Thursday, September 30, 2010

A small break from the sick bay

My second "Little Sister's Dress" is finished, as of this past weekend! This picture isn't exactly true to colour - the dress is more of a raspberry colour. It's the 3-6 month size, knitted for a work friend's daughter. When I made Gabi's dress, my work buddy loved it so much that I promised her that if she had a girl, I'd make her one. And here it is! I started it in August, not too long after Ellie was born. I can't wait to see her in it! The buttons were crowd-sourced at Halfpenny Home - I had the beginnings of the dress and I think we had every single button in the store out on the table at some point. I think they're perfect - thanks guys!

I came down with some kind of tummy bug this week, and have spent the last 2 days mostly napping, with a little bit of reading. I finished Inkheart last week - I found it was slow to get going but the last 50 pages really whizzed along. I've reserved the second one at the library, so I guess I did enjoy it!

I've had the Hunger Games on my booklist since I read about all the excitement that the final book in the trilogy received when it came out. It reminded me a little bit of The Host, and was definitely an enjoyable romp. When I finished it, I had my first moment of wishing I had a Kindle, simply so I could download the second book and get started right away. I did the next best (and much cheaper) thing, instead, which was to join the queue at the library. It should arrive in a week or two, anyway.

And now, my unhappy tummy and I are going (back) to bed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wandrings in Woodbridge

We headed to Woodbridge yesterday to check out the Farmer's Market. We had a few logistical issues (mostly parking-related), and ended up missing the market. However, we found this sign, and were very happily sidetracked!

They had a really good group of vendors - the vintage stalls had very well-curated displays (rather than the frequently spotted heap of "crap from my attic"), and the handmade textiles were awesome. Here is the bunting, looking rather jolly.

And more bunting, over on the right. Yes, bunting necklaces. I may or may not have been able to'll have to ask the Birthday Fairy next week.

Then we wandered over to the Tide Mill, where the sky was looking rather autumnal, I thought.

We had an exceedingly tasty lunch at The Waterfront Cafe. We've walked past it a hundred times but never been in. We'll definitely be going back! John had a really delicious venison hot pot, while I had a dressed crab from their deli. It would be fab to head over there on a really wintry afternoon and tuck into a hearty stew while watching the weather roll in. Brr!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: Aeropress coffee maker

John and I used to work in the same building. No longer. While I miss seeing him randomly throughout the day, my coffee situation has improved dramatically. We had a coffee machine in my office that we shared, making a pot in the morning and drinking it over the course of a few hours. After he left, though, I quickly realised that it was time for a new solution. The minimum quantity was 5 cups, which is WAY too much coffee for me to drink without serious ill-effects.

After much thought, I sent the coffee machine with John to his new office (where it is has been welcomed with open arms). No coffee in my office, however, was not a sustainable option. Yes, we have a coffee machine, but it spits out evil little plastic cups of evil coffee, and there's no non-milk option. And it's all powdered. Shudder.

I asked Teh Interwebs, and came to the conclusion that I needed to buy myself an Aeropress. Bizarrely, it was invented by the same dude who invented the Aerobie (you know, that orange frisbee thingy). The website trumpets the awesomeness of the Aeropress, and I was worried about the hype. Shouldn't have been - it's awesome. Super-easy to clean, and makes great coffee.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gone, with the wind.

My dad sent me a scan of an old picture (circa 1983, New Rochelle, NY). Grandpa, me (in matching red hats, obv.), Mom and Dad. I don't really remember learning to sail - I just always knew. Probably because most of my early memories are of sailing - tethered to the boat by a short line tied to my lifejacket. If my brother and I were to have ever fallen overboard (we didn't), we would have just bobbed along beside the boat until my parents hauled us back in.

So after many years of sailing with my parents, sailing lasers, bluejays and sunfish at various camps, teaching sailing at Lochearn for two years, and missing sailing when not on the water, John and I finally found "our" boat. She's a 19 foot Squib, built in the late 1960s, and is in need of some minor TLC but is otherwise awesome. We're a little biased, but we think she's beautiful. Her name is Kanga (after the Winnie the Pooh character), and her tender (the little dinghy behind) is known as Roo. Can't rename a boat - it's unlucky - so it's a good thing we think the name is really funny.

We are, indeed, gone with the wind.

I finally finished Margaret Mitchell's novel - it took me nearly a month. Phew. I'm really glad I stuck with it - the last 200 pages were really good, and needed the first 800 (I know, right?) to set them up. On to shorter books for a little while, I think.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A suggestion for my hydrangea

Dear hydrangea plant,

I love you very much. You are very sweet and green in the back yard. However, despite my best efforts, you refuse to flower. At all. I've added a picture below, from Helmingham Hall (not far away, so it's not the climate), of the general direction you should be aiming in.



P.S. I think Grandma has been making jam and not telling us. Mmmmmm best jam in the world....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Frankly, my dear...

I'm still plodding through Gone With The Wind. I'm a little over half way through, and I'm not finding either Rhett or Scarlett to be particularly compelling. Maybe it's my biased Yankee upbringing? Who knows. I'm definitely going to attempt to finish it, but at this point, I can't really see why it has become such a classic.

In other literary news, my Google Reader told me today that the newest instalment of Alexander McCall Smith's Corduroy Mansions will be along shortly. Sweet!