News & Updates, Travel

2013 Review


As the year comes to a close, it’s time for the obligatory review post. This is made a little easier given that I didn’t post anything to tell you of any grand plans at the beginning of the year, so theoretically I could just say wow, look at me – I did everything. But that would be a lie.

The truth is that I did have some plans and ideas for what I wanted to achieve throughout the year.

Post more – While I’ve achieved this broadly, I was planning on doing a weekly post which I’ve sucked at. I started well but then got myself backed up and I think I’m currently only up to May or something with the weekly photo posts I was doing. I’d love to say that I’ll get them all finished but I seriously doubt it – perhaps a monthly would be better to finish off the year.

Clean more – I am better at cleaning the house. I’m quite pleased with that. Still not up to OCD standards, but then do I really want to go that far?

Be better organised – given that I totally failed to get Christmas cards out, I’d say I’ve failed this one! Still, the only way is up…

Stashdown – For those who are unaware, this means finish the year with less yarn than you start with. I’ve failed that one too. To do this properly you need to know how much you’re starting with. I decided not to count the crochet threads… far too hard! So in yarn alone I started the year with 68km. My end of year total is 77,847m so that’s just under 10km of yarn acquired.

Lose weight/get fit etc – Well, I got pregnant again and in what appears to be my typical fashion I’m currently 2kg under the weight I was to start with (have been gaining for a few weeks) and there’s less than 3 months to go!

Aside from that it was a year of up and downs. We went to Australia which was fabulous – Katja got to meet her Aussie family and my godparents. Unfortunately we lost my godfather a little while ago. I’m so glad that he got to meet Katja. Katja grew as all toddlers do, in leaps and bounds and is such a delight. I made it through my postnatal depression and the homesickness that always happens when I’ve visited home. My youngest sister had a beautiful little girl, my other sister got married and is expecting again. Mum retired. Christian’s family came for visits and there were fabulous trips back to Dublin and visits from Irish friends. Good friends have announced wonderful news with a marriage and a new life on the way amongst the updates. It’s been a great year in all and I’m looking forward to the continuation of the adventure in 2014.


Craft, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 13.27 – Lemoncello and German

Week 27 from July 1st to July 7th was one of glorious weather in Edinburgh. The city is truly magnificent when the sun shines, it’s just a pity that it shines so rarely! Mum retired this week, a major milestone in her life and kind of a watershed in mine. I’ve also had some distressing news from home which makes me feel every centimetre of the distance between Edinburgh and Melbourne, but I shan’t dwell on that now as I’m hoping for better news later in the week.

I’ve started playing with Duolingo to learn German. It’s kind of language learning by game play and so far I’m really enjoying it – I wonder if we’ll ever get to the point where more and more is taught in such a manner, imagine being able to earn history or physics by playing games. I’m up to level 6 so far and have 196 words apparently. The important thing is that I’m doing a little bit each day, currently I’m on an 8 day streak.

I’m still working on the cardigan for Katja, not much to go now – I could really get it finished in a few short hours, but I’ve been waylaid by a super secret fair isle project. I’ve never worked fair isle before so naturally I’ve opted to do a project that will test me – fair isle in the round and a small diameter. I’ve worked a practice swatch in the round. Can’t wait to show you but it will need to wait until I get the OK to do so.

Last night I did the final step to get my lemoncello ready. I started this process backin March and I have to say the results are rather awesome. I’ll do a post with a recipe at some point cos I’m definitely going to be doing this again!

And last night poor Katja wasn’t well, she’s had a bit of a fever and cold the last couple of days. Still she seems to have pretty much worked out how to stand on her own. I think the combination of being ill (teething again?) and this exciting new skill were too much, we didn’t get to seep until 3am. I reckon she’ll be walking by the end of the month. It remains to be seen which country she takes her first steps in and whether she does so before or after her Oma and Opa arrive.

Big girl can feed herself :)
130701 – Big girl can feed herself 🙂

130702 – Yellow – saw these in a second hand shop and they looked so bright and happy that I would have bought them if they’d been in my size.

Love my amethyst stitch markers from SpinPretty
130703 – Love my amethyst stitch markers from SpinPretty

Don't trust the cardboard wine carriers from @marksandspencer like this poor guy did #waste
130704 – Don’t trust the cardboard wine carriers from @marksandspencer like this poor guy did #waste. He lost two bottles of wine and made the bus smell like an old man at a bar. I would have been livid!

Home made lemoncello - nom!
130707 – Home made lemoncello – nom!

Craft, Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Lifestream, My Week in Pictures

Week 12.45 – Platypuses, Cake and London

Week 45 is from Monday November 5, 2012 until (and including) Sunday November 11, 2012

This week Katja grappled with a giant platypus, I made some nommy cake, and we all travelled down to London where naturally I visited Loop.

20121108 – Katja’s first taste of “solid” foods. She’s not too sure about this!

20121108 – This whole eating malarky sure is tiring!

20121109 – Oops! Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the farmer realised that mistake!

Current project #allforme #knitting
20121111 – Current project #allforme #knitting

20121111 – All finished!

News & Updates

Welcome Katja

On Friday 29th June at 1:25am Christian and I welcomed Katja Aoibhe Anear Saemann into the world. With her mass of gorgeous hair and perfect heart-shaped face, she weighed in at 2.91kg or 6lbs 6 and 51cm long. She had left us waiting, being 11 days overdue but once we showed her the door she didn’t waste any time at all – start to finish was a mere 7hrs.

Our brand new family
Cosy in her handknits
She’s got attitude
Rocking her hearing test
All scrubbed up
Safe in Daddy’s arms
News & Updates

New Adventures Starting Soon

A lot has been going on behind the scenes the last month and now at last I’m able to let you all in on the secret – I’m moving house. And not just moving house, but moving country – again. After 6 years in Ireland pretty much to the day I’m going to be heading off to Scotland and to Edinburgh to live. No job lined up, I’m just going to head over there and see what happens.

As a result of that I’ve handed in my notice at work, and I’ve started packing. It’s not so easy to pack for an international move. You need to book a mover in advance, none of this hiring a van type of ease – I have no choice but to get a man (not so easy, most of them don’t bother answering quote requests). And that means that I need to know exactly how much stuff I’m moving in order to book them. I’m not so good at that side of things! I’m trying to sell off a whole bunch of stuff that I don’t think is worth moving – like a heavy salt lamp and a printer, tv and dvd player. It’s not an easy task that’s for sure. Still, I’ve managed to get about 10 boxes packed so far.

Naturally now is the perfect time to be filling up my social calendar, so Saturday I’m teaching a needle tatting course for charity. And of course I’ve packed the book I want to use for it!


Really???!! Sexism that blatant *still* exists?

On our way to lunch today we spotted an accident at a busy intersection. The drivers of both cars looked quite dazed – it was a tail-ender where one car had stopped and the one behind had not. Both cars were extensively damaged so it must have been a hard knock. The police were there and both (male) drivers were walking around so we went on to get our sandwiches.

On the way back, there were two fire engines and an ambulance – turns out there was a person in the passenger seat of the second car and she was badly hurt. They were using the jaws of life to cut in through the back of the hatch to reach her, legs must have been crushed.

Why am I telling you this? As we were passing the scene a “man” (I use that term loosley) walked past, looked at the scene and said to his female companions “obviously a woman driver!”. I was dumb-struck, then I was filled with rage – how dare this stupid wanker make that assumption; on what grounds could he have possibly have determined this? I wanted to chase him down and give him a piece of my mind but my companions advised against. The cheek! Aside from the hideous injustice of this sexist assumption, it was just plain wrong!

So what would you have done? Would you have chased him down or shut up as I ultimately did?


Blind leading the stupid?

Attempts to stem flow of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon oil rig suffered a serious setback on Saturday when crystallised gas filled the containment dome that had been placed over the worst of the two remaining leaks.

The dome – a 98-ton steel box with an opening at the top – was lowered over the leak on the seabed on Friday night, from where it was to funnel the oil through a pipe to a tanker, effectively capturing 85 percent of the leaking crude.

But engineers found gas hydrates — crystal structures that form when gas and water mix – in the dome, which would have blocked the oil from being siphoned out of the top of the box.

BP engineers have moved the containment dome, which was seen as the best short-term way to stem the flow from the oil well, off to the side on the sea floor and will take two days trying to come up with a solution

The company, under pressure from the Obama administration to limit the damage to the Gulf and coastlines of four states, expected hydrates, which are present at this depth due to the low temperatures and high pressure of the ocean floor. But they had not expected the volumes encountered after a crew lowered the dome nearly a mile (1.6 km) to the sea floor.

WTF??? You’re telling me now that BP leased and then operated an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico for over 8 years while all that time having absolutely no concept of how much oil was in the field below (which they were the principle developers of) and just what the flow rate was???

On top of that, you’re also trying to tell me that BP, the forth largest company in the world, has not been able to find anyone on their staff of 92,000 who might have some knowledge of deep sea pressures on oil behaviour and who might have been able to tell them that the dome, which has only ever been used at much lower depths and on smaller spills, would not work???

Somehow I just can’t buy it. Either BP is profoundly stupid, or there’s something else at stake… oh yer, maybe it’s the huge costs that they’ll incur in cleaning it all up, or the political backlash which will deny them access to the oil fields in the future. Whatever it is, I’ve seen better crisis management in a girls’ school dorm.