Friday, January 16, 2009

not so grey matter...

Well, the headline says "Scientist Knits Anatomically Correct Brain" but I hadn't realised that "grey matter" was so bright and beautiful!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

roots and boots

Aha! Online research reveals that my weakness for shoes* is genetic: my great grandfather was a shoe salesman. I already knew that his son (my grandad, described in the 1911 census as a "pattern warper") and his father ("dyer") were in the (you've guessed it) wool/textiles industry. Rootling round online has been fun, but I'm glad that my grandfather had a middle name that marked him out: my first search for the family surname combined with the parish they lived in (Sheepridge) came up with nearly 300 possible people.

My Dad has already traced this side of the family quite a way back, but I did find something new. I'd not realised that the census recorded how many children a woman had given birth to, including those who'd subsequently died. I'd always though of grandad as one of three, but it seems that his mother had 5 children, 2 of whom had died by 1911.

* a note on my weakness for shoes: this is kept under control by the fact that I have very awkwardly-shaped feet. I buy, on average, two pairs of shoes/sandals/boots each year. I wear them out at a similar rate. But I don't like throwing them out (if you see me in my pink suede shoes, please don't look at the holes in my soles). Graham insists that I am "the Imelda Marcos of shoes" as I must have ooh, all of 12 pairs (including hiking boots, wellies, clogs and my one-and-only pair of heels) of which 4 pairs really should be thrown ouot.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

thawing, de-frosting, soaking burning...

I'm busily multi-tasking today. As well as working on the Spring 2008 issue of SlipKnot, I'm trying to catch up with assorted domestic tasks.

Watching the thaw yesterday suddenly reminded us that our freezer needed defrosting. And how! It is only a tiny one (about 25% of the total fridge freezer) yet I found some pastry in there annoucning "use by May 2006". I only ever buy pastry for use at Christmas, so it must be at least 3 years since we last defrosted. Oops.

I'm also trying to soak labels off assorted bottle and jars. In some cases this is because I'd like to reuse the bottle (I especially adore deep blue glass) in others it is because I want the label (I'm smitten with the fox on Thatcher's Old Rascal cider). But the labels and bottles are refusing to part company. Has anyone got any handy hints?

Meantime, I'm also trying to cook lunch whilst blogging. So far I have
* turned on the wrong hotplate and burnt the left over bubble and squeak from breakfast
* turned on the correct ring, but forgotten about it, so the pan has boiled over.

Think I'd better go and keep an eye on the stove!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


What a day! Not only did the first issue of The Knitter* (a seriously glossy new knitting mag) hit the shops this morning, but I've just heard that there'll be a UK-based crochet mag from March.

Be still, my beating heart!

* if you follow the link to The Knitter, you'll need to scroll down to 25 December.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Ode to Stagecoach

How do I hate thee?
Let me count the ways...

On second thoughts, that would take far too long. Suffice to say that introducing a new Sunday timetable (without bothering to tell your drivers, let alone your customers) is not helpful. And I got a taxi home after waiting 50 minutes in sub-zero temperatures this evening. Checked Google as soon as I got in and discovered the awful truth. If I'd stuck it out just 7 minutes longer I could have saved myself £9.60.

Thank goodness that I was wearing the wonderfully snug neckwarmer that I crocheted myself on new Year's Eve (pics will follow when I find my camera...)