Vintage teatime

Image from a recent afternoon tea, featuring colourful creations I made from vintage crochet patterns, plus contemporary tea cups (about 12 years old) and glass dishes from my grandmother, dating I believe from the 1940s. (And fresh baked banana bread, only an hour or so old!)

Tea with vintage crochet

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Boobie beanie blog

No, it’s not a sequel to The Blog of B, just an alliterative reference to my latest crochet creation. Not long ago a friend on facebook posted a link to a blog that providing a witty take on discreet breastfeeding. I found the visuals hilarious, and being in possession of a friend who had just given birth, I immediately sent the link to her. The response was something along the lines of ‘I would pay good money for the laughs – can you make me one?!’ I could, and I have!

I used the pattern here. It was a simple enough project, and amusing too – from the nipple shaping at the beginning (how clever!) through to the near error when the hat suddenly grew too large and a quick and dramatic breast reduction had to be performed.

Crocheted boobie beanie
The completed boobie beanie waits to be taken to its new owner

This evening the finished masterpiece was presented to its new owner – brand new herself – who gently fussed as the suspense in the room began to rise. Would it fit ok? And more importantly, would it give the new (and very weary) mother a good laugh? Well, I’m pleased to report the boobie fit perfectly and did not fail in its mission to inspire mirth. The only concern was that the little one will soon outgrow her new headwear. But never fear, my hook and yarn shall be at the ready to create the next boobie size up, should it be required…

OMG, it’s The Bachelor!

At the urging of one of my most hilarious friends, I last night watched the first episode of the new season of ABC’s The Bachelor.

In the important pre-show briefing between friend and I (carried out by telephone between a hotel in Chicago and a backyard deckchair in Tucson) I learned that there would be much ridiculousness, high levels of “boy craziness” and that a post-show debrief would be essential.

So I tracked down the show that evening and within moments was scrabbling around for pen and paper with which to capture just a taste of the truly amazing content. Here are some of the sparkling gems…

“I’ll be disappointed if Ben doesn’t eat some cow balls.”

This was from Amber, a big game hunter and a woman with clearly defined culinary views. I think she knows what she wants from a relationship.

“It’s really hard to have a conversation with him when he’s blindfolded and being fed different kinds of…candy!”

From across the room comes this objection from a contestant who probably wishes she’d thought of blindfolding the amazing Ben and feeding him something (presumably not cow balls).

“Rode in on a horse? She makes us look bad!”

Such are the whispers, bordering on outrage, that were to be heard after the entrance of a horse loving contestant on, you guessed it, a horse. How dare she?

“I’m at the point in my life where I’m a model…”

This is a comment from deep thinking contestant Courtney, reflecting on where she is in life. She also makes it clear during the evening that she has no need to feel jealousy as she is – has she mentioned? – a model.

Courtney may be above jealousy, or so she says, but there is plenty of it on display from everyone else. One contestant gets so overwrought that she spends the second half of the episode bawling in the bathroom and is late to the all important Rose Ceremony. The drama!

“He’s so real!”

And we mustn’t forget that our beloved bachelor Ben is from the get-go absolutely adored by each and every of the 25 contestants. No one says “well, he’s cute but I’d like to get to know him first.” No, they are all oozing phrases like these: “He’s so real!” and “He’s so sincere!” (Ladies, I saw the bit after the episode where we’re shown “highlights” from the rest of the season and, well, good luck with that. He appears to sincerely and really like several of you, possibly all at the same time but I couldn’t really tell.)

What a tragedy that I will not be able to watch what happens next, as we don’t have ABC in the UK and I don’t think abc.com or Hulu will let me in from overseas! I’ll never get to find out firsthand whether Ben ate some cow balls.

I think I’m going to have to go away now and cry in the toilet.

Yoga and my bicycle

English: Yoga 4 Love Community Outdoor Yoga cl...
Image via Wikipedia

I guess there are always things you will miss when you travel away from home, even if you’re visiting another place that’s ‘home’. Two things I have been missing while away from Bristol for the holidays: yoga and my trusty bike (whose name I now think is Petal, though she doesn’t always answer when I call her). Ah, to cycle in the warm sun on flat roads! Ok, Bristol isn’t entirely made up of hills and isn’t entirely devoid of sunshine, but you know, it’s December, or January (depending on the time zone) and, well…some people will know what I mean.

Anyway, no bike here. But yoga, yes. My brother and his girlfriend wanted to find a class while in town and thought, correctly, that I might be similarly inclined. They researched what was on offer and I awaited their findings. The class they turned up was a 90-minute Bikram Method class. Was I still interested? Now, I had never been to a Bikram class before, though I’d heard tales from those taking up introductory offers in Bristol. Lives being taken over during the introductory month! Sweat and money pouring out everywhere! Was it strangely regimented or something? If I tried it, would I keel over and be expelled from the class (like so much student sweat)?!

Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Reviews of the studio in question suggested that there would be “no shouting”. This we found encouraging. In fact, not only was there no shouting, the place we went to, Yoga Vida, was really welcoming. There was a lot of sweating, of course, but there was also encouragement and humour. And I felt great doing it and felt great afterwards. Yoga, I said I’d missed you!

Awww, a happy ending to this tale. How nice. Another thing I’ve missed of late is writing this blog. So here I am again. Watch out.

A rule of my universe

I cannot find tahini in the supermarket unless I am not looking for it.

I have learned this from long experience. However, long experience has also led me to know that it exists on one of approximately two aisles. To locate it, one then has to – and I say this as if this is a general rule of the universe when in reality it likely is not – walk down the approximately two suspected aisles (where I know it will be on my right if I walk towards the back of the store) and – this is important – move in a  nonchalant manner, never looking  directly at the suspected shelves within the approximately two aisles.

If you think I’m making this up, allow me to tell you this strategy, newly unveiled, worked perfectly today and I had tahini in my basket within one pass down the approximately two aisles. And no scowling or muttering. Just calm, sidelong glances at the shelving.

Tahini and apparent sanity – a good day in the supermarket.

Gnattily dressed?

Ahem, due to starting a new job last week, I have neglected to update my blog. But here I am, keeping up my (just about, if you squint) weekly posts.

Monday I cycled to work for the very first time. Love it! Especially since I have a route that goes along a river. More on that in a second.

And today I finally put one of the bike stickers I bought in Tucson several years ago onto the bike. Stunning.

My bicycle doesn’t have a name yet. I wonder what I’ll call her…

Really, I am finding it so much nicer to cycle to and from work than to walk. It’s like a little treat to top and tail the work day.

My riverside route does take me through clouds of gnats, though. I wonder things like: have I eaten any today? Are they stuck in my teeth? How many have smashed themselves on the windscreens of my eyeballs? Am I wearing any in my hair? Important questions.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”