

I tried reading News from Nowhere at University, when I was doing a module on utopias and dystopias.  I didn't get on with it (the book, not the module).  I just can't get to grips with books that old.  News from Gardenia though is delightful.  A fella from our time is thrown 200 years into the future where most of the world's populations are gardeners and most everyone has free power (a sustainable green future, how awesome!).  Gardenia is the new name for the UK.  It's a world where we got things right!  Given my life recently, this is just what I needed.  It's a good read.  The protagonist is likeable, he's very English, in manner, outlook and vocabulary, which I like a lot

Anyway I get to the end of the book and I discovered that it was crowdfunded!  I know crowdfunded things are everywhere nowadays but the idea of a crowdfunded publishing house is just marvellous to me.

So I looked on the website - - to find out more and they have some quite frankly marvellous sounding titles on offer.  it works as follows:
The author pitches an idea.
Info is put on the website (i'm guessing the bosses at Unbound get to decide who they put on the website).
If you like an idea, you can make a pledge.
If the target number of supporters is made, the writer starts writing.
There are different levels of monetary support you can pledge, with different rewards.
You are kept up to date with the writer's progress.
The book is written, designed, edited and printed (professionally edited, judging by News from Gardenia).
The pledger gets their book - in e format, hardback or paperback.

How delightful.  So I had a look around the site and came up with these titles that I'd like to support (which I'm including here because I want a record of what I liked so I can go back later and pledge!)
Dead Babies and Seaside Towns
News from the Squares - sequel to News from Gardenia. Women do all the governance!
The Wake

I'm quite excited.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Super Sexy Saturday

If you're going to make Supes and Wondy a couple, make them in their early 30s, give Diana her autonomy and make it look like they enjoy each other.  This is a hot illustration (despite the bent back).  The new 52 Supes/Wondy are not hot.

I can see the credit on this picture, but I can't read it well enough to track down the original source.  A reverse image search doesn't help.  Can anyone else help?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Wonder Woman Wednesday (link time)

I won't post an image today, but just go look at this link:

So many beautiful Wondy cosplays.  I mean beautiful in terms of the physical attributes of the women, the costumes, the poses, the attitude of the women, their stances and the quality of the photographers.  Mesmerising.

Monday, September 01, 2014

I has been on a trip

I just spent 6 days in Kent visiting family and as I took a lot of photos I thought my trip would make good blog fodder.  And I've been reading a lot of lifestyle blogs recently, and I'm apparently quite impressionable..

Here goes.

My first thing to talk about are these wonderful earrings I got on Tuesday just before I left:
They are from Fabrication Unlimited, an Etsy shop based in the States, but postage to the UK is dead cheap and delivery was only a couple of weeks.  I considered asking for the lightning bolts in gold but decided I quite liked the silver effect.  As for the blue ones, well everyone needs a little bit of hope in their life.

Then I left, and left the earrings at home. As you do.

I spent Wednesday with my Dad and we went to Buttercups Goat Sanctuary in Boughton Monchelsea.  If you like goats, and in you are in Kent, you need to go.  There are oodles of goats. Big goats, little goats, lame goats, healthy goats, horned goats, sleepy goats, white goats, black goats, brown goats. Friendly goats and lazy goats.  I like goats, a lot.  I don't want to steal pictures from the website, but I urge you to go and look at it.  And check out the how to donate pages as well.

Then we went to the Three Chimneys pub in Biddenden.  We went by possibly the most circuitous route, as it appears my Dad isn't quite clear on the route to Biddenden, and when he was clear, I kept missing important turnings.  Sadly, once there, I could have no beer as I was driving.  So I had sausage and mash instead and it was good.  I had a lot of sausages this week.  Meatyrific.

On the Thursday me and my Mum went to Scotney Castle, a National Trust property that just so happens to have have hops farmed on it.  It also has some lovely gardens, and I found these sunflowers:
Hops are important in the ale brewing process and we went on a tour of the hop farm and learned about the growing and gathering process.  This is how hops grow:
Tasty hops.

It turns out that the farm has always kept a record of how many bales of hops were harvested each year.  It can vary a hella lot from year to year, dependent on the weather, as shown by these boards in the processing plant:
Some years (about a century ago) they only harvested about 61 bales. Other years they harvested closer to 500.  Can you imagine only producing a paltry 60 odd bales and having to make a living off that, for the rest of the year?

The tour included a walk round the farm to see where seasonal hop pickers lived, up until about the 1930s (I think).  They lived here:
These sheds used to have corrugated iron front walls, and would house between 10 and 15 people, of all ages, in double bunk beds erected against the side and back walls.  There wouldn't be room for much else.  That should give you an idea of the small size of them.  Some of the sheds were used by the same families, year in and year out, and still have the wallpaper put up by the families.  They cooked in a communal shed, opposite the living quarters:

This is a field we walked through towards the end of the tour:
Included because I think it's a nice photo and I'm usually crap at landscape photos.

They had beer samples at the end. I wasn't driving, so I did try them. The bitter was decent enough but the pale ale was much better. 

On the Friday morning, me, my sister, brother in law and niece went out for a fry up, at my suggestion, because I've been reading this blog and craving a Full English.  We went to The Rustic Cafe, attached to a garden centre, which I was dubious about, but it turned out to be bloody lovely.  The only things missing were black pudding and hash browns, but as I couldn't finish what I'd ordered maybe that was for the best.  The decor was nice. Our tablecloth was a map of the world:
On Saturday I went into Maidstone to meet friends and go to the comic shop.  I grew up in Maidstone and it was bloody weird being back, seeing all the changes.  I haven't walked round the town for about 5 or 10 years, and it's changed quite a bit.  It was really disorienting actually.  At the bottom of Gabriels Hill is a big retail space that used to be a newsagents.  It was where I went to buy UK reprints of Marvel comics and every time I went there and looked at the comics rack I was terrified I would be found out.  That someone would shout at me that these things weren't for girls.  Now that retail space is this:
How times change huh?  Maidstone is not quite the pit of horror that I remember, it has been cleaned up, but it still feels like a dump to me.  I guess it's impossible to get rid of emotional negative connotations.

I also visited Maidstone's actual comic shop, that I didn't go into at all until after I moved away (about 15 years ago).  The shop is called the Grinning Demon and it used to be on the High Street.  The High Street shop was a dark box and the few times I went in I was met with surly, grumpy, miserable staff.  The only good thing about it was that I got a copy of the first Peter David Supergirl trade in there.

Now the shop has moved to the Royal Arcade and it's magnificent!  The shop itself is light and airy.  They have tables outside and upstairs for gamers (card games, not video games).  They offer free tea and coffee to the gamers.  You walk in the shop and the owner (Graham, I think) asks if you need any help.  Have some pictures of the inside of it:

 (Local artists' work on the walls!)
They have a sofa (pictured above) which I took advantage of as I was very hungover and couldn't cope with other shops.  I just sat there for half an hour and the owner was cool with this.  I had just bought this lot of comics too, I didn't just wander in off the street and claim refuge:
Other things to note from my trip are:
This massive horse chestnut tree I found in Mote Park:
These beers that I drank (not all on the same night):

I got up on Sunday morning to discover the wire in one of my bras had worked it's way through the bra material, which was incredibly disappointing.  It's one of my better ones as it gives me shelf boobs.  I had this crazy idea that if I took both wires out it would be a useable soft cup bra.  Not so.  I think I need to learn more about bra machinery.

Finally, salutations to the very helpful gentleman who carried my suitcase down some steps on the London Underground.  I suspect he decided to help because I was limping, as my knee had decided to play up for that stretch of the journey.  Whoever you were Sir, I thank you!