Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Sock-in-Progress: Day 4 (Turning the Heel)

I got a little confused by the instructions in the Regia sock pattern but a quick trawl of the web helped clear things up enough that I could work out what the pattern was trying to get out and where the missing 'turn' was.

And so now I'm ready to carry on - perhaps tomorrow after we get back from our New Years walk.

Some curiosities I noticed about the Regia pattern compared to others on the web:
  • The turning of the heel is worked on three needles rather than one. I can sort-of understand this as it removes the need to count at all, you just keep going until the last-but-one stitch in any direction. It does make purling two stitches together a little tricky (as they're on two different needles) and I found it was easier to slip the stitch off the centre needle and then slip it again to get it onto the left outer needle ready to purl together.
  • The turning of the heel starts with a knit row rather than a purl row - I haven't yet worked out if/why this is important :)

Stitch Markers

I'm having a bit of a knitting frenzy this Christmas/New Year - well, I seem to be spending a reasonable amount of time knitting, I'm not sure I'm producing enough for it to class as a frenzy. Anyway, having finished my heel flap I'm stuck trying to understand the next step of my pattern so I thought I'd take a break and make those stitch markers I planned to have a go at. So here are my first two:

It's at this point I realised I don't actually have my beads in Lancaster so there'll be no more of those for a bit. Also, my head pins are a little bit bendy.

A tutorial for such things can be found at sheep in the city (scroll down a bit).

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: The English Year (Steve Roud)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“Nevertheless, she does not seem to have had a lasting traditional impact, and no major festivals, customs, or superstitions are reported for her day, although itmust have had local significance in parishes where the church was named after her.
In weather-lore, St Margaret's Day was often expected to be wet; if it was, it was termed 'Margaret's flood', or, somewhat confusingly it was said that St Mary Magdalene (whose feast day was washing her handkerchief to go to her coursin St James's Fair (25th July).”

Sock-in-Progress: Day 4

Day 4 of my sock and approximately a third of the heel flap done:

Monday, 29 December 2008

Sock-in-Progress: Day 3

Following on from yesterdays sock post, here is today's progression:

Almost ready to start heel flapping :)

Title Deed

Having struggled to draw them out by hand, I've given up and scanned the title deeds. Hobnob's created me a generic template based on the scanned cards.Next job is to print them, fill the gaps and colour them in!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sock-in-Progress: Day 2

After many false starts, Day 1 of this sock (my first sock ever) was Christmas day. Unfortunately towards the end of the day I dropped a stitch which instantly fell most of the way back down the rib. Without a crochet hook to pull it up again I had to wait until I got back home again on the 27th before I could rescue it.

So, starting off with a quick stitch rescue, today was Day 2 of my sock knitting adventure. At the end of the day my sock looks like this:

Not too bad I think, it feels like it's progressing far faster than my other knitting project (a hat I had hoped to wear this winter - ah well!)

Green Bean & Coriander Salad

Hobnob and I had this many weeks ago and I'm about to return the original source to the library so thought I'd best make a note :)


Serves 2, ~10 minutes

250g fine green beans, trimmed
1 tsp chopped red chilli
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
4 spring onions, sliced into thin strips
A quarter of a cucumber, diced
Juice of half a lime
2tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper

Cook green beans in pan of salted boiling water for approximately five minutes - the beans should be tender but slightly crunchy, drain and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss until dressing evenly coats the salad. Serve.

(adapted from Tara Ramsay's Sticky Hoisin Lamb in her book Home Made)

Friday, 26 December 2008


Following another perfume sampler and then subsequent trials from Lizi's bottle, these are my thoughts on J'adore, a fragrance by Christian Dior:

This perfume smells far more of alcohol than anything else when first applied - it made the room smell rather like I'd had the nit lotion out. Some time later I can't really say I could pin down anything special about this perfume. Probably better than not wearing anything but I wouldn't buy it given the wealth of alternatives - that said, it isn't offensive :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Plain Flour to Self Raising

I can never remember what the balance is, so here I shall store it for posterity:

For each 50g of Plain Flour add three quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder to get a self-raising equivalent.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Ghost - Sweetheart

I've taken to stashing perfume samplers in my bag for those occasions where I've forgotten to put it on in the morning (and wish to rectify the situation) and for those days when I am away from home. Having found something I quite liked yesterday, I thought I'd blog it for future reference.
(image from Ghost)

I didn't especially notice much about this perfume (definitely Ghost and probably Sweetheart) when I applied it, but later that evening I spent some time quietly sniffing my wrists and enjoying the 'girl-next-door' scent. I really like the comfy smell of this perfume. Sounds bizarre but it felt like the t-shirt and jeans of the perfume world. I'm very tempted to purchase this sometime in the future.

Film in Four Words (V For Vendetta)

Magic. A better Matrix.

(Image from Wikimedia, more film info at IMDB)

So many of my films at the moment are second viewings and this is no exception. I love this film. I'm not entirely sure why, but it was one of few that live up to my (scant but positive) recollections the second time. Poor Hobnob is bemused (as he often is by my film choices) but I found this film makes me feel like I'm thinking without sharing his need to scour Wikipedia for the details I might have missed.

I wish I had the imagination and intelligence to create art like this. It's beautiful and philosophic all at the same time. An artistic thought experiment, or something...

Anyway, I waffle. I love this film. (Just don't ask me why)

Friday, 19 December 2008

Friday Fill In

This week's Friday Fill In:

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you hear what I hear?

2. The first Noel, the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay.

3. Go teletubbie mountain, Over the hills and everywhere.

4. It came upon the midnight clear, all glory be to God on High. (Who knows why I tie these two carols together but in my head they just seemed to join up.)

5. Freedom Let your heart be light.

6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing ting-a-ling-a-ling.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the Kinder Children's Choirs candlelit Christmas concert (and what an alliteration that is), tomorrow my plans include buying the last Christmas presents as I travel home again and Sunday, I want to do whatever takes my fancy!

(I like carols too much to want to answer these with anything other than the words - I've done my best)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

That Christmas Feeling

I'm not really feeling Christmassy as such yet, but what I am feeling is this strange reluctance to do any work at all. It's like the week has become one big Friday. It's a good job I've accepted that I'm not going to get anything really useful done next week!

So, what am I not interested in doing today? Today's work is to read some stuff from Protecting Study Volunteers in Research... I'd rather be reading Twilight (and I am occasionally!)

Vampires or US Legislation, which is more exciting?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dairy & Egg Free Pancakes

For those with, and those cooking for those with, allergies...

55g Plain Flour
30g Ground Arrowroot
30g Tapioca Flour
350ml Soya Milk

Bung it all in a bowl and mix well! These are UK pancakes so pour a small amount into the frying pan and flip over when underside is browned - you're aiming for something thin, like a French crepe.

Surprisingly these taste a lot like real pancakes, perhaps just a little more crumpet or bread like... maybe? Very close the the real thing anyway.

I also used this mixture (doubled) for toad in the hole (8 sausages). Didn't cook it quite long enough but it seemed like it would probably work well if I had done.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Monopoly Activities

Been working on my spreadsheet today, planning activities for the early half of the Monopoly Board for my QG exploration to Edinburgh. It's taken far longer than I thought. Some of these places are quite difficult to find much for even on Google. Combining Google with the Guidebook is getting me there, but slowly!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

No cheese

The cheese man is not around for the 10th because he's on holiday for a month :(

Timing is Everything

Today we've been into town to do some Christmas shopping. Well we went and I shopped. We get home and I'm wrapping presents when Hobnob announces that we should have crackers for the LuBBs curry tomorrow - why did this not occur to him earlier? Also he's forgotten to buy a present for his godson.

So now we must go shopping tomorrow.

Friday, 12 December 2008


It seems there is more than one version of monopoly. The version I have received from my ebay seller is different to the one previously described to me by another seller and seems to have slightly better locations. I have updated the google map.

The changes to properties are:

West Shore Road becomes Chambers Street

Thistle Street becomes Gyle Avenue

Cortorphine Road becomes FountainBridge
Royal Mile becomes University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Zoo becomes Charlotte Lane
Greenside Place becomes Royal Mile

Chambers Street becomes Leith Walk
St Andrews Sq becomes Rutland Court

Edinburgh Airport becomes Haymarket Train Station

Mmm.... cheese!

Started on the Monopoly activities spreadsheet for Edinburgh today. I've found a guy who brings a cheese van up to The Meadows some Saturdays which sounds quite nice. Have sent him an email to see if he'd be up there when we are.

Edinburgh Train Tickets

Bought my train tickets for Edinburgh! I'm racing through the "To Do" list today :)

Friday Fill-In

This week's Friday Fill-In:

1. Friends are blessing I don't ever appreciate enough.

2. Mental health; it's something people don't give enough of their attention to.
This was inspired by Ňạʼněě's fill in post, here. I found this question by far the hardest!

3. I'm ready for things to happen.

4. Ralph Lauren's Romance (perfume) and fresh lavender (smell) is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is almost certainly not very old - I don't really do ornaments, don't see the point.

6. Take some leeks, corgettes and other vegetables, mix it all together and you have the perfect stirfry.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing *something*, tomorrow my plans include feeling purposeful and Sunday, I want to learn how to knit socks.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Free eBook

For a limited time only Simon & Schuster publishers are offering a free downloadable eBook version of L.J. Smith's Secret Vampire - the first book in the Night World series. I couldn't get enough of these books in high school. Apparently the offer is to celebrate the recent US release of the new Twilight film.

For those of you who haven't come accross the Night World books before:

"The Night World isn’t a place. It’s all around us. It’s a secret society of vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creatures of darkness that live among us. They’re beautiful and deadly and irresistible to humans. Your high school teacher could be one, and so could your boyfriend..."

And for those that have...

The Night World books are being rereleased over the coming year! The first nine books have been divided into three sets of three books - each triplet being released as a single bind-up - the first two sets are available now whilst the third is scheduled for release on June 23, 2009. The never before published 10th book in the series will be released by Simon Pulse in 2010.

Curious? Download that eBook here (available until 21st December).

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

QG Exploration Planning

Met Lizzi again today in the Venue to try and get the programme divided up nicely before Lizzi goes home for Christmas. To keep it nice and simple we've agreed that the properties can be divided straight down the middle, so I will do Brown->Orange (inclusive) and Lizzi Red->Purple (also inclusive). I'll do the four stations and Lizzi will look into the Community Chests. For each one we'll try and find one or more suggestions of things we could do (bearing in mind timing and costs) and put them together in a template which we can send back and forth until it is complete. Once it's complete we can use the list and my maps so that together we can (via MSN or some similar) have a think about a good order and who's to lead which bits. In addition, we thought it'd be a good idea to make up some large size (A4) property deeds to use in the photographs - we'll each make cards for the properties we are researching.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: Brown Owl's Guide to Life (Kate Harrison)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today:

“I pass the diagram showing the right way to hang a Union Jack, and the illustration explaining how to tell if a track has been made by a lame horse, before reaching anything remotely relevant. Page 373, right opposite the frogs in cream, is a whole section on Good Temper and Cheeriness.”

Page 97 of Brown Owl's Guide to Life by Kate Harrison

Monday, 1 December 2008

Leg Warmers!

What with the rather cool weather and my not-quite-complete lack of fashion sense, I have discovered leg warmers. I bought my first pair last week and quickly went out to buy another. Today I bought another two pairs on my way in to uni - that's probably enough for now!

(today's legwarmers in grey sandwiched between the two new pairs: navy and green)


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