Sunday, 12 September 2010

So Long, Channel 5!

Recently, I have really got into CSI. The trouble is, the more I watch, the more I learn about the stories and the characters. But Channel 5 (and Five USA) insist on not only showing them out of order but also giving no indication what series the episode they are showing is from. Frustrating! Add to that the fact that most ads make me want to cut someone at the moment, I decided to bite the bullet and just buy them. So please, meet the newest additiong to my DVD collection:

Yep! 8 years worth of CSI (the original). Bring on the marathons!!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Back in Business

Sorry for the long delay since I last posted. I've not really been feeling it over the summer but now I have lots to catch up on!

Starting with... Sheep!

In July, Phill and I went to the Rare Breeds Show in Singleton with my parents. It was held at the Weald and Downland Museum just north of Chi. What a fabulous place. It is basically a collection of buildings from around Sussex and the local area that were endangered before listing came in. The Rare Breeds show was a collection of pigs, sheep, cows and goats who were all judged a bit like Crufts but for farm animals!

This is my new favourite sheep:

He is a Grey faced Dartmoor and I think he looks like a teddy. He has beautiful curly wool and I would love to get my hands on some to have a go at spinning. I think it would probably be too course for clothing though.

There were also rabbits and alpacas which are beautiful! A craft tent with actual local craft people in selling their products which was refreshing as often these things are full of horrid mass produced crap and a stall selling olives and feta.

There was plenty for people of a crafty persuasion. P & M Woolcraft were there selling fibre and lots of sundries including plant dyes. I bought myself some Woad seeds for the garden. I also bought a new spindle from Ian Taite. It is tiny and made from Purple Heart and Sycamore wood. It spinds like a complete dream. Yum! There was also a tent where people had been able to enter their spinning and knitting for judging. Unfortunately, I didn't find out in time or I totally would have entered something. The piece that won first prize was just breathtaking.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


I made a cake for Phill's birthday:

Pretty normal looking, huh?


Inspired by The Omnomnicon I made rainbow cake!

It involved maths to work out how much I needed of each colour then fun measuring the right amount into little bowls to make the colours.

I found a little cake supplies shop round the corner from my house where I was able to buy the nice paste dyes which are nicer than the normal liquid food colourings. I got to play painter to make all the in between colours.

Once all the colours were mixed, I poured them one at a time into the tin, with each on top of the last to made nice concentric rings. I decided to just make one cake instead of the two in the original rainbow cake as I only have one tin and I'm impatient.

Try not to think about the e-numbers =)

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Award Winning!

When I was at university, I joined RAG. This is a society that fundraises for charity through running events or standing on a street corner waving a bucket at unsuspecting passers-by. Through RAG, I attended many events across the country organised by the charities for student fundraisers. At the events, I made many friends from RAGs at other universities.

After leaving university, RAG stopped but the desire to continue to collect cash for charity did not and I carried on attending these events, often by helping out by counting the money or supporting the collectors while they were out working hard.

The Ragabonds are a group of ex-Raggies. A RAG for those without a RAG. In the three years that we have been officially together, we have raised a stupid amount of money between us for many different charities across the UK. We also help out behind the scenes, working with the charities to help organise and run events.

This week we were awarded "RAG fundraiser of the year" by the Breast Cancer Campaign due to our effots for them last year. I myself raised nearly £2000 for BCC last year so I'm really excited that we have been recognised =)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Painted Kiwi

I painted my Kiwi spinning wheel. The wheel itself I have painted with a colour wheel so that when it spins, it looks like a rainbow. This is the kiwi on the treadle. Don't look too closely at the mistakes!

The wheel is not perfect. The yellow is much brighter than the other colours so stands out a lot. I think I need to go and buy some purple to try and balance it out a bit! Also, I think it would have looked better with thinner stripes. I did 6 big blocks, one of each colour but if I were to do it again, I think I would do 12 or 18 stripes to see if I could get the colours to blend more.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

New Look

I have changed how my site looks. I like this one much better =) I was getting annoyed that my pictures were wider than the space available in the old layout so I looked for a wider layout and found this pretty pink one! I hope you like.

This has been partly inspired by my new camera. I get money for Christmas from my parents. This year, I decided to treat myself to a new camera. There was nothing really wrong with the old one except that it was a bit old. It used a memory card that seems to be hard to buy now and when we went to Chicago last year, I kept having to go and get the card emptied onto CD so I could take more pictures.

I found a lovely little camera, the Fuji Z35. It had 10 megapixels and a bunch of settings and featured that I wanted like face recognition, anti shake and automatically resizing for blog posting. I ordered mine from Jessops. It never came :( On the fourth of June I FINALLY got my refund after too many phonecalls; broken promises of call backs and that the refund had been processed and having to give them my card details at least three different times. I had to threaten legal action in the end but nevermind.

I went into town to spend my refund this week. Naturally the camera I wanted is no longer widely available so instead I have a beautiful Fujifilm Finepix AV180. It is shiney!

It is so much lighter than my old one. It has a massive screen. It has 14 (FOURTEEN!) megapixels although I'm not sure why anyone other than a professional photographer would need that many. It also automatically sets itself. It knows if it needs a flash or the macro setting. It has about 15 settings for light/dark/fireworks/landscape/panoramic/baby shots (!) etc. It uses a standard SD card that is widely available. I already have two 2GB ones that I bought in January for the original lost camera.

I'll be having a play with it to test the settings out.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


For my birthday in May, I also received some flowers in the post from Phill's parents. I've never had flowers delivered before so it was very exciting!

They were most beautiful and lasted almost two weeks. I love lilies and roses and these were lovely ones.

I also received this planter from Anna and Joe. It's a giant teacup!

I have already planted some carrots in it. As it is very shallow, I was really pleased to find these little golf ball carrots. They have germinated and need thinning out. I will take some pictures of that soon.

Friday, 14 May 2010


Today is one whole year since I started my blog. Hoorah!

Yesterday was my 28th birthday and once again, I spent it in London with beautiful Anna. Phill has college on Thursdays so I went up with him in the morning. That meant getting up at stupid o clock and catching a train at 6.15am. Ouch!

I spent an hour or so sitting in the park at the bottom of the London Eye. I had a coffee and my knitting and the sun was shining. It was lovely!

Anna and I spent most of the day hunting the elephants that are currently "on parade" around the centre of London. They are raising awareness of the plight of the Indian Elephant and they have a petition here

And here are some of my pictures from the day. Click to embiggen.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Scumbags :(

This is what is left of the padlock on our shed. Someone has been in to our garden, cut off the lock and stolen Phill's bike. Just his bike! I'm actually quite impressed. Our garden is surrounded by 5 other gardens. The shed is flush against a wall that is at least 6 foot high and the other side of the wall is a garage. To get a bike out is actually quite an achievement!

When I went to get a new lock, I saw this and had to get it to make myself feel better!

Saturday, 24 April 2010


Some kitty pics for you:

Mani helping with the washing

Mani's new friend. He makes a racket. Phill has given him food. Ooops! We don't know where he lives as he doesn't have a collar but I don't think he's a stray as he is a fatty with lovely fur! Mum and Phill have named him Felix. This will need to change =)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Darn It!

Yesterday, I darned one of my socks. There was a hole appearing in the heel this was stopping me from wearing them as I was scared of wrecking my socks. They are so pretty and comfortable and I missed them. I thought I would practice that old adage of "a stitch in time saves 9" as the thought of darning an actual hole filled me with terror. It involves a sort of weaving and making new stitches where there are none. Doing it before the hole appears is easier as you just follow the path of the old stitches with the new thread.

Doesn't it look lovely!

The inside.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


My friend Iain passed away last night. He was 33. He will be missed by a huge number of people.

(Picture stolen from Facebook, taken by Emerson)

Thursday, 18 February 2010


The first sign of spring... Daffs coming up on the road into town, hoorah!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A piss up in a brewery

A couple of weekends ago was Big Dave's birthday. I headed up to Gloucester for the weekend and the first order of play was a trip to Prescott Brewery in Cheltenham. Prescott is a micro brewery which, we learned, means that they only supply beer to Cheltenham. This is sad as their beer was well good!

They showed us all their fancy brewing equipment (including vats of hot and cold liquer fnar fnar). They let us loose on their beer which we managed to pour all over the floor and after the tour, we sat in their office for hours drinking and chatting.

It was a fab afternoon and they even had a go trying on my sock that I had just finished. So it seems Dave can organise a piss up in a brewery. I fully reccommend Prescott Ales if you happen to be in Cheltenham.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pancake Day!

It's pancake day! And what could be better than pancakes than pancakes with bacon? Yum yum!

Cook your bacon. It needs to be crispy!

Chop half of it up into little bits.

Mix up your batter (I did 8oz flour, 1pt milk and 2 eggs as we want some for pud too)

Make the first, requisite crap pancake

Next one, put bacon in the middle of the pan and add a ladle of batter and spread it out

Make a couple and top with more bacon. Add ketchup or maple syrup and enjoy.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

So long, Beautiful Chloe

Beautiful Chloe has gone to the car park in the sky :( Last week she went for a service and it turned out it would cost twice as much to make her road worthy as she is actually worth. Chloe was my first car and I have had her for six years. I probably didn't look after her properly (note missing hubcaps and mismatched wing mirrors) but we did a lot together. She has done about 80000 miles with me, travelling the length of the country, from Edinburgh to Land's End, Swansea to Kent and Bangor to Newcastle. She has driven me to work and to interviews, to college and just to the shops or home to my parents and I will miss her.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Knit Signal

Knitters Without Borders is a fundraiser started by the Yarn Harlot. It is to raise money to support Medicine Sans Frontiers. From Stephanies blog:

Who is MSF/DWB?
MSF is a medical relief organization dedicated to bringing help to people in the worst circumstances in the world. MSF goes where other relief organizations (NGO's) will not. Where circumstances are the most desperate, the most dangerous and the most hopeless... you will find Médecins Sans Frontières. MSF is transparent and neutral without any political or religious affiliations, and does not accept donations from Pharmaceutical companies or companies that make Tobacco or Alcohol. Part of their job is to witness and report violations of human rights and dignity. MSF helps all persons who need them, regardless of their race, religion, politics or gender. MSF won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
If you have some pennies to spare, please please consider sending some of them to MSF to support their work in Haiti. Their hospital there was badly damaged and they are now having to treat patients in the courtyard. And don't forget to Gift Aid if you can. Then, let Stephanie know through the link on her page (or via the button on my page). They are nearing $100000 CAD since starting this campaign.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A Saturday Together

Phill normally works Saturdays and has a day off in the week instead. This week, though, his day off was Saturday! Hoorah! A whole weekend together =) Due to the snow and lack of past Christmas funds, we decided not to go anywhere but stay in Portsmouth.

We arranged to go and meet the events manager at HMS Warrior to discuss holding our wedding there. We walked into town and through Victoria Park where they have an aviary. Half of the aviary is actually a home for guinea pigs and rabbits. We wanted to check they weren't too cold. The rabbits were all snuggled together except for this one who had commandeed the hay! Most of the piggies were in their little houses.

We had already pretty much decided on Warrior for our wedding but it was good to talk to the events manager and hear how it would be set up etc. Now we are definitely having it there! We are provisionally booked and just need to check with the registrar now.

After lunch at Gun Wharf Quays, we went for a walk in the snow round the front to Southsea. It was nice to ahave another bit of an explore of our new city and Southsea is lovely. Nicer even that Portsmouth itself!

By the sea walls, there was a little inlet with had frozen over. There were some interesting giant circles of ice. Any science peeps know how that happens?

We walked along through Southsea Common where someone had built an igloo!

Further along the front we passed an steep area where people were sledding! We walked along the beach which had snow on too!

The Canoe lake was completely iced over and the little swan boats were locked at the center of the lake!

We had been recommended a cafe at the mini golf course, The Tenth Whole Cafe for its amazing cake. We didn't heed the warning about the size of the portions and had a piece each. This was an error as the pieces were HUGE!

For next time, one piece is enough for two! They had about 20 different types of cake to chose from so I see many return trips in my future to try the rest.

After a wander along Albert Street (which I mistakenly thought was the high street) we caught the bus home as it was getting dark. Albert Street is fabulous and I can see why it wins "Best Street" competitions. There were no chain stores (except local chains), just independent businesses. Next time we will try and find the center so that I can visit John Lewis for a habedashery fix. We did pass a shop called the Yarn Barn on the bus so I shall be checking that out too!