Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hello Summer - where are you?

Winter - I like you... really I do. I like how I can:

  • layer my clothes to hide my ever-increasing waistline;
  • dress in my usual colours of black, grey, brown and red;
  • knit with wool;
  • eat hot food; and
  • walk around with a scowl on my face.

But I think it's time for Spring or Summer to make an appearance. Winter, its not entirely your fault that I have:

  • caught a cold twice in the space of one month;
  • not been able to go for my nightly runs because, frankly, its too darn cold;
  • stopped living the Weight Watchers way of life because hot chips are so much more satisfying on a cold night than salad; and
  • left my favourite umbrella on a train and now have to deal with the world's dumbest umbrella purchase ever.

I think its important to understand that I need the warmer weather so I can:

  • Start training for this.
  • Make this mess:

    look more like this:

    Oh who am I kidding?? The change in weather will not get my desk anywhere near Kikki K perfection; and
  • Get up earlier so I'm not constantly late to work.

Because I am of the impatient variety and you, Winter, who I feel is overstaying your welcome, it must be I who will leave you. Not for long. Just two weeks. I am sure you will still be here when I return. So next Thursday, I will bid you adieu as I head off to the warmer climes of my birthplace.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beating those darn curses

I had grand plans to knit something in time for The BFG's birthday last week. But yet again, my ability to "knit to a deadline" let me down again. Not that I was going to make anything elaborate. I think most knitters know about the Sweater Curse, I was not quite willing to risk that so early in the relationship (and not to mention the number of wasted knitting hours when I could be making something for myself). Having already experienced the Scarf curse (remember this - yep, never made it to the recipient. Lucille's boyfriend got it instead) a small - really small - project was in order.

So I chose the London Beanie.

The usually camera-shy BFG.

I knitted this while watching Farmer Wants a Wife last night. Shocking - I know, but it's so bad I can't stop watching it. Anyway, it was so quick to make that I'm going to make another one for my dad with the left-over yarn but this time I might make it a bit bigger. The pattern calls for about 40 rounds before decreases which make it a bit short - hence it doesn't really cover his ears and at 72 stitches, is just short of cutting circulation to his head.

Ravelry Swap #3

I find it difficult to knit to a deadline (as seen with many unfinished baby items) and so when the Australian Group on Ravelry had another swap and decided that it should be small items, I thought I'd risk it. Thanks to the lovely FeistyWench for this fantastic package:

Fingerless gloves, chocolate, tea for one, HANDSPUN JUST FOR ME YARN (it has my name on it!!) and a card.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Perfect Winter Day

With all the hoo-ha about World Youth Day recently, I thought a nice couply thing to do was to join a rally to hand out condoms to the Pilgrims. I found out about the Rally through Pom-Pom. When I put the idea to The BFG, he suggested we go to the Mountains instead and have high tea. Given the choice between facing thousands of Pilgrims all singing and chanting or a nice quiet afternoon at Lillianfels sipping tea and eating cucumber sandwiches, the Mountains seemed like a much more civilised option.

We took the train, arming ourselves with juice, muffins and Top Gear.

Scones, cakes, sandwiches and Chai tea

When the three tiered cake stand came, we discussed what our modus operandi should be. Both The BFG and I agreed we should work through the savoury and then start on the sweet - unlike Yum Cha where I'd be quite happy to have the egg tarts in between the prawn dumplings and chicken feet. I suppose the delight of afternoon tea is that you can take your time sipping tea and daintily eating the tiny sandwiches and cakes as opposed to hoovering through the selection. Which was why we were both quite surprised at how full we were by the time we got down to the last 2 pieces.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Teacher's peace plan

Guess who happened to arrive at work at 10.45am this morning (yes, I was late - The BFG failed to mention that trains left once every half hour on his line after peak times) and had to fight through this to get into work.

Actually, these sorts of rallies and political protests happen quite often outside my building. I always have a guilty look on my face as I walk past the picket lines and try to get into work. As if, somehow going into the building they are protesting outside of is somehow supporting the other side.

However, today's rally by the NSW Teacher's Federation is the biggest gathering I've seen so far. I went to a public school and can generally understand the cause of public education teachers. But it appears that one of the reasons they are protesting is that they don't want Principals to make hiring decisions and prefer the old system of service transfers (whereby teachers who were willing to stick it out for a few years in some hick country town gets preferential treatment when opportunities for transfers come up). I personally think Principals should have some sort of say in hiring and that it should be based on merit rather than length of service. If I was a student in one of these hick country towns, I would hate to go to class knowing that the teacher who is teaching me is only there waiting for the next ticket out. I would hope they were there because they genuinely want to make a difference to children. Although, having said that, it's not exactly true about how I feel about my job. My care factor for EV/EBITDA and PE multiples is pretty low to non-existent but I'm sure Bankers who ask me for it don't know that!

Speaking of public schools. I went to school with a lot of Jonahs.

All things Rosy

Just a quick post to show that I have still been knitting. I finished this a few weeks ago and presented it a friend of mine who I enjoy weird experiences with. Not the trippy, happy, rainbow-type experiences but more the "I can't believe this weird shit happens to us all the time" type experiences.

Pattern: Rose Red by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Cleckheaton Studio Mohair

I feel like I've worked with nothing but red yarn lately. Apart from this hat, I also made another Verity for Lucille in red and am currently crocheting a hoodie for a friend's baby (also in red). Umm.. oh yeah, the baby was born last Sunday. Luckily I made the hoodie in 6 months size. All pieces are done, just need to put it all together now.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another 10 years on that one

A couple of week's ago, I went to get a photo taken to get a visa for my upcoming trip to Vietnam. Being paranoid about passport photos, I had that slightly spaced out, closed lip face when posing for the photo. The friendly guy who was taking my photo goes "you can smile for visa photos" so I was like "oh, okay" and so put on a demented toothy grin and had the photo snapped.

While I was putting the paperwork together for the visa application, I realised that my passport expires in November and even more paranoid about being stuck in Vietnamese immigration, I thought I had better renew the passport. The new passport photo guidelines meant that the photos taken for the visa were useless and I had to get new ones.

There is no such thing as a pretty passport photo. My passport application interview at the local post office was at 9am on a Saturday morning. At 6pm on the Friday evening, I was desperate to get a photo taken and so went to the pharmacy down near Circular Quay. After a day of staring at the computer and dealing with bossy bankers, my eyes were bloodshot and the bags were big enough to make Carrie Bradshaw proud!

The BFG grabbed the photos eagerly as soon as they came out of the machine and went silent. I was like "they can't be that bad?" They were.

The next morning at the post office, the woman taking my application goes "you look much younger than you do in the photo" and promptly processed my application. Guess I've got that for another 10 years.

When people ask if I've ever been to Vietnam, I've found it rather difficult to answer. I guess I was there in 1977 for all of 6 months, but I don't remember any of it. So yes, I have been but I can't tell you where to get the best Pho. And my belief is that all the best Pho chefs probably left Vietnam and have all opened restaurants in Cabramatta.