Thursday, 31 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Friday, 18 December 2009
1. Wiggly scarf, 2. Teva shoulder cosy, 3. Retro buttons, 4. Retro Bonnet, 5. Beach Sandals, 6. Rosamund's Cardigan, 7. Fluffy teacosy, 8. Tilly Mink hat
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
When I was about 7 or 8 me and my brother stayed at our grandparent's up at Africa Cottage.
It was a wee but'n'ben type place up the Kirbister road with no mains electricity and an
outside loo and it was always an adventure to stay there, especially as I slept in a box bed
when I was there. A real princess bed. Anyway, one night we were staying there and I was
in my sleepwalking phase. My Grandad followed me through as I went and stood in front of
the mantelpiece and stared in front of me. He asked me what I was doing. I said nothing. He
suggested I go back to bed and I obviously didn't appreciate that suggestion as I put my arm
out and swiped everything off the mantelpiece in front of me including the clock that they
got years ago (I think it was a wedding present). I then scarpered off to bed. I honestly had no
memory of doing any of this the next morning. Anyway the clock got fixed and from then on it
became known as "Maureen's clock" and Granny promised me that it was mine when she died.
So here it sits on my mantelpiece, ticking away in a comforting way, the sound of my
childhood. The inside of it still smells of Benson and Hedges even though Granny gave up
smoking 3 years ago!
I asked if I could have Granny's old baking tins and funnily enough no one else objected!
Some of the tins (2 bun (cupcake) trays and 2 sandwich tins) are from the wartime (she got
married to my Grandad in 1943) and on their last legs but I'll see how long I can keep them
going. I spent an awful lot of helping Granny to bake and she would have probably got a lot
more buns out of the basic mixture if I hadn't been helping! She spent a lot of time making
nice things that brought a smile to folk's faces and I like to do the same. When my other
Granny died I asked for her knitting needles and sewing box because that's what I remembered
her doing. While an inheritance involving money can be nice and helpful it's not always a
relevant reminder of who it is that you've lost. I find social domesticity inherently interesting
and the passing on of skills, knowledge and love is a better thing to leave behind than anything
The one other thing she left me is who I look like and who I am now. Through her I'm a Velzian,
Spence and a Brown mixed up with Heddle's and Rosie's on the other side. There's a rake o'folk
that look like me and me like them. I was mistaken for my Mum this time I was home because I
look so much like her. We're dark and small and "duggit" (stubborn) as hell.
Thomas Hardy says it best...
I am the family face; Flesh perishes, I live on, Projecting trait and trace Through time to times anon, And leaping from place to place Over oblivion. The years-heired feature that can In curve and voice and eye Despise the human span Of durance -- that is I; The eternal thing in man, That heeds no call to die
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Think I'm ready for lots of vintage shopping, Ally Pally, Japanese food and The Plinth! And not forgetting some Krispy Kremes...
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
I think I must have been a member of a library since I was about 7 and I remember Granny Heddle taking myself and my cousin into Kirkwall to join. It's the oldest public library in Scotland and was founded in 1683 - obviously its not in the same building now...or got very few of the books that were around at the time! I used to have a real obsession with the Drina books by Jean Estoril at one time but I can't really remember which other books I used to get out of the library. Then there was all the ones I persuaded Mum to buy for me or that I got with my pocket money - Enid Blyton's St.Clares and Malory Towers, the Chalet School series by Elinor M.Brent-Dyer, progressing onto the Sweet Dreams imprint in my teens. I obviously had a bit of a thing for book series - especially if set in a boarding school. Who knows what the attraction was at the time but I enjoyed them!
Now the obsession is with cookery and craft books - damned heavy when you're moving house!
Monday, 7 September 2009
Hopefully - later on today, it'll look more like this...
Then I have to learn how to use it...more stash enhancement opportunities await...!
Friday, 4 September 2009
- You consider scattered showers with outbreaks of sunshine as good weather.
- The only sausage you like is square.
- You have been forced to do Scottish country dancing every year at secondary school.
- You have a wide vocabulary of Scottish words such as numpty, aye, aye right, auldjin, baltic…
- You have an enormous feeling of dread whenever Scotland play a ‘numpty’ team like the Faroe Islands .
- You happily engage in a conversation about the weather with someone you’ve never met before.
– You got Oor Wullie and The Broons annuals at Xmas.
- You can tell where another Scot is from by their accent – “Awright, pal, gonnae gies a wee swatch oa yur Sun ? Cheers, magic pal.” Or “Fit ya bin up tae ? Fair few quines in the nicht, eh ?”, etc
- You see cops and hear someone shout ‘Errapolis’.
- You have eaten lots and lots of random Scottish food like mince ‘n tatties, Tunnock’s Caramel Logs, oat cakes, haggis, Cullen skink, Lees Macaroon Bars, etc.
- Whenever you see sawdust it reminds you of pools of vomit as that’s what the jannies used to chuck on it at school.
- You lose all respect for a groom who doesn’t wear a kilt.
- You don’t do shopping… you ‘go the messages’.
- You’re sitting on the train or bus and a drunk man sits next to you telling you a joke – and asking ‘Ahm no annoying ye ahm a?’ and you respond ‘Naw, not at a’, yer fine. This is ma stoap, but’.
- You know that ye cannae fling yer pieces oot a 20 storey flat, and that seven hundred hungry weans’ll testify tae that. Furthermore you’re sure that if it’s butter, cheese or jeely, or if the breid is plain or pan, the odds against it reaching earth are 99 tae wan.
- Your national team goes 2-0 up again the Czechs in a qualifier in Prague and your mate says we’ll end up losing 3-2 here and you think “Probably”.
- You can properly pronounce McConnochie, Ecclefechan, Milngavie, and Auchtermuchty.
- Your favourite pizza is deep fried and battered from the chippy.
- You’re used to 4 seasons in one day.
- You can fall about drunk without spilling your drink.
- You can understand Rab C Nesbitt and know characters just like them in your own family.
- You know what haggis is made with and still eat it.
- Somebody you know used a football schedule to plan their wedding day date.
- You’ve been at a wedding where the footie results were read out.
- You aren’t surprised to find curries, pizzas, kebabs, Irn Bru, nappies and fags all for sale in one shop.
- Your seaside holiday home has Calor gas under it.
- You know that Irn Bru is an infallible hangover cure.
- You use terms such as “How’s it hingin’?”, “clatty”, “boggin”, “cludgie”, “dreich”, “bampot”, “bawheid”, “bawbag” and “dubble nugget”.
AND FINALLY….. You understand all the above and are going to send it to your pals.
P.S. And to add a few more...
- You can spot the tourist...they're the one using a brolley
- You can go out wearing only a short-sleeved shirt (male) or mini skirt, cropped top and nae tights (female) in December and don't end up in A&E with hypothermia at the end of the night
- You know if someone is fae Glasgow or Edinburgh depending on if they take vinegar or brown sauce on their chips
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
No more early morning starts. No more Bristow's breakfasts when I'm delayed. No more helicopter flights. No more having to share a cabin with some stranger. No more having to fit in with a bunch of strange men. No standing out just because I happen to be female and have been known to talk about testicles and bowel movements!
It's been interesting, exciting, boring, aggravating, annoying, enlightening, educational, useful, demoralising, frustrating, amusing and different.
No more offshore tigress...back to being a pussycat!
Career change awaits...I wonder what?!
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Saturday, 22 August 2009
I've got a new village and home to settle into. I've got studying to finish before Christmas. I've got a house to decorate. I've got a wedding to organise. I've got a honey to keep happy. I've got to work at getting a research job. I'm going to get back to my running. And I have some me-time to catch up on so I can knit and take photos and get some creativity going before I stagnate.
I'll miss some things. I enjoyed the helicopter flights - landing on this small bit of metal in the middle of a huge pile of water is exciting and the skill of the pilots is something else. I have met some really fine folk though I've also had to deal with an awful lot of ill-educated numpties...and educated numpties as well! It has probably increased my self-reliance and independence to know that I can do an awful lot of things if I have to turn my hand to them. It's given me the confidence to go and try a lot more different things. But it's also taken me away from people I want to spend time with and at the end of it all it's much more important to spend time with them than it is to work away all the time to pay for a lifestyle you don't need or want. Most importantly, it's taught me how to pack a bare minimum of stuff to go away with so that when I go on personal trips I can get off with carry-on baggage only ;-)
"9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don't make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness."
Monday, 17 August 2009
1. Did the Baker Hughes 10k in May and managed it in 1:06:19 which was 2 and a half minutes faster than the Balmoral. Wanted to get under 1:05 but until I did the race I never realised just how pigging depressing those 3kms along the Beach Bouley are, especially when you look over towards Seaton and Pittodrie and see the fast sods heading on their way back. Ach well - got the Loch Ness 10k up in Inverness on the 4th October so I'll kick in with the training again in a few weeks and aim for a better time at that.
2. Went to Rockness and had a pigging ace time. ERol Alkan, Bassment Jaxx and the Prodigy were all ace. Was most happy that my honey took to the dance music in a big way. Roll on next year as I reckon Rockness will be the only festie we'll have time for. TUNE!
3. Went to TITP. 2 Many DJ's, Blur and Seasick Steve were all amazing. We even made it into the mosh pit and on the telly during Seasick Steve. Cool. My honey is working his youth in reverse ;-)
4. Holidayed in Orkney with DB and the boys and didn't end up killing each other. My first holiday in "Mum" mode.
4. Had someone offer to buy my house at a sensible price only for them to pull out on the day they were due to sign the missives...bastards!
5. Decided to rent out my house instead so that someone else can pay the mortgage until the market finally recovers enough for me to sell it. It went in a week! Now busy getting stuff ready for storage, packing up stuff to go to DB's house and chucking/sending to charity/Freecycling the rest.
6. Finishing off study for a Postgrad Cert in Performance Coaching. Assessments are due in 4 days after I move and we have to give a presentation on one of our papers on the 5 Sept!
7. Bought my wedding dress - or at least option no 1. If I see something else between now and next year I'll sell this one on Ebay.
8. Off to London in October to Ally Pally to collect craft stuff for the wedding - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Need to save pennies!
Think that's enough for now. I reckon I should be a lot more regular on all this once I've actually shifted. Think I'm going to collapse on the 6th September...! But it's all going to be worth it as I move to be with my honey and make a new home and a new stage in life.
Thursday, 30 April 2009
Numpty number 1 is the couple who came to view my house on Tuesday but weren't interested once they realised that the sale price didn't include the farm steadings across from me. Because of course you can get a 4-bedroomed house on the outskirts of Aberdeen with an acre's worth of steadings just ripe for conversion for a bargain price of £275,000...! They've been watching too many editions of Grand Designs (...love me some Kevin though...drool!)
Numpty number 2 is the individual that decided it was feasible to offer me £185,000 to buy my house...the house that's been valued by one of those proper people (who rip off a tidy sum for the Home Report) at the above mentioned £275,000. Because, of course, I am desperate to sell and I'm willing to do so for a 1/3 under my asking price. I suggested to the solicitor that they should perhaps "get tae f**k"...she worded that in a more appropriate and professional way to suggest that it wasn't a favourable offer.
My humble opinion on the numpties of the week is that they are officially bonkers...take it away Dizzee...
Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers
Sunday, 26 April 2009
I crossed the finish line in 1:08:36...position 1709 out of 1997 finishers...or 222 out of 300 veteran females. Or, to put it another way...people came in behind me!!!
Sunday, 19 April 2009
After we first heard the news about this crash there was the dawning realisation that a happy outcome wasn't going to be. Anytime you hear bad news from offshore now the first thing we do is check round the list of everyone we know that works offshore to find out where they are just so we can know that they're safe.
The next stage is to find out which installation is affected. If you've been there then you start worrying that there might still be someone you know involved in the incident. They may only be someone you know in passing but it's still someone you've had contact with whether it be only the one conversation or many more. A minor relationship in the grand scheme of things but still some contact.
If you don't personally know anyone affected then you generally feel a degree of relief that you don't have to deal with the loss. But this time it doesn't feel that way. This time it knocked us all a little bit. I don't think I've ever really felt the offshore "family" as my family before but this time around it got under the skin. Probably not helped by the fact that I had to fly offshore the next day. It wasn't that I was worried about the safety of the flight I would be taking, more that I was thinking of those people who had said goodbye to the guys who'd flown offshore 2 weeks previously but who would never make it home.
When you're heading back home your emotions and your heart are already heading home ahead of you. I have 2 personas - Derek calls one of them my offshore persona then as it disappears and my home persona comes back and only then does he know I've arrived home. My offshore persona protects me. It has to be professional and have a degree of distance. There's a lot of compromise as you're thrown into a world of strangers on a monthly or weekly basis. People you have get on with because you can't escape from them. The choice is to get on with everyone (or as many as possible) and let the trip go quickly or be an obnoxious t**t, fall out with everyone, and let your trip drag on. Your choice!
So...you know that your chopper flight is on its way out to the platform. You start to relax as you know your time away from home is coming to an end. You get your suit on. You hear the chopper on the landing pad up above you. Go upstairs, get on it, belt up. Watch as she lifts from the helipad and as the platform fades into the distance you put your going home head on. You feel yourself relaxing as you get closer to the Beach. You start thinking about what you're going to do, who you're going to see, who's waiting for you at home.
The guys on the flight on April 1st from the BP Miller platform will never come in through the door. You do feel it could so easily have been you. None of us are any more special than anyone else. There was no pick of the draw. Any of us that fly out there could have been on that flight. It didn't have to be that chopper that went down. There are 3 companies flying out to the North Sea. Any of them could have had the fatal accident and anyone with a valid survival certificate could have been on that flight that went down. All you can be thankful for is that it wasn't you.
I had to fly out the next day for an overnight trip. There was an atmosphere at Bristows with a hyper edge to it. Everyone paid more attention to the safety brief than they would do normally. Offshore conversation centred around the crash. Speculation as to what had happened. I watched the names and pictures on Newsnight Scotland when they were released...and promptly phoned home to get a cuddle over the phone from my honey. I was delayed for an extra day due to fog - not unusual. I didn't feel the same relief that I do normally when the flight was finally on its way and I got on the chopper. There was a degree of apprehension on the way in, more so than I had on the way out, and there was relief when we landed.
I was with the other girls when the memorial service was on. We did think about going up to Union Street to join in the service outside St Nicholas Kirk but we thought that might be too emotional. Instead we listened to it on the radio in the office and bowed our heads and stayed with our own thoughts when the 2 minute silence was observed.
I suppose I'm thankful that I've made it home everytime. The majority of us that work offshore do but over the years some of us haven't. I'm grateful that I have someone who loves me to come home to. I'm grateful that I make it home and I'll be grateful if I keep doing so.
Perhaps I should do as Hamish requests and retire from offshore...but not yet...
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
So we tootled about a bit more, saw more relatives, hung about while Derek did the majorly important thing (!) of getting his membership for the Orkney Trout Fishing Association, then wandered off to the Bay of Skaill to meet up with some pals as they were going to walk their dog there. It was really warm there (turns out Orkney managed to be one of the warmest places in the UK on Friday) and there were even kids paddling in the sea. They breed them tough up here!
So then himself starts playing about with some rocks...
And then he makes me a wee seat that looks out to sea and invites me to sit on it...
And I am totally gormless. I never twigged at all. He kneeled down in front of me and told me a few things i.e. "our pals aren't coming for a walk...that was just a ploy" and "my divorce came through on Wednesday...I'm a free man again" (and he'd been telling me that we were still waiting on that minor detail) and "would you make me very pleased by agreeing to marry me?"
I'll stop grinning at some point once the high wears off but at the moment I'm just very very pleased that my honey managed to pull it all together on the most perfect day you could have at my favourite spot in the whole world.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
At least it's sunny...and I'm not working as such. And the wool I ordered had come into the wool shop so I was able to buy myself a little birthday pressie.
Time to make the most of the sunshine and go for a run down the beach. The dog will enjoy it and I'll collapse in a heap at some point...
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
It's nice to look and see that I did actually finish some stuff in 2008 - and didn't just have a huge case of startitis without the secondary symptom of unfinisheditis and still sitting in my knitting basket!!!
Still got an awful lot of stuff that has been hanging about for absolute ages and trying to be good and finish off the majority of all that before I start casting on for new stuff.
There's an awful lot of temptation out there though...sometimes it's hard being a finisher when you're a true procrastinator at heart.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Monday, 12 January 2009
The use of the word "Gayella" (Regd.) by kind permission of Gayon (Gayon Fine Furnishing Fabrics)...
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
The projects are...
Design 23 from Noro Designer Mini Knits by Jenny Watson
Tabatha by Jenny Watson from Noro Catwalk Book 1
I also spent the first 2 days of the New Year adding my stash to Ravelry. That means I was able to download it all onto an Excel spreadsheet. Then I added up my totals...eek! Now I know I'm an amateur in comparison to many but I still manage to have 241 balls of wool (and other assorted fibres) which further equates to 21,000 metres of very fancy string...or virtually a half-marathon! Guess who's going to be stash-busting this year then ;-)
The other big thing for this year is to see if I can figure out the difference between "want" and "need". Too often I buy stuff on a whim and that can stop. Plus I need to stop hanging onto stuff for no good reason - bits of paper, books I read but didn't particularly like, clothes I never wear...the list goes on. I have to downsize at some point this year (when I eventually sell the house) and go from being one person spread out over a 4-bedroomed house (which I must admit has been great :-)) to being one of 4 people sharing a 3-bedroomed house. If it doesn't have a use then it's no point holding onto it just for sentimental value. Amazing how often that when something had gone that you no longer miss it (ex-boyfriends being a prime example?!). In all the years that I've been doing the good old wardrobe clearout I've only missed 2 dresses that I got rid of - however I reckon I might be able to get hold of patterns to make them again so...that leads onto the other resolution for this year. Time to learn how to use the damned sewing machine that I have upstairs. At least then I can stand a better chance of having clothes that fit from the off! And I want to make a big huge slouchy beanbag...he he!
Thursday, 1 January 2009
There is a lot of it. I've been adding it to Ravelry and I'm not finished yet. There are an awful lot of odd skeins so I think there will need to be a bit of jiggery-pookery for some items to enable the production of garments but if it makes me a bit more inventive and creative then that's not a bad thing now is it. There will be one instance where purchasing some new wool will be allowed but until the inspiration strikes there won't be any money leaving my hands. All part of the streamlining and downsizing in 2009.