Monthly Archives: November 2010

Rethink

Trying to blog every day for a month has turned out to be boring, frustrating and ultimately off-putting, so I stopped.

I’ll have another think about what I want to use the blog for and get back to you.

I may be some time.

Leeds

I’m in Leeds after a day of lectures today, being plied with tea and cake by lovely people.

Thank you lovely people!

I think I was writing about the view from my desk a few days ago.

Here it is.

You can just see the sea behind the trees.

Deadline

I’m knitting to a deadline¬† – 4pm tomorrow. Between now and then I need to knit half a sock, get a good nights sleep, get up early with Rusk, take a picture of the completed knitting and upload it to the internet.

Something tells me there aren’t quite enough hours. I find it somewhat amusing that I can even struggle with deadlines for my hobbies (and this post comes to you at 23.52, sneaking in under the wire. Ridiculous.

A moment

I’m hosting a meeting at home this evening.

Rusk and I made cakes this afternoon (he is good at stirring) and they are sitting in the kitchen by the kettle.

Mr F is upstairs, out of the way of the meeting.

People will arrive soon.

The living room is tidy.

Everything is peaceful.

The cat is asleep on a chair (this won’t last long once people get here)

After a very busy day combining work with toddler-minding this is a welcome oasis of calm.

I’m making the most of it.

Blessed are the meek

So, it appears that yesterday I only thought about posting, but didn’t actually write. Serves me right for owning up to trying NaBloPoMo.

Today I have been into the local school to lead collective worship. We plan these a term at a time, so whichever member of the team are leading it should make sense and not end up with the same story three weeks running.

We are doing the beatitudes this half term and I volunteered for ‘blessed are the meek’. Sounds easy? Not so much, especially when I found that there don’t seem to be any assemblies online for 5-11 year olds based on blessed are the meek. Now I know why.

I really wanted to go into the link between blessed are the meek and turn the other cheek. With both of them, despite seeming to advocate being a total pushover, there is a sense of protest. Meekness in this context doesn’t mean being totally acquiescent to any unreasonable oppression. Rather, it is a measured response. You can still state how much the oppression is hurting you, and try to avoid it happening. The meekness comes in not getting angry or responding violently

Turning the other cheek is similar. The natural way for a right-handed person to slap someone is on the left cheek. Turning the other cheek requires them to either use their left hand (which in non-enlightened times was very much not done) or to hit back-handed. Hitting back-handed signified the total insignificance and humiliation of the person you are hitting. Volunteering to be humiliated in this way is meant to be a way of pointing out to the person hitting you the damage they are inflicting.

All very well and nicely intellectualised. Problems? For a start, there is little meaning to these codes of right-handed superiority and correct fighting any more. Then there is all the bullying of left-handers or putting into practice of hitting each other that might arise from an assembly on this subject.

I ended up using a box of duplo bricks tipped all over the floor to help illustrate this. Any guesses how?

NaBloPoMo

Is this sudden deluge of posts after a long silence surprising? I’ve fallen out of the habit of blogging at all, so this is a last ditch effort to test if I want to stay with it or stop for a while.

Deeleea inspired me to join in with NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month – and post every day of November. Following somewhat the dictates of William Morris, I’ll see whether what I manage to write by the end of November is either known to be useful or believed to be beautiful. If not, or if I don’t get a reasonable distance into the month, probably best to stop. Good thing you can schedule posts to publish ahead of time or I would have already missed a couple.

I’ve been away this weekend on a training course, learning more about preaching. They introduced us to some ideas from NLP (neuro-linguistic processing). I found it fascinating, but since it was the second session, I then spent a lot of energy during the rest of the weekend analysing the communication preferences and styles of the speakers rather than paying too much attention to the content. There were handouts, however, so I can go back and read them if I need to.

More socks

These are the socks from round 2 of Iron Knitter.

Hope you aren’t getting tired of seeing knitted socks. I’m afraid there are plenty more. I was holding back on blogging about knitting, but there isn’t really much else I can blog about at the moment.

These were done using a technique called festive knitting, that makes colourwork easier when knitting in the round. Not sure I totally got the hang of it, but they look ok on the outside. (Probably best not to look at the inside).

Mad Men

The knitting competition that I’ve been blogging about this week has a theme: Mad Men, the tv series. A lot of the techniques that are being introduced are fromthe 1960s and some of the patterns are directly inspired by the tv show.

I always meant to watch Mad Men, but never quite got round to it. Iron Knitter has persuaded me that I should try it, so I’ve started at series 4 on BBC4. I never normally watch things from halfway through, but I’m beginning to like it, although I have no idea of most of the character back-story. It is a very wordy series, similar to the West-wing in that nearly everything is in the dialogue, although less frenetic than WW. I love the sixties clothes and seeing how much society has changed for women.

Here is a picture of me as I would like to think I look in the style of Mad Men.

Yes, I have a piano accordion. No, my hair and glasses are not really like that. No, I have never worn a dress like that.

Twilight

In between knitting socks, working and toddler time, in the last few weeks I read the Twilight series. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Host, also by Stephanie Meyer was a really good book – brilliant sci-fi and completely un-put-downable, but there had been so much hype about Twilight that I was sceptical about it.

It turns out that there was no need for scepticism. I loved reading them – I haven’t devoured a whole series like that since I found Trudi Canavan’s Magician trilogy. It is a pity that they are so well known, because I already went into them knowing the whole vampire/werewolf/human aspect (and now you do too – sorry). The suspense of the reveal of each of the characters would have been interesting¬† without notice.

The thing that I found most interesting was the struggle for morality. What is good and evil? Who has a soul? How much danger can you put someone you love into? I liked that Meyer redefined her vampires and werewolves – they don’t follow all the classic rules, so you never quite know their limits. I’ve given the books back to the person from book group who I borrowed them from. If not, I think I might have to read them through again to see what I missed the first time.

Anyone else read them? What did you think?

Northumberland

I mentioned yesterday that we went up to Northumberland in September.

Resorting to google maps to find where it is, I discover it is Beadnell Bay. There were a group of people kite-surfing along the bay – looked most impressive.

It proved to be a good place to continue Rusk’s education into the finer points of sand-castle building. Living in the North of England, he has learned that a good, thick, waterproof coat and wellies are the most appropriate things to wear to the beach. We went back a couple of days later, but I misjudged the tides and we had about 12 square feet of sand to play on. The first castles we built were washed away a few minutes later – Rusk got quite cross about this, but it is an important lesson to learn. He got over it.