Monday, 31 January 2011

hot, hot, hot

Would all those who said they were missing a Sydney summer,please stop missing it right now.  We've had some very  humid days and now the heat has also struck  36° forecast for the Sydney area and more in the western suburbs is tomorrow's forecast and so it goes on till next Monday!

DIL said this to me a couple of weeks ago and I said I didn't care if it never climbed over 30°.  We've had a lot of grey days and damp weather.  I think what she was really missing was the sunshine.  30° and sunny with a breeze is lovely.  36-40+° is not lovely at all.

I've looked over January's output.  Not much, not much at all.  One long narrow belt in organic cotton with a tassel each end.  Two socks of different designs.  Ripped out - one Shur'tugal sock which made my fingers ache and gave my brain nightmares. Part of two shawls.  Tossed aside - lots of ideas discarded and also a pile of motivation.

I'm working in the mornings on another sock, the mate to one of the above.  It won't be finished this month.  Perhaps February will see it done and perhaps my brain will now settle down.  Second cheque should go into my account tomorrow for a much smaller sum, my share of the deposit and interest on that.  I've instructed my solicitor to get moving on an exchange of contracts on an apartment.  I doubt he'll find anything to worry about in the strata report or the contract itself.

DIL brought home an Ikea catalogue and I've been perusing it while sock knitting.  Lemon squeezers?  Tick.  Spatulas? Tick.

I'll leave you with something my youngest son sent in an email:

That’s A Very Good Point

Craft Store | London, UK
Customer #1: “What size needles do I need to use?”
Customer #2: “Well, it depends on the tension of your knitting.”
Customer #1: “Oh, I’m quite loose.”
Customer #2: *laughs* “I wouldn’t say that in this town. You might get in trouble.”

Friday, 28 January 2011

very relieved

House settlement went through late yesterday afternoon and a very large cheque has been paid into my account.  I'm very relieved and thankful that this is finally almost over.  I'm still waiting for my share of the large deposit which has been in a high interest account for 98 days.  That should be available on Monday or Tuesday, but the bulk has been paid.  Of course, I can't access it yet, despite a bank cheque.  The bank plays on the short term market while passing a few days off as time for clearing the cheque. Grrrr.

Not only that, but commission for agent comes out of that cheque and all my legal fees and bits and pieces have been paid in full.  That's a load off my shoulders.

Will be at my solicitor on Monday to start pushing purchase.

There are many who've offered support over the last three and a half years years.  Thank you sounds so inadequate but it is indeed heartfelt.  I've really appreciated the support and encouragement .

I'm looking forward to a new start and indeed it will be new.  I have books, clothes, some treasures but nothing like a fridge or bed or lounge.  Much of that in the past was given and not of my choosing.  While I won't have money to burn now, I will have enough to get what I like.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

the creature from the blue lagoon

Or perhaps it's the the alien from outer space.  Actually, it's the monsters in the backyard.  DIL went to put scraps in the worm farm yesterday to find several paper bags apparently floating just under the lid.  When she moved them she found these strange life forms supporting the paper.

It took us a while to work out what they had come from.  At Christmas, she roasted several big pieces of pumpkin and  put the seeds in with the worms.  Some warm weather and this was the result.  I was surprised the pumpkin seeds had sprouted from such fresh seeds, but sprout they had.  She pulled them out, we didn't really want them growing there and left them as more food  for the worms.  When I was later watering the pots of herbs outside, I found some tiny tomato plants in the garden.  Last year I had tossed half a punnet of cherry tomatoes out there which were well and truly past their prime.  So we now have several dozen seedlings after warm  weather and rain.

Good news and very glad I am to report it.  I had a call late in the afternoon yesterday from the conveyancing solicitor. Settlement on my old home is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon and it seems all is really well with the arrangements.  It would have been today except it's a public holiday.  Then my solicitor rang with the same news and reassurance.  I really had thought it would be sorted  but I was very glad to hear it.  What I was worried about was that there would have to be a second sale.

I found another place nearby which was lovely but after doing some detective work, fund that the body corporate of teh unit block was involved in Supreme Court litigation with a neighbour.  Serious money being spent here.  Lovely as the place was, with a convenient location, good price and beautiful outlook I dropped it.   I have returned to the place I found just before the first settlement fell through and think I will be happy there.

However, I certainly feel as if a big weight has shifted from my shoulders and am now looking forward to moving.  I've been here long enough, although there's absolutely no pressure on me to move.

I might even do some more knitting.  I bought a cone of undyed superwash merino, almost 3000 metres from wired for fibre which is closing.  I know I have another shawl sort of on the go, but have started the third Shetland Lace triangle from  Evelyn Clark.  So far I'm enjoying it but there's far too little to show yet.

It's really hot here today and summer has not been too bad this year for the most part.  For the last few summers, Sydney has had quite a few days over 40° C so today is a shock to the system.  Fitting for Australia Day, I suppose.  It's in the 30s but the humidity is extreme and there's little breeze.

Hopefully my next post will be to say everything went well.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

no knitting to speak of

Not quite no knitting but close thereto.  I've been doing a few rows on the sock or the stocking stitch part of a shawl every day, but there's no enthusiasm there at all.

Settlement should have taken place on my former home late last Monday afternoon.  It's still pending.  My solicitor is still convinced it's an error on the part of the purchasers' bank.  They were given a notice to complete last Wednesday afternoon with fourteen days to comply.  I've heard from several friends who know conveyancers who all say life would be much simpler without banks and the holdup is  a common one.  It's still horrible.

The purchasers stand to lose a six figure deposit if the default.  While my share would pay my bills, I do not look forward to paying them like that.

I remember how stressed we all were over a bank error just over a year ago.  I don't want to be profiting from others feeling like that.  However, it was an auction, those are the terms of an auction.  My share of the penalty interest now being charged to them on the large sum still outstanding is about $130/day.  Again, part of the contract, but not pleasant all the same. Still it is mounting up to a washing machine or dishwasher.  The worst scene is a second sale, very definitely not wanted.  The agent could perhaps inquire of the previous bidders at the auction to see if any were still interested , but I don't want to have to do that at all.

What is worse is that after months of looking while I had no money, I did actually find a place last weekend, the day before settlement was due.  It's back in my old stamping ground.  I expressed an interest, but have signed nothing and made it plain I could not proceed without the settlement.

Then yesterday I found an even more pleasant place quite close to here.  A very pleasant outlook.  No really close shops but lots of walks along the river and the bus is no more than a minute away.  Despite the nearby transport it's quiet, on a side street with houses on one side only of the street.  And it's very, very close to a chocolate place which makes really pleasant chocolate.

I hope this matter will be resolved this week.

So I'm distracting myself if possible and am going out tonight for dinner with a friend who's up from Mallacoota for a few days.  It's about a year since I saw her.

It's blackberry time again.  We used to pick on the next weekend when we had land near Cessnock.  These are some of the bunches on the vines a few metres from my window.  There are more than last year, we've had quite a bit of rain over the last few months.  There are some tiny birds trying them out each day.  They seem to think the red berries mean ripeness. Not so.  I think the birds are finches, although I haven't seen any around before.  They are very small and noisy, the wrong shape for a wren.  They are extremely quick and almost impossible to see properly, let alone photograph.

Where did the years go? My grandson fooling around on the right in this photo starts High School this year.  It doesn't seem possible.  His sister, the six year old birthday girl in pink in the middle, moves into primary school.  Mr Grumpy on the far left, who is 18 months younger than his cousin next to him  who is smaller, starts kindergarten at big school in a week.    And I think I'm in my thirties.  Not!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

from the granny square, a granny square

Not much to show around here at all as it's rather hard to take a photo of indecision.

I'm working my way down the foot of the sock substitute for Shur'tugal.  I knew when I chose a very basic pattern for this that I would be bored with it.  I am.  However, the other pattern with all its twists was infuriating me and stressing me completely.  Ailsa's yarn is, as always, lovely to use.  It's knitting from the stash so that has to be good too.

In an attempt to liven myself up, I started another shawl with some of Ailsa's 50/50 merino and silk.  Again lovely to use.  However, I've tried four patterns and think I'm doing Travelling Woman again.  My mind has certainly been travelling here, there and everywhere.

So we're almost halfway through January, (yipes!) and what do I have to show for it?  A narrow knitted belt in Ecowood cotton and this facecloth.  I truly have joined the dark side.  This is crocheted, just to see if I remembered what to do.  It's more Granny Square cotton but is a cheaper brand, Sugar and Cream I think.  I carefully kept the ball band but it must be somewhere hidden on my desk.  I thought that something completely different like this might be a kickstart.  I would never have imagined myself making either facecloths or dishcloths.

Then yesterday I realised the deep seat of why I felt like this.  Settlement is due on my house sale next Monday.  I'm sure everything will go through just fine, but I've been looking for places and discarding them.  So the patterns have also been discarded.  This too will pass, as the saying goes.

I had good news today.  My legal bill which comes out of the settlement is much less than I expected.  Some thousands of dollars less.  It's still well under the average cost for the proceedings and I'm very grateful.  I doubt whether my ex-husband will be as happy.   He changed solicitors three, if not  four times and would have had to go over things all those times.  Still, that comes out of his share.  I'm looking at three places on Saturday and am hopeful one will suit me.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

2011 journals

There's not a lot of knitting going on around here but I hope to remedy that soon.  I started the Shur'tugal sock from the sock club I joined.  I wasn't looking forward to it as I had used the left and right twist stitches a lot last year and hated them.  I tried.  Really I did.  I did about 10-12 cm of the pattern down the leg and gave up.

Knitting to me is for relaxation, stress relief - that sort of thing.  I was hating every moment  of the sock, although I like the finished article.  Just loathed the process. My tension was getting ever tighter, but it was when I realised that my hands were sore and aching and the fingers were twinging that I came to my senses.  I ripped out the pattern and am doing an easy feather and fan I could do in my sleep.  I'm using the same yarn, some of Ailsa's beautiful merino in a colour called Emerald Isle.  My tension is still tight but the knitting is now resuming the stress relief rather than stress provoking which it was doing earlier.  I'm glad I stopped.  I came home yesterday to here of the death of someone from a forum I frequent.  One of the behind the scenes people who kept the show on the road had died suddenly.  An in memoriam thread was started and now there are many hundreds of posts  on it.

If you get a chance, see The King's Speech.  It is a very good film indeed and deserves the rave reviews it's getting.  Both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are superb.  Helena Bonham Carter's role is not as important but is also played well.  I went with a friend and we enjoyed Vietnamese before the film and a good coffee after, along with a long chat.  A very pleasant afternoon till I arrived home and heard of Erin's death.

Last year was the year of Moleskine journals and notebooks for me.  The pale pink Moleskine has been well used, the other not quite so much.  Knitting notes and ideas, knitting records and so on.  And a whole lot more.  The smaller notebook shown here is unused but its twin lives in my bag.  Strong and easy to slip into the bag.  Lots of notes have gone into it.

This year I fell for Paperblank journals.  These are beautiful and very well made.  Both these covers are illustrations from the Book of Kells.  They are embossed and there is  much detail.  Lots of other styles available in the series from Tiffany glass, to leather and wildflowers.  These are lined, although unlined are also available.  They are handstitched and open perfectly flat.  A joy to look at and to touch.