Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Everyone is talking about resolutions again. I suppose this time it’s not just a new year but a new decade, which adds a certain quelque-chose. Was Y2K really ten years ago? Sheesh.

Last year these were the goals I set myself:

1. Find out what I have to do to achieve to get a promotion at work
2. Learn to crochet and do one of those amigurumi things, possibly a ninja vampire.
3. Buy a house
4. Lose a stone
5. Decide a direction for the wool business
6. Keep on top of the home filing

Have I actually done any of these things? Well, maybe one of them, and that was cutting it fine! We exchanged on a house last week, and we’ll be moving in January. Number 1 should be a quick question to my manager really, I don’t know why that wasn’t done. Lose a stone – I think I’ve lost a few pounds but over the past few months I’ve really got back into exercising so hopefully that should go a bit better now. There are so many things I’d rather do than go to the gym but I do feel better for it afterwards. Home filing has been reasonably well looked after, but I am looking forward to the new house when there will be space to have some decent systems in place for things like that. It’s not hard, it’s just little and often and dealing with things as they come in. The wool business is still languishing, and would involve sitting down with mum and dad and thrashing it out, but getting them to a) sit around a table and b) talk about the same subject for more than about 15 minutes without the phone ringing or a crisis of the sheep getting out or the tractor breaking down or someone not being available for babysitting the grandchild or a vet emergency happening or even just being able to not get sidetracked and start talking about who’s died recently or if some forms came in the post or have I got enough chutney? is slim in the extreme.

Crochet progress has been woeful. I have purchased two books on the subject and that is all. The knitting group girls are trying to encourage me to do the Ravelympics 2010 learn a new yarn skill event and actually crochet something during the 14 days of the Winter Olympics. Is that rather optimistic, or is it the deadline I need? Also, what should I crochet? Does one granny square count?

2009 has been a positive year though, on the whole. Good things that have happened:

1. We got engaged in April
2. We have bought a house
3. Lots of good and positive things have happened at work – this job seems to be suiting me
4. My back has got 99% better (yay!) which means there are no excuses now about exercise (bum)
5. I finished a life coaching course and am nearly qualified (just need a few more hours practise)
6. I have in large part sorted out the wedding7. The Man became an uncle
8. We travelled to the States twice (Arizona in Feb and Florida in October)

2010 promises to be a very busy year and I’m feeling exhausted at the prospect of it. The main events will be:

1. Move house
2. Sort out said house
3. Working in the Paris office for a month
4. Walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks for a work charity event
5. Get married
6. Do Christmas.

Yes, the families have decided that as we’re going to be in a big house, we can host Christmas next year. Lawdy. No pressure! Moving house in itself is OK, if you’re organised, but this house will need some redecorating and also possibly a new boiler and rewiring. Perhaps those things can wait until 2011… Plus we need to furnish somewhere much bigger than we’re used to, which to me sounds rather expensive (you should see what TV system The Man is planning!), before we even get to the wedding. Argh. You can see why I’d rather just stay in bed with the duvet over my head at the moment, wibbling softly to myself.

So perhaps I shall only set myself a very small set of goals because I will be busy enough with all these things as it is. Things I would like to do:

1. Go to a dance class; tango is looking favourite at the moment, or maybe jive or something energetic too


2. Learn to bloody crochet.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Do you remember this post?

Look what The Man got me for Chrimbo:

He swears some computer hiccup meant that both initials came out the same. Double scary!!

Nice though aren't they? And very comfy! Hopefully leak proof and squeak proof. The old pair have gone firmly in the bin - hurrah!

Oooh, shiny.....

I thought I should also do a knitting roundup because there have been some Finished Objects happening, saints be praised.

First off, a baby blanket for Baby Cusack, due any day now. I started this in September and finished it on 12 December. You can imagine the joy...! I have learnt my lesson re baby blankets, don't worry.

It's called the Lace Panelled Baby Blanket and the ravelry link is here.
Very pretty edging but after you've knitted about four yards of it, you've had enough.

Need to work on my labels I think. I've seen some beautiful ones out there that people have designed for themselves. Something to do in the new year.
We also have another bear from Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies (rav link) which is going across the pond to some friends in Atlanta who have just had a baby girl.

I knitted him in a day and my shoulders really knew about it. But good to get that off the list.
Also finally got some time do to the Shalom cardigan! I bought some baby alpaca in the states, the last 4 skeins in this colour, and I was hoping and hoping that it would be enough. Well, I had a satsuma sized ball left after this, so it was perfick. Phew!

It took ten days of on and off knitting.

Love it. The yarn is the softest yummiest warmest cloud of gorgeousness, the pattern is straightforward and I think it looks rather classy, and more complicated than it is. I made a few mods (on rav page) but they were pretty minor. The yarn does shed a little so will be interesting to see what happens when I dare to wash it. May also stretch to bu99ery so I may be taking some friend's advice and fishing it out of the sink in a colander...
So then I was left with nothing on the go! (Well, socks didn't seem to count.) So I cast on an Ishbel with the secret santa yarn I got at knit group - RYC cashsoft 4ply.

And I'm also going to be making a Helena for yet another baby who has popped into the world. What is going on with all this procreating??? I can't keep up!
In other news, we have bought a house. I should be wildly excited but at the moment I'm 50:50 scared and feeling exhausted at the prospect of all that organising of moving over the gas, electric, phone, internet, sky, bank details, and the gazillion other people you have to notify of your change of address. And then we have to contend with a possible rewiring, boiler replacement and redecoration of somewhere much much larger than we're used to. Sigh. It's good timing though, because hopefully we can get all these things sorted out well in advance of the wedding. We have nine months, so hopefully most of it can be done by then. And the families have announced that we'll be hosting xmas next year. There may be at least a dozen. No wonder I'm feeling tired already by the prospect of 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More snow pics

These are from the Common yesterday.

And here, due to a gas leak at Hoopers (which seems quite serious as it's been going on nearly 24hours now), are people walking up Mount Pleasant in the road, because they can, because it's closed to traffic.

I've really enjoyed these snow days. I've spent some lovely time with The Man, had some time to appreciate T Wells, got some fresh air, sorted xmas, been entertained by the general goings on in town and appreciated people's cheerful wonder about the snow, which let's face it, while it may have been inconvenient to some, has been very beautiful.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby it's cold outside...

No work today because when I looked outside this morning it looked like this:

Actually it looked like that last night when I got home (at half past midnight due to train nightmares due to (shock) SNOW!!).
However, it turned out to be a lovely day.

The Man's car didn't think so though.

The Pantiles looked beautiful.

Look how deep the snow is!

The sky was bright bright blue. This looks like a picture taken in America somehow, what do you think?

I measured the snow on the way down London Road and it came all the way to the top of the cuff of my gloves. Which, as it turns out when I measured it when we got home, is almost 9 inches. Nine!! For gosh! No wonder SE trains thought it was a good excuse.

We had a productive day though, finishing the Christmas shopping (we walked in the roads all the way there because they were the least icy place, there was hardly any traffic and Mount Pleasant was even closed by the police), visited a Very Quiet Sainsbury's (bliss!) and then we went browsing for wedding rings. For a relatively simple item I think it's going to be as complicated as choosing a dress.

The most entertaining thing of the day was watching what traffic there was trying to get anywhere, especially the genii in rear wheel drive cars who were going nowhere fast, and where they were going was mainly sideways. One BMW tried to get around the roundabout and ended up doing a crab manouvre and coming back the same way but on the other side of the road and backwards. There were lorries stopped broadside across the High Street trying to go up an uphill turnoff and left with nowhere to slide, cars just left abandoned at the bottom of hills and dozens of people slipping over and landing on their arses. But it was so pretty!

It's due to snow again tonight. Snowmen tomorrow!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Preparation's what you need....

My eyes are turning square today. Too long parked in from on the monitor looking at smaller squares and trying to make the numbers at the bottom come out differently. (Silk purse and sow’s ear comes to mind…)

We have Quite A Lot On at the moment. For instance:

1. Planning a wedding
2. Buying a house
3. Getting ready for Xmas
4. Hospital visits to Grandma
5. Xmas social calendar
6. Work

Which doesn’t leave a huge amount of time for things like:

1. Food shopping
2. Laundry
3. Cleaning
4. Sleeping
5. Speaking to each other. It seems that we do most of our conversing over email these days! Although The Man did come with me last night to visit Grandma so we had a good catchup while walking up the hill to the hospital. Ah, multitasking…

So, how is the run up to Chrimble going for you guys? I don’t usually feel this shattered until the 15th at least! I am now, sitting at work about to go out for my second (no, third!) restaurant dinner of the week (yes, I know it’s only Wednesday), about to start writing Christmas cards. I am shamed that this year (same as last) they are not homemade – while some amazing person at work has even made her own wrapping paper. Just to set the bar somewhere ridiculously high. Sigh. One day I shall do that, and all the gifts will be handmade too. Yeah right, who am I kidding. *;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ho ho ho

New pattern shortly to be up on Aragon Yarns' website.

Anyone else getting into the festive spirit, or it is just me?!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Golf shoes

On Friday I played golf with work, which was scary in prospect but in reality turned out not too bad. Apart from one manager saying, 'Are you caddying?' and then later, surprised, 'You look quite golfy!'. Well, grrr, he'd better watch out, I'm not taking any of that male chauvanist crapola.

The worst thing was my golf shoes, which used to be mum's, are about 15 years old and leak like a government back office. The Man, now I'm showing I'm serious about the golf lark, might arrange some new ones for me. Apparently the golf shoes to get are Footjoys, and on their website you can design your own personalised ones. How cool is that?! So I had some fun playing with the (shorter) batch of colours in the women's section.

And then you can put your initials on them if you like.

How freakishly scary is that, seeing your to-be initials for the first time?

Old and new together, for the changeover period.
Nope, it's just too weird. I'm going to have to come back to this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Katie…must remember that listening to audiobook versions of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue on packed commuter trains is not a good idea. It’s hard to have hysterical laughter quietly.

Ah, audiobooks. Why didn’t I download some of these before? If anyone has some good recommendations, please let me know. I’ve just started on The Historian, which is about Dracula, so we’ll see how that goes. It's been good so far apart from having what seemed to be a Brooklyn policeman based in Oxford. Why do so many American publications have these glaring editorial errors? At least now I can read and knit at the same time. In effect…

As promised, here are some pics of the other half of the Florida trip:
Intracoastal waterway, with some sort of egret on the dock.
Nuclear sub coming out of port, with two shield ships.
Daisy on the beach.

The Man's choice of motor.

Things I have also done (but which there are no pics for):

Been on a business trip to view some distribution centres for a very large highstreet clothes chain, which was huge and mainly automated and involved lots of robots and conveyor belts and did indeed in places look like the door storage area in Monsters Inc in its vastness.

Visited some friends and their new baby who is only a month old and still in the floppy poo-scream-eat stage but still super cute. I felt bad invading but Jo seems to be totally in control and the whole family (including the dog) working like a well-oiled machine. Impressive!

Made half a santa hat. But then I saw someone on the train wearing a variation of this, and I thought that I could improve. Trouble is I was meaning to whizz this pattern off in a few days for the Wealden Times Christmas fair which mum is manning a stall at, but I fear I’m now cutting it rather fine…
Tomorrow I'm off to Bristol for another work thing, and I've signed up for golf on Friday. The only girl to play, with about 40 men. (Essential comma there.) I'm scared!! How embarrassing, I shall be particularly rubbish, but hey ho, you have to start somewhere.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Status updates

Too many to do today so here they are all at once:

Katie… repulsed by the dapper old man on the train filing his fingernails and then using the sharpened talons to pick interesting things out of his beard and peruse them.

...wonders how on earth The Thong Song got on her ipod amused by the power exec in his large Merc listening to Guns n Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine at top volume at the traffic lights pleased her car worked this morning – hurrah for WD40! kinda relieved what she thought were just fat ankles are actually disfunctional muscle build up do to with things to do with her bad back. If the back gets fixed perhaps they’ll go away.

...likes the Green Slime chocolate rolls someone has brought in for their birthday cakes. tickled by a restaurant having a caviar menu. Starting at £120.

Next week I'm away training in Paris, back at that lovely chateau. Shame.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baby it's cold outside

We were only away two weeks! Suddenly it's autumn over here! It's a bit of a shock coming back from Florida where it's been mid to high 20s and walking off the plane and having to chisel ice off the car.

Our condo overlooked the Atlantic and in the mornings you could watch dolphins and pelicans working their way up and down the beach.

We were at the condo with The Man's family, but then we two disappeared off for a couple of days to Orlando to do the parks. There will be some more pics of Amelia Island, including of a submarine, but I had to offload them onto the MIL2B's laptop. My camera only stores pics internally, so clearly I need to RTFM. Meanwhile here are some pics from Universal Studios and Disney.

Getting wet on rides seems to be a popular theme.

Dr Seuss area was fab! One of my fave rides even though The Man thought it was lame-o and for kids.
Most sick-making rollercoaster which The Man rode twice (and screamed like a girl both times I expect, but I can't vouch for the second time).

Blues Brothers arriving for their gig.

Dancing in the street...
We stayed on in the evening for the Halloween haunted house extravaganza, which was really good. It was billed as the best in the States, and it was scary! There was a Saw house, all dark and spooky with the characters jumping out at you and hostages screaming, characters in the street following people (zombies, vampires, Texans with chainsaws), a Rocky Horror Show tribute, and loads of other stuff happening but the queues got ridiculous and we'd been there for 13hours and my feet were shredded.
Next day we dragged outselves out of bed to go to Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Capt Jack Sparrow (savvy).

Can you see Mickey?

On the whole Disney was pitched too young even for my mental age and could do with a lick of paint in places and some decent places to eat. The evening fireworks were good though.

After two days at the parks though, I felt like this:

We did visit Walmart. Bargainous and big craft section.

And KnitWitz yarn store in Jacksonville - they were sweeties and gearing up for having a midnight knit-in! When I got home there was the next Socktopus parcel! Which looks fabbo - a Cookie A pattern this time.

So, the first installment will follow. Sorry to be topsy turvy.