Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Can't Believe I Forgot to Blog for Over a Year!

What an oversight - I knew there was something I was forgetting to do. But after I sold off several hundred bags of wool on eBay, I was afraid I was getting carried away and didn't want to accidentally sell everything I own. So I rejoined the world of going out to work and temped for a few weeks until I found a job I was happy with, and I've been working at a world famous hospital since last June. World famous though it may be, if you didn't know what you were wandering into, you'd probably think it was a rather shabby factory, with a lovely duck pond in the middle, home to a couple of very bossy black swans ruling the roost. That male swan is clearly just itching for an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order), he's such a bully, and just won't stop chasing around the gorgeous little black and white tufted ducks.

But now I've decided that after 15 years in southern England, the time has come to move back to Maritime Canada. I've set the end of July as my target departure date and just have to organise a few things like getting rid of everything that I don't feel like paying shipping costs for and then packing up my remaining worldly possessions and sending them off on their voyage to the Colonies. I thought I was giving myself lots of time by setting a time several months in the future, but now that people realise I'm leaving town, suddenly my social calendar, long renowned for its empty pages, is filling up like - well, I was going to say a brothel on payday, but I don't want to give the wrong impression. Suffice it to say that either people are suddenly realising that they're going to miss me, or else they're angling for an invitation to New Brunswick.

Anyway, I'll try to be a good girl and keep this up to date, so thanks for dropping by and if I can figure out how to post pictures, I'll treat you to the sight of me tearing my hair out while trying to get myself ready to move.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Oh Canada!

I was thrilled last evening to see that Canada had won a gold medal at the Olympics already (and I think it may possibly have been the first one of the Games?). I'm fortunate to have two countries to support in international competition. Great Britain doesn't do so well in the Winter Games and Canada often doesn't excel in the Summer Games, but the other way round I always have someone to be proud of. I found out four years ago where my loyalties really lie, though, as I was devastated when the British women beat the Canadian women for the gold in Curling - well, after all, something like 75% of the curlers in the world are Canadian!! - so I'm really hoping that the Canadian rink can redress the balance this time. And of course the Canadian Women's Hockey team had all us Canucks leaping about screaming last time. I feel so honoured to be Canadian, it really is a dear and wonderful country, so I would imagine I was the only plump middle aged woman in purple hedgehog pyjamas in Cambridgeshire leaping about, shrieking and waving a Maple Leaf flag last evening when I found out about our first medal!

Today's definitely going to be a Pyjama Day after yesterday. We had our annual charity auction, and that's always the most stressful Saturday of the year for me. We've been doing these auctions for years (I think that was our 13th) and it was all very well when my ex and I were married and I organised the thing and he got all the glory as the auctioneer. I never quite got my head around everyone asking me to thank him for the wonderful auction, but I guess it was ever thus - behind every great man there's a thoroughly hacked off woman!!!!!

But now that we're divorced it's even more fun, as his girlfriend can't get it into her head that I do not ever want him back, not if he were the last man on earth, but that he and I are the best of friends - like an extremely fond brother and sister. So now there's all the stress of the day coupled with beady-eyed (and I apologise for sounding so b*tchy but she really does have beady eyes) glares from her all day.

Anyway, the main thing is that we raised £812 for charity and all went away knackered but rejoicing. Plus I got four really nice dining room chairs and a great little hardwood drop-leaf trolley table for the grand total of £22. Now all I have to do is a major reshifting of furniture in these tiny rooms, as the new purchases are still stacked up in the tiny kitchen, making it impossible to do anything out there except make toast.

But if these are the worst problems I ever encounter, I will be leading a charmed and blessed life.

Love to all,

Friday, February 10, 2006

Middle Aged Delinquent

Hi Folks, sorry for my prolonged absence. I've been busy, I guess - rehearsals for the murder mystery, all kinds of WI functions and duties, organising my church's annual charity auction tomorrow, burrowing through my stash and listing it on eBay, and I seem to spend a lot of time wrapping up brown paper parcels and going to the post office. I'm developing a wonderful relationship with the two gals at my local little PO! They apparently miss me on days I don't stop by.

For some silly reason I thought that if I removed 100 bags of wool (none of this 3 bags full malarkey for me!) from my house that it would be tidier in here. Just goes to show how wrong a girl can be.

I had a rather funny brush with the law on Wednesday. I had to go to Stamford (in Lincolnshire, I think) to pick up some stuff that I'd bought at an auction up there last Saturday - Rule Number 1 of selling things at an auction house - DO NOT GO TO THE AUCTION OR YOU WILL SPEND EVERYTHING YOU'VE MADE. Anyway, Stamford is a dickens of a place to park (as are most cities, towns and villages in the UK, I must add for the benefit of those in other parts of the world). When you couple that with my innate inability to find my way around while driving, I was having a white knuckle moment when I found myself driving through a pedestrian precinct. I was doing my best to ignore all the glares I was getting when I was accosted by a policewoman on foot. Now, in all honesty, if I had to wear the uniform that she has to wear, I would be out of sorts on a permanent basis as well. She started blathering away about just how many offences I was committing, and I was shrinking (great way to lose weight, I think) behind the wheel by the moment, and repeating a mantra of "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'll never do this again" while expecting a public flogging at best, and beheading at worst. Anyway, she fell for my feigned contrition and said that she'd let me off just that once, and directed me to where I wanted to go, and in 30 seconds I was at the auction house - with nowhere to park except the taxi rank in front. I dashed inside and said that I was going to try to find a parking space, which I did after 15 minutes, and then went back, paid for my stuff, and then got my car and pulled up once again into the taxi rank. The porter carted out my stuff and I was good to go. I was just about to set off in my quest to figure out how to get out of Stamford when who should stroll up but - you guessed it - the same not so friendly WPC. I rolled down my window and she said "It's not you again!!!!! Do you realise that it's illegal to park in a taxi rank?". So I figured the game was now up and I was going to be hanged as soon as they could cobble together a gallows. I reverted to a slightly altered version of my mantra of apologies, saying that I had just been there for 2 minutes while picking up things from the auction house and was on my way out of town, and if she thought it best I'd never ever return to Stamford. She said, "Well, I could never tell you that", and I thought, "Yeah, but I bet you wish you could, you officious little madam". So I managed to get away with it. I'm delighted! I have a long history of talking my way out of fines and points on my licence with MALE police, but this is a first to get away with it a woman, let alone twice in the space of half an hour - Wahoo!!!!

Thanks for dropping by, and if you want to have a look at my stuff on eBay, there's a link in the sidebar on the right. There's a bunch more stuff that's scheduled to start during the next week, 'cause I'm off to Prague week after next and I've tried to time things so that nobody will have to wait for long for their purchases.

Have a great weekend, and happy Olympic knitting!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I've just crawled out of the understairs cupboard (which is, incidentally, the warmest place in the house) after rummaging through to see just what exactly is in there. Guess what I found? Yarn! Wool, cotton, silk, cashmere, you name it, it's in there. Also a coffee table and two end tables, several hundred books, about 20 carry-alls, a lot of coat hangers - you get the picture. Aside from the fact that I now feel like a roast suckling pig (except that there's no apple in my mouth), I'd have to call the half hour I spent in there a success, as I've organised it into much better shape. Almost all of the yarn is going on eBay, so knitters ahoy!

I've been knitting quite a lot. I went to a WI sewing bee yesterday afternoon - it took me three tries to find the right house, so you can tell I don't bleach my hair this colour for nothing - and knitted for two straight hours on the DB Alpaca Silk wrist-to-wrist jacket in that delicious indigo blue, and I have two other things that I'm working on on a rotational basis, one day apiece in sequence. So today it's meant to be the alarmingly red DB Astrakhan cardigan with the shawl collar, but it will be at least 10 tonight before I get any knitting in, as I have two meetings this evening. I hate double bookings, especially since I have to go to both of them, as I'm chairing the first and acting in the second which is a rehearsal for a murder mystery dinner that we're putting on in a month and a half. Anyway, the sewing bee was great fun. All but two of the 12 of us knitted - some of these gals have been knitting for 70 or 80 years, so my 40-odd make me a rank beginner by comparison.

Other than that, I've been spending these endless January days working on eBaying, and it's been great. There's a lot of work involved, but it's kept me from having to go out and get a job so I'm not complaining at all.

No men in sight at the moment, but there's always Mr Drubie waiting for me when I go to bed. He may only be a stuffed dog, but he's very intelligent and loves a cuddle.

Well, I guess I'd better spend an hour looking for my script for the rehearsal. I do wish that people wouldn't give me these pieces of paper months in advance and then expect me to come up with them at the drop of a hat.

Chins up, folks, the days are getting longer, the daffodils are coming up, the birdies are singing their feathery little heads off and spring is on its way. Not immediately mind you, but it'll get here.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Christmas Revisited!

It's just like Christmas morning all over again! The postman just knocked at my door. He wasn't my usual postman, who, I think, would find it surprising if he ever saw me wearing anything other than a handknit cardigan over flannelette pyjamas, so this one seemed a bit surprised at my outfit. Anyway, he brought the main part of my Christmas present from my sister - my ebony circular needles from Scottish Fibres! They are so beautiful! I got ALL the sizes: 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 7 and 8 mm and I absolutely love them! I love ebony, the way it seems to soften and glow the more you touch it - think of the black keys on a piano, how they adopt a buttery sort of sheen. And I love the brass joins on the circulars. And, they came in a free wooden box, made of bird's eye maple. I'm so, so happy. I just want to sit down and knit for the rest of my natural life. But I need to parcel up another half dozen things I've sold on eBay and get them to the post office, get some more stuff onto eBay, and then do some housework, as I've discovered that the area between my PC desk and the wall has become something of a sanctuary for unwed spiders. Well, maybe they're married, but I couldn't see that any of them are wearing wedding rings. Good thing that I don't mind spiders.

But before I spring into action, I have a bit more burbling to do.

I went to the ballet in London on Monday night. It was a WI excursion, and I didn't realise until we were halfway there that it was the Royal Ballet, performing in the Royal Opera house. What a gorgeous building! I'd never been there before, but it was all quite magical. It was the Nutcracker, and was very good, although I think I would have preferred something a bit more serious, but so much of the music was familiar and a lot of the dancing was absolutely brilliant.

Then Tuesday afternoon was my first official WI Committee meeting as the new secretary. Unfortunately, when I hopped in my car to drive to the meeting, it wouldn't start. It just went click, click, click. Dead battery, I thought, hoped, prayed, and nothing more serious. So I rang the hostess of the meeting and she came and picked me up, and the President drove me home. How funny and sweet and lovely it seems to me to have an 85 year old woman do me a favour by giving me a lift home.

The man from the AA (Automobile Association, not the other AA) arrived in good time, and sure enough, it was the battery. He asked how old the battery was, and I told him I'd had the car for over 3 years and hadn't changed it, so we agreed it was time for a new one. He had one with him, and because the labour was free under my AA plan, it turned out to be quite a bargain, and 20 minutes later, he was gone and my car was tickety-boo again - Phew!

Now I've got something the matter with my PC. I can receive e-mails, but I can't reply to them - the messages just sit there in my outbox. So if any of you are wondering if I'm ignoring you, I'm not at all, it's my PC. I guess I'm going to have to get a little man from the village in to sort that out, as I've tried everything I can think of, other than applying a sledgehammer to it. Sigh. I guess that 2006 is going to be the year of the faulty machinery. Until I do get it fixed, if anyone needs to write to me, you can use my old address -, and hopefully I'll be able to reply from there.

Love to all,

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Love and happiness, peace, calm and joy - I hope we all have loads of those things in 2006.

I've had a really good week. Matthew left for Wales on Tuesday morning, and since then the only real activity I've engaged in has been listing stuff on eBay, parcelling up sold items and going to the post office. I've developed a great rapport with the local postmistress!

Other than eBay activities, I've spent a lot of time by the fire, watching Miss Marple reruns and knitting - heavenly, heavenly days!

Oh yes, on Wednesday morning I had a call from my friend Irena, inviting me over for lunch with her. We had a lovely couple of hours at her big pine kitchen table, eating homemade tomato and bacon soup, and chunks of bread with lashings of butter, and of course, gallons of coffee. I'd taken her a very loose floppy curly wurly scarf I'd knitted with several strands of Kidsilk Haze, a mixture of blue and green, with gorgeous soft pompoms on the ends - she absolutely loved it, and it's just the right colours for her.

Other than that, my big day out was yesterday, when I went to Cambridge to have lunch with a chap I met on the internet. He's a very nice guy, and we had a good lunch in an old cinema building which has been converted into a very nice huge pub/restaurant, and a very philosophical conversation for three hours. I think he and I will probably be buddies and meet up from time to time, but there were no sparks, from my side of the table, at least.

Then I did some errands and ended up the afternoon by buying some of the loveliest yarn I've ever seen. It's Debbie Bliss's alpaca silk dk in a gorgeous shade called indigo. The silk keeps the alpaca from having that slightly too sticky quality. I can't keep my hands off it. I guess the poor man I had lunch with might be a bit hurt that it's the yarn I can't keep my hands off!

Gosh, I actually feel like doing some housework today - most unlike me. But I've always liked the calendar markers which signal new beginnings - the first day of school, New Year's Day - so I'd better let myself get on with this burst of domestic energy, seeing as I know it won't last long.

Once again, I wish you all every good thing in 2006.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Recap

Well, there it goes for another year. Matthew and I had a great day, which included some of the time-honoured Christmas traditions such as lying around watching telly and eating till we thought we'd burst, but did not include getting drunk and having a punch-up.

My sister called from Canada and we nattered away for a lovely hour. She had already experienced another time honoured Christmas tradition - her 10 foot fir tree falling over. Sis reminded me that I hadn't told her where to find what I wanted for Christmas on the internet, so I quickly rectified that, and I now have an MP3 player from eBay, and a set of ebony circular knitting needles from Scottish Fibres on their way to me. My Christmas treats for myself involved raiding the Colinette website the other day, so I have a couple of packages coming from there, so the race is on to see what gets here first.

And now, seeing as it's coming up to 2 am, I guess it's time for bed.

Love to all,
Nance xx
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