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Archive for January, 2014

The two areas of intrest that have held my attention the longest are exotic (house)plants and fantastic literature. I have been into plants since I was about 12 years old, and at that time I was already an avid reader. A long-standing favourite book that combines these interests, a book I have previously mentioned on this blog, is Hothouse, by Brian Aldiss. His Saliva tree is also a classic in its own right. Of course, there are plenty of others. In my botany-related to-read pile is Phytosphere by Scott Mackay and Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock. Maybe a future area of collecting, botanical SF and Fantasy? I haven’t even gotten into green/macro biopunk yet. Just wait til I get my lab up and running… Any book recommendations?

I am growing tiny black holes in my bedroom window...

Huernia keniensis. I am growing tiny black holes in my bedroom window…

With an interest in the odd, grotesque and strangely beautiful, the more common houseplants did not do it for me, at least not for long. So I researched… Among the orchids there are many species that look beyond weird but I will start this series with another class of plants, the Stapeliads (tribus stapeliae). To add even more epicness, almost all the generas have names that really trigger the imagination: Huernia, Carraluma, Stapelia, Quaqua and Tromotriche. The genus Hoodia that has been featured in the weight-loss press, is also a stapeliad.

Stapelia grandiflora

Stapelia grandiflora

Probably Stapelia lepida

Probably Stapelia lepida

I wouldn’t go so far as to say reality is more fantastic than mine (and your) imagination. But I would say they are equal, if you know where to look.

These plants are E A S Y to cultivate, cheap to buy cuttings of (but you’ll have to wait a while for them to flower if you buy smaller cuttings) and generally awesome. They do like to dry up between waterings and a sunny, but not burning hot, spot in a bright window. Fortunately, as opposed to several orchid genera, they tend to look nice (Well, barbed-tentacle-nice) even when not flowering. The only disadvantage might be the stink. Yep, most of them are pollinated by flies, not by butterflies or moths. Ergo: “scent” of rotting meat or days-old cadaver. Some species are worse than others. When growing them in a small apartment I either open the window a bit or (really!) cut the flowers off and throw them away after a couple of days.

Upcoming: at least several posts on different orchid species, various pretty-leaf plants and probably more stapeliads, since the ones I bought a couple of years ago now are flowering size. Also, maybe a drollery or to inspired by my plant collection? Moving into my new and plant-wise very optimal apartment next week. Can’t wait!

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Blog not dead. Only resting.

Just like the thumbirds below.

Image

Actually, they look more like they are planning some mischief than resting. Oh well.

Sorry for not updating. Have we heard that one before? To my defense, I went a couple of years managing to update this blog sort of regularly, if not that frequently. I do have excuses, though. In September I landed my dream job, in a very nice town. This has led to a nearly exponential learning-curve that I enjoy immensely, but that has made me dead tired. To add to that, I had to leave my place of living unexpectedly and under very stressful circumstances about a month ago, making me effectively homeless for the last three weeks. Fortunately, I have a great family and over the holidays I have gotten much needed rest. People at my place of work has been very supportive as well and I currently live with one of my workmates until I move into a really (really!) nice flat in the beginning of February. So, everything is coming up roses, but there has not been very much drawing done recently. At nights, I spin threads of story-yarn about my Graphic Novel Project, but that’s about it.

Plans for 2014:

RPGnow-project “Borders”

Graphic Novel, WIP-name “Islanders” (horror/fantasy)

Spoiling Schedim with more RPG-drawings

Going to London in April, visiting Cass Art in Islington.

Continue working on the boardgame

Setting up a proper desk, an antique former jewelry with all the ink and pens I own readily available. Photos upcoming.

Start blogging more about the books I read. Upcoming: City of Dreams and Nightmare by Ian Whates was a good one I read recently.

…and lots of other stuff. It is going to be a great year.

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