Saturday, February 26, 2011


This was me, today. Concentrating hard!

AND I made brownies for the bellringers. Firehouse brownies again (no more Betty Crocker for me - I'm converted!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Things I like

Amy Karol added a link to matchbook magazine over on her blog - I love it. I'm also quite a Lonny mag fan - I love that the design mags are international and web-based so I don't have to spend lots of time (and money) hunting for them in the wilds of Suffolk.

For some reason, Neutrogena seem to have discontinued the regular face wash that I've been using since high school, and replaced it with a grapefruit-scented version. Now, grapefruit is one of my favorite things, but the smell is a little sweet and cloying and it seems to be making me break out. BAH. Neutrogena, please bring the regular Visibly Clear back. Thanks.

To make up for Neutrogena's failings, though, I found this in the most recent Waitrose magazine. It's the comically named Baby Bottom Butter, and it is the Best Moisturiser Ever. Mostly olive oil and other yummy stuff (and no evil chemicals). I smell a little bit like a bakery, though, between the vanilla scent from the BBB and the grapefruit Neutrogena! It feels fairly greasy when you first put it on, but it sinks in within about 5 minutes.

These aforementioned dishcloths are as awesome as they are adorable - they go in the washing machine, can be composted when they're dead (several years hence, according to the interwebs), and scrub all kinds of yuckies. The scourer has gone back under the shelf below the sink - it's not pretty enough! Apparently these are used universally in Scandinavia (and my mother-in-law always used them when she was first married).

Last random thing: I finished reading Wilkie Collins' No Name, after a recommendation from C because "the characters go to Aldeburgh and we've BEEN there!" They do, indeed, go to Aldeburgh (and Dunwich, and London, and a "backwater" in Essex). I enjoyed the book, although it is filled with rather a lot of unsavoury characters who aren't very nice to each other. Makes for entertaining reading, though!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Silver linings

Bad news: our shower has been leaking.
More bad news: we couldn't figure out why.
Good news: we figured out why today!
Bad news: it was because the tiles at the bottom came off in John's hand when he removed the grout. Thanks, Crest Nicholson. Tiles are NOT supposed to be attached with grout and hope. You need something stronger.
Good news: our neighbor the builder is coming to help.

Bad news: today was a cold, rainy, and generally grim winter day.
Good news: these daffodils look so much MORE yellow and springy against the grey background.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: The King's Speech

Well. We had an extremely awesome extended-date on Saturday. John had to do some work in the morning, and I slept late and rang the bells for a wedding in Stowmarket. We met up back at home in the early afternoon, and John suggested an outing to Ipswich for dinner and a movie. Woot. We booked tickets at IFT for The King's Speech (more on that in a bit), and hopped on the 3:30 train.

We walked along the waterfront to the Dove Street Inn for a drink. The last time we were there, with my brother, I had an amazing Adnams Bokbier, a Dutch-style lager. I was hoping for a repeat, but there wasn't any left. I tried the Black Sheep Best Bitter, which was definitely tasty.

We then walked over to Karlsson Design to pick up the fabric that I had ordered. SO pretty.

And we couldn't leave the store without these dishcloths (they soften in water). LOVE the birds.

After we left Karlsson, we made our way into town for some supper. We walked past FlyGirls, who had a big "eyebrow threading" sign in the window. SQUEE! I've been hunting for a non-London, non-NYC threading place for, oh, 5 years or so. Apparently they've been there for 2 years, but it's not a street I walk down often, so I wouldn't have noticed. And they did walk-ins and it was only £4.99 and I'm extremely happy that I don't have to go 12 months between threadings.

Anyone would agree that this all sounds like more than enough excitement for one day, but after dinner, we went to the Ipswich Film Theatre for our "...and a movie." I definitely recommend the theatre - cheaper than Cineworld, fewer previews, NO adverts, and really helpful staff. Also, we tend to prefer indie films anyway.

I was a little worried about The King's Speech, since it had been so well-reviewed and there has been so much buzz. I shouldn't have been - I loved it. Colin Firth was spectacular, as was Geoffrey Rush. Helena Bonham Carter was delightfully non-Bellatrixed, although I kept waiting for Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall) to nibble his fingers and snivel "Yessss, master." Can't think why Alan Rickman couldn't have been found a part to play, since Michael Gambon was there as well. I really enjoyed the interactions between Bertie and Elizabeth, as well as those between Bertie and Lionel. Fab movie!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fetching cowl

The non-needed yarn is making a rather lovely cowl. Ravelled, here. Made quite a bit of progress while watching The Girl Who Played With Fire last night (left John to watch the last 10 mins by himself...too scary!)

Really enjoyed the movie, though.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Some sewing may be in order

I'll be on the lookout for The Perfect Fabric to sew this skirt (thank you, AnnaMaria!). Something tells me I won't be the only one.

Maybe one of these fabrics?

Oh, and in case you didn't believe me, here is the fab Eva Ibbotson short story that Persephone treated me to two weeks ago. Sigh. I might have to read it again now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Is it me, myself?

How do you guys feel about this darning, from last month's Martha Stewart Living? I think it looks really cool...John thinks it looks a little too rustic.

I had a slightly inappropriate grammar-rant at the office recently. I don't claim to be perfect, by any means, but I'd received an email, hot on the heels of an apostrophe-quibble with someone else (yes, you do need an apostrophe to mark a possessive; no, I'm not going to look it up online to prove it to you), where someone who really Should Know Better asked for queries to be "directed to xx and myself."

NOOOO! My eyes!

So I (nicely) called him on it. And he looked wounded and said he thought it sounded better and "gentler" and generally nicer.

I reminded him that if he took the other person's name out of it, "myself" would sound kind of strange.

Public Service Announcement: I am the only person who can send things to Myself. You can send things to Yourself, I will send things to Myself. You shall send Your things to Me. Can you and I (not me, not myself) agree on this?

One person at a time. (I shall not get started on commas, quotes, misplaced modifiers, or subject-verb disagreements.)

Apologies for the rant.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

more yarn...oh dear.

The Stepson had a Sea Sprout afternoon in Ipswich yesterday (training for their upcoming night hike - yikes!), so I volunteered to drop him off. I went to the grocery store, then decided to go and window shop in Woodbridge while I waited to pick him up again.

I was deliciously surprised to find Twist Yarns, a new yarn shop, in town. Even though I need more wool like I need a hole in the head, I couldn't resist this gorgeous and super-soft yarn from Fyberspates. I think I feel a cowl coming on.

John also discovered an extremely decadent twist on Eggs On Toast - add a slice of prosciutto beneath the poached egg (it was on special at the grocery store). YUM.

And now, the boys have gone to Bury to get some groceries, so it's just me, my quilt, my book, and a cup of tea. Sigh.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review: Arthur & George and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

On a recommendation from one of my work colleagues, I read Julian Barnes' Arthur & George, a fictionalised account of crimes committed in Staffordshire around the turn of the last century. I knew nothing about the book going in, other than the recommendation, and I enjoyed it. I though the middle was the most engaging (the beginning took a while to get going; the ending didn't really add anything). I didn't realise it was historical fiction when I started - I was surprised when one of the characters turned out to be someone I recognised!

(our drinks, in London, last weekend)

On Friday night, we rented the movie adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I was a little wary of the movie: I loved the book, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch all of the violence that takes place on film. I was pleasantly surprised, though. The movie follows the book very closely, and Steig Larsson's descriptions were obviously extremely vivid, as everything in the movie was exactly as I had pictured it when reading it. I did have to go and unload our dishwasher when the basement scene started, but I got the general idea. We watched it with English subtitles, with the sound in the original Swedish. I really don't enjoy dubbed movies, so this worked well. Swedish is also a really musical language - I found it a pleasure to listen to. Apparently the second movie is just as good (yay!). Also, John, having not read any of the books, followed along with the movie quite happily (although he guessed the ending in the first 5 minutes).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Owlet, on Cutest Semi-Niece Ever

Note to self:

Please do not try to carry the weight of the world. It will end in tears.

I mean, really, doesn't this picture just make it all better? Thought so.