Two weeks at home without a Broadband connection found me standing at the top of the hill, in the middle of a barley field, waving my phone in the air in the hope of locating Planet Instagram. If I stand right here, I can send and receive messages from The Outside World.
And BT cannot tell me when they will be able to lay a new line.
However... I achieved a lot in my time away from the office.
I gutted out my son's childhood bedroom, boxed up the Finnish Metal CDs and Pulsing Maggot posters, removed the desiccated bird from behind the radiator, opened the windows and painted the walls. It's a rather lovely room now, and when the sun shines I can lie down on the carpet and pretend to read a book, when really I am just enjoying being a cat.
I also made an effort to try out my new cookbook, A Modern Way To Cook. Last summer I was all about A Modern Way To Eat, and my love for that volume has not diminished. The latest edition is equally exciting.
The above picture is not taken from the book, it is a photograph of my dinner from the other night - woo hoo! That is a Buddha Bowl and it took quite a lot of ingredient-gathering and chopping to create. However, it sparked a lot more conversation at the table than has been possible lately. FL came out of his haze of pain to conduct a forensic examination of his bowl and conclude that is was "Actually very interesting."
We have also tried a Sweet Leek and Butternut Hash, which was pronounced "Excellent!" and Squash, Greens and Quinoa Fritters, which were (wait for it) "Absolutely gorgeous!"... to the extent that he ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Result!
Of course, I did a lot of sewing too. I already showed you a snap of my Strides trousers. I also made three pairs of underpants and two tops. By pair three, I perfected the fit of Ohhh Lulu's Grace knicker pattern, using a remnant of Liberty Tana jersey (yes, all-over stretch knit fabric, not woven). I will definitely make more of these, with matching elastic instead of just the odds and ends from my stash. I can't show you the prototypes... too embarrassing!
I can show you my new tops, though!
This is a Marilla Walker Maya, using 1.25m of Liberty Tana Lawn (from The Village Haberdashery). Matching the pattern repeats on that fabric was a hoot. And it was only when I had finished that I realised the central panel was off-centre.
I love it.
And this is a Lisette Portfolio top, a carbon copy of the one I made in 2011 and literally wore to bits.
The dobby dot fabric (from Guthrie and Ghani) is beautiful. I put the textured embroidery on the inside so that the dots shine through from below.
I know this will be a wardrobe staple.
I have been knitting up a storm as well. Of course :)
I kept up with the Coop Knits MKAL and am on the final clue for both socks.
And just yesterday I blocked my Tailspin Shawl, by Josh Ryks, Sword of a Knitter / Geoknittrix.
I ran out of yarn and had to omit the final section, which would have added a plain garter stitch border with a self-coloured "kite" insert.
I am a little sad about that, but it is pretty huge as it is.
It is a very unusual shape and I could have done with a larger surface to pin it out on.
I'll show you what it looks like "in wear" once it dries.
I have another week off at the end of August.
It would be lovely if FL and I could get away to the West Coast (of Scotland) and now that I know how to drive his car, that is a possibility if he is well enough.