10 February 2008

How many below zero???

I have recently returned from a week in Toronto. I haven't been to Canada since 1995 prior to this trip and it an autumn trip so the weather was much more welcoming. On my arrival in Toronto, it was -19 C and truly brain-numbing. I think the wind chill was the worst. I have experienced colder temperatures - when I lived in Austria back in 1986/87, it was -44 when you counted the wind chill. But, I am no longer used to those sorts of temperatures. The UK rarely goes below -7 C in the South East.

Anyway, I arrived to cold, grey weather but thankfully, that's where the chill ended. I spent a day and a half visiting my aunt and uncle in London, Ontario. They are getting older (nearly 80) and so don't travel much any more. It was lovely to be able to spend time with them and just talk.

And then I headed back to Toronto for the Pastors and Leaders conference at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. What a blast! I was not in great shape spiritually or emotionally before going to Canada but 4 days of great Christian teaching, worship and prayer have transformed me. I have come back at peace with the world, spiritually refreshed and renewed and ready to face anything. So, even though it was -19 outside, we were alive and on fire with the Holy Spirit. An awesome experience.

These are a few of my favourite things

Children can be such a blessing but there are plenty of occasions when it is hard to remember that. Here's to one occasion when I was able to be thankful for the blessing that is my lovely daughter. On Saturday she came out with the immortal words "My favourite things are my family, chocolate and shoe shops". Don't know where she gets it from. Now, if she'd said yarn shops I would have understood... :-) It made her sound a lot older than her 4 and a half years. But then again, seeing her asleep later with her class mascot from school (the one and only Monkey), I remembered just how little she really is and that she won't stay that way for long.

Promenade is now an F.O.

It's been a long time in the gestation but Promenade has finally arrived as an FO. I managed to get as far as the last 20 rows a few weeks ago but then I went to Toronto and had a day being interviewed for a place on a PGCE programme to become a primary teacher (they want me... miracles do happen!) so it all got slowed down by life. On Friday, the last 3-needle bind off happened and I sewed up the two bits of border still requiring attention. I was a bit worried as I finished the last stitch. Because there are so many stitches on the needles at any one time, the whole thing had got bunched up and kind of cottered looking. So, I followed the advice of many a Hanne Falkenberg knitter and, holding my breath, washed it in warm, soapy water and rinsed it with fabric conditioner and laid it out to dry. To say that I am pleased with the end result is an understatement. Breath which had been held could be let out in a slow sigh of relief: Promenade relaxed and softenend as it dried. I always knit HF patterns on the tight side, having seen other people's distress at sleeves being too long (not a problem with Promenade, clearly) and so forth. The process of a tight gauge and then washing and relaxing the wool has made a lovely, drapey fabric which is stretchy but which holds its shape well.

It had its first outing today to church and kept me lovely and warm despite the down draught from the organ which usually chills my back over the course of a service. Not today!