Fixed . . .

The printer has now decided it will print stuff. Thankfully.

The jumper which needed mending arrived, I sorted out what needed to be done, undid what needed to be undone, and fixed it. I have learned two things from this. One is to make sure I always pick up all of the stitches for the neck, and the other is to always make a note of what size needles I’ve used! I knit very tightly so always use a bigger size needle. On DK, that’s easy, I just use 4.5mm for the body and 3.75 or 4mm for the welts. But this is Aran, and Bergere de France to boot, so I wasn’t sure. The neck wasn’t so critical, because it’s all one piece, but the sleeve . . . I really needed to be sure I wasn’t going to spoil the look with a sudden change of tension. I looked everywhere. Ravelry (hadn’t made a note on the “project”), the actual pattern (nope), and decided I’d just give it a go with size 5mm for the neck and 6mm for the sleeve and check after a couple of rows. Luckily I guessed right, but have made a note on the pattern now!

The best representation of the actual colour is the first one below on the left. It’s the top of the sleeve. I think LCS caught it on something and just yanked, and then picked at it a bit. The picture on the right shows I clearly missed a stitch on the neck.

Neck taken down, stitches on holders. Sleeve removed, 16 rows frogged, stitches on holder.

All back together again, as good as new.

Being collected by postie tomorrow for delivery to grandson. Phew. An interesting little job. I had to be very careful not to snip the wrong thread . . . and I managed not to. I can pick up one stitch at a time from several rows down, so that was lucky. The hole in the sleeve – well, the yarn was broken in three places. I checked all my finishing off and that seemed ok, and I tend not to do knots in the middle of a row – for this very reason! So some learning, and some vindication, and all in all I’m very pleased with it. Grandson loves this jumper, and he’s very particular about clothes, so it was important for both of us that it was fixable.

Also, here is a picture of our 11 year old cat, who was very, very wary of the snow but has decided it doesn’t hurt, it’s just a bit cold on the old paws.

To The Wire

Wow but it’s been tense this last week. I live in the UK, but it feels like the whole world has been awaiting the results of the US election.

I am so relieved, just so relieved, that Biden and Kamala won. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, despite Trump’s blustery tweets (which seem to have gone very, very quiet this weekend).

There is of course a lot to deal with now, including how on earth it was such a close race.

Ho hum. I do have a lot more thoughts on this particular subject, but not sure it’s appropriate to share them right now, as there are a lot of people who will not be at all happy with the election result.

So what’s been going on here? at our house? well, I have a niece who is 40 years old today. Lockdown celebration of course, and her sister collated video messages from family and friends which she’s made into a delightful mixture. It’s just so lovely.

And last Sunday hubby had a birthday, so I made him a chocolate cake. Dairy free of course. It was, even though I say it myself, absolutely delicious. I baked it on the Saturday, but we couldn’t wait until the actual birthday to start on it, so we had some on Saturday . . . . And on Sunday evening, just before national lockdown, we went to Lambs of Sheep Street in Stratford upon Avon, which is a fabulous restaurant we go to regularly. Excellent. Hubby had steak, I had duck. Delicious. Then we went home and ate some more chocolate cake . . .

Then hubby’s very old MiniMac computer started playing up. It had Ubuntu installed on it, because one of the iOS updates broke it. At least Windows will tell you if an update is inappropriate (usually). But even with Ubuntu, it was failing. So now he has a Lenovo with an SSD. Runs like the wind. But it arrived with no DVD drive in it. I am in correspondence with Lenovo (We bought it direct from them) to find out why. I’d like them to send me the drive and I can fit it. I also want to know why the guarantee has only 8 months left on it, as we bought it this week. Hmph.

I’ve been sleeping a lot. I mean A Lot. Yesterday I woke at 2.30 pm, today I got up, had breakfast, and went back to bed again. Woke at 12.30, so I was able to at least shower and dress before hubby’s afternoon ziz.

All the Xmas presents are ready to be wrapped, labelled and parcelled up, but I just don’t have the oomph to actually do it. I’m intending to do it in stages, it’s just too much altogether otherwise. Even so. Maybe tomorrow morning. Our main postal service has started collecting parcels from your house, so that will help a lot.

Finally found some jeans I like. John Lewis. Yeah. The thing is, because they’re brand spanking new, it feels odd to wear them round the house! so I haven’t yet. But I will I’m sure when I’m feeling a bit more Rah! Rah!

Decided I would crochet some face / wash cloths, so am awaiting some lovely variegated yarn (Rainbow Cotton from Hobbii). It’ll make a change from knitting and won’t take long. Am awaiting a grandson’s measurements from his mum before I can continue knitting the jumper I started. Apparently he’s had a growth spurt, and is all arms and legs. Not sure I want to knit something that (a) he may not choose to wear and (b) won’t fit him even if he does adopt it. Hence the crochet project idea.

On A Roll

Last weekend I painted the new back gate with Cuprinol Forest Green stuff. I think I posted photos.

This morning, as it’s dry and sunny, I gloss painted the door of the store cupboard we have, which opens on to the passage between our house and next door. It took an hour and a half. That involved washing both sides of the door with sugar soap (god it was filthy), sanding both sides down, and glossing both sides. I did my best to contain any mess, and forgot to take before and after photos. But to be honest I’m not sure any photos would have been that interesting. A dirty white door, then a clean white door. Yeah.

It takes six hours before you can do a second coat (I may or may not, I shall decide later), but maximum half an hour to actually do a coat. We shall see.

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I’ve just read the latest Cormoran Strike book (Robert Galbraith/J K Rowling). It’s called Troubled Blood, and I read it through again, immediately after finishing the first time. Then I re-read the other four books. The two main characters are so well drawn, and the plots are intriguing. It’s been televised here in the UK, at least the first four books have, and the actors are perfect for the parts. Very satisfying. Now I can’t wait for the next one.

Also in the middle of reading a Ruth Rendell (Inspector Wexford) mystery and I really like her style too – although there are some politically incorrect attitudes. Probably because of the time when she was writing – and she usually manages to imply disapproval of such attitudes anyway.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Not even going to talk about the USA. So depressing and worrying.

Brain Fog

Well, that’s how it feels to me. There is quite a lot going on in there, but I can’t access it. It seems that there are things I need to remember, or remember to do, but there’s so much I can’t sort it out. A bit like my brain is scrambled. If I were to draw a picture of it right now, it would just be a big old scribble.

There is currently a guy “doing things” in the garden. He has replaced the disintegrated back gate, the broken man hole cover, flattened the trip-hazard flagstones in the back garden, and is currently mending a sort of fence panel at the other side of the house from the back gate.

Also digging up a huge, ugly, aggressive phormium. This nearly died a few years ago when we had a dreadful winter but has recovered. It pokes people in the eye when they come to the door though. Not nice.

I have already ordered a lovely soft pretty Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus because I’m so excited about having the space for a nice plant. I think it’s the same as this one, in the back garden. I hope so. It’s very similar anyway. The one we have looks gold or silver depending on the light. I cut it right down to the ground in spring and look how it grows!

So between making this guy endless cups of tea – well it is quite cold outside and it’s hard physical work – I have wrapped and got ready to post the Christmas and (January) birthday presents for the New Zealand granddaughter. Harder than it sounds, because part of that involved a jigsaw. Well, the jigsaw box was too big and heavy to include, because size as well as weight is restricted when you’re posting so far away. So I ordered a smaller gift box to put the jigsaw in, which worked, but then I found a piece of the jigsaw on the floor. Luckily (!) before I’d wrapped everything up. That meant I needed to actually do the jigsaw to make sure all the pieces were there. The recipient is going to be 5 years old and boy did I struggle with it. I expect she’s better than me at such things though. Hopefully.

Anyway, all the pieces are there, it’s all fitted in the box all wrapped up with a separate envelope with the jigsaw picture printed on an A4 piece of card, and the whole thing weighed less than 1.5kg. Excellent.

This sort of thing leaves me absolutely wrecked though. It’s such a simple job but it really takes it out of me. It’s done now. But no ironing today! the shopping was delivered and that’s me done for today.

My Own Little Bubble

Well. Now then. The news, nationally and globally is just so damn depressing.

The UK and lots of other countries seem to be playing Whack-a-Mole with Covid-19.

The US election campaigning is in full swing. Somebody is tweeting rubbish in all capital letters. Racism. Lies.

UK exam results are completely buggered (although our granddaughter did Very Very Well in her GCSEs this year).

I’m really struggling with pain, exhaustion and low mood ( I do know that this is selfish when there’s so much going on, so let’s add guilt to that particular little mix).

Hubby is trying to explain Modern Monetary Theory to me. I sort of get it in a very muddled way but it’s so very different from what I was taught at school 50 years ago. I also worked in a bank for 12 years, and there had to be a debit for every credit, so I’m very confused and fuzzy about it.

So I have decided I’m going to try to stop worrying about stuff I can’t change, and reach out from time to time for some chocolate/painkillers.

Meanwhile my Ab Fab rose is starting to bud like billyo again. Love it so much. It really cheers me up.

Keeping calm and . . .

The gloves for my arthritic hand(s) arrived today. I’m wearing just one on the worse hand and it does seem to be helping. Might even glovetry knitting again – tomorrow night perhaps. I’d rather wear a funny old glove than take painkillers, not least because you can’t always get the painkillers at the moment. 🤷‍♂️

After the doctor’s surgery phoned us, we seem to be on the list for supermarket deliveries (not Sainsbury’s, however, just Waitrose – maybe they use different databases) which has eased my anxiety somewhat. It’s still difficult to find delivery slots, but at least there are some.

Poor old Boris. Not quite so invincible as he thought, after boasting a few weeks ago that he would continue to shake hands with everybody, even those with coronavirus. I don’t wish him ill, and actually hope he gets better, but honestly.

Twice a week we do a video chat with the five year old grandson in Southampton. It’s always entertaining. Clothes – meh, they’re just a nuisance, according to him. Wearing clothes simply creates washing, apparently. I sing him a couple of songs (the Welly Song by Billy Connolly and Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud by Flanders and Swann) and today I did Forgiven (A A Milne) and Jabberwocky(Lewis Carroll) [If English is not your first language, be warned that Jabberwocky is full of nonsensical, invented words.] He liked them both, having checked that Jabberwocky included death. It does. So that was fine.

Went for a walk round the block – about 8 minutes I’d say, depending on my walking speed. I also bumped into a particularly interesting feline, who hates our cat, in our garden, but loves anybody who is walking along the road. I think it’s a female. Long-haired, slightly pushed-in face, grey and brown colouring, and a very assertive miaow. Yeah. Hubby had to rescue her once from next door’s roof. With a ladder. At 5 am. Mm. Luckily nobody saw him and called the police . . . . .

The postal service seems to be almost normal now. I think that our post office workers, our refuse collectors, our street cleaners, all our public service workers, supermarket workers, and particularly our doctors, nurses and pharmacies, are doing an absolutely wonderful, wonderful job. It’s all so fraught, and everybody is potentially in danger, but they’re just carrying on. Strict rules of course about keeping your distance from others, and some items are rationed in the shops, but fair enough, that’s just fine with me.

I do worry though about people with children of any age stuck in a high-rise flat. How on earth would you manage? I’d go bonkers in very short order, I know that.

weestorybook says that lockdown is mildly conducive to online shopping (I paraphrase). Mildly? Mildly?? here on planet loonyfeminist, it’s my new hobby. Just ordered some new tops, some from Laura Ashley, some from Seasalt, and then received an email from Seasalt telling me that one of the tops (my very favourite of course) wasn’t actually available. It took me all day to realise that I could get it elsewhere. So I did.

I’m home!

Went to New Zealand for a month to stay with YD and family. It was absolutely excellent. Very hot. Swimming in the sea is normal (did that a LOT). So is factor 50 sunscreen and a sunhat and covering up in the sun (in fact strongly advised).

It’s very relaxed there, although it’s stuck in the 50s in some ways. I didn’t see one single homeless person or beggar, no litter or graffiti, and there seems to be huge awareness of and responsibility for the environment, and despite the racism and inequality, a sense of what social justice means.

Expensive though. It’s so far away from anywhere they have to grow, make, or import everything. The fruit and veg are enormous! and delicious.

It’s a bitch of a journey though. 30 hours door to door each way, and then there’s the jet lag to deal with. Feeling slightly more normal today – today is the sixth day since I arrived home.

Here are some photos. When my head has returned to its normal state I’ll write more.

Update.

The Aged Mother did not recover. She died peacefully on Monday night.  We are currently waiting to collect the necessary documentation from the hospital to register the death and organise the funeral.

It’s all very sad. Her house is a treasure trove of old letters and stuff which will all need sorting out. I feel relieved that she’s no longer suffering and pretending she’s not. Brave, fierce, and difficult.

That’s it I think for now.