Monday, May 21, 2007

small miracles

In the interests of 'looking on the bright side' and trying not to drown under all the stuff in my life that remains undone, some small successes in my life:
  1. I scored 82% on my last assignment, despite doing it in a mad rush and guessing some of the answers, so I might even pass at least one of this year's courses with a grade 2 pass.
  2. On ringing the tutor on my other course in despair, I discovered everyone else feels the same way - it really is hard, not (just) me being idle.
  3. Because 4 needles aren't enough, I have managed to juggle 5 (4 dpns and a cable needle) to start on some cabled footies for bedsocks for Gran.
  4. since I took up knitting I have lost half a stone. You can't eat and knit at the same time.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

badges, I love lovely badges!

beaver uniformO was officially invested as a Beaver Scout last week - they let him off the bit about promising to love god - so I had a handful of badges to sew onto his uniform. It made me feel like a Proper Mum, sewing on badges.

Not to be outdone, I have been invested into the Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique and so far entitled to proudly display the following badges:

science scouts

talking science the Talking Science badge: yes I talk about science at the slighest provocation, particularly of the chemical or geological variety. Those close to me have learnt never to innocently remark upon some interesting looking rock or building stone, unless they really want an in-depth talk on its geology. This is good tho becuase it deters my mum and my sister (both semi-professional shoppers) from dragging me round shopping centres - vile temples to mamon but often featuring beautiful and interesting decorative stones; also R's whining about being forced to go shopping can be deflect by threats of lectures on depositional environments. R's mother still regrets idly wondering what kind of rock the Giant's Causeway is made of.

arts and craftsthe Arts & Crafts badge: I knit nautiloids and will shortly be crocheting a dalek, I think that qualifies me for the arts and crafts it the name of science badge. Also adapting patterns to one's own reuirements invokes fairly high octane maths skills.

open famethe I'm pretty confident around an open flame badge: awarded for proficiency around open flames in laboratory settings. My glass-melting capilliary-tube making bunsen-burner skills were legend at summer school last year.

quackerythe Destroyer of Quackery badge: as a devoted follower of The Ben, I spend a lot of time battling quackery, pseudoscience, fuzzy thinking and all forms of whoo-woo. The edge of my logic is rapier sharp (particularly after half a bottle of rioja).

harasser the "will glady kick sexual harasser's ass" badge: well, natch

squid: the "inordinately fond of invertebrate" badge: oh yes. Yes yes yes. And did I mention the knitted nautiloids?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe “pharma shill” badge: yep, medicine does work.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe “I know what a tadpole is” badge

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe “I’m into telescopes astro” badge (LEVEL I): we have a telescope and we look at shiny things in the sky with it. I am hoping to go to Jodrell Bank soon and qualify for Level II

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe “I may look like a scientist, but I’m actually also a pirate” badge: aaaaaarh etc

and so O doesn't feel left out ...

sprogthe Special Auxiliary Child Member of the Order of the Science Scouts badge: becuase he does like science and maths and enjoys finding out more about how the world works (except the bits with rocks in)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

wooly objects of desire

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is Sublime Angora Merino. It is 80% extra fine merino and 20% angora and it is the softest most gorgeous thing in the whole world. I met it in the wool shop when I realised the yarn I orignally bought for my bolero was too bulky. So I returned it to the shop and asked if they had any angora (as suggested by C). The lovely yarn shop ladies took me over to the Sublime and as soon as I touched it I had to have it. I didn't actually have to give them too much of your actual money for it, because I got a refund on the other stuff and also a bolero doesn't take too much yarn anyway. But as I crochet with it, I love it more and more. It is the colour of clotted cream and it feels like working with cream, it's so smooth and rich and decadent. I really really want to knit a jumper or top or cardigan with the clover colour; there are a couple of items in Big Girl Knits that would be perfect. But there is a lot of me which means it takes a lot of wool to cover me. The cost of the wool would be way, way more than I'd pay for a jumper. But then I'd get hours and hours of pleasure from making it, not even counting the joy of wearing it. I need this wool.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dear Mr Next PrimeMinister

O is very happy that Tony Blair is fecking off at last, but is concerned about the policies of his successor, and so would like to know your position on the following:

  • SATs - do you think it is a good thing for a normally happy school loving 7 year old to have tummy- and head-aches because he's so worried about his SATs and seems to think they won't let him go into class 3 if he doesn't get all the answers right?
  • car seats - will you end the humiliation caused by forcing self-respecting seven year olds back into sitting in a 'baby seat'
  • casinos - they look such great fun on Sonic the Hedgehog games but completely unfairly children are banned from them
  • Kids' Day - it is wholly unfair and unjust that there is a Mothers' Day and a Fathers' Day but no Kids' Day
  • The War - O has no position on the war as such, but would very much like it to be over so that his parents stop dragging him on demos against it1
Of all of the above, car seats are his number one policy concern. On being told he would have to go back into one and that it was because The Government said so, he uttered the immortal lines "I wish the government would f*ck off". Whereupon he was sent to his room for as long as it took for us to stop laughing and put our serious swearing-is-very-bad faces back on.

1. Poor kid is unaware that we can and will always find plenty of things to go on demos for/against

Sunday, May 06, 2007

robbing Peter to pay the wool shop

Yarn buying is a necessity of life, much like book buying. This month I am skinter even than usual, as I have had to pay Mr Branson several hundred pounds I have not yet got back from work. But I'm not letting that stop me from buying yarn, even if it means shuffling money out of the paying-bills-joint-account before going shopping. Yesterday I got some horribly expensive but gorgeous Rowan aran silk to crochet a little bolero, to wear with my posh frock to a weddin, plus some normal wool to knit the sleevless jumper with vest that O wants. Also I have some recycled sari silk yarn on order, to make a bag for a leaving present for an friend.

My current crochet project is about half way through, and I really wish I'd taken it along to the cinema this afternoon, as I sat through Spiderman3 with O. There was probably just about enough light, and it would've passed the time. O loved every minute of course (except the soppy bits). So yes I am obsessed with crochet. I am behind with my studies and in danger of developing RSI but hey it makes me happy.

Actually I think my mood is lifting a bit, and I've got my 43 things routines going again, having let them slide for a while. I am doing small bursts of studying and am on top of my work. Even better, when work was getting all a bit much a couple of weeks ago, I managed to talk to my new boss about it before things went critical. Baby steps as ever.