Sunday, 30 December 2012

Feel no regrets!

Feel no regrets!

“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”
Today, after a busy mornings work, I did the unthinkable. I took to the bed at 4pm (that’s in the afternoon). Truth be told, it started as a quick lie down with two used teabags resting on my eyes. I woke up a couple of hours later, under the covers with thoughts of Mr.? playing on my mind. Despite looking the worst for wear, I felt no guilt! I felt slightly naughty, squandering two hours of a working day on beauty sleep, interjected by thoughts of a certain…. However, I felt completely invigorated to have wasted this time so blissfully. My mantra: nothing is wasted if you can truly justify its worth.

So, what with that ever increasing stash of once off, hand dyed, spun by a virgin bathing in a lake of asses’ milk, yarns which you felt were a must buy when you spent your bread on them? Do not fear! Keep your secrets closer than your friends and all will be well. 

Concealing your stash...
Concealing your stash can be difficult. I suggest finding some excellent mini projects to treat your friends to instead. Giving is always so much easier than receiving. One-ball projects are most definitely the way to rid you of that guilty stash. Incorporating stripes, intarsia, Fair Isle, pom poms, finger puppets, the list is endless. Find new, innovative ways to dispel that unnecessary guilt and all the while, increasing your actual friend stash. Blossoming motifs and flowers are a great way to use up little bits of yarns. Not only can the fuzzy flora be used to adorn necklines, hairlines and even cheer up the breadline, if you are there!

Knit One, Stripe One

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Scrooge! Who me?

Scrooge! Who me?

"That does it," said Jace. "I'm going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year."
"Why?" Isabelle said.
"So you can look up 'fun.' I'm not sure you know what it means.”

Honey, it’s cold outside. Its also raining but then again, this is Ireland and its winter. Despite the monopoly on rain in this green Isle, memories of growing up in here always seem slightly deceptive. The summers were long and sunny and spent outdoors with my five siblings and a smattering of the forty-something first cousins. The winters, specifically Christmas time, were cold, white and magical.

Christmas at Fairy Lawn was often spent in darkness. Who would have thought if you lit your house up like an airport runway that it would cause a regional blackout? To add guts to misery, the water would often go on strike too due to solid, frozen pipes and an iced over well. It was nothing short of making one feel like a Charles Dickens character.

Despite the Dickensian context, Christmas at Fairy Lawn was fun. It must have been as despite my best efforts, I foresee, I will be home for yet another one. The dread one feels for the onslaught of the New Year festivities is played out to the backdrop of silliness that Christmas brings. To help maintain sanity over Christmas, I bring home my knitting.  Them indoors have become accustomed to my quiet solitude sitting in the corner, knitting furiously during a re-run of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom while, a deft hand takes hold of a couple of Milk Tray chocolates, eyes sweeping the room before dropping back down to knitting at hand. Ah Christmas: Baileys for breakfast, 12 hours of TV a day and a time to re-fuel, put on those extra pounds that got lost somewhere on a trip to the gym.

I remember ….. this is why I keep coming back.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

We must never, ever be boring!

“… an audience of about 500 mostly 20 & 30-somethings were listening with careful amusement as a dapper young man talked about toast. … he was clicking through a series of photographs of toast slices, ranging from the entirely burnt to the effectively untoasted, in order to demonstrate what he called “the confusing, non-regulated series of toaster settings on the market.” His manner of weary, slightly apologetic pedantry seemed to be going down exceptionally well with the audience …”

A dispatch from the 2012 Boring Conference’ By Mark O'Connell

I read this article while on an early morning train to Dublin. Apart from being a great  morning read, it made good sense and touched on a subject I am all too familiar with. I have no bones about what is boring, lets say, knitting! But boring is good.

A man walks down the street... 

Across from me, a woman dressed completely in blue, faces a copy of the Times, a laptop and is holding two mobile phones in front of her. Opposite her is a young man dressed in a Burton suit, who is tapping manically at his laptop. There is an invisible chap, a few seats back, who hasn’t stopped talking since sitting on the train. It’s all too much for this time of the morning so I pull out my needles and choose blissed out knitting.

Why do we find such repose from the mundane? How can a conference on Boring triumph over a conference on Interesting, which, had been dropped due to lack of interest? Personally, I can only describe boring as coming in from the cold, eating a big bowl of hot, buttery pandy & having a good knit while watching re-runs of Murder She Wrote. It’s comforting. Nothing will happen, that's out of the ordinary but that’s good. Modern living can be draining. The constant pursuit of happiness is depressing. While sitting and knitting, you can be pretty damned sure, nothing much will happen. Apart from a dropped stitch, the worst case scenario: The phone unexpectantly rings. You forget which line you were on!

For further reading (and a bit of a laugh) try this for Boring! 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Brave New World

“A smiley was first developed in the year of 1982 by Scott Fahlman. This occurred at the Carnegie Mellon University when this person used a simple form of a smiley like :-) on the bulletin board of computer science….they [emoticons] are probably the easiest way to express your feelings without spending a single precious word from the mouth….”
-Unknown Source

Now, I embrace technology as much as the next person, but there are certain aspects that I won’t cuddle up to. Along with shorthand texting, I have a real beef about Emoticons. Sure, I get their efficiency and their ‘cleanliness’ but I can’t love them. It’s not them. It’s me. 
My dating life had not so much reached a crossroads, but had taken a wrong turn someway back and was now lost on a country by-road, with grass growing down the middle. So, I took two steps into the underworld of online dating, I.M. and Emoticons. Here is an excerpt from an actual conversation I had online:

Me: So tell me in plain English….what do I do now?
He: ok. Well go to ****, log in, and then you will notice a chat box in the left hand column. You’re supposed to see my contact there
Me: Yes, I see your contact and the chat icon but nothing happened
He: you should be receiving instant messages…..
Me: Where? Where are these messages?
He: there is a popup window appearing on the bottom right corner of the browser otherwise we can go on chatting as usual :-)
Me: No, I need to be able to do this. I found your messages but I can’t reply. There is no popup on the right hand corner. Just leave it with me, I will figure it out. What’s with :-)??
He: I was sending you a smile  ;-))

Online dating didn’t suit me….I could argue, its an age thing  with T-internet but IT and ITs Emoticons have been in existence for some thirty years. Well, things do move slower in Ireland.

1984 - Long distance communication of the past!

I have managed to re-create my own knitter savvy emoticon jargon:

:) x            Knitting happily
:[ x            Oh…something has happened!
:(  (|          Ooops….I sat on my needle
)(               Needles, overused & abused
}:|             mmm….something’s not right
§§§           Knots in the yarn!
-------          Erm….kind of got the knots out
}:(              Oh Balls!