Monday, September 29, 2008

2008 - Year of Random Events

OK, so, what do you usually do on a Friday night? Dinner? Pub? Stay in and watch Corrie? Or, wait until it's dark and head down to the golf club for a spot of Night Golf?

I am ceremonially making 2008 the Year of Random Events. What with Naked Shearing, Driving Sheep Across London Bridge, and now this... well.

So, Night Golf involves a lot of glow-sticks, glow-in-the-dark golf balls, and much hilarity. What you can see as you look down the fairway is:

Taking pictures is quite entertaining too. You point the camera into the murk and once the flash has gone you get this:

Golfers tee-ing off cannot see much beyond a feint green reflection in their clubface, which they pronounced 'bleeping weird' and took a while to get the hang of. But again, the flash reveals this:

As the mist descended, I caught this rather spooky looking face:

And at the end, walking back to the bar for a well-deserved pint or three....

Events were started by a large firework which startled some people into nearly falling into the lake, some teams failed to remember to bring torches while others (ours) brought the mother and father of all floodlights. Lost balls incurred a penalty but luckily plastic floats and it's possible to fish them out of water (with the right telescopic scoop). Also, if you are going to cheat and take extra glowing spare balls with you, it's best not to wear thin trousers and put them in your pockets....

On knitting news!

Here are some pics of FOs, finally!

Felted bag, in Aragon Yarns, pattern available soon on the website and also at Ally Pally next week. I love what Rowan did with that embroidery - she check-knitted the cherry coloured one for me.

Cabled bolero, finally finished, complete with Buddha belly. Nice. I feel extremely fat, having not been to the gym since March due to poorly bad back, and I don't think I will be looking very svelte in the size 10 Aragon Yarns t-shirts next week... But, I have a month before going to Egypt to lose some flab and get my bikini belly back! I think the back can just about take doing some exercise now, it's just a question of whether the mind can summon the willpower....
And on other whoop-whoop-worthy news, today is the last day I am working in IT. As from tomorrow I am underwriting. I cannot wait. Numpty users and project deadlines making whooshy noises due to other people's ineptitude you can keep, quite frankly. Roll on the business lunches!!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Another quiz. Not sure I agree, but perhaps a few years ago this would have been true!

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility. You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have deep, emotional side that few people ever see.

Would rather have been Elizabeth Bennett. Suspect I should have ticked 'Sparkling and witty'. Ah, Mr Darcy...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Friday Random Sheepiness

OK, so what would you normally do on a Friday lunchtime in the City? Lunch and drinks in a trendy wine bar? Work through and leave early? Or pop down to London Bridge and watch 400 Freemen of the City exercising their ancient rights to drive sheep across the Bridge?

Here are Hadlow College students making sure no sheep escaped down Cannon Street. Note they are Romney Sheep, an ancient Kentish breed, so kinda local. Not provided by us, but by a farming friend, and Dad was the vet on duty.

The sheep had their own guard! I presume that as this was organised by the Lord Mayor of the City of London he sent some heavies down. They were aiming to raise £40,000 for charity.

The Worshipful Company of - erm - Frameweavers? Or something. And Chairman of the Romney Sheep Breeders' Association.

Monks with digital cameras.

Armour on a sunny day - looked rather warm attire to me. Nice frilly lace collars and burlesque-style feathers though - rather incongruous with the long pointy stick.

Had to have a bloke in a bowler, with the Natwest Tower (sorry, Tower 42) in the background.

So, I have nothing further to add to that, other than is was very strange to see my father, loads of farmers normally hailed at the County Show, and sheep, on London Bridge where I am normally just one of thousands of worker ants migrating north in the morning and south in the evening, from and to the station. Here's to random amusements and ancient rights of the City of London.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All very charming

I love the comment about this Morph set sold by Hawkins at the moment:

Indeed! Most unlike something that happened this morning, which was decidedly not charming. I've had a blocked up ear lately, so went to the doctor's to try to stop a blocked ear turning into an ear infection, and they told me that it was a most unladylike condition - wax! So, I had to tip olive oil or Otex in, and if that didn't fix it, come in to get them syringed. Well, it didn't, so in I went on Tuesday, and since the last time I'd had them done (when I was about 10) they've invented some new machine which basically pumps a pressurised jet of water in little squirts into your ear. Well, ouch. Unforts the nurse, despite her best efforts, could not clear the bunged up ear (although she cleared the other ear OK, just to prove the point I reckon), so sent me away again with instructions to keep using the oil / Otex and come back if necessary. So, that night I squirted in some more Otex and went to bed, listening to it bubbling its way inside my head. Nice.

Next morning, in the shower, I stick my finger in my ear to clear some soap suds, and pull out, impaled on my nail, a huge wad of wax! Euw! Bleugh! It was bigger than a very large pea. I didn't look too hard, and was also glad that I don't wear my glasses in the shower, because there were some darker spots that looked like dead flies or some such which I really don't want to think about.

Points to note about this saga:
1. You can fit an awful lot into a human ear canal
2. The ear that became blocked was my phone ear, which has had to listen to Frenchmen rant and be evasive for the past six months, and no wonder it decided it had had enough and tried to stop itself hearing anything else. Poor thing.

On less don't-read-this-while-you're-eating topics:


I have finished knitting the cuffs to the cabled bolero cardigan, but have yet to sew them on. It's a summer garment and it's now quite clearly autumn. Rats.

I've designed and knitted a felted bag pattern which lovely Robot at KniTWells is check knitting for me.

I've started check knitting a toddler's jumper which equally lovely Noblinknits at KniTWells has designed for us. Yes, people on the train, I am young and I am knitting. No need to stare.

Actually, I was knitting the bag on the train, and was packing up and getting off at London Bridge when this women beckons me over. She'd obviously been watching me, because she demanded to know why I'd gone round (picked up stitches around) all the corners. Gack, an audience! I had to explain that it was the base to a bag and I was now knitting the sides in the round. Very quickly before the train doors shut. I think I left her none the wiser.


We should be completing on the sale of the flat tomorrow, but if the rest of the sale process is anything to go by, it will be delayed. The Man met up with our buyers a couple of days ago, to let them into the flat because they wanted to measure up for furniture, and they were complaining about their solicitor too, saying that he was rubbish and kept asking questions that they'd already answered. The estate agents have foolishly sent me feedback forms about our solicitors, because they were their 'house' ones if you like. Oooo, shall I just go ahead and rip them to shreds??? Methinks I might. Effing useless, if you'll excuse the language. And to be fair, the agents themselves have not been much better (bar one person), losing paperwork and not knowing what was going on. I had to resend a scan of my passport because they've lost the bank certified copy, and I sent it in reasonably hi-res (say, 600kb), only to get it sent back because they couldn't print it because it went off the edge of the paper. What??? OK, so users can be numpties, but their tech support people couldn't even sort it out for them! Mon dieu. It really makes you want to scream.

Just so you know.

Friday, September 12, 2008


New word for the day: confloption (n) a random mishmash of parts that may or may not work out. Such as, for example, a flight booked under one company name (XL), arrives as a rust bucket of quite different branding (Viking Airlines) with Finnish food, Spanish crew and Welsh pilot.

I feel for the poor people stranded abroad at the moment. Not only does XL fold, but the Channel Tunnel has a fire and closes for two days, sparking Operation Stack up with M20 and whatever the equivalent is in Calais. And also apparently bun fights in business lounges when economy is booked out and they check in too many people for the business seats. (Fenella will vouch for that.) What a lot of travelling we do these days, without realising until there's suddenly a problem.

The Man and I will hopefully be adding to the stats soon, with a week or so in Egypt in October to try to find some sun (shock!) and heat (will we cope, it will be over 20 degrees?!). We've never had a holiday together before so it should be interesting! His job means that getting away in the summer is difficult, but does mean that any holidays will therefore involve winter sun, which has got to be a plus.

The flat is coming together. The huge mirror is up, and looks elegant and homey. We had our first proper visitors the other day - Clare and Nick came over to see our friend Sarah who currently lives in Paris, and was back visiting her family. Sarah even cooked dinner for us poor working unfortunates! She's got herself a boyfriend and she brought some pictures to show us. 'Don't you think he's handsome?' she demanded, while Nick and The Man looked on. Is one allowed to appreciate other men when one's own is in the room? I decided yes, and Clare did also, pronouncing him 'very Gallic'. And also, it seems from the two pictures of him holding babies, good with children, and from the last of him holding a scribbled 'Sarah is so lovely' note to the camera, not scared to show how he feels. Which I guess is also a French attribute. Aw.

I have 12 more working days of being in the IT department, and suddenly, with booking underwriting training courses and taking holiday sheets to someone else, it's actually dawned on me that I'm getting a new job! I can't wait - not just to get out of this crapola, but to start something fresh and have opportunities and learn stuff. There is more weekend work this weekend, and it seems that won't be the end of it, but the hands on stuff in the UK is done, and what the French teams want to do to mess it up from now on is up to them. This may be the last overtime I get from this company so I'd better make the most of it - IT is the only dept that gets money rather than time in lieu. (BTW we were working until 4am the other night.)

While work is crazy I am seriously behind on knitting. The big stitch show at Ally Pally is coming up at the beginning of October and I have to check-knit a baby jumper and design, knit, check-knit and write the pattern for a felted bag. Argh! Knitting on the train and during lunch hours is the only option. Once AP is out of the way, I have seen several beautiful jumpers on the net lately that just have to be knitted: this one, but with something different done to the sleeves, this one, with brilliantly quirky cables, maybe this one, this bag and this scarf. Yikes! Looks like some serious stash enhancement will be happening at AP!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Brave New World

Well, a new chapter has well and truly started - not only have I now moved house, but I've just accepted a new job! Same company, but completely different department. I've been doing some key account management for about 18 months, which means I've been working directly with clients, who are big multinational companies, and coordinating the teams (underwriters and claims) dealing with them. About a month ago, I had a phonecall from my dept manager to say that one of the underwriting teams wanted to invite me to apply for a vacancy with them. Which was a bit of an, 'Oh, right!' suprised moment, but made sense when I'd thought about it for a while. It was by no means a dead cert as paperwork must be followed and I had to interview, but everyone who knew had great confidence in me (even if I didn't), and thank the gods, I got the job.

If life wasn't so manic and crazy at the moment I might actually have time to sit down and think, 'wow!' about all this. I was so excited before moving about living with The Man, but since we have moved I've been so shattered I've hardly been able to keep my eyes open when I'm at home. Added to that is the pressure of this big IT project (for which we are working until midnight tonight) and all sorts of other things at work. I am hoping that after tonight's work, and a good sleep tomorrow night, I'll get that amazing lightness of heart feeling like at the end of exams, and feel happy happy happy like I should do. At the moment I just feel drained, and I think more likely I will suddenly get ill. I've been too busy to have time to be sick lately!

The new flat is coming along. It turns out The Man is a real tidy bug and all the boxes really stressed him, so the bedroom and sitting room are now almost done, even if everything else is crammed into the other bedroom. We have cooked our first meal there, and even before the curtains were up The Man ran around the house, first to be nekkid in every room. Something tells me he is somewhat excited to have his own place at long last!