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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Unexpected purchase

The arrival of warmer weather has taken your correspondent by surprise, yesterday I was a little overheated in warm winter clothes so this morning decided to find some more seasonal apparel including sandals. I spend much more time at home indoors, my footwear never seems to wear out, I'm not a slave to shoe fashions, fit and comfort come first, so the ancient pair of sandals from the bottom of the wardrobe were worn in the morning when we went out and then again in the afternoon.

After much deliberation and discussion dear Ian and I decided we would buy a Sat Nav, in spite of our love of maps, and our tendency to print out directions from our computer before a journey. Our destinations, like battles, are always on the fold of the map, the centre of the page or the very edges. Of course once we had chosen a Sat Nav it was discovered that the store didn't have the model in stock, however they kindly rang the next nearest branch, just over a mile away, reserved it for us. Whilst these calls were being made it felt as if my heels were sinking into the sandals, upon looking at the sandals, large chunks of the flat heels were either cracked or broken off. Bit like the texture of a bread roll if you know what I mean. It was decided that I would go to the shoe shop to buy new sandals whilst Ian parked the car and purchased the Sat Nav.

Not sure how I made it to the shoe shop, more and more parts of the heels were coming away so it was difficult to walk. Across the cream coloured carpet it looked as if I'd brought in clumps of mud rather than a disintegrating shoe. I have new sandals, the assistant asked me if I was going to wear them then or did I want them in the bag? I was polite, showed her the remains of the pair to be discarded, where upon she said, oh, we'll put these in the bag for you instead! Then, are you going to complain to the manufacturers? Hardly, given their antiquity.

I had photographed the damaged sandals in the shop as I didn't expect to bring them home for disposal.

For any one in SW London, the shoe shop was Johnsons, a small local chain that has been trading a long time. I recall school shoes from their shop both for myself and for our children. Start-Rite anyone?

After all that excitement, and much watering of plants in the front garden, it was pleasant to knit sitting in the garden until the light went. This was the view from my seat ...

Maybe not the best photography, but I have attempted to capture the moment.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Well, it has been a busy week, completed the  furniture move around, then finished the Shalom cardigan. Such a contrast from the hexipuffs, large needles and chunky yearn against very fine sock yarn and fine pointed needles that dug into my finger necessitating an elastoplast.

A view of the room from the bed and another from the doorway below..

I am pleased with the cardigan, will need to find a button for the single fastening, once that has happened I will model it and expect criticism, or otherwise, meanwhile here is the garment now it has been pressed.

Although I have hexipuffs to knit on buses, trains and at Home Group, I need to consider another project. There is plenty of yarn hidden away so a decision needs to be made. Maybe a cushion cover, some socks or I have Spud and Chloe yarn to make a cowl. Suspect I won't need a warm cowl if the weather forecast I heard for the rest of the week is correct for it is supposed to be warm. It would be so lovely not to feel chilly all the time and to be able to wear summer clothes for a change.

I have been thinking about how to handle that uncomfortable feeling of knowing that persons in a group situation don't like you. No criticism of the persons concerned, they are pleasant enough on the surface, no actions could be construed as nasty yet is it me that is sensitive to an underlying dislike and irritation that I am around? Do I quit going, but then I lose the friendliness of others in the group; I would never meet it face on as it may be my fault that I don't feel comfortable with some people , indeed do not know what to say to them.

There is a shop where I have the same feelings, the owners are pleasant enough as they need the business but I don't feel comfortable in there, however good the stock is so in future will be going elsewhere so I am not stressed.

We have been to events where, although we know people there, it is clear they would not speak to me, or us, if they could help it. Makes me wonder about continuing to attend one social group for I try to be pleasant to all, whatever I think about them inside my soul.

Perhaps I am better at one off things, like the Who do you think you are Fair at Olympia where nearly every one was a stranger. Not everyone is a people person full of bonhomie, jokes and brilliant repartee, others can be happy with their own company or just one or two close friends. I have to make an effort to go out, mix and socialise, it would be easy and pleasant to stay home, practice the domestic arts, read, knit, in short I could become a recluse, especially whilst Ian is studying.

More philosophical and domestic ramblings next time, meanwhile your thoughts and opinions are so welcome.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Daybook again.

MONDAY, MAy 14, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook:  14th May 2012

Outside my window ... it looks cold, windy and has been raining. Not sure I want to go out this evening, AGM time at the local history society, am aware I would be letting my friend down with whom I go and it gives Ian a chance of peace and quiet for his 'sums'.

I planted the 'bee friendly' plants in the front garden yesterday the gentle rain of today is probably a good thing in spite of the soaking I gave the plants and soil. Thank goodness for the water butts, they are full still.

Here's a view of the front garden, shews the gaps for which we have hollyhock and morning glory seeds.

Eventually the poor quality grass will be replaced by plants, but as we have spent over £200.00 so far, augmented by gifted, transplanted and freecycled plants and seeds it is not a project to be rushed.

From the learning rooms ... Ian is working hard on the last few details of his Maths TMA, in between relishing the extra space obtained by moving out some of the furniture and repositioning the table into the centre of the room.

I am thankful ... that I have a new battery in my 5 year old Toshiba laptop. thought it would have been a difficult project, we had asked at John Lewis as we'd had purchased it there, they gave us details of a company who specialise in Toshibas, we phoned, we found the right parts number, paid the amount requested - far less than a new machine - were told the battery would come some time this week. We were blessed with delivery on Saturday, there were no instructions but I found the original pristine manual and was surprised how easy it was to remove the old and install the new.

I am wearing ... my faithful old jeans, so pleased I can fit in them again and a warm White Stuff top. Will need to change before I go out though.

I am creating ...  a sleeveless Shalom cardigan, the pattern was downloaded from here I has been quite a learning curve form me, a little frogging has been necessary, not the fault of the designer I might add but my lack of attention to detail. So much to learn, so little time.

This is how far I have come, it's a top down pattern, no seaming as knitted in the round, am just below the armholes, am pleased it was designed for some one tall so I know it will be long enough for me. I dislike a gap at my waist (well where my waist was) when tops are too short.

I am reading ...  Songs of blue and gold by Deborah Lawrenson, have completed part 1. Needless to say this is a reading group book, am keen to keep going as it not a heavy or blood thirsty read. Well not so far, I don't know what happens next.
I am hoping... Martha's cats 'take' to me, which reminds me, they are brother and sister, not sisters. the declaration about this on Facebook prompted over 70 comments, many of which involved much discussion about choice of name now that Tabitha was not. He is now Tabs so the poor soul is not too confused. Toby was a runner up in the naming stakes.

I am hearing ... very little, the house is quiet, no planes and even more lovely no building, drilling or cutting noise from next door's building works. Is the work nearly complete? Will we be able to sit in our garden without being deafened or covered in dust? These are important questions chez Pixie Mansions.

One of my favourite things ...  old documentary films, a recent find was this, . It was fascinating that the trains to Reading and Camberley stopped at our local station at this time (1944) but nowadays we are told that South West trains cannot do this. I know it was war time but the passengers all seem to look smartly dressed and no one appears overweight as life was physically tougher then. (Using a manual typewriter used more calories than an electric one so when the latter cam into service apparently typists put on more weight)

A few plans for the rest of the week ... little planned, except for volunteering at Local Studies and maybe knitting group in their new venue. Oh, yes, it is Christian Aid this week so I shall be smiling at everyone near a pedestrian crossing in the High Street on Saturday. Give generously folks so others may have life before death.

Monday, 7 May 2012

New home for knitting needles

Well, we have been having big moves, especially of furniture because we have spread out, stuff has gone up country to our son and south to our daughter and led us to reconsider how we live in our house, mindful that Ian has chosen to  three or four years of study ahead of him so peace, quiet and no interruptions are required and granted.

Meanwhile, my life has involved collecting lots of yarn that necessitates storage for my stash and patterns, my family history research papers need better storage than two plastic boxes. As Martha's room has been cleared of all furniture except a bed that can double as a sofa, we considered how it should be furnished to be practical. It then hit us that the study was overloaded with storage units from Beaver and Tapley. So shelving, desk top and storage units have been moved into Martha's room, also giving me a home for my laptop and iPad. The laptop had perched on the dining table and it was so easy to switch it on and be lost in the wonders of Blogland, Ravelry and Google maps for many hours. Now it is more deliberate to switch on so I hope I will waste less time. A bonus is that I can link it up to a small printer and to the scanner I bought when I left Book Data, some 10 years ago this month.

There is so much history to be found when moving one's belongings around during a sort out, have commandeered an antique gift that Ian bought for his father. It is a pipe rack, meant for clay pipes so never used by FiL as his pipes didn't fit but it has become a holder for my metal knitting needles. The wooden ones live in a jug I made and painted at The Manor House Hotel in Devon, the crochet hooks and pens are in Art Deco Mugs that leak liquids

These are not all my needles, there are some in a case of Aero needles that I gave to my mother as a gift, others are stored in a cardboard tube that held shortbread biscuits. A bonus of this room is the size of the window cill, all extra space to display treasures.

In the picture one can just see our new wall and new gate, alas not the plants in the front garden.

Must just add that we have met Martha's kittens, they are delightful, still cautious especially Molly but Tabitha was bolder and actually sat on my lap and allowed this temporary staffer to stroke her. Long time since I have had a cat to stroke so am looking forward to getting to know these girls.

Our old throws have been put to good use by protecting the sofa from cats'  fur and scratchings!

More updates later.....