Saturday, August 18, 2012

Postcard swop

I've been doing a postcard swop via Ravelry. Two postcards of London (I couldn't find any Olympics ones, so just got London touristy ones) winged their way very quickly over the Atlantic to the US and Canada. And I've just received one myself from Long Island, which looks very summery. And it's from another librarian!

I got the Essential Cardigan finished. And I'm rather pleased with it. Not only does it fit (!), it's very comfy to wear, the yarn feels lovely and soft and it's actually smart enough to wear for work - which was my original aim. Now that I've blocked it it's ended up longer, with longer sleeves - I'd been aiming for 3/4 length, which is pretty much what's happened.

I did make buttonholes down one side but I haven't sewn any buttons on as I usually wear cardigans open like this so they'd never get used. I could always add some later if I feel like it!

Hooray, something I've made that I can actually wear (other than socks!).

Sunday, August 05, 2012


OK, so I really hadn't been looking forward to the Olympics. I'm not that keen on sport - being short-sighted, not very fast and a bit of a swot I was always one of the last to be picked for school teams. I revolutionised things by the time I got to sixth form by wearing my glasses to play games, at which point I realised I'd been seeing two balls instead of one whizzing towards me for the last however many years. Fortunately sixth form was much more sensible and we could go and do something more interesting than team games *shudder*, such as aerobics, or my preferred option - badminton. Otherwise known as spending Wednesday afternoons at the boys' school. Some enterprising people got letters from their parents that said they were going home to spend the afternoon cycling. Yeah right. And I seem to recall someone else going off to the golf course every Wednesday! Anyway, I like walking and I used to do loads of horse riding, but team sport leaves me cold.

The Olympics promised to cause chaos with my commute. I was expecting to have a 7 mile walk every day, such as the gloom and doom being put across about the way the London transport infrastructure was going to cope. I mean, they had a point, the trains are already at capacity at rush hour.

In the long build up pink signs were plastered over all of the stations:

As well as outdoors, to encourage people to walk between venues.

And Olympic lanes appeared on the road, reserved for use by Olympic traffic only. This was particularly annoying on the A30 between M25/J13 and Egham (the rowing and canoeing athletes were staying at Royal Holloway) as it reduced a busy dual carriageway to one lane.

And yet, it was great. As soon as the opening ceremony started everything got better. OK, I loved the opening ceremony. It was totally and utterly bonkers, but very British and managed to include loads of things that are great about this country. I don't often get patriotic (we avoided the Queen's jubilee by going out for the day!). Some of my colleagues danced in the opening ceremony (the call for volunteers went out at work last year and I was quite tempted, but my dancing is at about the same level as my sporting ability) and their descriptions of being involved in it are amazing. I'm not convinced about Paul McCartney's inclusion though. That was the one weird bit.

And I've had a whale of a time commuting. I've been working earlier every day, which means I've been home at 4.30 every afternoon. The trains have been an entertaining mixture of Very Serious Looking Commuters Wearing Pinstripe Suits and families off early to get into an Olympic venue. And me wearing my walking boots in case of the 7 mile walk. Which I never had to do, as my tube line was blissfully quiet - I even had a carriage to myself a few times. I acquired a second breakfast habit as soon as I got to work (oops). Even the early start wasn't too bad, and I was most amused to discover that there is life before the Today programme, namely Farming Today. I was very  disappointed that there wasn't more about sheep all week though, and far too many reports about barley, and a particularly dull morning all about a wood chip processing plant at Goole...

I've been knitting furiously away as I avoided going to lots of things in the evening for two weeks, as I knew I'd have to go to bed early in order to get up at 5.15, this created more time in the evening to do stuff! So I have two finished projects for my next post!

And on to the closing ceremony. Which promises to be less bonkers than the opening ceremony.

Garden at the beginning of August 2012

Thanks to Olympic commuting (more in another post) I am getting home from work in plenty of time to take pictures of the garden at the moment.

We've had so much rain the lawn is still extremely green and everything is looking lush (a bit too lush in some cases!).

 I've been having a sunflower growing competition via Facebook with a friend's little girl. Mine wasn't making much headway until the sun finally came out and gave us a week or so of hot weather, when it put on a spurt and shot past my head!

I'm impressed with this Eryngium, otherwise known as Sea Holly. It's the first time I've grown one, and it was on a list of plants/flowers-that-insects-love. It started out as a very small plant but has grown huge with exciting spiky flower things.

The Japanese Anenome we got last year is flowering a lot. It is so much bigger than it was last year.

The Crocosmia seems to have gone totally mad with all the wet weather and has spread all over the place. It is very pretty though!

 And the Echinacea we put in last year were too small to flower then, but they have flowered this year, and with loads of buds still to come! They're also proving very popular with the insects.