Friday, 23 January 2015

Check Up time!

Snix's cat box. Notice the organised folder on top with all his data and insurance papers. What a well organised cat, that is!
January seems to be a month for a lot of check ups in our house!
Our cat, Snix (his name is a pun on St. Nicholas as we got him right before Christmas 9 years ago), had his annual check up with the vet this week. He was not amused... Poor baby, he was sleeping on my bed, all warm and snug when I just whisked him into his cat carrier before he realised what was going on and could protest. Once there, with a rather defeated attitude he kept pressing himself towards me for comfort, while he quietly accepted being examined: eyes, teeth, weight, claws, heart, etc etc.

"I refuse to model today. No photos, please!"

He got a clean bill of health, but the vet suggested he was moved on to cat food for older cats. Not sure Snix could believe his ears! Food for older cats!? He is a mere 9.5yrs old.... A cat in the prime of his life, if you ask him. But apparently food for older cats contain more calcium which they need more of as they get older. So, he got his booster injection and was back on my bed in no time. Hopefully, a year till next 'trauma'.
The surgery was busy with loads of other cats and dogs in for the check ups. Or as one of the cats needed - medicine to induce vomiting because the silly cat had eaten rat poison. Something that doesn't happen too often to cats, according to the vet. Dogs, yes, but cats tend to know better. The owner did say this particular cat was generally rather stupid...
And today was my own check up with the oncologist. It is now just over 1.5 years since my own cancer operation and I am so grateful and happy that everything seems to be fine. I was very lucky with the early discovery and have had a very good recovery. I feel I am back to "normal" now, but with added awareness of my own health and I don't take anything for granted any more.
Next week is the annual MOT and service of my car.
I hope that goes well, too!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Flattery Gets You Everywhere...

I make a lot of knitted and crocheted things for myself and the family - whether they want it or not...
But I was flattered when one of the Student's friends asked me to make a pair of felted socks/slippers for him. Not often the teenagers take an interest... He requested them in 'coffee and cream', but this was the closest I could get.
I hope they keep him warm and he likes the result.
The pattern is free from Drops.
I used Rowan Brushed Yarn and no 7 stitches.
They are knitted in one piece and sewn together.
Then I washed them on a normal program in the washing machine and stretched them into the appropriate shape/length.
Very easy.
Now on to a baby blanket I have been asked to make for a friend expecting in a couple of months time.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Graduation in Durham!

Students gathering outside Durham Cathedral
I was up in lovely, but very blustery Durham on the weekend (incredible winds - think it was the storm 'Nina' that was making all the noise!) in connection with the graduation of one of the Professor's PhD-students. I don't get to know all his students, but every so often some of them become like friends and it feels natural to be there with them on their big day - particularly if they are not able to have their own families with them.
Borrowed from the web - we were not allowed to take pictures inside during the ceremony
 I had not been in to the amazing Cathedral before, but I will definitely go again soon (have wanted to save it till we have guests to take around!). Simply beautiful. After the ceremony in the cathedral there was a reception in the school.
Fitting decoration for the occasion - from the reception in the Business School.
We then proceeded to our house for a couple of hours before we went for dinner.
Picture borrowed from Finbarr's webpage
The new Doctor invited us all out to a delicious meal at Finbarr's . Finbarr's is an excellent  restaurant for a special occasion. We ate very well and it was such a nice way to mark the day. I strongly recommend the restaurant if you make your way to Durham.
And the socks I was knitting...? No, they were not completed on the train, but on Monday evening. I have two more 'UFO's to complete before I start anything new. Wool has been ordered for this new project, but I have PROMISED myself to finish off these two other projects before I get going on anything else.
Looking at the new wool waiting will be a good incentive, I think...!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

There Is A Chance...

I am heading up to Durham for a long weekend and with about 3 hrs on the train there is a chance I might finish the socks I am making for The Professor on the way! Socks like these are such a great way of using up leftover yarn from other projects. I can't abide the thought of throwing out the leftovers, and I hate having leftover yarn cluttering up the knitting basket. Making something useful is therefore a win-win solution.
I really recommend Bitta Mikkelborg's book "Sokker - Strikking Hele Året" - there are just so many ideas and patterns to chose from. The patterns and techniques are very well described making it a pure joy to knit
(sorry - to my knowledge, the book is not available in English)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Going to the Theatre: The Play That Goes Wrong!

The Play That Goes Wrong
Happy New Year!
We have had a lovely Christmas and New Year celebration with loads of food, drink and merriment! Christmas parties, walks, talks, snacking, knitting, reading, tv-watching and sleeping! That summarises the last two weeks pretty well. I 'packed away' Christmas on the weekend and we are now back to 'normal'. One remaining guest is still with us for one more day, but the Student and the Professor are both back in their universities and I started work again today.
Felt ok, to be honest. Must be a sign that it was a sufficiently long and relaxing break!
Just wanted to give a tip if you are going to London any time soon:
We started a new family tradition last year where we go to London for a weekend either before or after Christmas to stay in a hotel and go and see a play. This time the three of us went the weekend before Christmas and saw "The Play That Goes Wrong" at the Duchess Theatre in Covent Garden. The Professor and I conveniently stayed at the Grange Strathmore in Kensington, close to where the Student now lives and it was a nice hotel. Apparently, it used to be the London residence for the late Queen Mother's father (sold in about 1898)!
But about the play: the website explains: The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society attempt to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery in Havisham Manor, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does, as the accident prone thesps battle on against all the odds to get to their final curtain call. This brilliant new laugh out loud comedy performed by Mischief Theatre Company has enjoyed two successful runs in the West End and was the sell out smash hit of the Edinburgh Festival with its sensational reviews, numerous accolades and awards. The Play That Goes Wrong is guaranteed to leave you aching with  laughter!

And it did. A lot of slap-stick humour - really great fun and well acted. We all particularly enjoyed Dave Hearn in the role as "Max Bennett" and Henry Shields as "the director Chris Bean". Here is the trailer: