Sunday, November 29, 2009

Confession time...

...yes, it is that time.

To my regret I have to admit to giving up. This is not something I do often or without much thought. I strongly believe that if you commit to something and put in time and effort, you are obliged to follow it through until the end. Not so this time.

I lost Nanowrimo.

There, I've said it. My usual strategy of using the fast approaching deadline for gaining some creative energy has backfired on me in a bad way. In earlier editions of the Nanowrimo challenge I did not have a full time job to compete for my time with, or the brilliant idea of knitting a gazillion presents for the in-laws and various other family members (spurred by a lack of funding for big gestured gifts).

In earlier editions, I would trust on the last week of November to write write write, but this time I've just been tired, tired and more tired. Be aware that I don't feel sorry for myself, because I could just have done the daily word count one hour every day and be fine and finished by now, but that's just not how I roll. Apparently, I have limitations too. I have made a note of this, and will probably completely forget this by next year, so feel free to remind me.

The good thing about giving up (I even consulted my far-away-brother, who said "errr, I dunno") is that there was now an unexpected 'free' weekend to help me stay on track with everything else.
I managed to knit almost 1 sleeve of the DH jumper, and some on the D-i-l-GF Laminaria, and we almost have Mom's costume for Amusing done so we can do mine all of next week(end). Luckily, Dad just fits my long black coat so he's mostly taken care of now.

There are just a few things planned for next week, including costume making, knitting like a mad-woman, choir practice, the dreaded hospital visit and to top it all off, hopefully a dinner @Eindhoven (followed by an early morning appointment at the hair dresser's, ugh). Oh, and work of course.

In other news, dear darling Heidi has a job!!!

(the same job she's been doing for 3 years, but it just became indefinite, instead of 1 yr contracts!!!)

We are very proud of her; the boss-man had very little choice but to hire her on permanently. She's awesome!

If you are a boss-man and reading this: I know a lot of awesome people, all ready to be hired on permanently. Please contact me for details, TYVM.

I will be back with you soon, hopefully with some pictures of all I've been doing (apart from work, we don't take a lot of pictures there) in various stages of readyness.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why knitting matters... knitters at least.

I ran across this blog a while ago because I really like this Mary's patterns. And she puts a very entertaining blog together too!

I copied the following from her blog. Things to love about knitting.

1. Small Carbon Footprint
2. Low-Calorie
3. Social, or Anti-; depending on your state of mind and physical locale
4. Never wonder self-consciously what to do with your hands
5. Yarn will never stand you up for a meeting it scheduled with you
6. Noise it makes seldom annoys others (self-satisfied clucking or moans of ecstasy excepted)
7. Never run out of common interests with your cat
8. Always available for snuggling
9. Awkward explanation for where you were last Sunday afternoon not required
10. Knitting never gets upset if you fall asleep (either before OR after)

Knitting and writing, I love you both, but I must write write write!!! 'Tis November after all, One Must Simply Write!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Yesterday I finished project #2 on the Christmas list. Several more to go, especially since the mother decided this is what she wanted as well.


In the mean time, I've had to make an appointment with the doctor. Therapist-boy decided what I was fearing for the last couple of weeks. This shoulder isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing. I don't think it's my lack of effort (much) that's the issue with it, but every time I move the arm in a reflex sort of way, it takes forever for the entire area to recover. I can still feel losing my balance on the way home form work. almost 4 weeks ago. Something tells me that just isn't right.

So, doctor first thing tomorrow morning, and then on to the hospital to make an appointment with the specialist. Therapist-boy decided upon one who's supposed to be really good at this failing shoulder-thing, but I've since found out first opportunity for an appointment will be januari. By which time I'm fearing more deterioration. I'll probably settle for the fellow under this specialist.

Then again, I've just found out that my dad-in-law's lady friend offered up her house for Christmas so my parents can come over as well. I may need more time knitting. Doctor, you must wait some more. Or maybe not. This thing hurts...
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Foggy Friday

Yesterday was one of those days when Autumn makes sure you know it's there. Not exactly "there" so much as "THERE". Rain with some sunny spells, dark grey clouds, fierce winds and temperatures that make you go "wish I'd put that big old comfy winter jumper on" while you're trying to look stylish in tricot. Brrrrrr. At least this is the appropriate season for it, not like these pictures, taken in July. JULY, I tell ya...

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Feelgood Friday

Two wee girls too cute for words
Care Bears watch out! Competition on the horizon!
Lovely hidden bit of Scotland, right by a house with gates... I wonder who lives there...
Sunset on a beach is overrated. Try enjoying it on a boat instead.
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

People in government jobs...

...are stuffy and boring. That's why we're all temps. Arno's angels in da house!

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

In your face, Ron

Earlier today, dad called my brother, just to 'inquire after his supposed film hobby thingy' but really just to hear his voice. At some point during the call, it was mentioned that he didn't blog as often any more, so we're having to rely on strangers tagging him in facebook pictures to find out what he's been up to. His only comment was "well sis, you're not blogging all that much either. I know, I checked last week."

Well in your face, little brother. That's twice in a weekend, right here. I've been busy you know, finishing this lovely shrug.

To boot, some more lovely Scotland pictures, please enjoy, we sure did. Pitlochry and fly-fishing on the river Tay.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

ohhh it hurts

a bit. it's completely to blame on the alcohol consumed last night. It could have been worse, I could have gone along to the next bar, and wherever else everyone else went after the next bar. Putting bike up in the garage (which has a closing time) was a very good plan.

We had great fun, not in the least because the people I was with don't really know me all that well. Which is fun, for me. Let them think it was the alcohol that did it, not me having a tiny provocatrice hiding inside, waiting to get out.

Still, it hurts my head a little now. Think good thoughts...

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

We left off... arriving in Newcastle.

Well, this undocking business is always a bit tricky. First of all, all those cars, buses, vans, caravans, trailers, bikes, and bicycles are packed really close so they can fit more of them in. Which meant that not only was it a bit hard for DH to get out of the car, it was a bit more tricky to get in, when someone was also parked right up to the driver's door.

However, a little bout of morning gymnastics was once considered a smart thing, so playing contortionist with a Nissan Sunny was nothing but amusing to standers-by. Right up to the moment they had to squeeze into their cars, at which we chuckled.

Anyway, the dangerous and daring adventure started right here. Having done the driving-on-the-wrong-right-side-of-the-road thing a few times before, it didn't take us long to see this road sign... which the adventure-proper would commence. If you wonder what that driving-on-the-wrong-right-side-of-the-road thing looks like to an American, well, these are two of many pictures...

Driving is serious business. Specially if you have a DH sitting next to you, simpering about roads of deathy deaths which are really quite fine and nice and offer great views of the surrounding country (and sometimes sheer drops and impressive cliffs, but more on that later).

After a while (think hours and hours of driving, well, 4 or so) we forded the Forth Road Bridge. It's a bit impressive, though not so much for driving on as looking at it from a distance

Eventually we found the campsite that the luggage was shipped to, they had a spot for our tent, so we set it up. It was still dry then, so we had plenty of time to set it up, me to give helpful advise for the DH to completely ignore, the DH the start muttering and swearing under his breath, me to stand by and watch and finally point out that by setting up the tent while keeping both doorways zipped open we (he) managed to set it up in such a way that the doors would not be zipped shut, more muttering and swearing and some smart moves from my side, the tent was finally up, zippered in places it should and our things set up inside it. Looking around, I think we didn't do all that bad at finding a nice spot...

And this is around the corner...

Portnacraig, Pitlochry and a salmon staircase, in our next installment!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm back, obviously...

In fact, I've been home for a long long time. About a month actually. Who knew that spending time with an ubergeek husband would cut into my online time so much as it did?

And then I was back and had too much to blog about and we went and did more things to blog about and still I didn't.

Now there's a mountain of things to blog about, close to 8gb of pictures to chose from so I don't know where to start. It's much easier to just sit and knit. The short cardigan from Filati summer is almost done, at least the first part is, before blocking, picking up more stitches and knitting the border. But that's ok.

Anyways, it all started a long long time ago, the 15th of July to be precise....

[insert woozy fuzzy twisty image for maximum effect]

DH was supposed to land at the airport. Having done this before, we kinda planned our arrival close to him exiting from the luggage hall. We didn't plan on his plane leaving early and flying fast. He was here early, but not his luggage. After he wandered around for 45 min, my parents reached him first, and when I got off the phone with the luggage guy telling him where to send the luggage on to, we had one of those not-so-emotional haven't-seen-you-in-6-months reunions. Those just make us laugh, we hug, kiss and sit down to coffee. Things taken care of, stroopwafels bought at the HEMA, we set off for the Amsterdam Arena, to find some more things at the Decathlon.

DH was sadly disappointed with the amount of things that were packed into the car, but at least we used *everything* I packed. In the end, the 2 suitcases delivered to our campsite were never really opened. *ahem*

So we shopped for a few more things ["I don't need a sweater. If you say I need a waterproof jacket, then maybe, surely no boots to keep my feet dry and warm. We can't afford cheap smaller chairs (then stop complained about the huge ones I brought)] and walked out with 2 fleece sweaters and a rain jacket. Which got used, I should add, you'll find out why. After this, we went to IJmuiden, to the dock where the boat was supposed to take us across the water. We had lunch, the parents went home and we checked in.

For once I wasn't in the lower of lowest decks (if I remember correctly, or maybe we were), but the car was on the top deck, front of the line. Which doesn't help with offloading, as the level is lowered, with our little-car-that-could right in front, not quite falling off the edge. It can't, but it's a little freaky anyways.

There was a bit of wind to be dealt with...

...but the waiter didn't spill any of the red stuff. We know, we watched.

During the night, the wind settled down, and the water was quiet when we reached Newcastle. Having someone to somewhat navigate us though the network of roads that was supposed to get us on the correct road helped, and we drove up to Edinburgh through the middle of the country.

I'll keep the next day of our adventure for another time....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

king of scandinavia

I am off to the airport now to pick up my dearly strange husband. we did video the other night, to make sure we still recognize eachother (but mostly him). He has beard and long hair now, sporting the unemployed-bum look.

in about 12 hrs we'll be setting off on the King of Scandinavia, for 2 weeks in rainy Scotland.

Will report when back.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm not a great fan of being a housewife. Even less of being a stay-at-home mom.

Circumstances have made me be both (yes, stay-at-home step-mom counts too) and it hasn't done me much good as a person. Life, however, is as it is and I've come to terms with not being able to do much about it myself, other than trying to push certain people over the edge and into action. Recently, things have changed, you might have noticed if you've been paying attention.

Along came a full time job which at least dragged me away from being a stay-at-home daughter, so now I have an excuse. I took on a second 'little' job, which turned out to creep up on me, when life decided to turn off the lights for a week-and-a-half. Internet problems just before the deadline didn't help much either. Now that's mostly finished save a later added article, and the option of more work to come, I figured I'd have time to catch up.

As a 'manager of the interior', one must tend to her tasks in a timely fashion. Or at least try.

I figured I'd sleep more. More than 6 hours a night, this to be achieved by going to sleep on time and waking up refreshed and rested.
DH decided to finally get his ass moving and book a flight to come over. (This isn't fair, the first time he 'finally' didn't have to come in to work was last Monday, so until then he didn't wasn't certain if he'd be able to make any more magic money, so he couldn't really book earlier)
He booked late. Late in my day, around 23.30 in fact. We booked the holiday on Tuesday, 23.45. On Wednesday, my no-sleeping-pattern had been consistent for 2 weeks solid. No chance in hell I'd sleep more this week. It is now the weekend, I've had my first headache.

No less important, Lady Steel of 88links offered me the "Lovely Blog Award" for which many thanks. She's not so bad yourself, if she doesn't mind me saying. Her pieces of arm-art are no-nonsense in design and high in impact. If ever I let myself spend on "stuff I don't absolutely need which isn't a book," I'm getting myself some. You should too.
To boot, I've finally found my third follower, Felix & Jane, creating things I'd wish I'd thought of. Go look them up.

Another item on my list is Don, the Don. Aka Landshark. DH calls him "dad" because he is. He's also the president of the Commerce Parrot Heads. Don't ask. Look here, and if you still don't get it, that's not my fault, nor my problem. All I know is that I've been told I'm the furthest located (honorary?) member of this club, and that I was supposed to be dressing up in tropical gear and celebrate the 4th of July.

As the twins, Miek and Do, turned 31 that day, I didn't see any problem with celebrating, and since Don told me (and everyone else on the mailing list) I consume 1kg of poop every year but not if I drank alcohol instead of water, I decided to do so, just in case. I'd have to drive to the BD the next day, when water would be the drink of choice.

I convinced the 'rents to BBQ

We had Texan and pretend-Texan BBQ sauce to go with this. It was good. Meat and sauce, salad and fries, pretty much a meal.

At first, Dad didn't quite understand how it worked, so he got me water to drink. I wasn't having any of that (remember, poop!)

In the end, we got to where we should be and I drowned all the bad little e-coli thingummawhattums in lovely, lovely beer.


(I was in fact wearing a skirt with big blue flowers on it. I don't get much more tropical than that.)

Last on the list is (one of) the knitting project(s). Cold Mountain is 2 repeats on C away from being cast off, after which I must return to other, older projects. I'm just willing this one on now, as the initial excitement wore off and was replaced by "I just want this finished so I can use it, tyvm." It's still a lovely project, I just get bored and start looking for the next one when it takes too long to finish. The bolero shrug and Stitches on the Bridge project are due to be finished next. Can't wait, but have to pack. Need towel to travel.

I got some cheap ones from Ikea today.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Super quick post

Yes, it's late, but just wanted to blog the happy news of the arrival of the DH Wednesday week. It'll be a blast!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

It's been...

...a long week.

I guess it started last week with me being absolutely knackered by the time I got home for work. Which was unfortunate, as I had planned to use that time for translating the darned job I took on, knowing full well I was going to be busy. Over-estimating my planning skills and not counting on everything to go wrong meant I had a lot still to do on the website. That would've been ok if we didn't have an unexpected and unusual heat-wave.

You see, we don't get those. Often. It just doesn't get over 25 degrees C over here at the best of times.

It was supposed to be rainy on saturday, when we had planned to go to a Harvest Fair. The same Harvest Fair we tried to visit the week before, when it wasn't there yet. (Which became painfully obvious as we drove down the lane to a very empty estate, oops.) We decided to try our luck and battle the weather as we found it, so sweaters and jackets in the car and off we went.

It. Was. Hot.
I have pictures somewhere to show how hot the game birds thought it was.

A man became dinner by lunchtime

And a Sea Eagle decided to strike his official-looking pose.

Obviously, I didn't drink nearly enough as I forgot to bring Heidi with me to monitor my fluid intake, so I had a juice and a glass of coke, and a headache to show for it. By 22.00, that was gone, and I finally had the opportunity to do some translating.

As you might guess, it didn't quite work the way I had planned, as it never does, and this was no different from all the other times I get to postpone a small job. Still, it was all doable, just adding text from my papers into the system. I cursed until 2.00 and called it a night.

The next day, mom's family planned a day out, so I only had a few hours before and after that to work, but hey, it was the weekend. (I should mention, all is finished, apart form a later added article, which will get done tomorrow, so I'll just shut up about it and move on with the story.)

The day started with lunch, lovingly (ahum ;)) prepared by Natasja

We finished most of it and then she showed us what is currently standing of their house. It kinda looks like the outside walls will be left standing, but then again, part of the back of the building will be added onto, so some of it might go. Obviously Erik knows how to make a smooth wall, and the bits they have finished look awesome. Note to self: do not design staircase. Let the professionals do that.

We left, and payed the only wheelchair accessible tourist attraction in the entire city of Den Bosch a visit. The St Jan Cathedral is pretty impressive. We lit a candle for Uncle Kees. Erik was kind enough to play tourist guide and told us a few tidbits about the building, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. (I forgot...)

Pretty soon though, the relaxed city trip was to end and the hard grafting was to start. Old farts (you know who you are) got to ride around without doing much more than standing, while us spring chickens had to work for the money. It was all good fun, I lost 17 kilo's just by sweating, but some of us looked odd. Some of us worked hard. All of us had fun!

We missed Kees, Ron, Chris-Jan & Carmen and Darling DH. By Gods, we had fun though.