Monday, December 31, 2012

Security alert!

Although the restrictions aren't as tight as on airlines there are still security procedures when boarding a cruise ship and all luggage and passengers are scanned at the terminal. Down at Southampton the scanning of hand luggage is carried out mainly by women with just a sprinkling of men over retirement age - I guess those in the area who are male, fit and healthy will be otherwise involved in work on the docks or actually handling the large pieces of luggage that many of the passengers bring (you would not believe how literally some people take the suggestion that there is no luggage allowance limit!)

Anyway, there was I, having passed through the security 'doorframe' (or whatever it's called), merrily replacing my boots and putting on my coat in readiness for my bag to reappear when I realised the lady scanning it had called her supervisor over! They both looked very confused for a minute or two, and then it dawned on me! The nice supervisor lady approached me and asked in a puzzled tone if I had "brought a lot of pens on board with me?" Because the scanner had picked up several short pointy metal objects .......

I immediately explained and offered to take my KnitPicks interchangebles out of the bag so that they could see, the supervisor asked if she could show them to her colleagues and suddenly there was a lot of interest with the ladies crowding round, commenting on what a brilliant idea they were and asking where they could get some for themselves :0)

I was just relieved that I had woken in the middle of the night before and moved them from my main suitcase to my hand luggage as it would have been rather embarrassing to have been called to open my case when their scanner picked them up.

Now that Christmas has been and gone I have had an 'after Christmas present'. DD was the lucky recipient of two identical Cath Kidston purses and when she went to change one, of course lots of things were in the sale and, to make up her money, bless her, she included this for me

How sweet is that? And how cute is he?

Totally changing the subject, each year I like to keep a note of the books I have read, last year I was surprised to find it I had read 14, well this year it was 15 and they are:

*The Surprise Party by Sue Welfare
*Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster
*The Secret River by Kate Grenville
*Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
*The girls guide to home making by Amy Bratley
*Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber
*A murderer's heart by Julie Elizabeth Powell
*Where are you now? by Mary Higgins Clark
*The Saturday Supper Club by Amy Bratley
*Escape by Barbara Delinsky
*Never Buried by Edie Claire
*A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
*Thursdays in the park by Hilary Boyd
*Tread Softly by Wendy Perriam
*Doors open by Ian Rankin

And finally I have, at long last, got around to translating the Samaritan's Purse Stretchy Pull on Hat so that I can knit it in the round on my lovely 7mm 40cm Addi circs that I bought because I stupidly didn't realise the pattern was knit flat specially to make these hats which are super stretchy, so will fit a variety of head sizes/ages, and wonderful stash busters, as they use anything that makes a chunkyish yarn ie 2 strands of DK or 3 of 4ply, etc, great for the charity knits I make either for Knit-a-square or our knitting group at work.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

And Kevin came too

Yes, I know, I am totally mad but you see we have this chicken at work called Kevin who is a very well travelled bird and who likes to come on holiday with us, he is well behaved but does like to have his photo taken wherever he goes, so when he found out that DH and I were going on a pre-Christmas break naturally he had to join us....

We went up to Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Hamburg and though the sea was rather rough at times and the temperatures quite low (hence me knitting a hat and scarf for Kevin) we had a thoroughly enjoyable break.

We found a morning long enough to be out in the cold

Copenhagen town

Frozen river in Copenhagen

and returned to the ship for a late lunch and to relax and chill (in the other sense of the word).

I was able to indulge in both reading and knitting without this happening

Hugo knitting

And so I finally managed to finish the Color Affection shawl though it is still awaiting blocking, end darning and photos, make something for a colleague who is shortly going on maternity leave (again to be sewn up) and whipped up a little something to add to DDs Christmas stocking......

Ice scraper mitt

She had been complaining how painfully cold her hand got whilst scraping the car so I created this for her, using an oddment of Drops Eskimo, top down and winging it by way of a pattern. The 'shoulders' are maybe a little wide but I guess that gives wriggle room and should do the job.

We returned just in time to do last minute preparations for the family to descend on Christmas Day which went quite well apart from the lack of Christmas Pud as when I went to turn it out I discovered that my 26 year old slow cooker had given up the ghost, and not cooked it either previously or during the morning. Thank heavens I had made a trifle on the spur of the moment Christmas Eve, though I felt it was quite poignant as not only did my dear departed MIL give me the slow cooker, but she used to make a Christmas Pudding for us every year.

Nevertheless we had an enjoyable day and I received a few knitting related gifts..

the calendar from DH has become a rather nice tradition, the book and yarn I chose and bought for mum and dad to give me! and the enamel mug is for me to take when we go on our long distance walks as the melamine mug I had bought objected to boiling water and cracked on day 1 of our holiday!! and as we are now starting to plan next years expeditions it should come in very handy.