Thursday, 3 April 2014

King of his Castle

or, The Hamster's Home.

Except that it isn't really, of course. Not his actual home. He lives in the cage bequeathed to him by the late and much lamented Gary. Gary was our first hamster: a Christmas gift requested by The (Not So) Small One and chosen with care by her loving aunt. As handsome a Ginger as you'd find anywhere. Gary, I mean, not the aunt, who, by coincidence, is also ginger and - you know what? today feels like a ramblin' kind of a day. Let's get back to the point. Meet Craig.

Sian Fair King of his Castle

Craig is hamster number two. Now, where Gary was quiet, Craig is loud, where Gary was (and there's no gentle way to say this) lazy, Craig never stops. Who would have thought it? hamsters aren't all the same! Craig is a man's man. And that has turned out to be a good thing here, in a house run by women. The only man left has been glad of a bit of male bonding now that The Tall One is out of town. How do you bond with a hamster? Well, it's not, as my Grandma might have said, for want of trying.

They spend a lot of time together in the evenings: sometimes in their study, where one works on his computer and one works on breaking through his bars; and sometimes in front of the television, when one carries the other, in his cage, upstairs and sets him in front of Great British Sewing Bee, or whatever else the girls are enjoying. On special occasions Craig chews more frantically even than usual at the latch of his cage and we all agree that he is asking to play in his castle.

Ah, the castle. I bought it as a kind of joke Christmas present - you know, when you're looking for extras and you run out of inspiration and end up paying too much money for too few pieces of cardboard? - but, it has turned out to be fun. Putting it together kept everyone occupied for an evening. Or two. And now the entertainment comes from - well. catching Craig. He climbs up and down, then he breaks free, then we catch him, castle him again, it goes on until one side or the other gets fed up. Sometimes Craig tires first and he climbs back into his cage entirely of his own free will. Sometimes girl power wins out and we run downstairs for an apple to bribe them with. And when that happens, then the castle gets tucked behind the sofa til next time. 

It's a small thing, but it's been worth a post and a page to get the pictures of Craig off the phone and into print. he's fast, very hard to photograph, but that might be about to change. Ever heard of a hamster lead? Oh, yes, there was more than one hamster related gift this Christmas...

29 comments:

Barbara Eads said...

We've had our share of hamsters in this family too. Unfortunately, I don't think I have any pictures---but the stories are pretty good. I love the part of your story where your hubby bonds with Craig! Definitely worth a page!

helena said...

clearly a king amongst hamsters - the one we had as kids was only active when we were asleep (I remember waking up to the sound of his wheel spinning)

Jimjams said...

What a fabulous page and story and post! Love it!

scrappyjacky said...

He sounds like a real gem of a hamster....ours were always nocturnal....and not much fun at all.
Love the page.

Mel said...

I had a hamster growing up called Popcorn. Yours sounds like a character, great page too love that top print.

Jo said...

I love this post, it really made me smile. It's a great story and a lovely layout.

Ruth said...

Jo has pretty much said what I was ready to type, word for word!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Adorable layout and storytelling, Sian. We never had hamsters because my mom was terrified of rodents, and I inherited her fear. So, Carrie never had a hamster either, poor little thing...

Missus Wookie said...

We have had hamsters - yes they are very different. I like the bonding, one set of friends of ours used to bring their hamster with them when they came over for dinner. Jr had a lead and a ball but would also just disappear up a sleeve to appear at the neckline ;)

Chidkid said...

Brilliant story and a well thought out page...love the little sequins dotted about.

Kirsty.A said...

Cute. Persevere with Craig, the more he's handled, the calmer he'll be

Becky said...

This did make me smile! Love the layout too.

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

It sounds like Craig brightens up the place with his antics. I imagine he gets more attention when he's playing in the castle than whatever is on the TV.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

It took me a while to spot Craig. Great camouflage powers. He might play spy next. ;)

Gail said...

Craig sounds so much more with it than the hamster my sister & I. The only time it was active was at night when he'd run along his squeaky wheel. That is until he escaped one day. I've never seen my mother move so fast as she did that day getting up on a chair. Thanks for the smiles and the memories.

Miriam said...

What a brilliant page and story! I loved having hamsters when Ben was young, Hammy (not very original) used to go everywhere with us. I remember taking him camping one summer. He lived in the awning under the table. We had a TV with us that year because we wanted to watch the olympics. Un known to each other, Paul and I were feeding him from either side of the table while we watched the games!...he put on rather a lot of weight that holiday. lovely memories. Thanks Sian.

debs14 said...

Having been the 'parent' of two hamsters in the past, I loved this post. What a fab castle! Our first hamster used to love being pushed around in Action Man's jeep!

Alison said...

Have had a lovely catch up with you ...so sorry to hear about your aunt and hope your mum has coped.....have downloaded JOT 5 ..and have admired your layouts! Enjoy having TTO home
Alison xx

Cheri said...

What a fun post! Loved hearing about Craig's antics. Can't wait to see the layout that comes from putting him on a leash... is that even possible???

stephanie said...

Such a happy looking layout!

Sandie said...

A lovely page Sian, and your hamster does sound a character.

Sandra said...

Oh it certainly is worth a post and a page. I'm wondering if hamsters are like dogs and take after their owners lol.

I used to love my hamster when I was younger, his name was Joey and we used to take him out of his cage and our dog, Patch used to love licking him. Joey loved it

Nathalie said...

I don't know what I like best your page or your humorous post!!! I LOVE that bright top paper and the contrasting black title!

Karen said...

Love the page, love the story, love the castle! We never had a hamster, but we "babysat" gerbils over the summer on several occasions. One night, they got out of their enclosure and were scurrying around under our bed in the middle of the night. Scared the daylights out of me!

S said...

You ramble all around the facts and weave them into wonderful storytelling. I thoroughly enjoyed the page and the post.

Amy said...

It's delightful to hear a good yarn here today Sian ... and to see a page which, as always, is filled with detail and yet, soothing to view.

Mitra Pratt said...

Oh poor Gary! :-) love love love this page and the story! A castle! I had to have a good zoom in on your page!

alexa said...

This has been great fun to read, Sian - Gary sounds quite a force to be reckoned with. If you're not careful, it'll soon be Gary on the computer, and The Engineer breaking out from behind the bars :). I admire you design hugely - detail, white space, journalling ... just lovely!

Louise said...

This made me smile! A gorgeous layout SIan. We've not had a hamster either..we tell the boys the dog would eat it!! My sister always had hamsters when we were kids. They were always escaping and one chewed through the kettle wire and nearly blew me up...not joking lol x x

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