Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The waves are rolling on

Occasionally (just occasionally) I find myself thinking that teh Intartubes are overrated. And then as we get towards the last Tuesday in January, when I'm in the midst of my annual bout of homesickness, I remember web-cams. And yesterday being the last Tuesday in January and therefore Up Helly Aa, I spent a little time in the morning watching the Visit Shetland webcams - here's a photo of what the webcam showed happening at the Cross just after 10am:

In the evening, even better, I was over at my brother's and he set up a convoluted arrangement of cables, laptop and television so we could watch Visit Shetland's live internet coverage of the procession.

Waiting with baited breath..

for things to get started..

then watching as if hypnotised 'til the finish (for us)..

..at which point I realised I was late for meeting (appropiately enough) my knitting group buddies! It was a bit surreal actually, after being so immersed in what's going on in Shetland, to be wandering round the southside of Glasgow!

So a lovely evening - congratulations to Visit Shetland and all who worked on the coverage, it was great! If you look over on Kozetland1's blog there are some gorgeous pictures of the day.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Cross-stitch fail

I've flirted with cross-stitch in the past and even almost finished a couple of projects! Today I found an unopened cross-stitch bookmark kit (delphinium design, so pretty, so summery) I'd had for, ooh, six or seven years and thought I'd start it tonight. We're watching The Edwardian Farm on catch-up and a bit of cross-stitch seemed a suitably soothing accompaniment. Wrong! I'd completely forgotten how much cross-stitch winds me up and I've only got as far as sorting the threads! I'm so feeble! Tomorrow I'll overcome my aversion to actually making the first stitch and then it'll be fine I'm sure. No really, I'm sure! The threads are pretty colours at least.

I bought myself flowers the other day, that's the red happiness up the top there, and we've had sunshine the last couple of days so the combination of sun and flowers are getting me through January, my least favourite month. I'm really not anti-winter, I'm just not a fan of January, but this year it's been okay so far. Last week was the week for enrolling seemingly tiny children for starting school in August - that was a bit weird, Miss Mouse can't be that age already surely? But she is. Most odd.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


I've been rummaging through boxes from the garage - hey, we only moved in four-and-a-half years ago. This was to make way for a potential new motorbike for MrBorg of course (not rolling my eyes honestly). In the process I came across this little plaque that I made in a pottery evening-class years ago and had completely forgotten about. It's based on a goose design from a Pictish symbol-stone. I love the animal designs you get on symbol-stones - simple but very striking.

Other excitement this week (because I lead such an exciting life!) was the arrival of the New Year edition of the Shetland Times, including the calendar, sent by my aunt. I'm really happy with this year's calendar, very cheerful sunny picture, certainly compared with the grey murk outside my windows this week.

My sleep is much improved so I've been happily continuing my log-cabin knitting each evening - off to do that now!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Splash of insomnia

I've had a bout of insomnia and have felt like a zombie - ironic really when Rogerborg shopped for a zombie apocalypse and failed to notice his own wife shambling around, blank-eyed (though admittedly not slurring 'braaainsss'). So I've not been capable of sensible blogging and missed the rest of January's Splash of Colour. Never mind, I'll add to it now - the day we took our Christmas decorations down and packed them away:

I'm always quite glad to take the decorations down again, though I love having them up for a bit. Before having the kids we used to put our decorations up quite late, but as the kids have got older we've done it earlier each year, so really by the time New Year has come I've had enough of it all! Bah, humbug, eh?

The big excitement of the week has been the arrival of my new camera - there she is:

I was quite ridiculously excited about this - I've really missed having a compact camera for everyday use and this is very much pocket-sized. I took loads of completely pointless photos that day, but here's one from a few days later when it had snowed again. I'm really pleased with the results from such a tiny camera.

This is about as creative as I've got during my zombie-stage - I just couldn't concentrate on knitting or anything else really. Thankfully I'm sleeping better now and feeling much more human, and even managed to do a bit more on my log-cabin blanket last night. Yay for sleep!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

January splash of colour : fire

I have no pictures actually from today because I was out most of the day - I went into Glasgow to investigate the sales. Specifically I went to look at what wool was in the sale at John Lewis, and the answer is quite a lot and quite nice but nothing that I needed. Never mind - I do have plenty in my stash and several projects on the go already! So today's picture is from the other night.

It's cloudy here. Again (though the snow melted again over night so not all bad). One of the Boy's Christmas presents was a telescope - he is space mad - and due to a combination of that and Stargazing Live on the Beeb we're quite desparate to get out and look at the night sky. Except there is no night sky, just cloud. It's probably a little known fact to the majority of my friends that at university I was in the Astronomy Society (or Astrosoc). In fact I was VP one year, or was it for two years? - sounds impressive, but it mostly involved taking the minutes of committee meetings! I didn't understood a vast amount of the technical stuff at the talks, being an anthropology student, and some of the talks were very technical, but I suppose the interest in astronomy relates to the interest in anthropology - the night sky being such a rich source of myth-making for cultures everywhere.

Every now and then I get all enthusiastic again, often when there's a meteor shower, and I go and lie on a blanket in the back garden, wearing eighteen layers of clothes, trying to block out light pollution and find a gap in the clouds. What I should do is time my visits to my parents in the Highlands to coincide with meteor showers, taking twenty-eight layers of clothes and a flask of coffee out to the golf course or up the glen. I have never seen stars as clearly as I have in Badenoch - it's really phenomenal. Orion looks as if he's actually striding about the sky, whereas here his belt looks fairly clear and the rest are a bit difficult to make out. Even when I still lived in Shetland which you might think of as more remote there were problems with light pollution, such as the flare-stack at the oil-terminal! I did see auroras though - as a kid they freaked me out a bit, they are quite spooky.

Monday, 3 January 2011

January splash of colour: riotous

I remembered to take a photo of my log-cabin blanket/cushion-cover in daylight(ish)! And appropriately enough for silverpebble's Splash of Colour it's quite a colourful bit of knitting for me - using King Cole Riot. Loving it. There's not been much colour to work with today - daylight was deeply overcast and short-lived, and then it started to snow again. So it's been a staying inside being cosy kind of day:

The mug was a Christmas present from my brother and in normal light is quite colourful. I spent quite a while (after the white stuff started falling again *mutter grumble*) going back through my 365 blog and through my files of pictures from the summer and found this one:

Aaah. Just a bunch of sweet-peas in a vase but so pretty. This was taken at my parents' house. My mum has a talent for just chucking a few flowers in a vase and it looks just right. She had sweetpeas dotted all over the house on window-sills. I am going to grow sweet peas this year. I did last year but planted them very late, so this year, this year..

Sunday, 2 January 2011

And the lazy days continue

I don't know about anybody else but I reach a point somewhere over the Christmas holiday where I have no idea what day it is and we all seem to be drifting around in a haze. We eat too much cake or chocolate (how many selection boxes?), watch too many DVDs and I spend the evenings knitting a log-cabin blanket that I can't get decent pictures of because by the time I remember the daylight's fading and it looks awful under electric light. The yarn's a bit fine really, ostensibly DK but a DK that's on the thin side if you can imagine, so it will take forever. I might just make it into a cushion cover actually. But it's looking nice and makes me smile.

We haven't been completely lazy though - we've been getting the kids out as much as possible and today we went for a long walk at the wind-farm. A rather longer walk than we'd intended actually as we didn't have the map with us and the route we took was further than we'd realised. The kids did remarkably well with fairly minimal whinging - especially Miss Mouse who, after all, only has little legs. The visitor centre (very hands-on science-based exhibits - the kids love it) is shut for the winter unfortunately, but a lot of people had had the same urge to get out into the air as we had and there were loads of people walking and cycling.

I'm not sure we actually wore the kids out though. Rather the reverse.

Saturday, 1 January 2011