Saturday, May 24, 2008

Another meme

Memes seem to be doing the rounds again. This time I've been tagged by Grit and Michaela, so here goes:

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. Ten years ago

I was in the middle of my A Levels and had just split up with my boyfriend and was in a Bit Of A Mess. In fact I seem to recall spending most of the time sitting in various pubs with various school friends watching the World Cup, bursting into tears occasionally and not doing any revision. I had a place at Cambridge University to read History, which I wasn't sure I wanted, but as I'd got an offer from them I'd come under a lot of pressure from school to accept. As it turned out, splitting up with Edward meant I Really Cocked Up my A Levels, I didn't get the grades I needed for the offer, went to my insurance university (Royal Holloway) and had a whale of a time. Edward, being much more focussed than me, got his 5 A grades. The benefits of hindsight though, at the time it all seemed like such a mess...

2. Five things on today's "to do" list (in no particular order)

Nothing!!! I have escaped from Daisy the Disgusting Dog for the weekend and come into London for some nice n' civilised cat-sitting. So there's nothing I really have to be doing. What I should be doing is:
  • My chartership portfolio
  • Getting quotes from removal companies
  • Making lists of furniture and stuff and whether it's going to Lincoln or Slough
but that's not fun so instead I'm going to do some knitting and read the paper. And drink tea.

3. Snacks I enjoy

Almond croissants

4. Things I would do if I would be a billionaire

Work part-time (because I enjoy it but I want time to do other things). Buy a house with spare rooms (for people to stay over) and a garden to enjoy. Give some of it to charity (probably in developing countries?). Sponsor something cool (maybe Greenbelt?). Buy lots of yarn.

5. Places I have lived

These are places I've lived for more than 3 months:
(the last seven have been in the last 10 years!). Bit boring though, I've never "lived" outside this country, apart from a very short spell working in Adelboden.

People I want to know more about
This is tricky.... Ali (except she's just done it!), Sarah and Kath,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lopsided cake making and other things

So, I said in my previous post that I'd been doing some Sorting Out. I'm still not sure what I think about work, I am sure of what I think about where I'm living, so it seemed sensible to do something about that. I've found a one bedroom flat to rent, which is going to cost a disturbing amount of money each month (and that's before we get to the council tax...). The contract will be for at least six months, so I'm going to spend the six months trying to work out what I'm doing and why. And not buying yarn, books or anything but lentils so I can pay the rent.

I have Taken Some Action, as I'm aware of one time before when I had problems at work and problems where I was living (and the two were the same then) and ended up with depression, mainly because I felt so powerless and spent most of the time sitting around whinging and bursting into tears. Nobody took me seriously that time, so, although it was tempting just to sit around whinging this time, I arranged some meetings instead, got taken seriously and, even though the outcome wasn't totally what I wanted, at least I now have something to work with for a few months. I'm reading "The courage to connect: becoming all we can be" at the moment, which is about living deliberately, rather than by accident, and attempting to put some of that into practice.

And then I realised that I meant to post a book review or two from the books I took on holiday with me. This one is by Susan Kaye and is called "Frederick Wentworth, captain: None but you"

Yep, a tacky title. This is the first of two novels (the second is called "For you alone". Ick.) based on Austen's Persuasion, basically taking Captain Wentworth's point of view. Don't you just luurrrvve tacky Austen "sequels"?! This one at least read as though she'd done some research, although a few Americanisms did creep in and I doubt whether a woman of that class and period would have been on her own with a man in the woods, snogging. It's probably a bit overlong (bearing in mind that there's still the second book to go) as the author seemed to feel the need to fill in all the bits before Wentworth met Anne again. This first book only gets to the point when Louisa has gone splat after jumping off the Cobb. I'd recommend it as holiday reading, or if you want some amusement. Or if you're doing A Level English Lit and want to read something light and pretend its revision. (Or was it only me 10 years ago that read "I Claudius" pretending I was revising A Level Latin?). Disturbingly the one review of it on Amazon is by someone from Lincolnshire who gives it 4 stars...

I finally remembered to photograph (or rather, download from the camera) the Jaeger Aqua I bought in the Stash sale that sparked off the Chain of Events.

And I made a cake. This was for my boss's birthday and I teamed up with one of my colleague's to make a cake for her. It was Devil's Food Cake and was rather tasty. And of course it's normal to stir cake mixture with your eyes shut.

No knitting has been done since I went into London 10 days ago. Various things need finishing off and it's difficult to get it done when there's nowhere to sit that hasn't got a stinky dog near it. Nope the Daisy Dog still hasn't had a bath and now REEKS.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Book meme

I've been tagged by Diane, so this is what I'm meant to do:

The rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see.

The nearest book is "Building your portfolio: the CILIP guide" (believe me, you REALLY don't want to know).
P. 123: (there's only 2 sentences left so here they are): "I do not believe Revalidation should be compulsory; it is an award that should prove its value. However, I do think a visible recognition in the form of post-nominals would make the award more attractive".

That was life-changing, wasn't it?! I'm not tagging anyone as I think several people have already done it, but if you've got a spare five minutes and feel like doing it (and want to prove that you have more exciting books to hand than me) then go for it!!

Thanks for all the messages from my last post! I have been doing various things, including getting my job redefined (not that that was the problem) and finding a flat. The contract isn't signed yet, I'm in the middle of reference and credit checks (which is causing chaos as I'm currently using three different "home" addresses), but more on all that later.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Well, Saturday was good

Saturday was, in fact, ace. I disappeared off into London to meet up at Diane's with lots of lovely knitters and spinners (Alice, Ysolda, Ali, Grit, Jen and Michaela. Have I remembered everyone? Some of whom were dyeing things, but there's a pic on Diane's blog so you can see more there. We bought some food and had a picnic lunch in one of the parks and it was so nice to be hanging around with normal people instead of all the weirdos in Windsor who don't understand knitting (or reading, or radio 4, or anything else that makes life worthwhile...). Then on the way back I popped into Stash to get another ball of yarn for the Secret Thing I'm making (and I promise, I did only buy that one ball of yarn) and discovered Nickerjac there, so another knitter to have a chat with.

Flat hunting is not going well. I attempted to view one last week but the man who was meant to be letting me in never turned up so I hung around for 25 minutes ringing the doorbell and looking rather silly. The owner then decided he wasn't going to rent it out after all. Then I went off to Colnbrook at lunchtime today to view a studio flat (or rather, rabbit hutch) which was equally depressing. There was actually only room for a sofabed in the living/bedroom so the idea was that you sat on it in the day and then made it into a bed at night. Helloooo?! I get fed up with constructing/deconstructing sofabeds during a week's holiday, so goodness knows what it would be like to live like that all the time. Colnbrook is very pretty, but rather close to Heathrow (in an eeek-that-plane-is-about-to-land-on-that-house sort of way).

Meanwhile, my housemates have acquired another dog. Which, rather unfortunately, is called Daisy. Now, them what knows me know that Daisy is really my middle name, but I do occasionally use it IRL and I do answer to it. So when Daisy (the dog) does a poo on the floor, I'm the one that ends up responding to the scream of "Daaaaiiiissssyyyyyyy", even though I know perfectly well that it wasn't me that did the poo on the floor. And Daisy (the dog) bounces round the garden looking all innocent. Anyway, quite apart from the poo on the floor, I'm not too impressed with Daisy. She smells. Really really badly. So I need to find a flat asap.

I am having a bit of a "am I doing the right thing?" moment too. I based my decision to take the job and move down here on various things, some of which haven't really worked out and then some Stuff happened at work last week which Really Pissed Me Off so I am cogitating on whether I actually want to find a flat and stay down here, or whether I should re-commence job hunting. In fact, I have informally re-commenced job-hunting, as I read the job supplement every fortnight anyway. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how it all works out. Which part of the country should I move to next?! (knowing me it'll now be two years before any suitable jobs come up, but there you go, maybe Daisy will have stopped pooing on the floor by then!).

No knitting piccies I'm afraid this time. I'm in the middle of Something Secret, which I can't blog about, the bag can't go any further until I head North to find my sewing machine and I forgot to take a photo of the other stuff.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Troop movements

One of the more annoying aspects of life in Windsor is that random roads keep being closed for things like troop movements, presidents visiting and the Household Cavalry going for a good old march around. Today we had the Household Cavalry (including Prince Harry) marching around, plus hordes of tourists driving in to watch. Don't they know that SOME OF US WANT TO GET TO TESCOS TO DO OUR SHOPPING SO THAT WE CAN GET BACK HOME TO DO SOME KNITTING?!

Whilst on holiday I finally caught up with some podcast listening. I only got an ipod in January (and I'm still knitting Fiona thank you socks for it!) and October-November-move-preparation and December-February-lack-of-broadband meant I missed out on a lot of podcast updates. I've decided that, as with blog reading, I'm never going to catch up with the gap, so I'm just jumping in with fairly recent episodes.

Some seem to have disappeared but two of my favourites: Cast On and Lixie Knits It are still on the go. I was sad that KnitCast is having a break and BritKnitCast has finished, they were two I particularly enjoyed as well. Otherwise I've listened to a bit of Stash and Burn, which I enjoyed. The Continental seems to have stopped, although as both Kat and Sara have both just had babies I'm not surprised! Lime n Violet I'm still not sure about. I enjoyed the first few episodes, but now they seem quite long, and I seem to have trouble fitting in listening to something of that length, although it would be good for a long journey. Knitcast was the perfect length at about 15 minutes. I think there's a danger of podcasts getting too rambly unless there's a structure and some attempt to keep at a particular length.

I don't get much time to listen to them now, as living in lodgings means I tend to be subject to other people's taste in TV and radio in the living room, and I don't really want to spend more time than I have to lounging around in my (tiny) bedroom. And, lovely though it is only having a 10 minute walk to work, it does mean that I don't listen to anything on the way in, unlike when I had a 100+ mile drive! What I really need to find it a Thingy so that I can listen to the ipod through my car's stereo system. Then when I go travelling around at weekends I'll be able to listen to podcasts then. I'm in the middle of, ahem, exploring other accommodation options, as I'm beginning to think flatsharing was a bad idea, I'm a little too used to my own space these days and I have yet to find any potential flatmates who are interested in anything remotely resembling anything I'm interested in. Does nobody down here read books? Or listen to Radio 4?!?!

The episode of Cast On I listened to on holiday (episode 62 Heads Up) included an interview with Woolly Wormhead, which was fun, and reminded me that I haven't bought a copy of her book yet.

I got the crochet case finished that I started on the crochet workshop at GetKnitted back in March. Now I need to start something else quick so I don't forget how to crochet.

The entrelac bag is proceeding apace, the sides etc are now all knitted and sewn together

and the handle knitted and threaded through with the thickest cord I could find.

And now there will be a technical pause of a month until I next have use of my sewing machine so I can get the lining done. The sewing machine is in Newark (there's no table to use it on down here and nowhere to store it either). Hmm. I really need to find somewhere better to live...