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Sunday, 16 December 2012

busy days


newly knit socks with gratuitous dog



gingerbread not showing up so well on a brown table-top


christmas tree


n's sourdough bread


no pics of the beautiful carol service in canterbury cathedral last wednesday - it began in the dark with just the sound of a chorister singing once in royal david's city. made all the hairs on your neck stand up. then one by one, lighting the candles everyone was holding, until the whole cathedral was candle-lit. you could imagine people doing the same thing for the last 500 years. it made me cry. my dad would have loved it, so i  loved it for both of us.

no pics either of last christmas parcels posted and not-quite-written christmas cards (last post is thursday. that's - like - buckets of time. it will be fine). 

no pics of n snoozing on the couch after watching white christmas this evening - i think he has been  schmoozed into oblivion. not much chance of a white christmas out here - after some promising frosts this week it is now raining raining raining. what a surprise. 

last week of work for the year - and full steam ahead on the xmas prepping! the end is in sight - hang in there peoples....


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

wednesday? really?

i'm sitting with humph on our ugly sofa that was supposed to be temporary. it would be ok if it was ugly and comfortable, but it is, alas, just ugly. humph, who has a fine-tuned sense of beauty, for a dog, grimaces every time he deigns to jump up and join us for snuggles. at least, i hope it's the sofa he's grimacing at.

i've been working at home - a day of sorting through project invoicing. and that my friends, is about as much fun as it sounds. it has left me knackered, splayed across the sofa with a hundred yard stare. (edited to add - it's me, not the sofa with the hundred yard stare. although, that would probably explain why it makes us so uncomfortable)

help is at hand. h&j are arriving imminently with wine and tales of teaching and toddlers. if i am honest, i would rather (far rather) deal with project invoicing than a toddler.

even though we have sworn - sworn not to drink much tonight, n and i have already happily guzzled nearly through a good third of the first bottle. project invoicing will do that to you. i sense a dreadful case of wine flu on the morrow...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

autumnal


is a great word - sounds so prestigious. autumnal.

i love autumn. trees trees trees. i am an uncontrollable picker-upper of leaves, which i then press into unsuspecting books and promptly forget about them. surprise ending indeed.

this morning the sun shone, the ground was frosty, and the trees were magnificent:




this is humphrey's look of enquiring disdain when i am not keeping up due to examining leaves and taking tree pictures:

that dog is amazingly eloquent. last wednesday n had a band practise here, and about 1030 pm humph decided he'd had enough and stood in the living room doorway, literally humphing and glaring at everyone. his message was clear. unfortunately for humph, everyone just laughed. "ah poor old humph" we say, and he sighs and goes to bed.

we also did some serious xmas prepping today:
36 bottles (6 gallons) of spiced ginger wine, and 40 pints of dark xmas ale. yum. sit tight my pretties, we will be with you shortly...

november is a great time of year. the dark days are here, but xmas is just around the corner, and everything starts vamping up. my calendar is gaining lovely entries like "xmas drinks" and "h's school concert at canterbury cathedral". we are discussing plans for boxing day and new years and looking forward to the break. so much anticipation even as adults - how do children manage?

i must stop now - i have slipped in at n's computer "for a second" and he is muttering darkly about my definition of "quick". i tried pointing out that in relation to, say, glaciers, i am positively speedy, but he is having none of it. i think he and humph are in cahoots.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

autumn in case you missed it

today began in the dark, again, at the ungodly hour of 6am, catching an early train to meet a contractor at one of my sites, who then DID NOT TURN UP TILL 1030. not that i'm bitter or anything. really.

it got a lot better as i knocked off at 1230 for a half day (or 3/4 when you start at bloody 6) to go meet h in canterbury and have a lovely drink-sodden afternoon. which we did. i had a bit of time to kill on the way home and nipped by canterbury cathedral -

and my favourite - the west gate
i know - blurry (see alcohol soaking, previously) but imagine seeing those gates closed against you as a pilgrim , having walked for weeks. the weather would have been much the same, i imagine.

canterbury looks good in the fog.

and in case you ever wondered - 

well indeed.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

jamming

n and the boys are practising tonight in the living room so i am holed upstairs this evening. it’s quite fantastic in many ways. proximity and boredom have forced me to undertake several tasks i have been putting off for some time. i have reduced the clothing mountain on my chest of drawers to a few paltry mis-matched socks. generally i find it saves a great deal of time to simply put the clothes on top of the drawers rather than into them. that is, right up until the time when you have four minutes to get out of the house before you’ll miss the train and you can’t find your navy cardigan/bra/white tshirt etc etc and you rummage hopelessly through the clothes mountain swearing to yourself that tonight you will put these away like a normal person and get up ten minutes earlier tomorrow in the bargain if only please for the love of god you can find that cardigan/bra/tshirt. it is at this point that the whole thing literally falls apart.


not only that, but i have put away the (little worn) summer clothes and pulled out the heavy duty wool jumpers. the cardigans never even got put away this year – for once out of necessity rather than idleness.

i decided upon my winter mitten plan of attack (5 pairs before christmas will require a plan not to mention fortitude, determination, and a high boredom threshold. no problems there then *cough*).

and best of all i booked lunch at a swish canterbury restaurant next week for my friend h and i. we have decided we will be restrained and chose the four-course tasting menu (with wine). on a tuesday. i’ve booked a half day. i love being a contractor.

this all has gone some way to making up for a crazy-pie day at work. it’s just so busy it’s hard to know where to start. i know i must be missing so much i should be doing but i just don’t have the time. by the end of october i will have worked 5 out of the last 6 weekends. for every email i delete/archive 6 more come in. it’s carnage.

yet somehow what needs to get done gets done and i am still above water, for now at least. and at least tomorrow i will be able to find my cardigan.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

faith

so i finally listed out all the knitting projects i want to get done before christmas, with approximate guesses of time required to knit them. as long as i start in august everything should be just fine.

Friday, 5 October 2012

some fo's*

* finished objects in knitting land. there are wip's (works in progress) and fo's.

and two more different projects probably do not exist.  first up - bam! pow! these are for the most awesome geo. when i saw the pattern i knew she had to have them, even if i am still learning colourwork and my technique is, well, a bit ropey in places. good practice and super fun to knit


the second is my first attempt at lacework. well, second attempt really as the first incarnation of this got frogged (it was for the best) (haha - it's still on the sidebar!! seascape. ergh.). i swore at this more than anything else so far, and i think i probably knit the whole thing about three times for all the ripping back i had to do. it is unlikely you will ever see anything like this here again, but - but - oh the wool was beautiful - a cashmere/silk/merino blend, hand-dyed. and by the last quarter, i wasn't ripping out quite so much and (don't tell anyone) sort of kind of liked it a bit. we'll see. it's a gift as well - it should be arriving to its destination soon.


 lace is amazing - as you're knitting, the project looks like a packet of dried ramen noodles. you think, i am expending this amount of mental energy, sweat, and tears for spaghetti junction? then you block it (soak it in water, very carefully squeeze dry, and pin out into shape). the pattern pops out, angels sing, and you are hooked. it's a dirty world, knitting. don't say i didn't warn you.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

cutting it close

the amount of wool left over from my latest baby jumper project:


Sunday, 30 September 2012

steeking sunday

 how do you turn a jumper into a cardigan? why you cut right up the front. seriously. it's called steeking and the first time you do it you will probably need some sort of sedative.the white yarn you can see on the sides of the cut is a crocheted reinforcement, then the whole thing gets bundled up neat and tidy and you would never ever guess that something as crass as scissors had been anywhere near. but first you have to CUT UP YOUR KNITTING.


to recover, here's a lovely pic of humph soaking up the sun in the entryway. phew!




Saturday, 29 September 2012

in which i realise once again how important it is to (in as much as possible) surround yourself with good people

i am very fortunate. almost all of the people i come into contact with on a regular basis are - to varying degrees - kind, funny, understanding, and competent. but in the last weeks i have been exposed to a group of people who are the polar opposite, and it’s really taken its toll. i feel drained, but more worryingly, in the guise of trying to stay one step ahead, i find myself trying to guess how they will think and react, and it is insidiously working its way into my head. i feel like i am slightly losing sight of what is, in the real world, rational. and i am getting paranoid.

my contact will be ending soon, but it has really reminded me how important it is to be in a supportive and nurturing environment. i have a new appreciation of mine, and a renewed determination to provide the same for others around me.

i also am so grateful for wine. lovely lovely wine – balm to my ruffled feathers (no help with the mixed metaphors though obviously).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

but - does it have bubbles?

said random man earnestly to me at the cider fest yesterday. in a barn. full to the brim of cider. in boxes. this, my friend, is not a pub. and this is definitely not lager.

cider festival was wonderful even though a) we didn't get there until 230 (work was not smooth. of course it wasn't. what was i thinking?) and b) there was no sign of the pig racing. despite these considerable setbacks we had a wonderful time.

although the distinct lack of pigs was undeniably disappointing, i was mollified by the spectacle of teddy bear parachuting. a very large kite in the sky moored several guy wires. at the bottom, at the end of a long line of children anxiously hugging teddies, a man hooked said teddies into a special parachute harness:

attached them to the wires:
and sent them hurtling into the sky.
the parachutes opened and the teddies floated lazily back down to the ground.
we sat on the grass, in a field watching floating teddies, and it was one of the most relaxing experiences i've had. there is therapy potential here, people.

today i have had a dreadful case of cider-flu (shocking, i know). we've had a lovely sunday roast with friends in canterbury, but i've had to send n off to the anchor without me this evening - i'm just too tired to contemplate anything but an early bedtime.

night all - may your dreams be filled with happily floating teddies.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

sunny saturday

i am looking out the window onto a beautiful autumn day - all blue sky and sunlight. unfortunately the window i am looking out of is at work, but you can't knock the view. one window is filled with the british library, all redbrick and green trim. the other looks out onto the newly refurbished st pancras hotel and station - spires, cathedral windows and intricate ironwork. my inside environment is no less salubrious as i am overseeing new furniture being installed in our chief exec's office. it could be a lot worse, put it that way.

in a few hours we should be finished and i will be heading back to kent to meet n at the cider festival at brogdale orchards. i haven't been for a few years and i am really looking forward to it. not only are there over 70 varieties of cider and perry (hopefully including my favourite - 'marsh monkey'), but there are gun dog displays, live music, hay bales to sit on (yes, this is worthy of inclusion), and this year - piggy races!!!  frankly, anything is amusing after a few jars of scrumpy, but seriously - pig racing. i'll take pictures, i promise.

this is from the website:

i love england.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

erreugghhh

exactly.

i don't know what more i can really add to that.

admittedly, a life currently summed up by "erreugghhh" was not what i envisioned when i was a wee mite at 18 - looking into the future dazed with ridiculous optimism and insane naivete, but there you go, and here we are.

no, really, that's it.

i'm as surprised as you are.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

i caught the 558 am train this morning into london.
558.
am.
of course i have always known that the trains run this early but until now, only theoretically. i am working on a project in various libraries, and i need to be in and out before they open between 10 and 11am. it's painful.

but walking through st pancras station on my way back to the office this afternoon, i passed this couple, playing a duet on one of the pianos randomly left out in the station (which by the way, i really don't think is art. fun - for sure. entertaining - sometimes. bloody annoying - often. but art? i think not. unless it's a statement about the kidnap and capture of arbitrary instruments - i mean - check out those chains. even in london, would someone really nick a piano? actually, upon reflection, yes. they probably would)




they were playing beautifully, and they were having so much fun. i smiled all the way back to my desk.

then i got hit my a tsumani of email most of  which reads as if it's been written by kafka but that's another story...

Saturday, 8 September 2012

saturday morning

last night involved a boozy bbq with our lovely neighbours, lighting a fire, burning last year's hops, and making make-shift lanterns out of plastic containers and tea-lights (the sun knows autumn is here despite our denial and it was dark by eight).

this weekend, kent is basking in a weekend of late-summer sunshine and warm temperatures. a lie-in this morning, a walk with sir humph, fresh bread from the bakery and three (three! not a morning for restraint) saturday papers and the morning is just about perfect. no need yet to dig the bicycles out - just another cup of coffee and two days of sunny potential stretching on ahead.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

top tip

so if you top up your mobile phone twice in quick succession, say because vodafone seems to think you could actually spend a pound of phone credit between topping up and buying their incredibly mis-named "freedom-freebie" package, thus necessitating you to groan, go through the topping up again, realise you can't top up by less than five pounds even though you are only a pound short, and then do so through gritted teeth, then your undoubtedly well-meaning bank will put a flag on your debit card. it will send you cryptic, slightly spooky automated phone messages to tell you this, which your partner will just assume is spam and erase and you will have no idea that this has happened until you are standing in the local pharmacy, trying to pay for a prescription for eye antibiotics, while the cashier phones the number flagged on her machine, and, through mounting mutual embarrassment, proceeds to ask increasingly personal questions prompted by a voice that puts her on hold for what seems like hours, while you completely freak out that you have been hacked and all of your (nonexistent) life savings are gone gone gone. not to mention that seven people also waiting in the pharmacy now know how much you pay in rent and when your gas debit is collected etc etc.

so don't do that.

bloody vodafone.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

maybe every other day

today i am writing on a snazzy new thinkpad - we all got new laptops at work. obviously this isn't exactly work-related, but hey. beggers can't be choosers.

it was my first day back in the office after a break of 11 glorious days. i really needed the break - i didn't realise how much. the sun is still shining, and the weather for the weekend looks amazing, and it's already wednesday! things are good.

n says humph didn't miss me at all today after all our time together. n says he just slept all day. maybe he dreamt about me. or maybe he just dreams of rabbits. salmon flavoured rabbits. unsuspecting looking-the-other-way rabbits.

Monday, 3 September 2012

so as it turns out

it really helps to have access to a computer if you are trying to post daily.

my laptop died a few weeks ago - i knew it was coming - it required perfect conditions to start up during its last weeks - incantations and crossed fingers and silent heartfelt pleas and a promise that this time - absolutely this time i would back up all my files if only you will just start one more time. i did back up almost everything - all the important stuff - emails from my dad, pictures.

i miss it terribly - it's probably immoral to miss a piece of equipment this much. but we went through two degrees together, wrote two dissertations, traversed a few oceans and plains and had all manor of adventures. it is missing a hinge, has some frightening gaps where there was probably something important at one time, has one side completely cracked and a few dents, but it still kept on plugging. until now.

n has put one of his old pcs upstairs for me - which was very nice of him, but no replacement. it refuses point blank to talk to blogger, or open any facebook link, and it views photos with open hostility. we are not getting on all that well.

so i sneak in on n's pc downstairs - the good one - but i have to creep behind photo software and downloads and some terrifying ww2 game that shouts every 5 minutes "the only good soldier is a dead one". it's not ideal.

i will persevere, but i may actually have to learn to use my smart phone at this rate. i should be able to buy a replacement before christmas (hopefully) and i am eying up a delightfully cheeky little tablet/keyboard dock number (is this betrayal?) but funds do not yet stretch.

all this to say i may have been a little hasty in my last promises.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

september

yeah i know - i'm not sure how that happened either.

september.

probably because we've spent most of the summer waiting for summer.

anyways.

i have a new plan.

i'm going to write something, every day, all month. to get back into the swing, so to speak.

i had great plans for this first (ish) post but i am knackered, slightly drunk, and have a raging headache. yay hop festival. pics tomorrow - promise.

bed now.

*mwah*

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

(got) better

well my bed plan didn't really work out. it's surprisingly difficult to stay in bed for a whole day. you need collaborators in order to achieve that kind of longevity. i have a dog who whined every time i turned over (only after the time i'm normally up - he doesn't do that all night!) and a partner who just looked bemused when i asked for provisions. "are you going to stay in there all day?" he asked, and not in a good way. and to be honest, after a book and a half, i started to get a bit bored. it was great while it lasted though.

i'm feeling better now. and productive. i've worked at home today - got loads (of actual work work done, hemmed my new trousers, patched old blue jeans, started a 2 gallon batch of gooseberry wine, and even emailed my oma. yay. doubtless after this spectacular high water mark i will flop into a miasma of unfulfillment for the rest of the week in order to balance it all out.

hope your days have been good to you too -

Saturday, 7 July 2012

attacked

1030 pm last night: slight, but ominous scratch at back of throat.
1230 am this morning: woken by apparent desire of throat to exit body through whatever means (all painful) necessary. Subdued by copious amounts of ibuprofin and swearing.
830 am this morning: sip coffee, eyes well up in pain. look out window where rain is lashing down again (still?) and seriously consider remaining in bed. possibly forever.
930 am post arrives. previously ordered book in post. plan bed confirmed.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

one day of summer

london did one of her spin-on-a-ten-pence maneuvers today, and - after what feels like about 6 weeks of wind and rain - shot up 15 degrees and nearly roasted us to death in what had to be nearly 100% humidity and 28 degree sun. i had a day of library surveys and spent most of it baking like some sorry forgotten hound in the back of a camden it van. i erroneously wore jeans. in about 10 minutes they were suspiciously soggy and, in a rather bizarre combination, in places scarily baggy and in other places slicked to my skin. none of this was in any way flattering.

humph is back to normal and has much much better breath, always a plus as he is an enthusiastic kisser.

tomorrow is n's birthday - and thus we careen into summer.

Monday, 25 June 2012

toofers

humphrey had to go to the vet today for dental work - he ended up having 7 teeth pulled. bad teeth are a problem for many greyhounds, usually due to mushy food at the tracks - designed for better racing results rather than good dental health. he had to be anesthetized, and was given morphine as well. we picked him up this evening.

he's fine, but now the morphine is wearing off and he is crying quietly. it's heartbreaking. i know he will be ok and i know the work had to be done, but i can't explain to him why he feels like this. poor love.

it brings back scary memories of when he broke his leg, many years ago. that was much much worse, but it's surprising how much of that feeling rushes back. it also, strangely, reminds me a bit of the feeling i had with dad in the hospital - that deep primal fear that comes from not being able to do anything to make it better.

i'm working from home tomorrow, so he will be getting round the clock care from both of us, and i dare say he will be rather spoiled.

the doggy tooth-fairy will be busy tonight!


Monday, 11 June 2012

it's my birthday today. these little markers through the year are interesting, aren't they? they come and they go, and time slows down for a minute before leaping back into action.

it's raining, which is nice as it pretty much removes any residual guilt that might be tempted to muscle in because i am doing bugger-all today. humph is sleeping at my feet and i have just shaken myself out of a two hour ravelry revelry where, in my imagination, i have knit about 4 jumpers and am now a master of stranded colour work. i have been drooling over yarn sites, bought this amazing yarn (!!) and planned happily away. bliss.

i just finished a great book (state of wonder by ann patchett if you are wondering) and am half way through zoe ferraris's new book, kingdom of strangers. it's completely gripping.

we made bagels this morning, and we have a very handsome topside of beef to roast for dinner. n has just handed me a glass of cold crisp white wine. the first apricots from italy are in the farm shop and the english strawberries are perfect to munch on with the wine.

i think we had always taken these quiet days for granted, before everything all went crazy about 6 months ago - first with dad's illness and death (bad crazy) then the wedding (good crazy). but crazy's still crazy, and i don't think i'm going to miss it. i hope i get the chance to not miss it anyways.

i'll leave you with a picture of humphrey, taken a few weeks ago, in the one warm weekend of sun we've had in all these weeks of rain. this is one creature who certainly knows how to relax...




Thursday, 3 May 2012

is this a finished cardigan i see before me?

most emphatically, YES.

geo said it best: "We will gather. You will wed. All will be well."

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

ps

in other news - cardigan going well - only one sleeve left to knit (wonder of wonders miracle of miracles). and apparently the new blogger interface does not do paragraphs. the librarians will get you, you know.

so

i'm getting married next friday. la di dah di dah. how boring. except apparently it isn't boring. apparently you are supposed to be suffused or something - with some sort of "passion". as far as i can understand, this "passion" is supposed to be solely linked to this "happy day". you are only allowed one. (until you breed, then you get more, as long as you are rich enough). i do not have enough words to describe how much i cannot be arsed with this whole thing. the fact that i love n enough to go through with this charade speaks multiple volumes over any state/church sanctioned ideas about *choke* commitment. argh. if the uk had any legal acknowledgement whatsoever of rights we may have as a couple having lived together - you know - a mere 18 years...we would NOT be reduced to this. and on top of all of this i have had to go shopping as apparently clothes are required. i have been shopping all afternoon, trying desperately to find a pair of jeans a 37 year old can wear without divulging her waxing habits. what is with the skinny jeans???? for the love of god, WHAT??? grrrr. grumpy.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

sheeps :)

here's a pic of a cardigan i have managed to finish.
it was a christening gift for friends of ours in faversham. this is only my second colour-work project and my tension was a bit iffy - but i think you'd have to be a knitter to notice.

it was remarkably hard to knit sheep that didn't look demonic. i'm fairly sure you shouldn't be reminded of village of the damed when you look at cute sheep on a baby cardigan but that was pretty much exactly the effect when i added blue eyes as the pattern suggested. these sheep are now all blind. it's dilemmas like this that the knitting books never mention...

back in crazy town

with a vengeance.

my darling mother (hi mom!) arrives in two-and-a-half weeks and my schedule of repairs is more-or-less on track although my sanity may be starting to lag. today the new carpet went into the study - it looks lovely. bland, but lovely. n assures me that this is the point. i am no longer allowed to choose colours in this house after the easter bunny vomit incident. stuff that has been in the bedroom and the landing is now migrating back to its rightful home which is more fantastic than i could have imagined when we started this process - less really is less, especially when you bang your shins on more everytime you get in and out of your bed.

we found a sofa that, although ugly, was very cheap, and no one will fall through it which can only be a plus. humph thinks this is the best thing that has happened and we really have to work on the "off" command or no one will even notice that you can't fall through this sofa. we'll replace it with one we actually like when we have time to go find one we actually like. this is the ugly face of choice. you have to go and choose. even if it's choosing pathetic-ness and convenience over any aesthetic sense.

there is still a long list of cleaning to be done (half of which will be scratched in a wine-induced laissez-faire approach sometime late next week) and then there's this whole issue of what to wear and organising the party and - oh god.

i reacted to all of this in the only sane way this morning. when i woke up i just thought fuck it. i'm not going to work today. one day of sorting shit out now will save eons of sanity later. and i didn't. there are definite ups to being a contractor.

i am so sick of this wedding business and this is the complete half-assed approach - i can't imagine how those bride-zillas must feel.

cardigan update: back almost finished - just two inches of ribbing and i'm on to the sleeves. i may actually finish this bloody thing.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

don't cross that bridge before it hatches


OMG. does this even LOOK like a cardigan???
wine. stat.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

i may have lost my mind

there is evidence.

1. i picked the paint colours for my study which n is painting (more on that debacle later) and i don't know what or who i was channeling at the time but the effect, far from the sophisticated play of colours and elegant nuance i was convinced would appear, looks like the easter bunny had a vodka binge and threw up in there. it could not be uglier if you tried. i am now convinced by the power of neutrals. luckily (and this is a very odd use of that word), the painting all has to be redone because it needs to be scrapped and sealed better or something - on top of the (shockingly) ugly colours, it is peeling. this is why we do not do diy. clearly mad. n is torn between laughter and annoyance. myself, i look at the colours and cannot for the life of me imagine what i was thinking.

2. i have decided to try to knit a featherweight cardigan to wear at the wedding. (can't quite manage personal pronouns with that yet). never mind that i have never knit a cardigan for anything big enough to speak. never mind that it's in lace-weight yarn. never mind that it is miles of stockingette stitch and i get bored knitting a second mitten. never mind that this will have to be finished in 6 weeks. never mind that i still need to finish a baby cardigan for a christening next week. what could possibly go wrong? i'm sure it will be FINE.

clearly, i need more wine.

Friday, 30 March 2012

exactly.

Monday, 19 March 2012

st augustine's abbey, canterbury

every year, kent tourism hosts a weekend where people in kent can apply for free tickets to see kent tourist attractions. this year, we applied and got tickets to go to st augustine's abbey, in canterbury. i've never been - it's outside the main walls, and not on any of my paths through the city, and for years i didn't even know it was there.

the abbey is all ruins now, but interesting for that. there's ruins from the romans, then from the first abbey in 597, then anglo-saxons, then normans (those pesky normans!).

the red bricks below are roman bricks. i read somewhere that although romans built with bricks in britain, when they left they took the knowledge with them, and it was centuries before bricks were made and used again.

these tiles were on the floor in one of the chapel alcoves


unfortunately all this peace and tranquility were given short shrift indeed by the necessity of having to go shopping while we were in canterbury. ghastly. however, we persevered, and are making progress on the whole "get the house looking ok" thing and the "oh my god we actually have to organise this whole wedding party" thing and the "argh why won't wedding clothes just buy themselves" thing.

from the sublime to the utterly prosaic - such is life.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

bill withers

"i think it was thoreau who said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. i would like to know what it feels like for my desperation to get louder."

Friday, 9 March 2012

in which i become the type of person who

spends 2 1/2 hours online trying to find the perfect shower curtain.

i found three. all in the states. what do they know about shower curtains that we don't? i can't risk the prohibitive shipping and customs of buying them, so in order to make me feel like i haven't completely wasted my friday evening (oh god i really have completely wasted a friday evening) i present you:

1. the kraken:

2. the monologue (by dave eggers no less) ((i love how this starts "i am your shower curtain".))

3. going swimmingly. i think this is my favourite:


i realise i am "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good" as far as shower curtains go, but i am helpless. never mind that the current one has broken through 5 out of 10 of it's already repaired (if you can call duct tape "repairs") shower ring holes, and that you need the dexterity of a brain surgeon to maneuver the curtain into the one exact position where it will keep water from escaping each side, a dexterity not forthcoming at half six in the morning, i might add.

and yet - it's often the first thing i look at in the morning, and it's important. i think i would like a shower curtain with the shipping forecast written across it, or a kelp seabed, or perhaps helpful diagrams of nautical knots.

i do have a rather dreadful head cold - perhaps we should just blame this whole incident on that and step away slowly...

Friday, 2 March 2012

baby i'm back

in oh-so-many ways.

i'm back in the uk. i was almost a month in canada. my father died. i was glad i could be in canada for so long, and be there when i needed to be, and i'm glad to be back here, at home. that's all i really want to say about that, for now anyways.

i'm back at my old job. yes, i ditched the sparkley new job in and went back to where i belong. you cannot imagine how happy this has made me. earlier this week, i grinned at n over dinner, sighed happily, and exclaimed how happy i was to be back at camden. "no shit," he laughed. "wouldn't have picked up on that one." i guess it's obvious.

i'm back knitting. when i was in canada, i couldn't knit. i wanted to - i started projects, knit an inch, and stopped. six times. since i've been back i've finished a hat and one sock. phew.

it's not all back though -lots of forward too. n and i are getting married in may, and there's a party to plan. the best kind of planning. although i still think we're taking about someone else, even when i am writing it. i imagine i will feel like that all the way through. apparently there is lots you are supposed to do for these things, but we are jettisoning most of them. some out of cash flow, some out of laziness, some because they are batshit crazy. i'd still be happier getting a civil partnership but in the uk, you can only get those of you are both the same gender, and you can only get married if you are different genders. makes no sense to me.

and life goes on. which, all said, is a good thing, i think.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

winnipeg murals

winnipeg walls are full of murals and paintings. they really brighten up the city in the winter.





so far winter is hiding out - yesterday was sunny and zero degrees. people kept saying how unusual it was, spring weather in january. we were still cold. today is colder, a high of -6. i hope the mild weather holds out - i know how cold it can get.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

winnipeg

n and i are in winnipeg, with my parents. it was all rather sudden, but it's good that we're here.

in winnipeg, the trees wear necklaces. the necklaces ward off disease and keep the trees safe. i can imagine that they are beautiful in the summer - they are beautiful now.


Sunday, 22 January 2012

funny dog pictures - When you say how are you . . .  Do you mean like, existentially?
see more dog and puppy pictures

Friday, 20 January 2012

whoops!