25 January 2010

Golden Gable

Well, it's done, though not blocked.

The colour is probably most true in this image:

Just in time, too, as they're predicting more crap weather for the UK, maybe even more snow.

Hey, did I mention? I passed my "Life in the UK" exam. I was really stressing out about it, because you have to learn a lot of data and stats, and then they only ask you 24 questions. It was fine, I walked out knowing I had gotten out least 75% right (the amount needed to pass), and luckily they give the response straight away. I still even remember some of it...

I've noticed something a bit disturbing: while I feel like I can easily make a judgment about a book being bad, I don't feel like I can say when it is good anymore. I'm reading a book called D'autres vies que la mienne (other lives than mine), which I'm really enjoying, but I have no idea as to whether it's a good book or not. A lot of what I like about it is related to how pleased I am with myself that I can understand it. In other words, I'm enjoying reading another language, and the story is entertaining enough. But, I wonder, would I still like it if it were in English? Or would I judge it more harshly?

17 January 2010

Today in Hampstead Heath

And our garden after some severe weather:

And the green gable getting more and more done...

03 January 2010

Happy new year!

Happy new year! Already January... I can't deny that I have a bit of January blues.

I've been making decent headway on Green Gables:

Everything I knit comes out a little bit too big for me, even though I always make the smallest size. And I'm a normal-sized person - maybe on the small side of medium, I'd say. So with this jumper, I'm making the xs size and using a size 9 needle rather than 10.5. I also put in some waist shaping. So far, I think it's working, but now I'm on the first sleeve and I'm not sure what to do - I'm thinking about not putting in the increases, because, honestly, my upper arms are not really that much bigger than the part of my forearms immediately below my elbows.

By the way, I forgot to mention, the lovely Jamieson's wool that I got for this jumper is part of my Christmas present from my mother. Isn't it gorgeous? I'd had my eye on it for a long time! She also got me a big 6.5L stockpot from the John Lewis sale that I'd wanted for ages too. I am a lucky girl, aren't I! I especially appreciated the gifts this year, as I was a bit short on dosh after our big move, and wouldn't have been able to splurge on these luxuries without my mother's generosity.

I'm not a very good baker, but I made this recipe for pfeffernüssen, and they've been coming out really well. I made some alterations to the recipe: only 3/4 cup sugar; 1/2 white flour, 1/2 whole wheat flour (and more than the recipe called for to make up for the sugar); nutella instead of marzipan (as I couldn't find any at M&S without glucose syrup in it!!). I would include a photo, but neither batch that I made lasted long enough to be photographed for posterity. Maybe next time. Anyway, they were really easy and really satisfying to make as everyone's enjoyed them.

I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, but I would like to somehow add up all the disparate bits of my working life into one more cohesive one. I always find that I'm a bit at odds when people ask what I do. Over the weekend, my niece asked me what it is I do, and I said "write and teach," but that's a bit too cohesive. A happy medium between the overly terse and the overly complicated is what I'd like to find.