Monday, 24 August 2009

A Day of Ups & Downs.......

It's not even lunchtime & my emotions have been up and down like a roller-coaster already! Let's start with the fairly mundane......I finally finished the mauve lace fichu I have been knitting for a week. It was a fairly complicated pattern and involved copious notings on a piece of paper to keep up with the number of rows, increases, joins, and so many stitchmarkers it looked like a belly-dancer's necklace. I ran out of yarn about two thirds through as this was some given to me a while back (thanks again Jo!) and had to wait for a delivery of an extra ball. All the time I had a nagging worry about the end result....looks pretty with the light behind it, doesn't it?

Here it is in detail - you can see all my hard work..........but what about without the light behind it?

Ah, now here is what I suspected might happen but tried not to think about. Even after blocking ( with some very severe tugging) the yarn is so fluffy that the lace pattern kind of blends in to one.

You'd have to wear it with a bright white shirt to get any idea of the lace........ I'm so cross with myself! On the plus side, I learnt a couple of new techniques and proved that I can knit a pattern designated 'experienced'.

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My car is quite old....there are people out there who have probably paid more for shoes than I paid for my little Peugeot. My partner rebuilds & restores vintage racing cars for a living, and gave my little car a real 'going over' when we got it several years ago, but hasn't done much to it since. So when the time for it's MOT comes rumbling around, I start worrying big time. Last week it failed the MOT but only by a couple of very minor repairs.....and today it has it's shiny, crisp 'pass' certificate and a stay of execution for another year. Phew!

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Perhaps you have seen on the news about the fires in Greece this last weekend. Having lived out there for many years and seen a mountain burn to a crisp in 20 minutes flat while I prepared to take 4 children, 2 dogs, a cat and a parrot over the other side of a hill should the wind change, and my sister & her husband manned the hose-pipes, I can appreciate the severity of these annual forest fires. Every August when the trees and undergrowth are at their driest and most combustible and the Meltemi wind blows strongly from the Sahara, something sparks a fire - it could be a careless cigarette from a car window, the sun through a piece of glass, or even as in 2007, some crazy old woman & a box of matches with a grudge against her neighbour for not letting her graze her goats on his land.

This year, the fires were in an area very familiar to me - my sister & her family live on the outskirts of Athens, as do friends of mine, and news reports quoted the districts of Dionissos & Aghia Paraskevi which are right on their doorsteps. I telephoned this morning to find out what's been happening to discover that it's all burnt......but thank God and my brother-in-law's foresight in fitting a huge watertank under the house as well as my nephew's extreme bravery, my sister's house has escaped more or less unscathed. The houses around them are charcoal, but theirs is still standing. I am trying not to think about what could have happened, just so glad it didn't.

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Finally, it's a bit trivial but it got me so mad I could have hit the woman concerned, I went into the Halifax to do my partner a favour and pay some Euros into his account. They are a big bank, you'd have thought this would have been quite straightforward. But no, I live in the UK where anything foreign is treated with suspicion and loathing.....I was swooped upon by the lady from the Enquiries desk and asked if she could help. At the sight of some crisp Euros, she asked if they had been bought at this, no, my partner works abroad & this is some of his wages. Well apparently, unless they had been bought through the bank, I was not allowed to even exchange them at this bank, let alone pay them in to an account. With remarkable restraint (what are the penalties for rapping a bank employee over the head with your knuckles by the way?) I walked out saying 'That is just silly' between clenched teeth, walked 20 feet to the travel agents, exchanged the Euros for pounds from a very nice man who listened to my story and said 'that is ridiculous, they are a BANK', walked back 20 feet to the Halifax and paid in the nice English pounds. ARRRRGH!!!! If any of you are bank workers and can explain the reasoning behind this, please do so because it beats the £*%! out of me!

Painting potatoes later on will be a nice relaxing therapy!


Magpie Magic said...

I love your fichu, it's so pretty. It's a shame the lace can't be see easily, especially considering all the hard work, but it's still lovely.

Your sister certainly had a lucky escape. Don't think about what could have happened, it didn't, so that's good.

Glad your car passed it's MOT, it such a good feeling.... LOL

Banks... don't get me started. They should provide a service not charge you for causing you problems. BTW - most Post Office will exchange Euros as well, without problems.

Caroline B said...

Don't get me started on our local Post Office, Sybille - they don't like big denomination notes....although a village P.O. two miles down the road exchanges them happily. I just despair sometimes, we're supposed to be a modern, up-to-date country and yet........

natural attrill said...

That photgraph of your lace knitting looks beautiful against the green leaves.
Sounds like a bad time for you, worrying about Greece, your car, and the bank, a good day must be just around the corner :)