Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
I'm on the second day on my low-FODMAP diet. It kind of feels like longer! Still, some interesting things have arisen already...
It turns out I actively prefer almond milk to normal milk on my cereal. Not so much in my tea, but it's drinkable.
I made gluten free bread. The first loaf, done in the bread machine, was a disaster. No rise, and so heavy that if I'd dropped it on my foot I would probably have broken some bones! It went in the bin, oddly enough. I tried again with a different recipe, made by hand, and although the loaves were still very small, they were baked properly and the texture is much better. So I've had chicken sandwiches for the last couple of days, and they've been.... okay. Edible. I miss being able to have a yoghurt, though!
I'm trying to make myself a sort of ice cream at the moment... all things I can have, so Ican have a bit of a treat when I want one. As far as I can tell, it's low-FODMAP, gluten free and vegan!
Frozen Banana Delight
1 very ripe banana
A large teaspoon of peanut butter
A small amount of syrup or sugar, if wanted
A good splosh of almond milk.
Mash it all up together, and put in the freezer. Take it out every so often, stir it, and put it back in, until it's completely frozen. Consume!
(I think most of this is customisable... I might try almond butter next time, for example, and you could use whichever non-dairy milk you prefer).
Sunday, 14 August 2016
Thursday, 11 August 2016
This has not been the relaxing, productive week off that I had hoped for. We've had a lot of problems with our gas meter (it's a pay-as-you-go), which dragged on for a few days, causing lots of phonecalls and hassle and annoyance. It is, in theory, sorted out now, so that's something.
I have, at least, managed to get some knitting done. I've already completed one of my Ravellenic entries - a nifty little cowl that looks like an artfully draped shawl from the front. And I've started another one, a nice slouchy hat in the loveliest, softest yarn ever! And the best bit is that they're both Christmas presents for friends, so I'm doing well on that front... and I think it's going to work well to combine Ravellenics with present-making in the future, too. I get the fun of "competing" (which is a thing that only interests me if I am essentially competing against myself rather than other people, for some reason), and the pleasure of knowing I'm making progress on things that need doing, rather than panicking later in the year!
The hat is a Wurm (I clearly like this pattern, as this is the third or fourth time I've knit it!). The yummy, scrummy, silky soft yarn is Debbie Bliss Andes, in the purple colour. Discontinued, alas; why do the gorgeous yarns always get discontinued?!
Monday, 8 August 2016
I'm at the beginning of a week off work, and it feels pretty blissful! Don't get me wrong - I really like my job, the people I work with and the company I work for. But sometimes it's nice to have a break!
I have few fixed plans for the week. At the tail end of it, we're going to the Shrewsbury flower show, courtesy of my lovely in-laws; I'm looking forward to it, but I need to remember to pack a good supply of pollen pills... (Or antihistamines, as I gather most people call them). I'll work on the PhD stuff, of course... I'd like to get some letters written, as I'm horribly behind on my correspondence (I always feel so pretentious saying that, but it's true!). I'll be knitting, of course. Otherwise, no real plans.
I do like writing letters (and getting them, naturally), and I do have a weakness for pretty stationery (ugh, my brain's gone blank and I can't remember if that's the correct spelling!). I got these in The Works (it often has pretty writing sets, if you're interested), and was carefully setting up all my letters yesterday, when I saw it - 10 envelopes (yep, that's normal), and 10 sheets of paper! What?! That's not right! Writing sets (in my reasonably extensive experience) generally have 10 envelopes and 20 sheets of paper, which makes much more sense. Who only uses one sheet to write a letter?! And yes, I know I can always supplement the pretty with some normal plain paper (as I frequently do, as my handwriting isn't especially tiny and I often need more than two sheets of paper). But still, I expected two pretties per letter! I realise I'm far too indignant about this, and really for the price I paid I shouldn't complain.... but I am, if only on here.
Sunday, 7 August 2016
I've never taken part before, but this year I thought.. why not? I'll be knitting anyway, so I may as well! So I've entered the sock category, shawl category and the WIP category. Given that some people knit entire jumpers in the time period, I think my aims are pretty modest!
I've started the socks already (and the WIP, of course!). I found a lot of sock yarn on sale a while ago... and while I'm fairly helpless in the face of sock yarn generally, I'm almost totally helpless in the face of sock yarn on sale. So I bought some... but unfortunately two of the colours I liked only had one ball each. So - ankle socks. I'm trying the picot edge for the first time (time consuming, a bit fiddly, but so very pretty!!), and doing shortrow heels. I'm still experimenting with heel types; I like the ease of knitting the shortrow heels, but I'm not sure how well they'll wear.
Saturday, 6 August 2016
1) I'm 34, female and married. No children, yet.
2) I love fibre crafts - I knit, crochet (not as well as I knit, as I'm very much a beginner), and am learning to spin.
3) I also enjoy embroidery, and making clothes (again, I'm still learning).
4) I'd really like to try weaving.
5) I work (part-time) and study (also part-time, at least in theory).
6) I'm in the (hopefully!) last stages of my PhD in archaeology.
7) I love creative writing, and have at least 3 finished or mostly finished novels hanging around.
8) I do NaNoWriMo most years.
9) I would absolutely love to be published, but I'm scared to try as I don't think my writing is good enough.
10) My husband has had a book published; I'm simultaneously massively proud of him, and slightly down-hearted because I can't see it ever happening for me.
11) I really enjoy knitting socks.
12) I may have a slight sock yarn problem. In the same way that Hemingway might have had a bit of a drinking problem.
13) I mostly wear black, because I like it, although I occasionally branch out into purples and reds.
14) Despite 13, I really like wearing bright, colourful socks.
15) I think it might be hereditary; my father also loves bright socks.
16) I also have a deep love of sparkly sock yarns. They make me happy.
17) I am vaguely trying to introduce a bit more colour into my wardrobe by having accessories in colour (shawls, hats, socks, etc).
18) I enjoy knitting shawls, but I'm not totally convinced that I'm the shawl-wearing type (at least, not the full on shawls).
19) I'm not very tall, and definitely not slender, both of which I think helps immensely with shawl-wearing (for most people; I have seen exceptions to this, of course).
20) I like cooking and baking, and people tell me that I am good at these things; I'm not much on presentation, though!
21) I suffer from depression and anxiety; it makes things really hard sometimes, but I try to just get on with it most of the time.
22) I find that crafting helps a lot with 21, and I will always make at least a bit of time for it.
23) I love the fact that my mother also knits, sews, etc, and that we can sit and knit together; it means a lot to me to have that connection.
24) I even don't mind that she's much, much better at knitting than I am ever likely to be.
25) I enjoy gardening, although I'm not terribly good at it.
26) I desperately want a cat (or two), but we're still renting so it's not going to happen yet.
27) Despite being (I suspect) inherently lazy, I love spending time outdoors - especially in woods or by water.
28) However, I also love spending a day curled up with plenty of tea (and cake, for preference), and a pile of books to read.
29) Books. Books, books, books, books, books. I love reading. Love it. I also read quite quickly. I'm like a .303 bookworm.
30) I enjoy yoga, but I'm not very good at it (yet). Also, I really feel that mirrors shouldn't exist in yoga studios. Who the hell wants to see the contrast between cool, flexible, slender teacher, and their red-faced, sweating, lumpy selves? Or maybe that's just me...
31) I'm a massive fan of David Attenborough. The man is verging on God-like, in my opinion.
32) Did I mention that I love reading? No, really - I love it enough for it to easily be worth two slots on this. Doing my research is probably my favourite part of the PhD.
33) I've started going to Quaker meetings. I can see it continuing, and possibly even me becoming a full member one day.
34) I like tattoos and piercings.
35) I'm yearning for a pair of the new willow pattern Doc Martens.
36) I can't swim properly, but wish very much that I could.
37) I'm not a 'girly girl', but I do love having pretty nails, and have a decent collection of nail polishes. There are quite a few variations of black, purple and red in there.
38) I really like vintage styles, especially the 1940s and 1950s. I particularly like goth versions of these styles! However, I lack the confidence to wear them.
39) I really don't like the heat. Even though cold and damp set my arthritis off, I'd rather that than be too warm.
40) Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons. I seem to like the changing times.
41) I'm terrible for having loads of craft projects on the go at the same time, and rarely finishing things (except socks).
42) I have a weakness for vintage style brooches, and regret that I didn't keep any of my Gran's - unfortunately I didn't appreciate them then!
43) I'm terrified of speaking in public - any sort of presentation or conference paper gives me panic attacks.
44) I enjoy role-playing (tabletop rather than LARP, although I have done that in the past), and board games.
45) A perfect evening with my husband is a nice dinner, followed by listening to Classic FM while we play something like backgammon and discuss things like history or theology. Yes, we are secretly about 60.
46) I'd really like to try falconry.
47) I don't like alcohol much, but if I do drink, I favour mead, cider, or rose wine. Or blackberry and elderflower Pimms!
48) I cherish the fact that I can have intense discussions with my husband and friends about things that we don't necessarily agree on, and that's fine, and we haven't fallen out by the end of it. That's how ideas and people grow.
49) I really enjoy watching period dramas and murder mysteries, as well as all sorts of documentaries.
50) One day I will finish reading "Paradise Lost". Honest.