Friday, April 29, 2005

Bad days and big ups

I was going to whinge just a little about how I have the sniffles, and how too much sugar-laden morning tea has made my tummy a bit sore, and how I've barely seen The Trouser since we've had an unanticipated highly social period.

But then I read through my "regular blogs", and realised that sometimes, other people are having a crappier time than I am, really.

So instead of my moaning, how about "big ups" instead, to:

- Parents who love and care for their kids (especially when the kids are being difficult).

- People who are brave enough to put pictures of themselves on their blogs.

- People who have crappy days and get up the next morning determined to have a better day.

- The person who invented aloe vera tissues.

- The Trouser, for being the sweetest thing in the whole world, and not getting mad that I almost always fall asleep first.

- My friend out there (you know who you are) who is having a shit time, but still has time for other people, and doesn't laugh at me for eating breakfast foods at lunchtime.

And ups to you, gentle reader (love Miss Manners!), for reading.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

My good deed for the week

I took my recently-arrived-in-Auckland-fresh-from-her-soon-to-be-ex-husband colleague shopping last night.

There was a sale on at a store, and she mentioned how she needed winter clothes for the cooler climes of Auckland. She also mentioned her fear of being "mutton dressed as lamb", despite looking in her early 30s, a full decade younger than she is.

Anyway, we went, we battled crowds, piles of clothes (much of which were ripped or otherwise so unwearable that they were not seconds, more like fifths!), loooooong queues and heat, and emerged successful.

She felt guilty about taking my time up, even though I suggested the whole thing, and expressed many times that since I'm furiously saving, shopping vicariously would be perfect.

She felt so guilty that she bought me dinner, and also paid for a dinner to bring home for The Trouser, who spent his Skirt-less time at a yoga class.

Anyway, a good deed accomplished. And I've promised to do some research into the other items of clothing she wants, so we can undertake a more targeted expedition soon - but one without a 20-minute wait to pay :-) Between my knitting habit (still suspended as I suspect that Violet is right - I may have OOS in my finger) and my desire to save to spend up in our trip to the Americas later this year, vicarious shopping will pretty much be the only kind I'll be doing in the next while!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Things that are making me happy today

A lovely Phoenix chai (good made with soy milk, but I'd love one made with VitaSoy ricemilk one day...)

A heater to warm my toes, and an employer that will pay for the insane amount of electricity it takes to keep it going all day long (such are the perils of air-conditioned offices!).

The bosses being away, meaning I can get on with my current work in peace (no additional projects cropping up every 15 minutes).

Wearing jeans and sometimes sneakers to work, because the bosses are away and it's cold. (I do like them, really - absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?)

A wheat bag at night to warm up the bed before I get in.

Having lots of healthy and delicious food in the freezer for when The Trouser and I are too lazy to cook.

Even better, The Trouser doing the re-heating and cleaning up!

A very clean cooktop to cook on when we are less lazy (thank you for cleaning it dear!).

Snuggling up on the couch under a blanket to watch TV.

Leucodendrons instead of flowers on our kitchen bench, making our place look a teensy, weensy bit like somewhere out of an architectural/ home beautiful-style magazine.

The prospect of new carpet in the near future. (We're newbies at this though, so anyone who wants to give us some advice, feel free to leave a comment.)

An ample supply of personal (and thus soft and scented) tissues at work for the days when I have the sniffles.

A long-overdue update

I'm not entirely sure what I've been doing in the past few weeks - I sure haven't been blogging. Knitting, I guess; housework, reluctantly; lots and lots of working too.

Although the knitting has been loads of fun, it has also unfortunately created a soreness in my right hand. The Trouser is convinced that it is solely knitting-related; I feel that equal blame can be apportioned to the scroll wheel on my mouse, since I use the same finger.

At any rate, intense knitting (and thus virtually instantaneous new clothes) is off for the next little while, as I try to recuperate.

To compensate for the extra time I've had on my hands, I've done lots of boring-but-necessary chores: heaps of laundry, packing away summer and unpacking winter clothes, tidying the pantry, etc.

Like I said, boring but necessary.

I have high hopes for more excitement in the next few weeks though - The Trouser's birthday is fast approaching; my baby brother is coming back up to Auckland to graduate, which means a big fuss and a rowdy family dinner somewhere posh; plus I have all my lovely winter clothes to wear (after being packed away for a few months they feel all new again - even if only for the next few weeks).

And hopefully I'll manage a few more blogworthy thoughts... is it just me, or does winter generally dull the brain?

Friday, April 15, 2005

iPod mini case/ cover

Just in case you happen to know some keen knitters (or you knit yourself and have half an hour or so to spare) and you have an iPod mini, here's the pattern for the iPod mini case that I knitted for The Trouser:

Using 2 3/4mm needles (I think that's a US size 12) and 8-ply wool, cast on 40 stitches.

Row 1: *k1, p1*; rep from * to * until end. Try to knit with a fairly firm tension - you don't want your baby to slip out of its case!

Row 2 and all other rows: same as row 1. Keep knitting until your rectangle is just over 20cm long, then cast off.

It will look far too skinny, but it's ribbed - it will stretch. Really.

Sew up the sides to form a little bag, then sew a button on the front. Knit a loop of wool (or just use a single strand) that will loop over the top of the iPod mini and onto the button, to hold it in place. Fasten this to the back of the case.

Give your case a little stretch, then slide in your iPod mini.

If you're like The Trouser and you like stripes, change the wool colour every 8 rows for horizontal stripes that are approx. 2cm deep.

My new mission in life: warm and toasty iPod minis for the masses! (It will be winter soon, after all!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


My arm warmers (essential for the chilly, over-air-conditioned office I work in) are temporarily on hold this week, as I've been busy with other knitting projects.

Project 1: a knitted case/ cover for The Trouser's iPod mini. More like a little sleeping bag really, but knitted, and for a gadget.

Since the iPod mini itself is tiny, it was a lovely quick project - about an hour, including excessive fussing about the width and where the fastening should go.

Project 2: a lovely scarf for the mother-in-law's birthday. Much more frustrating than #1, as I started it on 3 different needle sizes before finally settling on the needles I initially thought would be too boring.

Memo to self: a loose-knit scarf would be very beautiful and soft, but the m-i-l is highly unlikely to wear something this lovely. Boring is better.

I exchanged a couple of balls of wool left over from my cardigan - same wool (well, same synthetic mix), but a different colour, so she doesn't get that her scarf is essentially made from cast-offs. (LOL, sad knitting pun there... never mind...)

Anyway after what seemed like hours and hours of knitting, I have made very little progress. It is kind of square-shaped, which is good - but her b'day is on Thursday, and we'll probably see them at the weekend.

However, given my slow progress so far, plus The Trouser's desire to spend proper quality time together (i.e. unimpeded by knitting needles and/ or TV or computers), it seems likely that we'll just go out and buy a present, and I'll finish the sccarf in time for Mother's Day, when I'll give it to my mum. She's a big fan of my knitted stuff, bless her, so she'll probably wear it too.

In the meantime though, I am getting a little ansty for additional knitting projects (yes I am that sad).

Hey Violet, would you like bootees and/ or a hat for your darling child-to-be?

Friday, April 08, 2005

You can tell it's autumn when...

...the mosquitoes stop biting.

...Princes St smells like vomit, courtesy of the gingko berries splattered on the pavement. start needing a cardigan for your walk home from work.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

An email to The Trouser

I *was* going to email The Trouser before I left work, but I decided I should post my email here instead.

Although we Messenge (use MSN Messenger) each other all day long, we still like to email. If we weren't both in open-plan offices, we'd probably call each other a lot more too. And he still likes to read my blog, bless him!

Anyway, since I have been thinking about how different we are when we are with different people, I thought it would be ok to be brave and show people how I am when it's just The Trouser and me together. My email - uncensored and unedited, in its original state before I decided to post it here - is below.

Dear darling,

I'm sorry you won't be home till late tonight. I know you'd rather not go mini-golfing with your workmates.

While you are gone I plan to do some knitting and watch trashy TV. I promise to make myself some sort of dinner before I get too hungry. However, I can't promise that my dinner will have any nutritional value.

On the weekend, would you like to sleep in and then have brunch?



Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Families (again, but different)

We had a busy extended weekend recently (hence the lack of posts), visiting The Trouser's family across the ditch.

Although he has almost no family here, he has a real shitload over there. Hundreds of them - aunts, uncles, great-somethings, plus cousins of various stages or removal. Seriously, hundreds of them!

I had already met a few, and we met about 40 or 50 more at a party during our visit. Some of them were lovely; some were less lovely. Some were quite lovely to him but less so to me (perhaps because I am of the wrong religious/ ethnic extraction; perhaps because we aren't married, who knows). It made me feel strange then (I didn't know what was not quite right); when The Trouser mentioned it last night and suggested the reasons, I finally figured out why I had felt so weird. It makes me feel sad.

What makes me feel distinctly un-sad though, was The Trouser's declaration that he loved me best and didn't care what they thought. Plus since the party, he's been extra-affectionate, as if he's trying to make up for his possibly xenophobic relatives.

On the upside, we got to spend some time with some lovely relatives, including 2 grandmas who love me as if I were their (biological) grandchild, and who have "adopted" my little brother as their grandchild also. The first time we met, we bonded over the fact that we all think The Trouser is just the bestest thing ever, and the cutest and the loveliest, and it has been a lovely relationship ever since. :-)

Seeing them always makes me so happy (though I also feel wistful about how I relate(d) to my own grandparents), and seeing us seems to really make them happy too. I never begrudge them the time we spend there, even if they do take us to leagues clubs to eat, and provide smelly pickled herring for The Trouser.

I also got to see the aforementioned little brother, who has moved away for a job. We are not especially close, but I like and admire him a lot, and it made me really happy to spend a bit of time together. Finding him some extra grandparents was an unexpected bonus - he is not entirely alone where he is, but I like him having some family to lean on when he needs it, and for the grandmas to have someone else to love and spoil.

If you have a lovely grandparent or great-something who has embraced your partner or friends, please give them a big hug for me. Even if you have lots of family already, bonus grandparents are a very special blessing.

Meanwhile, we are hoping for a break after the last 2 months' worth of family overload. I think it's time to sit back and enjoy each other's company, plus The Trouser's early birthday present.