Saturday, 15 February 2014

Biblical weather

I don't know how much news about British weather makes it abroad, but the weather lately in the UK has been astonishing to the point of being biblical.  I'm feeling quite groggy today because we had yet another major storm last night and I was kept away for over an hour in the middle of the night by the sheer noise of the wind-lashed rain against the window, the constant thud of the wobbling fence panel and a crash which turned out to be one of our wheelie bins blowing around.

Meanwhile the Thames Valley in Surrey where we just moved from is subject to several severe flood risk alerts (which means potential loss of life) and many affluent homes along the river are now flooded.  The area we lived in for 20 years is in the national news every day because so much of it is under water, and even the Prime Minister visited this week to show support.  It just won't stop raining, and not only are the rivers full to the brim, the ground itself is so saturated that the water has nowhere to go.  Other parts of the country like Somerset are even worse off and they are saying the bad weather could go on to the end of the month.

We are so, so, so very grateful that we sold our house successfully before Christmas because not only would the flooding and road closures and train cancellations have been a nightmare, I can't imagine that the housing market isn't being very negatively impacted. The house we lived in isn't at risk of flooding but surrounding nearby towns like Staines, Chertsey and Shepperton have been badly affected, and I would suspect the perception now is that to buy a house in that whole area is potentially risky.

Where we are living now is well above a river valley, up on a hill, so flooding is not an issue.  Our commutes to work are luckily also unaffected (apart from the 48-hour tube strike last week).  So we are counting our lucky stars to be free-range house buyers with our money in the bank.

Quilting

On the sewing front, I broke down and bought a cheap swivel chair from Argos for my sewing room.  It makes it so much easier because I can swivel away from the machine to use the iron, or roll the chair over to the bed to reach something.  I dug out my Sara's Roses Stack n Whack project and pieced more of the hexagon setting triangles.  I love how every hexagon looks so different, even though they are all cut from exactly the same fabric.  I don't see Stack n Whack in the mags or online anymore, it seems to be out of fashion but I still really enjoy the effect.


I'm almost ready to start piecing the top together, just need to make four more of these beauties.

Knitting

I had a kid-in-a-candy-shop moment last weekend at a yarn sale.  The House of Fraser department store in Northampton is closing down, including its yarn department.  I'd been a few weeks ago and had been strong and not bought anything, but then I heard at my knitting group that all the Rowan was now 50% off as well.  So there I am, facing a wall of Rowan yarn, dithering over what to get.  In the end, I settled for a sweater's worth of cotton glace in purple, and then made a selection of Handknit Cotton colours which I plan to knit into a striped top  of some kind. That's the moment when you wish you had pre-chosen patterns and knew exactly what Rowan yarn you wanted, but I couldn't even get a signal on my smartphone to look at my Ravelry queue so I had wing it.




I've started the Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit Along and have completed clue two.  I like my yarn but the variegation means the lace pattern isn't showing very clearly.  This is supposed to be the Lonely Mountain at the top with a wavy river running along underneath it.



I've continued to knit on my Haapsalu Shawl and I've also started a new square for my Great American Aran Afghan.




Act your age not your shoe size

I have a new time-suck because I finally cracked and downloaded an expansion module for the videogame that I am addicted to:  Skyrim Dragonborn.  It's really fun to be back playing it again, with new and improved quests, dungeons, monsters etc.  I also took part in a Beta trial for an online version (Elder Scrolls Online) but I can't talk much about that because I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to get in.  However I can say that I was really, really rubbish at it - compared to my limited experience of playing on an Xbox 360, trying to master about 40-50 keyboard commands to play on a PC while grappling with entirely new systems for attributes, skills etc was just far beyond me.  I could barely cope with running around and talking to NPCs, and meanwhile everyone else in the game (it's an MMO) seemed to know exactly what they were doing.  I strongly suspect I was probably about 30 years older than most everyone else in the game so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  I don't know if I will get invited to another beta test but in the meantime I need some kind of Idiot's Guide to MMOs. I'm so dumb that when I filled out the after-game survey, I had to keep looking up the acronyms on another tab because I had no idea what they were talking about.  The survey was also asking many questions about locations and activities that I hadn't even known existed so apparently I missed a lot while I was stumbling around.

Our weight loss month is going well.  I've lost four pounds now and I can already feel a difference, my clothes are a tiny bit looser and I feel lighter and more energetic.  As a motivational tool, I have bought two one-kilo bags of sugar (the equivalent of four pounds), and I can't believe how heavy they feel to hold.  I was carrying that weight around all the time and now I'm not.  I'm going to buy a bag for every week that I lose two pounds. Wonder how much sugar I am going to own if I keep going?


1 comment:

Daisy said...

Oh wow, lovely sale haul!

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