Mr Knitter

My Version Of String Theory


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Books galore..

I have quite literally thousands of books, and this is no exaggeration.  I have been collecting books all my adult life.  I have bought books that I have never read, and may never get to read, but I am determined to try.

Inspired by another blogger Chronical Of Ellen, I have decided to list some books that I have to read in the next month, and no crafting (well, I may do a bit).

The photo you see showing my Churchill Diaries will not be a collection that I will be challenging myself to as yet, as they are quite intense reads.  I have set a date of the end of July, so that gives me about 5 weeks to complete the following in this order:

 

My List

  1. After Auschwitz; Eva Schloss
  2. Open the Cage, Murphy; Paul O’Grady
  3. The Dynamite Room; Jason Hewitt
  4. The Road Ahead; Christabel Bielenberg

So, here goes, let’s see how I do.  I have only managed to read 10 books this year, which is a far cry from my wanting to read 52 by the end of the year.

I will, of course, keep you all posted.


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To Hot to Drop Stitches

Because of the unprecedented fabulous weather we are having at the moment, I am writing this in the garden in direct scorching sunlight with Stone Sour on my headphones, and so I have not been doing any knitting, not a jot in the last 10 days.

Rather than sit in the lounge, or on the patios and knit, I have been sitting in the sun, slowly developing my tan, I say slowly as after 30 minutes in direct sun I move to the shade as I don’t want to burn and look like an old Peruvian Sherpa.

With sunbathing comes great responsibility; barbeques are aplenty, music is essential, especially to drown out the sound of a neighbour’s twins screeching because they cannot get their own way, and a load of books that need to be read, both in physical and e-book form.  On the barbeque front, we have managed to have 12 so far and summer has just started. Musically, I love my heavy metal, but rather than have my favourite bands tear down the walls, I tend to have Radio 6 Music on the go, that is if I do not have my cans on.

I keep looking at all my yarn stash and think I really need to get moving on all the stuff I need to make, finish making, and really want to make, but unless it starts raining and the temperature drops, that really isn’t an option.  At night in the winter my needles are going all the time, but at night I am ploughing through books, which is another passion of mine, as I love literature, especially the classics, it is why I decided to my degree in English Language and Literature.

Our summer last year was mostly rain and the odd hot day, so lots of knitting was done especially socks. I wonder how many of you out there find that knitting seems to be a seasonal thing too? Those that live in hot climates probably do not have that problem, but we are about 880 miles away from the arctic circle, so a hot summer is quite rare, however, because of the jet stream we rarely get really bad winters, and the coldest I have ever recorded was -18, which came with two foot of snow and a complete standstill of transport.

Maybe I should take up knitting lace work, that is light weight, and looks quite complex.


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Itchy feet, the world is calling…

Over the Alps

Flying over the Alps heading to Rome & Vatican City

I have itchy feet. I feel the need to travel again.  I think it is the summer that is starting to get me in the mood, not that it takes much.  I was in Rome in November, then in Amsterdam in February, and am going to be in Ireland in September.  So between my last holiday and my next, I feel I need to go away again.  It’s not going to happen, I know that, so maybe get a weekend away if I can, but restlessness is really taking hold.

I booked this evening my trip to Ireland, and first booked flights, car hire etc., then after reading all the BS with the car hire and having to pay an extra £60 for insurance to cover the excess.  After reading the very small print, the hire company would take a deposit from my card of £1,000.00, and would not pay it back for some time till they were happy that the car was in perfect condition.  This did make we wonder why I paid for excess insurance in the first place, so, I read their terms and any part of the £1,000 to £3,000 excess that the hire company took they would pay back to me within 28 days. The chance of me being charged would be near zero, but I did not like the idea of this chance of being taken for a ride and losing money by something going wrong, or a small print that excludes something. You know that little voice in the back of your head that starts talking to you, telling you that this sounds wrong. I tried to ignore it, and it persisted and went on and on, eventually, the alarm bells rang in my head.

With this, I hit the cancellation buttons on the flights, car hire, and insurance.  Needless to say, I lost money, only £40, which I can live with, and booked the ferry.  It is a bloody long journey of 8 hours sailing time, but in the end, it worked out close to £150 cheaper, taking into account airport parking £60, flights £110, baggage £25, seat costs £8, car hire £160, excess insurance £60.  I get to use my own car, which is a big-ass SUV.  If I wanted to hire the same car as mine for the week I was there it would cost me in the region of £600, so that was never going to happen.

I only have to wait 95 days now (and counting).  I will miss my dogs like mad, but the kennels we use are great, the people are lovely, and my girls seem to enjoy being there, almost like home from home.

I will have to start looking at a weekend or two away, for now, although we do have house guests in August, so that shortens the time frame, but I am sure I will manage something.


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Sadness and horror hits London, again!

In the last few months, and mainly the last several weeks we in the UK have seen some dreadful things happening.  Terrorism in London and Manchester, and today we woke to the latest tragedy to hit, the terrible fire in the 24 floor Grenfell Tower in West London.

My heart goes out to all those affected.  The news states so far only 12 lives lost, but this block houses approximately 650 people, and the speed and ferocity of the fire mean the death toll will rise.  It was a sorrowful thing to hear about, people throwing their children out the windows to save them, many adults leaping, and no doubt enduring severe injury from the drop.

I could not imagine what these people went through, and the survivors are currently going through.  The enormity and horror of it are overwhelming, and as such we become voyeurs watching it unfold, rigid in front of the televisions, hoping for the best, but witnessing the worst, and all along grateful that we are not the victims.

It seems week in week out that something unpleasant happens, and London lately has been taking the hit constantly.  I like many others, hope that this spate of terror and horror is at an end, and people can live again without all the fears borne from these events.

God bless those that have perished.


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Hello/Goodbye

The first week of this month we say Hello to my new Nephew and Goodbye to my Great Uncle.

IMG_2287

Early hours of 3rd June my little brother and his partner had their first baby together.

This is baby T having a well earned sleep.

Poor L was in labour for since 1st June when she went into hospital to be induced.  It was a long drawn out affair by the sounds of it and the text updates from little brother.

Roll on a week later and we are getting to see him for the first time today, so armed with baby gifts of clothing we head to my mums where we are all meeting.  I thought clothes would be the best thing to get them as lets face it, they grow so fast at that age they will be grown out of all they have in no time at all.

 

As one enters the great stage another one leaves

IMG_2297My Great Uncle: My mum was adopted when she was born, and never knew who here birth family where apart from the name of her birth mother.  I had been looking and investigating for many years (between knitting projects that is) to find her family as she always wanted to know.  Flashback to 31 May 2015 and I had a breakthrough and found one of her sisters, needless to say, we confirmed everything, including DNA comparison before I told my mum.  From this, we met all but one of her siblings, the missing one had died many years before.  We learned about her family, and my new uncles, aunts, great uncles and great aunt who were still living.  One was L, who had had a falling out with the rest of the family.  I was not part of this falling out obviously, and when he contacted me on Ancestry I decided to forge a relationship with him.  He was not in the best of health, and we chatted via emails and Facebook.  We were to meet but due to his broadband problems as he lived in the back end of nowhere and his eyesight & health problems, he never committed to a date, although from his correspondence he really wanted to meet.  Alas, he passed away on 4th June in Glan-Glwyd aged 85.  We had become as close as you possibly could through our correspondence but missed out on meeting in person, but all the same, I was glad to know him, even if it was in this context.  He confessed deeply kept secrets to me that he had never told anyone else, which I am proud to of shared with him, and his confidences I too will take this to my grave.

This past week has been a mix of emotions, joy and sadness.


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Updated Domain Name

blogI decided tonight to make a commitment to my site and purchase a domain.  The original site address will still work and seamlessly send everyone to here which is now MrKnitter.blog

No updating needed which is great.  A few more features have been added and a larger storage capacity comes with the upgrade.  The guy at WordPress said that everything is seamless and pretty much up and running from the start.  So, in the words of Frasier Crain, “To new beginnings”.


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Competition Winner

I decided to enter a competition on LoveKnitting.com entitled #HappyKnitter.  Not expecting to win as there are so many talented people out there, I promptly forgot about it.  I was checking my email as I tend to leave it sitting there with only a cursory glance over to see if there is something important, and on the weekend flying through it getting rid of crap and scan reading the things I want to.

Cast forward a few weeks and an email is sitting in my email box, being ignored as it was not the weekend, from LoveKnitting.com asking if I had received the first email as they did not want me to lose out on the competition and that I had won.  Talk about bowled away.  I quickly messaged back and the next day was presented with my prize, £100 voucher for yarn from their site. The only snag was I could only use the code once and if I did not use the full total of the voucher then I would lose out. Pressure then crept into what I was going to purchase.  After an agonising week, I finally decided on what I wanted, coming to a grand total of £130.

Some of the yarn had to come from the USA, but withing about 7 to 10 days all of my yarn arrived, and I was astounded by the quantity I now added to my stash, so much so, I had to go out and purchase two more huge plastic boxes to store it.

This is the blanket that I had made and entered into the competition.  It is called “A Bit of Ireland”, and is based on Stephen West’s “A Bit of Iceland”, which I have also made too.

I have not got round to starting any or my project with the new yarn but will do quite soon, well, as soon as I finish the baby stuff for my brother and make my partner his socks.