Monthly Archives: February 2009

Quick post

I should NOT be blogging, rather I should be writing a sermon. However, things are increasingly busy (who would have thought I would find a social life?) so I thought I would stick a quick post up to get some things out of my head.

So, I have been reading quite a bit. In brief:

RC3 – The Folklore of Discworld. Christmas present. Fantastic. Like the APF (annotated Pratchett file) but written by someone with access to PTerry. Looking at all the folklore which has inexplicably crossed dimensions from our world to the Discworld.

RC4 – The Shack. Yes, I finally succumbed to it. Although not the most literary thing I have ever read, it was a pleasure. The story chugged along nicely (was going to say happily, but actually little could be further from the truth) and I really enjoyed the Christology embedded in the narrative. Nice to have a different perspective on things. Doctrine is really much easier to grasp through story. There were times when it was rather trite and the characters might not always have the full three dimensions, but it is worth reading.

RC5 – Nation (Terry Pratchett) Another Christmas present. I think this is one of his best books yet, certainly his best young adult book. I have told my sister (an English teacher) to read it because I think she will be teaching it before too many years are gone. Note: this is NOT a Discworld book. This is set in a world very, very similar to our own.

RC6 – Valley of Strength (Shulamit Lapid) This was a free book I got in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaway. It is a new translation (first in English I think) of an Israeli classic. It is about a young Russian Jewess who arrives in Israel sometime at the end of the nineteenth century (I think, may be the early twentieth – I don’t have my copy to hand to check). The book describes her struggle to survive and raise a family in a harsh environment. It was a good book, but I don’t think I would ever have read it if it hadn’t been free. At times it was repetitive and I could really have done with a glossary and a character list. As a love story it was good, but there were times when I wanted to shout at the characters: just TALK to each other and things would be so much simpler.

RC7 – The Way of Shadows (Brent Weeks). Impulse buy this week. I was in Waterstones looking for a new fantasy trilogy and this one inspired me. It was really rather good, but horribly dark, being about assassination. Fairly classic hero journey, but good characters, compelling universe and nice use of magic. I did lose Thursday though since I couldn’t put it down once I started.

OK I must focus. I’m into the big stint of writing my dissertation so I probably won’t be around here much until after Easter, unless procrastination strikes.

Practically perfect?

On two occasions in the past week, I have attempted to be extremely practical and fallen at the final hurdle.

The kitties had finally destroyed the old catflap so I bought a replacement then discovered it needed new holes drilling in the door. We bought a drill* and I set to work. The varnish on the back door is very dark so I couldn’t get a pen to make a mark on it. There was no masking tape in the house so I couldn’t use that. In the end I measured  from the other side and figured out roughly where the holes went. Holes successfully (well almost – there are two holes on one side – oops) drilled, cat flap inside part wedged into pre-existing hole, cat flap outside part lined up outside and screws ready to screw in. 20 minutes later, I still can’t figure out why the screw won’t catch on one side and I have to call Mr F. Turns out screws are too short. Why couldn’t I realise that? Then I would have actually managed some solo DIY.

Today I tried to change the windscreen wiper on the car. Again, after several minutes struggling with it I had to admit defeat. Turns out I was pulling when I should have been pushing, or something. Ah well.

On a practical level, I am doing better than the other female occupants of the house. The cats have not taken to their new cat flap at all. Seph will come in, but not go out. She has spent most of the day standing by it in the hope it will magically change back to the old one. I guess they will get fed up eventually and just decide to use it.

In other news, Rusk has FINALLY cut the tooth that has been causing him bother for 3 weeks.

* mmmmm a power tool of my very own

Shoes in the snow

Ooh loving the new dashboard. Thanks to the Wibsite people for the upgrade. Not that any of you can see any difference of course.

This morning there was no snow outside our house, the 2 inches that had fallen in the night having disappeared. Without really thinking, I put my new shoes on (black ankle boots with a 2 inch chunky heel) and drove to college. Turning into the college drive, I realised that the snow had not melted here and there was a good covering on most surfaces.

A word of advice: don’t try to carry a laptop, a baby and assorted other paraphernalia across snowy ground while wearing new shoes. While we all survived the experience, it was not pleasant, particularly going down the slope towards my study.

On with the day. I need to bring together my current thoughts on my dissertation and share it with the MA group at 12.

Knitting update

After my very exciting Christmas presents, (see here) I was itching to get started on some new knitting projects, but I was very good. I was just coming to the end of a sock so I thought I would finish that one and its pair before beginning anything else. Plus there was the whole essay/exam thing so obsessive knitting on a new project not such a good plan.

I finished the first sock at Lee Abbey just after New Year. I have discovered that listening to lectures is a whole lot easier when half the brain is busy with something else. I hardly fell asleep at all! There were just a couple of glitches: I think I accidentally did 2 knit rows one after the other in the garter stitch toe and the ssp decreases came out wrong. I’m not too fussy though, and certainly not fussy enough to go back and make it right. Something about a perfect piece of art being an insult to the Creator? Is it icons that always have a deliberate error in them to emphasize the imperfection of humanity? Anyway, there we go.

The second sock was mostly knitted in a series of lectures on leadership at college. At the beginning of the week we were told not to take notes if we didn’t want to, so I knitted. Didn’t quite have the courage to sit on the front row, so I hid at the back all week. This go me to the end of the heel and since then I have been doing a few rows a night to get it finished. On my quiet day last week I blitzed the rest of the foot, then worked on the toe this weekend.

At this point, there was a bit of a problem. Esme and I had a disagreement about what I wanted to do. I thought I was sitting on the sofa knitting. Esme thought I should be sitting on the sofa stroking her and generally giving her attention. We tried to compromise, but Esme tried to join in the knitting by chewing the needles. Then she flipped out a bit, grabbed the sock in her teeth and ran off, scattering needles as she went. Oh I was cross. Thankfully Mr F was in her way and was ready to hold her still while I rescued the sock. Some delicate picking up of stitches followed, successfully I think since I ended up with a multiple of 4.

Here is a picture of the finished item.

And here is a link to my other knitting projects on Ravelry, although I’m not sure whether non-members can look at it. Sorry!

Vestment quest part 2

So the things I was still in search of are…

  • clerical shirts
  • a cloak
  • a white stole

Cross Designs appeared at college so I went up to look at their stuff and was really pleased with what I saw. The ladies range was quite extensive, the staff had endless patience with the girls trying on about 15 items each. With the catalogue we were given a complete set of fabric samples. Much time was spent holding tiny scraps of fabric up against each other’s faces to see what suited. The resident colour expert (not an ordinand so able to look at it with quite a detached view) gave strict advice on which colours we were allowed to order. Apparently my colouring is quite tricky, but some blues, greens and browns were ok.

Anyway, I have ordered various things including a clerical hoodie (in brown with blue lining in the hood and round the dog collar). A couple of shirts were also on the list, as well as a very cunning shirt with dog collar insert that is impossible to describe, but here is a diagram.

They offer various colour linings for cloaks. Although extremely tempted by the hot pink lining, I went for a more subtle purply one instead, on the grounds that I’ll mostly be wearing it at funerals and you don’t really want to be a distraction.

So, we are nearly there. Just need to think about the stole now, and maybe a few more shirts. I may well go with Butler & Butler fairtrade shirts.

Sale purchases

I bought these in the sale…

cutout

…so decided to make some cookies with the handy recipe included with them. It was after Christmas, so they needed to be healthy biscuits.

fruit

What do you think?

After that I tried out the number cut-outs.

pi

It turns out that I am still a mathematician at heart and believe me, I could have gone quite a lot further before running out of decimal places and having to look them up.