I don’t think Carole King was singing about an earthquake, but here I am on holiday in California and there’s the earth, moving under my feet. 

I thought I was coming down with something – having already experienced some mammoth motion sickness in the car a few days ago, getting lost with the aid of a GPS, stuck in endless traffic on a freeway, and having to pull over in a less than salubrious area while I took deep breaths and recovered.  

I’m growing to love the disappointed tone in the GPS lady’s voice as she says “Recalculating”.  Like she knew we’d mess up but she’s going to be very patient and try again.

Oh, yeah, back to the knitting.  Here’s some nice Cascade Heritage I bought on the way to meet husband and son for breakfast yesterday.  The colour is ‘Aqua Sol’ and the nice lady wound it into a ready-to-knit cake for me – that’s never happened in the UK.   Hubby and son had to come looking for me to ask if I really wanted granola again.  I did.

Where was I?

A new camera finally gets me to blog. Nothing wrong with my old camera, but this one seems to take a crisper picture. Look:

Today I told The Boy off for leaving a plate by his bed.  ‘I didn’t!’ he cried.  When I examined the dried chocolate and bits of strawberry on the plate, I realised it’s been there since the new year’s eve party, when a hoard of teenagers hung out in his room.

The sock is from Cookie A’s Sock Innovation, which was on my Amazon Wish List and I got for Christmas, along with the boxed ‘World at War’.  I’m knitting my way through the book whilst watching WWII unfold on my TV.

In further startling news, a man with a sledgehammer is coming tomorrow, to start the process of converting the bathroom from a mould-ridden grot-spot to a paradisical spa-like garden of sensual delight.  That’s what I’ll be telling myself when the drilling gets too much to bear.

This blog is so not getting the attention it deserves.  However, today I came across this and had to quickly post.  From what I can tell, a very chi-chi mail-order designer goods site expects one to pay around £400 for a scarf,  so these prices are a snip.  But I somehow can’t see their usual customers being willing to pick up the sticks and bash out these accessories, delightful as they are.  Hmmm… maybe ‘the help’ could be roped in – on their day off, or whilst chatting to the other nannies in the park, natch.

Long time no hear, but I’ve just finished these Stashbuster Spirals and feel they are worthy of a post.  Mostly leftovers of Lorna’s Laces, with a bit of Regia Silk.  Toe up, and bound off using a 6mm needle – a tip I heard yesterday on the Manic Purl podcast – thanks Chrissy!  It’s a revelation – my main beef with toe-up is making the cuff just the right size to pull on and off, but sans floppiness.   They are really comfortable, but I think I may have to wait until autumn to get the benefit, as it’s warming up nicely here in London.

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The Boys have jetted off to a wedding in the South of France.  Glamorous, or what?  So The Girls have been shopping, catching up on DVD’s and trying out different flavours of Ben & Jerry’s – Cookie Dough is still the favourite.  We also had a mani-pedi each, and can’t wait to flash off our new posh tootsies:

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My Dirty Secret

I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been watching this.

The first episode was on Sunday, and whereas for the last series I was making do with maybe watching when Hubby was down the pub, this week he started watching it because ‘there’s nothing else on’ (his excuse for all sorts of pulp TV), but went to bed after 15 minutes.  Me, I sat glued to the screen, and now am hooked.  I hate Big Brother,  The Osbornes and all those Jungle/Island reality shows, but this is like watching people in a parallel universe.  They look similar to us, but they are so not us that it is as striking as watching a Dimbleby special about the creatures of the Amazon rainforest. And yet I feel ashamed of my choice.  So please don’t mention it to anyone.  Particularly the intellectual snobs in my reading group.


We spent Easter in Germany, where trees in front gardens are decorated with painted eggs.  According to our hostess, my sis-in-law, Christianity came late to the north, hence they still celebrate pagan rites in remote areas, such as bonfires at Easter to chase away the bad spirits lingering after winter.  On a drive through the countryside at dusk (we were in a tractor trailer, which added to the fun) we spotted tons of big fires burning, and breathed in the smell that to us Englanders means November and Guy Fawkes.

We stayed in Bremen, a small city of 450,000 inhabitants, and I did my usual self-poll ‘Could I live here happily?’

I came to the conclusion that yes, I could.  Here’s why:

1. The baked goods.  There seemed to be an excellent baker on every corner, selling all kinds of bread, including my favourite (walnut) and huge yeasty buns spiked with sultanas.  If that’s not reason enough to relocate I give you…

2. Everybody cycles.  There are cycle paths, and old-school bikes with baskets on the front.  The public transport system is fantastic and cheap, also, in case you get tired of pedalling.

3.  German people seem to take great pride in their gardens, front and back.  Where I live front gardens are being ripped up and replaced with concrete at an alarming rate.

4. The coffee seemed to be uniformly excellent.

5. We didn’t see one pair of Ugg boots.

6. The weather was good while we were there, but we noticed that some restaurants with outside tables had thoughtfully laid blankets over the backs of the chairs for patrons who feel the chill.  You’ve got to love that.

I’m sure I could think of lots more, but let’s face it, heaps of bread, good coffee, cycling everywhere, eating wrapped in a blanket…. you’re booking a ticket right now, aren’t you?

I finished my pink socks:


and bought tons of lovely sock yarn in Karstadt, the Bremen department store.  Sock knitting is a normal hobby in Germany (reason 8 to move there?).

A final picture.  We got lost in the student district, where the grafitti was fantastic, and the garage doors even looked wonderful.  Here’s one a la Henri Rousseau:



I think I’ve cracked it.  Do one on DPNs and t’other on magic loop.  Work on each alternately and it somehow feels different enough to maintain a cracking pace.  Lovely pattern, easy to memorise, I think it’s my first Nancy Bush, though I’ve had this book for ages.


I’ve also discovered how never to have to attend a concert at your daughter’s school.  Go to the first one you’re invited to.  Sit near the front and blub when they sing anything remotely touching.  Try to stop, because you can sense her embarrassment, but that will make it worse.  Mop your eyes with a tissue as the rest of the parents are leaving the hall.   Rest assured, she’ll ‘forget’ to tell you of all future musical events.


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