Thursday, September 29, 2005

come and play

I'm loving playing word tag over at Thinklings. Go and take a look and add some of your own. There's currently a pretentiousness competition going on, started by me, although I fear this may be a mistake. It was a sort of reaction against the 80s songs theme that preceded it, but at the moment the only people playing are me, Nathan, Rich and occasionally De. I hope we didn't kill it.

this must be thursday

On this particular Thursday, I want to write about socks, but since I wanted to be able to show you my newly knitted socks when I wrote about socks and DP has borrowed the digital camera it'll have to wait. Perhaps I could bring my socks to work and take their picture here.

Enough, there are more things in life than socks.

There are jumpers and scarves and hats and gloves and mittens and...books!

I'm currently re-reading Pride and Prejudice not only because it's wonderful and makes me smile and because I want to have read the book recently when I go and see the film but because I'm studying it in my Open University course this year. Yay being a part-time student! The new course starts on 1 October and once it gets going, there isn't going to be much time for knitting.

At the moment I'm wondering whether there's going to be enough time for reading. I used to read lots on the way to work, but cycling most of the way to work means I have about 10 minutes of on-the-tube reading time per day. I can stretch that a bit by reading as I walk to the tube station, but the number of days it takes me to read a book is significantly longer than it was in the days when I had 40 minutes of train time per day. But I still read pretty quickly, so I'll just have to get clever at finding times and places to read.

What else have I got to read this year? Great Expectations - I've read this before for GCSE and it took me forever to get through because I got so fed up with Pip. Frankenstein - I finally overcame my fear (it's not really scary, but the cover of the copy I've got put me off) and read this when I was doing my MSc, where we looked at it from the point of view of fears about science and technology. It'll be interesting to look at it from a different perspective. The Color Purple - I remember reading this sometime at school, probably around the time I wrote an essay comparing Meridian, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Gormenghast. A bit of a strange combination, but good fun. It was something about union with nature bringing both freedom and destruction.

Texts new to me are A Doll's House, Fathers and Sons, Top Girls, Henry V, Othello and As You Like it. I'm sure I've seen the latter in some form at some point, but I can't remember anything about it if I have.

It looks like lots of people taking the same course as me are buying their books on Amazon. If you look at the "people who bought this book also bought..." section, the same books keep recurring. It must be quite a puzzling combination if you're not buying for that course.

So there you are: if you ask me what I'm reading over the next few months, it's quite likely the answer will be one of these books.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I noticed today that I'm edging close to 100 posts and it's also getting close to my birthday. I'm not going to try to emulate little red boat's year by year countdown to her birthday earlier this year, but I thought I ought to see if I can make post number 100 coincide with birthday number 26 (27, if you count the day I was born as number 1). So I'd better think of lots of things to say in the next couple of weeks.

(it's 13th October btw)

Monday, September 26, 2005

next step

toeing the line

toeing the line
Originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

This weekend, HP (whose feet these are) was delivered to Exeter University by my parents. They left her with a room with a minuscule amount of storage, but as yet no room-mate. It sounds like she's already found some friendly people. Today will be her first day of student-dom.

Enjoy it, HP! Don't worry, every else is just as nervous as you, even the loud over-confident people. Freshers' week will probably be the longest ever week of your life, but if you survive that, you can survive almost anything student life will throw at you. We love you and most importantly, God loves you, so you can stride out with confidence on your new path.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

the sound of black holes?

10 minute programme on BBC2 on Black holes. And the soundtrack is as follows:

The sound of silence, Simon and Garfunkel (Er?)
Black magic woman, Santana? (It's black, it's weird, I don't think it's female though)
La vida loca, Ricky Martin (crazy gravity, apparently)
In the air tonight, Phil Collins (Well it's in the sky I suppose)
Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden (I'll give you that one)
Female of the Species, Space (Black holes swallow stuff)
Something disco I can't identify - He's dangerous? (See above)
Something dancy I can't identify - Shine on me? (big shiny stars in the sky)
Got my mind set on you, George Harrison (Astronomers search for eveidence of black holes)
Oasis, Live forever (Er, something about how long the universe will last?)

The visuals are pretty good, loads of computer stuff combining stock footage, astronomy pictures, visual distortions and swirling black holes. Occasionally there's a Hitchikers' style fact screen. Science seems OK, I'm too sleepy to pay attention really. Someone had fun with the soundtrack anyway.

Ooh look, Dead Ringers. Really will go to bed soon.

settee blogging

I've been sitting on the settee in the living room for hours. It's sunday evening and I'm sleepy. I've been frogging the Colinette jumper, it's too big so I'm redoing it. Some thoughts on what's on the box.

Monarch of the Glen. Molly is using a search engine that looks very familiar but it's called Ogle.

What's happened to Frost? They've switched to video and it looks wrong. It's OK in the darker scenes, but anything well-lit looks like every other drama on ITV. And there's a glamourous psychologist and a nasty serial killer. That's not the Frost we know and love!? I'm disappointed.

Pitch Black is on 4. No idea what's going on, but it looks gorgeous. Sort of over-exposed white and blue. There are a few patches of red, but mostly it's all bleached out. Some people are running around, ooh just got some flashes of negative colour and then urgh, blood splatters. Back to Frost. He's confronting a dodgy priest, but it looks like something from Family Affairs or some other tacky soap. Oh why do ITV do it? Perhaps I'm just too fussy.

I finished my Lorna's Laces socks, pic to come when I've access to a digital camera.

Advert for the Best of ELO. Since I heard some of their stuff in my uncle's car this summer I seem to be hearing them everywhere.

Oh perhaps someday soon I'll have something to write that's not about knitting or my car or silly trivial things. There are things I'd like to say, but my thoughts are so ill-formed at the moment. There's stuff running around in my head, but it's staying there at the moment. Give it time. I think I've got used to living in my head recently.

I ran out of energy about 5 this afternoon. Perhaps I should just go to bed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

the young turk

the young turk
Originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.
Meet my new bug. He's shiny and turquoise and seems to have a little problem with a leaking petrol tank. Hopefully I'll get that sorted soon. In the mean time, he needs a name. So far suggestions include Tom (a bit boring I think), Olly (maybe), Moses (Er? HP suggested this one. Admittedly the only Moses I have ever met was turquoise (he's a large toy dog)) and The Young Turk (or perhaps Turq) which is what's currently sticking. Any more suggestions? He's definitely a boy.

Monday, September 12, 2005

bye bye Ruby

I bought the car.

I drove Ruby to the garage this morning and said goodbye. Her engine and various bits and pieces will be transferred to the new bug and I'm picking it up on Saturday. It was a little emotional knowing I was driving my car for the last time. Silly really, especially since my new car is also a Beetle and it's not falling apart quite so fast so should keep going for a few more years.

I led sunday school yesterday and one of things we did was a game in which we had to decide which things we needed (water, food, clothes) and which were luxuries (chocolate, computer, mobile phone). A car was one of things that was hotly debated. Lots of the kids saw a car as essential for getting around, but I think we eventually agreed that having a car is a luxury and that many people in the world don't have access to any transport at all. It was a timely reminder! Funny that. Whenever I lead Sunday school, God teaches me as much as he teaches the kids.

Friday, September 09, 2005

car buying

I've been looking at another bug. Much as I love Ruby (my current bug), she has terminal rust and won't get through another MOT. She was in the garage a couple of weeks ago to have her brakes fixed and while I was there, the garage owner pointed out a younger bug for sale. I've had a look at it, it looks much less rusty underneath. The inside's not in brilliant condition, but then neither is Ruby's. The plan would be to transfer the engine (which was new last year) to the newer bug, scavenge various bits and (gulp) send Ruby to be broken up for parts.

The price seems reasonable. I'm taking a man who knows more about cars than me to take a look at it tomorrow and if he thinks it's sensible, I'll go for it. It'll be sad to lose my red VW, but she was always going to die eventually and I'll still have a bug. The new bug is 5 years younger, turquoise, with beautiful hub caps. I don't like the interior, the seats are brown plastic leatherette and in need of replacing, the dashboard is the same design more or less, but it's plastic and the steering wheel's awful. But the bodywork's in good condition and I know the engine's OK. Plus it's got a rear screen heater. Hurrah for being able to see out of the back when it's cold!

When I move to Cambridge, I'll need a reliable car. I don't plan to drive to work, but the new job will invlove lots of travelling and moving away from home means no longer having the backup of my mum's car. Yes, I could probably buy something newer with the same money, but it wouldn't be as fun. Despite the hassle when things go wrong, the lack of air-conditioning, the little quirks, I like being a VW owner.


For several weeks the name Tiglath Pileser has been buzzing around in my head, popping up at odd moments, niggling me to look it up and find out what it is. So I googled and I found that Tiglath Pileser was the name of several kings of Assyria.

Tiglath Pileser I was roughly contemporary with David and Solomon (er, actually no, see below) and Tiglath Pileser III is mentioned in 2 Kings 15 and 16 and 1 Chronicles 5.

All of which is very interesting, but doesn't explain why it had got stuck on my head.

Tiglath Pileser would make a good name for a cat.

UPDATE: oops, not reading carefully enough. Tiglath Pileser I reigned well before David and Solomon. They were around during the decline of the Assyrian Empire that followed his death. There's an inscription of Tiglath Pileser I in the British Museum. Is anyone else interested in this or is it just me?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

cricket lovely cricket

It's everywhere today. On the Today Programme this morning, every other item was cricket-related. There was an item on the Woodworm bat, as used by Flintoff and others, Mick Jagger and John Major swapped stories of international cricket watching, Simon Heffer and Billy Bragg were heard agreeing (on Jerusalem as a possible English national anthem), even Thought for the Day was cricket-themed. When I walked past the chaplaincy this morning, the usual sign saying 'Open for prayer' had been altered to read 'Open for cricket'.

I have no claims to be a proper cricket fan. I have a rudimentary knowledge of the rules, but still don't really understand what things like 'silly point' mean. HP has to explain it to me since she's been listening to our cricket-mad uncle. But I did get very excited at the nail-biting end of the Trent Bridge test and I expect I'll get drawn into watching this one too. It could be a historic occasion.

Friday, September 02, 2005

and relax...

I know I'm probably the last person in the blogosphere to catch up with eBay.
But I just bought stuff on it for the first time and am feeling very pleased with myself. It's very tense, watching the minutes tick down on the item you're bidding for, refreshing the page every two minutes (er, seconds) to see if you've been outbid, the relief when the item is yours.

Perhaps not something I should do too often. Too stressed-making.

(I bought lots of double-pointed knitting needles and some bright pink mohair blend wool. Just in case you're interested.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I have nothing to say

To disprove myself, I'm going to post in the hope I'll think of something.


Something must be happening in my life?

Cycling is continuing to happen. Which is a good thing, especially when I realised last week that I'd lost some weight. No idea how much, but enough to be noticed by me. So there's an extra incentive to keep pedalling.

I have told my boss I'm leaving, but not formally resigned yet. Time is dragging.

I finished the flamingo shrug, although I might go back to it to add some ribbing. The pink Colinette jumper has a back, a front, one sleeve and a few rows of collar. Last night I ripped out a few rows of the shoulders so I could add short row shaping and use a three-needle cast off to join the shoulder seams which was very satisfying. I realise that's goobledegook to non-knitters, but it made me happy. I then knit a few rows of the collar, but then realised I was using one 12mm needle and one 10mm so that'll have to come out and be re-done tonight. It won't be long before it's finished. Then I'll have to decide what to knit next. Probably my first pair of socks in some beautiful rainbow coloured Shepherd Sock by Lorna's Laces. Once I've found the right sized needles.

That's it really. Life seems to be a little knitting-centric at the moment.