Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Strange nature

TLM went for a walk the other day and stumbled across this fern with strangely regular bumps up and down the frond fingers (this is probably not the technically correct term but I'll just call it poetic license).

Don't you think it looks a lot like rain forest Lego?

There's a close-up below...

Also, just before I left work for the year, I made this mug cozy for a work colleague. He'd been needling me to make him one so I did - on the condition that he would make me something in return - 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Listening and reading

I'm sure you'll be quite relieved to know that my blog has been reinstated on the Family Times website, here.

The voting form is still where it was before, here.

I'm just loving The Christmas Album 2013 which I bought last week. It's the one which is a fundraiser for Starship Children's Hospital. Apart from the ho-hum rendering of Fairytale of New York (which isn't helped by the fact that I'm utterly over this depressing song), every song is a gem.

My absolute favourite, which I tend to replay repeatedly, is SOL3 MIO's cover of Have Yourself a Merry Christmas. It's just beautiful and I could listen to these boys sing forever. In fact, I'm going to go out later and look for their CD - even if it turns out to be a local Three Tenors type of thing.

I must tell you about two books I've been reading, both of which are set in China. The first is Jung Chang's Empress Dowage Cixi. It's a work of non-fiction, telling the story of how a young Manchurian woman made her way from being an emperor's low-ranked concubine to effectively China's ruler. If Jung Chang's research is to be believed, Cixi's intellect and cunning were astonishing. She's also  forward-thinking and not at all the tyrant we know from history. It's not at all dry and probably the most difficult aspect is remembering who everyone is.

The other is Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement. I'm a Tan fan from way back, so even though I would not have touched this book if it were by any author, I bought it because it's by Amy Tan. Unfortunately even though it's well enough written, it is turning exactly as I'd feared. By which I mean that it's Memoirs of a Geisha with a Chinese setting and without the tiresome descriptions of kimonos. I will keep reading it, in case it gets better, but at this stage it doesn't feel like a keeper.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Knitting in the wind

I have decided, on a whim, to rename my blog again. The old one was still perfectly appropriate, but I've been knitting for too long now to call it a temporary obsession - it's more of a long-term commitment. But I will still throw in the odd post about other bits of my life, such as The Little Madam's exploits, the boy's goings-on and whatever's bugging me when I happen to be sitting in front of my computer.

It's supposed to be a cheeky re-imagining of the popular phrase "P***ing in the wind", which is sort of true in my case because I seem to spend so much time and energy making stuff that would cost me a fraction of the amount if only I would go and buy one sweatshop-made.

Plus, it does get blimmin' windy around these parts and I did just spend the last half hour doing exactly that. I couldn't see what I was doing half the time because my hair was in my eyes, but hey - that's what crochet hooks are for, right? (If you aren't a knitter, they are for fixing dropped stitches.)

Hope you stick around.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

From one flurry of activity to the next

Before I start, I'd just like to apologise to those of you who followed the link in my last post, expecting to see my lovely blog (plus photo of younger TLM as a fairy!) but only to be horribly disappointed.

I don't know what happened - maybe they eliminate one blog every few days and I was unwittingly voted off. Maybe they found out that all I write about is knitting. I dunno. But I've sent them a gentle whinge and hopefully they'll put it back. Then I can update the link from here so it goes straight to my blog and not those other hopefuls'.

What this post was supposed to be about, was that this is TLM's last week of school for the year. Hurry for her! I had to ask my boss for leave for the period from then until early January, because for some reason none of the other children's parents were interested in pre-Christmas school holiday programmes.

It's crazy I tell you - what an opportunity to do some Christmas shopping, unfettered by your kids!

So I shall be working flat-stick till the end of this week, then be on holiday next week (except for a full day planning meeting on Tuesday (oh joy) and our work Christmas do on Wednesday (oh joy!) - while TLM hangs out with two of her friends and tests their respective mums' patience.

This weekend TLM starts her intensive Chinese dancing practice sessions, which are for a couple of hours at a time, every Saturday and Sunday (plus a couple of week days too).

So yeah, no rest for the wicked. Nor the obsessive.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Shamelessly campaigning for your vote

I've just entered this blog into a competition over at Family Times magazine and I stand to win a spring-free trampoline for our back yard.

All I have to do is to convince you to read my blog every week for the next 9 weeks - via the Family Times site -  and vote for me every week using this voting form.

There's something in it for you too - voters go into a draw to win a lovely noticeboard which would be a stylish way to keep your household organised (there's a picture on the voting form link).

I'm not sure how long it will take for My Serial Obsessions to start showing up over at Family Times , and maybe it won't happen overnight (but it probably will happen). So visit there, read some blogs, vote for your truly and get some good karma.

If I win the trampoline, I promise that my voters will be invited to try it out…I'll also make an effort to be interesting!

News flash! The blog's up there now but under it's old name, Short and Sweet like me. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Accessorizing the family

A Forest Imp hat for TLM to wear during her forest journeys in her Nintendo DS games.

and some Princess Mitts which I will probably give to my mum for Christmas.

Handknits for Christmas really only work in the Southern Hemisphere though, I think.