Archive for March, 2009


WWKIP – Sydney

24 March 2009

Plans for World Wide Knit In Public Day in Sydney are going apace.

We have a venue  –  the Bayside Lounge at Darling Harbour, where we met last year.  And it’s next door to the Exhibition Centre where the Craft and Quilting Show is taking place at the same time.

We have door prizes  –  courtesy of Australian Country Spinners, Morris & Sons and the new Australian Knitting magazine.

We have a competition prize  –  courtesy of Mosman Needlecraft.

We have canvas bags for sale with the wonderful new logo (top RH corner of my blog).

And we have T-shirts and messenger bags with the logo over at Cafepress.

Nearer the time, I’ll publicise it everywhere I can.  And ask you all to do the same.

So we just need YOU.  13th June:  1.30 – 5.00 pm. 

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Viva La Difference . . . . No.7

23 March 2009

Australian houses don’t have letterboxes.  The ‘postie’ (an Australianism) puts the post into a box outside the door, at the end of a driveway or, in the case of blocks of flats, in a series of boxes at the entrance.   

English houses and flats have letterboxes of all shapes and sizes (I’ve delivered the post and I think I’ve seen every kind of letterbox there is).  The postie delivers the mail direct into your house.  If it’s a block of flats, he delivers to each one.

The English system does make it easier if you’re waiting for a letter – you don’t have to keep walking out to the box to see if it’s come yet.  And your mail is less likely to be stolen. But if I were a postie, I think I’d prefer the Aussie system.  Less walking, fewer dogs and less chance of having your fingers removed by a very strong letterbox.   


Mine, All Mine!

22 March 2009

My prize arrived from the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bush Fire Appeal draw, organised by Serendipity.

A skein of Wollmeise:


 I talked about this yarn here as it’s SO expensive and SO sought after.  And now I actually own some.

It’s lovely but is it TO DIE FOR?  No.  It’s just lovely.  Beautiful colours.

Thank you so much to the person who donated it.  Prizes came from companies and individuals all over the world.  Mine came from a lovely woman in Ireland, who sent it to me with a delightful card.

Now, how long am I going to look at it before I decide what to knit? 

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If It’s 1972, It Must Be .. . .?

21 March 2009

In my Viva La Difference series, the comparisons have been between London and Sydney.  It’s been pointed out to me, quite rightly, that England doesn’t begin and end in London.  But Australia doesn’t begin and end in Sydney either.  What goes on in Darwin would be very different from the “Sydney Lifestyle”.  I picked those two cities because Sydney is where I live now (and have done for the last 6 years) and London is where I spent the previous 25 years.

However, I do totally agree with the London comment as I was always fighting that when I was living in England.  Overseas visitors who came to the country and never stepped out of the capital.  I think that’s a dreadful shame.  For a very tiny country, there’s a terrific variety of places to visit and I was always giving friends lists of suggestions.

I’m not a Londoner.  I’m not anything really.  But here’s a potted history to explain my “mongrel” background.

Born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England of a London father and Yorkshire mother (who happened to have been born in India). 

By the time I was starting school at the age of 5 in Derbyshire, I think I’d already lived in Hampshire, Somerset and Yorkshire.

Between the ages of 12 and 15, I lived in Swindon (Wiltshire), St Albans (Hertfordshire), Salisbury (Wiltshire) and Bletchley (Buckinghamshire).

I left home at 18 and lived in Bedford, Manchester and Edinburgh before moving to London when I was 22.  At the age of 24 I came out to Australia for 4 years, living in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Dampier (WA).  Then back to London where I stayed for 25 years, 24 of them in the same flat! 

From 2000 for 3 years I commuted back and forth between England and Australia, where David was living in Yuendumu (North West of Alice Springs). I married David in 2002 and moved out here in 2003.

I never know what to say when people ask “Where do you come from?”


Every Time He Opens His Mouth . . . .

20 March 2009

The Pope is currently travelling around Africa banging on about things about which he appears to be totally ignorant.  Apparently, the ever-increasing rise in HIV/Aids is of concern to him. BUT:

The solution lay, he said, in a “spiritual and human awakening” and “friendship for those who suffer”.   (BBC Website)

Well, we all need friendship, particularly if we’re desperately ill or dying.  But the SOLUTION?  I think not. 

And then we have this classic:

The Pope also warned of a threat to the Catholic Church in Cameroon from evangelical movements and from the “growing influence of superstitious forms of religion”.

Superstitious forms of religion? 

I wasn’t aware there was any other sort.


Viva La Difference . . . No. 6

19 March 2009

I’m really enjoying these posts and have found it interesting that a lot of my commenters are comparing notes with each other.  New friendships are being formed on my blog.  That’s great.

A rather lovely change in Sydney from the sometimes surly passengers in London is that people thank the bus driver when they get off the bus.  Of course, until fairly recently, it was impossible to do that in London because the driver was in a separate compartment not accessible from the rest of the bus.  But with the new buses, we can do that now so next time I’m in London, I’ll make sure I thank the driver and see what sort of response I get.

In London, men and women who roam the streets looking for parking infringements and issuing tickets to offenders are called Traffic Wardens.  In Sydney, they’re Rangers.




Computer Says “Yes”

18 March 2009

Good old Dell has done it again.  I thought I’d better check whether I was on the right track thinking that the fault with my computer lies with a memory board so I phoned them.  The computer is over 2 years old, I don’t have any sort of extended warranty or service agreement.  But this company is really GOOD.

The last time I called them, we’d just bought a new router (not from them) and couldn’t get it to work with my PC and David’s Mac.  The woman on the helpline at Dell didn’t bat an eyelid at the mention of a Mac, knew both systems inside out and had us up and running in 10 minutes.  Unlike the company who made the router who muttered a lot about not being sure we could run a PC and Mac through the same modem/router etc.  Garbage and we knew it.

So the man from Dell confirmed that this sounded like a memory board problem.  I thought at this point he’d tell me to consult the manual or get an engineer.  NO.  He stayed on the end of the phone while I dismantled the thing, removed both memory boards, then returned one at a time to test them.  They both worked so we can only assume that one had dislodged or something (he asked me whether I’d kicked it!  Felt like it a few times; never done it, I assured him).

So computer working but still he wouldn’t go away.  He made me test the internet connection, the speakers, headphones the lot, before he was happy that he could safely leave me with a working system. 

Dell answered the phone on the 4th ring, we were on the phone for about 45 minutes and it cost me nothing more than a local call charge (their support centre is in Malaysia).   

It isn’t often I rave about good service but on the 4 occasions I’ve contacted them since I got this PC, I’ve been SO impressed. 

Thank you Dell.  You’ve got my custom for many years to come.  (PLEASE don’t go out of business)