Parenthood, Travel

Eine kleine deutsche Maus

First passport

Katja certainly is the international baby. She’s Scottish on account of her place of birth, British also on account of place of birth but also through descent from her Mum, Australian through descent from her Mum and German through descent from her Dad. So you’d think with all of these options getting a passport turned around in a hurry would be a piece of cake, right?

Not so fast!

Scotland doesn’t give passports – Scottish = British, at least at the moment. This may change if Scotland votes for independence, but I doubt they’ll do that.

Australia – we have to first apply to have her citizenship recognised (£80 1-4 weeks processing time) before we can the apply for the passport itself (£85). Turn around time of 10-15 working days unless you pay for priority 2 day turnaround at £65

United Kingdom – application costs £54 and takes a minimum of 6 weeks. Fast track is a 1 week turn around but you’ll pay another £50

Germany – £32 and we were issued with a temporary passport within an hour. A note was attached to the effect that her name is undetermined, we need to fill in some more paperwork when we get to Germany and will get her a German birth certificate as they don’t have to recognise the British one(!) Talk about German efficiency!

So, there we have it – our little girl’s first passport is her German one and we’re off to see her German grandparents, great-grandmother and uncle.

Secret smiles
News & Updates, Travel

Farewell Ireland

After 6 years in Ireland I’ve decided that the weather here just isn’t up to the advertised standard. So I’m headed off to Scotland, where I’m told that they have good, proper to-the-bones cold.

When I first arrived in Ireland I knew nothing about the place except for what I’d seen on the news or in twee tourist shows. I didn’t understand most of what was being said to me (and that was in Dublin – imagine the fun of my first encounter with Cork!) Sure, there were bombs being defused every week but I got used to that, the grass was *always* green, the rivers *always* had water in them and the pubs all served Guinness. Eventually I even managed to even get used to the spelling, but let’s not talk about your addresses…

Ireland is a fabulous and beautiful and totally crazy place. There’s castles everywhere (although the advertised two castles in one street in Dalkey didn’t quite live up to my early, naive expectations), lots of cows and sheep with cute black faces. I’ve been given directions that included the line “if you think you’ve gone too far you’re not there yet”. I’ve driven miles and miles through winding country roads behind herds of cattle or sheep, met a lady who was the last surviving occupant of a ruin I’d just been climbing over in a deserted village, had afternoon tea at Father Ted’s House (a show I didn’t understand until I’d been here for a while). I’ve walked over rope bridges, explored neolithic ruins tombs, sat under the capstones of dolmens and drunk whisky at the source. I think it’s fairly safe to claim that I’ve seen more of the place than many of the locals have.

But what the tourist shows and the news don’t show you is just how wonderful the people here are. I’ve been made to feel completely welcome here from the moment I stepped off the plane back in 2005 and heard “I Come From The Land Downunder” playing on the taxi radio.

I’m going to miss all of the great people that I’ve met – from all of those I’ve lived and worked with through to the amazingly resourceful and eclectic fibre artists who have truly inspired me. But at least Edinburgh isn’t too far away, so I’ll be able to come and visit from time to time.

Photos from my travels in Ireland

Geocaching, Travel

Geocaching – Scotland Mega

I’ve been looking forward to this for months and today was the day – the Scotland Geocaching Mega Event. I arrived in Edinburgh on Friday night and we were up early to catch the train to Perth, over the Firth of Forth fabulous bridge and through some gorgeous countryside to the small town. As we got our bearings outside the train station and headed towards the convention centre we started to see people walking about in classic cacher getup – hiking gear and a GPS. Turning one corner we found a small group gathered and sure enough, our first cache for the day was in hand. No need to hide it – we just handed to the next person together with the explanation of where it went.

At the convention centre we lined up to get our goodies – a silicon bracelet, name badge and lanyard and then we were in. A series of talks had been arranged, we went to the first but really they were’nt for us. In the main room we jostled to get to the vendor stands, I had a play with the new Garmin 62 series (nice kit and pretty colour) and looked at countless geocoins and cache containers. In the end I got a small log book and a roll of tape.

Of the cachers I knew who were going I only managed to run into Kevin and Karen. Kevin was running around like a mad kid who’d had too much red cordail! It was a total geek fest. After a few hours we decided to head out and do some actual caching.

In all we did 19 caches around Perth – it’s a beautiful city and we had such glorious weather, a truely perfect day out. Most of the caches we came across we found from ages away simply because we looked for where the crowds had gathered! In all we walked over 20kms, so we were utterly exhausted by the time we got home.

Photos to come soon!


Triangular Motif – Vintage Tatting

The latest challenge on the InTatters forum is to tat something from the KNOTS blog that is marked as photo needed. I did a little cheat by choosing a motif that hasn’t yet appeared on that blog, but which will appear tomorrow 🙂

So this is my version of the triangular motif from the 1946 copy of Coats Tatting 229 and the photo from their book is below so that you can see the difference.

I made two small changes, the first being that I used a mock picot to climb out of the centre ring to the petals, possible because I decided not to use a yellow centre, although should still be possible if you use different ball/shuttle threads.

The second change was adding a join in the single purple ring, so that ring for me was 6ds join 6ds p 12ds

I tatted this on the train between Edinburgh and Glasgow yesterday after a wonderful weekend in glorious sunshine. I’m thinking I’ll wear it as a pendant.