Monday, September 26, 2005

rant (just a small one)

The husband's mother phoned, this is never a good thing. Some people get on great with their in-laws but the husbands family are not my in-laws - they are not mine, period. She wants me to remind him that it is his sisters birthday and to get him to ring her. I get on even less well with his sister than I do with the rest of his family (something to do with the fact that she cannot stand me as not only did I have the temerity to marry her precious older brother, when none would ever be good enough, but also he seems quite happy to be married to me; and then again it might have something to do with the fact that I am not a hard-bitten gold digger and don't generally judge people before I have ever met them/know anything about them so we have nothing in common). Ooooooh feel the love.

What I do not understand is;

a) in all my husbands 41 years and his sisters 35, maybe he could have learnt to remember her birthday himself?

b) if he really wanted to phone her, does he really need me to help him dial (he has all the fingers necessary)?

c) if the stuck-up little princess really wanted him to give her a phone call now and then, maybe just maybe, she should either call him or send the odd thank-you for presents once in a while?

d) if she really wanted ME to remind him, then maybe she would have remembered my name by now, after nearly 17 years of marriage to her brother.

I have passed the message on but he doesn't seem to have bothered as yet. Don't hold your breath. You'da thought that the husbands mother could have instilled that little chore into the husband as he was growing and not waiting until he was all up and gone to suddenly start trying to get him to bother about his family birthays and such like, by the age of 41 it may be a bit late. Think calm thoughts, think calm thoughts, think calm thoughts, think calm...... Nope not working - too much history there, these must be the only two people in the world that genuinely annoy me. Think happy thoughts, think happy....

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Well, its the end of the weekend, and I have been gradually been re-acquainting myself with the poor neglected little garden. It all looks quite pathetic, partly it is the end of summer when everything looks a little raggedy, but also due to the thing-which-must-not-be-mentioned, I have ignored my poor little plants so they all look very unloved. It is interesting to see just what is flourishing and what is looking distinctly sad.

The funny thing about a digital camera (oh yes, new toy!!!), is that anything (I mean anything) can look good - see the dianthus above, it languishes in a pot by the front door looking manky and dusty, but with the macro-thingy on the camera, it is a thing of relative beauty, and the colour looks like a delicious berry pudding.

Then there is this viburnum, it is having a fight with a weigelia and it sticks its branches out and slaps your face if you wander along the path with too many bags of shopping, so that often I think "I must prune that flipping thing", when what it is trying to say is "Look at me, I'm trying to show you my best little flowers to cheer you up, you dumb old biddy".

The cranesbill is fighting underneath a spirea that is full of spiders and looks baked by the summer, you could brush past it, and never notice it at your ankles, what a wonderful colour.

The autumn crocus is in the "I don't know what to do with that corner of the garden" it is full of odds and sods that don't quite belong anywhere else, and the black currants with their heady cats-pee scent means people don't usually linger in that corner to look at anything. The achillea looks rusty and dry amongst the herbs which are in a terrible tangle and need some serious sorting out.

Finally the hydreangea - it is large and shaggy and out of proportion to the other things in that border, but the flowers when you look at them are so pretty - the dleicate shades of lilac in there are exquisite, but for the last couple of months I have been too busy to notice and soon it will be too dark by the time I get home to go out looking.

I have spent the weekend bumbling about, not really managing to acheive much - maybe I am in some sort of recovery phase or maybe it is the sore ear/throat bug that is affecting just the right side. I would quite like some sort of stiff wire brush I could shove right down and scratch the irritation away, thought currently I am settling for irritating the husband by constantly reminding him of the sore ear/throat thing - which makes me feel 10 times better. After all a problem shared is a problem halved and he is used to me.

I am knitting the almost seamless baby cardigan from Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitter's Almanac" which has a four row gull pattern repeat. I knitted this for my babies yonks ago, but have now found the prettiest pale tweedy blue to knit it for my friend who is expecting. However, despite the fact that I don't remember any problems knitting it up all those years ago, this time I am slowly going demented - I may end up with a negative cardigan for the poor little mite as I am sure I am frogging more than knitting, this could be like the emperors new cardigan, and only visible to the ultra-discerning. I am desperate to start another project, but I have made a mental promise to myself to get this over and done before I do anything else. Boy, do I make dumb promises...

Tomorrow is a bank holiday in Scotland (yippee), but I am going into work (even more yippee) I need to prepare for the medical students coming for a tour around the hospital the day after so the husband is going to be stuck at home with the three little treasures and no car (oooooooooooh the revenge), I shall be taking the long route home, and he shall be climbing the walls. Hah!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


This is the most handsome rabbit that ever lived...

Now if that isn't the cutest little rabbit you ever did see? He is a total heart throb and he escaped, still he is now back and all is forgvien (at least between me and the rabbit but the husband is still in the doldrums - I blame him for rabbit scurrying off in the first place, suggesting he would go well with carrots and to call him Stu - that sort of thing, I mean what is any sane rabbit to think?..). Anyway, after a couple of days of freedom some people near us in the flats in the converted church found him cowering under a car and took him in. When I went to collect Theophilus, he was sitting in his own room in a massive cage with all the treasures a little rabbit could want - talk about landing in clover.

In the meantime I have been almost unable to knit, I have spent most of my knitting time frogging anything I have managed to get on the needles.

Anyway, Theo is now home and looking quite happy, do rabbits need therapists? I was really worried - after all he is just a baby and not only are there lots of dangers out there with big dogs and cars etc, but he could have got in with the wrong crowd and his life could have gone totally awry, before long he could be hanging out at the rabbity equivalent of the local bus shelter where all the kids in the village (and the surrounding ones) seem to impregnate each other. He could have taken to drinking bottles that are mysteriously wrapped in brown paper bags (where do people get those these days?) and then falling over in the middle of the main street and worst of all smoking all manner of dubious substances (and he has such little lungs).

One of the neighbours after seeing him says he does not look like Martin Kemp, she says quite firmly he is much more Martin Fry from ABC who had a longer and floppier blond fringe. She may be right but he is just not a Martin.

Don't even try to resist, Theophilus knows it is futile, go on, stare into the beautiful bunny eyes, and feel yourself going, going, gone..........................

You are soooooooooo hooked.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

the joy of rings

Well, I am no longer little miss-billy-no-mates, I have managed to join a ring, this is no mean feat as it involves meddling with the html gubbins on the blog template and my small brain just doesn't respond well to following instructions, especially if there are no pictures (the husband calls it "wilfully thick"). Still, with the wonderful hand-holding of the supreme Heidi-Jane I am now attached to other people (this has erased horrible memories of being in the school playground when I was about 6, when my best friend and neighbour told me I couldn't join in with any games as I was too ugly and too stand in a corner facing away from everyone, which I duly did, I think the thing that bugs me most about that memory is that I did what she said, not her actions). Still thats the nice thing about nearly all librarians - they just don't care, and that's generally true about knitters too.

I even found Heidi-Janes blog (that is such a wonderful name, I am going to obssess over it now for the next week) and all the cute baby knitting, I have a really good friend at work who is expecting her first baby in February (on Waitangi Day), she doesn't knit but loves the look of it (ohhh, she is the best kind of friend to have!!!), so I can knit anything and everything. I had moved beyond the realms of baby stuff (numbers 1,2,3 are 12,11 and 10), but the baby things around these days are so cute - I agree with people who say it is just a shame they are not scaled up. But then who in libraryland could stand the sight of little plump me swishing around the library at work in my knitted Stitch'n'Bitch Nation (isbn 0766135901 pbk) li'l devil pants (page 204). I think I could look so good with a forked tail, but it might scare the punters.

I have now moved from wotsits (small maggoty shaped cheese flavoured "corn snacks", with fluffy orange glow-in-the-dark extra cheesy powdery gunge coating each and every one like a Chernobyl mildew that coat your fingers in a most delicious kind of way and are best eaten at 2.00 am) to Food Doctor Soya Nuts. These are supposed to do one a power of good, and the body could do with a bit of an overhaul after the thing-which-must-not-be-mentioned. I will have to wait and see if they have an effect, if I have funny dreams I am going back to the junk...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

the unbearable lightness of handing in the dissertation

OOOOOOOOOh I should be such a happy little camper, I have finally finished the thing-which-must-not-be-mentioned, I have sent it off special delivery and I should be soooo.... But I am not, I feel naked and as tho' there is a bit missing (actually, thats a dumb thing to type as my husband would swear there has always been a bit missing). I never thought I would say it, but I do not feel blythe and frolicky or any of that stuff, I feel sad, deflated and orange (too many late-night packets of wotsits, which send me orbital - a very cheap way into space if NASA ever ask you).

Still there are oodles of things I can now concentrate on (yup, I am reduced to just managing to think of one thing at a time after the all-consuming thing-which-must-not-be-mentioned, this must be what it is like to be a man, a certain kind of man) knitting, reading (for pleasure - yikes), gardening, walking, family bonding (hmm -move that one lower down the list) and loosing weight, patchwork...

I shall start tomorrow by feeding the family something wholesome and nutritious and not flung together. What is more, I intend to not-use-chicken, this will be a big shock to the household as for the last few weeks as I have been in the throes of writing up, that is pretty much all they have eaten - chicken and pasta thing or pasta and chicken thing or pasta and chicken and other ends of a bag pasta thing or even chicken and whoops I have almost run out of pasta thing... Just how much chicken can you feed offspring before they grow feathers and start to cluck - some people would call this bad parenting (and who am I to argue, it is not my strongest point I admit) but I like to think of it as an experiment and furthering the bounds of science is a noble thing.

Work is doing my head in (not hard these days), I had a little puppy of a doctor that appearred in the library from somewhere overseas today and he just followed me around in a kind of hopeless way as he asked for this and that and the next thing, finally he wanted to be logged on a computer, which I did. As I got up to walk away, he queried in a tone of suprise "but, now you type..." - how the heck do these guys manage on the wards and why the hell don't they bring their flipping mothers???

Still a good nights sleep and a spot of therapeutic knitting and I can track him down tomorrow and be extraspecially nice to him. This may be making a rod for my own back as sometimes they latch on like a second skin seeing they get such a rough ride every where else, being the bottom of the pile.

Monday, September 12, 2005

how neat is this?

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

...and my heart went "Ping"

Here is a serous question - can you love a rabbit too much??? We have taken proud possession of one rabbit, a dear little sleek mainly black (white tummy, white-ish paws, wispy floppy grey fringe hanging in front of his eyes) rabbit. He is the most wonderful rabbit ever and we've named him Theophilus, he is a Lionhead rabbit and totally darling. So far there is extensive debate as to whether he will be in-door rabbit or outdoor rabbit, I hesitate to call him a "house-rabbit" as that sounds like a dancing rabbit that is out there clubbing until the wee small hours and coming home pished and with all sorts of issues like getting tattoos when he is just too young.

I've used almost a whole roll of film on him (went back to my camera as Number1's camera just wasn't playing ball) and now discovered my battery is flat. This may mean another roll of film and a new battery, still Theophilus is soooo worth it.

The thing-that-must-not-be-mentioned is now in one piece as I have pasted all the chapters together, this means just checking for STOOPID (a programme that seems to have downloaded itself onto my machines at home and work and basically it stands for Special Technical Occurrences Overtly Proving Idiot Drivel, and it seems to run best when I am totally NITSAL - No Idea, Too Soon After Lunch, in case you ask which can last all day ) which translates the usually brilliant into worthless crud, and the more brilliant it is, the worse it ends up.

I am now feeling slightly more hopeful about handing the thing in and turning my attention back to more important things like knitting.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Oh, I am a happy woman (it doesn't take much to please me), the results for the dissertation have met with reassurance (phew) so far, and I have found the photos of the knitting I was looking for.

Tess from Rowan Nr30

I have also been rootling around and found the Icy in Kidsilk Haze (see below) from the same Rowan Book, I even found my Patons "Must Have" or should that be "Must-Have-shrunk-whilst-I-was-knitting-it" as it is a close fit, at least I've read that on other blogs too so I guess it isn't me, thats the Bonne Marie ribby shell underneath (must take photos elsewhere in the house - that door is distinctly over-used).

Icy also from Rowan Nr 30

Patons "Must-Have" Cardigan in Rowan Yorkshire Tweed

(shade 347 - Skip)


Bonne Marie Burns Ribby Shell in Rowan Calmer

(shade 463 - Calmer)

Unbiased Bag from Knitty (Fall 04)

Himalaya Recycled Silk

Designed by the brilliant Stephanie Shiman - note the daffs happily nodding in the foreground, shows how long ago it was that I was young, carefree and not writing up.

Charlottes Web Shawl in Koigu

And finally proof that I do bond with the children (but only now and then), here is Number3 happily finger-knitting (well not actually happily - just look at that fearsome gaze of one little girl being told it is bed time as soon as her hair has dried)

Floo finger-knitting (and I blame YOU Yvonne!!!)

And finally, proof that we even bond as a family - husband and little critters on enforced summer bike ride along Loch Katrine (can you feel the air of general suffering caused by 30 mile pedal and how Floo at mid-way is slumped by the fence looking distinctly filleted). I have a feeling the famly are going to regret the ending of the dissertation as there could be more of this.

Poor little things, it was over 30 degree heat and they really were NOT keen.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

And not a word in this post about knitting...

I have done a terrible thing. But motivated by love. The thing-that-is-so-nearly-written-up is really stressing me now (anyone hear nervous whimpering – that’ll be me). I was looking round the other evening to see who was making those weird sounds when one of the children said “But its you, mum”, so I took the day off (to sit at home and word-wrestle and silently stew) which meant I have taken the car in for a service, done the laundry, made the beds and then undertaken a wee trip to Milngavie to visit that supermarket that begins with a T (which they are re-organising as the one starting with an A just down the road is being pulled down and rebuilt and there is no relation to the lack of competition at all), so there I am getting more and more distressed (the results chapter is a killer, trust me) and circling, circling looking for where they have put the olives – a woman on the edge must have her olives. I swear there are people that look like they have been in there since last week still hunting their elusive last items on their shopping lists, but then they have done such logical things when sorting where what goes where – Jelly/custard is now above the frozen cauliflowers. Pickles are right next the chocolate (maybe they’ll move those…just too tempting for anyone pregnant).

So eventually when I come out I am fizzing slightly like an electricity sub-station and take myself off to the pet shop to look at hamsters for Madam for Christmas. I go downstairs to the critters and start looking – oh they are all so sweet. There are the amazing albino chipmunks that look like flying streaks of fluff, gerbils with furry tails, rats with naked tails, guinea pigs and a United Nations of hamsters – Russian and Siberian and whatever else that exist. But then I saw the rabbits, and one in particular. He was sitting in the corner cage and he was exquisite. Dark and glossy and with such a delicious dark thick coat, and most gorgeous of all he had a floppy grey fringe hanging over one eye. The Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) of rabbits, now I don’t remember ever being particularly attracted by Martin Kemp at the time, nor have I ever been bitten by the rabbit bug, but the combination…..

We pick the rabbit up Friday once we have sorted his new home, pet therapy is of course a recognised intervention in the health services (check Pub-Med if you don’t believe me), though I am not sure that human therapy (at least the Brown family method) is a recognised intervention for rabbits… The husband is going to have a flakey.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Today a baddddd day, totally hacked off and had a serious yelling at 3 people who DID NOT, repeat DID NOT not leave empty biscuit packet on floor in living room. One has been made to pair socks, one emptying rubbish bin in kitchen and one made to vacuum. Will introduce concept of washing up their own flipping mugs tomorrow. Friend of child number2 is not welcome unless I am about, as am totally p---ed off with his trail of biscuit crumbs/inability to wash hands after toilet - using flimsy excuse the damn kid is a health hazard to restrict access to whenever I am in cheery mood (like bleepin never) probably not nice to say that real reason is he farts and picks skin off his feet and leaves it all over dining table (nice)...

Have long words to put in dissertation but short ones starting with f seem to be the flavour of the day and suit mood better. Have worked out how to download pictures from H's camera - he seems seriously unimpressed with me, can even upload picture to blog profile if you ever want to know (yup I'm good, just looks like global dimming has hit West of Scotland).

Feedback from methodology was that its fine (just spelt lickert wrong - freudian slip). Am trying to think of clever things for results (yes, I have some -in fact I have too flaming many). That just leaves conclusions and introduction and tidy round edges, sigh...

Boss had talk with me today (he has had to fill out a referee form for a job app - do I have any criminal convictions/mental instability etc etc, answer being none that get in the way of the job so far, crazy helps in fact) says he would miss me if I decided to go, he really is a great guy and we rub along really well. I would really miss him.

Am seriously hacked off with state of kitchen, oven on blink and have discovered that doing oven chips under grill not a success and am going to skin next little treasure that stands in front of fridge when I am trying to cull dead things to feed them (not a successful tactic on their part only makes me madder and more determined to poke slippery mushrooms into them). Would like a new kitchen but husband says that it is just fine (never mind defective oven that won't work, frig with door that swings open and big gap at end of bench that swallows teaspoons and houses mega-spiders, and of course the cupboards that are wrong shelf distances so containers with cereal etc only fit in the one cupboard and that is so full it can't hold any more, we won't even mention the plug doesn't fit the sink so washing up is a race against time) he is currently in hiding for a week at a conference somewhere near Vienna? Not actually sure where he is, but unless he comes back with firm offer of kitchen he is not welcome. If can't have new kitchen would settle for new husband.

Am about to go check contents of laundry basket as they have decanted vast quantities from upstairs and anything that can be scratched/flicked will do for tomorrow, may even find enough money for litre of milk if lucky. Number1 has offered to have a bath - think I am supposed to be grateful, am going to wring madams neck if she doesn't stop yabbering at me I do NOT want to know what R did to her at school today or how M said whatever to V and that C isn't talking to K as K smells, and how she can't believe that S would eat...

Need a serious yarn fix but have banned myself from even touching it until the results for the dissertation are sent off.

Look at those poor needles - they'll be gathering dust if left alone any longer.............................

Saturday, September 03, 2005

little miss no-willpower

Well, I’ve succumbed. I made myself a promise that no new yarn would be bought whilst I was cobbling the dissertation together and would remain calm and focused and sharply honed like an intellectual scythe cutting through the crap in the write-up so far. But that was such a dumb idea and at least I recognised it in time. On the way home last night I accidentally ended up in John Lewis (took quite a detour I can tell you to make this happen but the husband has gone off to Austria for a week of conference about gravel) and bought some Rowan Ribbon Twist which I have no idea what I am going to knit into – maybe I will get all creative once I have handed in the study, but there is enough for a jersey/jacket/binkie. I am deeply impressed with myself – it is a very sophisticated choice for me (normally I caper up and down the zingy bits section like an overgrown child) but this is positively sludge-like in colour and I mean that in a good way. Just to show I haven’t changed spots – I did buy some Rowan Polar in leery pinks etc – but it was so pretty, again I have no idea as to what its going to be.

Also I have no morals - I have borrowed Number1 childs camera but have no idea as to what I am doing with it/to it. I have sort of sussed out the camera bit, but as for the photo editing - well it just isn't playing ball but then it is hard o learn something new when people are breathing down your neck wanting to play runescape.... So the purchases do look kind of dark.

Not to be content with parting with more money than I should I tootled off to Miller Street to check out V V Rouleaux which is now in Glasgow, that was a distraction intervention to keep me out of Costa Coffee and away from food otherwise I would have eaten one of their macaroons which is always a bad idea as 24 hours after eating them (wheat) I go kind of like a hot air balloon inside. Bad, bad idea. I have now got the most gorgeous trims – one for a long sleeve tee (another Icy Tee adaptation??? How many can one woman need), but it's yummy, these little dinky beady thingys would look so perfect around a red kidsilk haze plain knit (oooooh I am seeing the transparency of the knit and the twinkling of the trim and I see it in red as opposed to the one I already have in Gooseberry and the hoodie I adapted from Icy in a deep blue and the one still in my head that was going to be brown and with tiny beads through it...) and then there was this other stuff – perfect for a light shade and light shining through the beads they look like fat summer berries and there was this chenille fringing stuff that looked like purple millipede on a roll and would be so perfect to go around a bulky knit so I wouldn’t have to do fringing and this other fringing (suede) that I have no idea as to what I could do with it that cost over £50 a metre but I want it, want it, want it. And I haven’t even mentioned all the ribbons and gimp and … But best of all the staff in there were so nice and friendly and it was all so glorious and so completely unrelated to what-I-am-supposed-to-be-writing-up-and-almost-cannot-bear-to-mention, I love shops like that – where people are so enthused about what they are doing they talk to you without trying to sell you stuff or else leave you alone to mooch until you need help and then act as though they have all the time in the world whilst you mentally faff over which, what and how much. One of the staff (the guy with dark hair) did a degree in knitting – oooooooooooooooh imagine, studying something you love? Actually I remember the grand passion I had for my topic when I chose it, but now it has the horrible taint like that of a friends choice in boyfriend – I just can’t see the attraction.

(see - just like ribena berries, must figure out the darkness thing)

I have at least written up most the thing-that-cannot-be-mentioned, number2 child was asking me last night how on earth can anyone possibly write 15K words. Actually it is not how someone can write that much, it is more how someone can write that little – how can you put in all that is necessary to cover your bases/make you look like you know what you are supposed to and then chop, chop and chop again. It is the equivalent of knitting a huge pair of bloomers and then whittling them away to a g-string and with a butt as big as mine that just isn’t right.