Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season's Greetings

Here's my Christmas tree waiting to go out to be planted.

Now it is sitting on the slabs near the back door, potted up in a terracotta pot that used to contain crocuses.

We are off to my youngest sister's place for a few days.
We helped her move in last month.
My mother will be there too.

It is not quite so grey this morning, so we may have a bright if not white Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Back in October I was tagged by Heather.
Now, while it is still just 2005, I must get this posted.

Ten years ago:

I'd finished the first term of an art foundation course at Loughborough College of Art.
That was all different from a year earlier, when I was working in the Reading Room at Cambridge University Library.
The course allowed plenty of uninterrupted time given for each task.
What luxury!!

We moved house in December 1995, and I promptly got an infection in my hand from cutting back ivy in the garden.

Five years ago:
We now had my nephew living with us.
He was 10 when he came here in 1999.

After much deliberation with an architect, we had planning permission and found a builder.
The house extension was just about done.
We had endured weeks of dust and a cold house.

In the autumn I went back (part-time) to Sheffield Hallam University to finish my BA in Metalwork and Jewellery.
(I had taken two years out when my nephew came to live with us.)

One year ago:

The new kitchen had been installed complete with beautifully tiled floor.
I now had a chance to use the old microwave for textile dyeing.
My weekly schedule included (as now) attending classes in lip-reading and enamelling.
I was looking forward to starting a pottery class in January 2005 too.

I was (and am) doing a monthly clinic in Long Eaton for CamTAD.
My personal experience of hearing loss helps with this.
There is the advantage that I can whip one of my hearing aids out to show someone how to care for it, and how to put it in.

All this left most Thursdays free.
So I have been going to as many shows as possible to help out with the "Relax and Knit" stand.

Five yummy things:

(Why just five?)
Apples, blackcurrants, almonds, cashews, and french beans.

Five songs I know by heart:
Soprano chorus part of Mozart's Requiem.
Numerous top ten hits from the 50's onwards.
There must be so many, but I can't think of more at the moment.

Five things I could do with a lot of money:
Promote knitting and crochet, particularly to children.
Help others with hearing loss - help to develop attractive hearing aids and other supportive devices.
Buy a kiln for porcelain/enamelling.
Set aside enough to provide a reasonable pension.

Five places I would love to escape to:

Yemen - I was there in 1992/3, but that was before I drew.
I want to go back with a sketchbook.
South Korea - I spent three weeks there in 1999, which was just not long enough!
Japan - one of my sisters lives there for part of the year.
Canada - in particular Ontario, where I lived from 1972-77.
Germany - I need to speak German regularly to maintain fluency.

Five things I would never wear:

High heels
Tight trousers
Anything yellow
Halter necks

Five favourite TV shows:

Bleak House
Grand Designs
Six feet under
Dr. Who

Five things I enjoy doing:

Knitting, walking, cycling, reading and working with porcelain clay.

Five favourite toys:

Knitting needles and papraphernalia, digital camera, spinning wheel, microwave for dyeing, and my bicycle.

I can't think of five people to do this meme.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A poltergeist ... or a consumer conspiracy?

Over the past two weeks we have had quite a bit of cold weather here.
As temperatures dropped below freeezing, we set off to move my youngest sister into her house in Hoddesdon on November 19th.

Having succeeded in making her place feel a bit like home, we returned to a cold house.
When we left on the Friday, we had failed to put the central heating on for more than a couple of hours a day.
It took a couple of days for the house to warm up to a comfortable temperature.

As it got better, I noticed a strange phenomenon.
Shortly after taking a shower, there would be a strong smell of shower gel in our bathroom.
An amount of gel sufficient for one shower was deposited on the floor of the shower.
This was not the gel that had been used for the shower.
It has now happened four times to my knowledge.

It does seem to me that there is a simple explanation.
Surely the shower gel manufacturers don't know that I am not consuming enough of their products.

In fact, my contrary nature means that I have four different types of gel lined up for use.
Three of these have a sphincter at the neck of the bottle.
These hang downwards from the shower piping.
I assume that the sphincter has been reacting to the change of temperature and humidity, causing it to eject a dose of gel.

Mystery solved, I think.