Monday, June 30, 2008

Mid year resolutions

Every year at New Year I don't make resolutions. I object to being pinned to a date to do so. Sometime around February I resolved to carry a notebook with me at all times for random jottings, and not to spend money on stuff unless I Really Really actually needed it. These have both worked out reasonably well. The spending money still seems to vanish but at least I don't have a wardrobe of impulse-bought clothes and other crapola I don't actually like.

Here are some thoughts for mid-year resolutions:

1. Carry a camera more
For blogging. I love posts with pics! And really, how hard is it now to just slip a little digi camera in your bag? I then have to start to turn into the shameless blog snapper who takes pics of everything, including socks in transit.

2. Call Grandma more
She is always the one to call me, and berates me for never getting in touch even though we live in the same end of the same town. I am a useless grand-daughter. Actually she's requested another trip to Sainsbury's, so she doesn't have to go on the Comp-aid minibus, and this is an event which I have to set aside at least all morning for. But at least since I've had a bad back, I know what it's like to have to move slowly. We do have a giggle once I make myself slow down. I spend over an hour trying to teach her how to use the bar code zapper last time, so she could scan her own shopping. Ah, technology.

3. Write down knitting projects I want to do
Of which there are usually several. Here goes:
  • Cardigan with cable trim from one of the recent knitting mags
  • Tank top of own design from the pale green cotton yarn I got from a market in Turkey
  • Toy elephant from Ysolda's designs for my new second-cousin. Soo cute!
  • New pattern for Aragon Yarns for the knitting and stitch show in October. Possibly a felted bag?
I'll think of some more. If I was feeling reckless foolhardy diligent I'd put
4. Do some professional exams
but I fear that still won't happen before Xmas, despite my best intentions. And if I did only one, all I'd become is an MCP, which is not the best thing to have on a business card. *:)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend domesticalia

I don't know if that's a real word but it looks good. *:)

This was supposed to be an ultra-busy weekend of trips to see bands in London, but instead it turned out to be a nice relaxing sorting-out weekend involving things that I always want to do but never usually have time for. The most precious sort of weekend really, that only turn up when you least expect them and you wish could go on for days and days.

I popped home and one of our dogs is two weeks off having her puppies. Check out her tummy draping on the ground!

Here are some of the other dogs posing:

Here is one of the dozen or so attempts to get them to sit still:

The plan at home was to sort out some of the hundreds of books in my old room, and take some back to put on Freecycle. I've just done a great run on Freecycle and got rid of about 2 metres worth pretty much overnight, so I sorted out another two big boxes worth, all gung-ho, and the Mother comes in and says, 'Oh no, you can't get rid of them! Someone might want some of them.' And the usual classic, 'Are they all yours anyway?' Argh!! Just throw stuff away! And she wonders why her house is full of everyone else's junk. The boxes are still at home waiting for everyone to pick through them and put stuff back on the shelves... Anyway, I can recommend Freecycle. You just leave stuff on the doorstep and the freecycle fairies come and magic it away.

Then at the Man's mum's, there was time to bake bread. I used Mother of Chaos' twice risen bread recipe, which gives a good texture but I found a little sweet. Perhaps American bread is sweeter, who knows? But it was fun to do! We are still getting the hang of the Aga, so some was a little bien cuit.

The Man wanted to make a bread boob. Whatchyagonnado?

Man's mum's also got wild strawberries growing on the wall outside.They're about the size of a small pea and just explode with strawberry flavour. Mmmm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Socks that fit

It's not something you expect to hear, your physio telling you to up the pole dancing. But hey, whatever works! My back always seems to be better after pole, and it's fantastic for core stability, so I suppose even for a physio trying to fix me it qualifies as beneficial. I finally braved an invert yesterday, it wasn't glamorous or easy, but after about six attempts I finally managed to get my ankles around the pole. I am hugely out of practise, and today my biceps and shoulders are complaining, but it's good to have got upside down again. Finally! I need to get a pole for the house so I can practise any time I like. I'm sure the Man and the neighbours would just love that!

Unfortunately some twathead keyed my car sometime Sunday night / Monday so this month's fun money is going to go on a respray job.... Sigh.

Had another knitting group meeting tonight. One of the lovely girls brought her sister along. It's really interesting seeing the mix of people who come along. There have been three knitting groups in town now, so you can pick one to suit: the trendy student one, the -um- older lady one, and ours, which is more for young professionals and young mums, who like online knitting gossip and downloading free patterns, and have some interesting life histories already but still know how to have a drink and discuss the best places to go clubbing.

So anyway, I am embarking on the third sock of a pair, because the first one was too small so I frogged it. The second turns out now to be too long in the foot, because I added a bit compared to the first, and failed to remember that socks actually stretch when they're on, so I added too much and now could actually become a size nine. Duh. I'll learn!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Possibly too much sharing...

But I just had to point out this great thing that Hugo Boss pants do sometimes, if you'll excuse looking at my boyfriend's bottom:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Twenty20 Cricket

Apparently it's not written 20:20, like the vision thing. *:) I am being slowly indoctrinated into the ways of Sport Fandom. This involves taking any opportunity to watch any sort of sport (although I'm not sure he's quite reached the heights of Chariot Racing in Welsh, which is available in the bowels of Sky). But, thankfully, this cricket was Live. We went down en masse to Brighton to watch Sussex fail miserably against Essex.

Twenty20 is speed cricket - 20 overs each, so the match lasts three hours rather than five days, and there are lots of fours and sixes scored, balls whizzing all over the park. I can't say I agree with the blaring music every time someone gets a 4 or 6 though, it's really, so to speak, just not cricket.

The seagulls were quite insistent. The Man's brother had a near miss - he had swapped seats just five seconds before this happened:

And I have taken my first Travelling Sock picture!

I actually had a moment's panic that the stewards would confiscate my lethal weapons aka dpns. I am so brainwashed by the airlines. *:) The Man was very patient, but as he was sitting with buddies I refrained from being a crazy woman who was photographing my knitting right next to them, and wandered up to near the bar. The chaps there really didn't mind, as long as I was getting a round in!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fathers' Day

I love and appreciate both my parents very much, but I don't spend enough time with either of them, and I *especially* don't spend enough time with Dad. Dad is a brilliant person who has a very quick brain, but that quick brain has led him to take on an awful lot (he is a farmer and a vet and does all sorts of other things), so consequently he is nearly always working. He's always about, because he works from home, but he just sort of pops up, says hello, drinks tea, bolts a sandwich, watches a quick race on the telly, and zooms out again. He's so busy thinking about other stuff that you literally have to poke him sometimes to get his attention, and asking him to remember something is dicey in the extreme.

So I made him make some time for me at the weekend. It was not quite physically dragging him off the premises, but almost. I had an hour or so to play with, which was quite impressive really! We went to Sissinghurst Gardens, because the roses are so beautiful at the moment, and although we had a calming cup of tea in the restaurant to start with, it was interesting to see that it still took an effort to slow down in the gardens and literally take the time to smell the roses. You could see the mental checklist there - rose garden, check; nut orchard, check; herb garden, hmmm.. that smells nice! Perhaps I shall pretend I don't know the unwritten rules of National Trust gardens, and just pick off a few leaves to carry with me. Oh, and what's this Roman artefact? What does the inscription mean?

And finally, he started walking at tourist pace....

All these pics were taken in the White Garden.

Recommended for overworked fathers. *:)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Up in the air

Argh. Life is being rather fraught at the moment. From pulling out of the sale of one flat in order to carry on living where I am now but with a different cohabitee, it seems that there may also be a change of plan on that too. Having been unable to agree a price amongst us, it seems that the best way to see what the flat is actually worth is to just put it on the market and sell it.

Now, I'm never one to get too stressed with things and I like to think I roll with the changes quite well, but I am getting cross about all this mind-changing lately. Perhaps it's also because I am having to manage the same kind of thing at work - a large project with dozens of people involved who really don't seem to communicate with each other or know what's supposed to be going on. (Plus half of them are French and understanding project plans in franglais or English that looks like it's come through a translation wizard is hard for some people.) And then they inflict ridiculously unreasonable deadlines.

Glamourpuss has just posted about things you like about yourself that others might find annoying. Well, this is the opposite way around - these are things other people probably like about me that I find annoying. I am waaaay too understanding and patient with people sometimes. Instead of saying, 'it doesn't matter, we'll sort it out', what I really should say is, 'It does matter, you're pissing me off.'


Well, as some sort of relief to all this crapola, we had the inaugural meeting of a new knitting group for T Wells last night, and it was surprisingly well attended. I organised it through Ravelry and there were five other lovely ladies who turned up, laughed, drank wine, helped each other through knitting panics, and generally had fun. And they want to do it all again! I even got some tuition on how to knit lace (lace knitting is different from knitting lace apparently, did you know?).

Notes on knitting lace:
1. Write on the pattern. A lot.
2. Don't try to make witty chitchat with exciting new people when knitting lace.
3. Don't drink while knitting lace. (In fact, don't drink and knit. Bad, bad plan involving much ripping out of stitches the next day.)
4. 'No stitch' is just that, a big black hole of nothingness, which you should liken to that thing that the boffins predict space can do where it just folds up and you skip a million light years without thinking about it, tripping along without noticing a difference.
5. Count.

Battle plan for future knitting meet-ups: take complicated project to show people, but just knit socks.

Monday, June 02, 2008


I've just phoned the estate agents to say that we don't want that nice flat with the garden and garden shed after all. Which is a real shame, because on the surface it was lovely. But the survey threw up some problems with damp, and the vendors were becoming arsey, so we were getting a bit sceptical. We had a long hard Thunk as Pooh would say, and decided that it would be best all round if The Man bought out Darling Flatmate at a mutually convenient time.

So, no pottering in the flowerbeds or sewing cute little curtains for my shed studio. At least, not for a couple of years. But it does mean that I get to stay in a flat that I (mainly) like, and finish some more of the work I wanted to do on it, and it's in a great part of town. As for gardens and big kitchens and whatnot, well, that will just have to wait.

Now, what will be interesting is what sort of stamp The Man wants to make on the place. For the other flat, he was talking about vast flat screen TVs and various other boy-pad toys. And he wants to buy a mountain bike. Not so practical in a first floor flat. We won't need a huge amount of new kit when DF moves out, so there won't be much scope for showing new design flair. Unless he wants to get really wacky crockery, which I doubt. I know that when I moved in to an ex's flat where he had been living for a while, it was more like being a house-guest. I didn't have any space to make anything Mine, and that starts to get annoying. So, I foresee that we just ride through this 'housing crisis' for a year or two and then get somewhere we can make a home out of together, starting from scratch.