Wednesday, February 20, 2008

150 miles from my stash

I'm BACK!!! I've just completed move number four (yes, that is since December) and am now living somewhere that has broadband, instead of with a dippy housemate who says we're getting broadband and then does nothing about it. And is totally anti-social. And just generally weird. And is completely and utterly clueless (she said, when I moved in, "oh the vacuum doesn't work very well". Well, it certainly worked a lot better once I'd put a new bag in it and cleaned the filter...). But enough of her, I've left there (although I haven't got the deposit back yet...) I'm now a lodger with a nice couple and a dog, 10 minutes walk from work. Yay. It's certainly improved life a lot. I'm amazed how much difference it's made just being in the same routine every day - yes, getting up at the same time every morning means that I wake up at the same time every day, instead of having to get up for work at anything between 5am and 8am. So I have LOADS of energy and I've been out most nights and every weekend AND to work every day (which, if you knew me IRL before you'd know used to be unusual ;-) ). Before anyone thinks I've suddenly acquired a wild party animal social life. I haven't. There is a lot more going on around here than there was in Newark - I found a wonderful church within 24 hours of arriving in Windsor, got sorted with a Guide company, a youth group and now a house group at the same time. Then I found a reading group, and there are lectures and drama and music on just about every night at work (oh, and a swimming pool). So, I haven't turned into a wild party animal, it's just been really really easy to find the sort of things I enjoy doing. Diane (who I met last year on Skip North, and of Inside Loop fame) invited me along to a spinning and knitting group too - which I really enjoyed and met some fab people. And there's another one on Saturday!

So, what's been going on (other than moving house several times and taking over the entire youth at church?). Well, inbetween packing and unpacking and loading and unloading some knitting has taken place. This might look like a lot, but bear in mind I haven't blogged properly since the end of November...

A Kureyon Kozy, made for my great-aunts for Christmas. I used Lang yarns Mille Colori, which is nice n' soft, has interesting colour combinations and also reasonably priced. These balls were from Heath's Country Store, purchased before I left Newark. The cozy was mostly knitted at the second place I lived in in Windsor, a flat at work which I occupied on my own for about 10 days just before Christmas.

This is another Matilda scarf (last year's default Christmas present). This one was for my Godmother for Christmas and used two balls of black Cashmerino Aran and 1.5 balls of Twilleys Freedom Spirit. I didn't actually finish this one until almost New Year but as I didn't see my Godmother until then that was OK!

A Big Digger jumper for Noah for Christmas. Mostly made with Patons Diploma Gold DK purchased at Get Knitted when I visited Bristol in September, along with a few other DK weights thrown in for good luck. Finished whilst the sprogs etc were all at church on Christmas Day. Oops.

Jaeger cable & rib jumper for me (this one I actually finished knitting months ago, then never got round to sewing together). I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out, and it's been worn to work several times already. The yarn is Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4ply, purchased in Edinburgh 18 months ago.

Yep, another Matilda scarf. This one was for my SIL, and knitted in three different locations in Windsor as I moved flats in December. This used Mirasol yarns Hacho (VERY nice!) and Lang Yarns Silk Dream, purchased at Spin a Yarn in Bovey Tracey in Devon, last September.

From a previous post a Loooooonnnng time ago, I had finished this jumper. Then I went to Dylan's christening (YAY I'm a Godmother again!) and realised that he was going to grow out of it within 30 seconds. So the jumper from that post got frogged and the whole thing was done again. Grrrrr. I knew it was a mistake congratulating myself on starting my Christmas knitting in such good time... Yep, this one got finished on Christmas Day too. The pattern is Ship Ahoy and the yarn finally used was King Cole Anti-Tickle merino DK.

I think that's all the knitting for now. I have got a few projects under way at the moment but they're packed so I'll get them out and photo them soon.

Meanwhile, Monkey made a new friend at Paddington station. I don't think he was intimidated by the size difference...

I revisited Royal Holloway (where I did my first degree) one weekend. It's only a few miles from Windsor, which is kind of bizarre, as I never imagined I'd be back living in the same area again. It has changed quite a bit, even though it's less than seven years since I left. The halls I lived in in my first year have been demolished and it's a lot smarter there now (well, that wouldn't be difficult, they were a bit of a dump.)

I've been enjoying walking and cycling along the Thames, and around Windsor Park.

This pic of the trees reflected in the water (isn't it still?!?!) was taken at Savill Garden, which is part of Windsor Park. I met up with Debbie (who I started Knit Lincs with threeish years ago, and who now also lives down here) and her husband and their dog and went for a walk round here one Saturday. It also has changed beyond all recognition since my student days.

Getting the bike down to Windsor was one of the more hair-raising times of my life. If you want a recipe for instant, total paranoia, try attaching a bike to the back of your car and then taking the whole lot down the A1 and onto the M25. You become more and more convinced the bike is about to fall off the further you drive...

And, no, I didn't deliberately set out to have a colour-coordinated bike, cycle carrier and car. It just happened that way.

There are some downsides. I'm still having to travel up to Newark for the weekend once a month as I still have my house there and the house insurance goes invalid if it's unoccupied for too long. The drive up after work on a Friday is a bit of a nightmare. This is the traffic in Slough as I attempt to leave... It took an hour to drive 2 miles. At the moment I'm still moving too much stuff around to do the Newark trip by train.

And I'm having a bit of a space crisis. I am a bit too used to having a 3 bedroom house all to myself, but there is a small (ahem) price differential between property prices in the East Midlands and down here, so I'm currently living in one bedroom as a lodger. Which is a bit over-stuffed and why my stash is 150 miles away:

Eeeek! I'm going to attempt to catch up with everyone's blogs. I haven't had proper internet access for months now, and Bloglines was telling me I had 1500 unread posts to get through. Then I pressed the wrong button and lost all of them anyway. So I'm starting from scratch...

That's it for now. I don't know when I'll post again as I've somehow managed to arrange seven weekends in a row away without realising it.

And this is my walk to work!