Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don’t hate me, but I’ve nearly finished my Christmas shopping. I think I’ve learnt the skill of organising complicated events well in advance while still at work. Only problem person left to buy for is, as usual, the Man, so any suggestions gratefully received! Tempted with this:

Are you guys well stuck in yet? Are you knitting (or making) stuff for people?

It’s just as well these things are getting done early because we’ve got the family coming to ours this year so it will be all hands to the pumps to cater for the feeding frenzy. I’m looking forward to it really, it’s lovely to have a house full of people and I can pretend to be Nigella (or more likely Gordon Ramsay).

The Man is doing even more of a Victor Meldrew impression at the moment because not one but two (ie both / all) of our TVs are broken. One just shrivelled up and died three weeks ago, refusing to turn on from standby, and on Friday night I got home to find the Man sitting with a face like thunder in front of the big TV (his pride and joy) which was shooting lines of snow across the bottom of the screen. Apparently I broke it. Even though when I left in the morning it was showing the repeat of Loose Women fine. (I turn over anything that talks about the Royal Wedding and breakfast tv can’t get enough of it at the moment.) The big TV has now gone back to the shop (luckily still in warranty – broken before a year is up!) but not before we spent an evening playing petulant canasta. Not even winning could cheer him up. How sadly reliant we get on tv. I was quite enjoying it, suddenly you get out of the zombie state and think about all the things you could be doing – putting up pictures, sorting out the bookcases, starting that new knitting project I’m itching to get going on. But no, it was like having a toddler in the house who needed entertaining before he threw a strop. Sigh. And I was sure he said he’s over 30…

These things have been happening since the new people next door moved in and started gutting their place. We’ve had not one but two bluetits in the house. The first one was in the kitchen and we could not fathom how it had got there, because that was the week the Man had decided it was cold and went around plugging all gaps under doors and other draught-making holes with all the stuff that was in the charity clothing pile. (The house now looks a little like the laundry basket exploded.) Nonetheless there was a bluetit in the kitchen, hanging out on the windowsill. Then on Sunday morning I was in the bathroom and there was a massive scuffling under the bath. I thought it was a mouse going crazy, but next thing I’m getting divebombed. Since when did bluetits live under baths?

This weekend I also made a batch of christmas cake cupcakes and stollen cupcakes. These are experiments. The mini xmas cakes are getting fed with sherry for a bit and will be iced nearer xmas. Stollens freeze OK apparently. They are so cute! Lovely little bits of soft bread dough rising around balls of marzipan and lots of yummy dried fruit, peel and nuts. Mmmm. Great with a frothy coffee during a fraught moment.

However I am a newbie food blogger and took 0 pics. Apols. I will try harder next time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brrr - hat gloves and scarf weather

It's cold dark and dreary and when the alarm goes off it's like the middle of the night. Sounds like we're in that long on stretch of winter. Hey ho. No choice but to just keep plodding on, and think about planning a holiday.

Lots of friends are having babies, so I am knitting. Clare is due any minute, and for her, an Undercover in sagey greens and greys.

And because they are fans, this Star Wars inspired babygrow:


My old flat mate Ali has just had a little boy which they've called Alfred, so I decided on a Mrs Weasley style sweater. The sweater itself is pretty good, but the letter is wonky - too high. It's OK, Mrs Weasley's aren't perfect either. :)

Now I can get back to my own knitting for a while!

In between times we've been to see Bill Bailey on his Dandelion Mind tour. Go if you want to hear Ace of Spades played on an oud, or Abba played on a car horn xylophone (the act has Gary Numan’s Cars scripted so Abba was an impromptu bonus). I love Bill Bailey’s comedy, he’s funny and ridiculous but hugely intelligent and cultured. I’d love to have several pints in the pub and listen to him pontificate on the state of society. He’d be a great mad uncle to have.

Also Clare and I went to see Harry Potter. Fab. But you know that already. :)

Right, I'm going to go and wind some yarn for the Tea Leaves cardi. These small things make me happy.

Monday, November 01, 2010


God, I have no idea what to do with myself in those spare moments now that I don’t have a wedding to plan and there are no exams upcoming. I suppose in a while I’ll be occupied with redecorating and Christmas. In the meantime, do you think the boss would mind if I knitted a little at work?

I thought I’d do a little round-up review of some of the audiobooks I’ve listened to lately. What a brilliant concept; I can knit and read at the same time! Perhaps in future I’ll do these reviews on the end of my Ravelry project notes – I think it will be quite interesting to look back and see what I was listening to at the time.

True Blood: The Sookie Stackhouse novels – Charlaine Harris
Yes, all eleven of them. Loved them. The Southern accents add so much to it. What you get in the books which you don’t in the TV series is the humour.

Barchester Chronicles – Anthony Trollope
Takes a little while to wind down to the pace but the cast is excellent, the satire scathing and the romance practical.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer
Beautiful, gentle and charming.

The Help – Kathryn Stockett
Amazing book, about black ‘help’ in 60s Mississippi. Not at all preachy. A must read.

Vampire Diaries – L J Smith
Tedious. Watch the TV series, they took a concept and made it waaaay better.

One Day – David Nicholls
Book about two friends’ intertwined lives from leaving Uni in the 80s. A little flesh creepy in places because it’s a little too true, and ultimately unsatisfying because a novel is supposed to wrap things up in some way but this drops a bombshell then leaves off. I’m interested to read more about why the author wrote this book, but I didn’t like it.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Book 1 – Derek Landy
A book for teenagers but nothing lacking due to that, apart from it should be longer. Luckily there are more in the series.

Any other book recommendations would be appreciated!

Also, if anyone has any good ideas for xmas presents, please let me know. Especially men presents. And it’s too late to knit things for people, esp as other people keep procreating and I have a huge backlog of baby knits on the go at the moment. Seriously, can’t you all just take it in turns, about six weeks apart?