Monday, June 30, 2008

Freecycle it

So I joined Freecycle Belfast a few days ago. I had read/heard about the Freecycle concept in the newspapers on various occasions, and being (1) hopefully earth friendly at least some of the time, (2) a lover of free stuff and (3) nosey about what fun and curious items people might be trying to get rid of, I finally got in gear and signed up to the local message board.

What fun!! I have somehow managed to subscribe to the instant email notification which means that whenever somebody posts, I get a message. (Yeah - fun and slightly annoying in terms of email overload!) Anyhoo, so far I've many a message for all manner of baby and kids stuff (toys, car seats . . . ), garden stuff (pots, cacti . . .), broken down bikes, computer bits, appliances in all manner of disrepair, spare windows, worn out furniture, pieces of wood . . . you get the picture. And yet, everytime my email pings (I am a slave to the ping!) I can't resist rushing to the Mac for a quick recky. Who knows, maybe this will be the time when the sewing machine I covet so is offered? You can't win if you're not in.

I shouldn't be facetious - Even as a new member, so far I have managed to score myself some yarn from a lady who lives just up the street. Being a hoarder of all things yar, this made me happy. I also was able to donate an old bike that's been collecting spider webs in our back yard for too long to a man called Maurice (pronounced Morris here, I am told) who refurbs them and sends them to Africa. Not bad for a few emails.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eat yer greens

Along with her winning smile and staggering aptitude for organising a spice cupboard and planting a window box, my sister-in-law R kindly brought the Rebar cookbook to Belfast.

Oh, veggie goodness! It's full of fresh and healthy recipes, and Stu and I are contemplating going all Rebar all the time for July (all or nothing I say), just for a summery change. This afternoon in an effort to console myself as it's Canada Day long weekend and we're here in the rain doing nothing remotely Canadian (which should involve a lake) I cooked Monk's Curry. Picked for its good name and the fact that I had most of the ingredients in the fridge already, it was a tasty dinner. All in all, I enjoyed being in the kitchen just for the fun of it and when all's said and done find myself moderately consoled (in case you were worried.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Stu got back to Belfast after a few days away in London yesterday. I'm glad he's home to distract me from the fact that IT'S STILL RAINING!!! I was also glad it was Friday evening - probably my bestest time of the week. Wild child(s) that we are, we had stir-fry and watched West Wing (we've gone back to the very beginning, and don't think I'm too sad, but it's better than ever!)

What with all the rain and requisite sitting on the couch, I'm knitting this cardi in what is best described as periwinkle. So far so good. I've done the back and am on sleeve number one. In my humble opinion as a yarn snob, sometimes Sirdar can be a bit granny-y (no offense to the grannies!) but I think this will be nice. Got the pattern and yarn in Annie Twaddle's shop (yes, really!) in Ballymoney.

I like weekends.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Duvet Day

I had to go to Scotland on Monday for work. That sounds fun, but in practice it just meant a very early morning and too much time spent on planes, trains and automobiles. One perk, I have to admit, was getting a chance to quickly duck into John Lewis in Glasgow to visit their lovely haberdashery department to get myself some lovely Cashmerino. Mmmmmm.

To be fair, I suppose my normally eager traveling spirit was more than a little bit dampened by a serious case of the sniffles. (Which, incidentally, was how I justified taking myself out to dinner to Glasgow's Wagamama for some spicy noodle soup.) After dragging myself halfway through the work week sustained by some serious amounts of Sinutab, I ended up spending today in bed sneezing, sleeping, reading and yes, knitting.

This afternoon I dug into some of my newly acquired stash and made this tomato beanie pattern that I've been eying for sometime. Think these fruit and veg hats will go down a treat at the Knitwear Deli stall when the weather gets cooler (or, come to think of it now, since autumn seems to have arrived already!) Sorry that my pic's a bit wick - must borrow a baby to model the wares!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blown away

It was warm and sunny here for about two and a half (okay, three) weeks in May. Now, as gale force winds threaten to hit the UK today, apparently summer was over before it officially began. Shoot. Me. Now.

Okay, I'm over it (and looking very forward to our week in the south of France in August!)

Despite the weather, we've been having a wonderful time with our company. It's been so fun to have C and R here, and we've enjoyed just hanging out, cooking meals together and exploring Belfast and further afield. (As an aside, we love visitors, so don't be shy!) I think they've managed to hit most of the highlights in the Fromer's Ireland guide, and after extensive investigation, I think we're all agreed that The Spaniard is our pick of the pubs in the Cathedral Quarter.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

je suis, tu es, il est, elle est . . .

Argh!! You might know from reading this thing that from time to time I have the ability to leave things to the last minute. I was of course full of good intentions as always, but malheureusement, such a time is now . . . !

The clock is ticking as I study for my French exam which is on Friday afternoon (just where did the time go anyway?) And no, I haven't done a whole lot before now, apart from listen to the odd bit of RFI, just to be all cultural like. Anyhoo, I've spent a chunk of my night ce soir refreshing myself on the wonders of the subjunctif and trying desperately to cram vocabulaire from a year of night classes into my lil' ol' brain (that, let's face it, would rather be watching old episodes of West Wing.) Motivation level is not high as, you guessed it, French is an essential requirement to be an employed in Belfast! Come to think of it maybe I should take up Ulster Scots . . . ?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Page Turner

I am a bad blogger and, shamefully, an even worse reader. As with the blog, I am a sporadic literary - when I hit one good novel I usually then go on a roll but I must admit that long periods of time can go by when only magazines and newspapers manage to grab my attention for a few minutes before my head hits the pillow . . . My love of the Amazon DVD club might have something to do with this and, come to think of it, what I really need to do is master the skill of knitting while reading . . .

Anyhow, my new O Magazine arrived through the door yesterday (yes, I subscribe, yes, I love it and no, I am not ashamed so all you Oprah skeptics sit tight!) and the theme of the magazine (yes, the magazine has a theme) is 'A good book' so I am looking forward to a whack of new recommendations!

All that to say, what are you APYOC readers into this summer? Drop me a comment and share your top titles for the beach or the couch (chick lit welcome!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


It's ten to five in the morning and for some as yet unexplained reason I'm wide awake! Argh. Just had a good catch up on the phone with Mom though, so that's a plus.

After a bit of Stalkerbook and browsing Ravelry, in the wee small hours of the morning one ends up reading stories like this on the net. Time well spent. I will be no doubt be fresh as a daisy at work tomorrow . . .

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Viva weekends!

Yeah, the comic has nothing to do with the post.

Anyway, thought I'd take a break from my frantic house tidying (regretfully I tend to leave it 'till the situation's serious bordering on critical and then freak out with a major overhall!) to blog a bit.

Yesterday was a good day with lots of nice time spent with quality folks. In the morning we went out for breaky with Stu's parents - they were just home from a sunny two weeks in Tenerife and it was their 40th wedding anniversary (wow!) After the family time, Stu headed down to the Dub to see Radiohead - I'm not really cool enough to want to get in on that so I spent the rest of the day with friends which is, of course, time well spent. In the afternoon I met up with my friend Sara (aka to me as the Original Domestic Goddess) for a cuppa and lots of catching up with was lovely. Then in the evening I got together with The Celtic Angel and Anon (hehe - I do love the nicknames - makes it all sound more exciting . . . ) for an evening of wine, laughter and talking 'absolute rubbish' (as we are not ashamed to admit!) It was great. Stu thankfully made it home in the wee hours of the morning without incident and by all accounts the concert was great, if a bit chaotic what with the thousands of drunk people.

This afternoon I am tidying (and soon to start some baking!) in anticipation of the arrival of my bro and sister-in-law later this week for a visit :) Here's hoping the uncharacteristic Irish sunshine holds!

Saturday, June 7, 2008