In which our intrepid hero buys a new stuffed toy.

I went on a bit of a shopping binge on the weekend. Tin Soldier, my FLGS, had their annual sale on, and I went in on two consecutive days to buy Secrets of Kenya for Call of Cthulhu (finally! yay!), Corwyl: Village of the Wood Elves, Trojan War and Eternal Rome for D&D, and the Future Player’s Companion for d20 Future. I also grabbed a few miniatures.

On the way out, I wandered past an old-style toy shop in the Queen Victoria Building to buy something I’d seen earlier in the week: a Wild Republic plush blue-ringed octopus.

When he’s not posing for glamour shots on my dining-room table, he sits on top of my display cabinet, hungrily eyeing anyone who comes in the front door.

I have two quibbles about the labelling, though. Firstly, he’s actually a blue-lined octopus—whilst it’s in the same genus as the better-known ringed varieties, it doesn’t sport the profusion of rings which give its relatives their name.

Secondly, the little booklet that comes with Wild Republic toys says that octopuses come from the Atlantic Ocean. Given that most of the better-known and stranger species—such as the blue-ringed—actually come from the Pacific, I think that this is pretty lax on their part. This doubly miffs me, as the blue-ringed octopus is pretty much identified with Australia, although one species can range as far as Japan.

In one of those strange examples of serendipity that seem to plague my life, this week, I also noticed that John Shirley (author of the awesome Eclipse trilogy) has posted a very short story featuring a squid on his blog.

And one of my favourite bands of all time, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, has put up a song from their forthcoming album, The Shadow Out of Tim, on their MySpace site. It’s called “A Marine Biologist”. And you can download it in MP3. For free. Go get it! Now!

All in all, I’d say, it’s been a good week for cephalopods.