Monday, 9 September 2013

The good things in life

1. A cup of tea
2. A helpful (in his mind) cat
3. Going to Kiskunfélegyháza to meet Peti
4. As wonderful as it was to receive a "just because" flower, the fact that it matched my current project just added another level of awesome
5. Finishing
6. As happy as I was to see this,
I'm even happier to see this:
Because it means that the temperature in my flat went from this:
to a much more bearable:

7. An enthusiastic welcoming committee when I get home, to round it off

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Thoughts of autumn

The other day I started feeling autumn-ish. Maybe it's partially because it's finally getting a tiny bit cooler - though 27 C isn't exactly what I'd call freezing - and maybe it's the tree I saw that morning, starting to turn. My colleagues blame this on the heat, not the coming cold but a girl can dream, can't she?
Later I was reading a knitting blog and there was a picture of a teenager wearing a shawl. It looked so cosy that I wanted to make one too. It started me thinking about the feel and smells of autumn. I can close my eyes and smell the big bonfires, feel that delicious cold snap that wakes you up so well, feel the gentle rain on my face. I can remember getting wet and cold, then coming indoors to dry, warm clothes and the first wood fire of the season. If was really cold I could snuggle under a blanket with a hot chocolate, and just watch the flames play.
So many people complain about the coming cold and dark, but I love it. The dark is like a giant blanket, safe and comforting. The cold just makes you want to snuggle up close to your beloved. What's not to like?
Maybe part of the reason I'm rhapsodising about this is because this summer was so freakin' hot. At Balaton the temperature was between 35 and 41 degrees every day. And just to top it off, the water in the lake was 31C. I even took a picture to prove it!

So much for cooling off. I can hardly remember when I last felt slightly cold, even at night. And I kinda LIKE feeling a bit cold. I know, I'm weird. 
But apart from the heat (did I mention the heat?) I enjoyed the trip to Balaton. We spent the mornings at the house Peti's family had rented. Everything and everyone were moving slowly, except for Peti's nephew Balázs who at 2 and a bit years old is blessed (or cursed) with a perpetual passion for motion. And food. 
We spent the afternoons at the lakeside, either in the water or in the shade under the trees. I even tanned slightly! Shocking. 
On the last evening we played Dixit. Much fun was had, even though Peti thought his mum shouldn't have been able to beat us all that easily without even seeming to try. 
The house project is coming along nicely. We now have tiles everywhere, and it's looking puuurty. We've even got a bathtub, and the kitchen will be installed this Friday. Yay! 
In other news, I'm currently addicted to Doctor Who. I'm watching a few episodes every evening and enjoying it hugely. I'm starting to wonder if I should force Peti to watch a few too, just to see if I can get him into it as well. (You have been warned handsome!) And yes, Mike, you're still a meanie for getting me addicted. So there!
A bonus to all this sci-fi watching is I'm finishing the Zelda pullover and pretty fast too, considering I'm also making the Frosted Ferns Niebling as a wedding present for a friend. A top and a tablecloth in around 3 weeks is pretty cool I think. By the way, why is it that when people see this 
Frosted Ferns, at the edging knitting
they always ask if it's a hat? I'm trying to imagine the size of the head but my mind is blanking. Ah well. Better picture to follow when the project is finished. I dare anyone to ask if it's a hat THEN! 
Last weekend we went to the wedding of a friend of Peti. It was good - tasty food, fun music, lots of dancing, good company and even though there was no lack of available alcohol, nobody (that I could see) got sloppy drunk. I really like that about Hungarians - they don't need to get stupidly, belligerently drunk legless to have a good time at a party. A couple of days later I found myself randomly singing "nyolc óra munka, nyolc óra pihenés, nyolc óra szórakozás"*(link) to myself. I think I'm slowly turning Hungarian... or maybe just crazy. But then, that's nothing new. :-)
Inside the town hall in Kiskunfélegyháza

*8 hours working, 8 hours resting, 8 hours having fun. From what I gather, it's about the proper division of a day :-)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Almost another year gone by...

Presents galore
And what a year it's been! I'm so glad the past winter is done. Thankfully everyone made it through, more or less in one piece.
I have been knitting up a storm this past year. 12 presents knitted for Christmas, a jumper almost done then frogged (that'll teach me to knit without any pattern. Or swatch) and my first adventures in lace knitting. It's quite therapeutic somehow.

In January I went to England to take care of my mum a bit, try to feed her up. I like to think it helped a bit at least, even though it was still a long haul to wellness for her. I also started the first Christmas present for this year there (I'm learning!), which is finished and safely tucked away. 
Ludvik testing a christening present for softness
Little monster jumper :-)
I've since finished two christening presents, a just-because (pre-ordered) baby jumper, a shawl/scarf for myself and 2 more Christmas presents, and started my first Niebling! So far I feel optimistic about this year :-). I'm not sure what everyone else wants for Christmas though, and it feels strange asking before the summer holidays are over... but then I guess I've never claimed to be normal :-) and I guess the family will forgive me if it means handmade presents.

Niebling's Roswitha - around halfway point. Ish.

"Rose of England" in shawl form
In May I went to England again, after my mum's (hopefully final for a loooong time!) surgery. She needed more food and pampering :-). We had a very nice visit, spending lots of time chatting while doing some sort of handiwork. Guess what kind I did!
I also had a chance to meet up with Tor and Louise (and their daughters) both times I was in England. They're such sweethearts! I've been so blessed in all my friendships :-)
While I was in England, both my mum's sisters came too. I've not seen them for... way too long.
We went for a little walk up the Whiteleaf cross, and I got some lovely presents (hand made no less!) from my aunt Astri. I wish I could paint like that!

Margaret bridge in the flood
Lately I'm in to cycling a lot. On Monday (when it was 39 C) I thought I'd combine it with a yarn hunt, I wanted to start knitting the Zelda (link) top from White lies, it's puuuurty :-) I cycled to the nearest yarn shop, which was on the south end of the Margit Sziget (Margaret Island). I got there and it was closed, so I thought I'd go for the next closest one. about 3.5 kilometres away. I plotted in the route so I wouldn't end up in the wrong city or something, and set off. I must admit I mostly ignored the route plotted for me, just checked I was heading in the right direction. I swear they were putting up roadworks as soon as they saw me getting near though... or they're rebuilding the city or something :-)
I got to the second yarn shop... 5 minutes after closing. So I decided to treat this as an outing, and cycled home in roughly the right direction :-) By the time I got home it was just over 20 KM, feeling like I was cycling through a hair-drier the whole way... I guess I'll get used to it eventually :-)

Hungarian Parliament in flood

Yarny goodness :-)
 I went back to the yarn shop the day after and told the woman there about Monday's trip. She seemed pleased that the other shop was closed too, for some strange reason she likes me coming in :-).
At least I got some nice yarn for my trouble, and now I've  got a pretty project on the needles. Yay!

The house project is proceeding apace. Peti is working hard to make sure it all is done to his standards. I never realized before how many details need to be decided on! But finally most of the decisions have been made. I THINK. I can't wait till it's all done! Budapest is great, and I've got wonderful friends and a good job here, but it'll be exciting to start the next phase too :-)

This weekend I'll be staying in Budapest. One of two things will happen. If it's not too warm I'm going to go for a bike ride, maybe to Szentendre like last weekend, and either way a lot of knitting will occur. Some Jane Austen might also be involved. Poor me.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. Might this be part of the reason do you think? :-D
I'm waaatching youuuu... :-D