Friday, 27 February 2009

Moving, part 1

We are SO not ready to move house tomorrow. We spent most of yesterday evening "packing" because I wasn't feeling well and he had to sort out some stuff for work. Pretty much all of my clothes (excluding coats) are now packed, but the loft still isn't empty. It's probably (hopefully, at least) mostly empty boxes, but I know that there is a rug, a candelabra and a suitcase, plus two fans still in there.

Most of my craft items are not packed. They live in two cupboards and I have this vague idea that I will probably transport them within their drawers. The same for the filing cabinet and its contents, even though I know that this is a stupid idea. I hope that HWSNBN will leave the craft items as they are and let me work on them while he drives the van to his mum's house to collect the boxes in her garage. Or that we will be able to leave a whole cabinet exactly as it is and simply wheel it into the van (I have removed the two boxes of oil and palm oil, so what remains is a lot lighter. One drawer is pretty much unspun wool alone).

I found the key to my bike lock yesterday, underneath the sink in a plastic cup. Why on earth didn't I think to look there earlier? Where else could it possibly have been? I am slightly disappointed, as I expected to find two keys together and I did not do so, but one is far better than none at all. I have put the key in the key cupboard (the place where I was initially confident that I would find it), so now all I need to be able to do is to find the key cupboard when we unpack and I will be sorted. I suppose that I could have put it on my key ring, but that would have been cheating.*

HWSNBN has been really weird these past few days. He has been slightly tetchy, but has not had any long-term shoutiness at all. I don't know who this unusual stranger is, but I would like to keep him. It is so refreshing getting in to bed at night after a stressful few hours to find this friendly person, rather than a resentful seethe-monster, there waiting to hug me. If this new patience lasts, I just got me a wonderful new boyfriend! Hooray!

So I have an interesting evening ahead of me. HWSNBN will stay at home and pack more boxes, and I will go to the new house with my parents, Robert and Anne (Serena might also turn up) and clean enthusiastically. I have the shake & vac (but the super-strong stuff) which I shall be using first, and then we wash a lot. If we are fast, we might get home at a suitable sort of time. Whether or not we are fast, the new house should be ready for us to move in to tomorrow. By the end of tomorrow evening, we will be installed!

Then we must clean the old house.

*In other words, I am so tired that this did not occur to me.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


We are in the painfully messy process of emptying the loft. HWSNBN passed a box down to me and spider poo fell off it into my eye. He made a disgusted noise but offered no sympathy.

Also, my new walls are sticky.

Monday, 23 February 2009


I got the organ scholarship. This pleases me immensely. Of course, now the hard work is about to start. I have an easy job on Wednesday, as I just have to turn up to a couple of choir practices and sing in a service, after which point I should be given some music to practise. On Sunday, I shall have my first organ lesson for nearly a decade; that is when the fun really begins! I am hoping that I shall have a key to the Motherchurch (and instructions about how to operate the alarm system) by the end of Sunday.

The audition, therefore, was adequately good! I only got less than half way through the first piece I was playing before my foot went in the wrong direction and I lost concentration and the music fell over (not the book - the music itself). The second time I tried it I still got about five wrong notes, but it was otherwise probably the best I had played it. It sounded quite musical to me, which it does not normally do. I didn't have to play my second piece (which was probably a good thing!), but I did have to sight-read a hymn. The first half of the first play-through did not go well, but the second play-through was fine, thus demonstrating that I can learn quickly.

The scholarship will last until the end of September, and I shall have one hour of lessons every week, give or take a few holidays. After September they may have a different organ scholar, or I may be able to continue with it; it depends on whether or not anybody interesting and sufficiently musical presents themselves. If somebody suitable does come along, they say that I should be able to continue in a non-scholarship role for a bit; there is plenty to do for two people!

So it turns out that this week will be even more busy than I originally anticipated when I decided to move house. I shall be utterly frazzled next Monday. I am immensely glad that I do not have to go to church next Sunday morning, though. I think that Saturday evening will involve a take-away and moderate to large amounts of alcohol.

In a moment of excited inspiration, I have just remembered that there are three large empty plastic boxes underneath my bed. These will probably hold a lot of clothes, and should be free from spider poo (which is more than can be said for the boxes in the loft. Yuk, yuk, yuk!). I can not wait to be moved in and settled!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Who needs a point?

I have had a few days of not feeling particularly excellent. I have intended to be very busy, but mostly wasted time and packed little (good use of time is measured in boxes per hour). I have achieved a bit of organ practice, but I am unhappy with the number of wrong notes I am still playing. I will not be ready for this "audition" on Sunday. Damn this "turning up to work every day" thing.

This evening I poked some bits of wood with sharp things and left some marks. I also cut and sellotaped massive amounts of paper together. Truly, I have had a productive day.

I have now arranged to go to London to look around a few organs, though. When I say "arranged", it is more a case of having booked transport and asked a friend nicely if she will let me stay with her, then put my booking form for the event in an envelope with a stamp and address on; the posting of the envelope still has not been achieved. Hopefully this will take place tomorrow.

Oh yes - I started to learn to knit yesterday evening. I am not very good at it. I am going to knit a few more rows then unravel it and start again. My second draft will contain fewer superfluous holes. I may show photographs so you can share in my shame (although there may be no shame in being unable to knit), but then again I may just say that I packed my camera or USB cable and am therefore unable to put photos on the blog. That is entirely plausible, given that I am in the midst of packing, and so you would be none the wiser! What could possibly go wrong?

See? You don't have to have done anything of note to write a blog post. What helps, I would imagine, is being awake enough to string together groups of sentences into coherent paragraphs. I don't know that for sure, though.

As an experiment, I will try getting enough sleep and see if I am more coherent/interesting tomorrow. Naturally, I will have many moments of genius during the day when I am not blogging (snigger) but hopefully I will also retain a few pearls of wisdom with which I can enliven your existence. *

*Yes, that is sarcasm. I am too tired to be able to tell whether that is likely to be taken as patronising or as an example of irony. I am actually not of the opinion that your existence needs enlivening at all; it sounds rather exciting/relaxing/stimulating/terrifying** to me.

**Delete as appropriate.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Today I chose my new wardrobe and did organ practice. And I got a headache. Martial arts did not happen.

Alas, after I got home HWSNBN prepared a gin (and a splash of tonic) for me. It was quite strong. It took me longer to do things this evening. I am now overdue for the packing clothes thing that was due to be so integral to my evening.

I also planned to update here properly; alas, that will not happen today. Perhaps tomorrow. If anything interesting actually happens to me, that will make it a more interesting update...

*Edited so that all words were completed. Hopefully.*

Sunday, 15 February 2009


I am to be the organ scholar at my church's Mother church. They still have to hear me play, so there is still the opportunity for me to mess it up spectacularly. I shall be practising quite hard this week. I shall also be packing, going to Postgrad. Group, going to martial arts, going climbing and fitting in two joinery sessions, if all goes according to plan.

Assuming the scholarship goes ahead, I shall probably end up playing for one Sunday service in four (I am hazy about what this involves; whether it is the full service, or just parts of it), and attending another service - I would be there every other week. I would also accompany Wednesday evening practices with the girls' choir. When I wasn't playing I would sing alto with them (the organ scholar sings with the men, and alto is clearly a man's part).

Additionally (the really exciting bit) I will get organ lessons and a key to the church so that I have access to an instrument on which to practise! A reliable one! With notes that work! Consistently! And it is electronic, so it is in tune! And it has four manuals! And lots and lots and lots of different stops so I can learn all sorts of things about changing the stops I use!

I am a little excited about this (can you tell?). I have a tough week ahead of me, though. I cannot afford to mess up this playing on Sunday, which increases the probability that I will mess it up due to being nervous. I survived the Christmas carol service, but my playing was not exactly at a very high standard then. It was, in fact, well below what I need to pull off next Sunday. However, I have been practising a bit of Bach today, which has very nearly been pulled into shape, and there are a couple of hymns I can get good without much time. Perhaps I should work on "O come, all ye faithful", with its penultimate verse of glory and joy. People might look at me funny, but I think that it does require a reasonable level of playing. Also, I shall try to finish learning the Franck piece I started about 1 1/2 years ago. It was mostly at a reasonable level when it finally got too much for me (organ practice can be very, very boring), but it needs a lot of accuracy work.

Now, does anyone have any suggestions about what I should give up to make space for this scholarship? The things I do are as follows:

  • Work full-time
  • Have a relationship
  • Go to Postgrad. Group on Mondays
  • Do martial arts on Tuesdays
  • Do joinery on Wednesdays (this will have to move, for starters)
  • Go climbing on Thursdays or Fridays (when possible)
  • Visit my family some Fridays/Saturdays
  • Play the organ on Sunday mornings
  • Relax, occasionally
  • Do a wide variety of crafts in my free time
I'm not really seeing what can go. The full-time-ness of the work really needs to go ASAP. The joinery has to stay if I am to become an organ builder. Postgrad. Group is fun, and I am committed to leading a session this term. Martial arts is a grind, but it is very good for me in a lot of different ways. I enjoy climbing and it is helping to make me less fat. I haven't even started the horse riding yet! I will, of course, be cycling into work soon, which will give me some exercise, but this is going to take some serious planning! Oh yes, and I plan to grow vegetables. This can take place during my weekend leisure hours.

HWSNBN has just told me that I have to keep an evening free this week in order to get on with packing. I suppose that he has a point. I daresay that I shall concede and spend an evening with him and some boxes. Perhaps tomorrow evening would do. I could get a practice session in straight after work, then spend the evening roasting vegetables and deciding which clothes I want to get rid of. Which will be painful (it was yesterday; I ended up leaving a big "undecided" pile on the floor, which I must sift through and choose about half of them).

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Many things

Progress has been made in several areas of my life. Not in the "writing without starting with an incredibly dry sentence in the passive voice" area, but in many other areas.

Yesterday I called the organ builders with whom I am hoping to start an apprenticeship at some point. I have a PhD funding deadline coming up, and if there is no hope of me becoming an organ builder it would be better to find out sooner rather than later so that I can go for this funding.

We had a nice chat. She reckons that there will be a shortage of organ tuners in the next few years, so I would have a good chance of getting a job as a tuner, providing I am up to the task. They are not looking to expand, so there are unlikely to be any organ building jobs advertised, but she said that they would often be able to create a position if the right person came along.

As an organ builder's apprentice, I would be on the minimum wage. This means that I would be better off financially than when I did my MSc. That can only be a good thing! I was a little worried that it would be legal to pay apprentices less than the minimum wage, as they receive training. Given that I have to eat, not being paid would be too much of a barrier for me, and I would not be able to do that.

I have been advised to contact my local (only an hour's drive away) organ builder and see if I can get some tuning work experience. As organ builders only work during normal working hours, and I work during normal working hours, I am going to have to reduce my hours somehow to accommodate this. I would like to reduce my hours anyway, as I need a bit more variety in my days, and I need to get it before I explode rather than after the event. I am working on it. Last time (when I did my MSc), after an epic battle (and an unsuccessful job hunt), I got my wish, but my reasoning is more flimsy now - everything is still speculative.

It was wonderful when I only worked 3 1/2 days per week, though. Everything seemed easier, and the job was so much fun! It was harder fitting more into the time available, but I had more motivation to do it because I knew that I didn't have to go to work on Fridays. I also didn't notice very much when I had been a long time without a holiday, and holidays were a big treat. Granted, the MSc really did take it out of me (oh, those nightmare late-night essay/dissertation sessions, in which I was convinced that I would never ever get it done, and that I might as well give up because there was no way I would get the marks I wanted. The mark I needed to get for my dissertation was impossibly high for me, so this was quite a reasonable fear!), so it was not all joy and puppies, but I did get a lot more variety. I want variety, and I want it now!

I also have some non-news about this organ scholarship I am hoping to get. They have e-mailed me asking me to give them a call. We shall see where that leads. It would be wonderful to have an organ to practise on, and somebody who would be disappointed/annoyed if I were to fail to do enough practice, though. I think that my playing would improve a lot. Certainly next year's Chaplaincy Christmas carol service would be more relaxing. Except that I would probably come up with an excellent way to make life more complicated for myself by playing something I have no hope of playing, mess it up, and become known as the next organist to mess up, despite generally playing better than my previous performance, which was widely acclaimed (because they are not very musical there, apparently. It really wasn't great by any of the usual definitions).

So I am now feeling nervous, excited, and slightly concerned about my mental health. I am not convinced I should move so quickly from the pits of despair to being content (in an expectant way), hopeful and excited, and am hoping that these are not the symptoms of a crazy chemical imbalance which will have to be treated with drugs (as you can see, the paranoia remains). It does seem unlikely, though; surely it is the circumstances that have changed. I suppose that I have taken a step towards something I really want to do, established that it is not impossible that I would be able to do that closer to where I currently live (we would have to move between City Below and Other City), and heard something which is not yet negative about this organ scholarship. I am also confident that my hours will be reduced so that I only work four days per week, but that confidence is clearly because I am delusional, as it flies in the face of logic.

Oh yes, and I went climbing yesterday. Now my arms are a little stiff (and my legs a little tired), but I am very glad that I went. I am not going to fit into the trousers I am just about to throw away by sitting on my bum doing nothing! Also, I got to go to the supermarket and discover that my debit card has gone walkabouts - it is better to find that sort of thing out sooner rather than later. It is also good that I have two debit cards from which to choose, as otherwise buying my shopping would have been more difficult. I suspect that I have just mislaid it (it will probably be on my office floor), but it has now been canceled. The numbers I had to call were obsolete, though - using area codes that no longer exist. Perhaps I should ask them for an updated keyring...

Thursday, 12 February 2009

I think I may have got distracted somewhere along the way

I am feeling a bit better today. Thank goodness for that. It is so very frustrating being so annoyed over so little. It is also very tiring and a waste of my life. Happiness is much more satisfactory, and I shall try to do this instead. Except that one cannot do happiness, as far as I know. But you know what I mean.

Anyway, posts complaining are often very boring indeed, especially if the writer can't even be bothered to format them correctly. I shall therefore talk of joyful things.

I should have some fuchsia alpaca wool arriving any day now. Also some knitting needles in the wrong size (1.25mm too big).* How exciting! In a totally novel and unpredictable move, I shall then knit myself a scarf. It will be the wrong shape, I expect, but I think that it might be a good idea to let go of the perfection thing until my second knitting project.

I think I milked that subject for all it was worth today.**** Now to milk another.

I am surrounded by boxes at the moment. Many of them now contain lots of things, including HWSNBN's CD collection. This is a big collection. If this move has done nothing else, it has given him an opportunity to sort this out and retrieve a couple of his CDs from my CD rack. One of them (my favourite one) was just an empty case.***** It turned out that this is because he had put the CD in his car CD case, for traveling - its missing-ness was not my fault at all! In fact, it was not actually missing at all, and I did not get into trouble! Yay for CDs!

I also started to sort out my shoes. I have selected about eight pairs I am happy to get rid of (well, about five pairs I am happy to get rid of, and three pairs I want to keep (including my favourite shoes in the world ever (2002-2007, RIP), which have flowers on the soles so that they make patterns when I walk on the sand), but have decided that it just isn't sensible), and kept two boxes of them. No, I am not counting. I might post a photo when they are installed, though. Not of the shoes specifically, more of the new house. I imagine that I will be very proud of my work when we are installed, and will want to show it off. I do sound a little weird, though, wanting to post photos of shoes. There are only two pairs I really consider to be photo-worthy (plus my favourite pair ever); my new strappy ankle shoes and my black leather knee-high boots which don't really fit me but which are too new, lovely and gorgeous to get rid of. Ever. They will go really well with my corset, should I have occasion to wear such an outfit.

Anyway, I have one box of shoes packed (I can't go anywhere posh until after we move now), and a few big ones (boots) standing by until I open another box for my shoes. I think that I will start to sort out my clothes on Saturday afternoon, after the landlord has visited. Tomorrow evening, HWSNBN will move most/all of the boxes to his mum's garage; when I return from climbing I can give the bathroom a preliminary good clean (in case the landlord wants to see it), and HWSNBN will hopefully do something with the kitchen.

Of course, we still have to go to The Field and take all of the flagstones which have been hanging around to the vegetable patch (I want to complete the paths this year) on Saturday. While we are there, we really ought to take some trees for planting, as I am getting little tired of carting trees around. Also, I think that they would probably like their freedom. I would really like to see the purple hazel grow big and strong, and it is not going to do that in a little pot. Having said that, I think that I will keep the acers in pots, and will probably also have to keep the twisted ?willow? ?hazel? and the little dangly tree, which has catkins. Does that make it a willow? And the two hostas. Possibly a pot of mint (although I will probably liberate all of that, too - it is out-competing the nettles where it has been planted, and I know that I would rather have hills overrun with mint (which does not sting you and tastes good on its own) than nettles (which do, and which I haven't tasted). I am sure that I have lots of other random little plants which need moving, but I can't remember them just yet.

Another task I must complete is the plotting of the vegetable patch. I need to ascertain whether or not I have permission to bring some of my friends along to help with the growing/weeding (and possibly also the mowing - Rose is the adventurous sort, and would probably be up for that. I don't expect she has had a go on a ride-on mower before). If I do, we need to sketch out a plan for what will be grown in each bed soon, and get the peppers started. Ideally, they need to get going in February, so if I could get permission on Saturday I could speak to them on Sunday and arrange a date to meet up and discuss options.

Although there are certain things which must be done with the design of the plot (I am trying to get into a strict rotation pattern, so that each bed only has potatoes once every six years - there are 8 beds, two of which have semi-permanent and permanent dwellers, and which are subject to a different rotation pattern from the other beds. Lettuces went there last year), we can afford to be adventurous with the actual vegetables we grow. I need to make the order soon, though (although I will be eke-ing out the seeds I have left from previous years where possible, and I do already have a full complement of potatoes. But the artichokes need splitting ASAP - they were looking really tired last year. Bugger - I forgot to make a note of which ones were doing well, and which were not).

Also, Rose and Ele will be giving up plastic for Lent, which adds a bit of complication to getting compost for starting off seedlings. Hopefully the stuff I have already will do - that was bought last year, and so is exempt from their ruling. I hope. Otherwise, I am sure that they will be happy to extract their own topsoil from The Field.

Did I ramble? Sorry about that. I suddenly realised that I am not nearly busy enough at the moment. I hope that this vegetable patch helping thing works - we could get a really good crop (weather permitting) this year. Oh, and Ele and I will make wine. That will be fun, too. Not before we move, though. I packed my wine book, and will pack the equipment any day now.

*Yes, I know - the brief was to talk about something joyful and interesting.** I do not look likely to succeed at either. It should be less angry, though - is that any good?

**Well, the "interesting bit was implicit, insofar as I was suggesting that writing boring things was bad; people who do that are usually getting at the necessity to write interesting things, although they could just really be in to*** boring things.

***in to? into? Probably the latter. The former just looks weird.

****Don't worry - you will get to hear of it again.
Goodness me; this level of sarcasm is hard to bear sometimes, isn't it. If it were funny it could be more useful, but I am using the whole "let's try to make this slightly funny by pointing out that it isn't really very interesting (to put it politely) to the vast majority of people" gag a little bit too often. Should I accept that these things are not interesting and just stop using the gag, or should I jut think that those who do not find it fascinating don't have to read it, and stop trying to make it funny? Whichever way you look at it, I should be limited to using that inexpert device twice a month at most. Please don't count, though; you'll only disappoint me when you point out my mistake. Although I will be impressed that you noticed.

*****Actually, this was not the case. (sorry) It contained one of my learn Italian CDs. My learn Italian CD case, however, did not hold the corresponding CD of HWSNBN; effectively, the case was empty, only with a few hopeful moments when I thought I would be able to retrieve the lost item without getting into trouble.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Today has been a day of challenges. It has also been the day of receiving a pay claim form for that maths teaching I did, so it was not all bad.

Today I am going to talk about being annoyed. If you are lucky, this will be brief.

One of the joys of my life at the moment is that everything seems to annoy me. When people ask me to do things in the wrong way I get annoyed; when people ask me to do things in the right way I get annoyed. I find going to bed annoying, and getting out of it again moreso. Having a shower is a bit of an imposition. The way my legs itch if they are three days away from being shaved with an Approved Razor is annoying. The mess the house is in is annoying. The way I am writing this list is ever so annoying, with a whole lot of extra redundancy. Let's change tactics.

Things I find annoying
  • I have too many clothes
  • me, in general
  • The "bold" thing that is happening with these bullet points
  • It appears that my e-mail has crashed
  • That previous phrase, with its non-grammatical nonsenseness
  • Inconsistent capitalisation
  • People asking me to do things
  • People coming to talk to me and rubbing their eyes instead
  • My reactions to aforementioned eye-rubbing, garlic-smelling person
  • The mundanity of existence
  • The pretentiosness of me
  • That there is nothing actually wrong but I still hate it all
  • The distance between where I park my car and where I work, and the fact that this distance can not be traversed within 60 seconds
  • Text messages
  • People responding to the e-mail they imagine I sent, rather than the one I actually sent
  • People telling me what to do
  • How I have too many crafts, but never get very far with them
  • How I whinge too much
  • How I can't be bothered to fix the bold issue
  • Spilling blackcurrant juice on the cream rug and settee
  • Spilling blackcurrant juice on my trousers. Fortunately, they are black. And sticky. That bit is less fortunate
  • How I do not have enough motivation to get out of this rut
  • Nana is still very ill, and probably feels like crap only worse
  • Mother has to deal with this and I do not help her mostly because I am not there, but also because I am afraid of people vomiting
  • Anne is ill again. Not very ill, but it is happening too much
  • Many of my friends are unhappy; some of them are very ill
  • Some of them tell me about it in text messages. When they find this blog entry, offence will be caused
  • I have to take some books back to the library, but I haven't finished reading them because I just don't have the time or the energy
  • I am too fat (actually, this is the most minor annoyance)
  • I still can't breathe properly but now believe that the test that needs doing will be a waste of time and show nothing, and also lead me no closer to being able to breathe properly
  • I keep typing "breathe" as "breather"
  • Modern Christian music
  • My role in modern Christian music
  • Not doing enough organ practice
  • My lack of staying power (a year ago, it was actually very good)
  • The state of my garage
  • My bad attitude
  • I haven't done any clarinet practice yet
  • I am out of sellotape. Still.
  • I should be in bed now
  • I feel very trapped
  • I am very annoying with this list, and also in general
  • I haven't done nearly enough packing
  • I am very snappy, and keep making sarcastic remarks at inappropriate times and to inappropriate people
  • I have no plan of action
  • I need to get a new bike light
  • Many of the other things that are happening in the world
Yeah. Still the bold issue (did I break the HTML? How?).

To end on a thoroughly inappropriate note, I was going to show you a photo of the creative sunburn I got last June, but Blogger is broken, apparently. This can only be a good thing; there are enough things in this post that I am going to regret already. I shall get some photos of things that are not felt animals up one day, though. Just not today.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Knitting progress

I am in a better mood today. Thank goodness. I still have no idea what I am going to do with my life (insofar as I have no solid plans), but that is OK for today.

I have bought some knitting needles, though. Unfortunately, the charity shop does not sell them (they are offensive weapons), so I went online. They should arrive early next week. Now I am looking for wool. I am also running late for Martial Arts, and cannot realistically expect to eat beforehand now. Ah well; such is life.

Monday, 9 February 2009


I am trapped in a cage. I made it myself. You would not expect anything less, I am sure.

It is nice and safe. It is hard to hurt me when I am behind these thick, strong bars that I made (ironmongery of the mind is one of my many talents). I have spent years forging them just so; they contain me.

I suppose that trapped isn't really the right word - I can get out of it. It's just that the door in the cage is very high on one of the walls.

When I get there I can either go straight ahead into another cage (tunnel-shaped; getting narrower), or jump into the unknown and see what happens. It is dark outside my cage; it could be a long fall and there may be nobody there to catch me, just people cheering me on from afar.

There could be another cage where I land. This cage could be less comfortable and safe.

I am building steps out of my cage. Once I get within grabbing distance of the door, though, it will be time to take action. I am building the steps slowly so that this does not happen too soon. As I said, it is safe within my cage.

My cage is not bare. There are plenty of playthings. They do not melt the bars, though.

My cage is portable. It won't go very far, but it does not have to stay in exactly the same place: some variety is permitted, although not welcomed. The doors have to be padlocked shut to facilitate any moving, and it is a while before they will be opened again.

I can still build the steps while I am waiting, though. I can stand at the door and try to gauge what will happen when I step through.

I actually feel as though I might explode. If this were not impossible, I would be mildly concerned. There would be limbs everywhere. People might trip.


Suddenly I feel as though I should learn how to knit. Preferably this evening. I know that it's not a road I should go down, as I will then have to learn how to spin my own yarn, then learn how to dye it, then have to start keeping sheep to support my habit (I really hope that I am exaggerating here), but I want to start a small gauntlet selection, some of which must be in very soft wool (silk will do, of course), and some of which must be in very sturdy wool. As I do not want to buy these, I shall have to make them myself.

Of course, I do not have any knitting needles, nor any wool I would use for knitting: the only stuff I have is ribbon substitute, for adding the finishing touch to wrapped soaps/presents/truffles. It is all synthetic and a lot of it changes colour as it goes along; this is an effect I really love in the wool itself, but I find the effect it gives to finished garments really irritating.

The plan is this: tomorrow I shall go go the charity shop to see if they have any knitting needles. If they do, I need to find some wool (either as a ball from there, or from a garment from there which is made from good wool, but which is not very pretty). If they do not, my plan is scuppered for a bit. I really want to have a scarf underway by the time I go to visit the parents on Friday (HWSNBN can drive while I knit) so that I can learn some basic stitches again. Once I have mastered that, I can then attempt gauntlets. Because they will be very easy, I am sure.

HWSNBN will, of course, be delighted for me to find a whole new hobby just before we move house. If I keep it to one pair of needles and a couple of balls of wool it should be manageable...

Saturday, 7 February 2009


Yesterday evening brought with it some interesting developments. It would appear that the person to whom I have been giving large amounts of shredded paper is looking for someone to ride her older horse. That person could be me! Of course, I shall have to demonstrate proficiency in the art of staying on, starting, stopping and steering. My legs remember, though, and have been telling me to get back on a horse recently. I, of course, have been telling them to shut up, as I can't really justify spending money on this, nor do I have the time, and I am not prepared to make both the time and money for this. If I only have to make one of the two, I am in!

The next step is to retrieve my riding hat and boots from the parents' house, and obtain a suitable pair of trousers. After that, I believe that I am to have a go at riding the horse (whose name is Holly, I think) in an enclosed space so that she can't run away with me.

I rode most weeks between the ages of 10 and 18, so I used to be mostly OK (although my sense of balance was always somewhat dodgy; I am hoping that the yoga and martial arts I have done in the meantime will help with this), but 18 was a long time ago. I think I rode again once when I was 20, but that didn't really work. I blame it on the horse being young and unbalanced, but it could well just have been because I was rubbish. I just prefer that explanation less.

Today we have been moving boxes around. We put my books and the DVDs in HWSNBN's mum's garage and collected a lot of boxes. I think that my next task will be to pack the contents of the kitchen (except for the plates, bowls, cutlery and three pans. Plus a roasting tin. Oh, and the cups and some glasses. And most of the food, for now. So basically I need to pack the kitchen equipment that I don't use very often, which is a different proposition, I suppose). That will start shortly, and will continue tomorrow afternoon.

Ah. I shall have to go - Stephen Fry's on (QI), and I've not seen this episode before.

Argh! He's gone orange! How did that happen?

Friday, 6 February 2009

My intellectual challenge for the day

Eating soupy rice noodles lacking in structural integrity, from a bowl, with a slightly inadequate fork.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Still moving. Will be moving for a while.

I continue to bimble along, achieving little. I have started to pack the contents of my house (five boxes down, more than I care to admit to go), and shall have to make a concerted effort in that direction this weekend. I told HWSNBN that I was prepared to take on a lot of the responsibility for this house move, so I shall have to become very proactive soon.

Last night I packed all gardening books of the appropriate size, most of Delia (her vegetarian collection is, alas, too big for my boxes) and my entire soup-making collection. And a few assorted cookbooks also of the appropriate size. I also moved three candles across to a different table, two matches back into their box, and the radio onto the floor. I can scarcely keep up with the pace of my packing myself - it must be very bewildering only to hear about it second-hand. I am sure you are amazed with the sheer quantity of book categories I can pack in just one single evening. Let me tell you, that is nothing. I can pack twice that, and propose to do so this evening. I know, I know; I really am setting difficult-to-achieve goals for myself, but one has to aim high or one will never achieve anything!

Actually, the most difficult goal I have set for myself is that of moving twice as many boxes from the office to the car as I did yesterday - I was at my limit with six boxes, one of which some girl took a fancy to. She requested it and I gave it to her with very bad grace indeed. I know - I can make a run at lunchtime. Tuesday's bags of shredded paper still take up most of the back of my car, though, and the hammocks (which I still haven't told HWSNBN about) are still in the boot of the car, plus I am giving a lift to my colleague this evening which means that a) I will not be getting rid of the shredded paper this evening; and b) I must not stack the passenger seat full of boxes. I could always lift up the back seats and stack the paper bags on top of each other, I suppose.

We also have to get rid of the bed settee temporarily. No need to pay attention to this section, though - I have a feeling I have said it already, and that I shall say it again a few times until the offending item is moved. Once that is gone I will have more space to sort out my clothes and *sob* get rid of some of them. As one of the objects of this house move is to make me get rid of excess stuff (as opposed to acquiring hammocks), I had better make a good job of it. Also, the washing needs to be washed and put away. As HWSNBN will be off work for a few days he might do this. Then again, he might not. I ought to put a wash on when I get home (I notice that he has put a selection of dirty clothes in the basket - it will not be hard), and put lots of clean clothes away.

I noticed that the knicker fairy had been to fill up the knicker drawer since yesterday morning. I didn't look in the sock drawer (wearing tights today. You don't think they would go in the sock drawer, do you? How absurd. They go in the bra, corset and nightwear drawer, of course!) but I suspect that she will have visited too - she works with the knicker fairy quite regularly. The t-shirt, shirt and skirt fairy, alas, does not exist (HWSNBN might beg to differ on this one, although he would lament the infrequency of her visits). The trouser fairy has only ever appeared to me once, but she did a good job in difficult circumstances. Her little fairy hands must be better at getting trousers into an already full drawer than mine are.

I am starting to feel a little sad about moving. Still afraid (although much less so), but the packing process just makes me feel bad. It's the emptying and removing myself from the place,I suppose. I could also be mis-attributing the sadness I feel because I have so much packing to do, to the fact that I am leaving this house. That doesn't sound entirely unlikely. Mind you, I am the sort of person who likes to be where she is already. Going anywhere always takes time because I rarely want to stop staying put. Even at work it can take me ages to leave, because I am settled there.

Ah well; I am sure that this will all be very good for me. If Efficient Abi manages to surface this evening, some actual progress may well be made...

Monday, 2 February 2009

Not snowed in

The weather forecasts last night promised snow over England. Unfortunately, this did not really include the North West, insofar as I did not get snowed in. I SO live in the wrong part of the country.

Nonetheless, it is snowing a bit. Snow is good, but it is better when viewed from beside a warm fire at home, with the option to go outside and make snowballs.

HWSNBN has the end of this week and the beginning of next week off work. I am so jealous! His holiday year ends in April, so he has to use up his last few days of holiday before the Holiday Monster eats them. I have nearly a whole holiday year ahead of me, and will have to be careful with my holidays for a few months...