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June 2007

Sixteen Vestal Burgeons

Vest_side_story_2 The BareNakedLady has been burgeoning. I decided she needed to reflect my curvaceousness, and so she does now!! She in 'enhanced' with fibre filling. She is modelling the completed Vest Side Story. I think I am going for the whole "Connor from Primeval look" without really trying: vest, untConnor_from_primevalucked shirt, badges etc. I am very pleased with my new Vest. It was inspired by Jo Sharp's ZigZag Vest, but I just did the maths and made the pattern up as I went along. It has part of the Jaywalker for the band of ribbing. I am not quite happy with the ribbing around the left armhole, I erred on the side of looseness. I may unravel it and just cast off again. I see now that The BareNakedLady is on a bit of a lean. I am too lazy to take another photo, she will just look forever a tad inebriated in this photo. See my Doctor Who badges?: K9, The TARDIS and a Cyberman. The kind newsagent found an extra set so MrsDrWho and I could have one each. There is a photo further on down.......

Vest Side Story. Pattern: My own. Knitted using Rare Essentials Cocoon Jade (Alpaca, Silk, Mohair, Merino) Peris_autumnal_dip_in_the_creekthat I bought from Donni ages ago, on 4mm needles. Very warm and cosy it is too. Oh see Anne's vest too. Snap, we both finished at the same time. We were having an semi casual KAL!!!Harki_has_a_dip_in_the_creek

Everyone has been so kind with their good wishes. Having 'Internet friends' today is like having good neighbours in the olden days. There have been very frequent applications of Tea and Labradors, as well as long, long naps in the afternoon. I feel half way human today, which for me is very good!! I still have a cough which is worse at night. I am making yoghurt to eat, though truly, with all the drugs and treatments pumped through me it's a wonder I manage to function at all sometimes!!!

The Labradors are so happy to have the car back and we have been for 4 walks to the Whos_that_down_theredam, albeit for only 15 minutes. There have been wild rainy storms all over the state and the creek has water in it at long last. Being Labradors, there have been chilly dips in the water and then mad running about. Afterwards there is a nap for Harki, but Peri likes to keep an eye on what's happening on the street!!!

I have been tagged by LarjMarj and Suzi to write Seven Random Things About Me (sic). If you would like to be tagged, please consider yourself "IT" So here goes:

  1. If I am home I listen to Radio National on Saturday afternoon. I listened to the same programmes, more or less, on 7ZR when I was a teenager at home: The Goon Show, The Science Show, The Showman with John West, My Word/My Music and John Cargher with Singers of Renown. There was always a serial too, at 3pm. I loved The Lord of The Rings, with Ian Holm as Frodo. It was 26 weeks of bliss!!!
  2. I am, by nature, a girly swot. I loved school. loved to study, enjoyed assignments. I could have been a student all my days.
  3. I was born too late. I am a baby boomer. Just. But really I should have been born in the Forties. I like Frank, Nat, Bing and Tony, Doris and Rosemary. I like the old Musicals, the fashions and I love all the books about boarding schools and being a student nurse!!!
  4. When I had Vundy the German Shepherd, I always referred to the dogs as 'The Girls' . Now I only have Labradors they are: The Labradors. I can never have another German Shepherd as it would be wrong for such a noble beast to be bottom of the pack!!
  5. I don't have any human children mainly because after so many years of teaching I ran out of names to choose from. I am thinking now that one day there will be a new puppy and I am testing out names. All the dogs' names end in an 'EEEE' sound for ease of calling out loud. I have made it a tradition.
  6. My dad was put in the brig in the navy for mutiny. How cool is that????? He wasn't, mutinous, of course. He just was unable to obey a direct order from a superior officer on account of the Admiral's brandy. It's a long story.
  7. I was in the choir at school. We made a record. I was in the Sisters' Choir, even though my sister was not. I had special dispensation to be an 'only' in the small group. I like to sing a lot. I do try and learn all the words in case I am arrested and put into solitary confinement and I have to sing songs, recite poetry and remember books to keep myself sane. I plan for that which may not happen.
  8. Seven things was not enough. I also am a tiny bit anti-establishment. As you can see. I like to add my own boxes and categories on official forms. I always sign my name in green, despite what the ATO and many other Government and Legal departments say. Can you read most doctors' signatures?? Mine is very legible. It is just green.

Scarf I am knitting a lacy, as yet unnamed, scarf with some beautiful 'Spring'Sock_knitting_totes  2ply Merino/Silk I bought from Katie. I am doing a lot of K 7 togethers.  I have also sewed some new Knitting Totes. One is Royal Stuff and the other is Buried Treasure.

This week, on Thursday night, it was Cracker Night. Fireworks are mostly banned, but somehow a shop has found a loophole and they sell them without a permit. Cracker Night was always on the 24th of May. It used to be Empire and then Commonwealth Day. I like the go ahead attitude of this shop: not only selling dangerous crackers, but blithely moving the day and date of Cracker Night too. We used to have community bonfires, and there still are some. Luckily The Labradors aren't spooked by the noise and general Badges furore, but we are bracing ourselves for a noisy night.

MrsDrWho can have crackers whenever she likes in Macau. It is a free for all I think, though her latest adventures may give one pause. Read about it: if you dare!!!

Winter is almost here: the nights are drawing in. It is my favourite time of the year. It is a time for warm drinks, comfort food, reading on the couch with a blanket and walking in the rain!!

"Peep" Throat

  1. Tug_of_love_2  Tricky Dicky has not been here 'plugging leaks', and I'm no William Mark Felt, Sr, it's just that a peep is about all the noise I can make at the moment. I have a boogelly throat, 2 lots of giant sized antibiotics and some lovely anti-nausea tablets too. There has been much sleeping and many showers, which always make me feel better. The Labradors have been taking good care of me.

I have finished my vest and other bits'n'bobs, but I don't have the inclination for a full blown post. I can just manage a Labrador picture of course. More when I am feeling I'm not lying dead being half eaten by AlsatiansLabradors (Not that Vundy the German Shepherd would ever have eaten me: she was far too finicky!!!) Oh, I know I'm not well, do you notice the almost complete lack of exclamation marks?

Eye'm Walkin' on Sunshine, Oooh, Oooh!!

Actually, the Sun has only managed to shine for about two hours today, the rest of the time there has been mizzle, interspersed with real rain. Yesterday at the Knitting Coven we were a mishmash of clothes, catering for every season, from a t-shirt and skirt(me!!) to a thick beautifully cabled handknitted jumper (Sharon!!) So, for AmandaJ who wondered if we all really did meet for lunch and knitting, in table order from the door we were :

  • Katara who was crocheting and had gone from zero to 100 in a few weeks,
  • Sharon who was knitting socks but was extremely enthused by Katt's hand-dyed 12ply made especially for her,
  • Sandra who was making a beanie,
  • Caroline who had invented something and was very excited,
  • Cathy who had finished gloves, socks, you name it really!!,
  • Toni who was where I couldn't see exactly what she was knitting,
  • Katt who had made a beautiful green jumper but was basking in her dyeing glory,
  • Margaret who almost made a tea cosy,
  • Suzi who was starting the second of things!!!
  • and then a visitor, Rosemary.

Et voila, c'est tous le nous!!!Who_woke_me_up_and_why_am_i_outside

Today I had my eyes tested. My word the Eye Doctor is well paid!! A technician numbed my eyes and then poked my retina to check pressure, in what those in eye doctoring like to call a 'Feel' test, and asked me to read the Eye Chart. Then the Eye Doctor proper asked me to explain why I was there - 4 minutes, and in the remaining minute asked me to read the Eye Chart again, this time with my glasses on, and then looked in each eye with a bright light. $120 for 5 minutes!!! He was a little taken aback by the first Eye Chart results and perhaps he thought I was already suffering from drug side effects!!! With my glasses on I can read the very smallest line of text.

My car isRip_bunny_teddybunny still being fixed. I am driving MrsDrWho's car and I have used all the gadgets: the windscreen wipers, the lights, the A/C both hot and cold, the special pressy button that magically locks and unlocks the car, and the boot!!! I have reverse parked and done u-eys. (Not sure how to spell that??)

While I was out Peri was not sleeping, she was removing the bedclothes from the bed and making some sort of alien insect nest. She was cross to be woken up and slightly confused. I appear to arrive home unannounced, as if by teleport or rings. Peri does not recognise the borrowed car's sound, so I am magic!! Harki has finally wrought havoc upon the Easter TeddyBunny. He has ceased to be as an entity and now is just the minus of his parts.Almost_to_the_neck_of_vss_2

The front of the Vest Side Story, in fact looks just like the photo two posts ago. I am mere rows away from the neck, which I am starting at the armhole decreases,then it's just a quick sprint to the shoulder line and some ribbing and it's done!! I am soldiering on with the Professor Plum socks and did a few rows with numb eyes today. In the most exciting news, Katt made a special one off hand-dyed skein of sock wool for me as a thank you for something I made for her. Run_forest_run_from_katts_wool It is called Run, Forest, Run. I believe it is Forest of the Gump persuasion, but I can only hum the Dad's Army song!!! Thank you so much Katt, I love its verdant greeniness!!!

Next I will be indulging in some sewing with these nice materials. None are for me, hence the un-green-ness. The tea is for me, I am drinking more herbal teas and infusions than black tea lately: tea to make me feel relaxed and sleepy, tea to make me feel less woozy in the stomach department, tea that has a zing!!! I am also indulging in lots of reading, it is just the right weather to whileSew_im_sewing_some_things away the afternoon reading.

The Managing Director of H*rris Sc*rfe has written to me, albeit with bad grace,  and he will arrange for me to obtain a mix master!! Power to the people: that's me and all my mix master supporters - Thank you!!!!!

Finally, The Weakest Link: Doctor Who Edition.

Camomile_and_spearmint_tea Lemon_and_ginger_tea Moroccan_mint_tea_2Peppermint_tea


A Jack of all Trades: (Mix) Master of None

To my surprise, I received a letter from The Department of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading about First_fog_of_autumn my complaint. Although H*rris Sc*rfe said it was  "..a ticketing error..unfortunately not picked up at the time of (my) visit to the store.."  Um, wasn't I pointing out their error at the time?? Didn't they say there was an error yet refuse to abide by accepted pricing policies??? Anyhow, after the intervention of the Department of Justice (how cool is that name!!) they will be contacting me to offer said kitchen appliance at the ticketed price. Of course now, after I have been proved right on principle, I am loath to buy it from them after their intransigence and duplicity. MrsDrWhBack_of_vest_side_story_2o has reminded me not to cut off my nose despite my face. I wonder if the mixmasters are green???

I seem to have come through the valley of side effects relatively unscathed. Hurray!! It must be all the good wishes and positive thoughts from everyone: Don't stop.....  I was being transfused on Wednesday, which enabled a heap of knitting over the 8 hours, and I had a message on my phone from MrsDrWho, traveller extraordinaire, who had flown off the night before bound for foreign climes. She had indeed reached the foreign climes, but was languishing at the Ferry Terminal in Macau. SheProf_plum_sock_2_progresses couldn't contact her sister. So, in a major technological break through on our part, she messaged me her sister's phone number in Macau, I sat in the Clinic and rang on my mobile phone and spoke to them , and then they went to the ferry terminal and picked her up!! How amazingly amazing is that? I am more than slightly gobsmacOh_what_can_it_beked at being able to do it.

I have finished the back of the Vest Side Story, and very nice it is too. I always knit the back first because I find it much easier to work out the neck shaping if I already know how many rows I will be knitting. I have also knitted about half the leg of the second Professor Plum sock. I'm hoping to finish my vest this week, the weather is just right for vest wearingFoggy_morning_high_2. We had our first fog this morning, and a pea souper it was too. When I was driving to the dam, visibility was quite poor. It didn't worry Harki or Peri. They ran through the bush getting wet and smelling all the smells and listening to all the sounds. Back at home, Harki was even wetter. She opened the shower screen with her nose and insisted on having hot water sprinkled on her head. Peri is slightly bemused by this. She doesn't like the bathroom all that much as the hair dryer lives there!!!

I bought some sock wool from the excellent Yarnivorous: Shoals (of green) and Yarnivorouss_wool_for_me she sent me an extra bonus surprise of some handspun hand-dyed wool. The wool is so soft and I'm thinking of making Monkey socks, Sea Monkey socks that would be!!!

On the good news front. the remote control arrived in 4 working days!! What excellent service from the Local Shop and it is living in a ziplock bag. On the not so good news front my car had a head gasket problem : at least I think that's what it is. It is being fixed this Monday and Tuesday. I am driving MrsDrWho's car. I am very nervous. I won't be driving very far!! It is ever so kind of her to trust me with her car, mind you, she has trusted me with the Kitten, so....

It is Mothers' Day tomorrow. My sister and I gave my mother a 'hair' experience, with cutting and colouring and setting and whatever else might go on in the salon. I hope she likes it. With my mum, you never know!!! I'm off to lunch with The MadCages now, and The Labradors are asleep in bed. I bet they haven't bought me anything for Mothers' Day. I'll settle for their love!!!

Ground (Remote) Control to Major Tom

Where_is_everybody Yes, Houston, we have a problem: Peri's happy waggy tail knocked over a cup of warm sweet tea and said tea infiltrated the DVD Recorder's remote control. Despite a trip to Remote Control Central, there was no fixing it, so a new one has been ordered. This does mean that 40 or 50 shows are 'trapped' on the HD and I can't watch them or do anything other than record, stop and also play discs. Sigh. MrsDrWho has cleverly suggested than when the new remote control arrives, it should live in a ziplock bag and I concur. Little Peri wasn't, and isn't, inHoley_moley_batman_4 any trouble. It was purely an accident born out of her extreme happiness!!!  

There has also been a hole in the fabric of time that is the Dr Who ZUC. A hole in Saving_private_stitchesthe sleeve. After much panic, I consulted Knitty and effected a repair. While I was at it, I unravelled the collar I was never quite happy with and knitted a new one.  All in all a good evening's work.

I am also up to ball 3 on the back of the Vest Side Story, mainly due to the hour andFilled_in  forty minute wait at the Hospital Pharmacy on Wednesday. The pattern on the 'ribbing' is the Jaywalker sock pattern. It works really well, and it so much easier than teeny tiny cables. I have a brand new drug to take, well new here, 2 months new. Look away MrsDrWho!! Instead of having to stick a needle in myself every day and Dr_who_zucs_new_collar have a pump pushing drugs into me, I get to take tablets every morning instead. How excellent is that?? And the drug has a green name too, so it's doubly good. Of course, now I am hovering in that twilight state of waiting for side effects. I am hoping that as I had none to the powdered form, I mightn't have any to the slightly different but of the same family tablets!!!Vest_side_story_act_1

Today MrsDrWho and I went to see Becoming Jane, and there were only 3 people in the cinema so we could laugh and cry to our hearts' content. Now to an Austen Obsessive this film would be as the U-571's rescue of the Enigma Machine was to the entire world except the Americans who made the film!!! But I loved it. It is 'faction' a mix of actual facts and stories imagined to fill the gaps. I don't think Anne Hathaway looks 'British' but she was fine, James McAvoy was stunning (and Becoming_jane he took his shirt off!!!) and the film had a poignant , but appropriate, ending. There are echoes of many of Austen's books, her characters and stories in the film and I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes her books and is prepared for a little fudging!!!

Harki has been a little unhappy as the weather has been up and down. We had half of May's average rainfall in 24 hours, so while we were being declared a drought affected area, we were also made aware that our flood levees are in desperate need of repair by the floods over the other side of the river. Our city is a bit like New Orleans in that we are surrounded by levees and a system of pumps that move water constantly to the outside and away.  We are expecting the one-in-a-hundred-years flood any year now, and though we  have theHarkis_buried_treasure_unburied  $40 million for repairs, it will take 6 years to complete. I live on a hill. I will be OK for a while I think.  So, Harki has been cheering herself up with a bone. She and Peri have been burying them in the muddy garden. Life's great!!!

As MrsDrWho is off to the Far East, I made her a Letting-The-Cat-Out-Of-The Bag. I filled it with various Rescue Remedies, ginger tablets (which she hates but I don't care as it is part of the whole 'keep well while flying' premise) and some Lettingthecatoutofthe_bag tattoos. A girl never knows when she might need a stick-on tattoo!!!

I saw Jamie making rice pudding but I'm not exactly sure of his methods and ingredients, so here's what I made last week. You can easily halve or double this recipe too.

Almost Jamie's Rice Pudding

  • 1 cup short grain/arborio rice
  • 5 cups normal milk
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar- I like brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • vanilla pod if you like

Place all the ingredients into a large non-stick pan and bring to the boil slowly, stirring till the sugar and butter are dissolved. Then turn the temperature right down to a slow simmer, put the lid on firmly, and cook for about an hour or until the rice is moist and soft and the milk absorbed. You can adjust the thickness with a little milk or cream, then pour into bowls and eat. Delicious!!! He served it with jam, and I'm sure it's lovely, but it's not for me.

Royal (Pain in the Neck) Telephone

Telstr*: the monopoly we all know, and show great disinterest in, until they start calling. And calling. And calling. Once I was a Telstr* customer, but that was many years ago. Despite this they keep calling: their dealers, their sales out my silent number willy-nilly. T*m Ry*n rang me, off his own bat, and promised it wouldn't happen any more. But three times since then I have been called. The direct number he gave me doesn't answer, and he also chooses not to answer my emails. No-one wants to listen, no-one wants to help, no-one cares at all.  It is Telstr*'s responsibilty. I promised him I would blog about the terrible service and violation of my privacy. And so I am. I am making Telstr* my pet project. And The ABC until they tell me when Doctor Who will be screened. (Apparently, according to Anna ABC, they only plan 2 or 3 weeks in advance. If you can believe that. And I don't.)

Harki_loves_a_morning_walk_2 Deep breath, and now to happier things!!!

The Labradors: guaranteed to make me feel happy, calm and loved!! Harki has the photogenic gene, if there is such a thing. She always looks fantastic in the pictures I take, and none of the talent is mine!! ShPeri_runs_so_faste is always smiling and happy and graciously at ease. Peri missed out on the photographic gene. I have to delete so many pictures: poor Peri, with my terrible shooting style and here nippy moves we are doomed to get far fewer flattering photos. Peri is always looking around to see where Harki is and what she is doing, and she's afraid she will miss out on something. Hence the not-looking-at-the-camera poses!!! She does have an innate energy and enthOne_professor_plum_sockusiasm and she does everything at the speed of light and at 100% power!!!

I have finished one Professor Plum sock, and I didn't have a Cluedo how it would work out. Pretty much OK. The wool is very fine, the socks are 'wafer thin'  but strong. As an antidote to the incredibly tiny knitting I started a garment: Vest Side Story. I started the Zigzag Vest from Jo Sharp's Knit 3, but I couldn't bear the cabling of one stitch 20 times across every right side row. I even mastered cabling without a needle, but it just wasn't working, and despite checking my tension, it was far too bigVested_interests. Then I had a brainwave and started again with a new pattern interspersed with rib. Do you recognise it??? I have powered ahead since this picture and I am shaping the waist now. I am using some delicious Rare Essentials Cocoon Jade alpaca/silk/mohair/merino. It is soft and light and warm and a beautiful colour. I had forgotten how quickly 8ply on 4mm knits up!!!

Pirate_zipped_bag Here is Katt's Pirate Zipped Bag. I made it to match her big knitting bag. It is lined with the same skull and crossbones material I sewed onto the front. I cobbled together the pattern as I like a flat base and a zippy top. I remembered the specially empowered minerals Katt gave me too!!!Mineral_good_wishes Even the little pouch is green.

Bendigo Woollen Mills finally have their website up and running. The Knitting Coven was all a-buzz with excitement at the news today!!!We can all stop holding our collective breaths and shop away online. On the holding-your-breath-front, Peri's TeddyBunny finally lost his head today. it was all very Rudyard Kipling. Cleopatra has posted her Bill of Rights. I daren't let The Labradors read it......... I was specially invited to an 'Opening' today, so some pictures soon. And a recipe I think. Something sweet???