House update..

Word cannot even describe how tough the last couple of weeks have been. I don't know about anyone else, but I deal very badly with uncertainty, especially on something as humongous as this. Over the past couple of weeks the seller has just gotten worse and worse...

Ever since we put in our offer, he had been in constant contact, asking when we would sign and constantly saying he could be out in a week. This was back in April. Seeing the amount we're paying we didn't want to leave any stone unturned, and made sure all is on paper and signed for. But we didn't want to sign the final papers until a finishing date had been put forward. He kept reminding us, and we kept saying we'd be aiming for the end of April.

When the letter with the finishing date finally came through the door, it turned out to be the 2nd of June! A long story short, both myself and my parter will be in full convention and game-fair mode, and hardly at home to begin with. Moving at that date would be impossible. We finally send the papers back saying that it would be August instead.

Seller panicked, and said that the suggested date was no good. We told him it would have to be earlier, otherwise August will stand. In the end, a contract was drawn up for us; we would get the keys and move in on the 9th of May, and the deeds would be send on June 2nd, and money transferred to him.

Today, we phoned up... Only to hear that he has trouble with a house he is buying for himself. As such, he hasn't even moved all his stuff out of the house yet! The keys are not happening on the 9th either because of it. We reminded him, that if we don't have the keys by Monday, Tuesday at the very latest, we'll revert back to the August date.


In the meantime, I am still surrounded by a boxed up house and it just feels nasty. Our home for the past couple of years is now reduced to a house with a ton of boxes in it. I just cannot wait to start moving things and be done with.. Fingers crossed the sale will still stand, because unfortunately in N.Ireland unless you have the actual keys in hand the seller can pull out at any stage.

And for those curious about our (hopefully) forever home-to-be, here is a link;



Talk about a response! i am so glad to see I am not the only one that misses the writing and reading. It stimulates conversation of a non-verbal kind, rather than these impatient quick blurbs and all!

The move is... Terrifying me to be honest. It has taken weeks to get barely a fourth of the house packed, only for me to walk into my workshop and realize that, to my horror, it has to move as well. This was also the point where I realized half of my machines are shot bolted to the concrete flooring and don't remove... So I'll have to rent a jackhammer. I can only wait and see what my postman will think of me then! After opening the door to him before in full apron and safety gear on with a power drill larger than half of me in my hand to hollow out antlers and the workshop filled with dust he seemed less enthused and more worried about me!

There is no official date of completion yet, but the seller is eager to move out as he is ready to move to somewhere else, but needs our money to do so. We've made a few demands; windows (which have been checked and okay'd), the security fence to be working and a gas safety certificate, but these demands are VERY reasonable, or so our solicitor keeps saying? Once those requests are met, we will complete. We're still hoping/aiming for the end of the month!

The thing I look forward to the most is the new workshop/studio to be. It is a self contained annex, about 3-4x the size of my current workspace. Don't get me wrong, it has served me (well, 'us' actually) perfectly well, but as things get busier the workshop's quirky narrowness is starting to become a hindrance. As time is going on, larger and larger items have started appearing, and now in greater number as well. The larger space will be dreamy, not to mention that it is fully insulated and heated! Though the current space is insulated, the heating doesn't quite cut it, and in the winters my joints ache under the work.

once we have a bit more solidity to this move I'll proudly post the pictures. It is, again, terrifying me. It is such a humongous change for where we are now, but after crunching numbers again and again I think we can make this work...

oh my.... It's just so... Yeah.  O.O

I miss writing...

I know this is going to sound corny... especially after such a long absence from LJ, but I miss writing. I've noticed how, perhaps through the swiftness of status updates, that I've grown less patient in the digital world. But what bothers me moreso is that I've grown tired of writing more elaborate updates on my life. Seeing as life is a gift and how reading back on things can be such a treat, even if the situation you are reading about was a difficult one, I am hoping to change this.

There are a lot of exciting things about to happen. Houwers Taxidermy is a huge success, and with the combined forces of my partner and myself we will soon be moving into a much larger home. The best feature about this new home will be the self contained annex, which will become my new studio. It is going to be a rather hectic move, and one that does unnerve me. Not so much the moving of all that STUFF, but the fact that it is so close to the big conventions and fairs kicking off for us.

Needless to say chaos is around the door, but I am certainly hoping it'll inspire me to write a bit more on my LJ. Is anyone still out here?


Corsets for sale :)

In hopes to get some funding together for making sure our first couple of rescued ex-battery hens will have a great & safe garden area to roam in, a comfortable home, loads of yummy food and enough supplements or vet-care at hand to get them through the those difficult early stages I am selling a few corsets. Nut House Hen Rescue & Re-homing Centre are currently in the process of getting rescued chickens to new homes and we hope to provide a good one in the very near future :) If you are based on the island of Ireland and wish to give (or know someone that might be able to!) some of these girls a new home be sure to get into contact with the rescue centre :)

Black Leather overbust: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Leather-Overbust-Steel-bones-/320852437264
Celtic Inspired corset: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Celtic-Inspired-Corset-Steel-Bones-RENN-SCA-LARP-/320852469277

Nut House Hen Rescue & Re-homing Centre; http://www.facebook.com/NutHouseHenRescue

Thanks for looking, and please share to all whom might be interested! :)

Good day!

Phew, long time no post... I really need to step away from the easy 'one-liners' on FB, and focus more in the in-depth reports of the day which used to bring me great writing pleasure!

Today has been an amazing day so far. I was rather pooped out from last night's bar shift, but managed to get up early enough to start working on article research and some commission work in the background. Only to find out from my folks that went to the Taxidermy Championships that 2 out of my 3 send-in pieces did incredibly well...

honourable mention for my Capercaillie trophy piece, and a whopping second place with 87 points for my feature piece which also received the public's favourite award and the prizes attached. Another 4 masterpoints added, only 2 more to go until a full master-title!




Mr. Richardson and I just bought our first pair of baby socks.... such excitement!

And low and behold... it fit!

Hole cut for the good wing to come through so the wee one can keep balance, but the elastic ring is tight enough to keep the broken wing set in place without obstructing breathing.

Looks fabulous too!

Those Passport Nightmares!

Yesterday was my appointment at the Embassy in Dublin to get my new passport sorted. Since I've always had the old style one, and not the new style which requires fingerprints and gods know what else I had to make an actual appearance in a fully booked Embassy agenda. Miss it by a few minutes and you'll have to wait another few months, something which wasn't really going to happen, as I've got travelling plans in September.

So, with the appointment booked for August 23rd at 10:40am, we needed to get the earliest train possible. Luckily for us Translink/Irishrail had special deals on, and a return ticket from Bangor to Dublin was £12,50 each. £25 for two adult return tickets to Dublin isn't bad when balanced out against the fuel and parking costs in Dublin. Plus we knew from previous experiences that if we were to park in the wrong place we'd have our car broken into again.

Downside to this was Tennant's Vital. This years big stars are The Script and Eminem. I was planned in for the Tuesday night shift in Jenny's, but not knowing how long the passort-malarkey was going to take, the trains being bunged, and the roads even worse we didn't know if we would be able to make it back in time for my shift at 7pm. After asking the boss he said to 'give it my worst', so I was going to try and 'make it when I make'. In the end, a good friend and hard worker had her holiday plans cancelled, and rather than having the bar-staff team awaiting another member on what could be a rather busy night I asked if she could cover me, which she did.

This atleast opened up part of the day for me and Mr. Richardson, allowing us to look around a bit as well. Plus, it's always nice to be able to take it easy when you have to get up at 5am in the morning to get everything ready.

As said, at 5am we arose, fed Oscar and cleaned the bird's box. Yes, we have a re-hab case again, a juvenile blackbird with a broken wing. We finally got everyone washed and fed, leaving with just minutes to spare to Bangor station, and we managed to just catch the train. We arrived in Belfast 20 minutes before the Enterprise would depart for Dublin, but unlucky for Mr. Richardson none of the food bars were open yet.

I slept here and there on the train journey and we arrived at Connolly around 9:45. We asked on how to get to the correct street and were send on the Dart service going the wrong way. Typical. Mistake was soon fixed, and we were on our way again. I think we finally made it to the building with 5 minutes to spare. I handed over my forms, ID, and photos... only to be told the passport photos were UK sized and too large, so I had to get new ones taken. My heart sank, but the lady at the desk assured me she'd keep the slot open as all she needed was the photos. Ran down the street, found a photo place got the pictures taken and 20 minutes later we were at her desk again. Got my prints taken, and all was now sorted. The new passport will be send to me within two weeks.

Taking a breather we headed back to the Dart service, and got off at Pearse Station. From there we walked to the Grand Canal Docks and sat in the sun for a while. There was an amazing sculpture of a bull near the docks as well in the shape of a bull. From the docks we walked all the way to Echlin Street and decided it was about time we paid the Guinness Storehouse a visit..

Had a grand day relaxing and mucking about in that HUGE place. It was fun, and I even got Mr. Richardson to pour (and drink part of!) a pint of Guinness. One of the few Irish people I know that doesn't like Guinness... though I'm sure I make up for the both of us!

We tried getting the train back to Belfast at 5pm, but it was bunged and we missed it. Heading outside again I promised Mr. Richardson I wanted to buy him dinner, so after a few blocks we ended up in "Le Bon Crubeen", which was absolutely delightful, and entertained us with plenty of time to catch the 7pm service to Belfast.

It was BUNGED, and people were standing in HUGE groups to get in. I spied a way around, and told Mr. Richardson to make a dash for it, as after a day of running and walking around Dublin neither of us fancied standing on the way back! We managed to get a seat, thankfully, and two lovely old ladies which had been out for a last couple of days travelling the entire island were sitting next to us. It wasn't long after the train started moving I dozed off again.

Finally, at 10:30pm we sat foot in the door and were well and truly knackered. After checking on Oscar (which was hyper) and the bird (fast asleep) I hit the bed and almost instantly fell asleep. The noises of Tennant's Vital (and their bloody blimp, which was pretty noisey!) soon faded and I had one of the better sleeps I've had in a LONG time.

(Click on the picture to be taken to the FaceBook Album)


Oscar Update

Well, with Mr. Richardson off to Limerick for yet another convention I'll be sharing the house with Oscar, whom after his recent vet visit seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

He's losing weight/mass rapidly and is drinking a bit more water than usual. He's also fairly inactive (more then usual for a ferret) and play doesn't seem to be high on his list anymore. With worry rising I decided to book another vet appointment, and luckily enough they were able to fit me in that same night.

Since his last visit Oscar has lost more weight, and is now just under a kilo... fairly alarming for a male that used to be big and bulky, around 1.5kg on average. The vet took another few looks, and decided a blood-test was in order to see what might be the matter.

The options were to run the test now and wait for the results to treat accordingly, or it'd have to wait until after the weekend. Seeing as I was in no rush to go anywhere I decided now was as good as ever and stayed for the results.

After about 40 minutes of waiting or so the results came in. All seemed fine, including kidney function... there was a slightly elevated number of white blood cells possibly indicating an infection somewhere.

Since no solid answer came from this the choice was made to give him an antibiotic treatment. I opted for injection, as I have no problem giving him this and I find it a lot quicker and less stressing for the little man as well. A tube of Nutri-gel was also given to hopefully stabilize him a bit.

On monday is the follow-up check to see if it has made a difference.....

fingers crossed

Worst night ever!

Well, that bonfire night was the worst yet, and I didn't sleep a wink. At around midnight we went to bed, and all we could see was the fire blazing high above the houses. Youths were out by the ton, and none of them from our area. By the time the Churchill people had gone to bed others had invaded, and the bonfire became a stopping point to all on their way across bonfires. Drunk driving was the least of the police concerns, and to be fair there was nothing they could do. The phones were ringing hot and nobody was stupid enough to just come on a check. It was the whole platoon or nothing.

In our case, when the fires started dying down around 2-3am the front yards were being used as public toilets, for all ends of manners. Taking a leak, a dump or even a vomit were common to see, along with dumping rubbish bags from the off-licenses. We saw very young people absolutely plastered off their heads, stumbling into someone's garden to take a leak. Such fabulous behaviourism.. Not only that, but all the blokes seemed to be driven by trying car doors. It later on moved to trying to break into cars, which got Mr.Richardson up in his clothing waiting for that 'one move too far'.

Eventually the 'main cause of concern' left the area, which allow Mr.Richardson to go out and talk to one of the neighbours which had also seen the 'fiddle-play' and was observing in the shadows. They had a talk, recalling history.... The bonfire had stopped in our area around 4-5 years ago, when a young kid got bottled in the neck. If our neighbour hadn't been up keeping watch the kid would have bled to death. The bonfire was ceased, and the first year we were in Churchill it wasn't there. The second year a small one was erected and when people complained cars were damaged as well as properties.. this was the third year, and the bonfire was massive.

Needless to say I didn't get any sleep and constantly kept watch. Zombies putting their beer bottles on top of cars, people passing out in front lawns....  the neighbour we talked to said he had lived in the Churchill area for 16 years... but only recently has he considered moving..