I have been convalescing lately and needed to keep myself occupied without any physical exertion. Daytime TV might have been an option but I opted instead to reduce my considerable stash of yarn accumulated over a lifetime of knitting. In recent years I have knitted a whole series of jumpers, mostly for others and there is always some, if not a lot of wool left over and there it sits, crammed into various corners of cupboards and wardrobes, wrapped in a variety of plastic bags, waiting for someone to come along and liberate it into something amazing. What to do with all these odds and ends? Well knit small items and in more than one colour! So it is that I have revised my skills with knitting in more than one colour at a time and rediscovering what fun it is to knit in the round. I have produced two hats, three pairs of mittens and two pairs of socks this year so far.
Here are my stash busting Easter socks – the pattern is the standard heel and gusset variety of sock with a design of my own. Knitted in double knit wool rather than ‘proper’ sock yarn so they are not meant for everyday wear but for special occasions – like Easter day!
I know that a lot of people would say, “Why go to all that effort to knit something that you can buy really cheaply in the shops?” Firstly there is nothing that can beat that feeling of soft comfort around your feet when you put on a pair of hand knitted socks. These particular socks are made of soft pure wool and they positively caress your feet. Secondly, you cannot buy socks with this design from shops. Thirdly, you cannot beat the magic of sock knitting. They don’t take very long – you can usually knit a pair on a bit of evening time only over a couple of weeks or sooner if you are a quick knitter. And then there is the alchemy of knitting in one direction and turning the heel so you are knitting in the other. So, I have now rediscovered the fun I first enjoyed as a teenager of knitting socks with any design I like and with something that fits really well to wear at the end. Nowadays there are real sock yarns that do clever things like ‘self stripe’! Looks like I will need to buy some new yarn to try that out – so as fast as I am knitting up my yarn stash, I will probably be acquiring more…
I never was much good at arithmetic – perhaps I should blame my knitting habit for that!
Ahoy there, shipmates! About every 3 years we follow some sort of theme during the summer in our church which enables us to combine our Sunday worship with the wider world. Previous themes have included Travels with St Paul in which we matched modern cities to the ones St Paul visited and thought about urban life, ideas, globalisation etc. We have also had as a theme The Elements in which we considered water, land, air and fire. This one paired up some famous Bible stories and current scientific knowledge about our universe. And so it was time for another theme and we have chosen The Sea which you may think is a bit perverse since here in Oxford is just about as far from the sea as you can get in Britain. It is for this very reason that we need to remind ourselves just how much we have relied on the seas and still do as a nation. Not surprisingly it is also a major feature of Bible imagery.
So from 30th June to 25th August this year we shall be engaging in a whole variety of sea inspired services and events. Sunday mornings we delve (or should I say ‘dive’) into some well known and lesser known sea passages in the Scriptures and as the weeks go by we shall be on a spiritual voyage from birth/baptism onwards as we sound the depths of human experiences in life and death and beyond.
Alongside Sunday mornings we have some sort of social gathering or event with nautical inspiration: a couple of film evenings, a boat trip, a visit to the dockyard museum in Portsmouth, a trip to the seaside and more.
In addition we have a couple of talks from those who have experience of sea going (a rower who took part in the Trireme reconstruction project and a former Royal Navy man on life in a submarine) and we have nominated a ‘Vessel of the Week’ in which we all think about its purpose and produce some material to make a display on our large back wall in church. If goes according to plan we will end up with an impressive and informative presentation of the many ways we rely on the sea. During the school summer holidays we are challenging our children to build a model ship for under £10 which will actually float…
If you would like to know more or you have clicked through from the parish website to find out what is happening this link will take you to the right place Summer Poster of events
I must move about more in my sleep than I imagine judging by the rapidity with which my pyjamas keep wearing out – mostly the waist band. So, as I was forced to abandon yet another pair last week I went online to see what might be on offer that was neither revealing lingerie which won’t keep a gnat warm on a frosty night and tacky pink – pink is simply so not my colour!
Before long I was surfing away down a list of possibles. There were a few false starts – a great red pair but not available in my size. Still after about 10 minutes or so I had located a reasonable combo of checked trousers with long sleeved dark grey top and nothing worse than ‘I love sleep’ as the legend across the front. I ordered them online in the afternoon and was impressed to find they had been delivered the very next morning.
Packaging with a punch
Now for the fun bit of unpacking them – The outer delivery wrapping was a large plastic pocket sealed with super glue but my brute strength helped me rip it open to reveal 2 cellophane packages within. I pulled the first one out to examine the stuck on printed label and check they had in theory sent the right size – and there in black and white (literally large thick black letters on the white sticky label) was written Size 16 Extra Large – what! Size 16 (which is my size) is ‘Extra Large’ are you kidding me?!
I may be carrying a bit of an extra tyre around the midriff these days but “Ten Ton Tess I am decidedly not and actually Size 16 is the ‘Average’ for an adult woman. OK my friends might quibble about how ‘adult’ they would describe me but full grown certainly. Who are these idiots? Should the brand name “Miss Fiori” have given me the clue that any customer over a Size 8 would be considered gross? Assuming just for a mad moment I really am the average size, I am left wondering where all those larger ladies buy their pyjamas – or maybe they just don’t bother.
Sweet Little Sixteen
So, have I now made a New Year’s Resolution to slim down to a Size 14 (presumably ‘Large’) or even a Size 12 (Medium)? Well no, actually. Even in my super fit days (ah yes, there was a time when I could describe myself as athletic and no-one would laugh) I was a well honed and toned Size 16 – I’ll hang on to my curves, thanks, and wait for the day when the fashion industry join the real world. So I am proud to be Size 16 and that’s how I intend to stay – maybe lose the spare tyre though?
After many miles and hours spent on the road or in church Christmas 2012 has begun well, the family greeted and some lovely presents received. All that remains now is to settle down for some time off. Today I have got to grips with a bit more on the website, including adding a suitable new Header for the site. In the first 4 days of 2013 I am planning to indulge myself by listening to the Radio, doing some work on my family history, reading recently acquired books and putting together the Veg Plan for the year ahead – assuming it has to stop raining eventually…So a quiet start to the New Year for me which is just what I need at this stage in proceedings. I shall though, toast in the New Year – so Happy 2013 everyone.
Friday is meant to be my one ‘day off’ but now and again something comes along which warrants attention. Yesterday I was invited to the Induction Mass for the newly arrived Roman Catholic Priest. Mercifully it had stopped belting down with rain and the 5º C temperature felt positively balmy after the recent freeze. The congregation was welcoming, there were many friends from our locality there and all the other churches in our ecumenical circuit were represented. The choir were in fine voice and so Fr Augustus was duly placed in office as parish priest and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for all our Catholic neighbours. It was one of those occasions when we were all reminded what we are really all about as followers of Jesus Christ – with the Eucharist at the heart of all our living and striving for justice and reconciliation. It was an encouraging event and I am glad I went
I am back in operation after a very busy few months and a bit more understanding about how these web sites are supposed to operate. So, after a bit of a makeover and some housekeeping I hope to be able to share more of my thoughts with the wider world on a regular basis.
But for now I must stop – time for tea and then a visit to our local Catholic Church. More news soon then…