Thursday, 24 May 2007

Let's play tag ...

Miss Fee has tagged me for the 7 random facts meme -

Rules of engagement: "Each person tagged gives seven random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs seven facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog".

So here goes - 7 random facts that you would not know from reading this blog:

1. I finished school at 16, and at 19 was loosed apon the world as a licensed speech pathologist. I had no idea what I was I doing and the world was a better place when I left work a couple of years later.

2. I have one sibling - a brother 6 years younger than me - he briefly and mistakenly appeared on this blog as my avatar.

3. At 35, I returned to study and graduated with a BA in psychology.

4. I have been married longer than anyone else I know (more or less) - 42 years - and all to my first husband (aka Grandpa Flea)!

5. I love baked cheesecake.

6. I have no spatial ability.

7. When I was a child I had a black and white cocker spaniel called Ben Chifley. My brother had a golden cocker called Doc Evatt. (For those of you who do not know Australian political history, they were both Labor politicians)

It is actually very hard to nominate 7 people that I think wouldn't be, or haven't been, tagged already. I hereby pass the tag onto these people whose blogs I read and enjoy - if anyone objects to their name being here, I'm more than happy to remove it:

Janette

Roxie

Maud

Susan

Marie (1)

Franklin

Marie (2)

Enjoy!

Biggest Morning Tea

So, a few days ago at the Guild, we had a "Biggest Morning Tea" for the NSW Cancer Council. This is a fund raising activity to aid research and development in the field of cancer. Morning teas are held all over NSW. It has a special significance for us this year, as three of our members are currently battling cancer - they were all there at the Biggest Morning Tea, looking wonderful. In conjunction with the morning tea, we have a tea cosy competition. This year we had the largest number of entries yet, about 35 and Sue from our LYS, Cherryhills, paid a visit to do the judging.
Just in case you think you can spot a beanie or two, one of the categories was "When is a tea cosy not a tea cosy - when it's a hat".
In the photo above, my tea cosy is the cyclamen pink one with the handle of the teapot pointing towards the viewer. It is a chevron pattern with a rose on top. The yarn was given to me by Janette - I think for the skirt I started to knit for Ms 11, but it went to a good cause as the tea cosy was donated for sale for charity. It cost $5 to enter the competition and that included morning tea. Morning tea was $5 and we also had a raffle with a large basket of donated goodies - being shown off here by our raffle organiser extraordinaire.
Members of the group all brought plates, a small band of people came in on the weekend to set up and dcorate the room - it looked amazing.
One of the women in the Guild had won a first prize in a local show and had brought the winning tablecloth in to show us - this a shot of the pattern detail:
What can you say to this - it's beautiful - and there was so much of it.

We had a great day knitting, talking, eating, laughing, buying raffle tickets and of course, washing up! In all we raised $800 for cancer research. Well done to all involved!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Confession is good for the soul ...

So, having confessed to SOME of my UFOs, I suddenly find that there are now FOs appearing - first the jacket for Ms 11 (last post) and now this - - a little baby cardi I have been knitting for my chiropracter whose baby is due any minute. In my effort to get the cardi exactly right (unlike most of my knitting) I frogged the left front about a dozen times trying to make sure the buttonhole and three needle shoulder join were perfect - well, after wrestling with the damn thing for days, I finally had it all joined up, only to discover that I had LEFT OUT the button hole! How dumb can one person be! I refused to undo the whole thing again, so ended up crotcheting a loop to go over the button. This is a beautiful cardi for a baby as it doesn't sit right up under the chin. I haven't worked out how to link back to an earlier post, but the pattern is from Pipsqueaks (post of 17/2/07) and I used Zara. Note the way the sleeve is folded up - that's to hide the mess I made of the seam! C'est la vie where I'm concerned. It's the thought that counts! I still can't preview, so again, forgive any typos.

Thank You and Questions Answered

I've been very remiss in responding to comments and questions left on my blog and want to play catch-up.

First of all, Roxie asked what PROBUS is - it's an organisation for PROfessional and BUSiness people who have retired - an off shoot of Rotary, except that there is no fund-raising or "good works" involved - people meet for fellowship and recreation. There are male, female and mixed groups. Grandpa Flea belongs to a male only group. He has a committee meeting once a month (he always gets involved in organising things), has a PROBUS meeting once a month with a guest speaker (partners are invited to these a couple of times a year), an outing once a month to all sorts of interesting places (partners go on these), and a day walk once a month (partners go too). Twice a year there is a bus trip away for 5 or 6 days (partners go too). So while Grandpa Flea is busy with PROBUS he is not at home organising me, so I enjoy it too!

Next, thank you to everyone who has commented on my possum pals and expressed concern for their welfare when we move. I will certainly take up the suggestions to leave the new owners a note asking them to start a blog with photos - and I'll let you know if they do (that is, if they let me know). I have started a folder for them with guarantees, instruction books etc and I'll add a possum page. So, Roxie, Carson, Kate, Willow, and Celia I hope that is reassuring.

Thank you, also, to everybody for the advice and words of reassurance about the move and the process of packing up. I appreciate it. Also to Roxie, Kate and Willow for the stash and UFO comments! There are certainly more UFOs yet to be confessed ....

The rare and unusual sighting of a FO brought a lot of very lovely comments and suggestions about a suitable closure. I think I'll have to finish a few more things! So thank you Janette, Roxie, Carson, Kate, Willow, Lynne and Sandra. The pattern was from Patons Book 1253, for size 2 - 10 years, "Zhivago for Kids". I knitted a size 10 as Ms 11 is quite skinny and my tension is a bit loose (the word "swatch" is in a language I don't understand!). The book looks like this (excuse the poor quality, blurry image!): Also a correction - I said in my last post (since corrected) that the yarn was a wool/tencel mix. It is in fact, 50% acrylic and 50% tencel.

Last, but not least, thank you to Roxie and Dodi Raz for your comments on my David Hicks rant. I feel very strongly about this issue.

Blogger won't let me preview this post, so I'm sending off as is - please overlook the typos etc.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

FO sighting! Rare & unusual event!



Before I got Ms 11's jacket in the post, I had an unexpected visit and was able to give it to her in person. It fits well - a little bit long at the back, but she's growing quickly. The sleeves would not have wanted to be any tighter though. She was thrilled. The yarn is Paton's Zhivago - a tencel and acrylic mix. It is beautifully soft, but not a happy yarn to knit with. The colour in the photo isn't true - it's really a mauve/light purple, not jacaranda blue. And I still need to find a brooch or a matching ribbon for the front (it's held with a pin in the photo).

Monday, 21 May 2007

How do we know an election is looming?

David Hicks arrived home in Australia yesterday, after more than five years in detention at Guantanemo - for most of the time without legal charges, without trial, without access to legal representation except when it suited his gaolers, without sunlight for most of the day, and with few exceptions, without visitors. Without the human rights afforded by the Geneva Convention. Instead, he had the ludicrous title of "enemy combatant", not prisoner of war; he had a light on in his cell 24 hours a day making sleep difficult, if not impossible - but we are told he was not subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment; he had one hour a day out of his cell in the open air - at any time, day or night, decreed fit by his gaolers; he was held in solitary confinement; and if his story is true, subjected to torture.

We are told that this young man is a dangerous terrorist - but the best charge that could be laid after FIVE years, was that of giving material support to the enemy.

I don't believe in terrorism as a means to an end; I don't have any time for religous fundamentalists of ANY persuasion who try to dictate the way I live my life; I don't have any time for any government which practises or condones extraordinary rendition, which condones torture, which denies that captives taken in armed conflict are prisoners of war and which denies the rights afforded by the Geneva Convention. I therefore have no time for George Bush, John Howard or Tony Blair. I am ashamed that the government of my country could be so short sighted as to engage in sycophantic, brown tongueing of another foreign power. I am even more ashamed that my government would follow another country into war for no good reason. I am amazed that ANY government would think that it could IMPOSE democracy on another country - did they never hear of social change as a bottom up process? Did they not study the culture of the country they invaded - a culture based on tribal loyalties that go back thousands of years. Did they never consider the consequences of their actions, or were they blinded by the oil in their eyes? Did they never consider that their denial of the Geneva Convention, and their use of semantics to condone their behaviour would have implications for the treatment of their own fighting men and women in times of war?

Regardless of his plea of "guilty", David Hicks has been a pawn in the power play of Australian politics. The sudden haste to charge, try and repatriate David Hicks has been a cynical exercise coordinated by the US and Australian governments, due solely to the growing dis-ease within the Australian community about his lengthy incarceration in inhumane conditions. We are not meant to notice that there is a Federal election looming, that John Howard is lagging in the opinion polls, and that the Hicks affair has been a growing source of concern to many members of the voting public. Dream on, John Howard, dream on.