Friday, December 22, 2006

Then one foggy Christmas eve,...

So after saying in my last blog entry that i'd rather stay in London for X'mas, my wish might actually come true what with the delays at Heathrow caused by the dense fog. From the view in my office on the 14th Floor, the whole of London looks eerie, like it's just shrunk and the fog's closing in - wasn't there some ghastly Stephen King novel once about an evil fog that was made into a movie? Before I spook myself silly, I'll just try to pretend that the whole town's become a giant sauna (ok, it's freezing in London at the moment I know but the whole object of the exercise is to pretend.....)

Am suffering a hangover from hell today as I got smashed up with P last night and then rolled up to the Alaska X'mas party where highlights of the night were these rappers and musicians jamming,.... something about 'South West Connection', my memory of the party is slightly hazy (or should I say foggy?) I think I might have embarassed Gruff a little by being the drunk, stumbling, shuffling girlfriend who's trying to dance (cringe factor 10). P and I went to a number of fine Soho establishments and tried unsuccessfully to look like discerning 30-somethings and drunk ourselves silly because we felt old amongst the trendy, nubile youngsters but it was good - P and I once used to stagger around Soho most nights of the week when we were also young and firm. I like to think that we'll still be carousing around in Soho when we're saggier and have surrendered to gravity.

But I was in Liberty's picking up yarn for Gruff's Knuck gloves and the yarn sale started before my very eyes! I couldn't believe it when the nice Rowan ladies started dragging out bags of discounted yarn and unpacking them in front of me. My eyes must have been popping out as I tried to peer through to see what goodies were in store and whether the full-price yarn I was holding in my arms would be in the discount bin. One of the Rowan ladies must have seen the naked greed in my eyes because she shoved a bag under the table away from me and gave me a sharp look before hurrying off to attend to a customer at the till. She was probably afraid of tempting the woolly animal inside of me that would have pounced on the bags, tearing through the plastic with my teeth and wildly delving through balls of yarn. It was pure serendipity, a magic moment- 40% off lovely yarn and no other shoppers to wrestle with - I'm sure my bank balance agrees. I was so spoilt for choice and trying to contain my urge to buy everything in sight and conscious at the same time that every ticking moment was making me even later for my appointment with P. It was 15 minutes of pure and agonising bliss - will try to post photos of my spoils soon.

It's a quiet day in the office and someone has just brought me the loveliest chocolate brownie cake I have ever tasted - it's from Borough Market and it feels as though I've just died and gone to heaven,... hmmmm,..... that maybe explains the fog.... and the Liberty's yarn sale..... ah, well - life despite the stupid delays is still pretty much good - I will try not to worry too much about the folks being disappointed should I not make it back for X'mas, it's all a bit much for my tender head at the moment.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bedales, Cakes and Yarn

Met up with the lovely ladies of the Pat Val knitting group after the longest time. Was really good to have a catch up and get pissed although I discovered that Alex's hoodie has now got a very strange row. Ah well, he's little and probably won't notice or mind. Am panicking slightly about getting the X'mas woolly presents completed in time. Have culled my list so drastically to realistically reflect that only Alex's and Mama's presents will be delivered - everyone else's including B's fingerles knucks gloves and grey scarf will have to wait. Next year, I'll start knitting Xmas presents in August! Managed to finish Freddy's aran jumper and Susan's scarf in time though, plus Martina's red beret and Diane's birthday bag were finally completed and delivered last Saturday. Phew,... I hate it when projects hang around for ages - way past their completion dates - I will try to be more organised next year and maybe less ambitious!

Since my last blog entry, I've had some lovely knitting adventures. Watched 'Casino Royale' at Knitflicks with Sofia who came down for my birthday, then I brought her to the lovely and cosy I Knit shop in Vauxhall so that she could buy me my present - poor Sofia was dragged along in my mad knitting obsession. Then when I brought B to the National to watch 'The Seafarer' I met Craig who owns the I Knit shop with Gerrard and he got us fantastic seats which was really very kind of him. It was B's first time in the theatre and I was so glad it was a good experience. Have also been asked to help out with a friend's final year fashion show at Saint Martin's. Her final project is going to be knitwear and I've been making little mohair, lace hats which has thankfully gone down really well.

Will be flying home for X'mas this Saturday, i'm slightly worried that there will be massive delays due to fog etc and kind of wished I was staying in London for X'mas this year, will miss the telly too much. How sad am I? Booo....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day-dreamy days

It’s been another day of constant distractions – my brain feels like a chaotic jumble of separate strands of thoughts all weaved together in a multi-coloured mess. I’m thinking about; my new knitting projects,

Cushions for Diane as a house-warming present
‘TBBP’ - i.e The Big Blanket Project - the Afghan I’ve decided to embark upon

The big spring-clean this weekend, the impending BIRTHDAY celebratory weekend… sigh. I think I’m prone to getting pensive and solemn around this time of year, I’ve been gazing out of windows far too much and staring at the office workers in the building across the road. They look so ‘occupied’ and busy and I find myself making up stories about the little dramas I see in front of me – much like James Stewart in ‘Rear Window’. My office chair doubles up as a wheelchair of some sorts I guess - I feel similarly confined and debilitated.

What did I use to spend my energies musing on in my former pre-knitting life??! I need to focus on having a knitting plan especially sticking to it and perhaps just get on with it instead of thinking too much and agonizing about making the right decisions about projects, colours, yarns etc etc.. (The story of my life!!) I drove Gruff to distraction last weekend as all I could talk about throughout dinner and after was TBBP. Drew endless diagrams and tried to come up with mathematical formulas about how many squares I should make, how many I should knit in x colour and how I’d stitch them together in a nice artistic way so that no 2 squares in the same colour wound up being next to each other . It’s going to be a woolly masterpiece that will occupy and demand a whole lot of my patience and energy – maybe this will prove to be my downfall, although I probably shouldn’t jinx it before I’ve even started.

I’ve been watching Simon Schama’s ‘Power of Art’ and last week’s programme was about Rembrandt painting his masterpiece in Amsterdam’s Town Hall which he ended up cutting to bits . The programme’s had a bit of flak for being patronising but I think he’s great, such enthusiasm and verve animating his eyebrows! I do concede that some of the dramatisations were a little naff especially in the inaugural episode on Caravaggio.

I have to remind myself of the things that have made me giggle recently, maybe set up a separate topic list – Gruff had me in peals of laughter when he attempted to knit after a hiatus of 20 years. The look on his little face, brows furrowed in concentration – it was adorable! I can see him getting addicted then dipping into my stash and us fighting over needles…. Hmmm, must stop being so fatalistic!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Babies are like towels

Right, hope to make writing this blog a bit more of a regular exercise. Read an article in The Guardian soon after starting my blog about the rise of the female blogger which has become a bit of a phenomenon and it kind of put me off writing for a while.

I don’t intend to make it a diary as such because that’s verging too close to the personal although you could argue that articulating your thoughts and feelings is in way revealing your inner workings. But I digress,…

Was at The Garrick yesterday evening to watch 2 comedians I know well and love Stephen K Amos & Phil Nichol. Phil won this year’s Perrier and deservedly so as he is extremely funny and one of the most-respected and hard-working comedians on the circuit. But the main thing that gets me and is hence the subject of todays blog-rant is that 2 punters IN THE FRONT ROW walked out of his set. They completely took offence and missed the point of what he was trying to say which is that we should all put our differences aside because at the end of the day we’re all made of the same stuff underneath all the material trappings, we are intrinsically flesh and blood. If they’d stayed till the end and seen him make his point then they would have learned a little or at least been shown a different point of view. But no, they decided to stalk off in a huff just because he was gyrating his crotch in her face, she was just too small-minded to take it or perhaps she thought she had to appear coy. Hah! When she’s old, withered and grey - she will pay good money to have that experience and will come to regret her priggish behaviour. He probably thought it’d be a chivalrous gesture to defend his lady’s honour by escorting her out of the audience but it was such a futile act because a) she didn’t have any and b) she didn’t just storm off, she milked her exit by bowing and holding her finger up to her mouth in that infantile pose that says ‘I’m-so-hurt-look-at-me-poor-me’. Anyway, they looked pretty dumb and I’m perhaps giving them far too much exposure than they deserve by even writing about them on my little blog. Phil’s comedy does often cross the line, in fact it’s probably more accurate to say that he zig-zags along the zig-zag of good taste and some dumb people will always try to ruin it for the others.

Wow- haven’t even got to my new knitting news and I have already waffled on – har har!
Went to Knitflicks which was brilliant, will have to spread the word as it wasn’t as well-attended as I thought it’d be. So soothing to hear the quiet clicking of knitting needles. Had a bit of a chat afterwards in the cafĂ© with some other knitters and one of them told me about a knitting karaoke event and Wool Fest held up in the Lake District every May. It sounds great – very excited and intrigued.

I have been looking and refining my knitting spreadsheet and am suffering from severe indecision about what to make next and for whom. By the time I finish the jumper for a friend’s little boy, it’ll be summer and he won’t be in need of one! I have to factor in when I think I’ll complete the projects and how old these munchkins will be then. I also HATE knitting sleeves although making them simultaneously on one needle has eased the tedium somewhat. I detest going into the West End these days especially on a weekend but I need to pick up supplies and I’ll therefore use this opportunity to check out a new yarn shop in Vauxhall. I think I shall start the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan ribbon-tied jacket thing for my little nephew Alex - have wanted to make it for him for the longest time but got distracted by great summer weather and the World Cup. Am slightly anxious that things won’t fit as babies seem to grow so quickly, almost like those towel things that expand 5 times bigger when you dunk them in water….. babies are like towels, that’s my end thought and message for today’s blog.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ironing board on London tube

Oh dear - feel like a right old plonker. How does one post pictures onto this - I have a feeling this is going to become a new obsession (as if I haven't got enough of them!!).

I'll start by listing all my knitting projects and I'll post some work-in-progress photos at a later stage.

- a raspberry beret (!) for my friend Martina who lost hers at the 'Children of Men' wrap party
- fingerless gloves for my sister who's coming to visit (it's the Knucks pattern off Knitty)
- a vest top for Sophia and Yasmin
- a raglan jumper for my baby nephew Alex
- a kitty bed for Honey Bunny

This is just a list of current projects - I have a whole Excel spreadsheet of ideas for projects many of which are Knucks gloves etc.... this X'mas, I'm going to make everyone gloves as opposed to scarves . I know it seems a little anal having a 12 columed excel spreadsheet but it's all part of my drive to lead a more organised life. e.g. I live opposite a great DVD shop, it's 6 paces away from my front door and I STILL return rentals late,... how crap is that?? Luckily for me, the owner is very nice and never charges me late fees (perhaps he feels sorry for me, the fact that my lack of organisation has instilled pity is not a good thing really). My good friend T has also offered to give up a weekend and come round to help me tidy up the flat,... I feel like some sort of charity case, maybe people will run the London marathon on my behalf next year to raise money for my cause....

But I am truely ashamed of my crapness that I am going to make a concerted effort to return my dvds on time,.. watched 'Election' last night and I was unexpectedly impressed. Reese Wtiherspoon reminded me so much of a girl I knew at school who was just as perky, pesky and annoying. I generally never watch movies like 'Election' but the nice lady at the dvd shop recommended it to me on Monday evening when I'd had a shitty day enduring the miserable London weather. After the lovely sunshine we enjoyed over the weekend, it was just so depressing to confront the fact that winter's drawing close. I don't generally mind it that much if I'm strapped on my snowboard and playing about on the slopes but there is no snow in London.... which reminds me.

When I went to Milton Keynes to pick up my Nitro snowboard I had to lug it back on the bus, train, tube and walk from Old Street station back to the flat. It felt so incongruous and I got lots of funny stares from people. The normal commuters didn't bat an eye-lid, as Londoners they're used to seeing strange things but I could hear some out-of-towners muttering something about a ski show... it was in March and London was enjoying a particularly sunny day,.. I felt like a right old idiot. Don't get me wrong, I was really stoked and pleased with the purchase of my new board I was trying my best not to look too smug or pleased with myself but I was also aware of people staring which in turn just made me twist up my face which probably made people stare even more.... I can just imagine their thoughts 'Look at that little freak with a deranged expression and what is she doing with an ironing board?'

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hurrah!! At last, I have my blogspace. I have been threatening to do this for a while much to the bf's amusement. This will not help me much with my attempts to concentrate on work... booo, hiss hiss