Friday, 20 January 2006

Oi sexy!

I'm the one on the left...
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This is moi last night at the annual awards dinner. There are some other photos and I do keep thinking when I look at them that I have really put on a lot of weight since getting ill. It's like with saving though, I need some woohaha type motivation to do something about it. Really MUST do some exercise tomorrow. Sure that would help with the spots too, which are pissing me right off. Looked like I had two extra noses on my chin last night.

The sexier lady on the right is Narinder, my past-side-kick when I had staff and general lovely person. We were both accompanied with our other halves and Mr Pooch did us both proud and looked outstanding in black tie with a little wing collar shirt and the baby pink socks that I got him for xmas. Narinder was there with her HUSBAND...look at her. She is 24. Maybe possibly 25. And she has a husband. I went to her wedding and it was wicked. And look at me...27, NO husband. Pooch. Dude. I'm telling you. That would really be motivation to fit into a nice dress.

So on the crafty front things have been relatively quiet. I did manage to fall for the idea of jean greenhowe's knitted dolls and things - julie had one of her books at golders green. So this caused me to break my savings promise type thing and expend £1.99 including postage on two of her works on ebay. HOWEVER... I did manage not to buy this book. It took a whole lot of willpower though, I'm telling you. I had it in my hand in Foyles and managed to PUT THE BOOK DOWN AND BACK AWAY MISS BYRNE. Had to make do with two on surveys and qualitative research for work.

Pooch and I are doing well on our own version of secret pal. He got me "The Taking of Pelham 123" on DVD which I have just watched this evening and really love. I'm now watching 'Shall we Dance' with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Ahhhh, aren't they lovely? It's been a lovely evening really! Few more bits of patchwork until the bath is ready then an early night.

Wednesday, 18 January 2006


I am a fritterer. I don’t spend large amounts on single items – I spend small amounts on the odd bit or bob here or there. And so. Friends. I have decided to try a new method of saving money.
First of all let us understand the byrne-mind.
  1. I love getting things by post (I really really love this)
  2. I love frittery-type shopping
  3. I love having pretty, nice things around me.
  4. My spending is mainly done online while at work.
  5. My level of indulgence depends on my bank balance.
  6. I rarely spend more than £15 at a time. And often less than £10.
  7. Most of this frittering occurs on ebay. Runner up is wool shops.
  8. I know I don’t need anymore wool. Or Japanese fabric. Or purses. Or anything else.
  9. I want to save money for a really splendid holiday which would involve surrounding myself with a lovely place and probably buying lovely things when I am there.

So…..the plan.

  1. Try to stop idle shop-surfing
  2. When this fails, carry on but just think about the holiday and go to a holiday site instead.
  3. When I see something I *need* think about how much I want the holiday instead and immediately transfer the amount of money it would have cost (plus any p&p) to savings account. Hence bank balance goes down as if the money had been frittered.
  4. Think about holiday some more.
  5. Continue steps 1-4 ad nauseum, remembering not to actually buy anything.
  6. Only ever estimate how much has been put into savings account – do not work out properly as I will then fritter exactly this amount of money.
  7. Open a post-office account or get an ISA.
  8. Have no cash/debit card for this account.
  9. Periodically transfer money saved to this account.
  10. Be strong, byrne.

I’m wondering whether I should grant myself an allowance for frittering so as not to have to go cold turkey but then this would be open to abuse as well. I’ll try this for now and see how it goes.

Incidentally this will only actually start on 25th Jan when I get paid. La lalalala

No No NO, bad byrne. Will start today. Even though you kidn of actually maybe sort of did need that fabric you bought on ebay'd have more crazy patterns to choose from in Japan.


I'm posting int wo halves today because I have two totally different things to ponder. Here is the first....

Do any of you religiously keep up with “Child of our Time” on the bbc each year? It’s like 7-up (the scientific study not the drink) but every year and now the kids are 5-6 years old. It fascinates me.

On the programme last night Robbie Winston was talking about “flow” – when you lose track of time because you are so engaged in a task. This got me thinking – when did I last get flow? I used to be a watch addict. If I couldn’t find my watch in the morning I basically couldn’t leave the house. I put it on before getting out of bed in the morning. When getting out of the bath I would wrap a towel round myself and then straight away dry my wrist to put my watch back on. Then came the madness (historic rather than recent) and my therapist unhooked me from my time dependence. (I won’t go into it but my emphasis on time was a huge factor in my social anxiety). I do sometimes still wear a watch. I took it to Pooch’s parents with me at xmas and then accidentally left it there. Pooch’s mum quickly posted it down to me and did up the jiffy bag very securely with parcel tape. I couldn’t get the tape off at the first attempt so the complete package has been gathering dust for a few weeks now. I’ll get it out eventually.

Despite this new found freedom from time there do seem to be very few occasions when I lose track of time all together. So I was just wondering – what gives you good flow?

Sunday, 15 January 2006

Soho and silk (and cotton, velvet, leather, pvc...)

With the very best intentions I started out for hounslow yesterday, initially meeting Nikki at Holborn. Discovered that as well as the district line being closed (which I knew about) the piccadilly line was also up the duff (which I didn't). Basically meant no way to get to west london. Was rather ticked off but Nikki marched me off to soho and a rather good time was had by all.

I'm not going to list all the shops we went into a that would take many pages (who'd have thought there were so many fabric shops in soho) but there are a few that deserve a mention. The Bead Shop in Covent Garden yielded these:
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Nikki knew of this amazing bling jewellery shop which was packed full of sparkle and everything a girl could want in life. I was very restrained and just got these two:
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I'm not saying what Nikki got.....

Then the Cloth House just off Oxford Street. I got the top two of these three from there and could have got a whole lot more:
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As soon as i got back I started effectively swatching the fabrics I had to see which I'd use in the final thing. I decided against the brown one this time and got going. The hexagons are about 3cm across. I am aware that the overall effect is cute rather than actually attractive and I've just joined a new Yahoo group asking for advice on choosing fabrics and mixing patterns. A major source of inspiration is going to be Yarnstorm. But then that women is just a dude anyway. That squidgy date cake has my name on it.

Anyway, here is what we have so far. I ran out of paper templates which I've done on the graph paper generating website here. I just cut along the lines...
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This is destined to be a cushion. But I would like to have a stab at something a bit bigger like these...
Maybe start slightly smaller though!
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