Saturday, October 30, 2010
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Following closely on it's heels is : Debbie Bliss Coastlines Collared Cardigan. Don't be fooled - it is not a baby's matinee jacket, which is what it reminds me of. This is not finished. I don't like the way the collar lies - if you so I am going to add more length.
Ok, that's it - MUST go and do something with the attic if I hope to do any sewing this year.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The yarn is from none other than Old Maiden Aunt, friend and dyer extrordinaire. We managed to catch up when I was back in the UK last week and as I had forgotten my knitting, I just had to buy another skein of her yarn :0)
And after that brief foray back in to the land of blogging-with-pictures, I'm off to tidy - my dear boy arrives tomorrow for a visit :0) :0) :0) :0) :0)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I don't know if I will use Cathay . I like the yarn but it just splits too easily. I think it will catch too easily and I expect my knitwear to be real workhorses!
Hope to get the software downloaded soon so that I can show you some proof ;0)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
But there is one reality that I just cannot bear, that I cannot just get over. One day, even though it will hopefully be many, many years from now, a world will exist without my boy... I know I'll be gone too, so I won't be around to notice, but...but...
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
And I thought Gaelic was bad
In addition to this, now that I am writing some Deutsch in my lessons, my English spelling is going to Hell in a handbasket...
Organising circular needles
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
There has been knitting
I wasn't sure about the whole 'round the arm' thing - but of course maybe I am getting too old and set in my ways ;0) I also did the collar to about 13 cm instead of 17cm.
Fresh off the back of that, I have started a Debbie Bliss Coastlines pattern in a deep pink. I am not sure how I feel about the Cathay yarn. Again, it seems quite loosely plied and I wonder how it will stand up to general wear and tear.....
Off to tax my bike. That's the push bike, not motor variety.Yep, In der Schweiz one taxes ones bicycle.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
3rd time lucky (or it's a felt job)
Sewing is also on the horizon. I've just cut out the fabric for a very simple dress (wish I could remember the pattern number - it's Simplicty, but that doesn't help much). Once again I was given a painful reminder about why it's best not to cut out on the floor.I plan to wear this dress with jeans. That should hide a multitude of sins.Off to do some more unpacking - can you believe it, here for a month and still unpacking....
Monday, February 04, 2008
Where's the mojo?
I am beginning my fourth week here, which seems so unlikely somehow. We finally had some snow here at the weekend so the view from my window finally looked Swiss ;0)
German lessons start in a week but I am managing to get by with the little that I learnt in Glasgow, adding a word or a phrase here and there as I go about my business. Just as well that I am not working, since the lack of car is definitely showing in terms of time. To get to the Bio (Organic) butcher I have to get a bus and then a tram. To be honest, it isn't bad, it's just that I now have to plan my outings a bit more. If I am going into the centre Zürich to meet up with Spooglers for coffee, I go and get any shopping that I can't get locally. Eggs are no problem - there is a farm close by and I just go there for free range eggs laid by the happy chickens that I can see as I walk by.
Today I am 'suffering' from some kind of cold virus. Taking my recycling into the town to the recycling centre has just about wiped me out. Guess I'll just have to lie on the sofa and look at the view !
Monday, January 21, 2008
Can opener mission completed and I managed it without too much of the 'Rabbit in headlights' feeling. I have discovered that being in a city as a tourist allows one to retain an element of insulation from the realities of being an Auslander. Now that I live in Zürich I am all too aware of my handicaps. Take currency, for example. I have to check every coin when I am buying something. I feel really stupid, not being able to just look at a coin and know its value. Or, when I'm on a bus/tram and they start making announcements about problems with the transport system....
Never mind, I'm sure it'll all fall into place. In about 3 years!
Monday, December 31, 2007
Shetland Traingle - again
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Who'd've thought it?
Remember all that snow we had almost 2 years ago? Makes me feel chilly just looking at it. Mind you, last winter was wierd. And disturbing. I don't like cold weather, but when it's meant to be cold and it isn't....still, this year had seen a few bitterly cold days, so that's ok :0). Wonder what it's doing in Zurich?
16 days to go. Did you get that? SIXTEEN DAYS!
Friday, December 21, 2007
.....ok, quite a long time has passed simce I typed the above [paragraph. Of course, I can't find the pics when I want to upload them, so I found out how to upload them with Picasa. But it is a long drawn out process, since I am not familiar with it.
What you can see is the second Gretel that I did (I like the pattern so much!).
The yarn was spun at about 12 WPI from some Crown Mountain Farm fibre which is just scrumptious. I think there will be more Gretels to come ;0)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Book to swap
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Now, I have to admit that I am so tempted to scan the letter and print it here.....however, that would not be appropriate, so I shall refrain except to say that I hope both staff members concerned have enjoyed 'reflecting at length with their line managers'.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
There has been some knitting done of late, but the camera and computer are really not cooperating - I'll try to get the pictures downloaded onto CD at some point. I finally finished my mum's birthday present (only a couple of months late) and am speeding along on her Christmas shawl. Number Guy has also had a hat knitted for him in 'man colours' - I think he might even wear it....
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Where is the time going?
True, there have been a couple of days that have seen me in bed until 1.00pm hangs head in shame - but this is a side effect of my new meds - honest ;0) but here we are, it is 16.33 precisely and *all* I seem to have done is sort paperwork, iron and tidy the house. You can always tell when I have deadlines that I am avoiding because I develop a deep, intimate realtionship with my iron.
The house tidying was kind of essential - my folks are housesitting while we go to Zurich this weekend to finalise the lease. The ironing was also kind of important - I don't want to appear as a complete slob until my new neighbours get to know me a little better ;0)
Speaking of moving, the movers come to do an estimate next week - I have to have all of the rbbish thrown out by then - I really do mean that I HAVE to get it done. I have that strange feeling that when I get back from Zurich there'll be no knitting until it is done ;0(
Labels: cats. Zurich
Saturday, November 24, 2007
On Monday I took the train to Edinburgh to meet up with Eleanor, a friend from my nursing days - you know the type of friendship, where you might not see each other for months, years sometimes yet it is as if you last met up the other week. We treated ourselves to lunch at Harvey Nics, and a very fine lunch it was too. By way of a gift before I depart these shores, Eleanor presented me with a beautiful Oxenburg Scarf. EDIT: There should be a picture of the scarf here, but my camera is playing up again...Grrr!
When I haven't been gadding about I finally got started on the clearing out that must be finished before the movers come - honestly, it is quite scary just how much rubbish there really is.
Inbetween times, there has been a fair amount of both knitting and spinning. I decide that I did not like the singles that I had spun for Icarus and sunsequently plied it with a Tencel singles. I now have the beginnings of a shawl which is a bit of a contradiction - the summers are definitely summery, but the weight is inherently that of a winter shawl... The Hourglass Sweater is coming along. I have had to frog it back to the joining round, since it was too short along the raglan. And of course, having increased the depth from armhole to neck means that I neede more yarn. Let me tell you, having practised spinning more consistenly of late it was rather hard getting the slightly 'slubby' effect of the original batch - another reason to make sure that enough yarn is spun before the knitting begins.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Failing to keep it all in perspective
It's true that my 'relationship' with my cats is all in my head - after all, as long as they are warm, dry, fed and treated kindly it matters not to them who is providing the creature comforts. I, meanwhile, have even found myself dreaming of them - you know the kind of dream where they are lost, I find them but then am not allowed to take them home....So, no matter how much I berate myself, the fact remains - there are 3 cat-shaped holes in my heart which just refuse to close.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I saw the GI consultant today. He really is a lovely man and the fact that he gave up some of his time to see me before his over-full clinic began makes me like him even more. And even better - I now have a firm diagnosis. Put simply, the pressure in my oesophagus is too high. When this happens further down the the GI tract, one has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which I also have symptoms of, as it happens. This was all shown by the manometry tests that I had 2 weeks ago. I also had a pH test done at the same time and this was also worth the trauma and having it in situ for 24 hours since this has shown that I also have acid reluxing into my oesophagus where it just shouldn't be.
So, treatment options. First is lifestyle - I have to contimue avoiding the things that make it worse. Mr X said that chocolate and cheese before bed really is a bad idea since they containe tyramine which has adverse effects. The good news is that he has said that I don't have to avoid tyramine-containing food completely, just be sensible about what I eat and when. I also need to continue with the positive changes inr espect of stress reduction. He feel that in cases such as this complementary treatments are potentially of benefit.
But he said something else which made me like him even more - just in case I was worrying that he thought all in my head he said emphatically that this is a very real problem and is not 'all in my mind'. Now I also want to point out that I am not denigrating psychological/psychiatric problems, which are also real in every true meaning of the word. It is simply that that since others health professionals could not come up with a diagnosis I had to suffer their condescension as a result - there was no acceptance of the fact that my problems were real and that they simply couldn't find out the cause - so I just feel better being able to wave this in their face. It would be great if others' prejudices/assumptions about different types of illness didn't exist, but they do.
As well as the lifestyle I will continue to be treated with what is actually an anti-depressant. Again, Mr X pointed out that this is not due to the psychiatric properties (I am 'scunnered' but definitely not depressed) but for the side-effects which act on the autonomic nervous system, affecting the muscles of the GI tract. It can take several months for the full effect to bcome apparent so this is a bit of a long haul. I will also need to take a Proton Pump Inhibitor such as Nexium to deal with the ongoing acid reflux.
And....on the cardiac front, the medic that I saw on Friday is fairly sure that the SVT is caused by the meds I take for the migraines.....so, bit of a viscious circle going on with this.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Isis and Athyr
...and just to take my mind off it, I have to have an x-ray tomorrow to see if I have a kidney stone. Tell ya, I'm sure getting my money's worth out of the NHS before I leave these shores.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I think I will knit this jumper/sweater again but next time I think I will make it longer. I may well do it in the next BFL hanspun - I have ordered some in Natural, and depending upon the exact 'shade' of natural, we'll see what colour it ends up.
The spinning involved the plying of the Crown Mountain fibre that I spun up for Icarus. I decide that I just didn't like it as a singles yarn. Not wanting to Navajo ply, but wanting to maintain the coulours as they are, I spun some Tencel and have plied it together - much netter - pic later once the camera is recharged.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
One of the couple grew up with Siamese (her mum was a breeder) so they know what makes them special. They came to our house to meet the girls first and then we visited them at their place today. We are both devastated to have to do this but are delighted that they will be much-loved where they are going.
I have only one concern (which we have discussed) - the lovely leather sofas. Our cats are not destructive, but I am sure that most cat folk would agree that there is something irresistable 'moreish' about the scratchabiity of animal hide.....
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Still feel like Judas, Mind.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Why the cats can't come
When the accomodation was marked as 'pets allowed' I think that mean one cat, not three. Last week we were in the situation where the accomodation at the top of our list simply decided 'no pets' - it could be that there was someone else who didn't have pets, I am not sure. One of the other places said we could have two cats, somewhere else that we could have one.
This was a real dilemma- we weren't guaranteed any of the places, whether or not it was 0, 1 or 2 cats. We obviously couldn't split the Siamese girls up, they have been together since the were about 3 and 6 weeks old. If they both couldn't come, then none could come. Then Friday, just as I was still struggling with this ( and still no accomodation) a decision was taken for us. The rabies vaccine for the 2 girls had failed. Now, the blood test can only be taken 21 days after vaccination. It can take 4 - 6 weeks to get the result. Christmas is coming up, that slows things even further. That meant that even if we could take them, we faced the prospect that the re-vaccination still wouldn't take ...that would mean that we could be 2 or 3 days from going and 2 cats to rehome. Of course a good home cannot be found on that time scale. Added to this,Isis had been particularly traumatised by the blood test. She was unhappy all day afterwards and I didn't think it fair to put her through that again when the chances of her coming were slim. So - difficult, but the decision had been made for us.
Blue - I was given a little hope on Monday - her vaccine has worked. Maybe, just maybe, we would get one of the other places. But no.
So, we are expecting Blue to go to someone who has one of her litter sisters, which is nice (will they have forgotten each other?). We have some people coming about the girls later this week - they have been warned to expect a very heavy grilling. That's before we even see their home. Believe me, if we don't think they are suitable, they aren't getting the cats...
So, heavy hearts. Don't get me wrong, this is a fabulous opportunity for us. The cats will get a fabulous home, but it is still a wrench
Labels: cats. Zurich
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Every silver lining has a cloud...
Handknit socks and Mary Janes
Monday, November 05, 2007
I'm sure that many folk are the same as us - there are things that need doing to the house, that would have been much better done at the time so at least you get the pleasure of the completed work. But life gets in the way. Before you know it, 3 years have passed. And you're moving. Not necessarily to Zurich, mind you, but THOSE JOBS still need to be done.
I shouldn't complain - my mum and I had a very pleasant weekend - yarn shopping, lunching, having coffee, driving by lochs, more coffee, more driving, dinner at Kember and Jones , visit to Jennifer, going to the Tramway for knitting ......
Meanwhile my dad and Number Guy were installing a new bathroon suite.This morning the thrill of having heating and hot water palled just a little when I realised that the house looks like 10,000 Gremlins were doing their worst.
So apart from telling myself to get a grip and appreciate that I don't have to do a 10 mile round-trip to carry water home eaach day, I'm doing the other obvious thing. Leaving it all behind to buy a pair of Mary Janes
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Emergency Survival Kit
Believe me, dear reader, when I say that these are things which make a six hour (yep, SIX hour)stopover at Luton bearable... Fying with budget airlines is all well and good, but as you will probably know if you miss a connecting flight it's too bad, so sad. Hence the four hour stopover going, and the longer one coming back. All in all, not too bad - I even managed without any diazepam - yay!! And that was even after I reported an unattended bag (I know, Iknow, the bag was in the airport, not the plane....but when you are scared witless by flying like I am, these little hiccups really matter).
So, where was I last weekend? You mean you really have to ask? I was here, of course. This was the first of our days with a relocation agent, looking at properties -we saw 10 in all and have so far said we are interested in 4. Now we have to wait for a week since in Zurich the landlords are very particular about tenants. We have chosen two houses and two apartments.
Whether a flat or a house, there are things common to all: underground parking space, cellar space for storage, nuclear bomb shelter, open wood fire...Sorry? What was that? Nuclear bomb shelter? Yep, you read right. They are mandatory. Most of them have been divided up into compartments for storage. They make great wine cellars, it would appear.
Of the 10 places we saw on Monday, only 2 were rejected out of hand. The others were all great but the commute was just too bad for Number Goy. It isn't really the time - he wants to do no more than an hour door-to-door - but the way some of the commutes would be organised. eg 15 minute walk, bus to station, train to main station then tram for the final stage.
The Swiss aren't keen on discussing money, but let's just say that some rents seem to be the equivalent of the GDP of a small country. As people who are used to mortgages it is a little painful to part with lots of money for rent instead.Before we had our day with the relocation agent we spent two days travelling all over the city to get an idea of places we did and didn't like. Will it surprise you to know that I stumbled upon one of the best yarn shops I have ever seen? Right up the street from an organic food shop :0) Due to the season, we saw lots of this: I explained to the chap that since men in kilts in Scotland have to put up with tourists taking their picture, it was only fair that I got a shot of Mr 'Marroni' And since we had just bought some chesnuts, he seemed happy to oblige. But you know, roast chestnuts are in the same category as honey - I was about 18 before I had my first taste of honey (deprived childhood) and although I love it now, at the time it was such a disapointment. Nothing at all like I thought it would be. Same with roast chestnuts - they were great for keeping my hands warm, yet.....hmm, just not what I was expecting.
Now I'm off to strip - wallpaper, that is. Now that we are leaving, we are doing all those things that we've been putting off for the last decade - typical, eh?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
How to finish your singles yarn....
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Now I've calmed down enough...
I thought long and hard about my motives. I've decided that they are the right ones. I am not being vindictive, nor do I want I want 'revenge'. There is one simple reason - such lack of professionalism and lack of care towards a patient has no place in healthcare.If the two 'professionals' involved can't see that, then maybe they need to reasses their career paths.
Friday, October 19, 2007
The Louet Victoria
While somewhat petite, she seems nonetheless to be more than capable of anything I ask her to spin. Well, ok, that's an exageration - all I have tried so far is some laceweight. Want to see? I started off on the highest ratio - 14:1. As noted in the information leaflet, the highest ratio can be a bit harder to treadle, so I opted for the middle ratio of 9:1. When I began treadling the action was a bit clunky and I felt a little disappointed. However, as Béatrice and I get to know each other, her action is becoming more and more smooth.
The orrifice features a plastic bush which can be removed if a bulkier yarn is required, but that remains in situ at the moment as I am
trying to spinning the laceweight that you can see in the picture above. At a later date there will be a high speed flyer available, which I may order, depending how I get on with 14:1 ratio.
The wheel came with three bobbins and a lazy kate. And it also comes without the need to lubricate - ever, which is handy. Well, if you really want to you can apply a little Vaseline to the bobbins if they get a bit stiff*
You might notice the yellow paper behind the bobbin? Well, as you know, B is a portable wheel, and I intend taking her all over the place with me. I can, however, foresee one little problem....the tensioner for the Scotch tension is quite pronounced, more so than the leather carry handle - to the extent that it looks like this may well be the way the wheel should be picked up. I have visions of some helpful person trying to move my wheel when I am away for a coffee. Hence the yellow 'This is not a handle' notice....
The fibre that I am currently spinning up was brought over by an international enabler from Canada (yep, Lilith's mum. As I still can't spin finely enough to get a really fine plied laceweight I have decided that this yarn will be a singles. To help it hold together in any weaker spots, I am going to whack the living daylights out of it - when it is wet from it's soapy bath, I'll whack it really hard against the bath. This causes a very slight 'felting'. Should be just the job to knit the Icarus Shawl in. *wow, can you imagine what kind of hits I'm gonna get - orrfice, lubrication, Vaseline.....
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
That's the weekend that was
I was admitted to our local hospital on Friday and was discharged today. I now have to take the decision on whether or not to make a formal complaint.When I was a student nurse, it was drummed into my head that 'A patient's pain is what they say it is, when they say it is.' Sadly, one of the nurses seemed to have missed that lecture. And so had one of the doctors.
I don't know about you, but when a patient who has just been discharged (and delighted to be going home) finds herself rolling about the floor in agony, I reckon that what is needed is another assessment. What I overheard between one of the junior doctors and this nurse was 'Leave her in there, she'll get fed up soon and go home'......Well, that was the final straw. Suffice to say, one snotty, crying, pain-ridden India ended up collapsing in the corridors and had to be brought back yesterday afternoon.Having politely, if somehwat tearfully, told the doctor what I thought of his comments, he surprisingly couldn't look me in the eye today.....
Number Guy and I spoke to one of the senior nurses in the hospital yesterday after my pain had settled but I think I am going to go ahead with this complaint. Ironic, isn't it, that a couple of nights previously I had told the night sister how impressed I was with one of the other nurses on the ward,a young male staff nurse. He didn't tell patients what they 'wanted to hear', he 'simply' took the time to listen and to give the best answer he could. And he took time. He was just great.
Unfortunately, this other nurse was a different story. Right from the beginning I new she thought I was a timewaster. The problem at the moment is that the endoscopy didn't show any damage - this is good news, but it doesn't mean that there isn't a problem. She, however, has obviously decided that the GI consultant can't see a malingerer when one jumps up and slaps him in the face. I have had to endure her sarcastic tones and resistance for the past 3 days. So certain of her own 'diagnosis' was she, that even when I was in agony in the hallway and with Number Guy present, she continued with her very bad attitiude to me. Although I know myself that she has been treating me as a malingerer I am so glad that I have witness to it.
Having decided to stay last night so that they could do another test today, I did something I thought I would never do - I asked that I not be 'cared' for by this nurse. Never thought I would ever do that, never.
I had a CT scan today to check the blood vessles around my stomach, and they are fine. I have to have pH and pressure tests in a couple of weeks - involves wires up my nose (Yikes!!!) and down my throat. Not looking forward to it, but hopefully it will help.
So, a really cr***y weeked. But thank goodness for great nurses and consultants who can spot a genuiunely ill patient at 100 yards, blindfolded on a foggy night in the blackout.... <
Friday, October 12, 2007
You may want to call her 'Victoria'.....
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Blue about Blue
The other cats still seem to be feeling more than a bit frazzled and let's just say that they have been staging a 'dirty protest'.....
If we were staying here, it wouldn't be such an issue as we would be able to ride it out for the long haul. But given that we are taking the ladies on a plane. to a smaller place, we have very real concerns about what it would be like for all concerned.
Everytime Blue looks at me just now I feel so bad....
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Trying to arrange shipping for 3 cats is not easy - since 9.30am I have been on a rollercoaster, but one which seems to be heading inexorably downwards, doomed to come to a halt amongst the tangled and twisted wreckage of my sanity.
About half an hour ago I thought I was looking at getting the cats to Heathrow. Logistical nightmare. Much 'phoning around, and speaking to a very helpful chap at KLM, has left me with a teeny-weeny bit of hope....
Monday, October 08, 2007
And amongst the beautiful scenery on The Isle of Arran we spotted not one, but two, of these rare delights: I have previously only seen one squirrel, on the east coast. Squirrel number 3 was nearly an ex-squirrel - the wee blighter ran right out in from of the car. I didn't hit him/her. It was close. Too close.
In the meantime, when not seeing some sights for what may be the last time (ulp...) I've been working on The Bee Stole. I'm getting a bit jaded, though, so I'm giving it a wee holiday. It's such a lovely stole that I don't want to become sick of it.
I think Ma and Pa will be coming to house sit at some point in the next month - we'll be heading off to Zürich (where else ?) to check out prossible places to live.
In the meantime, I'm trying to motivate myself to do some Gaelic and a bit of German - at the moment all I want to do is laze about.....
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Lists, lists, lists....
As you can see, my head is spinning. It's just as well that I will not have to hold down a job in the next few months because I seem to spend a lot of my sleeping time not sleeping. Still, I am putting the time to good use - I managed to make some progress on the Zurich cat boarding problem.Well, to be more accurate, I have managed to find an 'animal hotel' with an animal shipping company. That would solve the initial problem but not the ongoing one - where do the cats go when we want to go on holiday? I think that part of the difficulty is that I am searching with the wrong parameters. I think I am going to try 'pension aux animaux' - or rather, the German equivalent.... when I can find out what that is, of course.
Monday, September 24, 2007
If you look closely..
I am past the first 'hive' section, which ends at the green lifeline (I usually 'fly' without a safety net, but believe me, working lace like this with three mad moggies leaping around makes lifelines essential. Don't ask me how I know - just take my word for it).
Apologies for the bad photo (I keep promising I'll do something about my poor photography skills, but I guess I'm all talk...)but I did want to share this awesome bit of knitting design. When you look at the chart, the bees just don't seem that obvious. And if I hadn't knit this myself I would assume that each wing must be made from a double yarnover, but no - it is merely (!) the clever placement of successive YOs.
The swarm section arrived just in time - I was getting to that stage where I was 'done' with the hives. The bees should be fairly rewarding to knit - I love the way they magically appear, so I guess that'll keep me going for a while - it's a bit like knitting with variegated yarn. You just can't stop knitting as each section reveals itself
When you get to the end of the first half of the stole, you pick up from the provisional cast-on and then work the other half, thus having symmetry. I don't usually mind about that, but in this case I reckon it is essential.
Friday, September 21, 2007
And I always answer 'Nothing!'
But that isn't actually true. While I will not be seeking paid employment, I will be busy, busy, busy. When we decided to move to Zurich we had lots of discussions about my career. We thought it unlikely that there would be much call for a Gaelic-medium nursery teacher in Switzerland, which is the path my career was taking. So we have decided that I would hang up my teaching hat.We've always been a good team and we decided to play to our strengths. While Number Guy is working hard, I am going to be our PA. And I do mean 'our'. My role is going to be to make life as easy as possible for the pair of us. As I won't be working, I will have the time to deal with the difficulties that life as ex-pats throw at us.
When I am not working out how to do X, Y or Z, I am going to craft. And travel :0) I plan to have a big map of Europe on the wall with pins in all the places I want to visit. When Number Guy is busy with work, I am going to jump on a train to wherever the fancy takes me.In the meanwhile, in preparation for our move, I am going to stop teaching ahead of time. Again, there is so much to do here, and so much Numner Guy has to do at work that this seems to be the most sensible thing to do.
One of the 'must-do' tasks is to learn some German - classes start next week. I have had a mixed reaction to this - some folk are quite negative 'Well, they don't speak German anyway!' Not true. While Switzerdeutsch is the language of native-born Swiss, High German is also spoken - and it is the language of the written word. Makes German kind of compulsory IMHO
Of course, when I am not learning German, getting cats vaccinated, visitng friends to say 'Auf Weidersehen' etc, I have lots to do in the house. Hard decisions about what is going to Zurich and what is going in the bin. But when I am not doing tany of those things I am going to indulge in some sewing. I finally plucked up the courage to sut out the linen for a pinafore that I am making. Yes - a pinafore. But it's going to be a cool pinafore (if it isn't, then there'll be a lot of linen cushion-covers about the place).So on that note, I'm off to sew, see y'all later
Monday, September 17, 2007
My tv knitting is currently 'Amelie', the current pattern on Rowan - miles and miles and miles of soothing stocking stitch - great for picking up when the bee stole needs too much of my concentration.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Not quite Carmen
If you get a chance, go see this - if you take your 12+ child with you, you might want to be prepared to explain some girl/guy, guy/guy 'action' - but remember it'll be dark in the audience ,so no one will see you blush...
When we aren't off to the theatre we are busy, busy, busy - making lists of lists of things to do, cats to vaccinate, visits to make, friends to see. But it's good to know that we are unaided in this venture - as you can see, whenever dealing with a creepy crawly is added to the list, the cats are happy to put aside the death threats, unite and join in the fray.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Currently listening to ....
I know this will really surprise you all, but I can't understand a darn word....;0) I begin German classes fairly soon, but of course this does not help with Schweizerdeutsch. However, I am determined to be able to speak some of this dialect eventully. I just need to try to ensure that if I pick up any books on it (strange, really, as it isn't a written language) that I get the Zurich ones. I mean, imagine the frustration of picking up some Basel Schweizerdeutsch!
Making the most of the sunshine
Sunday, September 09, 2007
You don't hear that often!
Our own correspondent reported that a 'reliable source' confirmed that a young student was heard to question 'Is there an ironing board?' as he explored his new residence yesterday. The young man's mother had to visit the local A&E department shortly thereafter, but insisted that this was mere coincidence....
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
And though Number Guy and I fully intend to keep in touch with our friends - whether they want us to or not! - I'm sure there'll be some tears from me along the way. It's been great to have my friends' reactions - delighted for me, but going to miss me, too.
But I was just a bit worried by one friend's reaction. Heather - "Great! We'll have a party!........;0)
Monday, September 03, 2007
Zurich here I come!
It'll be a few months yet - notice period to work, accomodation to arrange, cats to get Pet Passports for.... German to learn
We're nervous - but sooooo excited!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Who was responsible?
Of course, I'll never know who planted the fruit trees in our garden, and I know they weren't intended for me, but I'd like to give thanks anyway. As I was gathering the apple and plums yesterday morning I had such a strong sense of continuity down the years...and I was so glad that the garden, and its bounty, is being enjoyed more than 100 years on. I don't know how long fruit trees live (ever tried Googling something like that?)and while they may not be Victorian, they aren't in their first flush of youth so I am appreciating them each and every year.
I'm going to resit the temptation to just wolf these beauties down - they are intended for jam today...and maybe a yummy plummy crumble, served with some clotted cream. Plums and crumble and cream. Oh my!OK, moving swiftly along....I spent yesterday working on another Amy Butler skirt. I wanted to wear it out last night and decided that instead of lining it I would just apply a bias-tape finish. It's ok, Im pleased with it, but my first attempt at bias tape went
So I guess I better go work on that jam - my son is back from uni for a while, and I'm sure if I don't get to those plums he'll do a great job on them ;0)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Whaddaya mean, get off the laundry?
Edit: Number Guy says he'd take his chances with the cat. Bloomin' cheek.
What's your 'JFK' moment....?
Me - the death of Elvis. I still remember clearly being told by my mum. I was 11 years old, due to start High School in a day or so. I'd been out playing with a friend and rushed into the house for something. Even then, only 11, I could tell that my mum had some bad news for me. I guess she must've agonised over how to break it to me. I was devastated. It didn't help that my friend had no idea of the mortal blow just dealt, insisting that we hurry up back to our game.
Thirty years on, and I'm still saddened by his demise. I guess he was no different to the stars of today who, despite having so much material wealth, are desolate within.He sure had feet of clay, but he'll always be The King to me.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I blame Heather.
All I can say is that Blue is lucky that the other cats are generally decent beasts - they have growled, hissed and looked exceedingly mean. But that's all. When she got too cheeky, they simply ran away.For some unexplicable reason they decided that today was the day to get a bit closer....I wasn't quick enough here, but as you can probably guess, the three cats were on Number Guy's knee (though I think he was wishing that he was wearing, ahem, some sort of protection).
I am glad that Athyr has relaxed a bit - we can add another £33.00 to the cost of the kitten, since poor Athry developed a 'stress-induced' colitis(Wonder why that was.....?) hence the visit to our local vet. Since that cats were much more subdued than usual, it wasn't easy to tell that she was off-colour. And since they eat together, it was hard to tell that she hadn't been - eating, that is. Just as well I'm such an astute person ;0).
Friday, August 10, 2007
Chicken in a basket
There rests a very uneasy peace chez Twelfthknit en ce moment.....One of the problems is that if the other cats aren't threatening to tear her to shreds, Blue thinks she can just leap at them unannounced. Now, the logical part of my brain thinks 'Let then get on with it. One major hissy fit and the groundrules will be sorted out.' Unfortunately, the rest of me is too wimpy for that. So I reckon this may be a bit of a compromise (for me, I realise that!) Blue can have some periods of time near the older cats, but it won't be a free for all. AND it has another distinct advantage - I don't need to worry about her getting into somewhere troublesome if there's no-one to help get her out.
PS - can you see what she's reading? A bit advanced, our Blue...
Monday, August 06, 2007
May I present....
Whadaya mean, you can't see her? She was there a second ago. I had the perfect shot lined up.I paused for a nanosecond before pressing the shutter.....and she was off ....into the wild blue y..... Now you know why we chose her name. We had a bit of prescience.
We were I was right.
The Scottish Rex Cat Club has a great logo which just sums the shape up perfectly, IMHO
2 Siamese +1 Devon Rex
We brought Blue home about an hour ago - she was fed, watered, given time for a 'comfort break'. The we let the Big Girls in. They're not having it. Nope. Not at all.
Blue, meanwhile, is safely in a run that we originally had for the other two. They, meanwhile, stalk up to the wire for just enough time to hiss and spit at the poor wee blighter before they run away again.
It's gonna be a long few days.
Do Not Disturb
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The sad case of the wine-and-yarn in the nighttime...
....and what I really want to know is this - why is it times like this that one, erm,
chucks the bl**dy stuff all over the place has a minor incident with the wine????? And why is it that while I feel bad enough about spilling wine on YARN, I feel kind of guilty because it has been given to me.....But all is not lost. I am going to overdye it. Instead of the lovely soft pinks and fresh grass, it's going to end up....wine coloured, I guess.
Edit: And look here - now you can see why I am SO naffed off with myself. No more being tiddly in charge of great yarn!!!!!
However, a friend of mine did have some cashmere that she needed to rehome ;0) ;0)
I've tried 'enhancing' both of these pictures, but neither of them accurately reflect the deep berry colour. The real shame, though, is that this isn't 'touchivision'. I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of knitting with such wonderful yarn.
Friday, August 03, 2007
I nearly missed it...
There I was, dipping into a few new blogs when I saw that it is now possible to check where in the queue you are - bet they got fed up with folk moaning ;0) When I clicked the link, I saw that I'd already been sent my invite...on the 23rd of July. Seems the spam filter ate it... I never liked spam. Like it even less now...Anyway, all is not lost :0) I now have my account. Now I just need some time to play.
We arrived mid-afternoon on Monday and caught the train to Hauptbanhof, the main rail station in the city. You have to be there to appreciate this place, which is on about 6 levels and looks like some futuristic space station, not somewhere to change train. As the train pulled in we saw this amazing sculpture.
I also saw something else incredibly amazing - make that foolish, actually ;0) How many people do you know, when faced with a whole line of German 'riot-police' would slip between them? I mean, wouldn't your natural instinct be to let them pass? Not dive in amongst them, making them break step and glare at you....well, it's not Number Guy's natural instinct. Fortunately they must've decided he was a dumb tourist and not really trying to trip them up...
Following that interlude, we jumped on another train to Tiergarten where we booked into our hotel. Having expected something akin to a Travelodge I was more than delighted with the hotel that had been arranged.We did some of the usual tourist things, like visitng Checkpoint Charlie I have a few mixed feelings about this, since I know that there is some controversy about the way the Wall and events surrounding it are memorialised. And I can't help but feel that novels about the Cold War have left some of us with 'romanticised' views about this dark era. However, be that as it may, I was very moved by what I read at the Checkpoint and in the museum, as was my son. And that is surely no bad thing.... The other two whole days that we had available were spent at a museum and Berlin Zoo, interspersed with general sight seeing and eating. I also had the opportunity to meet up with Jennifer - typical, isn't it? You go on holiday and meet your friends and neighbours:0)
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I am a bit miffed that my pictures of Zurich seem to be 'lost' but let's face it. with all the awful things that happen, it shouldn't even be on a list of disappointments...
Last week I was on Skye at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college. This is the third year that I have gone up for a week's tuition and I have been filled with vim and vigour! We had a wonderful tutor for the week. Therefore I am forging ahead with my Gaelic studies and have applied for An Cùrsa Adhartais - according to the college, at the end of this two year distance learning course I should be fluent......I am hoping to add another language or two to my repertoire, so soon I'll be unstoppable in about 3 languages :0)
Number Guy had a great week while I was in class - I would like to think the fact that I was in class had nothing to do with it...anyway, he went to Applecross and I was more than a little jealous, since the day was marvelous and hence the views were also. He did make it up to me though - we went to Kinloch Lodge for dinner. It was marvelous. It was expensive. So we went only once ;0)Of course, I cannot show you any pictures from Skye since I didn't have a working camera....but having bought a new card today, I decided to try it out. Without much to inspire me, I decided on a few garden pics - here is a a wee comparison of the yarn bought in Zurich our very first clematis. LaTeX it is a really useful document preparation tool, which I have mentioned previously. However, one has to type in all the formatting commands and then instruct the programme to build the document. Inevitably there are errors, so then one has to go through the work and painstakingly fix these before the file document can be built. As I am a new user, I have more errors than most. One it's done, though, a rather nice PDF is created which I can print and read.
But only once it's done....
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Playing with pictures
Labels: digital enhancement