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Show of Hands October 28, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Law, Lovely people.
5 comments

‘The Law is the true embodiment
Of everything that’s excellent.
It has no kind of fault or flaw,
And I, my Lords, embody the Law.’

– The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, lyrics by WS Gilbert

Techie Towers has turned somewhat into a hotel for various people’s younger sisters plus entourage – Katie’s was up a few weeks ago, Alex’s is on the sofa downstairs as we speak, and my ever-magnetic Midge was here over the weekend – hence the lack of updates, the lack of work and the lack of attention span.  (If you get the chance to see Fantastic Mr Fox while it’s in the cinema – do.  And sit next to someone who’s a parent.  It’s double the amusement, I assure you.)  I miss having her about, now.  Durham is a completely different place when you’re in it with someone you have to entertain, but also look after a bit.  I miss mornings in cafés talking about everything.

The fact of the matter is that my sister is now at the age where she’s growing up a bit – she’s just discovered boys, alcopops and neat vodka.  You remember it, I’m sure.  Not that she’s in any way abusing any of these, just discovering them, and it sort of makes me nostalgic for the days when that was all new to me as well.  In some ways I think it was good to be terrified by all these new things that affect your head and make you do things you wouldn’t otherwise have done.  Everyone else was terrified too.  It was exciting.  I made such a hash of it first time round.

Went to see Show of Hands at the Gala on Saturday night with Midge and a few others.  (T, I’m terribly sorry for not inviting you along but we didn’t actually have a sofa free at that point and there’s only so many people you can fit in a house intended for four people.  Hope you don’t mind too much.)  It was spectacular.  Not only in the professional skill (we counted a good fifteen instruments on stage between three people – Miranda Sykes was with them and my god, what that woman can do with a double bass), but also the showmanship.  Midge pronounced it ‘Fi music’, partly as a result of it being two middle aged men with guitars.  I would have said so myself if I were her.  But to be honest, there aren’t many occasions I’m going to find myself in the same room singing along with the sort of people I was in the same room as, singing along with, on Saturday night, and I loved it.  I thought it was electric.

The guy behind me was pissed out of his skull.

Having finished with the catch-up, then, I thought I’d share this with you:

I’m reading a case at the moment for a tutorial next week.  It’s called R (ProLife Alliance) v British Broadcasting Corporation and it’s about the 1997 elections, where the BBC wouldn’t let the ProLife Alliance show pictures of just-aborted foetuses, among other things, on television in its Party Political Broadcast.  It’s a very interesting case.  It’s a difficult issue, and there are a lot of other very difficult issues jostling to be noticed and acted upon that shouldn’t be noticed and acted upon.  There’s also a description of the images that weren’t allowed to be shown.  It’s not an easy case to read and it’s not an easy case to read objectively.

In the event, ProLife Alliance were, of course, allowed their four-minute slot on TV for their election broadcast.  They just weren’t allowed to show any of the images – the screen was left blank and only the audio was used, and the House of Lords found with a majority of four Lords to one that that was okay.  I can’t quite think about it properly – I’m usually as forceful an advocate of freedom of expression as you could hope to find.  But this… it was a tough decision for ProLife to make, for the BBC to make and for the courts to make.  I’m interested to know what you think.

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Decision making October 22, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Bwargh, Knitting, Sheer bloody-mindedness, Small things.
2 comments

Yesterday morning, I woke up to discover that a decision I’d made the night before hadn’t been a dream after all, and that I had in fact, moments before going to sleep, rotated my duvet 180 degrees and gone to sleep with my head at the other end of the bed and my feet between my pillows.

I can’t honestly tell you why I did this, or why I wasn’t particularly surprised to discover I’d done it, but it sort of still makes sense in my head except for when I try and explain it.  I also feel a little bit unaccountably proud to have done it.  Anyway, then I got up and did an hour and a half’s reading for the Seminar To End All Seminars, which is occurring on a weekly basis for the next two terms and hasn’t killed me yet, but might do any time soon.

Another decision I’ve made recently, that’s really upset me, is to do with this:

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This is the beautiful green sock from a few posts ago.  It’s a stunner.  The colour in real life is gorgeous.  The pattern is incredible, it just jumps out at you and I keep getting a strong urge just to follow the lines with my fingertip.  Or should I say the pattern was incredible – I did another few inches and then tried it on, and it all went horribly wrong.  I should know this by now.  I should know that however much I knit swatches beforehand, and sit down with a calculator and do it all properly, no matter how spot on my number of stitches per inch seems to be, it’s all a lie and if I don’t use the size of sock needles that I usually use (2.75mm) then nothing good can come of it.  This little work of art was knitted on 2.5mm needles and the gauge was exactly what was recommended in the pattern.  I don’t have that wide feet.  But you can guess what happened – it was too small, I couldn’t get it over my heel.  I was so upset – it’s taken me a good six or seven solid hours of knitting time, that, and ripping it back was heartbreaking.  (I think I put a bit too much of myself into my socks.)

So after much perusal of Ravelry I found another pattern to have a go at, one that’s a bit simpler that I can knit in Iolanthe rehearsals (which have started! Cheers!) without looking at it or swearing every few stitches, and I decided to do the next size up, just because the needles were a bit smaller and I knew it’d all go wrong otherwise – and I spent an hour or so knitting the toe and it was enormous.  Huge.  Bleeding massive.

I am almost getting disheartened enough to slink back to my 2.75mm needles and apologise wholeheartedly for cheating on them.  But it’s just one of those occasions – knitting occasionally resembles pissing in the wind and if I don’t have patience with yarn I know I won’t have patience anywhere.  If the next thing I write is littered with green fluff and bits of needle you’ll know I’ve cracked.

A small crisis of conscience October 20, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Bwargh, Law, Sheer bloody-mindedness.
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This is a post about that ubiquitous creature that resides in law, politics, sociology and occasionally economics libraries the world over: the Irritating Liberal.  We all know about them.  Not the sort of liberal who just wants everyone to be happy and for the world to be a better place, not even the sort who despises Tories on principle (and its newer counterpart who despises New Labour on principle), but the sort who knows exactly how this is to be done, and anyone who disagrees with them is at best Unenlightened and delusional, and at worst a Bourgeoise Oppressor, intent upon homogeneity of all people, the stifling of originality and, of course, the subjugation of the working classes.

Of course, this is a bit upsetting, especially when, as they tend to in law, they start going on about how we can’t trust politicians in the slightest (especially Tories/New Labour) because they’re just out for what they can get.  Of course they are.  They’re human beings.  That’s how it works.  Every human being is at least to some extent self-serving.  It’s how we’ve developed; it’s how we’ve survived.  We’ve also survived by working in communities, and there is a balance, and there will always be a balance.  It might not always work, but honestly, it’s pretty darned good.  No, I know you know Marx was unenlightened and delusional as well.  But that is no reason, no reason at all, to remove power to any extent from politicians, and give it to the courts.  The courts are not elected.  Judges may be good, they may be bloody good, but they’re not legitimate, they’re not elected and they’re not representing anyone except for arguably the crown.

I was having a discussion the other day with a friend because I happen to believe that we should be paying our MPs quite a lot more than we are doing, and she thinks they don’t deserve it.  (But that’s another bedtime story – what can I say, I think I took a bit too much market economics on board.  Also, I promise it was a discussion, not an argument!)  Part way through this, she brought up the fact that I went to a private senior school.

I don’t object to people’s points of view.  But I object to having my point of view dismissed as uninformed.  Because not having gone to a state school does not entitle you to talk about state funded education or how to make things better for people who did.  Because disagreeing with Irritating Liberal means you’re obviously lingering under the delusion that only Irritating Liberal has seen beyond.  (The friend in question isn’t an IL, by the way, although I did get chatted up by a slightly tipsy one about a year ago and it was one of the most surreptitious-rage-inducing situations I have ever been in.)  And the thing about the Irritating Liberal is that I can’t disagree with them.  I’ll lose face.  I’ll end up disagreeing with them because I think they’re a tosser as opposed to because I disagree with them.  Or maybe I’ll start calling them Just Plain Wrong, and then there’ll be two of us.

On the subject of which, I’m really sorry for this blog.  I had to let it out somewhere, though.  Pot, this is kettle; kettle, pot.

Incidentally I have about fifteen pages of this article left, about which I have to talk in a seminar tomorrow morning, and I think I have torn my hair out so much my scalp is crying.  So far we’ve had examples of, in the red corner, General Haig, Thatcher and the Soviet Union, and in the blue corner, Oscar Wilde and Auguste Comte.  Jolly good, chaps.

Freshers’ Croup October 18, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Bwargh, Knitting, University.
4 comments

(I refuse to call it the flu.  It’s far worse.)

So I’ve spent most of the last week either ill in bed or trying to pretend I’m not ill and that alcohol/caffeine makes it all better.  It’s my own fault, of course – I started feeling sick on Tuesday afternoon but insisting on spending Tuesday evening learning a new waltz routine, then standing in a lighting box in total darkness for an hour and a half, and then helping with a get-out til two in the morning.  I say helping.  By that point I could barely stand up without feeling like my insides were shortly to become my outsides.

The result of which is that I spent at least half of the next two days asleep, watched the first episode of Criminal Justice (and isn’t it just nail biting?), read the entirety of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book – which I fully recommend and am slightly sad to have finished so quickly, and generally did no work in the least.

On the plus side, Marcus came up for the last few days and I’ve discovered somewhere on the way between the pub and home to get falafel at two in the morning.  Life is, if not good, then half-decent.

You may notice that we have internets now (hurrah) which is earlier than expected and therefore All Good.  You’d think that not having it would have meant that I’d have got more done – not so.  The fact is that not having internet meant I wasted a good three quarters of an hour every time I got into the library checking e-mails, of which there were a good page or so every time I looked, then Facebook, blog, Ravelry… which meant that actually, the time I usually set aside for doing two hours at a time of work only accomplished an hour and a quarter’s worth.  Not clever.

It also meant that the only way I had to calm myself down and do mindless enjoyable things was to knit.  So I’ve done quite a lot of that.  The Super Secret Surprise Sock is coming on in leaps and bounds.  It looks wonderful and feels so strokeable – it’s the first time I’ve ever knitted with cashmere and it’s gloriously soft and warm.  I’ve also done about the first three inches of another sock, Rick by Cookie A from her book Sock Innovation – partly because I got a bit trigger-happy with the starting of new projects and wanted to knit something simple-ish that looked a bit impressive, partly because I had some lovely green Cherry Tree Hill Supersock that I got from the I Knit Weekender that was simply begging for a pattern that was simple-ish but looked a bit impressive, and partly because, well, I ❤ Cookie A.  She’s just wonderful.  And a disgustingly competent designer of far-too-addictive patterns.  Photographic evidence of the latter to follow.

I just can’t leave the knitting alone, sorry.

And now I’m going to do what I decided to do about half an hour ago: lie in bed, sock in progress, and eat chocolate and watch iPlayer.  Because I’m Ill, and therefore it’s excuseable.

Greetings from the library October 13, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Breaking the fourth wall, Craftiness, Durham, University.
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Just a brief note to say that I have no internet at home for the next Six To Ten Working Days, so updates will doubtless be a bit more erratic.  Also that I have done more work this morning than in about the last week, as a direct result of sitting in the University Health Centre for nearly two hours with nothing better to do with my time, and only a Land Law textbook to read.  God help us.

So I’m sure you’re not rid of me yet, but there may well be a certain amount of bitching about A Certain Unnamed Internet Provider Who Perhaps Should Stick To What They’re Good At.  Humph.

I can’t even leave you with a picture of the latest sock, as it’s a Super Secret Surprise Sock.  (In related news; there’s a university-wide KnitSoc that’s just been set up, and I turned up and, ah, happened to be wearing my blue beaded shawl from the summer, and consequently have been designated Expert and asked to come along and teach next time.  Win!)

Longer Letter Later, most likely.  Marcus is coming up this weekend, so there may even be photographic joy.  Hurrah.

Signed, sealed, delivered October 10, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Law, University.
2 comments

…I’m yours (until 30th July 1990, after which I comply with the requiremements of section 1 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989).  It’s a land law thing.

In fact, there’s a law-related tangent-bouncing rant going on in this post, so I do apologise in advance; read it if you will but be assured that there will be both Terminology and prepositions at the beginnings of sentences.  Sorry.  I’ll learn how to write eventually.

I had my first two lectures of the term yesterday: Employment law and Commercial law.  What’s fairly interesting about these is that both of them are considered to be ‘private’ law (between two individuals) as opposed to ‘public’ law (between one or more individuals and the state), and yet neither of them fits that description particularly well.  Employment law can very well be about individuals and the state – take the minimum wage, that’s state intervention and it has a big effect on a lot of employment contracts, or employer contributions to a pension plan, or rules on maternity and paternity leave.  They’re all things that involve state intervention at some level, with the employer or the employee, and they all come under the heading of Employment Law.  As far as Commercial law is concerned, it’s a bit of an interesting one.  Most private law isn’t based on statutes; it’s based on the common law – that is, previous decisions in the courts.  Practically all of contract law is based on judicial precedent, and tort law, and family law and all kinds of other bits and pieces.  Commercial law, effectively, is based on a statute: the Sale of Goods Act 1979.  It’s a big one.  It’s breathtakingly important.  If you’ve ever returned something to a shop, or had it fixed in its warranty, or had a phone contract, or hundreds of other things, it’s the Sale of Goods Act that makes that work smoothly.

Which only goes to show that it’s really important, and relevant.   Both of which are useful if you’re having to read fairly dry people’s even more dry opinions on them.

Anyway, the point of this is, that a friend of mine who doesn’t do Law came to the Commercial lecture to see what it was like and because she had nothing better to do with her time.  This is something I’d like to do a bit more, this year, coming to other people’s lectures.  I’m at a university.  All kinds of people are learning all kinds of things, and being taught about them by people who love it enough to do that kind of thing for a living.  With all that going on, six hours of lectures a week really isn’t enough for me.

So this friend came along to Commercial law and sat at the back with us while we laughed at the occasional law joke (which I promise were better than mine!) and took copious notes – it was on the history of the law relating to merchants since medieval times, and really quite interesting – and at the end we asked her what she thought of it.  And she ummed and aahed, and said that she liked Law a lot and saw how this sort of thing could be interesting but really she was more interested in criminal law and in the political side of things.

This amused me a bit, because a year ago that’s exactly what I would have said.

Criminal law, and public law, are the attention-seeking side of the law.  It’s Shakespeare, or photosynthesis, or a hundred and one different things that people have heard about and catch their imagination.  Because Criminal law is a Big Thing.  Kavanagh QC and Judge John Deed and Morse and Frost and Poirot and hundreds of fictional detectives for centuries have been immensely popular, because it’s exciting.  I hesitate to say that Criminal law is the sexy side of law, but it’s certainly the side that gets seen as fast-paced, and interesting, and explosive.  And then there’s public law – everyone’s heard of the Human Rights Act, even if they don’t know what it involves.  Everyone’s interested in their own rights, and, again, in hearing about people who’ve had their rights abused or taken away from them, and the remedies for that.  Next to that, poor old private law – which is about compensation rather than punishment and rarely makes the national news – gets a bit sidetracked at times.

Until you study the law.  Last year I think most of us would have said we were more interested in public law than private law.  This year, I estimate about a 60:40 split in favour of private law.  Of my own three optional modules, I’m taking two (ostensibly) private law subjects (Employment and Commercial) and one public law one (Advanced Issues in Public Law – it’s going to be amazing and I’m sure I’ll never shut up about it).  I hesitate to say that private law is more subtle, because both ends of the spectrum have a vast array of subtleties, and I hesitate to say that private law is easier, or more black-and-white, because Contract was a bitch last year.  What I do think has happened is that a lot of people have discovered a lot of things that they never knew they were as interested in as they are.  Which is why I do find it a bit amusing that someone, albeit someone who studies politics, sees public law as more interesting, and more relevant to them than private law.  It’s not.  It’s just… whooshier.

This is not to say “ahahaha, legally uneducated plebs,” more that really, it takes all sorts, and I don’t always notice that until it looks me in the eye and waves.

Stories October 9, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Knitting, Lovely people.
1 comment so far

I’ve just come across the most amazing website, the Family Trunk Project.  (Okay, so it’s more knitting.  But it’s also brilliant.)  Why so impressed?  Apart from some really beautiful designs, of course.  This is a woman who is designing a pattern for every member of her family tree, alongside her discovering more about them.  What Do You Think You Are Wearing, if you like.  And you can buy the patterns – for in the region of about $5 each, which is about standard – or there’s another option.  The other option is that you send her two, or three, or four pages of story.  Not just any story, but the story of a member of your family, part of your history, something that happened.  Memories, personalities, legends, something from your family.  And in exchange for telling her about these, she will give you a pattern, free.

Knitting patterns in exchange for stories.  Can you possibly be aware of how happy this makes me?!  Of course you can; I’m transparent like that.

It almost makes up for being up at 7.30 this morning in the freezing cold.  Luckily at this precise moment I have a very delicious, incredibly warm black and white woolen blanket wrapped around me, that just so happens to turn into an optical illusion when you lie it flat…  There are few things so satisfying as actually using things you’ve made yourself.  Mmmkay.

Something to do October 7, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Bwargh, Craftiness, Knitting, Law, University.
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Term officially starts tomorrow, and about time too.  This is what I’ve been doing for the last few days:

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(Could that possibly be a knitting needle poking out at the bottom of the picture?  Or a poster advertising a show on the wall in the top right corner?  Surely not.)

The Degree is both neverending and eternally expanding, clearly.  I’ve decided Land Law is just the essay to start me going with the term, because of course it is the most exciting subject I’m studying this year, and thus I’ve been making a bit of a week of it.  It’s reminded me partly why I love essaying – teaching yourself a topic and having something concrete to work towards makes all the difference.  Partly, though, I’ve remembered why I don’t want to do a postgraduate course.  I can sit and work for hours at a stretch.  I’m even good at it, sometimes.  When I get going I work like the clappers and get a hell of a lot done.  But I’m sick of it.  I’ll hang on the next two years because I find the subject matter so interesting, but I am not suited to academia and academia is not suited to me.

Now I’ve realised this, it’s thrown a couple of questions into sharp relief.  These mainly focus around 1) What are you doing at university doing a very academic course then anyway you fool; and 2) What are you going to do when you’re done with it? aha burnt your bridges a bit there didn’t you.  I don’t want to feel like I’m just sticking out the next few years, and I love Law, you have to believe me I find it the most fascinating thing in the world, you read my last post, didn’t you?  But sitting at a desk with one light on, concentrating only on what’s in front of my nose, for twelve hours out of twenty four at a stretch is not right.  For me.  Not right for me.  I can do it, but I don’t want to.

I don’t know where I’m going.  I used to, but I’m not quite good enough or naturally clever enough or dedicated enough or academic enough to do anything I used to want to do.

All of which is to say that I feel a bit like a fish out of water as far as those books are concerned at the moment.  Also that I don’t think I’ve really admitted all that to myself before.  Well, there you go, you’re going at the same speed as I am now.

On a cheered up and far less careers related note (knitting for a living makes you a very special, very lucky bugger indeed), I would like to tell you that I have finished knitting something beautiful and obscenely quick (knitters can do instant gratification too you know), and I’d love to show you a picture but it is for my sister who I believe occasionally reads this blog.  It’s her sixteenth in a week or so.  Anyway, it’s stunning, and I think the colour is perfect for her, and hence I am practically hopping up and down I am that excited about giving it to her.  So here, in lieu of a picture of it finished, have a picture of the remains of the ball, so you can see what a fabulous colour it is for a redhead.  It’s that Manos del Uruguay silk blend that I bought last week, and it’s so soft, and so easy to work with.  And I’m going to make something extra out of the rest of the ball because I can’t bear to see it go back in my stash all rolled up and without any chance to stroke it again.

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Isn’t that just stunning?  I almost don’t want to give it away.  I am absolutely converted to this stuff.  Mmm.

Interesting definition of ‘tomorrow’ October 5, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Durham, Knitting, Law, Literature, Lovely people, University.
4 comments

I apologise.  I meant to write this the other day.  But then I got distracted, probably by something shiny.  What have I done over the last few days?  I hesitate to say ‘not a lot,’ because it’s been ninety-six hours or however long that of course I’ve had to fill with something, so more accurately I would say I’ve been doing mundane things.

I spent most of Saturday in the public library, reading the end of the Lord of the Rings.  I’m quite sad it’s over.  I’m always quite sad when I read very long, very detailed books and they finish.  It was the same with Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and with Harry Potter.  And then yesterday morning I lay in bed til eleven reading The Commitments.  I’ve just been savouring the time before term starts and I haven’t got any more time to read at all.

So it’s all just chugging along nicely here; I’ve done a bit of work, and knitted a lot over Coupling and cake, and drunk quite a substantial amount of lemon and ginger tea.  And even though the sheer volume of work I have to do over the next year is threatening to overwhelm me entirely, I’m just not thinking about it, and I’m doing a bit of introductory reading just to make myself feel a bit more prepared.  (I’d be in the library at it as we speak, except that there is a builder downstairs and everyone else is out of the house doing important things.)  Also, as can probably be expected of Durham in October, it’s pretty cold.  Not quite brass monkey territory yet, but there is the faintest fragment of mist on the inside of the double glazing.  Curse you, student heating budget.

The Supreme Court was, I believe, intended to be the subject of this post.  Because it’s big and exciting and new and shiny and generally makes the constitution a better thing.  Hurrah!

Basically, once upon a time, the Lord Chancellor in his infinite wisdom was very important and, unlike anyone else in the country, both sat in the Cabinet and presided over the House of Lords.  This was very good for the Lord Chancellor, and potentially a bit dubious for everyone else, for the main reason that he was very important in the processes of making the law (because all law had to be agreed to by the House of Lords), carrying out the law (because sitting in the Cabinet meant he had his own office in government, the Department for Constitutional Affairs), and enforcing the law (because he was in the House of Lords and sat as a judge).  These three elements (making, carrying out and enforcing) make up All Power There Is and it’s an important part of the British constitution that the powers should be separate, and that any one person shouldn’t wield more than one or two of them, so as to prevent corruption.  Obviously in the good old days the Chancellor laughed in the face of this.

And then, one day, women got the vote, and we started accepting black people and gay people and European people (shudder) and decided that really, this wouldn’t do, because the office of Chancellor was really quite open to corruption and Johnny Foreigner at the European Court of Human Rights probably wouldn’t like it.  So a massive programme of reform was put in place by the new shiny Labour government, who enacted the Human Rights Act 1998 (which contrary to popular opinion doesn’t have any human rights in it itself, just makes the European Convention on Human Rights enforceable in UK courts – but that’s a whole other rant), and a couple of other good ones, and more recently the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 was, quite simply, cunning.  It narrowed down the office of Lord Chancellor, by letting someone else preside over the House of Lords, and stopping him from being a senior judge.  It also recognised that all the senior Law Lords had the same problem – they could help enact law because they were members of the House of Lords (even though they usually waived the right to vote on things), and they could judge cases and enforce the law for the same reason.

And that is why, that is why ladies and gentlemen, that is why, with the ever so cunning use of the Constitutional Reform Act, they have done this incredibly exciting thing and taken all of the Law Lords out of the House of Lords, let them keep their titles but put them in the brand spanking new Supreme Court, where they can be judges but not have any legislative power.  They’ve also taken the Privy Council – which used to be the highest court for colonies and a couple of other obscure things – and merged it with the Supreme Court, so as to make everything a bit simpler because it used to be basically the same people anyway only with different hats on.  But the fact is that making the Supreme Court has made the top end of the judicial system less open to corruption, and more transparent and above board, and quite probably simpler as well.  Which is excellent.

Plus, as the BBC is only too happy to point out, it has a really nice carpet.

Everyone should get excited about constitutional change.  It’s just so bloody marvellous.  I think we’re just so lucky to live somewhere where such interesting, clever, important things are happening.

Here.  Have some socks.

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The Curse of the Man Jumper October 1, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Uncategorized.
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To cut a long story short, I’ve been at it again.  I have discovered a dyer of yarn by the name of Violet Green, who does disgustingly exciting things with cashmere and silk and wool and things, and to be honest I just got a bit carried away.

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(I like the orange one best.  Although the one on the far right is Manos del Uruguay silk blend so I may well be changing my mind pronto.)  Katie also got a beautiful mottled navy wool/silk mix that she’s already started to knit up, with the result that I don’t have a picture, but also that I got no work done today because we were sat on the sofa bitching about the Foreign Office and knitting.  (The socks were finished this evening, and shall be photographed probably tomorrow – I spent all of West Side Story and Coupling Season 1 at those and they took forever.)  At present I am consoling myself with the fact that every one of these skeins is for a present for someone else – who had better be pleased with it – also that one of them is for the purpose of Man Socks.  And when I decided to make Man Socks, naturally, the thought came into my mind of the Curse of the Boyfriend Jumper.  The general gist of this is that if you knit your boyfriend a jumper, you die he dumps you.  And then he either wears the jumper or he doesn’t, whichever is the more upsetting.

So far I have yet to to knit His Nibs anything, partly because he’s a pain to knit for – he only ever wears odd socks, isn’t a fan of knitted hats or scarves and probably rightly thinks that a lot of lacework isn’t particularly manly – and partly because I am a selfish knitter and I make things for me, or things that I would like, and I am not about to invest several weeks on boring socks or muted colours.  Subtle knitting and I, well, we wave at each other occasionally and talk about the weather, but that’s it.  But it’s something I’d like to do – both HN and knitting are big parts of my life, and well, it’d be nice for one to get a taster of the other.  Besides, the Third Christmas, it approaches (wargh!) and my logic says that the curse must be braved to be defeated.  Anyway, HN is neither an idiot nor particularly the sort to break up with anyone on account of their taste in handknits.  And therefore if that means a 25% chance of being faced with something orange and told to wear it (yes love, one of those up there is destined for you – even if I’m not saying which), well, if anyone can brave it, he can.  He’s just good like that.

There shall be a post about the new Supreme Court tomorrow, probably, because isn’t it exciting?  It’s historic, and important, and makes excellent sense.  And as the BBC has taken great delight in noting, it really does have a lovely carpet.  (Although I possibly wouldn’t have put it on my list of top five things to notice.)