Monday, January 17, 2005

Still no pics!

G'day all!

i am such a bad blogger! I can't give you pics today because;
a) nathan downloaded all of last week's somewhere that I can't figure out, and
b) I can't download the pics on the camera because we've just moved all the computer gear out of the study and I can't for the life of me find the cable that hooks the camera to the computer.

Is that a weak excuse or what?? You'll just have to whip me, beat me and make me speak Gaelic. I'd probably enjoy it. After all, I've got both Scottish and Irish blood in me. And I'd whinge about the process a lot cos I am mostly Pom. ;-D

Well I don't have much knitting progress to report anyway. I have not finished anything for ages - I have too many projects on the go at once. I should finish the blue cardi by the end of the week at my current rate of progress - HUZZAH! I would show you pics of it as it is - half made up but without one sleeve, a side seam or the button/neck bands. But I won't cos I am a bad, naughty blogger! Spank me!

I am making a little wrap out of some yarn I bought at Marta's yarns a while ago. It was two strands of laceweight two ply of hand-dyed mauve/pink/blue merino plied up with a matching mohair (or mohair silk blend). I painstakingly pulled it apart during Christmas at Thredbo (much to the bemusement of the people we were staying with) and started a little wrap. Well the wrap is becoming a poncho (more a poncholette) just because. When it is more obvious as to what it is, I'll get a pic or two of it. It is very very pretty. I am going to have to beat all the 6 year old girls in Melbourne off with a stick cos they will want it.

Nathan's blue socks? What socks?

By the way, if a four year old tells you you are spinning the wrong way, don't necessarily believe him. Especially when he has only just found out what spinning is by you telling him. Especially when he asks why bother spinning when you can buy yarn. Why bother digging in the dirt so you can play with your cars when your parents can buy a plastic garage for you to play with your cars in?

When I find the cable for the camera, I'll get some pics of the spindling I've been doing. I have got a lot of yarn now, admittedly some is pretty rough but nyeh it is handspun! It is mean to be a bit lumpy in my books. If I wanted my yarn to be perfectly smooth I would go and buy commercial yarn. I have no idea what to do with the yarn, particularly as at one point of one lot of roving I decided to go for lace weight after aiming for 8 ply/DK/worsted....

Time to bore you all witless with (drum roll puh-leez) More Stuff About Me.

I've realised that I talk a lot about my PhD. I am not trying to impress anyone - I sometimes step back and go whoa! I've got a PhD! I must be brainy or something! I am not trying to belittle anyone. I talk about it a lot in my 100 things about me because my PhD was a voyage of self-discovery. I grew up then. You would've thought that watching my mother die would help that a bit but no, I was always the baby of the family and protected even then at the age of 24. Nope, I grew up when I had to struggle through the PhD, a broken relationship, things that I regarded as betrayals by friends who had made certain promises to me, etc.

31. I work as a training consultant at AXA in Melbourne. People ask me how I came to work there. Easy. I needed a job when I finished my PhD and AXA needed bodies with analytical brains attached. There is not a lot of money for scientific/medical research, particularly in the subject of my PhD, in Australia unless you are doing molecular biology (genetics). I loathe mol biol lab work - something to do with Honours. I did not want to go overseas. America was the only place I could go that had similar sorts of labs. The American fellowship system scares me witless - hire 10 people and see who comes out with a result, hire them, sack the rest. Plus no offence to Americans, but your country is doing some crazy, screwed up things under the current administration. Makes my country look almost positively benign.

32. I take offence to the idea that if I go to an ally nation (ie the USA) I must be finger printed (goodle US-VISIT). I have never even had a traffic/driving fine. I am not a criminal and have no intention to be. We have plenty of prisons here that I could be locked up in and no Guantanamo Bays. But the US government in its wisdom has decided that this must be done. Because you never know who the traitor is going to be!

33. My PhD looks at fetal fluid balance in the sheep. I used various means of looking at the tissues, including electron microscopy, in situ hybridization and various other histological techniques.

Did you know that the sheep has many small placentas spread across its uterus? Plus the uterus is shaped like two cornucopias stitched together (and with closed mouths). I became an expert in classifying the shapes of the little placentas (called cotyledons). The cotyledons are an indicator of maternal stress - they change shape if the mum is stressed or in late term (probably stressed again - it is hard work being 55kg with a 3.5kilo baby on board! Just ask any mother!).

34. Sitting in a dark room with an electron microscope, then going to a darkroom to develop your negatives and then another dark room to print the negatives is a really good way to avoid getting a tan. Indeed after three months of this in winter, you are more likely to start looking like Smeagol than a human being.

35. My housemates were always very wary when I came home with blood on my glasses and a leg of lamb in my bag.

36. I lived in one house for the first 25 years of my life. Since then I have lived in four places, two of which were in the same street.

37. I go stir crazy when I have to live in a flat. I need to potter in a garden when I feel the urge (quite a lot when I am stressed). I lived in a flat for nine months with an ex-ex housemate. It was cheap but we were both going potty.

38. I have a passion for David Austin roses, old garden roses and Australian native plants. I prefer native plants that are hard to grow and regularly turn their toes up. If it comes from Western Australia and is difficult to grow in the more humid east, then I WANTSES it! Isopogons, petrophiles, verticordias, wax bushes and correas are my favourites. I also like old fashioned garden plants - bearded irises, weird lilies, basically the stuff that Mum had in her garden. Plus I have a small collection of citrus and a number of dwarf apple trees.

39. Since we rent, most of my plants are in pots - I do not want to lose them if we move. Nathan has double the number of plants that I have. He likes native plants too and has a passion for Stylidium (trigger plants). Our plant collection has taken over most of the yard. I think it will be heading for the roof soon (I hope Nathan doesn't read this!)

40. Indoors I have five African Violets (Saintpaulias) that I rescued from the sales bins at shops. I felt sorry for them and thought I could give them a better home (not too sure about that!). When I was 15, apart from wanting to be Spock, I wanted to grow the Queen of the Show african violet. My parents had a friend who had the most amazing collection. She had thousands of the blighters and grew them well. She sometimes sold me some of her younger plants. I had my collection until I was about 28, when a mite went through them and wiped them out.

African Violets are much tougher than you might think. Make sure you don't overwater them ? they hate having wet feet - keep them at temperatures you like (no canadian holding off on the heat here!), give them good window light (not sunlight) and the odd feed of AV fertiliser and they will reward your for months or even years. Don't grow them with cyclamen - cyclamen carry a mite that is fatal to AVs.

41. My favourite movie is Star Wars (A New Hope) and has been since I was not-quite-a-little-tacker. It took me to a different universe. I enjoyed the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (let's face it - I am a *total* fan boy) and then had to wait another 15 years for the first trilogy to start. I have been totally underwhelmed to date. They are ok movies but they just do not make me feel the same way.

42. Peter Jackson's "the Lord of the Rings" trilogy has blown me away. I think Star Wars is still my fave movie but these three movies are just gobsmacking. I have watched every movie Peter Jackson has ever made. When I heard that the star and driving force behind Bad Taste was making the LotR, I nearly fell over backwards. Bad Taste was such an amazingly bad movie with some truly gross scenes - I can strongly advise that you don't watch it during dinner like we did. Watching Derek (PJ) put what we really hope is part of his brain (and not just a squashed seagull with egg and lots of guano) back in after a massive falls really is enough to make you feel queasy. It nearly made me chuck. Heh. In looking at that link, I see Bad Taste is banned in Queensland here in Oz, and also in Ontario, Canada. They do things differently up in Queensland.

Enough! You have better things to do!

oh and thanks to those who suggested places, ok a place, to check for spinning wheels for sale. I also asked Marta - she said she knows of someone with a perfectly good wheel, lots of accessories, that is going for $100. Sounds good to me - hopefully the wheel and I will get along. Not that I have ever spun with a spinning wheel before.... maybe this one can be my beginner wheel that I learn on and after I've saved lots I can get a whiz-bang one!

anon!

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