Sunday, February 25, 2007

Like a phoenix from the ashes...

...Glasgow S&B has risen!

I am not going to go into the details here, as I don't think it would be appropriate - my previous two postings were due to my lack of right to reply, as I stated.

We had a very constructive meeting today, which further reinforced for me what great group this is, and I am so glad to be part of it.

We will never know what brought this about, since one of the people who was involved in this has left the group and decided not to attend the meeting today.

We have all learnt from recent events and one of the results is that we are going to ensure that we have as much transparency as possisble. I don't want to post anything more here about the group, but the details will be on our message board for those who are interested.

We are probably going to rename the group, so who knows what we might end up calling ourselves?

Thanks for the messages of support.

India - whose stomach has finally stopped churning


Thursday, February 22, 2007

More on GSand B

I am posting here instead of the message board as I do not feel happy about posting there right now. Anyone, and everyone is welcome to post a constructive comment. I will post them whether they are in agreement or not – there is one sole proviso – don’t be abusive to me, or about anyone else. The recent posts on the message board seem to be turning the focus away from the main issue. In my opinion the issue is not
1. Karen’s performance as organiser – we all agree that she is very good at organising the group
2. Karen’s decision to stay or leave the group – that is her personal decision. As far as I am aware no-one has asked her to do so.

The issues as I see it are:
1. Karen's reaction to group members deciding to have meetings, open to everyone, out with the standard GS&B calendar
2. The sending of an inappropriate and offensive email
3. The removal of a group member’s appropriate postings on the message board.

There is no doubt that GS&B members are a kind bunch and I certainly understand the wish to calm troubled waters and not to make a bad situation worse. But the bad stuff still happened. We can't shy away from this. We must deal with it. We can do that - it may be very uncomfortable for all of us, but we can do it in a calm, civilised manner.
Lord knows, I've screwed up myself in the past and it can be very hard dealing with the consequences.While is a good thing that people want to support Karen in what is clearly a difficult time for her, I’d like to gently point out that she decided to send that offensive email to everyone, and to delete my postings off the board in order to support what she was saying, since it showed her email to be untrue and inacurate - was that a fair way to treat someone?
And it has had some devastating consequences. I cannot speak for the other people who were named in it, or other group members who were affected, but I am deeply upset by it – this email went to my friends, people whose opinion I care deeply about. What about the possible consequences? I’ve been worried sick .
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good an organiser someone is, or how great they are in any other way. Surely it must be implicit that membership of our group means that everyone is treated with respect and kindness?


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Glasgow Stitch and Bitch - the truth


I am posting this on my blog because I have THREE times tried to post on the Knitting Meet Up board and the organiser has removed it. This isn't any sort of breakaway or takeover, it was just a notice about an extra get together that we, including Karen, have been discussing for a week or two, as explained below

In addition to the censorship, she has sent out an email which is full of poisonous untruths. If there are any more emails about me, please come and check with me.

A couple of weeks ago, at a Tuesday meeting some of us, including Karen, had a chat about how much we had enjoyed the weekly meets, and should it become weekly? We, including Karen, decided that 'formal' weekly meets might 'dilute' interest too much, so it was decided by all of us, including Karen, that some of us that wanted might meet on alternate Tuesdays, trying out different locations, though Karen wasn't keen on joining in.

Today at the Tramway several of us continued the discussion as part of the group get together . It wasn't a secret and it definitely is not a conspiracy. KAren was sitting near me, I don't know if she was listening at that point. Our discussion was just part of the general run of conversation. We all thought it would make a nice addition to the group activities but didn't want it to get very formal because, as we had all agreed, that might dilute things. Nonetheless, we thought it would be nice to give everyone the chance to have a get together before the next formal meeting. Because not everyone was there when it was discussed, and not everyone who was there had been involved in that part of the conversation, I decided to post it ON THE MESSAGE BOARD so that EVERYONE COULD COME WHO WANTED. This was supposed to be just another gathering of our group. It definitely isn't any sort of breakaway

Karen, the organiser, removed it because it 'went against the rules'.

I emailed her to point out that it did not go against the rules, because this was a meeting for our group, posted by a member of our group. It just wasn't a formal meeting organised by Karen. When she removed the posting I pointed out that we weren't breaking the rules and were just trying to have an extra get together, then I posted again - and she removed the notification again

I am sure you can understand how distressed I was to receive the email that all the GS&B Members recieved today - here is part of it

"Also, I just can't understand why they would want to set up another group? It can only serve to create disharmony and create a very awkward situation for each of the Tuesday night knitters: that isn't what knitting groups are about, we're friendly and supportive and we all enjoy meeting up and knitting together so why cause disharmony? I just would never have expected this from members of our own group, shafted from the inside, who'd have thunk it! "

I am really offended at the suggestion that anything we have said, done or planned is in anyway undermining the group. I am particularly appalled at Karen's abuse and her use of the word 'shafted'.

So, to set the record straight:
This is NOT a breakaway group
This was discussed with Karen
I have tried several times to make everyome aware of this EXTRA meet up
Karen has REMOVED the notification, is MISREPRESENTING the situation,has now been grossly offensive to me in a public email and most importantly is DENYING ME ANY RIGHT TO REPLY.

Many people will be aware that there have been problems in the past and that Karen appears to have found it difficult in the past when people have expressed views, or made suggestions that she wasn't completely comfortable with. I am, though, very surprised that she has managed to interpret a few people picking up on a suggestion that we meet more often as some sort of revolutionary coup. I know knitting is important, but for goodness sake! I am not comfortable at being accused of engineering a takeover, which is definitely not what is happening, and I am very unhappy at having my actions misrepresented so grotesquely and at Karen's absolute refusal to let me respond in any way to her horrible and completely unfounded accusations.

I don't know what is wrong with Karen, I hope she gets over it before the next meeting.

Let me state once again, this is not a breakaway or takeover. Anyone who wants to come is welcome, and I look forward to seeing everyome at the next formal meet up.

In the interim, if any members of Glasgow Stitch and Bitch would like to meet up this Tuesday, 20th February, we will be at Jam, in Shawlands, from 6 - 8 pm. I haven't been here before, but by all accounts it's a nice place - oh, and I think I have the right place in that link, but best to check yourselves, in case I send you on a wild goose chase!


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Friday, February 16, 2007

Say it loud, say it proud!

I hate Harry

I hate harry!
Say, what?


There, said it. I'm probably very lonely on this one, but jeeze, it's gonna be a long summer.......


Thursday, February 15, 2007

fingers crossed

My thyroid levels are borderline at the minute, so the doc has suggested upping my thyroxine - one of the problems with the symptoms that I've been having lately is that many of them can be explained by an underactive thyroid. However, having a 'borderline' level wouldn't suggest to me that this is the problem - but maybe I'm just a sensitive soul.

But, 'While beta blockers are generally well tolerated, it is only relatively recently that the more insidious side effects have become apparent, often only when people realise how much better they feel when they come off them.'.....

Watch this space - well, only if you are really bored, don't feel you have to ;0)


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

of soda bread and yoghurt

St Valentine must be playing on my mind , as I tried to loggin as X at ;0) Mr India will be pleased.

Don't anyone say that we don't discuss some darn hot topics at our knitting meets - soda bread and yoghurt were but two. Be y'all wished you'd been there!.

Anyway, as promised to Lilith here is the recipe for the soda bread, which as I mentioned in the previous post, is courtesy of The Podchef . This is a half recipe, which was plenty for me two.

Herby Soda Bread

8oz plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2tsp baking powder
tall container of buttermilk - about a cup
Enough herbs of your choice to speckle the bread the way you like it (this is my measure, The Podchef gives a better idea)

Sieve flour, salt baking powder into bowl, mix in herbs.
Make a well in the centre of flour, add about 3/4 of the buttermilk.
Mix with fingers until it forms a sticky mess, oops, mass
This is a mattter of judgement - the mix needs to be holding together, but not sloppy. But very sticky is fine.

Now, The Pochef gives a little tip here - wash your hands. I tried with/without washing 'em (at this stage, 'course they were washed before I started....). Anyway, it makes a difference. Clean, hand makes the shaping much lessof a paon.
So, to return, flour a surface and your hands, and gently 'knead' the bread - as in the way one kneads sconces, not standard bread.
Once the dough is more or less in a round shape, place it onto a greased baking sheet - I reuse a piece of silicone baking parchment again and again, which works just fine.
Into an oven at 400 degrees farenheit/gas mark 8 for 10 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 400 degrees farenheit/gas mark 6 for about 20 - 30 minutes.
Like all other bread, it is ready when it sounds hollow when you tap it's bottome - oo-er!



Monday, February 12, 2007

So fast, so easy

Whoa there, Lawyer Guy! I said 'SO' fast, not 'Sew'....

Now that I've established that, here's what I'm, talking about: Butternut Squash and Apple soup (from a New Covent Garden cookbook mentioned previously, and Herby Soda Bread from the Podchef's Gastrocast

Anyone wary of making bread would do worse than to start with soda bread. All it takes is plain flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk. It takes minutes to weigh and mix the ingredients and then it is straight into the oven, no waiting for it to rise. If my knowledge of chemistry serves me correctly, the acid in the buttermilk reacts with the sodium bicarb, producing carbon dioxide, thus rmaking the bread rise when it is baked. I think, therefore, that if one had a severe lack of buttermilk (which is 34p for about 200ml from local supermarkets) that baking powder would do the job (or the sodium bicarb with a little vinegar). Ordinary milk could then be added to mix the dough. Now, I haven't tried thia, since I have easy access to buttermilk, but remember that there would be a slight change of taste .

Anyhow, as you can see, this made a very quick and very tasty lunch. I don't think soda bread keeps very well, but as we always gobble it up, that's not a problem....

PS I know the dried parsley looks fairly unappealing, but I've run out of fresh and tried some dried in sheer desperation. OK, slight exageration, but I wanted a bit of contrast on top of my soup.

PPS - if I've made an a*** out of myself with the chemistry ,try not to be too harsh


Sunday, February 11, 2007


I'd like to show you a pic, honest I would, but these babies were soooo good they were snaffled right up.

Ricotta Pancakes
enough for ME! ok, ok, makes 8 - enough to share - if you have to...
100g ricotta
2 eggs, separated - go that extra half inch - make 'em organic free range or don't bother making this!
100ml milk
75g SR flour

Optional extra: extra large helping of willpower, but only if you really must share.
Method Beat the ricotta with the 2 egg yolks and milk. Try to get it smooth but don't worry too much if there are some small lumps
Gently mix in the flour
Beat egg whites until stiff
Gently fold said whites into ricotta mixture.

Heat heavy based frying pan, melt small nob of butter. Cook dollops of mix until the bases are golden and the mix has set a bit. Turn over.
Turn onto plate, add maple syrup & black pepper.


This was a half measure of the ricotta pancakes found in the Rose bakery book. Highly recommended. By me. And my tummy.


having my cake and not eating it

lemon cup cake Tried out Lemoncello Cupcakes and was so disappointed. The batter was so luscious and lemony but it didn't come through in the finished cake. Full disclosure, however - not having any of the 'defrosted lemonade concentrate' I tried substituting with ordinary lemon juice - I think that might be the problem. Next time ( because I think they are probably worth a next time) I am going to put in some Roack's Organic Lemon .

There was more 'candy' though - my Secret Pal packages. I said in the previous post, Rae really came up with the goods, and then of secret pal package containing variety of fibres, including pecil roving, silk and bison down containing There's some amazing fibres here - including Bison down - I'm really excited about trying that. There are various silk mixes and some pencil roving to boot - a shed load of the roving let me tell you. I've had to pack them away due to too much interest of the feline variety, but I'm going to post a full list in the next day or two. If 'A gift honours the giver', then Rae is right up there.

In fact, the two Secret Pals I've had for SP8 & SP9 have more than fullfilled there comittment, and not 'only' in monetary terms. The thought and care which went into all the packages I received was overwhelming. Ok. I'll stop gushing now, this is turning into an Oscar acceptance speech, but I think you guys understand the sentiment.

Away to peruse the cookery books - I'm off work for 4 days, and ther will be no studying, only complete indulgence.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thank you SP9

I'm flabbergasted - not one, but two packages arrived via the UPS and Royal Mail yesterday. Contained therein was a marvelous array of fibres for spinning. When I get a moment, I'll put a picyure up and go into the details, but in the meantime I was to say a huge thank you to Rae, my more than generous SP9


Thursday, February 08, 2007


Finally finished the Gaelic assessment and mailed it off - I love clicking that mouse at times like this. Went to do the sound files and ground to a halt - microphone appears to be dead. At least, I hope that's the problem, because then I can complete the audio 'stuff' before tomorrow's deadline assuming I can get a new mike.

Made some more medical discoveries today. You know the scenario. You've put on weight as a side-effect of the anti-migraine meds. You've tried everything you can to lose said weight. Even eating less ;0) You berate yourself mightily - the only explanation is that you are eating a shed-load more food than you thought. So you keep a food diary. You are DEFINITELY NOT eating too much (and you've been brutally honest, every smidgen is accounted for). Your number-genius husbands checks the maths, he can't figure it out either.

Then a chance comment on a BBC 'drama' tonight - beta blockers make it hard to lose weight. And guess what - they cause confusion. Remember that post - the one where I said I couldn't operate the scales? Man, I wanted to cry. And there have been other incedents lately - forgetting which road to take, to whom I just spoke at a clinic. I thought I was losing my marbles. And I've been feeling down - thought it was because I'm losing my marbles. Nope, that's a side effect. too.

I knew about the nightmares and the cold hands and feet, but I didn't know about the rest...

Things are really sucking here right now. Still, could be worse. I'm warm, dry and not being shot at. Helps me keep some kind of perspective.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Unexplained visual loss

Got me some of that, yessir! But I'm not panicking - yet....

At the moment it is not very noticeable, involving as it does the fine vision in my left eye. In order to 'Get a definite diagnosis' I experienced Optical Coherence Tomography today. Did you know that there are only FOUR, yes FOUR of these machines in the whole world, and that Glasgow has one of them? Well, if your gonna have crappy bad luck with your vision, what luckier place to have it, eh?

I might also have to have some function tests, which deal with electrical signals, not whether or not you can read a chart. The lady that I briefly saw today was wonderful. She did something amazing. She listened to what I had to say. And she paid attention to the strange 'sensation' I've got going on that is so hard to explain. And she didn't dismiss it as stress. Now I've gotta tell you - the next time some baby medic dismisses my symptoms as being down to stress, I'm gonna tell him/her exactly what I think. I know that stress produces some very real physical symptoms, and it certainly enhances my migraine experience, if you see what I mean. But it isn't the be all and end all. I accept that it is possible that this problem might be due to a form of oedema caused by stress. However, as this wonderful woman pointed out, if it was only likely to be stress they wouldn't be spending a lot of money on this scan. Believe me, noone will be happier than me if it is 'just' stress, but I want them to make damn sure.

Think I went on a bit about stress just then, Y'all think I'm stressed?


Saturday, February 03, 2007

'm lovin' it

The Book Thief. I don't care if it's 'juvenile fiction' - this is great. Actually, I am partial to all sorts of fiction for the younger age group, but I have to say that if I didn't know that this was aimed at an, ahem, slightly younger age group, I wouldn't have guessed.

Anyway, I'm listening to it as an audio book and it is FANTABULOUS.


Friday, February 02, 2007

So tell me...

...why exactly am I trying to learn Gaelic?

I am asking myself this at least once every 10 minutes at the moment. As usual, the assignment is busting my ass and the stress-related pain in my face is not to be borne. On the plus side (is there one?) I have finished the first run through and have a week to check it and do the audio file - and a zillion other things, of course.

As you can imagine there hasn't been much knitting done, but I did get the anemoi mits finished some time last week, and here gentle reader, is the evidence. I'm telling you , any Persian carpet maker would be proud of the lack of humility evident in these guys.

And I'm in love again - with an electrical appliance. I think this is 'Weird thing about me' number 6. I fall in love with various domestic appliances. This time it's the turn of the new Slow Cooker. I have one that is more than 20 years old, but it's huge (yep, size matters). So now I have a smaller one which sits well on a little space on the kitchen worktop. I had a good laugh at the photography in the 'Tower Slow Cooker' book - it was done in the early 70s so is full of piped mashed potatoes and egg curries.

Right, I'm off. I've earned a G&T - and not your common or garden Gordon's, either. Now, I'm hanging my head in shame at This picture, but honest-to-goodness, if you like gin, you'll LOVE this. Sweet and mellow, without that artificial perfume flavour of other gin, it goes best with Fever Tree Tonic. In fact, this is such a great combo that I was tempted to keep it all to myself....

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