Friday, 16 August 2013

Stealing is Wrong

I just heard a scooter drive by on my street...and I felt a frisson of anxiety and anger.

Today I cycled over to my friend's house in Streatham.  As usual I put my handbag in the basket on the back of my bike, using my lock to secure it to the basket.  I'm fairly blase these days about cycling in London...sometimes cars and buses try to squash me, sometimes pedestrians walk in front of me, and sometimes I buy way too much at Sainsburys and have a little trouble getting home without things falling off/out...but generally everything works out okay.

As I cycled up my friend's street two guys on a scooter bumped me and the passenger grabbed my handbag and yanked, trying to free it from my basket.  I hollered a bit and we had a bit of tussle over the bag but I was still straddling my bike so was kind of getting knocked about a bit as the guy yanked on my bag.  Eventually my basket broke and they drove away with my large pink handbag with a big U-lock hanging off it.

So I dusted myself off, hopped on my bike and cycled the last 200 yards to my friend's house.  They picked a perfect time to target me...I'd just pedaled uphill for from Brockwell Park (that last bit from Tulse Hill station is brutal) and was almost to the downhill.  This meant I was totally focussed on those last few yards of uphill and not on the potential for two jerks to try to rob me.

The police came round to my friend's house in less than 5 minutes and were very nice.  I have some painful bruises and a big lump on my shin (but really they weren't trying to hurt me - if they had been they could have very easily done so).  I've cancelled all my stuff but I won't get my three balls of lovely green wool back, or my 2.75mm needle or Franklin Habit's pattern that I bought in printed form when I took his class....or my Zumba card (with 5 more stamps left).  There are so many things that were in that kitchen-sink of a bag, many replaceable with only a little trouble...but have I lost something much harder to replace?  I'm worried that I'll be less confident to go out in the world on my little bicycle, that I'll look with suspicious eyes on people I would have blissfully ignored...

Monday, 16 April 2012


Well, I'm joining in the fun happening over at Karen's.  I love to lounge around the house in comfy pyjamas.  I have to dress up for the office so when I get home I like to change into something comfortable and most days I reach for fleecy pyjama bottoms, a raggedy M&S t-shirt, handmade wool socks and a woolly jumper. 

To be honest, some days I wouldn't want to answer the door in this get-up...the colour combinations aren't always easy on the eye and well, many of these pyjama items have seen better days.  I prioritise warmth over fashion so in my drafty house I wear whatever keeps me toasty warm.

I found this lovely vintage pattern when I was thrifting near my parents over Christmas and this is what I plan to use for Karen's PJ Party.

Don't they look like they are having fun?  I am pretty sure I have suitable fabric in my stash.  I have some great purple spotty cotton and some plain purple which be just the thing!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Red and Pink

Mmmmm the house smells so yummy

I've been industrious today!
  • Washed out the vegetable drawers in my ice box (I'm not sure what possessed me, but they were empty and I seized the moment)
  • Posted my five mittens to afghans for Afghans
  • Bought a refill for my laundry detergent - I use the ecover brand and there's a shop in East Dulwich which refills them
  • Bought a bunch of lovely veg at the organic veg shop - aren't they gorgeous!  I just love the vibrant colours of veg, the red-pink of beetroot juice just makes me happy
  • Bought three kinds of cheese from the lovely cheese shop two doors down
  • Made rhubarb compote, yum! for putting on my yoghurt
  • Cooked up beetroot greens and sausage - very yum for my lunch and leftovers for another day
  • Cooked the beetroot (for some yet to be determined recipe in the next couple days)
  • Chopped up a pineapple
  • Made breakfast bars
  • Spoke to one of my sisters
Phew, I'm ready for a cuppa tea and a sit down. It's hailing here in Peckham so a wonderful excuse to chill out...I wonder if there's a period drama or a Miss Marple on the tele.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Thrifty goodness

Last week I started a new job just up the road from New Malden station.  I’ve been heads down absorbing information and trying to remember everyone’s name.  Today at lunchtime I wandered out into New Malden high street to investigate.

What did I find?  Well my goodness gracious I discovered that New Malden is charity shop heaven!  I went into no less than six charity shops during my 45-minute jaunt (and I only made it half way up the high street).

I was rather overwhelmed by the number of shops and have to admit that I only gave each a cursory walk-through.  I tend to focus on the housewares section of any charity shop, looking for pretty dishes, picture frames, glassware, candleholders, knick-knacks, and similar.  Apparently many of my fellow New Malden workers like these things as well because in each shop there was a cluster of people congregating in housewares.  I also like looking through the clothes, but in my quick lunchtime whirl-around I felt I needed to focus.

In my second shop I patiently waited behind a lady who paid for her £5 purchase with pennies and five pence coins.

In my fourth shop, while waiting my turn to look at housewares, a cross-stitch book caught my eye and I realised I had been neglecting to look at crafty books!

In my fifth shop I remembered that bed linens make excellent fabric for toiles.

In my sixth shop I saw a huge cone of (wool?) yarn for £5, reminding me that people donate crafty things.
I came away from my most enjoyable lunchtime with a very little sweet glass vase which I hope to fill with flowers from my very own garden come spring.

Monday, 30 January 2012


Well it happened again.  I was just trying to make a simple internet purchase with my debit card and it was declined.  Hmmmm, I thought, this is odd.  I double-checked my balance to assure myself that the money hadn't run out yet.  Two minutes later my phone started ringing.  It was the bank calling to tell me that the local police had reported my card number as one of many they'd recovered from somewhere dodgy (he wasn't real clear on what the police had found).  In any case it meant my card was immediately cancelled and my replacement won't arrive for 5-7 days.  Now call me crazy but I don't have a bunch of back-up cards from other banks.  I try really hard to be financially sensible and I don't have any credit cards, just that all important debit card.  So 5-7 days without access to money could be a real issue for me.  Luckily I just stocked up at Sainsburys and recently withdrew cash so I should be okay.
I would like to know the deal is though, I mean this has happened to me at least 10 times in the last 10 years, most recently back in July.  My bank has assured me I'm not doing anything weird to encourage it but I'm starting to feel suspicious.

In crafty news, I have been knitting lots of mittens for the afghans for Afghans appeal.  Here's a little sample of the ones I've finished.
mittens in peacock formation (:
They are especially looking for jumpers so I think I'll see if I have some stash that could serve.  I see the deadline is the end of February so if I get my skates on I should be able to knit something with larger wool.  I reckon I'll need to allow at least a week for shipping from here to America where they pack it all up for shipping to Afghanistan.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Listy Friday

Since I've been a bad blogger recently, here's a random list:
  1. Today I heard a funny noise while I was getting ready and looked out the window to see a man beating up a DirtDevil hoover.  He was bashing it on the pavement in a rather methodical way.  After about five minutes (during which at least three passersby asked he what was up) he collected up the bits of hoover into a big black bin liner and wandered up the road.
  2. I'm just finished knitting a preemie cap using this pattern by Carissa Knits.  I like to have something to knit while I'm watching television or travelling by bus/train.  These will be the perfect little mindless project with a nice charitable outcome at the end.  Also, I reckon it will use up all manner of oddballs.
  3. I finished a Beignet skirt, which is lovely, and wore it out to brunch with a few friends on Saturday.
  4. I pulled down the old roman shades that were in my kitchen when I bought the house and replaced them with new handmade ones (with a proper thermal blackout backing).  I've washed the old ones and they are drying now.  The fabric is a lightweight decorator fabric and I'm considering reusing some of it to make a skirt.  Possibly a wearable muslin of the pretty scalloped skirt in the Colette sewing handbook.
That's all I have for now...perhaps something with pictures tomorrow (:

Monday, 9 January 2012

Snot factory

I have a cold.  I feel yuck.  I don't even really want to knit.

Bring on the Lemsip with medicinal whiskey.