Saturday, 9 July 2011

Sometimes I am convinced that this phase of my life must be a test


In the last seven days:
  • Sunday: Washing Machine broke and flooded kitchen mid cycle
  • Monday: 33rd birthday
  • Wednesday: Launch of biggest project I've ever worked on
  • Thursday: Break-up with Humphrey
  • Saturday: Shower explodes and forces me to turn off mains water completely. Plus hangover.
I am not running around with my knickers on my head doing a chicken impression so I think I've probably passed. 
Head pants

The break-up was something I brought about although unwillingly. It was one of those ones where there's nothing incompatible, other than the level of commitment each is looking for/able to give at the time. We could have continued quite happily on a casual basis but I want someone to share life with, not just evenings, so it had to end. I'm pretty glum though because he was really lovely and I think it could have been great had it been right for both of us. Plus I could have camped at his this weekend and used his washing machine and working water supply.

Meanwhile I've barely touched any knitting. Feel I have lost a bit of mojo there. Instead I have been cracking on with the hexagon patchwork quilt top. I finally started sewing the little buggers together by machine, even though they are paper pieced. It was all taking too long and I could do with a new duvet cover so I decided to hurry it up. I'm using a very small zigzag in coordinating thread so in fact you can't see any difference until you look up close. I'm just making the last ones ready to be incorporated.
Patchwork fabric hexagons
It's still going to take a while but it'll be pretty amazing when it's done.

Lastly, this may explain the hangover.
Raspberry mule cocktail
My usual Mule but with raspberries thrown in for no discernible reason other than "there were some in the fridge". It's all good. I've been out and bought 5 litres of bottled water. Should last me til lunch.

PS: Sometimes things happen to remind us that life does not revolve around ourselves. The man I talked about in my previous post was declared clinically dead on Thursday and, with his family gathered around him, his life support was turned off. He had worked at one of the organisations three floors above ours for 27 years. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

"Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life."

The title of this post is a quotation by Bertolt Brecht.

The reason for it is because I had a half day today and as I was leaving I was pushed out of the way by a man running through the entrance to the building. One of the receptionists was outside and I jokingly made a kind of "Blimey, what was that all about?" comment. It turns out he was fetching equipment for the paramedic who was trying to restart the heart of a man lying on the floor in the alcove behind reception. I don't know his name but I have seen him helping out on reception during lunch hours or coming out of meeting rooms. We smile and say hello. I also don't know whether he made it. Resuscitation should never be a spectator sport so having ascertained there was nothing I could do I thought it best to clear out. From a physics point of view, it's all gone a bit Schroedinger.
Small cat, small box.

I saw the guy yesterday and we said hello, and he looked absolutely fine. I'd guess he is about 55. It's just got me thinking once again about the way life can just end in the time it takes to snap your fingers. It also made me think a bit more seriously about the 'bucket list' concept too. 
Pascha ist im Eimer

Coincidentally, Humphrey and I discussed this recently. Humphrey is not keen on me sharing personal stuff about our relationship on the blog but I don't think he'll mind me saying that number one on his list is to train 3 kittens to form a pyramid. Better than this one too.
Pyramid of Mini Baby Tigers

The topic came up because I had just seen the Guinness Book of Records certified largest model of an Ecoli. I claimed I could now tick this off my list of things-to-do-before-I-die. My other items are
  • Visit Machu Picchu
  • Punch someone in the face
  • Have a black eye
  • Go to Wrestlemania
Obviously this is all quite light hearted (but seriously, I want to punch someone in the face so don't mess with me) (not really) (really) but any of us could go at any time. Pop. Gone. Or something life changing could happen. I'm reading Oliver Sacks's "In the Mind's Eye" which is like his previous "Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat" and others but focuses on visual phenomena. For instance, people wake up having had a stroke and can no longer read. They can see individual letters but can't put words together. 
eye test funny T-shirt i saw on the web thought i make one for myself

A few weeks ago a friend's four year old grand-daughter happened to remark she couldn't see out of one eye and the next day was diagnosed with infant glaucoma and her Mum was told she's already lost 85% of sight in one eye. One conversation and everything changes. 

It has all got me thinking.

I hope that guy's all right.  

Monday, 4 July 2011

Seen about town

I did a little blog surfing last night and would have posted these then except the washing machine then broke and flooded the kitchen. Not quite the relaxing evening I was hoping for but hey, life sucks sometimes.

So on this, the 33rd aniversary of my mighty birth, I bring you a blog round up...

We start with another celebration - Erqsome is married! 
Doesn't she look beautiful? Her blog is always interesting to read and you can find it here.

From one lady to another - Colour Me Katie is a photographer who also takes part on these improv stunts. The previous videos are on youtube and I thoroughly recommend them. 
You can see her blog and the current improv video here.

Continuing with the theme of outrageous sightings - Sister Diane has a real eye for vintage crafts. The final picture in this post has to be seen to be believed. 
Her blog is here.

Another thing that amazes the eye are these carved gourds. I would *love* one of these. 
The Dudecraft blog focuses on contemporary craft and always has something amazing to look at. 

Another amazing thing to look at is this sewn puzzle ball.
I love Thimble's blog. She does book reviews, recipes, tutorial round ups and more, all accompanied by lovely photos. She says this ball is easy to make?! I dunno. 

And so to finish on the surreal. Fabric printed with a cute squirrel kicking a cute dog in the face. 
Dress a Day loves vintage fabric and vintage dress patterns even more than your average and her imagined conversations between pattern models are always delightful. She links to an Etsy shop with a sale category of "Most Frightening Fabric". Brilliant. 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Only sleeping

I do not know how people with those high pressure jobs do it. Last week I had to do hours such as 8-6, 8-7, even 8am-9pm on friday. It has left me feeling like a used tissue. Combine it with the waking up early (which oh yes I'm still doing) and by the end of the week I was practically dragging my knuckles along the floor as I shuffled from one thing to another. It is all because my mahoosive IT project is due to launch next week. I think I've cracked it now. I really hope so because I do not want another week last that one. I'm a 9-5 girl as that is the only way I can get my knitting fitted in. Being so tired I felt unable to pick up most projects, although I did decide I could manage sewing on buttons.
Button bag 1
I love buttons. I got the bag on ebay and it arrived with a couple of mud patches on it with the mud crumbling off. I contacted the seller to be told he had described it as 'used' so what did I expect? Used is one thing, but 'soiled'? It all came out in the wash though.
Button bag 2

It's been a bad week to be stuck in the office. This is the Thames last weekend but gives you an indication of what it's been like. 
Boats on the Thames
Once again I was reminded of lovely Egypt.
View from the Boat
As a divorcee-to-be I will naturally be going on holiday with my parents in September and am wondering where to go. Egypt is probably a bit outside our budget. Can anyone suggest anywhere that will be warm in september, not too crowded, historically interesting, beautiful, near water and is cheap? There - not too hard is it? I wondered about some bit of Croatia or somewhere around there. Um....

I went to the amazing second hand furniture shop Emmaus in Lewisham last weekend. They describe it as their Greenwich shop but that is rather optimistic. Regardless of where it is, it is awesome. The organisation is a bit like freecycle except they come and pick up your unwanted furniture and junk for free and sell it on at knockdown prices to people who want it. The money then goes to rehabilitating homeless people. It really is winwin for someone without a car who just needs to get rid of lots of stuff - like when I moved out of the old marital home. I really really wanted to get the beautiful 30s dressing table with mirrors and drawers and delicate carving which was all of about £40 but sadly I only had need of a bedside cabinet, which I got for £8.  The reason for mentioning this though, apart from bigging up Emmaus, is that 3 doors down is the shop! I had no idea. This is what I came away with:
Feather Yarn
I have no idea what I'll do with it - which is very bad and anti my stash policy but it was too fun not to get. I assumed from the outside of the shop and the window display that they were either brand new or it was a temp site. Turns out they'd been there 2 years! Seems a real shame since I wasn't even sure it was open until I actually saw someone else come out and it has lovely big windows which could look great with a nice display. But I guess the low key thing must work for them so fair enough.

Tomorrow is the Byrne Birthday and I have a Squidy Date Cake in progress to take to work. The recipe really is hard to beat and very easy. I have high hopes of not burning it to buggery like with the cinnamon muffins last week. I've added actual cherries instead of jam. I stewed them with some sugar first to break them down so am looking forward to any difference it might make. 

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