I have Amy Pond's wedding dress!
The dress is by designer Ben de Lisi, and I luffs it. It is also the same dress that Amy Pond wore in her wedding on doctor who season five. I am going to wear it for my wedding. Mine is a size 14, which is a US size 12, approximately. Its a teeny bit loose, but I am going to wait a little while before having it taken in so that I don't have to do it twice if/when I lose some weight.

The getting of the dress is a good story. I desperately wanted this dress but didn't know where to find it. No one had it anymore and the few ebay auctions I found were all sold or expired. I had given up and was resigned to just finding something close and modifying it when I noticed something that looked similar on ebay while just going through the listings. I clicked it and realized that it was the exact dress, labeled only as strapless wedding dress size 14, no mention of the designer or Amy. It was in the last fifteen minutes of auction and in my exact dress size. The lady didn't even know how cool it was, and had simply gotten another one. I snatched it up, and panicked a little because it said pick-up only and she was in england. I was seriously prepared to take my fiance and fly to get it, or have someone pick it up and mail it to me, but she was nice enough to mail it to me anyway. We then had a panic about the fact that it took weeks to get here, but it is here at last.

The dress has a lot more detail in person than you can see in the pictures online or in the episode. There are sequins scattered sparingly in between the flowers and the overall effect is very pretty. The tule is surprisingly soft and heavy. I expected it to be stiffer and more scratchy, but it hangs very well this way.

My fiance knows that I don't really like diamonds so he got me an amber and amethyst engagement ring. I luffs him more than my dress. Our wedding is going to be extremely Brittish considering that the ring also came from England and our entire wedding is going to be themed after Doctor Who.

The dress is a wee bit long for me. I'm going to wear very tall shoes and pray for balance, and also probably have it shortened a bit in the front at least. It is meant to have a bit of a gap above the ground in the front, like here.

My favorite fish.

This little fish is a member of the family cichlidae, making it a relative, however distant, of the large, aggressive and every popular Oscar and the deceptively delicate angelfish. Cichlids are spread across the world and thrive in various forms on most continents. The most popular type of african cichlid in the pet trade is the mbuna (pronounced: boona), of lake Malawi. Like most cichlids, they are highly territorial, intelligent, and take a fierce interest in the survival of their young, going so far as to carry them in the adult's mouth for the first weeks of their lives. There are many species of mbuna and they come in a variety of colors that rival marine fish for vibrance. In the classic Malawi aquarium, it is not uncommon to see large neon yellow fish swimming in and out of the rocks with deep blue, pink and orange neighbors.
I mention this because the fish I am highlighting are not as attention grabbing as the pugnacious mbuna, despite being geographical neighbors, but in my opinion, are equal or superior in spirit and charm. Lake tanganyika is the second most popular of africa's three rift lakes and it is home to fish with less bold color and far more variation in lifestyle and behavior.
Lake tanganyika is almost completely populated by cichlids. Just about every niche and level of the lake that can support life has a cichlid perfectly adapted to take advantage of it. There are cichlids who behave like sardines and never rest on the lake floor and cichlids who hop around on the bottom like gobies. My very favorite type are the shelldwellers.
Because all the all rift lakes are chock full of minerals, the creatures that live in them are adapted to water like liquid cement. Lake tanganyika is home to a species of snail called Neothauma Tanganyicense. In the mineral rich water of the lake, the shells of dead snails don't dissolve and instead they litter the bottom of the lake, sometimes creating massive shell beds that can be miles wide. Because cichlids will take advantage of every available resource, there are tiny fish who instinctively take shelter in, and maintain these shells as their homes.
These shelldwelling fish meticulously bury their shells and sculpt the landscape around them so that they have an optimal escape from predators and the perfect water flow to feed and maintain their eggs and fry (baby fish). Most shelldwellers are in the genus Lamprologus which is technically a temporary catch-all grouping until more precise nomenclature can be formed. The gold fish pictured above is a male Lamprologus ocellatus. This particular fish has chosen a fake mountain as a replacement for a shell.

This is the closely related Lamprologus speciosus, also a male.

Shelldwellers can breed in harems or pairs, depending on their species and situation.
Neolamprologus brevis (pictured below) prefers to breed in pairs, with the two fish sharing a shell. They come from parts of the lake where shells are more scarce, so sharing is in their best interest. The two species above will breed as a pair, but also as a group with a single male mating with multiple females. They like to have a decent amount of space, four to six inches is ideal, between shells so that each fish has some personal space. Each partner may maintain its own shell but they share the defense of one shell during the brooding of their young. Males sometimes split their defense between the shells of several females to protect as many of their offspring as possible. Brevis usually form more lasting partnerships and stay together even between clutches of eggs. All shelldwellers breed prolifically and effectively, being both fertile and clever.


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