Saturday, June 26, 2010

We're actually having a summer this year!

It's getting on for 30C this weekend, with no rain in sight. We've been eating outside whenever possible, and since it's light until ten o'clock, this is easy. The past few weekends, The Limey has put the barbecue grill through its paces. Today, it had been warm enough that we couldn't bear to really cook, so dinner was three different salads. Next weekend, though, July 4th barbecue!

Meanwhile, this coming week, I'm in the US for work. Three days, three meetings, three states. In other words, I'm going to be spending a lot of time in airports and on planes. This is bad enough, but the real tragedy is: I have no good plane knitting! I'm looking through my stash and my projects, but nothing appeals. It can't be too complicated; I don't have time to swatch and plan for a new design before I leave; I don't have any other knitting on the go right now. I have one more day to figure it out, though.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Speaking of cultural differences...

The scene: Bloomingdale's in NYC (which, by the way, is miles ahead of Macy's; don't even bother with Macy's). The Limey and I are headed towards a be-suited employee so The Limey can ask the whereabouts of the bathroom. Another couple get to the employee at the same time.

The exchange between The Limey and other guy:
-After you.
-No, you first.
-No, you.
-No, after you

I poke The Limey to go ahead. As he asks, I say to the other guy's companion, "I had to do something. We could have been here forever- he's British." And she points at her dude and goes, "So's he."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BIG IMPORTANT cultural differences

One difference between the US and the UK which caused a few weeks of utter confusion for me is the attitude to cats and the outdoors.

In the US, many people prefer to keep their cats indoors. When I was a volunteer at the SF SPCA, in fact, we made people sign a form promising to keep their cats indoors only. Cats allowed outdoors have much shorter lives- they get run over by cars; they get into fights with dogs; in certain areas, they are the losers in encounters with coyotes or other wildlife.

In the UK, it is assumed that cats must go outside. When we looked for rental housing, we'd mention the cat, and agents would say, "Oh, but this is a flat" or "There's no garden." Which confused the daylights out of me. I'd be all, "Yes, I know it's a flat..." or "And...this is relevant how?" But of course, they skipped straight from "We have a cat" to "It'll have to go outside".

Whereas Chloe, in her short but peripatetic life, has lived in houses with yards where she was allowed out, to apartments where she was kept in. If outside is available, she goes, but otherwise doesn't really care either way.

These people? Definitely not Britons.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tons of travel pictures and a huge squee

Whew! Got back from the DC/NY trip a couple of weekends ago, but it's been full speed ahead since then at work, at knitting, and at the dentist's. (Not so excited about that last one, and I've still got one more visit.)

The trip was great fun. It was good to meet up with H and wander around DC and NY together. It turns out I only went to one yarn shop: Purl Soho. It was lovely but I didn't buy any yarn because I'd outsmarted myself and brought the small suitcase. If you want pictures, The Limey's put up a gajillion of them. (He bought more lenses for the camera the very first day and spent the whole trip playing with them.)

Meanwhile, a knitting squee:

Pattern: Saartje's Booties (Fleeglized version)
Yarn: Some leftover 4-ply, probably Paton's Diploma Gold or some such
Needles: dpns, probably 2.5mm

I've wanted to knit these ever since I saw them, and a co-worker's new baby was just the excuse I needed. They are SO CUTE. And who knew they could actually get cuter when you put them on an actual baby?!