enismirdal: (Bee!14)
[personal profile] enismirdal
I was going to make my next post about Brexit. I spent a LONG time thinking about it after the awful election result. I spent a lot of time being angry. I spent a lot of time feeling utter contempt for most of the UK. I had to forcibly re-humanise the population of Britain as my initial thought was, "Let them rot in their own filth, the selfish, self-injurious animals."

Eventually I reconciled to the situation (to some extent). I am still struggling with the idea that if we believe in Good, Right and Fair society, we should stay and try to fix the UK, rather than following my initial urge which was to excise Britain from Europe like a gangrenous limb, leaving it to fester, and move somewhere healthier like Germany, Sweden or Finland (which I agree are certainly not without problems but seem to have a level of decency and selflessness that Britain has lost). I eventually realised that I could cope with this apparent hypocrisy - that I was willing to remain in a flawed EU because it was better to work with it, but reluctant to remain in a flawed Brexit Britain when surely the same should apply - because I felt that the EU could be fixed, but after the election, I felt that Britain perhaps couldn't be.

In any case, I'm now placing vague hopes that the new UK Global Challenges Research Fund proves productive for my department, since EU money might be out of our reach soon. I'm hoping I'll be useful enough to teaching that they'll keep me regardless. And I'm dealing. So that's good.

But then today I realised there was something I felt as passionately about, but the other way. I finally go around to finding the guts to call my landlord and ask permission to keep a hamster. He said yes. Very easily.

This was good, as I'd bought the cage already.

I'm aware that's sort of the wrong order, but I accepted the risk that if he said no, I'd be lumbered with a 100cm long cage and no use for it. I just...couldn't help but get excited.

So anyhoo, the Era of Eni Owning Hamsters will begin anew. CRI is not quite as enthusiastic about this plan as I am, but has generally agreed to go along with it, and if he gets sick of hamster care when I am on my frequent overseas travels, there are some pet boarding places where I can arrange care instead, so all sorted.

The cage just about fits across the back seats of my car. This is going to be the most spoiled hamster ever, is the plan. (RSPCA released new guidelines a few years ago, that minimum cage size for Syrian hamsters should be 75 x 40 x 40 cm. Now, 10 years ago you couldn't even find hamster-suitable cages in those dimensions without looking very hard. My old 50 x 40 x 30 cm cages were considered enormous. New cage is three times that size.)

Regular readers from 10 years ago may recall my penchant for giving hamsters stupid names. I now will be getting another hamster which I can give a stupid name to. Because hamsters are essentially daft miniature psychopaths who don't speak English, so really don't care if their names are stupid. So, options under consideration at present include:

  • Deltamethrin

  • Imidacloprid

  • Lupanine

  • Nyuki

  • Quercetin

This list may expand as I think of more ideas, before eventually contracting and settling on a favourite.

I now need to contact the nice people at the hamster rescue place in southeast London and organise a visit and collection. But first I need to finish accessorising the cage...

I'm 31 years old. I have a PhD, a dozen or so publications and several years' experience running research projects in developing countries. And right now I keep on physically bouncing up and down, dancing like an 8 year old, and singing loudly.

Date: 19 Jul 2016 19:42 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauand.livejournal.com
Behaving like the respectable adult one might or might not be is totally overrated. Please, keep on bouncing.

Also, I'm partial to "Lupanine" (although maybe "Nyuki" is more enismirdalish?).

Date: 19 Jul 2016 19:49 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enismirdal.livejournal.com
Lupanine does have a nice sound to it. It might not make as many people laugh as naming a hamster after a toxic pesticide, but aesthetically, I like it.

Nyuki definitely appeals. It's Swahili for "bee" so will always please me. The trouble is that a colleague at work has a dog called Yuki, so it might look like I'm copying her! (The dog is fantastic...utterly, utterly stupid but very cute.)

Date: 19 Jul 2016 20:17 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauand.livejournal.com
Oh, yes. I googled all the options to be able to give an informed opinion!

Also, I'm sorry about the results of the referendum. Never underestimate the power of fear-mongering!

Date: 19 Jul 2016 20:26 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enismirdal.livejournal.com
Haha, cunning!

And yes, it was astonishing...when everyone from almost any field: history, science, medicine, engineering, economics, business, agriculture - were all pretty much unanimously saying, "No, that's ridiculous," and yet the UK STILL voted out. And now the rise in race hate crimes is horrifying. Especially the utter ignorance associated with it. People of African and South Asian (including UK citizens of African/Asian ancestry who have lived in the UK all their lives) are being abused in the street and being told, "Go home!", when their immigration status has nothing to do with the EU and in many cases they are UK citizens. I understand some Commonwealth citizens and their families voted out in the hope that it would see an easing of immigration restrictions for Commonwealth citizens, but all that's happened is that the latent xenophobia of some sections of the country has bubbled up and been directed at anyone who doesn't look British-Anglo-Saxon-back-20-generations. And in practice, the number of people entering the UK isn't going to change significantly, and the people already here will almost certainly have their right to live here protected. I think some people thought all the Poles were just going to turn into pumpkins on the stroke of midnight June 24th. Argh. So much intolerance. And, as you say, groundless fear.

And the impact on UK science is going to be somewhere between moderately bad and catastrophic, depending on how well it's all handled by the politicians in charge.

Date: 19 Jul 2016 20:43 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lauand.livejournal.com
I've also been hearing horrifying things in that sense, but I had hoped they were just rumours magnified and exaggerated by people who were bitter about the result of the referendum. Also, you can't decide about staying or leaving the EU, with all its ramifications and consequences, based solely in your feelings of xenophobia. Because leaving is not going to magically isolate your country. And there are more things involved in the EU than the free mobility. So, if you think that you're going to be better off outside the EU, fine, vote out. But if the thing is that you're an ignorant racist... you shouldn't vote until you know what you are really voting about.

I wouldn't put much faith in politicians, but well, I'm Spanish. Our politicians can't tell their faces from their asses on a good day, and they don't give a shit about science or I+D (R&D in English). But I hope yours are better than that.

Date: 19 Jul 2016 21:33 (UTC)
emperor: (Phoenix)
From: [personal profile] emperor
Hurrah for hamster-joy :)

Also, keep campaigning and working for Remain - the struggle is far from over, and people who say otherwise are talking rot.
Edited Date: 19 Jul 2016 21:34 (UTC)

Date: 19 Jul 2016 21:50 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] enismirdal.livejournal.com
Thanks. I'm a bit demoralised as well by the fact that my local MP is completely unrepresentative of my views, having supported Brexit and having a long track record for voting in whichever way he regards as most beneficial to his career at the time. It means I don't really see a great deal of point lobbying him on almost anything, as it has no discernible effect.

But a hamster will cheer me up.

Date: 20 Jul 2016 10:27 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rochvelleth.livejournal.com
It's good to hear about hamster happiness in these depressing times :)

Date: 20 Jul 2016 18:55 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luin77.livejournal.com
“Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.” :D

Date: 24 Jul 2016 19:17 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cobalt-skye.livejournal.com
There is nothing wrong with being excited about getting a pet. I shall be similarly bouncy when we get the cats.


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