Thursday, December 31, 2009


We have just returned from a trip to Brussels. Pictures and musings to follow.

Friday, December 25, 2009


One of my first dyeing attempts. I did each 50 gm hank slightly differently but I cannot recall what the difference was! I do know that I only painted one side, leaving the other undyed. I didn't expect to get striping. I love the pooling on the instep caused by the gusset increases.



Thursday, December 24, 2009


I have come to the sensible conclusion that my hands are most important to me and I must take care of them. I have been using the hand cream more often and have now taken to using rubber gloves to wash up and latex gloves for dyeing. I have soon learned to not forget. My skin gets sore and cracks and dries out but with what look like cuts at this time of year and knitting becomes painful. The simple steps outlined prevent that.

We went out today. Had lunch and coffee at Panini's. It takes me so long to get dressed in this weather. First I put on underwear, then 100 denier tights, black, then merino blend long john's, then ski thermal pants, then trousers. On my feet I put 3 pairs of shop bought skinny socks and on top of those my hand knit socks. This still does not prevent my feet feeling cold, but they don't drop off. On the top I wear a silk vest, merino blend long sleeved vest, roll neck sweater and a cashmere sweater on top of that. Then a coat, hat and scarf. I use a thick thermal blanket over my legs in the electric wheelchair. I am warm except for my feet, like that. We have been home about 3 hours and I am only just going to attempt to get it all off again! Don't you dare laugh!

I am almost done knitting the socks out of Expression, one of the first yarns I dyed myself. I am itching to get cracking on Flash Light, the merino, cashmere, nylon mix. I will be knitting them plain as the purpose of the next 4 pairs of socks is to see how the colours and methods I used knit up.

Tomorrow is a day like any other so I will be here and available on my blog or email for those who either ignore this day or are alone and feel like 'chatting'.

Xmas Dyes

This is Superwash Merino/Nylon.
Flash Light is merino/cashmere/nylon.

Lush Puppy is Blue Faced Leicester/nylon

Revolution is merino/bamboo
Luque is asleep!
As tempting as it is to just carry on dyeing, I want to knit these up first. These are the yarn qualities I will be using. They are either 400m or 425m per 100g. I used a different painting method for each one. I want to see how they knit up before I start to dye for sale. I hunted for Luque yesterday and couldn't find him and I became afraid that he had slipped out unnoticed when the postwoman arrived. As you can see, I found him upstairs on the bed. He took no notice at all of the flash nor me!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I have started to use Google Chrome as my browser. I am astonished at it's speed. Here I was thinking that Broadband wasn't so hot when all along it was the browser that was slow.

I took delivery today of 30 hanks of merino/bamboo, 30 of merino/cashmere/nylon, 20 of Super wash merino/nylon and 20 of Blue Faced Leicester/nylon. All sock weight. All my favourite yarn qualities.

Is it possible I might be thinking of selling my home dyes? Each unique since I can only dye one at a time. It was John's idea.

It is still very cold and last night we had more snow. About 8 inches now and it has stayed and now got hard and icy and dangerous. I didn't go swimming and will not tomorrow either as between the fog and ice and snow, it is too dodgy. What, I hear you ask, didn't the council salt and grit the pavements, the approach to the Leisure centre? Are you mad? Of course not! they wouldn't want to waste any money. Better that we break our legs.

So I am still indoors. John will be home tomorrow early afternoon so that is okay. Today, my dear friend Vanessa came to see me and I took the opportunity to go out to the PO as I needed to and now could with her to help me not fall. My sticks will not purchase on ice.

According to the weather people, we will not be having a white Xmas. I assume that means no fresh snow, not that there will not be any on the ground  as it doesn't look as if the temperature is going to go up and melt the snow we have. 

We still have not had the final reckoning regarding the tax situation and I doubt we will this year now. I hate having this hanging over us although we are still assured that the house is safe. I just want it to be over and done so we can move on.

Now, some distance from when I first discovered this situation, I can see that it wasn't as I thought it was and my relationship with John was not a sham. Not at all. He is nothing like my family. He is a good man. He has a failing, who doesn't, compounded by feeling unable to own up to it. That was all. It wasn't a deliberate act of betrayal, it didn't mean he was a fraud or that his love for me wasn't real. I reacted the way I did because of my family experience, not because of how things actually are today. My programmed reaction was natural for me, but not appropriate to the present. He is nothing like them and the situation was not brought about by a callous disregard for my welfare. 

It has done me a world of good actually. I have always felt unequal in our relationship. partly because jealous people have referred to me as being a kept man. This fed into my poor self image and I just felt it was true and I contributed little if anything. I now know that is not true. We are equal partners. I just bring a whole different set of abilities to the table . Without me, his life would go down the toilet. Finances are gobbledegook to him. It's not that he is careless or frivolous, or a spendthrift. He just doesn't understand it. In fact, I have to cajole him to spend money on himself. As a result, bills, the tax returns etc frighten him/. I understood that 11 years ago when I  took over the finances completely. I couldn't take over the tax thing because I didn't know I needed to. Now I have and I can see how much lighter he is. I still find it odd that such a powerful (in his field) and educated man can be so phased by math. I accept it though especially since I know he isn't the only one and it is a a fairly common failing according to our Tax accountant, especially with men in John's bracket.

So I more than pull my weight and have my fair share of responsibility. In fact probably more so since I have to make ALL the decisions. This really annoys me at times. Sometimes, I just want him to give me a yes or no answer not 'whatever'! really, it is I who decides where we go when we go away. It is I who arranges it all. He doesn't really want to know. He just wants it all taken care of and he goes along with it. Okay, so maybe that sounds good to anyone else as I get to do what I want to do most of the time. It doesn't always feel that way to me. Mind you, if he really doesn't want to do something, he does say so.

I think we were both very lucky that we met each other. It seems impossible that it was almost 29 years ago.


Monday, December 21, 2009


Recently on Ebay I have bought several items only to later be told they had not got my size or not go the item. Or like one idiot, sent me the wrong size and now expects me to pay the cost of return.
I had trouble with JUSTHATSUK. I did a 'buy it now' and asked for an invoice and confirmation that they had my size as several sizes were listed and I already knew form experience that, like other sellers, they may not.

All I got back, 3 days later, was an impersonal invoice, no size confirmation. So I wrote again, saying I was annoyed that I had had to wait 3 days and still was not given the information I needed.

I got the following back:

Im sorry you feel annoyed about the procedure we have taken in selling this hat to you.
Unfortunately we feel that we have taken all the correct steps by responding to your requests.
It clearly states the sizes that are available in the ebay format....Claire has sent you a invoice that you requested but you are stating that its not good enough.
With all this in mind we have decided the purchase of this item will not will not go ahead

Needless to say, I was miffed at their rudeness. I then went to resolution and was told by the Ebay person that they seller would be censured and that was that.

Today, I got an unpaid item claim!!!!!!! I spent ages on the phone with an Ebay employee (in the Philippines) trying to get this resolved, for the third time. This time I think it is resolved. The non payment strike will happen but will then be removed.It is clear from my buying and selling on Ebay that I am honourable and the employee stated this and has put a note on my account with his name on it so that when the unpaid strike is lodged against me, I will call and it will be removed. I hope anyway. This is the the third time an Ebay employee has assured me over this and so far the assurances have amounted to nothing.

Now the good stuff: I received a package this morning. In it was some dye and three hanks of yarn to dye. I was so surprised and delighted and touched that someone would do this for me. It is one of my readers who sent it. I knew they wanted to send me something but I thought it would written instructions for dyeing or something, I had no idea it would be this. I am touched by it. I have not named them in case they prefer I don't.

I have dyed a further half a dozen hanks, including the gifts I received. I am pretty sure I am going to be offering home dyed yarn through my Etsy and Folksy stores and Ebay. Each hank will be unique as I only dye one at a time. I will do superwash merino/nylon, merino/bamboo, Blue Faced Leicester/nylon and merino/cashmere/ nylon. As and when I can / feel like it.

It is still very cold and it is presently snowing again. I did go for my swim this morning and much to my surprise I found it very difficult and didn't manage my usual time.

Nechung seems to be okay. She is still eating well and even danced about today and seems to love the snow too. Other times she is very slow. I am sure she is not in pain though.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Apart from Hissy Fit which is 75/25 wool / nylon, the others are all 100% Baby Alpaca.

All were dyed using conventional dyes except for Rhubarb which is Kool Aid.

I am not going to make a habit of dyeing in single colours. I will probably have a go at dyeing the three solids again as there are lighter shades and almost non-dyed bits.
I just had more dye arrive today. It was supposed to arrive Friday but due to the weather didn't. I was so surprised to see Kerry from ParcelForce at my door this morning.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


The wine coloured scarf is John's and is 3 ends of 2/28's Mongolian Cashmere in a simple 3 x3 rib.

The grey on the left is mine and on the right is the one I am giving to my friend Gail. Both patterns are
in the machine.

The brown scarf is mine and so is the stitch pattern.
All the scarves are 2 ends of 2/28's Mongolian Cashmere.


I think I have figured out what I have been doing wrong with my dyeing. The yarns, when I wash them in detergent, shed loads of colour. I thought maybe I hadn't used a strong enough amount of vinegar so I re cooked some in plenty of vinegar and the colour still ran out.

I then just washed and washed and could see that the run off became and less.

I went to eat dinner and then knitted some and it came to my mind that perhaps I was using too much dye. 4g per 100gm was the recommended. I used that an more for the several different colours I was using. I did so because when I used weaker solutions, it didn't seem to cover the yarn.

I dyed a hank in three colours. I used only 1 gram of dye per lot of water. I used my usual method to paint. It didn't look right at all but I went ahead and nuked it. By the time the process was complete, the colours were deep and vibrant! The only colour that has run, and only some, not loads, was black and that was the one I used more dye in.

I have realised that it is 1. the vinegar and 2. the heat which produces the colour and therefore I ought to ignore the yarn until AFTER those two things are done.

Part of the black is more grey looking. I think this is the area I did not make sure the dye went through.

I am ratehr p'd off with Parcelforce. I paid a hefty next day delivery charge only for them not to deliver today 'because of the snow'. The local small-time delivery service delivered my other parcel, yarn, today! I have yarn and no dyes!

This dyeing lark is fun to day the least and whilst it has been frustrating, at least I have learned for myself what works and what doesn't. Typical of me to go OTT with dyes. When I cook for people I cook enough for 6 when there are only two. Strange I am the opposite with my pain killers! ( I stopped taking the opiate ones and apart from increased pain I now feel okay about them because I didn't have any ill effects form not taking them so am not hooked.)

Friday, December 18, 2009


For the person who presumes to tell me what I ought not to write about: read what you like and ignore the rest but do not ever tell me what I should and should not write about! You may gain nothing from it, others do. Sticking one's head in the sand is the path to Hell.


Well I hope you all are feeling happy with your selves, after being so intolerant of my viewpoints. Do any of you out there really know me? No. You assume I am a man (maybe I am...) you assume that I hate gays (no I don't) and you assume that I don't know the diff between a civil marriage and a religious one. And at every turn each of you hurled a stone at me....very loving indeed. I shall go on with my happy, faithful ways, which includes many gay friends (and not a few that converted back to heterosexuality), and listen to my gay friends stories of being abused or neglected as children...and I will love each one of them, even if they don't agree with my Orthodox faith, they know that I am a good person, and God knows it too. Too bad Colin decides that I am not good enough for him, but only "bad" enough to be hurled a stone, and to invited others to do the same. You have all done as you wished....(left as a message to 'balderdash'. Anonymous of course, no backbone.)

Oh, how to hang yourself with your own words! As with so many abusive people, you whine and try to make out you are the victim! You have no insight at all. It's frightening. You go thru life wounding as you go and not only are you so arrogant as to think you don't, you clearly don't give a toss either! Your 'gay friends' hopefully are a figment of your imagination because you certainly are not their friend. And God forbid anyone shares with you their deepest pain, like being abused as a child, because you are toxic and the last person to be confided in. How dare you use the agony of abuse to make yourself appear good? It failed. You just show how disturbed and detached from reality you are. The abuse of children is not something for to use to your ends. Especially when it appears from your own words that you are an abusive person yourself and you do untold harm with your ignorant, bigoted, pathetic views. Lets make this clear: you are NOT a nice person. You could be, but you think you are so damn right that you will never see the logs in your eyes.
As for your 'converted back to heterosexuality'. Just what are you on? If nothing, perhaps you ought to be. Really! And to you and those plonkers like you, I wonder when you decided to stop being attracted to your own sex! How old were you? 16? 20? 40? When exactly did you decide to be heterosexual? About the same time you decided to be a source of pain and shame I would think.

No one threw stones at you, we didn't need to. You do that all by your little self. Your shell is weak because it's built upon lies and deciet and as a result you feel constantly under attack. You provide the ammunition yourself!

The only unforgivable sin is a closed mind. A closed mind cannot see and therefore cannot repent. Put another way, if you think you are so damn right, you will never change and become a decent person. C'est la Vie.


Well, we certainly had snow as promised. No, I didn't go to the pool. Last night's drive thru the blizzard left me with a desire to stay put. The dogs of course love the snow. No idea why. Even old and sick Nechung was dancing about in it. Edna looked like she's swallowed speed as she raced around biting at the snow, rolling it, and generally being loony. The yarn is called Global Warming and is dye by me using Kool Aid.


I went to talk and demonstrate tonight. I was sensible and I took a full complement of drugs first since I don't sit for the two hours and although I am not aware of my body while I work, as soon as it is over, I am very aware and it always is very painful. It was a mistake to do that. I found it hard to focus and I talked far too long leaving little time for the dem. I have never taken a full whack dose before and then gone to talk. I ahve only done it if: I am in great pain or to avoid it liek at the cinema(it helps me keep still and enjoyt the film). It didn't occur to me that it would effect my ability to communicate well. People still said they enjoyed it and could listen to me for hours but I was not happy. I felt I had let them down. I only did two communications. They were good and evidential but I felt generally this was not by best work.

After this, it took and hour and 20 to get home, driving very slowly thru a blinding blizzard. Strangely, there was lots of lightening too, no thunder. The trip is normally 30 minutes at most.

Yes, it's late and I am still up. I am hurting a lot. I got involved in a tv program and knitting.

I dyed three more hanks today. All with Kool Aid. Two I am very happy with. I was not so sure of but Edna made up my mind for me. She nicked it off the drying rad and by the time I realised she had made a real tangled mess of it. I binned it. Unlike Carly, Edna was suitably ashamed and ran off to hide in her bed. She must have heard me threaten Carly the other day, cos all I did was look at Edna before she hung her head and then ran.

Hidden Tiger has been binned. I wore them a full 24 hrs and then I hand washed them and the dye (food colour) just ran and ran and ran. Eventually the lovely deep green and bright orange were muddy shit coloured from the running black. I shall not use FC again.

I am very impressed with Kool Aid. It gives unusual results in that it does not colour completely and tends to go from deep to pale in the same section. The colour is also taken up by the yarn immediately as the water run off is clear. One only has to nuke it briefly for the water to be totally clear. It doesn't run one bit.

I am expecting some Baby Alpaca and some 'proper dye' tomorrow sometime.

I have knitted 4 cashmere scarves this last week. I'll blog them tomorrow I guess. Too late to fart about with the camera and faffing about with the image now.

Did I mention that I have discovered sugar free jelly (the wobbly cold stuff)? I love it and have some everyday now. I'll do that until I get fed up with it. I tend to go in phases with food. I might like smoked fish for a month or so and then gag at the thought of it. Then I'll have something else as a favourite for a month or so.

They reckon we will have 8" tonight. It's been a while since I've seen that much......

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


It could be! It is -1c here right now. Frost covers much outside. The temperature is -1c(30f) and is expected to fall to -10c (14f) by Friday. Brrrr.

As weird as it is, I love winter. I especially like it when it is cold like now. Dry or snow. I hate rain. I hate rain no matter what the temperature. It takes my freedom away. Okay, so too much snow does too but at least it looks beautiful!

The dogs love snow too. Have no idea why but they clearly do. If it snows, they want out and they play in it. I am quite certain they would have snowball fights if they could.

How about this then? Nechung has solved our problem. She toddles off down the stairs until she gets to the last few, which are the real problem due to the gate and I think because of her poor sight and she loses her nerve there. She waits for me to reach her, but first moves right over to the left so I can get by her. Now she could have moved over to the right but that would not be so good for me as the bannister is on the right hand side. I pass her, turn around and lift her down the last three steps and past the gate. How did she figure this out?

I am going to bath Whitney today and then get on with knitting up those dye jobs. I am going to knit just plain old st st so I can get thru them more quickly.

I have found a good wholesale supplier of excellent yarns and also a dye range I am going to use. I then may offer the hanks up for sale, either directly, or via Ebay, Etsy and Folksy.

The main trouble I have with dyeing is this: how do I part with what I dye? I want to keep them all and knit them up! (Come to think of it what do I do with the hundreds of pre-dyed balls I have?)

About being 51 today: I feel so lucky to have got here. There was along period of time I would have sworn I would not have made it. I also did not want to make it. It couldn't' be more different today. I love my life. I love who I have become. Myself. It's been a long struggle but I am here, being me and learning more with each passing day. Okay so physically I am crap but that is nought when compared to the emotional anguish I lived with for so long. Now I want to get old before I set off on my next Big Adventure. Yes, I do believe that death is but an illusion and there will be an adventure to be had after I leave this body behind. I believe the same happens to all of us and is independent of our beliefs and behaviour. I do think, however, that the quality of the experience will very much depend upon our beliefs and actions and for the experience to improve, one will have to evaluate and change. Just like here. Only one will have more knowledge and will not be hampered by the restrictions of the physical world.
I am well aware that the idea of surviving death is nonsensical. If experience had not taught me otherwise, I'd think it was nuts. Mind you, I think the alternative view is also nuts: that all this is for nought, that this is just an accident, that life has no meaning. Oh, how I have longed for that to be true, that death would mean the END, it's over. What a relief that would have been to me. I reluctantly came to know that life doesn't end with the death of the body. Oh shit! Now what? Well, I came to terms with it and now look forward to the coming adventure.

I can feel a long essay coming on so I'll stop while I can....


51 years today. Amazing. The hind view is crap but the forward view is brilliant.


hello Colin, I enjoy your knitting and have tolerated your lifestyle choices which are different than mine. I'm a musician and have provided my services willingly for gay marriages here in the US. However, if I were a clergy person, officiating at the marriage, I could not do it, for religious reasons. Here in the US there is freedom to practice your religion---which includes protection from government forcing people to do things that are against their beliefs. I do not condemn gays, but at the same time, I don't agree that (if I were a minister) I should be forced to marry them, the same as if I were a doctor the government cannot force me to perform an abortion or sex change surgery. I welcome anyone into my home and I know I will see everyone in Heaven, however, marriage is between a male and female. I know this is controversial---but it is my belief--- and I should not be forced to change my beliefs on issues so sacred as life, marriage, death. What's next? Forcing people to believe there is no Heaven?

Oh get real! Of course you condemn gays. You just don't have the balls to admit it! You clearly cannot read either. No one is talking about forcing clergy to do anything. The issue is abotu a government employee, a registrar. It is a purely civil thing, just as all marriage is. Marrying in church is just what some religious people do but the marriage itself is a legal union, nothing else. So religious bigots will not be forced to mark the marriage of those they despise with their pomp.
I don't need you to tolerate me! How patronizing and dishonest. One only has to tolerate something unpleasant.
Homosexual people are not asking for privileges or special tights. We are just demanding that our rights as human beings be restored to us.

No one is trying to force you to stop being a bigot. No one can do that. What people of conscience will do is prevent the likes of you destroying the lives of others by denying them their rights.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Carly got hold of this. I told her that I don't care if she is a dog, stealing my yarn is a capital offence. She just wagged her tail and tried to lick me. No one takes me seriously!
The yarn is wool/bamboo/silk, 70/15/15. I used regular dye for it.

These socks are dyed using Food Colouring. I wasn't happy with the first attempt so did the second half of the hank differently. Now I prefer the one I did first! I have shown the gussets on these. I knitted the gusset in purl sts so that the shape of them is clearly visible. You can see I start the gusset abotu half way along my foot because that is where it begins to rise. I used 2mm needles, over 84 sts using my Andersson Construction Method.
The yarn is 75/25 wool/nylon.
Expression is the same yarn but using regular dye.

Heat is 80% Merino, 10% cashmere 10% nylon. Regular dye. Not the colour I was aiming for. I learned that as I was dyeing the whole hank one colour, I needed more dye and I had run out of one of the combo's so my coral had to go to this cos I had no yellow left.

Jewel is wool/bamboo/silk again using regular dye.
75% wool 25% nylon, using regular dye.

Sea Wool/bamboo/silk again using regular dyes. The base colour was meant to be Turquoise but the manufactures idea of Turquoise and mine are different! I added yellow to get this. The dye is deeper in parts than others and an effect I wanted but not so sure I can guarantee to repeat!


Lilian Ladele, the woman registrar who refused to officiate at the Civil Partnerships (marriage of gay people) due to her being a Xtian (using religion as an excuse for her bigotry), and who was subsequently fired by the authority for whom she worked, has lost her appeal for discrimination in the Court of Appeal. She is now going to appeal to the Supreme Court (yes we are becoming more and more American, we never had one of those until recently). Hopefully they will uphold the Court of Appeal who upheld the fact of her own bigotry and using religion to justify it is not on.

Perhaps it ought not to, but the fact that she is a woman and black, makes me feel more exasperated toward her. I just cannot understand how she cannot see the correlation between the discrimination she faces day to day with the discrimination she gives out day to day!

The Bible is used to justify racism and misogyny. It still is. And you will find passages in the Bible that will justify a racist or misogynistic stance. As for misogyny, the Bible makes it very clear that women are less than men and indeed are subjects of men and are to do their bidding and keep a low profile.They are to obey. It also speaks of the legitimacy of slave keeping, obeying the masters, and the need to keep the races apart.

Funny how most, if not all of that, is ignored. As is the wearing of polyester cotton and other mixed fibre cloth and the eating shell fish and anything cloven hoofed or strangled.

And yet people still use the Bible to justify the abuse of children and the abuse of homosexuals.

Clearly this has nothing to do with the Bible and religious belief but with the inner feelings and ideas of those who espouse the hatred.

Believe whatever you want to believe. You have that right. You do not have any right to ask that others respect your belief. I certainly don't. I find much of what stands for religious belief cretinous at best and evil at worst.

Here in the UK we have Sunday trading laws which control opening hours of shops because of the Church. How dare they? If they want to keep the Sabbath (which is Saturday anyway, duh!), let them. They have no right to force everyone else to.

We have anti cruelty regulations here which dictate how animals are slaughtered for food. Non Jews and non Muslims are not allowed by law to kill the way Kosher and Halal dictates because it is deemed cruel. And yet Kosher and Halal butchers are allowed to! How stupid is that? The law should apply to ALL or it really is an ass.

Any non Jew who circumcised a boy the way some Jewish ceremonies do, would be jailed for child abuse. Because it is a 'religious ceremony', they are immune from this charge. The circumcision of females is roundly condemned yet the same mutilation of a boy child is both ignored and encouraged. The major effect of circumcision for both sexes is the reduction of sexual pleasure and the main reason it is done.

Going back to the woman I first spoke of. I DO understand where she is coming from and others like her. She believes in a God of conditional love and has been taught that homosexuality is evil. She has also been taught that to question is likewise evil. She as been taught that if she does not believe as she believes, she will suffer eternal torment in the fires of hell, or at the very best eternity without Light. In effect, if she doesn't believe, she is evil herself and will be rejected both by her peers (those in her congregation) and God.

I know just how that feels. I know the terror one feels for doubting. I know how rejection feels when one finally finds the courage to start thinking for oneself, for daring to think that what one has been taught is wrong. I know what it costs. However, ultimately the cost of not following my own conscience was very much higher. I came to realise that a God of conditional love was an oxymoron. That the Pope and nuns and priests had no authority and later, that the Elders and preachers also had none. I came to see that the great Orators who could whip a congregation into a frenzy of speaking in tongues, whip up a passion so strong that people literally fell to their knees, were using the exact same techniques that Adolf Hitler did, to the same effect, and look where that led. One only has to watch and listen to see that these Orators will lead their people into the same evil. Georgetown?

NONE of these people know THE TRUTH. Not one person on this planet does. We cannot know Absolute Truth and no matter what garb the people wear, no matter what lofty position they hold, they are LYING when they say they do.

All the pomp and ceremonial majesty employed is thusly employed to FOOL us and it works! Not just the Roman Catholic Church, Not just the Pat Robertson's, Ian Paisly's, Billy Grahams. The Hindus, the Buddhists, the Muslims, they all have their ways of controlling and fooling you.

The Emperor really has no clothes and you will not perish for daring to say so or think so. Your suffering will come though not daring to think and for not freeing yourself from bondage.

Mark my words, if these people win, evil and tyranny will win. Back will come the burnings, the beheading, the tortures. We will be plunged back into the Dark Ages and it will be our fault. No one will be safe.

Think this is over top? They still behead adulterers in the ME. They still murder gays by law in the ME. In South Africa people were regularly burned alive for their so called wrong doing. By not recognizing the evil inherent in these fundamentalist ideas, by not seeing where it could lead, one plays into their hands.

One only has to see and hear the Westborough Baptist Church to know the evil they would heap on us all given the chance. You only have to hear televangelists to know where it will lead.

The only way to beat them is to be certain that YOU treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. Give the same love, compassion and acceptance to others that you want for you and yours. It really is that simple. Changing our world only requires that we change ourselves. It is the only thing we really can change.

WAKE UP! You are not weak. It isn't beyond you. You can do something that matters. You can change. You have nothing to fear.

Hate ideas but do not hate people.


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As I have oft said, the rise of Fundamentalism is an evil the world needs to be rid of. Thankfully Bush has gone but his ilk still hold too much power and the LAND OF LIBERTY FOR ALL needs to defend itself from the enemy within and come to see why the rest of us fear the USA more than any Muslim fundamentalist. They are out in the open but the evil in the USA hides itself behind the banner of righteousness. YOU could be the next on their hit list. EDIT: before anyone else misunderstands, I am well aware that not all Americnas are intolerant fundies. However, it is up to those who are not to fight this evil. Those of us outside of the USA cannot do it on our own. You need to wrest control of your country back from this wicked ideology. Don't be fooled-it isn't just the gays they hate, they hate anyone who doesn't think as they do and you will be next on their hit list. The evil of the dark ages will be back upon us if they are not fought againsts and not seen as more than something to poke fun at. It is far too serious for that. You may think you are safe becaus eyou agree with them. What if they don't think you do? Then what? Not such a cosy thought is it?


This is Nechung. She was 12 years old on the 6th of this month, 10 days before me, though I won't be 12.
She is the mother of Micah and grandmother of Shameless and great grandmother to Carly, Bridget and James.

I have sensed that something is not right with her so I took her to the vet. My fears were confirmed. She has cancer. She has two tumours in her breasts and possibly one on her shoulder and possibly higher up inside her ribcage. Surgery could remove the small ones in her breasts. I have elected not to operate. I think it is far kinder to leave her be and judge the right time to let her go. She is fine now. She still gets excited about food time. She doesn't cry or yelp when touched. She is happy within herself. I am sure it will become obvious when she is no longer fine.

Nechung is John's favourite. She sleeps on the bed every night though that is becoming a problem because she isn't so good at getting down the stairs and whilst I carry her, it is dangerous for me as I can't manage the stairs that well either, especially when I have first woken. I can't bring myself to leave her downstairs though. John doesn't know this news yet.

Nechung came to me from France, 6 years ago, to introduce fresh genes into the Lhasa Apso population here. Her children were bred with the children of our other import form Denmark and all those genes are in Bridget and Carly and James.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Here is the result of my messing about. FREEDOM is acid dye, ABSTRACTION is acid dye as are Purple and SUSTENANCE . BILLIE HOLIDAY is food colouring and TRIFLE is Kool Aid.

Purple was meant to be lilac. I wrongly assumed that using less dye would result in that as the blurb suggested 4g for deep colours so I thought less would result in paler colour. Not so. I am amazed how little acid dye it takes to dye a hank. Purple took only 2g. Abstraction is a mix of blue, purple, turquoise, red, yellow and black. The strength of turquoise was clearly too strong as it doesn't look like turquoise at all. There is purple in the hank, for some reason it won't pick up with the camera. I even went out into sunlight and it still looked blue in the taken picture. ABSTRACTION is 80% merino 20% Bamboo, PURPLE is 70% wool, 15% Bamboo and 15% silk. All the others are 75% wool 25% nylon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


A father walks into a restaurant with his young son..
He gives the young boy three 10p coins to play with to keep him

Suddenly, the boy starts choking and going blue in the face....
The father realises the boy has swallowed the coins and starts slapping
him on the back..

The boy coughs up 2 of the 10p's but is still choking.
Looking at his son, the father is panicking, shouting for help.

A well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman, in a blue
business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and
sipping a cup of coffee.
At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down,
neatly folds the newspaper, places it on the counter, gets up from her
seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the restaurant.

Reaching the boy, the woman carefully pulls down his pants; takes hold
of the boy's' testicles and starts to squeeze and twist, gently at
first and then ever so firmly.. tighter and tighter !!!
After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the last
of the 10p's, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand.

Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the coin to the father
and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.

As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the
father rushes
over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've
never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are
you a doctor? "

'No,' the woman replied.
I'm from the Inland Revenue..'

Dear Dogs,

When I say to move, it means go someplace else, not switch positions with each other so there are still two dogs in the way.

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help, because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king size bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue to sleep on the couch to ensure your comfort. Look at videos of dogs sleeping, they can actually curl up in a ball. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space used is nothing but doggy sarcasm.

My compact discs are not miniature Frisbees.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, and try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. In addition, I have been using bathrooms for years, canine attendance is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dogs butt. I cannot stress this enough. It would be such a simple change for you.

Your Overwhelmed Owner In response, my dogs sent me: TEN PEEVES THAT DOGS HAVE ABOUT HUMANS

Blaming your farts on me..... not funny... not funny at all !!!
Yelling at me for barking. I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG
Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?
Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose. Stop it!
Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you're not home.
The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! Whoooo Hoooooooo what a proud moment for the top of the food chain.
Taking me to the vet for 'the big snip', then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back!
Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet.
Dog sweaters. Hello ??? Haven't you noticed the fur?
How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth. You're just jealous.
Now lay off me on some of these things. We both know who's boss here! You don't see me picking up your poop do you?


Friday, December 11, 2009


Edit: the early morning fog has not lifted and temps have stayed in high 30's f.
I am getting smarter every day. Before my swim yesterday, I added 5mg morphine to my mix. My swim was painless! Yes, I could feel exertion, but that is not the same thing. The rest of the day I felt tired and I knew by the time bed time came around that I would not go swimming today, despite that meaning I only went three times this week. I recognize the difference between the tired that means I need to sleep and the tired that sleep won't cure. Yesterday, it was the tired that sleep won't cure. Today has proven that right. I awoke sore and very stiff.

My knitting books from Amazon (USA) have arrived. At 7.30am to be precise! I have not opened the box yet.

I did some more dyeing. I really like the results of the Kool Aid. I did dye another set with food colour, just to get rid of the food colouring as I don't like it for dyeing. It does a good job but the dyes seems to run and run and run whereas the Kool Aid doesn't run at all, not even a slight water discolouration. I have ordered some sachets of Kool Aid from a UK supplier but would like to know of a bulk source, if anyone knows of one in the UK.

My disability payments suddenly stopped. I telephoned to find out why and I was told that I was dead. I was told they were informed back in June that I died on November 9th 2009. I informed the young man I was speaking to, that he had not suddenly developed excellent mediumistic skills, that I was very much alive. He told me the computer said I wasn't and that they had written to me in June, the 6th to be precise, that my payments would stop on November 9th due to my death on that date. )Surely a computer with such precognitive skills would be famous?) He just could not seem to get his head around the fact that the computer was wrong. I hung up and called again, hopefully to get someone with a few more brain cells. I did and she was lovely, quite a chipper person, and she sorted it out for me. This happened Tuesday, and today Friday, the money is in my account. Lesson: if a computer tells you that you have expired, argue the point, unless you are, in which case there seems little point.

Back to dyeing. I discovered that my two 900w microwaves do not behave in the same manner. I was nuking Kool Aid dyed yarn and this time decided to use the other oven too as I was doing two lots. The same yarn, same method. The second oven burned the yarn to a crisp. Lesson number two.

Computer banking is becoming more and more difficult. I do our banking every morning, 7 days a week. I like to know precisely where we are and I pick up very quickly on false usage of cards. That has happened three times all told. I have a good memory for numbers and passwords etc. I know the 16 digit numbers of cards off by heart. Yet I'll forget the dog's names, what day it is, John's name, all sorts of things. (Oh and I just found out that short term memory loss is a PTSD thing). Anyway, this morning, I discovered that on my bank account, I can no longer do transfers and payments without my mobile phone. I say I want to do one of these things, and they then SMS a pass code to my mobile, which I then retrieve and tap in the pc. Bugger! Honestly, this really is becoming a faff. I will now have to remember my mobile phone and you can bet your life I'll be phoning myself regularly to find the damn thing. And guess what? When I do find it, I'll notice I have a missed call and I'll wonder who it was........

Tomorrow morning, John and I go to get our Swine Flu jabs.

I had wanted to go to the pictures on Sunday morning, but the cinema in their wisdom are only showing 'family' films for the next few weeks. Clearly no adults want to use the cinema at this time of year, unless they bred, and the offspring are still in the nest.

Oh, and just in case you have forgotten, I HATE f'ing Xmas! The time for good will and all that piffle. Time for pretence and fights and hell on earth more like. At least that was how it used to be for me and mine. My only good Xmas was when we spent it with Lia and Lui and Jane and Gordon and Nana in 2007 in Germany, near Heidelberg. Now that was a truly good Xmas. It was also a white one. Not because it snowed but because it was -7c and everything was covered in white frost. Gorgeous.(even if it caused me problems. It was worth it.)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Yes, I gave in and did some more dyeing before I have finished the other pair of socks using home dyed yarn. I wasn't in a good frame of mind and by the time I had finished I was.

I used food colouring on the Confidence, just in yellow. As you can see, it isn't yellow. For Sincerity, I originally started off using blue Kool Aid but it was not even. So I re-dyed it using blue food colouring. This was much better but when I washed it, the excess dye that came out (despite the original dye water being clean after nuking), stained the undyed portion, which is not what i wanted so I dyed again (but didn't go to Heaven.)

I am pleased with both and they are knititng up nicely. Still stripey.

Confience is really nice as it knits up as the orange does fade to yellow and back again. It all blends in rather nicely.

Sincerity is also stripey but with flashes of the blue.

So far, I have used a different technique for each of the 5 hanks I have dyed. (actually six as one of them was in fact 2 x 50gm hanks.)

I have some acid dyes and I shall use them next time. I won't be using food colouring again me thinks.