I’m not the only crafty-creative person in this household. Far from it. Other Half has a degree in textiles, after all, and his latest project is customising shoes. These are his Day of the Dead shoes (aren’t they fab?):
Speaking of shoes and craftiness, my crafty friend Lilith is going to run a 5k race later this year to raise money for cancer research. If you want to sponsor her, she’d be a very happy bunny. Lilith has even arranged a prize draw which any knitter (or friend of a knitter) should check out.
Me mam’s apparently doing a bit better. It’s slightly strange to be in another country and not being able to rush to the hospital.
Somebody at BBC is my new friend. Stephen Fry & the Gutenberg Press is showing on BBC4 tonight so whoever greenlighted that show gets to be my friend. Yes I’ll sit there with popcorn shouting at the telly whenever they say something vaguely incorrect (or get too carried away with the entire ‘cultural revolution’ – too Eisenstein and not enough Johns for my taste. I just know they’ll fly on the wings of the “printing press as agent for change” thing and there are so many problems with that idea..). Oh, my heart be still.
Related-ish: two ways of debasing/defacing/recycling books (delete as appropriate):
+ Nicholas Jones – Book Sculptor
+ How to make a handbag out of a book
I’m not sure I approve.
If somebody could explain to me why I spend an entire day feeling excruciatingly guilty over telling my manager that I’m still ill and, no, I do not know when I’ll be back at work, then leave me a comment. I shouldn’t feeling guilty for telling the truth but I suspect it’s that old authority thing. You know, you see a policeman and you instantly feel like you should be locked up for some crime? Okay, maybe that’s just me ..
I can’t remember where I found this, but it’s actually very good: Garfield Without Garfield. Remember that 1980s comic strip about a fat cat and its owner? That comic strip is actually still in circulation back where my parents live. Whenever they send me a parcel, they always wrap things in the local paper* and Garfield’s there peeking up at me with some bad pun involving lasagna. Gah. But Garfield Without Garfield is different. There is no fat cat spouting lasagna puns; it’s been removed. And the result is a comic strip that’s far funnier and stranger than you might expect.
*click only if you are really bored, able to read Danish and have an unhealthy fascination with farming communities.
Yarn Mention Of the Day: I ordered some yarn off teh interwebs thinking it’d be burgundy with a few freckles of pink. It turned out to be chocolate with quite a lot of pink. I feel like I’m knitting with Neapolitan ice cream.. which is bad for my sweet tooth. Mmm, ice cream..
Following Friday’s unfortunate stroll, I decided I should probably take things easy. What brought it home? It was possibly the fact that when I passed out on Friday, I narrowly escaped having my forehead cut open thanks to broken glass lying on the ground. This time I was lucky and as for next time .. there will not be a next time. I’ll be taking things very, very easy from now on. No more marathon computer sessions, no more computer games and I’ll try very hard to squeeze as much sleep into my day as I possibly can.
I’m thirty-two, intelligent, out-going and occasionally I’m witty too. And some days I can’t even manage the five-minute walk up to the local supermarket. I have no idea what on earth is wrong with me and I am seemingly stuck in a slightly chaotic health care system (apologies to all Britons, but my experience of UK vs Danish heath care definitely gives the Danish heath care system the upper hand – and I’ve had some pretty dire experiences with Danish doctors in my time). Right now I feel as though my doctor is expecting me to give her a diagnosis – not the other way around. It’s quite, quite frustrating.
Also, I am suffering from cabin fever. Know what it’s like being stuck in bed with a cold for a week? Try imagining yourself stuck in that situation for a few months. I’ve begun knitting. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy it but I knit whilst watching Crufts, for heaven’s sake. And I wear slippers an awful lot. It is as though my life has decided to skip straight to me being eighty-four.
+ A worrying family situation has improved.
+ Other Half has taken up making ice-cream. He is very good at this.
+ Friends and family send me beautiful, beautiful yarn.
+ Doctor Who is back on TV! AND the Ofishul Doctor Who exhibition is coming to Glasgow next year!
+ Elbow’s latest album, The Seldom Seen Kid makes me beam.
+ And the daffodils are in bloom, so even if I end up with my face flat on the ground, I can look at pretty things.
Bad Things Not Mentioned Thus Far:
+ I try to knit fingerless gloves for Other Half (using organic Scottish wool – locally sourced too – gosh, I’m such a Guardian reader, am I not?) but I end up hating every thing I knit and frog it mercilessly. Grrr..
Isn’t that just pretty?
My Canadian friend, Fearthainn, wrote to me asking for my snail mail when she realised that a) I had rediscovering crocheting and knitting and b) I had fallen ill.
And she has just sent me the most beautiful handspun yarn I have ever seen in my life. Yes, she is a yarn-spinner and a knitter and I’m a bit in awe. I have no idea what I’ll make from these skeins of beauty (the picture does not do them justice – trust me) but I’ll be beaming like an utter fool whilst knitting. Thank you, C. It may be a small gesture for you, but it means a lot to me.
In other news, my postman might just be a tiny bit scared of me because these past few days I have been eyeing him somewhat obsessively. I pre-ordered the new Philip Pullman from Amazon on March 23. Now I may have mixed up the dates slightly and have been looking forward to the book arriving as early as Tuesday (it’s published today, Thursday), so apologies to the postie .. but it also turns out that a certain net-based bookseller has f’d up and I won’t get my book until, er, Monday. Do you think if I scare my postman even more, he might be inclined to find the book parcel for me personally and bring it to me sooner than that?
Yes, I know there are bookshops in Glasgow and they’ll have it in stock .. but I’m house-bound right now due to me being slightly too active earlier on this week. Boo. Hiss.
At least I have Radiohead playing live on the Beeb streaming through the speakers and so the world’s okay and everything is in its right place. Except my book. Which should be in my hand.
Very cool: Cardboard art. You take a piece of cardboard, sneakily remove the flat top layer so the corrogated inner workings are revealed, add a dash of colour and you’ve got art! Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that but it’s very nifty.
Read the entire arty blog or just click the top link for easy gratification.
We went to the hospital today for a long-awaited appointment. I have been undergoing epilepsy tests but they came out negative. No abnormal electrical currents or any abnormal brain structures – I’m relieved that I’m not dying of a brain tumour and I’m frustrated that I could not get a clear, concise answer to wtf is going on with me today. We’re off to see my GP to find out what is next. Exciting times.
So, a compensation I was allowed to buy three skeins of very, fabulous, very expensive yarn. I am not sure if it is entirely healthy (for my bank account or my partner’s sanity) to both suffer from bibliophilia and, er, yarn-philia?
Speaking of bibliophilia, one of my major interests is artists’ books: the idea that the book is more than just a transparent medium but actually plays a major part in our understanding of texts (and thus the world) is very, very appealing to me. This year’s Glasgow’s International Art Festival caters to this interest of mine with the Glasgow International Artists Bookfair. It’ll feature all sorts of books about books as well as actual artists’ books and workshops on bookbinding etc. I’m so there. No surprise that I will also be found here looking very excited at this exhibition.
Glasgow is good to me.
A blustery day in Glasgow. We seized the moment when the rain stopped and went into city centre to buy me a cinnamon latte and browse quickly through the bargain offers in Waterstones. This is what passes for normalcy – I could do it because the city was quiet, I had company and I had had a good night’s sleep. Yes, I am starting to get cabin fever but the next hospital visit is on Wednesday. Please cross fingers for a solution.
In the meantime life goes on.
And life right now equals being crafty with yarn. I have embraced Etsy – although I am slightly disturbed by the fact that you can buy handmade nipple tassels (link not safe for work, obviously) as well as pig ballerina cloth sanitary towels (reusable) (link not safe for your sanity). I have also become a beta tester of Ravelry which is a knitting/crochet community. I feel very middle-aged – particularly as I have been crocheting along to PUPPIES these past few days. Youth, youth, where hast thou gone?
Finally, I’m much amused by The Independent‘s latest marketing decision: free glossy booklets featuring the Great Poets. Who else would have thought that would entice more people to pick up the newspaper? Who?
I finally got hold of Alex Lloyd‘s third album, Distant Light the other day. It’s the aural equivalent of me snuggling up in a blanket on a spring day: it’s invigourating but also deeply comforting. However, most days I’m listening to Canadian band Alaska in Winter – their album continues to worm its way into my ears.
And most days I am passing time by harking back to my roots. My grandmother sews, knits, crochets, embroiders and works with paper; my mother crochets, works with paper and even writes songs; my uncle P. paints, does graphic design and builds small castles in his back garden.. you get the picture. We are a creative bunch. I can sew, knit, crochet, do calligraphy, work with paper, paint and dabble in photography with quite good results. Right now I crochet and am re-discovering my love for textiles, textures and multi-dimensional shapes. It is exciting to see something I have in my head suddenly begin to appear between my hands just through using a hook and some scrap yarn. Exciting, I tell you!
And then you get people who think of crocheting as a mathematical exercise. The Institure for Figuring has an entire subsite dealing with Hyperbolic Space. It’s actually really damn cool:
We have created a world of rectilinearity. The rooms we inhabit, the skyscrapers we work in, the grid-like arrangement of our streets, the shelves on which we store our possessions, and the freeways we cruise on our daily commute speak to us in straight lines. But what exactly is a straight line? And how do such “objects” relate to one another?
This question, so seemingly trivial, lies at the heart of a conundrum that dates back to the dawn of the Western mathematical tradition. Though seemingly obvious, the property of “straightness” turns out to be a subtle and surprisingly fecund concept. Understanding this quality ultimately led mathematicians to discover a radical new kind of space that had hitherto seemed abhorrent and impossible.