Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Emergency Survival Kit

Here are the bare essentials:
Large milky coffee
Gimble- essential for knitting whilst reading
Sudoku puzzles
Relocation information

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. Zurich 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....

First you gently soak if for a few brief moments of time in some lavender-scented wash. Then you lovingly envelope the skein in the finest Egyptian cotton cloth, soaking up the excess water with the tenderest of caresses. Then, having paused for a few heartbeats of time, you grab it by the throat, thwack it soundly against the bath until it begs for mercy, before stretching it on the rack.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Now I've calmed down enough...

I've written the letter.

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

Now that I have had the pleasure of Béatrice's company for a week I thought it time to give a preliminary assessment.

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.....

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

That's the weekend that was

And a blinkin' 'orrible one it was, too.

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.... <

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Friday, October 12, 2007

You may want to call her 'Victoria'.....

But she tells me her name is, in fact, Béatrice*

* And she's very sniffy about pronunciation,let me tell you.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blue about Blue

Well, we sure are feeling a little down here...we have come to the conclusion that we may have to rehome our kitten :0( :0( :0(

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....

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Current favourite

Hey there Delilah , Plain White T's

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Davimack was asking if I'm excited about Zurich. At this particular moment in time I am at bursting point, but not with excitement.

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

Random entry

My mind is all 'go' at the moment and I can't seem to settle to anything. However, we did have a nice weekend, Number Guy and I. We got out and about and saw lots of the Scottish countryside.

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.....

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Going to see...


Whadayamean you haven't heard of 'em? Go have a here


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's all sorted - I can move now !

Look what I just joined