Thursday, 25 August 2011

Fate or whinyness?

There are times I wonder about the existance of fate.

I mean, I believe in a God. I don't exactly subscribe to a free-for-all view of the universe, with fate shifting things around and whacking things and throwing jelly onto unsuspecting members of the public (although I always want to know: How do I become a member of the private? Because all this stuff happens to members of the public like being asked to participate in surveys and being held hostage and budget cuts and suchlike. I bet members of the private get to bounce on bouncy roads and eat chocolate without getting fat and sleep on clouds and and and suchlike. And they never ever freak out when they see an accident, even though it's obvious everyone is ok and they'll just need to get a new car because woah is that messed up, because when you're a member of the private (And I have just realised that sounds vaguely rude) you get to be a super person who helps and everything!) (Then again, maybe members of the private are paramedics. Paramedics with great matresses.)

But sometimes I wonder.

Par example:

This morning I woke up from the best sleep I've had in ages (yay!) at 4.30 am. I was then not able to get back to any kind of sleep (ah.) and teh brain gerbils are lethargic but still working way, ticking over and annoying me with questiions such as 'What's the name of that statue by the knitting shop? The one of Mary. You know, The Mary. It's Our Lady of summat... we'll call her Our Lady of Wool Shop."
"Yeah, like that's properly respectful."
"She's situated in an alleyway that smells of pee and is knee deep in cigarette butts and gum. I don't think respect is one of her top priorities."
"Doesn't mean it shouldn't be one of yours."
"You're a pain and I hate you. And you smell."
"Well, that's mature."
"Mature?! We're trapped in the brain of a crazy person and you want me to be MATURE?!"

And so on.

So I got up, got breakfast because I was starving, and got on the computer. It was roughly six am by the time I gave up on tossing and turning, and then I discovered many things about the universe to appease half the gerbils. Did you know in butchery when a steak is dry aged it's got to be kept in specific conditions so it doesn't go mouldy, but instead gets this black crust on it which is kinda gross but is why aged steak tastes better than not-aged steak? And that these conditions sort of explain why this piece of meat that's been aged since the dawn of time can't be eaten any time after tomorrow or it will somehow be all wrong?

Neither did I. But now I do. Because of gerbils.

I have no desire to be a butcher. None whatsoever. I mean, it must be an awesome and satisfying job, don't get me wrong, but I'm clumsy as all get out. Give me a knife that's designed to cut through flesh, let alone a bandsaw, and someone's going to lose a limb. Most likely more than one. If it's raining they might lose their entire body.

Frankly, it's up there with pilot, brain surgeon and astronaut in the jobs-I-can't-do-for-the-safety-of-humans catagory. Ooh! Also sword fighter instructor person. That would lead to badness.

And then my entire family make their various pilgramages through my room to check I'm still, you know, breathing and have taken my myriad of pills and suchlike, and all express the surprise that I'm awake and I nod, and actually I'm feeling a little (more than a little) ill. Because I ate breakfast. (Apparently this is part of my thyroid madness. If I eat anything before ten or eleven am I feel awful. Which is odd, because my body can't usually tell what time it is ever ever ever, especially when it's time to go places.)

And then me and mum go in search of the elusive knitting needle, because there will be more open now. So we go to three wool shops, and find it in one. Yay! Thing is, it's chucking down rain and my shoe has a hole in it and the infected but on my leg (which is incredibly gross) has started to peel like incredibly bad sunburn only more gross. And I'm not supposed to pick it. But GAH. It's so satisfying! (sorry, you didn't need to know that.)

And this is why I require knitting.

And yeah, maybe fate doesn't exist and I'm just whiny. Because I'm tired. Because the gerbils woke me up at 4.30.

I blame the gerbils. I'd blame Geraldine, but she could so take me in a fight.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

In which we meet Geraldine. Oh, and knitting

I am a knitter, ladies and gentlemen.

I wear that particular badge with pride. I am hoping to every listening deity that it’s not a phase, like things (friendship bracelet making, drawing, general artiness, cooking) sometimes are. Because I do do that. A lot. An embarrassing amount.

To me, it feels like reading and writing and cloud-watching, so I’m hoping it’s pretty permanent. Mainly because it’s fun! And because I can’t do so much of the reading and writing now (I get the feeling I’ll LOVE the schedule blog feature on this, so I can write on my good days and I’m covered for my bad days. It’s like a plasterer, sorting out all the cracks and making the place look smooth, while wise-cracking about Billy accidentally doing something funky to the electrics. Yes, I may be basing this analogy on DIY SOS. No, I will not apologise for it,) I’m covered for the knitting. Reading a pattern has not so much of a storyline to follow, and a lot of it is repeats, so I can watch House at the same time! And I’ve become obsessed with Julie and Julia. The film, the book is on it’s way, but the film… I will admit a lot of this is anxiety related, but I adore it. It works. It seems real(ish) and although I can never cook any of the recipes involved, (at least, unless I don’t know about it or I’ve already done so,) in case it cracks my dreaminess up.

What? I like my dream world! It gives me something to hang on to!

So far I’ve knitted two cardigans for me, a secret thing for my sister’s Christmas present (wish me luck! Here’s hoping she’ll like it,) and roughly eleventy squares. I’m also halfway through a teddy bear that’s more like a pillow, and will end with a heck of a lot of weaving in. It’s fair isle, you see. I love fair isle knitting! Not the overcrowded, overzealous ones, the nice modernish but awesome ones. Like the Selbu modern hat (If you have a ravelry account, you probably know what that is) and a pair of socks from brave new knits.

Although there is one thing:

Starting a new pattern is hell.

First of all, you need SUPPLIES. Because, and this is one reason Stash grows so quickly, you will not have suitable wool. Ever.

In all my projects I don’t think I’ve knit with the same kind of wool twice. It’s like some kind of conspiracy! They’re making up new types just for me, I swear. Or else the House Hippos: Wool Division, come and eat it, or use it to insulate walls in a subversive attempt to make the planet greener, or swap it secretly into Other Stashes.

(By the way, when I say wool I mean yarn. I am allergic to wool, the sort that comes off sheep, because my skin is more deranged than I am. I am also allergic to merino, angora, alpaca, bison, mohair, yak (yes, seriously), and salamander. Whether I’m allergic to the wool or the lanolin in the wool is academic as far as I’m concerned, the fact is this: I so much as brush by it I itch for weeks until all my skin has gone and I look like the people at that body show thing. The one you can donate your corpse to. And that is a bad idea. Because right now I have the most revolting infected patch on my leg that’s merited penicillin four times a day as well as a cream due to being kept awake by itching at 2am. And a foot file. But mostly the itching.)

Then you need needles. If you need straight needles, all is good. You can hop off, get some, and start knitting a-line dog dresses and phallic chapstick cosies (again I say: Yes, seriously). If you need double pointed needles, or DPNs, the outcome is similar: You get to rock on with the awesomeness.

If you need circular knitting needles, maude be with you.

Today I needed a circular knitting needle. It’s for a jumper, so it can’t be 40cm long like the one I bought without thinking. It needs BIGGER.

We went to THREE wool shops. And then we (by we I mean my mum) phoned three more.

Not a single one had the needle I need(le).

And this was not unexpected. Not because I needed a needle that was unbeknown to human kind or made out of ferret thoughts or gold plated. (It was 2.5mm, if that helps). But because every pattern I do, I run up against some seemingly insurmountable obstacle before I’ve even got to the swatching. Because the pattern will require a kind of wool that spontaneously combusts if it leaves America, or has somehow translated itself into Swedish.

There is only one explanation. I am cursed. The gerbils in my brain have clearly offended a knitting related warlord and this means I must lose my mind an enormous amount of times in order to pass the vicious (but not viscous) hazing ritual. (can you imagine a viscous hazing ritual? It’d be something like “THOU SHALT HAVE HONEY IN YOUR SHOES” or something! It would be awesome. Sticky, but awesome.) As such I will be sitting down to have some Words with Geraldine.

Geraldine is the head of my brain gerbils, and in charge of my balance. She is…

More suited to a different job. One that doesn’t involve humans. Or other gerbils. Or responsibility. Or… anything. I’d suggest we send her on a mission to mars, but I’m sure she’d gang up with every living creature out there and then we’d really be in trouble. That’s the sort of gerbil Geraldine is. Although she does help keep me in me-land, by making sure I fall over any time I might possibly want to look a little bit grown up or have knees that don’t look like they belong to a clumsy six year old.

So: Humans, Geraldine. Geraldine, humans.

…oh dear maude, she’s eyeing you up. RUN! I’LL HOLD HER OFF!


Hello humans. You can run… but you can’t hide.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The not-so-super market

Here’s the thing: They’ve moved things at the supermarket.

You wouldn’t think such a thing would make much of a change. I mean, everything’s still there, it’s still somewhere, it’s not like they’ve hired a team of highly trained squirrels to shift things around while you shop so you can never ever find things.

Although… Well, come to think of it, it’s entirely possible they have.

They probably use the very and incredibly high shelves (what’s with that anyway? Are they expecting giants to come and shop here? Because I’m telling you, high shelves wouldn’t quite appease a giant. How are they supposed to use a can opener on all the tiny tins? They could drink all the juice in one gulp! If you want to cater to the giant population, you’re going to need to start stocking bigger everything. And bigger trolleys. And even then, with the giant produce, the nice checkout person wouldn’t be able to find the damn bar code, because I swear those things have a stealth mode that gets activated as soon as you’re within a meter or so of any device with which you might purchase it. It’s madness, I tell you! MADNESS.)

So we’re there, stocking up on chocolate and nutella and fruit and other stuff, and we can’t find the biscuit aisle. Which is odd, because it used to be right next to the chocolate (which made sense because of all the chocolate biscuits.) (unless those biscuits weren’t supposed to be chocolate and chocolate is suddenly contagious.) (I really hope chocolate is contagious.) (Because that would be awesome, for reasons I know I do not have to explain to you lovely people.)

All around us there are people looking vaguely homicidal, saying things like “Where. Is. The. Bread?!” and muttering about having been here since last Tuesday and they only came in for milk and they have no idea what’s happened. (Incidentally, they haven’t moved the milk. Which would account for the confusion, to be honest. I mean, if you’re moving things go the whole hog. Put the bakery on the roof and the dairy products in the basement! Suspend toiletries from the ceiling! Give everyone a spoon and tell them there’s thornton’s chocolate ginger biscuits buried in the car park! (The most delicious treat known to man, and they make you look sophisticated.) (Well, I love jaffa cakes with all my heart and soul, but for big occasions a ginger biscuit is always a good idea. Because while jaffa cakes are WHEEEEEEEEEE awesome, chocolate covered ginger biscuits are person-in-suit-with-hand-knitted-mr-happy-socks awesome. And so, ginger biscuits are more appropriate for those occasions where shrieking and bouncing are discouraged, like funerals and when around people who get seasick really really easily.) (Not to mention they cost an arm and a leg, but the deliciousness is worth it.) (ALSO: Did you know there is now weightwatcher’s wine? There is! I’ve seen it! In those tiny little bottles near the boxed wine at the bottom of the aisle! It was very weird. I felt like a giant. A bemused giant.)

With me and my mum doing the shopping (except this week. Because this week my brain would explode, so I’m here instead) we have a sort of get-in-get-food-get-out approach. It isn’t like we have any real interest in discussing the price of milk or why the flowers seem to be dying (although I think some natural light and fresh air wouldn’t do them any harm.) (Might do their profits some harm though, so…) and so we go in like we have a Plan.

Most of the time we do not have a Plan.

Thus when we get to the, say, meats and poultry, aisle I go on ahead while my mother selects chicken breasts to get mince. We’re always eating mince! And then I stop. What if this week we do not eat mince? What if we actually use some of the mince we have apparently been stockpiling in the freezer for the next ice age? (Although, lets be honest, who’ll need a freezer in the ice age? Didn’t really think that one through.) Then I have a small panic attack and decide the best course of action is to go back to my mother and see what she does, as she is the one with The List.

By this time, people are getting a little bemused by the girl who appears to be trying to defrost a breaded plaice by breath alone, so I smile apologetically at them and run away, dodging trolleys and toddlers and special offers like Mario in a dodgeball tournament. (do they have tournaments for that? It always sounded painful to me, that game. I always pretended to get hit and ended up sitting out first.) (My lovely PE teachers, if you’re reading this, I apologise. But we all knew I was hardly going to be in the next Olympics unless they reinvented cowering as a sport.) (To my other PE teacher: No heart attack yet. Thanks for checking in.)

So as it’s the summer holidays, people have brought extra children to the supermarket! Yay! Except for the fact that these children do not want to be in here. They want to be at the park making as much noise as possible, or playing games, or trying to get around the whole house without touching the floor once (surprisingly hard, but also awesome. And it trains you in case your floor mystically disappears!)

So they’re not happy. And we’re not happy. And the whole place is filled to the brim with confusion and no-you-put-that-down-this-second-or-The-Man-will-get-you and stress and dear maude when does school start?

And in addition to this there’s always some poor kid who’s been lured away by the delights of frozen corn or bogof nutella, and is now lost. And, quite rightly, they’re wailing the place down. And most people are trying hard enough with the child wrangling and the stress and the wondering how it’s possible the organic mushrooms are less money than the non organic ones and DON’T TOUCH THAT and I’m terribly sorry about the mess, we really didn’t mean to pour a whole extra-large bottle of double concentrated fabric softener on the floor, we can pay for that related stress. (Although now the floors in the household cleaning aisle will be snuggly soft! So really, that’s a good thing. At least it’d give the trolleys a break. They must have achey wheels by the end of the day and a soft floor is probably the stuff of legends. Well done parent! Your child has made a legend come true!)

If I were in possession of words, I would be asking where he last saw his mum/grandma/childminder/helpful neighbour and what happened. As I’m not, I point this out to my mum and she asks all the relevant questions and somehow sorts the whole tangled mess out in twelve and a half seconds, because she’s good like that.

And then there’s the checkout and it’s loud and then THINGS start coming off the belt and you have to put them away.

My mum, in her awesomeness, has a System for this. Cold stuff in one bag, not food stuff in another, cupboard stuff in another, and so on, logically and like the highly efficient sort of person she is.

I… am not.

So there’s things coming towards me and I’m trying to keep up with the system and I get panicked and start chucking things into any bag at all, and when my mother asks “Is that the ______ bag?” I just nod frantically, and throw some more stuff in on top. After all, if you stick cold things in the same bag as loo roll, the loo roll will help insulate and the cold won’t get out and it’ll be awesome!

It’s science!

And that’s all before lunchtime.

I need to go and lie down with a medicinal piece of chocolate just thinking about it!

Monday, 22 August 2011

The first, of hopefully many.


I have many names, because I am a mysterious person and also because I love having different names for some reason. My real name will remain a mystery, because a) this is the internet, and therefore nothing is certain, and b) because I loathe it.

To some, I am Offspring #1. If you know me by this, hi there, good to see you! Sit down! Pull up a t box!

To others, I am Larilie. If you know me by this, good flippin grief I have no idea where you're from as I use that in a bajillion places. But hi, those over there are the citizens of Mommyland. Be nice, they all have secret ninja tendancies.

To yet others, I am that moron who accidentally fell over them and didn't apologise. To these, I can only apologise. I am vocally impaired at this point, and may I introduce you to the citizens of Mommyland and the People Of A Bajillion Places? Why yes, they are all dripping with awesomeness. Feel free to stay if you like. If not, there is a way out around here somewhere. I have yet to find it, but you might be more lucky.

So, hiya. Let's get started!