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And another thing January 14, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Durham, Look what I did, Lovely people, Uncategorized.

I’ve been off the radar a bit recently, for which I apologise – I started coming down with something on Friday and on Saturday evening I was reduced to lying under two blankets in a room with a blazing fire, shivering.  But all is better now, hopefully, and I’ve finally made it up to Durham okay – albeit with no work done and frankly, the wish to be back home again and not having to worry about so much.

The train service yesterday was an absolute adventure, especially carrying a term’s worth of stuff.  My plan was to be dropped off at Basingstoke, because my dad was heading that way anyway, change at Reading, and stay on the same train all the way to Durham.

One stop after Reading, at Oxford, there was an announcement saying there was a fatality on the line* and the train was cancelled.  All you people going to The North, get on this train to Worcester, and from there to Birmingham, and from there to wherever you want to go.

I went on five trains yesterday.  I had a seat on three of them, and met someone else going up to Durham, and someone going to Sheffield who went to the same college as me at the same time, also several lovely people going to variations on Newcastle, Sheffield, Derby.  I got bought a coffee, and a taxi home, which was nice (and got unequivocally explained to that this is the North East, and chivalry is not dead here).  I got on the first train at Basingstoke at five minutes past one.  I got off at Durham station almost exactly eight hours later.  I am shattered.  I didn’t know where I was half the time.  I had most of my body weight in bag to carry about.  But you know?  It was so much fun.  I don’t have much trouble with the trains, usually, and I love public transport.  I even love it when it’s running horrifically late, apparently, because you get to talk to strangers and complain about the snow and see places you haven’t seen before.

And knit.  For hours.  Without feeling in the least bit guilty.  (Well, maybe slightly.)

I came across this recently – I’m aware that it’s a knitter’s thing and most of you aren’t knitters but I’m thinking in the light of recent events you’ll appreciate the concept.  It’s called p/hop, or pennies per hour of pleasure, and it’s set up for Medecins Sans Frontieres, who do all kinds of wonderful things and at present are on the ground in Haiti doing things that the government can’t do because of all kinds of unintelligible things like infrastructure and per capita.  The idea of p/hop is that they offer free patterns, and in exchange you give a donation to MSF based on how much fun you reckon you’re going to have knitting them.  In hours.  Of pleasure.  Beyond that it’s up to you.

Anyway, I love the idea.  I think it’s brilliant.  I’m also a student, and therefore Officially Penniless, and just generally crap at giving money.  But I’ve just donated a little bit, because it’s the beginning of term and therefore, I suppose now more than usual I have the money.  So do you, if you want to do the same – either do it through the p/hop website because it’s quick, and easy, and you can use Paypal and it’s done in about thirty seconds, or through somewhere you feel more affinity with.  Because yes, there will be aid if none of us reading this do anything, and yes, it will get to the right place eventually.  It might just be, well, a bit later, or maybe too late for somebody.  It’ll matter to somebody.  And right now, that somebody doesn’t have safe drinking water so while of course I urge nobody I do give you this small but indignant prod.

Also I like it cos it has hop in the title.  What a genius idea.

*Sounds so clinical, doesn’t it?  This also shook me, especially after this not so long ago.  I hope that whoever it was, they’re happier where they are.  I hope it doesn’t impact their family forever, or the driver forever, or anyone who saw it forever, although it probably will.  A fatality on the line?  What you mean is SOMEONE DIED, and they probably meant for it to happen.  In The Running Of Our Services There Was Unintended Collateral Damage, We Apologise For The Inconvenience This May Cause.



1. Martin - January 14, 2010

This is mainly (ok, completely) off topic, but I thought you might appreciate them all the same.

Fairly sure all are hand knitted.


stitchthisdarling - January 14, 2010

Yes! Yes I approve! Wholeheartedly! Excellent.

2. Jenny - January 15, 2010

Dude. I wish I had ever played enough games to possibly justify the owning of one of those. Although that said I’m pretty sure I have played all of those games at some point… WHERE CAN I GET ONE? OR THE PATTERNS? Not that I’m anything like good neough to knit those, but… as a jumper dress, with leggings, that would be the coolest thing ever.

Meanwhile on a more serious note, hugs on the line-fatality front. Last time I went home, I think it was, there had been a fatality in front of hte train I was meant to be getting on, so they had to take that train off the line just before Birmhingham, announced the delay and cause over the tannoy, and we got on a whole new trainset; they hadn’t even turned on the electrics for the lights and power sockets and stuff and it was ghostly quiet as we all filed on, and just the whole situation… it really shakes you up, doesn’t it?

Glad you enjoyed your journey so much. Are you glad to be back now that you are? xxx

stitchthisdarling - January 15, 2010

I suppose so. Just about. Still homesick like it’s going out of fashion, but then, I always am.

The patterns shouldn’t be too difficult, you know. Take a basic raglan jumper pattern and muck about with charts for a bit. Here? http://www.woolworks.org/patterns/raglan.html – go forth!

3. annadegenhardt - January 18, 2010

tell you what woul be cool – monopoly on a jumperdress…

stitchthisdarling - January 18, 2010

That would be AMAZING. I’m having ideas…

4. Jenny - January 18, 2010

You’d pretty much ahve to miss out the street names, though, or just put in black fuzzy lines to indicate writing?

stitchthisdarling - January 18, 2010

Oh, I wouldn’t put the street names in. That’d just be tacky…

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