Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Curate's Egg

Finally! For the last couple of days, the pc has been playing silly buggers, and I haven't been able to post even though I have tried. Anyway, tonight I have a sensible speed, and the line doesn't keep dropping, so here we go.

Well. Where to start? We are, obviously, back from Scotland. And I did, on balance, have a good time both weeks. But that title has to mean something.......

Having had a good run up to Musselburgh to Queen Mary University where Summer School was to be held, and having effortlessly made contact with our friends from foreign parts, all was looking good. When - bam. Struck by the dreaded. Now, I have been taken to task for not explaining clearly enough what ails me - I though I had, but to keep it brief, I have been diagnosed recently with a hiatus hernia that has decided to make my life from time to time hell. I shall not precisely describe how it does this, you really do not want to know. Just believe me when I tell you that it is extremely uncomfortable and tends to render me hors de combat for a couple of days until the attack passes. So - Sunday (setting up the classroom day) and Monday (first day of actually teaching) I was indeed HdC. Fortuntely the DSM was one in spades and carried the entire process on his own until I could resurface on Tuesday morning, strenuously deniying the rumours of my demise or disappearance.

After that, I was fine, gradually relaxed and felt more confident that I wasn't going to relapse, and enjoyed getting to know our class, who were as usual lovely.

And some of the fibres and spindles:

It was an excellent week all round, really well organised, with plenty for people to do out of class hours - talks, games, auctions, all ending up with a ceilidh. I did attempt one dance, but the band only had one speed - superfast - and I knew that I couldn't cope. So I sat and watched hapless people struggling to keep up and sometimes failing and toppling gracefully to the floor.

Packing up was done easily with more efficient organisation and assistance, and we were on the road to Pittenweem not long after 10am. We found a super pub for lunch just before arriving there (went back later in the week, it was that good) and finally arrived to find that it was the tail end of the village Arts Festival, so there were people everywhere, roads closed and so on. But they let us through to get to our rental.

Now this is where some more of the curate puts in an appearance. There were distinct shortages and deficiencies in the flat that we had rented. Like no chairs for the kitchen table, practically no cutlery, no teapot, no coffee pot, no corkscrew. Eventually we discovered that there had been a large party in the previous week using the entire house, and that all our missing bits had migrated upstairs and not been relocated by anyone until we reported it. Ah, well.

Loved the coastline of Fife, and the fishing villages. Loved St Andrews. Less enchanted with the interior, and certainly less enchanted with Falkland - not the village, that is most picturesque, but the palace seems to me to be mainly a Victorian replica and hideous to boot. (That seems likely to upset someone.....)

The harbour at Pittenweem, and a couple of interesting bits of St Andrews.

Will we go back? Well, yes, we might, as there was a lot we didn't see - partly because guess who got struck down again at the end of the week.

So, now we are home, and I have tasks - trying to find ways to manage the dreaded HH, for one thing; doing some stuff re AH, but for a class on Friday and for teaching over the next few months; and to get stuck in to some Projects at long last. We are home for an entire month, yay! (next trip, purely pleasure.)

Yup, nice to be back.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tick tock.........

Nearly done. I was somewhat discombobulated by a bit of the gastric gubbins for a couple of days, so my dreams of being completely ready for Summer School by the weekend kinda missed target. Not too badly - and done now.

And - and - I have done an absolute mountain of ironing. Over a couple of the most sticky days this summer, of course, but it was essential. We needed clean, ironed garments for the next couple of weeks if we didn't want to look like a pair of tramps. Plus needing stuff for when we get home. (You mean there is life after SS.....?)

Actually creating something has very nearly gone by the board, but I have cast on a new pair of Jaywalkers in an extremely pretty yarn in turquoise, purple and green as a holiday project (along with the cotton mix ones already on the needles which are boring, but will do nicely in the car.) I even managed to sit at my Timbertops and spin last night!!! (I think the ! are allowable in the circumstances.) I may even finish the grey merino/silk blend one day.

This is all avoidance activity. I have a confession. And just to amaze you all, it is not a new spindle.

Worse than that.

Every few years, the urge comes over me, and there seems to be little I can do to resist. I have to have a new wheel. Now, I've tried the odd small wheel and not got on all that well with them. But this one really appealed to me, and I had the opportunity to give one a go at Woolfest....and fell. It arrived late last week, and I have managed to carve out a little time to set it up and start spinning a bit. So far, so good.

It is relatively easy to set up, but the drive band path takes a while to get your head round so I had a false start. The scotch tensioning is very slightly different, too. But I think that when I have time to spend some quality time with it, both spinningwise and assembling/disassembling, that we are going to get along.

After all, I was initially attracted to it because I have owned and loved my Matchless for a very long time. Even so, the Ladybug did nothing for me - so why the Sidekick?

Please tell me that it wasn't the pretty blue wheel.