Meditation Knitting – Set Up

Dear Readers,
As promised today I am going to be telling you a little bit about how I do my meditation knitting in a little step by step guide. (As with last week’s post this also applies to crochet)

Continue reading “Meditation Knitting – Set Up”

Meditation Knitting Introduction

Dear Readers,

Today I want to talk a bit about meditation knitting. It seems to be a popular phrase these days, I have seen many articles talk about knitting as mediation but they don’t really go into detail. They just say that knitting is good for you and your mind. So I have decided to write a series of blog posts about mediation knitting.(I would like to note that although I have written this is knitting most of this applies to crochet too! ) Continue reading “Meditation Knitting Introduction”

A quick Aside

Hi again,

Okay this is going to be my final apology for not posting regularily. No this doesn’t mean that I hope to somehow magically stick to a posting schedule. This means that I am going to try and accept myself as I am and just acknowledge that sometimes I can’t post and sometimes this will happen for months in a row.

My medication (for anxiety and depression) has not really been working (probably because I haven’t been recieving therapy and medicine helps the symptoms not the cause.) Anyway I sort of recently got to see a Psychiatrist through the NHS who is adjusting my medictaion and who also informed me that it is pretty much impossible for me to recieve onging psychiatric talking therapy. (Cue me having to go and find a private therapist who doesn’t cost an arm and a leg).

I am still in the transition between old medicine and new. Things have certainly been a roller coaster ride but they do seem to be somewhat on the up.

I hope that you have all been keeping well,
โค Love Diella

House Hunting

house hunting

 

Hello again,
Today I want to talk about my very first experience of house hunting.

houseFirst of all I will tell you what kind of places we were looking at. This was a new thing for me too, I don’t know if it is just the UK but there are so many different types of dwellings and they all have different names and some have nicknames! We have been looking at either upper flats or terrace houses which are also sometimes called 2 up 2 down. That is because usually there are 2 rooms down stairs and 2 rooms upstairs plus the bathroom. It took me a while to learn which ones where which and which ones we are interested in.ย  Both of the ones we have been looking at typically come with gardens and some times come with drive ways too. I personally prefer the 2 up 2 down to the Upper flats. Even if the actual square meterage is the same I just think that they feel bigger.

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My first tip is your cellphone. I always ask the person showing us around if they mind if I take photos and so far they have always said yes. I started off taking photos of the rooms but I soon found that I couldn’t always remember which room was which especially if they were empty rooms. So I started taking videos instead and this I found worked the best for me. It also means that if I like the place I can send the video to family and friends and see what they think of the place. Just remember to have your phone charged before you go! And you also want to make sure that your phone has enough space to take the video. The only place I didn’t take photos or video was the place that we viewed that was still inhabited. I just felt awkward.

busWe always take the bus to go and look at places because we don’t have a car yet. So we often land up being a bit early for our appointments so we usually take the time to walk around the area and see what it is like. Even if we are viewing in the evenings after dark it is still good to walk around and note, is there a lot of rubbish lying around, is it very noisy, are there strange people loitering around, do a lot of the houses look like they are falling into disrepair. These are all good things to notice and to take into account when you are looking at a place.

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Another thing I did was pack a packet of crisps or some sort of snack for Husband and I when we went to see places in the evening. Because of Husband’s work we often could only view a place late in the evening and this meant that we were often pretty hungry by the time we were leaving the viewing. And then we still had to take the bus back home. And the one place we viewed it took over half an hour for the bus to arrive! And I find that if I am hungry I get annoyed and irritable easily and I will often think back on the house negatively because I just think about being hungry. It also means that I am tempted to stop for fast food on the way home and that is not good for my waist line or my wallet especially when you are saving up to buy a house!

What I really didn’t expect was how much house hunting would affect my anxiety. It really is a high tension experience. Here where we are looking for houses, they sell really fast. There have been a couple of times where we have viewed a place on the Sunday and when we phoned the solicitors on the Monday to say that we were interested… they said Sorry an offer has already been made and accepted!

Another thing is that I feel like I can’t do too much research on my own into the houses because I work from home. That sounds odd but the thing is that which area we buy in is really up to Husband because he is the one who has to make the morning and evening commute. But it’s not as easy as saying okay he only wants to have to travel for 20 min or 40 min etc. He may decide that he likes the price of a house enough to sacrifice 10 min in travel time. Or something like that. But only he can make that decision for himself. So sometimes it leaves me feeling helpless. Especially as this is the busy season at work for Husband so he often doesn’t have time to be looking into these things.

I feel a kind of pressure to find a place because I really want to get a pet. When husband has to go away for work I get desperately lonely. If you didn’t know we are not allowed pets in our flat, most land lords here don’t seem to allow it.

Buying a house is also completely unlike buying anything else I’ve ever bought. It is so incredibly frustrating. Because it doesn’t have a fixed price. By this I mean, if I want something from the shops I usually just save up enough money and go and buy it. It doesn’t work like that with houses because you don’t know how much you are going to need for a given house you might think okay we need “x” so you save up enough for “x” but then when you look all the houses for “x” are sold. Ect. And then you have to wait for something else to come on the market or you have to look in another area. ect. I was not prepared for how frustrating this would be.

However this being said, it is also a very exciting process. Husband likes to look at a house and imagine how he might do renovations in the future or what he might use the different rooms for. Or how we might decorate it. The two things I am looking forward to about getting a house is, getting a cat, and having a bath! Haha. We only have a shower in our current flat.

I hope that you have been having a good start to your week. And I would love to hear some of your house hunting experiences ๐Ÿ™‚
Love Diella
xoxo

Separation Anxiety

Hi all,

I have actually decided to go through my back log of posts that I need to do from when I went on holiday to South Africa, but I am doing this post first because it is particularly pertinent now. I don’t want to post it later on when it doesn’t really apply so directly.

Cat photos are at the end so if you clicked on this because of my shameless click baity photo just scroll down. ๐Ÿ˜›

Now I don’t actually suffer from Separation Anxiety as it is defined.

Separation anxiety disorder (SAD), is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. – Wikipedia

However my husband helps me deal with a lot of my depression and anxiety so when he goes away my anxiety tends to skyrocket. Unfortunately with the job that he has at the moment he has to travel fairly often. Thankfully the company usually flies him back home for the weekends so it is not too long that I have to wait until I see him. It is strange because he can often land up working quite late so even during normal weeks I don’t always see him that much, but just having him around and being able to have breakfast and supper with him helps me so much!

At the moment he is halfway through a 2 week away stint. Thankfully that means that he is coming home this evening and is only leaving again on Sunday. Now I want to talk about how this affects my life.

The one thing is that it makes me not want to do things on the weekends where I don’t see him. This has unfortunately been affecting my attendance to my knitting meet up group. This always occurs on a Saturday afternoon from 2-5 and I just find that I can’t bear to spend that time with others when I could be spending it with my husband who is about to leave for the whole week. This makes me sad because I do really enjoy my knitting group.

Another thing is the way that I take care of myself and the house. When husband is not around I start getting lazy and falling into bad habits like eating instant meals for dinner, not doing the dishes ect. But then the mess / mild malnutrition makes me feel even worse and I start spiraling.ย  Thankfully things don’t tend to get too out of hand but last year Husband had to go away for a whole month and by the end of it I had slipped into a depressive episode again.
This week I did pretty well at cooking for myself and trying to keep up with the housework. Towards the end of yesterday the house was beginning to look like a bit of a bomb site and this morning I just did a massive tidy up / clean. Next week I want to try and schedule in my diary time each day to do the dishes.
I find that writing things down in my diary / making a list means that I am much more likely to do something.ย 
I have also been doing a sort of mental reward system.
So say that I want to play a computer game, then I will tell myself that I can do that if I put the laundry on and pack away the dry laundry. I know that this sounds really childish but it really helps to motivate me to try and be an adult.

I tend to play computer games as a way to escape reality. So if I am sad/lonely/anxious I tend to play an excessive amount of PC games and don’t do anything in real life that needs doing!

Another thing I have done is try to find a balance between pushing myself and being kind to myself. So for example I have recently joined an artist meetup group which meets up during the week in the evening which is perfect for me because it means I don’t feel like I am missing out on Husband time. (he will probably be at home doing work anyway) So this week I had said that I was going to attend but when it came to the day that I had to go I really didn’t want to. I just wanted to stay home in my pajamas and mooch. So I decided I needed to go since I had not seen anyone the whole week and I hadn’t left the house either. How ever because it was making me so anxious I decided that I would only commit to going for an hour. Obviously if I changed my mind once I was there I would stay for the whole time. But I didn’t I just went for an hour and I was really proud of myself.

And that is all I have to say on this topic for now. I’ll try and let you know how next week goes. I can’t wait until we have our own place and we can have pets. I feel like having an animal to keep me company will really help me with the times where my husband is away.

I am sorry that this post has been a lot of text and not much photos. I will leave you with some photos of Salty (who lives with my mom in South Africa.) She recently had to have some dreadlocks cut out so her neck fur is looking a bit moth eaten.

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You can really see here where her hair was cut. It looks funny.
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Kitty was grumpy after having to go to the DOG Parlor!!

I hope that you have had a good week,

Love Diella
XXX

The Week of the Autumn Equinox

Hello again dear readers.
I don’t usually say it each week but I want to thank all of you who come back week after week to read my blog. It really means a lot to me.

So to start off Monday was not the most interesting day to talk about. As I said last week, our flat inspection was scheduled for Tuesday so this meant that I just spent Monday cleaning and faffing about the house stressing about everything being just perfect.

So all I have to show for Monday is this cute picture of our Basil plant which Husband bought on sale for 34pence.

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Yes I do realise that my windows look dirty but I am on the 1st floor (not ground floor) and the dirt is on the outside. I am too afraid to lean out to clean them.

Tuesday was the dreaded day. I woke up early with Husband and left the house at the same time as him. First I went to the Doctor’s Rooms to go and book my first appointment where they will hopefully either sort out my prescriptions or refer me to a psychiatrist. That is booked for Wednesday the 27th.

Then I took my knitting and went and sat in a Wetherspoons. This is because they serve bottomless coffee until 2pm! So I got my coffee and sat and knit for a long time. I did buy some food at lunch time because I was feeling a bit guilty about sitting there for so long. However they were pretty empty until lunch time so it is not like I was losing them revenue or anything. I did have a minor freakout when the waitress brought me my soda and said that I had forgotten it. I felt so guilty. (this is why I need to get a psychiatrist or counselor ASAP) You see in the UK it is pretty common that you order your food and drinks at the bar, then you pay right away. Then they give you your drink and you go back to your table to wait for the food. I was not really thinking about the drink because it came included with the food otherwise I would not have ordered it (4 cups of coffee later). But I also asked the bartender where the bathroom was, so after I paid I just left to go to the bathroom (4 cups of coffee as I said) and then went straight to my seat… aka forgetting my soda. I know it is irrational to feel guilty because I was sitting quite near to the bar and the lady was not grumpy with me, but I just felt irrationally guilty about having made her walk there. Then at about 1.30pm I decided to leave and go somewhere else because I was feeling too guilty about sitting there.

Then I went to a yarn store which shall not be named. This is because I had a bad experience there. I went in to have a browse and the lady who was working there was nearby. I asked her if I could take a photograph of the yarn (this was because I want to make some socks for Husband but I do not know what colour he wants). And she snapped at me, “No!” This took me by surprise because I have asked and then taken photos at all the other yarn stores I have been too. And I don’t mind the shop having a no photo policy but I was quite upset about having been snapped at as though I had just asked if I could have a skein of yarn for free. So I apologised and explained that the socks will be for my husband and I want him to choose the colour and she just gave me a dirty look. So I left the store and in the road I fought back tears and resolved to never ever go to that shop again. Which considering how many socks I knit is really their loss. But anyway I was super upset. I was probably feeling more sensitive because of the house inspection stress but I still feel that that was a really bad way to talk to a customer.

So I still had time to kill so I went to Prince’s Street Gardens. It was a sunny day (anyone who tells you Edinburgh is never sunny is lying!) so I thought knitting outside and getting some vitamin D about be good for me.

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While I was siting knitting on a bench I suddenly heard an odd noise. I turned around and saw what looked like the bottom half of a lawnmower with a little white box on top (presumably the computer) busy zooming around gobbling up leaves!

I took a quick video and sent it to a bunch of people because I have never seen one before. (neither had a lot of people there evidently)
My sister said that I should pet it and then take it home and put cat ears on it and keep it as a pet. ๐Ÿ˜› Haha. (She was joking)

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At about 4pm I decided that it was time for me to brave going home. And when I got there the inspector had left a lovely note saying that the flat is in good condition and thanking us for looking after the place.

On Wednesday I photographed my art prints in a frame so that I could do some etsy listings for them.

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Then once I had done my photography… I was seized by an odd desire to open a library account! So that is what I did. I went to the central library and opened an account. It was super quick and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I am allowed to take out 12 books, however I doubt I’ll ever do that since I wouldn’t be able to read a book that quickly. I can take the books out for 3 weeks, and I can return them at any library in Edinburgh! I don’t have to go back to the one I took them from. They also have a cool self service checkout. You dont even need to scan the books, you just put them in this large slot and it must have some sort of radio signal or chip scanning thing because it just senses which books are there.

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I got a book on bread making because the Autumn Equinox was on Friday and I wanted to bake some bread to celebrate. I got a book on sock patterns, no explanation needed. And I got an Indian Vegetarian cook book. I mentioned in my last post that I want to cook more vegetarian food and I have found from experience that Indian vegetarian is usually very flavorful.

Then I carried on knitting my sock. I was on the cuff on Tuesday and knit the whole leg and heel flap while in Whetherspoons and the Gardens. And then I did the gusset on Wednesday.

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On Thursday I started off the day by painting a leaf. This was not done from a real life leaf, instead I painted it from a photo which my sister took.

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Cellphone photos really don’t do art justice.

Then in the afternoon I started knitting a pair of gloves for my husband. He actually asked me for them in March but I had so much knitting to do for family in South Africa that I never got further than purchasing the wool.

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In the evening husband regrettably informed me that he had work leaving drinks for a colleague on Friday evening. This was regrettable because he knew that I had planned a whole dinner thing. I was going to bake bread and make butternut soup and then also bake an apple and Rhubarb pie for dessert. All Autumnal foods to celebrate the Equinox. But I decided that I was not going to let that ruin my plans so I invited Friends E, I and R over for supper instead. They all work in a different part of the company so they did not have these leaving drinks.

Friday was basically non-stop preparations for the evening. I started off by going to the shops to make sure I had all the ingredients which I needed. Unfortunately none of the shops near me had Rhubarb so it landed up being just a plain apple pie.

Then while I was waiting for the pastry to defrost I made a paper leaf bunting for the lounge. I got pre-made pastry because I was already baking two loaves of bread.

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There were lots of periods where I had to just wait around where things were either baking or rising so I chatted to my mother and she sent me lots of cat photos.

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And no that empty wine bottle was not there due to day drinking ๐Ÿ˜› I don’t have a rolling pin… so I use an old (CLEAN!) wine bottle.

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I celebrate the 22nd as Salty’s birthday because that was the day on which we found her. She is my Equinox baby. Although in South Africa it is Spring.
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I love seeing bread rise! It is amazing.

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So I actually made a little mistake with this loaf. I misread the instructions and didn’t knead it or shape it properly after it’s first rise. So I just sort of shaped it without folding it. It looks fantastic but it is very very dense. More like a ciabatta.

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The second loaf however I shaped properly and folded the outsides in for a minute to make it a circle. And this one rose much better and was much more light and airy. Although I think that I put too much egg glaze on the top because I think the top hardened and didn’t let any of the air or steam escape. So the top of it had a 2 or 3 cm air bubble which then cracked and softened. But it was delicious so who cares!

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Last cat photo.

Everyone loved the food and decorations! And after we had finished our food but before we started Dessert Husband came home and had some food with us too. So that was lovely!

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Saturday and Sunday I pretty much recouperated from the full day of baking and cooking. My arms ached from all the kneading of dough and my legs ached from standing all day. But it was totally worth it. We had such a great time. I only wish that we had a slightly bigger place so that entertaining people wasn’t so cramped.

Oh and I did go to knitting group on Saturday. That was lovely too, I love catching up with my friends there. And friend E came as well. She said that she had forgotten how to knit from the last time I taught her in March. But I only had to show her once and muscle memory kicked in. ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope that you had a great week.
Love Diella

 

The Week of Cats and a Breakdown

Hello Again readers!
I don’t really have much to say about this week so lets just dive right in.

Monday was not a particularly interesting day and I didn’t even take any photos. I just cleaned the house and did house worky stuff. We did have friends over in the evening though and I got to meet friend I for the first time! Husband, friend R, friend E, and friend I all work together. But friend I was on holiday in another country when I came back to Edinburgh.

Tuesday I was pretty productive. I filmed a notice for my Knitting podcast and I filmed a new episode for my podcast. It is kind of funny, I always get dressed up for filming my podcast but then I never really go anywhere afterwards.

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Friend E came over for tea in the afternoon and it was really nice.

Tuesday was a bad day for me. For some reason I woke up really early. I usually wake up between 8 and 9 when husband goes off to work. But I woke up at 4.45am and I was wide awake. I took a blankie and stayed in the lounge because I didn’t want to disturb husband.

As husband was leaving we discovered that I had somehow got shimmer powder on is raincoat! I had discovered that my powder puff the day before had had shimmer on it and it had accidentally got on my face. It must have got on him when I hugged him hello the evening before. Anyway needless to say husband was not very impressed although it was a raincoat so it would probably (and did) wash off when it rained.

Then for some reason I got obsessed with having all my packaging ready so that I can start listing my Etsy pieces. So I decided to go off to the Hobby Craft at Fort Kinnaird once husband went off to work. However when I got onto the bus my card beeped a whole lot and I didn’t really see what it said so I freaked out and got off the bus. Now for you South Africans I will explain the system a little more. I have a special travel card which I pay 54 pounds for every month and then I get unlimited access to the buses and tram for that month. Now for the last few days (5 I think) it beeps more than once when you scan it so that you remember that you need to buy another month soon. I don’t know if it was because I have been away for so long or if I am still not doing that well yet but I justย  freaked out and decided that it was completely expired and that I couldn’t use the bus (even though it had done it’s normal one beep the day before) and I set off home. And on the way home I decided that in future I’ll just order everything online and I will never have to leave the house again.
A little extreme I know. And obviously I have left the house since then, but I was just not having a very good day.

As I was falling asleep the night before I had had an image flash into my mind so I decided to paint it as a way to try and de-stress.

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I told my mom about my bad day and she sent me a cute picture of Pangaea sleeping on her bed.

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Then in a further effort to try and cheer myself up I crocheted some bunting for our kitchen window.

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In the evening husband came home with a box of chocolates for me and he had clearly forgiven me for the shimmer make-up incident.

Thursday morning my sister sent me some funny pictures of Salty and Zoe both on her bed without her. Usual Salty and Zoe do not really get along but they seem to be tolerating each other better. Zoe is very civil to Salty although she is afraid of her and Salty is very mean to Zoe.

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The rest of Thursday was kind of a slow day, I did more house work and I started the drawing for a painting which I decided to paint on Friday.

In the evening husband and I went for a walk along a canal. While we were walking we passed a houseboat which had a kitty on top. I wished I could pet the cat but knew that I couldn’t. We stopped a few meters passed the boat to check directions. When I looked away from the phone I saw Kitty! Right at my feet asking me for love, so I willingly obliged.

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Friday was a terrible day! I woke up late and I hadn’t started doing anything productive when Husband messaged to say that our flat inspection is next Tuesday. Oh my word. Cue massive meltdown! Husband and friends tried to reason with me that our flat is always clean and reasonably tidy and that it will take no time on the weekend to spruce things up. But unfortunately my anxiety defies the laws of logic. I had an asthma attack, I was having heart palpitations and when I discovered that I left my “in case of emergency tranquilizers”ย  in South Africa I just lay on the floor and cried for a while. Then Husband probably guessing what was going on (from past experience) suggested I meet him for coffee near his office since it was lunch time anyway.
Getting out the house, doing a bit of walking and seeing husband did me a world of good.

Then my mom sent me tonnes of cat photos to cheer me up.

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Salty making a speedy exit off my mom’s bed after discovering that Pangaea was already there.
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Pangaea slept through the whole thing.

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Salty really likes to sit right under the Coffee Table.
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My mom said that Salty looks like an alien here.

On Friday afternoon I decided that my meltdown was a sign that I really need to sort out my medical status in the UK. So I went to my husbands medical practice and applied to have a doctor there too. They said that I can make an appointment from Tuesday. Unfortunately things are a little different here than in Z.A. so that is causing me some anxiety too. I only have a 10 min appointment and I am only allowed one problem per appointment so I need to go for 2, one for my mental health and one for my Asthma. And I have to hope that they refer me to a psychiatrist and for counseling. I don’t know if I will get a psychologist or a counselor but I really hope that I will be able to get the support I need here.

Once I was home I cast on a new sweater in an attempt to pretend that my life was not happening.

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Saturday was a good day. I am always a lot more calm when husband is around. So we spent most of the day sorting out the flat to make sure it is ready for the inspection. And then in the afternoon I went to my knitting group which was wonderful as always.

In the evening Husband and I started watching Dr Who. I know we are seriously late to the Dr. Who party but it is a lot of fun. And it is weird for me because usually Husband does not like watching series.

So that was my crazy week. Unfortunately it was a bit up and down but hopefully everything will be sorted out by next weekend. I hope that your week was more calm than mine!

Love Diella

The Week of packing madness

I am sorry that this post took me such a long time to write. I have been settling down at my parents house, visiting people, and fighting with my laptop keyboard which is still a bit sticky after the tea accident.

So without further a do, Sunday!

Last Sunday I was thinking about how many of the Knitting Podcasts I watch talk about Harry Potter or knit Harry Potter related things. So I decided that I needed to go onto the PotterMore Website and discover which Harry Potter House I belong to. So I did. And I discovered that I am a HufflePuff.

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T got Slytherin.

I also started packing my bag that afternoon.

On Monday I went out for the last time to the yarn shop to buy some last minute balls of wool. It was 8 degrees C but it was a nice sunny day so I wore a dress, leggings and a cardigan.

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I also discovered that when I knit myself my first ever pair of socks I knit the one leg too short and as a consequence it now keeps slipping under my foot! I have not had this trouble with any of my other socks and T doesn’t complain of this. It’s just this one sock.

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These are the three balls of wool below that I bought. They are all going to be socks. the one was for my airoplane knitting. I also bought some little pink rubber stoppers to go on the ends of my needles and make them look less dangerous for when I went through security.

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After packing some more I started freaking out and just sat on the floor.

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If you recall T had bought me a chocolate Easter bunny. He had also given me an order to finish the bunny by the time I flew to Cape Town. He didn’t want the temptation of eating it. So After freaking out about the packing I decided to have some chocolate.IMG-20170411-WA0013

I just ate the carrot and then packed him away neatly. I sent a picture to my friend E and asked him if he thought T would notice. E thought not.

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E was wrong. T noticed as soon as he walked into the lounge.

Tuesday I did more packing and I cast on my airoplane socks.

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I also did a whole lot of ironing for T so that he would have as many ironed shirts as possible for while I am gone.

I also chatted to my friend E about being in Hufflepuff. He went to discover his house, he is Ravenclaw. He said chatting about Harry Potter made him want to reread it. I decided that I wanted to read it too as I have mainly just watched the movies. So we decided that we should read it together.

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I also tried to use up all the puff pastry that was in the fridge that evening. I made a mince meat pie and then used the rest for jam pastries.

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After supper I ate the poor bunnies ears. I felt really bad like I was just leaving him there to suffer.

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On Wednesday my sewing patterns arrived. I had decided that I wanted some sewing patterns because fabric is cheaper in Cape Town so I would make the dresses there and fly them back with me.

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I ate bunnies face and didn’t feel so bad about just leaving him anymore. I also did my podcast early so that I didn’t have to film it the day before I left for Cape Town.

I also packed in a Text book that we bought for my sister-in-law. It weighs 6 kg!

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Cuddles on the couch with T.

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On Thursday my real panic about leaving set in. I couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. I couldn’t eat any chocolate because it made me feel ill.
I downloaded the Harry Potter Books onto my Kindle.

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That evening I went out to our favourite Pub with T and Miss E. There was a doggie in the pub who I petted a lot because it was super friendly and wanted attention. Being pet starved I was happy to oblige. T pointed out that all the people at the bar were staring at me.

Friday my podcast posted as it was scheduled to.

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I got dressed and did my last checks.

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We had some time to kill at the airport so we went to Wetherspoons and had something to drink and some deep fried haggis balls. They were surprisingly yummy.

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I got through security with my needles fine! It was a huge relief. Especially as my bag was put in the suspicious line but then it turned out that my laptop bag had fallen onto my laptop by accident.

Then I chatted to T on whatsapp while he gave me moral support as I found my gate and boarded the plane on my own for the first time.

The flight to Heathrow was uneventful.

Heathrow was massive and I had to take a bus to my terminal but it was okay because it was really well sign posted and I did ask an attendant for some directions.

Then I got through security a second time without any fuss over my knitting.
So I went to find the boards which showed the gates and I sat and knitted for quite a while. I had a 5 hour lay over. I also went and bought a neck pillow. I had to buy two as one was 13pounds and 2 was 15 pounds. The black and white stripy one is for T.

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My flight to Cape Town was pretty good. It was 11 hours and 30 min.
I watched a whole lot of movies although after the first two my thing broke and it wouldn’t let me select the movie and start from the beginning. It only let me scroll through the channels and I had to watch from where it was or wait until the movie had finished and restarted. But since I had almost 12 hours I just watched a bunch of half movies. If it seemed like it wasn’t yet halfway through I just started watching.
I also discovered that I can’t knit in the dark. I counted my stitches and discovered that I had icreased. I tried to tink back but couldn’t because my personal light thing also wasn’t working. We landed at about 10am in Cape Town. they only served food at about 8.30 and by then I felt ill from hunger so I couldn’t eat. I was really worried that I was going to vomit but I didn’t.

When we landed I changed my sim cards and discovered that my mom and sister were already at the airport. By the time I got through arrivals I didn’t feel sick anymore.

I went back to my parents house and got ready for my cousin’s wedding.

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Coo’s first photograph in Cape Town

My sister and I got ready together. It was not a super formal wedding.

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My mom insisted I’d need a long sleeve top even though I was dying of heat.

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The wedding was lovely. But in the end I was grateful for the long sleeve top. It got pretty windy and it was actually quite chilly.
We slept over at the wedding venue with some of my family.
The venue was on a Nature Reserve and the rooms we were staying in were quite dusty so I got really bad hayfever that made my eyes itchy and puffy and my nose ran and I had an asthma attack in the middle of the night. And apparently I had a conversation with my sister in my sleep. She asked if I was having asthma and I said no it was hayfever.

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There was a skylight in the room we stayed in.

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Itchy face plus makeup = panda

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On Sunday it was Easter but it was also My first anniversary of my marriage to T. It was also the day that my sister-in-law was leaving to go back to where she studies in Pretoria. So I spent the day with my family in-law instead of my family because I really wanted to see my sister-i-l. It was really lovely to see everyone again. I have more photos but I don’t know if my family-in-law want to be on my blog so I won’t post them.

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And that is it for what felt like a really long week!

Love Diella โค

The Week of Blue Knitting

Hello Again Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for returning to read my blog if you are a regular, and welcome to my blog if you are a new reader. I really do appreciate the time that people take to read my blog and leave comments each week.

Last week Sunday I may have hinted that Miss E and I went shopping. My in-laws had promised me a coat for my Christmas present and so we decided that it was about time that I went out and chose one. Miss E was looking for shoes. At Top Shop she found some shoes and I saw the pair pictured below. I LOVE THEM!ย  img_20170212_134209

We had to go to a lot of shops looking for a coat as I wanted a longish one and most of the longish coats are sold out and not restocked as we are moving into Spring.ย  But eventually I found the one pictured below.

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All Zipped up

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The long fur on the edge of the hood can be removed.
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It has a double layer zip so you can trap extra air for warmth
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And it is long, it comes down to my knees. Just what I wanted.

The coat is also water proof, which my woolen coat from Z.A. is not. And there are little knitted inners to the sleeves to stop cold air going up my arms. And I can’t believe how warm it is! I don’t wear jumpers underneath it because I would be too hot. I just wear my long sleeve top and then throw on my coat whenย  go out. It is really amazing.

Then I went home and blogged while T set up the last of our lounge furniture. In the evening he also set up our new curtains. I have always loved the look of those sheer curtains that people hang up but never bothered with them because other than being aesthetically pleasing they have not been necessary. But now we live with windows that face the street and also a police building opposite us where I can see people at work at their desks during the day. So I finally have pretty sheer curtains up. We got ones with a spotted stripe decoration on them.

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Then I uploaded one of my new Redbubble designs. arty_farty_02

Here are some pictures of our lounge. It was kind of messy because we hadn’t packet all the stuff away yet. And in fact we still haven’t. T is actually putting the finishing touches on some furniture in my craft room and then once I can pack all that stuff in I can then sort of what needs to go where in the lounge. img_0680

We set some low bookshelves between two tall ones so that we can hang some lights or some art between them without having to damage the wall. We will use the space behind the couch for long term storage things that we do not need to access frequently. img_0681

This T.V cabinet is a work of art in my mind. We could not find a cheap T.V. cabinet that we liked so T built one. I will label the components below.

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#1 on the sides are two billie shelving units designed to store CD’s.
#2 is a smallish cupboard
#3 is a glass fronted display shelve unit
and #4 are decorative L brackets.

T screwed the CD shelves into the bottom cabinet and then into the top display cabinet and that makes the gap between them as though they are floating. And then he also added the L brackets to look nice and for extra support. So it is not actually sold as a unit but with some creativity T has made the best TV cabinet ๐Ÿ˜€

I spent the morning cleaning and moving the piles of stuff out of the craft room so that T could build the other shelves in there when he got back from work.

For lunch I had left overs but they were so tasty and looked so good I photographed it. Cream cheese on toast with left over bolognese. img_20170213_131728

Then in the afternoon I was suddenly inspired to pick up my watercolours and do a whole lot of botanical motifs. This was meant as a reference page for myself but my sister and husband are very keen for me to upload this to RedBubble.ย  img_0716

On Monday night I fell asleep while T was still building furniture in the small room. As I have said before my meds make me sleep like the dead so I didn’t notice his drilling and banging.

On Tuesday morningย  (Valentines day) I woke up earlier than T’s alarm so I snuck out of bed not wanting to wake him. I went and answered all the wishes that I got on my phone. Edinburgh is currently 2 hours behind ZA so all my ZA friends and family were awake already.
Then I heard T get up so I went back to the bedroom. At that moment I remembered that T had been working on the craft room and I had not seen the finished product so I rushed through. What a sight to behold. My own little creative space and he had filled it with all the heart shaped things which we own! And he had written me a lovely love note. How amazing is that? I was so blown away. Best valentines gift ever.

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Early in the morning with the curtains closed
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Later in the day with the curtains opened

Just in case you can’t remember how the room looked before I have included a before photo below. It was basically just a walk in closet with a wardrobe in it. Which we have since moved into our actual bedroom. There is no door between the bedroom and my craft room but that is not a problem.

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The only problem is that we realised that the room is very very uneven. We would say that there is a 5-10 degree slope across the room. When I sit on my chair it twirls round voluntarily.ย  So I have not yet packed the shelves as T is putting in some wooden wedges under neath to try and balance things out as best as he can.

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A quick little valentines doodle which I did for my instagram

Tuesday was actually quite an eventful day other than being valentines day as I had to go out and do a few things I don’t like doing.

The one is that I had to go and buy a Rida card. Basically this is a card which has your name and picture on it, you can then pay about 50 pounds per month and have unlimited access to the trams and buses. I was really nervous about going because, what if I filled out the form incorrectly? And what if my card rejected the transaction? (up until this point I had been paying cash for everything) I was just so worried and to make matters worse I had run out of airtime / data on Sunday so I couldn’t even call or whatsapp T if something had gone wrong. I say HAD…. because nothing went wrong ๐Ÿ˜€ and I survived. ๐Ÿ™‚ But this then lead to the second stressful thing. I had to go and buy a top up for my phone. It is all fine and dandy having WiFi at home but I sometimes want to go out.

On my way to the shops that sells me my data I got some whatsapp messages from my sister and T. Then I was so confused. I was wondering if maybe T had bought me data online while I was sleeping and not told me. I tried to message him and even call him once but he was clearly busy at work and did not answer. By this time I had arrived at the store. I checked and I wasn’t connected to any nearby WiFi spots. But I was just worried that I didn’t buy data, went off to Fort Kinnaird and then couldn’t contact T. So I went into the shops and was unusually brave. I explained to the assistant that I am new here and that I thought my airtime / data had run out but that i was still somehow getting messages but I don’t even know the code to call and find out my balances. They were super friendly and really helpful and it turned out that I had 9pence left on my account which was what was letting my whatsapp messages come through so they helped me buy more airtime and change it into data.

I then went to Fort Kinnaird and bought myself some masking fluid for my watercolour pieces. If you don’t know what this is, it is a liquid that is rubbery and once it dries you can them paint with watercolour over it. Then when you rub it off the watercolor will not be there where it was. Basically acts like masking tape but you can paint it with a paintbrush so you can make much more intricate designs. I also bought food colouring for T as he had decided that he was making dessert.

Back at home I made T a watercolour valentines card and then finished off his socks which were knit in the West Yorkshire Spinners “Blue Lagoon” colourway.

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I used the WYS “juniper” colourway to do the heels an toes so that it did not break up the stripes.

For supper I cooked Chicken a la king which T had requested. And T made a red velvet, fudge brownie, cheesecake dessert. It was as decedent and yummy as that sounds.

On Wednesday I decided to make a trip out to McAree Brother’s knitting shop since I now have a Rida Card. I needed to buy a needle guage, potentially buy some new needles, and buy some yarn for some friends presents.

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Just a beautiful building I saw on my way to the shops.

Little did I know but my yarn shop trip was about to become quite an adventure.

I already had the yarn I needed to start my sister’s scarf but I didn’t know if I had the needles. I have some which I had bought but if you have ever owned a lot of knitting needles you will know that there are UK sizes and US sizes and mm sizes and then also old and new standards. So basically what that means is that you NEED a knitting needle gauge. In ZA I always used my mother’s one but now I needed my own one. So I took my needles with me to the shop. I measured them there and discovered that I already had the size I needed. So I bought the gauge and not any new needles. I also looked at their sock yarn. As I have said I want to knit lots of presents, mainly socks, for my friends when I go back to ZA but I want it to be out of UK yarns. I think that that will make it special. But looking at what they had at Mc Arees I decided that I need to use a machine washable brand because I can’t be guaranteed that my friends are going to do hand washing and I would hate to give them a gift that just felts and becomes useless on the first wash. So I am going to use the West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn as it is machine washable and UK based. But Mc Arees doesn’t stock that. So I just got the gauge.

On my way back up the hill I messaged T and said I wasn’t sure if I should go and get the yarn for my friends socks or if I should just finish my sister’s scarf first. He said it didn’t matter but if I messaged him later I could meet up with him later for coffee.

So I decided to go to the Ginger Twist studio yarn shop as it was further away and would take longer, and not to mention I had not actually been there before. I stepped off the bus and discovered to my surprise that the shop only opens at 11am! And it was 10.45am. I decided that it was worth while waiting so I went for a meander down the road to just see what else was about. I noticed that I was right near the place that we had caught a bus back home on Sunday the 15th of January. (I have blogged about it)
While I was walking I suddenly landed up near a little mall. I saw that they had a pound land which made me really happy because I really needed a new journal and pound land was the cheapest place I had seen them before. I need cheap journals because I write A LOT! I am sure that you believe me since my blog posts are so long. Haha. I landed up getting a folder for holding my knitting patterns in, a journal, and a packet of Blueberry licorice flavoured hard-boiled sweets, 3 pounds in total.
Then by the time I got back to the Ginger Twist studio it was 11.10am so they were nice and open. It is quite small but very lovely. The lady there was very nice and we discussed machine washing hand knit socks. I bought two balls of yarn which I unfortunately cannot show you!! Because I know that at least once of the two recipients reads this blog! So you are only going to see those yarns /knitted items in April! I also bought some black DK yarn to knit T another pair of split mittens as he has requested.

I then let T know I was on my way to meet up with him for coffee. On the way I couldn’t help snapping this pretty scene. That is the Scott Monument. So Gothic, so lovely! On a clear day we are going to go to the top of it and take some photos of the city. Butย  I think that the building makes an amazing silhouette.

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I had a lovely coffee with T. I had a crembrule latte. This is actually the first time I have met up with him during his lunch break from work… ever… in the 3 and a bit years that he has been working.

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Back at home I started knitting my sister’s scarf. I also figured out how to log into BBC iplayer and I watched some movies.

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On Thursday I pretty much just knit and watched series.

I added two garter stitches down the side of my stockinette scarf hoping to make it lay flat.img-20170216-wa0006

But alas it is still curling. Miss E said, Oh are you knitting a snake?

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On Friday I uploaded some more Redbubble art. A Cat Lover design this time. And then carried on with my knitting. cat_lover_01

At this point it was over a meter long and getting quite unwieldy. img-20170217-wa0003

I also chatted with my sister who has been suffering severe knee pain since about October or November last year. She tried physio but it didn’t get better so she went to a specialist today. And They think that she has a torn Meniscus but they need to confirm with an MRI and then they might have to operate! If she reads this she is probably going to be mad at me for telling you because she is quite shy, but I think that she needs more love and good thought coming her way. Anyway so after our chat I went and painted her a little picture. She loves dogs if you can’t guess. I have sent her a scan but I will give her the original in April. img_0711

And finally on Friday evening I finished my sister’s scarf while Miss E was over for supper. It is made to my sister’s specifications. 2 meters long and 22cm wide. img-20170218-wa0000

On Saturday I tried blocking the scarf to made it lie flatter. But now (On Sunday) it is dry and I have unpinned it and it is still sort of curly. img-20170218-wa0004

Saturday I didn’t do that much. T and I made a trip to he hardwarestore. We took a long tram ride which was nice. He bought the things he needed for finishing my craft room.
Then we dashed to Mc Arees and bought me a 120cm long 2.5 mm cable needle so I can try 2 at a time socks.
And then I dashed off to my knitting group which was great. We had 6 people this time. 2 of whom were even newer than me. And the one was so new we were teaching her how to cast on. And she was from France and so her pattern she was using was in French. The one lady at the table did French in high school so we had much fun and hilarity trying to decipher the pattern instructions.

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A final picture of the scarf post blocking.

And my sister and my mother have been slacking on the cat photos this week. I am going to have to have word with them! So for this week I have a photo of the sweet Zoe.

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I hope that you had a great week and that this next week is even greater. ๐Ÿ˜‰

โค Love Diella