Saturday, October 25, 2008


Ohmigod. I have just discovered there is a TV channel called The Style Network with a program called Hot Guys Who Cook. And there were hot twins. [drool] And cheese ratings for the Guys. Most of whom would be a whole lot better if they didn't actually speak. Or cook.

Anyway, here is a WIP update:

This is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty Spring 05, which I am taking to Egypt with me. I'm doing it in Fyberspates Scrumptious. It's quite thin width-wise at the moment but looks like it will block out nicely.

It's my first lace project and so I'm knitting veeeerrry sloooowly....

Here's the Baby Cables jumper with the sleeves split off, and a start made on the body. I think this is going to be a great weekend jumper, it's so soft and snuggly!

We're off on Tuesday for a week so apols, there won't be no bloggin' for a while, ya'll. Have fun with this arctic cold snap while we're away!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I had a weird dream last night about trying to rescue a baby from an evil Capt Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek Voyager, who had hidden it in a labyrinth consisting of empty art gallery halls and a municipal swimming pool. To rescue the baby I had to collect crystals (like in the Crystal Maze) and avoid being shot by Capt Janeway with a very old and inefficient-looking bow and arrow.

I assume the crystals must have come from looking at the light fitting (like this but square) in Haz yesterday lunch time, but the rest of it? Lawdy knows.

So tomorrow it's the company presentation which this year they are having again in Ipswich. I will have to get up at 5.30am tomorrow, get the 6.30 train to be able to get the 8.15 from Liverpool Street. This is seriously ungood. Oh, and then I get to stay there overnight for a team recognition event with my old team, in the out-of-town Travelodge, and then get the 11am train on Saturday (*in my own time*) and not get home until after lunch! Hurrah! Oh, we we're going to dinner at Mr Wings (or Mr Wing Wangs and a new colleague has christened it) which will be whoop whoop delicious I'm sure. Good grief.

It's OK, next week I'm on holiday, so, in the words of Catherine Tate, bovvered.

Loo watch: Two bottles of mouthwash, a propelling pencil, a dirty mug, a pad of large post-it notes and a feint smell of saddle soap.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Can't it still be the weekend?

It was one of those weekends that seemed to last for ages but at the same time I still felt like it was Saturday on Sunday.

On Friday night The Man and I met up with Clare and Nick for dinner, where we ate proper pizza and drank far too much red wine, and I narrowly escaped having a hangover the next day. We went to Firebelly's on Mt Ephraim which I would recommend, the food was delicious. Clare and Nick have just been for a weekend in Dover, which seems a strange holiday destination but it seems if you're in the right part of town it has its own charms, like the castle and being able to watch warships coming into the harbour.

It was a good job I wasn't hungover on Saturday because I had to do the mother and father of all Sainsbury's shops. I really need to sort out the parking situation - carrying £150 worth of groceries (including bags of potatoes and rice) all along the High Street in one go was not the best idea, but I didn't want to have to go back to the car twice. My shoulders are still hurting!

Grandma and I had planned a shopping and lunch day, but on the day she wasn't up to the idea of town, so I suggested we go back to the farm instead, which was apparently much more agreeable. Autumn is lovely at the moment, and it was a beautiful bright crisp day. Dad and I took the dogs for a walk, and mum gave me some cast off pale grey suede peep-toe shoes which she says she will never wear but which go perfectly with my new(ish) dress.

I also popped into Bell House in Cranbrook, Mecca of fabric in the Weald, and got some oil cloth from their pretty impressive collection. I'm planning on making some Xmas presents out of them.

On Sunday, The Man and I, his brother and sister-in-law went to see Warhorse at the National Theatre. This was booked for us by The Man's mum, as she'd seen it. I read a review online on Friday and it did sound strange - 'Black Beauty in the trenches with puppets' was how they described it. OK, kinda. There were puppets, or more like animated life-size models, but it was the puppeteering which was the best thing - amazing, and so beautifully life-like. The Man's sister-in-law is pregnant so she has an excuse, but we were both sitting there in tears at the end.

Oh, and the last thing is that The Man did actually go for that new registration in the end, and he fitted number plates on Saturday:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Something new

You know the Gershwin song Summertime? Ever heard a swing version of it played on bagpipes? It was a night of firsts at the Brickhouse last night - aerial burlesque acts acting out hanging themselves and vomiting up blood (let's hope it's in preparation for Hallowe'en) and some interesting canapes... But the best bit by far was the band Ta Mère, also here, who Lisa and I both (independently) concluded we wanted to play at our respective weddings. Just need to get our respective men to give us small sparkly items first though!!

What's more frustrating is that it seems they played at some Bohemia Festival just outside T Wells in August - I didn't even hear about it! Our local press is rubbish. Or rather, I never read any of it so perhaps it's good but you have to wade through too much local schools news, moans about shops closing and biddies on the warpath stuff so I lose interest. Hey ho. Sorry Clare!

Anyway, this band are also playing Volupté so that's a perfect extra excuse to go. I shall have to somehow convince the Man to dress up to the nines and come along with us - not always the easiest thing. We've been discussing going to a black tie dinner and dance for NYEve, but he is really unenthused. Why?? Don't all women love a man in black tie, and don't all men secretly pretend to be James Bond?

Anyway, the knitting is speeding up, I'm nearly at row 40. How painfully slow. I have a feeling there may be several hundred rows in the whole thing. Might be finished for next Xmas then!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stash Enhancement

The leaves are wonderful in the Grove. I call the Man and with minimal complaining he puts some shoes on to come and kick through them with me.

Is it really only Monday? It feels like Thursday after a week of getting over some sort of virus. I'm shattered. Mum and I have been up at Ally Pally since Wednesday and got back late last night, following traffic jams on the M25. The hotel we were staying in was Fawlty Towers-esque, so sleep was low on the likely list. On the first night we were in the overspill room, which was thick with dust even on the bedside tables, and had very thin curtains with a floodlight outside. On the other nights we were in a room at the front of the house, and mum's bed was in the bay window about 5 yards away from the all-night bus route. Nice. We are quiet country folk and not used to all this noise and electric bulb-age!

Also four nights of eating out and four mornings of trying to find an alternative to full English breakfast makes for a rather bloated and unhealthy couple of people.

What was quite nice though was that the other people staying at the hotel all seemed to be at the show too, so we could swap notes over the breakfast table. It's nicer to network over a cup of tea than over a trade stand while you are steeling yourself before the public to come in and swamp you.

Here is a pic of our stand:

Here is a pic of the shopping I managed to do over four days:

Silk and fluff from Knitwitches, Scrumptious and something glitzy from Fyberspates (Noblin introduced me to Jenny who was very polite even though she was thoroughly harrassed), laceweight from Touchyarns, nothing from Socktopus (where I valiantly resisted and bought nothing because I've signed up to the Sock Club for next year, but I did meet Alice), Lorna's Laces and Koigu from Get Knitted, as well as a set of Options circs, two balls of black lurex to knit some hotpants for pole dancing (yes Puss, it might actually happen!) from Wear Downey, and a couple of books which have been raved about (rightly) online lately - Closely Knit and Inspired To Knit. I have to thank The Man for wading through my extensive Amazon wishlists over the phone to find these titles for me. He did ask at one point, 'God, are you 65??', based on some items on there. I have yet to discover which item prompted that comment but he will be made to explain himself!!

Mum even was convinced to start her own stash, with some Touchyarn, some Scrumptious from Fyberspates, and some gorgeous handspun mulberry silk from Di Gilpin. She always has to go one better!!

I am still thrashing my way through the Baby Cables jumper. I've got to row 16. This is ridiculously slow, but I think I'm gathering pace as I get back into doing cables. I hope I get past the cables soon and into some mindless circling, and that the DK knits up a bit quicker in st st rather than garter st! I'm also finding the little rubber hairbands I'm using as stitch markers from Claire's Accessories (who have the rudest surliest staff in the T Wells branch I have ever come across and I'm never going back in there again if I can help it) stop the knitting moving around the needle without some good encouragement, which is a bit of a pain. I'm looking forward to getting rid of them as I finish the cable and increasing section.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Funniest thing...

It was The Man's mum's birthday yesterday, so we all piled down to Brighton to spend the day down there with his brother and sister-in-law. In the howling typhoon down the M23. Mmm mmm.

They do this really mean thing to her whereby they put a load of options on days out into a hat and make her pick. These ranged from an afternoon watching the football in the pub to a tour of Brighton Pavilion. And then they show her what she could have won. This year she picked An Afternoon at Hove Dogs - greyhound racing. Cripes alive, they really know how to put some stinkers in the hat!

The Man's family are inveterate gamblers, having been well trained by their grandparents, so any excuse (and I mean any) is taken up to have a flutter on something. The Man and his brother were trying for trio forecasts, while us girls just stuck with the 'to win' or each way winners. And we won, while the boys got glummer and glummer. You can picture my delight then (apart from having my second winner) when I catch The Man quietly doing eeny-meeny-miny-mo under the table to pic his trio....

The Man's sister-in-law is pregnant, and while we were sitting there she was feeling her belly and looking thoughtful. She grabbed The Man's hand and laid it on her belly and so the other beautiful thing of the day was the look (and shout) of surprise and genuine delight when he felt the baby kicking. Broody? Him? I had better watch out!

Friday, October 03, 2008

New job

Changes with new job:

From having 498 items in my inbox I now have 19.
I have time to read long and involved documents.
I have not read my normal list of blogs because the boss can see over my shoulder.

Loo watch (different floor, different loo):

Day 1
Dirty mug, light bulb gone, two bottles of mouthwash, distinct smell of saddle soap

Day 2
Dirty mug, light bulb gone, two bottles of mouthwash, biro, distinct smell of saddle soap

Day 3
Dirty mug, light bulb gone, two bottles of mouthwash, three biros and propelling pencil, blocked sink, distinct smell of saddle soap

Day 4

Interesting commentary on the standards of the girls on this floor, methinks... *;)

On knitting news, I have cast on for the Baby Cables and Big Ones Too jumper, using Sublime extra fine merino DK, which is sooooooo nice to work with - so soft! Hope the jumper stays that way after I wash it. It also requires working from two parts of the pattern at once and a dozen different coloured stitch markers, so a really sensible choice for the train... Ahem. Pics will follow.