Sunday, January 09, 2011

Stumbling towards Bethlehem...

... and out the other side. Happy New Year, all!

The 6 weeks or so before Christmas passed as something of a blur of activity and tiredness. I had a work trip to Luxembourg - am determined to share some photos of that as I have some nice ones - and then a visit from the parents the following weekend, and then we went into the Christmas countdown...

And in the middle of all that, bouts of half an inch of snow, or a spot of black ice, or whatever, brought the transport system here to a halt. I could totally understand that -15C near Huntingdon didn't make the power-lines very happy on December 21 though. Temperatures of -7C here on the same day didn't make a fruitless hour standing at the station very happy either; thankfully I have limited work access from my home PC... Struggling back and forth for most of December from King's Cross (which was trying to operate trains to Scotland and back at the same time, and mostly failing) was incredibly draining and stressful. Unexpectedly so, given the previous winter, but that was just after Christmas when you generally expect everything to be just a bit shit.

Losing PC access for a chunk of November, equally so; thanks muchly to Nick who recommended a good, reasonably priced repairer (these guys, if anyone in the local area needs one!) and helped me get the Humungous CPU back and forth, while being optimistic that I was unlikely to have lost all my data; which I didn't. It was, as he'd originally diagnosed, a burned out power supply. (And I am so profoundly glad I didn't get rid of my sewing machine trolley last year when I was looking to tidy the cupboard under the stairs - it did the job womanfully.)

There's still stuff I haven't caught up on though - somewhere, there's a bit of paper with all the November and December knitting on it, in terms of weights and metreage. I think it may be in the pile by my left elbow. Doubtless I'll find it eventually. Hence no guessy-game competition this year (although Steph and Valerie had to wait over a month for their stash from the anniversary one, so possibly just as well!)

Anyway. The New Year's Resolutions generally centre around Getting My Stuff Together and Keeping in Touch More (again). But 2010 wasn't the best of years or the worst of years. There was KnitCamp, which was actually some of both (awful before and after, wonderful during); my parents got down for a couple of visits which hadn't happened for a few years due to cat issues; I saw some really good plays, knitted some excellent things, read some really good books...

Couple of Christmas-related photos. First, nephew next to my parents' Christmas tree, wearing his Birthday Jumper.


Doesn't look too distressed with auntie's knitting. Fibre snobs, look away now. That's James Brett Marble. 100% acrylic, supersoft, lovely colours, and priced very appealingly. And it fits the way it was meant to. (His Christmas sweater, not so much; but that was top-down so all I had to do was lengthen it a couple of inches and it ought to be back to them in the post tomorrow.)

Second, Christmas present from my parents.


It's a Kindle. You mightn't have guessed this because I do seem to have a compulsion to make any piece of technology I own look either cute or antiquated. In this case, I think I've achieved both with the slightly steampunk hemp cover which arrived yesterday. It's a lovely bit of kit - had a few teething troubles working out how to transfer books to it without Wi-Fi, but it turns out to be dead easy, although something which should possibly be included in the Quick Start guide rather than after half an hour's study of the help forums... The first two books I've read so far this year have been in Kindle format - am going to have to go back to Dead Tree Format for the next few though, because I've got a couple of best-sellers out of the library and am determined to diminish the Huge Heaps of Books on the Piano this year. And get rid of the piano, too. We'll see how we go.

Anyway, I'm sort of back. Hoping to blog at least weekly for the next couple of months, and probably more often after the Death of Winter.

I've finished two knitted items already this year, but can't blog either for different reasons; and I still have one Christmas item on the go - the recipient Knows Who She Is...

3 comments:

Daisy said...

Love your nephew's grin - and you can't beat James Brett Marble for things like that. I don't envy you the commute - my 15 minutes on the train were turned into total chaos by the snow so yours must have been a nightmare!

Mary deB said...

Have I not been paying attention, or is this a new template/background? Nice, whatever.
I wish I had a piano, but then, I also wish that I had practised when I had one and become reasonably proficient.

SusieH said...

Lucky lucky nephew, and lucky lucky you! The jumper looks soft and vibrant...thanks for turning me on to the goodness of Marble. And the Kindle - I got one last spring and love it SO. VERY. MUCH!

Just sad that some of my old favorites and new favorites are unavailable as Kindle editions, because I am ditching the paper as I add Kindle copies. At least I've stopped buying new non-virtual books!