On Being Emo Over Kingdom of Ash/The Power of a Really Good Book

Last night I finally finished Kingdom of Ash, the final instalment of Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass series, and I’ve been feeling hugely emotional about it, especially having crammed the seven preceding books into the six preceding weeks. I will try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, as it is not so much the plot I want to focus on (*ramble about)– but I cannot guarantee this will be completely spoiler-free (especially if you are like me and consider anything so much as “it’s good” a spoiler) so you have been warned.

Read more

An Introduction To Pogo

You may or may not be aware that we recently brought home a new little monster. This was actually exactly a month ago today. As it doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere, I would officially like to welcome Pogo into the Thoughtful Ferret family.

Pogo was born at Llys Nini RSPCA on the 27th April, after her pregnant mother had been left at the centre. She was originally named Pippa and was part of a large litter.

20180811_155654.jpg
Dean meeting Pogo for the first time, back when she was Pippa

When we adopted her, we’d been thinking about adding another girl to the family for a while. Our boy Finnick was so reliant and dependent on Effie, and there was such an age difference between them, that we were afraid of how he would cope if we lost her. We thought that introducing another young girl at some point would be good for him. After Haymitch passed away, it seemed like a good time to start thinking about it further, as we were down from four to two, and no longer had to worry about the tension between the two boys. Not long after, my sister and I popped up to Llys Nini to volunteer with the ferrets (something we used to do weekly, but due to busy lifestyles no longer get to do nearly as often) and saw that two litters had been born recently. It seemed like perfect timing.

20180811_155439.jpg
Finn and Effie looking incredibly put out during the first socialisation

The next few Saturdays were spent taking Finnick and Effie to meet the new ferrets and see who they best got on with. They weren’t very happy about it (they were both adopted from there and I’m pretty sure they thought I was taking them back) and they were both overwhelmed by the energetic and annoying young kits. If you’ve never met a young ferret, think a teething toddler on cocaine, and you’re about half way there.

After the second visit, we knew that if it was going to work, it would be with Pippa, and after a few more socialisation sessions, she was ready to come home.

20180818_102521.jpg
On her way home

We brought her home on a Saturday, had a playpen set up ready, and stayed in with her all weekend. It didn’t take long until she was comfortable in the house, but her relationship with Finnick and Effie definitely needed work. We like to think they were in the right place for it though, and it only took a few days for them to coexist peacefully (though they definitely were not yet friends).

As she was born in the centre, and presumably had only ever seen other ferrets and humans, the first time Pogo came face to face with the cats was pretty funny. You could almost see her thinking “well you’re a strange looking ferret. Or are you a strange looking human?” She seems to have got used to them now, and loves annoying them just as much as the others.

It took us a long time to come up with her name (she couldn’t remain Pippa for a variety of reasons). With the exception of Siberia the cat and Sadie the fish, all of our pets were named after literary characters, and I really wanted to keep that theme. It was just too hard to settle on one that my housemate and I both liked, and that felt right on her. Zélie (from Children of Blood and Bone – read it if you haven’t yet!) was a very close contender, as was Gizmo (not literary, but Gremlins!!). Eventually I put on an old System of a Down album and as she was bouncing around the living room to it, the answer came to me.

It’s just such a *ferret* song.

She became Pogo.

It has of course been a bumpy first month for poor Pogo. Whilst part of the reason we got her was to help Finn be less reliant on Effie in case the worst happened, we didn’t expect the worst to happen so soon. Sadly, Effie passed away two weeks ago.

As expected, Finnick didn’t react very well – he slept a lot (not at all like him) and needed a lot of cuddles and encouragement with food. He is much better now, but definitely still getting over it (as are we all). I definitely think that having this small ball of fur and energy annoying him all day has helped take his mind off it quicker. She’s been very much JD to his Dr Cox, but after a month, the pestering seems to be working. They still have little fights in the cage sometimes (which usually seem to be over who gets to sleep where) and they’re not quite playing together properly, but they seem to sort of flirt about it – one might jump on the other and then run away, and they chase each other in and out of tubes. They’ve also started cuddling up together a lot more, and just last night I managed to cuddle them both at the same time for a magical whole five minutes.

20180914_213554.jpg

Pogo is full of beans, and brings such a strong energy to the house. We definitely made the right decision in choosing to bring her into the family, and I am so happy to introduce her to you all.

Hopefully, as she gets older and calms down, I’ll be able to get some more photos of her that aren’t just blurs.

She’s Team Tom
20180909_214542.jpg
My favourite Pogo photo so far

Happy monthiversary Pogo, here’s to many more!

20180918_075626.jpg

So the Lion fell in love with the Mutton (revisiting Twilight ten years later) – Part Nine

I did it. I read four chapters of Twilight in one morning. I think I’m starting to see in sparkles and despair. We are at the point now where the story actually starts getting engaging (you know, in the last quarter of the book, like all good stories) – and now that the plot has some actual drama to it, Bella is disappointingly a lot less over-dramatic. This also means that there’s a lot less to poke fun at, but every rose has it’s thorn I guess.

Read more

Rest In Peace, Effie

It is with a very heavy heart and a lot of ugly crying that I announce the passing of our girl Effie.

Screenshot_20180904-174308_Instagram.jpg

On Thursday evening I took her for a vet appointment as she didn’t seem to be eating properly. The vet and I thought there was just an issue with her jaw as she’d had a bump during the week. We dosed her up on painkillers, and thought she’d be better by the following Monday. On Friday night, she was looking worse, and the only way I could get her to eat was to cut up raw chicken into tiny pieces and feed it to her by hand. I watched her collapse on the floor at one point, just like Haymitch had done in his last days, and I had an intense stabbing pain in my gut as I knew this was something more than we thought.

We took her to the vets on Saturday, and they confirmed that she had a lot of growths, and that it was likely lymphoma. We knew our options were thin but we made an appointment for Tuesday with the exotic vets, and took her home.

39676143_160694904830873_1463010820458807296_n.jpg

We had such a lovely last few days together. I may have cried a few times, but overall I managed to keep the mood light and soft and positive for her. She had a lot of treats and cuddles, and was fed more raw chicken by hand. On Monday I took time off work to be with her, because I knew what was coming and was doubtful she’d make it to the specialist appointment. I didn’t really know what to do – I wanted to spend time with her, but I didn’t want to just watch Netflix and sulk, and it wasn’t like she could play, but if I read a book I’m not really in the room. So I turned on the Xbox, cwtched her up in some blankets, and we created a character on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (an old favourite) together, made her look blonde and slightly ferrety, and named her Effie Organa.

20180903_131434.jpg
Effie and Effie

We sat there and cuddled and played for hours, and I chatted to her the whole time. She almost seemed happy about it, or at least pleased with all the fuss. Then my housemate(/her father) came home and she had lots of cuddles with him, and loads had loads of cuddles from her boyfriend, Finnick, in between.

Screenshot_20180904-174132_Instagram.jpg
Effie and Finn’s first photographed cuddle (February 2016)
20180903_170916.jpg
Effie and Finn’s last photographed cuddle (September 2018)

She did make it to the vet appointment, but was barely hanging on when we got there. We made the decision to put her to sleep, and she went peacefully, surrounded by the love that had surrounded her for, not just the last few days, but the whole four and a bit years she was with us.

Screenshot_20180904-174115_Instagram.jpg

Perhaps you recall, but Effie almost didn’t come to find her forever home with us – we’d registered to adopt her, but when we went to pick her up, she’d developed a cyst and couldn’t leave, so we took Haymitch instead. After a month or so, we decided to go back for her, and I have no way of articulating how grateful I am that we made that decision.

Screenshot_20180904-173713_Instagram.jpg

Screenshot_20180904-174330_Instagram.jpg

Effie was easily the smartest ferret we have owned, but she was also funny, and naughty and compassionate, and more. Her relationship with Finnick was incredible, and wonderful in the truest sense of the word. The way her relationships developed with myself and my housemate were not far off.

I still think this video is one of my greatest creations:

Losing her came as such a shock, and I am torn to pieces because I was not ready for this. I have not yet finished mourning Haymitch, and when we lost him, I remember thinking that I bet Effie has at least two more years in her. I was convinced of it. Sadly ferrets can deteriorate so quickly, but I like to think we squished two years of love and comfort into these last few days – and I am so grateful that we had them.

Screenshot_20180904-173813_Instagram.jpg

I also like to think she was holding on to make sure Finnick would be okay without her, and with our new addition. And I like to think that she is with Katniss and Haymitch now, somewhere where Carrie Fisher is queen and there are lots of never-ending carpets to dig up, unsuspecting cats to chase and potatoes to steal.

Screenshot_20180904-173831_Instagram.jpg
Drowning in the love of Katniss and Haymitch
Screenshot_20180904-173655_Instagram.jpg
Potato thief

My heart is broken, and I am drenched in grief and all of the complex thoughts and feelings that come with it, but given the chance, I would do it all again. Thank you, Effie, for everything.

received_262365011051870.jpeg

So the Lion fell in love with the Mutton (revisiting Twilight ten years later) – Part Eight

Afternoon Twilight fans and non-fans! What was the nickname for Twilight fans? Was there one? Who knows.

You may have noticed that last weekend felt empty, bereft of joy and hope, had a very real tinge of despair? I’m sorry – that’s my fault as I took a break from being a dickhead about Twilight to be a dickhead about everything else. It was my housemate/BFF’s 30th birthday, and I was either having a lot of fun, drinking too much, or being cripplingly hungover, but I certainly wasn’t reading Twilight. Apologies.

To repent, and put myself through a similar level of despair, I was going to double down this week and do four chapters. Unfortunately, this weekend took on a hellish quality of it’s own, and I can only bring you the standard two. I will also state now, that it may not be as fun as usual, as by the nature of the weekend my mood is soured, and I felt more angry than amused at our star-crossed lovers’ gremlin-like antics.

I still enjoyed myself, though, and that’s what matters.

If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, clicky the following, if not, clicky the ‘more’ button.

Part One || Part Two || Part Three || Part Four || Part Five || Part Six || Part Seven

Read more

So the Lion fell in love with the Mutton (revisiting Twilight ten years later) – Part Seven

Hey all, happy Sunday again!

This weekend has been a bit of an exciting one, not least because I got to read another two chapters of Twilight both ironically and un-ironically! More on the other reasons soon (maybe), but for now, go read chapters fourteen and fifteen of Twilight and join me in moaning as much as Bella, or just trust me and enjoy my nonsense below the cut!

Read more

Tabletop Characters

Something you may or may not know about me is that in my free time I am partial to some table-top gaming. This began a few summers ago when a buddy of mine who DMs invited us along to his Dungeons & Dragons group to try it out once. Since then it has become something of a regular habit. My housemate (who initially thought he wouldn’t like it that much and named his first character Deanus because it rhymes with penis) got so into it that he has created several different editions of his own homebrewed version which is what I am playing most at the moment.

I thought it would be kind of fun to gather all of my main characters in one place and introduce them. There are a few missing, but these are the main and most beloved, and most recent. Before I proceed, I would like to point out that I cannot draw, and I have never claimed that I can draw, so please do not mock any drawings.

RPG characters galore below the cut…

Read more

So the Lion fell in love with the Mutton (revisiting Twilight ten years later) – Part Six

Evening all. I greet you with some sad news: today I bring you only one chapter of Twilight. I had work today (which obviously I don’t usually on Sundays), and after one chapter of Twilight, the day seems to have gotten away from me, and I have zero desire to read any more. I also felt very let down by this chapter, because I’m pretty sure Bella didn’t mention despair once. So maybe I made this for nothing:

PicsArt_08-12-06.40.29.png
If you don’t love The Princess Bride jokes, you can leave now.

If you’re new here, you might wanna check out these before proceeding:

Part One  ||  Part Two  ||  Part Three  ||  Part Four  ||  Part Five

Chapter Thirteen (Confessions)

Guess what Edward does in the sun! He glitters! I feel like this was the main thing that anyone actually took away from this book, and also one of the main criticisms because glitter is gay (✓) and gay is bad (✗) and vampires should be cool (✓) not gay (✗). Had anyone saying this stuff ever consumed any other vampire shit before? I feel like no. Not that I want to defend Twilight, but re-imagining monsters happens all of the time, and vampires have always been pretty gay (in my humble, pretty gay opinion).

Anyway, they chill in the meadow for ages. Bella stares at Edward a lot and strokes his arm, and they get some pretty deep conversation going. Then Bella tries to kiss him (I think? Or leans in towards him cause his breath smells so tasty) and, just like a magical gremlin imp, Edward disappears to the other side of the meadow. He then gets super dramatic and over the top, showing off his speed and strength and shouting at Bella how she could never outrun him or fight him off and he sort of reminds me of those teenage boys that were angry at women and wanted to shout and exert their power over you, and prove how damaged and pained they were, when in reality they hadn’t really been through that much and weren’t very deep at all. Then he gets all apologetic and promises he is on his best behaviour, and yep, teenage boy ew.

They keep talking and Edward starts explaining his feelings for Bella with some more depth – yaknow, how he really wants to kill her, etc, standard boy things – and what he was thinking and feeling in my favourite scene of Chapter One. Also how Bella is his own personal brand of heroin (no). Then he awkwardly positions his head on her chest for ages and its really uncomfortable and weird, for me at least. When it’s time to go Edward gives Bella a super fast piggyback through the forest, which sounds all kinds of fun, and then they do kiss before getting in the truck.

Things I would like to address today are as follows:

  • His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut” – Edward wears purple eyeshadow to make his eyes look more dramatic. I said it, so it’s true.
  • Bella keeps talking about how delicious Edward’s breath smells, which, ok, I will let go because he is a mystical being, BUT Edward talks about how good Bella’s breath smells and he’s a liar because she talks too much shit for that to be true (also no one’s breath smells good all the time especially to a vampire with heightened senses)
  • They somehow kind of romanticise heroin. Obviously.
  • I think this is the chapter where (abuse aside), we really see how suited Edward and Bella are, because even though she was dramatic and scheduled a cry after their initial meeting, he had to outdo her on the drama front and ran away to Alaska.
  • Edward throws in a jab at Jessica too, leave the poor girl be.
  • We got to this bit:
    20180812_184107.jpg
    ayyy it’s where my title is from ayyy

Also another section that everyone used to have in their MSN names or badly edited on their Myspace. Look I found one! 762965962_1226420

  • Edward tries to gently kiss Bella and girl just goes ALL IN and tries to eat his face off and dry hump him or something, and he has to stop her. Poor lass.
  • BELLA DESCRIBES EDWARD’S GRIN AS IMPISH SHE IS FINALLY CATCHING ON. I’m so happy and proud. She’d better say Gremlin in a few chapters time.
  • Edward kisses “back and forth” from her chin to her jaw and that just looks really funny in my head.

Sigh. The end. I promise I’ll stop being so short and sweet soon. Thanks and love you.

P.S. I found this tweet this week and it’s everything:

So the Lion fell in love with the Mutton (revisiting Twilight ten years later) – Part Five

Hey bitches, it’s Sunday! Which means it’s time for another entry of me reading Twilight and pretending I’m doing it ironically! This weeks sees us getting through two more chapters, and I’m gonna go ahead and spoil it for you, but almost nothing interesting happens. Almost.

Part One  ||  Part Two  ||  Part Three  ||  Part Four

Chapter Eleven (Complications)

In Chapter Eleven, we see Bella and Edward going about their days as usual but now they’re asking each other lots of questions and learning about each other. It could be sweet, but of course the dialogue continues to be stilted and it all comes across quite peculiar. Bella also discovers a new sexual – sorry “electric” – charge between them when they’re plunged into darkness to watch a movie in Biology. Mike has a little sulk because he doesn’t like that Bella and Edward are a thing, and Bella has a sulk because Edward listens into this conversation. At the end of the chapter, Edward drops Bella home and they talk in the driveway for a bit, but then a “complication” occurs when Jacob and Billy Black show up and Billy makes it clear he believes the rumours about the Cullens. As usual, here’s my thorough analysis broken down into dramatic bullet points that serve absolutely zero intellectual purpose:

  • Edward is a shark. Edward Cullen is a shark. He describes his hunting in more detail and he is not a vampire after all, just a shark wearing people skin.giphy1
  • In Biology class, the teacher wheels in a TV on a stand and let me tell you, that nostalgic surge of excitement was real.
    bhl-wc44e-5.jpg
  • Bella reacts so weirdly to things. If you actually picture someone doing the things she says she does, you would think they were incredibly rude or unwell. At one point she is in a conversation with Mike, who says something about not liking the way Edward looks at her, and she just giggles, waves and then walks away.
  • Bella is genuinely (and rightfully) upset that Edward keeps invading her privacy to listen to her & her friends talk about him, but he refuses to say he won’t do it again. Why is he like this?
  • Edward continues to chuckle at strange and inappropriate moments.
  • EDWARD SAYS THE NAME OF THE BOOK IN THE BOOK. It was awfully exciting. Here, I took a photo:
  • It turns out that in all the time that has passed since Bella moved to Forks, she has listened to one CD. Even though she’s always trying to make out like she’s more cultured than other girls and basically namedrops Debussy at the start, but whatever.
  • Bella is afraid of being honest about her feelings for Edward in case he gets angry. Bella, you might be a mess but you deserve better. Also more proof he is a weird gremlin.
  • Bella groans internally and so do I at this mess of a book.

 

Chapter Twelve (Balancing)
Chapter Twelve picks up right where we left off in Chapter Eleven – Jacob and Billy Black have come over to watch the game, and Bella is hesitant to leave Billy alone with Charlie because he may or may not know/suspect that Edward is a vampire. As per, nothing too exciting happens, except Charlie “smiled his crinkly-eyed smile” and I swooned. The next day is Friday and only one day until Bella and Edward’s big date to the forest. She’s very excited but Edward is still all creepy about the fact that he might turn into a shark and eat her. Edward explains that the rest of the Cullens are very uncomfortable about the whole situation because if he fucks up, it might expose them and ruin their carefully cultivated lives, which seems pretty fair if I’m honest. Alice is understanding though so is taking him hunting after lunch so that he is well fed in preparation. Bella finally meets Alice briefly here too. The rest of the day passes somewhat uninterestingly. Then the big day arrives, and Bella and Edward go hiking and she’s finally going to see him in the sun. They hike to a beautiful sunny meadow, which does sound lovely, and then Edward steps out of the shadows of the trees and…

Boom. Cliffhanger. What could possibly happen next?

Very rude, but here’s my thoughts.

  • Edward tells Bella that he is fascinated by her because she’s unpredictable, but literally all I’ve seen her do so far is mope around being a boring, predictable teenager with no real friends, so yet again I’m confused.
  • I’m so happy to see Alice again properly. I used to fancy her a lot and wished I lived in a world where, after Edward leaves Bella in New Moon (spoilers omg!!!), Bella and Alice fall in love. I think I’m probably going to hate Alice this time, but I was in love with her then, so we’ll see.
  • Bella is scared about the trouble it will cause Edward and the Cullens if he accidentally eats her, so she runs around making sure no one thinks she’s with Edward on Saturday. Girl is committed.
  • There’s this whole scene where she takes cold medicine to make sure she falls asleep on Friday night, and I’m not saying I haven’t been there, but the whole thing is so weird. It’s practically a pointless scene and it’s written so strangely and awkwardly. ‘I normally wouldn’t condone that type of behaviour in myself’. Yet again, though, this makes sense if we picture Bella as a reality TV queen who strives to make everything she does ~dramatique~
    5655a506844711bf2344223f8772eab6
  • Bella lies to and manipulates Charlie and he’s all like “you’re sure easy to live with Bell” – I think because she doesn’t demand his attention and cooks for him and doesn’t talk to him much? CHARLIE I LOVE YOU BUT BE A FUCKING FATHER YOU NUMPTY.
  • There wasn’t as much BelladramaTM content today, so it was very easy to pick a favourite, sadly – “He was too perfect, I realized with a piercing stab of despair.” It’s always despair. Bella is so full of despair. Why is she always so full of despair?
  • I promise that I’ll try not to go on about this every time, but Edward is Abusive Boyfriend 101. It’s just so plain to see and I don’t get how I didn’t ten years ago. A whole generation of girls were raised in a way that meant they were happy to accept that this bullshit was romantic, and then the whole franchise further reinforced that. Not to be all dramatic and, well, Bella about it, but no wonder we’re all so fucked up.

And on that happy note, it’s a wrap and we are officially half way through! These are such exciting times we live in! I feel like my GIF and original image usage haven’t been as on form this week. I promise I’ll do better. See ya next week!

robsten-gif-waving-robert-pattinson-and-kristen-stewart-16929779-258-242