Archive for October, 2008


Thank You

31 October 2008

Firstly, an apology to Meg (Pierre The Yarn Snob).  Before I jetted off to Europe in September, she very, very kindly awarded me this:


I was so busy that I didn’t have time to thank her or to follow it up with my own nominations, which is what I must do.  Thank you, Meg.



And then today, Lynne (2Hot2Knit) awarded me this:




Isn’t that wonderful?  Thank you, Lynne.






When I first joined the Rubi & Lana group, everyone there except me had a blog.  They nagged me.  I MUST get a blog but, frankly, I couldn’t see the point.  I can’t really remember why I changed my mind but I set up Pompom and didn’t mention it to anyone until my first post.  But what on earth was I going to find to write about?  I love knitting with a passion but blogging about it 2 or 3 times a week just didn’t interest me. 

HOWEVER, I’ve got an opinion on most things everything.  This is my blog and I was free to write about anything I wanted.  I hoped people may read it but if they didn’t, never mind.  I was enjoying myself.  A good rant and I feel a lot better.

But people do read it.  Some are friends from way back, some new friends, some I’ve met, some I don’t know.  I don’t expect everyone to always agree with me, or laugh at the same things I find amusing.

There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there.  Some are truly wonderful (and some are truly dreadful, but who cares?  It’s YOUR blog, do with it whatever you want).  That there are people out there who enjoy mine, THANK YOU a hundred thousand times.

Now I’ve got to nominate the blogs I enjoy.  Give me a few days and I’ll get back to you.


Dear Senator Obama

30 October 2008

Dear Senator Obama

I know you’re a bit busy at the moment and won’t have time to reply to my letters but I’ll keep them coming, if you don’t mind.

You’ll be pleased to hear that in a poll conducted in Australia (that’s the large island practically at the bottom of the world, NOT to be confused with a country of a similar name in Europe – but, sorry, you’re  probably one of the few American politicians who knows that) apparently 76% of the population would vote for you.  And that includes a lot of people who vote here for the Liberal Party (that’s Liberal with a large L, not to be confused with liberal, as in “respecting many different types of beliefs or behaviour” – in fact that’s exactly what the Liberal Party of Australia DOESN’T stand for). 

So give us all a vote and you’ll soon be romping to the White House. 

Good luck and take care

Yours sincerely

A frustrated Australian/British citizen

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I Remain, Yours Sincerely . . . . .

29 October 2008

Dear Senator Obama

As you’ll be even more aware than I am, you have only one week to go.

On the news tonight, I heard (from Republican voters, I presume) that you are a non-American Muslim, that you want to take guns away from decent American citizens so that Islamic forces can invade America with no resistance, that you favour the killing of unborn babies and that you’re an Arab.

I think in your position I would have by now packed my bags and gone home.  There’s only so much ignorance and bigotry I can take.

But you seem to be made of stronger stuff.  So please hang in there – the world is relying on you.

Good luck and take care.

I remain

Yours sincerely

An Australian/British Citizen



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And The Prize Went To . . . .

26 October 2008

You may remember before I jetted off that I awarded a prize for the 500th comment on my blog.  And it went to my sister, Judith.  Well this is what she won.  A needlework box with lots of interesting items set into its glass lid.  I’ve no idea what she’ll use it for but she seemed pleased with it.

JGift2 JGift1

So pleased in fact that she’s offered the next prize, which will go to the person who posts the 600th comment. 

Judith lives in Yorkshire (the Texas of England is how she described it) so will donate a selection of Yorkshire goodies to the winner.  I’ve no idea what she’s planned but have told her to remember that she can’t send any edible items if the winner is in Australia (she’s happy to send the parcel anywhere in the world, by the way). 

We’re quite a way away from 600 comments at the moment and I won’t tell you when we’re getting nearer as I’ve discovered in the past that some of you stop posting comments if you think there’s a prize in the offing – presumably because you don’t want to be accused of avarice.  I’m sure it’s not that you don’t like surprise presents in the post. 


My New Friend, Debbie

23 October 2008

It really does help pass the time on long flights if we knitters are allowed to get out our needles but life has been made very difficult for us over the past few years.  A lot of airlines now allow knitting on planes but the Australian Government still forbids needles and the British were also very strict on the subject.

However I heard on the grapevine recently (via Ravelry?) that the British now accept wooden needles.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a pair with me that I was willing to lose so just stuck to my plastic crochet hook (which has never caused any problems) on the British Airways flight from London to Tokyo.  On board, a couple of the crew commented on what I was doing and I explained that I’d prefer to knit but couldn’t because of the restrictions.  They told me that they’d just completed their periodical refresher training and the subject of knitting was included.  According to them, BA now allows unrestricted use of knitting needles on planes and as Terminal 5 of Heathrow is allocated to BA only, we should have no problem bringing needles on board.

Feeling rather buoyed up by that, I decided to risk it with Qantas so in Japan I bought a totally plastic Clover circular needle.  I declared it at the airport and was waved through but on board a member of the crew told me that I had to stop knitting as it was a “dangerous implement”.  The Chief Steward was called.  Debbie took one look at this 30cm very bendy plastic needle and told me that they had a lot of implements on board that were far more dangerous than that.  She also told me that she knitted a bit herself and came from a large knitting family.  She’d inform the Captain that she’d given me permission and make sure all her staff knew that I wasn’t to be disturbed.

I pointed out, incidentally, that every passenger on board had been given a perfectly adequate set of knitting needles with their dinner and showed her the couple of inches I’d already knitted on the chopsticks.

By the time I reached Sydney, a small child in Afghanistan had a new hat.

Thank you, Debbie.



The Value of Travel

20 October 2008

Every time I step out of the house, it seems, I come across a sign or instruction that makes little or no sense to me, or offends my rather pedantic views on the use of English.  Who writes these things (like “There’s lot of jobs on Sydney buses”?)

But going overseas brings me loads of wonderful signs that certainly don’t offend me (they are after all written by people for whom English is a foreign language) but are either funny or a little confusing.

At Bombay airport, all passengers were given ONE label for each piece of luggage.  It measured about 2″ x 1.5″ and on it we had to write our name and flight number.  The instructions on the back of the label read “Stick this on the inside and outside of your luggage.  Make sure your case is closed”.  I stress that we had one label per item.  I had no idea where to stick it.

On the airline bus from Tokyo to the airport, an illuminated sign told us to “Inform the driver if you see a suspicious thing”.  I don’t even know what one looks like.

And on Finnair’s pre-flight customer information video, we were told “If you wish to sleep, please remain seated”.   So climbing into the overhead lockers isn’t an option then?

Oh, isn’t travel educational? 


The Wonders of WWW

17 October 2008

Isn’t the Internet wonderful?  Wherever you are in the world, you can keep in touch with friends and family, access blogs, book hotels, do research.  Being away from home for a month isn’t half the problem it used to be.


In Helsinki, the keyboard on the computer provided in each hotel room didn’t work.  As I was then in my nightwear and the telephone didn’t work either, I drew a blank there.

In Bletchley, I generally go to the son of my mother’s neighbour but he’s gone off to University, computer and all.

In London, first stop a girlfriend who’s been having building works done and had packed away all her computer gear for a few days.  Then on to my nephew for a couple of nights.  His internet access went down inexplicably the day I arrived.

So off I trotted to my sister in Harrogate.  The day before I arrived a carpet fitter put a nail through her internet cable.  Never mind – her local library is just down the road.  So I dashed off a few emails and went back the next day hoping I had some replies. Unfortunately, North Yorkshire public library service had a bit of a glitch that day – no internet access in any of their libraries for a few hours.

The World Wide Web?  I should have brushed up my semaphore skills. 

PS:  Now in Tokyo.



6 October 2008

Public announcement in Department Store last Saturday:

“If you are separated from family or friends, please go to the Customer Service Desk on the 1st Floor”.

I’m separated from David by 10,000 or so miles and I’m missing him, so I thought about going up there.  But I didn’t think they’d be able to help so I gave it a miss.


Erika Knight and Me!

5 October 2008

Today by sheer fluke I met Erika Knight.  And we had a long chat, she gave me her card and told me to keep in touch.  Wasn’t that great!  You never know who you may meet in London.