Monday, October 29, 2007

Perils of Gift Knitting

So, inspired by Esmerelda, I have been busily gift-knitting in preparation for Christmas. It is very satisfying and fun, but not great for blogging. However, I thought a few choice shots wouldn't give the game away too much ....
Unfortunately, due to almost no natural light today, this looks grey, but I promise it really is an army green colour. Yummy.
These are (surprisingly) pretty good true to life colours. I had such fun knitting this yarn (it is the Colinette I bought a few weeks ago). There isn't heaps of the blue in the picture above (mostly greens) but it was a joy to come across it every now and then - like seeing a kingfisher on the wing.
An appropriately autumnal yarn.
Also, we spent much of Saturday dealing with this....
Wonderful, aromatic, sustainably sourced wood! I was a very happy girl last night - warm at last!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Four Good Years

This weekend, S surprised me by a little celebration for our anniversary. It was four years since the day we met. A while ago, we decided that this would be our anniversary date, as it got a bit confusing when we should celebrate, and without a set date it seemed like we might just let a yearly acknowledgement of our lives together slide by - which neither of us wanted. So we decided that the day we met would be appropriate. Only this year we both forgot. We are now a good 6 weeks later, and I had still forgotten! Anyway, we had a lovely picnic, in the same place that we went to last year, and a place that has alot of meaning for us in England. And I received a lovely bottle of Tasmanian Pinot Noir (to share!) which I am drinking as I write this (and as he cooks dinner).

I want to say that I feel so very lucky to share my life with him, and to have the opportunity to do all the things that we do. Four years ago, this seemed an unlikely outcome. I couldn't have imagined a life as good as this.


Chiusi: Holiday Italia Pt II

So, after our Rome adventure, we headed up to the town of Chiusi to meet with Simon's friends. They had rented a villa just out of town, and it was spectacular (thats it in the photo above). There was a busy road nearby, but the villa itself was huge and gorgeous. Chiusi is another Italian town, struggling to merge ancient with modern, but Montepulciano, a short drive away, is a fantastic tourist town. It is a hill town, as are so many in this area, and full of caverns and Etruscan tombs and wine and cheese.

Simon's view from the hammock.

The light really is that golden honey colour, even in autumn. It was still pretty warm most days - this particular day was much cooler thanks to a fresh breeze.
This was a fantastic part of our holiday - I am fully converted to a standard programme of a one week holiday with a day for travel, two days in a city, a day for travel, two days in the country, and a day to get home. With a day at home either side for packing/unpacking. If we do holidays like this, I tend to go back to work feeling refreshed and relaxed, rather than having a great holiday but feeling rushed and behind schedule when I get back.
We are currently planning our Chrismas/New Year break - the current idea is Morocco.
Anyone got any advice?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Roman Holiday

We spent a fabulous week in Italy last week, with three days in Rome to start. It was spectacular - I love Italy, and Rome is a fantastic example of all the good parts. It is busy, mad, and crazy, but in the best sense! The food was fantastic, the people are great, and the sights are mind-boggling.
The Forum is incredible - the details remaining on the ruins were so evocative of what this once must have looked like.

Everywhere you looked, wonderfully dressed men in uniforms - so very Italian!

The Italian beer is as good as the wine (Peroni especially!)

My travel tips for Rome:
- avoid the Vatican Museum, unless you are absolutely desperate to see the Sistine Chapel. The rest is a little dull and repetative, and you get herded through the Capella Sistina like cows, with lots of shouting from the guards for 'silence'! It is a bit crazy, and does ruin the experience somewhat. As does the lining up - be aware that while it opens at 0845, they only let the scheduled tour groups in until 1000, so we were there for 2 hours waiting before hand.
- we stayed in a fantastic hotel near the Termini - it is not so dodgy an area as I had been led to believe, but the food is better down near the river.
- It is worth working out the bus/metro system- there are miles and miles of footpaths waiting for your weary feet!
- get up early - we were one of the first through the door at the Colloseum (unplanned but excellent accident!) which made our experience of it so much more interesting to see it empty, then to see it fill up with people, just as it would have two thousand years ago. Once you are up, go for as long as you can, then siesta in the late afternoon - this means you can get up and ready for dinner at 'Roman' time (around 9pm).
- don't be surprised at small breakfasts - by the end of the day you will be glad that you left a little room!
- make sure you have a cioccolato caldo at the bar in a cafe. It is the espresso of hot chocolates!

Unfortunately, I arrived home with an unwanted gift from Italy - the 'flu! Feeling much better today though. Anyway, more pics to come of the second half of our holiday.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Missing in action

Well, its been a while between posts, mostly due to me being in Leeds at a conference for most of last week, and also Linda visiting for a bit. This next week is also going to be crazy...and the one after that too, so I apologise in advance for poor posting frequency!
The knitting has slowed as well, but I do have a few things to show -
Its my collar-scarf, knit in beautiful Alchemy yarn - Esmerelda sent this to me, and I love it! One skein was enough to make a short scarf, and one of Dad's new skewers fixes it in place nicely. Luckily I took it with me to Leeds, as winter has surely set in! It is lovely and soft against the skin.
Also, a picture for my mum - new boots! Oh, how I love these boots.