Sunday, January 29, 2017

Key Issues

Last Sunday evening one of my neighbours rang my doorbell and told me that she had locked her key into her apartment and I was the only resident whom she knew and asked what she should do to get back into her apartment.  For me this has always been a bit of a worry as it is possible to lock the door from the inside, close the door and find that you are unable to get back unless you are carrying your key.  I keep a key attacked to my handbag and another on a hook just inside my door and have left a key with a neighbour.  I also make a habit never to leave the apartment without a key.  In the unhappy circumstance where you accidentally lock yourself out there is no master key and security is attached to the shopping centre and is not responsible for the apartments.

The only thing to do was to find an afterhours locksmith and on a Sunday Evening this was not easy.  The first one I tried recommended the closest one, just down the highway, but they were not answering their phone so I tried another one.  This call was  picked up by a message which said that in an emergency I should press button '1' which I did and found myself talking to a real person who agreed to come but he already had three jobs lined up and would come when he could  -  a wait of at least two hours.  My neighbour and her granddaughter were booked into a restaurant downstairs so I gave the locksmith my phone and Apartment number and shooed them downstairs to eat.

The locksmith was as good as his word, contacted me to find out the best place to park when he arrived at the CQ and I was able to winkle my neighbour out of the restaurant and they all met at the front entrance and I was able to beam them up.

D2 and I spent the weekend moving her incontinent cars out of my parking spaces and cleaning up the oil before putting the silver one back and replacing the red one with the little mauve Veedub with drip trays under both of them.  I must say that the degreaser which my friend, Rosemary, recommended was super-efficient and melted the oil so that it could be hosed away.  Not a very good time to be splashing water around  -  it is cyclone weather and nothing is drying any time soon but at least Management cannot complain about the oil any more.

I finally bit the bullet and started knitting the lacy cowl which I had planned for the possum yarn which D3 brought me back from New Zealand.  One problem is that it is black and can only be knitted during the day, problem two is that we talk too much as the Knitwitches Group so it is not a good place to try and knit lace and I have been tired and started making mistakes, none of which show but I should have been using a lifeline so that I could undo if necessary.

So I have started knitting another jacket which I can do both at night and at the knitting group.  It is a pattern which I have used before and that jacket is my most useful garment  -  easy to slip on when the sea breeze gets too strong.  The first is black and pills badly so I look like the creature from the black lagoon; this one is a colourway called Twilight and is blue and maroon and is going to be very pretty.  I just hope that I have enough yarn to finish it.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Needles in Haystacks

I finally finished knitting my Chunderup sweater and last Tuesday at the Knitwitches meeting I sewed up the raglans so that I could knit the neckband.  Yesterday, when that was done I planned to sew up the side and sleeve seams but couldn’t find the sewing needle I had been using.

I figured that it was probably with my knitting stuff, emptied out the bag and went through everything.  No needle  -  I still had a bigger one but that would not have pulled the thread through to tidy up the tag ends and as there is nowhere (would you believe) in Claremont which sells sewing needles I gathered myself up to take the train four whole stops to Mosman Park where there is a knitting and patchwork shop.  By this time it was midday in midsummer and I needed to wear a hat but it had gone missing and I had to wear an old one which didn’t stay on in the wind.

Caught the train, bought my needles and just missed the train back and had to wait for 15 minutes for the next one, got home and unwrapped my needles from their packaging only to find that I now only had one needle instead of two and the one which had gone missing was the one which was the right size .  So I was back to crawling around the floor where I finally found it underneath the couch.  I settled down to pin the sweater and in amongst the pins was my original needle.  Truly Sod’s Law at its finest.  And I later found my hat right next to where I always keep my handbag.

I have fully recovered from my bout of Meniere’s Disease but have a squamous cell carcinoma on my leg which is going to have to come off.  I have an appointment next Friday to see if it can be removed in the doctor’s surgery or if I will need to be referred to a Plastic Surgeon.  Hopefully not since my last tangle with one of that crowd left me very angry because he was determined to have me anaesthetised for a very minor procedure, be collected and driven home by a family member who would then be expected to spend the night monitoring me.  When D2 flatly refused to leave work to collect me I eventually persuaded him that a small needle prick was what I had actually wanted all along.

The Claremont Town Council has dumped a huge and hideous sculpture at the end of The Lane.  It is called “The Shimmerer” and is supposed to be a Chimera so either the sculptor didn’t know how to pronounce chimera or she assumes that the general public think that the word is pronounced shimmerer.  I would have thought that after years of Harry Potter people would be able to pronounce the names of all the fabulous beasts  -  but maybe not.  For those who don’t know  -  Ky-meera.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Stone the @#%$ Crows

About 15 months ago an Aussie fibre dyer challenged a selection of other fibre dyers to produce a couple of colourways which reflected a character in one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.  This was to be a limited dyelot and was very imaginative.  People were truly sitting at their computers with their fingers on the button to get what they wanted as soon as the fibre was made available -  and of course everyone who managed to get into the sites thoroughly overbought to the extent that many of the suppliers decided to eventually allow people to order what they had missed out on.  It was a bonanza for them.

I managed to score several colourways, all of which I have now spun  -  but today I finally plied the last of it, a merino/silk mix which spun fine and I had ten hanks of it.  I hate plying and this was fine enough to be greatly increased in length so it has taken me all afternoon.  The colourway is called 'Quoth the Raven' and is a glorious mix of purple and aqua.  Goodness knows what I am going to knit with it and when I have solved that particular dilemma I have a whole kilo of another colourway, Jewel, which is BFL and silk.  Not quite as soft and rather beautiful but  -  a  kilo?

So I am immersing myself in the Chunderup sweater which is becoming a real fun knit and I am so looking forward to wearing it that I will probably actually sew it up instead of procrastinating as I am still doing with the last Kimono Sweater which I finished ages ago.  Oh, well  -  it is supposed to be summer here.

I have recovered from my latest bout of Meniere's disease and am tailing off the medication since it increases my RLS and that prevents me from getting a good night's sleep.  Next week I will hopefully be back to yoga.

I wrote and submitted my ideas about what should be done with the COTA computers.  So far there has been only one response which I will copy and paste here.

Thank you Xxxxxx and of course for the very comprehensive assessment by Liz. I have little to add other than to hope that not all data is lost as a good selection of prepared material is necessary to save time. For example the word document “Bess was a cow” has been copied/pasted/deleted and restored/reconfigured until poor Bess was so dizzy her milk ended up as a “milkshake”. I also use the example of such numerous shortcuts as a pure example of the “what not to do” syndrome. I guess really we have to evaluate the  client on the first visit and tailor the time to meet the needs of the client. Regarding use of the dongle, I rarely have any clients that dangle their dongle to me so it is not an issue. I was surprised that the wi-fi option was removed by the Centre.

Cheers -

I copied and pasted 'Bess was a Cow' from my web pages because I needed quick access to a big chunk of text in order to teach editing and was very happy to read that someone else was using it for the same purpose.  I will probably change the text for this year and probably use the bit about horses since washing the lubricant off condoms and a dissertation on my grandmother's corsets may not be to everybody's taste but have invited the above writer to go to the site and choose his own text if he wants to.  Technically everything on the internet is copyright but since I wrote and posted the reflections on my childhood I am free to give my OK to him to use whatever he wishes with the proviso that he does not use the piece on wombats or the Rubaiyat since they are copyright and I only have permission to use them on my webpages.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Such Luxury.

Today I changed the sheets and did the washing while my new robotic vacuum cleaner did the floors for me.  It gives a new meaning to multi-tasking.  I have had The Monster for a couple of weeks now and it has pretty well got the floors under control.  I let it out for a run most days and it has finally picked up most of the loose fibre from the very inferior carpets which we are lumbered with in these apartments.  We were promised top quality wool but I doubt if there is very much wool in them.

There has been a lot of washing to get through because Monday is my sheet changing day, I still had D1's bedding to wash and D2 spent a night here when I was struck down by an attack of Meniere's Disease.  No nystagmus or vomiting so things are settling down.  D3 reminded me that I  had an attack about this time last year and I am wondering if sugar is a trigger  -  to much sugar, any way, as the occasional coffee and cake has never affected me to my knowledge.  But chocolate mousse and trifle are a totally different matter, especially since I am left to finish anything left after Christmas.

I have discovered a group on Facebook entirely taken up with Meniere's Disease and it gives a firsthand view of medicine as practised in the USA. It is interesting to see the measures which people go to to modify the awful symptoms.  I think that I now know why my own case is designated as "untypical";  I do not get the unrelenting and nightmarish sound effects which usually accompany the condition.  The dizziness, nausea and loss of balance are bad enough but to have constant tinnitus would be unbearable. 

Himself's dog died a couple of days ago and he is devastated.  She was old and arthritic and it was probably a happy release for her but he is now totally alone.  His brother-in-law has been staying with him but will be flying back to England the day after tomorrow.  I doubt that COTA will be functioning until next month and am not sure if he will be teaching much this year; he is finding all the new technology a bit difficult to cope with.    Our Colin has seen fit to close down the railway line to Victoria Park with only very limited services and I certainly do not intend to be there unless there is great flexibility regarding the time and number of clients.  The advice from the government is to allow an extra 45 minutes per journey which would make more than one client unmanageable and hardly worth the trip.