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Sunday, 26 October 2008

Nafees is finally back from Pakistan and now I realise how much I've actually missed him. I had to pick him up from Heathrow which is about 60 miles from here, all the way around the M25. As it was Saturday afternoon, the motorway was clear. Only problem was, when we came back, it was already quite dark, and I hate driving in the dark as I can't see very well. That's only if there are no street lights, driving in cities is fine. Anyway, as it was so dark and I tried hard just to stay in my lane, I missed the turn-off for the M25 at one stage, and found myself in the wrong lane and ended up on the M20 towards Maidstone. I got off the next junction, and found familiar sounding town and village names, so I found my way home via country lanes.

Nafees brought beautiful clothes for Ruby, and Jeans for the boys. a lot of fashion jewellery and bangles for Ruby, 2 Asian dresses for me, watches for the children and lots of stuff for the house (bedlinen, kitchen utensils), and food which his mum cooked and they had it canned.

I haven't shown pictures of the cats for a while, and I thought those are quite cute. There is Honey (or is it Candy?) getting all comfy on my Frederick the Literate (which I had stretched out on my bed as I was about to frame it). And here are 3 of our cates all stretched out on my bed.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Simmel, Johannes ' Bis zur bitteren Neige '

A book by Austrian Author Johannes Mario Simmel. I like his stories, they are complex stories character studies. Simmel was born in 1924, and World War 2 often plays not the main part of his stories, but tells of important events which form the character of his 'hero'.

I cannot come up with a good translation for this titel, it could broadly mean 'Till the end' but that doesn't capture the German double meaning in connection with a drink which gets drunken till the last drop. so maybe 'till the last drop' , no this doesn't sound right. Anyway, the book tells the story of Peter Jordan, a Hollywood child star, now all grown up, success has long left him and he is a severe alcoholic. One final chance of a come-back movie is all he can think of. but his health and addiction is letting him down and he is desperately trying to hide it. And then his private life... he has an affair with his young stepdaughter which escalates.

I'm not sure if this book has been translated into English, but I think, as many Simmel books, has been made into a movie. The book was first published in 1962, but is surprisingly current.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

An update from last week's cross stitch on Nature's Home Afghan. I finished Block 2 and started Block 13 (both are actually next to each other on the top, I prefer to stitch it block by block from left to right and line by line rather than the way the blocks are numbered. Now I've run out of DMC 3781 which is not surprising, the tree branch is stitched entirely in that colour and it says on the chart I will need 10 of them.

Today I had my OU exam - gosh, I am sooo glad that is over. I hated the course this year, and sadly it reflected in my grades which got WORSE as the year progressed! I hope I did enough today in order to pass the exam - don't wont anything else, as I will never pass with distinction anyway (not high enough marks throughout the year for that). Now I will have a break from OU studies before my final year. And it's going to be a break of 1 year !!!! Usually, the courses with the OU always started in February and ended in October. But now they decided that the courses will start in October - so I have to wait until next October to start my final year. I don't mind to be honest, as I don't urgently need the degree for work purporses and rather need a break from it at present. But if I think about people who need to do it urgently... At present I feel that, once I done the final year, I don't want to see any of it for ever again. Might change my mind, but I guess this year's course has put my off studying badly.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

More goodies arrived for my birthday:
from Viv (BD group 4)
kit ‘Wild Poppies Panel, John Clayton

from Abi (FS)
hand dyed dragon pearls 28ct evenweave, 2, perle hand dyed 8 and 12 Dawn Chorus, Charon Waterlilies 001 Sandstone, 2 charms scissor and thimble

from Gabriele (FS and Kreuzstich)
5x Danish Blomstergarn Fremme 235, 232, 212, 234, 223, bath salts, candy, 1 Fremme kit 'Duck', 2 evenweave bands to stitch on

This is seriously fun, and I will defintely take part in all the birthday groups again next year. Yes, at times it was a bit tedious to send out all those presents during the year, but now that my birthday is here and I get packages almost every day -well, how great, it was well worth the wait.

I also went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London on Thursday 09.10. It was the second time I went there. This show is much bigger than the one in Olympia in March, as it covers not only cross stitch , but all textile arts including knitting, weaving, lace, sewing, jewellery making and card making. I love to browse on all the stalls and generally just 'having a look' - and of course a bit of shopping needs to be done. I'm not any more as mad as I used to be, when I could blow £200-£300 at a show. Now I really try to buy what I need. This time I got myself 3 pieces of 25ct evenweave (for the HAED project), 30x DMC colours, 4x GAST threads, 26er needles (I always buy a stock of them from the shows, as they are so difficult to find in other shops), magnets, a chart from The Historical Sampler Company, a DMC kit called Mountain Flowers (I have the matching one already), a scissor.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Here are the gifts I received so far from my birthday groups...Thank you sooo much ladies, this truly made my day, especially as someone who is not likely to receive stitching related gifts from the family:

Birthday Club 4 (Counted Cross Stitch Group)

Head Chart ‘Spring’ – Ruth Sanderson
Cross-Stitch & Needlework Magazine

Chart ‘Cat Hair’ by My Big Toe Cross Stitch Designs
Stoney Creek ‘Land of Enchantment’
2x Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art ‘Blueberry’ and ‘Antique Rose’

Lanarte Kit with 2 cats, sitting on a postbox

Mirabilia Chart ‘Bliss fairy’
+ matching Mill Hill bead packs x3

Birthday Threads Friendly Stitchers

1x DMC, 1x DMC Mouline Colour variations
1x Caron Waterlilies colour No. 118 Opal

5x Dragon Floss Hand Dyed Thread, colours: 25 Rippling Rosebud, 210 Emerald Isle, 48 Impule, 54 Gingerbread Man, 36 Beautiful Berry

2x Caron Waterlilies, Colours: 038 Morning Mist and 017 Blue Lavender

And here comes a present I received from Sabine in Germany - Thanks Sabine and a big hug from across the Channel. Isn't it beautiful, it's already on my hallway wall.

It's gonna be a quite day. Nafees is not here, and I will take the children to a nice Indian Restaurant just out of town (Green Spice in Darenth)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Here is my update from Glasgow rose cat, my rotation piece from last week. I managed to do quite a bit, its almost all the leaves and most part of the flower. I did get it out almost every day - I can be quite a slow stitcher and sometimes I do not stitch for days at end, just too tired. But with Nafees not here, I somehow feel I have more time for those things. Stupid really, because he does not mind me stitching at all! I'm not sure if I really like this picture any more. Problem is that it is really big. It is stitched on 14ct Aida, and even though it cannot be seen on this picture, all the crosses come out really big, not fine at all, the Aida is shining through the cat...It would have been nice on 18ct, I guess. I don't think I will stitch on 14ct again.
This week's rotation is Nature's Home Afghan, and I'm on square 2. Its a bit awkward to stitch, with all that fabric of the afghan to hold. and it's no so easy to put away. I have to take the hoop out and fold the fabric if I want to put it back into a bag, just leaving it on the side is not an option as Bonnie would have fun ripping it and chewing the hoop. Its easier if I stitch on my lapframe, that will just go up on the cupboard out of Bonnie's reach.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Mamma Mia

Dan and Imran went fishing yesterday in Bluewater and asked me to pick the up by 10pm. I decided I might as well treat Ruby and myself, and so we booked tickets to see Mamma Mia at the cinema. I wasn't quite sure if it was ok for Ruby to watch, but there were lots of families with even smaller children in the cinema.

The movie is hilarious and great fun, such a feel-good movie. Don't go if you expect something deep and meaningful or if you hate ABBA songs. (As there is one being sung every 5 minutes). The story is simple and shamelessly written around ABBA songs. Girl (Amanda Seyfried) lives with her single mum Donna (Meryl Streep) on a Greek Island, they run a hotel and struggle a bit financially (Money, Money, Money). She is getting married to a local boy, and her mother has never revealed to her who her dad is. She finds her mothers diary and discovers that there a 3 possiblities who could be her father - so she invits all 3 of them (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard) without her mothers knowledge to her wedding. Now this is a comedy and seriously funny, and the choreography in the dances is great. The best part is that the actors sing themselves. I was surprised that there are ABBA songs which I didn't know, for example the song which Colin Firth sings on the boat. Oh yes, you've heard it right, Colin Firth sings! He sooo cannot sing, and he does it with a great passion of the stiff Englishman. You gotta watch it only for that! Oh, and another of my favorites is Julie Walters who plays Meryl Streep's friend. She is perfectly cast, and I love the scene when she sings and dances to 'Take a chance on me' at the end. It's all build into the story.

Dean Koontz ' Chase '

This is Koontz' first published work (I didn't know this when picking up the book but just read this info on Amazon).
The hero is Ben Chase. The story is set in the US in the 70's, and Chase is a Vietman veteran. He is a drinker and loner and it appears he has given up on himself and the world. Quite by chance he sees a murder happening, a psychotic thriller is butchering a couple in a car. The killer 'the Judge' is now after Chase. The contacts Chase and will decide (judge) whether Chase' life is worth of continuing or not, otherwise he will be killed as well. No one believes Chase and he can either give up or fight it. Chase also finds a love interest, Glenda, but their relationship is somewhat hampered by various problems.
It is a rather short book (just over 200 pages) and thus reads up fast, the story keeps you hooked.

©2009 The Pegster | by TNB