Hiatus – now there’s a word that I never want to punch out, but alas, starting Saturday I’ll be embarking on a three-week trip to visit my relatives in China. As some of you may know, China is not only known for its ancient wonder, the Great Wall, but also its modern wonder – the Great Firewall of China. Cyber-Mongolians such Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, and Flickr are currently repelled by the glorious mother nation’s mighty defences, and this effectively throws a rocket-propelled brick into any hopes of my maintaining the site over the duration of the trip. I’ll be back on the night of the 29th, just in time to drag my jetlagged carcass over for the last day of Anime North. If you don’t hear from me after that, assume that I have perished in a hall full of “costumed freaks”.

Thankfully, I also have good news for you today: Ashlotte has joined the Hobby Hovel crew! Users of MyFigureCollection are likely to be familiar with spiffy reviews and friendly comments. Needless to say, I am bursting at the seams with excitement – not only is Ashlotte a very capable reviewer and a great friend, but I have also recently run out of bishoujo figures to review. His arrival effectively prevents the site from descending into a mecha-saturated sausagefest. Hurrah for Ashlotte! Look forward to his review of the Griffon Claudette in the coming weeks.

Anyhow, as thrilled as I am to revisit the place I grew up in, being away from my baby for three weeks is going to be slightly awkward. It has been more than half a year since the Hobby Hovel came into being, and when I look through the now nicely populated review archives, I really do feel a sense of accomplishment not unlike the completion of a model. Of course, unlike a model kit, Hobby Hovel has the potential to continually grow almost like a living creature – a baby, perhaps? It’s a good thing this overgrown infant is resilient enough to withstand a little neglect, hehehe.

That last six months or so have been immensely rewarding, writer’s blocks and busy weeks notwithstanding. I’d like to thank my father (on the off chance that he’s reading this) for his tolerance of this hobby and his invaluable help with my photography, my dear friend Alicia for her continued support as a reader and layout designer, Jianyan and Molly for their generous contributions of content, Ashlotte for his commitment to expand the future of the site, as well as all the readers out there who give our work a layer of meaning beyond the self-indulgence of creation – thank you all!

Until we meet again~