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Archive for August, 2013

Those of you who see me, even infrequently, will know that I don’t wear shirts. The cotton-type button up the front variety, just in case of any language differences out there! This isn’t because I don’t like them. I do. A well pressed, well fitting shirt can really smarten up an outfit, whether it be part of a suit or teamed with a pair of jeans (another bugbear, shared by fat girl skinny jeans). Therein lies the rub. Well fitting. Can I find a shirt to fit me? I would probably find it easier to crawl to the shrine of San Diego Di Compostela, to be frank.

My quest for a well fitting shirt is a long and fruitless one. If it fits well on my bust it is far too big at the waist, if it fits well at my waist it is pulled across the bust, sometimes I am unable to fasten the buttons and let’s not even go there with the buttons not fastening at the hips. Yes, there is the oversized shirt option but they aren’t my style. Wearing baggy clothes makes me feel like a short, fat frump and let’s face it, there are enough issues on this planet without adding that one to my list of daily battles.

I have probably tried shirts from every high street store, I have even paid some, in my opinion, eye watering prices in an effort to end my quest (and I am secretly glad that those shirts didn’t fit or I’d only be owning one perfect shirt!)

I asked this question of Dearest Papa as he and I were going to the retail park so he could look at technology and I could return yet another ill fitting shirt (ironically called “The Perfect Shirt”). Dearest Papa doesn’t seem to live in the same world as we do half the time but he was certainly alert enough to reply that clothing companies make clothes for “women with no boobs and no hips.” This, alas for me, appears to be the truth. Those of you reading this who have what is politely termed  “a boyish figure” may well be screaming that you would murder your own granny if it gave you boobs and hips, which goes to show that we women are never happy with what we have! Humans come in all shapes and sizes, and I celebrate that fact, I just wish clothing companies did. Why can’t they make clothes for different shapes? It’s no use looking at clothes for the fuller figure because their sizing is too big for me. Yes I have boobs that are at the bottom end of the big scale, yes I have hips that would send every man in Jamaica drooling, yes I have a defined waist and a belly that Buddha is deeply envious of but I can still (just about) get into a high street size 12 and I want to stay that way – with perhaps less belly!

Next on my list of brands to try are two that are aimed at women with a curvier figure – Pepperberry, who are the clothing arm of Bravissimo, and Biubiu which is a Polish company who ship to the UK and were recommended on Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. As I have my sewing class fees and two quilting/knitting shows coming up this month it will probably be next month before I can get around to buying any new clothes. Watch this space!

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50 years ago today Martin Luther King made this landmark speech. It heralded so much potential change for the better. A lot of that potential was realised all over the world, but it is sad that all of the dreams of Dr King have not come true. In many countries, including both the USA and Britain, while equality is supposedly a part of culture in reality it is not. Racism is rife, both white against black and black against white. I live in a town which is very culturally mixed and it makes me both angry and sad when I hear the remarks made by the mainly white population in the part of town in which I live. People blame all the economic downturn on the influx of “foreigners” taking “our jobs” and stretching the already stretched facilities of “our doctors and hospitals”. Any crime/unrest is the fault of “the blacks”, by which they mean anybody who isn’t a White Anglo Saxon Protestant of impeccable pedigree traceable right back to before 1066! Graciously they allow any non WASP people who were born in Britain to be “one of us” as they were born here. What they forget is that those peoples’ parents, grandparents or even great grandparents had to have come from another country and suffer racism, prejudice and hardship to make a new and better life for their families.

I don’t know where I was going with this post but I had to get it off my chest. Some of my dearest friends have a different color of skin to mine, they have a different cultural background to mine, but I almost don’t see that. Instead I see the person that they are, that is what is important to me. We need to keep dreaming until everybody is “not judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

YouTube clip of the speech.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs

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Playing catch up.

I am so bad at keeping this blog going but I must make the effort even if nobody ever reads it!

So, what have I been up to craft wise over the last few months?

I had a splurge of pattern buying and ended up with this gem

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It was too good for a bedjacket so after a bit of figuring out what yarn I should use I bought a cone of Gansey yarn and turned it into this

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Not as svelte as Knitting Pattern Lady but it could be worse (maybe need to reactivate my SW membership though!)

I was partway through a fairly thick cardigan/jacket when the heatwave hit so I put it to one side in favourite of small projects. The heat wiped me out somewhat; I am comfortable in temps up to about 24°C and the thermometer was hitting 30°C most days for about two weeks. So I sat mainly indoors with all doors and windows open and fan going and caught up on knitting and reading.

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Socks….

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More socks….

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And I finished a bag which had been languishing in the cupboard for a year, I thought I had more to do to it than I actually did. It has proved most useful as a “throw everything in and head to the beach” kind of bag.

I have finished two more pairs of socks and a scarf but haven’t quite got round to photographing them in all their glory. Procrastination is my other middle name!

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Lindisfarne Gospels

As the Lindisfarne Gospels are in Durham for a few months it would have been silly not to book to go and see them. They operate on a timed ticket system, but you can buy tickets in Durham on the day as well. They are well set up for visitors, there are wheelchairs available to borrow as well as those folding seats that double as a walking stick. I persuaded Mum to use one of the latter as she cannot walk or stand for very long and she said it was extremely useful and meant that she could enjoy the exhibition instead of spending most of the time looking for somewhere to rest.

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The exhibition had lots of pictures and information boards, starting with the background to the creation of the Gospels, early Christianity in England and the differences between Irish (Celtic) and Roman Christianity. The information was not dumbed down, I was pleased to see, nor was it so erudite that the ordinary person couldn’t understand. Once we got into the climate controlled area there was more than just The Gospels. There were many examples of different religious books, both Celtic and Roman, along with explanations of the different styles of writing and illustrations and so on. Most of these books were quite plain, although some of the Celtic ones had illuminated initial letters. Then there was a case of books with full page pictures and these were breathtaking. It was hard to believe they were actually real! The detail was incredible, even on the small A6 sized books and the colors were still bright and clear, even 1200 years on. The biggest shame was that the actual Lindisfarne Gospels were open on quite dull pages, such as the picture below

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But the book was displayed so that you could see the wonderfully rich cover as well as the open pages

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I heard quite a few people say, and I agree, that it would have been better if they’d been open on the fully illustrated pages that we are used to seeing on TV. There were enough plainer books to show the style of the times. But that was my only quibble about the actual content of the exhibition. My other quibble was some of other people in the exhibition. There were a couple who selfishly spent much longer than was reasonable at each case, completely preventing anybody else from seeing exhibits and causing queues to build up as people waited patiently for them to move. I had charge of Mum’s walking stick as she had the chair thingie and I was sooooo tempted to bash these people with said stick! While it was nice that visitors weren’t hurried through and could technically spend as long as they liked looking at things, most respected the fact that there were other people wanting to see and so didn’t linger too long.

Typically they made sure you exited via the shop, and as is usual the shop was full of overpriced tat, the things I really liked were sadly beyond my budget. There was a lovely cross stitch kit of what is known as the Lindisfarne Cat (pic below) and if I hadn’t been sensible and spent my hard earned pennies on a new winter coat I would have bought it. Oh how sad it is to be adult and sensible 😦

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I did buy a couple of postcards and a notebook and pen instead!

The day was slightly spoiled by a bad lunch. We ate in the restaurant in Durham Cathedral, which I was told had been very good. Sadly no longer. It was cafeteria style service, which was very slow. The food was edible but my vegetarian lasagna was merely warm and not at all filling. I was as hungry after lunch as I had been before lunch. Mum’s cheese and bacon quiche only had cheese sprinkled on the top and four miniscule scraps of bacon and Dad’s beef and veg pie was mostly gravy with not much in the way of beef or veg. So don’t eat there should you find yourself hungry on Palace Green. Instead go to the Cafe on the Green, in the old almshouses. We went there for coffee before we went into the exhibition and it has excellent service and very nice scones, which bodes well for their other food. I was tempted by the “Gospel Gourmet” burger van that is the exhibition’s effort at catering. They had a varied menu of burgers and they smelt delicious while cooking – as if they use a barbeque or grill rather than frying. If it had been less breezy I might have suggested it as a serious place to buy food!

**As photography was, not surprisingly, forbidden inside the exhibition all photos are courtesy of Google images.

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