3 hours

.. is how much sleep I’m going to get tonight as our taxi is coming at 4am!

(advance apologies to Foo and Sarah if I forget to reset alarm!)

See you in two weeks and see some of you even sooner!

Trying to beat up the germs with excitement

I still feel like someone has mashed up my insides but I did manage to stop worrying about all the stuff I need to do before we go (I have my passport and clean clothes) and settle down on Cherry for a nap this morning. I went out to the shop again and was so weak that I scraped the idea of walking round the green for the moment. I really don’t feel like going back to work tomorrow and seeing the doc again but I know that I really should because I have loads of things that I must do before I go away. I’m also half-afraid the doc might say I’m unfit to travel – nooooooooooo!

I am going to try and take it easy as much as possible before I go – sorry pao you’ve got to do all the cleaning 🙁 An advance apology to Foo and Sarah if we don’t manage to hoover – I wanted to, I really did as there is quite a cat hair collection in the lounge at the moment.

I’m looking forward to New York as the first thing I’m going to try and do is go to Jin Soon in Greenwich Village (round the corner from Bleecker Street and John’s Pizzeria (pao: you are safe – they do a pizza base without cheese) and near to two nice sounding yarn shops – The Point and Purl) for a pedicure. Bizarrely, even though it looks expensive, it is no more expensive than the place I go to over here and it looks very relaxing which is what I need. I’m not sure to go for Milk and Honey or the Beeswax pedicure – they both sound lush.

A couple of quick thank yous before I go (just in case I don’t have time to blog on Weds and Thurs): Obsidian Kitten has sent me some wonderful sounding places to try out in New York (John’s Pizzeria being one of them and a very very scrummy looking BBQ place called Virgil’s) and Dave Daniels has pointed me at some great looking yarn shops and a seafood place in Cambridge. Thank you also to Jeanne, Chris, and Eileen for organising days we’re going to be in Minnesota – I’m really looking forward to meeting you, all! I’m also looking forward to meeting up with Sarah and the gorgeous Murph – we’ll defintely work out how when I get to Boston.

Cherry red joyfulness


This is our new (to us) sofa. It was a bit of a leap of faith as we hadn’t got a clue what it looked like before pao hired a van, organised the lovely Foo and Sarah to help, shipped me off to my convalescent home from home and brought it home. I told myself that if it was ugly, I’d be making a rather large afghan to cover it up 🙂 It is amazingly comfortable and pao and I can both lie at each end of the sofa each. Ariel has taken an instant liking to the sofa but she disappeared when I was taking photos of it. It is huge but lovely and fortunately it goes will most of the rest of our furniture and curtains! Thank you very much to the lovely couple who gave it to us and their daughter for mentioning it – you’re all great! Also, a huge huge thank you to Foo and Sarah for helping us move it. I spent quite a bit of time lying on it today with cats various draped across me trying to recuperate. I’m still exhausted – I went to the shop which isn’t far (e.g. less than a minute away) and came back exhausted. Tomorrow I’m going to force myself out on a little walk to build up my stamina for going back on Wednesday.

I’ve been reading some of my old diaries this afternoon after being inspired by Tink and her teenage angst recently. I don’t have any of my old Garfield diaries of my school days still (I was very much into Garfield then) but I do have some diaries of when I was on my year out in Italy just a few months after my mum died. I had met and started dating a really horrible guy (yes, no self-respect at that point) and reading about how I felt about him despite his horridness made me feel sad because he was a rotter. I was struck most that I seemed to be quite articulate and how much my writing style seems to have changed since I’ve had to write technical reports etc. I used to be more prosaic in how I wrote and more descriptive whereas now I tend to get write the bare minimum. It did make me consider writing a travel journal for my trip – yep, actual writing rather than typing into a blog especially since I probably won’t be able to blog for just over two weeks. I am quite pragmatic – I must have spent hours and hours writing those diary entries so I know I probably won’t have the time to do all that much writing but we’ll see.

I can’t believe we are only a few days away now. I checked the airport website and it said we have to be there at 5.30am so that meant a change to our taxi booking. We are now leaving at 4am – so earlier to bed on Thursday night – I’d better do all my working late on Wednesday (how on earth I will fit in the last week’s work into two days, I’m not sure about but I will have to rethink my schedule on Weds and Thurs) into have tos rather than would like to have dones. I have a week between coming back and Fresher’s week so it will be a bit of rush both personally and professionally as I’m starting my MA that week.

A secret revealed

Only three people knew about this knitting project and I had planned to leave it in the house for the recipient next week but as we saw her tonight, I thought it was the perfect time to give it to her 🙂 Yes, it is another Birch – I saw that she liked the pink one I’d knitted and conspired with her husband and pao to come up with the colour. I like the petrol blue of this one so much I think I might make something in that colour.

I’ve cast on my holiday projects – two pairs of socks. One is Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Thunderhead colourway – I think that is going to be in Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. The second is the Touch Yarns purple, lilac and green coloured merino 4 ply I got at Ally Pally last year which are destined for garter rib socks. I wanted something easy to knit whilst out. I don’t know if two pairs will be enough but I figure I’ll be sightseeing a lot of the time so I won’t have huge amounts of knitting time.

I just have to find my passport now, get packed and I’m all ready to go. Friday evening – we’ll be in New York!!

PS We’ve been given the most awesome leather sofa – it is huge!

Back home again

My friend’s op went really well and as she managed to get upstairs for the first time since the op, I came home again last night. I was there a bit longer than she thought but it was good for me as the doctor noticed some viral markers on my blood test and signed me off sick for a week so I could try and recover before she repeated the test. Staying at home, would have meant me worrying about all sorts of things I ought to have been doing so rather than getting lots of glorious sleep. I feel quite at home there because I used to lodge with that friend and I was sleeping in my old room. I did loads today just because I was a bit worried about not getting everything organised before I went so I’m going for a visit tomorrow afternoon.

My friend has got two very lovely pussy cats.
Tabatha, who she got when I still lived there. Her personality has changed a lot since I first met her – she is the more people-friendly one when she used to be quite skittish and not like people too much.

Charlie is a very handsome chap however he wasn’t popular because he came in with some trophies during the night which he ate noisily in the corner. My poor friend had to sleep downstairs on a camp bed for the first two nights so she had to put up with his presents. He has quite a high-pitched meow for a boy and when he comes in triumphantly he meows very loudly.

I had some time over the last few days to finish off the Child’s French Sock. I thought I had run out of yarn and was getting ready to post off a sample to Kerrie from HipKnits to match up for me when I found a huge ball of that yarn which must have gotten separated from the smaller balls I was knitting from. It must be the second longest sock project that I’ve worked on having started it in May when we were in Montenegro to find that I hadn’t taken the right needles with me. I then had to unpick most of the first one because it looked wonky and the heel was wrong. Finally, I managed to get into the rhythm of the pattern and it was easier from there. I liked the pattern but it took me quite a while to remember so I’m going to knit something simple next like some ribbed socks as they took me ages to knit and I really had to concentrate. As my next pair will probably be coming to the US on holiday with me, I need to find something easy I can knock out quickly in either Mountain Colors Bearfoot or Touch Yarns Merino 4 ply.

French sock unravelled

I thought I was doing well with the Child’s French Sock but I was wrong.

It looked a bit bumpy and the heel didn’t look like the picture in the book so I unravelled.

A lot.

Thankfully, there was much knitting done at Typostock so I’ve now finished the first one bar the kitchenering and am almost a third of the way through the second.

I managed to get a bit of last minute shopping done tonight and I think I’ve got almost everything we need for our trip. It’s only 10 days until we’re arriving in NYC! 🙂 I can’t wait! I’ve just got to start packing and get laundry etc done now. On Saturday, we’re picking up a pre-loved sofa which someone is giving us – we’re not completely sure if we have enough people to help us move it yet because it is supposed to be very big!! We must be mad trying to organise a sofa move a few days before we’re due to go on our big trip that’s just us!

I had a bit of a strange one today because I’ve been worrying about the fact I told someone the truth about something and consequently got someone else in trouble for lying and hiding the truth. I feel a bit weird because it probably wasn’t my place to say something in the first place but I just couldn’t bear hearing that person labouring under a misapprehension. I also had to do something unpleasant which involved telling the truth. I’m a bit like that tangled yarn – all complicated! Yes, pao I am still slightly worried about it even though I knew it was right to tell the truth, however unpleasant! Sometimes I wish I was a cat and just had to concern myself with food, sleep and washing! Someone suggested that I was going to be like a plumb line but if I end up feeling like this, it is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do!

I’m off to my friend’s house tomorrow so I probably won’t be blogging. Fingers crossed her surgery goes ok.

Typostock :)

A couple of weeks ago, we hopped in the car and went to sunny Croydonville to chez Typo for a tapas party. It was excellent fun and nice to relax in the garden chatting to people I don’t normally chat to that often and listening to Mark and Adam playing along in the background. If we hadn’t had to have left, I could have happily sat there for hours and hours. 🙂

Adam made some very mean albondigas; Jonathan made wonderful tortilla and foil melting paella and typo’s empanadas were truly excellent! typo’s friend Sue made the most amazing chocolate cake which had a gingery base – rather nice! We ended up with a very nice doggy bag as we were going home.

All the best parties have cats 🙂

I’m totally in love with Fat George.

Violet is such a pretty cat.

Tiptoes is a gorgeous geriatric.

Anyway, here are some photos from Typostock 2007 (I haven’t created a folder yet because I’ve not organised a Pro Account yet but I will). Thank you, Typo 🙂 We’re looking forward to next year!!

A wheely exciting arrival!

Alicia sent some lovely spinning goodies so pao decided it was time we ordered a wheel especially since I had been given a copy the book. Thank you ever so much, Alicia!!

I was moving some PCs from one place to another on Friday when I discovered a big box in the car – my wheel had arrived! pao had ordered an Ashford Traveller with a double treadle.

We had some keen cat assistance when it came to opening the box up!

There was a bit of fibre I asked for so I could try it out a bit and a nostepinne which will replace the pen that I use for winding the wool round! pao also got a maintenance kit and oil.

There is even a photo of the person who packed it – isn’t that neat?

It is still in the box at the moment because I have only just spoken to my spinning teacher this evening about what the wheel should be finished with. She has recommended Danish oil so we are going to use that because it seems that no one sells the Ashford wax here. Lucky that pao bought some Danish oil on Saturday when we were at the DIY place.

A very very big thank you to pao – you will now be known as the spinning wheel pusher…

My blogging is a bit patchy at the moment because I’m washing those stinky fleeces whilst we have sunny weather and they do require a lot of washing! Also, I’m getting the garden ready for our holiday – most of our crops will be ready whilst we are away so Foo and Sarah will be well fed! pao has partially installed an irrigation system but it is not completely finished. There is all the last minute shopping, printing stuff out, currency etc. I’m definitely not going to be around on Wednesday as I’m staying with a friend who will be having an op and needs to have someone else at home with her for the first 24 hours. I have so many photos to look at and resize as well – typo organised a very chilled tapas party last weekend and I still have to post my photos on Flickr.

We took pao’s grandmother out for lunch today and had to come home for a sleep as all the food had made us very sleepy indeed!!! I am off to bed now as I have to be at the station in the morning to go to another site – not something I normally organise for a Monday but I don’t have many more days to choose from before I go!

Here is the filthy fleece drying out before I started to skirt and wash it properly. If you click on the photo, you might be able to see Phoebe.


Is it Wednesday already?

Here are the crops from last month – they were quite Project Spectrumesque.

That links nicely to this month’s colours purple, brown and orange. As purple is one of my top favourite colours, I’ve already been looking round for purples.

Here are a few from my garden 🙂

A lovely clematis.

A hebe.

I think this is a vinca but I’m not sure.

We’ve been mega-busy over the last few days: only two weeks and a day tomorrow til we fly! We have been so touched and excited by all the plans that those lovely Minnesotans have been making.

On Friday, we picked up four black fleeces. Quite frankly, they stink so when the baby bath we swopped for a washing machine arrived on Sunday; the worst one was in for the wash first. Four washes later – it still has a mild stink but it isn’t quite as bad as it was. It just turns my stomach to think I have three more of those to wash. I think they smelt so terrible because they were quite wet when we got them and they had been done up in a plastic bag. I think we’ll have to buy another trug because I want to get them all washed and dried before we go and I don’t want to hang around with the washing part!! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fleece but these particular ones are horrible. Luckily the water was only a slight shade of brown last night – I’ve not felt brave enough to look tonight!

I do have some photos of them but they are on my camera still so they will have to be seen another day. I went to hospital with pao today to find out about his next op. It was only when I sat listening to the Orthoptist that I had a clearer idea about what his ‘normal’ vision is like and it is weird! He can get both eyes to operate independently – I bet some people would pay money to have something so incredible like that. He does say it is annoying and he would like to be able to see stuff together but I did find it a bit scary that surgery could cause him to have double vision forever more and he might find he doesn’t like the unified vision because his brain has coped with the other stuff for the rest of his life. So the doctor has decided to inject his eye with something which will temporarily tighten his muscles so he could try unified before he decides on having the op – yes, folks, pao is having botox. They were going to do it today but I pointed out that if there were any side effects or bad stuff likely to happen, I’d rather we weren’t about to go to the US on holiday otherwise I’d have to make sure I took a supercharged credit card to cope with the medical bill. As it is, I made pao book our travel insurance last night – just in case.

It is quite ironic though – pao doesn’t even have any frown lines on his forehead because apparently the botox would have sorted those out temporarily. I do find it a bit odd though because he will look different if both eyes are pointing in the same direction and I’m so used to the wonkiness it will be a bit of a shock!

A big internet hug to everyone I know

I woke up quite early this morning and was sitting downstairs minding my own business when pao came down after he heard the radio news to say that a bridge had collapsed in Minneapolis. My first thoughts were for my lovely friends Chris, Jeanne and Eileen and their families. Thankfully Chris posted a blog posting to say that she and Jeanne were ok and I heard from Eileen later in the morning. Eileen’s husband, The Pirate, has to cycle under that bridge to get to and from work so it was such a blessing that he wasn’t caught up in all of it. My thoughts and prayers are with all those families who have lost someone.

So today I’m sending out a great big hug to everyone I know even if we’ve never met in person – I still think you’re all awesome and I’m sending you my warmest thoughts and wishes. More than ever now, I am so pleased that we’re going to see my lovely friends Chris, Jeanne, Eileen and Sarah in just over three weeks time.

Now you go and hug someone you cherish!