11 Things

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Giant Fossilized Armadillo tagged me in a fun 11 Things meme a little while ago. You can see her 11 things here. It seemed like a suitable thing to do on a quiet Sunday evening, here it goes…

Here are the survey rules:

  1. You must post these rules.
  2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

11 Things (which I may or may not have said before):

  1. I’m from Bermuda. I am still flummoxed by the size, length and speeds of roads elsewhere in the world.
  2. Sorry, I’ve never worn Bermuda shorts, they’re reserved for male businessmen and civil servants, and I’m not very convinced by any scientific explanation of the Bermuda Triangle (aside from rum making someone ‘lost’ and fuelling good stories afterwards).
  3. On the topic of rum, that’s my favourite drink (well alcoholical drink, tea wins hands down!). Rum + orange juice, grapefruit juice + grenadine is the best, a slosh in banana bread also goes well.
  4. I didn’t talk til I was 3. My mother thought I must be deaf, but my family doctor assured her I was fine when he overheard me pitch perfectly mimicking cows and sheep.
  5. When I grow up I’m going to have a pet goat. My great uncle brought me one when I was 3, and got it as far as the garage before my mother sent him away. I’m afraid it ended up in his gardeners’ pot.
  6. I’ve housesat a dog, a cat, and a blind duck. Twice.
  7. Can highly recommend Geo-caching if you’re a geography geek (or even if you’re not!)
  8. I spent nearly 7 months living in Cusco, working in a children’s home. At one point, a tiny baby (she was two months old but premature, so effectively the size and age of a newborn) was brought in. The nurse on duty named her after me. She was eventually adopted by a family in Florence. I often wonder what life my namesake is now living. I’d like to go back to Peru to work some more in the home there.
  9. I played hockey at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games, so I’ve officially been capped 6 times at senior level. Wish I could still play like that!
  10. On a tall ship, floating on a flat disk of blue ocean with the sky arching high overhead and nothing else but the horizon to see, is my favourite landscape.
  11. I’m working as a landscape architect. This explains it best:

What I do

11 things that Giant Fossilized Armadillo asked

  1. What made you start blogging? I wanted to comment on others’ blogs, so set up a wordpress account, and, as I was already keeping a sort of private online journal, I figured they might as well be one and the same thing.
  2. What’s the craziest (fun crazy, not crazy crazy!) thing you’ve ever done? Travelling to the Galapagos for two months. It wasn’t quite spur of the moment, but I researched and booked it all through the internet. I’m not sure if that was a brave or foolish things to do, and I don’t think I’d have the confidence to do it again. (Luckily friendly people were at the San Cristobal air port to meet me with a pick-up truck taxi and they didn’t knock me out with a concrete brick, riffle through my pockets and leave me for the pigeons.)
  3. When was the last time you laughed until it hurt and why? Maybe laughing because it hurt is a more accurate description – when I was sailing this past summer and someone had the idea to have a cinnamon eating contest. Maybe it’s a Scottish thing. All I know it was quite hilarious and I had the bitter sting of cinnamon in my nose for the rest of the day and the night watch too!
  4. Are you a morning person or an evening person? Morning definitely! Bad things happen at night.
  5. Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party and why? My friends from when we were 17/18 yrs old. I consider them my closest friends, but we’re slowly drifting apart, geographically at least. We were altogether again this summer celebrating weddings, and that was fab, so another opportunity for that would be great!
  6. What did you want to be when you grew up? An artist. I have a very clear memory of my nursery school friend saying, ‘Isn’t it funny how we all want to be what our parents are?’ I looked at her strangely because the thought had never occurred to me. I knew I wanted to be an artist. Strangely enough, my parents own and run a seedling business, and now I’m a landscape architect, so perhaps my three-year-old friend did have some wisdom!
  7. What do you want to be now? Are you already there or working towards it? In myself? Happy. Am working on it. Work-wise: there may be times when I feel like strangling the girl who signed up for the landscape architecture course, but on the whole I think it suits me very well!
  8. Order or chaos? Chaos is closer to reality
  9. Science or art? (BOTH says the nerd over here, hehe)I like to think both, but art is probably more natural for me.
  10. What’s your favourite thing to eat for breakfast? Weetabix, Alpen and Jordan’s Country Crisp raspberry granola. The first two can be generic, but the granola needs to be Jordan’s.
  11. Do you find asking questions or answering them easier?  Neither? Or else answering a yes/no question is ‘easiest’. These ones here were fun and not too intimidating 😉 Ideally I’d like to ask a question that someone is interested enough in to answer.

11 Questions for YOU (group hug/tag!):

  1. If you were reincarnated, what/who would you like to come back as?
  2. A memory that makes you smile thinking back on it?
  3. Do you have a favourite recipe? Please share!
  4. Favourite word?
  5. The furthest you’ve walked or run all in one go?
  6. Have you ever been on television?
  7. Where is highest on your list of dream places to visit?
  8. Are you still friends with your first best friend?
  9. What was your favourite subject at school?
  10. What smell do you absolutely hate most?
  11. If you were a vegetable, what would you be?

Lots of ice and snow


As well as knitting, another feature of the first couple of weeks in February was the snow and ice!

4th February - Frozen Meare at Thorpeness

5th February - Red letter day?

5th Feb - More red from the berries

5th Feb - I still get excited by squirrels!

5th Feb - Snowy Christchurch Park

6th February - Cold Deben river

7th February - a forlorn boat

11th Feb - Still too frozen for sculling

12th February - just a bit of snow on the edges

12th Feb - A very confident or fool hardy kayaker

Lots of knits

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On the one hand I feel like I dropped off the face of the Earth these past few weeks. On the other hand I have quite a bit of knitting to prove my presence!

I first learnt to knit at an afterschool club at my school when I was about 7 years old. That just served to irritate me, so it wasn’t til I was living/volunteering in Peru after I left school that I was inspired again to try. Often shop keepers would be furtively knitting away with their hands beneath the table. It wasn’t uncommon to drive past girls walking along the road in the middle of nowhere, spinning wool. Most interesting was on Taquile Island, where the knitters were the boys and men. I figured if they could do it, so could I, so I spent quite a bit of time watching and examining the insides of sweaters. The friendly wool shop señora thought it was hilarious selling to a Gringa, though I’m sure I wasn’t the first!

Taquile Knitters and Spinners

These are the things I’ve made from the past three months (ones against blue are past three weeks)…I’m impressed by how long it’s kept my interest this time round!



Door Handle

For strange reasons I hate having my bedroom door shut, this cover stops the latch clicking, and the door from banging. The pattern was meant to be of snowflakes!

Wrist Warmers

The first time since the first time I tried knitting cables.

( The result here was rather tidier than my early attempt [which incidently was almost 6 years ago to the day. Gah it doesn’t feel that long ago!], though having proper needles helped a lot!)

The last time I knitted, a few years ago, the phase ended when I attempted knitting in the round. This time though I managed it, and made these sock!

I finally bought some more wool!

My little chill pill


Using up the scrappy bits of pink and green wool left over from my first projects. I thought it would also make a decent holder for tampons to keep in my bag. Unfortunately that's the only thing I can think of that would fit in it, so it's a bit of a give away!

Neck thingie

More socks. These are all in ribbing and the wool is a mix of real wool and acrylic, so a bit warmer, and fit better, than the first pair I made.

I tried following directions for spiral ribbing on socks. Unfortunately though the straight ribbed cuff was tight, the rest of the sock was getting really baggie. Before I faffed with the heel I decided it would make a very good cover for my spare camera lens. Possibly the degree of protection it give is giving me a false sense of security!

Trying a spiral again, this time in normal stocking stitch and just using colour to give the effect of a spiral. This is going to be a birthday present for my aunt (promise I'm just trying it on for size here!). She asked for store-bought navy blue socks. I can't think of a more dull present to give or receive, but I feel a bit better about it if I'm giving hand knitted socks with a dash of pink!

Back online and eventually all is good!

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After more than three weeks of no internet, I haz it!

Well nearly no internet, I was able to snatch glimpses of my emails at work, but even during my lunch time or after work I felt awkward enough pulling up Gmail or BBC webpages, let alone Facebook or blogs.

I should be re-christened Bag Lady

I moved into my own little rented place the last weekend in January and finally everything feels set up and me more or less settled in.

It’s the first time I’ve ever lived on my own, previously I’ve either been at home with my parents or at university sharing with friends/others. Then the past few months I’ve been staying temporarily with my aunt and then her friend. While I’ve really appreciated being able to stay with them while settling into new jobs, I’m pleased to feel a bit more permanently in a place I’m renting myself, and, touch wood, seem to be coping with it too! It’s seriously helped me that the place is furnished  and nearly all the bills are included. All except for the internet, which has taken several weeks to sort out. I’m just glad it wasn’t the heating I was having to sort myself! I am so spoilt here with the heating, although so far I’ve only needed the heaters on at 2 or 3 (on a dial of 10). It makes such a difference coming home to a warm house. I can actually look forward to coming home, rather than putting it off to the last minute, dashing in under the covers, sleeping and leaving for uni again, which is what I had to do rather than the freezing hole of the place I was in the last two years. I always said ‘it was so cold I could see my breath inside’, but in reality I could see my breath there even before it was properly cold! Student life was strange…

It’s been an odd, slightly topsy turvy three weeks without internet.

First I was excited at the prospect of a weekend liberated from the interwebs. Then reality hit and I the slight irony of needing the internet to get the internet, but not having internet to get the internet to get the internet! I did manage to access the BT Open Zone wifi signal, which tantalised me with a  page selling internet, but I could only catch a hazy signal while scrunched up in the corning of the living room (/hall/breakfast room/TV room/storage room/kitchen), and it was too cold to wander out into the street to get it stronger. In the end I enlisted the help of my parents out in the Atlantic to set broadband up for me back in England. It felt quite ridiculous having to go the longest route round for something supposedly as modern as the internet! I might have laughed if I wasn’t feeling sorry for my tech ineptitude when I was then given a date 25 days later in February for an engineer to come round, on a week day when I should be at work. So much for the high tech age!

That first week was quite hard, I missed not having my blog or Twitter as an outlet to say how I was feeling. Simple ‘how are you?’ questions from co-workers had me in tears as I knew I couldn’t say how I felt (lost, loser, incapable, idiot etc the usual stuff). They didn’t comment on me dashing out of the room frequently, either they didn’t know what to say, or maybe they just think I have a very small bladder! Actually most likely they didn’t notice and didn’t give it a second thought. In reality I probably wouldn’t have gone onto Twitter or written anything, but the option would have been there. There wasn’t even the possibility of bottling up til I got home to tell someone, as I didn’t have a way to tell anyone at home! Perhaps it was that feeling more than the lack of internet that was bothering me, but at least internet would have been a compromise.

The next week I spent some of it working in the London office, helping out with deadlines there. While I was sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet up with friends there, it also meant there wasn’t time to miss not having the internet, or even give much thought to my feelings! Then when I was back home, my lack of internet made a reasonably legitimate excuse for not trying to be sociable over the weekend, when what I really needed was to catch up on sleep and continue to ignore feelings.

By the third week, perhaps the ‘fake it til you feel it’ is finally starting to have some truth in it. After being upset that I didn’t have anywhere to say how I felt, I began to ignore how I felt. I wouldn’t normally be convinced that that would really mean that I feel ok, or that ignorance is a sustainable tack to take, but if I’ve been relatively calmer this last week than the first week, then maybe there is some truth to it. I like not being constantly on edge or having days of frequently having to dash out of the room.

And now I have internet! I can say admit how I feel, I don’t need to bottle it up! What’s better still is, after watching myself these past few weeks, I’m pleasantly surprised to find I can say I’m honestly fine (and not FINE either!). I’ve managed to cope with a fairly big deadline and a couple of smaller ones at work, fingers crossed I’ve got the standing order all set up for my rent, with a family team effort I have the internet, and I haven’t been sulking around at home too much by myself, or staying too late at work. Last night even I was out til after 11 with the running club and its AGM, and then tonight I was home by 6 and I’ve enjoyed relaxing, poking through the internet, catching up on blogs, news and shizz, I’ve got as far as the first week of February on my Google reader! Happily it sounds like lots of you have good news too, hope the rest of February is kind to all. xx