Landesmuseum Hannover: Nature

106_1191When my father visited we went for a stroll though the city. When we passed an impressively large old building we went to investigate what it was and found it to be the Lower Saxony State Museum.106_1183Going to museums has always been “our” thing. When I was younger and visited him every fortnight we went to a museum every Sunday morning. And continuing this tradition we decided to go in.106_1188I’m splitting the picture for this museum into several parts (as I did before when I wrote about the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt), Nature, man-made things and fine art, as this is one of those museums you’ll spend half a day in and still haven’t seen everything up close.106_1120106_1123We started with the depths of the sea, flooded with bluish lighting. Not only do they display skulls of sea mammals and fish there, no, they also have a vivarium that makes you feel like you’re in something part zoo, part museum. I don’t think I’ll have to mention that this is a great hit with the younger visitors (and me as well).106_1115I found myself taken with the beautiful aquariums even a bit more for the lush green flora and miniature landscapes (or rather, underwaterscapes) than for their scaly inhabitants.106_1126106_1125Right next to the piranha aquarium was a skull of one of their ancestors in a ghostly light, reminding us that those pouty lips hide absurdly sharp teeth and the pleasant chill down a childs spine when they wade into a lake thinking of those monsters (in central Europe where there are no piranhas, but did I care when I was eight? No, I did not).106_1140106_1141106_1178106_1149I really liked this display. It felt a bot like a bottled-up holiday by the seaside.106_1152106_1166To give you a bit of the scale of this quartz rock, here’s the bigger picture. It was lit from the bottom, emanating a magical glow that made it strangely special in this huge collection of things in a now brightly lit showroom.
I also love the transition from the Under The Sea exhibition to (more or less because Lower Saxony has quite a bit of moorland) dry land.

106_1167106_1164The nature exhibition, located in the parterre of the building, ended with something that looked like a giant, glass-walled birdcage with all kinds of specimen captured and stuffed in flight or rest. I’m always so very fascinated by shimmering feathers.106_1194106_1197I wish they had quartz crystals in the souvenirs shop, I would surely have gotten one.

Recent Reads: Friends With Boys

I’m really fond of the whole having-a-library-card-again thing. I go to the local branch about once a week at the moment and I always come home with more than I had actually planned.
106_2061Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks was one of those books that came home with me even though my trusty Gryffindor tote was already heavy. Recalling her own experiences with the transition from homeschooling to public high-school the Canadian tells the story of Maggie McKay who grew up with three older brothers, a police officer dad and a home-schooling mum – until said mum left for unknown reasons. Now Maggs has to face high school all on her own while her brothers have been there for a while already, two really liking it, one despising it, with herself right in the middle (with a strong tendency to “despise”).106_2064I loved the realistic, tender portrayal of sibling relationships in the comic and I adored her brothers, especially the two guys involved with the drama club at school. There’s a short arc about a musical revolving about heroes and zombies which I’d love to see, too.
106_2063Speaking of the undead and fantasy elements there is also a ghost involved… and Lucy, your chipper neighborhood punk girl who’s just incredibly lovely (she also has a thing for old cemeteries because they hold so much history which made her even more precious to me).

106_2062I loved how the ending didn’t feel like one at all. You just know that the story goes on, somewhere, somehow. After this I definitely want to read Hicks’ other works and definitely recommend this comic to about everyone.

For more information check out Faith Erin Hicks’s webpage!

UFO Friday

UFO Friday is my (usually) bi-weekly series where I show you what projects I’ve been working on (UFO stands for UnFinished Objects). For more of these, look here and for every other week’s feature, Finished Things Saturday, look here.

106_2072I’m mainly maintaining stuff at the moment, like darning and mending. I’m quite taken with the idea of decorative mending (Rhiannon wrote about it here, too) and one of the back pockets of one pair of my cargo pants needed fixing. I love the contrast of yellow and black, and it reminds me not only of my Hogwarts house but also of (bumble)bees and honey.

I’m also working towards ConQuest, I can hardly wait! There is still so much stuff to do – projects and character writing for our two new “recruits” and trying out new recipes. I was really excited so I drew another cross-out countdown calendar this year, and the people really liked it so far. I’ll be using the original one, of course, it just needs colouring now.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Beyond the Seals 2017

106_2047I’m back from LARP! This was probably the most exhausting event I’ve ever been to and the one that definitely had the potential to make me stop going to Beyond the Seals altogether as well as stop writing the in-character newspaper. Thanks to the wonderful people around me though I want to keep doing this – making silly news for everyone, giving people the chance to get information, supporting the gameplay. My team was wonderful. By the time the event was over we had transitioned from rainbow press-like BILD der Stadt to the still somewhat silly and satirical but far more informative and independent Stargazer under the patronage of my beloved Western Seal. We also have an English section now for the international players which got us so much lovely feedback that it made all the trouble worthwhile.

I didn’t really get into character – staring at a screen 15 hours a day, being annoyed by the printer and coordinating stuff does that to you – and next year I’ll give out the PSA that plot and especially emotional play is to be kept away from me, thankyouverymuch. I can either run a working newspaper for the game or I can play, I can’t possibly do both.
Noio doesn’t have as much of a profile as I imagined when I first wrote her, but that’s okay. She’s the mask I don to not interrupt others’ game when I come out of the office.
106_1951I didn’t take anywhere near enough breaks. I was stressed out of my mind. I forgot to eat. I didn’t sleep enough. And of course I didn’t take all the pictures I wanted to take and didn’t film at all. But surprisingly, after all this, I’m okay. I didn’t expect that, really.
106_2069There was little time in-between issues and character play and avoiding breakdowns (my own as well as those of others) but I actually managed to buy a new non-disruptive byro for my character (sometimes quill and ink are too messy, especially when you take interviews or have to scribble something down for someone else) and one of these pretty pendants that open up so you can put something interesting inside. I’ve wanted on of those for ages!
The die was left in our office when we were done packing and nobody claimed it, and the matchbox was left as a calling card by the O’Gradys whose in-game bank/mafia advertised in our paper.
The coins are but a small part of what we made during the game – those are only the pretty ones I wanted to keep for my collection as well as actual foreign money (for some reason there is always something like that. It’s two British pounds and ten cents from the bank of Uganda this time).

106_1936To say I’d be absolutely looking forward to Beyond the Seals 2018 would be a lie. But I’m not dreading it, either. I’m curious what will happen next year, I learned a lot, and I’m ABSOLUTELY looking forward to ConQuest.

Eilenriede Forest Walk

Eilenriede: Hollow Tree TrunkLast Sunday was incredibly nice weather – not too hot but not too cool either – so Rusty and I went for a walk through Eilenriede, Hanover’s own municipal forest. It’s so beautiful there, you wouldn’t guess that it’s right within a bustling city.

Eilenriede: Wood TexturesEilenriede: Wood TexturesWhat can I say, I’m a big fan complete fanatic for wood textures so people who go on walks with me will have to endure an “ooooh, this is so pretty, gotta take a picture!” every five minutes or so. Scoundrel is absolutely used to it by now (although I think he’s still somewhat annoyed by it sometimes…) but it was new for Rusty, I guess. He didn’t seem to mind too much, though.

Eilenriede: Wild FortEilenriede: Entrance to Wild FortOne of my favourite things to find in places like Eilenriede or even the woodland beyond my mother’s garden are branch forts. We found more than this one but they were either surrounded by playing children and I didn’t want to disturb, or not as elaborate as this one. That’s okay, this way I have more to explore next time!
I’d love to sleep in one of these some time, somewhere where you can see the stars through the branches, just like the warm rays of the sun shine through them now.

Eilenriede: Inside Wild FortEilenriede: Bracket Fungi on a Beech treeEilenriede: Tree mushroomsEilenriede: Fungus on a tree stumpAnother thing that I also lovelovelove taking macros of are mushrooms, especially bracket fungi. Fungi are such incredibly interesting organisms in every aspect!Eilenriede: DecompositionEilenriede: DecompositionI’m always filled with so much awe and wonder when I see the light through fresh leaves, the green overlapping to create new shades. Doesn’t the tree in this picture look like it just grew to hold a platform for an Elven tree dwelling?Eilenriede: Elven Ground
Eilenriede: Mother Nature's Stained Glass

10 Things I ♥ in May

10 Things I love in May 2017

  1. Lost in Austen. My historical dancing club is having a costume-if-you-want-to dance to commemorate Jane Austen’s 200th death’s anniversary and I needed some inspiration which is why I finally got around watching this Pride and Prejudice, eh, adaption. It’s an adorable four-part miniseries, with unexpected depth for all characters and my much-beloved “fish out of temporal water” trope. Now I want a George Wickham spin-off (because he’s the best character in the whole thing). And I also decided that Regency garb just isn’t my cup of tea.
  2. Azalea Doll’s Pretty Pixie dress-up. I mean, look at those adorable outfit options!
  3. Yuri on Ice. I’m not exactly on the hype train, but I just don’t get hypes, anyway. I however found it cute enough to watch and include in this list here! The anime makes me regret not going skating this winter! Although I was always more of an ice hockey person I loved watching figure skating with my grandparents when I was little and this reminded me of those days, too.
  4. Leyla Acaroglu’s Paper beats Plastic? TED talk. She’s witty, she’s funny and she’s so right with her design rant. I still prefer paper to plastic, though, just for the feeling and look (and also the renewable resources, although cutting down forests isn’t really necessary…).
  5. Grüne Soße, a traditional dish made of a defined set of herbs and greens mixed with dairy products, mustard and boiled eggs. A must-eat around eastertide in Germany (and so yummy).
  6. Playing at the Wunderkammer Chronicles. It feels so good to GM again even if it’s “only” via forum. Watching a self-spun world come alive is such a magical feeling.
  7. We finally have potted herbs for sale at work. They’re so pretty and smell so nice and I always hope they thrive and grow in their new homes when I sell them.
  8. Our new Pathfinder campaign. So far it’s a lovely slice of live adventure with some supernatural occurrences thrown in but I’m sure it’ll go wild soon enough. I love the character dynamics, too. Grohm is a no-nonsense medic from humble origins who hates it when people sing or hum and is suddenly confronted with the reality of having hidden magical powers while Allouèt is an extremely genki bard and history nerd with a crush on a long-dead revolutionary and basically a Disney princess (complete with a tame thrush and random singing, much to Grohm’s chagrin), always going out of her way to brighten someone’s life. Throw in Scoundrel’s diverse and partially adorable cast of NPCs and plot-writing obsession. Done.
  9. Magpieb0nes on DeviantArt. They make the most beautiful animal masks, and they do it especially for LARP purposes, too. I’m especially enamoured with the hare (left), of course but this taur is really impressive, too (there are so few well-done partly animal characters at LARP) and I love the treeface masks!
  10. This Sweather-Wearing Ferret pin in white | brown by Oh Jessica Jessica on Etsy. It’s just so vintagely adorable.