Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Preparations For Paris
I packed another suitcase last night, sigh..... most of my stitching and knitting supplies went into that, plus some other things, bags, swimsuits, towels.

To cheer myself up, I have this morning placed a large order with Amazon for the following:

"Knitting Bones" - Monica Ferris
"Unravel Me " - Christie Ridgway
"Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (Jane Austen Mysteries)" - Stephanie Barron
"Jane and the Barque of Frailty (Jane Austen Mysteries)" - Stephanie Barron
"Pride and Prescience (Mr & Mrs Darcy Mystery)" - Carrie A. Bebris
"Suspense and Sensibility " - Carrie Bebris
"Mr Darcy's Diary" - Amanda Grange
"The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society" - Beth Pattillo
"Folk Knitting in Estonia: A Garland of Symbolism, Tradition and Technique" - Nancy Bush

These should be at the post office for me when I get back next Wednesday, how is that for planning? You will see that most of them are Jane Austen related, and everything else is fiber-related. The one about Estonian knitting is because I like Nancy Bush's work, also because we currently have a project in Estonia that is about to get off the ground, and I would quite like to be assigned to this, for various reasons. But then I wouldn't mind going to Poland where David is - I told him that at least I would get to wear my new pink coat there, he said that this would undoubtedly cause a sensation in Upper Silesia.
posted by Ally at 10:24 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
No Developments At All
Here I sit in Nicosia, wondering where I will be working the week after next, and both Yehiel and the Resources Director are silent, no communication whatever. I meanwhile have booked a ticket for next Wednesday back to Paris and started packing.

I was moaning to David last night, and he said, what was I whining for, he would quite like to spend the pre-Christmas period in Paris with no project to worry about! I suppose if you put it like that, it sounds quite good, but it's more the not knowing what will happen that gets to me. I have tried to think more positively about what I could do with the time - do my SQL course, do some interviews for Mr Resources Director, who has a huge number of these waiting, as we are hiring madly, go shopping etc etc. I haven't spent more that a week at home for a long time, since this time last year, I would think.
posted by Ally at 1:56 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Progress Picture
This is what I have done so far on Just Nan's "Memories", I am on to band 4 of twelve. Some of the bands are very big, while others, like 2 and 3, are really narrow. It is done in Au Ver A Soie silks, which of course are fantastic to work with.

Last night I went home and slumped on the sofa and listened to more of "Jane and the Stillroom Maid", it really is good. I have another one to listen to after that, also "Mr Darcy's Diary", continuing the Jane theme. I'll probably buy whatever I can in the same vein when I get back to Paris.

This morning I started the packing of summer clothes, at least they fold down to nothing... sigh, what a bore packing is, and how unable I am to escape it, with my lifestyle.
posted by Ally at 11:03 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Friday, November 21, 2008
Finally Friday
This week has been very trying........ we are sitting in the new call centre, which is beautifully decorated, but is directly underneath our offices which are being renovated. So there is drilling all the time, it goes beautifully with the road works noises that I hear at home. I've almost lost hope of the world ever returning to a normal noise level.

I still expect to go home the week after next, and don't have a clue as to what I should be doing the week after that, except possibly going to the Netherlands. I am working on the supposition that I can take a couple of days to go to the hairdressers and unpack etc, but after that, I don't want to be sitting around the office without anything to do. I could kill Yehiel for having a gap in contracts, it's really bad management and bad for the client too. Mind you, I have just punished him by telling him that we will have to do some changes to something that was delivered over a year ago, that I have tested three times, and that no-one here has ever been bothered to look at. Now they decide I must take them through it, and of course I get the usual "oh, this isn't what we expected!" So I have greatly improved Yehiel's day by telling him this, he loves developments that need rework, haha!

This weekend I intend to sort through the things I have done here, and see what I can pack immediately, for example, summer clothes, as I am now into light autumn clothes for work. And I am going to go out and buy, not another suitcase, but a bag on wheels that would also be good for train travel. I hope I can find some time to go swimming and to do some stitching, and I also have audio books to listen to. Last weekend I listened to "Past Imperfect" by Julian Fellowes (he read it as well), which was extremely good and funny, and started a Jane Austen mystery. I had not come across those before, and I am rather enjoying this one, I hope there are more of these on Audible.
posted by Ally at 2:27 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Another Visitation
Yehiel fronted up yesterday for one of his whirlwind visits, and told me that I should go back to Paris in the first week of December! There are some contractual issues apparently that will not be resolved until January (when I should be able to come back). This is very annoying because of course I have with me at the moment more luggage than I can take back in one trip, so I've simply said I will have to leave stuff here, and if it doesn't work out that I come back, they will have to pay for a trip back so that I can fetch my stuff.

This morning I rang our resources director to ask what I would do in the gap, which is a really bad time of the year - I thought maybe I could do something at home for another project, some documentation or something, but he says I could maybe even go to the Netherlands for a few weeks. I would quite like that, I like the Netherlands, I haven't ever worked there, but I've been for sightseeing a few times and it's always great. Of course Yehiel hadn't let him know yet about any of this, so I did take him by surprise.

After that, I am really exhausted, I did not sleep much last night, and I am sitting here with my eyelids drooping, I don't think I will last the afternoon, not beyomd 5pm anyway.
posted by Ally at 2:01 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, November 17, 2008
Here is my Noro Silk Garden Cardigan
I sewed in the ends yesterday and added the buttons - unfortunately I cannot take photos of myself, but it does look nice on. This is only the second time I have made anything with Noro - the first was a bow-tie scarf in Cashmere Island - and I thought Silk Garden was quite nice, but not as nice as the Cashmere Island, which is beautifully soft and warm.

For my Just Nan "Memories", I am halfway through the first band, so a long way to go. I'm actually starting to flag a little, with these roadworks, I wake up tired, stay tired all day and go to bed tired, composing in my head angry emails to the Mayor of Nicosia. Now I'm getting to the point where I may send one.
posted by Ally at 11:56 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tibetan Monks at Breakfast
That has got your attention...... actually there is a worldwide religious conference in Nicosia this week. It is taking place at the Hilton, but either they have run out of rooms, or some participants do not want to pay 250€ per night. Yesterday, when I went down to breakfast, almost the entire no-smoking area was filled with monks in orange robes, with one transfixed Greek family sitting there as well. I imagine they've never seen anything like it.

This morning again they were there, and when I was joined by another guest, who is also a consultant at my work, but from a different company, he said he went to church yesterday evening and was amazed by the presence of several priests, a cardinal, and then the entire hierarchy of the Orthodox church of Cyprus. He is Irish and a Roman Catholic, and there is evidently a heavy Roman Catholic presence at this conference.

Apart from that, the great news of the weekend is that I have bought the fuchsia pink coat:

I was in Ulla Popken on Friday night, and they were unpacking them, so I got my size at once and bought it then and there! Far too warm for Cyprus (until about January), but excellent for Paris.

Well, I'm off to do some more stitching now, I've just started "Memories" by Just Nan - with Au Ver a Soie silks, lovely!
posted by Ally at 12:09 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Weekend in Sight
This week I have had my head down working on a rather large external design that I am doing, for some statistical reports - I have also been waking up at 5am, thanks to the road works over the way. On television last night, they said that the roadworks would not be finished before Christmas, which is a giant pain, as it makes walking on one of the main shopping streets very difficult. Also they have already been going on for months, and there were several angry shopkeepers shouting on television about this, also a lady I recognised as a former neighbour from when I used to live over the other side of the road that has been dug up. Actually I don't know how they can achieve so little in such a huge amount of time, it seems that they just periodically dig up a new section of road, but they don't seem to finish any of the bits they have already dug up.

It's a bit like the renovations here at work, which have now reached our floor, they have been going since April, and apparently are aimed at putting in new lighting and heating/cooling. They are doing the other half of our floor first, so I am still in situ, but last week the canteen was inoperable. This week they have let Anna move back, but to get to her, we have to walk down a corridor where they are working, which is filthy. I've got no idea where we are going to move to when they start on our half of the floor. Perhaps the local cafe? At least that may be quieter.

Consequently I've been going home at night, watching the news, then flaking into bed, so no stitching progress this week! I have managed to finish all the knitting on my Noro Silk Garden jacket with short sleeves, so I am hoping to darn in the ends tonight and find some nice buttons at the weekend, then I can take a photo of this. It has come out well, of course the lovely yarn does help!
posted by Ally at 10:47 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunny Nicosia Again
I had a very brief trip to Paris, as I arrived at home after midnight on Thursday and left again at midday on Saturday. I should have arrived home earlier, but both planes - the one to Athens and the one to Paris were late. I don't think I have ever caught a plane from Larnaca that has been on time, and it seems Athens operates pretty much the same as well.

Happily coming back from Charles de Gaulle Terminal 1 on Saturday was quite a pleasure! I have actually been having a correspondence with the customer service manager of this terminal, following on my adventures there last time, and it looks as though he may have done something because of it. The security people were incredibly polite and efficient, plus now, if you have to take your shoes off, there are little blue plastic bootees that you can slip on your feet. That is directly down to me, because I did complain about being made to walk barefoot across their floor, who knows what may be lurking there? Apart from that, it's cold.

Paris was a bit of a whirl around from La Defense to Le Bon Marche to WH Smith to Ulla Popken, I managed to cram in quite a bit, including two meals at Hippo. I bought a pair of coffee coloured suede shoes, a quilted coat with fur collar and cuffs, and several books and magazines, including three Sudoku books. And a new Jane Austen theme novel, "The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet" by Colleen Mc Cullough - interesting follow-up, the story of Mary Bennet twenty-five years after "Pride and Prejudice". I liked it, but some will not! I must try and find a list of Jane Austen theme novels, there are so many now.

So that is it, for the moment - I am fairly busy at work, Yehiel seems to complicate things....
posted by Ally at 2:36 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sadly No Coat
Saturday morning I was up bright and early and down to the shops before the hordes arrived - one of the good things about here is that you can go to the shops on Saturday morning at 9am and be back by 10am, having done what would take about six hours to accomplish in Paris. The crowds and their cars start arriving mostly from about 10am, and by the time the shops close at 1:30pm (very few are open until 5pm), the main street is bedlam.

I wanted to get a coat for Paris, but Ulla Popken didn't have anything I liked that was in my size. The best one was a gorgeous golden brown tweed, but sadly they had smaller and larger, but not just right. Everything else was a bit parka-like, which is not what I wanted at all, and not good colours. Kathryn, I already have black coats, a woollen one and a raincoat and assorted black jackets, so I did want something different. I think a lot of people do wear black coats all winter, I notice this in Paris, but I often think it is because they only have one coat - there's a lot of people who earn a pittance and pay most of it for a tiny apartment with no wardrobe space. Not being in that situation, although my apartment is pretty small, I have a bit more variety.

What I did end up with is a very soft, warm jumper in a gold/black fleck, that I shall take on the plane and put on when I get to Paris. As I will be taking a taxi from the airport to home, that should stop me actually perishing from the cold. I may well visit Ulla Popken in Paris, though, and look for one of the nice tweed coats! Depends how much time I have to spare after I have done all the essentials.

Apart from shopping, the weekend was fairly quiet for me, I was tired and sat in front of my computer listening to audio books and doing knitting and a bit of stitching, although nothing that is exciting enough to show yet.
posted by Ally at 11:48 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments