Tuesday, May 31, 2005

June is bustin out all over!

G'day all!

This may turn into a very insensible blog today. I'm writing this at 12:15pm and in an hour I will have happy drugs in me and be in what I can only presume will be a rather inelegant position.... I may not make a lot of sense after the sedatives. Drugs, man!

Dang! Drugs have not had a lot of effect on me! Gut is still a bit sad though!

OK, here is some of the stuff I've been working on recently.

About 100g (say 4oz) of 80/20 moorit merino/alpaca with bits of browny and bluey/green silks:

This is a really nice soft yarn, even though I overspun the singles here and there.

A lurid scarf in hand-dyed mohair (by moi!) and el cheapo black fuzzy yarns, most likely to go to the scarf festival:

The back of the pink top! Yes it really does exist!

And finally, the star of the show, the Sassy Stripe Lorna's laces, now becoming a sock! Yaay!

The big purge, day two

Woke up once last night, mainly because I had drunk so much fluid. I drank over a litre of fluid after my picolax at 7am. I was saving the jelly until just before 9am, when I had to stop eating, but I ate it all before 7:30.... oops.

The worst bit so far has been the hypoglycaemia. I had a really bad spell around 10:30 when I became excessively hungry. I sat and span my way through it, in more than one way! I contemplated having a few grains of sugar under my tongue, but just thinking about it seemed to help.

The other thing I've noticed is that I must already be in ketosis cos my breath is FERAL! I can take on the cats in the bad breath stakes now. However, only diabetics should be in ketosis. Must talk with the doctor.

OOgh - they will see I am an au naturel girl. Noone is coming near me with a brazilian wax job!

So I go to the endoscopy place. Walkz in (they charge a $2 fee for the car park!) after nathan drops me off, have to fill out paperwork. Get changed into a blue paper disposable thing and a dressing gown over that. Blood pressure 130/90 - highest ever reading but my pulse rate was high too. Something to do with stress I feel.... They get you to sign away your life on the trolley that they do the colonoscopy on!!! But my signature was not very good cos the anaesthetist torniqueted my left arm and I am left handed. I could deny it is my signature, except I know it was my signature.

I had to lay on my left side with my legs tucked up, had to have a "mouth guard" put in my mouth, then the anaesthetist did something. I woke up with a nurse checking me. She got me on my feet and I wobbled to the recliner chair and sat down with my legs up. After about 5 maybe 10 minutes I was bright as bright can be. A bit woozy but not bad. I think it was about 1:45 at this stage. So we chatted and she helped more people out - they sure do pump 'em through so to speak!

The gas in my gut gurgled lots - it was more painful than the rest of the procedure, including the purging. It seems I still have some fluid in me too, along with the air they use to pump open your gut.

Outcome? Gut is fine. They took a couple of samples to check but so far so good. I have to go back in 3-5 years. Unlike one bloke who has a red raw descending colon - that'll be why he is having problems! The last person to come out of the theatre when I was there was totally out of it. I was perky not long after, she was pretty much drooling and asleep. Different people are affected differently.

Nathan and I went off to get some food from Uncle Rick's (I would link to it but it seems the site is down). Nathan had borrowed his dad's car. I was the one telling him that there is a car there, you can't go and you need to get in this lane and if you go this way it should be quicker....and at Bunnings on the way back he stopped to get some pipe and I scarfed my pink filled lamington (gf and df) YUM. Nathan left the key in the car and the radio playing for me. came back and hopped in the car with his stuff he needed, put the car in drive and put his foot on the accelerator and NOTHING! The car rolled about 6 inches. Then he put his foot back on the brake, put it back into park and started the car. LOL! And they say I am unfit to drive!

Hmm, still making awful gurgles and I am hungry and tired. It seems we are still purging... ick.

So would I do it again? Yep. Apart from the hungry problem, it was not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I have had bouts of diarrhoea that were far far worse than what I've suffered so far. Currently I feel like I've got a bit of irritable bowel happening. That is it.

On that charming note, I bid you


Fare thee well, cruel May

G'day all!

Life in the freezer continues here at Weedhaven. Yep, I am huddled under Nathan's lurid purple acrylic fur blanket to warm up.

To occupy myself, I have started a toe up sock using these instructions by Denise Powell. Man, it is really hard to start these socks, very fiddly, and I now find I have twisted the stitches on one side or the other of the start. Oh well, live and learn. Who will be able to see? Are you going to visit me and make me show off my socks? At least my feet don't smell as bad as Nathan's often do! LOL! I think it has taken me no longer to do the cast on and twist the stitches badly than it would to do a provisional cast on and short row toe. I am using some Lorna's Laces in sassy stripe. It is very pink and yellow/orange.

BTW, whoever said that the Fonz is looking good still after seeing the 30th reunion of Happy Days is a LIAR! LI-AAAAR! (Pants on fire! or I'm not a vitch, I'm your vife!) I saw Henry Winkler on "Crossing Jordan" last night. Man, that guy has shark eyes - dark and flat. And his mouth looks like he's spent the last 30 years sucking on a prune or an egg. So that is what the Fonz would look like now?

Has anyone noticed yet that I blather when I am nervous? I am in good company there - Steph and Laurie both blather too. LOL.

Hopefully tomorrow morning will have some sunny breaks, or at least the cloud will break up a bit cos it has been quite gloomy for most of the day. If we get some better light, I will take some pics of the stuff I have been doing recently. It has just been so dreary that I fear the camera will have to run such a slow shutter that the pics will be blurred. I wish it would rain MORE! MORE! We need more rain. It was not very warm either. Currently it is 10 degrees (50F). Yep, we are wusses here! The coldest days in a Melbourne winter reach a max of about 8 degrees, but those are the exception rather than the rule. We start complaining if the max drops below 15 (60F). If snowflakes flutter past our windows on the worst wintry days, we all rush to the windows to look because we know they won't get anywhere near the ground. Grass still grows, albeit slowly, in Melbourne in winter. My Canadian team mate loves it here cos she can go jogging all year round, safe in the knowledge that she may get a wee bit cold if she goes too slow but she won't get frostbite!

Awooga! colon prep follows. Read at own peril

This bit comes last. It is about my colonoscopy prep. It is really for me to remember what happens. This won't be the last colonoscopy I have I fear, unles I get run over by a bus or something real bad happens....

Have I confessed to be a hopeless bibbling idiot when I am faced with a new situation, especially one involving medical stuff? I have never been good with anything involving hospitals or medical tests. I hate visiting people in hospitals. I even get toey about having blood tests. I get white coat hypertension visiting the doctor.

11:55 am OK. We have survived nearly three hours without eating. The apple juice is yummy, though I have no idea how well I'll feel after drinking most of two litres of it today. I often bloat up if I have much fruit. The lime juice cordial is limey and sorta sour. I am used to having it with soda water (which I loathe because it is bitter. I can't stand bitter). I haven't tried the chicken "broth" yet. I think I will have to dilute it somewhat cos at the moment it looks awfully like chicken jelly. I think three chicken carcases and not enough water may have something to do with that. I am trying to shove as much fluid into me as possible - they say a glass of water every hour. I am not good at drinking stuff - always been a bit of a camel.

1PM. Where is lunch? I am very hungry. (this is to become a very familiar theme over the next day I feel.) Am now overhydrated. Pit stops required no more than every 45 minutes.mm, time to see if the chicken "broth" is edible. I am getting quite hungry and am starting to demonstrate that my fluid balance is on the overhydrated side of euhydrated.

Chicken "broth" reconstituted to be fluid. Smells like armpits (not sweaty manly ones, just like armpits) and tastes pretty bland. I am now hungrier after spooning it into my mouth for 15 minutes than I was before, possibly because stomach was expecting "food" not runny watery stuff with not much in it.

At present I am reminding myself of the lovely silver tabby in the ?whiskas? ad, where she checks her food bowl and says "disaster" when she sees it is empty.

3PM. Got the hungry shakes.

5 PM. I make up the Picolax. It makes the bowel wriggle more. Helps expel faecal matter. Joy! The directions say stir until it stops effervescing. I stir it for 10 minutes before it only gives the tiniest little fizz. It is like an aspirin or a berocca that just WILL NOT STOP fizzing. Over the next 10 minutes, after it stops effervescing, I drink it. It tastes like oddly salty (like not the normal salty taste) lemon and ginger. Not too bad but not my favourite tipple.

I gather together the pattern book for the pink top, the back and the front of the pink top (the back to knit and the front to simply check for consistency in decreases, etc), the Yarnharlot's book, Pride and Prejudice, and the third issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors, and put them in a bag in the toot. I have been warned that I am likely to be spending some time in there.

6:30pm. I can already see that I am not well suited to this fasting bizzo. I have not had anything to eat for 9.5 hours at this stage and it is starting to really bite, so to speak. I am constantly hungry, except when i feel nauseated by the prep I have to drink. I am cranky and jealous of the cats cos they get to eat all they can stuff into themselves. All I want is a decent bit of food to eat! And I won't be able to eat for at least another 20 hours. Crikey, I'll be a quivering pile of hypoglycaemic jelly by then! My apple juice is nice, my chicken stock is lousy and I have some jelly awaiting my pleasure once it sets. Yes, you can have jelly when it is runny but it isn't as fun.

Gut is making various gurgling noises that I associate with displeasure at something it has been fed. Only it has not been fed anything bar chicken stock and apple juice and some lime juice cordial (diluted of course!). I wonder if this is the start of the purging effect?

I am going to be the sole cause of Melbourne going back onto stage two water restrictions. Plus my undercarriage is getting a bit sore from all the peeing.

7PM. Time to start drinking the colonlytely. I have to drink a glass of this every 15 minutes over an hour. It is likely to make me feel nauseous. Like more nauseous? Ick!

Colonlytely tastes like Gastrolyte. I have a feeling it won't have the same effect though. I saw what it did when I was making it and I know what the constituents are. It is basically an overdose of a fibre-type drink. Plus it has an active ingredient that means that water is held in the bowel and not absorbed. So between it and the stuff that makes your colon wriggle a lot, you get a very good purging effect. It hasn't made me bloated or nauseated. I am no longer ravenously hungry either.

Glass one done. It is making me feel cold cos it has been in the fridge. Better go load up the second glass and then quiver over the heater to warm up.

I can expect some real effects pretty much anytime now, but more likely some time after 8pm.

My stomach thinks it is getting food. It is not so desperately hungry at present, or maybe it recognises that I am feeding it stuff that is no good as food!

Second glass on the way down. I already need to pee again. My poor kidneys are working overtime! I should be able to tell you what is happening in them at present. Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) is most definately switched off at present, which means that vasopressin must be turned on to ensure that as much water that can be excreted is excreted. Salts will be mostly being held in the body, but our kidneys are not very efficient, so a fair amount of salts are going down the toot. Sheep and other camellids are much better at concentrating their urine.

7:20pm. A thunderstorm has erupted in my gut. The noises are quite impressive. I wish the colonlytely was not so cold. It is not very warm in here and drinking 4 degree fluid is not helping.

Hmm, we are starting to have some effects... this will interfere quite possibly with the colonlytely ingestion becaue I refuse to sit on the toot and drink at the same time.

Instructions from the endoscopy mob do not say I can have approved clear fluids after the colonlytely. Colonlytely instructions say I can. Just as well too cos I am going to get very hungry!

7:30pm. Glass three. The waiting game is killing me! So is the c-c-cold!

7:50pm. Last glass is nearly done. Need to pee really badly AGAIN! OOH, sudden effect noticed in toot. Wow! That was really runny and jet propelled!

8:20pm. Golly! I think the "intestinal broom" effect is well underway! Wow! Like I don't feel as sick as I did when the antibiotics severely disagreed with me but it is impressively squirty! I am glad I wheeled the convection heater halfway into the toot. Me and my poor bare botty are no longer so cold when enthroned. I thought I would have really crampy pains but to be honest it is just like a bit of mildly gripey belly - some vague discomfort and the impression that I should go toodleloo soon.

9:20pm. Nothing for half an hour. I think I am stockpiling it at present...

9:40pm. Yep, I've been stockpiling. yeehar! Gut is starting to get a bit sore. How long will this go on for? Golly, the jelly Nathan dished up for me is going down a treat! Probably will go through me a treat too.

10:16pm. OK, over this now. Feeling rather tired. Bedtime soon, only it seems I will have to get up on occasion. Gut is mildly sore, like a really pathetically small period pain.

11:03pm. Time to go to bed. Here's to a good night's sleep and an exciting start to June! The first day of winter here in Oz.


Monday, May 30, 2005

This one's for you, Mum

G'day all1

It's a bit of a sad day here at Weedhaven. 14 years ago today just before 7:30 at night, my Mum died after a long and bitter fight with cancer. I was doing the washing up cos all bar Father and my brother had just had tea - no point all of us being in the hopstial room with her was the reasoning. I heard Mum call me from the loungeroom, but it was Mum before the cancer got into her lungs. I put the washing up sponge down and started taking off the gloves, then realized she could not have called me. A minute or two later we got the phone call.

Mum always did fuss over me.

Mum was only 60 when she died, and I was a fairly immature 20-something. Her death came during the middle of my Honours years (yep I got two years to do Honours cos of Mum). It's been sorta weird without her around to pick me up and send me on my way, or to kick me in the pants and tell me I am being an idiot.

Anyway, I dedicate this day to Mum. I don't even have a pic for her, or of her that I can share with you (though I do have somepics now that my brother put together for Father's funeral).

So why on earth have I had another blasted exciting, too exciting, day at work? This is the day that I prefer to take off rather than have to work cos I am normally pretty flat.

Here's me, almost prepped for the training I have to run at another site. I am about to leave to go set up. I get a phone call. "Umm, Lynne, what is this training today? I know nothing about it."

EEEEEEEEEK! (as I succinctly said to my friend K.)

But like any good trooper, or should that be trouper?, I ran around in circles with my hands in the air screaming and waited until I got a confirmatory phone call, yes the training is on, it's ok, I forgot to read my emails.... and took off to set up. After getting an email from a participant asking "What training?"


From my POV, apart from the room being waaay too hot for me to use the laptop and datashow, the training went pretty well. I am a professional, dangit! No matter what anyone says.

So four training sessions in three days down, one to go. Then I have to prep for the big C.

Yep, Wednesday is C day. I think I may have mentioned that I am not looking forward to this. For starters, I have almost a day and a half without solid food! Me! No solid food tomorrow after brekkie! Only clear fluids! Like how am I going to survive??? I have chicken broth half prepared (I am very glad it is under 10 degrees C in the kitchen at night now cos I forgot to put the stock stuff in the fridge last night after boiling it for hours), I have clear apple juice and lime cordial ready to go, I can have the fluid from steaming or boiling vegies.... It may turn out that I enjoy a day without food, but I have this sneaking suspicion that I won't.

Then there is the purging side of the deal. I may have a graphic description of it for you tomorrow. Wednesday I may or may not know more - depends on how badly affected by the anaesthetic/amnesia drugs I am. If I do go graphic, it won't be with pictures, but words can be bad enough.


This is technically a knitting blog. I am happily going to wander off topic anyways.

Hi Jacqui, Elizabeth, Lisa S, yarngirl and everyone else who has left a comment on my blog recently. Great to hear from you guys, whether or not you live almost next door or on the other side of the world. My blog lets you comment anonymously, which means I don't have email addies for you. Forgive me if I don't reply directly, but you can always email me at natiel3 at yahoo dot com. Then I can reply!

Lisa S asked about the PETA boycott of Australian wool. I'd better find a URL for you.

I have no idea what impact it has on our wool sales, but here is what I understand of what PETA objects to. It is graphic. It is yucky. If you are squeamish don't read it. Flick down to the next line across the page.

Here in Oz, we have blowflies and bushflies and all sorts of flies. Some of these flies can be up to about half an inch long. Some are about a third of an inch long. Some are less than a quarter inch long. These flies, like all egg laying critters, like finding good places to lay their eggs. Blowies are the worst though - they are big and they buzz really annoyingly, like some enormous fly-bomber on a long range mission around and around the room. Plus they are dumb - they run into stuff, often my glass of water and drown.

We have a lot of merinos in Oz. Merinos have a lot of saggy baggy elephant skin around their front and back legs. Their bottom's saggy baggy elephant skin grows fleece and gets soaked with urine and collects dags (sheep poo, not poorly dressed nutcases like me). It is nice and warm and moist and smelly in those folds and creases of saggy skin. This attracts blowflies. Sometimes the blowies lay their eggs in the messy sheep's bottom. The eggs hatch and the maggots burrow into the live sheep's bottom, crippling it and causing it to die a slow, agonising death as its rump gets eaten away and infected. This is called flystrike.

The traditional way Australian farmers have been able to avoid flystrike is tail-docking, drenching and to do what is called "mulesing." This is the procedure PETA objects to. Mulesing means that the excess skin is cut away from the sheep's bottom when it is young/first shorn. A circle about a handwidth around is cut around the sheep's bottom and the hair-bearing skin pulled away. (Only the fat tailed sheep get to keep their tails - most Australian sheep have their tails removed when they are very young (including the meat sheep). I got very excited by the sheep in England - they have these big fluffy tails! I had to take pics. My English friends thought I was mad....)

Mulesing is a yucky thing to have to do, and I can believe it hurts the sheep, but if it is not done, the sheep has got a very good chance of dying of flystrike. A lot fewer sheep die of mulesing than would of flystrike. Once the wounds have healed, the sheep has a smooth hairless bottom that does not attract flies.

Alternatives are being sought to mulesing Some sheep in South Australia naturally have bald bottoms. There are some chemical treatments being tested. Crutching involves shearing the area at risk. Mulesing is a case of being cruel to the animal to be kind to it. When you have 100,000 sheep running over a farm the size of umm say Wales, you can't check each of them every week or even crutch them when they need it. Plus the kindest treatment for a flystruck sheep is a bullet.

OK. So I don't agree with PETA's ban. Yes, cruelty is done to the sheep but far crueller would be to have thousands and thousands of sheep die slowly and nastily of flystrike. About 3 million sheep are at risk of flystrike. When alternatives are available to mulesing I will gladly support them but until they work for sheep that are herded up once a year for shearing, I would prefer the sheep to be mulesed than die flystruck.

Knitting progress!

Umm, what is that? I have worked for 10 minutes on a scarf that I am putting into the scarf festival. I have not worked on the pink top cos it is now TV knitting and it is so cold in the loungeroom that I can't knit in there.

I should rename this section total lack of knitting progress!

But I did spin up 100g of 80/20 moorit merino/alpaca yesterday. It is verra nice indeed! I plied it up with some silk nubbins. I'd love to show you some pics but
a) I was at work today
b) I left before sunrise
c) I got home after sunset
d) natural light is going to show this yarn off best. It is very subtle in its colouring, though the little silk bits mostly aren't ;-)

I could have knitted in the car yesterday on our trip to Warburton but it would've been very very bad since I was driving. Driving (not sitting in traffic jams) and knitting don't mix. We like going to Warburton, mainly because the Yarra is always beautiful and has lots of ducks and the town has lots of nice cafes.

Oh! Time for umm, err, whatsitsname - Mythbusters! Yay! D'oh! Missed the first 10 minutes!


Saturday, May 28, 2005


G'day all!

Well here at Weedhaven, the seasons they have a turned like really fast.

Last weekend I spent some time in the garden, tidying up weeds, whilst C pulled the weeds in his memorial avenue. I was wearing a tshirt. Today I've been inside, whimpering about how cold it is and wearing two polar fleece tops with the hood up and finishing one of the mittens. (Can't find the little ball of yarn to finish the other mitten. If you see a rather small ball of merino et soie - upitty kiwi yarn with fancy frog language in it - in eggplant, please tell it to hightail it home. I need it.)

OK, you northerners (and I am NOT talking you banana-benders in Queensland) will laugh when I say it is 10 degrees here and it is FREEZING, but last week it was 19. All the way to Tuesday the weather has been bee-yoo-ti-ful. But now we pay. Pretend that we are Californians. On second thoughts, don't. Hi, Californians! Love you! Prefer here!

Topping it off nicely, Nathan has decided that the heating is making us sick (and I must admit now that it is off, my sore throat has mostly disappeared) so we have turned the central heating off again and are keeping the granny flat area warm only.

The spinning wheel is in the loungeroom. So is the TV.

I have found that I can spin when it is only 10 degrees but I cannot knit. My hands and wrists ache when I knit with cold hands, but I can spin, possibly because the tops holding hand can be wrapped up in fluffy wool.

I have plenty of crafty things to do indoors but I want to go outside, dangit! I like pottering in the garden, but when another heavy shower hits nothing can persuade me to stay outside. (What is this stuff falling out of the sky? And what is this really cold sensation coming from the south-west? We haven't experienced that for months and months.) I haven't had a chance to potter around the garden today and I have cabin fever bad already! I am used to an outdoor lifestyle. Even the cats only went out for about an hour and have spent most of the day on the bed. I don't know how people who live in cold climates manage to survive. No wonder you do so much craft - without it you would go mad! And then in summer you are so glad to not have to craft to keep the cold and the dark out.

I've read nearly every blog in my bookmarks and left a few comments here and there. Some of you knit bloggers and sinners, oops, spinners and dyers out there are very clever people. When I grow up I want to be just like you!

I've been reading some interesting stuff on the web too. This article is about the fault lines that run through the heart of Australia. One day Australia will split away from India and head on north and ram into China. That'll be a bit of fun, eh? But it isn't going to be for a very long time so don't go getting your passports and visas ready.

Then some clever people in New Zealand - yes despite what Aussies might say there are clever Kiwis cos I know a few of them - have discovered that nurture can affect people's personalities and you don't want two copies of certain genes.

For those who care, jms is selling "the Book of G'Kar" on ebay, and it looks like it is going to go for just a shade under USD11,000. Yep, eleven thousand smackeroos. There are some big B5 fans out there with a bit of money to spray around, obviously... either that or they are totally desperate and have pawned everything they have.

Melburnians rejoice for both Wendy Dennis and Andyle will be at the fibre fest held by the handknitters' guild on the 5th of June. I've asked them to bring a little fibre along too so that I can go totally nuts. Hooray! There may only be a handful of stalls but it is a great warm up for the Bendi show!

My site meter has some interesting stats on it. Today I looked at where my visitors had come from in the last 24 hours. Usually it is 50% locals - people in my time zone. This time around, I found that the number of North Americans visiting outnumbered the Aussies. Wave if you are reading this blog outside Australia.

I am thinking I might do a blog of my Melbourne. I like taking the camera to work once in a while and taking snaps as I wander around the city. Melburnians will be bored, most likely but would you guys overseas like to see some of my city?

I must get my spinning page up and running. I have to collate all the pics of my yarn and document it (wraps per inch, etc).

It is amazing what you find when you are bored. I found the last four days of pics from our trip to WA for our honeymoon last night. I have to cull them and pull out the best ones so that we can put them up on a webpage. There are some really purdy shots, may I say.

But for now, that is yer bloomin lot. if I sit down any longer I am very likely to explode!


Friday, May 27, 2005

Shame, shame, shame

G'day all!

I am a very angry blogger tonight. I shall get it off my chest first then maybe I can calm down and play like a nice blogger.

So yesterday I posted about Gra-Gra dying. (Sorry you overseas folks but imagine your best beloved talk show host or comedian dying. Same sort of deal.)

Today I visited my LYS on the way home. She had a talk show on. The "host" (nothing gracious or gentlemanly about this bloke in this interview) was being extremely aggressive towards his interviewee, a man who had a long relationship with Gra-Gra. He forced the man to reveal his sexuality, which is NONE of ANYONE's beeswax, and then started going at him about being HIV positive! THe kept asking "Are you HIV positive?"

Like HOW RUDE! What business is it of anyone's apart from the man and his close contacts? WHO CARES? It was totally rude and invasive of privacy. It isn't as if HIV/AIDS can be caught like the flu or a cold. OK, it has a pretty poor outcome but most Westerners with HIV are living quite long and full lives now.

I am still angry about it over an hour later. I even emailed the radio station and told them so. If I was the producer on that show, I would've pulled the plug on the interview. At the very least, the interviewee deserves a full and complete apology for being treated like dirt. I have not mentioned the interviewer's name because I will not give him any publicity. Melburnians will be able to pick who it is from the subject line.

Grump. Anyway, I will be watching the tribute show on the telly tonight.

Now Sheep rustler has commented me saying "I don't know how you working mums cope." I think I should explain my comment. A mum is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, yes? Is that not enough job for anyone? So how do you mums who also go to work for $$$ in an office/whatever manage to cope with all the things mums have to do along with the requirements of work? You already have enough to do with the kid(s). That is what I meant by I don't know how you working mums cope... And I don't know how "house husbands" cope either (my brother was one for about 5 years and looked after his first two children whilst suffering from chronic fatigue and studying for his accountancy certificate). I have enough on my plate just dealing with work and trying to get a bit of housework and gardening done whilst trying not to succumb too much to the lure of my wheel and fibre and needles.... If I had kids I don't know how I'd manage. I'd probably be found hiding in the cupboard hugging my favourite skein of wool. Especially after this week, and this month.

Now have I made all you working and at home mums mad?

At least I made one person happy by mentioning her name on my blog. Wave to Minnie, guys! Hi!

BTW, trakky dax are tracksuit pants. And I would so love to have an electric blanket on the bed, Cathy, but the foam rubber overlay on the bed and the electric blanket will not mix, so I have the choice of a cold but otherwise comfortable bed, or a warm and rock hard futon.... As it is, Nathan ran the heating all day into the back part of the house with the doors to the front half closed and the vents out there shut, and opened the window into the greenhouse so that it could deal with the stinky air. It isn't too bad now, so I am sitting here feeling rather toastily warm. HOORAY!

I would very much like to have a personal teleportation device at present. I want to go to see Steph at her book signing in Owen Sound. Only problem is I am in Oz and she will be in Owen Sound, Ontario. That is why I need a teleporter.

I put my mitten on last night, now that the thumb is starting to appear. Then I carefully cut open the grafting and ripped the knitting out to the bottom of the shaping...Somehow I had managed to make a mitten the perfect length to be completely and utterly annoyingly short! Once I find the other mitten (it is hiding in the mire by my bed at present), I'll undo the grafting that didn't work and reknit it longer too.

(I've just been off to watch Gra-Gra. I taped the show. Don't tell anyone. Nathan can watch it tomorrow night cos he is trying to work out why Gra-Gra was just soooo great. Some of the sketches show why.)

A random picture of an egg from the dozen we bought last week:

Question for you all. You get in some books from the USA at great expense to the management. You carefully read them and keep them in pretty much mint condition cos you are some sort of weird FREAKAZOID who is obsessive compulsive about keeping her books looking pristine. You lend them to a friend at Christmas and eventually remember to ask for them back. They have not been read, but one of them has had a coffee cup or something lightly stain the front cover, which is now generally grotty looking, and the other book has a big splot of coffee on the back and the pages have been battered and the cover dogeared.

What do I do? Tell them "I feel unhappy that I lent you my books and you did not treat them with the respect that I would treat your stuff"? She would like to read them at some point, but I do not feel like lending them to her again because I don't think she will respect my wish to have nice pretty lovely cherished and SPOTLESS books.

BTW, the books are knit lit and knit lit (two). They have not been released in Australia cos why on god's green earth would Australians want to read heartwarming knitting stories? Hell we don't want to buy books about knitting, or so it seems, cos there are hardly any in the shops, despite me seeing the yarn shops and wool counters doing a fairly nifty trade....

Here's a cardi I want to make for myself. I really like the frilly hems and the round neck one button version. I am going to have to upscale the pattern a bit I think cos it is for little girls up to age 6. Hmmm, no matter now I try I cannot see myself fitting into a top that is only 26" around.... It just ain't gunna happen! Plus the sleeves will be a bit short and skinny for my, ahem, well formed arms.

Isn't it cute? Maybe I should make a little one for one of the myriad of little girls I know.

Well, that is your bloomin lot for today. I've rambled enough. If you'd like, nip on over and visit Crazy Aunt Purl. She has to see her d-i-v-o-r-c-e attorney tomorrow and cough up big bikkies. She is feeling a bit worried about it all. If you can, leave her a nice message.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

G'day all!

Well what a fun week it has been so far!

Today went ok - training happened, people didn't fall asleep, which is a good thing when you are introducing them to a new product.

I nearly fell asleep this afternoon though. I keep getting *really* cold at night when I am asleep and then wake up feeling lousy sometime after midnight. We have a heater in our bedroom but I am cold when I go to bed and never really warm up unless I wear a fleecy top, a hat and trakky dax to bed, which really does seem a leetle wee tad overdressed for bed to me. Of course once I get warm, I stay warm like some bizarre radiator and end up throwing half the bedclothes off (with the clothes) cos I am too warm.

So being too cold has woken me up for significant amounts of two out of the last three nights. I don't know how you working mums can cope....

To show how my mental processes are (dys)functioning after three days of panic stress mode at work on top of the local virus going around on top of not enough sleep on top of stress mode at work, I thought my boss was talking about "the nine breast disease" this afternoon. Wow! That sounds traumatic! Imagine nine breasts popping up all over your body! Like how would you get a bra on them? Especially if one popped up on your knee or your elbow or your head? Could be handy for breast-feeding though....

Only on the fourth mention of the phrase did I realise that she was saying "benign bresat disease."

I blame Minnie for sending me that lovely joke about Eve in the garden of Eden wanting a mate....

No pics of knitting progress this evening. After all, do you really want to see that I have added another 10-odd rows onto the back of the pink top? No? Quelle surprise!

Bad me hasn't taken a pic of the Lorna's Laces sock yarn. It is a hard colour to capture well with a camera, being Sassy Stripe (hot pinky-red and yellow). I am tempted to start knitting another sock with it, though I really should stop suffering from SSS. I only have one pair of socks so far, and three single socks with only half a mate between them. It would be nice to have some socks. Mittens would be good too, so I should pull my finger out and start the thumbs of the mittens (and ungraft and regraft the top of the weird one). I just hate the fiddly bits - all those DPNs to get a thumb knitted. Having thumb in the mittens would be good cos they don't work so well without thumbs I've discovered. Plus the afterthought thumbhole yarn looks weird....

I admit it. I've started working on the thumb of the mitten that I can find. Yes, the stitches are on the needles and most of the first round is complete. Go me!


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Vale, Gra-Gra

G'day all!

Ah another sad day. Graham Kennedy, the King of Australian tv, has died. Never mind that he had not been on air for 15 years. he was The King. Noone has been able to do what he did.

I can remember hearing the In Melbourne Tonight music start up at around 9:30 or 10:30 at night. I would creep out of bed and watch the show from the hallway, peeking in through the loungeroom doors. I was only a toddler then. From 1971-1975, Mum could not keep me in bed when Gra-Gra was on the tv. I can remember infamous scenes, grown men dressed as babies having tantrums in baby carriages (like those half circle old fashioned prams), the set that collapsed around him when Graham pulled his microphone cord (hey, this was in the days of colour tv but before radiomikes), the catch cry "It's a koke, Joyce", the Chum song (that is on the first link page at wikipedia), his dog peeing on the camera, the innuendo and smut and the live commercials ("Pussy in a can"), and me rolling around on the floor laughing. I was only 9 when he finished up his own show. It amazes me that I could find it so funny from about age 5 but then I had also been raised on Monty Python.

Ah well, Graham. Rest in peace. It hasn't been an easy couple of years for you.

I think tonight's SnB was the best I have been to. I got my Lorna's Laces sock yarn in Sassy Stripe and wow, got to play with Dianne's ball winder (Dianne? Diane? or is it Diana? Oh dear, now I am confused cos we have all variants on the theme in the group). Plus I picked up K's yarn and wound it too, only now she can't see it in the skein - so pretty, purple and green - but it is more useful in a ball. No pics yet of the yarn - only got home half an hour ago after sitting behind a blasted AXA tram that was sitting behind another tram that refused to move for two sets of lights.... I had a good yack to a number of the girls. That was roolly excellent. I like talking to people who say that Zhivago is a nice yarn (it is a tencel/acrylic mix and I can wear it next to my skin, unlike wool) rather than looking at me as if I've grown multiple heads cos it isn't Rowan or another fancy expensive yarn or even just wool. (If I grew multiple heads then I'd probably be a hydra and I would not be looked at in a sort of pitying way, more a horrified "let's get out of here" way.) Now I don't mind a bit of expensive yarn but I want it to be really really good and not have an equivalent here before I cough up the big bikkies. I got hte Lorna's Laces cos it is noice, unewesual and diffrent.

The pink Zhivago top continues apace. Hooray! Only about 80 rows of mindless stocking stitch to go before the seaming partay! Then I can finish the Vogue jacket. OK, continue making the Vogue jacket - one and a third sleeves is not a long way to completion. Then there are some very nice looking tops in the Spring Vogue knitting. I thought they had gone off the pace a bit last year but woo boy, I want to make some of that gear NOW!

I spent 10 minutes twice today looking for a most important paper that I lost at work. Only it wasn't lost. It was sitting with the training material, like on top of the training material in plain sight. I kept thinking I'd lost it because it was not where I expected it to be but it was not lost at all. I have no idea why I thought it should be someplace else rather than with the training material. I am glad it was not lost because it is my training outline.

Time for beddy-byes.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hurtling from one disaster to the next

G'day all!

ah, the joys of my job.

Today I discovered that the training for next week is not just on Monday, but Tuesday and Thursday as well.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Panic! Panic! Panic all over the place! Panic! Panic! Wipe that smile off your face. (who sang that?)

My lead had not looked at every sheet on the spreadsheet. She only saw the first sheet.

I could go through all the things that should've alerted me earlier (eg training days) but I should not have been in that position.

To say that I was

a) panicked, and
b) rather ticked off

is an understatement.

It would be OK if I wasn't booked in for a colonoscopy next week on the Wednesday - I won't be able to run arvo sessions on the Tuesday nor the Thursday sessions at all. My lead assessor is in NZ training over there for most of this week - next week, who knows? And I have had ENOUGH!

Tanty time, only I am too knackered. Nathan has given me the virus he had on the weekend. Everything is sore. It is so sweet of him to honour his wedding vows - all that I have I share with you.... but I do wish he would not take it so literally!

Here is what is on the spinning wheel at present:

The pink and blue bits of a multicoloured roving. I split the apricot and dull blue parts off cos they looked wrong to my eye. They'll be spun up later.

And here is a bit of sparkly alpaca spun up. Somewhat overspun too - I need to do some serious washing with it!

By popular demand, I have obtained at great expense to the management (aka ME), pictures of the whack hat.

Here is its demure phase (but wait, that person has no face - pink skin and straw coloured hair but no face!)

and here is its whack version (no big pic available cos it is blurry)

Doesn't that just look like someone with rainbow coloured curls has tried to pull them through the hat?

Time for dinner and then a bath to ease my poor aching joints. Ah, bliss! Better find a book too, but I will do my best not to drop it in the bath! Not that I have ever done that, oh, no, never, not with my then favouritest (yes that is not a real word) book. Never. I am a paragon of perfection.


Oh, one final little tale. Here is me driving C's car to the shops to get my GF stuff on Sunday. Went past a speed camera, carefully staying pretty much on the speedlimit (ok I was 1 km over) and this Honda CRV goes past me and the camera went off.... PANIC! OHMIGAWD! I am driving SOMEONE ELSE'S car! But he has gone to the USA so that is ok and it was not me who triggered the camera. I've had that happen to me before. That is what you get for being a sad law-abiding suck.

anon and may your days be better than mine!

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's the little things that count

G'day all!

Heh. I taught that rotten young bloke in the train I did!

The train was either very late or was cancelled this morning. By the time it got to my stop (which is only 5 stops from the terminus) it was very definately standing room only.

So this young bloke in his nice dry-cleaned and pressed, lint free grey suit was leaning against the pole. In my book, very bad form cos about 5 people can hang onto the pole unless one person is hogging it.

So I snuck a hand through the gap between the hog and the bloke next to him.

My purple fleecy top (SOOOOO not "corporate casual" but warm!) is totally covered in alpaca fluff. Didn't realise it at first. That is what happens when you get dressed in semi darkness. You don't notice the fleecey goodness (or the horrible stains) all over your clothes. As the trip proceeded, I noticed that more and more and more long white hairs were detaching themselves from me and attaching themselves to him.

By the time I hopped off, his lovely grey suit was becoming rather hairy. The arm of my jacket was almost dehaired!

Yes! Suffer in yer jocks, mate! (as we used to say in the 70s)

Here's a picture of the culprit fluff. It looks great in the roll but it was actually quite coarse to spin. I've spun up all 250 g of it and now am just awaiting a date with daylight to take a pic of the spun stuff:

Today's fashionista advice. Just because you can squeeze yourself into the size 8 elastane pants does not mean you should. That means you, the woman in the black pants and red top seen tottering along Flinders St at 1:45pm today. Yes, you. The woman with the saddle bags giving you the odd triangular shape where your buttocks are squished out sideways as you totter on your high heels. Yes your legs are great but it looked like all their flab had been squished upwards to your butt and had met the flab being squished down off your hips. Not a good look! (I am sooo very cruel but jeez, there are more flattering looks!) Some of the girls at work have very big hips and they wear the bestest stuff! Flicky skirts that really show off the swinging hips. That sort of thing. (See I have made a criticism and then offered some constructive advice!)

Speaking of not good looks, I must swindle a way to get a pic of the latest hat I made. Stocking stitch side it is reasonably plain, just a hint of colour in the crown of the hat with the fuzzy sorta boucle yarn garter stitch border. But if it is worn reverse SS out, oh boy! It looks like someone has dyed their hair many fluoro and bright colours and tried to pull it out through the stitches. Totally whack! Just as I hoped it would be. :-)

I managed to nearly do a full 8 row repeat of my pink top's lace whilst waiting for the train and riding home on the train. Every day is KIP day for me! Getting another repeat done is good cos it means I am only two repeats away from doing the stocking stitch part, which then means only about another hundred rows of stocking stitch later I will be ready for a seaming party! If only I could drink margaritas. Every day would be partay day!

Oh, news to hand - Nutmeg has been seen WASHING Cheshire! They wash each other quite a bit now, only Cheshire sometimes goes for Nutty's throat and for some reason Nutmeg does not like having the throttle bite put on her.... strange that!

Heh. People at work think I am a doormat, always pleasant, always doing as I am told, always being helpful. Quiet, eccentric, Lynne beavering away in the background.

WRONG! I BITE! But only if you back me into a corner and then start having a go at me for reasons I think are unjustified. They fang on me, I fang straight back. Take that! I am no doormat! Once I would've just taken it and slunk off into the corner but now I have developed enough to tell people what I think of the situation and how I reckon it should go.

D'oh! Time to go and see if dinner is rescuable. Nathan was in charge tonight but he left in on the stove for the last 20 minutes whilst watching Mythbusters and it has burnt to the pot....


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Too many goodbyes - updated

G'day all!

Yesterday a funeral and today a goodbye.

I am hoping today's goodbye is the last one for a while. OK, so funerals are the final ever goodbye, but when your husband's best friend is moving his family back to the USA and today is the last time you are likely to see him, you get a bit snivelly. After C left, I came inside and snivelled at the computer for a while, hoping I had email. It was yucky snivelling too - that sort that is basically tears drained straight into your nose so you can't even grab a tissue in time. I so hope they will be happy living near L's family, but I know that Nathan will miss C so. Not that blokes are about to talk about that sorta stuff. Nathan has been dreading it for months. No more lunches, no more building greenhouses together, no more morning or afternoon teas together, no c to do our dishes.... LOL! (BTW, that pic really is of some of the dishes Charles did after morning tea this morning. That water is still in the sink at 8pm cos I can't throw it out yet.) I woke up last night worrying about it (the leaving, not the doing our dishes!), and realised that I should've made sure that C, as best man at our wedding, should have had a nice outfit. Then I realised that I had been too busy making sure Nathan had something to wear, cos none of the hire places had anything anywhere near suitable in a big enough size. I only finished my own dress the morning of the wedding. Stupid things you worry about at 2:30 in the morning.

So please, no more goodbyes for a while? But I'd really like some hellos! I'd like to hear from you and what you like doing and why.

I am also seeing great big vistas of opportunity opening up in front of me. Why? Because I can pinpoint some of the things that I have been doing wrong and things I can do to improve my relationships with people. I am almost on the verge of grasping this fellowship thing that the poeple at Nathan's church find so important, as did my father. They say that growth comes as a result of pain, and I've suffered more than my fair share of pain this month.

I hope I can make the most of what I am learning and become a better, more open caring and sharing person. Some good things are happening, and I am going to concentrate on them. For example....

One of my friends has offered me part of her website to put my yarn up on. Yeehaar! Not that I have written back expressing my boundless thanks and extreme enthusiasm, well not so far. This means I will be able to put my yarn up on the web and hopefully reduce my stash somewhat. It is so exciting! I love making stuff but I don't always know what to do with it or have time to make it into something. Some of my yarn I am making into scarves and beanies for the upcoming festivals. Other stuff, though, well if you like email me and ask about it! I do good rates for mates!

No pics again today. I am such a bad blogger. Spank me? }:-)

Update - I now have pictures!

I have to fix up the grafting on the second mitten tip - when I shuffled stitches around to get them onto two needles, I seem to have twisted them and the grafting came out ???with some stitches in garter stitch? Like WAAAAY weird! Ungrafting is really annoying, especially when you have carefully tied the dark eggplant coloured yarn off and the weekend is your only chance to undo the mess in daylight. And you decide to use the last hour and a bit of daylight to wash your car and go for a walk instead cos you have forgotten about the mitten.

Plus I have another whack hat I have been knitting, and I've finished the narrow feather and fan scarf for the scarf festival (in the red and blue, and green and blue handspun yarn I showed off recently) but it needs to be blocked.

I have to do the afterthought heel on a new (old) sock - this time the sock fits. I reckon I'll do the mate to this sock before I do the heels on either of them. Note the lovely toe, done in short rows:

I've completed another repeat of the lace for the lacey top - only four more repeats to go before I am onto the stocking stitch part.

Things are happening, but they are taking their own sweet time. That is often the way of things. May I have the grace and courage to face them as they do so, and may you also.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Some bits about me

G'day all!

Got sent this in an email and decided to share. I've edited a couple of bits cos I don't want the whole world to know everything about me....

1. What is your full name:

Well i guess it is really C(add a word) A(add a word) Shandley, but that is pretty boring really. How about Dr Snot?

2. What colour pants are you wearing now:

Blue not denim blue but a dull blue. Not dark, not at all light, just a dull blue. And black knickers in case you meant that sort of pants. LOL.

3. What are you listening to right now:

Nathan's computer whirring away. My computer hardly ever whirs. And the sound of my typing.

4. When is your birthday:

Nov 3

5. What was the last thing you ate:

Some original corn thins. Imagine pop corn in a rice cake shape.

6. If you were a crayon what colour would you be?

ALL OF THEM! I'd be one of those swirly multicoloured crayons that come out all mucky. D'oh!

7. How is the weather right now?

Hmm, clouds are coming over, but it is sunny and quite quite mild for May (late autumn/early winter) - 21! Better than Coventry, which is a clear 6 degrees, or Blackppol which is 9 degrees or Toronto which is 13 as I write.

8. Last person you talked to on the phone:

My brother Den.

9. The first thing you notice about a guy/girl:

Umm height? Are they bigger or smaller than me? Gender? Probably gender. If I can tell.

10. Do you like the person who sent this to you?

Like DUH!

11. How are you today:

My shoulder is annoying me cos I tried to catch the cat before she brained herelf on the heater and popped it out again (shoulder not cat) but other than that I am pretty good, all things considering (eg I hate my job, two deaths in two weeks, etc).

12. Favourite hot drink:

Oh umm, yeah. Peppermint tea? It's the only hot drink I have since I hate coffee and don't like tea and can't have milk.

13. Favourite alcoholic drink:

MEAD! Cos it doesn't give me thumping headaches immediately!

14. Favourite Sport:

Footy. AFL. Like what else is there? ;-)

15. Hair colour:

Blonde. All by itself, no hairdresser needed! With the odd red hair, just to show that females are mosaics, cos mum was blonde and the old man was a carrot tops.

16. Eye Colour:

Blue. Skin - pinky white, tan? As if!

17. Do you wear contacts:


18. Siblings:

Three - D, B, J.

19. Favourite month:

Maybe September because that is when things really start getting into the swing of Spring and the days start lengthening out rapidly.

20. Favourite foods:

Ooh, umm Thai. Anything gluten and dairy free that is just like normal food, unless it is like nasty creamy stuff cos I have never been able to abide cream sauces.

(Where's # 21?) Quite ! Another mystery Babylonian level or something ??

22. Favourite day of the year:

Any day that I don't have to go to work, especially if I also get to play with cool stuff. Cool stuff is currently fibre oriented but geek stuff can be good too.

23. Are you too shy to ask someone out:

nah! I would not have managed to go out with anyone but M and maybe A if I had not been forward.

24. Summer or winter:


25. Hugs or Kisses:

Egh. Hugs.

26. Chocolate or Vanilla:

Are we talking nasty yucky hershey's or nestle type chocolate here or say Lindt? Or yucky cocoa or yummy chocolate? Usually chocolate but a premium vanilla can be nice....

27. Do you want your friends to write back:

Yeah but it is their choice. (I just typed there - argh! My team mate's bad grammar is rubbing off on me!)

28. Who is most likely to respond:


29: Who is least likely to respond:

umm noone cos it isn't going to anyone apart from e who sent it to me! (I got it from Agnes, she got it from Jim. We all agree it must've been Louise who gave it to him....)

30. What's under your bed:

cat hair dust bunnies, a lost shoe and a lost sock, a couple of magazines, some books.... well that is what we found last time we turned the mattress over.

31. What books are you reading:

Umm, err. Yarnharlot's bookbookbook. Not in a big reading phase at present.

32. What's on your mouse mat?

My mouse mat is a bit of paper. The one at work has a cat watching a fish in a fish bowl.

33. Favourite board game?

Arkham Horror (call of Cthulhu).

34. What did you do last night:

Umm, knitted, spun, watched TV, ate dinner, read blogs, went for a walk in the 5 degree outdoors in the dark (brrrrrrr!), slept.

35. Favourite Smells:

Fresh baked bread (even though I can't eat it). Pie (meat or apple - can get good gf/df substitutes). Some of my roses. Most fruits. Hot cinnamon donuts (can't eat them either). A roast. Freshly dug dirt. Spring. The smell of rain on hot pavements and dirt. The smell of the sea (not the rotting seaweed smell!). Crushed eucalyptus leaves.

We had another funeral this morning, for Annette. I never got to know Annette very well (my fault). It seems that I missed out badly. I am more fussed about Nathan's mum than anyone else, even Annette's husband and daughter, cos B has lost her best friend of 15 or so years. I know that losing a spouse is bad, and losing a parent is bad, but I feel more sorry for B than anyone else.

The more I see of death, the less I understand of it. What happens to the person when their body dies? Some people say the spirit goes to Heaven (or to Hell), or that it is reborn in another. I don't believe in heaven or hell. I don't know what happens to the spirit or animus or the Force or whatever you may call it, but I do think that life is more than a series of chemical processes. Surely all that they were does not cease to exist at that moment? How can it all just stop? What happens when the person dies?


I only know that I get one shot at this life so I had better start making the most of it and pursuing my dreams. First, though, I have to work out what those dreams are. I have been able to do anything I have turned my hand to. I can do it well. I am exceptionally lucky that way, yet I have not stuck with any one thing for very long. It is like I am serving a series of short apprenticeships and searching for my Thing. Maybe I will one day put it all together and combine the things I have done into some weird and wonderful thing. (Hopefully it won't involve sheep placentas cos that would be icky to most people.)

I want to Make, and I want to Serve. Two of my greatest pleasures are in creating things and helping others. Typical of me to like doing most the things that are least valued in our dollar driven society. I always have tended to follow the beat of my own drum, not that that people say I should.

Thank you for your interesting thoughts and feedback on some of my posts recently. I would email you back but it is hard when I don't have an email addy, so please accept my apologies. I like opening up the forum to all - I like to hear what you have to say.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Turning to the Dark Side

G'day all!

hehehehe. My knitbuds are both starting to think they might like to learn how to spin.... bwhahahahahahahaha!

A year ago I started thinking I would like ot learn how to spin after seeing the Yarnharlot's lovely colour changing socks but I persuaded myself out of it for a whole what 6 weeks? Then I got a cheap spindle at the Bendi sheep show "just to ply some fine wool up to a hand knitting weight"and the rest is history.

Amazing what a day not at work can do for morale. Though it took forever to kick in. I only got one load of dishes done and sent off two parcels that have needed to go for a while, spun up the pinky merino and spun up a really weird mix. One sock is much closer to being finished - only one more colour repat before bindoff! And after I graft the top of the second mitten, I only have to do the two thumbs on the mittens of mystery. Pics later when I am awake!


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Over it! After this, no more pity par-tay!

G'day all!

NEWSFLASH! Read the link! Join in the fun on 11th June and KIP!

I am over these self-piteous whinings. Let's face it, I don't get much sympathy! (Having said that, let me say thank you to all those who have commented recently! I am surprised you didn't give me a kick in the pants!) No sympathy from the Husband who is whining cos he has to get a paper tidied up by Friday and finish the first chapter and outstanding bit in the first draft of his thesis by Monday and whose un-aunt died on Sunday so we have to do the funeral on Saturday.

If you managed to translate what I said in the first paragraph, Nathan only has to finish the introduction before his first draft is complete. If he does that, he can move to full time work in the group, which means FULL TIME MONEY! Huzzah! Unless the rest of the group kicks him out. Boo hiss!

I have to work on my CV but it is hard without input from elsewhere cos I might think it looks great but others can drive a (?24 horsepower?) London double-decker omnibus through the obvious holes in it. I am waaay too shy to demonstrate my own crap ability to sell myself by putting my CV on the web. EEK! The sheer thought makes me want to crawl under the bed and hide. We have a futon, BTW, and I am not a wee slim thing by any means.... I have to put in an app for a job by Friday, which leaves me only one night to get it done. Then I have to re-tailor my CV for a different sort of job in a publishing area. No hope of getting it cos I don't have any official training in editing and proofing and that sort of stuff, even though I spent, for example, three hours of today editing and proofing a training module written by one of my beloved but non-grammatical teammates. (This isn't the one I was whinging about yesterday.) I am not quite sure how he has managed to get through life not knowing where to put apostrophes or the difference between there and their but he has. For someone who tends to prefer to be easy going, I suddenly turn into a grammar and spelling pedant (read enn a zed eye) when it is *my* professional appearance on the line. I extend that courtesy to those I associate because I don't want them to look bad, let alone illiterate, in front of others (and heaven help if they are giving a presentation to the big BIG boss, which one did with a HEAP of errors in it! Ack!).

I thought this was a very interesting post by Annie about why people blog, particularly knitters. What sorts of cliquey groups are springing up on the blogs? Why are people feeling left out? WHo doens't wnat to go to maryland and meet up with other blogger whom you've never met and haven't even read the blogs of cos if you read every knitblog in the world, you'd have a 24/7 job doing so!

At my bloginality showed the other day, I am an iNFp (tell me something I don't know). In real life, I am quite quiet and self-contained. (Watch out for me zipping around the burbs in my little green car though - I am a dangerous woman then! Not that I speed, mainly becuase I cant afford the fines and also feel that the limits are there for a reason, but I like to *drive* my car not bumble around with a ton of metal around me, drifting along. Oh and watch out for me in the twisty bits cos they are FUN!)

I have never been part of the "in" crowd. I never wanted to be. If we had had a high school prom, I certainly would not have had a partner and would not have bothered going. I've never been good at political stuff and I do my best to treat everyone as if they are a human being, not something to stick the boot into as you launch yourself higher. I like to include people cos I know how yucky it is to feel left out. I used to be dreadfully shy but I gave up on that when I realised that by never pushing myself forward, I never got noticed and never talked to people I really wanted to talk to. Of course the other side of that coin is that when a well-known knitblogger emails me or leaves a comment I feel all pleased and excited, like a dog thrown a bone or something. Oh wow! I got noticed! So and so reads my blog! (Quickly followed by dunno why!) Yes it is pathetic! But it is me. The same thing happened when I talked to various of the B5 actors. The more matey they were, the more I liked them. Funny, eh? I guess it is part of the human thing of wanting to be noticed and liked, cos let's face it, for 18 years of my life I was not well liked by anyone outside of family. I was not the same as most of the other girls.

I've never been one of those girls who jumps up and down and squeals over a guy or a new prada handbag or a pair of shoes. I like to dress nicely, sometimes, and love stuff from the 40s and 50s but I am not a girly girl. I am much better at talking footy with the boys than talking makeup and perfume and fake tans with the girls.

I am thankful to have found some really good friends along the way, other girls like me. Which sorta brings me to why do I blog?

Initially it was to keep in touch with various friends around the place. It isn't always easy to drop that email off and tell half a dozen people what is going on unless you spam them instead of doing it individually. If you can write it once, it is easier. Plus it has pictures, when I can be stuffed taking them. It is also to keep a vague record of the things I have made and the things I have done. It is to try to make connections to other knitters out there (that is why comments and emails are so nice). It is so that I can feel a part of a crowd that I would like to belong to, rather than the vapid masses. It is to give me a voice in the wilderness and take me away from the unrewarding nature of my work. It is all about ME ME ME! (but that doesn't stop me getting excited when I see a big name blogger has left a comment or even just visited... LOL)

Phew- after all that, who doens't need a drink! Pass the mint julep. No make that the national drink of Australia. On third thoughts, I don't want beer. It will make me ill. Umm, ok, I'll just have some water thanks!


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kill me. Kill me now.

Before things get even worse. Stop the pain.

Today started off reasonably well. A nice foggy morning, a bit stressful to drive in cos unless the cars had their headlights on (like HELLO?? why haven't you got your headlights on you ****brain in that silver Golf? Oh and look another ****brain in a silver Golf without their headlights on. What, is it necessary to be brainless if you drive a silver Golf? After all silver cars are sooooo safe - local tests show they are involved in fewer accidents than any other car. Just cos silver cars in silver fog blend beautifully) you couldn't see them 20m away.

My sarcasm meter is waaaaaay high at present.

It got steadily worse. My train was not heated. Considering it was about 12 degrees this morning, it made it considerably cold. Work was heated, which was nice. Heated for a little while until the turbine above my desk kicked in and cooled everything down.

Now normally I would throw things like this off. Nyeh. Whatever. But all these dumb little things are building up.

Then there was the little incident with the training I have to roll out on the 30th of this month. You see it involves a Process. I have to train people in a new Process. My senior flickpassed this training to me after knowing about it for the last 5 months and being involved with all the meeting about what is needed.

Only the new Process has not been written yet. Noone has looked at what the people need to do and how they can do it and how it will impact on their very strict quality/quantity standards.

I was given this training to do last week. I had to finish off the training that was meant to be run this week before I could look at this new training in depth.

Today I flagged some major issues with the people who want the training to be run.

Such as who is writing the Process?

Who is signing off the Process?

(those of you who work in business may be aware that Process design and sign off requires somewhat more than 8 business days, especially when different business units are involved. Two different units are directly involved and a third is indirectly involved.)

Another important question. I am supposed to be training 16 people.

Significantly more than 16 people need to know about the Process because they need to use that Process in every second task they do in their daily role.

In particular, the guys in INDIA need to know because they do 90% of one part of the work.

Do we have any Indian trainees in the course?

I'll let you guess.

Onto something nicer. Onto dreams. Dreams are all I have left at present.


Neither Cleg's nor Lincraft seem to have the sort of fusible webbing bonding stuff that is used for applique. This is mildly annoying because I have discovered that I could make quilts without having to do the bit I really hate - sewing. Sometimes I enjoy sewing but I get over fussy fiddly sewing *really* quickly. Now I can go online and get lots of bonding stuff (note that is bonding stuff) with a flick of the credit card but I am trying to be good and stick (no pun intended) to my budget. Plus I have soooo much spinning and knitting to do in the next month anyway.... BTw, check out some of Melody's quilts. She loves colourful stuff :-)

Oh who am I kidding? I can't take up yet another hobby. I have to knit up two scarves and three beanies in within a month. Plus a little baggy for a friend's wedding. Plus stuff for her husband too. I have easily 2 kilos of merino/mix to spin, along with about 200g of silk, and the sock wool too. Plus the three alpaca fleeces. Like as if I don't have enough to spin for the next six months and maybe two years.... Not that that will stop me buying more! MORE! More fleece! More colours to mix and blend in my own special way. I would love to get a set of hackles (not the ones attached to me or the cats or hopefully any living being), no a set of enormous combs like the ones on Sheila's blog so that I could mix colours like they are mixed in Colour in Spinning. Like drool-d-rool. Not that I want to make heathered yarns but stripey ones are great. A drum carder would be good too cos then I could card up the alpaca without having to send it to Supasoft. Wonder if I can borrow a drum carder
from the handweavers guild? Must ask my contact. I am a member but I haven't clued on to exactly how borrowing equipment works yet.

Here is a nice pic for you for even thinking to bother reading this.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Enough already!

G'day all!

Well I want to know which particular god I've totally snotted off with my blasphemy. Suggestions welcome.

Looks like I am off to another funeral this week. Nathan's Mum's best friend died yesterday. Annette had been very ill with spinal cancer and it was only a matter of time before she went to her maker, but like I've had enough of the death and dying thing, ok? At least Barb's mammogram was clear again today, so she has her next check up in six months, and mammogram in a year. It is what, 3 or 4 years since she was diagnosed with breast cancer. If something had shown up on her scans, it would've been bad, ok? Bad timing. Waaay bad timing.

On a good note, I had a quite good weekend. I started to clean up the front yard on Sunday. It has gotten very weedy over summer, even though we basically only had one lot of rain for all of summer. I dunno how the weeds can grow in such dust dry soil. Topping off the look nicely are the two boxes of my beloved soft toys that had a rat nest in them. Totally covered in rat wee and poo. Rats and mice are Totally Disgusting creatures. No other animal that I know about craps in its own nest, well not unless it is ill.

I didn't get any after pics cos it was getting dim and I was inside spinning madly. All the grasses have been trimmed back - they are native clumping grasses. Some look like pompoms sitting on the ground. I put down newspaper and then put mulch on top. I've covered over a million freesias which are up and growing madly but there are plenty uncovered and they'll self seed and continue the tradition of a bazillion freesias flowering in the front yard....

I spun up this polwarth and plied it with pink and mauve silk slubby bits. The silks are a bit softer in colour than this - the camera insisted that the mauve is blue:

and in a fit of madness started this at 7:30pm and finished it at 11pm:

The photos showed the pink colour as being more mauve. Mauve would be great but the colour is more a dusky rosey plummy pink, like some of the pinky colors in this:

which will be next on the spinning wheel.

The act of mad creation is keeping me sane at present. MUST CREATE OR GO MAD! Only problem is I am literally spinning yarn faster than I can knit, and I don't want to keep all the stuff I am spinning anyway. I like spinning for its own sake. I sit and crank the wheel up and whiz along. Half way through I wonder why the hell I am doing this? What is driving me? But I continue because I want the finished product! I want to be able to say I turned a pile of fluff into stuff people can use! Plus I occasionally get to watch really nifty programs like one about what drove Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein's monster and a fascinating tale abuut a 2000 year old shroud found in a tomb in Jerusalem.

At this rate I am going to have to put up a web page to sell yarn I've spun. I have to find a provider first. Then do some web design. (EEK!) I have one of those green shopping bags, Aussies will know the ones I mean, absolutely chock full of yarn I've spun. Some I'll never part with but others, nyeh. I could let it go to a good home. This means I had better start documenting it.

My work is never done!

Random bits

At the housecooling I came across a label that I found truly alarming. I picked up a tube of blue fondant icing. The only non-genetically modified ingredients that I can remember were the colourings. Even one of the emulsifiers had (genetically modified) after it. Makes good old icing sugar and blue food colouring look positively benign. Of course this product was made in the good ole USA. We don't put (genetically modified) behind any of our products.

Useless factoid about Australian sugar #1

Oz sugar is based on sugar cane. White sugar is just that. It is very sugary and very white. It is not like this weird stuff Americans call sugar, which I believe is based on corn. Sugar cane sugar is white, corn sugar is vaguely yellow. They taste different too. Corn sugar tastes softer somehow and not as sharply sugary. I think the Brits have sugar right, unlike their neighbours across the pond.

Useless factoid about Australian sugar #2

There is no useless factoid #2. Enjoy!

Today's style tip for the fashionista

Today's style tip.

Be a size 8. Put on a smart charcoal suit - skirt and jacket. Put your hair up. Wear your highest heels to ensure your toned and tanned calves are shown to best advantage as you stand at the street corner waiting for the lights to change. Wait for the admiring glances from passing drivers.

Then have a really good scratch of the spot that joins your butt cheek and your leg.

Now that is Klassy with a capital K.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Stop press!

G'day all!

At 11pm on Thursday, Nathan told me that the 4 year old daughter of his best mate just so happens to particularly like a certain ball of yarn I have. It is a yarn with puffs of wool sticking out in bobbles. It is blue, red, pink. green, yellow, mauve, and all shades in between.

The child has excellent taste.

Why was it a problem that I got told at 11pm? Well, this little girl and her baby sister and her mum and dad are packing up to go back home to Virginia. Today was the housecooling.

I had roughly 40 hours, including two nights' sleep (I insist on getting sleep cos otherwise I become some freakazoid monster) and a day of work, to make something out of the yarn and give it to her.

So out of the way half-made afterthought thumb mittens-to-keep-my-hands-warm:

And handspun scarf-wot-is-to-go-to-the-scarf-festival:

It is time for Riverly's bag! Please be warned that you may wish to put on your sunglasses.

Friday morning I started with this:

By Saturday morning it had turned into this:

All those little bobbles had to be pushed from one side of the knitting to the other. Along with the tufts of mohair. Two hours of knitting and two hours of pushing bobbles to the right side.... Garter stitch would have been easier but it would not have given the smooth effect I wanted. All the yarn is yarn from my stash and in some of my favourite colours (ie all of them).

I like multicoloured stuff. I mean colours. Bright colours and anything that is pink or blue based. I can appreciate the subtlety of a pile of multicoloured brown silk but given a choice of that or something gaudy in whatever type of fibre, I am pawing the gaudy stuff. The observant amongst you may have noticed this. LOL Even the natural coloured fleece I am spinning has to get little touches of colour. I am currently (not at this very moment!) plying up some beigey/greyey Polwarth with occasional flashes of mauve and purple silk. Can't just have brown or neutral stuff. No, it must have COLOUR!

Many thanks

Oh, I must thank the Taswegian knitbloggers who sent such kind thoughts to me in a card I reckon was organised by Katt. I really appreciate it :-) I shall hop along to your blogs and be a better commenter (I hope). And thank you to everyone who has been so nice to me whilst I've been pathetic. I am fairly resilient by nature but I've had a few low blows recently and it can be a draining experience.

Jill - at some point I will take you up on your offer.

And Katt, the fruit tingle yarn came from Knit N Purl in Dandenong. Dunno if they do mail order. It is the only place I've seen the fruit tingle yarn. Its proper name in in the pic I took of it.

Finally, another stupid test for you to do if you choose. It is not a very complicated test and is very easy to manipulate. Still it told me nothing I didn't know... except that of the bloggers who have done this test, the majority have the same personality type as me. Considering that personality type is supposed to account for about 2-4% of the population, that seems quite bizarre.

My Bloginality is INFP!!!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Still got the blues

G'day all!

Well not such a perfect day but really nothing that a good whinge can't fix. LOL

With today's title, I now have Gary Moore's fab guitar riff wailing through my head. Man I liked that song! Can't find a good link to it.

No Nathan again tonight. He was home last night - Wednesdays are one of his three nights in a row out normally. Thursday night is craft night but X had to go and get a bit of paper saying she is competent after doing a workplacement for her fitness certificate III. She wanted someone to go for a drive with her to get it, but she didn't want me to go. "I'll go," I said, and she ignored me cos she wanted I or J to go with her instead. Sorta makes you feel a bit flat and a bit unwanted. Feeling unwanted is one of the best buttons to push to make me sad. OK, I admit it. Really rather sad. Like as if I don't have feelings. I know that I am expected to have been a lot sadder about my father dying but like he was so old and tired and ready to go, how could I stop him? Shouldn't I have been glad to know him even a little and be thankful that his passing was a lot easier than Mum's or my aunt's?

I'm a bit sad already cos I don't have a mum or a dad anymore, and a bit stressed cos I have to have an icky medical procedure, and quite a bit stressed cos if I never had to go back to work ever again I'd be happy but I have to go to work to keep us with a roof over our head and money to spend. It is time for me to move on from where I am but I can't find anything that anyone wants me for. I think I'm a shoo-in for the job and I never even hear from them, even if they express interest when I call them about the job before putting an app in. I think my resume makes the point that I am really good at research and analysis and fixing things but maybe it doesn't. I can't afford to go down any more than $10K a year in pay cos otherwise we will struggle to pay the rent and bills and feed ourselves and the cats. Yes I am on a pretty good wicket where I am.

Here's a pic I promised the other day. The brown corriedale.

I don't have a pic of the other yarn, the strong one with the aqua silk spun into it. I am going to call it labradorite after some stones I found in a gem shop. They look like dirty grey creek water until you get them on the right angle and then they flash colours (mine mostly show up sky blues and aquas). If you follow the link, check out the nails on the chick holding the rocks. And also check out what the metaphysical properties of the rocks are. Apparently they dispell negative energy. Crikey, I have two on my computer keyboard at work and they obviously aren't up to the task!

Here's a couple of pics of the tulips work sent me. They are in the dining room and I walked in one morning not so long after sunrise and here they were, lit up like christmas trees, or at least tulips. Two pics cos I like the framing of both of them.

Finally, it may be May and it may be only 10 degrees outside, but the capsicum (bell pepper) is still grimly hanging on with a load of fruit!

(hmm actually it looks pretty happy, doesn't it? I bet a frost will knock it around, though we don't get many frosts here. Feels like we are working on a frost at the moment though.)

OK, whinge over. Thank heavens for K putting up with me cos otherwise I'd be really flat!


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Are you lonesome tonight?

G'day all!

I'm feeling a little lonesome today. Nathan is out. Normally I enjoy my night off but I'm getting two to three nights off, plus Sunday arvo, from Nathan a week at present due to his commitment to an amateur show. Nathan plays piano like a pro. He also is fascinated by organs. Not that sort of organ! The sort you find in churches and concert halls! But he does like BIG organs!

So I am sitting at home on my lonesome, thinking I should ring my sister for her 25th wedding anniversary - I didn't realise it was her silver anniversary until 10 minutes ago otherwise I would've done some thing about it. She is unlikely to be home though cos she studies a lot. She's got a much longer string of quals than me but my shortest qual (PhD) trumps all of hers. My other sister sometimes whinges that she never went to uni but that was her choice. She's done all right without it.

So today I cast on for a pair of mittens. Yep, you heard that right. Stuff the pink top and the jacket and the things I have to make for the beanie festival and the scarf festival. I want mittens and I want them NOW! They are a practice run for the next pair of mittens I will make out of some of my homespun yarn. The next set will be thrummed. Yep, you heard that right too. Thrummed. I said I didn't need thrummed mittens here in Oz. Yes indeedy I did say that. After two mornings where it was somewhere between freezer and fridge temps, I want me some thrummed mitts! My hands get so cold I can't bend my fingers. I'd get frostbite firshir if I lived somewhere really cold. No pics - how exciting would you find five rounds of 2X2 rib in dark plasticine purple merino and soie?

Newsflash - cause of mysterious footprints found!

We have been aware that at least one of the cats drinks out of the loo. The dirty footprints on the seat and bowl were a giveaway. Then we heard creaking sounds, as when the toot seat is sat on. As you can see we have evidence! Yes, Nutmeg joins a long line of cats who drink out of the toot. The last one we had was Mo, our fluffy ginger boy. I wish I had got the look on her face when she looked up - well, excuse me! How about a little PRIVATE time here??? She looked totally offended.


This may be a little morbid for some but I took pics of the flowers I was given and the coffin "wreath." The flowers are pretty. Plus it makes me feel all sorta warm inside to be given things. Thank you D&K for these:

And chirokath and Maureen for this living floral tribute - stripy pinks! My favourite!

Then there were these on the coffin - real purty! Note the pic was taken on my sister's back patio, not on the coffin. No we didn't use a plastic outdoor table as a coffin. LOL.

Finally one rose from the garden. This is not the last of the roses by any means - I expect I will have some flowers all the way through winter, though not from many of the Austins. This is an Austin rose called "the Mayflower" - appropriate, eh? (OK so the Mayflower was a ship)

I am still jealous about all the Maryland fun. I can look forward to the Victorian Handknitters' Guild annual fibre frolic at the start of June, and the Bendi sheep show in July - I am already starting to save my pennies for those cos I am going to try to stick to a budget. I know, I know, I am Too Good. Yeah, right! if I can stick to a budget I will be extremely surprised.

Enough rambling for tonight, so


Monday, May 09, 2005

10 degrees

G'day all!

Here's a wierd coincidence for you.

It is 10 degrees C at Melbourne Airport, and at Blackpool, England, and at Coventry, England, and blasted Toronto has to be different at 11 degrees (you Canadians!). I monitor overseas places just cos I either have friends there or know lots of knitbloggers live there. I only have room for one more weather monitor on my toolbar - get your requests in quick! LOL.

I am cold. We can't turn the heating on cos it is full of what smells like dead rat and dust. When we turn the heating on we feel sick instead of being cold. Time to get someone to vacuum it out. We have ducted gas heating - none of this boiler stuff for us. Aussies don't understand boilers. We understand sucking in air and heating it over a gas flame and then pushing it out through tubes and ducts in the floor. We love our ducted heating, except when it stinks. Like now.

Two weeks ago it was probably about 20 degrees at this time of night. Suddenly we have discovered autumn, and the deciduous trees are busily turning autumnal colours. 99.9% of Australian trees are evergreens, so we don't get much of a show. There were spots of frost around this morning when I crept out of home at 7:30 on my way to work. I am over being cold already.

I am so cold that I have to go for a drive to warm up. The heater in the car works well and does not stink of dead rat, thank heavens!

I had best put a bit of knitting content on this. That is after all the idea of a knitting blog.

We have:

a mother in law's hat. Yes, it does have a silver fake fur brim.


Or maybe it is a hat (click on the pic). No, it is not really an odd shape - it's just the way the fig tree attached itself to the hat.

I am still so jealous of all you guys who got to visit Maryland. Like jealous jealous jealous!

Time to go for a little drive to warm up. And get the cats some more food. (the Truth is out!)


Saturday, May 07, 2005

In a spin

G'day all!

I've been too busy knitting and spinning to post! Shock and horror! Today I knitted up a hat for my MiL - silver faux fur trim on some hand spun mauve and plum thick and thin yarn. (Why yes, I did spin the yarn!) It will go nicely with the scarf I made in the same thick and thin yarn.

This week, I have spun up 125g of wombat brown corriedale and plied it up with a few nubby bits of olivey green and various shades of brown hand dyed silk tops. Not my usual colours but someone is bound to like it. No photos - only finished it less than and hour ago and it is dark dark dark here. The yarn needs to have the twist set. After having problems with the first 20cm of the tops, the rest has been pretty much fine - I must've had the end of the tops and they were a bit hard to tease out and draft. After that first bit, the rest was soooo easy to spin. I now have a bit over 200m of corriedale with little silky nubs in it. For neutral coloured wool, it is quite pretty.

I've spun up some white merino fluff that had some long straight white hairs in it - I believe that this was gifted to me when I began spinning and I have no idea what the long straight hairs are. I plied it with some rainbow colours silk tops. Looks quite pretty but I have to wash and set the twist of the second lot - it is a bit overspun. About 120m or maybe more out of about 50g.

Then there are the tops from a vendor who shall remain nameless because their stuff is usually good but this lot was absolutely full of neps. Horrid little blighters, plus it was a bit felted so it was really hard to draft. I had broken it into green and blue strips, and red and blue strips. Now I have to knit a scarf for the scarf festival out of it. It will truly look homespun cos I could not be bothered removing every last nep so there are little lumps all through it. 100g, less neps, and about 150m of yarn.

The pink and orange fluff was almost too pretty to spin up, but it got spun. Couldn't help myself.

A teensy bit of suri to see how it spins up. Mental note for self - must practise spinning from the lock. Or tease the locks out a bit more. I did card out the tips, which were full of gack and VM. Lots of short fine fluffy hairs came out too. Some of the stuff I spun looks like a really bad plait with chunks of hair sticking out. Very soft though. Browner than I expected - it looks silver in the bag but brown when spun. That may be dirt. I'd guess that suri alpacas also love to dust bathe.

I discovered what cashgora is, and that I should not fuss too much about spinning it. I can get some more! I'll dye it first.

I think I spun other stuff but I can't think of what it is. It has been a very good week for braindeadness, along with re-evaluating where I am in life. Can I say that I am not happy with my job situation?

Where are the pictures? Well I've been too busy knitting and spinning to take pictures! Plus today was cranky day - me and Nathan were really cracking the you-know-whats for some reason. We got better! Maybe pics tomorrow, if I survive the Mother's Day classic in the morning. Yep, off into the city to do a 4km walk all to raise funds for breast cancer research. It is a personal vendetta - my aunt Margie died of breast cancer in a most foul and horrible way, and Nathan's mum has been treated for it too. One of my sisters tells me I should be doing cancer research, but that requires a special sort of brain, one that understands chemistry, and my brain and chemistry just don't get along together. I was going to cure cancer, or so I thought when I was 18 but that is a long time ago now.

Oh, to those who have agreed Knitpicks should send stuff here - should we start a campaign? Email them? Tell them we want the stuff and are willing to wait a WHOLE WEEK or maybe even TWO WEEKS for it? Lawkasmercy me - fancy having to wait that long for mail to arrive!