Knitting Friday 5/9/14

Well, would you look at that, it’s Friday again.

There are two types of news – the banal stuff we can poke fun at, and then the stuff that matters. The stuff that matters is too violent, horrific and upsetting for Friday afternoon.

So instead we have Hello Kitty.

Not a cat. Apparently.

Why’s she in the headlines? Because apparently ‘Kitty’ isn’t a cat at all; she’s a human. That’s what her creators say.

Her fans were shocked; ‘What about her feline ears and her whiskers?’ they asked, desperately.

‘She walks around on two legs,’ was the response. I don’t know. Next they’ll be saying Miffy’s a squirrel and Big Ears is a paedophile.

Anyhow, I’d like to point out that that was a GLOBAL headline, and can officially state that the world genuinely does have NOTHING TO DO. Not only that, but an anthropologist is on the case. For some tricky jobs, that’s what you need. An anthropologist. I ought to know, I trained to be one. And was then unemployed. There was a survey of the top 25 most useless degrees. Sociology was in there, as predictably, were philosophy and psychology (the degree course to be seen in) but topping the bill, you guessed it. Anth.

Other ‘ists’ having a gay old time of it are geologists. They’ve been a bit worried about how some rocks have been moving about in America. See, if you’d worked a bit harder at school you could have been an academic and you could have studied this kind of thing. Wouldn’t that have been more fulfilling? Turns out for the rocks in Death Valley (nice) it gets a bit cold at night time and they slide about on ice a bit when the wind blows.

Well that’s that settled then.

Those are real attractive rocks right there.

Do you see what these are? They’re rocks with little crocheted coats on. To keep them warm, or trendy, or tidy. I have no idea. Why would you want to do such a thing? What’s wrong with au naturel? Clearly enough to make this weirdness necessary. Right.

Back to proper cats, and there’s a bank in Russia which is lending people cats as an incentive when they take out a mortgage. Having a cat at your housewarming party is consdered the thing to do. And if you spend too much time on the internet, you’ll know that Russians have a bit of a thing for using rugs like wallpaper as well. Well I suppose it does get a bit parky there and all.

cat

 

Never been a cat person. Never will be a cat person.

So yes, get a mortgage, borrow a cat. Nice. That’s not quite the thing round by me; cats are hooligans. If dogs, humans, or politicians had a poo on your doorstep you’d be in with a shout of getting them slapped with an ASBO, but no, cats are protected. They can desecrate the neighbourhood, murder small squeaky animals and no one is allowed to say anything. Perhaps that’s what the REAL work of the Cats’ Protection League is about. I always thought there was something sinister about them. Cats are like the neighbourhood mafia. Feed one and you’ll never have strange poo in your garden again, object to encouraging the blasted things, and they’ll be there with the golden rain among your tulips, cute little sparrows WITH NO HEADS, and Mr Whippy amongst your carrots.

Sport now. And total non-story of the week goes to Wozniacki after her hair got caught in her tennis racket but she still won anyway. Er right. When I was writing, stories had to pass the ‘so what?’ test. I don’t think this one does. I don’t get it.

 pink hairRemind you of anyone in particular?

Second best greyhound of the week? Well it’s a tie, see.

greyhound

And there we have it. At Christmas my darling Seón is going to look like an idiot. With antlers. Can’t wait.

Have a good weekend!

Genesis 21

The root of the name ‘Isaac’ means ‘laughing’; when Sarah first heard that she was to have a child in her old age, she laughed, but again when she gives birth to Isaac in this chapter she laughs again with the exuberance of one who watches God fulfil his promises. When God fulfils the promises he makes he does so literally, in a way that cannot be ignored, he fulfils them to the letter. And this provokes the believer to laughter in worship, jubilation and amazement, and sometimes just downright amusement that this is what God does. Following God should never be dull, and the closer one gets to God, the more fun and incredible it gets. And it’s even more incredible when the fulfilment comes 25 years after the initial promise as in this case.  Even more incredible still is the fact that this was another step closer to the birth of the Messiah, the promise of salvation to the world.

Already, by the time Isaac is weaned (probably around the age of two years), the dynamics between the future peoples the Jews (descended from Isaac) and the Arabs (descended at least in part) from Ishmael are established. There is jealousy of God’s blessing for Isaac, and Isaac’s position as the father of God’s chosen people.  It must be seen, however, that although Isaac was chosen, God didn’t abandon Ishmael, but rather ensured that he was provided for, and promised that he also would be the father of a great people. I always feel sorry for Hagar, her position came about as the result of the disobedience of another person. Abraham brought her out of Egypt, where it is likely he shouldn’t have been in the first place. He took his household there to escape famine rather than trusting in God, and came away with a maidservant. Later, at the urging of Sarah, he tried to engineer the fulfilment of God’s promise of a son – again a lapse in faith, judgment and obedience. And then after Hagar presents him with a son, she is sent away from her employer twice. God shows his faithfulness – she has nothing else to rely on, which is why in this chapter she abandons both herself and her son to death in the desert. God’s faithful, even when we’re not. I need to remember that more often.

Knitting Friday 15/8/14

Needed a break from Knitting Friday. Mainly because – have you any idea how depressing it is trawling through all the bad news to get to the decent stuff that you can really poke fun at?
Christians and Jews getting brutally murdered, people that you thought were nice getting arrested for serious nastiness, the world getting stupider and stupider. I’m ditching the BBC because it’s so depressing, especially when they don’t even try to hide their bias. I’m sticking with the loftier journalistic arts of the Daily Sport.

Oh wait, we can poke fun at the world getting stupider because it’s now too stupid to understand! Hurrah!

First up, my favourite. Education.

Apparently more people are going to university because more people are getting A*s. Right. So what’s happening?

  • People getting cleverer?
  • Education just getting into more trouble?

If people were genuinely getting cleverer – don’t you think we’d see more evidence of it elsewhere? That sounds reasonable. But instead, we get females (by definition can’t call them ladies) weeing in bus stops because they’re too drunk to find a toilet, social disintegration and everything that happens on the news. It’s not clever, people.

Neither is this:

 

It's not big and it's not clever people.
It’s not big and it’s not clever people.

See she looks scared and she’s the one wearing the thing.

In other news, an aeroplane made a bumpy landing. Why? Because the pilot’s hand fell off.

You couldn’t make it up, could you? What makes it even better is that the journalist decided to emphasise that the pilot was flying for a budget airline. Why would you do that? Because that’s what journalism is – it makes you think something without telling you to think it. Subconsciously you’re left with the thought that perhaps the budget airlines are more risky than the others if even their pilots fall apart. When actually it’s pretty inspiring that someone who loses a vital bit of kit is still able to do a very responsible and skilled job. It’s all in the angle, people.

Look at that crazy social juxtaposition - boy dressed as Biggles doing an almost-Nazi salute.
Look at that crazy social juxtaposition – boy dressed as Biggles doing an almost-Nazi salute.

What else has happened? Well there’s a rumour afoot that Kate has fallen out with the Queen. Conveniently forgetting that what she always wanted was to marry the king, it’s claimed that after all she wants a quieter life. Need to take the rough with the smooth, dearie. Stiff upper lip and crack on with it old girl.

Keep your pecker up.
Keep your pecker up.

For those of you who thought ‘side-boob’ was a case of mistakenly turning left instead of right, you may need a bit of help from Oxford. Yes, they’re collating weird bits of 2014 slang. Anthropologically it’s interesting to see where language is going – because where language shows where culture has already headed. So we have ‘adorbs’. Don’t like that one. Evokes a picture of people newly graced with A*s cooing over one of those fluffy dogs that yap.

dogI don’t get it.

But there are other things more edifying. There are neckbeards (self-explanatory) and humblebrag (ditto) and listicle. This requires explanation. I thought it was a testicle that was leaning somewhat, but apparently it’s an article driven by bulletpoints. Would never have guessed. I prefer my interpretation.

Over in America there was a bit of a drama as a rollercoaster stopped stranding two dozen people IN THE AIR for HOURS. Where’s an egg sandwich and a thermos of tea when you need one?

A spokesperson for the leisure company ha this to say: “While we are not yet sure what caused the stoppage, the ride performed as it is designed to.”

Right.

‘Performed as it was designed to.’ Like stopping in mid air and trapping people for hours? Do they not charge extra for that? I have no idea how much such a ride costs, because I don’t fancy risking being in THAT situation RIGHT THERE, however, let’s assume the average ride lasts about 4 minutes an costs £3. They were there for 4 hours. To my reckoning they need to be charged £180 for their rollercoaster experience.

cat

If you put ‘knitted rollercoaster’ into Google, you get a ginger tom. I think Google might be broken.

In other news; A three-year-old girl survived sleeping rough for 11 nights in a wolf- and bear- infested Siberian forest by cuddling her pet puppy – which then went for help and brought rescuers to find her. How heartwarming is that?

I don’t know about you, but these dog stories always seem to happen to other people (not that I’d like to be 3 years old and stranded in SIberia with my dog or anything). Sometimes I imagine myself with Seón in these situations. In each conclusion Sean sits quietly looking on vaguely puzzled as I die in horrible ways. He’s just not that kind of dog. As long as he has cheese, he is happy as a sandboy. His favourite person is the holder of the cheese. He may raise a quizzical eyebrow, he may not. He would probably end up getting a bit bored, and then wander off, trumping gently to himself.

Could have sworn that was that French geezer...
In case you missed him earlier…

And last but not least a small town in Minnesota has stuck two fingers up to party politics and elected a dog as town mayor. Nice job. That’s going to be free Bonios for every school child, I can see. That and a change in official greetings at the townhall. No more shaking hands. Yep. You know what I’m talking about.

And finally, second-best greyhound of the week goes to this chap:

greyhound

Doing what comes naturally.

Have a good weekend.

 

Sean the Dogg update 2

Sean’s been with us since March. He’s almost unrecognisable from the dog we picked up in Spring (partly because I have hoovered up most of his hair…)

I wished I’d made a note of the milestones he reached, from the first day.

Day 1 got us a junior level of stair mastery. Today we’re amazed at how quickly he’ll shoot to the top of the stairs and turn right (kind of like Zoolander, but more brown and white fur than ‘blue steel’! – Can’t seem to turn left though…) After two weeks we detected a slight twitch in the tail. After about 6 weeks we got a proper wag! Today not only do we get treated to a proper wag, but the tail is almost above horizontal and can smart a bit, if one stands in the wrong place!

Whereas initially Sean would flinch around flapping polythene, noisy cars and motorbikes, at the weekend he was able to go to the Balloon Fiesta and watch helicopters landing and taking off very close by. (Wasn’t massively keen on the Typhoon’s antics, though!)

Recently Sean’s been making some quite literal leaps and bounds. To start with, Sean seemed pretty ‘switched off’ with everything, didn’t know anything, and didn’t really do anything. He now is learning to understand English, and ‘walk’ usually prompts a response of leaping and making funny noises, shaking his head (‘You DON’T want to go for a walk?!) and almost-bows. These are becoming more pronounced every day. Sean was pretty passive in the beginning, quite happy to go for a long walk, but didn’t really get excited. Now he’s into everything – all must be sniffed, judged, and if necessary, weed on as well. As Sean would say ‘I like to leave things more fragrantly than I found them.’ Good one, Sean.

Greyhounds aren’t supposed to bark. Sean doesn’t know he’s a greyhound – so he doesn’t let that limit his vocal talents. We went to watch the Tour De France, and while staying with some very nice friends, he took woofing lessons from their beagle. Hmmm. Not sure that’s a good skill to have. He usually saves it for special occasions, like when he’s been on his own for a couple of hours and we’re a bit slow getting out of the car.

For the last few days he’s learned how to RIP THINGS UP. This is a favourite pastime. The toys we bought him when he arrived had been lying around his room forgotten until recently, and now they’re in the bin because there’s not much left of them. There’s also not much left of the recycling bin either, but that’s a different story. Sean’s favourite toy has always been the Kong ball because it has food in it. He’ll happily push it around until he’s got all the little biscuits out – and then promptly take the rest of the day off. This is more durable, and will not need replacing for a while.

During the hot weather Sean has enjoyed kicking back with an ice pop. He’s also started to strip off, and is shedding lots of hair EVERYWHERE. Although if the internet’s correct, that’s all fine, and he’s just losing his ‘kennel coat’. Whatever that is.

Sean loves food, and will do anything for it. He makes it quite clear that we are second-best to the kitchen. He learned to sit pretty quickly; and has also learned that if he sits and looks cute he’ll get unscheduled treats, and therefore tries it on most of the time. His favourite is dog-cheese. (That’s burger cheese that doesn’t unsettle his stomach – not cheese made out of dogs). He also likes a game of ‘bread hoop-la’. We through bits of bread and he tries (and frequently fails) to catch it in his mouth. We think he’s not so hot on this because he has a wonky eye (kind of like Jason Byrne’s ‘special eye’ – you might need to YouTube it!) and perhaps he doesn’t have depth of vision. Still, it entertains us, and as I explain to Sean several times a day – we have him to provide for us a steady stream of entertainment.

I can’t let Sean off the lead because when he’s not on the lead he goes completely deaf and can hear and understand no English. Like his name. That means we have to improvise. Sometimes when he’s excited, he’ll run up and down stairs. In athletics, that’s known as high intensity interval training (HIIT) – to everyone else, it’s getting puffed out in short bursts. We also go for a ‘nutter run’. That is, he decides he’s full of beans and need to run some off so we run with him on the lead. He looks OK, because he’s taking a leisurely canter; I look like a nutter because I’m trying to keep up.

When Sean’s not on the lead, his recognition of his name is excellent. As is his recognition of crackly bags – even if they’re upstairs. The fridge door opening provokes an immediate response and the jingling of collar tags can be heard in the distance as Sean comes to investigate. Sean has never been in the kitchen. He stands just outside; his special task is kitchen surveillance. This must be undertaken when ever any two-legs is in there. One never knows what might be the result. That is why as a wise dog, one must check.

Sean’s other role is court jester to the Foxy kingdom. This is why he is dressed up in a brown blanket to look like Yoda, or a black sock to look like Napoleon. With laundry, and a greyhound, the possibilities are endless.

Could have sworn that was that French geezer...
Could have sworn that was that French geezer…

Feel free to get your own! http://www.grwe.com have lots of dogs with huge personalities – and it’s a much more responsible thing to do than sourcing a puppy from a breeder.

 

 

Knitting Friday 30/5/14

Welcome to the Penny Memorial Edition of Knitting Friday.

Yep, she’s gone. We will grieve for a long time, but will also comfort ourselves with the thought of her swanning about in her perfect house, in the countryside, with bluebirds probably helping her do the dishes.

http://karahobbs.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/baby-bluebird.html
http://karahobbs.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/baby-bluebird.html

Unfortunately this one looks like it’s suffered a fatal abdominal wound. Sorry, Penny, you’ll have to just get a dishwasher like normal people.

Lots of non-news this week, you’ll be pleased to hear. Amongst all the international strife and crappity, there are a few inevitable little gems to savour.

The world is getting fatter. Who hadn’t worked that one out yet? Yep, we’re getting fatter. I suspect that it’s because nothing’s anyone’s fault any more, but maybe that’s just me turning into my gran. The cheek is that the media is now lambasting the heavy people, after years of saying it was the government’s fault. Hardly fair.

What’s REALLY unfair is that one of them led on the front page with ‘British girls the fattest in Europe’ under a picture of the queen who is reported as having been somewhere in a hat. Nice one, sub-editors. You must be proud. There’ll be a few people walking past thinking ‘Well, if SHE’S overweight…’ Leave the old lady alone, people.

http://blog.themakingspot.com/blog/free-pattern-knit-the-queen
http://blog.themakingspot.com/blog/free-pattern-knit-the-queen

Too late, she’s been knitted now.

In Peterborough, workers at the hospital are being trained to interact with obese patients by wearing a ‘fat suit’. Right. Quite surprised that it’s still ok for the BBC to use the word ‘fat’. That’s probably the most newsworthy part of the story. Unfortunately there are no pictures to show what the fat suit looks like.

I’ve added my own:

http://mochimochiland.com/2013/01/jumbo-sumo/
http://mochimochiland.com/2013/01/jumbo-sumo/

The BBC’s just come up with another shocker as well – dementia sufferers ‘don’t feel any different’. That might be something to do with their not having the magical powers to shapeshift into another species, or have a penchant for going to illegal raves and popping little white things. Could it be they’re actually normal people? Well that’s a conversation killer right there.

What do you get if you search ‘knitted dementia’? This:

http://www.craftsinstitute.com/knitting/features/events/expressions-charity-art-event.aspx
http://www.craftsinstitute.com/knitting/features/events/expressions-charity-art-event.aspx

Knitted green things that look a little bit like piles…

 

Daft question of the week award goes to ‘Can the tobacco industry shed its ‘toxic brand’?’ Er, really?

Yeah, maybe start selling melons or something. That’d work.

Nadine Dorries has challenged David Cameron to knowing the price of milk. The BBC asks ‘is it important?’ I’d say yes, if you need milk and you’ve lost your wallet so you’re stuck with the change down the back of the sofa. Who hasn’t been there? So does Dave know what the price of milk is? I’m sure he’s been briefed by one of his SPADs by now.

And in other news, Kate and Wills drink some whiskey. Wow. Is anyone else underwhelmed by that?

Incidentally, in the Fox household, Seón has nailed the ‘sit’. It’s widely known that greyhounds ‘don’t do sit’. Well Seón is a secret sitter and often does it when he’s deciding what to do next, or when he thinks we can’t see. He now sits before anything good happens, like food. Or walks. Next is ‘lie down’. That shouldn’t be too hard for a greyhound. And after that a little manoevre called ‘doing the dishes’. Penny might have all the bluebirds, but I’ve got man’s best friend.

Moving swiftly onto second best greyhound of the week.

Prize goes to:

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/31/nex-contest-is-a-real-howl/
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/oct/31/nex-contest-is-a-real-howl/

‘I look stupid, don’t I?’

‘Yes, yes you do.’

Have a good weekend!

Knitting Friday 16/5/14

2014 has been progressively more and more full of horribility. It’s becoming harder to find things I can poke fun at. But hey, there’s always the BBC. And Google.

So, what’s been happening through the square window this week?

Well Google has been ordered by some European people to ‘forget’ some stuff. On the one hand it’s encouraging that not all big data can come back and bite one on the arse, but on the other hand, who’s been asking? Well for this latest ruling we have to thank a politician and a paedophile. Both want their dirty deeds removing. Well that’s just great; both unlikely quarters for doing the public a service, if it counts as that. I’d settle for that nasty picture of me being removed that looks like Miss Piggy on ‘roids.

 

http://flavorwire.com/343952/wanted-knitted-hats-inspired-by-the-muppets
http://flavorwire.com/343952/wanted-knitted-hats-inspired-by-the-muppets

 

In other news, the sun’s come out. What does that mean for Knitting Friday? Well it means that the BBC has to find a negative spin on it. Hmm, global warming is now pretty much debunked, what else can be done? Well there’s that walkie talkie building which last year was castigated for melting people’s sports cars. It’s still doing it, so they’ve decided to give it a sunshade. Not really newsworthy, but I’m trying to distract you from the horrors of Syria.

 

http://girlabouttech.com/2012/05/11/cath-kidston-knitted-radio-tea-cosy/
http://girlabouttech.com/2012/05/11/cath-kidston-knitted-radio-tea-cosy/

 

An American has apparently peed off the world’s luckiest man. This is the chap who escaped several transport related mishaps including buses, planes and cars, lived to tell the tale and then won the lottery. The American chap has annoyed him by getting the moustache wrong and the accidents mixed up. Mr American is keen to redress the balance, but reading between the lines, perhaps lucky boy just wants to see some of the wonga. And fair enough.

 

 

http://www.maxsworld.co.uk/product/i-knit-therefore-i-am-greeting-card/
http://www.maxsworld.co.uk/product/i-knit-therefore-i-am-greeting-card/

And there we have it. World premiere of ‘octotache’. Oh yes.

 

This week the award for the shortest news story goes to the one about the cat that saved the boy from being attacked by a dog. Yep, that’s the long and short of it.

Do kids learn to read any more? Because that sounds a bit like a b-rated episode from the Village with Three Corners starring Roger Red-Hat and Jennifer Yellow-Hat et al. I can just see it now:

Rip is Roger’s dog(that’s a direct quote from 30 years ago, people).

Look out Billy Blue-Hat, Rip has rabies. (OK, I made that up).

‘Help, Help!’ shouts Billy.

Jennifer Yellow-Hat cannot hear Billy. Jennifer is playing on her iPad and cannot concentrate on two things at once.

What’s this?

Look! Billy’s cat has been practising ninja warcraft.

Well done, Mog! Mog has killed Rip using only a shoe and a paper clip.

Die, Rip!

Oh look, Rip is dead.

 

Roger dog Billy

 

 

cat

 

And the prize for the most identity-confused greyhound goes to:

pony

You’re mean, people. Real mean.

Have a good weekend.

Knitting Friday 2/5/14

You know it’s not an auspicious week when there’s a rotting whale threatening to explode. Always a bummer. Apparently every now and then a dead whale will float past the community of Trout River in Newfoundland. However, this one’s parked up and has been there for a week, rotting away.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my whales white, knitted and with rabbits on.

http://polarbearstale.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/arcticknitted.html
http://polarbearstale.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/arcticknitted.html

 

Remember last week I was moaning that the world is getting stupider and stupider? (Actually, I think I’ve done that most weeks). Well thanks current academics with too much time on their hands, I think we’re closer to discovering why.

We don’t walk enough.

Yup.

If we did more pointless walking, we’d be better rounded individuals. That sounds ridiculous, but I think the profs might have something right there.

People generally fill their time with technological crap. You wait for something or someone, what do you do? Play with your phone.

Someone receives a text, what do you do? Check to see if you’ve missed anything.

Got a spare few minutes? Find out what inane and pointless crap your friends have been getting up to on Facebook.

Why? Because we have been dumbed down so much we have no confidence in just being by ourselves. Just being in our own company is unbearable. Why? Because a) we’re not used to it and b) we might find that we start pondering stuff. You know thinking about important existential stuff rather than daily tosh that gets in the way of real life like ‘I must remember to fill up the car on the way home’ or ‘I wonder if husband has put the dinner on’ or ‘I really ought to stop having unnatural expectations of my spouse.’

So there’s the challenge. Over the weekend, just go for a walk. And here’s the novel thing; when your spouse says: ‘Where are you going?’ and you reply: ‘Out’ that’s really OK, and probably the first time you’ve gone for a pointless walk without having the hump with someone. Hey, it might be a whole new habit.

Or it might be as boring as crap, and not a patch on Candy Crush Saga.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/295689531755585775/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/295689531755585775/

In other news, the EU has banned the import of Indian mangoes. Because they have foreign flies on them. Mr Farage should be able to get some really decent material out of that little episode.

http://woolandwalkingintheapennines.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/fruit-picking-and-knitting.html
http://woolandwalkingintheapennines.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/fruit-picking-and-knitting.html

Disappointing headline of the week is an honour held by the BBC with: ‘Ukraine crisis: meeting the little green men’. Well naturally that conjures up mental pictures of:

http://blog.shopmartingale.com/crochet-knitting/one-girl-one-book-18-adorable-crocheted-softies/
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/crochet-knitting/one-girl-one-book-18-adorable-crocheted-softies/

Or even:

http://creepbay.com/knitted-alien-autopsy-the-truth-is-in-there-in-his-guts/
http://creepbay.com/knitted-alien-autopsy-the-truth-is-in-there-in-his-guts/

But it turned out to be a BBC sub-editor trying to sex up something that we already suspected – some of the heavies going into the Ukraine probably aren’t local. And they wear green camouflage. Well thanks for that BBC.

Over in America, Bill Clinton has voiced his frustration at the difficulty of reaching world peace, and with exasperation similar to a jaded mother with squabbling 7-year-olds carelessly (well, I HOPE it was carelessly) said something along the lines of: ‘Well if some aliens show up, you’ll just to darn well get along, y’all.’

Does he know something we don’t?

Probably. And it’s probably not what you think.

For my part, I never trust a man who disputes the meaning of a modal verb. Sorry, but there it is.

http://walyou.com/star-trek-amigurumi/
http://walyou.com/star-trek-amigurumi/

And would you look at that; I love predictive text. ‘Bill Clinton’ comes out as ‘Bill Klingon’. I bet there’s someone somewhere reckoning he’s a reptilian or something.

As Ukraine gets its ‘little green men’ (yeah, whatever), Sinn Fein is claiming it’s seeing the dark side of the police. I’ll just ignore the irony there. of course little green men in Ireland are just that little bit different.

http://mochimochiland.com/2011/03/tiny-leprechaun/
http://mochimochiland.com/2011/03/tiny-leprechaun/

I don’t know about you, but I think the Putin guys are much scarier.

Oh whoops, did I give the game away?

And what you’ve all clearly been waiting for:

Greyhound of the week:

Sean

Seón Wesley Fox wearing his socks. Because it was cold.

Seriously, you people need to get one of these little chaps.

Have a good weekend.

Knitting Friday – 25/4/14

And again it’s a been a week of horribility. If that’s a word. However, in between the mothers murdering their kids, anti-Semitism in the Ukraine, and paedophilia, there are a few little gems of daftness.

Here’s a good one; if you haven’t seen a really decent headline since the one about the badgers in the back of Kelly Brook’s brother’s van, you might appreciate this gem of a BBC headline: ‘Are gardeners wrong to put crocks in plant pots?’ Now there’s a question and a half.

While training as a journalist, it was drilled in to me that every headline, and every story had to pass the ‘so what?’ test. Nice to see that the BBC haven’t quite got there yet. Are gardeners wrong to put crocks in plant pots? Who cares, mate.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/30273/10-clever-and-creative-crochet-creations
http://mentalfloss.com/article/30273/10-clever-and-creative-crochet-creations

 

In other news, Top Gear has admitted to staging traffic jams for entertainment. Surely not, you think. Top Gear has always been a realistic and trusted auto magazine show. It’s the first stop when researching one’s next car. Staged?  Surely they wouldn’t stage the big stuff as well, like erm, building a bridge over the River Quai only to find they’d built it over the River Cock by mistake?

http://myknittingbasket.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/stig.html
http://myknittingbasket.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/stig.html

Whatever next? They’ll be saying that there’s more than one Stig. I mean, really.

 

Sports now, and Andy Murray has been given an honorary what-not from Stirling university, that’ll look nice on the mantelpiece with his other honorary what-nots. So what’s the deal? Why do inappropriate people get given doctorates and the like without having to do any work? (Remember that footballer who got a doctorate for having a heart attack on the pitch?!) Well what happens, is the universities get near the end of the academic year, and they know they have a graduation ceremony coming up – and they need to get someone to deliver a speech at it, for free. What do they do? Payment in kind. Get a celebrity, give him a doctorate, and his ego will be so coddled, he’ll say all the right stuff.

Cynical? Me? Heaven forbid.

http://www.waikato.ac.nz/news-events/media/2011/11giant-knitted-periodic-table-to-be-unveiled-at-waikato.shtml
http://www.waikato.ac.nz/news-events/media/2011/11giant-knitted-periodic-table-to-be-unveiled-at-waikato.shtml

This is a knitted periodical table of the elements. Humanity is getting stupider and stupider. Within a couple of generations, no one will know what the hell a periodic table is.

 

It’s also been a good week for research into the blindingly obvious. Oh hurrah for dumbing down and academic thickity. This is so brilliant, I have to quote a whole chunk of it:

‘The study, funded by the Department of Health, looked at many different factors which have an impact on children’s happiness or how much they worry. It found that seven-year-old children were happiest when they got on well with siblings, had fun with family members at weekends and had parents who did not shout or smack them.’

Hurrah for the Department of Health. You know what makes seven-year-olds even happier? Candy floss for breakfast and saying ‘poo’ and getting away with it.

https://www.etsy.com/market/scat
https://www.etsy.com/market/scat

 

Last but not least; the Cornish are being granted their own minority status. Nice. Not only do they have the best food (ice cream and pasties) in the British Isles, but now they are officially allowed a complex. I have to say though that as minorities go, in Britain, the left-handed people get the worst deal and are discriminated against every time they pick up a telephone, flush a loo or write something down. Ever wondered where the word ‘sinister’ comes from? Left-handed people, that’s where. The only minority in Britain that gets almost as rough a deal is ginger people. And if you’re leftie AND ginger, well. Can’t even begin to imagine the huge chips on shoulders developing right there.

http://www.redheadconvention.com/product/hand-knitted-ginger-beard/
http://www.redheadconvention.com/product/hand-knitted-ginger-beard/

Incidentally this is brilliant – buy a ginger beard to benefit Irish people with cancer. Go to this link: http://www.redheadconvention.com/product/hand-knitted-ginger-beard/

Now Irish people. There’s a minority…

 

And finally…

Second best greyhound of the week:

http://www.bestinshowbooks.com/more-utility-dogs/
http://www.bestinshowbooks.com/more-utility-dogs/

Spit of my little Seón, don’t you think?

Have a good weekend.

 

 

The first two days of the rest of Sean’s life

Thanks to GRWE for allowing me to adopt this handsome chap:

IMAG0031

Beautiful, isn’t he? This is what you get when you say ‘I’d like a nice shiny black greyhound, please.’ Yep, white with splotches! Still, he’s the most good-looking of our household, as most people who bump into us in the street seem to agree.

Husband seems to have been quickly won over – he bought him a Roberts radio to listen to while he’s supposed to be asleep!

Typically with greyhounds, we had to teach ‘stairs’. For a while he wasn’t sure.
Stairs

Then he had a bit of a think about it…

IMAG0027

And then a change of heart.
IMAG0028

But we did get there eventually. Going down is always harder than going up.

IMAG0029

The whole process took quite a while!IMAG0030One thing he is particularly good at is spying on us…
IMAG0032

And sometimes sticks a cheeky head up.

IMAG0033 He’s had a few new experiences, and particularly enjoys watching people walking in the street.

IMAG0034 We’ve taken him to our cycling studio to get him used to new sights and sounds – particularly the ‘banging tunes’ favoured by some of our instructors!IMAG0035 He’s had a good wander round.IMAG0036 Can you see him?IMAG0037

The mirror seemed a particular attraction. We’ve left the nose-prints on it!

IMAG0038

Is it possible to get a large greyhound comfortably into the back of a smart car? Yes it is!

IMAG0040

And here he is, yesterday he couldn’t ‘do’ stairs, and now he’s been up to the top of Brean Down and back down again without a sniff! What a chap!IMAG0045

 

Huge HUGE thanks to GRWE; this is going to be lots of fun. xxxxxxx

PS: If your life isn’t complete without a greyhound (and no, it isn’t) get in touch with GRWE here: http://www.grwe.com/ or on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/GRWEGreyhoundRescue

 

 

 

Knitting Friday – 11/4/14

It’s been a bit of a rubbish week news-wise, lots of not very nice things that I’m just not going to poke fun at. However, there’s always politicians, and people with egos.

And there you go, Russia’s still bubbling away. There’s a pretty piece of chaos right there – Ukraine’s energy bills have rocketed (nothing the rest of us aren’t used to), and because their cashflow is a bit, well, you know, Russia’s going to turn the gas tap off. The tricky thin right there, even if you have no affinity with Ukraine at all, is that much of Europe’s gas comes from that there pipe. You know what you need? Another jumper.

Yes you do.

http://www.etsy.com/market/iggy_sweater

In other news, Maria Miller, haver having been busted ages ago for being corrupt, has now resigned. I love the way she did it, kind of humble, and yet really really not. She came out with all the expected (and indeed, required) clichés which was the humble part, and then came out with her reason for resigning was because all the fuss being made was distracting her and the rest of the government from doing things. Right. So being corrupt is only a problem when people won’t stop talking loudly about it? There was nothing there about ‘Really sorry folks, I tried to get one over on you taxpayers, but fair cop, you caught me.’ Or ‘I will never sponge off the state again because I value my electorate, and if they can’t trust me not to pilfer, how can they trust me to do my job honourably?’ No, just the same old tosh.

David Cameron though, being the gentleman he is, swiftly distracted media attention by having a pop at UKIP. The liberal media loves a bit of UKIP bashing, and was as easily distracted as an over-amorous dog by the trajectory of a sausage tossed to prevent needless violation of one’s trouser leg. So apparently UKIP are a bit rubbish because they don’t bother to vote in the European parliament. Frankly I was surprised that they even turned up considering they’re so negative about Europe it’s a wonder they don’t take a leaf out of the Palestinians’ book and claim it doesn’t exist.

Confused about Europe, and not sure where your political views should lie? Here’s a handy ready-reckoner for (almost) all things European:

Good

Bad
Pretzels Squattie toilets
Pizza Silly laws
Tortillas Euros
Battenburg cake – oh yes! Ganging up on Jews
Dvorak Grappa
European cars Polenta
Olives

Red denim

That settles that, then.

Moomins. There’s another great thing about Europe. See, Europe’s certainly got it’s place, but Belgium should stick to making chocolate, not laws.

Incidentally, as a tip for determining a media outlets bias – just look at the way leading figures are portrayed – Ed Milliband, often portrayed as a bit cross, but essentially quite normal. Nigel Farage? Always drinking beer. What does that say? Either that he’s always drinking beer, or some sub-editors have been a bit cheeky. If he drank as much beer as he appears to in the media, he’d be at least three times his size.

And headline of the week goes to…

the BBC for

What’s lurking inside the Bank of England’s vaults?

Always be a bit careful of asking a question in the headline. It’s always a bit dodge.

Q What’s lurking inside the Bank of England’s vaults?

A Hopefully a huge wodge of cold hard cash. Yeah, and gold. Lots of gold.

I mean if even the BoE hasn’t got any money, we’re stuffed.

And here’s the shark of the week:

http://romprescue.com/2013/10/italian-greyhound-halloween-costumes/

You know how I found this pic? By searching ‘greyhound dressed as shark’. Don’t you just love Google?

Noticed a bit of a greyhound theme?

There’ll be a reason for that. More next week.

Knitting Friday 28/3/14

It’s a Scandinavian special this week:

Well it’s all kicking off in Sweden after a family found a GIANT RAT in their kitchen. Apparently it was so big the cat moved out (not exaggerating – however, if you’ve seen pictures of the cat, it did look a bit of a wimp).

Yep, apparently that’s what they look like inside. I don’t know, I was a conscientious objector and so didn’t have to cut one up.

It was a good day for journalistic bingo as the BBC writer managed to get ‘Swedish smorgasbord’ into the text. Nice job. Probably been waiting for that one for years. He also mentioned that the rat (dubbed ‘Ratzilla’, of course) was feasting on leftovers under the sink. Yeah, cos that’s where I keep my leftovers too. Maybe that’s normal for Sweden.

A Norwegian chap has been reunited with his £65,000 boat in Sweden after he had apparently forgotten about it. He’d left the keys to it tied to a railing and the log book inside. Eventually the marina management set up a Facebook appeal to try to track down the owner. In his defence he said he thought he’d sold it. I think I’d probably notice the extra wad of cash had I the fortune to sell a luxury boat. Still, ignorance is no defence, and he has to pay the overdue mooring fees.

http://www.naturalsuburbia.com/2011/07/boat-knitting-pattern-tutorial.html

I don’t know about you, but I’m always pretty chuffed when I find a sweet I didn’t know I had in my coat pocket.

 

Over in Harrogate (not quite Scandinavia, but it does have real, live Vikings in it), they’re getting ready to welcome the Tour de France. Because HURRAH! the Tour is coming to God’s own county. How do they prepare for such an event? By drinking tea and knitting teeny tiny cycling jerseys to use as bunting, of course!

Tour de Yorkshire knitted bunting Harrogate

Saw some of these at the London Bike Show and wasn’t at all surprised that the Yorkists are behind the plot. What could be more perfect than knitting, cycling and Yorkshire being involved in the same story? Nothing I tell you. Nothing. Unless of course there was a knitted shark in there as well.

You’ll just have to wait for that. It’s not Time. Yet.

 

Sports now. Apparently Roy Keane got nobbled by Stephen Ireland’s granny who tried to persuade him to select Ireland to play again. Normally all that stuff would be dull as an evening listening to my dad explain the fracking process after he’s had a few. But the granny in question is significant because Stephen Ireland claimed she was dead in a ploy to get out of playing. When challenged, as inevitably he would be considering what he gets paid and for what, he claimed they’d got the wrong granny and that it was his other one. The tabloids did the tiniest bit of research (probably just by having a quick look in the phone book) and found she wasn’t dead either, and so Ireland got busted a second time. Then he said something along the lines of: ‘Oh sorry, did you think I said ‘”My granny is dead”? No what I said was “My girlfriend has had a miscarriage”.’ Doesn’t even rhyme, Steve. Whether she had or not, I don’t know, but if ever he came up with another excuse for getting out of doing something the involved the death of a family member, I’d probably just ring up the Sun to check.

This does of course raise a couple of points:

  1. There doesn’t appear to be a point where a particular type of person would think ‘I get paid so much I don’t even NEED to screw over my employer.’
  2. Footballers really aren’t very clever. Maybe don’t lie to the media, chaps, they bear a grudge for an awful long time and have more power than anyone else to make you look like a complete twit. Forever.

Baby Football Hat, Football Beanie, Football Hat, Baby Football Beanie, Customizable Team Colors Baby Knitted Football Hat with Ear Flaps

Don’t know about you, but I’d be a bit cautious about letting my child wear something that makes its head look like something one would kick.

 

Talking of headwear. Over in North Korea, Kim Jong Un certainly doesn’t disappoint. You probably aren’t aware (why would you?) that in NK there are 18 approved hair-dos for women and 10 for men. That’s all very well for those who are capable of a hair-do. Some of us just have to muddle along the best we can with what we have. The most recent trichological titbit is that KJU has decided that male students must emulate their leader by aping his hairstyle. If you’re struggling to conjure up in your mind what that looks like, Ed Balls has exactly the same ‘do. Read into that what one will.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15874250

OK you can’t see his hair, but this picture shows the preponderance of dominant personages being knitted. Yep. Still no Ed Balls.

http://www.deardictators.com/kim-jong-un-knit-golf-headcover/

So it’s not knitted, but hey, it gives a great view of the ‘do.

 

 

There have been a few ‘fatness’ stories in the news this week too. Apparently ‘overweight’ is the new ‘normal’. Looks like I’ll never be short of work then.

Is anyone else concerned that this book ever got to press? Political correctness is a bit different in America. Canada’s even more interesting, apparently saying the word ‘retard’ doesn’t get you sacked there.

Another interesting story is how to fool kids into eating vegetables. Now telling them to eat their sprout or they don’t get pudding/treat etc apparently is unethical and infringes a child’s human rights. No, instead you have to FOOL them into eating veggies. How? Well, according to the BBC you have to sneak up to them when they’re monging out in front of the TV (no commentary is expended on how they could be employing themselves more beneficially) and slip them a bowl of peas. And then not talk about it. Mind games? Oh yes. But that seems to be all above-board.

https://www.henandhammock.co.uk/products/product_detail.aspx?209,0,0,0,0

Mind games, eh? Let’s see about that. I’ve got a better idea. It’s like this:

‘Ma, what’s that?’

‘It’s an aubergine, darling. Would you like me to buy you some sweets?’

‘What’s an aubergine?’

‘Never mind.’

‘Can I have one?’

‘No you may not. You’re far too young.’

I WANT an aubergine!

‘Alright, but don’t tell your father.’

Job done.

 

And now, what you’ve been scrolling down for (I know it):

Pug in a shark hat. You DESERVE that. Have a good weekend, you nutters.

Knitting Friday 21/3/14

It’s not been a great week for finding big stuff. The people who lost the Boeing 777 with loads of people in it still can’t find it. Unfortunately that’s pretty sinister.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/76415275/hand-knit-c130-hercules-plane-toy-model

But then so is losing stuff BECAUSE you just tidied up. I try not to do that too often, partly because remembering where one put things keeps one’s mind active, and partly because if I spend a quarter of my life sleeping, 16 years being ‘educated’, 1 year queuing for stuff and probably about half of my life waiting for my inbox to finish refreshing, I want to minimise the time spent doing daft pointless things like tidying up and retrieving teatowels from wherever hubby has left them (often the garage, inexplicably).

Interestingly when I lived near Padua, I was told that not only was San Antonio the patron saint of Padua he was also the patron saint of lost things (kind of like Bagpuss, but catholic) and also car crashes. Not sure what the connection is there. He’s not doing a great job with the aeroplane, mind.

In other news, people with pension pots are going to be allowed to use them for whatever they like. Even if it’s a Lamborghini. That’s great, when I retire from the NHS at 74 years old, that’ll be the first thing I’ll buy with my £2.95 a month pension. The Lamborghini comment from Steve Webb got the media predictably excited; here was a comment falling into their laps that they could get all hoity-toity and self-righteous about. That’s great. Apparently it’s not just 8 year olds that struggle with sarcasm, the left-wing media has got a bit of a problem with it too. Poor loves.

http://mspremiseconclusion.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/crafts-in-space/

Scratch that, I’ll have a space ship instead.

In other news, Kelly Brook’s boyfriend crashes van full of dead badgers. I have no idea why.

http://www.misi.co.uk/gifts/60420/Brompton_Badger_toy_knitting_pattern.html

This is the cutest one.

http://littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk/my_weblog/2008/09/wildlife.html

Yet this is probably more accurate – lots of disembodied badger heads.

And then of course there’s this:

http://www.futurecomps.co.uk/SKM86.xword/

KNIT YOUR OWN ROADKILL! Yes!

And of course, this is what you’re really reading this for:

https://twitter.com/plutoniummuffin/status/307910190517342210

What’s better than a knitted shark eating a child?

A cat dressed as a shark. Oh yes.

Have a good week.

 

Knitting Friday 14/3/14

It’s been a good week for moomins. This year Finland (and everywhere else) celebrates the 100th birthday of the moomins’ creator, Tove Jansson. And for those of you who weren’t freaked out the tiniest bit by Little My, here she is in all her knitted glory:

http://www.etsy.com/market/moomin
http://www.etsy.com/market/moomin

Yep. Still scary.

It’s been slightly tougher for Boz Johnson. He’s trying to drum up a bit of support for tech start-ups in London’s Tech City (dodgy-looking roundabout with ugly buildings, clearly in need of a hefty dose of gentrification – or a wrecking ball). The upshot of it seems to be, unless you can chuck a massive wad of cash at it, people will probably go elsewhere – there’s NOTHING worth looking at as one stares out of one’s window in search of inspiration, technical or otherwise. Oh yes, and the US stock exchange is a bit friendlier for a flotation too. Follow the cash people…

 

http://www.simplyknitting.co.uk/
http://www.simplyknitting.co.uk/

Was pretty confident that someone somewhere had found the time and the inclination simultaneously to crochet BJ. (Unfortunate initials right there. No elaborating, so don’t ask.)

In other news, Ed Balls sets is sights at the big job at the exchequer by ‘modestly’ saying something along the lines of feeling ‘daunted by the task.’ You should be, Mr Balls, you should be. There was clearly an angling here for a ‘No, you’ll be fabulous, Mr Balls’. Angle away mate. Nothing doing. But have one of these, it might help:

http://geekcrafts.com/176-knitted-calculator/

And here’s a surprise; no one’s knitted an Ed Balls yet. Not even a rubbish one. And there we have it – true social acceptance is found in the fashioning of a woollen commemorative effigy by complete strangers. Nothing doing here either. In your dreams.

Another way of achieving National Treasure status is by appearing in the Archers. Bradley Wiggins has achieved this honour. He has also received the honour of being eternally enshrined in knitting:

http://www.thediyadventures.com/2012/08/13/knit-your-own-usain-bolt/

Sideburns and everything. That’s art that is. Once you’ve achieved these dizzy heights of national and international recognition and adulation – where else is there to go? I have no idea.

It’s not been a great week for the Anglican Church, as my ageing parents have scooped the BBC, but never mind; the BBC has now caught up and run an article on ‘chancel repair liability’. If you were under the impression that the Anglican Church is a Christian organisation, you might want to reconsider. A year or so ago, my papa who was church treasurer at the time (tiny village in Staffordshire, a lot like Dibley) was told by the diocese that if the diocese may make claims on relevant residents in the village to pay for repairs to the church chancel (regardless of whether the residents attend the church, or are Christian) due to a medieval law. Already some people have come a cropper, one couple lost £250,000 by being screwed over. My pops was a bit uncomfortable about bankrupting old ladies so he ditched the church. But now the BBC is talking about it – better late than never.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-20178073

What would Jesus do? He’d suggest if it’s a knitted church, you’re probably OK. Better yet, get a church that doesn’t screw people over, have walls, ceilings, collections, roof funds, or dodgy politics. That’s why he wasn’t very popular.

What else has the BBC been up to?

Well every now and then, something comes up that you just KNOW a sub-editor has been waiting years for. And here we have it. As Pope Francis reaches his first year of international go-getting, meeting and greeting, and redefining catholicism to the point that the poor catholics don’t really know what to do with themselves any more, we get THIS headline.

TOP OF THE POPES

Oh yes. I know that moment when your years of waiting to use the PERFECT headline is over. You have stumbled across a genius headline and you know only need to bide your time while planetary forces conspire to bring the ideal news even tumbling into your lap like a randy salmon. Success and global acclaim is assured. You see your treasured headline in print, you overhear people dissing your cheap pun on the train on the way to work. And you know you have ARRIVED.

Go then. Have a knitted pope.

http://theworldofkitsch.com/worldofkitsch/knitler-the-knitted-hitler-chum

OK he’s not the pope, but he’s the closest I could get. Yep that’s right. It’s Knitler.

Talking of wanton violence, apparently Eric Cantona has been charged with ‘common assault’. He’s an ex-footballer; would he be capable of any other type of assault?

 

And finally, in a story to warm the cockles of your heart (yes every heart has them, they’re not to be confused with the Purkinje fibres or the Bundle of His), a schoolboy has pointed out a grammatical error on a carton of orange juice and Tesco has changed the packaging in response. If I had children, THAT would be my child. And I thought schools were teaching the nation’s children a load of balls (sorry Ed). Makes a change from the ‘full-stops and capital letters’ grammar I got stuck with. If I didn’t know the country’s going to the dogs, I’d wonder if it wasn’t. But it is, so I don’t. I’ll just sit here and self-righteously poke textile fun at it while it does.

OK OK, here it is. You haven’t read any of the above, you’re just waiting for the shark of the week:

http://www.knittingninja.com/patterns/shark-hat/

I don’t know about you, but the kid is more freaky than the shark. Wowsers, some people have to babysit stuff like that. I’d rather paddle a meat-scented lilo in a tank of discerning sharks who realise it’s a while since they last had a vegetarian.

Have a good weekend.

 

 

Knitting Friday 7/3/14

Wowsers, it’s another Friday. Or it should be when you read this, if you’re not being really keen.

Pancake day’s normally a non-event in the Fox household as every Sunday morning is pancake day. But would you look at that? Those wonderful knitters and crocheters of Google have obliged with a calorie free version:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/crochetandknitcorner/pool/page5/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/crochetandknitcorner/pool/page5/

Bit of a waste of banana, I feel, would be better employed on a pizza, but never mind. There’s nothing quite like brown sugar and plenty of orange juice with a nice fat blintz…

In less edible news, there are threats to close BBC Three. Not a huge loss, I have to assume. After all there are so many places you can get your fill of unfunny jokes. Knitting Friday springs to mind. And you know what? It doesn’t take a gimungous amount of taxpayer cash to generate round about the same quantity of predictable jibes and sarcastic wittering. Take note, BBC! Austerity? Don’t worry about it – got it covered! I can be as unfunny as you any day. And I’m not dependent on a cappucino (or anything rather more exciting) to achieve it.

http://collaborationforthewin.wordpress.com/page/3/

Also going on, an effort to reverse the trend of prepubescent youngsters being taken in by Adobe Photoshop (and why wouldn’t they be?!) Instead of the impossibly leggy Barbie, we are being introduced to ‘Lammily’. She is an American doll based on the average dimensions of American 19 year olds. Looks far healthier and much nicer than Barbie – although Barbie’s ankles are much nicer. Still you can’t have everything. Having said that, aren’t dolls supposed to be freaky? I mean looks at these chicks:

http://www.beadsky.com/nelly_borgelt.php

If anyone dressed like that was clocked skulking by the school gates, I’d probably call the police.

http://byhookbyhand.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/knitted-dolls-by-fiona-mcdonald.html

That one also is disturbing, would probably sleep with the light on, just in case.

This one’s the best – looks like the odd lady from Dragon’s Den:

http://www.etsy.com/market/knitted_doll_pattern

In other news, a lady whose husband sadly died, has won the legal fight to keep his sperm frozen. She was up against the authorities who were threatening to chuck it out. They are now appealing. Why? I don’t get it. What’s the big deal about sperm?

http://www.instructables.com/id/Sperm/

Oh, OK. Now I see it in it’s crocheted form, I entirely get why sperm is a big deal.

Is anyone else wondering why crochet sperm is on Google? What is particularly interesting is that Google has a particularly high sperm count. When we run out of sloths, we might need to have sperm corner instead.

On a similar subject; Nicholas Sarkozy ex-president of France and his lady wife are embroiled in scandal. Nope this time, instead of a truly French affair, Sarkozy has taken a leaf out of Mr Nobama’s book and been recorded dissing various people, like his staff, and his colleagues. And they’ve been recorded dissing him and his Mrs. Must be annoying to be involved in such a non-titillating scandal. Monsiuer Sarkozy, this is how the rest of us have to do it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15874250

Yep, that’s Mr Sarkozy in the background, scandalling after Frau Merkel.

Education now, and if you thought you were booked onto a course on balloon art and marketing, you’re probably too late, it’s been axed. Surprisingly, in times of austerity, balloon art just isn’t recognised as a life skill. Really can’t imagine why.

http://vannaschoice.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0015.html

Looks better knitted.

To commemorate world book day, the BBC has ironically been doing some research on books and how we’re all getting stupider and stupider. (This is after I read a book on British social life in the 1950s and discovered that there were quite a few people who were concerned that over exposure to television would make people into morons. I mean, whatever). So yes. We have an average 138 books in the house (I was surprised to find that the average is so high). And that a fair amount were unread – particularly those in the living room. You know, where people go to have a nose about on your shelves and judge you? Yep there. Apparently that’s where you keep your aspirational books.  It also happens to be the place I keep those books I really ought to read, but never find the time to do. Because ‘The Rhyming Bible’ is always more entertaining than ‘Hypertension in the Elderly’. I wish it weren’t. Somehow ‘Re Judgment Day, I haven’t got a date. But be prepared – you haven’t long to wait’ is a bit more appealing than ‘In the Metoprolol CR/XL Randomized Intervention Trial in Congestive Heart Failure, controlled release/extended release metoprolol succinate was tested in 3991 patients with an EF 40% or less with class II Heart Failture.’ You get me?

http://grandmotherspatternbook.com/?p=4958

Education now: apparently examiners are a bit shocked that the English GCSE grades are so low. Probably cause and effect has something to do with it. When I was at school, I learned full-stops and capital letters and that was it. Asked whether a colon was something to punctuate with or to digest with, I would have been surprised it could do either. someone I went to university with (and was supposedly studying English) thought ‘innit’ was a word. Seriously. And that a double negative meant that you ‘really meant ‘no”. So if this is the sort of person we have teaching our urchins, no wonder they can’t string a sentence together. We’ll come full circle when these kids are the examiners, grades will surely get back to normal. There’s a relief.

I despair.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_express/news/2013/may/3/chicken_jumpers.aspx

Sorry, sometimes the thickness and illiteracy of ‘modern’ life really gets to me, and a picture of chickens in knitted vests is the only thing that makes me feel better. That and an Oxford comma correctly placed.

In other news, and I can’t help but think it’s connected – the use of tasers on children is on the increase. Do you ever get the feeling you’re watching a world that has already gone mad? When I was training, it wasn’t unusual for an inmate of the gastric medical ward to be discovered in the buffer cupboard doing something dangerous with a pillowcase, getting tasered as a result. But sprogs? What’s wrong with confiscating their sweets?

http://www.juxtapost.com/site/permlink/56eeffd0-df8a-11e2-98b6-6142c6cd26db/post/maxine_knitting_needles__cheaper_than_a_taser_and_just_as_effective/

No one’s knitted a taser gun yet. It’s just a matter of time.

And last but not least, our regular features:

http://www.discoverwildlife.com/gallery/sloth-sanctuary-photo-gallery-suzi-eszterhas

Rather gutted to discover this one isn’t knitted at all.

And in other news, a shark called Lydia has been on a bit of a voyage. But you don’t care. You just want to see knitted sharks devouring children.

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/06/02/knitted-shark-attack.html

Hey, it’s more entertaining and less harmful than tasering them.

Have a good week.

Knitting Friday – 28/2/14

Even though it’s not officially the silly season, the couple of weeks after half term and before Easter tend to be a bit of a news wilderness. Pity the poor news journalist who wakes up to find the semi-silly season upon him, and finds himself reduced to writing about how politicians wear their headphones when listening to interpretations of speeches. Oh yes people, it was right there on the BBC. And if they’re getting desperate, well there’s no knowing what’s not going to happen next.

http://www.firebox.com/product/4848/Knitted-Headphone-Earmuffs
http://www.firebox.com/product/4848/Knitted-Headphone-Earmuffs

Yes, check those bad boys out – not only are they Spock-shaped, they’re also in a neat cable pattern. Loving that regional knitting right there.

In other news, while we’ve been concentrating overmuch on Mr Nobama, look at what the UK has been up to! Yes! Rather than doing the whole American big brother thing, it’s been doing a dodgy neighbour with binoculars thing – recording the weird stuff people get up to with their webcams. No, people. Just no. Don’t ever do anything you don’t mind the queen seeing. Cos one day she probably will.

http://www.ecouterre.com/knit-the-laptop-compubody-sock-for-privacy-in-public-places/
http://www.ecouterre.com/knit-the-laptop-compubody-sock-for-privacy-in-public-places/

Do everyone a favour and keep it to yourself.

In other news we have the reassurance that those clever people who make those decisions are designing ‘guidelines’ for what has been called three-person babies. From such a benign name you might think it’s the traditional mummy-daddy-milkman combo, but no. This is a baby that’s genetically let’s say ‘adapted’ to have three parents. Now this is not the place for an educated monologue, it’s just where I poke fun at stuff and then duck, but it’s a bit – you know… What is this really? Chimera? Hybrid? Nephilim? Committee movement? American Potluck Supper? Anagram? Dunno. Just going to stop right there. Not quite OK with engineering babies.

Anyway, let’s get back to the more reliable world of really pointless research. Next up for a drubbing by the People Who Know are stethoscopes. Heavens, you think; has someone been accidentally strangled by one? Fortunately not, no. They’re covered in germs. Germs I tell you.

Apparently the germs on a stethoscope diaphragm are outnumbered only by the germs on a doctor’s hands. In my mind, the stethoscope doesn’t seem quite so bad now I know that. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that doctors decontaminate after each use. I kind of hoped they were doing that. That’s the last time I borrow one. However, it does beg certain questions – let’s play a little game. It’s called ‘Would you rather…?’

Would you rather…?

  • Clean stethoscope or clean hands?
  • Clean hands or clean tie (yes – I don’t know the average number of ties a doctor owns, but I know I’ve got more pairs of tights than that) – and think of all that dangling…
  • Clean tie or clean doorknob

The point is, I think the stethoscope is the least of our worries when faced with the bacterial minefield that is being in a public place. How about communal pens at the bank? Buttons on the ATM? Telephones? Handshakes? See, it’s all just getting a bit weird.

http://www.zibbet.com/handmadefuzzy/artwork?artworkId=830543
http://www.zibbet.com/handmadefuzzy/artwork?artworkId=830543

What’s that you say? Germs on your stethoscope? Here’s a knitted cover. That makes it all OK.

In other news, Spanish bailed-out bank, inventively named ‘Bankia’ is being privatised. You may remember (or you may not, depending on how much you search for modern flamenco on YouTube), that Bankia was subjected to a flamenco invasion at the height of the Spanish crisis. Unlike English morris-dancing, Flamenco is a social commentary; here are the lyrics to an improvised flamenco flashmob in a Bankia branch:

“The attitude and the will, my friend, has changed

The attitude and the will,

The attitude and the will.

Oh, since you have money,

It makes you unbearable,

These are the things of the nouveau riche.

You have lowered my salary and put up the price of everything.

To hold my own, I’ve even had to pawn the parrot.

And I’ve even had to sell my house.

Don’t mess me around anymore, Rodrigo.

Because of your bad leadership,

We’ll end up on the run,

And because of your bad head, Rodrigo,

We’ll end up on the run.

Bankia, Bankia, Bankia,

For you six lungs,

For me not even a few fish gills.

Bankia, Bankia, Bankia,

For you six lungs,

For me not even a few fish gills.

I’m not going to love you,

Even though you may cancel my interest payments.

I do not love you Bankia. ”

Something for everyone right there – fish gills, parrots, even pawn. See, I can’t imagine a load of morris-dancers invading a local Cooperative bank and having a lyrical pop at the staff. Would be quite happy to see it though.

And finally, Dolly Parton is a confirmed act at Glasto. Oh hurrah, might be worth having my tent set fire to and my wellies melted, not to mention getting a good dose of trenchfoot and a snifter of typhus for.

I’ve just googled and WHY OH WHY has no one knitted Dolly?

This is the best I can do, and it obviously has nothing to do with the wonderfulness, wit and wisdom of Miss Parton:

http://www.aknittingblog.com/2012/02/knitted-nipplebreast-hats-round-up.html

Yep. I don’t know why there are three either.

Fungus the Bogeyman’s wife?

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/toy/simply-cute-sloth-/12703
http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/toy/simply-cute-sloth-/12703

See, it doesn’t really matter what I write; all you’re interested in is the knitted sloth at the end.

Have a good weekend.

Knitting Friday 21/2/2014

Apologies for two weeks free of inanity. If I didn’t keep being given silly things to do, this would be more regular.

Well we’ve had another week of more rain. The cider-makers of Somerset seem to be quite relieved that the bankers (yep, Bankers) of the south east have now had a taste of flooding, so there might be a bit of action with sorting it all out. After all, it’s one thing to be flooded out of your home, it’s quite another to be forced to move into your penthouse suite to escape the water. Poor things.

http://www.thewellieshop.co.uk

The whole flood thing has been a bit like a magician’s trick. Pay attention, don’t be distracted, people! Just as you should never take your eyes of the magician’s hands, you should not be distracted by statistics of flooding or heart-string twanging human interest stories. No! It’s all about the blame!

Floods? First of all it started with insurance companies being a bit picky about what they’d cough up for, and reinterpreting policies after the fact. They pinned the blame on the residents with a ‘Who’s silly idea was it to live on a flood plain anyway?’ Obviously that rubbed a few people up the wrong way, and asked ‘Well who built the houses in the first place?’ and then the developers had a bit of a pop at the government, and asked ‘Who gave planning permission and subsidies for development?’ I can’t help but think that one day someone’s going to spoil the whole thing and own up to it.

The other game you can play with bonkers weather is to have a sweepstake on the next time someone peddles global warming/climate change/whatever it is. I remember being at primary school and being told that when I reached my thirties I would be growing grapes and melons in my back garden and have a sandal perma-tan. Obviously that hasn’t played out because a) haven’t got a back garden and b) uh, it’s cold and wet. Global warming’s shaping up differently to what I expected, don’t know about you.

So while all that’s been going on, it’s tempting to think that nothing else has been going on in the world at all. Except for Ukraine. But I’m not going to talk about that, because I really don’t understand it.

Over in Obamaland, it’s all kicking off in the world of spliffery. A short while ago Colorado legalised recreational pot. Naturally it was a move guaranteed to annoy those old buffers with a thing about social cohesion, but as with most policies tainted with the Obama brush of incompetence, the underlying infrastructure wasn’t really considered, so there are all these places where you can spend your hard-earned on pot, but what happens to all that wonga? At the moment nothing because it’s illegal for the banks to accept it. It’s almost like nicking the Mona Lisa. What’s the point if you can’t sell it? So there are all these potshops which have had to employ armed guards because they can’t shift the cash. Ha ha, love that.

http://www.knittingparadise.com

I don’t know whether I ought to be surprised or not that there’s an abundance of knitted cannabis-related goods.

Over in Italy this week a cleaner ‘cleaned’ up an exhibition by binning some of the exhibits. Apparently it was an accident, but let’s be honest about some of the stuff referred to as art, the correct response to claims of post-modernist para-existentialism ought to be that of my papa: ‘Is it heck as like’, or when he’s being particularly engaging: ‘How can you not see it’s crap?’

stitchandbitchlondon.wordpress.com

Incidentally I don’t have an opinion on whatever that is above because I have no idea what it is. I’d like to think it’s a gigantic piece of cinder toffee, but I expect I’d be disappointed.

In other news London’s South Bank University has invested £20,000 in building a fake pub to study the effects of alcohol on behaviour. I don’t know about you, but I’m encouraged that taxpayers’ money and research grants are being used for such a noble cause. And at such a reasonable price too. Obviously if there were adequate places throughout the country where people can get inebriated and end the evening either crying outside a club or weeing in a bus shelter, that would be a total waste of money.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/120893571218211387/

Would you look at that, it’s a sneaky drink-related shark feature. I know how you get disappointed when there are no sharks.

I was rather underwhelmed by yesterday’s earthquake in the Bristol Channel. Whereas the quake itself measured 4.1 on the Richter Scale, the hysteria following it maxed out at 6.4. Good old BBC.

And here’s sloth corner:

http://www.craftsy.com/project/view/nacho-the-sloth/48163

I tried to stay topical, and find a stoned sloth, but finding one that didn’t look a bit like that was tricky.

Have a good week.

31/1/14 Knitting Friday

Monday this week was Holocaust Memorial Day. A day we celebrate the fact that even though many people have tried to wipe out the Jews (and are continuing to have a go), no one has managed it, and no one ever will. God said so.

So in solidarity with my Jewish friends, we had a deliciously Jewish theme, but I’ve cut a couple of pics because I can’t verify claims of ownership and I don’t know the original site on which the pics appeared.

But it’s OK, because here’s a lush little fellow:

https://www.familiesalive.org/2012/02/09/2-9-12-knitting-needles-and-sand-castles/
http://icanhas.cheezburger.com/tag/knitted-jumpers

And who can be uncheered by a couple of birds in vests?

I’d like to fill this little gap with an appeal – anyone who fancies knitting or crocheting squares or strips for blankets, contributions to the summer 2014 shipment to Israel would be gratefully accepted. Can’t knit? No excuse – I’ll show you. Can’t get off that lightly.

In other news, Michael Schumacher is still asleep.

Moving on.

To compensate on the brevity of the previous story, here’s another picture of a baby getting eaten by a knitted shark.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/Making-a-Shark-Costume-for-a-Baby.html

Don’t know why it should be so funny, but last week’s shark pic went down a little too well, I thought.

Over in Italy, the appeal of the appeal of the people who might have murdered Meredith Kercher but might not have done has ended. They decided that that time they realised they made a mistake, they made a mistake. Work that one out. So the courts have been wrong at least once out of three, possible twice out of three times. Don’t know about you, but that’s not reassuring. Unless you’re a lawyer.

Tried to find a knitted lawyer, and this came up:

http://www.colourbox.com

Dragon with three heads holding a ball. Yep, cos that’s the same.

In other news, BBC has shafted Mr Clegg rather with a bit of careless sub-editing. I read this: ‘Clegg opposes child car smoking ban’ and thought Cleggster’s done it this time. How could one oppose a ban on children smoking in cars? The number of times I’ve seen drivers being suffocated by the smoke of their inconsiderate offspring whilst taking them to a pool party or ballet class is unreal. It’s about time it was banned. 

Then I read the proper story and it’s nothing of the sort.

Big Nick still hasn’t come out of it über-well, claiming that parents should take parental responsibility instead. Making vast assumptions of widespread common sense, right there Mr Clegg.

Orthorexia that’s what. It’s the latest trend. It’s about never eating a Bad Thing ever again. I don’t know about you, but my parents innoculated me against obsessive eating by depriving me of chocolate as a wee bairn, and now I can’t get enough of the stuff. So much so in fact, that I had to build a whole gym company (with a little help from my friends) to prevent my carcase becoming large enough to create spontaneous solar eclipses whenever I tied my shoelaces. Moderation. So effective, yet so uncool. Like common sense, it’ll never catch on.

And a message from our Sloth of the Week:

knitsloth.blogspot.com

How profound.

Have a good weekend.

Knitting Friday 24/1/14

Since the complaints last week that there was no Knitting Friday, I’m trying to deliver a bumper crop of knitting badness; but as usual am limited by the paucity of current events of quality in the media. Very poor show, old chaps.

On the domestic front, I dropped a bottle of shampoo on my toe:

Embedded image permalink

Blood everywhere, people. Don’t like seeing my blood, makes me feel funny.

That is why one has been wearing kinky boots to work. I remain happy and secure in my superior choice of husband. I am wearing boots for no other reason than that I haven’t been able to get shoes on. On the plus side, I have experienced my nursing skills firsthand, and am delighted to say that had the dressing I applied been carefully placed there by Disney bluebirds and a few of those kitteny things, it could not have been secured by a gentler touch.

Top news for some reason seems to be that some young whippersnapper got his cling-ons to close a road in Miami so he could use it as a drag strip.

http://www.knittybitz.com

Nice work, Bieber. Your parents must be proud.

With all that excitement, Miami Dade must wonder what hit it. Back in Blighty commuters were up against it as the jolly old Victoria line drew to a halt when someone concreted up the control room. With such bungling by the well-meaning workman, who needs anything more sinister to make a fine old mess?

http://www.pinterest.com

Had to put this chap in. What a dude. Particularly loving the Londoners who are pretending they haven’t noticed that they’re sitting just along from crazy knitting man. Actually, that’s not fair – if there were more knitting, there’d be a lot less rage, and the world would be betterer. You know it.

Gym goers in California, while missing out on a Fox Cycling session (poor things), were treated to a bit of PT by Arnie. Obviously doing it just for laughs, and perhaps a little bit for ‘chari-dee’, but deffo not publicity. Perish the thought.

http://www.craftsy.com

Would you look at that? He’s got a little six-pack and everything. Needs to work on the quads though. I know something that’s good for that.

Well if all that sweating and effort has got you a bit worked up, maybe just step across to Davos where the world financial elite are gathered to sort us out once and for all. Apparently. Would love to be a fly on the wall in some of their breakout sessions. Anyhow, more to the point – have you ever wondered how they cope with the pressure of all that stuff? And a highly pressurised environment it is, as you will know from high school chemmie, gas expands when it heats up, and as the hot air increases, so must the pressure. How relieved and thankful we all must be therefore, that Goldie Hawn is helping out. ‘How can a Hollywood actress play a part at strategic level in the global financial crisis?’ you say.

By facilitating meditation classes. Of course.

www.whipup.net
http://www.whipup.net

OK, I don’t know what they are either, but they’re suitably beige so you must be able to meditate with them, or on them, or something. Dunno, it’s not my area. But don’t worry, if anyone can fix it, Goldie can. Goldie or elves with magic calculators, and uh, let’s see, a magic money photocopying machine. Oh wait, we already tried that.

Mr Cameron is quite keen for the Great British public just to have ‘a bit of patience’. I think perhaps he’s right. But where did we hear that before? Take That would make truly remarkable ambassadors for global financial harmony, and might be quite nice to meditate on.

My money’s on (not literally, obv) someone coming up with the truly groundbreaking and radical suggestion of ‘Why don’t we just start over?’ You know, like when you’re into your 17th hour of the same game of Monopoly, you’re determined not to sleep until someone’s bankrupt, but you see your life stretching before you in an interminable round of ‘go to jail, get out of jail, pass go, and going back to bloody Old Kent Road’. Makes sense with a board game, not totally sure it would translate well in the world of real fiat.

Found a gap in Google. No one’s knitted Monopoly. How disappointing. So here’s a picture of a knitted shark eating a child instead:

http://www.shutupandtakemymoney.com

Also no one’s knitted Take That either. But hey, who’s judging?

Interestingly, a knitting attempt has been made on Mr Cameron:

http://www.bbc.co.uk

That’s Gordon Brown over his right shoulder. Got to be. And could it be Angela Merkel right there? And that stiff on her left side, is that the Scottish independence chappie? I don’t know about you though, but in this pic, Mr Cam looks more like Alan Titchmarsh. Wowsers. There’s a thought. Right there.

I’ll just leave you with that.

Oh, and this:

http://www.trinastrinketts.blogspot.com

Wouldn’t be KF without Sloth of the Week.

Have a great weekend.

Smoking Chestnut Noodles

Great dish that’s simple and quick to prepare, but tastes and looks like you’ve put a lot of effort in!

Ingredients

  • Noodles, one ‘nest’ per person
  • Cooked vacuum packed chestnuts, chopped
  • Smoked tofu, chopped
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Fresh chives, chopped
  • Fresh chilli, chopped
  • Spices such as Baharat, or an Oriental spice mixture
  • 2tsp smoked paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 2tsp brown sugar
  • Stock

Method

Cook the noodles first in the stock.

Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through.

Serve immediately.

Advent calendar – day 25

http://falmouthknitclub.wordpress.com/page/2/
http://falmouthknitclub.wordpress.com/page/2/

There’s nothing more Christmassy than a lion. Revelation 5 says so.

Have a great Christmas.