Up Knit Creek

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hello again

I know you've missed me (as if!) and I know I'm a very naughty girl because, yet again, I have neglected my ikkle bloggy.
You will be relieved to know that there will not be a video in this post - that will be for the very rare occasions when I feel that moving pictures are essential to the content of the post.

Jury service is now over and I have mixed feelings about it. Sitting on a case was very interesting but a huge responsibility (and I'm not one to take on more responsibility than I absolutely have to) that cannot be taken lightly. I found it very difficult to separate my own gut feelings from hard facts and evidence and although I think we made the right decision, I'm not sure that we reached that decision via the correct procedures. As I had never set foot inside a courtroom before, I think I now have much more of an insight into the way our legal system works and I would be happy to sit on a jury again. I also met some very nice people ( fellow jurors and court officials) so, on the whole, I would say it was a positive experience. All the waiting around could have been extremely tedious had it not been for my trusty needles and yarn - I was very pleased that on the last day of jury service, I was able to wear the fruits of my labours:

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(I got a cheer for that!)
Pattern: my own
Yarn: 100% wool, approx 4ply/fingering weight, hand-dyed by a company whose name I have totally forgotten (informative, aren't I?), bought at the Knitting & Stitching show at the N.E.C. last September.

Life has since returned to normal and I have another F.O. - yet another bag. What is it with me and bags at the moment? For years I used a little black back-pack style handbag, with the occasional use of something a bit more stylish for weddings, evenings out etc but recently my subconscious has been shouting "you need more bags! you need more bags!"
I hope to sell the bags and/or the patterns on my website eventually but for now, here's a quick peek at the latest offering:
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pattern: my own
yarn: a mixture of 100% wool, aran/worsted weight, bought as a pack of left-overs from Kangaroo's stall at the "Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts" event held at the Brighton Centre last week. Ooooh dear, a bit of a linking frenzy here, seem to be getting carried away.
By the way, I finally transferred to the new Blogger - notice any difference? Me neither.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A departure

from the norm.
I got a new toy recently - a webcam - to try and make the most of the whole "Skype" experience and have learnt (thanks, Girls!) that I can post videos to the blog. Not sure it's something I'll repeat but it was worth one try at least. It was a very spur-of-the-moment thing with no preparation at all, so no pictures of the latest knitting or Bethany's birthday cake, or even of anything remotely interesting! I promise that if ever I decide to inflict this torment on my loyal reader again, I will have some semblance of a plan; in the meantime, please try not to cringe too much!

P.S. Happy 16th Birthday Bethany, not too much sushi, now!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A day in the life................

........... of a juror.

9.45am: Arrive at court, sit in Jury assembly room awaiting further instructions.

10.00am: Watch rather simplistic video outlining proceedings and responsibilities.

10.15am: Listen to Jury Officer repeat everything that was said in the video and explain how to complete the (self-explanatory) expenses claim form.

10.30am: Buy disgusting cup of tea from the tea-bar, remembering not to interact with members of the public whose case you may or may not be hearing.

10.31am: dispose of disgusting tea in nearest plant-pot and write little note to self to remember a flask of good tea tomorrow.

10.31am: commence knitting.

12.30pm: Listen to Jury Officer who reads out two lists of names. As own name is on first list, I must go out for lunch before returning at 1.45pm. Names on second list are told to go home.

12.45 - 1.15pm: Eat large jacket potato in seedy little cafe and return to court early to escape the disconcerting stares of strange man in said cafe.

1.15pm: commence knitting.

1.45pm: Jury Officer announces that there has been an administrative delay, he will tell us more in half an hour.

1.46pm: carry on with knitting.

3.30pm: Jury Officer returns (funny kind of half-hour) and announces that defendant has decided to plead guilty so there is no trial and we should report back at 10.00am tomorrow.

4.00pm: Arrive home to resume normal daily activities.

Today was more of the same except I got to go home a little earlier and did not have to endure the disgusting tea. My knitting is progressing well and I am hopeful of finishing the body of the jumper by the end of the week. So much for public duties..............

At the weekend, I headed home to Leicester for a very special occasion - my mum's 80th birthday. My BB (big brother) and his partner had offered to hold a surprise party for her so there have been many phone calls and emails to discuss food, timings, guests, drinks (no, Bethany, you may not have Absinthe) and how not to raise her suspicions. She knew something was going on so I had to tell her that all she needed to know was that a taxi would be picking her up and she needed to look nice. Anyway, all went smoothly and even when we arrived at BB's house, Mum still didn't know what was going on until the door to the sitting room was opened and she saw all the guests.
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She enjoyed it!
And there was cake:
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lovingly made my eldest niece.
Mum is something of a "Silver Surfer" so BB and I got her a new LCD monitor for her computer but of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give a knitted gift as well so she got this:
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an enlarged version of "Argosy" from Knitty.com using HandMaiden Lace silk in Periwinkle. My Dad is treating Mum to a day-trip on the Orient Express so hopefully this wrap will be part of her posh frock outfit on the day; failing that, I'm sure it can be pressed into service when they go cruising round Australia and New Zealand later on this month (jealous? me? hmmmm).
We all went out for a lovely Sunday Lunch here the next day and I, for one, will not need to eat again until next Wednesday at the earliest.
All in all, a birthday weekend to be remembered. Now there's three more family birthdays this month, just hope they don't all expect the same treatment!