Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just a quickie...

For those sceptical readers out there, I would like to say that it is now over three weeks since I started my Lenten casting on "fast". I have not cast on any new projects at all. I did cast on some knitting for the finishing techniques course I attended last weekend, but since it is a mini set of shoulders (shaped by short rows) with a three needle cast off and stitches picked up round a mini neck, it can't count as no-one could use it for anything. Since I started I have finished two garments (pics to follow) and the third should be finishe by the end of Friday.

My strongest test, however, will start Saturday, since the is the start of the Sock Knitters Pentathlon 2008. Luckily I am not really a speedy kniter, so the fact I can't start immediately probably won't make a great deal of difference in the grand scheme of things - I know I'm not quick enough to be in with a chance for the medals, anyway.

School is hectic again, I don't know what it is about the Spring term this year - maybe it's because we keep trying to cram 8 weeks work into 5 week blocks...

Anyway, I will drop by soon,


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Enough Already!

It is a week since Super Tuesday and still the British media are ruminating on the long-drawn-out process of selecting American Presidential candidates.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I am interested in the fact that there could be some groundbreaking choices made in the final scheme of things, but it's a long way off and I'd probably feel more positive about the whole new gender/race thing if the potential Republican candidate was Condaleezza Rice as opposed to some old white bloke (no offence to old white blokes or members of the Grand Old Party intended).

Last time I spoke with C she was giving careful thought to her vote. She has probably already made up her mind, but just in case she hasn't, I thought she might like to consuider this option, courtesy of The Panopticon:

Go Dolores!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Of cats and (work)men

Last week we had some electrics done, ensuring we are no longer running five appliances and a dustbuster from one double socket in the utility room (Why build a utility room and add plumbing for a washing machine and dishwasher and space for a tumble dryer and then only put one double socket it? No, I don't understand it either. Gets even worse when you get creative with space as I have). Anyway, the electrician also fitted more sockets in the bedroom so I am no longer running 6 gang socket under the bed - the only way to run two bedside lamps, two alarm radios (we're so short-sighted we need one each within squinting distance) and the dual control electric blanket from a single socket, and a new control board so that we are now in line with the latest elecctric regulations. This means we can have the electric shower fitted in the bathroom next week, but will necessitate having to find the fusebox key and trudge outside to reset the fuse everytime a lightbulb pops.

I love Elfen Safety.

However, the cats found it a stressful experience and spent nearly all day in the garden. Luckily it wasn't too cold.

This morning the plumbers who are fitting the new bathroom next week popped round "just to have a look". After declaring themselves pleased with the room itself ("Nice and straightforward, Des" "Indeed, Dave, indeed") they asked to look at the control board. As I headed for the front door with the fusebox key, they said "No love, not the meter box, the fusebox", to which I pointed out that when the garage was converted to an office , the fusebox was put outside.

There was much sucking of teeth as they looked at the position of the box and the flat roof above the office. They then hummed and hawed as they worked out how far away it was from the downstairs toilet and where that was in relation to the upstairs bathroom (not underneath unfortunately). "How are we doing, mon ami?" asked Dave. "Sacre blu!" replied Des.

I feel that I am about to get a bathroom fitted by Del Boy Trotter...

And baring in mind they were here for 20 minutes at the most, over 2 hours ago, Lil is still trembling, jumping with fright everytime I move a foot.

Next week could be a long one. What a shame I am back at work by then...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I'm not much good at giving things up. The moment I think I can't have something, I want it. The image of it fills my mind and consumes my being.

Or something.

Anyway, I'm already trying to eat more healthily, so there is little point and indeed no feeling of sacrifice to be gained from giving up something I'm not eating much anyway. The same goes for alcohol - not exactly a sacrifce when my monthly alcohol intake is about one unit.

So to actually mean something, anything I give up for Lent has to actually pinch slightly. Which is when I came up with my own interpretation of a Lenten Penance.

I am going to give up casting on. No more new projects until Easter. This is a wonderful chance to clear the decks after my bout of startitis last month.

And believe me it will be painful since I did want to knit pair of gloves to keep my hands warm...

But I'm committed.

Wish me luck.*

*Of course in the way of many dieters, I had a binge last night and cast on for a jacket for me... but Shrove Tuesday doesn't count as part of Lent, right? Just think of it as my Pancake Jacket...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Glitter and Sparkles!

Yesterday afternoon, A and I and my Mum and Dad fought our way through the result of the North West's severe weather warning (*cough* - a sprinkling of snow less than a quarter of an inch deep!) to go to the Manchester Evening News Arena to see the Strictly Come Dancing Live! tour. It was so cheesy - and I loved every single minute of it! Kate Thornton's sparkly shoes, Len Goodman's risque comments, Craig's deadpan delivery, even Christopher Parker's dreadful Paso Doble! A coped manfully with it, we were on the back row right at the very top, so looking at the dance floor was a little like looking at a Subbuteo table, which provided A and I with much laughter, pretending to flick the dancers around the floor. However, it wasn't really his thing, since as he said, watchign it on the screen was no different from watching it on the telly at home, apart from the fact that he couldn't lie on the couch and drink beer.

However, as he pointed out, it was probably no different from two week ago when I was less than thrilled by Newcastle's performance against Bolton at St James'. The last time I had seen Newcastle play was not long after Keegen took over the post last time around, in the Spring of 1992. They played a blinder of a game against Swindon Town, beating them 3-1. This time, the football was dire.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I went, since the pre-match atmosphere was ecstatic, but 15 minutes into the game, the Toon Army just stopped singing, as they realised that King Kev may have arrived, but his magic wand had obviously got lost in transit. Never in all my time of watching football live (and remember, most live footballl I've seen has been either Macc Town languishing in lower divisions or small club football like Whitley Bay Town) have I seen such an appallingly lacklustre performance. I have never sat at a live sports event before and wished I'd bought my knitting.

Nuff said.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I am such a slacker...

About a month ago, Hansu awarded me this:

How nice is that?

The blurb that accompanies it states:

"Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration, and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

Of course, being me, I decided I needed to think hard about who I would award it to... and then didn't do anything about it!

So, here are the people I will be awarding it to:

Right back to Hansu, because I love seeing what she knits living in a climate that removes the option of wearing a hat and mittens;

Puikottelua, another Finnish knitter, who has the most inquisitive cat I've seen in a long time;

Krafty1, who always has somthing interesting on the needles;

AJ at iKnit.iPurl, who knits in a completely different climate;

The Lazyblog at Lazy Kate, who posts gorgeous pictures of fibre;

My friend L who blogs about her gorgeous daughter;

Snuffy at To Miss With Love, who is always thought-provoking;

Stomper Girl, who blogs about life (one day I might have one...);

ManiacMum, who always has a story to tell;

and the stalwart Mrs T, because crabby old bitches are indeed the bedrock of the nation and should be duly recognised.

After thinking I'd have problems finding 10, the problem is actually stopping... there are others I could have mentioned too...