Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iknit, London, an exchange and other things

I've been back from London since Sunday evening but a combination of a bad cold, tiredness and a different job have kept me a little occupied.

When I got back on Sunday, I had a lovely exchange parcel waiting for me from Nicki. Its a Shepherds bush design called Pumpkin Hill and its beautifully finished.

SB exchange from Nicki

My trip to London and Iknit was fantastic. The hotel I picked was about 10 minutes walk away from the Royal Horticultural halls where the Iknit day was being held. Readers in the UK might recognise the hall from some BBC channel idents from a few years ago. Its a nice and spacious venue even though I think they underestimated the catering a little. I'm not sure they thought that there would be as many attendees so the sandwiches ran out early on and there were fairly big queues for the catering generally.

Some of the charity knitting stalls

Iknit day 2008 picture 1

Lots of lace shawls to ooh over

Iknit day 2008 picture 2

Lots and lots of knitters

Iknit day 2008 picture 3

iknit hall picture 2

After a couple of hours of yarn buying, it was off to the other hall to see the Yarn Harlot, who was a fantastic speaker. It got off to a weird start with a little microphone misfunction.

Yarn harlot and the microphone problem

And then it was on to the now traditional sock picture.

Yarn harlot takes the sock picture

And finally the talk which lasted around 90 minutes and was followed by lots of questions. She is a great and funny speaker and I would love to hear her speak again in the future. She did say she would come back to the UK again so hopefully I will get the chance. This picture isn't the best.

The yarn harlot speaks

It was then back to the main hall for some more shopping and chatting with fellow knitters. A combination of the Glasgow and Gourock knitters had laid claim to a table in the hall and we all popped in and out from the table to shop with breaks for chatting and eating. In a weird coincidence, someone in my group ended up in conversation with Jackie and Kate from the Crafty threads n yarns forum that I belong to and I was sitting chatting to Jackie when I realised that I knew her already from the forum and we were in an exchange together. I managed to meet up with a few people that I know though various places on the net, including the lovely Joy, who I recognised by her lovely shawl lol. I did miss quite a few people though but that was probably just as well for them as I had developed a pretty bad cold by Saturday and was gradually losing my voice through the day. Apologies to anyone at Iknit that I gave the cold to. By late in the afternoon, I was flagging badly so I decided against queuing for the Yarn harlot book signing. Stephanie was a real trooper as she signed books for several hours after her talk, which is very impressive.

Saturday night, the combined Gourock and Glasgow knitters went off for a lovely meal in a very nice restaurant somewhere in Kensington. My London geography is a little lacking but thankfully I was guided there and back by my fellow knitters.

Sunday morning, I managed to fit a little sightseeing in before my afternoon flight back. I was staying at Victoria so I decided to have a walk down towards the river. My walk took me by the Houses of Parliament


The streets were closed up for the start of the Tour of Britain so there were lots of men in shorts.

Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain 2

I then walked across Westminister bridge and being a little geeky, all I could think about was the first episode of the New Doctor Who series with the Doctor and Rose running across it towards the London Eye. Its an amazing sight, the London eye and the views from it must be amazing.

The London eye

Opposite the Houses of Parliament, there is a small patch of Sunflowers which seem to be randomly planted at the riverside. Its a lovely contrast to the city surroundings.

Sunflowers at the riverside

All too soon, it was time for me to head back to Glasgow after a not particularly pleasant flight which the take off seem to be a little steep and the cabin pressure gave a lot of the passengers ear ache. I was really badly affected and it took several hours before it settled and a day or so before my hearing was back to normal. I had taken a decongestant before the flight but it didn't particularly help. I've only ever had some mild ear popping on a flight before so this was an unwelcome surprise which was related to the cold I have. I'm only really getting my voice back fully now.

This week I've been on my job trial this week. The job itself isn't particularly exciting but it does use a lot of the skills I've built up over the years. The people there are lovely also. Sadly there is a but coming as towards the end of the week, I noticed that my back was getting more painful than it has been. This job, whilst its not as heavy as a ward job, involves more standing and worst still, more standing on the same spot than the job I already have and my back is not coping with this. Its pretty disappointing to realise over this past weekend that its not going to work out but that's life I guess and so its back to the job hunting again. I've still got a further week of the trial to go so things might change but it seems unlikely.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Off on my travels

Straight after work tomorrow, I'm off to the airport for my flight to London. Luckily its only about 10 minutes away and hopefully the work day will not be too stressful tomorrow. I have my doubts about the lack of work stress as this week so far has been hectic. Sometimes being a ward nurse is a weird cross between Mother and shepherd when dealing with Doctors and this week has involved a lot of me running around making sure one of the doctors is doing everything he should be.

In other work related news, next week I'm off to a different hospital for a few weeks. A vacancy, which my boss thinks is suitable for me long term, has come up in a different hospital. Its in an outpatient department and it sounds like it might work out. I've been given the chance to have a no strings attached trial at the job without giving up my current post, which is rather good. So Monday is the first day of the trial. I'm a little nervous but hoping it works out.

Anyway I'm off to finish packing for London, iknit and the Yarn Harlot. Its all very exciting.