Archive for October, 2012


It’s A Cop-Out

31 October 2012

I used to blog regularly about words that are misused/over-used/annoy me – and another one is starting to bug me so I thought I’d resurrect that chain of blog posts.


Bullying is  “the use of force or coercion to intimidate others and involves an imbalance of social or physical power.” 

But just because someone has some sort of power over you, does NOT mean that their demands can be construed as bullying.  One woman told me how her boss bullies her, but when I’d heard the story, I think her boss just wanted this woman to do her job, efficiently and in a timely manner.  That is no more a form of bullying than my demanding a shopkeeper refunds my money because he’s sold me shoddy goods. Every person making a demand against another is now being described as a bully.

We hear terrible stories on the news about children being “bullied” but when the story unfolds, it often involves the child being beaten by other children and other dreadful physical abuse.  In my book, being taken behind the bike-shed and thrashed daily is at the very least assault.  If I waylaid the shopkeeper who’d sold me shoddy goods and bashed him with a cricket bat, I don’t think anyone would describe that as my bullying him – least of all the police – that’s GBH in any language.

So we’ve upgraded the word to mean any form of assertive demand on the one hand.  And on the other, we’ve downgraded it to mean assault against another, if both parties are children. 

I’ve never been bullied, despite the fact that at school I was small, wore glasses and was generally the new girl (I went to a lot of schools!).   If it happened to me now, I think I’d be able to deal with it.  Children of course find that more difficult and it’s not unusual to hear of child suicides which is just so appallingly sad.

I’ve been accused of being a bully by “She Who Cannot Be Named” (simply because I don’t know which name to use now – she currently appears to have five of them to choose from).  I’m not a bully and never have been.  And where’s the “imbalance of social or physical power”?

It’s a cop-out which roughly translated means “I don’t like what you’re saying”.  

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Not Dead … Just Resting

27 October 2012

The subscribers to Simply Sewing Magazine have now been informed that it will no longer be available in print format, just digitally.   The cynic in me thinks that maybe this is because they can’t actually find a printer who’s willing to work for them. 

And to prove that it’s now digital, it would appear to be available to all and sundry on their website.  So you don’t even have to pay for it.  I presume that’s another of their sloppy mistakes and it won’t be there for long but in the meantime, it makes interesting reading here.

Firstly, the magazine doesn’t appear to have an Editor.  Jenn Smith-Clarke probably left the building at the same time as Kerrie Allman (well, they’ve never been seen in the same room together). 

Secondly, it has the usual dreadful grammar and spelling mistakes (the plural of ‘passer-by’ is apparently ‘passer by’s’ according to them).

Thirdly, one article has been lifted practically word for word from Wikipedia!

And fourthly, and this is my favourite, the contents page shows the following:  “Liberty London – A look at the rise and rise of the infamous fabric emporium”.  Infamous??  I read the article but was unable to find any reference to notoriety or disrepute. 

No wonder they’re now giving it away – who would pay good money for this rubbish?

And on another, related, subject – Craft Magazine Shop in its short trading life has already had a County Court Judgement awarded against it. 

There’s no stopping them, is there? 

ADDED:  I see that “infamous” has now been changed to “famous”.  Maybe Liberty’s objected to that description? 

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Knitting On The Train … No. 2

9 October 2012

Telling the story a few days ago of how I recovered a ball of wool through the closed doors of a train, reminded me of another incident involving me, my knitting and a train.

About a year ago, I was knitting a sock on my way to work.  Now if you’re not a knitter you may not know that involves using 4 or 5 needles (depending on preference).  The kind that are pointy at both ends.  I was using KnitPro needles (5 of them) and they come in packs of 6 (well, they’re easy to lose). I had a small bag with my knitting and its 5 needles, and the spare needle.

When I got up to leave the train, I was surprised to see one of the needles on the seat.  I had 5 in my knitting so presumed that this one had fallen out of my bag, but couldn’t imagine how that happened as the bag appeared to be sealed.   Anyway I was glad I noticed it, grabbed it and just shoved it in my handbag as I didn’t want to mess around opening my knitting bag.  

Later that evening, I got my knitting bag to continue the sock while watching television and remembered the spare that was in my handbag.  But I had 6 needles in my knitting bag so I now had SEVEN.

The needle obviously wasn’t mine.  It was the same make, even the same size (2.25mm) so someone else had probably been knitting a sock on the train. 

Coincidence, eh?


RIP Simply Sewing Magazine?

7 October 2012

The rumours have been circulating that Craft Magazine Shop is no longer to publish Simply Sewing.  So far there’s no official confirmation of this but Issue 45 is over two weeks late, there is no mention of it on the CMS website, nor the option to take out an annual subscription to the mag, only to buy back-issues.  Queries via Twitter and other online forums are unanswered.

I think we can deduce from this that the rumours may be circulating but the magazine isn’t, which once again leaves a lot of subscribers out of pocket.

So if you have a current subscription to the magazine, do please COMPLAIN! 

Phone the CMS telephone number (0207 458 4420), and don’t be fobbed off.  Are they going to honour these subscriptions or not?  if your subscription was taken out with a 3rd party company, like Newsstand, contact them.  If you paid by Paypal or Credit Card, contact them.  Incidentally the address in Huntingdon on the CMS website is a postal address only – no staff work from there – so there’s no point in turning up and demanding a refund.

I’m not sure what’s happened to Handmade Weddings and Handmade Fashions but no subscription options are available for them either.  Modern Quilting is still apparently being published so if you want to buy a subscription donate money to the Allman/Rycroft retirement fund. go right ahead.  But please don’t say you weren’t warned.

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That Mad Knitting Woman

6 October 2012

Did any of you happen to see a woman behaving rather oddly with a ball of yarn on a Sydney train on Wednesday evening?

She dropped the ball from her bag as she was getting on and the doors closed behind her.  The wool was still attached to the knitting.  So she spent the next 10 minutes or so pulling it through the crack in the door until she had a huge pile of yarn at her feet.  The other passengers found it highly amusing.

Well, I had to either try to recover it or just cut my losses – and the wool.  I assumed it would have got caught up somewhere outside but it obviously just trailed along the railway track.

And, yes, of course it was me.


A Not So Good Girl

3 October 2012

So what’s the latest with KAL Media/All Craft Media/Craft Magazine Shop and Kerrie Allman/Jenn Smith-Clarke/Tallulah Ray?

Well, it’s fairly quiet out there but if you think Kerrie has sloped off and is now earning an honest living on the check-out at Tesco’s, think again.

If you’re trying to contact her (in the very likely event that she or her latest venture may owe you money), bear in mind that she’s no longer working from Bullocks Farm, the old ACM offices in Takely, which were vacated a couple of weeks ago. 

If your gripe is with Craft Magazine Shop – the non-incorporated business supposedly owned by Derek Barnes, you’re probably out of luck, as Derek I believe died about 25 years ago.  If it’s with the new Craft Magazine Limited, wholly owned by Richard Rycroft (Kerrie’s father), you could try the Registered Office address –  Ground Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove, London N12 0DR.

If you haven’t received your subscriber copy of Simply Sewing (which is now two weeks or so late), I can only suggest you phone the number (0207 458 4420 –  a London one) which is advertised on the website of Craft Magazine Shop (and do let me know what excuse you’re given).

And if you find that you’re advertising in any of these magazines, but haven’t consented to the ads, PLEASE don’t pay the bill.  It just encourages her and her mother.

“The word on the street” is that Kerrie may no longer be connected with any of the CMS magazines which will now be controlled by other family members.  But experience tells us that this will not be the last we hear of her in some guise (or disguise) or other.  And there are a lot of people out there who are determined she won’t be allowed to just walk away from all the debts and mayhem she has created.  

I’ve no idea what’s happening with Be Creative Magazine – the joint venture “Tallulah” is involved in – but I don’t believe it’s going to take the UK publishing world by storm, even if it ever gets published

You just can’t keep a good girl down (or a not so good girl for that matter).l

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