Friday, 27 March 2009

agonies and packages

I've been a lucky girl the last few days- lots of RAKs!

Alas today, I was woken up in agony at 5am- it felt like I was being crushed and stung at the same time in my chest and back. It hurt so bad I actually cried. I couldn't even take my reliever inhaler because it hurt too much to breathe in deeply... long story short, I've been prodded, poked, tapped, had my chest listened to, had an E.C.G and now I have to go for a chest x-ray in an hour. Oh joy and wonder.

Anyway, here's some pics of my recent RAKS:Yellow UK RAK (March) Random Act of Kindness from Kris.

A US care package from the wondeful DMXOX- the taffy is now down to two pieces, one of which I MUST save for the boy... please send more ;) Also, I've never had a Twizzler that wasn't red, so this will be fun! Especially when I eat the blue one... blue colouring= craaazy Lini!

A close-up of my hot sauces from DMXOX- Tabasco (<3), Mega Death sauce and Kick Ass sauce... can't wait for chilli night to try them!

And my lovely RAK from Gina, another of the fabulous Chicklets. I only wanted the Crochet Today mag! ;)

I have been well and truly spoiled and I feel truly blessed. Thankyou everyone.

Friday, 20 March 2009

nuno felt attempt!

Ok, so, by popular demand, here are the pics of my first nuno felt attempt!

Maybe a pinch more roving next time? But not bad for a first try I reckon...?

train train, take me away...

Ugh, I've had a right morning of it.

Allow me to elaborate (i.e- moan endlessly about tfl):

I got up a little later than usual (only by five minutes), got washed and dressed and all that jazz and was quite surprised to be ready by 0735. Mum had made me a half-hot cup of tea while I was makeup-ing (a half hot cuppa is where you make tea about half way up the cup, then add cold water or milk etc to fill it up), which I was immensely grateful for. I love my mum.

So we left, and I got to the station at about 0750 and caught the 0758 towards London Liverpool Street. I have to change at Stratford, to get the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf, so I did what I usually do and changed. The train was waiting at platform 14, so that was good at least. The train went off as per usual, a bit slower though, and dragging it's heels a little. Nothing seemed particularly out of the ordinary until it stopped... then the driver's voice came over the intercom, telling us that there was a "slight problem" with the signals at Canary Wharf, so there'd be a little bit of a delay. It was fine, I was really early; it was only 0815. Then about five minutes later, the driver told us we'd be going to West Ham (next stop) but we'd have to wait there for a while. Ok, no problem. I might even get to work early enough to get a pastry. Only it wasn't a while, it was 0835 before the driver even got back to us. He still hadn't heard from central control, so had no idea when we'd be moving, only that there was a fault in the signal at Canary Wharf. Great, so much for my early start. I was going to be late. Joy.

Ok, so I used my head here. If I got the Eastbound train back to Stratford on the opposite platform, I could get the Docklands Light Railway to Canary Wharf- yay! Clever Lini! Ok, so I left the stationary train and made my way over. The next train went right through, deserted, not stopping... how rude! The next one in was packed. Literally, not another mortal soul could have fitted on. That doesn't stop people trying though, not in London. Turns out (as the station announcer from West Ham control said) that all the platforms at Stratford were full of trains trying to go Westbound (the way I wanted to go really!) so there was no room for the Eastbound that was at West Ham... am I confusing you all?

Ok, so I had another flash of inspiration- get the District line to Bow Road and get the DLR from Bow Church. Excellent idea! Clever Lini! Everyone else had the same idea, but at least I was at Bow Road by about 0915. Now Bow Road and Bow Church aren't the same station. They're like 300metres apart. That's a bit of a walk for asthma face here (especially when I'm in the process of changing my meds cuz they're not working!) but I did it. Without dying. Go me. God, can you believe I used to be an athlete? High jump (held the school record at one point), long jump, 100m sprint, gymnastics, badminton... I even spent most of each weekend walking the beach roads in St. Osyth... ugh, now I'm just lazy.

So, at Bow Road, I'm waiting and waiting... getting less patient as time progresses as it's now gone half nine and I'm actually really late now. The first train comes in and stops... but doesn't admit passengers. The second comes in five minutes later, and there is NO room at all! The third comes again in another five minutes, but is only going to All Saints- not helpful. Two more trains go with crammage. Now it's 0950 and I'm really pissed off. The next train towards Lewisham is going to have me on it, even if I'm standing on a pregnant disabled person's lap I reckon. The train comes in. I cram on. Someone's poking me in the back and I'm near a smelly man but it's ok... for now. Only five or six stops to go. I get to Canary Wharf at 1000-ish and have to navigate my way out of the shopping centre part of the complex. I have never been to a place (and I've been there a few times) that more deserved the title 'shopping complex'!

I finally made it to work at 1015. That's an hour and a quarter later than I need to be there, if you hadn't worked that out for yourself. So that's £10 I've lost from my paycheck. Not to mention the two hours I lost going to the doctors, and the two and a half from attending a job interview last Friday. So my pay check is going to be down by about £40. That's how much it costs to pay my (cell) phone bill.

Is tfl going to reimburse me? No. That's why I think they're all a bunch of words beginning with c that are synonymous with a lady's genital bits. Yes, you heard right.

Here's a map of the undeground system. Maybe it'll be a fun thing for you to check out. It's not for me! I know my way around it, and having to change my route is irritating!

Though there was no room for crochet, I did read nearly 100 pages of 'Tears of the Giraffe' by Alexander McCall-Smith. Good book- I <3 Mma Ramotswe. So that's another of the 52 in 52 down.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Éirinn go Brách!


or, rather; “Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh”- St. Patrick's day blessings to you all in Gaelige (Gaelic).

As I am a little bit Irish, I thought I'd wear a green frilly sweater to work today, and tie a green bow in my hair. So I did. And I must say, I think I look rather fetching! :D The one I tied around my wrist has fallen off, so I've tied it around my mug handle, where it also looks rather fetching!

I am still crafting, don't worry, I haven't become a mindless automaton in the world of work. I made a nuno felt scarf for the first time on Saturday, and was quite pleased with the results! It looked quite funky! I wouldn't wear it myself because it's pink and purple, but I hope the BFF (it's for her birthday) will, because she LOVES pink! I've ordered (I think?) 100g of green/yellow merino and silk roving from World of Wool to make one for myself- then we'll see how it turns out now that I know what I'm doing!

I did get some pictures of it, but as yet haven't been on a PC with a SD card slot! It's really annoying, cuz I know at least two or three people really want to take a dekko at it! (Dekko means look in Essex slang) Not to mention the baby onesie that I'm about half way through... saying that, it is in my ravelry projects...

Either way, I'll try and get the pics up soon! And hopefully I'll finish my Mirasol Miski scarf soon... maybe... I think I need more woolies... maybe it'll be an installment plan scarf!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

hello and welcome.... a random post that probably won't have a lot to do with crochet.

I'd just like to get something off my chest in a neutral setting. I'm not going to apologise for having an opinion, because it's mine. So here we go... I'm sorry if you don't like it, but really, I'm not sorry at all.

Yesterday on my commute to work, I wasn't feeling very happy anyway. Crammed train carriages with no space to crochet, a man smelling of wee in my face, someone on my foot, etc does not a happy hooker make. Yet when I read the free paper (The Metro), I was even more annoyed.


A welcome home parade for a group of soldiers in Luton. What a nice way to welcome back our boys. How nice for them to see rows of smiling, cheering faces. Even though I don't support the war in Iraq, and actively protested against it in 2004 (the big march on Downing St), I will support our troops. It's not them that decided to go to war, it's them that are told to FIGHT the war.

So, the parade is invaded by a group of muslim guys shouting abuse and waving placards reading "Baby Killers" and "Butchers of Basra"- what a nice thing for the soldiers to see eh? And the thing that made me laugh sardonically more than anything was the guys holding up "British Government Terrorist Government" signs. Most of them were born here. If you don't like life in the UK, then find somewhere else to live. Simple.

Surely the protest would have been better aimed at the government that voted to go to war, i.e at 10 Downing Street, rather than in Luton, a normal town, full of normal people who could no more change the outcome of a government war order than move a mountain.

What made me really sad, was that this parade had twelve empty spaces. Twelve brave men sent home in boxes, not seats. Twelve dinner tables with a place left, hoping against hope that the letter was all a lie; that one day their son/brother/dad/uncle/cousin/husband/fiance would be coming back.

I couldn't do what the soldiers do. I'm not brave enough. And let's face it, you have to be pretty damn brave to face a horde of guys willing to kill themselves to kill you. I'm not saying that every soldier is a hero- afterall, they're doing a job, but those who go above and beyond the call of duty and show significant strength and bravery, those are the heroes. They don't deserve to be treated like that.

Two generations of men in my close and distant family have been soldiers and sailors. Not all of them made it home in one piece. Not all of them made it home period. A distant relative of ours, Private Charles Kimpton Doggett was never even found when he died on October 4th 1917. He died, aged 32, and is remembered on a wall at Tyne Cot cemetary (which will make you cry if you visit- it did me). The walls commemorate those who were never found (MIA), partially found, or only their dogtags found. He has no grave. He was sucked down into the clinging mud, possibly still alive and in agony, and that is where he rests.

This is why protests like this make me so angry. My great-grandad was in WWI; gassed at hill 60, and sent home to convalesce. He recovered, and was sent to Gallipoli. Thankfully he made it back, to live to a ripe old age and die peacefully, but without breathing a word to anyone of what he saw in Ypres or Turkey. My grandad was in WWII, in Palestine- even then the word 'peace' was unknown there. He'll never forget seeing the bodies of officers hanging by the neck in an orange grove; murdered by terrorists, or forget how his friend looked, dying by inches right in front of him, and there was nothing he could do.

One of my school friends is a career soldier, serving out in Afghanistan at the moment I believe, and I dread getting the local paper in case it has something about him coming home prematurely in... I don't even want to think about it.

I'm all for freedom of speech, it's one of the things that makes Britain so great. But this was jsut distasteful. I think the guys behind it should be made to do a month in jail. At least.

What makes me laugh though (and try not to cry) is that the people arrested at the parade were British (Christian, we assume) guys, trying to get at the muslim protesters to do some damage. HAH. It's not politcally correct here to arrest an ethinic minority when they're in the wrong!

Here's a couple of links (one, two, and three) to some news stories if you're interested.

And as for the crochet, I'm makling a Mirasol Miski scarf, and still doing the Spirit scarf.

Sorry for the completely off topic rant, I just HAD to get it out!
The following lovely poems are all WWI poems, written by the men who saw death at the Front and were claimed by him there. I've highlighted a couple of key phrases, just to emphasise my point that soldiers don't choose where to go, they are just chosen by those in charge.

"The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings;
But Day shall clasp him with strong hands
And night shall fold him in soft wings"
-Julian Grenfell, 'Into Battle'

"And your bright Promise, withered long and sped,
Is touched, stirs, rises, opens and grows sweet
And blossoms and is you, when you are dead."
-Charles Sorley, 'Two Sonnets'

"I have come to the borders of sleep,
The unfathomable deep
Forest, where all must lose
Their way, however straight
Or winding, soon or late;
They can not choose."
-Edward Thomas, 'Lights Out'

Friday, 6 March 2009

I found fluff, aka, dangit Gina!

I went to have a read of our sleepyeyes Gina's blog and got distracted by the links to fuzz.
Now I want some.
Especially the Purple Peas and greenblue flufflocks!

So thanks for informing me about the site Gina, but also, dangit, now I want some fluffies!

awards, scarves and daily rudeness...

I got an award, thankyou Leslie!

The text accompanying the award reads as follows:
"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award."

So, I'm picking the following people:

1. Martha
2. Caroline
3. Frewen
4. Kaz
5. Kris
6. Bianca
7. Kirsty
8. Kristina

Just because I didn't pick you, doesn't mean I don't love you. Hopekins, Leslie, Gina, Rebecca et al, you were got to first, so I thought I'd share the love with others!

Ok, so I'm making a scarf for myself out of the frogged Twilley's Spirit (was armwarmers that looked CACK), but it's a work day project, i.e- I'm only doing it at work when there's nothing to do. I've worked out a pattern (ten rows dc -sc for you USAliens- and five of htr -dunno what that is? Double?-) and it's starting to look quite groovy! Hopefully will get snaps this weekend. I'm also making a scarf for my godmum's birthday (ok, it's the 9th so it probably won't be on time) and to cheer her up because she's signed off work sick at the moment after being in a bit of a fender bender. Nothing too serious, but a bit of whiplash and not feeling too great. I'm making it out of a lovely middleing pale orange crochet cotton, which was a RAK from the lovely Nicola. I'll get a pic of this one too at the weekend. When she said it was a cone of cotton, I thought it'd be one of those little three inch high ones. Noes- it's HUAGE! It must weigh at least 300g! So thankyou Nic, from me, my mum (she's reminiscing again- two mum friendly RAKs in one week. The first was two vintage patterns from the 1970s) and soon too my godmama!

And the daily rudeness I'm alluding to is the commute into London every day for work. I hate it. I will tell all one day... but for now, I'm just going to seethe lol!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

it's square root day....

... and it only happens 9 times a century, so math it up everybody!
I won't be adding because I have maths dyslexia and will look stupid, so I'll just sit here and count all 12 of my toes... I mean 10 toes ;) I'm not a mega mutant, honest.

This is a little update from my workplace in Millwall (near Canary Wharf) just to let you know that I'm still alive, still being harassed, and still crocheting. I've started a onesie from the US mag 'Crochet Today' Mar/Apr 2009. And it's CUTE!

Incidentally, if anyone in the US/Canadia can get hold of a copy of the Jan/Feb edition of CT I'd be willing to pay you shipping etc to send it to me! It only comes into our 'big'ish newsagent very intermittently, so... *bats eyelashes*

If I can, I'll get an update with some pics over the weekend :D

And also, in sad news, I've frogged my armwarmers that I stared in Spirit shade 'Air'- I think they'll be nicer as a scarf. I just have to finish untangling the woolly monstrosity!