City Slickers

I may have mentioned before that I’m an INFJ. It’s a personality type from Myres Briggs. As such, I take huge issue with business schmoozing. It’s fake, it’s manipulative, it’s full of alpha male rubbish. It’s also interfered with my ability to sink into a hot bath and crawl into bed this evening.

On occasions, LSH has to leave his usual pit of technology in our wardrobe (yep – our closet contains no clothes, just a cupboard of awesome). This means a 2 hour commute into (and then back from) London. Not so bad when he can go up, do the work he needs to do then head home for 8ish. But on occasions he has to join in the schmoozing and use words like ‘blue sky’, ‘out the box’ and ‘ball park’. This means that our original begrudged pick up from the station at 9.30pm has now moved to 10.45pm due to men drinking and swinging their testosterone around in pinstripe suits. It’s the picture of why I have no enthusiasm for ever returning to the IT profession (aside from LOVING teaching).

I just cannot understand why business has to involve taking each other out for alcohol and self congratulatory willy waving. Why not just have a meeting, with a purpose, achieve your aim, then leave and go back to your respective families? Why do you feel the need to socialise with people you wouldn’t otherwise socialise with? This is not networking. Work is not getting done. You’re kidding yourself if you think this diabetes inducing behaviour is meaningful. No-one ever said on their death bed ‘I wish I spent more time with the guys from work’.

Tomorrow will see another 6am rush to get out the door by 7 so he’s on a train back up to the city. That’s less than 8 hours at home. Which in turn means less than 7 hours of sleep for me. A whole morning of teaching eleven year olds how to create spreadsheet formulas on less than 7 hours sleep. Just so men can congratulate each other that they can organise meetings and swap bits of paper around. Well done men.

I will accept that I am exceptionally prickly due to the ongoing sinus pain, but the rant still stands.

Here’s a llama, there’s a llama and Another little llama…

Usually the what comes on the mail is boooooring! Junk mail, offers of one time offers for credit cards (for the seventh time), bank statements and bills. BLEUGH.

Today however, was the perfect antidote for my rapidly developing sinus infection (I ought to apologise to the world in general for my crappy boring lessons filled with powerpoints and tests due to the mounting pressure in my face – that and the need to assess everything they’ve learnt over the past 8 weeks!). I’m mildly prone to sinusitis, and am desperately awaiting that sudden release of pressure (usually accompanied by the grim sudden gush of yellow liquid released from my face. YUK!). Actually, I don’t care how disgusting it is, I could have ectoplasm leaking from my eyeballs and I’d be happy if it got rid of the sinus PAIN. So, yes, I haven’t been quite the grade one teacher today.

Anyway, I digress. Today’s post contained this!


A whole three working days after ordering online, arrives my lovely chocolate yarn and the birch DPNs that I wanted to do the jumper sleeves (I just can’t get a circular needle short enough for cuffs!). And so begins my renewed interested in getting the block colour done so I can knit with the new wool!!!

I also should apologise to everyone who I am insisting instantly touches the yarn. It’s an alpaca yarn thing. Ivy never one across natural fibre that’s so soft & warm!


footnote: I ought to explain the post title really (and yes I KNOW a llama and an alpaca aren’t quite the same thing.


Dear Jumper,

I have a confession. I’ve been cheating on you. It happened so suddenly and I was drawn in my the funky name and the time limit. 10 days to finish a pair of socks! And they’re GREEN. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m fickle. Actually, it is you – your block colour is boring me to tears and I needed a break. And these knit up quite quickly.

It’s true, I’m a yarn hussy. I’m not even ashamed.


Look jumper, how could you possibly compete with your singular circular needle? The socks have four needles, you just have promises of a funky yoke. Always not yet dear, I’m not long enough….. The socks don’t make me wait.

Good things come to those who knit

There is something comforting about knitting lopapeysa jumpers. There’s a pattern (a bit like socks) that you have to methodically follow to get the desired result. Waistband, body, cuffs, sleeves, join, then yoke.

The jumper is essentially all about the yoke. That’s the pretty bit. It’s the bit that holds all the appeal, but you have to do all the hard work before you can get there. I’m on the body bit and it’s just knit knit knit knit until you reach the required 40cm length. It’s methodical, it’s easy, it’s in the round, so it really is knit knit knit knit… It’s boring. I’m in dangerous territory – boring means wander off and knit something more exciting. But I’m sticking with it. It’s growing, and I keep checking back on the yoke pattern just to remind myself what’s coming up. I mentally return to how flipping cold I was last year during the snowy months (oh yes, we had snow on two consecutive months last year! In fact on one occasion it actually lasted for more than a week! Unfortunately, because it almost never reaches less than minus 10, it feels really cold. And damp.). I’ve also just ordered the dark chocolate yarn that will go with my beige and red to make up the yoke.

What is to come : (the brown is beige, the white is deep red & the black is chocolate brown)


Yesterday, my efforts of a week of knit knit knit amounted to this:


After yesterday evening and despite spending a good six hours on germ ridden marking and preparation today (if my lesson plans are dodgy, I totally blame the mix of Beechams flu tablets mixed with antihistamines for the weird underwater style ear clogging), I did get an hour or so this evening to grow it a bit.


Man flu has set in, and I have spent the WHOLE day in my pyjamas. But it’s Sunday, so I’m allowed. And I was grown up and did my homework (and helped the kids do theirs), so I can legitimately get away with being generally crap in all other ways today. Tomorrow I shall keep dosing myself up with everything going and hold up the Wild-e-Coyote style signs to save what’s left of my voice!

One does not simply buy a lopapeysa

Every year, I have to make one. My collection of lopapeysa is rather small, but that’s mainly because the last few have been made for other people!

A lopapeysa is an Icelandic jumper, generally made from Icelandic Lopi yarn which is particularly special because it has been bred in isolation in Iceland where it has developed a special hollow fibre wool which is incredibly warm. The lopi I have used in the past, has always been imported from Iceland directly, but the downside to these is that they ITCH! With that said, they are so lovely and warm.

However, the same visual effect can be achieved with some wool blend Aran. And that’s exactly what I’m doing this year.

Last year was a bit of a penguin thing for Beanpole. This year it’s a traditional jumper for me 🙂

One does not simply buy a lopapeysa – you have to knit it yourself. (Or find an Icelandic grandmother, who do actually advertise online!)

Happy knitting xx


Computer Science…. Just for fun.

I set my year 1 GCSE computing classes a little riddle to keep them going from now until after half term. It doesn’t count towards their course, it’s just a brain teaser to keep them interested. I’m slowly weaning them onto mathematical jokes.

We are just delving into the realms of Denery, binary, hexadecimal and Octal….


Please don’t wake me, no don’t shake me….

On tucking my little people into their beds, I felt a pang of jealousy. Not for their sweet innocence, not for their love of all things Narnia (or banarnia as they’ve decided it is), not even for their array of funky onsies. I was jealous of them being tucked up in bed with a book. Being warm and snugly, and ready for sleep. At best, I not very good at autumn weather (shocking at winter) – I’m a summer girl and these dark, damp days are just not my thing.

So, against all grown up dictation that 8pm is way too early for sleep, I’ve thumbed my nose to the world, curled up in bed and selected a good book.

I’m putting money on the germs making a virusey appearance in the next few days.