Sunday, October 14, 2007


This is a long post. Waffle about home, waffle about nice people, and a waffle about knitting. Feel free to skip to whatever bit you want.


I'm definitely much more settled in now than I was last time I posted. Steve and a friend went to Lowestoft to pile the rest of my stuff into a van, so now it's all here. Mum and Sister Dearest have done the finishing up at the flat - disposing of the last bits of rubbish, giving the empty flat a final once-over with the vacuum cleaner, that sort of thing - so now all that remains to be done, is for Mum to call the leccy people with the final meter reading, and then hand the keys back to the landlord's agents.

A three-bedroom house containing my boyfriend is obviously going to be a very different home to a small one-bedroom flat that was just mine. Nevertheless, a home it is. It's amazing how much difference small things can make. For instance, the bedroom here, now contains the small bin and a few framed photographs that were in my bedroom back there. My poor abused houseplant is in the lounge. My trusty kettle is in the kitchen. And because of this, it doesn't seem to matter so much that 90% of my books are still inaccessible due to being boxed up, because there's a significant amount of familiar things that are definitely mine, but have their place here. It's very reassuring. Yes, I realise this makes me horribly materialistic. I don't care.

Nice People

More proof has been asserted for my "People Are Basically Nice" theory. This time, it was in the form of our next-door neighbours and an end to the Saga Of The Sink which I think several real-life people have heard about but I don't seem to have blogged.

Precis: There was a drip under Steve's kitchen sink (it started several months ago before I lived here, so definitely HIS sink). While it was creating half a small bucketful of water every fortnight or so, it was a bit of a non-issue. When I moved in here and discovered that it had deteriorated to a point where the brimful bucket needed emptying three times a day, I started being a pain in the arse at him to either fix it or call a plumber to fix it. I also dug out a Bigger Bucket. On Saturday morning, we found that the Bigger Bucket had filled to the top during the few hours while we slept, and Steve said I could call a plumber if I wanted.

Finding a plumber in Lowestoft would have been easy. Verily we could sayeth unto Pip, or other person involved in the building trade, "what plumbers do you know who could come and fix this for me?" and yea, he declareth "Bob's a decent plumber and a nice bloke, good mate, he won't overcharge you" and lo, for Bob the Plumber doth cease the flow of water and only charge for parts, and all is good with the world.

Here, however, I have yet to develop a personal and prioritised hotline to the world of tradesmen. Nor do I have the other common plan of having used a particular firm's services once, and on the basis that they didn't steal or break anything, hanging onto the number to call them next time there's an issue. So, I decided the sensible thing to do would be to pop next door to have a word with the lovely couple who have lived there many many years, and see if they had either of these resources.

All I asked for was a phone number of a plumber they could recommend. Of course, they asked what the matter was. In an effort to reassure them that they wouldn't be affected, I told them. "But why do you need a plumber for that?" they asked. "Because we don't know how to fix it ourselves," I answered. Next thing I knew, our friendly neighbour was coming round to have a look at it. He told Steve where to find the thingy to turn the water off, and undid the bit that was broken, and sent Steve off in the car to get a new one. Steve returned with the new bit, our friendly neighbour fitted it, and ever since, no drip.

I have no idea how we can thank the man. All I'm sure of is that giving him money would mortally offend him.

(At this point I also need to say that, on his plumbing expedition, Steve got new taps, the lever type ones, which are SO much easier for me (well, for anyone really) to use. Well done Steve.)


I finished the jumper for Littlun, just on time for Steve to take it with him to Lowestoft when he went to pick up my stuff. I finished it perfectly, but then, I panicked. I had somehow convinced myself that there was no way the bound-off edge of the collar would be big enough to go over Littlun's head. Steve tried to persuade me it would be fine, but he didn't want to be too insistent because he was more concerned about making me calm down.

So rather than taking photos of the perfect finished item, I frantically unpicked the collar seam and knitted up a triangle shape to shove in, effectively increasing the neck by one inch. It didn't exactly look right but, he's three, he's not going to be wearing it perfectly straight at the best of times, and no other knitters are likely to inspect it. I didn't have time to re-do the bodge, but at least now I knew he would be able to at least put the jumper ON.

Steve took lots of pictures for me, but here is just one of the Littlun in his new jumper.

Since then, I have been working on my adapted version of these mitts for my stepdad. Today I finished Left Mitt v1.0 which I am sending to my parents for approval. If they tell me it fits, I can get on with knitting an identical Right Mitt. If it doesn't fit, I shall make a start on v2.0, with whatever adjustments they tell me are required.

Of course the big problem with this is the postal system or more to the point, the postal strikes. If I post v1.0 tomorrow (Monday), it may well not reach them until the following week or longer. I would also guess there's a higher chance than usual of it going missing altogether.

This means I have no current projects on the needles. Which feels weird. And I don't want to start the right mitt with the v1.0 pattern only to find it won't fit. And I don't have a clue what to knit next. Ideas?


Katie said...

Thank the neighbourly not-plumber with chocolate brownies. Either home-baked chocolate brownies or - if impossible - shop bought brownies removed from the packet.


Anonymous said...

Back after prolonged blog absence. Glad you're settling in well. Don't think houseplant, photos and bin exactly materialistic!

Might be and idea to edit address out of that photo of littlun

Mary said...

Katie - not a bad idea, except I think the moment has probably passed by now... my next Sainsbury's delivery isn't until Monday.

Hi again Vic :) thanks for the thought, but it's not Littlun's address so he's probably safe.