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August 2005
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October 2005

Post-Post Ennui

Yesterday was my 200th post. That is quite a lot really, though I am not a fanatical every day person. I think it is the longest diarising I have ever done.

I have just watched the first episode of Season 3 of Spooks, even though I have watched all the rest of the season. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer had taped it for me and it was MIA till a few days ago when she ID-ed it and watched it. ACMA still has the whole season to watch, Lucky Duck. Spooks is excellent TV. It has Peter Firth from The Flipside of Dominick Hyde, which has stuck in my mind ever since I watched it aeons ago. Last night, unless I blacked out for 8 minutes, Southern Cross managed NOT to show a whole section of Alias. We skipped from the club straight to the aftermath of the botched attempt to retrieve the special laser glass. If you want to read what happened, there's a page or two of a recap here, at TWoP.

I have knitted a whole ball of wool for the Wizard socks and I need to join a new ball  so I am knitting the Arisaig while I prepare to join in a new ball on a sock.

It has been a rainy day. The Labradors have been inside napping and playing. I have mooched about in my pyjamas all day. It is a dull . I did toy with the idea of venturing out, but quickly shelved it. I am trying to stick to my week of rest. I have done very well, 2 walks, a trip to the supermarket for supplies and then the Hospital and that’s all!!!

I am not the only person who likes Enid Blyton, in Column 8 in the SMH today this appeared :

"Tea is an inappropriate companion for cucumber sandwiches," protests Matt Sheumack, of Ashfield . "Anybody who grew up on Enid Blyton knows that they must be served with 'Lashings of ginger beer'."

A truth universally acknowledged I should think!!!

There is a season - turn, turn, turn

The_heel_is_turned_and_its_onward_and_up Yesterday we had a huge thunderstorm with lightning making the whole city light up in the darkness. Then we had the obligatory torrential rain all through the night. You wouldn’t know from the sunny day today, that it had been so boogelly yesterday.

The Labradors had an excellent walk as there was water, water everywhere; in the creek, in the mossy ground and lying all around in giant puddles. They were very wet when we came home…..

Yesterday I turned the heel on my Wizard sock twice!! The second time I got it right. You shouldn’t watch TV and do only your second turned thing ( the first was the toe on this sock) it can only end upSpring_time_and_the_livin_is_easy  badly. I unravelled and did it again perfectly. Well, there are yfwd holes up the heel, I think they should be there. I think I remember seeing said holes in Cathy’s toe up socks.  I am not sure how these will fit compared to the top down socks. Time will tell.

I am off to the Hospital in about 23 minutes to have my port flushed. You have to dress appropriately so they have access without you having to disrobe!! I have lots of tops with split necks or ones that wrap so I can just pull the neck to the side a bit and Voila!!!  My port is about 10 cm down from What_a_big_nose_you_have the knobbly bit in the centre of my collar bone, and it is sidey-waysie so I have lots of local!!!

Serenity, the movie, reviewed positively in all the papers, on all the movie shows, is not starting today in Launceston. It is starting in Devonport and in Hobart. I am ringing up every day to ask why it isn’t on. I am on a mission!!

Ok, home from Hospital and I must have lunch – late lunch, it is almost 4 pm!!

Cheese and Spinach Quesadilla

  • Bag of baby spinach leaves

  • 400 g fresh mozzarella ( it’s hard to buy fresh, I do whatever is easiest!!)

  • 200 g other cheese – blue cheese, parmesan, tasty…

  • spring onion, chopped finely

  • tomatoes, sliced

  • whatever else you fancy!!

  • 8 floury tortillas

Wilt the baby spinach in a tiny bit of water over medium heat. Drain if necessary and season well.  Crumble or grate the cheeses. To assemble, top ½ the tortillas with the cheese, spinach and other fillings and then press another tortilla firmly on top.  Dry fry in a non-stick pan for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the cheese has melted. Cut into quarters and serve with a salsa or guacamole and sour cream.

Weighing up the options

I have 2 or 3 gramsThe_scales_of_knitting_justice of wool left to knit from the first ball of the Rowanspun. I found its mass and  the scales gave either measurement. For the sake of equanimity I am calling it 2.5 g and that is still 10% of the ball of wool. Fine wool takes ages to knit and goes a long way. I have had to have a rest from knitting as I have gyp. I am doing tidying and putting books away. At this house there are always books to be put away as I always have 2 or 10 on the go!! I am debating as to whether I should start the Mini-clapotis with my Noro Silk Garden? Or should I wait and save up and buy more to make something else? It is not going to be scarf weather for ages??? I think I will knit my Wizard socks now for a while.

Last night the jolly WIN TV had a repeat of CSI Ornery. Why, Oh why, Oh why do they have so many repeats? And it wasn’t notated as a repeat in the newspaper. They do this all the time. There are 22-26 episodes in a season so they have up to 78 episodes of all the CSIs to show over the year. Imagine they show prime time shows for 40 weeks of the year ( Ha!) then they can have 2 brand new episodes of a CSI every week. I remember the days when you didn’t have to actually advertise that the episode of a show was a first run premiere. It just was. You had seasons of repeats over the Summer, but otherwise things were new. I don’t mind repeats if they are shown in order and you know they are coming. I hate being treated with disdain.

You could be treated with worse things than disdain unless the new Terror laws are made more concise and detailed. Who decides what is incitement or anti-whatever? Does speaking out against the war constitute inciting action against troops overseas? Will Free Speech be challenged, as with the Gunns’ law suit against the people who spoke out against the? A sunset clause of 10 years? That seems just a ‘tad’  too long, surely they need to revise and assess more often than that? What if The_labrador_and_an_apple_eden_was_never mistakes are made, like DIMIA and Vanstone and the illegal deportations? What will happen to the falsely accused and imprisoned. A fresh-faced 24 year old said today that he had nothing to hide, so what was the problem? Ah, the youth of today, they are so Conservative and trusting. Who is to say that your aired opinion won’t offend a subset of an addendum of a footnote to a law? You may have nothing to hide, but what you are willing to share may be your downfall.  John Pilger has a interesting talk about this.  I’m not 100% worried, but what if ‘they’ are reading this now????………..

Today is as windy as can be and the wind is meant to be blowing in rain but none has come so far. The Labradors are full of negative ions and are running about and playing rough and rowdy rebel games inside.  Harki is still thin and Peri is still naughty!!! Harki loves her apple, Peri had a biscuit outside instead.

The GardyGardeners looked at the Parsley and think I may be watering it too much. Can you do this to something in a pot with holes in the bottom so the excess water runs out? Well, I can!!  My Secret Pal suggested some fish emulsion so I might try that.


Wrapping up the lace!!!

Missed_by_this_much Last night I knitted up the wool I had unravelled from the Arisaig Wrap Cardigan and now I have the right lace pattern at last. Never try to do the foundation rows of lace if you are not up to par!! The pattern is rather like rows of hearts, each row offset from the one before. I like it a lot. I am, as always, worried if there will be enough of the Rowanspun 4ply, but I think I will do Heirloom 5ply ribbing on the sleeves if needs be. It won’t look out of place and it will eke out the more expensive wool. I am into the lacy knitting swing now and I have worked the pattern out so I can take the increases into account. I am using the chart and it is very easy.

No-one seems to know exactly what is going on with the SP6 debacle, whatever it is. Everyone seemsNo_phones_in_these_shoes  to be Secret Pal-ing along perfectly well, and none of the SPs I know want to change their SPs. My Secret Pal has sent me a lovely recipe today for a Lemon Tart, with Daleks!! Mind you, Daleks can be a bit hard to come by these days!!!

I ventured out today for supplies, fresh fruit and vegetables: yummy almost black seedless grapes, all lush and sticky with sweetness. There were fresh beetroot, I will cook those for a salad and very nice apples and tomatoes. I made red salmon cakes last night but I couldn’t eat them till today as they need to cool and be in the right shape for a while before you cook them.

Would_you_believe_a_bunch_of_parsley Why is my parsley dying? See, I am a hopeless gardener. I have watered them, and they are in the Sun. It’s a good thing I’m not in charge of  a farm. I usually have a bit more luck with tomatoes and zucchini - who can’t grow zucchini here??? You can’t plant them till after the Show though.

The shoes today are cute, so cute they are almost Bata Juliets : they have a heart shape on the base of the heel that leaved heart prints when you walk. I always wanted Juliets but I don’t think I ever had any. I actually wanted the Bata Scouts for boys even more as they had a compass in the heel : shades of Agent 86. Nowadays shoes don’t come in half sizes all the time. I need a 6 ½ , a 6 is just that bit too short.

The Labradors had a walk in the Sun today, we woke up at 8-15 and then we were walking at 8-35!! They are sunbaking now. Peri gets so hot she comes inside like a sunspot, emanating heat and needing a big drink. Harki’s toy de jour is a squeaky bottle, with the top chewed off with a long stick in it.

Oh, and the new Terror Laws have been agreed upon. It is a sad and frightening outcome.  Who guards the guardians?

Dalek Lemon Tart 
• 1 packet
Arnott’s Marie biscuits, crushed 
• 150g butter, melted 
• 1 cup thickened light cream 
• ½ cup caster sugar 
• 1
tbspn lemon zest 
• ½ cup fresh lemon juice 
• 5 eggs 
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the crushed biscuits and butter, then press firmly onto base and sides of a 250mm flan tin with removable base. Refrigerate until required. 
2. In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients for the filling until combined, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. 
3. Pour the mixture into the tart base and bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set. 
4. Leave to cool before slicing and serve with cream, if desired.   

RIP Lace

Gone_awry 2 minutes after I posted I looked at the photo and realised the lace was off centre on the first row. Oh no!! So it is RIP for the work I have done, and 'rip' as well. I have unravelled it, picked up the stitches and now, the SEVENTH time is the charm. I can see where the hole should be, it's just not there..........I have attempted to indicate with my inexpert drawing!!!

Sunday 'not' too far away.....

Arisaig_the_pattern_beginsThe Sixth time’s the charm. That’s how many times it took me to ‘start’ the lace pattern for Arisaig. I did the 2 stocking stitch rows in the plain wool, then I changed my mind, then I started the pattern in the wrong place, then I dropped a stitch : a litany or errors. I think it is right now. I am following the chart and I have cut and pasted to make the starting place at the actual start and not at stitch # 12!! The Rowanspun 4ply feels quite hard when you knit but the tweedy nature accounts for that I think. Ewww the picture is all skewed, I pinned it on a pillow and then pulled it sideways. I'm no Frank Hurley!!!

Today is the start of my Week of Sundays week, where I am not going anywhere or doing anything at all. I am spending the week resting and resting!!  I will knit, nap, catch up on some sewing and TV and walk the Labradors. I am allowed to go out for supplies or to the Library, but that is about it: a kind of self imposed house arrest for health reasons!!! This morning I didn’t wake up until 10-23 am. I slept and slept ( I did open the dog door for the Labradors!!) and slept: I was a veritable Rip van Winkle.  All I have done today is eat breakfast, knit and do some washing. The Labradors didn’t get their breakfast until lunchtime and now they are sunbaking. It is very warm. My shoes today are old friends, comfy and sloppy and green, of course. I had a pair almost exactly the same 3 years ago, now I have one – Peri strikes again !!!

This weekend coming, on Saturday night, well Sunday at 2 am to be absolutely accurate, Daylight Saving starts in Tasmania. We have 6 months on and 6 months off. It makes for 4 weeks of TV hell though, with all kinds of weird programming happening. It means you need to tape by the seat of your pants!!! As long as Dr Who is OK, I will cope. This also means that it will be cold, dark and frosty of a Around_the_house_shoes morning and then boiling hot at about 3 pm , and then light till 7-30 pm. It is like an ancient ceremony to herald the Summer. I don’t have to get up to go to work or get children to sleep so, although the Labradors are all out of synch for a few weeks, we manage to cope.

I have printed out the pattern pages of the online issue of Yarn in colour. I am thinking of buying some sock yarn from the Simply Socks Yarn Company in the near future. They are in America, but I might have to bite the bullet. Some Knitting Coveners might share the postage to make it more affordable.

There is some kind of conniption with the Secret Pal 6. A few people I know have had emails and we are all confused and confounded, and have no real idea of what idea going on.  I like my SP-I-am-spoiling and I want to keep her. See, we are all needy and low self esteemy at heart. I have had thoughts and plans and started things and I don’t want to change. My own SP has sent me Dr Who quizzes and recipes: so who would want to change her???!!! Not me!!!

Brie and Tomato Toasts

  • bread of your choice, sliced. Sourdough or some other sturdy kind

  • good, tasty tomatoes, sliced

  • Brie, sliced

  • spring onions, sliced

  • ham, smoked salmon, chicken, whatever you like

  • salt and pepper

Grill one side of the bread, then top with the tomatoes,  ham eg, Brie and then sprinkle with the spring onion. Grill on a low hest until the Brie is melted and bubbly.  Season to taste and eat immediately.  Great for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

A new day has begun....

A good night's sleep, lots of tea - herbal and Raffles, and then tomato, Brie and red onion on toast, all grilled and I am feeling much better. I have stopped feeling bothered, and I am truly feeling more like a sensible calm person from an Enid Blyton book, someone's Aunt, I think. An Aunt with dogs, who cooks and has adventures!!! The Labradors have eaten broccolini and celery for breakfast, played and are now sleeping again. They can have a bone when I go out.

Thanks, Rachael, for the Virtual tea!! Much appreciated.

I have more favourite TV shows. ACMA and I had a discussion about what we could remember and I have lots more!! The list is very long so I will have to add some every day:-

  • Moonlighting
  • Alias Smith and Jones
  • Alas Smith and Jones
  • Alien Nation
  • Auf Wiedersehen Pet
  • Bergerac
  • The Six Million Dollar Man
  • Bless this House
  • Big Hawaii
  • Hardcastle and McCormick

There, ten to start with. That makes 120. I have made the pastry for the tart and it is in the fridge chilling. I am about to roll it out, line the flan tin and then chill it some more. I will have to use a bottle to roll, as Peri stole the rolling pin out of my basket and chewed it and I haven't got around to buying another one....Must do that!!! Pastry is a long process, but a good one.

Enid Blyton's One goes on and on in a blog!!!

Birthday_treats Yesterday I received some late birthday-cum-souvenir presents!!!! There is a gorgeous Journal that I think I will use for knitting. I always have good intentions of keeping a diary, but hey, I blog now!! And it is so pretty that I want to see it and use it as much as possible.  There is Raffles of Singapore tea!!   The tea is a dark  warm colour and quite strong, so I like it!! There’s a cloisonné beaded thingy for attaching to your mobile, but mine is so old is has none of the modern attachy parts!! I am thinking it should go on a handbag. There is a tiny good luck green angel and the most lovely lacquered box with an old piece of pottery encased as part of the lid. Thank you Cathy P and Michele P, oh two P names. Cathy P is a teacher and has just been away on holidays . Michele and her husband run a B and B on the river, but she has just been on a big holiday as well.

Yesterday I knitted away on the endless but soothing rib for the Arisaig Cardigan. How do you Arisaig_back_the_ribbing pronounce that? I found two errant purls way down the rib, but I unravelled the stitches and picked them up correctly again. I have knitted  12 cm which is almost 5 inches.  I do like it enormously ( Oh I have gone all Famous Five, jolly hockey sticks, rah, rah, rah!!) but I want to be up to the lace pattern ASAP. I have just refilled the printer cartridges at the special Printer Cartridge shop. It is only $22-50 for the B&W and the Colour, quite reasonable. I am a miser though, I usually only print in B&W draft!! Now I can print out the pattern and stick it in my knitting journal.

My Secret Pal sent me 3 Dr Who quizzes : this General Knowledge one from the BBC where I scored 16/20, a Which Doctor are you? ( I am apparently the irascible First Doctor)  and then another Quiz where I scored 10/10!! She also sent me some information on the Crochet Cast on that I did for my Wizard Socks ( Wizard, old thing!! Tally Ho! Secret Seven) This method is different to the one I used so I will try it for the second sock. I had terrible trouble undoing the crochet. Thank you Secret Pal!!!

Yesterday I had to have a small cry when I heard that Simon Wiesenthal had died. I was overwhelmed by the incomprehensible cruelty the Nazi’s perpetrated, and then by the overwhelming innate goodness of Simon Wiesenthal. He caught the man who sent Anne Frank and her family to the camps. He was a man with a mission. I feel the same way about Nelson Mandela too : locked up on Robin Island for about 29 years and he had the grace and understanding, not only to forgive the people who imprisoned him, but then to change the way a whole nation, and the world, lived. I took more than a moment. The Labradors were a bit worried…

Today on our walk Harki ran all the way down to the dam and had a swim alone. ( I expect she has stone bottles of ginger beer cooling in the water) I didn’t see as it is extra uphill walking but she came back wet all over and very pleased with herself. Michelle, it is a good thing that Harki has lost weight!! She must be thin so her hips and joints are free from arthritis as she gets older. It is a constant battle!!

My Delicious magazine arrived today, only 2 days late this time.  I also bought the new Donna Hay. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer  would like a fruit tart, not berry, I though apple?? I will make pastry this afternoon and then take it to her house tomorrow. We are watching Battlestar Galactic TOS, then the Miniseries and then finally Season 1 of the new series. This is the 5 year plan!! Next week I am staying home all week. No tea, no visiting, just sleeping and a walk every second day for the Labradors.  During the school hols  ( Naughtiest girl is a monitor)  I saw all my friends and we did things during the day and I wore myself out with visiting.  I need to potter about and recuperate.  I will knit, back my Christmas quilt, and maybe do some sewing.  This afternoon I hit my head on the washing machine lid – it fell on my head, I was hot from being in the car and it was 2 pm and I hadn’t had lunch and I was all cross and boogelly. I have had juice and a cup of Raffles tea and some Potato and Pumpkin Sunflower seed Bread and there is a cool breeze. I feel slightly less harried now…..

Carrot Muffins

  • 300 g plain flour

  • 2 tspn baking powder

  • 165 g caster sugar ( I like to use half caster and half brown sugar)

  • 250 ml sour cream

  • 2 eggs

  • 125 ml vegetable oil

  • 2 tspn grated orange or lemon rind

  • 1 or ½ cups grated carrots – Peel the carrots first!!

Preheat the oven to 160 C ( 140 ff) and prepare 12 muffin papers or a tray. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar and then mix through the carrots. It is important to peel the carrots before you grate them as the skin has a bitter taste. Coat the grated carrots well with flour as this helps to stop it sinking to the bottom of the muffins. Whisk the eggs, cream, oil and rind together in another bowl. Fold the sour cream mixture through the flour and carrots.  Don’t over mix. Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. You can add some uts or even dried fruit to these as well. You can dust them with icing sugar, but an orange or lemon drizzly icing is lovely too, or even cream cheese blended with a little icing sugar and extra rind.

No danger, Will Robinson, No danger!!!

Christmas_penny_quilt Yesterday I wore myself out with grocery shopping : not a lot, but I had to make 4, FOUR, IV trips up the stairs and then one more later on, and I forgot to eat properly too. I had some pikelets for morning tea and  some dip and biscuits later on. Today I have had proper home made soup with vegetables and chicken.

Then I has a little lie down and at 7pm I went to sewing where I knitted!! I am in charge of making up the kits for our Christmas project. We are making  decorations that can hang on a tree, or be part of a quilt or worn pinned on you . They are made from felt and are part of a Penny Quilt that is in a Handmade book. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer is thinking of making a quick quilt with every square or rectangle a different fabric. I think she could have 64 or even 81 patches!!

We are all going to make Gingerbread houses in December too. Four of us did this  5 or 6 years ago and it is very exciting and you get a house as well. I think I will make all the dough during the week and then we will bake and decorate at the weekend. There will be lots of hands to hold the walls and The_wizard_socks_half_a_foot_to_go roof up as the weather will be warm and they tend to slowly ooze apart!! I am sure it is much easier in the Northern hemisphere where it is Winter.

My Secret Pal  has sent me some emails today and I suspect I have deleted them. I am sorry!!! I am nothing if not prone to hyperbole!! I am a Luddite at heart though and most things about the computer scare the willies out of me, but I particularly live in fear of a virus killing it. Yesterday I ran the virus scan every hour as it caught 3 Trojan Horse things the day before. Dear Secret Pal, please feel free to email me again, I am all calm and  prepared now.  I am such a trial……

So, the Lacy Edged Cardigan is complete and I have learned how to make permalinks to posts about it, so if you click on the name in the links at the bottom of the post it might work, though don’t hold your breath.  I must add the shoulder pads and fins a pin. In the photo it is kept together by a double pointed needle, how appropriate. I would use one in real life but it is just a bit dangerous. I could stab someone with it, a Labrador or a person or even me!!.

I have knitted about half of the foot of the Wizard sock. Yes, Sharon, it is very boogelly trying to undo the crochet from the provisional cast on, though this seems a better method than the one where you The_lacy_edged_zhivgo_cardigan_just_hang twist the wool and pick up stitches around another piece of yarn. That made the most uneven and unsightly cast on and I undid that. The wool is so fine and so soft and comfortable and I love it!! I also love the fact that I am knitting on tiny needles with tiny wool.

The Arisaig cardigan ribbing is coming along nicely. I have added another  2.5 cm to the length of the ribbing before I started the decreasing for the “waist”!!!! (Oh my god Chandler Bing, I am a bit worried that it has space for a waist as I don’t really!!) and then I will add some more length into the lacy part too. The wool for this is soft and delicious too and the rib is quite firm. I have measured this time too, and hope that I have not made it too big.

Two SFX magazines were at the newsagent’s yesterday and one was the Top 50 UK Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV shows and the top 10 are:

  1. Dr Who

  2. Red Dwarf

  3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  4. Blake’s Seven

  5. The Prisoner

  6. Sapphire and Steel

  7. Quatermass

  8. Ultraviolet

  9. The Avengers

  10. Robin of Sherwood

5 of these are in my 110 favourite shows!!!  Ultraviolet is so cool and it has Jack Davenport from Coupling and The Pirates of the Caribbean!!!

The Scottish Restaurant Berry Breakfast

  • 300 g frozen berries/raspberries

  • 250 g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced thinly

  • 10 g caster sugar

  • 80 ml yoghurt – plain or berry

  • toasted muesli

Bring the fruit and the sugar to a simmer and then cook for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time. Cool and then refrigerate.  To make, place half the berries mixture in each glass, then the yoghurt and top with the muesli!!! And you don’t have to have fries with that!! I always ask for chips. Well, I never ask for chips as I am boycotting them because they have chosen to buy their potatoes from overseas.