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!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Meet Frosty!

It snowed a whole lot yesterday, stopped overnight and then started again this morning. Unfortunately, it didn't really get going until after we had left for work, meaning that I was halfway there when I got the call to say not to come in. It was snowing very heavily in Chichester so I stuck my head in the door and got straight back on a train home. Snow Day!

Phill got sent home at lunchtime when the shopping center his branch is in was closed by management.

We spent this afternoon making a huuuge snowman in the garden. I reckon we had about 4 inches altogether! I don't think I've ever made a snowman this high, not here in the UK anyway.

Mani, however, was not so impressed...

He very carefully avoided touching the deep snow by walking down the edge of the path and in our footprints!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


We finally have snow in Portsmouth!!

I just took this picture of our back garden. It is 8pm and I didn't use the flash! The snow is absolutely bucketing down and settling! Hoorah!

Update at 9pm - We now have about an inch of settled snow. The footprints I made earlier taking the tree out have completely gone. Here are some more pics, of my car and the garden, again taken without the flash!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Years Day Out in London

On New Years Day, Phill and I went to London for a day out. Every Christmas we go to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit at the Natural History Museum. Normally we go before Christmas but this year what with the snow and all the travel, we went yesterday instead.

To make a day of it, we went up really early and walked from Waterloo through St James' Park to Buckingham Palace.

In the park we saw the Pelicans and then at the Palace we saw the changing of the guard and a bunch of people all dressed up with old fashioned bicycles. I love how random London is!

Then we walked along the Mall to Hyde Park Corner. We walked along the park through the Winter Wonderland. As it was so early, it was pretty much deserted, unlike the crowds we saw later in the day. I saw a singing moose head

(he was singing Driving home for Christmas!)

and had a go on the Helter Skelter. It was all fabulous in its tacky, fake German fairgroundness and I loved it!

Next was lunch at The Hare and The Tortoise in Kensington. Much yummy sushi and noodle soup was eaten.

The exhibition was fantastic. The best year for a while and it was hard to choose a favourite. The winners can be seen here. Which is your favourite? I liked Respect and Baboon Bonding.

After the Museum, we went for a wander on Oxford Street but quickly got tired and decided to go home.

Overall, a brilliant day, can't wait for next year.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Knitting of 2009

Looking at my Ravelry Projects page, its seems that I have completed 31 projects in 2009. This includes 2 grown up jumpers, 2 little people cardigans, 12 hats, 8 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of mittens, 1 dish cloth, an ipod cozy and a shawl. Not all are pictured up there as I haven't taken the pictures yet but I am pretty pleased with that count!

I have also learned to spin on a wheel in 2009 and have taken up sewing again so a pretty crafty year for me!

Welcome, 2010!

Well, another year is over. I always feel a little bit sad at this time of year, mainly at the thought of another year gone. As years go, 2009 has been pretty damn awesome! I know a lot of people have have really rather crappy years so I hope that 2010 is better for them.

As for me, this year I have been on two fabulous holidays (camping in the Lakes and an amazing week in Chicago)

Mani came to live with us

Phill's parents have left on their boat to follow their dream

Phill and I got engaged (and now I can say I'm getting married next year!). We have found a venue for the wedding and now we need to get on with organising it. I may need someone to sit me down and tell me to stop trying to knit the whole thing!

I finished my course and passed all my exams. And I got a job which I've started and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into.

So all in all, a pretty fabulous year.

And as we are starting a new decade, lets have a round up!
  • 2000 - I turned 18, passed my A Levels (just!), got into Bangor University and flew to Canada for a year abroad.
  • 2001 - I came back from Canada and started at Bangor studying Psychology. I also joined RAG and my fate was sealed!
  • 2002 - I got drunk and wrote essays!
  • 2003 - ditto 2002 plus I had my heart broken and then I got better
  • 2004 - I graduated from Bangor with a 2;1... Hoorah! I mistakenly thought that I wanted to be a teacher and started training at Oxford Brookes for my PGCE. I lasted a whole term! During this time, I learned about Speech Therapy.
  • 2005 - I started work at Priors Court, a school for children with Autism. I moved to Reading into a house with Anna which was AMAZING! I miss living with Anna! Met Phill in a pub whilst very VERY drunk.
  • 2006 - Anna had to move home so that she could go and train to be a nurse. I moved into a house filled with crazy people so I quickly moved out into a lovely little flat with Phill. I got to work for a while as a SaLTA while I tried to get a place on a course. I didn't get into Reading. Boo!
  • 2007 - I got into UCL (and City and Newcastle)! The course started in August and to kill time before then and to avoid going back on a rubbish shift pattern, I worked for a while at Prudential, contacting pensioners to see if they were still alive. What fun! Phill and I got a pair of tiny hamsters, now sadly both departed.
  • 2008 - Phill and I made the mistake of our lives by moving into a house managed by Romans in Reading. Thank God we are free of them now!
  • 2009 - Well, see above!
So HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my readers! See you in 2010 =)