I had a job interview last week for a part-time communications role. It came up at fairly short notice, and due to being fully committed on the intervening day (up to London for someone's leaving do and then IKEA to buy stuff for the house), I didn't really do much preparation. That let me down in the actual interview where I found myself quite rusty about responding to questions. I hate when they are sitting there with the forms they have to fill in, waiting with pen poised to capture the keywords I am supposed to spout in my answers. Then they score you to rank candidates. It's supposed to be fairer, but I miss the days when you just had to make a good impression and have good references. Needless to say they weren't writing down much while I was babbling. It's hard to get my head in the game when I am wrapped up with the house transformation.
The house is getting there. I had the oven cleaned last week so it looks like new, and at IKEA I bought a bunch of clean new replacements for our knackered cutting boards, toilet brushes, door mats, place mats etc. I also bought a pretty cafe chair and table set to go in the conservatory once the new carpet is in. Today I had a rather Del-boy-like gentleman come to give me a quote on jetwashing the front pavers and our pathway, wash the windows and clean the marks and cobwebs off of the fascia boards and soffits. I've been slowly emptying out the kitchen cupboards and washing them out, and I'm going to try out our steam cleaner on the bathroom tiles.
On the knitting front, I finished my Featherduster shawl in Debbie Bliss Angel Print, and I've blocked it. It looked like a ball of nothing when wet, but so much prettier now it is spread out. I hope it dries quickly so that I can try it on.
I'm still plugging away on my Alice Starmore pullover. After I had knit most of the bottom band, I tried it on and realised that it was still too short. So I had to pull out the bottom band for the second time and work out an extended stripe sequence that would look similar to the original bands but be more than twice as wide. I'm just about finished knitting that now so should be able to cast off soon.
I haven't progressed much on my Hawaiian quilt with Quilt University. I did piece together the three layers of fabric from yardage, but I had to do that sitting on the floor with my machine on the floor in front of me, as my sewing table is packed and there isn't enough room anywhere else in the house. Really not ergonomic. I got that all ironed which took ages as I am rubbish at ironing, and then made up the paper pattern for 1/8th of the quilt top. Now I just need to actually come up with my design. I'm behind the class now, as this week we are supposed to be cutting out our fabric and basting it.
This past weekend was a long weekend in the UK, and DH and I had the excitement of a getaway city break to Istan bul. It's such a vibrant city but incredibly overcrowded, twice as big as London apparently. There are so many gorgeous sights but you are constantly negotiating crowded streets and jampacked transport. It puts London commuting in an entirely better light. We had some great meals and saw some wonderful sights. Most of the people we came into contact with were courteous and helpful, and there were a lot of other tourists around particularly in the old city. Queues to get into major sites were absolutely massive, apparently there is a big cruise ship market now which floods the city with tourists. I enjoyed looking at everything but didn't buy much, only a few gifts for relatives. It was a real mix of East and West, they have Starbucks and McDonald's and everyone seemed to have smartphones, but also ancient Ottoman fountains and crumbling bathhouses tucked in between cramped ramshackle apartment buildings. I took loads of pictures but won't flood this post with them, here are a couple.