My Week in Pictures, News & Updates

Eclipse!

It was about 2 weeks ago that I first heard there was to be an eclipse visible from my home in Edinburgh. Oh the excitement! However, I had far too much to do with chicken pox and preparing for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (a post about those to come if I get around to finishing it!) and so the sum total of my preparations was to check that the nursery was aware of it and would do something. I confess, I did consider having Katja home for the day to view it but again the chicken pox thing and a rare, brief moment of rational thinking stopped me.

I assumed I would be able to get eclipse glasses, but a check on amazon/ebay plus a number of tweets from various people wondering where they could be sourced showed that this was not to be so this morning I found an inner tube from some kitchen roll and made myself a pin-hole camera.

As I started to get Elisa ready for a trip out I realised that I had a prime viewing location right in my front room – bonus! This meant that instead of trying to sneak peeks while watching an 11 month old in the playground I’d be able to enlist the support of CBeeBees.

So everything in place I started to watch. This is when I found out how utter crap a tube and piece of card is for viewing an eclipse. Seriously, I got a blurred bit of light and nothing discernable. I modified my “camera” but that didn’t help. The problem is always going to be the difference in angle of the viewing surface and the camera “lens”. So back to the drawing board.

I managed to come up with this – a cereal box with the ends taped up (some foil to stop light getting in the ends), a ruddy great hole in the side and a pin pierced through near the top. Hold with the pinhole facing the sun and look through the hole in the side and you know, this worked rather well. Next time I’ll have less of a hole in the side.

So, that’s how I could watch the eclipse. To be honest you do get a better view watching online through one of the observatory feeds, but there’s a charm in do it yourself.

Even better was watching the phenomenon of the shadows lengthening, the room going dark, the sharp drop in temperature, and seeing all of the people gathered in the park below. Dogs seemed to suddenly want to stay close to their owners, birds seemed confused. There were contrails from all of the watching planes overhead and Elisa got very very cuddly (although to be fair, she has been lately anyway thanks to her first tooth appearing two days ago).

At the time of maximum eclipse we had quite a bit of cloud cover – the bonus to this being that you could look directly at the sun and see the crescent shape without hurting your eyes. Of course as the clouds thin a bit you need to look away, but oh my what a magical sight!

Anyway, a few pics of the event. The next total I’ll likely be able to get to isn’t for another 10 years – best get planning then!

My Lifestream, My Week in Pictures, Parenthood, Shopping

To Market, To Market…

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Friday morning Elisa and I headed into town to check out the new market that will be held at Waverly Station. It’s great to see an undercover market in Edinburgh – it’s something that is sorely missing. There was roughly 20 stalls selling handcarfts, vintage goods, and artisan food/drink. The only ready to eat foods were breads and cupcakes. And no fresh veggies.

God how I miss the Queen Vic with it’s 7 hectares of undercover goods. The noise, the crowds, the smells and the colours. It’s one of the top Melbourne things that I honestly wish I could just transport over to every city I live in.

3-queen-victoria-market-south-melbourne

After the market I popped into Next and had a look at the kids clothes. I was struck by the shoe wall. The boys side included quite a few pairs of rugged, sturdy, stay-on shoes with decent treads – perfect for running in hot weather. The girls side was full of thin-soled things with flowers or butterflies and lots of thongs (flip-flops for the non-Aussies). Nothing suitable for running at all.

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I had a realisation that if this is what is available in the affordable market then what message does that send? Boys get to choose function over form, girls get to choose pretty over practical. Do the stereotypes start before a child is even aware of gender? Is this where the glass ceiling really begins, with the boys running and the girls sitting on the sidelines watching? I know that I can find good shoes that are also pretty, but I shouldn’t have to spend 4 times as much and go out of my way to seek them out – not everyone is in a posiion to do that.

Crochet, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

February 2014 Round Up

General Pics

We started the month with a quick belly shot – interesting to compare the Katja bump on the left with the new bump on the right. Especially since I feel a lot bigger. My hair is a lot longer too, and has been looking good since Tegan straightened it for me back in April last year – only problem is now that my roots have started to grow I look like I have a frizz mullet!

Katja has finally started to expand her eating and every now and then will even have a sandwich for lunch. One evening she managed to eat all of her own dinner and polish off mine as well – granted it was fish fingers with mashed potato, but I was delighted.

We had an exciting afternoon when two firetrucks turned up, sirens going full blast and about 20 guys jumped out. There was that anxious moment of “OMG what do I need to pack to evacuate” but then I noticed that they were all heading for the block next door.

Towards the end of the month an errand filled morning saw me attempting to use the ergobaby to bring Katja home from nursery. This is no mean feat with the belly but we managed it and the girl thought it was great fun. I paid for it later on!

Also this month Mark visited us, but I was too slack to take any pictures. I’m so useless at that!

Crafty Pics

On the crafty front I ended up with some extra stitches in my cable here but twitter knitters soon put me right πŸ™‚

I also blocked Damask – and found out that my cast on is far too tight to get a good scalloped edge. Must work on loosening up. Still, I’m delighted with it πŸ™‚

I also started a hat for me, but it turned out far too big so I’m scrapped that. I then found an old crochet project to scrap and I’ll use that yarn to make a little hat for WeeBump.

Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures, Travel

January 2014 Round Up

General Pics

January started in the standard way, with lots of fabulous fireworks. We stayed in and watched them from the comfort of our couch – very cosy!

For a minute there I thought the business to the left was doing private parties! #lookagain

And while picking up Katja from Nursery the street was blocked off by firefighters. Turns out there was a building well and truly ablaze on the other side of the canal. It’s since been torn down, which is no great loss – was a bit of an eyesore.

Family

Katja is starting to try to help around the house, which is really quite sweet. She’ll sweep up with the broom, put on the rubber gloves and even tries to season the chicken.

I popped into a local charity shop and scored a toddler sized handbag and very pretty denim dress for Katja – and no pink or cartoon/princess characters in site.

Meanwhile we’re into the 7th month of Bump and she’s starting to look a little more obvious now!

London Trip

This month we popped down to London for a long weekend. The idea was to meet up with Suzy and Dave to celebrate their recent nuptuals, but that didn’t quite work out. Never mind – we got to catch up with Ilze and Paul and with Gavin and take Katja to the Natural History Museum, which she adored.

We went down by train which we booked online only to find that thetrainline.com had put us in separate seats with no table despite our wishes. And as there was no way of letting them know that we had an under 2 with us oh my what a nightmare that would have been! Luckily for us we were travelling off peak and the wheelchair spaces were free for both journeys giving us the space that we needed for 5+ hours of train time with a toddler.

Craft

This month started with one finished item – a jumper for Katja which unfortunately ended up just a tad too small πŸ™ An unusual construction technique didn’t really pay off so eventually I’ll make another for her using the same yarn.

I also started on my Birthday Damask Shawl – a fabulous gift from Liz. I’d been eyeing this pattern off for years and had somehow elevated it to the “wow” level. I also found the prospect of starting by casting on over 300 stitches for the long edge to be overwhelming and I was convinced it would be a drag to knit. Boy was I wrong – I haven’t enjoyed knitting something so much for quite a long time. Actually, probably not since the last time I knit lace. Perhaps I should be looking more at lace patterns to knit!

Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 2014.01 – Farm Animals and a Finished Object

Something I’ve been meaning to do for so long – visit the Gorgie City Farm. It’s only a 10 minute walk down the road from us so there’s really no excuse. Finally last week we did so.

Most of the animals were hiding away, especially the ducks and bunnies. That was a shame. We also didn’t get to see the horse. However Katja was rather impressed with the Moo and the Ba-aa-aa as well as the pigs, chickens and goats. And she adored the dog! The tractor was also a big hit. We’ll definitely head back once the weather starts to warm up again.

Also on display is my first finished object for the year. The pattern is StarboardΒ by Alicia Plummer. The yarn is Adriafil Knitcol in colour 046. I really love the colour and I’m quite pleased with how I got the pockets to kinda match, but I’m not so happy with the result in general. The neckband is too tight and the whole thing is a bit on the small side, and given that I was knitting the 2 year old size and have a skinny kid plus that the pattern should be slouchy, I’m disappointed. Hopefully it’ll block out a bit but worst case scenario is that it is put away for Bump.

Speaking of Bump, we’re now at 28 weeks, so into the third trimester with only 12 weeks to go. The back/hip pain is getting really quite bad now and it’s really nasty when I try to move in bed. C has been a great help picking up the wee one while he’s been off work but it’s now back to normality and doing the heavy (she’s almost 11kg now) lifting myself, not to mention the constant bending over to pick up whatever she’s thrown on the floor. Pregnancy the second time around is proving a little more uncomfortable than the first time!

 

Craft, Katja, My Week in Pictures, Stuff, Tatting

Christmas Failures

First decoration on our real tree #tattinglace

It’s been a crazy few weeks here, but I guess that’s the same for everyone in the Christmas countries. As a result I have totally failed to send cards to anyone, presents have made it only by the skin of their teeth and because I bypassed the wrapping and went straight from store to Mum (thanks Mum!). I also failed to procure baubles for the Christmas tree – shops are out of red ones, I don’t understand!

However, we did survive gastrogeddon which Katja generously brought home from nursery to share. Speaking of nursery, she is loving it now. Gets excited when we arrive and tries to beat the door down while I get her pram sorted. Last Monday was the nursery Christmas party, she was delighted when we went in on an off day and thought Santa was the bees’ knees πŸ™‚

Bump is doing well – very very active which is lovely. We’re booked in for an additional 3 ultrasounds before we meet her – huge bonus! Pelvic pain is getting a bit out of hand at the moment which is the only downer on the pregnancy front.

And the win? I procured some metallic thread and yesterday churned out the snowflake above. It’s needle tatted and took 4 hrs to finish. About the size of a saucer, looks great on the tree.

PS. I was meant to post this on Thursday and failed to do that too! Christian managed to find baubles and I made another snowflake.

Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 13.40 – Pete and Dave visit Edinburgh

Week 40 (30 Sep to 6 Oct) saw lots of excitement, good and bad.

Firstly, MissKatja started Nursery proper this week. Her first full 5 hour days. She’s not sure yet, and tends to swing between the excitement of all those toys and other kids to play with and the terror at being left behind.

A traumatic morning = a cuddly afternoon #silverlining
2031001 – A traumatic morning = a cuddly afternoon #silverlining

Tuesday was particularly hard on her, she thought it was the end of the world when Papa left for work in the morning and then I took her to her last “settling” session, a three hour one at the nursery. I felt so guilty leaving her there with her little heart breaking. The upshot was an afternoon filled with cuddles which was nice.

Red door #polwarth
2031003 – Red door #polwarth

Two balls down and more than half way #carnaby
20131003 – Two balls down and more than half way #carnaby

With the girl in nursery I’ve more time, which is great for the web project I’m working on, and also great for the knitting projects. I’m now over half-way through my Carnaby, which I’m hoping to wear soon. Still hating the yarn and still not a fan of knitting box stitch, no matter how much I love the effect. I’ve also figured out that the skirt is going to be much longer than expected – really should have done a swatch!

No way poorly MissKatja is letting go of the necessities - dummy, blankie and dolly!
20131005 – No way poorly MissKatja is letting go of the necessities – dummy, blankie and dolly!

Unfortunately the excitement of nursery got too much for the girl and she succumbed to a nasty cold. Cue fevers and sleepless nights and so I kept her home on Friday. She spent most of the day just lying on my chest. Such a change – you really can tell when she’s sick the poor love. On Friday night she decided she wanted the doll that Jenny had given her for her birthday. She cuddled it for a while and then sat it in front of her, put it’s hand to it’s mouth and made the doll blow kisses. The cutest thing ever! Blowing kisses is the latest big thing here!

Pete and Dave at the Caley last night
20131006 – Pete and Dave at the Caley Sample Room

We met up with Pete and Dave who are on holiday from Melbourne. Was great to see the guys and we popped down to our local for a thoroughly pleasant dinner. It’s so lovely to get out, you don’t really realise how seldom you do so until you get a chance!

MissKatja at the Caley is more interested in Mum's phone than the selection of beers
20131006 – MissKatja at the Caley is more interested in Pete’s phone than the selection of beers

And MissKatja was feeling a lot more herself which is lovely to see. After such a rough time for her it’s so nice to finish the week with the sound of her giggles.