Monday, December 31, 2007

Vincent's lucky day

The radiator turned into a Sunny Spot!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bah, humbug

I do think Christmas sucks.
I try to enjoy it, enjoy the lights and decorations.
And it's easy to enjoy the fairy lights in the darkness of December.
But I don't know if I'll ever find any true joy in Christmas again.
I've practiced for ten years now, and it has become easier, but not easy.
I miss having a family.
I miss my mother.
On Christmas eve even more.
And seeing and hearing my neighbours leaving to go see their families, or welcoming them, the excitement of the kids, the lights on the Christmas trees.... does make it hard to feel thrilled about staying at home with the cats and a dressed up ivy.
I thought I was OK with Christmas, and with being alone, and that I didn't really care. Anymore.
The past years I've been working Christmas eve, and the years before I earned enough to be able to flee to Venice - or Nijmegen.
And it is easier that way.
Much easier than sitting at home alone pretending it's not much different from any other night, and that it doesn't really matter anyway.
I dread going back to work and the obligatory questions "did you have a nice Christmas?" and "did you get any nice presents?".
Especially since the truthful answer would be "I've rarely felt more alone" and "I didn't get any" respectively, and I have to find a nice, neutral answer instead.
But I really want to be able to enjoy Christmas, with myself and the cats and whichever potted plant I choose to decorate.
I just have to figure out how.
I don't want to become another Ebenezer Scrooge.
That would be too bloody sad.

I don't have "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...."

But I do have nutty cats keeping toasty on top of the radiator.
Even if they tell me to sod off and knit something.

Monday, December 24, 2007

White Christmas - and dressing up Ivy

I think this is the closest we'll get to a white Christmas this year.

A very misty morning.
It was much mistier a little while ago...

And for a while I wanted a Christmas tree.
Then I decided against it.
Then I wanted a Christmas tree if only to amuse and entertain the cats.
Then I looked at Christmas trees and they were either too big or too small or too ugly - and generally just too expensive.
So I decided against it. Again.
Then I wanted a Christmas tree again.
This morning. Much too late.
For anything but a dressed up Ivy.

But the cats do seem quite content with it - if not wildly entertained.
And no matter what I do my stupid old camera just doesn't cope well with the odd light of a misty Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Do they know it's Christmas?

Now the bad cats do.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Laurenz and his big butt - and the fetchings

I wanted to wrap up the fetchings for Katrine, so that I can deliver them tonight.
But this is what I found.

Laurenz seems rather intent they get to smell like cat butt.

I know he's not a huge fan of Katrine, but this is taking his dislike a bit too far.
Or maybe he just likes the feel of alpaca and silk against his nether regions.

Hey, I've actually been knitting

I have finished knitted objects to show!
A pair of fetching fingerless gloves for Katrine, using the softest, most luscious blend of silk and baby alpaca. I hate how much I love that yarn.

Somehow one keeps looking shorter than the other in spite of same number of stitches and rows, same yarn and same needles. But I don't really care too much.
It just adds to the lovely and unique handknitted softness.
I hope she'll appreciate that.

And to add to the long list of WIPs I have started knitting the Vali dress from Rowan Studio 2. I came across the pattern and fell head over heels in love with it.
And they have a finished version on show at my not-so-local-but-favourite yarn store, and it's even more beautiful in person.
Having worked my way through the first 10 cm I feel somewhat confident that the dress will be finished some time this decade.
And I'm using sock yarn. I have a severe crush on Filcolana Arwetta, a soft and lovely superwash merino sock yarn. And now it's dress yarn too.
I have however decided against the lace skirt after a few repeats of the pattern, instead it has become a very nice lacy border matching wonderfully with the bodice stitch pattern.

I want to be able to wear it to work. At the big Investment Bank, where for some odd reason the boys are just too boyish for a lace skirt to be wearable.
Even in their thirties they appear to be still rather amazed and surprised by the fact that women have breasts, and anything hinting at transparency or giving unexpected glimpses of skin seems to disturb them.

And there will be no angelicats this year since Vincent, not so very surprisingly, ate his set of wings.
Maybe next year.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Every time tuna is served a cat might get its wings

My dance muscles were sore all weekend.
I had forgotten how a Christmas party with the Big Investment Bank meant a Christmas party with only little time off the dance floor due to a 1:5 ratio of women to men.
Which is good when you love to dance.
Not so good if you don't.
Good food, very good wines, good music. And once in while a sip of G&T.
And I managed to behave myself etc. while having Very Good Fun.
And I had no hangover on Saturday, due to lack of opportunity to drink, and only a bit of soreness in all too rarely used dance muscles. But no sore feet.
Luckily I had chosen to wear my golden dance shoes. I love those shoes.
Far, far beyond reason. Sometimes I take them out of their red shoe bag just to look at them and pet them a bit.

Dance Naturals, Art. 22, 3 1/2". I have another pair but in a slightly more sober black. Bought ages ago when I made quite a bit more money than I do now. And was mildly obsessed with Argentine tango.
I wish I could wear them every day, everywhere.
And I wish I had much more time to dance.

And today my boss at the Big Investment Bank asked if I would like to stay with them after my contract ends December 14th.
And, oh, do I want to stay!
It's a good job at a good place, surrounded by good people. (And the lunch is very, very good.)
And I feel useful. And good at what I do.
I had actually forgotten how you feel when you leave work, knowing you've done a good job, and knowing you're appreciated not just for what you do but also for who you are. We should all be allowed to feel that way every day.

And now even I have admitted that it's Christmas. The fairy lights are up again, and I've bought a poinsettia.

I like those. I think they're pretty. And I don't understand why so many people claim to hate the very sight of them.
Now the fairy lights and the red flower may be the full extent of my Christmas decorating, but at least I've done something about it this year.
And I'm not dreading Christmas as I usually do.
Even if I will not be working Christmas this year which has always been a nice easy escape.
Christmas will never be what it once was. But dreading it will not make it any better, so I may just as well enjoy it and make the best of it.
And I still try to convince the cats to wear some fun, feathery angel wings I bought for them. If only for a minute. Just to make me happy.
But they're not buying into the idea.
Not yet.
But I still have much tuna, and much patience.