Friday, May 25, 2012

I've not been idle, nor uncreative

I've been knitting a few things:
  • a cardigan for the boy, after he approved the pattern and the colour (boring dark green - the woman who sold it to me said she spins it especially for bloke's knits)
  • A berry-coloured cabled cardigan for me (if this one turns it will be only the second successful cardigan I've ever completed)
  • a pullover which I started months ago, which I become horribly pissed off with because the instructions were so hard to decipher and full of errors
The boy said recently that my knitting was not nearly as creative as some of my previous pursuits (i.e. painting, sewing, refashioning). That's probably true because when I knit I just follow instructions in a pattern, and the only creative choices I make are about what yarn and colour to use.

Does he know I blame him for my lack of sewing and refashioning? That he always made grunt-y complaining noises when I tried to use my sewing machine (probably because it was right next to him playing computer games), and felt neglected if I spent an hour sewing on my own?

I can't really blame him for my lack of painting though. I have to blame sheer busy-ness, lack of space and fear of mess that can't be removed because acrylic dry in, like, no time at all.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Holiday highlights and lowlights

Here's a photo-less list of impressions and stuff which comes to mind when thinking back to our time in the UK:

The biggest and bestest highlight was most definitely getting to meet the boy's family. Fantastic people, and we've already pledged to save up and go back as soon as we can.

The jetlag was no fun. We were pretty much jetlagged the whole time we were there, and by the time it was over we had to come home.

I saw very few people with teeth like Austin Powers.

I found out after we got home that there's a specialty yarn shop in the very town where the boy's brother lived - where we stayed at the end of our two weeks. But I guess it must sound weird to you that I, a resident of a country known for it's sheep, would want to go shopping for knitting yarn in another country.

Springtime in England is no time to be frolicking about in floral dresses and pastel capri pants (so just as well I didn't have any). It's too damn cold.

TLM was not very nice to me while we were away. I put it down to her being super-tired and sleep-deprived, and feeling like I'm one person she can be a total cow to and I'd still love her. But still.

Tescos is absolutely massive. I recall a movie I saw once where in the future every restaurant is a Taco Bell. Well in the British version of the movie every grocery shop, petrol station, fashion shop, hardware shop, furniture shop, interiors shop, toy shop and book shop is a Tescos.

But at the moment there's tons of fun to be had at non-Tescos shops. Like Hamleys, where the boy and TLM bought a Hermione wand, a box of magic tricks and a set of 3-D felt pens (this was while I was looking for short ladies' trousers that aren't capri pants).

I could happily live in that part of England, especially after having read the local paper last night and discovering that my town is home to several infamous gangs, like Black Power and Satan's Slaves. How could I have not noticed? Like one guy was quoted in the article, we get more grief from bloody students who party every Saturday night and walk the streets speaking at top volume at 3am.

That is it for now.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Where the Gyptians live

It's a complicated system which allows the boats to chug uphill, so to speak.

There's the boy making himself useful


Gallery where there used to be an iron foundry

The boy's brother in law and mischievous niece

Ahh...beautiful canal...

argh! Murky canal water!

Apparently people like to decorate the roofs of their boats as though their personalities depend on it.

lock opens to let a gaily coloured narrow boat through

The boy and TLM leaping over the lock
I'm referring, of, to the waterborne Gypsy-type folk in Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights trilogy (and the move The Golden Compass). I thought it quite apt because these photos of the canals and narrowboats were taken in or near Oxfordshire.

They are quite beautiful until you get a bit closer to the water and see how gunky it is.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

England is for lovers...of beautiful old buildings

The Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

Also in Oxford

The Bridge of Sighs, closer up

Inside the natural history museum in Oxford

Some of the vast collection of dead animals in the natural history museum

An old castle somewhere between Oxfordshire and Devonshire

Glastonbury (I think) high street

An even higher street, in Ilfracoombe
We just don't get stuff this old in New Zealand, where any building more than about 150 years old is considered ancient and worthy of protection.

I just love old buildings, though I might not want to be a homeowner of one.

And a word about the natural history museums we visited - they are terribly sad places groaning with death and human arrogance.