Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Here Be Dragones

Picture heavy - apologies for those of you on slow computers like me!

Partner and I are back from the wilds of Rural Derbyshire where we have been visiting my family.

The genuine Bakewell Pudding is a bit of a shock if you're not used to it. I've existed solely on refined sugar since the middle of November so I'm fine
We stayed in a very nice B+B down the most unspeakable road I have ever encountered. I am a city driver right to the bone: I can park in tiny places, I can gesture at taxi drivers, I can navigate a one way system, I can do U-turns on a pin and I can do emergency stops when big fluffy cats decide to wander across the road aimlessly. I do, however, like there to be flat tarmac, a line down the middle of the road, and lights (you know, every mile or so). Our B+B was across a moor. Apparently 5 minutes from my parents’ house and the whole thing turns into Wuthering Heights, who knew. Luckily Partner (who does not drive) was able to keep up a helpful and encouraging commentary during our slightly tense journeys, which were made even more exciting by my having a sinus infection which brought on a migraine and meant I could not see properly. ‘It’s all fine, Susie! I don’t know where we are but we can’t have gone far wrong! Gosh that fog came on rather suddenly didn’t it, perhaps put your fog lights on? Oh, they are on. No, it’s fine, I can see at least a foot in front, keep going – look, it’s lifted a bit! Now I can see a 50 foot drop on this side, ooh, that’s pretty – no, don’t worry, there’s a small dry stone wall here so you’d hit that before you went over, and I don’t think 50 feet would kill us anyway – oh, ok, there’s no wall here and it is quite sheer, just keep over that side a bit, you’re absolutely fine – look, it’s the fog again! Do you know, I don’t think it is fog, I think we’re actually driving through a cloud!’ Sympathetic face: ‘You seem a little bit tense, Susie – are you alright? Now, come on. It’s not as bad as that time we got lost in Suffolk’. (Actually it wasn’t as bad as that time we got lost in Suffolk. I thought I might never get out of Suffolk).
A cloud on a hill. It looks pretty now, imagine driving through it at midnight when your navigator's hyped up on Homity Pie
Anyway, I have unclenched now (almost), and I am going to show you my Stuff I Made before I move on with the new year. I have a list of Stuff I Am Going to Make in 2012 but I will reveal that later (I mean, don’t lose sleep. I just enjoy making lists). Now, in this after-Christmas time of year, normally there are slews of people on message boards whose Homemade Gifts Have Been Dissed. This serves as a pairing to all the articles we get before Christmas about How You Should Not Make Homemade Gifts Because They Are Crap And Cheap And No-one Wants Them. Perhaps the former recipients write the latter articles, I do not know. However, I am very sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for some scandal, because, everyone was very nice about my homemade things and I think they liked them! So, thank you family for being open minded and not making me have to do a blog post about How Handmade Is Not Always Appreciated (hmm. Connection?), even when I presented you with glittery fudge. This is what I made:
Look, I hadn't pulled it straight. I was knackered
Can ya tell what it is yet? It's a graphic equalizer!
Dan’s crocheted throw, using this pattern from The Gingerbread Lady. It's a graphic equalizer! It's ironic retro cool! In crochet! Readers, this damn near killed me. It was not the crocheting, it was not the sewing together: it was the black yarn. If I ever do anything in black again, I will do it in July, or, I will do it when we have paid an electrician to wire up high-intensity halogen spotlights which will all be trained on me while I sit on the sofa crocheting and watching repeats of The Big Bang Theory (please all go and watch The Big Bang Theory if you haven’t seen it already. I keep asking Partner if he has ever met anyone who later went on to write American comedy because Sheldon is so like him, and he says, no, but he is a bit worried about one of the characters in The Archers).
Look how nice and soft it looks, like the ears of a friendly Husky
Aunty Maureen’s candle flame cowl, ends woven in, go me with my tubular bindoff and cast on, go me x 100.
Socks to wear while feeding chickens or chasing Ginger Cat round the back of the radiator
Aunty Kath’s colourful Noro socks. Aunty Kath says she is going to have a pedicure before she wears the socks, tell her she does not need to bother! (Also, Aunty Kath, forgot to say: wash on a wool wash, dry on the radiator).

Come on Kirstie Allsopp, let's see you make some mittens with gnomes on them, lady
Pixie hat and mittens for Dad. Pixie theme for reasons we will not go into,
With recycled buttons. Never let me see you throw away a button! Hoarders be damned!
And cabled socks for mum (mum, you will have to handwash these, sorry).

++ I made little food hampers with blackberry vodka, chutneys, coconut ice, and glittery fudge, which was useful, because when we were driving backwards and forwards Over The Wild Moor, I was reassured that if we broke down we would be able to survive for a week although we might have had a bit of a sugar rush and been quite drunk. But now we look ahead to 2012. What will it bring? (Apart from the credit card bill?). Will it bring crafting success, money, the ability to do a provisional cast on, the ability to thread my overlocker without tears and the aid of Pat from Sew Creative down the road? Or will it bring miles of black acrylic and despair? Which will it be?

Onwards, onwards into 2012, and let us find out!


Vivianne said...

I got out of Suffolk. But now I'm back. I would feed you refined sugar if you visit me next time you are lost here :-)

Sharripie said...

Sounds like you handled your drive through a cloud much better than my husband handled our drive through the Rocky Mountains: after seeing the dropoff (sadly, on his side of the car), the found the first opportunity to turn around and go down the mountain. And there was much cursing and gnashing of teeth.

Glad that everyone enjoyed their handmade gifts!

J.G. said...

Whatever 2011 brings, please accompany it with lots of posts that keep us chuckling and sympathizing!

Sarah said...

Kirstie Allsopp eat your heart out!

Susie said...

Vivianne, you be careful because I suspect you do actually live quite near me so I might turn up expecting a cupcake (although. Does your part of Suffolk have road signs that bear any relation to the actual places they are near?).

Rocky Mountains! Now they sound glamorous ;-). I'm not sure I'd be up to that.

And I think we can be sure 2012 will bring lots of random posts. Thank you everybody very much for listening to my ramblings, it is appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Honestly! If everything were 'original' or 'traditional' there would be nothing new ever and we would all be eating nuts and berries in the hedgerows. And where would bakewell tarts be then? Not very good marketing either. I mean aren't you supposed to find out what your buyer wants and sell it to them? I can imagine the sour face that wrote that notice. Personally I wouldn't want a Boring Bakewell either. I would only want one with icing on.