I can’t believe I went a year without blogging here.
The kids are going to turn 6 and 3 this year. Work-wise, I’m still doing the same thing, just in a different place, and my new colleagues are warm and friendly and easy to work with so far, much to my gratitude and relief. 2013 was a pretty hairy year, especially on the work front (which explains the move), and looking back on it I marvel that I was able to endure the way things were as long as I did. I guess you do what you need to do to survive.
Between keeping 2 energetic preschoolers out of trouble and clearing work that didn’t seem to end, I found neither time nor inspiration to write more stories about my SF characters. I barely played with them. One day I squeezed everything I owned into the Larchwood Lodge box and sat the house itself on top of the kids’ wardrobe to gather dust. I even gave away some items – the Christmas set, the Slydales, the Farthings, the Willow Hall conservatory extension and bits of furniture – to a colleague who has a little girl who loves them. I think I’ll end up giving away everything else to her.
Or maybe not. The Larchwood Lodge is too precious to give away. It’s not even available anymore except on eBay. And of course I’m going to keep my vintage pink-nosed black McBurrows moles. I house them in ‘apartments’, like this:
This way, I only need to furnish two rooms and the glass ‘window’ keeps the dust away.
Here are top views of the rooms:
Aren’t they just adorable?
So I bought the Treefellows. And the Marmalade grandparents. And the VanDykes. And not one, but 2 different babies! (Peaches Bramble and Monty McBurrows)
It’s become a bad habit, visiting the Sylvanian Families section whenever I happen to be in a toy store that has one. Bad for my wallet, that is. I wasn’t optimistic about finding a family that I hadn’t seen before or that I coveted. The usual suspects were there, both the Epoch and the Flair versions, and then to my great surprise I saw the owls! Like the DeBurg penguins, they wear simple felt clothing, have very short legs that don’t bend and have wings so they can’t carry or hold anything, yet I think they have more charm than the DeBurgs. They’re very petite; the parents, Aristotle and Arabella, are shorter than the average Sylvanian child figure. What this means is that they stand rather than sit on chairs, but they don’t look stupid doing it like the penguins would. I also love that there are 3 children – Winky, Grumpy and Blinky – and they’re all boys for once. I’m going to assume that the Treefellows can fly. Why not? Apart from their clothing they don’t look humanoid at all, so they might as well retain more bird qualities. Being able to see the world from a unique vantage point surely contributes to their love of learning and their desire to impart knowledge to others, and would explain in part why Aristotle is the schoolmaster and Arabella a teacher.
The Marmalade grandparents make a handsome pair. I refuse to make them wear glasses. I wish I have the rest of the family. For my son, they represent his paternal grandparents. 🙂
The VanDykes are actually very cute, and I like that their clothes are different in style from the forest folk. It would be great if they don’t have their noses so high up in air – it makes them look uppity – but I’ve decided I will have them around as occasional guests to my corner of Sylvania.
Peaches and Monty were just too darling too resist. It’s a pity I can’t find an ebay seller who will ship the McBurrows family to Singapore.
I have decided to call the area where my Brambles, Mulberrys, Slydales and now Treefellows live Evergreen Edge. It’s a rather enchanted part of the Sylvanian forest that enjoys sunlight and warm weather a little longer than the rest of the parts. (This gives me an excuse not to create snowy winter scenes if I don’t feel like it.)