Sunday, March 25, 2007

You Are A Martini

You are the kind of drinker who appreciates a nice hard drink.
And for you, only quality alcohol. You don't waste your time on the cheap stuff.
Obviously, you're usually found with a martini in your hand. But sometimes you mix it up with a gin and tonic.
And you'd never, ever consider one of those flavored martinis. They're hardly a drink!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Chris and I just bought tickets to Barcelona for four days at the end of April. Whee! I've never been to Spain before and I've only ever heard great things, so I'm really excited about it. We haven't booked our accommodation yet, so if anyone has any recommendations, let me know.

The devil's in the detail

I'm still working away on Sizzle, the sleeveless cotton sweater that was supposed to take only a couple of days to knit. I finished the body well over a week ago, and all I have to do now is finish off with moss stitch edging around the neckline and armholes, but it's easier said than done. I did the neckline, but I'd picked the stitches up from the wrong place, creating an unattractive ridge between the edging and the body, so I'm doing it over. I always seem to have trouble picking up stitches and my edgings are never as neat as I'd like. One of these days I'll get the knack!

My leg's slowly on the mend. I can walk a reasonable distance again, but MoonWalk training is still suspended for the time being.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gammy leg

I hurt my leg on Monday night. I’d slightly strained my right calf when I was out walking last week but, the other night, while running through the house, something audibly went ‘pop’ at the back of my calf and floored me; I almost threw up from the initial pain and writhed on the floor for several minutes. I don’t know what I’ve done, but I can gingerly put weight on it and limp around, emitting small screams only occasionally, so I think it’s something that will mend itself. However, after hobbling around for two days, my left leg is now sore from bearing all the extra weight. I’m supposed to be training for the Edinburgh MoonWalk in June (walking 26.2 miles in the middle of the night, wearing a novelty bra -- why did I ever think that would be a good idea?), but that’s scuppered for a while. Boo. Really, I just hope it's healed enough to dance in the ceilidh at a wedding next week!

Tony Blair Meets Lauren (Catherine Tate)

I like Tony Blair much better after this.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The simple girl buys what she's told to buy...

To celebrate receiving my annual bonus this week, I got this haul on Friday at lunchtime. I didn't really mean to buy anything other than a falafel wrap and a Diet Coke, but I had a £5 off voucher to use on any No. 7 product at Boots, so bought some tinted moisturiser. And a lipstick, because Laetitia Casta looked so pretty and fresh on the ad. On my way back to the office, I passed through my favourite department store and, lo, they finally had their Bonus Time offer on Clinique. I needed to stock up on my favourite foundation and mascara, so I chose one of each and got my free gift. However, the saleslady then offered I could get additional gifts if I chose a third item so, being the total sucker I am, I bought a new eyeliner as well. Oh, well. I'm pleased with most of the products, particularly the "freebie" Ruby Glass lipstick from Clinique; it's much more flattering than the one Laetitia convinced me to buy.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Movie Meme

1. Name a movie you've seen more than ten times.
Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, When Harry Met Sally, Amelie, Forrest Gump, Brief Encounter, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music.

2. Name a movie that you've seen multiple times in the theatre.
The Matrix, The Two Towers, Bridget Jones's Diary, Forrest Gump, French Kiss (the electricity went out in a storm the first time round, so we got our tickets refunded and had to go back to see the conclusion; it wasn't really worth it).

3. Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Christian Bale, George Clooney, Cate Blanchette, Johnny Depp, Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Kate Winslet, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Watson, Ben Stiller.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie.
Jackie Chan, Sylvester Stallone, Angelina Jolie, Christian Slater, Jennifer Aniston, Hugh Grant, Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise.

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
Swingers, When Harry Met Sally, The Sound of Music.

6. Name a movie musical to which you know all the lyrics to all the songs.
The Sound of Music, Chicago, Newsies (ahem), Mary Poppins, Bye Bye Birdie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

7. Name a movie you've been known to sing along to.
See #6.

8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.
Amelie, It's a Wonderful Life, Rebecca, The Apartment.

9. Name a movie that you own.
Annie Hall.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who's surprised you with their acting chops.
Mark Wahlberg.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
Unfortunately, no.

12. Ever made out in a movie?
Not in a theatre, no. If ever I wanted to, the boy was too into the movie. However, I have made out to videos/dvds.

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but you just haven't gotten around to seeing it?
The Queen, Notes on a Scandal, The Last King of Scotland, Casablanca.

14. Ever walked out of a movie?
Yes, Miami Vice last summer.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theatre.
Too many to name, but I thought I'd never stop crying after Dancer in the Dark. (I went to the supermarket to buy my dinner afterwards, sobbing all the while...).

16. Popcorn?
Occasionally, but not often. Usually only if I'm going to miss dinner.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting or watching at home)?
Not nearly as often as I used to; once a month, if I'm lucky.

18. What's the last movie you saw in the theatre?
Pan's Labyrinth.

19. What's your preferred or favourite genre of movie?
Romance, comedy or anything with magical realism.

20. What's the first movie you remember seeing in the theatre?
Either Snow White or Bambi.

21. What movie do you wish you'd never seen?
Sin City, Event Horizon, Miami Vice.

22. What's the weirdest movie you've ever enjoyed?
Delicatessen, Mon Oncle.

23. What's the scariest movie you've seen?
Event Horizon, Resident Evil, Pan's Labyrinth.

24. What's the funniest movie you've ever seen?
So I Married an Axe Murderer, Little Miss Sunshine, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Meaning of Life, The Life of Brian.

Pan's Labyrinth

We went to see Pan’s Labyrinth at The Cameo last night and I’m struggling to recall the last time I enjoyed a film less.* Undoubtedly, it was well made: the special effects were fantastically creepy, the acting was superb, the little girl was gorgeous and the cinematography was great. However, it just wasn’t what I expected, so it disappointed. I generally enjoy films best when I go in knowing very little about them, so I didn’t read any reviews or anything; I just knew it had won a few Academy Awards and was a bit dark and creepy, but with puppets and animated creatures (so how sinister could it be?). I expected something like The Dark Crystal, or something Tim Burtonesque – it wasn’t. Nothing had prepared me for the extreme violence (particularly not the BBFC 15 certificate). From the first killing (by repeated face stabbing with a broken bottle), I was tense; by the time the Captain painstakingly stitched up his own facial flesh wound and everyone in the cinema groaned, I was in a fetal position. It was a relief when it was finally over.

*I’ve remembered: Chan-wook Park’s film Oldboy (2003), which had also been praised to the heavens and was recommended by a friend who claimed it to be the best movie he’d ever seen.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The busy girl buys beauty

Chris and I went shopping in Stockbridge yesterday and he (unwisely?) introduced me to my new favourite shop, Galerie Mirages, an enormous showcase of jewellery from around the world. I loved the majority of their collection, but I was very restrained and only got a ring for myself (worn on the model's left hand here) and a gift for someone else. But I've got my eye on a few other things that can wait until after payday...

I also got a lovely pair of silver earrings at The Lucie Fenton Gallery. I love the tiny, delicate black flowers on them, which remind me of Victorian wallpaper.

I'm feeling ill and can't sleep, hence the pre-dawn blogging. Ughhhh... Might try and finish Sizzle before I attempt sleep again.

I've never had this flavour before, but now I must track it down...

You Are Banana Pocky

Your attitude: fun and lighthearted
Unique and unforgettable
You are cutie everyone falls for
You Are Very Worldly

You're an international jet setter - or pretty darn close.
And while you may feel like you have many more places to visit...
Most people live their whole lives without seeing what you've seen.
In fact, you're probably going to be traveling again soon. So Bon Voyage!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

You Are 48% Texas

At first, you seem Texan... but just because a chicken has wings don't mean it can fly.

Friday, March 09, 2007

J-Jay and Porphyria, sitting in a tree...

A colleague this week sent me a comprehensive list of first names given to babies born in Scotland in 2006. My personal favourites are Porphyria (a medical complaint), Demii-Louise, Dakhoda, Bo-Breeze, Aspen-Marie and Bhayleigh for girls and J-Jay, Jaxin, Rowdy, Williamdavid and Jnr for boys. I'm surprised at the number of girls who've been named Lois (40).

Monday, March 05, 2007

J'aime Le Slouch

Hats are my favourite things to knit and I love my newest one, Le Slouch. It's made from King Cole Anti-Tickle merino yarn in 'bluebell' that I had left over from the fair isle.

I'd never, ever successfully knitted anything using double-pointed needles before but, somehow, I just got it with this pattern. The 5mm needles didn't feel as awkward in my hands as they did previously and the stitches didn't slip off the non-working needles with every shift in position. Hurrah! However, it's far from perfect -- some of the stitches are extremely loose, especially where the rib meets the moss stitch -- but I'm satisfied and wear it almost every day. I think I'll probably make another one (we need woolly hats through April here) in a softer yarn like cashmerino, as the 'anti-tickle' is a little itchy on my forehead, when I have to pull it right down to prevent it blowing off in the gales. (I've almost lost it several times struggling up Leith Walk.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

FO: Elizabeth Zimmerman Yoked Fair Isle Sweater

I finished this sweater -- my first fair isle project -- back in January and I've been very pleased with it. I followed EZ's instructions for the yoked fair isle sweater in Knitting Without Tears and added shaping and stopped short on the neckline to create more of a boatneck. Just because I'm lazy, I made the sleeves three-quarter length. It was also my first time using King Cole Anti-Tickle merino yarn, which I'd read great things about. I, too, enjoyed working with it (for the main colour), although it's not exactly non-itch when wearing. I appreciate its washability, though! The contrast colours are Sirdar Superwash Wool, which comes in lovely jewel-like colours, and it has a bit more sheen and softness to it than the King Cole. I'd definitely buy more of the Superwash.
Things I learned: short-row shaping at the neckline, fair isle technique.

Things I'd do differently: I'd remember to use a smaller needle for the ribbing on the cuffs and waistband.

For more photos, please see my Flickr site. I think there may be a cardigan version of this coming soon...

Happiness is... finding your skate key

With the onset of spring and in my ongoing quest to rediscover my original passions in life (aka reverting to my childhood), I'm considering buying a pair of traditional, quad rollerskates. I had several (second-hand) pairs when I was a kid and, along with my bike and my Barbies, I loved them greatly. I can remember vividly how I'd zoom around outside our house, starting down the winding, downwards sloping path on the front lawn (it even had an uneven bit that was great for jumps), round the sidewalk, up the driveway and into the garage and back again, often while singing Michael Jackson and Kenny Loggins songs. Good times! However, once I outgrew the rollerboot quads, rollerblades were in and, because there some controversy about them being more dangerous and unstable than quads, I was discouraged from getting a pair and left my skating days behind.

Chris's flat is right on the Water of Leith walkway, which we've often cycled and walked along, and I think it will lend itself very well to skating along. Now I just need an assortment of cute, kicky skirts that will burl out nicely in a spin and I'll be all set!