Friday 25 January 2013

The Toy's Last Milestone

They took my Toy car away on Tuesday. I'd spent what-felt-like days caught up in the insurance-company-telephone-death-spiral. Net result: he was written-off and taken for scrap. When the drove him onto the transporter, I seriously wondered if I was doing the right thing - it felt like a betrayal.

This is his last ever milestone.

Goodbye Toy and thank you for all the great times.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

The Toy is No More

My Toy car just got written off!  He was parked up on the street opposite our house and one of the teachers from the neighbouring school just drove straight into him.  Head on collision. 

Smashed headlight.  Smashed grill.  Punctured radiator.  Damaged bumper-bar.  Too old and too many miles for it to be an economic repair (264,500 miles on the clock and 12 years of service).   The insurance company have told me to remove all my personal belongings and they'll arrange for a salvage company to take him away to the big scrapyard in the sky.

I'd spent today home sick and was lying on the couch under a duvet when I heard the sound of glass smashing followed by car crash noises.  Looked out the window and saw a car with its hazards flashing.  Looked for the Toy and realised he was 15 feet or so down the road from where I'd parked him on Monday night and not looking healthy.

Damn, damn, damn!!!!

I know he was old and had high mileage - after all, I am responsible for over 99% of them.  But this isn't the way I thought he'd go.  I thought we'd get to 300,000 miles and then, possibly, trade him in.  Or aim for 350k and see what happened.  It's not dignified and it's not fair!

Now I'm going to have to spend the next few days finding and buying a new car.  Not what I'd planned to do but commuting to work by train is not a long term option either economically or time-wise.  As it is, I'm going to take the rest of the week off sick because I'm certainly not well enough to face that train journey.  And I may work from home for a few days next week.

- Pam

PS:  The driver of the other vehicle is OK.  A bit shaken but not hurt.

Sunday 6 January 2013

PipneyJane's Wartime Experiment - Fashion on the Ration

As mentioned in my New Year's Day post, I've been toying with the idea of implementing some type of WW2 wartime experiment.  (I first mentioned the idea in this post back in October.)  So far, what I've decided to do is Fashion on the Ration.   Anyone willing to join me?

The 1941 clothing ration was 66 coupons, which had to cover everything:  underwear, stockings, socks, hats, shoes, skirts, jackets, shirts, trousers, coats, knitting yarn, etc.  The idea behind the ration was that it would enable everyone to buy one new complete outfit per year, nothing more, nothing less. Second hand items were exempt.

 Government announcement in the Times, June 3, 1941

In larger print:

Item Of ClothingWomenGirls
Lined mackintosh or coat over 28"1411
Under 28" short coat or jacket118
Frock, gown or dress of wool118
Frock, gown or dress of other fabric75
Bodice with girls skirt or gym tunic86
Divided skirt or skirt75
Dungarees or overalls64
Blouse, shirt, sports top, cardigan or jumper53
Pair of slippers, boots or shoes53
Other under garments including corsets32
Petticoat or slip, cami knickers or combinations43
Apron or pinafore32
Scarf, gloves, mittens or muff22
Stockings per pair21
Ankle socks per pair11
1 yard wool cloth 36"wide33
2 ounces of wool knitting yarn11

Assumptions for the challenge:-
  • 1 metre of fabric equals 1 yard.  No penalty for width.
  • 2 ounces of wool knitting yarn equals 50g of any knitting yarn.
  • Based on the quantity of fabic and work involved, a "corset" is the equivalent of two bras.
  • Ditto one pair of Cami-knickers would equal two pairs of modern bikini-style knickers or thongs.
  • Bodice with skirt = shirt/blouse/t-shirt purchased at the same time as a matching or co-ordinating skirt or trousers = 8 coupons.
  • Dungarees = jeans = 6 coupons.
  • Divided skirt = trousers = 7 coupons.

Examining my wardrobe-crystal-ball for 2013, I know that I'll need to acquire at least the following:-
  1. Underwear.  At 4 coupons a pair of cami-knickers, new underwear will be very expensive.  However, I will argue that one pair of 1940's cami-knickers uses the same fabric as two pairs of modern bikini-style knickers, giving the equivalency of 2 coupons per pair of knickers.  So, lets say I'll buy 5 new pairs at a cost of 10 coupons.
  2. A navy blue suit.  Currently, this is the one thing my work-wardrobe is missing.  The question is: do I make or do I buy?  I reckon I could make an entire suit:  jacket, trousers and skirt with 5 metres of woollen cloth and 3 metres of lining fabric, if I line it. Purchased is 25 coupons while home-made is 24 coupons.  Of course, if I find one in a charity shop, that will be coupons saved.
  3. New loafers.  I get through a pair a year so that's 5 coupons gone.
  4. Ditto another pair of trainers.  Another 5 coupons spent.
So that's 44 or 45 coupons spent before I consider t-shirts, blouses, jeans, knitting yarn, etc.  Hmmm......

- Pam

Tuesday 1 January 2013

PS: I agree with Dilbert

2013 (and a quick review of 2012)

My first lie-in of 2013 ended at 7.52am when, after 6 hours sleep, I gave up trying to go back to sleep, got up and went and had a shower.  If the start-the-New-Year-as-you-mean-to-go-on brigade are to be believed, my 2013 will consist of a lot of early starts and not much sleep.

Still, it's given me some time to consider how 2012 went and what I'll do differently in 2013.  In 2012, I had multiple goals.  Here's how they went:-

  1. The nebulous fitness goal: to strengthen my body by working out/lifting weights three times a week.  Big fail.  Didn't work out once.  I am weaker now than I was a year ago.
  2. The not-so-nebulous fitness goal: to be able to run 5k/3 miles without stopping, and to achieve this before my birthday in August. Another big fail.  I just couldn't get out of bed to start running.
  3. To be more organised.  Nebulous, but successful. 
  4. To be tidy.  My desk at work has stopped breeding paper.  'Nuff said.
  5. To buy less than 12 items of clothing in 2012 (underwear, socks and stockings exempted).  SUCCESS!!!  My purchases for 2012:  3 pairs of jeans, 2 t-shirts, 1 blouse, 2 hats, 1 suit;  so 9 items in total.
  6. To knit 1 pair of socks every 2 months. SUCCESS.  By October, I'd finished 7 pairs of socks and am now 70% through an 8th.
  7. To knit 6 sweaters.  Partial success.  I finished 5 sweaters, including Pretty In Pink (still needs to be photographed).
  8. To lose 14lb in weight.  Partial success.  By June, I'd lost 7lb but put most of it back on by the end of the year.
  9. To only buy yarn from a) charity shops or b) if it is less than £3/ball. Oh, and the yarn budget for 2012 will be £60 for the year, no more.  This was successful until I went to the Knit & Stitch Show at Ally Pally back in October. I nearly didn't go until a friend persuaded me.  Then I went mad.  I refuse to tell you how much I spent.
  10. To really work at having a decent veggie garden this year. I'd like to be able to feed us from it for days/weeks at a time.  Big fail.  The garden yielded garlic, onions and potatoes.  That's all.  The onions weren't particularly big, either.  If anyone tells you that gardening is easy, they're lying.
  11. To use things up. I have a stockpile of "stuff": make-up, fabric, cross stitch stuff, yarn, etc, and it's time to make a dent in it.  SUCCESS.  I cleared out the stockpile of hotel shampoo, made a big dent in the collection of hotel body-wash (we still have tons), and the body lotion stockpile has decreased dramatically.  The make-up stockpile is down by three make-up bases, one blusher and two mascaras.  However, I think it'll take me a decade to use up my lipstick collection.
On the whole, I think I didn't do too badly.  How did you do with your New Year's Resolutions from 2012?

Highlights of 2012 were the trip to Oman, my sister's visit, the various concerts I performed in, the Last Night of the Proms, the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics/Paralympics. DH is working at a job that stimulates his mind instead of just paying the bills (and enjoying every minute, as far as I can tell).  On Ravelry, I participated in the Ankh-Morpork Knitters Guild Guild Wars 2012, competing in every round. Workwise, I have a new job title at work ("Finance Manager") and a new reporting structure, but my job hasn't really changed.  It's just got more complicated.

Goals for 2013.

I am not proposing to set many goals for 2013.  I know, earlier this year, I toyed with setting a Wartime Experiment challenge for myself, but I'm not sure I'm up to it.  Anyway, this is my list so far:-
  1. 2013 is my year of vintage knitting.  For sweaters, I will only knit from vintage or vintage-style patterns.
  2. To only buy British/locally manufactured yarns.
  3. To work out 5 days a week, either weight training or running.
  4. To lose 20lb in weight.
  5. To work on my voice and my musicality.  I'm a very lazy singer and need to work much harder.
  6. To build a cash cushion.  I'm aware that Toy won't last forever (he's done 264,000 miles) and want to pay cash for the next car.
  7. To finish the downstairs of the house.  It's time we had a real kitchen.
  8. To get a dog.
Happy New Year everyone!!!