RIP Bert

Our hamster, Bert, died last night. What a little legend he was. I hear people say that they don’t understand how people can be sad about a hamster dying and to those people I say- piss off.

Bert was a rescue hamster that we found December 2015 in a local pet store. We had no intention of coming out of there with an animal but as soon as Mel and I saw him we instantly had to have him. Greatest decision we could have made. Bert didn’t act like a normal hamster, at least none I’ve had before. He never bit, he’d actually gently put his teeth on one of our fingers to tell whether he was biting food or a human as if he was being careful not to hurt us. He’d happily sit in our hand and eat melon, have a clean or just chill out. He’d sit in our laps like a cat and give a content clucking sound whenever he was stroked- which by the way he loved right behind his ears. As he got older, he would happily drift off to sleep on us or sit by our legs under the bed covers until we were about to fall asleep and had to put him back in his bedroom.

bert hamster montage

It didn’t take long for him to become part of the family after we got him (and yes, hamsters can totally be as important as family or any other animal that people deem worthy of being classed as that). He just had such a great personality about him. He had favourite places that he would like to sit, such as down the corner of the sofa that has been chewed apart by him or between the pillows on the bed. We’d always have to take him out of the latter one though as he had a habit of falling down the back of the bed where it was nigh on impossible to get him until he decided it was time for some food or he got bored. He even had a little tent that he would sit in.

He’d not been well the last few days. He was fast approaching 3 years old which for a hamster is well past the ‘I just got a bus pass’ age. He’d been sluggish, he’d started to feel cold and it was clear he didn’t have long left. It was almost as if he was trying to hang on because he didn’t want to leave us (which may be a bit of a stretch but its what I like to think). Yesterday evening, Mel and I both separately said to him that if he needed to go he could and that we’d be OK, admittedly being a hamster he probably didn’t have a clue what we were saying but I like to think he understood. It seemed like he did though, within a couple of hours he had passed away whilst wrapped up in wool and the duvet on the bed. RIP Bert, you’re already missed.

Ranking the Arrowverse #9

I haven’t really done anything on here in a little while and the reason for that is simple- work. I have 13 shifts left at this job but despite the joy and excitement at leaving, I still can’t get through a day without feeling like my soul is being painfully extracted from my body. It makes doing anything a bit of a chore. I don’t have the energy to do this blog, write any more of Forces 2 or do anything that doesn’t involve crashing out on the sofa and mindlessly watching TV. On the plus side though- 13 shifts. Creativity should resume soon.

I just can’t wait to go. There’s a business I’m starting up with a couple of friends, Forces being released July 31 along more books at varying stages of development and the podcast/YouTube channel on the way. Exciting times ahead hopefully, just need to make it through these next few weeks (my last day is July 28) and then onto new, less miserable, things. Back now though to the Arrowverse rankings.

Spoilers ahead

9. Legends of Tomorrow Season 1

Legends of Tomorrow was a real mixed bag in its first season. Whereas the second was a ridiculous delight, the first really struggled with tone and had the unfortunate situation of being saddled with some horrible characters. One of those that perhaps caused the biggest problem was Vandal Savage, the main villain who came across as so panto and one note that he at no point seemed like somebody who posed a threat to everyone and everything. Because of this the whole season has no compelling plot line to see it through and make it consistently entertaining.

legends of tomorrow ranking arrowverse

Then on the main character front, neither Hawkman or Hawkgirl are anything close to being fun to watch. Hawkgirl gets the most attention of the two but she’s played so blandly, and for some reason thrown into a tedious love triangle, that it’s impossible to care about her. The rest of the team fare a little better. Jax is likeable despite not getting much to do, Ray Palmer continues to be a welcome addition after his debut in Arrow, Rip Hunter is played well by Arthur Darvill and Sara Lance continues to show promise with the darker aspects of her character.

Stand outs though have to be Martin Stein, Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, all three of which are responsible for a lot of the highlights across this batch of episodes. For Snart and Rory this was quite the surprise as they were the two I was the most concerned about thanks to the horrible puns and overacting they were both guilty of on The Flash. Here though they work and are a constant source of entertainment with arguably the most development throughout the season. I mentioned the tone and it really is a problem. It doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be here and certainly hasn’t embraced the ridiculousness that it will do as soon as the second season begins.

legends of tomorrow rory snart

It’s actually quite awful in places. The Time Masters are plucked straight out of Doctor Who with no shame in the slightest. Gideon’s voice on the Waverider is incredibly cheesy (again this is corrected the following year by embracing the cheese) and the first two episodes are so unbelievably rushed that there is no time to get accustomed to the kind of show this is going to be. As for the episodes themselves, well they’re a mixed bag. About 70% of the season is watchable but the show really doesn’t come into its own until the final couple of episodes that are filled with genuine excitement and surprises. As a test run the season is fine, and thankfully you’ll find that season 2 places much higher on this list.