by Catriona Mills

This Season's New Knitting Stitch

Posted 2035 days ago in by Catriona

I’ve mentioned before that I dislike having idle hands, because it makes me restless. And as the year cools down a bit, I’m ratcheting up the knitting. It makes Nick a bit anxious, because he worries that it aggravates the odd upper-back injury I’ve given myself somehow, but it keeps me calm. Ultimately, anything that means less shouting is likely to get Nick’s vote.

But I’ve been between projects, while waiting on a second delivery of the special wool for the super-secret (not at all secret) birthday afghan project. So I experimented with a new pattern, one that creates a lovely lacy effect, almost like a honeycomb:

It’s not a difficult pattern, of course (I’m not up to difficult patterns), but it does look pretty, especially in a fluffy variegated wool (leftovers from my tiny baby niece’s fancy baby blanket):

Then I added tassels, because who doesn’t like tassels?

This is intended for a friend, but I like the effect so much that I’m thinking the next project (after the afghan) might be a loose, lacy, honeycomby jumper.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Forty-Two

Posted 2035 days ago in by Catriona

ME: I slept with my nicotine patch on again last night. Which explains why I dreamt of diseased eyeballs.
NICK: Yeah, I noticed that, but I didn’t want to wake you up to take it off. Or risk taking it off myself.
ME: Next time, wake me. Or just rip it off.
NICK: Really?
ME: Diseased eyeballs.
NICK: That does sound pretty bad, actually.

Vale, Richard Carpenter

Posted 2036 days ago in by Catriona

Once, when I was very fragile and felt as though I’d lost myself in a dark wood and would never be able to find myself again, I watched Robin of Sherwood.

And it occurred to me that Richard Carpenter, who’d never met me and never would, had written Robin of Sherwood just for me and just for this moment. And all over the world, other people have had the same thought, in similar states of mind and in very different ones.

To do that, with so major a mythic figure—to make Robin Hood so important to people and so personal, so immediate and so alive—is the sort of legacy that most of us cannot even dream of. And it isn’t the only gift that Richard Carpenter gave us.

Vale, Richard Carpenter. You helped show us what television as a form and fantasy as a genre are capable of.

Strange Conversations: The Random Male Names Edition

Posted 2037 days ago in by Catriona

Via text-message, after I’d left a Dungeons & Dragons game early, leaving Nick to play my Elf Ranger:

NICK: Just killed a little Steven for you. 22 hit points with a Thundertusk Boar Strike.
ME: Steven? I hate that guy.
NICK: Wyvern.
ME: Not Steven? Damn.

And via text-message, after a doctor’s appointment:

ME: The indigestion is from the anti-inflammatories.
NICK: That makes sense. As you have been taking various forms for some time. And have been having issues for some Tim.
ME: Which Tim?
NICK: Autocorrect Tim!
ME: Oh, that guy.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Forty-One

Posted 2038 days ago in by Catriona

Putting the “strange” back in “strange conversations”:

NICK: I’ll give you a billion quatloos if you can find the other one of these socks. With the dark blue toes.
ME: I’m not doing anything for a billion quatloos.
NICK: But it’s valid currency in Star Wars. I think. Or Star Trek. Anyway, I found it myself so the deal’s off.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Forty

Posted 2038 days ago in by Catriona

Via text message:

NICK: Okay, on my way home now.
ME: All right. I’ll ask my other boyfriend to leave, then.
NICK: Excellent.
ME: You’d probably really like him. I do.
NICK: Probably. I’ve alway got on well with people.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Posted 2042 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Someone’s just re-tweeted ‘If you ever feel lonely, remember—you’re never truly alone. There’s always that clown that lives in your wardrobe.’
NICK: That’s harsh.
ME: I can’t sleep now.
NICK: I’ll protect you. I’m a noted clown killer.
(Pause for incredulous look)
NICK: I’ve never told you this before, and it’s been a long time since I had to … put down a clown, but I was once highly regarded.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Posted 2045 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Are you having an Ice Break?
NICK: Yes.
ME: And is it your second Ice Break today?
NICK: Yes.
ME: And are you going to die of a heart attack and leave me as a comely young widow?
NICK: I hope not.
ME: You hope I’m not comely or you hope I’m not a widow?
NICK: Um, the second one.
ME: Well, you never married me, so I won’t be.
NICK: Good!
ME: You’ll still be dead, though.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Posted 2045 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: That’s another thing to discuss with your doctor.
ME: Oh, for goodness’ sake. It’s just a swollen ankle.
NICK: It’s good to discuss it, so that he can fix you.
ME: I don’t need to be “fixed”.
NICK: Not you. Your issues.
(Long pause)
NICK: Let’s have a little cuddle.
ME: Go away.
NICK: Okay.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Thirty-Six

Posted 2045 days ago in by Catriona

ME: You know we have the Snow Leopard disc, because it was in my handbag for ages, until I got annoyed and put it on your desk for you to put away.
NICK: So it’s around here somewhere. We’ll find it.
ME: Less of the “we”, sweetie.
NICK: I like to be inclusive so you don’t feel left out.
(Long pause)
ME: You don’t want me to feel left out of the process of searching frantically for something that’s only lost because you didn’t put it back where it belongs in the first place?
NICK: I meant left out of the general hustle and bustle of life.

Strange Conversations: Part Four Hundred and Thirty-Five

Posted 2049 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: I found it!
ME: So, you mean it was exactly where I told you it would be?
NICK: That’s not surprising. Things are usually where you tell me they’ll be.
ME: So why did you spend half an hour looking in other places?
ME: Oh, that’s just because I wasn’t listening.

Strange Conversations: The George Orwell Edition

Posted 2052 days ago in by Catriona

ME: I can’t believe you talked me into buying a new desk chair.
NICK: Look, you’re a knowledge worker …
ME: Brainworker, honey. We pigs are brainworkers. That’s why we need all the apples and milk.
NICK: Okay, whatever.

At the Avon Dam

Posted 2060 days ago in by Catriona

After Christmas, my parents fancied a day trip out somewhere. I was still pretty shaky with the chest infection, so we settled on a slow (and slightly wheezy) walk along the dam wall at the Avon Dam.

We used to go to the Avon Dam all the time when we were little, for company picnics and casual weekend walks. But none of us had been for years. Nick had never been.

It was hot and bright and very, very Australian summer.

I took photos that I couldn’t judge, because the sun was glaring off the iPhone screen. We walked slowly (and slightly wheezingly) along the dam wall and then down a path under an overhanging rock face: my mother insisted we walk single file and with a reasonable space between us, so that at least one of us would survive if the rock face fell on us.

Then we walked slowly back to the car, in the relative shade of which Nick and I flipped through our photos to see if any of them were in focus.

Then I completely forgot to blog about it until just now.

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