- What is your favourite flower?
Poppies. And lilies, but they tend to make me sneeze.
- Do you buy or send other people flowers for special occasions?
Yes, usually Mum.
- Have you ever picked flowers from your own garden (or wild flowers, if you don’t have a garden) to give to someone else?
Not for a long time, but I did pick some daffs from the garden once when I lived at the parents’ place.
- If flowers could talk (think Alice In Wonderland), which flower would you most like to converse with?
Triffids! From a safe distance, of course.
- Have you ever used edible flowers in cooking, or eaten one?
I’ve had lavender chocolate, and didn’t really like it, but I’d like to try lavender and honey ice cream, and I think you can eat some kinds of pansy in salads?
- What’s your favorite holiday album?
Either my two-disc set of Handel’s Messiah, or any album of carols. Puts me properly in the festive mood.
- What song’s lyrics, title, or theme best expresses the positive aspects of your general mood at this time of year?
“I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”. It just makes me feel Christmassy.
- What song’s lyrics, title, or theme best expresses the not-so-positive aspects of your general mood at this time of year?
Hmm, I don’t know.
- What’s your favorite song about a non-December holiday?
More a season than a holiday, though I associate it with May Day: Summer is a Cumin In
- What holiday song makes you want to cover your ears and flee?
Any cheesy Christmas song that I hear over and over and over… there used to be several, but now that I don’t work in a shop and have to hear them on loop all day long, I’m more tolerant of them all ;-)
I have no blogging inspiration today, so let’s have a meme instead! I’m going to fall back on the Friday 5, which is always fun when I remember to do it!
- How far ahead of time do you begin packing for a weekend trip?
Planning, 2-3 days beforehand, depending on where I’m going. Actual packing will be the night before. I am little miss last minute!
- What was your most recent purchase of a six-pack?
Technically yesterday when my groceries were delivered, including a couple of six packs of Pepsi.
- What do you look for in a good everyday backpack?
Comfy straps, at least two pockets with a couple of small compartments for things like my mp3 player etc, waterproofing, and in colours that I like!
- Among people you know, who’s the worst packrat?
Me, I think. Ooops!
- How do you know when it’s time to pack it in each evening?
When the cat comes to demand his supper, or when I’m starting to doze off, if I don’t have anything in particular on the next day. If I have something on, then it depends on what time that is, because if I don’t get a good night’s rest I’ll never get up in time for it.
So, back in March I made some bloggy resolutions about what I intended to do for weekly posting goals. Obviously, I haven’t kept those up… and then I started feeling like I was in catch-up mode all the time with myself, and oh noes, panic!! Which is bad, since this blog isn’t supposed to be a duty! Therefore, I have Made A Decision: I’m giving myself permission to “give up”. In actual fact what that means is that I’m going to forget about Project 365 this year, since taking the photos already wasn’t working out – maybe I can go again another year, but I’ll see how it goes. I’m still going to do the Friday 5 whenever I feel like it, but not necessarily every week. I am going to try to post more about knitting and spinning and things in general. This way, it’s more of an adjustment of my goals to something more realistic, rather than really giving up.
Another thing that I’ve decided to let go of is taking strict part of the Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon ’09. I haven’t been knitting very fast this year, and I’d ended up knitting nothing but those socks and still not finishing them. It all got a bit too much like hard work! So even though I love the patterns for the first two socks, and I really like the look of the third one which has recently been released, I’m not going to start #3. I do intend to finish the first two socks, but not as my most immediate projects. Instead I’m going to go back to my other knitting works in progress and try to get those finished off. They’d been pushed back while I was knitting just socks. That’s meant that I’ve now almost finished the shawl I’ve been making for Emily (I’m casting off at the moment, but that’s deadly boring so I’m just doing a few stitches at a time then putting it down again *g*). And I’m really looking forward to picking up the projects I’ve been neglecting and making some real progress on them. Hooray! I don’t even feel like starting something new, because my old projects are almost like new ones by now.
I’m also thinking about giving in using Coppermine for my photo album software. Yes, I’ve been using it for years on this site, so it seemed like a more sensible decision to keep using it and integrate it with WP rather than migrate to something else. But there’s a good photo album plugin for WP, and the integration plugin for Coppermine doesn’t do precisely what I want it to do – it’s a great plugin, and it’s probably perfect for everyone else… but I’m picky! Also, I do have to do some tweaking of the source code every time it updates because of the way I have my Coppermine set up, and… well, in the long run it might just be easier to change to using something more integrated with WP. It’ll mean not having to theme Coppermine to match WP, too. I’m going to ponder it a while more, but I expect I will change over.
Why am I mentioning this, when no-one but me cares? Because it kind of fits the theme of the rest of this post: I’ve been hanging on to some things that I should have gracefully given in on a while back. Letting go and making a few small changes will make things easier. Note to self: change is good, and giving up on something doesn’t necessarily equate to failure. There we go, that’s my deep personal insight for the day. Now I shall stop rambling, let go of this post and send it into the big wide world (= hit the publish button)! TTFN.
After dropping off the face of the blog (oops!) for about two and a half months, I’m back with… a Friday 5. I know, thou shalt not meme and only meme, or something like that. But I am also planning to make a ‘real’ post later today with some updates on what I’ve been up to and what I’ve got coming up. Thrilling stuff like that.
I was completely expectingto be about tennis. I suppose it shows how completely Wimbledon and “Murray-mania” has taken over the national consciousness if I think that’s the first obvious subject. The US independence shebang never occurred to me at all. But Happy Not Being British Anymore, Americans! And hey, if Murray does keep winning then I’m sure we’re going to have tons of fireworks this weekend too. :-)
- How do you feel about fireworks displays?
I like them! I prefer the ones where there’s the parade and the bonfire societies and lots of colourful things that go bang… I particularly like the ones we have down in the town here where they have fireworks and lasers going off in the castle on the hill, from the beach, and also from out on the sea. Pretty!!
- What were the details surrounding one of your mishaps with fire?
I… don’t know if I’ve really had any mishaps with fire. I’ve had trouble getting them going, generally while camping or barbecuing, but I don’t remember any unfortunate incidents!
- Who in your life could be described as a real firecracker?
My Aunt A, and a couple of my friends, Ms Charlotte in particular. Hee! ;-)
- When did you last feel you were being put on display?
Um. I don’t know. The last time I sang in front of someone else?
- How confident are you in your barbecue skills?
Reasonably so, though I haven’t barbecued much recently: my brother likes to do it when we have barbecues at Mum’s house. The main problem is getting the bbq started and ticking over properly!
And now I’m going to watch the tennis (Murray/Roddick match of course) – result so far: 3 games all.
- When did you last sleep in a tent?
Last July, when I went camping with a group from C House.
- What comes to mind when you think about relieving yourself in the great outdoors?
Er. That’s a bit TMI, isn’t it? But I spose… trees!
- Where’s the best place you ever went camping?
I don’t know… I can’t choose. I’ve camped in a lot of places. Ross-on-Wye was always good. But actually, Pevensey Bay last summer was nice – good location (right on the beach), good company, good facilities.
- What’s your favourite camp food?
Marshmallows cooked on the camp fire. Nom!
- What’s your sleeping bag like?
I have two actually: one is a “moonbag” that compresses down to be small & light and is the one I got for hiking, and the other one is a more normal sleeping bag – its blue with dashes of different colours (red, yellow, possibly green) on it.
Now I really want to go camping again! I have the opportunity to go with the group from C House again in September and I’d really love to because it’s for a week, and I think to the New Forest. But it’s right before M & E’s wedding, and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to afford it. *sigh*
On the right day for a change, my answers for:
- What’s something you know how to draw?
Hahahaha, not much! This is about the extent of my “talent”:
- Who’s someone you could get away with impersonating?
Wow, um… I can’t think of anyone. Maybe my Mum on the phone?
- Where’s the stapler?
Oh lord, I don’t know. It should be in the stationery drawer, but I think I have a stapler gremlin or something – I never seem to have a stapler with staples that fit in it. I should have a two staplers, one mini one and one full size one (I used to have two mini ones, but I’m not sure what happened to the second one… probably the stapler gremlin at work again!) and staples for both, but can I ever find the right combination at any one time? No, I cannot. I end up using paperclips, or just folding the corners of the paper together!!
- Why will this be a great weekend?
Because there will be Chinese takeaway, NOM (or at least, I hope there will) and new Dr Who OMG can’t wait! And also Easter presents of some kind which will be nice too. It’s E’s birthday as well. Yay :-) Now if only the weather was going to be nicer!
- When are you going to make that phone call you’ve been putting off?
I don’t actually think there are any phone calls that I’ve been putting off. Must remember to give Ally a call though.
Here we go, my answers for:
- What is your favourite fizzy, bubbly drink?
Pepsi! Or Coca-cola as a second – I don’t like the diet versions (unfortunately!), and I’m not keen on the non-branded ones either. They just don’t taste the same. Picky, picky me.
- What is your favourite deep-fried food?
Um. I don’t really eat deep fried food. Oh, except for crisps I spose. So, crisps? And sometimes chips, but not if they’re too greasy.
- What is your favourite hot beverage?
Hot lemon squash. Weird, I know, but I don’t drink tea or coffee, and although I do like hot chocolate I only have it as the occasional cold-weather treat. It’s too thick / sweet for a regular drink for me.
- What is your favourite really messy food?
Depends what you call messy! Spag bol, maybe? Or maybe tortilla chips and dip because you’re bound to get dip on you at some point.
- What is your favourite recipe for a blended or mixed beverage?
Not really sure what this means! Like a cocktail? Or a smoothie? If we’re talking alcoholic beverages, I like Archers, vodka and orange juice. If not, then banana smoothies are probably my favourite. The recipe for that when I make my own is one banana (chopped up into smallish pieces), either (a) a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or (b) a tablespoon or so of natural yoghurt (depends what I have), and about half a pint of milk… or maybe more than that, I’m not sure! I generally go by ‘feel’. Then I whizz it all together with the whizzing device. Add a bit more milk if need be to taste, whizz again, etc. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Nom!
In other news, an actual knitting post should be coming soon! I’ve just cast on for the second SKP09 pattern, which is a pair of entrelac socks. There’s a new challenge right there – I’m just about to start the actual entrelac part and it’s all very exciting. And nerve wracking! Photos will be forthcoming… assuming I can make it all work.
The Friday 5 site is back, so here are my answers for:
- To whom do you normally turn when you need to complain about something?
Hmm… it probably depends on what it is! My Mum and my LJ friends-list are the most likely, I think. Doing a friends-locked post on LJ is really good for getting something that’s bothering me off my chest… I can have a good rant and nobody has to read it / listen to me unless they feel like it! I do find that just writing something out often makes me feel better about it. I’ve also got a couple of good friends that I can ring up or chat to online and pretty much go “Arrrrrgh!!!”, and of course they can do the same with me.
- Which annual season-turning do you enjoy the most?
I do like winter to spring because of the lengthening days and mostly nicer weather, but I think my favourite is probably summer into autumn because (a) I love the colours of autumn, and (b) the clocks go back! Extra hour, yay!!
- Where can you get a really good turnover?
I don’t know, I don’t eat them… although before looking at that Wiki article, I didn’t realise you could get savoury ones. Or maybe they don’t ever call savoury ones ‘turnovers’ here? Anyway, I spose if I was going to buy a turnover, I’d either go to the supermarket, or to Wilson’s, a local bakery – they probably have nicer ones. I’d have to get someone else to judge!
- What’s employee turnover like where you work?
Well, I’m not working at the mo, so… there is none!
- One of the Wonder Twins could turn into any form of water, while the other could turn into any animal. Which of these powers would be more useful to you?
I think I’d turn into any kind of animal, because then I’d be able to turn into birds and fly. Whee! (This would completely help with my fear of falling off things, because then if I did I’d be safe!)
PS – Note to self: remember to click the “Publish” button. Also, go to bed earlier. The clocks changed, remember? (D’oh!)
Since the site was down for the revamp last week, I’m going to catch up on the last two weeks’ worth of Friday 5 questions:
Friday 5 for March 13: It’s Cold!
- What’s your favorite frozen heat-and-eat food?
Hmmm… that’s actually really hard. There’s this place that does some really nice frozen ready-meals… I like most of theirs, but particularly the duck in orange sauce. Nom!
- How sensitive are you to cool temperatures?
I do feel the cold pretty easily, especially if I’m sitting still at the computer all day!
- How many ice-cube trays are there in your freezer?
None. I have one ice-cube tray, but it’s in a kitchen drawer. I do have a couple of ice-cube bags in the freezer, though. And some frozen blue plastic penguins.
- What aspect of your life seems to be frozen in place?
Hah. My mental health. :-/
- What’s your favorite blanket like?
I spose this means ‘favourite blanket for snuggling under on the sofa when it’s cold’… in which case I’ll say one of my fleece blankets because they’re light but warm and good for keeping me cosy. But really the blanket of mine that I love best is the wool tartan one that I got in Edinburgh and kept in my car when I still had that. I don’t use it so much now cos I don’t want it to get covered in cat hair!
Friday 5 for March 20: Quarterly Progress Check
- Would you say 2009 so far is meeting expectation, exceeding expectations, or failing to meet expectations?
So far, 2009 has been fairly not-happening for me. Which is the fault of how I’ve been rather than the year itself. When I’ve been well enough to engage with life, there have been good things going on, so I’d say it’s technically exceeding expectations, since mine are so low right now anyway!
- What letter grade would you give yourself for your performance at work or school?
Not that I’ve been to either, but for my performance in life so far this year: a big, fat F for FAIL.
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how happy have you been with the weather so far in 2009?
Other than a couple of periods of wtf (giant! hail! the other night!!), I think it’s been OK. My brain is like a sieve though, so I might be forgetting. It is still the winter (or has it edged into spring now?) so of course it’s not all sunshine and roses, but that’s as it should be. I’ll give it an 8.
- Which of the Motion Picture Association of America’s film ratings would you give your social life so far in 2009?
Almost entirely a “G” – family time, knitting and spinning groups, hanging out with Ally and baby H, and perhaps a “PG” during that weekend that Char came to visit and we discovered that Robert Downey Jnr in Ironman is the best thing evah, etc. It’s been quiet.
- 2009’s parents are on the phone and want to know how 2009 can improve its performance. What have been 2009’s areas of strength and what are its areas for growth in the second quarter?
Uh, Um. Business speak, send help, cannot cope! (Off to Mordor) Alright, not really. Areas of strength have been opportunities for learning new skills (spinning). I guess areas for growth will be getting my brain back in gear? That’s definitely something that needs doing.
I know I said the bloggy resolutions were for the ‘new’ version of the site, but there’s no time like the present and all that. I need to try and start getting into good habits asap… and also, there might be a bit of radio silence soon when I get to the point where I need to move the blog entries over.
So here we go – even though it’s a few days late, the Friday 5 for March 6th:
1. On March 6, 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first Periodic Table of the Elements to the Russian Chemical Society. What memories do you have of your high-school chemistry course?
My most vivid memory would be of Mr G injuring himself during a demo, yelping “Shit!”, then changing it to “Er, ship! I saw a ship sailing past. The window. In the air….” It ended up as a bit of a running joke that year, if I remember right. I also remember moles. Mooooooooole!
2. On March 6, 1899, the Bayer company registered aspirin as a trademark. When did you last take medication for pain?
Last week. I think it was the weather – I had a headache that just wouldn’t leave, so I was taking some ‘Extra Power Pain Reliever’ tablets, which are the same as Anadin Extra, only the generic version from Sainsbury’s.
3. On March 6, 1853, Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata premiered in Venice. How do you feel about opera?
As a general rule, I love opera. Of course there are some that I like more that others, and some that I’m not really keen on. Like any other music, it varies. But generally, I love listening to it, I love attending performances where possible, and I love singing it. La Traviata is actually one of my favourites, and I was lucky enough to see the production at the Royal Opera House when I was at uni, with Sir Georg Solti conducting, and Angela Gheorghiu debuting as Violetta. Completely fabulous.
4. On March 6, 1947, American film director Rob Reiner (Meathead!) was born. Which of these Reiner-directed films have you seen, and what do you think of them?
To make it quick, I shall cross out the ones I haven’t seen, and make brief comments by the ones I have:
- The Bucket List (2007)
- Rumor Has It… (2005)
- Alex & Emma (2003)
- The Story of Us (1999) – ummm… I’m sure I’ve seen this, but I can’t remember what I thought of it!
- Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
- The American President (1995) – liked this one, though it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.
- North (1994)
- A Few Good Men (1992) – eh.
- Misery (1990) – good… but not half as creepy-scary as the book.
- When Harry Met Sally… (1989) – I remember I wasn’t sure about this for the first half of the film, but it grew on me and I really liked it by the end.
- The Princess Bride (1987) – ♥♥♥♥♥!!!!!
- Stand by Me (1986) – kind of makes me go “awwww”.
- The Sure Thing (1985)
- This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – is made of awesome!
5. On March 6, 1972, American basketball-player Shaquille O’Neal was born. How do you feel about basketball?
I have no feelings about it, particularly. I spose I enjoy it as a tv spectator sport more than some others, but I’m not really into sports in general. I did quite enjoy netball at school and I think we played a bit of basketball in senior school too, but that’s as near as I’ve really got. I have more of a grasp of the rules that I do of baseball, American football, or even proper football, mind you!
This is a bit of a strange time to be doing this, since I’m about to import the whole blog to a new system, and who knows what will happen… but I’ve decided to make those blog resolutions that I was thinking about back when I tried the BloPoMo thingy. Assuming all goes well (and right now, it looks like it should!), a NewNew Blog should be the perfect time to start a NewNew blogging habit to go with it. Especially since the new setup makes things like importing from my photo album, and crossposting to LJ, all the easier.
So, this is what I resolve. I will:
- Re-start / resume Project 365, which faltered in about August last year… then picked up again for a bit, but ultimately didn’t make it the whole year. I’ve started taking the photos as of yesterday. Like I said above, the new blog (WP with the Coppermine Integration plugin) will make inserting photos from the gallery quicker and easier, so I should be able to keep up with the whole thing without a whole load of fiddly copy-pasting and so on.
- Be more structured in my posting in general – start doing the Friday Five again, for example, so that I know that I have specific things to be posting about, rather than a big blank space to fill with randomness. Not that randomness is bad… I just want more of a mixture of, er, stuff.
- Therefore, try to be posting 2 – 3 times a week:
- A weekly Project 365 update.
- The Friday Five, or some other meme or similar that makes me think a bit.
- And most importantly, knitting / spinning / other stuff content. All the stuff I usually post, but more regularly, and with photos more often, and … things. Hopefully some things about the course I’m starting soon on Bipolar. We’ll see how it goes.
I think all that’s do-able and should be fun. I have to get the new website version up and running first, of course, but I pretty much have all the background stuff for that done now. It’s just a matter of importing the content from the old site version and making any edits that I want… and there are bound to be lots of those since I haven’t done any actual updates on this site in forever. The thing that will probably take the longest will be importing the several hundred entries from this blog – I’ve actually already done the old-old one (“So Far So Good”) and that went well enough. I’m trying to decide what to do about redirecting the old pages to the new ones… it’s going to be fiddly so I think I might not bother on the most part. This is hardly a big-name website, after all. My own internal links can be done gradually and I can set up some redirections for pages I know have outside links, like my Knitting Patterns category. If I find I get a lot of hits looking for anything in particular, I can sort it out then. I think that’s the most stress-free way of going about it.
I used to do the original version of this meme, back when this was a life-in-general blog, and I’ve decided I’d like to start up again. So here goes:
1. What was the last thing you baked?
Ahahahaha. Baking? Me? Um, no. Unless this counts anything that goes in the oven, in which case… a casserole?
2. What was the last thing you tried on for size?
The cardigan I bought on Tuesday. I know, bought. I fail at knitting. But see, I suddenly realised (on Monday evening) that I was going to freeze on Wednesday if I didn’t have a nice cardigan to wear at the funeral. So I went out and got one. I felt bad! But interestingly, it’s a cardigan that I don’t think I’d have looked at before I started knitting. I bought it because I liked the cable-and-bobble pattern on the front as well as loving the colour (aubergine is everywhere right now – awesome!). I picked it up and considered how it was knit and constructed before I got to “is it me”. Heh.
3. What was the last thing you purchased on credit?
Ummm. Train tickets, I think. Either that, or some ebooks.
4. What was the last thing you put a postage stamp on?
A postcard to my SP11 pal, I think. Technically, I didn’t put the postage labels on the packages I’ve sent out, the post-office people did…
5. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
The Hedara sock in the last post :-)
– The Friday 5