Monday, January 28, 2008

Progress of sorts

Not much happened on the tidying front this weekend, despite my best intentions being very much in the foreground. Yes, housework got done - so it isn't any messier or more cluttered at home - but that was about it, mostly due to other commitments on Saturday and the vagarities of fate on Friday night which saw our DVD player give its last cough before kicking its little legs up in the air after Alias and then stubbornly dying on us rather than suffer another episode of My Name is Earl.

There was nothing for it but to head out on Sunday to buy a replacement, but since our VCR is also slowly dying I thought I'd better replace it as well. We have lots of video tapes, but barely watch them and so I decided to get a DVD/hard disk recorder instead. The one stumbling block was the lack of a digital signal in our area, but it turned out that you can get analogue hard disk recorders for about the same money as a digital recorder these days. Cue me spending yesterday afternoon getting the hard disk recorder working and testing it to my satisfaction.

Saturday saw us both head up to Ripley so that Dave could play in a wargame in a friend's shop (Chimera). Richard kindly collected Dave so I could do some housework and then follow them up at lunchtime. Dave's side won (just) and I spent the afternoon looking at fabric - which I didn't buy - and then whiled away a couple of hours with Frizbe before we all went out to be sociable over a meal in a pub.

Frizbe's four year old had done some very pretty abstract artwork for us, which went down very well. We particularly liked the design she did for Dave and both are now on display in our living room as the fridge needs more magnets.

While I was in Ripley, I worked away on a sock which I'd cast on last week. It looks a little different to this picture now, as I've turned the heel and the gusset is nearly done, so I'm about ready to start working down the foot. This sock is in a manly brown, especially for Dave and I'm hoping the sturdy heel I've put in will make them able to stand up to his feet.

I also found time to photograph Dave's scarf, which I finished last weekend.

This scarf has taken me a while. I started it the weekend before Christmas and at first I was having a lot of problems with the pattern. Not that the pattern is wrong or bad, it's just that I kept making silly mistakes in the moss stitch and they showed. This led to frequent ripping back and much muttering under my breath.

Fortunately, I finally got the hang of it and it does look very effective.

The pattern for those interested is "His (Birthday) Scarf" and it was knit on 4mm needles in Jaeger Merino Matchmaker DK. The Jaeger was very easy to work with and other than the silly finger problems, the pattern worked up easily even if it did seem to take forever.

(As always click on the images to see bigger versions)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Send cake quick!

This weekend has been fairly exhausting. I wish I could say I've done something exciting, but I'm afraid that mostly I was engaged in war on the domestic front. Now before anyone worries, neither Dave or the cats have been hurt in any way although I think a spider may well have met its demise after colliding with a duster. I swear it leaped out at me and menaced me!

Yes, this weekend I decided it was time to start my campaign proper on tidying the house. We started (and this was a joint effort) with the standard household chores such as dusting, vacuuming, laundry, ironing, kitchen and bathroom cleaning. Then, I started - in a very tiny way - to try to chip away at the clutter which the house is drowning in. I didn't get very far, because clearing things out seems to take a long, long time, but I was ruthless and the paper shredder got a lot of use. I now have one clear corner and an empty cupboard, next weekend I move onto its neighbour.

All this cleaning and blitzing the clutter also extended to the loft with Dave producing one black bag of junk so far. We've also set aside several bags worth for a charity shop and a handful of glass and plastic gems which (I hope) are destined for AscendancyLRP's crew treasure box.

This flurry of activity has barely made a dent but I intend to persevere - something I've said before - for my sanity's sake if nothing else. I don't need a spotless house and I like a home to look lived in, but things have got out of hand. Decorating has stalled completely and (to my eyes) the house has a neglected look about it which I'd like to at least make a start on fixing.

The worst moment of the weekend came when I'd finished tidying up after the tidying (how come the act of throwing things away makes so much mess?) and cooked a very nice cabbage, leek and bean soup for our supper. I decided pudding was in order and so rumaged in the freezer only to find there was none, when I was sure I had some left over from Christmas.

I quizzed Dave and he tells me I did pick up cake at the supermarket but put it back!!! That just proves how rough I was feeling prior to and during Christmas itself.

I was so shocked I had to go and cast on a sock to console myself!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's official... We are completely mad.

Friday afternoon saw Dave and myself in a car, driving slowly up the M1 towards York for our first Ascendancy LRP event of the year. Slowly because of the weather which consisted of torrential rain, with the occasional bout of sleet which combined with the spray from surface water on the road, made driving conditions treacherous.

As I sat there, gripping the steering wheel tightly and peering worriedly through the haze, I asked "Dave, why are we doing this exactly?"

My other half hesitated only a moment before replying "Because we're insane."

And there you have it. No argument really. We are completely mad.

So started a very cold weekend, with rain and sleet on Friday night giving way to clear skies and frozen mud by Saturday morning. We were sleeping in dark age (ish) huts which are glorified sheds really, very drafty sheds. It wasn't so bad, we are after all experienced campers, fully equipped with four season sleeping bags, thermal underwear and many blankets so we were not as cold overnight as we could have been. But oh my goodness, was getting out of bed on Saturday morning a shock!

I voted for fire and being the only one brave enough to crawl out of her sleeping bag, I did indeed make fire. And I nursed fire all weekend, which I considered to be something of a success since it raised the temperature of the hut by a few degrees and I managed to do this without burning the wooden building down.

One unfortunate side effect of the low temperatures was the butane gas refused to be 'gas', preferring to remain as a liquid inside its canister. Fortunately, Richard had deep pockets and so ended up carrying the gas cans around to keep them warm when not in use, which is why we did manage to have hot food and drink throughout.

The event itself was fairly good and I enjoyed it I think, while being prepared meant we coped reasonably well despite the time of year. It was a little weird to be playing at Murton Park since the last few times I've been part of the ref team there, but I managed to make the transition I think.

I'm taking a rare break and not playing the event in February, with my next event being in March when I hope things may have warmed up just a little.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

And there was light!

First things first, I guess... Happy New Year to anyone reading this and I hope 2008 is a good one for you.

So for 2008 isn't looking much different to 2007 in Chez Lurgy. I'm still coughing and sniffing (and wondering if maybe I should enquire about a flu jab next year), Charlie is being boisterous and clumsy even as I type and Missy has retreated to the safety of the bedroom before he tries to wrestle with her again (he's already tried twice in the past hour). I returned to work this week where I'm already heavily loaded with an ever decreasing office population due to the ongoing Norovirus outbreak.

Dave is off at a Maelstrom player event this weekend and so today, I braved Coventry's newly opened Ikea on my own. I was after a reading lamp and I picked it out the catalogue and even checked online to see if it was in stock - however it still took me an hour and a half to find the right one, locate suitable energy saving equivalents to the recommended bulbs, find the checkout, buy said lamp (with bulbs) and then make my way out of the store. I did my homework. I had a map. But it still took forever... And that was just a simple errand - I hate to think what it would be like if I was buying something more substantial like furniture!

Mission accomplished though and I now have a reading lamp sitting beside my customary spot on the sofa which means I should be able to see what I'm doing in our poorly lit living room which should make needlecrafts a whole lot easier.