Monday, 16 October 2017

A break

The pearl stitch: knit one, purl one. Repeat until the end.
It looks beautiful, but it is hard on the hands.
I have taken a little break from the mice, although I will shortly be returning to them. I decided to start another project. 

As you may recall, I recently went on a shopping spree where I bought yarn and wool and more yarn and more wool. As the saying goes: 'you can never have enough yarn'. But I didn't just want to own this yarn, I also wanted to do something with it. So, last week I started.

With a round-knit-needle and the first ball of yarn, I got going. According to the pattern I would need 251 stitches (that is NOT a typo), but that was for large. I am a bit bigger, so I needed even more stitches and in the end it was 275 (again, NOT a typo). The first couple of rows were torture. I am used to knitting with a needle under my arm and with round-knit-needles, that is not possible. 

What I have done so far.
Anyway, forward a couple of days and I have all but completed a quarter of what I am making. Since it will be a garment without any seams, it will probably become a bit heavy, but so far, it works fine. And if you're wondering about the colours: dark green, light green and burnt orange. Not grey.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-34

Having never cooked for 6 people before (apart from lasagne, but that is easy-ish) and never having cooked certain dishes before, I decided I would need a trial first. Yesterday was the starter's turn. The result did have some faults. So, definitely some more work needed. Or a rethink for that matter!

Friday, 13 October 2017


Right before I went on holiday (like a life time ago), I got an order for two of my mice from a guy called Andrew. Brilliant! So, I got the ones he wanted, put them in a box, wrote his address on it, stuck a sticker with my address on it, got a stamp and sent it off. 

Then, earlier this week, I got a message from a friend of his: whether I knew what happened to those mice, since he never got them! I must admit, I did feel bad about that, because I don't use track and trace, which would make sending mice even more expensive.

Forward to yesterday and a box was waiting for me. Addressed to Andrew. With a sticker from Royal Mail on top. Saying it hadn't been collected. And therefore being sent back to me. 

From what I could gather from the stickers and such: the box had arrived within a week of me sending it, but it was never collected. I know Andrew has been extremely busy lately, so a Royal Mail notice might have slipped his notice. But, three weeks after sitting on a shelf, the mice were sent back. It then took a further three weeks to get to me for some reason. 

Those are adventurous mice I can tell you!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Knit and purl

Do you do that? When knitting (or crocheting) something and you see that you are nearing the end of the ball of yarn and yet you have still a bit to go and then you start knitting faster? Because that way the yarn might last longer? You don't? 

Just me then...

Monday, 9 October 2017

The mice

The original lot. One small and three large left at this point.
My time lately has been pretty much taken up by mice. Not the real ones (Miss O would soon put an end to that), but the knitted versions for Mice for Mama. Sales have slackened somewhat, which in one way is kinda sad, in another way it's kinda good: my stock was running low and I very much needed to make some more. 

The twin mice
Along came a colleague. Who wanted two small ones for his twin grandchildren (one of each type). And then he wanted two large ones that I had already sold. So, an order for two similar ones came in. Then there was the colleague who is a fan of a certain football club and could I make one in their colours? And then the colleague arrived who had already bought two 'off the rack' as it were, but kept giving them away to her bonus grandson and now definitely wanted one for herself!

The 'exploding head' mouse. 
That kept me busy for a while. But apparently not busy enough, because once they were done, I started on a few that are not the norm. They are a bit different. With some extras, some embellishments. Because I am making a couple especially for Hallowe'en! I have made one right now and there is another one in the make. Plus plans (but no time this year) for at least six more. 

Detail of the feet of the first Special one.
For sale on October 15th
I still have to make two regular ones for November and then three regular ones for December and I want to make a couple of specials for Christmas as well! Guess I will be busy...

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Brom's adventures in Scotland

On the beach
Have you been wondering what Brom has been up to lately? Well, wonder no more. Apart from learning how to speak a bit of Scotlandish (is it Gaelic, is it Scottish?), he went on visiting a castle, saw trees, nearly dropped in mud and met a lovely guy called Oscar! Which apart from anything else, is a fantastic name!

With Oscar
The first part of the story about the outing with Yamini and Oscar (who loves trees, I wonder whether he has seen our listening tree) can be found here. And then the second part (including mud) can be found here

I just want to say thank you again to Yamini for all the lovely outings and the great stories Brom has to tell. The thing is though: Brom might get spoiled and want to go on solo trips next year as well... Whatever will we do?

Photos shamelessly stolen from Yamini.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017


After the day where they said we had only two proper days of summer (about 2 weeks ago now), we did have a few really lovely days. Not that it did me much good, since I had to work long shifts on those days. Last Friday however, that all changed. 

For a start I didn't have to work and instead went to town with my friend and Mouse. We saw the swords, we went shopping, we had a great time. By the end of the day though, the clouds had rolled in and the first drops started to fall. 

They haven't stopped since!

Heavy rain, some sunshine and more heavy rain. This morning I was caught in a rain/hail shower as I was getting from the bus to the canteen. Running did not help much, nor did the temperature. I was cold when I got back on the bus an hour later and actually had to turn the heating up. 

Since I haven't got much inspiration to make this a better post than is, I thought I would take some random photos to go with the non-story. Both photos are taken from my living room. The first shows the lights of the stadium (the big light is reflection of one of my lamps). Our local football club may be out of any international league (lost to some Polish club), but a nearby football club is doing just fine thank you very much. And tonight they are playing Barcelona! Not too shabby. See, women do tend to do better (it's the ladies from Avaldsnes against the ladies of Barcelona in the Champions League)!!

The second photo is of something I have shown before. It's the oil platform and I said at the time I could see it from my living room. Here's the proof!

Monday, 2 October 2017

The union

My first annual meet in 2013
When I first thought about moving to Norway (after giving up on moving to Canada), I read somewhere that the union(s) is/are very important. So, before I left the Netherlands I contacted a union I found on the site of my Dutch union. Apparently they were so pleased with that, they printed out the email and had it on their wall for quite some time! I digress however. 

I have been asked once whether I wanted to take part in my local group. Not just as a member, but as a board member. It was when I was having a lot of pain from my abdomen (a few months before my operation) and I had enough of me to even think of dealing with others. My answer was no. 

On Saturday we had an extraordinary meeting. Open to all members. Not many showed, it being short notice and it being in the middle of the (albeit dreadful) day. Only thanks to some other member who mentioned he was going on Facebook did I remember and hit the shower to make it on time for the meeting. I was asked again. My answer was no. 

So, how come I am now a spare member of the board? Only to be called in when somebody else is sick? Why did I take the notes of the first board meeting? In Norwegian no less? Whatever the reason: I am now a spare member of the board. The first to be called up if others cannot go. Soon to be going on a course (if I can find the details, registering ends tomorrow). 

Oh, and apparently I said yes to organising the annual meet/Christmas meet as well. I don't remember, but the others do, so it must be true?

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Mouse's Photo on Sunday 2017-32

Our first stop on Friday was a special stop. You may remember how Mara wrote about Harald Hårfagre a few years ago. And the monument that was raised in 1872 on the supposed millennium anniversary of his decisive battle to unite all provinces of the area to one Norway. 

This decisive battle took place in/around Hafrsfjord (yes, that is spelled correctly) near current day Stavanger and in 1983 a monument was put up there to commemorate. Unfortunately not a lot of information was found on site, but Wikipedia knows a lot, so info on the battle and some info on the monument. Which is called Sverd i Fjellet (Sword in the Mountain).

I just know we both loved the site and were very happy with the photos we took. Especially since on our way back it had started to rain!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Story time

Here we are, going on shopping sprees and seeing the sites and Brom is living it up in Scotland. We don't quite know what he's up to, but he is probably enjoying himself very much. He is staying with Auntie Yam at the moment, who is very happy to look after him for a few weeks and show him all there is to see and then some. 

On Friday however, Auntie Yam wrote a little story with a big heart about (oh yes) Brom! The story goes like this:

"There once was a bear who travelled. Not just from room to room or even street to street. Not only from town to town, but also from country to country. This adventurous bear was able to communicate wherever he went because he spoke the universal language. Love."

"Sometimes, to travel, the adventurous bear had to be stuffed into places dark and cramped. It's not that he didn't have a passport to cross the borders with - he did. It was that sometimes it was the only means of transport. His beloved hyooman couldn't always travel with him you see, but other hyoomans wanted his company. So the adventurous bear would be wrapped in paper and his clothes beside him and into a box he would go."

We are wondering about this...
Of course that isn't the end of the story, but if you want to read the full story, you will have to go to the person who wrote it: Auntie Yam! Just click on the link and off you go! 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Another outing

Yep, he came along as well!
Even though my head wasn't the best this week, I wanted to go to a certain factory outlet, which was located quite some way away. I asked a friend whether she wanted to come along and yesterday added the fact that she would have to drive (my car) and she said yes. Another friend would have liked to come along as well, but some people have to work and she was one of those some...

Anyway, at 8am I made my way over to my friend's place, where I got out and sat in the passenger seat, while she got comfortable and used to the (Dutch) GPS. Which sent us the long way around, so we didn't listen anyway. Once we got to Stavanger, she wanted to show me something else as well (come back on Sunday to find out) and after we had done with that, we went on our way to our original plan. 

The garments I want to make
We arrived, we saw, we ogled, we deliberated, we picked, we chose, we changed our minds, we picked something else and in the end we both left with some wool (as someone once said: you can never have enough yarn). I had some free patterns and enough yarn for two garments and my friend had some free patterns and enough yarn for whatever she is planning.

Then we decided to hit a big shopping center. We have two shopping centers here in Haugesund, but they have nothing on the one we went to there: three (or four, or five, I lost count) floors with shops, restaurants, more shops and more restaurants. Our first stop however was a restaurant for a good lunch. After that however: the shops! 

Part of the thick wool haul
And one of the first ones we saw and entered was a rong'un (or rite'un as it was what I would want to own: fabric, yarn, craft stuff)! My friend kept coming up to me with something else that might be of use (grrrr, she was right as well). But they also had some yarn I wanted to make a mouse with. Not just your average mouse, but a big mouse. For those of you who are knitting/crocheting savvy, I use size 3,5 needles for my mice. I will have to use size 30 needles for the big mouse! The sales lady couldn't really help me with the amounts needed either, since she had never had to deal with that. Most people use that wool to make blankets and stuff! 

We weren't finished with that though. In the end I came away from the shopping center with chocolates (mmmm), a DVD (A Man Called Ove), clogs, angel wings, angel hair, a sugar shaker, a silver cloth and the yarn of course. The plan had been to hit Ikea on our way home, but I have to do overtime as it is to pay for the loot...

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Sunday drive

Let's go!
Seeing how Brom is still living it up in Scotland with Yamini and her friends and family, Mouse was feeling a bit lonely. So, we decided to go out for a drive through the country. I had wanted to take photos of certain things for quite a while now, but I had never got round to it. Sunday was the day!

The oil platform.
Would love to see inside it!
First we drove to a small island off the coast of Haugesund (via a bridge) to take photos of a huge oil platform. It needs some overhauling and work and such and they do that there. We have had several of them before, but I think this one is the biggest. I can even see it from my tv-room! 

Please please, can you tell Brom to come home soon?
The next stop was the listening tree. We all know that some people talk to trees and hug them and sit in them and all sorts, but I bet you have never heard of a listening tree! Well, we have one. Because, it has an ear to the ground. Well, it has an ear close to the ground anyway. Mouse went right up to it and whispered into its ear. Perhaps with a good wind it will go all the way to Scotland. 

I love his toes!
In the park across the listening tree
After that we drove for a while longer. I wanted to drive a road I had only partially driven once before, but never the whole stretch. It was lovely and calm and every time we stopped, you could hear the birds and rustle of the trees and for some reason a cockerel (we were close to habitation). 

It might look quite dreary, but the temperatures was quite nice.
Because most trees in the area were either evergreen (pine and such) or birch trees, the autumn colours didn't show too much. Either because leaves were already down or because they were still green. The heather had finished mostly I think, because the one plant we did catch had only three tiny lilac flowers left. 

We saw a sign saying 'no tipping' and in the same area we saw an old hammock, empty bottles, kitchen cabinet and further junk. It's free to bring it to the recycling center, but for some people that is not enough apparently. Mouse was not amused I can tell you!

Honest, there are three (or four) tiny lilac flowers in there!
After all that, we made our way to the garden center. Miss O tends to need food on occasion and the container was emptying fast. So, new food it was. And then I saw a nice little plant. Tiny, but that's fine. If all goes well, it will grow! I needed some earth as well though and some terracotta pots, because there was a plant I had already that needed a bigger home. 

Left back I got last year for my birthday and is still alive
Right back I got two weeks ago (same as left back, but with flowers)
Front is the one I got on Sunday
I had bought some terracotta saucers as well and needed to smash one of them. Of course just dropping them on the kitchen floor didn't do the trick, so in the end I threw them at the brick house wall outside! Now I had smaller pieces with which I could cover the holes in the pots. Then there was the fiddly bit with the earth, but in the end I had a nice grouping. 

There were some yummy raspberries at the side of the road
It was a good Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-31

I got a balloon for my birthday, but since Miss Oswin was quite scared of it, I put it on top of my standing lamp, out of the way. And then I forgot about it.

Today I wondered what type of light fitting was in the lamp, but all I could feel was the remainder of the balloon and the paper confetti...

Saturday, 23 September 2017

When the cat's away...

Brom is living it up in Scotland
...the mice will play!

Well, that's how the saying goes anyway. Fortunately the cat is not away (well, she is, she is outside right now), but the teddy is! Brom is living it up in Scotland and Mouse felt a bit lonely. So, I signed him up for something special...

Blanket volleyball.

Apparently you hold a blanket (preferably with others) and then try to get your ball to the other side. Mouse was in a team with Princess Leah from England (also known as the Buttie Pillar Princess) and Ruby the Airedale Terrier from the United States (also known as the Margarita Queen). 

All I can say is that the Ruler (ie YAM-Auntie) was being a tad mean. They said ball, Mouse had a ball: a cheese one! Princess Leah had a ball with wings, but it said nowhere that she couldn't have one. And Ruby didn't do anything wrong either. I saw no rule about Margaritas anywhere! But the Ruler thought they were cheating and gave them a time-out! Pfew! 

Anyway, Mouse had a great time and we want to thank Madi and her Mom for organising the event as part of the Blogville Picnic. The above photo was made by Madi's Mom and I have shamelessly stolen it! 

Thursday, 21 September 2017


Summer on Sicily, 1991
A proper summer with temperatures soaring up to the low 40's. 
I was listening to the radio as I was driving home today and I got a bit depressed. They listed the amount of summer days this summer (ie days with temperatures of 20 degrees and over). 

In June: there was 1 (ONE!) summer day. The same went for July: just the one. In August, a bit of a change: 0. As in NONE! Not a single one! Fortunately I had a holiday in the Netherlands where the temperature was very summery!

Summer in Norway, 2014
A proper summer with temperatures well over 20 degrees
It is about to change though they said: from Saturday onwards, they are expecting lovely weather with summer temperatures. But, as I checked the weather forecast, the only thing different is that the rain is due to stop for a few days and the temperatures will go up to (wait for it) the high teens! Nothing summer about that...


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Busy busy busy

Aged 2/3
Well, I would have been. Had I not called in sick. Again. I would have been driving hither and thither, but instead I am at home. Doing a bit of knitting and trying to stay out of trouble. 

As for the reasons behind the latest attack? Well, I do think that I finally do know where they come from. After thinking back when the headaches really started to bother me (around 1993 first of all and then 1999 the second wave), I think I may have pinpointed the problem.

Hot chocolate, not coffee
I don't remember that many headaches growing up. Yes, there were a few bad ones that I do remember, but if I had to call in sick to school twice, it was a lot. At least I can't remember any different. I worked in Yugoslavia and again: no problems. Brussels, followed by Sicily and then the French Alps? Nothing! Then I moved to England. The first few months were okay, but then I started getting trouble. A lot of trouble. 

Around 1993
Which I contributed (and probably quite rightly) to the coffee. I moved back home in 1994, cut out the coffee and the headaches disappeared more or less. Leaving only the occasional migraine attack. I worked in a biscuit factory packing biscuits: nothing. I worked on the train, selling coffee, tea and snacks: nothing. I got my driver's licence for bus, I moved, I started work and then a few months later the headaches started. Never to go away again.

See a pattern? Because I certainly do and over the last few months I have felt it as well. After a week's work I can feel my shoulders, back and neck. Which then creeps up to my head. I try to combat with heat pads on my shoulders and back, cold cloths on my head, but to no avail. The headache will come. The pills don't work and even though I will take some, I don't take the amount I used to in the past. 

A bit of rest
The solution? Well, massages, physiotherapy and such would help, but they would only combat a problem. It might be better to actually get rid of the problem. Ie: not get the shoulders, back and neck to tense up in the first place. Which can be achieved I think. Easily as well. It would just involve me finding another job!