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ningloreth [userpic]

Something old, some things new...

July 12th, 2013 (07:44 pm)

I'm just coming to the end of a week off work, and I'll bet you're thinking I've been really lucky with the weather -- 25 - 30 degrees Celsius every day! -- except that I hate hot weather, and I've wasted most of the week either flaked out on the couch, or scuttling from one air-conditioned place to another, spending far too much money in Waterstones -- which must have the best air con in Manchester -- in Paperchase, and at the local garden centre.

I couldn't resist this little fellow:

But every time I spot him nibbling his dandelions as I pass the kitchen window, I jump out of my skin, thinking he's real!

Did you notice that he's peeking out from underneath a Christmas tree?

It survived Christmas without dropping a single needle, so I dragged it outside, and my brother (P1) and I wrestled it into a much bigger pot. Neither of us was very optimistic -- well, maybe I was, but P1 insists that a tree has to be at least as big underground as it is above ground... And it looked as though he was right because, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a lot of dead-looking bits close to the trunk, and I'd more or less decided to take it to the tip, but then the heatwave started, and the tree sprouted hundreds of buds!

Here's a close-up:

I'm just hoping that too much sunshine doesn't kill it. I don't think that will be a problem for the olive tree:

Here's my new mint collection (spearmint, black peppermint, lemon mint and Indian mint):

And here's some pretty weeds:

I like weeds. They're free, and don't need much maintenance.


Some very, very nice person nominated one of my drabbles for the latest round of the HP Fanfic Fan Poll Awards, and it came second! The funny thing is, it's the same drabble that got me eliminated from a Last Drabble Writer Standing challenge. There's just no telling, is there? So a big thank you to whoever nominated it, and to everyone who voted for it, and congratulations to all the other nominees and winners :-) I have posted it here before, but I thought I'd post it again, with its shiny banner.

Title: Of gift horses and mouths
Prompt: The Room of Requirement
Rating: PG
Warnings: None

Draco’s not sure what he was expecting – a pensieve? the Mirror of Erised? a complete new identity, with a fortune that isn’t confiscated and a father who’s not in prison? – just some clue to how he can rebuild his shattered life.

Of course, the Room of Requirement’s empty.

What?” he yells, cursing the ceiling. “I don’t merit help? I’m left in the shit – AGAIN?”

He storms back towards the door; it opens and a bewildered-looking figure steps inside.

Draco dismisses his first thought, because it’s just too stupid. “What are you doing here?” he roars. “Out of my way, Granger!”


Title: Waiting in line
Prompt: Wand(s)
Rating: G
Warnings: None

"Try this one – vine wood with a dragon heartstring core."

Hurry up! thought Draco, tapping his foot impatiently. He watched the girl pick up the wand. She was quite pretty, but there was definitely something strange about her – and something even stranger about her father...

She swished the wand, and filled Ollivanders with a shower of golden stars.

"Well done, poppet!" cried her father, giving her a little hug.

It wasn’t that amazing, thought Draco. It must be great to have a father who’s so easily impressed.

His own father squeezed his shoulder. "Malfoys do not stare at Mudbloods, Draco."


Posted by: Ree (reetinkerbell)
Posted at: July 12th, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)

That little guy looks real! Does he/she/it have a name?

And very cool about the little Christmas tree; are you thinking about putting it in another yet larger pot in the future? Which of the mints do you prefer, out of the ones you grow (and do you use them in tea or mainly for cooking?) and what makes Indian mint different (I can sort of imagine the black peppermint and lemon mint tastes)?

Congrats on your awards - and the dmhgchallenge one is one of the three I voted for. :P

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 06:43 am (UTC)

He does, doesn't he? I've decided I'm going to go back and buy him a little friend, and then I'll name both of them. At the moment I can't decide between Sam and Dean (from Supernatural) or Kili and Fili (from The Hobbit).

I was thinking of putting the Xmas tree in a bigger pot, but bunn (below) says I need to keep it small, to stop the tree growing too big. Maybe I should let it grow a bit larger...

The mint is new, and I've not really thought about how I'll use it. I think the spearmint smells nicest. The Indian mint is much smaller and the leaves are thinner and more fragile, so I imagine the taste is subtler.

Thanks! I voted for yours as well!

Posted by: Ree (reetinkerbell)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 10:17 am (UTC)
DW - Ten Black & White

That's a great idea. And as much as I love the hotness that is Jensen Ackles Sam and Dean, I do think in this case, Fili and Kili would fit the little guys best.

It makes sense that if you give it more space, it would grow larger, but I didn't realise that it could just *not* grow larger (but still grow perfectly well) if you kept it in a smaller pot. If it was me I wouldn't mind letting it grow a bit larger "just because", but the question is, if it would grow up or outwards, since you might not want to give up more space (also, are you planning on bringing it in and using it as your Christmas tree? It can't be too large that you'd have trouble moving it, if that's the case).

Spearmint, especially fresh, really does smell nice - but I'm not overly partial to the taste, because it reminds me too much of toothpaste. And while I don't *mind* the taste of it, it's not something I feel that I should be eating/drinking. I look forward to hearing your verdict on the Indian mint!

That's kind of funny (and thanks :P)!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: July 15th, 2013 05:13 pm (UTC)

Yes, I think I'll go with Kili and Fili :-)

And I'd been wondering about Christmas, myself. If the tree survives that long, I think I'll leave it outside (& put lights on it), and buy a smaller one for inside, maybe one without roots.

We'd used fairly similar ideas in the drabbles last time, hadn't we? I think they were all more varied this time.

Posted by: Ree (reetinkerbell)
Posted at: July 15th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)

Good! :) Have you bought the brother yet?

You have a real Christmas tree? We've always had plastic ones. But I like the idea of keeping the current one outside with lights on it, which would look nice - and reduce the risk of shocking the tree by bringing it into the dryer air of the inside, when it's getting used to the cold, and then more or less chucking it back out into the cold when it's finally gotten used to being inside.

There's usually a few drabbles that have a very similar theme (which is to be expected considering the prompts and word restrictions) but I think you're right about the drabbles this round and them being far more varied. Whenever I've voted in other rounds, I've thought 'it'd be so much easier if they weren't "so much the same"', but this round I found that it didn't actually help much, as I still had troubles picking my top three!

Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: July 12th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)

I like that piggle - he looks very real!

I think the christmas tree will survive pretty much anything you throw at it unless you let it completely dry out. I've got one I grew from seed about 15 years ago, and it's tough as old boots. I treat mine as a bonsai - they can grow to about 80 feet and are not pretty trees at that height, so I keep the roots restricted.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 06:47 am (UTC)

He does, doesn't he? I've decided I'm going to buy him a little friend.

Thanks for the advice -- that makes sense, now I think about it!

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: July 12th, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)

I love your hamster. I have a small Christmas tree in a pot - and it has also gone mad growing in this weather.

We have had a steady 24 - 25C each day - any hotter and I wilt badly, too.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 06:52 am (UTC)

Isn't it strange? Maybe it's the combination of a long period of cold followed by a short (I hope) burst of heat that's triggered something?

Most people don't understand when you say you don't like the heat, but I wilt too -- and my face turns into a radiator, red and sweaty! I hate it!

The only good thing is that my duvet covers dry without the tumble drier, so they're not creased...

Posted by: strawberrykait (strawberry_kait)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)

Congratulations on your placements! :D

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)

Thank you! And congratulations on your HP Fanfc Fan Poll award!

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: July 14th, 2013 10:41 am (UTC)

I'm not surprised that guinea pig keeps giving you a fright. It looks very real.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: July 15th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)

LOL, yes!

And I'm planning to get another -- it's the kind that has whorls of fur going in all directions.

Posted by: Nebride - Bishie Hunter (nebride)
Posted at: July 16th, 2013 01:45 am (UTC)

First of all - congratulations on the Fanfic Fan Poll Awards!!! That's totally awesome. And it was great reading them again - both great drabbles.

I absolutely thought the guinea pig was real until I saw your explanation. He is adorable! Your plants are beautiful and the Christmas tree is amazing! Grow little tree, grow! *grins*

I detest warm weather too, so you have my sympathy. Hope cooler weather is on your horizon soon.

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