Monthly Archives: December 2006

Sewing again

I decided that after the madness of Christmas Eve and Boxing Day in the pub, I needed a little time for me. After the blue blouse woes, I decided to try something a little simpler. I need summer tops, as I don’t think T-shirts look particularly professional unless they’re under a jacket or similar.

I found this New Look pattern (now out of print) sitting amongst the dust and stour in what was supposed to be my craft room before the renovations got out of hand, so I set to….

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I’m quite pleased with the result, for a first attempt:

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The back view isn’t as good, partly due to the static, but partly also because it just doesn’t fit right. I can’t quite figure out why, but suspect it may have something to do with a bum that sticks out, and a waist that goes in….

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And yes, I am that lopsided – it’s not just the way I’m standing.

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Thinks

There’s a very thoughtful article by Brian Taylor, political editor to BBC Scotland published today.

We’re coming up to the anniversary of the abolition of the Scottish Parliament, which is causing all manner of rantings and ravings from assorted politicians. In summary: do we keep the Union or not?

I’d like to hear the debate that Mr Taylor asks for, but suspect that we’re only going to get a question-and-blame session from both sides before the Scottish elections next May.

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Merry Christmas!

Whatever you celebrate, have a wonderful day….

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Rant

Apologies in advance.

I’ve just received the new Avon brochure (cosmetics by mail order) and was happily browsing when I came across this:

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Here’s a larger version of the offending bit:

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Excuse me? What on earth is going on here? Botox for your 21st birthday, anyone?

I’m afraid I’m not particularly coherent about this, but quite frankly if we’re to start worrying about getting old-and-wrinkly as soon as we leave our teens, then I think we’ve got our priorities just a little bit skewiffy.

More simply: I don’t want to look like Cher when I’m 60!

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Temptation

Well, DH and I have chosen the fabric which he’s going to order for my Christmas present.

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The blue is much less visible to the naked eye than the camera makes it appear. I think it will make a lovely classic jacket, once I dare take scissors to it!

Second choice was this textured black:

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Two more that we liked, but didn’t think were appropriate at this stage:

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Along those lines, I bumped into some georgeous linen, designed on a hand loom and woven in Europe as I was mooching around looking for shirting fabric.

The Linen Shop is definitely worth a look if you’re into quality fabric and/or furnishings.

Hotel stuff
Still no progress on the flood cleanup. We can’t start without a quote, and our tradesmen are taking their time.

Mutter, Grump!

Other than that, I’m waiting up for a guest.
His first question on booking was “Do you have 24 hour reception?”
Well, not exactly. When there’s only two of you, you need to sleep at some stage. Still, if I know when someone will be arriving, I don’t mind waiting up – Mahler 1 on Radio 3 is good company for my sock knitting.

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Money Matters

You may recall that I was having a little local difficulty with my credit card provider some time ago., and that I sent them a rather lovely letter.

In case you missed the whole sorry saga: I’d received a refund for some online purchases, and Cahoot chose to regard this as my payment for the month, and didn’t take the direct debit payment I had set up. No credit card payment = interest due….

Unfortunately, Cahoot didn’t see it that way, and informed me, in summary, that this was perfectly normal behaviour from a credit card provider. I didn’t have to pay interest because I had spotted the problem and paid it pdq, but the gist of their communication was that I could expect a similar occurrance every time I received a refund for goods paid for with their Visa card.

Hmmm.

So, I went looking for a better deal.

Please note: I am not a financial adviser, and I don’t play one on TV! This is my experience of looking for terms that suited me.

The decision-making process went something like this:
Q: What do I use my card for?
A: Buying online, holiday spending sometimes, general shopping.
Q: Do I need a low interest rate or balance transfer rate?
A: No. I pay my card in full every month, and have no outstanding balance.
Q: What features do I therefore need?
A: Commonly accepted type (not Amex), low commission on currency conversions, low commission on cash withdrawals overseas.
Q: What features would be nice?
A: Ability to pay the balance in full by direct debit to avoid forgetting. Some sort of reward scheme, as I’m not going to benefit from a low interest rate if I pay it off each month. Internet banking.

Result:
The Yorkshire Building Society offers a Visa card with a reasonable interest rate, amongst the lowest I could find for foreign currency conversion, and cashback!

I used the Money Supermarket to compare cards, but then went directly to the Yorkshire Building Society’s website to apply as Money Supermarket suggested that you couldn’t apply directly online.

The card is actually provided by the Co-Operative Bank, and I’m not altogether happy with their internet or telephone banking security procedures, so I’ll try to log on as seldom as possible.

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Light relief

Courtesy of The Spinning Fishwife.

I’ve never tried to embed an object in a blog posting before, and since blogger doesn’t like Firefox on Linux, I’m having to do this manually.

I hope it works!

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