An Actual Knitting Post

No, really!

I haven’t done a lot of knitting (or spinning, and certainly not crochet) lately.  And by lately, I mean… the last 18 months.  Or thereabouts.  But in the last week or two I’ve picked up a couple of projects that’ve been languishing and started work on them again.

First of all there’s a hat for Miss RA.  Whether or not she’ll wear it is another matter.  She doesn’t seem too keen on keeping hats on!  Anyway, this is it so far:Bumpity Bump hat

And the other thing I’ve picked up again are the mittens for Mum’s shoebox project.  I didn’t finish them for last year’s box, so I figure if I do them now then I can be ahead of the curve for this autumn.

Shoebox Mittens 2013

I’ve been thinking I should also get at least one of the jumpers that are laying around in bits finally sewn up.  Yeahhh.  I’ll get right on that.

Anti-spam upgrades

I’ve been having loads of problems with comment spam, so I’ve been upgrading to the latest few versions as they come out, and I’ve also installed the MT-Blacklist and NoFollow plugins. I’ve set the blog to mostly dynamic publishing, too, which should (a) reduce the load on the server, and (b) solve the rebuilding problems I’d been having. Hoorah!
Back in the ‘real world’, I’ve just started one of my OU courses for this year, and will be starting the other at the weekend. No, I’m not completely insane (only partially) for doing more than one course at once: the music course is a 30-pointer*, and the web design course is a 12-week 10-pointer, which will be followed by two more of the same starting in May then October. Which will give me the standard 60 points for the year, all going well :-) They all count towards my degree as well as the web courses being part of the Web Apps Development Cert.
It’s also occurred to me… I didn’t actually mention on here that I’ve moved, did I? Which is a bit remiss of me, since it was a fairly big move: in September of last year I came back down here to Hastings, the old home town. And it’s very nice to be back, too. :-)
Anyway, that’s about it for now. I should be posting much more often from now on, though, now I’ve got the study-journal thing set up, and this year’s courses have started again.
* 120 points is the equivalent of one year’s full time university study.

TMA anxiety

So, I’ve been getting a bit worried, since I haven’t had my final TMA (08) for A214 back. And, it was the big non-substitutable, worth-24%-of-the-coursework, you’ve-gotta-have-this-one-or-you-fail assignment. It’s been a month since the final exam, and nearly 2 months since I sent it in, and no sign of it getting back to me, or showing up on my course record online. Urk!!
Yesterday, I rang the OU. They reckon they haven’t had it. Oh dear oh dear. So I tried calling my tutor, but she was out. Left a message. This morning: phew! She’d left a message for me saying that she certainly has had it, marked it, and sent it off, and she’s horrified that they seem to have lost it. She did say she thought there was a problem with my Student ID number (I’d written the wrong one on the cover form), so I guess that might be where the problem happened. Maybe they’re sitting on it somewhere in Milton Keynes? Still, she’s going to call me back again this evening with my mark, and she can send them a copy of the mark sheet, so yay! I would have liked to see her comments on the paper itself, but maybe it will get back to me in the end. Right now, I just want my mark sorted in time for the final result! Eeep *g*.

Exam nerves!

I’ve got my exam for A214 tomorrow morning. Um. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! Also, I have a cold. Lovely. Still, hopefully I’ll be feeling a bit more with it tomorrow. And if I’m not? Well, hopefully I’ll still do well enough to pass, even if I don’t get a brilliant mark. I just need to do well enough, really, so that I can get the diploma at the end of next year. That’ll be just fine :-)
And now, it’s back to the last minute revision! I’m not trying to madly cram, but I am skimming over what I hope is the most useful and relevant stuff. Wish me luck!…….

Just back from Summer School

Just back from my OU Summer School – had the most excellent time! So this is a shout out to my fellow A214-ers, just in case any of them happen to wander this way. :-) See, I made it home without falling asleep once!
I really am going to make this into a study journal. Even though I’m 3/4 of the way through this year’s course already. *cough* I just have to finish the redesign of this site, move the files to the new location and transfer the domain over…. oh, and change this blog over to Moveable Type. I’ll get around to it. Honest.

Long time no blog

Wow. Didn’t realise it’d been quite so long since I’d blogged here. ‘Real life’ has been busy in itself, and I spose I spend a lot of my online time lurking over at LJ at the moment. However, I am still planning that redesign and server move that I mentioned aaaages ago, and I want to use this blog for a sort of combined study and knitting log. Which may sound a bit odd, but makes sense to me *g*.

Talking of studying, I’m really enjoying my course, though I have ended up getting a bit behind because of not being well. But I’m catching up again, and hopefully I’ll be back on top of things soon. Fingers crossed! Knitting is also going well – I’m doing lots of it, and I’ve sold a couple of things, which helps, since I’m ever so broke!

Anyway, I should probably go and try to rest now. Sleep patterns are, as ever, completely farked. Some things don’t change….

Plans of all sorts

Hmm. I think I want to redesign this site. However, I also rather want to move it… I have my eye on a rather nice reseller hosting package that would allow me to host all my domains (and some for other people, possibly) for no more than I’m paying for my collected various hosting accounts at the mo. However, I’d rather pay the yearly fee upfront, so I need to make sure I have enough for that *and* to pay my bills and buy food (tcha, responsibility, how tedious *g*). So, the redesign might wait until the move. Especially because I’m thinking of changing this to use Movable Type. Hmmmm. The rest of the site will be getting a bit of reorganisation too, I think, to reflect some of the stuff I’ve been up to recently.

And what have I been up to recently? Well, I’ve been preparing for the Open University course that I’m taking this year…. and I’ve been knitting. Yes, me, knitting. *g* Being a bit broke, I decided to re-learn how (I’d been taught at school when I was about six if I remember rightly) and make Christmas pressies for people. So I did, and I did, and they were very well received! Pictures will be forthcoming…. :-) Anyway, I’ve got really quite into it, so I’m carrying on, trying my hand at a few different little projects and finding some amazing bargains on new yarn in charity shops. Hee!

As for the OU course, I’m doing “Understanding Music: Elements, Techniques and Styles”. I’m intending to carry on and take another music course next year, which will then give me a Diploma in Music. From there, as I think I’ve said before, if I’m doing alright at it all, I want to see if I can get my full degree. But for now, I’m concentrating on the one I’m doing this year! The first couple of units should be very straightforward for me, as I’ve studied all this stuff before, but I believe the learning curve is pretty steep – I’m really looking forward to it! :-D I’ve been looking at the online student forums, and it’ll definitely be good to get to know the others in the course that way. Plus, I believe the summer school is in Durham. Eeeeeexcellent! I can’t wait!

Back from Germany.

Hello!! I got back from two weeks in Germany yesterday, visiting Noxy and Luna. Had a most excellent time – there was much silliness and laughter, watching of movies, appreciation of the pretty, reading and reccing of fic, and of course, going to Ring*Con. It was absolutely brilliant to see the two of them, and it was also kind of spooky how normal it felt to be all hanging out together… and it completely sucks that we’re not near enough to be able to nip round to see each other at weekends or anything. Humph. But we’ve pledged that we’re going to visit at least once a year if not more often, and made a weekly chat date. *sigh* It’s brilliant that we were able to meet each other through the net and all, but it’s at times like this that I really wish that distance and travel weren’t so much of an issue!! Heh.

I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned it here yet, but I’ve been made redundant from my old tech support job. Which I’m looking at as a positive thing, because I’m now going to take the opportunity to move back into the music world, and start teaching again – hopefully full time, this time. Voice, Clarinet, Recorders, Theory, and beginner Piano. I’m also going to be completing my Teaching DipABRSM, and I’ve signed up for the first course towards a DipMus at the Open University because I fancy a few more letters after my name ;-) Hopefully, I’ll continue on to actually finish my degree in the long run. Shock!! Anyhow, I’m feeling pretty happy about doing this – music really is my Thing, you know? (Eloquently put, hmm?) But much as I love messing around on the computer, and playing with websites and technology and all that, music is what’s in my gut, my soul, the thing that makes me feel (corny as it sounds) whole and real when I’m doing it. And I always really enjoyed teaching – as much, in a different way, as performing and writing.

So there we go, that’s what I’m going to be up to in future, all going well! I’m pretty much set up to start teaching from home, and I have a couple of other possibilities to look into as well. I do, however, really need a car. Urgh. Help? ;-) I’m going to have to do some temping to keep myself going financially, I think, so I’ll hopefully be able to save some money towards getting mobile. It’s either that, or see about getting a loan. Don’t really want more debt, but…. I do need a car!! Damn.

And to change the subject again, here’s last week’s friday five:

1. List five things you’d like to accomplish by the end of the year.
(Does this mean 2003 or 2004? Hmmm…. let’s say it’s this year.)
– To have started up teaching music pupils.
– To have a definite car-getting plan!
– Get a washing machine (does that count as an accomplishment?)
– Be back doing some kind of actual work!
– Get off these damn meds.

2. List five people you’ve lost contact with that you’d like to hear from again.
– Christina
– James
– Ian (Bernard!)
– W (what am I like?)
– Eddie

3. List five things you’d like to learn how to do.
– Play the guitar.
– Car maintainance stuff.
– Ride a motorbike.
– Fly (as in, a plane)
– (Can I save this one for later?)

4. List five things you’d do if you won the lottery (no limit).
– Buy houses / cars / presents for my family.
– Get a car, a motorbike, a boat, a plane.
– Go on a massive world trip to visit all my friends.
– Technology. I would go completely mad with the lovely lovely technology. Mmmmmm.
– Find a damn big house / estate / building and make it into a fabulous fandom house or apartment complex or something, with permanent accommodation for a group of us, plus rooms for people to come to stay… and a big cinema, a library, a highspeed network / net connection, and an octagonal music room with all the instruments and schtuff I / we could ever want…. *vbg*

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
– Read.
– Sing / play music.
– Breathing exercises.
– Walk.
– Spend time with friends, vegging :-)

Interesting.

I’m finding this really interesting. Haven’t read it all yet, but I’m getting there. Did a course on Technology and Society on the OU, but in the end I was only really interested in the internet side. I think if I ever do another course anywhere, I’d rather go for something more on the practical design / coding / programming side now. But I still enjoy reading this kind of stuff. The site in general is also well worth checking out. Geek definition fits me to a T….

{“fits to a T” – where does that phrase come from? Hmmm.}

Oh, and the Referral Madness section over on NotSoSoft inspired me to take a peek at my own (embarassingly modest) stats. Most of the hits I’ve had have been from links, but I’ve had 3 search engine referrals (not too bad, I guess, since I haven’t bunged any keywords up or registered with any engines yet). Nothing strange and bizarre, but nothing really relevant either. One was for ‘alien pictures’ (that’d be the background, then *g*), and two for ‘Emily Bouffant’ (the girl I went to school with who’s now on telly).

Watched Shanghai Noon last night. Nicely entertaining – the funniest thing, though, has to be the subtitles for the American Indians. Tis impressive though, considering that Jackie Chan must be getting on a bit now – some of the fight scenes were pretty damn cool. And the subtitles were better than having it dubbed, too – some of his earlier stuff is kinda spoiled by the comedy dubbing IMO…. but on the other hand that’s kinda sposed to be like that, and you do get used to it. Heh. B has corrupted me. And talking of which, we’re sposed to be going to the pub quiz tonight…. I want to, but I’m sooooo tired. And also, these headaches aren’t of the good. I ought to go to the optician, I reckon. Maybe I’ll have a night of a bit of telly then bed, and no computer (yeah, right). Last couple of days I’ve also been playing with graphics for B’s new site, and updating the HRFHS site for Mum. I need fewer websites. Damn.