Wednesday, March 05, 2014

2014 BAMCAL, March Main Block. March 5th.

My new yarn arrived this morning and I was dying to get through work and dinner so I could get started. This is an aran weight yarn with a 5mm hook so the square is quite big, about a foot across. This is the March main square, they give you two 12 inch blocks and two 6 inch blocks to have a go at each month. So I've got 5 big ones left to do to catch up on the year so far! 

Harry has been quite poorly with this flu. He has spent most of the past couple of days in bed. Yesterday he barely ate anything but today he had dinner so I'm hoping he'll feel a bit better tomorrow.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

This is the face of Influenza B. March 2nd

Diagnosed today, he's in quarantine till Friday at the earliest. He was off from Tuesday lunchtime last week with a bad cold. The doctor thinks he picked up the flu from the school on Tuesday morning. Grrr! When we were at the clinic, we ended up sitting next to Harry's classmate. The class was closed on Thursday but it looks like it was too late to stop the spread of flu. 

Permission from my yoghurt. March 2nd

So I did!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sicky blahs. February 28th.

It's been warm the past couple of days, above zero, and the snow is melting and drip drip dripping off the roof. It's bright and sunny but I have little desire to go out.

This cold that came after the non-flu (flu symptoms, negative test) was harder to deal with in that I couldn't have ANY time off. It has gone through the rest of the family. Harry has been off since being sent home on Tuesday morning. His best friend has flu so I had no intention of sending him to school today anyway but the teacher called round last night to say that the class has been closed till Monday as so many kids are off sick. Good!  Seiju and Yoshi have got it too, Seiju is about over it but Yoshi feels rotten and it's right as he's doing his end of year tests.

I am working hard on regular classes that are all being messed up with kids off sick and other kids in quarantine so unable to come. I have done the same lessons twice now and next week I think I'll have to recycle a lot of stuff too! Also getting ready for the new school year so Sachiko has been twice a week for a while now and we are still not getting as much progress as we'd like. From the new year she has upped her hours to two days a week, she's here for about four hours each time.



I have started a new crochet project. Of course. After the last one I promised myself that there would be a nice simple gallop-along one with few ends. Riiiiiight. There is no hurry for this one though so it can just amble along at its own pace.

I have several projects on the go right now and more ideas. Off the top of my head works in progress are:

1) Niece one blanket needs the ends sewing in. That has to be done by the time Yoshi goes to England.

2) Noro sock yarn scarf that I started last summer! Really should get a grip and finish that one.

3) Those hexagons up there.

4) Sour candy blocks bamboo baby blanket, and

5) Sour candy ripple  baby blanket. These are a pair, using the same yarn. I have to finish maybe four more rows of the ripple then see how much yarn I have left. I will divide it in half and use it to make borders for both blankets. These could be done in a matter of days if I put my mind to it.

Projects I want to start:

1) Hexagon jacket for Baachan. She asked specifically for one when she saw mine. I bought the yarn but there the project has stagnated. I might start this soon because it would be a simple carry-along project with only one ball of yarn on the go at a time. The yarn I got is a varigated thing in pinks, reds and oranges.

2) Something for me in the same yarn I bought for Baachan but in a blue/green colourway. No idea what pattern I want to do, hence the not-starting.

3) 2014 BAMCAL. The 2014 block a month crochet along. I joined but haven't got the yarn yet so haven't started. I will start with the March block when it arrives then work backwards. This will of course take a year to complete! I am thinking of doing the blocks in a plain cream Aran so the throw will have lots of texture but no colour for a change.

4,5,6,7........50! So many other ideas whizzing about my brain! I really want to do a colour gradient blanket too but right now I have too much yarn in my stash and need to work it down a bit first.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Crazy patchwork afghan done! February 24th.

FINISHED!! Even to the last end!

This is a variation of the Gingerbread Lady's Klimt Blanket and I'm so happy with the way it turned out. I should have waited for daylight for a proper photoshoot but I couldn't wait! This one's going to Niece Two in England.





Flu, cold, cough, bleh. February 24th.

I got non-flu last week and had to take Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off, felt lousy over the weekend, started teaching again on Monday and by Thursday was feeling really lousy again with another heavy cold. It's total head-cold, with headache, bulging eyes, painful ears and a cough that rattles my bones. But I can't take any more time off so I've snotted on, coughing into my sleeve and leaving the classroom every five seconds for a good cough. Bleh. Hope I'm better next week. Fed up with this.

We needed some new photos for the home page and a new flyer, so Sachiko came in to act as cameraman in one of my ladies classes. They were very good humoured about it!



 This one won't get on the home page. Sachiko wanted us to look like we were conversing and having fun so I waggled my pen at them and intoned "This is a pen" and in a flash, the lady in green held her pen up and said in zombie-like tones "This is a pen, too!" As this is an advanced class, it cracked us up!
 Getting enthusiastic over the books!

 Another one that won't make it to the homepage.
 The camera was in the classroom so I got this shot later of my first graders who are just getting to grips with the idea of writing long words.
 My niecey two blanket is coming along! All the squares are now sewn together into two large clumps that need joining, then there are a million ends and the edging to do.
 I also needed junior high school class photos. I forgot on the proper class day but this girl came in for some extra coaching for an exam interview this weekend, and as Harry still had his uniform on I grabbed him to pose (he does take classes with her usually so it's not a total lie.)

 Friday was a snowy morning. Yoshi got up early and shoveled for me, so I took him to the station in return. This was on the way home.



 Back to my blanket. 
 It's all sewn together now, and I'm working on the ends.
 Seiju and I are both feeling rotten. Saturday was lost in getting up late, Seiju and Harry doing lots and lots of snow clearing, Yoshi going to juku for most of the day and evening, and me having a trial lesson and another extra interview session with the girl above. Sunday we still felt rotten and really all we both wanted to do was sleep, but then not going out and feeling yuck all weekend add up to depression. So the two of us walked down the road to our local coffee shop just to say we'd had some fresh air. Outside they had a fantastic Christmas tree which is making its own decorations!

Hoping that the upcoming week will see the END of this run of horrible health.

More food! December 3rd.

We are going to have our ladie's English classes Christmas party at this Nepalese restaurant. Sachiko and I had to test it out first, naturally. 
Yum!

Jiichan's hospital visit. December 2nd.

I took Jiichan to his regular appointment at the orthopedic hospital today, and afterwards we had lunch together. He doesn't get out much these days, beyond hospital visits...


Yoshi's off to Canada! December 1st.

Harry and I took Yoshi to the airport to see him off - Seiju had to work. 
 Harry was bored waiting. Lucky he had his DS with him.
 There was a bit of overzealous argy bargy about Yoshi's allergies - in the end he had to sit in a special part of the plane. They were making so much fuss I was scared that they wouldn't let him fly! When we go on our own, they just say it's our responsibility and leave it at that. Must have been because it was a school trip... 
 Being Japan, there had to be leaving speeches....
Yoshi and one teacher only just got through the gate with minutes to spare, I bet the others on the other side were wondering what on earth had happened to them.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mother and Son date, December 1st

Yoshi went to Canada today, and Seiju had to work, so suddenly our family was halved. Rather than go back home and feel the echoey emptiness, Harry and I agreed to go into Sapporo together, so we left the car in the station car park and headed off together. 

Recently Harry's turned into a teenager and there's a lot of sullen backchat, eye rolling and not wanting to be with us. Today he was happy to be with me and even happier to be fed regularly! Offer him food and he will come - he's growing like a weed at the moment.

We didn't have so much time by the time we got into Sapporo it was already late afternoon. We walked down to Odori Park to see the Christmas market and decided to go up the tower - much cheaper with half the family missing! :) We got up there in time for the lighting up of the White Illuminations. Because Japan still has little to no nuclear-powered electricity, energy saving measures are in place and the white illuminations are fewer and in a much smaller area than they used to be. Still pretty, though.

It wasn't quite dark when we got up to the top of the tower.





Ferris wheel in downtown Sapporo. We have never yet ridden on this - we should one day!
The Christmas Market seen from above. On the street level, it was absolutely PACKED!!
Earlier, down at the Christmas Market.

I succumbed to one of these hand painted Russian doll brooches.
This one, with the bird in the middle. It was very hard to decide.



Harry's Day In Food - doughnuts and cocoa at the station before we walked to Odori, because he was "starving".
Roast chicken leg at the Christmas Market (this was expensive but REALLY good.)
Dinner back at the station before heading off home. Nom!



Decorating the Christmas tree. November 30th.

Normally we would wait till the first weekend of December - next week - to decorate the tree, but we have done it together ever since we became a family, and Yoshi is going to Canada tomorrow. So we got it all out and did it this evening.

 A certain amount of messing about is de rigueur, it seems......

 I keep all our special decorations on the wire tree which this year fits on our big round table very nicely. I made the quilted mat years ago when I was in Japan for my first or second Christmas.
 This was a present from my friend Sachiko.
 Yoshi chose this one about ten years ago.
 Another present from Sachiko. She knows what I like!
 These were given to us by the photographer that took these shots. Very kind idea! These photos were taken for Harry starting school, so they are seven years old now.

 Yoshi bought this ornament for me with his pocket money when he was about eight. 
 I chose this one about ten years ago.
 And Sachiko gave me this one, too!
 Harry chose this one about ten years ago.
 Aaaaaaand, Guess who gave us this one??!
 Our tree topper is always this pair of little mice, given to us by my friend Ripple as a wedding present. I'll always remember her when we put it on the tree.
 This was found in Daiso, the ¥100 shop, years ago. It was one of a set of three with the US and I think Japan also featured!
 Harry made this last year.
 Harry's kindergarten decoration! Ten years old now!
 I made these air hardening clay decorations with Yoshi while baby Harry napped, so I think Yoshi was about four when we did these. They are getting more and more bashed up but we can't stop using them.
I bought three of these glass icicles when I was about 17. They came to Japan with me and so far they are all still intact.
 This was in a pack of ornaments that I bought for our first tree after we were together. Most of them have broken by now but this one survives.
 I got these metal ornaments on holiday in England three years ago and gave some for presents, and kept some. Such an English robin. (No robins here!)
 A few years ago a local garden centre sold German glass baubles, and I got a big container of red ones. There are these clear, matte and shiny finish ones. Each year one or two more get broken. Another one bit the dust this year.
 This is tatting, made by my godmother.
 I was given a set of three of these ornaments by a friend when we were at college. They have been on every tree I've had since.
 We got this at the Christmas market when we were stranded in Frankfurt in the snow three years ago. It's now hanging in the genkan.
 We took some pictures next to the completed tree. Really nice pictures so you get to see all of them!


I think I like this one best, but I can't really say...