Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The lace is purple, as well as shiny. Need I say more?
Me and the Lace will be watching Boston Legal until it's cast off...
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Although, as a colleague has just said, "they didn't need to put help right in the middle".
This sort of word-count-analysis on its own used to earn people PhDs, and now it makes pretty pictures...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
We probably need some detail on this; so here's a view from the front door. Spring, sprung; grass, riz; etc... All of a sudden.
Photo 2, no change; so no new photo... Here's photo 3.
Main changes - well, the standard euonymus has had quite a dramatic tonsure. Mainly from the left-hand-side; the whatever-it-is which grows in from the communal gardens cut off the light to that side quite dramatically. I think I need to talk to my friendly neighbours on that side and find out who's in charge of that particular shrub...
I also cleared up a lot of climbers from the right-hand-side; and realised that the fence really is leaning quite a lot into my garden (about a foot, which given that it's only about 10' wide in the first place...); probably due to the weight of climbers which have grown through NextDoorChap's fence through to mine. I need to talk to him, too; that should be easier... We generally say hi several times a week but we're usually both dashing in different directions... I don't think he's actually getting any benefit from these climbers; so we can probably come to an understanding where he hacks them down near the ground and clears what he can, and I do the same, and we sort them out better in future.... surely?
Photo 4: not a lot of change, except for the allum-looking thing next to the pots... It's a pretty shing thing from B&Q; the very wonderful (but sadly blogless) Sue gave me a lift over there to buy a new stepladder after my last one was nicked; and we saw these stained-glassed-y solar lights. Have yet to find out if they actually work; but it's been sunny today, and aren't they pretty...
And this is an extra for Rosie - this is what the saxifrage looks like in bloom, and lovely to see you on Tuesday night (and thanks in advance for the birthday presents!)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Anyway; so here we are again (and as ever, click to embiggen photos). Shots 1 and 2 haven't really changed since last time - although there are leaves starting to appear on the limes, they're so tiny that you can't see them in the general gloom. The weather's been grey, but not cold, all weekend, and although it's rained a bit, it hasn't been as bad as the forecast; so I've been out there for a couple of hours so far this weekend, and if it cheers up will do some more tomorrow.
The main difference in the Abomination of Desolation shot (which is starting to look slightly less like its name) is that I've hacked down a vast amount of dead creeper from the right-hand bed - a mix of clematis, a very dead jasmine and some honeysuckle.
Meanwhile, and appropriately for this time of year, there are other signs of life - the alpine strawberries are flowering,
and the wisteria is reminding me why so many Art Nouveau artists and architects used it as a motif.
Happy Easter, everyone.
Friday, April 10, 2009
This is despite having to be quite obsessive about keeping my place in the increases while reading 3 cable charts...
And this is purple sleeve #2, from Primrose Path. This is great train and bus knitting - there's a bit of pattern at the bottom of the sleeve and then just 3x2 ribbing for the rest...
So anyway; it was all sleeves, all purple, all the time; so I thought I'd like another project on the go, and I haven't knitted much lace since Christmas - one shoulder-shawl, to be precise. And I love the Aeolian shawl from this time's Knitty (despite it containing my personal nemesis, the nupp). So I dug out the yarn I thought I'd use, and some beads I'd toddled up to Covent Garden to get; and took them out in the garden to photograph; and only at that point did I realise what colour I was intending to use.
(The yarn, by the way, is 2-ply laceweight dyed by Wibbo in a colour she called High Priestess, and was a Christmas present...)
So I stared thoughtfully at my shoes, wondering whether knitting three purple objects simultaneously was insane...
I guess that's my answer then. I'll be casting on later. So I'll be knitting a purple Primrose Path, a Purple St B in a colour called Pagan, and a purple Priestess shawl... the alliteration just kills me.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
The walk from Green Park starts at The Ritz. (Or THE RIT7, if you believe this photo). Click to embiggen photos but be warned, they're from the little camera.
And as an aside, I don't know when businessmen and civil servants started carrying backpacks rather than briefcases. I'd love to think it was all due to The West Wing's Josh Lyman, but I think he was probably reflecting a trend rather than creating one...
The Queen's Walk in Green Park is very pretty at this time of year even as the daffodils start to fade; complete with one lonely deckchair.
At the bottom of the walk, there's this unassuming little residence here... Personally, I think Buck House is hideous - which makes me determined to go to the Summer Opening this year and either confirm or deny this impression.
Crossing the road over the Mall we get to St James's Park, and some more varied trees and water. It wasn't a great day, but still very pretty.
There were birds. I'd hazard a guess that this is some sort of coot, but more exotic than the ones we get on the Cam. I am not, however, Ornithologist-Girl, so I'll leave it at that...
There was blossom. I think this was some sort of willow but the sign on the tree was too far away...
Thanks for accompanying me on my morning walk...
Monday, April 06, 2009
But my Dad had a birthday on Saturday, and he's appreciative of handknit socks;
These are the Primavera pattern by Natalja - the pattern is in the sidebar of her blog. I saw them on Franklin's blog and thought they looked interesting without being lacy. The yarn is Panda Wool from Crystal Palace, bought from Woolly Workshop at Textiles in Focus. The colour's called Menswear, appropriately enough. I got the socks out of 2 balls with very little to spare, but Dad has size 8.5 feet - if you're making them for someone larger, you'd probably need a third ball...
And here's the current WIP - photographed at The Sanctuary in Hove. Since then I've finished the body and started a sleeve. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Prima, an 80% bamboo, 20% merino mix. Unlike the Panda Wool, which had a tendency to be a little bit splitty, this is very smooth stuff but not quite as hard on the hands as cotton. The pattern is Primrose Path from the latest Twist Collective edition...
I have a day off today; I was intending to go somewhere, maybe to Norwich or Kings Lynn, to do a spot of shopping and walk around in the sun; but after the prettiness of the last few days, it's cold and miserable here this morning, although it's showing signs of brightening up. I think it might be a day for knitting and watching DVDs, and maybe some lugging of boxes up to the loft.
Cold in hand, by John Harvey. London: Arrow, 2009.
After years of saying he'd never write another Resnick novel, John Harvey has given us one; and although it's well-written, well-plotted and incredibly moving, I almost wish he'd left Resnick in his happy hinterland...
Something quite unbelievable happens in the middle of this book; it's a moment where you sit back and think He can't do that, can he? and then you think yes, it's his book; yes, he can... Doesn't mean you have to like it, though.
Dave Barry's complete guide to guys by Dave Barry. New York: Random House, 1995.
A complete contrast. Predictable, silly, and quite funny. I didn't find it "a laugh-out-loud book" as advertised; but there are some nice moments. I don't think anyone but Dave Barry could have got away with making guys quite so stereotypical, but it's a line he's been holding for many years, and he's pretty good at it.
Adventures on the high teas : in search of Middle England by Stuart Maconie. London: Ebury Press, 2009.
This one, in contrast, is "laugh-out-loud" material; one which got me a double seat to myself on the train three mornings last week - I don't think anyone fancied sitting next to the mad chai-drinking chortling lady if there was any sort of alternative. I loved both his previous books, Cider with roadies and Pies and prejudice : in search of the North; this is possibly even better. Maconie's described as "the English Bill Bryson" on the cover (by Tony Wilson, of all people) but this is a bit unfair - he's much better. He's genuinely affectionate about the people he's describing without any of the disdain you occasionally get with Bryson; and he weaves in high culture and popular culture and makes sense of it in context. There's a passionate defence of folk music and Vaughan Williams; a sideways look at Donald McGill's seaside postcards; an examination of the fondness of Britons for cosy murders in places like Midsomer and Oxford; a bit of an elegy on country railway stations; and a search for Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwell Green. He visits Midsomer and Adlestrop, Bath and Beaconsfield, Tunbridge Wells and Burton-on-Trent, and makes them all fascinating... He doesn't quite manage it with Grantham... And while he's doing all this, he's also very, very funny.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
We had lunch; we nattered; we looked at the garden. Gill is a wise woman and brought both inhabitants of the house their drug of choice. [Chablis, in my case]. There are many, many reasons why the Bug loves Gill; but a new, refillable, washable, catnip mouse may well come quite high on her list.
Come back soon, Gill, or I'll come over and we can do the Midsomer Morse Murder tour! And thanks again... Even though I won't be at Wonderwool Wales, some of my hand-dyed yarn will be, on the Woolly Workshop stand!
Gill also exhibited her bee-shepherding skills. Which reminds me of the extremely funny YouTube clip that spinningfishwife had on her blog:
This is from earlier in the week (demonstrating that shooting-into-the-sun foolishness started earlier than this afternoon)... Wednesday morning, to be precise. Due to the absence of a lot of City folk from their offices on April 1, I got into work quite early for my 10 o'clock start, so I wandered along to the end of Downing Street with my baby camera to see if I could get a glimpse of the fuss.
Not a lot, really; although those were part of the Obama motorcade... As it turned out a) they were using the other end of Downing Street for entrances and exits and b) Obama attended the Cabinet meeting so wouldn't have come out for another hour. But it was interesting standing there watching the security people go about their business. All the people in black in the background, standing on a sort of terrace-thing, were press photographers. There's a very good picture of the view in the opposite direction from the Evening Standard.
It all struck me as pretty well done and relatively low-key.
but evidently I failed to remember that shooting straight into the sun isn't wise (sorry, Dad; you did tell me this when I got that first Instamatic)... These photos were taken at 4:45 rather than 3:15 because I had a lunch guest today (of which more in another post)...
But lo. A somewhat undecorative and neglected herb bed, but one in which all the herbs are actually things I deliberately planted. Miracles never cease...
This picture is because fennel is just pretty; and furry. And, unlike cats which are also pretty and furry, nice in salads.
These are Mystery Bulbs. I've planted bulbs in the top bed several times and they've failed to come up; these certainly weren't planted last year, or the year before; I'm going to be interested to see what they are!
All photos can be clicked to embiggen.