Archive for June, 2008

Quick note…

June 29, 2008

I can’t believe we’re back to Sunday evening again already.  How did that happen?

My weekend has been pretty much as normal, some knitting, some housework, some family stuff.  We have just finished a lovely lovely roast beef dinner (thanks A!), washed up, and will soon go our separate ways for the evening…there’s football on! 

I went to to the Dr on Friday as planned.  He has decreased the dose of the tablets I’m taking, and advised me to give it another 2 months before deciding they don’t work.  Hopefully the lower dose will help with the side-effects. 

I won’t be posting tomorrow, and possibly not Tuesday either due to work commitments…but I will be back. 

“I’ve seen NCIS – they sharpen things”

June 27, 2008

I had to use that particular quote in the title today.  I promised A, whose statement it is.  The exact circumstance leading to the statement is already lost in a fog of memory, but the statement itself stands out in my memory as one of the funniest things I’ve heard for a while. 

The background is that we both love the TV series NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), and watch each new episode religiously.  It’s one of very few programmes that we watch regularly, and probably the only one that we’d miss a real life event for. 

This week we re-watched an episode where one man tried to kill another using a sharpened comb.  He was foiled of course, by the NCIS team. 

Hmm, perhaps we should get out more. 

I’ve got an appointment with the doctor-man this afternoon, gonna list all my many side-effects, see what he says.  I don’t know whether I’d rather stop taking the tablets, or give them a bit longer and keep hoping for that miracle.  If I stop taking them, I have to jump through the ‘refer to consultant, wait for appointment, spend forever in a waiting room, see yet another different consultant, get no say in whatever happens next, wait for another prescription to work/wait for surgery’ hoops all over again.  But the drugs don’t work, they just make things worse.  Wow, is today turning into Quote Friday?  Looks like it.

At least it is Friday.  Two days off.  Sadly, that’s two days in which I can get screwed up about having to go to Leicester on Monday.  The meeting starts at 11am, so I have to catch a train at 6.58am!  Seriously, anything with a 6 in it, that refers to morning rather than evening, is totally wrong.  I struggle to cope with the rather lazy 7.40am I usually attempt on weekdays.  It’s typical, because A normally gets up at 5.30am when he works, as he starts at 6.30, but he doesn’t work Mondays.  So instead of me ignoring his early start, he’ll be ignoring mine!  As if Mondays weren’t bad enough, I know I’m not going to let go of the worry and stress of it all weekend. 

Even worse, the meeting is planned to go on until 4pm, so I’ll be lucky to get home before 8pm.  Really, I don’t know how I’d ever cope as a consultant or a commuter.  I thought about asking for a lay in/work at home day on Tuesday, to make up for it…but I have to go to Bristol for a team meeting.  Next week is going to be soooo loooong. 

The good news is, if I have to go to Bristol, I might be able to get to the wonderful Get Knitted, which so far I have only managed to visit in internet-world.  I don’t think A, or our bank balance, will see this as good news though 😉 .

Steak and cheese

June 26, 2008

Lunch today was the most fantastic steak and cheese baguette ever.  We got this month’s organic meat box at about 1.30 this afternoon, dashed down to the shop for cheese, then got extravagant!  I was hoping for bacon, prepared to compromise on sausages, then set eyes on the best ever slabs of rump steak.  They were cut into thin strips, fried with a few mushrooms, then just thrown into fresh baguettes with some double Gloucester cheese.  MMMMMMM. 

To compensate for it, the dinner this evening will be something simple like a pasta bake.  With tuna.  Not meat. 

All I can think about at the moment is knitting/crochet.  I’m addicted, it’s becoming more and more difficult to focus on anything else.  This includes housework, work, other people, real life in general.  I’m starting to get a bit of an anxiety/depression issue, for the first time in more than 5 years.  I think it’s being caused by the hormone tablets, as anxiety and depression are both listed as possible side-effects.  Something else to talk to the Doctor about tomorrow.  It doesn’t sound so serious, because I just tend to react oddly to weird things.  Last night I freaked out (in my head, I almost never just react at the time) because A’s bench wasn’t pushed in under the table.  I couldn’t bear it.  I didn’t scream or shout at the time, I sulked for a while then got weird on him later.  He’s so understanding, just pointed out that this is probably a side-effect of the tablets, and to talk to the doctor.  In the meantime he is here for me.  Bless him, when I got up this morning he had not only tucked his bench under the table, he’d moved the table so it wouldn’t stick out so much anyway.  

I’m starting to worry though, whether the compulsive knitting is a good thing or a bad one.  It does make me feel better, less tense, until I realise that it’s nearly time to stop (dinner, bath, bed, interaction with other people) when I get uptight about putting it down.  I don’t want to give up…should I?  Or would I then just find something else to get hung up on? 

Typically, when I’m not well balanced I overthink everything.  It’s all such a BIG DEAL. 

Guess I’ll have to see what the doctor-man suggests. 

Stitchery

June 25, 2008

I finished my baby sundress yesterday afternoon.  It’s pretty, but I don’t know who it is for…depends on who next has a baby girl! 

I’ve given up on the lacy cardigan I was making for myself.  I just don’t like it enough.  I wasn’t enjoying knitting it and wasn’t even convinced I’d ever wear it.  What was I thinking?  I wear big baggy freakish cardigans, not fitted, neat, pretty cardigans!  I particularly focus on anything brightly coloured or stripey, so why I thought I should knit an elegant, neat cardi I have no idea.  Never mind, it’s frogged now. 

I have a couple of ideas for what to make next.  Firstly, I’m going back to my face-wipe idea, to replace the cotton wool pads I’ve been using to apply/remove cleanser and toner to my face.  I’ve made a sample in leftover cotton yarn, tried it out last night and it seemed to work okay.  It’s in the wash now…we’ll see how it comes out and whether I need to adjust the pattern at all.  Of course, these face wipes will also need a little bag or basket to live in…

Also on the to do list is the pair of socks I promised to A when I ordered sock yarn.  They are on hold at the moment as I really want to use the new dpn’s I have on order.  Hopefully they will turn up very soon.

I’ve got a shawl in mind, using either some pretty purple sparkly stuff or the ivory merino I bought for the doomed cardigan.  I’ve also got another (crocheted) cardi pattern in mind.  Now I just have to decide which yarn suits which pattern and get something started.

Really, I should finish the cross-stitch project I’m part way through.  It’s a wedding present for our friends, but the wedding isn’t until August so I’m delaying.  Worryingly, there is a second wedding, also in August, which I haven’t started anything for yet.  I’ve got ideas, but it’ll probably end up being a custom design. 

Anyway, back to the stitchery.

mmmm…fruit

June 24, 2008

Hoorah!  Today is veg box day!  The boxes have just arrived, and they look good.  For the first time, I’ve ditched the fruit bag (3 items) in favour of a fruit box (5 items), as I’ve been running out.  A doesn’t eat fruit – any fruit – so the fruit is all mine. 

A typical fruit bag contained about 6 apples, five or six pears and a small melon.  Or a tray of cherries.  Or 4 large oranges.  You get the picture.  I eat the apples cut into small pieces on top of my breakfast cereal, and sometimes other things the same way.  One of my favourite snacks is a plate of fruit, just washed and cut into slices/pieces.  At the moment, what with the constant hunger that is a side-effect of the tablets I’m taking, this could save me a lot of weight gain as it keeps me away from the crisps.  It doesn’t work for chocolate, but hey – no-one’s perfect, right?

So, the fruit box: a bunch of bananas, a galia melon, a punnet of apricots, apples and…drum roll please…British strawberries.  I love strawberries, but only in season, and the British ones are best.  Eating food that is in season makes strawberries (amongst many other things) a rare treat, which I really look forward to. 

The veg box also looks good, although it won’t impress A this week.  As well as the usuals (potatoes, onions and carrots) we have broad beans, lettuce and courgette, of which A will only eat the broad beans.  He doesn’t like salad and courgette is too much like cucumber, which he really, really hates.  I can’t say that strongly enough, he cannot abide it.  If we eat out and there is a salad garnish on his plate, I always extract any green evil as quickly and quietly as possible, so he isn’t in danger of accidentally touching it. 

Apart from the excitement that is veg box delivery day (how sad that after a year I’m still so excited about it), I’m not doing so well today.  I woke up full of cold, sweaty and shaking, with a lovely headache and the usual pains as well.  I phoned in sick.  That at least means that for the portion of the day that I can stay awake, I’m free to read, knit, watch bad television, ramble on about veg and lay around in my dressing gown looking pale and ill.  Which might be easier if people didn’t keep complimenting me on my healthy tan!  Damn walking and outdoors!

On the knitting front, I’m really not happy about my lacy cardi.  It’s going okay, but I don’t think I like it.  And I don’t think it’s going to fit.  A thinks I should finish it and then decide, as I’ve already spent hours on it.  But I’m concerned that it still needs hours more work to get it to the point where I can make that decision.  Should I quit now?  Might pose that one on a Ravelry forum, if it hasn’t already been asked a million times. 

I’m much happier with my baby sundress.  I finally got the straight-forward knit, knit, knit part finished last night, did some pleats using a cable needle (new technique!) and moved onto the waistband and bodice. 

Finally, I had another naughty moment yesterday, and might have, you know, accidentally, ordered a set of lovely lovely knit picks dpn’s from Get Knitted.  Unintentionally, of course.  Didn’t mean to.  But they were so pretty, they looked at me so sadly, as if they just need a good home for their lives to be complete. 

Yeah right, what I mean is that I REALLY wanted them, so I ordered them.  I can’t get anything like that locally, all the needles are dull, plain metal ones.  And there isn’t much option for yarn either, it’s very rare to find anything handspun, or hand-dyed for example. 

So I have decided that Get Knitted must be my LYS (local yarn store), as it stocks so much lovely stuff.  And as it is based in Bristol, where most of my team is based so I visit regularly, it isn’t far away.  Next time I’m in Bristol, I shall go on a mission to find it. 

I reckon it must be time for knitting/audiobook relaxation now.  Catch you later.

Monday, Monday

June 23, 2008

I’m not so keen on Mondays.  Hate them in fact.  Getting out of bed early enough to get to work on time is just too difficult.  Especially after not sleeping well, which is usual for Sunday nights, what with all the anxiety about Monday morning.  A whole day at work seems interminably long, never mind the rest of the week to follow.  Misery and woe, dullness and dismality (which is a word…now). Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop wishing your life away (it’s too short) and get on with it! 

The weekend was okay.  Not much happening.  Three trips to a DIY shop to buy gravel, so A could do the garden up a bit.  And he still needs more.  I got some knitting done, but still don’t seem to be getting anywhere with either of my WIP’s.  Cleaned out the sideboard in the dining room, hoping to find the missing road atlas.  Oh road atlas, where can you have gone?  I can’t find you in the library, I can’t find you in the car and I can’t find you in the sideboard, which are the three places you usually linger.  I guess I’ll have to buy a new one, sigh.

Whilst clearing out the sideboard I tackled the mountain of paperwork which has built up over the last 6 months or so.  Shredded some stuff, filed some stuff, recycled some stuff.  That looks better, and is a weight off my mind.  I even dug out A’s pension paperwork, which we must deal with. 

Baby niece still has no name.

Hmm, what else? 

Oh yes, we had roast chicken for dinner last night.  It’s the first time we’ve had a whole chicken for a couple of months, and I hadn’t realised how much I missed it.  Tonight we’ll make something interesting with the leftover meat, and boil up the carcass to make stock for the freezer. 

This week:

  • tomorrow is veg box day, and I’ve amended the order so we now get a fruit box instead of a bag (it’s bigger);
  • Thursday is meat box day 🙂 ;
  • Friday I have a Doctor’s appointment;

Not much else on really.  It looks like I’ll be going to Coventry, Leicester or Birmingham next Monday, for a meeting about the SQL Server queries I’ve been playing with.  It’s a 10am start, so I’ll probably have to drive.  Joy! 

Anyway, I’d better go track down the boss-man.

It happened again!

June 21, 2008

That’s weird, I could have sworn I’m physically incapable of getting myself out of bed before 9 on a weekend morning, unless there’s some kind of emergency.  Yet here I am again, it’s only just gone 9 now and I’ve had an hour to admire my new yarn (stroke it, squeeze it, sniff it, press it to my cheek, yes I’m odd), add it to my Ravelry stash, admire it some more and eat breakfast. 

Yes, it’s another knitting related delivery in the post. 

This time it’s the lucky dip Lana Grossa sock yarn I ordered from Get Knitted on Thursday.  It’s lovely.  Really lovely. Look, I took pictures:

Lucky Dip

I’ve promised A a pair of socks, to make up for the impulse buy. 

I also took a couple of photos of my rabbit, just because he’s cute.

His official name is Twitch, because as a baby he was really nervous and jumpy.  He’s not really like that any more, he’s more…lazy and dopey.  Usually, he gets called whatever comes to mind (bunny, donkey-rabbit, dog-rabbit or dog-dog or just dog, doofus, you get the picture).  He loves fuss and attention, and even now is laying at my feet, leaping up whenever I move in case I might want to stroke his nose. 

Poor old man is getting on a bit now, he’s 8 year old, which isn’t bad for a bunny with some serious health issues.  He has had his teeth removed 3 (4?) times, as they were crooked and jagged and seriously damaged his mouth.  Unfortunately, rabbit teeth keep growing, but (touch wood) he’s been ok for a few years now.  He’s also prone to what our vet diagnosed as ‘snuffles’, which seems to be a cold/flu/hay fever kind of thing where his nose and eyes stream constantly and when it gets bad he stops eating and can become seriously ill frighteningly fast. 

We have spent a huge amount of money on this rabbit in 8 years, but I don’t begrudge a penny of it because he repay it all in love and attention.  If I get up in the night, ill or in pain, Bunny finds me within minutes and keeps me company.  If A goes out for the evening, Bunny jumps up on the sofa or the chair in the library and cuddles up to me. 

He does, of course, have a few bad habits too.  One is that he cannot seem to keep to weeing in his tray, and we occasionally find a puddle in a particular corner of the dining room.  Luckily we have bare floorboards which are easily cleaned/disinfected. 

Secondly, he begs.  For whatever we are eating, regardless of whether we are actually likely to share with him.  We do very occasionally allow him the tiniest piece of chocolate, and he always gets a little bit of banana when I have one, but that’s it. 

Thirdly, and most embarrassingly, he ummm how do I put this?  He humps.  He has a cushion which is just his, and he gets carried away with it when he wants – it keeps him away from our furniture/legs/friends!  Of course, he usually chooses to ‘perform’ when we have guests, which gets mixed reactions depending on who the guests are.  Some tend to disapprove, get embarrassed, not comment.  Plenty of other people just see the funny side and giggle at him.  One friend in particular, a school teacher as well, has told all her friends and family, she thinks it’s so comical.  

So, Saturday, what am I doing today?  As usual the morning is my own and I will start the washing (a sop to conscience) then settle down with knitting and audiobook.  I’m trying to be disciplined, so I’ll put away the new pretty yarn until I’ve finished my lacy cardigan and baby sundress.  Sigh. 

But new pretty yarn 🙂 🙂 🙂

Relegated to the library

June 19, 2008

There’s football on this evening, so I’ve been relegated to the library.  That sounds like we have a rather grand house…in actual fact it’s a two bed mid-terrace, but we’ve turned the second bedroom into a library. 

I love my library! 

It’s full of books, which I love.  It houses all my knitting, cross-stitch and other craft supplies, which I love.  It has no television, which is good.  The computer is up here, but it kind of fits in and days like this it comes in useful so I’m not complaining.  We have just two comfy chairs, each with a footstool.  It’s a place for relaxation, and every single day in our house ends with at least half an hour of reading in the library.  That could be War and Peace (which I have read but didn’t enjoy much) or just a newspaper or magazine.  It’s where I spend most of my luxury lone-time on Saturdays, and where I hide when I’m sad.  I even took pictures of the views form my chair!

This one is the craft corner.  the cupboard is crammed full of lovely things, as is the coffee table which is always a mess of works in progress.  The knitting stuff has even spilled over onto a bookcase in this area!

The other angle from my chair is full of bookcases.  There are two more bookcases in the corner behind my chair, too. 

I read a lot, did you guess?

Our new baby niece is still ‘Baby’, she has no name as yet.  We went to meet her last night, but doofus that I am, I forgot to even take the camera with me.  Photos another day!

For now then, it’s back to the lace cardigan and the baby sundress, neither of which is progressing very quickly at all.  Perhaps it’s becuase I’m working on two things at once?  I don’t normally.  I’m already lining up my next few projects though, getting excited about facecloths, another cardi and yet another attempt at socks.  I don’t know why I keep trying with the socks – I start them so often then either something goes wrong, they don’t work out or I just plain don’t like them and I rip them right out and start something else.

Oh yes, I just remembered, I had a wicked moment this afternoon and ordered a lucky dip bag of five balls of yarn.  So naughty!  So exciting!  So sad!

On top of the world, looking down on creation

June 18, 2008

Now, why do I have such a cheerful, upbeat Carpenters song in my head?  I’m not feeling particularly cheerful…quite glum in fact.   It’s pouring with rain, I have work to do, got a pain and can’t seem to wake up properly.  So where has that come from?

Never mind, I’ll just keep singing it to myself, maybe it will improve my mood. 

Also to improve my mood…ten reasons to be cheerful:

  1. I got cherries in the veg box this week 🙂
  2. I own all of the music in my head today, so I don’t have to go searching for obscure songs…so far, it is Terrorvision, Warm Jets and of course the Carpenters.  I did say obscure!
  3. I had three chunks of Toblerone left, for after my lunch
  4. My friend Iain from Liverpool contacted me – we lost touch several years ago
  5. We now have 13 nieces and nephews, with more on the way
  6. I can work at home when I need to
  7. We can afford all of our bills, despite rising prices
  8. We’re going on holiday again, in just over 3 weeks
  9. I should get my annual bonus from work at the end of July
  10. I got cheques in the post this morning, from our private dental insurance policy.

An irritating number of those reasons are about money, which is not good.  But at least I could find ten without much of a struggle. 

Oh, and some more:

  1. 12 people rated my knitted top as a favourite on Ravelry, and one left the loveliest comment
  2. Next week is meat box week.  Again!  Already!
  3. We got scrapey new potatoes in the veg box this week, haven’t had those for almost a year.  this seasonal thing is great.
  4. We got almost all of the mountain of washing from last week’s holiday(s) dried on the washing line, before the rain started. 

On a down side, I’m now getting some of the longer-term side-effects of the hormone drug I’m taking.  Most noticeable at the moment is the horrible greasy skin, complete with really ugly big spots.  I’m back to my teenage/early twenties routine of cleanse/tone/moisturise twice a day, which is a drag.  I’d been getting by with just washing my face daily instead, but it’s just not enough now.  I’m getting through a lot of cotton wool pads, which just isn’t good enough, so I need a plan to replace them with something reusable.  At the moment I’m considering cutting up old clothes to make small facecloth type things.  Or maybe I could knit some small squares, if I use the right yarn.  I’ll experiment and see what works. 

At least I’m over the hot flushes, dizziness and feeling sick.  Just waiting to see what comes next!

When A finishes work later, we’ve planned a quick trip to a supermarket to buy pretty, girly clothes for our new niece, then we’ll hopefully be able to visit the new arrival.  If we’re lucky, they’ll be home from hospital and ready for visitors.  This is our first niece on A’s side of the family, where we already have three nephews, so I’m sure she’ll wrap all of us around her little finger and be thoroughly spoiled.  Which is what girls are for, right? 

I’ve crocheted a blanket for baby, in colours chosen by A…I’ll try to get a photo of baby with blanket to post up at some point.  No promises though, when I remember to take my camera anywhere with me I generally forget to use it.  Then I’m a bit challenged with photography.  And there’s the technical difficulty of transferring pictures, uploading, making them show where/how I want…you get the idea. 

So, about that holiday

June 17, 2008

I guess it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  There were a few tantrum moments (not me), a very homesick hour or so (me), several very nice dinners (mmmm) and lots of sunshine.  We found a new ‘one of our favourites’ restaurant we had never been to before.  There, sounds okay, right?  Perhaps we should leave it there. 

Westward Ho! was lovely as usual.  Also very sunny.  Also some good meals, once A was over his sickness.  We even got to our favourite restaurant in the world ever, Potwallopers.  As always, the food was amazing and the service just right.  We’ve never been disappointed with a single dish in that place, long may it reign!

By the way, I’m posting again today because it turns out there weren’t any trains through Swindon this morning…none at all.  So I couldn’t get to Bristol for my 1:1 and spent half the day in the office instead.  I’m now officially working at home, running reports via a remote connection and waiting for the database to re-populate itself.  Doesn’t that sound like a lovely insult?  Re-populate yourself!

In knitting news, I have completed 3 lace repeats of my lacy cardigan.  It’s lovely yarn, not too complicated a pattern and seems to be working well.  But it’s slow progress so far.  I’ve also made a start on a sundress for a baby.  I’m not sure whose baby as yet…depends who has the next girl after I complete it.

Which brings me nicely to baby news – we have a new niece!  A’s sister had a baby girl at 9 this morning.  No name or details as yet, but yay!  Also, I heard today that Chloe from work had her baby last week, Maya.  Again, Yay!  Congratulations to all the parent-people involved, and a big hug to newly-promoted big brother Liam.  Once more, Yay!