Light = marginally better

So yeah, “in the morning when the light’s better” assumes there actually will be better light in the morning, not gloomy and overcast.  But I took a photo under the fluorescent kitchen light, and it came out slightly closer to the actual colours:

Anyway, I dropped it off to Judy this morning, and she totally loves it, so mission accomplished.

Most rushed job ever

But I got it done!

(I’ll try and remember to take a better photo in the morning when the light’s better, before I wrap it up to take into work and Judy’s farewell party).

I had ambitious plans to quilt it with a leafy or flowery design, but then I reminded myself I only had a couple of hours, so sense reigned and I fell back to the reliable meandering that I know I can do without too many mistakes (well, as long as you don’t look *too* closely).  I did “stitch the ditch” around the teacups though, to make them stand out a bit, which I think worked pretty well.

The binding is a very quick machine-sewn version (thanks Dancingstar for teaching me that hand-sewing is not the answer 🙂 ) that’s a bit rough in places, but the faults are mostly only visible on the back so I reckon nobody will ever notice.

So, mat quilted and bound in just 1 hour and 18 minutes.  Reckon that’s got to be some sort of record 🙂

And now I’m going to go and make myself some nice calming herbal tea and collapse with a book for a while – I’m exhausted!


I was planning on doing some more work on the next bird today (it’s been kind of on hiatus while I was sick, because I couldn’t concentrate well enough), but then I got inspired to make a mug rug as a quick present for Judy, a colleague who’s retiring on Tuesday.  Yeah, you know where this is going – me and quick projects just don’t go together.  I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, so I ended up combining two different patterns together, and time got away from me (not to mention that I spent a chunk of the afternoon making a hare casserole (because I cleaned out the freezer yesterday and discovered I still had some of the wild meats Brother gave me last year, so thought I’d better start using it up before it gets too old) and a fruit sponge pudding (to use up the last few peaches that Harvestbird gave me)… yeah, I think I’m finally over my cold, seeing as I’ve suddenly got all this renewed energy for cooking and cleaning), so I’ve only got the top done.  If I want to give it to her on Tuesday I’m going to have to get it quilted and the binding put on tomorrow night.  Could be a busy night (good thing I can just heat up some leftover hare for dinner 🙂 ).

Looks quite good so far, though (if you ignore the slightly wonky top on one of the cups):

Friday nights in the Square

I met Lytteltonwitch in town after work again tonight so we could sample more of the delights of the food trucks in the Square.  Not that there were all that many delights to be had, actually – the season is almost over (next Friday is the last until next summer), so there were only a handful of trucks there – nowhere near the selection there were last time.  Jan was there with her puddings, though, so after a quick stop for souvlaki we stopped off at her caravan for tea and sticky toffee pudding (actually, I ended up having two desserts – I couldn’t resist grabbing some churros from another stall, seeing as it would probably being my last chance for freshly cooked churros for many many months, but I also wanted to support Jan, so I got a pudding from her as well.  I am very very full now!).

No wizards or line dancers in attendance this time – the only entertainment was the sight of a couple of patched gang members* riding their Harleys into the Square.  Luckily they didn’t seem to be there to cause trouble, and left again not long after, because the security guard who’s supposed to patrol the market was suddenly conspicuous by his absence (I don’t really blame him – I don’t think I’d have wanted to confront them either).

*Yes, sometimes Christchurch does live up to its stereotypes…


Apparently there was some sort of sporting event last night which people were getting kind of excited about (the turnout at Toastmasters was the lowest I’ve seen since the coldest days of winter – presumably everyone was at home watching the match).  I enjoyed Harvestbird’s commentary – she sent me regular tweets about the relative merits of the players’ beards (which of course is much more important than trivialities like who’s winning).

We finally, after nearly a week without it, have the QuakeStudies site back.  I’m glad, because I was starting to struggle to find enough useful work for the team to do in its absence.  The not so good news, though, is that nobody’s entirely sure what caused the problem in the first place, which means we don’t know how to prevent it happening again. But anyway, if you wanted to see those cool IHC videos I mentioned last week, you finally can:

Plumbing report

I managed to find a plumber who came with good reviews, and he was even available to come and look at the leak this morning.  Wonders will never cease!  He had a look at the leaking pipe, and confirmed that yes, it is leaking, but that it needs some parts that he didn’t have, so he’ll have to come back later in the week (or maybe next week… usual Christchurch problem of the few decent tradespeople being booked out for the foreseeable future).  So the leak isn’t fixed yet, but by the look of it it’s been slowly seeping for quite some time, so a little bit longer won’t hurt.

I talked to him too about some other plumbing work I was considering getting done, of the future-proofing variety, and was impressed when he told me not to get it done, because it wouldn’t actually be worth it.  I always feel more trusting of tradespeople when they give you advice that means they’ll miss out on work 🙂

Good and bad

Things that were good about today:

  • I had lunch with Harvestbird, which is always enjoyable, and had the bonus today that she came bearing gifts: leftover birthday cake and a bag of blackboy peaches (terrible name, excellent peaches).
  • My cold is, if a long way from gone, at least beginning to reduce in intensity.
  • It isn’t raining.

Things that were bad about today:

  • I have a new leak in my ceiling.  This time it’s not the roof, it’s a leaking pipe.  Anyone know any good plumbers? (On the plus side, it’s a pipe I was intending on having replaced anyway (because it’s an old steel pipe that’s starting to rust, and the rust was getting into my hot water cylinder, so I was going to get it replaced with copper), and had budgeted to do so, so at least it’s not an unexpected cost.  Replacing the damaged ceiling, on the other hand…)
  • My cold is at that exhausting stage where I just want to sleep all the time, but I have to do annoying things like go to work.
  • QuakeStudies is still down, and it seems like everything I want to get done at work is something I really need access to the database to be able to do.

March Meetup

Had our second meetup of the newly-revived Christchurch Bookcrossing meetups this morning, and yet again we had new people turn up: NiceOrc (whose name I vaguely remembered from years ago) and her daughter. Plus Chuckacraft, who was there last month, came back, so it’s feeling like we’ve got the beginnings of a viable Christchurch meetup group again. We’ve decided to try a new venue though – although Addington Coffee Co-op has great food and atmosphere, it’s too popular – it’s incredibly busy on weekend mornings, so we struggled to find a table big enough to hold us all (and they don’t take reservations). The plan is to try out Beat Street Cafe next time, which apparently doesn’t get busy until nearer lunchtime, so we should be able to snag a decent sized table for brunch.

I was running a bit late this morning, so didn’t have time to dig out many books to take to the meetup, just Conrad’s Fate by Diana Wynne Jones, The Heart of the Country by Fay Weldon, and The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman. And of course, ended up bringing home as many as I’d released: The Gift by James Patterson, Bonkers by Michelle Holman, and Gringo Soup by JB Aspinall (well, I had to encourage the new people by making sure they’d get catches on their books, didn’t I? (ok, so maybe that doesn’t explain why I picked up one of Lytteltonwitch’s books…))

And four hours later…

I’m shattered, but it’s done*. And added to the wood Dad brought up in January, means I’ve got more than enough firewood to last me through the winter.  I won’t show you a picture of the finished stack, because it’s nowhere near Yetzirah’s standards for elegantly-stacked woodpiles (partly because the base stack I was adding to was pretty wobbly, having been constructed by the boys, and partly just because I couldn’t be bothered expending any extra energy- I just wanted to get the wood into the garage and under shelter, so the last few wheelbarrows-full were pretty sloppily thrown on top of the pile).  But in the winter I will see it as a thing of great beauty, I’m sure.

Don’t think I’ll be getting much housework done in what’s left of the day though.  In fact, I might be ordering a pizza for dinner…

*Well, apart from the small matter of sweeping up the sawdust – I decided that can definitely wait for another day!

Timing is everything

That is three cubic metres of firewood. And the forecast for tomorrow is rain. Which means I have to get all of it stacked this afternoon if I want to keep it dry. And I’ve still got a cold.  This is going to be fun…

In my defence, I ordered it months ago (because they do a cheap deal if you order it in summer for delivery before the end of March), so I didn’t know I’d be sick.  And when they rang last week to confirm the delivery date I still didn’t know I’d be sick.  I did consider ringing and cancelling, but then I’d have to have paid full price to get another load delivered later, and I’m much too stingy for that 🙂  I’d much rather stack wood while I’m sick than miss out on the discount!

Oh well, as long as I do it in short bursts with lots of rest in between it shouldn’t be too bad.  Don’t think I’ll be getting anything else done today, though…