Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Last week, when there was lots of snow, I saw this on the roof of the fifth floor at the office:

The colleague I was talking to took a photo - I am sure things like this don't happen that often. I am always astonished by what is around us if we only look. A perfect heart in the snow! Isn't nature amazing - the snow must have melted this way over the manhole cover and it looked beautiful. Happy Valentine's Day!

I have been knitting quite a bit but have been flirting with too many projects to have much to show for it. The one project I have finished are these lovely Berry Hill mitts, using this pattern, for a friend who does a lot of ice skating.

She gets cold hands and I thought these would be perfect! She can express herself artistically and stay warm at the same time. She has red hair and wears a lot of green so I loved this colour for her. The pattern was lovely to knit and the yarn I used, Possum Paints from Jamie Possum, was gorgeously soft. It did shed a bit while I was knitting, but the mitts are soft and luxurious and once knitted up the yarn did not seem to shed too badly. The mitts are so cosy:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Red and white

I finally got the bit between my teeth and decided to finish the Debbie Bliss ribbed cardigan that I started about two and a half years ago. I had procrastinated about finishing it largely because I had been convinced that it would not fit, but then I decided that I couldn't bear having it sitting there tormenting me, just waiting to be sewn up. I decided that I would simply give it to someone else if it didn't fit. So, I finally finished it a couple of weeks ago and, to my amazement, it fits!

I am really pleased with it too. It is great for work but I could also wear it out as it is such a great red (not done justice by my camera). The front (with its sparkly vintage buttons):

and the back (which I love)

I am so delighted to have finished something - I seem to have lots of projects on the needles but none near completion. I feel inspired to go on with the finishing!

I have been distracted from knitting too by birthday celebrations - Ellen hit double digits last month and I made fairy cakes for her to take to school:

I can hardly believe she is 10 - it seems so grown up!

And this week, England seized up completely because of snow. When I woke up yesterday this is what the world looked like outside:

This was our walk to school:

Very pretty, but there were no trains into central London, no Tubes and no buses. I took the children to school only to find that half the classes weren't open because the teachers couldn't get in and then the school decided to close at 12.15. My nanny was stranded in Kent so couldn't help out or collect the children. Instead of thinking, like any sensible person would, that I should just stay home, I was very worried about work and so embarked on a journey into the office with the children. To my amazement, the trains had started running again and so we made it to Waterloo and then walked across the bridge:

I managed a couple of hours work before the issue of health and safety (ie no children in the office) meant that I had to go home. But I was given a laptop allowing me remote access to my desktop and so was able to work from home the rest of the day and today, when school was closed altogether.

What has amazed me is how London has simply ground to a halt because of the snow. I am particularly amazed that there were no buses yesterday - it seems a sad state of affairs for a European capital city. But today the sky has been blue and the world is still pretty and things haven't seemed so bad:

While very frustrating, it is not often we get to see snow like this. One aspect I have enjoyed is the extra light it brings - I have been feeling very daylight-deprived, and although I know rationally and can see that the days are getting longer by a few minutes each day, I do not yet feel that it is making a difference to my winter glums. The reflective light from the snow is welcome relief from the dark days of winter:

Isn't it beautiful?