Archive for the ‘transport’ Category

Things appear blue

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

NaBloPoMo Jan2011Thankfully, I mostly mean that literally, rather than metaphorically. What with the January NaBloPoMo icon on each post, and some of the recent book cover pictures, as well as most likely some of the upcoming ones, the blog just gave me that impression, and then it occurred to me that we just bought a blue ERGObaby Sport baby carrier, Baby Carrier - ERGObaby Blue Sport Carrierwhich is a fabulous addition to the blue/turquoise stretchy wrap I’d already been using. (Why yes, people do constantly assume our baby is a boy when we’re out. However, a) I’d have no problem at all dressing her in blue if we had any such outer items at the moment, and b) I think of a baby carrier as something the parent is wearing, not the baby, and certainly I’m not going to be prevented from wearing colours I like.) I still intend to use the stretchy wrap as well so long as baby is light/small enough to be safe and comfortable (for both of us) in it, but DH and I are both enjoying using the Ergo (we got it on Monday, thanks to some very kind monetary gifts from relatives).

To bring this back on track, some of the blue-covered books I have to discuss here or am still reading (in the order I notice them, and the last two are more turquoise):

I’m still annoyed about what’s going on in The Archers.

Distracted, undistracted

Thursday, 15 July 2010

What I had actually meant for yesterday’s post (before I got philosophical) was to mention the other crocheting I did during my mother’s visit, which was to make a couple of dishcloths for her, after she expressed her surprise and pleasure at how useful they were.
Blue Crazy Cloth dishcloth
Well, as I’ve said/shown before, they’re a fun, quick and easy pattern to make, and easy to remember, so on our way out for the day next morning we stopped by the yarn store by the bus station and picked up a ball of cotton yarn she liked, and a crochet hook, which was unfortunately bigger than it should have been, as I was thinking of hooks I needed rather than of a hook for this project. That means the cloth is rather looser than the ones I’ve made in the past, so it’s not really suitable for its alternate use as a potholder, which is how we tend to use them. However my mother specifically seems to like them as proper dishcloths, for washing dishes and wiping surfaces, so that’s probably okay. I got two cloths out of one ball of yarn (done thicker the second one might go into another ball, which is part of why several of mine in the past are two-tone), doing most of them on the bus as we travelled about.

I suppose I should branch out and try some other dishcloth patterns, especially if I have more people converted to the idea of actually using them, but I do like this pattern a lot, so we’ll see, I suppose!

Crocheting in Jerusalem

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Here, then, is the crochet I’ve been doing in the last couple of months, since arriving in my new home. It’s nearly all cotton, and all (including the hooks) bought from a little shop in the city that my DH found while we were engaged. I did, in fact, keep one half done project in my luggage the entire journey through four countries and three continents. It’s still in its bag…

Since I wasn’t online for much of the time since we arrived, I don’t have proper details of most of the projects (like hook sizes used or yarn details), but what I do remember is in my Ravelry projects. They are mostly things I felt we needed in the flat. In no particular order…

A sheep’s head for our Rosh Hashana table:
Crocheted sheep's head in variegated browns and white

One of several potholders I made, in front of one my SIL made several years ago, that my DH has been using ever since. It’s lovely, but we needed more! Also multiple tea towels (all but one returned to the cupboard after I took the picture) I crocheted hanging loops onto this evening. I don’t like such things falling on the floor.
crocheted kitchen items

The edging for a handkerchief I still have to get…
turquoise variegated deep lace edging

Hm, the next one would be a gift, and seeing as this blog is now copying to my Facebook page, the recipient might see this entry, so I’ll stall for now. Ravelers can see it here.

One of the cottons I got was this pretty variegated red and green, so I decided to play with the basketweave stitch pattern from the dishcloths and make a triangular tichel. It’s between an isosceles and equilateral triangle (ie the sides aren’t straight) in an attempt to reduce bulk, but that still wasn’t enough in this thick a fabric, so I haven’t worn this out of the house (it’s also heavy) yet, but I’ll work something out with it.
basketweave crochet in red and green

Next up are some bits and pieces for the bathroom. First a small pad for applying toner to my face:
Crochet circle
Next a washcloth/scrubber (and I promise, those marks on the tiles have been scrubbed at – though not with this!):
Crochet hyperbolic plane
And a hanging basket to hold a spare toilet roll without risking it falling anywhere wet. I did most of this in the dark one night when my DH was asleep, but I wasn’t getting so. I didn’t keep the hook with it, and when I went to finish it a day or two later evidently chose a smaller one, which is all to the good, as it pulled the top in, which prevents spillage.
Crochet netting

That’s most of the crochet I’ve done since getting married, but there is one more picture I have to show you. This is the first thing I saw out of my window, the first morning we were in America, and is scary, in my opinion. Every single person we met there was lovely, but this was still strange…
We sell guns! No ID required. No background checks. Criminals and terrorists welcome!

Snow Day!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snowy back balcony

You can’t see the flurries, but it’s actually still snowing quite hard. I’m off work (can’t get there unless I walk for hours, and it’s closed now), so can do some masters work. This is a whole lot of snow for London, and apparently it’s only going to get worse later.

10. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I’m rereading this and its sequel, as I just got the third in what is now apparently going to be more than a trilogy. It’s better than I remembered, but what I’m actually noticing now is how much Paolini’s writing had improved by the second book! Still, I haven’t finished so amn’t reviewing that one yet.

Eragon is the story of one boy’s adventures with his dragon, in a situation where the known world is rearranging itself around them, whereas the second opens up to what else is happening in that world. It’s a romp, where time passes but is largely skipped over from one adventure to the next. (I have no problem with that – I prefer it to pretending time doesn’t need to pass.)

Photos, if few words

Friday, 26 September 2008

Finally found my computer cable, but I’m still short on time, so I’m going to recap the end of Bruno’s visit (he’s now on his way to Germany, and the next teddy is coming my way – Luna, by the way, is back in London, but not with me) mostly in pictures, and leave catching up on the books even longer.

These were the directions we found on the way to our train:

Syd is now at least done enough to make friends with, although he is still missing most of his extremities.

We got out into the countryside, and saw some views.

It wasn’t cold, but Bruno did get a bit windswept.

Bruno’s Here!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Bruno with his travel gear
My first visiting Travelling Teddy got here in less than a day, and he’s lovely and silkily strokeable. He comes from Kimmikat, who is very creative, and has made him a set of hat, scarf and bag (my flatmate is jealous…). He also has a passport and journal, and came with fridge magnets for all of his hosts along the way. (Those for his future hosts are peeking out of the front pocket on his rucksack.)
Bruno and friends enjoying almonds
He’s spent this evening making friends with the locals, and telling them about his journey. They wanted reassurance that Luna’s going to be alright while she’s away, and are also getting excited about their own role as hosts. Who knows what they’re all going to get up to together tomorrow while I’m at work?

I read today about something they had better not go anywhere near:

247. Shark Attack by Tom Jackson
There really aren’t very many sharks out there that will actually attack a person, but this book describes the ones that will, some cases where it’s happened in the past, and what to do and not to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you (stay out of the water if you’re bleeding, be careful where you do go in) and how to survive if it does (fight back).

The book isn’t horrendously graphic in terms of the pictures chosen, but is well illustrated.

Slow words for speed

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Excuses again: I’m working on my mother’s birthday present (which will be late), and so don’t want to put pictures up until she has it. The tablecloth is commuting with me, but hasn’t changed much in the last few rows.

A couple of funny books:

244: Free Air by Sinclair Lewis

This is the book I was Smooth-Reading for Distributed Proofreaders. (I’m linking to the project page for now – you can download it even without being a member – and will link to Project Gutenberg page once it’s up.) Its plot has a good bit in common with the romance in the first two Tarzan books, in my opinion, although the setting doesn’t:

[What follows is most definitely in the class of SPOILERS – no complaints now!]

  • Cultured, gently bred young woman (heroine) goes with her father (who she has to look after) on what for them is a very adventurous journey.
  • Reasonably educated but uncouth-looking young man (hero) sees, falls for, and repeatedly rescues her from trials and tribulations.
  • She repulses his affections for social reasons.
  • Her socially superior (near) fiance publicly stakes his claim.
  • Hero takes pains to learn the skills, clothes and deportment of her social milieu.
  • Heroine’s social conscience still says she can’t be with hero.
  • He saves her once again.
  • She changes her mind.

To be fair, of course, there are an awful lot of other romances out there with the exact same plot, and where they are well written (and preferably contain other interesting plots and subplots) I don’t mind that; it’s rather a classic, after all.

This is a good, light and funny version of the tale, and if I had the time I might consider recording it for Librivox myself.

I don’t, of course, with study beginning again in a couple of weeks, work being hectic already, Braille to continue, crochet to do, and now moderating the European Travelling Teddy Round that is about to begin on Ravelry. (Sign-ups are now closed, I’m afraid.) I’ll let you know when Luna is off!

245. Pugs: G-d’s Little Weirdos by Dave Kellett

The brand new Sheldon book, and I got an Artist’s Edition (with a sweet hand-drawn picture of Oso, of course, on the inside cover). Since this book focusses on pugs, and Oso in particular, some of the cartoons have appeared in the sequential books, but it’s fun seeing them together. I laughed and giggled lots, both of the times I’ve read the book since I received it yesterday!

Images of Ireland and fictions of Africa

Monday, 25 August 2008

The weather was finally good enough to go for an outing yesterday, and Luna came along. On the way, she helped me work out my filet pattern.
Luna bear with crochet pattern
Luna on tree branch
From the car park of Malahide Castle we walked across the park, and Luna took the opportunity to get a good view from a handy tree.
Malahide Castle
It’s a pretty and interesting place, but pictures aren’t allowed inside.
Malahide Castle
We were though.
Wooden door at Malahide Castle

238. The Return Of Tarzan By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Otherwise, well, I continue to have qualms about it, but I’ve just read the second Tarzan novel, this time direct on Project Gutenberg, as the Librivox version isn’t finished and doesn’t look to be any time soon. It’s just as silly and implausible, with just as many horrendous stereotypes and negative generalisations about (often imaginary) groups racial, national, or whatever (it often is imaginary whatevers, with Burroughs) of their time, as the first in the series, and as the rest of them probably do. The groups aren’t always African, either, but that is where most of the action takes place.

These are light melodramatic little stories, which to the modern ear are generally cringeworthy, and yet the hero continues as a part of the common culture.

239. Last Orders at Harrods: An African Tale by Michael Holman

I happened to finish this book today as well, and a very different take on Africa it is. Kuwisha is a made up country in modern Africa, where President Nduka mesmerises the overseas journalists, politicians, aid workers, etc who try to make him give more than lip service to a completely free democracy, end corruption and end human rights violations, while everyone else tries to get on with their lives, and a few try (more or less officially) to improve the lot of those around them. The doers are the ones who succeed in the task here, rather than the talkers, or those who try too hard to bring everyone else their way.

Here everyone is part of the international community, affected publicly and privately by lawyers, editors, activists, bankers and politicians from all over. This is a funny and provacative book, which has left me thinking about the state(s) of modern Africa, and whose role it is to affect change there.

Hm, can we find an African connection for Niccolo Rising chapter 13? Well, the time is going to come when Loppe will say what he thinks of the various bits of Europe he’s been dragged to (and which part of Africa he was dragged from), but Milan isn’t it.

Homeward Happiness

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I’m back in Dublin (I travelled overnight, and crocheted along the way – I’ve brought my orange cotton, and the book I got last time I was over here, Irish Crochet Lace by Eithne d’Arcy)
Orange Irish crochet motifs
and Luna came along and met some of the teddies who first travelled with me.

Teddy and Big Bear told her about all our trips when I was really little.

Then, when they’d given her their seal of approval, she met the rest of the home gang:
Teddies Galore!
Clockwise from left, these are Scottie Terry, Monkey, Dog, Big Bear, Luna, Teddy, Don and Puppy. (No, I wasn’t very creative in my naming practices when I was very little. Scottie Terry, Don (from Oxford) and obviously Luna are more recent friends.)

Luna even got a horseback ride. (Once upon a time, my mother knitted the saddle blanket.)
Luna on horseback

Have I mentioned before that my mother is still wonderful, even though she doesn’t knit for my toys anymore? She is:
Opal sock yarn, plus oiled flint stone
I’ve been wanting to play with some self-striping sock yarn (I hadn’t even told her so) and she’s got me three balls, which should be plenty to experiment with. She also got me this beautiful oiled flint stone, which feels great in the hands.

Two hundred books and all’s well

Friday, 11 July 2008

A pretty satisfying day, all things considered.

I have nearly finished the body of Syd Rabbit, and I have begun his tummy cover. This was on the way home, when I didn’t have his stuffing with me, of course, so went on to another part without closing the body up. I meant to finish the body this evening, but other things came up, and it’s a bit late now, as I keep my toy stuffing materials in a drawer in my flatmate’s room. There are plenty of other bits for me to get on with while commuting tomorrow, so I amn’t troubled.

Talking of toys, I’ve just today signed up for TT#2 in the new Travelling Teddy group on Ravelry, and Teddy’s Travels are due to begin in just over a week, so we’ll see how long it takes him(?) to get to me, and then how long he’ll stay. I’ve never done anything like this before, so we’ll see how it goes. My group is all in North America or Australia apart from me, so if he gets here before any of my summer travels (presuming I ever get around to arranging them) he can come some of the way with me before going on.

And speaking of white bears (as apparently TT#2 is), it’s time for us to get to book 200 this year, which I think is cause for a very small celebration. A lot of them are fairly thin books, but I’ve actually read them, so I think they count. (I don’t count the ones I just skim, to get a general idea of the content with.) I amn’t convinced I’m awake enough to say very much in sense, so it might be worth checking back tomorrow if you think you’d want to know more about any of them.

194. Step-Up History: The Great Famine by Feargal Brougham and Caroline Farrell

The Great Famine in Ireland is an important topic, and this book addresses it well. The impact lasts. This book simply reinforced the shock and horror brought home to me last year, when we visited Kilmainham Gaol (which hadn’t been to in years). They have an exhibition about the history of the place, including a chart of the number of inmates every year. Up to the early 1840s in was a few hundred each year, during the famine it shot up to many thousands, and then after the famine it went right back down again. People were imprisoned for vagrancy and ‘minor’ theft of food, not just to get the immediate food, but because they knew they would be fed something in the prison and so put themselves in a position to be placed there.

195. Step-Up History: Children in Victorian Times by Jill Barber

Rich and poor children’s lives were very very different from each other. I can’t get over the idea of children climbing up and down chimneys as small as 23cm x 23cm to clean them. (That’s less than the size of an A4 page, while purposely bringing down soot on top of you.) The rich certainly didn’t live as we do nowadays, but in better off families children went to school all year, were looked after, had food, clothing, shelter and toys. Things did change for poorer people – working conditions were ameliorated, at least officially; education became more available, then free, then compulsory, at least at primary level, but would remain very hard for many.

196. Great Lives: Gandhi by Philip Wilkinson

This is mostly an overview, as it must be at this length, but there is some interesting detail I hadn’t known/thought about before. It is clearly laid out, with pictures that inform and are interesting. The book covers Gandhi‘s entire life, including the significant periods before the struggle for Home Rule/Independence for India.

197. Look Inside: A Victorian House by Richard Wood

In this one the children are practically invisible, but its interest continues. The book in many ways focusses on the servants, as the ones who actually keep the house going.

198. Animal Story: Gorilla Mountain by Dougal Dixon
199. Animal Story: Orang-Utan Rescue by Dougal Dixon
200. Animal Story: Polar Bear in the City by Dougal Dixon

A great but hard-hitting series for fairly young children and up. The Orang-utan book was the saddest by far, for me. Each follows the life of a particular young example of the species, born in the wild and growing up with its mother/family, including the natural growth and experiences experienced together, as well as various interactions with humanity, for both good and evil.