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I’m ba-ack

So you may remember (probably not! :) ) that I was scheduled to fly DUS-ORD-PHL on Monday 21 Dec, then PHL-small town on Tuesday? Well, believe it or not, that actually happened! Flight to ORD left a bit late, actually turned out to be the same aircraft I was supposed to take Sunday on DUS-EWR, so of course it was covered in snow and ice. The de-icing solution they were using on the plane was orange, so it felt like we were sitting inside an orange slushy for a while; there were probably two inches of snow and ice on for example the wings and engines that all had to come off.

Got to the PHL airport Hilton (my brand of choice) at about 11 at night, only to find that the hotel restaurant had closed at 10, and “room service” consisted of sandwiches from the bar. Ha ha. Went down to the desk, where they had a flyer from Domino’s Pizza, handed the information to all the other starving guests I met (there were a lot of us who were very unhappy with the PHL Hilton that night), and called Domino’s. Man, does American pizza hit the spot sometimes!

Coming back was nowhere near the drama that getting to the US had been. Shall I just leave it at that? Got to take my knitting on the plane, didn’t have any major delays, I’m a happy bunny. And oh, the civilized niceties of traveling “at the front of the bus” as I call it! Arrive in Frankfurt, clear immigration, and you’re automaticlly dumped out into the land-side terminal so have to clear security again. But… Lufthansa has put in an “arrivals lounge” for all their business-class guests arriving from overseas. With SHOWERS!!! I rarely carry liquids or gels in my carry-on because it’s just not worth the hassle, but this time I did. The only thing I really needed to have with me was toothpaste, though, as each separate little bathroom-shower room has huge dispensers of L’Occitane shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and hand soap. My favorite brand!

Progress on Princess continues, although slowly. I am now done with pattern row 90, knitting row 100, so I am at 14.58% completion (I think I can go into Ravelry tonight and bump it up to 15%, don’t you?).

How’s your knitting?

Trying it again

Remember yesterday I was supposed to fly Dusseldorf – Newark – Philadelphia? Yeah, well… it snowed. All day. They finally cancelled our flight at 5 pm when the crew ran out of legal work time, and sent us all of to hotels or back home, saying “we’ll rebook you and call you when we have a new itinerary.”

So today I’m flying Dusseldorf – Chicago – Philadelphia.

Anyone want to place any bets???

Who woulda thunk it, eh? But what else is one to do while trapped at an airport, but go and whinge to the blog?

Christmas vacation started out with such promise… flights Nice to Frankfurt to Philadelphia, overnight at Philadelphia, then fly to the town closest to my parents. Ha ha ha. Continue Reading »

But you are forgiven if you’ve wondered, lately!

No, I’ve not quit knitting either. I’m suffering from a combination of a lack of interest in Princess (bad news, that!), an upsurge of interest in something else I’m working on and NO, I’m not going to show you yet, and now feeling like I don’t have time to do anything, let alone knit. Which is silly, I do have plenty of time, I just don’t do much of it. Continue Reading »

No, I haven’t forgotten my blog! I’ve been busy, and sad to say I set Princess aside for a bit. Something about hitting the milestone of finishing a page of the chart acted as a brake to forward progress. Well, I’ve still got time to get it done.

And, I’m off to Germany today, including a 3-hour layover in Zurich airport. So that will give me some good knitting time.

Hope your knitting is going well!

I am pleased to announce that I have FINISHED the first border chart of Princess and am slowly steaming my way up the second chart! Chart 1 had 62 rows on it, and I finally finished row 62 yesterday afternoon, working through row 64 before finally putting it aside for the day. Which puts me at 74 rows of knitting, or 10.8% of the way done with the whole shawl, or 31% of the way done with the border. And I’m still only on my first ball of “yarn”!

Spent most of Saturday in the village of La Turbie. Originally I had planned to photograph the Trophy of Augustus, but I went down there with only my digital camera (that was deliberate) and no memory card in the camera (that WASN’T deliberate). So I spent the time scouting the site, figuring where I might be able to get good photographs from, and having a delicious lunch (perfectly cooked lamb, sweet and almost-overcooked mange-tout, and frites, creme brulee for afters, and a good glass of red wine). I get to go back this weekend with the film camera. Hopefully I’ll remember the film!

Princess first: I did a whole half a row last night, oh boy! It could, of course, have been the glass of red wine that sapped my motivation and will to knit, but all I know is that I reached that midpoint and just didn’t want to be knitting ANY MORE. Maybe it was the large purring lump on my lap, instead? I’m on the verge of finishing the first chart of the border (am currently knitting row 60, and the chart ends with row 62), and am currently 5 days behind. You would think that those two things between them would drive me onward, but no.

Charl, my fat boycat, has remembered with the approach of cooler weather, that cuddling on mama’s lap is a Very Good Thing, and is taking every chance he gets to do exactly that. And cuddling up to me at night, as well. It’s not easy to roll over when there’s a 15-pound cat snuggled right up against you, you know? Sophie, his sister, takes funny spells. When I got them back from the boarding kennel, she wouldn’t have much to do with me. Then she spent a week cuddling any time I stood still, and now she’s back being aloof again. Charl and I sit in the living room and knit in the evenings, Sophie sits in the kitchen on a chair. Every now and then she’ll “ping” to see where her brother and I are, but when I answer her she shuts up and goes back to sleep.

I went to the grocery store near the office the other day to get components of breakfast, and found myself standing in front of the dairy case muttering in frustration. Because I like my sleep, I eat breakfast at the office instead of at home, and for me breakfast is a glop of plain unflavored yogurt with cereal stirred in. Cheap on the Weightwatchers points, and it holds me pretty well until lunch. Over here, yogurt comes ONLY in individual-serving containers. In the US it might come in quart-sized (liter-sized) containers or so, but not here in southern France. Not much yogurt is sold unflavored at all, and I knew that going in. One has a choice of flavored, of sweetened unflavored with fruit at the bottom, of flavored with fruit mixed in, etc etc etc. For a good picture of a yogurt case, go look at David Lebovitz’ blog.

But plain yogurt? On this day, at this store, I found myself repeatedly reaching for what *looked* like a plain yogurt 4-pack, only to draw my hand away when I discovered it was actually fromage blanc. Fromage blanc is supposed to be a “cousin” to yogurt, but at least to me it’s only a distant cousin. The only fromage blanc I’ve ever had has been incredibly tart, much firmer than yogurt (only slightly softer than cream cheese, while in Europe yogurt tends to be quite soft), and just not the same. After stomping up and down the aisle, I found myself saying “I only want a little bit of butter for my bread!” Those of you who have children probably know the poem… I remember having it read to me, and then reading it myself later, when I was very young ;). Where does it come from? Why, from The King’s Breakfast, by AA Milne and published in When We Were Very Young. The full text of the poem is at Off At A Tangent, who has an interesting blog to read!

On a better note… shortly after getting frustrated by not finding my plain yogurt, I did manage to find it, and snaffled up one of the 4 4-packs they had. A noticeable hole among the serried ranks of fruited, flavored, sweetened, and even drinkable yogurts they had. Perhaps the fact that the unflavored plain type is drawn down in stock while shelves are full of all the other stuff should be a sign? But there we go, frustration eased for the moment!

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