Saturday, December 15, 2007

Drinking tea in Starbucks...

Two weeks in and I'm loving the new job. I seem to have met hordes of people (most of whose names I've promptly forgotten, but then there are 300+ staff here), been to the fantastic staff Christmas lunch - which was five courses, FREE(!!!) and full of bizarre toasts, Latin graces, copious quantities of Royal Doulton, speeches, cutlery in all directions and a slightly scary part where the new staff joining in the last year had to stand up in front of everyone else. There has also been an amazing candle lit carol service, which sent shivers down my spine. And it's SO nice to be somewhere again with a proper choir that can Sing In Tune (with each other AND the organ). And we had a Girl Power lunch at work (this is a bit of a male dominated institution). It wasn't actually called the Girl Power lunch, it was something like the "Ladies Lunch", but that sounded a little too sedate to me and my colleague so we re-christened it. It was very civilised - lots of "nibbles" to eat and two people had brought their dogs along, including an enormous standard poodle with pony-tails, called Mr Darcy!

And I have been doing work inbetween all of that too! Work is really fab. Have you ever got to that stage when you start a new job (or whatever) and found that it's got a real "zing" about it, and you bounce around and have loads of ideas? It's like that - it doesn't feel like going to work, and it's definitely not a problem getting up in the morning for it! ;-)

It has helped that in the first week I walked 25 miles. The place I was staying then was 2 miles from work, so a 4 mile round trip every day soon added up! And it was so much better than all the driving I was doing in my previous existence. I arrived at work actually awake and ready to go, instead of in a foul mood whinging about traffic congestion. OK, it did rain on 3 days, so I arrived a bit soggy, but that was OK as I got changed when I arrived.

Accommodation is still entertaining. I stayed in the first place for a week, but was slowly going insane with the nutty woman who was letting her room out (and who had failed to both empty her wardrobes or provide a bed). So work came up with a guest flat on-site, which is where I've been for a week now. Hopefully I should be moving into a flatshare next week, just before I go back to Newark for Christmas. The guest flat doesn't have an external phone line or wi-fi so internet access has been a little curtailed. Which is why I'm blogging in Starbucks. (Yes, I know Starbucks is Evil, Capitalistic, and a Sign of All That Is Wrong With the World, but it's the only place I could find with wi-fi).

Knitting is coming along - I still have one jumper and half a scarf to do before Christmas but am going to hand them over with IOUs I think. I think the camera cable must still be in Newark, I definitely haven't found it here and as I've now moved twice and packed everything up both times I haven't found it!

If I don't get a chance to blog again before Christmas - have a happy, festive, peaceful time!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Back down South

I moved yesterday. I am still recovering from the trauma of letting Monkey map read. Which probably wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't forgotten to pack the fruit bowl. Halfway down the A1 I remembered, he realised there were no bananas around and promptly went on strike. We got VERY lost, and also encountered rather a lot of roadworks, accidents, accidents in the middle of roadworks, tractors and other interesting road hold ups. I did locate some bananas at the services on the M1, but I am not paying 79p for one tiny measly banana (even for Monkey). Anyway, it meant that a 150 mile journey ended up taking six (?!?!?) hours, and my brainwave of arriving in daylight went completely to pot - yes, we ended up navigating the suburbs of London in the dark, in the Friday night rush hour and in pouring rain. Thank you Monkey. Still the Hemel Hempstead Christmas lights (which we drove round twice) were very pretty...

I also haven't the faintest idea where my camera cable is (probably still in Newark, or possibly in Lincoln, as I have no recollection of packing it), so this will be a pictureless post. We're currently living in temporary accommodation in Windsor, following the fun and excitement of flat hunting. Thank you for all the good wishes from my last post, when I had a cold and Monkey had flu (to whoever asked - yes, Monkey Flu is a LOT worse than Bloke Flu). I recovered pretty quickly but Monkey took forever...

The temporary accommodation is very smart. A bit too smart as I've been having problems with getting myself (and the car) through the various door and gate entry systems. I seem to have managed to get myself in now several times but the car ended up spending half of today parked on the road outside after I got back from the supermarket and got befuddled by which buttons to press. The owner of the flat I'm staying in also has more gadgets than I've used to. So far I've completely failed to work out how the DVD player works, and she has a Sky thingy which I've never encountered before and which is also a bit intimidating. In the end I just plugged in the radio I'd brought with me and put Radio 4 on. And don't get me started on the shower controls. Thank God Monkey doesn't do showers, else we'd be thrown out by now!

Knitting - well, it's a bit difficult without pictures, but one Matilda scarf is finished, another one is part way through. A Kureyon Kozy is halfway too (these are all Christmas presents) and I still have 1.5 children's jumpers to go before Christmas. Eeeek.

Anyway, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll rediscover the camera cable and be able to post some pics sometime!

And remember, if you're going on a long journey DO NOT forget to pack the fruit bowl!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Flat hunting

is not going well. Mainly because I have a really stonking cold (Anne is very good at blogging with a cold, I can't make the words come out right, but she manages to spell them so they sound like you have a really stonking blocked up bright red nose). I think I also have an image problem. There are a few too many stereotypes attached to being a knitting Christian librarian, or a librarian who knits and also happens to be a Christian, or a Christian librarian knitter. Typical conversations with potential flatmates go something like this:
PF: And what do you do?
Me: I'm a librarian.
[slight pause]
PF: This isn't a quiet household, you know.

Since when has a librarian been QUIET?!?!?!? Grrrr. I have only viewed one place so far, on my first night in London, just before the cold turned up. It was TINY. As in cupboard-size, with just about enough room for a single bed and a tiny wardrobe but no room for anything else at all, including Monkeys.

Monkey also has the cold (although he thinks it's flu). We're both in London for the week to catsit Gypsy and to do some flat hunting.

Gypsy doesn't have the cold and still thinks she should be fed on time, despite the fact that Monkey and I both have it. I had to cancel yesterday's flat viewings, after coming over all wappy on the Hammersmith & City en route to Paddington. It is getting slightly worrying, as I want to move house in 10 days' time and so far have only viewed one place...

There seems to be mountains of stuff to do before that. I've finished working on-site, but I still have some work to do, plus a lot of paperwork to finish off for various things. Plus all the boring nitty gritty life things that I want to get finished before I start the job - so far the car has been serviced and I've been to the nurse for my check up, but there is still the boiler to be serviced and the dentist to get to and the last few things to finish off in the house in Newark - curtains, and bookshelves. Oh, and my washing machine (with a perfect sense of timing) packed up last week. If it had lasted three weeks more I wouldn't have needed to use it. Fortunately I was heading over to Mum's for the night to see the nephew sprogs, just before coming down to London, so I took three loads of washing with me.

Dylan (on the left) is now wearing the jumper I knitted for Noah's first birthday/Christmas. I'm really impressed with how it's wearing. It's Regia 6ply Crazy Color, and it doesn't seem to have bobbled or pilled at all, despite being washed upteen times. I think I'd do a sprog jumper in sock yarn again as it seems to wear better than ordinary machine washable yarn.
I also suspect the cold came from these two, as I had to take the car out in the middle of the night to the midnight pharmacy to get Nurofen for Kids for Dylan!

Monkey's cold (sorry, "flu") must have come from this lot:

Yes, the nephew sprogs have monkeys too now... The large hairy specimen with the big grin on the right (surely that's a gorilla?) is from the Eden Project, where Dylan fell in love with him two weeks' ago.

Knitting is going slowly, I'm not sure if I'm going to get the Christmas stuff done as I seem to be running short of time as usual. I did get a mobile phone sock finished for James though:

I found the pencil button at Boyes. Isn't it cool?!
I think that's it for now. I was hoping to go to the Stitch n Bitch Day in London tomorrow and meet up with a few people but I'm not sure if I'll make it now (and I don't want every knitter in London to end up with the cold too), as I've had to re-arrange some flat viewings for this weekend. Obviously it's OK to pass cold germs onto potential flatmates. ;-) Here's hoping that these rooms won't be as tiny...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good heavens

I've written another blog post! Don't faint with the shock! I think blogging is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment, not only because of lack of time, but also things like Ravelry and Facebook, which also seem to take some of the purpose away from blogging. I'm finding them both mildly (!) addictive, but also less time-consuming than blogging.

And I have been doing exciting things, like getting a new job! I'm due to start it at the beginning of December so that means finding somewhere to live and saying goodbye to Knit Lincs, Guides, the village church and my reading group. I will be moving vaguely in the vicinity of here:

Yes, it's Windsor Castle, but no, I won't actually be living or working there! It's just sort of vaguely nearby and it seemed a bit better than finding a photo of Slough, which, for some reason, makes me think of slugs... And the whole area seems to be lacking in yarn shops. But, hopefully, I will be able to achieve my main ambition of the moment which involves being able to walk or cycle to work again! No more epic car journeys across the country (well, until I decide to go and check on my house that is!).

I've had a friend to stay for the weekend and we did some walking in Sherwood Forest (no sign of Robin Hood) and Clumber Park:

And I have been doing some knitting. Christmas stuff is well underway:

This is for Dylan, the Ship Ahoy jumper by Zoe Mellor, made with mainly Lang Yarns Merino, which is yummy and squishy and nice and not too-ridiculously-expensive. This lot was from Spin a Yarn in Bovey Tracey in Devon.

I added some extra fish on the back.

And baby bootees for a friend's baby. The yarn is some leftover Regia Stretch Colour 4ply, originally bought at Sew Creative in Cambridge.

And books. Well, I'm ploughing through Little Dorrit, which was for my last reading group meeting (last week) but I'm still only a third of the way through. I'm going for the long-term reading option, I think. And I still have a pile of books bought at Greenbelt to read, and I also know I haven't written a post about Greenbelt yet either. Oops...

Oh, and I went to see the Terracotta Warriors one day when I had a lunch meeting in London and a free afternoon. It's pretty cool, they have amazing faces, all with different expressions and hair styles! I just wish I knew more about the history of that part of the world, my knowledge is almost entirely limited to the Western world and I came away with an overwhelming impression of how little I know.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I think I'm going mad

Right, so I made a to-do list for today(Thursday) on Sunday night, just before leaving for work. Got home from work last night, looked at the list and thought "Who is Nigel?" and "Why do I need to ring him?".

And I still can't remember now!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Maybe it's time for another post

When I went on a summer blog break I wasn't sure if or when I'd be back. I thought I would be back, but possibly not. Anyway, I am going to carry on blogging, just in a slightly sporadic fashion, as there is waaaaaaay too much else going on at the moment to commit to something regular. (and, I know, I always did blog in a slightly sporadic fashion. Just now it's official, OK?!)

I've been making Big Life-changing Decisions, but they're not for public consumption yet, so I'll leave you guessing.

In the meantime, I've been up to a few things since I last posted properly. I've done the usual zipping around the countryside, I think I ended up working in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Norfolk this time, plus a week on a course in London, during which I had a whale of a time catching up with friends in the evenings.
(View from one friend's flat in Docklands)

I knitted some socks for me whilst I was there.

and gave another pair to Jenny, with whom I was staying.

and visited Rachel and Mark's twins, Alexander and Joseph

and their new baby, Luke.
and the knitting I did for them:

Then I went on holiday, which also involved zipping around the countryside, only a bit further this time, as I went to Greenbelt, on Cheltenham race course, along with my brother's family, some friends from my first degree, some more from Guides and a couple from school days.

then on to stay with Persephone and Esme and their humans in Bristol,

and then Morris and Minor and their humans near Exeter.

And then home via Stratford-upon-Avon and a friend's house in Solihull.

Oh, and I managed to fit in five yarn shops in four days, which I thought was pretty good going. I want to do a separate post about Greenbelt, cos it was totally fab, and now I'm all fed up as it's over, but that'll be a looooooonnnnngggg post, so I thought I'd post some piccies of FOs from over the summer, just to prove that I do knit as well as drive (although not at the same time).

The good thing about taking a car on holiday (yes, I know I could have gone on the train, and that taking the car, especially with only me in it, was a bit extravagant, and a sign that I'm becoming worryingly grown up, as this is the first time I've been to a festival and taken a washing up bowl) is that there' s plenty of room to stuff knitting into every possible crevice, and then buy more yarn on your travels.

Convenient knitting bag resting point on top of the tent in the car's boot.

And yarn purchases beginning to pile up on the back seat.

Picovoli was knitted at Greenbelt, plus a bit beforehand and afterwards. I'm really pleased with the way it fits and it was a very satisfying knit (and it's so cool being able to try it on as you go!). I used DB Cathay, which I had in a swop with Claire.

This is a section of lawn. Yes, I did say lawn, which was knitted during talks at Greenbelt as it was pretty mindless. It's off to join the rest of the lawn, alongside the knitted shed, at the Sleaford Arts Festival.

And a (very short) Matilda scarf, using up leftovers of Kureyon and Sirdar Snuggly Aran. This was knitted in other bits at Greenbelt.

And bought the yarn for the Ship Ahoy jumper for Dylan's Christmas present at Spin a Yarn in Bovey Tracey, then cast on somewhere along the way on the way home.

And that's it for now. There will be a proper Greenbelt post sometime, plus other stuff. And I might have some news soon (hopefully!)... But in the meantime I'm in London most of next week, and Wakefield most of the next so I'll post, erm, sometime...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Anyone going to Greenbelt?

I'm not really posting. I'm on my summer blog break. But if anyone's going to Greenbelt - there's a Real Proper Official Knitting Circle listed in the programme for the first time!!

HERE: It's in the Angel Lounge at 11am on Monday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer break

Well, I've seen various other people go on a Summer break from blogging and I've decided to join them! The next couple of months are a bit mad (and you thought June was busy?! ;-) ) so I'm going to take a break until I've got more time (and it's not sunny outside!). I am still reading blogs when I get the chance, but don't worry if I haven't commented, time's a bit short at the mo!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Knit & fight the black dog

I saw this on Woolly Wormhead's blog and thought it was an excellent idea:

So, anyone who's ever suffered from depression or knows someone who has (IS there anyone out there who doesn't?!), do click on this link if you'd like to find out more.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Alex has made me a fab Ravelry button! Isn't it cool?!
Thank you!

The Bookcase Meme

So I saw this on someone's blog months ago and thought it was a good idea, took the pics, then didn't get any further! The idea is that you go round the house/flat/hovel/room, take pictures of the places where you keep your books and, er, talk about it! I think. I can't actually find the original blog I saw it on now...

So, I'm going to start off downstairs, in the living room. This is a Billy bookcase from IKEA, put together with much swearing by me wielding an electric screwdriver (very scary) and attached to the wall by some blokes from "Hire a Hubby" after I proved to be completely incapable with a drill (especially when On The Blob). It is now at 90 degrees to the wall, but not the floor - this is what happens when you live in an Edwardian house. There was also meant to be a glass door on the middle bit, but due to the general wonkiness of everything it can't go on! In the little one to the left are knitting patterns printed off the internet, plus some knitting magazines. The rest of the shelves are full of my novel/fiction collection and are mostly double-stacked with the stuff I read as a kid behind. I did have a clear out when I moved and about a third of my novels went on Green Metropolis, this is what's left! I've interpreted "fiction" fairly broadly, as anything that's not factual (ha!) so there's all sorts of random stuff on here, from Bridget Jones, to Harry Potter in Latin, via the Illiad...

Then onto the dining room, where there's a big tall thingy (from IKEA but actually belonging to my brother) holding all my CDs and a collapsible bookcase from John Lewis. It's nice and practical (it's now lived in 3 houses) as it collapses but it weighs a TON! Books on here are:
Top shelf - recipe books and general books about food.
Middle shelf - knitting books, plus a few about sewing.
Bottom shelf - DIY guides, gardening stuff, maps of local area...
The bookends are horses carved from wood from Windsor Great Park (near where I was at university first time round) and were a 21st present.

But most of my books are upstairs in my study. This is my desk (which was my brother's when he was at school!) where I work from home some days and where I'm writing this now. The shelf above the desk has reference resources for work, plus books that are useful (for work) - atlases, dictionary, Latin, French and Greek dictionaries & grammar, thesaurus. UKMARC guide (you don't want to know), Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (you really don't want to know) and books with titles like: "A primer of ecclesiastical Latin" and "Provenance research in book history". And moving swiftly on...

Across from the desk is a bookcase my godmother no longer needed so I requisitioned. It's got my Ordnance Survey maps on, guides to various long-distance paths, random books about hobbies, a few Bibles, Book of Common Prayer, my theology/philosophy books that are small enough to fit on here and a few more Greek/Latin resources, plus some stuff about youth hostels. Yes. This is the Dumping Ground bookcase!

Then next to my desk there's a bookcase constructed by my Mum when she was a teenager (!), which has books from my first degree and MA on it, plus journals I subscribe to now (Library History, The Library, some boring stuff from CILIP) and journals I used to subscribe to (Britannia). Plus theology and philosophy books that were too big to fit on the other bookcase! Oh, and the "Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland" which is my most expensive book purchase ever!

And then I have plans to put another bookcase in this gap on my upstairs landing. It's 2cm too small for another Billy, but I think I've found another one as the other bookcases are getting rather full and I still have piles of books left to move into the house...

So, where do you keep your books?

Saturday, June 30, 2007


was a bit of a mad month...

I went down to London for John's (an ex-housemate) ordination as priest... (note we had SUN then!). This is with Frances, another ex-housemate. Current ex-housemate totals now run at: 2 ordained, 1 married to curate, 1 in training for ordination and 2 potential ordinands. Living with me has an interesting effect on people?!

And I went to the British Library's "Sacred" exhibition - very very interesting. I didn't really get enough time there so I'm going to go back next time I'm in London.

Then I went over to North Norfolk to do some work. And went walkies in the woods at lunchtime to photograph some rhododendrons.

It was still sunny then...

Knit Lincs had a very noisy meeting at the Drill Hall that coincided with the Beer Festival (I think this was actually in May, but I'm losing my grasp on basic things like space and time).

I went on holiday to the Lake District with these two (plus their parents and my Mum). Who may look cute and innocent, but get up way too early every morning and make their Auntie's life a misery.

It rained in the Lake District. A lot. This is Whinlatter Forest Centre.

And a view of Derwentwater from the cottage. Look at those clouds!

Oh, and they have rhododendrons there too! ;-)

I got a pair of socks knitted for the friend I'll be staying with in London for a week in July. The yarn is Sirdar Town and Country, pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.

And went to the knitting group at the wonderful Bluebell bookshop (scroll down a bit for the link) in Penrith.

Something ate my cauliflowers.

Then I went over to Manchester Cathedral for a conference. Manchester has changed a lot - I last went into this part of the centre immediately after the terrorist bomb in 1996 and it has changed almost beyond recognition.

I also visited the fairly newly reopened John Rylands library - again, changed beyond all recognition. It's well worth a visit - they have some good exhibitions on and you can now get a cup of tea!

Then I zipped up to Yorkshire to do some more work.

And found some more rhododendrons.

It rained a lot more. My plants liked it. Fortunately I didn't get nearly as much rain here as some other people - Blueadt, Webbo and Iris have had an awful time (and doubtless many more knitters).

And I finished a pair of toddler socks for one of a friend's twins.

And I got a mention on Sara and Kat's podcast, The Continental!