Tuesday, December 30, 2014

For Poppy ...

JB Hi-Fi is having a sale and was selling the DVDs of Miniscule for a ridiculously small amount so I have bought the first and second series (three DVDs per season) for about $5.50 each for Poppy.  She usually comes running when she hears the music.  Parsifal is not as rapt in it but sometimes climbs behind the TV to see if he can catch the insects.

I have almost finished spinning braid 4 of the Jewel BFL+silk which D3 gave me for my birthday.  It is taking ages because it is so soft and it spins so fine although it fulls when it is skeined and washed.  I will have five skeins when I have finished spinning and am not sure what to do with it   -  a shawl of some sort because the colours are very overlapping.  And yesterday I finally bit the bullet and undid the vest thingy which I knitted from the 'Storm' fibre which I bought from the mob over the Tasman  and which gave me so much grief when I was spinning it.  I have just over a half kilo but it is very thick; maybe a proper vest?

Christmas was good.  We had a sausage sizzle and chocolate mousse which is something which my lactose intolerant family are able to cope with.  D3 is also gluten intolerant and GB1 is about to start a trial of no gluten.  It makes them all a bit difficult to cater for and D3 brought her own sausages  -  gluten-free Cumberland sausages; the rest of us ate ordinary Cumberlands.

Himself gave the babies a couple of toy mice and Parsifal immediately picked up one of them and tried to post it into his ball box  -  a sure sign that he thought that it was a keeper  -  bless his little black heart.  They insist on their walk in the passage every morning, in their harnesses, and then put themselves to bed.  They are getting very good about having their harnesses put on so if there is a fire I will be able to quickly tether then into the kitty carriage and take them down the fire escape.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

... who cannot see.

Yesterday the COTA volunteers were taken on a Grand Tour of our new headquarters and I am not happy.  We are moving to the Blind Institute and it seems that we are taking over quite a bit of the building.  I don't know if the current tenants are contracting down to a smaller space or if we are sharing the facilities.  Ken took us around the upper floor  -  security passes only  -  pointing out the changes which will be made  -  partitions removed, a door cut  through to another area, etc, and then we went downstairs to where the computers are.  We will be using the computers which are already there and which are set up for use by blind people so I am really not sure how it will work out.  Our server will be housed in the basement but I assume that we will have to turn on vision and turn off speech.

The facilities are good with a canteen and a gym which we will be able to use and far more space  -  but some of it is on a 'by the hour' basis.  I am not sure how the receptionists will fit into the scheme of things as there are receptionists already and I don't know if we will have to collect security passes if we want to go upstairs to speak to the admin. people.

I will be able to catch the same train into town as before and then I have six minutes to get to Platform 4 (which Transperth has hidden) and will arrive at Victoria Park Station which is just opposite the Institute so I will no longer collect Himself on my way to work.

I guess that if I don't like it, or find the system unmanageable, then I can just stop teaching.  We won't be moving in until about the end of February when all the alterations are completed and I will probably take my own computers just in case.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Negative, negative, negative!

I have received the results of the breast biopsy I had the week before last and the result was negative  -  no cancer, no sign of cancer and nothing abnormal except for a small area of calcification of no significance.

I hadn't realised how much the result was preying on my mind  -  most particularly the fact that if I had to have surgery then the cats would have had to go to boarding school for a while and at this time of year all the catteries (the good ones, anyway) are fully booked and if they are to be boarded they are going to have to have de luxe accommodation with room for them to get away from each other.  They squabble every so often and then Poppy shrieks for help but I suspect that she is usually the one who starts it.

Today I finished spinning the first of the 'Jewel' braids.  Because it is so soft I did not split it down the middle but spun it "across the tops".  I had to keep quite a lot of tension on it or it loosened itself on the bobbin and made a terrible mess; at one stage I had to unwind a couple of metres and wind it back by hand under tension so that it would sit properly and not billow out from under the singles spun over the top.  It will be interesting to see what it looks like when plied.  I am going to have to ply it tighter than I usually do  -  I think ...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Still no results

It is now ten days since I had my biopsy and although I have had the bill from the pathology laboratory I have not had the results.  The bill stated that my doctor would have the results already (that was typed on 24th November) but my doctor has taken a very long weekend and either didn't receive the report in time or she hasn't opened it.  She will be back to work in two days time and I have left a message for her to phone me but I can't get an appointment to see her until 11th December.  I assume that the findings did not turn up anything urgent because nothing can be done at this late stage of the year and I will have to wait until after the school holidays to board the cats if I need any surgery done, which is probable if I have a DCIS as the mammogram suggested.

This unforgivable delay has made me realise that  I am going to need a doctor who is there when needed and not just the three mornings per week which my current doctor seems to be working now.  All the women doctors in the area seem to work part time and up until now it hasn't been a problem but I have decided that I am going to need to transfer my allegiance to a male doctor and just visit my current doctor for girly things as it can be risky for men to do some procedures as they run a risk of being charged with assault if they do not have a chaperone. 

I have started spinning the BFL+silk which D3 gave me for my birthday and it is a whole new learning experience for me.  It is very soft and is spinning much finer than my usual singles but unless I keep a strong tension on it, it unwinds itself on the bobbin and fulls to a far thicker single than I had expected.  I will have to ply it with more twist than I usually use and it is going to be interesting to see what the final yarn will be like.

And I have almost finished the first sleeve of the 'Rosewood' sloppy jo sweater and am considering starting the shawl I am planning to knit with the pigtails which I have spun.  I still have one skein of pigtails to spin but the shawl will be a stop/start sort of project so that won't matter.

Below are 1) 'Jewel' colourway in BFL+silk and 2) Polwarth 'Pigtails'.  Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Last night I had my first bath for years

Yesterday I had my breast biopsy done and it wasn't a ball of fun but the staff were universally nice and helpful a I got through it, not without a degree of discomfort  -  not from the biopsy itself but from the position I had to maintain for about 30 minutes in which my breathing was severely restricted.  Thank goodness for my yoga practice which allowed me to utilise the small amount of ribcage which was moveable.  Now I just have to await the results.

I am not supposed to do any strenuous physical exercise for a few days and not allow the shower to pour water directly on the dressing so I used my bath for the first time.  When I lived in Cottesloe I had a huge spa bath which took ages to fill so I rarely used it and since I moved to this apartment over three years ago I have showered  -  the cats being the only ones to use the bath; they like me to turn on the tap so that they can play with the stream of water.  But last night I felt that the time had come when it would be best to bath rather than shower and ooops!

The drains are not all that efficient and eventually I experience what I call 'the plughole symphony' when the five drainage holes gurgle.  That happened last night when I emptied the bath and a lot of black sludge came up into one of the hand basins.  I poured top-strength Domestos down the drains and left it for 30 minutes, after which I ran hot water through.  It seems to have worked but I will probably need to send a brush down the central drain in the floor and remove any loose hair.  Such fun!

Anyway, I am feeling fine today; yesterday I was a bit spaced out.  Now I just have to wait until next week sometime when I will find out the results of the biopsy and where I need to go from there.  Hopefully there will be nothing suspicious but a positional clip has been inserted just in case and to enable subsequent accurate viewing of the spot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Walking the cats

Every morning the babies sit by the front door and give me the eye  -  and ear  -  until I put on their harnesses and take them out into the passage.  They don't do much; Parsifal rolls himself up in his lead and Poppy can occasionally be persuaded to walk to the other end of the corridor as long as I go with her.  There is a warm patch of carpet at the other end where the sun comes in and they will sometimes walk up there and lie in the sun which gets a bit tiresome when I have better things to do.

However, this morning, having pumped up the tyres of the Kitty-carriage and since I needed to go over the road to the pet emporium to get some cat food, I loaded the cats in and took them with me.  Poppy climbed out and then decided that the kitty-carriage was a safe place and climbed back in again but Parsifal thought that he had landed up in cat heaven.  Cat toys, cat beds, cat scratching posts, cat food and endless new smells for him to experience.  Needless to say, he didn't want to come home again but we have reached a stage where I can harness them and load them quite quickly if there is a fire  -  and that is really the whole point of the exercise; to evacuate them if there is a fire.

Tomorrow I am having a breasts biopsy.  I can't say that I am looking forward to it but it is something which obviously has to be done so I will be turning up in the late morning 'sans' deodorant or talcum powder and get it over with.  I understand that the procedure is done under local anaesthetic so hopefully there will be no problem when I take a taxi home afterwards. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I didn't need this on a Fast Day #2

This morning I phoned the Women's Breast Clinic and ascertained that the films and report for my mammogram and ultrasound would be ready by this evening so I phoned to make an appointment for the biopsy which my doctor, presumably on the advice of the Breast Clinic has ordered, only to be told that until Perth Radiology receives both the referral from my GP and the films and report from the Breast Clinic, I can not make an appointment.  I assume that this is so that they can decide if I actually need the biopsy or not.

So I have been to the Post Office and faxed my GP's referral and arranged for the films and report to be couriered to Perth Radiology ... and I will try to make an appointment again in a couple of days, presumably if they deem it necessary.

If I was the worrying kind I would probably be climbing up the walls by now but since it is only two years since I had the last mammogram, whatever has developed is early stage and therefore either to be ignored or treatable.

To make my day even more frustrating I tried to pay my power bill but CustomStrata change the reference number every time and my bank does not seem to be able to cope with it and refuses to process the payment.  Something eventually went through but I can not be sure who or where it has gone.  I sent an email and have printed out the receipt so hopefully it will end up in the right place.  Next time I will try a direct bank transfer or write out a cheque and pay at the Post Office.

On a happier note, tomorrow I will be meeting a third cousin who is descended from my Great Great Uncle Charles (The black sheep of the family) and an unknown woman.  He and his wife are coming for coffee and to swap information.  I need to get my FTM up to date so that I can print off a descendant report for him.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Keeping abreast

Recently I looked at the file where I keep my medical records and noted that I hadn't had a mammogram since 2006 so I trotted off to the doctor and asked for a referral to the local breast clinic.  My doctor did an examination and found a small lump on the left side so I made an appointment for a scan.  Only when I made the appointment did I discover that I hadn't kept my records up-to-date because the clinic had my current address and I have only been here since 2011.  However, given that there was a possible lump I went ahead and had the scan and ultrasound.

The ultrasound was not a lot of fun; the machine had to be kept cool so the air conditioning was turned up to high and directed on the US machine  -  and onto me.  Then the US machine overheated and died so there I was, bare-breasted and cooling rapidly, waiting for the machine to cool down enough to be rebooted and it wasn't a speedy process.

Anyway, the upshot is that flakes of calcification were discovered on the right side and that just might mean early Ca. so I need a biopsy  -  when the clinic finally disgorges the films and report.  Watch this space ...

Then the next day I had a shot in the arm to protect me from shingles which was fine except that I am feeling very sluggish and disinclined to do anything so I am giving my Yoga a rest until next week to give my white cells a chance to do their stuff.

Nevertheless, I have pushed myself to finish spinning my Twilight fibre and it is done and ready to be plied tomorrow.  Then I might give myself a treat and spin some pigtails  -  always fun  -  before I start on the next big project, ten braids of BFL and Silk which D3 gave me for my birthday.  I am not sure that I will make from it  -  I'll see how it spins up.  The Twilight will be another jacket (I think) and I am knitting the first sleeve of the Rosewood Sloppy Joe.  I've done the front and back and the sleeves are raglan so they should be done quite quickly when I am not so tired.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The babies turned three years old a fortnight ago. This is for Carole ...

The babies turned three on 12th October and I wanted to post a birthday photo but couldn't catch them either static or together.  I now have a photo for Carole, in case she still reads this blog and wonders how they are getting on.

They usually get on very well but Parsifal is a bit of a bully and Poppy purposely stirs him up and then shouts for help.  But they mostly sleep curled up together  -  the exception being when I am in bed in the morning when Parsifal slides down my back under the covers and Poppy lies in the angle between by legs and tummy outside the covers.  Between the two of them they pretty well have me pinned down; I can't roll either way and have to perform some rather extraordinary gymnastics to extract myself.

I have decided that they need to get used to wearing their harnesses just in case the unlikely happens and there is a fire.  They both get very excited when I produce the harnesses but Poppy prefers not to leave the apartment while Parsifal likes to go out into the corridor and roll himself up in the lead.  Really, walking them in their harnesses is the least of my worries; as long as I can get them dressed they will be safe in the Kitty-carriage if I have to take them down the fire escape and they are getting very good about being dressed.

Parsifal has almost grown out of his pica and hasn't eaten anything unsuitable for a couple of years which is probably as much to do with the fact that I make sure that there is nothing unsuitable for him to eat and, of course, he has his blankie to smurgle on and that seems to satisfy him although he still seems to need permission to get started.  We actually have two identical blankies  -  he prefers them clean.

The two of them mostly sleep on top of Parsifal's igloo which, whenever I restore it to its igloo status he jumps on and flattens the top down again.  He is quite capable of lifting the top up himself and occasionally does so if he decides to have a nap inside it.  Poppy has her own igloo which she retires to after she has shepherded me into bed and assured herself that I have been given the right amount of kneading and snudges.  She is a very cuddly little cat.

They are groomed morning and evening and line up for this when I scoop out their litter trays but even this doesn't stop drifts of black cat hair from drifting all over the apartment.  I opted for black cats because I wear a lot of black but didn't factor in the light colour of the carpet and tiles.

Here is a photo of them.  It doesn't show their glorious orange eyes because to catch them when they are not moving rapidly I have to catch them when they are asleep but I assure you ... Parsifal's are mandarin colour and poppy's are a bit closer to the Burmese yellow.  Click on the picture to enlarge it:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yes, size DOES matter

The day before yesterday I skeined, washed, snapped and dried Skein II of my Twilight colourway using my new skeiner.

I set it onto 60" which is what I had always thought the skein size from my niddynoddy produced but the skein turned out to be short and fat so with the next one I am going to have to take the skeiner to its maximum which is 70" and hope that it will be closer in size to the niddynoddy skein.  The fatter skein weighs about 20 gms more which is fair enough since it is fatter but I am now clueless as to how long the yarn is on each skein; clueless as to how long I have been assuming a 60" skein and calculating the length of the yarn from that.

Luckily the day before yesterday was a very hot day and the skein dried quite fast but gnerally the fatter the skein the longer it takes to dry  so thin is good.  It won't matter at all as far as knitting goes but the shorter skein is harder to make into a neat twist.

My dishwasher is working well and so it should since, except for its outside casing, I have virtually got a new dishwasher.  I must say that it is nice not to have dirty dishes all over the bench as there was nowhere to hide them and they collected up even though I was washing up by hand every day.

I had one ring-in client yesterday at COTA.  I was told that he was having problems with his Hotmail account and needed a bit of help and he also wanted to start doing online shopping.  The Hotmail problem was simple to solve  -  he was putting in the wrong password and when I asked him to try again, much to his surprise, he went straight in.  His other needs were to get his pre-paid dongle to work (I suggested that he get Optus to talk him through setting up his computer) and he had no credit card so I sent him off to talk to his bank about credit cards with a view to an account especially for using online.  Interesting stuff and I am hoping that I will be able to help him, maybe, to open a PayPal account -  or at least how to manage using a credit card online.

I am using Firefox at the moment so hopefully I can post a photo of my two skeins of Twilight so that you can see the difference in size.  Watch this space for Skein III which will probably be a different size again.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Dishwasher is alive and well

The serviceman came two days ago and fitted a new pump onto the dishwasher and I have just run my first load through it successfully.  It now has a new module (the first serviceman diagnosed a faulty module) and a new pump (the second serviceman correctly read the error message and ordered a new pump).  So it is almost a new machine.

The kickboard which gave so much trouble to remove fitted back into its space so tightly that it will never need any fastenings to keep it in and will be easy to remove in the future if needed.

D2 is coming around today to borrow my BIG suitcase.  She says that she is going to Japan but I am terrified that she actually plans to go to Africa and is not telling me because she knows that I will worry.  No doubt I will eventually find out but it is a niggly worry.

I have no clients at COTA at the moment.  The woman who was booked has cancelled and the problem with the booking system is that it is not flexible so that people are booked in months ahead and by the time their turn comes around they are off doing something else and the booking receptionist doesn't seem to feel that she can slot someone else into the space.  By the end of the year we have virtually no-one coming.  I must say that it is nice to be able to sleep until I wake up naturally instead of setting my alarm clock but the whole system is wrong.

I have almost finished spinning the second skein of the Twilight Colourway and my new  windmill skeiner arrived from America on Friday   -  very good timing.  I can now retire my niddynoddy and use the skeiner which gives four skein-size options.  The niddynoddy made 60" skeins so I will stick with that unless I see a reason for making then larger; smaller will never be an option at this stage.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My dishwasher is still dead, but ...

The repair man is coming tomorrow afternoon with a new pump for my dishwasher and hopefully this will be the end of it, the dishwasher will work again and I can devise a way of putting the kickboard back in place with an option to remove it again if necessary.  Watch this space.

Yesterday I went to a meeting of  the 'Retired Physiotherapists Group' which is usually held on a Thursday  -  my teaching day  -  so I haven't been able to get to a meeting until now.  I sat next to a woman who used to run classes about relaxing hyperactive children  -  called "Jelly-time".  She is into another weird (?) thing called 'Laughter Yoga' and was handing out pamphlets to everyone there.  There is a group just a hop step and jump from here but I am not sure that I really want to explore it.  It is held on Wednesday mornings which is a good time for me but I am waiting for some feedback from the yoga site on Ravelry.com before I commit myself to anything like that.  Straight yoga is enough for me.

I have no clients at COTA at the moment; the person scheduled for the next four weeks has cancelled.  This tends to happen towards the end of the year because a lot of people book at the beginning of the year and by the time their turn comes around they have forgotten or gone somewhere else.  The booking system needs an overhaul but I only ever meet up with the booking person at the annual Christmas party.

The power was turned off for an hour in the wee small hours this morning and I assumed that the powers that be would take the opportunity to plug the wall behind plate around the button which opens the outside door but the plate is still threatening to fall off and since the button is electric with wires going in an unknown direction there is no way that the screws can be plugged in without turning off the power and wearing rubber-soled boots.  More and more Multiplex shortcuts are appearing as time goes on; there is still a puddle on the fire escape which I reported two years ago.

And Parsifal caught his first cockroach this morning so the wildlife is gradually establishing itself; I have a little orb-spinner on the balcony which I have welcomed but cockroaches are a different matter.  I was mean enough to take the cockroach away from Parsifal  -  I really didn't want him to eat it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mon Lavevaisselle est Mort #5

SIL came around yesterday afternoon and removed the kickboard from in front of the dishwasher.  I had already worked out what I thought would be the best way to remove it  -  a block of wood to the side of the glue-line and a heavy hammer.  It broke the glue but SIL had to drag the kickboard out which took all his strength and some skin off the back of his hand.  Then we discovered that the installers had actually glued the kickboard to the dishwasher and then glued it to the floor.  I have spent time this evening with a chisel and hammer removing the centimetre high ridge of glue which would have prevented the serviceman from sliding the dishwasher out.  Hopefully there is now no hurdle to getting the pump replaced and getting the thing working again.

Himself, Herself and Daffodil are 'down south' at the moment and I have inherited his very talkative client who kept on interrupting me to go into irrelevancies .  I got so frustrated in the end that I actually told her to 'for goodness sake shut up' which,, bless her, she took in good part and things went better after that.  I am to have her next week again and we are going to go through security because she wants to do internet shopping.  We might even have time to open her a PayPal account if she is carrying her credit card.  I think that she will eventually master the computer but it is still all a bit of a mystery to her.  At least she tries and that is how most people learn; we can only point them in the right direction and hope that they will discover things for themselves.  When Himself and I started teaching in 2000 it was easy to teach the basics of computing in four hourly lessons; not so any more.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mon Lavevaisselle est Mort #4

A different serviceman came today to fit the new heart and brains into my dishwasher.  He put in the new part and set it going to test it.  About ten minutes into its cycle it started beeping again and an error message again appeared.  This serviceman interpreted the error message and said that the fault was in the pump and that I needed a new pump which he would order immediately ... but ... there had been the same problem with a dishwasher on Level 6 and there was a kickboard preventing the dishwasher from being removed and he didn't want to break it so would I please organise to have the kick-board , which is glued and silicone-sealed, removed as he knew from experience that it was not easy to do.
Looking at it, it looks as though it will need a jigsaw to cut down the sides and something to remove the silicone seal.

I phoned the man who is supposed to help with building faults and such matters but he said that the kickboard was not his responsibility and that there was a handyman who had done some work around the apartments from a company called 'Hire a Hubby'.  so tomorrow I will be phoning him and hopefully he will be able to remove the kick-board without too much fuss and mess.  And afterwards I suppose that it will have to be put back but this time, hopefully with something easily removable.  I felt like sitting down and weeping with frustration and despair.

COTA is not much fun at the moment, either.  The computers haven't been upgraded and do not support any server-provided mail system and the woman in charge simply shrugs and says "Open g-mail accounts for the clients".  I am tired of lugging my own computers into town every week because COTA's computers are so bad.

Sorry about the rant; I get frustrated when things which I can't control keep on happening and this evening I seem to have reached a low point.  Tomorrow will be better and I will phone Hire a Hubby and get someone to remove the kick-board and put it back again afterwards and hopefully I will not be washing up by hand for much longer using one of the dishwasher racks to stack the clean dishes because Multiplex, in its wisdom, didn't fit draining boards in the apartments.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mon Lavevaisselle est Mort #3

The dishwasher repairman is coming on 23rd of this month to rejuvenate the dishwasher; it is all taking a long time.

I went to see a surgical podiatrist today about my sore toe.  I used to know him when he was a humble ordinary podiatrist and we both worked at a hospital which is now a housing estate.  He thinks, as I have come to do, that the pain is caused by an exostosis and has made me a little splint to straighten the toe which is all very well when I have shoes on but I can't wear it when I go barefooted which I prefer to do.  I am to phone him next Tuesday and report progress.  He said that the shape of my feet is an autosomal dominant gene and nothing to do with shoes, high heels or anything like that.  I have my grandfather's feet and unfortunately D3 has inherited them from me but I guess that one out of three isn't too bad, except for poor D3.

I am persisting with trying to walk the babies in their harnesses and Poppy isn't too bad as long as she is on her own; even Parsifal will walk a few steps if he is on his own but both panic if they meet anyone in the corridor.  However I bring a little bit of the outside in when I shop, which I have started doing most days, and I bring the groceries up in a shopping trolley.  The babies give it a thorough going over with their little whiffling noses.

Yesterday I plied together all the remnants from my bobbins where one bobbin has had a bit left over after plying.  I ended up with about 100metres of very colourful yarn  -  a mix of BFL and Polwarth  -  and I have freed up four bobbins.  There is still a bit of red BFL on one bobbin and I will use it up when I have collected enough dregs again.  I'll post a picture of it when I log onto Firefox; IE won't let me put pictures here.

Click on the picture to enlarge it ...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mon Lavevaisselle est Mort #2

The bad news is that I will have to wait for at least another two weeks before my dishwasher can be repaired as a new module is needed and here in the West parts are rarely available when needed and have to be shipped in.

But the good news is that Miele will pay for the replacement module and the serviceman's fee as a 'goodwill gesture'.  Since it was going to cost me almost as much as a brand new Asko dishwasher it seems a sensible and helpful move on Miele's part.

Meanwhile, I am washing up by hand  -  a not too onerous job  -  but Multiplex, in its wisdoms (or lack of it and there are plenty of instances of that) saw fit to neglect to install a draining board so I am using the bottom rack of the dishwasher to drain and dry the dishes which then drip all over the bench top.

Herself's friend from schooldays, Daffodil, is arriving from England this afternoon and Herself intends, if Daffodil is not too jetlagged, to bringing her here for coffee, show her the Claremont Quarter, and watch me spinning on the electronic spinner  -  which is rather like watching paint dry but to add to the excitement I am using the bobbin known as The Kicker and which has been marked with nailpolish (not red as I don't have any) to designate it as dangerous when crossed.  I decided that I had better go through the weary process of getting the bobbin started and The Kicker lived up to her name and the singles broke many times before I got it going; so fingers crossed for tomorrow.

The babies have decided that they should be allowed to walk in the passage and they do fine as long as I take them one by one and with just a collar and lead but that is not secure as they can back out of the collar which is designed to slip off if the wearer is in danger of being strangled.  So today I took them out together in their harnesses and both lay down as soon as they got outside the door so I hauled them back again and removed the leads from the harnesses and they are going to have to get used to wearing their harnesses if they want to go walkies again.  They are gorgeous and I love then dearly but their oriental voices when they want something are a bit much, especially as they consider me a captive audience when I am working at my computer.

Poppy, the chronometer kitten likes to make sure that I go to bed at a timely hour and starts in at about 9.30pm  -  I rarely get to bed before midnight.  Bless their little black hearts; they keep me company and are very entertaining but I never realised just how much work indoor cats create.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mon Lavevaisselle est Mort

The dishwasher repairman came today and pronounced a major organ failure and the dishwasher needs a heart/brain transplant which is going to cost almost as much as a new dishwasher  -  which would figure since it has total module failure.  The Proud Man said that it has not run sufficient hours to warrant this and Miele is going to be asked to come to the party and replace the module free of charge; but I am not holding my breath on that one and will price Asko dishwashers while I wait for the verdict.

I have finished knitting the back of my Sloppy Joe and am about to start on the front but am debating with myself whether or not to knit the cupcake vest instead.  Meanwhile I am spinning my Polwarth  Pigtails because they are fun and quick to spin.  I must say that I am enjoying spinning the Polwarth but will reserve judgement until it has been washed and fulled before I order any more.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Not a Single was Harmed

I have finished spinning the colourway 'Cupcake' which D3 generously gave me to supplement the two braids which I received and spun ages ago but realised that there was not really enough to knit anything meaningful.  Today I plied it and tomorrow I will skein it off, wash it and see if it matches the first skein.  It is always a worry that, especially when there is a time lapse between spinning the first and second skeins, that they will be of different thickness; although I am spinning much more consistently than I used to.

It takes me two hours to ply two full bobbins onto a jumbo bobbin and up until now I have always stood to do it; today I decided to sit down ... not a good idea.  For some reason the bobbins kept on unwinding down onto the Lazy Kate and I would have to stop and unwind the singles.  Then disaster struck and the plied yarn fell off the bobbin and into the bearing.  I had to remove the jumbo bobbin and wind on the plied yarn by hand  - until I came to an almighty tangle of singles.  I thought that I would have to break one of the singles and spit-join it all up but, with much patience and swearing I managed to untangle it without breaking anything.  I had a cup of coffee and plied the rest of the skein standing up.  There is still quite a bit of spun singles on one of the bobbins and I might ply it with some remnants on another couple of bobbins and start knitting Granny Squares.

It hasn't been a good week; my dishwasher suddenly started screaming a couple of nights ago and then flashed a message "Technical fault: Call maintenance" .  The next morning I looked at the book of words which said that I should wait for five minutes and try again and if the same message flashes up to do as I was told, so I tried again with the same result.  I phoned the Miele maintenance people who can't come until next Friday  -  over a week.  So I am washing up by hand and Multiplex, in its wisdom, neglected to give the apartments draining boards so I am having to take one of the racks out of the dishwasher to stack the dishes on.  It is all very untidy.

I am decreasing for the raglan sleeves of the 'sloppy joe' sweater which I am knitting with the Rosewood colourway from GreenwoodFiberworks and I am going to have heaps over because I spun seven skeins and will probably only need half that amount  -  scarf, gloves and hat?

Here is a picture of the two skeins of Cupcake.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I have finally signed up to paypal

... and not without difficulty.

I filled out the online form which paypal promptly rejected, telling me that I had left something out  -  it didn't say what I had left out but it zero'd my password so I tried changing it.  Still paypal rejected my data.

I worked through, changing minor details while I looked for a field which I had missed but still it said 'no'.  Finally I started tinkering with my postal address  -  I have seven of them, most with variations.  Suddenly I was in and a message popped up to say that they had checked my address against the Post Office records and I had (finally) given them the correct one according to Australia Post.  It is not my address according to the Claremont Council and not my address according to the Electoral Roll but it is the only one which paypay recognises.

I have been spinning a fibreclub offering which is basically red , green  and yellow and white in between.  I have an aversion to spinning red and green together as it ends up a sort of muddy brown so I laboriously separated the colours and used my blending board to make rolags of the different colours.  I am not very good at spinning woollen and the tension on Roberta was playing up but I got it all done and the effect is wonderful.  It is red at one end and graduates through pink, apricot, yellow and green.  I will post a photo of it wound into a ball for knitting as it shows the colour gradient very well:  then I will knit a scarf.

I am about halfway up the back of the Sloppy Joe which I am knitting with the Rosewood colourway and there is going to be a lot over so I might get a slouchy beanie and a pair of mittens to match but they will have to wait ... I have a lot of braids waiting to be spun before I branch out.

Oh  -  and I finally finished the Beastly Black jacket and it fits, is warm and very comfortable  -  and we are having the warmest August on record.  *sigh* 

Edited to add the promised photo.  Click on the image to enlarge it. 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Now I think that I have seen everything ...

I was wandering Coles Supermarket this morning looking for a showercap (sometimes they have them but mostly they don't) and my eye lit upon Caffeine Shampoo and Conditioner "To stimulate the roots of your hair".  I think that beats 'Posturepedic" mattresses.  Since Orthopaedic means "straight child" I assume that posturepedic means 'posture American child'.  I need to come out of the closet at this point and admit that I am a member of a Pedants Group on http://librarything.com but posturepedic makes as much sense as buying a caffeine shampoo.  Why not simply use a coffee rinse of you are gullible.

I moved into this apartment on 2nd August 2011 so I have now been here for three years, although it still feels new and strange.  I lived in the last place for almost 50 years and although I did a major renovation it was always home.  I haven't been back since the day I moved out; I don't want to see or know what has been done with it by subsequent buyers.

I am spinning the 'Minestrone' colourway from Kathy's Fibres and will make a quick-knit scarf as I will only have one skein and the spinning is very uneven while I teach myself to spin rolags on E.Roberta.  I have had to increase the twist to prevent it from breaking and for some reason it is not winding on as consistently as it does when I spin tops with a short forward draw.  With the rolags I am having to take advantage of the Irish tension and do a sort of modified long backdraw to keep firm tension on the singles.

I am wearing the BB in the evenings and it is lovely and warm and comfortable but I am not sure just how durable it will be.  I'll know by the end of winter.

Here is the BB, modeled by D2.  Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The big six-wheeler, Scarlet Painted, Transperth Transport ...

I have given away my car in exchange for a donation to a charity of my choice and am now exploring the intricacies of the public transport system.  I have used the trains for many years; they run on finite tracks and stop at every station (except the express trains at peak hour) so I have always been confident that I will arrive at my destination ... but buses have no such restrictions and only stop if someone indicates that they want to get on or off.  And you have to plan your journey  -  or take a taxi  -  if you want to get creative about your destination.  At least it is free if you choose your times.

My poor little car was sitting on Level 4 collecting dust.  Someone was even rude enough to draw hearts and Mickey Mouse faces on the bonnet and I was feeling guilty about the state of her battery.  When I started having to open the door with the key I realised that something needed to be done  -  so she now has a new home and a new owner.

I finally finished knitting and sewing up the Beastly Black and it has turned out to be a rather nice jacket which actually fits me.  I do not want to wear it until I have photographed it so I am waiting for Friday when D2 and I are having morning tea and hopefully I can persuade her to model it for me.

I am now knitting the Rosewood into a Sloppy Joe and spinning the Kathy's Fibres fibre club offering which kept breaking as it has rather short staple. So I am processing it on my blending board, separating the colours as best I can and spinning it 'woollen' which is turning out a bit rough in places so it will be a novelty yarn and is destined to be a scarf.  I have almost finished the first half of the red section but my hands are tired and my thumbs are sore so I am having a break.  Today is a Fast Day so I can't take any anti-inflamatories and I don't want the lingering scent of liniment on the finished scarf.

I will post photos of the Beastly Black, the Rosewood knitting and the Minestrone spinning in due course.

Here is the Minestrone before I interfered with it.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I have finished spinning the Rosewood braids at last

This morning I plied off the last of the Rosewood colourway braids after a marathon spinning effort yesterday.  I seem to be spinning thinner and thinner so I am going to end up with more than enough for a sweater and probably a scarf, mittens and beanie as well.  I am going to be knitting it for longer than I took to spin it at this rate.  And D3 gave me ten braids of BFL and silk for my birthday so that will be another long term project.

I still have the aubergine bump which I plan to spin woollen and thicker on my treadle wheel but she is out of commission at the moment, waiting for some leather thonging to re-attach her footman to her treadle, as the heavy cotton string snapped and it doesn't seem useful to replace it with more of the same.

I had to abandon the babies for 24 hours, albeit with lots of food, a filled water fountain and extra litter trays, while I went into hospital to be prepped for a routine colonoscopy.  It was all clear so I don't have to go through it again for at least five years  -  thank goodness.  But a word to the wise  -  when planning to have a colonoscopy don't eat kale!!!  Anyone who has ever had to do the prep will know that one is expected to monitor the results and I got the impression that the kale from the kale and lentil soup which I had eaten a couple of days before was clinging grimly to my insides and only reluctantly allowing itself to be dislodged.

 TMI?  Probably ...

If Firefox will allow it, here is a photo of all that Rosewood.  Click on the picture to enlarge it. 


Sunday, June 29, 2014

I've finished the back of the Beastly Black

This morning I finished knitting the back of the 'Beastly Black Corriedale" jacket, the fibre of which I started spinning last October.  I have only got the sleeves to knit and they will be easy and relatively fast as they are mostly stocking stitch, unlike the reams and reams of ribbing which I had to do for the front and back.

I am also about to start spinning braid 12 of the 'Rosewood' colourway for a plain, V-necked, raglan sleeved sweater.  Having, in my dewy youth knitted a mixed colour sweater (two strands, one light and one dark) I know that mixed colour ribbing can look awful so I have purchased one braid of Metro Brown from GreenwoodFiberworks.etsy.com  and will knit the ribbing mainly in the Metro Brown with a stripe of Rosewood to pull it all together.  I am putting off spinning the Metro Brown so that I will finish spinning the Rosewood before I start knitting.

Having handed over my car to Herself yesterday I no longer feel as though I have cut my right hand off.  Yesterday morning was hard for me; it is such a lifestyle change to be carless after all these years but I know that I have the option of buying another car if I need the security. However, since I can't drive a night any more and I have the bus and train so close I can use taxis if I need to go anywhere off the beaten track.

I phoned the taxi company this morning and changed my pickup place as for some reason they had me living about a kilometre away.  I also confirmed that I can use a taxi to take the babies to the vet as long as I ask for an 'animal friendly' cab.  That means that I don't have to stop using the Cottesloe Animal Hospital, one of the main reasons I wanted to keep the car.  I have been using the Cottesloe vets for 50 years and they are one of the best  clinics in the State so I was reluctant to change to the Claremont Clinic.

Here is a photo I took for the guys on Ravelry.com ; click on the picture to enlarge it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Biting the bullet #2

I have finally bitten the bullet and sold my car.  She is going to a friend, Herself, for the price of an ongoing donation to Medics Sans Frontiers and I will be dropping her off on Sunday when I go to the Self's for lunch.  When we were filling out the transfer forms I had to put in the odometer reading and was horrified to find that, in the six years I had her, I only managed a bit over 6,000 kilometres.  Since I can't drive at night any more due to the effect of lights on my astigmatism she mostly sits and collects dust.  I have left open my option to buy another car if I feel that I really need one but if I do I will get one similar to the one which D3 has, with front and back cameras and GPS.

I am feeling sad about letting her go, apprehensive about how I will manage without a car and will have to stop going to the Cottesloe Animal Hospital where I have been taking my animals for fifty years and instead take the babies to the Claremont Vet who is just down the road and I can walk there with the Kitty-carriage.

Meanwhile, someone in a HUGE SUV has taken over my second car space.  I left a polite post-it note and then a large note fixed to the windscreen with sticky tape.  Next time it might be duct tape and then superglue but if it continues I will report it to the Council of Owners.  I have no idea who it is  -  they have certainly never asked if they could park their monster there on my property.  Had they done so I might have agreed since my spaces are destined to be empty but they have seriously annoyed me now.  The best solution would be to clamp the vehicle but that is beyond my powers.

Yesterday was a serious computer day.  I arrived home from COTA to find that my Windows Live Mailbox was empty.  The storage folders were OK and all the mail was still on my webmail  -  so I phoned iinet and they had to close my account and open it again, after which 227 emails (most of which I had previously deleted) fed back into my mailbox and I had to delete most of them all over again.

Then, because I had problems at COTA with accessing my own web pages (I was teaching a client about keywords and how they are set) so I tried on my own computer last night and found that I couldn't open the website. I phoned iinet again only to be told that it was an ongoing problem probably due to their upgraded security measures and that their technicians were working on it.  I subsequently found that the problem was first reported on February 8th so it is taking them quite a while to sort it out.  However, this morning the site was up and running with working links again so maybe it was just a temporary glitch.

Meanwhile I intend to go back to my mailbox and move all my genealogy and family emails into folders to quarantine them from further vanishing acts.  I have a large number about Great Great Uncle Charles and his doings which I don't want to lose since most of it is not documented elsewhere and with no source material I won't put it onto my family tree.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Climb Every Mountain.

I had an email a couple of days ago from The Phantom Golfer who features in several pages of my web pages section on my trip to Iran   -  see My Trip to Iran.  The Selfs were there as was The Phantom golfer who had a habit of handing out multitudes of golf balls to the Iranian children and running up all the steepest hills and climbing the highest towers.

Here is an extract from the email which demonstrates that we are never too old:

At present we spend a few hours each weekend climbing up and down hills in the Dandenongs preparing for another crack at the Kokoda track late next month. When we went three years ago I was told that I was the second oldest to do it so that was a bit of a challenge and I went back the next year and did it both ways--with about six weeks in between. Now we thought It would be a good idea to make it a bit harder for the next person to beat the age barrier and we will be leaving shortly after my 85th.

It puts my yoga practise to shame and he is a decade older than I am.  I am really impressed and wish him good weather and an enjoyable trek.

My COTA client who has had a multitude of lessons and still can't find her way around a computer keyboard has, I gather, booked for classes into infinity as well as attending Adult Education group classes.  I despair of ever teaching her as she doesn't touch her computer between lessons and, of course, has forgotten what I showed her the week before.  Today we opened a Gmail account for her because she wasn't sure of her user name and couldn't remember her password. 

However, we will labour on and maybe she will eventually wrest her computer away from her husband and start to use it.  She wants t get a job but needs computer skills.  I am not sure whether she is incapable of learning, doesn't want to go out to work (I can't say that I blame her for that) or she is being bloody-minded because her husband, who has a chronic illness, has told her that she needs to get a job.  I've been there and done that but fortunately I have a profession and rather fell on my feet with the job I landed.

I am spinning the ninth braid of the Rosewood fibre and am pushing ahead because I have a lot of other fibre which I am anxious to get onto.  The Beastly black is progressing faster since I finished the fronts/collar strip of ribbing and although I am still ribbing up the back (I have to do 12" before I change to stocking stitch) when that is done I thing that the hard stuff will be done and the rest will be faster and easier.  Now that the weather has finally turned cold I am anxious to finish the jacket  so that I can wear it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I didn't need this on a Fast Day

I have had a very dis-spiriting day at COTA this morning.  I had two clients who either can't or won't absorb anything and just to make things difficult, neither computer was working properly.

The first client has difficulty absorbing the concept of computers, never touches his computer between lessons, relies on his wife to set things up for him and can't see the point anyway.  I don't really know why he comes  -  to please his wife, perhaps?

The second one needs a job but has no computer experience, takes multiple classes both with COTA and other organisations, never touches her computer between lessons, can't remember from one week to the next what she has been shown and I am totally wasting my time; she doesn't want a job and I can't say that I blame her for that.  The trouble is that I am at a loss to know what to teach her any more and was more or less marking time.  If the email is made to work that would be a useful skill for her  -  if she could remember how.  She couldn't remember her user name or password on her own computer.

The trouble was that the email on the COTA computer I use was non-existent; the link to Windows Mail didn't work and MS Outlook wasn't installed.  I moved over to the computer which Himself uses as he is over East at the moment and that computer had MS Outlook installed but it wasn't set up or authorised.  And she has booked in for another four or (horror) eight lessons as well as classes with Adult Education.  Maybe it is time to set her assignments.

I will set myself to spinning to try to make myself feel less useless.  At the moment I feel as though I should get out while the going is good.

Friday, May 30, 2014

... and on the subject of colour

With about 3cm left of the beastly black's ribbed collar/front I draped it around me and realised that it almost reached my knees.  Extrapolating from that I found that the raglan sleeves would start at about waist level which is not at all what I want so I have stopped knitting the 72 inches of ribbing just a bit short but as the instructions suggest putting the stitches onto a stitch holder so that I can make adjustments later if needed I have left my options open.

Looking as the skeins of beastly black which I have left to finish the jacket it seems to me that I may not have enough yarn.  Black is black and easy enough to get a close match even if it means knitting the sleeves from a different dyelot so I went to the Trans-Tasman site to see how much or little I would have to buy.  They no longer quote amounts so I will have to get in touch with their Australian representative or go over to Bilby Yarns and order it there.

But  -  the Trans-Tasman lot no longer have black corriedale!  Looking at their colour range I had a choice of Liquorice or Jellybean, both of which looked black. But which one?  I eventually found a list with American translations and, in Yankese, liquorice is called black so I will be able to match up extra fibre if needed.  But I may have to get a whole kilo again.  It took me five months to spin the first kilo and my heart quails at the thought of having to spin more.

And that, of course, brings me to my aubergine bump, also a kilo.  Will I have enough to knit the Charlotte Onedin sweater which I am planning  or should I order more of it now so that I can blend the dyelots in before I spin.  A little bit of integral variation in the colour could be attractive so maybe I should just bite the bullet and order another bump of each of them.  I can always use it;  I look on the corriedale as the sort of bread and butter of spinning  -  what I use if I need a large amount.  I wish that they sold BFL though!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Greens Blues

I am two and a half weeks into my Fast Diet and finding it very easy: nothing to eat all day and pile it on (in moderation) at night.  According to what I have read and from the information in the 5:2 Diet Book, kale is the latest "in" vegetable.  Don't go there.  Perhaps it had something to do with the way I cooked it  -  steamed with wine and garlic  -  but it was like chewing on a tarpaulin.  Perhaps I should have beaten it into submission before I cooked it but the rest is going to be processed through my soup maker with some lentils which are one of my favourite things as well as being recommended as a good source of protein and fibre.

Another thing which I have discovered is that tuna is suitably white, as the diet bible recommends, but is supposed to be eaten almost raw, which I can't bring myself to do, or it is a very ho-hum fish.  Perhaps there is some tuna and lentil soup in the near future as well.

Himself (and I hope that he is not reading this) who has been on the 5:2 diet for a few weeks and has reduced his waistline significantly was singing in a public concert, standing in the front row of the choir when his braces failed him and he had to hold his trousers up with one hand and his music with the other.

I was able to buy a second blankie for Parsifal, identical to the first one, so now I can wash them regularly and he loves them.  In fact he is becoming very cuddly and hasn't eaten anything indigestible for ages; all he needed was to be able to smurgle on demand and curl up and go to sleep on the blankie afterwards.  But he still bullies Poppy ...

I have spun half of the seventh plait of Rosewood  -  almost halfway through my 14 plaits, have only about 4" of the endless black ribbing to knit before embarking on more ribbing up the jacket's back and I have started making rolags from the corriedale aubergine bump which I will be spinning woollen on E.Emma which might allow me to spin thicker to make a chunky sweater.  There is lots more in the pipeline and I am trying to resist the temptation to buy more fibre until I have reduced my stash somewhat but I can't knit fast enough to keep up.  I guess that I can pass some of it over to GB2 who is spinning  -  and who likes the same colours as I do but I want to spin it all myself.  I'll just have to knit faster.  My mother was a superlative knitter and could knit Aran and Fair Isle while reading a book.  I can't even do plain black ribbing at night even when I am looking at it.

This is a photo of the scarf which I knitted from the BFL pigtails from GreenwoodFiberworks.etsy.com  -  click on the photo to enlarge it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Something Fishy

D1 has acquired a cat  -  Oriental and very vocal.  One of Iris' favourite things is Bonito Flakes which can be bought at Japanese delicatessens.   D1 has been telling me for weeks that I should get some as a treat for Poppy and Parsifal but the nearest Japanese deli is in Subiaco and I figure that my cats are spoilt enough without expecting me to travel for treats for them.

However, D1 gave a container of the flakes to D2 but Chloe turned up her nose at them and so they eventually gravitated to me.  Poppy, like Chloe, turned up her nose at them but Parsifal decided that they were exactly what he needed to make his life complete.  I found him with the container, which he had knocked off the kitchen bench, trying to get the lid off it and he has made serious attempts to open the cupboard where I have stored the flakes.

I am not prepared to make them a part of his diet because he will expect me to keep on providing them for him, so I have two choices;  I could wrap them securely and put them out with the rubbish  -  or I could pass them on to D3 for her cat.  It is getting to be a bit like 'pass the parcel' and D3 will probably have the same problem with Sebastian as I have with Parsifal  -  and am I prepared to do that to a much-loved daughter?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Not sure about this mothers' day present

Come to that I am not sure about all of my mothers' day presents.  The skein of black possum from New Zealand is nice because I can knit a cowl to match my possum mittens which, like the new skein, are black; but I have so much black to knit that my heart quails a bit at the prospect ... and I have selected a lovely lace pattern which I have been eyeing off for some time but I have never knitted lace before so it might cause some angst.

I decided to take a break from knitting the everlasting beastly black corriedale although I have done four feet and have only another two to go before I can get onto the back and sleeves which should be quicker than the endless ribbing.  So, in two days I knitted up all my little pigtails which I spun a few weeks ago and I now have almost eight feet of gorgeous diagonally striped scarf with the colours merging into each other.  I'll put in a photo as soon as I can grab someone to pose in it because it is too long to spread out.  I was heartened by the speed which it knitted up so I need to push ahead with the black ribbing and get it over and done with.

I have ordered myself some more pigtails  -  this time in Polwarth because Carolyn didn't have any BFL when I put in the order, and last night probably as a result of night starvation (more on that later) I put in an order for the last of Carolyn's 'watercolor' which was a one-off and a gorgeous colour  -  not painted but as the result of pouring dye left over from something else onto some tops and just letting the colour soak in.

Back to mothers' day presents; D1 sent me "The Diary of a Foreign Minister" by Bob Carr which she said was funny for all the wrong reasons.  I gather that he complains about being obliged to travel Business Class (poor thing).

And D2 gave me a book about, and a recipe book for, the 5:2 diet.  I admit that I had been thinking about trying it as Himself is having great success by using it  -  but I only weigh 70 kilos and reducing steadily.  So yesterday I had my first fasting day which was not at all hard except that it recommended white fish and the fish I bought was disgusting.  I have thrown the rest away and will either go back to salmon or start to eat barramundi instead.

I managed to snaffle the picture of  the Watercolor tops.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

... and is lost again

I thought that I had discovered the family of my Great Great Uncle Charles' step daughter until another genealogist who was helping me in my search checked and found that the baby had died when she was ten days old  -  so it was back to the drawing board, a board which is irritatingly blank.  She appears to have been the natural child of my Uncle Charles' wife and we now have her given names and an approximate birth year but she doesn't appear to have been registered at birth.  This was common with babies born out of wedlock at that time and I usually found them by their death registrations.  Very sad but a reality in the days when 'bastards' were something to be ashamed of and hidden.  I suspect that many of them were allowed to quietly starve.

I have now spun 75% of the second skein of my Rosewood tops and it is a very full bobbin, although not bellied up.  I hope that the other bobbin fills up as much or I will be overlapping skeins again as I had some singles left on one of the bobbins from the first skein.

My postal scales arrived yesterday so I may be able to divide the plaits more evenly in future.

I have bought Parsifal a new Blankie.  It is a proper blankie, not a recycled dressing gown, and he loves it.  Yesterday, after his morning smurgle he curled up on it and went to sleep.  Bless his little black heart;  he is gorgeous but very needy.

Monday, April 28, 2014

That which was lost and is found

I have been nursing a cold for the last few days and have been sitting around not doing a great deal except some desultory spinning of plait 3 of my Rosewood tops.

But I was presented with an interesting puzzle:  Who was the second daughter of the black sheep of the family, my wicked great great Uncle Charles.  It transpired that she was a step daughter, a child of Uncle Charles' wife.  All I had was a surname but google came up with enough information to give me her husbands given name.  Google also gave me the information that the couple had paid a visit or two to England so I suspected that the husband might have been English and searched for a marriage there when I could find nothing in any of the Australian States.

A funeral notice with a presumed date of birth allowed me to use Digger to put in her given names and those of her mother.  The first year, 1880, gave me nothing but 1881 gave me the birth registration with only the father's family name and the mother's first name and the initial of her second name.  She was born about five years before Charles and his wife married.

I haven't had so much fun since a distant cousin and I searched out the much-married Davies family.  Finding a particular Davies in Wales took a lot of searching and emails back and forth.  I still haven't met him in person  -  he lives in Victoria and I am here in Western Australia.

Now I can get back to my knitting  -  still the beastly black corriedale  - and spinning.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Computer Chaos reigns supreme

Oh Dear!  The computers at COTA now give three options, XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 as of yesterday; and no-one is quite sure how to work them and they keep on screaming for the Administrator (who will be away next week  -  what fun).

I guess that we will muddle through somehow but both the clients I had today use Windows 7 so I haven't had a chance to inspect the COTA version of Windows 8 yet but I am pretty sure that we will not have touch screens.

And just as a side note  -  optical mice work better and the batteries work for longer if they are switched off after use.  There is a little switch underneath.  :) 

I have skeined the first two plaits of Rosewood and am very happy with the result.  I didn't manage to match up the colours despite trying very hard to match the two bobbins but the barbers' poling is very attractive as the pink and brown look nice together.  When the skeins are dry I will post a photo here.  I have another twelve plaits to spin but intend to digress and finish spinning the pigtails.  I have had two half filled bobbins waiting for more to arrive from USA and the completion of the first Rosewood skein.  Pigtails are fun but goodness knows what I'll do with the spun yarn; maybe the pull-through scarf?  Watch this space ...

Here is the picture, as promised.  Click on it to enlarge it: 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Biting the bullet

I have finally bitten the bullet and ordered a set of postal scales.  It is something which I have been meaning to do for ages.  When I left my ex’s office I took with me the postal scales from there, assuming that he would never use them, but he noticed that they were gone and asked for them back.

I need to be able to weigh fibre to a fraction of an ounce and my kitchen scales are inadequate to do that.  I could have got a set from the local OfficeWorks but could only buy them from their online store -  not from the store itself  -  and couriers can never find my apartment, so going online, overseas and having them posted was oddly  enough a safer option.

I have finished spinning the first two plaits of Rosewood and will ply the two filled bobbins this evening.  It was this which prompted me to order the scales; I spun half of each plait onto each bobbin to try to keep the colours from mixing up too much but was unsure with the second plait which half should go on which bobbin because one looked to have more on it than the other and I couldn’t tell with the second stripped plait which half was the biggest so I sort of had to second-guess and there looks to still be more on one bobbin than the other.

An old school friend phoned me this morning to say that she was off to Iran and places north and she knew that I like wearing Muslim clothes and wondered if I had any which she could borrow.  As I now dress รก la Claremont Quarter most of my Islamic clothing was waiting to be posted into a charity bin so she has taken most of it and any which she doesn’t use she will dispose of, which is a win for both of us.