Monday, February 26, 2007

Why can't i hibernate?

Back to work today. Actually didn't want to go, which is really unusual for me. I wanted to lie in bed and read a paperback. I'm reading Terry Pratchett again at the moment. I go through phases with different authors and after getting bogged down with a long run of crime novels (Harlan Coben, Val McDiarmid, Sue Grafton, Karen Slaughter, Mo Hayder) I felt I needed a few laughs.

So, I'm nearly finished this:

Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are an interesting combination, and it works.

Finally: some knitting news. I had to frog Boobalicious as it blocked out to a size that would have been more Booba-Oh-My-God! so I've started again a couple of sizes up.

Otherwise, I'm trying to finish a pair of socks by Friday. No chance! I've mistimed a birthday gift. Looks like being and IOU.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

No place like home

Can you believe I was too tired to take a holiday this week? It's the last evening of the half-term break and we were just reflecting on the fact that we normally take a week away at this time to recover from Christmas and winter in general. Last year we were here:

Krakow - a lovely city but the temperatures plunged my into a fibrohuddle for the rest of the month.

The year before we were here:

Lanzarote - Much nicer temperatures, but we've been there a lot and I think it will be a while before we want to go back.

This year I was just too tired to even plan a trip. Maybe at Easter.

We finally finished the kitchen. J laid an oak floor and it was complete.
Two views - it's an odd shape, so difficult to photograph.

The cooking end.

The eating end.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A twig on my family tree

My Uncle Eric, my Dad's brother, has been working on our family tree for years now. He has been very successful and has traced the line back to the 16th century, although there are some missing parts and some unclear parts. I'm very proud of his achievements.

Some interesting coincidences have been unearthed in his research. Dad's family centre around Liverpool and we ended up on the North East Coast after Dad had travelled around the world, met Mum and settled (by an accident of his posting)near her family's home. I work in Hartlepool, 15 miles away from home, and lived there for a number of years. Anyway, it turns out that Dad's family - my great, great grandfather - had a bell hangers and whitesmiths business in Hartlepool, with some of his children being born in Hartlepool - on a peninsula area called The Headland. Now I know there are still Stewarts on the Headland as I used to work with some and I know that a 6 year old boy from the Stewart family was killed in the 1914 bombardment of Hartlepool by the German navy. (Hartlepool was the first place on mainland Britain to be bombed by the Germans in WW1)I need to do some research of my own to chase up these leads.

In the meantime, Eric has dug out some photos of VE Day in Liverpool.

Seeing my family hanging an effigy that is supposed to be Adolf Hitler was quite disturbing on first sight, but I guess you have to filter it through the experience and context of the time.

J's Dad is 80 this year, which makes me think we should probably get some of J's family tree down on paper too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

Been gone a while - apologies to anyone who might drop by here.
Without being boring about it, I've been a bit overwehelmed by life for a few weeks and have had to simply focus on family, home, work and sleep. I've had no energy for anything else much.

But I think I'm back now.

While I was away the weather had a feeble attempt at winter:

I wasn't impressed but, to be honest, was quite relieved. I don't cope with temperature extremes very well these days.

The kitchen is finished bar an oak step that J and a friend are fitting this evening. I think the disruption to our home has been part of my problem. There has been no sanctuary. Every room has been upset and crammed with displaced 'stuff'. J decided he had time to do the hallways, staircase and landing at the same time as knocking the dining room into the kitchen and remodelling the kitchen. It's not something I would have planned to do all together, but it seems to have worked. I will try to get some pictures taken when they get done.

I have done hardly any knitting. My hands haven't been great and I've been asleep on the sofa a lot most evenings. I finished the front of Boobalicious, but it seems much smaller than I swatched for. I shall block it today before carrying on, but it may have to be frogged.

Today is very mild, warmish, even. Nature is pretty much convinced that Spring is here. The birds wake us each morning and some nests are starting to be built, despite J telling them to wait and see...