Monday, November 14, 2011

remember this thursday, please!

Originally uploaded by Madeline Olivia


Hello, world. I am kind of out of action at the moment, but just wanted to pop by to remind everyone that this Thursday (the 17th) is the date that I chose for November's Day In The Life. In case you don't know what I am talking about, this is really just an opportunity for bloggers to get together and share the minutiae of their day. You can write a list of everything you do or you can get more imaginative. In the past people have recorded their day in the form of a pie chart or an A to Z or just by posting pictures. You can tackle the challenge however you like. Once everyone's done, I'll compile a list of links to everyone who took part this month so we can all see what other people have done with their day. No matter how boring you think your day has been, I can guarantee it will interest someone else! It's not very easy for me to blog etc this week (there have been some unexpected incidents) so I'd really appreciate it if you could help me spread the word by reminding people via your own blog/twitter/whatever. I'll share my day as soon as I can too. So that's this Thursday, November 17th. Have fun :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

kirstie's handmade britain

This week I have been catching up with Kirstie's Handmade Britain, watching an episode in the morning while I eat my breakfast and hang out with the cats. I'm really liking the series so far. I did enjoy Kirstie's Homemade Home (I know opinion was very divided on this most controversial of matters!) but was getting a bit irked at how she would try a craft for about an hour, leave her project with the expert for them to finish and then go on about how she made it herself. In this series, she has to see the projects through to the end, although I do wonder how the other competitors feel about her having so much expert guidance. I also have some doubts about the anonymity of the judging, especially in this week's needlework episode. Very suspicious, if you ask me! But I do love Kirstie (my lookalike if Graham is to be believed) and it's great to have a fun programme about crafting on the telly. Plus we always enjoy the crazy world of the craft/baking tent when we go to the Aberfeldy Highland Games, so it's fun to get a glimpse at other shows around the country. My mum has been watching this series too and seemed very enamoured with Mr X Stitch (though didn't he just come across as a lovely man? aw!) when I spoke to her last night. When I told her that my Little Red Riding Hood embroidery was once featured on his website, she was very excited and said she was very proud of me. I think she saw it as a bona fide celebrity endorsement. Tee hee! Have you been watching Kirstie too?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

firsts and lasts

Here is the first item I made with the much sought after mustard (and blue and brown) wool. I made this cardigan last weekend. It took two train journeys and a couple of hours on the sofa. This is the third cardigan I have made with this pattern now and much as I would be very happy to start on another one today, I am going to make this my last crocheted cardigan, for a little while, at least. There are so many other things I want to make for the baby, starting with a pair of crocheted cowboy boots to go with this. Yee ha! Graham thinks a baby-sized balalaika is all we need to complete the outfit (huh!) but he is wrong. He'll know we need crocheted cowboy boots once he sees them.
Here's the cardigan with a bit more sunshine, which shows off the golden colour much better.

Yesterday I did my last pre-baby late shift at work where I had my first argument with a subtitling colleague. Not fun. I hate conflict :( But on the upside, I am so glad late shifts are over for me now. My work have been great over the last few months and made all my late shifts start and finish a little bit earlier, and also made sure that I wasn't doing too many in a row, but I was still finding them torture. I hate admitting that I can't do certain stuff very easily now that I'm pregnant, but I think I am ready to admit that I can't work until 10 o'clock at night any more. Since I am back to waking up at about 4am most days, it just doesn't give me enough sleep to be able to handle life.

Today (depending on when Graham gets back from getting his hair cut) we might be attempting our last pre-baby full-day charity shopping excursion and for the first time, I think, we are missing out part of our route. I am feeling the effects of pregnancy very much these days and have the lung capacity of an elderly gnat. The new and reduced route only misses out four charity shops (two of them usually not very good) and the chocolate cherry brownie shop (nooooooo!) but it cuts down the amount of walking we have to do by quite a lot. If we don't do this today, we are going to go to a few more local charity shops instead and reschedule the last great charity shop shebang for a couple of weeks' time. Graham (who has recently witnessed me not managing 30 minutes in the town centre and saw how much I struggled round the charity shops a couple of months back) is not convinced I am fit for the challenge, but our days out have been such a big part of our relationship over the last eight years and I am really determined to do it one last time while it's still just the two of us. I can do it!

And one last exciting first... I'm getting to pick the date for November's Day In The Life and I have decided to choose Thursday the 17th. No particular reason, really, other than that it's nicely in the middle of the month and I have my first antenatal class that day, which might (or might not) give me something interesting to say. Please spread the word and do join in if you can. I will post a little reminder nearer the time.

covered in stitches (see what I did there?*)

This month Feeling Stitchy have been having a sewing contest inspired by Penguin's recent embroidered covers. I really wanted to give this a go, but decided my to-do list for this month was already a bit too full. Lots of people have had a go though (check out the other stitchy covers in the flickr group) and I will file this project away as something I might try in 2012... or 2013!

* I just noticed the flickr group is called Covered In Stitches, meaning I didn't actually do anything! Oh well...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

unillustrated day in the life

Here follows my day in the life post for October 31st 2011, a day on which I failed to take any photographs. I did have a grand idea of drawing some accompanying pictures, but frankly you should count yourself lucky to be getting the words. Good lord, I am pooped this week! Roll on the weekend, I say. Anyway, here is pretty much everything I did on Monday 31st October. You can find out what other people did on this day by checking the comments here, although it doesn't look as though many people have completed their posts just yet.

7.00 am - Lola doesn't understand the clocks have gone back, so all our training of the past month goes out the window. She had been getting very good at waiting until either a) the alarm went off or b) it got to 8 o'clock before she started her attempts to wake me up, which involve miaowing in my ear and scratching my face and elbows or combing my hair with her claws. Using everything I've ever learned from watching Supernanny, I lie firm and pretend to be asleep for a full hour of miaowing and scratching. Hopefully Lola's amazingly accurate internal body clock will adjust within a week or two.

8.00 am - I get up, feed the very excited cats and eat my breakfast while checking my emails and favourite blogs. Graham is rushing around the flat with a gobful of mouthwash, getting ready for work. I enjoy my daily entertainment of trying to make him laugh and spit the mouthwash out. Today I succeed and laugh heartily as he has to dash to the sink before exploding everywhere. Mwahahahahaha!

8.45am - Graham leaves for work and I shower and get dressed.

9.30am - I write my final blog post for the month of October. It wasn't easy, but I managed to blog every day for a whole month. Hooray for me!

10.30am - Blogging took longer than expected and made me lose track of time a bit, so I quickly gather up everything I need for the day and leave for work. I am helped along by the fact that I only ate half the picnic my mum had prepared for my train journey the day before (so have a leftover sandwich to take with me) and find a tin of Baxters soup in the cupboard. Phew!

11.00 am - I arrive at work for a DVD shift. I quite like subtitling DVDs (you get to be really pernickety) but I know it's not going to make for a very interesting day in the life post as it is such a slow process. My first task of the day is to review episode five of The Fades. The series has turned out to be more entertaining than I had expected from episode one, but this is the third time I've had to watch this episode for work reasons in the space of about ten days and I'm getting a bit bored of it now.

11.45am - The chair I have ended up with today is a bit broken and won't let me lean back at all. Every time I try to rest against the back of the chair, it starts tipping backwards and threatens to throw me onto the floor. Normally there are spare chairs kicking about the office, but every single one of them has disappeared and there is not a spare chair in the whole place. After ten minutes of searching high and low, I overcome my embarrassment (my back is sore after one hour of sitting on this chair so I really don't want to sit on it for another seven) and send an email round to ask if anyone knows where all the chairs have gone. Within minutes someone produces a much better chair from one of the live subtitling booths, but I quickly realise I have caused an accidental revolution. Emails are flying back and forth about the terrible state of the chairs in the office and various managers are fussing around me, bringing me numerous back supports and offering to give me their very own personal favourite chairs. Later I find out they once had a near legal disaster when a decrepit chair fired a pregnant lady across the office.

1.30pm - Finished with The Fades, I make a start on Him and Her, the BBC3 "comedy". I have never seen it before and don't find it very entertaining. I'm using the programme's script to subtitle this, something I've only learned to do very recently. I have no idea what I'm doing and it makes my brain hurt and I want to run away or go home.

2.15pm - I eat my lunch and recharge my brain power a bit. I have the kitchen to myself so manage to have a mini nap (much needed) on the sofa until a manager comes in to make coffee and starts asking me if my chair is OK now.

3.15pm - Back to work on Him And Her. Yawn!

3.45pm - The new software fails and means that nothing I try to do works. I spend a long time trying to make sure it's not just me being stupid before asking a manager for help. He can't work it out so asks someone else who can't work it out either. In the end, they suggest the classic switch-it-off-and-on-again solution which works.

4.00pm - Back on track, but still wrestling with this Him And Her script.

4.20pm - Make an executive decision about whether it's OK to use the label LAURA FARTS as opposed to LAURA BREAKS WIND. These are the strange sorts of things I have to consider a lot (along with how to spell rude/sexual words that don't appear in our dictionaries).

4.25pm - I email Graham to escape the extreme boredom for a few minutes and take my mind off the mental heat and my indigestion.

4.30pm - Back to work. Ugh. And it's dark outside already!

4.35pm - I visit the X Factor website for work reasons, trying to find out if it's Bootcamp or Boot Camp. It turns out it's Bootcamp, but there's so much X Factor news on the site that it makes my internet die to find out and I have to reboot it.

5.00pm - I open a window and stick my head out of it in attempt to cool down. So hot in here! The heating is not on now, but I notice the temperature control had been set at 26 degrees. 26 degrees?! Come on, people! I know who the culprit is and wonder if there's any way we could be scheduled to work opposing shifts. Nice as she is, I can't stand the crazy heat she claims she needs.

5.15 -5.30pm - I open more windows and get in a messenger conversation with Claire about air conditioning, petrol spillages and day in the life. Neither of us are having very interesting days for it so far, but at least Claire has the drama of being highly flammable as she is covered in petrol. We wonder whether it will be safe for her to microwave her dinner later and I suggest she should use her managerial status to delegate the task. You can read more about Claire's petrol incident here.

5.40pm - I find out my application for a stall at Made In The Shade's Holiday Hop has been successful! Woo hoo! I'm not sure how I will find time or energy to prepare for this, but I am still very excited at the prospect.

6.40pm - I try to teach a colleague how to send subtitles using the new software, but her file is a rogue file and much scratching of heads ensues.

6.55pm - Just when I think I might be able to sneak out five minutes early, I mess up a bit of admin and have to stay to sort it out. Ugh.

7.10pm - I leave the office and head to the underground.

7.12pm - I miss my train while trying to get the ticket out of my purse and it's over ten minutes until the next one. I'm not very good at standing up these days, so I get on the next train to arrive and go the long way round. I enjoy the chance to sit down and read my book.

7.40pm - On the way home from the underground station I get severely rained on and get leg cramp while climbing the hill, but make it home eventually. Graham lets me in and manages not to laugh at how much I am puffing and panting with wet hair and steamy glasses and a funny walk because my legs are still cramping. Ouch.

7.50pm - I catch up with Graham over dinner (chilli and wraps from the freezer).

8.15pm - I mooch around on the internet while the cats fight over my warm lap space.

8.30pm - Both cats squeeze in on my lap and we all watch the latest episode of Misfits. It's probably the worst episode of Misfits there has ever been, but it's still OK and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

9.30pm - We watch the last episode of League Of Gentlemen series two. We've been working our way through these lately. Lola thinks it is 10.30pm (supper time) so miaows a lot, but we do our best to ignore her.

10.15pm - I feed the cats and get ready for bed. I read a few pages of my book while I wait for Graham.

10.30pm - Our noisy student neighbours decide to move their party out to the back garden, so it's basically like they are standing right by our bed and shouting in our ears. They are really annoying in so many ways. We lie awake and moan about them, but I am trying hard not to get angry otherwise I won't be able to sleep even if they ever do shut up.

11.30pm - During a brief respite in the noise, I fall asleep and manage not to wake up when the noisy neighbours apparently return. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!